Guest Post: A Call for Reasoned Discernment Before Judgment Is Made Upon Others

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Ok, you really have to hear the background of this next post.  The other day I was tweeting with a guy whose Twitter handle is @fivesolasguy, (Brian Thornton.)  He responded to a couple of tweets of mine and I have to be honest with you, his words felt very familiar to me.   The following is a good sampling of our conversation.

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Eventually, I got tired of the same runaround and so I said “gotta run” or something similar a couple of times.  I continued to get more tweets after saying I had to go (notifications come to my smart phone) and I didn’t want to have to keep picking up my phone for the same guy tweeting the same ol’ stuff and so I blocked him.  I think I have only one other person blocked in my 1+ yrs of tweeting.

Well, yesterday, I noticed Mr. Thornton came here to the blog and posted a couple of comments.  He questioned why I blocked him on Twitter.   So, I went back to Twitter to see what was going on.  Apparently, he had tweeted and tagged me quite a bit. I found the evidence on Aug. 9 in which he spouted off publicly about me for blocking him.   JA did something she doesn’t allow her kids to do – she rolled her eyes.

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Wow – those are 6 tweets in a row.  There were more, too.  I couldn’t tell if the tweeting occurred all at once or throughout the day.    I realized that this guy was obviously trying to get some message across to me and not satisfied with my earlier responses and so I gave him an offer to say whatever he’s trying to say in a paragraph or two and I’d post it here on the blog.  (You might consider clicking on that link.  The exchange is pretty funny – – one of our regular readers, Eric Fry, saw what was going on and put his TX cowboy boots on.  Yea, he cut to the chase.)  I figured why not –  we could try to discuss it here with complete sentences and paragraphs without the Twitter character limitations and just be done with it already.

Hey, what do you know, he took me up on it.  You can tell from the tweets above that we both were getting frustrated.  Twitter can be very effective or it can be very ineffective.  Our conversation was not getting anywhere.

But check out what he wrote.  I can’t believe it’s the same guy.  It definitely gives more insight into his tweets.  The only edit I made was to break up a long paragraph, otherwise, this is exactly Mr. Thornton’s content.  I’m looking forward to the discussion.

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A Call for Reasoned Discernment Before Judgment Is Made Upon Others

My wife and I have experienced what is known as spiritual abuse at the hands of a pastor who went to great lengths to “lord it over” his flock. He would arrive at your doorstep unannounced to rebuke you for not attending a service, have others call you out and rebuke you for some comments you made at a small group gathering, and would even verbally chastise you and threaten to remove you from membership if you did not repent of a particular sin he was convinced you had.

When I finally concluded that this guy was beyond the possibility of being reasoned with, I removed my wife and family from his spiritually oppressive influence. This guy was off the chain, so to speak, and I would not allow him to exert his unbiblical and sinful attempts to control us any longer.

My experience had made me a prime candidate to resist any future submission to a pastor/elder/shepherd (it did, in fact, result in me being hyper-critical for several years following that experience). But, in spite of what we went through, I remain convinced of the Bible’s teaching concerning the submission of Christians to their church leaders. Sadly, though, I fear that there are many who experience similar things that we did who become overly cynical, distrusting, and critical of anyone who teaches the biblical truth concerning the authority of church leaders over their congregations. Simply put, bad experiences do not negate the truth of God’s Word. And they don’t give us unfettered license to rail against anyone we believe is abusing their authority.

One of the main mistakes we can make (especially those of us who have experienced abusive practices firsthand from church leaders) is that, going forward, we fail to give others the benefit of the doubt. Paul said that love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”, and I believe part of what Paul is saying there is that our love for one another inside the church will include an attitude and heart of trust, rather than distrust. Our love for one another, rooted in the common bond we have IN Christ, will (should) translate into carefully researched conclusions and comments regarding another’s supposed position on church authority, for example. That love will result in, not publicly expressed suspicion the moment we see a red flag or questionable information, but will instead lead us to make sure that we are counting others as more important than ourselves, which will hopefully result in us reserving judgment until we are sure of the truth. I have been guilty of this more times than I can count.

Another common mistake we tend to make is that we will attack and judge and critique something based upon what someone has written rather than how what has been written actually gets fleshed out in real life. For example, someone reads on a web site article about someone’s position on the church’s authority over a Christian, and they draw all sorts of conclusions and preconceived opinions, not based upon what actually occurs in real life, but rather based upon what was written. I have been guilty of this quite recently. I strongly disagreed with a particular “method” for doing something as it was written and explained on paper, and I began to passionately attack that method with much vigor and emotion. However, when I took a step back and decided to see how that method was actually being fleshed out in real life, my conclusions were completely opposite from my initial judgments. We can erect all manor [sic] of straw men that we can easily knock down (or burn in effigy), when the truth is all we’ve done is malign another member of the body of Christ for no good reason. Make no mistake, there are those who take advantage of others and abuse their authority in the church. And they must be exposed and stopped. But, every red flag is not a cause for misinformed declarations against others who profess Christ. When we do that, we very well may be bringing down someone who is truly on our side. And for what reason? Because we didn’t give the benefit of the doubt, or we didn’t do our homework, or we attacked some words in an article rather than examined real life actions. When that happens, we have acted no differently and no better than those we are accusing of wrong-doing.

I pray we would all grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior as we bear, believe, hope, and endure all things for the well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we seek to be well-informed, truly discerning members of the church.

Brian Thornton

879 comments on “Guest Post: A Call for Reasoned Discernment Before Judgment Is Made Upon Others

  1. Well, since I keep seeing all the “negative” references to Calvinism, I figured I’d go ahead and make it official:

    “The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.”—C. H. Spurgeon

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  2. “So, are you denying that Jesus states in this passage that entering the kingdom is impossible with man?”

    Not at all. I said earlier I believe salvation is synergistic. What we do know is that Calvin teaches that God chooses us before the foundation of the world and man has no input at all. He also teaches we are guilty FOR Adam’s sin.

    When one reads the rich young ruler passage with that paradigm, we have a problem with your description of god being more Allah than the One True God of Abraham. Jesus “looked at him and loved him” YET CHOSE NOT TO SAVE HIM right in front of everyone. So what was the “love” about?

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  3. The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.”—C. H. Spurgeon”

    Oh dear. Calvin and Knox have something in common. Both premeditated murder “In the Name of God”. I would not want to be either of them. Both wrote defenses for it. Knox in the form of a sermon. Calvin in his “Defensio”. (Calvin wrote to his friend that if Servetus ever came to Geneva, he would not leave alive and later he made that come true when Servetus came to hear him preach and Calvin had him arrested. He could have let him leave Geneva, but no. Servetus had to be punished for daring to mark up the Institutes and send them to Calvin disagreeing with him years earlier. Calvin had ego issues)

    Nice guys you learn from, Brian.

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  4. Brian quoted:

    “The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.”—C. H. Spurgeon

    Looks like hero and doctrine worship to me. Only one reference to God.

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  5. “Where does it say that God chose not to save him? We don’t know what ultimately became of the ruler.”

    Exactly. What we DO know is that God in the Flesh chose not to “choose” him right then and there since He does the “choosing” and we have no input.

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  6. Brian,

    At 12:52 PM you attempt to explain away the assertion in 1 Tim 4:10 that “we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people.” (ESV). You offer five suggestions as to how this passage could MEAN something other than what it SAYS. Notwithstanding I ordinarily insist on dealing with what Scripture SAYS, as opposed to what somebody says it MEANS, I would like to compliment you as being extraordinarily accomplished in the sport of mental gymnastics, as well as in the art of intellectual contortionism.

    Unfortunately, there is a reason I cannot compliment you. The compliment would be misdirected. You see, in my opinion, you have been caught in an act of intellectual theft. Your comment of 12:52 PM appears to be an unattributed, verbatim, plagiarism of the ESV Study Bible commentary on 1 Tim 4:10.

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  7. Brian said on 8/17 @ 7:17PM,
    “Romans 5:18 –
    Therefore, as ONE trespass led to condemnation for ALL men,
    so ONE act of righteousness leads to justification and life for ALL men.
    ONE trespass=Adam’s sin resulting in a damnatory sentence (a declaration/judgment of damnation) against ALL people.
    ONE act of righteousness=Christ’s atoning sacrifice resulting in act of God declaring MEN righteous and free from guilt and acceptable to him.
    Those who fall into the second group (those being declared righteous by God) are determined by verse 17: they are, “THOSE who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the ONE man Jesus Christ.””

    NOTE: I capitalized the words ONE & ALL &MEN & THOSE in his comment. I made no other changes.

    Brian does four things in an attempt to prove his claim/theology of total depravity, original sin.

    1.ALL: His argument changes the meaning of all. The word ALL means ALL, always, all the time! ALL does not mean all sometimes but then means some sometimes. The Greek word PANTAS was used each time for all. Pantas means all, every.
    2.ALL is taken out: Brian does a switcheroo on the word all. Now you see it, now you don’t. He actually leaves the word ALL out in defending his claim. He omits it. Yikes! Take a close look:

    1 & 2. I hope everyone see’s what Brian did. He used ONE & ALL as the ESV Bible reads in the first part:
    ONE trespass (Adam) = ALL condemned
    But then he does a switcheroo. He uses ONE again but then changes ALL men to men (he implies some):
    ONE act (by Christ) = SOME MEN are righteous

    3.Omisson: He uses verse 17 to define ALL, yet he doesn’t include the whole verse. He leaves out the first part! Hmmm. Maybe because the whole verse says, “For it, because of ONE man’s trespass, death reigned through that ONE man, much more will THOSE who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the ONE man Jesus Christ.”

    4.Brian cherry picks within verse 17! He choses the last half of verse 17, because it bolsters his claim. But he leaves the first half of verse 17 out, because it REFUTES his claim! This is a repeat of his Psalms 51 debacle, but it’s worse because he cut out part of the verse that doesn’t agree with him. If this were a baseball game, he’d be called for pitching a spitball & suspended! Play fair, Brian! Stop spitting, cutting & pasting.

