What Does Responding Biblically Really Mean?

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This will be short and sweet. I’m in the final crunch of school with only 2-1/2 weeks until graduation (woohoo!!).

Responding Biblically seems to be thrown around a lot. I just tweeted this because I was thinking about a recent debate on Twitter (which I will write about when I get more time).

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I think this phrase can be used in bad ways. I’d like to open this up for discussion.  Who gets to decide what is Biblical or not? Can you see how this phrase can be used to exert power over another?  Do you have any examples of this you would like to share? Does a pastor saying something is more biblical carry more weight? 

Learn to Discern: Franklin Graham’s Tweet on the Outcome of the Presidential Election

Franklin Graham, Twitter, Spiritual Abuse


 

I would like to discuss this tweet without making it political. I find it spiritually abusive, but not because it has to do with Trump winning. Look within the message. What can you find here that is spiritually abusive?

 

Ex-Pastor Tullian Tchividjian Speaks Out at Website for Ex-Pastors

Tullian Tchividjian article at ExPastors.com, clergy sex abuse, suicide, repentance, restoration


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Only one month after Tullian Tchividjian remarried, he has publicly released a new article at a site for former pastors, ExPastors.com. In the article, The Freedom in Losing it All, Tchividjian shares lessons he has learned about himself since his sexual scandal.

 

The following is an excerpt from the article: Continue reading

Bullies: Celebrity Leaders Who Act Different in Private Settings Reveal Their Heart

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Watch out for any celebrity or Christian leader who treats you differently in private. They are bullies.

 

 

Have you seen this video of ESPN’s reporter Britt McHenry who berates an employee at a towing company as she pays to collect her impounded vehicle? It’s been making the rounds in social media and people are appropriately stunned at her behavior caught on video.

I was shocked at what I heard. I thought about how she used her celebrity position, her education, her good looks, to elevate herself above another human being. Not only that, she berated the female employee about her teeth, assumed she had no education, called her overweight, etc.  Take a look (you might want to stop the video at 1:45 to avoid an advertisement):

 

 

 

Here is a bit of the transcription thanks to Washington Post’s article: Who had the worst week in Washington? Britt McHenry:

“I’m on television, and you’re in a f—ing trailer, honey,” McHenry said in the tirade, released online Thursday. “That’s all you care about is just taking people’s money,” she added. “With no education, no skill set. Just wanted to clarify that.”

She went on to blast the woman’s alleged lack of teeth and advised her to “lose some weight, baby girl.”

Ms. McHenry’s behavior is completely inappropriate. Searching on social media, you can see the disgust people are expressing about her behavior. And there is talk about why she is only suspended for one week.

Please tell me that this is not true:

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I recently read this excellent article by Pat Green: Night Moves: Diary of a Chicago Area Cabbie ex-Preacher Man.

This article describes an account of Pat, a Chicago cabbie, giving a ride to a popular preacher whose ministry he knew and followed. This preacher is a respected author and speaker.

The celebrity pastor behaved one way under the public spotlight, but donned a completely different persona when one-on-one with the cab driver. This well-known preacher showed a sense of entitlement as he treated the cabbie as a less-than. Here is an excerpt from the article. We jump in the story as the cabbie attempts to be gracious to this “hero” and gives his rude behavior the benefit of the doubt:

I decided to change the topic a little.

“I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like the restaurants. So where are you flying to?”

“Look, I already know what you do. Pretending to care what I do is not going to change the tip. I had to wait for almost 20 minutes to start this ride. Just get me there on time. Do you even know where you are going? I don’t see your GPS on.”

“I only use it if I don’t know where I am going. I know where we are going.”

“Your parents must be so proud of your achievement.” He remarked. He then grabbed his smart phone and disappeared into it.

Did he just say that? He could not have just said that. This is not happening. Not him. Not the one who preaches a better gospel. Not a person who inspired me to change the way I approached not only church, but the manner in which I handled my faith at the time.

I just got on to driving while he typed away on his phone.

At one point he looked up from his phone and asked,”Can you move it a little bit?” I was doing 5 over the limit. I was with the flow of the beginning morning airport traffic.

Spiritual leaders who behave one way in public and treat you badly in private are spiritual bullies. Period. Don’t be deceived by their charm, celebrity status, privilege.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” John 10: 11-13

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Should Christian Leaders Use their Public Platform to Endorse Their Vaccination Preferences?

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Do Christians have a responsibility to vaccinate their children? Is this a matter of religious liberty? Should Christian leaders use their platform to influence us in this health matter?

vaccines church leaders 5116249876_84663fc237

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It seems that we have been getting barraged with religious leaders trying to convince us one way or the other on the recent vaccine issue in the news as Measles has made a comeback with a recent outbreak.  I was surprised to see numerous tweets from religious leaders and wondered what you thought about this.

Below are just some of the tweets and articles, including some excerpts I have found.


