Sunday, January 24, 2010

In Other Words...

This wonderful essay from American Thinker, that racist, poorly written but incredibly spot on collection of articles of intelligent opinions against which liberals who visit here have never been able to argue, is timely considering recent posts of mine such as "Poor Baby". There has been a lot of whining over "respecting" the opinions of others, allowing that other opinions "have merit" and generally boo-hooing when I dare to call what I think is a crappy opinion...well...crap. As I continue to maintain, everyone is free to believe what they choose, but I'm not in any way obliged to respect those beliefs.

As the article submits, respecting the person is the important thing, but to respect a poor idea, opinion or position does no one any good. That I continue to welcome opinions of all sorts shows the obvious point that I respect those people (except for maybe Feodor---he seems to demand far less and who am I to refuse a visitor?). But to just automatically tolerate those opinions as equal to mine? Not a chance. One must make one's case. Some call me stubborn for this. Standing firm for what I believe to be true is not stubborness. It's integrity. It's being principled. And as poor an example of either that I may be, I do the best I can.

Consider: I believe, nay, I know that poop is stinky. Let's say someone, say, Feodor, shows up with a smattering of poop behind each ear. He loves the smell so much he wears it like perfume. Though it may match perfectly his personality, I will not tolerate him wearing that scent in my presence. What the hell! It stinks! No matter how he tries to explain it otherwise, it plainly stinks! I haven't even gotten to whether or not I like him even showing up, but his opinion of delightful odors is crappy and so obvious is it that I cannot be persuaded otherwise. I'm not being stubborn. I'm stating the plainly permeating truth.

Most opinions aren't quite so obvious, but without an argument that persuades the result is the same. That my opponents are offended by my, uh, opinion of their opinion is really too bad. I care too greatly to be put off by the slings and arrows of those with so sensitive a nature. Frankly, I don't understand the sensitivity. It's pretty obvious that my opponents don't agree with me, but you don't see me crying about being offended. Imagine if some Druid left comments here. There's no way I'm going to respect their beliefs about oak trees and mistletoe. Am I being unChristian to allow them to continue believing such nonsense? I don't think so. Tolerating such leads to chaos. From the obvious to the subtle, I will continue to reject opinions contrary to mine if I find them to be foolish, mistaken or out and out crappy (interchangable adjectives all) and do so in the same way I always have: by offering evidence to support my opinion or refute the other. Whichever side can no longer return volley will usually be the side with the lame opinion. Whichever side picks up their ball and goes home will usually be the side with the lame opinion. Whichever side pleads for civility, just because the other says the opinion is crappy will usually be the side with the lame opinion.

The tolerance demanded is intolerable.

91 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

But to just automatically tolerate those opinions as equal to mine? Not a chance. One must make one's case.

Wow. You'd have a really good strong point IF ANYONE WAS SUGGESTING YOU CONSIDER OTHER OPINIONS TO BE EQUAL TO YOURS.

However, no one is really doing that, are they?

Feodor said...

Asking respect from you would be like asking for black cherry juice from a cow. The cow simply can't comprehend the language, much less the question.

So why in the world would I ask it of you?

Edwin Drood said...

here is a great comment from Dan's site where we were disagreeing over which party have higher morals.


Alan, I believe that Edwin is probably about seven years old, so cut him some slack. He's doing really good for such a widdle fella. Yes, you are! Yes, you are!

That explains why he can't answer direct questions and repeats flawed logic over and over. He's not yet at the age where he can understand all of that. Give him time.

Now, Edwin, go play with people your own age and come back when you're ready for adult conversation. Okay?


I guess like any Democrat, Dan considers himself above the standards he places on others.

Dan Trabue said...

Wow, Edwin. You'd have a really good strong point IF ANYONE WAS SUGGESTING THAT YOU OUGHT NOT TEASE/JOKE AT PEOPLE WITH WHOM YOU DISAGREE.

However, no one is really doing that, are they?

Strawmen ARE so much easier to talk about, though, aren't they?

Dan Trabue said...

Let me very briefly explain the difference which I and I believe others are talking about.

1. I disagree with Marshall about point A and Marshall disagrees with me.

2. We BOTH think the other is wrong.

3. NEITHER of us is asking that we take the other's opinion as valid.

4. The DIFFERENCE, then, is that while I will disagree with Marshall (and here I'm talking about matters of opinion - Marshall thinks Z is the best way to interpret a passage and I think 12 is the best way to interpret a passage) and that's the end of it, the Marshall camp is not satisfied that we have a difference of opinion, he must also state that "NOT ONLY do I disagree with Dan's opinion, NOT ONLY do I think it's stupid, but also it is an indication that he A. is a heretic, B. does not really think that since no one could, C. is worshiping another god, D. does NOT believe the Bible, and/or E. is not a Christian.

That's the difference. I have not called any of y'all heretics, I have not suggested that you don't love the bible, I have not suggested that you worship another god or are not a Christian. Y'all don't stop at the disagreement and let it go at that, you feel the need to demonize and make presumptions about what the others think that you can't possibly support and are not in a position to know.

And THAT'S a big difference. It's the difference, Edwin, between adult disagreements and whiny children.

Mark said...

I'll give Dan credit for one thing, at least.

He's tenacious.

No matter how often he is proven dead wrong, he continues to argue his case.

Some would call that an admirable trait. Others would just call him stupid.

Marshall Art said...

So Dan,

Are you suggesting that these discussions are for the purpose of allowing others to air their opinions just to air them? What exactly would be the point of that? I'm expected to just sit back as say, "OK. There's Dan's opinion. Isn't that nice?"? I'm to make no noise regarding the quality and/or viability of said opinion? No matter how crappy it is?


I most certainly believe your opinions are...lacking in a serious way. I have provided reasons why I believe so. I believe your opinions...a good deal of them... to be so lacking in common sense and/or logic to justify the label "crappy" and then go further on to explain why. Usually, if not always, such labelling only comes after thousands of words have been exchanged between us.

Other labels are equally justified, if not more so. It is indeed a heresy to say that God would ever bless a same-sex union because it is contrary to everything the Bible teaches about marriage and human sexuality. ALL the arguments that seek to put this fraud forward are without a doubt in the "crap" category. I've not seen a new argument in quite some time and all I have seen have been expertly and exhaustively refuted. In much the same way as our more recent discussions have gone, in the fashion that has become quite typical, the "experts" pushing the pro-homo agenda within the church have failed to return volley and content themselves in believing their opponents are just bad people, mean and intolerant.

Further, regarding specifically discussions here (and elsewhere) that involve you, conclusions as to what you believe, the quality of your character, debate ability, ability to understand the plainly revealed will of God as expressed in the Bible is all based on your very words by whoever it is that has questioned any of the above.

The real whiney stuff comes from you as you settle in to victimhood mode when your debate tactics provoke frustration and an opponent drops the formalities to speak frankly.

For my part, I have resolved that playing Mr. Nice Guy gets one nowhere, as no debate finds resolution. As I said, I'm not concerned with simply offering my blog to showcase the opinions of others. I wish to know why anyone should be expected to find merit in those opinions. I wish to know why anyone would hold those opinions and if a person has insights I've never before considered, then I profit by a better perspective.

At the same time, if a person cannot defend that opinion, then obviously the opinion has no merit. It is crap. It is beneficial that that person reassess that stance, reconsider alternatives, shift that paradigm so that that person can profit by the adjustment. Clearly, when that person instead fails to defend the position and ultimately falls back on attacking me for my "unChristian" manner, that person then confirms how weak and unstable that position is.

I don't recall that Christ minced words when dealing with those who's understanding of Scripture was lacking.

As to your first comment here, Dan, that was a general statement I was making, but with regard to our exchanges, it still works. To "let" you believe what you want and still be Christian brothers? That is the same as demanding that our opinions are equal, that they are equally valid for a Christian to hold despite being different from each other.

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

No one need ask for respect from me. Everyone is born deserving of X degrees of respect from each other, as far as I'm concerned. Each of us must consciously give that. What more one gets is based upon what one has earned. It is then automatic. Few could resist giving it. I give all who visit here respect and always have. You are the only exception because from day one you've been an asshole pretending you're something special. In other words, you give yourself all the respect you could hold. To borrow from Christ, you have your reward.

Feodor said...

My full reward, just as for others, is still to come. But that has nothing to do with you. You are still grandly confusing your role, probably due to how you stroke yourself in your own blog.

At any rate, you are not a reward giver or earner, as far as your thoughts written down on blogs are concerned. They are, by and large and in sum, death dealing. No one's claimed faith saves; nor one's life on a blog. But both sure do open a window into the soul.

Respect from the disgusting is not worth the name, Marshall. I'm glad you keep whatever that is that you are naming.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall (from the last big post...)

"Therefore, Easter is quite the big deal with us."

Why would that be, Dan? Of what importance is it that is should be such a big deal at Jeff St? Do you celebrate His resurrection apart from His suffering and death on the cross?

Why the hatred, Marshall? Why try to dishonor and disrespect a group of people you have never met and whom you don't know?

We, at our church, worship Jesus, the Christ, the son of God. Jesus, who came saying, "I have come to preach good news to the poor, release for the captive, health for the ill, the day of God's good favor." Jesus who taught us how to live, to do unto the least of these, to be satisfied with enough and not to clamor for more, who taught us that peacemaking is blessed, that the poor are blessed, that we are to turn the other cheek.

Jesus, who IS God, yet who sacrificed himself in order to come live right with us, and with the least of us, at that. Who lived a perfect life and who preached good news in which the rich and powerful and religious folk took offense. Jesus, who suffered horribly, willingly laying down his life with and FOR us, for our sins. Who loved us EVEN WHEN we were yet sinners. Even when we walked away from him. Even when we betrayed him.

THAT Jesus who by God's grace, died on a cross for us, with us. AND who raised from the dead, demonstrating that life is stronger than death, that love is stronger than hate.

Yes, Easter is a big deal to us. It is a big deal because we are Christians who strive to walk in our Savior's steps by God's grace.

And in so doing, we strive to love even those who are hateful towards us. As I'm sure you must do on some level in your own personal life, Marshall.

So why the hatred and venom here online?

Is that really of Christ, do you think?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

BTW, that "speaking for God" ploy is wearing quite thin. It is perfectly OK to speak for God if one is repeating what He has said. That's what I've been doing and will continue to do.

And HERE's the difference between us, Marshall. You read a passage that says A and you draw a conclusion, X. The Bible does not SAY X, but rather, it is your extrapolation of what A "obviously" (to you) means.

You then go around proclaiming that X (which to be clear, is YOUR opinion, YOUR hunch about what a passage means) is God's Word and when you proclaim X, you are speaking for God.

Even though God has never said that, nor does the Bible say that.

For example, the Bible NEVER says that proclaiming gay marriage is blessed is a heresy. But that is your claim and you make that claim presuming to speak for God.

Marshall, what you're appearing to fail to understand is that you are not God and you don't speak for God when you offer your hunches about what a passage means.

So, while you think this "ploy" (ie, calling a spade a spade) is running thin, it is what it is. IF you take a passage and extrapolate some meaning from that passage - one that is not there - and then proclaim YOUR INTERPRETATION of that passage to be God's Word for us poor fools who can't understand as well as you do, you presume too much.

Have opinions all you like. Disagree with my opinions all you like. But when you start presuming to speak for God what God has not said, you are overstepping your bounds and when you insist that others MUST agree with you or they are heretics, etc, etc, you are being a whiny child who is insisting on getting your way or you'll throw a temper tantrum.

When you do that, people WILL tune you out, you WILL have become irrelevant and your message will be one you're preaching to yourself and your sycophants and no one else.

Marshall Art said...

"Why the hatred, Marshall? Why try to dishonor and disrespect a group of people you have never met and whom you don't know?"

What hatred, Dan? It's a legitimate question. Why do you insist on projecting such negative characteristics to my words when they only seek the clarification you demand? There's no show of dishonor or disrespect to your congregation. There's only conclusions based on your own words and no questions seeking clarifications. Lighten up. Frankly, if you were to insist that every word you've typed are directly from the teachings of Jeff St., I'd assume you're not interpreting their words properly, either. It's YOU'RE beliefs I question, Dan. Not those of your church.

"Jesus, who IS God, yet who sacrificed himself in order to come live right with us..."

Which verse supports this statement? I believe you're being extra-biblica here. How did He lay down His life with us and where does the Bible teach this?

"AND who raised from the dead, demonstrating that life is stronger than death..."

That's what you think the resurrection means? Please clarify.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It's a legitimate question. Why do you insist on projecting such negative characteristics to my words when they only seek the clarification you demand?

Asking a church full of Christians WHY they celebrate Easter is a "legitimate question?" How so?

Let me ask you: Why do you go to church, Marshall? Do you worship yourself and, if so, then why bother going to church?

Is that a legitimate question?

There is an implication in your question that suggests you would think that we don't find the resurrection of our Lord to be worth celebrating/honoring. If you're okay with the adjective "stupid," then I would say that is a stupid implication.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

"Jesus, who IS God, yet who sacrificed himself in order to come live right with us..."

Which verse supports this statement? I believe you're being extra-biblical here. How did He lay down His life with us and where does the Bible teach this?

Why do you ask? Do you really not think that Jesus came to live with us? I'm sure you do.

HOW did he lay down his life? What do you think? I think it is obvious he laid down his life in leaving heaven, being born as an humble poopy-diapered baby to poor parents to live amongst the least of these, sacrificially giving of his time with his closest friends, teaching them The Way and with the multitudes, meeting their needs and teaching them The Way.

I think he sacrificially gave his life in such a way that, knowing his message would be met with resistance, still preached the Way leading to his persecution, prosecution, torture and execution.

Do you disagree with any of this or are you trying to make a point?

