Bill Gothard, Homeschool Movement, IBLP and ATI, Kevin Swanson, Modesty and Purity Teachings, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Women and the Church

Kevin Swanson Defends Bill Gothard’s Sexual Harassment Charges While Publicly Trash Talks Blogs

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Kevin Swanson defends his friend, Bill Gothard against accusations of sexual harassment, while accusing Spiritual Sounding Board and Patheos.com blogs of dancing on the grave of Christian fundamentalism and Biblical Christianity.

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Last week, I was notified by a Twitter friend/follower that Kevin Swanson had referred to my blog in a recent podcast:

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Kevin Swanon, Generations Radio, Bill Gothard, ATI, Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 12.05.16 PM
Source

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Really?  I promote pro-gay, pro-evolution on my blog?  Where?  He was naming my blog, SpiritualSoundingBoard.com?

Here was Kevin Swanson’s tweet that Chris had seen:

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Kevin Swanson, ATI, Generations Radio, Bill Gothard, Sex Abuse Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 12.09.47 PM
Source

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If you haven’t heard the latest on Bill Gothard, this article should catch you up to speed:   Bill Gothard, Family Planning and Homeschooling Advocate, Accused of Sexually Harassing Young Women and Teen Girls

My assistant, Kathi, who helps me at the Spiritual Sounding Board Facebook page was coerced, manipulated,  volunteered to spend 6 – I mean SIX hours of time transcribing Mr. Swanson’s flapdoodle.  Earlier, I had transcribed only a couple of paragraphs and the verbosity with which Swanson was able to fit within 2 seconds of airtime was staggering.  Give that woman a raise already!

It is peculiar that Mr. Swanson publicly named two sites:  SpiritualSoundingBoard.com and Patheo.com in his ranting.  Those who are familiar with Patheos.com know it is a large network of blogs beneath the umbrella of Patheos.com.  At Patheos.com, you will find an assortment religious bloggers:  Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Mormon and even atheist bloggers.  But interestingly, Mr. Swanson does not identify a specific blogger at Patheos.com.  But what does he say about my blog and this mysterious non-named Patheos blog?

Note:  Unless specifically noted, Kevin Swanson is talking. Notation is made when Steve Vaughn enters the conversation.  “KB,” who transcribed the document, contributed her commentary in pink.  Seriously, if you’re going to transcribe for 6 hours, you need an outlet.  As I was reading it, I obviously couldn’t keep quiet, so my editorial comments are in green.  I’ve only included the comments referring to the blog, but be sure to read the transcript or listen to the podcast as Swanson defends Gothard and blasts Spiritual Sounding Board and Patheos.com.  The transcription begins below:

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 Starting at the 6:00 mark:

You have this kind of thing happening a lot when people are ultimately ignoring the laws of God but taking on their own rules and regulations. Well, all that said, we’re gonna to talk about what is happening right now with fundamentalism, what is happening right now with the homeschooling movement, and precisely what is happening right now with Bill Gothard.

Okay. There’s [sic] some stories right now on Patheos.com, SpritualSoundingBoard.com, which by the way are the apostatizing websites that are dancing on the grave of the old Christian west and certainly anything related to fundamentalism or anything relating to Biblical Christianity. They love it. They love it when they begin to see cracks in fundamentalism.

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What is the Christian west, anyway?  Are we talking cowboys or what?  Sure, you can send me the Finding-Cracks-in-Fundamentalism t-shirt.   The fundamentalism that I’ve seen does not match up with the Christian conduct and character exemplified by Christ in Scripture.  

Now, friends, right now Patheos and Spiritual Sounding Board are the apostatizing websites working hard to drive another 10% out of the organized historical, Biblical churches to a pro-homosexual, pro-socialist, pro-evolution, pro-atheist agenda. I mean, they’re just so excited if they can…they’re sort of like the aprostalites <Made up word #4> of the left you know.

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Actually, I consider Spiritual Sounding Board to be like the pooper scooper of Fundamentalist Pharisee-like crap of religious tyrants, but whatever, Mr. Swanson.

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Can we get more to apostatize from the Biblical, spiritual faith, and they’re somewhat successful

-10:00-

mainly because whatever is out there that cloaks itself as a fundamentalist faith often times isn’t that strong anyway. So, anyway. Patheos and Spiritual Sounding Board are dancing on the grave of Bill Gothard and the whole A.T.I. thing right now. This is what’s happened. And the rumors on the street is that there was more sexual abuse of some sort. But here is the deal. As Christians we ought to be very careful when we see these things on public websites, new sites, presenting this information.

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Yea, Mr. Swanson, because when 34 women come forward with their personal testimonies telling us that this “man of God” and Christian leader who has led countless families to have “character first,” we need to be careful about “rumors.”  To heck with the idea that Gothard is the head honcho of his organization and so there is no place for young women to climb the hierarchical ladder to complain.  

But let’s back up a bit.  He claims I’ve been (SSB) dancing on the grave of Bill Gothard and ATI, of Biblical Christianity, etc.  Did he even realize that I have not posted ONE story on Gothard until this one?  And this article is really not so much about Gothard as much as it is about Mr. Swanson and his foolishness.  I’ll get to Gothard on my blog soon enough.  There are already quite a few articles currently published in the blogosphere.  But right now, I’m calling out Mr. Swanson for his behavior as a Christian homeschool leader AND pastor in siding with another Christian patriarchal leader rather than dismissing the personal testimonies of nearly three dozen women.  

-10:30-

We ought to demand two or three witnesses in a proper church court or a proper civil court. That ought to be important to us. And, uh. You know. But Patheos and Sounding Board doesn’t really care that much about it. They just get very excited about the fact that there may be some problem, some compromise, in the life of a spiritual leader. And if they can find that, they kind find the compromise, the moral compromise in the life of a leader, they get very excited because now they know that they can toss out everything that guy ever said about God,

 

-11:00-

Jesus, honoring mothers and fathers, you know, etc., etc. First of all, how do you get a man who is running a parachurch organization to a proper church court?  What church court?  Who overseas the man?  Do you think Mr. Gothard would sit beneath a church court when they are not “over” him?   So, if that be the case, you know, they can throw all that out and they can do whatever they want. And how fun that can be, you know. I mean, you know. We don’t have to worry about this adultery thing anymore, don’t have to worry about homosexuality, don’t have to worry about incest, don’t have to worry about pedophilia, we can just celebrate. <Yes. ALL of the writers on Patheos and of course, SSB, is excited about pedophilia, incest and adultery!> You know, I mean we’re free from anything that this Christian leader ever said because there may be some moral compromise in his life. And that’s why

-11:30-

they get so excited, Steve, I think.

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Yea, every morning I am excited to share yet another story of Christian leader’s moral failure.  I think NOT.   No, how about this – – if Church leaders would appropriately deal with sin among other church leaders,  blogs like mine wouldn’t need to call them out.  But when church leaders remain SILENT about abusive leaders like Gothard, Phillips, etc, that is when it causes mass confusion.  

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“Silence in response to abuse declares victims to be worthless & builds walls of protection around perpetrators.”  ~Boz Tchividjian

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SV: <Clearly the village idiot. Sure boss, whatever you say!> Yeah, and that’s. They want to be free from God. That’s why they’re worshiping themselves, or the whole humanist religion. Because they’ve been seeking to be free from God all their lives. And they can’t get free of Him. And it just, it’s like a cockroach trying to get away from the light to get into darkness. And they’ve found that they can’t get away from the light. And anytime that they can find any kind of darkness within the fundamentalist movement

-12:00-

SV (cont.): then they want to go hide there.

If you’d like to read more of the same drivel and appreciate KB’s hard work, click here.  KB nor I are responsible for the amount of time that will be wasted by reading this stuff.  Do so at your own risk.  Or . . . .you can tune in here.  It might make good background noise while vacuuming.

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The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

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By the way, if you do happen to read/listen to enough of the podcast, after hearing the word apostasy and the many odd variations of the word, I think you might agree with Kathi and me that Kevin Swanson thinks  . . . . .

this is the dawning of the age of Apostasy, age of Apostasy . . . . . . . . APOSTASY!!!!

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463 thoughts on “Kevin Swanson Defends Bill Gothard’s Sexual Harassment Charges While Publicly Trash Talks Blogs”

  1. I read two articles about the complaint of homosexuality. One was written by a mormon woman, and another was written by people involved with the film who were responding to the charge that the film indoctrinates children to accept homosexuality.

    The first is that because the protagonist has a special ability that is hard for her to control and is something that she shields from her parents, the claim is made that this is a reference to homosexuality. There is no sexual content, and in tandem with the idea of special gifts which are a curse because of lack of mastery, the protagonist and her sister go on a journey to reunite with one another. (I guess that because the main characters are young women, this is seen as sinister, so I guess that we should be glad that Swanson and others didn’t claim that it was a pro-incest film.)

    I also read that at some point on this journey, people stop at an oasis from the cold where a businessman owns a sauna. (I have not seen the movie yet, so I’m paraphrasing what I’ve read.) The characters in the story meet the proprietor of the sauna who glances at a group of children and another man and says something about having been in the sauna with his family. There is no woman there, so these momentary few frames which barely catch anyone’s attention are said by critics to be a same sex marriage with many children that I guess they acquired through adoption or insemination of a surrogate.

    I’m probably a poor judge, but I am going to rent the movie when I have the chance. I saw The Color Purple in college and argued with my cinematography class that it didn’t deal in homosexuality…. But I was still a teen then, too. So we’ll see.

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  2. Martin, your use of the word “totalism” is suspect. I recommend you find another word unless you mean exactly that, in which case you have a problem.

    I agree with Wolterstorff’s issue with Kuyper. Kuyper’s idea that science, for eg, can be done Christianly or otherwise opened the door for the absurd views on science that hold sway in the US church these days. His desire to create a Christian philosophical construct was lovely and IMO, saw its best flowering in Dooyeweerd who was better able to steer clear of “totalism” issues by understanding that all goodness and truth is God’s, no matter where it shows up. And it does show up everywhere.

    Van Til was a smart man and also saw the issue but essentially agreed with it, making theology the queen around which all the world revolved. Schaeffer, in his more populist approach, also agreed. The logical outcome of this thinking is to divide the world falsely, to think that “out there” is largely awry and/or evil instead of understanding that evil runs through everyman’s heart. That is where the division lies, at the center of each of us. From there, we can examine how it plays out in the larger world.

    This poor perspective also allows us to indulge in seeing the Bible as the one place where all truth resides, requiring the universe to conform to its particulars. It is an indulgence because it makes discovering all truth as simple as serious study of a book (even big truthful books are miniscule in the face of the universe). It encourages the illusion that the universe is small enough to be comprehended by humans. The fruits of this kind of thinking run rampant through the US church.

    “Totalism” is seen as negative (except by you) because it describes a methodology that suppresses variety and nuance for the sake of a single homogenized view that must be held by all. It is sad to apply that to God (who is indeed All in All)! God is gigantic. We are the proverbial blind men touching the elephant when it comes to God and that is an understatement. To suppose that such an immense Person would be only one thing or to want others to view Him/Herself in only one way, not delighting in the variety that Him/Herself, is to deeply diminish God as well as His/Her creation. I see it as yet another attempt to reduce reality to human comprehension, but this time doing it to God.

    Certainly God is totally everywhere throughout the universe, His/Her own wonderful self revealing and upholding the true, good, lovely. Certainly God is complete and in harmony. And yes, we do need solid structural thought about this universe in which we live—recent Christianity has been bereft of it.

    On the basic linguistic level, I recommend against using terms that end in “ism”. “Ism”s are signals of extremity, of having turned one element into a central tenet, and basing a complete perspective on it. It also carries that inference of foisting it on all, no matter who/what.

    One last quibble. We are centrally and fundamentally about Christ, the Spirit, the Creator, the multidimensional God. To take a quality of God and to make it an “ism” tends toward forgetting that we worship a living Person rather than a logical construct.

    Use of this word is either misconstrual or it reveals a deep flaw in your thinking.

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  3. Patrice,

    There is much more that I could say about this issue, but I’m going to jump to the end for a change.

    I’ve talked about this with a few people including two who specialize in spiritual abuse. They all come to the same question. Why didn’t Martin just say “theonomy defines totalism differently” and leave it at that?

    He went the extra mile to correct me, claiming that I was misconstruing a word — one used ubiquitously in the discussion of spiritual abuse for which Martin claims to have written a uniquely valuable, only non-antinomian article.

    In the thread that you, Martin, and I participated in here over Thanksgiving, I stated that the learning curve with theonomy (and Covenant Theology) is too steep. It is too exclusive, even when you read the material regularly. You have to read Bavnick to understand this and Kuyper to understand that, and Calvin to understand something else, and don’t miss Vos and the historical redemptive narratives. Then you have to know about Clark and Van Til, and you have to realize who was at Princeton and Westminster and where they came from and where the OPC came from and what the RPCUS came from. I have a rather good working framework for understanding theonomy, at the cost of much study, but even I can’t converse with Martin without the problem of understanding esoteric language and references, and novel use of words that have a ubiquitous meaning outside of the culture.

    I spoke with someone about the antinomian term last week, a fellow from a Calvinist background. He interrupted me and said, “Yeah, everyone who isn’t good enough is just an antinomian, and no one is good enough except them.”

