Letters on the Half Shell

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Cancer News

Praise God!! Wonderful news!!

Laura

Laura, thank you and thank the Lord. We thought so too.


If you keep writing posts that funny I’m going to start hoping you keep getting cancer. I’ll try not to. That was hilarious!

Steven

Steven, don’t be drawing the wrong applications or life lessons here . . .


Thankful for the good news! Continuing in prayer as the decisions are made for treatment, if any.

Chad & Jannell

Really appreciate it. Thank you.


I’m so glad you are doing better, although at first glance I thought you were a Muslim . . .

Melody

Melody, well yes, I can see that. But a Muslim exulting in a fine serving of hospital apple sauce.


Forgetting What We Had No Right to Forget

When the right to sodomy first became a political issue, conservatives opposed it for all kinds of reasons one could easily gainsay. It was unhealthy, unnatural, icky, or whatever. So the homos replied that they’d use condoms, that dogs do this, and even “breeder” sex could be seen as icky by some. And I remember reading an article by a Christian who said plainly that we would never be able to win this fight without mentioning Jesus. So, as the cliché says, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Here we are once again in a moral contest where the battle is the Lord’s, and conservatives want Him out of it.

Steve

Steve, exactly right.


You’ve probably seen this already: When I read it, I was immediately reminded of your post “the economics of sexual purity.” I have to admit, a lot of what you were saying did not click until I read the NYTimes piece. Now it makes complete sense.

Charles

Charles, thank you.


The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

Fantastic post, Doug. “Anything the world can get unsettled about, we can be unsettled about five years later and with a verse attached.” This is exactly what I was asking myself about during the recent “Racialism push” from many leaders I respect. I remember asking myself, “Why now?” Is it really just poor timing that right after we see a massive “White guilt/White privilege” movement in our political realm—we now see the same thing trickle into our churches? I suspect not. The church has to look massively different from the world. Its values have to be different. Its focus needs to be on camels and not gnats. We have to be people of the Book; not just regurgitating whatever “they” tell us to believe ten years too late.

Daniel

Daniel, exactly. And we have to be prepared for the comeback, which will be to say that anyone who alleges cultural Marxism is behind all this, or critical theory, or anything of that kind, is guilty of doubling down on the oppression. Investigation into the genesis of all this would blow the whole thing sky high, and so people must be scared away from even mentioning the genesis of all of this.


Trump, National Review, and Southern Rock

Several times you’ve mentioned that we should start thinking about how we view President Trump in the next election, especially considering how well he has been able to move the needle for conservative Christians. But I also think that we need to think about how we think about this. Whether we can reconcile our faith with his known character issues is an honest debate, but at least we are having that debate. The debate we are not having is our virtue signaling tendency to publicly distance ourselves from Trump, showing solidarity with minorities or women or whatever, while peddling National Review’s phony civility. I am not plugged into every Christian circle or conservative outlet, but I have yet to come across any critics that have suggested that it’s even a remote possibility that we are capable of this sort of moral preening. In fact, the only people that seem have a keen eye for this hypocrisy wear bright red MAGA hats (imagine that!). As you mentioned, the parable of the two sons is a great start, and there are many more areas of Scripture worth considering. At this point I have more questions than answers, although I do intend to support Trump in the next election. But I am so surprised by current trends, and I am so frustrated by Christian politicians praying on street corners and telling us to be warm and well-fed, that I’m thinking things like “Jesus drained the temple swamp in an unpresidential manner, totally disregarding the fruits of the Spirit!” It’s obviously crude, but I really think there’s something there that it highlights. I’m still working out how to even approach this, because our thinking has been off for so long on this.

Unrelated, I really enjoyed the Skynyrd song y’all played, and I would like to request “Born on the Bayou” by CCR. It’s a fantastic song, and I think y’all could pull it off well. Furthermore, in my estimation, any serious attempt at preserving Western civilization will include the canonization of Classic and Southern Rock, and there’s no better way to do that than to keep playing it.

Arkie

Arkie, you are absolutely right in that there are many questions for Christians to discuss before the next presidential election. Unfortunately, yelling that the world is engaged in has overtaken the Christian world as well.


Absolutely correct and on point about National Review. A real shame too. Did you happen to catch this? She clings, like so many apologists do, to the admirable sounding dictionary definition of feminism, then immediately disregards that definition as soon as it comes to actually discussing anything about society. Women need special support it would seem to help prevent people from calling them mean names. What of men who get called mean names for being men? Oh that’s not particularly important.

