Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Irony

kmw Ghosties 1 by paynehollow
kmw Ghosties 1, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

IRONIC FUNDAMENTALIST COMMENT OF THE DAY:

Warning: Be sure to save your comments if you post at [Mr X's] site. He has a history of deleting comments, only to then lie about what the comments really said. Should we be surprised that a false teacher would do such a thing?

This was said by a Religious Right sort of dude who routinely moderates, deletes and bans those who disagree with them and has set up a whole blog dedicated to lying about people's positions, twisting their words and comments and, of course, refusing to allow them to defend themselves!

Is it really possible that this person fails to see the irony?

It truly is amazing how consistently - at least in my tiny little corner of the blogging world - that there is ONE group of bloggers that ban and moderate comments: The Religious Right (or maybe Christian Fundamentalists is the better descriptor?).

There ARE exceptions - Marshall, Doug and Chance (and John, when he belonged sort of to the Religious Right) allow people to make comments and are prepared to get in there and discuss their views and our views without feeling the need to moderate or delete or ban outright. Good for them on this point, if nothing else.

But beyond those few hearty souls, religious right blog after religious right blog, nearly down to the man (and it IS almost always men), either moderate or outright ban and delete comments from those who disagree too much on the wrong topics.

Why is that?

I tend to call it cowardice - that they're afraid to engage with those with disagreeing opinions - that they're afraid to let people defend their own arguments, scared that other people will be won over by the "false teachings" of "heretics" and "pagans." But they DO engage in SOME conversation, even if only for a little bit, with people they disagree with. So, they're not totally averse to having conversations with those who disagree.

But sooner or later (oftentimes sooner), the ban comes down, the moderation goes up.

Or, truly, many, many of these sites have moderation on right from the get-go. They want to be the gatekeeper to approve only those messages that they deem worthy (based on what? one wonders).

So, there IS an element of fear in their moderation/banning, but I don't think that's exactly the right word. Intellectual laziness, perhaps - they don't want to have to spend TOO much time defending their position - that might be part of it, at least for some of them.

But is there a more apt term for that sort of behavior?

And worse, what of those who will spend whole threads demonizing/twisting/slandering/gossiping others they disagree with and then refuse to allow that person to defend themselves?

What IS the best word for such despicable behavior?

Cowardice? Intellectual laziness? Anti-intellectualism? Ungentlemanly or Unseemly (those both seem way too mild)? Indecorous? Untoward? Indecent??

I'd love to see some study into how widespread this phenomena is (after visiting dozens of such sites, personally, I'd say I've seen it in at least 90% of them) of banning/moderation by the religious right (or fundamentalists) and how it compares to those who are not more fundamentalist in nature?

It would also make for any interesting psychological study, I'd think.

256 comments:

1 – 200 of 256   Newer›   Newest»
Alan said...

I actually have no problem with people moderating or deleting comments or banning commenters, which is why I've never complained about being banned from any number of right wing wacko blogs. I consider it a badge of honor. Every time I get banned from a blog, a fairy gets his wings.

If someone came to my front porch and took a crap, you can bet that I wouldn't leave it there, nor would I allow the person to return. And in some sense, that's what your favorite trolls do here again and again and again. You don't have a problem with it, and that's fine ... Your blog, your rules. (That said, I've never banned anyone nor deleted comments, but that's because I am lucky enough to only have adults commenting on my blog, not unruly children. If the trolls trolled, I'd feel perfectly happy to ban them.)

Having said all that, what I find amazing is not that HWMNBN bans people, because I couldn't possibly care less about that. What I find amazing is that he has the stones to criticize anyone else for deleting, moderating, or modifying comments. I mean, is he *serious*? I've often assumed he didn't have two brain cells to rub together, but are you frakin' kidding me with that crap?! LOL Wow what a nut!

Unfortunately, it is simply more evidence to add to the stack of already existing evidence that he is, like most of his wackadoodle nutcase fundie friends, a hypocrite.

On the upside, at least he does something really, really well! If you've got a gift for being a hypocritical sack of excrement, at least you should do that to the best of your ability!

But then, as I have also often observed, wingnut wackadoodle fundies often seem to be missing the irony gene. (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they're simply irony challenged. The alternative is that they're just stupid as bricks.)

Alan said...

As for the other issue you mention: some people's bizarre and unnatural obsession with other people and/or their bizarre and unnatural obsession with other people's sexual orientation -- which they "supposedly" don't share -- well... that's a complete mystery to me too.

I assume that the busybodies, tattletales, fusspots and scolds who have to make up friends and enemies on the internet do so because they can't get their fat asses off their crumb-encrusted barcaloungers and turn off the interweb long enough to shake off the Cheeto dust and go outside into the big scary world and screech at real people.

But that's just a guess. ;)

Alan said...

OK, I just peeked....

Funny how HWMNBN claims that he "ignores" your blog, yet seems to be so up-to-date on what you write.

LOL. Sort of like how he used to claim that he never visited my blog or ER's blog because he had blocker software on, yet always seemed to know what we had to say, and even had quotes, and also commented at ER's blog.

Liar, liar, pants on fire. ;)

Gotta love the second he trashes any of his favorite obsessions, all his little boyfriends pile on with "Me too! Me too!" to try to get his attention. It's like watching some sort of creep-tacular middle school dance, populated by nasty old guys.

Marshall Art said...

First of all, Neil is quite clear what provokes him to delete or moderate comments: repetition of the same refuted points of the past. Why must he engage in the same debate over and over again arguing against the same bad theology? Some of us don't mind doing that, others do. That's not cowardice or dishonesty, that's weariness and being fed up.

Next, "lying and twisting" is what you call conclusions of your positions by others that don't sound good being bounced back to you. People can't be blamed for the conclusions they draw from your words. In the medium, it is not always easy to get across a point as clearly as one hopes, and with some readers, like Geoffrey, damned near impossible. When so many have come away with the same conclusions, perhaps it's you. In my case, eventually the "twisting" stops after I've re-stated my position. But your arguments contain a plethora of holes which have never had a spoonful of dirt thrown in them, much less been filled.

Finally, as I skipped over most of Alan's likely hateful and snarky comments, I did see where he accused Neil of covertly visiting here. It really isn't necessary for him to do if Dan shows up at other blogs Neil visits to try his spiel on new victims. Indeed, Neil stated that he found Dan at a site Neil lists on his blogroll. Whether Neil does visit here or not I can't say. He might check something out upon request of another, but until you can prove anything, you've done nothing more but show your hatefulness in making accusations. Not surprising considering the source.

Marshall Art said...

BTW, I've taken to deleting one troll's comments at my blog until he decides to post something with substance. I haven't checked into what is entailed in an outright ban, but on the surface, it seems more like work than I'd prefer blogging to be. If effortless, I could see banning this particular punk for the same reasons Neil bans anyone, if he truly does: lack of substance or repeating poor and thoroughly refuted arguments.

BTW, I've been banned by you Levelers friend, the false teacher with three names. Neil has been poorly treated and misquoted by that Currie dude. It happens all over but for different reasons. In my case, it was for trying to get holes filled. That's not the excuse Michael gave, but "monopolizing" a conversation in print doesn't make sense.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I give credit where credit is due. Art, you show up, comment, and engage in discussions, even though there is just no point of contact among us.

Neil is, as Alan has and Dan have both stated quite clearly, a coward, a liar, and revels in his Amen Choir cheering him on in his nonsense. He once had the truly tremendous sack to comment at ER calling me a lying, hypocritical something-or-other. Far from being hurt, I laughed when I read it, because he was not describing me, but himself! It was really quite something to watch him rant, spittle-flecked, about me when, in fact, I have always been the one who instigated conversations between us, I have always sought dialogue with him, and my comments have always been on topic. He, on the other hand, edits/bans comments, then after deleting them, lies about the comment once they have disappeared from view. He, not I, was banned from his Chuck Curries stalker blog, for doing nothing more than pointing out that he had completely distorted Currie's position on a particular issue.

He gets his jollies his way, and that's fine. That he feels some need to create some alternate reality in which to frame his own heroism and martyrdom in the face of all the horrid false teachers in the world, well, that says a whole lot about him.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Part of me would love to have a real theological discussion with him on real theology. I would love to see something by him on, say, the Trinity, the hypostatic union, extra ecclesiam nunc salus, the relationship between time and eschatology. That kind of thing. Instead, readers are served up with big doses of silly stuff like "dalmatian theology" (where Satan looks like Cruella DeVille, perhaps?), "refutations" of Darwinism that wouldn't be acceptable in a philosophy survey class, and no fetus left behind. Oh, and don't forget gays. Gays in our schools, gays in our churches, gays in the military, gays in showers getting ready to pounce on you.

If he showed even a moderate amount of familiarity with something resembling real Christian thought, I might be more interested. His is a cult of personality, with which I want nothing to do.

Alan said...

"but until you can prove anything, you've done nothing more but show your hatefulness in making accusations. "

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

MA, you and your little boyfriends might enjoy the middle school playground aspect of all this silliness, and I enjoy laughing at it from a distance, but I have no interest in debating you. Dan and Geoffrey know all about the particular quote HWMNBN loves to obsess about from my blog from a long while back, and if he can quote it (from memory, probably) I can only assume he can do so because he loves visiting my "porno blog" as he calls it.

If you'd have actually read what I wrote above, you would have seen me say the same thing I always say when you nutjobs start your little internet spit wad contests: I don't hate people on the internet because I unlike you, I have a real life. I may think you're a total moron on the internet, but I don't for a minute think I know what you're like in real life, and I don't waste my time hating anyone I've never met.

Now I know your pathology runs too deep to even begin to comprehend that, but there it is, for the umpteen billionth time, if you care to read it.

Otherwise, I'll assume you will just go on lying about my hate for everyone on the planet because I simply dare to disagree with the Great and Powerful MA.

Alan said...

"He, not I, was banned from his Chuck Curries stalker blog,"

Well, yeah, given the obsessive cyberstalking going on, one can hardly be surprised that anyone would ban HWMNBN.

It's either that or come home to find a bunny boiling on your stove some day.

The whole "I will not be ignored!!!" schtick of his was stupid but tolerable for a couple posts, but after a couple hundred it just gets really sick and weird.

Seriously, if you're going to be posting about someone every day, you should either be married to that person, or someone needs a major time-out or a restraining order.

Alan said...

BTW, MA, it's cute how you jump in to defend your BF. ;)

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I had a short email exchange with Currie when I first discovered the crush-blog. Currie was gracious and generous, everything Neil never is. I told Rev. Currie I found the blog a bit creepy and, in my own words, wondered how he, Currie, felt because it was quite clear that Neil had "a hard-on" for him. While crude, the metaphor is apt.

Rev. Currie was banned after commenting at a blog that bashes him on a daily basis. His comment that got him banned? He wondered if Neil needed more stuff to keep him busy because Currie just felt he wasn't all that big a deal. Real humility is rare, but Rev. Currie displayed it time and time again.

Oh, and Rev. Currie banned Neil from his own blog after Neil went after Rev. Currie's wife. In a really, here's that word again, creepy way. Currie sent me the comment (he had deleted it) and it was pretty nasty, questioning his wife's Christianity and other things besides.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

And, I am with Alan on the whole not-hating thing, and I extend that to folks with whom I tend to agree. I have no idea what he, or Dan, or so many others, are like in their day-to-day lives, and so I hardly count them as "friends" or even "people I like". They are people with whom I tend to agree on certain limited matters in comment sections on the internet.

I find the whole love/hate thing amusing and tiresome. With a beautiful wife, two children, a job, a library full of books, many friends - I have so much to keep me busy that, emotionally speaking, I have very little room to like or not like people I have never met and will never, in all likelihood, meet.

What we do is serious, and important. I, and we, are not. I do not take myself seriously at all, and those who waste time name-calling and investing emotional energy in some weird love or hate attitude toward me take me far more seriously than I take myself. Plus, they need more to do.

Alan said...

"I have no idea what he, or Dan, or so many others, are like in their day-to-day lives, and so I hardly count them as "friends" or even "people I like"."

Yup.

I don't actually doubt that in real life, if one were to have a casual acquaintance with most of the wackjobs around here like MA, et al., they're probably just fine in real life. Frankly, I doubt anyone who acted in real life like they do on the internet would have survived past the 3rd grade.

In the same way, I count folks like Geoffrey, Dan, and others as "people I tend to agree with." They'd probably be fine to have a beer with, but who knows, they may just be insufferable twits in real life.

So I have never ever gotten how it is that folks like MA et. al., seem so invested in hating or liking or obsessing about nearly anonymous, complete strangers on the interwebs.

Yes, we're discussing serious issues, but it isn't like I actually care what any of you really think about anything. And I can't imagine any of you really care about my opinion either. Big deal.

Yet we've got stalker boy and his troll boyfriends (that could be an 80's punk band!) obsessing about everyone on the internet and sticking their noses into everyone's blogs, being the self-appointed Gladys Kravitz's of the intertubes.

Weirdos.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

"[T]hey may just be insufferable twits in real life." I try not to be, but, hey, I'm sure there are some who think that.

One thing I am, here and elsewhere, is painstakingly honest. It's easy enough to be caught out in even a small, white lie, so I am scrupulous in presenting what I think and any salient facts. That doesn't mean I might not be a sociopath in the real world. Since I have family members and close friends who read my blog - including some folks I grew up with, current and past church members - I aim to make sure I don't fudge anything, but I also make sure I don't say anything that might land my butt in court, either.

Again, that doesn't mean I am, or might not be, a total dork incapable of maintaining a normal adult relationship. It is what it is, and little more than that.

Which is why I find so much of the self-conscious seriousness of ideologues of any stripe on the internet amusing. It isn't only the right who gets it freak on loving and hating individuals and whole groups. The left, too, is full of whackos who seriously need some time at the zoo with close friends.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

"lying and twisting" is what you call conclusions of your positions by others that don't sound good being bounced back to you.

No. Read my words and understand them, Marshall: Lying and twisting is saying "Dan believes X" when Dan does NOT believe X and has never claimed X.

People can't be blamed for the conclusions they draw from your words

But they can be blamed for continuing in FALSE conclusions when they've already been corrected.

Did you make a mistake and think Dan said X when he never said X and does NOT think X? No problem. Dan can point out the mistake and you can say "My bad..." and life goes on. BUT, when Dan (whoever) corrects the misunderstanding and you continue to pass on the falsehood, at that point, it is no longer a misunderstanding. It is slander. It is gossip. It is pathetic.

And add to that, passing on the false information and then refusing the person to defend themselves, that moves past gossip and slander (both clearly condemned in the Bible - those who engage in such behavior are NOT part of the Kingdom of God, the bible says), past pathetic and into cowardly, craven and some better term that I'm still looking for.

What IS the right word, Marshall, for posting lies about someone and not letting them defend themselves?

Craig said...

Dan,

I could be wrong, but it seems as though you've responded quite adequately to Neil's post. I didn't read it in any detail, but there seemed to be quite a number of links to your actual comments. Perhaps you should address those areas in particular. Or perhaps it would be best to just ignore this type of thing. I do seem to recall a couple of similar posts from you, where you take someone to task for how you interpreted something they said.

Anyway, Neil seems to allow folks he disagrees with plenty of room before he moderates them. He gives ample warning and explanation before moderation, and additional ample explanation before banning. I don't necessarily agree with his policy, but it's his blog.

At least there's plenty on irony to go around.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I do seem to recall a couple of similar posts from you, where you take someone to task for how you interpreted something they said.

The HUGE, monster-sized difference between what I do and what these others do are, I think, quite obvious.

1. If I want to talk about someone else's ideas, I generally quote their ideas and talk about them, usually leaving their name out of it all together precisely because I'm NOT talking about the person (gossip), but about ideas.

2. I NEVER talk about someone's ideas and then refuse to allow them to defend themselves from my take on their ideas.

That is huge, and it's the difference between slander and not, between gossip and not, between cowardice and not.

Tell me Craig, why do YOU think so many on the religious right ban and moderate?

Also, do you not agree with me that talking about someone's position in a public venue, MISREPRESENTING it while you do so, and refusing to allow them to clarify/defend themselves, that these behaviors are precisely gossip, slander and cowardice? If you don't think that these are the right terms, how would you describe this behavior?

If someone were misrepresenting, say, your wife's positions in a public venue, would you consider that gossip? If they were accusing your wife of false things, would you consider that slander? If they refused to allow you or your wife to defend yourselves, would you find that cowardly, craven?

Craig said...

Dan,

Please note I said you had done similar posts, not that they were exactly the same.

1. As I noted, the post contained numerous links to your actual words.

2. Also as I noted, you seem to be able to defend yourself quite adequately in this forum.

3. As I have mentioned previously I am not any sort of spokesperson for any who you describe as the "religious right" do anything. As someone who occaisionally reads Neil's blog, I have seen him spend hundreds of comments going back and forth before he moderates, and/or bans someone. It seems to me that we all are able to set whatever rules we would like at our own blogs. I try not to criticize others for setting and enforcing whatever standards they see fit whether or not I agreed with those standards.

4. I would agree that IF someone intentionally misreprepresents ones position that it is a problem. However, I don't believe I would characterize it quite the way you do.

5. IF someone was misrepresenting MY position I would consider it misrepresenting my position. If they were intentionally accusing me of false things I might consider it slander (actually libel as we are talking about print here). But I would take comfort in knowing that Truth is always a defense against libel/slander.

6. IF in fact it was possible for someone to refuse to allow me to defend myself, I might consider it cowardice. However, in the wonderful world of the blogosphere, no one has the ability to stop me from defendnig myself. So it really would be a non issue for me. Fortunately you have taken your oportunity to respond to the comments in the manner you chose.

Craig said...

As for my wife (and you really have no reason to involve her in this), she is perfectly capable of dealing with this sort of thing all by her grown up adult self.

Marshall Art said...

Misrepresentation as "gossip"? Hardly. First, one must prove an intentional desire to twist an corrupt what was said by the other person. That is, is Neil intending to say something untrue? Highly doubtful and more like bearing false witness if this is your meaning.

As I continue to insist, your own words provoke the conclusions of others and those conclusions seem to be held by quite a few people to varying degrees and in varying forms (but basically the same animal).

I would also insist that you and yours are quite guilty of coming to conclusions of your own that we find incredulous. The baseless charge of hate and bigotry, that continues to come from your camp due to holding traditional truths about the sinfulness of homosexuality and how we'd prefer the culture respond, is but one glaring example (whether you yourself have used those exact words or not is besides the point).

Alan said...

"that continues to come from your camp due to holding traditional truths..."

No, no, no, MA. As I have repeatedly stated and you simply cannot grasp, I couldn't care less what so-called truths you hold to.

I would think you're a hateful bigot regardless of your opinions about any topic. The evidence has been pointed out to you time and time again. That you refuse to believe it is evidence isn't the same as not providing evidence.

You know, since Craig is defending misrepresentations from the wackadoodle fundie camp, I just thought I'd point out that particular one.

You're welcome.

Marshall Art said...

"I would think you're a hateful bigot regardless of your opinions about any topic. The evidence has been pointed out to you time and time again. That you refuse to believe it is evidence isn't the same as not providing evidence."

Just another one of your perverted fantasies, Alan. There's been no evidence showing I'm hateful or bigoted, but merely the very form of misreprentations that Dan would call gossip, slander or bearing false witness were they of his positions. Indeed, my positions have no bearing on your attitude toward me. What is that but the very definition of hatefulness if you don't need a reason? Thanks for proving my point.

Marshall Art said...

"I assume that the busybodies, tattletales, fusspots and scolds who have to make up friends and enemies on the internet do so because they can't get their fat asses off their crumb-encrusted barcaloungers and turn off the interweb long enough to shake off the Cheeto dust and go outside into the big scary world and screech at real people."

Said by one with his own blog and who shows up regularly here and at Geoffrey's at the very least.