    Cultic Christianity can be noted by several characteristics, depending on whose model you use. Henke’s model is just another way of describing what Lifton saw — what I think of as what Paul wrote concerning the works of the flesh as they apply to and manifest in groups. One of the most significant ones, as I mentioned the other day citing James Sire’s book, is the manipulation of language. It may not be intentional, for many groups fall into this trap without noticing or realizing it because they lose perspective.

    Cultic groups use specialized language to distort thinking and also to communicate that they are special before God. It helps the follower feel superior, it fosters an “us and them” attitude, and knowing the language offers a benefit to the follower by creating a sense of belonging. It becomes code that helps people identify one another — just like the secret mormon or freemason handshake does. They have more truth than everyone else, and that knowledge is generally hard to find. Their leaders and scholars have it, and one must strive to enter into knowledge of what they know. You need them to interpret things for you. They are the arbiters of truth — pure truth. Part of having a corner on the truth involves a focus on purity. And these groups generally hold hobby horse doctrines that tend to eclipse the plain and main things in Scripture. They are image conscious, concerned about what others think about their group. They generally work hard to spread the word about how good they are, though criticism is usually billed as persecution for righteousness sake.

    Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? Where have you seen this at work recently?

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  4. Patrice: you really lost me with the God as “Him/Her”. Do you really believe this?

    “Science” has yet to issue any apologies for the massive levels of genocide which have occurred as a result of the formal adoption of the faith of evolution by states and political parties.

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  5. Lydia wrote:
    “Even Plato couldn’t reconcile his “forms” with observable reality because he had no way that the immaterial could interact with matter.”
    “Sure he could.”

    As the rest of your comment goes on to indicate, there are serious problems with that merger. Leaving God out of the picture has disastrous consequences.

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  6. “As the rest of your comment goes on to indicate, there are serious problems with that merger. Leaving God out of the picture has disastrous consequences.”

    TIA, Most of Western Protestantism comes from that construct. The basics are that the polytheism “spiritual” world was replaced with Yahweh but who remains a mystery like the greek gods were a mystery. But this is all too much to get into on a blog but it explains why not long after 300AD or so Christianity morphed into a tyrannical bloody mess with state churches, divine right of kings, etc, etc. It is one reason our Declaration of Independence is such a big deal. Lots of people fleeing, banished, imprisoned, drowned, burned in the Name of Jesus all over Europe and in the New World by the Puritans. And we call much of it “orthodoxy”. What ARE we thinking?

    The disasterous consquences are that we have failed to show how God lives IN US.

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  7. Keith Blankenship: God doesn’t reproduce. God is far beyond gender. I also think that S/He contains both the male and female because we are made in His/Her image.

    Since English has neither gender-neutral pronouns (that don’t also denote non-alive) nor a gender-inclusive pronoun, I choose to use these clumsy contractions. We need to stop thinking of God as only male. It is incorrect. Jesus was male on earth, otherwise it’s merely a notion. It hinders half of humanity’s sense of being imaged by the Creator God.

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  8. Keith, are you writing to me with this statement? “Science” has yet to issue any apologies for the massive levels of genocide which have occurred as a result of the formal adoption of the faith of evolution by states and political parties.”

    People kill, science doesn’t. It’s sort of like that thing about guns, you know? And I don’t know what you mean about faith in evolution that has caused states/political parties to do genocide. Are you talking about atomic bombs, general tools of warfare, ethnic genocides or slaveries, abortion, planetary pollution? I don’t see what any of them have to do with evolution but I don’t know what else you might mean.

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  9. Cindy K, yes.

    Well, if Martin is truly interested in forming/passing along a Christian philosophy that is for more than a few off in a corner of the good ole USA, he will need to rethink many of the words he chooses.

    If he is not interested, he will continue on his way. His work will make sense to fewer and fewer, and his corner will become increasingly cultish and inhabited by men like those who came blaring into our debate a few months back when I was last involved; angry men who pick up on the extremist rhetoric and infect it with hateful fevers. It is his choice.

    It reminds me of trying to read the music of some mid-late twentieth century composers. The amount of work required to learn the language of only one composer was immense and it felt to me like I was indulging someone’s narcissism, particularly since the result wasn’t usually all that worth it. So I quit.

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  10. Patrice,

    Your S/He makes me uncomfortable as well.  God isn’t called Mother in the Bible, and there isn’t a translation or language problem.  God is called Father.  Jesus isn’t called daughter.  Jesus is called Son.  Our Father who art in heaven…

    Regardless of what we think in regards to gender, I think it’s appropriate to base things on the Bible alone, be it Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic or English, rather than to make up clumsy contractions to suit our biased opinions about gender. 

    I think we owe God a bit of respect on that issue.  We are the Bride of Christ, not groom.  We are the female, regardless of gender.  Jesus is the groom, and that is male.  The problem herein is what male is going to admit that he is female?  I guess we men are going to have monthly cramps in heaven?

    The two become one.  Together, two are ONE male and ONE female.  That is spiritual.  I am sure that is where you are coming from in this, but still, the S/He isn’t very comfortable when we are told how to pray…It isn’t “our mother (or mother/father) who art in heaven…”  Abraham is the Father of many nations.  Put that on a spiritual trek, and you will see that God is the Father of many (It has nothing at all to do with Abraham, but with God…That is spiritual interpretation).  God is our Father, not Abraham.  Spiritually, we are sons/daughters of Abraham, but in reality, it isn’t really discussing Abraham that we are sons/daughters of.  We (believers) are sons/daughters of God, the Father…not the mother. 

    In Job, the term “sons of God” is attributed to the spirits (in this case, angels…and in this case, to be more precise, fallen angels).  It doesn’t say “daughters of God”.  I guess that the daughters didn’t defect?  IDK.  LOL.

    Ed

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  11. I was taught that God transcends gender, though for our instruction He revealed Himself as male. I’m sure that you know all of this stuff, but I’ll mention it here for the benefit of the reader. I’m going to use your question to address a much broader audience with the broader topic. 😉

    God created genders (and procreation, relationships with family, etc.) to teach us about His nature and how He cares for us. It gives us a context which helps us understand Him on a profoundly deeper level. An element of this also involved instruction in holiness under the Old Covenant, and those things have been replaced by the Better Covenant in Christ. God who is our Father is also our El Shaddai, the breasty one or the one with many breasts who can satisfy our most basic of needs in abundance.

    To say that a being, let alone a sovereign one, can create something with a nature that is foreign to their own nature violates the analogy of being. (God being male cannot be divorced from that which is female.) It is non-logical, and to assert such actually argues against God’s sovereign nature. I talked at great length with two Orthodox Rabbis about this and with a Messianic one. In Hebrew, the Jew is taught that “isha,” the term for woman is thought to be “ish” or “man with life” (“man who glows with the fire of life”). (It is believed by some that this is also what Paul spoke of when he talks about woman as the glory of man. It speaks of love and passion and life, not subordination — something very commonly known to the original audience.) The “ah” addition (the fire of life that God gave to woman) is said to be that which represents the creative aspect of God, as Eve was the future vessel through which new life would come. (See this same concept in Genesis 17 where the “ah” changing Abram and Sarai’s names precedes their fruitfulness through Isaac. There are other references to this creative life of women in Moses’ books in particular.) God cannot impart something that He doesn’t already possess and control. The creation is never greater than the creator in anything. That only happens in science fiction. (And no, I am not a Kabbalist or a Jew, or a Judaizer. I have always just sought to understand as much of the context of Biblical text through good hermeneutics.)

    That said, given the craziness of some of these movements and the heavy handedness used to blackmail people into accepting the whole package of complementarianism (elements of which are deceptive, surreptitious, and some outright heretical), and given the degree of abuse that many women have suffered, I understand why people like Patrice would choose to make the distinction, particularly in a discussion of this nature. We’re told that Jesus is really like unto a woman (the Divine Person who actually had a penis), that God the Father has a physical, literal penis, and we’re told that we’re engaged in a gender war among our own brethren by looking to the traditional view that God is spirit and transcends gender. Is it any wonder that people then seek to make the distinction that God transcends gender? It’s not my choice, but given the climate, I can certainly understand. I see it more and more as a strategy to point out that these men have anthropomorphized God and everything else (making everything smaller and simpler so that mysteries can be pigeon holed in man’s little boxes).

    As my approach to Christianity is more conservative, I would argue that calling God by an inclusive preposition is not theologically supported. (If it is a part of the original Biblical language and texts, I am ignorant of it.) But as a strategy to speak out against the violence that people claiming to be Jesus’ own rake against the Kingdom through the twisting of the Word, I can certainly understand and respect this, so long as terms are clarified.

    If God has a literal penis, I think that by virtue of the Scriptures that identify him in a motherly sense, I’d argue for the sake of playing the devils advocate that He also has literal breasts and a womb. But I don’t believe that. I believe that He is Spirit, and we worship Him in spirit and in truth. And those who love the truth hear Him.

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  12. Patrice,

    If he [Martin Selbrede] is not interested, he will continue on his way. His work will make sense to fewer and fewer, and his corner will become increasingly cultish and inhabited by men like those who came blaring into our debate a few months back when I was last involved; angry men who pick up on the extremist rhetoric and infect it with hateful fevers. It is his choice.

    This is why I drew some quotes from James Sire about how cults operate, or how they get started. I’ve heard this tendency to exclusivity and superiority through understanding that seems too often to be hidden likened to a still pool along the flow of a river. It is still water, but it becomes stagnant, it is no longer fresh and full of oxygen, and it attracts the life that feeds upon decay. When you get too far out of the flow of life, your subculture takes on a new life of its own.

    It probably doesn’t come across, but I am grieved to see so many of these divisions under the banner of Christianity. And I’m going to be gracious and count many of the aberrant leaders discussed here as my brethren. I don’t know the hearts of men, and my hope is that the tent will end up being wider and not more narrow. As sin abounds, I think that God has plenty of grace to go around, too. It is His job to separate the sheep from the goats, and I try to work on identifying the wolves instead. I am even more deeply grieved, because I did see much good and benefited through people who followed Chalcedon, even from vicarious knowledge through others who knew RJ Rushdoony later in life. (I don’t think I would have liked him as much as a young buck.)

    It is my hope and fervent prayer that God is working here to bring us together into the knowledge of the truth. Swanson, Sproul, Selbrede, and all of those antinomians who are on the outside of what appears to me to be an elitist bubble in terms of the theology. (Some people live that out, too.) Jesus prayed that we would all be one as He and the Father were one. So it grieves me when we fall so far short of that. But before we can be brought together, we have to do justice by the problems which begins with defining and noting them. Then we can mortify them. We have to start somewhere, but we all have to be willing to make the effort. I’ve seen more effort from Martin than I have from any others that I’ve identified with Chalcedon of late. And that is hopeful. Wisely vested hope does not disappoint.

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  13. Do what you want with this. I guess that most every Stan Lee publication and film is guilty of this, too? I guess we who’ve yet to see the film can choose to find out next week.

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  14. “I’ve seen more effort from Martin than I have from any others that I’ve identified with Chalcedon of late. And that is hopeful.”

    I have hopes for Martin, too, pray for him, and plan to see him someday in heaven at our agreed-upon meet-up. 🙂

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  15. Ok, Ed. As you know from my comments, I am awe of our God. I also use caps because of it. I see my way as absolute respect to correctly address the great God I love. And especially in this climate of over-genderizing, I think it useful as a corrective.

    The pronouns in scripture were chosen because those languages also didn’t have neutral or inclusive pronouns and because the societies were deeply patriarchal. The fact that Sarah did all that Abraham did and also birthed/raised the children but all is attributed to him alone is incomplete, IMO. As you say, they became one in marriage and yet the only one mentioned is the male, as if they weren’t one. It’s the language and the patriarchy. Sarah/Abraham and their culture were certainly not perfect but they were considered people of faith. That is true also of us. I want to be as clear and truthful as I know how to be, and doing so with that helps me also do so with myself.

    Yep, Jesus was a man and I always correctly attribute him. I have heard that there are places where the Holy Spirit is given the female pronoun, but I may be incorrect. Cindy K and Lydia would know.

    We are bride and Christ is groom, and that’s a metaphor. It isn’t about gender (sex doesn’t enter the picture with Christ, after all) but about the most intimate friendship we humans can grasp (and with God! Oh my). It is also a metaphor to suit a patriarchal culture, where the men were actors and the women were receivers and that exactly describes how it is between Christ and us, not in gender but in the nature/character of our situation and what is on offer from God and what we can have.

    I don’t use the Bible in the same way you do and IMO this is the center of our differences. I was happy when I read in the older Baptist document that they interpreted the Bible through Jesus (not correct words but the gist). I see God as the center of my life and the Bible as useful only to the extent that it enriches my relationship with Him/Her. You raise the Bible higher than I do. So does Cindy K as you can see in her fine response on this. But our differences are perspectival and not heretical (such as from those who Julie Anne posts on).

    I’d written here (I think in another thread), that I saw some people within the church as my enemies because they change their ideas of God and church in ways that is destructive to others. You are my brother and I see us as touching the same elephant in different spots. IMO, when we put our information together, we see a more complete God than we would separately.

    Well, and anyway, you don’t mind causing people occasional discomfort and I don’t either. 🙂

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  16. Patrice,

    You had said: “The pronouns in scripture were chosen because those languages also didn’t have neutral or inclusive pronouns and because the societies were deeply patriarchal.”

    My response:

    Why is a SHIP referred to as a she?  Because it costs a LOT of money to keep them both in paint, and powder…LOL. 