Justin

Justin, I have heard from one friend who is inside the NRO world, and he says that things are better than they look. Given his agreement with the appalling nature of the transgender piece, and the public hammering other NRO writers gave to that same piece, it is possible that we are looking at editorial mismanagement and not mission drift. But we are looking at something bad.


“Never has a leadership group been so disconnected from how their base was feeling. This happened because 1. The leadership would not listen to what the people were trying to say.” Of course all of this is complicated by the fact that the base can be feeling the wrong way and the people can be saying the wrong things, and if leadership merely responds to the base’s feelings and talk then they are really only title holders and not leaders. I’m not saying the base/people necessarily are, but what do these leaders (and they really only are if someone is following) really believe themselves? If they wholeheartedly believe what they say we might fault them for one thing, if they do not we should fault them for quite another thing. Finally, to the extent they ever considered these leaders authoritative in the first place, the base might examine their own thoughts and ask if there is anything at all to what the leadership group says.

John

John, I think things are a bit more complex than that. The leadership has been listening to the base closely enough to parrot all their concerns during campaigns, but then they go back to Washington and do whatever the swamp spirits tell them to do. A leader who differed with the base, repeated to the people what they were saying, and then articulated why he disagreed, would be a man of principle. But we don’t get that, at all. The leadership listens to the base on the surface, and largely by means of using catch phrases.


Slavery Once More:

The circumstances of slavery are, to a large extent, beside the point. If I offered to take on orphan from a life of begging and sex slavery on the streets in India and make her a servant for life in my home a modern Christian would be horrified. The fact that her life circumstances are better do not make up for the offense that I’ve made in establishing such a hierarchy. It’s equal status with my own children or nothing. It doesn’t matter that blacks have always been better off living under the authority of whites in America than living in Africa. At the same time, you can’t tell them to go live autonomously back in Africa. You have responsibility for their welfare but no authority or status to match that responsibility. It is going to be very difficult to come to any accurate understanding of biblical slavery with a completely modern concept of social hierarchy. Slaves were chattel but so were women and children. It’s apparently possible to be made in the image of God, loved and cared for, happy and fulfilled and also exist as the possession of someone else.

Barnie

Barnie, if we were to debate this, our disagreement would probably revolve around the definition of chattel. In addition—but I don’t think you would disagree here—the fact that man stealing might result in a better outcome for the one stolen does not confer on anyone the right to engage in man stealing.


Miracles and the Miraculous:

The categories of miracles, I cannot even tell you how helpful this was. Thanks for the clear explanation of these categories.

Clark

Clark, you are most welcome. But there are questions, and see below.


What about miracles where new “stuff” is introduced into the created world? I’m thinking of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Where at 12:03 there were only 5 loaves and 2 fish, by the time 12:30 rolls around there are enough loaves and fish in hand to feed the multitudes. This seems to me to be another of those creation ex nihilo miracles, but not the continuing miracle of the first creation. It may, however, help understand how God created things at the outset with the appearance of age, etc.

John

John, I agree, depending on what actually happened. If new matter was introduced into the cosmos, then it was a supplement to ex nihilo creation. But we have to allow for a miracle of transformation of existing matter—the loaves and fish drawing surrounding material into themselves. Both are possible. An example of a transformation miracle would be Aaron’s staff being turned into a serpent (Ex. 7:10).


“A new creation miracle occurs when God acts without any intermediates, and does so in order to bring a new reality into existence in the world. He did this, most notably, in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and He continues to do this in an ongoing way through the miracle of the new birth.” But there are physical, natural mechanisms that God uses to bring about the new creation in the life of an unbeliever, no? I think you need to hash this out a bit more. Preaching the Word, prayer, the use of apologetics to provide answers, the application of the sacraments (which are not merely ordinances), the glory of God revealed in nature, our consciences, etc. are all intermediate means which God uses to bring about the new creation. This is fundamentally different than the resurrection of the Jesus. Now, to be fair, God ordains both means and ends, but there are actual cause-effect relationships with the God-ordains means of effecting salvation in the life of an unbeliever, no?

