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Old 12-27-2014, 05:16 PM   #501
rayliotta
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Default Re: Fundamentalism

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
I've made it perfectly clear that one of the major functions of this forum is to assist Local Churchers in seeing the Truth of the Gospel and the true character and nature of God as revealed in the Bible. This forum does not lend itself to this major function and it should be painfully obvious to all that it does not and probably never will.
UntoHim, I honestly feel than in an environment where young adults are regularly experiencing "breakdowns" -- sometimes even to the point of being diagnosed as schizophrenic -- that there are probably other needs that go to the top of the priority list.

People in the Recovery have often been told that they should just "forget about their problems" and "turn to their spirit." I think we all know how much damage that has caused over the years.
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:47 PM   #502
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Default Re: Fundamentalism

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
[COLOR="Navy"]Oh I wouldn't worry about Local Churchers not being exposed to alternate views, the Internet is full of them!
In fact the VAST majority of religious/philosophical Internet sites are extremely anti-orthodox/evangelical Christian. Most consider the Bible as full of myths and stories made up by the early disciples. In most of the free world Local Churchers can delve into this kind of stuff any time they want....they just are going to have to ask for the password if they want to do that here!
Google lists 746,000 Evangelical Christian websites so there are plenty of opportunities for Leecal Churchers to get the orthodox evangelical view elsewhere too. They won't ask because you have hidden this forum from view and forbade us to inform them of its existence. Remember : "DO NOT QUOTE POSTS ON ALTERNATIVE VIEWS TO ANOTHER FORUM BOARD, OR BRING DISCUSSIONS FROM ALTERNATIVE VIEWS TO ANOTHER FORUM BOARD."


Quote:
I've made it perfectly clear that one of the major functions of this forum is to assist Local Churchers in seeing the Truth of the Gospel and the true character and nature of God as revealed in the Bible. This forum does not lend itself to this major function and it should be painfully obvious to all that it does not and probably never will.
If that's a major function, why not perform it right here on this forum where we can discuss it freely?
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:59 AM   #503
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Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
UntoHimI honestly feel than in an environment where young adults are regularly experiencing "breakdowns" -- sometimes even to the point of being diagnosed as schizophrenic -- that there are probably other needs that go to the top of the priority list.
People in the Recovery have often been told that they should just "forget about their problems" and "turn to their spirit." I think we all know how much damage that has caused over the years.
Points well taken ray. The problem is that mental/psychological issues are extremely difficult to address on an Internet forum. I know from experience with close family members that these issues are best dealt with by a professional. I do know that seeking this kind of help is discouraged in the Local Church, at least I know that it was in the past. Admittedly, Christians do have a tendency to over-spiritualize these matters, but again, there is a chance to do more harm than good trying to get too practical out here in cyberspace.

In relation to your reaction to my comment about "seeing the Truth of the Gospel", I think you may be selling the Gospel a little short. (no worries, we all do!) You see the biblical Gospel addresses much, much more than just "saving us from our sins", it actually addresses the many effects of The Fall, of which mental/psychological problems are one of the major effects. The apostle Paul described one of the effects of The Fall as subjugating Man to "The law of sin and death"(Rom 8:2), and the Gospel addresses this "law" with another "law" - "The law of the Spirit of life". (Rom 8:2) There is no doubt that we are still suffering to one degree or another from the effects of the first law, but to the extent that we believe and grow in "the faith of the Gospel"(Phil 1:27) we will begin to experience the effects of the law of the Spirit of life, and this surely includes the healing of our mind.

So I strongly believe, and it is my experience, that the answers for those suffering from the negative effects of false religion is to point them towards the genuine article - the faith of the Gospel as related in the living and abiding Word of God. This was one of my main considerations in setting up this forum, and it remains as one of the foundational principles today.
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Old 12-28-2014, 11:35 AM   #504
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Truth, or God, can handle it, surely.
Oh it's not Truth or God that I'm worried about, its our dear brothers and sisters in the Local Church.

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I knew we were outside of the free world ... ... but can outside LCers even see alternative Views?
Oh they can see it just fine, it's listed there on the main forum page just like all the other forum boards. If they are interested they will simply ask for the password and they will get it, immediately.
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Old 12-28-2014, 11:46 AM   #505
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Google lists 746,000 Evangelical Christian websites so there are plenty of opportunities for Leecal Churchers to get the orthodox evangelical view elsewhere too. They won't ask because you have hidden this forum from view and forbade us to inform them of its existence. Remember : "DO NOT QUOTE POSTS ON ALTERNATIVE VIEWS TO ANOTHER FORUM BOARD, OR BRING DISCUSSIONS FROM ALTERNATIVE VIEWS TO ANOTHER FORUM BOARD."
Wow, am I speaking in some foreign language that you can't seem to understand? THE FORUM ALTERNATIVE VIEWS IS VISIBLE ON THE MAIN PAGE OF THE FORM. IT IS THERE FOR ALL TO SEE JUST LIKE ANY OF THE OTHER FORUMS. The only difference is one must take a few seconds and request a password ONE TIME in order to view and participate in the individual threads themselves. It's not like that they have to walk over hot coals or jump through a ring of fire

In regards to not cross posting from one forum to another, this is just plain common sense and part of Internet forum netiquette. Of course due to the nature of the discussions here it makes this even more important.
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:50 PM   #506
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Default Re: Fundamentalism

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Wow, am I speaking in some foreign language that you can't seem to understand? THE FORUM ALTERNATIVE VIEWS IS VISIBLE ON THE MAIN PAGE OF THE FORM. IT IS THERE FOR ALL TO SEE JUST LIKE ANY OF THE OTHER FORUMS. The only difference is one must take a few seconds and request a password ONE TIME in order to view and participate in the individual threads themselves. It's not like that they have to walk over hot coals or jump through a ring of fire

In regards to not cross posting from one forum to another, this is just plain common sense and part of Internet forum netiquette. Of course due to the nature of the discussions here it makes this even more important.
All the person sees without a password is "Alternative Views" not even the topics are visible for people to decide whether they are interested or not. Cross posting is not necessarily malicious, and therefore should not absolutely be prohibited.

I would like to see a more robust defense of Christian fundamentalism here, and it doesn't look like that will happen unless others are allowed in.
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:51 PM   #507
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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Points well taken ray. The problem is that mental/psychological issues are extremely difficult to address on an Internet forum. I know from experience with close family members that these issues are best dealt with by a professional. I do know that seeking this kind of help is discouraged in the Local Church, at least I know that it was in the past. Admittedly, Christians do have a tendency to over-spiritualize these matters, but again, there is a chance to do more harm than good trying to get too practical out here in cyberspace.
Agreed. However, these issues don't have to be addressed directly. Just knowing that other people went through similar things, felt similar things, or received similar reactions, can be a real relief.

There are many people in the Recovery who feel like they "know too much." There are many people in the Recovery who will occasionally whisper "sideways" comments about yellow chairs, tennis rackets, World's Fairs, and John Ingalls. These things are not quite as hidden as we might like to believe. Yet there remains this air of secrecy.

Sometimes the biggest help is for others just to pull back the curtain a little. To hear some kid shout, "What the heck, the emperor's not wearing any clothes!?" Outsiders are ill-equipped to do this. (If you've never been in the Recovery, it's quite challenging to "connect the Recovery dots.") The people in the best position to do this are those of us who have experienced the nonsense firsthand, in all its particulars.
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:54 PM   #508
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I'm mostly glad it's password protected, so that others don't have to see our bickering. LSM loves this stuff, and they don't need to see it. (That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.)

"While sheep bicker, wolves will play."
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:06 PM   #509
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Default Re: Fundamentalism

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Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
I'm mostly glad it's password protected, so that others don't have to see our bickering. LSM loves this stuff, and they don't need to see it. (That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.)

"While sheep bicker, wolves will play."
Ah, I see. But, if we discuss issues like grown-ups, it doesn't have to be bickering. We all might learn something. We might each come to a better understanding of the issues and acceptance of one another as we really are instead of a false show of unity. The Leecal Church suppressed free thought and presented the false face of conformity to the world. Why be concerned about what LSM thinks? I haven't made decisions based on what they love or hate since I left, I'm not going to start now.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:18 PM   #510
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I would like to see a more robust defense of Christian fundamentalism here, and it doesn't look like that will happen unless others are allowed in.
It's indefensible because it is all a matter of faith. Not much of it makes rational sense. The trinity, virgin birth, Christ's divinity, death, resurrection, and ascension etc are just divine mysteries for the Christian faith. However, does the Bible support all of these divine mysteries? That is where there has been a lack of defense of these matters. It seems like all we receive here is a regurgitation of the same ole stuff without thoughtful responses. It is what it is. It is hard to get off the dime of superficial issues from the LC.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:30 PM   #511
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Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
I'm mostly glad it's password protected, so that others don't have to see our bickering. LSM loves this stuff, and they don't need to see it. (That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.)

"While sheep bicker, wolves will play."
I guess if we just all agree with each other then that makes a good conversation and people won't see disagreements. If you think about it, isn't that what happened in the LC? In fact, they attempted to suppress disagreements or questioning to the point of filing lawsuits, excommunicating members etc. Isn't that what is being done when our discussions are labeled as "bickering" and thus placing a negative label on legitimate questions? If we disagree we are "bickering". ...interesting perspective. My take on this is that people evolving out of the LC need to see that we can question each other and carry on adult conversations without suppression, even subtle suppression such as labeling discussions as "bickering".
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:51 PM   #512
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Agreed. However, these issues don't have to be addressed directly. Just knowing that other people went through similar things, felt similar things, or received similar reactions, can be a real relief.

The people in the best position to do this are those of us who have experienced the nonsense firsthand, in all its particulars.
Points well taken again! And you know what, these kind of matters can be addressed out on the open forums, no problem! I only addressed it on this forum because it was posted on this forum. In general, I don't see any problem with this on the open forums.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:22 PM   #513
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Originally Posted by Dave View Post
It's indefensible because it is all a matter of faith. Not much of it makes sense. The trinity, virgin birth, Christ's divinity, death, resurrection, and ascension etc are just divine mysteries for the Christian faith. However, what we have been trying to address on this thread is this: does the Bible support all of these divine mysteries? That is where there has been a lack of defense of these matters. All we receive here is a regurgitation of the same ole stuff without thoughtful responses. It is what it is. It is hard to get off the dime of superficial issues from the LC.
Hey Dave. Just because it hasn't been defended well doesn't necessarily mean it is indefensible. In the first place, you state it is a matter of faith. If that is the case, it can be defended as faith. So, faith that recognizes itself to be faith as opposed to knowledge or perhaps other kinds of knowledge can be defended as such. From another standpoint, we need to look at the assumptions we bring to the table. Now, I think you bring naturalistic assumptions, whereas others bring supernaturalistic assumptions. If as a naturalist you think that nothing but nature exists, the word nature means to you merely everything, whatever exists. Then of course, nothing supernatural can ever happen and the miracles in the Bible will have to be explained away somehow.

Most if not all the NT historians you are reading bring naturalistic assumptions to their analysis of the Bible. So, for example, a historian might say that the Gospel of John must have been written after the execution of Peter, because, in that Gospel, Jesus is represented as predicts the execution of Peter.

The historian assumes that a book cannot be written before events which it refers to. Why? Because prophesies of the future don't really happen. Of course, if real prophesies do occur then this argument for the date of the Gospel of John falls apart. She takes it for granted that they don't. She may be right, but she didn't discover this principle by historical inquiry. She brought her disbelief in the reality of prophesy to her historical work as an assumption.

Unless she had, her historical conclusion about the date of the Gospel could not have been reached at all on the basis of Jesus' prediction about Peter. If the question whether or not prophesies are real, the historian's conclusion is of no help. It begs the question. The historian bases her conclusion on a negative presupposition. And more often than not, the historian won't make the grounds for the assumption explicit.

A parallel assumption happens on the supernaturalist side. It is assumed that miracles can happen. Hence, the impasse that we find ourselves in. And, of course, on the other forums of this website site, philosophical analysis of assumptions is sacrosanct, so it's impossible to make the assumptions explicit without offending the moderator or others. Or, at least it has been in the past. That's why I started this thread in this forum; so that, we could discuss rationally how we get to these impasses and hopefully come to a better understanding of our respective positions. How are we doing?
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:51 AM   #514
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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

In relation to your reaction to my comment about "seeing the Truth of the Gospel", I think you may be selling the Gospel a little short. (no worries, we all do!) You see the biblical Gospel addresses much, much more than just "saving us from our sins", it actually addresses the many effects of The Fall, of which mental/psychological problems are one of the major effects.
If one includes the book of Proverbs as part of the Gospel, then much wisdom is available to us there.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:54 AM   #515
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I'm mostly glad it's password protected, so that others don't have to see our bickering. LSM loves this stuff, and they don't need to see it. (That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.)

"While sheep bicker, wolves will play."
My sentiments exactly!
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:09 AM   #516
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All the person sees without a password is "Alternative Views"
No, they see: "Alternative Views - PassWord Protected - Request PassWord from UntoHim."

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Originally Posted by zeek
not even the topics are visible for people to decide whether they are interested or not.
Yes. it says "No threads to display".

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek
Cross posting is not necessarily malicious, and therefore should not absolutely be prohibited.
Well it does display " Alternative Views - PassWord Protected - Request PassWord from UntoHim," so we are free to advise to request a password from UntoHim.

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Originally Posted by zeek
I would like to see a more robust defense of Christian fundamentalism here, and it doesn't look like that will happen unless others are allowed in.
But I believe it's UntoHim's mission to bring LCers out of the LC and into mainstream Christianity, or to fundamentalism.

The problem with that is that it presupposes that there's only one right way to come out of the local church. And we know that's just not true.

But given that there may be some that have come out of the local church, that have legitimate concerns about speaking publicly, I have mixed feelings about Alternative Views. They may find a safe place to express themselves.

However, if they don't come to AV, then it's just us few that are enjoying AV, which seems like all we'll end up with is talking to ourselves, that have few disagreements (other than bickering) That's not all bad, but good discussions require heartfelt disagreements.

And yes, I would love it if some great thinking fundamentalists, or perchance very devoted ones, came out in defense of fundamentalism. One reason I'm here is to learn. Therefore I welcome the challenge of disagreements.

Will that happen on AV? Time will tell.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:20 AM   #517
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"While sheep bicker, wolves will play."
Are you calling me a wolf?
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Old 12-30-2014, 03:32 AM   #518
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I guess if we just all agree with each other then that makes a good conversation and people won't see disagreements. If you think about it, isn't that what happened in the LC? In fact, they attempted to suppress disagreements or questioning to the point of filing lawsuits, excommunicating members etc. Isn't that what is being done when our discussions are labeled as "bickering" and thus placing a negative label on legitimate questions? If we disagree we are "bickering". ...interesting perspective. My take on this is that people evolving out of the LC need to see that we can question each other and carry on adult conversations without suppression, even subtle suppression such as labeling discussions as "bickering".
Yikes! Guess I should have been more clear!

I'm all for vigorous discussion and debate. I was referring to the discussion re Alt Views, passwords, etc. That's all I was referring to as "bickering." It just struck me as a discussion that could occur offline.

Peace.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:34 AM   #519
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I'm all for vigorous discussion and debate.
The very purpose of fundamentalism was to put an end to discussion and debate. Like the creeds, it was saying, "these are the basics and we're no longer debating these matters."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray
I was referring to the discussion re Alt Views, passwords, etc. That's all I was referring to as "bickering."
The concern is that no one is seeing Alt Views, and we're just talking to ourselves.

Fundy was a reaction to science seeing the way things are, not the way superstition saw/sees it.

Like science it is a matter of seeing. And zeek's concern is that very few see what's going on on Alt Views.
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:44 PM   #520
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The very purpose of fundamentalism was to put an end to discussion and debate. Like the creeds, it was saying, "these are the basics and we're no longer debating these matters."


The concern is that no one is seeing Alt Views, and we're just talking to ourselves.

Fundy was a reaction to science seeing the way things are, not the way superstition saw/sees it.

Like science it is a matter of seeing. And zeek's concern is that very few see what's going on on Alt Views.
OK. Peace.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:50 PM   #521
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Yikes! Guess I should have been more clear!

I'm all for vigorous discussion and debate. I was referring to the discussion re Alt Views, passwords, etc. That's all I was referring to as "bickering." It just struck me as a discussion that could occur offline.

Peace.
Just speaking truth to power that's all.
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:27 AM   #522
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Yikes! Guess I should have been more clear!

I'm all for vigorous discussion and debate. I was referring to the discussion re Alt Views, passwords, etc. That's all I was referring to as "bickering." It just struck me as a discussion that could occur offline.

Peace.
Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:29 AM   #523
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One question that has been gnawing at me over the last few months as I have read all of the discussions on this forum is who are the real Christians? We have listed "beliefs" of fundamentalists and discussed fundamentalism but who are the real Christians? I think there are several parts to this question. However, this does not assume that everyone has had the Christian born-again experience. The real Christians are:
  1. Those who say they hold all of the fundamentalist beliefs but whose life doesn't reflect the values presented in the gospels? They may even read the Bible and attend church regularly and pray.
  2. Like those who are in the LC which teaches another gospel?
  3. Those who live the values of the NT but don't necessarily agree with all the fundamentalist beliefs? (also see #6)
  4. Those who attend an Evangelical Church, don't really understand what they believe, shout Hallelujah and Praise the Lord and use Christian language throughout the week? However, they are more interested in monetary gain then Christian values and say, "the poor you will have with you always" and indicate that the Bible teaches people to accumulate wealth.
  5. Those who quote Bible verses, pray occasionally, etc, don't attend church very often and don't communicate much with other Christians other than make comments on a forum sounding like they are Christians....in other words, they have the form of Christianity but there is no substance in their lives?
  6. Those like Albert Schweitzer who is well known for his efforts as a medical missionary but made statements such as this, "The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the kingdom of God, who founded the kingdom of heaven upon earth and died to give his work its final consecration never existed. He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism, and clothed by modern theology in a historical garb. This image has not been destroyed from outside; it has fallen to pieces from the inside."? In other words he doesn't hold the fundamentalist beliefs but his life work reflects what Christianity is all about.
  7. Those who hold the fundamentalists beliefs, pray, attend church, read and study their Bible, communicate with and support other Christians, but also support the poor, destitute and downtrodden etc.?
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:57 PM   #524
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One question that has been gnawing at me over the last few months as I have read all of the discussions on this forum is who are the real Christians?
Even though your questions are at least rhetorical, and actually seem more like declarations than questions, I'll play along for a moment.

Your "questions" remind me a lot of what the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, except that that he was answering the question "Who are the real Jews?"
Quote:
For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. Romans 2:25-29
Now this covers the "moral" part of the question, but for the real nuts and bolts, rubber-meeting-the-road answer, I suggest we go to person for whom "Christians" are supposedly named - Jesus Christ. At some point in his ministry the Lord Jesus gave his disciples a pop quiz of sorts:
Quote:
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Now we're gettin somewhere! I would submit the main thing here is "revealed this to you". A true Christian, according to the man for whom the Movement is named, is someone who has had a "revelation of Jesus Christ", this is a spiritual revelation which is only revealed by God Himself. Of course there are other important "fundamental" accouterments in the true born again, saving faith, such as repentance and acknowledgement and belief in the sacraficial death and bodily resurrection of Christ, but without this revelation it all can be just as circumcision was to many of the Jews there in Rome in Paul's day.

I'm sure you're familiar with the quote from Ghandi "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." What Ghandi was reacting to, I'm quite certain, was seeing the actions and attitudes of of a people who held to a certain religious belief but never had a true revelation of Christ. But the thing is, and there is no way around this, Christ never asked us to like him, he asked firstly for us to believe into him and what he said about himself and his Father. Only later does he say "pick up your cross and follow me". Your questions, my friend Dave, reflect your observation of the great majority of "Christians" who are spiritually unable to fulfill what the apostle Paul called "to live is Christ". They are impotent for many reasons - too many to get into right here - but it all comes down to the abject fact that many have not had a genuine spiritual regeneration. They have had the physical "circumcision" (so to speak), but they have not had the circumcision which "is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter".

Anyone who has not had a genuine spiritual regeneration, actually and truly born again, IN MY OPINION, is really not a Christian at all. They may be very religious and even do everything "by the letter", and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles, but they have not become a son of God. They may still need to have the spiritual epiphany of "You are the Christ! The Son of the living God!".

But hey, this is America and anybody can call themselves anything they want, including "Christian".
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:25 PM   #525
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One question that has been gnawing at me over the last few months as I have read all of the discussions on this forum is who are the real Christians?
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. . . I would submit the main thing here is "revealed this to you" . . .
. . . anybody can call themselves anything they want, including "Christian".

If I determined what a Christian is by everyone that calls themselves one, I'd never be able to define what or who a Christian is. Neither would I want to call myself a Christian based upon some that go by that name. Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, come to mind. Watchman Nee and Witness Lee also. I don't want to be associated with them. If they are Christians then I'm not.

Even if -- and perhaps especially so -- "the Father has revealed it to me."

UntoHim makes an undeniable point. In a nutshell, only God knows who are the real Christians. It takes God to make 'em. It requires a revealing from the Father.

For example, for all I know, all those I listed above may be real Christians. And UntoHim, after all he wrote in his grand Christian sounding post, may not be.

I don't even know about myself. I'd hate for what it is to be a real Christian to be define by me.

Maybe there's only one that lives up to the name ... and all of us fail to be the or a model of what a real Christian is.

Ultimately, honestly, I can't answer Daves' question.

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Old 01-03-2015, 10:05 PM   #526
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Anyone who has not had a genuine spiritual regeneration, actually and truly born again, IN MY OPINION, is really not a Christian at all. They may be very religious and even do everything "by the letter", and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles, but they have not become a son of God. They may still need to have the spiritual epiphany of "You are the Christ! The Son of the living God!".
Reading the letters of Ignatius as he was on his way to martyrdom in Rome I came across one letter he wrote to the Romans. He asked the Rome church not to interfere with his martyrdom. Although he was eventually burned at the stake he thought he was going to be torn apart by wild beasts and he indicates that he wants to suffer as much as he can as Christ suffered. In fact he indicates that he wants the wild beasts to consume his entire body so nothing is left. He tells the Rome church that if they interfere with his martyrdom then it will be problematic for him. He states,

"I bid all men know that of my own free will I die for God, unless ye should hinder me... Let me be given to the wild beasts, for through them I can attain unto God. I am God's wheat, and I am ground by the wild beasts that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Entice the wild beasts that they may become my sepulchre...; come fire and cross and grapplings with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, hacking of limbs, crushings of my whole body; only be it mine to attain unto Jesus Christ"

Polycarp, Justin and others were also martyred. Interestingly, however, they were not martyred because they were Christians since being a Christian was not illegal but for other reasons (they wouldn't worship the state gods). We know that Nero persecuted them but that was localized and he used them as scapegoats for the burning of Rome. It should be noted that Jews were not persecuted because they would not worship the state gods mainly because they were considered a religion of antiquity. Christianity was just an upstart religion. Of course, Ignatius thought he was being martyred because of his faith and maybe that is sufficient or maybe he just got carried away. My point is, is this the real Christian or just having the attitude of an Ignatius?
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revealed to you
I agree that it should require revelation and a genuine transformation but most on this forum claim that they have experienced regeneration so are we left with some ambiguity? In other words, most if not all on this forum claim that they are Christians who have had a regenerative experience with Christ...So they have had the revelation but when we look at Albert Schweitzer compared to Ignatius or others the questions remain especially as we ask the questions of 1-7 or do we just say "only God knows". I am fairly confident how I view a real Christian and it may contrast with your perceptions of a real Christian. It appears based on the first quote above that you would not agree that it doesn't matter what your "fundamentalist" beliefs are but it is the way you live your life that counts even if you originally had a regenerative experience. Or do you get around that by saying if you are not living by fundamentalist or Evangelical beliefs now you really weren't regenerated to begin with which is the way some Baptists view it?