    With all due respect, I totally disagree.  Patriarchal had nothing to do with any of it.  In Regards to the First 5 Books of the Bible, God told Moses to “write”.  No one “chose” pronouns due to a linguistic problem.  It was Hebrew dictation.  Moses took out a pen and paper, and dictated everything that God told him to write down.  God does speak Hebrew, right?  He also speaks English, too.  This is a Jewish Origin based religion that we follow, not a 1970’s hippie generation Jesus.  If the Bible states Father, it means Father…not mother.  No language problems what so ever.

    In addition…I am not a fan of the word metaphor.  I use the word “spiritual”.  Jesus does not speak in “figures of speeches”.  He speaks spiritual, which is more real that the carnal. 

    In any case, none of this has anything to do with Male/Female gender, and that is my point.  The reformers and Mormons want to think of things in the carnal gender thing. 

    I think that these teachers need to stay out of peoples homes. A few years back, liberals wanted the conservatives to stay out of peoples bedrooms.  Fast forward, us conservatives want the liberals to stay out of our kitchens (let us eat what we want, and stop taxing it as a sin tax).  Well, I want these teachers to stay out of the house, and quit dictating how married couples are to do things.  It’s none of their business how married couples make decisions, including spiritual decisions.  It’s between them and God alone.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  17. “Keith, what does evolution have to do with genocide?”

    Keith hasn’t responded yet, but I will. The theory of evolution was what inspired Hitler (and others) to do what he did. If the theory of evolution is true (not simply the fact that “the inherited characteristics of biological populations changes over successive generations”, which I would agree with, but the claim that, “All life on Earth is descended from a last universal ancestor that lived approximately 3.8 billion years ago”, which I would not agree with [quotes from Wikipedia]), then on what basis can you say that what Hitler did is wrong?

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  18. Amen Ed. I’m with you on this one. Although as Cindy has explained, I do understand why Patrice refers to God as she does.

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  19. “We are bride and Christ is groom, and that’s a metaphor. It isn’t about gender (sex doesn’t enter the picture with Christ, after all) but about the most intimate friendship we humans can grasp (and with God! Oh my). It is also a metaphor to suit a patriarchal culture, where the men were actors and the women were receivers and that exactly describes how it is between Christ and us, not in gender but in the nature/character of our situation and what is on offer from God and what we can have. ”

    Patrice, I love your entire comment but pulled out this quote because I do think people take metaphorical language too literal and miss the more important foundational aspects of it all: Relationship. The irony is that some males who want to be so literal find it a bit uncomfortable to be a “Bride”. (Not Ed!) But because of that they tend to over interpret to the point they have put themselves into the Jesus category when it comes to wives or parishioners.

    Yahweh is like a hen covering her chicks with her wings to protect them. Yahweh is like a woman searching for a lost coin. Or a female eagle in Deut and some others… There are tons of male references, of course, but the point is God uses metaphorical language to communicate with us in ways we can understand using animals, buildings, mountains, etc.

    “I don’t use the Bible in the same way you do and IMO this is the center of our differences. I was happy when I read in the older Baptist document that they interpreted the Bible through Jesus (not correct words but the gist). I see God as the center of my life and the Bible as useful only to the extent that it enriches my relationship with Him/Her. You raise the Bible higher than I do. So does Cindy K as you can see in her fine response on this. But our differences are perspectival and not heretical (such as from those who Julie Anne posts on). ”

    I am running more to your view which is about perspective but not viewing scripture as a sort of 4th person of the Trinity type of thing. And another reason is because Yahweh is about relationship. God with us. I fear the bible replaces the Holy Spirit too often and I know that is a touchy subject. Anyone can say the Holy Spirit told me…blah blah blah. But that is not the point. It starts with us, individuals, our hearts then our behavior as believers.. Part of the problem I have is that historically we called anything Christianity, no matter how deceptive or evil it is and a fish slapped on it and say, oh we cannot know their hearts. No. But we can see fruit as plain as day. And I am speaking historically from state church, wars, burning at the stake to Driscoll/CJ and their version of shepherding cult. We have a tendency to call it all Christianity. What moral chaos.

    Considering scripture, we do not even think in the same way that ancient cultures think. Just using one example out of many, ancient cultures saw the “sea” as something evil/dark and used it metaphorically as such to describe evil. We do not have that same perspective the way they did. I am also concerned that when we read the OT we read it through Western Enlightenment eyes instead of pagan ancient culture eyes which makes it sound totally different. God can come off as a big meanie when we don’t take that into consideration. And when we don’t take into consideration that the Israelites were “chosen” to be God’s light of the world and they failed miserably. It was never meant to be only them God “chose” for salvation.

    And I do not think Moses wrote the first 5 books. I DO, however, believe the stories were passed down orally and written down during or after the Babylonian exile. I find it interesting to contemplate that Moses knew details about his death and burial and wrote them down before they happened. And perhaps when he could not enter the promised land he sat somewhere and wrote it all out? I think the oral tradition is more plausible and the exile brought concern that many were so mingled they were not taught it anymore and it was written down because of that. I do, however, believe in the inspiration of it.

    You know, Jesus was pure love but He was not a doormat either except when He chose to be for a short time but then our Savior resurrected and HE LIVES. He mainly dissed the religious leaders of that time. Irony abounds.

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  20. “The theory of evolution was what inspired Hitler (and others) to do what he did. If the theory of evolution is true (not simply the fact that “the inherited characteristics of biological populations changes over successive generations”, which I would agree with, but the claim that, “All life on Earth is descended from a last universal ancestor that lived approximately 3.8 billion years ago”, which I would not agree with [quotes from Wikipedia]), then on what basis can you say that what Hitler did is wrong?’

    TIA, How do you explain the mass killings in the Name of God done by the state churches over history who did NOT believe in evolution? How do you explain the peasants war? How do you explain that Augustine came up with just war theory because he wanted to wipe out the Donatists who did not want to take communion from corrupt priests? How do you explain the hatred of the Jews by the Protestant Reformers? The list goes on and on. Evolution had nothing to do with it. Man wanting power over others is what caused it. Evil.

    Hitler did not need evolution as his reason. And quite frankly, early on, his propagandists used writings of Martin Luther concerning the Jews to bring the Lutheran church into alignment with the Party.

    All Hitler needed was Greek Pagan Philosophy type of thinking.

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  21. Lydia,

    Yes, there have indeed been many mass killings done in the name of God completely apart from the theory of evolution. Whether Hitler (who used evolution as the justification for what he did), the Crusades, etc. the point is that they were wrong because they were at odds with God’s revealed character. Of course Hitler used Christian terminology to sway the masses. But his actions were in opposition to what the Bible teaches. The same is true today with “Christian” politicians who end every speech with “God bless America!” but want to bomb Iranians into eternity.

    You didn’t address my original question, which was, “If the theory of evolution is true, then on what basis can you say that what Hitler did is wrong?” Because all the other nations have also rejected God’s law, the Nuremberg Trials amounted to the Allies saying, “We won the war, therefore we get to determine right and wrong, and you were wrong”, despite the fact that they raped, bombed and otherwise savaged innocent civilians as well.

    How do you reconcile evolution with ethics?

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  22. TIA, for the life of me, I cannot understand the argument that you are making. You need to explain why believing in evolution would cause someone to be unethical. I believe that the theory of evolution is correct and I have no desire to commit genocide or even kill, say, a half dozen people. I happen to be a Christian but even if I weren’t, every scientist I know, religious, agnostic, or atheist believes in the golden rule, do into others as you would have others do unto you. They don’t want to be murdered, assaulted, stolen from, lied to, or cheated on, so they don’t do those things to others.

    Unscrupulous people who want what they want when they want it and don’t care who they hurt to get it, can always come up with some ideology to justify what they are doing, including perverting Christianity.

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  23. Marcia,

    I’m the person who introduced to Martin regarding a very vague statement that he made about humanism’s ability to only fragment understanding. I said that this hinted at a problem with an unbalanced, unrealistic foundationalist’s argument, alluding to the oversimplification that many make which turns into fear and superstition. (Some would argue that an atheist plummer couldn’t fix their toilet and would hold out for a Christian only. I’m grateful for anyone who can bless me with their talents concerning such things, for all knowledge is God’s knowledge from which all can benefit, partially if not fully. Such encounters usually give me an opportunity to witness.)

    Considering that we’ve been talking about the excesses and extremes of the Quiverfull movement, I meant to use this as an absurd example of the problem of focusing on the external window dressing of how people wear their hair. It’s not about the dress and the hair! It’s about shallow understanding, oversimplification of life’s complexity, missing the point, and fear – and how people build a culturally irrelevant legalism out of them. Touch not, taste not stuff.

    Somehow, I guess my argument was misinterpreted to mean that I was arguing that NOT all knowledge was God’s knowledge — that there were things in life from which God was absent and should be absent. The tangent turned into a red herring, and this was never what I was trying to communicate in the first place.

    We’ve gotten way off the topic with it. It doesn’t have much to do with Swanson or the quiverfull ideology and misogyny that he so zealously supports.

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  24. Marsha,

    Of course (almost) everybody lives by the Golden Rule (or at least acknowledges that that is a good ethic). My question is how do you reconcile that belief with the theory of evolution?

    Let me spell out my question in a slightly different way that may clarify what I’m getting at. How do you know that what Hitler did is wrong? He was simply trying to consistently apply the theory of evolution. He was eliminating what he perceived to be the “lower races” as well as the weak, crippled, and other “undesirables.” If the theory of evolution is true, perhaps he was right. Maybe the Golden Rule is wrong. Maybe humanity would be better off if he had succeeded. (I don’t believe that, I just presenting the argument.) Or to put it another way, if the theory of evolution is true, then what Hitler did was just a massive case of natural selection taking place. Why fault him for doing what came naturally to him? What should triumph, evolution or ethics? Has humanity reached an evolutionary plateau, or is there room for further evolution? What if further evolution conflicts with what is “right”? How does that conflict/tension get resolved?

    My point is not that evolutionists don’t have ethics, but that they have no basis for ethics. Maybe if you explained what you believe the basis for ethics is, that would help. My argument is actually directed more towards unbelievers, who I don’t believe can deal with these issues. I’d be interested to hear how you deal with them from a Christian perspective.

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  25. Sorry for the late response. I have been at a seminar all day, a large portion of which was related to the depressing topic of human trafficking, so it might not be wise for me to respond now. Evolutionary thought was behind all the following genocidal regimes Dzhugashvili (AKA Stalin-I won’t honour him with his revolutionary name) NSDAP, Mao, Pol Pot, all officially evolutionary and atheistic. Millions of people subjected to genocide. So when the friendly village atheist or evolutionist talks about how bad Christians supposedly have been, it is laughable.
    No activity can be divorced from morality/ethics. So few people have been murdered in the name of Christ that there is hardly any comparison. Evolution denies the image of God in people and greases the skids for oppression and genocide.

    As to God the Father, His Son taught us to pray “Our Father…” We have no authority to call Him anything other than Father. It has nothing to do with procreation, contemporary gender politics, female suffrage, embedded fetuses or jock itch. God the Father does not have a physical body, and to speculate that He has a penis or not is blasphemy, as is calling Him “Mother”.

    I have been subjected to evolutionary indoctrination all my life and still think it is hogwash. if anything, we are declining. Here endeth the rant. Thanks for indulging me.

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  26. Keith, what a hugely distressful day you must have had! The things some humans do to each other are beyond comprehension. My respect for taking it on!

    I am sure there are people who treat evolution as a religion since almost every idea has been taken up in that way by humans at some point. But in science, evolution is merely a process by which creatures have developed over periods of time, under this/that pressure and within this/that window. Sometimes reversion occurred, sometimes creatures simply changed, sometimes more complexity developed. It doesn’t relate to questions of ethics because it is just a process. People who slap ethics onto it are misusing it in much the same way that some people see animals hunting for food and declare “It’s a dog eat dog world!”, and use it as an excuse to steal from their neighbors.

    In a similar way, regimes that have committed genocide have used everything at hand to excuse their actions. Hitler also used Christianity and economics. Mussolini used them, too, and an ideology of corporations. Pol Pot called himself god. Communism assumed that people weren’t evil at heart but went evil because of societal structures—that was silly and reverted tout de suite into fascism, which Mao, Stalin, and the wackadoodles in N. Korea were happy to convert it to. Nationalism, colonialism, racism, ethnic cleansing, sexism—all excuses for genocide, great and small, since the beginning of humanity. Consider the African continent.

    So yes, evolution has been part of the blend since the time that it was discovered, but as with all the other excuses, it has been an abuse of it. The only reason people commit genocide is because they are consumed with lust for making themselves an absolute power over all. Pol Pot was at least honest—he saw himself as a god, which is what they all wanted. And that is a religious insistence and all about ethics.

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  27. TIA, scientists who believe in evolution have bases for ethics, should they choose to follow them. Ethics are those values that, when followed, make the earth and its inhabitants the most healthy and the most whole.

    That is part of the meaning of God writing on all humans’ hearts, plus that God is revealed in nature and so we have no excuse. It is also the premise behind common grace. We say it is all there because the God-who-is-Love made it all, and also works within it at all times to uphold it.

    But everyone who looks openly can see how much better it is to promote what is healthy and good and life-giving rather than what is destructive and death-creating. This is why we often find nonbelievers to be very good and loving people. It is also why we can have a fairly organized society, businesses, rules of the road, concerts attended without incident, etc.

