Circumlocutions and Faggotré

Comes now the NFL, on the cusp of bringing in their first openly gay player, and they are also contemplating banning the n-word and the other eff-word at the same time.

The Left is currently attempting quite a hat trick — they are unleashing, simultaneously, their inner wowser, their inner totalitarian, and their inner lust monkey. The results are not pretty — it is a kind of warp spasm of irrational overreach.

This is classic overreach. It was just a matter of weeks ago that we were being told that an abandonment of the Defense of Marriage Act would leave states free to make their own decisions on the matter, yay federalism, and so what happened? Since lo, these many weeks ago, federal judges have now been striking down state laws, one after the other.

Some people might have thought — not me, incidentally — that homosexual activists were going to pursue their agenda with a modicum of judicial restraint, ascending the bench of public opinion in a black robe in order to issue carefully reasoned arguments that would cause thoughtful people everywhere to consider what they had to say. But ten minutes after their initial victories, all the restraint evaporated, by which I mean to say that it all went away. They are now pursuing their agenda by means of a metaphorical parade through the Castro District, wearing nothing but a thong and a sombrero with mangoes and grapes all over it.
They want this all to be part of the great March of Progress — Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall, and any other Sibilants they come up with — and they never tire of comparing what they are doing to the Civil Rights Movement, looking around for the Jackie Robinson of sodomy. Now other writers have done a good job pointing out the false comparison — God created black skin and God prohibited this particular vice. So I do not need to develop that thought further. It has been done well already. What I actually want to point out is the similarity in what is going on.

In the pre-civil rights era, segregation was imposed and enforced by the government making laws that prohibited private citizens from undertaking any free market integration on their own. When that folly came crashing down, as it should have, some thought it would be a good corrective to prohibit a private citizen running a public business from making such sinful choices on his own. But this was just the coercive hand of the state from the other direction, a heavy hand that is now being used on evangelical photographers and bakers.

Laws should be used to combat crime, not sin, and certainly not faux-sin. What the legislation in the civil rights era ought to have done was strike down every form of the government’s own discrimination against blacks, and its mandating of discrimination elsewhere, and left it there. If Bubba still wanted to exclude blacks from his ribs joint, then that was Bubba’s problem, and Bubba’s loss. Everybody’s money is the same color.

Bigotry is a real sin, but because the state pretended that it had the expertise to deal with real sin through law, we have now come to the pretty pass of them thinking that they can deal with faux-sin through a law. But all they can do is impose mischief with a law.

Businesses have a clear and obvious right to discriminate based on behavior. No shoes, no shirt, no service works because no shoes and no shirt is a behavior. So is ordering a cake with two grooms on it. So is requiring a black baker to bake a Confederate battle flag cake. So is requiring a graphic designer married to a compulsive gambler to design a billboard for the local casino. So when you, for arbitrary and capricious reasons, define someone’s personal vice as an essential part of their personal identity, and link it with iron bands to their constitutional rights, you are making a royal hash of everything.

It has gotten to risible levels. So now people who strap on pads and who run into each other at full speed for a living are going to be told that if they use particular prohibited words, words that will bruise the petals of the taunted linebacker in question, they will be fined. Got it. Today the linebackers of the NFL, tomorrow . . . the linebackers of the Internet, which I hope would include Mablog.

They will come to me and demand circumlocutions. They will want me to pretend that free speech is still operative, and yet they will insist on the passive voice, and oblique indirection. And so I will do my best and will say that if circumlocutions are required of me, at the end of the day, when all things are considered, in the course of any proffered argument that I might want to advance concerning certain persons who are individual practitioners of that class of actions historically understood as faggotré . . .

“That’s it, bub.” I find myself in court, looking at a $250 fine, and ten counseling sessions.

“How do you plead?”

“Your honor, I will be the first to admit that my French is not the best . . .”

“How do you plead?”

“Not guilty, your honor.”

“And yet you acknowledge that you used the word . . . the word spelled f-a-g-g-o-t-r-é?”

“Yes, your honor. I did use that word . . .”

“How was that not a violation of the ban on the eff-word? The Constitutional Amendment concerning this passed a entire year ago.”

“Your honor, I didn’t know that was the word. I thought the eff-word law was referring to fudgepacker.”

There was a loud clatter as the court reporter fell out of her chair, and some moments before things were all recombobulated.

“You can’t use that word either!”

“Well, which word is the law referring to?”

“You can’t use any eff-words.”

“I see that I can’t be too careful. Can I use fruit?”

The judge said no, but not without a hesitating and possibly illegal glance at the plaintiff.

“Flamboyant?”

“I . . . I don’t think so. Look, that will all be covered in the counseling sessions, where you will almost certainly be going to for the next ten weekends.”

“What about free speech? Can I say free speech?”

“That’s the worst eff-word of all. No, you can’t that. Not any more. All done with that.”

Sorry, judge, but I was not quite done.

I have had to explain this before, but let me conclude by saying it again. It is our duty to be transgressive. Prior to the rise of homosexual activism, I had never once in my life taunted a homosexual because of his vice, whether with word, gesture, or epithet. I was not brought up that way, and I simply wouldn’t do it. But the pretense — and that is what it is, pretense — that these speech codes are being designed to address that particular problem is simply bogus.

And since the rise of “gay pride,” I haven’t taunted victims of vice under these new circumstances either. Why would a preacher of grace taunt victims of sin? What kind of ministry goes around kicking sad people?

So what am I doing then? Consider the difference here:

“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” (John 8:10-11).

“Such is the way of an adulterous woman; She eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness” (Prov. 30:20).

There is no difference in the one sin (adultery), but a huge difference in the other — which is contrition v. the sin of high-handed arrogance in the second example. The grace of God teaches us to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Those who are enslaved by the chains of vice should receive nothing but sympathy and grace from Christians. Nothing but.

But there is a category of sin that is scripturally outside this “no fly zone.” This would be the cluster of sins that can be grouped as pride, arrogance, malice, spite, insolence, blasphemy, haughtiness, and hearts that are fat like grease. Those who rattle their chains, declaring them to be wings, with which they will soar far above our tired old ethical categories, need to be treated like the wizened old Pharisees they are. This is something I am happy to do, and as a preacher of grace, I am required to do by Scripture. Rough treatment for Pharisees is something prescribed by Scripture, not proscribed by it.

So would I ever taunt a slave of a particular sexual sin with a word like faggot? Of course not. But when these Pharisees of Phootball are falling all over themselves to ban the ph-word — and all driven by an insolent spiritual pride that represents our current apostate elites very well — I am more than willing to have some phun over their phailures of imagination when it comes to fallic placement. It’s their pride that makes it so funny.

Some people might think I am just being bad, but I hope to assure them that I am just getting started. Comstockian sodomites are the worst, and when I am finally convicted of renegade free speechery, and ascend the scaffold to be hanged, and I survey the assembled crowd eager to see the First Amendment defended, I will try to make a point of saying so again.

“Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth” (John 9:41).

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208 thoughts on “Circumlocutions and Faggotré

  1. Perhaps an interesting seque -
    Evolutionary traits that have over time and with with purpose become innate can be seen in the following manner - 
    Disgust.
    No man need be told to avoid fecal matter, bile, vomit, spoilt food, seeping wounds and the prudency of this is obvious – singularly.
    Socially the same innate disgust applies to incest, and if this is accepted under prudency of group survival – perhaps homosexuality.

  2. Here’s a note I sent to a friend of mine who thought Jan Brewer’s decision was the right one…
     
    Jane Gunn of Gunn’s Online Gun, Knives, and Other Barely Legal Lethal Items, LLC wants to hire John Peace-Love of Peace-Love Photography to produce photographs for her company’s new websitegunns.com.  The requirements are to produce appealing photographs of their products in an effort to encourage more sales of their lethal items.  They would additionally like images throughout the site that glorify the ownership and use of said items.  Specific requested photographs include a regal gal kissing her AR-15 firearm and a cool dad teaching his little boy how to throw a 12″ Hibben blade with deadly accuracy.
     
     
    John Peace-Love, after hearing the description of the job says, “I’m afraid I can’t shoot your product photos for you.  You see, I myself am anti-gun and anti-violence.  I can’t in good conscience produce photos for your site.  And, no offense, but even being in the presence of all those weapons and composing people as they glorify violence would really create emotional turmoil for me.  I’m afraid you’re going to have to find another photographer.”
     
     
    Question:  Should John Peace-Love have the right to refuse his services due to his conscientious objection, or should Jane Gunn have the right to invoke a state mandate forcing John Peace-Love to produce the photographs?
     

  3. Joseph, everyone else,
    I used a similar example with someone yesterday.  They said that being homosexual isn’t a choice, people are born that way.  So, in your example, it is Gunn’s choice to sell firearms, they weren’t born in a fashion where they had to sell firearms.  So, denying service to someone for a choice is different than how they were born. 
    Now, if you think homosexuality is a choice, then the response is clear.  However, I think homosexuality isn’t a “choice” all of the time due to original sin and depravity, acting on the desires is sinful though… in other words, that someone could be born with the desire for the same sex because they’re born a sinner 
    Any thoughts on how to respond?
     
     

  4. Andy, yes, acting on the desire (succumbing to temptation) is certainly a choice, and certainly sinful. If your friend can accept that, your argument stands. Entering into gay “marriage” is a choice. Even if you think they were born gay, they were not born “engayged.”   ///  In regards to arguing for being “born that way” on the basis of original sin and total depravity, I would offer a couple suggestions. Everyone is a born sinner. This doesn’t get us off the hook for any bad behavior, though. Sins aren’t exonerated because they result from Sin. The doctrine of total depravity was never meant to serve as a means of diminishing our culpability. On the contrary, it explains and confirms our guilt. Yes, it does show us our helplessness, but the basis of that is our wickedness, our depravity.

  5. My response is that a business owner should have a right to refuse services irregardless of whether or not his objection is within the customer’s control.  Should a restaurant owner be able to send a loudly gaseous patron on their way because they’re eruptions are so loud and smelly that all his dining customers are complaining and/or leaving?  What if the gas is due to a medical condition beyond their control?  Should a business that displays and sells vases from the Ming Dynasty insist that the poor lady with advanced stage Multiple Sclerosis stay outside because she is tripping and flipping all about?  Why does it matter whether it’s in or out of someone’s control?

  6. Andy’s question is the operative one here, and it’s the one I’ve now run into several times in similar debates.  Because the gay lobby has so completely marginalized the language of choice (even though there are those within the gay community who use it and prefer it) regarding sexuality and sexual identity, and because our culture has so embraced the message of “born this way”, any analogy that rests on something perceived to be a “choice” is going to be treated differently.  I went so far to quip (in borrowed fashion) that “gay isn’t the new black”, and you can well imagine how quickly I was labeled as “raycess”.  In the end, I would go back to what I said in a previous post: the Internet Atheist is not really interested in logic (just look at Eric’s contributions here).  Rather, they are interested in riding the wave of cultural ascendancy currently being enjoyed by their worldview, and what they seem unable to see is that the end result of their movement was predicted quite humorously over the door of a fictitious farmyard barn: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”.

  7. Born that way? Do you think that the government should be spending money on research to find a cure for this illness? Should a genetic test be developed so parents have a choice as to whether they should abort this defective child? Doesn’t evolutionary biology demonstrate that this is a genetically inferior abnormality?

  8. To Andy:  It is a choice.  A proclivity for something is not a destiny.  I spent 15 years living as a homosexual.   I chose to get out but not without the parting gift of an HIV infection.  Ten years later I have a wife and two adopted children.  That was a choice too.  Anyone caught up in that life or their fellow travelers are liars.              

  9. Andy: I do hope you read all of Pastor Wilson’s post before jumping straight to the comments, but allow me to quote a bit of the above (and forgive me if the formatting doesn’t look just right):

    So what am I doing then? Consider the difference here:
    “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” (John 8:10-11).
    “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; She eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness” (Prov. 30:20).
    There is no difference in the one sin (adultery), but a huge difference in the other — which is contrition v. the sin of high-handed arrogance in the second example. The grace of God teaches us to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Those who are enslaved by the chains of vice should receive nothing but sympathy and grace from Christians.Nothing but.

     
    <end of quote>”Choice” here, as in other discussions of our time, is the opposition’s red herring. In the situation bakers and photographers are being put in by militant sodomite couples, the provider of a service is faced with being asked to help people celebrate and promote not a sin an individual is fighting against within his heart and life but a sin two people are openly and defiantly participating in together. It is the very act of sin that is celebrated at these mirage ceremonies. I fully agree that we, sons and daughters of Adam all, are all born bent in different ways, each struggling against a different set of temptations. When, however, a person gives himself fully to the slavery of the sin he loves he is obviously no longer fighting against it. A person in the throws of battle with his sin is not going to be the one approaching the local service provider for help in celebrating his enemy’s victories over him.

  10. JC writes: “Evolutionary traits that have over time and with with purpose become innate can be seen in the following manner -  Disgust.”

    Mm hmm. And the reaction of most children upon hearing what THEIR parents had to do to conceive them is what?  That “natural” and “Godly” thing?  GROSSSSS!

    The thought of obese or unattractive or elderly heterosexuals (even if married) having sex is what?  Go to a theater where one of these couplings is even hinted at and you’re going to get laughter.

     
    You’ve proved nothing.

    To be honest, it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if Doug resorted to the “f” word in describing gays.  It simply leads me to believe what I imagined was true about pastors such as he: when he can’t arouse fear (or reverence) or something in people that will keep them in line, he’ll use insults.   
     
    Ever see those street preachers out on corners with the nasty placards?  If everyone ignored them, they’d go away. Ultimately, it’s all about them. God is merely a convenient tool to gain attention … even if it’s the negative kind.  I guess some folks need a reminder that they’re still alive.

  11. “Laws should be used to combat crime, not sin, and certainly not faux-sin. … If Bubba still wanted to exclude blacks from his ribs joint, then that was Bubba’s problem, and Bubba’s loss.”
    Maybe I’m just obscenely cynical, but I can’t imagine even the most hardcore, gov’t-so-small-it’s-almost-anarchy libertarian reaching this conclusion BEFORE laws started being passed that classified homosexuals as a demographic needing legal protection.
    But even if I’m wrong, this still seems to run counter to the “Gay Is NOT the New Black” meme that you briefly affirm.

  12. Thought of parents (disgust to avoid incestious thoughts) – obese or elderly (bad for genetic coupling) 
     
    Although I am not trying to prove anything, just ask good questions to further my understanding.

  13. James I am not a theist by the way – or a homophobe.
    ‘Natural’ is a pendulum:
    We cannot say morality is innate without allowing the misgivings of man to be too.
    it may be more accurate to also say homophobia is just as natural as homosexuality.
     But then again I would hope we have the reason to push past base urges.
    Or propensities.

  14. Very good responses Jacob and BPG, and to be clear, I completely agree with Doug here… my real thought in posting above was that I keep hitting a wall, so to speak, when using that example, and I’m looking for ways to try to proceed and still have a productive discussion… I agree with you guys, especially the choice point that BPG mentioned but I’m struggling with getting any further in conversation without the person resorting to, “well, that’s your religion and we have freedom of religion here, your religious conviction can’t get in the way of someone else’s rights”  (we can argue about whether it’s a right protected by the constitution yet or not, but eventually it will be considered that I think)…. so where does one turn at that point in the conversation.  Mind you, I’m not discussing this with a homosexual even, just a non-Christian who is willing to think about things without getting riled…
     
    thanks everyone!

  15. Andy, as concerns the cake bakers, photographers, and such, ask your friend: what rights are being denied to the “happy couple?” Do any of these people have the power to stop the ceremony? Does a baker have the power to refuse the couple the privelege of having a cake at the reception? Not at all. If the baker refuses to bake it himself, he is not denying them the privelege of having a wedding cake outright. There are plenty of bakers who would be happy to take the business, and the first baker will not begrudge the couple’s choice to take their business elsewhere. It’s a free country after all. Well… it is for the gay couple, anyway.

  16. I can’t stand when people act like Pharisaism is a peculiarly “conservative” sin that only us religious conservatives need worry about. The very definition of Pharisaism is modern Western Liberalism with its Human Rights Commissions and faux moral indignation. Almost better examples than the originals, if that were possible.

  17. Let’s say it’s an orientation.   One advocate says the best thing if for them to “marry” like kind, to form responsible family bonds of loving expression and satisfy therein the sexual urges.  Why is God against this?  We need to be prepared and more clear!!!  It’s because homosexual behavior poisons.  It injects a cancer on the good relationship between guys or between girls.  Instead of promoting simple and rich brotherly love, it complicates thigs and adds sexual layers that warp the good guy or gal culture.  Guydom good.  Galdom good.  Gaydom sad.

  18. But the NFL isn’t the government; it’s a private organization.  So under Doug’s free market approach, what’s the problem?  If the government were banning use of certain words, there’s a whole boatload of Supreme Court caselaw that would put a stop to it lickety split.  It isn’t the government, though; it’s a private organization.  And private organizations have always had the right to tell their employees how to behave when they’re on the company’s dime.  Come to think of it, a lot of companies regulate a lot of off-the-clock behavior too, as many an ex-employee discovered the morning after his name appeared in the local newspaper’s police reports.

  19. Mr Bradshaw:  Is anti-God a tool for nastier atheists to get attention?  We Christians fall short of the love of Jesus, but it can be recognized in some of us.  Would Mr Dawkins, etc, blow a gasket if forced to recite I Corinthians 13? 
    /  /  /  /  / / / Mr Waters:  libertarians (generally non-Christian ones?) have indeed affirmed that letting Bubba’s racism lose him business, rather than trying to force him by law not to practice racism, is the thing to do.
    /   /   /   /   /   /   /   If I’m supposed to celebrate ‘gay’ activity, aren’t they to supposed to celebrate what my genes make me do?  Will a ‘gay’ musician play the music for Psalm 58 while we pray that Psalm for certain judges?