I try to be quite clear when I go from offering direct quotes from the Bible to offering my opinion.

When I say that Christians ought not engage in war, it is because the Bible says we are to love our enemies and overcome evil with good and turn the other cheek. ALL of those teachings and more I think makes obvious that Christians killing their enemies is not a good or right thing to do.

I think it is abundantly obvious. HOWEVER, I am not saying that God says so. It is my opinion based upon what the Bible says (and what logic dictates, at least to a degree) and I DO NOT presume to speak for God.

That is why I can disagree with you and not think you are a hell-bound heretic who hates the Bible. You, on the other hand, seem to have difficulties separating your opinions from God's Word.

Am I mistaken?

Marshall Art said...

"And HERE's the difference between us, Marshall. You read a passage that says A and you draw a conclusion, X. The Bible does not SAY X, but rather, it is your extrapolation of what A "obviously" (to you) means."

Here's the real difference, Dan. I draw my conclusion based on the actual words I read. I say the Bible says "A" because it actually says "A". You believe otherwise but don't show or prove why it means something other than "A". I'm not the one who sees "shall" and expects that it might not mean a future tense, but makes no effort to explain how that might be. If I presume too much, then fine. Show me why. Is that too much to ask? I make every effort to do so in a reciprocal manner without settling for, "I don't see it that way." as my only support. You have NOT shown how my interpretations have been hunches or even flat out mistinterpretations. EVER. Where you've attempted to you've fallen short of succeeding, falling back on the accusation of hunches, hatred and "I don't see it that wa".

"For example, the Bible NEVER says that proclaiming gay marriage is blessed is a heresy."

Of course it doesn't. Never said it did. I'M definitely the one saying it's a heresy (along with millions of other Christians). What's worse, however, is pretending the Bible in any way suggests that God WOULD bless homosex marriage. There is NO Biblical support for this proposition anywhere. Indeed, it is far worse than any "hunch". It's outright fantasy.

I don't claim to be God and never have. I don't claim to speak for Him as did any prophet or Apostle, but only as someone who can read and understand plain English. It is NOT posing as God to relate His teachings as revealed in Scripture. Funny that you don't feel that way when YOU pass along what YOU think the Bible says. Funny that it is only ME that "speaks for God" when doing so.

I simply stand ready to defend what I believe about the faith or any other issue on which I write on this blog. I also stand ready to learn and be corrected. That you and others have failed to do that is not an indication of any failure on MY part. I don't "overstep" my bounds to insist that a Christian must accept Christ as His Savior in order to be saved. Nothing I've ever suggested is any less true; not as far as you or anyone else has been able to show. And now YOU whine and YOU throw temper tantrums that I'm being mean, hateful, spewing vitriol simply because I stand firm in the face of your less than convincing arguments, positions and points of view.

It's really convenient to demonize me rather than concede a point when one's argument fails to persuade. It's convenient to tune me out rather than show where MY argument goes astray.

And here's the part that really is ironic: As far as I can tell, I'm likely the least educated in the faith, that is, in all the peripheral sources and reference tools regarding Christianity and Biblical study and yet, for all the education and reading you progressives insist you've put in (especially Feodor the false priest), no one has come up with any argument against which I have no response. How is that? One would think it would be easy for such people to make simple what they know for such a simpleton as myself.

Bubba said...

Dan, you ask Marshall:

"Asking a church full of Christians WHY they celebrate Easter is a 'legitimate question?' How so?"

That your church actually is "full of Christians" is probably not something that we can accept as a given.

If a supposedly Christian congregation believed, for instance, that Jesus IS NOT a figure of history -- that the entire Bible is one giant allegory, and that Jesus didn't historically die and wasn't bodily raised BECAUSE HE DIDN'T EXIST -- then it's entirely appropriate to ask why the celebrate Easter, because the evidence of the details of their beliefs points strongly AGAINST their claim to be Christians.

Now, that's a purely hypothetical situation. We know that no Christian would ever compare the Bible's to Aesop's fables, but we can draw conclusions that apply to our circumstances.

You apparently believe that the bodily Resurrection of Christ is merely a matter of interpretation, and you deny the causal connection between Christ's death and our salvation -- and you do all this in the teeth of the Bible's clear teachings.

If your beliefs are within what's taught at Jeff Street -- and is there doubt that they are? -- then it's entirely appropriate to ask why your church celebrates Easter, because it is not clear that your church's beliefs regarding Christ's death and resurrection actually conform to the Bible's clear teachings and Christianity's essential doctrines.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

I draw my conclusion based on the actual words I read. I say the Bible says "A" because it actually says "A". You believe otherwise but don't show or prove why it means something other than "A".

No, you THINK you do. You actually conclude X after reading A and then tell yourself, "there's no way that anyone could ever possibly conclude anything than what I have concluded and my conclusion MUST be right because I'm so danged clever."

But let's run a test.

You conclude, "Thinking gay marriage is blessed is a heretical thing." You conclude that based upon the words of the Bible, is that right?

Then offer up the actual biblical words that lead you to that conclusion and demonstrate that YOUR conclusion, YOUR HUNCH, is the one and only possible conclusion one can reach and that you speak for God when you say "gay marriage is NOT blessed, and those who say so are heretics."

Where's the proof?

I'll even help:

Let's begin with the only five passages in the Bible that seem to be addressing matters of homosexuality:

1. Leviticus 18 and Lev 20 - says a man shall not lie with a man and doing so is an abomination.

We both agree that the passage says that. But it does NOT say that gay marriage is not blessed, it does NOT say that those who think that are heretics.

For my part, I agree IN CONTEXT that men laying with men (in the context of pagan idol worship and temple prostitution) is wrong. So you see, I am NOT disagreeing with that passage, just YOUR CONCLUSION and it IS your conclusion, not what the passage teaches).

2. Romans 1 - says that those who are give up worshiping God and start worshiping false gods and idols will lose a sense of morality, they will even abandon natural desires and go after unnatural ones.

I agree with this passage, what it actually says in context. Those who abandon morality find it easier and easier to go after unnatural desires.

BUT this does NOT say that gay marriage is not blessed, nor does it say that those who think so are heretics.

3. There are a passage or two that condemn gossips, slanderers, "the effeminate," "homosexual offenders" and others.

We don't disagree that those words are there. BUT, we disagree on what they mean. The meanings of the words in question are clear to translators - there was a word in the Greek language for homosexuals and they don't use that word, it appears, then that it's talking about something else which we're not clear on.

It does NOT say, though, that gay marriage is not blessed and that those who think it is are heretical.

4. Jesus was silent on homosexuality, but he did mention that "a man shall leave his parents to join with a woman..."

And we don't disagree on that much. Marriage IS a good thing and breaking up that marriage IS a bad thing - especially true in Jesus' world and context, when men would divorce women essentially consigning them to a life of poverty and oppression. Which is what that passage is talking about in context.

BUT, it does NOT say that gay marriage is not blessed and that those who think so are heretics.

In short, what YOUR CONCLUSION is does not derive from the words of the Bible directly. It is not a matter of the Bible saying A and you concluding A, just in different words. No, The bible is saying A and you are concluding X and then making the claim that "When I say X, I speak for God."

Right?

If not, offer the text and context to prove it.

Since you can't, I don't see what else we can conclude UNLESS you'd like to back up and admit that your opinion IS your opinion, even what you're pretty sure God is saying there, but still your opinion.

Bubba said...

On the subject of hatred and disrespect, let's not forget the idiotic poem Dan wrote "for W and his spawn", a poem so nice he posted it twice and one that I've never seen Dan renounce as a wee bit over-the-top.

--

Shame on your god
Your arm-breaker
Your life-taker
Your freemarket witch
Your sonofabitch
god
Damn your god!
Who preaches war
That corporate whore
That distorts scripture
So the rich can get richer
On the backs of the poor
Taking more and more and more...

Shame on your god
Your upside down
Vulgar, hideous clown
Your backwards, inside-out
Bloodthirsty boyscout
god
And shame on you

We had a perfectly good God
Prince of Peace
Making a feast
For ALL God's children
Black, white, straight, gay
Preparing the Way
Good God! We had a Good God

And you killed him

You religious,
You white washed tombs,
You serpents,
You blind guides,
You gnat-straining, camel-swallowing, hellspawn-making
Blind Fools

Shame on you
And shame on your god.

--

So:

It's quite alright for Dan to accuse "W and his spawn" of idolatrously worshiping a "bloodthirsty" deity AND TO ACCUSE THEM OF MURDERING GOD, but Marshall's question about why Dan's church celebrates Easter is hateful and disrespectful.

Should Marshall have written the question in verse, then?

Marshall Art said...

"Do you really not think that Jesus came to live with us?"

That wasn't my question, was it?

"HOW did he lay down his life? What do you think?"

By dying on the cross. That's what "laying down one's life" means. Why do you insist it means something different in the Bible? All references to His laying down His life refer to His crucifixion. Feel free to provide a verse that claims otherwise.

" I think it is obvious he laid down his life in leaving heaven..."

Obvious to whom besides yourself? The Bible doesn't teach this. Feel free to provide a verse that claims otherwise.

"...being born as an humble poopy-diapered baby to poor parents to live amongst the least of these..."

Where does it say Joe and Mary were poor? As I recall, Joe was at least employed as a carpenter if not in business for himself as such. He might not have been rolling in dough, but I don't recall any description of him as poor. And the Christmas stories only say that there were no vacancies at the inn, not that he couldn't afford a room. In addition, I believe He came for the benefit of all who would accept Him, not just "the least of these".

"Do you disagree with any of this or are you trying to make a point?"

Yes I disagree. I KNOW, not simply believe, that he gave His life for the forgiveness of sin, just as HE and the Bible clearly teach.

"When I say that Christians ought not engage in war, it is because the Bible says we are to love our enemies and overcome evil with good and turn the other cheek. ALL of those teachings and more I think makes obvious that Christians killing their enemies is not a good or right thing to do."

You have never shown how those verses are to be taken as more than admonishments to individuals, rather than to apply them to nations and their governments. No one on this side of the issue has ever said that killing is good, but there is plenty of solid reason why it might be the right thing to do. YOU are the one who is now suggesting more than what any teaching of Christ is saying. And when you can show how we overcome evil by letting it annihilate and/or dominate us, I might be persuaded.

However, that you make this great leap is not an example of what we're discussing here. That subject IS an opinion wrongly derived, but an opinion nonetheless. Fine. Live and die by it if you so choose (but spare your family). None of the points I've made are mere extrapolations as is this "no war" stance. To say that Christ's death on the cross was what frees us from judgement for our sins is NOT an extrapolation. To say that His entire pre-crucifixion life did it IS and extrapolation that is NOT Biblically supported. (Of course the war thing isn't either, but many feel it is still justified). And I DON'T speak for God as if I am God or am His prophet to say so.

I'm not afraid to be called names. If you think I'm in the least bit heretical in my beliefs, by all means, show me why. The last thing I want is to be or be seen as heretical. If anyone thinks my position is that far removed from Biblical teaching, I most certainly beg correction. I'm not about to whine that my feelings are hurt, that my opponent is hateful or unChristian for doing so. Just back it up is all I ask. And that's all I've ever offered and provided. (With just a delightful hint of snark now and again.)

Marshall Art said...

OOH, Bubba! Nice one!

Craig said...

"For example, the Bible NEVER says that proclaiming gay marriage is blessed is a heresy."

Dan, you are correct.

The problem is, the Bible never says anything that would buttress your position that God does bless "gm". The Bible speaks extensively on marriage, and you have offered your opinions on what the Bible says on that subject. Your opinions, however, are not supported by any thing that the Bible says. In fact, they are based entirely on the silence of the Bible on this topic (or at least your version of this topic).

So, while you are correct on your limited point here, you still haven't provided anything beyond your unsupported opinion to counter what the Bible says.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

"For example, the Bible NEVER says that proclaiming gay marriage is blessed is a heresy."

Dan, you are correct.

The problem is, the Bible never says anything that would buttress your position that God does bless "gm". The Bible speaks extensively on marriage, and you have offered your opinions on what the Bible says on that subject. Your opinions, however, are not supported by any thing that the Bible says.


Yes, yes, yes. The Bible IS silent on gay marriage. My opinion that gay marriage is blessed IS an extrabiblical opinion. YOUR opinion that gay marriage is not blessed is an extrabiblical opinion.

It is a topic that is not addressed in the Bible and ALL of us are only offering our unsupported opinions on that particular topic.

That is all I'm saying.

Hold your opinions if you wish, just don't claim to be speaking for God on points on which the bible is silent.

Craig said...

"to poor parents to live amongst the least of these..."

Now would be a great time for some actual scriptural support of this hunch.

Joseph was a builder (tecton), there is no indication that he was poor. Joseph would not have been allowed to have become betrothed to and to marry Mary, had he not been able to afford to construct a home for them (usually a "wing" attached to his parents home.

Further, this idiocy that because they were unable to get a hotel room when they went to Bethlehem for the census needs to stop. This is quite different from being homeless. It is the same with the flight to Egypt.

I am getting tired of hearing this, there is no Biblical reason to draw any conclusion regarding the specific financial condition of Joseph and Mary.

I believe that this makes Marshall's point perfectly, why should anyone give this particular hunch any respect?

Craig said...

So, when you say God blesses "gm", you are NOT making an argument from scripture, nor are interpreting scripture to support your statement. What you are doing is offering and unsupported extra biblical opinion, and deciding that God agrees with your hunch.

But you're not speaking for God.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

"to poor parents to live amongst the least of these..."

Now would be a great time for some actual scriptural support of this hunch.


To be absolutely clear, that is one opinion - that Mary and Joseph were of meager resources, based off the notion that they were unable to obtain a room at the inn. Others have observed that Joseph was probably "middle class" (or what we might call middle class) for his day, insofar as he DID have a job.

