Friday, January 16, 2009

Found On The Way To Something Else

While at Neil's, which took me to another blog I'm checking out, I came across this dude.



Hey, Mark. I think I've got it now. Thanks.

127 comments:

4simpsons said...

Good find.

Postmodern thinking = wimpy and passive-aggressive.

I'd much rather talk with someone with a clear view that they'll defend than someone who insists that we can both be right (while secretly being sure that only he/she is right).

Dan Trabue said...

"Postmodern thinking"???

Who said anything about PM thinking? This guy was right on for criticizing dumbed down expression and conversation.

Neil, you are just generally an insufferable (self-determined, but not actual) know-it-all, moral busybody who is quite often clearly demonstrably, factually wrong wrong wrong.

Progressives don't mind pointing that out to you and we have done so with great ease. Which you have turned around and responded to by banning conversation, NOT because we were wrong or because we were impolite but precisely because you don't know how to handle an adult conversation. I'll take PM thinking (with all of its faults) ANY day over the NON-thinking that passes for intelligence amongst the fundamentalist community in which you triumphantly wallow.

Is that view clear enough for you, brother? No wimpiness or passive-aggression there, is there?

Dan Trabue said...

As to what the fella is saying, I can echo an amen. It is good to speak with authority and clarity.

But first, one must have some legitimacy on which to base that authority. It is not enough to merely claim, "I think the Bible said it, therefore it is true and I'm not listening to anything else, na na na na NA NA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!" with authority.

IF what you think the Bible (or science or "my gut") says is not an accurate starting point, then your "authority" is just gas passing beneath your blankets at night.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

First - Dan, amen. And amen.

Second, Neil, you keep calling pomo thought "passive-aggressive". Yet, rather than engage with those whose positions differ from your own, you refuse to allow them to write comments, from discussing their points of view. You call them names - "false teacher" is my favorite one, I'm thinking of adding it to my blog - when they do not have the opportunity to respond.

It is not passive-aggressive to say that the Christian faith is large enough, and has always been large enough, to hold together all sorts of ideas and persons and perspectives that differ one from another. That is just a statement of fact.

It is passive-aggressive, however, to refuse to hear these differing perspectives, to call those who hold differing perspectives non-Christian, and to refuse to allow them space to respond.

As for what the young man in the video was saying, I couldn't agree more. Yet, I wonder, Marshall, what it has to do with anything. That we should hold to our opinions and beliefs with conviction and authority, even if those opinions and beliefs are demonstrably false? That's neither wisdom nor conviction; in fact, it's folly and stubbornness, ignorance parading around in the clothing of cocksureness. There is nothing more easily punctured than the self-assured air of one who is convinced of his or her rightness regardless of facts, things not considered, or differing perspectives.

Besides which, as a self-professed and proud post-modernist, I will be unequivocal in stating that I do not believe the perspectives offered here are correct; if I thought it possible that we were both correct, or perhaps both held part of the truth in all things, why would I bother to come here and present arguments, or differing perspectives? Why would I insist that I am right and you are wrong if I was really a passive-aggressive pomo wimp?

There is nothing heroic in thinking oneself right even if all the world should call you wrong, if in fact the rest of the world is right, and you really are wrong. It's not even tragic to be in such a state. Pathetic, really, is the best description I can come up with.

Speaking with authority, holding fast to one's opinions and convictions is all well and good. Unless those opinions and convictions aren't worth the effort put in to making them even semi-coherent. As Dan says in his second comment, there is also wisdom in admitting mistakes, and maybe not covering one's ears and stamping one's foot and banning those who make the observation that one may not be as correct as one thought. Cowards do the latter.

You figure out if I just called anyone here a coward or not . . .

4simpsons said...

"Yet, rather than engage with those whose positions differ from your own, you refuse to allow them to write comments, from discussing their points of view."

Geoffrey, that is a lie.

Grand total of comments of yours I have deleted: 0 (Zero). Your history has been to run away after I annihilate your logical fallacies.

Grand total of comments Blog Stalker Dan left on my site before I tired of his falsehoods: 399 (Three hundred and ninety-nine!). Now that I looked up that figure the "Monk" in me wants to let him post one more to make it an even 400 . . . nah. So I ignore Dan at my blog and anywhere else I see him, including here. If someone wants to say that "only" allowing 399 comments is bad form on my part then sit back and watch me not care.

How about E.R.? I deleted one or two of his comments and have not banned him. I like E.R., but I get tired of refuting his falsehoods about the Bible. Life's too short to be so repetitive.

Alan? Over 100 comments. I got tired of his nitpicking, not his views, so I blocked him (it wasn't like I all of a sudden discovered what a fraud he was).

Yeah, I'm a real censor, all right. I think I'll go burn some books.

Actually, it is called discernment. Look into it. I've been blessed with countless opportunities to spend my time - family, church, ministries, friends, blogging, hobbies, etc. I try not to waste my time when people prove incapable of rational discussion or are insufferably deceptive. Do you seriously think I have a moral obligation to carry on threads with anyone on the Internet? It isn't like I read any of your blogs and fisk your posts.

If I'm such a "super-fundie candy store nutjob cult of one etc. etc.," as these guys lovingly like to call me, then I'm not sure why you all take me so seriously or would even want to converse with me. But I'll keep warning you guys and you can keep reading. I pray that you'll see the light someday.

Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

P.S. Here are some verses on the importance of sound doctrine. Yeah, I know, you'll mock them like you have before, but maybe one day you'll read the Bible and take it seriously --

http://www.4simpsons.com/doctrine_counts.htm .

4simpsons said...

"It is not passive-aggressive to say that the Christian faith is large enough, and has always been large enough, to hold together all sorts of ideas and persons and perspectives that differ one from another. That is just a statement of fact."

I never claimed that was passive-aggressive. I never even saw or addressed that statement. But I will now: It is true for non-essentials, but not essentials. The church was never big enough to accept heresies. I've been reading Eusebius' "The Church History" and it is interestng how Satan has been peddling the same lies for almost 2,000 years.

4simpsons said...

Out of respect for Marshall and his blog, I encourage you to take your hate and lies to your own blogs and write about me there if you like.

Dan Trabue said...

So, it's okay to spread hate and lies as long as it's about "liberals" in general, but when someone calls a brother on hypocrisy and lies, that's not okay?

I beg to disagree. Your lies and hypocrisy reek, brother Neil, and that saddens me.

Marshall Art said...

My point in posting this vid, along with just the great creativity employed by the comic, was his frustration, which I share, with the manner in which far too many people speak, nowadays, as if they are asking a question, with their voices rising at the end of statements. It drives me nuts. It's a peeve. Even Laura Ingraham does it and if not for her keen insights and spot on assessments would drive me away from listening.

But as for this:

"Neil, you are just generally an insufferable (self-determined, but not actual) know-it-all, moral busybody who is quite often clearly demonstrably, factually wrong wrong wrong."

I have yet to see it happen. Indeed, Dan, you have been unable to support or prove any (perhaps one) of YOUR positions in all the time I've seen you attempt to do so.

Geoffrey,

Yeah. Even if you're wrong, hold to your convictions with, uh, conviction. Have some spine or perhaps not even aspire to be heard. How could one hope to convince with a tone that suggests one isn't convinced as well? Man up and get it out there. It won't matter to the truth of it, but it just might get one to the heart of things, which is beneficial for all.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Alan? Banned because he is gay. Feodor - banned because he dared to call you on supporting dancing. Monk-in-Training - banned for an unknown offense. ER? No longer comments because you edited a comment of his without his permission or previous knowledge.

I am sure the list is quite longer. Please, call me a liar again Neil, it makes me all sweaty.

You ban people who disagree with you. You ban people whose opinions and lives differ from yours. You are incapable of dealing with difference, so you insult, belittle, write them out of your own petty, timid understanding of the the Christian faith, then cast them out of your presence. If you weren't such a small, little man, I might care more. The issue is not you, really, or me, or Dan, or Alan, or any other individual.

Rather, it is your dogged, presumptuous insistence that yours is the sole understanding of the faith. How dare you. How dare any of us. I do not and would never presume that anyone else believe as I do. What I would and do object to is anyone telling me that I am not a Christian because what I believe does not conform to whatever it is they believe.

Eastern Orthodoxy? THe Coptic Churches? Syriac? Roman Catholicism? TULIP and other forms of Reformed Churches? Anabaptist such as Mennonites and Amish? Non-trinitarians like the Quakers? I know you think Mormons are going to hell. C'mon, dude, fess up. Your God is a mass murderer; worse, your God created billions of human beings only to consign them to eternal perdition because they don't read the Bible the way you do.

Back when we had one of our little spats, a commenter on your site - and one I wish I could pat on the back - said that she was disturbed that "someone like me" had "a following". Sitting here in my office, all alone, I laughed so hard tears came in to my eyes. I have not now, not then, and would never wish to have a following. If one started, I'd chase them away and tell them to find something else to do. The irony, of course, is you do have a following, cultivated carefully with your little logic problems and your links. It's like a cult of lack of personality.

I have no doubt that none of this - not my words, not Dan's, not anyone's - will ever penetrate that ego of yours, or your refusal to accept, at first, honest criticism, then the observation that you are less than willing to put up with serious give and take, as well as live comfortably with difference. I am happy, however, to at least have had the opportunity to sit and read you lying as you call me a liar. That's all the evidence I need to know that you are no longer worth the effort of mocking.

You manage to do it to yourself.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I do so like the fact that you argue against something that I never claimed. I never said you deleted anyone's comments. I said that, after a point, you could no longer deal with differences of opinion, with serious disagreements, with people who differ from you coming around to discuss issues of importance to both of you, as well as other readers you have.

Dan, Monk, Alan and I wouldn't bow before your grasp of logic; we didn't accept your understanding of doctrine. We are quite happy living as Christians in ways that you don't understand or accept. Rather than deal with arguments from these people, you call them stalkers and ban them. You alter comments without permission. You call them false teachers.

Then, you have the audacity to call me a liar, and in so doing, further prove my point with your own words.

Excellent.

BTW, Marshall, I like what the guy had to say, too. I couldn't agree more. There is only one caveat. Being sure of one's opinions is fine; but if one's opinions are based on falsehoods, being sure of them, being confident in them, stating them with authority, only makes you look silly.

4simpsons said...

"I do so like the fact that you argue against something that I never claimed. I never said you deleted anyone's comments. I said that, after a point, you could no longer deal with differences of opinion, with serious disagreements, with people who differ from you coming around to discuss issues of importance to both of you, as well as other readers you have."

So you wrote your whole whine-fest because I banned Dan and Alan?

"Rather than deal with arguments from these people, you call them stalkers and ban them."

Another lie. I pointed out that I have entertained their arguments extensively. For example, I'm wasting time refuting your lies right now.

Dan is most certainly a blog stalker, but I won't go into the details again here (it is on another of Marshall's posts). I banned him first then called him a blog stalker. Now I just ignore him.

"You alter comments without permission."

Another lie. All 12,094 comments on my blogs have all posted in full except for a grand total of 1 (one) that I edited -- and that was to protect someone who had said something really stupid (I think he was blogging while intoxicated). I immediately informed him of what I did and why, along with an apology for not checking him first. He never objected.

"You call them false teachers.'

Well, duh.

"Then, you have the audacity to call me a liar"

It didn't take any audacity, just an observation of reality.

Truth is that which corresponds to reality, and your comments today have done little of that.

Now why don't you take your pettiness and lies back to your blog and keep writing about me there. Only generate a little more traffic, please. I see link after link of evidence of your blog crush on me yet no visits from others. C'mon, you can do better.

4simpsons said...

Sorry, I missed your first comment.

"Alan? Banned because he is gay."

Another lie. I knew Alan was gay for two years before I even started my own blog. We had many discussions at other blogs. I remember the day I banned him. He was doing his usual nit-picky schtick on a post on postmodernism, ironically enough, and a fellow blogger zinged him and it occurred to me how much time I wasted with the guy.

"Feodor - banned because he dared to call you on supporting dancing."

Feodor posted all sorts of bizarre things. If he is the guy who insisted I wasn't a Christian because I was in the Nutcracker then that alone would be a good reason to ban him. I didn't realize he was in your group. Yes, I ban all sorts of fools like him. There are a lot of trolls out there.

"Monk-in-Training - banned for an unknown offense."

Can't remember him or if he is permanently banned.

"ER? No longer comments because you edited a comment of his without his permission or previous knowledge."

Oops, uh, he's the guy mentioned above. I was trying to preserve his confidentiality.

And if you are interested in that truth-thingy, he posted many comments after that incident. Try to get your facts straight.

You're too much, buddy. What a vile, petty, vindictive, judgmental person you are. You're mad because I annihilated all your stupid arguments at my place. Alan's mad because I banned him. Get over it, guys! Act like the Christians you claim to be and try forgiving me if you think I really did you wrong. But I offer no apologies because I did nothing wrong. If I see people I don't like on the street or at work I try to avoid them, just like I try to avoid people on the web.

I think your views are not Christian, they are poorly thought out and that your writing is ridiculous. So here's my solution: I don't read your blog! It works wonders.

