When the World is Breaking Bad

Mrs. Hart and I finally had the chance to watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and generally enjoyed it, though as is the case with most spy flicks, you don’t pay enough attention the first time through to figure out the villain (and once you know the villain in a second viewing the mystery that energizes a spy flick is gone). What continues to intrigue (all about) me about the genre of espionage movies is how indifferent Americans (and Europeans?) appear are to be to the morality of spying.

Most spy flicks take place in the context of the Cold War and presume that the United States (or the UK) is in a moral and political contest with the Soviets and the evils of Communism. Even if agents lie, kidnap, kill, and steal, agents of the CIA and MI6 are on the side of good, and the preservation of liberty and the American way requires intentionally breaking eggs. Broken shells and wasted yokes are the price of doing business.

Parenthetically, one of the curious features of debates over the Obama Administration’s handling of incident at the embassy in Libya is to see folks who grew up distrusting the CIA and calling cops “pigs” now having to rely on those very same intelligence agents to justify their decisions, actions, and authority. Boomers once envisioned a world where intelligence would be unnecessary and its immoral associations eliminated. A funny thing happened on the way to running a superpower — the realization that espionage and intelligence gathering are par for the superpower course. In which case, when it comes to international affairs, Obama depends upon secretive and duplicitous spies as much as tricky Richard Nixon and Slick Bill Clinton.

As I say, most Americans (aside from the pacifists) are immune to the moral compromises involved in living in a superpower. Our global hegemony depends in some way on a lot of craftiness and worse. Whether our security requires it is another matter. (Do we need to fear Mexico or Canada?) No politicized preacher of the Religious Right or neo-Calvinist persuasion I know has taken on the military-industrial complex or the ethics of agencies like the CIA. And yet, w-w advocates would have us think that the great instances of defective thinking and spiritual decline in the United States are policies and laws regulating human sexual desires. In point of fact, the United States likely lost her innocence well before the sexual revolution, that is, she lost it at least when she decided to wage an international war against the spread of Communism. Europeans like the Brits have never seemed to be as troubled by the ethical compromises involved in ruling and protecting a nation’s global footprint. Americans, by contrast, prefer thinking of their nation as one innocent of European decadence and intrigue. That preference may be a condition for demonizing those who break some of the Ten Commandments and not other parts of God’s law.

But on the upside, the new character in Breaking Bad (formerly Larry Sanders’s agent) is welcome a welcome development even if the series continues to depend on Dooms Day scenarios like divorce, girlfriends’ deaths, RV battery failures in the desert, suicide turtles, and airline crashes. Those extraordinary moments of Walt’s and Hank’s life make me think experimental Calvinists would prefer Breaking Bad more than confessional Protestants since the latter know the value of the ordinary and routine over excitement and glitz.

183 thoughts on “When the World is Breaking Bad

  1. Breaking Bad’s camp is a much lower-sawdust variety than Jonathan Edwards’. Both are ok with a little laughter, though, I’ll admit. As a CP myself, I prefer the former to the latter. Too much sawdust tends to make me sneeze.

    Like

  2. On the morality of spying; here’s a quote from Calvin that springs to mind:

    We know that the love of our country, which is as it were our common mother, has been implanted in us by nature.

    So would not espionage be enjoined by Natural Law? (However, the rest of Calvin’s discussion of Rahab is not approving of her lying (breaking the moral law))

    Like

  3. Saul a new character? You are a few seasons behind. I’m watching Season One of “Dawson’s Creek” so I’m not one to talk.

    Wouldn’t it be amazing to see what our National Defense was like if it was only about National Defense? For one thing I would imagine that it would be a whole lot cheaper.

    Like

  4. And yet, w-w advocates would have us think that the great instances of defective thinking and spiritual decline in the United States are policies and laws regulating human sexual desires.

    DGH,

    Contra the transformational kuyperian neo-calvinists, OLTS champions 2K and natural law, right?
    So what is one left with?
    In this instance the w-wers get NL right and 2K wrong and the 2Kers get NL wrong and 2K right?
    Just asking.

    Thank you.

    Like

  5. How do I know I’ve been spending too much time on this site?

    I had a dream last night I was at an Old Life/NTJ conference. Hart was there. The odd thing was a Doug Wilson/CREC conference was going on at the same time in the same place. We must have been in Moscow.

    Like

  6. Darryl,

    Can you email me?

    Randy Snyder
    rpcna.covenanter at gmail dot com.

    The contact form doesn’t appear to be working. And I am finally getting a chance to slow down a bit and you invited me to discuss something with you via email. And I do not violate email protocol.

    Thanks
    Randy

    Like

  7. I watched ESPN with fascination today, as the sports reporters are begging, pleading, for a “gay” football player to come out of the closet; of the superstar variety. The PC police are alive and well at Bristle. I wonder how Zrim and Dr Hart would feel about the issue? It’s been reported that Nike is waiting with millions to anoint the first openly gay superstar NFL athlete. Zrim doesn’t think laws don’t change things, I wonder if Zrim thinks an openly gay superstar football player is a good thing? If not, why not?

    Like

  8. Doug,

    Not to answer for DGH or Zrim, but I would be far less alarmed by the prospect of an openly gay football player than I would be by a theonomist civil magistrate bringing sanctions against Sabbath breakers.

    Like

  9. Doug, I don’t know what makes you miss that 2kers oppose sexual immorality or wince at how immodest public speech and disposition seems to be. But, while I’m a Sabbatarian-of-the-non-legalist-variety, it is interesting how some culturalist 2k critics seem to hold out tolerance for themselves on the fourth as they rail against the sexual sins of others, even unto death.

    I also wonder if you understand that political correctness, like sin, is an equal opportunity affliction. Conservatives (and rightists who mistake themselves for conservatives) have their own brand of sit-down-and-shut-up-or-else.

    Like

  10. David R.: Doug, Not to answer for DGH or Zrim, but I would be far less alarmed by the prospect of an openly gay football player than I would be by a theonomist civil magistrate bringing sanctions against Sabbath breakers.

    RS: David, why would the second position bring you more alarm? Will God judge Sabbath breakers? Is it wrong for civil magistrates to have laws for keeping the Sabbath? If so why is that wrong or does it just make you nervous? The Sabbath is the fouth comandment (as you know), so should the civil magistrate not enforce the sixth commandment? I am looking to understand your position.

    Like

  11. Richard,

    I hold to the morality of the 4th, but I think the notion that a Christian magistrate should bring capital sanctions against violators is a gross perversion.

    Like

  12. David, you would bring up the 4th commandment, which is controversial even among theonomists. I am not sure how an ideal society should inforce the Sabbath. Why not talk about the impinging moral issues of our day, what is the appropriate punishment for child molesters? Would it gross you out, if the Magistrate executed child molesters? If not, why not?

    Like

  13. Doug,

    So you bristle at Bristol?

    “I wonder how Zrim and Dr Hart would feel about the issue?”

    Just what are you insinuating?

    You know we need a fresh post when Doug feels the need to scratch his Theonomist itch.

    Like

  14. O.K., just one more: Doug bringing thonomy up late on an old, unrelated thread reminds me of the cat dragging the turkey carcass out of the curbside trash can on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.

    Like

  15. I got “The Trip” starring Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon on Netflix, watched it, and liked it. I have no recollection as to why I moved it to the top of my list, though. I am wondering if Hart recommended it. It is the kind of thing he would like.

    Like

  16. Doug, if we’re going into particulars I have one for you. If you lived in Corinth in the apostiolic period, would you have yearned for the death penalty for the man who “knew” his father’s wife? Then, if you were in the Corinthian church, would you have spent the next decade mumbling about how he should have been executed? Paul seemed wholly concerned with the jurisdiction of the church, which encouraged repentance, restoration and full fellowship thereafter. Isn’t that, and not a yearning for more extensive death penalty, the proper concern of the church? It seems to me that we have a model there for dealing with such things.

    Like

  17. Erik, I heard this on ESPN today, so it seemed relevant. On one hand you have the PC patrol calling a sodomite “coming out” in the sports arena as if it’s a moral issue akin to slavery or racism. The church seems very silent on this issue.

    What would Machen do?

    Like

  18. Doug, it seems that you are interested in applying the 7th commandment to some guy on a football team somewhere and less interested in applying the 4th commandment to yourself. What’s with that?

    Like

  19. Doug,

    “David, you would bring up the 4th commandment, which is controversial even among theonomists. I am not sure how an ideal society should inforce the Sabbath.”

    What’s controversial? The OT civil code said death. Why are you allowed to waffle when it comes to sanctions against the fourth commandment? By what standard?

    And isn’t Sabbath breaking also an “impinging moral issue”?

