Spaghetti in the Colander

Brian Prentiss, pastor of Intown in Portland, tried to get his spaghetti, already well boiled and in the colander, to return to the status of stiff and straight in order to get back into the skinny box. But alas, it doth not go. You can read more about it here.

First he pretends that the issue was over whether attendees from across the political spectrum should be able to come to worship God without somebody climbing down their throat. And the answer is that of course they should be able to do that. The issue is not what people think coming through the door. The issue is what the pastor thinks when he stands up to deliver the message. It is what the session believes the teaching of the Bible to be. That’s the issue.

At least the roof line is straight . . .
At least the roof line is straight . . .

When people gather to worship God, they come from every direction — east, west, north and south. They also come from red states and blue states. That is true enough. But as I have argued before, it makes all the difference in the world whether they are coming to the church as apostles or refugees. Is Intown helping to transform Portland into a city on a hill, or is Portland helping to transform Intown into a city on a plain? Which direction is it going? What end of the feet are the toes on?

Pastor Prentiss says this:

“In fact, if we’re doing ministry in Portland, which is decidedly non-Christian, politically “blue”, and completely supportive of equal rights for gays and lesbians, and these people are actually showing up at Intown on Sunday. Isn’t that something to be celebrated?!”

Actually, that is something to be celebrated . . . provided that after three years of worshiping at Intown they are no longer “completely supportive” of the rainbow jihad. If after years at Intown they are still right where they were on the issues of homosexual practice, that means, by definition, they are coming as apostles of a “new way,” not as refugees from the old, destructive way. Every last refugee must be welcomed at the door, and every last apostle must be turned away. At the door.

He says this: we “can instead live knowing that Jesus has conquered the world (including the world inside of us) and that we can live into his victory?” Right. Does the victory of Jesus include victory over same sex temptations? Did Jesus conquer the world of homosexual redefinitions? But I should also say that I completely agreed with one thing he said, which was, “But, the dark stain of sin runs through all of us, not just people “out there”, with sins we don’t happen to share.” Jesus welcomes us all into His family, but He does not invite us in so that we may remain right where we were, in order to have our pet temptations coddled. Jesus takes us all in — from promiscuous homosexuals to home-schooling Pharisees, from meth heads to moms in minivans. The grace of God is for all and, straight to the point, is effectual in all.

Grace deals with sin, and the problem with the two Intown blog posts on this topic thus far is that there is not a hint of transformation offered to the homosexual sinner in search of forgiveness and transformation. Acceptance without transformation is called grace, and an invitation to actual sanctification is called a denial of grace. “This sort of knee-jerk criticism has little tolerance for nuance, context, complexity, or dare I say, grace.”

Is there any sin, however despicable, that cannot be cleansed and washed away by the blood of Christ? No, there is not one. Is there any sin, however trivial in the eyes of the world, that will not damn a man to Hell if he makes his peace with it? No, not one. The hospital of the church turns away no patients. Everyone is accepted. But once you check in, the treatment starts. There is no coming in and telling the doctors that you want them to be more accepting of their cancer. And incidentally, if they do tell you that, they are no longer doctors — they have become part of the cancer.

As a pastor, I have helped to work through the damage caused by various forms of theft, whether shoplifting, business tangles, or something else. Sin mangles people, and the pastors, elders, and counselors of a church must be there to receive the mangled people, love them, work with them, and help them put things right again (Eph. 4:28). But the task of the leadership of the church is not to redefine sin for them. The church receives people as they are, but must not receive people who are intent on remaining as they are.

Suppose a law were passed that allowed for shoplifting on Tuesdays, and this was hailed as a great victory for a more equitable distribution of America’s stuff. Suppose half my congregation started reconfiguring their Facebook profiles with the Jolly Roger, and bumper stickers in the church parking lot started exhorting us all to “Just Take It!”

I can think of a lot of things I would need to do as a pastor, but one of them would not be a blog post that defined those who knew “thou shalt not steal” was still in the Bible as weaker brothers. Those who still understood that God’s law prohibits theft would not be just one more opinion along the political spectrum.

What these statements from Intown are doing is not keeping partisan political disputes out of the church, but rather allowing the secular state to redefine fundamental issues of morality as mere political differences.

Pastor Prentiss said in this follow up post that his initial post was not intended to indicate a change of position or policy. “I was not using the blog to announce any official change in policy or practice.” That being the case, if he is not trying to sidle away from anything, he ought to be willing to say so, right?

When a “married” homosexual couple presents themselves for membership at Intown, what is Intown going to do about it? Since we are talking about Portland, this is not farfetched. If they say yes, they have capitulated. If they say no, then are they not insisting on a particular “political” view in order to be members of the church?

The only other thing they could do is slow walk it so that when they compromise fewer people will notice. They should ask the homosexual couple to take their sweet time in the new members class.

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Matthew Anthony
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Matthew Anthony

I’m not trying to trivialize the post, but I must point out changes that would help the post. It’s “colander” not ” collender,” and “hailed” not ” haled.”

ashv
Guest
ashv

Aw, come on. As my father would often tell me: “If some words can have more than one meaning, some can have more than one spelling.”

;-)

Matthew Anthony
Member
Matthew Anthony

Well, correcting error where we see it, was the point of the post.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Colander, dear Pastor Wilson.

Gigi
Guest
Gigi

Spelled “colander”, I think.

Gigi
Guest
Gigi

Gosh I love your writing. So, so thought provoking. Thank you.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

That is kind of what the premise of the movie Th Purge is about. A set number of hours where murder is legal. That would have been a good analogy, too.

Adam Puma Borsay
Guest
Adam Puma Borsay

What is never admitted to is that there is no possible “third way” in this debate. The positions are so diametrically opposed to each other that one side HAS to be called to repentance. The “pro-affirming” side might currently believe they will be gracious, BUT if they are right, the cannot possibly continue to support those they claim are in gross sin. At least not if they are going to also claim to be faithful Christians. Think about it this way, if they ARE correct about their position than what we are contending for is destructive and sinful…how could they… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Its almost as if Christ came to divide or something….

rungeeric
Member
rungeeric

Thanks Doug. Great and timely post.

George Douglas
Guest
George Douglas

Doug and blog readers, As you and many readers will recall, this fight is not new. It’s been going on since Genesis ch. 3; i.e., “Did God really say…”. Iy’s been nearly 100 years since Gresham Machen wrote “Christianity & Liberalism” in response to various denials of orthodox doctrine in the Presbyterian Church. These were not trivial matters but non-negotiables — the virgin birth, Scriptural inerrancy, Christ’s atonement, etc, and they’re summarized in Harry Fosdick’s sermon “Shall The Fundamentalists Win?” [Easily found with a Google search. Ditto for PDF copies of Gresham’s book.] Machen called those who would capitulate “theological… Read more »

Pooh Bear
Guest
Pooh Bear

Because golf is too white?

