Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Mature & Reasoned Objection

I saw this in my inbox today and just had to present it here. In other discussions regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the move to eliminate the restrictions on homosexuals in the military, I had expressed concern about those who must deal with the change should it occur, they being the officers in command positions. The linked piece contains a letter from a retired Navy Captain with 30 years in the military. He lists his credentials and relates his experiences and in doing so, touches on some of the points I tried to make albeit with more eloquence and authority. He also relates problems already experienced with regard to homosexuals already in the Navy, to answer points made by some that they are rare. They apparently are only rare as compared to non-homosexuals who comprise a larger percentage of the service.

Many of the points and concerns raised by the captain are dismissed as inconsequential in the larger picture by those for whom homosexuality is a cause on par with racism, which of course it is not. They only want it to be seen as such because it helps the cause. But the captain makes a great case and as he says himself, shows that he has really considered the question, rather than what appears to be merely a bow to politically correct inanity so typical of the pro-homo activists and their enablers.

503 comments:

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Bubba said...

Marshall, I think we have no choice but to conclude that the retired officer must be gay himself. Those who are anything other than wholly enthusiastic about embracing homosexuality as normal, moral, and even blessed do so only in an attempt to suppress their own latent homosexuality.

All heterosexuals condone and even celebrate homosexuality. The condemnation of homosexuality is self-evident proof of homosexual desire.

This conclusion isn't an attempt to smear one's political opponents: it's the only reasonable conclusion one can draw. In no way is it hypocritical to repeat this theory -- or implicitly condone its regurgitation -- while griping about others' inconvenient or less-than-credible speculations.

...right?

Stan said...

There goes a Navy captain with his shower fantasies ...

Bubba said...

About this particular subject, what concerns me most is the effort to change an institution to advance a political agenda, even at the expense of its fundamental mission.

This is the very essence of the sort of radical subversion that I find so troubling.

The church's mission is to worship God, to proclaim His gospel from His written revelation, and to make disciples. It's not to stump for socialism or sodomy, and to the extent that doing so undermines the church's central mission -- which condoning homosexual behavior surely does, insofar as it rejects clear teachings of Scripture -- it's wrong to subvert the body of Christ to these ends.

And the military's mission is national defense; in the somewhat infamous phrase, its job is to "kill people and break things." I'm not wholly convinced that admitting vocal homosexuals would degrade the military's effectiveness, but it seems to me that such effectiveness isn't the first priority of the radical left. It is, at best, a distant second to promoting their skewed ideas about so-called "social justice."

Considering how uneasy many progressives are with the use of force to protect American and Western interests, that might be overly generous.

I'd much prefer an honest antagonism to American military power (and, for that matter, God as He is described in the Bible) to this insincere and hypocritical genuflecting toward these crucial institutions.

I'd prefer an open enemy to a duplicitous traitor.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

totally unrelated, but I am offering a forum to answer a question on my blog. I am doing so with complete freedom. I will not start arguments, call names, delete any comments - I want you and some other conservative folks to answer a particular question to the fullest extent possible. If you are willing to do so, I will be very, very pleased.

Marshall Art said...

Bubba,

I share your concern, or at least mine is similar in that I don't see that anyone has the right to expect that the military accept them on one's terms over the military's terms. The captain expresses the same sentiment. As you say, it impacts the primary mission of the military for it to concern itself with pleasing each and every recruit in order to amass an army. Another good reason to maintain an all volunteer military, in that one who truly wishes to serve would get his personal issues properly prioritized before enlisting, where a draftee would be less concerned with being all he could be for the sake of military effectiveness.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

Please link to the post or give us the title of it to make sure there's no confusion over which one it is. Thanks.

Dan Trabue said...

I believe he's speaking of this post on the ridiculous socialism card some people are playing on Obama.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

The church's mission is to worship God, to proclaim His gospel from His written revelation, and to make disciples.

And making sure that certain "sinners" (but not others) can't serve in the military? Is THAT part of the mission of the church?

What Bible are you reading?

It's bald-faced discrimination and bigotry and people find your hypocrisy distasteful and your god petty and irrelevant.

Going away, now.

Bubba said...

Dan, if you're going to accuse me of hypocrisy and worshiping a petty deity, you should have the fortitude, first of all, to stick around to defend the smear; and second, to claim the accusation for yourself instead of attributing it to some vague group of "people."


"And making sure that certain 'sinners' (but not others) can't serve in the military? Is THAT part of the mission of the church?"

Just what in the world is this?

Nothing I've written implies that, so nothing accounts for this over-emotional demagoguery.

Of course I don't think the church's mission is to advocate for a particular personnel policy for the military, but nor do I think it's objectionable for me to hold and express my opinion on the subject, or even to defend this particular position.

Military service is a privilege, not a right, and the implication that every "sinner" should have equal access to service is absurd on its face and is proof positive that you're letting a perverse sense of equality trump the fundamental need for military effectiveness.

...unless, that is, you're the one being a hypocrite.

Do you believe that we should be required to allow pederasts, convicted felons, and the severely handicapped to serve in the military?

If you don't, then we both agree that "certain 'sinners' (but not others) can't serve in the military." We just disagree on where to draw the line.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I would say that part of the church's mission is to teach what constitutes a good disciple of the Lord. God is VERY discriminating and the church must take care to make sure this is understood. Call Him petty and irrelevant if you want, but that's the way it is and no re-writing of Biblical truths by liberals like yourself can change that.

But what's even more irrelevant, for this discussion, is bringing up God and Christianity at all. The letter in question does not speak of Christian morality but only of military readiness and cohesiveness and discipline and how the introduction of openly homosexual recruits would negatively affect all of it. The military, as the captain explains, is quite discriminatory in a variety of ways. Why do think this would be?

One final thing: If indeed you know people who think folks like Bubba and myself are hypocritical and that our God is petty and irrelevant, it seems it would be the Christian thing to correct their poor inferences. For there's nothing in the least hypocritical in what we believe or relate regarding the faith and our God is indeed very discriminating as any nominal Christian should know.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba was concerned that I pointed out his hypocrisy and pettiness without explaining why. He said...

Do you believe that we should be required to allow pederasts, convicted felons, and the severely handicapped to serve in the military?

So, in order to make it clear:

1. You are being hypocritical because you are selecting one class of sinner (or what you believe to be a sinner, to be more accurate) - gay folk - and you are saying that this class of people, regardless of their actual behavior, ought to be discriminated against.

2. You aren't doing this for liars, for greedy people, for fundamentalists (if we want to presume that fundamentalism is a sin, which some people might argue), or any other class of sinner. Just gay folk.

3. You are comparing the whole class of gay folk - regardless of behavior - to folk who have committed crimes (pederasty) or who are disabled.

4. Yes, of course the military has a right to keep people out based on their bad behavior - if they have committed a crime, the military probably has rules against their joining.

5. But you are not talking about behavior-based reasons for keeping individuals out. You are speaking of banning a whole group of people just because of their orientation. Being gay is not a crime. Being gay is not a disability. To make the comparison is pathetic and ugly reasoning.

6. In short, it's bigotry. You wish to ban a whole class of people because you hold a religious-based bias against them, regardless of behavior.

What if, because SOME fundamentalist Christians misbehave, I suggested a ban on ALL fundies? After all, fundies don't reason, they act viciously and cowardly, right? They are devious petty bullies and people like that have no place in the military, right?

I would hope that you recognize that my statement above is an example of bigotry. I am blaming a whole class of people based on the behaviors of a few and am suggesting a ban on the class based on my prejudice. People would rightly object to my making that sort of claim.

Why? Because it is bigoted, prejudiced and just stupid and ignorant. The same as your gay ban argument. The difference is that I was just providing an example and don't actually believe that bigoted, ugly statement, whereas you do.

And now, Bubba, Marshall, I HAVE corrected your sin. I've pointed out that logical fallacies with your reasoning. Do with that what you will, just don't expect moral, Christian folk to go along with your bullying, bigoted behavior. That would be wrong.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

If indeed you know people who think folks like Bubba and myself are hypocritical and that our God is petty and irrelevant, it seems it would be the Christian thing to correct their poor inferences.

I do this a good deal of my time, actually. I say to folk regularly (in one way or the other), "Just because SOME people think that God is a god that would kill babies and gay folk and all manner of bad things, they are not talking about the God of the Bible, but instead, a god of their cultural traditions. God in the Bible no where condemns gay marriage or teaches us to try to keep some people out of various institutions or teaches that we can be prejudiced and institute bigotry against one group of people, regardless of their behavior. Rather, God as found in the Bible is a fairly inclusive God, joyously inviting EVERYONE to the party, even and especially the outcast, the "sinners," the least of these. In fact, just about the only people God in the Bible gets really angry at are the religious hypocrites and the oppressors."

And on and on I go.

So, yes, I DO strive to offer up what I believe to be a more biblically apt description of God than what folk often hear from certain wings of fundamentalism. Usually with the acknowledgment that it is my opinion, and I can be wrong, just as easily as the fundamentalists sometimes (in my opinion) are. I just don't think so.

Anonymous said...

I guess we will have to depend upon a one man army-Dan, since he is the only perfect human and he has so many classifications that he wants to lump in with his favorite cause the gays. mom2

Dan Trabue said...

My favorite cause, mom2, is Christ. You ought to consider him.

Anonymous said...

I'm just going by what you fervently defend Dan. mom2

Dan Trabue said...

mom2, the thing I opposed here was rank hypocrisy and bigotry. As I am quite sure that Jesus condemned, as well.

Are you suggesting we ought to defend hypocrisy and bigotry?

Again, take a look into Jesus, sister.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Your favorite cause is Christ on your terms, not His.

Your comments of 5:47AM bear out the above statement nicely. They certainly don't show you are better at understanding God. God is VERY discriminating and He is NOT about to bend to YOUR unBiblical description of Him, that suggests He welcomes repeat unrepentant sinners into Paradise. And He's not especially happy with those who preach otherwise. Your supposed correction of those who view people like Bubba and myself is lying, plainly and simply. I say again, you are a liar, for God condemns homosexual behavior, PERIOD. He's never allowed for ANY context wherein He would bless or condone it, thus there doesn't need to be any special mention of homo marriage since that would be contradictory and illogical. You've simply gone from being one kind of poor Christian (by your own admission) to another and equally poor kind of Christian (by your current proud and heretical admissions)and worship a god of your own making, but not the God of the Bible.

To state again a point you so willfully and without reason or evidence dispute, God classifies homosexual behavior with adultery, incest, bestiality and other sexual practices as sinful, not if done the way the Canaanites did them, but as examples of sinful practices of the Canaanites that should not be adopted by His people. This is a fact, not a hunch. YOURS is the hunch, and "hunch" is less than accurate for what you really do in preaching this nonsense.

You stupidly use the example of banning someone from service because they are Baptist or a fundamental Christian. Neither term suggests a bad behavior except to the fallen secular morons of society, and some progressive "Christians". But the term "homosexual" indicates behavior by definition that most people find to be immoral, as do all the major religions. That is, when someone proclaims themselves to be a Baptist, the average person, at worst, might imagine an annoying holy roller, but not a person who engages in bad behavior. When someone proclaims himself a homo, he immediately admits to engaging in, or desiring to engage in and immoral sexual behavior. The same would go for someone who calls himself a pedophile, whether he engages in his particular immoral behavior or simply desires to.

Such people identify themselves by their behaviors, not as if they are of a particular race or gender, over which they have no control and which is morally benign.

You think we're being disriminatory of one kind of sinful behavior. No more than God does, actually, as we have faithfully repeated His Will on the subject. As far as the military, they are equally discriminating and here you'll find a host of "sins" that they will not tolerate, including a list of sexual behaviors unbecoming.

Objections to the overturning of DADT or the UCMJ to placate the whims of this minority of selfish deviants have NOT been based on the righteous and accurate Christians beliefs of people like Bubba, Mom2 and myself. They have been based on logic and an objective understanding of human nature and how such applies to sexuality amongst young people in the military. If you had read the letter within my link for this post, you'd have a better understanding of the issue based on the experiences of a 30 year veteran who's seen and understands the pitfalls. Hardly a "wild hunch".

Dan Trabue said...

I really shouldn't and won't long, but just for a second...

God is VERY discriminating and He is NOT about to bend to YOUR unBiblical description of Him, that suggests He welcomes repeat unrepentant sinners into Paradise.

1. I have not suggested that God does not require repentance. Never have. Don't believe it. I believe repentance is our part of accepting God's grace. So, there is no "suggestion" that repentance is not part of salvation.

2. Having said that, I DO think that God's grace covers our ignorance. IF you TRULY believe your behavior towards gays is correct AND IT TURNS OUT that you were being sinful in your approach towards our gay brothers and sisters, I don't think God will condemn you or reject you because you never repented of your sin.

Do YOU think God will reject those who sin in ignorance? If so, then you are requiring something the Bible does not require and, basically, requiring perfection, because NEVER sinning in ignorance would require a perfect knowledge of all that is good and right and all that is bad and wrong. We are not perfect in our knowledge, therefore, God CAN'T possibly require us to repent for that which we are unaware.

IF that is your position, then it is a heretical, works-based position and I reject that.

3. I don't think you really think we must have a perfect knowledge of sin and I suspect that you agree with me that God's grace covers our ignorance and imperfection.

4. I further suspect that you're just being stubborn in insisting that everyone must agree with you that any and all gay behavior is sinful because you think it must be "obvious" to everyone that you are correct in your hunch on that point.

Believe it or not, Marshall, we don't all agree with you. Some of us, in seeking God's will sincerely and prayerfully, will sometimes come to a different conclusion than the genital-obsessed crew (ie, Marshall and the Fundies - good name for a band, you think?)

So, in conclusion, we agree that God has standards and that repentance is part of salvation. I suspect we agree that God's grace covers our ignorance. Where we disagree is that we don't all think Marshall/Bubba, et al, are "obviously" right on this point.

Therefore, we will pursue God's will to the best of our ability by God's grace and Marshall will just have to get used to that. We must obey God rather than Marshall.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

As far as the military, they are equally discriminating and here you'll find a host of "sins" that they will not tolerate

And you link to ACTUAL behaviors that the military does not allow. No one is disagreeing with BEHAVIORS. What we're objecting to is ignorant bigotry of a whole class of people, REGARDLESS of behavior.

Answer a simple question: IF I say that fundamentalists have been proven to hold immoral, illogical and dangerous views, then ought we ban ALL fundies from the military? OR, should participation be based upon ACTUAL behavior of the individual?

Do you think a whole group should be punished/banned/discriminated against for the behavior of a few? It's a simple question, Marshall, yes or no or explain why it isn't a simple question.

Your hunch on this is biased, bigoted and illogical. Reasonable people will reject your position on this point as immoral and, as such, ought to have no place in public policy.

Craig said...

"Do YOU think God will reject those who sin in ignorance?"

Dan,

Are you suggesting that there are actually people (adult human beings) who are completely and totally ignorant that they have committed any sins?

Bubba said...

Dan:

I wasn't suggesting that homosexual desire is either a disability or a crime. I mentioned the severely disabled and convicted felons because your original complaint -- against "making sure that certain 'sinners' (but not others) can't serve in the military" -- WOULD preclude restrictions in those cases as well.

You've now reformulated your objection.

"1. You are being hypocritical because you are selecting one class of sinner (or what you believe to be a sinner, to be more accurate) - gay folk - and you are saying that this class of people, regardless of their actual behavior, ought to be discriminated against.

"2. You aren't doing this for liars, for greedy people, for fundamentalists (if we want to presume that fundamentalism is a sin, which some people might argue), or any other class of sinner. Just gay folk.
"

First of all, your second point isn't even true. I believe that the military has the right to exclude other "classes" of people from service REGARDLESS OF BEHAVIOR. Those who believe in jihad and those who believe in Marxist revolution are two obvious examples, and if the military wasn't as plagued by political correctness, it would never allowed a clear-cut jihadist to murder a dozen people at Fort Hood, at least in uniform.

Whether it should is a whole 'nother question, but I believe the military should also have the latitude to exclude women -- y'know ONE HALF OF THE POPULATION -- at least from combat, with no regard whatsoever for an individual's skills, abilities, or behavior.

(Suppose sadism and masochism became celebrated deviancy. I think the reasons are self-evident for why the military should have every right to excluded, as an entire "class" of people, those who get off on inflicting pain or enduring pain, with no regard for actual behavior.)

But, second, I still think you're not arguing honestly.

You complain, "you are saying that this class of people, regardless of their actual behavior, ought to be discriminated against."

To Marshall, you write, "And you link to ACTUAL behaviors that the military does not allow. No one is disagreeing with BEHAVIORS. What we're objecting to is ignorant bigotry of a whole class of people, REGARDLESS of behavior."

Are we really to believe that you would be satisfied with a policy of allowing even outspoken homosexuals into the military, so long as their behavior was regulated and homosexual relationships forbidden?

OF COURSE NOT. If we were to take that position, you'd change your ground yet again, to gripe, not only that homosexuals should be allowed to enlist regardless of their behavior, but that their behavior should be embraced as morally acceptable.

Dan Trabue said...

No, Craig.

I think we are generally all aware that we are all sinners. We are at least all aware that EVERYONE else is a sinner, right?

What I'm saying is that, I'm Dan, a sinner and I know it. I have repented of my sins and asked God for forgiveness. I have turned from the road I was traveling and started walking in the steps of Jesus, seeking God's will and following in God's way as best I can, by God's grace.

And, sometimes while doing this, I still sin and I know it and I repent of that sin, too. AND, sometimes while doing this, I do or say something that is sinful and I am UNAWARE that it is sinful. I don't have perfect knowledge of all things.

Sometimes, I might be right about stealing, killing, adultery, greed, gossip, etc - I understand that all of that is sinful, but I don't know about saying the pledge of allegiance - is THAT sinful, for instance? The Mennonites and Amish have all concluded it is and so have I. Could I be wrong? What if it actually were sinful for me NOT to say the Pledge?

If that were the case, and I died right now, then I would have died an unrepentant sinner, because I THOUGHT that saying the Pledge was wrong and so, did not do so.

Now, because I was mistaken on that point, am I now hellbound because I did not repent of that which I did not know? Or does God's grace cover my imperfections?

I believe that we are covered by God's grace in those cases. You?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

OF COURSE NOT. If we were to take that position, you'd change your ground yet again, to gripe, not only that homosexuals should be allowed to enlist regardless of their behavior, but that their behavior should be embraced as morally acceptable.

I'm saying that there should be consistency. If it is against the rules for soldiers to engage in dating or sexual acts or kissing or whatever with other soldiers, then that ought to be the rule. Period. Gays, straights, whoever. If no dating of fellow soldiers is allowed, and the rule is applied consistently, that would be acceptable (it may or may not be wise, but at least it wouldn't be immoral and bigoted).

If soldiers can't engage in sex with anyone at any time while they're in the service - even in the privacy of their homes - then that should be the rule across the board, gays or straights. It would be, in my estimation, a STUPID rule, but it wouldn't be bigoted or immoral, just stupid.

I'm calling for an end to bigoted, biased rules that allows straight folk to have privileges that gay folk don't have or vice versa. I'm looking for consistency, not one set of rules for one group of people and another set of rules for a second group of people.

I think service in the military ought to be based on performance of the individual. If an individual man or woman, gay or straight, can do the job, then let them do the job. If you have rules for soldiers on their private lives, then that rule should be consistent.

I'm looking for justice and morality in our public policy.

You?

Bubba said...

The larger point is that, while it's a nice-sounding idea for the military to reflect perfectly the values of the society it protects, that notion is entirely unrealistic.

Take free speech.

We uphold free speech as extremely important, enshrined in the first amendment, but it would be dangerous to military effectiveness to protect free speech within the military, to the degree that it's protected in civilian life. "Loose lips sink ships," so the military has the right and even obligation to regulate what its soldiers can and cannot say, at least to some degree.

That the military should not perfectly reflect its society's values is true EVEN in the opposite situation. For a regime that viciously oppresses free expression, its military should be MORE free for the sake of its effectiveness, at least in encouraging officers to relay bad news and new ideas.

Of course I think our military should reflect our values WHENEVER POSSIBLE, when doing so does not reduce its effectiveness, but it's simply not always possible.


Dan, your comments prove my point that your political radicalism trumps all.

In this case, your desire to see homosexuality embraced as completely moral and normal by society at large is obviously a far higher priority than the military's effectiveness.

As you do so often, you want to subvert an institution to serve your own political ends, to hell with its actual mission.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba saidd...

In this case, your desire to see homosexuality embraced as completely moral and normal by society at large is obviously a far higher priority than the military's effectiveness.

I have not said this. I have said that IF a soldier can do the job, then a bunch of religious wacko's ought really not get too much credence when they make bigoted assumptions that a whole group of people ought to be disqualified, NOT because they can't do the job, but because the bigots hold bigoted views of that particular group.

If you were advocating that black folk (asian folk, fundamentalist folk, women) ought not serve because they have higher AIDS rates, or because they aren't strong enough or because they might make the "normal" soldiers feel uncomfortable, or whatever bigoted reason you want to offer, I'd reject it as a bigoted and immoral reason, too.

It just happens that you're picking on gay folk right now (and maybe women, too - are they also "unqualified" to serve in your religious view?) and just because Bubba and Marshall disagree with our generals and the commander in chief because they hold religious views that justify discrimination, does not mean that our gov't ought to set policy to please religious bigots.

Why don't you answer the question I asked of Marshall? Do you think a whole group should be punished/banned/discriminated against for the behavior of a few?

Who has the radical political agenda now?

Bubba said...

Dan, thank you for confirming that your position isn't just about allowing homosexuals to enlist, "regardless of their actual behavior."

You want the military to condone their behavior, too.

You write:

"I'm calling for an end to bigoted, biased rules that allows straight folk to have privileges that gay folk don't have or vice versa. I'm looking for consistency, not one set of rules for one group of people and another set of rules for a second group of people."

There is one set of rules: gay or straight, you can marry a member of the opposite sex, but not a member of the same sex.

The reason is, marriage is the union of man and woman.

The logic of your argument could easily extend to polygamists and sexual deviants whose mere mention causes you outrage.


You say, "I'm looking for justice and morality in our public policy."

You have a perverse sense of morality, Dan, condoning what the Bible consistently condemns, and rejecting what even Jesus Christ Himself has to say about why we were created male and female.

And you continue to prove my point, that your chief concern is using the military (and every other traditional institution) to advance your sick sense of what's moral, with little or no regard for the institution's actual mission.

Bubba said...

Dan, you're keen to emphasize what you have and haven't said...

"'In this case, your desire to see homosexuality embraced as completely moral and normal by society at large is obviously a far higher priority than the military's effectiveness.'

"I have not said this. I have said that IF a soldier can do the job, then a bunch of religious wacko's ought really not get too much credence when they make bigoted assumptions that a whole group of people ought to be disqualified, NOT because they can't do the job, but because the bigots hold bigoted views of that particular group.
"

..but none of us here attribute our beliefs to "bigoted views", and none of us here describe ourselves as "religious wacko's."

If you're going to smear us like this, don't hypocritically gripe when we draw conclusions that you either don't like or haven't explicitly expressed.

Bubba said...

I would be remiss if I didn't address this snarky comment.

"My favorite cause, mom2, is Christ. You ought to consider him."

Dan, obnoxious lies like this one are why we don't think very highly of you. We know your beliefs well enough to know that this claim just isn't credible.

Jesus Christ affirmed Scripture to the smallest penstroke. You believe that the Bible's account of even THE PASSOVER is ahistorical, and that the Bible attributes to God literally atrocious commands and behavior.

Jesus Christ taught that God made us male and female so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female), but you believe God blesses "gay marriage."

Jesus Christ taught that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin, but you deny that His death caused our forgiveness.

Jesus Christ commanded to partake of the bread and the cup to commemorate His death, but you believe the Lord's Supper is a church tradition rather than an observance commanded by the Lord.

Jesus Christ told Thomas to examine His wounds, but you think its possible to believe in a non-physical resurrection.

Jesus Christ hand-picked Paul to be His Apostle, but you dismiss some of Paul's teachings as "doubtless" bigotry.

And Jesus Christ hand-picked twelve men to be His closest followers, but you dismiss the importance of His choosing twelve men as a mere "nod" to the sexism of the surrounding culture.

You are no follower of Jesus Christ as He is presented in the New Testament.

You celebrate those teachings of Christ that seemingly fit with your political progressivism, you distort those teachings that can be made to advance your agenda, and you ignore and even deny the rest.

You're a two-faced liar whose word cannot be trusted.

Dan Trabue said...

No smear.

Is it or is it not a fact that you would like to see gays banned from serving in the military? Is it or is it not a fact that you hold this position NOT due to whether or not they can do the job (they can), NOT because they are misbehaving (all gays aren't, of course), but simply because they are gay?

Is that not your position? That you want to see a ban on gay folk in the military simply because they're gay?

And is it your position that you are okay with straight folk dating while in the military, but not with gay folk dating while in the military?

If your position IS the very definition of bigotry based on being part of a class of people (women? gay folk), then it IS bigotry, whether or not you call it bigotry.

On the other hand, when you misrepresent my positions, it is not based on what I actually believe, but on misrepresentations of what I believe. It has nothing to do with whether or not I like your opinions about what I believe, it's whether or not they are correct. It is correct to call a bigot a bigot, whether or not he owns up to it.

If, on the other hand, one merely disagrees with your take on the bible and you say that he does not respect the Bible, that is a misrepresentation.

And I really should not be here, this is just goofy.

Neil said...

The Navy captain made a lot of strong points, none of which had to do with picking on one particular sin just because it isn't a temptation for most of us. It is the nature of that sin and its consequences that he addressed.

I appreciated Bubba's first comment and how he skewered what amounts to a concession speech by Liberals. We agree with the Bible's take on homosexual behavior so we're gay, eh? Sure. And deep down Liberals are really anti-abortion, pro-business, anti-tax, etc. What a fun game!

Dan Trabue said...

I will address THIS falsehood...

thank you for confirming that your position isn't just about allowing homosexuals to enlist, "regardless of their actual behavior."

