Monday, March 25, 2013

From the Cornucopia: A Lesson To Learn

As Geoffrey can tell you, I'm one of his biggest fans.  That might mostly be by default because it's quite possible he has fewer readers than I.  But his is one of the blogs I visit regularly for a host of reasons.  OK.  A "host of reasons" might be an overstatement, but certainly curiosity is one of them.

I get a lot of heat when I visit Geoffrey's blog.  He likes to say that I visit just to argue and he's not about to argue with me, that he doesn't need to explain himself and that I don't understand anything he writes anyway and on and on and on.  He also likes to say my comments are like a flaming bag of poop some kid leaves on someone's porch.  Ironically, I am often accused of being the hateful one by people like the intrepid Parklife. 

But recently, Geoffrey has posts on the subject of "God is love".  This one in particular I initially found quite hypocritical.  It doesn't jibe with his overall attitude when one considers his posts about members of the right-wing or his responses to my comments.  He's really a nasty-assed kinda guy. 

But that's what really got me.  Those posts of his against the nasty he feels justified in putting out on the world wide web.  And I got to thinking about the manner in which I often deal with particular visitors to this, my own blog. 

Now, I could defend myself, and I think quite well, in that I give back only what's been given.  I don't, for example, just jump down Parkie's throat except that he has proven incapable of posting a thoughtful comment of substance that provides something that could compel true reflection or consideration.  And Feodor also enjoys tainting every comment of his with condescension and derision and thus, I often leave a little for him as well, especially when his crap is directed to other visitors. 

And while I can also defend myself by repeating that I don't pretend to be one of Christ's twelve, I am more than a little concerned after re-reading Geoffrey's post and realizing that I might be as hypocritical as he is.  Sure, he's better at it than me, but degrees of asshat don't enter into it. 

I often feel that some people exist as a test.  God puts them in our lives so as to see if we really live His second greatest commandment.  We all have these people in our lives and usually in far greater numbers than we feel is fair.  It really is how we treat those who treat us poorly that matters.  And some of these people can be examples to us of how we should NOT treat those we don't like.  For this I owe Geoffrey thanks for the lesson learned.  May I be granted the strength to put it into practice.


Neil said...

Marshall, you are a bad man for tempting me to read his post. Good for you for baiting him into such rank hypocrisy in the comments section. He couldn't sustain his God is [JUST] love bit for one sentence.

As usual, Geoffrey et al preach a false Gospel. No repentance. No need to trust in Jesus for your salvation. Just New Age nonsense about how our "real" problem is that we don't realize that we're already OK with God blah blah blah. I am so glad I left the Methodists. John Wesley would never stop throwing up knowing that people like him claim their religion as Christianity.

But thanks for reminding me of how he outed himself years ago on my blog -- . I really appreciated his concession that we worship different Gods -- with me worshiping the true God revealed in his word and Geoffrey worshiping a made-up god.

And kudos to you for being convicted of something despite his bad theology.

Blessings to you, and have a great holy week!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Before I post a response to a comment on my blog, I have my wife read it to see if I am being "mean" - she will once in a while suggest some changes which give a better tone.

BUT, I just have her do that for comments on MY blog and just hope it rubs off for comments on OTHER blogs!

Neil said...

Good strategy, Glenn!

And my apologies to Marshall for getting off track. His larger point is a good one. Being less of a jerk may make us feel better in our own eyes, but the real point is that compared to Jesus' standard we are all miserable failures . . . which is why we need him.

Marshall Art said...

Wow, Glenn. My wife thinks blogging is stupid.

I tried thinking in terms of reduced meanness in my responses. But I've decided that simply responding as honestly as I can is best, and if it comes off as mean, they can kiss my ass (just kidding). There's a big difference between giving offense and taking offense. I can't worry about either in this medium. It's just too hard and a waste of time trying to get one's point across while worrying about hurting feelings. While it's true that one can do so while maintaining, as Dan T would call it, "graciousness", simply responding out of a mindset of graciousness should suffice. Too often, I stand accused after responding with no intention of insulting. That's really an insult to me that I would be assumed to be trying to insult.

