Thursday, December 19, 2013

Disagreement is not an assault on the Gospel

HousesWatercolor2a by paynehollow
HousesWatercolor2a, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

Just a quick post to state the obvious.

Stan, over at his blog, noted today that the whole "Robertson crisis" comes down to whether we follow the Gospel. In speaking of the "Duck Dynasty" kerfluffle, over one of the Ducks saying he loves folk, whether they're gay, terrorists, drunks or practice bestiality, and his declaration that homosexuality is a sin, Stan concluded...

Remaining silent when the Gospel is under attack cannot be the right response. It's not Phil Robertson at issue here. It is sin, Scripture, and the Gospel on the chopping block. And for that I will not take a pass.

The problem with this reasoning (of course) it is conflating "The Gospel" NOT with a teaching of Jesus, but with a particular view on a particular behavior - as if you can't disagree about various behaviors and remain a Christian. Of course, this is almost certainly what many folk like Stan thinks - you CAN'T be mistaken on that particular behavior and be a Christian. They are wrong.

As I've said before, the Gospel is NOT a call to have perfect understanding in order to be saved (whether or not they're right on this topic - and they're not), it is a call to a salvation and a life of Grace and of the Love of God.

Conflating "the Gospel" to some particular opinion about a behavior's sin status is - as oft noted here - a mistake and is undermining of the actual Gospel, which is the Good News of Jesus, not the Bad News of the fundamentalists.

Just to repeat this point yet again.

53 comments:

Marshall Art said...

But you're not mistaken. You're a liar.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, have you lost ALL capacity for rational, respectful adult conversation?

Comment on topic or don't comment. But take your false and unsupported ad hom attacks somewhere else. You're just embarrassing yourself and wasting perfectly good letters and words.

Marshall Art said...

It is on topic and not an ad hom at all. Your underlying point refers to the possibility that one's position on Scripture might be mistaken, but that that mistake won't deprive one of salvation. But you and those you support are NOT mistaken on that aspect of Scripture related to the Duck Dynasty controversy. You aren't "mistaken". You're lying.

And does "rational, respectful adult conversation" include denying what is true? I've defended my position countless times with facts, logic, reason, etc., and done so in the nicest possible manner and the result is less than mature and respectful response from you and yours. Who are you kidding? Drop the facade of respect and deal with the issue. Walking on eggshells and trying to determine just what constitutes "rational, respectful adult conversation" in your world is pointless, as you alter the rules for such as it suits you. Your notion of "rational, respectful adult conversation" is just a fascistic denial of the rights of others to express themselves as their abilities allow, as their emotions dictate and as truth demands in order to skew the discussion in your favor. Very cowardly, lacking in grace, but so clearly typical based on our many years of exchange. Do you even own big boy pants?

Dan Trabue said...

This is your very last chance, Marshall. You can answer this question or you can go away and your posts WILL be deleted for being insufferably rude and antagonistic, lacking entirely in basic adult respect, much less Christian respect.

WHAT am I lying about?

You can answer that question and nothing else, IF you want to comment here on this post. IF, however, you have ZERO evidence to support that I am lying, I would hope that you would not only not bother posting the false and unsupported claim, but that you'd be man enough to admit you have zero evidence and apologize for the false claim.

One chance, no more.

Marshall Art said...

Well, you certainly aren't about to admit that anything I say is valid in any way. That is, nothing I say will be taken as proof of your lying. The question is whether or not you have the courage to let my comment stand for others to make their own judgements, or in a very Geoffrey-like display of cowardice, pretend my comments are somehow lacking. But here goes:

You are lying about being mistaken. Scripture is clear about the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. It is without question as it offers no "loophole" through which you and those you defend can squeeze through. I again use the stop sign analogy. Lev 18:22 is as such. "Stop" signs offer no scenario by which stopping is allowed. It says one simply thing: Stop. And one is expected to stop, even in the dead of night with absolutely no other cars on the road. Any cop will ticket you if he feels so inclined because the order to stop has been ignored.

In the same way, Lev 18:22 leaves no other option than to deny one's self lying with one of the same sex as one would with one of the opposite sex.

You then lie about the prohibition being anything about pagan religious ritual, as if sex with a close relative, an animal or putting to death one's child is permissible as long as these things aren't done during a pagan religious service. Despite the notion being as ridiculous and illogical as it sounds here, you lie about it being true.

You lie about people like me injecting into Lev 18:22 meaning that we cannot support, when in fact that is exactly what we DON'T do in regarding the verse as we do. We offer no extra-Biblical meaning whatsoever, but simply react to what is stated in the verse, which again, is simple and easy to understand: Don't do it.

You lie about my saying these things as being disrespectful and irrational when what you want is for me to mince words and not speak the truth because you haven't shown any ability to show I haven't been doing so. Instead, you speak of the irrational and disrespectful. It's another version of the same lie all activists and enablers use to silence the Christian with the truth on this issue.

You lie about Mandela being a great man.

I could rifle through the archives and find more if you like, but I'll leave it there. Just remember, telling the truth is never irrational or disrespectful except to those who don't want to hear it. I've never deleted any of your comments despite their lack of truthfulness. I prefer to allow that you might sincerely believe what you say to be the truth, despite how irrational such a belief might seem to me. I prefer to argue against your irrational beliefs. So delete me if you must and join Geoffrey in the Coward's Club. There's always room for more there.

Marshall Art said...

Oh yeah. You lie about my comments being off topic, rude and seeking only to be disrespectful. Almost forgot those recent lies.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

You are lying about being mistaken. Scripture is clear about the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. It is without question as it offers no "loophole" through which you and those you defend can squeeze through.

But in the real world, Marshall, I DO honestly believe my position. I DID honestly get to my position starting from YOUR point and having to move from that point because I prayerfully and carefully read the Bible, meditated, contemplated and considered the point and moved from your position that I once held to my position that I hold now.

Could I be mistaken? Yes, any of us could be mistaken. But am I lying about holding the position I actually hold and for the reasons I actually offered? Yes.

Those are just real world facts, Marshall. There is no lying in that.

You are mistaken.

And note: I am not saying you are lying. I am sure you probably (somehow, despite all real world evidence) think that I am "lying," but your entirely unsupported opinion about that is not evidence that it is true. You are factually mistaken.

Whether or not you are lying, I couldn't say. I expect you are just deluded and not intentionally lying. I suspect that you are so blinded by your cultural traditions that you are wholly incapable of honest reason on this point. But I don't know that, all I know is that, in the real world, you are mistaken.

And this does at least a little touch on the topic of the post: You seem to be conflating honest disagreement with lying, and presumably, from there you move on to "so if he's freely lying so much, he can't really be a Christian..." or something like that.

The point of this post is: People sometimes come to honest disagreements and honest disagreement is not an assault on the Gospel of Christ, because the Gospels of Christ is about grace, not about perfect knowledge.

Marshall Art said...

Here's the real world, Dan: You make this claim...

"I DID honestly get to my position starting from YOUR point and having to move from that point because I prayerfully and carefully read the Bible, meditated, contemplated and considered the point and moved from your position that I once held to my position that I hold now."

...but have failed miserably over the years to even throw a handful of dirt into the gaping holes of your explanation, much less fill any of them. This is all anyone's ever asked of you and all who have are left empty-handed.

It's not enough to say you don't buy the counter argument. There must be some specific reasons why, something that can actually be argued for or against, something that, at least superficially, sounds like a fact that must researched, considered and resolved for or against. We get none of this from you. What has been offered has been, as stated, more filled with holes than Blackburn, Lancashire.

What you state here are only asserted as facts, but lack any credibility when stacked against the many better arguments put forth by a variety of blog opponents. What's more, your position doesn't even hold up against the conclusions of pro-homosexual Biblical scholars, including one lesbian. Thus, all that, combined with the actual teachings of Scripture, makes it extremely difficult (a respectful way of saying "impossible") to regard your position as "honest" disagreement. Hence, you perpetrate a lie. Your further assertions that you find the lie credible is besides the point.

