Bringing a Feather Duster to a Gun Fight

So here is the situation. Richard Swinburne was invited to give a talk at the Society of Christian Philosophers. His topic, on which he had previously published, was to defend the biblical and traditional view of human sexuality. Because his talk offended some, the SCP apologized for any harm done by the talk. And here is a link to the response by a number of those members who believe that Dr. Swinburne is owed an apology.tolerance-quote

Now it goes without saying that I agree with the thrust of this open letter to the leadership of the SCP—in that I do agree that a Christian ought to be able to articulate the Christian view of things at a Christian conference, particularly when he was invited to do so. Thus far comity reigns.

But the disease of our day is found all the way through this protest of Swinburne’s treatment, and it is, at the end of the day, the reason we get such treatment. Believers in the biblical view need to stop wearing around this “kick me” sign on our backs.

All the way through the letter of protest, the assumption is made that advocates of diversity and inclusivity really are dedicated to those things, and that their failure in this particular instance was some kind of an oversight. “Wait,” the nice Christians argue. “This process is utterly inconsistent with the academic freedom we all profess and the free interplay of different ideas that we claim to admire.” Why, so it is. Imagine our shock.

This battle—and many others like it—is the result of faithful Christians bringing a feather duster to a gun fight.

The complaint against SCP is that they are not “creating a conducive or welcoming environment to orthodox Christians who are either in line with Swinburne or are not far off from it.” That’s right. That’s right because that’s the plan. It does no good for one football coach to protest to the other one that he persists in “running his game plan.” Yes, quite.

In any organization, discipline is inescapable. Either the faithful will exclude the unfaithful, or the unfaithful will exclude the faithful. There is no world in which fidelity and infidelity may join hands and build a new future together. Either faithful Christians will exile those who would applaud sexual abominations, or unfaithful Christians will exile those Christians who believe that certain sexual practices, all things considered, at the end of the day, are not in keeping with God’s ideals for human flourishing, and hence may be considered, in the right light, if you squint, as something of a disability.

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Eagle_Eyed
Guest
Eagle_Eyed

This pretty much nails it. If those writing the letter were serious at all about Christian philosophy they’d work to remove Dr. Rea from the presidency. He bended his knee toward secular egalitarian sentiments and the diversity/tolerance zeitgeist of the day. His action to apologize did not seem to be directed by prayer, scripture, or meditation on God’s will. It was done out of convenience and cowardice. This isn’t an issue of academic freedom or inclusion for all viewpoints. It’s an issue of Truth and the Kingdom.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Years ago, I showed a deacon in our congregation why men who consorted with prostitutes should not be considered members of the church in good standing. “Just where are you getting this?” he demanded. I opened a Bible and showed him 1 Cor 5. “You are way off,” he said. “That ain’t the words of Jesus. That’s only Paul.” And there’s your problem inside the church. All morality is ultimately an argument from authority. At the foundation of Christianity is the Word of God. If the battle for the Bible is lost, everything else slides with it. Go and poll… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“considered members … in good standing”

So what portion of the Bible do you flip to in order to get your understanding of how one becomes a member in good standing?

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Dear PerfectHold,
Before I get into a long discussion about it, do you agree that a person who is actively using the “services” of a prostitute is falling below the line of what’s acceptable?
And as BJ mentioned, 1 Cor 5 seemed clear enough to me. From your point of view, what am I missing?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Agreed.
see related BJ/PerfectHold discussion.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

By using the phrase “member in good standing,” I do not refer to any particular view of the visible versus invisible church, any particular polity, or particular views on communion, covenants vs. dispensations, etc. I simply mean that people who are part of a congregation know one another. If somebody is behaving well, they should all approve of that. If somebody is misbehaving, they should all disapprove of that. The NT teaches that that disapproval, which it’s justified, should take the form of not “eating” with the miscreant. I’m of the opinion that “not eating” refers to sharing at the… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

And if the elders say Joe X who has been coming for years and knows and loves all the folks there is not part of the congregation – do you claim to be agnostic on that point?

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

Does Joe X have a credible profession of faith?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

To quote a pastor in the tribe: We agree it appears you are a fellow saint, a brother, but we will not agree to have you participate in communion here until you say the words the PCA book of order requires.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

BCO 58-4 “Since, by our Lord’s appointment, this Sacrament sets forth the Communion of Saints, the minister, at the discretion of the Session, before the observance begins, may either invite all those who profess the true religion, and are communicants in good standing in any evangelical church, to participate in the ordinance; or may invite those who have been approved by the Session, after having given indication of their desire to participate. It is proper also to give a special invitation to non-communicants to remain during the service.”

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Exactly. Thank you

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

Of the 5 questions they ask, which are you not willing to agree to?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

They are allowed to ask anything they like.

They will answer to God about why they a-communicate recognized believers such as, for example Chesterton or Tolkien or anyone who often attends assemblies not on their pet list, or anyone who might even attend right there in their own assembly but hasn’t or can’t take their extra- post- biblical oath.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

There is no extrabiblical oath in the BCO. There is a “public profession”. You should simply be asked 5 questions: 1) Do you acknowledge yourself to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy? 2) Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel? 3) Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

Thankfully, the above five questions don’t ask for anyone to swear anything. But we are to be willing to publicly confess Him and the things He commands. It seems all 5 of these requests are things God requires as well.

insanitybytes22
Member

Not that it really matters, but I could publicly declare one and two quite easily, quite enthusiastically.

3, 4, and 5 are too close to swearing oaths, they demand a promise, they grant me authority I do not have, and I would consider them to be in conflict with what Christ teaches.

Oh well, no wafer for me. :)

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

I hope you are, nevertheless, in communion with a body of believers that doesn’t ask for something that binds your conscience, but that you can submit to.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“5) Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace?” Five might be problematic. I told the elders in discussion that I do. Their issue was this, of course, is not sufficient to allow them to grant membership. I reply that I don’t recognize their right to grant membership, but rather their obligation to recognize me as a sheep they must care for and feed. They of course deny any such responsibility. What’s more, even if I were to swear to these five, they of course must immediately excommunicate… Read more »

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

So why not go to a church that you agree with?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

You, my friend, have what it takes to join their brotherhood.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

But seriously, why not go to a church you agree with?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Well i do feel obligated to at least have my family take communion so i found a Baptist Church franchise operation close by and after the president of that 501c3 corporation agreed he is obligated to admit all good Christian folk to the table we’ve started regularly attending there.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

I guess what I’m getting at is if you hold all of these people in such low estimation, why not find a group you respect a bit more?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Do you read Paul encouraging folks to splinter into such sub-bodies, or dont you rather see him kicking butt and taking names?

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

When he and Barnabas couldn’t agree over John Mark, they parted company, and the world benefited.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

You think theyd both pout and avoid taking communion together?

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

If they took their responsibility seriously to guard the flock, and they were afraid they might be harming the person who was trying to take communion by allowing them to do so, then yes, they should avoid giving communion. Pouting from either party is unnecessary.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

In this instance from whom are they guarding the flock by refusing to feed one of its members? From whom?! The only time communion should be delayed is when awaiting others or when one is getting certain unexpressed sins aired out — but pastors don’t have any say in the latter do they? That’s between the two parties only, isn’t it?

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

You seem to be taking being part of the flock as a given when it’s not. Wolves can and do arise from within the flock, trying to lead others astray. Not everyone who claims to be a member of the body of Christ actually is one. Guarding is exactly what they ought to be doing. Discernment about who belongs in the flock or not is a part of being a shepherd. And it’s no help identifying the flock if one of their number is bleating “you’re not the boss of me”.

insanitybytes22
Member

It’s an interesting balance isn’t it? One must guard and protect the flock, but one must also be very careful not to engage in spiritual abuse, in member bullying, where egos step in and people are then treated unfairly.

Unfortunately I’ve seen too much of the later, so I understand what Perfect Harold is saying.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

Balance is a good word. I’ve definitely seen authority abused, and I’ve definitely seen flocks abuse their shepherd. In accepting the role, the shepherds accept a lot of responsibility that they should take seriously and carefully.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Didn’t you say “they” — the leaders they! — were afraid they (those leaders) might be harming the person trying to take communion — by allowing him to take communion?

However / wherever did you get this idea that allowing a person to take communion might harm him??!!!

Is there someone who is poisoning the wine?

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

That, too. The old KJV said taking in an unworthy manner can bring “damnation”. The newer versions say “judgement”. And it goes on to say that some are sick and others have died because of it. So it’s very much like someone has poisoned the wine and is then drinking it. If the leaders care for the flock, they wouldn’t want that to happen.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Are you purposely leaving out the part about this refraining being the job of the communion-recipient and not the administrator?

Secondly, if you were to allow the priest to step in and take this position of graciously guarding the folks from possible poisoning, why not admit he’s protecting them from the big bad God who would presumably whack them if their lips got near the stuff?

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

No, I think two things from the context point to it being a responsibility of the shepherd as well as the individual. The first is that Paul is writing this warning. He has a vested interest in whether people are engaging in the dangerous behavior and he warns them against it. Paul is “fencing” the table with his warning, and he’s doing so as a minister of the Gospel. The second is that earlier in the book Paul compares his ministry to the ministry of others he has sent for their benefit, such as Timothy, who teaches what Paul teaches.… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Just to be clear — Who would otherwise produce / bring down / cause to occur the damnation unless the shepherd kept that sheep from eating this food?

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

The text gives two causes: “eat and drink judgment on themselves” indicates that they have initiated the judgement, and “when we are judged by the Lord” indicates that there is a judgement from the Lord. We have a similar situation if we say, “who sent Billy to prison?” Well, Billy broke the law, and the judge sentenced him. So it’s good and right to say “Billy sent Billy to prison” and “the judge sent Billy to prison”. If I’m not getting at the answer to your question, I may need you to clarify it for me.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

So you’ve got the pastor getting in there to keep Billy out of a jam.
Your pastor is not here guarding the Communion from Billy, but guarding Billy from getting sentenced by the Judge?
He’s protecting Billy from what God would do if Billy might misstep?

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

The shepherd could be protecting a sheep from the consequences of his/her own actions, or he could be preventing a wolf from pretending to be a sheep. In either case, God is a Judge who judges justly, and he has graciously placed a number of safeguards to be heeded, including His word and His shepherds. But we ignore Him at our own peril.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

somethingclever — the consequences of his own action = that is, his action of wanting to take communion??
You remind me of those twelve surrounding Jesus, keeping the riff-raff from getting too close.