Thanks for responding!
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:18 AM   #527
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Reading the letters of Ignatius as he was on his way to martyrdom in Rome I came across one letter he wrote to the Romans. He asked the Rome church not to interfere with his martyrdom.
Just like Muslim martyrs today Christians back in Ignatius' day believed that Christian martyrs went straight to heaven.

In the HBO documentary "Questioning Darwin" I was struck by interviews with fundamentalist Christians that were schooling very young children about the early Christian martyrs. They were using the early Christian martyrs to indoctrinated these young ones that as they grow up they can expect to be persecuted, ridiculed, and mocked, for their belief in the Bible and creationism. By such indoctrination they were essentially locking these children into a intellectual prison. This revealed to me that by using the example of the early Christian martyrs, these fundamentalist creationist Christians are a cult.

And their Holy of Holies today is right here in Kentucky, at the Creation Museum.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:18 PM   #528
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Just like Muslim martyrs today Christians back in Ignatius' day believed that Christian martyrs went straight to heaven.

In the HBO documentary "Questioning Darwin" I was struck by interviews with fundamentalist Christians that were schooling very young children about the early Christian martyrs. They were using the early Christian martyrs to indoctrinated these young ones that as they grow up they can expect to be persecuted, ridiculed, and mocked, for their belief in the Bible and creationism. By such indoctrination they were essentially locking these children into a intellectual prison. This revealed to me that by using the example of the early Christian martyrs, these fundamentalist creationist Christians are a cult.

And their Holy of Holies today is right here in Kentucky, at the Creation Museum.
So is that picture from the creationism museum?

Interesting about Ignatius when he said, "Entice the wild beasts..." He is asking the church members to help him become eaten alive. This is all R rated stuff or worse. I find it interesting that Paul, Polycarp, Ignatius and others write these letters while they are in prison or being transported to Rome for their martyrdom which gives the letters more import. Are these the real Christians whose lives we should follow? These are definitely the "hot" Christians and not the lukewarm ones who will be spewed out of the mouth of Christ.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:03 PM   #529
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One question that has been gnawing at me over the last few months as I have read all of the discussions on this forum is who are the real Christians? We have listed "beliefs" of fundamentalists and discussed fundamentalism but who are the real Christians? I think there are several parts to this question. However, this does not assume that everyone has had the Christian born-again experience. The real Christians are:
  1. Those who say they hold all of the fundamentalist beliefs but whose life doesn't reflect the values presented in the gospels? They may even read the Bible and attend church regularly and pray.
  2. Like those who are in the LC which teaches another gospel?
  3. Those who live the values of the NT but don't necessarily agree with all the fundamentalist beliefs? (also see #6)
  4. Those who attend an Evangelical Church, don't really understand what they believe, shout Hallelujah and Praise the Lord and use Christian language throughout the week? However, they are more interested in monetary gain then Christian values and say, "the poor you will have with you always" and indicate that the Bible teaches people to accumulate wealth.
  5. Those who quote Bible verses, pray occasionally, etc, don't attend church very often and don't communicate much with other Christians other than make comments on a forum sounding like they are Christians....in other words, they have the form of Christianity but there is no substance in their lives?
  6. Those like Albert Schweitzer who is well known for his efforts as a medical missionary but made statements such as this, "The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the kingdom of God, who founded the kingdom of heaven upon earth and died to give his work its final consecration never existed. He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism, and clothed by modern theology in a historical garb. This image has not been destroyed from outside; it has fallen to pieces from the inside."? In other words he doesn't hold the fundamentalist beliefs but his life work reflects what Christianity is all about.
  7. Those who hold the fundamentalists beliefs, pray, attend church, read and study their Bible, communicate with and support other Christians, but also support the poor, destitute and downtrodden etc.?
I like Dave's list. But I think it is incomplete. The first question missing question is what is it to be "born again" and does the typical evangelical definition of "born again" actually reflect what Jesus meant as he used the term when speaking to Nicodemus? While on one hand we have endeavored to discover what are true fundamentals and what are commonly thought of as fundamentals (not really the same list, although there is overlap), haven't we also determined that to some extent it is possible that as fundamental as even the shortest list may be, there it may be that there is even less of that which must be believed for "salvation?"

And for me, one of the problems with the whole "born again" thinking is that over the past 100 – 200 years being born again has been distilled down to a decision made at some kind of real or created point of crisis to make a prayer or statement about belief in Christ. But since that is so strongly held as a central tenet of fundamental belief, then there is a problem when the understanding is that "whosoever believes," not "whosoever believed" has eternal life. "We" as evangelical/fundamentalists so often see salvation as this event that happened, past tense, when the only thing that is currently understood as truly past tense is the death and resurrection of Jesus.

And to throw a monkey wrench into much of the standard evangelical/fundamental thinking on this subject, what if someone never has such a crisis moment during which a line of demarcation between their own personal understanding of "not saved" and "saved" is crossed? Say someone who is brought up in and older, non-evangelical tradition that teaches belief and obedience together as the path of the Christian? Do we declare that those who believe in Jesus within that system cannot be "saved" because they cannot separate their belief from their obedience (and therefore works)? Is belief in Jesus null and void if you don't clearly understand that the one thing that made you "saved" was only by your faith and not the works? Does the fact that there were works even before you clearly believed deny you the gift of God's grace?

Therefore, the question is, if you don't realize that your works were not involved in your becoming "born again" is your faith and belief in Jesus nullified?

If the answer to the above question is "no" then I propose that most of the categories of people on the list I quoted may be Christian, yet may not be Christian. The real thing is that being a Christian is about belief — not just claimed intellectual assent to facts, but living in a manner that it is evident that you believe. This does not dictate any specific mix of actions, works, worship, affiliation, etc., to be a Christian. But certain of those are things that we so often look at when we are trying to determine whether we think someone else is a Christian. Yet, while not entirely definitive, it would seem that claiming to believe should be among the more prominent things we rely on because that is an affirmation. And claiming to believe is not synonymous with claiming to have undertaken any kind of evangelical "decision for Christ."

On the other hand, James very prominently stated that faith without works isn't really faith. But then what are the right works. And how much continued human error is a detractor from whatever the real works are? Or said differently, now much lack of visible evidence of faith is evidence of no faith? Even James did not state that those he was chastising had no faith. But instead he said their faith was dead.

So if I must believe to be saved, and my belief/faith is dead, do I believe?

That is the real question. And the one that the Evangelicals (of which I am a part) and Fundamentalists typically do not ask.

And the one that brings the whole "line-in-the-sand" demarcation into question.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:37 AM   #530
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If the answer to the above question is "no" then I propose that most of the categories of people on the list I quoted may be Christian, yet may not be Christian. The real thing is that being a Christian is about belief — not just claimed intellectual assent to facts, but living in a manner that it is evident that you believe. This does not dictate any specific mix of actions, works, worship, affiliation, etc., to be a Christian. But certain of those are things that we so often look at when we are trying to determine whether we think someone else is a Christian. Yet, while not entirely definitive, it would seem that claiming to believe should be among the more prominent things we rely on because that is an affirmation. And claiming to believe is not synonymous with claiming to have undertaken any kind of evangelical "decision for Christ."

On the other hand, James very prominently stated that faith without works isn't really faith. But then what are the right works. And how much continued human error is a detractor from whatever the real works are? Or said differently, now much lack of visible evidence of faith is evidence of no faith? Even James did not state that those he was chastising had no faith. But instead he said their faith was dead.

So if I must believe to be saved, and my belief/faith is dead, do I believe?

That is the real question. And the one that the Evangelicals (of which I am a part) and Fundamentalists typically do not ask.

And the one that brings the whole "line-in-the-sand" demarcation into question.
Your statement is certainly to be considered in regards to the real Christian. It is about belief and yet what about works?

But what is belief? Let me use an example. In Genesis we know that God created Adam and then Eve was created out of the rib of Adam. In Genesis 3 the serpent enters the picture. We also know that God spoke to Adam and Eve. The serpent spoke to Eve in Chapter 3. Christians believe that the OT and NT are literally the spoken word of God. Okay, then do we assume that both God, Adam, Eve and the Serpent spoke fluent Hebrew? In other words, God created Adam and Adam immediately was fully fluent in the Hebrew language and had all of his faculties understanding what just happened. Eve was formed out of the rib of Adam and boom she was fully cogent of the Hebrew language and was fully cognizant of what just happened. Obviously the serpent knew that they spoke Hebrew so he spoke to Eve in Hebrew. In order for God to speak to his creations he had to speak Hebrew. It wasn't until Genesis 11 with the Tower of Babel that other languages were developed. Thus, the history of the development of language. There is a term for this: Edenics.

In other words you have to believe this story or some semblance of it to be a Christian according to the Evangelicals. But what if you say it is just folklore and don't believe it is literally true. Are you still a real Christian?
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:49 PM   #531
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In other words you have to believe this story or some semblance of it to be a Christian according to the Evangelicals. But what if you say it is just folklore and don't believe it is literally true. Are you still a real Christian?
So considering that it might be that God set the universe in motion, and set a sequence of events to happening that caused limited life to both remain, and to slowly create other life — all in concert with the plan. And as these things continued over millions (billions?) of years, there eventually was a being unlike the others (although with some visual similarity to the apes) that God had intended to be the ones that he would imbue with special faculties (higher order thinking ability, and whatever it is that is called "spirit," among a few others). When was this? Not clear. After that time, there was something that happened that caused these humans (that what we now call them) to be cut off from the kind of fellowship with God that had gone before. Were there still only two? Or were there many more at that time? Not sure. And not sure it really matters (although certain theologians are determined that it has to be simply Adam and Eve since that is how it is referred to all the way into the NT). Was the flood as simplistic as described? Was it as close to the time of Abraham as it seems to be indicated in the Bible (while other peoples already had alternate versions of the story)?

But the most important thing is whether any of this is reason to dismiss God or the Bible? Those earliest portions were written in whatever kind of Hebrew was around at the time of Moses since he is the original historian. Got translated over time, eventually into Greek.

I would say that the stories are true in figure, and possibly true in detail. But what I think about them is not the key to salvation. If I believe that the one true God sent his son to earth and his name was Jesus, then that is the thing required. In the OT, we learn about God shepherding his people through difficult times in an era in which wars of serious casualty was the way of life in a fallen world. But in the gospels we are introduced to the way of God in a more complete way. Love God, love your neighbor, and live righteously. And believe in the Son of God for the forgiveness of your sins.

Just one possible version of the history that would fit within the miniscule amount of vague verbiage provided in the early chapters of Genesis.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:17 AM   #532
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So is that picture from the creationism museum?
So far I haven't been crazy enough to actually go to the Creation Museum. I'm just following it and keeping up with its development. The Commonwealth is now funding their next attraction: The Ark Encounter. I got the picture of riding a dinosaur by googling images for the Creation Museum. They do teach that man and dinosaurs lived together, and have pictures of humans riding them. You can even get your picture taken riding a dinosaur.

I think Mike's point of "creativity" applies here.

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Interesting about Ignatius when he said, "Entice the wild beasts..." He is asking the church members to help him become eaten alive. This is all R rated stuff or worse. I find it interesting that Paul, Polycarp, Ignatius and others write these letters while they are in prison or being transported to Rome for their martyrdom which gives the letters more import. Are these the real Christians whose lives we should follow? These are definitely the "hot" Christians and not the lukewarm ones who will be spewed out of the mouth of Christ.
I wonder how many would be Christians today if it meant being martyred?
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:05 PM   #533
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I would say that the stories are true in figure, and possibly true in detail. But what I think about them is not the key to salvation. If I believe that the one true God sent his son to earth and his name was Jesus, then that is the thing required. In the OT, we learn about God shepherding his people through difficult times in an era in which wars of serious casualty was the way of life in a fallen world. But in the gospels we are introduced to the way of God in a more complete way. Love God, love your neighbor, and live righteously. And believe in the Son of God for the forgiveness of your sins.

Just one possible version of the history that would fit within the miniscule amount of vague verbiage provided in the early chapters of Genesis.
You run into all kinds of problems with a literal interpretation of scripture. What they had to do in the 4th and 5th Century is just make stuff up to fit their theology. Paul never wrote that there was a Trinity or that Jesus was both God and Man since both of those are called mysteries. They can't be understood any other way. Genesis 1-3 is a mystery. The different accounts of Luke and Matthew's rendition of the virgin birth to include the virgin birth itself are also mysteries. The different contradictory acounts in the gospels of the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, etc are all mysteries. Jesus' appearance to all of the different people after his resurrection are simply mysteries.

What about the mystery of Matt 27:51-53, "And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.…" Whatever happened to all those people who were raised out of their tombs and entered the city---a mystery.

My story is simple---I accepted Jesus as my personal savior back in August 1964 and then I believed everything that Christians around me told me to believe to include all the mysteries I have listed above. I never questioned a thing. I went to Bible College shortly thereafter for about 3 years until I ran into Karl Hammond who introduced me to the local church Santa Cruz. I had never questioned the Bible since it was the Word of God. Like all of us I became very active in the LC but after two migrations I wondered what is going on around here. I remember thinking at one point in a meeting, do I really want to raise my chldren in this environment? I left the LC, started attending another church AOG but after awhile just didn't feel comfortable in it or couldn't get into it even though the Pastor had me teaching adult Sunday School. I tried a couple other churches but they didn't work for me. Let's face it --- not a lot of it makes sense but people believe it on faith and give up on trying to figure it out. However, people also rationalize it or try to explain the contradictions away. It's true, if you have faith you don't need to understand any of it.

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I wonder how many would be Christians today if it meant being martyred?
When you look at this country which started democracy with the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact promoting religious freedom as they fled from England and the Anglican church think about how many Native Americans were killed, how many slaves we brought over here in the name of Christianity etc. Once the Christians had the upper hand they were making martyrs of everyone else. Of course, many "Christians" were martyred during the middle ages by the RCC with the Inquisition who were also the Christians of the day. Fortunately today we do have the freedom to speak our own opinions without being persecuted...even if we don't fit into the square peg of fundamental Christianity.
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:32 PM   #534
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What's funny about this whole thread is that there is a significant part of Evangelicalism that goes to great lengths to separate themselves from the modern Christian fundamentalists. And at some level, I believe rightly so. They like to think of themselves as nice fundamentalists (they believe in the fundamentals without the finger-pointing and wall building that seems to go on within fundamentalism).

The problem is that there are foam-at-the-mouth fundamentalists imbedded within the Evangelicals, so it is hard for many of them to actually make the claim. They want to. And try to. But there are too many ready to change churches over a 6-day creation, picket every business that hires gays, and fight to bring American back to God and its rightful place being blessed by God (as they speed down the highway with their radar detector . . . gag me with a spoon — please!).
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:11 PM   #535
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What's funny about this whole thread is that there is a significant part of Evangelicalism that goes to great lengths to separate themselves from the modern Christian fundamentalists. And at some level, I believe rightly so. They like to think of themselves as nice fundamentalists (they believe in the fundamentals without the finger-pointing and wall building that seems to go on within fundamentalism).

The problem is that there are foam-at-the-mouth fundamentalists imbedded within the Evangelicals, so it is hard for many of them to actually make the claim. They want to. And try to. But there are too many ready to change churches over a 6-day creation, picket every business that hires gays, and fight to bring American back to God and its rightful place being blessed by God (as they speed down the highway with their radar detector . . . gag me with a spoon — please!).
Along with that is the violence that goes on in this Christian country. Can you imagine Jesus saying "Granny get your gun" which seems to be the heartbeat of the Bible belt. We have the most violence of any developed country, the most people in prison per capita, one of the worst health care systems for the poor of any developed country. Even Cuba does a better job of treating everyone even though in some of their rural areas as I found out when I was there it certainly is not perfect. We are also one of the richest countries using up more resources then any other country.

Where is Jesus in all of this? Where are the Evangelicals in trying to make this a better world? Jesus has left the country. The problem is that Evangelicals apparently think --- read your Bible, pray and shout Hallelujah and the rest will take care of itself. It doesn't mean they don't give money but consider someone like Bill Gates who gives away billions to help the world's most poverty stricken countries fight disease and poverty. He doesn't do it as a Christian but as a humanitarian. Again, what would Jesus do? Would he even visit any of the Evangelical churches?
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:02 PM   #536
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Along with that is the violence that goes on in this Christian country. Can you imagine Jesus saying "Granny get your gun" which seems to be the heartbeat of the Bible belt. We have the most violence of any developed country, the most people in prison per capita, one of the worst health care systems for the poor of any developed country. Even Cuba does a better job of treating everyone even though in some of their rural areas as I found out when I was there it certainly is not perfect. We are also one of the richest countries using up more resources then any other country.
The reason for US's many problems is regulatory capture and government corruption

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture

which I believe is so deep now that there's probably not much anyone can do about it. Ironically what led me to Jesus after being a lukewarm Christian most of my life started with investigating blatant fraud in the metals market and why it was never addressed that led me down a huge rabbit hole...

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...0130425?page=2

There's an oligarchy running everything while the American public is asleep listening to Katy Perry or watching American Idol. The best we can do is as Jesus said is to be the salt of the earth. The world is moving towards a certain direction, all we can do is to slow it down by loving our neighbor including the poor and downtrodden and giving people the only true hope which is in Jesus Christ, our hope of glory.
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:51 PM   #537
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The reason for US's many problems is regulatory capture and government corruption

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture

which I believe is so deep now that there's probably not much anyone can do about it. Ironically what led me to Jesus after being a lukewarm Christian most of my life started with investigating blatant fraud in the metals market and why it was never addressed that led me down a huge rabbit hole...

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...0130425?page=2

There's an oligarchy running everything while the American public is asleep listening to Katy Perry or watching American Idol. The best we can do is as Jesus said is to be the salt of the earth. The world is moving towards a certain direction, all we can do is to slow it down by loving our neighbor including the poor and downtrodden and giving people the only true hope which is in Jesus Christ, our hope of glory.
I think you nailed it... In Gal. 2:10 Paul writes, "They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do." We need to remember that Paul's letters to different churches were mainly to address a variety of problems whether it was in Corinth, Philippians, churches of Galatia etc. These were specific letters to specific churches and yet we take them as though they were written to us. My point is that despite all the issues he was addressing he writes, "They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor..." They asked only one thing.... What drives me crazy is this doctrinal differentiation. So what if you are doctrinally correct...I find it distasteful...it divides people and it always has.... Why don't we get on the same page? They asked only one thing....that we remember the poor...read the verses before this one and you will see the importance of it.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:25 PM   #538
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Along with that is the violence that goes on in this Christian country. Can you imagine Jesus saying "Granny get your gun" which seems to be the heartbeat of the Bible belt. We have the most violence of any developed country, the most people in prison per capita, one of the worst health care systems for the poor of any developed country. Even Cuba does a better job of treating everyone even though in some of their rural areas as I found out when I was there it certainly is not perfect. We are also one of the richest countries using up more resources then any other country.
There's 300+ million people in this country. Why the need to make these generalizations?
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:30 PM   #539
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What's funny about this whole thread is that there is a significant part of Evangelicalism that goes to great lengths to separate themselves from the modern Christian fundamentalists. And at some level, I believe rightly so. They like to think of themselves as nice fundamentalists (they believe in the fundamentals without the finger-pointing and wall building that seems to go on within fundamentalism).

The problem is that there are foam-at-the-mouth fundamentalists imbedded within the Evangelicals, so it is hard for many of them to actually make the claim. They want to. And try to. But there are too many ready to change churches over a 6-day creation, picket every business that hires gays, and fight to bring American back to God and its rightful place being blessed by God (as they speed down the highway with their radar detector . . . gag me with a spoon — please!).
At the end of the day, how big are these groups relative to the world as a whole? As I just pointed out, there are 300+ million people in the US. While that's an awful lot of folks to be generalizing about (my last post), the flip side of the coin is, it's still just ~5% of the world's population.

And as for the Lord's Recovery, it is a minority that live in the US. It is a minority that live in the Western Hemisphere. Do we really believe that self-described "evangelicalism" or "fundamentalism" is the destination for most departed Lord's Recovery members? What makes people so certain about the correct path to take?
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:32 PM   #540
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At the end of the day, how big are these groups relative to the world as a whole? As I just pointed out, there are 300+ million people in the US. While that's an awful lot of folks to be generalizing about (my last post), the flip side of the coin is, it's still just ~5% of the world's population.

And as for the Lord's Recovery, it is a minority that live in the US. It is a minority that live in the Western Hemisphere. Do we really believe that self-described "evangelicalism" or "fundamentalism" is the destination for most departed Lord's Recovery members? What makes people so certain about the correct path to take?
In the scheme of things God is counting on me and God is counting on you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvnsB_kVNYI It takes individuals to make a difference.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:51 PM   #541
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There's 300+ million people in this country. Why the need to make these generalizations?
This is primarily a Christian country and always has been. These are not generalizations. They are all realities--we do have the most crimes, violent crimes in the developed countries per capita. We do have the most individuals in prison per capita. I am not making this up. Our health care system sucks when it comes to the poor compared to other developed nations per capita. I don't care if we are 300 million or 20 million we stand out like a sore thumb. We are the only developed nation that has capital punishment, we scarcely have any significant gun laws compared to the other developed nations....I don't need to make this up...check it out.
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:55 AM   #542
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This is primarily a Christian country and always has been. These are not generalizations. They are all realities--we do have the most crimes, violent crimes in the developed countries per capita. We do have the most individuals in prison per capita. I am not making this up. Our health care system sucks when it comes to the poor compared to other developed nations per capita. I don't care if we are 300 million or 20 million we stand out like a sore thumb. We are the only developed nation that has capital punishment, we scarcely have any significant gun laws compared to the other developed nations....I don't need to make this up...check it out.
Well, I went to college, too, Dave. Yes, approx 73-76% of the US identifies as Christian, depending on which surveys we consult. But it sounds a little like saying that if a community church is in a neighborhood, and crimes or bad things occur in that neighborhood, then that is automatically a reflection on the neighborhood church.

I'm not a Christian myself, but I'll be the first to acknowledge that a Christian church has the potential to foster peace and good will in a community.

In any event, there are plenty of Americans who wish that America were more like Europe. That's fine. But maybe all these statistics comparing the US w/the so-called "developed world" are mostly about saying, "Why aren't we more like Europe?" (Maybe cuz...we're not Europe? I don't know...)

Lumping together the populations of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union (and including Norway + Switzerland which are not part of the EU), we have a total of ~900 million people. If we include Russia (which you're probably not including as a "developed nation"?), that brings us between 1.0-1.1 billion people. Either way, this construct of "developed nations" apparently includes 15% or less of the world's 7 billion people.

