Letters Involving SBC, PCA, LGBTQ and QED

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Not Yet Time to Turn the Paige

No, no, nothing to do with any of the letters. Just wanted to get you to click on “read more.”

Re: Paige Patterson at Colonus Splendid post, Doug: moderate, discerning and on-the-nose scripturally. I had previously read all the links you posted in the process of sorting through the accusations myself, and came to the conclusion that it seemed awfully early in the consideration process to come to a conclusion. Your point about the need to define “abuse” is absolutely critical and ought to be set in 72pt glowing bold type. I believe Christians should simply stop using the word. My favorite online Christian example of horrendous super-expansion of its meaning here, and my own thoughts on the controversy here. Caveats: I am no Southern Baptist and knew nothing of this mess until I started reading about it here, but once I started I (regrettably) couldn’t stop. God bless you for your rare common sense and care in what you write. And yes, you’ll surely take some flack for this one (what else is new).

Tom

Tom, thanks much.


“Today, Dr. Bingham made it clear that SWBTS denounces all abusive behavior, any behavior that enables abuse, any failure to protect the abused and any failure to safeguard those who are vulnerable to abuse.” Does this not implicate almost everyone in the world? Who among us is riding about on a great white horse safeguarding every person who is “vulnerable to abuse?” And I have a legal question; if anyone knows the answer to it I would be (figuratively) obliged. What responsibility would Patterson have to report a rape of a student that he finds out about? It would seem that it would be up to the raped student to report it. And if that student had reported it, that should be sufficient. Does every person with any knowledge of any crime have to report it, esp if its already been reported? I’m not saying a rape took place back in 2003. I don’t know. But it seems odd to me that a third party is guilty of not reporting what the offended party did not (or possibly did, depending on who you believe) report. And it seems to me that if she did report it (to legal authorities, i.e., “the cops”) then Patterson would have even less responsibility to report it.

Nathan

Nathan, reporting requirements vary from state to state, and I am not sure what the relevant requirements here were. Every minister should be aware of what they are in his locale. But you are right about the problematic aspects of it.


From what I’ve read, Patterson wouldn’t be one of my heroes, but the apparent lack of due process is troubling. So is the inclusion among the accusations of something that strikes me as trivial (describing a teenager as “built”). I would not like to be pilloried in public for having frequently sexually objectified my favorite prime minister as “hot.” If all the petition signers have refrained from describing men in such gross sexual terms, they are better women than I am. There are conflicting accounts about the advice to the victim of domestic abuse. The statement that she had assured Patterson she had never been struck by her husband is contradicted by the audiotape in which he warned her that the conduct he was advising might make her husband more violent. I think it is a horrible story, and its horribleness is not decreased by my believing it to be likely apocryphal. We are to accept that a man on the edge of sleep is so enraged by the sight of his wife kneeling silently in prayer that he gets out of bed and punches her twice in the face. I cannot imagine a church in which his repentance would not have been met with equal concern for ensuring the future safety of anyone living with someone so clearly deranged. But, whether or not the story is true, we do not promote people’s salvation by allowing them to use us as their personal punching bags. Extreme passivity is in itself provocative to violent people, and physical abuse has been shown to escalate over time. All that being said, it troubles me that this story was told at a conference in 2000. Were the clergymen in his audience troubled by the implications of Patterson’s advice and his apparent willingness to trade a woman’s physical safety for her husband’s spiritual well being? Did they challenge him, call his advice dangerous, and criticize his stated pleasure in seeing a woman with two black eyes? If not, why are they so outraged now?

Jill

Jill, the crime would not be in describing a prime minister as “hot.” Whether a crime was involved would depend entirely on which prime minister you were referring to.


Concerning “The Paige Patterson Test” I have tried to learn about the backstory myself, yet remain ignorant. This seems itself a symptom and proof of the #MeTooism of the whole thing. Why are the facts so difficult to find, yet everyone is so sure—we were even scolded by Al Mohler, who publicly repented for all of us baptists and our terrible corporate sins—that Paige Patterson is not only a problem himself, but that he proves the whole association has a problem? This reeks of “listen and believe” virtue signaling. Patterson allegedly told abused women to stay with their husbands. You might comment on this for the benefit of your readers, but it seems to me that “he’s a terrible husband” is not grounds for divorce. The same astonished groans were heard when John Piper excommunicated his own son from the church’s fellowship. Perhaps Patterson’s advice is as sound as Piper’s practice? And then there is some charge about him covering up a rape or some such, but again, the facts are not nearly as abundant as the outrage. If I recall, you yourself have dealt with outside criticism for trying to deal lovingly, wisely, justly, and, above all, biblically with sexual sins of sheep in your own ministry. The SBC is telling us that we need more women and minorities in leadership, the PCA is promoting LGBTism at the Revoice conference, Al Mohler is repenting for all white people ev—sorry, I mean all Southern Baptists— everywhere, and very publicly, because someone somewhere is alleged to have done something bad. Race-baiters thrive in the SBC, Piper practices affirmative action in hiring pastors, Russell Moore is being paid by George Soros to condemn anyone who doesn’t support open borders as hating Jesus, and on it goes. It is these same voices telling me, without providing factual substance in articles, or exegetical refutation in their responses to spousal abuse (which I have heard absolutely no one defend), that I must repent of being a baptist because someone somewhere says in counseling that abuse doesn’t undo the marital covenant. Their persistent wrongness makes Krugman seem an economic seer. In summary: We premillennialists keep stockpiling more and more proofs, while you’re left fighting against all of New Christendom which is spreading her branches over all the earth like a poison tree from a social injustice mustard seed. I’m sure you’ve seen this comic: https://imgur.com/gallery/c4jt321 Everything conservative, Calvinist, inerrantist —that is, everything worthwhile—is being either killed (such as the PCA, and now the SBC) or silenced (such as yourself). Also, smartphones no longer come with headphone jacks. I want to invite you to stop striving, be at peace as I am, and admit that Christ will not find much faith on the earth, and so we should all relax and have a beer together at the top of the hill as we watch the world burn. Then you can truly say, “This is fine,” knowing the solution only has its parousia at the last breath.

