Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Got Milk?

This is an interesting article I found through a link at Neil's blog. The link was to another blog that reprinted the end of the article. I found the entire thing quite enlightening.

This article presents info typical of both Hollywood and the homosexual movement.

First, as if it's any surprise, it shows how Hollywood airbrushed the warts and blemishes that is the real life of Harvey Milk. Not having seen the Sean Penn depiction myself, nor having any desire whatsoever to do so, I really didn't need anyone to tell me that the film presented Milk as some sort of saintly creature. I didn't need anyone to tell me that his true self would be left out. Hollywood, in some self-destructive, death wish-like mental defect, likes to push liberal crap that draws no one and makes them very little money. This movie obviously stuck to the game plan and so well that the Hollywood loons were properly smitten. But it only showed "their truth", not truth.

Secondly, the article points to the common tactic of the homosexual activist to lie to further their agenda. Milk knew this, apparently, and as is S.O.P., lied as needed. What a shocker.

Thirdly, like the Matthew Shepard case, the murder of the Milk was NOT because of his homosexuality. Yet the movie, and the memory of this low-life, is based on that lie. I had never heard that White supported the right of a homosexual teacher to teach. No. We're to believe he murdered Milk because Harvey was a homosexual.

Such lies, distortions and omissions are typical of the movement. How could anyone support a movement that so easily lies?

516 comments:

1 – 200 of 516   Newer›   Newest»
4simpsons said...

I'm used to the MSM and people like Penn lying to advance their causes, but not as badly as they did with Milk.

Dan Trabue said...

I know nothing about Milk, but I'd have to wonder what the source is for this author's data, since the only thing I see cited is one biographer who refers to his information coming from "friends" of Milk.

Milk may well be as described in this article - again, I know nothing about him. Hollywood often glosses over people faults when depicting biographies. But then again, I know nothing about this writer. Why should I trust him any more than I trust Hollywood?

After all, just as surely as Hollywood glosses over stuff to tell a story, too often right wing writers make up crap and otherwise twist stuff to tell a story, too.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshall Art said...

"...too often right wing writers make up crap and otherwise twist stuff to tell a story, too."

Such as...? If you've someone in mind, please link to the "crap" and also to the proof of it being so.

Marshall Art said...

What up, Jim? Why'd you delete your comment?

Dan Trabue said...

Such as?

Sure, as soon as you provide some documentation for your story...

Bubba said...

Dan, you're being hypocritical.

The same time you demand sources and documentation from this City Journal writer, in order to verify his critical claims about Harvey Milk, you decide to engage in a little character assassination of your own without even the TINIEST bit of evidence to support your smear.

You're trying to make your providing proof for your slanderous claim contingent on Marshall's proving Flynn's claims?

It doesn't work that way, Dan.

If you really, really care about there being no critical claims without overwhelming evidence, you should prove your good faith BEFORE making others meet your vague standards.

You say that "too often right wing writers make up crap and otherwise twist stuff to tell a story."

Prove it.

Or retract it.

If you feel no moral obligation to prove what is otherwise a slanderous accusation against others, you have no moral authority to insist that others prove criticism that you don't find credible on its face.

Bubba said...

While we're waiting for you to prove or retract your claim about dishonest conservatives, Dan, let's not forget that there are plenty of dishonest leftists.

For instance, I know one leftist who -- during the course of discussing the morality of lethal force -- griped about strawman arguments almost immediately after he railed against such absurd scenarios as using deadly force to punish schoolyard bullies or save the suicidal. When I pointed out the incongruity, he got real quiet, real quick.

This same leftist defended a politically radical Chicago preacher from conservative criticism, and he claimed it was because he is opposed to slander. The preacher he defended, had accused the United States government of creating AIDS as an act of attempted genocide against blacks. In defending this slanderous, hateful conspiracy-monger, the leftist accused his criticis of a "digital lynching."

All in the name of opposing slander.

This same leftist also claims to love the Bible, but he rejects some of Paul's teachings as mysoginy and bigotry. He theorizes that parts of the Old Testament aren't divine revelation, they're human speculation driven by revenge fantasies. And his rejection of the Bible's historical claims goes so far as to include THE PASSOVER, a central event in Judaism, through which we Christians understand the Crucifixion, a central event in our own faith.

This conistently dishonest leftist? This flagrant and seemingly pathological liar?

I'm addressing him now, Dan.

There are conservatives who "make up crap" and twist the truth?

I'm sure there are; there are liars in every camp of every argument.

But it would be a noteworthy thing to find a right-wing writer who is as ambivalent about the truth as you are.

Dan Trabue said...

Wow! Thanks, Bubba. Thank you for demonstrating exactly what I was talking about.

Marshall, look no further than Bubba as your paradigm of dishonest conservatives.

Bubba accuses me of being, and I quote, "ambivalent about the truth" and "consistently dishonest" and "flagrant and seemingly pathological liar."

What he does not do is offer up anything other than his own feelings about my positions. What he does NOT do is point to any place where I have lied (even though he calls me a liar and dishonest).

That I disagree with him about how to read the Bible does not make me dishonest, it merely means that I disagree with him about how to read the Bible.

That I defend a preacher against attacks is not to suggest that I support the preacher's more nutty statements (statements which I, in fact, condemned as being wrong and nutty).

So, while you all are free to have opinions about what others think, lacking even one piece of evidence, you'd do well not to make claims that you can't support.

Thanks again, Bubba. Although, I'm not sure that counts. Surely you weren't being serious?

Anonymous said...

Dan, A lot of us quit taking you seriously a very long time ago. Your posts in which you try to appear to dialogue always follow the same pattern and one reading is sufficient to tire the thinking person. You have been put in the shade by enough different ones until it would seem that you would want to retreat and study some facts. mom2

Dan Trabue said...

And yet, mom2, you can offer no places where I've lied. You can offer nothing to back up your opinion of me beyond your hunches. Correct?

I'm not the only one who is not taken very seriously anymore...

Dan Trabue said...

Look, rather than devolve into something ugly, let's stick to the post. Marshall quoted a fella who made two claims...

1. Hollywood often lies or stretches the truth in telling its stories - no great surprise there.

2. That the Milk story particularly contained many lies and twists

which I have not disputed. I merely made the counterpoints...

1. Many conservative writers and thinkers ALSO lie or stretch the truth - this should come as no great surprise to anyone, either, I would think

2. Why should I accept that this particular writer is correct and not the story offered in Milk?

I have no agenda here, it was just a question: Does Marshall (or anyone else) have any actual facts to back up the claim here or should we just take it for what it's worth (ie, maybe the writer is correct and Milk was much more flawed than portrayed here OR maybe the writer has an agenda of his own and is inaccurately portraying Milk)?

As Bubba has allowed, yes, even at least some conservative writers sometimes get their facts wrong and/or lie and/or misinterpret facts. It sounds like some here have partisan reasons for suggesting Milk is wrong and their guy is right and that you're getting too huffy over not much.

For instance, why, Bubba, do you not also join with me in wondering if there are any facts to support these charges against Milk's portrayal? Why do you instead merely jump to the defense of the more conservative side of things? For my part, I have not jumped to Milk's defense (stating quite clearly that I know nothing about him and conceding that the story is quite possibly fictionized, since Hollywood often does that) and instead, my query was directed towards the defense of truth, not Milk.

It seems some partisanship is showing through.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

The article also cites Time magazine and the US Navy, as well as one other person who might know something about the subject, Milk himself. Are you also questioning all those sources as well as the biographer, Randy Shilts? I don't know Shilts, or his biography, so I don't know what he thinks of Milk. But you don't do anything to refute any of the statements made about Milk in the article but cast doubt over the whole thing with some lame statement about "many conservatives".

"Too often right wingers make up crap..."

This is unsupportable. What is "too often"? How does one measure that, lay it against the entire body of conservative writers and thinkers and then have it mean something that should cause the average reader to pause?

"Too often" can be "one time", and in my book, one time is too often. But the right typically looks at the real world and acts accordingly, finding no need to manufacture lies and fantasy to justify their positions and actions.

The left, on the other hand, chooses to pretend they can alter reality to fit what they believe it should be. Despite the noble intention, it often requires fantasy and distortion to make things fit.

This is what I've seen as the truth of things and why I tend to trust the right over the left when it comes to stories I see about the world at large. The right-wing is more often wrong out of a sincere lack of info, whereas the left is too often wrong regardless of the info at hand. The left depends on the ignorance of reality in order to persuade. The right insists on seeing things as they are in order to encourage the proper action.

Back to the article, as I've said, the author cites more than what you've chosen to see (ignoring the reality of the article's sources). Unless you know this author to be a serial liar, I don't see how you can immediately question what he's written. If his story gives you pause, it's up to you to prove him wrong.

Bubba said...

Dan, you weren't just "wondering if there are any facts to support these charges against Milk's portrayal," you were leveling your own charges against your political opponents, writing that conservative writers are "too often" guilty of dishonest resporting.

(That's a claim that I see you have neither substantiated nor retracted. I'm still waiting.)

My problem isn't with that question, per se, it's with your inconsistency.


But even without that as-yet unproven smear, it's hard to trust that you're really being quite non-partisan in asking about Flynn's sources. You seemed pretty quick to latch on to the story that Sarah Palin is a young-earth creationist and then argue that, if she is, she's disqualified as an expert on geology.

(You still haven't explained why that logic wouldn't call into question the medical expertise of all Christian physicians who believe in the physical Resurrection of Christ...)

The idea that your questions about Flynn are because of your stalwart "defense of truth" is, well, not entirely credible.


Anyway, just because you disagree with the conclusions I've drawn from your frequent inconsistencies, it doesn't mean I've offered nothing other than my own feelings about your positions.

I actually did point to three instances of dishonest behavior on your part, and it's dishonest of you to treat my factual claims as mere expressions of my feelings.

Let's review those claims.

1. On May 13, in our discussion here about using lethal force, you invoked the most ridiculous examples of the immoral use of lethal force -- examples that we, your opponents, did not use and would never endorse.

Teacher using force That could be considered violent) to stop a fight?

Not evil.

Teacher slitting the throat of a bully?

Evil.

Forcibly tackling a suicidal person before the throw themselves off a bridge?

Not evil.

Shooting them to stop them from killing themselves?

Evil.



Less than fourteen hours later, you had the sheer chutzpah to smear Marshall by accusing him of invoking a strawman argument:

"Marshall, you're becoming as bad as the rest of the inmates...

"So, if you wish to berate us for a wrongheaded sense of doing the Right thing and of seeking to uphold our Christian, human and American ideals, by all means, do so.

"But don't try to muddy the waters by building up strawmen to knock down. That's the sort of goofiness that just makes people shake their head at the lies and deception and walk away."

I pointed out the incongruity, but, conveniently, you had nothing else to say in this particular conversation.

2. One reason you claimed to defend Jeremiah Wright was your stated opposition to slander.

That stated opposition to slander did not cause you to criticize Wright's hate speech except in the mildest terms possible -- that it was a metamorphical "misdemeanor" in comparison to the silence on the part of other preachers.

That stated opposition to slander did not stop you from slandering us, Wright's critics, accusing us of a "digital lynching."

3. Your stated love for the Bible doesn't prevent you from speculating that much of the Bible is wrong. You have theorized that Paul's writings were mysoginistic and bigoted. And you believe that much of the Old Testament contains divine commands to commit atrocities; you dismiss what is claimed to be divine revelation as mere human writing that was the result of "revenge fantasies" on the part of the ancient Israelites.

Bubba said...

It's not just that we disagree "about how to read the Bible," it's that you're particular reading puts the lie to your stated love for Scripture.

If you were more honest about your obvious ambivalence for what Scripture teaches, I would have less of a problem with you.

As it is, let's not pretend that you've never had harsh words toward those who disagree with you about how to read the Bible.

I DON'T think that we ought to spiritualize Jesus' teachings ("well, when he said 'Good news to the poor,' he didn't mean LITERALLY for the poor, but something more symbolic...") - that to me is anti-Christ, to deny his words and we ought be careful about that sort of thing.


(Funny, this is one of the few times you insist on a literal interpretation where theological conservatives don't, but you don't portray your own literalism as "flat.")

Christians disagree with your interpretation of Luke 4, and you dismiss our position as "anti-Christ."

We disagree with your belief that Paul's letters contain bigotry, your belief that the Old Testament contains inaccurate records of God's commands, and your belief that even THE PASSOVER is ahistorical, but you apparently think we must simply agree to disagree.

That is -- as is so much of your writing -- dishonest and hypocritical.

Dan Trabue said...

?

If you're being serious, Bubba, try this...

"Dan, when you say '___________,' it is dishonest and a lie because __________"

I have to tell you, brother, I see an awful lot of words in your writing, but I don't see anywhere where you've offered anything to prove that I'm a liar and dishonest, as you claim.

And, I hate to point it out to you, but as I have already noted, YOU YOURSELF provided the evidence of a conservative putting out lies when you lied about me.

For instance...

I DO love the Bible. To my way of thinking, because I love and respect the Bible and want to take it seriously, that REQUIRES that I not take every word literally. Taking lines such as "slaughter the children" literally would, to me, be discrediting the Bible and God. I love the Bible and - more importantly - God too much to take that line literally.

Now, you may not believe that, you may not understand that. However, your failure to understand my position is not "proof" that I have lied, it's merely proof that you don't understand or can't believe my position.

And so, you are "making up crap" here, thereby proving my claim happens at least occasionally. Or, are you saying that you would like MORE references beyond your own evidence that you graciously provided?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said:

The article also cites Time magazine and the US Navy...



Time was cited saying...

“As a supervisor, Milk sponsored only two laws—predictably, one barring anti-gay discrimination, and, less so, a law forcing dog owners to clean pets’ messes from sidewalks.”



They cited something specific and verifiable - that he sponsored only two laws. I have no problem with that.

The Navy, in fact, was NOT cited. They were mentioned. I don't know if those facts mentioned about the Navy are true or not. That's my point: What's his source?

(You DO recognize that a story saying, "Milk served honorably in the Navy and was discharged..." is NOT "citing" the Navy? That is only referencing the Navy? A citation would look like, "According to Adm. John Smith, Milk was..." THAT's a citation. There's a difference.

I will assume that this was only an innocent mistake on your part, though, and not a deliberate misrepresentation.)

Dan Trabue said...

For my part, allow me to clarify:

It would be my guess that parts of the Milk movie are fictionalized and/or glossed over. That is what happens frequently when biographies are written or depicted.

On the other hand, as I have noted and as Bubba has demonstrated (and Marshall, too, although I believe Marshall's to be an honest mistake), there are those on the Right who twist truths, too.

The difference is, to me, that I don't much expect that movie versions of lives are always going to be perfectly true representations. It's presented as entertainment, generally, moreso than hard facts. If I want to know history, I don't watch The Sands of Iwo Jima, I read a book or a scholarly article.

Articles on the other hand - whoever they're written by - I generally hold to higher standards and when something smells of partisanship and overly one-sided, red flags fly.

Bubba said...

Dan, you continue to misuse the word "literally." It's quite clear that your problem with parts of the Bible isn't with a literal interpretation, because you have never offered and clearly do not see the need for presenting a figurative alternative interpretation, much less a plausible one.

Your problem isn't with mainstream Christianity's literal interpretation; it's with the text's inherent authority and authorship.

You question Scripture's authority, using extrabiblical arguments to undermine its authority and assert that the text contains errors. And, you question Scripture's authorship, attributing to human speculation what THE TEXT ITSELF attributes to divine revelation.

You write, "because I love and respect the Bible and want to take it seriously, that REQUIRES that I not take every word literally."

But the word "literally" doesn't belong there: if you were more precise (and frankly accurate) in your language and wrote that you think the Bible "REQUIRES" you not to take every word as authoritative and divinely authored, your inconsistency would be much more obvious.

[More in a moment.]

Bubba said...

Now, Dan, as far back as October, 2006, during what I believe is one of our first conversations, you invoked the canard that theologically conservative Christians are guilty of idolatry: "I am concerned that too many in the evangelical world have begun to worship the Bible rather than the Word found therein."

(Oh look, another contentious claim for which you provide scant evidence.)

Affirming the Bible's divine authorship and subsequent inerrency DOES NOT entail worshipping the Bible as a deity.

We do not believe the Bible is God. Instead we believe that the Bible is God's written word -- that it IS His word, containing truth with no mixture of error, not that it merely "contains" God's word as wheat amidst the chaff of lies and speculation.

We do not believe God is the Bible. Instead we believe God AUTHORED the Bible.

The Bible is merely God's written word, through which He has revealed His authoritative revelation, and Jesus Christ is God's Incarnate Word. The Bible is the divine message, and Jesus is the divine Being.

But a comparison can be made between the two.


Suppose a professing Christian said that he loves Jesus' teachings.

But suppose the man rejected some of those teachings.

Suppose he rejected what Jesus had to say about Hell and judgment, which R.C. Sproul says is the doctrine that, perhaps more than any other "strains even the Christian’s loyalty to the teaching of Christ."

Christ is clear that Hell is anguish. It's not just anguish, it's eternal anguish "where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" (Mk 9:48).

Suppose the self-described Christian rejects this teaching because he cannot reconcile it with his own concepts of justice and mercy.

And, in addition to this, suppose the man rejected what Jesus had to say about Himself. Jesus claimed to be divine -- "before Abraham was, I am" (Jn 8:58) -- and suppose the so-called Christian rejected this teaching, possibly in order to justify his rejecting other teachings.

Now, he could insist that he DOES love Jesus and His teachings. To his way of thinking, he says, his love and respect for Jesus' teachings, and his desire to take those teachings seriously, REQUIRE him to reject Jesus' teachings on Hell and His own divinity.

To do otherwise, he would say, would discredit Jesus and God.

Unless the man is really, really confused, he is lying. A man who really respects Jesus' teachings wouldn't discard any of them.

[More...]

Bubba said...

Now, Dan, you're in the same position as the man in that supposition.

Just as the hypothetical Christian rejects Jesus' tough teachings about Hell, you reject the Bible's difficult passages regarding God's outporing of wrath -- not only those passages where He commands wars of annihliation, but those passages where He causes death on a large scale, passages like THE PASSOVER.

And, just as he rejects Jesus' claims to be God, you reject the Bible's claims to be authored by God.

What the Bible DIRECTLY attributes to divine revelation, you downgrade to human speculation.

I give you enough credit that I don't think confusion is to blame for the incongruity between your stated love for the Bible and your evident contempt for what it actually teaches.

For one thing, your obfuscation is too predictable. You believe THE PASSOVER is ahistorical, and yet your list of objectionable passages consistently went for minor events like in Numbers 16 rather than the more obvious events -- the Deluge, Abraham and Isaac, and the Passover. Getting you to answer whether your position undermines the historicity of the Passover was incredibly difficult: it wasn't a hard question, so I'm left to suspect that you tried your best to ignore it because you know just how obscene and unbiblical your beliefs really are.

Someone who's confused would have been shocked by the logic of his own arguments, but you seem to know quite thoroughly what you believe. You're just incredibly selective in revealing exactly what your beliefs entail.

So, since I'm setting aside the possibility that you're confused, what's left is that you're a liar.

When you say you love the Bible, it is dishonest and a lie because it is quite obvious that you hold in contempt quite a lot of what the Bible actually teaches.

[One more point coming up.]

Bubba said...

Finally, Dan, one point (in two parts) that's somewhat minor in comparison. You write:

"...your failure to understand my position is not 'proof' that I have lied, it's merely proof that you don't understand or can't believe my position."

First, why do you deny for me the benefit of the doubt that you demand for yourself?

I ask, because, in addition to defending yourself from my belief that you're a liar, you accuse me of the same charge.

"And, I hate to point it out to you, but as I have already noted, YOU YOURSELF provided the evidence of a conservative putting out lies when you lied about me."

I'm quite sure you don't hate to point out any such thing, and I don't appreciate the passive-aggressive behavior here, but how can you be so sure that I lied about you?

Is it not possible that you merely misunderstand my position?

Maybe you misunderstand me, but your failure to understand my position is not "proof" that I have lied. It could just be proof that you don't understand or can't believe my position, right?


Second, I know there's one reason you're not wholly disinterested in calling me a liar. It is, so far, the ONLY thing you have produced to justify your broad swipe that "too often right wing writers make up crap and otherwise twist stuff to tell a story."

But we're back to your hypocrisy, because you do not try to prove that I what I have written is actually false.

You berated me (inaccurately, I would add) for calling you a liar without evidence and write that we would all "do well not to make claims that [we] can't support."

And yet, your claim that I'm liar hasn't been very thoroughly substantiated on your part.

If you're going to complain about the lack of evidence behind Flynn's critical claims about Harvey Milk, you shouldn't accuse conservatives of being frequently dishonest without evidence of your own.

If you're going to argue that I'm wrong to call you a liar without evidence, you should be more careful in providing evidence to support your own charges of dishonesty.

You're being hypocritical.

Dan Trabue said...

We'll see that last comment, but here thus far, you have used MANY words to say...

When you say you love the Bible, it is dishonest and a lie because it is quite obvious that you hold in contempt quite a lot of what the Bible actually teaches.


THIS is your claim to proof that I have lied and/or am dishonest.

1. When you say I love the Bible...

Fair enough. I DO say that because I DO in fact love the Bible and - more importantly - seek God's will.

No problems thus far.

2. "it is dishonest and a lie because it is quite obvious that you hold in contempt quite a lot of what the Bible actually teaches."

HERE is what you have yet to prove and, in fact, cannot prove. I do not hold the Bible in contempt. As I have clearly noted, BECAUSE I love the Bible (and even more importantly, because I seek God's will), I do not believe you can treat a line like "slaughter children" literally.

That is to say (since you don't like my perfectly legitimate use of the word "literally"), I don't believe you can hold a line that says, "God says slaughter children" as a perfectly correct representation of history. I think suggesting that God sometimes orders the slaughter of children is contrary to the Greater teachings of Jesus found within the Bible. And so, it is because I love the Bible and Jesus' teachings that I don't hold that line to be an accurate representation of history. It is not because I hold the Bible in contempt.

I have not said that. I have not demonstrated that. You have not made a case that my words suggest that.

At best, you could say, "I can't see how someone who loves the Bible can't take that line (slaughter children) to be perfect history and still respect/love the Bible."

The thing is, your not being able to understand it does not bring proof to the charge. All it brings is proof that you can't understand it.

I factually and truly and in every possible way do not hold the Bible in contempt. (ie, "the act of despising : the state of mind of one who despises : disdain : lack of respect or reverence for something") Your statement is either a lie or at best a misrepresentation/twisting of truth.

Thanks again for thoroughly providing proof, but as it is off topic, I'd suggest you quit proving the point for me over and over and over again.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

I ask, because, in addition to defending yourself from my belief that you're a liar, you accuse me of the same charge.


If you will note, I have tried to say "liar or misrepresenting the facts." It could be that you are deluded and merely misrepresenting/twisting facts, not actually lying. I don't know the answer to that.

And you know why I don't know the answer to that? Because it is within you. I can't know your reasonings or thought processes.

In a similar way, I KNOW that I love the Bible because, well, it is ME that holds the position. I CAN know what I'm thinking. When I read a passage that has portrayals of God that aren't consistent with the whole Bible or logic, then I am NOT thinking "How disgusting. Who would portray God like that! I LOATHE that portrayal."

You can see hints at this reality by the fact that I have never written such things. Nonetheless, if you READ that into what I've written, I can say with 100% certainty that it is only your reading, not my beliefs or feelings that are saying that.

And I can know that because they are MY beliefs, my feelings, my reasonings. So, you CAN say, "This is how it seems to me..." and write crap that gets my position wrong. What you CAN'T do is state authoritatively that I hate the Bible or hold it in contempt because, being me, I happen to know that you are quite horribly wrong.

And that is the difference between your misrepresentations and my statements of fact. They are what they are and demonstrably so.

Bubba said...

Dan, I believe that you are only JUST NOW allowing for the possibility that I'm merely "misrepresenting the facts." You allowed that possibility for Marshall earlier, but not for me:

"Marshall, look no further than Bubba as your paradigm of dishonest conservatives."

[to me] "And, I hate to point it out to you, but as I have already noted, YOU YOURSELF provided the evidence of a conservative putting out lies when you lied about me."

I'll let that pass, but I'll note that your original comment didn't seem to allow for the possibility of confusion for those "right wing writers" you denounced.

It's only now, in trying to say that no one can be omniscient enough to know whether someone else is lying, that you yourself back away from that charge.


If you really think it's perfectly legitimate to say that your problem with parts of Scripture is literalism, I will ask (yet again) for what you have never provided and what you have stated that you do not need to provide: a plausible figurative alternative.

Where the Bible records that God commanded wars of annihilation, you don't suggest the passage should be interpreted figuratively -- much less do you offer a plausible figurative interpretation.

Instead, what the Bible attributes to God, you attribute to man. What the Bible claims to be true and factual, you don't merely reinterpret as true in a figurative sense: you dismiss it as containing falsehood, as NOT being (as you now more honestly put it) "a perfectly correct representation of history" and "an accurate representation of history."


Dan, you repeatedly repudiate my accusation against you...

"I do not hold the Bible in contempt."

"I factually and truly and in every possible way do not hold the Bible in contempt."

...but you're not getting my accusation precisely right.

I didn't say you have contempt for the Bible. I said you have contempt "for what it actually teaches."

I wrote that you hold in contempt "quite a lot of what the Bible actually teaches."

THAT claim seems hard to deny.

Much of the what the Bible teaches -- including THE PASSOVER -- you dismiss as inaccurate and ahistorical. What it claims is divine revelation, you dismiss as human speculation.

Bubba said...

If you really esteemed everything the Bible teaches, you would try to reconcile what it teaches into one conherent whole.

Instead, you pit parts that you like against parts that you don't.

"I think suggesting that God sometimes orders the slaughter of children is contrary to the Greater teachings of Jesus found within the Bible."

You don't ever point to teachings that credibly contradict the difficult passages, but the attempt to do so is proof enough that you're trying to dismiss those passages as false and untrustworthy -- or "less than perfectly true," as you try to hide your hatchet job of Scripture in the mildest possible terms.


I admit that none of us can know with epistemological certainty what the other person believes, but we can still get a good sense of what the other believes by what he writes.

Dan, what you've written makes clear that you don't accept as authoritative a great deal of what the Bible teaches, including THE PASSOVER. But, more than that, your writing reveals a reluctance to show just how much you dismiss.

If you really think that your beliefs about the Bible are consistent with love and esteem for what it teaches, I urge you to be completely honest -- here or at your blog -- with what you reject.

You think some passages are "contrary to the Greater teachings of Jesus found within the Bible"?

List them, then. ALL OF THEM.

It took long enough, but you finally admitted that you reject the Passover as inauthentic.

What else do you reject?

Do you also reject the Deluge? Logic suggests that you must. Do you also then reject the New Testament warnings about the tribulation?

Do you also reject the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac, and do you reject Hebrews' praise for Abraham's actions?

If you reject the Passover, do you reject Christ's transformation of the Passover meal, and His teaching that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of many? And if you reject as ahistorical the last plague of Egypt, do you also reject Christ's warnings of a much more serious fate of eternal condemnation?

You reject as bigotry some of Paul's teachings regarding men and women, and you reject the Atonement as something that merely "meant something" to the first-century Jews: what are all the teachings of the Apostles that you reject?

Let's see it all. Tell us everything that you reject as contradictory and inauthentic, and then tell us again the love and esteem that you have for God's written word.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, really, this is off topic and, pardon me, but a bit daft. I thought you were more mentally agile than this. You say...

I wrote that you hold in contempt "quite a lot of what the Bible actually teaches."

THAT claim seems hard to deny.



Watch me.

I deny that I hold "quite a lot of what the Bible actually teaches in contempt."

Not so hard at all.

You are confusing what Bubba THINKS the Bible teaches with what the bible teaches. I do disagree with Bubba's interpretation of the Bible. I do disagree that a passage that says "God says slaughter children" is a wholly consistent biblical teaching. But there are many passages in the Bible that ought not be taken as solidly factual of and by themselves. This is one of them.

Again, we're back to, just because you don't understand my position is not "proof" that I hate the Bible, just proof that you don't understand my position.

I think I'll pass on saying that anymore. We've thoroughly covered how thoroughly well you've misrepresented my position.

Again, thanks for proving the point.

Dan Trabue said...

And now, brother men, I'm on vacation and unsure of my internets statii. Peace...

4simpsons said...

Bubba -- Well done, as usual, especially these lines:

"Unless the man is really, really confused, he is lying. A man who really respects Jesus' teachings wouldn't discard any of them."

Bubba said...

Dan, you say "there are many passages in the Bible that ought not be taken as solidly factual of and by themselves." I'd love to know which passages you dismiss as erroneous -- y'know, in addition to such minor passages as THE PASSOVER. I wonder just how far your scalpel goes into Scripture, and if you really think your dismissal of so much of the Bible is consistent with a love for the book, I can't imagine why you'd be so coy about what you believe.

About our disagreements over Scripture, you still have not been completely forthright.

"You are confusing what Bubba THINKS the Bible teaches with what the bible teaches."

