Russell Moore and John MacArthur Offer Diverse Responses on Challenging Issues

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Two Influential Christian leaders offer diverse responses regarding (1) professional counseling and (2) response to [adult] children with same-sex issues or identity.

 

 

Christiandom tends to follow church leaders when it comes to difficult life issues. Earlier, when reading an article at Religion News Service (RNS) by Adelle M. Banks, Russell Moore answers all you wanted to know about sex (but were afraid to ask), I was actually surprised to read a couple of things from Russell Moore. Russell Moore is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.  In this position, he has a big platform from which to share his opinion in conservative Christianity circles. Here is one of the excerpts that surprised me:

In March, Moore took on the topic of a sexless marriage, raised by a pastor of a small congregation, approached by a woman whose new husband had refused sex in the eight months since they wed.

“It seems that I am finding more and more young couples having sexual difficulties,” Moore said at the time.

In his response, Moore was direct. “This is a marriage in crisis,” he wrote.

Among his suggestions: Seek professional counseling to learn whether there was some unresolved trauma in the man’s life.

Seek professional counseling?  It doesn’t say Biblical counseling or even Christian counseling, but professional counseling.  What a nice surprise.  I wonder if he will get any heat from that statement from those who believe anything other than Biblical counseling is evil – like John MacArthur. Here’s a little bit from an earlier article I did on John MacArthur regarding counseling:

Prominent church leader, John MacArthur has been very outspoken about the subject of psychology and his Master’s Seminary teaches against psychology:

Such a thing as a “psychological problem” unrelated to spiritual or physical causes is nonexistent. God supplies divine resources sufficient to satisfy completely all the spiritual needs.  ~John MacArthur (Source)

John MacArthur would not encourage this man to go to professional counseling, but only to receive Biblical counseling.

Now here’s another interesting comment from Russell Moore from the RNS article, this time about parental response to gay children:

Moore has also advised parents not to reject their gay children: “Be clear about your convictions, and at the same time don’t exile your child from your life.”

 

This statement comes about a month or so after John MacArthur posted an article and video, “John MacArthur on How to Respond to a Homosexual Child.” The video is just under two minutes:

 

http://www.gty.org/blog/B140603/john-macarthur-on-how-to-respond-to-a-homosexual-child

Both of these are very powerful men in conservative Christiandom and so it’s very interesting to see these diverse statements.   I will be keeping an eye on this.

231 comments on “Russell Moore and John MacArthur Offer Diverse Responses on Challenging Issues

  1. “Why are they not confessing their bad behavior?”

    Because they haven’t been caught in a public relations trap. Because there is nothing driving them to what bears a very close resemblance to a John Ehrlichman style modified limited hangout, like what Richard Nixon so cynically attempted. Regarding which see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_hangout

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  2. Julie Anne,

    You had asked:
    “why are they not also apologizing for their part in this? Why are they not confessing their bad behavior? ”

    My response:
    That is exactly my point, JA. I believe that they, too, must “repent” since they are indeed applauding that JD Hall “repented”. But they, too, do not feel that they did anything wrong. But they were cheerleaders, which makes them just as guilty.

    Ed

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  3. Dustin,

    Why is Jordan, as you call him, back behind his mic again, so soon after his supposed written “apology”, and “repentance”? I thought he had a local church to attend to.

    This shows me that his so-called repentance was not as sincere as you lay out. Pretty soon he will be right back into the narcissist star seeking public speaker position that he always has desired.

    This is why I do not give JD the benefit of the doubt. Feigned repentance is what I see. Public outrage is what drove him to repent.

    It’s like a polititian stating, “IF (IF) I offended anyone, I apologize”. But to those who were not offended, he does not apologize. He stands by what he did, or said.

    Ed

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  4. Dear Dustin,

    Thank you for taking so much time to comment here, and to respond to so many people at once. I realize that you’re taking a lot of heat, and I don’t mean to add to it. But while there might not be much that I can add to this thread, there is some advice I want to offer.

    I’d like to add my voice to those requesting that you and your fellows at Pulpit and Pen back away from your criticism of Ergun Caner, at least for a good long time. Not because he hasn’t deserved it, not because he’s just gotten shellacked in court, and not simply because he and his family are in mourning now. In the future, if Caner starts up his bad behaviour again — especially if he files more idiotic, frivolous lawsuits — someone needs to hold him accountable.

    But I don’t think it should be the Pulpiteers.

    Further upthread, you mentioned how much you respect JD Hall for his apology and his public act of penance. I’ve read it, and I hope very much that it is sincere, and that he’ll be a better Christian and a better man for it. Just above, however, Julie Anne posed the question: Have the Pulpiteers done the same? Have they acknowledged their own wrongdoing towards Braxton Caner, before and after his death? (I’m thinking of Rhoblogy in particular. His comments were beyond the pale.)

    If they haven’t apologized, publicly or privately to the Caners, and they haven’t seen the need to dial down their rhetoric, then I don’t see that they have any business calling out Ergun. Not until they demonstrate that they’re willing to behave more civilly in the future. As you know, there are many blogs that bring attention to abuse and nonsense from Christian leaders. If Caner steps out of line, I’m sure someone else will point it out. It doesn’t have to be Pulpit and Pen, and for the time being at least, I don’t think it should be. Like JD Hall, the Pulpiteers should probably save their breath to cool their own bowl of soup.

    Getting back to the original topic, I’m glad to hear that you support Christians seeking help from professional counsellors and psychologists. It pains me to think that there are brothers and sisters who are being denied that kind of care when they need it. However, I don’t agree with you that Christians must or should insist upon getting counselled by someone with spiritual training (whatever that’s supposed to be). This is particularly relevant to me, living in Japan. What are the odds that I’ll find a professional therapist who’s also a Christian, should I ever need one? If it ever comes to that, I may have to be content with someone who respects my beliefs, even if he or she doesn’t fully understand them.

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  5. ED – Hmmm?

    I wonder if Dustin is as concerned about his friends at P&P…
    The pastor/elder/overseers, so-called “christian leaders,” at P&P…
    Who do NOT qualify to be pastor/elder/overseers…
    And – Are Living a LIE…

    Will Dustin call them to REPENT???

    Seems simple to me – If JD Hall, really believes he did do wrong…
    And, his buddies at P&P, really believe JD Hall did do wrong…

    Then JD Hall should remove himself from being a pastor/elder/overseer…
    Because he (NEVER) is NOT qualified acorrding to 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1…

    And neither are the other pastor/elder/overseers writing at P&P.

    1 – Must Be **Blameless** — unrebukeable, without fault.
    ….Well, JD Hall, did admit he is NOT without fault. Oppps, Does NOT qualify. 😉
    ….And the other pastor/elder/overseers did NOT stop him. They have fault.
    2 – husband of one wife — married, male.
    3 – rules well his own house — have a family, children.
    4 – not greedy of filthy lucre — Not greedy for money.
    5 – vigilant — no excessive wine, calm in spirit.
    …. Hmmm? Calm in spirit? I’ve been on P&P, JD, P&P, NOT calm in spirit.
    6 – sober — of a sound mind, self controlled.
    …. JD Hall? Elders at P&P? Sound Mind? Definitly NOT self controlled… 😉
    7 – of good behavior — modest, unassuming, reserved.
    …. JD Hall??? Elders at P&P??? Modest??? Reserved??? Nope… 😉
    8 – no striker — not quarrelsome, contentious.
    …. JD Hall? ALL elders at P&P? Contentius??? YUP….
    9 – not a brawler — abstaining from fighting.
    ….. JD Hall??? ALL elders at P&P??? Fighting??? – Yup…
    10 – not self willed — not self pleasing, not arrogant.
    …. NOT looking to good for P&P’s, self proclaimed “pastor/elder/overseers.”
    11 – not soon angry — not prone to anger.
    …. Hmmm? NOT looking to good for P&P’s, so-called “christian leaders.”
    12 – temperate — having power over, restraining. – Yeah, that’s P&P… 😉
    13 – **holy — undefiled by sin, free from wickedness.
    … JD Hall? ALL elders at P&P? Free from wickedness? NOPE…
    14 – **just — righteous, virtuous, innocent, faultless.
    … JD Hall? ALL elders at P&P? Innocent? NOPE…

    I wonder if Dustin is as concerned about his friends at P&P…
    The pastor/elder/overseers, so-called “christian leaders,” at P&P…
    Who do NOT qualify – And – Are Living a LIE…

    Will Dustin call them to REPENT???