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  28. Thanks, Lydia. I’m sure I look a strange old bird parsing my goofy contractions in comment threads here/there. That’s ok but it is nice not to feel completely alone while doing it. w00t

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  29. The theory of evolution isn’t prescriptive. It is just a theory which attempts to make sense of observable facts. I believe that earthquakes that cause movement of the sea floor cause tsunamis, a natural process, but I don’t want to bring about earthquakes or tsunamis.

    Murder is wrong. It is against the golden rule (as well as the Commandments). I’ve done a lot of prison work and I can tell you that even murderers think that murder is wrong.

    Either they say they didn’t do it or say they were not competent at the time or they have some excuse why the law shouldn’t apply to them. But they don’t want the law against murder repealed. (Same with thieves; they may be serving a sentence for burglary but they get mighty angry when a fellow inmate steals from them).

    Murder has nothing to do with natural selection. It is not a natural process. When a Hitler tries to kill off a group of people or when countries enslave people from other countries and their descendants it most certainly isn’t a result of science class. It is hatred and greed.

    We are just going to have to disagree about this. And Cindy is right, we are off topic.

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  30. This may help a bit with this protracted thread. The most original reference that I can find for this statement comes from Robert Bork. He explains things this way, and I’ve heard contemporary presuppositional apologists repeat this, notably Gary DeMar (before he signed on with Phillips and Baucham, etc.).

    People who don’t accept Christ have “borrowed [ethics] from the capital of Christian culture.” The JudeoChristian claim is that the Bible has provided the best source and standard for ethics (think Ps. 19). Societies throughout history have borrowed these same standards from the Mosaic Law which more strongly codified the ultimate standard. People have a sense of what is right and wrong, and I would argue along with many that this is part of the more subjective general revelation that Paul talks of in Romans chapter 1. The JudeoChristian standard establishes it more specifically and objectively.

    Unbelievers may look to society or civil law, or perhaps their own preferences as a standard, and it may be consistent, but it is said by Christians to ultimately derive from God’s standard. Otherwise, you have an ineffective standard, a fluid/changing one that is driven by the wind of opinion, or someone whose God is their belly who projects their preferences on other people.

    But there again, we are way off topic.

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  31. Yes, there have indeed been many mass killings done in the name of God completely apart from the theory of evolution. Whether Hitler (who used evolution as the justification for what he did), the Crusades, etc. the point is that they were wrong because they were at odds with God’s revealed character. Of course Hitler used Christian terminology to sway the masses. But his actions were in opposition to what the Bible teaches. The same is true today with “Christian” politicians who end every speech with “God bless America!” but want to bomb Iranians into eternity.

    You didn’t address my original question, which was, “If the theory of evolution is true, then on what basis can you say that what Hitler did is wrong?” Because all the other nations have also rejected God’s law, the Nuremberg Trials amounted to the Allies saying, “We won the war, therefore we get to determine right and wrong, and you were wrong”, despite the fact that they raped, bombed and otherwise savaged innocent civilians as well.

    “How do you reconcile evolution with ethics?”

    TIA, You have set up a false dichotomy and also one that demands your answer. For the record I am agnostic on evolution, YEC, OEC, etc. But I am NOT agnostic when it comes to folks who put these beliefs in the salvic category. They are not salvic issues. And I realize there are strains of Christianity that insist they are.

    You wrote:
    “f course Hitler used Christian terminology to sway the masses. But his actions were in opposition to what the Bible teaches.”

    But this should make you ask the more important question which is: How could modern Germany born out of the Protestant Reformation with a recent history of mandated church attendance in a state church and religious education have persuaded these Christians to go along with such things as the Aryan laws early on?

    Were these Christians (both Protestant and Catholic) persuaded to go along by evolution? How can that be? Remember we are talking the masses and early on who were watching the Aryan laws start to take effect. Were they true believers? Were the masses deluded? And how can that be if they were for the most part believers and educated in scriptures in school?

    “If the theory of evolution is true, then on what basis can you say that what Hitler did is wrong?”

    I have no idea if evolution is true or not. I don’t really even care. But I do think your question lacks a solid premise. And don’t forget that some evolutionists believe in creationism. Your dichotomy is false because it is not as black and white as you might think. The categories are not as cut and dried as you are trying to make them. There are some very fine believers who do not believe in a literal Adam and Eve, too. GASP.

    If anything, Replacement Theology has done more to marginalize Jews than just about any other belief.

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  32. “My point is not that evolutionists don’t have ethics, but that they have no basis for ethics. Maybe if you explained what you believe the basis for ethics is, that would help. My argument is actually directed more towards unbelievers, who I don’t believe can deal with these issues. I’d be interested to hear how you deal with them from a Christian perspective.”

    Actually, Calvinism makes the better argument for what you are looking for. He was just totally depraved and doing what came natural to him. The totally depraved have no ethics in that construct. The only volition man has is to sin. They might operate off something vaguely understood but they refer to as common grace that restrains some evil in the world or all the unelect would be murdering people right and left and we would have none left to debate on blogs. :o)

    But my question is why–whether we evolved or came into being with a Big Bang and Adam appeared instantaneously— make a difference considering your ethics question?

    Basis for ethics. Ever watched little kids play on a playground? What is something you hear a lot? That is NOT fair! How do they know something is not fair? They don’t understand it abstractly as we do but they know when it was not fair to them. And they might not apply it to others but they understand the concept. How?

    And what are you describing as ethics? Abraham was willing to kill his own son because God told him to. Are you including that in your definition of ethics? (Remember, Abraham was originally a pagan and lived around pagans who sacrificed children so he was not unfamiliar with the act)

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  33. Lydia: By the time NSDAP rose to power, the State Church was an extremely liberal institution. Liberal theology had held sway for many years. The primary effective opposition to Hitler was composed of what some here would consider undesirable people, i.e. Conservative Lutherans (Old Lutherans), Monarchists, the nobility, conservative Roman Catholics. NSDAP took children into the party as Hitler Youth and indoctrinated them, teaching them to despise their religious parents.

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  34. “Lydia: By the time NSDAP rose to power, the State Church was an extremely liberal institution. Liberal theology had held sway for many years. The primary effective opposition to Hitler was composed of what some here would consider undesirable people, i.e. Conservative Lutherans (Old Lutherans), Monarchists, the nobility, conservative Roman Catholics. NSDAP took children into the party as Hitler Youth and indoctrinated them, teaching them to despise their religious parents.”

    Don’t be ridiculous. I love guys like Bonheoffer who put their lives on the line. Too bad not more of them from the groups you mentioned!. You have missed my larger point…Germany was considered a “Christian” nation even if you did not consider them one. They considered themselves Christians. Being a good German was Christian. Respecting and obeying authority was part of the national psyche. It is a perfect example of where institutionalized Christianity can go. And the evidence very early on for these groups you mention really standing up to the Brownshirts—-.is where?

    Martin Luther’s rants on Jews was a big help when it came to the Holocaust.

    The mistake you make is thinking I am a liberal. Far from it. I am for Liberty. I despise tyranny whether it is church or government. I will fight against either one trying to take away my choices or trying to micromanage my life. I despise collectivism and totalitarianism.

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  35. Lydia: Now I am being ridiculous? I think you are a liberal? I don’t even know who you are, much less claim to know your views. As for me being ridiculous, I would commend to your reading ” The Fabricated Luther” by Uwe-Siemon Netto.

    I saw first-hand the remnants of how NSDAP accomplished the alienation of children from their parents. My host father, when I lived in Germany was the child of conservative Lutheran parents. He kept his Hitler Youth photos (this was in the early 80’s). When we went to visit his elderly, rather devout parents at Christmas, his contempt for them was palpable. Learned of course in the Party.

    “Not more of them from the groups you mentioned…” Here you show your ignorance. Carl Goerdeler,Old Lutheran, executed in Ploetzensee. DNVP politician. Claus Schenk Graf von Staffenberg,tried to assasinate Hitler, Roman Catholic nobleman. Fabian von Schlabrendorff, nobleman, smuggled a bomb onto Hitler’s aricraft. Ulrich von Hassell, nobleman. Executed for plot to assassinate Hitler. Helmut James Graf von Moltke, also hanged from a meat hook in Ploetzensee prison. Look up “Operation Spark” and “July 20” plot. Many others could be mentioned.

    Nobleman von Moltke’s words before his execution were that he stood as a Christian not a German before the so-called “People’s Court”.

    Marin Luther’s rant against Jews hundreds of years before as causal is problematic. NSDAP leadership were not Old Lutherans. The state Lutheran church had been forced to accommodate Calvinists decades before, and ceased to be truly Lutheran.. Look up “Prussian Union” leading to the secession of the Old Lutherans. I could go on in more detail about this, but don’t wish to appear “ridiculous” by explaining the actual history.

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  36. Lydia is definitely NOT liberal.

    But I get accused of being hyper egal, even though I believe the “Biblical ideal” for a pastor is male because the argument for women as pastors is not as robust. I fight for liberty because it is an intramural issue, and there is no prohibition stated in context in the Koine Greek.

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  37. Hi Cindy

    You write @ MARCH 15, 2014 @ 7:00 AM…
    “… even though I believe the “Biblical ideal” for a pastor is male…”

    Was wondering…
    Where do you find your Biblical Ideal for a male pastor – In the Bible? 😉

    Because…
    I can NOT seem to find Today’s shepherd/leader/reverend – In the Bible. 🙂

    Can you help me out? Can you name any of His Disciples who were…
    Paid Professional Pastors, in Pulpits, Preaching, to People, in Pews? 😉

    Have you ever wondered? Why? In the Bible?
    NOT one of His Disciples called themself shepherd, or leader, or reverend?
    NOT one of His Disciples called another Disciple shepherd/leader/reverend?
    NOT one of His Disciples had the Title/Position shepherd/leader/reverend?
    NOT one of His Disciples was hired or fired as a shepherd/leader/reverend?

    Seems, the only “ONE” I can find referred to as Shepherd/Leader/Reverend…
    Or having the Titile/Postion of Shepherd/Leader/Reverend – Is…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

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  38. lydiasellerofpurple,

    You had said:
    “And I do not think Moses wrote the first 5 books”

    My response:

    It is known as the Law of Moses, and the Jews certainly believe that Moses wrote it.

    There is a difference in terminology of the following:

    The Law (Torah (Genesis – Deuteronomy) and The Law (The old covenant (all of the do’s and don’ts from Exodus 20 – Deuteronomy). However, both were written by Moses.

    Those terms are also known as “The Law of God”, “The Law of Moses”, and “Moses”.

    The role of the scribes were to scribe, and if there were any mistake, they were to trash it, and begin again.

    Exodus 24:7
    And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.

    Deuteronomy 28:58
    If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God;

    Deuteronomy 31:26
    Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

    The old Covenant is IN THE ARK along with Aaron’s Rod, and a jar of manna. That old covenant was written by Moses.

    Also, the words of Josephus, the well known Jewish Historian:

    Moreover, Moses, after the seventh day was over begins to talk philosophically; and concerning the formation of man, says thus: That God took dust from the ground, and formed man, and inserted in him a spirit and a soul.

    This shows that Moses wrote Genesis.

    Ed

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  39. Amos (You who are beloved),

    I am more conservative in my approach to the topic than others. The verses that refer to offices in the New Testament Church do not specifically mention women, but do identify men in this position. For that single reason, the argument for men and no women is a bit more robust than what would be an argument from silence in the absence of a direct statement affirming women in the role. There is no prohibition thereof, and there are plenty of women mentioned who lead gatherings in their home. (It doesn’t say that the women opened their homes and people just met there. If someone was just giving people the space to meet under a different male pastor, I think that Paul would have mentioned it, considering how important many believe that it is. I think of the male designation as “ideal” but not necessary. The single reference that is argued to support the male only role is 1 Corinthians 11. (I don not believe, based on a careful reading of complicated grammar that Paul used the other favored passages such as 1 Timothy 2, that women are excluded as others do, another topic altogether. And I’m clearly not that dogmatic in my conservatism, for I fight for the liberty of any woman who wants to pastor.

    There is a great New Testament precedent for shepherds of various types. Whether or not most churches today respect their offices, and whether they abuse their office and the sheep in their care is another matter. I don’t believe that negates the legitimate office. I believe also that Scriptures such as Ephesians 5 argue against a hierarchy, and I understand these offices as functional and pragmatic.

    (The New Testament model of order is not the James MacDonald “elders rule and you’re demonic if you disagree with us” system that we see today, nor is it the kind of system where a congregant signs their life away or risks expulsion for violating a covenant. There’s no Biblical precedent for the response of Mark Driscoll saying that he wants to break the legs of those who disagree with him.)

    Episkopos An overseer or what was once translated as “bishop.” (The Assemblies of God have congregational government locally, but it is a modified type of episcopal government as well. There are district superintendents to whom local pastors and elders give account.)

    Acts 10:28
    Philippians 1:1
    1 Timothy 3:2
    Titus 1:7
    1 Peter 2:25

    presbyteros An elder, or in terms of an office in a religious system, they are also an overseer, a term often used interchangably with episkopos. The Sanhedrin held the office of elder/overseer/presbyter in the Jewish religious system of the day. A modern day pastor is a specialized type of elder who attends to the needs of the people specifically, a word that we developed from the Latin word for shepherd or herdsman. Some denominations designate elders based on their special gifts such as teaching, for example. These references talk about the way that the New Testament church ran and how information was communicated.