Craig said...

Dan,

It appears that you are arguing that you believe Phil to be mistaken about whether or not homosexuality is a sin. In the past you have made the case that as long as one is sincerely mistaken about the nature of a certain behavior they should be given some slack from those who disagree. Am I somewhat accurately capturing your position?

Also, since you chose to ignore this elsewhere, I'll try here.

Is hypocrisy a sin?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

but have failed miserably over the years to even throw a handful of dirt into the gaping holes of your explanation

I have spent thousands of words and way too much time offering the very real explanation of how I came to believe what I believe. You obviously do not find my explanations compelling.

Similarly, I don't find your explanations compelling.

Now what?

It's not like you can say I have never tried to explain my position, just that you don't find my explanation compelling. Okay, so don't believe it.

But you CAN'T in the real, non-delusional world say that I don't honestly believe what I obviously believe. You can't say that I don't believe what I believe for reasons that I find very compelling. Indeed, I never would have abandoned my former position (your current position) if I did not find the reasoning compelling.

You are free to disagree with my conclusion, but you are not free to say it isn't my honest conclusion when, in the real world, that is exactly the case.

Marshall...


There must be some specific reasons why, something that can actually be argued for or against, something that, at least superficially, sounds like a fact that must researched, considered and resolved for or against. We get none of this from you.

This is demonstrably false. I HAVE given you my reasons, my study, my research, my case. You should not confuse "I don't find his reasons compelling" with "he has offered no reasons..."

In the real world, it is easily demonstrated that I have offered you my research and reasons.

My positions ARE in fact, my positions. I HONESTLY hold them, HONESTLY believing them to be right, HONESTLY based on the many reasons I have given you.

Why is it so hard for you to concede that, in spite of what makes sense to you, others can in good faith, disagree with your almighty wisdom? In the real world, it happens, man. People of good faith disagree. There is no harm in that, it is as should be expected.

Just accept it, man, be at peace with the real world rather than denying facts that you don't like.

~Dan

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Also, since you chose to ignore this elsewhere, I'll try here.

Is hypocrisy a sin?


It was off topic at the other post where you asked it. It is off topic here.

Beyond that, of course nearly every moral adult can agree that hypocrisy is a wrong, so it is sort of a pointless question, isn't it?

Closer to on topic, you ask...

In the past you have made the case that as long as one is sincerely mistaken about the nature of a certain behavior they should be given some slack from those who disagree. Am I somewhat accurately capturing your position?

I believe that in the real world, people disagree with one another and generally speaking, it is based on sincere beliefs. That is, I have no doubt that Robertson and you all genuinely believe what you believe, no matter how immoral or irrational it may seem to me.

I have no problem with that.

I also have no problem with saying, "I think you are mistaken."

Where they cause harm, I have no problem calling on them to quit causing harm.

So, does that answer your question? I don't "cut slack" to the racist who would hang up a person of color, I do not "cut slack" to the greedy person who would rob from the poor. I do not "cut slack" to those who would cause harm... not in the sense that I let them go on causing harm.

I do support the free speech of people with different opinions, even unpopular opinions, but I don't think that means they are free from the consequences of their free speech. The store or club owner who denies service to women or veterans or this group or that... they are free to their beliefs, BUT we may as a people decide to boycott their store, club and that is our right and obligation.

Of course, the actual point of this post is that our beliefs about this behavior or that behavior - whether we are mistaken or not - is not "the Gospel..." and that we should not conflate our various opinions about various behaviors with the Gospel.

My point is that the Gospel is NOT a call to perfect understanding, but it is a call to a life of Grace, and salvation by God's Grace.

Do you agree with my on topic point?

Do you agree that IF one is mistaken about behavior X, then one has forsaken the Gospel of Jesus? Do you think our salvation is dependent upon our perfect knowledge and understanding of a variety of behaviors?

I would assume that, like your "is hypocrisy wrong" question, that you agree with me on my point of this particular post. But you tell me.

Craig said...

It was off topic at the other post where you asked it. It is off topic here.

Actually it was completely in line with the questions I asked and you ignored over there. Since you chose to dodge there, i asked here.

Beyond that, of course nearly every moral adult can agree that hypocrisy is a wrong, so it is sort of a pointless question, isn't it?

Or you could have just said yes, without all the verbiage.

Given your yes answer, where does hypocrisy rank on the scale of sins? Are you disposed to call those who are guilty of the sin of hypocrisy as "evil minded"?

"So, does that answer your question?"

Not exactly, but sort of.

"I don't "cut slack" to the racist who would hang up a person of color, I do not "cut slack" to the greedy person who would rob from the poor. I do not "cut slack" to those who would cause harm... not in the sense that I let them go on causing harm."

Now you've moved on to something I have not asked. I didn't ask about how you would respond to behavior. I asked about how you would deal with someone who has a different opinion that you about what is/is not a sin. In the past you have argued that a simple disagreement over is/is not something a sin is simply a matter of "agree to disagree' and nothing more. So, maybe you could try to answer the question that was asked in a simple unambiguous fashion.

"I do support the free speech of people with different opinions, even unpopular opinions,..."

Yet, you seem comfortable in imputing motives to that speech rather than simply disagreeing. I'm not sure that suggesting that someone is "evil minded" is being especially supportive of that person's right to express their opinions.


"...but I don't think that means they are free from the consequences of their free speech."

This is something I addressed elsewhere, that you chose not to respond to.

It seems as though you are comfortable with the consequences that happened to Phil, yet unconcerned when those on your side are specifically given a pass for using "anti gay slurs" simply because of their political stance. Seems to me that if what Phil said is so evil that he should be suspended, then in the interests of consistency the same folks who raised such a stink about Phil, shouldn't give Alec Baldwin a pass. How about you? If Phil should have bee suspended, what about Baldwin? or Bashir?

"Do you agree with my on topic point?"

I think you've defined the Gospel in a way that suits your worldview, but I agree that the Gospel is not defined by a perfect understanding of everything about God, or sin, or whatever.

"Do you agree that IF one is mistaken about behavior X, then one has forsaken the Gospel of Jesus?"

As you have phrased this question, I would have to disagree. I would suggest that there are some beliefs that, if held, are outside the scope of what constitutes Christianity.

"Do you think our salvation is dependent upon our perfect knowledge and understanding of a variety of behaviors?"

No. Since I've never suggested otherwise, I'm not sure why you felt compelled to answer the question.

Craig said...

“We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

While not exhaustive, this isn't a bad summary of the Gospel.

Marshall Art said...

"You obviously do not find my explanations compelling."

No. I do not find them complete. Can't get to "compelling" until we hear the whole story. More importantly, we can't get to compelling until we hear how you fill the multitude of gaping holes in your position, how you resolve the inconsistencies.

Here's my standing issue with you and others like you (Geoffrey, Alan, etc): I have consistently maintained that I am equally seeking to be persuaded as much as I hope to persuade. Either is fine with me. Yet, your "side" seems to have an incredibly hard time with wanting to defend your case, to answer every question and do so without getting all defensive and weepy. You, for instance, like to spew crap about being disrespectful and/or lacking Christian graciousness in discourse. (Frankly, the same is true for you with far too much regularity, but you refuse to see or admit it.)

Not so long ago, you provided three (maybe it was only two, but I think it was three and don't feel like searching it out at this time) posts with what can only be described "graciously" as a Reader's Digest version of your conversion from alleged conservative opponent of homosexual behavior to morally corrupt champion of same. Even there, where many questions were asked in hopes of closing ANY hole in your position, you again more than disappointed. This is not to say it wasn't found "un-compelling". It was yet again found to be without resolution of any of the problems any of us sought to have thoroughly addressed. I still, to this day, despite your avoidance and misdirections, hope to achieve this lofty goal.