It's not that we significantly disagree on the difficult passages' content: I believe that they record, for instance, that God commanded wars of annihilation.

You apparently believe THE SAME THING, but you go further by denouncing the command as an atrocity (which the text does not support), asserting -- implausibly AND without evidence -- that it is "contrary to the Greater teachings of Jesus", and then dismissing the record as erroneous and inauthentic.

You don't have a figurative interpretation for passages which I interpret literally: we both understand what the passage teaches, you just dismiss as false and human, what the Bible itself asserts is true and divinely authored.


Your love for the Bible is as credible as your stated opposition to slander and strawman arguments -- and, for that matter, your opposition to arguments that are partisan and "overly one-sided."

On that subject, I wonder what we'll do if you're not commenting over the weekend. Without your passive-agressive questioning of Flynn's article, all because of a stated concern for non-partisanship that none of us believe you actually possess, we might actually have a substantive conversation.

Bubba said...

(Thanks, Neil.)

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I don't think your discussion with Bubba is too far off topic since the topic involves distortions from the left in Hollywood and the homosexual community. What has resulted is a conversation regarding distortions between a lefty (you) and a right-winger (Bubba) towards whom you pointed as an example of right-wing distorters. Frankly, I don't think you can let that accusation stand without responding to his repeated requests regarding troublesome Scriptural passages. Whatever is in your heart and mind regarding those verses, your explanations up to this point have failed to clear things up. Thus, your claims of love and respect for the Bible continue to stand in stark contradiction with your statements regarding the passages.

For my part, I, too, find your problems to be of your own making rather than any inherent problem with Scripture. I believe I've put forth this point before, but for what other reason did Christ sacrifice Himself on the cross, but to save us from God's wrath? The problematic verses regarding annihilations and killing of children are specific teachings of what we have been spared by Christ's death. The eternal anguish of hell, to which Bubba referred, is surely a worse "atrocity" than being bumped off by God's Chosen People. The Bible says God is slow to anger. It doesn't say He doesn't anger at all. To ignore or dismiss that aspect of God's nature, as taught by Scripture, might not show contempt of the Bible by you, but it is contemptuous to do so. It's there and it's entirely consistent with the larger picture of which the whole Book illustrates.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Regarding the author of the article about Milk, I took the liberty of contacting Mr. Flynn and he offered the following as his main sources:

http://www.brasscheck.com/jonestown/milk.jpg

The above link is to the letter Milk sent to Jimmy Carter regarding Jim Jones. This, Flynn states, is the most damning aspect of his article. It's certainly right up there in my mind.

"The Life of Harvey Milk", a documentary that I think was produced by a couple of homosexuals, but for sure was narrated by one. I say this to imply that it is not likely to be a right-wing look at the man.

"The Mayor of Castro Street", a book by Randy Shilts, a homosexual who also wrote a book called, "And the Band Played On" about the initial spread of AIDS (Google it and you'll find a review lauding the book by conservative Michael Fumento, which highlights other examples of lies by the homosexual community).

So there you go. I've provided documentation for the story from the author himself. I expect you'll be showing me some examples of right-wing "crap" with links to refute it. Using Bubba does NOT count, particularly since you haven't shown he's distorting anything yet.

Mark said...

Dan, the apostate says, "I think suggesting that God sometimes orders the slaughter of children is contrary to the Greater teachings of Jesus found within the Bible."

Perhaps it is contrary to Apostate Dan's perception of a loving God, but it certainly isn't inconsistent with the Biblical conception of a just God.

Try to understand, Apostate Dan, that there is more to God than only love. He is also, necessarily, a just God.

The homosexuals and their apologists, such as Apostate Dan, don't seem to understand the concept that God is love but love is not God.

One of the points I consistently make is that homosexuals such as Harvey Milk, and homosexual apologists, such as Apostate Dan, is that homosexuals place their love of themselves, and the love of their perversion above God, which is a direct violation of the first and second Commandments.

Or does Apostate Dan not believe God authored the ten Commandments, also?

Mark said...

Marshall, you told Apostate Dan, "Whatever is in your heart and mind regarding those verses, your explanations up to this point have failed to clear things up."

I think you are wrong. I believe Apostate Dan has made clear what he believes. He believes anything in the Bible that refers to God as anything but a loving God (including the fact that God is just God) is false.

For instance, When God told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge or he will surely die, Apostate Dan believes the God really said, "Do not eat of the tree of knowledge, but if you do, Nothing bad will happen to you, because I love you anyway."

Then, Apostate Dan will go through the rest of the Bible and delete or dismiss any part that says anything but God says, "I love you."

That leaves a very thin Bible, indeed.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall requested some incidents beyond Bubba's misrepresentations to support the claim that many Rightwingers distort the truth, too, just like Hollywood does.

Here's another from this page...

PP said:

Try to understand, Apostate Dan, that there is more to God than only love. He is also, necessarily, a just God.

The homosexuals and their apologists, such as Apostate Dan




Since I am clearly not apostate, (defined by Merriam Webster as one who commits apostasy, or "renunciation of a religious faith" - and I have NOT renounced my Christian faith), then he makes a false claim. Demonstrably so.

I believe in the "essential" tenets of orthodox Christianity. PP is twisting the fact that I disagree with how some read the Bible into the false claim that I am apostate. There's your second example.

As to your not like my Bubba example, I have to tell you, tough. It IS an example. I DO love the Bible and deeply respect its teachings. His claim is mistaken, demonstrably so because DAN KNOWS what DAN THINKS, and Bubba does not know, by his own admission.

Rather, Bubba thinks because I don't read the Bible the way he does that this is proof that I don't love the Bible. Well, once again, just because Bubba thinks that is not proof that he's right.

Bubba can think that Dan can sprout wings and fly, but Dan is telling you that that is simply not the case. And Dan knows more about Dan than Bubba does.

I'm not on trial here. I'm offering the "evidence" that I'm TELLING you I do, IN FACT, love the Bible. You want to not believe that, go for it. It's the truth, believe it or not. You want to hold an inquisition, go for it. I'll just decline to participate, thank you very much.

As a related aside, PP above falsely suggests that I think of God only as a loving God. That is not true. I FULLY understand God is a just God. It is EXACTLY for that reason that I reject the suggestion that God commands the slaughter of innocents.

As the Bible clearly states, it is wrong to harm the innocent. As Jesus clearly states: we will be held accountable for what we do (and fail to do) with the "least of these." God is not in the business of requiring us to participate in sin. That is HUGELY wrong way to read the Bible.

So, exactly because God is a just God, we can know that God does not command the slaughter of innocents.

Glad to straighten out yet another Rightwing misrepresentation.

Dan Trabue said...

More misrepresentations found...

here (four for the price of one - including Limbaugh and Drudge)

here

here

here

How many examples do you want? You don't seriously contend that conservatives don't sometimes misrepresent things, do you?

You seem to be taking the partisan position, Marshall, ("MY side is blameless, but the LEFT is always lying..."). I take what I consider to be the much more reasonable position that both sides misrepresent things too often and that Hollywood does, too, although, in Hollywood's case, at least, the case can be made that they (like Limbaugh) are mostly entertainers, not serious sources for news.

Bubba said...

Dan, when exactly did Marshall claim that conservatives are "blameless"? If he never said that, why put that line in quotes?


You say you're not on trial here, but I notice you keeping wanting to put others here in the dock, first pointing to me and now to Mark ("PP"?) as supposed evidence to your original claim that "too often right wing writers make up crap and otherwise twist stuff."

Only now do you substantiate that claim with anything other than attacks on others here.


You also haven't said one solitary word about the documentary evidence that you requested and that Marshall acquired by actually contacting Mr. Flynn personally.

At the very least, a "thank you" to Marshall would be appropriate here.


Regarding your comments about me, I must say that I don't think they're entirely fair, Dan.

You write, "Bubba thinks because I don't read the Bible the way he does that this is proof that I don't love the Bible."

The thing is, there ARE disagreements between us where I DO NOT think that a mere disagreement is proof that you don't love the Bible or at least all its teachings.

The most obvious example is our disagreement regarding Luke 4:16-21. I believe that Christ's references here to the poor and imprisoned are spiritual and figurative, you insist that that the references are literal.

Ironically, this is one of the few times where you're the literalist, but you don't denounce literalism as "flat." The deeper irony is that YOU denounced my position as "anti-Christ," not the other way around.

I believe your position is far less plausible -- in part because Jesus didn't actually free any literal prisoners -- but I have never and WILL NEVER denounce your position on this issue as proof of contempt for the Bible.

What's the difference? As I explained at length in our last exchange at your blog, we apparently do make the same basic assumptions about the veracity and authorship of Luke 4: we both believe the passage is true without any mixture of error and we both agree that the source of the teaching is divine.

It is on those two points where we disagree regarding the difficult passages in the Old Testament: you believe the passage contains errors, and I do not; you believe that what the Bible clearly attributes to divine revelation was really human speculation, and I do not.

Those disagreements go much deeper than questions of literalism versus a figurative interpretation. The more accurate summary would be, that I question your stated love for the Bible, not simply because you don't read the Bible the way I do, but because you question its veracity and divine authorship.


Also, you continue to insist that I do not understand you.

You write, "DAN KNOWS what DAN THINKS, and Bubba does not know, by his own admission."

I don't know what's in your heart, but what I do know about your stated positions seems to be accurate, because -- for instance -- you haven't corrected me on my understanding that you believe the Bible's account of THE PASSOVER is inaccurate and ahistorical.

Indeed, none of us can know the innermost depths of each other's hearts, but we can know a lot about each other from what we write.

If I don't understand you Dan, I believe that you bear quite a bit of responsibility for that, despite how much we have written in conversation over the last couple years.

I have never seen anyone write as much as you, Dan, without saying that much. It appears that you write to obfuscate rather than clarify, as demonstrated by the lengths I had to go to ascertain how your beliefs regarding Numbers 16 affect your take on more prominent and theologically significant passages like the Passover.

Bubba said...

Now, Dan, you write, "I DO love the Bible and deeply respect its teachings."

It is absolutely clear that the second claim is a lie. You do not respect ALL of its teachings.

AT BEST, you invoke your stated respect for SOME teachings in order to repudiate OTHERS as erroneous because you think they are "contrary" to these "greater teachings."

But a true respect for what the Bible teaches would entail a respect for ALL that the Bible teaches. There would be an effort to reconcile passages that seemingly conflict, rather than a tendency to discard one passage in favor of another.


About the supposed conflict between teachings, I believe that you're introducing extra-biblical and even anti-biblical assumptions to make the conflict irreconcilable.

You write, "exactly because God is a just God, we can know that God does not command the slaughter of innocents."

But the Bible never claims that the Egyptian firstborn or the Moabites were innocent.

At your own blog you've been arguing against the notion that we're all born under judgment, but you haven't built that argument on what the Bible teaches. It doesn't look like you've seen the need to do so.

And, you argue that God doesn't take human life, but you further justify that belief while affirming God's sovereignty by taking a truly anti-biblical view of death. The Bible teaches that death is the result and penalty of sin, but you have written that death is "a natural part of this world" that can be a "blessed" thing.

In all three cases, you're making extra- and anti-biblical assumptions and concluding that some of what the Bible actually teaches is false -- is scientific error and moral atrocity, is inaccurate and ahistorical, and is the work of man rather than the revelation of God.

Don't tell us that you "deeply respect" the Bible's teachings when you do this, because it's not remotely believable.


And your repudiation of these difficult passages in the Old Testament is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of your contempt for what the Bible teaches.

1) The Bible also teaches about the Passover, and I now notice that I've asked you about whether you affirm the Passover as early as September, 2007, and you have (finally) made clear that you DO extend your logic to this central event of Judaism, through which we understand the Crucifixion, the central event of Christianity. About both the Deluge and the Passover, you write, "taken [sic] these stories as historically factual does not strike me as fitting with the descriptions of God throughout the Bible."

2) The Bible clearly teaches the Virgin Birth of Christ, but in what I think is our first encounter online, you denigrated the doctrine as extrabiblical.

3) The Bible clearly teaches the Atonement, that Christ died for our sins, and you dismissed the doctrine as something that only "meant something" to first-century Jews. While you affirm Christ's death and our forgiveness as both part of the Gospel, you have NEVER affirmed a causal relationship between the two. Instead, you have consistently skirted around whether you think there is a causal relationship.

[More to come...]

Bubba said...

[continued from above]

4) In the Bible, Paul, claiming the authority of being an Apostle of Christ chosen personally by Jesus Christ and called by the will of God the Father, gave what he clearly claimed to be authoritative teachings on matters theological and practical, including marriage and the roles of men and women. You discard his teachings by writing that it is "doubtless" that Paul was a homophobe or mysoginist who was just reflecting the mores of his time.

5) You've earlier conceded that the Bible really does teach that we were made male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife, but you do not draw any obvious conclusions from this in relation to the morality of "gay marriage." That's bad enough, but what's worse is your blog entry where you explicitly invoke your belief that the Bible contains atrocities in order to undermine its authority regarding the impermissibility of homosexuality -- proving that the "atrocities" argument really is a slippery slope that you intend to use as such.

6) Most troubling -- and I CANNOT emphasize how serious this is -- you have rejected the Bible's clear teaching (as in I Cor 15) that the historical, bodily Resurrection of Christ is essential. You have written, "I and my company are not of the sort that insist upon a literal interpretation of the Creation or even the Resurrection story. I believe in faith the resurrection story, but it is not the sum total of my belief. IF someone could somehow prove that Jesus was never resurrected, it would not mean the end of my following the teachings of Jesus."

(I have repeatedly asked you to return to this subject. So far as I know, you have NEVER explained or retracted this comment. I reiterate that I would like to discuss why you apparently believe that belief in the historical, literal Resurrection is optional.)

This is an incredible list: from the Passover to the Atonement, from the Virgin Birth of Christ to the absolute necessity of His historical and physical Resurrection, you reject crucial doctrines that the Bible clearly teaches.


Dan, you may still fall within the minimal requirements of some (extra-biblical) creed outlining Christian orthodoxy. But it's obvious that you show no desire or effort to conform what you believe to what the Bible teaches.

Instead, it appears that you're trying to prune from the Bible everything that would offend the post-modern sensibilities of the vaguely spiritual, to minimize those teachings that aren't useful in advancing your political progressivism, clinging only to the barest minimum of Christian orthodoxy.

This behavior that is indistinguishable from a "fifth column" within Christianity, designed to advance a false religion in Christ's name. That this behavior seems so treacherous, is why it is so reprehensible.

An honest but imperfect attempt to wrestle with Scripture on the belief that it is what Christ, Paul and the text itself claims, would be fine.

An honest antagonism toward the Bible, where someone who clearly rejects so much of its teachings as atrocity, error, and bigotry didn't try to hide his contempt with implausible claims about his "deep respect" for the Bible -- I could deal with that open enmity, too.

But this charade of yours is utterly contemptible, Dan.

If you didn't make broad claims about your beliefs that are so obviously at odds with the details, and if you actually tried to be honest and open about those inconvenient details about your religious beliefs, I wouldn't so frequently assert that you have contempt for much (not all) of what the Bible teaches.

I wouldn't have to. It would be obvious to everyone, what is already clear to anyone who's been keeping up with what you actually write.

blamin said...

Sorry Dan, your 6/08/09 8:21am examples of supposed conservative misrepresentations don’t quite stand up to the test.

The first for example. Rush clearly stated he was quoting from McCaughey’s column. As was Drudge. For you to suggest these were from or ”including Rush and Drudge” is a misrepresentation on your part. Further more whether or not McCaughey misrepresented the facts is up for debate. The bill calls for a creation of a new bureaucracy – fact, also there’s much ambiguity in this bill. Given the track record of so-called progressive judges, one would be well-advised to fear the worst from this bill.

Not only can you rely on the track-record from liberal types in order to wisely heed McCaughey’s concern, but a couple of suggestions from Repub’s for amendment were promptly and efficiently shot down.

There are several references within the bill of, “improving population health and improving public health”. Any aware person can see the mandate a federal court could give to the new bureaucracy in carrying out these sweepingly ambiguous (purposely so, many believe) statements.

The suggestion was made to replace “population” and “public” with the word “patient” – shot down by Dems. Another suggestion was a specific section be written in to forbid any treatment suggestions from the feds that carried the threat of loss of funds if said treatment wasn’t followed – shot down by Dems.

Now you tell me, who’s misrepresenting the facts? Media Matters or McCaughey? Or is it a legitimate concern on McCaughey’s part?

Bubba said...

It's worth adding that, for someone who claims to care about being objective and bipartisan -- "when something smells of partisanship and overly one-sided, red flags fly" -- it's laughable for Dan to try to prove the dishonesty of the Right by appealing to such a nakedly partisan and frequently less-than-honest organization as Media Matters.

Media Matters describes itself as a "progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

Its partisan agenda is quite explicit, but that agenda raises no "red flags" that would keep Dan from citing the group, not just repeatedly, but (so far) exclusively.

Mark said...

Media Matters is the brain child of George Soros, not exactly a friend of Conservatives.

blamin said...

Media Matters has appeal to those whom enjoy exclusively swimming in the shallow end of the pool. That’s their forte. Their conclusions sound great to those who seek out surface arguments to support their pre-conceived notions. I can’t count the times I’ve seen people use their statements at face value without digging deeper. But hey, I guess for some, it’s just too damn painful to face reality.

Craig said...

As long as one understands that Dan uses Reason and Logic to arrive at his opinions it all falls into place, and is therefore unassailable.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Indeed, your use of Media Matters does quite resemble the type of partisan source that you've dismissed. If you'll notice, the sources of Mr. Flynn were the subject himself, and those who were likely to support Milk or at least not oppose him. Media Matters obviously opposes conservative people, so now it would be necessary to check out their side of the story since they have their own ax to grind. Not a good example of your charge.

Nor is using Bubba or Mark as examples since they, despite what anyone might think of their insights, are not the same as someone who is published in the manner of Flynn. In these cases, you're just raggin' on 'em. But in the case of Bubba, I don't see as he's misrepresented you as much as given his conclusions of your positions based on your own words. Conclusions, I might add, that I generally share.

That's hardly the same as Hollywood creating films that have a distinctive slant that gives a distorted perspective of an issue. For example, many of the films that have been made recently about the war in Iraq have been woefully slanted to the left to such a degree that they've made no money. They were, in effect, lies. The movie about Milk is a lie to only depict him as a sympathetic character. The left lies in the manner in which it covers the recent Tiller murder and how it frames him as some great champion for women without mentioning how so many of the late term abortions he committed were for the weakest of reasons, and then acting as if his murder indicates some kind of upward trend of "domestic terrorism", while basically ignoring the murder of the military recruiter by a true terrorist-wannabe. The constant reference to conservatives as racist or greedy or anti-poor, etc are clearly lies upon which the Democratic party bases so much of it's lame platform.

Are conservatives "blameless"? I don't believe conservatives distort as standard operating procedure. Far too much of lefty thought depends on distortion to gain and maintain political power.

Oh. One more thing. It is a bit of distortion for Mark to call you an apostate. It is closer to the truth than you continually calling him a pervert, but it's not the best term to use. Based on your support of certain issues blatantly opposed by the Bible and the God that inspired it, "heresy" would be a better description of your point of view. But "apostate" isn't a distortion. It's just the wrong word to use.

Craig said...

Marshall,

I beg to differ with your description of Dan's views as heresy. Heresy is holding a view in opposition to a doctrine of a given church, not in opposition to the Bible. So I'm not sure heresy is the most accurate way to describe Dan's opinions. However, in the absence of a more accurate term, heresy is probably the closest.

Bubba said...

I'm personally somewhat curious about the best way to describe Dan's positions and behavior, because I have a strong tendency to try to name things as they are, which is a crucial prerequisite for clear thinking.

Whether heresy or apostasy applies (or both do), I couldn't say, but there is another word, an adjective, that keeps coming to mind: "subversive."

In broad strokes the modern American Left is both radical and collectivist -- radical in their disdain for traditional institutions, and collectivist in their disdain for individual freedom.

(Reaganites or "fusion" conservatives are on the opposite end of both of these spectra: we are traditionalists and libertarians who try to reconcile the conflict between tradition and freedom. There are conservatives who emphasize one over the other, or there are those on the right who uphold one to the exclusion of the other.)

Over the last century, the radicalism of the Left -- which can be traced back at least to Rousseau and the Jacobins -- has transformed its approach to traditional institutions. Where they once tried to destroy those institutions altogether, they now frequently try to subvert them, to subordinate the institutions to their political gains.

Two examples immediately come to mind.

First, Marxism was initially openly antagonistic to religion, the "opiate of the masses" that hindered the glorious revolution of the proletariats. Though some Marxists still want to see religion wiped out, others want to recruit religion to the Communist cause. Hence, the "Christian Marxism" that found expression in Latin America and elsewhere as the "liberation theology" of which Jeremiah Wright now preaches an explicitly race-essentialist and Afro-centric strain.

The Christians Marxists weren't really interested in serving Christ and advancing His kingdom. Instead, they wanted to invoke His name -- seizing on teachings that could be made to suit the movement, and minimizing or discarding the rest -- to advance their own earthly political agenda.

Second, there is William Ayers, who used to bomb government buildings and is now a college professor. His goals haven't changed, and he has never repented nor regretted his acts of terrorism. He just finds it more effective to join cultural Marxism's "long march" through the intstitutions. As Ayers told Hugo Chavez in 2006, "La educacion es revolucion."

The epitome of this radical subversion is probably Wright and Ayer's friend, Barack Obama, who tries to wrap a truly radical agenda in centrist platitudes delivered in the warm tones of a Mister Rogers.


It seems to me that Dan attempts to subvert nearly every traditional institution that is touched upon in these discussions, seemingly to advance his watered-down theology which is inoffensive to post-modern pluralists, and more importantly to advance his radical political agenda.

Language itself, the foundation of our discussions, is subverted. What has always been intended to reveal and clarify, he uses to hide and obscure beliefs that are, for example, inconvenient and altogether incompatible with a truly deep respect for all that the Bible teaches.

(The attempt to subvert language is itself unbiblical: see Matt 5:33-37 and James 5:12.)

[More to come]

Bubba said...

[continued from above]

Also subverted is the institution of forensics, that is, argumentative discourse: debate, rhetoric and all that that entails. No one adheres to their own standards all the time, as even those who urge civility sometimes lose their temper, but I have quite literally never personally encountered anyone who is as hypocritical in his arguments as Dan.

His stated desire for civility and opposition to slander, for instance, are invoked if and only if they advance his position: they have yet to convict him of any wrongdoing in whitewashing the ravings of Jeremiah Wright or his own slander of Wright's critics as racists guilty of a "digital lynching."

The amount of evidence required to prove a claim is clearly correlated to his desire to prove or disprove that claim. Nothing -- not the details of black liberation theology or the loud approval of his own congregation -- could prove that Wright's hate-mongering was anything more than one comment in a lifetime of preaching, but Dan needs little or no evidence to accuse Bush of lying about Iraq, to accuse the Republicans of unceasing lying during the last campaign, and to accuse Sarah Palin of believing a young-earth creationism that, he argues, disqualifies her as an expert on oil.

(You can see these different standards in discussions about the Bible. It's very important to Dan that the Bible doesn't explicitly affirm the inerrancy of all 66 books of the canon, but wholly unimportant that it also doesn't explicitly affirm that any of the 66 books contain even a single error. It's very important that the Bible doesn't explicitly condemn such a contradictory concept as "gay marriage," but it's wholly irrelevant that it also doesn't affirm the concept either -- and that, instead, it denounces homosexual behavior every time it's mentioned, and Christ Himself affirms that God made us male and female so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his (female) wife. He NEVER evaluates both positions against the same standard. He invokes whatever standard he can to advance his position, but he doesn't use the same standard against the opposing view, choosing instead to invoke a ridiculously high standard in order to discredit it.)

In this thread alone are two other examples of hypocrisy in argument.

First, though he claims Flynn's critical article on Milk throws up red flags because it appears "overly one-sided," Dan has no problem citing the explicitly partisan Media Matters repeatedly and exclusively to prove his contentious claim that conservative writers frequently lie.

And, Dan here invokes the dictionary definition of "apostasy, as he has elsewhere invoked the minimalist definition of "capitalism" to defend Obama as a capitalist except when he wants to use a broader, more common definition to denounce it as oppressive and totalitarian. But Dan continues to abuse and misuse the term "literal:" his problems with Scripture are clearly not limited to literal interpretations, where he affirms some figurative alternative. Instead, he seems to accept that the passage is to be interpreted literally, he just rejects its veracity and divine authorship.

Here, I think it's worth noting, as an aside, the irony in that Dan's blog header quotes Monty Python's argument sketch, that an argument is "a connected series of statements intended to establish a definite proposition."

Nowhere does that quote claim that the proposition has any resemblance to reality.

[to be concluded]

Bubba said...

[continued from above]

This subversion of language and forensics is all used in an attempt to subvert the Bible and even Christianity itself.

Dan makes every effort to make absolutely clear that his beliefs fall within the minimalist requirements of orthodoxy, as expressed in old (extra-biblical) creeds. However, his beliefs are a radical departure from the mainstream of Christian theology, and he tries to present this radicalism as mundane. And his beliefs are a repudiation of much of what the Bible teaches -- including key and essential claims and doctrines -- but he insists that he does "love the Bible and deeply respect its teachings" and unleashes the strongest possible criticism for anyone who dares to express his skepticism in light of what he actually believes.


If Dan objects to my belief that he seeks to subvert the Christian faith, I would ask him, what really drives his religious beliefs? What possible conclusion should we reach about what drives his beliefs, in light of the content of those beliefs?

What drives his beliefs? I don't believe it's even remotely possible that it's the Bible. It almost certainly isn't even other traditional sources of Christian authority: not a catechism or statement of belief from the Catholic church or any other body.

No one who claims to affirm the Bible (or any of these other traditional authorities) as truly authoritative, as the standard by which ALL OTHER CLAIMS are to be measured, would reach the conclusions that Dan does.

He wouldn't conclude that the Bible attributes literal atrocities to divine commands or actions, and he wouldn't conclude that the Bible also contains bigotry and mysoginy. He wouldn't hold such unbiblical beliefs about marriage and death, that the former is androgynous and that the latter is a purely natural phenomenon that can be a "blessed" event.

And he certainly wouldn't dismiss the Virgin Birth as unbiblical and denigrate a historical and physical Resurrection as optional.

It's a matter of working one's way backwards. Try to go from the details of Dan's stated beliefs back to what the Bible teaches, and time and again, you will find no reasonable connection from the one to the other.

But go from the details of his stated beliefs to a post-modern religious pluralism and political radicalism and it all falls into place: all of it.

From what does Dan derive his religious beliefs?

I think a truly honest answer would confirm his attempts to subvert biblical Christianity. Any other answer -- such as the repeated claim that reading the Bible is what led Dan to the ground he now defends -- would reinforce the same conclusion by its complete absurdity.

4simpsons said...

Did you ever see the famous photo of Cassius Clay towering over Sonny Liston? I keep picturing that while watching Bubba dissect Dan's views (Bubba is Clay, obvioiusly) -- http://www.baseball-statistics.com/Greats/Century/Pictures/clay-liston.jpg

The link to this thread is a keeper. I came to the same conclusions about Dan's views long ago but didn't have the time or, more importantly, the skills to spell it out like Bubba did. Bravo!

Craig said...

Bubba,

You'll get no argument from me. Case in point his recent post on Original Sin.

Bubba said...

Thanks, Neil. You're not the only one bookmarking this thread.

Craig, I read through that thread, and it seems to me that it's an example where one unbiblical belief leads to another: the belief that God's commands to wage wars of annihilation (or even act through nature to end life) are immoral atrocities, requires other beliefs that deviate from the plain meaning of Scripture: the belief that God isn't sovereign over life, that death is a purely natural phenomenon; the belief that death isn't the result of sin and is even a blessed event; and, here, the belief that humans aren't born in sin and under judgment, so that it is therefore immoral even for the Creator of life to end human life in its infancy.

(An obvious question was never raised: if Dan believes that human beings are not born in sin, and that it's wrong for even God Himself to take innocent human life through nature or human proxies, why again does he support the legal sanction of abortion on-demand?)


I would hope it goes without saying, but I would welcome Dan to correct any misunderstandings I have regarding the specific details of his religious beliefs -- for instance, his beliefs regarding supposed Old Testament atrocities, Pauline bigotry, or the inessential nature of both the Atonement and even the physical, historical Resurrection.

If I understand these details of his beliefs correctly, and he objects to the conclusions I reach, he shouldn't simply tell us why I'm wrong: he should explain how the details of his beliefs could ever be the reasonable result of a good-faith attempt to conform one's worldview to the teachings of the Bible.

Either way, I would hope that everyone can see that I haven't reached these conclusions in haste. I've been conversing with Dan, off and on, for about 32 months. In this thread, I link to some (but by no means all) of our most lengthy discussions, and I encourage you to read these exchanges if you question my conclusions.


There have been times where I've given up on reaching an understanding, only to redouble my efforts to have a good-faith dialogue.

Those times are over.