You want the military to condone their behavior, too.


My position has been ALL ALONG, that military service ought to be based upon actual behavior and ability.

If a straight guy can do the job and is not misbehaving, then the fact that there are a large number of straight guys that are sexist and who misbehave ought not keep the individual from serving. Banning all straight folk from serving because SOME straight folk misbehave would be an example of bigotry. If a fundamentalist gal can do the job, but some fundies misbehave, then banning her based on the behavior of a few would be bigotry.

I stand in support of reasonable rules that apply to everyone. Gay or straight. Male or female.

Having standard rules that apply to everyone has nothing to do with whether or not the military condones fundamentalism or heterosexuality or being a female or being gay. It has to do with fundamental issues of justice and morality.

I suppose Bubba and Marshall are standing opposed to those issues of justice and morality in favor of bigotry towards one class of people (not the individual behavior or merit, but just their belonging to a group). And Bubbamarshall are free to hold that immoral position in our nation. Just don't be surprised when people call bigoted behavior bigotry.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"Is it or is it not a fact that you would like to see gays banned from serving in the military? Is it or is it not a fact that you hold this position NOT due to whether or not they can do the job (they can), NOT because they are misbehaving (all gays aren't, of course), but simply because they are gay?"

This is a false dilemma.

Because cohesion is far more important in the military than in almost any aspect of civilian life, it's not enough to evaluate ONLY whether a person "can do the job," but also whether that person's presence would degrade cohesion to the point of impairing the military's effectiveness.

Because I believe the military's effectiveness should have a higher priority than advancing the cause of social justice, I believe the military should be free to make its own determination about personnel.


About the Bible, you write:

"If, on the other hand, one merely disagrees with your take on the bible and you say that he does not respect the Bible, that is a misrepresentation."

The problem is, your "take" on the Bible is incoherent and implausible on its face. What you believe doesn't actually correspond to the text, and it's a credit to your literacy -- though not your character -- to conclude that you don't really love the entire Bible and respect all its teachings.

To take your position to its logical conclusion, one would have to take at face value a person's claim to respect the Bible even if EVERYTHING he affirms is the opposite of the clear meaning of the text.


Which reminds me: you never did answer whether an atheist could become a Christian while still embracing his atheistic denial of God.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

but also whether that person's presence would degrade cohesion to the point of impairing the military's effectiveness.

Well, it appears our military leaders have decided that the presence of gays or straights in the military in no way effects cohesion.

On the other hand, it appears that you and Marshall are more concerned that some straight guys will "feel uncomfortable" (ie, lack of cohesion) than on basic matters of justice and morality.

Yours appears to be not only a bigoted position, but also one based on frilly feelings of comfort or discomfort for a few straight guys who get all queasy around gay guys. I'd say we ought to set policy based on effectiveness and justice, rather than on some people's feelings and bigotry.

Again, you're welcome to your position, but don't be surprised if you get left behind by those more concerned with justice and morality rather than emotions and feelings.

Dan Trabue said...

I am curious, though: Why do you feel like gays being in the military would "degrade cohesion?" Based on what? Just a hunch? Your own feelings of discomfort and/or fear around gay folk?

Dan Trabue said...

For the most part, I have been responding to the commentary here thus far, rather than Marshall's retired Captain. I have now looked that letter over. Allow me to summarize. The Captain says...

During my enlisted service, homosexuals seemed to be a clumsy lot. They had a tendency to repeatedly fall headfirst down an engineroom ladder... The crew had a way of policing themselves to eliminate homosexual advances.

And...

It has been my experience that if sexual favors are available aboard ship, some enterprising sailor, petty officer, or officer will find a way to take advantage of the offer.

And...

I also recall that one of the cruisers returning from the First Gulf War reported 40% of the female crewmembers were pregnant after a six-month deployment. Just recently I read that the Commanding Officer and Command Master Chief were relieved from an Atlantic Fleet destroyer because of fraternization between several Chief Petty Officers and female members of the crew... Is there some reason you believe that homosexual activity would not also occur or is not occurring?

Arguments of that sort. In short, each of these arguments are against behavior - specifically, soldiers misbehaving. In the first case, he is saying that homophobic sailors would assault perceived gays. The problem in that case is that it is the heterosexual assailant who is conducting himself in a criminal and immoral manner.

Is the captain suggesting that if gays and straights work together, some straight folk might assault gay folk, therefore, gays ought not serve in the military??! Does he also believe that if women serve in the military that they might be assaulted by straight guys, therefore women ought not serve in the military?

This is an immoral and upside down reasoning. If group X is around, group Y might misbehave, so let's ban group X. Really? Reward the criminals/sinners? I don't think so.

In the second "argument," he says that men and women serving together results in unwanted sexual activity, therefore, gays would probably do this, too, therefore, we ought to keep straight males and women, but not gay folk?

That makes no sense. If there are problems with sexual behaviors that are problematic, you deal with those who are misbehaving, you don't penalize the whole class of people. And you sure don't say it's okay for one group but not another! That would be bigotry and immoral.

Finally, the captain gets more ridiculous towards the end, saying...

After a few years he noticed that senior officers were closing their eyes to the problem. Eventually, it was made permissible. He decided to transfer before it became compulsory. I think you are leading us down that road to compulsion, Admiral!

Does the Captain REALLY think that the military will REQUIRE homosexual behavior or is this some kind of joke? Regardless, it makes the Captain appear totally ignorant and bigoted.

In short, there is no defense for the Captain's position. It is a position based upon bigotry and ignorance. It is lacking in logic (as I showed briefly) and is inconsistent.

I suspect that increasing numbers of concerned citizens will write off such idiotic arguments as just being the voice of small-mindedness and immorality. Regardless, lacking ANY logical reason or moral reason to support a ban, we ought to move on.

Marshall Art said...

Typically, Dan overlooks the captain's tales of homosexual misconduct, but again, the issue isn't about the misconduct itself, but the military being forced to even deal with it due to pressure from fools like Dan who think there should be no problem mixing the sexes or mixing in those who are partial to the same sex.

Dan, you should try looking at this issue logicically and objectively and not as some fool who dishonestly pushes the notion that homosexuality is morally benign, pretending there is an issue of justice involved with the discrimination against someone who proudly identifies himself by the bad behavior in which he engages or desires to engage.

First of all, here's real justice for you: As the captain said, once in the service, an admission of homosexuality is not sufficient for discharge. There must be proof. Therefor, if one is accused, the accusation must be accompanied by evidence or the accuser must have been engaged with the accused. It sounds as if walking in on two homos going at it isn't sufficient either.

But more importantly, consider many years ago before women were allowed in combat or forward positions, mixing with men. At that time, the only sexual situations with which the military had to deal were of men getting the clap, hitting on the wives or girfriends of others, adultery, etc. Then they added women to the mix and pregnancies, rapes and abuse of rank became a greater issue. Now, you want to add homosexuals to the mix. Yeah, no problem. It would be unfair for the military to not allow the crap that would come with doing so. How thoughtless of them!

You dismiss the captain and his concerns, developed through his experiences, first hand and otherwise, as bigotry. Well fine. If you mean "a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices", then I'm certainly a bigot as well, for I KNOW that homosexual behavior is a sinful one in any context BECAUSE GOD SAYS SO THROUGH HIS REVEALED WORD IN SCRIPTURE and your perverted attempts to say otherwise are not supportable in the least. I am obstinately and intolerably devoted to His Truth. You, on the other hand, lie in your enabling twisting of His Word.

But if you mean "one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance", then you are definitely a liar because standing up for the Truth does not make one hateful in the least, and we're not talking about a racial or ethnic group, but a group of people who identify themselves by their immoral sexual behavior or desires. Unlike yourself, I want the best for all people and enabling sinners does not qualify.

more---

Craig said...

Dan,

Thanks for the answer. Given what you have said I don't see the reason for the distinction you made earlier.

If you do agree that we all sin, then if we are believers we will ask forgiveness and repent. I also think most believers if they are honest with themselves realize that we sin so often that we don't/can't ask specific forgiveness for every sin. But as we ask for forgiveness, we can acknowledge that, and through grace we are forgiven.

But you seem to be saying that there are people (not necessarily believers) who are unaware that a particular action is a sin.

If this is what you are saying I don't see why it matters. Non believers still realize that certain things are wrong (sin), and they are not going to ask forgiveness for what they know is wrong, let alone what they may not know is wrong.

I hope I am making myself clear. But it seems as though you are assuming that believers and non believers are treated the same way in regards to sin.

Marshall Art said...

Does God condemn those who sin unknowingly? Where that might apply, I'll leave that to Him. I suspect it's quite possible because He does not tolerate sin because He's so discriminating that way.

But homos know homo behavior is sinful, as do you, so there is no ignorance there. You know it's sinful by your inability to defend it as otherwise against even unscholarly people such as myself, and I'm willing to start the whole debate over to prove it yet again. (Wherein I would defy you to continue to respond to objections without the usual "that's your hunch" or "this is where we disagree" which are definite signs you've lost the debate.)

Here's more justice from the UMCJ: even normal people are forbidden to engage in sodomy. Can't get much more equal than that.

The bottom line is clear, and Bubba said it well. Your concern is the promotion of a behavior as the moral equivalent of sex between traditionally married couples and that is more important to you than either the mission of the military or God's Will, or even the health and salvation of homos themselves.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig said...

Given what you have said I don't see the reason for the distinction you made earlier.

Well, that whole line of thinking was a rabbit of Marshall's I was chasing, as you'll recall. I was simply trying to clarify my position, which Marshall had wrongly stated. I'm glad you and I agree that God's grace covers our imperfections. I'm sure Marshall agrees, too, as it is a fairly basic orthodox view of sin and grace.

Neil said...

The behavior is sinful and they know it. Romans 1 couldn't be more clear. People suppress the truth in unrighteousness and God gives them over to their sins, of which exhibit A is homosexual behavior -- abandoning their natural "function" (there are many other sins listed as well which apply to everyone but it is interesting which one God picked as a prime example of rebellion).

Also, it is sinful to say that the behavior isn't sinful. Romans 1 still applies. You have to suppress the same truths to encourage others in their sin.

It is hateful as well, because anyone who tells homosexuals that God is OK with that behavior cannot have the person's long term best interests at heart. Straight folks who are pro-gay theology love the world and their popularity more than they love those struggling with homosexuality.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall and Neil both expressed this falsehood...

The behavior is sinful and they know it.

Here I am, an honest Christian with no reason in the world to lie and I'm telling you as clearly as I know how, I DON'T BELIEVE HOMOSEXUALITY IN GENERAL IS SINFUL. I disagree with the notion that gay marriage is wrong or sinful. I think gay marriage is a good thing.

I have studied the scriptures, I have prayed and I moved AWAY from the position that Marshall and the Fundies hold to my position in an attempt to hold to what is good and true and holy and that alone.

I KNEW NO gay folk when I changed my position, so it is absolutely not true that I changed my position to appease gay friends. I have no gay family members of which I'm aware, so it's not the case that I changed my position to appease their feelings.

In short, I changed my position for one reason and one reason alone: To try to align myself with God's will.

Now, I COULD be mistaken, that is always a possibility, as long as I am in a mortal human body with a fallible little brain. Just as Marshall et al could be mistaken.

BUT, as clearly as I can express it, I do NOT believe gay marriage or healthy gay relationships to be sinful. It would be utterly and diabolically untruthful to suggest that I "know" that homosexuality is wrong, because I know nothing of the sort.

Wrap your tiny little pissy, pharisaical little brains around that fellas: Sometimes, people of good faith can actually disagree with the almighty Marshall, Neil and Bubba. We don't all agree with you and we may well not agree with you in a sincere effort to follow God, as is the case here.

Y'all ain't God and we don't need to align with your hunches about God. Y'all ain't God and you don't know what we think. Of the three of us: Me, Neil and Marshall: I AM THE ONE AND ONLY one capable of knowing what I THINK.

It's really not that hard to understand, fellas. Get a grip.

Marshall Art said...

Well said, Neil. As to God's grace covering imperfections, I do agree. But the question is truly if you are ignorant of homosexuality being a sinful behavior. You are not. You know full well, but you try to justify if in the context of some arrangement that YOU find pleasing and assume (a very wild hunch indeed) that God does as well. But there is no justification for this belief as our long time debates have shown. You just WANT it to.

In this society, one cannot say they didn't know homosex behavior was sinful. They can only say they didn't believe it was. That is, they chose to believe otherwise even in the face of well intentioned Christians like Bubba, Neil and myself speaking the truth, as well as the source of the truth itself, God's revealed word to us in Scripture. And even if you want to continue the lame "I interpret it differently" crap, one still cannot say they were ignorant of the possibility that it is sinful. Ignorance does not even play a roll in this discussion, so 86 that lame line of (so-called) reasoning.

Neil said...

When people play the "I just understand 2+2 differently than you and I think it is 5," just tell them that you understand their comments "differently" as well. You realize that that they are being sarcastic and you see that they totally agree with you. Hence, nothing else to debate.

And make no mistakes: This is a 2+2 issue.

Neil said...

It seems that Romans 1 people either don't realize they are Romans 1 people or they don't mind lying about being Romans 1 people.

Dan Trabue said...

Right. Neil is TOO sure that he could be TOO wrong, so everyone else must be a liar and Neil must be right.

Damnable hypocritical morons. God have mercy on your soul. Lying is a sin. Your arrogant pride is a sin.

Repent friend. Out of love, I am letting you know, you need to repent. You are not nearly as God-ish as you think you are.

Neil said...

As Dwight would say to Andy on The Office: "Un-shun."

You know, many people use "LOL" indiscriminately and aren't really laughing out loud.

Believe me when I say that I LOL'd at Dan.

People suppress the truth in unrighteousness, God gives them over to their passions, they abandon their natural sexual functions and commit other sins.

Not. That. Complicated.

Making that statement does not imply that I think I'm God-ish. You can preach a (good) sermon on any commandment and convict me. That is just another sophomoric dig by Dan, because his confidence in his views means he's right while our confidence is sinful (and wrong). Sure.

"Re-shun."

(I thought he left for good?!)

Dan Trabue said...

While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man

Indeed. How someone can quote that passage with such vigor and sincerity so repeatedly and yet fail to see their own foolishness is what is perhaps the most ironic thing happening here.

Neil and the others who presume to have the God-like ability to be able to speak for millions of people have INDEED become fools, exchanging the glory of God for the likeness of an image (in a mirror) of a man.

They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.'

Jesus began saying to them, "Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man."


This is why I speak to them in parables:
"Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
" 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.


~Jesus

Dan Trabue said...

Neil...

That is just another sophomoric dig by Dan, because his confidence in his views means he's right while our confidence is sinful (and wrong). Sure.

Yes, I DO have confidence that I know WHAT I THINK better than you do. Strange, huh?

Repent.

And you're right, I should absolutely go away for good, but I feel such compassion for this crew of raging fundies. You remind me of my own arrogance in my more conservative days, and so I have a soft spot for you. Sue me.

Regardless, that you think you can know what I and millions of other people think better than we do is the surest and most clear sign that you have re-made yourself into a god, in your own petty mind. You ain't the god of me, Neil.

Bubba said...

Dan, there's no reason at all to believe you when you claim to be "an honest Christian with no reason in the world to lie."

You're not honest.

You're not a Christian.

And you have plenty of motive to lie: you can advance your political radicalism if you can convince people that it's the logical consequence of the Bible's teachings.

I repeat that Christ taught that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin, and you deny that His death caused our forgiveness.

Christ taught to partake of the bread and the cup to commemorate His death, and you deny that the Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Christ rather than merely a tradition of the church.

On numerous issues, your beliefs run counter to the clear teachings of the Bible and even the direct teachings of Jesus Christ Himself.

It is no longer possible to give you the benefit of the doubt regarding your claim to be a Christian, much less an honest Christian with no motive to lie.


I doubt anyone believes your claim for compassion for us. I certainly don't believe it.

And I doubt anyone puts any credence in your repeated smear that we are guilty of literal megalomania simply for believing the Bible's clear teachings and for drawing inconvenient but entirely reasonable conclusions about what you write.

You're a fraud and a joke.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, then, God have mercy on us all, yes?

Bubba said...

Indeed.

With all my heart, I pray that God help me if I've misjudged you -- and may God help you if I haven't.

Craig said...

Dan,

Again, thanks for the response, but you didn't deal with the point.

You seem to be asserting that those who are not believers, yet engage in sin are covered by God's grace because they didn't know that X was a sin.

Please clarify.

Dan Trabue said...

It's off topic, Craig. But I have repeatedly affirmed that we are saved by God's grace WHEN we repent for our sins and accept that grace. It's an act of grace on God's part and a choice to repent and follow on our part.

We, being free moral agents, are always free to choose to reject that grace. I don't believe God forces anyone to be saved against their will.

Seems to me.

Craig said...

OK, Just wanted to be sure. It seemed like you were opening the door wider than most.

Craig said...

Are you saying that one can choose to "give up" their salvation after they "accept" it?

Marshall Art said...

I see no need for anyone to go away. Those that have so far have been unable to defend their positions and chose instead to cast aspersions as the door hit them in the ass. Dan is feeling it, too, by his charges of hypocrisy, misrepresentation, "hunches", pride, arrogance, bigotry, megalomania, etc., etc., etc., all because we stand firmly behind the clearly revealed will of God on the subject of human sexuality.

Furthermore, to insist that the military is well within not only its rights but also the parameters of its duty and mission to decide for itself who is worthy of the uniform, is not bigotry in any sense of the word. It is discrimination and discrimination is not a dirty word or a dirty practice. Woeful is the person who is not disriminating in his life. And for the military to discriminate against behaviors it finds destructive to its sense of character and high level of discipline and cohesiveness is well within those parameters and rights. It must do this in order to be all IT can be.

Dan wants to try and compare Baptists as a group to homosexuals as a group. Apples to oranges because "Baptists", by definition, do not denote a behavior in the sense that homosexuality does. A more accurate comparison (outside of other sexual sins) would be thieves. The military would not likely desire the enlistment of one who describes himself as a thief. The military would be "discriminating" against an entire class of people regardless of how they might conduct themselves once recruited. It would not knowingly wish to take a chance on having to monitor personnel and equipment for the added burden of having knowingly recruited thieves.

By the same token, normal people do not declare themselves "heterosexual" because that is normal. And those heteros that are adulterers, pedophiles, rapists, masturbators, animal lovers, do not label themselves as such upon enlisting. Nor do they publicize their sexual proclivities for the result would be the same as for the homosexual. Court martial. Thus, these heteros are serving under DADT every much as the homo is expected to. There is no discrimination whatsoever when reality is considered.

But Dan's reality is different than the rest of the world. In Dan's reality, homosexuality is laudable. It is no better or worse than the only sexual behavior tolerated by God, which is relations between a man and woman within the context of a traditional marriage.

Of course Dan is wrong and it has been explained to him in numerous ways and supported by Scripture itself, but he adds to Scripture what cannot be reasonably read by objective, honest people concerned with God's will, because it just isn't there. This is so obvious that I am more than convinced. I am so convinced of the obvious nature of this fact, that I am willing to start the debate all over again any time because it is so easy to rebut the absolutely laughable and desperate attempts of the enablers and activists.

But as to the military, DADT conflicts with the UCMJ, but it is a practice that works for those sinners who wish to serve, and by sinners, I refer to the list of infractions under the UCMJ that incudes homosexuality. I thank God that the military is wise enough to have considered these issues long ago and believe it is stronger when all military personnel adhere to that code. Just think how much better our culture would be if all citizens held to such a code as well!

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

I see no need for anyone to go away.

If you're not going to answer any questions, then it's not really a conversation, is it? Just a chance for you to rant and mock. I'll pass.

Craig...

Are you saying that one can choose to "give up" their salvation after they "accept" it?

Again, we're off topic here, but yes, I am not a believer in "once saved, always saved." I (and anabaptists, in general, I believe) don't think that can be supported biblically or logically.

Bubba said...

Going back to the subject of military personnel, I want to make clear that I reject Dan's assertion that I hold a "religious view" about the composition of the U.S. military.

I don't. My position on the issue isn't drawn from any clear teachings of the Bible that would require a particular personnel policy, but a simple common-sense emphasis of effectiveness over political correctness.

Dan dismisses concerns about cohesion as "frilly feelings of comfort or discomfort for a few straight guys who get all queasy around gay guys," which tells the reader everything one needs to know about how little Dan knows or cares about the long-term, high-stress living conditions of a combat soldier.

Since he defers to the decisions of military leaders ONLY when those decisions advance his political radicalism -- and since his usual schtick is to smear our military by accusing our armed forces of targeting civilians -- it's an entirely open question whether Dan cares in the slightest about the military's effectiveness.


Dan, since we are digressing into the subject of salvation, I'd like to reiterate my question on the related (but not identical) subject of membership in Christ's church.

Can an atheist become a Christian while still embracing his atheistic denial of God?

I ask because, the last time we talked at length, you seemed to downplay the importance of doctrine by quoting passages of Scripture that emphasize love, writing that you and your church demonstrate "real evidence" that "we are indeed Christians, saved by God's grace, striving by God's grace to walk in Jesus' steps."

I pointed out how you took passages out of their immediate context to make your point. Paul emphasized doctrine in the same letter you quoted, and you overlooked the fact that, even in what you quoted, John emphasized doctrine.

I'm curious how far you're willing to go to de emphasize doctrine.

I wonder if you think even the central tenet of theism is ultimately negotiable.

Craig said...

Dan,

So you are saying that one could be saved, then not saved, then saved, then not saved etc.

It kind of sounds like your earlier example of dying without confessing certian sins. Is it your contention that if one dies without confessing, or dies during one of the unsaved periods that Gods grace just lets them slide. Or are they toast?

MA, If this get too far off topic, we can go elsewhere, just say the word.

Marshall Art said...

Craig,

I don't mind going off on tangents, especially when those tangents involve unresolved issues. I just want all to know that because a thread has gone astray, it can't go so far that we can't abruptly return to the point of the post. But tangents are just how people talk.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

You said, "If you're not going to answer any questions, then it's not really a conversation, is it?"

To which question have I failed to respond? Or are you doing a typical Trabue by suggesting that I sin by missing one now and then when you yourself plea for understanding in such a case? I have no problem responding to ANY question at any time, nor have I ever in the past. Ask away!

Craig said...

MA,

If it goes to far let me know.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

To which question have I failed to respond?

Mainly this one, although I have asked it in a variety of ways and words:

What if, because SOME fundamentalist Christians misbehave, I suggested a ban on ALL fundies?

It appears that you are suggesting a ban on a WHOLE GROUP or class of people because SOME in that class misbehave. That is not "being discriminating," as in parsing out the good from the bad based on their behavior, that is bigotry, by definition. As you rightly noted, prejudice against a group is the definition of bigotry.

I'm asking: Are you in favor of bigotry with other groups like fundamentalists, or is it just gay folk you wish to be bigoted towards?

Marshall Art said...

I most certainly HAVE answered this question! I said that the term "fundies" (at the time, it was "Baptist") does NOT imply a behavior by it's definition. So the answer would be "no". Yet if a person enlisted labelled himself as a thief, or a murderer, or a gang banger then I would indeed deny those "groups" access to military service. What about this is hard to understand? Pretending that there is some rampant misbehavior attached to fundies or Baptists is a poor hypothetical and not representative of reality. "Gay folk" are barred in the same way "rapist folk" or "sodomy folk" or "adulterous folk" are. Yet, anyone who merely desires same gender sex or sodomy or forcing themselves upon another or cheating on spouses is NOT barred if they keep those desires to themselves. In yet another real world example, if any of those perpetrate those acts once in the military and is discovered, each will be court martialed. Where's the bigotry? The military has ruled that ALL of those sexual "orientations" would be detrimental to military cohesion and effectiveness if allowed to be openly practiced.

NONE of those "folk", nor anyone else for that matter, have a "RIGHT" to serve. YOU need to explain why "wanting to" constitutes a right that the government must oblige. YOU must explain why the military must bend to the whims of the person seeking enlistment, why that person can dictate terms to the military, rather than the other way around.

Like everyone else, your precious "gay folk" are not so precious, nor are they "like everyone else" just because they and their enablers say so. That case has yet to be made. So until then, cowtowing to the activists is the wrong way for the military to go, the wrong way for the governemnt to go, and especially the wrong way for the culture to go. Not on wild hunches about homosexual behavior.

Now maybe you can finally answer MY question. If your opinion is to be considered, then why separate the sexes? The same dynamic is at work when mixing hetero and homo as in mixing the sexes. If this is not so, try explaining the difference.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

I said that the term "fundies" (at the time, it was "Baptist") does NOT imply a behavior by it's definition.

No, you didn't answer it. You dismissed it on erroneous grounds.

"Homosexual" does NOT imply a behavior, by its definition. "Homosexual," by definition, means one who is attracted to someone of the same gender. It describes a PERSON, not an action. The term "homosexual ACT" would describe an action. Homosexual is a noun (well, strictly speaking, it's an adjective, but the way you and I are using it, it is a noun), not a verb.

On the other hand, while YOU may associate the notion of homosexuality with an action, many people associate fundamentalists with actions: Arrogance, hypocrisy, scientific ignorance, small-minded-ness.

In short, just because YOU see no reason to make an allegory between gay folk and fundies, you are not the whole world. Other people, such as myself, may think it a legitimate question.

But tell you what, let me take this from another angle...

Dan Trabue said...

I'm making an educated guess on your positions below based on what you've said thus far. Of course, I could be wrong, so just tell me if and where I get any of your opinions wrong...

1. You say, "All gays should be banned from the military," is that right? This would include Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc gay folk who are celibate, who are conservative and who have no intention of engaging in extramarital sex, is that right?

2. I ask, on what possible basis would you make that conclusion? Judging by your words, it sounds like it is based purely on bigotry.

3. You answer, because gay folk misbehave and would, therefore, weaken the military.

4. I respond, Not ALL gay folk misbehave. Beyond that, STRAIGHT folk misbehave, too. In fact, there is a SERIOUS problem in the military (according to the military) with straight males misbehaving - rape, sexism, assault. So, we already allow individuals whose "group" misbehaves. So, why single out gay folk for discrimination against the whole? It still sounds like bigotry.