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  6. A. Amos Love,

    I agree that JD Hall should step down, and I do not believe at all in church discipline, as you may well know.

    I believe that he should be fired due to not being qualified, or, not having what it takes.  And you used scripture to show that.  And that is what I am all about, too.  Showing scripture to prove that Dustin’s crowd needs to stop the harassing.  But, they won’t listen to the Word of God.  They have an agenda.  And their agenda trumps God.

    Discipleship vs. Discipline.  Who watches over JD’s soul?

    ________________________________

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  7. Quoting someone above,

    However, I don’t agree with you [Dustin] that Christians must or should insist upon getting counselled by someone with spiritual training (whatever that’s supposed to be).
    This is particularly relevant to me, living in Japan.
    What are the odds that I’ll find a professional therapist who’s also a Christian, should I ever need one? If it ever comes to that, I may have to be content with someone who respects my beliefs, even if he or she doesn’t fully understand them.

    I had clinical depression for many years, and anxiety – was diagnosed by psychiatrists. At least one shrink I saw was a self professing Christian, not sure about the religious views of the others.

    While seeing these shrinks over the years (and the occasional psychologist), I also read books by Christian doctors about depression and anxiety, seeing if there was some advice they could give that would free me.

    (Reading the Bible, attending church, having faith in God for a healing, and prayer – the usual stuff Christians tell you to do – did not alleviate the depression and anxiety.)

    I found the books on these issues by Non Christian doctors much better, more practical, and easier to understand.

    There were a very small number of books by Christian doctors that were okay, but the vast majority of books, sermons, or magazine articles on depression and anxiety by Christians were worthless. Totally worthless.

    Even most Christian psychologists / psychiatrists inject a lot of simplistic advice or platitudes into their books and blogs on these subjects.

    Some of the Christian authors feel the need to inject Bible verses to prove their assertions every other sentence. I grew really tired of that, found the frequent Bible verse dropping distracting, not helpful.

    Some of the books by Christians were very victim-blaming, which made me angry and was another big turn-off.

    Instead of just telling me how to get out of the depression and anxiety, which is what I was looking for (a solution that would work), these Christian authors would get into these long, rambling, shame-filled fests about my supposed sin.

    These authors were arguing my personal sin or lack of faith was behind my depression and anxiety (I disagree). Those books only made me feel worse and did not offer any steps out of the anxiety and depression…

    For that, for material that actually helped me, I had to read book by Non Christians!

    I only saw a very small number of Christian mental health professionals that “got it.” Most Christians, both laypersons and Christian mental health professionals and “counselors,” however, are into casting stones at the hurting and assigning them blame, rather than actually helping them get out of the pain.

    I also find the theological assumptions puzzling. I accepted Jesus Christ as savior before I reached the age of ten. Here I was at ages 20, 25, 30, 35, reading books by Christians who kept hitting me over the head with a “sin” messages – as in, my personal sin (supposedly) was what was behind my depression.

    I’m like, these authors are talking to me as though I am a Non Christian, but I’m not.

    I accepted Christ as Savior before I was ten years old. Jesus dealt with my sin already, he let my sin go, why can’t these book authors who are lecturing me? Why do the Christian counselors and Christian authors want to dwell on my supposed sin, when God says he remembers my sin no more (Hebrews 8:12)?

    It’s puzzling to me why and how some Christians keep treating a forgiven sinner as though they are still an unforgiven Non-Christian.

    (Which is not to say that Christians cannot and do not keep sinning after they accept Christ, but I find it weird that someone like me who had accepted Christ as a child and was sincerely trying to follow Jesus was none the less being treated like a militant, God-hating atheist by some of these Christian authors/counselors.

    Some of these Christian authors made it sound like if I only got right with God or kept admitting I’m a sinner, or if I only kept focusing on my sin, that the depression and anxiety would go away on its own, somehow.

    Very weird logic in some of these books and blogs, don’t see how dwelling on any supposed sin is supposed to help depression and anxiety.)

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  8. My post above got me to thinking about a church site that said their church was going to start offering biblical counseling to people undergoing depression or other problems.

    This church’s site said they were affiliating with some Christian counseling group or something or other. They provided sample material on their site from the Christian counseling group, including one huge page of their goals and beliefs and stuff.

    (I believe I provided a link to that church’s offer to counsel people at TWW many months ago. Oddly, nobody there commented on that link, or not much.)

    I skimmed down that church’s big long page of what their counseling would be like, and it was terrible.

    I don’t remember everything in it, but what did stand out in my mind is at one point on the list, they come right out and admit that they are not interested in healing you and helping you get over whatever problem you have (such as depression or whatever it may be) – they want to you deal with your personal sin, they said.

    The whole tone of their list was very unloving. They obviously do not have a clue what it’s like to have depression.

    I also have to say if the goal of your counseling is to make someone think about sin all day long, rather than heal them of depression, you’re not doing counseling. You’re doing church.

    Theology, preaching, and playing church vs. counseling people are all very different things.

    It’s like if a church said they are putting on an auto repair workshop where they will have church elders there who will call themselves “mechanics,” but they say when you bring your car in to get the flat tire or oil changed, they will not change the tire or oil, but will instead lecture you on how awful your personal sin is, and how your sin led your car to have a flat tire.

    Okay, that is not being a mechanic. That is not auto repair. That will do nothing to get the person’s flat tire fixed. That is churchy stuff under another title.

    If I bring my beat up, old car to your “auto repair week” ministry to get it fixed, and you don’t actually put a new tire on my car, but you lecture me the whole time I’m at the auto class that I am a terrible sinner and you keep pointing to my flat tire and saying, “see, you have a flat tire” – you’re not doing auto repair, you are still doing church, you are victim blaming, you’re not doing anything to actually rectify my situation (ie, fix the tire), and that leaves me at square one: a car with a flat tire.

    I do not know why these proponents of this stuff do not comprehend this and how utterly useless it is.

    They think pointing to the Gospel solves everything, or telling me what a sinner I am changes things… it doesn’t.

    If I burn my toast, you pointing at it and telling me, “Your toast is burnt” and that I need the Gospel, that Jesus came to rescue sinners, or that I’m a horrible sinner, does not un-burn my toast. I’m still left with burnt toast.

    (Also, I already accepted Christ in childhood, I don’t need to hear from the umpteenth time in my life the Gospel message or that Jesus died for my sins.)

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  9. One of the best therapists I know is Buddhist.

    Good therapists will respect your beliefs. It is not their job to question your values and beliefs unless those values and beliefs are harmful to self and/or others.

    A good therapist will help you gain insight into what is making you unhappy, help you change what you want to change, and help you cope with what cannot be changed such as past trauma or an incurable illness.

    I do not recommend that Christians seek out a Christian therapist simply because there is so much potential for harm depending upon what that Christian therapist believes.