Actually, there is some evidence both ways. Consider this...

It's true that Joseph is called a tektonos in Matthew 13:55, but the Greek word tekton simply means "craftsman" and does not connote anything with regard to level, skill, or income, and the rendering "master craftsman" is not etymologically supportable. The scanty biblical evidence indicates that the Holy Family was poor, not middle-class, certainly not affluent.

Luke writes,

When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was born. When the days were completed for their purification [40 days (Lev. 12:2-8)] according to the law of Moses, they [Mary and Joseph] took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord," and to offer the sacrifice of 'a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons,' in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. (2:22-24)

This passage suggests that Mary and Joseph were poor. According to the Mosaic law the mother had to purchase and have sacrificed in the Temple a young lamb as a burnt offering and a turtle dove as a sin offering (this being done to expiate ritual impurity related to blood and childbirth, not personal sin). If the parents were too poor to afford the lamb, they were allowed to substitute two turtle doves or pigeons (Lv 12:8).


source

If you prefer to think of them as middle class, I have no problem with that, the argument could be made.

Notice, I disagree with your conclusion, but it's not that big of a deal. I don't insist that you hate the Bible or worship a different God because you might come to a different conclusion than I do. THAT'S what I'm talking about is how adults disagree - especially on non-critical/life and death matters.

Dan Trabue said...

So, when you say God blesses "gm", you are NOT making an argument from scripture, nor are interpreting scripture to support your statement. What you are doing is offering and unsupported extra biblical opinion, and deciding that God agrees with your hunch.

But you're not speaking for God.


1. Your conclusion is correct, I'm not speaking for God. How CAN I make a biblical case for a topic that is not covered in the Bible. This is MY OPINION (as I have repeatedly stated) and not me presuming to speak for God. However, you also said...

What you are doing is offering and unsupported extra biblical opinion, and deciding that God agrees with your hunch.

2. No, I am not deciding that God agrees with my hunch. I have not said that and so you have misunderstood me. Now you have been corrected.

Instead, what I'm doing is looking into a topic on which the Bible is silent and I am striving to determine God's will - and that's the KEY idea here - and, in reasoning through ideals that touch on marriage, society, relationships and Christianity, my best guess is that God digs gay marriage when it's a mutually loving, respectful, Godly commitment.

It is absolutely NOT a matter of me deciding that God agrees with my hunch, but rather that my hunch is that this is God's will on a topic on which the Bible is silent.

If I were simply going by MY hunch, I would have stuck to my original hunch, which was that gay marriage was wrong. I reached my conclusion only after carefully seeking God's will on the topic.

Bubba said...

Dan, if your positions are the result of "striving to determine God's will," strive harder.


You say that Lev 18 and 20 condemn homosexual behavior "in the context of pagan idol worship and temple prostitution," but the text doesn't support that assumption.

Or do you think Lev 18:23 and 20:15 are limited to the same supposed context of 18:22 and 20:13, and goat-bothering is biblically permissible so long as it's in the privacy of one's own home?

(I wonder, is all of 18-20 just about pagan worship? Good thing Jesus never suggested that Lev 19:18 is uniquely important.)


About Matthew 19, you write:

"Jesus was silent on homosexuality, but he did mention that 'a man shall leave his parents to join with a woman...'

"And we don't disagree on that much. Marriage IS a good thing and breaking up that marriage IS a bad thing - especially true in Jesus' world and context, when men would divorce women essentially consigning them to a life of poverty and oppression. Which is what that passage is talking about in context.

"BUT, it does NOT say that gay marriage is not blessed and that those who think so are heretics.
"

You miss the most important point about the passage.

Jesus Christ doesn't merely say that marriage is good, HE MADE CLEAR THE COMPOSITION OF MARRIAGE.

It's not just that a man will become one flesh with his wife AS AN EXAMPLE of what marriage CAN be, but as what marriage MUST be according to God's plan.

We can know this because Christ tied this claim to our being created male and female "in the beginning."

GOD MADE US MALE AND FEMALE so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

This means that biblical marriage is INHERENTLY heterosexual or, AT THE ABSOLUTE LEAST, God intended us to be limited to heterosexual marriages.


If your position is the result of "carefully seeking God's will," you weren't being careful enough, because, while the Bible is silent on the oxymoronic "gay marriage," what it teaches about marriage and our creation INEVITABLY rules it out as a contradiction of God's will.

You might as well argue that the Bible is silent about misleading honesty, promiscuous chastity, and compulsory charity.


Myself, I can no longer consider the possibility that you are half as stupid as your arguments.

To believe that Matthew 19 teaches us that marriage is good without any implications about the institution's composition, one must be deliberately looking to ignore what it says.

You're lying through your teeth about the influence of the Bible on your conclusions about "gay marriage," and you insult us if you think anyone who knows the Bible is dumb enough to believe you.

Dan Trabue said...

You are free, of course, Bubba, to make that false charge - even if it is only your unsupported hunch - and to think you know my heart and circumstances better than I do.

In the real world, though, that is exactly what happened. I was strongly opposed to marriage, took the Bible fairly literally, etc, etc and my life has changed to the direction it has due to Bible study and prayerfully seeking God's will.

I could always be wrong on any topic - I don't know about you, but I am a fallible man capable of error - but I have not lied about any of this. Anyone who knows me in the real world could confirm it to you.

Sometimes, believe or not, people of good faith may actually come to a different conclusion than you all do on matters of faith.

And when you all insist they're lying, that they're heretics, etc, etc, you DO sound like petulant children and people DO tune you out.

I'm just telling you the truth. You may take a certain pride in the fact that people tune you out as irrelevant, thinking it's an indication that you are doing God's will, and who knows, maybe you are. But from where I sit, we just tire of bad behavior and opt to leave you alone.

Perhaps the only reason I hang out with you all as much as I do is because I WAS you not so long ago.

Grace.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Based on your own description of your alleged past, there is no way you "were us" at any time in your life. The manner in which you describe conservatism now never resembles conservatism as it truly is. Indeed, what you describe of your past resembles the typcial liberal stereotype of conservatism, a caricature that is not reality based. Your understanding of conservatism seems as poor as your understanding of these Scriptural issues we've discussed over the years. I don't think your supposed study has improved your understanding at all, but only altered your misunderstanding. You simply misunderstand in a different way.

And we do not take pride in making people "tune out", as you put it. That would hardly be in line with our intentions at all. In addition, I don't believe anyone really tunes us out anyway. They simply run from the truths of which we remind them. But they don't forget what we say or can't for some time. They'll continue to tell themselves we're wrong until they can somehow believe themselves, but they don't forget us as tuning out would suggest. I certainly haven't forgotten their arguments now that they've been away. But as I'm still here, I've shown I do consider all arguments. They just haven't been good enough to trump what I know to be true. Their leaving doesn't mean I AM correct. Only that they are less so if they can't affect my thinking. Logic and common sense is hard to overcome and their leaving demonstrates that for me. If I'm wrong, it should be easy enough to explain why. Hasn't happened yet. But I take no pride in the fact that they leave. I find it sad that they run away in such a cowardly manner and do so accusing me of bad behavior. Even if my behavior is found wanting, I'm confident is hasn't been any worse than anyone else's and far better than some (see Feodor). Conviction isn't bad behavior, nor are conclusions of heresies regarding some beliefs. If it's counter to Biblical teaching, that's what heresy is. Don't blame me. Just prove me wrong about the beliefs.

I believe people "tune us out" because they know their beliefs are shakey. I'm confident in what I believe so I'm not about to whine when people question me. I'm ready to defend what believe in the face of any attacks (see Feodor). And even if the worst of you (see Feodor) should shake what I believe, I'm not likely to run or tune out but instead will be greatful for having learned. It just hasn't happened yet.

As for lies and liars, whether you knowingly are preaching lies or whether you truly believe what you say you beieve is neither here nor there. What you believe regarding the things that have been discussed in these blog debates are no better than lies if they are not true and accurate understandings and interpretations of Scripture. If you believe these non-truths and preach them, you are still preaching non-truths. Does that make you "a liar"? We're talking semantics now. We're telling you that you are clinging to that which isn't true and you can only say that you see things differently, as if that wasn't already clear. You haven't shown us anything to support your stance that also hasn't been shown to be untrue. Even if "liar" isn't an accurate label, the best one can only be "woefully mistaken".

But again. Who cares? Just prove us wrong and we'll be enlightened and thankful to be so. You say you only want to seek God's truth as best you can. We're proving we do be inviting proofs, arguments and evidence that cannot be so easily blown out of the water.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

As for lies and liars, whether you knowingly are preaching lies or whether you truly believe what you say you beieve is neither here nor there. What you believe regarding the things that have been discussed in these blog debates are no better than lies if they are not true and accurate understandings and interpretations of Scripture.

So, if someone is telling a lie about my/our position(s), is "neither here nor there?" Is that REALLY what you're saying?

You ARE familiar with biblical passages clearly stating that bearing false witness is wrong, aren't you? I know you are. So, how can misrepresenting someone's positions be inconsequential?

I'm guessing I've misunderstood you, so please help my understanding.

From where I sit and read the Bible, it makes a HUGE difference if someone is misrepresenting truth or not. So, please, elaborate.

Dan Trabue said...

As for lies and liars, whether you knowingly are preaching lies or whether you truly believe what you say you beieve is neither here nor there.

To clarify: The question is not MY misrepresentations (of which, there is no evidence, only the unsupported charges based on people's misunderstandings of my positions), but the misrepresentations of Bubba and anyone else who has stated that I'm lying.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

I believe people "tune us out" because they know their beliefs are shakey.

And that is a fine hunch and you are welcome to that hunch. But I don't see much validity for it in the real world.

For my part (and I can only speak for myself, but I CAN speak for myself, thank you very much), to the degree I tune you all out, it is for a couple of simple, rational reasons:

1. If the accusations are too nutty and unsupported (a perfect example is the accusation that I am lying about how I came to believe in the moral rectitude of marriage for all folk, including gay folk) - if someone is making accusations that I am lying when I KNOW I am not lying, and when they don't really know me and what they're basing it on is misrepresentations of my actual positions and words - if someone is presuming they know what I believe better than I do, that is not a reality-based conclusion. It borders on the delusional and is certainly narcissistic. How can one have a reasoned, adult conversation with such a person.

Tune 'em out.

2. The language is too abusive. I have no problems with strong disagreements. If you disagree with me and disagree in strong terms, that's okay, that is NOT what I'm talking about.

But it's one thing to disagree on the topic (Dan, I think you're way off on gay marriage. That is an INCREDIBLY unreasonable portrayal of Leviticus 18...) and it's another thing to jump beyond the topic to unfounded ad hominem attacks (Therefore, you DON'T really love the Bible, you're a heretic, a commie and a doodoo head, etc).

I'll deal with reasoned attacks on my position. I try to tune out the personal unfounded ad hominem attacks.

Tune 'em out.

It seems unreasonable and unproductive generally to most of us to continue down that road.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

I've shown I do consider all arguments.

Yes, absolutely true. You do allow all arguments to appear and aren't like some that pick and choose which comments to allow.

They just haven't been good enough to trump what I know to be true.

Just to clarify: The arguments of others have not been good enough to convince you they are correct. It does not mean they're NOT correct, just that you found those making the arguments to have presented their case too poorly to swing your opinion.

As you say...

Their leaving doesn't mean I AM correct. Only that they are less so if they can't affect my thinking.

Now, to clarify again: It does not mean that your "opponents" ARE less correct. It just means you found their arguments not convincing enough. Right?

Logic and common sense is hard to overcome and their leaving demonstrates that for me. If I'm wrong, it should be easy enough to explain why.

Well, maybe and maybe not. By that reasoning, if I, Dan, am wrong, it should be easy enough for you to explain why. But you have not done so, not to my satisfaction, at least. You have not convinced me nor have I convinced you.

In neither case does our not convincing the other indicate either position is correct or incorrect. All it indicates is that we failed to convince the other, agreed?

Bubba said...

Dan, I stand by my conclusion that you're being dishonest about the Bible's influence on your changed position on "gay marriage."

You have NEVER pointed to a single passage that convinced you that God condones homosexuality in any circumstances, and your analysis of the relevant passages is strained beyond any plausibility.

For instance, there's no indication from the text that the prohibitions in Leviticus 18 and 20 are limited to "the context of pagan idol worship and temple prostitution." It's absolutely absurd to conclude, for instance, that those chapters' prohibition of bestiality and incest ONLY applied to pagan practices, and that sheep-bothering was condoned so long as it was in the privacy of one's own home.

And it's just ridiculous to look at Matthew 19 and ONLY conclude that "Marriage IS a good thing and breaking up that marriage IS a bad thing."

The passage is quite clear about God's will regarding the composition of marriage.

Christ doesn't merely mention the joining of man and wife as an example of what marriage CAN be, but as the divine plan for what marriage MUST be.

We know this, because man's becoming one flesh with his wife is tied directly to our creation as male and female "in the beginning."

Take any man, straight, gay, or bi-curious, and this passage tells you why God created him male: to leave his family and become one flesh with his WIFE (female).

The only exception to this is the life of a literal or metaphorical eunuch -- that is, a life of celibacy.

The options are lifelong heterosexual monogamy, lifelong celibacy, AND NOTHING ELSE. To insert any other options requires ignoring, for all practical purposes, what Christ said about our being created male and female -- or, barring that, a complete distortion of what it means to be a eunuch.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Yes, yes, none of us know your heart and intentions and history as well as you do. We can evaluate your claims about how the Bible convinced you that God blesses "gay marriage" ONLY by the quality of your arguments for that position, from the text.