Jack Kennedy
Guest
Jack Kennedy

Because they need the job to pay the green fees.

J. Jeremiah
Guest
J. Jeremiah

Doug, Being in the PCA myself, I’d be interested in hearing from you specifically on what grounds this minister would be brought up on charges (as you mentioned should be the case in your previous post on this matter). After my first reading of Prentiss’ initial post, I thought that he was, as you say, talking “as if sodomy is adiaphora” – which would clearly be grounds for charges. However, I went back and read it again, and it does not appear he actually says that (whether he actually believes that is another matter). He mainly seems to be gearing… Read more »

somethingclever
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somethingclever

If you’re looking for reasons, I would look first at his denial of historic adam. Check comment 2 in the link. https://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/what-is-racism/#comments

wtrsims
Member

What about his denial of historic Noah, as well?

I guess if Noah isn’t historical, and the covenant God made with Noah was therefore not historical, then the Rainbow is up for grabs, no?

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

To my knowledge there’s no position paper on Noah. I believe you can be a local flood guy just fine. But there is one on Adam, and his views seem to violate it.

J. Jeremiah
Guest
J. Jeremiah

Appreciate the link, and I find a denial of the historic Adam problematic to say the least. However, I don’t think that was in view when Doug seemed to be suggesting that he should be brought up on charges. Assuming my reading of Prentiss’ initial post as above, I would be interested in how the argument for discipline would be supported.

wtrsims
Member

Well, he rejects, supposedly on the basis of modern genetic science, that humans could have descended from a single pair of people, and he specifically calls out Noah and his wife as the second single pair.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

I agree that he doesn’t think that all people are descended from Noah as well as Adam. It’s just that if the question is a trial in the PCA, you can be a local-flood-only, which would mean that the flood didn’t affect all humanity, but you have to believe in a historic Adam.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

He’s interpreting those with Pro-Obergfell feelings as being the “stronger” brother of Romans 14 and those who uphold the confession on this matter as the “weaker” brother. He asks that we “wish them well” in sin, and against the Confession. If pro-Obergfell and anti-Obergfell can be “drawn up into and relativized in Christ” then neither seems to be a sin to him.

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

I see some of your readers were straining with the spelling.

timothy
Guest
timothy

straining with the spelling.

(groans)

(:

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

I see what you did there…wags finger.

D Glover
Guest
D Glover

If Prentiss wants to be understood, and as a pastor and preacher of the gospel he better want to be, he should be clear on his position on the issue of SSM, regardless of whether he favours a Russell Moore response or a Tim Bayly response to the SCOTUS decision. Problem is it really smells like he favours a rainbow flag response, or at least doesn’t see a problem with that. I’ve heard the type of language he uses in his blog post before. It came from the likes of the emergent guys who were unclear at the beginning of… Read more »

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

Unfortunately the most recent General Assembly shot down an overture for the purpose of having ministers answer this questions if a trial happens. He’s under no obligation to answer unless he changes presbyteries.

mikebull1
Member

This is not the first time Doug has misspelled colander. However, you will notice that, unlike the USA in general, he is not arguing that the English spelling be changed to accommodate him.

Pooh Bear
Guest
Pooh Bear

Spelling equality!

Scott
Guest
Scott

The “You can read more about it here” reference – in the first paragraph – doesn’t seem to be pointing anywhere currently.

Doug Gates
Guest
Doug Gates

Stuff like this makes me want to get all worked up, which usually results in my problems compounding. For some reason. Good post, though.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Whenever any believer presents himself for “membership”, reception should always be immediate.
If the Table is open game, then receive one another with a holy kiss.

Rick Davis
Guest
Rick Davis

1 Cor 5:9-13 stands contrary to that attitude though.

And in case you’re inclined to ask, yes I would also say that this should apply to unmarried heterosexual couples who are fornicating and are not willing to repent or adulterers who refuse to repent.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Rick — you cited Paul — that you are to stand in some judgment and exclude from fellowship a supposed brother, if that brother is engaged in fornication, idolatry, drunkenness, etc.

You are right.

Here’s where I was going: What other circumstances besides sinful should fence your fellowship with supposed brothers?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Why do you think Paul adds the qualifying “supposed” adjective to the term believer?

Rick Davis
Guest
Rick Davis

Sorry about that. I totally thought that you were saying, just the opposite: that everyone should be welcomed to the table regardless of their life/testimony. Looks like we agree. :)

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

How does anyone know whether it’s a “believer” presenting himself?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Hi Jane — as Rick has correctly / biblically identified above — you examine his life & testimony as best you can.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Then to what are you objecting?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Do you agree that acceptance & receipt into membership is mandatory on the basis of testimony (life & faith) alone?

In other words, do we let just any & every Christian in (assuming not engaged in & an apostle for these unChristian behaviors & ideas)???!!

What — we should let the Pope into membership if, theoretically, he moved into the neighborhood and wanted to join?

I’m hoping you’ll say “Yes, of course”

So I wasn’t objecting.
Just clarifying that our membership should be open to every and all believers, unless with Paul we suspect they are pozers.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Sure. But part of a credible profession is the assurance that the person actually believes the gospel and not a false gospel.

“Just clarifying that our membership should be open to every and all believers, unless with Paul we suspect they are pozers.”

What has occurred on this thread to make you feel the need to bring up this obvious point?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Jane — what has occurred, the genesis = Doug’s statement that folks must “present themselves for membership” followed by sentiments in the thread that one must display a “credible” profession by which a session can get “assurance”.

Paul & Jesus say receive all, immediately & without reservation & warmly (with a kiss), unless you spy a reason not to.

Instead, we’ve constructed a club where folks now must successfully do the limbo to be let in.

Job
Guest
Job

That is also a great way to admit entryists and agitators. If a church doesn’t guard itself jealously against those types, then it won’t remain faithful for long.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

And Job saith:

“Nay Lord, let us, the ruling elite, construct for ourselves rules & bylaws that Thou probably just forgot to give us.
We shall thereby attempt to bar from our midst apriori potential miscreants of Satan’s team, so that we need not suffer having to work like pastors who are called to deal with such things.
We shall thus form Club Church, with our membership defined by what we like.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

You mean, “Let us follow Jesus and the Apostles’ instructions not to receive false teachers”?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Jane — potential false teachers as well?? —

The elders do need to vet folks by gaining an understanding of their testimony & lifestyle, I think we can agree.
If they appear Christian and not apostles of Satan, kiss-kiss, yes?

But Job has implied we need to be way more diligent than that.
Do you agree?