    Acts 11:26-30
    Acts 14:23
    Acts 15:4-6
    Acts 15:22-23
    Acts 16:4
    Acts 20:17
    Acts 21:18
    1 Timothy 5:1-2, 17-19
    Titus 1:5
    James 5:14

    diakonos A deacon or a servant minister who distributes resources

    1 Timothy 3:10, 13

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  40. Keith, I am also a student of history and nothing in your comment tells me why guys like Straffenberg not only waited so long to take action but WENT ALONG early on.

    So much of the German perspective wants to act like the entire process of rise of the Third Reich happened TO them. What I call the Nuremburg Defense: Just following orders. Obeying government. Obeying authority.

    So where were all the “Christians” early on? Many of them liked the Nationalistic pride. Or if they did not, they kept silent. A few put their necks out early on. A few.

    And I should have been more clear concerning “German Christianity”….and where it ends up because of it’s history of a state church. Luther’s writings WERE used to bring the Lutheran church into alignment with the goals of the party.

    A good chronological source for every aspect of the Rise of the Third Reich from propaganda, culture, society, military, economics is William Shirer (Author of the Rise of the Third Reich) who was living there during those times and documenting each step until kicked out.

    You and I know that people allowed it to go too far because for the most part, they agreed and then it was too late. Individual Liberty was not a typical stance of Germany a product of the Protestant Reformation and determinism. We can learn from it if we are smart.

    The government cannot steal your children’s minds UNLESS lots of parents let them early on by ignoring tons of red flags.

    Like

  41. Lydia: It is easy to say “where were they early on”. How early would you like that to have been? Operation Spark was in 1940. Was that early enough? Look at the names of those involved. ShalI I list them? Mostly nobility.( N.B. “von” indicates nobility.)
    Uwe-Siemon Netto’s book is an effective rebuttal to Shirer. You really should read it.
    A few historical facts serve as easy rebuttals to the Luther/Lutheranism as causing the rise of the NSDAP. 1) Only about half of Germany was Lutheran or Reformed, even in a broad sense. The other half were RCC 2) None of the major NSDAP leaders were members of of Old Lutheran congregations. 3) many top NSDAP leaders were from RCC backgrounds. 4)None of the founders of NSDAP were practising Christians, much less Old Lutherans.
    Von Stauffenberg doesn’t fit your theory at all. He was RCC.
    Why do you like Bonhoeffer and give him a pass? It seems he is the only one of a much larger group who gave their lives in an attempt to stop Hitler that you approve of. Did you not know about the others? Did you not know that many of them were friends of Bonhoeffer?
    Had you even heard of Carl Goerdeler before?

    Like

  42. Cindy K, I will disagree with you on this. The part of the globe that is Asia have held, for the most part, to fundamental ethics similar to those of Christianity, even though their roots are different. I don’t mean that there are no groups who spurned them (including some in Christianity) but that there has been a general enduring consensus of foundational ethics across humanity through time. IMO the biggest differences show up in humans’ understanding of evil.

    Yep, we’re off topic but it is at the uncomfortable back end of a long thread. I don’t think JA minds, although I could be wrong.

    Like

  43. Keith, the German church obviously did not function at all well in Germany during rein of Nazis. There were good people among them, yes, but far too few and because of that, they could not dislodge the hell that had its way.

    There was more resistance in other countries and not all who resisted were believers.

    These are sobering truths for us now, facing national (indeed global) crises of rampant power-mongering.

    But I see no relationship to that and the idea that genocide is the product of evolutionary theory.

    Like

  44. Patrice: apropros of evolutionary thought and genocide, the evolutionary ideology was held by Pol Pot, “Stalin” ( Dzugashvili), Hitler, Mao. Evolutionary thought denies the image of God in human beings, and ultimately allows for the dehumanisation of those who are unwanted, whether for ethnic or ideological reasons.
    As regards the church under NSDAP, no one has rebutted my assertion that the efffective resistance was by the following groups Old Lutherans (confessional Lutherans) Monarchists, the nobility, conservative RCC etc.

    Like

  45. Back to Swanson and Gothard. Swanson is an OPC Teaching Elder. Why does he associate or identify with Gothard who is not OPC?

    Like

  46. Cindy K

    Thank you for that comprehensive response, and scriptures, dealing with…
    “Episkopos An overseer” – “presbyteros An elder” – “diakonos A deacon”

    BUT – The questions asked were about your statement about “pastors.”
    Because – “You write @ MARCH 15, 2014 @ 7:00 AM…
    “… even though I believe the “Biblical ideal” for a pastor is male…”

    I asked – “Was wondering…
    Where do you find your Biblical Ideal for a male pastor – In the Bible?” 😉

    And NOT one of the scriptures given mention pastors, or shepherds.
    They were about, “episkopos” “presbyteros” “diakonos” NOT “poimen”

    Sorry. I must NOT have explained myself properly…
    MY focus was on Today’s – “pastors” – (NOT on – Male or Female) – And,
    Where is today’s pastor/leader/reverend, and what they do, in the Bible?

    In the NT “pastors,” plural, is only once in Eph 4:11. YUP, only once. 🙂
    It is the Greek – Poimen, which is 18 times in the NT. – 17 times as shepherd.
    2 times as a “Title.” Poimen and Archpoimen – 1 Pet 2:25, 1 Pet 5:4.
    Referring to the great Shepherd, the chief Shepherd, “The “ONE” Shepherd”

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    So, the questions have to do with “Disciples” “His Disciples,” In the NT.

    And, those today, who say they are His Disciples, Disciples of Jesus.
    BUT – Take a “Title/Position” pastor/leader/reverend, NOT in the Bible,
    that Jesus never recommended, nor taught, for His Disciples,
    a “Title/Position” NOT one of His Disciples had or recommended.

    Let me ask the questions this way…

    From the Bible – Can you name…
    One of His Disciples who called themself shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    From the Bible – Can you name…
    One of His Disciples taking the “Title/Position” shepherd/leader/reverend?

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

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  47. All of the early books of the Bible were lost during the sack of Jerusalem and the taking of the remainder into exile, the others having been slaughtered. Those books were reconstructed (some experts say portions first written down) from memory and oral history. It really matters not whether Moses wrote anything down other than the ten commandments and immediately related laws, because it was all lost, and decades later, reconstructed by the exiles in Babylon. No original autographs remained.

    Like

  48. “Operation Spark was in 1940. Was that early enough? ”

    Heavens no. How about some of thes toffs you mention saying a big fat NO in 1933? You are aware of what started in 1933? Was that not a clue to them or perhaps they agreed with it?

    “Von Stauffenberg doesn’t fit your theory at all. He was RCC.”

    Sure he does. Germany was considered a “Christian nation”. Where was his “Christianity” in 1933?

    ” Why do you like Bonhoeffer and give him a pass? It seems he is the only one of a much larger group who gave their lives in an attempt to stop Hitler that you approve of. Did you not know about the others? Did you not know that many of them were friends of Bonhoeffer?”

    Bonhoeffer did not have to come back to Germany. Yet he did. His legacy is the Confessing Church and the Finkenwalde Seminary which took serious guts in that environment.

    The Nuremberg Defense you are using does nothing to help us learn from history and how such things can happen because people can be lemmings. It can only happen with the help of the masses who are trained to look toward influential leaders. The only thing you are doing is make excuses for them. As if they were victims. Please. I don’t buy that but you do and that is the real foundation of our disagreement.

    :Let it teach us to hold fast to individual liberty.

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  49. Amos,

    I think you’re stuck on the semantics. I don’t have anything else to add. I would join a church with a female pastor, though I believe that as an intramural issue and in the spirit of liberty that people have a right to argue, based on Scripture, that women should not hold that role. In liberty, I respect that. I assert that many if not most of these arguments are weak. I mentioned 1 Corinthians 13, and I don’t have anything to add to that. And I’ve explained already that there is nothing that restricts a woman from the role. It all boils down to the Scriptures that don’t specifically mention women to making an argument from silence that women are included.

    You can argue semantics concerning whether leaders in the NT called themselves pastors directly, but I see plenty of references to these leadership positions in the NT as stated. I’ve been referred to as those among “discernment ministries” and I once argued with a Board member of a counter cult apologetics organization because he called me an apologist. I never called myself that and don’t seek these titles. I had a duty to help people and to reveal the truth about certain misconceptions about a particular group of wolves. I apparently am still seen as an apologist and that I often write about discernment. It’s a matter of semantics.

    I don’t have anything more to add to this, either.

    Like

  50. But Keith, that’s what we’re trying to explain on this thread, that evolutionary theory only describes a process in creation. It is of science and not religion. It doesn’t at all deny the image of God in humans because it has nothing to say about it. We are image bearers whether God used a slow-emergence method or an instant “voila”.

    So you can correctly say, “When people make a religion out of evolutionary theory, then it can be used to….”

    But again, the dictators you mention simply used whatever was at hand to excuse their violent desires. They didn’t do mass killings because they believed evolutionary theory was the true meaning of the universe. They did it because they thought themselves powerful and cruel gods.

    It is important to recognize these differences, out of respect for the scientists who keep finding more evidence of the processes of evolution in the physical world, many of whom are also solid and faithful Christians. It’s also important to know the difference for the sake of accuracy in general conversation.

    The people from your past who were evolutionary jerks abused the theory. It can’t be given religious overtones unless it is abused. The only way it can even approach life origins is as conjecture and good scientists understand that full well.

    Many church leaders get this wrong because they have spent their intellectual lives inside theology and have not openly/seriously studied science. People such as Ken Ham are deliberately blind to it because they put all their faith in a Book rather in a living Creator God. Unfortunately, their stubborn insistence causes people (believers and nonbelievers) to belittle God. How? Because God doesn’t doesn’t reside in a book but throughout the universe, to which the Bible is a beautiful reference, and is centered on the astonishing work of Christ to restore the humans inside the created universe back to himself.

    I hope you will become more clear about this. Needless divisions are destructive.

    Ok, I’ve done my best to explain. I wish you well, Keith.

    Like

  51. Lydia: If you think that those who died trying to change things were “toffs” who were “following orders”, it is apparent that you know little about these people or the era.

    The fact that you seem to be aware of but one of them, Bonhoeffer shows that you have done little research into the nature and composition of the widerstand. Bonhoffer was but one who gave their lives.

    Do you realize that von Rabenau was hanged at the same time as Bonhoeffer? Hans Oster? Was not Bonhoeffer motivated by his Christianity? Was Bonhoeffer “following orders” as a meber of the Abwehr, or was he like his co-conspirators doing all they could do to bring down a murderous regime? Were the von Blumenthal family, again pesky nobles and devout Lutherans, toffs? How about Ewald von Kleist? Opposed hitler before 1933. DNVP politician and noble. His family hosted Bonhoeffer’s secret seminary. Please read the book I suggested. Perhaps from Shirer you have gotten a false impression as to the nature of the resistance to NSDAP.l

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  52. Back to Swanson and Gothard, it is a little confusing to me why someone with a confessional back ground would be attracted to a loose cannon like Gothard who differs so much in his basic theology. Is the idea simply that since they agree on the ends, the means, i.e. the differing theological premises/analysis is unimportant? A sort of result-orientation? What is Swanson’s background? Did he come from some other theological perspective before he became an OPC elder?

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  53. FWIW, a dear atheist marine biologist friend of mine, my instructor as an undergrad, defines evolution simply as the process of change. We are changing all of the time — all of us. I laughed with him and said that I was more highly evolved because I never developed wisdom teeth, but I had so many other things wrong with me that i was a witness against the Darwinian Origin of the Species idea. The fact remains that because of entropy, more of those changes are detrimental or deleterious than they are beneficial.

    My atheist professor thought it was important to make that distinction with me, and I think that it’s probably good to do so when talking to people who embrace evolution if you’re debating it. We are all changing — it’s a matter of demonstrating whether the process is, overall, beneficial or detrimental. When and why did the process switch from gradual improvement to degradation?

    Just a thought.

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  54. An Attorney,

    You had said: “All of the early books of the Bible were lost during the sack of Jerusalem and the taking of the remainder into exile, the others having been slaughtered. Those books were reconstructed (some experts say portions first written down) from memory and oral history. It really matters not whether Moses wrote anything down other than the ten commandments and immediately related laws, because it was all lost, and decades later, reconstructed by the exiles in Babylon. No original autographs remained.”

    My response:

    No wonder why most people don’t like attorney’s. In the movie Liar Liar, the little boy said that his dad was a liar. His teacher said, Oh, you mean a lawyer.

    You have your history all wrong here, dude. In every land that there was Jews, there was synagogues. And those synagogues had the law (Gen-Deu) and the Prophets (The rest of the Hebrew scriptures. So to base everything on Jerusalem is way off base.

    And it DOES matter whether Moses wrote everything down. NOTHING was lost. It was reproduced by scribes.

    In the days of Jesus, the Passover…it is a requirement for all male Jews to attend in Jerusalem. And it is noted that at Pentacost, that Jews from all of the lands outside of Israel was in attendance.

    So to even think for a moment that Jerusalem was the ONLY PLACE that had the law of Moses and the prophets is a huge RIDICULOUS.

    Exodus 23:14-17 (Requirements)

    14Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 15Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) 16And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. 17Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God.

    At Pentecost: Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

    In addition, where did the Bearans SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES DAILY TO SEE IF THOSE THINGS WERE SO? Oral from memory historians? Jerusalem? NO!

    Paul preached, but the Bereans went to a place where those scriptures would be. In a synagogue. Do you think that Paul brought books with him? NO.