Keep in mind that the sheep were told to refrain — the shepherds were not told to stick there nose in this business and take the role of “protecting” them from their own actions.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

No, the consequences of taking communion in an unworthy manner, not of wanting to take communion. And I’m not sure what you mean by “riff-raff”, but if you mean sinners, then no. I’m that kind of riff-raff, and thanks God the table is a table for repentant sinners. But Paul’s warnings mean some people shouldn’t take communion for their own sake. Paul, as a minister of God, warns them of this, thus “fencing” the table. And he speaks of responding to their disobedience with either love or the rod. And he sent other ministers, such as Timothy, to do the… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

You have lots of good company on this. Nowhere is the blood called or implied as poison for anybody, even the unrepentant. — you need to work on that. It is not a magical material, nor is turned into poison by God because it is being taken by bad actors. A shepherd should get into the faces of the disgruntled and the like and warn them that if they don’t even things out with their neighbor, they’ll experience not nutrition but a stomach ache caused by their own acid. But it is not his job or right to excommunicate anybody… Read more »

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

I do think mine is the historic view of Christianity, but the larger and more important question is what does the Bible say. You’ve asked me to articulate a lot about what I believe the Scriptures teach. If I need to work on something, you should demonstrate your case through exegesis as I have tried to do with mine. I don’t think the body and blood are magical, but I do believe that they are supernatural, in part because Paul tells us the cup is participation in the blood of Christ, and the bread is participation in His body. There’s… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

If you mean to say real excommunication is self-inflicted, that is true.
We put ourselves in hell, so to speak.
Nonetheless it is also externally demanded, commanded & executed.

Communion is as supernatural as tortillas — which is to say, comprehensively.
No more, no less — which is to say, completely.

Your view goes all the way back to the Pharisees, who burdened the sheep with it way back when.

Your exegesis has failed to identify the self-a-communication seen in I Cor 11, and turned it into elder-identified and enforced.
You’ve turned the elder into a meddler.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

I think this conversation has run its course. Thanks for taking the time to interact.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

10/4 good buddy.

Katecho
Member

Very well said.

Katecho
Member

Right. The table doesn’t need protection from us. The unrepentant and unloving need protection from it. It is potent.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

magical. Good thing those elders are there to cover us from it’s explosions.
Your position is why the RC church dances around it, and reserves some of it for adoration.

Katecho
Member

I’m not advocating superstition about wine and bread. This meal is potent in the same way that God’s Word is potent; not because of ink on the page, but because of Who is represented in it, and because God is not mocked. God is the One who makes sure that we reap what we sow, and this is particularly the case when it comes to His table.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Not sure about particularly, but I’d go with “includes”

Evan
Guest
Evan

Why can’t you just serve communion to them?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Occasionally. Sure adds weight to the affair when with others, though. Ultimate would be a heavenly roomful — but PCA elders might still want to reserve the option to look the other way.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Hope you don’t mind me saying, but it sounds like you want to participate in a local congregation but you don’t want to submit to the local congregations elders, is that a fair assessment?

jonmnoel
Member

And wouldn’t submitting to elders that you don’t agree with on everything be better than not submitting to elders?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

If your local elder told you not to await others at communion time, would you want to submit?

Of course I don’t want to submit to dingbat and contrabiblical admonitions like don’t baptize your own daughter — do you?

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I doubt the rule at your church is simply: “No one can baptize his own daughter.” The authors of the Bible don’t care to make a dogmatic rule about who can do the dunking (or sprinkling…), but every example we see, baptism is conducted by an elder or an apostle. It appears to be an exercise of Church authority. So to maintain that standard may possibly be extrabiblical, but it’s perfectly reasonable.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Certainly it is an exercise of “elder” authority — protecting the brand — “maintaining the standard” as you put it.

Regarding “every example we see” — you perhaps forgot about the former deacon Philip, at this point no longer a Jerusalem deacon, with that Ethiopian.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Good point. I had forgotten that. Although, re-reading Acts 8, I notice that Philip was literally on a mission from God – an angel told him to go south, where he met the Ethiopian. That’s pretty thin as a basis for saying that anybody can baptize anybody else.

So, if you like, I’ll amend my earlier statement: the vast majority of evidence indicates that administering baptism was reserved to the church leadership, with one exception that involved an angelic commission.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Well then there’s of course that John the Baptist guy.

Come to think of it — the Bible NOWHERE reserves these rituals to administration by church leaders, does it?

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

No, not explicitly, as I already granted. Which is why I would say that the PCA’s rule is reasonable, but possibly unnecessary. I don’t have a strong opinion on it myself.

But okay, so our vastly expanded list of those who can baptize now includes apostles, elders, those directly commissioned by an angel, and miraculously-conceived prophets who are blood relatives of the Messiah. Gosh, pretty nearly anyone can do this, huh?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

1) PCA-ers reasonably keep good Christian folk away from a ritual they say is of inestimable value — a meal of which the Lord says Come, Eat — and they “reasonably”??? say, NOT HERE shall you. — What kind of reasoning is this? 2) Farinata — if you’re so dead set on keeping the rituals out of the hands of the faithful, you’ve got plenty of purported church leaders on your side — just no Scripture you seem able to find, right? But I will admit that plenty of Scripture DOES require leaders of the church to oversee these rituals,… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Jesus says “come, eat.” Paul establishes that the coming and eating is to be controlled – overseen, policed, what have you. They don’t disagree with each other. You object to one level of oversight, and favor a lower level, which is your right. But given that Christ’s command is not absolute, I see no grounds for outrage – the precise level of oversight is unspecified in the text, as you seem to agree. So why does your opinion have to be the rule for everyone else?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Paul did not establish controls — he expanded the correct understanding of what these rituals mean and how they should not be abused. That you see Paul doing some establishing is totally inline with the RC church’s take that the church produces the Word and can come up with such new rules, I’ll give you that. I find it ironic that “reformer”-based churches like the PCA still carry over such fundamentals they fought to correct. I think you meant to say “Chris’s command is not exhaustive” — not absolute? Regarding outrage at good folks not getting communion — isn’t that… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

No, I actually meant what I said. He said “come, eat”, but not in an absolute or unrestricted sense: he also inspired the bits of Scripture that say some should not come – or at least, should not come until they their minds right. The PCA’s restriction is generally in line with this.

Paul said that unrepentant sinners should be excluded from the community of the faithful. That’s a control. What other word would you use for that?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

1) the bits say to exclude THEMSELVES temporarily — NOT be excluded by an administrator — or shall we ignore that inspired bit?

2) the bits say IF you’re going to exclude any from the table, follow the procedure He gives — or shall we also ignore that bit?

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

1) your statement is false. 1 Corinthians 5: “2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Farinata, this passage does indeed require the church folk to fence the table off from this, a now-excommunicated sinner. And there are right & godly procedures for informing such a person of their excommunication — and they should be followed. The passages & principals to which I was referring may be found in I Cor 11 and Matthew 5. There the potentially offending folk need to temporarily self-a-communicate; it not being the right or job of an elder to start wielding the table as a stick. A person is a sheep under the care of the elders whether they like… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Let us compromise: sometimes it is more appropriate for a sinner to remove himself from fellowship, sometimes that has to be imposed by the body, acting through representatives (the elders). Can we agree on that? *** I don’t think that’s right. When I moved from New York to South Carolina, I resigned my membership at my former church, and joined a different church. I don’t think I’m under the care of my former elders anymore – at least not in any concrete way. Had I chosen not to move, I would still be under their care. When I arrived at… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

NEVER should a sinner remove himself from fellowship, ever. We must, and especially the pastor must, call “Come & Repent & Come & Eat” Of course you’re under the care of those old elders, but of course not so much in an active sense. If they caught you drunk about town they have the responsibility as a shepherd of God’s flock, of whom you are a member — to shake your fur right good, and call your regularly seen-by-you pastor and tell him what for. The only reason the elders at your current church wouldn’t know you from Adam is… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

well then, please fill in whatever word suits you – I was trying to translate your neologism “self-a-communicate” into English. But I’m not under their care – I live like four states away. They wouldn’t see me about town because we don’t live in the same town. So any oversight they might theoretically retain is so attenuated as to amount to a qualitative difference. Are you suggesting that the elders at my new church are obliged to know and minister to every Christian in the state? Even if I am a member at a different church? That seems kind of… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Shepherds will answer for how they treat any and all of God’s sheep, whether or not those sheep regularly attend meetings elsewhere or not.

Batty, what with having all these brother keepers?!

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Batty – nuts, crazy, unhinged, ill-thought-out. You appear to be arguing that elders are obliged to care for the souls of Christians whom they have never before clapped eyes on – that if my elders weren’t my elders and had never met me before, they would still answer for my soul. That’s a bizarre opinion, so I can only hope I have misunderstood you.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

You’re on the right track.
Like saying you are responsible for your brother in Bangladesh.

Don’t try to get off the hook.

Do what you can.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

So everyone is answerable to everyone – that’s kind of Tolstoyan. I like that. But I don’t think you really believe it. If I don’t know the name of some other random Christian, am I in sin? You’ve charged that elders who don’t know, who don’t live in the same town as me, are in dereliction of duty if they don’t seek me out. Well, tu quoque: you don’t know my hopes and fears or what I’m struggling with right now. Is that something you feel you need to repent? How you be responsible for me, in any real sense,… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Do your best with what you’re given

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

If those pastors of yours in your new location have not been given your identity or know your name at least they can give a good example of how to live life should you cross paths with them unawares

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

To be clear, I’m talking about elders and pastors of churches I didn’t join and never visited.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

To be sure, every one of the shepherds there if they come across you and learn you are a member of the flock of Jesus should tell you to stop neglecting going to church they should get your name and number and follow up

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I’m still not sure I’m being clear enough. So I joined a local church, and attend, and have elders and a pastor and all the rest. But there are like twenty other churches per square mile, and my point is that the leadership of those churches shouldn’t feel like they need to keep an eye on me, arrange for counseling appointments, “do life together” as the slogan has it… That’s what my local elders are for.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

That certainly is. But should a pastor from another church get to know you and sees you misbehave he has every right and every application to kick your bahooty

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

In other words, responsibility means very little in practical terms – we can only do so much. Let’s see some of that modesty in your assessment of elders.

insanitybytes22
Member

Isn’t first Corinthians 5 addressing an outright case of incest within the church? I am just saying, context is everything.