Job
Guest
Job

See above.

Job
Guest
Job

A church that holds to a confession of faith has a duty to vet its members. An Arminian or Catholic might be a lovely Christian, but should not be allowed membership at a Reformed church. Simple, no?

Please do not put words in my mouth. It is in bad faith.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Would it be putting words in your mouth to say you’d find it Biblically acceptable for the PCA to refuse membership to likes of CS Lewis, not to mention Chesterton or Tolkien?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Would you admit that Lewis, Chesterton and Tolkien where all mature in their faith, appreciated the differences between sects, knew why they held to a particular tradition and would not be so impolite as to barge into an “opposing” tradition’s worship service and disrupt things?

Rather, outside the worship they would engage the elders and discuss things over good beer and potent cigarettes–during breakfast.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

I would, if you would admit that after that meal the elders would still, ever so politely, tell the three to please not partake of the elements at their next visit.

timothy
Guest
timothy

I do. My bad. I replied reflexively without enough fore-thought. I read into your comment something that wasn’t there. I apologize

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Not sure what you read into — can you explain?
I do think PCA elders are super fond of Lewis.
It’s their polity that forces their hand when it comes to worship practice.
But with Wilson, I think we should learn how worship defines all the other fellowship.
So that slap on the back over beer, followed by turning your back at the communion table goes together to form the whole picture.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Why would they tell Lewis that?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

I take it you’d agree with keeping Chesterton barred from the Lord’s table — but Lewis is a little closer to your heart?

Should you learn that the parochial PCA club would indeed “need” to bar Lewis, excommunicate him really (at least apriori — not receiving him or allowing him to approach the table), would that cause you pause?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Yes, I would really be taken aback if I found out that the PCA had suddenly radically changed its position on who could be admitted to the table without telling anyone first. Because under current policy, there IS no reason to bar Lewis. He was a professing member, not under discipline, of a Christian church. The only way your scenario could happen is not under the way the PCA currently fences the table, but under some scenario you just made up. Was Chesterton really such a bad Catholic that he would have been concerned over admission to a table that… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Not to speak for Job, but most PCAs wouldn’t refuse membership to Lewis (Tolkien and Chesterton, being RC, would be another matter. But they’d hardly ask in the first place, as timothy points out.

The PCA doesn’t reject anyone with a credible profession of faith. There is no theological test for ordinary members, beyond ensuring that one’s theology does not interfere with a genuine grasp of the gospel. Subscription to the confession is for officers.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

That Chesterton was above barging and disrupting is begging the question. He had a keen interest in knowing he was acceptable at the table — well, more than one table in fact. So he didn’t feel the Church of England’s table was beneath him.

But the PCA holds that it’s table is above Chesterton.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

May I interject to express my appreciation for someone who does not end a question with a preposition?

timothy
Guest
timothy

I will chime in with my clueless ignorance on the matter and cry ARGH!! at my failure of comprehending English grammar.

Ian Miller
Member

In general, I don’t think prepositions are bad words to use in ending sentences, since to avoid it, you have to contort your syntax unnaturally. The only time I avoid it is when the preposition is completely redundant, such as in the question “Where are we at?”, which would have the same meaning if you said, “Where are we?” (Source: http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/lexicon_valley/2012/02/lexicon_valley_why_we_think_we_can_t_end_a_sentence_with_a_preposition_.html)

timothy
Guest
timothy

Ah! I think I see where you are coming from!*

*(: (I think)

Ian Miller
Member

Well played, sir! :)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Nevertheless, you write well, which is much more important than knowing the rules.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

I am flattered by your appreciation but I assure you I’m not above doing that. Unless writing for formal publication (which I don’t really do) I tend to be one who values comprehensibility over strict adherence to rules that seem to exist for their own sake. I’m a fan of Churchill’s ironic dictum: ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.

Ian Miller
Member

Agreed – that particular rule is extra arbitrary. Sometimes it makes sense, when the preposition is a completely redundant addition, but in general, the contortion one must do to avoid it renders the sentence even more ungainly.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Well, I usually agree with you and Churchill, but there is a certain elegance in the phrasing you used. I am also casual about split infinitives, and I have come to terms with the loss of the shall/will distinction. But, as I read on Buzzfeed this morning, I won’t date apostrophes–they’re too possessive.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

The thing is, I don’t even know what phrasing you’re complimenting me on! LOL!

carole
Guest
carole

It is my understanding that if you end the sentence in a preposition, the word isn’t actually a preposition any longer, it becomes an adverb. I thought a preposition had to be followed by a noun in order to actually be a preposition.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I need to mull and brood about that, and get back to you.

Billy
Guest
Billy

His comments on this post are somewhat clarifying with respect to his attachment to the PCA: http://vintage73.com/2013/01/could-a-split-be-good-for-the-pca/

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

Kind of makes you wonder why he sticks around, doesn’t it.

Jason Pearson
Guest
Jason Pearson

Ok. Sure, it suck to be defeated by losers. What are you gonna do? Cicero eat your heart out…

We watch her slide away, slowly
Liberty
Corrupted now
Putrid

Whereon to hold
Without destroying that
Former beauty
With her death
We die

As she
So must we
Decompose

And join
That fate
Reserved for the greatest
Of Empires…

Kevin Bratcher
Guest

Unrelated, but I automatically read this in William Shatner’s voice

bethyada
Member

Well you have Presbyterian minsters in New Zealand writing this, Moreover, for John, even the scriptures do not of themselves, apart from the presence of Jesus, provide access to the life of the age to come (Jn 5:37-39). One is reminded of Jesus’ refrain in Matthew 5, “You have heard that it was said … But I say to you”. As the stories of the Emmaus Road and the Ethiopian Eunuch suggest, these scriptures need to be reopened and interpreted from the post-resurrection perspective of the age of the kaine diatheke. With a new hermeneutic comes a transformation of mind… Read more »

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

Clearly this pastor sees connections that even Paul was unwilling or unable to make because of his patriarchal worldview. Paul was able to see how the Gospel transcends old divisions, but not how it actually relativises everything. If only Paul had been inspired. If only Paul had been a man of conviction. If only he had been able to see the future with vision and courage, like this pastor. Perhaps then, Paul might have codified some of this in the NT for us so that we wouldn’t need to be coming to these conclusions on our own so many years… Read more »

bethyada
Member

So that caption is the funniest comment in this post!

Bella Pekie
Guest
Bella Pekie

Before anyone judges gay marriage as anti-biblical marriage, perhaps you may want to read what the bible actually says about marriage. Some of the holy rules around that subject are quite hideous. For a complete understanding of the bible’s take on marriage, go out to BibleGateway.com, choose your favorite version and search the text on “marriage.” Here’s some of what you will find in the New International Version: * Genesis 2:24 — Lays out the traditional understanding of marriage between one man and one wife: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his… Read more »

Jon Swerens
Member

You must be new around here.