And Now a Brief Word on Vaccines – by Doug Wilson

The claim I am making here is very limited. If a person has decided personal convictions about the contagious disease he is carrying, the society in which he lives has an equal right to have decided and contrary convictions about that same contagious disease he has. And if there is an outbreak of such a disease, and the government quarantines everyone who is not vaccinated, requiring them to stay at home, the name for this is prudence, not tyranny.

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3 reasons Christians should vaccinate with confidence by Justin Smith of ERLC (The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission)

In the midst of all the confusion about vaccines, I believe that Christians don’t have to be the ones who are confused. We can use the gift of vaccines with confidence knowing that, ultimately, our lives and our health are in the hands of our Father.

Cripplegate is blog with 4 contributors who seem to have connections with John MacArthur’s seminary/church. This article was posted on Cripplegate:  Anti-vaxxers and epistemological narcissism

Take note at how they use scripture to justify vaccinating:

  1. Vaccines are a form of common grace that have dramatically changed the world for the better (Gen 3:18; Ps 145:9-16; Matt 5:44-45; Acts 14:16-17). Participating in the blessings of common grace in a post-Babel society means that we bond together as nations, and we use common grace to make quality of life better (Gen 9:6, 2 Kings 12:2, Luke 6:33). We work, we marry, and we protect each other. A basic way to do that is to be vaccinated against diseases that plague the cultures that don’t vaccinate.
  1. Thus, being vaccinated is a form of loving your neighbor (Lev 19:18; Matt 5:43,Rom 13:8-10, Jas 2:8). Knowing that some are too little, too young, or too weak to be vaccinated, we protect the weak by being vaccinated.

The last paragraph admits this is gray area which is bizarre because if it truly is a gray area, can you really use scripture to 100% back up your stance?

I recognize that this is a Christian gray-area, and it goes beyond what is written to say that a person is sinning by being an anti-vaxxer. But it does not go beyond what is written to appeal to believer’s discernment: don’t undo one of society’s crowning scientific advancements because of epistemological narcissism.


Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Executive Religion Editor for the Huffington Post posted an article and a podcast at Huffington post.  (The podcast will start immediately as soon as you open the page, but you can turn it off and read the article:  Love Thy Neighbor: Vaccinate (All Together Podcast).  Dr. Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s hospital, Dr. Robert Klitzman,  professor and Director of the Bioethics Program at Columbia School of Public Health, and Sally Steenland, Director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, were on the podcast and discussed why this is not a religious liberty issue. Paul concludes:

Jesus commands to love our neighbor as ourselves. This gets to the heart of the vaccination issue. It’s not just about loving your own family. It is also about caring for the well-being of your neighbors and your community. Everyone should vaccinate their children as an act of love.

In this case, we have a reverend with a highly visible position in public media using his platform to push his agenda. Is this okay?


Pat Robertson Says He’s Against Vaccination Mandates:

I’m sure that there’s some serious consequences to measles, and perhaps vaccinations is the answer, but I don’t think any parent should be forced by the government to vaccinate.


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If I looked longer, I’m sure I could find even more articles from religious leaders. I have some questions:

Is it a religious leader’s responsibility to inform private citizens about their views on immunizations?

At what point do religious leaders cross the line when it comes to health concerns and using their position of authority/celebrity-ism to influence?

How much credence do we give to religious leaders on issues of health?

As you can see above, some say this is a gray area or a religious liberty area, where others say it is not. Do you think we can discuss this topic, specifically the bolded questions without getting personal and debating the pros/cons of vaccines?  Please exercise caution when commenting. I specifically would like to keep it to the subject of Christian leaders pushing their health agendas using their public platforms.  

 

 

photo credit: Flu Vaccination Grippe via photopin (license)

Some Christian Leaders are Hijacking the Ebola Crisis to Promote their Theology or Agenda

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Christian Leaders Respond to the Ebola Crisis promoting their agendas or theologies. Others respond in humility with real help to those in need.

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Learn to Discern: Who would you choose to marry, an abusive Christian or a kind and gentle unbeliever?

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Learn to Discern:  Is it better for a Christian woman to marry a kind and gentle unbeliever or an abusive Christian?

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Learn to Discern: Let’s Explore “A Time of Transition,” the Newly Released Statement from IBLP Regarding Bill Gothard

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The Board at Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) has released a statement following an “investigation” of allegations against Bill Gothard.

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Scott Brown Discusses: Jackson Brothers Alleged Sex Abuse, Brother Responds to Preaching, and Love Your Wives Webinar

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Scott Brown on the Jackson brothers sex abuse case, the gospel message, and Husbands Love Your Wives webinar

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Queen Bees of Homeschooling Stacy McDonald and Kelly Crawford Don’t Like the “Victim” Word in the Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs. Doug Phillips Lawsuit

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Well-known homeschooling moms Kelly Crawford and Stacy McDonald comment regarding the “victim” word with regard to the Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs. Doug Phillips lawsuit.

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Learn to Discern: Can Women Read Scripture Aloud to Men?

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Open Air Preacher Street Evangelist Tony Miano Gives Rules and Guidelines for Women Open Air Preaching and Reading Scripture to Men

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