The US has a frontier tradition and gun laws which have certainly resulted in high violent crime in the present day. As for healthcare, I have a funny feeling that there are some poor Gypsies and poor Algerian immigrants, in various places in Europe, who might (just might) not get the best healthcare in the world. But...I could be wrong...
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:15 AM   #543
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Well, I went to college, too, Dave. Yes, approx 73-76% of the US identifies as Christian, depending on which surveys we consult. But it sounds a little like saying that if a community church is in a neighborhood, and crimes or bad things occur in that neighborhood, then that is automatically a reflection on the neighborhood church.

I'm not a Christian myself, but I'll be the first to acknowledge that a Christian church has the potential to foster peace and good will in a community.

In any event, there are plenty of Americans who wish that America were more like Europe. That's fine. But maybe all these statistics comparing the US w/the so-called "developed world" are mostly about saying, "Why aren't we more like Europe?" (Maybe cuz...we're not Europe? I don't know...)

Lumping together the populations of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union (and including Norway + Switzerland which are not part of the EU), we have a total of ~900 million people. If we include Russia (which you're probably not including as a "developed nation"?), that brings us between 1.0-1.1 billion people. Either way, this construct of "developed nations" apparently includes 15% or less of the world's 7 billion people.

The US has a frontier tradition and gun laws which have certainly resulted in high violent crime in the present day. As for healthcare, I have a funny feeling that there are some poor Gypsies and poor Algerian immigrants, in various places in Europe, who might (just might) not get the best healthcare in the world. But...I could be wrong...
Living in several countries in Europe is not ideal. I have friends with a couple homes in Italy and that country is in serious difficulty financially as well as a significant influx of immigrants. In the US we are rebounding from a serious recession. Quite frankly, my life is ideal. I have a great very active wife. Right now she is part of a team spotting Right whales along the coast to keep track of them. I live a couple blocks from the ocean, in a warm climate, a small city etc. I can go fishing or kayaking, biking almost the entire year. I have always had health insurance. My kids are a couple hours away. We are part of an interfaith group which feeds the poor every day and involved in providing temporary housing until people can get on their feet. I have already mentioned that my wife has been involved with the local free medical clinic. Our church has been involved with Habitat to build homes for people. My wife is president of the local community garden teaching people how to grow their own food.

I have seen first hand the change in our economy when people who were middle class lost their jobs and were in lines for food for the homeless with their kids or came to the Food Pantry for food. We have to start with our local community. I have spoken to many people who don't have health insurance and have to use the emergency room every time they have a health problem. I am sure this is going on where you are located.

To me it is not statistics, it's personal and fundamentalist Christians if they were living their faith should be at the forefront of taking care of the downtrodden, poor, the sick etc and unfortunately from what I see they are not. They even vote against aid to those in dire straits. My cousin who is a fundamentalist said to me, "the poor you have with you always' but God said we should gather wealth and that is very typical of the fundamentalists I have met. Don't get me wrong there are some who have a love for people but they are more the exception.

You can probably listen to any mega-church fundamentalist Minister on Sunday on TV and they won't be talking about caring for the needy. They will be quoting the Bible but not Gal. 2:10.

Fundamentalist Christians are the most likely to belong to the NRA especially in the South, against universal healthcare, against funding the poor, etc. This is their legacy.
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:47 AM   #544
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To me it is not statistics, it's personal and fundamentalist Christians if they were living their faith should be at the forefront of taking care of the downtrodden, poor, the sick etc and unfortunately from what I see they are not. They even vote against aid to those in dire straits. My cousin who is a fundamentalist said to me, "the poor you have with you always' but God said we should gather wealth and that is very typical of the fundamentalists I have met. Don't get me wrong there are some who have a love for people but they are more the exception.

Fundamentalist Christians are the most likely to belong to the NRA especially in the South, against universal healthcare, against funding the poor, etc. This is their legacy.
So judgmental Dave ... you obviously have maintained all these years the "disease" you caught from Lee. And like Lee, you are always tooting your own horn ... have you also forgotten the scripture, "let him who boasts, let him boast in the Lord."
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:35 AM   #545
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Living in several countries in Europe is not ideal. I have friends with a couple homes in Italy and that country is in serious difficulty financially as well as a significant influx of immigrants...
OK, so...living in Italy is not ideal. Living in Paris is, apparently, not ideal. Where exactly is this magical other "developed" world you're comparing the United States to?
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:57 AM   #546
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In any event, I think these issues tend to be very complex. Believing that a federalized healthcare program is a poor policy decision may just be an excuse for not wanting to help anybody. Or, it may be an informed opinion that takes into account a variety of factors, economic and social, that push and pull against each other.

It's great that you help in a food pantry and community garden in a well-to-do area near a beach. I believe this kind of local involvement can be quite rewarding. But it doesn't really have that much to do with how one votes (or, wishes they could vote) in regards to macrogovernmental policy.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:35 AM   #547
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OK, so...living in Italy is not ideal. Living in Paris is, apparently, not ideal. Where exactly is this magical other "developed" world you're comparing the United States to?
There ... you had to go and do it didn't you? You just popped the liberal bubble!

Just like Toto pulling open the curtain on the wise ole wizard ...

Liberals are always hatin' on christians and the usa ... Claiming to be looking for a better place ... Only found on the flat screen ..
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:03 PM   #548
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OK, so...living in Italy is not ideal. Living in Paris is, apparently, not ideal. Where exactly is this magical other "developed" world you're comparing the United States to?
I am not going to list them all but I have friends in Canada and they love it and indicate that those in the US who make hay about universal healthcare don't know what they are talking about. I have friends who are millionaires and rave about Denmark whose son was living there for a few years whom they visited. Check out Finland, Germany etc. I am not sure why you are mentioning Paris just because they had a terrorist attack. I met several from that area when I was in Cuba who are quite happy to be living in France. Our country has its pluses, that's why I live here but areas that are problematic (e.g. healthcare) are the areas I noted. I have had healthcare my entire life so it is not my issue. It's just the rest of the country that has a problem. We are/were supposed to be the richest people who ever lived on this earth and we can't provide healthcare to our population.

As I noted earlier I had a physical problem develop when I was in Cuba and went to the emergency room in Baracoa which is a small seaside city. Their facilities weren't perfect but they had several doctors to include specialists who checked me out and their care was great. No cost. Try that in the US. You may not know this but Cuba has sent many of their well trained doctors to Venezuela to help them out with a shortage of doctors.
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:18 PM   #549
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We are/were supposed to be the richest people who ever lived on this earth and we can't provide healthcare to our population.
18 Trillion in debt? That makes us the richest?
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:39 PM   #550
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We are/were supposed to be the richest people who ever lived on this earth and we can't provide healthcare to our population.
Who made that rule?

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As I noted earlier I had a physical problem develop when I was in Cuba and went to the emergency room in Baracoa which is a small seaside city. Their facilities weren't perfect but they had several doctors to include specialists who checked me out and their care was great. No cost. Try that in the US.
That's great! And if you're going to assume that every Cuban Joe Schmoe gets the same treatment as a well-to-do, educated American tourist, then you're free to make that assumption. And I hope that assumption is correct.

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You may not know this but Cuba has sent many of their well trained doctors to Venezuela to help them out with a shortage of doctors.
That's great, too! I also know that when Hugo Chavez was in charge, he shut down entire media outlets for daring to disagree with him over the airwaves, just like any right-wing or left-wing dictator does. And I also know there are progressive-minded professors here in the States who practically professed undying love for Mr Chavez, and seemed to have no problem looking the other way at his authoritarian practices.

There's plenty to go around.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:45 PM   #551
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Who made that rule?
Let's look at Norway which is ranked higher (4th) per capita than the US (we are currently 6th but most of the countries higher are much smaller (Luxemberg), financial districts (Singapore), Arab countries (Qatar), or a country like Norway with considerable resources (in any case considering our size we are the runaway winner for wealth): What is life like in a truly liberal capitalist country such as Norway? It is better than life in the USA. Let’s take a look at a key economic statistic.
Per capita income: USA = $50,789, Norway = $58,645
Taxes as a percentage of GDP: USA = 25% Norway = 41%
The Norwegian tax system is more “progressive” than the system in the USA: Poor people pay much less; Wealthy people (and corporations) pay much more — with fewer tax loop-holes and government subsidies.
And what do Norwegians get for their higher taxes? Extensive cradle-to-grave social services: health care, education, child day care, libraries, recreation and arts facilities — plus an extensive public transportation system. These are free or are offered at low cost, subsidized by taxes.

For eight years Norway has had the United Nations’ #1 ranking in “Quality of Life,” which is based on a number of factors such as income, life expectancy, college graduation rates, etc. As a result of lower taxes and higher levels of social services, there are far fewer truly “poor” people in Norway than in the USA.

The fundamental argument for making Norway's economy even more conservative is that “we will all be better off if the forces of unregulated free-market capitalism are allowed to prevail.” Norway proves this is not true (as do most of the other nations of Western Europe, by the way.)

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That's great! And if you're going to assume that every Cuban Joe Schmoe gets the same treatment as a well-to-do, educated American tourist, then you're free to make that assumption. And I hope that assumption is correct.
Unfortunately I received the same care as any Cuban Joe Schmoe---there is no discrimination. I was fortunate to have Cuban friends bring me there to explain what was going on.
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That's great, too! I also know that when Hugo Chavez was in charge, he shut down entire media outlets for daring to disagree with him over the airwaves, just like any right-wing or left-wing dictator does. And I also know there are progressive-minded professors here in the States who practically professed undying love for Mr Chavez, and seemed to have no problem looking the other way at his authoritarian practices.
I am not saying I agree with Chavez' politics, I am only pointing out that Cuba has heavily invested in their medical system and can provide this kind of support.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:49 PM   #552
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Turned into a real pissing contest this. Nice.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:29 PM   #553
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Turned into a real pissing contest this. Nice.
Pissing contests are not unique to humans. Trevor Corson's The Secret Life of Lobsters describes a pissing match between lobsters:
The American lobster urinates not from some posterior region of its body, but directly out the front of its face. Two bladders inside the head hold copious amounts of urine, which the lobster squirts through a pair of muscular nozzles beneath its antennae. These powerful streams mix with the gill outflow and are carried some five feet ahead of the lobster in its plume ... What the researchers discovered during the ensuing fights was that dueling lobsters accompanied their most punishing blows during combat by intense squirts of piss at the opponent's face. What was more, in scenes akin to a showdown at the OK Corral, the winner of the physical combat almost always turned out to be the lobster that had urinated first. And well after the fight was over, the winner kept pissing. By contrast, the loser shuts off his urine valves immediately.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:32 PM   #554
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There are also examples of places where non-socialist, conservative capitalism has succeeded such as Hong Kong and Switzerland. Norway is exceptional because of its abundant oil resources which have been nationalized for the benefit of all and it's excellent public education system. One trait all these countries share is low corruption and access to quality education for everyone.

The US on the other hand has growing inequality and unequal access to education. Income inequality used to be low between blacks and whites but the war on drugs unfairly targeted black families even though whites and blacks used drugs at the same rate. So we had generations of blacks who grew up in homes with no dad (who was in jail) and thus poorer and less educated leading to a vicious cycle of ghettofication of black neighborhoods.

The gap is being made worse by the federal reserve's money printing/quantitative easing policies which is giving too big to fail banks cash in exchange for mortgage backed securities. Banks in turn invest the cash into risky derivatives and stocks, thereby inflating stocks and commodities making things more expensive for the average joe, while making the rich who own stocks and real estate richer all the while wages stay the same. Repeal of laws such as Glass-Steagall (dismantled by both parties) and the fact that no one except Madoff was punished for the 2008 crash will make the next crash perhaps the last one. To big to fail banks such as JP Morgan are still investing depositor money in risky derivatives to a much greater extent than in 2008 and nothing is being done about it.

Neither Democrats or Republicans are addressing these real issues because they are owned by the same people who determine the harmless talking points and irrelevant issues for the parties to disagree on and debate about in msnbc and fox news.

Both parties worked to pass horrific legislation such as NDAA (suspension of habeus corpus, and the govt now can detain you indefinitely without due process) and the so-called Patriot Act. The Nobel peace prize winner Obama killed American citizens including a teenager with drones without any due process or trial yet no one from either party confronted him about this (not that I have anything against the president, because he is most likely a puppet, http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/renege...ssive-promises). The fact that private banks own the federal reserve and can print money to serve their own interests without any accountability is also never addressed.

".... Despite these warnings, Woodrow Wilson signed the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. A few years later he wrote: I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." -Woodrow Wilson

More warnings from past presidents here:

https://deusnexus.wordpress.com/2013...esidents-warn/
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:34 PM   #555
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Pissing contests are not unique to humans. Trevor Corson's The Secret Life of Lobsters describes a pissing match between lobsters:
The American lobster urinates not from some posterior region of its body, but directly out the front of its face. Two bladders inside the head hold copious amounts of urine, which the lobster squirts through a pair of muscular nozzles beneath its antennae. These powerful streams mix with the gill outflow and are carried some five feet ahead of the lobster in its plume ... What the researchers discovered during the ensuing fights was that dueling lobsters accompanied their most punishing blows during combat by intense squirts of piss at the opponent's face. What was more, in scenes akin to a showdown at the OK Corral, the winner of the physical combat almost always turned out to be the lobster that had urinated first. And well after the fight was over, the winner kept pissing. By contrast, the loser shuts off his urine valves immediately.
Yes, we're in bed with the lobsters now. It is the realm of the flesh as Paul would say or in the locus of the reptilian... no crustacean brain a neuro-scientist might say. Having engaged in many political pissing contests I have found them to be a colossal waste of time. Like religion, political positions are not arrived at through purely logical conscious thought processes so are not subject to change by arguments or presentation of evidence.

Silly me, when I started this thread I hoped we could actually discuss the matter dispassionately. I'm finding more and more each day how little I know. Everything I have thought and experienced up to the present moment...my mind-set as it were are my prejudices. If I stay with them, hang on to them, I close myself off to experiencing the new, the novel, perhaps even something that would change my mind about everything. So, I try to keep an open mind. At the same time, my LC experience has made me hypersensitive when anyone tries to sell my a line of bull****.

Anyway, I'm not trying to persuade anybody of anything. More, I present my way of seeing things and I'd like to get yours...everybody here's really and thus be enlarged a little. Sort of the opposite of what I came to feel we were doing in the LC. And the opposite of the kind of disputation I'm seeing going on here at the moment.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:38 PM   #556
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So judgmental Dave ... you obviously have maintained all these years the "disease" you caught from Lee. And like Lee, you are always tooting your own horn ... have you also forgotten the scripture, "let him who boasts, let him boast in the Lord."
We can have honest disagreements without going off the deep end into disagreeable attacks on individuals on this forum. I don't know what is going on in your life which causes you to have to be so nasty. Your statement makes absolutely no sense in response to what I said. I would like to end this "pissing contest" which you seem intent on pursuing and let's get back to discussing fundamentalism if it is possible whether or not you agree or disagree with me or others points of view. Comparing me to Lee ("like Lee", "the disease you caught from Lee") is ridiculous and inappropriate. How in the world does what you quote relate to me tooting my own horn...it doesn't compute? This is the last time I will respond to your inappropriate comments.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:43 PM   #557
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Turned into a real pissing contest this. Nice.
Okay zeek you seem to know what we should be talking about...let it rip and get us off of this crazy Ferris wheel that won't stop. We seem to have discussed most everything about fundamentalism so I am more than willing to hear more...go at it.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:35 PM   #558
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Okay zeek you seem to know what we should be talking about...let it rip and get us off of this crazy Ferris wheel that won't stop. We seem to have discussed most everything about fundamentalism so I am more than willing to hear more...go at it.
Oh no. Talk about whatever you like. I'm just giving my honest reaction to what I read. Doesn't everybody recognize that their politics and religion are just theirs and not the final, true and ultimate one? I mean I'm doing the best I can with what I've got and I grant that you are doing the same. Now let's talk about it. Given my way of thinking, fundamentalism doesn't seem to be a live option for me any more. I have a half dozen book on my shelf about how awful fundamentalism is. But, here on this website I'm talking to what I assume to be real human beings and I see more to them than the stereotype. There are things I associate with Christian fundamentalism and that I experienced in the LC that I cannot abide with. There are a few things that go on here that make me cringe. But, there is more to it than that here including a humanity and spirituality that I think valuable. I believe in communicating, dialogue, the dialectic really. Like I said to Ohio, I'm not trying to persuade people to my way of thinking. But, if that's what you are trying to do, go for it. It doesn't violate UntoHim's rules, at least not here in the dungeon.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:38 PM   #559
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Oh no. Talk about whatever you like. I'm just giving my honest reaction to what I read. Doesn't everybody recognize that their politics and religion are just theirs and not the final, true and ultimate one? I mean I'm doing the best I can with what I've got and I grant that you are doing the same. Now let's talk about it. Given my way of thinking, fundamentalism doesn't seem to be a live option for me any more. I have a half dozen book on my shelf about how awful fundamentalism is. But, here on this website I'm talking to what I assume to be real human beings and I see more to them than the stereotype. There are things I associate with Christian fundamentalism and that I experienced in the LC that I cannot abide with. There are a few things that go on here that make me cringe. But, there is more to it than that here including a humanity and spirituality that I think valuable. I believe in communicating dialogue, the dialectic really. Like I said to Ohio, I'm not trying to persuade people to my way of thinking. But, if that's what you are trying to do, go for it. It doesn't violate UntoHim's rules, at least not here in the dungeon.
Okay, but not many are willing to venture into your esoteric conceptualizations with Kierkegaard nor would they want to venture into my conceptualizations I have developed with James Luther Adams. I have tried to make it practical using what we all are familiar with---the Bible which is what "fundamentalism" utilizes as their basis of faith. You started this thread so why don't you provide some practical Biblical fundamentalist ideas that you agree with or disagree with...to get us back on track....
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:44 AM   #560
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Let's look at Norway which is ranked higher (4th) per capita than the US (we are currently 6th but most of the countries higher are much smaller (Luxemberg), financial districts (Singapore), Arab countries (Qatar), or a country like Norway with considerable resources (in any case considering our size we are the runaway winner for wealth): What is life like in a truly liberal capitalist country such as Norway? It is better than life in the USA. Let’s take a look at a key economic statistic.
Per capita income: USA = $50,789, Norway = $58,645
Taxes as a percentage of GDP: USA = 25% Norway = 41%
The Norwegian tax system is more “progressive” than the system in the USA: Poor people pay much less; Wealthy people (and corporations) pay much more — with fewer tax loop-holes and government subsidies.
And what do Norwegians get for their higher taxes? Extensive cradle-to-grave social services: health care, education, child day care, libraries, recreation and arts facilities — plus an extensive public transportation system. These are free or are offered at low cost, subsidized by taxes.
For eight years Norway has had the United Nations’ #1 ranking in “Quality of Life,” which is based on a number of factors such as income, life expectancy, college graduation rates, etc. As a result of lower taxes and higher levels of social services, there are far fewer truly “poor” people in Norway than in the USA.
The fundamental argument for making Norway's economy even more conservative is that “we will all be better off if the forces of unregulated free-market capitalism are allowed to prevail.” Norway proves this is not true (as do most of the other nations of Western Europe, by the way.)
I don't have time to respond in detail at the moment, and in any event it seems that you're trying to re-rail the discussion.

I will say that Norway has a population of ~5.0 million people, <2% of the US population. It's also far less diverse than the US. So it seems like a bit of a trade-off. What if we compared Norway to Vermont? Perhaps it would be more appropriate to compare the EU as a whole to the US as a whole? Combining Vermont and Alabama tends to average things out, as would combining Norway and, say, Lithuania.

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Unfortunately I received the same care as any Cuban Joe Schmoe---there is no discrimination. I was fortunate to have Cuban friends bring me there to explain what was going on.
I am not saying I agree with Chavez' politics, I am only pointing out that Cuba has heavily invested in their medical system and can provide this kind of support.
Why is that unfortunate? It sounds very fortunate, and I hope it's accurate! But to me, to say, "there is no discrimination," is a bit like saying, "it's perfect." Which to me implies that human beings probably aren't running it.

You have to understand, Dave, I grew up in an odd little group that in many ways resembles a cult. I spent a lot of time being told that the habits and characteristics of that one group were somehow completely different, and superior to, other groups. It could be called "either/or thinking." So I tend to avoid that kind of thinking nowadays.

Heck, I don't even vote anymore.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:44 AM   #561
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Okay, but not many are willing to venture into your esoteric conceptualizations with Kierkegaard nor would they want to venture into my conceptualizations I have developed with James Luther Adams. I have tried to make it practical using what we all are familiar with---the Bible which is what "fundamentalism" utilizes as their basis of faith. You started this thread so why don't you provide some practical Biblical fundamentalist ideas that you agree with or disagree with...to get us back on track....
Fundamentalism seems to me to be the inevitable result of a relatively free modern liberal democracy. It cannot be destroyed so it must be manged or else it will become ascendant. We who were once a part of fundamentalism but have seen through it are in a position to understand it. We can communicate that understanding to those who have only looked at fundamentalism from without and we can communicate our new understanding to those who are operating within a fundamentalist mindset. But, overt persuasion doesn't work. At least not in the short term.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:05 AM   #562
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Fundamentalism seems to me to be the inevitable result of a relatively free modern liberal democracy. It cannot be destroyed so it must be manged or else it will become ascendant. We who were once a part of fundamentalism but have seen through it are in a position to understand it. We can communicate that understanding to those who have only looked at fundamentalism from without and we can communicate our new understanding to those who are operating within a fundamentalist mindset. But, overt persuasion doesn't work. At least not in the short term.
Yes, we can communicate it but we are not viewed as having a better understanding but more that we have degenerated away from the truth in fundamentalism. For example, our new understanding may very well be that the Bible is not literally the word of God. Saying that is tantamount to being accused of falling down the rabbit hole.

I have to agree with the idea that only in a free modern liberal democracy can fundamentalism be managed. I would add the word "literate" to the definition of managing fundamentalism. We can see in other countries that if the populace is illiterate it is more susceptible to radical fundamentalist ideas. That is also born out from the Middle Ages when the Enlightenment and Renaissance evolved out of that darkness. Interesting that Renaissance is translated "rebirth". I have to say that rebirth is exactly the way I feel having left the radicalism of the LC.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:10 PM   #563
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Yes, we can communicate it but we are not viewed as having a better understanding but more that we have degenerated away from the truth in fundamentalism. For example, our new understanding may very well be that the Bible is not literally the word of God. Saying that is tantamount to being accused of falling down the rabbit hole.
Yes, but Dave, you possess that fundamentalist understanding of yourself as a memory of how you would have viewed your present self when you were on the inside. And though that may not be a live option for you now, you can still access it to empathize with how those for whom it is feel now. What we can't do is expect that those who view us that way will necessarily change their opinions of us. I sometimes find that difficult to accept; but, there it is.

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I have to agree with the idea that only in a free modern liberal democracy can fundamentalism be managed. I would add the word "literate" to the definition of managing fundamentalism. We can see in other countries that if the populace is illiterate it is more susceptible to radical fundamentalist ideas. That is also born out from the Middle Ages when the Enlightenment and Renaissance evolved out of that darkness. Interesting that Renaissance is translated "rebirth". I have to say that rebirth is exactly the way I feel having left the radicalism of the LC.
Yes, recent events in Paris bring it home don't they? Ironically, my own intellectual rebirth came with being "born again" at the age of 19. One of the persons instrumental in my conversion was a psychology professor. After that, I immersed myself in clinical and experimental psychology and began reading existential philosophy and theology voraciously.

