Legalism, Recovery Process, Troubling Tweets

Labels and Assuming in Christianity: Can We Do Better?

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The dangers of assumptions and labeling in Christiandom

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I’ve been stewing about something for a while now and hope I can articulate my thoughts clearly. Today, I found an example that might give a window into what my brain has been stewing about.

 

Is Thabiti Anyabwile really promoting Rachel Held Evans . . . . or not?

Take a look at this tweet sent out by Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile in which he links to an article by Rachel Held Evans. Are you surprised that he linked to Rachel Held Evans?  I was.  My first thought was: cool! I think it’s great that he could look beyond their doctrinal differences and connect with Rachel on something  in her words that rings true for him.  But my second thought was:  “Uh-oh, what will his Gospel Coalition (TGC) friends think of this?”  Rachel Held Evans is not highly respected in TGC camp and I know that even linking to her blog in a positive way will likely send a message of “endorsement” to some people.

Sure enough, those comments came in:

https://twitter.com/samwisejams/status/509718315980185601

https://twitter.com/rowdie_jones/status/509720361089241088

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Is Julie Anne is in Peter Lumpkins’ camp  . . . . or not?

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The above tweet is from J.D. Hall. He tweeted this after I tweeted something about Peter Lumpkins. (My Twitter handle is @DefendtheSheep.) I don’t know much about Peter Lumpkins and his doctrinal background. I do know that he wrote an important document, a sex abuse resolution to submit to the Southern Baptist Convention. I would applaud that effort whether Lumpkins was Arminian, Calvinist, New Calvinist, or even a Muslim.  Yes, even a Muslim, because I care about protecting children from sex abuse.  You’ll notice that JD Hall (Pulpit and Pen) assumed that Lumpkins and I are on the same “side.” This is not the only tweet in which Hall has assumed we are good buddies.

 

Is Julie Anne an egalitarian . . . . or not?

A while back, I saw an article in which a Twitter follower of mine wrote an article based on one of my articles. He gave background info on me indicating I was an egalitarian. He also had me labeled in other ways which left me scratching my head, “say what?”  How could he come to those doctrinal conclusions about me when I hadn’t even come to those conclusions myself? After our discussion, he scrubbed the article.

 

Is Julie Anne’s friend, Michelle, a Calvinist . . . . .or not?

Earlier, I made a comment referring to my friend, Michelle. Michelle and her family were part of the church (BGBC and Pastor Chuck O’Neal) we came from. I mentioned that Michelle considered herself to be a Calvinist. She happened to read that comment and sent me a text saying that she didn’t consider herself to be Calvinist/Reformed, that she hadn’t read much of Calvin. Thankfully, she wasn’t offended by my comment, but I felt bad and confused. I texted her back and then called her on the phone. What had I misunderstood?

You see, a couple of years ago when their family visited our family, Michelle and I went for a walk and we had a conversation about Calvinism and TULIP, and I jokingly told her that I thought TULIP was ridiculous (I’m blunt like that). I told her that someone put together TULIP and right now it is the go-to “flower” for Calvinism and maybe next year it will be DAFFODIL as someone conjures up some other sort of system with the letters of D-A-F-F-O-D-I-L. Of course I was being facetious. I was correct in that Michelle had once identified herself as Calvinist, but now she’s not comfortable with that label. Boy, do I ever get that.

Michelle and I have gone back and forth on certain doctrinal issues,we sometimes differ in our interpretation of scripture, but we always come back to the fact that we both are in strong agreement on primary doctrinal issues. We love each other as sisters in Christ, we respect each other, and because of that, we can overlook secondary doctrinal differences. She probably won’t convince me to sway to her beliefs and I probably won’t convince her to sway to mine.  Sometimes it’s fun to debate and challenge each other, but in the end, we encourage each other towards Christ. Man, it’s great to have a friend like that.

Did David Robertson “cancel the Reformation” when he “sided” with Catholics?

My former pastor gets caught up in this black/white, all-or-nothing thinking, too.  You have to meet certain criteria for him to even associate with you. In this tweet, he calls out Scottish pastor David Robertson for aligning with Catholics based on a couple of short sentences taken out of context. This is a hot topic for O’Neal. If you like anyone who has any ministry work with Catholics, you are guilty of being in the wrong camp. O’Neal says in the tweet to listen to the 4-5 minute mark. I’d encourage you to continue listening past the 5-minute mark where Robertson explains his stance further.

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Is SSB promoting errant doctrines?

Sometimes people attempt to make things very rigid and black and white. Some of us even, including me, after having left an abusive black/white church situation can easily get caught into this trap. It’s happened here on the blog and I want to put this on the table for discussion.

Last week, I posted a very short video by N.T. Wright. I don’t know all of the doctrinal background of Wright. I posted it because many of us who were spiritually abused have gotten bogged down by errant doctrines, by man-made rules, or legalism. What I’ve heard expressed by SSB readers is a desire to go back to the foundation: a relationship with Jesus. That’s where I’m at, too. That’s what the video expressed to me. It brought me back to the importance of the gospels and of my relationship with Jesus, away from all of the spiritual clutter and confusion around me.

Some people did not like the video because they have put N.T. Wright’s teachings into a category of errant doctrine and so no matter what he says, it cannot be correct. Evidently I created quite a doctrinal ruckus causing some e-mails to be sent to others regarding my lack of judgment. Perhaps the e-mails said something like this: “Hey, did you see what JA just posted? I think she’s off her doctrinal rocker.”