    So verse 17, ONE trespass = ONE man’s death BRIAN LEAVES IT OUT!!!
    This is counter to the very next verse, verse 18, ONE trespass=condemnation against ALL.
    Brian says verse 17 THOSE who receive grace replaces verse 18’s ALL to SOME who are justified. If that’s true, then verse 17: ONE death replaces verse 18’s ALL to just ONE condemned (Adam).

    I don’t think this is an honest, forthright way to go about convincing anyone, but ya’ll will can come to your own conclusions.

    My thoughts on these verses:
    Because Adam sinned, sin entered the world, not men. The world was pure & innocent before. There was no sin in the world before. Adam’s (& Eves) sin caused Spiritual death. Physical death was caused by leaving the garden of Eden. They could no longer eat of the tree of life. This is why many throughout history try to find Eden, to find the tree of life, eat & live forever.
    All men sin. Not all babies, toddlers, children. The word men in these verses implies age of adulthood, age of accountability. There was sin in world before Moses law (the written law).

    ** In Romans 5:18 we need to look closely at the words LED, LEAD = both are Eis in Greek which means toward, into. The question is does this word, Eis, mean forced to sin? Or does it mean influenced, tempted, toward, into sin? I say the latter. Now the world is sinful, & there are all sorts of temptations, the devil tempts & there is great influence to sin. In the garden of Eden, they had one temptation, not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden. See the difference?

    So let’s also think about these verses as part of the whole counsel of the Bible, beginning to end. Using wisdom, reason, what we know about right & wrong, & with the loving help of the Holy Spirit.

    Do we believe God forces people to sin because one man, Adam, chose to disobey God? Why do we punish anyone for forcing someone else, if that’s the case? They are following Jesus, right? NOT. That right there is a red flag, since Jesus never forced anyone.

    ** If we believe God forces people to sin, then we must be consistent with that word LEAD in verse 18 in the rest of the sentence:
    so ONE act of righteousness LEADS to justification and life for ALL men. LEADS there must mean God forces people to be justified. Humans are robots, then. And robots are never ever responsible for their own actions. Tell the kids they’re robots. Why punish them or even ask them to do right? It’s futile. NOT. NOT. NOT.

    And we need to ask ourselves why we would get upset if we were found guilty & punished for eternity for something that someone else did? In this case, Adam? Would Brian be okay with his child being sentenced to life in prison for something the neighbor’s kid did? Doesn’t God say He’s a better parent than we are (Matthew 7)?

    Ezekiel 18 God says there are no generational curses. The son, if he is righteous, will not be responsible for his fathers iniquity. The son does not bear the guilt of the father.

    Exodus 20:4-5 generational sin, you say? Physical, earthly consequences, not eternal damnation. Example, father’s sin does harm children if father neglects them, abuses them, fails to teach them, etc. That does not mean children are accountable for their father’s sin. Yikes!

    Brian, Do you believe this because you’ve thought, read up on both sides, prayed? Or do you sit under & are dazzled by people you admire & that you feel you owe your growing faith to? I understand being thankful. But you don’t have to stop thinking in order to defend them or feel obligated to them. Especially when they’re wrong.

    Brian, your boat is sinkin’. Might be time for you to jump ship & climb aboard! :)

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  8. @ Brian,

    Your August 18, 2013 @ 6:00 AM comment was from John Gill.

    It’s just honest/transparent to state whose words you are using. Otherwise, people might think those are your own words. It really goes without explaining.

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  9. A Mom,

    “The word ALL means ALL, always, all the time!”

    Really? You sure about that?

    “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” – Was Jesus telling the disciples that every human being would hate them? All means all, always, all the time, right?

    And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” – Did John the Baptist’s disciples mean that EVERY single person as going to Jesus? EVERY one? Had they gone to Jesus yet? All means all, always, all the time, right?

    “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” – Did the woman at the well really man that Jesus told her EVERY SINGLE THING SHE HAD EVE DONE? Every one, from birth until that point? All mean all, always, allthe time, right?

    Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. – Did every single person alive come to him? All mean all, always, everytime, right?

    But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. – Was Jesus telling the disciples that the Holy Spirit would actually teach them ALL THINGS THAT COULD BE KNOWN? He said all things, and all mean all, always, all the time, right?

    There are perhaps hunderds of examples like this to show that ‘all’ does not necessarily mean all, always, all the time. Context determines what ‘all’ means.

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  10. Ok Gary, let’s let Scripture just say what is SAYS. Here is what God SAYS in Scripture:

    I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord who does all these things. – Is.45:7

    Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it? – Amos 3:6

    Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? – Lam.3:38

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  11. Re: Brian’s claim that it is not plagiarism to reproduce copyrighted material without attribution, so long as you don’t make the claim that what you have reproduced is your own:

    Dictionary.com defines plagiarism as “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, AS BY NOT CREDITING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR. (Emphasis added) See http://tinyurl.com/9f8k4mb

    At Wikipedia.com we learn that “cases of plagiarism can constitute copyright infringement.” Well, duh! See http://tinyurl.com/n3trjhz

    Brian, if you can’t figure this stuff out for yourself, you need to consult with a lawyer who has some expertise in intellectual property law. You could get yourself in big trouble.

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  12. Gary,

    You had said:
    ” I think you meant that Faith and repentance are not gifts because we all have the ability to exercise them”

    No, I meant what I said, that faith is not a gift, and neither is repentance. I did not qualify it with anything. God did not give us faith. He gave us a promise and we believe that promise. That belief is our faith. The belief was not given to us.

    Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Dissect that using the Strong’s Concordance.

    Substance is assurance.

    Assurance is a pledge or promise (WHAT WAS PROMISED?)

    Hope is expectation.

    Expectation is anticipating something to take place, i.e. waiting for it.

    The Bus is coming at 2. I have faith that it will be here.

    What does that mean. It means that I know that the bus will be here at 2, I am just waiting at the bus stop for it to come.

    Faith isn’t that complicated to understand. So, no, I don’t mean it the same way that you do.

    Ed

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  13. Brian said:
    “Only those appointed to receive salvation will believe:

    “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”

    Only those given by the Father to the Son will be saved:

    “All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.”

    My response:

    More specifically your statement:
    “Only those appointed to receive salvation will believe”
    and
    “Only those given by the Father to the Son will be saved:”

    The references that you provide to attempt to prove your point does not state what you stated.

    You gotta dig much deeper than that.

    I covered this once with the J.W’s years ago, as they believe that only 144,000 are chosen of God to reign in heaven, and all the other J.W’s will be on earth with Jesus.

    Also, they don’t believe that Jesus is God to begin with, and that adds fuel to my fire.

    I need to dig that out and so that I can fight fire with fire with your references. Trust me. I can do it. I used to fight fires in the Navy.

    Ed

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  14. Brian, Our Bibles are translations. English is not the language in which the Jews or Greeks wrote. Are you looking at the Greek word?

    Also, you don’t proof text a Greek word for meaning in a particular verse by trying to find the English word throughout the whole Bible. Many different words are translated by using the same English word. I’m not sure you get that.

    The “ALL” word you use is a different Greek word in at least one of your other examples.

    Disappointed you ignored my Psalms 51 comment. Seems like you cherry-pick a lot. Is that what you want the readers of this blog to come away with? You ignore, yet continue to regurgitate. Time to self-examine, Brian. Not a good strategy. Nor is it fair play. Please response about your position on the meaning of Psalms 51.

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  15. Brian said at 12:52 pm
    “The statement that God is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe could seem to teach universalism”

    My response:
    No one here is teaching universalism. What we are saying is that Jesus provided for all, he took everyone’s punishment, and it is up to the individual to either believe, or reject.

    NO ONE can either believe, or reject until they are given the facts of the case.

    Then, and only then, they make a decision from their own minds, their own free will.

    THOSE WHO HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOD OR JESUS ARE SAVED BASED ON ROMANS 2:14-16…CONSCIENCE.

    Ed

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  16. Brian, You act like this is a firing range, shooting away. Have more respect. Treat this arena like a tennis match, we volley ideas back & forth. Question & answer, reply & respond. What you’re doing is not cool. And it makes you look like the bad guy.

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  17. Brian,

    Is that a “cut and paste” that you did at 12:52? Because that sure doesn’t look like an explanation that came from your mind, but someone else’s mind.

    All of your talking points are direct from a Calvinist check list.

    When I used to study out the JW’s, they have a little brown book, called, “Reasoning from the Scriptures”.

    They carry around that book everywhere they knock on doors. It has answers to every question that anyone at a house would ask.

    There is a section, for example

    IF a Hindu asks you this, you will answer with this…
    If a Jew asks you this, then you will answer with this…
    If this question is asked, then you will respond with this…

    NONE of it came from their heart. It was all scripted.

    I feel as tho all of your responses are a modification of a script.

    Ed

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  18. A Mom,

    I responded directly to your assertion that “all” means all, all the time, always. I showed it does not by citing several other references where “all” does not actually mean every person. Can you address my examples and either refute what I said or agree that ‘all’ does not always mean all.

    And, I’m not worried about “looking” like the bad guy. I’ve been viewed that way since the article was published.

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  19. “Please response about your position on the meaning of Psalms 51.”

    Sure.

    “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

    The psalmist is stating, not that his birth or conception was a sin, but that he inherited a sin nature, which existed ever since his conception.

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  20. Brian,

    You stated:
    “The psalmist is stating, not that his birth or conception was a sin, but that he inherited a sin nature, which existed ever since his conception.”

    So, you agree that we are born “IN” sin, rather than “WITH” sin, right?

    Being born “IN” sin means that we are born into a world where sin exists, not that any sin was committed.

    But what about them bones rejoicing, as was asked a few times?