BJ

BJ, I think the question is an astute one, but to your no? I would say no. There are any number of secondary causes to a man’s conversion (sending, preaching, etc.) but all of those means can be applied equally to both Jacob and Esau. The word quickens one and hardens the other. This is why I believe that the new birth must be considered as an immediate action of God. It is His immediate determination that causes the declared word to be efficacious in one instance and not in another. And that is why Paul compares true conversion to ex nihilo creation (2 Cor. 4:6-7).


Defining the categlories: Where would these miracles be classified? 1. Jesus’ raising of Lazarus. Where (to my mind) he deliberately delayed arriving for 2-3 days 2. Hezekiah’s cure/extension of his life. In addition to the healing stewed figs, a shadow “went backwards” up the steps. Thank you

Susan

Susan, I would classify the shadow going backward up the stairs, along with Joshua’s long day, as new creation miracles. I would do the same with the raising of Lazarus.


Things You Probably Didn’t Know

Given that you are highlighting Chesterton here (in Calvinism 4.0/Chestertonian Calvinism), I thought you all might be interested that he has a crater named after him on the planet Mercury (see here). The backstory is the following. It turns out that every planetary body in the solar system has a “theme” that governs the names given for features on its surface. The theme for Mercury is artists (having been dead for a while). For reasons that we still don’t fully understand, many craters at the poles of Mercury are filled with water ice, which is kind of odd for a planet so close to the sun. Anyways, one of the ice-filled craters is named Chesterton, and another is named Tolkien. There was an attempt to name the third of the trio at the north pole Lewis (in honor of C. S.), but alas there is already a Lewis crater on the Moon (named for another scientist). Apparently feature names in the solar system have to be unique according to the International Astronomical Union. In any case, both Chesterton and Tolkien are hanging out together at Mercury.

David

David, thanks. I understanding naming the craters. I don’t understand ice on Mercury.

 

 

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Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago

Barnie wrote: The circumstances of slavery are, to a large extent, beside the point. If I offered to take on orphan from a life of begging and sex slavery on the streets in India and make her a servant for life in my home a modern Christian would be horrified. The fact that her life circumstances are better do not make up for the offense that I’ve made in establishing such a hierarchy. Barnie seems to be dispensing layered confusion in multiple directions at once. Why isn’t Barnie distinguishing indentured service from kidnapping? What if the Indian orphan is offered… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

1) You often come off as angry and defensive against a person you perceive as criticizing Pastor Wilson. Something to think about.
2) Barnie names hierarchy as the inherent offense because: 1) Slavery is assumed wrong today; 2) We have someone running for the SBC presidency who wants to abolish all hierarchy. Scary thoughts.
3) Your final three paragraphs truly come off like someone trying to defend inerrancy of scripture while condemning North American slavery.
So, a question: Was it wrong for American slaves to try to escape?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

Hate to butt in, Katecho is more than capable of handling himself, but I wanted something clarified please.

When you say: “trying to defend inerrancy of scripture while condemning North American slavery.
So, a question: Was it wrong for American slaves to try to escape?”

Do you mean to suggest that slavery being wrong, and it being wrong for a slave to try and escape are mutually exclusive?

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I am not trying to imply that. Happy to answer. Now to mine from last week
Who did you vote for in the past 3-4 presidential elections? (dating back to whenever you were old enough…thinking you are late 20s early 30s but not sure).

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

Sorry, I didn’t see that. Was it posted late in the week? I tend to drift away from the board by Friday. Not sure why you ask, but I abstained in 2016, and very, very reluctantly voted for Romney and McCain. We probably have the same objections to Romney and McCain. I’m sure you would have preferred I voted for Trump and if it makes you feel better, his performance has been so much better than expected that it will be hard to justify not voting for him in 2020. Not that my vote counts for a lot, being on… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

As you said, your vote doesn’t matter in Washington that’s for sure.
Such a side debate, but I am endlessly fascinated by Christians who could vote for McCain and Romney but not Trump. I just don’t see a difference at all.
Voted for W twice, McCain and Trump (just moved so didn’t vote in 2012…would’ve voted for Romney. He lost. I lived in a Republican state then anyway, so?).
Trump has quite the possibility of a landslide win in 2020. Some of that depends on who the Dems put up.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

Not voting for Trump was mostly not about him, but what I saw of his effect on the right. When Romney ran, every conservative I knew understood , acknowledged, and criticized every position he took that wasn’t conservative. With Trump, I watch as those same people contort what they believe to fit around Trump’s weaknesses. I don’t care for it. Now, if I lived in a swing state, I may have considered much more closely the “what if Hillary wins” argument. Though I have problems with the guy, a Trump landslide in 2020 would be absolutely delicious. I might have… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

No denying it, the coverage on Election Night 2016 was absolutely delightful.