I never banned you or deleted your comments, so why are you whining like a baby?

"I know you think Mormons are going to hell. C'mon, dude, fess up. Your God is a mass murderer; worse, your God created billions of human beings only to consign them to eternal perdition because they don't read the Bible the way you do."

Thanks for acknowledging that the God I worship (the one revealed in the Bible) is not the god you worship. I'm all for clarity.

But wait -- why is it a federal offense when I point out that you worship a different god yet it is OK for you to claim that "my" God is a mass murderer / etc.? A little consistency, please, Mr. Hypocrite.

The most ironic thing about your tantrum is that you get so upset about my little blog (only 400+ views per day) yet I've never seen any of you speak out against media bias. More hypocrisy.

Really, buddy, go back to obsessing over me from afar.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Keep trying, Neil. Please. It's so much fun, because the difference between us is this - I'm not the one who banned these people, or otherwise insulted them, belittled them, or claimed they were not Christian.

Now, I have no problem with blog Administrators doing what they thing is best for their blog. Marshall here has deleted comments he has found offensive. ER has even banned one individual. I have certain guidelines for commenting on my blog. No harm, no foul there.

The difference is simple, though, and probably easily missed. You ban, then you lie about it when confronted with the evidence. When confronted, you call those confronting you liars. Like the whole hypocrite, passive-aggressive name calling (I'd go with false teacher, but I'm not quite that low), it's called projection.

Part of being an adult is accepting responsibility for our misdeeds, our errors, owning up to our mistakes. Another part is accepting the reality of difference without denying the fundamental humanity of others. Just in this comment thread, you manage the first quite nicely. Your blog is a daily testimony to the second.

4simpsons said...

Geoffrey, I've caught you lying multiple times on this thread alone.

But here's the best part! Let's take another look at this gem of yours:

"I know you think Mormons are going to hell. C'mon, dude, fess up. Your God is a mass murderer; worse, your God created billions of human beings only to consign them to eternal perdition because they don't read the Bible the way you do."

I just had to revisit this one. It couldn’t be funnier or more ironic. Think about it: Geoffrey’s whole bit has been about how I’m bad for saying others are false teachers, that we’re all Christians here, that he isn’t passive-aggressive, etc.

Yet here the truth comes out! He concedes that we worship different Gods. I’ve been saying that whatever he is (spiritually speaking), I’m not, and whatever I am, he’s not. He’s denied that and said we’re both Christians and criticized me for not having a big enough tent.

But now he is claiming “my” God is not the right one. So he obviously thinks I am teaching falsehoods about God, i.e., he thinks I’m a false teacher.

So he has shown that I’m right on both counts: I have reason to call him a false teacher and he is just as passive-aggressive as I mentioned in my first comment. Until now he has always been dishonest about how irreconcilable our views are.

So after you sort through all the whining, lies and factual errors he has conceded my larger points as well as my specific point on this post.

So thanks, Geoffrey! I hope you feel good about coming clean. So I’ll close by repeating my first point: “Postmodern thinking = wimpy and passive-aggressive. I'd much rather talk with someone with a clear view that they'll defend than someone who insists that we can both be right (while secretly being sure that only he/she is right).” No wonder you got so defensive about that comment!

[Side note: His comment didn’t even characterize my view properly. I have never claimed that people go to Hell for not reading the Bible the way I do. I claimed that people go to Hell for the reasons described in the Bible: They are sinners who die without having faith in Jesus. And of course, there was nothing to “fess up” about. I’ve done whole posts about why Mormons aren’t Christians, so why would Geoffrey act like I’ve tried to hide that?]

So chew on that, buddy. You are a complete fraud, and you exposed yourself very clearly.

Marshall Art said...

HEY! DO I HAVE TO TURN THIS CAR AROUND?!!

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

Those who are wrong, but speak with conviction, are still wrong, but so are they when they speak in a wimpy manner. But if they believe themselves to be right, I say, be bold! Hell, YOU are. Just git it out there and let's git to discussin'!

Anonymous said...

Marshall:

Greetings brother. I wandered over to see what you have posted recently. Once again, I am bewildered but not suprised to see the usual suspects contributing nothing of substance. If my scorecard is correct, the post consisted of a video. The resulting comments are for the most part insults and taunts of someone who has a blog elsewhere; with the video being a convenient prop. Unbelievable!
----------------------------------

Off topic:

Marshall I hope that things are well on your front. This is my first, perhaps second post since you shared news with respect to your job. I will keep you in my prayers. I continue to enjoy reading your offerings, here and elsewhere.

Best,
Joseph

Marty said...

I've seen this guy on HBO Def Poetry. Very impressive. His name is Taylor Mali, teacher/poet.

"I want to help reform education in America from top to bottom. I want to be part of the movement that makes an entire generation of college graduates consider teaching before business or law school. I want to help support responsible alternative paths to certification so as to make it easier for smart, successful, and qualified people in their 30s and older to become teachers. I want to get America ready for the Education Tax if it turns out that’s what we need. But most of all, I want to be a spokesman for teaching's nobility, one of the poets laureate of passion in the classroom."
--Taylor Mali

hashfanatic said...

nothing wrong with that

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said:

Indeed, Dan, you have been unable to support or prove any (perhaps one) of YOUR positions in all the time I've seen you attempt to do so.

You are mistaken, of course. The fact that you say I have not supported or proven my position or the fact that you don’t recognize that I do so does not mean that I have not. Allow me to demonstrate right here a point. I’ll do this successfully so that later, you can deny that I’ve ever done so again. Despite the evidence. OR, you could acknowledge that I have done so, if you wish to be honest about it.

Neil slandered me by saying:

Dan is most certainly a blog stalker, but I won't go into the details again here (it is on another of Marshall's posts). I banned him first then called him a blog stalker. Now I just ignore him.

Set aside the irony that he just said that he ignores me right after slandering me…

1. He calls me a “blog stalker.” On what basis does he do so?
a. Because I commented 300 times on his blog? Really? Where I come from, we call that “conversation.” I state a point of view, Neil doesn’t understand it, I respond and explain my position a few more times to help him understand my point of view. He responds (often by twisting my statements to say something I didn’t say – I’m sure in ignorance rather than in malice) and I respond again, correcting his misunderstandings.

I have commented quite often on his blog. I did so because he consistently misunderstood or misrepresented my position. Again, where I come from, we call this conversation. Is THAT what he has against me? That I comment too often? If so, all he had to do was ask me to comment less often. That’s how we handle things where I come from. So, clearly, this is not “blog stalking.”

b. Or, does he call me a “blog stalker” because I emailed him? Neil started banning me and/or not letting my comments through (whatever you want to call that) and so I emailed him. The Bible tells us that if a brother has something against us, we ought to try to talk it out with that brother. This is what I did by emailing him (a few times, to which he responded and I answered back, correcting his misunderstandings of my position). Is THAT what he calls “cyber stalking”? Again, where I come from, that’s called “conversation.” AND it’s also called following Jesus’ teachings (which I assumed to okay, since we’re both Christians). Clearly, unless Neil thinks Jesus teaches us to be cyber stalkers, this is not what he claims it to be.
c. OR, does he call me a “cyber stalker” because I emailed his pastor? Neil said he did not wish for me to email him any more and I quit emailing him. But because we are both followers of Christ, I followed Christ’s teaching, where he said that if a brother refuses to listen to us, to involve 1 or 2 others. I involved his pastor, because that seemed like a natural place to begin to set things aright between Neil and I. Clearly (again), unless Neil thinks following Jesus’ teaching is “cyberstalking,” this does not fit his claim.

No, in truth, I have not cyber stalked Neil. Rather, I have tried having conversations and correcting his misunderstandings of my position. I was polite. I did not curse. I did not question his Christianity (although he repeatedly lied about me and questioned my Christianity).

And so, I have proven that Neil has lied and slandered me (all the while, “ignoring me.”) There is not truth in what he says.

Rather, it is as Geoffrey has stated: Neil doesn’t like it when people disagree with him. He “puts up with it” for a while, but if they continue to insist on disagreeing with him, he has banned them, or limited their comments. Which he is free to do.

What he’s not free to do is to slander.

I suspect that because we don’t fit into his idea of what a Christian is (even though I believe the essential Christian doctrine – saved by Grace through faith in Jesus), then you are not a Christian. Neil uses his Christian voodoo magic (he calls it the “gift of discernment”) to say that he knows better than what others do, what the OTHERS think or mean, and then twists those false strawman slanders and lies into something that allows him to reject our Christianity.

Fortunately, Neil does not get to make that call. He ain’t god enough.

As for you, Marshall, now that I’ve demonstrated successfully that I can support my position, I accept your apology. I understand, mistakes happen. No sweat.

Marshall Art said...

Joseph,

Thank you for the kind thoughts and words. I truly appreciate them.

Dan Trabue said...

Joseph said:

If my scorecard is correct, the post consisted of a video. The resulting comments are for the most part insults and taunts of someone who has a blog elsewhere

You fail to note that Neil was teh first one with insults. We merely corrected his mistakes, as both he suggests we ought to do.

When someone lies and slanders and you call them on it, it is not insults or taunts, surely you agree?

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I don't know that you've proven anything regarding your situation with Neil. You've merely put forth your version of events, which may or may not be true. I don't much care. That's between you and Neil and I don't care to be in the middle, as I don't know all the details, which can only be had by rifling through far too many blog posts at Neil's, and listening to a rehashing of private emails between the two of you. I DO know that Neil has lost patience with refuting the same arguments over and over, as have others.

Those arguments have been demonstrated as having no Biblical foundation whatsoever, and your counter arguments are too often frought with irrelevance. For myself, I have not yet grown weary with such arguments as I feel I possess patience most cannot fathom. So, as far as positions I feel you have shown no ability to support, I stand by that statement wholeheartedly. Merely insisting that you have isn't good enough. At some point, you'll actually have to do so. I'm here waiting.

Dan Trabue said...

You're forgiven.

Marshall Art said...

And you're deluded. But this is what I'm hoping to help you get over.

Dan Trabue said...

MA said:

I don't know that you've proven anything regarding your situation with Neil. You've merely put forth your version of events

The facts aren't in question. Neil can confirm all that I've said.

1. Yes, I did make many comments at his blog to Neil. Neil, in turn, made many comments back to me. That's called "conversation."

2. Yes, I did email Neil. He emailed me back. Again, that's called "conversation." I have also emailed Eric several times, and other people I don't know other than via the internet. Eric isn't shivering in fear because I've emailed him. It's just conversation.

3. Yes, I did email his pastor, per biblical instruction. His pastor responded (unfortunately) saying he wouldn't do anything about it and that was the end of it. I had done my part in following biblical instruction.

In all these conversations, I have been exceeding polite (for the most part - sometimes, both Neil and I used more accusatory language, but I don't think Neil is stalking me).

The facts are as I've stated them. Neil won't disagree. I've proved my point, demonstrating to you that I can and have done so. That's all.

Anonymous said...

You fail to note that Neil was teh first one with insults. We merely corrected his mistakes, as both he suggests we ought to do.
When someone lies and slanders and you call them on it, it is not insults or taunts, surely you agree?


Dan:

Good day. Reading is fundamental. Let's review:

The first comment in this thread in response to the video, Neil offered his opinion on postmodern thinking. Where in expresseing his opinion did he direct an insult to you, Geoffrey, or anyone else for that matter? It merely was an expressed opinion in which readers could either agree or disagree. Obviously, you and Geoffrey disagree with Neil's expressed opinion. Fine and dandy!
Reading your first comment, you obviously state your disagreement with Neil's position and/or premise of postmodern thinking. Again, fine and dandy. When one continues reading your first and your second comment, one can easily see that you start with the insults. Among many of Neil's responses, no ad hominem attacks were offered. (Dan, you will surely cite "blog stalker")
On the other hand even if Neil began with the insults (which is hard to fathom when one actually reads this section), surely your defense isn't the "he started it" defense? Again quite laughable! You appear a lot older than my children ages 10, 9, 6, and 3. Yet they have an understanding that responding to insults with insults is not a smart and/or effective way of settling disputable matters.
Aside from the points above, bickering at or about someone, completely off topic, at a third party's blog appears tacky and uncouth. Whatever you may feel and post about Neil, at least he was the mature one that suggested that these matters could be discussed elsewhere:
Out of respect for Marshall and his blog, I encourage you to take your hate and lies to your own blogs and write about me there if you like.

Carrying on your own agenda or vendetta of others on a third party's blog is boorish behavior, adds absolutely nothing to the original post, and does not foster civil and respectful discourse. In closing, your question was addressed in my initial comments.

For myself, I have not yet grown weary with such arguments as I feel I possess patience most cannot fathom.

Marshall, Job has nothing on you my brother!

Respectfully,
Joseph

Dan Trabue said...

Whatever you may feel and post about Neil, at least he was the mature one that suggested that these matters could be discussed elsewhere

Joseph, I would respectfully ask why this is directed towards just me and those with whom you disagree politically? Since Neil (as you note) "started it" - started the finger pointing and insults - why not direct it towards all?

Your point would have more substance if you were consistent in your criticism. As it is, it seems you're merely dismissing the slanders and name-calling of your friends and accusing only your "enemies." First, remove the plank from your own eye, as the saying goes.