    Ed

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  21. Brian,

    Let’s also get back to my original:

    I know that you completely ignored it, in your attempt to redirect. So, since you may have forgotten, here it is again. Notice that I do NOT limit the topic just to Romans 5:13. I go thru it thoroughly. This is a 3rd submission to you.

    Romans 5:13
    (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    Romans 7:8
    …For without the law sin was dead.

    When sin is dead, it has no power. Sin only has power when sin is alive.

    If you are dead to sin, then you are alive to God. If you are alive in sin, then you are dead to God (dead in sin and trespasses).

    Romans 3:20
    …the law is the knowledge of sin.

    1 John 3:4
    …sin is the transgression of the law.

    Romans 5:13
    …sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    Romans 4:15
    for where no law is, there is no transgression.

    Romans 4:8
    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    Romans 5:13
    sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    So, let’s see how this works in regards to Paul in Romans 7

    Romans 7:9
    For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

    That fourth word, “alive” is in regards to spiritually alive, which IS “not separated from God”. That last word , “died” is in regards to spiritual death, which IS separation from God.

    Paul was SPIRITUALLY alive before he had KNOWLEDGE of the law.

    Romans 3:20
    …for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    Romans 7:7
    I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    So, let’s put this in order:

    Romans 7:7-9
    7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

    9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

    Once you die spiritually, you must be born again spiritually. The word AGAIN has significance.

    When we are born of the flesh, we are also born of the spirit.

    Knowledge of good and evil is a prerequisite to spiritual death.

    Once we die that spiritual death, we must be born again…a spiritual resurrection from spiritual death.

    The age of accountability is WHEN YOU GET KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, regardless of age.

    Now, getting back to Romans 5:
    Death reigned from Adam to Moses (Moses, being everyone under the law of Moses). Verse 14

    Under Jesus, death does not reign.

    Verse 12 is the physical death of the body, whereas verse 14 is spiritual death.

    In regards to verse 12, however, if you dissect 1 Cor 15:36-50, you will see that Adam was formed in a NATURAL dying body anyway. So, he was going to die a natural death anyhow.

    There was a tree of life that he was to eat from in order to have OBTAINED eternal life. That was the WHOLE purpose of the Tree of Life in the garden.

    He could have gotten eternal life EVEN IN A FALLEN STATE, but Angels blocked access to the Tree of Life so that he wouldn’t and couldn’t.
    And due to the fact that he ate of the tree of death, he died a spiritual death IN THAT DAY.

    Then God told him that he would return to dust where he came from. That was his body, of course. The reason that God told him that was NOT BECAUSE he LOST eternal life, but because he never obtained it.

    What was the name of that tree in the Garden?

    Is the PROMISED LAND nothing more than a piece of real-estate for the Jews, or is it also a spiritual interpretation of heaven?

    Who got to go there, and why?

    1. Those who have faith
    a. Caleb,and
    b. Joshua

    2. Those who fall under Deuteronomy 1:39. NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.

    Deuteronomy 1:39
    Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

    Possess what? The Promised Land. What was the name of that tree in the Garden?

    Now go back to Adam and Eve in the Garden BEFORE the fall. They had no knowledge of good and evil. Once they got knowledge, they died, spiritually.

    That is the same with babies, just as it was for the Apostle Paul in Romans 7.

    That is everyone’s life cycle. Innocent, until knowledge.

    Ed

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  22. “Being born “IN” sin means that we are born into a world where sin exists, not that any sin was committed.”

    By being born in sin, I would say means that, at conception, we inherit a sin nature that makes us sinners before we ever actually sin ourselves. That’s why I believe that we sin because we are sinners. In other words, before we ever sin we are sinners. Comitting a sin doesn’t make us a sinner. We were already sinners before ever sinning, thanks to Adam’s sin. That’s why Paul say that, due to Adam’s sin, all sinned. Since Adam represented the whole human race, when ha sinned, it was as if we all sinned too.

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  23. Ed,

    I’ve already addressed Romans 5 numerous times. Just because I haven’t address it in the manny in which you specify doesn’t mean I have addressed it.

    And what in the world are the bones rejoicing statement about?

    Like

  24. Brian Thornton said, Sure. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” The psalmist is stating, not that his birth or conception was a sin, but that he inherited a sin nature, which existed ever since his conception.

    5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
    7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

    If it was easy as a, “sure I stand by my statement”, then you should have answered days ago.

    Wow. I actually don’t think you can be reasoned with. This isn’t a volley back & forth of ideas after all, is it? Reason is futile with you. That’s sad when one decides to be a parrot. There is no comfort in that, Brian.

    So clue us in. How much hissop do you use to purge your sins white as snow?

    Why don’t you believe that Jesus’ blood purges our sins white as snow instead?

    Like

  25. I’m sorry, I guess I’m just not bright enough to follow what point you are making about the hyssop. I do indeed believe that Jesus’ blood atones for the sin of all those the Father has given to him, his sheep.

    Like

  26. Brian said, “In other words, before we ever sin we are sinners. Comitting a sin doesn’t make us a sinner. We were already sinners before ever sinning, thanks to Adam’s sin.”

    That’s called getting the cart before the horse & then expecting to get a ride somewhere.

    Brian, this isn’t even logical.

    So a murderer never murders. A liar never lies. An adulterer never commits adultery. A thief never steals. A sinner never sins. You just eliminated Ray Comfort’s whole evangelism strategy, Brian.

    Like

  27. My apologies, A Mom.

    I am the only one on here in opposition to the views being put forth on here, and there are almost 800 comments. Believe it or not, I do have a life apart from this blog, and I am sure there are many questions aimed at me among these 790 comments that I never have gotten to.

    Like

  28. Why is so hard to accept the idea that we are considered sinners before ever sinning (thanks to Adam representing us and giving us his sin)?

    We certainly don’t have a problem being considered righteous when we actually are not (thanks to the second Adam, Jesus, representing us and giving us his righteousness).

    Like

  29. Brian Thornton said, “I’m sorry, I guess I’m just not bright enough to follow what point you are making about the hyssop. I do indeed believe that Jesus’ blood atones for the sin of all those the Father has given to him, his sheep.”

    You’re kidding me, right? Are you serious? I’m trying to wrap my brain around this.
    You are out of control with the cherry-picking! Put the cherry-picker down & step away slowly.

    Psalm 51:
    5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
    7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

    So you see verse 5 as the only literal verse in chapter 51? Or are you saying there is only one verse in Psalm 51, and it’s verse # 5?

    Like

  30. I think Brian has an important point about being mindful that he is being asked to address a lot of questions and is in the hot seat so to speak. I appreciate that he has remained to wrestle these issues. These things take time and much thought.

    Let’s be careful with our words so we can get our message across clearly.

    Thanks, Brian, for the most commented post in SSB history :)

    Like

  31. Brian Thornton said, “My apologies, A Mom. I am the only one on here in opposition to the views being put forth on here, and there are almost 800 comments. Believe it or not, I do have a life apart from this blog, and I am sure there are many questions aimed at me among these 790 comments that I never have gotten to.”

    I get that. But you engaged me with 2 direct questions or statements (I don’t remember which it’s been days ago), not the other way around. I answered both timely.

    Why engage me & then ignore my responses? It’s like you chose direct targets & follow it up with random shotgun blast regurgitation, instead of following up on the direct responses to those who you’ve decided to engage. And of course you’ll get feedback on the shotgun blasts. Maybe you’re reaping what your sowing. If you can’t handle the responses, slow down & engage thoughtfully. Just sayin.

    Like

  32. A Mom,

    Let’s look at all of chapter 51 to see if I see verse 5 as the only literal verse in the chapter. I will put the words LITERAL or SYMBOLIC after each verse to show what I think:

    Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
    according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions. – LITERAL
    Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin! – SYMBOLIC
    For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me. – LITERAL
    Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
    so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment. – LITERAL
    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me. – LITERAL
    Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. – LITERAL
    Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. – SYMBOLIC
    Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice. – SYMBOLIC
    Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities. – SYMBOLIC (God doesn’t have a face)
    Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me. – SYMBOLIC heart, LITERAL spirit
    Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me. – LITERAL
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit. – LITERAL
    Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you. – LITERAL
    Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. – LITERAL
    O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise. – LITERAL
    For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. – LITERAL
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. – LITERAL
    Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
    build up the walls of Jerusalem;
    then will you delight in right sacrifices,
    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar. – SYMBOLIC

    Like

  33. Who decided what is symbolic and what is literal in this Hebrew poem of man talking to God? Can you give us a reference for those designations?

    Like

  34. Brian said,
    “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,
    so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. – LITERAL
    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. – LITERAL
    Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. – LITERAL
    Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. – SYMBOLIC
    Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. – SYMBOLIC heart, LITERAL spirit

    Against you, you only, have I sinned. You said literal. I disagree. David sinned against Bathsheba & her husband, Uriah.

    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. You said literal. I disagree. Babies in womb are not full of sin.

    Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. You said literal. Yet below for Create in me a clean heart, you said symbolic because it heart. I think God teaches us wisdom, not sure about “secret” heart.

    Purge me with hyssop. You said symbolic. I agree.

    Like

  35. Brian,
    “By being born in sin, I would say means that, at conception, we inherit a sin nature that makes us sinners before we ever actually sin ourselves. That’s why I believe that we sin because we are sinners. In other words, before we ever sin we are sinners. Comitting a sin doesn’t make us a sinner. We were already sinners before ever sinning, thanks to Adam’s sin. That’s why Paul say that, due to Adam’s sin, all sinned. Since Adam represented the whole human race, when ha sinned, it was as if we all sinned too.”

    My response:

    The Strawman knows that you didn’t finish your religious dogma on the issue. Your religious dogma includes that Adams sin was imputed to all, meaning that not only do you receive a sin nature, but the sin of Adam comes as a GIFT from Adam, so that you have that sin of Adam, and therefore are guilty before God EVEN BEFORE BEING BORN.

    What I find interesting about Calvinism, is that anyone can agree when anyone speaks Christianese. The problem is, only half of the story is given at a time.