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin Parris wrote: With Trump, I watch as those same people contort what they believe to fit around Trump’s weaknesses. I don’t care for it. Agreed. All these contortions to identify with Trump just make the Left despise Trump for things that they otherwise would have praised him for. I don’t find Trump to be fiscally, socially, civically, or morally conservative at all. He occasionally takes a stand for things that rile the Left, but that’s not a good enough reason for me to vote for him. For example, Trump is not opposed to Obamacare, in principle. He just wants… Read more »

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

With whom are you comparing Trump, though? As for Obamacare, how is he different from Romney (the previous nominee) and the Romneycare he implemented in his state? As I mentioned recently, he rescinded Obama’s guidelines on public school transgender bathroom use. And he’s done quite a few other things to upset the LGBTQ crowd: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/5/14/17351636/trump-transgender-prison-lgbtq I really doubt most neo-con, Republicrat candidates would do this kind of thing. Now if you only vote 3rd-party and are comparing Trump to an ideal (and unelectable) candidate, I can see where you’re coming from. But do you seriously think a Bush, Romney or… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

I hate to steal Katecho’s answer before he gives it, but I would wager that he doesn’t feel the need to compare Trump to other candidates, rather, to an abstracted standard constructed from his principles.

“Now if you only vote 3rd-party and are comparing Trump to an ideal (and unelectable) candidate, I can see where you’re coming from. ”

I find it odd that you would use the electability argument, since that’s precisely the argument that’s made “Republicrat” candidates into a force in the first place.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
4 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

“abstracted standard constructed from his principles” = unelectable candidate

We’re in ethereal land again, and I’m trying to bring this back to the real world. Has Katecho voted for any Republican nominee in the last 20 years? Of the 2016 candidates, would he have voted for any of them? What’s a good example of a “fiscally, socially, civically, or morally conservative” president or candidate?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

There are several potential answers for the supposed dilemma you present. One could respond by saying “We’re Christians, we stand for God’s way, whether or not it’s successful in any given election on earth”. One could point to your question assuming facts not in evidence. You haven’t heard an example of a “Katecho” candidate yet, so you can’t possibly evaluate their election chances. One could question the rationality of your desire for a recent specific example. After all, I’ve never known of a telecom company that treated its customers well. It does not follow that I cannot conceive of the… Read more »

Farinata
Farinata
4 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

This seems – forgive me – sophistical. The question is reasonable enough on the face of it – do the standards espoused by Katecho (and, perhaps, by you?) permit voting for anyone? If so, for whom?

It is far easier to criticize when one has not the burden of supplying an alternative. I would be intereted in the answer to that question myself.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
4 years ago
Reply to  Farinata

Thanks, Farinata. And while I don’t care much about upvotes/downvotes (I don’t give them myself), I don’t see why anyone would downvote your comment. This pattern of downvoting anyone who challenges Katecho and upvoting anyone who supports him is a bit annoying. But Katecho (or mystery downvoter), feel free to downvote this comment as well. I realize I don’t dwell in the rarefied air of pure, abstract thought and should never challenge anyone to name a real flesh-and-blood presidential candidate worthy of a vote.

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

Stewart wrote:

“abstracted standard constructed from his principles” = unelectable candidate

We’re in ethereal land again, and I’m trying to bring this back to the real world.

Electability is not our standard. Obama was electable. Twice.

Psalm 2 isn’t ethereal or abstract. The principle could be missed if we wanted to miss it, but not because it can’t be applied in the “real world”. We just have to want to.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

Katecho,

I’m very familiar with Psalm 2 . I’m also familiar with people dodging questions, which is exactly what you’re doing. One final time (and please no more platitudes): Has Katecho voted for any Republican nominee in the last 20 years? Of the 2016 candidates, would he have voted for any of them? What’s a good example of a “fiscally, socially, civically, or morally conservative” president or candidate?

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

Thanks for the non-response and downvote, Kat. I think I’ll go elsewhere where men discuss things and behave like men, not 13-year old girls.