  20. Andy: Thank you for your kind words. (I realize now that my opening words could be read with a tone less friendly than I meant. Please accept my apologies.)  I have not yet read or heard all of Greg Bahnsen’s works, but what I have been working through lately has been helpful to me in thinking through why our government’s laws ought to be shaped by the Law of God found in the scriptures. He also deals very well with the relativist escape routes you describe and we all encounter. I think if I tried to explain it as eloquently as Dr. Bahnsen has I might butcher it terribly,  so let me encourage you to find a copy of his book Theonomy in Christian Ethics. The copy I bought came with a CD of some lectures he gave on the subject that I am working through. Listening to these lectures alone has changed the way I view law and justice.  Secondly(and pardon me while I “preach” to myself as well), your friend will not be able to understand the truth without the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is so easy for us (me!) to forget that while logic is on our side, it is not the only tool in the box. As you talk, don’t forget to pray, both for your words and your friend’s heart. I praise God you have such an opportunity! Sexual sin may be a hot topic, but it is not the main one. May your conversations lead to the Gospel and he or she be awakened to the Truth and the Greatness of our God, and you gain a brother or sister. (And while I’m recommending books, I began re-reading Romans today. Care to join me, anyone? We can’t hear the Gospel enough!) My prayers go with you. Courage and Godspeed!

  21. Brendt Wayne Waters:  ” Maybe I’m just obscenely cynical, but I can’t imagine even the most hardcore, gov’t-so-small-it’s-almost-anarchy libertarian reaching this conclusion BEFORE laws started being passed that classified homosexuals as a demographic needing legal protection.”  // You haven’t apparently been following Doug’s blog lo these many years.  That was his posish long before the frequency of these types of posts ramped up (somewhat correlated in my mind to the number of real and, often, gratuitous mentions in the media–I find myself muttering when NPR’s All Things Considered and the like are on: All Gay.  All the Time.).  I think I first read of his position in the context of racial issues–of all things.  I hasten to add the corollary: (I believe) that Doug would expect that, in any properly functioning church, a member that discriminated maliciously on the basis of race should be under some appropriate level of discipline until the sin was repented of.

  22. Eric the Red wrote:

    “But the NFL isn’t the government; it’s a private organization.  So under Doug’s free market approach, what’s the problem?”

    Indeed, what is the problem?  Great caution is warranted, or Eric might accidentally find himself overcome with zeal and hurling a prescription against Doug’s behavior.
                                                                                                                                                             Eric seems to have missed the transition from NFL to courtroom setting in Doug’s hypothetical prosecution.  Still, the boundaries between the market and the government are rapidly eroding in both directions.  The free market is all but dead with the government now picking the winners and losers, and too-big-to-fail corporations flexing their influence over policy.  Case in point, didn’t the NFL just float the possibility of pulling the 2015 Superbowl if Arizona passed the recent religious freedom bill?  What was Eric saying about how the NFL isn’t the government?  Keep repeating that.  The NFL has a large role to play in the modern version of bread and circus.

  23. But Katecho, to the extent that corporations have become too big to fail, and big enough to threaten the economy of a state, isn’t that simply the free market at work?  I’m no socialist, but I know from past conversations that I’m agreeable to far more regulation than you are, partly because without it, we end up with corporations that are too big to fail and corporations that are big enough to force their will on entire states.
     

  24. Doug Wilson,  you are a foul, disgusting human being and a disgrace to the Christian faith and its pastorate.  “Fudge-packer”?  “Faggotre”?  You are a preeningly belligerent ass, and the love of God is not in you.  I beg you to repent.  Laugh at me, laugh at my message — but fear the God in whose eyes you are an unloving viper.  Keely Emerine-Mix

  25. Eric the Red, your point about the NFL being private is a reasonable one, and I had almost included a section on taxpayer funded stadiums, etc. in order to address the quasi-public nature of certain mega-businesses. Threatening to remove the Super Bowl from Arizona would be another example. But to take the point, if the NFL were genuinely private, all the way, I do believe they should have the legal right to ban whatever words they want to.

  26. Hi, Keely. Thanks for providing us a sample of what my loving discourse would look like if I weren’t such a foul, disgusting human being.

  27. Keely gets to call people names like ass and viper in a fit of righteous zeal, but others aren’t allowed to address wolves in a similar way?  Righteous anger is a tool reserved for her use only?  Perhaps Keely feels she has spiritual authority and that Doug doesn’t, even though Doug is a pastor.  Perhaps Keely feels that homosexual acts are not a sin, even though Scripture refers to them as such.  I appreciate Doug’s distinction between the broken and repentant homosexual and the homosexual wolf that is a true danger to the sheep, and the different approaches to be taken in each case.  It’s not clear that Keely is noting that distinction in her reaction against Doug.

  28. What truly saddens me is that not one successful professional Christian athlete has shown a willingness to put their career on the line for the Gospel and challenge this stuff.

  29. For those of you who like a proper history lesson should read up on the history of Chinese Americans in the South during segregation. They made segregation work for them by opening businesses that catered exclusively to Blacks.

  30. Hey Doug, skip the NFL and talk oil companies. That is more important. They are allowed to control the economy. Why shouldn’t the government eminent domain the oil reserves for commercial use?

  31. Eric the Red wrote:

    “But Katecho, to the extent that corporations have become too big to fail, and big enough to threaten the economy of a state, isn’t that simply the free market at work?”

    Keynes (coincidentally a homosexual) argued that the government is the great social protector.  He advocated government intervention in the form of bailouts of private institutions that were deemed too big to fail.  He was aware of the moral hazard in doing this, but advocated the intervention anyway, for the sake of the society.  However, in a free market there is no corporate bailout by the government.  The government isn’t authorized to make lousy investors whole again with public money.  Risk and loss is borne privately by private institutions and their private investors.  If enough private citizens invest in such a risky lopsided fashion that a large failing institution could disrupt the entire economy, then we still have to ask if such behavior is sinful or criminal.  We know that stealing is criminal, which is what the crony government is doing when it bails out big business.  We also see that the market is not allowed to function to punish the sinful behavior on its own, thus the moral hazard, and a repeat of the same bad behavior on an even greater scale the next time.  In other words, government intervention may seem compassionate, but it’s a crony compassion with someone else’s money, and makes the problem worse.
                                                                                                                                                                 It’s important to remember that governments are in a market as well, and even they are not too big to fail.  Governments who persist in stealing from their own people to provide crony corporate bailouts ought to fail and be replaced.

  32. Article I.8 grants Congress the power to tax, borrow, and spend without limitation for the general welfare as it sees fit, to set the value of money, to regulate commerce between the States (which includes the cannabis growing in your kitchen window, according to our high oracles of original intent), and to make all reasonable and proper laws to put these powers into effect. This regime is 224 years old which gives ample notice to would-be emigrants, and depends on continuing authorizations by elected representatives, which gives people the power to shut it all down at will.  I don’t find any elements of stealing in this picture so katecho’s accusation sounds really wild.   

  33. Scroop Moth is incorrect.  Article 1 Section 8 does not grant Congress the power to spend without limitation.  Such words are not present in the article, and it isn’t a privilege that a government can rightfully bestow on itself anyway.  “Without limit” is the effect of recent debt-ceiling political compromise, but the founders had no desire for the behemoth federal government we have today.
                                                                                                                                                    I don’t dispute the State’s legitimate authority to tax, in principle, but we can’t conclude from this that it is impossible for the State to steal through its practice of taxation.  It certainly is possible.  It is also possible to effectively steal from the savings of the people by dumping fiat dollars into the economy to cause inflation (even if taxes remain low).  It is also possible to steal through lavish government consumption, today, by majority vote, with the bill of debt passed down to future generations (even if taxes remain low for our generation).  These are all examples of theft, regardless of the permissions that a government (or electorate) bestows on itself.  The rulers of nations are not autonomous.  They will be judged for how they exercised their God given authority.  Christ is King of kings, and rules the nations by His Law, with a rod of iron there.

  34. The rulers of nations are not autonomous.  They will be judged for how they exercised their God given authority.  Christ is King of kings, and rules the nations by His Law, with a rod of iron there.
     

    And for Eric or Stoop or DeLurking when you wonder about my “disobedience” , my hope and my insistence that you are losing. Katecho gives the Scriptural basis for it. ///Your mistake is assuming that America or “The Utilitariat” or  “pick your idol of choice and insert it here” is my boss./// You are incorrect. ///America used to have legitimate authority over me because America was in concordance with its founding covenant–That God institutes ……
     
    ///You are rejoicing because that covenant has been rejected by you and yours. You call that “winning”. Being dead in sin, you are blind to sin’s reward. It sad.

  35. Doug,
    I find Keely’s response helpful in pointing out that the “new morality” is not as wide open to diversity as a surface-level analysis of their rhetoric might indicate. It’s not that one side wants to be critical, and the other could never say a strong word, nor is it a matter of having the laws let people live and let live under the new morality. Its a matter of both groups defining another group as being dead wrong, and then to greater or lesser degrees, using the force of government to stifle them (or put them into the closet, one might say). So, its not a matter of whether there will be a closet, but rather, its a matter of who ends up in that closet. The modus operandi is the same for both sides, but as far as I can tell, Christians and other religious groups tend to be more honest about their goals, whereas the pro-homosexual group seems to have successfully lulled many people to sleep (“Hey, its not like if two men get married, two heterosexuals will be prevented from getting married” or “What two people do in their bedroom isn’t going to be imposed on you and yours”), and now that their side has the momentum, they wish to enact their own “blue laws”.
    I suspect many Christians sinfully figured this aspect of biblical sociopolitical life could be safely swept under the carpet in disobedience, and that they/we would get away with it.  Yes, it’s wrong, but God won’t do anything to us if we fail to take a stand. Although it troubles me, the fact that these issues are now showing up in places like Christian bakeries is a good reminder that God will not be mocked…by His people.  The fact that we did not take it to the streets does not mean that our spiritual and political opponents will play by the same rules.

  36. James Bradshaw writes:  

    To be honest, it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if Doug resorted to the “f” word in describing gays.  It simply leads me to believe what I imagined was true about pastors such as he

    Which confirms what was actually obvious about James’ comments – that his responses have seldom been against what Pastor Wilson actually said, but who James Bradshaw imagined him to be.  In our age, why bother interact with the individual when we can win arguments against figments of our imaginations.

  37. Comment sections often illustrate this point made by Chesterton (as quoted in Defiant Joy) back in 1903:

    “Chesterton lamented that it was ‘too much the custom in politics to describe a political opponent as utterly inhuman.’ He recoiled from this, saying ‘this kind of invective may often have a great superficial success: it may hit the mood of the moment; it may raise excitement and applause; it may impress millions’ – but ultimately, he said, it failed utterly to engage ‘the real ironies’ of an opponent’s soul – ‘the mean compromises, the craven silences, the sullen vanities, the secret brutalities, the unmanly visions of revenge.’”

  38. Eric Stampher,
    I wholeheartedly agree that, in your words, “we need to be prepared and more clear” in our dealings with the unregenerate and, incidentally, with believers caught in wrong thinking and reasoning. In that spirit, I would point out that the wrongness of homosexuality has absolutely nothing to do with the potential negative effects it has on society. Homosexual behaviour is wrong for the single reason that every sin is wrong: it violates the character and nature of the holy God who created and governs the universe. Collateral damage caused by sin is unfortunate, and is also displeasing to God, but arguing pragmatics with those who do not share our Christian worldview is at best unfruitful, and at worst, a denial of the hope that is within us.

  39. Article I.8 states no limit on the amounts of taxation, borrowing, spending, and money printing that it grants Congress the power to impose, because the founders chose not to put such words in the text, though they certainly had the vocabulary to do so. Many right wingers want an amendment to fix this.
    Stealing is taking by fraud or violence.  In this case you are just whining. Takings are not theft if they follow due process.  However burdensome, federal taxes are constitutional, statutory, and subject to continuing authorization by our elected representatives.  You can’t actually  rob yourself except in an act of hyperbole. Moreover there are arguments persuasive to many rational citizens that you receive substantial consideration, whether or not you agree. In any case you have prior notice and remedies at the ballot box or through emigration.
    None of this means you have to agree to big government.  US taxation doesn’t have to be stealing in order for people to oppose it. Your calling it stealing suggests to me that you can’t give the real reason. Look, God was honest about why He sabotaged the tower of Babel. It was not because of unsound title, engineering flaws, environmental impact, financial insolvency, zoning approval, or the Babylon Constitution.  He knew the people would make themselves proud.  Your real reason may be that you are afraid government will work well, and the better it works the more you will infallibly hate it.

  40. “I had never once in my life taunted a homosexual because of his vice, whether with word, gesture, or epithet. I was not brought up that way, and I simply wouldn’t do it.”  But you have. Here.  With this post. I know you don’t think you have.  I get that.  But using the words that you are using, whether in “fun” or not, does inflict harm. It does taunt.

  41. The things happening in our culture today remind me of a story I once read — a true story about a police officer who noticed a car being driven erratically through traffic.  The officer pulled the vehicle over only to discover that a blind man was driving it.  There was a passenger capable of sight, but when asked why he wasn’t driving, the passenger responded, “Officer, I’m too drunk to drive, and I didn’t want to get a DUI!” (The drunk man was giving verbal instructions to the blind man as they made their way home.  It seems a perfect metaphor.)

  42. Also, you said: “This would be the cluster of sins that can be grouped as… malice, spite, insolence…” It’s interesting that you see these sins so clearly in the “Pharisees of Phootball” and in others when so many of us see them in you through your writing.  And we don’t want to see them in you. You are too smart and clever and for this. You’ve got so much more to offer. Please, please heed the words of Proverbs 15.

  43. Sara do you think that a person should speak in exactly the same way in every situation?  Do you speak to a false prophet in a different way than you speak to a weeping sinner?  Do you speak to an unrepentant abusive husband in the same way that you speak to the abused wife?  Do you admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with everyone?  Do you speak directly to an individual homosexual in the same way that you might speak in generalities about the well known group of hate filled homosexual activists who seek to mandate forced celebration of their sin?

  44. For instance, can’t a pastor speak against materialism in general much more forcefully than he would probably speak to an individual sinner who appears to be materialistic? I imagine that John Piper would not stand up in the middle of a counseling session and point his finger at his church member and shout at him, “YOU’RE MATERIALISM IS UGH-LY!”  

  45. Before anyone shudders that what has been written on this blog may have offended a delicate babe in Christ, here is a quote from Keely’s own blog:

    I believe that the political and social views I hold, which upset other Christians tremendously, come from my belief in Scripture and my desire to adhere to Christ’s teachings — meaning that I have embraced radical feminism, gay marriage, personal pacifism, evolution, democratic socialism, and the other “left-wing” positions that I hold to because I believe them to be the most coherent with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. 

    (emphasis added)
                                                                                                                                                                            
    Of course I had a pretty good idea, just from the hyphenated last name, that something along those lines might be found there, and it says everything one needs to know about her to pray for her intelligently.  However I do commend her for putting her worldview on her own blog rather than subjecting the readers of Blog and Mablog to it day in and day out in the comments section as some are so prone to do.

  46. Scroop Moth is indeed incorrect as katecho points out.  Read the letter from James Madison to Andrew Stevenson at http://tinyurl.com/rduzz3.  He answers your objection thusly:
     If it be asked why the terms “common defence and general welfare,” if not meant to convey the comprehensive power which, taken literally, they express, were not qualified and explained by some reference to the particular powers subjoined, the answer is at hand, that although it might easily have been done, and experience shows it might be well if it had been done, yet the omission is accounted for by an inattention to the phraseology, occasioned doubtless by its identity with the harmless character attached to it in the instrument from which it was borrowed. But may it not be asked with infinitely more propriety, and without the possibility of a satisfactory answer, why, if the terms were meant to embrace not only all the powers particularly expressed, but the indefinite power which has been claimed under them, the intention was not so declared? why, on that supposition, so much critical labour was employed in enumerating the particular powers, and in defining and limiting their extent?
     
    James Madison also said “If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare,and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare,
    they may take the care of religion into their own hands;they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parishand pay them out of their public treasury;they may take into their own hands the education of children,establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union;they may assume the provision of the poor;they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads;in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislationdown to the most minute object of police,would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the powerof Congress to be established in the latitude contended for,it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very natureof the limited Government established by the people of America.”

  47. @Scroop – actually Article I, Section 8 enumerates what may be used for taxation. It is listed in that section. You stop reading here: “the Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States”, but there is a whole lot more left in that section that enumerates what this means.

    James Madison, the writer of the Constitution, addresses this issue specifically here: http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_1s27.html.

    “The obvious conclusion to which we are brought is, that these terms [general welfare and common defense], copied from the Articles of Confederation, were regarded in the new as in the old instrument, merely as general terms, explained and limited by the subjoined specifications, and therefore requiring no critical attention or studied precaution…  
    That the terms in question were not suspected in the Convention which formed the Constitution of any such meaning as has been constructively applied to them, may be pronounced with entire confidence; for it exceeds the possibility of belief, that the known advocates in the Convention for a jealous grant and cautious definition of Federal powers should have silently permitted the introduction of words or phrases in a sense rendering fruitless the restrictions and definitions elaborated by them.

    Consider for a moment the immeasurable difference between the Constitution limited in its powers to the enumerated objects, and expounded as it would be by the import claimed for the phraseology in question. The difference is equivalent to two Constitutions, of characters essentially contrasted with each other–the one possessing powers confined to certain specified cases, the other extended to all cases whatsoever; for what is the case that would not be embraced by a general power to raise money, a power to provide for the general welfare, and a power to pass all laws necessary and proper to carry these powers into execution; all such provisions and laws superseding, at the same time, all local laws and constitutions at variance with them? Can less be said, with the evidence before us furnished by the journal of the Convention itself, than that it is impossible that such a Constitution as the latter would have been recommended to the States by all the members of that body whose names were subscribed to the instrument?”
     