5. You respond, "A large number of gay folk have sexually transmitted diseases, therefore all gays should not be allowed to serve in the military."

6. I respond, "A large number of straight folk have STDs, but you're not speaking of a straight ban. If it's STDs that you're concerned about, then why not make a rule against soldiers having STDs and, if a soldier (gay, straight, whatever) does not have an STD, then they could serve.

7. I also respond, "Who decides that having STDs is a reason not to allow participation in the military? Again, it seems like you're just bigoted against gay folk and are singling them out for special discrimination just because they're gay. For what reason would you ban all gay folk?"

8. You respond that STDs are just an indication of moral depravity, and it's the morally depraved who ought not be allowed to serve in the military, like thieves, pedophiles, rapists and gays.

9. I respond that, again, that is a bigoted answer. If you wish to discriminate based on bad behavior, then do so. Ban rapists and pedophiles from the military, by all means. I'd agree that is a legitimate reason.

But being gay is NOT bad behavior, it is an orientation. Gay folk don't misbehave especially more than straight folk. So, for what reason would you ban a whole group of people?

Is it okay to ban a whole group of people based on somebody's preconceived ideas of how that group behaves or because of how a subset of that group might behave?

If so, who decides which group gets banned? The military? The same group that decided not so long ago that black folk as a whole weren't qualified to be in the military? No, it can't be just the military. Generally, yes, let the military make the call on individuals.

But IF or WHEN the military makes bigoted choices against a whole class of people based NOT on behavior, but based on bigoted notions of that group, then the military does not get to make that decision, not in the USA. We have higher ideals than that.

So, what legitimate reason would you offer for the nation to listen to you when you suggest banning a whole group of people? What if I make the case that we ought to ban all fundamentalists, why should your bigoted opinion count more than mine (IF, of course, I were making that bigoted declaration, which I'm not)?

Dan Trabue said...

Since Marshall doesn't mind this tangent, Craig said...

So you are saying that one could be saved, then not saved, then saved, then not saved etc.

Ummm, I guess. I believe that one can choose to accept God's grace or reject God's grace. I believe once someone is saved, they can STILL choose to reject God's grace. They have freedom of conscience, the ability to choose right and wrong. Why wouldn't they?

Are you saying that you don't believe Christians can choose to reject God's grace? I'm guessing you're aware of the scriptural arguments on this point?

I know that some have suggested that there are passages that suggest that once Christians decide to reject that grace which God has shown them to return to salvation...

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift (saved) and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost (sanctified), And have tasted the good word of God (obedient disciples) and the powers of the world to come (the supernatural), If they shall fall away (apostatize or fall from grace) to renew them again to repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame

I mean, that Hebrews 6 passages seems pretty clear that Christians can fall from grace (lose their salvation). It also seems to suggest that if they do, then they've truly become lost beyond all hope.

I see the point made, but I don't believe it to be sufficient to suggest that people somehow lose the ability to repent and return to God, which is what God says needs to happen in order for someone to be saved.

Craig asked...

It kind of sounds like your earlier example of dying without confessing certain sins. Is it your contention that if one dies without confessing, or dies during one of the unsaved periods that Gods grace just lets them slide. Or are they toast?

My point was simply that we are saved by God's grace. That OUR part in salvation is accepting that grace. As human beings created in the image of God, we have the ability to choose right and wrong, the ability to choose to accept God's grace or reject it. Part of accepting God's grace is repentance for our breaking relationship with God.

However, I also believe that if we sin in ignorance (ie, we don't know that a particular action is a sin), that God's grace covers our ignorance and imperfection.

That's my general fairly orthodox view on these matters (or at least fairly orthodox in many evangelical and Catholic and anabaptist circles, if not all). Now, as to the exact details of when someone is and isn't saved, I'll have to confess ignorance. I'm not God enough to know if someone accepted God's grace and repented and turned to Jesus, what exactly would constitute a turning away from God. I don't tend to think that someone sinning in ignorance would constitute turning away from God. I don't think someone who merely happened to sin and died before he had a chance to ask for forgiveness constitutes turning away from God.

I'm not sure that I know how to answer your question beyond that.

Dan Trabue said...

I said to Craig earlier...

Are you saying that you don't believe Christians can choose to reject God's grace? I'm guessing you're aware of the scriptural arguments on this point?

For what it's worth, this would be an example of the sort of "theological" questions that I have very little interest in discussing. I am aware that some within Christianity don't believe in once saved, always saved. I'm aware (VERY) of the biblical arguments on both sides. I've come down on the side of the notion that we CAN still choose to follow God or not even after we're saved and that once saved, always saved is not a logical or biblical position to hold.

But mostly, I think it is a mostly dusty and irrelevant debate, the sort that lots of Christians (myself, include) have spent WAYY too much time and energy debating. There are much more important matters to talk about (how do we best go about being peacemakers? What does it mean to turn the other cheek? What do we do with all the warnings in the Bible about wealth, when we are amongst the very wealthiest people in the world...?, etc, etc - THESE sorts of real world points are much more salient, I think, to our Christianity and world than vigorous debates on topics like 'once saved, always saved,' atonement, etc, etc).

I'm not saying Christians ought not engage in conversations about this, just that I don't find much to get worked up about either way, although I definitely have opinions.

For what it's worth.

Marshall Art said...

Very short on time this morning so I'll respond as I can and continue later.

I did NOT dismiss you question on erroneous grounds, I dismissed your erroneous premise. Comparing homos and Baptists is an apples/oranges comparison. That's why I replaced "Baptist" with one of the other sexual sins in one response and other sinful acts, like theft, in another. THOSE comparisons are far more consistent.

Some people are "oriented" toward children. Some people are "oriented" toward forcing themselves sexually on other, weaker people. Some people are "oriented" toward constant womanizing and adultery. Some people are "oriented" toward violence, theft, laziness, gluttony, and a host of other possible character flaws. Few of them proudly label themselves after their particular flaw, but like homos, they would all prefer to be left alone to indulge those desires. "Orientation" is a ruse, a sham put forth by anyone not willing to put in the effort to modify their behavior or control their desires. God gives us the power to change, but it's the power to perservere in the face of temptation to give up rather than power like flipping off the homo switch.

For the sake of the military, mixing hetero and homo is like mixing the sexes, which the military won't do for obvious reasons. The same dynamic applies to mixing homo and hetero and you have yet to respond to this issue. Why separate the sexes?

As for how "some" (not many honest and reasonable people) view fundies, those who associate fundies with "Arrogance, hypocrisy, scientific ignorance, small-minded-ness", are those who have rejected orthodoxy and, like small children, cannot stand being reminded of what proper Christian behavior is. Such pouting and whining is not an example of legitimate criticism.

Gotta go now. More later.

Bubba said...

Dan:

You write to Marshall, "while YOU may associate the notion of homosexuality with an action, many people associate fundamentalists with actions: Arrogance, hypocrisy, scientific ignorance, small-minded-ness."

Strictly speaking, none of what you listed constitutes an actual action comparable to say, robbery or other crimes, or sodomy or other forms of intercourse.

A person can act arrogantly, but arrogance isn't ITSELF an action, and category errors like this make me wonder if your thinking really is so muddled that I have wrongly attributed your poor reasoning skills to deliberate deception.

Beyond this, arrogance and small-mindedness are derogatory conclusions about religious fundamentalists; there's nothing derogatory in concluding that those who openly profess to homosexual desires actually engage in homosexual intercourse.

So, there might be an analogy -- an analogy, not an allegory; get a dictionary -- between the military's banning fundamentalist Christians and banning outspoken homosexuals, but not if that analogy requires confusion over what qualifies as actions, and confusion over what's slanderous and what's reasonable.


It is funny how that list of supposed fundamentalist actions fit so nicely with those who are fundamentalist about their true faith of political progressivism, but who try to hide that fact behind a thin veneer of Christian orthodoxy.

It is proof of both hypocrisy and scientific ignorance to defend the legal sanction of abortion while claiming to take a stand for the protection of innocent human life.


For what it's worth, I don't think it's enough to say that, because some people in a particular group misbehave, the entire group should be prohibited from enlisted in the armed forces.

But, again, the top priority ought to be military effectiveness. Serving is a privilege, not a civil right.

And while it's not enough to say that some people in the group misbehave, proportions are not unimportant.

Of those who have no criminal record, some percentage will commit crimes. Simple logic and the idea of a first-time offender requires that realization. But convicted criminals might (and almost certainly do) commit future crimes at a higher rate.

Recidivism is a perfectly legitimate reason to ban from enlistment all convicted felons who have served their time, if the recidivism rate is significantly higher than the crime rate of the population at-large, and it is. It doesn't matter if that offends or upsets truly reformed felons: the military's job isn't coddling (what's the phrase?) the "frilly feelings" of everyone who wants to enlist.


Indeed, it's not enough to note that gays can misbehave the same as straights.

But if gays engage in sexual misbehavior (besides the obvious) much more frequently than straights, to a statistically significant degree, then there's an argument that the military has good reason to prevent their enlistment as a group.


But I think there are persuasive arguments, if not conclusive arguments, that have nothing to do with statistics on behavior.

Dan, you write, "being gay is NOT bad behavior, it is an orientation."

I've brought up the subject in this thread, and you offered nothing in response, but suppose that sado-masochism becomes enshrined as an "orientation" and that outspoken sadists and masochists become protected members of the coalition of the oppressed.

If an individual sadist has no record of wrong-doing, it still makes no sense to give him a weapon and have him work side-by-side with other American soldiers. Nor does it make sense to have soldiers go into dangerous and even life-threatening situations knowing that a comrade-in-arms finds pain sexually arousing.

Even a mere orientation can degrade unit cohesion and effectiveness.

Bubba said...

Dan, about the digression into theological matters, I think your priorities are skewed.

About whether salvation can be lost, you write:

"But mostly, I think it is a mostly dusty and irrelevant debate, the sort that lots of Christians (myself, include) have spent WAYY too much time and energy debating. There are much more important matters to talk about (how do we best go about being peacemakers? What does it mean to turn the other cheek? What do we do with all the warnings in the Bible about wealth, when we are amongst the very wealthiest people in the world...?, etc, etc - THESE sorts of real world points are much more salient, I think, to our Christianity and world than vigorous debates on topics like 'once saved, always saved,' atonement, etc, etc)."

Logically, what is eternal is infinitely more important than what is temporary: our wealth is temporary, even this world is temporary, but OUR ETERNAL DESTINIES ARE NOT.

John, the Apostle who emphasized love so much, didn't write a canonical letter so that we would know, for instance, how to turn the other cheek.

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." - I Jn 5:13

Belief and eternal life is the reason for John's Gospel, too.

"Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name." - Jn 20:30-31

The Apostles make clear that heresy concerns doctrinal matters that you denigrate as "dusty and irrelevant", that we are saved by God's grace and Christ's death apart from works (Gal 1:8-9, 2:21), and that Jesus is the incarnate Christ (I Jn 4:2-3).

The importance the Bible places on the theological matters would be hard to overstate, as would the degree to which you deviate from the Bible in your priorities.


But your comment makes my earlier question all the more germane. I've asked this question twice already (in this thread alone), and if you're going to put such a heavy emphasis on whether others answer your questions, I would appreciate an answer to mine.

Can an atheist become a Christian while still embracing his atheistic denial of God?

Bubba said...

There's another thing worth noting, Dan, about your list of what's "much more important."

"...how do we best go about being peacemakers? What does it mean to turn the other cheek? What do we do with all the warnings in the Bible about wealth, when we are amongst the very wealthiest people in the world...?, etc, etc"

This list of ethical duties maps quite nicely to the progressive political philosophy -- the virulent opposition to American foreign policy (present at least since the 60's) and support of wealth redistribution in the name of social justice.

Even in focusing on ethical matters, you don't focus on every subject the Bible teaches. Jesus taught about non-resistance (NOT merely non-violent resistance, note) and meeting the needs of the poor, but He also taught about marriage and chastity.

Considering the collapse of the institution -- thanks in no small part to the radical sexual ethics of the progressives -- marriage certainly qualifies as a "real world" issue, but you downplay it. Or, when you mention what the Bible has to say about marriage, you androgynize what the Bible and Jesus Himself clearly establish as the union between man and woman.

Your list of "real world" issues and what you dismiss as less important confirms my suspicion that your real devotion is to your political ideology, not your nominal Christian faith.


On that subject, I notice something that really highlights the similarities between us, and the differences.

Your wife teaches Sunday School to grade-school kids. Though I don't bring up my personal life much online, I can tell you that my wife does the same.

But my wife's class has never won a prize for making a short video for the sake of political activism.

She's too busy teaching her kids about the Bible and telling them about the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life through Christ's death and resurrection.

Y'know, dusty and irrelevant dogma.

Dan Trabue said...

Great to hear that your wife, too, teaches Sunday School.

At OUR church, we recognize the very real biblical teaching that this is our Creator's world and we are to be good stewards thereof. Therefore, we believe teaching our children love of God's creation IS teaching the Bible.

I would hope everyone could agree with as much, but you are free to teach what you wish.

Yesterday, she was teaching about New Testament people. Soon, she'll be teaching about Jesus' resurrection, as we are all speaking about the season of Easter at our church in this Lent season.

Come Earth Day, we'll probably be teaching again about love of God's creation.

It's all of one cloth, it seems to us. You really should sit in and listen to our children sometime, they're really quite Godly, compassionate and wise in so many ways.

Are you suggesting that you watched the video these children made and you found it objectionable from a Christian point of view?

For my part, I'm quite proud of their Godly work on that video.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

But my wife's class has never won a prize for making a short video for the sake of political activism.

For the record, they made the video out of love of God and God's creation. Because they love God, because they are concerned about Godly matters of justice, they are concerned about God's world and how we treat it. So, yes, we DO teach them to be actively concerned about and involved in our Creator's world.

We also teach them to serve with and for the least of these. Yesterday, our youth group prepared a meal for and fed our homeless friends.

Would you like to beat up on them, too, for "political activism?"

Really, Bubba, that seems to be a bit of a stretch. You can't be as hateful as you make yourself out to be, brother. Why not relax a little bit and embrace the grace?

Dan Trabue said...

On topic, Bubba said...

if gays engage in sexual misbehavior (besides the obvious) much more frequently than straights, to a statistically significant degree, then there's an argument that the military has good reason to prevent their enlistment as a group.

1. IF gays misbehave more frequently... that begs the question: Do you have any evidence that gays are more promiscuous than straight folk? Given that your type have not allowed them to be able to marry nor encouraged them to have healthy sexual behaviors, there may indeed be evidence that gays have sex outside of marriage more so than straight folk (you've practically guaranteed that, in fact). But what of it?

What if statistics showed that white straight males had extramarital sex more frequently than asian folk, shall we exclude white straight males from the military? What if black folk have more extramarital sex than hispanic folk (or vice versa), shall we exclude black folk (white folk, hispanic folk)? Says who? On what basis?

You're offering nothing that I can see as to any legitimate reason to write bigotry into our policy. There are many possible reasons for discriminating against a group.

One might suggest the military ought to discriminate against (and what follows are mostly bigoted stereotypes, not something I believe, but something that someone might offer as a reason) all Muslims, because they might be sympathetic to terrorists; or against all Fundamentalist Christians, because they might be anti-science; or against all gays because they might be more promiscuous, or against all black folk, because they don't do as well in school; or against all Catholic folk, because they might be more loyal to the Pople than to the US.

Do you see what I'm getting at? You're picking out ONE behavior (sexual promiscuity) and saying that sexual promiscuity in ONE GROUP (gay folk) ought to be a reason to write bigotry into policy. Says who? Who decides that (alleged) sexual promiscuity among ONE group is a deciding factor in banning the WHOLE group?

THAT is the question that you all are not answering or addressing. Saying, "Cause I think so" is not evidence or a legitimate reason. You're asking us to legislate bigotry and you're not offering any kind of legitimate reason.

WHo SAYS sexual promiscuity is a reason OF SOME PORTION of a group is enough reason to ban the whole group?

IF we are going to ban a whole group based on the behavior of SOME PORTION of that group for this ONE reason, why aren't OTHER reasons acceptable for bans on whole groups? What percentage of the whole group behaving a certain way warrants the banning of the whole group?

Black males, for instance, end up in prison WAY more often than white males. Shall we ban all black folk because of that percentage? Says who? Why? Poor people end up in prison disproportionately more than wealthy people. Shall we ban ALL poor folk from military service?

My point is that you are randomly selecting a behavior (what YOU are defining as sexual promiscuity) and saying that all people in ONE group (gay folk) that you suspect is more sexually promiscuous ought to be banned.

EVEN IF gay folk were statistically more promiscuous (a point which you have not proven), who says that promiscuity is a reason to ban folk from the military? And IF we're going to ban promiscuous folk from the military, why nOt ALL promiscuous folk, not just gay individuals who you are PRESUMING WITH NO EVIDENCE are promiscuous?

Your reasoning, fellas, is lacking, and your bigotry is showing.

We pass on agreeing with you.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

I did NOT dismiss you question on erroneous grounds, I dismissed your erroneous premise. Comparing homos and Baptists is an apples/oranges comparison.

Says you. Why should anyone agree with you, though? You've made no case as to why we should not compare gay folk and fundamentalist.

BOTH groups are humans.

BOTH groups sin.

BOTH groups are a mix of people who behave well and people who behave poorly.

Why is it not an apt analogy?

I get that YOU don't feel like it's an apt analogy, but why should anyone care what you think?

Marshall...

"Orientation" is a ruse, a sham put forth by anyone not willing to put in the effort to modify their behavior or control their desires.

So folk with a straight orientation, that is a ruse? They aren't really straight? Is that what you're saying?

If so, you're not really making any sense in the real world. In the real world, people ARE actually attracted to the opposite sex most of the time (heterosexual) but some minority has an actual attraction to the same sex. We see this as a reality in the world. Are you denying this reality exists?

If so, that would lead me back to the question: Why should anyone care what you think?

Marshall Art said...

OUR reason is lacking. That's funny. You continue to make apples/oranges comparisons and it's OUR reasoning that is lacking.

First of all, I want to say that I, for one, if not Bubba as well, would NEVER beat up on little kids for the progressive propaganda that their parents use to indoctrinate them. That would be wrong.

I've got some catching up to do so here goes:

That homos are more promiscuous as a group HAS been documented and presented here and at other blogs. They have by their own admission supported this. As we've been down this road before, I'll not bother with even more sources, stats and evidences that you'll only ignore as different than what the allegedly saintly homos of your church would tell you, which trumps all apparently.

You keep trying to compare homos with race or gender. This is inaccurate and dishonest to continue doing so. They are called homosexuals for their desire to engage in homosexual behavior, or, sex with members of the same gender. The label indicates their behavior, just as "adulterer" indicates adulterous behavior and pedophile indicates another behavior. White, black or asian doesn't indicate a behavior. Male nor female indicates a behavior. "Thief" indicates a behavior. "Homosexual" indicates a behavior. RACE doesn't indicate a behavior even if they proportionally end up in prison more than whites. "Drug dealer" indicates a behavior. One's financial situation does not indicate a behavior aside from how one deals with money, which is not a consideration for acceptance or rejection of enlistees.

If one labels himself as "drug dealer", it is likely he will behave as a drug dealer when in uniform. If one labels himself as "thief", it is likely he will behave as a thief when in uniform. If one labels himself as "homosexual", it is likely he will behave as a homosexual when in uniform.

People don't label themselves as "sodomists", but should they be found guilty of sodomy they are eligible for court martial. People don't label themselves as "adulterer", but should they be found guilty of adultery the are eligible for court martial. DADT recommends the best course of action for all people interested in a military career while harboring a desire for bad behavior: don't freakin' tell anyone, don't get caught doing it.

"My point is that you are randomly selecting a behavior..."

Normally I'd say this point is crap. But it's more than that. It's bullshit. There's no "randomness" about the military's discrimination against this behavior and the people who proudly label themselves as those who engage in it. And indeed, I have indicated one measure of their level of greater promiscuity as recorded by the CDC, that being, that 60% of syphillis cases are caused by 2% of the population, that being the homo community. How can 2% of the population be responsible for 60%of new syphillis cases and not be more promiscuous? And real, honest reason would suggest that it is reasonable to assume that a class of people who have boldly redefined what is sinful based on their own desires to engage in that sinful behavior would not be above redefining what constitutes "promiscuous" levels of sexual behavior. It's totally logical.

Bubba said...

Dan, as Stanley Kurtz pointed out a few years back, there's not a strong ethos of monogamy among homosexuals.

He cites a 1999 study by Gretchen Steirs that half of all homosexual couples who disdain marriage would still get married for the benefits, and many radicals would get married as a self-conscious attempt to undermine the institution.

"Stiers's study was focused on the very most committed gay couples. Yet even in a sample artificially weighted with nearly every gay male couple in Massachusetts who had gone through a commitment ceremony (and Stiers had to go out of her research protocol just to find enough male couples to balance out the committed lesbian couples) nearly 20 percent of the men questioned did not practice monogamy. Obviously, in a truly representative sample of gay male couples, that number would be vastly higher. More significantly, a mere 10 percent of even these most committed gay men mentioned monogamy as an important aspect of commitment (necessarily meaning that even many of those men in the sample who had undergone 'union ceremonies' failed to identify fidelity with commitment). And these, the very most committed gay male couples, are theoretically the people who will be enforcing marital norms on their gay male peers, and exemplifying modern marriage for the nation. So concerns about the effects of gay marriage on the social ideal of marital monogamy seem more than justified." [emphasis mine]


If any group is statistically more likely to misbehave, then the military SHOULD have the option to limit that group's ability to enlist or serve in combat situations, because the military's goal isn't some notion about social equality: it's military effectiveness.

The decision to prohibit certain groups should be weighed against the costs -- as a prohibition would place a limit on troop size -- but that decision should be made on the basis of efficacy not so-called "social justice."


Frankly, I tire of the comparison between sexual orientation and race, for at least two reasons:

1) Like or it not, sexual orientation implies a particular behavior and at least the desire to perform a particular behavior. RACE DOES NOT.

2) And, even if that orientation cannot be helped, certain orientations are abnormal and deviant. That distinction DOES NOT apply to races, and so homosexuality has more in common with kleptomania than it does with being Asian.


I also object to your presuming what you ought to be proving: that making a mere distinction is tantamount to discrimination, that refusing to embrace certain sexual deviancies is equivalent to bigotry.

Dan Trabue said...

mm-hmmm.

Believe all that all you want, friend. But if you offer NOT A SINGLE REASON why I should care about what you think, I shall continue to ignore your bigoted feelings.

The fact is: You advocate implementing a policy based upon bigotry against a whole group of people based on what you fear is the behavior of a few from that group.

Along those lines...

According to the analysis, by age 44, 99% of respondents had had sex, and 95% had done so before marriage. Even among those who abstained from sex until age 20 or older, 81% had had premarital sex by age 44.

This number "has remained virtually unchanged since the 1950s," fyi.

Guttmacher

MSNBC

Also...

Men report having, on average, 20 partners in their lifetimes (with a median number of 8, indicating that some men have a HUGE number of partners, skewing the average upward).

ABC

So, if being promiscuous is the deciding factor, then it would appear that you would elimate some large percentage of Americans from service. But of course, you are not wanting to be consistent. You just want to single out so-called promiscuity in gay folk and give straight folk a pass.

Marshall, you offer no reason why we should implement bigoted policy based on one purported behavior just 'cause you think we ought to.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

If any group is statistically more likely to misbehave, then the military SHOULD have the option to limit that group's ability to enlist or serve in combat situations

Okay, I have just demonstrated with facts that NINETY PERCENT of Americans "misbehave" sexually (ie, have sex outside of marriage.

I presume, then, that you will begin advocating the banning of straight folk from the military?

Or is eight partners not enough to constitute misbehaving, but ten is?

What is the magic number at which we may implement bigoted policy?

Bubba...

I also object to your presuming what you ought to be proving: that making a mere distinction is tantamount to discrimination, that refusing to embrace certain sexual deviancies is equivalent to bigotry.

I have already demonstrated that what you are advocating is bigotry, by definition. IF someone is advocating killing innocent people, then it is not wrong to say that this person is advocating murder, because "killing people" is, by definition, murder.

Bigot: one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance

You are advocating treating the homosexuals as a group with intolerance - ie, you will not tolerate them being in the military.

That is bigotry by definition.

Marshall Art said...

"I get that YOU don't feel like it's an apt analogy, but why should anyone care what you think?"

You're right, Dan. If you wish to make your case, you are free to use whatever stupid analogy you want, no matter how insensible and unrelated the two subjects are. That's pretty much standard operating procedure for you and enablers and activists everywhere.

But people who are objective, people who actually think, people who are seeking the truth unencumbered by their activism and preferences must use logic and reason to use analogies properly so as not to deceive. As I said, Baptist is to homo as apple is to orange. Two different fruits. I've said it before and you prove it again now that activists and their enablers will use anything to support their position. The rest of use facts and logic.

"So folk with a straight orientation, that is a ruse?"

First of all, I reject the word "orientation" as the ruse, not what the claimed orientation is.

Secondly, I'm not "oriented" as a straight person. I'm simply normal. I'm the way I was meant to be by virtue of my biology and God's will for the male of our species. I haven't perverted my function to please any deviant desire, calling it OK when God says otherwise and I don't label myself as one who does like the homo does.

I don't deny that some people actually have an attraction to members of the same sex. Never have. Nor do I deny that some people feel like punching people who piss them off or that some feel like stealing rather than working for what they want. Or that some people are lazy or that some are deceitful or that some are gluttons or that some are just assholes. They are all "oriented" toward their own personal proclivities. It is part of being human and a fallen, sin-natured creature that we all have aspects over which we need to transcend.

The issue is that you support those who insist that their particular flaw be accepted as normal and equal to that which they should aspire. Just as I, who am attracted to most women must aspire to the same goal. It is there where equality exists. It's not in our flaws but in the heights to which we need to reach. You prefer to cling to the flaw in the way a greedy man clings to his wealth. There is no difference between the greedy man and the homo. They both put something above God. One puts his lust for wealth above God, the other puts his lust for strange flesh. Now, you insist that to put one's desire over military readiness and cohesion is fine as well.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall also joined in the attack on my wife and her Sunday School class...