I don't understand Dan's beliefs fully...

(I'm not sure it's possible to understand fully what I think he's clearly trying to obscure. To give one very important example, he hasn't clarified his position that belief in a physical and historical Resurrection is optional.)

...but I understand his beliefs enough to repudiate them as unbiblical and do so firmly and without hesitation, and to renounce his continuous efforts to subvert the Christian faith.

If it's not already clear, I am no longer giving Dan Trabue any benefit of the doubt, especially not when he continues to insist that he has a "deep respect" for the Bible's teachings, all while denying the historical accuracy of central teachings like the Passover.

I'm not going to go out of my way to hound him, and I think I should recuse myself from commenting further at his blog, but -- as time and interest permits -- I will address his frequently dishonest behavior wherever else I find it.

Bubba said...

If I had to say only one other thing about this topic -- besides a hearty thank-you to Marshall for allowing this digression -- it would be this:

Mark rightly notes that God is not only merciful, He is just. Dan responded by writing, "It is EXACTLY for that reason [that God is just] that I reject the suggestion that God commands the slaughter of innocents."

The Bible doesn't actually teach that the lives that were taken were innocent, but it certainly appears that Dan believes that the Bible itself gives the "suggestion" that God has behaved unjustly, at least in the past.

But there is a way that I would put it, that is wholly biblical, whose plain meaning Dan would probably not be able to twist.

The Bible is clear, not only of the reality of God's grace, but also God's wrath. His wrath is the reason His grace required the cross.


The Bible's teachings don't include contradictions, but they do include doctrines that create a tension between them: the Triune God, three Persons in one Being; the Incarnation, where Jesus is fully man and fully God; God's sovereignty and man's freedom; and God's wrath and God's mercy.

There are other teachings that are easier to reconcile, but it's still the case that the vaguely spiritual post-modern pluralist prefers one teaching over another.

The Bible teaches the universal offer of grace, but it makes clear that the offer comes through the very exclusive means of the cross of Christ. The spiritual post-modern would emphasize the former over the latter.

And, the Bible teaches eternal truths about the nature of God, but it also teaches that God has acted decisively in history -- through actual, historical events. Here too, the spiritual post-modern would emphasize the former over the latter, as Dan Trabue did when talking about the Bible's "Great and Abiding Truths."

Specifically, Dan compared the Bible to Aesop's Fables. I quote: "They're both primarily books of Truths, not facts."

("If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins." - I Cor 15:17)

Emphasize the first part of each of those pairs, and you have one sort of theology, which would go something like this:

"An eternal truth about God is His grace, and He extends His grace to all of us."

The more balanced theology is this:

"Two eternal truths about God is His grace and His wrath. He extends His offer of grace to us, and it is because of His wrath that we need His grace. He extends this offer to all of us universally, but grace is provided exclusively through His Son. Specifically, God's grace was secured through the historical and bodily death and resurrection of His Son, God Incarnate, who lived, died, and rose nearly two thousand years ago in a backwater Roman province."

The first version is obviously more palatable to the pluralist sensibilities of the present day. The second version is more comprehensively biblical.

Here's where we get to the question of clarity.

The first version could be seen as either a mere abridgement of the second version or an outright denial of the second version, depending on the answer to one question: does the first version presume or deny what it omits?

(In other words, it omits God's wrath. Can we presume that His wrath is included, or is it being subtly excluded, with a thin veneer of plausible deniability?)

I think Dan takes advantage of this ambiguity, when he writes quite eloquently about part of Christian orthodoxy. His writing raises a question he never answers: does he affirm or deny that which he omits?

I will show you what I mean presently.

[More in a moment]

Bubba said...

[Continued from above]

Consider this summary of the Gospel.

"I think the essential message of the Gospel is that God loves us, that God is love, that God wants for us to be a part of a healthy wholesome community of lovers, of those who work for justice and peace;

"I believe that God wants to save us from the hell that we tend to make of our lives and our world and that God will do so by God's grace as long as we want to accept that gracious gift. (As an aside, we of the free will sort, CAN turn down that gift.)

"I believe that in accepting God's grace and Jesus' Way as THE Way to live, we are saying we agree that Jesus' Way is the Way to live and we'll strive to follow in Jesus' steps by God's grace, bringing good news to the poor, ending systems of oppression and debilitation, working for peace and justice.
"

As I noted in my reply, there is no explicit reference to God's moral law, to our willful rebellion against that law (i.e., sin), or the eternal consequences of sin: he writes about "the hell that we tend to make of our lives and our world," but not the doctrine of a real and eternal Hell.

The social relationship is mentioned, but not the relationship with God.

Most disturbingly, what Dan describes as "the essential message of the Good News" excludes the cross and the empty tomb: it excludes both the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

When Dan asks where he has strayed by emphasizing the Sermon on the Mount, I explained, "You seem to downplay severely the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ... You mention God's grace but completely whitewash the means by which grace is provided."

"In all that you write about, the cross is conspicuously absent."

He finally did affirm his belief, of a sort, in the Crucifixion and Ressurection:

"YES. Yes, I believe those teachings are essential elements of Jesus' teachings. As are the commands to love God and love our neighbor; as is the command to love our enemies; as is Jesus' life being an example; as is, etc, etc, etc, all the REST of what Jesus taught, which I think is important and essential to agree with."

I responded by asking why the cross was missing from his "essential message of the Gospel."

I reminded him, "you begin to detail what we are to do as Christians, but there's not a sliver of a detail of what God has done for us."

I asked why that is.

The discussion was soon derailed, but so far as I can tell, he has never answered that question, there or elsewhere: he explained why he doesn't focus on the cross in his blog, but not in that summary of what's essential.


Dan writes about God's grace but not His wrath. In a summary of what's essential, he omits the cross. Just what conclusions are we to draw from all this?

Does the omission of God's wrath imply a denial of that wrath, or not?

Was the omission of the cross as an essential part of the Gospel accidental or deliberate?

To draw any conclusion is to invite Dan's indignation about putting words in his mouth, and the accusation that you are presuming upon God Almighty in daring to claim to know Dan better than Dan knows Dan.

But we're left to draw our own conclusions because he rarely answers these crucial questions about what he really believes.

He'll tell you a thousand other things he believes, eloquently and at length, in order to avoid revealing what's really important.

Mark said...

"Dan writes about God's grace but not His wrath. In a summary of what's essential, he omits the cross. Just what conclusions are we to draw from all this?

My conclusion is that Dan wants to believe in a Loving God, but not a Just God, as I said.

I called Dan an apostate because as I understand the word, apostasy is the teaching of non-biblical beliefs that lead the listener away from God and into the very pit of Hell. Dan's continual argument that God would never exercise His wrath because He is a God of love and mercy is an unbiblical teaching. Thus, Dan is an apostate.

I want to also remind the readers here that in Exodus 20, God says, "The Lord, your God is a Jealous God".

I assume Dan would disagree with that assessment of God, too.

It doesn't seem right to me, thinking with my mortal human brain, that God should be the jealous type, but I accept it, because He said it. God is never wrong, or even mistaken.

The problem with Dan and others like Dan, is he just refuses to accept anything in the Bible that he, personally doesn't think is right, so he denies the Bible is accurate in those cases.

It's a "That doesn't make sense to me so I'll just pretend it isn't in there" type of attitude.

Marshall Art said...

This has become a very interesting discussion, thanks to the ongoing interaction between Bubba and Dan. Though this post was meant to highlight the dishonesty of the homosexual movement and their liberal supporters in Hollywood, it has morphed into a discussion of dishonesty amongst the left in general vs the right, which really isn't so much off topic as it is a slight tangent.

The discussion between Dan and Bubba has been, for me, somewhat of an example of this distinction. Where Bubba has demonstrated the conservative worldview, as he accepts ALL of what Scripture says and seeks to reconcile that which might seem contradictory, Dan has illustrated the liberal side by his desire to see the Bible as he thinks it should be, rather than as it is.

My opinion is that this is typical of both camps. I think it is a characteristic that can be accurately used to describe them. This is not to say that the right is always "right", or that less than perfect truth is never uttered or furthered by them. Indeed, I don't necessarily think that all lefists have evil intentions behind every move they make.

But what can be said with relative certainty is that it is typical of the left to depend upon that which falls short of truth in order to advance whatever cause they support. In some cases this might be deliberate, as it is in the case of the homosexual movement. In other cases it might be provoked by a sincere desire for an end that can't really be had because it so harshly conflicts with the real world. They want so much to believe what they want to be true that they allow themselves to believe falsehoods necessary to succeed.

blamin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blamin said...

It was/is a fascinating debate, both here and at Payne Hollow. I enjoyed it immensely.

MA’s 12:48 PM comment –

“…it is typical of the left to depend upon that which falls short of truth in order to advance whatever cause they support…They want so much to believe what they want to be true that they allow themselves to believe falsehoods necessary to succeed.”

Yep - and that frustration becomes apparent when reading Dan's comments, as well as Alan's, over at Dan's blog.

On the other hand, Bubba was a study in constraint.

The whole debate was a perfect illustration of those who are confident in their conclusions, and others whose frustration becomes apparent when defending their views - perhaps because in their “heart of hearts” they realize the foundations of their reasoning stands on shaky ground (or sand).

Craig's Build said...

Bubba,

I certainly don't disagree with your assessment of Dan's opinions. I would add one other factor. Dan approaches these discussions from a direction that is human centered. You see this in his continuing elevation of Reason and Logic to a kind of totemic level. You also see this in his insistence that humans are born sinless and this sinless condition is what matters. There are a number of other instances where this is obvious.

blamin said...

Yes, yes.

What Craigs Build said.

Oh the justifications of man – We are, after all a reasoning creature. Give us the chance and we can “justify” just about anything. God made us this way, and he also made us deep enough to bypass our initial traps.

A man, much smarter than myself, once told me, after overhearing our discussion on various deep matters – “sounds like a bunch of old men who think they’ve got the world figured out”.

Dan Trabue said...

My, my, what a mighty fun Inquisition you guys put on. Since y'all are impotent and don't have all the nasty little torture devices as in the Original Inquisition, it's pretty funny watching y'all talk about me and continually misrepresent my positions ALL in a blog entry on how the Right gets it right and the Left "needs" to lie.

Yet, in fact, not one lie has been presented that I've offered. Instead, only twisting facts and smeared innuendo. In the words of the great Jewish philosopher...

The Inquistion, what a show
The Inquistion, here we go
We know you're wishing
That we'd go away
But the Inquistion's here and it's here to stay
The Inquistion, oh boy
The Inquistion, what a joy

Dan Trabue said...

Now, I am sorry I've been busy on vacation, but not really. But where to begin?

If you all are interested in actual truth, rather than innuendo and crucifying straw men, let's begin with the misrepresentations about my faith - the suggestion that I'm not a Christian or that I'm apostate or that I'm lying about my Christianity.

I believe in the traditional "essentials" of Christianity.

1. I believe in God the creator of all the world;

2. I believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God;

3. Who came to earth, lived a perfect life, died and rose again;

4. I believe that all of humanity sins (with the caveat that of course, little infants and others who aren't able to reason or make choices are not in a position to sin - "ALL have sinned" is not a line to be taken literally to suggest that babies commit sins, just a note that we all inherit a sinful nature common to humanity);

5. I believe that we are, therefore, in need of salvation;

6. I believe Salvation comes by God's blessed Grace, through faith in Jesus, the Son;

7. I DON'T believe salvation comes through our works, or through agreeing with Marshall or Bubba or anyone else but God;

8. I DO think that if we're serious about accepting God's gift of salvation, that we will want to follow in Jesus' steps, that we will listen to and heed Jesus' teachings;

In short, I believe the traditional teachings of Christian essentials. Here is one place they are listed. I agree with each one of these on this page (although I might choose to word it differently at times, I agree).

I agree with the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed. I am, in fact, an orthodox Christian when it comes to traditional matters of essential Christian tenets.

Now, because so much has been written, if you have some complaint along these lines, brother Inquisitors, please note specifically where you think I am not Christian, or that I am apostate or heretical. Keep it short, please, as I am still on vacation and don't want to get further and further behind in my trial.

Thanks, brothers.

Dan Trabue said...

And, as an aside, please note that the "Brother Inquisitors" things is mostly a pointed, sarcastic joke, because I really do think it is sort of funny the way y'all approach this. I don't really think you all are prepared to torture or kill anyone, it's just that you seem to have a bit of that spirit in this line of accusations.

Mark said...

Dan you asked, "please note specifically where you think I am not Christian, or that I am apostate or heretical."

Sheeesh! You got moxie, I'll give you that.

You continue to say God blesses homosexuality, when God's Word plainly says, "You shall not lay with mankind as you lay with a woman." When you continue to insist God contradicts Himself, that view, brother, is an apostate teaching, and heretical, and real Christians would never make that ridiculous charge.

That short and direct enough for you?

Dan Trabue said...

And where, praytell, does orthodoxy insist that I agree with Mark about a particular sin? Or even, where does orthodoxy insist that I agree with a majority of the church on a particular sin?

Is it your position that one must agree with Mark and some percentage of some denomination on a particular sin and, if not, one is an apostate and/or heretic?

Dan Trabue said...

To the other false charges, I have NOT insisted that God contradicts God's Self.

Now, in normal conversations with my brothers and sisters, when a mistake has been pointed out, there are generally two options...

1. An apology ("I'm sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you WERE saying that God contradicts God's Self...")

2. Some evidence ("Dan, when you said, 'God contradicts God's Self,' I took that to mean you think God contradicts God's Self... clarify please...").

Which will it be brother Mark?

Bubba said...

Dan, in your defense, you don't write that God contradicts Himself: you seem to think the Bible contradicts itself, that there are some teachings in the Bible that are "contrary to the Greater teachings of Jesus found within the Bible."

And, indeed, the creeds of small-o orthodoxy don't insist on unanimity on moral questions.

But you don't just appeal to creeds, you claim that you "deeply respect" the Bible's teachings. That's not a credible claim when you believe the Bible is internally inconsistent, and when you frequently oppose many of its teachings.


Now, you write, "in fact, not one lie has been presented that I've offered. Instead, only twisting facts and smeared innuendo."

If you want to make this claim, you should address our actual criticisms of your numerous unbiblical positions rather than focus on claims that we don't actually question.

As I said, you're welcome "to correct any misunderstandings I have regarding the specific details of [your] religious beliefs -- for instance, [your] beliefs regarding supposed Old Testament atrocities, Pauline bigotry, or the inessential nature of both the Atonement and even the physical, historical Resurrection."

You didn't address my understanding of these specific beliefs. Instead, you affirmed other aspects of small-o orthodoxy that, so far as I see, no one here has actually questioned (at least explicitly), and claims that I personally take for granted that you affirm.

As I said before, you may still fall within the minimal requirements of some (extra-biblical) creed outlining Christian orthodoxy. But it's obvious that you show no desire or effort to conform what you believe to what the Bible teaches.

Clinging to the minimal requirements of the Apostles' Creed doesn't necessarily mean that you actually respect and attempt to conform to the many other teachings of the Bible that aren't directly addressed by that creed.

On the contrary, it appears that you appeal to that creed as cover for your opposition to much of what else the Bible actually teaches.

[More in a monent]

Bubba said...

[continued from above]

Over the course of two comments, I listed six points on which you deviate significantly from what the Bible teaches. What you write here doesn't address a single one of those points directly.

Let's go into some detail on two points.


First, you write that you believe Jesus Christ "came to earth, lived a perfect life, died and rose again."

I didn't question that belief, and I recognize that you personally believe in a historical, bodily, physical Resurrection. My problem is -- as I list it as #6 above -- you seem to deny the NECESSITY of that belief.

As I pointed out, you have written, "I and my company are not of the sort that insist upon a literal interpretation of the Creation or even the Resurrection story. I believe in faith the resurrection story, but it is not the sum total of my belief. IF someone could somehow prove that Jesus was never resurrected, it would not mean the end of my following the teachings of Jesus."

I've repeatedly requested and have never received clarification, and so I have concluded that you believe -- contrary to I Corinthians 15 -- that a historical, bodily Resurrection is an optional doctrine.

If I'm wrong in my understanding of your position, and you really do hold that belief in a physical Resurrection is an essential doctrine of Christianity, say so. What you have written here doesn't touch on that point.


Second, you affirm a belief that "Salvation comes by God's blessed Grace, through faith in Jesus, the Son," but you say nothing about the Bible's other key teaching about salvation, that it comes through Christ's death.

It is precisely on that point where there is contention.

In Romans 3:21-26, Paul indeed teaches that the source of our justification is God and His grace, and that the means is faith on our part, but he's also emphatic that the ground of our salvation is Christ and the cross.

We are "justified by [God's] grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith."

It is this middle clause that you seem to deny, to which I object in point #3: you wrote that the doctrine of the Atonement only "meant something" to the Jews, that it's a "biblical thought" and that it's "imagery" that has its place, none of which implies that you believe it's actually a true doctrine.

In that thread, I repeatedly asked you whether you believe there's a causal relationship between His death and our forgiveness, and you gave several unclear and conflicting answers -- and responses that weren't answers at all, writing that it's all "of one cloth" and all part of one story of God's love, none of which implies that one causes the other.

The clearest answer you gave implied no room for the cross in the explanation for our forgiveness: "God forgives us by forgiving us. Period. God offers us heaven by God's Grace. Period."

It seems to me that you deny the causal relationship between Christ's death and our forgiveness.

If I'm wrong in my understanding of your position in this case, say so. What you have written here doesn't touch on that point.

[more to come]

Bubba said...

[continued]

These are only two instances of your troubling and deeply unbiblical beliefs. You also seem to deny that the Virgin Birth is biblical, and you deny that the Bible's account of the Passover is historically accurate.

(It's worth noting that, over at your blog, you have recently written, "the children of Israel righteously complained about the conditions of their enslavement." I wonder why you believe the Bible on that point, when you deny its claims about how God rescued Israel.)

And, you seem to believe that the Old Testament contains atrocities and that Paul's letters are "doubtless" evidence of his misogny or bigotry.

I say again, if these conclusions about what you believe are wrong, you should address these conclusions specifically.


You cite a list of essential Christian doctrines from CARM, and write, "I agree with each one of these on this page (although I might choose to word it differently at times, I agree)."

I wonder how closely you read that list, because it affirms the necessity of a physical Resurrection: "To deny the physical resurrection is to deny that Jesus' work was a satisfactory offering to God the Father."

While the list doesn't explicitly mention the Atonement, it quotes I Corinthians 15 as providing the definition of the Gospel, and that definition not only mentions Christ's death, it includes the claim that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (15:3).

Beyond these two claims that contradict what you've written, which I describe in detail above, the list includes the Virgin Birth as a secondary essential doctrine, as "an essential Christian teaching that cannot be denied."


If it were credible that your beliefs really align with that list, that would be a start, but I'll say again that the issue isn't that website's list or even any ancient but extra-biblical creed.

You don't simply claim to conform to the bare minimum definition of Christian orthodoxy, you claim to "deeply respect" the Bible's teachings.

In other words (my words, not yours), you don't just claim to be a creedal Christian, you claim to be a biblical Christian.

It is that claim that I reject as dishonest, because you oppose and even hold in contempt much of what it teaches -- by disregarding even some of its most important teachings teachings as scientific error, moral atrocity, bigotry, and cultural detritus that has no eternal value.

And it isn't just that you claim to conform to the Bible when you don't. It's that this claim is cover for what I believe to be a clear attempt to subvert Christianity to make it what it isn't: inoffensive to post-modern pluralism and useful to your polticial radicalism.

You haven't actually addressed these points, and your invoking creedal orthodoxy is a continuation of the sort of behavior I've already criticized:

"Dan makes every effort to make absolutely clear that his beliefs fall within the minimalist requirements of orthodoxy, as expressed in old (extra-biblical) creeds. However, his beliefs are a radical departure from the mainstream of Christian theology, and he tries to present this radicalism as mundane. And his beliefs are a repudiation of much of what the Bible teaches -- including key and essential claims and doctrines -- but he insists that he does 'love the Bible and deeply respect its teachings' and unleashes the strongest possible criticism for anyone who dares to express his skepticism in light of what he actually believes."

If you want your claim to be a biblical Christian and not just a creedal Christian to be credible, you would have to do more than argue that your beliefs fit a minimal creedal definition.

You'd have to show how your beliefs are consistent with what the Bible teaches, and respectful of what the Bible teaches.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, I sincerely would like to thank you for the effort and thought you put in your comments. But one problem I'm having is there is so much to respond to, given multiple often-long comments from multiple people. I'm trying to address one point at a time, as that's the best I can do and am inclined to do, given limited time.

And so, first I am addressing the false complaints that I am not a Christian, that I'm apostate and that I'm a heretic.

It sounds like you agree with me and are opposed to the pharisees who would make such false claims. Good. You and I are straight on that point.

It would help to move on, then, if you would clarify that point with those who are making the false charges.

Something like, "Mark, Dan is clearly a Christian insofar as he holds to essential Christian doctrine. He is, by definition, then, neither an apostate or a heretic."

Just to clarify before we move on.

Bubba said...

Dan, before I am willing even to begin to address that request, I would like to present a hypothetical situation and ask a follow-up question.

I'll try to be brief -- I clearly prefer to be thorough -- and I appreciate your reading this. I would REALLY prefer an answer to this upcoming question before clarifying my position on Mark's calling you an apostate.

Suppose someone else claimed exactly the same beliefs that you do this morning, listing the same eight beliefs, and citing and affirming the same list of essential doctrines, from CARM.

But suppose John Doe also taught that you should hate your enemies.

(This would clearly contradict the plain meaning of Matthew 5:43-47, but then, you seem to reject the plain meaning of Matthew 5:17-18. Christ affirms the authority of Jewish Scripture to the smallest penstroke, Scripture attributes to God commands to wage wars of annihilation, and you believe those passages are erroneous atrocities resulting from human speculation rather than divine command. You also seem to reject the inexorable conclusion to be drawn from Matthew 19 about why we were created male and female. And you denigrate the Atonement as mere imagery even though, in Matthew 26:28, Christ Himself taught that His blood was being poured out "for the forgiveness of sins.")

I believe that we would both agree that "love your enemies" is a very important Christian teaching. Though I do subordinate Christ's ethical teachings to His work on the cross -- in the belief that what God does for us is more important than what we are to do in response -- I certainly think the teaching is important and indispensible.

But notice that it's not present in the Apostles' Creed, or the Nicene Creed, or CARN's list, or your list.

John Doe rejects the teaching to love your enemies.

I wonder whether you think we should say of him, "John Doe is clearly a Christian insofar as he holds to essential Christian doctrine. He is, by definition, then, neither an apostate or a heretic."

My questiion is, is it wrong to call John Doe an apostate or a heretic for his teaching that we should hate our enemies?

Mark said...

"Is it your position that one must agree with Mark and some percentage of some denomination on a particular sin and, if not, one is an apostate and/or heretic?"

It is my position that one must agree with God only, regardless of what some percentage of some denomination believes (even yours), that makes you a heretical apostate.

Dan, you don't have to say specifically, "God contradicts Himself".

You have made it quite clear that you either

1. believe it, or

2. that you don't really believe it but expect others to think you do.

But, specifically, what you did say, was "God blesses same sex marriage"

Again, (I don't know how many time I need to say this, but apparently you still don't get it) God says homosexuality is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22b). When you insist God blesses such abominable behavior, you are not just suggesting, not just implying, but are, in fact, saying flat out, that God contradicts himself.

Heresy and apostasy.

Bubba said...

Mark, you write, "God says homosexuality is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22b)," but I don't believe Dan believes that the Bible is wholly trustworthy and authoritative.

Despite his stated love for the Bible and deep respect for its teachings, Dan believes that the Bible contains atrocities, bigotry, and errors. As I pointed out earlier, he slid down the slippery slope he created with his attitude toward the more difficult passages in the Old Testament: because he believes he's justified in dismissing as erroneous the passages where God commanded wars of annihilation and those passages where He made sodomy a capital offense, Dan Trabue feels free to discard other passages on a whim, including those that condemn homosexual behavior.

If he thought the Bible was inerrant and authoritative, then it would be more likely that Dan must conclude that God has contradicted Himself.

But Dan doesn't believe that the Bible really is God's trustworthy written revelation to man.

He chalks up to human speculation, what the Bible attributes to divine revelation, at least when he doesn't like what is being taught.

There is obviously a lot worth criticizing, and I'll say again that I couldn't say whether heresy or apostasy apply to this situation.

But the problem isn't apparently that Dan thinks God is inconsistent: it's that he thinks the Bible isn't authoritative about God's character, actions, and will.

Mark said...

Bubba, I have been asking Dan for quite some time now, "God says homosexuality is an abomination. How can you say God blesses what He says is an abomination?"

He refuses to answer.

Perhaps you missed the exchange wherein Dan insisted "God blesses same sex marriage"

I charge him with apostacy and heresy because he believes God contradicts Himself by insisting God blesses homosexuality, when it is clear from Leviticus 18:22 that God plainly declares homosexuality to be an abomination.

Do you now question why I call him a an apostate? I made myself quite clear on that point. He is writing blogposts and comments on other blogs propagating this humanist myth.

To Dan: There are really only two explanations for your stated belief that God blesses homosexuality:

1. You are an idiot.

2. You think we are all idiots.

Mark said...

Oh, and by the way, Bubba.

Dan says God blesses homosexuality, but as yet has failed to supply any credible (or, in fact, any incredible) citation of this heresy.

He refuses to answer the question. Maybe I am just not making it simple enough for him. How's this, Dan?

Prove it.

Bubba said...

Mark, it seems to me that you think Dan's reluctance to answer that question is proof that he really knows that God truly does condemn homosexuality.

That may well be the case, but there's another possibility: Dan might be trying to obscure his rejection of the authority of that part of Scripture. Neither possibility wholly excludes the other.


I don't think even Dan believes that the Bible blesses "gay marriage." The most he does is appeal to a very weak argument from silence just on the subject of "gay marriage," when the Bible is quite clear on both the moral impermissiblity of homosexual behavior AND the complementary nature of the sexes and (consequently) marriage.

But if Dan really wants to have any credibility taking the position that he just disagrees with you and me while he earnestly tries to follow God's will, he probably should make clear what convinced him that God condones "gay marriage."

Bubba said...

Mark, it may be that we disagree less than it appears.


Dan, you frequently write that you don't disagree with God, you disagree with Mark, Marshall, and me.

But I don't think your problem really lies with the twenty-first-century theologically conservative Christians that have criticized you, here and elsewhere.

Your problem really is with Paul. Paul wrote that Christ died for our sins, and he taught that there are differences between men and women, and you dismiss these teachings as either passing fancies that are no longer relevant or outright bigotry.

And your problem is with Moses. He taught that God wiped out the firstborn of Egypt to secure the release of those Israelites who you say "righteously complained about the conditions of their enslavement," and you reject this account of THE PASSOVER -- that central event of both Judaism and even Christianity -- as historically inaccurate.

If Paul and Moses are telling the truth about Who called them to lead and teach His choesn people, then your REAL problem isn't even with them.

Your problem might not ultimately trace back to Moses, David, Isaiah, Peter, James, John, and Paul. It appears that your problem is with their Boss, Whom you claim to worship and serve.

Ultimately, your problem might not be with those of us who affirm the Bible's inerrant authority, or those prophets and Apostles who penned the Bible, but with God Who authored it.

On the other hand, if you don't believe the Bible is the authoritative written revelation of God, it's not clear that you worship the God of the Bible in any meaningful sense.

Your conception of God might still fit the minimal requirements of creedal Christianity -- which is useful if you're making covert attempts to subvert the Christian faith -- but that conception doesn't bear a reasonable resemblance to biblical Christianity, nor is it evidence of a good-faith attempt to conform one's beliefs to all that the Bible teaches.

Mark said...

Bubba, I don't disagree with you on your fundamental belief system. Yours and mine are exactly the same as far as I can see.

But when you say, "I don't think even Dan believes that the Bible blesses "gay marriage."

Well, I can only rely on what Dan himself has said, and he definitely said (several times), and I quote,

"God blesses same sex marriage."

Either he really believes that, or he is a liar.

And he still has not offered any proof that God indeed blesses homosexuality.

Mark said...

When Dan either concedes he is wrong on that point, or produces conclusive proof that God really blesses homosexuality, I will then proceed onto Dan's other heretical beliefs. Until then, I will continue to press him to answer the question.

Bubba said...

Mark, that quote...

"God blesses same sex marriage."

...doesn't necessarily imply that Dan thinks the Bible teaches that. Dan doesn't accept the authority, veracity, and divine authorship of the Bible. He's more than welcome to correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that he doesn't believe the entire Bible is the written word of God.

About this particular topic, Dan's best argument is an extremely weak and selective argument from Scripture: he notes that the Bible says nothing about the specific topic of "gay marriage," and he dismisses the Bible's clear teachings regarding the immorality of homosexual behavior and the essential heterosexual character of marriage.

If Dan thinks that God blesses gay marriage, it's almost certain that he believes God has conveyed this truth through means other than the Bible, which he doesn't embrace as entirely authoritative.