    It is dangerous to the mental health of a parient for a therapist to tell a victim of sexual abuse that they too are a totally depraved sinner, no better than their abuser, that they must forgive the abuser, that they must examine how their own sins contributed to the ‘situation’, and that their continuing to dwell on their trauma is evidence of sinful bitterness.

    It is dangerous to the physical health and very lives of the spouse and children of an abuser to be told that abuse is not grounds for divorce.

    It is dangerous to children when Christian counselors believe that pedophiles can repent and be healed and then their sexual attraction to children will go away. It won’t. Some people can choose not to act on these feelings but they must remove themselves from situations where they have access to children. They must see their therapist. They may need medication. They shouldn’t hang around playgrounds, teach, operate a day care in their home, babysit, or become involved in children’s church, etc. And it is a really bad idea to suggest they marry a single mom with children in their church.

    There is the issue of training. A good therapist should have good academic training in clinical psychology and that does not come from seminaries which denounce the discipline of psychology.

    A good therapist does not dismiss the physical causes of mental illness. The evidence is overwhelming that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are brain disorders. Other diseases can have psychiatric components. It would be disastrous to treat out of control diabetes, hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems, anemia etc with either psychogical or spiritual counseling and miss the underlying illness that needs to be treated by a medical doctor.

    I have personal experience with the cognitive and psychiatric problems caused by a neurodegenerative disease. Just imagine how tragic it is to watch a devout Christian and former Sunday School superintendent throw a temper tantrum at age 50 over not getting a large enough scoop of ice cream or abusing his wife over not finishing a household chore (because she is doing a different one that he demanded she stop and do instead not ten minutes before). Medication and adaptation of the sick person’s environment is necessary. It may also be necessary for the caregiver spouse to seek out medication, therapy, and even divorce when he or she cannot remain in the marriage and be safe.

    As for depression, it can have both situational and physical causes. Even situational depression can require meds. First, people can be too depressed to work with their therapist and need medication for a limited period of time. Second, when depression goes on too long, it actually changes the brain, necessitating medication.

    There are excellent Christian psychologists, psychiatrists and clinical social workers out there who can help, but given some very odd and harmful attitudes and beliefs among Christian counselors these days, I don’t recommend going to a Christian counselor unless I know for sure that the specific person in question is trained and experienced and does not hold dangerous beliefs.

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  10. I wish people would stop saying that JD Hall has repented. He HAS apologized publicly. That is the beginning of repentance. True repentance will be obvious, or not, over time with a change of direction and actions being seen.

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  11. Dustin –

    I do believe you should back off “calling out” Caner for a good long time. He has lost a child. To continue your pursuit with him at this time seems heartless. Are you loving him the way you would want someone to love/treat you and your family if you were in the same circumstances?

    Comparing what you want to do in continuing to call out Caner with those calling out Driscoll and Mahaney is comparing apples and oranges. Driscoll and Mahaney have not lost children to suicide.

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  12. Marsha, I agree with your whole post. Very well stated.

    Yes, I’ve read and learned before that a competent mental health professional will respect your spiritual/ religious beliefs. Their goal is not to change your views on God or religion. (There might be a few hacks or incompetent ones who might try, -who knows- but they’re trained not to do that.)

    It’s very important for people to shop around for a mental health professional, even if you decide to use a Non-Christian one.

    One reason you need to shop around is it is a matter of fit. Maybe you don’t like the personality of the first mental health professional you see.

    I saw a Non-Christian mental health professional or two (at least I assume they were NCs) who seemed to be “phoning it in.” They were coasting. They didn’t really take an interest in me.

    I sometimes wondered if the scribbling they were making on their note pad as I talked was them taking notes on my comments – or if they were secretly making cartoon doodles because they were bored by what I was saying. I dropped those guys and tried other psychologists.

    There can also be abusive or dangerous Non Christian mental health professionals, such as men who sexually prey on vulnerable women patients, for instance.

    So even if you are hurting from depression or whatever you’re going through do not let your guard down, not even around a Non-Christian mental health professional.

    Do not automatically trust every counselor or psychologist you see. You have to be discerning.

    There are different types of psychology paradigms and approaches, too…. you might want to find out which type your mental health professional that you are considering visiting subscribes to, and understand which type would benefit you the most.

    If your mental health professional is into the Freudian approach (Psychoanalysis), for example, you may spend almost every single session discussing your childhood with your doctor, or how your mother treated you as you were growing up, or how you felt about your father.

    If you don’t think dwelling on your childhood or parents would be helpful to you currently, or whatever crisis you are in, you need to find a therapist who is into something else, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

    There are many web pages that explain all this, here is just one:
    Different approaches to psychotherapy
    (from the American Psychological Association site)

    Anyway. I usually found Non-Christian content on depression and anxiety much more practical, less judgmental, and more helpful, than the majority of Christian things I heard or read on the topic.

    Christians have a tendency to beat around the bush about things or make everything into a drawn on Sunday School lesson, but Non Christians typically get straight to the point.

    Christians who scream at, guilt trip, or who scold hurting Christians away from using Non-Christian anything -(whether mental health professionals or whatever)- are exacerbating the problem, hurting people further, and keeping people trapped in a problem, when they should be freeing them.

    At my age, I’m more interested in solutions that work, rather than in being 100% doctrinally pure and correct on every facet of life.

    Also, the older I get, the Christians who insist on being doctrinally correct at every point in life on everything all the time -depending on the particular person it’s coming from- they either strike me as being terribly naive, impractical, or spiritually prideful, spiritually stubborn….

    Or, they remind me of legalistic, nit-picky Pharisees (like the ones who got ticked off that Jesus healed a woman on the Sabbath. Don’t you know Jesus was supposed to let that woman suffer one more day, to uphold the Sabbath? It was more important and godly to honor the Sabbath than to help a human being).

    Oh my gosh, you could probably be healed of depression if you took medications and went to a Non-Christian psychologist or read books by Non-Christian therapists, BUT, that isn’t biblically or gospelley enough, you’re not sticking it out just relying on prayer alone, so you should forgo a healing via a doctor and just suffer, but look at how spiritual you are. – *barf*

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  13. BREAKING NEWS: “In a pre-recorded video announcement, Mark Driscoll told his congregation this morning that he will take at least six weeks off as lead pastor of Mars Hill Church while charges against him are investigated. The message was played at each campus this morning. Executive elder Dave Bruskas will preach the remainder of the I John series.”

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/08/24/announcement-mark-driscoll-will-take-time-off-while-charges-against-him-are-investigated/

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  14. Oh wonderful. First thing I’d like to know is who is investigating Driscoll? His own bought and paid for “elders?” Or the police? The fact that he has plans for a comeback tells me this is just a PR ploy. Otherwise, why not just tough it out (if you’re convinced of your own innocence), or else confess and leave of you know you’re guilty? In big religion, as in all politics, investigations tend to be no more than tools to distract and delay–and ultimately exonerate.

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  15. @ Gary W,
    “Driscoll preached at Bellevue at 8:30 am to a packed house. According to sources in church this morning, Driscoll said he is meeting with mature Christian men unrelated to the church. The message is being played at other locations this morning.”
    Source:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/08/24/announcement-mark-driscoll-will-take-time-off-while-charges-against-him-are-investigated/

    Throckmorton said he’ll have updates about this story on his blog on Patheos through out the day today.

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  16. Before anyone comments that this is a move in the right direction, stop being so gullible. Driscoll should have resigned, and the fact that he will step away from his pulpit for six weeks makes this a mockery of the ministry.

    J. D. Hall : a mockery of the ministry
    C.J. Mahaney: a mockery of the ministry

    Walk away from these churches. Stop giving them money. You are not a bunch of stupid sheep who are incapable of thinking for yourself. You don’t need these men to tell you what to do. Walk away!