    In every place that Paul went, he went to the synagogues FIRST (to the Jew first). Every synagogue had the Law and the Prophets.

    But, the ORIGINAL is in the Ark of the Covenant, with Aaron’s rod and a jar of manna.

    So, please, do not disseminate that the Law of Moses is just from memory, passed down as oral tradition. That is false to the highest degree.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  55. An Attorney,

    Also, Deuteronomy 16 shows in detail the requirements that all male Jews are to be in Jerusalem during the THREE major feasts.

    But, Jews did live in every nation under heaven, according to Acts, which means that it is a pilgrimage.

    And to even think that those Jews outside of Israel did not have the THE (THE) Torah, is well….wow, I can’t even believe that people think that. Gentile people, at that.

    Jesus read Isaiah from a synagogue. NOT IN JERUSALEM. He read the BOOK of Isaiah in Nazareth. Synagogues had the sacred books. INCLUDING the TORAH. Every place under heaven that had a synagogue of the Jews had those books. You really think that Jerusalem was the ONLY PLACE for those sacred books? Wow! Where did you get your info from?

    Wow…I thought attorneys were diligent in research. I guess not.

    Luke 4:
    16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

    17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

    18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

    19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

    20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

    21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

    Ed

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  56. JA,

    Yes, I know…but some of us does our research a bit better. Scribes had a function. They were the then modern day xerox machine. And it all had to be perfect, otherwise it was trashed and they had to start again.

    Yes, the Jews have their talmud, and the talmud is oral tradition passed down in written form. But in regards to the Law and the Prophets that is referenced by Jesus, that is a different story.

    It just gets my nerves that anyone would say that what we follow is not the real thing, but just an oral tradition passed down from memory….HOGWASH!

    If I really believed that, I would not be a Christian. I’d be a Catholic, the people who can’t stand Bibles in the first place.

    Ed

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  57. Ed, I have been so swamped with this Phillips article that I haven’t been really following the main content. I’m only concerned about tone – and that it’s respectful. That’s all.

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  58. OK, I’ll tone it down.  But in my “defense” (I am my own attorney here…I can’t afford anyone but me…I’m cheap), he made his comment as a statement of fact, and I felt that I needed to set the record straight…from scripture, not from alleged “experts”.  I would love to cross examine his experts, and maybe even put An Attorney on the witness stand. 

    Oh, and I will be the “hostile witness”!! 

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  59. JA,

    Have you ever seen the movie “Liar Liar”?  It’s a funny movie.  His son had to make a wish before blowing out his birthday cake candles that his Lawyer Liar daddy wouldn’t lie.  And the wish came true, and his dad had a very hard time at being a lawyer, because he couldn’t lie.

    So, I was actually trying to be funny…hope it didn’t backfire in my face.

    Anyway, no defamation!!!!

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  60. An Attorney,

    Acts 13:
    14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

    15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.

    The defense rests, your honor!

    Ed

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  61. Cindy K

    I’m glad we’re in agreement here when you say…
    “I think you’re stuck on the semantics.”

    Absolutely – Here’s a definition of semantics…
    ———-

    Semantics |səˈmantiks| plural noun [usu. treated as sing. ]

    The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning.

    There are a number of branches and subbranches of semantics, including formal semantics, which studies **the logical aspects of meaning,** such as sense, reference, implication, and logical form, lexical semantics, which studies word meanings and word relations, and conceptual semantics, which studies the cognitive structure of meaning. **The meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text.**
    ———-

    Semantics is important to me. The *Words* in the Bible. And, “The meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text.” Especially when “Today’s Corrupt Religious System” tells me something is “Biblical.” I want to check it out. And I found lots of, errr, stuff, “Biblical Ideals,” told to me, that was NOT in the Bible. Don’t know about you – BUT – I’ve been deceived by those who called themselves pastor/leader/elder/overseer. A Lot. 😦

    The Bible warned me about “Leaders.” But, I had to learn the hard way. 😦
    Thru much pain, tears, and “Spiritual Abuse.”

    Isa 3:12 KJV
    …O my people, *they which lead thee* cause thee to err,
    and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Isa 9:16 KJV
    For *the leaders* of this people cause them to err;
    and they that are led of them are destroyed.
    ———-

    Adrienne Lehrer, Ph.D., Prof. of Linguistics, Univ. of Arizona, says…
    “Semantics is the name for the scientific study of the meaning of words and sentences. Semantics is closely associated with the disciplines of linguistics, logic, and philosophy.
    ———–

    And from reading your comments, it looks like semantics, linguistics, logic, and philosophy are important to you also. 😉

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

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  62. Cindy K

    Sorry you “don’t have anything more to add to this” conversation…
    I’ve got lots and lots about the mis-appropriation of Today’s “Title/Position,” pastor/leader/reverend, that belongs only to Jesus in the Bible.

    But, if anything comes to your mind, to add or dis-agree with, feel free to jump back into the conversation. I appreciate your style… 😉

    Seems we’re in agreement again…

    From the Bible – You, Cindy, can NOT name..
    One of His Disciples who called themself shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.

    From the Bible – You, Cindy, can NOT name..
    One of His Disciples taking the “Title/Position” shepherd/leader/reverend.

    Seems, In the Bible, Shepherd/Leader/Reverend, refers only to “ONE”
    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    And, are those today, who call themselves, shepherd/leader/reverend???
    Taking the NAME of the Lord thy God? And taking that NAME in VAIN?

    Ex 20:7
    Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;
    for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    I’m-a-thinkin, “today’s “Title/Position” pastor/leader/reverend,” is a Commandment of Men, a Doctrine of Men, a Philosophy of Men, that becomes a “Tradition of Men” that Jesus warned us would “Cancel,” “Nullify, “The Word of God.”

    Mark 7:13
    NLT – you “cancel” the word of God to hand down *your own tradition.*
    KJV – Making the word of God of “none effect” through *your tradition*
    ASV – Making “void” the word of God by *your tradition*
    NIV – Thus you “nullify” the word of God by *your tradition*

    If, NOT one of His Disciples called themself, shepherd/leader/reverend?
    Wouldn’t today’s “Title/Position” pastor/leader/reverend qualify to be…
    A Commandment of Men? A Doctrine of Men? A Tradition of Men?
    Making “void” the word of God by *your tradition?* And NOT the Bible?

    If NOT one of His Disciples called themself, shepherd/leader/reverend???
    And today, someone calls themself, shepherd/leader/reverend???
    And allows others to call them shepherd/leader/reverend???

    Are they one of His Disciples? 😉

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  63. Cindy K

    And we’re in agreement again when – You write…
    “You can argue semantics concerning whether leaders in the NT called themselves pastors directly,”

    Yes – I’ll continue to argue the meanings of words, semantics, and whether “Today’s pastor/leaders,” and what they do, are found anywhere in the Bible.

    Once again, I’m looking at His Disciples, what Jesus taught His Disciples, and what His Disciples called themselves and called other Disciples.

    Seems Jesus has a unique take on leaders for His Disciples – “ONE” 😉
    Because – Jesus taught His Disciples – NOT to be called Leaders…
    For you have “ONE” Leader – Jesus.

    Mat 23:10-12 NASB – New American Standard Bible
    Do NOT be called leaders; for “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ.
    But the greatest among you shall be your “Servant”.
    Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled;
    and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

    The Message – Mat 23:10-12.
    And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them.
    There is only “ONE” Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
    **Do you want to stand out? – Then step down. – Be a servant.**
    If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you.
    But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

    And NOT one of His Disciples called themself Leader…
    They ALL called themselves “Servants.”

    Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ…
    Php 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ…
    Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ…
    Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God…
    Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God…
    2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant…

    If someone calls them self a “Leader?”
    And they allow others to call them “Leader?”
    Ignoring what Jesus taught His Disciples?

    Are they one of His Disciples???

    Or – Just a Dis-Obedient Disciple??? 😉

    Like

  64. Ed,

    I don’t agree with An Attorney about the loss of the OT scriptures, but your “defense” doesn’t prove him wrong. All of the examples you give are after the exile, so the scriptures would have been available then under An Attorney’s reconstruction scenario.

    One example that gets closer to the issue at hand is Daniel 9:1-3.

    “1In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom— 2in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.”

    Daniel in Babylon had a written copy of Jeremiah. But that doesn’t say anything about the other OT scriptures.

    Why does it matter if the copies we have today don’t have a continuous history of being copied from other written copies? If the recorded text is accurate, what difference does it make if it was copied from a previous copy (since we don’t have the original manuscripts in either case) or written down from memory?

    Like

  65. “Have you seen/read Alexander Strauch’s book “Biblical Eldership”? Any thoughts/comments on it?”

    TIA, I have not read it but it comes recommended quite a bit from many YRR/Neo Cals who tend to promote hierachy/patriarchy and ESS so not convinced that makes it a good book to follow.

    In fact, I am ambivalent when I see a focus on “biblical leadership” for the Body of Christ as the focus in the NT is “servant”. Also, the word “leader” as used in the Greek would have been understood a bit differently by a 1st Century audience. For example in the book of Hebrews it would have been understand as “those who have gone before” as in those who have been in the trenches. That certainly would not describe what we are seeing these days as “biblical leadership”. They want respect and submission to them because of a man conferred title.

    Wonder why so many spiritual abusers are promoting that book? I know 9 Marks, SGM, Acts 29 and quite a few others promote it. Not a great endorsement unless you want to follow man instead of Christ.

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  66. “Why does it matter if the copies we have today don’t have a continuous history of being copied from other written copies? If the recorded text is accurate, what difference does it make if it was copied from a previous copy (since we don’t have the original manuscripts in either case) or written down from memory?”

    Because of the demand that folks believe in the concept of inerrancy of scriptures or they are heretics. Have you read the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy which tends to be the most popular one out there. Read article 10. Total cognitive dissonance. But many buy into it.

    Basically all they are doing is redefining “inerrancy” so it does not mean what it was supposed to mean. “without error”. If that were true, there would be NO translations. Word meanings change over time and even some of the marks used in later Hebrew have been misread by scribes. Isaiah 3 is one example. This is one of those topics that goes on forever with examples of why pushing inerrancy makes no sense.

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  67. Re: Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch

    It’s been a while since I read this one, but I remember it being pretty good in general. The fact that it is misused by many is a reflection of the (ab)users rather than the book. I’m sure Strauch is upset by unqualified, unprincipled men who use his book as a tool to beat people over the head, since it emphasizes the need for elders who are spiritual, morally upright servants.

    Here are a few of the 3 star comments from Amazon (88% of the comments are 4 or 5 star ratings):

    Perhaps the most illuminating aspect of this book was its discussion on the difference between elders, overseers, presbyters and bishops in making it’s case that the New Testament never explicitly calls for professional, full-time church pastors. Rather, the author argues that fully-engaged, spiritually mature men who are called as elders to lead the body of local believers best follows the biblical model.

    If you would like to know a few things about his perspectives or conclusions before purchasing:
    Pastor is elder; elder is pastor
    Elder is distinct from deacon
    Shared/Multiple eldership should be sought
    Elders are to be male
    The primary qualification for elders is moral reputability
    Elders are first and foremost servants
    Elders are not above the congregation, but they will be held responsible for the congregation

    Like

  68. “Have you read the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy which tends to be the most popular one out there. Read article 10. Total cognitive dissonance.”

    It seems like they’re saying: “Only the originals are inspired. We don’t have the originals, but the copies we do have are good enough so that we can know what the originals said. The copies are only good inasmuch as they faithfully represent the originals (which we don’t have but can reconstruct based on the copies we do have).” Did lawyers write that statement?

    Like

  69. Tia,

    You had said:
    “…but your “defense” doesn’t prove him wrong. All of the examples you give are after the exile, so the scriptures would have been available then under An Attorney’s reconstruction scenario.”

    I disagree. From the following Jewish History website (http://www.aish.com/jl/h/cc/48949881.html), it states the following:

    “The story of the Jews of Babylon of necessity begins some 1,000 years before our current timeline ― in the 434 BCE, when the Babylonians first marched on Israel as part of their campaign to stake claim to the former Assyrian empire. In that first foray, the Babylonians did not destroy the Temple, nor send the Jews into exile. However, they did succeed in taking into captivity 10,000 of the best and brightest Jews. (See Part 22)

    While it seemed like tragedy at the time, these brilliant men, Torah scholars all, immediately established a Jewish infrastructure upon arrival in Babylon. A dozen years later when the Temple was destroyed, the Jews who were exiled to Babylon found there yeshivas, synagogues, kosher butchers, etc., all the essentials for maintaining a Jewish life. (See Part 23)

    Seventy years later, when the Babylonians fell to the Persians and the Jews were permitted to return, only a small number did. Of what was probably a million Jews living in the Persian Empire, only 42,000 went back, meaning that the vast majority stayed in Babylon under Persia domination.

    During the Second Temple period, up until its destruction in 70 CE, the Jewish community in Babylon ― far from the eye of the storm that raged in the Land of Israel ― continued to flourish.

    Indeed, this is where the center of Jewish rabbinic authority came to rest after the Roman Empire shut down the Sanhedrin in 363 CE.”

    Ed

    Like

  70. Ed,

    I’m with you. I agree with your comments about copies of the scriptures being in existence outside of whatever may have been destroyed in Jerusalem. I was just trying to point out that quoting from the NT doesn’t help your case, because the scenario An Attorney described can also account for that. I believe he is wrong, not because people in the NT quote the OT scriptures (which would be true of either scenario), but because the Jews had copies of the scriptures outside of Jerusalem that survived the destruction by the Babylonians.