Yet another time, I reserved a post for the express purpose of allowing you and I to engage on this topic and it went nowhere while I hoped to carry it to the end.

In each case, you left at least one person, me, wondering what the hell happened. As such, there is nothing delusional about suspecting you are not as convicted in your position as you posture yourself as being. How could I not with such two-stepping? As such, it is not presumptuous in contending that you are not truthful, especially given the fact that you have never, ever presented a "hole" in my/our position that was left unfilled, or having insisted we didn't fill it, showed where it was lacking.

Instead, you default to "hunch", "agree to disagree" and far less "gracious" responses and exits. To use your own rhetoric, don't you realize how that makes you sound? It makes you sound like you're not convicted in your beliefs, that you're only posing as the studied Christian you claim to be, that you're lying. After all of that, and through your far less than gracious brush offs and deletions, I continue to stand ready to hash it all out until SOMETHING is explained to its conclusion, either here, at my place or anywhere else, and I don't even care if the kids butt in with their psuedo-intellectual trash-talking (which never bothers me anyway).

One more thing. You never were as I am on this issue (not to mention others). If you were, you could not have changed in the face of such bad Scriptural understanding as you now express. You may have opposed homosexual behavior at one point in your life, but not with the same acknowledgement of facts and truth. I would suspect it was superficial at best.

Consider this a reminder of the standing challenge I had long ago thrown down. I don't see why it should be such a big deal to pick up the gauntlet.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Can't get to "compelling" until we hear the whole story. More importantly, we can't get to compelling until we hear how you fill the multitude of gaping holes in your position

The thing that you just don't seem to "get," Marshall, is that IS the entire story. I DID give you two or three posts' worth of explanation at one time, not to mention, years' worth of explanations and clarifications at other times. That IS the entire story. What I gave you is the reason why I changed from my old conservative position - which I felt to be too biblically and morally and rationally problematic - to my new position, which I believe to be the most biblical, moral and rational position.

That you believe there are holes in it is not evidence that it is not my entire explanation, any more than that I believe your reasoning has holes in it does not mean it is your entire explanation.

Do you understand that?

And more to the point of this post: Do you get that your disagreeing with this Christian on this position is no more an "assault on the Gospel" than my disagreeing with you?

Marshall...

If you were, you could not have changed in the face of such bad Scriptural understanding as you now express. You may have opposed homosexual behavior at one point in your life, but not with the same acknowledgement of facts and truth. I would suspect it was superficial at best.

And yet, real world facts would show that I was extremely convinced of that position, extremely dedicated to that position, extremely opposed to all gay behavior with the same acknowledgment of "facts" (what I used to think were facts, but now realize was just bad exegesis and shallow eisegesis) and "truth."

In short, I may not have been exactly where you are (no one ever is), but I've seen NOTHING from you that was not the same as what I believed back then. So, if you can point to nothing you believe that I did not used to believe, in what way was I not like you on this point?

And more to the point of this post: Do you recognize that having a sincere change of heart about a position is not the same as "an assault on the Gospel..."?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Actually it was completely in line with the questions I asked and you ignored over there. Since you chose to dodge there, i asked here.

? I understand that your question was in line with your own off topic questions, but your off topic questions had nothing to do with the topic of the post.

Craig...

Given your yes answer, where does hypocrisy rank on the scale of sins? Are you disposed to call those who are guilty of the sin of hypocrisy as "evil minded"?

Is this somehow related to the topic of THIS post?

Craig...

Now you've moved on to something I have not asked. I didn't ask about how you would respond to behavior. I asked about how you would deal with someone who has a different opinion that you about what is/is not a sin.

The question you asked was vague. I don't know that I have ever said, "We ought to cut slack to people who sin, but do it sincerely..." and if I did, I'd want to know what I meant by "cut slack..." or what you mean by "cut slack..."

And in either case, where does this touch on the topic of this post?

I think this line of thinking could touch on the topic insofar as this:

IF there is someone who believes Behavior X is right, while many others believe it is wrong, then there is nothing in that mistake (from the view of the latter) that suggests the fella is not saved or is "assaulting the Gospel..." he is merely mistaken.

Do we agree?

Craig...

It seems as though you are comfortable with the consequences that happened to Phil, yet unconcerned when those on your side are specifically given a pass for using "anti gay slurs" simply because of their political stance.

Not on topic and, of course, stupid. Of course, I am always concerned about slurs and attacks on any oft-oppressed groups from whomever it occurs. And no doubt, it occurs all over the place.

But what does that have to do with this topic today?

Craig...

As you have phrased this question, I would have to disagree. I would suggest that there are some beliefs that, if held, are outside the scope of what constitutes Christianity.

Ah! ON topic commentary.

Thank you for the direct answer. Could you please, then, provide of list of potential sin-behavior beliefs that are outside the scope of Christianity?

Since Jesus directly taught that we should not store up treasures, are you suggesting that storing up treasures (ie, saving lots of money and stuff) is outside Christianity?

Since Jesus directly taught us to love our enemies, to overcome evil with good, etc, are you suggesting that those who embrace killing our enemies are outside of Christianity?

Since Jesus directly taught us to make no oaths and to hold allegiance only to God, are you suggesting that those who take oaths and pledge allegiances are outside of Christianity?

(NOTE: I do not think that, even as clear as these teachings are, believers who disagree with the traditional anabaptist/early church teachings on these points are outside of Christianity... just starting a list).

What is your list of potential sin behaviors that it is impossible to be mistaken on and still be a Christian? Or even a partial list, if you have a very long list.

Thanks.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I'm not sure that suggesting that someone is "evil minded" is being especially supportive of that person's right to express their opinions.

I returned to the post in question and I never called anyone "evil minded..." I did say...

they believe – as do I – that Robertson’s comments are wrong and evil-spirited

And that is my way of saying I think what they said was wrong. I used "evil-spirited" because that is the language that you all tend to use about people's behaviors. I prefer to just call it wrong.

Regardless, clearly, I am speaking about the comments in reality, not Robertson's motives.

I made that clear again, here...

I think that the Baptists and A&E are within their rights to fire someone who has voiced opinions they consider to be evil/wrong/contrary to their values.

The STATED CLAIMS were what were problematic (even in the case of the Baptists, with whom I disagree), there was no suggestion of evil motives. Indeed, as I have oft made clear (and which is more salient to the actual point of THIS post), I'm quite sure that people like Robertson and you all have pure motives when you say things like this. I'm sure your not intending to sound wrong-headed. Indeed, I said in that other post...

But Robertson (and you?) can clarify and say, “I do apologize for the misunderstanding, I do NOT mean that gay people are ANYTHING like bestialists, drunkards or terrorists. My list was just meant to say these are things I think are sins, not that they are at all in any way comparable… because they are not. I’m sorry that I stated it in a way that sounded like that…”

Allowing that Robertson could clarify some and clear up the issue a bit and make it less awful-sounding (I'd still think he is wrong to include "the gay" in with "sinners," such as people like HIMSELF, but that would be much different than lumping "the gay" in with terrorists and bestialists).

I will note here that people like Marshall and Glenn and John repeatedly claim outright that I have evil motives and things like I'm actually lying, not merely disagreeing with them, which again, is a claim of knowledge of my motives, and you seem to have no problem with it. IF you were being consistently concerned about people's claims about motives - whichever side was making the claims - then it would be easier to think you're trying to make some sincere point. But here you're attacking me for "attacking" Robertson's motives (something I've shown that I have not done) while ignoring the blatant attacks on me by others ("Trabue is a liar like his father the devil."), it makes it hard to take you seriously.