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

JP,

I hope that you will continue to participate, regardless of others’ behavior.

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

I appreciate your thoughts also JP.
I am just starting to realize that some of these differences, at least I think, come down to the whole Theonomy thing.

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

Like Justin Parris, I see very little constructive that could come by indulging Stewart’s repeated demand for my personal voting history (which I could never prove to him anyway). However, I believe I’ve already addressed the actual merits of Stewart’s points. I’ve explained that electability is not our standard, and I’ve explained why it makes a lousy standard. I’ve also explained that I see no biblical principle that binds us to voting within the confines of the two-party system that is served to us. I’ve explained that the standard is not such that Jesus Christ is the only qualified candidate,… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

I too would be curious who you voted for Katecho. Why won’t you share it? You may not see it as related, but you were asked.

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

JP Stewart wrote: With whom are you comparing Trump, though? That’s just it, unlike Stewart, I’m not comparing Trump to anyone else. Instead I’m comparing Trump to a fixed standard, at least in regard to the basic minimum qualifications. It’s not a motive of perfectionism or idealism on my part, as a few still seem desperate to try to impute to me, but it is an appeal to first-order principle above pragmatics and expediency. If God warns rulers of the earth about His displeasure and wrath against them if they do not acknowledge and honor the Son (Psalm 2), then… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

Katecho, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with what you said: All these contortions to identify with Trump just make the Left despise Trump for things that they otherwise would have praised him for. It’s real simple: The left hates Trump for the same reason they worshiped Obama: Political affiliation. The left had no problem with Trump until he decided to run for president as a Republican. You’ll recall that, not too long ago, Trump was a Democrat. The left doesn’t need anyone’s “contortions” (save perhaps their own) in order to despise Trump. I don’t find Trump to be… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago

CommenterFP-
A lot of Never-Trumpers got played also by Marxists masquarading as conservative Christians. Notice how so many Gospel Coalition types who were never-Trumpers are now saying a bunch of other questionable stuff? There’s a connection.

JohnM
JohnM
4 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

“With Trump, I watch as those same people contort what they believe to fit around Trump’s weaknesses. I don’t care for it.”

Exactly. Among other things.

JohnM
JohnM
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

mys, Whether you liked McCain and Romney or not I just don’t see how anyone could not see a difference at all between either of them and Trump. I can see how someone might have decided not to vote for McCain or Romney, but I can’t fathom how the qualitative difference them and Trump is lost on anyone. In fact, I would think enthusiastic Trump supporters would emphasizing the difference. Anyway, I think you are quite correct about Trump’s prospects in 2020, at least in electoral votes where it counts. I think it depends very much on who the Dems… Read more »

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

mys wrote: 1) You often come off as angry and defensive against a person you perceive as criticizing Pastor Wilson. Something to think about. This isn’t about feelings. There’s actually an objective difference between criticism and misrepresentation. I’m inviting Barnie to tighten up his disjointed analogy and start to make important distinctions (such as the distinction between forced labor to make restitution for a debt owed, and forced labor due to kidnapping). Wilson is not trying to rationalize man stealing, for goodness sake. mys wrote: 2) Barnie names hierarchy as the inherent offense because: 1) Slavery is assumed wrong today;… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

Again, the bold stuff implies anger. Hard to answer everything you said, but I’ll do my best with parts.
The prison system today is slavery huh? To that I say All Lives Matter.
The most interesting thing was your last paragraph. So, we should all be pursuing lives of liberty? Which Gospel is that in? The American gospel of 1776, which espouses liberty, and totes freedom of religion and expression and speech? That sure lines up with the Bible doesn’t it?

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

mys wrote:

Again, the bold stuff implies anger.

Or it simply indicates emphasis.

mys wrote:

Hard to answer everything you said, but I’ll do my best with parts.

When? Everything that followed was just more questions from mys.

