So Steve Hays decided to post his side of our email correspondence. I wasn't going to do that, but I might as well give the full context. Notice the way Steve refuses to take correction, how he speaks so harshly, in such an unbrotherly manner. I tried to reason with the man. Sometimes he just can't be reasoned with. It's kind of sad, actually.
Also, this might help before we get into the correspondence:
I realise that I might have lacked some needed specificity in this interaction when I used the word "group" at times. In my mind, I was equating "group" with "organisation", and those are not exactly the same things, but they are close. Steve could have chosen to enter into a constructive conversation with me in an attempt to come to a common understanding that edifies everyone, but he chose not to.
Keep in mind that he and I have been acquainted via email and blogs for probably around 7 years, maybe more. I used to contribute to the Triablogue; I thought Steve was a friend. I was wrong; I don't know what he was looking for when he said I could contribute, but I guess he got what he wanted and then has dispensed with me.
It's really sad that you are doing this. Trying to point out actual flaws is one thing. You're just on a vendetta.
May the Lord help you, man.
You don't even attempt to offer a substantive rebuttal. You don't try to show how my interpretation of the AHA post I quoted is fallacious. It's just your knee-jerk defense of whatever anyone at AHA says or does.
The AHA post uses a straightforward argument. Resort to violence is logically entailed by the argument it gave.
I know you think it is, but that's because you're not thinking it through with any charity. I don't think it's a great quote either, but it doesn't necessarily lead to what you've said.
But since you've taken to deleting my comments, actually interacting with you about it is a waste of time. I don't know what has led you to these incredibly biased posts about abolitionism, but it's sad, grievous, and embarrassing for you.
\\It's just your knee-jerk defense of whatever anyone at AHA says or does. \\
That's a mean thing to say, and totally untrue. I'm sad you think you know me so well, and yet in reality you don't know me at all. I thought we were sort of friends. You are not treating me as a friend. Not even close.
Also "at AHA" is a meaningless statement, which I've corrected you on before and on which is based many of your misrepresentations. Yet you forge ahead without taking into account the correctives I offer. THAT is knee-jerk.
I took to deleting your comments because you repeatedly demonstrated an inability to accurately represent what I said.
\\"at AHA" is a meaningless statement, which I've corrected you on before and on which is based many of your misrepresentations. Yet you forge ahead without taking into account the correctives I offer. THAT is knee-jerk. \\
You mean, because I don't accept AHA's hairsplitting, nonsensical distinctions about how it's not an "organization" or even a "group"?
\\You mean, because I don't accept AHA's hairsplitting, nonsensical distinctions about how it's not an "organization" or even a "group"? \\
Good call. Words don't mean things when it's convenient for you that they not mean things.
2 Tim 2: 14Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
Let love of the brethren continue. - Heb 13:1
Where is your love, Steve? I honestly don't understand your hostility.
It's AHA that's redefining words. You say it's not a "group," but you say it's a "movement." Well, a movement is a group of people. You say people can't "join" or "belong to" or be a "member" of AHA, but, needless to say, people can belong to a movement.
Likewise, AHA has "societies." Well, what are societies if not "groups."
In fact, you try to have it both ways:
First, “Abolish Human Abortion” is not a group.
"Abolitionists are a group of people..."
I don't accept the propagandistic redefinition of words.
I notice that you haven't even attempted to offer a plausible alternative interpretation of the statement I posted.
Movements aren't groups, or organisations. They're movements. Because words mean things, Steve.
It's not fair to say we're REdefining words. We're defining WHO WE ARE. Just like it would be wrong to say that Calvinists are fatalists. You're not being fair, and that's not loving of you.
Of course societies are groups! That's what I've been telling you. If you could be fair and say THAT, then there would be no gripe, ano issue. Stop saying "AHA says" and "AHA is a group" and stuff like that, because it's false, and you know it's false. The question is: Do you care?
Thank you for the notification about the language "Abolitionists are a group of people". That's a mistake on our part. I'll get it changed. I am glad you pointed it out.
(See? That's how you admit a mistake and then take action that is in keeping with repentance. Maybe... you could try it sometime soon.)
As for the alternative interpretation, until you do the right thing and stop your wicked and willful misrepresentations in the very face of correction, I have no interest in offering such. Rather, you ought to repent for your shameful treatment of people who love Jesus.
Alan, consult a few dictionaries. Movements are organized groups of people, with a common ideology, working together to advance a common cause.