Do you think that when someone says "You are a liar and you are a son of the devil..." the desire is to be unsupportive of their free speech? Then why not say that to Glenn or Marshall?

Regardless, the point I made there still stands (and I believe you agree with my actual point, which makes all this complaining all the more bizarre): Robertson DOES have the freedom to make any claims he wants about homosexuality. AND A&E is free to fire him if they want FOR those claim. AND people are free to protest A&E if they disagree with their response. And so on. We all are free to make our positions clear, BUT we are not free from consequences of those positions.

On that topic, I believe you and I agree.

And if you disagree with my position on it (or I, yours), well, then it is still not an "assault on the Gospel" to disagree with that opinion.

Craig said...

"Is this somehow related to the topic of THIS post?"

It's not necessarily except as this post is a continuation of the other. If you'd prefer to answer over there where it is part of the topic I'd be fine with that. Since you chose not to, I'm just trying to get answers wherever possible.

My point with the question you find vague was that your previously stated position, in fact stated in this post is that you seem to be willing to allow people to disagree on what things are sinful, without necessarily taking a stand on whether things are actually sinful. It seems as though you are saying that it is in fact perfectly fine to disagree on matters of this nature.

"IF there is someone who believes Behavior X is right, while many others believe it is wrong, then there is nothing in that mistake (from the view of the latter) that suggests the fella is not saved or is "assaulting the Gospel..." he is merely mistaken."

As phrased this statement/question is much to vague and broad to answer. But, I believe that you are suggesting that someone being "merely mistaken" is not something you would necessarily have a problem with.

"But what does that have to do with this topic today?"

Again, I'm forced to seek answers in whatever forum I can find them. If you'd like to answer these things where it is more on topic, that's fine with me.

"...I am always concerned about slurs and attacks on any oft-oppressed groups from whomever it occurs."

No doubt you are, just not concerned enough to address it when those attacks come from people on your side of the fence.

"Could you please, then, provide of list of potential sin-behavior beliefs that are outside the scope of Christianity?"

I'll throw out a couple off the top of my head, based on beliefs held by people who claim to be Christian.

Denying the existence of God.

Worshiping other gods or practicing other religions while professing to be a christian.

The belief that all religions lead to the God.

Just a few, but sufficient to make my point.

"...are you suggesting that storing up treasures (ie, saving lots of money and stuff) is outside Christianity?"

No why would I?

"...are you suggesting that those who embrace killing our enemies are outside of Christianity?":

Since I've never actually heard anyone claim to be a Christian while "embracing" killing our enemies, I have no idea what your point is. I do, however, hear people who claim to be Christian embrace killing the unborn. But since Jesus never specifically condemned abortion, it must be OK?

"...are you suggesting that those who take oaths and pledge allegiances are outside of Christianity?"

No.

For a partial list look in Exodus 20 for a list of things now called the 10 commandments. Or try Matthew 22:37 or Luke 10:27.



"I used "evil-spirited" because that is the language that you all tend to use about people's behaviors. I prefer to just call it wrong."

Please, show me some evidence where I have called someone "evil spirited". Otherwise, this is just a bizarre dodge. If you meant wrong, then you should have said wrong. Instead you intentionally chose loaded language.

Of course, if Phil is "merely mistaken", then it seems wrong to characterize him as "evil spirited" instead of mistaken, don't you think? Or is the mistaken exemption only good for you and yours.

"On that topic, I believe you and I agree."

Which I agree with, my problem is that you, have taken one point on which we agree and attempted to intimate that I agree with you on the larger issues.












Dan Trabue said...

Craig, just to be clear, HERE is the topic of this post:

"DISAGREEMENT is not an assault on the Gospel... As I've said before, the Gospel is NOT a call to have perfect understanding in order to be saved (whether or not they're right on this topic - and they're not), it is a call to a salvation and a life of Grace and of the Love of God."

And to clarify, if I have not been clear enough for you to understand, the disagreement I'm speaking of is disagreement over various behaviors, whether this or that behavior is a sin or not.

So, I'm speaking of "He thinks smoking is not sinful, but clearly it is (I THINK), therefore, his belief is an assault on the Gospel..."

and

"She thinks two lesbians marrying one another is not sinful, but clearly it is (I THINK), therefore, her belief is an assault on the Gospel..."

and

"They think that Christians can go to war and bomb a city with innocent children in it, but clearly that is sinful (I THINK), therefore, their belief is an assault on the Gospel..."

My point being: Mere disagreements on various behaviors as to whether or not they are sinful... that these disagreements on behaviors are NOT "assaults on the Gospel." Rather, they are disagreeing opinions about whether this or that behavior is wrong or a bad idea of "sinful."

Does that help clarify for you my meaning on this post?

Now, do you have a list of behaviors that we can not disagree upon without assaulting the Gospel?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

show me some evidence where I have called someone "evil spirited". Otherwise, this is just a bizarre dodge.

1. I did not say YOU said "evil spirited..." But clearly, your friends over there DO use that sort of language. Glenn referred to me repeatedly as a child of Satan. I was using the language being used by the group over there, as a group, not you specifically.

2. I did not call Robertson "evil spirited..." I called his words evil spirited (by which I meant "Wrong..." but was using the language being used by the others over there, for clarity's sake).

3. The purpose of using "evil" to describe Robertson's words was to help match type for type. That is, Yes, Robertson has the right to believe and say "These behaviors are wrong... they're evil..." but IN THE SAME WAY, A&E has the right to not want to hire someone whose behavior/words they find to be wrong or evil. The point I was making was that this was not an assault on religious freedom, it was a case of conflicting values. Robertson has his right to say behaviors are wrong and act on it, and so does A&E.

Does that help you understand my position?

Craig...

No doubt you are, just not concerned enough to address it when those attacks come from people on your side of the fence.

Again, this would be easier to take seriously if you had spoke out against Glenn referring to me as "a child of the devil" and "a liar," etc. That you don't name each offense that occurs EVEN IN THE THREAD of conversation you're taking part in would seem to be more problematic than me not name each offense by those on my side EVEN WHEN I HAVE NOT HEARD of the report.

Do you see how this undermines whatever point you are trying to make?

Craig...

I believe that you are suggesting that someone being "merely mistaken" is not something you would necessarily have a problem with.

Here is my position again, see if you can get my point:

IF Mr X believes that gay behavior of any sort is wrong and chooses, therefore, NOT to marry a guy or have sex with a guy, there is no problem I disagree with his conclusion, but I applaud him in applying his belief system to his own life.

IF Mr X, however, believes that any gay behavior is wrong and that the Bible teaches that men who lay with men should be stoned or imprisoned, THEN not only do I disagree with him, I think his behavior has moved over to behavior that we MUST oppose because of the harm involved.

He is no longer "merely mistaken," he is mistaken to a degree that he's causing harm to others.

There's the line that I'm drawing and the difference between "mere disagreement" that can be shrugged off as inevitable and harmful disagreement that must be opposed.

Clear?

Craig said...

"Does that help clarify for you my meaning on this post?"

I've not had any problem determining the meaning or intent of this post.

"Now, do you have a list of behaviors that we can not disagree upon without assaulting the Gospel?"

I've addressed the "assaulting the gospel" issue in an earlier comment. If you want to deal with those comments first, then ask additional clarifying questions, fine. Just don't act like I haven't addressed it.

Re; your #1. The problem is that you are failing to differentiate between what I said and what others may have said. Since I haven't used the language that offends you, don't lump me in with those who have. If you are unwilling or unable to differentiate between different people, then you should probably just stop commenting.

Re: your #2 This is a distinction without a difference. Clearly words have no spirit, the only thing that imparts spirit to words in the person who uses them. Nonetheless, you could have embraced grace and referred to Phil as mistaken, you chose otherwise.

Re; your #3 Again, you chose to use descriptive words that are loaded. You could have said mistaken, you chose evil.