Mike

Mike, P.J. O’Rourke said he could refute those who did not believe in progress in just one word. That word would be dentistry.


Up Near the Spigot

Your statement about the church being as gay as he is was far more profound than even you realized I believe. I set my phone down to discuss it with my wife before finishing reading the post! If the church is the bride of Christ, that implies a mutual attraction between them. It also defines the roles (the church is the girl, Christ is the boy.) Today’s church does seem far more attracted to other girls (other people) than it does to the boy (Christ) and gets involved in all sorts of wild orgies with other people and the world (often under the guise of the word “outreach”) rather than cultivating a passionate, monogamous relationship with Jesus Christ.

Charlie

Charlie, yes. And there is also the crucial distinction to be made between corporate devotion and individual devotion. The church is the bride of Christ in her corporate reality. But half of this feminine bride is male, and ought not to be conducting personal devotions “as a bride adorned for her husband.”


Up Near the Spigot: I have read, too often, of Christian men who admit to having had a homosexual relationship in their teens, often with the youth pastor. Now married with children, they proclaim they are glad they remained a virgin until they were married! I bring this up because “those Christians who are romantically or erotically attracted to members of the same sex, but who are committed to celibacy . . .” “Celibacy? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” What I’m suggesting is that, perhaps, homosexual relations do not violate their concept of “celibacy.”

John

John, I don’t think that is the situation in Wesley Hill’s case. But you can depend upon it—it will be the case with many shortly if this foolishness continues on much longer.


Re: Up Near the Spigot/Revoice, redux, etc., et al . . . I much appreciate your recent “mutterings on the regnant follies” (see, I was an old reader of C/A on dead tree from way back). I also appreciate and agree with (I think) most of what you have linked to on the subject (from Strachan, DeYoung). Certainly agree with the folly of concatenating an inherently disordered orientation to your identity as a Christian, and trying to sanctify it. Having said that, much recent writing on the subject from people with whom I’d expect to agree seems to collapse and minimize, if not deny, any meaningful distinction between disordered attraction and sinful lust. Would you (or, how would you) distinguish between them? If there is no meaningful distinction between those things, is there (or, can there be) a meaningful distinction between temptation and sin? It is obviously true that we are not tempted by God, but rather, we are lured and tempted by our own desires. But is the temptation itself sinful? It seems impossible to win the battle of mortification, if the mere occurrence of a battle is defined as defeat. I don’t think that is the conclusion intended, but I’m having some trouble not landing there based on what I’ve read from some. Be glad to hear your thoughts.

Matt

Matt, I don’t think mere temptation is sin committed, and don’t believe that the existence of the battle means the battle is automatically lost. Jesus was genuinely tempted, yet without sin. But there are two additional factors. Jesus was tempted the way Adam in the garden was tempted—the attractiveness of the sin (and it was made attractive) came from outside. When we are tempted, there is the additional complication of our “remaining sin.” There is something in us that wants to give in because the sin is prohibited by God. That element of temptation, when it is present in temptation (and it need not be present) should be confessed as a different order of sin than the sin the temptation was enticing us into. The second element, which is plainly apparent throughout Wesley Hill’s book, is the fact that he has a host of sinful attitudes that he regards as either neutral or virtuous.


Re: Up Near the Spigot Bro. Doug, we need some articles on how to deal with homosexuals in the right way. Lemme splain. In my very small town, there is a guy at a certain fast food place who, in former times, we would say is “queering off” exceedingly. The guy is built like a linebacker, but he wears colorful wigs, acrylic fingernails, skirts, glitzy spike heel shoes with his big hairy toes sticking out over the ends. He speaks in a falsetto, simpers in a highly exaggerated way, and addresses male customers as “Sweetie.” This person makes any normal male snarl. So, we went out to eat the other day, and when we saw this guy in the store, we just turned around and left. My reasons for leaving were 1) Being around this pervert makes me angry. 2) With apologies for being crude, I don’t want my food served by a guy who has been doing some of the things they do (whoso readeth, let him understand). 3) My son is only 9, and I don’t want him thinking we accept that on any level. 4) This kind of behavior is swinging a wrecking ball through civilization, and I’m daily more convinced that decent people need to reject it vigorously. I feel like we’re at the point of Reb Tevye, angrily declaring that “There is no other hand,” and then shouting, No! No! No! So as I said, we left the store. At that point, my daughter declared that I had embarrassed her, and then I began to say that Jesus would have . . . well, what, exactly would Jesus do with this situation? While I understand that Jesus is definitely the friend of sinners, gay culture has made a political, social, religious, and even an economic movement out of sodomy and perversion, and that is a horse of a whole ‘nuther color. Any insights you could provide would be appreciated.