    For example, we all know that Jesus saves.

    That is Christianese. No one disagrees with that statement.

    But, if only half of the story is told, it is deception. Only later is it revealed that Jesus Saves…the people predestined from the foundation of the world.

    So, I perceive that your answer above is an incomplete answer. The Strawman speaketh.

    Ed

    Like

  36. Brian,
    You have not addressed it. You skirted the issue.

    I am NOT discussing JUST Romans 5. I am discussing Romans 5:13, and you are not discussing Romans 5:13.

    Moreover, you are not discussing Romans 5:13 AS IT RELATES TO ALL OF THE OTHER REFERENCES OUTSIDE OF CHAPTER 5.

    No, Brian, you have failed to address it. You mentioned it, but not addressed it. You are more focused on all the other verses, so as to diminish it, as in making it not that important of a topic, minimizing it.

    So, I ask again, address it.

    Ed

    Like

  37. I said LITERAL for David’s statement to God that against him and him alone did he sin because his sin against was not symbolic but literal. I agree that he also sinned against Uriah and Bathsheeba, but all sin is ultimately sin against God, which is what David is saying in this statement.

    Regarding my statement above about being born in sin, why can’t you just address what I’ve said and leave out all the speculative inuendos about the rest of my supposed evil dogma? Instead of addressing my statement, you chose instead to take yet another swipe at Calvinism. With respect to my statement, that, my Arminian friend, is a straw man. :-)

    Like

  38. Brian,
    Because it does not represent the whole story, therefore, it is not supposed, it is evil dogma.

    We are not Arminians. Those people existed many many many years ago.

    I am an American. I am a Washingtonian. I am a Seattlite. I am not Arminian.

    I do not believe in what they believed in.

    Why is the only two choices amongst the C camp either Calvinist, or Arminian?

    Very strange.

    Ed

    Like

  39. “Regarding my statement above about being born in sin, why can’t you just address what I’ve said and leave out all the speculative inuendos about the rest of my supposed evil dogma? Instead of addressing my statement, you chose instead to take yet another swipe at Calvinism. With respect to my statement, that, my Arminian friend, is a straw man. :-)

    Why not ask someone if they are Arminian first? And the answer to your question is that after talking with YRR/NC types for many years this is the progression. You end up after time watering down your own doctrine because when you hear it back it does not sound so good so you leave off those parts and look for parts of “agreement” so you can add them in later. The key is getting the person to agree first. That is the strawman and I have seen it probably hundreds of times since 2004 on blogs everywhere. . But since our definitions are different it can be a problem to even agree with something that sounds right. (There is a trust issue in talking with YRR/NC types)

    And I think I have figured out the reason this happens. C’s hang around with C’s. They attend church with C’s and listen to C’s preach. They love their C gurus and many times I can guess what guru after talking to them for a while. They tend to live in what I call C ghettos with TGC and T4G and more. (like thinking) And if they read lots of Calvin and Luther, they tend to approach doctrine in the same fashion. “Are you submitting to your elders”– they might feel free to ask someone they barely know and have no relationship with. This is normal in their world. I see it all the time around me.

    The same tactics used in that ghetto for disseminating their truths does not work in a larger context with people who have studied C and found it a problem. So this is a problem for one who has been taught only they have the true Gospel.

    Calvinism requires some unity of thought reform and conformity to survive and that ends up being censoring and coercion. That is why it tends to surge then die out or go liberal over time. The political history of Calvinism is fascinating to study.

    Like

  40. Lydia observes that “There is a trust issue in talking with YRR/NC types.” I have heard, and find validity in, the theory that people tend to sort themselves into different churches according to personalty types. I suggest that the individual congregations then tend to project their congregants’ personalities onto God. Therefore, you can tell what kind of personality will be predominant in a particular church by studying what they believe about God. Never, ever, get involved in a church where God is taught to be motivated primarily by a passion for His own glory, where he arbitrarily and capriciously “elects” who is in and who is out, where His power is emphasized to the near exclusion of His Love, where it is said that his Sovereignty is expressed in a deterministic control of, not just the weather, but of every human decision, and/or where it is said that he sees humans as being totally depraved. You will find yourself dealing with people who are very much like this god, which, again, they have created in their own image.

    Like

  41. Excellent advice and so true, Gary. I would love to finally find a church, or a house, or even a park – ANYWHERE! – to meet with other like-minded local Christians. But at the same time, the idea scares me to death. Because the cruel determinist god creeps into even the most unlikely of places, and anywhere he is taught and/or promoted, anywhere his followers gather, is not a safe place for many.

    Like

  42. Brian said, “I said LITERAL for David’s statement to God that against him and him alone did he sin because his sin against was not symbolic but literal. I agree that he also sinned against Uriah and Bathsheeba, but all sin is ultimately sin against God, which is what David is saying in this statement.
    Regarding my statement above about being born in sin, why can’t you just address what I’ve said and leave out all the speculative inuendos about the rest of my supposed evil dogma? ”

    Brian, you have been programmed, not by God (although you think we are robots), but by your religion. Ultimate is not the same as only. You super-impose your belief system onto the Bible. You say, “all sin is ultimately against God. So when David says he sinned only against God, that’s what he is really saying”.

    What I’ve seen you do regularly to prove your point, this time also, is this: You make a truth claim. You say God is ultimate. You say sin is real. Well, yes, I agree with you. But then you use those truth claims to force a passage to say something it doesn’t. Example, you said: Sin is real. Sin is ultimately against God. Then you use those claims to say David said those truths when he says he sinned only against God. This is faulty logic. No, David said what he said.

    It’s like me saying only the sun is hot. And then you would say well, the sun is real. Then you would say the sun is ultimately hot. Then you use those truth claims to confirm my statement is literally true. Nope, my sentence is still not literal. No, other things are hot (volcanoes, stoves, wives of C pastors I’ve been told are smokin’ hot). My statement that only the sun is hot IS NOT LITERALLY true. I said what I said. I am speaking tongue in cheek or describing how I feel. You can’t claim I’m telling the truth. Do you understand this?

    David said what David said. Scripture says what scripture says. You can’t make it say what you want it to say.

    BUT then you say for other verses, yes I agree with exactly what those verses say, because those are symbolic. This is called cherry-picking or twisting scripture.

    David said he sinned only against God. David said he sinned in the womb (an impossible feat). David said hissop cleans his sins white as snow. These statements are not true. I refuse to twist scripture to say what I want it to. He was a poet. He was waxing poetic to describe how he feels. He was in anguish. He spoke out of sorrow. He wasn’t calmly & methodically setting out to pass on to us a certain serious theology at that moment.

    Interesting then, that you say I need to stop the speculative innuendos. I think it’s the other way around. BTW, I’m not an Armenian. I don’t really know what they believe. But since you brought the C word up, I know I definitely don’t believe in Calvinism, the god of robots & computers. Is this Barbie doll relationship the same one God describes to desire & want with us? Nope. He longs for us to love him back & submit to him. Is that something any computer or action figure doll can do? Impossible. We are not dolls, robots, or computers. This is what your religion reduces us to. Please read the Bible yourself. God calls people stubborn, rebellious, pleads them to reason with him, he wants to teach them. That’s just a handful of chapters in Isaiah. Do robots love back? Can they?

    Like

  43. “You will find yourself dealing with people who are very much like this god, which, again, they have created in their own image.”

    Nice little sound bite, but completely false. Just the opposite in fact. I believe God is completely sovereign over all things. I, however, am NOT sovereign over all things. So, how in the world is this a God created in my own image?

    I still haven’t seen anyone interact with the passage I quote where God says he creates calamity and creates everything for its own purpose, even the wicked. Any takers?

    Like

  44. A Mom said,

    “David said he sinned in the womb (an impossible feat).”

    Please stop twisting Scripture. David did not say this. He said he was “conceived” in sin. He did not say he sinned in the womb. You are twisting Scripture to refute my position. Why can’t you just let God’s word speak for itself?

    David says the same thing twice, in two different satements:

    1. I was brought forth in iniquity
    2. In sin did my mother conceive me

    The subject is his conception, not him personally sinning in the womb. You are attacking something that cannot be inferred from the verse.

    Like

  45. Brian

    Isaiah 45:7
    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

    That is what the KJV states.

    The Hebrew word for EVIL is the same Hebrew word that you use for calamity. Calamity is the modern translation.

    God is light.

    I have heard people say that darkness is the absence of light.

    But with God, it is the exact opposite. Darkness had to be created. Darkness is a spiritual word that is used to describe evil.

    The same with evil. Evil had to be created. Calamity isn’t the right word, although it is the same Hebrew word.

    Remember, Jesus had to command the wind to stop. It was already in natural mode when Jesus said for it to stop. The wind “obeyed” Jesus. And since Jesus is God, God INTERVENED to change things. It wasn’t scripted from the foundation of the earth.

    Sovereignty of God:
    I think we all believe in the sovereignty of God. I believe that the sovereignty of God is that he gave us free will. If he didn’t, then God would not have to INTERVENE to change things. And our prayers would be meaningless. It would all be scripted prayers from the foundation of the earth.

    It is demeaning to ever consider ourselves as robots or puppets of a play.

    Ed

    Like

  46. Brian,

    I stand corrected, as I do remember that there are THREE choices with the C Crowd.

    1. Calvinism
    2. Arminian
    3. Pelagian

    I stand corrected.

    So, I will ask again,

    Why are there ONLY Three choices with the C camp for those who are not Catholic?

    We are Christians. They were first called Christians in Antioch.

    There were not called Calvinists, Arminian, Pelagian, Lutheran, Epicapol, Catholic, Presbyterian, etc.

    As Paul said, divisions are when people classify themselves by a man, when he gave examples of:
    1. I am of Paul
    2. I am of Appolos

    Did they die on the cross for you?

    I am a Christist.