So as is common of people, we’ll often take a passage about something extreme, dramatic, and start declaring that the Apostle Paul said we must deny communion to people who have been divorced, to those who refuse to swear oaths, to those were once seen drinking,etc, etc.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Read the passage and I think you’ll find it’s pretty comprehensive – including drunkards, fornicators, revilers, cheats… Taking it in the context of Matthew 19, the church has historically interpreted this to mean that excommunication is reserved for those in gross and unrepentant sin. I wouldn’t know about what “we” may or may not be doing, but I am perfectly content declaring, with Christ and his Apostle, that the purity of the church should be maintained.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

great — then just follow the procedure He also says to follow.
Take it up between yourselves when applicable, then to the elders, then the congregation.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Exactly.

insanitybytes22
Member

“I am perfectly content declaring, with Christ and his Apostle, that the purity of the church should be maintained.”

All in good gallows humor here, but I simply could never trust a church that believed in its own purity.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

It is precisely a matter of belief, for faith is the conviction of things not seen.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

I must place my faith in Jesus Christ, not in the alleged purity of the church.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You can’t love Christ without identifying with and loving his bride. You can’t trust Christ unless you trust his promise to make his church immaculate.

insanitybytes22
Member

Yes, but only Christ can make his bride immaculate. The are so many in the world who seem to believe that is their job. Our Faith is never really supposed to be in the alleged purity of the church, but rather in Christ himself. Many have lost their Faith itself when they have seen the church reveal itself to have not been as pure as it liked to believe.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Well it is our job – many of us may be tools, occasionally, but as the saying goes, God uses tools. What is it when I seek to grow in holiness but contributing my part to the purity of Christ’s bride? And I don’t like all this “alleged” talk – that’s how slaves and lawyers speak. The church is pure: her sins are washed away and paid for. That’s part of what it means to be the church. Still ongoing, of course, the great work of restoration. But the battle was won on Calvary.

Evan
Guest
Evan

“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Col 1:27-29

insanitybytes22
Member

Thank you kindly for asking. I am.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

I sympathize with PerfectHold on this. I grew up in the home of a pastor, one of my brothers is a pastor, I have been around pastors all my life, I have listened to their discussions about these things. I have watched these things play out and PH is right. Believers are treated differently by church leadership depending on whether or not they have entered into the membership contract. Many times that difference is built right into the church constitution. So why are professing baptized believers, who are not members, treated differently than those who are? The answer is simple.… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Seminaries often includes course material to this effect.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Are you saying the problem is the leadership protecting themselves and the church but not believers taking other believers to court?

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

I did not have in mind the issue of believers suing believers. My comments were directed at the practice of membership vows, which I believe are un-biblical and originated in order to protect church leaders from lawsuits.

Evan
Guest
Evan

If there were membership vows (baptismal vows?) in the early church you think it was because elders were protecting themselves from lawsuits?

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

As far as I know, membership vows did not materialize until after the Reformation.

Evan
Guest
Evan

If that’s true, what was the purpose of membership vows in your opinion?

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

I have tried to find original sources for these things, but have been unsuccessful in doing so. My opinions in regard to why they exist now have to do with how I’ve actually seen them being used, and I have already explained that in the previous posts.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Okay, just wondering.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

You are right that baptismal vows should be equated with membership vow by default, if by membership vow you mean a vow to enter into and be faithful to the head member and therefore all the other members of His body.

But alas, most current churches that have such membership vows have them in addition to baptismal vows.
They seem to seek more than an interest in whether someone is a member of Christ’s body.

I’m unaware of any early church “membership” vows as such, are you?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I was trying to imagine the kind of lawsuit that could arise. If someone was excommunicated in a small town, and knowledge of it affected his personal and professional life, could he sue the church for slander if the charges were untrue, or violation of due process if the charges were true? How would official membership status help the church in that instance?

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

The law may differ from one state to another, but typically (according to the discussions that I’ve heard), if a member has agreed to abide by the government and discipline of a church, civil courts will let church decisions stand. On the other hand, a church that disciplines someone who has not taken vows, exposes itself to lawsuits from that person.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You can’t fire someone who’s not an employee. Both men were proud Catholics, and neither wanted to be Presbyterian. But I doubt that either of them would object to making a public profession along the lines that somethingclever noted.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Both made torrents of such public confessions.
But no self-respecting PCA elder could ever let them near the Table.

Is that the kind of church you cheer for?

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

My point is rather that I doubt they would want to come. Chesterton in particular thought of Calvinism as a throwback to Paganism. My preference is for open v. closed communion – I think that anyone who makes a profession of faith that isn’t obviously belied by his lifestyle should be admitted to the table. But the Bible doesn’t touch on that issue directly, which makes it a matter of conscience. I suppose we can agree that elders in a local church have some duty to police the boundaries of fellowship? A community can choose to draw those lines more… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

You’re very nice. Becoming indignant about seeing shepherds piously starve the sheep for their own good might be out of place, I admit. But the Bible DOES touch on this issue directly, and in a big way. It is not a matter of conscience. Ask Doug, for example, about the pious fencing of children from communion — you’ll get an earful. The OFFICIAL reason PCA elders are not to allow Tolkien, or a nondenominational Calvary Chapel attendee for that matter, to the table — is one of denominational power and franchise brand protection. Maybe it’s not “invidious”, but it should… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You may be a sheep, but if you are unwilling to grant a particular set of elders authority over you, it’s a bit rich to complain they aren’t treating you like one of THEIR sheep. At best I suppose they could treat you like a rebellious sheep. I don’t know what Doug thinks about piously fencing children from communion, and see little relevance to his views. Weren’t we talking about Scripture? If you want to argue that the Bible legislates open communion or something like it, I’d like to see some Biblical texts. The “OFFICIAL reason”, huh? Links or it… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Farinata — Where was it that you found an elder’s authority established by grant of sheep?! I encourage elders to treat rebellious sheep as such. However what elders have no right to do is disown / ignore / not feed / excommunicate ANY sheep without due process. I do not in the least “grant” authority. It was Jesus who made them elders, and He granted them authority to feed and protect, not to starve. It was Jesus who railed against those elders for acting like wolves, harming the sheep. It was Jesus who encouraged the sheep to REBEL against the… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

If you look at the qualifications passages (I Timothy, Titus), I think you’ll see that a prospective elders’ reputation weighed heavily in determining his fitness. That’s a democratic standard. But this is a silly argument: obviously your local Session is not going to threaten your family to get you to do what they say. They clearly don’t hold authority over every Christian; their practical authority over you (and the others for whom they are responsible) only extends so far as you are willing to obey. ADDED: you contradict yourself. The authority to feed some is implicitly authority to starve (i.e.… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Your position encourages man-pleasing, favor-seeking leaders.

There are enormous practical things shepherds can do to move stubborn sheep along.
Calling them, for example.

But many “pastors” can’t be bothered to do even that.
Too busy prepping half a week for the 30 minute sermon.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

My position? Say rather, the teaching of Holy Scripture. Paul clearly teaches that elders are to be well-esteemed in their communities. Sorry if that bothers you, but I didn’t write the thing. Take it up with the Apostle.

I agree with you that pastors should pastor, that there are many good and salutary steps to correct parishoners before any form of discipline is on the table, and that too many elders, to their great shame, ignore their duty in this matter.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Sorry — I understood you were suggesting elder choice comes about by majority vote (a democratic standard).

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Do you remember where you found Chesterton’s views on Calvinism? I would be interested in reading that. I wondered, pagan like the Stoics?

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Yes, exactly – he finds in the Puritans most of what was admirable and all that was detestable in Seneca. I think it’s in Orthodoxy that he calls it Islam 2.0, because of the iconoclasm. There’s a kind of reason in it, but he’s painting with such an absurdly wide brush that it’s not very helpful in making a real historical evaluation.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Thank you, I will give it a try. The only Chesterton I have persevered with, and enjoyed, is the Father Brown series.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

His poetry is fantastic – like Kipling but Christian. Ballad of White Horse in particular – amazing stuff.

Ian Miller
Member

I enjoy Father Brown a lot (though the recent tv series is incredibly terrible and offensive), but my favorite is definitely the madcap hilarious nightmare The Man Who Was Thursday. A book that gave me something to aspire to in a way few other books ever do. :)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never read it! My tastes as a young Catholic ran to Waugh and Graham Greene, and I missed it somehow. But I will put it my list.

Ian Miller
Member

It is a madcap adventure with a surprisingly emotional punch (at least, it punches me in the emotions :).

I’ve only read Brideshead of Waugh, and not much Greene at all. I do like Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier for a similar novel to Brideshead (though I enjoyed it a bit more, philistine that I am :)

Ian Miller
Member

My guess would be Orthodoxy, the book I’ve tried to read three times, but stop every time he calls my theology something that literally drives people clinically insane. :)

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I loved Orthodoxy for its wordplay and humor. However, I found the actual logic behind it to be a bit juvenile. Chesterton was a really smart man, but at least in that book, he gave me the impression of someone who applies his intellect broadly and shallowly rather than with depth. There may be other books where he takes a different tact…but I got the impression of someone who would be great in a debate, but not do much for my faith.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Not at all. At baptism our godparents made vows on our behalf; at confirmation we make those vows our own with a public profession.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

Not agnostic — just not sufficiently informed about the circumstances of Joe X. If the elders find that Joe X makes a point of rejecting the commands of Hebrews 13, then I would side with the elders. If the elders are merely on a power trip and require Joe X to do something forbidden by the NT, then I would question why Joe X is still attending there in the first place. Maybe you could clarify. P.S. I’ve read a lot of your comments here on the thread. My honest feedback: You appear to have too much of a hang-up… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Bro Steve — I thank you for these ideas. I’m confused about what related commands you find in Hebrews 13? You want clarity of why JoeX would still attend. First, he hopes the elders will relent not from a power trip, but rather from their strict adherence to the rule of presbyterian franchise PCA law they’ve bound themselves to. I mean, the elders flat out tell him: “We love you; we see you as a brother; we’ll eat this meal with you in heaven; but sorry, our rule book won’t allow us to eat with you here; but please keep… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“Regardless of what your views are on the Lord’s table, an unrepentant whore hopper has no business eating there.”

I take it you did not mean “whore hoppper” as a metaphor for the church? Because I have to tell you, that is one fallen woman.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

That’s a south Georgia colloquialism for a man who uses prostitutes often.

adad0
Member

Luke 6:43-45 43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 1 Corinthians 6 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the… Read more »

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Exactly what kind of church do you go to where deacons don’t think hiring hookers is a sin?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. Obviously, people can sin and still be considered members of the church in good standing. Otherwise the church wouldn’t have members.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

They agree it’s a sin. They just didn’t think the church should do anything about it. I told the guy face to face he should stop fornicating. They thought that was quite sufficient and nothing more should be done by the church.

insanitybytes22
Member

While I mostly agree with the gist of this post, I must object to this part,

“There is no world in which fidelity and infidelity may join hands and build a new future together.”