"Gotta love the second he trashes any of his favorite obsessions, all his little boyfriends pile on with "Me too! Me too!" to try to get his attention. It's like watching some sort of creep-tacular middle school dance, populated by nasty old guys."

Said by one in his third posted comment in support of the general theme of the host. Hey look! Irony!

"I don't hate people on the internet because I unlike you, I have a real life. I may think you're a total moron on the internet, but I don't for a minute think I know what you're like in real life, and I don't waste my time hating anyone I've never met."

Calling someone a moron is apparently not "hatefulness". Hmmm. I wonder what such nastiness would be called? Hey! More irony! And then of course having met someone somehow mitigates the "wrongness" of hating someone? I'm forbidden to hate anyone, so I don't. I don't see the point of expending the emotion on someone undeserving of it. Pity for fools I have. I pity you, for example.

Alan said...

"Said by one with his own blog..."

... in which he posts, rather occasionally at best, about the real world rather than writing hundreds of screeds full of weird and creepy obsessions about random strangers on the intertubes.

"Hey look! Irony!"

Ah, now I see the problem Dan. They don't actually know what irony is.

Yes, MA, I can think your online persona is an idiot and/or moron without hating you. It is just an opinion based on what you write, and nothing more, since I do not know you.

BTW, since you've called me nearly every name in the book and yet insist that you don't hate me, I'd say it's perfectly reasonable that if someone as dense as you can do that, I can certainly do the same.

See, MA, calling me hateful because I don't think you appear to be particularly intelligent, and then claiming you're not hateful even though you've said at least the same about me (or worse) is a good example of irony. Now that we've educated you, please make a note of it, so we don't have to repeat it for you a dozen more times, as usual.

But if it turns you on to think we all hate you, feel free. I can't stop you. I know how you wacky fundie types get off on your martyr complexes.

Alan said...

" Pity for fools I have."

Your syntax, like Yoda it is. :)

Heh. MA pities the fool. Anytime someone can quote Mr. T in a blog conversation, they should get 10 points. And to do it sounding like Yoda should earn them a bonus 5 points.

Well done, MA.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I believe, and have many good reasons for believing, that Neil's understanding of "Christianity" is flawed. I do not, however, believe he is "not" a Christian, should be denounced as a false teacher, is destined for hell, or is leading others that way.

I believe, and have many good reasons for believing, that Art is well-intentioned in expressing a particular set of beliefs, but has difficulty grasping that this "set" has implications with which others disagree, for sound reasons. I further believe that part of Art's problem in exposition is the fault of the church that usually does a pretty lousy job explaining what we believe and why; why should he be different from millions of Christians who are closet Manichaeans, closet Gnostics, closet Unitarians?

I believe, and have many good reasons for believing, that Art has prejudicial feelings toward sexual minorities whom, he has said over and over again, should not enjoy the same freedoms and protections under the law as others. I do not "hate" him for this, although I do feel sad for him (a position I have stated repeatedly).

As for calling Neil a liar and a coward, I justify that rather ad hominem claim simply enough: should an individual tell a lie, or act in a cowardly fashion, once or twice, this could be understandable to an extent; repeated lies and acts of cowardice, however, lead me to no other conclusion. I do not hate Neil, but find him a combination of amusing and creepy, and otherwise couldn't care less about his opinion. I have other concerns that are far more important.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

If I could be indulged, a short history of part of my interaction with Neil is sufficient to cover all the bases. Early on in our interaction, I read something he had written in which he claimed that he adhered to the correspondence theory of truth. I posted a comment in which I stated that the correspondence theory is one theory, although not the only one, regarding truth. I further explained that his adherence to correspondence conflicted with his creationism, and much else.

I thought this a good, intelligent comment that might spark an interesting discussion. Up to this point I had found Neil to be a lively, interesting discussion-partner, with whom I disagreed but who seemed to keep the discussion on a much higher plane than I had found heretofore.

The result was an entire post, filled with the usual denunciations of my lack of Christian faith, lack of intelligence, and the dangers of listening to anything I wrote. All because I pointed out the noncontroversial point that the correspondence theory of truth, while sufficient for getting on with, as the British would say, is not without its philosophical problems. Further, since it isn't the only philosophically justifiable theory regarding truth, any claim to adhere to it should, in my opinion, include caveats about its limits. That's all I wrote.

When I read what he had written, I made several comments to the effect that I was merely attempting to have an intelligent discussion on the merits of his, Neil's, adherence to a particular philosophical position. What I received was a total misrepresentation of my position on all sorts of matters, and the comment section degenerated quickly.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I realized, although it took me a while, that this is, in fact, his standard operating procedure. In point of fact, I do not know whether or not he really understands what he means when he talks about "correspondence". Confronted by someone who might understand it better than he did, rather than respond to anything I'd written, he wrote an entire post attacking me, attributing to me positions I do not and have never held, implying I had said things I had not, and would never, say, and attacking my faith, a subject about which he knew, and knows, next to nothing unless he has read my blog in the ensuing years.

Repeatedly misrepresenting to others the words and ideas of another, after I had repeatedly made clear that the things he said were not correct - that is called lying, or at least that is what I was taught it was called. I soon learned I was not the only one who had gone through this particular Neil Simpson Meat Grinder. It is easy enough to conclude from this not only that Neil lies. Doing so repeatedly, across a variety of topics and persons, yields the only possible conclusion that he is, in fact, comfortable with lying.

His banning of, first, Dan, then ER, then others (I was banned from the Wolf in Sheeps Clothing blog, but not from Eternity Matters), as well as the way he, quite simply overwhelms objections to his statements with a variety of bad arguments badly stated, as well as his vicious ad hominem attack on me at ERs a little while back, refusing to countenance an actual discussion of the matter, all these are cowardly. Doing this repeatedly in a variety of situations with a variety of people leads me to the conclusion that he is a cowardly person.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I recognized pretty early on that, linked as he is to Josh MacDowell, I understood both his rhetorical style, as well as the patina of intellectual glamor that he grants his arguments - using words like "correspondence theory", "theology", "logic" - is a rhetorical device MacDowell uses both frequently and well. Josh MacDowell is a self-proclaimed Christian apologist, and my one encounter with him was deeply troubling. The biggest, easiest, and most difficult rhetorical trick MacDowell (and by extension, Neil) uses is to overwhelm argument partners with a torrent, a hurricane, of words. Responding to any of them, in turn, or in any other way, is futile.

I understand, in general, what Neil is doing. I disagree with him, profoundly, on a variety of matters. As I wrote above, he does what he does and has his little following, and that seems to be important to him. I hardly begrudge him doing his thing in his way; we all do. All the same, as this particular incident taught me, he will not venture too far outside the confines of the circle of his acolytes. Each of us have, at various times, gone and read and commented on things he has written. After the inevitable bruising encounters, interaction stopped, and at least in my case, Nail stopped commenting on my own blog, and I can only conclude from this that, like most cowards, he is a good bully where he feels safe and protected; venturing out in to the big old mean world is hard, though, so Neil doesn't do too much of that, more proof (IMHO) of his own basic cowardice.

Marshall Art said...

Actually, Geoffrey, I'm not interested in your indulging. I read Neil's stuff quite a bit and see no issues. I am well aware of his "tussles" with Dan and find no problem with Neil there, either. Dan so quickly takes the poor victim position. Boo hoo.

But this puzzled me:

"I believe, and have many good reasons for believing, that Art has prejudicial feelings toward sexual minorities whom, he has said over and over again, should not enjoy the same freedoms and protections under the law as others."

That I have "prejudicial" feelings toward anyone who willfully engages in bad behavior is something to which I've admitted many times. That should be the best reason you have for believing I would hold them for homosexuals, prostitutes, adulterers, etc. To use the term "minority" in connection with such people is to sully the word. It implies they cannot help themselves but to give in to their sinful desires. I dispute this with extreme prejudice. But this is not the same as a Klansman's prejudice and those to whom you refer to as "sexual minorities" are not in any way minorities like those of race or ethnicity, which are morally neutral states of being.

But note the emboldened section. You just rambled about Neil being a liar and here you are spewing a blatant lie about me. I mean I'd have to have stated such a thing once before you could say I've said it over and over again. But I've never said such a thing. What I have said is that "sexual minorities", by which I will assume you mean "homosexuals", already have equal rights but insist on attaining special rights just for them, which I oppose. It's a clear distinction.

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

Not so very long ago, Dan insisted once again on civility. He took to deleting comments of mine based on his idea of what is or is no longer appropriate. Since then I've gone out of my way, with few minor slips, to maintain a semblance of civility. Even with such as yourself.

Much more recently than that, Dan, lacking the grace he insists upon for opponents, invited you to go ahead and rip on me with abandon. Not affected by you weak attempts to insult, I persist in my endeavor to remain civil. You, however, took Dan up on his invite and continue to be your true hateful self. This crap about not knowing me personally is quite the childish excuse. To crap on an anonymous (or semi-anonymous, as in the case of the blogoshpere) person does not mitigate the hatefulness of your actions. Whether you know the blogger or not, are face to face or not, a Christian, even so poor and corrupt a Christian as yourself, should understand that there is still another person being crapped upon by you. But you go ahead and tell yourself there's a difference. You tell yourself so many lies. What's one more?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Snark is not hateful. It is the lingua franca of internet exchanges among those who disagree. I find equal amounts of humor in both Alan's and your own back-and-forth.

The reality of the matter is simple enough. You continue to insist, based on misreadings of the Bible, that sexual minorities should not be permitted to enjoy the same privileges under law as straight couples. In the first instance, the relevance of a particular reading of the Bible and legal reasoning is odd enough, although not unprecedented. All the same, it reveals a cast of mind in which the burden of proof rests with those against whom one already has decided.

The idea that changing the legal definition of marriage is a direct moral, social, and cultural threat is odd enough, although, again, not unprecedented. Racial integration was once thought to pose such a threat. In fact, our country is a far better, far more inclusive, far more dynamic, far more free place to live than it was fifty years ago.

Please not I did not mention "hate". I do not know, nor do I care, how you personally feel about sexual minorities. Your on-going insistence, however, that they are to be treated differently under the law tells this reader you have pre-judged the case. Pre-judged. Pre-judiced. It's really that simple and easy.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

As far as reading Neil's take on his interactions with some of us, he once spent several comments at ERs making his case against Dan, Alan, ER, and me. In each case, his presentation of the facts of the matter was in error in several ways, not just of interpretation. Each in turn made this point, as well as correcting his, Neil's, failure to note certain points, not the least in most cases that he, Neil, had omitted certain important points. Neil persisted, however.

Which tells me that, while it may well be possible Neil believes his version of events, up to and including the ridiculous idea that Alan posted pornographic images and/or stories; that Dan was stalking him; that ER viciously and personally attacked Neil (pot, meet kettle); that I was a lying, cowardly false teacher, a passive-aggressive non-Christian (another phrase Neil uses without actually understanding what it means, but that's another topic for another time). In retrospect, all these things are really quite silly. That Neil continues to believe them, and insist upon them without any evidence, and even contradicting the actual testimony at his own blog should one spend the time to go back through various comment threads says much.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

As I say, he may indeed believe his version of what went on. OK. That it isn't, and is disproved easily enough would give other people who invested less time, less energy, less ego the opportunity to think critically about the events and, perhaps, come to a different conclusion. In order to do this, however, one would need to start with a set of premises that included the assumption that one is wrong, potentially about most everything. Self-criticism is rooted in real humility, including the humility that even one's most cherished beliefs are in error. Neil may be many things, but humble and self-aware just aren't there.

So, Art, I take most of what Neil says about most everything with about a quarter-grain of salt. I have no doubt that Neil believes his version of events is not only true, but the only possible version of events. In that light, it is far better to simply ignore most of what Neil says, or should one read such a narrative, consider the possibility that a completely different, perhaps even apposite, interpretation is far closer to what happened.

This is not a personal slam on Neil, by the way, but a conclusion reached after considering the history of his exchanges. I feel no need, at this late date, to defend whatever charges Neil may make against me, nor should Dan. They're silly. What always strikes me, as it struck me all those years ago, is the violence of the reaction from Neil. I was dumb-founded by an entire post denouncing me, my ideas, etc., in the most over-the-top terms, all because I made the rather modest point that there are a variety of philosophical positions out there, and while picking and choosing and defending them is OK, insisting that only one of them is legitimate is wrong.

Dan Trabue said...

Y'all are commenting faster than I can keep up.

One point: I deliberately did not "name names" precisely because I did not want to come close to gossiping (the same charge I'm complaining about in this post). Yes, you all can certainly find the behavior you're speaking of at the blog you're speaking of, but it's not limited to him, he's just the Poster Boy for that sort of behavior.

From there, dealing with some questioning whether "gossip" is the right term in the first place...

Gossip: (Noun) rumor or report of an intimate nature
Rumor: (noun) a statement or report current without known authority for its truth

[Merriam Webster]

Folk who talk about other people, passing on stories about them, rumors that they don't know to be true, this is gossiping. This is what is happening at some of these fundamentalist type blogs.

Saying that, "Dan is not a Chrisitan," when I AM a Christian is spreading a false rumor. It IS gossip. it is slander against another.

Do you think that being mistaken is a defense for gossip? Do you think if you spread false rumors about someone - rumors that you don't KNOW to be true, but just have that hunch - and about people you don't even know in the real world, that this somehow means it ISN'T gossip?

Let's give these gossips the benefit of the doubt and say that they actually believe the rumors they are passing on. They don't know, let's say, Marshall in the real world, but they've read a few of his words online. From Marshall's words, they think it is reasonably clear that his mother dressed him like a girl and that he now has a weird obsession with adolescent boys. This person then proceeds to spread this information because "it's important that people know what sort of character Marshall has!"

Does the fact that someone believes the rumors he's generating make the rumors NOT gossip? Or is it gossip just by the unknown guesswork that is involved in the passing on of the rumors? And even if there were an element of truth to the rumor, even THAT is still part of what is generally called gossip. Passing on information about someone (made up or even partially factual) of a personal nature to others is gossip, by definition.

I don't think those words mean what you think they do. Of course, the behavior I'm speaking of is gossip, and that is condemned clearly in the Bible and just by normal decency. That some here defend it is just amazing to me.

Dan Trabue said...

Why is it, I wonder, okay to go around the blogosphere and condemn one behavior that is NOT discussed in the Bible (gay marriage) - but involves ideals that are praised in the Bible - but you turn a blind eye to a behavior that is clearly condemned in the Bible?

Why the reticence to say, "That behavior is just wrong" when it is one of your comrades, someone from your "side" of many issues, but people feel free to condemn and twist others over behavior that is not really any of their business?

It just hurts your credibility as far as cultural criticism goes when it only goes one way, seems to me.

I'll get to other comments as I have opportunity.

In the meantime, everyone here please behave. Stick to the topic and ideas, not making comments about the people.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Gossip is inherent in some of what goes on here. If Neil, or anyone else for that matter, showed up, made his case based upon actual passages (or at the very least links to such passages) that would be one thing. If he allowed any one of us (well, I think he might allow me, because I have not yet, to my knowledge, been banned from Eternity Matters, even though it's been years since I've posted a comment there) to make our case, that might also be different. Since he refuses to engage us, we are left with presenting the evidence to the best of our ability, and letting those who may not be aware of the history make up their own minds based upon the evidence at hand. For example, I've presented abundant evidence on the history of our interactions, and anyone curious as to who is correct can spend a little time and effort and find out whose interpretation of the events in question is more correct. I have little worry about such an outcome.

One member of Neil's "Amen Corner" provided the subtitle of my blog. When I invited him, and Art, and several others to read a post I had written, and comment upon it, he wrote that he refused to visit my "blasphemous blog". I still find that hysterically funny. Considering the person in question once made what I still consider the nastiest, dirtiest, most vile comment, revealing a mind steeped in pornographic thoughts and images, for him to turn around and insist that the stuff I write is somehow beyond the pale is actually amusing to me.

Dan, the post invites a certain amount of gossip. The difference, I think, is that if any of the subjects in question had a desire to refute anything said here, they are free to do so. We would not be accorded the same privilege.

That's not irony. That's bullying.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

While honesty is a good in and for itself, an important practical argument in its favor is the expedient one that discovering false claims is easy enough to do on the internet. Person "A" says "S". Person "B" claims that "A" said "Not-S", or perhaps even "T". Person "A" responds this is not the case, and the back-and-forth ensues.

The back-and-forth is both the fun and the plague of internet communication. There are some commentators on internet communication that seem to believe this back-and-forth is qualitatively distinct from other forms of communication. It isn't. The burden, as usual, rests not upon the person who makes statement "S". Rather, it rests upon the person who insists that "S" in fact is "Not-S", or even "T". This is not a matter of sides, or interpretation, or of possible missed communication. Nor is it some odd species of new communication with different sets of rules and burdens of proof.

It's good, old-fashioned lying.

You want to insist that something I said, "S", actually is "Not-S"? Then back it up with evidence. Otherwise, I'm not impressed. I do not "like" Alan, or Dan, or ER, or others more than Art, or Neil, or anyone else. I trust them and take them at their word because they have, repeatedly, been honest and stuck close to facts when presenting a particular case. Their trustworthiness has been proved to my satisfaction.

Neil, on the other hand, has done the exact opposite. I do not "dislike" him; in fact, I feel nothing about him one way or another. I do not trust his word, because he has proved himself, repeatedly, to be untrustworthy. Art, at least, is honest enough to state his position over and over again. Even though I disagree with it, and think it is faulty in several respects, that does not mean I "dislike" him; again, I do not "feel" one way or another about him.

People who interact with me on the internet, I presume, use the same general standard. Do I present the facts of the matter correctly? Do I present my particular arguments well, in a manner that makes sense? Do I represent the arguments of opponents accurately?

This is just good, old-fashioned discussion, with the added fun of snark tossed in to keep it from becoming an Oxford debate.

Dan Trabue said...

Good points, Geoffrey. Anyone IS able to come here and defend themselves/clarify matters if they want to, whereas other places don't offer the same opportunity.

And that, to me, is the main thing. You don't want me to post comments on your blog? No problem, just tell me, or ban me if you want and no harm, no foul. BUT, if you're going to talk about someone, then man up and give them the opportunity to defend themselves.

Which gets to Craig's point here...

2. Also as I noted, you seem to be able to defend yourself quite adequately in this forum.

If someone defames another and that person does not have the opportunity to defend themselves in that context, then the damage is done. The damage is done either way, but especially if the person is not allowed to defend themselves in that context.

Consider the case of a visiting speaker who comes to a church one Sunday and does his speaking. The next week, the pastor at that church talks about that person to his congregation, calling the visitor NOT a Christian, a false teacher, gossiping about what he may or may not have said elsewhere, talking about this visitor's life (about which he knows very little except for perhaps some rumors) and generally being a slanderous, gossipy, creepy asshole.

The harm has been done. This vistor's name and reputation has been defamed (assuming some Christian church member did not intervene and stop the pastor from his slander and gossip). That's bad.

Suppose further that the visitor heard about the gossip/slander and was quite surprised and reasonably asked for the chance to come back and converse and clarify the misleading statements. The pastor refuses. That's beyond bad. That's character assassination and just horrible human behavior.

The pastor's reasoning is that he's "pretty sure" he's right and he doesn't want the visitor to "spread lies" (IRONY!) and possibly mislead his congregation. He's AFRAID that the visitor's words may sound more reasonable than his. He's AFRAID that his arguments won't stand the light of day.

It is a fearful and ugly place to be and behavior to exhibit.

Shame on those who engage in such and who defend such.

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

~Jesus

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I try not to criticize others for setting and enforcing whatever standards they see fit whether or not I agreed with those standards.

Well on this point, I am glad to see you step up. I'm glad you've decided to quit criticizing those who believe that marriage equality for all is a good, rational, moral position to hold, whether or not you agree with that standard. I think that's for the best.