The problem is, your arguments are shit and you make no real effort to deal with that fact.

You say, "I could always be wrong on any topic," but this is an empty concession, a ceremonial nod toward humility that doesn't mean anything because YOU AREN'T REALLY OPEN TO CORRECTION.

I don't see you apologize all that often, EXCEPT for passive aggressive apologies for US not understanding your position. I don't see you own up to any SPECIFIC misunderstandings or mistakes on your part EXCEPT for your life before converting to progressivism: you apologize ONLY for your being a psuedo-conservative.

I will remind you that, even on minor things for which you could take responsibility without changing the debate -- such as your claim in November that "I am not willing to make a claim about the Bible that neither God nor the Bible make" -- you find it easier to lie about what you originally wrote (as the context completely belies your explanation) rather than own up to hypocrisy.

Worse, you simply don't employ good arguments to explain why our conclusions are wrong, and you don't defend your arguments against the substance of our criticism.

Instead, you consistently fall back on platitudes about how you remain unconvinced and, gee, don't you have the right to your opinion?

You do this, obviously, to bow out of a conversation when it's not going your way, so that a few weeks or months down the line, you can present the same flawed argument for your position as if no one has ever pointed out the flaws, when the flaws have been laid bare time and again.


I don't simply nod to the idea that I could be wrong: I open myself fully to the possibility by subjecting to scrutiny my arguments and the conclusions I draw from them. I present the evidence of my positions in detail, allowing others to present (if it exists) overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I present the logic of my arguments and subject them to analysis for fallacies and bad assumptions.

AND WHEN MY ARGUMENTS AND EVIDENCE ARE SHOWN TO BE FAULTY, I CHANGE MY BELIEFS.

You clearly don't. You don't take any of this seriously enough to put your beliefs on the line.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

It's a credit to your intelligence that I don't think you're enough of an idiot to have stumbled into behavior this consistently unserious.

The evidence of our literally years of conversations is conclusive: you can't really believe your arguments, and you don't really intend to allow any of these conversations to have any impact on what you believe.

It's kabuki. It's theater.

It's you pretending to have a serious discussion in order to advance your agenda, rather than have an actual discussion that risks derailing your agenda because of the weakness of your arguments.

It's all fundamentally a lie.


It's a serious charge, not only that you lie occasionally or even frequently, but that the entire basis of your being in this discussion is a lie.

It's a serious charge that you lie as a matter of course, not in safe irrelevancies like the city of your residence, and not in those progressive positions that clearly drive you, but in so much of what's important: you're deliberately unclear about what you believe, you're outright dishonest about WHY you believe it, and you're fundamentally just acting when you enter a discussion as if you're putting your beliefs on the line.

It is a serious charge that you're a consistent, flagrant, and unrepentant liar, and that you're a liar even about your own faith.

If I'm making this charge falsely or even presumptuously, that's a very serious thing. I'm guilty of a grave sin.

But I think I'm right about the charge, and I think it's clear that I am. Again the evidence isn't in your claims to be honest (as few liars would plead guilty) but in the quality of your arguments, and there simply is no "there" there.

And if I'm right, it's a very serious charge AGAINST YOU, a charge that has serious implications about whether anyone should try to continue these discussions, and even more serious implications about (at the least) the condition of spiritual maturity, as you seem to relish in deceit.

You lie without any apparent hesitation. You lie without any apparent sense of guilt. You lie as if you literally have no conscience.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Instead, you consistently fall back on platitudes about how you remain unconvinced and, gee, don't you have the right to your opinion?

You do this, obviously, to bow out of a conversation when it's not going your way...


And this would be an example of you presuming to "obviously" know what my reasons are for doing something. You are, in fact, mistaken.

I tend to stop trying to cover a topic because...

1. I don't have the time or energy to continue;

2. I don't find the discussion meaningful enough; and/or

3. I don't think the topic NEEDS to be thoroughly debated, hashed and rehashed.

For instance, in the case of Atonement, I did not have a huge opinion upon the topic. My opinion was that we are saved by God's grace and atonement is part of how we explain the critical thing, that being that we are saved by grace.

Nonetheless, in order to try to address questions you all raised, I put forth some opinions that sort of explained my position, just to address YOUR questions. For my part, I believe we are saved by grace and that's what's important and don't really care too much about the various theories of atonement, as I don't think they have much of an impact upon my Christian life.

I went WAY too long and spent WAY too much time discussing that with you all.

I don't find such discussions with the tenor of the discussions being what they were especially productive. It makes Christians look like bickering little piss-ants who have to disagree over every little word and nuance and I don't find that edifying to the Kingdom, at least in this context.

And so, I discussed the topic some for your sake, but probably more than I should have and mostly end that topic NOT because I thought the conversation "wasn't going my way," but because I felt it harmful to the reputation of the church.

And now, I need to decide if it is worth my spending time defending myself/my greater church family from the multitude of misrepresentations offered in your comments above or is just going back to ignoring you the better part of valor.

But, no, I don't quit and never have quit commenting on a topic because I thought I was "losing" a a debate. For my part, I mostly don't care to engage in debates - I'll leave that to theologians and those smarter than myself. I'm mostly just explaining my position in the best fashion my meager brain allows.

It may not be the best explanation of my position, but it IS my truthful, honest position. Your continued hideous slander does not foster much desire to continue to repeat what I have already repeated and which has repeatedly been ignored.

Bubba said...

Dan, if you're being honest about why you're letting drop the subject of how we are saved, I wonder why you continue to misrepresent what's being discussed.

The subject isn't about "every word and nuance" regarding a particular theory of atonement, but the Bible's clear claim that we are saved, not only by God's grace but by Christ's death.

This issue is so crucial to Christianity that it's the focus of the only regular observance that Christ Himself institutued: we partake of the Lord's Supper to proclaim His death SPECIFICALLY because -- as He Himself taught -- His blood was shed for our forgiveness, and He gave His life as our ransom.

You can't be honest about what we're discussing, so I can't take seriously your claim to be honest about why the discussion no longer holds your interest.

Instead, I look at the record. You alluded to a few passages to claim that the "basics" of salvation is that we're saved by grace.

I pointed out how ALL of the passages to which you allude -- ALL OF THEM -- teach just as clearly that we're saved by Christ's death, demonstrating that you have to rip passages out of even their IMMEDIATE context in order to prove your point.

Funny that that's the moment you got bored with the topic and decided to let it go for the sake of the church's reputation (yeah, right) and not substantiate your position with PLAUSIBLE appeals to Scripture.

Bubba said...

And, Dan, to answer the objection you've raised before, it's not as if you have no motivation to lie.

You've asked before, why would you lie? I'm sure you'll be tempted to ask that again.

The answer is the same general answer for all lies: you lie because you have something to gain, and the nature of your lies reveals what that is.

Specifically, you believe -- probably correctly -- that your political progressivism would benefit enormously in terms of popular support if you could convince people that it is consistent with (or better yet, the logical consequence of) biblical Christianity.

The problem is, the two aren't compatible, so you have to hide your radical beliefs behind a veneer of Christian orthodoxy.

Christian orthodoxy and esteem for Christ's teachings and the Bible's teachings is, with you, nothing but a Trojan horse: we know this because the details of your beliefs deviate significantly from orthodoxy and show contempt for much of what the Bible actually teaches.

Hiding within that Trojan horse is a totalitarian, collectivist, and depraved ideology whose first goal is to pull down western civilization, erode individual liberty, and destroy traditional institutions through disingenuous appeals to "social justice," environmental protection, and a pacifism that is ONLY concerned with hamstringing the defense of the West.

While the Bible probably allows for some specific policies supported by progressives, it is incompatible with the political philosophy of progressivism as a whole.

And what we see you do is constantly appeal (POORLY) to Bible study as the reason for your positions, but you do so constantly to advance ideas that fit more with political progressivism than with the text's clear teachings.

The Bible is clear -- and Jesus Christ Himself is clear -- that God made us male and female so that a man (male) would leave his family to become one flesh with his wife (female). But you claim, absolutely implausibly, that Bible study convinced you that God blesses "gay marriage."

The Bible is clear -- and Jesus Christ is clear -- that He died for our salvation, that His blood was shed for our forgiveness. But you deny the Bible's clear connection between His death and our salvation; lo and behold, that leaves you plenty of room to argue that political martyrdom and civil disobedience was the real reason Jesus was killed -- and to emphasize the role of the "powers that be" against the initiative of the Father who (the Bible clearly teaches) sent His Son to die for our sins.

Even when the Bible does teach something that fits with your politics, you push things too far and end up distorting Scripture:

1) The Bible does clearly command us to help the poor, but you argue (against the book of Job) that wealth is a uniquely dangerous spiritual trap.

2) You implausibly enlist to your cause teachings of Jesus (e.g., in Lk 4 and 6) that are much better understood to refer to spiritual liberation from sin and spiritual poverty before God.

3) When pressed you give only the briefest nod to Lev 19:15's requirement for impartiality, but you argue that God loves especially the poor, when it's clear from Christ's outreach to rich and powerful men like Zaccheus and Nicodemus (to say nothing of Abraham and Job) that God loves even the poor, not especially the poor.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Basically, everything you do is from the second-edition playbook of Marxism.

Originally, Marxists were open revolutionaries who sought to destroy traditional institutions from the outside, to replace them with their utopian schemes. They overtly HATED religion as the "opiate of the masses" that hinders their cause, and they sought its suppression.

Now, Marxists are stealth radicals who seek to transform completely traditional institutions from within. Their contempt for faith is obvious in that they don't take it at all seriously, but they see the religion as a possible means to advance their cause, and they seek its subversion.

Hence, the Christian Marxism of Latin America and its race-based strains of so-called "liberation theology" advanced by race-essentialist demagogues like Jeremiah Wright -- who you defend as a "man of God" far more naturally than those who preach salvation through Christ crucified.

(It's an interesting thing to study, how much you defend Wright's hate speech while dismissing as "doubtless" bigotry some of the teachings of THE APOSTLE PUAL.)


Despite your having some apparent knowledge of Alinsky, whether you're completely aware of the history of the tactics you employ actually is an open question.

But I cannot see how you could be completely ignorant of the deception and the hypocrisy and, ultimately, the treachery of which you're a part: the text of Scripture weighs far too heavily against your arguments for that.


Why do you lie? For the same reason any man commits treason: he thinks it will benefit the kingdom where his real loyalties lie.

Dan Trabue said...

Then let me ask THIS question:

Why are you such a pharisaical, arrogant, ignorant egomaniac who thinks he's a "god"? Why do you presume to know more than you know?

We know obviously that you do this because you incorrectly presume to know my motives and thoughts on a regular basis. I can know it's wrong because, well, again, IT'S MY OPINIONS that you are misrepresenting.

So, the obvious question is, how does Bubba get to be such an enormous power-hungry childman who presumes to speak for God?

That is a question that I find hard to answer. My best guess is that whole cognitive dissonance thing - that is, that you are so certain that you are right that anything that conflicts with that MUST be explained away or it hurts your head. So, if real world facts get in the way (for instance, Dan actually WAS a traditionalist, conservative who actually DID reach his positions from prayerfully seeking God's will and reading the Bible), then you have to make up SOME reason to explain away the evidence.

The result is you contradict real world facts and make shit up because it would otherwise cause you discomfort to know that there are born again Christians, saved by God's grace who somehow DARE to disagree with Bubba.

But that's just my best guess. In truth, I don't know how one gets to be as ignorant and arrogant as you appear to be.

I AM sorry for you. As I have said, I had a touch of that when I was younger (not to your extreme, but a touch) and no doubt still retain a touch of that old arrogance. Maybe even more than a touch.

God help us all.

Marty said...

"You lie without any apparent hesitation. You lie without any apparent sense of guilt. You lie as if you literally have no conscience."

Wow.

And so it is. The very reason I fled for my life as I looked at christians like you and said "I must not be one."

Thankfully I did find Christians like Dan who, without even knowing it, gently guided me back and helped me realize that I was one, stumbling though I may be.

Dan Trabue said...

We hear that a lot at Jeff St (and I'm sure that it's true for other churches, as well) - that whole feeling of "if THAT is Christianity, no thanks!" speaking of people who get a bit arrogant and over-confident in their ability to speak for God, and who do so in ways that don't seem to have that of God in them.

One of our nicknames at Jeff St is "the Church of the Last Chance," as in, "If THIS church isn't any better than the others, I'm giving up on organized religion." In all of these cases, it's not a matter that these individuals don't want to be disciples of Jesus AT ALL. It's just that they've been wounded and worn out by the Bubbas and Pat Robertsons of the world.

And, in truth, the Dans of the world. Not so long ago, I was not that different than Bubba. I'm certain that my "hateful love," as I call how I was, may have turned people away from Jesus rather than drawing them closer to Jesus.

It's not something I'm proud of, to be sure. And, what's worse, I fear I'm every bit as bad now, sometimes at least, as I was then, just in a different way.

Marty said...

Nah...trust me. You're not that bad now.

Bubba said...

Dan, you're being a hypocrite, at least twice-over.


First, your complaint is that I'm drawing conclusions about you that you think is presumptuous. Your response is clear presumption on your own.

"Why are you such a pharisaical, arrogant, ignorant egomaniac who thinks he's a 'god'? Why do you presume to know more than you know?"

These sorts of accusations about WHO I AM wouldn't come from someone who's being consistent about objecting to accusations about WHO HE IS.

If it's presumptuous for me to conclude that you're an unrepentant liar, it's equally presumptuous for you to conclude that I'm a "a pharisaical, arrogant, ignorant egomaniac who thinks he's a 'god'."

You're being a hypocrite by dishing out what you adamantly refuse to take.


You're also being a hypocrite because you very recently conceded that one could judge a tree by its fruit.