    Like

  20. Doug, sounds like you have the world setting the church’s agenda. That’s liberalism, which is different from Christianity. Didn’t Machen write a book about that?

    Like

  21. The Philadelphia Eagles seem to have their share of effeminate playas. And what’s up with men and boys in Iowa and singlets?! Jus sayin’

    Like

  22. Sean, that and cauliflower ears. Wrestlers don’t have normal human psychology.

    There was an interesting controversy at the state wrestling meet a year or two ago. There was a female wrestler, and the male wrestler forfeited the match rather than wrestle he. Of course, it escalated into discussions of male and female roles, modesty, etc.

    I haven’t looked at a singlet carefully enough to know what kind of coverage it would give to a female. Hopefully I never will

    Like

  23. MM,

    My older brother was an all-state football player in Texas and a collegiate wrestler and football player. He said wrestling was the most brutal, demanding sport he’d ever engaged in. He too thought wrestlers were mentally ‘off’. The gender stereotyping starts early here with girls enrolled in cheerleading by third grade and the culture of ‘big’ boys starting about the same time as each is groomed for their roles in the high school football culture.

    Like

  24. My nephew is a 106 lb. sophomore wrestler in Iowa. It’s only a matter of time until he has to wrestle a girl. There is one on his team who is heavier than him so he doesn’t mess with her. The best wrestler on the team is at her weight so she wrestles JV. I can’t imagine a worse fate that losing a wrestling match to a girl.

    Like

  25. MM & Erik,

    I can vouch for the “offness” of wrestlers. I wrestled for the better part pf a decade from middle school to club wrestling in college. I almost went as a walk on to a JC that fed many NAIA and D 2&3 schools, but the thought of more surgeries (by 19 I had 4 shoulder operations including one total rebuild pf my right rotator cuff amd tricep/bicep connections) made me think better of it. It does take a bit of the “crazy” gene to enjoy the torturous training and inflicting of pain upon others – but, hey, I am bipolar so it was a perfect fit. Every time I get the itch nowadays to compete in greco-roman (my best discipline) my wife reminds me of the bulging discs in my back and degenerating ones in my neck, my spastic hip flexors, and the operations I still need on my shoulders. If either of my boys get into it, I will hopefully get the chance to coach.

    But, no matter what you guys say, calluflower ear rocks… Getting your ears lanced to repair it doesn’t though.

    Like

  26. Doug, I’m with Zrim. Why would you think he or I would think the story you mentioned fine and dandy. All sex outside marriage is sinful. But why aren’t you outraged by advertisements featuring Kobe Bryant, an adulterer?

    Like

  27. Darryl,

    It’s a wild rumor that Bristol continues to perpetuate, hoping to help Nike land their first alternate lifestyle cash cow. Apparently women’s collegiate softball just doesn’t sell shoes.

    Like

  28. I don’t follow. 2k is opposed to gay marriage and espionage on NL and biblical grounds. In fact, we are always right. I don’t see a problem.

    DGH,
    Glad to hear it. I am not always sure. Or is it you oppose Christians opposing violations of the 7th commandment on biblical grounds instead of NL?

    Like

  29. Bob, I am not on the witness stand. I’ve written plenty here and elsewhere. Do you have a point or are you simply trying to taunt?

    One thing I oppose is simplistic appeals to God’s law, as if either special or general revelation is going to fix what’s broken, not to mention those invocations of God’s law that don’t seem to acknowledge we live in a nation that guarantees religious freedom and that makes Christians and non-Christians neighbors and citizens.

    Like

  30. M&M says: Doug, if we’re going into particulars I have one for you. If you lived in Corinth in the apostolic period, would you have yearned for the death penalty for the man who “knew” his father’s wife?

    What an odd way to frame you’re bogus question ha ha. But the answer both yes and no. First righteous laws must be passed before one can start executing offender’s lol! So I would yearn for righteous laws to be passed before I would yearn for the death sentence for individuals who violate such laws. (Exactly like I feel when I see murderers, receive life sentences today) I think the record is clear that adultery wasn’t a Capital offensive during the time Paul wrote the letter to the Church at Corinth. So you’re question is out of order. I yearn for justice. I don’t pine for particular individuals to be put to death.

    Not only are you out of order, but you’re question is wrenched out of context as well. Christ’s church was under severe persecution during the time Paul wrote the letter to Corinth. To be known as a “Christian” could get one killed. So did Paul back off? No, Paul said something far more offensive to both Romans and Jews than merely advising Rome to change her laws to adhere to God’s majestic law; he said Jesus was Lord over Caesar! It should go without saying that once the Magistrate makes the good confession that adultery ought to be illegal. So I think like Paul I would cut to the chase, and trump all truth claims by proclaiming that, “Jesus is Lord”! Once we agree with that premise, God’s law becomes inevitable! That’s why it’s either theonomy or autonomy; take you’re pick.

    Like

  31. DGH says: Doug, I’m with Zrim. Why would you think he or I would think the story you mentioned fine and dandy. All sex outside marriage is sinful. But why aren’t you outraged by advertisements featuring Kobe Bryant, an adulterer?

    I’m not outraged Darryl, my question is very simple, do you think it’s a good thing for ESPN to push open sodomy, like it’s a civil rights issue? And more importantly, should the church speak out? Or should we just pretend this isnt happening?

    I don’t think Kobe Bryant should have been allowed to continue to play basketball imho.

    Like

  32. Doug, instead of justice, why not pine along with Paul “to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord,” which is to say to be disciplined by the church in order to be restored. What hope does a man have who is put to death?

    Like

  33. 1 Cor. 5: 9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

    Doug,

    Why do you keep dealing with the ‘world’ as if they’re part of the church? Paul doesn’t. Paul assumes a dichotomy not only between people in the church and outside the church, BUT ALSO a different STANDARD of ASSESSING and RELATING to them. I can go have beers with (associate) with the gay couple down the street, I just can’t tolerate them in the church. Outside the church-TOLERATION. Inside the Church-NO TOLERATION. So, go accuse Paul of having a double STANDARD or a STANDARD other than the BIBLE prescribes.

    Like

  34. Doug,

    Just in case, and to be clear, ESPN is not the church or part of the church. This is true even when church(local) throws super bowl sunday parties.

    Like

  35. Doug Sowers

    Christ’s church was under severe persecution during the time Paul wrote the letter to Corinth. To be known as a “Christian” could get one killed.

    I don’t think that’s right. CD-Host seems to have an academic background in this area, so I hope he can flesh this out, but I don’t think the Romans had laws that made it illegal to be a Christian, yet. I think they were more worried about their treatment from Jewish authorities.

    Like

  36. Luther – “CD-Host seems to have an academic background in this area”

    Actually, CD-Host merely plies the trade of a skeptical inquirer as an avocation. He did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, however.

    Like

  37. Sean, do you realize that you are comparing 50AD Corinth; under Roman rule, with modern day America? LOL! Are you inane or you trying to be funny? Here you’re trying to compare the conditions new local church of Corinth with the world two thousand years later? Do you believe in the great commission? We’ll the church always be the minority? No? Then please quit using such silly examples. No taking scripture out of context!

    Just to let you know Sean, when America when was first discovered by Europe, it was almost completely made up of Christians, not Romans! Sheesh! And what *law* do you suppose the early settlers wanted on the books? Can anyone say God’s law? (Pssst, that means theonomy, yikes!) That was some 1776 years after Paul wrote the letter to Corinth. They believed in the DP for an adulterer! What changed Sean? Why did the early settlers fail to grasp your peculiar slant on 1 Cor. 5? Thank God they didn’t think like you!

    Remember a rule when attempting to understand the Bible, context, context, context! When you wrench scriptures out of they’re historical context, (like you just did) and attempt to make a rule out of a pagan culture that is going to change, you can make scripture to appear to say anything! Thankfully there are brothers like me, that won’t let you get away with it! Slap out of it Sean!

    Keep pressing on!

    Like

  38. No taunting, DGH, but a request for a clear straight forward clarification.

    That is to say, as an amateur practitioner of sarcasm myself, I can hardly complain, but what seems to be clear to you is not always so clear to some of us that maybe aren’t in the club or quite catch all the nuances of the OLTS brand. And IMO that is not entirely due to my illiteracy. (Hey, I didn’t claim it was a unanimous opinion.) Consequently the question arises.

    Thanks for your answer.

    cheers

    Like

  39. 1 Cor. 5: 9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

    Doug,

    Why do you keep dealing with the ‘world’ as if they’re part of the church? Paul doesn’t. Paul assumes a dichotomy not only between people in the church and outside the church, BUT ALSO a different STANDARD of ASSESSING and RELATING to them. I can go have beers with (associate) with the gay couple down the street, I just can’t tolerate them in the church. Outside the church-TOLERATION. Inside the Church-NO TOLERATION. So, go accuse Paul of having a double STANDARD or a STANDARD other than the BIBLE prescribes.