Yes, you're defining who you are...by twisting language.
AHA is a social movement. It deploys group action to further its agenda.
\\Stop saying "AHA says" and "AHA is a group" and stuff like that, because it's false, and you know it's false. The question is: Do you care? \\
Alan, you're being preposterous. Take this:
You're going to tell me that's not what AHA says? If that doesn't represent AHA, who or what does it represent? Disneyland?
I don't see how citing webpages means that "AHA says" things. How can an ideology say things?
You're being unnecessarily pedantic. If you were to say "abolitionists say these things", I'd agree with you. The fact that you can't take a simple correction shows me where your heart is. It answers the question why you are treating us so lovelessly.
\\Movements are organized groups of people\\
Yes!!!!!! Group*****S***** plural.
AHA is not a group. There are many group*****S***** that adhere to the AHA ideology. This isn't hard to understand, and you are an intelligent person. You won't correct your language b/c your heart is not right. So repent and let love of the brethren continue.
This hard-heartedness on your part will destroy you, and that's the last thing I want.
An, an "ideology" can't speak for itself. An ideology is an abstraction for what the ideologues say it is. People define an ideology. It's a set of ideas by a person or persons.
Alan, a group can have subsets. Groups within groups. Collectives.
Your effort to drive a wedge between the singular and the plural is arbitrary.
Abolitionists define AHA as both an ideology and a group. Groups can say things. A member of a social movement can speak for the movement.
It's bizarre that abolitionists are so hung up on these artificial, semantic quibbles.
\\An, an "ideology" can't speak for itself.\\
Excellent! We're making progress. I agree with you. In fact, I was the first one who said that.
Me from last email:
I don't see how citing webpages means that "AHA says" things. How can an ideology say things?
\\People define an ideology.\\
Agreed again! So stop saying that the ideology says things. Say that the ideologues, in this case, abolitionists, say things.
Can we agree on that? Will you stop saying "AHA says ___" and similar things from now on?
\\a group can have subsets. Groups within groups. Collectives. \\
I am well aware of that. AHA not being a group, however, I'm not sure why you said it.
\\Your effort to drive a wedge between the singular and the plural is arbitrary.\\
I don't know what you mean. I've been talking about two different classes of things - an ideology (AHA) and the groups that adhere to that ideology (societies and churches). This is what I've been saying from the beginning.
\\Abolitionists define AHA as both an ideology and a group.\\
It's true that at one time AHA was spoken of as a group, but for a long time now we have been trying to reform our language and be careful to speak of it as what it actually is - an ideology. Sometimes even the most experienced of us slip up. You ought to be engaging what our position actually is, though, not slip-ups.
\\A member of a social movement can speak for the movement. \\
Since you're expressing so many elements of what our position actually is, I don't know why this discussion has an argumentative tone to it, or that you feel like we disagree. All you have to do is start speaking consistently with what you're expressing in this email, and all the clutter surrounding the substance of the immediatist/incrementalist debate can vanish and we can talk about the real issues.
But until you do that, the clouds are too thick for a really good discussion. So, will you do so?
\\It's bizarre that abolitionists are so hung up on these artificial, semantic quibbles. \\
I'm sure many an Arminian has called the compatibility/fatalist distinction an "artificial, semantic quibble". If it's such a small thing that people shouldn't get hung up on, just agree to speak correctly and we can move on. I don't want to keep correcting you on this matter, that's for sure. It's a waste of time, and it's also sad to see how obstinate you are willing to be to someone whom I thought you considered a friend once upon a time.
Is it a deal?
Alan, you're being simplistic. To state "AHA says" is shorthand for "representatives of AHA say."
To state "CBS said" is shorthand for "a CBS reporter said."
Do you really need to have anything that elementary explained to you?
\\It's true that at one time AHA was spoken of as a group, but for a long time now we have been trying to reform our language and be careful to speak of it as what it actually is - an ideology. Sometimes even the most experienced of us slip up. You ought to be engaging what our position actually is, though, not slip-ups.\\
You can't obligate me to use your irrational descriptors, any more than I'm obliged to call Bruce Jenner a woman or Caitlyn.
Like it or not, AHA is an organization. It has spokesmen. They post on the AHA blog and Facebook wall.
AHA isn't just an ideology. Rather, it's a social movement, an organized group of people united by a common ideology and a shared purpose.