Craig said...

Dan,

"Well on this point, I am glad to see you step up. I'm glad you've decided to quit criticizing those who believe that marriage equality for all is a good, rational, moral position to hold, whether or not you agree with that standard."

OK you have completely mis-characterized my position. The above comment was in the context of the standards used to allow (or not) comments on ones blog. That you have mis-characterized me in obvious. So, the question remains, is this malicious? Shall I jump to the conclusion that this is slander? Shall I conclude that you are simply lying? Shall I just chalk it up to misunderstanding? I'll have to give it some thought.

I will say that I completely support you you being able to set any standard you choose as it concerns your blog.

As to a standard of whatever sexual "ethic" you choose to support. I (as do you) certainly expect that I would be able to criticize your conclusions or your standard without criticizing you personally. This seems reasonable to me.

Of course only the right would ever mis-characterize someone position. ;)

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

The above comment was in the context of the standards used to allow (or not) comments on ones blog.

I was taking your position on blog rules and expanding it beyond, knowing you probably didn't but suggesting that it IS a good rule to have in life. Again, your words:

I try not to criticize others for setting and enforcing whatever standards they see fit whether or not I agreed with those standards.

These are words to live life by, not just blog comment standards. Assuming, of course, that we're not speaking of behavior that is harmful to others (you know, like slander, gossip, killing...), trying NOT to criticize others over their standards is a very good principle. I wish that all fundamentalist types would embrace your stated standard.

Taking your standard and suggesting it is a great ideal to live by, beyond your stated purpose, is NOT slander. If I were suggesting you meant it beyond your stated purpose, one might suggest that I had misunderstood you and offer me a chance to clarify. But I think it was fairly obvious my tongue was in cheek, hoping for the best nonetheless.

Really fellas, a dictionary is a commenter's best friend. Read up on words, they're terrific when properly used...

[and to preemptively clarify, that was a snarky joke, not slander, nor gossip - I'm hoping you could laugh at the slight jibe at y'all.]

Craig said...

Dan,

Thank you for clarifying your comment. I completely missed the tongue in cheek nature of your response. I'm quite sure it was due to haste in reading on my part.

I'm glad that I sought clarification rather than to assume.

However, I'm not sure that I can agree with what seems to be your point. You seem to be saying that one should never criticize the standards by which another chooses to live. This seems subjective to me. On the one hand you suggest that one should not criticize others for their standards, yet you go on to offer exceptions to your standard. Why should I conclude that the standards I set for myself should be enforced on or expected of others. Maybe you feel comfortable being the arbiter of other peoples standards, I'm not sure I do.

I would suggest that if one actually engages in behavior that is problematic then you might have a case.

Anyway I know how important it is that these comments stay on topic, and I feel as if I might be going astray, so I'll leave it there.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Craig, if I may, I don't think Dan is suggesting we ignore the way others live. Using his standard from the previous post - accepting whatever is good, etc. - as a starting point, then if someone is, say, living a full life, and is an avowed atheist, I really doubt that anyone gains anything by intruding on his or her life and insisting that he or she is damned for all eternity, could live even better as a Christian, etc., etc.

Similarly, a happy, productive, loving couple who also happen to be of the same gender is a thing to celebrate, not denigrate as immoral, sinful, and a threat.

A straight man who molests children, however, is indeed someone to watch out for. A faithful, church-going upstanding citizen who is also embezzling funds from his business is someone who might be in need of admonishment.

That, if I'm correct in understanding Dan's general point, is what he means. It is certainly how I choose to live. It's no skin off my nose, and no threat to me, if someone is gay, or Jewish, or Muslim, or atheist, as long as all other things being equal he or she or they are happy, good-tempered, good-natured, solid citizens, good parents, productive, etc.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"Do you think that being mistaken is a defense for gossip?"

It must be. If one is mistaken in believing a sinful behavior isn't sinful, can he lose his salvation? Isn't that part of your reason-suspending argument in favor of "gay" marriage?

For the record, it seems to me that Neil's post regarding Dan was largely as a warning to those who encounter Dan at blogs that are listed in Neil's blogroll. The point being that if one of Neil's visitors (especially new ones, even more so new ones still learning about Christianity) encounterd Dan while visiting blogs via Neil's blogroll, they might be taken in by Dan's, shall we say, "style". It was kind of a public service.

At the same time, being this here blogosphere is pretty much wide open to the public, Neil's post can actually serve to drive traffic here, where some of those people might come to see for themselves just what Neil means and thereby make up their own minds. Regard it as, "no such thing as 'bad' publicity" and relax.

Unless of course your shudder at the thought of even more people wondering about the holes in your arguments that go unfilled. That would be bad.

Marshall Art said...

"Saying that, "Dan is not a Chrisitan," when I AM a Christian is spreading a false rumor. It IS gossip. it is slander against another."

It is neither gossip nor slander. It is a critique based on your own words. For example, John Shelby Spong is no Christian. He can call himself one all he wants to, but everything I've ever heard from the guy (aside from his claims to be a Christian) belies the claim. It is not as if Neil is saying, "Dan says he's a Christian, but he really worships Baal." THAT would be both gossip AND slander.

And really, Neil, and others, have been quite clear on what they mean when they say such. It is never said without explanation. Just because you don't like the explanation doesn't make it slander. To use an extreme example, and a far better analogy than the Marshall dressed like a girl crap, some say Hitler was a Christian, a Roman Catholic. Did he act like any Roman Catholic you know? If Hitler had called himself a Christian (and I don't know if he ever made the claim or not), would you insist that the claim was sufficient for you based on what you know of his other words and actions?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

Geoffrey,

I can do snark. I know snark. If you ran with me and my crowd coming up, you couldn't handle the snark that was common among us. But as vile as it could get, we could always tell when there was some truly bad attitudes flowing from another...

[...and spent time talking about someone...]

I've only presented my opinions and a far more accurate understanding of the Scriptural topics we routinely cover than any of you dudes have offered.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It was kind of a public service.

Wow. Yeah, I guess that is ONE thing you could call gossip and slander. OR, you could call it what it is: Gossip, slander, misrepresentation, false witness... you know, those things like murder that are signs that those who participate in such are not part of the kingdom of God.

It just amazes me that people can spend so much time and energy and venom demonizing behavior that ISN'T condemned in the Bible and yet defend behavior that is clearly condemned in the Bible.

That really ought to be a warning to you, Marshall. No snark, just concern for you. Calling good evil and evil good, isn't that what is ACTUALLY condemned in Romans 1?

Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 1:32

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It is neither gossip nor slander.

No need to keep repeating lies and slander and defending those who do so. We've heard it before and it's just boring and wrong. The point of this post was to POINT OUT slander and falsehoods, not to give you a chance to keep repeating them.

Like it or not, Marshall, I am a Christian, saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus, the risen son of God.

And neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, nor some ridiculous blogger, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, get over it, man, and seriously, give some prayerful thought to your comments, how bitter and ugly and vile and utterly false they are, how they come across to the world, and what such bitter ugliness is doing to your own soul.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Just because you don't like the explanation doesn't make it slander.

And SERIOUSLY, all of you all who defend evil, GET A DICTIONARY. Read it. Look up words before you use them.

You keep using words without really demonstrating a good grasp of the understanding their basic meanings.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, I'll have to say that I don't really understand the point of your whole last comment. Geoffrey did an excellent job of repeating my actual points, but just to address this comment...

You seem to be saying that one should never criticize the standards by which another chooses to live.

No, that is not what I'm saying. I AM saying, though, that as a general good rule of behavior, IF it is behavior that isn't hurting anyone else, you would generally be well-advised to keep your hunches about total strangers' personal rules of behavior to yourself.

Is someone STEALING? Yes, point that out. Harm is being done.

Is someone SMOKING? Let it go. No need to get into that with a total stranger, whether you think it is right or wrong.

Is someone DRINKING? Let it go. No need to get into that with a total stranger.

Is someone DRINKING AND DRIVING? Yes, get involved. Stop it. Condemn it. Harm is potentially being done.

Are two adults in a committed loving monogamous relationship, raising children and being wholesome, helpful parts of the community, BUT were not married in a way that you approve of? Let it go. No need to get into that with a total stranger.

Are you getting my point now? Too many people get too involved offering hateful or just strongly worded opinions of strangers' behaviors on matters that aren't harming others. Could it be possible that smoking or drinking IS actually wrong? Yes, one could make the case.

But no need to meddle in people's lives on such behaviors, it's just a turn off and people won't listen to a meddling blog opinionist criticizing their lives on non-harmful behaviors.

That's my point. Not that one should never criticize the standards by which another chooses to live, but tone it down to just harmful behaviors, which one can reasonably speak against.

And by "harmful behaviors," I don't mean those behaviors that YOU HAVE AN OPINION that suggests it may be harmful to their souls. Let the individuals worry about their own souls, at least when we're talking about total strangers. I'm talking about actual physical harm.

Why that dividing line? Because while I am convinced that "sinning" is indeed harmful to people's lives, the blogosphere is not a good or positive way to address
more esoteric, less tangible bad behaviors - behaviors that aren't actually causing harm.

But we CAN reasonably speak against harmful behavior where physical harm is being done. That is what I'm suggesting is a reasonable line at least in the blogosphere and with total strangers.

So if you WANT to intervene in actual bad behavior (ie, that which is causing active harm), step up and condemn racism, bearing false witness, slander, killing, drunk driving, robbery, etc. Condemning that in a public forum makes sense and may be helpful.

The other stuff, not so much.

Dan Trabue said...

Alan wrote:

Geoffrey wrote, "Repeatedly misrepresenting to others the words and ideas of another, after I had repeatedly made clear that the things he said were not correct - that is called lying, "

Yup. Example A: MA wrote, "continue to be your true hateful self"

And you, MA continue to lie. So while I'm not hateful, you are indeed a liar.

And spare me the rejoinder, MA. I will post one for you [and made personal commentary which has been excised]...

"I know you are but what am I?"

You're welcome

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

In all honesty, I couldn't care less whether or not Art or anyone else "thinks" I, or anyone else, is or is not a Christian. All things considered, such announcements are far more about the person making them than the person to whom they are addressed. Considering that one of Art and Neil's little blogging buddies once said I was no different, morally speaking, than Josef Stalin or Chairman Mao because I am pro-choice, the ability of most of such folks to reason is, well, I'll just say it - nonexistent.

They can call me all sorts of names if they wish. It seems to make them happy, feel accepted, feel a part of their little group while simultaneously having adversaries against whom they can measure their own worthiness. Since my own spiritual and social and political concerns are far different, I honestly am far more amused at the thought that some folks with whom I rarely interact believe in their heart of hearts they know and understand anything about me than I am troubled by the conclusions they reach. Considering there are folks who know me well who are surprised by the things they learn about me, color me unimpressed by a bunch of strangers calling me names.

In short, sure it's gossip and slander, a bunch of lies cooked up by folks who seem to have some weird agenda. Let them have their fun, Dan, and go about your business. Happiness and success are the best revenge, after all.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

An occasional commenter both here and at my own site told me recently, after a post I had written against American participation in the NATO attacks on Libya, that I should "stop pretending to care about the troops". Where does such a statement come from? How is it possible that an individual could claim to know that I am only pretending to care about the troops? Since I have written numerous posts in support of American troops, such a judgment seems contrary to any evidence (not to mention how I think and feel, but we'll leave that to one side for a moment).

The only conclusion I can come up with is this - the response is not to anything I had written, but rather to the fact that I am liberal in my politics. Because I am liberal, there flows a whole series of assumptions about what I support and don't support, policies I prefer and don't prefer, and positions I hold and don't hold. All because I am liberal.

From one of the former visitors here and elsewhere, both right-wing and slightly crazy, come the following direct from his blog (no link, but you'll know who I am stealing this from):
Truths About Liberals
1. Always expect the worst from a liberal and you will never be surprised.

2. Never try to reason with a liberal. They disregard any evidence that conflicts with their beliefs.

3. You can always tell what liberals are up to by what they accuse you of doing.

4. Liberals don't debate, they argue.

5. The only standards liberals have are double standards.

6. Liberals feel, conservatives think.

7. Whenever you don't understand a liberal's motives, just look for the money.

8. Liberals cannot be embarrassed. They lack the gene to blush.

9. The Liberal creed is, "Do as I say, not as I do.

10. Liberals get older, but they never get smarter.

11. There are no honest liberals. If they were honest -- especially to themselves -- they would not be liberal.

12. A liberal's business is nobody's business, but everyone's business is a liberal's business.

13. Liberals have an inflated sense of self-worth. They are like house flies that criticize the air-worthiness of a Stealth fighter. (Sarah, Palin, George W. Bush, ad infinitum are morons.)

14. Liberals lack a sixth sense that is standard equipment in conservatives -- common sense.

15. Liberals never stop hating.

16. There are only two types of liberals -- the deceivers and the deceived.

17. Every time liberals get on their high horse, they get bucked off.

18. Liberal programs are so wonderful that they have to be forced on people.

19. Liberals always choke on their own medicine.

20. When given a moral choice, liberals always come down on the wrong side of the fence.

21. The only way liberals can build themselves up is by tearing others down.

22. Liberals not only refuse to admit their mistakes, they refuse to learn from them.

23. Liberals can dish it out, but they can't take it.

24. Liberals are incapable of attacking the message, so they always attack the messenger.

25. Liberal diversity is only skin deep.

Now, how anyone, anywhere, could actually hold any of these beliefs and function is quite beyond my capacity to understand. Yet, it is plain that some do. If I believed, for a single moment, that a right-wing individual actually believed the opposite of everything he or she said, I would be at a complete loss as to how to move forward in communicating with him or her.

In other words, these folks are just kind of nuts, and don't deal with us as individuals. They don't read what we write, or count it as evidence, because they "know" how "we" "think", and nothing we say or do can change their minds.

It's crazy.

Dan Trabue said...

In short, sure it's gossip and slander, a bunch of lies cooked up by folks who seem to have some weird agenda. Let them have their fun, Dan, and go about your business. Happiness and success are the best revenge, after all.

I know when one responds to such gossip and slander, one runs the risk of appearing "offended" by such behavior. I can assure you all that it does not matter much to me what these folk think of me. I get these false accusations all the time.

I'm just trying to claim a strike against gossip and, particularly, slander for its own sake. These are the things, after all, that have led to the defaming and even death of so many people, not the least of which is Christ our Lord. It was slander and misrepresentations of his words that they used to "convict" Jesus, we ought remember.

And this is true for many in the early church and throughout church history, including many in the anabaptist tradition.

It is not surprising, then, that Paul lists slander and gossip right up there with murder in his lists of sins that identify those not in the Kingdom of God.

And, besides the strike against that sort of behavior, I truly think it sadly funny the irony of these folk continuing to engage in obvious sin in the "defense" against make-believe sin.

I mean, considering the source, this fella actually WARNING that someone "has a history of deleting comments, only to then lie about what the comments really said..." ??? Wow. That is just SO hilarious!

And sad.

Dan Trabue said...

Geoffrey...

In other words, these folks are just kind of nuts, and don't deal with us as individuals.

And my best hope is that it is only a sort of "online craziness" and nothing more. That, hopefully, in the real world, these people aren't actually as insane and intolerant and fearful as they come across on the internets.

It's been said before and I think it valid: the internet anonymity and displacement allows us to engage in behavior that we would never engage in face to face.

Hopefully, that's the case here.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

In all honesty, I can't imagine functioning face-to-face with people in the manner some folks do on the internet. One reason I use my full name, and do not hide, is the whole anonymity thing. I try to be up-front, and honest as I can. Since folks who know me out in the real world encounter me on blogs and FB, I try as best I can to be honest because it is easy enough to be caught out in a lie, little or big.

As I wrote above, it is also easy enough to discover whether or not a person or persons is representing someone's stated beliefs and positions correctly or not; nothing ever really disappears on the internet, and if anyone cares enough, it can be found.

These folks will not change. It is part of how they roll, as the kids say these days. As I have written, that's OK with me, because the stuff they write - about you, about others, about me - bears no resemblance either to the things I have said on the internet, even less to who I am as a person. As I have also said, it says much more about them, and their needs, than you.

Marshall Art said...

I said,

"Just because you don't like the explanation doesn't make it slander."

To which Dan replied,

"And SERIOUSLY, all of you all who defend evil, GET A DICTIONARY. Read it. Look up words before you use them."

I did. Guess what? It ain't slander. Slander is a false allegation that causes harm. So you would have to prove both the lie of the allegation and that it the false allegation caused you harm. So the problem here is first that he made a false charge. The reason why this would be a problem is that he backs up his charge with your own words. He shows why your words support his allegation. You merely disagree with his conclusions, but your disagreement doesn't prove he is lying about you. All it does it prove you disagree with his conclusions.

As I said, had he implied you worship Satan or Baal while claiming to be Christian, you'd have a case. There's nothing of which I'm aware that would support that charge. But, he doesn't do anything like that. He takes your words, your stated positions on any number of issues and from that shows why you can't be a Christian, despite your insistance to the contrary. (This is assuming that he actually says you are not a Christian.)

Imagine, for example, if you had claimed to be Superman. Imagine also that you admitted that you cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound, that you were not faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive and on top of that, Neil actually saw you run, jump and fail to lift thirty pounds. He would rightly conclude that you were no Superman despite your protests to the contrary, but he would NOT be guilty of slander OR gossip for discussing your claims without you being involved. (Perhaps definitionally "gossip" would still be in play, but only a very loose understanding of the word and how it is meant to be used.)

What's really at play here is the usual thing: you don't like the conclusions of some people who disagree with your stated positions. When at a loss to counter every objection, fill every gaping hole of logic, you play the victim card and lob charges of your own against your opponents.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, once again repeating tired nothings, said...

Slander is a false allegation that causes harm. So you would have to prove both the lie of the allegation and that it the false allegation caused you harm.

1. It is demonstrably false to say that I'm not a Christian when I AM a Christian. What part of "false" are you failing to understand?

2. Slander and gossip always harms, because it demeans or assassinates the good character of those gossiped about.

Two strikes, you're out.

Now, YOU claiming that I'm not a Christian (if that's what you're claiming) here to my face is NOT gossip, since we're both included in this conversation, but it IS still slander.

Understand the difference?

Really, I have an extra dictionary I'll give to you, Marshall. Just let me know where to send it.

Marshall continues...

You merely disagree with his conclusions, but your disagreement doesn't prove he is lying about you.

Let's see, so your position is that SOME COMPLETE STRANGER is in a better place to know whether or not I am a Christian than I am, is that what you're suggesting?

Don't be ridiculous. My WORDS about my Christianity do not prove anyone's false allegations. TWISTING my words, might (in their distorted little minds), but not my words.

My words, Marshall, once again...

1. I am a sinner.
2. I am in need of salvation.
3. God loves us all so much that God came to earth in the form of Jesus, God's son.
4. Jesus offers us salvation NOT through works (or jumping through a series of hoops or perfect knowledge) but through GRACE.
5. Those who trust in God's grace, repent of their sins and make Jesus their Lord of their lives will be/are being saved.
6. I have repented of my sins.
7. I have asked God to be Lord of my Life.
8. I have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus, the risen son of God.

THOSE are my words, Marshall. Very orthodox Christian salvation.

At which point do you disagree with orthodox Christianity and think we are mistaken?

What hoops do YOU add to salvation beyond what has been traditionally accepted?

Does it worry you that you have these extra hoops and rules you add to God's salvation?

Do you suspect that God went too easy on us, so you need to make the salvation process a bit more complicated and convoluted and impossible?