There is indeed such a world, an entire kingdom really, and we saw evidence of it at the foot of the cross. One might even say God’s entire relationship with mankind has been all about fidelity meeting infidelity.

Tim Bushong
Guest
Tim Bushong

I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t believe that a continuing attitude and practice of infidelity to God and to His Word may ever join hands with Christ. Sure, “at the foot of the cross” we are all equally wicked and faithless, but once the work of the cross has been applied to our hearts, that faithlessness becomes more and more abhorrent as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.

insanitybytes22
Member

“…but once the work of the cross has been applied to our hearts, that faithlessness becomes more and more abhorrent as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.”

It’s sad to me, because as we grow more and more in grace and knowledge of Christ, we should be showing less and less abhorrence and more and more grace and compassion for our fellow man. Instead what I often see within the church is self righteousness and a desire to express our abhorrence towards others.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

I think you missed the “join hands” part.

Jane
Member

“And build a new future together” Because of the cross, fidelity overwhelms and negates infidelity, it doesn’t sit down and have tea with it, or otherwise make common cause with it.

Matt
Guest
Matt

So what then, just dispense entirely with the notions of charity and free exchange of ideas in favor of conspiracy theories and total war from here on out? This makes it look like “faithful Christianity” can’t possibly win an actual argument, so has to either oppress its opponents or be relegated to outsider status. The other thing about total war is what if you lose? Even to me, who has no dog in this fight, the swooning towards Swinburne by the social justice crowd is comical. It was the same with the author in Australia just recently. Social justice in… Read more »

Ilíon
Member

It’s already a total war, and has been since at least the end of WWII. Those who *refuse* to see that might as well be actively fighting for the enemy.

Katecho
Member

Matt wrote: The other thing about total war is what if you lose? Matt seems to think that Christ’s victory is in doubt. God is the one who put enmity between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. This doesn’t mean that our warfare is carnal and bitter and lawless, but it is certainly total. Christ is claiming the whole place, from top to bottom. No one here has suggested that the idea of civilized discourse should be tossed out, so that’s a red herring. Swinburne simply gave a talk. As someone “who has no dog… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

Even if you think Christ’s victory is assured, that doesn’t mean that your victory is assured. If you really think the whole of the opposition is both a. unredeemable goblins and b. more or less totally in power, then it might be wise to adopt a less combative stance. If nothing else, it will show the historians who was more reasonable. I do a lot of “yipping” at The Atlantic, TAC, et al as well, and not in the way you probably expect. You’d do better to make fewer assumptions. Just because someone isn’t on your side doesn’t mean they… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Matt wrote: Even if you think Christ’s victory is assured, that doesn’t mean that your victory is assured. If you really think the whole of the opposition is both a. unredeemable goblins and b. more or less totally in power, then it might be wise to adopt a less combative stance. If nothing else, it will show the historians who was more reasonable. As I already mentioned, the totality of Christ’s objective to win the whole world does not entail that we must become lawless or rebellious or spiteful. We rest in warfare, eat in the presence of our enemies,… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

It also parallels pretty well how the SJWs of the world talk. My suggestion is to not make anyone choose sides until you are sure that they’ll choose your side.

Katecho
Member

Matt wrote: My suggestion is to not make anyone choose sides until you are sure that they’ll choose your side. Choose sides? Matt doesn’t seem to understand that the Gospel is a declaration of a new King who is already seated on the throne. It’s not an election campaign. Christ is extending mercy today, but will not strive with men forever. Repent and seek His mercy while it can still be found. “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the day of provocation.” “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at… Read more »

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele
Alec
Guest
Alec

A Richard Swinburne lecture provided the first part of what proved to be my first date with my future wife. I am in his debt! :)

Dr. Tyler Dalton McNabb
Guest
Dr. Tyler Dalton McNabb

Doug Wilson, is there a way to get in contact with you? I’d like to have a discussion with you on this topic.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Those you consider unfaithful may actually be more faithful than you realize or appreciate. I grew up in the South in an era in which many if not most Southern churches accepted without question that “race mixing” is a sin, and the people who supported racial equality would have been considered unfaithful. We can quibble over whether they were right in their hermeneutics, but there’s no dispute that that’s what they believed, or that they had handy dandy Biblical references to back themselves up. So now, with benefit of hindsight, who was unfaithful? The ones who persisted in cleaving to… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Isn’t this presupposing that being wrong about one issue then makes then wrong about a different issue now? I think your argument would have more validity if a prohibition against racial intermarriage had, from the beginning, been a doctrine of the Christian church held by all the faithful. But you know that is not so. The Catholic church, as an institution, has never opposed racial intermarriage. Many Christians sixty years ago were either neutral on the issue or, while disliking racial intermarriage for various reasons, never claimed their dislike was based on religious or scriptural grounds. The people who claimed… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

You are right that it is dangerous to make generalizations, and that just because someone was wrong about something else doesn’t meant they’re wrong now. But in this case I think the commonality between racism and homophobia is that there are mountains of evidence against both of them, and those Christians who hold to racism and homophobia are doing so in the face of reality that pretty much everyone else has accepted. It’s not that the empirical data is silent; it’s that the empirical data flatly contradicts the conservative Biblical hermeneutic. Society didn’t come to accept racial equality or gay… Read more »

jonmnoel
Member

How does empirical data matter at all? We are saying it is wrong. That is a moral judgment, based on authority.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Because empirical data has a nasty habit of turning out to be right. And you don’t think those who opposed race mixing were making moral judgments based on authority?

jonmnoel
Member

No it doesn’t. It is just data. You haven’t proved anything to be right or wrong with data.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

“Don’t bother me with facts; my mind is made up.” Thank you for making my point far more eloquently than I could.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If you could explain how empirical data factors into this. That position makes sense to me only if I make certain assumptions, and I am wondering which, if any, of these underlie your argument. !.That we now understand that a desire for same-sex intercourse is a built in part of some people’s immutable sexual identity and that it would be unjust to tell people they ought to deprive themselves of the only kind of sexual gratification they want. The problem with this is that research has also shown that most people are not naturally monogamous. Would you expect Christians to… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I agree that if you believe that revelation supersedes data, then data is basically irrelevant. But for those of us who don’t, the factors to consider are whether homosexuality causes social harm and whether persecuting homosexuals causes social harm. And there is a whole boatload of research that indicates that harassing homosexuals means they aren’t using their talents and resources to benefit society as they could, so society suffers along with them. Allow me two anecdotes to serve as examples. 9/11 happened, in part, because several Arabic translators had just been fired from the Navy for being gay, leaving no… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I do understand that. But a Christian can hold a belief that God is not morally neutral toward gay sex while still holding a belief that the government has no business governing the sexual behavior of consenting adults, that witch hunts intended to root out homosexual behavior are detestable, and that a Christian who actually persecutes gays is guilty of serious sin. You don’t seem willing to concede that there is this middle position.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I do acknowledge that middle position. I know a number of people who hold it. I just disagree with you, and with them, as to the implications of that position.

Dave
Guest
Dave

K2, in the intel and political world, homosexuals were always a high security risk because the majority of homosexuals from all sides sold their nation’s secrets.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

No, they were a high security risk because they were threatened with loss of their jobs if it was known they were gay, which made them susceptible to blackmail. Now that they can serve openly, the blackmail risk is gone. The anti-gay regulations actually created the possibility of blackmail.

And by the way, do you have a citation that “the majority of homosexuals from all sides sold their nation’s secrets”?

Dave
Guest
Dave

K2, unfortunately the actual figures and names of many are still classified. The risk was the homosexual individual long before established laws in homosexual activity were printed. They would be upset over slights and head to the other side. However those in the intel community used to be very familiar with the facts. Today when our classified material is freely given away by blockheads who lose laptops, take their work home on flash drives and then lose the drives on the metro, or just transmit classified material over unclassified devices the homosexual issue takes a back seat. No K2, the… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I believe it was Richard Nixon who said it’s a good thing homosexuality isn’t a security risk given how many have security clearances.

Dave, I don’t know when I have read so much stereotyping into four short paragraphs. The idea that a gay person would get his feelings hurt and then retaliate by selling secrets is of the same type as the idea that black men are lazy and prone to criminality. If all you’ve got is stereotypes, then I think we’re done.

Dave
Guest
Dave

K2, I am not sterotyping but mentioning real world events that didn’t make the evening news. Facts are facts and it’s too bad that your world view doesn’t accept simple facts but instead rejects them as sterootype.

Perhaps sterotypes are born from a multitude of real world events with the same nature. In this case, homosexuals are a known security risk.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

No, homosexuals are not a security risk, known or otherwise:

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1345&dat=19911009&id=pyhRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=D_oDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6017,1204133&hl=en

Of 117 espionage cases, 7 involved homosexuals.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

To suggest morality is empirical is to disregard what both words mean.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Sorry, you don’t get to win by re-defining words.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I just said that.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

But you mis-applied it to me rather than to yourself. You’re the one claiming that utilitarian morality isn’t really morality. Of course it is.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

No it isn’t. It isn’t universal. Nor has it any grounds for being so.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Specific applications of it may differ from one time and place to another, but the underlying principles are indeed universal.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Well, okay, I see you think that. But why should anybody agree with you? Christian ethics are at least logical – God makes rules because he has the right to do so. Even if he doesn’t exist, the system is coherent. Who put you in charge?

wtrsims
Member

Which is why you’re open minded about paedophilia, provided there’s some charts and graphs showing it’s okay.

Well Mr. Policeman, I wasn’t comfortable with where he was touching me, but he showed me his dissertation and, by golly, the evidence backs him up!”