    Ed

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  47. Brian,

    You said:
    “The subject is his conception, not him personally sinning in the womb. You are attacking something that cannot be inferred from the verse.”

    I don’t understand how and why you think that this is attacking anything here.

    I say that because, as usual, you leave out the other half of the story here.

    1. You believe that we have the sin of Adam, that we are guilty in the womb already.
    2. And, there was NO SIN in regards of the conception. His mother was not sinning by having sex with the father of David. The Father of David was not sinning by having sex with the mother of David. But you think that there was some sort of sin going on in regards to his conception. WHAT WAS THAT SIN? Be specific.

    Quoting scripture is one thing. Your explanations of the quote just don’t add up.

    Ed

    Like

  48. A Mom,

    Late last night I responded to Lydia’s observation that “There is a trust issue in talking with YRR/NC types.” Brian seems to have assumed my comment was pointed at him directly. Interesting.

    Whatever the significance of Brian’s thinking my comment was all about him, I fear you are wasting your time, effort, compassion and concern with him. Well, I’m sure you realized that long ago. I have been enjoying, and appreciating, how you and others have so successfully put the thinking of our current resident c’ista to rout.

    Still, I do hope Brian doesn’t end up suffering (more of?) the kind of abuse so many here have suffered at the hands of “pastors” who emulate the sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies they attribute to their god.

    Like

  49. Ed,

    I fear that you too are wasting your time and effort with Brian, except that it is so much fun. He’s such an easy target! I know, I know. Not nice of me.

    Like

  50. Gary W,
    Oh, I do have fun with this. My personality is sarcastic, so I hope he doesn’t take offense at my sarcasm. I get accused by the C camp as being arrogant. I say, yes, I am arrogant, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

    God’s Word will not come back void.

    I think these debates are fun, and even in our heated disagreements with Brian, I think that we have all at least given him something to think about. He may reject it now, but one day, I think that he will know and understand the reasons why we have disagreements. When I debate, I study my opponent’s belief system before I even enter into a debate. That way, I already know their talking points before they even bring them up.

    All in all, Brian actually has been a really good sport in all of this. The one thing between Brian and most C’s is that they would have already cut us off. Brian has stuck in there. I don’t condemn Brian, just his dogma.

    Brian, I commend you for putting up with us, and I thank you for participating!!

    Ed

    Like

  51. Oasis,
    So true, so true. The creeping in thing is definitely going on in the SBC. It’s infiltrating church’s that never once believed in Calvinism before, too. My personal opinion is that I believe that this is very dangerous, and we are seeing the evidence of it’s danger before our eyes.

    What Luther did was a good thing, although not perfect. What Calvin did was not a good thing. Luther’s heart was in the right place, Calvin’s wasn’t. Luther wanted people to be free, Calvin wanted people submitting to bondage to him.

    I am not a Lutheran, but I side with him.

    Ed

    Like

  52. Brian

    You have earned my admiration also. – fwiw… ;-)

    Thanks for sticking this out – You get an A+ for persistence.

    Mal 3:16
    Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:
    and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
    and a book of remembrance was written before Him
    for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

    Like

  53. Julie Anne

    You are also to be commended – Thank you for allowing this to continue.

    For me – This Post and Thread is a great example of…

    1Co 14:26
    How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
    every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine,
    hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.
    Let all things be done unto edifying.

    And we sure have had lots of – doctrine – revelation – interpretation… ;-)

    You sure do NOT find this in the Sunday Morning get together…

    The Perfomance…

    This is much more real – And edifying…

    NO one saying – I’m the Boss – My way or the highway…

    And let us consider one another
    to provoke unto love and to good works:
    Heb 10:24

    Like

  54. Still, I do hope Brian doesn’t end up suffering (more of?) the kind of abuse so many here have suffered at the hands of “pastors” who emulate the sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies they attribute to their god.

    The attributes of God claimed by some people are often contradicted by the very verses they use to claim other points of theology. These contradictions are usually dismissed with the “God is far beyond our understanding” cliche, which is a contradiction in itself when people try to assign attributes to God.

    Still, many of these attributes seem to be excluded by each other and verses in the Bible.

    Let’s take ‘God is just’ and compare it to the Calvinist view of original sin. Adam sins, and God decrees that all men are sinners due to the sin of one man. This is an action that is considered unjust in our own court systems where each person is responsible for their own actions. That tight hold on a doctrine that shows God clearly to be unjust winds up showing itself in the psychology and actions of those who hold the doctrine, e.g., the way SGM makes a declaration of blamelessness and righteousness for CJ in the face of mounds of contrary evidence. This is the cognitive dissonance brought on by seeking theological justifications to map one’s own psychology on to God.

    Now let’s compare one very important attribute of God to others, in just a linguistic manner. In 1 John 4 the statement ‘God is love’ occurs twice. These are two nouns, ‘God’ and ‘love in English and ‘θεὸς'(Theos) and ‘ἀγάπη’ (agape) in Greek. Since the attribute claimed here is a noun, this is not a descriptor of some facet of God’s personality, it is a statement of God’s essence, of what He is and what is Him. All the rest of the things we attribute to God are adjectives describing qualities He posesses, rather than what is His essence. Wrathful, just, righteous, merciful, etc., these are all words that we use to describe God and His actions lad out in the Biblical texts. Where the problem occurs for us is that we give these adjectives equal weight as the noun, i.e., we equate and attribute with His essence.

    Instead of trying to see if these attributes fit logically with His essence, the quirks in our psychology try to explain and modify His essence of agape love to include and allow for these attributes. In doing so, we come up with contradictory doctrines and statements that serve to diminish His essence, and the only way we can maintain these contradictions is by maintaining our cognitive dissonance. How else could a preacher claim that ‘love’ consists of harassing women at abortion clinics or categorically denying abuse allegations?

    Of course, these dissonances and logical contradictions can be dealt with easily when pure literalism is abandoned for a more figurative and allegorical approach to scripture. That doesn’t mean that there are no verses which can be taken literally since that would put everything into pure relativism. But, we need wisdom and guidance, not from men, but from the Holy Spirit, to discern which verse should be taken literally, and which verses should be viewed figuratively or in a limited context. My position is that “God is love” is the ground for all literal statements about God, and any scripture that diminishes or negates that statement should be considered in more figurative senses.

    Besides, whatever attributes of God we focus upon more will show more in our behavior. When I forget to focus on love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, it shows in my words and actions; likewise when I focus on sin, anger, wrath, etc. it shows as well. That is a truth of human psychology and existence, no matter what other ‘truth’ we wish to claim. Our psychology determines our theology, but fortunately, we can change our thinking and behavior by shifting our focus to His essence instead of the things we attribute to Him.

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  55. Eric Fry,

    You say “My position is that “God is love” is the ground for all literal statements about God, and any scripture that diminishes or negates that statement should be considered in more figurative senses.”

    Yes, yes! Stand up and cheer!!

    And, “Besides, whatever attributes of God we focus upon more will show more in our behavior. When I forget to focus on love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, it shows in my words and actions; likewise when I focus on sin, anger, wrath, etc. it shows as well. That is a truth of human psychology and existence, no matter what other ‘truth’ we wish to claim.

    Again yes! But, eh, guilty as charged. (I do hope that to confess is to be absolved.)

    Like

  56. Brian Thornton said, “A Mom said, “David said he sinned in the womb (an impossible feat).” Please stop twisting Scripture. David did not say this. He said he was “conceived” in sin. He did not say he sinned in the womb. You are twisting Scripture to refute my position. Why can’t you just let God’s word speak for itself?
    David says the same thing twice, in two different satements:
    1. I was brought forth in iniquity
    2. In sin did my mother conceive me
    The subject is his conception, not him personally sinning in the womb. You are attacking something that cannot be inferred from the verse.”

    Brian, Psalms 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” You said this is literally true. You keep using this verse to support your “sinful in womb” religion. I say that’s impossible, to sin in the womb.

    If David’s mother committed a sin when she conceived him, that does not make David, or any child for that matter, responsible for their parent’s sin or sinful. However, since this is poetry, we need to be careful. I would not assume she committed a sin based on this verse alone.

    He was a poet. He was waxing poetic to describe how he feels when he wrote the entire chapter. He was in anguish. He spoke out of sorrow. He wasn’t calmly & methodically setting out to pass on to us a certain serious theology at that moment. I think everyone should read the whole chapter & decide for themselves.

    Please read the rest of my comment. Do you understand what I’m saying about the logic you have been applying & why it is not helpful?

    Like

  57. Eric Fry, Now that’s teaching worthy of supporting! But it’s free, you asked no money for it. ;)

    What, hopefully is clear to the readers here, is that many will press a religious belief & keep claiming it. They read that religion into what they are reading. We need to be careful not to do that – keeping in mind at all times, especially when reading, that God is the very definition of love. And he is just.

    Ariel Castro, the man who kidnapped the 3 girls & held them against their will (for a decade?) is no different than the personality of a God who determines our actions, thoughts, decisions. That is a religion where we are robots. However, Ariel Castro’s control stops short. He can’t send those girls to hell.

    So how can anyone blame or hold to account anyone for anything, when they are just puppets & their actions are controlled by some good evil, yin yang, love hate God?

    I hope many will see & reject this false religion.

    Like

  58. A Mom,

    And this is where the C’s talk out of both sides of their mouth.

    1. God predetermined who is going to hell
    2. Don’t blame God because you are going to hell…it’s all your fault.

    Ed

    Like

  59. “They tend to live in what I call C ghettos with TGC and T4G and more.”

    So now I live in a ghetto. This is not inflamatory language at all.”

    The YRR/NC ghetto is a place where people are comfortable asking people whom they have NO relationship with at all whether or not they are submitting to their elders. It is their normal. It is an astonishing question to those who don’t live in the same ghetto.

    And btw: Ghetto is not a negative word used in it’s original historical meaning. See what I did? I used a word that has evolved over centuries and the meaning was different to you. That is not a good thing in communication, is it? Now, I have plausible deniability as to the meaning I was using. Makes communication frustrating.