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  17. Give me 10 minutes and I’m putting up a new article about Driscoll. Normally I don’t care about mixing up subjects, but the counseling one is so important to me and I know people have a lot to say about Driscoll.

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  18. Gary,

    _______has been mentioned throughout this thread….should you bring to everyones attention as others mentioned also, no? Dwell? Making a statement is not dwelling.

    And, you are free to divide ______ into however many groups you wish; you will not be the first and you can add your own ‘label’ (or even start your own “ism”) KKK, but it will not change the evil doctrine no matter how many petals one believes in- for each petal of that flower is filled with poison. Jesus Christ does not put people into collective groups, and neither should we. We are called to love all people, not just those within whatever group with whom we may agree. Let’s all understand it is man that puts himself into groups and it is man who labels and it is individuals who boast I’m a _______. I personally detest this practice; this is why we have countless religions today which only causes division among people. It is therefore necessary to understand that what the mind has been taught (system of beliefs) is imperative in understanding the root of any problem, and that those beliefs manifest themselves in behaviors of those who ascribe to certain teachings.

    “Not all spiritual predators subscribe to the doctrines that came out of Geneva”.

    Nor do I believe this; I said this man is yet another example of one who does follow the teachings of ______and the fruits are evident of this doctrine as we are seeing all too often. Predators often use the guise of religion, they love ‘church’. It isn’t enough to call someone a ‘predator’ we need to understand who the predator ‘enemy’ is in order that we may not send victims back for more deceit or possible abuse and in some cases death. I hope more will speak up about this. Do I dare mention yet another pastor who is a _______preacher, Mark Driscoll, who has stepped down for 6 whole weeks while being investigated (this part is funny) for abuse of power, lying,, bullying……………….4 men in one article common belief ________.

    We are warned over and over again be not deceived and do not exchange the TRUTH for lies.

    Also. while I absolutely LOVE Lord of the Rings the author’s theology comes through in the writings and makes for great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. There was an article in the Huffington Post yesterday discussing that former pastors brought the charges, and it is only going to the church elders.  This is not a police thing. 

    But this is news today that he is temporarily stepping down.

    ________________________________

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  20. Pondering,

    You had said:
    “we will LOVE them by speaking the TRUTH!”

    My response:
    Well, as much as I agree with that statement, we also need to realize that there is a time to not speak at all, which is my point with Dustin.

    Proverbs 17:28
    Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

    1 Thessalonians 4:11
    And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    Ecclesiastes 3:7
    …a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

    If Caner has spiritually abused anyone, let him or her speak. To my knowledge, everyone has lied. Is Caner the only one? Isn’t Satan known as the accuser? When Satan accuses, is he wrong about the accusation?

    Revelation 12:10
    And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

    Proverbs 30:10
    Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

    And let’s not forget about this one:

    John 8:10-11
    When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    Well, I see stone throwing going on.

    Jude 1:9
    Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

    2 Peter 2:11
    Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

    You see, all of these Bible verses that I bring to the attention of Dustin means nothing to Dustin, nor do they mean anything to P&P. They think that they are loving Ergun Caner by their constant accusations? I think not. Satan does not love and he constantly accuses, day and night. Their definition of love is twisted.

    However, having said all of that, they will do as Satan does, and not as Jesus does.

    Jesus does not condemn, Satan does.

    Ed

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  21. Ed,

    “….we also need to realize there is a time to not speak at all, which is my point with Dustin”

    “all of these Bible verses that I bring to the attention of Dustin means nothing to Dustin, not do they mean anything to P&P”

    “they think they are loving Caner”

    I agree and I will say again these men have proven to be dangerous and they think this a game that is to be played out in public. Dustin even boasts of playing nice with “those who don’t share his theological convictions” while making a human being, Mr. Caner, who is still grieving his dead son, his “project”. You see a narcissist has to convince you to believe what they want you to believe because you see Ed, you and others, “you both misunderstand him”. But remember his words, “I have no intention to stop loving him (Caner) by calling him to repentance so that his soul may be unburdened and his mind set free”. These men do believe it is they who are to relieve man of his sin not God and they have proven and said again they will use “whatever form that takes”, and I shutter thinking of these evil vile words. They believe in a god of force created by another man and these men live out what they believe and they call it love, grace and kindness. Yes, they do desire to set minds free, Screwtape?

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Pondering, I get very confused by this behavior. Because if they truly held to their doctrinal convictions (that God is sovereign), wouldn’t they’d count themselves as lowly worms unable to control anything?? and that God controls every molecule???

    If they hold to those doctrinal beliefs, you’d think someone would call them out for idolatry-for believing they could have influence to control anything and trying to usurp God’s authority while going after Caner endlessly. So in other words, by trying to control people, aren’t they in fact saying they are like God and/or can do better than him? That seems pretty arrogant to me.

    Note: please note that I am bringing up a specific aspect of a doctrinal belief within the system of Calvinism. I’m ok discussing it like this. I will soon try to do a post explaining what I have a problem with when labeling Calvinism in general and why I request that we not throw out generalities. Hang on with me. I’m sure this is confusing to some.

    Like

  23. JA,

    Bingo! God placed these men behind the pulpits, for they are men called by God, and God is sovereign therefore all that happens is God’s will, even abuse. Don’t try to solve a problem, it is all God’s will. Manipulation. They do think they are like God, some even believe they are, they demand submission and will use force, read the numerous stories of the spiritual tyranny and start believing people who have become prey to this wickedness.They believe that the keys to the kingdom have been given to them. Some, such as CJ Mahaney even believe they will stand in your stead. It is the leaders, pastors and elders, who have been given the ability to interpret for the masses, we are too stupid, totally depraved, worms that crawl on their bellies, nothing but filthy rags. It is they who have all authority to forgive and seek forgiveness from others. This is why evil men such as CJ Mahaney’s SGM forced victims no matter how old to forgive their abusers, now we see JD Hall and Dustin Germain trying to force repentance form Caner? Why do they care so much. Caner is a threat to their empire. So why are the members shocked when their pastor behaves in such a way as CJ Mahaney or Mark Driscoll? Why don’t they step down? They have already depraved the mind of all the members of their cults. These men have NO desire to relinquish their power or their empire.

    Our hearts and our minds have been created by God almighty and no matter what lies we have been taught, our conscious will always bear witness to the TRUTH! Remember who asked these words? Pontius Pilate, he asked our Lord, ‘What is Truth?’. This was the exact same teaching going on when our Lord was alive. I believe with all my heart that this is why there is so much mental illness. I do lay this at the feet of the institution. We are being taught a doctrine that contradicts the very word of God. People are losing everything from their minds, children, husbands, wives, homes, friends……due to the lies being brainwashed. We need to question and allow them and discuss, get understanding, encourage and equip one another to understand what is going on in the institutions in America; it is not just the mega churches, they are just the big dogs in the game. I hope no one ever puts money in their pockets again, oh the church calls this tithing.

    Calvinism/New Calvinism’s plan is to take over every single church. i would encourage those reading this thread to begin looking up and reading about this as much as possible. Wasn’t it 2009 that Time Magazine included this movement in an article about 10 things most changing the world……this has been in the works for years. Praise God many people are beginning to see, thanks to people like JA who have had the courage to stand up to abuse in the church and begin a blog. Do not wait to be a victim of this vile, evil hate-filled doctrine, I hope you took good notes as I did on Dustin’s comments. He has left behind much to dissect and learn from. I have said before that I have begun to call these pastors who teach this doctrine “fallen pastors” because they remind me of Satan who come disguised as light. God has given us warning after warning and countless examples to learn from. The God they have created is a tyrant. Period.