To reject the Bible's authority for some other authority -- perhaps something subjective and unverifiable like "God's word written on our hearts" -- may be at least as problematic as believing God is inconsistent, but it's a different action entirely.

Bubba said...

I do intend to address fully Dan's request to repudiate any accusations that he isn't a Christian, or that he is an apostate or heretic. I'll reiterate that I would first like Dan to answer my one question above.

In the meantime, I do have something to say that can serve as the beginnings of an answer, something that may be worthwhile on its own.

One could see that there are at least three types of doctrines:

1) Doctrine that is essential to salvation, which I would abbreviate as "ES". It's probably tough to define what fits in this category, but it probably includes, not just the belief in sin as a reality, but the confession of personal sinfulness: a person who denies that he is a sinner can't grasp the need for salvation from sin, and he probably remains condemned.

2) Doctrine that is essential to Christianity, which I would abbreviate as "EC." I believe that this would include the Incarnation of Christ (see I John 4:2-3) and the doctrine of the Trinity, but it certainly includes monotheism. "Monotheistic Christianity" is redundant, and "polytheistic Christianity" (like Mormonism) is a contradiction in terms.

3) Doctrine that is a clear teaching from the Bible, abbreviated here as "CB." This would include the teaching that John the Baptist baptized Jesus, attested directly by the synoptic gospels, alluded to in John's gospel, and contradicted nowhere else.

I would say that the set of ES doctrines is a subset of EC doctrine, which is a subset of CB doctrine, and each subset is probably a "proper subset."

What I mean is this:

All ES doctrines are also EC doctrines, but not vice versa. You don't have to believe anything more than the essential doctrine of orthodox Christianity to be saved, but some of that doctrine that is essential to orthodoxy is probably not essential to salvation.

For instance, it is doubtful that the thief on the cross was a Trinitarian. I doubt he needed to be a Trinitarian to be saved.

And, all EC doctrine is CB doctrine, but not vice versa. What is meant regarding the "perspicacity of Scripture" is that the essential doctrines are clear from the Bible, but not everything that is clear is essential. The claim that Jesus was baptized by John is clear from Scripture, but it doesn't seem essential to either salvation or even orthodoxy.


If someone denies any of the ES beliefs, that denial calls into question his salvation.

If someone denies any of the EC beliefs, that sets him outside of orthodoxy.

And if someone denies any of the CB beliefs, that sets him at odds with what the Bible clearly teaches.


Does Dan fit into any of these categories of disagreement?

Dan may well be saved, and he certainly makes efforts to make sure his stated beliefs fall within the minimally acceptible definitions of orthodoxy, but it's clear that he denies many other clear claims of the Bible.

He may not (yet) deny any clear biblical claims that are included in creeds, but he denies much else, dismissing much of the Bible as atrocity, bigotry, and other types of error.

I think it's an open question whether the creeds provide exhaustive lists of doctrine that is essential to Christianity: the Atonement is so heavily emphasized in the Bible that it seems too important to diminish as inessential.

Regardless, Dan does clearly object to some of the clear teachings of the Bible, and I think his doing so is evidence of an effort to subvert Christianity into an inoffensive but useful tool of political progressivism.

This is serious enough: it's a kind of treason, to make sure you fit the minimal standards of citizenship within God's kingdom while invoking His name to advance your own agenda. It's certainly not evidence of a good-faith effort to conform more and more closely to what God has revealed in His written word.

Whether this subversion also technically qualifies as heresy or apostasy is somewhat beside the point, because it sure isn't single-minded obedience.

blamin said...

I know this may sound a-bit cheesy, because these are indeed weighty matters that you’re wrestling with – BUT – I can’t help but recall a book I read about 15 or 16 years ago. There was a specific passage that has stuck with me. I can’t remember the author, it may have been Graham or Hague or Hofstadter I don’t know.

The point was, and I damn sure believe it, our common enemy is united. We best get past our differences and unite against Satan. What? Was that uncomfortable? Tough Shtick! The author was discussing differences between Protestants and Catholics to be precise, but I believe there’s some relevance here.

Some may argue that a certain belief or philosophy is in essence nothing more than evidence that the king of lies, has fooled, and is using, others to advance his agenda. This may be true, and I for one will make sure my children now what I believe to be wrong, even though the world my proclaim it to be all right.

But, we allied with Russia, in order to defeat Germany… Ooops, Russia emerged to be a pretty damn big threat. Maybe that’s not a great example…

Bottom line – the world and this country is slap-ass-full of things that make the Slick One dance a jig every day. I’m not trying to sound like a yellow streaked opossum, middle of the road moderate, but we would all be wise to at least temporarily combine forces to help defeat the one that will rub his hands with glee when the whole world falls into chaos.

Or maybe you believe that all is “hunky-dory”, and I’m crazy.

You’re entitled to your misguided opinions.

Dan Trabue said...

Setting aside some here who have displayed disgusting, despicable behavior in the past, they note...

Again... God says homosexuality is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22b). When you insist God blesses such abominable behavior, you are not just suggesting, not just implying, but are, in fact, saying flat out, that God contradicts himself.

I feel compelled to point out that God did no such thing. God nowhere ever in the Bible or anywhere else has said that homosexuality is an abomination. That is a mistake. It is wrong.

The Bible says for "men to lay with men" is an abomination (as is eating shrimp, etc), and then SOME people make the ADDITIONAL step to suggest that this means God thinks that any and all homosexual behavior is an abomination. That is not what the text says. Because I hold the Bible (and more importantly, God) in the highest regards, I won't make such a conclusion. Partially, because I think it is wrong, but also, simply because I will not speak for God. The Bible says what it says, but it does not say what Mark says it says.

That is an aside, though. You can see, perhaps, my dilemma. Several people have written quite a bit on several different fronts and I simply don't have time to deal with it all. I'm trying to deal with this in an orderly manner, but this person speaking for God words that God does not say, well, I felt that needed to be corrected.

Needless to say, this is yet another illustration of someone making a false claim about me (and, in this case, about the Bible). I have not rejected what God says, only what some THINK God has said.

I will return now to where I left off and try to find some orderly manner in which to respond to further comments.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba stated and asked...

I believe that we would both agree that "love your enemies" is a very important Christian teaching. Though I do subordinate Christ's ethical teachings to His work on the cross... I certainly think the teaching is important and indispensible...

My questiion is, is it wrong to call John Doe an apostate or a heretic for his teaching that we should hate our enemies?



In your example, John Doe contradicts a CENTRAL and OFT-REPEATED and VITAL teaching directly from the lips of Jesus. I would not think that suggesting such a teaching is anti-Christian, that it is directly counter to a direct teaching from Jesus and, yes, if you are one inclined to use such words, apostate and heretical.

So, in my Christian worldview, I would allow some ethical teachings might rightly be called counter Christian, even though it does not run counter to the normally listed essentials. Some teachings could, in theory, be so far opposed to Christ's actual teachings as to leave little room for doubt (assuming the John Doe has been given ample room to explain himself and it is, in fact, his contention that - despite Jesus' teaching exactly and specifically to the contrary - we ought to hate our enemies or neighbors.

So, to address where this is going, I don't have a problem in theory with calling certain ethical teachings heretical, the bar is pretty high. They would have to be contradicting specific and clear teachings that Jesus specifically taught.

In standing in support of gay marriage - which is not addressed even once by Jesus or in the Bible - my position does not come anywhere near heresy.

IF we considered heretical opinions about matters that aren't discussed in the Bible, we'd have heretics all over the place - he's heretical for his position on gun ownership, she's heretical for her position on the personal auto, they're heretical for their position on working on Sundays (or is it Saturdays??)...

I agree with Blamin who was suggesting, I believe, that endless accusations and derisions over non-essential matters and nitpicking over this sin and that action are counterproductive to the Christian Church.

Dan Trabue said...

If there are comments about the above, I'll be glad to entertain them.

In the meantime, I would like to commend Bubba for his offering of his thoughts on Essential Doctrine (ES), Doctrine that is Essential to Christianity (EC) and "Clear Teachings" of the Bible (CB). I think they are right on and well-defined. And I believe Bubba is suggesting that it is this third category (CB) where we are having the bulk of our disagreements. IF that is what Bubba is saying, I agree.

Bubba then notes...

Dan may well be saved, and he certainly makes efforts to make sure his stated beliefs fall within the minimally acceptible definitions of orthodoxy, but it's clear that he denies many other clear claims of the Bible.


And this is at least one of the points where our disagreements arise.

1. I most certainly do NOT "make sure my stated beliefs fall within the minimally acceptible definitions of orthodoxy" - I believe EVERYTHING that I believe in a sincere and devout (if imperfect) effort to follow in the steps of Christ ALONE.

2. It has nothing to do with attempting to make my Christianity match my progressive politics (clearly and demonstrably so, since I held conservative politics before I grew in my faith - I've had to change political positions in order to better align with my faith) as Bubba seems to suggest.

3. Whether or not it's "clear that I deny clear claims of the Bible" is what is up for grabs, isn't it? I am attempting to follow in the steps of Jesus and seek God's will. Beyond that, I am seeking (always imperfectly, but generally sincerely) Truth. God's Truth.

4. Like others here, I have to deal with the Bible and try to reconcile it on topics where it is less than clear. On the clear topics of the Bible, I most certainly do NOT deny "clear claims." I do not deny that we are to love our enemies, our neighbors, our families. I do not deny that we are to look out for the least of these. I do not deny that we are NOT to shed innocent blood. I do not deny a SINGLE topic that I think is clear in the Bible.

5. What is at question, then, is what is "clear" and what is not? I think it clear that Christians who are to love their enemies have no business going around killing them - either on their own or as a gov't flunkee. I think this is ABUNDANTLY clear. And yet, not everyone here agrees on this point.

I think it abundantly clear that infants are sinless (ie, they have committed no sin) and that God does not consider them guilty of something, and yet we can't agree easily on something that seems as clear as that. Perhaps some of us can, but there still seems to be much debate on the topic.

I think it abundantly clear that the Bible nor God considers all homosexuality (or heterosexuality) abominable, since that is never stated in the Bible. And yet we don't agree on that.

We have a disagreement on what is clear and what is not. At least on a handful or two topics. Are we agreeing on that much? NOT on Christian essentials, but on what is and isn't clear on mostly questions about specific sins/actions.

Marshall Art said...

Gentlemen,

I've been greatly distracted by family matters the last two days, having spent all of today in the hospital for the purpose of dealing with my daughter's apendix. So I'll be sort of shot-gunning here.

Mark,

I must remind you of one of my two cardinal rules for commenting here at Marshall Art's. That would be name calling. No visitor is to so trash another visitor. I reserve that right for myself only. Of course, anyone is allowed to call me names, if they so choose. It absolutely doesn't bother me in the least. Here's a tip: It's OK to say Dan's opinions are idiotic, since they usually are, but it's not OK to call him an idiot, unless you're me. Now, to be clear, snarkiness is allowed and sometimes the namecalling line might be blurred. But I'm the final judge, and just so this is also clear, I don't have to judge if I don't want to. And yes, I'm likely to to be more lenient to center-right visitors. So there.

Oh yeah, the other cardinal rule is, of course, don't pee in the pool.

Blamin,

I agree that the Evil One is the true target of our efforts and the source of our miseries. I allow that even those with whom I disagree sincerely feel they oppose him. But I also believe that some who sincerely believe they oppose him are in fact unwitting agents of his, and most of those call themselves "Christian". One way to determine this is by how they relate to Scripture by word and deed. I think Dan, as well as other "progressive" Christians, are very wrong in their beliefs, even though they may certainly mean well. Such folk can be the worst, or rather, most effective agents for the Evil One by their demeanor alone. For example, it seems more "Christian" to support the homosexual agenda. It seems "nicer" and less bigoted. But it is clearly counter-Biblical, and thus, counter Christian.

-more coming-

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Nice going, playing the victim card. Inquisitors? Won't work here.

"I don't really think you all are prepared to torture or kill anyone, it's just that you seem to have a bit of that spirit in this line of accusations."

The emboldened bit suggests a distinct falsehood that you are trying to put across to anyone else who might be reading. Certainly, none of us, be it Mark, Bubba, Neil, Craig, Blamin or myself could right be accused of any degree of such intention toward you, except in your defensive mind. Lighten up. That spirit doesn't exist in any of us, if I might be so bold in speaking for the others.

Here's more dishonesty:

"I think it abundantly clear that the Bible nor God considers all homosexuality (or heterosexuality) abominable, since that is never stated in the Bible."

What's abundantly clear is that Lev 18:22 prohibits same gender sexual relations. Period. Nowhere, either in that verse, or the others in the chapter, suggest that there might be exceptions for any reason. It doesn't suggest that only "oppressive" sex is prohibited, or "temple prostitutes" are prohibited. It doesn't mention anything regarding intention, as in stealing food to prevent death by starvation, or killing to defend one's life, or lying to protect another's life. The Bible presents instances where other, higher purposes can allow for the breaking of such laws as "Thou shalt not kill, lie or steal". There are no such examples where sexual laws are put aside. So whether one is abusing another, or "deeply in love and committed" to another, it doesn't matter. Same homosexual behavior is clearly prohibited. Period. This isn't my opinion, this isn't a hunch. This is totally based on the Bible in its entirety. You have no verse whatsoever that overturns this. (Nor does your friend Michael With The Three Names, the unleveller) To teach otherwise is heretical.

Marshall Art said...

To be more specific, logic dictates that one must conclude the ALL homosexual behavior is abominable, since there is no evidence of any exceptions whatsoever.

Done for now. Too tired. *yawn*

Mark said...

At last, after months of trying to get Dan to answer the simple question, Does Leviticus 18:22 say "Do not lay with mankind as you lay with a woman. It is an abomination"?

Dan says, yes, God says that. Finally, he admits the truth, Really now, Dan, was that so hard?

But then he also says nowhere in the Bible does God say homosexuality is an abomination.

Huh?

(Since I'm not a queer, I didn't know that all homosexuals have sex standing up. Or maybe they hang upside down from the rafters when they have sex.I thought they lay together. Silly me!)

Dan contradicts himself. Which is idiotic.

But Art says I can't state the obvious. That Dan is an idiot.

OK, Art, that's fine. Delete this comment if you want.

Dan, you are cordially invited over to my place so I can call you an idiot.

I'm done here.

Edwin Drood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edwin Drood said...

Romans 1:

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion

Just one more instance where Paul who was handpicked by Jesus explicitly condemns homosexuality.

Mark said...

Edwin, ordinarily, I would say that is pretty conclusive, but Dan has already stated he doesn't believe anything in the Bible except what is printed in red text in the New Testament, or what he agrees with. So, therefore, God didn't really say those things, and even if He did, He really didn't mean them.

That's the gospel according to Dan, whom we all know by now, is more inspired than Paul.

By the way, Dan. You never answered my other question. Where in the Bible does God say He blesses homosexuality, cause, you know, I've read the entire Bible and I don't remember that passage.

Edwin Drood said...

I always find it funny/sad when people want to believe in the Red letters and not anything past Acts.

We all know that Matt, Mark, Luke and John all agree with one another.

We also know that Luke wrote Acts.

Acts testifies to Saul's conversion by Jesus.

Romans is written by Paul (formally Saul)

If Romans is wrong then so is Acts (unless you concede that Jesus is capable of making mistakes) If Acts is wrong then Luke is suspect. If Luke is suspect then so are the rest of the Gospels. But then again don’t let logic get in the way of trying to cram liberalism and Christianity into the same belief.

Bubba said...

Dan:

To be clear, I believe that what the Bible prohibits is homosexual behavior and not merely the disordered sexual appetites of homosexuality: indulging those appetites, even in your heart, is immoral, but I don't believe that God holds a person accountible for those disordered desires that an individual really and truly cannot help.


You write:

"The Bible says for "men to lay with men" is an abomination (as is eating shrimp, etc), and then SOME people make the ADDITIONAL step to suggest that this means God thinks that any and all homosexual behavior is an abomination. That is not what the text says. Because I hold the Bible (and more importantly, God) in the highest regards, I won't make such a conclusion. Partially, because I think it is wrong, but also, simply because I will not speak for God. The Bible says what it says, but it does not say what Mark says it says."

1) The Hebrew words condemning sodomy and shellfish are often translated as "abomination", but they're two different words, towebah and sheqets, respectively. The two transgressions carried vastly different penalties in the Old Testament, where male sodomy was a capital offense that required exile at a minimum, and eating shrimp caused you only to be ceremonially unclean for a few days. And the New Testament strengthened the moral law regarding sexuality while it lifted the dietary regulations. The "argument from shellfish" is an extremely superficial argument, unworthy of anyone who is really interested in what the Bible actually teaches.

It is funny that, in a very real sense, those who so desperately seek to justify homosexual behavior end up treating sexual partners like pieces of meat.

2) It is not a radical leap to go from what the Bible explicitly teaches to the conclusion that all homosexual behavior is prohibited. Romans 1 is fairly clear on the matter, and Matthew 19 is clear on the complementary nature of the sexes -- a claim that inexorably excludes homosexual behavior as outside of God's will. However...

3) ...if that's a leap, so too is your position that God blesses homosexual behavior. There's absolutely no biblical support for the claim, and you've never even tried to present biblical support for the claim. All you have ever done is present an extremely weak argument from silence, claiming (rightly) that "gay marriage" is never explicitly prohibited, but ignoring the Bible's clear prohibition of homosexual behavior AND its clear teaching of the intrinsic heterosexual nature of marriage.

So, with all that, you have no business pretending that you want to stick to only what the Bible teaches and that you object to putting words in God's mouth. You routinely and hypocritically engage precisely in what you condemn, when you create from thin air the claim that God blesses homosexual behavior.

"I will not speak for God." That's not, Dan. You speak for God quite frequently.

4) It's also not true that you hold the Bible "in the highest regards." I have noted frequently the many points where you seem to hold its teachings in contempt, and you have never retracted of clarified your apparent position that (for instance) the Old Testament contains atrocities that are the result of human speculation, and that Paul's letters contain bigotry and/or mysoginy.

To believe that the Bible is the inerrant written revelation of God, is to hold it in far higher esteem than to dismiss much of its teachings as erroneous -- and even atrocious -- human speculation.

More than that, treating the Bible as authoritative and accepting its divine authorship is consistent both with what the Bible claims about itself, and with what Jesus taught explicitly and by example.

Bubba said...

Now, Dan, I appreciate your answer regarding my hypothetical question. Let me respond and then address your earlier request to rebuke Mark.

"So, to address where this is going, I don't have a problem in theory with calling certain ethical teachings heretical, the bar is pretty high. They would have to be contradicting specific and clear teachings that Jesus specifically taught.

"In standing in support of gay marriage - which is not addressed even once by Jesus or in the Bible - my position does not come anywhere near heresy.
"

"Gay marriage," Jesus did not specifically address, but He DID address marriage, clearly and specifically. In Matthew 19, He taught that God made us male and female so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female). I think the implications of that teaching to apply to so-called "gay marriage," and those implications are quite clear to those who do not refuse to follow the logic.

You seem to believe that it's not unreasonable to level the charge of heresy against those who contradict "specific and clear teachings that Jesus specifically taught."

I will reiterate, I am not personally convinced that the charge of heresy or apostasy applies to you. If that changes, I'll certainly explain why.

In the meantime:

Because I believe your position on homosexuality does contradict Matthew 19, I don't think it's objectionable for people like Mark to reach the conclusion that you're guilty of heresy.

(It's certainly no more offensive than your own charges that we have a spirit of the Inquisition and that we're Pharisees. Strictly speaking, Matthew 5 suggests that the Pharisees were looking for loopholes, where -- for instance -- it's okay to lie so long as you swear by Jerusalem and not God Himself; if anyone here is guilty of looking for loopholes, well, it's not us.)

Because of Matthew 19 and going by your standards for when the charge is appropriate, I don't think it's objectionable to conclude that your support for homosexual behavior is heretical.

But if I were going to argue that you're heretical for contradicting clear teachings of Christ, I think there are even stronger examples: specifically, your attempts to undermine the authority of Scripture which He upheld to the smallest penstroke and which frequently quoted; and your attempts to dismiss as mere imagery the Atonement, when Christ Himself taught that His blood was going to be shed for the forgiveness of sin.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Bubba said...

Dan, you object to the conclusion I've reached, that you make sure your beliefs fall within a minimal, creedal definition of orthodoxy while otherwise trying to subvert Christianity and distort its teachings to make them less offensive and more politically useful.


In response, you appeal to your own personal history.

"It has nothing to do with attempting to make my Christianity match my progressive politics (clearly and demonstrably so, since I held conservative politics before I grew in my faith - I've had to change political positions in order to better align with my faith) as Bubba seems to suggest."

I'll say again that, if you were once politically conservative, it appears that your understanding of conservatism wasn't very deep since you don't seem to understand it very well now.

But I'm more than willing to take for granted the claim that you used to be politically conservative and are now progressive.

What isn't "demonstrable" is the causal connection you claim between your religious beliefs and your political transformation, that you "had to change political positions in order to better align with [your] faith."

That could never be proven conclusively, but the claim isn't even plausible, because you've never tried to explain the details of what caused you to change.


Let me give an example of what I mean. It's one I've used before, a non-political example because I believe the Bible largely doesn't led to particular political policies -- though I do believe the Bible precludes the utopian idea of the perfectibility of man, on which so much modern radicalism depends.

I still believe that there is a great deal of common ground between Evangelicals and Roman Catholicism, to the point that we can work together to advance certain goals. I used to believe that transubstantiation was one of those beliefs about which reasonable Christians can disagree, but I have since changed my mind.

I have become more strongly opposed to the doctrine of transubstantiation, in order to align my beliefs regarding this doctrine with my stated belief in the authority of the Bible.

In short, reading the Bible caused me to become a hardliner against transubstantiation, but there's no way I could definitively prove this.

What I CAN do is show how the claim is plausible by citing the SPECIFIC passage that changed my mind: Hebrews 9 and 10, more specifically, Hebrews 9:11-12 and 10:10-14, which teaches that Christ entered the Holy Place "once for all" to offer "for all time" a single sacrifice for sins, through which we have been sanctified "once for all." This all is in clear contradiction to the idea, implicit in transubstantiation, that Christ is repeatedly being sacrificed.


If Bible-reading made you a political progressive, you should be able to tell us what specific passages required your moving from one particular conservative belief to one particular progressive belief. If it's just your "faith" in terms of your set of religious beliefs, you ought to be able to explain which Christian belief entails rejecting a particular conservative position and requires its progressive counterpart.

I don't believe you have ever done this, even for a small subset of your political beliefs, much less a comprehensive accounting, so your claim isn't credible.

If you want us to believe that your faith caused your political transformation, you should explain how your faith caused that transformation.

[more in a moment]

Bubba said...

[continued from above]

In addition to appealing to your personal history, which cannot be verified and which you haven't made plausible by going into details, you claim that you're putting in a great deal of effort to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

(1) "I believe EVERYTHING that I believe in a sincere and devout (if imperfect) effort to follow in the steps of Christ ALONE."

(3) "I am attempting to follow in the steps of Jesus and seek God's will."

And you then go into the question of which teachings are clear.


As an aside, some of your examples are less germane than others.

You write, "I think it clear that Christians who are to love their enemies have no business going around killing them - either on their own or as a gov't flunkee."

That's a question the application of the command to love everyone, not the fact of the command. Nowhere does the Bible prohibit war or capital punishment -- funny that you never apply to these topics the same arguments from silence that you employ re: "gay marriage" -- and Romans 13 strongly suggests the contrary, that the government has a duty to be an agent of God's wrath, and that it does not bear the sword in vain.

A much worse example is the question of whether infants stand condemned before God.

"I think it abundantly clear that infants are sinless (ie, they have committed no sin) and that God does not consider them guilty of something, and yet we can't agree easily on something that seems as clear as that."

The problem with this example is, you've been talking about clear teachings of Jesus and clear teachings from the Bible, but at your own blog you DID NOT appeal to Scripture to support this claim, and in your conversation with Craig, you didn't even seem to think that such an appeal was necessary.

"My argument is the extremely logical position that a two minute old infant can not sin, since they lack the rational capacity to choose to sin. Thus, my argument is also the additional logical position that infants are not guilty of anything.

"For such obvious logic, I don't know that I need any scriptural support.
"

If you're not going to build your argument on this issue on appeals to Scripture, you shouldn't invoke your position as a clear teaching of Scripture.

[more to come]

Bubba said...

[continued]

All that said, Dan, you claim to "follow in the steps of Christ ALONE," where some teachings are more clear than others. Beyond Christ's own teachings, you furthermore state that you don't deny any clear teaching of the Bible

"4. Like others here, I have to deal with the Bible and try to reconcile it on topics where it is less than clear. On the clear topics of the Bible, I most certainly do NOT deny "clear claims." I do not deny that we are to love our enemies, our neighbors, our families. I do not deny that we are to look out for the least of these. I do not deny that we are NOT to shed innocent blood. I do not deny a SINGLE topic that I think is clear in the Bible."

The Incarnation of Christ; His Virgin Birth; His Atoning death; His bodily, historical Resurrection: none of these you list.

It's extremely telling that those teachings you list are only ethical commands and not historical claims or theological doctrine, even though Paul pronounced a curse on anyone who deviated from the gospel of grace, and even though John rebuked as "anti-Christ" any who would deny Christ's humanity or His being the Messiah.


But you say that you follow the Bible's clear teachings.

That should be pretty easy to substantiate, at least on two subjects, where your apparent position has prompted me here to repeatedly speculate that you do deny quite a few of the Bible's clear teachings.

If you could answer these questions as soon as possible, I'd appreciate it.

First, let's turn to the subject of THE RESURRECTION. I believe the Bible is clear that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, bodily and historically, and I believe the Bible is equally clear that this claim is essential to the faith, which would place it in the "EC" set I described earlier.

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ —- whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. - I Cor 15:13-17

Question 1-a. Yes or no, do you believe that the bodily and historical Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an essential doctrine of Christianity?

Question 1-b. If not, why not?

That is to say, do you believe that I Cor 15 is unclear? Do you disagree with what I believe is its clear meaning? Or can you point to any passages that would justify your earlier position, "I and my company are not of the sort that insist upon a literal interpretation of the Creation or even the Resurrection story"?

Bubba said...

[continued from above]

Second is THE ATONEMENT, the belief that Christ died for our sins, that there is an essential causal connection from Christ's death on the cross to our forgiveness.

Paul repeatedly alluded to this doctrine. Returning to I Corinthians 15, we see what appears to be an early creed, where Paul asserts that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures." (I Cor 15:3)

He repeats the claim elsewhere, that Christ "gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age." (Gal 1:4)

Paul also wrote that sinners are "justified by [God's] grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith." (Rom 3:24-25)

The Apostle John wrote that, if we walk in the light, "the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." (I Jn 1:7)

In Leviticus 4 and elsewhere, the sprinkling of blood is involved in sin offerings, to make atonement for the guilty so that they're are forgiven. (Lev 4:16-17, 20) Peter alludes to this atonement when he describes his Christian audience as those "who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood." (I Pet 1:2)

John the Baptist alluded to the same atoning sacrifices of the Old Testament when he described Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." (Jn 1:29)

And, finally, Jesus Christ Himself taught us about His atoning death the night He was betrayed, while instructing us in the eucharist that we are to observe until His return: "Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Mt 26:27-28)

Question 2-a. Yes or no, do you believe that the Atonement is a true and essential doctrine of Christianity, not to be treated as either inessential or as mere imagery?

Question 2-b. If not, why not?

That is to say, do you believe that these numerous passages are unclear? Do you disagree with what I believe is their clear meaning? Or can you point to any passages that would justify your earlier position that the Atonement merely "meant something" for first-century Jews, that it's a "biblical thought" that's merely imagery and isn't a true description of the fact that Christ's death resulted in our forgiveness?

[to be concluded]

Bubba said...

[continued from above]

I could ask about other topics that I've already mentioned: your apparent belief that the Virgin Birth is an extrabiblical doctrine, your apparent belief that the Old Testament contains atrocities and that Paul's letters are proof of bigotry.

In each case, you're more than welcome to correct any misunderstandings I have about what you believe. If I don't misunderstand you, you should explain precisely what passages convinced you to have such a low opinion of Moses and Paul, and to dismiss the Virgin Birth as extra-biblical.


For now, here are two two-part questions.

The first part is a simple yes-or-no question to confirm that I understand your position.

If I do understand your position, the second part asks for evidence for how your position results from your attempt to conform to the clear teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. If you really are striving, however imperfectly, to follow Jesus, this evidence should be easy to produce.


After concluding a quick list of six Christian doctrines that you seem to deny, I wrote the following:

"This is an incredible list: from the Passover to the Atonement, from the Virgin Birth of Christ to the absolute necessity of His historical and physical Resurrection, you reject crucial doctrines that the Bible clearly teaches."

You now reject the conclusion and insist that you really do follow the Bible's clear teachings, but if you want that claim to be credible, you need to address the specific reasons why I made that claim.

If I misunderstood your position, clarify that position.