"Does that help you understand my position?"

I've not had much problem understanding your position.

"Do you see how this undermines whatever point you are trying to make?"

In your mind sure. In the real world nope. I've commented about how Glenn has referred to you enough in other places. The fact that you choose to broad brush me in with Glenn is not my problem.

Further, you are the one who is criticizing people for expressing their beliefs, seems like you want it both ways.

"IF Mr X believes that gay behavior of any sort is wrong and chooses, therefore, NOT to marry a guy or have sex with a guy, there is no problem I disagree with his conclusion, but I applaud him in applying his belief system to his own life."

Craig said...

Contd.

So, it can be fairly said that I have accurately paraphrased your belief on this. Great, you are OK with any belief that anyone holds as long as it is confined to their private life.

"IF Mr X, however, believes that any gay behavior is wrong and that the Bible teaches that men who lay with men should be stoned or imprisoned THEN not only do I disagree with him, I think his behavior has moved over to behavior that we MUST oppose because of the harm involved."

So, you are suggesting that Mr. X should be stopped from believing some things. That there is a line where his beliefs are so bad that they must be stopped. That seems contradictory to me.

He is no longer "merely mistaken," he is mistaken to a degree that he's causing harm to others.

So, these beliefs are causing harm to others? How do someones beliefs cause harm? How does someone expressing their beliefs cause harm? Can you actually point to someone who is expressing the belief that gays should be "stoned or imprisoned"?

There's the line that I'm drawing and the difference between "mere disagreement" that can be shrugged off as inevitable and harmful disagreement that must be opposed.

Had you drawn a line between "belief" and "action" I'd probably agree with you. I could even possibly see drawing a line between "belief" and "expression of belief". But you have drawn the line between one belief and another. Can you see how this might appear contradictory?

Back to the real world. It seems as though you are suggesting that Phil has expressed his belief that gays should be "stoned or imprisoned" or that he is somehow causing actual measurable harm to someone with his paraphrase of scripture. Can you please show some evidence of actual measurable harm to anyone? Can you show an instance of Phil trying to force his interpretation of scripture on someone else? Can you show any evidence that Phil is trying to force anyone to accept his interpretation of scripture?

The problem is that you can't and that you are perfectly content to characterize Phil's comments as "evil spirited" while ignoring Bashir, Baldwin and others.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

you are the one who is criticizing people for expressing their beliefs, seems like you want it both ways.

You keep saying you aren't having any difficulty understanding my position, then you say something like this that says you don't understand my position.

On THIS point:

I am NOT criticizing Robertson for expressing his belief. Do you understand that? I repeatedly said I SUPPORT him expressing his belief. Thus, because I SUPPORT him expressing his belief, I am not criticizing him for expressing his belief. I'm criticizing the wording. I am saying that the WAY in which he expressed his belief was wrong. Not the fact that he expressed his belief.

NOW, do you understand my actual point?

And to the point of THIS post, is disagreeing with Robertson as "assault on the Gospel..."? Or do you recognize that disagreement on behaviors is an entirely different thing than assaulting the Gospel?

Craig said...

Dan,

Now you are missing the point. I KNOW you are not criticizing Phil for expressing his beliefs. You have however criticized Glenn, Bubba, John and others for expressing their beliefs.

Clear?

Interestingly enough, Robertson has done exactly as you think he should have in terms of clarifying what he meant, as well as expressing a clear, succinct, and accurate understanding of The Gospel and grace, yet I suspect you were unaware of this. I also suspect you've chosen to ignore the quotes I have provided that don't fit the narrative you've chosen to embrace.

Or as Bubba, has pointed out the real issue (In the minds of the vast majority of folks who are following this issue) is not what A&E CAN do, but what A&E SHOULD do.

I know this is "off topic" for this post (I'd gladly go back to John's with this if you'd rather), but since I've addressed the problems I find with your premise elsewhere and you've not seen fit to engage on those so as to move back "on topic", I'll have to live with this.

At this point I have a couple of suggestions.

1. Call a truce until after Christmas.
2. Limit comments on this post to your response to my issues with your premise and keep it there.
3. Move the Phil stuff somewhere else.

Merry Christmas

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

You have however criticized Glenn, Bubba, John and others for expressing their beliefs.

Where and when?

Hasn't happened, friend.

I've criticized their beliefs, especially when they are false and/or slanderous and/or goofy. But I have not criticized them for expressing their beliefs. Hasn't happened.

Understand?

And probably after Christmas, as the day is spinning rapidly to an end.

Craig said...

http://papundits.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/a-duck-dynasty-christmas/

Craig said...

Dan,

I'm sure your right that it's never ever happened.

Dan Trabue said...

???

Where and when?

Hasn't happened, friend.

That you cite someone else's words about something (didn't really read it, since it wasn't something I said) does not "prove" that I "have however criticized Glenn, Bubba, John and others for expressing their beliefs."

Understand?

Marshall Art said...

Disagreeing isn't an assault on the Gospel. But the bad understandings you hold as true are assaults on the Gospel (since they are untrue) and that is what brings about the disagreement.

We can agree that there is much in Scripture that is not quite as clear as it could be so that disagreements might arise. The concept of election, for example. But of the topics on which we've spent so much time and words, you clearly assault the Gospel with your position.

"That you believe there are holes in it is not evidence that it is not my entire explanation, any more than that I believe your reasoning has holes in it does not mean it is your entire explanation."

There's a distinct difference between us. I don't merely "believe" there are holes in your position. It's a blatant fact and it's not only that you haven't come close to filling them, you run from the opportunity with suspicious regularity.

Conversely, I'm open to any question and always have been. If you believe there are holes in my position, ask away. If you feel my responses are unsatisfactory, tell me why and I'll explain further. I do not fear any scrutiny on the positions I have taken. They are perfectly sound and I'm more than happy to explain why to anyone with the courage to take me to the breaking point. After all these years, you've broken repeatedly before I even feel the stress.

But that we disagree isn't an assault on the Gospel, but only on our own positions.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

But of the topics on which we've spent so much time and words, you clearly assault the Gospel with your position.

I believe in Salvation by Grace, through faith in Jesus. I disagree with your position on a few topics that are non-essential and mostly extrabiblical in nature.

HOW is sincerely disagreeing about a behavior an "assault on the Gospel..."?

That you are convinced of your position is not evidence that no one else can reach other conclusions.

Marshall...

the bad understandings you hold as true are assaults on the Gospel (since they are untrue)

It is your opinion that my opinions are untrue. It is my opinion that your opinion is mistaken. How is either of these disagreements an "assault on the Gospel..."?

That is the question that you haven't answered.

Along those lines you say...

I don't merely "believe" there are holes in your position. It's a blatant fact and it's not only that you haven't come close to filling them

I think your argument has holes. That is my sincere belief. YOU think my argument has holes. That is YOUR OPINION. Affirming that your opinion is that your opinions are facts does not make them facts.

Marshall Art said...

The "disagreement" regarding this particular behavior is only one example of your assault. I've posed the question many times in the past without anything close to an attempt at an answer, so I'll put it out there yet again: How "mistaken" can one be about Scripture before one is no longer worshiping the one, true God?

I'll also once again explain the distinction between us: My position is fact until someone can demonstrate that it isn't. You haven't. Your position is blatantly wrong unBiblical because it has been shown to be by a collection of bloggers and also scholars. You haven't shown why we're mistaken.

If my position has holes, you have failed to point one out that has not been appropriately explained. You haven't demonstrated a problem with the explanation any more than you have for the premise being explained.

Your hole-filled position has provoked myriad questions, none of which have been answered without provoking still more questions that then go unanswered.

Dan Trabue said...

Look, Marshall, I'll provide you with a list of holes I find in your arguments. You, in turn, can provide at least one or two "holes" you think you can find in my argument.