    Like

  40. Doug, talk about wrenching. How you get Christians are going to be a majority from Matt. 28 is beyond me (but perhaps at level with Gary North). Spare the lectures on reading the Bible.

    Like

  41. Erik Charter
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Luther – “CD-Host seems to have an academic background in this area”
    Actually, CD-Host merely plies the trade of a skeptical inquirer as an avocation. He did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, however.

    Well, I found his posts at various Biblical scholar sites devoted to early Christianity, and he seems to have an academic’s level of understanding.

    Like

  42. Why do you keep dealing with the ‘world’ as if they’re part of the church? Paul doesn’t. Paul assumes a dichotomy not only between people in the church and outside the church, BUT ALSO a different STANDARD of ASSESSING and RELATING to them. I can go have beers with (associate) with the gay couple down the street, I just can’t tolerate them in the church. Outside the church-TOLERATION. Inside the Church-NO TOLERATION. So, go accuse Paul of having a double STANDARD or a STANDARD other than the BIBLE prescribes.

    AMEN!!!

    What is expected from the church community is far different from what I expect from the world. Doug, you seem to want the world to be the church.

    Doug, while I have your ears/eyes, how do you deal with the influence Greek philosophy had on the early church fathers, considering the Greek’s penchant for pederasty?

    Like

  43. Luther – “Well, I found his posts at various Biblical scholar sites devoted to early Christianity, and he seems to have an academic’s level of understanding.”

    Interesting. My theory is that he & Richard Smith are the same people and he’s pulling our chains from two completely different directions.

    After my wife kicked me off of Facebook (while I still had family and friends who would claim to know me) I briefly went back on under a pseudonym as a self-employed door-to-door bait salesman from Alabama. She wouldn’t tolerate that either. Sigh…

    Like

  44. Richard,

    You sassy, sassy man! You may be on your way to becoming a full-fledged Old Lifer at last! Wake the neighbors — Richard’s inner-Mencken has finally triumphed over his inner-Edwards!

    Like

  45. Sean proudly says: I can go have beers with (associate) with the gay couple down the street, I just can’t tolerate them in the church.

    I see Sean! The only way you can “kick it” with sodomites is if they are not yet members of you’re church? You really make sense, NOT!

    Like

  46. 1 Cor. 5: 9-11 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

    Doug,

    Why do you keep dealing with the ‘world’ as if they’re part of the church? Paul doesn’t. Paul assumes a dichotomy not only between people in the church and outside the church, BUT ALSO a different STANDARD of ASSESSING and RELATING to them. I can go have beers with (associate) with the gay couple down the street, I just can’t tolerate them in the church. Outside the church-TOLERATION. Inside the Church-NO TOLERATION. So, go accuse Paul of having a double STANDARD or a STANDARD other than the BIBLE prescribes.

    Like

  47. Sean, I hope you’re not inferring from Paul’s warning to avoid false or hypocritical brother’s; means that it’s fine for you to hang out with sodomite unbelievers at the local blues pub, as long as they’re not members of a church. Is that what you’re insinuating? I hope not, because that is a path straight to hell.

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

    Like

  48. Sean says: Why do you keep dealing with the ‘world’ as if they’re part of the church?

    When are you going to *man up*, and confess that when America was founded, it was founded by a huge majority of Christians? (90 plus per cent?) Can you admit that Sean? I can’t hear you?! Hello?!!

    In other words, trying to force first century conditions of the early church, as a permanent paradigm is a fool’s errand. Not to mention, completely misses the point.

    Like

  49. Doug,

    I don’t know what to tell you. America doesn’t have a mandate from God to be the New Israel, that designation belongs to the church of Jesus Christ, which has no geographic boundary.

    I have a number of friends who are not believers, and my best believing friends are more like those unbelieving friends. What can I tell you, read that as you wish. I happen to like the rapport with this group of believers on-line as well. I get along with the folks at church, some of the aforementioned believing friends are fellow members and officers. I’m not sure how to nicely tell you that I find your views of America and others outside the church as not only unbiblical but maybe just as importantly, immature. Simple-mindedness about such things isn’t a virtue, it’s a detriment and among other things, leaves your faith vulnerable to those who you run into that resist your mold. I’ll stick with Paul’s direction over your contextualized triumphalism.

    Like

  50. “Sean, I hope you’re not inferring from Paul’s warning to avoid false or hypocritical brother’s; means that it’s fine for you to hang out with sodomite unbelievers at the local blues pub, as long as they’re not members of a church. Is that what you’re insinuating? I hope not, because that is a path straight to hell.”

    Doug,

    The more you reveal of yourself the more insidious theonomy appears. You castigate a Christian for eating with sinners? Doesn’t that ring a bell?

    Like

  51. And to pile on, the context of this discussion, Doug, is 1 Cor 5. There Paul says:

    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    So what are you talking about? It’s not what Paul’s talking about.

    Like

  52. Doug, Todd just pwned you. Totally, dude. You now need to take a long look at the mirror. For once forget about trying to win an argument.

    Like

  53. Doug,

    I have an example of a Reformed church and its congregant’s relationship to gay couples in the community. A professor of philosophy invited a pastor of an OPC church to her local community college class to discuss issues concerning culture, church and state, theology, and philosophy of religion, stuff like that. He was incredible, and made quite an impact on the classes he was invited to, discussing the nuances within Protestantism and politics. In return of the favor, the pastor invited the professor to Sunday services. The professor who had invited the pastor was/is “out” and in a lesbian relationship and brought her girlfriend. They would attend Sunday services a few times every year. The pastor didn’t edit himself, or perform any differently and the couple never became members.

    I knew the professor personally, and asked why she never became a member? She considered herself a Christian and seemed intrigued and impressed by the intellectual life of the OPC church. Yes, she respected its anti-anti-intellectualism and was intrigued that it didn’t fit the stereotype of “traditional/conservative Protestantism.” Well, she realized she and her girlfriend would have to break up and essentially “embrace unapologetic patriarchy.” She was not willing to make that commitment.

    Now Doug, how should the pastor have acted? Every time he meets the professor remind her that she was a sodomite? Refuse to have any type of relationship with her until she repented and change? Make sure she didn’t attend services until she understood whether she was saved or not? Maybe the elders should lay hands on her and pray to see whether she was part of the elect? In order to know whether to go through the trouble?

    Like

  54. Doug,

    To reiterate MM’s point, highlighting Todd’s point, stop and just give consideration to the conundrum that’s been brought into relief. This isn’t finally about winning or losing an argument in a combox, which I’ve been on both sides of by the way. Think about what MAY be a fatal flaw in your theonomy. Do you really want to marry your view of American history with Matt 28. such that Paul’s instruction in 1 cor. 5, is no longer ‘really’ applicable or has been put on the pile of historic anomaly? This is liberal protestantism’s hermenuetic, as well as Rome’s(sometimes for different reasons, sometimes the same reason). You’re the guy who is always resisting our ‘eclipsing’ of OT law because of how we understand the NT. Now you want to marginalize NT instruction because of the rise of Western civilization? Don’t even worry about responding just think on it awhile. It’s not a contest.

    Like

  55. I got it from my ten year old son, who is now my role model. I’m also doing a lot of sounds like lasers, revving, slurping, and cartoony effects. He’s better at it; I bet my sounds would be better after a couple drinks. You know, like bowling is.

    Like

  56. Doug,

    I don’t want to be that guy, but you need to understand the following:

    “You’re” is the same thing as “you are”

    “Your” is “your”.

    “You’re going to the movie later, right?”

    “Your wife is on the phone.”

    See the difference?

    Like

  57. Sean asks do you really want to marry your view of American history with Matt 28. Such that Paul’s instruction in 1 cor. 5, is no longer ‘really’ applicable or has been put on the pile of historic anomaly?

    Sigh, no Sean. I love 1 Cor 5, and I think it’s still relevant, just not your obtuse perspective of it. You are the first man I’ve ever heard, who’s had the guts to read Paul’s admonition, and think that gives you the green light to party with sodmites. I honestly don’t know rather to laugh or cry.

    How are you Christian in any meaningful sense, other than showing up for church on Sunday? Can you be saved, if your life hasn’t changed? Are you only *holy* on Sunday’s? Why would you willingly choose to yuck it up with people who hate God? Is that what 1 Cor 5 instructs you to do?