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I’m extremely skeptical that there will ever be empirical evidence showing that pedophilia is anything other than harmful, so the hypothetical is somewhat akin to asking me what I would do if I encountered a pink unicorn. We can talk about what, in theory, I would do if I ever encountered a pink unicorn, with the understanding that I think the chances of that actually happening are about zero. Likewise, I think the chances of you finding me some data that supports pedophilia aren’t great either, though we can have a hypothetical discussion about what would happen if you did.

wtrsims
Member

EtR, you and your words exemplify the exact reason why people need to jettison the idea of “conservatism” in favor of actually fighting as an actual reactionary. Who could have imagined centuries, or decades, or even just a handful of years ago that transgenderism/transexualism or homosexuality would be so celebrated and justified by at least portions of nearly every corner of culture, academia, and the body politic? You vomit up some trash about “well, hypothetically and in the abstract, I could excuse and accept pedophilia,” while providing yourself the same sort of escape hatch that has always been taken by… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

But the safety valve is that my world view requires data. I do not accept nose counting as a method of determining what is moral. You may or may not be right that at some point in the future social views will change and pedophilia will become acceptable — though if anything we seem to be moving in the opposite direction; there is far more awareness of pedophilia and increasing hostility to it, as evidenced by the sex offender registries that did not exist until fairly recently. But even if that happens, my world view not only allows me, but… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Well, we have to define some terms here. Is a belief that God prohibits intercourse between two men homophobic? Is it possible to hold that belief, and still acknowledge that gays, like other sexual sinners, have civil rights that should be respected? Is it possible to hold that belief while rejecting demonstrably false statements about gays and while rejecting discriminatory treatment toward them in the civil realm? How does the empirical data contradict a flat reading of plain text? You could convince me that every gay on the planet is another Mother Teresa, and you still haven’t proven that Christians… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I do not assume that every Christian conservative feels personal hostility toward homosexuals. However, you don’t get a free pass for your prejudices by dressing them up in religion. Someone who says that the Bible teaches racial segregation and that blacks were meant to be slaves is indeed a racist, even though the basis for his racism is a belief that that’s what the Bible teaches. And even if he really does have black friends whom he loves and cares for.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If I accept your second statement, then I may make no moral judgment that is informed by religious belief. This is the same as saying that religion is acceptable only insofar as it does not result in people making moral judgments, at least not those that you disagree with. We have covered the ground that my sincerely held religious belief gives me no right to discriminate against others or treat them badly. But you are demanding that I not hold a religious belief, not because my belief will cause me to harm people, but because you don’t like it. So… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

No, that’s not it. I’m not saying you can’t hold a religious belief. I’m saying that if your beliefs lead to bad results, they don’t get a free pass because they’re religious. Otherwise, how can you criticize the 9/11 hijackers? They were acting on their religious beliefs too.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I agree with that. It sounded to me before as if you were saying that merely holding the belief was a sign of a hateful attitude even in the absence of any bad result.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Their *false* religious beliefs. Driving home from work is not the same as driving on the sidewalk to chase down pedestrians. Even if both involve the verb “to drive”.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The fact that you believe one and not the other doesn’t mean yours is right and theirs is wrong.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

No, of course not. But they are not the same, and the mere fact you can attach the verb “believe” to either one does not establish sufficient similarity to dismiss them both.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

There’s no reason to believe yours over theirs. There is just as much evidence — which is to say not much — for one as for the other.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Nor is there any reason to disbelieve them, for the matter of that. Mere skepticism is as groundless as credulity.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

No, the person claiming something is true has the burden of proof.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Right. You assert that agnosticism is a normal, neutral starting place, that a mere man has the faculties to stand in judgment of the universe and decide whether it, or its maker, truly exists. I say this claim is preposterous on its face, and all the human race roars its ascent. Theism and supernatural belief are what normal people do. Your pretending otherwise is unnatural.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I cannot prove that God doesn’t exist. I cannot prove that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. What I can say is that I don’t believe things for which there’s no good evidence.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

And your assertion of neutrality – as if you’re standing outside the universe, objectively measuring and discerning things – is patently delusional. A man might just as well attempt to argue over whether his mind exists. Nor can you mount an argument to justify your demand for “evidence”. But leave that aside. In fact, there is evidence in front of you – the world exists! You exist! Just open your eyes, for pity’s sake! Cats don’t come from dogs, fish don’t hatch out of pine cones, and being does not come out of non-being. But of course you reject this… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Most of what you say is nonsense, but for sake of argument let us assume you are right about everything. The problem remains that even if I have no answers, that does not obligate me to accept your answers for which there is no evidence. Your arguments could equally as well be made by someone claiming that the universe was created by pink unicorns, and why shouldn’t I accept his world view rather than yours?

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

The question of which is logically subsequent to the question of whether. We were talking about whether; you just moved the goalposts.

If you have no answers, and no way to justify your questions… perhaps humility is indicated? Perhaps you should learn from those who do?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

You’re new here. The conversation you’re trying to have is one we’ve already had multiple times here, and my reluctance to engage you is more from being tired of repeating the same things over and over than it is from not having any answers. Go back and read the archives and you’ll find that this has been thoroughly discussed already.

I will say that I think it’s hilarious that you, who claim to have the creator of the universe as your best friend, seems to think that I’m the one with the humility issue.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Answer, or not, as you choose. I answered you.

But I will say that your “hilarious” observation doesn’t even rise to the level of irony. I don’t think I deserve to be his friend. He’s my friend because he’s nice. To the extent my ego is involved in the transaction, it is diminished.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I find this a doomed and ultimately silly argument because you and the believer are attaching different meanings to the verb “believe.” No religious truth can be established in the same way that a scientific theory can be established; they are entirely different realms of cognition. You can say that I have no guardian angel at my side, but no science in the world can disprove it. As the Sensuous Curmudgeon always reminds us, “There are no angel detectors.” We can’t conflate “Despite the lack of evidence, I believe” with “In the absence of scientific evidence, I don’t accept.”

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote:

Otherwise, how can you criticize the 9/11 hijackers? They were acting on their religious beliefs too.

Indeed, how can Krychek_2 criticize the 9/11 hijackers, or any other belief or action? We’d all sure like to know. Maybe Krychek_2 can get back to us after he discovers a basis for why matter should move other than it already moves. In the meantime, he can stop wasting our time by pretending that he has such a basis.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And maybe you can get back to us when you succeed in proving that negative we discussed last time we had this conversation.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: However, you don’t get a free pass for your prejudices by dressing them up in religion. Get a free pass from whom? From Krychek_2? Who put him in charge of anything? Remember that Krychek_2 is the one who believes the universe is a purposeless accident, so he has zero rational ground for ever imposing any expectations on anything in the universe, let alone lecturing us about free passes and discrimination. Sometimes it seems that Krychek_2 just likes the sound of his own keyboard clicking. He never addresses his worldview crisis, but just tries to type through it as… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

If it makes you feel better to believe that, knock yourself out.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Well to be fair, he is not presupposing an unprovable, omniscient, intercessory being ahead of everything like you are. He doesn’t get to play with the same pieces on the circular logic board.

Katecho
Member

RandMan wrote: Well to be fair, he is not presupposing an unprovable, omniscient, intercessory being ahead of everything like you are. He doesn’t get to play with the same pieces on the circular logic board. Several misrepresentations to correct here (again). Of course one doesn’t prove what is axiomatic. That’s why we call them axioms and presuppositions. Presuppositions enable such things as logic itself. We can’t do logic without presupposing. As far as RandMan’s assertion of circularity, the mere act of presupposing does not produce any circularity. RandMan has certainly never shown circularity in my presupposition of God. Everyone who… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

You assume the basic existence of that (god) which your own claims for morality are based on. The very definition of circular logic. I get to say I don’t know. You should try it sometime- many avenues open before you.

TAG, you’re it.

Katecho
Member

RandMan wrote: You assume the basic existence of that (god) which your own claims for morality are based on. The very definition of circular logic. RandMan assumes the basic laws of logic, which his own claims about my circularity are based on. Oops. Of course I won’t accuse RandMan of a circular argument because merely employing axioms is not circular, and because neither his statement, nor mine, is in the form of a circular argument anyway. Everyone assumes the basic laws of logic in order to reason or argue. What I will accuse RandMan of is willful misrepresentation of my… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

You are unfortunately conflating axioms of logic which dictate forms of argument (not content) with your unfortunate presuppositionalist ‘axiom’ which in this case can only dictate the content of your particular circular argument.

As the one claiming the christian god as the basis for morality you have the responsibility of providing proof of your claim. Yet you are seemingly unable to do so. Happy to wait. In the meantime you don’t get to invoke that god to explain himself or his gift of morality. As good as that feels to you.

Katecho
Member

RandMan wrote: You are unfortunately conflating axioms of logic which dictate forms of argument (not content) with your unfortunate presuppositionalist ‘axiom’ which in this case can only dictate the content of your particular circular argument. RandMan descends to this desperate nonsense and repetition because he knows that he has not, and can not, prove or derive the laws of logic any more than I can derive God. Presuppositions are axioms. Axioms are presupposed, and they very much dictate both the content of the worldview and the forms of argument that can result. RandMan’s presupposition of materialism directly dictates the content… Read more »

John M83338
Guest
John M83338

Greetings Katecho, I found this article in the Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1998/04/the-biological-basis-of-morality/377087/) that has the following quote: “Either ethical principles, such as justice and human rights, are independent of human experience, or they are human inventions…In simplest terms, the options are as follows: I believe in the independence of moral values, whether from God or not, and I believe that moral values come from human beings alone, whether or not God exists.” I seem to find myself aligning with your positions, and ultimately back to my faith in what God has said in His Word. However, to your antagonists, if they believe… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Thanks to John M83338 for sharing that article. Wow. It contains all of the doctrines and dogmas and dreams of humanism in one package. It’s got scientism, materialism, evolutionism, and all of their attending biases and logical fallacies dutifully and eloquently represented. I certainly don’t have time to refute it point by point, but notice how the author clearly sees that even if his empiricism could completely explain our behaviors phenomenologically, it just rings hollow to tell a mother that she behaves toward her child because her genes caused her to. So I would draw attention to his concluding section:… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yet isn’t that what we have seen argued here by people posting from a Christian viewpoint? In some recent exchanges, it has been argued that a mother who is able to love adopted and natural children equally has perverted her maternal instincts. My position was that any such preference for one’s genetic offspring is biologically driven,and can be overcome with supernatural love. But the biological/genetic drive is the foundation. Isn’t this grace building upon nature?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Off topic, but do you remember that last week I identified five possible sources of U.S. citizenship for a child adopted by two gays: sperm donor, egg donor, maternal surrogate, and of course the adoptive fathers. Source number six has just come along. A woman receiving ART in Mexico just gave birth to a son who has the combined XX of her and another woman. Because she carried a defective gene, her egg was spun out and the mitrochondrial matter was replaced with someone else’s. At this rate, “Heather Has Two Mommies” should be renamed “Heather Has Two Mommies–And Maybe… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Ethics are objective, and humans discover them, much as we discover the laws of math and science. If slavery is wrong today (and it is) then it was wrong 100 and 1000 years ago too. Unfortunately, humans don’t seem to be quick learners.

insanitybytes22
Member

Ethics are actually very subjective and heavily influenced by cultural mores and religion. There is nothing, no depth to sink into, that humans cannot find away to rationalize, slavery, mass genocide, the holocaust, abortion, these are all things that many people have managed to rationalize as ethical. To rationalize, it means “rational lies.”