     

    and again in a letter to Edmund Pendleton:

    “Having not yet succeeded in hitting on an opportunity, I send you a part of it in a newspaper, which broaches a new Constitutional doctrine of vast consequence, and demanding the serious attention of the public. I consider it myself as subverting the fundamental and characteristic principle of the Government; as contrary to the true and fair, as well as the received construction, and as bidding defiance to the sense in which the Constitution is known to have been proposed, advocated, and adopted. If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions. It is to be remarked that the phrase out of which this doctrine is elaborated is copied from the old Articles of Confederation, where it was always understood as nothing more than a general caption to the specified powers.”

  48. Thanks to Doug Shuffield and David R.  Here are a few more quotes from the founders:

    “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”
    –Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Albert Gallatin, 1817

    and

    “The Constitution allows only the means which are ‘necessary,’ not those which are merely ‘convenient,’ for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to every one, for there is not one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one power, as before observed” – Thomas Jefferson, 1791

    James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, elaborated specifically on Article 1 Section 8 in a letter to James Robertson on April 20, 1831:

    With respect to the two words “general welfare,” I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. If the words obtained so readily a place in the “Articles of Confederation,” and received so little notice in their admission into the present Constitution, and retained for so long a time a silent place in both, the fairest explanation is, that the words, in the alternative of meaning nothing or meaning everything, had the former meaning taken for granted.

    The idea that our founders had any truck with unlimited government is ridiculous, but folks like Scroop Moth are apparently in favor of a new Babylon and are not interested in original intent, they will attempt any tortured reading to get what they want.  They seem to think that a new Babylon will end up differently this time than it did in the past.

  49. James Madison also addressed Scroop Moth’s faulty reasoning in this devastating critique (from The Federalist No. 41: General View of the Powers Conferred by The Constitution).  It’s a lengthy read, but it’s straight from the horse’s mouth:

    Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction.
                                                                                                                                                 Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms “to raise money for the general welfare.”
                                                                                                                                                          But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter.
                                                                                                                                                                     The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in article third, are “their common defense, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare.” The terms of article eighth are still more identical: “All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury,” etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever. But what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions, and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves, whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation!

  50.  Your real reason may be that you are afraid government liberty will work well, and the better it works the more you will infallibly hate it.
     

    tit-for-tat.

  51. St. Lee: “Of course I had a pretty good idea, just from the hyphenated last name …”
     
    WOW! What’s your next statement? Something about how horrible that “ERA Amendment” is? If the 21st century is too much, can you at least move into the 80s? Trust me, the music is great!
     
    I weep for a brand of Christianity that can omnisciently divine motives from a [self-censored] hyphen.
     
    (I now look forward to the many omniscient declarations that I am in complete lockstep with Keely’s beliefs simply because I disagreed on one point with someone who disagrees with her on several.)

  52. Dr Wilson, can you please let someone into the CSS of your WP theme so that paragraph breaks in comments don’t get obliterated? :)

  53. Goodness.  I’ve struck a chord here.  Let’s be clear:  As the Apostle Paul says, it is not up to me to judge (in Doug’s world, mock/insult/slander/verbally slaughter) those who do not identify as followers of Jesus Christ.  Not my job; not Doug’s, either.  I don’t go after those outside the Church, whereas the author of the execrable Serrated Edge insists, contrary to Paul, that it’s a Godly mandate to do so.  I criticize, correct, rebuke, etc., those in the Church.  There are easily half a million ways in which I’m different from Doug Wilson.  This is the most significant — how he responds to those outside the fold, and how I respond to them.  I need no “authority” other than the same authority he is under — the Holy Spirit who gifts me and who convicts me.  As for thinking that my hyphenated last name somehow tells you something significant about me — my, what small worlds you inhabit!  Beside the fact that “Keely Mix” sounds like a dessert topping or something, I did keep my birthname, the surname of my father, because of my respect and love for him.  I imagine it would shock you all that I was, from their births ’til now, a stay-at-home mom to my two sons, that I’m married (almost 30 years) to a wonderful Christian man who is proud of me and who stands by me, and that our desire to obey Christ lead us to abstain before marriage, as I hope was the case for all of you.  And yet, all of those things I wrote on my blog are true.  Gee.  Isn’t it amazing to learn of a Christian woman not much like the ones at NSA or the Kirk — the ones whose passion before marriage is to obey Wilson by (1) praying fervently for a husband (and hoping, I’m going to assume, that the one offered them isn’t a serial pedophile)* and (2) focus on amassing a nice collection of table linens until he arrives?  I extend, as I did on Facebook in response to Gabe Rench’s reposting of this disgusting Blog and Mablog post, an invitation to any of you out there to meet me and talk over a cup of coffee or a beer — and I’ll buy.  You can get ahold of me via my email, siyocreo@live.com.  Until then, let me be clear:  Wilson is a disgrace to the ministry and a blight on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I say this with tremendous sadness, but no apology. 
    As for the preceding * (pedophile husbands), ask around.  Or search my blog, http://www.keelyprevailingwinds.com.  There’s a lot about your Boss-man you don’t know …
     

  54. Keely,
    Is Doug a disgrace to the ministry because you believe he used crude and unloving language, or because he spoke against same sex attraction/intercourse as evil?
    If your concern is the latter, or both, then maybe to save everyone some time, we should all backtrack a bit, and settle a more fundamental issue – is there any circumstance regarding which the Bible is either silent on, or speaks favorably of, homosexuality? I ask because upon my reading of the Bible (and to be clear, the topic of homosexuality is not a passion for me, and I would strongly prefer to not discuss it), it seems the Bible denounces homosexuality not on a circumstantial basis (i.e. excess, abuse, cultic practices) but in categorical, unqualified terms, and in every instance of it.
    If the correct reading of the Bible is that homosexuality is a perversion, and evil, then there might be something to a criticism of someone using unloving language to denounce evil (thus attempting to overcome evil with evil). It seems to me, and I admit that I do not know you and I cannot read your heart, but if Doug had used strong language against a white supremacist, let’s say, I wonder if you would have called him down quite as vigorously. If I had to guess, I would doubt it. My being unmoved at your accusations is based on my suspicion that the problem you have with this post would be that no matter how Doug Wilson spoke against homosexuality, regardless of his language, as long as he did so in a manner which was exegetically sound and faithful to orthodox Christianity, then you would have had the same response.

  55. I make an educated guess that someone may be a extreme liberal egalitarian because of a hyphenated last name, the guess proves to be correct, and I am now somehow called to task for that correct guess?
                                                                                                                                                                            
    BTW, my guess could have been way off base if, as Ms. Emerine-Mix did hyphenate solely to honor her father.  On the other hand if her husband added her maiden name to his, then I would have had better reason for my guess.  Either way no one can argue that my guess was wrong.
                                                                                                                                                                                Why does the term christain keep coming to my mind?

  56. Keely Emerine-Mix said, “… I’m married (almost 30 years) to a wonderful Christian man who is proud of me and who stands by me, and that our desire to obey Christ lead us to abstain before marriage…”
                                                                                                                                                                                                  
    Admirable, but I’m curious whether this is your expectation for the “Christian” participants in a “gay marriage.”

  57. “is there any circumstance regarding which the Bible is either silent on, or speaks favorably of, homosexuality?”
     
    Nope, but the Bible also doesn’t speak *unfavorably* of buying and selling human beings for profit or of 30-year-old men taking child brides,  It speaks favorably of a man’s willingness to kill his own child because of the voices in his head.  It also speaks favorably of killing civilian children in wartime.
     
    If you think you can find a coherent system of ethics from this supposedly divine book, good luck to you … I know many have tried.  

  58. James,
    I am willing to contribute at least a portion of the membership fees for you to become an Amazon Prime member, so you can begin ordering the hundreds of books that more than easily answer your rather standard arguments. Believe it or not, your not the first person who has thought they had God, or Bible believers, over a barrel.
    Additionally, although your interpretation of the Old Testament is absolutely fallacious, even if what you wrote was an accurate rendering, so what? Are you arguing that a God you find distasteful couldn’t possibly exist? Or are you arguing that there is no way God couldn’t reach the same conclusions you would?
    James, do you believe in God, and if so, how do we know Him?
     
     

  59. Jacob, BPG, and Will,
     
    If you don’t mind, can you email me at ada.board.email@gmail.com with your contact information if  you are comfortable.
    I would like to contact you via my real email but want to obscure it some on the public board.
     
    I will email you back with my personal email.  I would like to bounce many more things off of you that aren’t worthy of publishing on DW blog.
     
    thanks!

  60. Keely, just curious, but how is it that Evolution is in your list of positions that are the most coherent with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ?  In the New Testament, doesn’t Jesus clearly view Adam as a created being?  Thus, if Adam wasn’t created but merely evolved, was Jesus wrong?  Is the Bible wrong?  Moreover, why do you think it’s favorable to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to believe that we are not unique, special creations of God, created in His image, but are merely sophisticated apes or monkeys who evolved?  Can you please elaborate?   

  61. I understand from Scripture that it is evil to force people to act against their conscience (even when they are incorrect), but it is acceptable to try and convince them that their conscience is incorrect. It seems to me that the world reverses this. Trying to tell people that they are mistaken is now labelled “hate” whereas forcing men to blaspheme (by making them do what they think God disapproves of) is apparently justice.

  62. bethyada, well said: “Trying to tell people that they are mistaken is now labeled “hate” whereas forcing men to blaspheme (by making them do what they think God disapproves of) is apparently justice.”  That’s because no reasoning is necessary when labeling one a hater or bigot or racist; just raw emotion.  Hence, the common use of the demagogue.  Also, tolerance in our day means accepting all values, especially the ones that don’t agree with Scripture or a Christian worldview.

  63. St Lee, the accuracy (or lack thereof) of your assumption is staggeringly irrelevant. It is the fact that you entered the situation with an assumption based on no evidence whatsoever for which I am “calling you to task”, and I find it very difficult to believe that this wasn’t abundantly clear. ///// If I thought it would do any good, I’d ask you to explain the sudden shift from the near certainty of “Of course, I had a good idea” to the much more reasonable-sounding “educated [sic] guess”.

  64. Keely wrote:

    “Let’s be clear:  As the Apostle Paul says, it is not up to me to judge (in Doug’s world, mock/insult/slander/verbally slaughter) those who do not identify as followers of Jesus Christ.  Not my job; not Doug’s, either.  I don’t go after those outside the Church, whereas the author of the execrable Serrated Edge insists, contrary to Paul, that it’s a Godly mandate to do so.”

    Let me be clear?  Did Keely just watch an Obama speech?  At any rate, in spite of her protests, it is abundantly clear that Keely has nothing against using serrated edges.  Her excuse seems to be that she uses them only on fellow Christians, whereas Doug will pick targets in and outside the covenant.  In the use of serrated edges, Doug wants to carefully distinguish between guilt and innocence, rebellion and repentance, wolves and sheep, combatants and civilians, whereas Keely seems to want to mock, insult, and slander young Christian women at NSA and Christ Church, as in this quote:

    “the ones whose passion before marriage is to obey Wilson by (1) praying fervently for a husband (and hoping, I’m going to assume, that the one offered them isn’t a serial pedophile)* and (2) focus on amassing a nice collection of table linens until he arrives?”

    Apparently Keely feels free to use a serrated edge to mock, and insult, and judge Christians, regardless of their guilt or innocence, repentance or not, so long as they are somehow connected with Doug Wilson.  I find it extremely prejudiced, bigoted, and hypocritical on her part.

  65. David asks: ” Are you arguing that a God you find distasteful couldn’t possibly exist?”
    Not at all.  He could very well, in fact, be planning to fry the entire human race … every last one … for all eternity just for the fun of seeing the look of shock on our faces when we find out that no one’s getting into “paradise”.  That could very well be the reality.  Who knows?    It doesn’t mean I have to like it.
     
    “James, do you believe in God, and if so, how do we know Him?”
    Frankly, I think there was a First Cause, but I think He’s either fallen asleep or has packed His bags and moved to a different cosmos.   If you want to see “design” and “love” in children’s lymphoma, MRSA and tsunamis, that’s your prerogative.
    “How do we know Him?”   Good question.  If you wish to believe that He decided to reveal Himself over the course of centuries, that He spoke “infallibly” through polygamists like Solomon and that this message was infallibly determined by a group of men to form what we know call “The Bible”, again … you’re free to do so.  That’s pretty subtle, if you ask me, though.  Why not interact with humanity directly?  Why the game of hide-and-seek and make salvation predicated upon your credulity and willingness to believe without evidence?  It makes no sense.
    You believe what you do because you want to … or perhaps because you need to.  I do understand that.  It doesn’t mean the rest of us are unable to face the uncertainty of existence. 
     
     
     

  66. @James Bradshaw
     

    It doesn’t mean I have to like it.
     
     

                                                                                                                                                 
    Good. A first principle when engaging God is to not lie. It is perfectly normal hate God–it is an attribute of Sin–our fallen state.
     

    Why not interact with humanity directly? 
     

    He does. His ways are not our ways. The key is for you to engage God directly as you are–with your doubts, hatreds , frustrations and skepticism. Do not lie to God–tell Him the truth. I used to call bullshit on God all the time–you need not fear doing so. (formal churches often frown on that sort of thing, but God does not. He wants you to engage Him).
     

    Why the game of hide-and-seek
     
     

                                                                                                                                                     
    I still don’t get why He does that. I have some ideas, but it troubles me to this day. Sometimes discussions with God take a loooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnng time–like talking to an Ent.
     

    and make salvation predicated upon your credulity and willingness to believe without evidence? 

     
     
                                                                                                                                                  
    This is a common misconception about faith. Faith is not pretending to know something we do not know; rather it is trust in that which we do know.  If we do not know then we do not have faith. Another way to look at it is “fake friends” where you are not really friends but go through the motions of friendship. As that pretense and show of friendship is not friendship, so the pretense and show of faith is not faith.  The simplest way I know how to put it is don’t fake it.
                                                                                                                                                   

    It makes no sense.
     

     
                                                                                                                                                  
    We are very strange, yes. We have chapter and verse on that very fact.
     

    You believe what you do because you want to … or perhaps because you need to. 
     

                                                                                                                                                    This is perfectly rational take, but you are missing the most obvious one…that we know God personally and He is very real and Christianity is real, we do not pretend, we do not fake it. The experience is–as C.S. Lewis describes–that things are more real, reality is clearer, the scope of life broader and more alive–its a lot of fun really. It has the same crap we all put up with as human beings, but there is a big upside to it. The key is to not fake it and engage God directly. The others on the board can clue you in on the theology and what not, but Christianity is a personal walk with God–no fakery involved.
     
     
    ///
     
    Welcome to the board, btw.
     
     
     

  67. Keely,
    You write with all the sincere passion of a politician.  Which is appropriate, because I believe you are one.  I believe you were also a “pastor”, is that correct?  I am not sure what version of the Holy Scripture you are reading, but it seems to be the abridged version, and some key passages are missing. If you need one, I would be happy to buy one for you. I write, mostly though as a woman to another woman. I wonder why you disparage our God given, essential, and wonderful lives?  You were blessed, Keely, to have been given a “wonderful Christian man.”  Why don’t you want the same for  other young Christian women?  You were blessed to be a stay at home mom. Why do you deny that dream for other young Christian women?  Many of us were brought up in an era where we were told not to want those things, even though our hearts desired them.  Look at the good that has done for our society.  Praise God there is a pastor who tells young women it is okay to pray to be a wife and mother.  These are beautiful, wonderful, indescribably joyful gifts.  I don’t understand how someone who has been so blessed to receive them would not want them for others in her community.  

  68. Keely, I don’t understand your term “boss man.”  What is your objection here?  Do you object to thousands of people coming to hear good Biblical teaching?  Do you object to thousands interested in learning about the Bible from a Pastor?  Do you object to those who listen to edifying sermons? I find it interesting, that in your objection to Pastor Wilson’s teachings you don’t direct us to the Bible.  You don’t direct us to your own church even…you direct us to you.  You invite us to come listen to you. Hmmm, curious.

  69. In addition Keely, I am saddened by your mocking reference of praying for a husband and preparing for that prayer to be answered.  You say that you have been blessed to be married to a Christian man and to have been further blessed with two children.  How wonderful.  These are indescribable joys.  Do you not hope for them for the young women of your community?  Thank God there are pastors teaching women to embrace these joys and not to pretend we don’t want them.  Thank God for families that more women are returning home  and are not out trying to prove they are a one of the bros.  There are some women so misguided that not only do they leave their duties at home in search of political careers but even go so far as to ignore the Bible and become “pastors.”  And Keely, as the role model that you offer your self up as, may I ask if you really think it wise to offer strangers on the internet to meet you for a beer?  Is this the kind of woman you hope your sons will marry?  Does your husband also offer strange women out to bars for beers?  Is this really the example you want young Christian women to follow?  Curiouser and curiouser.

  70. Dear James,
    I am a physician (ironically, a colorectal surgeon, considering the topic), and I have had the same struggles as you describe. You may not see them as “your struggles” but I want you to know that the issue of theodicy is one that I have at times wrestled with myself. When an innocent person (I speak in the earthly, judicial sense on innocence) is struck and killed in a car collision by a drunk driver, it is extremely difficult to understand why that happened when the God described in the Bible had the ability to prevent it.
    This is not my blog, and so I cannot give you a full treatment of this issue, but for $1.99, you can hear a trained philosopher, the late Greg Bahnsen, discuss the problem of evil in an academic treatment that does not gloss over the very real and very horrible things you described in your post (see Covenant Media Foundation). The piece that your argument leaves out is that the Bible describes God as having a morally sufficient reason for the evil He plans or allows. Of course, to believe that or not to comes down to an issue of authority, in the sense that we learn of this fact in the Bible, which claims to be that portion of God’s communication to humanity that He ordained to be written down for all to read. And this is why I asked if you believed in God, or not, and why. The Bible is how I have access to the God Who is not materially present here in my home today, and Who does not directly, verbally speak to me.
     