Steve

Steve, I think it is fine to avoid patronizing businesses that allow their employees to antagonize their customers. It is no sin to avoid going there. Neither would it be a sin to make things obvious from your end, and not just allow him to make things obvious from his end. “I’d rather you not call me Sweetie. Thanks.” Or “I can see you are very religious. Where do you go to church?” But that might embarrass your daughter also. I agree with you that we ought not to go along with the pretense.


Someone somewhere said that one of the fallouts of normalizing homosexuality is that it will hurt normal male friendship, in that it introduces sexual tension where the absence of sexual tension was part of the point. Based on the title of this book, it looks like homosexuals are co-opting the concept of friendship completely. Men won’t be able to call another man a “friend” without having to qualify it. And if “deep, lasting, oath-bound friendship” is a solution to homosexual sin, why is it equally not a solution to heterosexual sin? Somehow, I don’t think my wife would be cool with all my deep, lasting, oath-bound friendships with the other women in her Bible study.

Greg

Greg, I believe that point was made by Anthony Esolen. And I believe you are right. This is not helping homosexuals. It is hurting friends.


I have never written, but appreciate your insights, as usual. Thought you might glean additional insight from the following 4 yr old article (maybe you’re familiar with it ), which reveals the church’s own culpability in the current climate of “sexual identity is everything.” Link.

JR

JR, thanks.


Sand and Sugar

RE Sand in the Sugar Bowl Repentance! Who speaks of this concept any longer? It’s so entirely foreign a concept in our age of easy decision-ism, that we have completely forgotten how to bring the Gospel to bear against Sin. May I suggest a video and article that serves to equip the Church in eliminating the effects on sin on relationships? Of course the third step, conviction, is where pride does its nasty business of hardening the heart and preventing the process from advancing. Sin therefore abounds and we distance ourselves from loved ones or other humans (see the aforementioned hubris of the #metoo people). Thank you for flying the REPENT flag far and wide, Pastor Wilson! Bang that drum repeatedly and UNrepentantly! All Americans could use a MasterClass in the subject.

Ron

Ron, thank you.


RE: Sand in the Sugar Bowl To the Editor, Ahhh, but sand in the sugar bowl gives one’s coffee so much more texture than just plain sugar. Sincerely Yours, Ms. Pussyhat Stupidville.

Actually, Dan

Dan, I think coffee with texture is problematic. If your coffee arrives with any texture at all, this signals a problem.


Sand in the Sugar Bowl Refined white flour? In this enlightened day and age, Doug? Don’t you know that the zeitgeist leans toward non-GMO, gluten-free nutrient bricks? ;)

Anna

Anna, I like that phrase—nutrient bricks. May I use it?


Random Question

This isn’t in response to a post—just a question of applied worldview. I have recently graduated from law school, and begun work for a litigation firm. As such, much of my work will revolve around civil litigation. Also as such, my position as a junior associate means that I have relatively little control over my case assignments. Suppose I have a client, who makes a profession of Christian faith, and is bringing a civil suit against another Christian. Should I ask to be recused from the case on the grounds that I, in good conscience, cannot represent a Christian plaintiff against a Christian defendant in civil suit? Should I point the client towards 1 Corinthians? If they refuse to submit to Scripture, should I contact their church? Do I proceed to represent them on the basis that a true Christian wouldn’t spurn Scripture for the sake of a civil suit? It doesn’t seem like I have powers of excommunication (thank God!). Do you think this is analogous to a gay couple bringing suit against a Christian baker (over which I would refuse the case or resign), or is it different in that I am acting on behalf of a secular corporation with respect to an ecclesiastical dispute (which marriage is simply NOT)? I would love your thoughts for young professionals like me on how to anticipate the battles we will have to fight in our careers.

Charlie

Charlie, this is a great question, one that deserves detailed development. I would not automatically seek to recuse yourself. This is because you could be in a great position to make a bad situation better (e.g. proposing private arbitration). But if it was a snarled mess from beginning to end, then I would seek to extricate yourself.


Is ID Inconsistent?

Sir, please permit me to defend Tom Bethel’s (and by extension, ID’s) hesitation to identify the designer: ID, as defended by Stephen Meyer and associates at the Discovery Institute and others, pursues strictly scientific means and tools to arrive at their conclusions. From the Discovery Institute’s website, ID is a “scientific theory that employs the methods commonly used by other historical sciences to conclude that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause.” That is, for their purposes, they limit their study to strictly scientific, empiric methods, and thus limit their conclusions to only what scientific or empiric methods can logically conclude. While I agree with you that any designer within this universe would then demand explanation, this is nonetheless a metaphysical, or philosophical conclusion, arrived at using (sound) philosophy and logic . . . but not one that could be arrived at with the strictly empiric methods employed by ID. So yes, the ultimate choice is between a transcendent creator or “turtles all the way down,” but the choice to conclude the one over the other, however sound, rests on metaphysical, theological, or philosophical reasons—this could not be decided using the strictly scientific/empiric methods employed by ID. But consider another angle: It seems at least logically conceivable that God could have utilized intermediaries in order to accomplish the design of life on earth: Hypothetically, God could have created angels, who in turn created hyper-intelligent energy-based trans-dimensional beings, who in turn created physical super-intelligent biological aliens, who then designed life on earth as we know it. ID’s hesitation to identify the immediate designer of life on earth (due to the limits of empirical science on this topic) need not, philosophically speaking, devolve to turtles all the way down . . . in my (admittedly silly) hypothetical, you have 3 turtles before you’d find the third one standing on the transcendent creator. Finally, please consider: I think you’d agree it is outside the realm of empirical science, as science, to somehow decide whether God did or did not utilize any such intermediary. After all, how exactly would one examine some biological feature and determine, scientifically, whether it had been the direct work of the hand of God, or of an angel . . . or demon, for that matter!—and given the biblical attribution of various diseases and biological phenomena to demons, would we rule out the possibility that the unique structure and DNA in various deadly viruses, mutations, and diseases might in fact have been conceived and designed by demonic entities? Thus I find ID’s hesitation to identify the designer 1) consistent with their self-imposed methodological limits, 2) logically consistent with the conceivable utilization of intermediaries, and 3) demanded by the biblical observation that at least some biological phenomena (various diseases) seem to be the result of Satan’s work. Respectfully submitted,