    It’s as if you’ve never heard, “be ye separate from the world”. Or if you have, it never registered.

    If that’s what you think the Bible teaches, then what can I say? Other than, may God have mercy on your soul. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Sean, I love you as a brother in Christ, but I think you’re in big trouble with your theology.

    Rest in his completed work,

    P.S. 1 Cor. 5 has nothing to do with theonomy, so please don’t throw that in the mix.

    Like

  58. Doug says;

    “You are the first man I’ve ever heard, who’s had the guts to read Paul’s admonition, and think that gives you the green light to party with sodmites. I honestly don’t know rather to laugh or cry.”

    Me; I’m not offended, but your willingness to read myself and others in such an uncharitable light as to suggest my ‘dining with’ or ‘having a beer with a gay person or couple’ is tantamount to endorsing unmentionable hedonistic behavior or maybe even partaking with them, makes you a very poor and quite frankly dishonest broker in these conversations. Here’s where the whole, ‘immaturity’ angle comes in. So until you’re capable of better;

    1 Cor. 5: 9-11 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

    Doug,

    Why do you keep dealing with the ‘world’ as if they’re part of the church? Paul doesn’t. Paul assumes a dichotomy not only between people in the church and outside the church, BUT ALSO a different STANDARD of ASSESSING and RELATING to them. I can go have beers with (associate) with the gay couple down the street, I just can’t tolerate them in the church. Outside the church-TOLERATION. Inside the Church-NO TOLERATION. So, go accuse Paul of having a double STANDARD or a STANDARD other than the BIBLE prescribes..

    Like

  59. Doug,

    You still haven’t reconciled with what Paul means in 1 cor 5, other than it no longer means what it did in Corinth 50 a.d. That’s an unacceptable interpretation for orthodox protestants, and opens up all scripture to an anachronistic reinterpretation that liberal protestantism has used to great effect to dismiss the authority of scripture. Additionally, you’ve yet to deal with Todd’s question/assertion to you that your view is equivalent to the pharisees and religious Jews slander of Jesus that he ‘ate with sinners’-and all such a charge was meant to convey negatively about Jesus’ character. Are we not to be disciples of Jesus and not the pharisees? How do you reconcile your ‘holy separation’ with Jesus’ behavior(that was so public and frequent, that he was KNOWN for it) and Paul’s admonition to NOT shun those in the world, whom, within the context of the church and membership, we ARE to shun.

    Like

  60. Doug, Paul goes out of his way to say that he doesn’t mean to not associate with the immoral of this world “since then you would need to go out of the world.” Are you beaming in from Mars? That would explain a lot.

    Like

  61. Erik, but “Rapture” is more relevant on this last day of earth. (“Then, when there’s no more cars, you go out at night and eat up bars where the people meet.” But not Sowerittes, because bars are where icky sinners are.)

    Like

  62. Sean, I don’t want to cast you in an uncharitable light, so please explain this distinction.

    You couldn’t go out a have dinner and a few beers with a brother in your church who ran off with another mans wife, because of 1 Cor 5 amen?

    But you *think* it’s okay to have dinner, and a few beers with your neighbor who also ran off with another mans wife, because he’s not a member of the church? Is that how you’re reading Paul? Please flush that out for me.

    Like

  63. Doug,

    This is really straightforward from Paul;

    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

    I associate membership with brethren. This is how the visible church works. There is no way for me to regard one as a believer outside his confession which manifests itself in membership with a local body. I’m not God, I don’t know the heart, I only know ‘credible’ confession with the mouth.

    Jesus was a friend of prostitutes. Which means he was a friend of women who had sexual relations with other women’s husbands, or parents son’s. Paul understands the sexually immoral to also include homosexuals and even pederasts.

    Like

  64. Doug,

    Sean will probably chime in on his own to your most recent question, but I would say, the difference between the believing and unbelieving adulterer is that the Christian is to be held to a higher standard, and to hold fellowship with an unrepentant adulterer would be to stand against the discipline of the church they are members of (assuming their church has any disciplinary backbone). This isn’t to say that the unbeliever’s adultery is any less sinful, but it is to say we do not have the authority to enact biblical discipline upon them. Moreover, our role of salt and light might give rise to opportunities to the unbeliever to question his sinfulness and allow us to point them to new life in Christ. We can no more remove ourselves from interacting with sinners than we can remove ourselves from the world.

    For the believer, they presumably confess the truth of Scripture, and have chosen willful rebellion – and the reason why we do not associate with such men is ultimately in hope that the lack of meaningful Christian contact will spur them on to eventual repentance. I am still in this position with my Dad, who left my mom 3 years ago – it has been hard to have no relationship to speak of with him, but the act of church discipline is not vengefully motivated, rather it’s motive is love and ultimately aimed at restoration.

    Like

  65. Jed, that must be quite painful and I greatly respect your commitment to principles with respect to your father. If you don’t mind discussing this, was there ever any consideration given to thinking of the family as a sphere in which relatives do no violence to the principle by continuing to associate with one another when one of them is under discipline?

    Like

  66. Sean says Jesus was a friend of prostitutes.

    Balderdash! He was the friend to all sinners who came to him with a broken and contrite heart. Jesus hung around “former” prostitutes, like Mary, but the record doesnt show that Jesus stayed with unrepentant sinners.. Jesus purpose was evengelical, he wasnt just kickin it” to barrow a phrase used today. I think practicing whores stayed far away from Jesus pressense, even though the Bible doesnt say one way or the other.

    Like

  67. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

    Sean, I see Paul saying that we must interact with people who are not believers, and amen! But this verse in no way suggests that you should hang out with unbelievers unless it’s for an evangelical purpose. I’m talking about your inner circle of friends, your running mates, so to speak. Your social friends. I don’t believe it’s wise or Biblical to have close friends that are unbelievers, because they have no part in Christ. How can you have an intimate relationship with someone who stands opposed to God? I’m not saying to be rude or curt, but wipe your feet, and move on!

    “Be not deceived bad company corrupts good morals.”

    Nevertheless, I do love many unbelievers, many who are part of my blood family, BUT next to my love for Christ, my relationship with them should look like hate, next to my love for the body of Christ. Although you’re really testing that theory, LOL! Just kidding

    Keep pressing on!

    Like

  68. MM,

    Thanks, the whole situation with my dad is a sad one, and a source of pain for my family and his friends who tried to dissuade him from his choices. But to answer your question, I think that the role the (believing) family plays in church discipline is more or less a wisdom issue, and I wouldn’t force my convictions surrounding my own situation on others in a similar situation (or my own family for that matter). There are some difficult relational issues that I won’t go into here that compound the church discipline issue that make it almost impossible for me to relate with my dad right now, and while related to the church discipline matters, are unique to my own situation. But, I would say there is a big difference between fellowship with believing family, and contact – I don’t think fellowship is possible with any unrepentant Christian regardless of the pleasantries of contact – but maybe the former could lead to the later.

    Like

  69. Sean, the best example I can think of is King Solomon! What happened to King Solomon’s heart before God? Did it have anything to do with unbelievers? King Solomon started *kicking it* with unbelieving women; he even married hundreds of them! What happened? The wisest King in the history of the world became one of the most foolish Kings in Israel’s history! It was King Solomon that started sacrificing children to Moloch! If it could happen to King Solomon, it could happen to you Sean.

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

    Like

  70. Sean says There is no way for me to regard one as a believer outside his confession which manifests itself in membership with a local body. I’m not God, I don’t know the heart, I only know ‘credible’ confession with the mouth.

    Finally we are in perfect agreement, with two sentences anyway:-)

    Like

  71. Zrim, would you slow your smart alek roll? I go to bars! It’s not a sin! I even drink!

    What I don’t do, is hang out at bars with unbelievers, BIG DIFFERENCE! I know what it means to hang out at bars, and it’s not conducive for a good witness or staying sober.

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

    Like

  72. Erik, its more to protect me, than to insult or deprive them of my company. If King Solomon’s heart could be turned from God by unbelieving wives, then what makes you think your heart can not be moved? Why not obey this proverb?

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

    That verse says it all!

    Like

  73. Doug,

    If you have an area of weakness, then you do need to stay away. If not, though, I think it is important for Christians to form friendships with people who are not Christians. This is how evangelism takes place most of the time. We don’t make people our “project”, we just sincerely try to form friendships and God can use this for others’ benefit, maybe even their coming to faith.

    I could hang around gay guys for a hundred years and it wouldn’t be an issue. I could hang out in a bar and I don’t think it would be an issue. I’m not going to start befriending Playboy centerfolds any time soon, though. I’ll leave that to the Christian ladies.