    So my next question is why do you assume that if unpleasant and horrible things happen to people that this is outside the plan of God, and that He must be detached from this world? If the Bible’s anthropology is true, then its not as if there is anyone who is innocent in this life before the throne of God, which would mean that the troubles that befall us here in this life must be met with the humility and utter dependance on God that this position of humanity before Him calls for.
     
    Nonetheless, I want you to know that, for lack of better words, I sympathize with you from the heart. This world can be like a veil of tears. It might surprise you to know that the reason that some of us oppose homosexuality so much is that we see it as being another layer of that veil, which when pulled back at the end of his life, leaves the impenitent sinner in an even worse, and eternal, state.

  71. @David
                                                                                                                                                       
    Go to a new line, hit the space bar until you hit the side of the page. hit enter. Or, scroll up until you find a nice page break and double click on it to copy and then paste. There should be one between @David and this paragraph.

  72. David/Timothy: I appreciate the honesty and willingness to engage my admittedly confrontational comments.
    “So my next question is why do you assume that if unpleasant and horrible things happen to people that this is outside the plan of God, and that He must be detached from this world?”
    If tragedy must come, I think He owes His devoted followers at least an explanation for its necessity, even if on occasions.  Is that too much to ask?  I’m not talking about us looking back at life’s horrors, straining to find something “good” that came out of it and attributing that to divine providence.  
     
    Look, it’s not as if I don’t WISH there to be a loving and involved Creator.  I’m not a dogmatic atheist.  What I’m not willing to do is embrace the totality of Scripture out of fear for my own skin, especially since embracing it is a leap of faith to begin with.  What I KNOW will happen to me if I embrace the Bible is that I’ll have to force myself to repress most of my sense of empathy for others so that I may see them as “meriting” unending, fiery torment for having the “wrong” beliefs or loving someone of the same gender (as well as a whole host of other things I find morally repugnant). 
     
    I’m not the most generous person on the planet, but I simply am not going down the dark road of a religious fanaticism that requires I lose the humanity I have.  This doesn’t mean to imply that fundamentalists aren’t capable of empathy.  They very well can be, but it seems that it requires a profound level of cognitive dissonance to be able to do so.
     
    In other words, I’m not willing to knowingly suspend the values I hold dear out of fear .. and for promises that may, in the end, be based on a delusion.
     
    Despite my comments, though, I understand and sympathize with those who come to differing conclusions on these matters.

  73. @Keeley: Is it too very much to ask that, instead of slinging rumor and accusations around with an invitation to come to your turf to gossip, that you come right out with your evidences and accusations? Clearly? Do tell. And, yes, it is unreasonable for you to get huffy when people see the obvious historical meaning in a woman bearing a hyphenated surname (or throwing an emotional hissy-fit, for that matter), about as unreasonable as a young man dressed like a thug getting huffy when people lock their car doors as he walks by. Don’t project a message and then be upset when people can read it. I assure you, it is quite possible for a woman to be a thinking, respected woman without being a radical feminist. 

  74. Dear James,
    Remember that what you are describing has been experienced not only by people who are not Christians, but also by God’s prophets and by people who were completely invested in serving the Lord. It was not unusual for the prophets to see wickedness of their fellow countrymen, and to see the resultant destruction wrought by God’s judgment, and to have serious doubts about the faithfulness and justice of God.
    In one sense, the Bible provides an answer to why bad things happen to ostensibly good people – when Adam sinned, God placed a judicial curse on all humanity that introduces the various forms of sin and death that always accompany disobedience like Adam’s, and like ours (such as male and female He created them, and we have decided that now there are 50 different gender designations). As to why a particular tragedy befalls a particular person, we might or might not be able to glean a reason from the Scriptures (i.e. an alcoholic develops cirrhosis of the liver and dies – we know why he suffered that end; a person who lived clean their whole life develops cancer and dies, we do not know why God did this).
     
    I will tell you that in the case of Job, God never gave him an answer as to why God brought about those horrible events into the life of a righteous person. Of course, we know from the story what the reason was, but God never told Job. This should indicate to us that just because we do not know the answer does not mean there isn’t one. God’s answer to Job was basically one that put Job in his place for questioning God’s wisdom and fairness, and this should prompt us that the primary problem most of us have when we question God’s goodness or faithfulness is not a raw lack of data. Since rebellion to God’s plain command is what brought about our race’s problems then and now, it does not surprise me that God does not grant each request for an explanation. Our difficulty with this belies a more serious problem on our part, and the heart condition behind the question why in most cases – a lack of trust in Him, and a desire to be in charge in a way that is not fitting for a creature.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
     

  75. James
                                                                                                                                                   
     

    <i>I appreciate the honesty and willingness to engage my admittedly confrontational comments.</i>

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                   
    I don’t find you confrontational at all and honesty is what God is all about–its what we Christians do. Again, welcome to the board.
                                                                                                                                                   

    What I’m not willing to do is embrace the totality of Scripture out of fear for my own skin, especially since embracing it is a leap of faith to begin with. 
     
                                                                                                                                                  

    Good. You are a brave and principled man. Who the heck wants to live in fear? It is a terrible existence. God offers us a way out of fear and darkness and it is free for the partaking by anyone on this earth.
     

     What I KNOW will happen to me if I embrace the Bible is that I’ll have to force myself to repress most of my sense of empathy for others so that I may see them as “meriting” unending, fiery torment for having the “wrong” beliefs or loving someone of the same gender (as well as a whole host of other things I find morally repugnant).
     
     

    This is false. The blessing of love is that we do not repress–we are. Isn’t it one of the nicest feelings in the world when you realize you are friends with somebody and you can just talk?
    That is what God got back for himself when He purchased our salvation on the Cross. God got his friends back. Like any friendship, it requires two people, so we have to participate. The glory of God is that he gets down in the muck with us and betters us by His intimacy with us. You know how a good friend will make you a better person? God is like that in that He makes us like Him when we become his friend.
     

    but I simply am not going down the dark road of a religious fanaticism that requires I lose the humanity I have.
     

    And you should not. Christ does not ask that of us. Please let go of the idea.

    This doesn’t mean to imply that fundamentalists aren’t capable of empathy.  

     
    Many are not. Some are real snakes. We can tell a christian by the fruits of the spirit–which are gentleness, meekness, kindness, long-suffering etc. They are the attributes of Christ Himself.
                                                                                                                                                   
     
     

    In other words, I’m not willing to knowingly suspend the values I hold dear out of fear .. and for promises that may, in the end,be based on a delusion.
     

                                                                                                                                                   
     
    And you should not. That is not how friends treat each other.
                                                                                                                                                   
     

  76. David/Timothy/James:  I appreciate the good dialogue and the honesty you are all displaying.  And David, well said: “…to believe that or not to comes down to an issue of authority, in the sense that we learn of this fact in the Bible, which claims to be that portion of God’s communication to humanity that He ordained to be written down for all to read.”  And also: “I want you to know that, for lack of better words, I sympathize with you from the heart. This world can be like a veil of tears.”  Well said, and very true.  Which is why we as Christians believe that this world is ultimately not our home.  We are sojourners here for a while, and for a purpose, until we reach our eternal home.

  77. James, no need to put empathy at odds with acknowledging God’s just condemnation of humanity. In fact, it fuels the Christian’s empathy, or at least it should. The redeemed sinner knows that he himself has escaped destruction, and so can empathize with those who remain under it. He knows that he, like them, also deserves, but received mercy. He earnestly desires for the lost to likewise receive mercy. As God does not delight in the death of the wicked, neither do his sons.  If there is a Hell, any other sort of “empathy” is utterly useless when it comes to snatching people off the path to Destruction.   ///   Also, please understand that people are not condemned merely because they “chose the wrong belief” or “loved the wrong person.” This is not some sort of cosmic shell game. More acurately, people are condemned on the basis of their rejection of and rebellion against the one and only God, “whose eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived… They are without excuse.”

  78. David, if you don’t mind, I was hoping you would clarify one statement that you made to James: “The piece that your argument leaves out is that the Bible describes God as having a morally sufficient reason for the evil He plans or allows.”  I’m not sure if you meant to say it that way, or if it was an oversight.  But where in the Bible does God “plan” evil?  God certainly allows it, but He doesn’t plan it.  Can you please clarify?  Thanks David.

  79. Dear Dan,
    Although I would never describe God as the author of evil, I do believe that the Bible describes God’s sovereignty as such that he ordains all things (Eph. 1:11), and that his ordination includes, at times, evil men and their evil purposes. Off the top of my head, I would say that this principle is seen in verses like Isaiah 45:7, where the word “evil” would be best translated as what you and I would recognize as its plain meaning. God’s use of a lying spirit in the story of Micaiah (I Kn. 22:1-12), where God is clearly the one behind the lie planted in the head of the king. Acts 2:23 indicates that God predestined that wicked men would murder the Son of God; this was the arch-crime of history, and yet it was according to God’s predestined plan. The fact that the Lord could destroy Satan, and yet He has not for thousands of years, indicates that He has a purpose for him, and in the story of Job, Job understood that it was God behind his woes, since the story indicates that in all his sufferings Job did not charge God with evil. Yet is is clear that Job say this is an act of God since we are told it was the fire of God which fell from heaven (Job 1:16), and Job himself said in response to his trial that it was the Lord Who gives and takes away (Job 1:21).
     
    Tough subject, I admit. There is a real limit to our ability to explain how God does this, but I believe the fact that God does do this is taught in the Bible.

  80. FWIW, I have found it to be a fair generalization that when a woman hyphenates her last name, there are typically feminist and liberal reasons for doing so, and those reasons often manifest in the kind of rhetoric Mrs. Eremine-Mix uses here.  St. Lee is simply exhibiting the evolutionary survival skills Mrs. Eremine-Mix espouses, as it is clearly a favorable adaptation to be able to accurately generalize.

  81. Brendt Wayne Waters, I agree with you that it would have been better if St. Lee had not made the generalization about the hyphenated last name, since it doesn’t accomplish anything other than incite the other person.  I think it’s a safer bet to merely debate someone’s argument on its own merit.  But having said that, I don’t think St. Lee meant any real harm here, do you?  Why did you feel the need to say, “…for which I am calling you to task.”  Obviously you didn’t care for the assumption that St. Lee made, right?  If that’s the case, then why did you so quickly make one of your own: “If I thought it would do any good, I’d ask you to explain the sudden shift from the near certainty of ‘Of course, I had a good idea’ to the much more reasonable-sounding ‘educated [sic] guess’.”  Why did you feel the need to say, “If I thought it would do any good…”?  Ah, because you assumed it wouldn’t do any good, right?  You see, you did the same thing.  We all do this from time to time, don’t we?  But truly, what real harm did St. Lee’s comment cause here?  Just something to think about. 

  82. Well who could have guessed that the reason was a distaste for the way her husband’s name “sounded” with her first name.  Rarely do we get a glimpse at that extreme form of vanity. Most Christian wives I have ever known have chosen to place principles above appearances.  I guess that’s just another one of those half a million ways Keeley is different.

  83. James Bradshaw wrote:

    “If tragedy must come, I think He owes His devoted followers at least an explanation for its necessity, even if on occasions.  Is that too much to ask?  I’m not talking about us looking back at life’s horrors, straining to find something “good” that came out of it and attributing that to divine providence.”

    Bradshaw’s contribution to this blog up to now has been cheap shots and scorn, but his most recent few comments are refreshingly open for dialogue, and apparently sincere.  I appreciate that.  I hadn’t noticed, before now, that James also capitalizes He and His when referring to God.  Even if it’s only a reflex holdover from his covenant past, this is still a signal of respect that not even all Christians use consistently.  As for James’ question, I think the high level explanation for tragedy is man’s original rebellion.  All of creation groans and suffers because of the consequence of betrayal of God’s blessing.  So we are all susceptible to tragedy in this life.  Even Christians.  We all die.  However, our consolation, as believers, is that God is with us through blessing and tragedy.  “God with us” is all that we truly need, in spite of any adversity.  This is the lesson.  God revealed this in a glorious way with Job.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Others have mentioned Job already, but I wanted to point out that God was doing something very very profound for our benefit.  We notice that God didn’t directly answer Job’s question, but we also notice that Job is called a righteous man, even when he sued God for redress.  In other words, God was not rebuking Job for wanting an answer, and God wasn’t hiding from Job because there was no answer.  (Mankind is created to love to seek out, to discover, to know.)  Rather God came near to remind Job of their relationship.  What do we learn from this?  Not much, usually.  It takes some digging, but some really great pastors and teachers have helped me.  So I’ll share a quick sketch of what I’ve learned.  First, we all have many deep questions like Job (and Bradshaw):  is life a game? does God really love us? is God committed to us? is sin really as bad as God says? are our trials really meaningful?  The sovereignty of God was never in doubt by Job (“though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him”), but the compassion and love of God was in doubt.  So is our life just a game to God?  Are we just playthings for a bully?  As God came near to Job, God has come near to all mankind, in Christ, to show us His character.  A bully will make others suffer, but will not suffer himself.  Yet Christ came to suffer the worst role of history for Himself.  This shows us that God is not a tyrant, and that we are not just playthings to Him.  Is God really committed to us?  Will He leave us for something else?  Christ became a man forever, and is in Heaven now, as a  man, forever bound to a body of flesh.  This is the ultimate commitment for the eternal God to bind Himself forever to our race.  Though God was eternally content in Triune fellowship, God has now forever yoked His joy with our joy.  He is fully invested.  Is sin really as bad as God says?  If not then Christ didn’t have to die on that cross.  There would have been some lesser penalty if sin was a light offense.  Are our trials really meaningful?  If it weren’t so, why would Christ have to bother with suffering and humiliation Himself?  He could have just skipped the unpleasantries.  Yet His humiliation was the most meaningful act of history because sin itself is that full of meaning to God.  So the deep questions we have are answered, not immediately by explanation, but by demonstration from God.  He draws near.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Although God’s drawing near to Job was only a foretaste of God’s drawing near to all man in the person of the Son, we see that Job had found something better than an explanation.  Job had found assurance.  We want explanations, but what we really need is assurance of who God is to us.  God knows our need and addressed it with Job as a deep lesson for us.  Job saw the character of God and was at peace again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Parents know that explanations don’t necessarily give their children assurance, but drawing near to display our character to our children does give them assurance.  So we must learn to approach God to ask in the way that God answers.  Then we will have something better than an explanation.  Bradshaw should consider the explanations provided in the Gospels, but most importantly look to the big-picture character of God displayed through Christ for our assurance of who He is.  God can be trusted because of His character.
     

  84. I was just preparing a remark having to do with the whole hyphenated name controversy I seemed to have stirred up, but after reading katecho’s last comment I will abandon that topic and instead offer a hearty Amen

  85. On the question of whether God is author of evil, planner of evil, etc.  The first principle to get right is that God is completely and exhaustively Sovereign.  Not one thing comes to pass without His ratification/ordination.  Some would argue that this principle must exclude all other agency besides God.  In other words, robot-like determinism.  But the second principle is that God has made other agents.  We are not mere puppets (obviously).  Third, we are accountable agents.  We will be judged for our choices (which are real choices).  Now since God is sovereign, and sees the end from the beginning, the choices of His agents are not a surprise to Him.  He knew of our rebellions from the beginning.  Now He could have chosen not to proceed with creation at all.  Or He could have chosen to proceed to make only the non-rebellious ones.  Clearly God had a purpose to display His character by allowing our sin and rebellion to proceed.  God created vessels for destruction, knowing they were headed for destruction.   Agents may complain that God shouldn’t have made them if He knew how they were going to behave and end up, but this is a prerogative that God explicitly retains for Himself (Romans 9:21-23).  Fourth principle:  God has a use for our sins.   Namely His glory in overcoming them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              So God is not the one authoring (originating) fresh sin in the hearts of these agents.  We are quite capable of that ourselves, although God often permits other agents to bring a temptation (test), or other sinful agents to join up to work their sins together.  They are still fully accountable as agents.  But God is planning and acting within and around their sin and rebellion, to reveal His greater purposes.  So God is not the one making sin come out our hands and feet.  He isn’t originating sin in us like that.  So if that is what someone means by “author of sin”, then God is not such an author, but He is an authorizer, in the sense of ordaining, planning, ratifying whatever actually comes to pass among His accountable agents.

  86. Katecho, thank you.  I’m sure many of us will benefit from your brief exposition on Job.  Very well done.   Also, good distinction between our need for explanations and our greater need for assurance.  

  87. David, thank you for your very thoughtful reply.  I think we need to make some distinctions regarding the term “evil”.  True, God can cause calamity, as Isaiah 45:7 describes.  But is that truly evil from God’s vantage point?  Or in the story of Job, where Job understood it was God behind his woes, can God’s actions truly be called evil?  You said that Acts 2:23 “indicates that God predestined that wicked men would murder the Son of God; this was the arch-crime of history, and yet it was according to God’s predestined plan.”  I agree, but was God’s predestined plan evil?  You said that “The fact that the Lord could destroy Satan, and yet He has not for thousands of years, indicates that He has a purpose for him…”  Exactly, the Lord has a purpose for Satan.  But is the Lord’s purpose evil?  This is why we need to be careful how we state things.  We believe and trust that God has a plan and a purpose for all things, even if we don’t know what those plans are (which is probably most of the time).  Does the Bible teach that God sometimes uses evil men for his purposes?  Yes, of course.  But in such cases, was God’s purpose evil?  No, it wasn’t.  Did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?  Yes, He did.  But was it for an evil purpose?  No, it wasn’t.  And while I absolutely believe in God’s sovereignty (as the Bible clearly portrays), we need to be careful here too.  While Reformed theology does emphasize God’s sovereignty in His creation, nowhere does God’s sovereignty mitigate man’s responsibility.  It is true that God is sovereign, and the Bible affirms this.  If God is not sovereign, then He would be less than God.  It is also true that man is free, albeit in a limited sense, and man is responsible for his actions.  The Bible affirms this too.  Man is truly guilty, in spite of the fact that God is sovereign.  Therein lies the mystery.  This mystery is difficult to reconcile philosophically within our limited, finite minds, but we believe it nonetheless, because it’s what the Bible teaches.  Nowhere does Calvin, nor any other major Reformed thinker, ascribe to man the status of a robot.  Nor, of course, does the Bible.  The Bible describes a holy God who is eternal, self-existent, all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever-present.  In other words: sovereign.  The Bible also describes man as flawed and sinful, yet man is responsible, and accountable, for his actions.  Thus, we’re back to the age old dilemma God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility, and how this plays out.  The Bible asserts both of these realities, but it does not really reconcile them, at least not in a way that our finite minds will be satisfied. 