Daniel

Daniel, thanks very much. But the adoption of a strict empiric method is itself a philosophical choice. The exclusion of philosophy is a philosophical exclusion. It could work as a reductio (e.g. “even on your terms . . .”), but to draw the line arbitrarily in this way just opens the ID people (who have done great work) to the telling jibe offered by one evolutionary scientist that I heard about. She said that ID proponents don’t necessary believe that God designed everything—after all, it could have been someone else with the same skill set.


Les Missives

Pastor Wilson, I absolutely agree with this article. However, I think the larger issue with Les Mis is its theology of redemption (perhaps more correctly stated as “redemption”). The so-called story of mercy, grace, and redemption of Jean Valjean is nothing more than a parade of angst-ridden guilt. Jean Valjean attempts to allay this constant weight of guilt through a life of piety, self-flagellation, and (sometimes pointless) sacrifice, with a great deal of emphasis on the flagellation/sacrifice. Through the entire story, his life is one of constant penance, but he looking only to that rather than to the One True Sacrifice. If there is an overarching theme in Les Mis, it is that suffering, raw suffering for suffering’s sake, somehow sanctifies one—makes one “sublime.” This is certainly an unfortunate “gospel”—a “gospel” which is very clearly shown in the story to bring no comfort, no relief from guilt, and certainly no redemption to Jean Valjean.

Dale

Dale, thanks. And obviously, I tend to agree.


Sending you my father’s response to your post about Les Mis. He’s currently incarcerated in a federal prison and enjoys reading your posts that I print off and send to him. Among your posts he also reads about anything he can get his hands on—one of the first he read after being incarcerated last year was Les Mis. He wrote a blog post about it here. Here’s what he wrote me after reading your post: “I think he missed the forest for the trees. Certainly this is a French Revolutionary-related story. But there are several Christ figures in it, and one, without any question, is Jean Valjean. I was able to read almost the whole thing (I skipped some of the historical/pseudo-historical swaths) without a glimmer of anything Wilson had to say. Perhaps Wilson should try imagining himself as one caught in the wheels of a justice system with prosecutors like Javert. I could not have found this story, in whole and in many, many details, to be more soul-lifting. And I always thought I was a member of the Billy Graham/C.S.Lewis/George McDonald/Alec Motyer tribe. According to Wilson, I just failed the test.” (Second email after he digested what you wrote a bit further) “A Presby minister, a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar . . .” Tell that to an Asperger’s sufferer (or a moralist) and you’re likely to hear- “There’s nothing funny about alcoholism!” To hear that Les Mis is socialist propaganda sounds eerily similar to the above. I think I said in my first reply that Wilson missed the forest for the trees, but on second thought, “Where are the trees?” How do you critique Les Mis with not one word mentioning the characters Jean Valjean or Inspector Javert? I have now printed off and reread this, and think I’d have to read it a couple more times to grasp his argument. Not the burr under his saddle—that’s clear. You can not only sense that Wilson has indigestion, but you almost have to reach for the Rolaids, when you read, “I am not saying that liking Les Mis makes you a bad Christian. I am say that LIKING LES MIS MEANS THAT YOU NEED TO GROW IN YOUR WORLDVIEW SANCTIFICATION.”

Tim

Tim, thanks, and please send your father my warmest greetings. There will be future posts about this whole topic, and one of them will address the Valjean and Javert story line.


The Revolutionary Reformation?

Thank you for the insightful article on the differences between the American and French Revolutions. Edmund Burke was indeed an astute philosopher and student of history. His “clear-eyed” recognition of the trajectory on which the French Revolution of his day was headed was possible because he well understood the depredations that had occurred in the revolutionary century a few hundred years earlier.

John

John, I am guessing you mean the depredations of the “revolutionary” Reformation. It will not be surprising then that we read that history differently. I believe the Huguenots in France built the kind of middle class that would have spared France the agonies of the French Revolution—had they not be slaughtered and harried out of their country.

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bethyada
Member

Jill, my understanding is that there was no physical abuse before she started praying but that she was warned that her (righteous) behaviour may antagonise him and he may worsen. He did, but the story was that his physical abuse was confronting to himself and that led him to realise the problem was his and not hers, thus repentance. Now I don’t know the all the facts of the story, but that story, as far as it goes, seems plausible. It is not uncommon for evil people to get antagonistic with others whose behaviour is righteous. It is hard to… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Hi Bethyada, according to the transcript of the audiotape, Patterson said, “She was being subject to some abuse…{I told her} .Get down by the bed, and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene. Out loud, quietly.” But I said, “You just pray there,” and I said, “Get ready because he may get a little more violent, you know, when when he discovers this.” The “more violent” part suggests he was aware some violence had already occurred. For me, this makes all the difference about the appropriateness (and morality) of his advice. If… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I used “story” the way I did because I do not know the facts. In general agreement with your comments above. I will add that some use the term verbal violence to talk about reviling and rage. These are ungodly behaviours and for many may be a worse than a slap on the face. Others will just use the term violence but when questioned will say that no physical assault of any sort took place. “Violence” (while perhaps justifiable) is rhetorical to say that I think this is really bad. Although the sentiment may be correct, one needs to establish… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jill,

Our Lord told us to turn the other cheek, but He also advised His followers to flee from violent persecution. He did not send Joanna back to her husband.