    Like

  74. Erik says I could hang around gay guys for a hundred years and it wouldn’t be an issue.

    How do you know? And what do you mean by it wouldn’t be an issue? I’m not saying you would turn into a raving sodomite, but who are you to sass back to God? Are you God’s counselor? Its God himself is saying to avoid bad company; regardless of rather you (Erik Charter) think it’s a problem.

    Sure we live in the world with unbelievers, but we are also supposed to be holy. Both are true! Who had a greater heart for the lost, than Paul? Yet it’s Paul who wrote this proverb!

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

    That’s some New Testament instruction for you and Sean. And who are you guys to talk back to God and say, “but I can hang around sodomites all day, and it’s no problem”.

    For the record, I am not talking about our work relationships with the world, per se. I was talking about our social time, the people we hang out with. The Bible emphatically says we should be wary about who we hang out with!

    Like

  75. Doug,

    I think it’s a question of who is influencing whom and I agree there is potential danger there. That’s why I said you have to know your weak areas. If we all avoid non-Christians unless we absolutely have to be with them (at work), though, it makes it hard for the gospel to spread. One of the points of 2K is that we share a lot of things in common with “sinners”. Surely we can find some neutral ground to interact with them on. It’s not all black (a strip club) or white (a church service). There are bars, restaurants, concerts, dinners in our homes, our kids’ events, bowling leagues, and on and on.

    Like

  76. Doug, the point isn’t that there isn’t such a thing as being discerning about how to spend time and where and with whom. But it cuts both ways. Is it not possibly unwise to spend time with certain believers in certain venues? Is it not possible that the common company of an unbeliever is wiser to keep than that of a believer? If it helps, when you think bad Christian influence think of 2k me. See?

    Yet you seem to be implying that unbelievers are categorically to be held at arm’s length, while believers are categorically safe. It’s the black-and-white tick you’ve got going that makes you sound so fundy—which is to say undiscerning— about worldly engagement. Still, it’s not as if I’m not drawing lines. Come Sunday and its sacred activities, I’d rather keep the company of foolish believers than wise Turks.

    Like

  77. Erik, I am talking about socializing (partying) with bad company, (unbelievers) on a regular basis, something the Bible commands us to avoid. Paul goes so far as to say you’re in deception if you don’t think it’s a big deal. As in “Be not deceived”.

    Then throw in Sean, listening to the blues in some Pub with his “gay” friends enjoying adult beverages, as if the Lordship of Christ isn’t in the equation. I’m sure Sean never brings up the fact that Jesus is Lord and what the ramifications that his Lordship encompass. Why, that might offend his gay buddies who are already on the highway to hell.

    This may come off as judgmental, but Sean seems to be saying in so many words that going to the Pub and getting liquored up with his gay friends is just harmless fun. Just happy, frivolous, innocent, godly-neutral fun with his gay friends, they might as well all hold hands and say let’s eat and drink for tomorrow we die”. Oops, did they get Sean to say or think that? (Since that’s how they live) That is exactly my concern for Sean!

    This is sound New Testament instruction:

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

    Like

  78. Sean, I don’t want to be uncharitable to you brother, even though I took some liberties as assessing your situation. (And maybe had too much fun doing it) Sorry, if I came off as a smart ass. Maybe you are a good witness to your gay friends, but still brother, I think you need to heed Paul’s instruction in 1 Cor 15:32-34 ESV

    “If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals. Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”

    That is a fuller context of 1 Cor 15:33

    Sean, I’m not questioning your salvation, I’m just trying to be iron sharpening iron.

    Keep pressing on!

    Like

  79. Zrim says yet you seem to be implying that unbelievers are categorically to be held at arm’s length, while believers are categorically safe.

    Let me disabuse you of that notion. As Paul points out in 1 Cor 5 hypocritical brothers are to be avoided as well. I am a very out going person, who loves to interact with all people. But I also recognize that God calls us sheep, and it’s not a complement. Us sheep are stupid and easily led astray. So while I want to go out of my way to be kind, helpful and loving to the outside world, I reserve heart to heart fellowship with my Christian brethren, because Jesus is my all in all.

    Like

  80. But, Doug, hitherto you haven’t shown much understanding of 1 Cor 5. The question that still stands is whether you think it’s possible to ever be wiser to keep the company of unbelievers than believers, because you seem to think all unbelieving company corrupts all believers all the time, that all unbelievers are only and ever targets for proselyte practice. Your all-of-lifery doesn’t seem to have a middle button.

    Like

  81. Ah, the days when waiting tables really did pay for tuition. Darryl, I’ve always known you were an old soul, but I’d no idea you were such an old man.

    Like

  82. “Balderdash! He was the friend to all sinners who came to him with a broken and contrite heart. Jesus hung around “former” prostitutes, like Mary, but the record doesnt show that Jesus stayed with unrepentant sinners.”

    I have heard this before from those offended at Jesus. Of course this is opposite what the bible actually says. One would have to assume that when Matthew threw his party with his sinful friends (Luke 5:29), they had all converted the day or around the say they were invited. And if they had all renounced their former ways, there would have been little cause for the Pharisees to be offended; Judaism did have a doctrine of repentance; that if even a prostitute renounced her former ways and became a faithful Jew she would be forgiven. They would hardly use a “friend of sinners” as an insult if Jesus was only friends with those who had repented of their sinful lifestyles.

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

    The context of this warning is disputing doctrines like the resurrection of the dead, as was occurring in this church, that this type of discussion can have consequences on life as well as thinking. Calvin:

    “Now it is a sentiment that is particularly worthy of attention, for Satan, when he cannot make a direct assault upon us, deludes us under this pretext, that there is nothing wrong in our raising any kind of disputation with a view to the investigation of truth. Here, therefore, Paul in opposition to this, warns us that we must guard against evil communications, as we would against the most deadly poison, because, insinuating themselves secretly into our minds, they straightway corrupt our whole life. Let us, then, take notice, that nothing is more pestilential than corrupt doctrine and profane disputations, which draw us off, even in the smallest degree, from a right and simple faith; for it is not without good reason that Paul exhorts us not to be deceived.”

    The inability of Christian fundamentalists like Doug or the Baylys, whether of the theonomist, Baptist or Pentecostal stripe, to accept the clear teaching of I Cor. 5 and implications of Jesus being a friend of sinners, reveals that what too often drives the fundamentalist train is not religion, but sex, whether misogyny or homophobia. Which also suggests the cure might be less a dose of John Calvin and more of Paul Weston.

    Like

  83. Doug, ouch. I see Todd, Zrim and others have not only been more expedient in their response but more thorough. However, in the spirit of the season, I want to encourage you. In your rambling posts and self-amusement, you managed to discover and employ a category that heretofore had been noticeably absent in your dialogue; wisdom. Now, much like a baby who stumbles upon his daddy’s tool bag and doesn’t know the difference between a precision tool and a hammer, you’re clumsy, silly and likely to hurt yourself and others, without constant adult supervision. Still, it’s progress and now that you’ve shown some awareness that the category exists here’s hope that at some point in the future your understanding of Jesus and christianity is more Pauline and less Falwell.

    BTW, did you bother with a beard or is it still just you and shih tzu? Never mind, none of my business.

    Like

  84. Todd – “I have heard this before from those offended at Jesus”

    Good points. Not only did Jesus hang out with sinners, he even got in the way of an adulteress being stoned. Jesus was apparently a pretty crummy theonomist!

    One of the common traits of people who are offended at Jesus is an underestimation of their own sin in light of Christ’s holiness. Perhaps the same thing can be said of “all of life” types. If we bring anything to “all of life” it is probably our sin, not our holiness. That’s why it is great to hear the law on Sunday, receive forgiveness of sins, and hear the glorious gospel.

    Enough of utopian and perfectionist schemes.

    Like

  85. So what is happening in this passage? The Pharisees test Jesus. The Pharisees are self-righteous religionists concerned with moral appearances. They spend their days holding people accountable. I saw a funny t-shirt yesterday that could be a Pharisee tweet: “I’ll try to be nicer if you’ll try to be smarter.” Yet, Jesus calls them hypocrites and whitewashed tombs: gleaming on the outside, but filthy inside.

    Camus, writing about revolutionaries in the French Revolution, described the heart of a Pharisee – someone who cannot accept the reality of human weakness, someone who cannot accept a person as he actually is. “Virtue, in that it has too much pride, is not wisdom…. His principles do not allow him to accept things as they are; and things not being what they should be, his principles are therefore fixed, silent, and alone. To abandon oneself to principles is really to die – and to die for an impossible love which is the contrary of love…”

    Like

  86. Homophobia, Todd? Did that come out of your mouth (or pen)? Just to let you know, the PC crowd (who loves the term homophobia) thinks the Bible is homophobic! The term “homophobia” is an unbiblical concept devised by enemies of Christ’s church. If I were you, I’d never use the term again.