    Like

  60. “Why is the only two choices amongst the C camp either Calvinist, or Arminian?”

    Oh, it’s not. This blog thread is loaded with Pelagian doctrine as well.

    Be very careful about this one. It might backfire. Al Mohler even hinted around that his seminary president colleagues who signed the Trad statement were Pelagians (or semi) which has been ingrained as heretic to most people.

    But this was thrown out so much as an accusation against non Cals in the SBC that the peasants have started to so some homework. And that is never a good thing for those who want to accuse censor and control others with such accusations.

    Seems some of our seminarians are not as well educated as some thought. More indoctrination. We can save the Pelagian argument for another blog post somewhere.

    In fact, I believe this shoving Calvinism down throats as the True Gospel has only driven people to take a look at history and coming away shaking their heads that a tyrant thug is now a spiritual icon for so many young men.

    Like

  61. Gary W, I hate to say it but it was never about Brian. It is for all those folks who are being intimidated by YRR/NC actually seeing people interact with them instead of being cowed by their typical methods of what they call communication. They are indoctrinated so they think they indoctrinate others. That is the method. If they can get most folks arguing about scripture they can have them so confused it is not funny. Some have tried “love” but their view of “love” is to beat correct doctrine into you. And this means people have to have boundaries with them even if they carry a Christianese title.

    It is easy to forget how you met them once you go around the mulberry bush with them as we have done here. We met Brian because he tweeted JA a question most of us find astonishing for someone who has no spiritual relationship with her. But it is his normal because of who he hangs with and who he listens to. We cannot forget that.

    Once it went on for a while, he started watering down his foundational premises. Happens all the time for those who are willing to stick it out. Which brings me to the fact that Calvinism is NOT something one can apply to their life. It has NO practical application as a belief system except for obeying your elders, making dates with Satan to go deep with your sin and preaching the gospel to yourself everyday. That is it. There is no real actionable sanctification. You are guilty of something you did not do. Your right living is imputed to you so there is nothing you can add except obeying elders. In the meantime babies are evil and guilty too, for something they did not do. Children are “broken” and we MUST tell them that all the time. But what frustration for them since there is nothing they can do to help fix their brokenness.

    Is it no wonder it is producing not backsliders but rabid athiests who were once rabid YRR who became frustrated in navel gazing for…..what? The end to come so they can find out if they really persevered or not?

    Like

  62. “Once it went on for a while, he started watering down his foundational premises.”

    I have watered down nothing.

    You guys continue to create a caricature that you then attribute to Calvinism, the YRR, etc. Rather than just addressing my comments, beliefs, positions, etc., the typical M.O. on here is to disagree and then continue on with something like, “This atrocious deceitful unloving bahavior is typical of Calvinists, they eat their young, kill innocent women, and beat the elderly, etc., etc…”

    Honestly, the things you guys have attributed to those who hold to my theology…can you introduce some of them to me? Because, in all my years in this theogocical “camp” I have NEVER met any who hold to what you guys are espousing, or who do the things you claim they do.

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  63. I mean seriously…I could tell you what I believe about something and how it works itself out in real action and living and you guys would say, “No, Brian, you are wrong…THIS is what you actually believe and THIS is how you actually live out that belief.”

    It would be a nice refreshing change for me to be able to make a comment and for you guys to take me at my word rather than to think the worst of me.

    Hey! That actually brings us back around to the actual point of this thread. One of the things we all tend to do is to label someone and then attack that label with vigor, instead of giving one another the benefit of the doubt.

    Like

  64. lydiasop wrote~ (hope you don’t mind the abbreviation lydiasop)

    “If they can get most folks arguing about scripture they can have them so confused it is not funny. ”

    I frequently see that on the 9Marks blog. I personally do not like to argue about scriptures. It gets ugly and people rarely change their views. But I do like to ask why people support/promote/link to various professing Christian pastors/leaders. Since actions speak louder than words, I want to know what actions/practices people are supporting/promoting when they link to various ones.

    For example, I have asked about Brian’s linking to Baucham and what is it he enjoys about him. He declines to answer. That makes me think either he does not really know why he links to Baucham… maybe linking to him is a cool thing to do in his circles…or he does not wish to tell us why. I would think he would jump at the chance to articulate why he links to those he does.

    It will not do for Brian to merely say…Baucham preaches the doctrines of grace- that’s why I link to him. So do a thousand others who are not as extreme in their views as Baucham is. I am left to surmise Brian likes Baucham’s actions.

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  65. Lydia saiad:

    It is easy to forget how you met them once you go around the mulberry bush with them as we have done here. We met Brian because he tweeted JA a question most of us find astonishing for someone who has no spiritual relationship with her. But it is his normal because of who he hangs with and who he listens to. We cannot forget that.

    The tweet from which this current blog post originated was really a continuation from this earlier tweet: https://twitter.com/fivesolasguy/statuses/365188320067727360

    If you click on the date/time link, the whole conversation should pop up.

    Like

  66. “It would be a nice refreshing change for me to be able to make a comment and for you guys to take me at my word rather than to think the worst of me.”

    I have been waiting for you to do that…first what it was that made you a “huge supporter” of SGM and what it is that you find desirable about Baucham.

    Hey! That actually brings us back around to the actual point of this thread. One of the things we all tend to do is to label someone and then attack that label with vigor, instead of giving one another the benefit of the doubt.”

    I have waited for you to comment to my questions but you have appeared to ignore me or chose not to answer my honest inquiry.

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  67. “Honestly, the things you guys have attributed to those who hold to my theology…can you introduce some of them to me?”

    Brian,

    Meet John Calvin. Not the sanitized version you have been taught but the REAL historical person in word AND in behavior. I keep hoping the fact of the matter is that you guys have just not done proper research on him. And I hope and pray that if you ever do, you will see the bigger problem. If it makes you like him more, then that scares me to death.

    What I am hearing a lot of today is many YRR/NC are now saying they don’t follow Calvin because that has become a problem for them as the movement grew. In fact, they are following Calvin’s thinking and methods closer than the mainline Calvinists (frozen chosen) who are benign. I also know that many in that movement do not really understand that because they have never really questioned it or their gurus. they are smitten with Piper’s passion or Al Mohler’s “brilliance” or CJ Mahaney’s “humility”.

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  68. “Since actions speak louder than words, I want to know what actions/practices people are supporting/promoting when they link to various ones. ”

    Diane, I totally agree. What we believe drives our behavior. What Dever believes drives him to go for control of people by twisting scripture. What Mahaney believes drove his group to protect molesters. What Jack Schaap believed drove him to adultery and child molestation. We really have to come to grips with this. And part if it is the errant belief that we cannot help but sin all the time because we are born sinners sinning. It is moral chaos. This thinking is everywhere. Not just NC/YRR except that it is inherent in their doctrine to a much larger degree.

    I will take a beating from an unbeliever but NOT from another who claims to be a long time believer but spiritually abuses people or bullies them. No way.

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  69. Brian,
    You had said:
    “Honestly, the things you guys have attributed to those who hold to my theology…can you introduce some of them to me”

    My response:
    I told you point blank what you believe, already knowing before hand what you believe, before you even said what you believe, which is Calvinist doctrine, and you said something like, “true, very true, yes”, or something like that. And I had said that based on your watered down theology in order to correct your theology.

    Ed

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  70. “I have been waiting for you to do that…first what it was that made you a “huge supporter” of SGM and what it is that you find desirable about Baucham.”

    I really like SGM’s music.

    I really like Voddie’s promotion of adoption, most of his home school views, his teachings on the importance of family worship, and how he stands by his convictions.

    Like

  71. Brian, I suspected your doctrinal slant by your tweets and then affirmed it by linking to your blog. I live at ground zero so I have more of a head start. I cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a YRR arrogantly asking someone: “are you submitting to your elders?” Seriously, that thinking is ingrained in your tribe.

    Now, they are taking a page from Doug Wilson’s method and also demanding to know a person’s pastors name so they can call him for you to be disciplined if you dare disagree with them doctrinally.

    Good old Piper popularized Wilson. And in case you were not paying attention and did not do homework, you can find Wilson’s pro slavery treatise online. Black and Tan which was updated from Slavery As It Was when the the internet was born and scholars took him to task on it. He has his own pedophile protection issues. What is it with that movement and child molestations being no big deal? I don’t get it.

    Your tribe is on the road to serfdom my friend. You will be fine if you get a paying gig in ministry, though, and make sure you bow down to your elders.

    Diane, did you see Voddie Bauchmans teaching that men need daughters so they can get the attention they yearn for from a younger woman? The man is a creep.

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  72. You guys do realize that those who hold to the tenets of Calvinism don’t necessarily support everything about John Calvin, right?

    You do realize that what became known as Calvinism developed AFTER John Calvin was dead and buried, right?

    In fact, a better term for the theological framework I hold to is what is known as the doctrines grace.

    Fire away…

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  73. “I cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a YRR arrogantly asking someone: “are you submitting to your elders?” Seriously, that thinking is ingrained in your tribe.”

    What are you doing swinging dead cats around?

    Seriously, though, you really shouldn’t be swinging dead cats around…they carry all kinds of diseases.

    No really, seriously now…I don’t know how your remarks above have anything at all to do with this discussion, unless you just want to create more caricatures and beat them up. And no, the word ‘caricature’ is not exclusive to the ‘C camp’, and neither is ‘straw man’ or ‘ad-hominem’, for that matter.

    I feel to that I need to define what a straw man is, as many of the comments here indicate a lack if understanding about what I mean. A straw man argument is one in which a person sets up a false premise that may be loosely based on what someone has said. Once the straw man is erected, it is easily kicked down by the person who built it in the first place. It’s just a figure if speech that means you are not really addressing what has been said, but rather are creating only a caricature of something and are attacking it instead.