    Like

  71. TIA,

    I still disagree.  What seems to be the main issue with me is the missing concept of the role of scribes.  That seems to be missing.  And since the role of scribes is a requirement that everything be copied perfectly, they were the ones responsible for making sure that accurate copies were made, letter by letter, jot by jot, tittle by tittle.  And, those copies were in every synagogue under heaven.  Nothing could be done by memory in that case, for reconstruction.  The word of God is preserved by the Jews, therefore, I am against any notion that the word of God is nothing more than the word of man’s memory.  If that be the case, it’s really the word of man.

    I am sorry that you disagree with my BIBLE ONLY references…especially this one:

    Acts 15:21 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

    I’m sure that the Catholics love the idea of An Attorney’s scenario, because they are not fans of the Bible in the first place.

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  72. “If you would like to know a few things about his perspectives or conclusions before purchasing:”

    Hmmm. NO thanks. The typical bilge:

    ” Pastor is elder; elder is pastor” Can be– but “pastoring” is a function. One shepherds and it is temporal as in a spiritual pastor wants the pastored to move beyond them. Elders were those who allowed themselves to be arrested and thrown in the arena for the lions so the rest of the flock could escape. They were servants

    “Elder is distinct from deacon” Hmm. When they named the deacons in Acts what would you have called Peter? Paul? And not only that but we do not see the command to have elders in every single letter.

    “Shared/Multiple eldership should be sought” Where is that a command for every church?

    “Elders are to be male” Tis means “anyone” who desires…. husband of one wife would disqualify Paul or even Jesus. Why would there be a prohibition in the New Covenant when there was none in the Old Covenant? Because there is no prohibition. Deborah was a judge and prophetess. But no women elders in the New Covenant? Now female servants of the Body are prohibited? Junia was an apostle (little a), Phoebe a deacon and we see references to women prophesying but they cannot be elders? Funny that. Paul had no trouble throwing women in prison before the road to Damascus. Seems they were equal offenders then. :o)

    “The primary qualification for elders is moral reputability” which means they would be transparent and everyone would know if they were or not.

    “Elders are first and foremost servants” Would like to see how he defines that one

    “Elders are not above the congregation, but they will be held responsible for the congregation” Not sure what he means by that last part. Sounds Orwellian. A true elder would NEVER seek to have authority over anyone. A true elder would be accountable for how much they loved and protected others. Not their salvation. That is what scares me about these guys. They actually teach that they have the “keys to the kingdom” and will be responsible for your salvation. Guess where that lands them? as mediators between you and Jesus. No thanks.
    As I mentioned earlier, an elder would be fed to the lions first in hopes the rest could get away.

    When the shepherding cults and their wolves promote a book, count me in as someone who is suspicious. :o)

    Like

  73. “It seems like they’re saying: “Only the originals are inspired. We don’t have the originals, but the copies we do have are good enough so that we can know what the originals said. The copies are only good inasmuch as they faithfully represent the originals (which we don’t have but can reconstruct based on the copies we do have).” Did lawyers write that statement?”

    Hee Hee. So how would anyone know if they faithfully represent the originals? DUH.

    ONce you dig into the concept of inerrancy it is a black hole of errancy and cognitive dissonance.. On the flip side the message of the eventually written down words were inspired and we have the Holy Spirit to illuminate truth to us and to tell us when to dig deeper.

    But many still cry “inerrancy”! Some churches have people sign a membership covenant stating they believe in inerrancy. It is bizarre what we will believe because some guy on a stage or in a book says so.

    Like

  74. Ed,

    I agree with you about the scribes. I don’t believe all the copies of the OT scriptures were lost and reconstructed as An Attorney commented. All I have been trying to point out is that all of the NT references would still make perfect sense even if what An Attorney described is true. His description can account for Jesus and the apostles quoting the OT. That doesn’t mean he’s right. I believe he’s wrong for the other reasons you mention.

    Like

  75. Tia,

    My point is that none of what An Attorney said can be true at all.

    According to Jewish tradition:

    “Before his death, Moses wrote 13 Torah Scrolls. Twelve of these were distributed to each of the 12 Tribes. The 13th was placed in the Ark of the Covenant (with the Tablets). If anyone would come and attempt to rewrite or falsify the Torah, the one in the Ark would “testify” against him. (likewise, if he had access to the scroll in the Ark and tried to falsify it, the distributed copies would “testify” against him.)” Midrash (Devarim Rabba 9:4).

    Note: The Midrash, developed between the 2nd and 11th centuries, was an in depth rabbinical study of the interpretation of the Old Testament writings (analogous to a Bible Commentary).

    After the ark disappeared, the authentic proof text was kept in Temple of Jerusalem. Upon destruction of the temple in 70 AD, Jewish scribes developed a system to periodically and globally check and eliminate scribal errors. The lack of errors of these scribal copies attest to the phenomenal integrity and tradition of preserving God’s Word. This process still exists today. ”

    Source: http://helpmewithbiblestudy.org/5Bible/TransALookJewishScribalCustoms.aspx

    In addition…A Scribe is also known as a Lawyer (AN ATTORNEY!!!!)

    These Scribes would read the Torah in the synagogues, give commentary, and lecture their disciples. The Scribes were also called “lawyers” and the “doctors of the law”. They were all highly educated from a young age, and at an appropriate time (some say by the age of 30) they were elected to office.

    Source: http://www.bible-history.com/Scribes/THE_SCRIBESBackground.htm

    Final note: There is no way that An Attorney can be even remotely correct, not even a benefit of the doubt correct.

    Ed

    Like

  76. “His description can account for Jesus and the apostles quoting the OT. ”

    An irony is that NT often quotes from the LXX– the Greek translation of the OT.

    Like

  77. Ed. There are many expert scholars of the scripture and of the OT and of archeology that will tell you that when the temple was destroyed during the Babylonian conquest and exile, the Torah disappeared, and was likely destroyed. No truly ancient (before 600 BC) have been found. The Jewish scholars have been looking for them for 2500 years and the Christian ones for about 1900. They do not exist.

    The issue with the quotes is that the Babylonian scriptures were translated into Greek (the Septuagint (seventy scholars worked on the translation) and the people of the time usually read the Greek. Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Hebrew. So when the writers wrote down his scriptural citation, they used their Greek texts for those portions (verses did not yet exist — that was added later) in writing down in Greek what Jesus had said, rather than translate his Aramaic into Greek — when he had been quoting scripture.

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  78. Modern translators have translated the Septuagint into various languages including English. They have also translated the extant Hebrew scriptures into English. There are differences between the English translations of the Septuagint and the extant Hebrew scriptures. There are also extant Aramaic texts of the OT Scriptures, dating from the time of Jesus ministry to about 600 or so AD. All three are slightly different in word choice, etc., being in different languages, even though Aramaic and Hebrew are related. BTW Aramaic is also a predecessor of Arabic, and the Aramaic Biblical text appears to have influenced Mohammed in his writing of the Koran.

    Like

  79. An Attorney,

    Source?

    Because that certainly is not what I am discovering. Jesus spoke Hebrew, not Aramaic.

    Even the Apostle Paul spoke Hebrew, not Aramaic.

    John 19:20
    This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

    Acts 21:40
    And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,

    Acts 22:2
    (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

    Acts 26:14
    And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

    You hold the Catholic argument in regards to Aramaic, which is why they, the Catholics, state that Peter’s name in Aramaic is ROCK.

    Even in the Catholic movie “SON OF GOD”, the inscription above Jesus is stated in Aramaic.

    We have a major disparity in both arguments here. The word of God is preserved by the Jews, and there is no “from memory” put togethers. If what you say is true, then I will give up Christianity, and become a Catholic, and listen to Church Fathers…YUCK, blah….please, someone…kill me first!

    Ed

    Like

  80. An Attorney,

    The September, er, I mean Septuagint was put together in Egypt, and included the Apocrypha. If you are a Catholic, you love the september, er, uh, Septuagint, because they tell us protestants that we took out books in our bibles.

    Thus, we have a problem with the Apocrypha, and the Septuagint.

    Ed

    Like

  81. An Attorney,

    From http://www.biblemuseum.net/virtual/history/ancient2.htm is the following statement:

    To preserve the text of God’s Word from error, scribes also took numerous precautions. Even though most scribes had the Scriptures memorized, they were not allowed to write a single word from memory. They must use the “tikkun,” or perfect text that was passed down from the generations before. Every word had to be checked against the older copy before and after it was written. Once the page of parchment was complete, the letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted and be identical to the original document. Each letter had to be clear and legible, and no two letters could touch each other. If just one error occurred, the page had to be re-done.

    Once a sheet of parchment was complete, it had to be checked by three rabbis before being sown with other parchment sheets into a complete Torah scroll. A complete torah scroll consists of about 250 parchment sheets and, if completely unrolled, can be up to 100 yards long! Even after the entire scroll was complete, however, it was reviewed again within thirty days. If one or two pages had errors, those errors could be corrected, and the scroll used, but if three or more parchment pages were found to contain errors, the entire scroll was unfit for use and had to be re-done!

    An old and worn scroll was discontinued from use because of the possibility of someone using it to make a copy, and thereby making a mistake because of faded or smudged letters. Since the Jews never destroyed any document containing God’s Word, they were stored or buried in a special hiding place called a “genizah,” usually under or within a synagogue or Jewish cemetery.

    Ed

    Like

  82. Lydia,

    “When the shepherding cults and their wolves promote a book, count me in as someone who is suspicious. :o)”

    True, but they also promote the Bible and say that all their teachings come from it. In addition to reading the book, I’ve heard a series of messages that Strauch gave on elders, and his teaching directly contradicts the idea of authoritarian elders.

    “Elders were those who allowed themselves to be arrested and thrown in the arena for the lions so the rest of the flock could escape. They were servants.”

    Yes, this is what Strauch teaches.

    “A true elder would be accountable for how much they loved and protected others.”

    Again, this is what Strauch teaches.

    I can’t imagine why cult leaders/abusive pastors would promote Strauch’s book, since it stands in opposition to them. I suspect that they do so to lend authority to what they do (ie. “See, we’re just following what this expert teaches”), even though they don’t actually do so. It’s just like what happens with the Bible. Some leader claims it as their source but then what they actually do is in direct contradiction to what the Bible actually says. If people actually read the book for themselves without any “help” in understanding it, they would never follow these leaders.

    BTW, I’m not saying that Strauch is correct on everything. I’m just pointing out that his book has been terribly misused in much the same way that the Bible is misused by the kinds of people who do such things.

    Like

  83. TIA

    Yes – I saw the coloring book by Steven Furtick and Elevation – Sad indeed.

    And, Lydia is right on about the writings of Alexander Strauch.

    For the most part – I do NOT care for the writings of Alexander Strauch.
    BUT – I also like to use what he writes – when convenient for me. 🙂 😉
    Yes I do – HeHeHe… 😉

    Especially fun for me when debating with the YRR guys, Calvinistas, Reformed, Pastor/Leaders, Pastors who Abuse, Pastors addicted to Exercising Authority, Pastors, who, as Lydia says, “promote hierarchy/patriarchy and ESS” who are familiar with his writings.

    Be warned – Alexander Strauch also wrote this book about…
    “the complementarian viewpoint” – Oy Vey!!! 😦

    Men and Women, Equal Yet Different:
    A Brief Study of the Biblical Passages on Gender
    by Alexander Strauch (Sep 1, 1999)

    On Page 3, 4th Paragraph, Strauch writes a – Statement of Purpose.

    The purpose of this book is to state and defend **the complementarian** viewpoint. Written in outline form this book presents biblical evidence that Jesus Christ taught that men and women are equal yet different. It introduces the key terms, arguments, and most recent research related to **the complementarian** position…

    This statement can be found here…

    So, the books of Alexander Strauch are NOT recommended reading…

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    Like

  84. TIA

    As I said…
    I will quote Strauch and his book – Biblical Eldership when convenient. 🙂
    When debating with those – Who have taken “Titles/Positions”
    NOT found in the Bible. – Like “Pastor/Leader./Reverend.”

    Because – Strauch says – In Biblical Eldership – (pp. 114-115).

    “So in the first century, no Christian would dare take the position *or title* of sole ruler, overseer, **or pastor** of the church.

    We Christians today, however, are so accustomed to speaking of “the pastor” that we do not stop to realize that *the New Testament does not.*

    This fact is profoundly significant, and we must not permit our customary practice to shield our minds from this important truth.

    There is only “ONE” flock and *”ONE” Pastor* (John 10:16),
    “ONE” body and “ONE” Head (Col. 1:18), “ONE” holy priesthood
    and “ONE” great High Priest (Heb. 4:14ff.), “ONE” brotherhood
    and “ONE” Elder Brother (Rom. 8:29),
    “ONE” building and “ONE” Cornerstone (1 Peter 2:5ff.),
    “ONE” Mediator, “ONE” Lord.”
    (In this statement – one – is replaced with – “ONE” – added by Amos)

    Jesus Christ is “Senior Pastor,”
    and *all others* are His undershepherds (1 Peter 5:4).”
    (*ALL others – WE, His sheep, His Disciples, His Body. – Added by Amos)

    – Alexander Strauch, Biblical Eldership:
    An Urgent Call To Restore Biblical Church Leadership, (pp. 114-115).
    ————-

    And God really loves me – Yes He does… 😉
    I received this info about Strauch from the Blog of Josh Harris
    A SGM pastor. A YRR pastor – Who replaced CJ Mahaney

    Two paragraphs well worth the read…
    http://www.joshharris.com/2012/02/alexander_strauch_on_biblical.php
    ————-

    So, I really like Strauch, when he writes about..
    We Christians – Speak about “The Pastor” – but the NT does NOT…

    “We Christians,” – WE, His Sheep, His Kings and Priests, His Ambassadors, His sons, His Bride, His Disciples, His Servants, His edelweiss, You and Me…

    When – “speaking of “the pastor”
    that we do not stop to realize that *the New Testament does not.*
    ————–

    A continual question for WE, His Sheep, His Disciples, His Church…
    Has to be; Where is that in the Bible? Where is pastor/leader/reverend?