I’m not quite sure how someone can decide that I’m off my doctrinal rocker as I haven’t really disclosed a lot about my doctrinal beliefs. I have a few “absolutely nots”  – ie, Patriarchy, but overall, as I have been recovering from my spiritually abusive church and residual mess, I have decided to put secondary doctrinal issues temporarily on the shelf. To me, it’s more important to save what is important and essential:  my relationship with Christ.

We are all unique individuals on a spiritual journey. For most of us, our spiritual journey has evolved or refined and sometimes we do not fit in nicely wrapped and labeled boxes.

Now – let me go a little further and relate it to SSB and the commenting here. I’ve been getting some feedback (both private a-mail and in blog comments) about how SSB is hostile towards Calvinists and there’s been criticism on how I moderate comments. There is concern that I let certain people who are labeled by some to have errant beliefs have more of a platform. The concern is that people might be influenced into wrong doctrinal beliefs. On the other side, there are those who say I let the anti-Calvinists give too much push back against Calvinists/Reformed and they dominate the blog creating a hostile environment for anyone who comes here wearing the label “Reformed or Calvinist.” There could be some truth to both of those conclusions and I’m sure that I do miss things in moderating.

That said, the primary goal of this blog is to be a refuge and encouragement for those who have suffered spiritual abuse. Now, I know there are some that will say, “but wait – – it is the Calvinist doctrine which is the heart of the abuse.”  I get why some would say that. I certainly have seen abuse in Calvinist churches. But instead of dealing with the big picture, I think it’s important to get to know people right where they are without the labels. And in order for us to do that, it’s important to make sure we know where the other person is coming from before diving in.

JA identified as Catholic, but was a Christian?

Can you stand just one more example?  Part of my childhood, I was raised Catholic. When I was in high school (a Catholic high school), I rededicated my life to Christ and devoured scripture. But I also considered myself Catholic.  But wait -you might ask – how can that be?  Well, I practiced my faith as closely to the Bible as I could, even while leading a “praise and worship team” at my Catholic church. If there was something within the Catholic tradition that did not line up with scripture, I didn’t hold to it.  For example, when I went up for communion at my Catholic church, I did not believe in Catholic transubstantiation. I took the wafer as a Protestant would take communion. The wafer did not represent the literal body and blood of Christ to me. When people around me said, “holy Mary, mother of God,” I didn’t recite that part. I rejected it.

You see, I was living in a home with Catholic parents. I felt it was my responsibility to honor my parents as best as I could while under the roof. I prayed about it and this is what I felt God telling me was acceptable for me.  I formally left the Catholic church on the day I got married and left my parents’ home. My point is that I labeled myself as a Catholic. If you were to assume I was a Catholic in the true sense of the word based on my label, there would have been misunderstanding. (A side note, not one of my immediate family is Catholic any more – they go to protestant churches.)

I think there are people who because they go to a Reformed church, label themselves as Calvinists, but may not be too clear on what that means. They may be following along because that’s where their husband brought them. It’s important that we dig deeper before assuming.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that labels do not adequately tell the whole picture, and sometimes they portray the wrong picture. Because I post a video about NT Wright,  doesn’t mean that I hold to Wright’s doctrine. When I retweet someone’s tweet, it might be just because I am in agreement with only the message on their tweet.  Because I work out with a Pilates DVD does not mean I endorse Yoga’s spiritual philosophies. We need to be very careful about judging others based on specific connections or language used.

But let me make this perfectly clear.  If John Piper or C.J. Mahaney or even Mark Driscoll were to tweet something like:

Cilantro should never be part of a cuisine, it should be identified as chief among weeds,” I will be the first person to stand behind that tweet and retweet it – maybe even a few times, and y’all are just going to have to deal with that.    🙂

 

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photo credit: Henna Sooq via photopin cc

166 thoughts on “Labels and Assuming in Christianity: Can We Do Better?”

  1. “Someone like Throckmorton didn’t let things be and wait for the spirit to deal with Driscoll, and while I understand that this may be your preferred method, it is not mine.”

    Mark is still on his throne (albeit on “sabbatical” ) and has not buried a child who was bullied by Throckmorton. Compare apples with apples, please

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  2. “JA, As I said, been reading Dustin’s comments for several years. If he has “changed” then why not say so? I did. I changed some of my doctrinal and positional stances from early days of blogging and freely admit it– publicly.

    Sure, go the extra mile as is your right…. but never forget the wolves love to use your version of Christianity against you and to promote themselves which in the end only victimizes people all over again. My motto is trust but verify.

    I don’t see any verification of repudiating what he has been so heavily involved with. Verification takes time. It is not instant as there has been a pattern of behavior for several years.”

    I would need to know specifics. If you would like I could provide for you a list of 10 theological issues/spiritual issues/ practical issues with spiritual connotations that I’ve changed over the years. To be honest no one has ever asked me this question, and so I wouldn’t mind answering. I know that a lot of my reformed peeps would probably not like many of my answers, but I have blogged or written about most of them at least once in some capacity.

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  3. ““Someone like Throckmorton didn’t let things be and wait for the spirit to deal with Driscoll, and while I understand that this may be your preferred method, it is not mine.”

    Mark is still on his throne (albeit on “sabbatical” ) and has not buried a child who was bullied by Throckmorton. Compare apples with apples, please”

    Ok. so then you are saying that before Braxton passed away, that it was appropriate and right for us to not let things go?