You conceded that in a comment in the earlier thread, LITERALLY TWENTY MINUTES after this little tirade.

On the one hand, you write:

"I DO know that we are to judge trees by their fruit, and people by their actions. And I find your actions troubling and your fruit rotten.

"But then, I also know that none of us are perfect and that includes me. So I lump myself with you as another sinner saved by God's grace and try to give you the benefit of the doubt, even though you show little grace, little love of the Christian community, little patience, little kindness, little self-control, little of the fruit of the Spirit.

"In short, by all evidences, you are not living a life of grace by God's Spirit.
" [emphasis mine]

But, on the other hand, for doing what you concede is permissible and EXACTLY what you're doing yourself -- drawing conclusions about a person's character from his external behavior, judging a tree by his fruit -- you accuse me of rampant egomania.


That's hypocritical and absurd.

You don't like that I think you're a liar, fine: I didn't intend it as a compliment.

But cut the crap about how I'm some megalomaniac for daring to draw that conclusion from your tendentious writing.

Marty said...

"One of our nicknames at Jeff St is "the Church of the Last Chance,"

I like that. Wish there were more churches like yours.

Bubba said...

Dan Trabue, about Jeff Street:

"We hear that a lot at Jeff St (and I'm sure that it's true for other churches, as well) - that whole feeling of "if THAT is Christianity, no thanks!" speaking of people who get a bit arrogant and over-confident in their ability to speak for God, and who do so in ways that don't seem to have that of God in them."

--

Dan Trabue, about "W and his spawn."

"We had a perfectly good God
Prince of Peace
Making a feast
For ALL God's children
Black, white, straight, gay
Preparing the Way
Good God! We had a Good God

"And you killed him
"

--

Well, good thing arrogant presumption on God's behalf is something that we surely wouldn't find prevalent among Dan and those like him.

But don't forget, the Bible convinced Dan that God blesses "gay marriage" but forbids war: don't ask him where it does this, he can't tell you, but he doesn't speak for God.


The Pugnacious Irishmen has a point.


I wonder what happens at Jeff Street when somebody comes in, "worn out" not only by people's behavior, but by church doctrine.

A seeker comes in and makes clear that he's given up on organized religion, because of all the Christian churches that cling (he says) to the barbaric belief that Jesus died for our sins, that Jesus' death was necessary for our forgiveness; or the limiting idea that the Bible is the authoritative written word of God against which all other revelation is judged; or the preposterous notion of the miraculous, that Jesus was actually and bodily raised from the dead?

Can we hope that the Last Chance would make clear that such beliefs are essential, that abandoning them is kind of a deal breaker?

Or is it obvious that THOSE particular teachings of Jesus are entirely negotiable -- and that some teachings, such as Jesus' claim about why we were created male and female, don't really have a place in such a warm and welcoming parody of a Christian church?

Dan Trabue said...

Once again, anyone is always welcome at Jeff St. Come and see for yourself.

In the meantime, I'd suggest you'd be wise not to mock God's work or even not to mock that which you don't know about.

Bubba...

If it's presumptuous for me to conclude that you're an unrepentant liar, it's equally presumptuous for you to conclude that I'm a "a pharisaical, arrogant, ignorant egomaniac who thinks he's a 'god'."

Your "evidence" for my lying is your own misinterpretation of my actual positions. In short, there IS no evidence.

The evidence for your arrogance is right there, in your false accusations.

In short, there IS evidence that you are bearing false witness. There is NO evidence that I'm lying about my positions.

That you don't believe me is not evidence. That you write 1000 words saying that YOU DON'T SEE HOW I can hold my position is not evidence.

It's not too difficult to see, seems to me.

Marty said...

"Or is it obvious that THOSE particular teachings of Jesus are entirely negotiable -- and that some teachings, such as Jesus' claim about why we were created male and female, don't really have a place in such a warm and welcoming parody of a Christian church?"

Boy, you really don't have a clue do you Bubba. You've clung to your self-righteousness so long that you've forgotten what it is to gracefully love in spite of. Or have you always been that way?

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I believe it is YOU who are lacking a clue. As Bubba and I have been saying, our treatment of Dan, if you wish to frame it that way, is a result of years of conversation. This is the first thing you need to understand. If he had been more straightforward from the beginning, we likely would have ended these conversations a long time ago. He has not been despite his protestations to the contrary. He responds on his terms only and demands it be good enough for anyone who questions his positions. Imagine a civil trial with Dan on the stand responding in that manner. Would the judge be arrogant, self-righteous, hateful, unChristian if Dan were to give such answers? No. He would be justifiably pissed at Dan's evasiveness and Dan's own arrogance in insisting the interrogation go as HE prefers.

In the same vein, imagine a judge explaining a law you don't like. Would you change cities until you found one that doesn't enforce the law? This parallels what is going on between conservative Christians like myself, Bubba, Neil and others, and those like Dan, YOU apparently and others who no longer have the spine to visit here.

What's more important to remember is that rather than whine about conservatives holding another accountable, keep in mind there is Another who will be far stricter in doing so come Judgement. The Jeff Sts. of the world, if it exists as Dan describes it, does not honor God by tolerating sinfulness. That is not love in the least. We are talking of the sin, not the sinner in our discussions. We are talking about the perspectives and opinions and interpretations held by those like Dan, as opposed to those like Dan themselves. It is only after years of proving ourselves, and we HAVE done so (Dan and others like him only deny that we have as their rebuttals have been shown to be lacking as well), that our frustrations demand that we finally must make a conclusion of the person as well as their lame and unsupported beliefs.

What else are we to do? If someone continues to slap your face, but constantly says you deserve it but mistinterpret his motives, at what point to you man up and call him the sadistic jerk he's proven himself to be? (A poor analogy, perhaps. I'm in a bit of a hurry, but it's close enough to make the point.) Would you be ungracious at that point? Does admitting the truth as it appears to be mean that you are lacking in love for the person doing the slapping? Of course not. Other factors might explain such a feeling but not those I've laid out.

We could just let him continue to run with his lame positions, but as these blogs are public forums (such as they are), I agree with Bubba that it our Christian duty to expose such positions for the deviation from Scripture that they are. This lame argument that this is simply a matter of two different interpretations only goes so far. We use Scripture to make our points, as well as to show how Dan misuses Scripture to make his, when he chooses to actually refer to Scripture. How is that ungracious, arrogant or hateful? How is that SELF-righteous rather than just righteous seeking?

We could ban him, but then we'd just be like lib bloggers or generally bloggers who can't support their arguments. I don't roll that way.

No. The Jeff St church as Dan describes it is not a place I'd be interested in making time for. I prefer a church so concerned with a visitor's everlasting soul that it would risk the visitor's never returning rather than to pussyfoot about regarding that visitor's behaviors, convictions or misperceptions. Hurt feelings will diminish, especially when the truth is known, explained and accepted. The visitor will get over the hurt feelings. He won't get over eternal damnation.

Dan Trabue said...

He would be justifiably pissed at Dan's evasiveness and Dan's own arrogance in insisting the interrogation go as HE prefers.


Once again, just because you don't like an answer is no evidence that the answer is vague.

If a prosecutor asked a witness a question about the witness' opinion, such as, "What do you think caused the car wreck?" and the witness explained that it is his opinion that the wreck was due to faulty brakes, if the prosecutor was looking for the witness to blame the driver, he would not be able to complain to the judge and the judge would realize that the witness had offered his opinion.

Right?

These are matters of opinion (is gay marriage good? Does the Bible speak of atonement in terms of PSA or ME? - opinions). If I am asked my opinion and offer my opinion, that is not being evasive.

Right?

Marty said...

"YOU apparently and others who no longer have the spine to visit here."

I'm still visiting. My spine is still functional. I say what I have to say. I'm just not blogging anymore. I don't have much time. Life has a way of prioritizing things. What with work, taking care of my elderly mom and helping out with my granddaughter - these conversations are not number one on my list of things to do. Once I read through all the coments, which sometimes takes me a day or two or three or four, I don't have any time left to comment. I had a little time today, so I commented briefly. But rest assured I've still got my spine.

I definitely see the bearing of false witness with you guys regarding Dan. And I am fully aware that you don't recognize it. Pity. That.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"Your 'evidence' for my lying is your own misinterpretation of my actual positions. In short, there IS no evidence.

"The evidence for your arrogance is right there, in your false accusations.

"In short, there IS evidence that you are bearing false witness. There is NO evidence that I'm lying about my positions.
"

You're welcome to explain where I've misinterpreted you. Until you do, I think the defense is hollow. I think I understand your beliefs pretty damn well, despite your evasiveness; it's just that we disagree substantially on the plausibility of those beliefs and the subsequent conclusions.

The supposed evidence that I'm bearing false witness IS NOT HERE, Dan. The most you've been able to say is that you know yourself better than I know you, which is sheer question-begging, because you're appealing to your own authority when your character is PRECISELY what I'm questioning.

The evidence that you're not being honest IS in your writing: your arguments, when you actually bother to present them, are shit.


But note that your hypocrisy isn't just because you've said something about my behavior -- that I'm bearing false witness.

You've made accusations about my inner thoughts -- that I'm (and I quote) "a pharisaical, arrogant, ignorant egomaniac who thinks he's a 'god.'"

And now, you write that my supposedly false accusations is "evidence for [my] arrogance," a quality of my inner thoughts that you cannot possibly speak about IF YOU EVER DECIDED TO BE CONSISTENT.

Again: These sorts of accusations about WHO I AM wouldn't come from someone who's being consistent about objecting to accusations about WHO HE IS.


If you really think it's presumptuous to draw conclusions about a person's thoughts from his writing, that would be absurd, but you could at least strive to be consistent about it.

Instead, you think it's presumptuous FOR ME to draw conclusions about YOUR thoughts from YOUR writing, but not the reverse: you've dared to deduce from my writing that I'm arrogant and megalomaniacal.

You didn't stop to say that my accusations were false, you went on to say that those accusations prove that I'm arrogant, a conclusion you CANNOT draw according to your own idiotic standards.

You continue to be a flagrant hypocrite.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"These are matters of opinion (is gay marriage good? Does the Bible speak of atonement in terms of PSA or ME? - opinions). If I am asked my opinion and offer my opinion, that is not being evasive."

About "gay marriage", the subject ISN'T merely about whether it's "good" but whether it's biblically permissible.

You're not evasive about your opinion that it's good and even blessed by God, but you don't ever get around to justifying your interpretation of relevant passages.

1) You don't explain why you think Lev 18 and 20 prohibits homosexual behavior ONLY in the context pagan rituals, when the passages also prohibit bestiality and SURELY do not condone sheep bothering in private.

2) In Matthew 19, Christ Himself taught that God made us male and female so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female), but you never explain how you draw from this passage ONLY a commendation for marriage without ANY implications about God's will for its composition.


About atonement, we're not merely discussing the various theories; we're discussing the more basic claim that Christ's death caused our forgiveness. It's a clear claim of Scripture, and when you cite NT passages that teach salvation by God's grace, you consistently rip those passages out of even their IMMEDIATE context to ignore that they ALSO clear teach salvation by Christ's death.

But to focus on the various theories, I don't think it's remotely clear what your opinion is from the previous discussion.


"You don't like appear to care much for the ME theory that I like in part, but I also like/find validity in the PS and the CV theories, which you DO like, right?

"Does it trouble you horribly if I find the ME is ALSO a good consideration when thinking about atonement?" (1/14, 10:36 PM)


"In my day to day life, it really doesn't matter much in my Christian walk if I believe in ME atonement, PSA or CV or some combination of several or none at all!" (1/17, 8:07 AM)


"I think there is a sense in which PSA can be construed as true...

"In the sense that his life and death was all about bearing our sins, our illnesses, our weaknesses, upon himself, living and dying so that, in the greater sense, we would not have to die spiritually, I suppose one can say that the PSA has some validity..."

"To be sure, I'm more comfortable with the ME angle of Atonement, it makes more sense to me biblically and logically, but I can see how one can get a Substitutionary position on atonement and MAYBE 'penal,' but that's even more of a stretch." (1/20, 8:08 PM)


"I have clearly pointed out that I think the 16th century view of PSA has SOME merit (although, I think the much older view of simply SUBSTITUTIONARY atonement - without the 'penal' component - is the more biblically correct view)." (1/24, 3:58 PM)


On the one hand, you "like/find validity" in penal substitutionary atonement (PSA), but on the other hand, the moral example (ME) theory is also "a good consideration."

On the one hand there is a "sense" in which PSA "can be construed as true," but on the other hand, that "sense" is a complete distortion of the theory.

On the one hand you "see how one can get" to a position embracing PSA, but you're "more comfortable" with ME.

On the one hand, PSA "has SOME merit," but on the other hand other views are more biblically correct.

And on top of all this, you think "it really doesn't matter" if you believe in any of these theories or several or none at all.

Evasive? You? Even on the subjects you invoke to prove that you're quite willing to answer questions, you show a reluctance to take a stand and provide the actual rationale behind it.

Dan Trabue said...

On the one hand, PSA "has SOME merit," but on the other hand other views are more biblically correct.

And on top of all this, you think "it really doesn't matter" if you believe in any of these theories or several or none at all.

Evasive? You?


And this is one difference between more conservative and more progressive types, as well as more conservative/fundamentalist/evangelical types and many anabaptists: We are able to see truth in many ways. Yes, in a sense, X may be right, but generally, A is the better way to view things.

We are able to see God's Truth in many ways. Conservative-types of the Bubba genre can only see Truth in the ONE WAY they believe to be approved by God (ie, their own view). Bubba, as I have said, there is some validity to many of your views on atonement. I'm not wholly disagreeing with you.