First of all, I want to say that I, for one, if not Bubba as well, would NEVER beat up on little kids for the progressive propaganda that their parents use to indoctrinate them. That would be wrong.

First off, I should point out that while it is my wife's SS class, I actually taught this time period, because I'm the one with the technical expertise to assist in the making of the video.

Secondly, I'll ask the same question I asked of Bubba: Do you REALLY think advocating a love of God's creation and good stewardship is NOT a good Christian teaching? I would find that to be a hard position to justify.

Have you seen the video? Do you really not think it's good, moral and Godly?

Dan Trabue said...

This is going nowhere.

Peace fellas. I pray for God's wisdom for us all.

Marshall Art said...

"Okay, I have just demonstrated with facts that NINETY PERCENT of Americans "misbehave" sexually (ie, have sex outside of marriage."

But do they label themselves that way when they enlist? Do they march around and openly, proudly and routinely demonstrate that they are misbehaving sexually while in uniform? If you read the UMCJ, you would find that such behaviors can result in court martial, so apparently, even if the numbers hold among enlistees, they aren't publicizing their sinfulness. To proclaim one's self "homo" in the military publicizes their sinfulness. But the key again is proof. They can't simply claim it and get booted. But if they claim it upon enlistment, they can be rejected and so can normal people who publicize their sexual sinfulness upon enlistment. No bigotry, just discrimination against behaviors that disrupt military effectiveness.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"Okay, I have just demonstrated with facts that NINETY PERCENT of Americans 'misbehave' sexually (ie, have sex outside of marriage.

"I presume, then, that you will begin advocating the banning of straight folk from the military?
"

I repeat that while it's not enough to say that some people in the group misbehave, proportions are not unimportant.

If gays engage in sexual misbehavior (besides the obvious) much more frequently than straights, to a statistically significant degree, then there's an argument that the military has good reason to prevent their enlistment as a group.

There's no "magic number" that does or should guide the military's decisions involving enlistment, but I believe that it is the case A) that homosexuals are guilty of sexual misbehavior at a higher rate and B) the military has the right -- but certainly no obligation -- to draft personnel policy with that fact in mind.


"Bigot: one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance

"You are advocating treating the homosexuals as a group with intolerance - ie, you will not tolerate them being in the military.
"

One, I have absolutely no hatred toward homosexuals as a group.

Two, that's a bullshit use of the word intolerance. You might as well argue that the U.S. Constitution is intolerant of teenagers and immigrants because it does not "tolerate" either serving as President.

I don't "tolerate" Buddhists or Muslims serving as deacons or the pastor of my church. By your ridiculous logic, I'm guilty of religious bigotry, too.

Marshall Art said...

As to what you teach kids in SS, I will not go there. You teach that homosexuality isn't sinful. You likely teach wacky things regarding money that would lead to liberal tax policies when they are older. What I know of you and your church, based on your words in that regard, would lead me to believe that what you say here, compared to the details of each issue in practice, are not likely to match up in a way that truly reflects sound Christian doctrine.

To clarify, would I teach kids at SS to be good stewards of the earth? I wouldn't say no. But I would say that the way I would do it would be a better reflection of how that should look from a Biblical perspective, whereas I'd wager YOUR version would resemble Al Gore.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

If gays engage in sexual misbehavior (besides the obvious) much more frequently than straights, to a statistically significant degree, then there's an argument that the military has good reason to prevent their enlistment as a group.

Okay, last chance, then: WHAT is that argument?

You say there is a good argument that the military has good reason to ban all people in a group based on the behavior of some undefined portion of that group. What is that argument?

Here's a chance to make a logical presentation for your case. Make a good logical presentation of the argument for banning all members of a group based on the behavior of some portion of that group and people might be swayed to your way of thinking. Fail to make that argument (as you all have been failing miserably thus far, beginning with the bigoted Captain referenced in the original post), and you will only cause people to write you off further as just some of the lunatic fringe.

Bubba said...

Dan, I cannot emphasize this enough: NO ONE IS ATTACKING YOUR WIFE OR THE CHILDREN IN HER SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS.

That's crap, and since you have no problem attacking us -- accusing me of idolatry almost in your first comment (accusing me of worshiping a "petty god"), and REPEATEDLY accusing us of bigotry -- you should have the fortitude to stick around and defend your nonsense.

You shouldn't bow out because of a bullshit accusation that simply isn't true.


About your church, I object, not to the biblical concept of stewardship, but to the flagrant subversion of Christ's church to advance a political agenda.

We're called to make disciples, not activists.

While paeans to Earth Day can be found in most public schools, the Bible's claims about Christ's death and resurrection are conspicuously absent. Our priority should be to teach what the kids will receive nowhere else; and since our souls will outlast this planet, our salvation is literally infinitely more important than environmentalism.

Ultimately, it's not "all of one cloth," and nothing in the Bible justifies the notion that concern for rainwater is just as important as the good news of Christ's death and resurrection.

I would be just as concerned at a church's over-emphasis on the sanctity of life, to the detriment of the gospel message, as I am at an over-emphasis of environmental issues.


My problem isn't with the kids who cannot know any better, but the adults who are responsible for their education within the church.


And, to be honest, I'm not sure how reassured Bible-believing Christians should be about the fact that Easter's on your church's schedule. If your other blog is any indication, there's more about celebrating the season of spring than Christ's bodily resurrection -- and your pastor perverts the Bible's claim that Christ died for our sin into a progressive-friendly narrative of mere political activism.

(I repeat that all the gospels are clear, that Pilate though Jesus was guilty of absolutely nothing. I also reiterate that Jesus didn't preach "non-violent resistence;" He preached non-resistance, peaceful or not. Matthew 5:40-42 makes that clear.)

Objecting to the near certainty that the gospel is being downplayed and even whitewashed by a group that claims to be a Christian congregation isn't "hateful," Dan. It's an indication of fidelity to Christ's true church.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

would I teach kids at SS to be good stewards of the earth? I wouldn't say no.

Good, then you and I would agree that being a good steward of God's creation is a good, moral, Godly sort of teaching.

But I would say that the way I would do it would be a better reflection of how that should look from a Biblical perspective, whereas I'd wager YOUR version would resemble Al Gore.

Well, you have not been to any classes at my church, so your hunches are uninformed and, as such, not worth much (nothing personal, I'm sure you would agree that any wholly ignorant opinion about something someone knows nothing about is not worth much).

You would be mistaken to presume that our "version" would resemble Al Gore (whatever that means). What we strive to teach looks biblical, logical, moral, Christian, wise, compassionate, just and Godly.

I'd hope that if you were to actually see and hear a service or a class at Jeff St, you'd agree. You can get a taste by actually viewing/listening to our children's video. You can get a further taste listening to our children sing on our last Earth Day service here

(On the first day God created the heavens and the earth,

On the second day God created the space that we call sky,

On the third day God created the ground and the plants,

God looked at it all and said, "Wow! It is good!"
)

Making judgments about a people sight unseen tends to be a bad idea, I think. Returning to the theme of this post.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Our priority should be to teach what the kids will receive nowhere else

Once again, says who?

And who says that our children would get from a school teacher the same Bible-themed teachings on the environment that they would get in church?

I think stewardship of God's creation is a very biblical, very wise and excellent use of church time.

Feel free to disagree if you wish.

Bubba said...

Dan:

"Okay, last chance, then: WHAT is that argument?

"You say there is a good argument that the military has good reason to ban all people in a group based on the behavior of some undefined portion of that group. What is that argument?
"

Whaddya mean, "Last chance"? I don't think you've asked this question before.

But the argument's pretty straight-forward, is it not?

Opening up enlistment to a particular demographic group brings a benefit and a cost.

The benefit includes having a potentially larger military, including whatever social or political gain accrues from being seen as open-minded, etc.

The cost includes any infrastructure changes that are required for the additional personnel -- e.g., wheelchair ramps on the tank, or sanitary wipes in the latrine -- along with decreased unit cohesion that comes with group heterogeneity and even the risk of damaging, um, incidents.

(For instance, because many in the military believe that diversity is too important a priority, an outspoken jihadist could be kept in the military until he murders a dozen people on-base. A preposterous scenario, I know.)

The argument for banning certain groups from enlistment is this:

- The benefit is low, in part because that group wouldn't greatly increase enlistment numbers.

- The cost is high, in part because of a high rate of "incidents" occurring with enlistees from that group.

Because the priority is military effectiveness and not the individual's self esteem, the military should be free to ban groups whenever costs outweigh benefits, and they should have the right to err on the side of caution.


All this partially explains age limits. Even if the physically precocious "early bloomers" could handle the physical tasks of being a soldier, too many teenagers are too emotionally immature. Even if a blanket ban frustrates the plans of a handful of kids who could do the job, the military has every right to turn them away if they're too young.

(And note that, in the existential war in the 1940's, a war on two fronts across two continents, quite a few 16- and 17-year-old young men were able to enlist with the military looking the other way, because the cost-benefit analysis changed drastically.)


If your position is that sexual misbehavior doesn't come at too high a cost, then your problem doesn't stop with the ban on outspoken homosexuals: your problem is with the UMCJ.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Ultimately, it's not "all of one cloth," and nothing in the Bible justifies the notion that concern for rainwater is just as important as the good news of Christ's death and resurrection.

No, absolutely not. There is nothing in the Bible that teaches that concern for rainwater is just as important as Jesus' death and resurrection. We agree, right?

AND, just as true, there is nothing in the bible that says Jesus' death and resurrection is more important than any other teaching.

Hence, my belief that, biblically speaking, it is all of one cloth. We ARE to follow in the steps of Jesus, the Jesus who came proclaiming good news to the poor, liberty to the captive, the day of God's good favor. We ARE to be peacemakers.

We ARE to teach how Jesus came, living a perfect life, was killed on the cross (a method the Romans used to kill political prisoners in order to instill fear and gain coerced cooperation and compliance) in a joint effort of the religious powers and the political powers of the day. How he overcame death and was victorious over the grave. How WE can be victorious over the grave, too. How we can be saved by God's grace. How we can live holy, gracious lives ourselves. Etc, etc.

It is all of one cloth, or so it seems obvious to me. The Bible DOESN'T say "This teaching is a minor teaching but THAT teaching is a major teaching." And to the extent that some rules are held up as especially important, it is the rules of love and life and grace. And stewardship of God's good creation would fall under that living graciously, it seems to me.

So, what exactly about this children's video do you find so disturbing?

Or have you even watched it?

Bubba said...

When a supposed Christian denigrates the Lord's Supper as merely an old church tradition, I shouldn't be surprised that his congregation has integrated Earth Day into its schedule.

"I think stewardship of God's creation is a very biblical, very wise and excellent use of church time."

Making disciples is the higher priority, and the church's primary function is to preach Christ crucified, not to advance environmentalism as a political cause.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, Bubba has attempted to give some logical reason for banning gay folk from the military. He says we should ban a whole group of people because...

1. The benefit is low, in part because that group wouldn't greatly increase enlistment numbers.

Of course, this is not the reason, just pointing out that there are limited numbers so IF there are any liabilities associated with gay folk, the pay off would be low, in Bubba's estimation.

SO, the ONE reason that Bubba is offering is...

2. The cost [of having gay folk in the military] is high, in part because of a high rate of "incidents" occurring with enlistees from that group.

?

What does THAT mean? We should ban gay folk because the "cost is high" because, in part, "of a high rate of incidents."

???

What does that MEAN? What incidents are you speaking of?

I am still not seeing the FIRST reason why we should pay attention to your feelings on the matter.

Wanna give it another crack?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Making disciples is the higher priority, and the church's primary function is to preach Christ crucified...

Your biblical source?

Or would you concede that this is your opinion, not something that the Bible says?

Marshall Art said...

"1. You say, "All gays should be banned from the military," is that right? This would include Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc gay folk who are celibate, who are conservative and who have no intention of engaging in extramarital sex, is that right?"

No, unless they proclaim themselves to be homosexuals upon enlistment. DADT serves them otherwise. It would work the same for all those same people if any of them proclaim themselves to be pedophiles but hey, I don't plan to hit on any kids while I'm in.

Doesn't work that way and both those behaviors are forbidden under the UMCJ.

"2. I ask, on what possible basis would you make that conclusion? Judging by your words, it sounds like it is based purely on bigotry."

Answered in numerous ways, but in your poor judgement you insist it's bigotry.

"3. You answer, because gay folk misbehave and would, therefore, weaken the military."

No, we answered that the term implies a behavior that, like adulterer or rapist, implies a behavior the military considers improper and detrimental to unit effectiveness and cohesion.

"4. I respond, Not ALL gay folk misbehave. Beyond that..."

Homosexual behavior IS sexual misbehavior under God. Within the military as well, as is adultery and other sexual practices. That you and other enablers and activists insist otherwise regarding the morality of the practice does not constitute a fact that should trumpt the military's concern for effectiveness and cohesion. You may call it bigotry to discriminate against those who label themselves by their bad behavior, but it isn't how the word is normally used.

"5. You respond, "A large number of gay folk have sexually transmitted diseases, therefore all gays should not be allowed to serve in the military."

No, I responded that the small percentage of the population that is homo being responsible for 60% of the new syphillis cases as reported by the CDC indicates a greater level of promiscuity amongst those who label themselves "homosexual".

"6. I respond, "A large number of straight folk have STDs, but you're not speaking of a straight ban..."

My answer to point 5 indicates that the percentage isn't anywhere near as high, though adding all other STDs might skew the numbers a bit. BUT, contracting an STD could be more proof of sexual misconduct worthy of court martial, regardless of orientation. No bigotry there.

"7. I also respond, "Who decides that having STDs is a reason not to allow participation in the military?"

The military, if indeed contracting an STD helps to prove a case of sexual misconduct in a court martial situation. I don't know if a case in one's past would bar enlistment, I'm only speaking of what might happen after acceptance. As to homos, I brought up STDs to support the argument against homos as regards promiscuity and likely problems in the military as a result.

I have no problem with point 8, but in point 9 you suggest what hasn't been settled by a long shot. Under God, it is indeed bad behavior despite your weak and unstudied understanding of Scripture telling you otherwise. It is as bad as the other sexual sins you mentioned, not because they are equal, but because they are equally forbidden by God without regard to any context, such as "loving, monogomous relationships". That's nonsense unsupportable by anything in Scripture despite your wildest hunches due to lack of specific condemnation for that context.

Now, perhaps you can tell me why the sexes are separated or why that might be different than separating the homos from the normal guys? This must be the fourth or fifth time I've asked (maybe even more since you didn't answer it at your blog the last time I checked). It's far more relevant than your silly "Baptist" comparison.

Dan Trabue said...

I've answered that question. Because men and women (the majority) are straight, there would be a MUCH higher risk of distractions and because so many straight men have a hard time behaving themselves around women, there'd be, I suspect, a much higher risk of sexual misconduct, sexism, assaults and rape. Just a guess, but an educated one.

Additionally, it is culturally uncomfortable for us to be naked around members of the opposite sex. Men being naked around other men, they're not going to be seeing anything they can't see in the mirror.

Finally, there is no huge cost or reason NOT to separate men and women, there are enough women in the military where I can't imagine that it's a significant cost issue to board women separately from men. If you're going to have ten barracks, for instance, there's no cost involved in designating one (or whatever number suits the needs) for women.

As to your answers, suffice to say, I find them lacking in logic or morality. I remain unconvinced.

The problem remains: You are advocating banning a whole group because of the supposed misbehavior of some portion of that group - not on individual merit and you are doing so in a way to isolate ONE group for special discrimination, it remains a bigoted position.

Or, if you don't like me pointing out that it is the definition of bigotry to ban a group based on fears of what a few might do, it remains an unjust, inconsistent and immoral position.

Bubba said...

Dan, the Christian church preaches Christ crucified because we follow the clear example of the Apostle Paul (I Cor 1:23), and because Jesus' standing orders were to make disciples.

There is nothing in the Bible that would suggest subordinating this duty to political advocacy for clean water, or even to suggest that both duties are equally important.

The infinite and eternal ramifications of the good news of salvation through Christ's death and resurrection -- that the infinite God became man, died and rose again for our forgiveness and eternal life -- NECESSARILY make proclaiming this good news the church's top priority.

Again, this planet will not outlive our souls, and so the final destination of our souls is a more important question than even our stewardship of this fleeting world.

I would love to see what logical argument or biblical grounds you could produce to justify your claim everything we teach is equally important and "of one cloth."

Marshall Art said...

"Bubba...

Making disciples is the higher priority, and the church's primary function is to preach Christ crucified...

Your biblical source?

Or would you concede that this is your opinion, not something that the Bible says?"



Good gosh, how could ANYTHING equal that? What Biblical source is necessary for that obvious fact? EXTRA time should be spent on Christ crucified, if there is ANY time used environmentalism. Clean water can't come close to importance of knowing Christ. What a waste of Sunday School time!

Bubba said...

You ask, about the argument which you requested:

"What does THAT mean? We should ban gay folk because the 'cost is high' because, in part, 'of a high rate of incidents.'

"???

"What does that MEAN? What incidents are you speaking of?
"

Specifically, the sexual misbehavior for which homosexuals appear liable to commit at a disproportionate rate.

If you believe that sexual misbehavior does not degrade the military's cohesion and effectiveness, I WILL REITERATE that your real problem is with the UCMJ.

Bubba said...

Since I answered your question, Dan, I'd like you to answer two questions of mine.

The questions are quite simple, but I suspect that honest answers would be devastating.


1) For the fourth time in this thread, I ask:

Can an atheist become a Christian while still embracing his atheistic denial of God?


2) And, since you've brought up your frequent blanket condemnation of the taking of human life...

"IF someone is advocating killing innocent people, then it is not wrong to say that this person is advocating murder, because 'killing people' is, by definition, murder."

...I'd like to ask you to address my repeated claim -- made most recently here, in January -- that it is God's prerogative to end human life whenever and however He chooses.

I wonder whether you're willing to make clear that you disagree.

Do you believe that God has the right to end a human life that He has created and sustains, at any time and with any means?


I would like to relay in advance my appreciation for clear and timely answers.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

There is nothing in the Bible that would suggest subordinating this duty to political advocacy for clean water, or even to suggest that both duties are equally important.

AND just as clearly, there remains NOTHING IN THE BIBLE that suggests that "preaching Christ crucified" and that alone is the "primary" function of the church.

Will you agree with this easily seen reality?

And to clarify, I have NOT "subordinat[ed] this duty [preaching the story of Jesus' death and resurrection] to political advocacy for clean water," rather, I have merely claimed that teaching STEWARDSHIP of God's creation IS A GOOD, GODLY thing. A point with which everyone here appears to agree.

No need to strive to create division where there is none.

Do you think that being a good steward of God's creation might not include advocacy of reasonable rules and practices? Are you opposed to a Christian saying, "Don't dump waste into our streams. Don't use our streams for disposing of human waste!"? Do you really find that out of character for Christians?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba clarified a point, saying he would like to see gays banned from the military because of...

the sexual misbehavior for which homosexuals appear liable to commit at a disproportionate rate.

So, again, I ask: Says who?

Who says gay folk engage in sexual misconduct more frequently than straight folk?

AND, who says engaging in extramarital sexual practices is grounds for banning individuals?

According to usmilitary.com, adultery in itself is not reason for keeping individuals out of the military (indeed, I suspect our military would be very small indeed if it did). Rather...

To constitute an offense under the UCMJ, the adulterous conduct must either be directly prejudicial to good order and discipline or service discrediting.

Clearly, the military does not ban individuals who have engaged in or who MIGHT engage in adultery from service. So, who says that ALL gays ought to be banned because SOME of them might engage in adultery at some point.

Your inconsistencies are showing. You advocate no ban on straight folk - even though the vast majority of them WILL engage in adultery at some point - from the military, but you ARE advocating banning gay folk for exactly that reason.

Further, you seem to express concern primarily for what the military thinks is best for itself. It appears that the military is deciding that banning gays is not in its best interests. It appears that our military leaders do not think that having gays in the military will damage cohesion, any more than having black folk or jews or fundamentalists would damage cohesion.

So, if your concern is with what the military thinks, it appears you'd have to go along with the military's latest decision. (for my part, what the military thinks is in its best interest IS of a lesser concern than doing what is right and implementing unjust policy is NOT right).

Bubba said...

Dan:

"Do you think that being a good steward of God's creation might not include advocacy of reasonable rules and practices? Are you opposed to a Christian saying, 'Don't dump waste into our streams. Don't use our streams for disposing of human waste!'? Do you really find that out of character for Christians?"

It might include that, I'm not opposed, and I don't find it out of character.

But I'll note that you haven't been REMOTELY as gracious toward us as you think appropriate for your own positions.

Hence, your accusation of idolatry (worshiping a "petty" god) and your repeated smear of bigotry.

I dared to suggest that the military's priority should be military effectiveness, and that it should be free to craft its personnel policy accordingly, and how do you react?

"What Bible are you reading?"

Please, Dan, preach to us about being unnecessarily divisive.


If we knew nothing else about your church except the prize its children's Sunday School class won for its activist video, it would indeed be presumptuous to conclude that its priorities are out of place.

But since your own beliefs fly in the face of the Bible's clear teachings but dovetail so perfectly with your political progressivism, I think it's entirely appropriate to wonder what sort of supposedly Christian education those children are receiving in your church.

I have no doubt that your church's children are well indoc--I mean, well educated about the evils of industrialization, the free market, and the American armed forces.

But I wonder how many know Christ died for their sins, especially since you don't seem to believe that He did.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba asked...

Can an atheist become a Christian while still embracing his atheistic denial of God?

And I've been ignoring because I believe I have answered it elsewhere and because we keep adding to the lines of discussion here and one can only talk about so much at a time without engaging in chaos.

I think I've said, "I don't know." I can't imagine, but saving people is God's prerogative, God's realm.

The Bible is quite clear that we will be surprised about who "made it" into heaven and who did not. The bible is also clear that God is concerned about actions and intent as much as about words. In the story of the two brothers, one SAYS he will do what the father wants but does not do it. The other brother says he WON'T do what the father wants, but DOES do it. Jesus tells us that it is the SECOND brother - the one whose words were all wrong, who rejected the father with his words - who pleased the father, not the mealy-mouthed brother who only SAID he'd do what the father wanted.

Is that a story to indicate that some who don't believe in God might actually be living in a way as to accept God's grace and God's ways, even if not in words? I don't know. I think there is room for humility in saying, "I clearly don't know who is and who isn't saved. This is God's job, not mine."

I believe, as you do, that one is saved by grace through faith in Jesus when one repents from one's sins and turns to God's way. Given that, I have a hard time thinking an atheist might actually be embracing God's grace, repenting and following in God's ways, so I doubt it - I don't think God will save an atheist against the atheist's will.

But the short answer is, "I don't know."

Bubba also asked...

I'd like to ask you to address my repeated claim -- made most recently here, in January -- that it is God's prerogative to end human life whenever and however He chooses.

I wonder whether you're willing to make clear that you disagree.


Another question which I believe I've answered before. Again, my answer here is, I don't know. God is God and beyond my understanding.

I tend to think that God is not in the business of going around and killing people off. But God is God and will do as God will do.

What God WON'T do, though, is act contrary to God's Way, contrary to God's nature. God won't commit evil. God won't tempt us to commit evil.

Are you asking me if I think God goes around killing off people, if God sends tornadoes to kill people, no, I don't think God acts in that way in the world.

Are you asking me if God COULD kill someone if God chose to, I guess my answer is yes. God is God and can do anything that is not contrary to God's nature. I just don't think that's how God does act in our world.

Do YOU? Do you think that God goes around killing people? Do you think that God "sent" the earthquake and killed 200,000 people in Haiti?

Dan Trabue said...

I had asked Bubba the chance to agree with me that the Bible does NOT say that "preaching Jesus crucified" is the "primary mission" of the church. He did not choose to agree with this basic biblical reality. At least, not yet, perhaps he'll yet agree that it simply isn't in the Bible.

Marshall, on the other hand, responded by saying...

Good gosh, how could ANYTHING equal that? What Biblical source is necessary for that obvious fact?

And, thus, his answer is No, there is NOTHING in the Bible that suggests that "preaching Jesus crucified" is the "primary mission" of the church. He just assumes that, because it's what he thinks, it must be right.

And he is welcome to think that. Just as long as we're clear that it's just Marshall's hunch about what is "primary," and NOT found anywhere in the Bible.

Bubba said...

Dan, you said that I "would like to see gays banned from the military."

First, I said no such thing, and if I were to apply to you the absurd standards impose on others, I would be breaking out the accusations of bearing false witness and rampant megalomania right about now.

My position isn't that the military should ban outspoken homosexuals, but merely that the military should have the right to make that determination.

As I wrote in the second comment here, "I'm not wholly convinced that admitting vocal homosexuals would degrade the military's effectiveness," but that effectiveness should be the top priority, and I suspect that it isn't for the radical left.


So, my particular position doesn't require me to prove that homosexuals are disproportionately debaucherous, but strong evidence has already been provided in this thread.

To wit, Marshall's stat that some 3-5% of the population account for 60% of new cases for syphilis, and my citing a study that only TEN PERCENT of even committed gay male couples highly value monogamy -- that, therefore, there isn't even a pretense of monogamous fidelity in a disproportionate number of gay couples.


"Your inconsistencies are showing. You advocate no ban on straight folk - even though the vast majority of them WILL engage in adultery at some point - from the military, but you ARE advocating banning gay folk for exactly that reason."

First, the stats you cited earlier indicate that a majority of straights are guilty of fornication, NOT necessarily adultery.

Second, I believe the case can still be made that, as a group, homosexuals engage in sexual misbehavior to a disproportionate and statistically significant degree.


"Further, you seem to express concern primarily for what the military thinks is best for itself. It appears that the military is deciding that banning gays is not in its best interests. It appears that our military leaders do not think that having gays in the military will damage cohesion, any more than having black folk or jews or fundamentalists would damage cohesion."