    Just look at the facts of the ground, God has destroyed nations and great cities for rampant sodomite perversions. (See the Bible) How a professing Christian could accuse anyone of being homophobic says more about you, than whoever was accused. It’s like listening to a non Christian describe the Bible. Or like calling a sodomite, “gay”. When there is nothing happy and carefree about sodomy. Your choice of words betrays your witness. But whoa to those who call evil, good.

    You seem to be knuckling under the desire of wanting to be loved by the world; but is that Biblical? I think not. Please consider James 4:4 ESV

    “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore (Todd and Sean) whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

    Hmmm, I wonder if that includes partying with sodomites on a regular basis?

    How could both Sean and Todd miss James witness on friendship with the world?

    How much clearer can the Bible be? The clearest New Testament instruction says we should not be friends with the world. Have you guys (Todd and Sean) ever read the whole New Testament record? Is this the first time someone exposed you to what James says on this issue?

    Let me give you a few pointers: There is a reformed axiom for interpreting the Bible, let the clearer passages explain the less clear. Therefore James 4:4 trumps 1 Cor 5 in clarity and conciseness. Plus your interpretation was so tortured it needed James to put you back on the straight path.

    Todd, I don’t consider myself a fundamentalist, but coming from you I will wear it as a badge of honor. I notice you’ve had the unmitigated gall to admonish me for not listening to New Testament instruction, well what do you say now?!

    Like

  87. Erik Charter: Doug coaches soccer

    RS: Erik, how does that facilitate quality discussion or make a good point? Isn’t your pointing to a site like you did something like calling another “Raca” or a fool?

    Matthew 5:22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

    Like

  88. Mark 2:15-16 15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of[a] the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat[b] with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    27 If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?

    9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church[b] whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[c] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

    22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.[e] For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for SODOM-ites on the day of judgment than for you.”

    Like

  89. And the Episcopal preacher continues:
    “This is one of the reasons that Quentin Compson commits suicide in The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner’s story of the disintegrating Compson family. Quentin cannot accept his sister’s loss of virginity and subsequent shotgun wedding – her failure to live up to the sexual mores of the south for women. He abandons himself to principles and really does die for an impossible love, which is the contrary to love. He cannot accept her weakness so he drowns himself with 2 6-pound flat irons in the Charles River.

    Pharisees believe in principles and try to force others to live by principles….However, God knows (literally) that sometimes divorce is the only option. Nearly everyone who has been divorced will tell you that divorce is always a tragedy. But sometimes, given the emotional wreckage of life, inherited from our parents and our parents’ parents, together with the maelstrom of our own consuming need, we are just unprepared to weather the storms of life long marriage until death do us part. People tell me that staying in a marriage sometimes is death and they can no longer take it. I believe them….Our relational brokenness is undeniably bound up in sin – our own sin as well as the ways people have sinned against us. It’s useless to look to some loophole in the law like the Pharisees did to justify ourselves. The reality is that our own self-interest or lust or pride or greed plays into our broken heartedness, individually and collectively….And yet, here’s the gospel. Here is the good news that makes this authentic Christianity. Unlike the hard hearted Pharisees, God has compassion for human weakness. Even though we have not gone as He would have us go, he did not cut us off from his flesh and give us a bill of divorce! In fact, He gave us his own flesh – his body on the cross – as proof of his love in the face of our sin. He died for love that is real love. He even calls us His Bride!….The still point of hope in the crumbling world of the Compson family is Dilsey, the long-suffering servant. She loves each member as they actually are, in their weakness. On Easter morning, Dilsey goes to church. The preacher pictures Mary with Jesus on her lap as a little child. “Sometimes maybe she helt him at de nightfall, whilst the angels singin him to sleep; maybe she look out de do en see the Roman police passin…. I hears de angels singin’ de peaceful songs… I see de closin eyes. I sees Mary jump up, sees de sojer face: We gwine to kill! We gwine to kill! We gwine to kill yo little Jesus! I hears the weeping and de lamentation of de po mammy.” Talk about brokenhearted.

    The scene moves to the Father in Heaven witnessing the lamentation of human suffering, sin and brokenness. “I sees de whelming flood roll between; I sees de darkness and de death everlasting upon de generations. Den, lo! Breddren! Yes, Breddren! Whut I see? What I see, O sinner? I sees de resurrection en de light; sees de meek Jesus sayin’ Dey kilt me dat ye shall live again; I died dat dem what sees en believes shall never die.”

    Faulkner concludes, “Dilsey sat bolt upright, crying rigidly and quietly in the annealment and the blood of the remembered Lamb.” And there lies the hope for us all – in the annealment and blood of the remembered Lamb.”

    And that is my ode to McMark!!

    Like

  90. You guys are Francis, by the way. I’m Sgt. Hulka – Lighten up in 2013, O.K.? God can strike any of us with a bolt of lightning any time He chooses. He doesn’t need your help keeping us in line (according to your, ahem, unique interpretations of Scripture). Edwards and Bahnsen vacated the scene quite some time ago now. We don’t need their doppelgangers.

    Like

  91. Erik Charter: Richard, The only way to deal with you & Doug is to laugh or cry. I choose laughter. You should try it sometime.

    RS: The best way to deal with all on this board is to try and deal with what they say in a rational and spiritual manner. You should try that on occasion.

    Like

  92. Erik Charter: What does reason have to do with your subjective system? Don’t go changing the rules on us

    RS: Erik, you continue to have things quite backwards. You have the subjective system and not me. The system I follow is that it is God in His people doing the work and when they look at themselves (so to speak) they are looking for the hand of God working in them. Since you (your position) don’t look to see the hand of God working in you, then you are following yourself and hoping that things are what you want them to be. You trust in yourself to have faith and trust in yourself to trust in the word and the sacrament. Again, you simply don’t recognize what is truly subjective and truly objective.

    Like

  93. RS; Since you (your position) don’t look to see the hand of God working in you, then you are following yourself and hoping that things are what you want them to be. You trust in yourself to have faith and trust in yourself to trust in the word and the sacrament. Again, you simply don’t recognize what is truly subjective and truly objective.

    Me: Nevermind, the discussion between you and Erik, You posit an option between God-ordained means, and your ‘one-hand clapping’ zen christianity. I’ll take the God-ordained route.

    Like

  94. Rich,

    A few things seem irrational to me about your system if you are indeed a Calvinist:

    (1) The focus on “God in His People” over and above the objective work of Christ and the benefits of that work imputed to believers through faith. I agree that God is working in His people, but who are his people? Those who have true faith. It seems that you maintain your focus on the effect rather than the cause. If the effect isn’t there it ain’t going to be there no matter how much you poke, prod, cajole, or whatever. Preach the Word and those who are predestined to respond in faith will, those who aren’t, won’t.

    (2) Your belief that so few churches have the gospel right these days. It seems that since the church is central to the Calvinist system that God would not leave his people without faithful churches in this age (unless he is not saving people today). There have been times when the visible church has been small on the earth, but I see many churches with the marks of the true church. You do not.

    This is why I think you’re an outlier who has some good ideas, but whose overall system is off base and potentially dangerous to those with weak consciences. I have pretty much seen it all in 30 years in the church now so you don’t phase me too much.

    Like

  95. Richard,

    If you think working from Justification to Sanctification is “backwards” and working from Sanctification to Justification is “forwards” then I guess I’m backwards.

    Like

  96. And then you go and even screw up what the effects are — things like not drinking alcohol, not watching movies, not reading fiction, not laughing too much. It’s as if you decided to mix The Westminster with Gilbert Tennent in his over-the-top phase and then throw in Jerry Falwell for good measure. You are a strange bird indeed.

    Like

  97. I have lost track of what Erik and Richard are debating, but if it began with the qualifications for taking communion, these passages from Richard Sibbes’ “A Bruised Reed” may be appropriate:

    “Preachers need to take heed therefore how they deal with young believers. Let them be careful not to pitch matters too high, making things necessary evidences of grace which agree not to the experience of many a good Christian, and laying salvation and damnation upon things that are not fit to bear so great a weight. In this way men are needlessly cast down and may not soon be raised up again by themselves or others. The ambassadors of so gentle a Saviour should not be overbearing, setting up themselves in the hearts of people where Christ alone should sit as in his own temple. Too much respect to man was one of the inlets of popery. `Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ’ (1 Cor. 4:1), neither more nor less, just so much. How careful was Paul in cases of conscience not to lay a snare upon any weak conscience.”