    “Every single person who believes in Jesus Christ has been given a helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you”. Praise God! We are not alone, although many may feel alone and cold and wounded. May we all find strength in the promises of the word of God as we continue to seek understanding, knowledge and wisdom. We are not ordinary men and women we are a holy people.

    I have studied this for years and years after I was told that I might not be elected (this was just after being diagnosed with an illness). Darkness came over me and created a life of fear and anxiety. Friends, we can know TRUTH. God is GOOD and He created man in HIS image and we too are GOOD, NOT evil. We need to begin to love ourselves as GOD love us and know God and love Him- then we will love our neighbors as we love ourselves; and if we do not have love for self, how can we love our neighbors? If you hate yourself because you have been taught you are wicked then you will hate your brother and man will stop at nothing to achieve his ends.

    sorry so long, there is much to discuss.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. paperthinhymn,

    You said: Sorry, could have used better choice of words- the phrase “acting out” is a local colloquialism used up here in my town in Canada.

    Could you explain what this colloquialism means to you in Canada, so that I will better understand your response?

    Like

  25. Pondering,

    You had said:
    “I hope you took good notes as I did on Dustin’s comments. He has left behind much to dissect and learn from.”

    Your rant was spot on! I’m glad that you have been unleashed to use the C word!!

    For me, Dustin’s comments are not new. It’s old rehash from others that spew the same thing. It’s almost like a cut and paste. There is nothing original from the heart. That is why I do not, nor will not give Dustin the benefit of the doubt when he is being nice and polite. I already know that it is a tactic that they use to manipulate. I can see right thru them. So, I do not give Dustin any credence in anything that he states, not even when he is trying to say that he is nice to those who do not agree with him theologically, because his ultimate goal is to get them to agree with him theologically, unwittingly. They are good manipulators and control freaks. You are right to have others dissect his words.

    Ed

    Like

  26. Brenda,

    You had said:
    “Could you explain what this colloquialism means to you in Canada, so that I will better understand your response?”

    Do you remember Bob and Doug McKenzie?

    Good Day ay

    Ed

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  27. I can’t imagine, “acting out” meaning anything different, but I’m not from Canada. I guess they can make it into anything they want, but it was not explained or my question answered.

    Like

  28. Brenda,

    Bob and Doug, played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas are ficticious comic characters playing the Canadian stereotype of being Canadian dimwits. They were a popular segment on SCTV and CBS late at night in the early 80’s.

    Two of their famous songs were
    1. Take Off (To the Great White North) and
    2. Twelve Days of Christmas

    In the 12 Days of Christmas:
    On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a beer.

    Then there was 7 pounds of back bacon, 6 French Toast…etc.

    OK, so it was funny in the 80’s!!

    Ed

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  29. Julie Anne,

    We have a mutual Canadian friend. I’m being funny, not derogatory. Canadians do have a different way of speaking English, even in spelling sometimes. My own mother is French Canadian.

    Comedy was funny in the 80’s. What happened since then?

    Like

  30. If you didn’t have a heated article with Dustin, it would be a different story. I saw one comment in particular yesterday that seemed personal rather than debating the topic. Just try to stick to the topic and not make it personal. I know this stuff frustrates you. You and I are on the same page there. I, too, want to figure out what’s going on with P&P and if they feel a responsibility to make things right, especially as you pointed out that they thought Hall should have apologized. I want to know what their plans are for the future.

    Ok, carry on.

    Like

  31. SCTV and CBS late at night in the early 80’s.

    That’s the problem Ed. Late night and me generally were never a mix. 9:00 PM was about as late night as I got and up at 4 am. Now I’ve gotten older and have health issues that sometimes keep me awake when I don’t really want to be. I do remember the 12 days of Christmas song though. That must have gotten played on the radio.

    Like

  32. Dustin,

    I attempted to comment on P & P’s recent Repentant thread. I won’t have a twitter account nor would I want my comments on twitter anyway. I don’t want my comments on Facebook. I don’t have a WordPress account.

    P & P has a different format in how they receive comments.

    I will add that one can call out someone to repent if they think it warrants it..

    P & P accomplished that objective along time ago with Dr. Caner. This crusade has turned into a sinful obsession. You made your views clear to your audience and to Dr. Caner.

    It would be reckless to rule out that this obsession hasn’t had a tragic affect on the Caner Family. (which is why I’m sure JD has partially toned down the rhetoric)

    Like

  33. Dustin,

    Were you aware the Mark’s comments are not getting posted at P&P? If so, why aren’t his comments being approved?

    Mark, please feel free to copy and paste comments that are not posted here. I’d like to see them. I just took a look at the thread and see Ed debating Rhology.

    Like

  34. Mark, It occurred to me that there’s a possibility that your comment could have gone to their spam box. That happens here occasionally. So, let’s give the benefit of the doubt there. I sent a tweet letting them know that you have a stuck comment and asked if they could check their spam box.

    Like

  35. Julie Anne,

    When I attempted to post the above comment to P & P, it only had 3 exclusive options wordpress, twitter and facebook. no longing having an alternating option of email, name and site.

    Not sure how Ed was able to post.

    If you have the ability to paste my comment on the August 23 P & P “Repent” post, I would really appreciate it.

    Like

  36. Let’s see if Dustin will take a look here and see if he can offer a suggestion. They might be able to change some settings for that and not be aware of that issue.

    Like

  37. “The last thing that I will say before returning to regularly scheduled programming in regards to seeking counseling/therapy/etc., is something that I mentioned above.

    They are applauding that JD Hall repented. However, what is missed in that applause is that the applause is an admitting that JD Hall actually sinned.

    That is key. JD Hall actually sinned. However, no one prior to JD Hall’s “repenting” ever admit that JD Hall sinned. As a matter of fact, JD Hall himself kept asking people such questions to people as “Show me in the Bible that it is wrong”, etc.

    Now, if Dustin actually thought that JD Hall was “in sin” before JD Hall’s supposed “repentance”, maybe Dustin can show me where he posted such.

    Who, of P&P believed, or believe, that JD Hall was sinning?

    And if anyone did, let’s play the game of “Name That Sin”.”

    Ed,
    I hope this following sentence will serve to be more than sufficient to give you clarity on my position of whether or not I thought it was sinful. I responded previously to this, but perhaps you missed it or

    JD sinned in engaging Braxton. It was unwise, unhelpful, misdirected and should not have done so. Full-stop.

    Julie Anne,
    Anyways, I’ve said it privately and publicly before and after he issued his apology, with differing degrees of nuance as I tried to be thoughtful in my approach of the situation. Especially initially when a lot of bad arguments were being made and I was having to think through all the different scenarios and biblical applications to these issues. For example, one woman said [in all caps] “ITS ALWAYS SINFUL TO TALK TO A MINOR ABOUT SPIRITUAL THINGS WITHOUT THEIR PARENTS CONSENT AND PERMISSION.” That thought is something that I took the time to stop and think about and poke and prod at to see if it held weight or not.

    Speaking only of myself here, and not of anyone else, quite frankly I had never encountered this unique situation on social media before, and it was important to me to try to be really precise with my words without having all the facts or understanding the motivations of all parties involved. I spent a bit of time on the defensive, as I tried to dispel what I considered to be bad arguments or inconsistent and irrational logic relating to this issue. But the more that came to light, particularly as JD elaborated on his motivations, the more forceful my statements became. There is a progression of outspokenness- sure- but it came not from people demanding that I issue a statement before the dust had settled and before I considered these things, but as more information came to light.

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  38. “Dustin,

    Why is Jordan, as you call him, back behind his mic again, so soon after his supposed written “apology”, and “repentance”? I thought he had a local church to attend to.