The fact is that the truth hurts and dealing in truth to the best of our ability will often result in hurt feelings. Must we really preface every comment with, "don't take this the wrong way, but..."?

My point is that I will endeavor to try to respond without malice, without any intention of trading insults (unless my opponent enjoys it, then it's fun for both of us). But then, it has never been my intention of simply doing that in the first place.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

My wife has her own blog for women; encouragements, devotionals, etc. She's linked from mine and vice versa.

I don't worry about offending with the truth - I just have to worry about offending with my demeanor. While I left "bad" words years ago, I can still get quite nasty when my dander is up. There are some trolls who really get to me, and I have to be careful. That's what my wife is for - she is the most compassionate person I have ever met.

Craig said...


The hypocrisy of some on this issue is obvious.

A few weeks ago I was with Scott McKnight talking about his book The Jesus Creed. His point is that Jesus response to "What is the most important commandment" responded with "Love the Lord your God..., and Love your neighbor...". He then said that this is the underpinning for all other commandments.

The interesting part is when he was asked to define love. McKnight basically said that the mis definition of love is a major problem.

What I see on the left is an emotion based, touchy feely, warm fuzzy kind of love, that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of a Biblical view of love.

While it is not surprising that these folks have fallen for this limited view of what love is. It is surprising that they don't even try to live up to this watered down shallow love they espouse.

We could all copy/paste numerous quotes from the usual suspects that demonstrate your point. But I've seen too much effort put into justifying this "loving" attitude to take it seriously.

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that I haven't responded to others in ways that are not loving. It's safe to say we all have. It just seems like some folks revel in it while others don't.

Craig said...

A quick follow up. There is one commenter we know who has admitted that he intentionally comments in such a way as to incite those with whom he disagrees. Once he has done so then the mocking begins. I really have a difficult time seeing how this behavior can be consistent with Christian love.

Neil said...

Good points, Craig. Real love is having the long-term best interests of others at heart, even if holding those views makes you unpopular.

Feodor said...

"Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

"They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.

"Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

"This is my commandment...

that you love one another as I have loved you.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you."


And as the prodigy in payos says, "it is absurd to apologize for a mystery."

Marshall Art said...

Rather than apologize for the mystery of how your comments have any relevance to the issue here, feo, why not explain that relevance. Try using English when doing so.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Wow. You all really need lives.

By way of substantive response, I'll farm it out to St. Karl of Basel: "The atheism that is the real enemy is the ‘Christianity’ that professes faith in God very much as a matter of course, perhaps with great emphasis, and perhaps with righteous indignation at atheism wild or mild, while in its practical thinking and behavior it carries on exactly as if there were no God. . . . Let all who believe themselves to be Christians consider this: that in this third form atheism is a really evil thing. But this is the form in which it prospers in Christian families, homes (including ministers’ homes), groups, associations, institutions, [political] parties and newspapers. " I'd add blogs to the list.

Happy Easter, all. Remember on Sunday, Christ is Risen, indeed!

Marshall Art said...

Hey Geoffrey! I have a life. It's really quite a good one, all things considered.

As for your St. Karl quote, with only the best of intentions, in keeping with the spirit of this thread, I don't think I need stick my neck out to once again suspect that you have missed the point of Karl's comments, as they not only don't apply to anyone here (except for perhaps your brother, feo and yourself), or the post itself, but you couldn't make the connection if your life depended upon doing so. Not that I truly expect you to try.

But in that same spirit, I'll give you some hints:

The post had to do with two main points. The first was your hypocritical posts regarding God's love and how we are to be examples of it, and the second was how your being such a poor example led me to review my own behavior and how that review compels me to work harder to model the Christian ideal of loving they neighbor. Where your accusation of atheism fits in anywhere is likely only in your own mind.

Marshall Art said...