Bella Pekie
Guest
Bella Pekie

This is certainly the first time I’ve replied to Doug Wilson’s blog. I grew up in the bible belt in the south and attended an Assembly of God church for years. My brother is an evangelical preacher and professor of theology. Working in the technology field I dealt in logic and reason and started applying moral logic to my Christian beliefs. That led me to begin reading the bible academically, which brought me to the one chapter, Numbers 31, that inspired me to leave my religion. There, God tells one of the bible’s greatest prophets, Moses, to commit mass murder… Read more »

Jon Swerens
Member

Yes, your lack of respect is evident. But now you’re using a different argument. Are we twisting the Bible to discriminate? Or are we *not* following its plain teaching? Which one?

I recommend you come up with your own logically consistent meta-narrative before you criticize others.

Bella Pekie
Guest
Bella Pekie

Twisting the bible and not following it are not mutually exclusive. Respond to the biblical passages themselves. How do you justify using the bible against gays when there is so much in that “holy” text that is morally repugnent?

Jon Swerens
Member

What moral standard are you using to judge that they are “morally repugnant”?

Bella Pekie
Guest
Bella Pekie

The moral standard I was raised with in my family, church, school and society. I was raised to believe that mass killing of men, women and children are morally repugnant (Numbers 31), that rape is morally repugnant and that rapists should be punished in prisons, not by forcible marriage with their victims (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). Do you disagree with these actions being morally repugnant? Jesus himself focused on taking care of the poor and needy, including children, and throwing out the money changers from the church, which was part of the government in his time. Wouldn’t you deduct that he would… Read more »

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

Jesus would be opposed to gay marriage. Ergo, we are focusing on an issue he worked for and championed.

And, no, we wouldn’t deduce that Jesus would be in any way opposed to what God commands and sanctions. He is, after all, the One doing the commanding and sanctioning.

RFB
Guest
RFB

“Wouldn’t you deduct that he would be against…”

Jesus Christ: “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.”

Jon Swerens
Member

So your standard is the person of Jesus Christ as revealed to us in the New Testament?

Gianni
Member
Gianni

Bella asked, “Jesus himself focused on taking care of the poor and needy, including children, and throwing out the money changers from the church, which was part of the government in his time. Wouldn’t you deduct that he would be against these actions sanctioned in the old testament? Wouldn’t you also deduct that he would like to see religious blogs and Christians focussing on those issues he worked for and championed, rather than denying gays the right to marry according to the law of the land?” In reply, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”… Read more »

JDM
Guest
JDM

It is difficult to tell exactly what you are arguing but I will say it is truly sad that as you say you grew up in the church, had a brother who was a preacher, and yet apparently it took you years to really read the Bible.

I pray churches would cease to be places where the Bible is anything other than front and center.

Jon Swerens
Member

Bella: You should consider yourself blessed. Today may be the first day you’ve ever come across Christians who actually have read the so-called difficult passages and understand them. Here we are, his servants, quite willing to answer and argue any honest question. So you have a choice to make. Either you can continue to be a theological sniper, never revealing your position and forcing us to figure out where you’re standing by the angle of the shots and the rifling on the slugs. Or you can consider that maybe this Christ whom we all have crucified really is the Son… Read more »

Peace K
Guest
Peace K

“You should consider yourself blessed.”

Jon, you seem to be under the impression that arrogance and pride are the best vehicles for getting the gospel across. Please, brother, examine your heart. If God has given you truth it is a gift to be shared in humility, not a license for bullying.

Jon Swerens
Member

My conscience is clear. Can you detect something about my heart through the Internet?

I was serious. Bella should consider herself blessed, being in contact with Christians who can defend their faith with vigor and humor.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

“Working in the technology field I dealt in logic and reason”
…….
“my religion is respect and kindness of all of creation, including people, animals and
the natural environment.”
……….
“I have so little respect for Christians or other religious followers”

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

And yet, indubitably, not understanding how this isn’t logical will be our fault.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

*Sigh*

Tell you what Bella, honey.

Go do some actual research and come back when you are less ignorant.

Bella Pekie
Guest
Bella Pekie

ArwenB, go to the actual texts I reference and read them for yourself.

Jon Swerens
Member

You are under the false impression that we have not done that very thing, as though the verses you cited are some sort of secret and that if we only read them, we will of course agree with you and join you in your rebellion against Christ, our lord and savior. That’s precious of you, but quite faulty.

JDM
Guest
JDM

Doug’s next post should be titled, “Wait, There’s an Old Testament”!?!

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

Speaking of which, did you know that if you flip back far enough in your Bible, there’s this section that precedes the Gospels?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Duh! The table of contents always comes before the content.

timothy
Guest
timothy

See my analysis of your argument in this comment https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/spaghetti-in-the-collender.html#comment-2143614685 starting in the third paragraph.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says he must marry her, but it doesn’t say she must marry him. IOW, having ruined her, he has to take responsibility for her, if she and her father so desire. But they don’t have to so desire.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Jane, respectfully, this is the same type of textual spin that pro-gay Christians engage in when they have to deal with Leviticus 18, Romans 1, or I Corinthians 6, and it persuades no one except the already converted. I can pretty much promise you that the interpretation you are proposing would not occur to someone reading the text without an agenda, any more than a pro-gay interpretation of Leviticus 18 would occur to anyone reading that text without an agenda. And I would say the same thing to you that I would say to pro-gay Christians: Be honest. If you’re… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Krychek, Jane is not spinning the passage. The Bible allows a father to refuse the marriage of his daughter but still demand the bride price. The man himself in this passage must marry and provide and is forbidden to divorce. But the woman could refuse. See also the example of David’s daughter Tamar who viewed Amnon’s shame of her by refusal of marriage as worse than him forcing her. You cannot assess how her culture viewed the situation from a 21st century Western perspective. In a culture with arranged marriages every women knows that she will have sex with the… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I can pretty much promise you that the interpretation you are proposing would not occur to someone reading the text without an agenda, Further to my response above, I think this would not occur to them because they are not paying attention. The passage I alluded to above is somewhat parallel to the the Deut 22 passage. So if they read the whole Bible they would read both Deut 22 and Exo 22. If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. If… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Actually, people not already convinced that the Bible is some weird exception to the rules of reading comprehension and interpretation will read the law code parts of the Bible like they read other law codes: assuming that case law is consistent with and modified by other case law. Of course a reasonable reading (in the sense of reading it the way you’d read other documents) isn’t going to convince anyone who has a bias against the credibility of the Bible. Nothing will, because they’re not interested in treating it as a comprehensible text, but as a target, and will always… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Ah! This is an effective rejoinder to the drive-by “hermeneutic by random verse” that occurs frequently. I promised a mr. 3 that I would be joining that battle when I have time. Your comment is welcome ammunition. Thanks.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Bethyada, Jane, and Timothy, indeed the text does not explicitly say that she has to marry him, just as Sodom is a story about gang rape rather than loving homosexuality and the language in Romans 1 about that which is against nature doesn’t apply to gay people because gay people have a gay nature. And besides, cultural homosexuality in 2015 is probably nothing like cultural homosexuality when Moses wrote Leviticus 18. If we carefully parse the text, we can end up making everybody happy. Oh, and by the way, anyone who reaches a contrary conclusion has sin in their lives… Read more »