  88. Katecho, it looks like both of us were tackling the question of whether God is the author of evil, planner of evil, etc.  Wow, what timing!  I read your post, and as usual, it was very well done.  I’d be curious to hear your thoughts regarding my attempt at this very difficult subject.

  89. Dan: ***Why did you feel the need to say, “…for which I am calling you to task.”*** — Don’t ask me; ask him. He’s the one who said it; I was just quoting him. /// ***you did the same thing*** — Actually, no. His assumption was based off of bupkus, zero, the null set, absolutely nothing. Hence the “[sic]” I put after his “educated”. In contrast, my opinion was based on the *fact* that he completely obfuscated the issue — i.e. actual historical evidence. /// “what real harm did St. Lee’s comment cause here?” — You said it yourself: it “incite[d] the other person”. And I’d wager that you’re intelligent enough to realize that for every person who responds here, there are probably 10 more who have just as vitriolic a reaction, but don’t voice it. And another 20 who, while not *as* repulsed by such laughable logical fallacy, would still be much less inclined to listen to the actual point (especially when one has to dig through refuse to find it). Assuming these numbers, St Lee has screamed to 31 people, “Don’t listen to me or those who share my views.” So, assuming said views are valid, please explain to me how no “real harm” is done by turning people off to the truth. Millstones, baby. Millstones.

  90. St. Lee wrote:
    I was just preparing a remark having to do with the whole hyphenated name controversy I seemed to have stirred up, but after reading katecho’s last comment I will abandon that topic and instead offer a hearty Amen

    Let me join you in that hearty Amen, St. Lee. I have been thoroughly enjoying the discussion that Dan, David, James Bradshaw and now katecho have been having here. Thank you especially, katecho, for your contribution on Job. These are weighty things and it is refreshing to see these men discuss it in love without fear. Carry on, and Amen!

  91. Dan,
    Quick reply – the verse I brought up in Acts – God predestined the murder of his Son. Though the result is a blessing to the church, the means by which this came about was the wickedest act in history. Its not as if God predestined the end result, and the means by which it came about was something less than ordained. He ordained that those wicked men would murder Christ. So, God did, quite literally, ordain murder as part of His governance.

  92. Slightly off-topic: As a man, husband, father and grandfather of ladies, I think that the counsel to “forget your father’s house” has merit. Inasmuch that no woman has a name of her own, possessing either her father’s or her husband’s, how does it ever signify independence to be named for both.

  93. On the name thing, I understand that it is not common for Chinese women to take thgeir husband’s name. Anyone know how this plays out with Chinese Americans/Canadians/Australians?
     
    I guess it would be hard to marry and have your name suddenly be Ruth Ruth or Shirley Shirley. Fortunately, that is not a normal dilemma.

  94. I agree with you RFB.  For that matter how does marriage signify independence?     The articles I read stated the young women who keep their father’s name claim they do because they don’t want to hassle with the paperwork, or because it is unprofessional to change once you have established yourself.  In addition, most articles claimed that other women view women who keep their maiden name as smarter.   It’s never really about tolerance of choices : it’s always about who is going to decide what choices will be tolerated.
    This whole topic is just particularly sad.  I ended up reading Keely’s blog, and it is very sad and lonely. 

  95. Given how you folks “pray” for people you perceive to be enemies or outsiders, ought I be afraid?  If you ask the Spirit to illumine and keep me, I’ll be most grateful.  If, on the other hand, you ask God to give me a good kick in the teeth — maybe not so much. 
     

  96. I find it depressing beyond words that only two other people experienced any distress at Mr. Wilson’s use of the word “faggot” to describe unrepentant homosexuals.  No doubt he is well aware that gay teens commit suicide at four times the rate of straight teens, and no doubt he is well aware that “faggot”, yelled one too many times by Leviticus-conscious teens raised in churches like his, can be an immediate cause of death for a bullied child.   I wish I could believe that this prospect troubles Mr. Wilson as much as it troubles me.  On the other hand, raising red-blooded boys who know what to do with pantywaists is much more important than teaching them not to use slurs like fudgepacker.  Mr. Wilson draws a distinction between what he says to homosexuals in person and what he calls them behind their backs.   This policy has been defended as necessarily keeping the message gentle for a penitent soul in a pastoral setting.  But there is a difference between diplomacy and hypocrisy, and I think that difference is blurred by a practice of using kind words in person and the most vicious and scurrilous slurs the moment that the sinner has left the pastoral office.    Consider sins other than homsexual conduct.  If I went to Mr. Wilson for post-abortion counseling, would he deal gently but Scripturally with me?  And then go straight out to his buddies or his blog and call me a slutty, baby-murdering bitch?  It is appalling to me to think that a clergyman maintains this kind of duality–the ability to be courteous when I am on my knees but to call me a dyke or a whore or any other term of abuse he enjoys using the moment that my back is turned.   If I were the gay who went to him for counseling, believed I had been met with compassion and understanding, then had read his blog revealing that his rhetoric is not far removed from  that of  Fred Phelps, I would feel betrayed.  I would feel he had taken my private tragedy, my lifelong struggle, and used it as more fuel for sniggering jokes and prurient speculations.  I think this hatred of homosexual conduct–and homosexual people unless they are contritely sobbing at this feet, and even then I expect he would be repelled by a low-T display of tears–is visceral, personal, and far beyond what our Lord demands of us.  My concern is that Mr. Wilson is–deliberately, it seems to me–sharing this hatred, loathing, and contempt in such a way and to such a degree that his rhetoric could induce one of his acolytes to beat up some gays for God.  He has said over and over again that the unrepentant gay is evil, perverted, and an object of loathing to God.  He has said in the past that a Christian society would kill or exile gays in obedience to God.  He has done his best to dehumanize gays and to make them objects of horror and disgust to the people he reaches on this blog.  No doubt there are people reading this blog who now believe it is manly, courageous, and Christian to call people faggots.  After all, Pastor Wilson seems to think it is almost a Christian duty.  Does he encourage the children at Logos School to call people faggots and fudgepackers?   I find it incredibly distressing that only two people have had an issue with this, and that the views of both were immediately discounted–one apparently for no more substantive reason than her having a hyphenated surname.   “Some people will think that I am just being bad…but I am just getting started,” Mr. Wilson says.  Perhaps Fred Phelps could lend him some signs.  

  97. Carole, you seem particularly unable to understand what I’m saying, and I extend to you the offer I extend to ANYONE (male or female) to meet in person with me (I usually suggest Bucer’s, because it serves coffee, tea, pop, wine, and beer — which, as the issuer of the invitation, I’m willing to pay for).  It’s also a very crowded place, and any male who wishes to speak to me in a public place ought to do so in a place where he’s known, so that it doesn’t look all secretive and scary.  I object to your idea that I’m trolling the Internet, offering strange men free beer if only they’ll give me some time.  I confess that I find it both alarming and amusing that you are so discombobulated by me.  Do you live in Moscow?  If so, email me at siyocreo@live.com and I’ll give you my phone number.  But please dispense with the “there she goes, trolling for strange men online” bit.  It borders on that “bearing false witness” thing that I’m sure you’ve heard of.  I extend the same invitation to any of you — I’d prefer that it never be said that I hide behind a keyboard or a false name, but won’t come out and say what I have to say in public.  As for “accusations,” I assume you mean the “marriage to a serial pedophile” scandal in the Kirk/NSA in June 2011.  I’m happy to provide documentation:  search my blog (“Ed Iverson” would be a good start) for a four-part series.  I defy you to find any error.  If you do, I’ll retract it.  Funny that in two and a half years, no one’s identified any errors, and those posts went national.  Finally, while your silly little games of “guessing why she hyphenates” are entertaining, please, out of respect, spell my name correctly.  It’s Keely Emerine-Mix.  By the way, that name belongs only to me, and I belong only to Christ.  Good evening, all.

  98. Hi Brendt.  You said: “…there are probably 10 more who have just as vitriolic a reaction, but don’t voice it.”  My guess is it’s because there aren’t 10 more people who had the same vitriolic reaction that you did; most likely because it didn’t warrant vitriolic reaction in the first place.  You also said: “So, assuming said views are valid, please explain to me how no “real harm” is done by turning people off to the truth.”  I’m not sure what truth St. Lee turned people off of.  St. Lee merely made an off-the-cuff remark about hyphenated last names.  You may have felt annoyed by it; but seriously, there are bigger fish to fry, and no real harm was done by it.  I hate to sound like a broken record, since I’ve said this probably a half dozen times before on this blog; but people need to have thicker skin.  Believe me, if someone posts a comment that truly attacks someone personally in an inappropriate manner, you’ll find scores of people on this site who will call out any wolf.  The sheep here look out for the other sheep.  We help each other.  And if I say something dumb or foolish, then I’d want to be told.  Anyway, good chatting with you Brendt.  Grace and peace.

  99. I seem to have encountered a cloudburst of distressing and angst over Wilson.  A tsunami of appalling, and troubling, and hand wringing.  A supernova of crystalline shards of guilt.  Jill Smith and Keely have spent just about all their ammo at this point.  There is nothing left to hyperventilate from the room.  Will they collapse in a heap?  Seems the only thing left is to drop a Godwin neutron bomb and call Wilson a Nazi.  That will show him the magnitude of his error.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Maybe the Church should try being more sensitive and tolerant.  We haven’t tried that yet, have we?  I’m surprised no one suggested it before.  How come Scripture didn’t cast more sensitive feminists to protect the sheep?  I wonder.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I actually am kind of curious what Jill and Keely will do for an encore.

  100. Yes, Keely, I am baffled by you. I am baffled by someone who claims to be a Christian but mocks other women for  wanting to follow the Word.    I am also confused as to why you find so much of what you read here offensive and yet don’t seem to mind at all the offense you give.  Why Mrs Mix, should young women not pray for Christian husbands? Would you please explain your crack about table linen.  Why did you call Pastor Wilson our “boss man”.  It sounds like you think we are all unintelligent zombies here, yet you could not read the posts and imagine that to be true. Why do you slur people’s names but reserve the right to be outraged if you decide they have done the same?  Yes, you baffle me.  You also make me deeply sad.   I read your blog. I read that you can not find a church that agrees with your interpretation of the Bible. It seems that every Pastor fails to meet your standard, not just Pastor Wilson. I think you sound very angry and very lonely, and I will pray for you, Keely.  I haven’t the slightest idea why you would ever accuse me of praying for God to physically harm you.  The suggestion is cruel even if you have established that here only you have the right to be offended.  And I do think it is unwise to suggest meeting strangers you speak to on the internet.  I wouldn’t do it, and would not advise my sisters to do so.  As tough as I am sure militant feminists are, you are still a woman.  Even if I could meet you for coffee, I doubt I would choose to do so.  If you care to have a reasonable discussion here, I look forward to it.

  101. David, thanks for your reply.  I know these are not easy issues we’re dealing with here.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife is much easier to sort out!  Anyway, I do understand your point about God ordaining that Christ would be murdered as part of His plan.  I get that.  Thus, there are essentially two questions that we need to ask.  First, was there a purpose for this ordained plan?  I think both of us would wholeheartedly agree that there was: the redemption of mankind.  In a biblical worldview, God is both perfect and perfectly holy.  In keeping with His holy character, God had to punish sin.  Yet He chose to punish sin in His only Son, who is also perfect.  God loved us so much that He poured out His holy wrath on His Son so that we would “believe” in His Son.  Thus, God demonstrated both love and justice in His redemptive work.  These two attributes, love and justice, go hand in hand, complementing (not negating) one another.  This is the heart of the atoning work of Christ (Rom. 3:25-26).  Second, if God ordained that Christ would be murdered as part of His plan of redemption, can one deem this plan evil?  As you recall, the one comment you made which I found troubling was: “…the Bible describes God as having a morally sufficient reason for the evil He plans or allows.”  Certainly God ordained Christ to be murdered, and certainly God allowed it.  But God didn’t directly murder Christ; the Roman authorities did (with complicity from the Jewish priestly authorities).  Moreover, the fact that God ordained it cannot be deemed evil.  That’s the rub I have with your statement.  We need to distinguish between the evil act of the men doing the crucifying, and God’s good plan of redemption for mankind.  No one would dare argue that it wasn’t horrific for Christ.  But God’s plan of redemption is good, not evil.  It is true that God “allows” evil, since Satan is still on the loose and hasn’t been destroyed — yet.  But God doesn’t devise evil plans.  We believe and trust that God has a plan and a purpose for all things, including even using evil men and evil nations to carry out His good purposes. 

  102. Keely and Jill: Thank you. I know there are many more who feel genuinely grieved by the language and tone of this blog but who are afraid to speak out. So thank you for doing so.

  103. Katecho, if Mr. Wilson spoke about Jews as he does about gays, it might be appropriate to call him a Nazi.  I have never read anything in his writings to suggest that he is anti-Semitic, so any such remark would come under the heading of bearing false witness.  Suggesting that I am a sensitive feminist who is hyperventilating on the floor somewhere attempts to dismiss my complaint by ridiculing it.  But your sneers do not address that complaint.  Is your point that only a hysterical woman who fails to know her place would have any problem with a Christian pastor using words such as faggot and fudgepacker?  Do you believe that a Christian’s disapproval of homosexual conduct is inadequate unless it is expressed in terms that most civilized people consider vile?  Do you dispute my statement that the constant demonization of homosexuals can contribute to violence against them?  You could meaningfully address these points.  But, of course, it is much easier to do what you did.  I have no encore for Pastor Wilson; I also have no expectation that any words of mine would make him reconsider the nature of his rhetoric.  He clearly enjoys what he does.  What you dismissively call hand wringing, I call moral outrage.  Perhaps you could explain why this outrage is misplaced.  I understand your wish to defend Pastor Wilson.  I am not sure that an ad feminam attack on me constitutes a meaningful defense.

  104. Apparently only Jill and Keely are allowed to express moral outrage.  Perhaps that is what feminism is about.  Only women being allowed to express moral outrage.  That would seem to explain what I’m seeing.

  105. Katecho, suppose my name were Jim rather than Jill.  Would that permit you to focus for a moment on my argument rather than my gender?  I am not a feminist, and my gender is immaterial to my opinion.  So far from claiming that I have a corner on moral outrage, I specifically invited  you to explain why that outrage is misplaced.  Rather than do that, you prefer to attribute my position to a feminism I do not hold and for which you will find no evidence in any of my previous posts.   This is arguing in bad faith.  I write professionally, and perhaps I do not express myself with the meek diffidence you expect from Christian women.  Perhaps I should have said, “Gee, I sure wish Pastor would be a little bit nicer about those disgusting homosexuals.”  Then you could have despised me as moronic rather than uppity.  But I once again invite you to leave aside your grievances about feminists long enough to tell me where I was wrong in my original post. 

  106. Jill: Mr. Wilson draws a distinction between what he says to homosexuals in person and what he calls them behind their backs.    //    Rather it is the distinction between offering forgiveness to the repentant women and calling Herod a fox. From Doug’s perspective, many homosexuals are arguing for their position in the public square. And it is brazen insisting on bakers making them a wedding cake when these bakers believe to do so would be an offense against God. As such it is perceived that such homosexuals are idolatrous (forcing men to blaspheme is idolatry). So such men are in effect saying use these words and not these words (so as to not offend me), bake my cakes and photograph my celebrations. All while glorying in their shame. All this is in the public sphere. To this Doug is saying, “I refuse to submit to your demands” (which are are (in effect) a demand to worship their god).     //     Consider this example. Paul circumcised Timothy so as to not offend the Jews. But when the Christian Judaisers insisted on circumcision Paul, realising such a demand nullified the gospel, told them to cut off their whole penis.    //     One can be compassionate to sinners who struggle and at the same time fight the brazen mockers. They are not living quietly and shamefully in their sin, rather they shamelessly parade naked down the street in front of children and demand society rejoices with them. They want to ban hate-words like “faggot”, well we’ll call you a faggot. You want to affirm this as a legitimate lifestyle, then we’ll say fudgepacker to remind everyone what your sexual practices involve. This has nothing to do with compassion for the struggling and everything about discrediting liars who wish to drag others to hell with them.     //     You may or may not think this is a wise approach for this culture, but that is, in part, a different question.

  107. Very well said, bethyada.  There is a sense of proportion and knowing the audience/target.  Wilson is clearly giving attention to this, and making appropriate qualifications that Jill and Keely are ignoring.

  108. If Jill expresses any more moral outrage, she’s likely to spontaneously combust.  Do I think Jill’s compaints about Wilson could have merit?  Yes.  Do I think Jill’s complaints about Wilson have merit?  No.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jill and Keely are hair triggered in their outrage.  Hasty, in fact.  I’m suddenly an “ad feminam attacker”?  Seriously?  I suppose there’s always someone who could be persuaded by such melodrama.  However, it’s abundantly obvious to me that Wilson’s words are very carefully chosen, measured, and aimed to confront enemies of the Gospel and push back (while minimizing civilian casualties).  Wilson is catching hell for the effort by the holier-than-Jesus gals.  I see nothing in their hasty moral outrage that they wouldn’t have used against Jesus if they had been on the scene.  Jesus is God the Son (and Doug isn’t), but Jesus demonstrated that it was possible to push back with strong words and humiliating insults while remaining righteous.  Jesus also demonstrated that God receives all manner of repentant sinners with tenderness and reconciliation.  Doug plainly and abundantly affirms this, especially with regard to repentant homosexuals.   So Jill and Keely need to get off their high horses, and Keely in particular needs to submit to God’s Word regarding the sinfulness of homosexual acts.   (One last thing, I did not accuse Jill of being a feminist, and I did not intend to imply that she was, but I can see how she might have thought that was including her specifically, so I apologize to her for my ambiguity.)