    This shows me that his so-called repentance was not as sincere as you lay out. Pretty soon he will be right back into the narcissist star seeking public speaker position that he always has desired.

    This is why I do not give JD the benefit of the doubt. Feigned repentance is what I see. Public outrage is what drove him to repent.

    It’s like a polititian stating, “IF (IF) I offended anyone, I apologize”. But to those who were not offended, he does not apologize. He stands by what he did, or said.

    Ed”

    Ed, while writing and blogging and researching can take up a lot of time- the program doesn’t. It takes about 4 hours of Jordan’s week and only requires a modest time commitment- giving him more than enough time and energy to attend to his flock.

    As far as why “he’s back so soon” Well, we all have different subjective levels of how soon is too soon, and these will naturally conflict and be disagreed upon. Some people think “never” is too soon. Some people think a year is “too” soon. We all have our preferences and there’s no hard or fast rules surrounding these things.I personally don’t think it’s too soon and am glad to have it back.

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  39. “Dustin,

    Why is Jordan, as you call him, back behind his mic again, so soon after his supposed written “apology”, and “repentance”? I thought he had a local church to attend to.

    This shows me that his so-called repentance was not as sincere as you lay out. Pretty soon he will be right back into the narcissist star seeking public speaker position that he always has desired.

    This is why I do not give JD the benefit of the doubt. Feigned repentance is what I see. Public outrage is what drove him to repent.

    It’s like a polititian stating, “IF (IF) I offended anyone, I apologize”. But to those who were not offended, he does not apologize. He stands by what he did, or said.

    Ed”

    You are free to not believe Jordan all you wish- and you may also theorize and assert what you think this necessarily means all you will- that is certainly your prerogative. While I can surmise that you won’t take my word for it, I would certainly attest that this hit him deeply and is not feigned at all.

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  40. “Julie Anne,

    You had asked:
    “why are they not also apologizing for their part in this? Why are they not confessing their bad behavior? ”

    My response:
    That is exactly my point, JA. I believe that they, too, must “repent” since they are indeed applauding that JD Hall “repented”. But they, too, do not feel that they did anything wrong. But they were cheerleaders, which makes them just as guilty.

    Ed”

    Again, I only speak for myself, but I have checked my motivations throughout this and I don’t believe I have done anything wrong or have had bad behavior that requires confession. I understand that some people may disagree with him and I welcome any rebukes and correction directed my way, so long as they contain specific and salient considerations and points that I can tangibly think about and mull over, instead of vague generalities and accusations.

    Like

  41. “Dear Dustin,

    Thank you for taking so much time to comment here, and to respond to so many people at once. I realize that you’re taking a lot of heat, and I don’t mean to add to it. But while there might not be much that I can add to this thread, there is some advice I want to offer.”

    SKIP. Thank you for this post. It is a breath of fresh air and I really appreciate the spirit in which you address me. You definitely have my attention and my ear.

    “I’d like to add my voice to those requesting that you and your fellows at Pulpit and Pen back away from your criticism of Ergun Caner, at least for a good long time. Not because he hasn’t deserved it, not because he’s just gotten shellacked in court, and not simply because he and his family are in mourning now. In the future, if Caner starts up his bad behaviour again — especially if he files more idiotic, frivolous lawsuits — someone needs to hold him accountable. But I don’t think it should be the Pulpiteers.”

    Its definitely something that has come up- the idea of how long should we wait. I think looking to Rick warren and the tragedy in his own family is a good model. Many hateful, spiteful, vicious critics jumped at this sad circumstance , while many of his other more thoughtful critics, like Chris Rosebrough, waited a year I believe before he made public comments addressing him directly. Speaking for myself, that would be my preference- an extended time, providing that Ergun doesn’t go on the offensive and launches more lawsuits or makes more blatantly provocative statements. But as to the questions of whether the Pulpiteers should get involved or not, or us contributors should get involved, there has certainly been much discussion. Did you see the post I wrote at our blog on the future of Pulpit and Pen? That kind of lays out our focus and mission. My only concern though is that some people [not saying you] asking that question presuppose that Jordan played a direct role in Braxton killing himself- which we just don’t know. I’m on the record stating that I think Jordan’s comments, all things considered, were generally mild and benign. His motivations were sinful, as he has admitted, but I don’t think Jordan’s tweets to the young man disqualify all other people affiliated with him from ever speaking up about this issue. Certainly if someone else steps up in the future and picks up shield and the slack, then I would consider how and if I would limit my involvement in this matter.

    “Further upthread, you mentioned how much you respect JD Hall for his apology and his public act of penance. I’ve read it, and I hope very much that it is sincere, and that he’ll be a better Christian and a better man for it. Just above, however, Julie Anne posed the question: Have the Pulpiteers done the same? Have they acknowledged their own wrongdoing towards Braxton Caner, before and after his death? (I’m thinking of Rhoblogy in particular. His comments were beyond the pale.)”

    Yeah. I do love and respect Jordan and at least from my perspective he is sincere and contrite in his apology. I am not aware of all the charges against the contributors, even myself ,that would require and apology and admittance of wrong doing, but I’d be open to hear you out and examine myself. I know that I don’t agree with some of what Rhology has said and I publicly addressed it, as well as asked him about it privately. There are also many things that he said that I do agree with, so absent specifics I can’t speak too much more on that.

    “If they haven’t apologized, publicly or privately to the Caners, and they haven’t seen the need to dial down their rhetoric, then I don’t see that they have any business calling out Ergun. Not until they demonstrate that they’re willing to behave more civilly in the future. As you know, there are many blogs that bring attention to abuse and nonsense from Christian leaders. If Caner steps out of line, I’m sure someone else will point it out. It doesn’t have to be Pulpit and Pen, and for the time being at least, I don’t think it should be. Like JD Hall, the Pulpiteers should probably save their breath to cool their own bowl of soup.”

    I know that most of us have extended our condolences to Ergun at the loss of his son. As far as dialing down the rhetoric…I think that all things considered, compared not only to the rhetoric that other people have launched [I wrote a post on thepaperthinhymn.com about Craig D, for example, and his inflammatory and destructive tweets, but also in proportion to the situation, the rhetoric has been pretty even and level and thoughtful, even as we are frequently being baited and roasted by various people. Speaking for myself, I think I have been nothing if not gracious throughout this thing, with a few words directed towards Peter Lumpkins that I wish I would have held back juuuuust a little.

    “Getting back to the original topic, I’m glad to hear that you support Christians seeking help from professional counselors and psychologists. It pains me to think that there are brothers and sisters who are being denied that kind of care when they need it. However, I don’t agree with you that Christians must or should insist upon getting counselled by someone with spiritual training (whatever that’s supposed to be). This is particularly relevant to me, living in Japan. What are the odds that I’ll find a professional therapist who’s also a Christian, should I ever need one? If it ever comes to that, I may have to be content with someone who respects my beliefs, even if he or she doesn’t fully understand them.”

    Good thoughts, and again- thank you for this post. I liked and appreciated everything about it.

    Like

  42. “Thanks, Dustin. What about the tweets of other Pulpiteers who were following and joining along with JD as he pursued Braxton?”

    You’ll have to be more specific. I say that because I have no idea who is a pulpiteer and who is not. I don’t know who they are and certainly don’t have any numbers on them or lists that lets me know who they are. There’s no sort of “sign up sheet” or anything like that. Perhaps Jordan has access to something that I don’t, but for the most part Pulpiteers are people who help disseminate information mostly and get free swag every now and then. Given that its really hard, if not impossible to know if some person saying something overly harsh, cruel or stupid is a pulpiteer or not.