I think it's an entirely open question about whether the current command in chief has the military's best interests in mind.

My position is not mute deference to the military's every decision, but that they should simply have some flexibility about their personnel policy because military effectiveness is more important than political correctness.


You write, "for my part, what the military thinks is in its best interest IS of a lesser concern than doing what is right and implementing unjust policy is NOT right."

And you continue to prove my point, that radicals like you seek to subvert the military, to use it (and other traditional institutions) to advance your agenda, to the detriment of the institution's actual mission.

Dan Trabue said...

In trying to deal with the reality that the Bible does not say "preaching Christ crucified" if the "primary mission" of the church, Bubba offered this thinking...

The infinite and eternal ramifications of the good news of salvation through Christ's death and resurrection... NECESSARILY make proclaiming this good news the church's top priority.

Again, this planet will not outlive our souls, and so the final destination of our souls is a more important question than even our stewardship of this fleeting world.


So, Bubba appears to be acknowledging that the Bible does not ever say anything of the sort, but rather, it is something he has derived based on the logic above. That logic being...

1. Our souls are eternal
2. Our time on earth, in contrast, is finite
3. Preaching Jesus' death helps lead people to making eternally significant decisions (ie, helps them in the salvation process)
4. Therefore, since preaching Jesus' death helps lead people to a saving knowledge of Jesus and since this helps save their eternal souls and since the eternal "outweighs" the short term in significance, then that is why preaching Jesus' crucifixion is so important. So important that I (Bubba) think it is of PRIMARY importance.

Is that a fair summary of your position, Bubba?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba also asked...

I would love to see what logical argument or biblical grounds you could produce to justify your claim everything we teach is equally important and "of one cloth."

1. I have not said everything we teach is equally important. I have said it is of one cloth.

2. By that I mean simply that all of God's teachings ARE God's teachings and thus, are important to us. I don't want to miss any of God's teachings, as much as I can understand them.

3. That God created the world, that God loves humanity, that God expects justice from humanity, that we ought to love one another, that we need to be saved by God's grace, that we need to be forgiving and gracious, etc, these are ALL vital teachings of God.

4. If I claim to love God but abuse God's children and/or God's creation, how can I effectively share God's love?

5. If I claim to wish to be in God's presence and see my brothers and sisters in God's presence, but I present God as a capricious and vicious God who might command people to kill people because they are gay or simply because they are the children of my enemy, then I would have to wonder how many people I'm actively DRIVING AWAY from God? What sort of evangelism would that be?

6. If I claim to be a Christian but abuse the water in my area, leaving the people downstream with polluted or toxic water, that is a matter of justice. We know that God does not want us to act in unjust ways and has quite harsh words to those who are oppressive or unjust. At least one reason for this is that the people downstream will be wholly unimpressed with my God if I leave them with polluted waters.

7. For ALL these reasons and more, the teachings of God is of one cloth. As James says, If one of you says to [a poor person], "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

We can't share the good news if our lives are, in fact, bad news. We can't share the good news if we are unjust ourselves.

Surely we could agree upon this much?

Dan Trabue said...

First, thanks for the clarification (that you're not saying you support a ban on gay folk). Now...

My position isn't that the military should ban outspoken homosexuals, but merely that the military should have the right to make that determination.

And yet, I fully expect that you and I agree that the military should be wholly free to make those determinations. Once upon a time, the military decided that blacks as a group couldn't serve because it would undermine military effectiveness and for many of the same reasons you have offered here for banning gays.

Am I right? If you thought the military was making UNJUST bans of whole groups of people for UNJUST reasons - reasons of bigotry, for instance - I expect that you and I would agree that the military does not have the "right" to do that. Not in the US of A. Right?

Bubba said...

Dan, I appreciate your responses to my two questions, but I don't think they qualify as answers.


First, about whether a Christian can be an atheist, I'll reiterate that I introduced the subject here in this way.

"Dan, since we are digressing into the subject of salvation, I'd like to reiterate my question on the related (but not identical) subject of membership in Christ's church."

Being a Christian and being saved aren't identical. "Saved" and "Christian" aren't interchangeable.

To give an obvious example, Moses and Elijah are both clearly saved, as seen quite emphatically in the Transfiguration, but I think it's inaccurate to describe either as a Christian.

Moses was a Jew. Elijah was a Jew. Both are saved, but neither are Christians.

What I'm asking is, if the term "Christian" is something more (or other) than merely a synonym for being saved or redeemed, does that term entail theological beliefs that would exclude some people?

I believe it does: "Trinitarian Christian" is redundant, as is "monotheistic Christian" and -- most fundamentally -- "theistic Christian."

Christianity, therefore, excludes the unitarianism of Islam, excludes the polytheism of the Mormons, and OBVIOUSLY excludes atheism.

It seems to me that your notion of Christianity doesn't include ANY doctrine as absolutely non-negotiable, even the doctrine of God's very existence.

That position is absurd -- particularly for one who defends his being a Christian, not simply by saying he's saved but by pointing to the ancient creeds; the idea of orthodoxy definitionally requires doctrinal boundaries -- but I would welcome your correction or clarification.


About whether God has the prerogative to end human life whenever and however He chooses, you say you don't know, but EVERYTHING you write that could point one way or the other, points to a clear answer in the negative.

"I tend to think that God is not in the business of going around and killing people off. But God is God and will do as God will do.

"What God WON'T do, though, is act contrary to God's Way, contrary to God's nature. God won't commit evil. God won't tempt us to commit evil.

"Are you asking me if I think God goes around killing off people, if God sends tornadoes to kill people, no, I don't think God acts in that way in the world.
"

I'm not asking whether He does, but whether He has the moral right to do so.

You seem to think that the taking of (at least innocent) human life is wrong, per se, which would imply that even God cannot take (at least innocent) human life. If that's what you believe, you ought to say so.

I'm not asking whether God has the power to do so, but the moral right to do so.

God created us. What could possibly imply a moral obligation not to end the life that He gave us?

Dan Trabue said...

I still don't know. I don't think God works that way. Do you?

COULD God? I still think that God can do anything that is not outside of God's nature.

How about you?

Bubba said...

Dan:

"I had asked Bubba the chance to agree with me that the Bible does NOT say that 'preaching Jesus crucified' is the 'primary mission' of the church. He did not choose to agree with this basic biblical reality. At least, not yet, perhaps he'll yet agree that it simply isn't in the Bible."

You're doing the same bait-and-switch that you do regarding inerrancy: you require that the Bible explicitly state that all 66 books are inerrant before affirming that inerrancy is biblical. You make hay over the fact that the term doesn't exist in the Bible. Well, neither does "monotheism," and yet the technical theological term accurately encapsulates the Bible's teaching that there exists only one true God.

I stand by my position that the church's primary mission is preaching Christ crucified, and I believe the Bible supports this and no other alternative, for a few reasons.

It's the unique mission of the church, not given to the state or any other institution.

The frequency and content of the sermons in Acts point strongly in the direction of this mission.

And, even at the end of history, it seems that our role is to proclaim and worship the Lamb who, BY HIS BLOOD, ransomed saints from every nation.

Do you think the Bible is silent on the quite important question of the church's primary mission? Or, if not, what is that mission if not preaching Christ crucified?


About everything being "of one cloth," you write that you mean "that all of God's teachings ARE God's teachings and thus, are important to us. I don't want to miss any of God's teachings, as much as I can understand them."

I think you have a lot of nerve to claim that, considering your flippant denial of much that the Bible teaches: the authority of Scripture which Christ Himself affirmed; Christ's teaching about what His death accomplished; Christ's instructions to Thomas which require a bodily resurrection; Christ's instituting of the Lord's Supper; and Christ's teaching about why we were created male and female.

Your point is this:

"We can't share the good news if our lives are, in fact, bad news. We can't share the good news if we are unjust ourselves.

"Surely we could agree upon this much?
"

We do, but this shouldn't be used an excuse to focus on pet priorities to the detriment of the gospel, and I suspect that's the case.


About whether God has the right to take human life, you write:

"I still don't know. I don't think God works that way. Do you?

"COULD God? I still think that God can do anything that is not outside of God's nature.

"How about you?
"

I don't think that God would act outside His nature, but I believe the plain meaning of Scripture doesn't place the taking of human life outside that boundary.

But, again, I'm not asking whether God DOES, but whether He COULD, **NOT** as a matter of omnipotence, but as a matter of morality.

God gave each of us life. Do you agree?

If you do agree, does God have the moral right to take what He gave us, whenever and however He chooses?

I really don't think that's a tough question, and going by your arguments about why the difficult passages of the OT must be taken figuratively (somehow), I think it's clear that you have an answer to the question.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Your dishonesty is showing:

"Additionally, it is culturally uncomfortable for us to be naked around members of the opposite sex. Men being naked around other men, they're not going to be seeing anything they can't see in the mirror."

What's missing here (and in the previous paragraph)? What's missing is the admission that homo men do NOT look upon men the way normal men do (nor lesbians with normal women). They look upon other men the way normal men look upon women. Thus, the dynamic is the same as it is between the sexes. You seem to be suggesting that somehow, the group of people that I've shown (and I've seen what Bubba has provided as well as other evidences that mirrors it) is more promiscuous and definitely less sexually moral than the average male.

Keep in mind that I have never stated that normal men do not have a percentage that will attempt to satisfy their immoral urges. I would say that amongst the age group of the average recruit, the urge is strongest amongst the male population. I'm also not saying that homos in the military would be incapable of a higher degree of self-discipline, particularly when discipline is so important. But if in the world the homo is less likely to control his desires than normal young men, then even their smaller group would constitute a greater risk per recruit.

Back to the point, as men and women together is a bad idea because of the attraction between the two, so would mixing hetero and homo. Indeed, the dynamic is about equal since women are definitely more likely to reject unsolicited advances (not to mention playing hard to get when they ARE interested), imagine the trouble if normal men are being hit upon. Men are less likely to "just say no" and leave it at that. More than likely they'll "say no" in a very specific and violent manner, so as to insure no further advance is made.

Mixing hetero and homo is EXACTLY the same as mixing the sexes. And by the way, before women forced the military to change its views on the role of women in the military, they were separated even more than now. But allowances in housing, training and leading had to be made to accomodate women. The same would have to take place should the military change its tune on homosexuality because they ARE changing the culture. To pretend otherwise is simply lying and you also lie if you suggest that it wouldn't matter.

As to right vs wrong and how it affects military decisions, you have yet to prove their is no moral issue with a behavior God condemned as sinful. In fact, you've never proven ANYTHING that justifies support for this abomination. No one ever has. You simply say what appeals to you. You're too morally corrupt.

Marshall Art said...

As to what our primary teaching should be, Paul says, "We preach Christ crucified" as Bubba has pointed out (1 Cor), and similar statements appear elsewhere in Acts. Don't think you'll find too much regarding preaching about the environment.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, so even though the Bible NO WHERE actually says that "preaching Christ crucified" is the "primary mission" of the church or even anything LIKE that, you all want to believe that to be the case. That's okay with me, I don't care if you all believe that.

Just don't insist that all Christians MUST agree with your hunch, since it's not a biblical position to hold. Fair enough?

About this topic, Bubba says...

It's the unique mission of the church, not given to the state or any other institution.

And I'm fine with you thinking this, as long as you're upfront and admit that THIS, TOO, is not a biblical position. The Bible NO WHERE says that preaching Christ crucified is the "unique mission of the church." Or even that it's A mission of the church.

Preaching about Jesus, his teachings, his life, his death, his resurrection, these are all part of what we do as the church, our mission, if you will.

Warning about the trappings of wealth, against oppression, working to make our lives simple and in solidarity with the least of these, speaking the prophetic word of God, proclaiming good news to the poor, liberty for the captive, healing for the sick... these, too, are the work of the church, per the Bible.

The frequency and content of the sermons in Acts point strongly in the direction of this mission.

And what of JESUS' sermons? You know, our Lord and savior? Should our mission, our work, our lives look like HIS actual teachings?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Do you think the Bible is silent on the quite important question of the church's primary mission? Or, if not, what is that mission if not preaching Christ crucified?

Yes, the Bible IS quite silent on the "church's primary mission." Literally quiet, since the Bible no where SPEAKS of or HINTS at a "primary mission."

If you think the Bible DOES reference this somewhere - ANYwhere - or if it even HINTS at such, feel free to show that passage(s).

What is (are) the mission, role, duty, privilege of the church? Just what the Bible actually says.

We are...

1. to walk in the steps of Jesus

2. to demonstrate the love of God in our lives in tangible ways

3. to ask forgiveness

4. to forgive, as we have been forgiven

5. to accept God's grace and live by that grace, showing that grace to others

6. to preach the good news to the poor, liberty for the captives, healing for the sick

7. to live simply, being content in all circumstances

8. to share with and stand with the least of these

ALL of these and more that are direct teachings of the Bible and especially of Jesus, THESE are our mission. No where in the Bible does it speak of "special" missions, or "extra important" missions or "primary" missions. I'm not willing to add to the Bible something that isn't there.

Does that sound reasonable?

Marshall Art said...

"I'm not willing to add to the Bible something that isn't there."

WOW! Now that's about as untruthful as anything I've heard in quite awhile!

Leviticus never mentions any specific context in which homosex is either forbidden or allowed, but YOU'VE added that it does, as if the it's OK as long as it isn't done the way the Egyptians or Canaanites do it (ignoring Lev18:24 which states that verse 22 is but one of the ways the people the Lord was to drive out before the Israelites defiled themselves). The Lord simply said "Don't do this" and you've added a caveat He never mentions.

You make similar additions to NT references to homosexuality. Indeed, your whole defense for inclusion is based on that which you've added to the Bible, not the least of which is the notion that God would bless "gay" marriage because He blesses marriage.

BTW, I am reminded of a recent denial by you regarding whether or not you knew any homosexuals during your "conversion" from what you thought was conservative thought to "progressive" (read="psuedo-)Christianity. Aside from your dear lesbian Aunt Tilly (you never said her name) and the many saintly homos at Jeff St, I find it odd that you happen to use all the same lame arugments (regarding Scripture) that the activists use. Just sayin'...

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

WOW! Now that's about as untruthful as anything I've heard in quite awhile!

Leviticus never mentions any specific context in which homosex is either forbidden or allowed, but YOU'VE added that it does


Wow, indeed.

1. I have NEVER added ANYTHING to Leviticus. Not once.

2. I have been quite clear that the Bible is SILENT on the topic of gay marriage.

3. I have been quite clear that it is MY OPINION on this topic which is not in the Bible, that gay marriage is a good and blessed thing. NOT because the Bible says so, but because the Bible is silent on the issue and it is thus, my opinion, not a biblical opinion.

4. You all, on the other hand, have insisted that EVEN THO the Bible is entirely silent on the topic, you think the Bible is CLEAR that gay marriage is wrong. Once again, adding to the Bible.

5. Now, if you want to clarify and admit that
a. The Bible is silent on gay marriage and it is only your opinion that gay marriage is wrong,
b. The Bible DOES NOT say that "preaching Christ crucified" is the "primary mission," but that is only your opinion,

then we can all be clear that we have offered OUR OPINIONS on something that the Bible does not have a position.

Are you going to add to the Bible something that isn't there or will you join me in admitting it's only your hunch?

Dan Trabue said...

Considering "the mission" of the church: One passage that folk like y'all often like to point to is the so-called (by us, not the Bible) "Great Commission."

I'll remind you of what it actually says...

Therefore go [or, "As you are going...] and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

What are we to do, according to Jesus here? Make disciples and teach them to observe all things Jesus taught.

Dan Trabue said...

Returning briefly to this childish attack...

But my wife's class has never won a prize for making a short video for the sake of political activism.

She's too busy teaching her kids about the Bible and telling them about the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life through Christ's death and resurrection.


There was a contest coming up in our area. We asked our SS kids if they'd like to take part. They did.

The children wrote the poem. The children drew the artwork. We all together put together the film and it was honored with this second place award - showing folks in the community what some church kids were doing and honoring their work and love of God's creation.

We have agreed that good stewardship is a Godly, biblical thing to teach in church, so you don't have a problem, apparently, with teaching this biblical concept.

But what did you do instead, Bubba and Marshall? Y'all made light of the work of these children and our Sunday School class doing something that you agree is appropriate in church. You dismissed it as "political activism," although you never said why - I'm not at all sure that you even watched the video.

You suggested that YOU at your church were too busy telling your kids about the Bible, EVEN THOUGH you later admitted that good stewardship IS biblical teaching.

It is exactly for this reason why we need to preach the WHOLE gospel of God, the WHOLE good news found in the Bible.

Because of your butt ugly presentation of Jesus (by making light of and mocking our sunday school class for doing something that was good and beautiful and biblical, you eventually admitted), you have presented God by your words, as petty and heartless. BECAUSE of your "presentation" of the gospel, if I were not a Christian, I would want nothing to do with your god. You would never get a chance to get around to preaching "the primary stuff" to me, because your secondary behavior was so un-Christlike as to cause me to want nothing to do with you.

For your consideration.

Craig said...

"(On the first day God created the heavens and the earth,

On the second day God created the space that we call sky,

On the third day God created the ground and the plants,

God looked at it all and said, "Wow! It is good!")"

But Dan, you have repeatedly asserted that this is in fact not an accurate representation of the facts of creation. So how can you be proud that your church is teaching kids to sing paeans to that which you believe to be false? Or did you just take the kids during sundry stool and correct them?

Craig said...

"but saving people is God's prerogative, God's realm."

"...and a choice to repent and follow on our part."

"We, being free moral agents, are always free to choose to reject that grace. I don't believe God forces anyone to be saved against their will."

Dan,

This seems contradictory, could you please clarify. Is salvation Gods prerogative, or ours?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig asked...

But Dan, you have repeatedly asserted that this is in fact not an accurate representation of the facts of creation. So how can you be proud that your church is teaching kids to sing paeans to that which you believe to be false?

It's not false. It's just not factual.

At our church, we have no problem celebrating and honoring stories for the great and marvelous truths within them, EVEN IF the story is a parable or told in mythic, epic or other allegorical language.

God DID create the world and what a beautiful and wonderful world God has created! Hallelujah!

And one way of telling that story is the six day creation story told in Genesis. Our children are perfectly able to understand the great truths found in allegorical language and separating that out from the fact that, for instance, the world was not literally created in six normal days, but rather, by all evidence, over billions of years.

They're pretty smart and wonderful children, at Jeff St. I'd bet all of your kids are pretty smart and wonderful, too.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig asked...

This seems contradictory, could you please clarify. Is salvation Gods prerogative, or ours?

Yes.

Dan Trabue said...

That is, yes, God offers us salvation and that is God's desire, that we ALL accept God's good gift of salvation. It is God's prerogative in that regards.

AND, yes, we can accept God's gift of salvation. But God won't force us to accept it. It's our prerogative to either accept it or reject it. Or at least that is how it seems to me.

How about you?

Also, earlier I had asked...

I believe once someone is saved, they can STILL choose to reject God's grace. They have freedom of conscience, the ability to choose right and wrong. Why wouldn't they?

Are you saying that you don't believe Christians can choose to reject God's grace? I'm guessing you're aware of the scriptural arguments on this point?

- Did you ever answer those? Just curious as to your opinion on the topic, since you've brought it up.

Marshall Art said...

"1. I have NEVER added ANYTHING to Leviticus. Not once."

Are you saying now that you never said that Lev 18 does NOT say only prohibit homoseuxal behavior in the context of pagan ritual? I seem to recall you insisting on that meaning without any such description in the Bible. Do you mean to say that because you believe that to be the case that you are still not guilty of adding to the Bible what isn't there? Would you like to try to be even more intellectually dishonest?

So here we have a definitive difference: We see no positive reference to homosexuality anywhere in the Bible, see only traditional notions of marriage and family and WE are adding to the Bible to infer that homo marriage cannot be worthy of God's blessing? YOU see no positive reference to homosexuality anywhere in the Bible and only traditional notions of marriage and family, but find somehow somewhere an incling that God WOULD bless homo marriage and then dare say you aren't adding to the Bible what isn't there? That makes your position on homosex even more inane than it already was. You dare accuse others of wild hunches?

Here's where it's at regarding "wild hunches": our logical inferences are based on what the Bible DOES say. Your wild hunches are based on what it doesn't say but you wish it did.

For example: the notion that the primary message of the Bible is Christ's saving sacrifice is gleaned from the entirety of the Bible, from man's fall in Eden through the epistles gospels of the apostles and disciples. Scores of prophesies in the OT, the symbolism of Hebrew rituals, John the Baptist's ministry, Paul preaching Christ crucified, et., etc., etc. Hardly a wild hunch.

It is true that I said "I wouldn't say no." regarding stewardship of the earth to kids in Sunday School. But that's not the same as saying that I'd plan such a thing as part of the curriculum. Not when there are far more important issues, such as sexual purity (for the older kids) or honoring father and mother (for all kids) and definitely and without question, Christ crucified. I could handle the entire issue of stewardship in a simple sentence like "Clean up after yourself" then move on to more important issues that aren't covered elsewhere in their lives.

Also, back to wild hunches, it occurs to me that one way you dismiss our arguments about homosex is by mentioning how few the references are, as if one mention of Lev 18:22 isn't enough for a good child of God. Yet, how many references to stewardship are there and you make a whole day out of it.

Yeah, I don't feel out of line casting aspersions on your SS program based on what you say about it, your church and your beliefs. I prefer a church that focusses on truths of the Bible, not wild hunches like you've presented. I prefer a church that loves truth more than the feelings of those who must learn them.

Dan Trabue said...

Earlier, I said...

At our church, we have no problem celebrating and honoring stories for the great and marvelous truths within them, EVEN IF the story is a parable or told in mythic, epic or other allegorical language.

I'd like to be clear that Jeff St is not unique in this. ALL churches are able to celebrate and honor those stories or passages in the bible that use allegorical language of one sort or the other.

When Jesus told us to cut off our hands and gouge out our eyes, no one thinks Jesus meant that literally. We all recognize that as hyperbole.

And not only that, but we don't go off in a huff, angry that Jesus used "false" words to express something. Thinking that a story uses allegorical words does not mean we think it's false at all. Right?

It's all a matter of understanding the genre in which a passage was written. If one takes Jesus "gouge your eyes out" passage as a literal command, they'd be in a world of hurt. But we all agree that it was not intended to be taken literally and that just because we don't take it literally does not make it false. It makes it an allegory with a TRUTH.

We all agree on that passage because it seems obvious to us. However, all Christians don't agree that the Creation story is told using mythic language.

Still, it seems obvious to some of us that it is, and so we have no more problem respecting and honoring Genesis 1 than we do Jesus' command to cut off our hands. It IS a true story, just not a factual one.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Are you saying now that you never said that Lev 18 does NOT say only prohibit homoseuxal behavior in the context of pagan ritual? I seem to recall you insisting on that meaning without any such description in the Bible. Do you mean to say that because you believe that to be the case that you are still not guilty of adding to the Bible what isn't there?

I have quite clearly stated that IT IS MY OPINION that those passages, which begin with warnings about not being like the pagan nations around them, sound like TO ME they are talking about pagan sexual rituals when they are talking about men laying with men.

We ALL read the Bible and strive to understand what it means in context (or at least we should). That's what it seems like to me it means, in context.

That this is my understanding is not to say that I've added anything to Leviticus or taken anything away, OTHER THAN my interpretation, my take on the passage.

And we ALL take away our take on the Bible when we read it. It's something we all do.

So, once again, NO, I have not added or taken away from Leviticus. Never have.

Bubba said...

Dan:

About the church's primary mission, I believe that Christ's own words and deeds also support my contention that the primary mission is proclaiming Christ crucified: He instituted one observance for His church -- just one -- and that observance explicitly commemorates Christ's death, His broken body and shed blood.

Of the eight-point list of examples of what our mission includes, it's very telling that you include NOTHING that references evangelism or discipleship. You mention it SIX HOURS LATER, as an obvious afterthought.

Christ chose the Twelve to make them "fishers of men," and His standing orders were to make disciples, but the call to evangelize is obviously not in the forefront of your mind.

About that call, you write:

"What are we to do, according to Jesus here? Make disciples and teach them to observe all things Jesus taught."

I'll reiterate that you're even selective about what ethical instructions to emphasize.

"Warning about the trappings of wealth, against oppression, working to make our lives simple and in solidarity with the least of these, speaking the prophetic word of God, proclaiming good news to the poor, liberty for the captive, healing for the sick... these, too, are the work of the church, per the Bible."

So is telling others what Jesus said about why we were created male and female, but you never get around to mentioning that.

Christ taught us why we were made male and female, you admit that we are to teach His disciples to observe all that He taught, but you don't seem eager to observe this teaching.

Looking beyond ethical commands, I don't see any eagerness to observe His teaching about the authority of Scripture, either -- or His explanation for what His death accomplished, or His teachings that conclusively point to the bodily Resurrection, or the fact that the Lord's Supper was inaugurated by, y'know, THE LORD.


What you're doing is obvious.

By refusing to affirm any particular role or mission of the church as primary, you're apparently giving yourself the latitude to emphasize what you like and downplay what you don't.

Your priorities are your own, and you seem very reluctant to examine what the Bible teaches about God's priorities for us, because doing so might undermine your political activism.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

About adding to the Bible, your belief that God blesses "gay marriage" isn't the best or most important example of your holding to beliefs that are extra-biblical and EVEN anti-biblical.

The Bible is clear that Christ died for our sins, but you apparently believe that we are saved by God's grace but not Christ's death -- that Christ's death is merely a manifestation of God's saving grace and not the mechanism by which we are saved. When you appeal to Scripture to justify this position, you consistently rip passages out of even their immediate context to make them say THE OPPOSITE of what they say.

The Bible is clear that Christ was born of a virgin, but you repeatedly (though inconsistently) denigrate the claim as extra-biblical.

The Bible is clear that Christ rose bodily and physically -- the risen Christ ate with His disciples and even told Thomas to examine His wounds -- but you believe that the bodily Resurrection is ultimately negotiable, that the doctrine could be the result of misinterpretation (though you've never tackled how) and that a Christian could deny the doctrine yet remain within the faith.