Paul Tillich became important in my transition to secular life after the Local Church when I read his Systematic Theology in three volumes. Here was a theologian with more breadth and depth than Witness Lee. Of course, I was already studying and being supervised in psychoanalysis including the works of Jung and the self psychologists like Kernberg and Kohut. After Tillich I moved away from psychology to philosophy. I discontinued practicing psychotherapy when I moved to Tallahassee in 1992. I found that without someone else to practice on philosophy makes a more fitting home for thought than psychology.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:15 AM   #564
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Anyway, the way of fundamentalism is closed to me. Biblical literalism and supernaturalism seem to be untenable. I will never get involved in a group that requires me to follow anyone with unquestioning obedience again after the Local Church. Fundamentalists believe they are the only true Christians and that entails rejecting modern science, believing a lot of fantastical things and, more than ever before, a particular set of conservative political beliefs. As society becomes more complex and uncertain, fundamentalism hardens and becomes more militant. Or at least that's how it seems to me since I left the church in 1986. Does anybody see it differently?
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:51 PM   #565
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Anyway, the way of fundamentalism is closed to me. Biblical literalism and supernaturalism seem to be untenable. I will never get involved in a group that requires me to follow anyone with unquestioning obedience again after the Local Church. Fundamentalists believe they are the only true Christians and that entails rejecting modern science, believing a lot of fantastical things and, more than ever before, a particular set of conservative political beliefs. As society becomes more complex and uncertain, fundamentalism hardens and becomes more militant. Or at least that's how it seems to me since I left the church in 1986. Does anybody see it differently?
I think you may have somewhat overstated it as it relates to most groups, however there are probably individuals, and certain small groups that fit well. Somehow that little Baptist church that keeps picketing funerals for soldiers comes up in my mind as the one place that an entire assembly is in sync on something that is just not acceptable to what I understand Christ and his followers to be like.

But there are some fundamentals. They just aren't sticks to beat others with, but guideposts for ourselves. And I believe that God still is in the supernatural business, although I do not see that as necessarily meaning 6-day creation, or man living with dinosaurs before the flood, etc. As I have said somewhere in the past year or so, when it comes to the origins of the universe, everyone believes in something beyond what science can provide. Even the most atheistic scientist. They just don't all believe in God, or a god. But they believe beyond their science. Even the big bang leaves you needing something to go bang. So there is faith there.

I realize that statistics neither prove or deny the possibility of a genus of creature with the significantly advanced reasoning of humans. But it does make one wonder if we are left with only chance. There is just too much with respect to the mind and the rest of what we call the soul that suggests something more than evolution. Some parts of it seem irrelevant to have "evolved" because of survival of the fittest. Maybe someone can supply a better explanation on that one.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:55 PM   #566
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Anyway, the way of fundamentalism is closed to me. Biblical literalism and supernaturalism seem to be untenable. I will never get involved in a group that requires me to follow anyone with unquestioning obedience again after the Local Church. Fundamentalists believe they are the only true Christians and that entails rejecting modern science, believing a lot of fantastical things and, more than ever before, a particular set of conservative political beliefs. As society becomes more complex and uncertain, fundamentalism hardens and becomes more militant. Or at least that's how it seems to me since I left the church in 1986. Does anybody see it differently?
I think part of the problem on this forum (which is why we are stuck in alternative views) is that many of the people on the forum are fundamentalists or perceive themselves as fundamentalists who respond with a "black and white", "you're in or you're out" perspective. It transfers in their lives to the political realm which is one of the reasons I can't buy into the Christianity in the US...it is so politicized that it is almost unbearable. It started with the moral majority under Reagan and it has worsened. Do fundamental Christians today really see themselves as politically neutral and focused on the Christian life? I would like to meet one.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:59 PM   #567
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Why is that unfortunate? It sounds very fortunate, and I hope it's accurate! But to me, to say, "there is no discrimination," is a bit like saying, "it's perfect." Which to me implies that human beings probably aren't running it.

You have to understand, Dave, I grew up in an odd little group that in many ways resembles a cult. I spent a lot of time being told that the habits and characteristics of that one group were somehow completely different, and superior to, other groups. It could be called "either/or thinking." So I tend to avoid that kind of thinking nowadays.

Heck, I don't even vote anymore.
I meant unfortunate for your question. Again, by "no discrimination", I was referencing my experience in their emergency room. There is discrimination that exists but I saw a limited amount of it from my vantage point.

In regards to your group it sounds a lot like the local church. What caused you to get involved in the LC?
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:24 PM   #568
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I think part of the problem on this forum (which is why we are stuck in alternative views) is that many of the people on the forum are fundamentalists or perceive themselves as fundamentalists who respond with a "black and white", "you're in or you're out" perspective. It transfers in their lives to the political realm which is one of the reasons I can't buy into the Christianity in the US...it is so politicized that it is almost unbearable. It started with the moral majority under Reagan and it has worsened. Do fundamental Christians today really see themselves as politically neutral and focused on the Christian life? I would like to meet one.
Good question. And one that probably is nuanced in understanding. For those who are truly the fundamental Christians that you are probably talking about, the answer is probably "few." But the are becoming to be more and more that believe in the things that are called fundamental (not the expanded list of 20 or so that was published in this thread earlier) but that understand them as relevant to their own lives, and not to the political landscape of the nation and world.

As a humorous sidelight, I have a friend who is a genuine liberal in every sense of the word. I haven't seen her much in the past few years, but sort of keep up with things through the little that I visit my facebook page. Back during primary season, she posted that she was tempted to vote in the republican primary just to try to stem the tide of "T-baggers" getting to the November ballot. I chuckled and replied that while we were on opposite ends of the political spectrum, I had to agree with her on that one. (I'm sure that I am stepping on someone's toes by saying that.)

I am not concerned whether the laws of the US allow abortions or gay marriage. I have an opinion about both in terms of God's righteousness, but it is not important whether the government is fully righteous under God's law. It is important that I live by it (as if either is going to be my problem). I am little influenced by positions on either issue when it comes to voting. My politics are about the legitimate functions of government and those are so "down there" on the list of important things (if they are on the list at all) that I just can't let them be my reason for how I vote. And every time that someone makes some political statement from the auspices of a "Christian" group, I duck and claim to not know who those people are. Doesn't matter if the statement they make is one with which I would agree. Because it is given in a manner that labels Christians as being a block in favor of it, I want to puke. It makes it so difficult to declare that Christ is about changing lives when the Christians that the world sees are about forcing change in everyone's life with or without Christ.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:44 PM   #569
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As for who is in and who is out, while I cannot say that little matters, there is a lot that even the group I meet with stands for that I feel no need to insist upon.

Actually, A year or so ago, I was listening to a podcast done by a bunch of Dallas Theological grads and they were talking in one series about doctrinal statements. The general consensus was that a church should effectively have three different statements. One that is very general, one that is more specific that you have to at least agree that you will teach according to if you have any kind of teaching position (even in Sunday School), and one for the leadership that is much more detailed. But even that last one should not require absolute agreement on all points, but rather the agreement that you can abide by them with respect to your position with the group.

A church I attended for many years did an 18 month study to decide if they were going to change their position on whether a woman could teach from the pulpit. When they came out with "yes" it was a nuanced answer. They did not declare that everyone thought it was definitively the right answer, but everyone agreed that it was acceptable to move forward with. (A kind of "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" kind of position rather than an absolute "you have to believe this" kind of doctrinal point.) And I know of at least one elder that did not really think it was the best answer, but could see no reason that it was an impediment to his continued participation and even continuance as an elder.

When people who think that way have beliefs that are considered "fundamental," then there is hope that this politial army of Christian fundamentalists will eventually go the way of the dinosaur and the distinction as blievers in Christ will return to the only preeminence as "fundamental."
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:15 PM   #570
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I think you may have somewhat overstated it as it relates to most groups, however there are probably individuals, and certain small groups that fit well. Somehow that little Baptist church that keeps picketing funerals for soldiers comes up in my mind as the one place that an entire assembly is in sync on something that is just not acceptable to what I understand Christ and his followers to be like.

But there are some fundamentals. They just aren't sticks to beat others with, but guideposts for ourselves. And I believe that God still is in the supernatural business, although I do not see that as necessarily meaning 6-day creation, or man living with dinosaurs before the flood, etc. As I have said somewhere in the past year or so, when it comes to the origins of the universe, everyone believes in something beyond what science can provide. Even the most atheistic scientist. They just don't all believe in God, or a god. But they believe beyond their science. Even the big bang leaves you needing something to go bang. So there is faith there.

I realize that statistics neither prove or deny the possibility of a genus of creature with the significantly advanced reasoning of humans. But it does make one wonder if we are left with only chance. There is just too much with respect to the mind and the rest of what we call the soul that suggests something more than evolution. Some parts of it seem irrelevant to have "evolved" because of survival of the fittest. Maybe someone can supply a better explanation on that one.
I just came across this, from all the way back to the 4th c. B.C.E:

Aristotle’s universe possessed a remarkable logical consistency throughout its complex and multifaceted structure. All motion and process in the world was explicable by his formal teleology: Every being is moved from potentiality to actuality according to an inner dynamic dictated by a specific form. No potentiality is brought into actuality unless there exists an already actual being, a being that has already realized its form: a seed must have been produced by a mature plant, as a child must have a parent. Hence the dynamism and structured development of any entity requires an external cause— a being that serves simultaneously as efficient cause (initiating the motion), formal cause (giving the entity form), and final cause (serving as goal of the entity’s development ). To account for the entire universe’s order and movement, therefore, especially for the great movement of the heavens, Aristotle posited a supreme Form— an already existing actuality, absolute in its perfection, the only form existing entirely separate from matter. Since the greatest universal motion is that of the heavens, and since that circular motion is eternal, this prime mover must also be eternal.

Aristotle’s logic could be represented in the following way: (a) All motion is the result of the dynamism impelling potentiality to formal realization, (b) Since the universe as a whole is involved in motion, and since nothing moves without an impulse toward form, the universe must be moved by a supreme, universal form, (c) Since the highest form must already be perfectly realized— i.e., not in a potential state— and since matter is by definition the state of potentiality, the highest form is both entirely immaterial and without motion: hence the Unmoved Mover, the supreme perfect Being that is pure form, God.

This absolute Being, here posited by logical necessity rather than religious conviction, is the first cause of the universe. Yet this Being is wholly self-absorbed, since for it to take any heed of physical nature would diminish its perfect undisturbed character and immerse it in the flux of potentialities. As perfect actuality, the Unmoved Mover is characterized by a state of eternal unhindered activity— not the struggling process (kinesis) of moving from potential to actual, but the forever enjoyable activity (energeia) made possible only in a state of complete formal realization. For the supreme Form, that activity is thought: eternal contemplation of its own being , unqualified by the change and imperfection of the physical world it ultimately motivates. Aristotle’s God is thus pure Mind, with no material component. Its activity and pleasure is simply that of eternal consciousness of itself.

-Tarnas, Richard (2011-10-19). Passion of the Western Mind (Kindle Locations 1282-1288). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:20 PM   #571
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But, overt persuasion doesn't work. At least not in the short term.
Well worming works. But it takes a persistent abiding love.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:33 PM   #572
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Good question. And one that probably is nuanced in understanding. For those who are truly the fundamental Christians that you are probably talking about, the answer is probably "few." But the are becoming to be more and more that believe in the things that are called fundamental (not the expanded list of 20 or so that was published in this thread earlier) but that understand them as relevant to their own lives, and not to the political landscape of the nation and world.

As a humorous sidelight, I have a friend who is a genuine liberal in every sense of the word. I haven't seen her much in the past few years, but sort of keep up with things through the little that I visit my facebook page. Back during primary season, she posted that she was tempted to vote in the republican primary just to try to stem the tide of "T-baggers" getting to the November ballot. I chuckled and replied that while we were on opposite ends of the political spectrum, I had to agree with her on that one. (I'm sure that I am stepping on someone's toes by saying that.)

I am not concerned whether the laws of the US allow abortions or gay marriage. I have an opinion about both in terms of God's righteousness, but it is not important whether the government is fully righteous under God's law. It is important that I live by it (as if either is going to be my problem). I am little influenced by positions on either issue when it comes to voting. My politics are about the legitimate functions of government and those are so "down there" on the list of important things (if they are on the list at all) that I just can't let them be my reason for how I vote. And every time that someone makes some political statement from the auspices of a "Christian" group, I duck and claim to not know who those people are. Doesn't matter if the statement they make is one with which I would agree. Because it is given in a manner that labels Christians as being a block in favor of it, I want to puke. It makes it so difficult to declare that Christ is about changing lives when the Christians that the world sees are about forcing change in everyone's life with or without Christ.
Certainly we agree on several issues. Back in the mid-60s when I was with Teen Challenge in Detroit I would meet with others ahead of time, pray for about an hour and then go into the worst places in downtown Detroit and share the gospel with people who were into drugs and every other unbelievable thing you could imagine. In their cases they were lost in their environment. Later in life I could see where we could have gone into those areas and offered them hope of higher education, a brighter future in housing as well as healthier living.

At this point we are 2000 years out from the death of Christ. There was Jesus' gospel, then Paul's gospel, John's gospel and the Apostolic fathers gospel followed by those who established the doctrines and canon of the Christian faith. Of course, that resulted in the Catholic church followed by the reformation started by Martin Luther in the 16th century. Each time frame has played out over the last 2000 years differently. Where does the Spirit play out in all of this? There are still groups forming such as Acts 29, Youth with a Mission etc...Is the Spirit intentionally dividing Christians into various segments....? How does this all make sense to you? How is this consistent with what Paul taught or the NT for that matter. Would Paul be running a mega-church by now or what? Can't make any sense of it. How is the Spirit inspiring the Bible for these people?
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:26 AM   #573
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I meant unfortunate for your question. Again, by "no discrimination", I was referencing my experience in their emergency room. There is discrimination that exists but I saw a limited amount of it from my vantage point.

In regards to your group it sounds a lot like the local church. What caused you to get involved in the LC?
Like I said, I grew up there.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:31 AM   #574
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Awareness,

Your lines concerning (from) Aristotle are interesting and indicate that he considered there to be the absolute need for something, a being, already there to make anything we see happen, therefore no time of literal nothingness since there is always the previous being. But when he says the following, I find it interesting, but not necessarily an imperative.
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Yet this Being is wholly self-absorbed, since for it to take any heed of physical nature would diminish its perfect undisturbed character and immerse it in the flux of potentialities. As perfect actuality, the Unmoved Mover is characterized by a state of eternal unhindered activity— not the struggling process (kinesis) of moving from potential to actual, but the forever enjoyable activity (energeia) made possible only in a state of complete formal realization.
Therein lies the weakness of our own explanations. When we assert what the nature of the "being" must be, we limit that being to that of self absorption. Why? Because Aristotle thinks so.

It is a little like those who assert that a God of mercy cannot be a God that requires justice. Yet humans can even express a little of this kind of dichotomy. Why not the divine even more so?
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:41 AM   #575
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Where does the Spirit play out in all of this? There are still groups forming such as Acts 29, Youth with a Mission etc...Is the Spirit intentionally dividing Christians into various segments....? How does this all make sense to you? How is this consistent with what Paul taught or the NT for that matter. Would Paul be running a mega-church by now or what? Can't make any sense of it. How is the Spirit inspiring the Bible for these people?
Like I commented to zeek in another thread, your response here seems to indicate that Christians either need to get it all right or they are not Christians. You didn't actually say that, but there is a shadow of that kind of thinking.

The problem is that no matter how much we allow the Spirit to illuminate, we will also embellish with what we think on our own. Yet the Spirit continues to work with us. And while that sometimes leaves us wondering where certain groups came up with "that," I see the Spirit working in the fact that the walls that Lee declared to be high and absolute are not really so much there. Surely each feels that they are where they are because they believe it is right, or the best there is. But a growing part do not dismiss the others for failing to fall in line. It is both a curse in that we have do deal with the fallout of outsiders pointing at the diversity, yet it is also a blessing when we are seen moving beyond those distinctions in our outreach in both the gospel and in our love for neighbor.

Can you point to examples that contradict this? Surely. But you cannot show that it is entirely that way.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:50 AM   #576
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Would Paul be running a mega-church by now or what?
Bro Dave, lift up your eyes and see. Paul started a worldwide mega-church: the church of the gentiles. Where's the Jewish church today, that made up the first Christians? Paul started a mega-church that reached into parts of the world that weren't even known in Paul's day. And the apostle Paul is now swaying elections here in America even today. All the mega-churches today are Paul's gentile churches. Not to mention the Roman Catholic Church ... the biggest mega-church ever ... Paul is behind all Christian churches in the world today. Mega-churches today pale in comparison to Paul's church; they're children of Paul.

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How is the Spirit inspiring the Bible for these people?
Spirit? What Spirit? Christianity today is book inspired, not Spirit inspired.

We're told Christianity was started by the moving of the Spirit at Pentecost. Those were the good 'ol days, that we look back on - in awe - and admire. But when Christian writings began to circulate there was a shift.

The Spirit can't be conjured at will. It's easier to follow a book. So -- to me I must say - hedging UntoHim perchance --- Christianity became a cookie-cutter copy of Judaism, living by the law, The Book, with 27 books added to the Tanakh.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:16 AM   #577
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Like I said, I grew up there [in the LC].
My condolences. Seriously ... MY CONDOLENCES. You must be really screwed up. You poor kid. I call that child abuse.

I know because Southern Baptism screwed me up, and they're nowhere close to as fanatical as the LC.

Much love to you bro ...
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:13 AM   #578
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Like I said, I grew up there.
I said elsewhere on the forum, maybe to you, that there was a point when I decided that I didn't want to raise my kids in the LC environment and eventually left. I thought it was too problematic for someone to grow up in that type of crazy environment. For all that we have to say about the LC it was directionless then (late 1970s) and it appears to be now. It seems that many people cling to it because they don't know where else to go or they feel safe in a closed environment offered by the LC.

As awareness just said, he was raised up in the Southern Baptist environment and it had a negative affect on his life. While certainly not as traumatic as the LC even these closed church environments often wreak havoc on kids growing up. Part of the problem from my perspective is wondering where one would go or what one would do if they left something that had all the answers to life in a book or in God.

Being in the Unitarian environment i hear it all the time but surprisingly the RCC seems to be maybe the worst of all aside from the LC or other cult like closed environments. The guilt trip is laid on thick. This is in contrast to my wife who was raised Unitarian. In Sunday school one year they took the kids around to different churches (including Moslem, Jewish etc) for some exposure to different religious practices and religions and as they grew up they could discover their own way and make their own decisions. Unlike many kids she never had to rebel because no one was cramming religion down her throat for her to rebel against.

What is important, to me anyway, is that we bridge the gaps between religions and become as much as possible inclusive rather than exclusive. This is a message from Rev. Lavanhar, senior minister of the largest Unitarian church in the United States, in Tulsa, Ok. (they have 3 different services) as he shares the pulpit with a mega-church Evangelical Minister and talks about reconciling with Evangelicals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jPEYJjeu8o
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:37 PM   #579
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I think you may have somewhat overstated it as it relates to most groups, however there are probably individuals, and certain small groups that fit well. Somehow that little Baptist church that keeps picketing funerals for soldiers comes up in my mind as the one place that an entire assembly is in sync on something that is just not acceptable to what I understand Christ and his followers to be like.
Yes, in practice fundamentalism shades into evangelicalism into liberalism. The objective world is a matter of more or less. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of social groups. Religious groups are a species of social group and are not absolute despite their most strenuous efforts at absolute definition.

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But there are some fundamentals. They just aren't sticks to beat others with, but guideposts for ourselves.
They are there for denominations and religious groups if that's what one is into. For the rest of us, we need to commit to no more than that is how it seems to us at any given moment in time.


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And I believe that God still is in the supernatural business,...
He is if you assume that metaphysics is a determinate sphere of human thought. If you don't, you're looking for another less hubristic way of thinking about God.

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...although I do not see that as necessarily meaning 6-day creation, or man living with dinosaurs before the flood, etc. As I have said somewhere in the past year or so, when it comes to the origins of the universe, everyone believes in something beyond what science can provide. Even the most atheistic scientist. They just don't all believe in God, or a god. But they believe beyond their science. Even the big bang leaves you needing something to go bang. So there is faith there.
Maybe there isn't faith there. Maybe there is an understanding (or misunderstanding from your perspective, perhaps) of the limitations of conceptual thought if you choose.

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I realize that statistics neither prove or deny the possibility of a genus of creature with the significantly advanced reasoning of humans. But it does make one wonder if we are left with only chance. There is just too much with respect to the mind and the rest of what we call the soul that suggests something more than evolution. Some parts of it seem irrelevant to have "evolved" because of survival of the fittest. Maybe someone can supply a better explanation on that one.
Yes well I have no problem with any honest attempt to think our origin through that does not deny the objective facts. For the moment let's just call that speculation. But, the fundamentalist does not admit that what he is doing is speculation. If he does, he has already stepped out of his fundamentalistic presuppositions and that is exactly what he refuses to do. Rather, if you're on the premises where he rules and you suggest that he is speculating, he will either convert you or you will be shown the door. If notions like yours ever occur to the members, they learn that suppressing them is part of the rules of the game.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:14 PM   #580
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Like I commented to zeek in another thread, your response here seems to indicate that Christians either need to get it all right or they are not Christians. You didn't actually say that, but there is a shadow of that kind of thinking.

The problem is that no matter how much we allow the Spirit to illuminate, we will also embellish with what we think on our own. Yet the Spirit continues to work with us. And while that sometimes leaves us wondering where certain groups came up with "that," I see the Spirit working in the fact that the walls that Lee declared to be high and absolute are not really so much there. Surely each feels that they are where they are because they believe it is right, or the best there is. But a growing part do not dismiss the others for failing to fall in line. It is both a curse in that we have do deal with the fallout of outsiders pointing at the diversity, yet it is also a blessing when we are seen moving beyond those distinctions in our outreach in both the gospel and in our love for neighbor.

Can you point to examples that contradict this? Surely. But you cannot show that it is entirely that way.
Certainly I agree that it has been an issue from the beginning. Paul was writing against the Judieazers in Galatians and the Docetists in 1 Corinthians. There were internal conflicts of Christianity. Christians were peeling off into other groups from the beginning. There were early letters written such as "The Gospel according to the Ebionites", "The Secret Letter of John", "The Gospel of Truth", "On the Origin of the World", "The Wisdom of Jesus Christ" and many others which were not added to the canon developed later by proto-orthodox Christians. Tertullian (about 200AD) and Irenaeus (about 180AD) both wrote books against many of these groups which they tagged as "heresies". However, proto-orthodox Christian groups were never together until Constantine in the 4th Century allowed Christian groups to flourish and he formed the Council of Nicaea in 325AD and asked them to solve their differences and come up with a concrete position on Christ etc. Of course, we know that led to the Roman Catholic Church disaster and then the Reformation when the church split up even further etc. In fact, that was Lee's point which is easy to point out but the problem was his own divisive solution which has really gone nowhere.

The "World Council of Churches" started in August 1948 meeting with Christians all over the world which has as its mission today, "A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service". However, it didn't do very well even though it continues and I don't know if Evangelicals continued being involved or even attended. In any case, from my standpoint the "Spirit" is a work in progress in leading people or groups anywhere. I am not saying it should be perfect. I am saying it is not perfect and more than that, it is confusing. So, what Spirit are people following? The Spirit of disunity?