  109. Actually, I need to clarify my own apology.  I did not intend to imply that Jill was, herself, claiming to be a feminist (as Keely does).  Jill does not wish to self-identify as feminist, and I do apologize to her for any of my ambiguity that might lead anyone to think that she does.  I trust Jill when she says she does not want to self-identify with feminism.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        However, Jill needs to be aware that she is using the tactics of feminism.  She is now clearly attempting to play her gender card to project guilt on me in the same way she is projecting guilt on Wilson.  I’m not impressed.  Jill may not claim to be a feminist, but she can keep her gender card, it’s not going to work on me.  I learned awhile back how our culture uses guilt manipulation today, and I’m committed to accepting guilt only when I’m actually guilty, as Scripture defines it (which is often enough).

  110. Thank you for the apology and clarification.  Please note, Katecho, that nothing in my original post referenced my gender.  Your initial reply mentioned sensitive feminists which, in conjunction with references to hand wringing and hyperventilation, I took to mean that you were discounting my argument either because I was a hysterical woman or a “sensitive” feminist (or both).  I do not typically play the gender card, and I much prefer arguments in which gender is ignored unless it is relevant.  I am sure you did not mean any kind of disparaging gender reference with your holier-than-Jesus gals comment.  If I interpret your comment correctly, you believe I would have reacted to my Lord Jesus with moral outrage if I had been one of the blessed company able to hear His voice.  That is quite a leap, Katecho.  I don’t recall our Lord talking about homosexuals, and I don’t recall His calling anyone a faggot or a fudgepacker.   My original post was very critical of Pastor Wilson’s rhetoric which I continue to see as intended to provoke extreme hostility toward gays.  You will note that I did not question his sincerity as a Christian, and I did not presume to discuss his relationship with Christ.  Nor did I question yours.  This has not stopped you from declaring that I would have rejected my Lord with a display of arrogant outrage and moral superiority.  Clearly there is nothing too vicious or too unjust to say about a person who disses Pastor Wilson.  I appreciated Bethyada’s explanation.  I think it is sincere but also mistaken.  But I also think that if a person can see no wrongness in using filthy and vulgar epithets against those we dislike, my words are not likely to convince them. 

  111. Keely, I would like to add that I do not need to meet you to hear all of the stories you want to tell.  I have read them all and  I listened to your “debate” with the pastor,  (I must say the telephone won the day in my opinion.) So no fear of shocking me with any more scandal.  However, what I do want to encourage you to do is to post your legitimate objections to the arguments on the thread.  Popping in with a swipe of insults is not engaging in the discussion, which the pastor encourages.  He is not banning words or ideas and welcomes us to exchange them.  But again, popping in then slamming the door on your way out, isn’t helpful.  Perhaps you think we are too dazed with the hypnotic cult film covering our eyes, but I am willing to bet you might find some minds here that are capable of discussing your interpretations adequately.  As I have said before, I have tremendous respect and affection for Jill, though we often disagree.  There is no need to hurl insults at one another when a place which promotes conversation as this place does, exists.

  112. Once again, for the record, I want to note that I understand that Jill chooses not to self-identify as a feminist.  Jill Smith wrote:

    “Please note, Katecho, that nothing in my original post referenced my gender.”

    Jill doesn’t get away that easy.  There are more genders at stake than just hers.  Jill’s fanciful list of outrages did indeed introduce gender (which is a typical feminist tactic).  She wrote:

    “On the other hand, raising red-blooded boys who know what to do with pantywaists is much more important than teaching them not to use slurs like fudgepacker.”

    and

    “No doubt there are people reading this blog who now believe it is manly, courageous, and Christian to call people faggots.”

    So it appeared to me that both Jill and Keely where using the rhetoric of feminism to demagogue™ the issue, and, among other things, paint Wilson in some role as macho defender and teacher of patriarchal oppression among his male readers.  My primary focus was on Jill and Keely’s over-the-top hyperactive imaginations and pretend outrage, but I also wanted to draw attention to the worn out rhetoric of feminism.  Jill also wrote:

    “If I interpret your comment correctly, you believe I would have reacted to my Lord Jesus with moral outrage if I had been one of the blessed company able to hear His voice.”

    Correct.  I see nothing in Jill and Keely’s outrageous outrage that would not have applied directly to Jesus’s use of biting, humiliating language against the wolves of His day.  It’s the insubordinate and humiliating language that Jill and Keely seem to be objecting to.  But Jesus called those dangerous and powerful men a den of vipers, white washed tombs, blind, etc.  He ridiculed their prideful prayers and prideful clothing.  Jesus was not insubordinate and confrontational with lowly civilian sinners, but He practiced a righteous defiance against the politically-connected, militant, false-accusers and hypocrites of His day.  John the Baptist had a similar pattern.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Jill seems to have simply ignored Wilson’s qualifications on the context in which he is willing to bring out the verbal defiance, push back, and civil disobedience.  She has sensational visions of physical vigilante violence breaking out against gays.  Such preposterous nonsense has no merit and doesn’t even deserve the dignity of a rebuttal.  It just makes Jill appear to not know Doug very well.  Jill may have a very low view of everyone who respects Doug, but she insults her own intelligence to carry on like that.  Doug is not perfect, and additional qualifications can always be extended, but he has been far more careful with his words than Jill.

  113. Warning — Moral Outrage — Warning                                                                                        “My concern is that Mr. Wilson is–deliberately, it seems to me–sharing this hatred, loathing, and contempt in such a way and to such a degree that his rhetoric could induce one of his acolytes to beat up some gays for God.”  Jill of whichever of the many made up genders he/she/it claims to be.   Jill, how dare you assign illegal activities to anyone — especially in this discussion.  You claim moral authority because you don’t use adjectives and nouns that you feel are uncivilized and yet you turn right around and try to destroy a reputation by making up something out of thin air.  In the vernacular, you are tagged out before making it to first base.             

  114. I don’t think I said that Pastor Wilson hopes to induce someone to go out and attack a gay for God.  I did not accuse him of attempting to engineer an illegal activity.  But I believe that he does intend his readers to share his disgust, contempt, and hatred for unrepentant homosexuals.  And I further believe that inciting that contempt always runs a risk of inducing violence.  If he is aware of that risk, he is indifferent to it.  Pastor Wilson’s reputation is in no danger from me–his words were issued in a public forum and speak for themselves.  If no one else feels any queasiness about his rhetoric and if no one else can apprehend any bad consequence from it, whose reputation am I destroying other, than my own, when I point out what seems to me so obvious?  If I were a Christian pastor with a wide following and I used my influence to share a personal conviction that all Jews are Christ-killers (please note that I am being entirely hypothetical), have I been viciously wronged if someone points out that my preaching could conceivably result in an attack on a synagogue?   I am not quite sure of the meaning of your second sentence.  Are you asking if I am transgendered?  Or gay myself?  I claim moral authority not because the words are uncivilized but because they are offensive, disgusting, pruriently vulgar, and unnecessarily hurtful.    To most people they convey not moral condemnation of the sexual sin but loathing and revulsion for the sinner.   I further believe that while the wish to push back against the public acceptance of homosexual conduct may be understandable, the Christian needs to choose his weapons.  We don’t get to match hateful with hateful.

  115. Jill Smith, perhaps “terms that most civilized people consider vile” are appropriate descriptions for acts that civilized people once considered vile, and do no longer, but ought to.

  116. I certainly did not comprehend the point of this article to be similar to the one you came away with, Jill. I have noticed a couple of times you’ve mentioned homosexuality and suicide.  I think you are making a leap from words that are hurtful, to suicide.  You have done this before as well.  How do you account for the depression that homosexuals have? I believe the depression is conviction for their sin. Are you claiming that the depression solely comes from the lack of acceptance in society?  If that is true, shouldn’t we be seeing a reduced rate of suicide for gays and an increase for child molesters?  I believe the strongest indicator of suicide is participating in risky activities, like alcohol abuse, street drug use and risky sex.  I find the kind of leap you are making to be unfair.  It seems like the kind of emotional blackmail that encourages us to give up things like freedom of speech, which is what I thought the article was about. I thought it was a reminder of the lesson that everyone is willing to give you freedom of speech, as long as you only say the things that please them.

  117. I post hesitantly. If this forum were a cocktail party I would be far from the smartest guy in the room. Maybe doing dishes in the kitchen. I read here regularly and have no problem stating that I am on board with DW’s posts 95% of the time.
    On this one, I think there is more than a twinge of joy in the tweaking he is putting forth. And I get it. Really get it. At times it is so pleasurable to righteously pee in the pool. Within the qualifications he has proffered he is undoubtably right.

    But, sometimes there is a larger right than being right.

  118. I do agree with Kieeley when it comes to meeting people in a public place like Bucers Coffeehouse. If Evangelicals are using the same arguments that Muslims are using regarding men women contact, then something is not right. At one time, such was used as a protection of women regarding paternity of any child she might have. Since she couldn’t prove that a child was a particular man’s and since most women were stay at home moms, a woman had no way to prove who the father was.other than distance from everyone. With DNA, there is a lot more freedom for both men and women. People who think I am nits: how many of you are in coed bowling leagues or such activities?

  119. Hi Jill and Keely.  This is the first I’m weighing in on the issue of the strong use of language by Pastor Wilson, since it has obviously struck a nerve among a few people.  I’ve been thinking about this for the past day or so, and I decided to share my thoughts on the matter (for what it’s worth).  My first thought is, personally, I’d prefer that Pastor Wilson not use such strong language in his blog.  It is rather incendiary, and the effect of it will unlikely lead to any bridge building, and will likely drown out the Christian call to repentance.  I realize not everyone on this blog will agree with me on this, but I wanted to state it for the record.  Having said that though, the more prominent thought that’s been coming to the forefront of my mind is: “woe to those who mock God.”  I understand both of your concerns regarding the strong use of language by Pastor Wilson, but I believe the level of moral outrage being expressed is somewhat out of proportion when compared to those to whom the pastor is speaking of.  You see, the pastor is directing all of our attention to something far more wicked, far more sinister, far more dangerous, and far more consequential than a pastor using salty language to raise peoples’ awareness and urgency.  As has already been stated, we are not talking about those who are struggling, or those who may have hearts open to repentance.  We are referring to those individuals and groups who are brazenly mocking God, mocking His Word, mocking His Church, and thereby mocking the Son of God who died for the sins of mankind.  “Woe to those who mock God.”  What can be more evil and wicked than such defiance of the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of the universe?  Thus, those who willingly and gloatingly mock God and His Word, and encourage others to do the same, should in no way be taken lightly.  This is serious business.  As Bethyada rightly pointed out, “They are not living quietly and shamefully in their sin, rather they shamelessly parade naked down the street in front of children and demand society rejoices with them.”  What can be more defiant in the face of God?  To call evil good, and to rejoice in it?  To call perversity good, and to revel in it?  To call perversity good, and to demand that others do the same?  Such are the times we’re living in.  I will conclude with a final thought.  Someday, Pastor Wilson will have to stand before the Lord and give an account for his ministry and his leadership.  And perhaps he’ll even have to receive some words of rebuke for his occasional use of harsh language.  But in the end, Pastor Wilson, and others like him, will hear: “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into your rest.”  You see, neither Pastor Wilson, nor anyone else, is called to be a perfect servant, just a faithful one.  Conversely, let us contemplate what might happen when the defiant, rebellious mockers are called to stand before the Lord.  What will they say to Him?  What will they bargain?  “Lord, I mocked you and scorned you all my life.  I mocked your Word and I mocked your Church.  I mocked anyone who tried to warn me to turn away from my sin and to follow you.”  Unfortunately, we already know the answer: “Depart from me, I never knew you.”  

  120. And then there are men like me who think that the pointed language is not near as sharp as what God has previously commended. “Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God”. (And I fully expect to be accused of advocating physical violence, which of course, I am not.)

  121. “My concern is that Mr. Wilson is–deliberately, it seems to me–sharing this hatred, loathing, and contempt in such a way and to such a degree that his rhetoric could induce one of his acolytes to beat up some gays for God.”   ////   
    “And I further believe that inciting that contempt always runs a risk of inducing violence.”     ////    Jill your first statement was straightforward and now you are back peddling.  In your next post you again inferred that a speakers actions would incite others to illegal activity and then you attempted to hide behind a thin screen of text.  Attacking in this manner is not going to work.  No one goes out from a Christian blog and does the things that you stated. Your fears are completely baseless and unfounded.      ////  Carole is correct on your stats.  If you want a real study, look at the homosexual on homosexual violence as it far outweighs that of heterosexuals.    ////   Jill, Dan and those concerned by various adjectives and nouns.  Words have a dictionary meaning and a street meaning.  The words that you object to are used by homosexuals in regular conversations and they don’t riot over them.  They are not strong and offensive at all.  If you don’t believe that, you should listen to homosexuals a bit more.  Besides, if homosexuals don’t mind their use, why do you?

  122. Do you guys actually reach out to the gay community? Or do you just define them, exclude them and condemn them? Cuz it’s a frightfully convenient way to avoid bringing sinners into the Kingdom. 
     
    And speaking from fifteen years of experience, I’ve never seen a new convert in a CREC church. Do you choose not to spread the Gospel or are you just bad at it? 

  123. If gays are “defiant” about their sin, aren’t Jews, Mormons and Buddhists as well?  Should we use language such as that used by Martin Luther and Chrysostom towards the Jews (both of whom labeled Jews as “dogs” and worse)?   Luther went so far as to suggest burning down the synagogues of the Jews.  After all, the sin must frequently punished in Scripture was not sexual sin but idolatry and lack of belief in the “one true God”. 
     
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/Luther_on_Jews.html

  124. Dave, thanks for your reply.  I just want to clarify that my preference for avoiding that type of rhetoric is merely because I think the effect of it will unlikely lead to any bridge building, and will likely drown out the Christian call to repentance.  Otherwise, I don’t begrudge Pastor Wilson for using whatever rhetoric he deems purposeful.  That is his choice.  Also, my preference has nothing whatsoever to do with worrying that the pastor’s rhetoric may induce someone to beat up gays for God.  I, too, think the notion is baseless and unfounded, and it doesn’t factor into my reasoning.

  125. Rich, nice try, but your experience is not as informed or as broad as you feel it must be. We have a lot of active evangelism going on, and I have baptized a good number of adult converts. And this coming Wednesday night we have a major outreach event for gays and lesbians.

  126. James, you said: “If gays are “defiant” about their sin, aren’t Jews, Mormons and Buddhists as well?”  Clearly, I was not referring to homosexuality in general (though I do believe it to be a sin).  I stated: “We are referring to those individuals and groups who are brazenly mocking God, mocking His Word, mocking His Church…”  I also stated: “To call evil good, and to rejoice in it.  To call perversity good, and to revel in it.  To call perversity good, and to demand that others do the same.”  There’s an enormous difference there, which I thought I had made clear (but perhaps I didn’t).  You are correct that both Martin Luther and John Chrysostom used incendiary language toward Jews, and I do not condone it.  They were both very strong leaders, and oftentimes one’s anger and passions can get the best of anyone.  Martin Luther was as bold and courageous as they come, but he was a man, and a sinful one at that, just like we all are.  It’s a good thing for most of us that we won’t be leaving well-known writings and sermons behind that will be read and examined hundreds of years from now for all to see and all to discover our own unsavory thoughts. 

  127. Jill Smith wrote:

    “And I further believe that inciting that contempt always runs a risk of inducing violence.”

    Jesus incited much contempt for the blind leaders of the blind.  He called them hypocrites, and white washed tombs, and vipers.  Was Jesus afraid of inducing violence against those in positions of power, or was Jesus more interested in standing for truth and standing in defense of the powerless?  Jill seems to be out of step with the new reality, of who is now in power and who is being dragged into court.  She needs to re-read the courtroom setting that Doug has pictured in his original article above.  Who is on trial?  Who is in the position of having to defend?  Context is what Jill seems to be ignoring.  She still wants to paint a different picture where Christians are the instigators.  That is very telling that she sees Christians that way, given the current political correctness climate.  It seems completely out of touch.

  128. I too fail to see why this post is causing so much alarm.  The pastor writes, “So would I ever taunt a slave of a particular sexual sin with a word like faggot? Of course not. But when these Pharisees of Phootball are falling all over themselves to ban the ph-word —” 
     
    Here is the point.  The banning of the word.  The folks who taught us  tolerance are now banning words.  Why not all hurtful words?  I’m not a fan of the B-word.  If feminism makes a comeback can they take that one out for me? Shall we begin the book burning at sunrise, or wait until enough activist organizations have sent in their lists? Shakespeare is definitely going to have to go , he is a HUGE insulter, oops I said ‘huge’  that will surely be on a list or two…

  129. @Roy wrote:

    Within the qualifications he has proffered he is undoubtably right. But, sometimes there is a larger right than being right.
     

                                                                                                                                                    
    Agreed. In this specific instance what is it?
     

  130. @James Bradshaw. Dan wrote

     “We are referring to those individuals and groups who are brazenly mocking God, mocking His Word, mocking His Church…”  I also stated: “To call evil good, and to rejoice in it.  To call perversity good, and to revel in it.  To call perversity good, and to demand that others do the same.”
     

    Yes. Let’s expand on that. (Elder Christians’ on this board, please correct me if my theology is wrong)
    Every Jew is a sinner, but only some Jews go to Heaven
    Every Catholic is a sinner, but only some Catholics go to Heaven.
    Every Muslim is a sinner, but only some Muslims go to Heaven.
     
    Every thief is a sinner, but only some thieves go to Heaven (there was one on the cross next to Jesus’ cross)
    Every homosexual is a sinner, but only some homosexuals go to Heaven.
     