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  4. ““I hear what you are saying, but how can we create a climate here that allows others to come to their conclusions? ”

    A monumental task. I am only speaking for myself and I hope people always realize that. But I have seen what I sense is a sort of protection “for” Dustin from you that makes others feel like they have to walk on eggshells to disagree with him so they give up and go away. And most here have probably not been reading his comments in other venues for the last 2 years nor have they been reading Pulpit and Pen and understand their purpose.

    If Dustin is totally honest he will admit here he does not think most of us are really saved. And I base that on what I know about what P&P expouses (before the scandal as they might have done some deleting) and Dustin’s comments on other blogs. They project a stance that only they have truth and they are fighting what they see as a “downgrade” in most of Christendom that is not like them. Not sure where you will find “understanding and unity” within that paradigm.

    (Dustin, no I won’t be copying and pasting anything to back up what I said above. Played that game too many times over the years. Not going there. It is all my opinion and others have to do their own homework)”

    Lydia, everyone is free to disagree with me and passionately and as vehemently as they wish. I have always made myself available, and whatever else you think about me, I think you would have to admit that I do to speak directly to my critics and give direct answers to direct questions, and don’t try to obfuscate. People may not like my answers, but I never try to be vague or only spend my time in places where i’m safe from criticism. If people level at me a hot, blistering critique, but it is done in good faith, then I will dialogue and try to assume the best intentions.

    As far as whether or not I believe people here are saved, I would not say that “most of you are not saved.”If you gave me some specific people I could comment directly, but I am generally super reluctant to say that someone is not saved. I say this because if I truly believe that we are saved by grace and not by works, then bad works can’t unsave someone. I generally allow that there are Christians who behave cruelly and badly towards each other- I know that early on in my Christian walk, and even since then I have done some pretty wicked things, and yet I would hope that people would see that despite these sins and shortcomings, I have not been disqualified or cut off from God’s love or his grace. So I might look at someone and say “they are not exhibiting the fruits of the spirit” and if it is prolonged and sustained, I may privately think that may suggest they haven’t been regenerated, and I occasionally have to check myself and rebuke myself for my speculation.

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  5. “I did forgot to mention to him, that he should go back into PP’s archives and count how many times they did a write on the Caner’s and others. If it is more than 2 or 3 times in my view it would be excessive and I don’t think he see’s it that way.”

    I don’t,in the same way that I don’t think the SSB or Wartburg or Throckmorton talking about Driscoll more than three times is excessive

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  6. “Kay:

    It appears that Dustin is the author of the new piece at the Pulpit and Pen. You are right it will never end.”

    I am the author of the piece, true. I would like nothing more for it to end, but please ask yourself, which people for the last month and a half have been writing articles, blog posts, tweets, and facebook status updates about this whole messy affair? Here’s a hint- It hasn’t been me. Did you read the article? Do you know why I wrote it?

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  7. But going back to the original question about assuming and putting things in camps, I put a premium on the idea of not assuming evil intent upon someone, and not judging them when you don’t know where they’ve been.

    As one small example, I grew up Roman Catholic, spent 11 years until my parents were excommunicated from the Church and my whole family was shunned from friends and family. Then I spent 6 years in a mainline evangelical Church that was messed up as they come and rife with financial propriety and eventually split after being discovered that my good friend had been sexually abusing girls in the Church and the pastor tried to cover it up, because it was his son doing it

    From there I went in college to a hyper-Pentecostal/charismatic Church that was as close as a cult as can be without being one. It was probably the most damaging, abusive, controlling, manipulative, toxic environmentent I could ever be in, [For example, the pastor would preach falsehoods and bad doctrine on Sunday mornings, and then on Sunday evenings he would correct himself and say that he spoke bad doctrine in the morning on purpose because he knew that all the true followers would be there in the morning AND evening, and that only us who attended in the evenings would get the truth and correction, and people in the morning deserved to be fed misinformation because they weren’t committed to God enough. ] and only by the grace of God did I get out.

    And then once I left there, broken and bruised, when I was in my early twenties, did I providentially “fall” into reformed theology”

    But of course despite my….eclectic….spiritual journey, I’m written off and labeled as just a Reformed guy. I have had people tell me “clearly you’ve always been drinking the reformed kool-aid” and “you’ve obviously grown up being brainwashed by Piper and MacArthur and other calvinistas” and so on and so forth.

    The assuming is frustrating at times, and there is no need for it.

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  8. I am only speaking for myself and I hope people always realize that. But I have seen what I sense is a sort of protection “for” Dustin from you that makes others feel like they have to walk on eggshells to disagree with him so they give up and go away. And most here have probably not been reading his comments in other venues for the last 2 years nor have they been reading Pulpit and Pen and understand their purpose.

    Lydia – Sorry, I missed part of your comment earlier. I’m confused about this. You said you are only speaking for yourself, but then you say you sense people have to walk on eggshells to disagree and so they give up and walk away. That last part doesn’t sound like you are speaking for yourself.

    A lot of what’s going on here is what I describe in the post: putting people in certain camps with our minds made up how they are without having gone to them personally to know their stances on things. In my conversations with JD, I was very surprised by a lot of things. I find that we get more of a clear understanding when we go to someone privately and can engage at a deeper level. Does this mean that they may be trying to mislead us? I suppose they could be, but I just cannot give up all hope in someone. I feel I have a better relationship with Dustin now than I had earlier. I feel we have communicated open and honestly with each other and when I saw about the article he wrote this morning, I tweeted him (publicly) and told him straight up that I found it distasteful. I figure that we can share openly and honestly about these kinds of things.