Humans do not discover ethics, we invent and create them and we can be very flexible with our morality.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Are you considering ethics as rules of conduct that can be discovered through the application of reason to natural law, or as rules of conduct deriving from universally held values? I can see the former. I can see that I ought to be able to derive from my own reason and experience the principle that what is hateful to me, I must not do to others. I have trouble with the second because I am not convinced that there are such things as universally held values.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The former.

Humans don’t do well unless they live in community, and living in community requires that some behaviors be encouraged and others be suppressed, and that is the fundamental basis for ethics.

Christopher
Member

“If slavery is wrong today (and it is) then it was wrong 100 and 1000 years ago too.”

Why wouldn’t they have known that slavery was wrong?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

They may have known; not every one cares if their conduct is moral. If they didn’t, it was for the same reason they didn’t know about quantum physics — it hadn’t been discovered yet.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Frustrated katecho resorts to not addressing my point which is that he is dishonestly conflating two different uses of a logical concept to hide that fact that he is holding the bottom end of the stick. He loves a good tarring with the misrepresentation brush. Continue painting your circular TAG.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And announcing that something is axiomatic does not make it axiomatic.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: And announcing that something is axiomatic does not make it axiomatic. Atheists can’t have it both ways. If God’s existence can be proven and derived without presupposing His existence, then the belief in God’s existence does not serve as an axiom. However, it is the contention of atheists that God cannot be derived and proven logically, so they have no argument against an axiomatic belief in God’s existence. Just for Krychek_2’s information, his prejudices against God’s existence do not determine what is or is not acceptable as an axiom. The way to evaluate axioms is by internal critique,… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Katecho, not sure if you did this deliberately, but your statement that “it is the contention of atheists that God cannot be derived and proven logically” is, while technically true, also thoroughly misleading. Logical proofs are not the appropriate mechanism by which one would prove the existence of God, if God exists, and so of course God cannot be derived and proven logically, but that does not mean there would not be other evidence of his existence. If I wanted to prove the existence of the pope, would I resort to logical proofs and derivations? Of course not. I would… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Notice that Krychek_2 didn’t actually bother to support his contention that God’s existence cannot be axiomatic. Apparently it was just an empty assertion on his part, sort of like when atheists declare that there is no evidence for God’s existence. Instead he dodges and weaves around the question of whether God can be proven or not. Krychek_2 says at one point, “No atheist is going to say that the existence of God cannot be proven (at least if he understands logic)…”, but previously he had already said, “… of course God cannot be derived and proven logically”. I already told… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

“In Krychek_2’s case, I have explained how his materialistic presupposition contradicts the necessary conditions for things like morality, prescription, intentionality, etc. He has simply chosen to ignore these problems in hopes that no one will call him out when he waxes moralistic on us.” Last time we had this conversation, I pointed out that proving this negative requires that you show that there is no set of facts or philosophical argument, including those as yet undiscovered, that could possibly account for non-theistic morality. You have convinced yourself (although I disagree) that they don’t exist now, but can you prove to… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: Last time we had this conversation, I pointed out that proving this negative requires that you show that there is no set of facts or philosophical argument, including those as yet undiscovered, that could possibly account for non-theistic morality. Krychek_2 still seems to think that the polarity of a proposition (positive or negative) determines whether it can be proven, and whether its proof is subject to knowing all future discoveries. He is wrong, and it is not difficult to demonstrate, by analogy. Since Krychek_2 brought up planes, let’s use a better example of a plane. In mathematics, there… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

About to leave to catch a plane, so these quick comments are it for me. First, materialism works just fine, even for Katecho, unless and until it conflicts with his revealed religion. As a practical matter, from the time Katecho gets out of bed in the morning until he goes to bed at night, Katecho makes materialist assumptions that work in actual practice. It’s only when materialism announces that it has no need of a God hypothesis that it becomes a problem. Second, unlike the tiling problem, Katecho hasn’t come close to showing that materialism contains any internal contradictions. By… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: First, materialism works just fine, even for Katecho, unless and until it conflicts with his revealed religion. The belief in abstractions, such as morality, is internally inconsistent with materialism, on its own terms. Notice that when I demonstrated the inconsistency of materialism above, I made no reference to my religion at all. There was no need to. Krychek_2 wrote: As a practical matter, from the time Katecho gets out of bed in the morning until he goes to bed at night, Katecho makes materialist assumptions that work in actual practice. Since belief in the material is a subset… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Are you self-taught in this? Or are you one of those 20 Standard Deviations out sort for whom this stuff is pepper on scrambled eggs?

This is important work and it is an important witness to Christians (and EtR when he eventually hears and sees).

You are doing God’s work katecho. Blessings to you.

Katecho
Member

Thanks for the encouragement. I’m glad someone is reading these posts, let alone that they find them important. Certain limits of materialism are described in general terms in lots of places. Unfortunately, the implications are not very well developed in regard to consciousness, morality, intentionality, etc. So materialists are rarely held to account, and they usually do what Krychek_2 has done, which is to assert that some future discovery will eventually be made. This is a blind faith that something will come along to rescue them from their pickle (which they rarely admit they are even in). They think the… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

I encourage you to write a book on the matter–“The Materialistic Dilemma” has a nice ring to it…; perhaps Cannon (Canon?) Press or Castalia House will publish it for you.

I’m interested in developing formulations and expressions of the materialistic dilemma that demonstrate why it is not a knowledge problem, but a category problem….

What is a category problem?

Is it akin to scanning the Periodic Table of the Elements hoping to find C?

It is good to know that you are working in the matter; it gives me comfort .

cheers.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: And no, the existence of God is not axiomatic, because axioms must be so self-evident that no contrary argument is possible. The fact that we’ve been having this conversation as long as we’ve been having it shows that the existence of God being axiomatic fails on both of those elements. I’m not sure if Krychek_2 is really ignorant of the nature of logical axioms in the context of debate, or if he is just playing dumb in the hope of confusing others. I am certainly not using the term presupposition, or axiom, in the sense of “commonly accepted”… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

If you’re going to define words in a way that is not the common definition, then you need to explain how you are defining them so that other people will understand what you are talking about. You are welcome to define “cigar” as “a pig with wings” if you wish; just make sure that everyone knows that you are using the katecho definition and not the dictionary definition.

Katecho
Member

I have consistently used the words presupposition and axiom interchangeably, and with the same meaning in the context of debate. I have explained my usage of these terms in the past (as underived premises within the system). I have now referenced the wikipedia entry to confirm my use of these terms. Apparently Krychek_2 is suggesting that wikipedia is wrong, and that I have somehow made up these definitions. His stance leaves me with no other conclusion but that Krychek_2 really is ignorant of the meaning of these terms in the context of debate between competing systems. Krychek_2 really doesn’t have… Read more »

fp
Guest
fp

Krychek, it’s time for you to go on a journey of self-discovery:

Krychek, above:

Katecho, not sure if you did this deliberately, but your statement that “it is the contention of atheists that God cannot be derived and proven logically” is, while technically true, also thoroughly misleading.

Krychek, from an exchange we had two weeks ago:

You can fulminate all you like, but “technically yes” is still a yes.

So, Krychek, you can fulminate all you like, but “technically true” is still true.

timothy
Guest
timothy

That would be illogical.

My childhood cautions about Mr. Spock (who I admired) where intuitive and correct. Mr. Spock, while logical and admirably Vulcan lived in, acted on and was a creature of unspoken axioms.

Katecho
Member

Those who try to limit their worldview beliefs to the logically derivable have an idol that fails in spectacular ways.

In comparison to the alternative, the acceptance of our dependency on underived faith commitments is quite … logical.

Christopher
Member

“Society didn’t come to accept racial equality or gay rights on a whim; it did so because the arguments against racial equality and gay rights were so bad that honest people could no longer make them.”

How accepted is racial equality? It seems to be that racism is more out of fashion than disappeared.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

There are still racists out there, and probably always will be, but being an open racist is the social equivalent of deliberately farting at a dinner party. It’s not a crime, but don’t expect to be invited back. And candidly, Doug’s real concern is that being anti-gay is heading in that direction too.

Christopher
Member

Yes, as I said it’s unfashonable not lessened.

JP Stewart
Member

“the commonality between racism and homophobia is that there are mountains of evidence against both of them” What evidence? That’s just a bunch of self-congratulatory claptrap. If you’re only looking at this empirically, you’d live in an enclave with a race or races with the lowest crime rates and highest IQs. I’m not necessarily saying it’s the right thing to do, but if you only looked at things empirically, that’s certainly what you’d do. It would be completely irrational to live in a diverse wonderland like Rio De Janeiro or Chicago. You’re treating the current narrative taught by the MSM/pop… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

That would be rational if high IQ and low crime were the only relevant factors.

JP Stewart
Member

In other words, you don’t have a real empirical argument. You just follow the Zietgeist. At least you indirectly admitted it.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I don’t see that your conclusion follows my premise, but whatever.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Society didn’t come to accept racial equality or gay rights on a whim; it did so because the arguments against racial equality and gay rights were so bad that honest people could no longer make them.” Indeed, well said. From the peanut gallery below, “As a side note, it’s interesting that ME gave a thumbs-up to a pro-gay post that allegedly “contradicts the conservative Biblical hermeneutic.” Not at all. I totally believe in the “conservative Biblical hermeneutic,” that declares homosexuality to be a sin. However the conservative Christian arguments against racial equality and gay rights have been so deeply flawed,… Read more »

Christopher
Member

“I said here once before that in about fifty years or so, evangelical churches will be saying that it is a vicious slander that they ever opposed gay marriage.”

And in another 75 it’ll be vicious slander that they ever opposed pedophilia.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Pedophilia causes harm; homosexuality doesn’t.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If new evidence was presented that the sexual molestation of children only causes harm because of outdated views about children’s sexual development, would you re-evaluate your view? Or is it an absolute conviction you would hold in spite of changing opinion polls and new data?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I don’t think opinion polls count for much of anything; if morality is determined by nose counting, then presumably anything might be acceptable in some benighted place. I do, however, have a deep and profound respect for empirical data. The empirical data show beyond question that children who have been sexually exploited suffer harm, usually for the rest of their lives. They are more prone to dropping out of school, substance abuse, suicide, criminality, and emotional problems. They have difficulty maintaining good relationships, and they are more likely to become abusers themselves. Among professionals in the field, this is not… Read more »

David Trounce
Guest

The empirical data suggests that theft – done properly – can make you rich. Are you saying that you would adjust your moral standards based on the prevailing data provided it met your standards of reliability?