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  74. “Fire away…”

    No problem. Calvin, Luther, The Puritans, Edwards, etc. One starts reading them and one sees it all in vivid color upgraded for today in the YRR/NC movement. The same sorts of extra biblical focus, The bible as manual for the elders to beat with, hierarchical teaching, bad behavior (without the power of the state, though, thankfully)

    Of course, stuff like infant baptism which fit in with sacraments as another means of grace, state church magistrates (although they would love to have them) etc, were thrown out to fit certain denoms like Baptists.

    Have you ever read about the gruesome suicides that came out of Edwards personal discipling during his Great Awakening?

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  75. “No really, seriously now…I don’t know how your remarks above have anything at all to do with this discussion, unless you just want to create more caricatures and beat them up. And no, the word ‘caricature’ is not exclusive to the ‘C camp’, and neither is ‘straw man’ or ‘ad-hominem’, for that matter.”

    Brian, it is called “observing a pattern of behavior”.

    Like

  76. Then there is no need to use the word straw man, since it can be easily kicked down…just kick it down…Speaking of “Kick it”, back in the 80’s, many people were kickin it. I always wondered what they were kicking. A straw man perhaps?

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  77. Brian said:
    “You guys do realize that those who hold to the tenets of Calvinism don’t necessarily support everything about John Calvin”

    I always laugh so hard when I hear that. If that were really true, they would ditch the name altogether.

    I am a Christian, and I hold the tenets of Jesus thru and thru, and I support everything about Jesus.

    Therefore, I will never call myself by a man, not now, not ever.

    Why can’t you C’s do the same? Don’t call yourself a Calvinist if you don’t hold on to all of the tenets of Calvin. Don’t call yourself a Calvinist if you don’t support everything about John Calvin.

    That would eliminate much, and be a good first step in the right direction. Abandon John Calvin altogether. He is dead. Leave him in the grave. Same with Spurgeon, etc. All of them.

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  78. Actually Ed, in their defense, their leaders have been trying like mad to get rid of the C word. Esp in the SBC. They need to in order to bring it in covertly. In chp 4 of a Quiet Revolution, Resiinger says to never use the C word to describe the doctrine you are teaching them. If you must describe it, use Doctrines of Grace. They have tried Reformed and even “Sovereign grace”, if you can believe it. But Mahaney stoled it when he went from being an Apostle of the People of Destiny to “Sovereign Grace”. I am not sure Mohler could hang around with an Apostle of the People of Destiny and keep his job.

    What is even more interesting is now they are trying to replace Calvinism with “conservative”. . That would help hide it even longer because SBC folks like that word. It brings back memories of inerrancy and the conservative resurgence. But some of us are on to them. I first noted this in a blog article from an SBC leader and it backfired on him.

    In other words, they would LOVE to get rid of the C word. But it is not going away easily.

    Like

  79. lydiasellerofpurple,

    I totally agree with what you said. When I say to ditch the name, what I am really conveying is this:
    “Forget everything that you were taught, and begin again”.

    The problem with that is, it’s hard to forget.

    Yes, the SBC covert takeover is an abomination. That is so deceitful that I know that it is the work of the Anti-Christ. If it were disclosed from the beginning of what they were doing, they would lose most of the money…er I mean congregation…no, I mean money.

    I would never had believed this had I not read the step by step process on how to turn a Southern Baptist church into a Calvinist belief system. Steps set up to purposefully deceive, as the steps were to be over a long period of time…in little snippet after another…slowly, so that no one would notice the change. I couldn’t believe the deception that I was reading.

    And then, a while back, we had a guy by the name of Mark that used to comment here. He kept talking about this, that he was at a Church that did this. It took him a while to recognize it, and he kept beating himself up about it, because he would say that he “should have known better”, as he was a mature Christian. He was blindsided, but then finally figured it out.

    Ed

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  80. Hey-thanks for sharing, Brian. So many questions….no answers expected this time.

    “I really like SGM’s music.”

    Giggle. That’s what I would say if I realized that I had been a huge supporter of a shepherding cult and I had to think of something to say I liked. That’s all about SGM that you were a “huge supporter” of? OK, I will take you at your word.

    Yeah…that music. Some of it might be good. I have been reading a lot of negative comments about their latest cds. They’re just not as good, as in dark and depressing. (I blame it on the documents like SGM does with everything.) But when I think of SGM music, honestly, I can only think of the “worship CJ” song Bob Kauflin sang at the passing the baton Broadway-style musical extravaganza CLC put on for Mahaney. The “CJ…you led us to the cross” song. Did you catch that one? Then there were the “prophetic” songs Kauflin sang about women named Mary…. and bald men. Shudder. No thanks.

    “I really like Voddie’s promotion of adoption, most of his home school views, his teachings on the importance of family worship, and how he stands by his convictions.”

    Voddie promotes adoption…so do lots of less fringey-type patriarchy promoting pastors. Pastors that would not insist on first time every time obedience…or toddlers looking at them in the eyes and greeting them and being punished if failing. Honestly, when I heard he had adopted an infant boy last year, I was amazed that he, with his strong views on corporal punishment, would be granted an adoption. I felt sorry for the baby. But, ok, to each his own.

    I hope that “Baucham’s government schools are evil” is not included in your “most of his homeschool views.”

    How he stands by his convictions? I am confident you can find better examples of pastors who stand by their convictions without promoting the extreme, narrow, legalistic views he does….unless you like those. ? Doesn’t it bother you a teeny tiny bit that you may be leading people down the Voddie Baucham pathway by your link? Well, it would bother me, but to each his own.

    The importance of family worship. Careful there. Men at his church HAVE to lead according to how the elders teach….they must do this without fail. If you refuse to lead like they say, you will be asked to leave. However, you may get a visit (or ten) from an elder (with or without prior notification) and be placed under discipline for failing in this area before getting ousted.

    Are you a fan of this degree of legalism?

    Like

  81. Oh, I just thought of something funny. I know that Brian likes Tim Hawkins, the Christian comedian. He once said that if you say that the music is great, that means the preaching sucks. If the music is terrible, there’s great preaching.

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  82. “Diane, did you see Voddie Bauchmans teaching that men need daughters so they can get the attention they yearn for from a younger woman? The man is a creep.”

    THAT would be one of the “fringey-type” things I am concerned with that might lead someone onto the Voddie Baucham path with Brian (or anyone’s) link to Baucham.
    It absolutely disturbs me that his daughter is almost 25, lives at home and takes care of her 6-7 brothers and sisters as a surrogate mother. The girl needs to live her life.

    Like

  83. @ JA~
    :-(

    When is enough enough? So, a new baby for Jasmine to train up. Jasmine seems to post a lot about homeschooling her brothers and sisters. I do not know about her mom…how much her mom is able help raise her own kids. I read at one point she was ill. I find this all very sad. I hope Jasmine is able to find her own life soon and get married, as she hints she wants that from her blog posts.

    Amos (last year’s adoption) came from Georgia, too. Baucham mentioned that at the “Men of God” conference at Bellefontaine, Ohio…remember THAT conference?

    I wonder why Baucham goes to Georgia for children? Does he have connections there? Are these children obtained through an adoption agency? Surely if they were the agency would be checking out Baucham’s practices and that should be causing them concern?

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  84. “Don’t call yourself a Calvinist if you don’t support everything about John Calvin.”

    Ed, Calvinism and John Calvin are not synonymous, regardless of what you say.

    Holding to the tenets of what is commonly called Calvinism does NOT equate to agreeing with everything Calvin did or taught.

    I am curious…does anyone on here even know what they are talking about when they use the term “Calvinism”? I’d be interested to see some responses. What is Calvinism? You’ve all been railing against it, so I expect you can describe it without having to look it up. If you have to look it up, then why are you so against something about which you actually do not know the details?

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  85. Brian – – – I’m going to make your comment into a new post. That way we can keep the other topics alive here and keep the Calvinist comments in its own thread.

    Hang on, peeps! It should be quick.

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  86. “I wonder why Baucham goes to Georgia for children? Does he have connections there? Are these children obtained through an adoption agency? Surely if they were the agency would be checking out Baucham’s practices and that should be causing them concern?”

    Perhaps the adoption agency actually has some first hand knowledge of the Bauchams, and has direct contact and experience with them. Perhaps they know them just a wee little bit better than you.

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  87. “Perhaps the adoption agency actually has some first hand knowledge of the Bauchams, and has direct contact and experience with them. Perhaps they know them just a wee little bit better than you.”

    Brian, that’s what scares me.

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  88. Good point, Diane

    Did I mention in this thread I just got a copy of Voddie’s book in the mail he sent me? I’ve been skimming it and my spine has been quivering.

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  89. So Diane, are you insinuating that you know the Bauchams better than those involved with them in the adoption process? Or are you demonstrating your inability to trust someone else’s judgment who might know them better than you?

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  90. Apparently he goes through Covenant Care and it would appear Covenant Care seeks the Bauchams out with children to adopt. It appears they are well acquainted with each other.
    http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/338256

    This comment from a forum gives some info-

    “Koala wrote:
    I’d love to know which agency is behind this placement. I wonder if it is private adoptions through word of mouth.

    They currently adopt through “Covenant Care”, a Christian adoption agency in Georgia. Voddie has written/spoken about the agency before when his blog was hosted on another site.

    Personally, I feel that this agency’s license to place children should be revoked given that they have knowingly placed children with the type of people (Voddie in particular) who are prone to using physical discipline over meaningless character “flaws” like shyness. If anything, they should be investigated for their method of screening and accepting prospective candidates who would (and have) be(en) deemed unfit as foster/adoptive parents by other, state and public agencies. Voddie Baucham was denied several times before by public agencies (which is why he went the “Covenant Care” route) which speaks volumes. If Covenant Care was too foolish to take that fact into account, then they shouldn’t be in the business of placing children.”