Anonymous said...

Dan:

With all due respect, it is not a matter of me directing anything to you or anyone that I may disagree with politically. I find it extremely difficult for anyone to come to such a conclusion based upon what I have written.
Let me please remind you that the reason my second post was directed to you, was because I was replying to a comment and question that you posed to me! There isn't any politics in that. In fact, I explicitly stated that you (and Geoffrey)attacking Neil's premise on postmodern thinking was "fine and dandy". My objections were based upon you insulting Neil, period. You can stubbornly cling to the notion that Neil insulted you first and that you are justified in insulting him. Fine! However any rational and objective reader can plainly see otherwise documented above.
In closing, I am proud to count both Marshall, the host of this blog and Neil as friends. As far as having enemies, that is news to me as I was/am too unaware to know that I had any. If that is how you see yourself in relationship to me, thank you for the notice.

Respectfully,
Joseph

Dan Trabue said...

I wonder where exactly you think I insulted Neil? Where I called him on his lies and hypocrisy?

But that's just what Neil was asking for - people stating their clear view and insist that I am right ("I'd much rather talk with someone with a clear view that they'll defend than someone who insists that we can both be right..."), so how can I be insulting if I'm merely doing what Neil has suggested that progressive types DON'T do (actually insulting those type of folk as wimpy and passive-aggressive)?

Marshall Art said...

(yawn)

Marshall Art said...

Joseph,

"I am proud to count both Marshall, the host of this blog and Neil as friends."

Back at ya. Thanks.

Be it known, I do not look upon any opponents at this or any other blog as "ememies", but only opponents. Indeed, I consider them mostly as wrong, misled, deluded and in need of patient understanding and correction.

Mark said...

Your welcome, Art. Good job.

Craig said...

Dan,

You keep resorting to accusing people of slandering you. Please allow me to educate you. It is impossible for anyone to slander you on a blog. Impossible, can't happen. So stop whining. Quite frankly what people write, doesn't rise to the level of libel (which requires some kind of intentional factual misrepresentation).

The bigger question is why you decry the "slander" and "libel" on others blogs while allowing it at your own. Grow up and get over it.

Feodor said...

Neil misrepresents me (without remorse, I'm sure) when I says I suggest he is not a Christian for his participation and support of his daughters' participation in the Nutcracker.

I merely called him to repent for his and his daughters' involvement in a ballet created by a gay commie based on an adaptation by a mulatto of a short story by a pagan syphilitic.

I surely thought that would make sense to such a rugged, seventeenth century protestant as Neil.

But since he can't acknowledge the anachronism of his dying traditionalism, he banned me.

All of which he mischaracterizes here... and wont admit to, I'm sure.

4simpsons said...

Actually, Feodor, you did a decent job of characterizing the idiotic comments you put on my blog -- about 5 times. You are a persistent fellow, I'll grant you that. Incoherent and pointless, but persistent.

Here's a free lesson in trend analysis: Once your comments are directed to my sp*m filter, they don't come out. So type all you like.

Feodor said...

If your counting, then that's all the audience I need.

You're special. As you note all the time.

And thanks for the encouragement.

4simpsons said...

Let's play "count the logical fallacies and bigoted comments."

"gay commie"

Genetic fallacy and homophobic comment. Just because someone has wrong views in one part of their life doesn't mean everything they do is tainted. A normal person could probabably mow my yard as well as Feodor but that wouldn't taint my description of Feodor's work.

"by a mulatto"

Genetic fallacy and bigoted comment.

"pagan syphilitic"

Genetic fallacy (you really like that one!) and compassionless comment.

I love lessons on repentance from pagans.

Now do you see why I don't post your comments? Probably not.

Feodor said...

Hey, I love gay commies! They make up a significant portion of my library and have formed much of my thinking and literary enjoyment - along with millions of other people. (They're often Jewish, too.)

I produced a mulatto in an act of miscegenation, so I doubt I think of the word the way you do (which is the point: how you knot yourself in tautological self-reference). You look with judgment and speak love. It is viper's skill.

As for paganism, you would know better than me.

I'm with the early church fathers who made great use of the best intellectual systems of their time in order to hammer out an understanding of faith's framework for living.

Speaking of your love for Freud (Tchaikovsky was an ardent admirer and from Freud he was inspired to create The Nutcracker as well as Swan Lake - surely another pagan/Freudian themed message you would endorse - why don't you write more about your admiration for Freud on your blog?)

... speaking of Freud...

You like the word fallacy, don't you. Perhaps a little closeted homophonic attraction?

Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's perfectly natural for millions of people. You'll be in honored company, even many commies.

4simpsons said...

Thanks for conceding your logical fallacies. Too bad you had to add a few straw men at the same time. Again, see why I don't let idiots like you on my blog? I'd spend all day pointing out your foolishness.

Feodor said...

Nail,

On a more serious note, your argument that "just because someone has wrong views in one part of their life doesn't mean everything they do is tainted" is quite curious coming from you.

If this is so, then why the profound struggle against homosexual practice?

If gay and lesbian people are wrong in one area of life but not necessarily in any other *because* of their gay practice, then where's the threat?

Most significantly, if their "sin" is not infectious in the least little way to their own being, then how could gay sex possibly be a threat to others, to civil society, if there really is no morally viral problem?

In an extension, then, Christian faith must not be much of a comprehensive protection from sin. If taint does not spread, then grace does not have to be that vigilant, and Christian perfection can be a lot more lazy.

I'm just following through with your dictum: "just because someone has wrong views in one part of their life doesn't mean everything they do is tainted."

It's your theology we're living in and this just sounds quite peculiar, having skimmed your blog.

Or are you saying that taint doesn't spread from a dead homosexual?

Feodor said...

As I say, the fallacies are drawn from your unconscious tautologies. I'm just putting them in motion.

4simpsons said...

"If gay and lesbian people are wrong in one area of life but not necessarily in any other *because* of their gay practice, then where's the threat?"

Being gay, or an adulterer, or a liar, or whatever, does not mean that someone can't be a good playwrite or musician or whatever.

If you followed my blog you'd know that I'm very clear about us all being sinners in need of a Savior. Yes, sin taints many things, but it doesn't mean that everything we do is bad. We all benefit from God's common grace. Non-believers still have talents to create good music, for example.

"As I say, the fallacies are drawn from your unconscious tautologies."

That is called a straw man argument.

When you say idiotic things, I ignore them or point out why they are idiotic. I expose the factual errors and fallacies behind them. I don't try to guess as your motives or create false scenarios. Try it sometime.

Feodor said...

Now you're fudging.

First it was taint in one part had nothing necessarily to do with any other part.

Now you say taint spreads just a little, but not over the whole ("Yes, sin taints many things, but it doesn't mean that everything we do is bad.")

Which is it?

If the first, then you have a problem why a gay Christian would go to Hell and you, an equal sinner in need of Christ, would not.

If the second, then you have some fancy footwork to detail why your sin taints below the threshold of judgment and a gay Christian's sin taints above the boundary.

Which is it, Oh, logical mensch?

4simpsons said...

Feodor, we both know you are twisting my words.

Let's go back to your initial idiocy to clear things up.

You repeatedly implied that anyone who considers homosexual behavior to be a sin should not enjoy or participate in anything by Tchaikovsky and that if they did they must repent of it. You didn't go into detail about whether it was wrong if they knew he was gay or not, but your assertion was moronic in either scenario. Just a silly little straw man.

My point was that you can enjoy his music whether he was gay or not, and still claim that the Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is a sin. There is no inconsistency there.

Now if you wanted to change the subject to talk about the effects of original sin, salvation, etc., you'd have to convince me that you were seriously interested in a discussion. But all your comments to date indicate otherwise, so I'm in pearl holding / dust shaking mode.

So go through the rest of your fallacies and word-twisting and keep re-reading that and you should be all set.

Feodor said...

You messed up, Neil.

Either sin is corruption unto death from which you are safe because of faith in Jesus Christ and the gay Christian is not because homosexuality is so totally corrupting that even his faith is corrupted and therefore not faith (and presumably his artistic creation is corrupted since it is the product of a corrupt soul) and therefore you should repent of the Nutcracker...

Or, sin is corruption unto death but believers are saved by faith in Jesus Christ regardless of being in the state of sin to some degree and therefore you and the gay Christian are saved for a life together in heaven (unless you know the mind of God to a greater degree than the Gospel).

And you can go dance with a clean conscience.

Feodor said...

"You didn't go into detail about whether it was wrong if they knew he was gay or not..."

Now that you know, what is to prevent you from repenting?

4simpsons said...

Go back to comment 47. It is all there.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Feodor said...

These are fairly simple questions, Neil.

If your self-interest needs to gloss over the danger and cry out, "Straw Man, Straw Man," well, then, maybe it is an indication that you aren't bright enough to see the danger.

Or you are self deceiving. Like looking with judgment but speaking of love. A viper's life.

4simpsons said...

Oops, I meant comment 46. Didn't realize you had posted twice.

4simpsons said...

Oops, I meant comment 46. Didn't realize you had posted twice.

Feodor said...

Yes, I knew you would hide. The weak in faith hide.

4simpsons said...

I do appreciate your persistence and lack of embarrassment in showing how obsessed you are with me and how illogical your views are, but I've said all I can.

Again, go back to comment 46. All of your fallacious arguments are addressed there. So just keep writing something stupid, then go to comment 46. Put words in my mouth, then go to 46. Twist my words then go to 46.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Feodor said...

How long would you last on Mars Hill going sophmoric like you do?

Feodor said...

I have no illusion I can bring you to see your mistakenly decrepit theology and false teaching, Neil.

But I think we see here that you are a weak teacher.

And the weak will follow the weak just as surely as the blind follow the blind. And they are fawning all over your blog.

Mark said...

Now you know why I don't post most of Feodor's, Dan's or Geoffrey's comments at my place. The last comment any of them left at my place was Dan. His comment? I have it, unfortunately committed to memory: "Godless Slanderer". I assume he was describing himself, since I neither lie or have no God. I then pointed out that even if one doesn't believe there is a God, it doesn't mean God doesn't exist. I received no further comment from him.

I haven't banned them, but apparently they think I have because they no longer make comments at my place, which is fine with me.

My blog is a much more pleasant place to visit now that they don't darken my door or my towels anymore.

Feodor said...

Before Obama was elected you all were just fine taking us on.

I think you're a sore loser, Mark.

Mark said...

How could I be sore? I haven't lost anything.

You don't post on my blog anymore. That isn't a loss. It's a victory in my book.

Feodor said...

And yet here you are engaging in back and forth with me anyway.

Kind of a contradiction, don't you think?

Marshall Art said...

I hesitate to jump into this fray. Feodor clouds his arguments with an incredibly dense usage of words that neither enlightens or explains. But what the hell?

To call performing in a play written by a sinner to also be a sin is an incredibly stupid understanding of both sin and Scripture. That's the first thing, but obviously, Feo ain't really making that argument. It's a screen. What he's doing is trying to attack Neil's position, a correct and Biblical position, on homosexuality. But the only proper way to do that is with Scripture of his own that would counter Neil's arugment. Like Dan, Feodor doesn't have such Scriptural support.

Open indulgence and toleration of sinful behavior taints all, but not completely. Some can even withstand the taint and maintain proper perspective on the issue of the sin in question. However, the world around them is still tainted and some are corrupted due to the indulgence, toleration, enabling and sanctioning of sinful behavior.

For example, to say that children raised by homosexuals are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior themselves is not even in question. How could they not be more likely? They do not live in an environment that teaches the Biblical truths regarding that behavior. It is never addressed in a negative manner. And despite claims that one who is of one procivity cannot change to another, this is not proven in any way nor does it take into account the possibilities within every human being.

But none of this means that it WILL happen for of all reasons, merely participating in a play written by a homosexual. There is no repentance required whatsoever, unless the play itself contains pro-homosexual messages.

And finally, regarding "taint" once again, the whole damned world is tainted from the very beginning. This alone makes Feo's argument about as stupid as one can be.

Teresa said...

What a stragne thing to say...that children raised in a homosexual environment are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior.

I would love to see the science behind that claim.

Another "wait. what?" moment...Neil banned Monk-in-Training? That guy is the second most inoffensive guy I've met on the internet.

Dan, don't forget that I was banned as well.

Feodor said...

Reasoning badly from scripture does not a scriptural argument make.

But I applaud your attempt here, Marshall, as the most sustained and clear piece of reasoning you have ever demonstrated in my experience. It is also your most liberal piece of reasoning.

To paraphrase, it seems to me that you are saying, "the whole cosmos is fallen but that need not be consequential to people being quite good morally speaking, though incapable of being perfect. The arts and humanities exist and are produced in a context of human frailty, even corruption, but that is no reason for eternal judgment and rejection."

But the odd exception you make for homosexuality out of all the panoply of possible sins - like your own - returns you, contradictorily, back to a Calvinist "strong" argument for the totally corrupting effect of sin. Why is homosexuality alone the carrier of the Calvinist/Pauline doctrine of sin?