Gianni
Member
Gianni

Krychek_2 (also known as Eric the Red) has a notorious utilitarian agenda. His plea for honesty is not only totally fake morality, but it’s only going to persuade the already converted.

freddy
Guest
freddy

Red Eric cannot change his stripes which identify his true nature

timothy
Guest
timothy

Eric, we get it.

You don’t believe in God. You don’t care what He tells us in the Bible. You want to convince us that it is in our (and all’s ) best interest to just ditch that project and get with the program.

no.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Dear foolish Timothy, were it within my power to wave a magic wand and make everyone here an atheist, I would not do so. Not only would it be unethical, but it would violate my utilitarian conscience as well. No, I’ve spent the last however long I’ve been here to satisfy my curiosity. I’m simply trying to find out if I can at least get you to acknowledge where your premises take you. The answer so far has been no. You can’t even admit something as simple and basic as that the text we’re discussing results in women being forced… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

I wasn’t talking about faith, Eric. I was talking about submission to your pagan state. I repeat. no. It doesn’t really matter what the argument is rather, than it can be used to further power. That is what Oberdudefell did. You decided that you where the boss and ditched God. You say, “submit” I say no. I will not submit. you will not rule me. I serve Another*. Now, to the matter of your and Bella Pekie’s piss-poor analysis, let’s start with the basics that apply to any literature. 1. Read the whole book. 2. Identify and understand the major… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

I’m in awe of Larry Correia here (even though I have no idea who he is.) That so perfectly sums up the identifiable pattern I see over and over (not just here, but in many places on many topics.) I suppose to a really smart person it’s not that hard to pull out that pattern, but I’m not that smart. A common variant is to start with the concern trolling from the get-go, and damp down #3 into “pointing out the weakness in your argument for your own good.” “Look, guys, I know you mean well, but your position is… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Hi Jane. I am glad you like it. Now, to the Bella angle. Expect more of this as the pagans go on offense against Christ’s people. It will be their go-to method and we need rhetorical tools to arm fellow believers. (much as Larry’s checklist is now a tool you can deploy). My “How to read a book” reply is, maybe, a step in supplying said tools. This area is where your “English grammar/literature” skill set can be profitably employed to the defense of the faith. Hmmmm. come to think of it, Maybe Larry provides tactics on disrupting the checklist…..I… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Timothy, as to your first list “read the whole book, etc.” this may surprise you, but I’ve read the whole book. In Greek and Hebrew. With some very prominent Reformed theologians as my guide. Once upon a time, I was you. I could probably teach a theology class at your church. I’m comfortable discussing any academic theological point you like. The issue isn’t that I don’t understand it; the issue is that I understand it too well. And the reason I can confidently claim you’re spinning the text — mostly by disregarding inconvenient facts, making shit up, and resorting to… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

In your Calvanist days, did you ever meet God? Serious question.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I thought I had. I was saved at the age of 12 and spent my teenage years as a firebrand for the Gospel, with plans to go into ministry. I spent two years in seminary, learning to read Greek and Hebrew, and had an absolutely phenomenal systematic theology professor whose name every person here would recognize if I name dropped it. At some point I started to have doubts and now believe I was mostly talking to myself rather than to a God who isn’t there. Here’s an interesting theological question for you: As a Calvinist, you believe in once… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

and had an absolutely phenomenal systematic theology professor whose name every person here would recognize if I name dropped it. Please name drop it. I don’t know what “systematic theology” is, but I do enjoy excellence and good ideas. Here’s an interesting theological question for you: As a Calvinist, you believe in once saved, always saved, so if I’m wrong and God really does exist, am I still saved? I am not a Calvinist; I call myself a Mere-Christian. However, yes, but I fear not and no, that is not a contradiction. Spurgeon had it right “Some seem to fancy… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Dear foolish Timothy

You do realize that “fools for Christ” is a high compliment don’t you?

So, thank you.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Were the Galatians complimented when Paul called them foolish Galatians? Not every Christian who suffers is suffering for Christ, and not every Christian who is called foolish is a fool for Christ.

timothy
Guest
timothy

You are not St. Paul. You are an atheist.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Which means I have a better grasp of reality than St. Paul did. And if you didn’t want me walking through that door, you shouldn’t have opened it.

timothy
Guest
timothy

heh.

Eric, surely you know by now that I do not care what you think of me. I do care what “the great cloud of witnesses” of which St. Paul is one, does think of me.

You are an athiest. St. Paul is in heaven.

Repent, dude. Hell is at hand.

carole
Guest
carole

That is something I am surprised to hear you say Eric. You believe you are intellectually superior to St. Paul? And you believe that it is just of you to imply he did not have a grasp on reality? I am sadly surprised at these words.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

You seem concerned that people here are following their presuppositions to logical conclusions. I’m wondering if you are living up to your expectations of others in your comments here. Specifically, you speak of ethics, meaning that you believe in some concept of right and wrong; morality, if you will. Many far smarter than I have concluded that atheism has no logical foundation for ethics, please explain your foundation for making ethical claims. Thanks

timothy
Guest
timothy

Humian Utilitarianism.

Krycheck_2 is a long-time commenter with the handle Eric The Red. The commentators here have effectively demolished his claims every time he asserts a position on topics raging from materialism to biology.

Doing so typically requires 8000 comments and multiples of correlated sub-topics, but at the end of the day, Eric just disappears when his arguments are destroyed and then pops up after things calm down.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And if you actually think my arguments have been demolished, you’re even further out of touch with reality than I thought. I disappear when I realize we’re all just repeating ourselves.

timothy
Guest
timothy

I observed, empirically your arguments destroyed on the materialistic ethics, and biology Specifically katecho on your ethics, David and gzzzd(?) on biology and now on the virtue of old testament laws.

As is typical, you do not acknowledge your defeat you deflect blame and either change the subject and/or sulk away.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Timothy, you’re a partisan. You’re going to think I lost any debate we had no matter what the arguments were.

timothy
Guest
timothy

That is not my nature.