This implies that Joanna was the victim of violent persecution by her husband. I find nothing in the Bible to substantiate that concept.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

That’s true. I was using her as an example that our Lord did not insist that a wife must never live apart from her husband.

bethyada
Member

Daniel, I am thoroughly a creationist but I heartily agree. The point the IDers are trying to make is that design is observable. And it is observable without having to know the designer. Archaeology is an example. We don’t deny that an object was made until the very point we can identify the exact person in the exact culture who made that axe, or who wrote that loan. DNA shows a designer. Of course the designer was God. But to say that DNA is not designed because you haven’t proved that God exists is nonsense. It meets the criteria of… Read more »

Daniel Fisher
Member

Appreciated. I do agree with Pastor Wilson in the large sense… that as an entire /worldview approach, if someone refused to incorporate philosophical consequences into their entire conclusion, it would be terribly incomplete to refuse to follow the logical, philosophical inferences. But I agree with you that the ID approach is asking the more limited question, “what is “observable” (empiric), and fighting specifically those who say that no design is observable. And logically, I agree, all you can observe is that DNA, etc., was designed. There’s no empirical way to confirm that God was the direct creator. I still struggle… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Hey Daniel, The problem with ID, as I see it, is that by trying to take the approach they do take, they have detached themselves from the core of both sides of the debate. IDers refuse to identify God as the designer (though most of them personally see it that way), hence gutting the very foundation of creation. IDers also refuse to start with the foundation of chaos and randomness inherent in the secular models. To simply say we are looking at evidence and “what is observable” fails to consider the assumptions of those looking at the evidence. The philosophical… Read more »

bethyada
Member

a secular scientists who holds the notion that all nature is rooted in chance chaos will not see design in archeology or SETI

Except that they do see it. And the IDer is pointing out the hypocrisy of them not seeing the design in the eye.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Bethyada, I don’t think it is necessarily hypocrisy. I have read some very lucid explanations of how the eye could have evolved over time. I know you would disagree with these biologists’ conclusions, but it isn’t a question to which they have no answer. Kenneth Miller, a devout Catholic and evolutionary biologist, has written extensively on this subject.

bethyada
Member

I used the example of eye because it was part of BJ’s sentence.

The point is that DNA is a language, far more convoluted than a series of prime numbers. Languages have authors. It is extremely apparent based on what we know of language and computer programs that DNA has an author.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

“It is extremely apparent…”

When one bases their entire thinking on the foundation of chaos and random chance, it isn’t.

Their worldview has explanatory power for why we “think” we see design. As contradictory as it is, they see design arising from chaos. The supposed design we see does have an author, chaos. Unless we explicitly challenge this thinking with God as designer, we are batting from the wrong batter’s box. No matter how hard we swing, we will never make contact.

bethyada
Member

Yes, but only because of moral blindness. When you can see design in low level information (a series of prime numbers, fence posts in a row, etc) but deny design in high level information there is a major disconnect.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

The solution to moral blindness is not to appeal to something that they attribute to chaos. There is no power in neutral appeals. The power to cure moral blindness is in the god of the Bible which is what the ID folks are trying to obscure.

Daniel Fisher
Member

I have little doubt I could write a very lucid explanation on how my iPhone could have evolved by itself….

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

It’s not necessarily hypocrisy, but it is self delusion.

Daniel Fisher
Member

In general, I don’t disagree that presuppositions, philosophical or otherwise, ought to be on the table and examined in any endeavor, scientific or otherwise. And in general I don’t object to examining those philosophical assumptions **prior** to observation. But I don’t see it as problematic to practice science by limiting it to what one can observe, and limiting any **subsequent** philosophical **inferences** from the strictly scientific observation. Let scientists do science, determine was is empirically observable… and then, once that is done, then by all means let us all examine the obvious philosophical inferences and logical consequences. But I don’t… Read more »

bethyada
Member

There is philosophy downstream of science and there is philosophy upstream. I suspect BJ was referring to the latter. You can’t do science unless you agree on the definition of science and why it works. It works because philosophy.

Daniel Fisher
Member

Concur, but Pastor Wilson’s critique of ID’s approach seems focused on it refraining from doing the philosophy “downstream” of science…. whereas I think this simply inescapable if we want to keep using the term “science” as something meaningful.

Katecho
Member

I believe that Christian involvement with ID, as a movement, is ultimately misguided in its central motive, but, at the same time, I believe that ID theory has been hilariously effective in exposing the lies, hypocrisies, and insecurities, of our education system, and of modern scientism. Well-meaning Christians have been attracted to ID because it seeks to satisfy the secular requirements for a science curriculum. ID keeps alive the hope of getting an alternative to intentionless, accidental evolution theory taught inside the government “science classroom”. Unfortunately, I’m convinced that this is not only a futile goal (given the current climate),… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

As for Patterson’s “built” line about the 16-year old, you have to love all the sanctimonious “what a creep!/how disgusting!” comments on Youtube, blogs, etc. Many 16- and 17-year old girls could pass for 22-year old swimsuit models. Any man who claims he’s never noticed this or struggled (even momentarily) with lust is either lying or part of the Revoice crowd. In the latter case, I’m sure those men have had similar thought about 16-17 year old guys. It’s sad and ironic how some of the mega-grace/gospel-centered crowd have moved into SJW territory. They’re starting to sound more like works-righteousness… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

You must learn to love us only for our minds. Don’t expect us to make this easier for you by dressing respectably and not for a night at a hot sheet motel.