    “We must remember that grace sometimes is so little as to be indiscernible to us. The Spirit sometimes has secret operations in us which we know not for the present, but Christ knows. Sometimes, in bitterness of temptation, when the spirit struggles with a sense of God’s anger, we are apt to think God an enemy. A troubled soul is like troubled water: we can see nothing in it, and, so far as it is not cleansed, it will cast up mire and dirt. It is full of objections against itself, yet for the most part we may discern something of the hidden life, and of these smothered sparks. In a gloomy day there is so much light that we may know it to be day and not night; so there is something in a Christian under a cloud whereby he may be discerned to be a true believer and not a hypocrite. There is no mere darkness in the state of grace, but some beam of light whereby the kingdom of darkness does not wholly prevail.”

    Like

  98. Sean: Nevermind, the discussion between you and Erik, You posit an option between God-ordained means, and your ‘one-hand clapping’ zen christianity. I’ll take the God-ordained route.

    RS: But of course I would argue that my position is the God-ordained route and has nothing to do with one-hand clapping zen. It has to do with the objective work of God in the human soul versus the human being believing things on the basis of whether he wants to believe them or not.

    Like

  99. Erik Charter: Rich, A few things seem irrational to me about your system if you are indeed a Calvinist:

    (1) The focus on “God in His People” over and above the objective work of Christ and the benefits of that work imputed to believers through faith. I agree that God is working in His people, but who are his people?

    RS: Those whom He has justified and now dwells in.

    Erik: Those who have true faith.

    RS: Indeed, and what is faith and how is faith known?

    Erik: It seems that you maintain your focus on the effect rather than the cause. If the effect isn’t there it ain’t going to be there no matter how much you poke, prod, cajole, or whatever. Preach the Word and those who are predestined to respond in faith will, those who aren’t, won’t.

    RS: No, faith is never in self and in my faith. Faith is always in Christ and a true faith is in being united to Christ. If one has faith, then one has Christ working in and through him. Remember, it was Paul who commanded people to examine themselves to see if Christ was in them.

    Erik C: (2) Your belief that so few churches have the gospel right these days. It seems that since the church is central to the Calvinist system that God would not leave his people without faithful churches in this age (unless he is not saving people today). There have been times when the visible church has been small on the earth, but I see many churches with the marks of the true church. You do not.

    RS: Indeed, I don’t. Remember that God may leave a remnant, but the remnant is usually not a lot of people.

    Erik: This is why I think you’re an outlier who has some good ideas, but whose overall system is off base and potentially dangerous to those with weak consciences. I have pretty much seen it all in 30 years in the church now so you don’t phase me too much.

    RS: Perhaps you have not seen all you think you have seen.

    Isa 63:17 Why, O LORD, do You cause us to stray from Your ways And harden our heart from fearing You? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage. 18 Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for a little while, Our adversaries have trodden it down. 19 We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, Like those who were not called by Your name.

    Isa 64:6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
    7 There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.

    RS: Why are people in our day not taking hold of God? Because He has hidden His face from us AND has delivered us into the power of our iniquties. That shows a couple of reasons why a pursuit of holiness is absolutely necessary.

    Like

  100. Erik Charter: Richard, If you think working from Justification to Sanctification is “backwards” and working from Sanctification to Justification is “forwards” then I guess I’m backwards.

    RS: Well, you are backwards. One only knows about his or her justification IF s/he is progressing in sanctification. Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son

    Like

  101. Erik Charter: And then you go and even screw up what the effects are — things like not drinking alcohol, not watching movies, not reading fiction, not laughing too much. It’s as if you decided to mix The Westminster with Gilbert Tennent in his over-the-top phase and then throw in Jerry Falwell for good measure. You are a strange bird indeed.

    RS: I Cor 6: 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
    10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

    Ephesians 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

    Luke 6:25 “Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

    Ephesians 5:4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

    James 4:9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom.

    Like

  102. “Just to let you know, the PC crowd (who loves the term homophobia) thinks the Bible is homophobic! The term “homophobia” is an unbiblical concept devised by enemies of Christ’s church. If I were you, I’d never use the term again.”

    The same PC crowd thinks the Bible is racist, sexist and elitist. Does that mean Christians cannot be guilty of racism, sexism or elitism? How about James 2:1-4 or Acts 10:28?

    “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore (Todd and Sean) whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

    James describes worldliness as inward motivations, such as quarreling and coveting, not having non-Christian friends.

    “Todd, I don’t consider myself a fundamentalist,”

    By “fundamentalist” I do not mean someone who believes in the fundamentals of the faith. A fundamentalist, as one of my professors once said, is a person unwilling to look at any Scripture twice. A fundamentalist is someone, when he is shown that he has misinterpreted Scriptures such as I Cor 15:33 and I Cor 5, does not admit that he misunderstood the text, but simply finds other verses to support his previously made-up mind what he believes the Scriptures should say.

    As for homophobia, it is rampant in the conservative evangelical and reformed church. In the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy, you know you are Christian homophobe…

    When you think becoming good friends with homosexuals will contaminate your Christianity

    When you suspect anyone who does not want the government to put homosexuals to death of not being a committed Christian

    When you think you deserve less of God’s judgment than they do

    When you are more concerned with homosexuals getting married than homosexuals needing the gospel

    When unbelieving homosexuals cannot visit your church without being snubbed, made fun of, kept at arm’s length from, or basically ignored, unless you are able to tell him to repent.

    When a Christian struggling with homosexual temptation and lusts is told he wouldn’t have these temptations and lusts if he was a true or committed believer.

    Like

  103. “versus the human being believing things on the basis of whether he wants to believe them or not.”

    Me: You theoretically can have a dead orthodoxy, though it’s not much of an issue in American evangelicalism (in fact if you think overemphasis on doctrine and not anti-intellectualism and puerile sentimentalism isn’t what plagues our christianity, you aren’t paying attention), but you can’t have a sincere christian faith apart from orthodoxy. 1 Tim 1:5

    Like

  104. Todd – “I have lost track of what Erik and Richard are debating”

    Erik – It’s a moving target, but it’s pretty much the Old School/New School debate that went on within Presbyterianism in the 1700’s.

    Like

  105. Richard,

    Lest you be accused of being a church of one, can you name five true churches (or denominations/federations) or pastors in the world today? And no going Fred Phelps on me and naming five people with the last name of “Smith”.

    You started out really good here in my first encounters with you debating Catholics, but you are becoming more marginalized by the week now.

    Like

  106. Richard,

    You cited five verses out of context that really say nothing about “not drinking alcohol, not watching movies, not reading fiction, not laughing too much.” False teachers love to quote Scripture out of context. If the Mormons or the JW’s come to your door they will quote all kinds of Scripture.

    Here’s a verse for you and your self-imposed asceticism from Colossians 2:

    Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

    If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

    (Colossians 2:16-23 ESV)

    Like

  107. And unlike the New School Presbyterians whose churches were spreading and growing, Richard’s church seems to be either extinct or non-existent. He is a lone prophet, crying out in the wilderness.

    Like

  108. Erik Charter: Richard, Lest you be accused of being a church of one, can you name five true churches (or denominations/federations) or pastors in the world today? And no going Fred Phelps on me and naming five people with the last name of “Smith”.

    RS: Erik, your point here is rather pointless as far as I can tell. I am not sure that naming denominations has any real point to it, but I am sure that there are solid churches in the OPC, the RPCNA, and perhaps the PCA. There are also solid churches in the Reformed Baptist circles. There are not a lot of solid men out there who are popular (names known) and also solid. There is, however, a remnant of solid ministers in our nation and are the true salt and light.

    Erik C: You started out really good here in my first encounters with you debating Catholics, but you are becoming more marginalized by the week now.

    RS: Fine, you think I am marginalized. I think you need to learn to read carefully and be even more careful with the deductions you draw. Then you could start studying theology. It might help you see that I am not marginalized from Christians in history.

    Like

  109. sean quoting Richard: “versus the human being believing things on the basis of whether he wants to believe them or not.”

    Sean: You theoretically can have a dead orthodoxy, though it’s not much of an issue in American evangelicalism (in fact if you think overemphasis on doctrine and not anti-intellectualism and puerile sentimentalism isn’t what plagues our christianity, you aren’t paying attention), but you can’t have a sincere christian faith apart from orthodoxy. 1 Tim 1:5

    RS: It is true that one cannot have a sincere Christian faith apart from orthodox doctrine. But I would argue that it is also possible to have an intellectual belief in orthodox doctrine for the wrong reasons. For example, some just want to be part of an orthodox crowd. Many believed in Jesus when they saw Him doing miracles, but they fell away when the demands were too great.