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

mys wrote: The prison system today is slavery huh? To that I say All Lives Matter. Not sure what mys was trying to communicate with his remark, but our modern private prison system does have key features of slavery. Convicts are held against their will and are regarded as property. Convicts are a source of revenue from the government, and are traded like property/assets between prisons. While labor may not be directly forced out of the convicts, labor can be heavily coerced as a means of getting time out of the cell. We could talk about the cronyism and financial… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

Sure. Here are your questions: Does mys agree with Paul seeking to return the slave, Onesimus, back to Philemon? In Onesimus’s case, there appears to have been a real debt owed to Philemon. Does that make any difference to mys, concerning whether Onesimus should have been returned? If not, why not? Does restitution of debt matter in mys’s view of justice, or is it irrelevant to justice? I will do my best. Yes, I agree with Paul returning Onesimus. It does not matter much to me if there was a debt. Why not? Because, by the law, Onesimus belonged to… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

mys, certainly what you say about liberty in Christ comports with Martin Luther’s view. He did not support any attempt by the German peasants to ameliorate their condition because he felt they already had Christian liberty and nothing else mattered. But, if we extend that principle, how could it ever be just for Christians to rise against their oppressors? Combined with Paul’s teaching on obeying the civil authorities, wouldn’t this call into question the propriety of Christians rebelling against King George? (I just noticed that you did address this latter point.) I wonder also about the extent to which the… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill, “But, if we extend that principle, how could it ever be just for Christians to rise against their oppressors? Combined with Paul’s teaching on obeying the civil authorities, wouldn’t this call into question the propriety of Christians rebelling against King George? I wonder also about the extent to which the civil/criminal law should apply to Christians who have been taken as slaves. Would a German Christian (or a North Korean Christian) not be morally justified in escaping from a slave labor camp even though their enslavement was done under color of law?” There is a distinction between civil authorities… Read more »

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

mys wrote: Yes, I agree with Paul returning Onesimus. It does not matter much to me if there was a debt. Why not? Because, by the law, Onesimus belonged to Philemon and was his property. Which law is mys referring to? God’s Law expressly forbids man stealing, and made it a capital crime. Likewise, Paul presumes a debt existed, and even offered to pay Philemon whatever Onesimus may have owed to him (see Philemon 1:18-19). mys wrote: Restitution is important, but we have a system of law now that is not as much based on restitution. I deny restitution in… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

Katecho- You’ve already covered the problem of absolutizing submission. I haven’t, because I think you’re wrong. Paul said, in NT times, that slaves should submit to masters. If so, then that covers your reasoning for man-stealing in the Onesimus/Philemon interlude. Your approach to this is: 1) very modern; 2) trying to find loopholes. So, if no slaves had to submit to masters in cases of man-stealing, which slaves ever had to submit? I’m sure some did, um, somewhere, at um, some point, but what you are trying to do is iron out biblical creases because they come in conflict with… Read more »

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

mys wrote: So, if no slaves had to submit to masters in cases of man-stealing, which slaves ever had to submit? Indentured slaves, and slaves who owed a debt to their master. Restitution is a real thing in God’s Law, not something voluntary as mys seems to imply. However, by God’s standard, if the slaves were kidnapped, the kidnapping master would be tried and killed and the innocent slaves would go free. Paul’s instruction about slaves submitting to masters does not require submission to criminal actions any more than Paul’s instruction to wives requires them to submit to criminal actions… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

But the thing is, you are talking about God’s Law. I take it you mean the OT law?
Paul did not write in a world that recognized God’s Law, but he was telling Christians how to function in such a world as that. Going on and on about restitution, or criminal actions of slave owners, which would tie directly to the OT law, is not relevant to what Paul or Peter were saying.

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

Mys needs to make up his mind. A bit ago he was declaring that my views are “very modern”, but now he seems to be saying that my views are as out-dated as the Old Testament. Which is it? Which of us is actually engaging in contemporary relativism? Mys wrote: Paul did not write in a world that recognized God’s Law, but he was telling Christians how to function in such a world as that. Having brushed away the Old Testament, what stops mys from brushing away the New Testament as well? On what authority does mys keep trying to… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

K- I have engaged in no such relativism. I said slavery is assumed wrong today, I didn’t say I agreed with that. Accusing me of brushing away the OT is amateur. Did you perform your sacrifices today? Why not? Brushing away the OT, Katecho? Now, Paul never said slavery was right. But he never said it was wrong, either. If it was wrong, he would have told Christian slavemasters, “Release the slaves.” Instead, he told them to be benevolent masters. He also makes no distinction between slaves who were kidnapped or not. I have watched you argue with others and… Read more »