If I understand your position, justify it: explain how the Bible doesn't clearly teach what mainstream Christianity has affirmed for literally centuries, and tell us what passages convinced you that a physical Resurrection is optional and the Atonement is mere imagery.


What I am asking is the beginning of PRECISELY what I requested earlier in this discussion.

"I would hope it goes without saying, but I would welcome Dan to correct any misunderstandings I have regarding the specific details of his religious beliefs -- for instance, his beliefs regarding supposed Old Testament atrocities, Pauline bigotry, or the inessential nature of both the Atonement and even the physical, historical Resurrection.

"If I understand these details of his beliefs correctly, and he objects to the conclusions I reach, he shouldn't simply tell us why I'm wrong: he should explain how the details of his beliefs could ever be the reasonable result of a good-faith attempt to conform one's worldview to the teachings of the Bible.
"

You clearly object to my conclusions, but you shouldn't stop there.

Assuming I correctly understand your positions, you should explain why I'm wrong about the conclusions I draw from them, by explaining precisely how what you believe could ever result from an honest attempt to follow the teachings of the Bible.

Bubba said...

Marshall, I know I've posted a lot of comments in a row, at least seven: Blogger is limiting character-length of individual comments, and I have a lot to say. Particularly in this case I think it's prudent to err on the side of being thorough rather than being brief.

THANK YOU for allowing this important digression to continue, and I apologize that my verbose style is dominating this discussion.


I'll be checking in when I can, and I do hope that Dan responds to my two 2-part questions. I would like to say two more things in the meantime, before my busy weekend.


First, Dan, you write the following two things about biblical clarity:

"I think it abundantly clear that [neither] the Bible nor God considers all homosexuality (or heterosexuality) abominable, since that is never stated in the Bible."

(I hope I'm not presumptuous in adding that "neither".)

"I think it clear that Christians who are to love their enemies have no business going around killing them - either on their own or as a gov't flunkee."

In the first statement, you put a whole lot of weight on the claim that the Bible doesn't condemn "all" homosexuality.

Let's ignore the veracity of that claim to note something about the second statement: the Bible NEVER, NOWHERE claims that "love your enemy" is incompatible with the use of lethal force.

(Feel free to prove me wrong on that.)

So, to support "gay marriage" but oppose lethal force, you're using two different standards.

If you EVER applied the standard you use on the subject of homosexuality to the question of lethal force -- i.e., look at what is explicitly stated but draw no further conclusions -- you would never be able to be able to say that the idea that charity precludes lethal force is a "clear" teaching from the Bible.

I'm going to guess that you think the prohibition of lethal force is a logical consequence of what the Bible teaches. I don't think it is, but you're being inconsistent if it's okay for you to use (as Craig puts it) "Reason and Logic" to reach conclusions re: war when you preclude our use of it to reach conclusions re: sodomy.

Pick a standard and stick with it.


The other simple point is that, as you can see from a quick glance at the six-point list I enumerated earlier, our disagreements are not simply over ethical commands: they're over claims regarding historical events and theological doctrine.

I suspect that one reason you diminish the importance of the Atonement is that it's useful to political progressivism to emphasize Christ's death as a politcial martyrdom supposedly caused by the threatened "powers that be," to the exclusion or de-emphasis of Christ's death as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, caused primarily by the gracious initiative of the Father and the Son.

It seems to me that, despite what the Bible clearly teaches, you do emphasize a political narrative for Christ's earthly ministry rather than a narrative of spiritual redemption -- where, i.e., Christ secured our forgiveness and eternal life.

Hence, even though Christ freed no prisoners and the Bible teaches that He died to free us from the bondage of sin, you insist on a literal interpretation of His sermon in Luke 4.

Even though all four Gospels are clear that Pilate thought Jesus was guilty of no crime, you portray His cleansing of the temple as an act of "illegal" civil disobedience.

And even though the Bible emphasizes that God the Father sent His Son to die for our sins, you frame His death as a mere martydom, the result of a mere political conspiracy.

All of this is a distortion from biblical Christianity, and a distortion that aids political progressivism: it's the same sort of approach that the so-called Christian Marxists employed.

The question of the Atonement is a crucial piece of evidence that you are subverting the faith for the sake of politics.

Marshall Art said...

"THANK YOU for allowing this important digression to continue, and I apologize that my verbose style is dominating this discussion."

I think you were just trying to secure the opportunity to log the 100th comment.

Seriously, I could listen all day. I find your arguments to be well constructed, logical and without gaping holes through which opponents can drive large vehicles. I sincerely believe you leave your opponents scrambling madly for rebuttals, but they're not prepared to concede as yet. That's natural. No one wants to be bested.

In addition, I find that your comments save me a lot of time trying to be as clear. And I'm always interested in seeing how your opponents respond. Keep up the good work, and let me know when you finally start up your own blog.

Mark said...

Bubba, let me add my thanks and appreciation for the much deserved smack-down of Dan and his illogical fallacies.

But really, you work too hard. Dan, being Dan, isn't really worth the trouble since he will never acknowledge he is wrong. About anything.

Look at his response to me, for instance. Here is what Dan essentially said:

God says homosexuality is an abomination, but God doesn't say homosexuality is an abomination. Actually, He blesses it, but He never said that, He just does.

Ok. Art, if Dan isn't an idiot, then he is mentally disturbed.

Craig said...

Bubba,

I also add my thanks for your cogent comments. I will suggest that it will be exceedingly difficult to get what you would consider an answer from Dan.

I also wish to place myself in the camp that would not consider Dan a heretic, apostate, or anything else. I would suggest that Dan is simply a theological liberal. No more no less. Dan has no problem with what scripture says, as long as he can define what he means. He sees no contradiction in using silence to ague for one thing and against another. He continually trots out the "the Bible doesn't use the word homosexuality" argument. As though a description of something isn't enough. Dan also seems ready to elevate (Dan's human) Reason and Logic to levels usually reserved for something a little more objective.

In short, Bubba, good luck.

Craig said...

OK, I'll throw this out for comments.

Humans:

Born sinless?
Born sinful?
Born Sinners?
Born with a sin nature?


Are we sinners because we sin, or do we sin because we're sinners?

Thoughts, comments.

Mark said...

I've always believed we are born in depravity. Whether that means we are born sinners or born with a sin nature, I don't know.

I've often wrestled with the problem of when newborn babies (or pre-born babies) die, do they go to Heaven? I would like to think they do, but on the other hand, if they are born sinners, and do not get the chance to repent, according to the Bible, they go to Hell. That possibility doesn't seem right or fair to me, but I'm not God. What seems right to me, may not be right at all.

This would not be a problem for Dan, as he simply would decide if it sounds right to him, it must be right, regardless of what God says.

Craig said...

Mark,

I agree that we are born in sin/depravity/with a sin nature/ whatever.

I also look to the story of David and Bathsheba's son who died as a clue that infants do go to heaven.

Dan, appears to be arguing that they go to heaven because they have no sin.

I would suggest, that their sin or lack thereof is irrelevant. They are judged according to an infinitely wise, just, and merciful God, who judges perfectly.

I just want to make sure that I'm not crazy.

Dan Trabue said...

Vacation is winding down and I will try to deal with some of these questions/misunderstandings/misrepresentations. But be patient please.

Allow me to demonstrate my problem. In the last few comments alone, we have multiple errors. For a sampling...

"Dan appears to be arguing that they go to heaven because they have no sin."

Let me say that I at least appreciate the more humble language ("Dan APPEARS to be saying..."). A little humility goes a long way.

Nonetheless, this is not true. I do NOT argue that since babies have not sinned they go to heaven. I have argued instead that the only way ANYONE gets to heaven is by God's grace.

What I have argued (and you all have mostly agreed) instead is that 1. infants don't sin, that 2. infants don't inherit guilt, and that 3. God does not "condemn" infants - and this one is a question that has gone unaddressed by some.

If God condemns infants (as Craig stated at my place), what does God condemn them for? In my pointing out the obvious (babies don't sin and are not guilty of anything) I am not "creating a third category of humanity," I am just stating what we already agree to. Why the chagrin and angst, then?

"This would not be a problem for Dan, as he simply would decide if it sounds right to him, it must be right, regardless of what God says."

Not true.

My process is simply not deciding what is right to me, then not caring what God thinks. If that were the case, I would not have changed my position on gay marriage. Instead, I sought God's will (even though MY inclination was to call it sinful) and had to change my position to align with what I think God wants.

The statement is simply and demonstrably untrue.

"I will suggest that it will be exceedingly difficult to get what you would consider an answer from Dan."

Not true.

I spend an awful lot of time attempting to answer your questions. Do I get to them all? No. Do you all get to all of my questions to you? No. The suggestion here is that I don't answer questions and this is not true. I may not answer them in a manner that pleases you, but I try awfully hard to answer your questions.

"Look at his response to me, for instance. Here is what Dan essentially said:

God says homosexuality is an abomination, but God doesn't say homosexuality is an abomination. Actually, He blesses it, but He never said that, He just does."


Not true. I have NOT said that God says homosexuality is an abomination. I have pointed out the FACT that the Bible says taht "men who lay with men" are abominable - as is eating shrimp and other ritual practices. The word "abominable" does not mean what you think it means.

Regardless, the point remains STILL untrue, no matter how many times the falsehood is stated.

"Dan, being Dan, isn't really worth the trouble since he will never acknowledge he is wrong. About anything."

Not true. Demonstrably not true. In our conversations amongst the community here, I would guess that I have apologized for misunderstandings more than anyone here. (Could be wrong - if so, I'd apologize - maybe someone HAS apologized more often than I have). Beyond that, as I have already demonstrated, I have admitted I was wrong in my position on gay marriage. I used to oppose it. I was wrong and have apologized for being wrong - in addition to how mean-spirited I was on the topic.

Demonstrably untrue.

Perhaps you can see my dilemma. Y'all are repeating falsehoods and misunderstandings faster than I can address them. What is a fella supposed to do?

While you ponder that, I have a question for you...

Dan Trabue said...

You have, for the most part, disagreed with my reasoning. You think that my approach to reading the Bible in an effort to prayerfully discern God's Will is wrong in some ways. And I think the same for you.

So far, so good.

For the most part, I don't believe you are condemning me of a sin, just for bad reasoning (although I think some of you are suggesting my reasoning is sinfully bad, perhaps).

But you have in your midst someone who has committed an egregious, disgusting sin and it has gone unaddressed, as far as I can see.

Most of you all (if not all of you) are aware of this, second hand, if not first hand. You are the ones I'm addressing.

One of your troup has committed two egregious sins on these pages. First, they have written pornographic descriptions on Marshall's blog of sex acts. This is bad enough, but for this sin, the person gave at least a half-hearted mealy-mouthed apology.

However, the GREATER sin has gone unapologized and apparently unrecognized. In writing his pornographic description, the person did so about a real person - someone he does not even know, but someone who is a living, breathing Christian sister, beloved of God.

The sinner used his words to undress this Beloved Sister and to then used his words to put her in sexual activities on these pages. Marshall, to his credit, removed the offensive language.

AND YET, the only sin apologized for and recognized is the pornographic description. He has NOT apologized to this sister for his literary sexual assault, for defaming her (pseudo) name, for his filthy, disgusting behavior towards HER. AND what is worse, not one single gentleman stepped up to condemn this sinner for this written assault.

I don't know what to do with that.

We have and will continue to disagree about our approach to the Bible and to seeking God's will and that is the way it goes. But to witness (or hear second hand) a report of such depravity and for it to go unacknowledged/undecried, well, that makes me question your collective moral reasoning ability.

Are you able to discern good from evil? Opinion from fact?

Your repeated misrepresentations/misunderstandings of what I have and haven't said is one thing - misunderstandings happen. But failing to recognize and oppose direct evil when it happens in your presence, what is a Christian brother to do with that?

You all ponder that for a while and if you have some answers, comments, feel free to make them.

I'll get around to the other line as I get a chance.

Mark said...

Dan, how is a description of an act that is blessed by God offensive? If it's not offensive to God, why would you be offended by it?

You are showing your hypocrisy.

Dan Trabue said...

As I said, he doesn't even apparently realize what he has done wrong. What are we to do with that?

Mark said...

And you don't seem to realize that you ARE wrong.

Give it up, Dan. Nobody agrees with you. Especially not God.

Dan Trabue said...

And on it goes. Will no one (besides me) stand up for decency in the face of such direct and unrepentant wickedness?

I can understand one fool not realizing the depth of his depravity. What is harder for me to reconcile is four - six others - all claiming Christianity - watching his parade of depravity in verbally sexually assaulting a Sister in Christ and doing nothing about it.

Mark said...

Stop avoiding the question, Dan.

Book, chapter, and verse where God blesses homosexuality. Tell us.

If you can show me where God says He blesses homosexuality, I'll apologize.

Mark said...

Oh, and, how can you say you stand up for decency when you support homosexuality?

Homosexuality isn't decent.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"not one single gentleman stepped up to condemn this sinner for this written assault."

My deleting of the comments in question is condemnation enough. You've done all you can to make more of this incident than it is. I'm guessing only you, Mark and I even know what the hell you're talking about. Personally, I don't buy your "outrage" over the incident at all. No one in their right mind would believe that Mark had any intention of "assaulting" your aunt, verbally or otherwise. Did you print out the comment to show her? Did you email it to her? Did you invite her to visit this blog to read it for herself? If so, you've done more to dishonor her than did Mark. If not, you've got no gripe. Mark's comment was a hypothetical based on a logical assumption of what might be a typical encounter for a lesbian couple. He didn't need to use your aunt as an example except for your purposeful use of her to further your unBiblical and unChristian support for a clearly prohibited behavior.

And here's the punchline: He would never have even used the graphic depiction if not for your constant avoidance of his line of questioning. He did so, wrongly, in a misguided attempt to provoke a long awaited answer. Had you debated honestly and courageously, his pornographic hypothetical would never have occurred.

So, having frustrated him to the point of his crime, you have elected to jump up and down demanding what you haven't got coming. Those on your side of the homosexual issue continue to berate us on this side for condemning homosexuals, which we have never done. Now, you insist we condemn Mark for the sake of someone who likely has no knowledge of this event, assuming you've not made her aware. I would wager that, unless your aunt is a goofy as yourself, that she would not take offense to the level you have. Reasonable people wouldn't.

Sure. Many would chaffe at Mark's use of such terms. But only you would pretend it's "an assault" on anyone to have written it. Get real. Who do you think you're kiddin'?

In addition, you have demanded a level of remorse for which you have no right to ask. You have placed yourself on par with the Almighty by demanding such before you deign forgive him. What Scripture states we are to put conditions on our debtors before we forgive? Perhaps he should kill a lamb without blemish on the altar of Dan? Get over yourself.

As I see it, he committed one mistake, that of the graphic depiction. For that he has apologized. At this point, you have shown no remorse for provoking it by the constant avoidance of his question. It's like he's the basketball player who gets T'd up for throwing the second punch. I'm the guy sitting in front of the tube who saw you throw the first one. Your cowardly dodging of the question started the whole thing.

"...verbally sexually assaulting a Sister in Christ..." my ass!

Dan Trabue said...

Those on your side of the homosexual issue continue to berate us on this side for condemning homosexuals, which we have never done.

No, just verbally rape them.

You have placed yourself on par with the Almighty by demanding such before you deign forgive him.

He verbally raped someone else. I can no more forgive him for that than if he actually raped someone and asked for my forgiveness. It's not mine to give, his assault wasn't on me.

I'm done here. Your apathy is disgusting. You all are moral illiterates and what's the point of discussing things on a rational basis with such?

If anyone wishes to stand with me against this sort of filth, please let me know and I'll be glad to continue the conversation elsewhere.

Craig said...

Dan

"I can no more forgive him for that than..."

"Love your enemies"

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."

"But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

"Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation."

"Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. "

So, Dan, this is how you follow Christ's teachings?

""I can no more forgive him for that than..."

Dan, you've clearly stated at my place that you have no moral objection to pornography so really your only complaint is that Mark used the name of a person you know.

At least two of us have said we don't agree with what Mark wrote. You keep bringing this back not us. Forgive and move on, you should try it it's incredibly liberating.

Mark said...

Just to clarify things, What I wrote isn't as obscene as many of the positions Dan takes in defending his bastardization of God's Word according to what he would rather God say instead of what God actually does say.

I used no obscene language or curse words at all.

Dan, by the way, has really gone around the bend now.

He agrees that Leviticus 18:22 says "You shall not lay with mankind as you lay with a woman. It is an abomination", and then immediately turns and says, God never said homosexuality is wrong.

It appears Dan is saying, "It is an abomination to God for two men to lie down together but not have sex, but He is all hunky dory if those same two men have homosexual sex with each other."

As I said, I guess homosexuals can only have sex while standing up or suspended from the rafters or something, because apparently, according to Dan, if they lie down while doing it, it is an abomination, but as long as they do it without lying down together, it is fine.

And, I'm still waiting for him to quote book, chapter, and verse wherein God blesses Homosexuality.

Then, he says, "If anyone wishes to stand with me against this sort of filth, please let me know and I'll be glad to continue the conversation elsewhere."

Here's a news flash for you, Dan:

Nobody is going to stand with you and defend the depravity of homosexuality. No one is going to agree with you that God blesses homosexuality. No one is going to stand with you and say Leviticus doesn't mean what it clearly means.

Now Dan says he's done, and how convenient is that? He runs away instead of answering the question posed to him because he doesn't have a answer. No where in God's Word does God say He blesses homosexuality, and Dan knows it, so he runs and hides like the coward he is.

Give it up, Dan. You've lost. Why don't you just admit you are wrong, and instead of defending sin and depravity, pray that your "aunt" repents of her perverse sinful behavior and return once more to her normal, natural heterosexuality? You know, the way she was born.

Marshall Art said...

Let's be entirely clear here. Obscenity is in the eyes of the beholder, but Mark, your deleted comments were indeed obscene and I don't intend to compare it to other comments since it is that one around which this discussion has digressed. The language was indeed obscene by virtue of the fact that it used no clinical versions of body parts described and was basically street talk about a sexual act. Few would NOT label it obscene, so let's not try to soft peddle it.

In addition, Dan has given no indication that his aunt engages in any sexual activity at all, hetero or lesbian, so for all we know at this point, she is a woman who prefers women but has never engaged in any sexual activity at all. That she has professed (apparently) a desire for and attraction to women, this makes her a lesbian because of her self-description. To engage in a lesbian encounter only confirms what she has proclaimed of herself. Thus, I disagree with your belief that until one engages in homosexual activity, one is not yet homosexual. In any case, God does not condemn homosexuality, but condemns homosexual activity.

Next,

Marshall Art said...

I believe that once again Dan is using this past transgression as an excuse to dodge the questions posed to him in this thread. This seems certain by virtue of the fact that, as Craig suggests, we didn't bring it up.

I stand by my previous comments that Dan has provoked the entire situation by his unwillingness to honestly answer tough questions put before him, and had he answered Mark's back then, Mark would not have offered the obscene hypothetical. One could argue that such was Dan's purpose all along; to speak of his beloved aunt in order to tempt an opponent into a rude remark so that he could divert the discussion from the tough questions at hand and then, like a good homosexual enabler, demonize the one who made the remark, and then all who won't pile on the remarker in equal outrage.

On some level we might wish to pity poor Dan. He claims to have been a conservative in the past. Like Bubba, I don't think he understands conservatism enough to make that claim, and likely was a cartoon conservative of the type most liberals believe conservatives to be. That is, an inaccurate understanding of what it means to be conservative.

Then, through some weird journey he is unable to explain to anyone, Dan then claims to have been transformed into a progressive Christian who now sees a sinful behavior as something God would bless. To support this he relies on the complete agenda of the homosexual movement, including the heretics that laughingly believe that somewhere between the lines, one can find God's approval for behaviors He has clearly prohibited in black and white. And when the gaping holes in the entire homosexual argument are so easily pointed out, be it the christian or secualar arguement, he finds himself backed in a corner and must resort to dishonest tactics to muddy and confuse the debate.

I don't envy him. To think you were right, and then find you were wrong, only to be wrong in another way must be horribly frustrating, especially after supporting family & congregational members who also believe and preach the lies. How tough it must be to imagine one might have to face loved ones with the news that one can no longer pretend to support Biblically prohibited behaviors.

Awkward to say the least. For it shows the true measure of his love for these sad and sorry people, that he'd rather be wrong than to offend them. He'll continue the charade and hope that he scores points with the Lord by treating sinners kindly.

Here's some news, Danny boy: We treat sinners kindly enough. We just won't tolerate their continued sinning. We won't pretend that it is OK as long as they believe everything else in Scripture. We won't ignore obvious Biblical teaching, pretending that "we don't see it that way" in order to remain on the best of terms and to be seen as Christian in the eyes of other equally spineless fakers.

You're always free to comment here, Dan. Just don't expect me to buy into your crap. "Verbal rape" is nonsense but never so much as here, since is was a hypothetical between men looking to find the truth. You played a definite part in the comments being made, as I have stated. You could have avoided all of it by merely saying, "I'm not sure how to answer your question just yet", but instead, you ducked it, tried to dismiss it.

Like the lies, distortions and falsehoods rife within the homosexual movement's argument, I am unconvinced that you are as shocked and outraged by Mark's comment as you claim.

Marshall Art said...

In addition, Dan. You certainly CAN forgive him his unfortunate comments since it was never meant to be read by your aunt, but to elicit answers from you that were not forthcoming. He did not "sin" against your aunt since the comment was a hypothetical not meant for her eyes, and did not suggest that she actually engages in such activity in the first place. So once again, you are faking outrage to dodge the issues to which you have no solid response. Now, you have also provided for an escape from Bubba's questions by your fake outrage. Good job.

Mark said...

Still awaiting Dan's answer: Cite book chapter and verse where God says he blesses homosexuality.

I still say it's the behavior that defines whether someone is homosexual or not. As I said, a woman who says she's a lesbian but doesn't engage in homosexual acts is really just a woman in comfortable shoes.

Feodor said...

Cite book, chapter, and verse where God condemns polygamy.

Or where God blesses the single life.

Or where God blesses the sterile marriage.

Or where God blesses adoption.

Or where God blesses separation from one's wife and children in order to prosecute a war.

Cite book, chapter, and verse where God blesses Mark kicking his own son out of his house while the guy is looking for work and came to Mark after researching where jobs are to be had.

Where does God bless a father who wont listen to his son but complains that his son wont listen to him?

"Take the log out of your own eye...

... he who casts the first stone."

You all condemn yourselves looking for verses to condemn others.

Mark said...

Obviously, you've been reading my blog, Feodor, but apparently you're lacking somewhat in reading comprehension.

I didn't kick my son out. He just couldn't stay with us, and I explained that in my post.

Why don't you follow your beloved leader's advice and keep kids out of the argument? Try, if you can, to have a little more class than Letterman.

Craig said...

Marshall,

Well said.

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

Try to stay on point. We're discussing the clearly stated prohibition against homosexual behavior. Your propensity for bringing unrelated topics to muddy the waters is tiring and does not help anyone on either side of the issue.

Feodor said...

Marshall,

When you imprison the Gospel in what you want it to say...

... it will say what you want you want to hear.


I'm just pointing out how your proof text your own opinions.


Mark,

You posted on your son. And you clearly point out your refusal to try to understand him at a difficult time. This is not a joke and I did not make it up. You're hoisted on your own petard.

Edwin Drood said...

Feodor, that still makes no sense. It's like your trying to call Mark a hypocrite? Is Mark a single, gay, married former President who doesn't get along with his son?

That makes no sense because the last President to even have a son was George H. Bush. Not Mark.

Edwin Drood said...

Maybe your just trying to say that homosexuality forces people to adopt, then be single, then stop sleeping with the man-wife then become President, start a war and then kick your son out. All this could be avoided if mainstream religion would just accept gays.

If that's were you coming from I can totally see your point.

Mark said...

Feodor.

"You posted on your son. And you clearly point out your refusal to try to understand him at a difficult time."

Since I wrote that post over a week ago, I had to go back and read it again to see what you're talking about. After reading it, I still don't see what you're talking about.

I never said I refused to try to understand him. I said he doesn't listen to me. I am over 30 years older than him and I have tried to impart to him the benefit of my knowledge and experience, and just like all young people (you included) He thinks he knows it all, and won't listen.

I understand him because I've been where he is. I've lived what he's going through. If he'd listen to me, he would be much better off. I have 4 other children, and I have 6 grandchildren. Whatever their situation, I've been there.

You have absolutely no right to analyze me or my kids. Lay off.

Marshall Art said...

"When you imprison the Gospel in what you want it to say...

... it will say what you want you want to hear."


I guess that's true for fools like yourself, Feo. Unlike fools like yourself, I don't "imprison" the Gospel in any way due to the fact that I only want it to say what It expects me to hear. This is very liberating for me as I am left without the requirement of justifying foolishness and false interpretations.

Feodor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feodor said...

No, Marshall, I've rethought this. I was too harsh.

I shouldn't say your heart is so small, and, in fact, I don't think it fundamentally has to do with your passion at all.

Your desire to know the truth is steadfast.

But your vision, in this case, is too short.

You leave out two other transcendentals because our culture, with its Protestant legacy and anti-intellectual popular culture doesn't respect them and cannot teach them.

You pursue the truth, but you do so in the absence of two other "qualities" of godliness: the good and the beautiful.

Your heart is strong, but your vision is nearsighted.

Marshall Art said...

My heart only seems small to those like yourself with small intellects. As I am fine with being a prisoner to the Word, you're a slave to the world. As such you're incapable of knowing the difference. Humble yourself and you might gain understanding.

Feodor said...

In other words, you are doctrinally deprived.

You focus on Atonement, and only a particular version of it at that, but fail to hold it in balance with other doctrines, like Creation and the Incarnation.

Though we live in a fallen world and inherit our fallen context, we are still first -- and primarily -- God's creation. Otherwise, we are not worth redemption.

But we are, and as such, we are a good. Not The Good, but a good -- and that has not changed. So we are also interdependent and co-inheritors with all the rest of creation, the cosmos, and we participate with the rest in the history of redemption.

We are also, now, made more glorious by Christ's act of taking on human nature, clothing himself, the Son of God, in us. This must mean that we very valuable indeed and meant to return to full communion with God, and, indeed, as Christ represents God to us and also represents human nature in heaven, we are capable of approaching full communion with God via Christ's work and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

None of this indicates that we are guilty worms, depraved, under divine wrath except for the staving arm of Christ who holds back just destruction.

Because of our good and glorious capacities as made by God and enriched by Christ's indwelling, we have come to see single-hood as capable of truly fulfilling a godly life.

We have come to see a marriage as itself -- regardless of issue -- as a sacrament of communion with God.

We have come to see adoption as a deep, spiritual act of love and a demonstration of the expanding capacity of love

And we come to see sacrifice for others that may necessitate the undesired sacrifice of one's own family as a noble act that represents the value of community in tension with the value of kin.

That is where you were a monocle built for you in the last four hundred years in a very small part of the world.

You wear it well, but you're missing nine tenths of God's glory.

And we are finally coming to see that gay and lesbian people, as they live their modern lives in full commitment to God, church, community and the world, are fully in-dwelt by Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Your monocle has the, mostly, unintended effect of making you a silent collaborator with hate and ungodliness.

Because you cannot see, well enough, Godly beauty in the world -- recognized in much of Christian theology that you were not taught and will not pay attention to.

Bubba said...

I apparently picked the wrong weekend to be away from the computer...

There are a few digressions here -- some more interesting than others -- that I personally would like to set aside in order to focus on the subject on which I've already written numerous, lengthy comments.

Namely, my strong disagreements with and criticism of Dan Trabue. I believe that, while he takes great pains to stay within the minimal boundaries of creedal orthodoxy, he frequently rejects the clear teachings of the Bible, and I believe his efforts are an obvious attempt to subvert the Christian faith, to make it both inoffensive to pluralists and useful to his radical agenda of political progressivism.

This criticism arose, in this particular thread, when I criticized Dan for his apparent hypocrisy: he accused political conservatives of frequent dishonesty, and I believe Dan is frequently guilty of his own hypocrisy and dishonesty. Among the evidence I produced to substantiate that charge is this: his stated love and esteem for the Bible appears inconsistent with his apparent contempt for much of what the Bible teaches.

I first focused on his apparent belief that the Bible's account of THE PASSOVER is historically inaccurate, and his comment here that there are biblical teachings that "contrary" to its "greater teachings."

On June 8th, I listed six topics where Dan seems to demonstrate contempt for what the Bible actually teaches -- beyond his using extra-biblical and anti-biblical assumptions to argue against the Bible's occasional and specific commands to wage wars of annihilation.

That list included Dan's rejection of THE PASSOVER as historically inaccurate, the denigration of the Virgin Birth as extra-biblical, the denigration of the Atonement as mere imagery, the belief that Paul's letters contain bigotry or mysoginy, and -- what is most troubling -- the apparent rejection of a historical and bodily Resurrection as an essential Christian doctrine.

I understand that Dan was on vacation around this time, but particularly once I posted this list and then explained my belief that Dan's subverting the Christian faith, Dan has largely shut the conversation down.