If so, I'd tread carefully there, friend.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Here's the thing - what does it mean to "be" a Christian? To me, it means being baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, in the name of the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. It means recognizing the claim upon one's whole life by the God who created the Universe. It means understanding that claim as reducing one's own petty concerns to nothing because the claim means we are to live a life of disciplined holiness, in blessed community with one another, holding up one another, praying for one another. It means seeing oneself surrounded by that great cloud of witnesses stretching back in time and space, even, as the letter to the Hebrews makes clear, to the ancestors.

It means, in the words of my favorite hymn, being lost in God's love.

Everything else - everything - is meaningless drivel. Support gay marriage? That seems OK. Not? OK. It isn't a matter central to the question of salvation or even holy community. Abortion? One can be pro-choice or pro-life, and still be faithful, blessed, and saved. These things and so many others Christians have argued about through the centuries do not impact the whole matter of whether or not we are people who wear the marks of the crucified one in our hearts and our life.

I would never say that Dan is no Christian. I would never say that Art is no Christian. I would never say that Neil is no Christian. The latter two persons either express their core beliefs poorly, or express heretical ideas well, depending upon how generous one is feeling at any particular moment. I would never say, however, that they are not a part of the great congregation.

How and why all this other stuff suddenly became central to some people's understanding of what it means to be a Christian I have no idea. Since I cannot stop them thinking it is, the best I can do is just be the Christian I am to the best of the ability granted me the Holy Spirit. Beyond that, while I do believe their time might be better spent not denouncing others as false teachers and unChristian, the only thing I do, and can do, is just live my life.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

The prophet Micah asks, and answers, the question: What does the LORD require? To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.

This is a marvelous summation of "being" a Christian; a now-retired Hebrew Bible scholar at Wesley Theological Seminary wrote an entire Old Testament Theology work with that question as the title, his thesis being this ethical commandment lies at the heart not just of the people of Israel, but of the Christian life as well.

Doing justice - working so that all persons, all creation, is as it was created by God. Recognizing the worth of all persons, all creation, because it is, and remains, out of the bounteous love of God.

Loving kindness - living so that all others can see in us is that gracious, love for all persons, all creation, that is the heart of God's being, the heart of God's work.

Walking humbly with our God - understanding that we are ever before the throne of God, that judgment and grace are inseparable, the one known and made known in the other, our minds and hearts and lives turned toward God and others at all times.

This is what it means to be a Christian. This is not what is required to be saved. Rather, this is what is required of us, what we are called to, as those marked by the wounds of Christ.

Everything else - literally everything - is nonsense and froth.

As Karl Barth said, "My position is to never yield in essentials, to yield in all non-essentials, and in all things to keep my pipe lit." The essentials are the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the sins of fallen humanity expressing God's love for all creation, God's desire to be with that which God has created out of love. That is our work - to be the hands and feet and face and heart and love of God for this broken world that God loves so much.

Everything else is hokum and balderdash.

Dan Trabue said...

I've created no extra hoops through which we must jumpt for salvation, Dan.

I believe the essentials of orthodox Christianity, Marshall. I believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus.

What about that is not enough for you?

Then complete the sentence, Marshall...

"Dan is not a Christian because, while he does believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus, he ALSO needs to..."

What are you adding to the gospel news, Marshall? And where do you get off doing so?

Marshall...

As for point number 6, you only repent of those sins you have chosen to regard as sin.

We ALL repent of those behaviors that we believe to be sin, and not of those that we don't believe to be sin. You are not repenting of your hateful spitefulness, your slander, your defense of sinful behavior, etc.

Does this mean that you are not saved? No.

Why not? Because we are not saved by our perfection but by God's grace. IF Marshall or Dan are mistaken about a behavior, we are covered by God's grace.

That's orthodox Christianity.

Is it the case that you are advocating a salvation by our perfection or works? Or what hoops are you adding to grace that you think I and others still need to do?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Those 8 lines aren't the sum total of everything you've ever said about what you believe.

No, those 8 lines ARE the sum total of what I've said about salvation, which is boiled down to the orthodox "we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus."

THAT is what I've said about salvation, that I'm trusting in God's grace through faith in Jesus my Lord. Orthodox.

Have I offered all manner of opinions about behaviors and policies? Yes, but our salvation is not based on all of our hunches and opinions on various matters. Our salvation is solely based upon God's grace through faith in Jesus.

Which is all I've ever said.

Are you conflating salvation with holding right opinions on political matters and other hunches? Because that is more of a salvation by works approach to Christianity that is not orthodox.

Marshall Art said...

That's nice Geoffrey, but it is more crap that only serves to relieve people of being held accountable for their non-Christian behaviors. And what is required by is "To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God..." on HIS terms, not our own.

"Doing justice - working so that all persons, all creation, is as it was created by God. Recognizing the worth of all persons, all creation, because it is, and remains, out of the bounteous love of God."

Not sure you typed this as you intended to type it. Working so that all persons are as God created them? You mean, violent, dishonest, greedy, prone to serving their own desires and lusts above the Will of God? We're to work for that?

"Loving kindness - living so that all others can see in us is that gracious, love for all persons, all creation, that is the heart of God's being, the heart of God's work."

There is nothing loving in enabling others in their sinfulness or misunderstanding of God's Will. It is certainly not an example set by God Himself.

"Walking humbly with our God - understanding that we are ever before the throne of God, that judgment and grace are inseparable, the one known and made known in the other, our minds and hearts and lives turned toward God and others at all times."

There is this childish attitude that concern for others by reminding them of God's Will as clearly explained in Scripture is somehow a prideful Pharisaical act, that we thus pose as perfect beings by doing so. A defense mechanism of those in rebellion to so accuse those who possess that concern.

"Everything else - literally everything - is nonsense and froth."

To those unwilling to truly bear their own personal crosses, this is true. "Worry about the essentials only" they will say. That gives them plenty of room to play fast and loose with the so-called "non-essentials", which, as it happens, proves one is truly a proponent of abiding the essentials.

"That is our work - to be the hands and feet and face and heart and love of God for this broken world that God loves so much."

Which we aren't if we don't sweat the details or "non-essential" and in so doing provide the opening sin and evil needs to infest and infect our fellow man.

All that being said, if what people like Neil, Bubba, myself and others say is lacking in your view, you are obligated, by your own words, "to be the hands and feet and face and heart and love of God..." in demonstrating how and why we've gone wrong. That doesn't get done by calling people names because you don't like the conclusions your own words provoke.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art, here's the thing. It isn't crap, no one is enabled to continue in sin if one adheres to what is written here, and I do believe that "obligated" is a word that doesn't exist because, as St. Paul wrote, we are obligated to nothing, but we are freed for freedom's sake.

Furthermore, I have written literally millions of words, as has Dan, as to what we believe and why. You dismiss it, usually for reasons we find wanting.

I feel no obligation to change my understanding of what it is to be Christian based upon the silly ramblings of strangers. Since I, and others, have lived lives of faith, and hope, and love, in the presence of God and with others of like mind and faith, it seems to me your criticisms hardly scratch the surface-meaning of "relevant to my life".

Furthermore, as Dan also points out, as have others, the constant demand on your part, and others, that there be additions to the reality of salvation by grace through faith is a choice the Church has never endorsed. Even at the Roman church's lowest points, works-righteousness wasn't a part of its official policy. Yet, here you are, pretty consistently insisting that being a Christian includes of necessity acting in certain ways for which there is no scriptural or doctrinal backing.

Finally, as I have repeated ad infinitum, the belief that God's judgment and grace are the same thing is the heart of the mystery of salvation, not some weird, namby-pamby liberal invention to allow people to eat, drink and be merry. I actually got this idea from St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and others. Just because you don't believe it, or think it's wrong, well, I consider the weight of evidence on each side and make my decision based on that.

Alan said...

"That's nice Geoffrey, but it is more crap"

MA: The Bible is "crap".

Nice.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

To circumvent the usual "you don't know what those words mean when you use them" criticism when I say that what I believe about the grace and judgment of God being the same thing, I picked up my copy of Eberhard Jungel's short little overview of Barth's theology. Jungel was a student of Barth's, and a master theologian in his own right, and his introduction to Barth's theological legacy is a nice way to begin to enter the massive structure of the Swiss dogmatician's works. So, from pp. 120-121: "Barth's theology is specifically about God, and it derives its logic from the action of God; futhermore, it cannot arrange and classigy the action of God according to the several epochs of the sinner's disposition. And it is in just thie way that theology truly honors the human, according to Barth. For the action of God, the deed which precedes all human disposition, is really the eternal election of humankind, in which he establishes his claim to the human race. Therefore, discourse about the human - the human in correspondence to God - is an inseparable part of that specifically theological discourse which takes God as its point of departure. . . .[quoting from Barth's general theological ethics now]'In the true Christian concept of the covenant of God with man, the doctrine of the divine election of grace is the first element, and the doctrine of the divine command is the second. It is only in this concept of the covenant that the concept of God can itself find completion. For God is not known and is not knowable except in Jesus Christ. He does not exist in his divine being and perfections without Jesus Christ, in whom he is both very God and very man. . . .[ellipsis in Jungel's text]The Christian doctrine of God cannot have "only" God for its content, but since its object is this God it must also have man, to the extent that in Jesus Christ man is made a partner in the covenant decreed and established by God.' If 'election' is what dtermines human beings as human (insofar as they are to be God's covenant partners), then 'sanctification' cannot be limited to the regenerate alone, but 'comes on man from all eternity and therefore once and for all.' And if 'election' is the incluisve concept, the sum of the gospel, then the essence of humanity is determined in the gospel, and the sanctification is nothing but a demand to realize our essence. The law requires people to live according to their election."

Some have called this universalism, others a kind of existentialism, but at heart, it is nothing more than a Trinitarian outworking of the implications of God's revelation in Jesus Christ. That is the heart of Barth's thought, his starting point, and the end he reaches at all times. This is just one example I could multiply hundreds of times in writings on the gospel, Art, and what it means to be a Christian.

Marshall Art said...

"It isn't crap, no one is enabled to continue in sin if one adheres to what is written here, and I do believe that "obligated" is a word that doesn't exist because, as St. Paul wrote, we are obligated to nothing, but we are freed for freedom's sake."

Please cite the chapter and verse so that I can review it and show you how you missed the point.

"Furthermore, I have written literally millions of words, as has Dan, as to what we believe and why. You dismiss it, usually for reasons we find wanting."

Hardly. I haven't dismissed anything. What I do is show how what you say you believe doe not align with other things you say. What I do is show how you constantly miss the point of whatever piece of Scripture you guys use to support your corrupted understanding. What you "find wanting" is not my arguments, but the ramifications of them for you. My arugments are sound, evidenced in part by the usual tactics you all employ ("hunches", "you're twisting my words", "you're not God", "you're a moron", etc. etc.)

"I feel no obligation to change my understanding of what it is to be Christian based upon the silly ramblings of strangers."

I forgot "silly ramblings of strangers". Please add it to the above list of evasive tactics.

Gotta go. More later. I'll bet you can't wait.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Galatians 5:1, and continuing, from the Revised English Bible (the Anglican Church's version of the NRSV): "It is for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and refuse to submit again to the yoke of slavery [i.e., circumcision].

"Mark my words: I, Paul, say to you that if you get yourself circumcised Christ will benefit you no more. I impress on you once again that every man who accepts circumcision is under obligation to keep the entire law. wHen you seek to be justified by way of law, you are cut off from Christ: you have put yourselves outside God's grace. For it is by the Spirit and through faith that we hope to attain that righteousness which we eagerly await. If we are in union with Christ Jesus, circumcision makes no difference at all, nor does the lack of it; the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

One of my favorite passages of Scripture. It corrects the erroneous teaching in the Galatian churches that one needed to be circumcised in order to become a Christian. Because we are saved by grace through faith, no outward act as a sign of the New Covenant, other than baptism, is necessary; indeed, in the case of circumcision, we become beholden to the entirety of the Law, and are condemned by that same Law (a point he drives home in his letter to the Romans).

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Yes, Art, I can hardly wait to hear from you how I have misunderstood this particular passage of Scripture, which is one of my favorites, and which you seemed to not realize was in the Bible at all.

Please. Enlighten me.

Marshall Art said...

Oh, I'll be more than happy to really soon (note the time of day of this posting). Until then, perhaps you could answer a query. Aside from your bad attitude, what makes you think I didn't "realize" Paul's words were in the Bible? Simply because I asked for citation so that I didn't need to read every Epistle to find it? Is that how low you've sunk? C'mon. Grow up.

Alan said...

Once again MA shows he's never even read the Bible.

LOL.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Actually, Art, yes, that is exactly what I thought. That you would ask for a citation tells me you have no idea what St. Paul has written. It's really that simple. This is a key passage, not just in Galatians, but in the entire Pauline corpus. Since Galatians is thought to be a relatively early letter, it shows, among other thing, that the troubles with which St. Paul had to deal were in large part practical ones of defining membership in the Body of Christ with which he dealt in theological terms, always coming back to the grace and freedom of Jesus Christ.

Like the folks in the churches in Galatia, Corinth, and Rome, you and those who say stuff like you do would yoke Christians, not with circumcision, but other burdens. You would make of the random, narrowly defined "moral code" which you claim comes from God a new Law to which we are not only beholden but, as St. Paul notes of the Law, always judged and condemned. The attitude you express is the exact opposite of the point St. Paul was trying to pound in to the thick heads of the folks in Galatia, later in Corinth, even later in Rome. Christ came so that we could have life, and live it more abundantly, freed for the sake of freedom, live in to that new creation that is even now being born, the birth-pangs evident all around with ears to hear and eyes to see. These aren't my images and thoughts, they are St. Paul's. This isn't some weird misreading of Christian thought, but sits right there in the Bible.

Since I knew the passage, the reference, understand it in its various contexts, and know how to use Google to make sure I'm right (why is it you folks have no clue how to use a search engine?), it seems to me all I need to hear from you is, "Thank you for pointing that out." The abundant evidence that you do not know your Bible has been clear for a very long time; that you do not care what the Bible actually says is evidenced by your dismissive "it's crap" attitude when actual Biblical quotes are used. So spare me the idea that somehow you "know" the Bible when, in fact, you have provided so much evidence that you do not.

Alan said...

I guess MA's Bible keeps getting smaller and smaller.

;)

Marshall Art said...

"Actually, Art, yes, that is exactly what I thought. That you would ask for a citation tells me you have no idea what St. Paul has written."

Of course you would. That's that "grace" you keep talking about, isn't it? But as you struggle with points being made everywhere, all it should have told you, were you indeed one who takes seriously the notion of grace and of being gracious, is that I don't have the Bible memorized. I'm not ashamed to say so. But fortunately, I needn't be if memorization, or seminary study or whatever the hell Alan does, results in such a poor understanding of God's Will.

But to seek citation gives me the context of what you present as permission to dismiss God's Will on human behavior, and here, to contradict yourself. It was you who said,

"That is our work - to be the hands and feet and face and heart and love of God for this broken world that God loves so much."

But apparently now you say you're not obligated to do that work.

What else does Paul say we're not obligated to do? Refrain from murder, perhaps? Not being bound by the Law is a far cry from picking and choosing which of the Laws to abide. That we are not bound by the Law only means that our salvation does not depend on our perfect adherence to the Law. It doesn't allow us to dismiss the Law entirely if one of them conflicts with our carnal lusts.

So indeed, you do in fact miss the point once again. I give you points for being in the ballpark (but we're talking Comerica).

Alan said...

" But fortunately, I needn't be if memorization, or seminary study or whatever the hell Alan does, results in such a poor understanding of God's Will. "

LOL

In other words: "I don't need to actually *read* the Bible to know what God wants. I AM God!"

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art: "That we are not bound by the Law only means that our salvation does not depend on our perfect adherence to the Law. It doesn't allow us to dismiss the Law entirely if one of them conflicts with our carnal lusts."

First of all, please point to anything, ever, I have written that says it is OK in God's eyes to submit to one's own "carnal lusts". Just one passage. You seem to think it's a prominent part of what I believe (I don't and cannot imagine even thinking such a thing) so this should be easy.

Second, it isn't graceless to point out that I do not believe you know what is actually in the Bible, because, as I said, you give abundant evidence each and every day that you don't. Furthermore, I refuse to grant that you are even close to St. Paul's point. Whether or not we have the opportunity, in grace and freedom, to obey God's will with thankful and contrite hearts is a far cry from demanding, as you and others like you seem to do, over and over again, that unless we live "moral lives" (which is reduced, in your understanding, to keeping your pants zipped, unless you're married and only then accepting that it's still dirty and selfish even if it feels really good) we are going to hell. There isn't a scintilla of Scriptural support for such a position, even substituting "mass murder" for sex in your formula.

So, again, you miss the whole point of grace, of Christian freedom, of St. Paul, Jesus Christ, and the Christian tradition. That's quite an at-bat; you managed to strike out your whole side.

Marshall Art said...

"In other words: "I don't need to actually *read* the Bible to know what God wants. I AM God!""

EISEGESIS ALERT! Now you inject your meaning (stupidity) into MY words. Why not? If you do it with God's Word, why wouldn't you do it with those with whom you oppose?

Alan said...

"(stupidity) into MY words"

Yes, MA, your words are indeed stupid.

Now go outside and play. The adults are having a conversation.

Marshall Art said...

"First of all, please point to anything, ever, I have written that says it is OK in God's eyes to submit to one's own "carnal lusts"."

Your support for homosexual marriage and thus the forbidden sexual practices that define it.

Your support for abortion and thus, the usually forbidden, but mostly selfish sexual practices that made it seem necessary in the eyes of those who think their sexual urges require more respect than the life of the child they brought into existence.

Those are the obvious and most blatant examples, Geoff. I don't have time to go over some of the less obvious ones. While there is not the words "it's OK in God's eyes" in your support, your insistence that there is no sin involved in the first example equates to it.

"Second, it isn't graceless to point out that I do not believe you know what is actually in the Bible, because, as I said, you give abundant evidence each and every day that you don't."

The fact that you refuse the truth of my words is not "abundant evidence". What would be is if you could truly refute what I say. Ad hominem attacks on my level of Biblical knowledge does not accomplish that.

"...as you and others like you seem to do, over and over again, that unless we live "moral lives" (which is reduced, in your understanding, to keeping your pants zipped, unless you're married and only then accepting that it's still dirty and selfish even if it feels really good) we are going to hell."

You say this so often, after being corrected every time, that one can only come to the conclusion that you favor outright lying to make your case. What I and others like me have always been saying is that the willful disregard for the clearly revealed Will of God is rebellion that leads to damnation. We have always acknowledged that it is entirely up to God whether or not that consequence comes to pass. But you keep on lying about it if it makes you feel better about stirking out.

"There isn't a scintilla of Scriptural support for such a position, even substituting "mass murder" for sex in your formula."

Another example of your poor understanding. Thanks for the evidence. What was that seminary you attended? I need to warn off anyone I know who might intended to spend their money there. (Of course, based on your history on the blogs, I can't immediately blame your professors for your problem with points.)

Alan said...

"The fact that you refuse the truth of my words "

IRONY ALERT!

Marshall Art said...

Quick, Alan! Without looking it up, what does Micah 4:9 say? Can't tell me without looking it up? LOL! This proves you've never read the Bible!

Idiot.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

Galatians 5 does NOT imply one can disregard the instructions for human behavior. Would you allow that one is not obligated to adhere to "Love they neighbor as theyself?" Is that the lesson of Gal 5 upon which you are now relying? If you insist on this:

"That is our work - to be the hands and feet and face and heart and love of God for this broken world that God loves so much."

...then you contradict any obligation to that work with Gal 5. This is another example of how you misunderstand Scripture if you take two opposing positions at the same time. You have "our work", but you insist you're not obligated to actually engage in that work.

Gal 5 is simply another "faith over works" lesson, but faith doesn't eliminate works. Good works should be an example of one's faith. Good works include adhering to God's Will on matters of human sexuality as well as areas such as theft, lying, murder, etc.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art, you said the exact same thing Dan, Alan, and I have said each and every time this kind of discussion comes up, and you claim I have not said it.