JP Stewart
Member

Sadly, there are pastors that take that stance. MeMe linked to an article by one who said men have no right to ever talk about female modesty. And then there are SI swimsuitless models with #metoo graffiti written on them..or so I’m told. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. God gave VERY few men the “appreciate the artistic beauty but never lust” DNA.

Daniel Fisher
Member

Can you provide a link? I’d be curious to read more. I’m almost tempted to borrow the ridiculous liberal line and say, “if you don’t struggle with lust, you have no right to talk about modesty.”

JP Stewart
Member

I posted the link but it’s in moderation. Google “my only comfort Modesty–yep, again!” and you should find it. A quote: “I’ve been asked if I would confront a woman’s attire in my church. Please tell me how you envision that conversation. “I noticed that you are causing me to lust. Could you please cover up”. Really? This is what you think a minister of the gospel should do? What about “sending your wife to do it?” Really? You want our ministers’ wives to go to young women in the church and actually say to them, “By the way, I… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

This is mind boggling to me. Who better than the pastor’s wife? As a teacher I was often asked to handle this, and it can be done with tact and gentleness. “Your legs are going to cause a riot. Can you wear something longer from now on?” “Sweetie, you can’t wear a see-through blouse in church or no one will pay attention to the sermon. Do you have a sweater to put on or can I lend you one?” All this mealy-mouthedness is my concession to modern times. What nuns used to say was, “Our blessed virgin is weeping at… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Mind boggling because you want to address the issue. The excuses are because he denies that it is an issue to deal with.

bethyada
Member

Okay, read the article.

The problem is that the article is half right. Most of what he says to the guys is correct but he draws the false conclusion that because guys have a problem the women don’t.

One wonders if he has read Proverbs.

Daniel Fisher
Member

Well observed. I think of that same thing when I hear things like this…. someone could show up in the scantiest perhaps see-through lingerie (I’ve seen women wear things in public like that), but a woman wearing something that is literally designed with the express purpose of titiilating and arousing…. bears no responsibility if men are aroused or titilated?

OKRickety
Member

Daniel,

The link, from a blog by Sam Powell, pastor of First Reformed Church in Yuba City, California, is Modesty–yep, again!.

In my opinion, Sam Powell is an example of a liberal pastor gone wild. I have a saved “page” from his blog showing his true character. It’s not pretty. He is a frequent contributor on a blog from “A Cry For Justice (Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst)”.

It seems dichotomous to me, but MeMe thinks Sam Powell is wonderful but she strongly dislikes the leaders of A Cry for Justice.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I read it and he sounds, at the least, far too naive to be handling sinners. This is the kind of spiritual leader who allows co-ed sleepovers and then feels shocked and betrayed when someone gets pregnant. Of course no one is suggesting that immodest dress excuses a rapist. But it is uncharitable to knowingly dress in a way that makes life more difficult for people who are struggling with impure thoughts. Especially at church. He has an issue with a pastor’s wife counseling a young girl to dress less provocatively? Catholic priests remind congregations from the pulpit, and there… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“I read it and he sounds, at the least, far too naive to be handling sinners.”

He strikes me as the type who probably “handles” the sins of men (being lousy husbands, lusting, porn use, not cherishing wives, #metoo, etc.) just fine. He just walks on eggshells (or avoids walking altogether) when it comes to the sins of women.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

JP, no doubt you are right. I understood him to be saying that no matter what a woman wears, a man who feels a resulting attraction is 100% to blame for his feelings. (Nobody disputes that he is responsible for his actions.) But he’s not supposed to say “She came to my door dressed in saran wrap with a rose between her teeth, and for one short moment I was overcome by lust.” I guess he is supposed to say, under those circumstances, “I am a filthy animal unworthy to associate with pure women.” This is very unrealistic, not to… Read more »

John
Member

Jill, after watching the video of this incident I must admit I found it a tad cringeworthy coming from a man in a pulpit. Certainly he could have made his point another way or using a different example. If he had been referring to my daughter he would have needed the services of a dentist asap.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

John, I haven’t seen the video which might have conveyed a creepiness not present in the plain text. When I was mulling it over in my mind, I was asking myself if it is the language that was considered objectionable or whether the offense lay in a clergyman noticing and commenting on a girl’s figure. If he had said, “That girl has a lovely figure,” would that have been okay. I do think there is a double standard at play here which makes me less than patient with women who make a huge issue about sexual objectification. I can say… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Jill, First, I quite agree with JP Stewart about the sanctimony. Men who pretend they never notice and women who pretend they never intend to be noticed are both liars. Though certainly they should be off limits to males beyond a certain age some 16-17 age females do look, and act, very much like grown up women. Sometimes they even get legally married like grown up women, though I guess less often than they used to do. That said, I have seen the video and I also agree with John in that Patterson could have made his point in a… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

I don’t think it was a wise thing for Patterson to say. However, this is a man who has spent much of his life–hundreds, maybe thousands of hours–speaking before churches, seminary classes, conferences, etc. He’s obviously going to say a few not-so-smart things every now and then. If he’s repeatedly made remarks like this, there may be an issue. If it’s a one-off, I don’t think it’s something he should be crucified for. Of course, in the age of #metoo and nearly instant, internet lynch mob “justice,” a statement like that along with a story or two is enough to… Read more »

John
Member

At least to me it just seems a bit odd for a pastor, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDRUVmcaQ3k.