It is in this contradiction that Neil shows his own fault lines. He holds a herculean grip on a "strong" view of sin as virally active, tainting society. That is his attendant argument against homosexuality and abortion. Aside from the salvation jeopardy of the participants and murder of what you and he consider full human life, there is the clear argument that allowing such behavior has a deeply deleterious effect on the social fabric and the moral health of all of us.

This is entirely consistent with classical Reformation theology of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.

Oddly, in my view, he takes much more of a moderate modernist view of participation in the arts, something the leading lights of conservative Augustinian and thorough evangelical theology could not help but find contradictory.

Surely the arts cannot be threatening? Even the ballet produced by a Freudian inspired, gay composer. Well, many of his and your theological inheritance are rolling over in their graves at such liberalism. They would much more hold with your reasoning that growing up in a homosexual home would have enormous impact and that the very reason this is true is the same reason that good Christians should avoid all such similar influence in bohemian art.

That you baptize the Nutcracker as somehow traditional and innocuous is a liberalizing temper that sees historical change as contextualizing what earlier Christian societies as dangerous.

You and Neil escape your theology when you want to do so.

Or, as I would prefer to put it, you necessarily escape your theology because you both – as are all of us - are compound identities constructed in part of modern and even post-modern epistemological reasoning, while holding solely on to a theology five hundred years old and is mute to your contemporary experience.

4simpsons said...

For the record, I checked my discussion settings and comment history and can't find that Monk In Training was banned. Remember, that was Geoffrey's claim, a proven liar who got virtually nothing accurate on this thread. I suppose it is possible but I have no recollection or record of it.

I am pretty consistent with my policy on who I let comment. Those who are banned have remarkably similar traits.

There must be at least another dozen or two blogs out there to comment on. If just a fraction of what you say about me is true then why would you bother reading my blog or care if you were permitted to comment? (That's rhetorical, as I really don't care.) Really, folks, move on. Life is too short.

And it is always amusing to read the "Oh, the humanity" theme by people I ignore when I have never seen them care about the wild media bias towards the liberal agenda and even Obama's latest restrictions on them.

Marshall, excellent points.

Feodor, back to comment 46. It really does address your latest re-hash. Get a hobby or something. Your obsession with me is creepy.

Feodor said...

Neil,

I am addressing you as a false teacher. Something for which I have guidelines.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

What fun!

If I may, I would like to say something, just some general observations, then let you all get back to business. I started posting here, and with Eric, and even Neil oh so long ago, because I wanted to interact, with respect, with those whose opinions and worldviews were different from mine. What I found, sad to say, was hostility. I found, as Dan and Feodor attest, that Neil is far more interested in twisting another's words, then banning them, then trumpeting this banning as some great act. As I said further up-thread here in comments, he doesn't seem to handle confrontation well.

I enjoy the give and take with Marshall, as aggravating as it can be at times (for both of us, I'm sure), because he does not bend. We have disagreements, to be sure, but he does not silence opposition, he may call names but stays in the game. He also does me the honor of coming to my blog, for which I am grateful. Unlike some, I am not interested in pleasantness or agreement for its own sake. A good argument is good for the soul.

So, I want to thank Marshall for a very tried hospitality (at this point).

Carry on.

4simpsons said...

Geoffrey, what is the total number of comments I have deleted of yours? Still at zero. Are you banned from my site? Nope.

You dug yourself a hole with your lying and personal attacks, and you are doing it again. My recommendation is to stop digging.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Neil is entirely correct. Monk-in-Training was, indeed, not banned. He did tell me that he used to post there, but no longer does. For that error, I apologize. The little blessed Episcopal postulant who is, indeed, the softest spoken, most pleasant, indeed perhaps the most Christian person I have ever encountered on the internet, was not banned. Had to go back and check my own archives for that, and it took a moment.

4simpsons said...

Geoffrey,

Thanks for the clarification. I appreciate that (seriously).

I ban so many people it is hard to keep track ;-) .

Neil

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I never said I was banned. I never said you ever deleted a comment of mine.

You keep arguing with things I never said, Neil.

I did misspeak when I said that Monk-in-Training was banned, and have now corrected that error. He, far more intelligent and wise than I ever could hope to be, left and refuses to return.

Teresa, what's your story about being banned?

4simpsons said...

Geoffrey, you are deceiving once again. Yes, you haven't that you've been banned, but you keep saying thinks like this as if you know the whole story and must bravely fight the battles of others:

"I found, as Dan and Feodor attest, that Neil is far more interested in twisting another's words, then banning them, then trumpeting this banning as some great act."

You brought up the whole banning thing. I matter of factly explained why I have banned some people. I never claimed it was a great act. That's just more ad homs from you, a proven liar and deceiver.

Feodor's comments here demonstrate why I wouldn't want someone like him on my site.

4simpsons said...

"He, far more intelligent and wise than I ever could hope to be, left and refuses to return."

I traced all his comments just for grins. He was barely disagreed with let alone mistreated. His main comments were in support of praying to the dead (e.g., Mary). It is rather pathetic that you are so obsessed with me that you have to port over insults to try and build your case when your other lies didn't work.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I fight no one's battles. My point in bringing up your tendency to ban some folks was simply this (since I also said I have no problem, in principle, with you doing what you wish with your blog). Every time one you have banned encounters you, their stories and yours do not mesh. With Dan's and Feodor's stories here, I would add ER's and Alan's, and in all four instances - ER's and Alan's occurred some time ago over at ER's blog - the evidence was abundant that you not only banned for the reasons I gave, but that you misrepresented those reasons in subsequent discussions. When called on those misrepresentations, you merely went off on some nonsequitur.

Look, like I say, I have no problem with the whole banning thing. Calling Dan a stalker, when all he did was nothing more or less than what I did - attempt a conversation - is more than a bit harsh. It seems to me that Feodor's (somewhat exaggerated, certainly humorous) attempt to call a fellow Christian to account should have been an occasion less for you to ban him than for serious dialogue.

That's what all this boils down to. We are, all of those mentioned and more besides, Christians here, human beings in constant need of God's presence and the salvation of Jesus. What those words mean for us, how we live that out is obviously different, but that difference is not due to error, or evil intent, or anything sinister. It's just difference - different people responding as faithfully as they can due to the variety of history, identity, happenstance, family influence, and the like. Sometimes those differences are irreconcilable, but that's OK since we are dealing with God, and I have no problem stating that what seems irreconcilable to us is not for God.

Yet, time and again, discussions have degenerated in to lectures on our fallen, sinful nature; on the horrors of liberal theology; to repeat myself, I have been labeled a false teacher by you.

Like Dan said, we were looking for, and engaging in, conversation. That's it, and that's all.

4simpsons said...

"Every time one you have banned encounters you, their stories and yours do not mesh."

No kidding! Considering all your misstatements and lies here -- which you conceded in your own words -- why would anyone expect them to mesh?

I can show you the thread that led me to ban Alan. Nothing to do with him being gay, everything to do with what I described above.

We've covered ER. Not banned, even with his petty "Cult of One" digs.

Feodor demonstrated quite nicely why he was banned. And Feodor = fellow Christian? Ha!

In addition, you don't know the whole story on any of these people, including Dan. Just because I ignore him and don't re-hash it all doesn't mean he is right. You aren't exactly a great source for credible information.

But then, you don't really care about all that. You're just obsessed with me and are grasping at straws. You couldn't even apologize for your Monk in Training mistake without working in an insult.

"I have been labeled a false teacher by you."

Yes. You agreed that we worship different Gods, so of course we would think the other teaches falsely. I'm just honest about it.

4simpsons said...

And again, how about going back to your own blog and just obsessing from afar? Can you at least agree to keep the personal stuff off other forums? Remember, it is a two-way street. I'll be glad to stick to the facts and logic. But if you bring up stupid personal digs again I'll just link back to this post and all your lies and misinformation.

Feodor said...

I certainly wouldn't mind a link back to this thread.

Shows what a tortured and contradictory, homophobic, sixteenth-century protesting theology grounded in semantic tautologies looks like in the flesh.

Feodor said...

Ever read Proust, Neil?

Feodor said...

Separately, Neil,

I'm really very curious why you think "mulatto" would be a bigoted comment?

What are your thought processes in which that word bothers you?

Marshall Art said...

"Reasoning badly from scripture does not a scriptural argument make."

Whew! Then Neil and I are covered, as we have not reasoned badly whatsoever regarding this issue.

First, that all manifestations of homosexual behavior are Biblically prohibited and considered sinful, and second, that participating in a play written by a homosexual (and I don't even know if that charge is true, but it's neither here nor ther), a play with no pro-sin message that I've ever noticed, would be sinful merely due to the personal sinfulness of the author of the play.

This second piece suggests that anything merely touched by a sinner taints that object in a manner that poses a spiritual threat to the next person who handles it. I suppose removing one's self from the tribe until a ceremonial cleansing is completed will cover that! Of course this no longer applies since as Jesus said, it isn't what goes into a person that is sinful. So there is no guilt whatsoever, nor inconsistency, to enjoy a play written by a homosexual, or to sing along with Elton John on the radio, or anything like that.

As far as being tainted by sin, the composer obviously has been, but it doesn't mean his music is. It's just a silly argument.

Marshall Art said...

As far as silly arguments, this one about who banned who for what has now gone beyond silly. The accusation that Neil (or myself) has twisted the words of a commenter is not true from what I've read. There has been, rather, a decidedly fruitless attempt for clarification and that attempt has been seen as a twisting of words. As I've made mention in the past, this medium does not allow for the every nuance of the spoken word and meaning is not always accurately conveyed or received. The use of bold print, BOLD CAPS,italics. quotation marks, etc, can help, but still the problem exists.

In the case of Dan, he does have a habit of repeating what has been clearly countered or dismissed as if the argument is still valid, when in fact, he is still behind in the support side of the equation. This gets tiring to try to again and again elicit the next step in the process and only get the same lame point.

I seriously don't believe Neil would block any comment that abided his idea of what a good discussion entails. Feodor would benefit by being more concise and to the point, and resist the urge to use the form of prose that does little to make his point clear. It may make him feel he is intellectually superior, but if one can't be understood, what freakin' good is he? I've no time for deciphering code.

I won't go on with critiques of every visitor, but my one fast rule is this: Only I get to be rude and only I get to be the target of rudeness. Leave my guests alone. Here's a sub-section to that rule: Only I get to determine when snark turns to rudeness. It's my house. You'll all just have to accept that I am fair with my rulings on such things.

Mark said...

That's not fair, Art. Libtards deserve us being rude to them. just because they are so stupid.

Marshall Art said...

One more thing, for Teresa. I have recently seen a piece that discusses the probabilities regarding the outcomes of children raised by homosexuals. I unfortunately never saved it (or thought I did and erred---which is more likely) But barring that, it is not a stretch, unless one takes as Gospel the homosexual version of how these things work. I do not. They are rarely honest or objective. As we know people have left the lifestyle, as well as people who have consciously decided to "try" the lifestyle, and as we know that sexual promiscuity has increased in our culture since the 60's, the idea that children living within an environment that doesn't critique a given behavior would be more prone to view the behavior in a benign manner isn't anywhere near out of the question. In fact, it seems to me automatic that it would generate a higher percentage of kids who enter the lifestyle, than that of kids raised to understand the wrongness of doing so. Should I come across the article that spoke to this issue, or any other that does, I'll be sure to publish a link to it on a future post.

Feodor said...

Whatever you don't understand, Marshall, just ask.

Have you ever read Proust, BTW?

Feodor said...

Either sin has a corrupting influence (like a virus) or it doesn't.

If it doesn't, then why sweat whole classes of people for their sins when you have your own, surely.

If it does, then how do you know where the line is where you are in danger on one side of being subtly influenced or not in danger if on the other side?

How do you know The Nutcracker is safe for a biblical Christian? Seriously, how?

Marshall Art said...

"Whatever you don't understand, Marshall, just ask."

Here's a better idea: speak English. You lose in your attempts to sound especially deep and intelligent. Just get to the point in the most concise and direct manner possible. Wax poetic somewhere else.

"Have you ever read Proust, BTW?"

No.

"Either sin has a corrupting influence (like a virus) or it doesn't."

But like a virus, not everyone is corrupted, not everyone falls prey to the sickness. As you know, not everyone died of the plague who was exposed to it. Also like a virus, which cannot pass through every just anything, it is difficult to understand how anyone would expect that the sinfulness of an individual can have any affect simply through something that sinner created, if that creation has no outward relation to the sin of the creator. The only thing that is judged is the character of the person, but not every move the person makes is a manifestation of the flaw in his character. When we look upon a painting, we enjoy the beauty of it apart from who it was that did the painting. It has no instrinsic sinfulness attached just because the painter might be a card cheat. Nor would the buyer of the painting be a supporter of cheating at cards merely due to the purchase. That's goofy.

At the same time, sin, or "a" sin, may have a more corrupting nature that permeates a culture. We see this in the realm of sexuality without a doubt. As I've often mentioned, the views of sex outside the bonds of traditional matrimony has taken on an entirely different level of acceptance than in years past. Of this there is no doubt (except in Geoffrey's mind) and it has manifested in a variety of ways, from advertising, to how sex is taught in schools, and a host of other areas of life. It has changed what we consider to be modesty or immodest dress. Fewer people consider prostitution to be immoral. I could go on and on. Yet, not everyone abides these changes. I won't let my daughter dress in a provocative manner, for example. There are still those who prize the virtue of virginity before marriage, for another example.