Say it ain’t so.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The standard is whether it harms society, not whether it benefits me personally. Those harms I listed for victims of sexual abuse create social costs too, as does theft, that far and away outweigh the benefits they provide to child molesters and thieves.

jonmnoel
Member

Why is it right or wrong whether it benefits society? What kind of a standard is that? Can you back up with empirical data the fact that what benefits society is right or wrong? You don’t seem to understand the very concept of morality.
Besides, sodomy clearly fails the empirical test, if you insist on data, since fire and brimstone rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

If Sodom and Gomorrah ever actually existed.

Humans only do well if they live in communities. Living in community requires that certain behaviors be encouraged and others be suppressed, and that, ultimately, is the basis for morality. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s the basic outline. Read some Hume and Bentham.

Jane
Member

Living in community may require that a certain number of human hearts be sacrificed so that the sun continues to come up, too. Apart from being an inaccurate view of cosmology, if your society has no mechanism for properly understanding cosmology, on what basis would you rule out that method of providing for the community good?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Because sacrificing human hearts does not actually impact whether the sun comes up. You can’t just go with what people believe; you have to look at whether those beliefs have a basis in reality. And ultimately, reality trumps everything. There is a disconnect between objective reality, and the limitations on how well humans understand reality, but that problem will exist no matter which system you implement. And the mirror image to your question is what happens if we live in a Christian theocracy in which people mistakenly believe the Bible teaches that blacks should be slaves. In both cases, the… Read more »

Jane
Member

Imagine you live in a society in which there is no way to dsiprove, and no real reason NOT to believe, that sacrificing human hearts does not make the sun come up. Like, say, the ones that actually existed that sacrificed human hearts to make the sun come up.

Now, how would you go about persuading your compatriots that what they’re doing is wrong? Neither you nor they know, or have the tools to know, that it’s objectively false that sacrificing human hearts makes the sun come up. So how do you argue against it?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

If there’s no way to disprove, and not real reason not to believe, then how would I reach the conclusion on my own that there’s no link between human sacrifice and sunrise? The only way this would be an issue for me would be if somehow I managed to figure out the science of it on my own, and in that case, the only way I could persuade others would be by making whatever arguments that I myself found persuasive.

jonmnoel
Member

Thanks for the reply. It’s helpful to know where you’re coming from.
But of course, it still doesn’t make something right or wrong. People do indeed thrive in communities, but death is established by the Bible as separation from God, and life is only to be found in fellowship with God as a part of the community of His people.
Your version of right and wrong is just that which allows people to have comfortable lives, alienated from God and one another.

David Trounce
Guest

Based on your previous posts I thought you were a Christian and that you would have made God your standard. In fact, I was convinced. Maybe I am missing something here.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Oh, wow, I’ve never thought that Krychek was a Christian. Maybe I am missing something.

David Trounce
Guest

My bad. I had him confused with Katecho. Oops.

wtrsims
Member

SCIENCE!!!

Good thing people like Krychek don’t operate our public schoo….

Christopher
Member

That’s what they said about homosexuality 75 years ago…

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And what harm did it actually cause 75 years ago?

Christopher
Member

Normalizing narcisism, making sex a virtue, and devalueing family relationships.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I’m currently doing volunteer work with an organization that helps people with medical bills they can’t pay. One of my clients there is a gay individual whose partner has stuck with him through twenty years of ruinous medical bills, one health issue after another, and virtually no normal home life because of the illness (and before anyone asks, no, it’s not AiDS related). That does not sound like narcissism, making sex a virtue or devaluing family relationships to me. If he were any of those things, he’d have been gone long ago.

Christopher
Member

“One of my clients there is a gay individual whose partner has stuck with him”

Has he stuck with his partner?

“That does not sound like narcissism, making sex a virtue or devaluing family relationships to me.”

It doesn’t sound like an average homosexual relationship either. Offhand though, what is your clients family doing for him?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The average relationship does not involve a partner who is chronically ill for 20 years, but I’ve seen many gay couples over the years who have stuck with each other for better or worse. Maybe not in such extreme circumstances, and they often did so in the face of hostility from their families and governmental refusal to recognize their relationship. Maybe you should find out what gay relationships are like rather than whatever caricatures of them you may have heard. I could make lots of caricatures about Christians too, but that’s all they would be. His family started off hostile… Read more »

Christopher
Member

“His family started off hostile because of their relationship but has mostly come around and is mostly supportive at this point.”

The point being that he prefers his partner over his family.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Of course he does and it’s a thoroughly Biblical principle. Therefore shall a man leave both his father and mother and cleave to his wife.

In his case he has a husband but the underlying principle is the same. Once a union has been established, the partner comes first.

Try not using a double standard.

Christopher
Member

There’s an important difference between coming first and coming at the expence of. Not to mention the other part of family is children.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

It was at the expense of because his family chose to reject his relationship, and not the other way around. And some families do have children, yes, including gay families.

Christopher
Member

“And some families do have children”

Families that do not have children cease to exist.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Lots of gay families have children. And it’s not unusual for them to be raising children who came into the world as the result of heterosexual irresponsibility.

Dave
Guest
Dave

K2, the double standard is a man shall leave and cling to wife versus cling to another man. You can’t use marriage scriptures to justify homosexuality because from the beginning God made them male and female.

‘He has a husband . . .’ Is a huge jump from scripture, perhaps even a quadruple standard.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

What we have is someone who has been chronically ill for 20 years and whose partner has stood by him the entire time, despite enormous financial hardship and despite a huge amount of inconvenience, pain and suffering on both sides. Many if not most heterosexuals would have bailed long ago. So if you think they don’t have a marriage, they’ll probably just ignore you, and so too will most of the rest of society, and for good reason. You (and Christopher) basically want to carve out a homosexual exception under which gays can’t win no matter what. Most of the… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

You deny that God made us male and female and that from the beginning scripture says marriage is between man and woman.

You confuse scripture with popular thought and attempt to dismiss in that manner. That is the dishonest portion in this discourse.

It is good to know that you deny the Bible.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote:

Many if not most heterosexuals would have bailed long ago.

Just a note in passing that Krychek_2 can spare us his usual sentimental anecdotes. They are utterly irrelevant to anything. They are a complete red herring. Whether someone is faithful to their ailing lover, or unfaithful, it tells us nothing about whether their sex together is a perversion of God’s intent.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

“For they bind heavy burdens and griveous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:4.

Katecho, the righteous were wrong in Jesus’ day too.

Katecho
Member

A red herring was still a red herring in Jesus’ day too.

Christopher
Member

“You (and Christopher) basically want to carve out a homosexual exception under which gays can’t win no matter what.”

In the same way that a man with no legs can’t qualify as an olympic runner.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Don’t tell that to Oscar Pistorius, and you have unintentionally made a very good point with your analogy. There is a huge difference between someone really not being able to do something, and not being allowed to do something. Imagine Oscar Pistorius being told that he couldn’t be an Olympic runner because he has no legs. The issue would not have been that he really couldn’t do it, but rather that ignorant philistines were standing in his way and not letting him. Gay marriage is kind of like that. When people pour their lives into one another, raise children together,… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

The Bible doesn’t care if you don’t want to listen. The gospel cries out in all creation calling sinners to repentance and that includes homosexuals. And guess what? In the middle of the night, during a crisis or depression the gospel makes itself known to those who like little children plugged their ears. Twice you have typed that no one will listen if anyone denies the homosexual life style. You state there is no emperical data for the number of homosexuals in the US yet Federal statistics show that homosexuals are less than 2% of the American population. Your Spokane… Read more »

David Trounce
Guest

The state of mental health, drug use, domestic violence and sickness among the homosexual community would seem to suggest otherwise.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Except no one actually knows this since there’s no baseline to work from. The actual percentage of homosexuals in the population is unknown, so any claims that they have a higher level of anything — positive or negative — is mostly confirmation bias.

JP Stewart
Member

So contrary to your earlier claim, there are no “mountains of evidence” supporting the homosexual lifestyle as something positive and healthy for society?

From what we do know, “gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men accounted for 83% of primary and secondary syphilis cases where sex of sex partner was known.”

http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/std.htm
I suspect we could know much more, but the government/academic complex doesn’t want to unearth and broadcast data that’s damning to that lifestyle.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

That’s not what I said. I said the empirical data was that a public policy of hostility to homosexuality was bad for society. And that 83% is looking at the wrong number because it looks at cases of venereal disease rather than at total numbers of homosexuals. If 100% of people who shoot abortion providers are evangelical Christians, that tells you nothing about evangelical Christians as a group because it doesn’t say what percentage of evangelical Christians shoot abortion providers.

Mariano Ifran
Guest
Mariano Ifran

eternal damnation?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

There was once a judge who lived next door to a pastor. The judge and his family were atheists and the two families did not get along well.

One day their sons were both playing in the back yard, and the pastor’s son yelled across the fence, “My dad is better than your dad, because all your dad can do is send people to jail whereas my dad can send them to hell.”

The judge’s son shot back, “Yeah, but when my dad sends someone to jail, they actually go.”

Mariano Ifran
Guest
Mariano Ifran

An interesting combination of straw man and non sequitur, blended in a parable. It’s like trying to make you answer for Pol Pot, because he was an atheist like you. While I believe that Pol Pot’s worldview indeed shaped his actions, I don’t assume that you represent him, nor that Pol Pot is enough argument to dismiss atheism. You look scarred by a Westboro-like church in your youth. Unfortunately, you didn’t do your homework, nor read your Bible with a humble and good exegesis, nor searched for another church that tried to do the same with their bibles. Praying 4… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Had I grown up gay at Westboro, I would probably hate the church and want to burn it to the ground. But I don’t. I disbelieve Christian theology, but I recognize that it is valid for those who follow it (which is not the same thing as being true) and that it makes some people better than they would be otherwise. At the same time, I think the church is stuck with a theology of sexuality rooted in the needs of the Middle Ages that will ultimately kill the church if the church doesn’t adapt. I think it can adapt… Read more »

Mariano Ifran
Guest
Mariano Ifran

Nice project Krycheck, but you’re arriving almost 2 centuries later. It has already a name: liberal christianity (UMC, PCUSA, Metropolitan Curch and their irrelevant versions here in Latin America). I’m not a structural engineer, but it’s like trying to build a bridge over a plot of land that you find mostly disgusting. So, you put pillars only in the places that fit your taste, and congratulate yourself for using just the “underlying core theology”. Bad news my friend: all the soil is needed to sustain your bridge, even the soil you left untouched. You think you used just “that patch”,… Read more »

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Nice project Krycheck, but you’re arriving almost 2 centuries later. It has already a name: liberal christianity (UMC, PCUSA, Metropolitan Curch Get ready to start adding a whole bunch of groups to that list of “liberal” Christians in the next decade: PCA, OPC, SBC, Cru, Navigators, Biola, Wheaton, NAE, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Wesleyan Methodists, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, etc., etc. The only churches that won’t cave will be explicitly racial churches like Aryan Nations, Christian Identity, etc. Of which there are maybe 20 total congregations in the US. Why worry about becoming a pariah when you’re already… Read more »

Mariano Ifran
Guest
Mariano Ifran

While I deeply appreciate and can’t be more heartily thankful for the loved Anglo-Saxon brothers who so much contributed and contribute today to the Kingdom, especially those that came here to Uruguay and LA to preach the gospel in the darkness of Romanism, and I agree with you that hard times are coming for those in Christ … I can’t imagine that the true Church of Christ -made from every nation and tongue, skin colour, jews, Greeks and barbarians (yes, you’re a barbarian from a Pauline perspective bro, at least my ancestors were in the nice side of the Roman… Read more »

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

brother Simeon … called Niger.