I am telling you that what it comes down to is your unprovable opinion that my position does not make sense to you and my unprovable opinion that your position does not make sense to me. That is, it is a mere disagreement made between two people of good faith.

Marshall's Holes (no gay irony intended) regarding the entire OT argument (ie, Lev 18 and 20)...

1. The rules where "men don't lie with with men, if they do, kill them" exist are, IN CONTEXT, very specifically rules specifically for Israel at that time and place. They just are textually and contextually. To argue otherwise you have to ignore that biblical reality.

1A. Thus, to say, "What part of "men shall not lie with men (MSNLWM)" don't you understand?" is to ignore the reality that these rules are not universal rules. Thus, "What part of MSNLWM don't you understand?" is not a "hole" in my argument, but one in yours.

2. Chapters 18 and 20 (and others) are dealing with how Israel should contrast itself with neighboring nations, like how neighboring nations engage in sex rituals as part of their temple practices. Even in context for Israel's, it does not appear to be a blanket condemnation of all gay behavior, but contrasting that specific behavior with how Israel should behave.

3. Even you all don't think these are universal rules. The VERY LINE that says "MSNLWM" follows with another DIRECT COMMAND, "if they do, kill them..." This is a line that you do not think is universally applicable. In fact, I'm pretty sure you could agree that to follow that "command directly from God" today would be a great evil.

3a. Thus, the hole in your argument is that you acknowledge that these are not universal rules yourselves.

4. But okay, "so they aren't universal rules," you might argue, "but STILL, clearly, SOME of these rules - MOST of these rules ARE still in effect... you don't ignore the rule about bestiality, do you?!"

See Point 1: These rules are specifically NOT universal rules. Period. They ARE, biblically and rationally speaking, specifically rules for ancient Israel.

4a. Beyond that, you all have no criteria - no rubric - for how you decide, "Okay, verse 11 is a universal rule, but verse 11a is NOT a universal command. And verse 22 is not a universal rule, but most of those others ARE. Well, except for the first part of 19..." It is entirely based on your human opinions.

Thus, another hole in your argument is that you agree with me in that it's okay to use our reason to recognize that some behaviors are wrong and some are not wrong. We have God's Word and Law, writ upon our hearts. We ARE moral and rationing creatures, we have the ability to sort our (albeit imperfectly) right from wrong, good from bad.

Do you have ANY plugs for these holes? No, not that I've ever seen. At least no arguments that are compelling.

Do you have ANY supposed holes in my reasoning that I have not plugged? Just one or two will suffice to demonstrate the point.

Dan Trabue said...

And Marshall, the topic of the Mandela post is a positive remembrance of that great man. I will entertain comments on that topic. I will not entertain attacks on a recently deceased man on that post, it is not the point of the post. Quit posting off topic comments there. They will not remain.

I insist.

Marshall Art said...

I will get to your primary response over the weekend when I have more time to address it properly. AS to this last one, I insist that my comments are indeed on topic since you insist on referring to Mandela as a great man. His "greatness" is more a matter of marketing than any real efforts on his part. He was not the only black man working to end apartheid, as my constantly deleted comments demonstrate, and what's more, he did not have the majority of black support. Far from it. What he did have was power to suppress other voices. But then, you like to support bad behavior as if it was noble and holy. The fact that he would never renounce the use of violence was why he spent so many years imprisoned.

Dan Trabue said...

And I'm telling you it IS off topic. A memorial, a remembrance of a just passed man is NOT a place for criticisms of him. Do you go to funerals and piss on people's caskets, Marshall? Have a bit of human decency, man.

Do you not have a soul?

You will not post on there. What part of that are you failing to understand?

Have you NO decency?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, none of your off topic comments will sit. Quit posting them.

Are you trying to be the first person I've banned? I INSIST you post on topic.

Some day, if I write on Mandela's legacy, THEN you could write your opinions about that. This post is not that post, nor is the memorial post. Or, if you want to write bad things about a recently deceased man, do so on your own blog.

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

You insist and I've complied, but you delete my comments anyway. Your insisting that my comments are not is simply your way of forcing agreement. You're not fooling anyone who would be allowed to see the comments you delete. Put another way, they are no more off topic than are Mickey's. That is to say, if mine are off topic, then Mickey's response to my original comment is as well. But his agrees with you, so you leave it alone.

Of course banning me is a good way to dodge the responses to this post, which I've little doubt you're keen to do.

Marshall Art said...

As to those responses, I'll start first with what you think are holes in MY position, at least for now to finally begin the discussion;

Point 1. Here, you once again show your deceitful preference for quoting from Chapter 20 which speaks to punishments for sinful behaviors. Doing so does not work as I have always focused on the behavior alone. The reason is because it is the behavior alone that is in question and always has been. The punishment was for Israel at that time, but the behavior has never been shown anywhere else in Scripture to no longer qualify as an abomination to God. Seven pro-homosexual scholars at the end of this link concur.

1A. This suggests that somehow God has changed His mind on the sinful behaviors listed in Leviticus. You conveniently jump from 18 to 20 while ignoring Chapter 19 in between. This is part of the list of sinful behaviors. But more importantly, regarding those found in 18, God says that engaging in those behaviors is how nations He was going to drive out defiled themselves. One way was by males having sex with males.

So far, my argument is based entirely on the text itself with no need for going elsewhere. You make claims that these sexual prohibitions, particularly homosexual behavior, was referring to pagan religious rituals. Where does it say this? Not in Scripture. You make this blatantly false argument in point 2. Yet even if such activities were a part of their religious rituals, it is foolish, if not deceitful, to suggest that no homosexual activity took place that WASN'T consensual, loving, committed and all that. Setting aside the fact that there is no such distinction made in Scripture whatsoever, what evidence from archeology or history supports this contention? What supports the ridiculous contention that Lev 18:22 wasn't including your favored form of homosexual behavior? You've never provided any such evidence.

This is all I have time for now. Please, despite how hard it might be to restrain yourself, please hold off on responding until I've finished my response to you, as what appears here is an incomplete response. Otherwise, we will assuredly get off track onto some tangent. In turn, I will honor similar requests from you as I can keep it together without distress while waiting.

Marshall Art said...

Continuing with point 2, I wish to reiterate that you have yet to provide anything from Scripture to support the contention that "it does not appear to be a blanket condemnation of all gay behavior". You used to point to the term "practices" as if it can only mean religious ritual practices alone, and not simply "customs" or "behaviors", such as "Dan's practice of injecting his own meaning into verses of Scripture". The edict is rather simply and to the point..."thou shalt not". Where else can the "practice" of such a simple and clear order not be comprehensive? That is to say, exceptions are always stated when rules have them. Somewhere there must be some stated exception to allow your position to be valid. Even Jesus would provide such where necessary, as He condemned divorce except for reasons of infidelity.

Point 3. You like to pretend that there is some difficulty in separating which Levitical prohibitions might be universal versus only for the ancient Israelites. But even putting aside scholarly explanation, and that masterful explanation from my very first posting at my own blog (to which I've referred several times over the years since), a simple exercise from grade school is sufficient for most honest people of even low intelligence: Which of the following does not belong?

1. Apples. 2. Oranges. 3. Asparagus. 4. Bananas

I'll leave you to ponder, but the answer should be obvious. Another would be:

1. Adultery. 2. Bearing false witness. 3. Stealing. 4. Mixing fabrics.

Again, the answer should be obvious to even yourself. For the sake of your point 3, we have the following head-scratcher:

1. Sex with your mother. 2. Sex with your sister. 3. Sex with your aunt. 4. Execution for engaging in particular sexual sins.

We can do this all day to help understand how some Levitical prohibitions might still apply today while others don't.