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

Recall that mys originally wrote: Barnie names hierarchy as the inherent offense because: 1) Slavery is assumed wrong today … Then mys wrote: Yes, I agree with Paul returning Onesimus. It does not matter much to me if there was a debt. Why not? Because, by the law, Onesimus belonged to Philemon and was his property. Note that mys wasn’t referring to God’s Law, but to contemporary law as the standard. Mys doesn’t find it relevant what God’s Law actually says about kidnapping those who owed no debt. Why? According to mys, “Paul did not write in a world that… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

K- Me appealing to Paul is appealing to scripture, not cultural relativism. We are so far in the weeds that getting back might be tough. So…Paul had no problem with slavery, or at least, was not inspired by God to write against it. So in that case, Paul returning Onesimus isn’t a big deal. Paul doesn’t engage in the idea of if Onesimus came into Philemon’s possession by man-stealing or not. It’s not relevant. Paul is going to follow the law of Rome.* I don’t think the OT law is relevant to what Paul wrote, because it wasn’t…he was writing,… Read more »

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

For what it’s worth, also, Katcho (Kate…are you a woman? Sorry, i thought you were male…doesn’t matter to arguing either way, just curious). Anyway, for what it’s worth, you expect me to tell you how kidnapping has become permissable when it was considered a capital crime? Again, that’s OT Israel, and it’s a sticky wicket for Thenomists. Let me put it this way. Go to your Bible quick and read Matthew 19:1-9. It’s a familiar passage on Christ teaching on divorce. Go read it. Good, you’re back. Okay, Jesus said it is wrong to divorce your wife except in cases… Read more »

bethyada
bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

mys, I have always read bold in katecho’s posts as emphasising what he thinks is the most important aspect in his argument. I suppose that he could use italics, but this is less obvious.

ALLCAPS = ANGRY POST!!!!!

bethyada
bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

It is not wrong for a slave to try and escape. It may be personally unwise for a Christian slave to try and escape under some circumstances, but if a slave runs away from a wicked master he is to be protected from his master.

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Bethyada-
But the Bible called for slaves to submit to masters, and that’s it. No comment on if the masters were wicked or not.

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

mys,

In 1 Peter 2:18, Peter directs servants to be submissive regardless of their masters’ behavior. I would think this would also apply to slaves.

I think it’s relevant that, in 1 Peter 3:1, he directs wives to be submissive to their husbands regardless of the husbands’ behavior. In other words, if you are to submit to another, it is never conditional on their behavior. This unconditional submission is not popular, although being unconditionally loved seems to have a universal appeal.

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

OKRickety wrote: In 1 Peter 2:18, Peter directs servants to be submissive regardless of their masters’ behavior. I would think this would also apply to slaves. I think it’s relevant that, in 1 Peter 3:1, he directs wives to be submissive to their husbands regardless of the husbands’ behavior. In other words, if you are to submit to another, it is never conditional on their behavior. I take OKRickety’s point against a breezy lack of submission, but let’s be careful not to overstate the case. Peter instructs servants to be submissive even to a harsh (crooked dealing) master. We shouldn’t… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

Katecho,

While recognizing there were Mosaic laws regarding mistreatment of slaves, I find it quite interesting that neither Paul nor Peter provide any such caveat when writing on these topics. Their statements are in line with Jesus’ saying to turn the other cheek. Is it possible that the world’s view is overriding the biblical view, so we want to justify rebellion rather than submission?

Even supposing the possibility of limitations, I would then argue the greater problem today is not abuse by the master, but failure to submit to the master. The pendulum has swung too far.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
4 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

OKR, would you argue that the duty to submit regardless of the level of mistreatment is greater than any duty to preserve our own life if that can be done without grave sin? If I believe that, based on his words and prior conduct, that my husband is going to kill me, does turning the other cheek submissively prevent my scooping up the children and going to the police? Secondly, do you believe that the subject’s submission must extend to all things including participation in immoral or criminal acts? If he obeys, is he off the hook in moral terms,… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill, Those questions are, of course, the type that are asked when we consider a behavior to be unjust. I have provided some Scripture to support the idea of unconditional submission. I think no one here has provided scriptural refutation, other than providing the example of the Apostles saying they should obey God rather than man. What biblical guidance are we provided on how to make the decision that a situation requires us to make this choice? The Bible does make many statements about submission to authorities of various kinds, often saying it should be done unconditionally. Although I find… Read more »