Let's face it, you can get together with some Christians, you find unity in the Spirit when you form your own group (sometimes) and doctrinal unity but where are you going with it. To me it seems almost like "team spirit". Think of a football team who believes in their college, work together and when they go out on the field there is a unified feeling of "team spirit". They fight together for a common goal. They feel something between each other especially when they get together. Well, then they graduate and go on their separate ways although they might keep in touch remembering that team spirit that once kept them together. Sorry about this example but its the best I can do on short notice and I know people who are true believers for their teams over the course of their lives and get together and share stories etc. They have a common interest which lasts. Anyone of them who would be against their team would be problematic and they might eschew. I just see all of these churches fighting for their beliefs and members who would agree with them.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:50 PM   #581
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Certainly we agree on several issues. Back in the mid-60s when I was with Teen Challenge in Detroit I would meet with others ahead of time, pray for about an hour and then go into the worst places in downtown Detroit and share the gospel with people who were into drugs and every other unbelievable thing you could imagine. In their cases they were lost in their environment. Later in life I could see where we could have gone into those areas and offered them hope of higher education, a brighter future in housing as well as healthier living.
That's interesting you had a background in David Wilkerson's ministry. To my understanding a lot of people were helped tangibly and came out of drug abuse and dangerous lifestyle through that ministry.

To me, Wilkerson came across as a man of God in his sermons often calling for repentance, a life of holiness and devotion to God and had done a lot to help the poor.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:34 AM   #582
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That's interesting you had a background in David Wilkerson's ministry. To my understanding a lot of people were helped tangibly and came out of drug abuse and dangerous lifestyle through that ministry.

To me, Wilkerson came across as a man of God in his sermons often calling for repentance, a life of holiness and devotion to God and had done a lot to help the poor.
If you've read Wilkerson's Cross and the Switchblade you know that is true (i.e. Wilkerson was a sincere man of God who helped many people). Having been in the midst of it I know the sincerity and dedication of those involved. Certainly his organization provided hope for a considerable number of young people. Unfortunately, many of those areas still remain problematic 50 years later in part because there was not a long term solution for those economically depressed areas which was not Wilkerson's focus.

What he did was certainly innovative and successful at the time as well as constructive and commendable. In fact his 1958 Teen Challenge lives on today helping addicts. I was so surprised to run into one a few years back that I immediately gave a donation to the organization because of my experience and the good things they do for people.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:47 AM   #583
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The "World Council of Churches" started in August 1948 meeting with Christians all over the world which has as its mission today, "A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service". However, it didn't do very well even though it continues and I don't know if Evangelicals continued being involved or even attended. In any case, from my standpoint the "Spirit" is a work in progress in leading people or groups anywhere. I am not saying it should be perfect. I am saying it is not perfect and more than that, it is confusing. So, what Spirit are people following? The Spirit of disunity?

Let's face it, you can get together with some Christians, you find unity in the Spirit when you form your own group (sometimes) and doctrinal unity but where are you going with it. To me it seems almost like "team spirit". Think of a football team who believes in their college, work together and when they go out on the field there is a unified feeling of "team spirit". They fight together for a common goal. They feel something between each other especially when they get together. Well, then they graduate and go on their separate ways although they might keep in touch remembering that team spirit that once kept them together. Sorry about this example but its the best I can do on short notice and I know people who are true believers for their teams over the course of their lives and get together and share stories etc. They have a common interest which lasts. Anyone of them who would be against their team would be problematic and they might eschew. I just see all of these churches fighting for their beliefs and members who would agree with them.
Not much to say on all the history of people drawing lines in the sand. It has been a problem from the beginning.

While the World Council of Churches may not have ever had a complete following, nor have had the impact they desired, I note that much of the extreme rhetoric against the RCC has toned down in the past several years. More and more people are coming to realize that while there are some serious problems with certain teachings and practices, there is nothing making them "unchristian" as a group. And further, many have begun to realize that coming to faith in Christ is not exclusively through evangelism followed by a crisis time when you dramatically pray to be saved (such as through the old-fashioned altar call of certain groups). That believing in Christ is the key to obtaining the saving grace of Christ. And therefore salvation within the RCC may not be such an unexpected thing as we were previously led to believe. No, they will seldom have the outward experiences of those in a charismatic group, the LRC, or even some other evangelical group. But the experiences in these are often more tied to the nature of the group than the unique experiences of God.

As for referring to "spirit" in terms of "team spirit," there is evidence that some of the references to spirit (not The Spirit) in the Bible are to something just like that. When Paul makes reference to a spirit of [something] it is not referring to the Holy Spirit or to the spirit of man, but to some kind of attitude of mind, therefore a lot like team spirit. Or to attitude. Or several other things that are not man's spirit nor the Spirit of God. No, frame of mind or of will does not make anything happen. But if our goal is to both belief and obedience, then having a frame of mind to undertake the obedient things is surely part of the process.

There are some that surely fight about what they believe. But I have been part of two different congregations over the past many years that have specific beliefs, but do not hold those out as the primary thing. They are not seeking to sway everyone to their way of thinking, although if they do believe it, I would not expect them to be totally silent about it (and they are not). But their primary concern is that people come to know Christ and become connected to others who know Christ. Here or elsewhere. The "fights" that I see anything about recently have been related to practices, and to political positions (something that the church should be much less visible in). Few spoke critically of Mark Driscoll until he made some statement about voting for Obama (political) and then when there started being some evidence of church discipline that exceeded rational bounds provided in the Bible. But there was little real criticism of his basic teachings, even from people of different "traditions." There is a lot of criticism of the prosperity gospel, but seldom of the underlying denomination within which certain famous proponents of that thinking are operating. There is a lot of open criticism of that little Baptist church (in Missouri or Kansas or somewhere near there) that goes around being obnoxious at soldiers' funerals. And they deserve it. And if you read the writings of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, and an Anglican, you will see different emphases and even different opinions on certain things. But not really that much "fighting" with each other. To me that seems to be an overlay on the differences not supported by the evidence.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:09 AM   #584
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Here's a blogger who thinks Fundamentalism started out well and lost its way http://jeriwho.net/lillypad2/?p=2363 whereas I think fundamentalism's rejection of objective scientific and historical research was throwing out reality with the bathwater. Fanaticism, intellectual suicide and authoritarian leaders who take their followers on magic carpet rides seem to have been the inevitable results. My view is supported by Armstrong who I would not characterize as a skeptic since she sees value in religion and spirituality as do I:

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"Fundamentalists have turned the mythos of their religion into logos, either by insisting that their dogmas are scientifically true, or by transforming their complex mythology into a streamlined ideology. They have thus conflated two complementary sources and styles of knowledge which the people in the premodern world had usually decided it was wise to keep separate. The fundamentalist experience shows the truth of this conservative insight. By insisting that the truths of Christianity are factual and scientifically demonstrable, American Protestant fundamentalists have created a caricature of both religion and science."
Armstrong, Karen (2011-08-10). The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism (Ballantine Reader's Circle) . Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:21 PM   #585
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Since no one on this website has stood up to give a robust defense of Christian Fundamentalism, let me provide a link to, if not the best one I've seen lately, at least the most colorfully embroidered one: http://thriceholy.net/fundamentals.html
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:47 PM   #586
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Since no one on this website has stood up to give a robust defense of Christian Fundamentalism, let me provide a link to, if not the best one I've seen lately, at least the most colorfully embroidered one: http://thriceholy.net/fundamentals.html
There is probably something true in there, but I couldn't get past the ridiculous presentation and format. Taken as a whole, it just cannot be taken seriously. It has to be intended to elicit derision and laughter.

Or the author is missing an oar, a taco, or sufficient stops on the elevator.

Or (last) they are looking for a few good suckers to populate yet one more exclusivist cult and keep some huckster employed.

I'm just not sure which I should expect.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:43 PM   #587
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Since no one on this website has stood up to give a robust defense of Christian Fundamentalism, let me provide a link to, if not the best one I've seen lately, at least the most colorfully embroidered one: http://thriceholy.net/fundamentals.html
Here's another very recent one by Dr. Michael Brown on Newsweek in defense of evangelicals and biblical inerrancy which touched on many points made here and by Bart Ehrmann both for and against.

http://www.newsweek.com/response-newsweek-bible-299440
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:25 AM   #588
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Here's another very recent one by Dr. Michael Brown on Newsweek in defense of evangelicals and biblical inerrancy which touched on many points made here and by Bart Ehrmann both for and against.
I like this one better than the other. It takes on the textual issues of the Bible more even-handedly than the foam-at-the-mouth one.

The first link is out to make controversy with everyone that is not on board with their particular version of how it should be. The second is demonstrably showing how even the variations are so minor as to primarily being the difference between writing "Dr." v "Doctor."

And on the one that is so often brought up these days (the woman caught in adultery) the correct assertion is that almost no one believes it is not part of the Bible. It is almost universally accepted as part of the gospel accounts. The problem seems to be with where it belongs, not whether it belongs.

And as a humorous aside, I note that the first link, when discussing the immaculate conception, it provided an alternate reading for the woman caught in adultery as follows:
And Jesus went unto mount Olivet. And early in the morning he came again into the temple: and all the people came to him. And sitting down he taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees bring unto him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, and said to him: Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou? And this they said tempting him, that they might accuse him. But Jesus bowing himself down, wrote with his finger on the ground. When therefore they continued asking him, he lifted up himself and said to them: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. He does not say, 'the Law of Moses is rescinded, the penalty is cancelled,' He only requires sinless stone-throwers. At this, a matron stomps forward, picks up a huge rock, and heaves it. Jesus says, "You know, Mom, you can be a real pain sometimes."


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Old 01-17-2015, 08:00 AM   #589
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Here's another very recent one by Dr. Michael Brown on Newsweek in defense of evangelicals and biblical inerrancy which touched on many points made here and by Bart Ehrmann both for and against.

http://www.newsweek.com/response-newsweek-bible-299440
I read most of the article---it was long... He took Ehrman's statement out of context since what Ehrman is referring to is the 98% of the errors which are minor. He also quoted Metzger took it out of context as well In addition, I have heard the argument before that there are more manuscripts of the NT than the ancient writings have available such as Socrates and yet the ancient writings are used by people. The problem with that argument is that no one considers Socrates a god nor the other ancient writings as sacred even though they might be quoted or evaluated as to the meaning of what the ancients might say. The fundamentalists attempt to show that the Bible is God's written word and establishes salvation for all of humanity etc. Yes, it needs to be scrutinized and Brown talks about all the scholars who have been scrutinizing it but the majority of them are from Conservative Seminaries such as Daniel Wallace and already are convinced of the "truth" and will go to great lengths to prove it if there is any doubt.

The first time anyone started writing the NT was at least a couple decades after the death of Christ and most were decades later. We only have copies of copies---no originals. Also, the first time the 27 book NT canon was listed by anyone was Athanasius in 367AD and not as Brown quoted in 223AD. In any case, there are so many problems with Brown's response that I don't want to go into any more detail at this point.
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:14 PM   #590
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There is probably something true in there, but I couldn't get past the ridiculous presentation and format. Taken as a whole, it just cannot be taken seriously. It has to be intended to elicit derision and laughter.

Or the author is missing an oar, a taco, or sufficient stops on the elevator.

Or (last) they are looking for a few good suckers to populate yet one more exclusivist cult and keep some huckster employed.

I'm just not sure which I should expect.
Are you dismissing the thesis as ridiculous because it misrepresents fundamentalism or because it accurately represents it?
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:55 PM   #591
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Ludicrous!

That's the word that comes to mind after reading zeeks link in post #585, to The Blogger, and bearbear's link in post #587, to Dr. Brown.

Brown was great, by the way. At least he sounded intelligent. But his arguments seem to be coming from a predetermined position, what could be termed coming from a devotional position; or, devotion before, during, and after, coming to conclusions; the predetermined conclusion determining the final conclusion.

Let's face it. Fundamentalism is squirming. In fact, it started as a squirm. And it's getting beat up way more than when the Five Fundamentals were squirmed out in the early 20th c.

Now they're squirming between each other. Over who are the real fundamentalists ... and who lost their way, being compromised by the new modern liberal [educated] Christian (so called) views and thinking.

And grown up as a fundamentalist, and one in the local church, it now hits my funny bone to see them squirm. Serves 'em right. I had to squirm. I know personally how it hurts to find out what you assumed to be right and true to be wrong. It hurts to be wrong, more than it hurts to be wronged.

I'm amazed to meet some out here that have been in the LC for 30 and 40 yrs, and then come out and admit they were wrong all those yrs.

Amen to you all for being able to do that.

And I'm sorry for laughing at my fundamentalist brothers and sisters. I know it ain't easy.

It had to be easier, back in the days when we could ride dinosaurs.

And if that don't make you laugh then you don't have any trace of a sense of humor ... or are a fundamentalist.
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:16 PM   #592
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Ludicrous!

That's the word that comes to mind after reading zeeks link in post #585, to The Blogger, and bearbear's link in post #587, to Dr. Brown.

Brown was great, by the way. At least he sounded intelligent. But his arguments seem to be coming from a predetermined position, what could be termed coming from a devotional position; or, devotion before, during, and after, coming to conclusions; the predetermined conclusion determining the final conclusion.

Let's face it. Fundamentalism is squirming. In fact, it started as a squirm. And it's getting beat up way more than when the Five Fundamentals were squirmed out in the early 20th c.

Now they're squirming between each other. Over who are the real fundamentalists ... and who lost their way, being compromised by the new modern liberal [educated] Christian (so called) views and thinking.

And grown up as a fundamentalist, and one in the local church, it now hits my funny bone to see them squirm. Serves 'em right. I had to squirm. I know personally how it hurts to find out what you assumed to be right and true to be wrong. It hurts to be wrong, more than it hurts to be wronged.

I'm amazed to meet some out here that have been in the LC for 30 and 40 yrs, and then come out and admit they were wrong all those yrs.

Amen to you all for being able to do that.

And I'm sorry for laughing at my fundamentalist brothers and sisters. I know it ain't easy.

It had to be easier, back in the days when we could ride dinosaurs.

And if that don't make you laugh then you don't have any trace of a sense of humor ... or are a fundamentalist.
I really wonder if they are squirming. The true believer will remain the true believer of fundamentalism despite the inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Forget the fact that in Mark 2 v25-26 Jesus referenced 1 Samuel 21:1-6 and said "Abiathar" when the quote was actually a reference Abiathar's father Aheimelech and not Abiathar. It was an error. When Jesus references the mustard seed in Mark 4:31 he calls it "the smallest of all the seeds on the earth" which it is not. It was an error. Paul said that the first thing he did not do was go to Jerusalem after he converted (Gal. 1:16-17). In Acts he said that was the first thing he did after leaving Damascus (Acts 9:26). There are different stories told of the same event in the Gospels whether it was the Passover, the crucifixion or the resurrection which are hardly reconcilable. But for the true believer none of this matters. If it's the word of God it is the word of God...and it is one of those mysteries like the Doctrine of Christ or the Doctrine of Trinity...if they can't be explained they are just many of the mysteries. That's where faith enters in and you just believe what you are told to believe and not what you are actually reading. Why squirm? Just believe! In your case, you didn't stay a true believer.
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:33 PM   #593
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Are you dismissing the thesis as ridiculous because it misrepresents fundamentalism or because it accurately represents it?
Sorry to disappoint, but neither is the case.

I dismiss it for some of the same kind of reasons that Dave gave. I cannot comment on the nature of the quotations of Ehrman or Metzger, but I do know that the serious bulk of any discrepancies are not what the various translation differences are about. It is a strawman created to create a preference.

No. I may not have given all of the possibilities as to what the site may be about, but it is clearly about something somewhat extreme and/or dogmatic.

And, yes, it does represent some of the more extreme of fundamentalist dogmas. Sort of a KJV-only kind of dogma gone haywire. One that has the same kind of dogma attached by some to each of the primary fundamentals, plus a few of the sidebars that some think are just as fundamental.

The problem with this whole thread is that it has seemed to presume that fundamentalism in Christians is somewhat kin to the Jihadists among Islamics. If we eliminate a huge amount of what Christian fundamentalism includes and reduce it to the extremists, like this one, or Lee, or that little Baptist church somewhere in mid-America, then we have found a voice for many of them. Sort of a smorgasbord of the fundamentalist dogmas put on steroids and made available for consumption at one location.

. . . .

Or, are both the case? Maybe.

It does not represent the core of historical fundamentalism, other than in base content, but even that is somewhat off-track from the historical core.

But it does represent what I almost see as a collection of the worst of the various extremist groups that have arisen from it. KVJ/Textus Receptus dogma. Not only finding fault with side-cults like JWs, and Mormons, it assaults every group that is not as stanch about things as they are: Jesus seminar, claiming the day of the week for worship (Sunday) is really important, overly dogmatic about what it means for God to "not change," takes certain parts of the Trinity dogma to extremes (not saying it is not a good doctrine, but that just like Lee, there is a lot of dogma that arises from it).
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:45 PM   #594
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bearbear, OBW,---Perhaps you prefer Brown's article, because he defends evangelicalism not fundamentalism. Seems he himself recognizes that there are Christians to the right of him who's position is rationally indefensible.

Early on Brown throws his more conservative brethren under the bus: Brown states:
Quote:
Is it those who “wave their Bibles at passersby, screaming their condemnations of homosexuals”? If so, why even mention such people – especially in the opening line of the article – since they are absolutely miniscule in numbers (less than a fraction of a fraction of a percent of evangelicals) and they are universally condemned for their actions and attitudes by virtually all circles of evangelical Christendom.
But, is this true? Do most evangelicals condemn those who condemn homosexuality? Brown asserts it but offers no statistical evidence to back it up.

Quote:
it can be argued that American families were healthier before prayer was taken out of public schools in 1962 than after.
Just about anything can be argued especially when it's not backed up with evidence as this proposition is not. 1962 takes us back to the days of school segregation so what exactly were folks praying for in school and why does Brown think those were brighter days? He doesn't tell us.

Now Eichenwald's citations demonstrate a familiar fundamentalist phenomenon:
Quote:
The Bible is not the book many American fundamentalists and political opportunists think it is, or more precisely, what they want it to be. Their lack of knowledge about the Bible is well established. A Pew Research poll in 2010 found that evangelicals ranked only a smidgen higher than atheists in familiarity with the New Testament and Jesus’s teachings. “Americans revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don’t read it,’’ wrote George Gallup Jr. and Jim Castelli, pollsters and researchers whose work focused on religion in the United States. The Barna Group, a Christian polling firm, found in 2012 that evangelicals accepted the attitudes and beliefs of the Pharisees—religious leaders depicted throughout the New Testament as opposing Christ and his message—more than they accepted the teachings of Jesus.
Brown admits this is true. The Bible is a closed book for many Christians. It has a singular, literal, obvious meaning that in many cases they learned when they were children. They already know it. It's simple and boring and settled. You're already saved, so why bother reading it?
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Old 01-17-2015, 06:19 PM   #595
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bearbear, OBW,---Perhaps you prefer Brown's article, because he defends evangelicalism not fundamentalism. Seems he himself recognizes that there are Christians to the right of him who's position is rationally indefensible.

Early on Brown throws his more conservative brethren under the bus: Brown states:

But, is this true? Do most evangelicals condemn those who condemn homosexuality? Brown asserts it but offers no statistical evidence to back it up.
There's a difference between condemning homosexuals and condemning homosexuality.

Dr. Michael Brown has actually done previous apologetics and debates against the concept that you can be gay and Christian which was an "in-house debate". Paul says in 1 Cor 5:12 that Christians are to judge those inside the church, not outside, unfortunately this advice has fallen on deaf ears of some that Dr. Brown is referring to.

So I think Dr. Brown is referring here to those who are judging and espousing hate towards homosexuals using the bible as a medium to channel their hatred.

"Love the sinner but do not love the sin". Every Christian I've met has said something along the same lines regarding LGBT issues.

I've read of Westboro Baptist Church and other types like them, but I've yet to meet one in real life. But then again I live in Northern California where even the most evangelical conservative churches lean towards being relationally liberal towards others (focus on loving others and not being judgmental) while remaining conservative in theology (biblical inerrancy etc). I think Michael Brown is referring to the same anecdotal evidence from his own personal experience here.

Quote:
Brown admits this is true. The Bible is a closed book for many Christians. It has a singular, literal, obvious meaning that in many cases they learned when they were children. They already know it. It's simple and boring and settled. You're already saved, so why bother reading it?
That's actually interesting you worded this paragraph like this because Dr. Michael Brown is a self professed Arminian and wrote a book titled "hyper grace" attacking the concept that after a Christian is "saved" he is free to do whatever he/she desires since his salvation is secure and that many such believers who abuse grace are not actually saved:

http://www.gotquestions.org/hyper-grace.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E78FTKW?btkr=1

You mentioned Michael Brown throwing his far right Westboro Baptist-type brethren under the bus, but I don't think he considers them to be true believers and therefore not his brothers.

Jude 1:21
For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Matthew 7:21
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Hebrews 10:26
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
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Old 01-17-2015, 06:44 PM   #596
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That's actually interesting you worded this paragraph like this because Dr. Michael Brown is a self professed Arminian and wrote a book titled "hyper grace" attacking the concept that after a Christian is "saved" he is free to do whatever he/she desires since his salvation is secure and that many such believers who abuse grace are not actually saved:

http://www.gotquestions.org/hyper-grace.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E78FTKW?btkr=1

You mentioned Michael Brown throwing his far right Westboro Baptist-type brethren under the bus, but I don't think he considers them to be true believers and therefore not his brothers.

Jude 1:21
For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Matthew 7:21
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Hebrews 10:26
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
What surprises me regarding your response on this matter is that having been originally saved as a Pentecostal I learned what is called elevator salvation. Okay, I am saved now but if I sin I am not saved (e.g. lust after my neighbors wife or don't turn the other cheek) and I have to get saved again. It is a life of constant guilt and being resaved over and over? When you receive the Spirit in you how do you get it out. Does it fly away and come back every day if you fail at keeping all the laws or maybe don't pray when you should and then get resaved? ...this puts us right back in the arms of WL. Your scriptures do not refer to the born again experience. This is the danger of isolating scriptures to prove a point and we all do it but there is more to it than what you have stated. There is no scripture that indicates that you can be un-reborn especially again and again. Just use the human experience which is our reference point. Once you are born...can you go back into the womb and be unborn? This is common sense.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:03 PM   #597
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What surprises me regarding your response on this matter is that having been originally saved as a Pentecostal I learned what is called elevator salvation. Okay, I am saved now but if I sin I am not saved (e.g. lust after my neighbors wife or don't turn the other cheek) and I have to get saved again. It is a life of constant guilt and being resaved over and over? When you receive the Spirit in you how do you get it out. Does it fly away and come back every day if you fail at keeping all the laws or maybe don't pray when you should and then get resaved? ...this puts us right back in the arms of WL. Your scriptures do not refer to the born again experience. This is the danger of isolating scriptures to prove a point and we all do it but there is more to it than what you have stated. There is no scripture that indicates that you can be un-reborn again. Just use the human experience which is our reference point. Once you are born...can you go back into the womb and be unborn? This is common sense.
I think the flavor of Arminianism that says you lose/gain salvation based on a single sin is extreme. Jesus did teach on assurance of salvation saying he would never lose even one of what the the Father has given him (John 6:39). The question is how do you know you truly are one of Jesus' sheep and belong to God and are elected for salvation? Shepherds during ancient times knew their sheep intimately and could call them out by name. The sheep were so familiar with their shepherd that they would not respond to the voice of another person.