Ahem: "Gal 5 is simply another "faith over works" lesson, but faith doesn't eliminate works. Good works should be an example of one's faith." I wouldn't put it quite that way, but in essence, I completely agree with that statement. Furthermore, that is exactly what I said the lesson of Galatians 5, various passages in 1 Corinthians, and most of all the discussion of the Law in Romans are all about.

Somehow, we are agreeing, yet you seem to think we are not. Furthermore, you say this as if you understand it, yet your actions clearly demonstrate you do not. For you, it is obligation. For me, following St. Paul, we are freed for the sake of freedom. To be the hands and feet and face of God is something we do not, cannot, do on our own, but are given the opportunity to do in faith through grace.

See, how hard was that?

Alan said...

"To be the hands and feet and face of God is something we do not, cannot, do on our own, but are given the opportunity to do in faith through grace."

We're gonna make a Calvinist of you yet, Geoffrey! :)

MA: One of the myriad differences between us is that I'm clever enough to know how to use Google. So, if I didn't know what Geoffrey was referring to when he provided the quote (this wasn't a memory exercise, it was a recognition test), I could just Google it instead of your insipid "Provide me chapter and verse" nonsense.

Find a 4 year old, I'm sure they can help you figure out how to use Google. Perhaps there's a coloring book with step by step instructions. You could probably find such a thing on Amazon, but alas, you probably can't figure out how to order online either.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

"We're gonna make a Calvinist of you yet, Geoffrey! :)"

Nah, that's just good old-fashioned Wesleyan sanctification. That hair's-breadth between him and Calvin is almost too small to see at this point.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

The UM Hymnal has a revised Prayer of Humble Access during Eucharist that includes the following petition, which says much the same thing: "Free us for joyful obedience". Enough said.

Marshall Art said...

"Furthermore, you say this as if you understand it, yet your actions clearly demonstrate you do not."

How so?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

How so? By your continued use of the word "obligation". What part of "freed for the sake of freedom" includes any concept of obligation, requirement, necessity in it? We are free to live as we were created by God to be, to have life and that more abundantly. We are under no obligation to "do" or "be" anything.

Now, does that mean that we can do whatever we wish? That Aleister Crowley's "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" reigns? Obviously not! St. Paul spoke often enough against that kind of antinomianism. The difference may seem slight but is actually central. You insist that we are obligated to behave a certain way because we are Christians, a way you call moral that includes a certain set of sexual codes.

St. Paul sees the Christian life as one in which we live out of faith, in grace, for the world, being the Body of Christ, who ministered to this world beloved of God, yet broken by our sin. Sin here is not an act, or a series of acts, or certain kinds of acts; sin is the basic human condition, the broken relationship with God and one another, a relationship to which God continues to remain faithful as evidenced by the sending of the Jesus Christ (Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, that proves God's love for us, another quote from St. Paul).

In other words, it isn't about being good, or moral, or keeping your pants zipped and powder dry. It is, rather, living out of the freedom and in the New Creation, the new creature that we already are, but are not yet fully, through the baptism in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Morality? That's thinking small. This is about being, at all times in all places and circumstances, in prayer (pray without ceasing, another Paulism) before God in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

My insouciance toward your insistence on morality isn't a sign of me disregarding morality, or wanting to excuse bad behavior. It is, rather, seeing all of human life fundamentally changed (not all shall die, but we all shall be changed) by the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ. This isn't weird, or something new, or an excuse to be sinful. It is good, old-fashioned Pauline theology, rooted in the incarnation of the Son of God.

Furthermore, invoking the words of a comment lost in Blogger's fart the other day, this isn't about the "truth" of "your words". Nor is it about the truth or falsity of my words. These aren't my words, or my thoughts. In fact, none of this has anything to do with me, because I am insignificant to the point of pointlessness. This is about God, God's glory, God's righteousness, God's holiness. That you keep pointing fingers at yourself, well . . .

Marshall Art said...

I had another response from what follows, but Blogger "farted" again and it didn't post. Let's see what happens now.

"What part of "freed for the sake of freedom" includes any concept of obligation, requirement, necessity in it?"

What we are freed from is the obligation to follow the Law as a means of salvation and justification; a burden too heavy for mortal man to bear. THAT is the message of Gal 5.

But neither Christ nor Paul dismisses the Law whatsoever. Christ states that He didn't come to abolish the Law, and Paul states that it is the Law that teaches us what sin is and thus, what behaviors to avoid for His sake.

"In other words, it isn't about being good, or moral, or keeping your pants zipped and powder dry. It is, rather, living out of the freedom and in the New Creation, the new creature that we already are, but are not yet fully, through the baptism in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Progressive babble. "being good, or moral, or keeping your pants zipped" are manifestations of being born again in Christ. Conversely, NOT "being good, or moral, or keeping your pants zipped" is evidence that one isn't.

"My insouciance toward your insistence on morality isn't a sign of me disregarding morality, or wanting to excuse bad behavior. It is, rather, seeing all of human life fundamentally changed (not all shall die, but we all shall be changed) by the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ."

Changed how? So that immorality and bad behavior have no meaning for those who engage in it? This is more babble. Keep in mind, I do not, nor do I ever, speak in terms of the occasional falling to temptation, wherein the sinner feels remorse and steels against additional episodes. I speak only of those who willfully disregard God's Will on a continual basis, and in particular those who pretend they are unaware of their sinfulness (as if God can be fooled), or that it is different for them.

And thinking small? Paul obviously did not share your attitude as he spoke often against sexual immorality, saying we should flee from it and even in that same chapter of Galatians that you love so well speaks of it as an obvious act of a sinful nature. HE preaches self-control, and you say it's small thinking.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

In all honesty, Art, you don't get it because you don't want to. That's what I think. In any of what I wrote did you hear me say "Go and sin some more"? Seriously?

Didn't I say, quite explicitly, that it isn't about excusing bad behavior, but thinking differently about what it means to live fully and completely? Obviously, we now have the opportunity not to wallow in sin, because we are freed from it. Yet, even St. Paul wrote, "The thing I do not wish to do, I do; the thing I wish to do, I do not do." Why? Because he understood, obviously, that being a Christian means living in an awareness of the constancy of sin even as one acknowledges that one is freed from the bondage to sin.

These are all things I have said over and over and over again, because they are the things St. Paul has said. You continue to dismiss them, which forces me to conclude that you have no desire to understand them. Like the folks in Galatia, in Corinth, in Rome, you wish to yoke Christians to circumcision, to the Law, to social status prior to any commitment to Christ, rather than live out of Christ and change the relationship to circumcision (unnecessary), to the Law (freed to follow it, rather than judged by it), or to social status (we can screw the poor but that's OK because we have Jesus in our hearts).

This discussion is as old as the Church, and St. Paul had a response each and every time his correspondents didn't get it. He said they weren't very bright. Just as Jesus said of his disciples, "How long have you been with me and you still don't know me?"

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Oh, and thank you for acknowledging that the theology of St. Paul is "progressive babble". At least we have that cleared up.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

From Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 19, part 6, Calvin writes the following: "Let those who infer that we ought to sin because we are not under the law understand that this freedom has nothing to do with them. For its purpose is to encourage us to do good."

In Part 12 of the same book and chapter, he writes: "Nothing could be plainer than this rule: that we should use our freedom if it results in the edification of our neighbor, but if it does not help our neighbor, then we should forgo it. There are those who pretend a Pauline prudence in abstaining from freedom, while there is nothing to which they apply it less than to the duties of love. To protect their won repose, they wish all mention of freedom to be buried; when it is no less important sometimes to use our neighbors' freedom for their food and edification than on occasion to restrain it for their own benefit. But it is the part of a godly man to realize that freepower in outward matters has been given him in order to at he may be the more ready for all the duties of love."

Marshall Art said...

I only have time for a quick response to one incredibly silly statement:

"Oh, and thank you for acknowledging that the theology of St. Paul is "progressive babble". At least we have that cleared up."

Cleared up? Indeed. Rather, you've made a step toward muddying my position by forcing me to state the obvious (not that any point has ever been proven obvious to you): It was not Paul's words to which I referred to as progressive babble. This should have been clear, even to you, based on the fact that both times I used the term "babble", it followed a quote of YOUR words. Your interpretation of Paul is progressive babble.

NOW we're clear.

More later.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Dude, I basically cut and pasted from St. Paul. How is what I wrote "progressive" as opposed to any other interpretation? I mean, seriously, I was elaborating upon a point of agreement between us, merely pointing out that my understanding of your constant moral badgering sees it in a different context (human life is now free to be fully human before God, fulfilling the Law in love and faith through grace, rather than failing to do so through compulsion resulting in judgment and death). This, being the sum of St. Paul's position (see Romans if you don't believe me), isn't "progressive" unless you want to assign that epithet to pretty much everything the guy wrote.

Alan said...

So now John Calvin is progressive?

Now I've seen everything.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Alan, he wasn't responding to Calvin, I think. That would be funny, though. Of course, Art's response would probably be that I didn't understand what Calvin was saying, or was quoting him out of context, or something. I don't have room or time to type the entire Institutes, so I had to settle for what I could.

BTW, which edition do you have? Please don't show off and have one in Latin, either, or French.

Alan said...

No, I just have an old paperback English version.

Only the pre-Sem students at Calvin got the Latin versions ... usually bound in leather. (Just like Calvin himself.) :)

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Mine's hardback, two volumes, the paper is like onion-skin. Originally published in 1960, it is from one of the later editions, I think.

Marshall Art said...

"Dude, I basically cut and pasted from St. Paul. How is what I wrote "progressive" as opposed to any other interpretation?"

Dude, I explained how right after calling your statements "babble". Go back and re-read them.

"human life is now free to be fully human before God"

...is an example of this babbling. Being fully human is to be that which is corrupt and sinful. When you use words like this, it suggests the very thing you claim you AREN'T saying, that one is free to sin. Being free to sin to being fully human because humans are sinful, imperfect creatures.

But I state again, being guided by the Law is NOT the same as a works-based salvation. It would be nice if everyone who sincerely believed would automatically live as God intends, but that's not how it works, is it? People still need to consciously walk the narrow path. People still need to weigh whether a given choice is in line with God's Will or not. People are always prone to sinful behavior and a mistep is NOT something that would condemn those of faith. But a purposeful act of rebellion, which can only be measured against the guidelines of the Law, is a different matter altogether.

Never, EVER have I, or any who speak from my side of the issues, spoken in terms of those who stumble in their walk. Such people are those of whom Paul speaks, such people are not tied to the Law or judged by it. But those who willfully ignore the Law, or who insist that THEY'RE form of behavior is not what a "Thou shalt not" means, has shown they are not people of faith covered by Christ's sacrifice because they are in clear violation of the Law. One cannot be faithful and at the same time reject clear teaching. It is a case of serving two masters.

YOUR use of Gal 5, and other teachings, suggests this is just fine. I reject that and I doubt you can find in either Calvin OR Wesley anything that disagrees with me.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I shall say it again. You don't get it, I think, because you don't want to. St. Paul wrote, and I quote, Christ came that we might have life, and that more abundantly. When I wrote that we now live our lives fully human before God - same thing, restated. In faith through grace we now live without the fear of judgment under the Law even as we now freely live to fulfill the Law, not as judgment, but as it was originally intended, as grace for the blessed community.

We do this as those who believe themselves to be free from the curse of sin even as we believe we are those who are still in sin.

As I have reached the point where I am repeating points that I understood years ago, I shall stop unless you have something new to add.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Except to ask the following: What part of what I have written - coming from St. Paul, John Calvin, etc. - do you disagree with? What part of this understanding of the Christian life, rooted in the Biblical witness do you find contrary to any other Biblical teaching? In all honesty, Art, I was writing about a point upon which we seemed to agree, yet you turn around and insist that (a) we don't agree; and that (b) what I have written is not in keeping with long-standing interpretations of St. Paul; and that (c) it seems to bless "sinful" behavior when in fact, it makes the exact opposite point.

I mean, seriously. Are you that invested in being disagreeable that you are unwilling to admit that at this fundamental point we are in agreement, except in matters of emphasis and presentation? Obviously, being a Christian means eschewing sin. It also means not worrying about the judgment and condemnation of sin because we live by faith through grace. Obviously, being a Christian means being disciplined in one's life - living out the fruits of the Spirit, as it were - rather than setting aside the clear understanding that a fully human life includes living in love toward others.

I fail to see where you could complain about any of this. Seriously. I have not, nor ever would, claim that this is some odd cover for "sinful behavior" when clearly it is the exact opposite (the point of the first Calvin quote). Yet, complain you do.

This is why I am at a loss here. We seem to be in agreement, yet you claim I say things I demonstrably do not say, make claims I would never, nor could ever, make. You insist I excuse sinful behavior - whatever that may mean - when the exact opposite is the case. I am truly, utterly, confused by your position here.

Alan said...

"Being fully human is to be that which is corrupt and sinful."

So when Christians confess that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man, MA believes that Jesus was corrupt and sinful.

Or perhaps he's a docetist. I wouldn't be surprised.

"I doubt you can find in either Calvin OR Wesley anything that disagrees with me."

Wanna bet?

I won't copy and past all of Book II, Chapter 1 of the Institutes (you can read it on your own. heh. yeah, right.) but the gist is this: We were originally created without sin. We weren't meant to be sinful and God pronounced us "very good" when He created humankind. However, through our sin, without Christ, we can no longer live as God intended, as "fully human" because of our totally depraved nature.

That's pretty much the opposite of what you believe.

However, because of God's grace: "from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!"

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Alan, it's like he takes the exact opposite of what most folks consider a kind of bland general orthodoxy and claims it as orthodoxy.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

And I read that whole "to be human is to be corrupt" as a mistake, maybe him leaving out a typo or something, since that is pretty much the OPPOSITE of anything in the Bible or Christian teaching.

When St. Paul said we are to have life and that more abundantly, when we are a new creation in Christ, because we are baptized into his death and resurrection, when he says that sin came in to the world through one man - Adam - so salvation comes through one man - Jesus Christ; all of this has to do with the original creation, called very good, corrupt by sin, but now saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My assumption was that Art had made a typographical error, and does not actually think that to be human as God intended us to be is to be sinful and corrupt.

Alan said...

"Alan, it's like he takes the exact opposite of what most folks consider a kind of bland general orthodoxy and claims it as orthodoxy."

Well, in his defense, I think if you asked the average American Christian about salvation and probed deeply enough, they would basically respond in the same way that MA does: God is a giant angry Santa in the sky with a celestial naughty and nice list. If the checkmarks in the nice column outweigh the checkmarks in the naughty column, you go to heaven. If not, you go to hell.

But combine that with MA's arrogance (suggesting we won't find anything in Calvin or Wesley to contradict MA when we all know he's never read a word of either man's work) and you get a perfect storm of heresies: gnosticism, pelagianism, dispensationalism, etc., etc., not to mention rather Catholic attitudes regarding clericism.

But pretty much nothing that even remotely resembles the Reformed Calvinist Protestantism of his supposedly Congregationalist roots.

I've mentioned before that these sorts of naive conceptions are pretty similar to the sorts of science misconceptions that many folks have. They're notoriously difficult to shake loose after they've taken hold.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

Try to do this without preconceived notions about me. Things will run much more smoothly.

You did NOT say this originally:

"...to be human as God intended us to be..."

...and thus was not what I disputed. You said this:

"human life is now free to be fully human before God"

These are two very different things and to be what God intends us to be is not something with which I would disagree. In fact, it is what I support and the basis for why I oppose the promotion of lifestyles clearly prohibited by Scripture. Those who indulge their desires in a manner that conflicts with God's clearly revealed intentions are NOT, by virtue of that indulgence, being human as God intends. They are being what THEY intend and insisting it's the same thing. This is self-worship, not God worship and is NOT in line with the "orthodoxies" you claim to follow. You own support for institutions based on this type of misbehavior is to approve of the behavior and, to some extent, makes you equally guilty of the same heresy that seeks to validate it.

Marshall Art said...

Alan said (stupidly):

"I won't copy and past all of Book II, Chapter 1 of the Institutes (you can read it on your own. heh. yeah, right.) but the gist is this: We were originally created without sin."

This is wrong. WE weren't created without sin. Adam and Eve was. The rest of us were born into the sin of Adam's that tainted all of creation. I seriously doubt that Calvin said that WE were created without sin. IF he said this, I doubt he meant that each of us blogging here were so created. IF he said that, I have no doubt the intention of his words is that God originally created man, that is, Adam and Eve, without sin fully intending that any offspring of theirs, should there have been any had they not sinned, would not carry that stain by simply being born.

Time's up.

Alan said...

Yes, human kind was created without sin. I'm sorry that you do not understand the basic function of pronouns.

In any event, your pathetic attempt to distract via nitpicking because you do not understand how pronouns work doesn't mitigate the fact that I did, in fact, find something that directly contradicts your heterodoxy.

Yes, time is up for your pathetic "arguments".

Game. Set. Match.

Alan said...

(And the meaning of "originally" seems to have escaped you as well, but that's hardly surprising.)

Really, that response is about the lamest I've seen from you and that's saying something. I think if that pathetic pablum is the new level of your comments, perhaps it is time to turn in your troll-card and pursue some other hobby.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Oh. Our. God. Seriously, Art, they are EXACTLY the same thing. To live as God intended us to live and to live fully human lives - they are exactly the same thing.

We were originally created to be free. We destroyed our freedom in sin, Adam condemning humanity to death before God. Jesus Christ came to bring salvation from that condemnation. We are now free, in faith through grace, to live again as God intended, fully human before God, free.

I mean, really. Wow.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

An alternative offered in all seriousness. It may seem radical, but I don't think it is.

runlevelfivepointer said...

Here's how it works, Dan. Our blogs, our rules. We expect the very same from you. If you want to delete my comments or every fifth person's comments, or whatever, it's your right to do so. Furthermore, running and crying to someone's Pastor for blocking/muzzling you on their own blog is pretty childish.

Dan Trabue said...

Absolutely. Your blog, your rules. In this post, I'm just pointing out the irony of someone "warning" of how their comments might be deleted/views might be misrepresented at a blog famous for doing just that.

Do you see the irony?

Beyond that, while you are free to do as you wish, that does not make it right. I maintain that slander and gossip is wrong, and speaking falsehoods about someone and not having the decency to allow that person to defend themselves speaks of a cowardice that is not a good representation of one's humanity and certainly not one's Christianity.

Dan Trabue said...

As to the "writing the pastor" thing, there is more to it than just the facts being represented, but I DO regret it. Not because it was childish, but because it just sounds creepy.

The thing is, the Bible tells us Christians to talk to one another when there is a disagreement and, if that fellow Christian refuses to listen, to take it to a third person to try to restore the relationship. The person in question is a Christian and should recognize that as a biblical standard, if perhaps poorly applied.

Welcome to Through the Woods. Come back any time. Just don't engage in slander and childish name-calling. It does not speak well of one's character.

Marshall Art said...

"Just don't engage in slander and childish name-calling."

Unless you're Alan, who has carte blanche.

Marshall Art said...

First of all, Alan, child, if you aren't going to say what you mean, don't pretend I'm not understanding. Who would "we" refer to if not specifically stated to mean mankind?

Though Gen 1:26 says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over...",
in the very next verse, most, if not all, translations say, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (These from KJV) Then of course, Chapter 2 discusses the details.

So we see that Biblically, even when Chapter 1 speaks of "them", it goes on to speak of one couple. That such were called "good" spoke of that couple alone, or at best, the notion of what mankind was intended to be. But to say "we" were originally created without sin (as if "originally" should automatically tip off any reader that you meant Adam and Eve and what would have been their offspring without their first having sinned), as opposed to "we here in the here and now" were originally created without sin is YOUR bad, not mine for not being a mind reader. However, if such helps you to feel good about yourself after dealing with someone to whom you condescend, why you go right ahead, child. Believe what you like.