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  43. MissDaisy, in repsonse to your two longer posts, I tend to agree with you. I don’t think people realize how important it is to have a professional, non-hack counselor/therapist/psychologist and how damaging it can be when people are trying their best when they are in over their heads. Quite frankly, I think professional counselling for all areas of life- finances, relationships, brokenness, sexual abuse, bitterness, whatever-should be a major thrust and ministry for the Church. Even if three or four smaller Churches have to band together and hire or refer collectively to one person- they should do it, and they should foot the bill.

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  44. “Dustin –

    I do believe you should back off “calling out” Caner for a good long time. He has lost a child. To continue your pursuit with him at this time seems heartless. Are you loving him the way you would want someone to love/treat you and your family if you were in the same circumstances?

    Comparing what you want to do in continuing to call out Caner with those calling out Driscoll and Mahaney is comparing apples and oranges. Driscoll and Mahaney have not lost children to suicide.”

    Bridget, see my above responses which I adressed this a bit. I agree that Caner should not be engaged directly for a good long while.

    The comparison of Caner to Driscoll was made in reference to pre-son suicide, and would likely apply afterwards.

    Like

  45. Dustin,

    My 9:28 a.m. SSB note to you this morning was actually supposed to go to Rhoblogy but P & P changed their format. It was a response to his Repentance post.

    Like

  46. “Pondering, I get very confused by this behavior. Because if they truly held to their doctrinal convictions (that God is sovereign), wouldn’t they’d count themselves as lowly worms unable to control anything?? and that God controls every molecule???

    If they hold to those doctrinal beliefs, you’d think someone would call them out for idolatry-for believing they could have influence to control anything and trying to usurp God’s authority while going after Caner endlessly. So in other words, by trying to control people, aren’t they in fact saying they are like God and/or can do better than him? That seems pretty arrogant to me.

    Note: please note that I am bringing up a specific aspect of a doctrinal belief within the system of Calvinism. I’m ok discussing it like this. I will soon try to do a post explaining what I have a problem with when labeling Calvinism in general and why I request that we not throw out generalities. Hang on with me. I’m sure this is confusing to some.”

    Julie Anne, I am not the strongest in these issues, but most of this stuff comes down to the issue of Compatibilism and the secret and revealed will of God. I know you probably don’t want to get into it, but I developed my viewpoint on this by looking at the fact that God made the relationship between God hating murder and torture, and yet actively decreeing and determining that his only son would be murdered and tortured, and the interrelationship between all those facets.

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  47. “paperthinhymn,

    You said: Sorry, could have used better choice of words- the phrase “acting out” is a local colloquialism used up here in my town in Canada.

    Could you explain what this colloquialism means to you in Canada, so that I will better understand your response?”

    Brenda, I grew up in a small french Catholic town called Plamondon, in northern Alberta. Town has only about 200 people or so. We used the phrase “acting out” to refer to a direct challenge or a sustained challenge. What I was trying to indicate is that I won’t be taking the initiative and write a post about him unless It becomes relevant to do so. Thanks for the question 🙂

    Like

  48. Dustin,

    I do appreciate your thoughtful responses here. It surprised me to say the least.

    You do realize, however, that the biggest enemy that we have is not the unbelievers, but it is the believers, always back biting other believers, and a lot of strife, bickering back and forth about doctrines, pointing fingers, etc. Calling each other Pelicans or Artesians, or whatever you call them. Hell, I don’t care what those two believe. I do not base my beliefs on their beliefs, but it seems from your camp, your camp will classify people as either of those two, and I have no idea why.

    Christendom is a laughing stock to the outside world because of such things as what people do to the likes of Rick Warren and Ergun Caner.

    They look at us and laugh their freaking asses off, saying, “Hey, aren’t these the same people that preach to turn the other cheek?”

    Romans 2:24
    For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

    I implore, and beg, and plead that you, and when I say “you”, that means the whole clan of Calvinists, including Pulpit and Pen, to stop the crusade of hounding Ergun Caner, demanding, or requesting, that he repent.

    This is not a time out that I am requesting. It is a cease and desist. I am asking nicely for you to stop making Christendom a laughing stock to the world.

    No wonder why unbelievers have no desire to be Christians. Look at how we treat each other…and we call that love? No, that isn’t love. It’s hatred to the highest degree, within the organization that states, “God Loves You”.

    So, they say, “Ya, well if God loves me the way that you people show love, then I want nothing to do with your God.”

    Having said that, I do not buy into any of your doctrines at all. But, you are a part of Christendom, and therefore, you give the rest of us a bad name. And that is why I implore you to stop this nonsense with Ergun Caner. Enough is enough. And yes, I do indeed believe that JD Hall was wrong, as well as the organization of P&P, as well as James White, and all those who joined in the cheerleading and justifying.

    Respectfully,

    Ed Chapman

    P.S. Your associate Rho…he amazes me with his bible ignorance, by the way. He’s a terrible example of representing Christendom if he has no clue about the adulteress woman. His explanation was a first for me.

    Like

  49. Julie Anne/Mark: regarding comments. Right now we’re playing around a bit with the format. Some people would prefer comments to be disabled altogether, mainly because we get a lot of things off topic and it can be distracting, plus as I work a lot I’m not really around to moderate if things get too heated or personal. We’re all busy and there’s less to content with. Other people want comments open and people can post to their hearts content.

    I personally prefer an open combox. I hate when my own comments are held in moderation or when people just choose not to post them, usually when I think I made a salient point. If I had my way, the only time I would moderate are if people are using legitimately abusive language or if someone is not dialogue in good faith-like they ask a ton of questions but won’t answer any posed to him or her. Then I might hold in moderation until they answer stuff. But as you can tell I like engaging with people and try to give them direct answers to direct questions.

    As to the comments themselves- like I said I was playing around with different formats. I had it on that comments are closed after 48 hours or something like that. Then Ed showed up, and then Rho responded, then Ed responded. Then the cuttoff occured and so Rho couldn’t post so he emailed me and asked me to open up the comments, and so on and so forth, haha.

    Right now I have the comments set to be closed after 7 days, but hopefully all the contributors can agree on something and at the very least have them open for 24 hours. That means you should be able to post there right now if you’d like, but not on older articles. I checked the spam pending and mod boxes and its not in there so I’m guessing that’s what happened. If you’re not sure try and see if you can post on something older than a week.

    Fair warning though that i don’t know how this will play out in the near future or what we will all agree upon, or what we will all compromise on. It’s nothing to do with malicious intent or not wanting to address honest questions, but rather we just don’t have time to moderate the genuinely vile stuff.

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  50. As far as the whole psychologists thing goes, I have been reading a bit more and talking to a friend of mine. She told me that a GOOD psychologist, even if she/he vehemently disagrees with a belief that her patient holds, that they will not try to sway them from it, but incorporate that and work with it. That seems like a pretty rare thing to do, but if it could happen- that would be cool.

    My one personal experience with a psychologist was on my first visit and was overwhelmingly negative. I’m smart enough and introspective to know that her advice to me was overtly bad and awful, and so I did not return to see her, but that one bad experience doesn’t mean they all are. I would NEVER, EVER want her to counsel a Christian, no matter what.

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  51. Thanks for letting us know about the comment moderation, Dustin. A lot of us have experienced blogs where we are not allowed to comment and so that does enter our mind. I’m glad to hear of your generally open comment policy.

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  52. It’s beautiful there. We were there visiting 10 yrs ago or so. I was surprised at how light it was at 11pm. I think it was during the beginning of drilling for oil on private property.