"It's a waste of time…"
Alan, you emailed me, not the other way around. You're wasting my time.
\\To state "AHA says" is shorthand for "representatives of AHA say."\\
I suppose it could be that "AHA says" is like "Calvinism says" or "covenant theology" says - that's acceptable language. It can make sense if you look at it right. So, fair enough.
There are other things that you have said about AHA that make it sound like a group, however, and I'm asking you to pay attention to your language and stop talking that way.
\\Like it or not, AHA is an organization. It has spokesmen. \\
Like it or not,
You don't get to define who we are or what we have set up, especially not in the face of our protestations to the contrary. You're the Arminian insisting that Calvinism is fatalism despite many reasons to the contrary. You're that guy. Stop being that guy.
And as far as "spokesmen" go, I guess. Part of your mistake is thinking of AHA as a top-down group. We are neither top-down nor a group. It may be difficult for you to imagine that, as I get the feeling you're in the rut of thinking everything has to be some sort of institution. You may not be able to grasp it, but a smart guy like you should be able to at least accept that you're saying something different than that which the definers of the ideology are saying. Intellectual honesty would demand you deal with who we really are, not who you want us to be.
\\AHA isn't just an ideology. Rather, it's a social movement\\
Correct, as I've said before. Try blazing some new ground and repenting of your sinful speech and obstinacy. Surprise me.
\\an organized group of people united by a common ideology and a shared purpose. \\
And here you veer off-course. So close, you were!
No, as I've said now at least thrice, AHA is an ideology to which MANY organised groups of people adhere.
This is not complicated. You're only arguing b/c of sin. Stop it. Love the brethren, Steve. Love is a good thing. Try it.
\\Alan, you emailed me, not the other way around. You're wasting my time.\\
I corrected you once - that wasn't a waste.
Continuing to repeat myself might be, but I do it b/c I love you.
I notice you've reciprocated nothing about love in your emails. I can't think of a way to make my question clearer other than this.
Why are you not showing love to abolitionist brethren, Steve?
As a matter of fact, I do have the right to define things in the face of protestations to the contrary. I have a right to define homosexuality and transgenderism in the face of protestations to the contrary. I have the right to define atheism in the face of protestations to the contrary.
A social movement or ideology is not entitled to dictate how other people must view it simply because it wants to be viewed a certain way. It only gets to define itself if in fact its definitions are reasonable–which is not the case with AHA's fabricated, illogical dichotomies and disjunctions. That's not something you get to impose on other people just because you say it or just because it serves your purpose.
When open theists redefine omniscience, then say they affirm omniscience, I reserve the right to say they deny omniscience.
\\Intellectual honesty would demand you deal with who we really are, not who you want us to be.\\
Well, John Reasnor is an XRecon theonomist, and he used that to define AHA in your sponsored debate with Wilcox. Is that what AHA really is?
Intellectual honesty demands that I distinguish between who you really are and who you imagine you are.
\\Part of your mistake is thinking of AHA as a top-down group. We are neither top-down nor a group. It may be difficult for you to imagine that, as I get the feeling you're in the rut of thinking everything has to be some sort of institution. \\
I notice you don't quote anything I've said to that effect. That's just your idiosyncratic definition of an organization, as if, by definition, an organization must be a top-down group.
\\I notice you've reciprocated nothing about love in your emails.\\
I'm amused by your hypocritical refrain about love, when AHA routinely slanders prolifers.
All too predictable a response, and sad. I'm very disappointed by your intransigence and unloving attitude.
And talk about plain ol' incorrigibility - "AHA slanders"? How does an ideology slander?
Finally, what you are trying to say is that abolitionists not only slander pro-lifers but do so routinely.
I'd be quite curious as to some examples of slander.
The stereotypical resort of someone who can't win an argument by honest means. "Disappointed"? That's such a conceited yardstick. Making Alan proud was never my goal in life. Heck, you didn't even exist for the first half of my life.
Your replies are laced with sophomoric shaming tactics that are the bread-and-butter of politically correct lynch mobs. That doesn't work on me. I don't live for your approval. Never have, never will. You need to scale back your inflated sense of self-importance.
"Conceited". No, sorrowful. You act like I'm not supposed to care about your soul as a person and what kind of ideas you impute to others. But, since all you see is "politically correct" and "lynch mob", aside from pleading with you one more time to see how ludicrously absurd such language is, I guess I've seen what I need to see.