I have previously comment to you in bold text when I was wrong on a point.

You lose debates when you run from the field and fail to acknowledge you got you where wrong.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Timothy, this may surprise you, but I don’t have an emotional need to get the last word in. I say what I have to say on a subject, and then I stop. If you didn’t get — or did get but disagreed with — a point the first time I made it, you’re not going to reach a different conclusion the fifth or tenth time I make it, so what’s the point? By the same token, you may think you’ve demolished me, but I don’t agree, and there’s little to be gained by going over the same ground over and… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Except you claimed that text was being spun but have not responded when requested to explain what text and how it was being spun.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Eric, John F. Kennedy’s comment asking you the basis for your ethical claims is a good example of why your inability to answer why a random collection of physical material without moral agency–namely you–does have moral agency must be identified early in any discussion. Had I not interjected, John would have had to of spent days of effort, side-issues and thread derailment in order to get to first principles. Like you, I am tired of that road. Unlike you, I do not ignore your failure to answer these root questions.We start with a question such as John’s and then prudence… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Because somewhere along the way, that collection of physical material acquired both consciousness and the necessary brainpower to understand that actions have consequences, both to self and to others. You’re right that it’s not completely understood how that happened, but there’s no question that it did happen. And the fact that I am both conscious, and aware that my actions impact on other conscious beings, means that I am morally responsible for those actions. And that’s before we even get to the utilitarian aspect of morality being beneficial. And once that simple, basic point has been established, then the details… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And that’s the real reason I’m becoming less and less inclined to entertain this particular conversation. Not only have we already been over it, but I’m talking to someone who only has a case if he changes the subject. Sorry, I got better things to do.

Steven
Guest
Steven

I couldn’t help but notice the irony of this statemment lying within a self-reply: Not only have we already been over it, but I’m talking to someone who only has a case if he changes the subject

Gianni
Member
Gianni

It’s always a pleasure to see old Eric doing what he can to stop the Kingdom of Heaven from advancing, and thus giving further opportunities for the display of God’s glory in history. Eric is doing it willingly, and for free, so one has to admire his odd, masochistic perseverance in this role of doomed missionary for evil he has chosen for himself. All praise to God Almighty for raising Eric up in the stage of history at this time. We all know how the story ends, and so does Eric, but he keeps telling himself it’s not possible. That’s… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Pardon me, is this gauntlet yours? Somebody seems to have thrown it.

(:

timothy
Guest
timothy

And once that simple, basic point has been established, then the details
mostly fall into place. This isn’t rocket science, and candidly, the
deception here is you deliberately overcomplicating stuff that’s
actually very simple.

heh.

Since you are a very ignorant man, I am not going to engage you on the merits of your claim and waste other people’s time.

What I will do is continue to advise other believers who, in good faith and not knowing your history of ridiculous claims, point out to them just how vapid your position is.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Just to clarify: The commentators here have a completely cockamamie definition of morals and ethics that, as a practical matter, makes ethics impossible without God. So it’s hardly surprising that I can’t show an alternative foundation for ethics and morality when they have simply defined the terms in such a way as to ensure that they win. But not everyone accepts their definitions — I certainly don’t. But I’ve come to the conclusion that this entire line of discussion is fruitless, because they simply keep coming back with “but you haven’t proven it according to my definition of the terms.”… Read more »

carole
Guest
carole

That cockamamie definition which describes actions as good and evil, you know like man has for thousands of years, like most folks do. Eric would rather we just talk about goals and consequences, since there is no way for Utilitarians to talk about objective goodness or righteousness. Rape, abortion, adultery might be evil if it doesn’t meet the objective that Eric,(?) the majority (?), the Philosopher King (?), wants it to meet. Or it might be good, if it does meet that goal. I guess if reducing the population of babies born into poor families is the goal, abortion is… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The point is not specific issues like abortion, rape, or adultery; the question is whether a general principle can be articulated that enables us to answer specific ethical questions. And there will never be complete agreement as to how a general principle should apply in a certain situation. There are evangelical Christians who support abortion rights and there are secular humanists who don’t.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Non-christian ethical systems have existend and can be derived from first principles without any reference to God or gods. John C. Wright has a post on this very subject.

Where you fail is on two levels.
1. why.
2. developing the Christian virtues.

I will expand on my return from my day’s labors.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I’ve articulated the “why” so many times that it’s ridiculous for you to say that. Human nature compels us to seek ethics, humans evolved to be ethical, humans live in community which requires fostering certain types of behavior, and ethics promote human happiness and human productivity. Those all strike me as a more than sufficient “why”. But since none of them mention God, you don’t find them sufficient. Which goes back to my earliest statement: You’ve defined your terms in such a way that you always win. But you don’t get to do that; you don’t get to creatively re-define… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

And then you get demolished on materialist grounds. You assert these things are which we both acknowledge. You refuse cannot explain why completely random interactions of bits of matter that compromise you should care at all.

You are in the exact same dilemma as C.S. Lewis was in his atheist years, yet you lack the stones to address the issue like a man. He wrote about it. you refuse to discuss it. Instead, you wave and shout and pout and point.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Those who have concluded that atheism has no logical foundation for ethics are mistaken, and this subject has already been thoroughly aired. Every time I show up here somebody chimes in that I have no basis for ethics. At one time I laboriously and excruciatingly set forth in detail a non-theistic foundation for ethics; now, rather than repeat myself for the umpteenth time I will simply say that you can find my previous comments on the subject if you do a search. Not meaning to be rude; just not seeing the point to saying stuff I’ve already said here a… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Non-theistic foundations for ethics exist all right. John C. Wright has friends who can derive the standard virtues for both stoicism and (that ‘ism’ where you eat too much) What you guys cannot do is answer “why” that happens. You would think a random collection of atoms and molecules such as yourself would emit some information that explains it at random intervals, but as yet, it has not happened. At that point, you chainge the subject with “its what humans do” which is completely inadequate to the question of “why” they do it. Yes, you are repeating yourself, but that… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Do you adhere to any certain school of non-theistic ethics?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

With minor modifications, I’m mostly a David Hume utilitiarian.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

I read and comment a bit on Effective Altruist sites, mainly Scott Alexander’s blog. Just mulling over what would be fun to discuss with an atheist….How about this? God doesn’t exist, must you create him?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

It’s an interesting thought experiment what the world would look like had religion never evolved. While disputing the factual underpinnings of all religion, I do think religion in general has sometimes helped build cohesive societies, which may be part of the reason why so many cultures are religious. One of the most eye-opening books I ever read was a 700 page history of Islam. As it turns out, not only do Muslims have lots and lots of doctrinal disputes, but they are almost precisely the same doctrinal disputes Christians have. There are Muslims who believe in predestination and Muslims who… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Moral foundations theory makes a good case for the broad strokes of religion being innate. This is the first time I’ve encountered the idea of a parallel doctrine but I would say it probably has more to do with monotheistic religions reasoning themselves to similar problems and conclusions.
Back to creating God. Do you think that the absence of religion is proving to be detrimental to Europe? Are you of the opinion that progress is clipping along just fine or is Europe languishing without Platonic noble lies.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I haven’t noticed that Europe’s problems have gotten worse since it became less religious. Are you thinking of anything in particular?