"Game. Set. Match."

Do you darken my blog under cover of the name "Parklife"? HE often thinks he's "winning" when he fails so miserably.

Marshall Art said...

"Oh. Our. God. Seriously, Art, they are EXACTLY the same thing. To live as God intended us to live and to live fully human lives - they are exactly the same thing."

First of all, Geoffrey, shame on you for using His name in vain. It's bad enough to do so vocally in times of emotional stress, but to consciously decide to type it out in a blog (or a FB page in the manner my niece spewed her profanities--but she's just a kid), is inexcusable.

Secondly, they are nowhere near the same. You would have to type it out in this manner:

To live fully human lives as God intended."

...to make your case. But to merely say, "to live fully human lives" is to allow for all the depravity of which mankind is capable. It's the difference between human, or wordly, and being spiritual. We cannot just turn off what we once were or what we prefer to be. Alan is proof of that. But we must live as God intends us to live, rejecting our "human" desires as one born anew. And once again (I'll say it over and over if I have to), what you speak of is being freed from being held accountable for our unconscious backsliding, when we let down our guard and commit some sin we would not otherwise intend. This is not something on which I've ever spent any time. I have ONLY referred to willful disregard for God's Will as well as the act of pretending a sin is no longer sinful. Please try to remember this very stark distinction.


So you can cram your feigned exasperation.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Unless you're Alan, who has carte blanche.

Marshall, Alan is responding to you in kind, demonstrating in his writing the sort of behavior you and your tribe too often engage in so that you can see, "oh, that behavior IS bad," and learn a lesson.

It's an object lesson for your benefit and you are missing the point, still.

In the words of Jesus, our Lord:

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

...to make your case. But to merely say, "to live fully human lives" is to allow for all the depravity of which mankind is capable.

I, for one, understood exactly what Geoffrey was saying, Marshall. A Christian like Geoffrey wouldn't say "live fully human lives before God" and MEAN "live lives of the worst sort of sin," that would make no sense. OF COURSE he is speaking of lives as God intended.

But here's another example of someone jumping to conclusions and NOT giving another the benefit of the doubt when they were unsure of their words, but rather, harshly judging and judging wrong.

Alan said...

"But here's another example of someone jumping to conclusions and NOT giving another the benefit of the doubt when they were unsure of their words, but rather, harshly judging and judging wrong."

And doing so to intentionally distract from the fact that MA doesn't have the slightest clue what we're talking about.

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, Alan is responding to you in kind, demonstrating in his writing the sort of behavior you and your tribe too often engage in so that you can see, "oh, that behavior IS bad," and learn a lesson.

It's an object lesson for your benefit and you are missing the point, still."


Complete and utter bullshit, Dan. I have been taking great pains to remain as civil as possible. Alan goes out of his way to be the opposite. If you are daring to equate our styles of late (since you began deleting that which you insist is over whatever you call the line between graciousness and incivility), then you are a liar. If you are trying to equate a complete mischaracterization of my remarks with an honest conclusion drawn from any of yours (you and "your cronies"), then that is equally false and indicates a willful dishonesty or severe lack of reason.

Out of time. Gotta go. More later.

Dan Trabue said...

In a bit of irony, our drive by sniper (the fella who came in a few comments ago, made one comment defending their right to slander and gossip and not allow others to defend themselves) has THIS to say at his/her blog...

This type of propaganda is not merely anti-Scriptural. It neglects to engage in any type of argument around the Scriptures. While this should not shock us, it should serve to inform us. It should be clear that, in the main, the Religious Left no longer feels a need to actually engage the issues.

And, when I go there and say, "I'll engage, want to talk about the issues?" what is the result?

Well, to begin with, of course the comments are moderated (what ARE they afraid of? Are their positions so un-defendable that they know a rational discussion about the topic will only serve to lose?

And, of course, when called on it with someone willing to engage and dismiss that false charge, they choose not to engage themselves. Exposing the hypocrisy of these type of individuals.

Sad, really. But sort of funny, too, how consistently you find this approach to "discussion."

Anonymous said...

Dan,

What is your big issue with comment moderation? Many bloggers do it for different reasons. Doesn't seem like a big deal.

Dan Trabue said...

Am I failing to make myself clear? If someone wishes to moderate their comments, that's their business. No problem, doesn't matter to me. If someone wishes to delete comments or refuse to publish comments, no problem.

What MY POINT is, is that it is hypocritical and ironic for people who choose to do so to THEN complain about others who might twist their words or misrepresent their positions. It is hypocritical and ironic to complain/misrepresent, "THEY don't want to engage in conversation and defend their positions," when YOU don't want to engage in conversation or defend your position.

It is cowardly to speak of someone's position, misrepresenting that position, and then NOT allowing the person to defend themselves against the slander and false charges. Why does it seem cowardly? Because IF you believe your position is rational and can withstand scrutiny, then you have nothing to fear in letting people defend themselves against your false charges. IF, on the other hand, you're afraid that if people hear both sides of the argument, others might be swayed to the "wrong side," you are expressing the fear that your position will not withstand public scrutiny.

I'm just pointing out the irony, cowardice and hypocrisy of people who engage in that sort of behavior. They are free to do as they want at other blogs, but I am free to point out the irony and their cowardice/hypocrisy if I believe it fits.

I'm not speaking of moderating out spam (I do that) or deleting trolls. I'm speaking specifically of the behavior I've mentioned. Also, I'm wondering WHY IS IT that SO CONSISTENTLY we see this as a Religious Fundamentalist/Right sort of behavior?

In my experience (subjective and limited), I'd estimate that ~80-90% of the Religious Right blogs I have visited either moderate right off the bat, or delete messages, or ban people regularly, while very rarely do I find this on liberal or non-religious blogs.

Why do you think that is, anonymous person? Are you a religious right sort and do you moderate? Why?

Craig said...

A little bent out of shape there? I am sure you would label me as "religious right", I believe I have moderation on at least one of my blogs, but it's just to keep spam out. I've been moderated on blogs of all stripes, and think is is a pretty reasonable precation to take. Personally I've never seen anyoone behave in the manner you describe, the only time I've ever seen someone banned was after repeated specific requests to stop a certain behavior, after numerous warnings. I'm sure there are folks with quick trigger fingers, I just haven't seen them.

As far as hypocracy goes, I agree that to behave one way ones own blog, while demanding different behavior from others on their blogs does seem hypocritical. However, from my experience the hypocracy definately cuts down both sides of the aisle. Some of the most nasty and vile personal attacks I've seen while blogging have happened at lefty blogs.

I guess it comes down to live and let live, turn the other cheek, and how you deal with it.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

A little bent out of shape there?

Is this addressed to me? If so, I'm not sure why. My shape remains unbent (although a bit bulged out in the center...)

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I've been moderated on blogs of all stripes, and think is is a pretty reasonable precation to take.

As noted, I've just said that this has been my experience. Perhaps my experience has been outside the norm.

But consider:

Dan, Alan, Geoffrey, Marty (when she had a blog), ER, Big Daddy Weave, Revhipchick, Inexpugnable, ANY of my environmentalist blog friends... ie, EACH AND EVERY blog that leans to the left on my blog list or who visits here occasionally does not moderate and does not generally ban. My dear friend Michael HAS opted to ban one or two people that I have heard of, mostly he did so for reasons of bad behavior, as Michael considered it. Nearly 100% moderation free (and I'm not counting those who edit out/ban spam, that's different).

On the other hand:

Stan, Eric, Mark, Von, Karamisu (sp?), Glenn, Mike, John Barron, HWMNBN, Bumbling Dan, Timothy, Daddio, this new sniper who commented a few comments ago and about ten-twenty other places I've visited moderate, delete and ban.

While Doug, Jeremy, Brandon, and John and a few others don't moderate or ban (and I count John because, while he's not especially religious any more, when he WAS religiousy rightish, he did not moderate).

It's a batting average of well over 60% IN MY EXPERIENCE at more fundamentalish blogs. And, if I might venture a sliding scale, I'd say the more fundamentalist they tend to be, the greater the odds are they ban/moderate/delete those with whom they disagree.

Do you think my experience is not representative or, if you think it is, why do you think it seems to be the case that the more fundamentalist you are, the more likely you are to delete/ban/moderate?

My hunch is that the more convinced you are that YOU hold the Truth pretty close to perfectly, the more intolerant you are of "people who are wrong on the internet," the more likely you are to delete/moderate/ban. And I think THAt is because you don't want to "pollute" your blog with people offering "un-Godly" opinions, because people might be led astray and since you fear your message not being solid enough to bear the competition, you just delete the competing voices.

But that's just my hunch: That it's all about fearing that others will be led astray. And fear's the way we die.

Can you name ten progressive/liberal blogs who moderate/ban?

And for good comparison's sake, let's keep it to small time blogs. I didn't count Al Mohler, who doesn't allow comments, because he's so big, I could see that comments would be unwieldy to keep up with and he'd be unable to respond to them.

Also, for comparison's sake, let's not count blogs which are mostly untended and/or not intended to be open for comments. I'm speaking of those blogs who moderate/ban because they disapprove of the message.

Can you name ten of those sort of blogs?

Craig said...

Dan,

While I would not discount your experience I would suggest that is is a very small and potentially unrepresentative sample.

As far as moderation, I would suggest you would have a point if they only moderate those who disagree. My experience is that those who moderate moderate everyone. Or moderate individuals who have caused problems.

I reiterate, I have never seen anyone moderated or banned without numerous warnings or without a written comment policy. My experience is not exhaustive but it is my experience.

As far as 10 blogs, as a general rule if I get moderated or banned soley because of my views, I move on and don't go back. So, while I could troll around and find 10, I probably won't. I will say that Marty's (ex) pastor moderates and has not posted comments of mine. I also wouldn't dare to try to stereotype this kind of behavior or to even attempt to generalize some sort of explaination as to why some poeple do what they do. Seems like a waste of time.

Like I said earlier, it's just easier to turn the other cheek and not keep score. There'e enough hypocracy to go around and I try to limit what annoys me. It's just easier that way.

Marshall Art said...

"Monopolizing the conversation" was the reason given for being banned from Levelers, as if a conversation in print can be monopolized. He banned me for asking questions he could not or would not, answer about his poorly defended reasons for "inclusion", which is goofy in and of itself considering few churches refuse entry merely for being a sinner. Unrepentent sinner, perhaps, but merely being a sinner.

Furthermore, as has been mentioned, your situation at Neil's was the result of hundreds of comments over the years. That you may have experienced the same treatment elsewhere is likely more of the same, I'd wager. Conversely, I doubt that Neil's experiences with Currie is anything like yours with him. Thus, there is nothing ironic about his words on the subject of being banned or edited.

Alan said...

Just a clarification, Dan....

It isn't that I don't moderate, delete, or ban comments because I have a particular policy not to do so. I don't moderate, delete, or ban because I don't have to. I am lucky enough to have grown-ups commenting on my blog, so I don't have to moderate, delete, or ban.

But if I got the kind of trolls you get here I would definitely moderate, delete, and/or ban in a heartbeat, and I'd do so gleefully.

But in any event, if I had to moderate comments, I wouldn't do that and then whine about other people moderating, deleting or banning on their blogs. Clearly that's just stupid, blatant hypocrisy.

Alan said...

"I reiterate, I have never seen anyone moderated or banned without numerous warnings or without a written comment policy. "

I can name at least 4 blogs that have done so that have not yet been named here. (Sorry, I won't be naming them because I wouldn't want to drive traffic to them, but they're all right-wing fundy types, mostly with a PCUSA audience.)

Just a correction, Craig, not a complaint. As I said in my first comment above, being banned from right wing wacko blogs is a badge of honor.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

If I operated a blog in which I singled out one or two right-wingers, say Mike Huckabee, and wrote post after post in which I called his faith in to question even as I named him, distorted his views, misquoted him, and attacked his wife and children, then when he responded turned around and blocked him from ever commenting, I think anyone with even a scintilla of sense would understand I was being a coward.

So, um, with Neil and Chuck Currie . . . As I was there in real time when the ban finally clamped down (and got banned myself for calling Neil on his cowardice), I can attest to the fact that Currie was always polite, gracious, even humorous. He suggested Neil needed a hobby or something, which was about as nasty as he got.

In an email exchange with him after the fact, he told me he only got upset when Neil went after his, Currie's, family, which is understandable.

I have erased a couple comments from Edwin Drood that were nasty, off-topic, and generally nonsensical. I have let him comment since, although he has only done so once or twice.

You see the difference here, folks? Neil, Mark, any and all of 'em - welcome anytime, at least at my own blog, and I guess Dan's, too. The light is always one, the welcome mat always out, just don't get crumbs on the new furniture is all I ask. A tad less, um gracious, on the other side of the fence.

Craig said...

Dan,

I guess it's a tiny bit ironic that you have a comment at one of the blogs that moderates you. Is there a lesson to be learned here?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Craig - yeah, that some of these guys are as gutless as they come. "See, I don't delete everything you write, you big liar!"

It's a game, and they keep losing, because of that big old "L" tattooed on their foreheads.

Marshall Art said...

"If I operated a blog in which I singled out one or two right-wingers, say Mike Huckabee, and wrote post after post in which I called his faith in to question even as I named him, distorted his views, misquoted him, and attacked his wife and children, then when he responded turned around and blocked him from ever commenting, I think anyone with even a scintilla of sense would understand I was being a coward."

You'd be worse than that. You accuse Neil of nastiness. Why not try listing an example of some view of Currie's that Neil's distorted, or any misquotes, etc. Neil generally links to the piece he is disputing (at least on Eternity Matters---keep forgetting he has that other blog---doubt he'd do things differently there). Thus, readers can check out Neil's story at the source and make their own conclusions. If one is dealing with a corrupt individual who preaches in a corrupt manner, what likelihood is there that corrupt preacher would overcome all he's preached in print with a few comments on Neil's blog? Again, Neil has not banned anyone for commenting once, but only after repeatedly commenting in a manner that Neil has warned against. Hardly cowardly.

What's more, you know Currie no better than you know Neil, but have no trouble believing Currie over Neil. I've never seen anything that should lead anyone to suspect that Neil is dishonest or cowardly, even if one doesn't agree with him. No one is obliged to carry on with another who has worn out their welcome. And as far as Currie is concerned, it ain't like he's just another blogger. He is a man of some notoriety and public people get ripped and analysed all the time.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

As I stated quite clearly, I was there, in real time, reading and following Neil's little stalker blog, reading Currie's comments and Neil's usual "straw man!" and "illogical!" retorts, usually - like his use of "coward" and "passive-aggressive" to describe my own behavior - incorrectly. As for "evidence" . . . every single time Neil introduces a post on Rev. Currie, he claims that Currie believes that Jesus is not "the only way to salvation", which is patently absurd, contradicted by everything Currie says, writes, and does (I read Curries blog and his occasional other articles as well, so I do know a bit about his public persona). When Neil introduces Jim Wallis, he claims that Wallis believes in the redistribution of wealth as part of the Gospel message. As someone who has followed the vicissitudes of Wallis for 20 years, and who considers himself less than a fan, shall we say, I can nevertheless say without any fear of contradiction that Neil's description is wrong. I have no need or desire to defend either Currie or Wallis, because both are perfectly capable of doing so on their own, and I said, in the case of Jim Wallis, I count myself a critic rather than a defender.

So, right there, at the heart and very beginning we have evidence. Furthermore, while Wallis says some nice things about the need to address poverty, he is hardly a "liberal" either in religion or politics. Currie is indeed a liberal in both, but that is neither here nor there, in particular as Neil always puts Currie's title, Reverend, in quotation marks, as if he were not in fact an ordained clergy of the United Church of Christ.

I could go on, but in reality, I don't need to. As to "knowing" any of the persons involved, I simply lay the evidence before people and let them make their decisions. I have no stake in this matter, no dog in this fight. I observed what was going on, and found Neil's behavior atrocious, cowardly, and quite nasty, in particular when he went after Currie's wife as another "non-Christian" then feigned fear for the spiritual well-being of the Currie children, a subject on which he knows absolutely nothing. It was this that raised Currie's ire, and that resulted in Neil banning Currie from commenting on a blog of which he is the central figure of attack.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Should Neil wish to defend himself against any charges of cowardice, of hypocrisy, of anything at all, he can come here and do so. He can explain why it is he has lied, often, about the circumstances surrounding the expulsion of Alan and ER from the comments of Eternity Matters. He can come here and explain why it is he feels quite free to write often about the views of an individual without allowing that person to rebut the charges against him. He can even, at least for my satisfaction, explain why it is he calls people a name - passive-aggressive - when he demonstrates absolutely no understanding what the term actually means.

There is a single difference here, one that has slipped through your fingers, Art. Neil is free to come here and say whatever he wants, respond to any and all charges, make any wild, fanciful, and false charges he wants. He does not grant that privilege to us; furthermore, experience has shown he does not grant that to others who, over time, refuse to acknowledge his position as authoritative. It is one thing to moderate comments on a blog, with which no one, it seems has an issue. It is quite another, as has been made clear, to do so all the while crying foul when such is done to him and his fellows, with "evidence" accrued being false.

Dan Trabue said...

Yup.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Finally, as to why it might be possible that I grant Chuck Currie more trust than Neil, the answer is simple enough. Neil has proved himself, time and time again, unworthy of trust. He traffics in falsehoods. When I first encountered him several years ago, I was willing to grant him the benefit of the doubt. Over time, and not a very long time at that, I realized this was trust misplaced.

Rev. Currie, on the other hand, to my knowledge has not once told a falsehood about himself or another person on his website, or in comments on another website.

It's that simple, Art. Again, this is not personal, as I neither like nor dislike either man having met neither. My sense of who is honest and who is not, who is worthy of my trust and who is not, comes not from any predisposition regarding their political or theological views; after all, I trust you at the very least to give your interpretation of my words, to be honest about who you are. I trust you, in other words, not to misrepresent me. I feel the same way about a few others to the right, because they have proved themselves to be honest and upfront.

Neil has not. His on-going adherence to a version of events contrary to all available evidence shows that he continues to be untrustworthy. Were he to show up here in comments, I would take anything he said with several grains of salt, as his factual claims always seem to be lacking. I have presented many times many cases in which this is the case, and feel no need to continue to justify my refusal to consider Neil anything other than what he presents himself to be - a trafficker in untruths that may well be what he believes, but is not rooted in any evidence.

Alan said...

Well, Geoffrey, all that and who would trust the Everlasting Blogstalker?

I've said my piece about the situation, and because I don't care really, I won't say more specifically.

However, I will note for both Dan and Geoffrey's benefit, that blog stalkers are typically habitual and you may be on the verge of becoming someone's latest fatal attraction. Like the Candyman, if you say his name 3 times, he might appear.

Just a caution. When dealing with wackjobs it is generally best not to make eye contact and just back away slowly.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

"Just a caution. When dealing with wackjobs it is generally best not to make eye contact and just back away slowly."

Good advice from a wackjob.

As I have said, Neil, in my experience, links to his support for his opinions, especially in the case of people like Currie and Wallis. He doesn't merely say "Currie said such and such..." without doing so. Thus, there is clear evidence of the truth of what Currie says. As to banning, deleting and the like, I've asked Neil his policy several times and lately he has provided the following for me to paste here:

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall went to another blogger who won't show his face here and pasted some comments/false representations from him.

No, Marshall, I don't think so.

Anyone is welcome to come here and have a respectful conversation, face to face, so to speak. But having a intermediary post second hand comments and not having the decency or courage to make themselves, no, I don't think so.

I'm interested in conversations, not rants, not outsourced slander and falsehoods, not long distance cowardice.