It appears that Dan has not been eager to address these subjects thoroughly and in a timely manner -- either to correct any misunderstandings I might have, or to explain why these beliefs aren't substantial deviations from the Bible's clear teachings, which would constitute a response I explicitly requested.

"If I understand these details of his beliefs correctly, and he objects to the conclusions I reach, he shouldn't simply tell us why I'm wrong: he should explain how the details of his beliefs could ever be the reasonable result of a good-faith attempt to conform one's worldview to the teachings of the Bible."

When Dan returned to the discussion on June 11th, he accused us of having a spirit of Inquisition and then posted a list of orthodox beliefs of his. I pointed out that those were beliefs which I DID NOT question and which DOES NOT clarify his position on the topics I raised, specifically the necessity of a physical Resurrection, and the Atonement.

[to be continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan responded that he would like to focus on one topic at a time, and the first topic was about NOTHING that I wrote: instead, it was a call for me to criticize something Mark wrote in this thred -- Mark's accusation that Dan is a heretic.

I asked Dan to clarify what he thinks qualifies as heresy, and after he answered that, he produced vague claims about how he had to change his politics to fit his faith, and how he's trying to follow Christ alone and seek God's Truth, NONE of which is made plausible with details, and NONE of which addresses the details of my criticism.

On Friday, June 12th, I responded at length.

First, I dispatched the digression concerning Mark's charge of heresy. I made clear that I'm not sure Dan's guilty of heresy or apostasy, but I also noted that, according to Dan's own standards, his position does arguably qualify as heresy, either regarding his endorsement of homosexuality or (MUCH more likely) his apparent attempts to undermine the authority of Scripture and the reality of the Atonement.

I move on to argue that his claim about his politics being guided by his religious beliefs is frankly too vague to be convincing, and I noted that he didn't substantiate his claim to follow the Bible's "clear teachings" in light of his stated positions on subjects like the Atonement.

I then asked him 2 two-part questions, each a yes-or-no question with a follow-up requesting a scriptural basis for his position.


Question 1-a. Yes or no, do you believe that the bodily and historical Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an essential doctrine of Christianity?

Question 1-b. If not, why not?

("That is to say, do you believe that I Cor 15 is unclear? Do you disagree with what I believe is its clear meaning? Or can you point to any passages that would justify your earlier position, 'I and my company are not of the sort that insist upon a literal interpretation of the Creation or even the Resurrection story'?")

Question 2-a. Yes or no, do you believe that the Atonement is a true and essential doctrine of Christianity, not to be treated as either inessential or as mere imagery?

Question 2-b. If not, why not?


I made clear that these weren't new questions, but rather the beginning of a restatement of an earlier request for an explanation for "how the details of his beliefs could ever be the reasonable result of a good-faith attempt to conform one's worldview to the teachings of the Bible."

How does Dan respond on Saturday?

First, he replies, NOT to me and my lengthy comment in seven parts, but to the "multiple errors" made by others, to Craig's comment about the spiritual destination for humans who die infancy, and to Mark's comment that Dan decides issues on his own rather than by submitting to God.

"My process is simply not deciding what is right to me, then not caring what God thinks. If that were the case, I would not have changed my position on gay marriage. Instead, I sought God's will (even though MY inclination was to call it sinful) and had to change my position to align with what I think God wants."

Notice here that, as usual, Dan does not even begin to describe what SPECIFICALLY convinced him that "God wants" homosexual behavior to be endorsed and embraced.

He calls Mark's comment "demonstrably untrue." It well may be, but Dan hasn't actually demonstrated what he thinks can be demonstrated.

[more to come]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan then criticizes Craig's stated belief that it would be difficult to get any substantive answers from Dan.

"I spend an awful lot of time attempting to answer your questions. Do I get to them all? No. Do you all get to all of my questions to you? No. The suggestion here is that I don't answer questions and this is not true. I may not answer them in a manner that pleases you, but I try awfully hard to answer your questions."

After responding to a couple other "demonstrably untrue" falsehoods -- NONE of which were comments of mine -- Dan immediately shows just how "awfully hard" he works to answer our questions with his digression about Mark's comments (ELSEWHERE) about his aunt.

Dan writes that four or six of us here are guilty of "failing to recognize and oppose direct evil when it happens in your presence."

Sunday, in what appears to be his last comment in this thread, Dan denounces all of us for not doing enough to repudiate Mark for his comment that has since been deleted, which was made in some other thread.

"I'm done here. Your apathy is disgusting. You all are moral illiterates and what's the point of discussing things on a rational basis with such?

"If anyone wishes to stand with me against this sort of filth, please let me know and I'll be glad to continue the conversation elsewhere."


I would ask everyone to consider the chronology here.

Look how long ago I first listed -- in detail and with substantiating links -- six areas where I think Dan's position deviates significantly from the clear teachings of the Bible.

Look how I reduced this point to just two of those areas and asked two very clear two-part questions, questions that should be easy to answer, with a "yes" or with a "no" that should be easily justified by specific appeals to Scripture IF Dan's beliefs are as biblically rooted as he would have us believe.

Look at what Dan does in the meantime.

Does he EVER address these issues in detail? No, he does not. When he does address my criticisms, he does so with vague claims that are never substantiated.

And he rarely does even that, because he's too busy making us jump through hoops distancing ourselves from Mark's comments -- not only Mark's comments here BUT ELSEWHERE AS WELL. He's putting up roadblocks, supposedly responding to a discussion where there's already too much going on, by bringing in irrelevant topics on top of it all.

To say the least, this conversation hasn't been a shining example of a willingness on Dan's part to clarify, explain, and substantiate what he actually believes.

Having reviewed the difficulties I have had getting clear answers from Dan, I would like to say that I'm not sure there's much point in continuing to try to get straight answers.

With all the links to earlier conversations and summaries of just how deep his unbiblical belief system goes, I have felt that this is really something of a "closing argument" documenting and demonstrating for all time Dan's aberrant beliefs and my conclusions that his behavior isn't just contrary to what the Bible teaches, it's positively subversive.

But I would like to see if Dan can and will answer the questions I've raised, and I will offer a way forward momentarily.

Mark said...

Keep trying, Bubba, it took me about 4 months to get him to finally answer one simple yes or no question.

The question was, Does Leviticus say, "You shall not lay with mankind as you do with a woman. It is an abomination?"

Finally, after months of goading him to respond to the question, he acknowledged that Leviticus does indeed say that, but then, incredibly, he went on to say God never said homosexuality is an abomination. Now, that raises the question of exactly what does Dan think God meant by those words.

He will most likely dodge that question, too, as he dodges the request to cite Book, chapter, and verse wherein God blesses Homosexuality.

But keep trying, Bubba. Perhaps he will eventually answer one of your questions. It is a matter of patience. Infinite patience.

Bubba said...

Mark, at some point I'm not going to keep trying, just as I've already passed the point where I'm willing to give Dan any benefit of the doubt.

I have my own horror stories about how long it's taken Dan to answer a specific question. Getting him to confirm that he rejects the historicity of the Passover, just as he rejects Numbers 16, was like pulling teeth.

Dan still hasn't gone into any detail about the claim that he and his "company" don't insist on a literal interpretation EVEN regarding the Resurrection.

What gets me isn't just that, it's the fact that, if you ever do get Dan to admit a fact that is inconvenient to his worldview, he refuses to account for that fact. I repeatedly asked Dan what the Bible says about why we were created male and female, and when he finally answered...

"'For this reason' a man will leave his parents - to be married with a woman."

...he went into talking about what the Bible doesn't say, arguing that there's room to believe that "gay marriage" is a wonderful and blessed thing for gay folk.

He never applied what he just admitted, so I made the application explicit:

"A homosexual man is still a man, and the Bible teaches that he was made male so that he will, as you put it, leave his parents - to be married with a woman.

"A homosexual woman is still a woman, and the Bible teaches that she was made female to be married with a man.
"

He responded by shutting down that particular conversation...

"Okay.

"Still, I disagree with your position. You don't convince me.

"Thanks for explaining your position, though, and listening to mine, and doing so politely.
"

...and it's unclear whether Dan will ever acknowledge the inevitable logical consequence of what he admits, that the Bible teaches that we were made male and female so a man will become one flesh with his wife.


Similarly, Dan argues that Christ's sermon in Luke 4 requires a literal interpretation, and I provided an extensive list of reasons why that's not plausible, beginning with the fact that Jesus didn't free any prisoners.

Rather than argue against that list, he once again brushed off the argument...

"You're welcome to your hunch. I disagree and don't find your position on some of these questions to biblical or logical.

"Good luck with that.
"

...and is now, even as recently as this weekend, still invoking a literal interpretation of Luke 4 as a reason to support economic progressivism under the banner of "social justice," as if a solid argument against his literal interpretation has never been made.

It's creepy and even Orwellian, how he shoves inconvenient facts and arguments down the memory hole.

Bubba said...

Dan:

I hope you're still reading this. To make sure that you do, I will probably add an off-topic comment to your blog, pointing to this thread.

Let me make myself absolutely clear that I do not know what Mark wrote. I have seen you reference that apparently obscene comment elsewhere. I gather that the comment has something to do with your aunt and her sexual orientation, and I take it that Marshall has since deleted it as obscene.

That Marshall has deleted the comment is reason enough for me to be pretty confident that it should have been deleted.

But that you denounce the comment as "verbal rape" and "verbal sexual assault," frankly means very little to me, Dan, since you wrongly slandered me of a "digital lynching" for criticizing the hateful conspiracy-mongering of Jeremiah Wright. Since I know you're capable of some pretty foul hyperbole, I'm not willing to take it on faith that your condemnation of Mark's comment isn't also over-the-top.

I will not criticize a comment, sight-unseen.

I cannot understand why you would demand people here to criticize a comment that you know they haven't personally read. You admit that most of us "are aware of this, second hand, if not first hand."

If we're not first-hand witnesses of this supposed verbal assualt, I don't know why anyone would demand that we denounce it.

I'll remind you that, even when you could see his congregation's raucous approval and even after we substantiated the racist roots of his black-liberation theology, you STILL couldn't conclude that Jeremiah Wright's racist hate speech was almost certainly the norm. Because you hadn't seen a large sample of his sermons, you give him the benefit of the doubt that those few comments were exceptional.

If you needed more direct evidence to criticize Wright as a consistent hate-monger, it is hypocritical to demand that we condemn Mark for his comment, sight-unseen.


I don't understand the demand, and I will not honor the request or even ask you to explain why you're making it.

I also take offense at your slander that we're all apathetic "moral illiterates," but I do not demand an apology for it, and I will not ask you to defend the charge.

I have NO IDEA what this issue has to do with anything, much less the substance of my criticism of your open defiance against what the Bible clearly teaches. Here too, I'm not interested in what excuses you have for why you think I should conduct an Inquisition against Mark before we can continue our discussion.

I'm ONLY interested in the questions I asked you, and your answers to them.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan, I listed six areas where I think you deviate wildly from what the Bible clearly teaches, and I asked you either to correct my misunderstanding of what you believe, or to provide a clear explanation for "how the details of [your] beliefs could ever be the reasonable result of a good-faith attempt to conform one's worldview to the teachings of the Bible."

I have since reduced that request to 2 two-part questions about your stated beliefs regarding the Atonement and the necessity of a historical and bodily Resurrection: each question begins with a simple yes-or-no question which then is followed up with a request for an elaboration about what you believe, including scriptural support for your position.

Dan, I want you to start answering my questions, sooner rather than later, and with specific explanations rather than vague generalities.

If you deign to do so here, great. If you want to start a new topic at your own blog, you can do that, too.

If you have relevant preconditions before you will answer these questions, make those preconditions clear -- ALL OF THEM -- and I will address them. If I do not believe a particular condition is relevant or necessary, I'll explain why.

And once I have jumped over this last, most recent set of hurdles, stop presenting any more obstacles, and start answering the questions.


The questions aren't personal or inappropriate, so if your beliefs really are as deeply rooted in the Bible as you claim, you should be able to answer them, promptly and easily.

And if your beliefs really are biblical, you should have every reason to answer these questions and show us how you reached those beliefs. If we're honest and open-minded, a good argument for your position would cause us to reevaluate what we believe and maybe even join you in your beliefs. If we don't, it would indicate that we don't really argue in good faith like we claim.

You have every reason to answer my questions.

I'm fine if you don't answer them, and in fact I think I've given you more than enough opportunities either to correct the record or to justify what it is you believe.

This is just another opportunity to move this conversation forward.

Dan Trabue said...

I have been asked to reconsider abandoning you all. I am considering it.

In the meantime, while nearly all of the dozens of questions to me and misrepresentations about my positions have been answered, there are at least a couple that I will admit remain unclear. I will at least answer Bubba's two "big" questions.

I will note though, that for the most part, you all misunderstand and misrepresent me and people like me. So, as a general rule, I would suggest when someone you're disagreeing with says A, that you all really, really should not assume that "By A, he must also mean B, and possibly C!!" You all have a tremendously horrible track record of drawing incorrect conclusions about our positions.

Now, having said that, Bubba asked...

Question 1-a. Yes or no, do you believe that the bodily and historical Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an essential doctrine of Christianity?

Question 1-b. If not, why not?


It is my position that the bodily and historic Resurrection of Jesus is indeed an essential doctrine of Christianity. The confusion on this part came out when I stated...

"I and my company are not of the sort that insist upon a literal interpretation of the Creation or even the Resurrection story. I believe in faith the resurrection story, but it is not the sum total of my belief. IF someone could somehow prove that Jesus was never resurrected, it would not mean the end of my following the teachings of Jesus."

THIS would be a case in point: Do not presume to make point B off my stated position A. I stated A (I would continue to be a Christian EVEN IF it could be proven that Jesus did not raise from the dead). I DID NOT STATE B (I reject the Resurrection as an essential doctrine of Christianity).

At least on this point, though, I can understand the confusion and am glad to clear it up. In case you miss it, then, my point in my comment above is that I WOULD NOT LEAVE MY FAITH IN JESUS THE CHRIST even if it were proven that he did not raise from the dead.

That, at least to me, demonstrates an even stronger faith/trust in Jesus than someone whose faith would be shattered by such a revelation.

Regardless, indeed, the Resurrection is a central tenet of Christianity. A point which I affirm.

More...

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba also asked:

Question 2-a. Yes or no, do you believe that the Atonement is a true and essential doctrine of Christianity, not to be treated as either inessential or as mere imagery?

Question 2-b. If not, why not?


1. I believe that the Atonement is one true and biblical way our salvation is discussed in the Bible. BECAUSE I VALUE THE BIBLE and take it seriously, I acknowledge that it is not the only way the Bible talks of salvation, but it is one way and I do not discount it.

2. My understanding of the Gospel and my preferred way of explaining it to a modern audience is...

a. We are saved by God's grace (it is a gift of God);
b. We are saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus (God's son);
c. We are saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus, the Christ, who was killed on the cross and who rose from the dead;
d. We are saved by God's grace because we are sinners in need of salvation; we are imperfect human beings and yet we long for our Creator as God longs for us;
e. Because we are sinners, we ought repent for our sins and follow in Jesus' steps, heeding Jesus' teachings - it is the Good and Right way to live;
f. Merely believing in Jesus (that he was the son of God who died and rose again) is not salvation, but agreeing with Jesus and following in his steps, that is where God's grace lies;

Or words to that effect. All of which are entirely biblical and wholesome and Christian...

More...

Dan Trabue said...

3. I have stated in the past that I think the Atonement model has more meaning for some people than others and that's fine.

a. I'm thinking of how I used to be rather anti-Catholic and opposed to their teachings - especially the teaching of doing penance. "What's up with that!?" I thought. "How unbiblical!"

b. Then I saw the movie, "The Mission" about a slave trader in Central America in the 1600s and his salvation. In the story, this horrible sinner/slave trader/murderer eventually feels remorse for at least one of his crimes and he withdraws to a church, quits eating and waits for death. One of the priests who works with the Indians (and who'd been greatly opposed to the slave trader, of course) comes to visit him to ask him to repent and be saved. The slave trader says, "What's the use? There is no penance I could do to make things right! I'm doomed! I'm a worm!"

The priest suggests that this warrior/slave trader pack up his weapons of war on his back (a great load) and travel UP the perilous mountain path to visit the Indians who'd been his victims and THAT would be a just penance and he could be saved. The slave trader agrees.

He struggles and barely makes it to the top. The indians see him and one runs and puts his knife to the hated slave trader's throat. The slave trader awaits his death, but the (newly Christian) indian chief orders the knife holder to insteat cut loose the pack of weapons and armor the slave trader had carried up, and it fell loose down the mountain into the river.

c. What a beautiful story of repentance and salvation! While I had disliked the notion of Penance because I did not find it biblical, I could see clearly that in some instances - while it may not be a wholly accurate way of describing God's grace from a biblical point of view - that it truly helps people to see God's grace and salvation.

d. The various doctrines of Atonement are sort of like that for me. I acknowledge it's a biblical and sometimes helpful way of describing God's grace, but I don't think it's the only way of talking about our salvation and God's grace.

e. I DON'T think Atonement is some magic/alchemic formula where our sin + Jesus' literal shed blood = POOF! Magic salvation!! The atonement is a metaphorical way of describing salvation by God's grace. Just as the shedding of the blood of a lamb could wipe away a specific sin for the Jews, so too, Jesus' life, work, death and resurrection are a testimony to God's loving grace bestowed upon us. But it was not the "magic" of shedding of blood that "MADE" God forgive Jewish followers - rather it was and always has been God's grace. God's grace is not replaced or inferior to Jesus' literal blood. Rather, Jesus life and sacrifice shows us the way to grace and salvation.

It is a metaphor, not a magic formula.

If we disagree somewhere, it may be there. Some seem to treat the atonement as magic, rather than metaphor. If our salvation required Jesus' actual blood (ie, God said, I won't forgive anyone unless I can wipe Jesus' blood symbolically upon their sins), then that would seem to me to demean God's Grace.

We are saved by God's glorious grace!

Bubba said...

Dan, I quite sincerely appreciate your answers, but I'm not sure I understand them in their entirety.


On the question of whether the historical and bodily Resurrection is an essential doctrine of Christianity, I drew the conclusion I did because of both claims you wrote in that earlier thread: it's not only that you would still consider yourself a Christian if Christ was not raised, but also that you and your "company" (whoever that is) don't insist upon a literal interpretation of the Resurrection.

That second claim seems to imply that -- beyond any hypothetical evidence that Jesus is still a corpse -- you already believe that a figurative interpretation of the Resurrection is valid within the Christian faith.

True, you did not state, "I reject the Resurrection as an essential doctrine of Christianity."

You also didn't state that you reject a historical and bodily Resurrection as an essential doctrine -- which is what I'm really asking about -- but it seems valid and even inexorable to draw that conclusion if you write that you don't "insist" upon a literal interpretation of the Resurrection.


Even ignoring that claim about insisting a literal interpretation, I don't see a consistent answer. On the one hand you write that you affirm the claim of a historical and bodily Resurrection as essential...

"It is my position that the bodily and historic Resurrection of Jesus is indeed an essential doctrine of Christianity."

...but you continue to act as if dropping that doctrine wouldn't really affect your faith.

"In case you miss it, then, my point in my comment above is that I WOULD NOT LEAVE MY FAITH IN JESUS THE CHRIST even if it were proven that he did not raise from the dead."

If decisive proof against the historical and bodily Resurrection wouldn't cause you to abandon your Christian faith, I don't know in what POSSIBLE sense the doctrine could be considered essential.

In affirming that the doctrine is essential, you imply that it cannot be abandoned, but then you act as if abandoning it really wouldn't change anything.


As an aside, you write:

"That, at least to me, demonstrates an even stronger faith/trust in Jesus than someone whose faith would be shattered by such a revelation."

Since Paul wrote that, if Christ wasn't raised, we would be dead in our sins and our faith would be in vain, it seems to me that you think your faith is greater than Paul's because you disagree on the catastrophic consequences of their not being a historical and physical Resurrection.

And I wonder, just why would you continue to trust Jesus if Jesus is still dead?

Beyond the implications that that would have for the doctrine of the Incarnation and even our own afterlife, the Gospels record that Jesus repeatedly promised and prophisied His own Resurrection.

How could one trust that Jesus is who He said He is, if He didn't do what He promised to do?

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued from above]

About the Atonement, I notice that you list how you would explain the Gospel to a modern audience, and that your explanation includes both salvation by God's grace and a mention of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ...

"We are saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus, the Christ, who was killed on the cross and who rose from the dead;"

...but you don't connect them causally, to assert that His death and resurrection are the grounds on which God's grace saves us.

Do you deny any actual causal relationship between His death and our salvation? It certainly looks like you do.

(You also don't mention forgiveness explicitly, and I wonder whether the comment that "agreeing with Jesus and following in his steps, that is where God's grace lies" is compatible with Paul's clear teaching that salvation is through faith alone, without works of the law.)

About the Atonement, you create this false dichotomy between it being "magic" on the one hand or metaphor on the other, and I don't think that's fair.

But when you refer to the Atonement as a metaphor (metaphor for what, exactly?), and only as a "way our salvation is discussed in the Bible" or a "helpful way of describing God's grace" or as a "model" that has meaning for some but not others, it appears that you're answering my second question in the negative.

It appears that you do not believe that the Atonement is a true and essential doctrine, instead you diminish it as imagery -- or, per your last comment, mere metaphor.


You write:

"If our salvation required Jesus' actual blood (ie, God said, I won't forgive anyone unless I can wipe Jesus' blood symbolically upon their sins), then that would seem to me to demean God's Grace."

I take the exact opposite position, that grace without atonement is what's demeaning to God, whose holiness requires that the penalty of sin be paid: if God Incarnate did not pay that penalty for us, then who does? If the penalty goes unpaid, then in what sense is God holy?


I do appreciate the answers, Dan, but they raise more questions, so I have a few follow-up questions, if you don't mind.

1-1) Do you stand by your earlier statement that you don't insist on a literal interpretation of the Resurrection? If so, in what sense is a physical, historical Resurrection an essential doctrine?

1-2) In what sense is a physical, historical Resurrection an essential doctrine, if your faith can survive quite intact without it?

After your position is clarified a bit further, it might be time to ask again for Scriptural support for your position.

2-1) If you believe that the Atonement is a mere metaphor rather than the reality, how does the penalty for our sins get paid, or do they go unpunished?

2-2) Why did the Father refuse Christ's request in the garden for the cup of His death to pass over, if His death didn't actually accomplish anything other than serve as a metaphor or illustration?

2-3) Finally, how do you justify from Scripture the position that the Atonement is merely a metaphor? What passages teach this?

I know one answer you've given before, is that Atonement -- and the cross, and Christ's blood -- isn't mentioned everytime salvation is discussed. That would raise the question, is God's grace universally invoked in biblical discussions of salvation? If it's not, and if you still think God's grace is essential to salvation but Christ's cross is not, you'd have to explain why.

Bubba said...

As a brief aside, Dan continued the subject of Mark's apparently egregious comment at his blog, after I pointed out my reply here and asked that we move past the irrelevant distractions.

I believe it's more appropriate to respond here than at his blog, where my original comment was off-topic.

--

Dan, you write:

"I will note that I do NOT consider it a digression or irrelevant at all. A commenter committed a horrific sin towards someone he does not even know and, not only did not repent of the sin, no one else would denounce the sin as such.

"It appears that you all truly do not recognize the action as a sin (and I hear that you were not present at the original now-removed comment, but I've described the gist of the comment far enough that it should be clear to you what the sin was). The fact that no one among you even RECOGNIZE the sin as such, when it is so horribly obvious, well, I don't know what to do with that.

"It makes me doubt your ability to make morally sound judgments. IF you are unable to make even basic moral reasoning on an obvious offense, what makes me think that you are able to make sound moral judgments in other regards?
"

Mark's offense -- from a now-deleted comment in other thread, a comment I DID NOT PERSONALLY READ -- is only an "obvious offense" if your summary was accurate.

You write, "I've described the gist of the comment far enough that it should be clear to you what the sin was."

The problem is, Dan, I don't consider you trustworthy. I know for a fact that you engaged in slanderous hyperbole against ME when you threw around the accusation of "digital lynching" for an entirely reasonable criticism of Jeremiah Wright. I do not and will not trust your summary of another situation to determine that somebody else sinned egregiously and needs to be further rebuked.

You seem offended that, apropos of absolutely nothing, I didn't rebuke Mark for comments I don't directly know anything about. You seem further offended that I don't trust your description of events enough to rebuke him for something I STILL don't directly know anything about.

I don't always make the right call, but in this situation, I'm frankly not concerned that you question my moral judgement: what you're expecting is, under the circumstances, not the least bit reasonable.

If we want to go down this road, Dan, there have been occasions where those with whom you agree have said some pretty vicious things, and you not only fail to rebuke them, you actively thank and encourage them.

And, here, for all you write about how we're not supposed to shed innocent blood and how we're supposed to protect the vulnerable, the irony -- actually, the hypocrisy -- that is your support for the legal sanction of abortion is so thick that one can choke on it.

I don't think you have much room to question the moral judgment of others, so let's move past this whole rigmarole.

--

Moving past it, I would like to raise a question that I only asked in passing earlier today.

If the Atonement just a metaphor, what exactly is it a metaphor for?

Dismissing the doctrine as a metaphor, Dan, reminds me of your dismissing the difficult Old Testament passages by saying you don't interpret them literally.

Well, if you don't interpret them literally, you must interpret them figuratively, and so there must be a figurative meaning. You've never offered a figurative meaning, instead questioning the passage's veracity, authority, and authorship: it seems that, ultimately, you do read the passage as recording a literal event where God commanded wars of annihilation. You just don't trust the record as authoritative or accurate.

Here, too, if you think the Atonement is merely figurative -- specifically, a metaphor -- you beg the question, a metaphor for what?

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet" is a metaphor, for the fact that God's revealed word explains the world around the author, guides the his life, and instructs him on how to behave.

"The Lord is my shepherd" is a metaphor, for the fact God guides the author's life and provides for all his needs.

You write the atonement is "a metaphorical way of describing salvation by God's grace," but what does it describe about that salvation, specifically?

"Just as the shedding of the blood of a lamb could wipe away a specific sin for the Jews, so too, Jesus' life, work, death and resurrection are a testimony to God's loving grace bestowed upon us."

What sort of testimony is that, that God sent His Son to die a death that didn't actually accomplish anything itself?

"But it was not the 'magic' of shedding of blood that 'MADE' God forgive Jewish followers - rather it was and always has been God's grace. God's grace is not replaced or inferior to Jesus' literal blood. Rather, Jesus life and sacrifice shows us the way to grace and salvation."

And the way to grace and salvation is... what? Suffering a completely unecessary death that accomplished nothing other than serve as an illustration? How exactly does that address the problem of sin and even sinfulness?

To treat the Atonement as metaphor is, I think, to render the Crucifixion as an unecessary act, the consequences of which does extraordinarily great damage to what the Bible teaches about God's holiness, about the problem of sin, and even what Christ Himself taught when He instituted the Lord's Supper.

The Atonement can be misconstrued, certainly: God's wrath is holy and shouldn't be seen as capricious for instance. But even properly understood, it will offend modern ears, just as it has always offended people. Paul wrote that what we preach was a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks, even in the first century.

It has ever been thus.

And what do we preach? We preach Christ crucified. (I Cor 1:23)

The question isn't whether the doctrine of the Atonement is palatable to proud, sinful, self-righteous man, but whether it's true. To dismiss the doctrine as merely a way to discuss salvation, that's useful to some and not to others, is to treat it far more flippantly than the Bible warrants.

I welcome you to prove otherwise.

Feodor said...

Paul was not preaching God's wrath; Paul was preaching God's prodigal love, so prodigal that the deity took on human flesh.

This is the offense. Not wrath, not judgment, not penal substitionary atonement -- whatever that may be and whatever adolescent God one gets from it.

The offense is love.

That you put wrath at the center of the Gospel is the reason you embody the worst parts of the sixteenth century religious wars. In a perverse parallel to the Mennonites, you pick a past hermetic truth and get stuck in it.

Atonement in isolation -- without Creation and the Incarnation, especially when not preceded in primacy by those doctrines -- is a perversionary representation of God's love and the representative work of Christ's kenosis.

Bubba said...

I didn't mean to imply that I believe that God's wrath is "at the center" of the Gospel. I absolutely agree that love is central to the Gospel.

While God's wrath made the Atonement necessary for our salvation -- because anything less would not have satisfied His holy and just requirements for the penalty of sin -- God's love is the reason the Atonement was realized.

God hates sin so much that death is the only just penalty for sin.

But God loves us so much that He paid that penalty Himself -- as God Incarnate.

The Good News is that God loves us, but His love doesn't negate His righteous anger toward sin. In fact, He loves us so much that He refused to provide grace on the cheap, to provide a flippant forgiveness that didn't account for His own holy standards.

How this belief in the Atonement is isolated from the doctrine of the Creation or the Incarnation is beyond me: God sent His Son to die to save and redeem that which He created, and His saving work on the cross entails His becoming a man in the first place.

Feodor said...