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Well, problematic non-theistic ideologies of the 20th century aside, I was thinking of demographic stagnation coupled with rising populations of Muslims and other theistic imports from the global south. Do you think those will level out soon or will demographic changes lead to fundamental changes in western democratic liberalism? Could incidents like Charlie Hebo lead to outsized cultural impacts sooner than might otherwise be expected? The fact that very large demographic and cultural shifts in European cities have been met with little resistance or even encouragement would indicate to me that European cultures lack the asabiyyah to compete with incoming… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

I should should say that I don’t know that Europeans have simply abandoned their Platonic moral underpinnings. In that case you would think that the default would be simple self interest. They appear to have adopted an ignoble lie that has the opposite effect of the classic noble lie in that it enervates the populace.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The reason I phrased my original response as I don’t see Europe’s problems getting any worse is that in general I don’t think humans are very good at managing their collective affairs, and that seems to be true no matter which ideology is in place. Had the Medici popes possessed the nuclear weapons the USSR had, they would have been happy to turn Europe into a moonscape. If we all woke up as atheists tomorrow, I don’t think that would usher in any kind of utopia because you’d still have frail humans running things. So if you were expecting me… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Europe’s real problem is complacency. They consider the Muslims to be unwashed hordes, not able to take Europe. I would hope that at some point they would realize that they are threatened and take steps to defend themselves. But that’s really what it will come down to: Will they awaken from their complacency? Lean and hungry trumps fat and lazy. But again, that’s not an ideology problem; that’s a complacency problem.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

I correspond with some who, though not believers, see a need for theism to prop up society.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I’m sure that it does prop up society, which is a separate question from whether it is true. It also has done things that are enormously socially harmful. The question is whether, on balance, we would be better off with it or without it and, if it’s not true, if something else could prop up society equally as well.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

Okay. Thanks. I should have picked up on that from your reference to your utilitarian conscience.

I can’t add anything to this discussion, other than to agree with what others have already written. I don’t see a way to find ethics from within purposelessness. The two are mutually exclusive concepts. To do so, can only be done dichotomously, and anyone who approaches the subject honestly must necessarily agree; or so it seems to me.

An infinite reference point is needed to find morality of any sort, and the shifting sands of human reason are far from that.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Who said anything about purposelessness? You’re assuming that without God there can be no purpose. Nonsense.

John F. Kennedy
Guest
John F. Kennedy

Sorry. I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. I guess I took that from someone else’s comment. So, backing up one step, if humanity is the result of a purposeless process, as an atheist must conclude, then it follows that our existence is without purpose. An atheist who believes there is a purpose for life, is an atheist who lives dichotomously; I don’t see a way around that.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The process is separate from the result. At some point, our ancestors acquired consciousness and the ability to engage in rational thought. At that point, they were able to decide for themselves if their lives would have a purpose. So even though you are right that the process itself is random and mindless, the result isn’t. My choices (to the extent one believes in free will) are neither random nor mindless. I’ve heard the claim made that only eternal purposes matter; that if I’m here for a brief period and then gone forever, then my life may as well be… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

John F. Kennedy. This exchange between katecho and Eric The Red (aka Krycheck_2) on December 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm is a typical example of discourse as the foundations of EtR’s ethics are examined. (bold mine). Katecho is very adept at getting to the root of the matter as you can read for yourself December 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm Eric the Red wrote: “For months, katecho and others have been telling me that my morality is snitched Christian presuppositions whose source I refuse to acknowledge.” Eric actually has two moralities; one which he is obliged to defend in public… Read more »

carole
Guest
carole

This is interesting. What is the difference between something being unethical and it violating your utilitarian conscience? I thought those were one and the same for you?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Carole, unethical means it violates a general principle; un-utilitarian means it’s bad tactics in a particular situation. In this case, the general principle is that society is better when people are free to form their own belief systems rather than have them imposed by someone else. The tactical issue is that it’s beneficial to have a certain number of people espousing a silly belief system because without them, people forget just how silly that belief system is. So they serve as bad examples.

carole
Guest
carole

Thanks Eric
So just to clarify, there is only one general principle for you though, correct? To produce the most happiness> Society being better, means more people will be happy. Isn’t that the “good” for you?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Carole, close but not exactly. Ethics and morality are people doing what’s good for them, which often but not always also happens to be what’s good for society. And I’m using “good” here in the Platonic sense, not in the hedonistic sense. There is a significant overlap between that and being happy, but it’s not a perfect overlap.

bethyada
Member

I’m just saying that you’re spinning the text, and not fooling anyone except yourselves. You quote a passage and say it means a woman must marry a rapist. We quote the same text and the surrounding context as well as the parallel text in Exodus showing that 1. The passage implies consent not rape. 2. The command is for the man (to provide), the command is not for the woman. 3. A woman could be in a position where a man was forbidden to marry her but he still has to pay the bride price. This is all from the… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

I think the argument is “an ignorant person who pulls the verse out of context would read it my way, so that trumps self-serving things like context and treating closely related documents as though they have some bearing on it.” Apparently the assumptions of the ignorant about how to read a complicated document are not only to be taken into consideration when defending it, but considered the most reasonable and unbiased approach.