"If it doesn't, then why sweat whole classes of people for their sins when you have your own, surely."

Assuming you refer to homosexuality, it's not a matter of "sweating one sin when I have my own". I'm not lobbying for a cultural change that enables my sinfulness. I'm not suggesting that somehow, if you look really close and between the lines, you'll find that the way I engage in that particular behavior is not the same as what the Bible is prohibiting. We are not forgetting other sins as less of a concern, but only addressing this particular sin because of how those who wish to engage in it are trying to find assurance that they can indulge without fear of either public harassment or spiritual harm. One they can have, the other they cannot. And as it will impact on our culture, the same culture our descendants must inhabit, we have every right to block that which we find detrimental as best we can.

"How do you know The Nutcracker is safe for a biblical Christian? Seriously, how?"

Seriously, this is a silly question. If I never knew the history of its author, how could it have any detrimental affect upon me? It can't. It's only a play, and one that has no overtly pro-sin message. And if it's true what you say about the author, the same holds because of the story's innocence.

I think a better way to say it is that tolerated sin corrupts, but that is not the same as saying that the world has already been corrupted by sin. Adam's sin corrupted the world, and that sin taints everything. Your sins or my sins corrupt only when we seek to perpetuate them and market them as OK, or by how we might otherwise influence others. But when you sell your car, the new owner isn't corrupted by your sins. I preceded this dissertation with several bottles of Guinness. I don't think I can make the distinction any more clear.

Feodor said...

Well, Marshall,

You have pushed the metaphor of sin being “like” a virus in the wrong literalist direction. You say some people do not catch a virus, but obviously no one is constitutionally immune to sin, right? Otherwise Jesus Christ does not save everyone, just those who contracted the virus. So sin is absolutely and completely pervasive in ways a virus is not. We are all fallen and unworthy because we are born in sin. (Romans 3:9,10: “We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one…’)

(To be clear, I assume we are discussing theological positions that are pretty much yours and I drawing out the indications and the contradictions within such a theology. This is not my theology.)

But to re-use the metaphor in a more appropriate way, let’s say that sinfulness is a “like” some virus that everyone does indeed contract (unlike actual viruses). Further, let’s say that we all react to that virus with different symptoms. Whereas some get nauseous and headachy, others get a bad cough and congested sinuses. So, in our sinfulness, some become addicts, some liars, some lust after women, some become judgmental toward others, some power hungry, some fearful of who they are made to be, some gamble, some limit the freedom their wives have under Christ, etc. And we usually get an assortment of symptoms. All under judgment, right? All in need of Christ’s sacrifice, right?

Therefore, since sin is “like” a virus that everyone does contract there is reason to limit ways in which a whole society of people behave together in order not to spread and increase the symptoms each of us has. It’s kind of like keeping sterile hospital. It seems to me that this is what you are kind of saying when you say, “And as it [a particularly virulent sin, as you think of it] will impact on our culture, the same culture our descendants must inhabit, we have every right to block that which we find detrimental as best we can.” This “impact of culture” part is exactly what I am trying to understand from you. How do you gauge the impact on culture of the various symptoms of sin we demonstrate in our sinfulness? You clearly find sex, and especially gay sex to be especially damaging to our culture, and, not only that, it has a corrupting influence through time, “the same culture our descendants must inhabit.” Is it and abortion alone at the top of the ladder of “impact,” and how far down is it to the next particular sin and what is that? And what follows that one and how does it compare in “impact.”

Can you come up with a gradation of sins according to the degree of their impact on our culture? And would such a scale be biblical? I don’t think so; it would put you in the place of God and for reasons I state at the end, you don't want to do that. So, I don’t think you are very clear about this “impact on culture” stuff and I don’t think you are very clear about it because I don’t think you’ve given it very much thought, really.

And secondly, I don’t think you realize the problems of inexactness you produce between a sin that has “impact on culture” and something you said earlier, “it is difficult to understand how anyone would expect that the sinfulness of an individual can have any affect simply through something that sinner created…”

What I think you are saying is that the sex part - what we do in bed that is sin - does not really affect society. It is a sin behind closed doors only, and this goes for straight sex outside of marriage as well as gay sex, does it not? So Tchaikovsky may have engaged in gay sex, but what he did after leaving the bedroom is not necessarily a sin, is what you are saying.

So if it is not the deed that is the corrupting virus out in society, then it must be, using your words, the “advertising,” the “teaching,” the “lobbying,” that is the socially viral threat, right? And it seems to me that the trouble with these activities for you is that they are some combination of making themselves visible and defending what they do behind closed doors.

Given this, I would agree that The Nutcracker, at least consciously, is not propaganda. But again, how can you ever draw the line on the corruptibility of art? What is under the line and what is over? Where is Proust? I mention Proust because, since you and Neil are connoisseurs of Russian ballet, surely you also want to experience great literary art as well. And Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past is generally considered among the three or four greatest novels of the twentieth century. But Proust’s sexuality was not according to your fashion at all and there are volumes after volumes of whether and where his homosexuality appears in his great novel (he hid it pretty well, not being a propagandist as you indicate would be the fault line).

So would you have to cut out parts according to someone’s indication of where gayness is detected so you could read this unmatched work of art (kind of like Jefferson cutting out all the miracles in the New Testament to make his bible).


And after reading most – but maybe not all – of Proust, what would you do with Henry James, one of our own greats? Where is Oscar Wilde? Or in art, as you mentioned, something that can hardly be cut and pasted, what do you do with Beauford Delaney? Or Georgia O’Keefe, who was married to Stieglitz, not a lesbian, but was very sexual in her paintings? Which are in and which are out? What then with James Baldwin? Which novels get a pass and are good for reading in school because they are not virally corrupting and which are?

I can assume Armistad Maupin and Robert Maplethorpe are beyond the pale for you, but there is a vast gray middle that you have to delineate for the sake of your commitment to moral clarity and defense from the dark arts of the gay propagandist.

How do you scale everything and everybody? And then, imagining for a moment the impossible, how on earth do we live by your judgment when surely Neil would have differences with you among the hundred thousand artistic works available to us on a weekly basis. I just went to an exhibit of William Egglestone’s photographs at the Whitney Museum where, in one, I saw a man’s penis. I have not idea how you would rate him: not-corrupting, corrupting, or, more probably, 251 photos are not corrupting, 35 are. Seems awfully silly. In fact, it seems a lot more than that.

In the end, I think you and Neil give The Nutcracker a pass because you both haven’t thought through your own theology and intuit that if you did you would have a hard time making it work very well for who you are as modern American men. I think you give The Nutcracker a pass because Tchaikovsky is dead and you don’t really have to worry about him or think too hard. His work is dated, enjoyed by children for a hundred years, accessible as a work to teach children how to dance (I myself was in the mouse kingdom one time – but so were all second graders, so please don’t judge the fact that I was in the enemy’s camp).

I think, obviously, you have a bigger problem, though, with art, with artists, with gay and lesbian people, and Neil with mulattos and pagans. And it is a grave problem. The problem is that you are at risk under Romans 1:18 - 2:6 (and I may be as well, for saying so [I hope this biblical passage isn’t too especially deep and intelligent or waxing poetic for you to tease out]):

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds..."

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

I think the problem is being clarified finally. Let's take the virus metaphor. There are two ways to use it. If we think in terms of Adam's sin, it is that which has brought upon us the sin into which we are all born and of which we are all stained. We can say that this is a given, a part of our nature as human beings and the very reason for which we need a savior.

But this is different from what I will call "every day sinnin'". This is a bit different because unlike the sin of Adam which stains us all equally, there are also specific attitudes and actions which corrupt or influence how the rest of society acts and/or views the world and indeed, it's realtionship with the Almighty.

We know that we are to be holy because God is holy. How do we do this? Well the only way we can is to live our lives based on Biblical teaching regarding our behaviors to the best of our ability. We do this by guarding our own actions and perceptions and by encouraging proper behavior and discouraging improper behavior in those with whom we hope to have influence for His sake.

Indeed, this can be subjective, but on the whole, not so much. If for example, you were to present me with 1000 paintings and rate them according to a sense of moral acceptability, I have no doubt I could do so with a high degree of consistency with "MY" understanding of Christian teaching. Obviously, it might differ from yours or Neil's and certainly from others I will not mention. But that's the thing. I believe we are to at the very least, attempt to arrive at the best consensus possible for His sake and hope for the best, leaving ultimate judgement to Him.

As more people drift from a traditional sense of what that morality might look like, the influence it places upon others begins to change as well and the curve, as it were, changes. This is the corruption of which I speak, if the result of the influence is a drift further from Biblical teaching.

I will say, however, that though this influence CAN be transmitted and relayed through "things" such as plays, paintings, music, etc., it is only done so consciously by the purposeful inclusion of the sinful position to the message of the work of art. You mentioned such being purposely hidden in the work of a particular artist. Well, in such a case, it only has inluence on those that both discover the message and allow themseleves to be corrupted by it. Is it your contention, that the Nutcracker has such a hidden message that is likely to be discovered by some young mind and cause corruption?

What really seems to be the issue here, though, is that you are seeking to hold us accountable for our enjoyment of play in order to condemn us for our righteous judgement of a particular behavior as being sinful and prohibited by God.

As I stated earlier, we are not driven by some notion that homosexuality is somehow worse than sins we might commit, or that somehow we are automatically closer to salvation for not committing that particular sin, or any other such manifestation of the judgementalism to which your final verse offering refers. It is that we are defending against blatant attempts to present this sin as something not sinful. To protect against the liklihood of further cultural degradation, such that is actually codified into our laws.

You refined the virus metaphor to describe it as something that manifests in each patient in a different manner. I'm cool with that metaphor as it aligns nicely with a position I've taken regarding this issue. Homosexuality is a symptom, a manifestation of the real illness, which is the idolatry of the self through sexual self-gratification. For some, just rampant sexual activity is a form it takes. For others, it might be just masturbation. For others, it manifests in the form of homosexuality. And yeah, for others pedophilia or bestiality. It's not HOW they're having sex, it's that they have elevated sex, and their personal version of how to enjoy it, above the Law and Will of God and it is THAT attitude that most corrupts.

The 60s brought about a new idea of sexual freedom. That led to a greater voice for homosexual freedom. We are already hearing the call for polygamy. Judith Levine wrote a book about kids as sexual creatures. A documentary was made sympathetic to bestiality. While all this is going on, the percentage of people suffering from STDs is higher, more abortions are performed, youner kids have babies and more suicides related to sexual relationships broken exist. Tell me there's no corrupting influence from tolerating any of the above sexual behaviors.

So again, we give Nutcracker a pass for the fact that it in and of itself has no corrupting message that we can see. We have no issue with pointing out blatant examples of such messages and condemning them for the crap they are. We both may miss when the subtle attempts to promote such things occur and our imperfection in that regard means nothing and is irrelevant. To paraphrase, I may not know art, but I know wickedness when I see it. You're free to debate it and try to convince me otherwise, but I'm not doing my job as a Christian to do nothing in the face of blatant tolerance and enabling of sinful behavior.

Feodor said...

Marshall

I appreciate your spending time to tighten up and link how you think about sinfulness, sin, and cultural artifacts like art. I am impressed how smoothly it all links up in your thinking and makes for a certain hard, formica-like sense. This kind of theology strikes me as a fantastically good kitchen counter, as it were, that can be cleaned and cleaned repeatedly with a sponge after all the butchering and show no knife marks. I confess that for me it is hard work to think in this casuistic theological vein and be clear. You make it look easy.

I’m sorry to be so opposed so quick, but now that you have presented such clarity and filled in gaps, the difference between us is foundationally in our understanding of theological concepts like the nature of God and thus the nature of humankind, the quality of the Christian life, and the issue of faith and the arts. And so it only leaves us with opposed visions of life, and in this we are far apart as Christians.

You say we are to be holy because God is holy and that we “do” holiness by following the Bible as well as we can. For me there is an enormous logical problem and an infinitely more enormous spiritual problem in what you say. First, God and the Bible are not equal. I know you are not silly enough to say that God gets God’s holiness because God follows the Bible perfectly as only a god could, and that is why we follow it in imperfect fashion, i.e. to be holy like God, which is perfectly revealed in the Bible. But to reverse the direction is only less seemingly silly. The Bible cannot perfectly present God’s holiness because even the hem of God’s garment cannot be contained by the Bible. So if we can be holy imperfectly like God is holy perfectly there must be some other relationship between God’s holiness and ours than the Bible. For me it is only true to say that we can be holy because that is how God made us to be – and by “us” I don’t mean solely Christians. Human nature is to be holy. But we are not yet perfect, which is God’s full intention: that we be perfectly holy. Holy is our natural nature, so to speak, not God’s. As uncreated being, God has no adjectives except for being the source of all virtuous adjectives as partial and imperfect descriptions of God’s one being. To make this point plain, one could use a stand-in word and say that God made us to be red but, of course, God is not red. We are made to be holy but, of course, God is beyond holy.