Regarding hyper-grace, modern hyper-grace is even more extreme than "free grace" which originated from the Brethren movement because it insists confession of sins is unnecessary and the Holy Spirit never convicts us of sin and both are also different from OSAS.

For example, Calvinists believe in OSAS but also that a believer needs to demonstrate spiritual fruit and evidence of salvation, one being "perseverance of the saints" - the idea that a truly saved/elect person's faith will endure until the end (Matthew 24:13). So someone who professes belief in Jesus, but later dies recanting their faith was never truly saved or even born again.

Another flavor of Calvinism, experimental predestinarians believe you can not be absolutely certain of salvation until you die and find yourself in heaven. David Pawson touches some on this here (interestingly from an Arminian perspective):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy3tSIg7Gi0

In the parable of the sower, temporary belief does not equate to salvation. The seed that fell on the rocky place "believed for a while", but later fell away and bore the same fate as the other seeds except the good earth (Luke 8:13).

I think I fall under the lines of 2 Timothy 2:19 where I think Paul tries to capture some of the nuance behind God's salvation and our own response:

"Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.""

Only God knows who's truly saved, but we for sure have to do our part to turn from wickedness (a life characterized by being enslaved to sin), which is different from living a life characterized by righteousness but stumbling into the most serious of sins such as murder and adultery as King David had, and repenting. Yet the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Knowledge of one's salvation could be a private matter that is spirit to Spirit, between us and the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16), yet it is best to remain humble and have the mindset of working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12) and not proud because God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:25 PM   #598
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I said elsewhere on the forum, maybe to you, that there was a point when I decided that I didn't want to raise my kids in the LC environment and eventually left. I thought it was too problematic for someone to grow up in that type of crazy environment. For all that we have to say about the LC it was directionless then (late 1970s) and it appears to be now. It seems that many people cling to it because they don't know where else to go or they feel safe in a closed environment offered by the LC...
Yes, people do cling to it for a variety of reasons such as these. And, a lot of people feel trapped there. If their involvement in the Recovery helped them to overcome some other demon in their life -- say, a drug or alcohol dependency -- then it's not hard to see how the Recovery itself can become a new dependency.

Are there other reasons a person could come to feel "trapped" in the Recovery? What is the process by which Francis Ball and other leaders went from questioning Anaheim's practices, to becoming faithful, trustworthy loyalists? It's as if they underwent some sort of conversion process, the result of which is that they came "under the thumb" of the movement (reference the Rolling Stones song).

In some cases I believe there is a serious element of guilt involved. In some cases this guilt may relate to some dark, hidden things. And continued involvement in the movement somehow assuages that guilt. But that's a topic a lot of people don't have the stomach for...
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:09 PM   #599
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Another flavor of Calvinism, experimental predestinarians believe you can not be absolutely certain of salvation until you die and find yourself in heaven. David Pawson touches some on this here (interestingly from an Arminian perspective):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy3tSIg7Gi0
David Pawson offers an interesting perspective: we are never fully saved until we have been perfected and then at the end of our lives we can shout "once saved, always saved"...none of us on this forum are probably doing enough in our lives to live the perfect life...maybe awareness but he is an exception. It is interesting in the Didache while not included in the canon was probably written before many of the later NT canon books and references earlier books. At the end the author says "to live a perfect life but if you can't then live the best you can". I think that is all we are trying to do.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:38 AM   #600
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But for the true believer none of this matters. If it's the word of God it is the word of God...and it is one of those mysteries like the Doctrine of Christ or the Doctrine of Trinity...if they can't be explained they are just many of the mysteries. That's where faith enters in and you just believe what you are told to believe . . .
Pastor Peter LaRuffa, "If somewhere within the Bible, I were to find a passage that said 2 + 2 = 5, I wouldn't question what I'm reading in the Bible. I would believe it, accept it as true, and then do my best to work it out and understand it." From: An interview on an HBO documentary Questioning Darwin

There's a risk to/with faith. Not only because it defeats doubt, but because it can also defeat reality, and come to naught, or worse. When you place faith in something it's like placing a bet. It may pay off. It may not. It may be disappointing, with disappointing results and outcomes. Sometimes it can end up being harmful. Not always. But it's not wise to deny reality.

I look back and see where it harmed my life to have misplaced faith. It had real consequences. It was misplaced faith that got me in the local church, and kept me in there.

So saying that "it's by faith" is not a magic pill. Be careful with it.
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:35 AM   #601
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There's a difference between condemning homosexuals and condemning homosexuality.
The difference is that homosexuals are allowed to "live" as long as they suppress their sexuality. Since humans are sexual beings for the most part, that is unacceptable to many.

Quote:
Dr. Michael Brown has actually done previous apologetics and debates against the concept that you can be gay and Christian which was an "in-house debate". Paul says in 1 Cor 5:12 that Christians are to judge those inside the church, not outside, unfortunately this advice has fallen on deaf ears of some that Dr. Brown is referring to.
I believe in the value of religious freedom within limits. If people voluntarily choose this route it's one thing. However, indoctrinating children into a world of self-hatred is another and that is what fundamentalist churches seem to be doing.

Quote:
So I think Dr. Brown is referring here to those who are judging and espousing hate towards homosexuals using the bible as a medium to channel their hatred. "Love the sinner but do not love the sin". Every Christian I've met has said something along the same lines regarding LGBT issues.
That's better than overt hatred but still will be understandably unacceptable to those who find it incompatible with their freedom to pursue of happiness.

Quote:
I've read of Westboro Baptist Church and other types like them, but I've yet to meet one in real life. But then again I live in Northern California where even the most evangelical conservative churches lean towards being relationally liberal towards others (focus on loving others and not being judgmental) while remaining conservative in theology (biblical inerrancy etc). I think Michael Brown is referring to the same anecdotal evidence from his own personal experience here.
You seem to live in a bubble where supernatural stuff happens all the time but you don't see common every day evils.

Quote:
That's actually interesting you worded this paragraph like this because Dr. Michael Brown is a self professed Arminian and wrote a book titled "hyper grace" attacking the concept that after a Christian is "saved" he is free to do whatever he/she desires since his salvation is secure and that many such believers who abuse grace are not actually saved:
There's no way to know.

Quote:
You mentioned Michael Brown throwing his far right Westboro Baptist-type brethren under the bus, but I don't think he considers them to be true believers and therefore not his brothers.
How convenient for him.

Quote:
Jude 1:21
For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.


Matthew 7:21
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Sounds like a formula for inducing an anxiety disorder. Thanks for sharing.

Hebrews 10:26
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
Quoting verses like these out of context is more likely to induce an anxiety disorder than to cure homosexuality or bigotry.
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:39 AM   #602
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What surprises me regarding your response on this matter is that having been originally saved as a Pentecostal I learned what is called elevator salvation. Okay, I am saved now but if I sin I am not saved (e.g. lust after my neighbors wife or don't turn the other cheek) and I have to get saved again.
I knew a brother that left the LC and went hogwild into the world; into drinking drugs and women. He moved about 2 hrs drive from me and another exLCer and I would pay him a visit from time to time. Once we visited and he was attending a Pentecostal church and was on fire for the Lord. Everything was Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, and Bible, Bible, Bible. The next time we'd visit he was back to drinking, drugin, and women. And the next visit he'd be back to Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, again.

My wife had a friend, a wild thing. She was saved at an Apostolic church. She too went in and out. She'd visit and be on fire for Jesus. The next thing we knew she was jumping into cars and trading sex for crack rocks. Then, she'd show up and be Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, only to be walking the streets again in a month or so.

I determined, after witnessing this sort of in and out repetitive behavior, and thinking about it, that, God must love us so much that he provides churches for bipolars.
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:45 AM   #603
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David Pawson offers an interesting perspective: we are never fully saved until we have been perfected and then at the end of our lives we can shout "once saved, always saved"...none of us on this forum are probably doing enough in our lives to live the perfect life...maybe awareness but he is an exception. It is interesting in the Didache while not included in the canon was probably written before many of the later NT canon books and references earlier books. At the end the author says "to live a perfect life but if you can't then live the best you can". I think that is all we are trying to do.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:32 AM   #604
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David Pawson offers an interesting perspective: we are never fully saved until we have been perfected and then at the end of our lives we can shout "once saved, always saved"...none of us on this forum are probably doing enough in our lives to live the perfect life...maybe awareness but he is an exception. It is interesting in the Didache while not included in the canon was probably written before many of the later NT canon books and references earlier books. At the end the author says "to live a perfect life but if you can't then live the best you can". I think that is all we are trying to do.
I am going to begin with this post and probably respond to some of the ones that follow in the process.

I, like you, began life in the Pentecostal movement. The AOG. Arose mainly from the Methodists, therefore of Arminian belief on salvation. I grappled with the various verses that seemed to say opposite things for years (though not at much during that time because I was not quite 18 when I joined up with the LRC) before concluding that the Calvinist position seemed more correct. Yet all these years later, I hold a very nuanced view of Calvinism that actually might be best described as being able to look back and declare that it is so.

What I think is missing is that most of the places that support eternal security are packaged for us, and have been ingrained in our being as meaning that once the line in the sand is crossed, eternity is secure. But I an coming to believe that this is not what any of it actually says. It is the overlay that we view it through. Those who believe will not perish but have eternal life. But if I cannot find a glimmer of belief in me, how can I claim that saying I had belief in the past is sufficient. It did not say "those who believed" or "those who have at any time, even for just a while, believed." No, it says "believe." And today is time to believe. Just like yesterday and tomorrow.

And what is belief if you do not actually live as if the one you are now claiming to be your God, King, Lord, is your God, King, Lord? If I do not obey the one who has the right to command everything, how can I be understood as believing? Maybe believing that I will now spend my eternity elsewhere?

The problem is that the proof of belief is not complete success at obedience. But at the same time, lack of any attempt at obedience is probably decent proof of a lack of belief. Therefore the elevator salvation that we both grew up with was not supported by the scripture. But neither was the simplistic "once saved always saved" mantra of the average non-theologian Calvinist. I must believe. And to really believe, I must obey. But failure rather than success while trying to obey is different from failing to try to obey.

I realize that this places a completely different dynamic on who is in v out. And I am happy to leave that to God to sort out. And it argues that one of the very important things that should be taught to all believers is obedience. Not just to some list of things, but to righteousness in general. To love for neighbor as self. Whether we are trying to much in our selves, or leaning sufficiently on the Spirit for our working will be a problem, but it is not the difference between unacceptable (works) and acceptable (grace), but rather the proof that we need more of the Spirit in our lives.

But once the only "line" is crossed, that of the beginning of belief, the thing that matters is living the belief. Some will do it better than others. Some will have different things put upon them by the Spirit to follow. Some will be asked to lead. All will be asked to be righteous and charitable. If you can't get righteous and charitable right, then leading is out. (And this is where Nee and Lee should be rejected out of hand.)

But freezing up over whether you are obedient enough to prevail, so you just quit is a little like declaring your master to be a hard man, reaping where he does not sow (almost wrote that backward), and so burying what you have in the ground.

To me, the only question is what is the line at which you simply no longer believe at any level, and therefore cannot be said to believe in the Son. At that point, Arminius (or however you spell the name) was right and Calvin was wrong. Or they both nuanced their messages so much that both accounted for the other and just emphasize different aspects of the spectrum differently? I'm really not sure.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:43 AM   #605
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That's better than overt hatred but still will be understandably unacceptable to those who find it incompatible with their freedom to pursue of happiness.
Since this is a one-liner in response to a small part of a large post, I am curious what the context is for your comment on "freedom to pursue happiness." Is this something you see as inherently provided by the Bible? Or something that America grants its people? Or it is an overlay of American thought onto the Bible to grant people rights/freedoms that would not otherwise appear to be granted?

Whichever it is, are you asserting that as your position, or holding it up as a position different from bearbear, worthy of considering, but not necessarily your own?

You may see the answer as simply and a no-brainer. But accept the question as meaning your response was not so clear. I admit to being no genius. But when I stare at something for a while and wonder what is intended, I think that others might think the same thing.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:27 PM   #606
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Since this is a one-liner in response to a small part of a large post, I am curious what the context is for your comment on "freedom to pursue happiness." Is this something you see as inherently provided by the Bible? Or something that America grants its people? Or it is an overlay of American thought onto the Bible to grant people rights/freedoms that would not otherwise appear to be granted?

Whichever it is, are you asserting that as your position, or holding it up as a position different from bearbear, worthy of considering, but not necessarily your own?

You may see the answer as simply and a no-brainer. But accept the question as meaning your response was not so clear. I admit to being no genius. But when I stare at something for a while and wonder what is intended, I think that others might think the same thing.
"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are examples of unalienable rights as proposed in the United States Declaration of Independence. These are core American values which the Declaration says are given to all human beings by their Creator, and for which governments are created to protect. I don't find them incompatible with the Bible wherein the concept of salvation explicitly includes life, freedom and joy and therefore is synonymous with eternal happiness. Each individual subject has to work out what this means for themselves. Unlike some societies, America was founded on the ideal of supporting this process. This is not to be confused with the proposition that the USA is a Christian nation.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:47 PM   #607
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"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are examples of unalienable rights as proposed in the United States Declaration of Independence. These are core American values which the Declaration says are given to all human beings by their Creator, and for which governments are created to protect. I don't find them incompatible with the Bible wherein the concept of salvation explicitly includes life, freedom and joy and therefore is synonymous with eternal happiness. Each individual subject has to work out what this means for themselves. Unlike some societies, America was founded on the ideal of supporting this process. This is not to be confused with the proposition that the USA is a Christian nation.
Thanks. I sort of thought that.

And I agree that in terms of society, everyone has the right to the pursuit of happiness — ending at the overlap with others' rights.

So the discussion is phenomenally nuanced since the Christian life, while full of liberties in Christ, is also full of limitations supplied by Christ. Some of those limitations run counter to the somewhat unrestricted rights provided by the American constitution. And when I write here about things surrounding fundamentalism, I am speaking in terms of the affect on the Christians. And there are plenty of rules put on the Christians by fundamentalists that not only would be disdained by outsiders, but are not even really there for the Christian. And at some level, the problem with fundamentalism is that they are often as much or more worried about how this all ought to affect the non-Christian world and not just looking at the household of faith.

And within the household of faith, some level of "cleaning house" might be in order. But when it comes to the world, it is one thing to state your moral preference for no abortions, or limits on the open display of homosexuality, but it is another to take your religious jargon to the political marketplace and start bashing everyone on the head with it. That is such an un-Christian act.

So in the world arena, we need to learn how to love our neighbor, whether they are straight or gay; married with children, unmarried and pregnant, or even have had an abortion; etc. That does not mean that within the church there is not a basis to accept a person of homosexual tendencies but direct that they should at least not be known to be pursuing it actively in order to maintain fellowship. I have said it tersely and therefore with no love. But the fact is that they are entitled to pursue their homosexual passions, but are not entitled to demand continued acceptance within the Christian community if they do. It is like the man that Paul told the Corinthians to expel from fellowship until he repents and ceases his sexual affair.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:34 AM   #608
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But the fact is that they are entitled to pursue their homosexual passions, but are not entitled to demand continued acceptance within the Christian community if they do. It is like the man that Paul told the Corinthians to expel from fellowship until he repents and ceases his sexual affair.
No one has the right to "demand continued acceptance within the Christian community." Anyone can be expelled, for all kinds of things. My cousin was expelled from her independent Southern Baptist church for not attending. And they knew she was missing because she was taking care of her husband, who was dying of cancer, and grieving afterwards.

I think it's safe to say that, the church at Corinth was not the only church back then that experienced concupiscence in their midst. Yet we have record of Paul telling just one church to expel for sexual immorality. If Paul hadn't told the Corinthians to expel the immoral one would they have allowed him to stay?

What about all the other churches, that weren't told by Paul, to expel those of sexual immorality?

Maybe that's why we have the Metropolitan Community Church today. They come down the line that weren't told to expel for sexual immorality ... at least in spirit.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:38 AM   #609
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Thanks. I sort of thought that.

And I agree that in terms of society, everyone has the right to the pursuit of happiness — ending at the overlap with others' rights.

So the discussion is phenomenally nuanced since the Christian life, while full of liberties in Christ, is also full of limitations supplied by Christ. Some of those limitations run counter to the somewhat unrestricted rights provided by the American constitution. And when I write here about things surrounding fundamentalism, I am speaking in terms of the affect on the Christians. And there are plenty of rules put on the Christians by fundamentalists that not only would be disdained by outsiders, but are not even really there for the Christian. And at some level, the problem with fundamentalism is that they are often as much or more worried about how this all ought to affect the non-Christian world and not just looking at the household of faith.
Yes, there is a fundamentalist movement that is working toward either a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. Prominent among these are the Calvinist Christian Reconstructionists and the charismatic/Pentecostal Kingdom Now movement and the New Apostolic Reformation.

Quote:
And within the household of faith, some level of "cleaning house" might be in order. But when it comes to the world, it is one thing to state your moral preference for no abortions, or limits on the open display of homosexuality, but it is another to take your religious jargon to the political marketplace and start bashing everyone on the head with it. That is such an un-Christian act.
There doesn't seem to be a consensus about the proper role of Christians in society among Christians themselves.

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So in the world arena, we need to learn how to love our neighbor, whether they are straight or gay; married with children, unmarried and pregnant, or even have had an abortion; etc. That does not mean that within the church there is not a basis to accept a person of homosexual tendencies but direct that they should at least not be known to be pursuing it actively in order to maintain fellowship. I have said it tersely and therefore with no love. But the fact is that they are entitled to pursue their homosexual passions, but are not entitled to demand continued acceptance within the Christian community if they do. It is like the man that Paul told the Corinthians to expel from fellowship until he repents and ceases his sexual affair.
All of which has the practical result that homosexuals are marginalized and delegitimized within the church. If they wish to express their sexuality, they must do it surreptitiously in promiscuous ways. The growing trend towards legalizing gay marriage is legitimizing homosexuality which may, if the experiment is successful, support them in making positive contributions to society and decreasing promiscuity. Yet conservative Christianity opposes this trend which seems to result in relegating homosexuals to lives of repression and shame. I saw horrific examples of this in the Local Churches.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:39 AM   #610
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All of which has the practical result that homosexuals are marginalized and delegitimized within the church. If they wish to express their sexuality, they must do it surreptitiously in promiscuous ways. The growing trend towards legalizing gay marriage is legitimizing homosexuality which may, if the experiment is successful, support them in making positive contributions to society and decreasing promiscuity. Yet conservative Christianity opposes this trend which seems to result in relegating homosexuals to lives of repression and shame. I saw horrific examples of this in the Local Churches.
This is a problem that almost none have successfully addressed. And the problems are on both sides of the discussion.

It is hard for so many that have the insider's view who cannot accept that anyone undertakes homosexual acts other than through sheer desire for some hedonistic pleasure, therefore to them the whole thing is simply sin. They do not consider that no matter how it came to be, some have desires that arise other than by willful intent, therefore failure at abstention is potentially (and at varying levels) no different than a drug addict with a craving for a fix.

But on the other side, too many cannot accept that the thing that they crave could be sinful since they assert that God made them that way. I have no basis for taking a position on the debate about being made "that way," so I must treat it as possibly true. But I disagree that God "did it." Rather, it is the fall that did it. It is one of many variations in the makeup of sinful man that must be overcome. Not really different from those with a predisposition to steal, to fall into all kinds of sexual sin, to drink to excess (and loss of virtually all control), etc. Everyone knows how hard it is to abstain from something. It may be something seemingly innocuous, but it is still there.

So the healthy Christian assembly will eventually include some who will have certain mannerisms that mark them as homosexuals, but who are at least seeming to abstain from practicing as such. And in that position, it should be no different for them than for anyone else who has joined the community of faith in that they are participants with the body. Only the political debate about the particular sin should mark it as unusual. In all other aspects, it is simply another foible common to man.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:49 AM   #611
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Yes, there is a fundamentalist movement that is working toward either a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. Prominent among these are the Calvinist Christian Reconstructionists and the charismatic/Pentecostal Kingdom Now movement and the New Apostolic Reformation.

There doesn't seem to be a consensus about the proper role of Christians in society among Christians themselves.

All of which has the practical result that homosexuals are marginalized and delegitimized within the church. If they wish to express their sexuality, they must do it surreptitiously in promiscuous ways. The growing trend towards legalizing gay marriage is legitimizing homosexuality which may, if the experiment is successful, support them in making positive contributions to society and decreasing promiscuity. Yet conservative Christianity opposes this trend which seems to result in relegating homosexuals to lives of repression and shame. I saw horrific examples of this in the Local Churches.
As we see from God himself, inequality is at the heart of the Bible---Genesis 17:9-14--- 9 God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring. 13 Both the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money must be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” From God's standpoint circumcision creates equality and not how you treat another person.

Equality is a human invention. Fairness is a human invention. Democracy is a human invention. Why didn’t God include an eleventh commandment?---you shall not enslave another human being. The only evidence of equality and fairness is from Jesus who spoke about the coming kingdom when everyone would be equal. What Jesus spoke out against was the inequity in society which he condemned. Paul never spoke out against slavery or women’s equality. Paul brought his own version of the Christian message which has been followed ever since and of course a bunch of white Caucasian men liked his teachings and made them part of the canon. The group who put the canon together never consulted with one woman or one African or one Hispanic or one Asian person or one gay person…not one. The entire Bible for that matter was written by a bunch of white guys to include books named female such as Ruth etc. Where is the majority of support for the Bible today?---a bunch of white guys. Black slaves wrote songs related to the freedom Jesus mentioned and that is why you do see black churches today and token blacks in white churches.

I looked at the church my grandparents, mother and her brothers were raised in and I attended a few times and it is a “white” church. http://www.brightmoorchurch.org/ in the city of Detroit no less.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:01 AM   #612
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This is a problem that almost none have successfully addressed. And the problems are on both sides of the discussion.

It is hard for so many that have the insider's view who cannot accept that anyone undertakes homosexual acts other than through sheer desire for some hedonistic pleasure, therefore to them the whole thing is simply sin. They do not consider that no matter how it came to be, some have desires that arise other than by willful intent, therefore failure at abstention is potentially (and at varying levels) no different than a drug addict with a craving for a fix.

But on the other side, too many cannot accept that the thing that they crave could be sinful since they assert that God made them that way. I have no basis for taking a position on the debate about being made "that way," so I must treat it as possibly true. But I disagree that God "did it." Rather, it is the fall that did it. It is one of many variations in the makeup of sinful man that must be overcome. Not really different from those with a predisposition to steal, to fall into all kinds of sexual sin, to drink to excess (and loss of virtually all control), etc. Everyone knows how hard it is to abstain from something. It may be something seemingly innocuous, but it is still there.