    He asked me if I would have the same problem if the other side also brought it up. I do. I think the whole dang thing should be dropped entirely. Ergun Caner doesn’t want to change and there’s not a cotton pickin’ thing that any one of us can do about it. I think Dustin’s article coming from Pulpit and Pen site could not be more distasteful and inappropriate. There, I said it again. I don’t even care how evil Caner is, his son has died. Enough is enough. Let it go.

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  9. I am the author of the piece, true. I would like nothing more for it to end, but please ask yourself, which people for the last month and a half have been writing articles, blog posts, tweets, and facebook status updates about this whole messy affair? Here’s a hint- It hasn’t been me.

    Dustin, let your sistah in Christ be blunt with you: Who freakin’ cares? And what can you do about it anyway? Nada. Go love on your wife and play with your cute kid instead. It will be time better spent.

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  10. Thanks Dustin, but I will pass. To cite other blogs will only mean I have to bring others into the fray and frankly and that is not fair to them either. I think those involved over the last 2 years are simply worn out. I mainly watched from the peanut gallery making a few comments here and there. I think you guys got your energy from it. Those who are on the receiving end tend to get worn down and end up saying/doing things they regret from the constant defense. When Caner left his big job at Liberty I was not sure what else folks thought they could do. Wasn’t that enough? Evidently I was very wrong. There was plenty they could do and did. And it ended in tragedy.

    My comment was really meant for others to do their own homework if they are confused why some here might not be buying into the “SSB Dustin”. Of course that would mean lots of time invested to research. I do like the SSB Dustin better, though. :o) Just not buying it…. yet. Too much water under the bridge.

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  11. The assuming is frustrating at times, and there is no need for it.

    I agree, Dustin.

    Ok, I was raised Catholic, too – how does one get excommunicated from the Catholic church? I can’t imagine someone being excommunicated in the churches where I was – maybe they were more liberal, but I know that there are many styles of Catholic out there – even one that would be comparable to Patriarchy/Doug Phililps.

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  12. Well Dustin I do think targeting the Caners more than 3,times 10 times or 50 times is excessive and that’s where we differ.

    Canerize the Canerization what is that? Antagonistic mockery..

    I have to admit I never counted how many times Driscoll pops up on SSB. This is after all, a thread that focuses on spiritual abuse. Your thread applies verbal abuse.

    I can tell you one thing SSB don’t cover Driscoll as many times as you covered Caner and I don’t see any causalities connected with this thread. (or abusive and immature dialogue with teenagers)

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  13. “A lot of what’s going on here is what I describe in the post: putting people in certain camps with our minds made up how they are without having gone to them personally to know their stances on things. In my conversations with JD, I was very surprised by a lot of things. ”

    JA, if his private words are vastly different from his public words over the last few years, what does that tell you? Do you realize how many times I have been told I have not spoken with ________ personally so have no right to speak about what they have written in public? I cannot understand their very public words/teaching//behaviors? (usually citing Matthew 18 for very public teachers who one could never even get on the phone!)

    I have heard this for years concerning Driscoll, Piper, Mohler, etc, etc. I just don’t buy into this having to go to them privately when their words/teaching/behavior is public. Do I have to meet with say, Obama, to realize he means something totally different than what he says in public? Wouldn’t that mean there is a bigger problem?

    Personally, I think you got rolled by JD. It took a dead teen for him to have the Holy Spirit all of a sudden?

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  14. and let the record show that I was going to tweet back to that [and forgot, haha] and say that how come when I post an article about it you feel the need to publicly declare it’s distasteful and need to let it go, and yet when the original braxtons list article was posted, not to to mention the dozen articles that came before this, that they don’t get called out and told that they need to let it go?

    Asking the question “WHY did he write this?” is pretty important. Speaking for myself, after being prodded and purposefully provoked repeatedly for the better part of a month and a half I responded, and I thought that all things considered, bearing in mind the momentous revelations and bombs I could have dropped, that it was restrained in its content and purpose.

    And yes, Julie and I have a cordial-ish relationship, one which I take a lot of heat for from other peeps. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t hate some of the things I write. it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t vehemently disagree with much of what I write, and it doesn’t meant she will pull her punches when she thinks i’m wrong. [andlikewise] What it has come to mean though is that we can be civil and develop a slightly deeper, understanding, personal-ish relationship even as all those things are true, and I think this is what everyone should strive for, even us Lydia, if you’re willing to give it a shot

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  15. Dustin, let your sistah in Christ be blunt with you: Who freakin’ cares? And what can you do about it anyway? Nada. Go love on your wife and play with your cute kid instead. It will be time better spent.”

    This is true 🙂 We went to a wedding today- her old college friend. I didn’t know a single person there so Zahavah and I spent the whole time bouncing and playing and exploring the old church while she socialized and caught up with old friends. it was nice

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  16. Mark,

    I haven’t done too many articles on Driscoll that I can recall, but I do post them on the SSB FB page and also I tweet other people’s articles/tweets, so that might be what Dustin is talking about. And I think there is a difference. They are directly tagging Caner, whereas we already know that Driscoll doesn’t man his tweets and so they are purely informational for those wanting to be updated on the situation – – and it has indeed been evolving.

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  17. ““Someone like Throckmorton didn’t let things be and wait for the spirit to deal with Driscoll, and while I understand that this may be your preferred method, it is not mine.”