While I'm we're it, I would also like some explanation regarding the distinction between you critiquing people you don't know (or understand), such as anyone right of center, and me critiquing you. You point to flaws you perceive in right-wing people (usually wrongly), and it is an act of noble judgement on your part. I questioned perceived flaws in your commentaries, and I'm pooping on your porch. Please explain.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Every time you say someone has missed the point, Art, an angel gets its wings.

Parklife said...

"I would also like some explanation.."

marsha... always looking for an explanation...

Marshall Art said...

"...always looking for an explanation..."

Parkie and Geoffie...never giving one.

Marshall Art said...

"Every time you say someone has missed the point, Art, an angel gets its wings."

Well, that's for the best, Geoff, because if they had to rely on you getting the point, they'd still be taking the bus.

Parklife said...

Perhaps youre missing something. Nahhh..

Marshall Art said...

Anytime you think I may have missed something, Parkie, you be sure to take the time to articulate what you think that is.

Parklife said...

Hmm.. interesting.. seems Ronald Reagan might have supported gay marriage..

Marshall Art said...

Hmm...interesting...seems Patty Davis is as much a clinical idiot as is Parkie.

Parklife said...

lol.. do you really care what a corpse thinks about gay marriage...

Marshall Art said...

"Hmm.. interesting.. seems Ronald Reagan might have supported gay marriage.."

Yeah. That was me who brought up the dead guy.

You really don't need to continue proving my point, Parkie. There's no doubt how lost you are. Seek help.

Mark said...

Feo quoting the scripture was an effort on his part to prove what we all already know, and that is, that God is a loving God. So stipulated. However, God is also a just God, a justice that is rooted in his love. For example, If you love your son, and he was preparing to rob a bank, wouldn't you, out of love for him, do whatever you had to do to stop him, including turn him in to the police? I would. That is justice rooted in love.

Feodor said...

Yes, Mark, absolutely. Bank robbing is wrong.

Your intuition on this point is spot on.

It may interest you to know, and validate your thinking on this point, that there have been very good laws prohibiting bank robbery for a very long time.

I applaud your new commitment toward understanding just laws.

And that God is love.

Marshall Art said...


Rather than try to portray yourself as having a superior intellect (you don't) or that Mark's is far less so that yours (not a chance), withhold your comments until you have something truly intelligent to say. Mark was NOT debating the legality or morality of theft. Not in the least. Thus, your weak sauce attempt to "expose" him as your inferior just makes you look really, really stupid. If you have any questions about Mark's intentions in his last comment, I'd be more than happy to explain it to you.

Feodor said...

Pray, tell, Marshall, what a debate could possibly look like about "the legality or morality of theft"?

I'll start you off:

Person 1: "Theft is an immoral crime because one absconds with the property of another, thus making the other a victim."

Person 2: ..... (Here's where you jump in, Marshall. What could Person 2 possibly say that turns into a debate?)

Marshall Art said...

Pray, tell, feo, what a feo with common sense could possibly look like?

I'll start you off:

#1. Face brick wall.
#2. Slam forehead repeatedly into brick wall. (Here's where you jump in, feo: "Wow! I've been so stupid!")

Your first comment to Mark was stupid. Apparently that wasn't enough for you. Now, you come back to make sure you've made the point with a far more stupid comment. We're convinced, but I'm sure you'll bore us with a third attempt.

Or, you can check yourself as I once again school you. Mark was not talking about just laws or implying he was in any way unaware laws dealing with theft exist. If this doesn't help you figure out what his point was, let me know and I'll tell you that as well.

What's more, I made no reference regarding the morality or legality of theft. Nothing in this post deals with the legality or morality of theft.

I say all this because it saddens me to see you continue to do yourself no service with your constant attempts to sound brilliant. It isn't working. The results of these attempts only hurt you. For your own sake, please stop. Satisfy yourself with stating your positions without the condescension and arrogance. You'll enjoy your visits far better.

Feodor said...

You know, Marshall, there are philosophers who claim that writing must have preceded speaking since reasoning requires ability for binary thinking: one thing has an opposite; how to choose? You are an argument in the hands of their opposition.