In taking this theo-logic to practice, since biblically informed faith tells me that we are made to be perfectly holy by God in our nature, then it must follow that our walk is naturally in that direction. Our falleness, of course, gets us off course and corrupts our will in such a way that we do not walk as fast or as straight in our human nature as we were made so to do.

This takes a great faith in creation, in our being actually, truthfully made in the image and likeness of God, to take the Bible at its word and actually find and see how people in their beauty and diversity and holiness show God. Again, this applies to all people, not just Christians, since God created humankind as a singular creation.

How different this is than giving a moral stamp of approval to 1000 paintings. I’d much rather look for the image, coming through a glass darkly, of divinity in all of them, every one since they are made by loving, image bearing creatures of God. The only true beasts I’ve ever met have been in psychiatric hospitals (where the soul is involuntarily buried under madness) or prisons (where the souls of some are involuntarily buried and others have become voluntarily buried under madness).

So, in this way, the Nutcracker does indeed have subtle, even unconscious messages, or, as you say it, “specific attitudes and actions which corrupt or influence…” Every work of art is not entirely under the maker’s control. The corrupting influence of The Nutcracker is the same corrupting influence of Christ’s mass and the Gospel: the point of life is not the getting of presents, not the “sin” of Fritz’s jealousy that breaks the nutcracker, not even that there is a seven-headed mouse king with a kingdom with which the nutcracker soldier and Clara (meaning all of us as well) must do battle. This is all well within our experience of life lived with each other. The message about life that the Nutcracker delivers is corrupting to corrupt life, to sinful life, to greedy and barbarous and hateful life, the desire to “get” to “break” to “battle.” But we know these things and these things haunt even our dreams where our imperfect, corrupting desires are revealed to ourselves.

The really corrupting message is that the nutcracker soldier is actually a prince, a real person related to Drosselmeyer, the godfather whose name means “illuminating voice,” and that this real prince will really save us and take us to a perfect sugar plum land that is no dream. If this is true, this corrupts faith in living by our corrupting desires and prompts faith in our desires that life thinks of as childish. We should have faith, not only that the broken nutcracker soldier will indeed do battle with the mouse king after our hearts, but that we can help, too, by holding the mouse king’s tail, and that we will live with the Prince in heaven together with the godfather.

That the Nutcracker has such a subtle, subversive and subconscious or even unconscious message is because E.T.A Hoffman, Dumas, and Tchiakovsky are beautiful creatures of God, intended for perfect holiness, and each, since he is like all human beings, is walking out his path roughly toward this intention.

The same is true for Proust, for Wilde, for O’Keefe, for Baldwin, for Maplethorpe, for Maupin. It is why people are moved by their art: they glimpse divinity or the clarity of humanity. We all know our falleness too well. The source of salvation is too seldom glimpsed. I thank God for them, for their conscious and unconscious vision of the Prince and his world, sometimes by negative inference.

You say you enjoy the play, but I don’t believe you, because I don’t trust that you see “the play.” How can you when your faith is a spotless formica counter that hosts the severed flesh and bones of judgment. You go on and make your thousand judgments and miss the corrupting message. You and Neil, carving on the table, hear that this body is gay, this body is dark, this body is diseased and you carve it up to discard the difficulty, missing the whole art of a beautifully made, perhaps gay, man dancing in tights on the stage in order to save you for a sugar plum heaven.

Feodor said...

And so Neil, finally, should not repent for participating in The Nutcracker. Far from that.

He should rejoice. Rejoice that he and his daughters have participated in a moment of Gospel, of revelation that Christ as Nutcracker Prince will take Clara and all of us to heaven when the mouse king is defeated.

Rejoice in the good news that a gay composer and mulatto and syphilitic pagan writers can bring salvation to our minds and hearts in art forms that their being captures so better than most of us.

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

"You make it look easy."

It isn't hard. Or rather, it is not hard in the manner you seem to think. As it has been said to you at Pearls and Lodestones, the Bible wasn't meant to be so mysterious requiring scholars and Einsteins to decode and decipher. It is meant for all to read and understand. Are there some tricky parts? Sure, there are some. They are hardly in number such that we can't know with certainty what is expected of us, the nature of God to the extent that He reveals Himself through it, and the relationship between each of us and Him. By making it all more than it is, we create something that wasn't intended. Why the overthinking? Didn't Jesus say that we are to be like children in our relationship to God? Does that imply some level of deep thought to accomplish in your mind?

"You say we are to be holy because God is holy and that we “do” holiness by following the Bible as well as we can."

First of all, "I" don't say we're to be holy, Scripture teaches us this. Scripture teaches us "rules" for behavior that is acceptable to God as well as that which is not. Again, no mystery here. So no, I do not compare the Bible to God as equals. I do not think God tries to adhere to Biblical description of Himself except as far as how He indeed revealed Himself; that is, He is what He says He is and He's under no obligation to change for our benefit. I also don't say that the Bible is a complete revelation, but the extent of the revelation He has elected to provide, the revelation to which all other "alleged" revelations must be compared to gain any hope of credibility.

"The Bible cannot perfectly present God’s holiness because even the hem of God’s garment cannot be contained by the Bible." No argument there. Moses was physically changed by standing in the presence of His Holiness.

"For me it is only true to say that we can be holy because that is how God made us to be – and by “us” I don’t mean solely Christians. Human nature is to be holy."

If you're saying that God made us with the potential for holiness, then I would agree. But we don't start from that point or Scripture wouldn't say, "We are TO BE holy..." which is a directive and encouragement to seek to achieve that goal. The fact that we aren't holy by nature, and that we lack the capacity to achieve perfect holiness, is why we need Jesus.

"Holy is our natural nature, so to speak, not God’s."

This is blatantly counter to Scriptural teaching, which states that God IS holy, which is why we need to be so as well. I can't imagine where you would get this idea, which as I said, is 180 degrees opposite of Scriptural teaching. "Holy" is a description of God's nature and you say He is beyond holy. How can He be beyond Himself? That's kinda like the "can he create a rock so big He can't move it".

"Theo-logic"? Your conclusions can only be logical based on your starting point, which isn't logically drawn from Scripture due to inconsistencies with Scripture, as stated above. Again, I can't see how you can describe your faith as Biblically informed when your statements are so opposite of what the Bible teaches. Despite our potential, we start from a state of sin. From there we are given a choice: our way or His way. If one looks around, it is pretty clear to which way the average joe is naturally inclined. We have millions (perhaps billions) who do not lean His way, and millions more (Likely billions more) who only do so on their terms and not His, which is really leaning their way.

We likely differ on the meaning of "image and likeness", but suffice it to say that I believe God dwells within everyone and it's just a matter of whether each of us lets Him work through us. Even those clouded by madness, for how can we really know which is madness and which conscious rebellion, are covered under notions of "the least of these", and "love they enemies". These and other Biblical expressions are to remind us of the value each of us has intrinsically, but this does not relate to the two choices upon which we each decide. So sure, we can look upon evil, or the works of evil men and find good or turn it into something good. That seems again, like choice to me. We are also instructed to "shake the dust from our sandles", to "cast out the unrepented sinner", to not "yoke ourselves with unbelievers". These types of verses are calls to make righteous judgements in our lives and some of those regard people. Here, is where what Neil and I say is consistent since we are speaking first of behaviors, and then of the people who insist on engaging in them and seeking to change the culture's opinion of those behaviors from evil to good. We have NO Biblical mandate to tolerate such things, but to separate ourselves from them and to preach truth in the face of them.

From here you go on to speak about the Nutcracker. Again you put way too much into the act of enjoying entertainment. That's up to you and you are more than free to do so. But again, you make such a big deal out of it and somehow it seems as if you expect something that we do not owe. Of course we enjoy the play. The dancing is beautiful, the music is classic, the experience is enchanting and, it's just a play. A message? Sure, a different retelling of what is told a billion times elsewhere. Special significance because of who tells it? Not at all. Actually it makes it kinda sad that if they are telling about salvation and the fight against good and evil and still haven not rejected their own sinfulness, then they haven't learned the lesson they tell in the play. They are still choosing their way and not God's. Maybe you should be pondering that.

"It is why people are moved by their art: they glimpse divinity or the clarity of humanity."

Pshaw! It's because they get boners. Look. I believe there is beauty in porn so long as their are hot babes in the picture. But porn is rebellion just as is my enjoying it. Leather clad whores whipping some naked slave, objects inserted into cavities..."Oh look! Notice how divinity shines through?" What psuedo-intellectual crap! And I'm not being flip here. My crassness is a logical extension of your ideology. Yet, if the people in the scene I described each create, say, a painting of a beautiful landscape, a song high ideals, a poem about fuzzy woodland creatures, none of these as possessions has tainted me with their sinfulness. But does it mean they are on their way to salavation? Only if they repent of their porn lifestyles, accept Christ as Savior and live their lives seeking to be holy, because God is holy.

Neil and I do no carving. We point out the obvious. What the subjects of that pointing out do is up to them. Calling evil by its name is first of all, honest, and second of all, part of preaching the Word and spreading His Message. It's part of what is known as The Great Commission. And I'm totally cool with it.

Feodor said...

"Didn't Jesus say that we are to be like children in our relationship to God?"

Doesn't imply thinking like fourth graders. You read too literally and to the exclusion of "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have..."


"... but the extent of the revelation He has elected to provide"

If so, then God has kept some things mysterious so that only serious spiritual minds can discern. Again, don't be fourth graders.


"If you're saying that God made us with the potential for holiness, then I would agree. But we don't start from that point or Scripture wouldn't say, "We are TO BE holy..." which is a directive and encouragement to seek to achieve that goal. The fact that we aren't holy by nature, and that we lack the capacity to achieve perfect holiness, is why we need Jesus."

No. God made us holy and to grow up into perfect holiness, just like he made us have joy and to grow up into perfect joy. Adam was made in the likeness and image of God. The Fall dirtied that mirror so our ability to move toward perfection was hobbled. Holiness is not a cookie at the end of playtime. We are holy, we are meant to become more holy. Christ already has set us on the right road and we will get there via God's grace (operating in all moments here and now and with the help of the Holy Spirit (operating in all moments here and now).

This is what the Bible teaches. That it teaches these things is why it is the revelation of God and the source of wisdom and vision of holiness, but not God itself or Wisdom itself or Holiness. Maybe that is why it talks about the Christian walk in Christ with the Holy Spirit and does not mention the book under an arm. The Koran talks about itself much more like how you talk about the Bible.


"This is blatantly counter to Scriptural teaching, which states that God IS holy, which is why we need to be so as well."

If a Holy God creates a being, I would hope the being would be holy, or does God keep one hand behind his back when he creates. "In the image and likeness of God." You think that refers only to hair on our heads?

He is beyond holy because holy and any translation thereof is a human word that makes an effort to describe the indescribable. It orients us toward the divine reality but the divine reality is infinitely beyond the ability of human language. So, "holiness" as our notion of God is, as it were, only a grand metaphor where there is no better one.


As I said elsewhere, you don't read the Bible, you read a nineteenth century reading of the Bible. We don't "start from a state of sin." Have you ever read the first two chapters of Genesis? If we start at chapter three, then there are no animals, not trees, no seas, no stars. The Fall is not where we begin, it happened to us after we began, and it did not undo all that God did. It is blasphemy to say so.

The church has been working out its understanding of "image and likeness" since the early centuries. We are "made" in the image and likeness of God;" it does not say that the image and likeness dwells within us. Huge difference. You should read more.


Pride in Christian butchery is what is sad. Even though it is not new.

Feodor said...

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

"Doesn't imply thinking like fourth graders."

And yet there's nothing that implies I do except your arrogant condescension. We were civil up to now. What gives?

"If so, then God has kept some things mysterious so that only serious spiritual minds can discern. Again, don't be fourth graders."

Two ways to respond: 1) I merely assume that the Almighty has more in store, has more to reveal than can be described in words. Something to which you even alluded and something supported by the fact that even Moses was changed to be in His presence. and 2) I'd be interested in being enlightened as to what mysteries a serious spiritual mind as yours has discerned that is not already revealed in Scripture. This should be good. Does it have anything do with casting aspersions upon another like a fourth grader?

"We are holy, we are meant to become more holy."

Try supporting this, please. I've shown why I don't agree. Merely saying it again doesn't add a thing. So I ask again, if we ARE holy, why are encouraged to BE holy? You're just making stuff up, sorta like a fourth grader would.

"This is what the Bible teaches."

Then cite a verse or two.

"...but not God itself or Wisdom itself or Holiness."

Never said the Bible IS God. It does contain His wisdom. What additional wisdom has your serious spiritual mind discerned that is not already revealed in Scripture?

"If a Holy God creates a being, I would hope the being would be holy,"

So you might. So might I. But where does it say that He did? How is it revealed to be so? Do serious spiritual minds remember what's been discerned and where it can again be found so that fourth graders can dig it, too? Or must they just take your word for it?

"The church has been working out its understanding of "image and likeness" since the early centuries."