The Bible is clear that Christ instituted the observance of His supper to commemorate His death, but you downgrade it to merely a "long-standing church tradition".

The chasm between the Bible's clear teachings and your deviant beliefs is significant and obvious.


About marriage, you accuse us of adding to the Bible, but the accusation is simply absurd.

"You all, on the other hand, have insisted that EVEN THO the Bible is entirely silent on the topic, you think the Bible is CLEAR that gay marriage is wrong. Once again, adding to the Bible."

In Matthew 19, Jesus Christ affirms the teaching from Genesis 2, that God made us male and female so that a man (male) would leave his family to become one flesh with his wife (female).

Those two passages make absolutely clear God's intent for marriage as the union of man and woman. The Bible doesn't merely mention male-and-female coupling as a descriptive example of what divinely sanctioned marriage can be, but as a NORMATIVE explanation of what it MUST be.

The Bible teaches -- and Jesus Christ Himself affirms -- that God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.

That teaching logically and inexorably excludes so-called "gay marriage" from God's will for us -- all of us who were created male and female.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

I don't feel out of line casting aspersions on your SS program based on what you say about it, your church and your beliefs. I prefer a church that focusses on truths of the Bible, not wild hunches like you've presented.

Well, shame on you, then, brother. If you have a problem with the poetry that our children actually wrote or that pictures that they actually drew, you could stand up and criticize those children's artwork and offering to God.

But you're not even doing that cravenly a thing. You're just wildly criticizing "something" - a vague un-named "something" - without saying what it is you're criticizing.

Are you really criticizing that we at Jeff St in our Sunday School teach our children to respect and honor and love God's creation? Is that what is upsetting you so?

You say, you're okay with "casting aspersions on your SS program based on what you say about it"

What HAVE I said about it? I said that our children wrote their own poetry about love of God's earth. Is THAT what you are casting aspersion upon?

I said that our children took that poetry and drew artwork also about love of God's creation. Is THAT what you're criticizing?

I also said that they took their artwork and poetry about love of God's creation and made a movie about it. Is THAT what you're criticizing?

Step up and be specific, brother. What did we do wrong? Where did our children sin? Where did I sin in leading them in this exercise? What specifically are you criticizing?

Man, rather than backing down and offering an apology over a ridiculous attack over NOTHING that you have named about a video that you apparently haven't even watched created by CHILDREN during a SS class that you know NOTHING about, you just jump back in in ignorant destructive tearing down of the work of God.

Have you no shame? No sense of decency or Christian honor or love?

Think about this, Marshall (Bubba). Pray about it. Reconsider your harsh words towards a CHILDREN's program. Do you really think your criticism of NOTHING is of God? Is it holy, good, pure?

I'd suggest you really ought to apologize and remove all the comments about this and remove that shame, not for our sake our our children's sake - we're used to mindless and hateful criticism at Jeff St, even our children - but for your own sake and for the witness of the church.

Forget that it's DAN you're talking about and reconsider your words, men. For your own soul's sake.

Dan Trabue said...

I've really spent way too much time here. At least one more thing...

Of the eight-point list of examples of what our mission includes, it's very telling that you include NOTHING that references evangelism or discipleship. You mention it SIX HOURS LATER, as an obvious afterthought.

An afterthought? No. In fact, Bubba, it is ALL evangelism. Speaking in defense of the poor IS sharing the good news. Creating a video praising God's creation IS sharing the good news. Loving your neighbor IS sharing the good news. Working for peace IS sharing the good news.

Re-teaching the teachings of Jesus IS sharing the good news. Telling the story of Jesus' life, death and resurrection IS sharing the good news. Living a simple life IS sharing the good news.

ALL of this is evangelism. Perhaps that's part of our difference. You all seem to define evangelism into a pretty specific spiel about the death and resurrection of Jesus, about sin and spilled blood. That, to you, seems to encompass the WHOLE of evangelism.

It's not that the Bible teaches that, but your notions of what it is. It's a very 1950s modernistic take on what evangelism is, it seems to me and that is its limitation. By making "evangelism" into something that is only recognizable or reasonable to modern white evangelicals fifty years ago, you have limited God's work in ways that limits and even harms your witness.

As I have noted already, if ALL I knew of God is what you all have focused on in some of our conversations like this one, then I would run as far away as fast as possible from your notion of god.

The Bible does not describe evangelism as you do. The Bible does not define or even suggest that the "primary mission" of the church is what you are suggesting. It's a modernistic, evangelical take on the gospel, not what the actual Bible says.

If you think you can offer some actual Bible proof (you know, actual passages that even suggest what you're suggesting), then go ahead and offer it. That you all have not done so yet is just hopefully something that will help you see that it simply can't be done, because you are defending something other than biblical or Godly teaching.

Guys, seriously, you have been saved by grace. Embrace it. Share that same grace by which YOU have been saved with others. Love, grace, kindness, gentleness, compassion, THESE are the traits that we need to strive to implement in our lives, by God's grace.

Bubba said...

Dan, about your church's children's Sunday School class, my problem is not with the teaching of good stewardship, per se, but with the over-emphasis of that principle to the detriment of what's more important -- and my suspicion that you're only invoking the Bible when you can, because your real priority is your progressivism.

You write, "Y'all made light of the work of these children and our Sunday School class doing something that you agree is appropriate in church."

While I believe it's good to teach stewardship, I don't think that project actually is appropriate in church, especially if (as seems to be the case) your congregation is so interested in political activism that it neglects or downplays the actual gospel.

"You suggested that YOU at your church were too busy telling your kids about the Bible, EVEN THOUGH you later admitted that good stewardship IS biblical teaching."

Note what I wrote.

"[My wife is] too busy teaching her kids about the Bible and telling them about the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life through Christ's death and resurrection."

You seem to overlook the entire last half of that sentence.


What y'all teach the children in church, can often be justified by appeals to Scripture.

But there's a big difference between that and providing a comprehensive view of what the Bible teaches.

You're picking and choosing, highlighting what fits (or can be made to fit) your progressive agenda of wealth redistribution, environmentalism, and (Western) pacifism.

But the Bible teaches much more than what you invoke to justify that cute but entirely extraneous video project, and what you omit or downplay is AT LEAST as important as what you emphasize.


"Because of your butt ugly presentation of Jesus (by making light of and mocking our sunday school class for doing something that was good and beautiful and biblical, you eventually admitted)...

[I admitted no such thing: I agree that stewardship is biblical, I didn't agree and I DO NOT believe that that project demonstrate biblical priorities.]

"...you have presented God by your words, as petty and heartless. BECAUSE of your 'presentation' of the gospel, if I were not a Christian, I would want nothing to do with your god. You would never get a chance to get around to preaching 'the primary stuff' to me, because your secondary behavior was so un-Christlike as to cause me to want nothing to do with you.

"For your consideration.
"

I don't put a lot of stock in this, in part because you continue to distort what I wrote. Just as I never attacked your wife or her class, I never described the project -- the evidently time-consuming activity -- as beautiful and biblical.

I also don't think you're the arbiter of what's civil and loving when you have no trouble accusing us of idolatry (worshiping a petty deity), bigotry, and rampant megalomania -- and when your accusations have so little basis in reason and reality.

Stewardship is a good and biblical principle. Teaching your church about stewardship is good and biblical. But subverting the church by advancing a political agenda with the transparent cover of this particular teaching -- -- all to the detriment of the gospel of the crucified and risen Christ -- merits strong criticism.

And using the time that ought to be spent teaching your children about the gospel, to make them political activists, is frankly irresponsible.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

the notion that the primary message of the Bible is Christ's saving sacrifice is gleaned from the entirety of the Bible

Then "man up" (as you are wont to say) and offer up those passages. Show how, in the creation story where God tells Adam to tend to the creation, that what that REALLY means is that the primary mission of the church is to preach Christ crucified.

Show how, when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because its inhabitants were "arrogant, overfed and unconcerned [with the poor]..." that what that REALLY means is that the primary mission of the church is to preach Christ crucified.

Show how, when the Psalmist praised God's beauty found in all of creation, that what that REALLY means is that the primary mission of the church is to preach Christ crucified.

Show how, when JESUS exclaimed how he had come to preach good news to the poor, liberty for the captives, healing for the sick, that what that REALLY means is that the primary mission of the church is to preach Christ crucified.

Just show us the passage that lead to your extrabiblical conclusion (and note that my saying "extrabiblical" is not a criticism, just a statement of reality - there are MANY good extrabiblical opinions we might hold) that this is the "primary mission" of the church.

If you can't offer even one passage in defense of your position, perhaps you'll understand why I'm not too keen on buying into your hunch.

Bubba said...

Dan, you urge us, "Reconsider your harsh words towards a CHILDREN's program."

The program's FOR children, but presumably it's being run by adults. We're critical of the adults running the show, not the children who have the misfortune of being in their care.

Children's church programs are EXTREMELY important, and thus the adults who run them shouldn't be immune from criticism.

By suggesting otherwise, you do your church's kids no favors.

Their programs are too important to reject criticism out of hand, and doing so makes it all the easier for their programs to be mediocre and even detrimental.

Think of the children, Dan. Think of their actual best interests, and stop throwing them up as human shields to protect your church's unseemly political activism from reasonable criticism.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Teaching your church about stewardship is good and biblical. But subverting the church by advancing a political agenda with the transparent cover of this particular teaching... merits strong criticism.

So step up and be specific, brother. WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG? Where did our children sin in making that video? Where did our church sin in allowing them to do so?

IF you can't answer that question (and you haven't because you can't honestly do so), then, again, for your own sake and for the church's sake, reconsider your position and repent, apologize for your ugly, anti-christian attack upon good and holy things.

Dan Trabue said...

But subverting the church by advancing a political agenda

WHAT "political agenda?" Step up, be specific, point to the specific words our children wrote or pictures they made that support your wild accusation that I/Jeff St is "advancing a political agenda," or at least doing so in such a way as to contradict the Bible.

You, sir, are a bad, bad man. I pray that your heart grows a few sizes larger some day.

Bubba said...

Dan, in asking what you've done wrong, you quote me...

"Teaching your church about stewardship is good and biblical. But subverting the church by advancing a political agenda with the transparent cover of this particular teaching... merits strong criticism."

...but your ellipses (...) omit a key phrase, JUST THIRTEEN WORDS, which explains what I think you're doing wrong.

"Teaching your church about stewardship is good and biblical. But subverting the church by advancing a political agenda with the transparent cover of this particular teaching -- -- all to the detriment of the gospel of the crucified and risen Christ -- merits strong criticism."

I am critical of that project because I have good reason to suspect that your congregation emphasizes political activism to the detriment of the gospel.


A hamburger is a cooked beef patty in a roll or between two slices of bread. A hamburger can certainly have more than that -- tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, barbecue sauce -- but the cooked patty is essential.

In my view, a hamburger that has so many toppings that you cannot taste the meat completely misses the point. The meat isn't merely a palette to highlight the toppings: for any good hamburger at any steakhouse or burger joint worth its salt, the meat is the main attraction which the toppings ought to complement.

Beyond that, a sandwich that has a ton of toppings but completely omits the meat isn't a hamburger at all.


You write that everything is evangelism.

"Speaking in defense of the poor IS sharing the good news. Creating a video praising God's creation IS sharing the good news. Loving your neighbor IS sharing the good news. Working for peace IS sharing the good news.

"Re-teaching the teachings of Jesus IS sharing the good news. Telling the story of Jesus' life, death and resurrection IS sharing the good news. Living a simple life IS sharing the good news.

"ALL of this is evangelism. Perhaps that's part of our difference. You all seem to define evangelism into a pretty specific spiel about the death and resurrection of Jesus, about sin and spilled blood. That, to you, seems to encompass the WHOLE of evangelism.
"

The good news doesn't require using "pretty specific" language, as in theological terms or one specific quote from the Bible, but it does REQUIRE teaching about the historical death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the results of the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life, appropriated entirely by faith and not by works.

If that isn't "the WHOLE" of evangelism, that is the indispensable core that cannot be omitted and should not be de-emphasized.

Speaking in defense of the poor IS NOT sharing the good news, Dan. Creating a video praising God's creation IS NOT sharing the good news.

These things might be part of the context in which the good news is shared -- and, broadly, living a life of consistent discipleship makes evangelism more effective -- but you're confusing the "toppings" for the "meat" of the Gospel.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan, you're downplaying or possibly even omitting what is absolutely essential to evangelism.

And this "it's all evangelism" garbage enables this dishonest behavior.

At Easter, Christians ought to be celebrating Christ's Resurrection specifically, but your overemphasis on appreciation of God's creation allows you to downplay that in favor of paeans to spring.

We ought to proclaim Christ's death because He taught that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin, but your church's overemphasis on political activism gives your pastor cover to distort the Passion into an narrative of non-violent political protest.


There's nothing wrong with tomatoes or mushrooms. I adore both, actually, and I enjoy having them on a hamburger.

But if a restaurant is smothering the beef with so many tomato slices and 'shrooms that you can't taste the meat, then it's missing the point entirely.

And if I'm served nothing but tomatoes and shrooms in a hamburger bun, I'm going to complain about false advertising.

Your church seems to bury the good news of forgiveness and eternal life through Christ's death and resurrection, to the degree that it's probably hard to find.

I suspect y'all find the gospel embarrassing or inconvenient to your priorities; you specifically seem to deny the Bible's clear and emphatic teaching that Christ died for our sins.

It might not be that the meat of the Gospel is buried under a ton of other priorities, however good and noble those priorities might otherwise be: it might be that those priorities have COMPLETELY replaced the gospel.

A group that claims to be a Christian church but omits the good news, even for other priorities that could be justified by appeals to Scripture, is guilty of false advertising.

Bubba said...

And, Dan, you're being obtuse and hypocritical.

"WHAT 'political agenda?' Step up, be specific, point to the specific words our children wrote or pictures they made that support your wild accusation that I/Jeff St is 'advancing a political agenda,' or at least doing so in such a way as to contradict the Bible.

"You, sir, are a bad, bad man. I pray that your heart grows a few sizes larger some day.
"

You can't point to anything I've written that justifies your calling me a "bad, bad man," and so you're being a hypocrite in demanding me to "man up" to substantiate my claims.

The political agenda that you and your church have is obvious. It's funny that you insist that evidence for that agenda could only be found in the substance of that video and not its context, when its context is a contest sponsored by an organization that files joint lawsuits with the Sierra Club.

I know, clean waterways are a fine goal, and who could object to an organization that supports clean waterways?

(For what it's worth, the disagreement is largely over means, not ends, and over the tradeoffs that come with meeting certain ends.)


And my complaint isn't that your church's political agenda contradicts the Bible -- at least in this case -- but that your church emphasizes political activism to the detriment of the actual gospel.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

The good news doesn't require using "pretty specific" language, as in theological terms or one specific quote from the Bible, but it does REQUIRE teaching about the historical death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the results of the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life, appropriated entirely by faith and not by works.

And your Bible passage(s) to support this belief...?

Or would you admit that this is just another in an increasingly long line of hunches you have about what the Bible implies, although it does not directly say it?

Dan Trabue said...

You can't point to anything I've written that justifies your calling me a "bad, bad man," and so you're being a hypocrite in demanding me to "man up" to substantiate my claims.

I believe I can and have.

It is BAD to make false and unsupported allegations. You are calling our Sunday School class mere support of a "political agenda," rather than actual praise of God and God's creation and sharing of the good news of Jesus.

So, I ask again, WHAT SPECIFIC support do you have for making that allegation, or will you admit that it is a false allegation? A way of putting down the beautiful praise of children for God's creation in order to further a petty, petty political agenda and an ugly tirade against a Christian group you have never even met in person?

You ARE being a very bad man and it appears your pride is stopping you from doing a beautiful thing of repenting of this ugly behavior, apologizing and setting things right.

That, too, is the good news, Bubba. You CAN repent. You CAN turn things around. You CAN take ugly behavior and apologize, turn from it and make it a beautiful, Godly reconciliation.

Will you hear this good news and repent, or will you just stick with your pride and arrogant, ugly behavior about a beautiful children's offering?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba repeated yet another false and unsupported allegation...

And my complaint isn't that your church's political agenda contradicts the Bible -- at least in this case -- but that your church emphasizes political activism to the detriment of the actual gospel.

Any "evidence" of this or is it merely more of your ugly, hateful, political agenda to denigrate the work of Christ at a congregation WHOM YOU'VE NEVER MET and which you've never attended even once?

Seriously, repent, man. Life's too short to go around with this bile in your mouth and heart.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, I'm going back to ignoring Bubba. I've offered him the good news of the gospel, I am extending the hand of Christian fellowship and stand ready to forgive him his ugly behavior, but there's nothing more I can say to such willful pride. He can't hear anything from me and I'm sure that's at least partially my fault, and for that, I'm sorry.

Will you back up your allegations now?

OR, will you please, please (for your own sake) reconsider what you've written - how hateful it is to attack a video produced by children out of love for God's creation! - and realize that you can't possibly support your charges biblically or logically or in the real world with actual evidence and let that realization lead you to repentance?

Craig said...

Dan,

I hadn't had time to spend on your comments on eternal security, and since you considered it s digression, I didn't put it high on the list.

I'm going to start by saying that the tone and phrasing of your question makes it seem as though you are unaware that this is a debate with scriptural support on both sides. Especially your failure to actually provide any scriptural suport for your position.

I'm going to (I hope) breifly outline some of the support for eternal security. My fear, is that you will dismiss anything I put forth as "Calvinism" without actually dealing with the merits. With that, here goes. I'm just going to list references, I trust you can/will look these up.

1 John 2:19
Romans 8:29-30
Romans 8:39 Actuall 28-39
Ps 37:23-24, 28
Phil 1:6
1 Thess 5:24
1 Peter 1:4-5
Jude 1
Isiah 45:17
Jeremiah 32:40
John 3:36, 5:24
1 Peter 1:23
John 10:27-29
Romans 11:29
Hebrews 10:14


A couple of further thoughts.

Salvation is not ours, but Gods. Why would one assume that God's salvation is not perfect or sufficient.

We are referred to as God's children.
John 1:12-13
Romans 8:14-17
Isiah 49:15-16

Our salvation is also referred to as being "concieved with an IMPERISHABLE seed" 1 Peter 1:23. Are you saying that we can pull ourselves out of God's gene pool as it were?

Believers are also referred to as the "bride of Christ" ( Eph 5:25-32, 2 Cor 11:2, Rev 19:7-9). Since we see elsewhere in scripture that the ideal for marriage is to be unconditionally loving and monogamous, why would the "marriage" of Christ to His Church be any different?

I realize that you will probably not agree with any of this, but you wanted an answer, and got one. I guess we'll see what kind of scriptural support you have for your opinion. I can say (sine you think this matters) that if numbers of supporting verses are important then you're at a deficit.

Git 'er done

Dan Trabue said...

As you rightly note, Craig, there are scriptural passages supporting both sides. I am quite aware of both sides of the argument and have fallen on the side that says we CAN choose to reject God's grace, both before and after we're saved.

I don't really want to add to this burgeoning, sprawling thread, I was just curious as to your opinion. I, along with many other Christians, disagree with those fellow Christians who believe one can't fall from grace.

Thanks.

You say...

Why would one assume that God's salvation is not perfect or sufficient.

I have not assumed that God's salvation is not perfect or sufficient. Indeed, I think it is. I just don't think it is forced.

Do you think that some people will be forced to accept God's salvation? That others won't be allowed to accept God's salvation?

That, to me, would not be a perfect or sufficient salvation.

Craig said...

Dan,

Thanks for the acknowledgement. I was hoping for some support for your opinion, but that's just too much for here. I guess I'll just have to take your word that you've actually considered but sides fairly and honestly and have reasons for the opinion you choose.

Maybe if I've got some time I'll lay out the scriptural support for your side so at least the comparison is out there.

For the record, I answered your question, jumped through your hoop, and you, well...

Maybe some other time.

On the actual topic, I heard (but haven't been able to confirm) that although the CJCS was in support of repeal of DADT, the individual service chiefs (all of whom are either o9 or o10) disagreed with repeal. Has anyone else seen or heard this? Can you provide a link?

Craig said...

Sorry, I know the rules.

"Do you think that some people will be forced to accept God's salvation? That others won't be allowed to accept God's salvation?"

My answer is quite clearly contained in the scriptural support that you requested.

But, in case you don't want to find it, the answer is.

no,no.

I think CS Lewis expressed it well. (paraphrase) No one will end up in hell who didn't want to be there. Likewise for heaven.

I'm sure someone has the full quote, or you could look that up also.

Once again, sorry for not promptly answering.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, I imagine we are both well aware of the arguments on both sides of that particular question. It's not the topic here. Why discuss it here?

I HAVE answered your questions repeatedly asked of me, save providing biblical support.

On the other hand, while I'm not making a big deal of it (since it is off topic), I have not had direct answers to the following questions:

Do you think that some people will be forced to accept God's salvation?

That others won't be allowed to accept God's salvation?

I believe once someone is saved, they can STILL choose to reject God's grace.

They have freedom of conscience, the ability to choose right and wrong. Why wouldn't they?

Are you saying that you don't believe Christians can choose to reject God's grace?

I'm guessing you're aware of the scriptural arguments on this point?

If you have answered any of those questions directly, I have not seen any of the answers (or did not understand them to be a direct answer to those specific questions).

As noted, I am sure you are aware of the biblical arguments on both sides (since this is such an age old and tired debate). I know for a fact that I am. Anyone can google and get the biblical support for either side with no difficulty.

So, while I think we can both agree that there is biblical support for both sides (that is, there are SOME passages that sound more like "once saved always saved" and other passages that sound more like we can lose our salvation), that leaves us down to our reasoning - how do we reconcile these passages? How do they make sense with one another? How do they make logical sense?

And it is for this last reason that I'm mostly interested in your opinions. The Bible has some passages on either side, so it's sort of a wash, there as far as I'm concerned. So my question is, how in the world does any of that once saved, always saved make any sense, logically?

Are you saying that some people can't choose to reject God? That just doesn't seem to fit in with either biblical wisdom or just plain reason.

Although, again, it is off topic and if you don't want to answer those questions directly, no big deal. It's not a huge deal to me one way or the other.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

But, in case you don't want to find it, the answer is.

no,no.


And that is as it should be. That's why I'm not all that worried about this topic. In my experience, even among those who believe in the eternal security of the believer/once saved, always saved, they generally agree that people have the ability to choose or reject God's grace. So it almost always ends up in discussion of semantics and that is why I don't find it a very productive conversation usually.

Sometimes interesting a little, if I'm in the mood for it, but not especially productive.

Dan Trabue said...

As to your question about military leaders, here's what I know...

Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, supports ending DADT. As does General Colin Powell...

NY Times

Defense Sec Robt Gates appears to be supporting it...

Fox News

That's who I've heard specifically lately speaking in favor of ending it.

One question I have is about the discussions for an "implementation plan." What do people think is going to happen? What needs to be implemented?

You just end the policy that says straights be openly straight but gays can't be openly gay. What's to implement? Nothing's going to change that I can see, except discrimination. Soldiers will still have to follow the rules, what'll change?

Dan Trabue said...

And according to at least one poll, the majority of Americans support ending the policy, as well...

Nearly six in 10, 57%, said gays should be able to serve openly in the armed forces, while 36% said they should not. An even greater margin, 66%-41%, said the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is discrimination. However, by 54%-38%, respondents said gays in the military should face restrictions on exhibiting their sexuality. (Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, offers his take on the poll results in a Capital Journal column.)

Support within military households is more evenly divided on repealing the policy, 48%-47%. Democrats are more likely to support the repeal, 72%-23%, while Republicans support ending the policy 53%-40%. Independents support it 56%-37%, and women are more likely to support it than men.


source

Even Republicans. Huh. Go figure.

Dan Trabue said...

re: service chiefs and DADT...

Washington (CNN) -- Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Tuesday that he has "serious concerns" over the impact of a repeal of the military's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy...

He agreed, however, that it would be fair to characterize his opinion as not being "strongly" for or against a repeal...

Gen. David Petraeus, the head of the U.S. Central Command, indicated on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he supports the Pentagon review process. While refusing to state a clear personal opinion on a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," Petraeus said he wasn't sure whether most soldiers care anymore if they serve with individuals who have a different sexual orientation.

Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Monday that his opinion is that "everyone should be allowed to serve ... as long as we're still able to fight our wars,and we're able to have forces that are capable of doing whatever they are asked to do."

Retired Gens. Colin Powell and John Shalikashvili, both former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, have expressed their support for a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday that having openly gay and lesbian service members is "working out quite well" in other NATO countries...

But at least one current member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff -- Gen. James Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps -- has expressed reservations in the past about repealing the law.

"Our Marines are currently engaged in two fights, and our focus should not be drawn away from those priorities," Conway said in November through a spokesman.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans believe that openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the military, according to a February 12-15 CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll. Twenty-seven percent are opposed to such a change.


CNN

Bubba said...

Dan, whether you read and reply to this or not, I think it's worth stating that I stand by my criticism.

I believe that your church is emphasizing a political agenda to the detriment of the gospel of the crucified and risen Christ.

I note that you didn't actually reassure us of the emphasis your church places on Christ's death and resurrection and on the resulting gifts of forgiveness and eternal life.

Instead, you balked at the completely uncontroversial idea that the church's primary mission is to preach Christ crucified, you balked at the essential idea that Christ's death and resurrection are the core of the gospel, and you argued that your political activism really is evangelism.

None of that undermines my criticism: all of it confirms it.


You suggest that the gospel is that I could "repent" for daring to criticize you and your congregation for subverting Christ's church for your political ends. The suggestion is ridiculous on its face.

You're not extending the hand of Christian fellowship, because only Christians can do so.

What you're trying to do is cajole and coerce Bible-believing Christians into embracing your subversive behavior, and I won't stand for it.


About biblical proof for the centrality of Christ's death and resurrection in the Gospel, for someone who was genuinely interested in an answer, I would be happy to walk through much of the overwhelming New Testament evidence.