It may turn out that Mark is your intellectual superior. At least he knows what he writes about.
It’s clear to me that Mark is making sure that we know that he knows there are some moral absolutes. Robbery is breaking the law. He writes this almost like one would write 2+2=4. I was not thinking that he was debating a debatable claim; I was asking why in the world would he write something that doesn’t even need saying. Does 2+2=4 need saying? Does “bank robbery is criminal and who would not stop their child doing criminal activities” need saying?


But then you come along and, in a huff, straight out announce to your audience that Mark was clearly not debating the issue!!! “Not even close!!!” you said. Whoever said he was? You’re the only one thinking that the point that “bank robbery is criminal” is debatable. No one else even conceived of a debate about such except you. Mark is clearly not (even you know this; “not even close”) and I never said he was (which you didn’t grasp).

Yet, in your defensiveness, you write as if a debate were possible – that a case could be made, if Mark had decided to write differently, that bank robbery is not criminal. Such a possibility exists in the way you wrote: the possibility that we could debate whether bank robbery is criminal. You claim that Mark himself was not doing that and wasn’t even close to doing that. What you wrote is tantamount to saying that Mark was NOT debating whether 2+2=4, not EVEN CLOSE. Well, would think that that is debatable?

Apparently, part of you does.

So, you don’t understand what Mark is saying. You didn’t grasp what I was saying to Mark or my response to you. And you don’t fully grasp what you yourself are saying.

That’s four strikes. You should have sat down earlier.

Mark said...

I was pointing out that many Liberals, and unbelievers (but I repeat myself) use the argument that God couldn't punish the wrongdoers (such as homosexuals) because He is a loving God, but they seem to forget the other side of the issue; that although God is a loving God, He is also a just God. He is just because He loves.

And, love is not the same as lust, two more words Liberals and homosexuals confuse with each other.

And one more thing. God is Love, but regardless of what homosexuals believe, Love is not God.

Feodor said...

See, now that's a shame. Mark was on such solid footing when he was calling bank robbery a crime. Now he's done gone and tripped all over himself with God is Love is not God is not Lust is God Liberals are Unbelievers are Homosexuals are Liberals are Homosexuals are Unbelievers foolishness.

What can it mean, Mark? You woke up, had some coffee and returned to your confused self.

Marshall Art said...

I guess there's no stopping feo once he's committed to making a fool of himself. It's just so sad. I wonder when he will find solid footing.

Let's review:

Mark speaks of a parent's love for his/her child withstanding bad behavior, in this case, preparing to rob a bank, and how that love might manifest in reporting the offspring to the authorities.

feo thinks Mark is talking about bank robbery.

I seek to clarify for feo that Mark was NOT debating the legality or morality of theft. Not in the least.

feo then cannot extricate himself from this obsession over debating the morality or legality of theft, suggesting that I have in some way sought to opine on the subject, when I clearly haven't.

As I predicted, feo returns and brings the tedium. In his last tiresome comment to me, he asks...

"Does “bank robbery is criminal and who would not stop their child doing criminal activities” need saying?"

Obviously Mark felt it did in order to make his point regarding God's justice versus His love. Unlike feo, Mark likes to be clear.

As to what needs to be said, this aspect is most ironic, as Mark's original comment referred to feo's list of verses...that didn't need to be said and thus served no purpose here in listing them.

Pretending that I have committed four strikes, when I have not even suited up for the game of which you speak, does little but cement the impression of you that your earlier sad comments have so clearly made. Surely you are near China considering how deeply you've dug your hole. That's so sad.

Parklife said...

lol.. marsha.. does it bother you that GW Jr. is gay?

Marshall Art said...

It would bother me to know that anyone is a homosexual, including you. I have true compassion for people, not the false variety so favored by people like yourself, Dan T, feo and other enablers. But you see such compassion as hatred and bigotry because of your own hatred and bigotry for those who don't see things your way. That type of hypocrisy and moral corruption bothers me far more than learning of someone's disordered attraction to members of the same sex.