Your friend is welcome here if he wants to have a legitimate conversation, though. Which is more than he offers others.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art, Neil does indeed provide links. Which is why I find his consistent misrepresentations of the arguments of others so fascinating. Besides which, even without links, it is easy enough to find anything on the internet. It's called Google. I provide links, and sometimes extensive quotes, which I see as the internet equivalent of citations in academic papers. It is part of being intellectually honest.

Any individual can click over and discover whether or not Person A is saying what I claim they are saying, which is why I try, at all times, to be as careful as possible. No one is perfect, and using my initial disagreements with Sir Simpson as an example, I went to great lengths to explain that I believed he misunderstood the point I was trying to make (i.e., not that there is no such thing as "truth" in some banal sense, even less in a theological sense, rather I felt he was being careless in insisting that, philosophically speaking, there was only one "legitimate" theory regarding truth; I also felt that his overreaction to this minor point of detail was out of all proportion to the matter at hand). I provided not only links, but the sources I had outside the Internet for saying the things I did.

What I got in response was . . . attacked for saying things I never said, let alone believed; called things that bore no relation to who I am as a person and Christian; and when I pointed these things out, and reiterated that our disagreement was on a relatively minor technical detail, he simply ignored these complaints, cut and pasted particular phrases I had written out of context to make it appear that I had said the things he claimed I was saying.

Did he understand the point I was making? I have no way of knowing. Initially, it appeared he did not. When I clarified my position, even if he disagreed with it, the least he could have done is acknowledge that his caricature of my position was wrong, but he still disagreed with me. Instead, he went further down the road of insult and misrepresentation.

I have no way of knowing what he might or might not know or believe concerning what I was saying, except the things he actually wrote. Furthermore, while he does indeed provide links to those with whom he disagrees, experience has shown those links end up saying something very different from his interpretation of them.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Links are neither here nor there, if the presentation of what is said is wrong, pointed out as being wrong, and yet consistently misrepresented. Alan writes a harmless post about camping with some friends, and Neil's mind goes in to some weird place that is best not repeated in polite company. He edits a comment by ER to say the exact opposite of the author's intention, attacks the edit, and when ER not only protests but provides a screen-capture of the original on Eternity Matters and asks over and over again why it was edited, rather than address the accusation, Neil bans ER then slanders him.

There is a pattern of behavior here, Art, that, links or no links, just leads me not to trust him. I have no idea what kind of person Neil may be in the real world, and honestly I don't care much either. How he acts and interacts with others on the internet, however, is deceitful, childish, spiteful, and cowardly.

In all honesty, if he would admit that Alan had not written a post full of gay porn; shoot, if he admitted that he used the phrase "passive-aggressive" incorrectly, that would be enough for me to see that he might indeed have changed and be growing. Alas, I just don't see it happening.

Marshall Art said...

I'm moving on from this. Anyone who cares enough can easily visited either of Neil's blogs to judge for themselves whether or not he is what is said about him here. Keep in mind, however, that much of what is said against him is the result of hundreds of comments and not one or two. Neil's patience with certain commenting practices is not endless, but he does indeed give everyone a far better than decent chance before he decides that banning, deleting or editing is necessary. It is dishonest to say that Neil does not allow people to defend themselves. It is, however, more accurate to say that he has not limits. He is less likely to give that inch, however, and people like Dan are the reason why.

Dan Trabue said...

Seriously, Marshall. A dictionary. They're free online and you can look up words easily.

Based on that comment, you need to re-read and learn the definition of "dishonest."

Facts is facts, friend.

Marshall Art said...

"Facts is facts, friend."

That's what Neil deals in. The word "dishonest" has been dishonestly applied to him.

4simpsons said...

Part 2 -- I didn’t go after Chuck’s wife. Chuck noted on his blog (or in a newspaper interview he linked to) on how his wife was an atheist. I wasn’t critiquing his wife, I was critiquing him for either marrying an atheist when he was a “Christian” (a false one, of course, but just another example of disobedience to God’s word) and/or for being a really lousy evangelist (a pastor can’t even convert his own wife?!).

I didn’t go after Chuck’s kids. I went after Chuck for bragging about taking his 6 yr. old girls to a gay pride parade. That is some really twisted stuff. He loves the world so much that he will sacrifice the innocence of his children to show how “tolerant” and “accepting” he is. That is child abuse. Saying that is going after his family is like saying that it is going after Arnold’s kids for criticizing Arnold’s adultery.

Geoffrey says I’m welcome at his blog? Wow, thanks! I’m probably welcome to volunteer at Planned Parenthood, go to a strip club, join a cult, etc., but I think I’ll pass.

It sounds like Geoffrey has a short memory. Please feel free to use this to remind him — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2009/01/22/false-teacher-fesses-up/ . Unless he has since converted to Christianity I have no need or desire to address his falsehoods again. The only time I address those guys is if they show up to your place, and then I try to just post “one-and-done” comments to minimize the troll feeding and maximize their frenzy.

I banned Dan long ago, then he did his blog-stalker thing and kept emailing me after I told him to stop and then he contacted my pastor. Super creepy.

There you go, SuperFans(TM). That ought to keep you busy for another year! Seriously, I continue to pray that when you are reading the Bible to twist it to your perverted and deadly ends that God will open your eyes to his truth. The real Jesus — not your made-up version — died for all your sins, including your false teachings. But you must authentically repent and believe. The god you worship wasn’t capable of having the original writings of the Bible turn out as he liked. But the real God was. You should take what it says seriously.

Alan said...

"Good advice from a wackjob."

Really? Here's a rejoinder specifically tailored to your intellectual level, MA: I'm rubber; you're glue.

;)

Dan Trabue said...

Neil has visited and said...

I didn't read the post or comments, but did read the title so I'd be pasting this in the right place.

Because reading the post and comments is not essential for you to be able to respond? Neil, the ironic part is that you are welcome here to make comments, to "defend" yourself if you feel the need - a grace you don't allow others on your blog. But IF you are going to visit here, I ask for the respect of taking part in a conversation, not simply stopping in to lecture folk based on your vast wisdom, sight unseen of what is being discussed here.

If you have something to say ABOUT THE POST, then that implies that you have actually read it. I don't feel the need to allow people to just drop in and paste garbage regardless of what is being discussed. That is just spam and it will be deleted, like all spam is.

Neil...

Marshall said he pasted it but that Dan deleted it in an act of self-parody (Doesn't he know that any moderation is evil?!).

No one here has ever stated this, which you'd know if you read what I've actually said. I assume that you believe it is best to comment in ignorance rather than from a place of informed knowledge. That says a lot.

Neil...

So delete this if you like... Or just write another hundred comments obsessing over me.

Unlike you, I don't comment on other folk and not allow them to defend themselves. I discuss ideas here, not gossip like a thirteen year old girl (with apologies to thirteen year old girls, who often know better...)

So, having dealt with that, do you have any comments ON topic?

Assuming you mean what you say, the answer appears to be, No. And that can stand as testimony to your credibility.

As to most of what you've written that deals with me, anyone can read (ie, those who actually need to "read" and "try to understand" in order to know something) most of your comments are, ironically, quite ironic. "Continue to make up stuff..."??? Seriously? This, from the king of making up stuff?

Get serious, Brother Neil.

One example: You've made up that I'm not a Christian, despite that I am, by orthodox measures, a Christian, saved by God's grace. That doesn't matter to you, you'd add other hoops for folk to jump through, other rules by which one must be saved, chief of which must be, "Don't disagree with Neil on important (to him) topics, if you want to be saved."

No, I am saved by Grace, not through anyone else's hoops and additional rules and works that they'd add to the gospel message. And neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, nor anyone else's rules and hunches, nor slander, nor false reports will separate me from the love of God.

You'll just have to deal with me in God's Realm, Neil, like it or not. Take it up with God.

Marty said...

My daughter-in-law has expressed a desire to take my grandkids to a United Methodist Church near their home. Sadly, it's Neil's church. Whether she will or not remains to be seen. She has become interested in the UMC because of things I've said about my church, United Methodist Women, and things I've shared on Facebook. She grew up Morman and left it all behind years ago. Unfortunately, not all Methodist churches are as progressive as mine. If she does attend, I hope she doesn't encounter Neil and other like minds. It would probably put a end to her church going forever. She asked me if I knew anything about this church. All I know is Neil and what he's said about his pastor. That's enough to keep me away, but I don't want to discourage her, yet at the same time....ugh.

Marshall Art said...

"...to "defend" yourself if you feel the need - a grace you don't allow others on your blog."

This is a blatant falsehood. How many comments of yours HAVE been posted at Neil's? Hundreds, perhaps? But because he NO LONGER allows you to comment he is now barred from commenting about YOU? This is childish. You obviously have a forum to give your side of the story and anyone who cares could have easily found you by going to the third blog to which he referred in the post and clicking on your name.

You may have tried emailing Neil in order to gain the opportunity to defend yourself on that particular post. But to what end? So that the whole chain of events which led to your being banned could once again be played out?

As to Neil reading the post, it wasn't necessary for him to do so. I had emailed him to once again get his side of the banning story, to see who was or wasn't banned from his blog. In doing so, I related some of what was said here. Geoffrey's charge of being banned or deleted was particularly noted as I didn't recall Neil ever mentioning banning him. So, Neil's comments here were in response to that email and the following one wherein I mentioned you wouldn't allow HIS comments that I cut and pasted here. (Some of the comments now presented by him are from that same cut and paste from his email response to me and may make a bit more sense if that is kept in mind)

"One example: You've made up that I'm not a Christian,"

This is something that is typical of what led to your being banned. Neil isn't the only one who has been led to this conclusion. You can claim anything you like. But the entirety of your words has been used to support this conclusion. Indeed, Bubba's comments list many instances that led HIM to the same conclusion and he provided links so that anyone can review the context. The point here is that it isn't "made up" what Neil believes about you, particularly since he backs it up with your own words. So it is a conclusion to which your own words have led him and others. It comes down to the same old story: You can speak of faith, belief, grace or anything you like. But you can't just DO or SAY anything you like if what you say or do is in conflict with God's clearly revealed Will. So many SAY they are Christians and even believe it. God will decide in the end. In the meantime, for the sake of those we love and in the hopes of bringing more to Him, we are free to discern between what makes one truly Christian and what doesn't.

Marty said...

"God will decide in the end"

Exactly.

However, I find it quite arrogant that you think you have anything at all to do with it: "bringing more to Him".

And

"we are free to discern between what makes one truly Christian and what doesn't."

God decides in the end, but you decide now. Is that how it works?

That is where I believe you cross the line Marshall. That type of discernment is well above your pay grade. And any honest seeker will see right through it for the self righteous hypocrisy it is.

Marshall Art said...

Above my pay grade? It is what my job is as a Christian: to understand His Will, to recognize what is in opposition to His Will. Do you think a Christian is one who murders with abandon? The murderer may yet claim to be a Christian. Do you think a Christian is one who believes Jesus is just one of hundreds of gods? Yet such a person may still choose to call himself a Christian. These over-the-top examples demonstrate that each of us can tell that some who claim to be Christian do not match what the word means. Fred Phelps believes that God hates homosexuals. That's clearly not a Biblically supportable belief and as such, he is not what I'd call a Christian. He's preaching something that is clearly untrue.

And if you take no part in spreading the Gospel message, never make any effort to introduce anyone to Christ, or even simply defend the faith against anyone who might disparage it, then I've no doubt you have trouble with the concept of bringing people to God. But we are called to do these things, and even Dan speaks of living in a manner that sets an example so as to draw people to Him. What's your excuse?

Or perhaps you are suggesting that I'm arrogant to think I possess the ability to do so? I can deal. I have no delusions about my ability to persuade. I wouldn't wager on whether or not I've ever compelled anyone to come to Christ. Should I be keeping score?

But if you don't think that God uses people to draw others to Him, then you're a pretty cynical woman.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

This is a blatant falsehood. How many comments of yours HAVE been posted at Neil's? Hundreds, perhaps? But because he NO LONGER allows you to comment he is now barred from commenting about YOU?

Again, Marshall. Dictionary. Use one. It is NOT a falsehood to say that this person slanders someone, gossips about them and does not allow them to defend themselves BECAUSE IT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. Truly, it is. And since that is a TRUE statement, by definition, it can't be a falsehood, blatant or otherwise.

Did I say he didn't allow ANY PEOPLE EVER to comment? No. I said the TRUTHFUL FACT that he is attacking and not allowing ME to defend myself against his demonstrably false charges.

Dictionaries are wonderful things if you use them.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, in response to the lie that I'm not a Christian...

This is something that is typical of what led to your being banned. Neil isn't the only one who has been led to this conclusion. You can claim anything you like. But the entirety of your words has been used to support this conclusion.

Then MAKE YOUR CASE. I'll let you go off topic to make your case and defend yourself against the charge that you are RIGHT NOW making a false charge in suggesting I'm not a Christian.

HERE are my words: I am a sinner, in need of salvation. I've asked forgiveness of my sins. I've asked Jesus, the risen son of God to be Lord of my life. I have been saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ADD TO THAT in order for Dan to be saved? THAT is the orthodox Christian take on the essentials of salvation, but you appear to think it's missing something else.

There's my words. What do you wish me to ADD TO that basic Christian salvation message in order to be saved, Marshall?

I'm saying that it is a demonstrable falsehood to say that I'm not a Christian because, in fact, I AM a Christian, saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus.

Make your case or back off and admit that you were making judgments that were WAY above your pay grade and wholly lacking in that grace by which we are saved. You know, Marshall, there is no sin in admitting we misspoke.

Marty said...

"I wouldn't wager on whether or not I've ever compelled anyone to come to Christ"

I bet you wouldn't. Because if you did, your arrogance would be quite plain even to your own self.

Marshall Art said...

"I bet you wouldn't. Because if you did, your arrogance would be quite plain even to your own self."

How ironic! There's that "harsh judgement" again. Funny how it seems to emanate so routinely and easily from my opponents here.

Marty. I fail to see how simply stating the clearly revealed Word of God can be called "arrogance", yet, you refer to me in this way any time I so dare. It boggles the mind to think that you can manage to sit through a sermon and not rant on the arrogance of the preacher for daring to interpret Scripture as he may. What's your problem?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, I would like for you not to post any more here until you answer my question to you - my challenge to your false statement. You've suggested a demonstrably false notion - that I'm not a Christian. Explain WHAT you would add to my salvation process (recognize my sinful nature, recognize my need for God, pray for forgiveness, accept God's gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus, the Christ, the risen son of God, walk by God's grace in Jesus' ways...) in order to be saved according to Marshall.

Dan is not saved because... what? What are you adding to the good news.

Answer that un-answered charge in response to YOUR false charge before moving on to say anything else at all.

Thank you.

Dan Trabue said...

There's that "harsh judgement" again. Funny how it seems to emanate so routinely and easily from my opponents here.


I will say this in response to your comment above: The ONE MAIN set of circumstances when Jesus modeled engaging in harsh-sounding judgment was in response to religious hypocrites who, themselves, were harshly judgmental. So, insofar as Marty is following in Jesus' steps, I'm not worried about her in that regards. She demonstrates her grace plenty-times.

Marty said...

"There's that "harsh judgement" again"

I've certainly determined you're self-righteous and arrogant Marshall. It's pretty hard to miss.

"It boggles the mind to think that you can manage to sit through a sermon and not rant on the arrogance of the preacher for daring to interpret Scripture as he may. What's your problem?"

For one thing, I don't have an arrogant pastor who thinks he can tell who is a christian and who isn't.

My problem is with christians like you who think they can "discern" whether a person is or isn't.

Marshall Art said...

"You've suggested a demonstrably false notion - that I'm not a Christian."

Where did I do that exactly? What you've highlighted is an explanation for those who have made the charge. I know Bubba has made this charge, or one very similar to it. In doing so, he has linked to the very conversations you've had with him whereby he has drawn his conclusions from your very own words. He explains why your words conflict with Scripture so that he feels justified in his conclusions.

MY concern has always been this: how far astray from proper understanding can one be and still be worshiping the God of the Bible? OR, how far astray from proper undertanding can one be and NOT be worshiping a false god? Mormons, for example, say they believe in Jesus Christ and follow most of His teachings. But their description of Jesus is vastly different than the Jesus of the Bible to the point that it is not the same Jesus.

"Explain WHAT you would add to my salvation process ... in order to be saved according to Marshall."

You keep throwing this piss-poor, whiney "according to Marshall" crap. It's NEVER "according to Marshall" and I've never done more than relate what is according to Scripture. I support what is Scriptural and oppose what isn't.

But if you insist that the above doesn't answer your question, I will be happy to link to Bubba's comprehensive comment that shows why HE doesn't think you're a Christian.

Shall I go on?

Marshall Art said...

Or are you just looking for a reason to block further comments from me?

Dan Trabue said...

No, but you've made (or at least supported those who've engaged in such behavior, instead of calling THEM on it) a serious false charge. I don't want to let you off so easy. Support it or admit that it's false and move on.

Slander and bearing false witness is no small thing, Marshall. Support it or admit that you can't.

What would you have me do beyond ask forgiveness and make Jesus Lord of my life and trust in God's grace through faith in Jesus for my salvation?

Like this: "In addition to what you've done, Dan, you must also..." What? Must also agree with Bubba (or Marshall or Neil) on position x, y and z? Must also have a perfect understanding of all sin?

WHAT is it you want to add to the salvation process in order to be saved?

THAT is the answer you need to either supply or admit you've overstepped your pay grade.

Dan Trabue said...

And, again Marshall... there is a GREAT FREEDOM in admitting you've made a mistake. "Perhaps I've been off a bit..." feels uncomfortable, but it's a very gracious and liberating thing to say, once you get through it.

Embrace grace.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

He explains why your words conflict with Scripture so that he feels justified in his conclusions.

And just in case you're missing the point, I'm NOT asking if you or 1,000 other people think I'm mistaken on a point (or several). I'm a fallible human being who freely admits I can be mistaken. That is not my question.

My question is, WHAT IS IT you'd like me to add to the salvation process in order to "truly" be saved? My words are out there for anyone to review: Saved by grace through faith in Jesus, the son of God, asked forgiveness, made Him Lord. To THAT orthodox Christian salvation process, WHAT are you wanting to add?

Either answer that, or admit you have no answer (which is the right thing to do) and back down from your support of such false witness and arrogance and harsh judgmentalism.

Marty said...

"He explains why your words conflict with Scripture so that he feels justified in his conclusions."

So did the Pharisee when he stood straight up and prayed thanking God he wasn't like all those heathens including that miserable Publican in the back of the church.

Marshall Art said...

And Marty provides another example of a bad analogy.

Dan,

"Slander and bearing false witness is no small thing, Marshall."

Then I would suggest you no longer engage in the practice. Offering an opinion, based on conclusions drawn from your very own words, which are presented in context via links to the very conversations whence they came, is neither slander OR bearing false witness.

(As an aside, for the benefit of those who read without responding, my purpose here has been to defend those who have no desire to visit this blog. Even if each of those readers is totally in the camp of Dan & Co., they are not properly served by hearing Dan's less than accurate portrayal of events.)

You keep insisting you have faith in Jesus, the Son of God, yada, yada, yada. But my question remains: If your understanding of Scripture has strayed as far as it has, is your faith in the true Jesus, the Son of the true God? If you believe that God would bless a union based on sinful behavior, you are not putting your faith in the God of the Bible. If you believe that you can support a "woman's right to choose", when the result of that support is the unnecessary death of millions of unborn, I wonder what god would back you on such a thing. To these add all the many discrepancies listed in Bubba's position and one wonders what God you worship. It's not the "orthodox process" in question, but from whom you expect that process to be offered. There is only a superficial comparison between you and orthodoxy. Upon closer examination, there are many, many questions that lead us to wonder about who it is you worship.

Alan said...

"If you believe that God would bless a union based on sinful behavior, you are not putting your faith in the God of the Bible."