But you're not genuinely interested. You're like the false teachers Jesus was implicitly criticizing in Mt 5:33-37.

Like them, you're not interested in conforming your life to God's word. You're looking for loopholes: you ignore inconvenient teachings of the Bible by demanding far more proof for that teaching than is reasonably necessary.

And you're looking for loopholes for the same reason the false teachers were looking: in order to deceive people.

They argued that the only binding statements were oaths to God Himself, not oaths to heaven or earth or Jerusalem, and not their everyday speech. The obvious intent is to permit deception: someone can earn another person's trust by making elaborate oaths that he doesn't actually intend to keep.

You want to deceive people by convincing them you're a Christian who loves the Bible and deeply respect its teachings -- and by slandering those who see right through you -- so you can advance your true faith of political progressivism.


I will not apologize for calling you out for this, because I believe your deceitful behavior should be condemned.

Craig said...

Dan,

while we're playing your game, you have not answered at least two direct questions I have put to you. For my part I acknowledged my egregious breach of Dan rules and answered your question. You, as always, are free to answer or not as you choose.

Again, If Marshall is concerned about this going too far, I will be happy to end this or go elsewhere. However, it seems clear that you have given all the support for your position that you have. I would guess that additional questions will not elicit any meaningful answers so I guess that will be good enough.

Craig said...

Dan,

Just to forstall your claim that I don't answer your specific questions. First, I think that the scriptural references do a much better job answering you than anything else.

Second, so you can't accuse me of trying to dodge, here goes.

"Are you saying that some people can't choose to reject God? That just doesn't seem to fit in with either biblical wisdom or just plain reason."

No, to the first. Most people will reject God.

This doesn't even fit with your earlier comment that there is scriptural support for both sides of the discussion. There are passages that clearly say that those who are truly reconciled to God will not be separated from Him. Maybe had you answered my earlier specific questions this would be more clear. So, yes it does fit quite nicely with Biblical teaching (where would you get the idea that people can't reject God, that is a truly strange position to take). I really don't think that "just plain reason" is support for any position.

"Do you think that some people will be forced to accept God's salvation?

That others won't be allowed to accept God's salvation?"

Must I answer again?

"They have freedom of conscience, the ability to choose right and wrong. Why wouldn't they?"

Yes, and the natural bent of man is to choose the wrong. Any "choice" that one makes for the right is through God's grace not mans will. For it to be otherwise, introduces something in addition to God's grace.

Are you saying that you don't believe Christians can choose to reject God's grace?

I would say that anyone who has become a son or daughter of God, who has become a new creation would have no reason or desire to reject the grace that brought them into such a familial relationship with God.

or

If one is truly a new creature why would they go back to the old?

I'm guessing you're aware of the scriptural arguments on this point?"

Yes I am, and they are fewer, more obscure, and not very convincing.

So, I've answered again. Most of this was covered earlier, but now I've done the hoop jumping.

Maybe you'll reciprocate.

Dan Trabue said...

Sorry Craig, I hadn't realized I had missed any questions from you. I see now at least two...

Our salvation is also referred to as being "concieved with an IMPERISHABLE seed" 1 Peter 1:23. Are you saying that we can pull ourselves out of God's gene pool as it were?

Well, obviously, "gene pool" and "imperishable seeds" are allegorical images being used. As such, they are not perfect representations of our salvation relationship with Jesus.

We are saved by God's grace, a point on which we both agree. We are still free moral agents, though, with the ability to continue to follow within Jesus' grace or to reject that grace. I believe we can do so.

I thought you said you believed we were free to reject God's grace, too. Is that not the case? Do you think we are not free to reject God's grace, even after we're saved?

In my experience, most "eternal salvation" types have answered this by saying, Yes, we COULD reject God's grace, but we won't if we're truly saved.

And that's where we're down to some semantics that I don't care much to go around about, because at that point, all we're doing is discussing unknowable hunches.

I'm more concerned about those who would say, "NO, if you are saved, God will not let you reject God's grace."

A second question I missed...

Believers are also referred to as the "bride of Christ"... Since we see elsewhere in scripture that the ideal for marriage is to be unconditionally loving and monogamous, why would the "marriage" of Christ to His Church be any different?

Ideally, we wouldn't reject God's grace, just like ideally, we wouldn't get a divorce. But in the real world, as we all know, we don't always live up to ideals. Sometimes, we choose to reject our marriage partner.

How would this symbolic "marriage" to God be any different?

Do you think that we can't choose to reject God's grace? If we can, then it seems to me that we can. Period. It's a tautology. I think we can choose to reject God's grace. I believe you agree.

Are those the two questions you were thinking of?

Marshall Art said...

"There are passages that clearly say that those who are truly reconciled to God will not be separated from Him."

Personally I believe the above refers more to outside forces getting in between God and the believer, as long as one is is truly reconciled. But, at the same time, it is still a conscious decision by the reconciled to remain so, depending upon how committed one is. One may feel a great attachment to God and His Will upon conversion and later this feeling, which is more emotion and infatuation than true devotion, begins to wane. Get passed that point and begin to truly feel a true relationship is formed and it would seem to be unbreakable if the faith is strong. The question would be how to recognize it within one's self? How many backslides denote a lack of resolve, committment devotion, or true reconciliation?

I say all this to show, once again, that I do not care about tangents so much. I will make a remark if I insist on staying on point. At the same time, I can begin a new thread to cover this or either Craig or Dan can. I'm easy. Pick one.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

it seems clear that you have given all the support for your position that you have.

?

I'm not sure of what you're hoping for here. On this topic of gays in the military, do you want me to go into a full-blown biblical and logical defense of why I don't believe in "once saved, always saved?"

As I have noted, this is an OLD argument with plenty of people having gone through this before.

Are you suspecting that I'm not familiar with the passages on both sides? I can assure you I am. When I was a younger conservative pup, THIS is the sort of debate and Bible study I devoted years of study to.

If you're wanting to get into a long exacting debate on the topic, I'm not the guy. I've been there and done that and don't find it edifying, good or praiseworthy.

Here, here's a fella offering opinions against OSAS.

Or, here.

Or here.

Sorry, it's just not a topic that intrigues me or that I find a compelling case to generally spend time discussing. I'm just answering your questions because you asked.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Personally I believe the above refers more to outside forces getting in between God and the believer, as long as one is is truly reconciled.

I agree completely with Marshall on this point. I simply don't find the verses in support of OSAS very compelling and generally think that they're being misread. YES, it's absolutely true that nothing can separate us from God. But, we can choose to leave God. Those are not mutually exclusive positions, seems to me.

And on like that. But, like I said, others have covered this before. I tend to agree with the anabaptists on this point and disagree with the calvinists. Not surprisingly.

Marshall Art said...

As to the miltary question, even by Dan's offerings it appears that there needs to be serious discussion before any policy change is made. Homosexuality is not the same as race, and therefor one labelling himself a homo indicates a behavior that is now considered unbecoming under UMCJ. The ramifications of putting homo and hetero together are exactly like joining the sexes so that simply dropping the policy does not take this fact into consideration. IF there is any indication that it hasn't affected other armies as common sense suggests it will, it is only because a guy will risk a beating if he is TOO open about his perversion. This is because it DOES creep normal guys out, it IS a behavior most normal people find offensive and deviant, and if a guy refuses a first advance with a "No", he'll likely reiterate in much stronger terms should a second advance materialize.

Thank you Dan for offering another poll questioning only about .00085% of the population. That really settles the question for me.

It's true, absolutely true, that DODT is discrimination. That is not at issue. The military discriminates against all sorts of behaviors and anyone who labels himself by a behavior forbidden is rejected. Quite sensible and logical. Good for the military for standing up for what's right in the face of whiney, unsupportable contrary opinion. I hope they maintain that courage.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Thank you Dan for offering another poll questioning only about .00085% of the population. That really settles the question for me.

So, if it turns out that the military supports ending DADT and the majority of the US supports ending it - even the majority of Republicans! - what then, Marshall? Do you think we ought to let Marshall and Bubba make that call, contrary to what the will of the people is and contrary to what the military thinks is best for itself?

Shall we re-implement stoning "men who lay with men," and disrespectful children, too, while we're establishing the Theocracy of Marshall?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

The ramifications of putting homo and hetero together are exactly like joining the sexes so that simply dropping the policy does not take this fact into consideration.

What ramifications?

What are you afraid of, Marshall?

Marshall Art said...

Regarding Sunday School, I realize I did not articulate my feelings as I had hoped to. This is what happens when I try to squeeze in a little bloggin' in too short a span of time.

I in no way meant to intend any criticism of the children or their little video which I did not even watch. I see no point in doing so, though I did watch the other one. My point is similar to Bubba's, which is that based on all you have said, Dan, about your church and what you and it believes and preaches, I doubt I would approve of your SS curriculum, because I doubt how you and/or they would articulate Christian belief. Your understanding is poor and you constantly demonstrate, and you insist that you don't care for opposing opinions to that belief. A most intolerant, ungracious and unChristian attitude. You show no kindness toward anyone who voices their incredulity over how much Scripture must be twisted and stretched to meet your understanding of what's important and what isn't, as well as what can be assumed vs what shouldn't be.

I will also say that you are not honest in the way you discuss these things, insisting on exact quotes to support our opinions while demanding that we respect your lack of support for your opinions. You play self-serving games to defend your desire to believe what is, at best, a woefull weak understanding of Scripture.

The best example is your demand that I point to verses to support my contention that the theme of the entire Bible is Christ crucified. But the Bible itself, in its entirety IS the proof of this fact, and I alluded to a variety of ways this can be seen. The Bible is basically about the fall of man and his reconcilliation with God via Christ's saving sacrifice on the cross. Indeed, Christ crucified IS the Good News. The Good News is John 3:16.

Finally, it is indeed true that you add to the Bible in order to come away with an opinion as yours regarding homosex. Once again, as Neil puts it so well:

• 100% of the Bible verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
• 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
• 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
• 0% of 31,173 Bible verses, none refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Thus, with these facts in mind, one has to add to the Bible to come up with the laughable conclusion that ANY form of homosexuality is blessed, even "loving, monogomous" faux marriages.

Dan Trabue said...

Or, put it this way:

Tonight, there is a barracks with 100 male soldiers in it. Five of them (let's say) are gay. 95 are straight.

The straight guys can talk about their girlfriends all they want. They can talk about going to strip clubs and prostitutes, if they want and they can even go to these places. I don't believe in general the army tries to stop them from doing so.

The five straight guys can't talk about their boyfriends and have to pretty much keep their mouths shut when it comes to dating. If they even talked about going to a gay club, they might be kicked out of the military.

That's today.

Tomorrow, DADT is repealed. Now, those five gay guys COULD, in theory, talk about their boyfriends, if they wanted to. They could talk about going to a gay club on their own time, if they wanted to. They could do this without fear of losing their jobs.

THAT's the only change I see from one day to the next. What "ramifications" are you expecting? What will happen on the day after DADT is repealed (and it WILL be repealed) that you are so afraid of?

If you can't put your fears into words ("the day after it's repealed X will happen - cats and dogs will start living together, there will be mass hysteria..." specifically WHAT will happen?), then how can you ever hope to win people to your side of the argument?

Bubba said...

Oh, look, a phalanx of strawmen from Dan:

"So, if it turns out that the military supports ending DADT and the majority of the US supports ending it - even the majority of Republicans! - what then, Marshall? Do you think we ought to let Marshall and Bubba make that call, contrary to what the will of the people is and contrary to what the military thinks is best for itself?

"Shall we re-implement stoning 'men who lay with men,' and disrespectful children, too, while we're establishing the Theocracy of Marshall?
"

The questions are absurd, the answers are obvious, and the only reason the questions are being raised is to demagogue us -- as is the reason for the follow-up question, "What are you afraid of, Marshall?"

Good thing Dan Trabue believes in civil, respectful discussion.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, to sum up your "arguments," then...

1. You can provide NO - ZERO - bible passages to support your extrabiblical hunch that "preaching christ crucified" is the "primary mission" of the church.

[Does that not give you pause, if you can't find ONE SINGLE verse to support your position? Not ONE? And can you really expect a Bible-believer like me to be won over to your side if you can't support it AT ALL biblically?]

2. You can point to NOTHING AT ALL that is wrong with our children's video that they made with their own little hands or with the SS class that provided them the support to create that video themselves? NOT ONE THING.

I'd say that's a fair summation, although I'm sure you'll disagree based on... something. A hunch or a feeling in your gut or stiffness in your bones, SOMETHING, right?

Your hunch that we might be doing "bad stuff" is a fine hunch if you want to hold it, but if you can't point TO A SINGLE SHRED OF ACTUAL EVIDENCE - some quotes, a visit where you heard a heretical statement, SOMETHING - do you understand how people are going to see your attacks against a Church of God and its littlest members as small, ugly, petty, and not Christ-like?

Again, forget you're speaking to me. Think of how this looks to an outsider stopping by here.

You and Bubba attack a video created by, designed by, written and recorded by children. Yes, the adults provided the support for them to do so and Yes, we are proud of their end result, but it was THEIR video.

You can't point to a single thing in the video that is biblically or ethically wrong (of course, you can't, YOU DIDN'T EVEN WATCH IT!), and yet you feel free to dump on this video, rain on their parade, assuming that because it comes from a church where a fella you've written to/about on a blog for a few years attends. You disagree with this fella (even though he's saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus, even though he's a good, decent married fella, kind to animals, generous, charitable, affable sorta guy, if I do say so myself) and therefore, you think you have enough justification to attack his church, WHICH YOU'VE NEVER ATTENDED.

Even if you think you're right (and you're not), don't you see how ugly your witness is in this thread? For any reasonable outsiders, I'd say it would look like you're beating up on a bunch of kids whose video you haven't even watched.

I'd urge you to reconsider your position, which you hold based on nothing but gas and vapors.

An apology to the children and to Jeff St would be appropriate. (And, again, not for my sake - I don't care what you all say about me since you're so consistently wrong about me and because I don't know you - but for your own sake and for the sake of Christ's church, which you're dragging through the mud).

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

You show no kindness toward anyone who voices their incredulity over how much Scripture must be twisted and stretched to meet your understanding of what's important and what isn't, as well as what can be assumed vs what shouldn't be.

This, coming from the fella who attacks me and my church based upon nothing and who can provide no scriptural evidence for his position that he insists I ought to agree with and who can provide no support for a video which he hasn't watched and for which he can provide no specific criticism.

Again, forget it's me. Look at your words with fresh eyes and consider how they look, how ridiculous your hunches are, going unsupported as they have been.

Bubba said...

Dan, should we once again ask you what verses of Scripture convinced you that God blesses "gay marriage"? Or does it not matter that you cannot point to one verse -- NOT ONE VERSE -- to substantiate your position that God really condones behavior that the Bible consistently condemns?


About the church's primary mission, we HAVE pointed to the emphasis and content of the preaching in Acts and the apparent final role of the church in Revelation, namely proclaiming the Lamb by whose blood we are saved.

If you don't think that's enough, you still shouldn't lie and say we've provided nothing at all.

And I reiterate that it's obvious why you deny that the church even has a primary mission: it enables your deceitful attempt to subvert the church to your political agenda.


And about that video, WE HAVE explained what's wrong: it's not the content of the video, but the priorities that the project displays, in the context of your beliefs and your church's apparent beliefs.

Your church apparently uses Easter to celebrate nature and political protest, when the Bible is clear in its focus on Christ's bodily resurrection and His death for our sins.

I've linked to the Jeff Street blog posts that substantiate all this.


Somebody coming in "cold" might well draw negative conclusions about us from our criticisms.

Heck, they might even believe your lies about how your galling claim to be a "Bible-believer."

But we've exchanged enough words to know better, and I think it's obvious EVEN in this one discussion that we have provided our reasons for our conclusions, and that you're being petulant in your refusal to grant even that.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

You show no kindness toward anyone who voices their incredulity over how much Scripture must be twisted...

I do apologize if it sounds like I'm being unkind. I'm trying to respond in kind to how I'm treated, but more nicely. Perhaps you're mistaking me pointing out inconsistencies and false accusations and lack of support for arguments as being unkind.

It is my intention to be as respectful towards you as I would want you to be towards me and I am sure I fail in that regards. For that, I am sorry. I'm striving for the proper balance between being polite/respectful and correcting false accusations. Without a doubt, when it appears that some are striking out blindly and falsely towards my beloved community, it can be hard to maintain an appropriately respectful tone - and to be honest, I'm not always sure where that line lies (in rebuking/calling to accountability those engaged in making false charges and in doing so respectfully and appropriately).

I shall strive to do better.

Craig said...

"Do you think we are not free to reject God's grace, even after we're saved?"

Asked and answered.

No, I would argue that if one is truly saved then one would have no desire to exchange ones life as a new creation for life as the previous old creation. If we truly believe that one is a new creation and the old is passed away etc. then why would one assume that the new creation would have the same desires as the old.

I'll leave it at that as I don't wish to bore you, or stop your effective and incisive responses to the comments of the others here.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I would argue that if one is truly saved then one would have no desire to exchange ones life as a new creation for life as the previous old creation.

Indeed, that makes great sense. Unfortunately, we're fallible humans who don't always act in a rational manner, n'est ce pas?

Dan Trabue said...

sigh... I guess at least once more I'll wade in...

Your church apparently uses Easter to celebrate nature and political protest, when the Bible is clear in its focus on Christ's bodily resurrection and His death for our sins.

The key word there is "apparently," as in, "It appears to Bubba, thusly." Unfortunately, as I just noted to Craig, we're all fallible human beings, Bubba included.

Bubba may have in good faith drawn the conclusion (based on conversations with me in which he, unfortunately, has drawn many incorrect conclusions - I'm sure partially due to my inability to represent myself well and his own failings, as well) that my church is some boogety-man church, peopled with heretics and goons. But, Bubba has never been to my church, not even once.

He has never met in person anyone from my church, not even once.

And, unfortunately, Bubba is, like the rest of us, a flawed human being with a finite amount of genius. Bubba, like all of us, sometimes misunderstands, sometimes draws poor conclusions.

Which is not to single Bubba out, in anyway. As I have noted, I am a flawed human being and doubtless Bubba's misunderstandings of my positions and, by extension, my church's positions is at least partially due to my inability to express myself well enough to get him to understand me.

In truth (and in the real world, if you ever visit my church), Jeff St does not "use" Easter for anything.

On Easter, we celebrate the risen Christ. Here are some of our actual words (as opposed to anyone's take on our words) from Easter. Judge for yourself...

Dan Trabue said...

This Easter, I think it is quite easy for us to find God in the color Green. It is all about us. It is what gives us life in a very fundamental way. We eat Green, we live in a Green and Blue world, we breathe deep green cleansing breaths when we find ourselves outside in this Holy Creation. Thanks be to God.

And the wrens have returned and they're nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again
And the streams are all swollen with winter
Winter unfrozen and free to run away now
And I'm amazed when I remember
Who it was that built this house
And with the rocks I cry out

Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise


~The Color Green, Rich Mullins

Is there anything in that actual quote from actual Jeff St service that suggests we "use" Easter to "celebrate nature and political protest," as Bubba alleged?

Do we appreciate God's good creation? Why certainly! We're not unlike the Psalmist in that regards, or a million other Christians.

Or how about this song, written by one of our beloved young adults, imagining Jesus in modern day US...

He’d walk on into church like he owned the place,
and they wouldn’t see much more than the dirt upon his face.
And then a man would come and ask politely if he could show him to
the exits
but He’d walk right past and take the podium.

He’d say, “Blessed are the poor mechanics blessed are the miners’
families and
blessed are you who help the least of these.
And woe to you whose wealth is blinding; for you the kingdom will
be like driving through the eye of a needle in a white-washed SUV,”

…and they’d get mad. They’d get angry.
But I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Well just outside of Morgantown it threw a rod, the truck broke
down,
and He sent His friends ahead and they hitchhiked.
They found a room and just like He said there was a Schwinn and it
was red, and
they brought it to Him and He rode triumphant in.

Hosanna man, lay your flannel down. He’s ridin’ in, put your shirt on the ground.


Is there anything in that actual quote from actual Jeff St service that suggests we "use" Easter to "celebrate nature and political protest," as Bubba alleged?

Dan Trabue said...

Or what of this quote from a poem...

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices...


Or these from Dr King...

Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth.

Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate.

Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that. Difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future.

When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.

Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.


Or this quote, from the Apostle Peter...

For whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering because of consciousness of God, that is a grace.

But what credit is there if you are patient when beaten for doing wrong? But if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.

"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.


Anything unChristian or malignant about those words? Were we wrong to use them?

Dan Trabue said...

What of this excerpt from an Easter sermon from our pastor...

And ironically, in making that decision (towards non-violent resistence), Jesus was more dangerous to the ruling elite and to the Roman occupiers than were ...all the other rebel leaders to come.

Because while they could be crushed through military might, Jesus' way could not be crushed. In fact, Jesus would later dismantle the power and fear of the cross, the symbol of Roman execution, by inviting his followers to take it up and carry it.


Hallelujah! Jesus' way can't be crushed. Life IS stronger than death. Love IS stronger than hatred. Light IS stronger than darkness.

(another quote we often use at Easter)

Or what if this quote from that old radical fella...

I am the Resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even if they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.

Are we wrong for quoting the bible in each and every service, preaching sermons based upon those lovely words?

Or what of this Easter monologue written by yours truly? Is it horribly offensive from a Christian point of view?

Or what of this hymn we sing at least once a month, when we share communion...

Give us bread for the journey,
give us bread
Give us bread for the journey,
give us bread
When our limbs are getting heavy,
and we're hanging down our heads,
Give us bread for the journey,
give us bread...


Or, indeed, the lovely video produced by our children.

In any of our ACTUAL words, Bible passages, hymns, sermons, etc, do you find fault with them? With what we have actually said in our services? I know you have never attended them, but you can read our words and, if you wish to raise concerns about what we've actually said, please do, if you can do so in love and grace.

I'm just saying that I think the Christian thing to do is to deal with a person's/a group's actual position, rather than caricatures of them.

Where have we sinned?

Dan Trabue said...

Is it possible - just possible - that I and Jeff St represent something that is Different than what you are used to and that Difference is what is throwing you off? We don't tend to like to use tired, trite religious words that have become little more than cliches. We want to express God and God's wonderful grace in fresh, dynamic, powerful words to try to catch that Spirit anew.

We DO find God in creation and we are strongly and powerfully moved by God's revelation through nature and that may be different than what you're used to.

We DO read the Bible a bit differently than you - but not really so much. It is our heart's desire to follow God, to learn God's will, to walk in Jesus' steps by God's grace, as I'm sure is true for you.

Because this is our highest goal, we don't want to rely upon fallible human traditions alone, but we strive to dig deep into the Bible, into what we know about language and text and context and writing traditions to strive to discern God's Truth in the Bible. Do we get it wrong sometimes? I can absolutely guarantee it. We are fallible humans, after all.

But that we get it "wrong" on a point here or there does not indicate that we're not seeking God's will. Just that we're fallible.

Is it possible at all that you all have taken this church which you have not visited and which I've probably not explained well and seen that we are different than the normal, different than your tradition, and found more to criticize than Christian grace warrants?

Bubba said...

Dan, I appreciate the lengthy account of how Jeff Street celebrates Easter.

Your prior balking at the idea that our central mission is preaching Christ crucified, and your balking at the idea that Christ's death and resurrection are central to evangelism, does absolutely nothing to reassure anyone that your priorities align with Biblical Christianity.

Telling us how you celebrate Easter, in an effort to correct what you is my presumptuous misunderstanding, is a step in the right direction.


The problem is, much of what you quote is the stuff I've already seen at your Jeff Street blog, and I think it tends to confirm my suspicion rather than contradict it.


Your quote from your pastor is something I've already cited as problematic. Y'all act as if Jesus died as an act of "non-violent resistance," but the Bible doesn't support that claim.

Instead, the Bible teaches that Jesus died for our forgiveness, but THAT is conspicuously absent from everything that you've quoted.


It's not a matter of your using "fresh, dynamic, powerful words" instead of "tired, trite" cliches, because NOTHING that you've repeated here maps, for instance, to the Bible's clear teaching that Christ died for our sins.

It's not a matter of using different language to convey the same truths: it's a matter of downplaying or even overlooking some very crucial truths.


The fact that y'all quote John 11:25-26 is great. The fact that so little else of what you mention has anything to do with eternal life is troubling.

I honestly don't see a fierce fidelity to Christ and the written word He affirmed. If I had to choose between concluding that yours is a congregation that is genuinely Christian, or concluding that it's a group seeking to wrap another agenda in the trappings of Christianity, there's little that you've presented that makes me think it's rash and uncharitable to conclude the latter.

Bubba said...

Dan, the clearest example of what I find so troubling is what you quote from Peter -- and what you omit.

You quote I Peter 2:19-23, from the New American Bible (not the NASB)...

"For whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering because of consciousness of God, that is a grace.

"But what credit is there if you are patient when beaten for doing wrong? But if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God.

"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.

"'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.' When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
"

...but you stop there, omitting the chapter's last two verses even though they continue on the subject of Christ's death.

You stopped at 2:23.

What does the very next verse say?

"He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."

That you stop before getting to this passage says it all, really.

Marshall Art said...

Hard to catch up with all I currently have on my plate, so I'll just kinda shotgun things here:

First, I tried to explain in my last on the subject that I didn't mean to disparage any kids, admitting that I hadn't even looked at the video. Don't need to. My point wasn't meant to revolve around the video. My point was, as I said, that I don't believe the kids are getting the best possible Christian education their local congregation can provide because their local congregation, based on the words of one Dan Trabue, is not the best possible source of a good Christian education. NO, I have not visited Jeff St. But like Bubba, I have read about them through YOUR words, Dan. You do your best to portray them in as honest a manner as you can, I have no doubt (or rather, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt on that point). But based on as accurate a description as you have provided, I agree with Bubba that Jeff St. is found lacking.