Gianni
Member
Gianni

The sheer ignorance and cluelessness of Eric/Krychek in all things theological is embarrassing, given the way he takes pride in his own education and knowledge. When he tries to win an argument by banging his fist on the table and shouting down the opposition as dishonest, as he has tried to do with Jane’s careful and intelligent take at Deuteronomy, it’s a sure sign that he knows that his argument is weak, and that he knows he sees things in the Bible that aren’t really there. He bangs his fist often. No need to be intimidated. His utilitarian instinct should… Read more »

Susan Andersen Bedwell
Guest
Susan Andersen Bedwell

I think we may have fallen into the trap of looking at Deut. 22 with 21st century Western civilization eyes. In the culture where and when this law was in force, a non-virgin unmarried young woman was damaged goods and without hope of marriage. Not being marriageable, she would have been a financial burden to her family for the remainder of her parents’ lives. And when they died, she would have had no support at all, with little else to do but sell herself on the streets, sell herself into slavery (if her father hadn’t already done so), beg, or… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Susan, I suspect that what you say is probably true. However, that creates more problems than it solves, because we now have a text that ratifies some fairly vicious sexist practices rather than condemns and ends them. You’re a woman; is that a culture you would have liked to have lived in?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

I’m wondering what a text that “ended vicious sexist practices” would need to say?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Well, we could start with abolishing the notion that a woman who’s been raped is now damaged goods; that smells far too much like the charming Islamic custom of blaming and flogging/jailing rape victims. How about treating rape victims like victims rather than being responsible for what happened to them? We could then go on to the economic conditions that made it difficult for single women to support themselves and made them financially dependent on men. Financial emancipation of women would go a long way toward making most of this conversation irrelevant. There are others, but those would be a… Read more »

carole
Guest
carole

One thing that often bothers me about this feminist perspective Eric, is that in reality, many (all whom I know) women who are raped are damaged. They are sometimes so damaged that they do not wish to marry, have children, or even leave their house ever again, depending on the circumstances of the rape. It is faithful fathers/families that often do end up taking care of them for the rest of their lives. To act as though women can get up, press on and go back to work as if nothing happened is a great deal more cruel than demanding… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

How would a text do that? You can get people to do stuff like that over time, but you can’t do it by just making a law about it. What you can do with a law, is protect women who live in that culture. It’s not like the Bible doesn’t encourage the gentle and fair treatment of the weak and poor. It does. But it’s actually a lot more realistic than the idea that if we just teach men not to rape, women will not suffer the consequences of rape, whether it’s 1500 BC or AD 2015. You can’t just… Read more »

Susan Andersen Bedwell
Guest
Susan Andersen Bedwell

Krychek, I don’t want to call your suggestions for how the law texts underlying ancient Israelite society could have been more feminist and economically progressive culturally imperialistic, but I will say that they are anachronistic, and just plain silly. It is just plain silly to expect an ancient people to come up with anything even close to your very modern, very secular, very democratic idea that women should be given financial emancipation (in a primitive agrarian economy, no less), without that people ever having trudged through the thousands of years of economic, social, philosophical, and theological thought-development that you are… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

bethyada has just written on this topic at his blog here:

http://bethyada.blogspot.com/2015/07/does-moses-force-woman-to-marry-her.html

and it harmonizes with your insight and comment.

Well done

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I’m not going to waste any energy being mad at an entity that doesn’t exist. And while it might be silly to expect people to come up with the idea that women aren’t doormats, it would not be silly to expect God to come up with that idea. Can you imagine the powerful signal it would have sent if, thousands of years ahead of everyone else, Israel under God’s leadership had abolished slavery, ended the mistreatment of women, and, if not Sweden, maybe Sweden with a Judeo-Christian bent? Now that would have been a huge piece of evidence for the… Read more »

Susan Andersen Bedwell
Guest
Susan Andersen Bedwell

So if I’m hearing you correctly, you’re saying that merely ensuring by law that not a single one of God’s precious daughters who had been raped would be denied a husband, children, financial security, and the honor and dignity that marriage brought, by legislating that “the one who steals a girl’s honor in the field will be the one who restores it to her at the altar”, isn’t good enough for you. It’s full-on economic emancipation for women in one go, or just forget the whole thing. You evidently do not believe, as I do, that this law was actually… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Excellent!

timothy
Guest
timothy

Can you imagine the powerful signal it would have sent if, thousands of
years ahead of everyone else, Israel under God’s leadership had
abolished slavery, ended the mistreatment of women, and, if not Sweden,
maybe Sweden with a Judeo-Christian bent? Now that would have been a
huge piece of evidence for the existence of God.

Christian doctrine is quite clear on this; No matter the evidence, sinful man will rebel against Him. He will rebel because man is at enmity with God; he can do no other.

You cannot make God dance to your tune no matter how loud you whistle.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

And Jane, same question I put to Susan: You’re a woman. Would you have wanted to live in that culture?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Besides going with what Susan said, there’s also the question of whether being considered a disposable toy in a hookup culture is all that much better. It’s not like there’s zero concern in this culture about being raped, about being mistreated by a man who marries you, consumes the best of your physical abilities and talents and then discards your, or about a parent who might use a child to further his or her own ambitions over the child’s best interests. We just do it in a more polished and sophisticated fashion when it happens. I am thankful for many… Read more »

Susan Andersen Bedwell
Guest
Susan Andersen Bedwell

If I’d been born at that time, absolutely…given the alternatives.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Now that’s an example of damning with faint praise. Deuteronomy 22: Sexist, but better than the alternatives.

Susan Andersen Bedwell
Guest
Susan Andersen Bedwell

That would have been all I had to go on. Sorry. I do the same even today. I really, really like living in the neighborhood I live in…compared to all the other neighborhoods near my husband’s work that we could afford to live in. But maybe you’re right. Maybe I shouldn’t like it, because the 2nd arondissement of Paris would be better.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The more apt comparison would be the 2nd arondissement of Paris to a crack-house neighborhood in a bad part of a major city.

Susan Andersen Bedwell
Guest
Susan Andersen Bedwell

Actually, I think I could indeed have picked a better comparison, given that my actual neighborhood and that neighborhood in Paris are both in existence today, I am aware of both, I have visited both, and I am therefore in a very good position to pretty accurately compare them both. This would not have been anywhere near the case if I had been living in ancient Israel. The more apt comparison, then – contrary to your proposal that we change the terms to a crack house vs. Paris, which has the same flaw — would be that, according to your… Read more »

Susan Andersen Bedwell
Guest
Susan Andersen Bedwell

What fairly vicious sexist practices did it ratify?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Economic dependence of women, women’s major decisions all being made by men, women being treated as damaged goods because they’d been raped.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

The dependence of women, economic and otherwise, on fathers and husbands in traditional societies was superior to the current system of atomized consumerism. Better a woman serve her loved ones than a faceless corporation or her own appetites. The patriarchal system also benefits the entire society be encouraging low time preference behavior.

bethyada
Member

Do you want answers to your questions, or do you just want to hit Christians over the head with their own Bible?

Brad McMurray
Guest
Brad McMurray

I can’t help wondering: if a legally married same-sex couple came to Pastor Prentiss for pastoral counseling and one of them said, “I think I made a mistake. I’ve sinned in entering a homosexual marriage. I now see homosexual behavior is so clearly forbidden in scripture and I want to get out of this mess I’ve made. After reading the Bible and praying, I think God wants me to turn from this obvious sin. At the very core of my being, I want to live for Christ and I see now that it means being celibate or, if God enables… Read more »