    Mark is still on his throne (albeit on “sabbatical” ) and has not buried a child who was bullied by Throckmorton. Compare apples with apples, please”

    Ok. so then you are saying that before Braxton passed away, that it was appropriate and right for us to not let things go?”

    Dustin, It is like talking to my 13 year old. Remember, I said apples to apples. You cannot see it can you? If Driscoll is forced out and then some small church somewhere hires him— yet Throckmorton dogs him everywhere he goes including bullying his kid on social media, then Throckmorton will have a bigger problem than Driscoll…. at that point. You cannot see that, can you?

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  18. “I think this is what everyone should strive for, even us Lydia, if you’re willing to give it a shot”

    Relationships are built on trust

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  19. “As far as whether or not I believe people here are saved, I would not say that “most of you are not saved.”If you gave me some specific people I could comment directly, but I am generally super reluctant to say that someone is not saved.”

    Dustin, All that sounds real good but it is not the tenor or spirit of Pulpit and Pen at all over the last few years. In fact, if you really believe what you wrote in that entire comment, you would do well to get totally away from that movement.

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  20. Lydia –

    I didn’t say his words are vastly different. In talking privately with someone you are able to get more clarification and sometimes that helps to understand the whys (even if you do not agree with them).

    And yes, sometimes it takes tragic events for people to get a wake-up call.

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  21. and let the record show that I was going to tweet back to that [and forgot, haha] and say that how come when I post an article about it you feel the need to publicly declare it’s distasteful and need to let it go, and yet when the original braxtons list article was posted, not to to mention the dozen articles that came before this, that they don’t get called out and told that they need to let it go?

    Didn’t I respond to you by DM on Twitter on this? Probably the reason I didn’t say the same to others was because I’m not following them on Twitter and so it didn’t come up in my feed. I get P&P and Paperhymn on my feed. And there ya go 🙂

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  22. “And yes, sometimes it takes tragic events for people to get a wake-up call. ”

    JA, it is serious business when it takes a tragedy to :”wake up” a “pastor” who has been making a living teaching people who Jesus is and how to be a Christian.

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  23. “well, we have to start somewhere then, don’t we? are you willing to extent some Christian love to come to a better relationship?”

    Sheesh! I said I was going to bed but your comment begs the question: YOUR definition of “love”? The definition of “love” you continue to extend to Caner?

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  24. I’ll start, Lydia. As far as 10 things that I no longer believe in or have changed my mind on after being corrected, or learning more, or being taught differently by my wife

    I used to speak in tongues, not anymore
    I used to be an Arminian
    I used to believe that consuming alcohol was sinful, now I think its ok to get a buzz
    I used to be an egalitarian, not anymore
    I used to believe that spanking was an acceptable form of discipline, biblically mandated by Proverbs. not anymore, and we will not be spanking any of our children
    I changed my mind on circumcision male children [i am now against it]
    I think Lazarus probably wrote the gospel of “John”
    I used to be somewhat legalistic as a hyperpentecostal, and now I try to always err on the side of grace [calling an action sinful, for example, without biblical imperatives, is something i pushback on and is a drum i like to beat
    I’ve changed my mind on the theology of the local church, and think people sinfully elevate ecclesiology and church issues to the third person of the trinity status

    is that what you were more or less looking for?

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  25. JA, it is serious business when it takes a tragedy to :”wake up” a “pastor” who has been making a living teaching people who Jesus is and how to be a Christian.

    Yup, I agree.

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  26. Dustin,

    Quite a few postings since I answer your last last question you had for me. Julie Anne did suggest she doesn’t have too many write ups.

    But even if SSB had too many and excessive Driscoll write ups wouldn’t make things right.

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  27. Dustin,

    Pulpit and Pen has made their feelings clear why you were driven to take things as far as you did. But truthfully there was no end game for you, when it comes to Caner.

    It was the bases for your existence. To simplify your views. You have made it repetitively clear in your multiple proclamations that you think he is an unrepentant liar. He deny’s your position.

    He lost his son, get over it.

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  28. I would remind the cast of P&P something JD Hall alluded to. His interaction, words and actions may not have directly caused Braxton’s death, but they did make him ineffectual in helping him, cause he was not going to turn to him for help…….

    We must remember, our words and deeds have eternal consequences. That is probably the most valuable lesson I learned from P&P.

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  29. “Pulpit and Pen has made their feelings clear why you were driven to take things as far as you did. But truthfully there was no end game for you, when it comes to Caner.”

    Mark, I believe you’re applying unfair standards, and “uneven weights” to Caner vs everyone else. But in any case, it’s not true that there is no “end game” I would stop if he said something like “I lied about the last 15 years of my life. My life story has been a fabrication. I admit that and I repent. I am sorry for denying it and insulting everyone who tried to bring me to this place of repentance. I also sinned by suing other Christians who posted videos of me lying. I am sorry. Please forgive me.” Something along those lines would be cool. I don’t need him to go into detail, and I don’t even need him to step down from his job at BP. But him coming to that place- that would be an end-game, sure.

    Like

  30. Dustin, it is now public information that Caner lied about his background. That means that anyone wanting to hire him knows this and anyone considering listening to him preach or reading something he wrote, will be informed. The government has stopped using him as a consultant on terrorism and wasting taxpayer money. As far as I am concerned, the goals of discernment blogging have been met.

    It would be desirable for him to repent and apologize. Will he do that? I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in Hades that he will do so any time soon; this is a man who doubled down and sued someone for telling the truth about him.