LMAO

Dude, sorry to ruin your big drop the mic moment, but I’ve been reminding people for 20 years that “the N word” is in the Bible.

So I assume you’re cool with calling black people the N word.

After all, it’s biblical, right? Holy Ghost inspired, even.

Mariano Ifran
Guest
Mariano Ifran

Well, Spanish has only one word for black: “negro” and it can be offensive, neutral or affectional depending of the context, tone, familiarity etc. Yes, there exists “afrodescendiente” or “de color” but almost nobody uses them, they’re condescending. Casiodoro de Reina, the sevillian translator of our KJV-type Bible chose ‘Niger’ instead of ‘Negro’, I don’t know why, but trust me 40, he was no SJW.
Now your turn: please explain me that British Israelism, that will be awesome …

Mariano Ifran
Guest
Mariano Ifran

Just blocked “40 Acres”, discussing with a troll turns you in another troll. My apologies if anyone took offense 4 my last reply.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Just blocked “40 Acres”, discussing with a troll turns you in another troll. My apologies if anyone took offense 4 my last reply.

Says the guy who “refuted” me by using the N word.

LMAO

katie
Guest
katie

Two consonants following a vowel make the vowel short; one consonant following a vowel generally makes the vowel long. In this way, different spellings and different pronunciations make different words! In case anyone else here has trouble with reading.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Two consonants following a vowel make the vowel short; one consonant following a vowel generally makes the vowel long. Yeah. Nowadays. That wasn’t the case in 1611, when the KJV was published. At the time, English spelling had not yet been standardized. Words were spelled different ways, while remaining the same word. And it’s not pronounced “nyjur” or “neezjher” except by cowardly preachers and ignorant laypeople. The word, whether with two g‘s or one, was pronounced the same either way, and it rhymes with bigger, trigger, chigger, etc. But in the 20th century, when the first new English language translations… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

LOL

katie
Guest
katie

Mr Acres has been loafing around here for a while. The conversations have become increasingly less interesting because of it.

Mariano Ifran
Guest
Mariano Ifran

Pastor Wilson, if you’re reading this, please ban this troll (40 acres) He plays into the hands of liberals and gives them more ammunition, a la Matthew 12:30 Congratulations for the blog and may the Lord continue to guide you.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

Pedophilia and homosexuality are closely linked.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

By whom? Not by any experts in the field in at least fifty years.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy
JP Stewart
Member

It’s true that most of this research ended in the 1980s. But this is purely a political move, just like removing homosexuality from the DSM. The DSM removal was literally accomplished by gay activists interrupting speakers and shouting them down at APA conventions. One of them even gribed a mic and yelled, “”Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate. Psychiatry has waged a relentless war of extermination against us. You may take this as a declaration of war against you” in 1971. Sounds a lot like modern SJWs shouting down conservative speakers at college campuses and throwing things at them. They’re about… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The high risk pedophile group is males, not necessarily homosexual males.

But since you still don’t seem to understand how statistics works, again, the problem with this article is that it looks at what percentage of pedophiles are homosexual, which is not the same question of what percentage of homosexuals are pedophiles. That evangelicals have a higher percentage of domestic violence than unbelievers — and they do — tells us nothing about evangelicals in general. You would have to look at what percentage of evangelicals are abusive, and not what percentage of abusers are evangelical.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

There you go again with your Alinsky inspired insults. I did study statistics in college, so I do know a thing or two about the subject. I also know something about political pressure, bias, and propaganda. Anecdotal information, in-spite of the problems that come along with it, can also add valuable information to the subject. Since much of the pedophilia that happens goes unreported, that sort of information becomes important. 33% of all sex crimes against children are committed by homosexuals who comprise only 1% of the population; clearly there is a link between homosexuality and child predation, regardless of… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

OK. 100% of those who shoot abortion providers are Christians, so obviously there is a link between Christianity and violence. 95% of convicted murderers drink coffee, so obviously there is a link between coffee and violence. Ted Bundy was a registered Republican, so obviously somebody needs to check out the correlation between Republicans and rape/murders. C’mon, you’re much too intelligent to not understand that that’s not how statistics is done.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

I do remember enough from my study of statistics to remember that statistical analysis is a complicated and confusing process; even for those who have degrees in the subject. I also remember that some things, like your coffee example, occur by chance. If diaper rash increases in New York City when road construction begins in Great Britain, no reasonable person would hypothesize that road construction is linked to diaper rash. The same thing cannot be said when it comes to the information available regarding child molestation and homosexual men; and you should know that. If the results of the studies… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I don’t think the statistics changed fifty years ago; I think that there has always been this stereotype of the gay man as sexual predator without any real statistical basis. And there are two problems with any study of homosexuality. First is that nobody really knows what percentage of the population is gay, so there is no real baseline to work from. I suspect the 1% figure you cited is probably low, but there’s no way to know for sure. Any study relies on self-reporting and people telling the truth about their sexual orientation, which is probably unreliable,and there’s also… Read more »

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

A popular myth, but wholly untrue. The government’s own Center for Disease Control sites quite a number of health risks associated with homosexual behavior, such as men having sex with other men are 17 times more likely to be diagnosed with anal cancer.
And that’s not a feather duster.
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/msm/

https://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/std.htm

insanitybytes22
Member

“This battle—and many others like it—is the result of faithful Christians bringing a feather duster to a gun fight.”

After pondering this issue some more, I must say that yes indeed, there are far too few people willing to simply stand in faith. However, I don’t think that tells the whole story. There have also been a whole lot of Christians bringing a gun to what should have been a feather duster fight, and they have caused a whole lot of needless collateral damage in the process. What we are experiencing today is partially due to a backlash against that.

BooneCtyBeek
Guest
BooneCtyBeek

Could you provide some evidence of this? Evidence of a consistent pattern of what you claim.

insanitybytes22
Member

Evidence of the poor behavior of Christians having a negative influence on our culture and creating a backlash against Christians in general? Well, there’s the little cultian group called Westboro, multiple child sexual abuse scandals, people showing up and screaming and gay pride events, people bombing abortion clinics, etc, etc.

I realize Wilson’s gun and gunfight were metaphorical, but after a few decades on the internet, I have come to realize that most Christians are far more likely to simply blast all those they perceive as the enemy, rather than to even bother sharing the gospel.

David Trounce
Guest

Most Christians. Ah, c’mon. You need to get out more.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

And stay off those dreadful boards.

OKRickety
Member

“after a few decades on the internet”

:D Are you friends with Al Gore, too?

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Here’s one Jewish professor’s take on the kerfluffle, courtesy of Rod Dreher. Who never mentions that Stanley is a Jew. Because Rod’s a good little boy. He’ll go on and on about white racism and white anti-semitism, but he never ever mentions Jewish hatred of white Christians. Weird… I am really mortified about this. My comment “F*ck those *ssholes”, posted on a friend’s private FB page about homophobes, was *photographed*. Even *worse*, it made it into *the right-wing hateosphere*, where it is being linked and relinked. I really wish now I hadn’t said that!! I PROFOUNDLY regret not using much… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Now if you could tell us what his being Jewish has anything to do this.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

To Badonicus, race and national origin are the only things that have to do with anything.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And Timothy, mkt, ashv, Unreconstructed Rebel, Dabney Redivivus, Barnabas…the list of commenters who think that emphasizing racial distinctions will solve many or most of our problems has grown rather large.

Ian Miller
Member

And tirelessly tiresome. Though they are undoubtedly happy that my own tiresome attempts to tire them out have been counter productive.

Christopher
Member

40 seems to react to Jews the same way ME reacts to the alt-right.

insanitybytes22
Member

Well, a subtle distinction here. I desire the alt right to mend their ways, to clean up their ranks, to start representing Christ more than they represent red pillian ideologies. I want to see reconciliation, redemption, not complete annihilation.

Call me crazy, but I get the distinct impression the Jew haters, the black haters, even the feminist haters, have no interest in redemption or reconciliation at all.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Can I have prayers for my Special Snowflake? She is having major surgery tomorrow.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Yes Jillybean, I will pray for your daughter.

Jennie
Member

Just saw this. So grateful she came through okay.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Thank you!!

Luke Pride
Guest

Enculturation

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

There is no world in which fidelity and infidelity may join hands and build a new future together.

Sure there is.

That world is called the Judeochristian tradition.

AKA Judeochristianity.

insanitybytes22
Member

LOL! Well write this day down in history because I am in perfect agreement with 40 Acres. However, he speaks sarcastically, while I am deadly serious.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

The level of ignorance on this board is absolutely disgraceful.

You obviously have no idea what sarcasm is.

But I’m glad to see you admit that the Judeo-Christian tradition is fidelity and infidelity joining hands.

And you think it’s great.

At least you’re honest.

insanitybytes22
Member

I unapologetically, delightfully, enthusistically, believe it is great, some might even call it the good news, the entire message of the gospel. Fidelity meets infidelity, and while we were yet sinners, He died for us.

I am rather to surprised to discover that even within the ranks of those following Christ, there seems to be some disagreement about this.

wtrsims
Member

You try really hard at appearing Chestertonian with your paradoxical statements, but you’re not nearly so imaginative or successful.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Thank you everybody who prayed for my special snowflake. She didn’t melt, and her crystalline structure is intact.