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  53. “Julie Anne, I am not the strongest in these issues, but most of this stuff comes down to the issue of Compatibilism and the secret and revealed will of God. I know you probably don’t want to get into it, but I developed my viewpoint on this by looking at the fact that God made the relationship between God hating murder and torture, and yet actively decreeing and determining that his only son would be murdered and tortured, and the interrelationship between all those facets”

    Not sure if it is appropriate to respond to this or not. If not, please delete.

    Dustin is relating one of the problems with coming to scripture through a systematic theology of determinism. Here he is describing the penal substitutionary atonement theory and trying to make God fit within that system. This atonement theory relies heavily on ESS (Eternal Subordination of the Son). A pecking order with the Trinity effectively painting Jesus Christ as a lesser god.

    So it starts off wiht a wrong premise and and we end up with a god that has secret wills and is an abusive murdering “father”. It also ignores the use of metaphorical language those in the 1st Century would understand well.

    We do not have this problem if Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. Hebrews 1 says

    3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

    In 1st Century Hebrew thinking, doing business with the eldest son was just like doing business with his father. He would be the full representation of his dad. The Pharisees got this and it make them want to kill Jesus as we see in John 5:

    18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

    They often interpret Phil 2 badly to make their point. Bruce Ware uses 1 Corin 11 which is a total stretch.

    If Jesus Christ is not fully God “in the flesh” and had to be ordered by His Father to sacrifice himself, then He is not much of a Savior. He is a lesser god who follows orders. To take His”human” resevervations about suffering to that conclusion is something that seriously grieves me.

    It is interesting to look at NT verses concerning resurrection. In one, the Holy Spirit is resurrecting Jesus Christ, in others the Father is resurrecting and Jesus refers to raising Himself up in 3 days.

    I sometimes think Christians should learn the Shema first.

    “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one”

    And go back to Genesis 1: Let US make man…

    There is a lot more to this that has permeated much of Christendom for years making God out to be a cosmic child abuser. It is a crying shame.

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  54. Thanks Lydia,

    What you are really saying is that at the very least, New Calvinists are semi-Arians. Not only do they have an unbiblical soteriology and an unbiblical ecclesiology, but also an unbiblical Christology.

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  55. Lydia,

    This is why I believe that God is one person, not three people.

    For example,  The NT states that Jesus is in heaven.  Then it states that Jesus lives in us.

    Then it states that the Holy Spirit is in us.  

    Now, if it would have just said God is in us, and left out the nomenclature of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, that would be a different story.

    In addition, we all know the famous “commission” as it is identified as, which is to Baptize in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

    The problem with that is this:  What is the name of the Holy Spirit?  What is the Name of the Father?  What is the Name of the Son?

    OK, so, we know the name of the Son.  Jesus.  We know the Name of the Father.  Yahweh.  But who knows the name of the Holy Spirit?

    Setting that aside for the moment, when the Apostles Baptized, why did they not recite “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”?  No one in the Bible used a phrase, as church’s do today.

    They Baptized in the Name of Jesus, and yes, they actually used a name.  Jesus.

    We all say that Jesus is God incarnate.  Well, the Spirit was IN a body.  Jesus said that God is a spirit.  Well, that concludes that Jesus is the Body of God….the body of Christ.

    So, God was obedient to himself.  The body obeyed the spirit, much like our body obeys our mind.

    Hence, I don’t buy into the trinity thing.  No one invited me to the meeting, and yet, some dead people decided for me what I am to believe?  No, I decide myself.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  56. “Hence, I don’t buy into the trinity thing. No one invited me to the meeting, and yet, some dead people decided for me what I am to believe? No, I decide myself”

    Ed, You need to go hang out with Argo at unreformingtheology blog. He has a whole treatise on the Trinity. This is why I have a problem with the word “orthodoxy”. It was heterodoxy before it was orthodoxy after some “council” decided. I am Switzerland when it comes to the concept of Trinity. All I know is Jesus was God in the Flesh.

    When I was studying ESS, I kept wondering who the Lord of Host Armies was in the OT and where the Holy Spirit fit into the Trinity pecking order. I am always aware of Isaiah 9 when I think of these things.

    My biggest problem is with the word “penal”. God was punishing Himself? “Substitutionary” I can handle because I map the cross to the sacrificial system of the OT Law.

    Ryan, A lot of Non Calvinists believe in the Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory. Why? I don’t know.

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  57. Years ago, i went to secular counseling. Whadda buncha WHACK!!! A few years ago, i became convicted of sin, and so sought the Lord’s mercy. i still have issues, but now i can take those issues to the Cross. Makes all the difference in the world, knowing that even though, i’m a nut – case, i’m not so different than any other sinner, saved by the Lord’s grace.

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  58. I’m still having a hard time trying to equate sin to counseling. I think that the two have nothing to do with each other, from my perspective, anyway.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  59. Susan,
    Martin Luther believed we are only saints positionally, and we are still sinners personally. We don’t change, only our status changes. So, it’s not even like Facebook where a status change means a personal change. We are “just sinners save by grace”, and nothing more or less should be expected.

    The fact is the Bible refers to Christians as “righteous,” “holy,” “full of goodness,” and “able.”

    Susan, you are not a nutcase. You are a child of the one true God.

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  60. “The fact is the Bible refers to Christians as “righteous,” “holy,” “full of goodness,” and “able.””

    Bingo.

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  61. Kudos to Russell Moore! He understands the gospel, which is rooted in relationship, not power. God never turns his back on us. If God isolated us because of our sin, we’d be hopeless, since I’m sure even Dr. MacArthur sins daily. God listens, comforts, and is faithful despite our constant failings. He does this without condoning or accepting the sin. May we do the same with our children, regardless of the specific sins they struggle with.

    As for so-called “Biblical counseling”: logical and scientific consistency would require that a child with cerebral palsy look into his or her heart idols and repent of sin to be healed as well. Why would one deny some results of altered brain biology while accepting others? I always found that to be rather strange for a critical thinker. Mental health disease is beyond the shadow of a doubt due to altered neurobiology. To deny this is akin to saying seizures are due to demon possession, as was thought in eras past, prior to the advent of EEG and brain imaging.

    I absolutely believe that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, mental health problems can improve for many people. The most recent neuroscience shows that neurochemical activity is dynamic, not static. Interactions with the other people in the environment can actually change brain chemistry. Since God made us, He ultimately understands that the most powerful way to change this is through relationship with Him. Leaning into Him, meditating on His word, to transform/renew the mind (Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:8). Just like some people with physical handicaps experience miraculous healing, or heal without physician intervention, mental health illness can certainly heal without professional intervention. However, professional help is often needed to heal if the handicap is significant, and should not be condemned as unbiblical. Just like the child with cerebral palsy and seizures–parents pray for healing, but the child will likely also need physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthotics/ braces, possibly surgical help, and anti-seizure medications for optimal function. And just as there are competent and less competent surgeons, there are also variably competent mental health providers. Susan above who saw the quack for her depression–very sorry you did not land a good doc.

    Because we live in a sinful world, sometimes these (brain) injuries result from the sins of others (think prenatal drug and alcohol exposure). To deny this is neither scientific nor grace-filled. When one studies the neurobiology behind trauma and attachment, it’s no wonder that Jesus loved and spent so much time with the sinners outcasted by society. So much that He intentionally sought out the woman at the well. He knew that they hurt as much from their own sin as were hurt by the sins of others.

    In Christ, we have all been justified (positionally sinless, covered by the Redeemer’s blood). In practice, we must still deal with the consequences of the flesh, of the fall, living in a sinful world. But as God’s children, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us work towards better change–the lifelong process of sanctification.

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  62. Anonymous – WHAT are you smoking??

    Think about this: Just WHY would (a) god create a world with built-in ‘sin’?? In the scenario you painted above, how could a person ever win? What a way to go through life. .. * shake head, shake head *

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