We can also look to other Biblical statements or claims to further distinguish one behavior as sinful versus another that is ceremonial, ritualistic, symbolic of something else, such as dietary restrictions. It really isn't all that hard or mysterious unless one is looking to avoid the hard truth regarding a behavior not personally objectionable.

You choose to believe that execution for homosexual behavior would today be a great evil. Such a belief puts your own opinion about the punishment over God's view regarding the evil of the behavior. That this behavior, as well as others, might still be worthy of death does not compel us to craft civil law to make this so. Indeed, we can be absolved by God of the requirement to so punish such sinners while the sin itself remains worthy of such punishment for the perpetrator of the sin. There's no inconsistency whatsoever, especially since the argument is simply that the behavior in any context is still an abomination in the eyes of God, which it is.

Indeed, it has never been a part of the argument of those of us who don't play so fast and loose with Scripture on such matters whether or not such sinners should be punished at all for engaging in abomination. We simply object to the push by activists and enablers like yourself for any recognition that such behavior should ever be legally recognized as morally benign or equal to normal sexual relations between men and women married to each other. From the perspective of religious faith, particularly religious faith, it is clearly sinful behavior regardless of any notions of consensual, monogamous and committed possibilities.

Still not finished....more soon.

Craig said...

Dan,

As we're past Christmas, we can call off the truce if you'd like. There seem to be some questions/issues that were unanswered/unaddressed when we broke. If you'd like to catch up fine. If you'd like to just deal with Marshall, fine.

I will note that it is now obvious that A&E's suspension of Phil was not motivated out of any noble adherence to principle. It was simply a PR move to appease a tiny minority of people and they backed down as soon as the heat was off.

Your call

Marshall Art said...

Point 4. "But okay, "so they aren't universal rules," you might argue..."

No. I wouldn't argue that at all if I know a rule is universal. Murder, for example, is quite universal, though the main reason it is so is because God has clearly stated that we are not to murder. It's not really universal without God, though it might be universally regarded as such.

"See Point 1: These rules are specifically NOT universal rules. Period. They ARE, biblically and rationally speaking, specifically rules for ancient Israel."

This point as you have worded it here, does not comply with your new resolution. You've stated merely opinion and have done so without any Biblical support whatsoever. You have basically said "because God says so" but without any verse that supports the proposition.

What's more, it leaves off the very important factor of God having called the offenses of Lev 18 as "detestable things" (verse 29). They were detestable when Egypt did them, they were detestable when the Canaanites did them and they would be detestable for the Hebrews. They were among the practices in which the Egyptians and Canaanites participated and perpetrated. Having committed these sins, they defiled the very land in which they lived. So these behavioral prohibitions were NOT specific to the Hebrews. They were already detestable before the Hebrews engaged in them.

Furthermore, there is no passage anywhere in Scripture that allows for any context in which these behaviors would be regarded by God as NOT detestable. This isn't opinion and if it wasn't fact, you'd have come up with the passage(s) long ago.

As to rubrics and criteria, I have many times provided those and you dismiss, deny, ignore or claim you don't "buy it", as if that wasn't already plain. You offer nothing that even tries to contradict them. I have offered verses, passages and explanations from scholars and students of Scripture. Again, in my very first blog post, I provided a lengthy explanation for why some Levitical laws still stand and why others don't. You simply gave me the old "I don't buy it" line without anything to explain why you couldn't.

Now, it is left to you to show how I have yet to plug whatever you think are holes in my position. I have no fear. Bring it on and if you see any as regards this small discussion, I will just as easily fill them as well.

Finally, unless you are implementing your New Year's resolution retroactively, I expect to see the type of honest and gracious response you expect of me.

Later, I will provide examples of the holes in your position and you can try to fill those with the same success I have mine. I look forward to it.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall: Hole in your position #1:

DAN: "See Point 1: These rules are specifically NOT universal rules. Period. They ARE, biblically and rationally speaking, specifically rules for ancient Israel."

M: You've stated merely opinion and have done so without any Biblical support whatsoever.


It IS true that I did not cite the Bible. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you know the passage well enough to know I stated a fact: TEXTUALLY speaking, this rule is not a universal rule, but one given specifically to Israel. Now, that is not to argue, "Therefore, God does (or doesn't) agree with this position..." I'm just stating an observable fact: In the TEXT, these are rules given to Israel, specifically (ancient Israel in that specific time and location, even more specifically).

I have to doubt that you are not familiar that each of these chapters doling out rules begins with similar wording, but here is Lev 18, just for example...

“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.
You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees.


[emphasis mine].

Literally speaking, in these texts, these rules are specifically for ancient Israel. This is a hole in your argument, and it remains a hole.

See?

Dan Trabue said...

Similarly, TEXTUALLY speaking, the text DOES say, "Men shall not lie with men. If they do, kill them..."

What it does not say is, "This is God's way of saying this is a condemnation of all gay behavior in any and all contexts and times..."

Fact and fact.

Marshall Art said...

"Similarly, TEXTUALLY speaking, the text DOES say, "Men shall not lie with men. If they do, kill them...""

Once again, rather than focus on the real issue, that is the behavior for which God mandated a death sentence (that He said is on their own heads), you want to bring up the punishment as if that is an apples to apples comparison. It is not. One speaks of a behavior being detestable, and the other speaks of how the Hebrews were to deal with those who engage in the behavior. You do this to obfuscate. But it won't work.

"What it does not say is, "This is God's way of saying this is a condemnation of all gay behavior in any and all contexts and times...""

But why do you feel it must if not to merely allow some people to engage in the prohibited behavior. There is no reason to suppose that it does NOT cover every conceivable context in which anyone might engage in the behavior. You MUST rely on extra-Biblical arguments to make your case. You can't find such within Scripture itself.

And note once again, that in both Lev 18 AND 20, it speaks of the behavior alone as being detestable or an abomination. There is no hint that it must take place within a pagan religious ritual, between a male and a male prostitute, in the context of a rape or oppressive relationship, or any other nasty possibilities only. It simply says do not do it. Scripture speaks only of the behavior itself and nothing more. ANYWHERE within Scripture.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Once again, rather than focus on the real issue, that is the behavior for which God mandated a death sentence (that He said is on their own heads), you want to bring up the punishment as if that is an apples to apples comparison. It is not.

You are welcome to your opinion.

Textually, we see two literal commands from God TO the people of ancient Israel.

The first command is, "men shall not lie with men..." whatever that may mean and however we might choose to interpret that.

The second command is "if they do, kill them."

Two literal commands (in the text) from God, to the people of ancient Israel. Factually, that is what is there, literally. They are Of a Kind (apples to apples) because they are both commands, they have that in common.

Now, you have interpreted this to mean that the first part is

1. in your opinion, a command against all gay behavior, men or women and,
2. a universal prohibition against all gay behavior for all people and times

Whereas the second half is NOT universal, but only for the people of ancient Israel.

You are welcome to your opinion.

The point is, even you recognize that at least PART of this text are not universal rules, thus a hole in your argument still exists.

You are welcome to your opinion, I still find it to have holes.

See?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

There is no reason to suppose that it does NOT cover every conceivable context in which anyone might engage in the behavior. You MUST rely on extra-Biblical arguments to make your case.

Again, factually speaking, there is a textual reason: The rules are specifically to ancient Israel - rules that even you don't accept in whole as being universal.

This is the big hole in your argument. Beyond that hole, we are down to opinions about whether, FOR ANCIENT ISRAEL, this rule represents a "ruling" from God that God disapproves of all gay behavior in all contexts. I find no textual reason to assume so, in my opinion. You do, in your opinion.

You are welcome to your opinion, I disagree with it. You are still left with the hole.

Now that I've pointed that out several times, we can return to your initial rude and off topic comment: I posted about how disagreement is not an assault on the Gospel. You respond by saying, I am not mistaken, but that I am a liar.

This off topic ad hom attack does nothing to address the point of this post: Disagreement is not an assault on the Gospel.