No, God's wrath did not make the Atonement necessary. God's wrath is realized many times in relation to Israel and other nations as well.

God can take care of God's own wrath perfectly fine.

The problem was that experiencing God's wrath is not enough for creation to freely and perfectly choose the good. It is the trap between our free spiritual selves which want to choose the good and our selfish desires which, on occasion or many occasions, chooses to avoid or pollute the good.

To get out of this trap of fallenness, we needed to be brought into full communion with God as was always the plan. In the fulness of time, Christ put the plan into play and provided our liberation from the trap of never being able to approach the good, the beautiful, and the true.

This is the promise of our Creation made good in the Incarnation. But the environment into which we are born is so co-dependently wrong-wishing, wrong-thinking, and, hence, wrong being, that God redeemed human nature by providing a portal out of sinfulness and into real community with each other and with God.

At-one-ment. Christ brought human nature and God's nature into com-union in himself.

Punishment has nothing to do with it. God's punishments work just fine otherwise in the moral laws of human conscience and civilization.

Marshall Art said...

I've got responses coming, particularly for Feo and his goofiness, but it's way too late in wee hours now. Soon.

Hey Dan, if you want to see what REAL misrepresentations of another's position really looks like, check out Feodor.

Feodor said...

No need to respond, Marshall, just admit that you don't understand Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, ancient Greek Christianity that lived throughout the eastern Mediterranean and what we know now as the middle East, eastern Europe, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, India...

Oh, and reject much of pre-Tridentine Roman Catholicism.

Take your stand with hill and dale Western Calvinism from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Take your stand with Jonathan Edwards and his descendants throughout low-church
American protestantism.

Take your stand proudly and proclaim that you don't understand and don't appreciate historic and sacramental Christianity.

Tell us all that in your faith, the fathers of Christianity and the mothers of the faith, the saints of mystical and spiritual writings and deep penetrating theologies that see God living in contemporary culture of whatever time... tell us all these are not read, cannot be read, should not be read because they are way off track with all the liberal, Marxist thinking that existed in the 11th century.

It's as simple as that. Be an American in the worst way. You, particularly, don't even have to think to do so.

It's not misrepresentation when I show you the country in which your little town by the mill creek lies, and you are shocked at how different is all the other geography.

Mark said...

Feodor....naw....forget it. You aren't worth it.

Dan Trabue said...

I answer questions and get more questions.

Tell you what, I'll consider your follow up questions when I get some answers. Let's make this a two way, equal opportunity inquisition.

First, a situation:

Mr Smith is talking with Mr Jones. Smith mentions his beloved sister who is a Christian and who happens to be a lesbian.

Jones responds by saying, "A lesbian, huh? You know what she does at night, right? She [vulgar description of a sex act] and [another vulgar description of a sex act]!"

Smith is disgusted. Not only did Jones say this to Smith, but he announced it on a blog site, potentially for the whole world to see, specifically referencing Smith's sister.

It is Smith's contention that Jones has sinned egregiously. After some thinking about it, Jones apologized (half-apologized) for his vulgar descriptions of sex acts. Jones did NOT apologize - saw no need to apologize for - the attack upon his sister.

Smith contends that Jones sinned by...

* Slandering his sister, who Jones did not even know but saw fit to make up shit about ["Do not go about spreading slander among your people." Lev. 19, "you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat." 1 Cor 5]

* Lying about his sister ["Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies" Psalm 144]

* Being wrongly judgmental of a fellow believer ["Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand." Rom 14]

* Acting in an unloving and unforgiving manner ["People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good" 2 Tim 3]

* Being lewd ["For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'" Mark 7]

Now, by apologizing for using crude language, Jones sort of apologized for the lewd part. But just barely. He was lewd specifically about Ms Smith and so his apology for that needs to be specifically to her, Smith contends.

More...

Dan Trabue said...

Additionally, Jones behavior is especially egregious because...

1. Women have historically been an oppressed class, they have been treated as sexual toys for the use and abuse of men. This is an ongoing problem and by sexualizing Ms Smith, Jones contributed to this ugly sexist behavior;

2. Homosexuals have historically been an oppressed group. Even if you disagree with homosexual behavior, as Christians we are to love everyone and stand STRONGLY opposed to the oppression of "the least of these." By attacking with his words an innocent woman and lesbian, Jones has specifically joined in the oppression of folk who have been historically oppressed.

3. Since Christianity is especially concerned about being Christ with and to "the least of these," and with standing opposed to oppression - and since Jones is speaking his filthy language supposedly in defense of a Christian doctrine!! - his sin is especially egregious.

Smith contends that, in order for Jones to be restored to Christian fellowship, he ought to apologize for his sins - ALL his sins in this matter. Merely apologizing for using naughty language is a starting point, but it fails to address the worst part of his behavior.

Smith contends Jones needs to apologize specifically for slander, lying, failing to express Christian love and for taking part in the oppression of oppressed classes of people. Jones apology should be specifically to Ms Smith, and by extension, to women, to homosexuals and to the church at large, as well as to the owner of the blog where the slander, lies, lewd and ugly behavior were displayed.

"But," Jones sputters, "But Ms Smith never even SAW the comments in question!"

It doesn't matter, Smith contends. His sins were slander and lying and speaking lewd comments about someone he doesn't even know. The fact that she may not have seen the comments does not change the sin. Slander isn't slander IF AND ONLY IF the slandered sees the comments. Slander happens when people spread lies about someone. Jones has done that and specifically about Ms Smith, so Jones needs to apologize to Ms Smith, IF he is to be true to his faith.

"But," Jones sputters, "But, maybe she DOES behave in that way! If so, it wouldn't be slander!"

No, Smith replies. It is slander. Jones made shit up about someone he doesn't know and put those comments on a blog viewable by the whole world. If Smith says, "Jones is a heterosexual, so therefore he is probably [lewd description of sex act] up his [lewd description of body orifices]," Smith would be making shit up. That is called lying. He'd be spreading gossip (I left that out of the list of sins, that should be added!) about someone he doesn't know based on a stereotype (in that case, heterosexual males randomly engage in sex acts). For all Smith knows, Jones is celibate. It is simply not Smith's place to make up lewd descriptions of sex acts that Jones might be taking part in. This is what Jones has done.

Question 1: What sin(s) has Jones taken part in and to whom (if anyone) should Jones apologize for his behavior? If you contend that Jones has ONLY sinned by making lewd comments, why are you setting aside the sins of slander, lying, displaying no love, inappropriate judgmentalism, failing to love the Body of Christ and/or gossiping?

Question 2: What of all the bystanders who read these lewd comments by Jones and did nothing? Should they have stepped up and intervened on behalf of Christianity, on behalf of women, on behalf of lesbians and on behalf of Ms Smith? Why or why not?

While I'm considering your further questions and the wisdom of whether or not to bother revisiting and further clarifying these questions, you can respond to my questions.

And by your own words you can stand or fall.

[And, as an aside, Feodor did a very good job in responding to some of the comments!]

Dan Trabue said...

And this IS relevant insofar as it's a test to see if you all have sound moral reasoning capabilities. If I'm speaking to a group of amoral sociopaths (who do not understand basic concepts of right and wrong), then I'm wasting my time discussing right and wrong, it seems to me.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"I answer questions and get more questions."

The reason is, your answers were neither clear nor complete.

I asked if you believe that a historical and physical Resurrection is an essential doctrine, and while you say you do, you ALSO wrote that your faith would be intact if the doctrine was proven to be false. Because this answer is incoherent, I'm asking you to clarify it.

I also asked about the Atonement, asking if you affirm that it's true and more than mere imagery, and -- if you don't -- requesting that you give an explanation for why you don't.

"That is to say, do you believe that these numerous passages [regarding the Atonement] are unclear? Do you disagree with what I believe is their clear meaning? Or can you point to any passages that would justify your earlier position that the Atonement merely 'meant something' for first-century Jews, that it's a 'biblical thought' that's merely imagery and isn't a true description of the fact that Christ's death resulted in our forgiveness?"

You clearly treat the Atonement as merely a metaphor, but you didn't even begin to answer why you do, much less why you think the Bible justifies your position.

In reply to your inadequate answers, I did ask, just what is the Atonement a metaphor for if it is a metaphor.

But most of my follow-up questions aren't new questions: they're an attempt to get you to clarify your answers to the original questions.

I asked two two-part questions, each with a yes/no component and a follow-up that should be trivial for anyone whose beliefs really are the result of an attempt to conform to scripture.

For the first question, you gave an impossible "yes", where the details are wholly contradictory to that "yes."

For the second question, you provided not ONE SHRED of a beginning of an appeal to Scripture for your position that the Atonement is a mere metaphor.

So, for the most part, I'm not asking you new questions. I'm asking you answer the old questions properly.


Now, I already asked you to stop putting up additional roadblocks to our discussion: I asked if you had any other preconditions to continuing, that you list them -- all of them -- at the beginning so they can be dealt with, and so we can move on.

You're not doing that, but I'll address this issue (yet again) to see if what I have to say can possibly satisfy you, and I'll do so momentarily.

Bubba said...

Dan, I will say again that I do not know whether this hypothetical scenario between Smith and Jones is relevant BECAUSE I DO NOT DIRECTLY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT MARK SAID.

I don't know his original comment, so I can't say with any confidence what sins that comment entailed.

I've never seen his subsequent apology, so I can't say with any confidence whether his apology omitted any sins or failed to address all relevant parties.

I certainly am not going to take your description on faith BECAUSE I DO NOT TRUST YOU, DAN. I know for a fact that you slandered me when you accused me of a "digital lynching" in criticizing Jeremiah Wright, so I cannot trust that you're not engaging in slanderous hyperbole when you accuse Mark of verbal rape.

To expect someone like me to trust your second-hand account of what transpired and then rebuke Mark apropos of absolutely nothing, is to demand others to engage in gossip.


I don't know whether you hypothetical situation is an accurate analogue to what happened.

But I do believe that some of the points you're making are incongruous to your stated beliefs.

"Smith contends that Jones sinned by...

" * Slandering his sister, who Jones did not even know but saw fit to make up shit about ['Do not go about spreading slander among your people.' Lev. 19, 'you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.' 1 Cor 5]
"

Just what in the world are you doing citing Leviticus 19 as authoritative when you dismiss as irrelevant the prohibition of homosexual relations in both the previous chapter (18:22) AND the subsequent chapter (20:13)?

And what are you doing citing Paul's condemnation of slander in a list where he also condemns sexual immorality? We both know that Paul's idea of sexual immorality includes homosexual behavior (prominently, as in Romans 1), and you even dismiss Paul by writing that it is "doubtless" that he was a homophobe, mysoginist, or bigot?

When are you going to ask forgiveness for showing such consistent and flagrant disregard for Leviticus and for the teachings of Paul?

Or if you don't put much stock in the Torah and in the Pauline epistles, just what in the world are you doing invoking them to condemn Mark?


And, on the one hand, you condemn judgmentalism...

"* Being wrongly judgmental of a fellow believer ['Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.' Rom 14]"

(There's Romans, a book by that man who was "doubtless" a bigot, the Apostle Paul.)

...but you seem quite willing to judge Mark AND THOSE WHO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS DISPUTE, when none of us is your servant, either.

"Smith [Dan] contends Jones [Mark] needs to apologize specifically for slander, lying, failing to express Christian love and for taking part in the oppression of oppressed classes of people. Jones apology should be specifically to Ms Smith, and by extension, to women, to homosexuals and to the church at large, as well as to the owner of the blog where the slander, lies, lewd and ugly behavior were displayed."

You demand that Mark apologize for a number of specific sins, not only to Marshall and to your aunt, but to all women, to all homosexuals, and to all Christians.

And if he doesn't, you think even people who DID NOT read his original comment should rebuke him.

But you think Mark's uniquely guilty of being judgmental of a fellow believer.

That take chutzpah.

[continued]

Dan Trabue said...

Because Bubba is unclear on my questions, I will clear something up. Bubba said...

I will say again that I do not know whether this hypothetical scenario between Smith and Jones is relevant BECAUSE I DO NOT DIRECTLY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT MARK SAID.

If you will note, I'm asking your opinions on this THEORETICAL illustration. It has nothing to do with Mark. This is a theoretical situation I'm using to ascertain your moral reasoning abilities.

Clear? You don't have to know anything about anyone except the story provided. GIVEN THAT STORY, how do you answer the questions?

Bubba said...

If this is just a theoretical discussion, Dan, then it's precisely the sort of roadblock I specifically asked you to get out of the way before continuing this discussion.


[continued from above]

Dan, from the fact that Marshall deleted the comment, I trust that it should have been deleted.

I don't know how bad the comment was, and I don't know whether Mark sufficiently apologized.

If it was an especially egregious comment, and if Mark hasn't sufficiently apologized, then this is unfinished business that needs to be taken care of.

But I don't think you're doing the job in the fashion of a mature Christian.

I don't think you're in much position here to question anyone else's "sound moral reasoning capabilities," much less to suggest that any of us are amoral sociopaths.

You're invoking an irrelevant dispute between you and Mark to interrupt a completely valid discussion, further delaying a rigorous defense of your preposterous claim that your beliefs are evidence of an abiding respect for what the Bible clearly teaches.

It's funny: Mark has been addressing your comments in this thread and calling you an apostate since June 6th.

I gave my detailed list of your contentious beliefs on June 8th, and my two two-part questions on June 12th.

It was only AFTER those questions that you are now dredging up your older dispute with Mark -- first invoking that dispute on June 13th.

I QUESTION THE TIMING. If this issue was so important, I can't imagine why you didn't bring it up the moment Mark called you an apostate.

I think you're bringing up the issue now as a pure distraction, and there are far better ways for you to handle your apparent problems with him, than to oh-so-conveniently disrupt your dialogue with me.

Dan Trabue said...

Think what you will. I'm done jumping through your hoops. I'm saved by God's grace and am seeking to follow in Jesus' steps. I don't have much time or inclination to worry about Bubba's grace or following in Bubba's steps.

If you'd like me to answer more of your questions, you can answer more of mine first. Or not. I just don't much care, Bubba.

Bubba said...

My hoops? MY HOOPS?! That's pretty hilarious, coming from you.

Not to mention shameless.

The question is not and has never been whether you follow in my steps, but whether you follow the Bible. For the sake of your soul and your spiritual health, I hope you do, but whether you do is your concern: whether you claim to do so when your beliefs deviate so wildly from the Bible is an issue that you need to address.

The Bible not only teaches that we are saved by God's grace, but also through Christ's death -- the former being the cause of our salvation, the latter being the ground. If you reject the causal relationship between His cross and your salvation, while STILL claiming to love the Bible and respect its teachings, you present an incongruity that needs to be addressed.

"If you'd like me to answer more of your questions, you can answer more of mine first."

"More" of my questions, Dan? You didn't answer the first questions coherently and completely. I'm just trying to get you to CLARIFY those answers.

I have routinely addressed these irrelvant digressions in order to make some slow, almost imperceptible progress in finding out what it is you actually believe, and what determined that belief.

You have a nasty, extremely uncivil habit of making every substantive conservation an endurance test, to see if my exasperation can be induced before you actually have to say that one true fact about your beliefs that would be inconvenient to this little subversive game you play.


I'll answer your questions with as much incoherence and deliberate obfuscation as you answer mine.

What sins did that hypothetical man commit? The ones you listed, with some exceptions, against some people but certainly not every person in existence.

There. I answered your questions; the absence of an answer to your second question reflects the fact that you never explained why you think the Bible allows the conclusion that the Atonement is a mere metaphor.

I might provide a clearer, more complete answer if I feel like it.

If you demand a clearer, complete answer to these questions that you raise today, June 16th, CLARIFY YOUR OWN ANSWERS to the two questions I asked you on June 12th, in an attempt to BEGIN to get you to address my original lengthy list of doctrinal issues, posted on June 8th.

It's been over a week since I've raised those issues. Your questions are just over four-hours-old.

Let's not pretend that I'm the one being an impossible and unreasonable child about all this.

Mark said...

Heh, Heh, Heh.

Dan, seriously. Because I enjoy your music videos, I really want to help you.

You've become quite irrational and I want to do what I can to help you. I hope you'll take this in the spirit in which it's given.

Because I care, Dan, check into this.

You might be even able to get Obama to pay for it for you.

Bubba said...

For what it's worth, Dan, I doubt your questions are simply a formality before we continue this discussion: I suspect they're a pretext to ending it.

After all, you say these questions are an attempt to make this "a two way, equal opportunity inquisition."

This isn't an inquistion.

(I see you've dropped the pretense that you were joking by invoking the Inquisition.)

Instead, I'm just trying to ascertain what you actually believe about doctrines such as the Virgin Birth, the Atonement, and the Resurrection -- and about the writings of the Old Testament and of Paul -- to see if those beliefs can POSSIBLY be squared with your stated love for the Bible and your stated reverence for what it teaches.

If your beliefs really are an obvious consequence of the Bible's clear teachings, then it should be quite trivial for you to draw the connection between the two. There shouldn't be any reason why you wouldn't want to tell us, because a strong argument might convert us to your way of seeing things -- or, if we don't change our beliefs, a particularly strong argument would demonstrate that we're insincere in our stated pursuit of following what the Bible teaches.

This isn't an inquisition because the questions aren't unreasonable.

But if you're trying to force us into an inquisition of your making, then it's fair to assume malign motives on your part.


You write, "This is a theoretical situation I'm using to ascertain your moral reasoning abilities."

What is it you've already said about our abilities, the last time you found a convenient excuse to pick up your ball and go home?

"I'm done here. Your apathy is disgusting. You all are moral illiterates and what's the point of discussing things on a rational basis with such?"

I think you're looking for an excuse to say this all over again and -- lo and behold -- you will have avoided providing a clear, coherent, and complete accounting of your aberrant beliefs once again.


You could prove me wrong if, I after answer your questions more fully, you actually deign to answer mine -- to provide legitimate, cogent, illuminating answers about what you really believe and whether you can really ground those beliefs on what the Bible teaches.

So, here we go.

"Question 1: What sin(s) has Jones taken part in and to whom (if anyone) should Jones apologize for his behavior? If you contend that Jones has ONLY sinned by making lewd comments, why are you setting aside the sins of slander, lying, displaying no love, inappropriate judgmentalism, failing to love the Body of Christ and/or gossiping?"

That's actually more than one question, but I'll answer what you ask.

Jones has, at the VERY least, engaged in lewd, uncivil, denigrating speech.

I'm not sure it qualifies as slander or lying because it's not clear that Jones willfully and deliberately said something dishonest: if Smith tells Jones that his sister is a lesbian -- and especially if everyone involved is an adult -- it's not necessarily unfair to conclude that this sister is sexually active. If Smith said that his sister is a celibate lesbian, then the lewd comment would also be a dishonest one.

Since all sins are ultimately a betrayal against the law of love, this sin is a transgression against the command to love: Jones didn't show the sister any godly charity with the comment, nor did he show Smith any charity with it.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

But I'm not sure the comment qualifies as judgmentalism, because I can imagine someone making technically accurate but nevertheless quite lewd comments about what another person's parents do in the privacy of their bedroom. Those comments do NOT necessarily entail judgmentalism against their behavior, since the foulmouth may well believe that conjugal relations within the bonds of matrimony are entirely moral and healthy.

(If you're saying that the judgmentalism is from the belief that homosexual behavior is wrong, then you'll have to explain why your own criticism isn't judgmentalism, when you rail here against slander, "verbal rape" and all the rest.)

I'm also not sure that the lewd comments were a failure of love for the Body of Christ, since I do not believe that homosexuality is sanctioned by Christ: if even immoral acts committed by self-described Christians are protected from disparaging remarks because such remarks are an offense against the universal church, then one could never make disparaging remarks about the Inquisition, Dan.

(And YOU would be morally prohibited from using such disgusting comments to denounce Mark: Mark is a Christian, so according to your own logic, if you are wrong to accuse him of verbal rape, you yourself sin, not only against him, but against the Body of Christ.)

As for gossip, it doesn't sound as if Jones was spreading rumors: he was simply describing -- in lewd, inappropriate language -- a reasonable if presumptuous conclusion from what Smith already told him. If Jones is guilty of gossip, Smith is at least as guilty of the same, because it's nobody's business that Smith's sister is a lesbian in the first place.

So: lewd comments and a lack of charity against Smith and his sister? Yes, Jones definitely committed those sins.

Slander, lying, gossip, judgmentalism, and an assault against the universal church? I'm not sure any of those qualify, and if Jones is guilty of gossip, so is Smith.

To whom should Jones apologize? To Smith, in the same public venue where the public offense was made.

If he had made comments about a dead relative, he wouldn't have to apologize to the corpse; here too, lewd comments about a living relative don't require an apology to that relative, though that added step would be very honorable.

(If you slandered Sarah Palin in front of us -- a preposterous notion, I know -- an apology is due to us, but I really don't think you're morally obligated to send Gov. Palin a letter of apology.)

For what it's worth, I do not think that Jones' comment was an attack on all women or all lesbians -- much less an act of "oppression" -- any more than a lewd comment about the sex life of Smith's mother is an attack on all women or all mothers.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

"Question 2: What of all the bystanders who read these lewd comments by Jones and did nothing? Should they have stepped up and intervened on behalf of Christianity, on behalf of women, on behalf of lesbians and on behalf of Ms Smith? Why or why not?"

Because Jones' comment didn't oppress women and/or lesbians everywhere, it would have been both absurd and unnecessary for anyone to step in on their behalf.

Certainly, at least one Christian should have stood up and rebuked the comment: preferably, the blog owner should have deleted the comment, possibly explaining why it was deleted, at which point the matter should be pretty much closed in terms of public rebuke: there should be no expectation that every Christian who even glances upon the conversation should add his two cents' worth of moral indignation once there's been some sort of rebuke.

If Jones doesn't apologize or apologize sufficiently -- and especially if he shows himself to be a repeat offender -- the subject might need to be brought up again. Because this hypothetical situation involves exchanges through near total strangers on the Internet...

"Not only did Jones say this to Smith, but he announced it on a blog site..."

...what's morally required in response to offensive comments isn't going to be exactly equivalent to what would happen if such comments were made in the context of a local church.


With all this said, I would like to ask -- at least rhetorically -- what Smith's behavior should be in light of Jones' offense.

If Smith is so indignant, should he make sure never to engage in offensive language himself? Should he not, say, play the race card and invoke the imagery of lynching against people who do not deserve the comparison? Should he not compare his own critics to an inquisition unless it's truly called for? And when his friends engage in aggressive behavior and offensive speech, does he make QUITE sure to rebuke them rather than ignore them or EVEN thank them for their input?

And if someone is comparing himself to Smith and doesn't measure up to these high standards, is he really in any moral condition to evaluate the moral reasoning abilities of others?

Things to think about.


In the meantime, Dan, the ball is once again firmly in your court.

Will you prove my cynicism correct by declaring that I'm a moral reprobrate and ending the discussion?

Or will you throw up more roadblocks? Let me guess that you might not answer any more of my questions unless ALL OF US -- Marshall, Neil, mom2, blamin, Craig, and even Mark -- answer yours?

Or will you FINALLY, after more than a week in this thread and LITERALLY MONTHS (AND IN SOME CASES YEARS) over the course of other conversations, explain what you believe and justify your absurd position that these beliefs are consistent with the clear teachings of the Bible?

4simpsons said...

Bubba,

I think Dan is just playing games to avoid your questions. I doubt that he cares that much about what Mark wrote. He's just milking it as a one-size-fits-all non sequitor.

I never saw the comment, but the funny thing is that Dan thinks that the sex act itself is blessed by God but describing it on a blog is a really bad sin. Sure.

Bubba said...

Neil, there's nothing to suggest that Dan isn't completely sincere in his moral outrage... other than the obvious evidence, the chronology.

June 6: Mark first joined this conversation, repeatedly calling Dan an apostate.

June 8: I gave a list of six doctrines, with details and links, where I think Dan deviates significantly from what the Bible clearly teaches.

June 9: For the first time, I made explicit that Dan is welcome to correct my misunderstandings of his beliefs or, barring that, to "explain how the details of his beliefs could ever be the reasonable result of a good-faith attempt to conform one's worldview to the teachings of the Bible."

June 12: Dan hasn't yet clarified and justified his beliefs, so from those six topics, I focused on two topics. I presented Dan with two clear and simple questions, in two parts, first asking him to clarify what he believes, then asking him to explain how his belief is rooted in Scripture. I was quite emphatic in asking Dan to answer these two questions, and then I relayed that I might not be around during my "busy weekend."

June 13: Dan throws a conniption fit about Mark's supposed "verbal rape" of his aunt, in a comment in another thread, a comment that has long since been deleted and for which Mark has already apologized if not to Dan's satisfaction.

It is not only reasonable to conclude that Dan is ginning up mock outrage to derail this thread, it's unreasonable to draw any other conclusion.

As farcical as his outrage is, and as ridiculous and irrelevant as his questions are, I have answered his questions thoroughly.

Let's see what new excuses prevent Dan from telling us just exactly how the Bible taught him to discard so much of its teachings as atrocity, bigotry, human speculation, and even empty metaphor.

Feodor said...

Asking someone with OCD to answer some question in return is futile.

After I've answered his, Bubba never answers my questions either. He just disappears and then Marshall is left to try to cover for him.

Bubba, get back on your meds, man, it's showing.

Feodor said...

Your right, Mark, I'm not worth whatever you offer. I got passed fourth grade a hell of a long time ago.

Marshall Art said...

"I never saw the comment, but the funny thing is that Dan thinks that the sex act itself is blessed by God but describing it on a blog is a really bad sin. Sure."

Neil, this is the very point Mark was trying to make on the occasion of the graphic description. He wrongly felt that by being as graphic as possible, that he would better sell the point. This was a bad idea, the biggest reason being Dan's unwillingness to debate honestly. Had Dan bravely stood for what he believed and answered Mark's original question, Mark would never have gotten so abrasive.

Let me restate that. Mark's biggest mistake was conversing with Dan in the first place. Dan has long been a source of frustration for Mark and Mark should have been better prepared for the tap dance.

If anyone knows how to restore a long deleted comment, please let me know. My policy is to let foolish comments stand. I only deleted Mark's because of the graphic nature, but in doing so, I also deleted exactly how the words were arranged. Had I left them, all could see that they were a hypothetical rather than a slander, the idea being to get Dan to respond to questions. Indeed, propriety would prohibit the same question using clinical terms, but it had a specific purpose that Dan has chosen to avoid with his "outrage".

For my part, as has been noted, the comment was deleted immediately upon my first coming across it. As I generally check my blog at least once per day, it could not have been visible for more than 24 hours, but I believe it was far less. It is likely that ONLY Dan, Mark and I are aware of the exact comment, though I won't bet on it. It hasn't been that long since Dan last referred to the incident and I linked to the exact thread at that time. I would guess it was within ten to fifteen threads ago. Anyone who cares can go find it themselves. That's the only way to see how the conversation took place and what led to Mark's comment. One could also get an idea of how long it took me to see it and delete it, and, if I recall correctly, that I did reprimand Mark at the time, though possibly not up to Dan's strict standards. That is, I didn't have Mark gutted and quartered. I also emailed Mark directly to make clear my position on the subject. I didn't feel it anyone else's business that I did, and I only mention it now reluctantly.

more coming

Marshall Art said...

I believe Dan's "outrage" is a put on. As Bubba suggested, it is too conveniently placed to come to any other conclusion. Mark's crime was the use of bad language. His purpose in using it was no crime at all as it was only a request for Dan's opinion of the behavior described in order to get a sense of what the hell Dan believes. A quest taken on by many, and possibly futile for all. But a sincere attempt nonetheless. I find Feodor's general tone far more offensive than a single incident of potty talk, because it is, and I've yet to call for his empty head.

I also believe that Dan is not being totally honest in the way he relates this boring tale, playing up Mark's offense while ignoring his own role in it, not to mention the manner in which the graphic description was laid out.

I believe Dan's response should be to get over it, forgive Mark unconditionally as a good Christian should and move on.

Currently, Dan insists on Mark doing penance and falling down remorseful. That is wholly out of line and something for which only God can demand. Our job is simply to forgive. If Dan cannot bring himself to be so stand up, then my suggestion is that he contact Mark through email (preferably) or blog, that Mark welcome the visit if he doesn't take it upon himself to go to Dan, and the two of you kiss and make up and leave the rest of us the hell out of it. Do not sully my blog with this petty and insignificant shit again.

Feodor said...

"I find Feodor's general tone far more offensive than a single incident of potty talk..."


God, I would hope so. And I hope I would never use the phrase, "potty talk."

The oxymoron is how much hate is freely flung around here while impolite words "offend." Part of how mature discourse and a worldview that rises above the blogosphere is denied here.

This is an adolescent exercise by the picked on, the awkward, the second class minds. Exactly the ones Nixon identified with and the ones who make up the central Bell curve of those deeply, inchoately anxious about the loss of white hegemony in this heterogeneous, miscegenated country.

Marshall Art said...

Now for Feo, the false priest.

Your comments of the 15th at 10:47AM show such a poor understanding whence I come as to be halucinogenic. But this part requires three hits of Window Pane:

"And we are finally coming to see that gay and lesbian people, as they live their modern lives in full commitment to God, church, community and the world, are fully in-dwelt by Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit."