Arwenb
Guest
Arwenb

If he had said, “That girl has a lovely figure,” would that have been okay.

“Pity everyone can see so much of it.”?

XD

bethyada
Member

I have watched the video. I don’t think it particularly problematic at all. He quotes a boy and makes a play on words to make the anecdote amusing.

OKRickety
Member

bethyada said: “I have watched the video. I don’t think it particularly problematic at all.” One of the usual human behaviors is to believe what we hear first is the truth resulting in a subconscious confirmation bias. I think this faulty response is the reason for Proverbs 18:17. In this instance, almost everyone (including some on this blog) heard the accusation first and subconsciously presumed it to probably be true. Reminds me of the allegations against Roy Moore. The #metoo movement is feeding off our society’s current willingness to convict without proof, at least when the crime is politically incorrect.… Read more »

mys
Guest
mys

JP- Now, come on, I am told Judge Roy Moore was a creeper for asking out a 19-year-old. Too young! In all seriousness, “any man who claims he’s never noticed this or struggled (even momentarily) with lust is either lying or part of the Revoice crowd. ” I have had men tell me when we were both in their 30s that 19 was too young, and they just couldn’t see how a guy could be interested, etc. I almost said (and should have) “It’s just us guys. Your wife isn’t here. You don’t have to placate her with statements like… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

” “It’s just us guys. Your wife isn’t here. You don’t have to placate her with statements like that when she’s not here.”” Wouldn’t need to. While, as a man, I’ve had my share of inappropriate attractions, “very young” isn’t one of them. I don’t think it’s so odd to imagine that many men have a whole array of different kinds of lustful tendencies. “Because that’s what it’s often about. Older women are very threatened by the younger.” If this is true, I’ve had a very strange sampling in my own life. I can’t think of a woman over 30… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I agree with you, Justin. For me to have resented a young woman whose youth made her much more attractive than I, she would have had to be making a concerted effort to break up my marriage. I think that unless a woman is so shallow that her entire identity is based on her looks, she is able to cope with advancing years without too much heartache. Men sometimes don’t realize that healthy women are not in ruthless competition with one another, at least not after they’ve grown up. I find young people in general very attractive, and I like… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“On the other hand, I find it utterly incomprehensible when female teachers get feelings for middle school boys with defective personal hygiene and a lingering fondness for flatulence jokes.”

I don’t get that one either, but there seems to be a new story almost daily of the 30-year old teacher having a fling with her 15-year old male student. And the teachers are often relatively attractive–it’s not like the adult male population has totally lost interest in them.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I am a reasonably gentle soul, but these cases make me extremely angry. For any teacher to have sex with a student is an appalling betrayal of trust and abuse of authority. This betrayal is sometimes greater for a young female teacher because she is generally trusted more. Parents relax their vigilance; they assume that she is safe. If she spends extra time with their child, parents are pleased rather than worried. To abuse that trust for the purpose of corrupting the child is abominable. I think some women may get off on the power differential between teacher and student.… Read more »

lndighost
Member

I wouldn’t say 19 is “very young.” A 19 year old is, or ought to be, a fully-functional adult. It’s a shame that so many 19 year olds (no matter how beautiful) are too immature to be interesting to a sensible 30 year old man. The culture makes these girls worldly-wise and jaded very early; but keeps them in childhood in terms of attention span, emotional development, and work ethic. In a biological sense, it is good for women to be married in their late teens. The fact that that is horrifying to the culture says more about their low… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

lndighost said: ‘I wouldn’t say 19 is “very young.” A 19 year old is, or ought to be, a fully-functional adult.      […] In a biological sense, it is good for women to be married in their late teens. The fact that that is horrifying to the culture says more about their low expectations of teens than about what teens are actually capable of in the right environment.‘ Indeed, a woman marrying in her teens is considered horrifying in our society today. But it is somehow acceptable to allow her to go away to college and expect her to behave as… Read more »

mys
Guest
mys

IndiGhost Right. Could just be my experience, but I have noticed an almost, resentment, at the fact that some 19-year-old women get married. Older women resent a 19-year-old getting married, more than they do 30-year-olds, and seem to resent it (least the ones I have seen) even more than the prospect of the 19-year-old going off to college and having a handful of sexual experiences. That was where my previous comment came from. Maybe these women don’t think 19-year-olds sleep around in college, but what I interpreted was anger that the 19-year-olds were serious about marriage, because that’s competition for… Read more »

lndighost
Member

mys, I haven’t encountered that particular ugliness. I had thought women less prone to the group competitiveness you describe, which I have definitely seen in men. I can see a woman being resentful of a 19 year old marrying a guy she herself wanted; not in a generic they’re-taking-our-husbands sort of way. But bitterness takes many forms, and I suppose just as the bitter single man might tell himself that it’s because women don’t appreciate what a good catch he is, so a bitter single woman might blame younger women for taking all the eligible men.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I haven’t seen it either. Neither in my own experience nor in my daughter’s. I have seen mild curiosity–“Why do very pretty girls often have a harder time getting dates than less pretty ones?–but not resentment. At one time I didn’t know the answer to that, but l recently read a post in which a man explained to women that the social risk of asking can be too high! Not that I struggled with this on a personal level.