    Is there any chance that the Pulpit and Pen gang is going to get him to make a public apology? You must know that there is no chance at all! If it happens, it will likely be a combination of the efforts of the Holy Spirit and people who care about him, not your efforts.

    You need to examine your motives in continuing this campaign. It just looks bad to other Christians, like you are having fun calling out others and feeling superior to them without having a constructive goal that can be met.

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  31. Dustin,

    Pulpit and Pen have repetitively, repetitively, repetitively made it clear to your readers and Dr. Caner that you think he is an unrepentant liar and he rejects your assertion.

    He lost his son, you need to move on.

    Like

  32. I agree with Marsha on this constant Caner badgering. Dustin, are you concerned that your ongoing behavior is making you look like a fool and could be a stumbling block to someone? Who wants to be a part of Christianity that behaves like this?

    Like

  33. I am not referring to Dustin here because I don’t know what his belief is in this area, but I have had some discussions with some who believe that some are born for salvation and the rest are born for damnation and nothing we do or say can change that or cause those born for salvation not to be saved. One person said to me: “I can be as rude as I want, it won’t change those who will be saved. God will still save them.” I see this a lost in the Westboro folks.

    Like

  34. Dustin: Others have stated it here better than I can. But don’t you and others that are up in armsendlessly about Caner realize it is way past time to move on. Surely there are more important tasks for Kingdom work you and the others can be doing with yours just as mine limited amount of time on this earth.

    One final thought. It is real easy to hope that others get what they deserve, but then if we take just a minute to examine our lives we are very glad we do not get what we deserve.

    Like

  35. See what I mean about the people who come here spouting, “I am the only True Christian I KNOW!” Get off your high-horses – can you not see the elitism you are espousing??
    But, then again, if it keeps you bristled up with your own self-importance, then I guess it’s worth it.

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  36. I walked the aisle in 1974 and someone prayed over me and professed I was a Christian. But I wasn’t. In May of 2001 after the Holy Spirit pursuing me for all those years, I knelt along side a country road and cried out to God to save me. He did. “free will”, I wasn’t forced.

    Like

  37. Darrell,

    Did you make a decision, to believe? Somewhere you must of exercised some kind of “Free Will” to come to your conclusion.

    When we Sin we are also exercising our “Free Will” unlike my former Stealth Reformed Preacher who suggested that when he sins it is merely an accident.

    God has foreknowledge of our destiny, but too many times those in the Neo Reformed movement seem more consumed about practicing the same kind of Elect Theology, by embracing the Law.

    If you embrace the heavy-handed Methodologies of Law and Centered Calvinist that hold congregations in bondage it would be comparable to the Pharisee’s doing the same thing to the Sinner and Tax Payer. (and even Christ)

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  38. Mark,

    All the sin I do and have done have been of my own choice. I was not forced to believe as I stated. The Holy Spirit pursued me all those years and wooed me, thankfully. If your wandering about my affiliation, I would probably fall somewhere between Arminian and Calvin. I am definitely not a Calvinist. (I was trying to stay away from labels). The post that brought on this line of questions was to JA as just info I have come to understand from most Calvinist over the last few years. Not meant to espouse any beliefs. I emphatically stated YES!!! to the question about my salvation not to show up anyone else but because I can say with 100% certainty and joyfully I am. I posted my salvation experience as a testimony to God and to settle any questions about it.

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  39. Darrell and Marsha,

    I did misunderstand Darrell’s 8:39 am statement. I skimmed over it too fast.

    After thinking about it even if Darrell was a Calvinist, as long as he doesn’t condemn those of us that embrace Christ Centered Ministries above the Law and Sin Centered Ministries I have no-quarrel.

    To tell you the truth I shouldn’t make myself vulnerable to quarreling over Christian Doctrine no matter whether it be Methodist, Baptist or Catholic. (or Neo-Calvinist)

    Darrell, I can only offer you my deepest apology.

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  40. I am glad all is now resolved!

    I don’t want to be one of those people who focuses on issues secondary to salvation. No one here agrees with everyone else on every point and that is okay. i hope none of my comments ever lead anyone to think that I do not consider then to be a brother or sister in Christ.

    I think what often triggers a reaction to Calvinism on my part and on the part of others is not so much what another Christian believes but a genuine concern that someone will conclude that they could not possibly be one of the elect and turn away from God. With so much prosperity ‘Gospel’ being preached today, I can easily see (in fact I have seen) people assuming that they are outside of God’s love because bad things have happened to them.

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  41. “Dustin: Others have stated it here better than I can. But don’t you and others that are up in armsendlessly about Caner realize it is way past time to move on. Surely there are more important tasks for Kingdom work you and the others can be doing with yours just as mine limited amount of time on this earth.

    One final thought. It is real easy to hope that others get what they deserve, but then if we take just a minute to examine our lives we are very glad we do not get what we deserve.”

    Hi Mot. I do a lot of different things that I would consider kingdom work. Probably most predominantly is my involvement with an abortion abolition group, my other writing and blogs, and my support of charities like world vision and the one closest to my heart- destiny rescue. Ergun stuff is minutes a week/month

    Like

  42. “Dustin, it is now public information that Caner lied about his background. That means that anyone wanting to hire him knows this and anyone considering listening to him preach or reading something he wrote, will be informed. The government has stopped using him as a consultant on terrorism and wasting taxpayer money. As far as I am concerned, the goals of discernment blogging have been met.

    It would be desirable for him to repent and apologize. Will he do that? I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in Hades that he will do so any time soon; this is a man who doubled down and sued someone for telling the truth about him.