    Every idolater is a sinner, but only some idolater’s go to Heaven.
     
    Every Apostle is a sinner, but only some Apostles go to Heaven.
    Every woman is a sinner, but only some women go to Heaven.
    Every man is a sinner, but only some men go to Heaven.
    Do you have any thoughts on  how God distinguishes between them?

  131. @James Bradshaw
     
    My previous comment is a bit open-ended, so let me answer myself. The second distinguishing attribute of the sinners in my example is that they have repented of their sin. To repent of sin, one has to be aware of it. We Christians use the term conviction of sin to refer to that awareness.///
                                                                                                                                                    
    Now, does everybody who is convicted of their sin and repented of it stop sinning? no–not immediately–we do fall from time to time. But! there are some behavioral markers that distinguish the repentant from the unrepentant.
     
                                                                                                                                                     Dan, in his comment, identified some of those behavioral markers.

  132. So, let me see if I understand. You’re saying “Businesses have a clear and obvious right to discriminate based on behavior,” yet you’re also saying the NFL’s private business choice to discourage certain verbal behavior in its employees is a violation of your own public free speech rights? Or are you making the slippery slope argument: today the private sector, tomorrow the public sector? It’s hard to know, really.
    See, the thing is, if you want to allow people to pick and choose their customers, you have to be able to live with the idea that some of them may not choose you, or choose to encourage things such as using insulting language. Their own moral or religious code may be violated by your conduct. Are you willing to live with that in the same way you want gays and lesbians to live with being denied service?

  133. Katie, this came up earlier in the comment thread. Considered as s a private business, I believe the NFL has the right to dictate whatever speech codes they want. But there are a number of ways in which they are quasi-public entities — take tax-payer funded stadiums for one example.

  134. Hi Jill,
    I’ve been thinking a lot about why we are clashing in our views of this post.  I don’t see the post, obviously, as promoting hostility.  I know that you have dedicated your life to working with children so I am sure you are coming at it from that point of view, and I do understand wanting to protect fragile kids, who already have tough lives, from more pain. I truly do understand that! My question is, do you in your heart believe that homosexuality is a sin?  If you don’t, then I can completely understand your reaction.  If you do, then if you replaced any other sin for homosexuality and looked at what is happening, parades, laws, demand of acceptance and celebration…would it make sense?  If thieves demanded that we celebrate and protect them as a class of people even so far as not being able to say street words that described them, would it cause such outrage for you?  I always replace it with alcoholics since I have so much experience with that group of people and love so many of them dearly, but I know it would not be helpful or even logical to tip-toe around them or celebrate their vice as if it is a positive way of life.  I do believe with all my heart that homosexuals are born that way, thieves are born that way, alcoholics are born that way, we are all born that way under the large umbrella of sin.  We are all sinners.  But do we want to have rules so that no one mentions it in ways that may hurt our feelings?  In the end, will that save us? 

  135. Carole, you ask the right question, and I need to think before giving a totally truthful answer–i.e. I need time to figure out what the truth is, not time to decide whether I plan to tell it! 

  136. @timothy, don’t know that I’m capable of a specific answer to your question. I have heard DW use the phrase often, usually with specific examples. It resonated when I heard it prior and it resonates now.

  137. Carole, it is interesting that you use alcoholics as an example of your point, which I completely agree with by the way.  In many ways, the use of the term alcoholic functions in a similar way as the term homosexual.  The Bible would describe a homosexual as a sodomite.  Similarly the Bible would describe an alcoholic as a drunk.  One of the first things that you do at an A.A. meeting is introduce yourself by saying, “I am Tim, an alcoholic.”   In other words, you are being encouraged to identify yourself on the basis of a particular vice.  A.A. is very clear, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.  There is no hope of changing your fundamental identity.  The only hope an alcoholic has is commitment to lifelong abstinence.  I wonder if any of that sounds familiar?  Regardless, the rules in both cases are very clear.  It is always going to be mean, in this society, to call a drunk a drunk.  Similarly it is always going to be mean to call a sodomite a sodomite.  

  138. Dan, I had a few responses to your latest comments, but given your implication that only wolves are capable of personal attack, they probably would not be productive. 

  139. Brendt, I think any comments would be productive, and warranted, as long as no one is attacking anyone personally.  But all ideas and arguments are fair game here.  Grace and peace. 

  140. Dan, OK, I’ll give it a try.
     
    (1) FWIW (which probably ain’t much) the vitriolic reaction I was referring to, was Keely’s, not mine. That probably doesn’t play into the other issues, but I thought I’d clear it up.
     
    (2) I am assuming that you would consider at least some of what St Lee said (other than the off-the-cuff remark) to be true. This is the truth to which I refer. I’d bet that he and I agree on much more than we disagree (regarding the post’s original topic) and yet *I* (who largely agree) am disinclined to bother reading anthing he said because of that remark. How much more would someone who fundamentally disagrees be similarly disinclined? Now if St Lee’s only purpose was to hear himself talk (which is doubtful) then and only then was there “no harm done”. In contrast, if he actually wanted to make a point, then he has distracted badly from it.
     
    (3) I find it impossible to believe that I am the only person on the planet who is offended by warrantless, groundless, and vacuous assumptions, even if they are deemed “off-the-cuff”. I dunno; maybe basic logic when forming one’s argument is too important to me.

  141. @BWW: I know I chose humor in my defense of St. Lee, but I don’t think it’s fair to call his assumption warrantless or groundless.  The simple fact is (I’ll do my best to limit this to my own experience, though I think it’s relatively universal in our American context) that most of the women I’ve met who have chosen to carry a hyphenated last name into marriage have also espoused liberal and feminist views on gender, sexuality, politics, etc.  There are, I would argue, such things as warranted and grounded assumptions and generalizations.  If I meet a woman with a hyphenated last name, my default setting is going to be to assume she’s liberal until I’m proven otherwise (I do the same in reverse when I meet a home-school mom, for instance).  In both cases, I’m generally right to have done so, and in neither case am I being bigoted or hateful; in neither case am I necessarily making a value judgment (sometimes I am, but I try and let the person speak before doing so).                                                                                                                           
    My 2 cents…

  142. I make value judgments based on appearances all the time (mainly because I don’t have God’s ability to see into the heart).  I usually hold these judgments/guesses to have little weight until I get some independent confirmation.  I try not to act on these first impressions in a way that would be actually harmful to the other person if my guess turns out to be wrong.  My fallibility demands that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             However, if I perceive a threat to myself, I may take defensive action based on such an initial impression.  For example, if I see a group of guys approaching my car on the street in typical thug apparel (black or white), I would probably lock my car doors.  If I see a black man in a dress suit walking toward me, I wouldn’t.  The principle is that if something presents itself with threatening signals, I will take defensive precautions.  Someone may still try to argue that this is offensive behavior, but in doing so they would become guilty of judging my actions by appearance only, rather than understanding what was motivating my heart.  In other words, they would be hypocrites.  Our culture encourages us to think that we have a right to our offenses, however we perceive to have been offended.  But Scripture gives us no such right.  In fact, we are to be eager to forgive and let go of offenses, not use them as a club to exact vengeance.  Politically correct offense-mongers are the type of Pharisees that need to be offended, which is Christ’s example, and the subject of Doug’s original post.

  143. Katecho is right about our culture encouraging us to think that we have a right to our offenses, but we should certainly hold back (katecho) that right.  I have found, in my own life, that the more I deny myself the “right” to be offended, the less I am actually offended by the actions of others.  A teacher of mine used to say, “The more we grow in the Christian life, the smaller toes we have.”  It is hard to be personally offended by the actions of others when you love others more than yourself.  Typically, I find that when I am offended by others I am seeking my kingdom to come and my will to be done.  

  144. So in this present example, Doug is illustrating the principle of defying and offending the politically correct, the offense-monger, the legalist, the Pharisee.  This is a biblical principle that we have lost in our day because we are cowards.  Homosexuality can serve as a subtext, but is separate from this principle, which is why Doug is not suggesting that he must take the tone of defiant insubordination against every homosexual.  Not every homosexual is a proud, legalistic, offense-monger.  Some are just your neighbor next door, or a family member in sin.

  145. I definitely do not think we should go out of our way to offend, or be offensive for the sake of being offensive (1 Cor 10:32-33), however we should seek to speak about things the way that God does.  If the Bible calls a sodomite a sodomite, or a drunk a drunk, then I should not avoid those descriptions out of fear of offending.  That would be cowardliness correct?  If we use words like homosexual or alcoholic, we are softening the need for repentance, which is the real point.  I am not going to affirm what you are doing, I am going to speak about it accurately.  I am not going to celebrate it.  One of the reasons we call adultery an affair is out of an attempt to soften the transgression nature of the act.  An affair sounds much happier than adultery.  The same is true of sin.  How often do you hear someone say, “I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, please forgive me.”  We more often will say, “I am sorry, I made a mistake.”  In a society that demands that we do not say words like drunk, or sodomite, or fornicator, or adulterer, I definitely think we ought to be stubbornly defiant.  Speaking of which, when is the last time anyone ever fornicated?  

  146. To call sin what it is, is to offend — even if we don’t use any serrated or biting words, but just plain words.  This message will still offend the unrepentant sinner.  So I don’t believe that 1Cor10:32 is telling us that we must avoid any possibility of offending someone.  Rather I believe we aren’t to stumble anyone, by offending carelessly, by omissions, or just for the sake of offending.  This can also be compared with the idea of the faithfulness of the wounds of a friend.  So I understand Paul’s point to be that we aren’t to be the aggressors, the instigators, the provocateurs of offense.  But there is a defensive role to push back, to intercede for the sheep against the wolves (as Paul himself does against the judaizers).  There has to be real moral danger, not just disagreement.  The one doing the pushing back should generally be one charged with the defense of others, etc.  God generally has the civilian turn the other cheek to make room for God’s appointed ones.

  147. Hi Brendt.  Thanks for your reply.  I appreciate your feedback.  As I had stated earlier, I agree with you that it would have been better if St. Lee had not made the generalization about the hyphenated last name, since it likely doesn’t accomplish anything, plus it may incite the other person.  But you’d have to agree that it’s hardly equivalent to making a personal attack.  It was just an observation, which in some cases at least, may be true (which others have acknowledged as well).  But it’s not always true though, which is why some women may be annoyed by the assumption.  In my own experience, I’d have to say that most women who hyphenate their last name tend to be more liberal in their social and political views.  But of course “liberal” has many connotations too.  One woman who calls herself liberal may have more conservative views than another woman who calls herself liberal.  Admittedly, it’s not always an easy generalization.  Again, in my own experience, it’s rare for a woman who’s more conservative to hyphenate her last name.  Nevertheless, I don’t begrudge any woman for choosing to hyphenate her last name.  Beyond my own marriage, it’s not that important to me one way or the other.  I’m glad my wife chose to use my last name, and she wanted to as well.  Beyond that, I’m fine with other women making their own choice regarding that.  In the larger scheme of things taking place in our society and culture, the hyphenated last name is a very small fish in a very large pond.

  148. Well, I am going to go there. What are the mathematical limits on hyphenated last names? surely several generations out when  Smith-Wesson-Marlin-Colt-Nagant-Moisin and Wilson-Wiggins-Wordsby-Busby-Morgan decide to get hitched–are we really to expect their children will be named Smith-Wesson-Marlin-Colt-Nagant-Moisin-Wilson-Wiggins-Wordsby-Busby-Morgan (or, if I am being politically incorrect) Wilson-Wiggins-Wordsby-Busby-Morgan-Smith-Wesson-Marlin-Colt-Nagant-Moisin.
     
     

  149. Hi Carole.  I really didn’t need to think this long but my daughter’s 21st intervened.   As a Catholic, I try to form my conscience in accordance with the church’s teachings about sexuality and marriage.  The short form would be that homosexual conduct is seriously sinful because, by definition, it cannot occur within the sacrament of marriage, it is not potentially open to the creation of new life, and it often involves specific actions that are illicit even for married heterosexual Catholics.  There may–or may not–be additional factors that would be in and of themselves sinful:  promiscuity, seduction of the vulnerable, risking the health of oneself or others, sins against justice such as breaking promises, sins against charity such as breaking hearts.  All these factors would be equally sinful in a heterosexual person.  The catechism teaches that while we are to regard the homosexual person as a child of God who deserves respect, compassion, and just treatment, the conduct must be regarded as “intrinsically disordered.”  We don’t tend to use words like abomination, and I don’t think many modern Catholics would point to Leviticus to explain why gay sex is wrong.//My intellect assents to the church’s teaching.  My heart doesn’t.  Perhaps because my daughter is in performing arts, I have come to know extremely well several kids who came out as gay between the ages of 16 and 20.  I fostered a couple informally when parents threw them out and the alternative was the streets of Hollywood–not a safe place for struggling kids.  I knew them before they decided they were gay, and in almost every case, I was pretty sure they were gay long before they announced it.  What all these kids had in common was that even in the reasonably tolerant atmosphere of a California school, they were bullied.  Although they did not yet self-identify as gay, there was something about them that attracted bullies like sharks to a feeding frenzy when they smell blood in the water.  Scuffles, ripped up textbooks, taunts, stalking, and cyber campaigns.  “Why don’t you kill yourself, you filthy faggot?” was what they heard on a good day.  I agree with you–and current research seems to bear out–that this kind of bullying is not the sole factor in causing such high suicide rates among gay teens.  But how could it not be damaging?  And how could it possibly be helpful?  The one gay kid I fostered who came from an evangelical Christian home prayed for years that he would wake up straight one morning.  It didn’t happen.  He knew his parents would reject him as an abomination (and they did); they also called him a faggot.  This made him want to kill himself but it did not make him straight.//I realize that most parents react much more kindly than these did, and I also realize that there is nothing in evangelical Protestantism that requires this response.  Catholic parents could have been–and probably have been–equally heartless.  But I have a loathing of the word faggot that no amount of quoting Leviticus or mocking me as politically correct or Pharisaical can overcome.  This is getting too long so I will add more later!

  150. Hi Jill.  I know you were replying to Carole, but just wanted to say what a thoughtful, heartfelt post this was.  You said: “The catechism teaches that while we are to regard the homosexual person as a child of God who deserves respect, compassion, and just treatment, the conduct must be regarded as intrinsically disordered.”  Even though I’m not a Catholic, I think that’s a fair assessment.  Also, I was very sorry to hear about the bullying and the parents who called their own child a faggot.  As I’ve stated a few times, I don’t care for this type of rhetoric either, and it doesn’t accomplish anything.  I think we as Christians can still get our point across without resorting to this type of language.  I do understand Pastor Wilson’s point about the politically correct word police and all that, which I admit is also very annoying and very troubling.  But aside from that, it’s probably safer on the part of Christians to avoid certain language and rhetoric that is likely to incite or provoke an undesirable response anyway.  Moreover, it drowns out the Christian call to repentance, which should always be our goal.  But we still need to call sin for what it is, and not shy away from exhorting people to turn from their sin and follow Christ.  And I think “how” we do that matters too.

  151. Hi Carole, back again. For most of us, the duty to avoid sexual wrongdoing does not impose a life sentence of celibacy and solitude.  If a man must deny himself the pleasure of an adulterous affair, he is out the affair but he is not out the chance to have a family, a loving partner, and someone to care for him through life’s ups and downs.   The Catholic gay man who knows that he is not attracted to women, and who has not been relieved of the burden of same sex attractions, is not free to get married anyway and hope for the best; such a marriage would be both sinful and invalid.  What the church offers him is essentially this:  You have been called to live a life of pain, sacrifice, and constant struggle; the joys of marriage and children are not for you; even loving relationships must be avoided if they become occasions of sin; you may fall and as long as you repent you will be forgiven; you must look to heaven for any hope of happiness.  Again, I can accept this intellectually.  I could force myself to say to a struggling gay Catholic: this is what the church expects of you.  But I, who was blessed with a heterosexual nature, marriage, and motherhood, have trouble getting on board.  It is not the life I would want for anyone I love.  And it is certainly not a life I have any right to impose on someone who does not share my religious convictions.//People who have posted here write as if every gay who participates in weddings or tasteless parades does so with the specific intention of blaspheming against God.  I think this is much rarer than people think.  If gays are non-believers, if they do not accept our scriptures as the word of God, if they have no innate sense that same sex relationships are unnatural–why on earth would we interpret this as shameless defiance? Their desire to get married is as much an outcome of love and commitment for them as it is for us.  This is not an option for the practicing Catholic.  But I don’t see why it can’t be an option in the civil arena.  State marriage is not synonymous with Christian marriage.  I don’t think God has much to do with people driving to Vegas for a quickie divorce and a quickie wedding.  Every Catholic I know who has remarried after divorce without going through an annulment is technically shacked up in an adulterous union.  We seem able to make the distinction between sacramental and state marriage without becoming enraged by their defiance and ongoing sinful status.  We don’t shun these people or call them horrid names; we figure that it is between God and the individual conscience.  Why is this not possible with gays?//But I want to go back to the use of words like faggot and fudgepacker. In Canada where I was born, these words would probably not be legal if they were interpreted as intending to promote hatred against gays, but I have lived here long enough to treasure America’s tradition of free speech.  But I am also free to find them hateful, ugly, vicious, and intended only to wound.  Jesus did not call the woman taken in adultery a filthy whore; nor did he describe her in words intended to make us visualize, in obscene terms, exactly what she was doing that was so wicked.  I realize that my view on this has been extremely unpopular, and that I am seen as somebody who thinks she is holier than our Lord when it comes to compassion for sinners.  I think I will have to answer to our Lord for a myriad of sins and failures, but failing to use gutter talk about is not going to be one of them.  Carole, thank you for asking me to explain and I hope this helps you understand why I reacted as I did.