Only the self-satisfied psuedo-Christian has come to finally see this. No level headed believer would ever pretend that anyone's "commitment to God" can be true while willfully continuing to engage in clearly prohibited behavior. It takes an educated progressive to find a way to make that grand lie true.

"Your monocle has the, mostly, unintended effect of making you a silent collaborator with hate and ungodliness."

Calling sin by its name is not hateful or unGodly in the least. It's called "honesty". You should try it. Sin is not "Godly beauty" simply because the sinner is smiling while sinning, or his partner is passionately pleading that he do it again. You have traded pleasing God for pleasing the world. You have thrown off your cross rather than upset those who won't pick up their own. They all love you now. You must be so proud.

No one has put wrath at the center of the Gospel. This is just your inability to understand plain language. Or, you're just making crap up to be argumentative.

God's wrath is what is waiting for anyone who chooses to reject Him and live on their own terms rather than on His. Perhaps you have a specific idea of the meaning of the word that isn't quite accurate. But as there is reward for our living on His terms, there is wrath or punishment for rejecting Him. There can be no just God otherwise.

Without His wrath, from what are we to be saved? How can He possibly be a merciful God if he has no harsh penalties for sinfulness? Imagine being convicted of a crime and there is no penalty whatsoever. What would be the point of throwing one's self upon the mercy of the court?

We don't put God's wrath at the center of the Gospel. We don't pretend it doesn't exist, either. That's just another example of someone on the left distorting the truth.

Feodor said...

"It takes an educated progressive to find a way to make that grand lie true."

Oh my God, I'm mortally wounded... I'm felled by the truth... my fate is sealed....

Oh wait, educated progressive is a good thing!

Thanks, Marshall. I'm glad it shows. It was very expensive getting here.


I'm not talking about having ideas, Marshall, or claiming a style of faith that makes sense of oneself. I'm talking about how your tone, your feelings, your judgments have nothing to do with love and everything to do with resentments and anger and hate in such a way that make you related to the Scott Roeders, the Wiley Drakes, the Jacob Sullums, the von Brunns of the world.

You must be so proud.

And as for crosses, I don't think you can find one much less carry one. Your kind used to burn them, that's why there are none around for a white man.

What cross do you bear is the only question Christ asks of you. He does not ask you to look after other people's crosses. He will do that himself.

I've seen people bear crosses. I've heard of their crosses. Crosses for being black in America. Crosses for being female in America. Crosses for being Japanese in America in the forties. Crosses for being abused by ministers of the gospel. Crosses for being gay, being fat, being single, being lonely. Crosses of addiction, crosses of being poor, so poor.

What is your cross? You better stay with just yours. It can become your salvation. Unless you judge the crosses of others, then no cross will save you.

You will be judged with the measure you use.

Which is just a biblical way of saying that God doesn't like ugly. And you are one of the ugliest SOBs I run into in any given month.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay. Bubba, at least, has attempted to answer the 2 questions I've asked him and demonstrated at least some moral reasoning capability. Flawed moral reasoning, to be sure - but then, so is mine so I can't very well hold that against him.

And so, if Marshall doesn't mind, I will at least attempt to answer Bubba's misunderstandings and questions about my positions. If anyone else has questions they wish to ask or points they'd like to address to me, feel free to answer my questions and I will respond (assuming you demonstrate some ability to reason morally).

I will point out a few problems with Bubba's reasoning in his answers to my questions, but for Bubba, at least, I am done with MY questions (you can respond or not, I don't care if Marshall doesn't care). After I point out the problems in his moral reasoning (as I see it, any way), I will get back to wading through his questions to me.

Dan Trabue said...

First, and quickly, Marshall states...

Do not sully my blog with this petty and insignificant shit again.

I do not find the inability to conduct sound moral reasoning AT ALL insignificant. Many here appear to have a very hard time of it. YOU asked me to consider coming back. This was the way I chose to do it - by providing a test to see who can and can't morally reason. If you don't want me here, I'll go away gladly. But I AM addressing matters that I find significant the best way I can.

What you find insignificant, I find extremely important. If you're merely referring to the mention of the pornographic slanderer, I'll refrain from all mention of him and his raunch gladly, referring only to a theoretical case if need be, instead of the actual filth.

Marshall Art said...

"...And I hope I would never use the phrase, "potty talk." "

No. You use "boola boola". Yeah. That's much better. Of course my use of the term "potty talk", was a sarcastic reference to Dan's pants-wetting reaction to a graphic hypothetical. It fits perfectly.

"The oxymoron is how much hate is freely flung around here..."

Yeah. That's the general tone of yours to which I referred. You'd be hard-pressed to find any example of true hatred by those on my side of the issues. That is, unless you're thinking of my tone toward fools like yourself. I don't call you fool, and other such names, simply as ad hominems, Feo my lad. They're descriptive of who you are and what you try to pass off as intelligent points of view. And really, dude, if you're going to pretend you're all that, you should really thicken that skin.

If you've ever offered mature discourse, it's been hidden by your pained attempts at intellectualism and posturing as professorial. If you're half as smart as you pretend to be, expressing yourself in common language should be a snap. But no, you're too busy posing to be clearly understood, and all the while, you haven't the brains to understand the plainly stated opinions of your opponents.

"This is an adolescent exercise by the picked on, the awkward, the second class minds."

But I welcome you just the same. That doesn't mean I'm not gonna enjoy myself in the process. And hey, the truth hurts, but that doesn't mean it's hateful and ugly to remind those like yourself what the truth is. It only feels that way cuz the truth is just so inconvenient.

"Oh wait, educated progressive is a good thing!

Thanks, Marshall. I'm glad it shows. It was very expensive getting here."


Oh yeah, you're educated all right. You never fail to take every opportunity to indicate that. That's long been conceded. You're just not smart. And that was the point. Educated people like yourself are too impressed by your sheepskin but you never took the time to get smart. It shows, pal, believe me, it shows. And here's an example:

"I'm talking about how your tone, your feelings, your judgments have nothing to do with love and everything to do with resentments and anger and hate in such a way that make you related to the Scott Roeders, the Wiley Drakes, the Jacob Sullums, the von Brunns of the world."

First of all, it's pretty lazy to compare me to these people. What? No Hitler? I'm insulted! All losers default to the Hitler angle, but you, you educated fraud, cagily use these other scumbags instead. Must be all that education.

But worse, you can't seem to understand that insisting on plainly understood teachings of Scripture is indeed love for one's fellow man. You think it's loving to enable people in their self-destructive behaviors (either physically or spiritually). It comes back to that truth problem again, how it's hurtful to face the truth yet not hateful to face the misled towards it.

Here's another gem of stupidity:

"And as for crosses, I don't think you can find one much less carry one. Your kind used to burn them, that's why there are none around for a white man."

There's that race card again. You so much like to pretend I have a problem with race that you again try to tie me to racists with weak, unsupportable statements like this. I'm beginning to think that it is YOU who is uncomfortable with race. Be careful. Someday your wife will catch on. Did you marry for love or to make a statement about race? Give it up. There's no racism here or anything like it.

"He does not ask you to look after other people's crosses."

I don't think He prefers that we stand around silently while others spread lies or lead others astray. I don't think He prefers that we let others stumble.

Marshall Art said...

"What is your cross?"

You.

I'm not judging anyone. It's not judgement as you speak of it, to continually remind people of what the truth is. It is not judgemental when the person admits their sinfulness. The behavior has already been judged to be sinful. What judgement do I need to make then?

What's really happening is you, and others on the left with whom I converse, demonizing me for standing for what the Bible plainly states in order to lend victim status to those who willfully ignore or reject those teachings. It's a cheap tactic that no longer fools many people. In fact it's quite hateful to deceive in that manner and even more so to call me an ugly son of a bitch. So now, I'll take a page out of Dan's playbook and tear my clothes and wail and moan over your calling my mother a dog, you punk-ass fraud of an Anglican priest.

All that education. All those books. What a waste.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba correctly notes that...

So: lewd comments and a lack of charity against Smith and his sister? Yes, Jones definitely committed those sins.

So far, so good. Clearly lewd comments against Smith and his sister and an extreme lack of charity.

Bubba then says...

I'm not sure it qualifies as slander or lying because it's not clear that Jones willfully and deliberately said something dishonest: if Smith tells Jones that his sister is a lesbian -- and especially if everyone involved is an adult -- it's not necessarily unfair to conclude that this sister is sexually active.

? Why is it not unfair? If Smith had said, "My sister is a Christian and a heterosexual," and Jones preceded to describe what Ms Smith's heterosexual practices might be on a blog, it STILL would be slander. JONES DOES NOT KNOW MS SMITH. Therefore,

1. He has no basis whatsoever to presume that she is sexually active;

2. EVEN IF he presumed that, he had no reason to guess on a public blog what she might be engaged in; The orientation has nothing to do with it.

It is slander/lying, either way. It's making up shit.

Now, I think a reasonable person might ask if slander is the best term, and I can cut you some slack on that front, but it is a lie based on nothing. It is lewd conjecture stated in a hateful, ugly way in a public forum. It is certainly behavior not becoming a Christian and not in the steps of Jesus.

Bubba also said...

I'm also not sure that the lewd comments were a failure of love for the Body of Christ, since I do not believe that homosexuality is sanctioned by Christ:

There is a person who is an alcoholic. Clearly unhealthy, unwholesome behavior. A Christian looks at the alcoholic and is displeased because such a life is not conducive to Right living. BUT, if that Christian then goes and makes up shit about the alcoholic ("He probably beats his wife") based on nothing - and broadcasts it on a blog, THAT is not loving behavior. One can oppose what one believes to be sinful behavior without engaging in making up shit, which is also wrong.

More...

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Your "theoretical" case is exactly on the same level as Mark's hypothetical without the profane language. That is, it has no impact on anyone whether the characters within are fictional or real. Your level of outrage is a lie. That's my point. You make it significant in order to demonize Mark and dance away from his line of questioning. A line of questioning that you could have simply refused outright to answer and have come away with a better image in the minds of anyone who's following this little tantrum of yours. If my opinion on the matter chases you away, that, too, is merely a convenient excuse to run away from serious confrontation. Keep up the charade of you wish. I'm just letting you know that I will call you on it every time you try to bring it up, with the exception of what has already begun between you and Bubba. No one else is obliged to respond to your childish demand to "stand with you" against your made up sin.

Beyond that, you are welcome to comment here any time you feel so compelled. But don't think I'll be crushed if you bolt. I'm not gonna kiss your ass to keep you around. And that's pretty much what you're asking everyone to do. Shame on you for that.

Dan Trabue said...

Continuing my explanation of the problems with Bubba's reasoning in answering my questions:

Bubba said...

For what it's worth, I do not think that Jones' comment was an attack on all women or all lesbians -- much less an act of "oppression" -- any more than a lewd comment about the sex life of Smith's mother is an attack on all women or all mothers.

We disagree. If I were to make a lewd comment about your mother, I would soon be embarrassed at my behavior and apologize to you, your mother and mothers everywhere. Especially considering how women have been sexually oppressed and maltreated throughout history, an apology should be forthcoming.

Perhaps this is a cultural thing, I don't know how to prove you're wrong or demonstrate I'm right. You're just wrong, in my opinion. Clearly so.

Now, I don't think it necessary to call your mother up and personally apologize to her about something she doesn't even know about, but I would apologize at the source to her and you and women everywhere if I made that sort of lewd denigrating comment. Not that I would do that. I'm not perfect, but that's not the way I behave at least in that one area.

You were wrong in other ways and wrongly interpret/explain my reasoning and explanations, but I'm satisfied we have at least a little common ground to continue our other conversation and so I'll let those many errors on this side topic go.

[I will note the caveat that I find it disturbing in the extreme that you don't think an apology to the slandered is due. IF I SIN AGAINST YOU, I should apologize to you. Now, I think reasonable people could disagree about the specifics - in my opinion, since she didn't know, Jones might could just apologize to Ms Smith and women in general at the blog without personally contacting her, but the apology should clearly be first and foremost to her. Nonetheless, I'll give you some wiggle room... But seriously, y'all seem to have some problems recognizing bad behavior when it actually happens.]

Bubba said...

Dan, I don't know why in the world Marshall would mind your answering my questions here, but I do look forward to your answers, and I'm glad that my cynicism is not yet entirely justified.

I hope you can understand why I have the jaundiced view that I have: I do know we have both written an awful lot in dialogue over the last few months and even years, but it does seem to me that you what you write obfuscates far more frequently than it clarifies: there's a lot of heat and an incredible amount of smoke, but not much light.

I hope that that changes, at least for the duration of this particular discussion, because I have worked very hard to document why I have drawn the conclusions I have, to ask you to clarify your positions, and to ask clearly and unambiguously how precisely those positions could ever be the reasonable result of a good-faith attempt to conform your worldview to the clear teachings of the Bible -- all in response to your claim that you respect the Bible's teachings, a claim I find frankly preposterous in view of the details of your beliefs, as I understand them.

Alongside those details, that claim to love and respect the Bible has prompted my sheer disbelief and my request that you clarify and justify those beliefs.

I see that you're addressing my comments now, and I will probably wait until you have provided a complete comment in its multiple parts before even considering my next response.


Feodor, in this thread I don't think you've directly addressed me by name, and I see only two earlier comments -- here and here -- that directly address anything I've been writing about.

Before those comments, you addressed or referenced Mark (commenting about his son), Marshall, Mark, Marshall (calling him myopic), and Marshall again (calling him "doctrinally deprived").

In the comments addressing what I wrote, you did write a bit in criticizing me personally (and inaccurately)...

"That you put wrath at the center of the Gospel is the reason you embody the worst parts of the sixteenth century religious wars."

...and you wrote more in theological claims that repudiate my position, to say nothing of the New Testament (e.g., Jn 3:36 and Rom 1:18)...

"No, God's wrath did not make the Atonement necessary. God's wrath is realized many times in relation to Israel and other nations as well."

...but neither of those comments contained a single question.

I DID directly respond to the first comment, and I left the second comment alone.

I don't think you asked me a single question before you've griped about my unwillingness to answer your questions, and you haven't asked me a question since.


I'll be honest, Feodor, that answering your questions would not be my highest priority, because I don't think you make yourself as clear as you could be: you seem more interested in finding clever ways to berate us for supposedly being stuck in the past, than in finding clear ways to communicate where we err and why -- or (better) what is you believe and why.

If you had asked me a question, it's possible that I would have chosen to ignore you.

But as far as I can tell, you never asked me a question here, so don't berate me for ignoring non-existent questions.

If you have a question intended directly for me, ask it and (preferably) make it clear it's directed to me. Since you're making a big deal about this, I'll try to answer you.

Dan Trabue said...

Now, Bubba does not understand my answer to his first question. He asked...

"Do you believe that the bodily and historical Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an essential doctrine of Christianity?

And I answered, YES, saying:

"It is my position that the bodily and historic Resurrection of Jesus is indeed an essential doctrine of Christianity."

I also stated that were I to find out that Jesus did NOT actually experience "bodily and historic Resurrection," I would still be a Christian.

Bubba doesn't think that makes sense. Nonetheless, that IS my position.

YES, YES, YES, the Resurrection is an essential doctrine of the church. I believe Jesus rose from the dead. I believe he is the Son of God who was killed by the gov't and by the religious leaders and that he was laid in a grave - cold stone dead - and that three days later (give or take), he was alive again and he met with many people and soon thereafter left this earthly plane to be in the presence of God.

I believe in the resurrection and the resurrection is an essential tenet of the Christian faith, being talked about a good deal in the Bible.

I believe, with me so far?

BUT, I am saying that IF it were shown somehow that Jesus did NOT resurrect, even though that is an essential church tenet and one that I personally believe, I STILL would be a follower of Jesus.

Now, a quick and easy question for you, Bubba:

IF IT WERE PROVEN THAT JESUS DID NOT RAISE FROM THE DEAD, WOULD YOU STILL BELIEVE IN JESUS AND HIS TEACHINGS?

Dan Trabue said...

Allow me to try to create an analogy. I'm no mathematician, so it may be a poor analogy, but it seems an apt comparison to me, so I'll give it a try.

I believe in Math.

I believe that one core truism of Math is that 1 + 1 = 2. Each and every time, 1 + 1 = 2, yes, sir. No way around it, that is a CORE TRUISM for Math.

HOWEVER, if someone were able to demonstrate to me beyond all doubt that 1 + 1 does NOT equal 2, well, I'd probably still believe in math.

My belief in math goes beyond that one core truism. I believe in Math as a whole and, if that one truism were proven false, I don't think I'd lose faith in Math.

Similarly, I believe in the Resurrection. It is, in fact, a core tenet of Christianity and I believe it. All I'm saying is that if it were proven false, I'd STILL believe in Christianity because I don't think that one core tenet is the whole of Christianity.

Is it okay with you that I allow myself that bit of grace in regards to my faith system?

Now, by saying that, I'm not saying that each and every core tenet of Christianity could so easily suffer being disproven, at least for me. If, for instance, it were proven that we are actually NOT saved by Grace but by human sacrifice, well, that would be ground-shaking and perhaps impossible to reconcile.

But I'm telling you as honestly and sincerely as I can: It is my belief that the Resurrection happened, that the Resurrection is a core tenet of Christianity AND that my faith would likely survive intact if it were proven wrong.

Now, you can disagree. You can say, "Well I sure would not continue to believe if the Resurrection were false!" and I won't judge you. I'm just telling you that above and beyond the core teaching in the Resurrection, I would still believe in Jesus.

That does not make me heretical or apostate or a liar. That does not make me deceitful nor does it prove that I'm out to undermine Christianity. It is simply my position. You are welcome to another.

Dan Trabue said...

So, as I've suggested before, perhaps you all would be better off just sticking to, "When Dan (or anyone I disagree with) says he believes A, B, C, he means that he believes A, B, and C." and if you can't reconcile that, then ask politely and without accusations or rancor.

Believe it or not, but as a rule, when I say, "A, B, and C," I generally MEAN, "A, B, and C." Your failure to understand that does not mean that I DON'T believe it.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm working on a reasonable response to the many questions about the complex doctrine of Atonement. I will note that I like much of what Feodor had to say on the topic.

If I were a theologian, I might discuss the multiple views of Atonement (Sacrificial Theory, Ransom Theory, Satisfaction Theory, Moral Theory... others?) and I may try yet.

Unfortunately (or not?), I'm no seminarian/theologian. I just know what I've read in the Bible and what makes sense to me. I'll try to get to it as soon as possible.

Feodor said...

I think that's exactly what God prefers, Marshall: that you stand around silently. The Gospel will be heard much better if you keep your mouth shut.

As for hate, I wasn't referring to any that I feel. I have no problem with out give and take, or rather, my give and your obfuscating skating

I was referring to your condemnation of peoples you don't know and wont have anything to do with and cannot find an ounce of decency to lend out the Golden Rule to. Now, who does that sound like?

condemnation
segregation
dehumanization

It's in your DNA, Marshall.

I didn't mention Hitler because he's dead. But your spirit supports hate in the world. And you will surely die with it on your lips.

Craig said...

Dan,

I continue to wonder why you continue to ignore the plain teachings of Jesus (who you follow) about forgiveness.

Mark said...

Dan judgmentally sneers, "He has no basis whatsoever to presume that she is sexually active"

Being sexually active is what makes her a Lesbian. If she didn't actively engage in Lesbian behavior, she is only a woman in comfortable shoes. (as I've stated ad nauseum)

That, Daniel, is the basis by which I presume. Perhaps it's not as strong a basis as Dan would prefer, but it is, nevertheless, a basis. So, to say I have no basis whatsoever is clearly wrong.

Is she in fact, a lesbian, or does she only say she is?

It's an important distinction.

It is not at all unreasonable to presume a woman who says she's a lesbian engages in sexual behavior with other women.

It would be altogether unreasonable to presume she doesn't.

Otherwise, she's just a strange little woman who prefers to look, dress, and act like a man, or perhaps, simply proclaim herself thus, for some purpose known only to herself and God, which leads others to presume she engages in sexual behavior with other women.

And, why would she want people to think she's a lesbian unless she actually does engage in sexual behavior with other women, or at least, wants to?

So she can love other women without having sexual relations with them?

She can do that without proclaiming herself a lesbian or dressing and acting like a man.

My wife loves other women but isn't sexually attracted to them. Is she a Lesbian?

Marshall Art said...

Mark,

Enough. Please.

Craig,

A point I've raised as well.

Feo, you dope,

I want you to pay close attention. Sound out the words if you must. Use that vaunted education you so condescendingly flash about and hear this as best as your addled mind can:

I've condemned no one. I've only pointed out the clearly stated Biblical prohibition against homosexual behavior. Whether or not I would ever have anything to do with an admitted homosexual is something you will never know since you don't know me or the people with whom I come into contact. Your suggestion that I wouldn't is based on your unsupportable opinion of me and is itself sinful as a false accusation.

You also falsely suggest that simply because in these here blogs I speak out against the sin of homsexual behavior, that somehow that implies that I would treat a homosexual in an unChristian manner. Again, it is an assumption based on your unsupportable opinion of me. So...

condemnation
segregation
dehumanization

is not a charge you could ever hope to support against me. I haven't even condemned YOU, but you're just dying to condemn me as some kind of hateful bigot. Good luck with that, Sparky. Rather, I find you an insecure and pathetic fool who feels the need to be seen as some intellectual and deep thinker. I could never hate such a sorry creature as yourself.

You know, it's really lame that in a medium such as the blogosphere, where people voice their opinions, that people like you leap to conlusions and assumptions to which those opinions just can't lead. That's the type of crap for which Dan constantly accuses us towards him. Funny how he hasn't called you on it. I insist that he stand with me against such lame assumptions you make.

So you just keep trying to make a case that there's hate from this blog rather than that which you yourself seek to foster with your blatherings.

And by the way, if people like me keep my mouth shut, then that leaves people like you to preach your distorted version of the Gospel to lead others astray. Against that I couldn't keep quiet if I wanted to. It just wouldn't be the Christian thing to do for all your victims.

Marshall Art said...

Bubba,

You asked,

"Dan, I don't know why in the world Marshall would mind your answering my questions here..."

Because I am fascinated with the discussion and look forward to see how it all turns out. So much easier to come to my own blog for that purpose. Please. Carry on until it's conclusion.

Dan,

If Christ did not rise from the dead, I might still consider His teachings worthy of following, but I would NOT necessarily believe in HIM. That is, He would then be no more than any other prophet and there would be plenty He said about Himself that would then be lies, primarily, this claims of being divine. If He isn't God, then He wasn't the perfect sacrifice through which we all now find salvation. It would lessen the notion of just how loving God is, if He didn't become flesh to sacrifice Himself on our behalf. In other words, things begin to unravel without the Resurrection. It makes liars of all the Apostles. Then all of us nonJews are without recourse if we don't convert to Judaism. Without the Resurrection, Christianity isn't much better than Shirley McLaine or any other discipline. You might still think Jesus' teachings were cool, but they'd not be anything special, nor would they assure you of anything.

Feodor said...

Thus the massive literature on denial.

Bubba said...

Dan, thanks for the comments last night. I would rather focus on the issues I raised, but I'll first respond, as quickly as I can, to what you wrote regarding "moral reasoning."

There's no way I'm going to be brief, but I'll try to make clear when I'm moving from one topic to the next.


On lying versus presumption. Strictly speaking, to lie means "to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive," and to presume means "to suppose to be true without proof."

The difference is in what is known. Lying involves knowing too much to say what you say: it's wrong to claim any innocence about not knowing otherwise. And presumption involves knowing too little to say what you say: it's wrong to have any confidence about what you claim.

Lying is saying something you know is not true. You know X is false, but you still say it's true.

Presumption is saying something you don't know is true. You don't know X is true, but you still say it.

If I know you don't drive a car to work and I say that you do, that's lying. If I have no clue what you're wearing today and say you're wearing a green shirt, that's presumption.

Presumption can still be a sin in violation of the principles of honesty: if you don't know X, you shouldn't pretend that you do in presuming X. But it's not a sin in all cases, as I believe a judge is quite right to presume a defendent's innocence until the prosecution proves his guilt.

In the hypothetical you present, it's not clear that Jones knew that Smith's sister was celibate, so this is why I wrote, "I'm not sure it qualifies as... lying because it's not clear that Jones willfully and deliberately said something dishonest."

Even if it's mere presumption, in this case, the claim -- even apart from all questions of the lewd language used to make the claim -- might still be an offense against the principles of honesty and charity.


On slander. The full sentence I quoted above is, "I'm not sure it qualifies as slander or lying because it's not clear that Jones willfully and deliberately said something dishonest." I stand by my statement that I'm not sure it's slander, but I went too fast to explain why accurately. You object to my position...

"It is slander/lying, either way. It's making up shit."

...so let me clarify why I believe the comment is not necessarily slander.

To slander is to defame, which means "to harm the reputation of by libel or slander."

That harm is absolutely crucial to the idea of slander.

There are merely presumptuous claims and even knowingly false claims that aren't slanderous because they don't intend or even accidentally cause harm to one's reputation.

(Suppose a writer was using some artistic license to explain colonial history, and he embellished a meeting between Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. He knew that they discussed certain ideas through their letters, but for dramatic oomph he presented their discussion in a Philadelphia tavern, and had Franklin order a slice of pie. He might know for a fact that the two never met during that time period, or he may not; the idea that Franklin liked pie might be based in the historical record or completely fabricated. But those admitted embellishments aren't slander because they intend no harm to either's reputation and they cause no harm.)

There are even claims that are knowingly false or even presumptuous that intend or cause the opposite effect; instead of harming the reputation, they enhance it. That's not slander, either, it's close to (if not an exact match for) flattery or pandering: it might still be immoral, but it's not the same thing.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan, you might see where I'm going with this: I'm not sure Jones' claim harms or intends to harm the sister's reputation, so even if it is "making [stuff] up" -- and it is presumption even if it isn't a lie -- I'm not sure it qualifies as slander.

Let me present two alternative scenarios:

1) Suppose Jones claimed that Smith's sister took a shower the night before. That activity is at least morally neutral and possibly even positive -- because hygiene is a good thing -- so the claim isn't slander. If the claim is wrapped in lewd language, that she lathered her this and rinsed her that, the language is offensive and wrong, but the central claim still isn't slander.

2) Suppose Jones knows Smith is married and claimed that Smith has sex with his wife. That activity is morally innocuous, so again the claim is not slander. And, again, it could be wrapped in all sorts of filthy language -- that Smith took his this and did such-and-such with his wife's that -- and the language is offensive and immoral, but the fundamental claim in that language isn't slanderous.

You compare the claim that Smith's sister is sexually active to spousal abuse, which is always morally repugnant, and I'm not sure the comparison holds.

If Jones believes that homosexual intercourse is immoral, it's possible he claimed that Smith's sister engaged in that beahvior in order to harm her reputation.

Maybe, maybe not. After all, Smith told Jones his sister's a lesbian, so I'm not sure what further harm the claim causes.

Another possibility is that, if Jones thinks the behavior is wrong and Smith disagrees, Jones might have made that presumptuous claim and even used the lewd language to provoke a response from Smith -- to get him to grasp the act's immorality or to address some other related issue in their discussion. The tactic is almost certainly foolish, imprudent, and immoral, but defamation might have absolutely nothing to do with either the intent or the effect.

Your insistence that the claim is slanderous is especially noteworthy, Dan, because you claim that there are certain circumstances where homosexual relations are not just morally permissible, but that it's a wonderful thing that is blessed by God.


On the same subject, you write:

"Now, I think a reasonable person might ask if slander is the best term, and I can cut you some slack on that front, but it is a lie based on nothing. It is lewd conjecture stated in a hateful, ugly way in a public forum. It is certainly behavior not becoming a Christian and not in the steps of Jesus."

I appreciate the slack, and I do think there's a great deal of room to conclude it isn't slander, and even that it's presumption rather than a lie.

You write that it's "lewd" conjecture, and that it's unbecoming behavior that is disobedient to Christ, and I agree that the lewdness is wrong. You write that it's stated in an ugly way, in a public venue, and I agree that all these things make it unbecoming, disobedient behavior. (Whether it's hateful outright or not, it certainly wasn't charitable.)

But the conjecture itself, apart from all questions of the language used and the nature of the forum in which the conjecture is made, does not necessarily strike me as slanderous.

[continued]

Marshall Art said...

Seems to me "moral reasoning" is impossible without a clear understanding of the behavior being discussed. Dan sees an attack where none occurred, a lie that never took place, slander that never happened. All the while, he celebrates a prohibited behavior because he deems the particpants as "loving and committed" when there is absolutely nothing in Scripture that provides for the prohibited behavior under even these circumstances. His ability to reason morally is already flawed (not as badly as Feo, but flawed nonetheless). I wonder if Dan would be as outraged if Mark had used more clinical language to describe the encounter he posed for Dan's "moral reasoning", a reasoning he has yet to offer. It's funny that Dan questions our moral reasoning due to an episode where someone requested clarification of his own.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 516   Newer› Newest»