But that's not enough. I have to agree exactly with your view of the atonement. Not the Bible, because I don't disagree with the Bible in context. But that's not enough. I have to agree with YOUR TAKE on the Bible exactly and only as you present it.

No thanks. I'm seeking God's will, not Bubba's approval.

Now, having said all of that and going back to the "judge/evasive" charge: IF I were in a courtroom and asked my opinion of how we are saved, I would answer Saved by Grace through faith in Christ, as we repent and turn to Jesus, making him Lord of our lives. THAT is my answer. It is not evasive, it is a direct and crystal clear response.

Now, if you start insisting I address the question: "Is our salvation CAUSED by Jesus' death?" my answer has ALSO been crystal clear: Our salvation is caused by grace and Jesus' life and death are all part of how God reveals God's grace to us.

Nothing at all evasive or clear about that.

In short, I repeat: That I don't give the answer that the prosecutor wants is not an indication that I have not given my clear non-evasive answer. I HAVE offered my opinion, for what it's worth.

That's not good enough for you. That's where you're lacking in grace and reason.

And I don't know why I'm bother repeating what I've already repeatedly addressed. I guess there's something wrong with me.

Marshall Art said...

You've given an answer, but you haven't supported it with any facts, such as what does the Bible teach about the causal relationship between Christ's death and our salvation. THAT'S what the prosecutor is asking for.

Dan Trabue said...

I've written volumes on it.

My first answer is, I think we are saved by Grace, etc. A point with which the "prosecutor" agrees.

Beyond that, my secondary answer is I don't know what the "process" is, my thinking is that the "process" is we're saved by grace, etc.

If the prosecutor pushes and wants me to answer what I think of the Bible says about a "causal" relationship between Jesus' death and our salvation, I answer that the Bible does not use "causal" language, but that there IS a connection between Jesus' life, his teachings, his Way, his death, his resurrection and our salvation - that it is all part of God's grace by which we are saved.

If the prosecutor pushes for a "better" explanation of my opinion, I tell the prosecutor, that IS my opinion. The Bible does not say Jesus' death "caused" our salvation. The Bible says a lot about salvation...

Dan Trabue said...

The Bible says

he who stands firm to the end will be saved (repeatedly, Jesus says this)...

If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me...

Your faith has saved you; go in peace...

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved...

everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved...

it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved...

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved...

we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life..

we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved...

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood...

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved...

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved..."

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God...

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you...

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...


and on and on. And you know what? I believe ALL of that. Not one word in that testimony of the bible on what we must do to be saved do I disbelieve. Do I believe we may need sometimes to sell all we have and follow Christ in order to be saved? Yes, I do!

Do I believe that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved? Yes, I do!

Do I believe that it is by grace that we are saved? Yes, I do!

I believe it all.

Now, if the prosecutor wants to say, "but some say that it is the blood of Christ that CAUSES our salvation - do you agree with that?" My answer is, "I DON'T KNOW. The Bible does not say that and I have no need to put it that way. There is certainly a sense in which one can say that, insofar as Jesus life and death and suffering and shed blood, ALL were part of God's plan of grace to save us BY grace. So, sure, in a sense, one could say it is the blood or Jesus' death that "causes" our salvation. But only in the sense that it is all part of God's plan of Grace Salvation.

But ultimately, I'm suspicious of such language BECAUSE IT IS NOT FOUND IN THE BIBLE and because I value the Bible's teaching, I'm uncomfortable with that conclusion. I'm not disagreeing, I just don't think it is the most biblical way of putting it.

If the prosecutor repeated badgering the witness, I suspect the judge would say, "Quit badgering the witness, he has answered your question."

Dan Trabue said...

So, to deal with this question:

but you haven't supported it with any facts, such as what does the Bible teach about the causal relationship between Christ's death and our salvation.

The answer is: The Bible says NOTHING DIRECTLY about a causal relationship between Christ's death and our salvation.

The Bible DOES say...

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many...

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them...

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?


...As far as "causation."

Ask me a question about a specific passage that you think indicates "causation" and I will give an answer to that question.

I believe the Bible and, more importantly, I believe God (as we see, the Bible is open to interpretation). I don't wholly disagree with y'all, but the more you get away from direct biblical teaching, the more likely I am to be wary of your words and traditions.

Not that I reject them, just that I might be wary of them, depending upon what the topic is and how far removed from the Bible your interpretations are.

Dan Trabue said...

Now let me ask you this, Marshall:

What difference does it make?

If I believe that I am a sinner, in need of salvation; If I believe that God offers salvation through God's grace, through faith in Jesus; If I believe that if we repent, God is faithful and just to forgive; If I believe all of that and ask Jesus to be Lord of my life and agree his ways are righteous and by God's grace, I strive to follow in the steps of Jesus...

If I believe ALL of that, what difference in my daily walk with Christ our Lord does it make what I believe about atonement? What difference does it make if I think that Jesus' life AND death were all a part of God's grace, by which we are saved? What difference does it make if I feel less comfortable (while not wholly disagreeing) with language such as "our salvation is CAUSED by Jesus' death?"

How does that matter in my daily walk with Christ? In my own salvation? In the greater church community?

Or does it matter at all?

Dan Trabue said...

Here's one other question: Looking at this (on-going) conversation carefully, prayerfully, with an eye to the Kingdom of God, do you think God would be pleased or displeased by the whole conversation?

Do you think it promotes Christianity or detracts from it?

Do you think our tone has been appropriate or inappropriate or a mix of both?

I have absolutely no problem with discussing disagreements. At all. That's why I come places like this. But I do sometimes wonder about the way I go about it.

Is this really pleasing to God?

Marshall Art said...

You have been given countless (rhetorical hyperbole alert based on the reality of these discussions) examples of Biblical teaching regarding that causation, including the words of Christ Himself. You apparently can't understand them nor the fact that your denial of this fact suggests deceit on your part. I will list a few of the verses already offered later as I am pressed for time at present. Or I will link back to those many already given by Bubba ealier. For now I will present another "proof" of the essential nature of this essential truth.

Almost all (which I say only to allow the chance there might be some) Christian denominations share one common symbol, and that's the cross. Sometimes it bears the image of Christ crucified, usually Roman Catholic, and the rest the empty cross, symbolic of Christ resurrected. In either case is the cross itself. A focus on His death. Not His life, unless referring to His life after the resurrection. It IS the message, the Good News, that Christ died to save us. Not that He lived to be a moral example. That we follow that example indicates our acceptance of Him as Savior that we would live as He taught. It is the works that go with our faith in Him. But His pre-cross life was not the purpose of His coming. We had moral example because we had the Law, which could have been clarified as Christ clarified it through prophets. But His sacrifice is what allowed us the full measure of God's grace, not the life He lived before it. The cross is the symbol of this truth, of this message, of the Good News.

Dan Trabue said...

But His pre-cross life was not the purpose of His coming.

Do you have a biblical passage to support this or are you asking me to accept just your opinion?

For me, I would point to Jesus' words who said, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because God has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed... the day of God's good favor."

According to Jesus himself, THAT is why God ordained him to come. I believe that, which the Bible in Jesus' own words tells me.

What reason would you provide for me to believe that Jesus' pre-cross life was not the purpose for him coming?

Now, here is a biblical list of reasons why Jesus came and they INCLUDE dying on a cross - a point with which I agree - but they do NOT say that Jesus "pre-cross life was not the purpose of him coming."

Perhaps you would like to rephrase that?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Almost all (which I say only to allow the chance there might be some) Christian denominations share one common symbol, and that's the cross.

You know, don't you, that this was not originally the case, apparently? That for the first century or two, anyway, the primary symbol used by the early church was the icthus (fish) symbol? It was a later phenomena to use the cross.

Not that I'm saying there's anything wrong with that. It IS a reminder of Jesus' death and I have no problem with that. As long as you're not suggesting that Jesus' life was inconsequential or even secondary to Jesus' death.

Bubba said...

Dan, not to miss the forest for the trees, I believe you continue to misunderstand Christ's encounter with the rich young ruler -- and you do so by ripping one statement out of context.

I think I've pointed this out two or three times before, including just a few weeks ago in the previous thread.

Jesus declared that only God was good; His disciples realized that everyone was hopeless if salvation was the result of what one did; and Jesus told them that what is impossible with man is possible with God.

Those details are found IN ALL THREE ACCOUNTS of this encounter, but you CONSISTENTLY ignore these details to draw conclusions that the passage doesn't actually support.

You write, "Do I believe we may need sometimes to sell all we have and follow Christ in order to be saved? Yes, I do!"

Dan, if you believe that one must sell all he has "in order to be saved" rather than as evidence of salvation that has already occurred, YOU EMBRACE A WORKS-BASED RELIGION, A RELIGION OF SALVATION BY WORKS, NOT FAITH.

This isn't the first time you've suggested a works-based salvation; this isn't the first time I've pointed this out; and I cannot overstate the seriousness of this issue.


On the larger point, you say that you embrace everything the Bible teaches, but that's true only, um, "in a sense."

"And this is one difference between more conservative and more progressive types, as well as more conservative/fundamentalist/evangelical types and many anabaptists: We are able to see truth in many ways. Yes, in a sense, X may be right, but generally, A is the better way to view things."

The problem is, the "sense" in which you claim certain teachings are true doesn't make sense.

The Bible teaches that Christ bore our sins on the cross, and while this is clearly figurative language -- and those who don't immediately see that, miss it NOT because figurative language is too hard to discern, but because the process is largely automatic -- the language DOES NOT point to a wide range of possible literal meanings.

It only points to one literal meaning: that Christ's death caused the forgiveness of our sins.

The meaning you seem to draw from it isn't just a little bit different, such that we're discussing shades of nuance: IT'S THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE, that we're saved ONLY by grace and NOT by Christ's death.

That meaning is completely unsupported by the text.


In the end, you deny the only reasonable meaning behind Peter's claim that Christ bore our sins on the cross, but you obscure that fact by saying that you still believe that teaching "in a sense" -- but the sense is the OPPOSITE of that only reasonable meaning.

Stan is right that you're inconsistent in claiming to believe that penal substitutionary atonement is true "in a sense," when you outright deny the "penal" part of the concept by denying that a penalty was paid.

You might as well say, I believe X is true, "in the sense" that by true I mean false.


You're correct that there is a difference between theological conservatives and theological liberals. It isn't that y'all are "are able to see truth in many ways."

It's that you're unwilling to own up when you outright deny the truth of certain claims.


To say that "causal" language isn't used to connect Christ's death and our salvation is as ridiculous as your implying that the Bible doesn't present God using the language of a judge.

"The blood of Jesus God's Son cleanses us from all sin." - I Jn 1:7

Though using figurative language the causal connection could not be more clear: Christ's death is what caused our salvation from sin.

Bubba said...

Dan, you write to Marshall that you have no problem with the cross being a reminder of Jesus' death -- for this we should congratulate you? -- with one proviso:

"As long as you're not suggesting that Jesus' life was inconsequential or even secondary to Jesus' death."

You put a lot of emphasis on Jesus' teachings, or so you say.

Look at His teachings regarding His death. Most specifically, look at the ONE AND ONLY regular observance that Jesus Christ Himself instituted for the church He founded.

The Lord's Supper.

What does the Lord's Supper commemorate?

According to Paul in the Bible -- and you do supposedly revere the Bible's teachings, at least when you're not dismissing passages as the "doubtless" result of cultural prejudice -- we proclaim Christ's death with that observance.

Not His birth, sermons, parables, or healings, but His death.

According to Jesus Christ Himself, on what do we focus? And of what do we partake?

His broken body and His poured out blood.


If you want to suggest that it's "all of one cloth" such that Christ's death is no more important than any other aspect of His mission, you're free to do so.

I defend your right to that opinion.

But that opinion, that "hunch," is in clear and direct defiance of what Jesus Himself taught.

Craig said...

"What does the Lord's Supper commemorate?"

In addition to commemorating Christs broken body and shed blood (as we see in the words of institution of the sacrament), I would add the fact that it cannot be taken out of its context of celebration of the passover. Previously Dan has denied the historicity of the passover which,it seems, denies much if not all of the context of the last supper.

Dan Trabue said...

Seriously fellas, there's so much misrepresentation in all of this that I couldn't have time to address it if I wanted to.

For instance, I have not denied the passover, I said I find it hard to believe as a literal historic event.

I wasn't there and don't know so I can't speak to its literal historicity or not. I just find it hard to believe that is a passage that represents literal history.

It may be a small difference to you, the difference between "denies it," and "has a hard time believing the story is literally factual," but it is a huge difference to me.

Thanks!

Dan Trabue said...

I will take time to take a stab at a couple of things, but I fear I'm wrong for doing so.

Bubba...

Look at His teachings regarding His death. Most specifically, look at the ONE AND ONLY regular observance that Jesus Christ Himself instituted for the church He founded.

The Lord's Supper.


First off, you keep bringing this up. The "Lord's Supper," "Communion," these are church traditions (one which I love and which we practice at Jeff St regularly, by the way).

Still, Jesus did not "institute" a "sacrament." He was sitting around with his disciples and they were eating, as they often did. And Jesus took that time for an object lesson. "As they were eating," Matthew tells us. As oft as you do this (ie, as oft as you break bread together and share drink together) remember me and my sacrifice.

Jesus was not talking about establishing a sacrament we do at church once a month/quarter, whatever, where we have little bitty glasses with grape juice and plastic wafers. There is nothing in the text to suggest that this was designed to establish or institute a religious ritual, he was just telling them to remember his living sacrifice.

Now, our church DOES do communion and we love it. It is a holy, joyful, somber, sometimes silly moment for us and it is deeply meaningful. But we don't confuse this long-standing church tradition as being something that Jesus "implemented," as a ritual.

Just for the record.