So, before going any farther, let me say this separate from above so as not to be again improperly maligned:

I do NOT speak negatively of any children from Jeff St. I do not speak negatively of Jeff St. as one who knows it well. I speak negatively of the Jeff St. described by Dan Trabue, as well as the understanding of Christianity espoused by Dan himself.

Therefor, no further silly charges of ill intent against kids or Jeff St will be dignified with a reply.

I also resent having negative words applied to me for the simple act of defending the faith. There's nothing petty, mean-spirited, ugly, unChristian, unkind, ungracious or any of the other nastiness levelled against me for pointing out flaws in your theology and thus, the church you describe. I would better match those descriptions if I were to simply tolerate such poor understandings as having true worth. The fact is that you take offense only because the truth hurts, especially when you are unable to bend it to your satisfaction.

next point follows---

Marshall Art said...

Once again I will say that the primary message of the Bible is Christ crucified and my proof is the Bible itself. It is, as I say, the overarching theme of the Holy Tome and to reproduce the entire Bible here as my proof would be quite time consuming. I suggest you find an adequate teacher untainted by progressive nonsense and learn this most obvious fact. Further, the Good News of the gospels has always traditionally meant Christ crucified and I think if you google the term "Good News" or the question "What is the 'Good News' of the gospels/Jesus" you'll find more that backs me up than says otherwise, if anything does. What could possibly be more important, or even equal to, Christ's sacrifice on the cross that washed away our sin. Again, see John 3:16. Talkin' basic stuff here.

next point follows---

Marshall Art said...

Actually this point is more of the first:

"This Easter, I think it is quite easy for us to find God in the color Green. It is all about us. It is what gives us life in a very fundamental way...etc"

It is all about Christ's death and resurrection and what HE does for us. It's about HIM and the purpose for His existence on earth. Eating salad has nothing to do with it. What's wrong with your congregation that it need this irrelevant goofiness to keep them in the pews? What's wrong with your ministers that they think such is needed? What's wrong with your elders that they can't find a minister who can teach the Bible?

"Or how about this song, written by one of our beloved young adults, imagining Jesus in modern day US..."

Sounds like socialist class envy. Way to teach!

MLK's piece? Nothing about Easter there.

Bubba's comments on your pastor's words and the Peter exerpt will suffice for me. What I'm seeing is superfluous, irrelevant or activism mixed in with a scant mention of the reason for the season. These non-Easter-related
elements detract from the focus on the most important message, the primary message of the Bible and the Good News that is Christ's death and resurrection and what it did for us. I feel sorry for anyone for whom that message is insufficient in an Easter service.

next point next---

Marshall Art said...

"So, if it turns out that the military supports ending DADT and the majority of the US supports ending it - even the majority of Republicans! - what then, Marshall?"

Then the moral corruption that has lead to states forcing homo marriages and unions upon their citizens that would have voted against it will have spread to our military as well. The decadence that infects our culture will be matched in the military.

"Do you think we ought to let Marshall and Bubba make that call, contrary to what the will of the people is and contrary to what the military thinks is best for itself?"

Only if you want the RIGHT call. Of course if our nation descends deeper into moral depravity, there isn't a whole lot I can do about it except to continue championing the truth the rest of you have rejected. In the end, it won't affect me at all. Heaven's like the Marine Corp (pronounced "core", Barry), the few, the proud, the saved. There will simply be more room for the rest of us.

"Shall we re-implement stoning "men who lay with men," and disrespectful children, too, while we're establishing the Theocracy of Marshall?"

Like Bubba said in not so many words, that's a stupid and snarky question. But it's typical of you and your unique style of making bullshit analogies. You're mixing rules of sexual morality, which are still in play for all you out there seeking to be the best Christian you can be, with rules of atonement, no longer in force since Christ's crucifixion which is the perfect atonement for all of us who believe on Him. But in doing so, I would not be establishing any "Theocracy of Marshall" but only holding fast to God's will regarding human sexuality so clearly laid out in Scripture.

"What ramifications?

What are you afraid of, Marshall?"


You'd be better served by reading my comments in their sometimes long winded entirety rather than skimming. Then I won't have to repeat myself so often. As pregnancies, rapes, sexual misconduct rose with the introduction of women in formerly male military roles, such as the intro of women onto ships at sea, homo and lesbian sexual misconduct will rise as well. It can't NOT happen, particularly with their already notions of sexual morality being twisted as it is, but moreso due to simple logic and odds. To deny this is no more than knee-jerk defense for these unfortunately lost souls.

Eventually, perhaps in the next generation or possibly sooner, we'll see other sexually corrupted people looking for acceptance in or society and military. Polygamists are just drooling over these developments, rooting for homo success so that they can then move on their own agenda, using the same lies and distortions implemented by the homo activists. And YOU can proudly say you helped.

As to winning people over to my perspective, there's only so much I can do. I've presented facts and history and testimonies and links and sources over the years I've been blogging and without any solid examples to counter it, people like you insist on believing the lies and preaching them, be they of the theological version or the secular and biological. And the saddest thing is, should the change occur, and it does look to me that that sad day will arrive, it will happen due to pressure from the liars and distorters allowed by those in our culture too weak or misled to stand for the truth.

May God have mercy on us and spare us from ourselves.

Dan Trabue said...

Yes.

Dan Trabue said...

Yes, that is. God have mercy on all of us.

God have mercy on me, a sinner.

A sinner who has been wholly unable to share adequately with you all what a wonderful, Godly, Christ-like church of God that Jeff St is.

They are, bar none, the best representation of a local body of Christ that I have ever had the privilege of sojourning with in all my 48 years of life.

They reflect the fruit of the Spirit in such wonderful, powerful ways. They are merciful, as God is merciful. They are saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus and have been for years.

They love and take the Bible seriously - more seriously than any group I've ever known. There is pound for pound more collective knowledge of and study of the Bible in that church than in any church I've known.

They have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (the "fruit of the Spirit") in their lives in very tangible and obvious ways, unlike any collection of people I've ever known.

They strive, by God's grace, to walk in the steps of Jesus in ways that are simply amazing and God's grace and justice is so very evident in their day to day lives. And there is powerful evidence of this in the miraculous transformations and interventions God does through them.

They are a simple people, a giving people, they are a peace-making people, they are a people who look out for the widows, the orphans, the friendless, the foreigner, the marginalized, the least of these.

They are, in short, the humblest, most gracious and amazing collection of Christians I've ever known in one place. I am humbled to count these folk amongst my friends.

I am only sorry I have been unable to adequately convey to you just how very Christ-ian they are. Perhaps you'll forgive my poor attempts at explanation and reserve judgment of the whole until meeting them sometime, because you obviously have the wrong impression of them and I will blame that at least mostly on my own poor efforts.

When I include an excerpt from a service or sermon or song, I am not showing all of the sermon or song, just a bit. When Cindy, for instance, makes a claim like I quote in that sermon snippet, she's gone before that and explained why biblically and logically and morally, it makes sense.

I have obviously not been able to communicate the whole of Jeff St's witness to you in ways you can understand. I'm sorry for that. Don't judge these folk whom you've never met and whom you don't know based on that. I have obviously failed to convey to you their positions, or you would not have such harsh words.

You may ultimately disagree with me or us, and we may ultimately be wrong on a given notion, but it is not from anything other than an attempt to humbly walk with our God.

God have mercy on us all, indeed.

Dan Trabue said...

I asked Marshall what ramifications he feared if gays were allowed in the military. He responded...

As pregnancies, rapes, sexual misconduct rose with the introduction of women in formerly male military roles, such as the intro of women onto ships at sea, homo and lesbian sexual misconduct will rise as well. It can't NOT happen

So, we "let" women in the military and heterosexual misconduct happened.

You think if we let gays in the military, homosexual misconduct will happen.

There's a chance that this will happen, to be sure.

Is the answer to heterosexual misconduct to ban all heterosexuals and the answer to potential homosexual misconduct is to ban all homosexuals? Is that the consistent position you're advocating?

Marshall Art said...

Well, Dan. I think you've shown exactly how we should view your understanding and that of your church since every explanation always points to the same conclusions, conclusions that can't helped be drawn from a reading of your words. Are all those adjectives and attitudes suitable for you and your people? That's not the question. The question is how does it look when a Jeff St. congregant is, say, "tolerant" for example, or "patient"? Does it manifest in the enabling of poor behavior? As far as homosexuality, it most certainly does. In my world, it manifests as compassion for a lost soul struggling and confused about sinful urges he finds difficult to resist. In each case, both worlds welcome the sinner. In my world, we reflect the Godly position of continuing to place the sinful behavior in the sinful category where God put it, left it and has yet to tolerate it in any form. We pray that he overcomes his temptations by turning to God's loving help and we never let him believe it is other than in his best interest to perservere in his struggle, as we all must with our own temptations.

Also, in my world, the real world, we don't pretend that God's nature does not include harsh realities that would be beyond our ability to understand, such as sending an Angel of Death to Egypt who would spare those under the blood of the lamb, another symbol of the Savior to come, further supporting my contention of the Bible's primary theme.

Paul writes to Christian churches in his epistles that often, while still being enlightened and saved and Christian, still had much misunderstood and practiced and believed nonsense. I believe he would write such letters to Jeff St. and not to a church I attend.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, I am glad to hear that you're in such a much better place, spiritually, than I am. May God grant me the wisdom and maturity of Marshall.

Marshall Art said...

"So, we "let" women in the military and heterosexual misconduct happened."

You copy and paste my words, but don't read them, or, you read them in the same lame way you read the Bible. Your statement above suggests I alluded that sexual misconduct was unknown before the introduction of women into formerly male roles in the military. Of course there was sexual misconduct before this point in time. I said that it rose with the presence of women more commonplace. And, BTW, this is a perfect example that shows how it is YOU that misrepresents US. I know it is no stretch to say that neither Bubba or myself, or for that matter, Neil, Eric and some others rarely (allowing for the very slight possibility), if ever, so blatantly alter the meaning of a position in repeating it back to you.

But it's not that there's "a chance" of homo misconduct rising with the repeal of the UMCJ statute on homosex, it's a certainty because even if we were to agree with the obviously false statement that "they are just like us", then we'd be unable to honestly assume it can't or won't go up. And now, with no reason to hide or restrict their own bad behavior, they will indeed be free to be themselves in all the ways that can possibly mean.

So my greatest fear is that like the APA, who removed this condition from the this list of mental illnesses not due to a scientific breakthrough that proved anything about homosexuality, the military will simply bow to politically correct pressures without serious regard to the negative impact it will have on the military culture. And like society at large, it will suffer as a result. From a spiritual perspective, from a moral perspective, merely enabling has lowered us a children of God AND as a people supposedly cherishing truth.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

In each case, both worlds welcome the sinner.

In a sense, to be sure.

In my world, we reflect the Godly position of continuing to place the sinful behavior in the sinful category where God put it, left it and has yet to tolerate it in any form.

We agree. That is what we do in MY world, too! Jeff St takes very strong stands against sinful, oppressive behaviors, behaviors as described and condemned by our Lord, Jesus Christ.

We pray that he overcomes his temptations by turning to God's loving help and we never let him believe it is other than in his best interest to perservere in his struggle, as we all must with our own temptations.

This, too, is EXACTLY what we do in our world. And believe us, being around folks suffering from alcoholism, abuse, racism, sexism and a long list of very serious real world problems, it is something we deal with regularly and in very real ways.

How many drunk fellas do you have show up at your services? How many pedophiles walk your neighborhood and make appearances at your church? How many abusive men come to your congregation?

In our world, dealing with the ugly realities of sin is something we simply have to do and not on the theoretical level. And deal with it, we do, as best we can by God's grace.

Certainly, it does not involve condoning the hurtful sin nor enabling someone to continue in that sin.

Marshall...

Also, in my world, the real world, we don't pretend that God's nature does not include harsh realities that would be beyond our ability to understand

Same for us. There ARE some very harsh realities, as described by our Lord, Jesus. Sin has consequences.

So, you can see, we're not that different on what our goals are in following our Lord, Jesus, you and I. We DO, however, disagree on the nature of gay behavior - where you think there is biblical evidence that all gay behavior is sinful and we don't think that is true at all. We DO disagree, too, on the nature of war - where you think Christians can participate in killing our enemies and even the children of our enemies, where you think that sometimes God may even command us to kill the children of our enemies, and we, on the other hand, think such a position is biblically insane.

We have the same goal of following Christ, but we disagree on some behaviors. I chalk that up to our fallen human nature. Obviously, one of us is wrong, at least to some degree, and one of is more correct, at least to some degree, than the other.

The difference is (seems to me) that I strive to allow the grace that has been shown to me, that you are making your errors in ignorance. I don't think you aren't a Christian, just mistaken. I don't think you are a heretic, just far afield from what the Bible teaches on a few points.

As with you, I'm NOT ignoring your sin, I'm just striving to find a gracious way to correct what I believe to be your mistake without rejecting you as a brother in Christ.

Marshall Art said...

A humble but worthy prayer. For as poor a Christian as I am, many would find themselves closer to the truth by modeling themselves after me. Then together we can model ourselves after even better Christians who easily put me to shame.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

And, BTW, this is a perfect example that shows how it is YOU that misrepresents US. I know it is no stretch to say that neither Bubba or myself... so blatantly alter the meaning of a position in repeating it back to you.

I apologize. I was simply trying to summarize your position, not misrepresent it. I was not trying to imply that you said that before women were allowed in the army, there was no sexual misconduct. That's just a misunderstanding on your part.

I apologize for not being more clear.

But please, return to my actual point and my question...

Is the answer to heterosexual misconduct to ban all heterosexuals and the answer to potential homosexual misconduct is to ban all homosexuals? Is that the consistent position you're advocating?

Bubba said...

Dan, a few points, sincerely held and hopefully conveyed as diplomatically as possible.


1) I doubt you would believe me, and I myself would probably be skeptical if I were in your position, but I really would like to find out that I'm wrong in drawing my conclusion that you're not really a Christian.

If there were good evidence that you really understood and accepted the Gospel, and that you really sought to conform your beliefs to the Bible's clear teachings, I would gladly retract my current conclusion for the presumption that it would be shown to be, I would apologize at length, and I would accept you as a fellow Christian despite the many political and even theological disagreements between us, serious as those disagreements are.

But the evidence still points too strongly -- conclusively, really -- in the other direction, and I'm not going to take your word on this. Both the Bible and common sense tells us that we shouldn't trust that everyone who claims to be a Christian is being accurate and honest. You seem to have such a tenuous grasp on what is essential and important in Christianity, that while you're the best possible source for what you believe, I don't believe you're reliable in determining whether your beliefs match up to Christianity.

Regarding your outrage over the fact that I don't think you're a Christian, I will tell you that I'm tempted to turn the tables and ask you whether I should follow men like Dan Trabue or follow God. He gave me eyes to see and a mind to reason, and all the evidence points to your being a psuedo-Christian except your insistence to the contrary; I should not and will not accept that claim on faith, in defiance of all the evidence.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

2) About that evidence, it's still not clear where I misunderstand you. You say that I have drawn "many incorrect conclusions" about you, but it still seems to me that I understand your beliefs pretty well. Where we part ways isn't our understanding of the details what you believe, but the broad description of those beliefs and whether those beliefs are consistent with Christian faith.

In an earlier discussion, you explained how you believe that Christ's death is only a representation of God's grace but couched that belief in the claim that that position means that Christ's death caused our salvation "in a sense."

"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)."

I explained how that "sense" doesn't make any sense -- that the only sense that you mean Christ's death saves is that it really doesn't, and so you're using the phrase to mean THE EXACT OPPOSITE of its plain meaning.

I showed this by analogy: if one believes that baptism is merely a representation of saving faith (and it is), then it is completely misleading for that same person to say that we're saved by baptism "in a sense."

If baptism is merely a representation of saving faith, then baptism DOESN'T save in any sense at all: only faith saves.

Clearly, you believe that Christ's death did not cause our salvation -- our forgiveness and justification. You believe that we're saved by grace apart from Christ's death, and that Christ's death is only a "representation" or "manifestation" of saving grace rather than the actual means by which grace saves.

We seem to be on the same page on this.

Where we part ways is your claim that this belief means that Christ's death still saves in "in a sense," and my rejection of that claim as absurd and transparently deceptive.

And, at the highest level, where we part ways is your claim that your belief is consistent with Christianity, wholly orthodox, and biblically justifiable: I reject the claim, and I don't think you've been able to support it persuasively.

Neither of those disagreements stem from my misunderstanding what you believe. They both stem from my disagreeing with your evaluation of what your believe.

And note that I understand that evaluation: I just disagree with it strongly.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

3) In working my way to your most recent comments, I want to return to two questions I asked earlier, first about whether God has the moral right to end human life at His discretion.

I believe He does, because the alternatives are ridiculous.

God's right to end human life doesn't hold only at certain times and through certain means: it's not as if it's okay for God to take human life through natural disaster but not disease, or that He can rightly take your life at 75 but not 55.

God doesn't have the obligation to preserve our lives indefinitely: by giving us life, God isn't morally required to give us immortality automatically.

And the almighty God isn't blameless for what happens in the universe He created: He is sovereign.

My answer to my question is, I believe God does have the moral right to take from us the life He gives us, whenever and however He chooses.

You answered that you don't know.

The problem is, you don't act as if you don't know.

In the Jewish Scripture which Christ affirmed to the smallest penstroke, we have books of history, books that record the lives of real men in history, several of whom are in Christ's family tree while two met with Christ in the Transfiguration.

In Scripture's account of these men in particular -- Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and David -- we have records of God taking human life, either through supernatural catastrophe or human agency.

IF YOU REALLY DIDN'T KNOW WHETHER GOD HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE HUMAN LIFE, you would accept the possibility that these clearly historical passages should be taken at face value. Instead, you are adamant that they must (somehow) be taken figuratively because, you argue, the Bible is clear that taking innocent life is wrong. The implication is that you believe it's wrong EVEN for God who created that life in the first place, who sustains that life, and to whom that life belongs.

The logic of your argument regarding the difficult passages in the Old Testament require an answer that's more certain that "I don't know."

You should have the courage to acknowledge where that argument leads, or if you're really uncertain about God's right to take human life, you should express that uncertainty in your approach to Old Testament history.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

4) The other question is about whether an atheist can become a Christian without renouncing his atheism.

This is NOT a question about whether an atheist can be saved while remaining an atheist. It's about whether an atheist can ever properly be called a Christian, and while there is overlap between Christians and the redeemed, they're not identical groups.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure an atheist can even be saved.

I suspect that most atheists don't really deny God's existence in the core of their being; they have ample evidence of His existence (Rom 1:20) but might say He doesn't exist out of anger toward God, the way some people are overcome with anger and say of their family members, "I have no son" or "I have no father." That sort of anger precludes the repentance and faith that salvation requires.

But for those who genuinely deny God's existence, how is salvation possible?

Dan, you concede that repentance is part of salvation: "I believe repentance is our part of accepting God's grace."

Well, to Whom would an atheist repent? About what would he repent? How can one deny God but affirm God's law, transgressions against which repentance is needed?

You write, "Part of accepting God's grace is repentance for our breaking relationship with God."

If one continues to deny that the other Party even exists, how can he repent for a broken relationship with Him?

Agreeing that we appropriate salvation by faith, seems to preclude salvation for those who are outspoken in their faithlessness.

In His power, God certainly could save those who actively deny He exists, but if that's not a case of saving a soul against his will, I'm not sure what would qualify.

But, again, my question was on Christian membership, not salvation.


(As a brief aside on salvation, the Bible teaches that salvation involves not only forgiveness but regeneration. We're born again, to become new creatures (II Cor 5:17), and reverting from our new spiritual life to the old biological life, from zoe back to bios, is as inconceivable as a butterfly changing back to a caterpillar. The hypothetical in Hebrews 6 -- that if someone who is saved falls away, he cannot be restored -- doesn't necessarily imply that the "if" clause is possible in the real world. Consider I Cor 15:17; Paul doesn't really argue that Christ might not have been raised just because he draws out the logical consequences in an "if" statement.)

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

There is overlap between Christians and the redeemed, but they're not identical groups.

To be clear, one is a proper subset of the other. All true Christians are saved, but not all the saved are Christians. Moses and Elijah were saved, as evidenced by their presence in the Transfiguration, but they're not Christians, they're Jews. Enoch walked with God and was presumably saved as well, and Noah was presumably saved from damnation as well as the deluge, but these ancestors of Abraham weren't even Jews, much less Christians.

Salvation comes through Christ alone...

(Consider John 14:6 and Acts 4:10-12, and note the emphasis on salvation through Christ specifically. The Bible emphasizes salvation through Christ, one specific Person in the Trinity, suggesting that He has a specific role in salvation. That points strongly toward our being saved by Christ's death and not just the grace of the triune God.)

...and Christ saves all true Christians, but He also saves non-Christians, faithful Jews who predate Christianity (like Moses and Elijah), and faithful men who predate Judaism (like Enoch and Noah).

What makes someone a Christian is more than just whether he's saved: it's a reflection of what he believes.

For starters, a Christian must believe that Jesus is, you know, THE CHRIST, God's anointed (with the Greek title "Christ" or the Hebrew title "Messiah").

And while the theology of the first named Christians in Antioch (see Acts 11:26) was probably somewhat embryonic, we now have a mature theology informed by a closed canon. Mature and mentally capable Christians are certainly more apt to grasp the finer details more than children and the mentally handicapped, but the high-level boundaries of Christianity is pretty easy to outline.

Christianity affirms the crucifixion and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate. I John is explicit in denouncing those who deny the Incarnation.

Christianity is Trinitarian, which means that unitarianism is a heresy that places its adherents outside the boundaries.

Christianity is monotheistic, which places Mormons outside the boundaries as well.

And it should go without saying that Christianity is theistic.

Christians believe in God. Atheists don't.

An atheist cannot be a Christian. Q.E.D.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

5) That brings me to your recent comments.

"They reflect the fruit of the Spirit in such wonderful, powerful ways. They are merciful, as God is merciful. They are saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus and have been for years.

"They love and take the Bible seriously - more seriously than any group I've ever known. There is pound for pound more collective knowledge of and study of the Bible in that church than in any church I've known.

"They have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (the 'fruit of the Spirit') in their lives in very tangible and obvious ways, unlike any collection of people I've ever known.
"

I note your bizarre beliefs regarding Scripture; your tendency to deny the plain meaning of the text to reject what it affirms and embrace what it condemns (e.g., denying the historicity of THE PASSOVER while claiming that God blesses behavior that the Bible consistently forbids); and a habit of ripping passages out of even their immediate context to argue the opposite of the plain meaning of the text, as you have done with Psalm 106 and I Peter 2.

In light of all this, I can't believe the claim that your congregation takes the Bible seriously. Their views likely don't diverge too far from yours. More, you don't seem to take the Bible seriously, so you're no judge of whether careful Bible study is taking place.

But, going back to the question about atheism, my point is that behavior isn't enough.

It's not enough if a group of people seem to display the fruit of the Spirit.

Paul was clear that if someone preaches a different gospel, he's accursed, and he gave no exceptions for good behavior.

John was equally clear that the denial of the Incarnate Christ comes from an antichrist, and again he made no exceptions for seemingly kind and merciful people.

("And what I do I will also continue to do, in order to deny an opportunity to those who want an opportunity to be recognized as our equals in what they boast about. For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." - II Cor 11:12-14)

Doctrine matters, Dan.

You say your church reflects God's Spirit "in powerful ways," but Christ Himself warned of false prophets who would attempt to deceive with signs and omens (Mark 13:22).

The fruit of the Spirit is necessary for a healthy and authentic Christian congregation -- necessary, but not sufficient.

Doctrine matters, too, and if your congregation downplays or denies that Christ died for our sins and was raised bodily, then that's a troubling sign that simply isn't ameliorated by all its good deeds.

If your church puts more time and energy celebrating nature and political activism than it does telling the lost about the gift of forgiveness and eternal life through Christ's death and resurrection, that's worrying.

There was a time when you pointed to the fit between your beliefs and the Nicene Creed, in order to argue that your beliefs are clearly within Christian orthodoxy. As we find out more and more about what it is you believe, you increasingly emphasize everything but the details of Christian doctrine.

"They are a simple people, a giving people, they are a peace-making people, they are a people who look out for the widows, the orphans, the friendless, the foreigner, the marginalized, the least of these."

Do they preach Christ crucified?

If they don't, they might be a great social and charitable organization, but they have no real business calling themselves a Christian church.

Keep doing whatever it is y'all want to do, but don't call it by what it evidently isn't.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Do they preach Christ crucified?

Yes, Jeff St most certainly does preach Christ, his life, his teachings, his crucifixion, his resurrection, his going on to prepare a place for us, his invitation to us all to come and go with him to that land. We preach it all. We're a full gospel church, in that regards.

As you can see, I believe, in the little quotes from our services. However, if you can't see it, it's there, nonetheless, as you would see if you attended a service.

Bubba...

Doctrine matters, too, and if your congregation downplays or denies that Christ died for our sins and was raised bodily

Yes, doctrine DOES matter. It matters whether or not you think God does evil or if God is a God of good and love. It matters if you think Jesus advocates stuff he never advocated or opposed stuff he never opposed. Doctrine, in many important ways, matters. You and I agree upon that much.

And we believe Jesus died for our sins. We believe that is one legitimate way to consider the atonement. The Bible speaks of atonement in various ways and Jeff St affirms all of them, I believe I'm safe in saying.

Jeff St also believes in the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

And, as I've stated repeatedly, I (and Jeff St, too) believes that we are saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus. We believe that we are sinners in need of salvation. We DON'T believe in being saved by our good works, but by God's grace. We believe in repenting for our sins and dedicating our lives to Jesus and his actual teachings, his actual way, as best we can understand it by God's grace.

We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and we take it extremely seriously. We take it seriously enough to not just knee-jerk take every line literally, but rather, we study to show ourselves approved, we strive to discern God's will. We believe in striving to understand the language, the text and the context. We believe that in order to rightly understand and interpret the text, that it is vital to read it in the genre that it was written - it does no one any good to treat hyperbole literally or to treat epic or mythic storytelling as factual history.

We are quite orthodox in ALL of these beliefs, as I have pointed out.

Now what?

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