    Is there any chance that the Pulpit and Pen gang is going to get him to make a public apology? You must know that there is no chance at all! If it happens, it will likely be a combination of the efforts of the Holy Spirit and people who care about him, not your efforts.

    You need to examine your motives in continuing this campaign. It just looks bad to other Christians, like you are having fun calling out others and feeling superior to them without having a constructive goal that can be met.”

    Hi Marsha- sorry I haven’t gotten a chance to get back to this until now. Speaking only for myself [and not the P&P gang] I can tell you and that we have radically different goals. My goal isn’t to see him lose his job or have his consultant reputation taken away. I really meant it when I say that my goal is to see him repentant and saved. A twin and equally important goal is also to warn other Christians about him.

    You may think the latter unnecessary, but I don’t, as the fact is that there are tons of people who believe Ergun that he did not lie, and has no reason to apologize. Ergun has repeatedly said that he has been exonerated, and didn’t do anything wrong, and he has a cheer-leading section led by guys like Peter Lumpkins who are echoing those sentiments.

    If you look at my/our history with Ergun, we only really wrote about him when major events went down, notably him being the new president at BP, when he elected Peter Lumpkins to top communication guy, when he sued other Christians, when the judge tore him to shreds and ruled against him, when he became the headline speaker at a Christian camp, and when Jonny Hunt invited him to speak at his 20,000 member Church.

    From 2010 when he was exposed, to when he was elected to Pres, we never said anything. Its only when he made waves and started to emerge from his self-imposed slumber that we responded.

    So yeah, we’re probably past the point where we can be optimistic that he will repent. I hope and pray for it, but it’s doubtful that it’s going to happen.

    For that reason the SECONDARY GOAL HAS KICKED IN, which is warning people about him. You may think that people are sick of it and they already know it- but again, Jonny just had him preach at one of the biggest Churches in America, so what does that tell you? And honestly, I don’t see any biblical imperatives that say that after you warn the Church about someone 2-3 times, then it’s time to let it go and just leave him be. I don’t see Paul doing that and for that reason [among others] I see no reason to discontinue the warning.

    Does it look bad? Probably to some people, sure. Is there an end-game? I’m not convinced there needs to be. The end game would be conditional on the actions of Ergun. I understand that that may not sit well with people, and they may have a negative, visceral reaction to that, but how long do you oppose false doctrine and evil men? as long as they keep on preaching falsely and acting evilly.

    Like

  43. “Julie Anne
    SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 @ 7:50 PM
    I agree with Marsha on this constant Caner badgering. Dustin, are you concerned that your ongoing behavior is making you look like a fool and could be a stumbling block to someone? Who wants to be a part of Christianity that behaves like this?”

    I think certain people will think my behavior foolish, sure. Some people may not understand or appreciate what we are doing, some people may be ignorant and hostile as a way of life, and some people may have thoughtful, legitimate concerns with my efforts to warn people about Ergun. I have no fear of man, but I do consider whether or not my behavior is reflecting well on Christ and his words. As this point I am convinced it is.

    I’m not trying to compare myself to Jesus, but if we look at the times that Jesus rebuked the pharisees and Sadducees,we don’t see a “Ok Jesus, you rebuked them publicly twice now. That’s enough. let the Holy spirit deal with them. Stop badgering them

    ” No. So long as they teach falsely and are given a platform to influenced, they will be resisted. I feel the same way about Ergun.

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  44. “I am not referring to Dustin here because I don’t know what his belief is in this area, but I have had some discussions with some who believe that some are born for salvation and the rest are born for damnation and nothing we do or say can change that or cause those born for salvation not to be saved. One person said to me: “I can be as rude as I want, it won’t change those who will be saved. God will still save them.” I see this a lost in the Westboro folks.”

    I believe God elects some people to be vessels of wrath, destined for dishonorable use, and some to be for vessels of mercy, designated for honorable use. This was done before they were born and before they knew right or wrong, yes.

    I would certainly reject the way you have described it, as that’s certainly not an accurate representation of what I would personally believe, or what the doctrines of grace teach.

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  45. I think certain people will think my behavior foolish, sure. Some people may not understand or appreciate what we are doing, some people may be ignorant and hostile as a way of life, and some people may have thoughtful, legitimate concerns with my efforts to warn people about Ergun. I have no fear of man, but I do consider whether or not my behavior is reflecting well on Christ and his words. As this point I am convinced it is.

    Dustin, I’m not sure if you are understanding me. Are you willing to accept the responsibility that some people may reject Christ because of what they see and identify as bad behavior? Frankly, the way you are going after Caner is kind of like how Westboro goes after certain groups of people. Christianity becomes repulsive to many because of the behavior. That is what I see you and P&P doing with the unending attacks on Caner.

    Furthermore, if you believe in Calvinism as you say, aren’t you making a mockery of the Sovereignty of God – by doing man’s works instead of allowing God to repay evil for evil? In other words, are you interfering with God’s and making an idol of yourself by saying YOUR work is more important rather than allowing God to punish evildoers?

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Dustin:

    I think you have made up your mind about your work as it relates to Ergun. I’m sure you will continue to be as successful as you have to this point.

    Like

  47. Julie Anne, I don’t believe that what I do in this situation will cause people to reject Christ. Certainly some people may not like it and they may think lesser of me and the God I serve because of it, but there are presuppositions which must be dispensed of.