So the healthy Christian assembly will eventually include some who will have certain mannerisms that mark them as homosexuals, but who are at least seeming to abstain from practicing as such. And in that position, it should be no different for them than for anyone else who has joined the community of faith in that they are participants with the body. Only the political debate about the particular sin should mark it as unusual. In all other aspects, it is simply another foible common to man.
Suffice it to say that people will make up their own minds. Meanwhile, we have people in Christian pulpits saying things like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gjm...ature=youtu.be
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:24 AM   #613
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But on the other side, too many cannot accept that the thing that they crave could be sinful since they assert that God made them that way. I have no basis for taking a position on the debate about being made "that way," so I must treat it as possibly true. But I disagree that God "did it."
Well what does God make and what does the devil make?

What about hermaphrodites, or babies born with ambiguous genitalia, with both sex organs? Does God make them? They don't choose to be that way, yet they are physically ambiguous, being both male and female. Will they be judged by God for it, like many Christians claim homosexuals will be judged by God?

If God makes hermaphrodites He can just as easily make homosexuals. How, then, can God judge homosexuals, that He makes, any more than He can judge those born as hermaphrodites, that He makes?

Who really knows what God makes, or judges? God has information not available to us.

And why can't gays marry? Don't they deserve to have the right to be just as unhappy as those in heterosexual marriages?

From what I've seen, staunch conservative anti-gay Christians experience a change of mind, when one of their children come out as gay. They then have to decide which they love the most, the Bible, or their child. Most choose the child.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:53 AM   #614
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As we see from God himself, inequality is at the heart of the Bible---Genesis 17:9-14--- 9 God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring. 13 Both the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money must be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” From God's standpoint circumcision creates equality and not how you treat another person.

Generally, I see the Bible as salvation history in which the concept of God culturally from being a local tribal god to the Creator and Savior of the universe. I also entertain the proposition that ritual precedes myth in the cultural evolution of religion. So, according to that theory, the ancient Jews may have found themselves practicing the tradition of circumcision before this mythological explanation of why they were circumcising males originated. While this was earlier interpreted as a sign of God setting the Jews apart, that process itself came to be seen by Christianity as a vehicle through which God could save humanity.



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Equality is a human invention. Fairness is a human invention. Democracy is a human invention. Why didn’t God include an eleventh commandment?---you shall not enslave another human being. The only evidence of equality and fairness is from Jesus who spoke about the coming kingdom when everyone would be equal. What Jesus spoke out against was the inequity in society which he condemned. Paul never spoke out against slavery or women’s equality. Paul brought his own version of the Christian message which has been followed ever since and of course a bunch of white Caucasian men liked his teachings and made them part of the canon. The group who put the canon together never consulted with one woman or one African or one Hispanic or one Asian person or one gay person…not one. The entire Bible for that matter was written by a bunch of white guys to include books named female such as Ruth etc. Where is the majority of support for the Bible today?---a bunch of white guys. Black slaves wrote songs related to the freedom Jesus mentioned and that is why you do see black churches today and token blacks in white churches.
And yet the idea of equality first seems to have originated form the concept of equality before God which morphed into the concept of equality before the law which is possible the only kind of equality there is. And that exists only theoretically as a universal value for which we strive and never actually arrive at. The general principle is there as a seed in the Bible in the notion of justice which develops in the Hebrew Bible, in the idea that the ruler and the slave are equal in prayer and that God is "no respecter of persons.' Whether humans created God or God created humans just begs the question.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:27 PM   #615
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From God's standpoint circumcision creates equality and not how you treat another person.
Your Bible must be missing a lot of pages. Either that or you have a REALLY SELECTIVE memory of what you have read. I suspect the later. Originally, circumcision was not a matter of equality but rather a matter of identification with God and his chosen people. Of course, as men are apt to do, they took this ordinance and turned it into a godless, religious form. The apostle Paul addressed this in several of his epistles, but most notably to the Romans: (hopefully your Bible still has Romans in it): "For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God."(Rom 2:28-29) - "a Jew is one inwardly" is very telling here. I think it had to do at least partly with how you spoke to and treated other people.

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Equality is a human invention. Fairness is a human invention. Democracy is a human invention. Why didn’t God include an eleventh commandment?---you shall not enslave another human being. The only evidence of equality and fairness is from Jesus who spoke about the coming kingdom when everyone would be equal.
Ok, if you say so, but who "invented" the humans who supposedly invented equality and fairness? I know, I know, you think a bolt of lightning hit a puddle of inorganic primordial soup and the impossible just happened, and from there a single celled amoeba type thingy sprang forth, then a worm, then a this and then a that (and all the while DNA was just programming itself..another impossible that just happened!)...and before you know it, here comes this all-benevolent creature who invents equality, fairness and democracy...wow, what a nice, tidy comfortable worldview!

Quote:
Jesus who spoke about the coming kingdom when everyone would be equal
Ok, this must be coming from that Bible with missing pages again. This statement is so whacked on so many levels I wouldn't know where to begin..so I won't.

Quote:
The entire Bible for that matter was written by a bunch of white guys to include books named female such as Ruth etc. Where is the majority of support for the Bible today?---a bunch of white guys. Black slaves wrote songs related to the freedom Jesus mentioned and that is why you do see black churches today and token blacks in white churches.
Now I'm really wondering what "Bible" you have to begin with.
Moses was "white"?
All the Prophets were "white"?
King David was "white"? Oh, I forgot, all those dudes who painted all those paintings must have seem him in person
Oh, and everybody knows that all those first century Galilean fisherman where all pasty white
And everybody also knows that the apostle Paul was from that famous "white" tribe of Benjamin

Where is the majority of support for the Bible today? Glad you asked!
The biggest growth in the Christian Church today is from CHINA (not a lot of whites hangin round there) AFRICA (mostly black) and THE MIDDLE EAST (mostly non-white). In some of these places just possessing a Bible is a major crime, but people are still begging for just a few pages here and there. (maybe you could find the ones missing from yours and mail it to them)
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:52 PM   #616
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All of which has the practical result that homosexuals are marginalized and delegitimized within the church. If they wish to express their sexuality, they must do it surreptitiously in promiscuous ways. The growing trend towards legalizing gay marriage is legitimizing homosexuality which may, if the experiment is successful, support them in making positive contributions to society and decreasing promiscuity. Yet conservative Christianity opposes this trend which seems to result in relegating homosexuals to lives of repression and shame. I saw horrific examples of this in the Local Churches.
In the Local Churches even heterosexuality is repressed. Perhaps that could be called an experiment, too.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:58 PM   #617
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Where is the majority of support for the Bible today?---a bunch of white guys.
Actually I thought church attendance generally skews disproportionately female? I know where I live, I'm a lot more likely to hear preaching from women than men. And most of them are white women. But some of them have skin of different shades.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:02 PM   #618
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In the Local Churches even heterosexuality is repressed. Perhaps that could be called an experiment, too.
True, but heterosexuality at least could be legitimately expressed through marriage. Not so homosexuality. Life is an experiment, bro.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:53 PM   #619
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True, but heterosexuality at least could be legitimately expressed through marriage. Not so homosexuality.
True, assuming you can remain "asleep" until you have both a bachelor's degree and FTTA graduation.

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Life is an experiment, bro.
Perhaps. Just as long as we're experimenting w/ourselves, and not w/others...
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:26 PM   #620
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Well what does God make and what does the devil make?
God made male and female. That was before the introduction of sin. The introduction of sin was due to the actions of Satan.

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What about hermaphrodites, or babies born with ambiguous genitalia, with both sex organs? Does God make them? They don't choose to be that way, yet they are physically ambiguous, being both male and female. Will they be judged by God for it, like many Christians claim homosexuals will be judged by God?
You have simply re-asked the same question we are already discussing. It seems different. You can see nuances that may not be in the homosexual question. But it is really the same.

Don't be like the guy who thinks that changing the question over and over again is the same as a solid discussion with boundaries. If you keep changing the question to get a different answer, eventually you may get a different answer, but it may not be for the reason(s) that you think. You may have just pushed it into a completely different discussion. Besides, constantly trying to move the goalposts does not necessarily help us find truth.
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:48 PM   #621
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From what I've seen, staunch conservative anti-gay Christians experience a change of mind, when one of their children come out as gay. They then have to decide which they love the most, the Bible, or their child. Most choose the child.
And, like a lot of other discussions going on around here, both positions are wrong. The Bible does not simply condemn the homosexual in the way that "staunch conservative anti-gay Christians" do. It condemns the sin of homosexual activities. Those "staunch" whatevers are busy pointing fingers and yelling things about burning in hell, and withholding any kind of love for the person to which the attack is heading.

That is a horrible attack on the commands of the Bible.

Meanwhile, when their own son/daughter declares their sin, they either dig in and even add fuel to their homophobic hatred, or they chuck it all and decide that it is simply OK. Neither is OK. It is not OK to hate people in that manner, and it is not OK to willfully engage in sin. Until the homosexual person becomes a believer, my only responsibility to them is to love them as I love myself. And I don't hate myself enough to have the kind of hatred toward them that so many display. After belief in Christ, the person with homosexual tendencies, leanings, or whatever you think it actually is, has a propensity for sin that would probably stand right in there with Paul's thorn in the flesh. It is something that must be grappled with and ultimately overcome. Open engagement in the "lifestyle" will be subject to the kind of excommunication that saved a brother from his somewhat similar sin in Corinth. It does not make him a renewed target for hate crimes or derision.

But until someone can show me where the Bible does not really stand against homosexuality, just feeling bad for them and letting them go on without consequence is no better than the hateful way that the staunch conservatives attack them when they aren't even claiming to be Christian.

And your constant stirring the pot with comments that effectively ignore the conversation that is going on is getting a little annoying. Yes, there are people who claim to be Christians that do not act very Christ-like. We do not need to divert our attention from what we think should be back to the bad apples every time you decide to post something. It is getting a little old.

Or are you determined that Christianity is just about people who want to be right and find others to be wrong, therefore constantly worthy of your negative comments and scenarios?
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:57 PM   #622
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And, like a lot of other discussions going on around here, both positions are wrong. The Bible does not simply condemn the homosexual in the way that "staunch conservative anti-gay Christians" do. It condemns the sin of homosexual activities. Those "staunch" whatevers are busy pointing fingers and yelling things about burning in hell, and withholding any kind of love for the person to which the attack is heading.

That is a horrible attack on the commands of the Bible.

Meanwhile, when their own son/daughter declares their sin, they either dig in and even add fuel to their homophobic hatred, or they chuck it all and decide that it is simply OK. Neither is OK. It is not OK to hate people in that manner, and it is not OK to willfully engage in sin. Until the homosexual person becomes a believer, my only responsibility to them is to love them as I love myself. And I don't hate myself enough to have the kind of hatred toward them that so many display. After belief in Christ, the person with homosexual tendencies, leanings, or whatever you think it actually is, has a propensity for sin that would probably stand right in there with Paul's thorn in the flesh. It is something that must be grappled with and ultimately overcome. Open engagement in the "lifestyle" will be subject to the kind of excommunication that saved a brother from his somewhat similar sin in Corinth. It does not make him a renewed target for hate crimes or derision.

But until someone can show me where the Bible does not really stand against homosexuality, just feeling bad for them and letting them go on without consequence is no better than the hateful way that the staunch conservatives attack them when they aren't even claiming to be Christian.

And your constant stirring the pot with comments that effectively ignore the conversation that is going on is getting a little annoying. Yes, there are people who claim to be Christians that do not act very Christ-like. We do not need to divert our attention from what we think should be back to the bad apples every time you decide to post something. It is getting a little old.

Or are you determined that Christianity is just about people who want to be right and find others to be wrong, therefore constantly worthy of your negative comments and scenarios?
So then, what are the legitimate non-sin ways of expressing homosexuality that are unworthy of condemnation?
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:38 PM   #623
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Your Bible must be missing a lot of pages. Either that or you have a REALLY SELECTIVE memory of what you have read. I suspect the later. Originally, circumcision was not a matter of equality but rather a matter of identification with God and his chosen people. Of course, as men are apt to do, they took this ordinance and turned it into a godless, religious form. The apostle Paul addressed this in several of his epistles, but most notably to the Romans: (hopefully your Bible still has Romans in it): "For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God."(Rom 2:28-29) - "a Jew is one inwardly" is very telling here. I think it had to do at least partly with how you spoke to and treated other people.
I understand what it says in Romans and Galatians etc but Paul was writing this to the Romans and others in regards to the Judaizers who were insisting on circumcision for Gentiles after they were saved. It doesn’t negate the quote from Genesis 17 when circumcision was initially instituted where there is a direct quote from “God” (i.e. “God said to Abraham”) even more important than Paul’s writings to the Romans and others I would think. I mean it was a direct quote….God said…. Paul said some good things about equality but in his other writings he marginalized women and demeaned blacks by supporting slavery. While in prison, Paul met a runaway slave, Onesimus, the property of a Christian -- presumably Philemon. He sent the slave back to his owner. This action is forbidden in Deuteronomy 23:15-16: "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant who has escaped from his master unto thee." Although it appears from your perspective Paul was just following Jesus? He not only violated the scriptures but ethical behavior.

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Ok, if you say so, but who "invented" the humans who supposedly invented equality and fairness? I know, I know, you think a bolt of lightning hit a puddle of inorganic primordial soup and the impossible just happened, and from there a single celled amoeba type thingy sprang forth, then a worm, then a this and then a that (and all the while DNA was just programming itself..another impossible that just happened!)...and before you know it, here comes this all-benevolent creature who invents equality, fairness and democracy...wow, what a nice, tidy comfortable worldview!
I would never be so presumptuous to agree with every proposition of evolution because even Stephen Meyer’s Intelligent Design has some interesting thoughts when considering the Cambrian explosion. However, I have difficulty with Genesis which has God creating two completely formed humans who spoke fluent Hebrew. Of course, God also spoke Hebrew, I presume. Stephen Meyer doesn’t advocate the Genesis concept either. Whether it was a bolt of lightning or created otherwise it wasn’t as described in Genesis. In the end, neither you nor I really know how this all came about but we do know that the Bible did not consistently advocate equality or social justice.

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Ok, this must be coming from that Bible with missing pages again. This statement is so whacked on so many levels I wouldn't know where to begin..so I won't.
Matt 5:3-4 ..3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.… His first miracle was performed in response to a plea from His mother (John 2:1-11) His first revelation of Himself as Messiah was to a woman (John 4:25- 26) His greatest miracle was performed at the request of two women (John 11:1-44) His death was memorialized by a woman (John 12:1-8) Women were included in His expanded group of disciples (Mark 15:41). Women stayed with Him throughout His crucifixion, even after the men had left (Matthew 27:55-56) Women observed His burial (Matthew 27:61) Following His resurrection, He appeared first to a woman (John 20:1- 16) He commissioned women as the very first evangelists (Matthew 28:1- 10; John 20:17) “I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her" (Matt. 26:10)
Matthew 19:22-24…22..But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. 23…And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24…"Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."…

Matthew 10:7-9…7 "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8 "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9 "Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,…

Jesus promised a coming kingdom with equality. This is not a whacky conclusion: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1524117.html

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Now I'm really wondering what "Bible" you have to begin with.
Moses was "white"?
All the Prophets were "white"?
King David was "white"? Oh, I forgot, all those dudes who painted all those paintings must have seem him in person
Oh, and everybody knows that all those first century Galilean fisherman where all pasty white
And everybody also knows that the apostle Paul was from that famous "white" tribe of Benjamin

Where is the majority of support for the Bible today? Glad you asked!
The biggest growth in the Christian Church today is from CHINA (not a lot of whites hangin round there) AFRICA (mostly black) and THE MIDDLE EAST (mostly non-white). In some of these places just possessing a Bible is a major crime, but people are still begging for just a few pages here and there. (maybe you could find the ones missing from yours and mail it to them)
Last time I checked Jews were listed as white Caucasian. If you know otherwise maybe you could give me a reference. This is from Wikipedia regarding race: 'In various editions of On the Natural Variety of Mankind, Blumenbach defined five human races based on color, using popular racial terms of his day, justified with scientific terminology, cranial measurements, and facial features. He established Caucasian as the "white race," as well as Mongoloid as the "yellow race," Malayan the "brown race," Ethiopian the "black race," American the "red race."' I was only pointing out the background of the people who developed the Bible and those who practice in the US and not the growth of Christianity throughout the world which is another story.

BTW….You left out South America which has probably had the largest growth and surprisingly they are mostly moderate to left leaning politically compared to the US. I don't expect a response from you because for one thing...there is no responsible answer...otherwise...it's just your way...
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:57 PM   #624
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And your constant stirring the pot with comments that effectively ignore the conversation that is going on is getting a little annoying.. . . .
. . .Or are you determined that Christianity is just about people who want to be right and find others to be wrong, therefore constantly worthy of your negative comments and scenarios?
Sorry if I annoy you bro Mike. I'll do my best to correct that. But if I were you I'd doubt I'll ever manage it.

I was responding to your statement: "But I disagree that God "did it."" I pointed out that God does actually do physical ambiguous sexuality sometimes, to counter your presumption. Did I misunderstand you?

When I stated that when anti-gay Christians discover their child is gay they have a change of mind I'm not speaking in the abstract, constructing a straw man to bring Christianity down.

I'm right now involved trying to get one of my cousins out of a debilitating depression. Most all his life he's been a Southern Baptist fundamentalist. He raised his only child as a ideal image of a clean cut straight-laced Christian boy; his/their pride and joy.

Not long ago the apple of his eye introduced him/them to his gay lover. It got real ugly. My cousin told his son that he was an abomination to God. They got into fierce fights, even on Facebook, for the whole world to see, much to his shame.

My cousin crashed into serious depression, that even prescription drugs have failed to pull him out of. He's questioning the veracity of his Christian faith. He feels like Jesus failed him; cuz Jesus failed to save his son from homosexuality.

I have loved my cousin since kids. (I turned him onto Watchman Nee) I'm very concerned about him, and his wife.

He told his son that God was going to judge him, and he would go to hell for being a homosexual. So I told my cousin about God creating hermaphrodites. Trying to comfort him. That, God made his son the way that he is, and so can't judge him. But he insists that the Bible condemns homosexuality.

This is serious. I'm trying to get my cousin back to loving his son. I've been thru this already, with another anti-gay Southern Baptist cousin, that had to deal with their daughter coming out gay. In fact, it was in discussions with them that hermaphrodite cases came up.

Bro Mike, please have patience with me. And don't forget that I'm living smack dub in the middle of fundamentalism, and grew up with it. So the flaws stand out to me. Sorry for that.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:12 AM   #625
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So then, what are the legitimate non-sin ways of expressing homosexuality that are unworthy of condemnation?
I think you are reading something into what I said that I did not actually say.

I tried to be consistent in stating that the typical rhetoric of hatred that comes from the mouths of so many is not welcome, whether pointed at an unregenerate or regenerated person of homosexual persuasion. That did not make expressions of homosexuality suddenly acceptable.

I'm not sure what it is that brought that statement, unless it was where I said something like seeing some homosexual mannerisms in the meetings (in another post or an unquoted part of this one). While no one likes stereotypes, there are things that people do that are "tells" that are not, in themselves, any kind of sin. Where found, it is often part of having been among a subculture that lives a certain way (outwardly) and it becomes the habitual way of living for them. I do not condemn that — just note that it will be visible.

If that was not it, then I am not sure what you are talking about. There are plenty of non-sexual aspects of love that are understood as the activities between people who do, or maybe will engage in sexual behavior. Not certain where they become part of the unacceptable part of the "lifestyle" and where they do not. Personally, I think that much of anything that evidences same-gender union is, at minimum, dancing around the flames of passion, and contrasts to the same activities directed toward heterosexual union. Even at just the dating phase.

In short, the only thing that I think should have been considered "acceptable" would be personal mannerisms. But, like other things, I can be persuaded.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:38 AM   #626
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I was responding to your statement: "But I disagree that God "did it."" I pointed out that God does actually do physical ambiguous sexuality sometimes, to counter your presumption. Did I misunderstand you?
We have a different take on what it is that "did it." Simply because genetics is claimed to be the source is not evidence that it is just God that did it. You are blowing right by that and taking it as fact without further discussion. Treating it as a stipulated fact.

It is not. Therefore your tack-on conclusions would appear to be based upon a "fact" upon which we do not agree.

But there is no guarantee in life that everyone around you, whether related or not, will live in the manner you choose for them. And as long as we conclude that the outcome of our children will be dictated by God if we do X, Y, and Z, then we are living yet another version of the healthy, wealthy, and wise gospel.

I would not abandon your cousin. But you cannot just join in his finger-pointing as he deals with his grief. If believing parents always resulted in believing and obedient children, then the Western world would be virtually all Christian because there is at least one Christian parent somewhere back in everyone's past. If they could guarantee the outcomes of their kids, then that would guarantee the outcome of the next generation, and so on. Marry into the families with no such ancestor and now their next generation is affected. Christianity would not be waning in Europe, but growing toward saturation.

And becoming Christian was never a guarantee for a better set of current circumstances. Yes we pray for that. And sometimes we get it. But not always. The jobs lost in the latest recession were not all non-Christians. The lives lost in the 9/11 attacks were not all heathen. Yet we are prone to look at particular circumstances and ask God "why me?" when the real question is "how long, oh God?".
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:08 PM   #627
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We have a different take on what it is that "did it." Simply because genetics is claimed to be the source is not evidence that it is just God that did it. You are blowing right by that and taking it as fact without further discussion. Treating it as a stipulated fact.
True. God might have nothing to do with it. It may just be the way of nature some times. There's plenty of evidence that, same sex relations happens thru-out the animal kingdom.

The fundamental question is: Does God judge for it? And: If God judges for it should we?

To the typical Christian, of the fundamentalist persuasion, if not family related, the loud answer is: YES!

But let your son or daughter come out and it's another matter altogether. Now your heart is torn apart. It's very traumatic. It put both my cousins into a tailspin.

I remember my cousin, a deacon in his SBC, telling me that he went to members of his church about his daughter coming out. I remember it well. He said, "The ones that knew their Bible the best had the most hateful advice." Fortunately he and her mother didn't take their advice. They didn't disown their daughter. They chose the way of love. She died about a year ago. At their house. Of a heart attack. They're very glad they decided to love her, and accept her as she was; as the person -- so her mother says -- she was born to be.

Did God do it? If so He can't judge someone for it.

Did the devil do it? Then God can't judge the person for that either.

Did the fall cause it? Would a just and fair God judge for something caused by the fall? Wouldn't it be expected?

Or did nature cause it? If so there's no judgment at all, one way or another, to be found.

Does the Bible judge it? That's a resounding YES!!!

And thus the inner heart and mind conflict of the fundamentalist thrown into discovering their child is gay.

May the love of God be with them.
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:51 PM   #628
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I'm sure that you are understanding what I have said, yet it seems that you are so focused on the wrong that so many do in the name of right.
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The ones that knew their Bible the best had the most hateful advice.
And this particular quote is among the most telling of the failures among us to follow the great commandment because if someone can say that, then we are not loving or neighbor as ourselves.
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:37 PM   #629
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This conversation seems awfully dualistic to me.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:13 PM   #630
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This conversation seems awfully dualistic to me.
I understand the sentiment, but I believe that this conversation has gone where it should have been decades ago.

There should be a kind of dualism in the Christian life. It is loving toward God and everyone else, but hard on itself as it sees how it is failing in the call to truly believe and obey.

It is like the verses that say don't judge anyone while others seem to say to judge. Seems that we are not to usurp God's place in judgment on the world, but we are to judge among ourselves, such as in areas of personal weakness and in church discipline. But remember that church discipline is for the church, not the heathen (or as I sometimes say, heathren — opposite of brethren).