lndighost
Member

How tactical! Interesting. I never noticed this either, but then there isn’t the same dating culture here. The competition is different. In my experience the best kind of men are quite practical and direct with those they consider rivals. ‘Negging’ on rivals is not only transparent but extremely ugly. But among my acquaintance it’s been known for one man to say to another privately, ‘I see you’ve been interested in that young lady for a while, but if you’re not planning to propose why don’t you move over? I’d like to try my luck.’

mys
Guest
mys

I have seen this in the young men too.
Truly our age is full of those who don’t know how to do this “get together for life” thing well.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Mys, I haven’t seen that for myself, but I am sure it exists somewhere. I can’t imagine why a woman would care about, let alone resent, other women’s choices in so personal a matter. A woman might, depending on her own views, think that early marriage is unwise and advise her own daughter against it. But thinking something unwise and resenting other people’s decisions are miles apart.

mys
Guest
mys

Justin-
Speaking for yourself, sure. But are you really telling me that, “you can’t understand why anyone” would be attracted to a 19-year-old? Come on. that’s marrying age, even by today’s standards.

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

Mys,
I can understand it. I just didn’t agree with your assertion that if a man suggests they don’t feel that way, they must be lying for someone’s benefit.

mys
Guest
mys

But that was my point, perhaps lost in translation.
My friend said that, not only did he not feel that way (attracted to 19-year-olds) he didn’t see how anyone could. It was odd.

Daniel Fisher
Member

I just now watched the video concerned …. and unless I had watched it, I would never have gotten the impression from all the discussion, that when Patterson used the “built” line, he was quoting someone else. He used an anecdote where someone else used that less-than-appropriate phrase to point out the element of truth that the literal words conveyed. That God literally “built” women to be beautiful. I imagine he could have told the exact same story and reversed the genders of all involved, wherein he overheard a young teenage woman refer to a young teenage man as “built”.… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

I have a hard time seeing how anyone could have taken offense at this without looking for it.

The motto of society today: If in doubt, let’s go on a witch hunt. No doubt someone will be offended about something and then we can go for the kill.

bethyada
Member

Jill, I want to add a comment about physical violence but I do not want to associate it with domestic abuse. Women (by and large) are a lot more upset by this. That is why men need to be careful how they treat women. Yet many men would prefer a punishment that involved 10 lashes over a year in prison. We are so violent averse (but love it as part of our entertainment) that we think that physical assault is the worst. It is not always. A man may have a fist to cuffs with his friend and be mates… Read more »

kyriosity
Member

PETA called. They are outraged at your support for exposing chickens to second-hand smoke.

JP Stewart
Member

I haven’t verified all these Tweets (someone else put them together), but it’s pretty scary to see where Revoice (PCA church-sponsored LGBT-conference) is going. They apparently don’t want any opposition: Pastor hosting Revoice threatens to Call Police on anyone who disagrees with LGBT+ Christianity Conference . Janet Mefferd ‏ Janet Mefferd Retweeted Greg Johnson [email protected] – who ministers to the gay comm’y – says he’ll attend Revoice & invites discussion w/an open Bible. The Revoice founder informs him that he is banned. The pastor hosting Revoice ups the ante. DISCUSSION WITH a BIBLE is harassment needing police protection? Unreal! Janet… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

So, rational and restrained opposition equals harassment? Unless this was intended as a specific warning to the Westboro Baptist Church, it sounds pretty oppressive.

Are these the people who think gay guys can live together as long as they don’t have sex?

JP Stewart
Member

Jill: yes. Two men, with same-sex attraction and normal male sex drives, can have lifelong “friendship bonds,” live together, travel together and stay celibate. I’m wondering if they also believe in fairies and fire-breathing dragons. And the guy who wanted to have an open discussion at the conference was nothing like a Westboro type.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Gee, what could possibly go wrong? In the heady days following Vatican 2, some nuns and priests thought that people sworn to celibacy could still have deep, meaningful friendships with perhaps a little hand holding. And most of the nuns and priests who tried it ended up marrying each other within a year or two. Of course, nobody could have seen that coming!

It would be more intellectually honest for the church to withdraw its opposition to gay unions. It will come to the same thing in the end.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

It sounds almost like the PCA might as well not have bothered splitting off and forming. I’m not PCA myself, but I’ve seen some comments here from folks considering bailing on the PCA. If what I hear is going on is going on I can understand it, but where do disaffected PCA members go?

JP Stewart
Member

Well to be fair, this kind of thing was unimaginable in the PCA until the last 5 years or so. But it didn’t take that long, either…the PCA is only 45 years old. I doubt most PCA parishioners know about this conference. Its churches are still concentrated in the Bible belt, and the average member is quite conservative. I imagine something related to this will be discussed at the next General Assembly…and we’ll see where things go after that.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

JP, having heard so much about this, I wandered over to the Revoice conference website, and found one of proposed presentations a little startling: Redeeming Queer Culture: An Adventure. “So questions that have until now been largely unanswered remain: what does queer culture (and specifically, queer literature and theory) have to offer us who follow Christ? What queer treasure, honor, and glory will be brought into the New Jerusalem at the end of time (Revelation 21:24-26)?” Tolerant as I am, I would draw the line at being made to read queer theory as part of my Christian education!