  152. Thank you Jill.  I appreciate your writing always (and wasn’t a bit surprised to learn you are a professional writer) but in this I particularly thank you even more.  It is hard to think of my reasoned response because of the boy you describe being treated so cruelly by his parents.   The children at schools continue to surpass The Lord of the Flies, and I am reminded why I believe public school is a bad idea, still there is no avoiding the heart wrenching visions you describe.  I have at times wondered how I would handle this situation if it were to happen with my own children.  I only pray that God would give me guidance. 
    Thank you again for your willingness to share so honestly.  As always, I am thankful we are sisters in Christ.  I hope your daughter had a blessed birthday.

  153. Jill,
    I do want to add though that even as I reread the Pastor’s post now, I still do not think he would ever use these words to taunt, and I do not believe he is encouraging his readers to do so.  I read it only as that the power of the LGBT as a proud, defiant, political influence will not impede on his free speech without a struggle.  I had never even heard one of the terms people found objectionable and can’t imagine it ever being used in any serious capacity. I think using the word to make a point is different than attacking someone with it.  For one thing, as any shark looking for blood could tell us, these words only hurt the afflicted.  The comfortable, proud and insolent, have their own arsenal of rhetoric to fire right back.

  154. Thanks, Carole.  The Lord of the Flies atmosphere is so horrible in schools, and so widespread.  I don’t remember the schools of my childhood being like that, and I wonder if kids having to fight for scraps of adult attention in daycare has something to do with how hardcore mean they often are at an early age.

  155. Hi Jill,   As far as schools, I think there are so many problems, beginning in the home and ending in an institution of over 2,000 (Bethune) children, for all practicable purposes governing themselves.
     
    I have been praying about what you said regarding joy.  I remember life without The Lord before my sons and husband.  It can be summarized by despair.  But there are women who cannot have children and of course there are nuns.  I don’t want to think they are left to a joyless life.  An alcoholic is often so far gone that by the time they are saved, marriage and children are not really in the cards, but the joy of having their chains severed from alcohol through Jesus, is in itself an incomparable joy. I don’t believe affliction will lead to unhappiness. I think this is as true for someone who is tied to homosexual desire as an alcoholic is tied to drink. I believe desires will be lessened over time,  and that even a life of serving and helping others will be fulfilling.  This is the life God has chosen to give us.  I wanted to have 10 children or more, I wanted legs that could run, that was not the life God gave me, we could all say many things of this sort, couldn’t we?  Our trust and hope is not truly in the abstinence, as someone else said, it is in Jesus Christ.  And what he will do with us when we really place all our trust in hope in Him, is nothing short of miraculous.

  156. Hi Jill, in listening to you conversation with Carole, I am left wondering how you would explain any of these passages listed below.  

    ESV Exodus 34:15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice,
     16 and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.
    ESV Leviticus 17:7 So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.
    ESV Numbers 15:39 And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after.
    ESV Numbers 25:1 While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab.
    ESV Deuteronomy 31:16 And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them.
    ESV Psalm 106:39 Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds.
    ESV Isaiah 1:21 How the faithful city has become a whore, she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.
    ESV Jeremiah 2:20 “For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, ‘I will not serve.’ yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore.
    ESV Jeremiah 3:1 “If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the LORD.
     3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore; you refuse to be ashamed.
     6 The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore?
     8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore.
    ESV Ezekiel 16:15 “But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his.
     16 You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be.
     17 You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore.
     26 You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger.
     28 You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied.
     34 So you were different from other women in your whorings. No one solicited you to play the whore, and you gave payment, while no payment was given to you; therefore you were different.
     41 And they shall burn your houses and execute judgments upon you in the sight of many women. I will make you stop playing the whore, and you shall also give payment no more.
    ESV Ezekiel 23:3 They played the whore in Egypt; they played the whore in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled.
     5 “Oholah played the whore while she was mine, and she lusted after her lovers the Assyrians, warriors
     19 Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt
     30 have brought this upon you, because you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols.
     43 “Then I said of her who was worn out by adultery, Now they will continue to use her for a whore, even her!
    ESV Hosea 2:5 For their mother has played the whore; she who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
    ESV Hosea 3:3 And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.”
    ESV Hosea 4:10 They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the LORD to cherish
     12 My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore.
     13 They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good. Therefore your daughters play the whore, and your brides commit adultery.
     14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore, nor your brides when they commit adultery; for the men themselves go aside with prostitutes and sacrifice with cult prostitutes, and a people without understanding shall come to ruin.
     15 Though you play the whore, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty. Enter not into Gilgal, nor go up to Beth-aven, and swear not, “As the LORD lives.”
    ESV Hosea 5:3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me; for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore; Israel is defiled.
    ESV Hosea 9:1 Rejoice not, O Israel!Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God. You have loved a prostitute’s wages on all threshing floors.

    You said, “Jesus did not call the woman taken in adultery a filthy whore.”  Yet, God repeatedly calls Israel a filthy whore.  How can we not conclude that different situations call for different language?  
     

  157. I think you’re probably right, Carole, and thinking like this was no doubt easier back in the days when the church said explicitly that we are not here to be happy.  A few years ago my husband suddenly left to be with someone he met online after 23 years of a seemingly happy marriage, and every few months, someone from my church’s pastoral team takes me out to lunch and reminds me that I am not allowed to date.  So, in a sense, I’m in the same position as the gay person who can’t have love or intimacy either outside or inside marriage.  It’s easy for me because I am frankly too old to care, but I am very glad it didn’t happen to me at 25!  There are consolations in simply doing one’s duty, but I still feel enormous sympathy for gays or anyone whose life is a struggle with little consolation and little support.  But clearly there are ways to find happiness even in sad circumstances, and I think that people who have struggled so bravely must be very dear to our Lord.  I am so glad you have your husband and sons even if there are not ten of them!   Ten of my daughter, dear as she is, would be altogether too much of a good thing!

  158. Wow Jill.  That is just unbelievable.  I am so sorry.  I am grateful that you had the Lord, otherwise, how could you cope?  I pray your daughter  turned to God as well for comfort.   I guess, that is the difference in everything.  Someone who is afflicted with any tragedy that does not have faith is left only with the tragedy, but with trust and faith, affliction is turned to gratitude.  The pastor gave a sermon on this that  helps me so much when I start to dip into the sweet ecstasy of self-pity over my physical limitations.  I don’t know how to link things  (Timothy, if you read this, it is called Joy and Affliction on Canonwired. Can you link it for me?) For gay men who turn their back on God, or don’t have the ears to hear, I just don’t believe they will find happiness.  I think that accounts for so much of the depression within the community and such a high rate of risky behavior.  In the end it is coveting.   Gratitude for the life God gave us, for the afflictions God gave us, is where hope is.  How many people do we not hear about who struggled with these desires and were given the strength to overcome them from the Lord? Who would have guessed what you have been through?  Your faith has brought you through it, and you are able to share it to help others. Thank you for sharing it.

  159. Hi Tim M., of course I have to agree that different occasions call for different language, and I don’t think I have ever said that we must use only gentle euphemisms for sins.  A person who breaks marriage vows is an adulterer, and I see no point in softening that to “player” just to avoid hurt feelings.  By the same token, I see no point in calling that person one of George Carlin’s eight impermissible words/phrases however accurate a description it might be.  The use of “faggot” strikes me exactly in the same way as the use of the n-word.  I understand that not everyone feels that way, but many people–who are not otherwise slaves to political correctness or euphemism–do.  Quite apart from the heartless impropriety of disrupting soldiers’ funerals, do you have a problem with Fred Phelps’ “God hates fags” signs?  If so, why?  Do you see this expression as something that, although he has a legal right to use, is so harsh, so ugly, and so suggestive of personal hatred, that it should form no part of spreading the gospel of our Lord?  If you do, can you see how Pastor Wilson’s use of faggot–even if not applied to the repentant individual sinner–might strike people of good faith as uncomfortably similar, even if entirely different in intention?//It has been suggested that vile activities deserve vile names.  That may be so, but there is an argument to be made that the descent into gutter talk coarsens us without having the slightest effect on the conscience of those one is trying to reach.  If fudgepacker is an accurate description of a someone who engages in anal sex, then so is “c——–er” an accurate description of a partaker in another kind of sexual sin.  Is this a phrase you would wish to hear on the lips of your pastor, your wife, or your children?  What is the difference?  Should Christians properly have dual vocabularies for describing sin, one fit for the drawing room and the other fit for the locker room?//I found the verses you quoted fascinating, and they led me into speculations far removed from the topic at hand.  There seemed to be a common thread that the essence of whoredom is not primarily a question of unregulated sexual passion but rather of infidelity and betrayal.  But that is a subject for another day.  It is clear that the Bible is okay with whore, and I don’t have much problem with it myself.  Nonetheless, if I were reaching out even to an organization of hardened prostitutes, if I were witnessing to the people who operate the Ashley Madigan website, and if I hoped to win hearts and minds in the process, I don’t think that using “whore” in a way that suggests personal distaste and contempt would be an effective beginning.  And, in purely practical terms, anti-gay rhetoric that is seen as hateful has pushed more people into supporting gay rights than any amount of GLBT lobbying.

  160. I want to say this as reasonably as possible with no intent to be metaphorically slapping anyone. With that said, as I read this post it seems like some believe in a type of a priori or presupposed premise that sodomy is an identity rather than a behavior. I cannot find anything in the Word of God to support such an idea. In the instant case, God authoritatively says that “male and female He created them”, and that the reason that He made them one was so that they would produce “Godly offspring”.   Nowhere does God say that He created a third (or 4th, 5th, etc) sexual category, and in every sense all of these “other” behaviors are described by God as sinful actions, not identities. Once cannot “come out” of anything (because you are not “in” what God has not created), except sin, and that by the grace of God, as delineated by the Word of God.                                                                                                                                                                       I also dispute any sense of the universal “child of God” premise; I think that Jesus settled that issue when He authoritatively and directly told those who did not believe in Him that they were not children of His Father, but instead were children of Satan.                                                                                                                                                                  God speaks of actions that define sinful conduct, and also links the actors and actions with labels. A bank robber may have to, if he repents of his sin, “live a lonely life” while fighting the temptation of lusting after other people’s money. But, if he stops robbing banks, he is no longer a bank robber. To paraphrase our host: “Whatever our temptations to sin are, of whatever kind, when we have trusted in Christ, we should not be defined by our temptations. We are, all of us, commanded to turn to the form of new humanity in Jesus, and He is the one who identifies and establishes our foundational identity.”

  161. Carole, I think you are probably right, and in a way that makes me realize that my view tends to be very worldly.  I think all of this was easier back when the church said explicitly that we have no right to happiness, that our life on earth is a time of testing set in a vale of tears, and that nothing we do or have on earth has any significance except as bringing us closer to heaven or hell.  When we were faced with a challenge that seemed impossible, we were told to consider the heroic sacrifice of nuns and priests.  This was a lot easier when most nuns and priests lived up to their sacred calling, but I can hardly expect them to be less affected by worldliness than I am myself.   I agree with you that it is possible to find happiness even under the most adverse conditions and that God is gracious and merciful to those who struggle.  One of the saints said something like, Better the whole world perish in great anguish than that one soul should commit one mortal sin.  Again, this is a lot easier to believe intellectually than to experience as emotionally true!  A few years ago my husband left our very long marriage for a woman he met online.  I think I have a forgiving spirit and we have a harmonious friendship, but every now and then I wish that one tenth of the energy  spent on condemning gay sex could be devoted to a discussion of the harm adultery does to innocent children.  Every few months, a member of my church’s pastoral team takes me out for coffee and reminds me that I am not allowed to date.  At my age this is no great sacrifice, but I am certainly glad it didn’t happen when I was 25.  This does give me enormous sympathy for people who face a future lifelong struggle with sexual sin.  I am so glad you were blessed with your husband and sons, even if there are not ten of them!  Ten of my daughter, dear as she is, would be altogether too much of a good thing.

  162. I ended up posting twice because my first one disappeared!  I must sound crazy.  I came through all right, but my daughter did not.  She is still adrift in a sea of pain and betrayal, and she says she no longer believes.  She discovered the adultery before I did, and in a particularly destructive way, and she suffers from undeserved guilt on top of everything else.  So she could use your prayers.

  163. RFB, I did think you expressed yourself kindly and reasonably!  I agree with you that one’s sexual behavior should not be the primary means by which we identify ourselves.  But doesn’t this cut both ways?  If we call others Sodomites, are we not encouraging them to seize the label as an identity and claim it, whether in proud defiance or in shame?  But I have a deeper problem with this.  Whether a homosexual orientation is inborn or acquired, I think that same-sex attractions do not vanish with a conversion experience.  The bank robber can give up robbing banks and may, in time, lose any desire to steal other people’s money.  Unless he is paying his debt to society, he is not debarred from the wholesome pleasures of marriage.  But the type and intensity of sexual desire we experience is part of our identity, whether this is the result of sin, genetics, or environment.  Most of us, having reached sexual maturity without a struggle, don’t ever think about why we feel as we do.  But the person who has never, since childhood, had a flicker of interest in the opposite sex, does not suddenly, upon repentance, acquire the impulses and attractions we take for granted.  In that sense I think it is much harder to become an ex-gay than an ex-bank robber, and I think we should never lose a sympathetic awareness of their struggle.  God is asking much more heroic self-restraint of them than He is of me.  That should make me grateful to God and kind to them.//I think the doctrine that we are not universally the beloved children of God must not be Catholic as it is new to me.  I do not, of course, believe that we are universally saved much as I would like to think so.  Does the “children of Satan” apply to all those who do not believe, or only to those who knowingly reject our Lord?  But I don’t mean to start a whole new thread about Calvinism–if this is part of that doctrine.

  164. I do not think in terms of Calvinism. Regarding universal children: “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do…He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

    I also do not think that evil desire, regardless of its type, can be worse than being free from the act.

    Jesus said that His yoke was easy, and His burden is light. God says that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” He also says that “You have not yet shed blood in striving against sin”.

    Any person who is striving against sin and is contrite and repentant is freely offered grace in abundance. Those who are proudly defiant and encourage others to do the same fall under a different category: “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.”

    Even this proclamation is an act of grace, because many have converted to Christ when faced with that reality. To avoid saying it loudly because someone might be offended is the same as fearing to incur the wrath of someone sleeping, by waking them while their house is on fire.

  165. Jill, (My post went missing for awhile and I ended up posting twice as well the other day.)
    When you posted about your husband, my first thought was your daughter, for selfish reasons.  Her life and my own would be very similar.  The betrayal that went on in my home, so similar to yours, nearly won the battle of my heart and did for a couple of  decades.  When I think of the  girl I once was, drowning in pain, anger and deep, deep unfulfilled father hunger, it is like remembering a sad stranger.  I am more grateful then I could ever write, to have been born again.  God saved me from utter despair, and I do not mean that lightly.  If I ever could have imagined how happy I would be, how much gratitude I would have, how much joy was waiting for me…there would be no hope of believing it.   All of this through the grace of Jesus. With Christ all things truly are possible.  Your daughter will be in my daily prayers, Jill.
    I agree with RFB,   God is faithful, regardless of the circumstances.  We do not know the plan He has for each of His children but we know that He is faithful, and as hard as the lives are for those who have disordered sexual desires, I believe He will give them grace, and strength and joy through faith.

  166. Thank you, Carole.  Your words mean a lot to me, and it helps to know that people come back from this with the grace of God.  I tried to be strong for her but there were times when it was as if she had lost both parents.  The carefree, fun loving mum was gone, although I like to think I’m coming back.  Your prayers would be much appreciated. 

  167. Jill, Carole, RFB, great discussion and great comments all.  Jill, you said: “A few years ago my husband suddenly left to be with someone he met online after 23 years of a seemingly happy marriage, and every few months, someone from my church’s pastoral team takes me out to lunch and reminds me that I am not allowed to date.”  First, I’m so sorry that happened to you Jill.  How awful that must have been. Hopefully no one – and I mean no one – in your family, church, circle of friends, etc., condoned or supported your ex-husband’s behavior.  If I knew him personally, he would have heard it big time from me.  Second, why on earth does someone from your church’s pastoral staff periodically take you out to lunch to remind you of your station of singleness?  How rude and intrusive, let alone unbiblical.  I’m not sure what they are teaching you Jill, but you are free to remarry.  Your husband left you and committed adultery, thus you are no longer bound to him.  True, if reconciliation is an option, then that takes primacy.  But if he wasn’t willing to reconcile, then you are no longer bound to him Jill.  I’ve been studying the Bible and theology for the better part of 25 years, and I’m a deacon in my church, so I don’t claim such things lightly.  I wouldn’t intentionally steer you in an unbiblical direction.  Please seek council from others on this, as I think you are being misled and misadvised.  I’m only saying this out of concern for you.  Again, I am so sorry to hear of your ex-husband’s betrayal.  May God bless you and your family.

  168. Dan, thank you, you are so kind.  I was surrounded with love and support, and I was fortunate that my husband did his best to honor his financial responsibilities.  So many women have to deal with hardcore poverty on top of the betrayal and grief.  I understand that scripture allows an exception but Catholics don’t believe that adultery severs the marriage bond.  In the eyes of the church we are married until one of us dies, and any remarriage would be seen as adulterous on my part.  I will say that a bag of groceries would sometimes have been more to the point than repeated reminders not to date, but I know they were kindly meant!  There is an annulment process, but it was never intended to apply to marriages that both parties entered into in good faith.  Fortunately for me I don’t actually want to date or remarry.  I feel like the one-man woman in the country and western song.  But I would appreciate prayers for my daughter.  This nearly destroyed her.

  169. Jill, I also wanted to add that I know exactly what you mean about losing both parents.  Part of my anger towards my father was that he took my mom from me too, for awhile, but that didn’t last and in a crazy way, it too was a blessing.  I came to know a side of her, I never would have known.  And when I was wallowing in sin, only she knew the real source of my pain. The bond my mother and I have now is remarkably strong, I think because we went through this together.   It is hard to describe, but everyone can see it.  For one thing we live in the same neighborhood, by choice and with gratitude.  I am praying for your daughter and for you. How blessed we are that God is faithful even when people are not.

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