No kidding. Perhaps if they only had a serious spiritual mind to help them discern this mystery for them. Anyone come to mind?

"Pride in Christian butchery..."

Why shouldn't I have? He keeps a very clean shop and trims the fat perfectly. The beef is grass fed and the chops are awesome. Perhaps with a little effort, your serious spiritual mind can discern a better butcher shop.

Your final offering is beautiful. Where's it from and why do think it supports your position since it makes no mention of us being MADE holy as opposed to us having been encouraged to BE holy. And a quick scan of the Genesis story of the creation of man reveals no mention of man being created "holy", though God calls everything He created "good".

Feodor said...

Yes, sorry, Marshall, I kept some things too concise. I had to go back and remember what I was thinking.

First, you made the reference, "didn't Jesus say that we are to be like children in our relationship to God? Does that imply some level of deep thought to accomplish in your mind?"

To which I think the answer is, yes, Jesus said we should be like children in accepting him, in accepting faith, and there is the obvious appropriateness of calling ourselves "children of God."

But that is not what you and I were talking about. We were reasoning, theologically, about whether "holiness" is a list of things about God that we can also be, whether human nature is originally good or bad, and what the consequences the answers to those issues would be for social engagement by Christians short of a full Amish retreat.

This seems to me to be more in line with Paul talking about some still feeding on milk and others having moved on to meat, don't you think?

The fourth grader comment is meant to ask you not to back off of thinking through the issues.

As for post-biblical mysteries, the Nicene Creed has at least a half-dozen or more.

The notion of the Trinity was not a truth for the church until it reflected on scripture and their christian experience together as a church and reasoned truth from it. But there was a lot of debate before the church formulated their understanding into certain intentionally chosen words that God was three persons (hypostases) but one being (ousia). These words were chosen for the force they had in debate with Gnostics and polytheists of Roman, Greek and dozens of other religions.

The Bible did not spell it out; it didn't even hint at a Trinity or how such a truth could be. The church did that work by reading their bible, worshipping together, thinking together, reflecting on their feelings as a community and their ideas stemming from reading and worshipping, and then coming to an understanding that both withstood attack and nourished them spiritually.

Same with the notion that Jesus Christ is God from God, Light from Light, "begotten", not "made", of "one being" with the Father. The words chosen here are vitally important and phrased in a way with deliberate intention. Stemming from a belief in the Trinity, the early church battled out a majority belief that Jesus Christ was was present and operative at the Creation and not somehow the first being created; that Christ was both God and man but still one person in perfect communion with the other two as one being. They hashed out notions of his body, his soul (psyche) and spirit (pneuma) in order to come to a statement that Jesus Christ had two natures in one person. This was very difficult but, again, the way the hashed it out and what they came up with had the virtue of defending the majority's understanding of Christ and his message and nourishing them in faith.

Same with the notion of the Spirit as has "spoken through the prophets," thereby identifying the Spirit with the figure of Wisdom (Sophia) found in the Old Testament. This had the purpose of claiming that the Spirit was also present at the Creation and was not a creature of it.

One, holy, catholic, and apostolic church is a theologically dense phrase condensing down years and years of reflection both on the bible and on christian experience by the churches.

We take these truths as pretty simple ones now, but there was a great competition for religious ideas in the ancient world. The idea of one god only was quite new outside of Israel and comfortable only for a vast minority at first. These things took centuries to come to definition, to appear in mystery and slowly take deep, deep meaning for the church's relationship to Christ and the Godhead and for the church's witness to the world.

I can go on, but these few examples just from the Creed satisfy. And I take the early and medieval church, even the protestant reformation, the Anglican middle way (via media Anglicana) and the whole, sweeping love affair with mystery by the Eastern church all as models of how we should continue to be the church, worshipping the three-in-one together, taking in the body and blood of Christ, reading the bible, reflecting, talking, thinking, thinking again, deeply, in prayer and hearing God speak in the Spirit to us.

I am as sure that this happens as I am that you and I will be brothers in heaven, because Christ is in his heaven and we are even now, today, "being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory."

The bible tells me so.

You want scripture but I have been giving you scripture all along the way.

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them"

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well." [You know that one}

"'The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,' that is the word of faith we are proclaiming..."

"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature..."

If you want to read in a Christian tradition with which you are not familiar (and upon which I base these responses of which you are so skeptical) then you could try these:

The Orthodox Way by Kalistos Ware (an outline of basic Christian faith)

Broken Lights and Mended Lives: Theology and Common Life in the Early Church by Rowan A. Greer

Partakers of the Divine Nature: The History and Development of Deification in the Christian Traditions (Read Amazon's product description)

And if you want to hear it from the originals:

Theological Anthropology collected by J. Patout Burns

So, these come to mind, since you asked.

Alternatively, if you make the trip really short, you could read How the Irish Saved Civilization and get a hint at things. By virtue of being American protestants, we have been locked out of a thousand and a half years of Christian life and thinking. It shows.

Finally, a holy God only makes holy things. The Trinity literally says, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness." What in the world could you possibly think that means?

The mirror may be dirtied so the image and likeness is blurred, but a holy God only makes holy things. I am made by God.

Now this I expect a fourth grader does understand.

Mark said...

"The Trinity literally says, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness." What in the world could you possibly think that means?

I think I have an alternate meaning that makes sense.

Man was created in God's image of what a man should look like.

Did you ever attempt to draw a picture or make a sculpture? Did'nt you have a mental picture of the finished work in your mind before you started?

Or, a better illustration would be, have you ever seen a sci-fi movie that had alien creatures in it? The creator of that creature surely had an image of that creature in his mind before he designed it, right?

Could we have been misinterpreting the phrase, "in God's image" wrong all this time?

I certainly don't think God looks like me, heaven forbid!

Feodor said...

The Hebrew doesn't run that way.

Besides, what do you do with "our likeness"?

Interesting thought, it's just not based on what the Hebrew says.

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

You still don't make the connection between all that and BEING holy already, as opposed to "we are TO BE holy because God is holy". You're merely saying it is there.

I would also submit that despite the hashing out, as you say, of the early church, the principles of the Trinity were indeed already in Scripture and believed/taught even if not understood by all. Thus, they hadn't discerned what wasn't already there as you suggest they did, or as you suggest that you of other ideas of the nature of God which is not already there. Scripture says what it says and always has. To say there is more revelation to come is not in question, only whether or not ANY serious, half-serious, psuedo-serious or comically spiritual mind has yet to discern any of it that is not already revealed in Scripture.

I would also question if as you fear we might somehow equate the Bible to God, that you might so elevate the sentiments of the books you offer to the point of putting to much in them, or equating them to the Bible itself. I have no problem with reading the impressions of Biblical scholars any more than do you. But I still lay their words over Scripture to judge their worth. They are not beyond misinterpretations or extra-Biblical conclusions.

I do, however, sincerely appreciate the suggested reading list. Good to know how others like yourself got to where you are.

Feodor said...

The church's stance vis a vis Jews and Judaism has taken a major shift in the last seventy years as a result of seeing its own contribution to anti-semitism. From the NT to WWII, the church persecuted Jews, theologically no less than personally.

The church descended into horrible scriptural reasoning to justify the slave trade, and then, realizing its horrible sin, reasoned itself out to a heretofore unprecedented stance regarding slavery that is not the stance Paul takes in the NT, nor that of any other NT writer.

There are more, but the direction this all takes is not the direction you'd want to see.

Feodor said...

You've made big claims over at Payne Hollow that you are frustrated by respondents that say they just don't agree with your reasoned stance supported by writers who present reasoned arguments.

I've yet to hear your extended comments on what "in our image, in our likeness" means.

I've yet to hear what you mean by "Adam's stain," meaning language that is more concrete than metaphoric, or how you make distinctions between Paul's "sarx" and his "hamartia."

And I have no idea - because you have not presented any - what you think of 2 Corinthians 3 or 2 Peter 1.

Maybe you are "being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory" simply because you take the garbage out for your wife. This seems the limit of your joy in Christ.

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

Regarding your comments of 10:24AM---

So now you're offering poor interpretations made in the past to support what, exactly? Are you supposing that those positions were universal or just official. Big distinction there. In any case, it was hardle a "serious spiritual mind" that misused Scripture for such things for the Bible cannot be seriously made to support those positions. It does not support those positions and never did. Just as it seems you are doing, more accurately, what most of my opponents are doing in general, those people were overlaying Scripture with meaning it can't possibly mean. No where is there any justification for persectuing anyone. A fourth grade level understanding can see that.

The same goes for slavery, even if not exactly so. Based on these two offerings, I'd say the direction you think the Bible is taking anyone is a destination at which I've long ago arrived. Where the hell have YOU been?

Feodor said...

You can say the interpretations were "poor", you can say that scripture was "misused," you can say that "those people were overlaying Scripture with meaning it can't possibly mean."

But when you do that, you are saying something almost brand new within the church's understanding of scripture over two thousand years.

Scripture for the church indeed spoke to the acceptability of slavery, most preeminently in Paul. Scripture spoke with judgment and blame regarding the Jews, most preeminently in Matthew.

You confirm a decisive and new turn in the church's understanding of its own scripture. And it is groundless absurdity to say that scripture was perfectly clear to a nine year old of the ancient Roman empire, but all the faithful adults for a thousand and three-quarters years could never see it. And to say this was all God's plan is to escape human reason and discourse and hide oneself in an empty fog of sacral devotion that helps no one.

This is what the church read and heard in scripture until a time came when they didn't. The reasons that time came may be debatable. I posit that human understanding and holiness benefits with learning, our compassion deepens with exposure and reflection on who we are as a whole creation. We grew in holiness and glory.

These are the things I first wrote months ago in opposition to how you, Mark, and Eric read scripture.

Marshall Art said...

"you are saying something almost brand new within the church's understanding of scripture over two thousand years."

Hardly. It was as I stated it whether you or anyone else wishes to frame it that way or not. The words say what they say and few had personal access to those words. That some interpreted to their advantage and shared the words with other, less educated commoners is not the same as widespread belief in a wrong interpretation. It isn't as if learned people can make such mistakes. You view the past from the advantage of the present without taking into account the real differences and similarities.

But that's neither here nor there. The interpretations are plainly wrong and I'd wager more likely consciously so. This is more a case of "honest" spiritual minds discerning meaning than "serious" spiritual minds.

"Scripture for the church indeed spoke to the acceptability of slavery, most preeminently in Paul."

Absolutely not true and never was. That some have taken these verses to insist so does not make it so. Scripture never speaks of slavery, but speaks TO people for whom slavery was a way of life, to guide the behavior of both slave and slave holder. That's not the same as commenting on the institution itself. That anyone takes such verses as tacit approval for the institution is a leap not encouraged by Scripture itself. Also keep in mind that slavery then was not quite the same as in pre-American Civil War. Many people willing entered into slavery for both debt repayment as well as simple security.

"Scripture spoke with judgment and blame regarding the Jews, most preeminently in Matthew."

Also not so. Scripture spoke with judgment and blame regarding the Jews who rejected Christ and moved to have Him killed. Keep in mind that the original Christians were themselves Jews and lead by Jews.

I don't think you can point to either of these two offerings to support the notion that "serious spiritual minds" have discerned that which wasn't already in Scripture that honest spiritual minds hadn't already understood.

"And it is groundless absurdity to say that scripture was perfectly clear to a nine year old of the ancient Roman empire, but all the faithful adults for a thousand and three-quarters years could never see it."

No. You accused me of thinking like a fourth grader. I'm saying that without being guided to do so, a nine-year old wouldn't interpret plain English so poorly, particularly since the words that are there do not mean what some have wrongly said they mean for whatever reason.

Also keep in mind that for most of history, personal access to Scripture was limited by both the lack of reading ability as well as prohibitions by church leaders. It was felt that the common man couldn't discern the meaning of Scripture. Probably thought they didn't possess the "serious spiritual mind" necessary for doing so.

Better understanding came about as more people gained access and there came some that said, "Yo! THAT'S not what it says at all!" So yeah, learning brought bennies regarding our understanding of Scripture, but no "new" revelations or understandings came about, but "actual" revelations and understandings finally became known. In that manner, we have ONLY those revelations that are found in Scripture, there have been nothing else revealed that isn't already known based our best understanding of the original languages.

Marshall Art said...

Regarding your comments of 10:33AM

My take on "image and likeness" is as follows. As you indicated, we cannot know the full extent of God's nature or majesty. The distance between what and who He is and our being in His image and likeness is likely beyond our means to measure. To say that God is perfect and holy is to use a word to describe an ultimate ideal. It is the absolute ultimate limit of all things. There is nothing above or beyond. God cannot be beyond holy because He IS holy. God cannot be beyond Himself. That's logically goofy.

But we, made in His image and likeness, are but poor representations who cannot be perfect or perfectly holy, surely not on our own. We have no capacity for that. But by His teachings as revealed to us in Scripture, we can approach it and by acceptance of Christ we can claim it to some extent. He's our ticket. No tickie, no washie. With the tickie, we are washed of the stain of original sin, the sin into which we are born as a result of Adam's rebellion, Adam's stain. I hope that's sufficient.