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  91. Brian – Fathers like that send alarm bells off in me. Case in point: Steve and Terri Maxwell have Sarah who is probably 30s and is not married. The Botkin girls, Anna-Sophia and Elizabeth are around 28 and 30 and are not married. Baucham’s daughter is not married. Tony Miano’s 3 adult daughters are not married. Something is wrong with this picture.

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  92. Hey Brian…

    “So Diane, are you insinuating that you know the Bauchams better than those involved with them in the adoption process?

    I know what he teaches. Do you?
    Enlighten yourself with his sermons from the Men of God Conference 2012 Bellefontaine, Ohio. You know, that conference where the mess was made in the women’s restroom?

    “Or are you demonstrating your inability to trust someone else’s judgment who might know them better than you?”

    Here’s what I am demonstrating. Of course they know him better. And no- I don’t trust anyone who would approve of Baucham’s child rearing methods. I am saying ….here is his connection. Covenant Care has offered children to him. They must approve of first time / every time obedience. They must approve of spanking infants. They must approve of taking your kid to the church bathroom and “wearing him out.” They must approve of all that and more. They offer children to that environment. They promote him. That scares me. Sorry if it doesn’t concern you.

    “After the unprofessional, disrespectful, and frankly unkind manner in which we were treated earlier this year, Covenant Care was like a breath of fresh air. I preached at their banquet back in March, so I was very familiar with the agency. In fact, they had contacted us two years ago about another possible adoption when we were in the process of adopting Asher. From the initial contact to the placement ceremony, Covenant Care was everything an adoptive parent could ask for. They were professional, attentive, thorough, responsive, and above all they conducted themselves like true followers of Christ.”

    Wow—throwing kids at his feet.

    “While all of this was excruciating for my dear bride, it was still better than it could have been. Thank God we live in Houston where flights to Atlanta are plentiful. Also, thank God for frequent flyer miles, frequent renter miles, and frequent hotel stay miles that made our journey a lot less expensive than it would otherwise have been. Also, thank God for the ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of a Child) process went through in record time (both Georgia and Texas approved us in a total of one day!). All-in-all, God was indeed merciful, and we rejoice in his providence.”

    http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/voddie-baucham-ministries/blog/welcome-home-micah-2009-09/

    Now I know why he adopts in Georgia. Mystery solved.

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  93. Brian what he said about men having daughters to get the attention they need from a younger woman is sicko. Lots of what Voddie teaches about women/girls is sicko. This is the part of living in the ghetto that really concerns me. Once in there, these things seem normal. They aren’t.

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  94. “Check out Voddie’s book, What He Must Be if He Wants to Marry My Daughter. Excellent book for those with daughters…and for those with sons.”

    Well Brian….Jasmine Baucham is pushing mid 20s now. Time’s a wasting if she is ever going to get her quiverful. What’s the problem? Can’t Baucham find a “What He Must Be” man in all of Texas with his connections? I find that hard to believe. Although he may say out of one side of his mouth that he has no intention of actually picking out her future husband, the other side of his mouth states that he will do the editing,

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  95. Brian what he said about men having daughters to get the attention they need from a younger woman is sicko. — Lydia

    Craster’s Keep, in near The Wall in Northern Westeros, Game of Thrones

    Hey Brian~

    Do you think a toddler should be spanked repeatedly for shyness?

    Only if it’s possible to beat Fluttershy until she somehow turns into Rainbow Dash.

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  96. Lydia said, “Gary W, I hate to say it but it was never about Brian. It is for all those folks who are being intimidated by YRR/NC actually seeing people interact with them instead of being cowed by their typical methods of what they call communication. They are indoctrinated so they think they indoctrinate others. That is the method. If they can get most folks arguing about scripture they can have them so confused it is not funny. Some have tried “love” but their view of “love” is to beat correct doctrine into you. And this means people have to have boundaries with them even if they carry a Christianese title.”

    Absolutely! Brian has been severely indoctrinated. His contributions so far have been very helpful. Brian is a window into how, what & why. Most critically thinking individuals reading carefully thru this thread will see that. They are the reason why I comment. I care about Brian. I don’t think he thinks ahead much, but more moment to moment. His kids may read him someday. I hope they don’t reject God or become cruel determinists.

    Julie Anne does a service by allowing this dialogue to take place, as difficult or frustrating or heartbreaking as it may have been. Opinions & beliefs can be presented & people can hopefully choose more wisely than if the dialogue hadn’t taken place.

    Like

  97. Brian said, the typical M.O. on here is to disagree and then continue on with something like, “This atrocious deceitful unloving bahavior is typical of Calvinists, they eat their young, kill innocent women, and beat the elderly, etc., etc…” Honestly, the things you guys have attributed to those who hold to my theology…can you introduce some of them to me? Because, in all my years in this theogocical “camp” I have NEVER met any who hold to what you guys are espousing, or who do the things you claim they do.

    Brian, Even though you have never met a deceiver or evil-doer that does evil while quoting Biblical passages they say backs up a sovereign God (who is control of every action) as a basis for their evil actions, I have. It is heartbreaking & ugly. These people can’t be reasoned with. Many times they can’t be stopped without legal intervention. They will push to the very edge & go as far as they can with what they can get away with. It’s a cost/benefit analysis. Not a right/wrong analysis. I’ve seen Calvinism used to support evil or as a basis for an indifference to evil, more than you’d ever believe.

    I’ve also heard people who have “sat under” the teaching of total depravity say they aren’t able to choose God. That God will choose them. It is predetermined by God. So they continue on in their sinful ways. And if they are the elect, the predestined, that’s God’s choice & God will give them the ability to believe & save them. And if they’re not, God will send them to hell. It’s a done deal for them, it has nothing to do with them, & they live their life fully consistent with that. This is absolutely heartbreaking. And very damaging to themselves & others.

    I will never tell children, “Let’s pray that God will change our hearts or some person’s heart”. We are each responsible for our own behavior, NOT GOD. This teaching indoctrinates children into thinking they are helpless or off the hook for their own behavior.

    Brian, you MUST live in a somewhat insulated world. Or you only associate with people just like yourself. Or you are very naive. Or you don’t have real conversations with people. Or you don’t ever “touch” the unclean. While that sounds very sanitary, in reality it would be unloving behavior. You shouldn’t assume that because you haven’t experienced horrific behavior, that many others have not based on these fatalistic beliefs of “I’m sinful so I sin” or “I’m unable to please God” or “what I do doesn’t matter, I’ve got grace” or “God is responsible, not me”.

    This blog is here to help those who have been abused, due in part, to this exact theology. Did you miss that somehow?

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  98. Brian,
    I think what’s upset many commenters here is your attitude, not just your beliefs. Your joke about Lydia swinging a dead cat went over like a lead balloon. When Lydia talks about swinging a dead cat, I totally understand. It grieves me. While I don’t live at ground zero, I live close enough. And I can walk to a mega church where sin abounds & so does cheap grace. And I could walk to churches where people “sit under” total depravity/inability teaching & then go practice that the rest of the week. Both are truly full of spiritually dead people. They could be born again & following Christ all their days instead. This is why I comment.

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  99. Pingback: It’s Calvinism Free-For-All: Off the Top of Your Head | Spiritual Sounding Board

  100. Brian Thornton
    AUGUST 18, 2013 @ 11:44 AM
    Only those appointed to receive salvation will believe:

    “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”

    Only those given by the Father to the Son will be saved:

    “All that the Father gives to me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.”

    ———————————–

    This is contradicted (as are many things in “the bible”) by another passage here:

    2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

    The Greek is precisely: “having bought” or “having redeemed”…as in they were redeemed but then they were lost.

    James White and John Piper try to tap-dance around this one…and the arguments are not compelling.

    You are either forced to accept that these “False Prophets” are in fact Elect and are saved even though they are called “False Prophets” and introduce “Destructive Heresies”…or you are forced to accept that the Proof Text you proffered is not an Absolute as it is contradicted strongly by 2 Peter 2:1.

    This particular verse has ruined a good many former Calvinists and former OSAS guys. If one is intellectually honest…it’s Check Mate on that particular issue.

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  101. Brian, another biggie is Judas Iscariot. He was “chosen” but assumed damned as the “son of perdition”….yet he was a chosen Apostle and he performed miracles and participated in the works of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.

    Now, the bible says this was to fulfill a prophecy, but it is an example of one who was chosen, exhibited the Holy Spirit’s miracles, etc….but was “lost”.

    What is more sinister about the Judas account is that it appears on the surface (through a more Calvinist hermeneutic) that Judas didn’t really have a choice in the matter. He was created to be betray and be damned and subsequently tormented in hell forever….which is essentially the underlying Calvinist position. Underneath the veneer of Soft-Calvinists is really a Double Predestination construct that says God creates a few Chosen/Elect to bestow mercy on…and then creates the vast majority of humanity throughout human history to be tortured in hell for eternity.

    This is contrasted strongly by Jesus’s “I give you a new law…love your enemies…as your father in heaven is perfect”.

    Hard to “love your enemies” by torturing them in hell forever.

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  102. Alex,

    Speaking to the disciples, “Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”(Matthew 19:28, ESV)

    Does this not on its face include Judas? If so, so much for the son of perdition being subject to eternal conscious punishment. I don’t claim to have it all sorted out, but I’m confident the theologians don’t either.

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  103. Hey Alex! Yes, this was a crazy thread. Interestingly, Brian sort of just disappeared and then I found out fairly recently that he also blocked me on Twitter. Go figure.

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  104. Jezzy, yes, blocked/excommunicated…that’s the typical response from those types.

    Gary W said, “…but I’m confident the theologians don’t either.” Very much agreed. I think we all know very little and are mostly guessing on a variety of issues. I am always skeptical of a Doctrinarian or Theologian who says their Box is “the right way!” with such certainty. It usually doesn’t take long to poke holes in it and expose glaring blind spots. God doesn’t fit in a Box…and my faith in a good and loving God who we cannot know the nuance and mystery…is much greater than my faith in men who tell me “thus sayeth the Lord!” on all matters.

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