We are to love and preach the gospel to the heathen. And most of our preaching should be without words. If they can't find reason to want us to speak because our wordless preaching is poor (or nonexistent) then speaking will not really help much. They need a reason to ask us about our hope.

And unloading our stance against whatever the sin of the month club is selling is not a very good enticement for asking about the hope we have.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:56 AM   #631
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I understand the sentiment, but I believe that this conversation has gone where it should have been decades ago.

There should be a kind of dualism in the Christian life. It is loving toward God and everyone else, but hard on itself as it sees how it is failing in the call to truly believe and obey.

It is like the verses that say don't judge anyone while others seem to say to judge. Seems that we are not to usurp God's place in judgment on the world, but we are to judge among ourselves, such as in areas of personal weakness and in church discipline. But remember that church discipline is for the church, not the heathen (or as I sometimes say, heathren — opposite of brethren).

We are to love and preach the gospel to the heathen. And most of our preaching should be without words. If they can't find reason to want us to speak because our wordless preaching is poor (or nonexistent) then speaking will not really help much. They need a reason to ask us about our hope.

And unloading our stance against whatever the sin of the month club is selling is not a very good enticement for asking about the hope we have.
Who said it was going to be easy to love our neighbors? Many of them seem unlovable, or worse. Maybe Jesus could do it, but it doesn't come natural to human nature.

Then add, : "Love your enemy," and ,"resist not evil," and we're talking the impossible.

Who can keep what Jesus taught? Not even the fundamentalists can keep it. I don't see anyone that's kept those teachings of Jesus; maybe Gandhi, and he wasn't Christian.

The Bible must be the word of God. That's why we can't keep and live it.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:12 AM   #632
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I think you are reading something into what I said that I did not actually say. I tried to be consistent in stating that the typical rhetoric of hatred that comes from the mouths of so many is not welcome, whether pointed at an unregenerate or regenerated person of homosexual persuasion. That did not make expressions of homosexuality suddenly acceptable.
So, for you, both hatred and homosexuality are unacceptable. But, do you really believe homosexuality is merely a "persuasion"?

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I'm not sure what it is that brought that statement, unless it was where I said something like seeing some homosexual mannerisms in the meetings (in another post or an unquoted part of this one). While no one likes stereotypes, there are things that people do that are "tells" that are not, in themselves, any kind of sin. Where found, it is often part of having been among a subculture that lives a certain way (outwardly) and it becomes the habitual way of living for them. I do not condemn that — just note that it will be visible.
I don't think so. My observation is that effeminate mannerism in boys and masculine mannerisms in girls manifest themselves in early childhood regardless what the parents teach. That's why the preacher in the video I posted advocates verbally abusing and beating it out of kids. I take it you wouldn't approve of that. That kind of abuse results in self loathing and painful psychological conflicts according to the testimonies of many gay and transgender people. Yet it seems to be a common tradition among Christians who find support for it in the Bible.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:15 AM   #633
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This conversation seems awfully dualistic to me.
I usually think of dualism as a kind of metaphysical position which doesn't seem to be what you mean. Please clarify.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:38 PM   #634
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So, for you, both hatred and homosexuality are unacceptable. But, do you really believe homosexuality is merely a "persuasion"?
I'm not sure that I accept that every case of homosexuality is because of some "way I was born," yet I do not close the door on the notion that there are sometimes factors that do easily push in that direction.

I think that persuasion makes it almost completely about outside forces and/or a simple decision consciously made. It is more complex than that. But at the same time I am not sure that even birth defects are absolute determiners of homosexuality. There appears to be an aspect in which environment has an effect. But even that is not sole arbiter of the issue.

I will leave it at "it is complex" and note that no matter how it comes to be, the Christian response for someone who has already gone down that road (whether by genetics or persuasion) is to treat it as a sin that must be overcome. I know that is not a popular position among those who want to cause the Bible to simply allow homosexuality. I did not create what I read and understand. And so far no one has managed to do more than make those "it's not fair" and "it seems that a loving God would" arguments without foundation other than the determination that it should not be so (in their minds).

This is one of those places where it is somewhat instructive to say that in the beginning, God made man in his image, and man has been returning the favor ever since. We want a God that thinks like we do, not a God that requires that we think like he does.

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I don't think so. My observation is that effeminate mannerism in boys and masculine mannerisms in girls manifest themselves in early childhood regardless what the parents teach. That's why the preacher in the video I posted advocates verbally abusing and beating it out of kids. I take it you wouldn't approve of that. That kind of abuse results in self loathing and painful psychological conflicts according to the testimonies of many gay and transgender people. Yet it seems to be a common tradition among Christians who find support for it in the Bible.
While there are legitimate debates about what the "spare the rod" kind of discussions in the Bible means, it is clear that beating thoughts out of the minds of children does not seem to be supportable. And where is the evidence that this is what was actually practiced (excluding the idea that there have always been those who will abuse others)?

No, I do not agree with beating things out of our kids. But I do not consider that separating them from an environment in which they are encouraged to undertake the mannerisms that will label them as part of, the drive them to the groups in which homosexuality is accepted, practiced, and taught would be a bad thing. To the extent that you are aware, and can take action, you would not allow them to be part of a group that regularly robs other students and stores, and vandalizes property. If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, just praying your kid will withstand the pressures as the group that is accepting him/her pushes them that way is more than foolish. Until they leave my home, I have a responsibility. I can't just let political correctness keep me from my duties.

And yet the response when a child announces that they are homosexual should not be "hit the road Jack." Pray that it is not over. Pray that God will get through to them. Do what you think you can do to change their mind. Even if it is not simply a persuasion, the mind can still be changed concerning how they respond to their own desires.
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Old 01-21-2015, 02:27 PM   #635
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I'm not sure that I accept that every case of homosexuality is because of some "way I was born," yet I do not close the door on the notion that there are sometimes factors that do easily push in that direction.

I think that persuasion makes it almost completely about outside forces and/or a simple decision consciously made. It is more complex than that. But at the same time I am not sure that even birth defects are absolute determiners of homosexuality. There appears to be an aspect in which environment has an effect. But even that is not sole arbiter of the issue.

I will leave it at "it is complex" and note that no matter how it comes to be, the Christian response for someone who has already gone down that road (whether by genetics or persuasion) is to treat it as a sin that must be overcome. I know that is not a popular position among those who want to cause the Bible to simply allow homosexuality. I did not create what I read and understand. And so far no one has managed to do more than make those "it's not fair" and "it seems that a loving God would" arguments without foundation other than the determination that it should not be so (in their minds).

This is one of those places where it is somewhat instructive to say that in the beginning, God made man in his image, and man has been returning the favor ever since. We want a God that thinks like we do, not a God that requires that we think like he does.

While there are legitimate debates about what the "spare the rod" kind of discussions in the Bible means, it is clear that beating thoughts out of the minds of children does not seem to be supportable. And where is the evidence that this is what was actually practiced (excluding the idea that there have always been those who will abuse others)?

No, I do not agree with beating things out of our kids. But I do not consider that separating them from an environment in which they are encouraged to undertake the mannerisms that will label them as part of, the drive them to the groups in which homosexuality is accepted, practiced, and taught would be a bad thing. To the extent that you are aware, and can take action, you would not allow them to be part of a group that regularly robs other students and stores, and vandalizes property. If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, just praying your kid will withstand the pressures as the group that is accepting him/her pushes them that way is more than foolish. Until they leave my home, I have a responsibility. I can't just let political correctness keep me from my duties.

And yet the response when a child announces that they are homosexual should not be "hit the road Jack." Pray that it is not over. Pray that God will get through to them. Do what you think you can do to change their mind. Even if it is not simply a persuasion, the mind can still be changed concerning how they respond to their own desires.
A couple years ago my wife and I were attending different churches in our area during the summer. One of those churches was the Metropolitan Christian Church http://mccchurch.org/. It is a Christian church which is LGBT oriented and most of the people attending are LGBT. They are an international Christian denomination. They believe in the Nicene and Apostolic Creed and the message was entirely Christian. They were certainly an enthusiastic group and I spoke with the pastor who is much beloved among the congregants. They describe themselves as follows:
“Our communion table is open to everyone. There are no requirements or limitations. God welcomes all with open arms, and so do we!
Following the example of Jesus and empowered by the Spirit, we seek to be a transformational community that demands, proclaims, and does justice in the world. We are a Christian denomination who worship together in love, respecting the spiritual paths of each of our companions on the journey. Our paths converge in our commitment to justice so that all may thrive.”
From the standpoint of Christian fundamentalists this Christian church is a paradox but yet they tread where most Christians fear to go. In fact, they set an example of acceptance which most Christians are unable to live out in their lives. It is often a haven for those who are rejected by their families, other Christians, and many in society. However, they are as devoted Christians as anyone on this forum..

People interpret the Bible according to their own prejudices whether it was the KKK or against slaves or even women. It wasn’t the fundamentalist Christians who fought for women’s rights. It was Susan B. Anthony, a Unitarian, who was at the forefront. Fundamentalist Christians were screaming bloody murder over freeing the slaves as well establishing civil rights for women. Christians today are also fighting against environmental improvements or any rights for people who are different from them. It is a long standing pattern. In these instances, Christians are involved in the practice known as doublespeak---say one thing and do another whether consciously or not. Unfortunately, it is not a perception but a reality.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:40 PM   #636
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I have little to add to your post, although I think that virtually every fight for and against progressive positions, such as on slavery and women's rights, have had Christians on both sides making claims that theirs it the right way.

But the following statement is a bit odd in the midst of this discussion:
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Fundamentalist Christians were screaming bloody murder over freeing the slaves as well establishing civil rights for women.
Why odd? Because fundamentalism as we know it was essentially set in motion in the 20th century in answer to the trend of liberal groups that began to over-allegorize the Bible (in the opinion of the fundamentalists). So they established their fundamentals: virgin birth, Biblical superiority and infallibility, and so on.

It is difficult to assert that the current fundamentalists would have been on the "wrong" side of the issue if they had been around in the mid-1800s or the turn of the century. It is a speculation based on the fact that part of fundamentalism seems to be a fight against any change.

But in the face of a God whose morality is not a matter of convenience or popular opinion, that is not an entirely unreasonable position. At least as the place from which the argument must move rather that the point that is simply presumed wrong.

I am not saying that there have not been people around that fit the popular (and broader) used of the term forever. But the Christian fundamentalism which is supposedly the target of this thread was not around in the mid-1800s. On either side of the slavery debate.

(I hate to think where I might have been on that discussion if I was around then. Isn't it best when you can look at arguments of the past and see the right answer when already decided?)
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:02 PM   #637
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People interpret the Bible according to their own prejudices....
Right, including YOU. And your interpretation (if you can even call it that) is shaded by a rather archaic and whacked out worldview. I thought anyone who had experienced the Witness Lee "ALL Christians are this, or ALL Christians are that" garbage wouldn't fall back into that kind of all-or-nothing, black-and-white kind of mentality.

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Fundamentalist Christians were screaming bloody murder over freeing the slaves as well establishing civil rights for women.
Just because you keep repeating something over and over again will never make it true. As a matter of fact, most reasonable, rational people will just assume the opposite is true. And in the case of your rantings this dynamic holds up big time. I don't suppose you noticed the quote I placed on the home page from William Wilberforce - a WHITE CAUCASIAN, EVANGELICAL, CONSERVATIVE (the kind you call "fundamentalist") CHRISTIAN - who was the major force behind the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. Of course you will simply blow this off as some insignificant aberration, but that's ok, the record will stand whether you acknowledge it or not.

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Christians today are also fighting against environmental improvements or any rights for people who are different from them. It is a long standing pattern. In these instances, Christians are involved in the practice known as doublespeak---say one thing and do another whether consciously or not. Unfortunately, it is not a perception but a reality.
There you go again (remember that on from your hero Ronald Reagan.) ...Christians this, Christians that. Are you like Witness Lee who apparently was able to be everywhere in the entire world and over a period of hundreds of years to know such a thing - that ALL (fundamental or not) Christians are this or ALL (fundamental or not) Christians are that? "any rights for people who are different from them"? I have a feeling of your idea of "rights" includes all sorts of things that have nothing to do with rights that have been established by God, the Bible or even established under the constitution of our republic. But hey, we're here in the wild and wooly land of Alternative Views, so you're welcome to keep at, my man! But always remember that it IS simply your perception and NOT necessarily reality at all.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:15 PM   #638
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I have little to add to your post, although I think that virtually every fight for and against progressive positions, such as on slavery and women's rights, have had Christians on both sides making claims that theirs it the right way.

But the following statement is a bit odd in the midst of this discussion:
Why odd? Because fundamentalism as we know it was essentially set in motion in the 20th century in answer to the trend of liberal groups that began to over-allegorize the Bible (in the opinion of the fundamentalists). So they established their fundamentals: virgin birth, Biblical superiority and infallibility, and so on.

It is difficult to assert that the current fundamentalists would have been on the "wrong" side of the issue if they had been around in the mid-1800s or the turn of the century. It is a speculation based on the fact that part of fundamentalism seems to be a fight against any change.

But in the face of a God whose morality is not a matter of convenience or popular opinion, that is not an entirely unreasonable position. At least as the place from which the argument must move rather that the point that is simply presumed wrong.

I am not saying that there have not been people around that fit the popular (and broader) used of the term forever. But the Christian fundamentalism which is supposedly the target of this thread was not around in the mid-1800s. On either side of the slavery debate.

(I hate to think where I might have been on that discussion if I was around then. Isn't it best when you can look at arguments of the past and see the right answer when already decided?)
It's not speculation... Actually I was kind when I was saying that the fundamentalists were screaming bloody murder...a significant majority of the Bible Belt today has as their ancestors those who fought for slavery quoting the Bible I might add and fought against Civil Rights for that matter e.g. 1960 Greenboro, N.C., 1961 Freedom Riders, 1961 Montegomery, Ala., 1962 Merediths enrollment at Ole Miss., 1963 Birmingham, Ala., 1964 Freedom summer workers. The majority of these the people who tried to undermine this progress and the progress today were/are Bible thumpers. In my own town they used water hoses on blacks and poured acid on them in 1964. It's not that the majority of them aren't good people it is just that prejudice as I have described it runs deep. They were willing to kill to protect their rights to slaves. They fought against progress. We all have prejudices but my point is that fundamental radical Christianity as we know it has a long history against progress in the US. I don't want to paint everyone in that corner but it is a significant majority of fundamental Christians. The same is true today against the LGBT community. I don't have any relatives who are gay as awareness has noted he does but it seems that the fight of the LGBT community today is for their basic human rights such as it was for women and blacks among others last century.

I am trying to make a distinction between Christians who are/were progressive and those who wanted and want to keep progress in check i.e. the fundamentalist Christians for the most part. It's not that I don't know what I am talking about...my parents lived in N.C. when I came back from Nam and I saw it first hand. I have already noted elsewhere on this forum what I saw and experienced so I don't want to repeat it here.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:07 PM   #639
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Right, INCLUDING YOU. And your interpretation (if you can even call it that) is shaded by a rather archaic and whacked out worldview. I thought anyone who had experienced the Witness Lee "ALL Christians are this, or ALL Christians are that" garbage wouldn't fall back into that kind of all-or-nothing, black-and-white kind of mentality.
I didn’t say all Christians because that would not be accurate. I said, “Fundamentalist Christians” specifically because they are the leaders in this endeavor to undermine progressive Christian efforts. Of course there are exceptions but the majority are problematic. You keep repeating “whacked out”… You must be listening too much to Rush Limbaugh who uses that phrase all the time.

I am sure my world view is different than yours but then again I respect your world view even if you believe that the KJV is the only Bible to read, the earth is 6000 years old, dinosaurs were put on earth by the Devil to try and confuse Christians today, or that they were too big to fit on the Ark, or that two people were formed by God to create the entire world population and all languages starting with Hebrew, angels mated with women in Genesis, etc. Could all of this be true? Maybe, but the probability would most likely be very low. Of course, I am not saying you specifically believe all of that but even if you did I would respect it although it would be open to discussion from my standpoint.

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Just because you keep repeating something over and over again will never make it true. As a matter of fact, most reasonable, rational people will just assume the opposite is true. And in the case of your rantings this dynamic holds up big time. I don't suppose you noticed the quote I placed on the home page from William Wilberforce - a WHITE CAUCASIAN, EVANGELICAL, CONSERVATIVE (the kind you call "fundamentalist") CHRISTIAN - who was the major force behind the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. Of course you will simply blow this off as some insignificant aberration, but that's ok, the record will stand whether you acknowledge it or not.
Wilberforce was certainly an advocate of abolishing slavery but it was because he saw the British Empire as decadent and crumbling and his main thesis was that this decadence was a result of slavery which was destroying the British Empire. It does seem like it is a reach to use Wilberforce from over 200 years ago as your example of a fundamentalist Christian who fought against slavery. Of course, I have tried to keep this particular conversation limited to the US. Which reminds me, Martin Luther King, a Christian---despite his flaws was instrumental in moving the chains for the civil rights movement.

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There you go again (remember that on from your hero Ronald Reagan) ...Christians this, Christians that. Are you like Witness Lee who apparently was able to be everywhere in the entire world and over a period of hundreds of years to know such a thing - that ALL (fundamental or not) Christians are this or ALL (fundamental or not) Christians are that? "any rights for people who are different from them"? I have a feeling of your idea of "rights" includes all sorts of things that have nothing to do with rights that have been established by God, the Bible or even established under the constitution of our republic. But hey, we're here in the wild and wooly land of Alternative Views, so you're welcome to keep at, my man! But always remember that it IS SIMPLY YOUR perception and NOT necessarily reality at all.
I will agree with you that we have a different view of what reality is all about. I never said all Christians and I specifically have focused on the US fundamentalist Christians. For example, in South America the Evangelical Christians are not right wing but more moderate to liberal politically in their viewpoint so I haven’t been concerned about the rest of the world. I don’t see the drumbeat among Christians that has been exercised in this country in other parts of the world.

In any case, awareness and OBW were discussing the issue of awareness' relative being gay, the prejudice that surrounds it as well as how people become gay to include parenting and the interaction of the Biblical point of view. I only added to the conversation that there are Christians who are LGBT and in fact they are an entire Christian denomination. In context it was obvious I was referencing a point of view of some fundamental Christians and not all Christians by using that example. How you came up with some comparison to Witness Lee is beyond me. Your response led away from the point of my earlier post and apparently I led you here which was not my intention.
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Old 01-22-2015, 04:09 AM   #640
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I usually think of dualism as a kind of metaphysical position which doesn't seem to be what you mean. Please clarify.
I'll respond to this in the next day or two. But first let me say that I have watched "full-timers" go a long way in helping to "persuade" a few young people that they are, or might be, gay. The fact that we all knew who each other's adolescent crushes were, and that they just so happened to be church kids of the opposite gender, didn't seem to make much difference to these full-timers. And the fact that church elders had poured cold water all over their desire to take the object of their opposite-gender infatuation out for ice cream, didn't seem to make much difference to them, either.

I've seen young people being ostracized from within their "locality" so many times. And insinuating that a young person was "gay," "asexual," or otherwise sexually "different," was often just one bullet point on a list of things that were being whispered around town. The other things being said were often of a spiritual nature, and sometimes race or nationality was even an issue for these people.

To put it a different way, zeek, do you think there's some kind of firewall between culture and biology?
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:46 AM   #641
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It's not speculation... Actually I was kind when I was saying that the fundamentalists were screaming bloody murder...a significant majority of the Bible Belt today has as their ancestors those who fought for slavery quoting the Bible I might add . . .
Slavery was primarily a southern phenomenon in the US because of the plantations. But the fact of geography does not make the thing that is modern fundamentalism include these people and their thoughts. You will be able to find people of that way of thinking right on through to today. And they have continued to brow-beat the Bible to support themselves. Just as others on the other side of things now brow-beat the Bible to support very progressive things that have not yet been successfully shown as supported by the Bible. You have a 100-year gap between the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement (coming up below) and declare that it is simply the fundamentalists who did both because they are in the south? Then I could then start to argue that modern pluralism is a product of the north and shoehorn every serious error of Christianity into a north/south divide. And we both know that this would be ridiculous.

Of course, we could simply go back to decide what version of "Fundamentalism" we are going to talk about here. Seems that we (not just you) are equivocating all over the place on this. The Christian group that took on the mantle of "Fundamentalist" earlier in the 20th century was not about race, gender, or orientation. It was about remaining true to what was understood as facts in the Bible and not just stories told to make points with people. Did they draw the lines well? Not entirely. But it was a point of divergence in theology that was resisted.

At the same time, since part of the core of that movement was/is the constancy of the Bible and the Christian faith, it collects those who are resistant to any kind of change. So among its ranks would be those who will not even think about the righteous position on the equality of all people. Or the value of a woman relative to a man.

So which are we talking about? The Christian fundamentalists, or those who will resist any change, especially where it goes against the preconceived notions of right and wrong without regard to the Bible, while carving up the Bible to make their case? You might want to argue that they are simply the same group and I will disagree. Most of what you would call evangelicalism is fundamentalist in the sense of holding to Biblical truth. But they are far from all on board with the continued positions of bigotry and hatred.

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. . . and fought against Civil Rights for that matter e.g. 1960 Greenboro, N.C., 1961 Freedom Riders, 1961 Montegomery, Ala., 1962 Merediths enrollment at Ole Miss., 1963 Birmingham, Ala., 1964 Freedom summer workers. The majority of these the people who tried to undermine this progress and the progress today were/are Bible thumpers.
And calling them Bible thumpers does not make those of the 1860s into 20th century fundamentalists. You can point to similarities of thought. They are prone to considering the status quo as being God ordained. But their status quo is not the same.

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The same is true today against the LGBT community. I don't have any relatives who are gay as awareness has noted he does but it seems that the fight of the LGBT community today is for their basic human rights such as it was for women and blacks among others last century.

I am trying to make a distinction between Christians who are/were progressive and those who wanted and want to keep progress in check i.e. the fundamentalist Christians for the most part. It's not that I don't know what I am talking about...my parents lived in N.C. when I came back from Nam and I saw it first hand. I have already noted elsewhere on this forum what I saw and experienced so I don't want to repeat it here.
I will start by saying that the biggest problem in this debate is not simply a lack of progressivity. Being progressive is not the issue (according to my understanding of the Bible). But how we interact with those who do not hold to Biblical teaching is the problem.

I have stated enough about what I see as the problem today. And unless you have something that actually provides a different view, I have been unable to conclude that God is accepting of the behaviors that have been traditionally understood as sin. But I disagree that God is unaccepting of the people or that he has somehow decreed that we are to treat them differently just because their sin is "X" rather than something else.

I think I have said enough on this. And I think that the process of simply pointing at those who take the bigoted approach to things and rag on them is not really worth a lot. We do need to recognize it. But mostly so that we do not become part of it. They should hear what I believe is the true Christian approach (not that I think I have a corner on what that is — I am still open to reconsideration of things and that is how I got where I am today).

Enough. If you want to create a super-fundamentalist group that simply uses the Bible from age to age to fight against real Christian progress, then you are not looking at anything much different than Islamic fundamentalism. And both are problematic. That does not mean that there are not fundamentals that we should stand for within our community of faith. Just not all the ones that those people stand for.
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