You have not "proven" that I can not possibly have reached my opinions from Bible study. Factually speaking, in the real world, I did. People of good faith DO reach opinions that we disagree with in the real world. It happens. But sincere disagreements about opinions is NOT an assault on the Gospel.

I suspect that you could agree with the point of this post, no matter how much you hold an opinion (that you can not support with facts) that I did not reach my opinion as I've said.

Marshall Art said...

"I find no textual reason to assume so, in my opinion....You are still left with the hole."

Not at all. The fact that you would even assume there could be an exception is what requires proof in order to contradict the factual claim that you are offering an opinion. And really, it doesn't even qualify as an opinion because it has no basis in Scripture anywhere within its covers.

Conversely, I'm not assuming anything, injecting any meaning whatsoever by insisting that "thou shall not" means "not in any form" unless and until such proof can be presented. All you offer is "opinion" and ludicrous interpretations based on passages that don't do what you want them to do. My personal favorite is your appeal to what is "lovely, pure, noble, kind, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah" applied to this detestable behavior when two kindly grandmother-types engage in it. But that requires you to show how in the world God would now call lovely and pure what He clearly called detestable. You've never filled THAT gaping hole.

When you butcher Scripture and hammer it into a form that suits you, when clearly Scripture itself is saying something contrary, you have indeed assaulted the Gospel whether you were acting maliciously or not. The result is the same: a butchered and battered Word of God that is a lie. And if you had the graciousness you demand of others and assume I am convinced this is all true, which it is, where's that "ad hom"? It's merely a statement of the reality you've exposed by your own words.

I also ask yet again, how far astray can one's interpretation be before one is no longer worshiping the One True God?

I also have no problem with people reaching different conclusions. But when those differing conclusions are so poorly explained, so incredibly unsupported, I don't feel I'm obliged to grant any serious study ever took place. I can't help it that you routinely, over the years, fail to provide any explanation for your interpretations that aren't paper thin and, quite frankly, too cheap to support a claim of serious study.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

how far astray can one's interpretation be before one is no longer worshiping the One True God?

I don't know, Marshall. HOW far astray can one go and not be worshiping God? HOW "right" do you have to be in order to be saved, in your opinion? If your understanding of a behavior's "sin status" is flawed to what degree, can you not be saved? On which behaviors can Christians not reasonably disagree and be saved? Do you know?

And once we start tying salvation to our own perfect knowledge and understanding of all behaviors, are we speaking of a salvation by works, not be grace?

That seems like a good question, too.

Regardless, I do not think that being mistaken about a behavior is an assault on the Gospel. Do you? That too, is a good question.

On which behaviors can one be mistaken to such a degree that one is "assaulting" the gospel? Is this only your opinion or do you have something authoritative (ie, not just your opinion) to support it?

Marshall...

when those differing conclusions are so poorly explained, so incredibly unsupported, I don't feel I'm obliged to grant any serious study ever took place.

If someone is firmly opposed to behavior X, extremely opposed to it, thinks it is of the devil and cursed by God and they have no reason to change their position, and yet, they do after prayerfully and biblically considering the question, is that not evidence in and of itself of serious study? If not from serious study and serious concern for doing the Right thing, what else could explain such a drastic change?

Again, that you can't comprehend how something could happen is not evidence that it did not happen, especially, in the real world, when it DID happen. That you find it hard to believe me is not evidence that I am lying.

Again, reality trumps feelings and opinions. Every time.

Marshall Art said...

As I reread previous comments, I see I need to back up a bit. The following addresses comments of yours from January 3, 2014 at 4:34 AM.

You are straining to pretend the prohibition of Lev 18:22 and the punishment for it in Lev 20:13 are "apples to apples". That they are both commands is not what being addressed by the phrase. What each command expresses is distinct and thus not "apples to apples" for purposes of comparison. The first prohibits a behavior, as does all the others in that chapter. The second provides consequences. Thus, to pretend that we must apply the second because the first is still in play is nonsensical and childish as they represent two very different issues: behavior vs. consequences for the behaviors. You know this to be true if your claims of employing reason are the least bit true. It is especially so since our discussions have revolved around behaviors and NOT the punishments for them.

"Now, you have interpreted this to mean that the first part is

1. in your opinion, a command against all gay behavior, men or women and,
2. a universal prohibition against all gay behavior for all people and times"


First of all, a willful falsehood needs correcting. I interpreted nothing. I continue to repeat only what Scripture says and no more. Everything about my position is based upon Scripture and not any imagining about what a sentence means, since the sentence is crystal clear.

For #1, this is also not an opinion since the verse is incredibly clear, with this caveat: It is incredibly common in Scripture to have all things focused on men. That is to say, numbers of people were often (if not always) speaking of how many men rather than how many men, women and children. Rules and laws speaking of men did not mean women were absolved. Indeed, if men were denied by law, women most certainly were.

#2 is also true because the law was based on one aspect you continue to ignore---God says the behavior is detestable, an abomination. It is because He regards it as such that is the basis for the law. Even if we concede that the law is not in effect (just for the sake of conversation, because it still is), or that there is no earthly punishment to be meted out for it, it is still detestable. Nothing anywhere in Scripture even hints that there is some context wherein this is not true. What more rubric would an honest man need? And if not even a hint of a verse that allows some context, much less something solid and clear, what kind of person dares assume there could be a context where the detestable behavior is allowable or, heaven forbid, blessed?

There's no "opinion" on my part regarding this issue. The text is clear. The behavior is detestable to God. To engage in the behavior is to defile one's self. God said such people defiled the land by engaging in this and other now prohibited sexual behaviors. But you want to say that because two homosexuals want to be "married" because they love each other, that this somehow makes the detestable behavior not detestable? On what basis? Because YOU think it is lovely and kind and noble? But God calls it detestable and nothing in Scripture has changed that. This is not opinion, either. It is fact. Unless you have some verse that contradicts it, that is. Been waiting years for that.

Now, you might try to PUT holes in this, but you won't find any.

Marshall Art said...

So, once again, we can argue which laws are universal and which aren't, but it's irrelevant to the point. The law wouldn't exist if the act wasn't first detestable. It was detestable when the Egyptians engaged in it. It was detestable when the Canaanites did as well. It's a safe bet that it was detestable in other circumstances, such as in Sodom and before the Great Flood. You can try to argue all day long that the law prohibiting the behavior isn't universal, but you can't argue that the behavior the law prohibits isn't universally detestable.

You can't argue for context, because Scripture makes no claims to context. It would be like saying that murder is wrong, but if you really feel it's necessary it's OK. No. Murder is wrong. Period. No context whatsoever makes murder "lovely, kind, noble, pure, etc", even if someone feels that to be true. The same goes for this detestable behavior. It simply refers to the behavior itself and not any context in which it might take place. No opinion here, just fact.

More later.

Dan Trabue said...

Again, you can answer the question to demonstrate you know the difference between opinion and fact or you can have a nice year.

Do you recognize that these are rules specifically given to ancient Israel?

Marshall Art said...

I recognize that the laws of Leviticus were given to God's Chosen People as they moved to inhabit the lands of people who were engaging in behaviors God found objectionable. These laws also included those that would establish an distinction between the Chosen and the rest of the world, by how they behave, by their rituals, by their diet and dress.

I also recognize that some of these laws, such as within Lev 18, were based on something that is true regardless of who it is who commits a sinful behavior. That is that some prohibited behaviors are prohibited because they are offensive to God and NOT because they were offensive to Him only if the ancient Hebrews perpetrated them.

I also recognize that your self-serving rule for '14 conveniently allows you the ability to dismiss a comment based on YOUR determination regarding what is or what is not an opinion. As such, I do NOT recognize you possess either the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion or the integrity to do so properly in all circumstances.