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

OKRickety wrote: I have provided some Scripture to support the idea of unconditional submission. I don’t think OKRickety was successful with those passages. If submission of slaves to masters, or wives to husbands, was unconditional, then God’s Law would not have provided so many legal appeals for slaves and wives against criminal mistreatment. Paul and Peter don’t rehearse those legal protections for slaves and wives, but it would be a stretch to suggest that they were attempting to repeal them. If OKRickety really believes in unconditional submission, then he will have to answer Jill’s challenge about a woman who is… Read more »

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

OKRickety wrote: While recognizing there were Mosaic laws regarding mistreatment of slaves, I find it quite interesting that neither Paul nor Peter provide any such caveat when writing on these topics. Their statements are in line with Jesus’ saying to turn the other cheek. I’m not so sure they don’t provide a caveat. We see that Peter refers to a harsh (“crooked dealing”) master. Surliness, harshness, and unreasonableness on the part of a master is not the same as criminal demands by a master. I tried to underscore this difference with the example of the crime of rape. Do we… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

Is any of this discussion predicated on the master being Christian? Girls in India are sold by their parents into slave-like conditions, and nuns rescue them. Surely no one would argue that the nuns are violating Christian principles.

bethyada
bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  mys

Yes, a slave should submit to his master. Note that this was written in the NT and slavery was based on Roman law. So the punishment for running away was death, and I believe that masters had authority of life and death over their slaves (and possibly wife and children). So Paul wants slaves to act in a way that endears their masters to Christ. So prudently it is wise for slaves to act in such a manner. Note also that a command to slaves is not a command to masters. We get so much wrong when we want to… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

bethyada,

It is not wrong for a slave to try and escape.

That’s not how I understand the Apostles’ writings about slavery. In Ephesians 6:5-8, Paul commands slaves to obey their masters. At some level, escaping would be disobedience. In 1 Peter 2:18, Peter directs servants to be submissive regardless of their masters’ behavior.

I can certainly understand that a slave might want to escape, but I see no scriptural justification for such action. In fact, I think it would be contrary to New Testament teaching.

bethyada
bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

It depends why you are escaping. If you have no reason to escape then no. It needs to be said that commands are conditional. They need to be read in context of the culture (what the underlying assumptions to any statement is, the Bible is often high context), what other commands there are, and what examples we have. So the command to obey the government is alongside Peter and John’s refusal to stop preaching. As mentioned, a slave can refuse to steal for his master, can refuse sexual advances (outside marriage), can refuse to murder. So there are reasons to… Read more »

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

bethyada wrote:

… But we need to be cautious that we do not make the supererogatory the compulsory.

Well said.

Katecho
Katecho
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

bethyada wrote:

It is not wrong for a slave to try and escape.

We need to retain some important qualifiers. If one is a slave because of an actual debt they incurred, then skipping out on making restitution is just more financial delinquency. If someone was kidnapped, and escapes, I don’t see any Scriptural principle that would forbid them taking that opportunity. However, the practical wisdom of attempting the escape would depend on a number of factors, including the outside conditions they might be escaping into.

bethyada
bethyada
4 years ago
Reply to  Katecho

I note the distinction. But also see my response to mys above.

bethyada
bethyada
4 years ago

Justin, your article is amusing. Leftists just don’t’ get that conservatives reject many of their premises. She might as well have been writing for Slate.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I did find it pretty amazing. She seems to legitimately think that the only reason conservatives oppose the feminist movement is because it’s vaguely associated with liberalism. Evidently she’s never actually heard a major conservative speaker actually *talk* about feminism. Its constant hypocrisy and need to either tell lies or assume facts without evidence is not a partisan objection.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
4 years ago

I thought the latest post (“Gadsden Love”) would be about Roy Moore’s accusers conveniently appearing 40 years later and now being absorbed fully back into the woodwork.

mys
mys
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

JP- I know right. Don’t worry, this week Roy will go down for his heinous crimes! All kidding aside, so many virtue-signaling, leftist Christians (you know the type) said the allegations against Moore were enough to not support him. Now the accusers have disappeared. For those critics of Roy I wonder: 1) Has it not occurred to them now that it was obviously a set-up? 2) It occurred to me that it was a set-up right out the gate. I was not alone. These leftist Christians were told that at the time. 3) Have any changed their minds, now that… Read more »

Jane
Jane
4 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

I’m not discounting the possibility that the accusations were made purely for convenience, but what would there be to pursue at this point? Isn’t the statute of limitations long gone?