That is not now, nor has it ever been a condition of whether one is a Christian. Ever.

I can speak confidently about us Presbyterians and reasonably confidently about pretty much any other major Christian denomination and I can say categorically that one's views on gay marriage have not and are not conditions for membership, nor are they (as far as I know) any part of any historical, traditional, and orthodox creed or confession of any major Christian denomination.

That doesn't, of course, mean you can't believe what you just wrote, it only means that those beliefs set you completely apart from 2000 years of orthodox Christian tradition.

Sorry, MA, but for all of your weird obsession with the dirty queers, I'm afraid that neither tradition nor orthodoxy support your opinion here. Whatever one believes about same-sex marriage does not now (nor has it ever historically) rise(n) to the level of heresy, no matter how much tiny minds need to use such amplified rhetoric such as "heresy" or "apostasy" in order to make their lame points seem more important.

However, since you're the guy who apparently makes these statements only if you have evidence, then please demonstrate using Biblical quotes, where Scripture says that "whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life ... but only if they're steadfastly against gay marriage."

None of your usual wishy-washy, hand-waving, wibbly-wobbly rationalizations, MA. Show us chapter and verse, MA.

Chapter and verse.

Now let's watch as MA retreats to his usual, "I don't have to show you any quotes, I don't have to provide any actual evidence of anything" defense.

Chapter and verse.

Do you even know what the Bible says you have to do to be a Christian, MA? Can you give us a list with Biblical support and quotes? I'd love to see exactly what you think one must do or say or believe in order for MA to consider a person a Christian. I think that would be very informative.

Marshall Art said...

Sorry, Alan. I don't perform on demand. I've been extremely consistent in my position. What I have failed to accomplish, however, is to gain from those like yourself the justification for living in a manner clearly contrary to the will of God. If one believes in Him, how can they then willfully, and with extreme prejudice, live in a manner contrary to His will? You like to believe I have some obsession. Well, I'd put it this way: I am obsessed with how obsessed with sex people are that they would put their own desires to engage in the sex of their choice despite God's clear prohibition and thousands of years of cultural understanding on what is or isn't proper.

So again, if one truly believes, how does that belief manifest itself? I insist it doesn't include supporting that which is clearly contrary to His Will. And again, because you and yours fail repeatedly to remember and absorb this, I make a clear distinction between those who backslide into sin (and then feel remorse then repent and seek forgiveness, intending to never repeat), and those who choose to sin and call it good.

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

If Jesus was telling the truth, then it would seem that willfully engaging in that which is in opposition to the will of the Father is, at the very least, problematic.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

If one believes in Him, how can they then willfully, and with extreme prejudice, live in a manner contrary to His will?

What you've failed to realize is that you've conflated your hunches with God's voice. All of us Christians are striving by God's grace to live in God's will, BUT not all of us Christians think that Marshall speaks for God and has the answers.

Beyond that, Alan has it right: AGREEING WITH MARSHALL AND BELIEVING "MARSHALL'S WAY" ON THE ISSUE OF MARRIAGE EQUITY IS NOT A PREREQUISITE FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN.

I asked you what you'd have me do in addition to the orthodox Christian teaching on salvation of repenting of sin and accepting God's grace through faith in Jesus. Your response:

You keep insisting you have faith in Jesus, the Son of God, yada, yada, yada. But my question remains: If your understanding of Scripture has strayed as far as it has, is your faith in the true Jesus, the Son of the true God? If you believe that God would bless a union based on sinful behavior, you are not putting your faith in the God of the Bible.

So, ARE YOU SAYING (and a simple Yes or No will suffice), that, in order to be saved, one has to

1. Recognize their sinful condition (done that)
2. Repent of their sin (done that)
3. Accept God's salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus (done that)
4. Make Jesus Lord of your life

AND

5. believe that marriage equity is wrong

These are the five points of your salvation message, Marshall, is that what you're saying?

Then you are teaching heresy, IF that is what you're saying.

So, step up and make it clear: IS that what you're saying, yes or no?

And don't write anything else until you've clearly said Yes or No to that question, because I don't want us to proceed anywhere until we straighten this out.

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

~St Paul

Marshall Art said...

How ironic that you would insist on my answering a question I've actually answered before in order to be published on your blog, yet a question I've been asking for years still gets no answer.

"All of us Christians are striving by God's grace to live in God's will, BUT not all of us Christians think that Marshall speaks for God and has the answers."

You hide behind the above as if it should be taken seriously. What a childish response! "But I AM being good, Mama!" Sure. On YOUR terms. And once again, still saying it as long as you make the stupid comment, I only relate what God says on topics that are clearly revealed to the extent that no other understanding is possible, and certainly that yours can't be.

"
1. Recognize their sinful condition (done that)"


Only to the extent you choose. You have chosen, however, to decide for yourself what is or isn't sinful.

"2. Repent of their sin (done that)"

Obviously you haven't, for you continue to preach that what is wrong is not.

"3. Accept God's salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus (done that)"

Continuing to dismiss the necessity of Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins, and without which we'd be lost.

"4. Make Jesus Lord of your life"

Which you seem to do on YOUR terms, not His.

AND

"5. believe that marriage equity is wrong"

This, like your faith, is incomplete. #5 is better summed up above...belief on HIS terms. You say you strive to live God's Will, but you are further from that than ever. Believing He would bless a union defined by its sinful behavior is only the most glaring proof of that. The God of the Bible could not do such a thing, and thus, you believe in a god of your own making that superficially resembles God. Again I ask, how far astray can one's understanding be before one is not speaking of the same God? You're well past that line.

The difference betweeen us is stark. This is not to say that I live God's Will with perfection. Not even close. I speak of understanding of His Will. So what you need to add, Dan, is a better understanding so that credibility is then added to your first four points.

Dan Trabue said...

One thing at a time, Marshall, because you're still WAY off of a reality-based argument...

1. Recognize their sinful condition (done that)"

Only to the extent you choose. You have chosen, however, to decide for yourself what is or isn't sinful.


I. Marshall, how do we "choose" what is and isn't sin? How do we make up our mind about that? Don't we prayerfully study the Bible, seeking God's will? That's what I do, what do you do?

II. So, you and I have read the Bible, seeking God's will and come to a different conclusion on some points, is that right?

III. So, are you saying that when someone agrees with you, they have "correctly" studied the Bible, and when someone doesn't agree with you, then they're just making things up to match their wishes?

IV. You DO realize, don't you, that sometimes Christians of good faith, read the same Bible and come to different conclusions and that NEITHER is making something up to suit their wishes - that people can honestly, sincerely disagree?

Answer these questions, please, because you are still off base in your hunches.

Marshall Art said...

I. "Marshall, how do we "choose" what is and isn't sin?"

Well gee, Dan, one hint is anyplace in Scripture where God might say, oh, I don't know, "Thou shalt not...", we might conclude do it is sinful. One needn't even be all that prayerful in simply reading such clearing revealed points in a straightforward and honest manner. Not a whole bunch of prayer and meditation is required.

II. "So, you and I have read the Bible, seeking God's will and come to a different conclusion on some points, is that right?"

To say the least. How one comes to YOUR conclusions is anyone's guess.

III. "So, are you saying that when someone agrees with you, they have "correctly" studied the Bible, and when someone doesn't agree with you, then they're just making things up to match their wishes?"

No. I'm saying that on the points on which you and I disagree, you're wrong.

IV. I DO realize that. That's not the case here. The points on which you and I disagree are not weighty issues clouded in mystery. Each is either one thing or it's not.

Alan said...

"Sorry, Alan. I don't perform on demand"

Like I said, when he doesn't have an answer he retreats.

Yeah, we've got your number, MA.

Chapter and verse, MA, you coward. Chapter and verse.

Dan...why bother with him? If he can't even give Scriptural support for his non-answers, why bother?

Just keep demanding he give some sort of real Scriptural support for his belief that one must believe as MA believes in order to be saved.

Chapter and verse, MA.

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

You dare demand Scriptural support from anyone when you have yet to provide any for your rebellious belief that you can defy God's prohibition of Lev 18:22? Yeah. I'll get right on it.

Dan Trabue said...

Alan's not the one going around making unsupported claims that those who disagree with him are not Christians. We're not the ones adding to the gospel message.

If you're going to add to the orthodox gospel message, then it's on you to support your "other gospel" because, from where we sit, you're the one espousing heretical works-based claims while we're in the orthodox seat.

So, yes, Marshall, Alan is absolutely right: IF you're going to make claims like you've made, it's on YOU to support those claims. If not, then you have nothing else to add here.

Marty said...

Marshall: "And Marty provides another example of a bad analogy."

Just the response I'd expect from one with such a huge mote stuck in his eye. It's hard to see those analogies clearly.

Alan said...

A remarkably obvious dodge even from you, MA, you coward.

This is always your pathetic attention-seeking pathological pattern: make ridiculous claims, blather on for hundreds of comments about random BS unrelated to the post, and when we finally get tired of listening to your crap and demand evidence, you suddenly claim you don't have to provide any (while hypocritically demanding it from us all the time, which we are only too happy to provide.)

So seriously, MA, chapter and verse. Please demonstrate using Biblical quotes, where Scripture says that "whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life ... but only if they're steadfastly against gay marriage." Show *anywhere* in the Bible where the laundry list of qualifications for being a Christian includes agreeing with MA.

Chapter and verse, MA.

Put up or shut up.

Alan said...

I suspect Dan won't do it because he's a far nicer guy than I am, but I think it would be great it just once he actually held you to account and demanded you actually answer, just once, a real question, before he allows you to post any more of your nonsense ever again.

.....

MA blathered: "provide any for your rebellious belief that you can defy God's prohibition of Lev 18:22? "

Why exactly would I provide evidence for something I do not believe? I always provide evidence for claims I make. I do not provide evidence for fictitious trash you make up. That's the difference, MA.

You're the one who has made the claim that Dan cannot support gay marriage and still be a Christian. (A pretty stunning suggestion, actually. You're not suggesting that Dan can't participate in gay marriage, you're saying some random straight guy (Dan) who isn't even participating in it, cannot have an opinion about gay marriage that differs from yours and still be a Christian. Wow.)

Again, no other organized Christian denomination, Protestant or Catholic believes such nonsense. So, since you have made a claim that is unique in Christendom, that goes against all traditional and orthodox Christian theology, it is incumbent upon you to provide the evidence for your specious claims.

Put up or shut up.

Marshall Art said...

Very little time right now, but I'll begin my response nonetheless.

First, for Marty...I didn't say I didn't understand what you are trying to say. I said your analogy is lame. Pay attention. In your petty attempt to pile on, I have never set myself up as having conquered my own shortcomings so as to be able to compare myself more favorably in God's eyes than sinners like Alan. Had I done so, your analogy would be appropriate. But you're so concerned with finding fault that you don't take the time to address one that actually exists.

In the same way, Dan and Alan to as much.

"...from where we sit, you're the one espousing heretical works-based claims while we're in the orthodox seat."

Then you need to change chairs, because you aren't seeing clearly what I'M saying, nor are you orthodox in your beliefs.

First, I've never espoused a works-based anything. But Scripture plainly teaches that faith without workds is dead, does it not? So therefor works is inextricably linked to one's faith. YOUR works include the engagement in, or support and celebration of, that which God clearly and plainly prohibits (among other things). You defend this atrocity by claiming that you interpret Scripture differently which doesn't necessarily present a problem for you. Yet I have only hoped against hope that you would someday explain how far one must stray from proper understanding before one no longer worships the God of the Bible.

Scripture tells us to flee sexual immorality. Dan's friends engage in one form of it and he supports, enables and celebrates it and somehow continues to call himself, and them, Christians, because of how sweet and graceful they are. If I was to believe kicking your ass because it needs kicking is a good thing, you would question my Christianity immediately. Even if I did it with a kindly smile on my face and love in my heart.

Gotta go. Chew on that for a while.

Alan said...

"f I was to believe kicking your ass because it needs kicking is a good thing, you would question my Christianity immediately. "

I'm not sure who "you" is here, MA, so let's take a poll.

If MA believed kicking people's asses was a good thing who here would then troll from blog to blog telling him he wasn't a Christian.

Anyone? Anyone?

Seriously, I'm curious, and since we've asked for evidence and MA provides none, I thought we could provide some evidence as to whether or not MA is lying again.

I for one would not question his Christianity, so I know he's not talking about me.

Dan? Marty?

Alan said...

"So therefor works is inextricably linked to one's faith"

Actually it isn't, not in the way you are trying to twist Scripture. Not at all. Again, MA, you have strayed so far from orthodoxy you're not even in the same country.

You can't simply proof-text your way into thinking your Pelagianism is somehow orthodox. Your eisegesis is merely supporting your heresy yet again.

So again, you provide zero evidence for your position.

Strike two, MA.

Show us chapter and verse. Put up or shut up.

Alan said...

"If I was to believe kicking your ass because it needs kicking is a good thing, you would question my Christianity immediately. Even if I did it with a kindly smile on my face and love in my heart. "

The irony here is amazing.

Marty said...

"If MA believed kicking people's asses was a good thing who here would then troll from blog to blog telling him he wasn't a Christian.

Anyone? Anyone?"

Nope, not me. I'd just consider him a asshole.

Dan Trabue said...

And the reason for that, Marty/Alan?

It's because we're NOT saved by our good works or because we're always right in our understanding, but by Grace, am I right?

At least in orthodox Christian circles.

Marty said...

Yep Dan. Totally orthodox.

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me"

Alan said...

Yup.

Just as I thought. MA is wrong yet again. So I'm not sure who he's talking about with his "you" in that last babbling missive, but it clearly isn't any of us.

But then, that's hardly surprising.

And while it should be surprising that he just doesn't get that the whole "You're not a Christian!!" BS that he spouts is exactly the opposite of what we're about (after all, we've certainly said so often enough) alas, his inability to understand even the simplest concepts clearly stated no longer surprises me anymore.

Marty said...

I attribute his inability to understand to those massive motes.

Marshall Art said...

There's no inability to understand on my part. You simply dispute my understanding, doing so with no chapter and verse of your own. Your comments (ironically) support my contention, that you all don't believe a Christian need adhere to certain behaviors. That works are irrelevant and that "grace", as you so poorly reflect and define it, is sufficient. Yet, your comments do little to show any graciousness on YOUR parts.

I'm not the least bit surprised that you would dilute the definition of "Christian" in refusing to doubt another's claim to same in the face of their decidedly unChristian behavior. As I say, anyone can claim whatever one chooses about one's self, but the claim cannot stand without proof. If Alan claimed he was a cocker spaniel, but didn't so much as bark, anyone would be justified in stating that he was not a cocker spaniel. He actions would bely his claim.

Now, I know Alan would defend his right to call himself what he chooses to call himself, but that doesn't certify the claim is true or that anyone else should respect or acknowledge the claim.

So I hang my hat on this:

"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:26 KJV)

...to support my position.

The question then becomes, what works? Those are clearly spelled out in the Scripture's clear revelation of behaviors that are pleasing to God and that which are not. Willfully engaging in the latter is justifiable cause to question the claim of "Christian". That you all so eagerly and relentlessly defend your choices explains your refusal to question the claims of others, no matter how egregious their behavior. You believe if you won't question others by their actions, no one is justified in judging you. I get that. I reject it as cowardly and also unChristian.

So there's no real issue of my understanding you. I understand you all very well indeed. You're like whiney children whining that you're not whiners, insisting you're good little boys and girls while engaging in bad behavior.

Marty said...

"You believe if you won't question others by their actions, no one is justified in judging you."

You are free to draw all kinds of conclusions from another's "actions" Marshall and even chastise if you feel the need. But questioning another's salvation based on what YOU consider to be "unchristian behavior" is above your pay grade and not a conclusion you should draw.

Marty said...

"That works are irrelevant and that "grace", as you so poorly reflect and define it, is sufficient."

Wow. Just wow.

Alan said...

Chapter and verse, MA.

Quit dodging the question. Show the chapter and verse, where it specifically says that, in order to be a Christian, one must agree with you.

Chapter and verse. Put up or shut up.

BTW, as for your works-based salvation, I'd mention that criticizing Dan based on his "works" regarding gay marriage when it is clear that he is happily married to a woman doesn't go very far in providing any evidence that you understand anything about anything at all.

Chapter and verse, MA, you coward.

Why not just admit that you don't have any evidence to support your point? It is clearly obvious to the rest of us that you don't. Who do you think your lies are fooling?

Alan said...

"That works are irrelevant and that "grace", as you so poorly reflect and define it, is sufficient."

For once, MA actually gets it!!

Grace alone is indeed sufficient, MA.

It's just too bad you don't believe that yourself.

See, MA? You and I can even disagree about some of the most basic theology, you can be a complete heretic (as you have been shown to be) and I still don't question your salvation because it isn't my place to do so.

So, while you stand completely opposed to the most basic and orthodox and traditional Protestant theology (the very foundation, I might add of the historical tradition of Calvinist theology of the Congregational church you claim to attend), while you deny one of the Five Solas, Grace Alone, I don't question whether you're saved, because those decisions are beyond my pay grade.

They're beyond your pay grade too. The difference is that I know that, and you don't.

Alan said...

"You simply dispute my understanding, doing so with no chapter and verse of your own."

We stand with traditional, historical, orthodox Christianity. Grace alone.

You're the one who stands with his back to orthodoxy, thus the burden of proof is on you to prove your point.

I recognize that informing you of the most basic notions of how to make a claim and support it is going to go over your head, but I thought I'd make the effort, just in case there is a patient 3 year old near by who can explain it to you.

Alan said...

"That you all so eagerly and relentlessly defend your choices "

Again, who is "you".

And BTW, MA could you now admit that you were wrong before when you claimed that we would tell you you're not a Christian?

Because you were wrong, and we proved you wrong.

First you complain that we would act as you do, by condemning others to hell. Then when we prove to you we wouldn't even do so for someone like yourself, then you complain that we won't.

Care to make up your mind, kitten?

Alan said...

"Please cite the chapter and verse so that I can review it .."

Guess who said that, MA? You did, above.

Chapter and verse, MA.

Please demonstrate using Biblical quotes, where Scripture says that "whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life ... but only if they're steadfastly against gay marriage.

Your "faith without works" quote is nice and all, but you didn't answer the actual question.

Try again.

Put up or shut up.

Marshall Art said...

" But questioning another's salvation based on what YOU consider to be "unchristian behavior" is above your pay grade and not a conclusion you should draw."

Again, Marty, because I'm willing to correct this intentional misrepresentation of my position as often as you folks are intent on perpetuating it, it's not what I consider unChristian behavior. It's what Scripture plainly reveals to us is unChristian behavior. Thus, it is well within "my paygrade" to educate myself on such and be able to recognize when it is or is not present in the world. It is an abdication of one's responsibilities as a mature adult to do nothing in the face of wickedness and corruption. To pretend sinful behavior is not sinful is in itself an unChristian behavior.

Marshall Art said...

"Quit dodging the question. Show the chapter and verse, where it specifically says that, in order to be a Christian, one must agree with you."

Again, like Marty, and routinely Dan, you choose to pretend that I insist on agreement with me, as opposed to agreement with the clearly revealed Will of God. If one ignores a stop sign, one has ignored the clearly revealed will of the municipality in which one finds one's self. Look at how many examples exist in the OT of God's chosen ignoring His Will. And you demand chapter and verse for what is very obvious? How childish! The demand for chapter and verse to support my contention is as the serpent asking Eve, "Did God really say...?" There's no mystery about the facts I continue to defend.

But I gave you a verse to which you have yet to respond. Typical. But since you're so deceitful, I'll play your game. Here are more verses for you to ponder:

MT 5:17
ROM 7:7
GAL 3:24
PSALMS 19:7

Thus, to claim belief and purposely ignore the Law is justification for questioning that belief. You believe on YOUR terms, not His. Good luck with that.

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