Beyond that, yes, Jesus asked his disciples to remember his sacrifice. BUT, that is not to say that is the ONLY thing that Jesus asked or wanted his disciples to remember.

When they seemed to forget that he had fed the 5000, Jesus chastised them, saying, "HAVING EYES, DO YOU NOT SEE? AND HAVING EARS, DO YOU NOT HEAR? And do you not remember?"

When Jesus was telling his disciples that they will be persecuted, he wanted them to "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master..."

Paul said, "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive."

We are absolutely to remember the words, the teachings, the ways of Jesus. A point with which I'm sure you'll agree.

My point is, just because Jesus asked his disciples to remember his sacrifice, his death, his suffering, his shed blood, that is NOT to say that Jesus was saying "Only my death is important. It is the one and only reason I came."

You all don't really think that? That Jesus' death is the primary or most important reason he came?

If so, I'm sure you'll agree with me that you do so in spite of the Bible never saying so, right?

And I'm out of time again...

Mark said...

"I believe you continue to misunderstand Christ's encounter with the rich young ruler -- and you do so by ripping one statement out of context.

I think I've pointed this out two or three times before, including just a few weeks ago in the previous thread.

Jesus declared that only God was good; His disciples realized that everyone was hopeless if salvation was the result of what one did; and Jesus told them that what is impossible with man is possible with God.
"

Furthermore, you have to understand why the rich young ruler was sorrowful when he walked away from his encounter. Was he sorrowful because he was rich? If so, why? All he would have had to do was sell all he had and then he would no longer be rich.

Was he sorrowful because he didn't want to part with his riches? Yes, but that is only half of the equation. He also didn't want to part with his riches because his riches were more important to him than serving God.

This dovetails with Jesus' pronouncement that "the love of money is the root of all evil".

It is no sin to be rich. It is a sin to put your riches (or even your own philosophy or ideology) before God. That is idolatry, and is specifically condemned throughout the Bible, starting with the ten commandments.

Yes, Dan misrepresents the story of the rich young ruler, and no, Dan isn't that stupid to really believe his stated interpretation of the story.

As Bubba says, Dan is willfully misinterpreting the scripture because his (mis)interpretation fits more into his liberal political ideology.

Dan Trabue said...

Regarding the "institution" of the "sacrament" of the Lord's Supper, do you also consider foot washing a sacrament?

After all, Jesus did that at the same time and in the same setting as the Last Supper. And he said quite clearly, "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

That's really an aside and I won't comment on it further, but I just want to point out that we often get verses in our head that we are taught culturally that they mean one thing and one thing only and it can be hard for us to see the Bible with fresh eyes and beyond our human traditions. We too often confuse our human traditions (which can be great, mind you) with "the Word of God."

I'm just saying care ought to be taken not to confuse the two.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

But that opinion, that "hunch," is in clear and direct defiance of what Jesus Himself taught.

I'd love to see you try to prove that.

Not really, of course - my point is, you can't prove that. It's your interpretation of passages in the Bible. In truth, though, my belief that Jesus' life and death and resurrection are all ONE thing, all part and parcel of God's grace demonstrated for, with and to us, can't be proven to be in "direct defiance of what Jesus taught." Jesus never said that. It's BUBBA's interpretation, not the teaching of Jesus that you're speaking of.

As is the case in most of your claims (if not all) of "proof" that I don't love the Bible, that I don't want to follow God's ways, etc. You continue to mistake your opinions with the word of God.

For hopefully the last time, just because I disagree with your take on a passage, does not mean that I disagree with the passage or with God.

Just because it's clear TO YOU that the one and only way to read a given passage is the way you read it and that someone can't possibly read that passage and come to the conclusions I have come to, just because YOU THINK that does not make it reality.

In truth, some people of good faith manage to disagree with Bubba on gay marriage on the meaning of "lay down his life" and other topics.

But I return to my earlier question:

what difference in my daily walk with Christ our Lord does it make what I believe about atonement? What difference does it make if I think that Jesus' life AND death were all a part of God's grace, by which we are saved? What difference does it make if I feel less comfortable (while not wholly disagreeing) with language such as "our salvation is CAUSED by Jesus' death?"


Also, the earlier question about Jesus' reason for coming being ONLY to die:

Do you have a biblical passage to support this or are you asking me to accept just your opinion?

Bubba said...

Dan:


ABOUT THE PASSOVER. We're not misrepresenting your position on this subject: you're misrepresenting us.

"Seriously fellas, there's so much misrepresentation in all of this that I couldn't have time to address it if I wanted to.

"For instance, I have not denied the passover, I said I find it hard to believe as a literal historic event.
"

Craig didn't say you "denied the passover," he said you denied its historicity:

"Previously Dan has denied the historicity of the passover which,it seems, denies much if not all of the context of the last supper." [emphasis mine]

You seem to be doing PRECISELY that.


I actually think it's a distinction without much of a difference, "the difference between 'denies it,' and 'has a hard time believing the story is literally factual.'"

I suspect that you wouldn't see much of a difference, either, depending on the subject.

Suppose that someone has a hard time believing that your being a Christian is "literally factual." I bet you wouldn't hesitate TOO much in accusing him of denying that you're a Christian.


ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CHRIST'S DEATH. You're misrepresenting us.

I don't believe anyone here has suggested that Christ's death is the "only" thing that matters: only that it matters most.

(If I'm wrong, let me say that I would dispute the claim strongly.)

"My point is, just because Jesus asked his disciples to remember his sacrifice, his death, his suffering, his shed blood, that is NOT to say that Jesus was saying 'Only my death is important. It is the one and only reason I came.'"

Our position isn't that His death is the "one and only" reason Christ came, but that it is the MAIN AND PRIMARY reason.


You ask, what does it matter?

"what difference in my daily walk with Christ our Lord does it make what I believe about atonement? What difference does it make if I think that Jesus' life AND death were all a part of God's grace, by which we are saved? What difference does it make if I feel less comfortable (while not wholly disagreeing) with language such as 'our salvation is CAUSED by Jesus' death?'"

First, about the claim that our salvation is caused by Christ's death, the claim is either true or false: there's no figurative language in the claim, and it's impossible for one event to cause another only "in a sense."

There's no rational way to believe the claim only partially, or to disagree with claim but "not wholly."

Quit equivocating on a subject for which there is only two positions.


To answer your question, whether one believes that we're saved by Christ's death dramatically alters the person's understanding of God and, therefore, his relationship with God.

If the theological radicals are right and Christ's death is unconnected to our salvation, then believing in that connection creates a conception of God that is overly harsh, which would probably make the relationship needlessly distant.

But, if we're right that Christ's death HAS caused our salvation, then denying that connection waters down both God's justice (because the penalty of sin goes unpaid) and even His mercy (because He didn't pay that penalty), and so the relationship with God would probably lack a proper awe at His wrath and gratitude at His grace.

I suspect that's not enough to satisfy you, which makes me wonder, why does it matter?

You pretend to be interested in all of the Bible's teachings and all of what Jesus taught: well, if the text is clear that Christ died for our sins, and if our Lord Himself is clear on the same matter, IT DOESN'T MATTER whether the doctrine changes our daily lives or not: it's a clear teaching that must be accepted.

Craig said...

"For instance, I have not denied the passover, I said I find it hard to believe as a literal historic event."

Does this distinction without a difference make sense to anyone?

The point is Jesus treated it as a historical when he celebrated it.

Bubba said...

Now, Dan:


About the Lord's Supper. I've gotten to the point where I'm very rarely surprised by what you write, but I admit that I was astounded by your current track.

IN ORDER TO UNDERMINE THE CENTRAL IMPORTANCE OF CHRIST'S DEATH, YOU'RE NOW UNDERMINING THE CENTRAL IMPORTANCE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. This is astonishing.


It's also complete nonsense.

You write, "There is nothing in the text to suggest that this was designed to establish or institute a religious ritual, he was just telling them to remember his living sacrifice."

"This do in remembrance of me" (Lk 22:19, I Cor 11:24) is pretty strong evidence.

The context is strong evidence as well. You write, "He was sitting around with his disciples and they were eating, as they often did," but this is not accurate.

They were celebrating the Passover meal (Mt 26:17; Mk 11:12; Lk 22:8-13).

He didn't teach an "object lesson" from some random mid-afternoon snack: he transformed the Passover meal that Jews had been celebrating for literally centuries.

We know this because it's a practice that the first Christians observed under the instruction of the Apostles -- as is clear, arguably in Acts 2:41-47 and 20:7, but certainly from I Corinthians 10:16-17 and 11:17-34.

"Now, our church DOES do communion and we love it. It is a holy, joyful, somber, sometimes silly moment for us and it is deeply meaningful. But we don't confuse this long-standing church tradition as being something that Jesus 'implemented,' as a ritual.

"Just for the record.
"

Well, your stance is in opposition to even the Apostles' understanding of the Lord's Supper: it's clear THEY thought Jesus Christ instituted the supper as a regular observance.

It is in defiance of the Bible's clear teachings, which you say you revere.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

About foot washing, the Bible gives us no indication that the Apostles understood the practice as an ordinance like the Lord's Supper, or that the first Christians washed each other's feet in some regular practice.

There's no reason we would expect to find it to be otherwise, because the instruction to wash one another's feet (Jn 13:14-15) is followed shortly by the repeated command for which this command was almost certainly a metaphor: love one another (Jn 13:34-35, 15:12, 15:17).

It's worth noting that the Apostle who recorded all this reiterated "love one another" in his own epistles OVER AND OVER AGAIN -- in I Jn 3:11, 3:14, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11, 4:12; and 2 Jn 5 -- but, so far as I can tell, John never brought up anything about washing feet.


So, Dan.

You deny the causal role of Christ's death in our salvation -- in our forgiveness and justification.

In order to defend this first denial, you also deny the central importance of Christ's death in His mission.

(Never mind that dying for our sins was the one thing God Himself could not do by proxy: He already gave the commands to love God and love your neighbor, through Moses; teaching, preaching, prophesying and even miraculous healings were accomplished by the prophets before Christ and the Apostles afterwards.)

To defend these earlier outrageous denials, you keep going, piling nonsense on top of nonsense. You now deny the central importance of the Lord's Supper in the life of the Christian. You deny that it was an ordinance that Jesus Himself instituted, arguing instead that it's just a "long-standing church tradition" of no more importance than the example of Christ's washing the disciples' feet.


If I didn't know you were trying to advance your political agenda, I would wonder why you still claim to be a Christian at all.

A Christian who denies that Christ died for our sins, who denies that Christ's death is even centrally important, and who denies that the Lord Himself instituted the Lord's Supper as an ordinance of the church He founded? THERE'S SIMPLY NO SUCH THING, if words mean anything.


I could crack jokes about how I don't deny that you're a Christian -- how I just find it hard to believe as a literal, historic fact.

I could make comments about how I think you're a Christian only "in a sense," how I don't "wholly disagree" with your claim to be a Christian, as if the question isn't cut-and-dried.

But this subject's too serious for that, and Christian grace precludes that -- true Christian grace, not what you invoke to sneer at those who dare call you out on your lying.

I can only understand your beliefs as you describe them, but as best I understand them -- from the authority of Scripture to the importance of the bodily Resurrection to everything else -- I do not think that the sum total of those beliefs are actually compatible with Christian faith. There's overlap, sure, but there's overlap between Christianity and Hinduism, certainly in their ethics: in both cases, the overlap simply isn't enough.

I don't think you're a Christian, and so I believe your claim to be a Christian is clearly false, and I cannot help but suspect that the claim is a deliberate lie.

Dan Trabue said...

Our position isn't that His death is the "one and only" reason Christ came, but that it is the MAIN AND PRIMARY reason.

Scriptural support, please.

But you can't, because it's not there.

And so, sense I value Scripture and you say you do, you'll understand if I find your hunch not Scriptural. You're welcome to it, but sense it's not biblical, I'll pass on believing it to be biblical.

Bubba...

First, about the claim that our salvation is caused by Christ's death, the claim is either true or false: there's no figurative language in the claim, and it's impossible for one event to cause another only "in a sense."

Says you. And that's the point.

Perhaps, EVEN THOUGH the great and might Bubba doesn't think so, OTHER PEOPLE have a different opinion! Could it be possible that someone would dare disagree with Bubba?? Well, yes.

I believe we are saved by grace AND because of that grace, Jesus died for us. In THAT sense, one might say that our salvation is caused by Jesus' death (as it is a representation of God's grace). As I have said, it is not a scriptural phrasing of how we are saved (ie, the Bible does not SAY our salvation is caused by Jesus' death) so I don't think it's the most biblical way of expressing it.

I prefer to say we are saved by grace. But I suppose one could say it is caused. In other words, I'm not condemning you for putting it that way, I just don't think it's a biblical way of putting it.

Craig said...

So, should we agree with thousands of years of Judaism or Dan's hunch? Tough call.

Bubba, you nailed everything I was going to say. so I'll refrain from repeating it

Mark said...

Dan says, Quoting Bubba,"Our position isn't that His death is the "one and only" reason Christ came, but that it is the MAIN AND PRIMARY reason.

Scriptural support, please.


Scriptural support for all of Bubba's points have been produced and repeated ad nauseum, throughout this thread and hundreds of other threads on multiple blogs.

Dan simply responds, Well, yes God says that, but God doesn't really mean it, because I choose to disagree with it, because it is in direct juxtoposition with my political ideology.

See Bubba? Like pushing a rope. Uphill.

If I were you, I'd give up. God has already given him up to a reprobate mind. Let him worship Liberal ideology instead of Christ and be damned.

Dan Trabue said...

I bow to your superior wisdom, fellas. You MUST be right that I don't actually revere the Bible, follow God or strive to seek God's will, you must be right that I'm a liar and seeking my own political agenda. You MUST be right because, after all, you have said so.