    I’m wary of getting to any specific theological arguments about my views of soteriology, and prefer to just state what I believe. But, to answer your question, If they are already legitimately saved, I don’t believe they can become unsaved- certainly not by my actions. If they are not yet saved, then they are not a neutral party and are under the wrath of God for the sin and depravity that they were born with. For this reason they are already in a state of being disconnected from God and have already rejected him. Its difficult to know exactly what things will set people off and how they will view things. As a rule I try my best to be at peace with all men, as much as possible, though clearly i am imperfect at this and have sinned in my pursuit of this.

    In a similar vein, I frequently call someone like Joel Osteen a false teacher, or some other prosperity gospel teacher a heretic. I’m sure this upsets many people and I have had people make similar pleas and arguments that you have for Ergun, and would likewise reject their words of caution and rebuke.

    Like I said though, I know you believe it to be excessive, but I would suggest that that is your opinion and your conviction, but not something that I must bind my conscience to. I can think of many circumstances where a repeated, continued, sustained “calling attention to ,” of certain things would not be sinful, even though some might label it “excessive” and would ask that it just be let go.

    When you say ” Christianity becomes repulsive to many because of the behavior.” We have VASTLY different understandings of what that entails, and what the issues are surround that statement.

    And no- I don’t believe I am making a mockery of anything

    Oh- and lastly, because you mentioned this earlier, I am a complementarian-ish, in that I believe that men and women have equal but different roles, that the husband is the head of his wife and that women are not to be pastors or elders. There’s a lot of other peripheral issues surrounding that, and how that plays out in different situations will look different for many people. In my case, how I express my “headship” is unique to my situation. I essentially relegate the details to “filler” and wouldn’t get dogmatic about those sorts of things, and would disagree with those who do. There are many hard and soft comps who would have problems with how my wife and i have chosen to conduct our marriage, and I couldn’t care less what they think.

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  48. I have Mot, Yes. But at the same time several people have challenged me to consider the mission and be consistent in how I apply certain tenets of this belief to other circumstances and scenarios. This has been both challenging and uncomfortable at times.

    You may not appreciate this, but how I have come to view this over the last year has softened quite a bit. A lot of the righteous rage has dissipated, and its been more reflective and graceful. You may not think that’s saying much, haha, but it’s been often through corrections and rebukes that this change of perspective has come about

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  49. Dustin,

    I noticed that you did a Saga write up on 9/12 on Caner.

    We really do get it, you think he is an unrepentant liar and he isn’t going to spar with you.

    He lost his son, you need to move on.

    Like

  50. I’m wary of getting to any specific theological arguments about my views of soteriology, and prefer to just state what I believe. But, to answer your question, If they are already legitimately saved, I don’t believe they can become unsaved- certainly not by my actions. If they are not yet saved, then they are not a neutral party and are under the wrath of God for the sin and depravity that they were born with. For this reason they are already in a state of being disconnected from God and have already rejected him. Its difficult to know exactly what things will set people off and how they will view things.

    Ok, I expected your response to be what it is. So in essence, I think that your theology gives you license to behave like a jerk (sorry, that’s the way I see it and so many others see it like that, too).

    As a rule I try my best to be at peace with all men, as much as possible, though clearly i am imperfect at this and have sinned in my pursuit of this.

    Your behavior is proving you otherwise. And that is what people are telling you, Christians and non-Christians alike. You are harming the reputation of Christ with your stalking behavior. And bro, please don’t get me wrong. I think in your heart of hearts you think you are acting righteously, but it is not. And if you want to discuss the theological stuff, we can take it to the Calvinist thread, but also keep in mind the verse that talks about causing one of His to stumble.

    In a similar vein, I frequently call someone like Joel Osteen a false teacher, or some other prosperity gospel teacher a heretic. I’m sure this upsets many people and I have had people make similar pleas and arguments that you have for Ergun, and would likewise reject their words of caution and rebuke.

    I don’t see you going after Osteen anything like you going after Caner. No way – not the same.

    When you say ” Christianity becomes repulsive to many because of the behavior.” We have VASTLY different understandings of what that entails, and what the issues are surround that statement.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about here.

    Oh- and lastly, because you mentioned this earlier, I am a complementarian-ish, in that I believe that men and women have equal but different roles, that the husband is the head of his wife and that women are not to be pastors or elders. There’s a lot of other peripheral issues surrounding that, and how that plays out in different situations will look different for many people. In my case, how I express my “headship” is unique to my situation. I essentially relegate the details to “filler” and wouldn’t get dogmatic about those sorts of things, and would disagree with those who do. There are many hard and soft comps who would have problems with how my wife and i have chosen to conduct our marriage, and I couldn’t care less what they think.

    From our conversations, what you described above is what I gathered – and I think you function more egalitarian, but choose to wear the comp hat. Whatever – I don’t even care – it sounds like your wife is happy with the arrangement and that’s what matters. If she is feeling that you love her as Christ loves the church, then there’s nothing that needs to be fixed as far as I’m concerned. Good for you.

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  51. You may not appreciate this, but how I have come to view this over the last year has softened quite a bit. A lot of the righteous rage has dissipated, and its been more reflective and graceful.

    Well, Dustin, the fact that you are here, that you have had conversations with me both publicly and privately show this to be true. I remember what you were like – – what was it – – a year or so ago? You are not the same.

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  52. Dustin I am just saying what other Calvinist are trying to convince me of. One even told me just yesterday he couldn’t believe in a god who loved everyone but sends most of them to hell but he is ok with a god being sovereign enough to create people to send to hell.

    Like

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