I'm assuming your referring to 2 Cor and 2 Peter have something to do with your problem with my reliance on Scripture. I don't see where either relates.

You have no idea of the extent of my joy in Christ nor could you begin to guess.

Feodor said...

Marshall,

Before we get going, I’ve got to say, this is pure Bill Clinton:

'Scripture never speaks of slavery, but speaks TO people for whom slavery was a way of life, to guide the behavior of both slave and slave holder."

As for what your first paragraph in you first post says, it's anybody's guess.

Almost all of it, though, is self-deceiving obfuscation that is beneath you:

Yeah, Roman slavery was a joy. You’ve really got a good hold on a point there; way to morally equivocate.

And because it was such a joy, and because Augustine - reading his scriptures, Paul primarily - gave theological justification to the use of imperial power against “barbarians” under the sign of the cross and to send the vanquished into slavery, Christian rulers for a thousand years abused power in the name of “divine right” (you may dimly remember this from history class).

Then, in 1525, Luther defended wealthy princes in slaughtering rebellious peasants, ensuring the continuance of Christian Might that was no small joke to millions of powerless people. Christian defense of divine right turned into Christian defense of the nation-state and married with an evangelical zeal and the riches to be made in the development of Atlantic trade, and then, I think, you know what happed thereafter.

This long development of Christian tradition, based on Paul’s writings primarily and thought through by serious theologically trained minds, gave tacit approval and comfort to those of power using violence and power over those without.

Paul, as sharp a tack as ever there were, did not completely foresee this nor desire it. But there it is in scripture, hobbled a bit by his own humanity and his own time. But then, the Bible exists in a world of Adam’s stain and perhaps there it is in scripture itself.

The same history, though not as clear or persuasive, can be traced for anti-Semitism. I mistakenly identified Matthew as the main culprit but it really is John, particularly John 8, though Matthew shares the problem. You can trace this in a parallel gospel manual that puts the parallel passages of the four gospels next to each other in columns on the page. John and Matthew stand out in how the same passages have much more inflammatory language in those Gospels regarding what John calls, “The Jews”. I love the Gospel of John, in particular, and hate to see and to point out these things.

Regarding literacy and private availability of scripture, I fail to see a reduction of historical horrors among Christian societies after the Reformation’s distribution of translations, beginning with Luther’s. Instead, we see unprecedented technical genius in the capture, shipment, sale, and mass forced labor which produced unprecedented wealth (which made this nation “great”) following the conversion of almost all of northwestern Europe to Protestantism.

Indeed, as preachers and the masses became literate, and as they delved into practicing the priesthood of all believers, Europe ran red with blood.
_____

Your pitch of “serious spiritual minds” against “honest spiritual minds” means nothing to me and makes inferences that I never brought up. You talked about being little children in our relationship with God and I said we need to read scripture with serious questions, which you and I have been doing most of the time on this thread.

Serious spiritual minds can create serious problems and serious spiritual minds need to pay constant attention and reflection to what the church is saying at any given time… especially since the bible, which you and I read somewhat differently, is silent about so much and could not possibly be thought of as foreseeing everything – part of its limited existence as an earthly, Adam-stained and glorious holy thing. Just like you and me, though it is not as sacred as a human soul.

Your argument that scripture is innocent of setting the church on some wrongs regarding anti-Semitism and slavery is outside of rational discourse because you are ignoring a straightforward cause and effect argument with historical and biblical scholarship clearly documenting the effect of Paul on Augustine, the effect of Augustine on western foundations of rule and law right down to the last hundred years. You simply declare the bible is innocent. That is a profession of a particular conclusion of faith.

There is no ground for calling someone else’s argument groundless when you have nothing in hand to show. That is the definition of specious.

Finally, there is your liberal reading that we know better than those of the last thousand and five hundred years of Western civilization because we read the bible better. Whatever the status of scripture, that is one of your arguments, which looks just like mine in the sense that we have grown in glory and holiness.

Congratulations.

Feodor said...

What gobbledy-gook is this?

"To say that God is perfect and holy is to use a word to describe an ultimate ideal. It is the absolute ultimate limit of all things. There is nothing above or beyond. God cannot be beyond holy because He IS holy. God cannot be beyond Himself."

Is God an "ultimate ideal"? No. That is too small a notion.

Is God "the absolute limit of all things? No. Even "absolute limit" falls immeasurably short.

The word "is" itself falls short of God's being.

My point is that language (or any mode of referent) cannot serve to approach the fullness of God. No word suffices precisely because they are words. They are not eternal realities in themselves. They are linguistic references.

But all WE have, are words. Holy is our best word. God cannot be captured by created things.

In some crazy, unthought way, you seem to suggest that a word can be a better image of God than that which scripture says is made in the image of god: the maker and speaker of words: the human person.

This is the unthought basis of your idolizing that book in your lap.

Is scripture more sacred than a human person? Hardly.

Try again.

And if you don't take the garbage out, I think your joy will be diminished.

Feodor said...

Did I forget to mention what Paul started in the church re women?

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

Obviously you can feel this slipping away from you. I do not argue the limitations of language and it's ability to fully describe, appreciate, explain or glorify God. Why would I waste my time? But how else to we communicate? We do the best we can with what we have. We have used words like "perfect" to describe an absolute limit. God is a manifestation of such absolute limits as there is nothing above Him, nothing more powerful, more holy, more "perfect". All of that is what it is to be God. We can be no more than sad representations of the original in being in the image and likeness of Him. God IS holyness. He cannot be beyond Himself and it is enough to say that He is as holy as holy gets. He is holy. He is what "holy" means. And because He is holy, we are to be holy. If you want to say that we possess aspects of or potential for holiness, I'll concede the point. But, as God is what "holy" is, it is incorrect to say that we already are holy, especially when Scripture teaches that "we are to be holy because God is holy". HE is holy, not us.

Now, until you can show why I should abide what is not taught in Scripture, why I should hold some notion in which you believe which is not in Scripture to be more worthy of what is taught in Scripture, then I will continue to default to the teachings of Scripture for the best understanding of the nature of God and His Will for us here on earth. This is not idolatry. It is simply using the only source for this info that is available to us.

In the meantime, I'll remind you that your use of flowery, pseudo-esoteric prose does little to advance your cause.

Feodor said...

Oh, oh, please Marshall.

When you cannot name even one core Christian doctrine from the NT, how can anything you have slip away from me?

You have no legs. Even to stand.

Feodor said...

"... Scripture teaches that "we are to be holy because God is holy."

Totally agree.

Because Jesus loves, I love.

Guess what, Marshall. It turns out that I can!

Because Jesus taught me how to be holy like God, so I do. Simple. Not perfect by a long shot and the, wait for it, Holy Spirit is helping me more and more.

Simple. Thanks.

Feodor said...

Could it be that you don't know what "to be" means?

It means you can go ahead and try it. Go ahead, Marshall, try, any day now, to be holy. Go on, you can do it. God's waiting.

I really don't think you're a fourth grader, Marshall. To be honest, more like a sophomore in college.

So I will leave the "God behind the linguistic God" talk behind for another day.

Marshall Art said...

Sounds like you're bailin'. I don't blame you. You've already softened your position on holiness.

I fully understand what "to be" means as I have been the one that has said it accurately implies that we "aren't", whereas you have been saying that we are. Don't be scared. It's OK to concede a simple point.

As far as ME trying to be holy, I can admit that, as you continue to demonstrate with yourself by your comments, I often fall short. That's why I have accepted Christ as my savior. Hey! Whaddya know? A core Christain doctrine from the NT!

Feodor said...

be holy (this is the form of the verb one uses in the hortatory mode!)

like love one another

equally able to do, imperfectly

you're choosing to be an idiot about it

and bailing with stupid ruse

I cant' believe we are down to reminding you of high school grammar.

Feodor said...

You, Marshall, are "to be" honest if you don't want to appear like the fool you are flirting "to be."

Feodor said...

If you continue to be this willfully stupid, it means you are giving in and giving up.

Marshall Art said...

The stupidity is on your end. To say that one is "to be" implies that one isn't yet. It implies an action must be taken, not a state of being. To remind you, you've stated that we are made holy. I've stated, and supported with Scripture, that we are "to be" holy. Big distinction. Face it. You're wrong on this point. Can we move on now?

Feodor said...

Leviticus: Don't eat the following animals... Don't defile yourselves by eating them, instead "consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy."

Once more because you are choosing to be a fool, "consecrate YOURSELVES AND BE HOLY because I am holy.

Pretty easy... to do for OURSELVES.
_____

1 Peter 1:13-15: "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

Once again, because you are choosing to be the fool: "prepare your minds, BE SELF-CONTROLLED, set your hope... do not conform... SO BE HOLY IN ALL YOU DO[!!!!!!]..."

A third time: be holy in all YOU DO.
_____

God, Marshall, you don't ever read the bible you claim as a guide.

Look up "hortatory," stupid, and how it's used as a part of speech. Example: And be honest. (This infers you have the capacity to be honest, but will you choose to be so.)

Marshall Art said...

That's funny. You're calling me stupid, but you are now saying what I've been saying all along. You are now saying that, with each piece of Scripture you've just offered, that we are to be holy. Thank you for finally getting it. It took longer than it had to. I don't know why you're acting as if I was saying something different. After all, it was you who said we already ARE holy, that is, as a starting point, and that's a point with which I was disagreeing all along.

But is that how you debate? When you find you've been an idiot you change your tune, adopt your opponent's argument, and then pretend like it was your position the whole time? Wow. You're weird. To think we've wasted all this time when you could've just agreed with me from the beginning. NOW can we move on? This was such a minor point over which you've exposed your foolishness. But don't worry. I won't tell anyone.

Feodor said...

You say we aren’t holy by nature.

But Leviticus says, “consecrate yourselves, be holy.”

You say holiness is a goal to be achieved, a perfection to be attained.

But Peter says, “set your hope fully on the grace to be given you… be holy in all that you do.”

Unless you want to say scripture is blowing hot air, you’ve got a bible problem.

As I said before, I’ll take Holy Scripture, you can have what nineteenth century Calvinism takes as its scripture.

Marshall Art said...

This proves it. Your attempts to appear brilliant are only that. Attempts.

"You say we aren’t holy by nature."

Yes, I do.

"But Leviticus says, “consecrate yourselves, be holy.”"

Not, "consecrate yourselves because you ARE holy". Why would it say BE holy if one already IS holy?

"But Peter says, “set your hope fully on the grace to be given you… be holy in all that you do.”"

Not "set your hope fully on the grace to be given you because you ARE holy in all that you do". Why would Peter say BE holy in all you do if you were ALREADY holy?

Unless you want to read Scripture as it is written, you are full of hot air and guilty of heresy for saying it says something else.

As I said before, I'll accept what is written in Holy Scripture, no matter the consequences, and expose those "serious spiritual minds" that are either making shit up, or are incapable of understanding plain English.

Marshall Art said...

Give it up. You've lost this one and now you're looking more foolish than you were when we started. Don't cement this in the minds of visitors over something so minor as misunderstanding something so obvious as "BE holy".

Feodor said...

Being holy is a practice just as scripture demonstrates. Like honesty, it is not some ultimate achievement, it is a daily decision which we can fulfill because it is in our nature.

We can choose to not be holy; it's just like you choosing not to be honest with scripture. It's a daily decision.

Be holy in all that you do because you can. But you have to choose to be so today and tomorrow and the day after, just like you chose or did not choose yesterday.

It is your nature, you have the capacity, so go out and consecrate yourself again today by choosing to be holy in all that you do.

But you, Marshall, are already off to a bad start.

Feodor said...

Why are you so stubbornly choosing to be grammar ignorant?

Because you've lost.

Feodor said...

Finis.

Marshall Art said...

"Being holy is a practice just as scripture demonstrates. Like honesty, it is not some ultimate achievement, it is a daily decision which we can fulfill because it is in our nature.

We can choose to not be holy; it's just like you choosing not to be honest with scripture. It's a daily decision."


Now you're starting to get it. If we have the capacity to be holy, then we start out from a point of only potential, just as with honesty or a dozen other virtues. As you now say, it is a conscious action and decision on our parts to be holy, not an involuntary state of being.

So you cannot have it both ways, we are either holy from the start, in which case any calls to be holy are superfluous and unnecessary, or we are NOT holy to begin with and must act to be so. It's one or the other. Scripture tells us to be holy, not that we are holy. I'm glad you're beginning to show a capacity for understanding.

Now, if you wish to continue, know that I will no longer respond on this issue. As you now agree with me, I don't see the point, and further, do not wish to now argue how you do in fact agree despite your claim that you have triumphed in some way. It makes you sound like a jihadist who claims victory no matter the outcome, and that's just pathetic.

Feodor said...

We are made holy and in our freedom (capacity) we can fulfill or deny that.

We are made honest and in our freedom (capacity) we can fulfill or corrupt that.

We are made in the image and likeness of God. In our freedom, we can mess with it.

You would have us to be a blank slate at the beginning. Which is not a Christian notion and doesn't lend any credence to your defense of the now suddenly Not-Holy fetus.

Marshall Art said...

Nice try. Run along now.

Feodor said...

Simply what the bible teaches.