    If it lifts up man, beware, it’s probably a deception. A Lie. 😦
    If it lifts up Jesus, rejoice, it’s probably a truth. 🙂

    The “Truth.” is… The “ONE” Shepherd is… The “ONE” Leader is…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  85. Ed,

    All well and good. But the archaeologists have yet to find a scroll that is made from parchment older than about 600 BC. And there is a lot of digging that has occurred in Israel and in the surrounding areas, and they do not avoid ancient cemeteries or synagogues. So your contention fails. What they have be so laboriously copying are the scrolls created during the Babylonian exile!

    Like

  86. “Thus, we have a problem with the Apocrypha, and the Septuagint.”

    Ed, Among the writings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls were texts from the Second Temple period like The Book of Enoch, The Book of Sirach, some more Psalms, etc, etc

    I have started reading some of the Apocrypha like parts of Susanna and it becomes more and more clear why they were not wanted in either the Hebrew Canon. It would not bode well for the “religious leaders” if the peasants took some of it to heart about “wicked elders”. And I could never figure out why Esther was included (does not mention God either) but not some of the others which have great messages about doing right and warnings of wicked religious leaders.. And who decided the Canon? Mere men.

    From a historical pov, too, some of it is fantastic.

    Like

  87. “What they have be so laboriously copying are the scrolls created during the Babylonian exile!”

    This is what I have found in my research, too. So that would mean the scribes would have had to have been inspired as the original writers for the concept of inerrancy to work. One thing that really put me off concerning that is looking at how the Hebrew language evolved and some of the “jot’s and tittles” added which was so easy for the Translators misread on old parchment. An illuminating example is Isaiah 3. Here is what Katherine Bushnell found during her research:

    621. I think we find another case of prejudiced translation in Isaiah 3:12. The word translated “children” in this verse in Isaiah, is a plural masculine participle of the verb “to glean,” “abuse,” “practice.” It is translated “glean” in Leviticus 19:10, Deuteronomy 24:21, Judges 20:45, and Jeremiah 6:9. The word has no translation such as “children” anywhere else in the Bible, and it occurs 21 times. Another word altogether is used for “children,” and “child,” in verses 4 and 5 of this same chapter; the sense seems to have been fixed by the supposed context, to correspond with “women.” As to the word translated “women”:

    Two words, without the rabbinical vowel “points,” are exactly alike.

    One is pronounced nosh-im and the other na-shim. In appearance the only difference is a slight mark under the first letter of the Hebrew word na-shim. The first word means “exactors;” the one with a vowel mark under the initial letter means “women.” The entire decision, therefore, as to whether the word means one or the other depends upon OPTION. Those who pointed the word, evidently thought the nation could sink no lower than to pass under women rulers, and then translated the word “children” to match it. Commentators frequently call attention to the alternate reading. See Adam Clarke on the passage. The Septuagint translates: “As for my people, tax-gatherers (praktores) glean them, and exactors (apaitountes) rule over them.”

    622. There seems little in the context to support the translation “children” and “women.” But study the context as regards the other reading. After complaining of the “gleaners,” (that is, “tax-gatherers”) and “extortioners,” they are threatened in the following language: “The Lord standeth up to plead and standeth up to judge the people. The Lord will enter into judgement with the elders of His people, and the princes (“rulers,” masculine, not feminine gender), thereof for ye have eaten up the vineyard (the conduct of extortionate tax-gatherers), and the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What mean ye that ye crush (R. V.) my people, and grind the faces of the poor?” Because of this context, we believe that OPTION took the wrong turn when it decided to translate this verse as it stands in our English version; and that this translation would have had a strong showing up of its sophistries, had educated women been on the last Revision Committee.

    Like

  88. TIA

    NO – I do NOT recommend the books of Alexander Strauch – Because…

    I’m always suspect when someone says – “Biblical.”
    And I can NOT find what they are calling “Biblical” in the Bible. 🙂

    The Title and Sub-Title of the book by Alexander Strauch, is…

    Biblical Eldership:
    An Urgent Call To Restore Biblical Church Leadership

    Now, can you find “Church Leadership” in the Bible? – NO…
    Did Jesus talk about “Church Leadership?” – NO…
    Did His Disciples talk about “Church Leadership?”- NO…

    NO – the term “Church Leadership” is NOT “Biblical,”
    So, Alexander Strauch calling it “Biblical Church Leadership”
    Is deceiving folks and leading people astray…

    And, you can NOT restore something that NEVER was…

    “Church Leadership” is a term made up by man, A Commandment of Men, wanting Power, Profit, Prestige. A Doctrine of Men, wanting Power, Profit, Prestige. A Philosophy of Men, wanting Power, Profit, Prestige.

    Looks to me like Strauch is in bondage to “Traditions of Men”
    that Make Void the Word of God… Mark 7:13

    Jesus, taught His Disciples NOT to be called LEADERS – and NONE did. 😉
    All of His Disciples called themselves “Servants.”

    Seems His Disciples observed Jesus, and believed Jesus – Because…

    Jesus, as man, humbled Himself, made Himself of NO reputation,
    And took on the form of a “Servant.” Phil 2:7-8…

    When you are known as being “Church Leadership”
    You now have a REPUTATION whether you want it or NOT… 😉

    Seems Jesus, taught and displayed – “Servantship” – NOT leadership
    Seems Jesus, taught and displayed – “Lower-Archy” – NOT heirarchy

    How about WE, His Body, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Church…
    Doing the same and focus on – “Servantship” – “Lower-Archy”

    See, i can make up words also… 😉

    Pro 20:17
    Bread of deceit is sweet to a man;
    but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

    Like

  89. TIA – Cindy K

    If someone is interested in *Biblical Eldership?* Why NOT read the Bible?

    Since leaving “The Abusive Religious System,” in the early 90’s…
    Since leaving “Church Leadership.” – Yes – I was ordained… Oy Vey!!! 😦

    I’ve noticed, most congregations looking to hire a pastor/elder/overseer, and most who desire to be a pastor/elder/overseer usually “Ignore” or “Twist” the Qualifications in 1 Tim 3:1-6, and Titus 1:5-9. They “Ignore” or “Twist” *Biblical Eldership,* So they can obtain for themselves this position of pastor/leader/reverend that today comes with, Power, Profit, Prestige, Honor, Glory, Recognition, Reputation, Celebrity, etc.

    ALL those things Jesus spoke against.
    ALL those things that become “Idols” of the heart. Ezek 14:1-11.
    ALL those things that are highly esteemed among men – BUT…
    Is abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15.

    If someone is interested in *Biblical Eldership?* Why NOT read the Bible?

    And, ask Jesus about it?

    John 6:45
    It is written in the prophets, And they shall be ALL taught of God.

    John 14:26
    But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost,
    whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things…

    Deuteronomy 4:36
    Out of heaven he made thee to *hear His voice,*
    that *He might instruct thee:*

    Psalms 32:8
    I will instruct thee and teach thee
    in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

    And the best teacher is…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  90. TIA – Cindy K

    And when you look at these tuff qualifications given by Paul…
    You can see why most wanna-be overseers will “Ignore” or “Twist” them…

    Titus 1:5-8 KJV
    5 …ordain elders in every city…
    6 If any be *blameless,* the husband of one wife,
    having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
    7 For a bishop “must be” *blameless,* as the steward of God; not self willed,
    not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
    8 a lover of hospitality, lover of good men, sober, *just,* *holy,* temperate;

    Here are just 3, of over 16, very tough qualifications in 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1.
    1 – For a bishop (overseer) “must be” *blameless.* 2 – Just. 3 – Holy.

    1 – *Must Be* is the same Greek as, You *must be* born again. John 3:7.
    *Must Be* – Strongs #1163, die, It is necessary (as binding).
    *Must Be* – Thayer’s. necessity established by the counsel and decree of God.
    Seems to be a small word but very important.

    1 – Blameless, Strongs #410 anegkletos, unaccused, irreproachable, blameless.
    Blameless, Thayers, cannot be called into account, unreproveable, unaccused.
    Blameless – Dictionary – Without fault, innocent, guiltless.

    2 – Just
    Strongs #1342 – dikaios {dik’-ah-yos} from 1349;
    Thayers – righteous, observing divine laws, innocent, faultless, guiltless.

    3 – Holy
    Strongs #3741 – hosios {hos’-ee-os}
    Thayers – undefiled by sin, free from wickedness,
    religiously observing every moral obligation.

    Now that’s three tough qualifications for pastor/elder/overseers. Yes?
    How many pastor/elder/overseers today, who honestly examine themselves, seriously considering these three qualifications can see themselves as Blameless, Just and Holy, innocent, without fault, above reproach, undefiled by sin, and thus qualify to be a pastor/elder/overseer? And, if they can see themself as *blameless?* Is that pride? And no longer without fault? 😉

    Which Qualifications, are WE, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His church…
    Allowed to “Ignore” and “Twist?”

    Which Qualifications are NOT important?

    If WE, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Sheep, His Kings and Priests, His Body, His Kids, take seriously the many tough Qualifications in 1 Tim 3:1-6, and Titus 1:5-9…

    The potential number of Qualified – pastor/elder/overseers – is quite small. 😉

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

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  91. A. Amos Love,

    I think we have more in common that not. I only stated that there was a Biblical example of leadership, by term and in context of events in the New Testament. When you get many people together, we need to avoid anarchy and chaos, and that’s about the extent of the “authority” of these leadership positions, for lack of a better term in our language of today. There is a need for accountability in both behavior and doctrine, but it is not some kind of authoritarian system.

    It seemed to me that you were arguing that there should be no pastors or elders or presbyters, that we were all supposed to be so. I offered Scriptures that talk about these offices in the New Testament Church, by term and in context to support my belief that this is how the ekklesia operated. I agree that the number of qualified people according to the standards laid out in Scripture are small and that they stand before God with a higher level of accountability.

    I’m not out dying on a hill to protect abusive pastors. Nor am I dying on some hill to say that women shouldn’t be in ministry. I believe that I do quite the opposite. I don’t understand why you keep directing things at me as though I am advocating something very different than a spirit of Christian liberty towards other Christians who may hold to different doctrinal standards, based on their understanding of Scripture.

    If I would gladly join a good church with a female pastor, and if I note the reasons for understanding that there were leadership positions in the New Testament, I don’t understand why I keep getting associated with things I don’t personally believe in. Let me state that I am reluctant to join a church that leads by elder rule at this point as well, though I would if God impressed upon me through the Word, the Spirit leaning on my conscience, and my circumstances to join one. I may never join another church officially but do hold myself accountable to many people who “pastor” me (the transliteration of Latin that refers to a church elder).

    All I’m doing is defending Christian liberty on nonessential beliefs and the right for Christians to believe differently on intramurals in a spirit of love. I stated my reasons related to these two topics (gender and church government). I don’t have anything else to add. If we disagree on this much, can we agree to disagree? We are very, very far off topic at this point anyway.

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  92. I just ordered “Frozen” on cable. (I went without cable for 23 years and am so tickled that I don’t have to go out and rent stuff now. I feel so self-indulgent!)

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  93. A. Amos Love,

    Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate them, and for the most part I’m on the same page as you. However, I do think the following goes a little too far:

    “Now, can you find “Church Leadership” in the Bible? – NO…
    Did Jesus talk about “Church Leadership?” – NO…
    Did His Disciples talk about “Church Leadership?”- NO…”

    See Matt. 23:1-12, 1 Pet. 5:1-7, Matt. 20:24-28, Heb. 13:7-8, Psa. 23:1-3, etc.

    Clearly “church leadership” is found in the Bible (those specific words may not be used, but the Bible wasn’t written in English, so how could they be? Neither is the word “trinity”, which has long been accepted as not only biblical, but necessary for orthodoxy). The real issue is, “Who is/are the leader/leaders of the church, and how does he/they lead?”

    Christ Himself acknowledges the existence of legitimate authorities and commands His disciples to obey them. Likewise, Peter and the author of Hebrews say similar things. What Jesus (and the apostles) condemned was leaders who taught their own traditions instead of God’s Word, and leaders who were hypocritical.

    Would you say the Christ is not the Leader of the Church? If not, then clearly there is such a thing as “church leadership.” Again, I get what you’re saying and agree. I think Christ would have similar comments towards most “church leadership” today as he had for the “leaders” in the first century. But none of that denies the fact that there are real leaders, who lead, not by domination (more like the military or business world), but as kind and loving shepherds, by example and with great care.

    The very fact that you’re commenting here shows that you believe in “church leadership.” If not, why are you trying to “lead” people with your comments? Again, I’m with you, and I’ve found your comments to be a good jolt, for lack of a better description. I trust that they will shake some people out of their stupor.

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