Now that you've so ably discerned for me what I think and what I do and don't believe, perhaps you can go on to save the rest of the world.

Peace, fellas.

May the grace of God be with you.

Anonymous said...

What an humble farewell there from Dan. Quite amusing after having read his comments for years. mom2

Bubba said...

Dan, we're right about your dishonesty, not merely "because we said so," but because all the evidence points in that direction: we appeal to that evidence, we make our arguments, and we do not simply stand on our authority.

That you here imply that we're not making arguments at all is a testament to your dishonesty. That you routinely denigrate our arguments as mere hunches or even, bizarrely, as emotions, is further proof that you're not an honest man.


You say that you reject the claim that Christ's death is the most important aspect of His coming, because you "value Scripture."

"You're welcome to it, but sense [sic] it's not biblical, I'll pass on believing it to be biblical."

Your valuing Scripture doesn't stop you from supporting claims that you cannot support from the text, such as the claim that Christ's death doesn't save and is only a "representation of God's grace," or that every aspect of Christ's ministry is as important and every other aspect.

More importantly, the high priority you supposedly place on Scripture doesn't stop you from dismissing the account of the Passover as historically inaccurate and EVEN dismissing some of Paul's teachings as "doubtless" bigotry -- conclusions that actively UNDERMINE the text.

From the details of your beliefs, we can see how little you really affirm the authority of Scripture, so you're lying when you pretend to hold the text in high regard.

It's a pose, and a transparently dishonest pose.

[continued]

Mark said...

He'll be back, Mom. He's like a cancer that goes into remission, only to come back with with a vengeance later.

Bubba said...

[continued]

About Scriptural support for the claim that Christ's death was uniquely important, I point you to the Lord's Supper, the only observance which Christ Himself instituted and which commemorates His death specifically.

I point you to Christ's claims about His death -- that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins (Mt 26:28) -- and the fact that His heralds point explicitly to that salvation from sin, as when the angel told Joseph the child's name would be Jesus because He would save people from their sins (Mt 1:21) and when John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29).

I point you to the fact that Jesus taught His followers about His coming death quite early in His ministry (Mt 16:21, Mk 8:31), and that John records that He routinely pointed to His death as His "hour," a unique designation.

I point you to the emphasis that the Evangelists placed on Christ's death. Not only is it one of the few events that all four Gospels record, they all record it in great detail, with each of them spending nearly HALF of his work on Easter week, less than one percent of Jesus' three-year ministry.

I point you to the emphasis that the Apostles placed on Christ's death. In the introductions to their epistles, they don't refer to His sermons, parables, or miraculous healings, but they do point to His death and His blood (Gal 1:4, Eph 1:7, I Pet 1:2, I Jn 1:7).

I point you to Paul's claim in I Cor 1:23 that we proclaim Christ crucified -- not Christ teaching, not Christ healing, but Christ crucified.

I point you to Paul's emphasis on Christ's death as it relates to Paul's central focus on the gospel of grace: Paul taught that, if salvation came by works and not grace, then Christ died in vain (Gal 2:21).

I point you to Hebrews' lengthy argument of the superiority of Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

And I point you to the Revelation's most frequent title for Christ, the Lamb -- as in, the Lamb whose blood made clean the robes of the saints (Rev 7:14).

I can't provide scriptural support for my position "because it's not there"?

Think again, Dan -- and while I'm at it, I'd ask for the scriptural evidence that justifies your belief that it's all of equal importance.

For someone who supposedly reveres Scripture so highly, it's noteworthy how rarely you support your beliefs with Scripture -- and how, when you do cite passages, you tend to rip them out of even their immediate context.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Finally, about the causal relationship between Christ's death and our salvation, I say again that Christ taught that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin; that Peter taught that Christ bore our sins on the cross; and that these teachings can ONLY mean that His death CAUSED OUR JUSTIFICATION and wasn't merely a representation of saving grace.

You write:

"I believe we are saved by grace AND because of that grace, Jesus died for us. In THAT sense, one might say that our salvation is caused by Jesus' death (as it is a representation of God's grace)."

One might also say that X is true, in the sense that it is false: the statement is nonsense.

I believe that we are saved by faith and NOT by baptism, that baptism is only an outward sign of inward faith, and it's the inward faith that saves.

If someone were to ask me whether I believe we're saved by baptism, I would be completely clear that I DO NOT believe that.

If I were to take your approach -- and here there's a VERY good fit in the analogy, between your position on Christ's death and my position on baptism -- I would say this:

"I believe we are saved by faith AND because of that faith, we profess our commitment through baptism. In THAT sense, one might say that our salvation is caused by baptism (as it is a representation of our faith)."

This is a COMPLETELY dishonest formulation, which basically says "our salvation is caused by baptism" but means **THE EXACT OPPOSITE** -- that our salvation ISN'T caused by baptism but is caused by faith, for which baptism is a mere representation.

If we are saved solely by faith, and so if baptism is merely a representation of that faith, THEN WE'RE NOT SAVED BY BAPTISM, period, full-stop.

Likewise, if we are saved solely by God's grace, and so if Christ's death is merely a representation of that grace, THEN WE'RE NOT SAVED BY HIS DEATH, period, full-stop.

The only "sense" that you think we're saved by Christ's death is THE OPPOSITE SENSE, that you think we're NOT saved by Christ's death, because you think we're saved solely by God's grace and so you think His death is only "a representation of God's grace."

Unless you're trying to be ironic, or unless you have no grasp on logic and language, your phrasing here can only be the result of deliberate deceit.


As I said before, I don't think you're a Christian, and so I believe your claim to be a Christian is clearly false, and I cannot help but suspect that the claim is a deliberate lie.

I reiterate that I believe you're a flagrant and unrepentant liar.

I cannot conclude otherwise, when you try to mask your obvious position that Christ's death DIDN'T cause our salvation with such deceptive language.

Dan Trabue said...

You're welcome to your hunches, however wrong they may be.

In the meantime, any of y'all are welcome to stop in the next time you're in Louisville for a visit at Jeff St and you can see that, in the real world, we are indeed Christians, saved by God's grace, striving by God's grace to walk in Jesus' steps.

Whatever your hunches may be, the real world evidence is there.

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

~Jesus

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


~St Paul

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble....

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God...

Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.


~St John

Now, I will try to heed a wise friend's advice and bid you all a fond adieu and a prayer for the peace and grace of God upon your lives and for wisdom for us all.

Amen.

Marshall Art said...

Et tu, Dan? Or are you simply bailing on this discussion for now?

Let me speak to your final words:

"...we are indeed Christians, saved by God's grace, striving by God's grace to walk in Jesus' steps."

To this I respond from Matthew 7:

" 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

By this I mean that I personally don't deny that you believe you are striving to walk in Jesus' steps (and if you are representative of Jeff St as you suggest you are, I mean them as well, definitely), but it is obvious that you aren't as serious as you insist you are if you walk away from these discussions without...

1- Changing your position.
2- Changing our positions.
3- Admitting that our arguments provoke more study on your part.
4- Convince us that your arguments provoke more study on our part.

1 & 2 are a lot to ask of anyone, I'll admit. But they are not anywhere near impossible for those truly seeking to follow Christ. Not in the least. #4 is not high in the realm of possibility since the last arguments, proofs, evidences always seem to be ours and they are always from Scripture. At the least, this means the ball is in your court and as I've stated before, if you can't return volley, you've either been proven wrong, or you need to admit more study is required of you to continue the game. So an honest man should have at least copped to something like #3, if in your current position. OR, there should be some Scriptural proofs on the way. As there hasn't been any already that haven't been refuted (by using Scripture), I can't hold out hope, even if you were still engaged, which apparently you no longer are.

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Sinners are not necessarily hateful people. Gang members have love for one another. Are they true disciples? My point here, as it has been when you insist you and your Jeff St pals are really really Christian, posturing one's self as pious does not make one right with God. To borrow from you own wonderful style of analogy, if you all were just as Christian as can be but were drug dealers and hit men, you'd likely be held up at the Pearly Gates, if you get my meaning. The hippie flower child stuff means nothing and only shows you guys like singing Kumbaya. Yet there you are supporting homosex and abortion. Good luck with that.

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires."

Yet there you are with some of your church engaging in homosex, having abortions and others supporting such behaviors. The passions and desires of their sinful nature exhaulted.

"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness"

Typical of the liberal, you call us hateful because we stand for truths that we support with Scripture, truths you've yet to come close to refuting with Scripture. And you dare claim offense at being called a liar? You do this routinely, occasionally with the ruse "Can't you see how that makes you sound?" as if serious, rational readers couldn't see the difference between hating a person or hating the person's positions/arguments/behavior.

more---

Marshall Art said...

"This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God:...etc"

Mark 1:24 indicates even evil spirits recognize Christ. And they are certainly capable of lying, since they are evil. But if what they teach is apart from the Word, as Galatians 1:8 teaches. We have shown how you do not abide the Gospel as it is presented and supported it with Scripture without Scriptural rebuttals.

You've shown a marked disregard for wisdom and the search to aquire it. We've shown how your interpretations are woefully lacking and you base your beliefs on what is comfortable for you to believe as opposed to dealing with the discomfort that the truth can often provoke. That's a cowardly way to follow Christ and contrary to His own example.

In the end, it's not that we've been mean, hateful, slanderous, or whatever other negative terms you've used against us. The truth is that you, and apparently Jeff St. are too uncomfortable in living by the truth so you instead follow only what does not provoke your discomfort. Thus you have created for yourself a false god and instead of being Christians, you are something that resembles Christians superficially but cannot be the same if you deny so much of what the Bible teaches, as well as accepting that which the Bible doesn't teach or worse, teaches against. It is not Christian for us to tolerate unChristian positions held up as Christian, nor is it Christian for us to enable those who hold such unChristian beliefs.

As Bubba states, we are not obliged to yoke ourselves to such people. We are taught to cast out the unrepentant sinners, and by your own words you qualify as one of them. I remain open to discussion with anyone at any time. I'm not being wishy-washy here, I just enjoy the back and forth and as always, I'm here to persuade or be persuaded, enlighten or be enlightened.

Dan Trabue said...

"Et tu, Dan? Or are you simply bailing on this discussion for now?"

I'd respond in an email if you had one posted, but since not: I'm bailing at least for now. I don't see the value of this conversation. I think it is probably stirring up more darkness than light, more that is not of God than that which IS of God.

Besides, what's the point?

It's one thing to disagree with my opinion, I'm fine with that. But saying I don't BELIEVE my own opinions? Well, where does one go from there?

You're welcome at my place anytime, although I'd ask that you play nicely.

Peace.

Bubba said...

On the assumption that Dan's not returning, I'll refer to him in the third person.


I wonder if Dan truly thinks that we would see "in the real world" that Jeff Street is a genuine Christian church.

I doubt we would see that in the "sometimes silly" observance of the Lord's Supper, which his church seems to downplay as merely a "long-standing church tradition" rather than an ordinance of Jesus Christ.

(Again, the claim to revere Jesus' teachings is wholly implausible in light of comments like this.)

And I doubt we would see that in a church that -- if Dan is any indication -- dismisses large parts of God's written word, not only by condoning behavior that the Bible consistently condemns as sin, but also condemning the judgment the Bible attributes to God Himself.


I can't seem to find the page, but I remember asking Dan, could an atheist become a Christian without renouncing his atheism? If an atheist seems to display the fruit of the Spirit, does that make him a Christian?

(It's not the hypothetical question that it ought to be in a sane world.)

Does Christian faith require belief in God, or is even that negotiable?

So far as I can remember, Dan never answered the question, and I think the question puts him in a bad spot: it's absurd to believe that even atheists can be Christians, but he's trying his best to deny that doctrine is essential, by citing verses that suggest that love is the only evidence necessary to validate authentic Christians.


Indeed, the fruit of the Spirit is necessary, but clearly it's not sufficient, or else a kindly atheist would qualify as a Christian.

Doctrine matters too.

Yes, Jesus taught "all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another," but He also warned against teaching others to break even the least of God's commandments.

Yes, Paul taught about the fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5:22-23, but in THE VERY SAME LETTER he pronounced a very strong curse against anyone who would preach another gospel (1:6-9).

Yes, John taught that "Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God," but he too emphasized doctrine IN THE SAME LETTER, a fact that Dan missed despite quoting the very passage!

"This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God..." (I Jn 4:2-3)


As he does routinely, Dan rips passages out of even their immediate context, even ignoring parts of what he himself quotes, to make Scripture say what it doesn't -- that we're saved by grace but not Christ's death, or that love matters but not doctrine.


Love for God and each other requires a love for the truth, and such an easy relationship with deceit is contrary to love.

Dan's a flagrant liar, and his lies aren't offset by his love; their proof against the authenticity of his love.

Mark said...

Marshall brought up an interesting point in his number 3- Admitting that our arguments provoke more study on your part.

It reminds me of a discussion myself and some others had with my nephew on Facebook.

My nephew, for those who don't know, has a Doctorate degree in Education. A Doctorate is usually highly revered by Liberals such as Dan.

The discussion was launched by a post I created in which I wondered how a Christian could support abortion. My Doctor nephew is a Christian, a fact of which I have no doubt, but he's a Liberal who supports many Liberal agendas, including abortion.

After I, Neil, Timothy, and one or two others weighed in on the subject, and in the end, Kevin (my nephew) said this:

"I have some thinking and praying to do, and the things all of you have said will be part of that process."

See? This is something like what a true and honest Christian would say in the face of overwhelming scriptural truth.

Arrogant, stubborn, faux-Christians will continue to argue, and after finally failing to convince anyone, runs and hides rather than admit he is wrong. He could very well deny the truth all the way to the gates of Hell.