    Like

  110. Erik Charter: Richard, You cited five verses out of context that really say nothing about “not drinking alcohol, not watching movies, not reading fiction, not laughing too much.” False teachers love to quote Scripture out of context. If the Mormons or the JW’s come to your door they will quote all kinds of Scripture.

    RS: Erik, I simply quoted to the text and in order to save space I did not give the context. That is far different than quoting them out of context. But follow your deductions that you have made concerning what you think I believe and note that you have taken them out of context as well. For example, I do not argue that all people must not drink wine. My argument has to do with what is drunkenness, pursuing holiness rather than drinking for pleasure, and for talking about it all the time as if it is a mark of liberty. Two, I do not argue that people should never watch movies. However, it seems as if some think there is no harm in spending hours and hours a week in doing so and they know more about the movies than they do of Christ. They also speak with more delight of the movies than they do of Christ. Three, I don’t argue that all reading of all fiction is bad. But again, I will argue that one should read a limited amount of fiction and read what is good for the mind and soul. After all, we are to love God with all of our being and all of our time. Four, you told me to lighten up and laugh more. You don’t know me and you don’t know how much I laugh. Some people think I am very funny in my use of puns and so on. I would argue, however, that there is no need to strive to laugh more. We are commanded to weep and mourn as well.

    Erik Charter: Here’s a verse for you and your self-imposed asceticism from Colossians 2:

    RS: So you have drawn a false deduction (actually, many) and think of me as having a self-imposed asceticism. Like I have said to you a few times, you are making false deductions.

    Erik Charter finally quoting Scripture rather than a movie or UTube: “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

    RS: Now if Erik would read that closely, he would also know that he should not be passing judgment on me in these things. If Erik would read the Scriptures closely, he would know that the context of this passage is about the ceromonial things of the Old Testament.

    Erik Charter, shockingly enough, quoting more Scripture rather than a UTube address: If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:16-23 ESV)

    RS: Where have I said in reality, other than deductions made, that one should not handle, taste, or touch? Where have I actually set out regulations in these things? Again, a person only has so much time in the week. Their time and their life should be spent with some degree of wisdom rather than given over to the pursuit of other things. For example, instead of being devoted to fiction one should read Truth. Does that mean that all fiction is bad? No it does not. One should have their senses devoted to Christ and shoul flee from what causes others to stumble and of any sign of drunkenness. Does that mean it is a sin for all to drink wine? No it does not. Like I have written several times, Erik, read carefully and watch the deductions you are making. You have taken the Scriptures which are speaking to ceremonial things primarily and applied them to things which you think that I hold and do not.

    Like

  111. Erik Charter: And unlike the New School Presbyterians whose churches were spreading and growing, Richard’s church seems to be either extinct or non-existent. He is a lone prophet, crying out in the wilderness.

    RS: Successful ministry is not defined by numerical growth in all cases, as you cans see from the verses below in Isaiah. However, I am not a prophet and am not a lone prophet. The command is to preach the truth and seek the living God. The results are in the hands of God. In the preaching and teaching of Jesus, how many people were hardened and how many were converted? It would appear that during His time on earth far more were hardened than converted. Did He have a successful ministry? The Word did exactly what it was ordained to do.

    Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 10 “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?” And He answered, “Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, Houses are without people And the land is utterly desolate, 12 “The LORD has removed men far away, And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. 13 “Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, And it will again be subject to burning, Like a terebinth or an oak Whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump.”

    Like

  112. Todd claims: A fundamentalist is someone, when he is shown that he has misinterpreted Scriptures such as I Cor 15:33 and I Cor 5, does not admit that he misunderstood the text, but simply finds other verses to support his previously made-up mind what he believes the Scriptures should say.

    Really? So if I don’t agree with you, I’m a fundamentalist? Really?! Why can’t I turn it on you and say if you don’t agree with me, then you’re a fundamentalist? Sorry Todd, but I wouldn’t stoop that low.

    First off your interpretation of Cor 5 was so convoluted and weak I didn’t really feel the need to respond. I don’t believe Erik, or the majority of Old Lifers would concur that Paul was teaching its fine to party with the world, because the text doesn’t say that! You are reading an unholy message in that verse. How dare you?!

    To make matters worse, I’ve got a zillion examples *in Scripture* where God *clearly* warns his people to stay separate from unbelievers in both the old and new testaments. God solemnly warns his people that if they mix with the world, they will do things that God hates. This has happened to God’s people for thousands of years, so you’re not just a little wrong; you’re flagrantly wrong!

    You’re interpretation of Cor 15:33 is almost laughable, are you saying that bad company *doesn’t* ruin good morals? Just on the face of it, you’re attempting to make this verse contradictory, ouch!

    “Be not deceived, bad company (will not) ruin good morals.”

    Is that the new Todd version of the book of James?

    Like

  113. Love the psycho clip Eric. For anyone who has been in the military that little get to know each other time with the drill Seargent actually does take place. And the remarks by everybody are just as funny as in the movie. Psycho is classic though. The video’s are more entertaining than the continuing and annoying arguments by Richard and Doug.

    Like

  114. Todd asks: the same PC crowd thinks the Bible is racist, sexist and elitist. Does that mean Christians cannot be guilty of racism, sexism or elitism?

    Bingo! Now you’re catching on! The way the world defines racism, sexism, elitism and homophobia is a lie! The concept of homophobia contradicts how God feels about that sin. Society should look at sodomy as a detestable act, because God says it’s a detestable act! Yet according to the PC crowd God was homophobic! Nuff said!!!

    Like

  115. Todd says: As for homophobia, it is rampant in the conservative evangelical and reformed church.

    Huh?! I’m shaking my head in disbelief. Todd, you need to lay off unclean food!

    Like

  116. Doug, how about another definition: one who so toggles between black and white he can’t conceive what it means to be in the world but not of it. But I’ve got Fred Phelps on line two. He says, “You go, boy,” and something about updating the web site on how Sandy Hook went.

    Like

  117. “First off your interpretation of Cor 5 was so convoluted and weak I didn’t really feel the need to respond. I don’t believe Erik, or the majority of Old Lifers would concur that Paul was teaching its fine to party with the world, because the text doesn’t say that! You are reading an unholy message in that verse. How dare you?!”

    Actually, it was Calvin’s interpretation of I Cor 15 that you are calling convoluted. I was demonstrating how you are taking 15:33 out of context, which has to do with denying the resurrection. Context, context, context

    “To make matters worse, I’ve got a zillion examples *in Scripture* where God *clearly* warns his people to stay separate from unbelievers in both the old and new testaments.”

    As a theonomist, you do not understand how the new covenant fulfills the old covenant. The Gentiles, as were certain foods, were considered unholy, which pictured the unclean heart of every person. It’s fulfilled. We are not in the old covenant anymore. Time to move forward.

    “God solemnly warns his people that if they mix with the world, they will do things that God hates.”

    I am aware of being told if we follow the word’s example we will fall into sin, but where does it say if we are friends with the immoral of this world we will do things God hates?

    “You’re interpretation of Cor 15:33 is almost laughable, are you saying that bad company *doesn’t* ruin good morals? Just on the face of it, you’re attempting to make this verse contradictory, ouch!”

    You are wrenching a verse out of context to support your fundamentalism. Do some study on the passage before commenting.

    “The way the world defines racism, sexism, elitism and homophobia is a lie!”

    So what if it is? You still did not answer if God’s people can be guilty of true racism, sexism, elitism and homophobia? God’s people are reproved for elitism in James 2:1-4.

    As for homophobia, dare ask anyone growing up in a conservative church struggling with homosexual temptations if he could admit this weakness to others in the church, compared to those struggling with pride, heterosexual lust, or bitterness. The fact that you would likely befriend and go out for a drink with a conservative, upstanding unbeliever, but not a homosexual, demonstrates your own homophobia. Jesus had more negative things to say about the self-righteous in the gospels than he did homosexuals.

    Like

  118. Sean, I don’t feel I can neatly say going out to a bar is sin. I do believe in wisdom! I believe its a heart issue, so I don’t think having a few drinks is a sin per se. But I do think we need to walk circumspectly like Paul instructs us in Ephesians

    5:3 “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

    And here we have Sean who willingly wants to party on with sodomites at the local Pub in the name of liberty, ouch! Sean, do they consider you one of the gang? Do they ever say crude things which are out of place for a man of God? Do you put ear plugs in your ears?

    Remember one thing! God’s word calls us sheep. It’s not a complement; sheep are stupid and easily led astray. That’s all of us in a nutshell! For that reason, we need to be careful about our associations ESPECIALLY OUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS. Have you ever heard, “birds of a feather, flock together”?

    Scripture is replete with warnings from cover to cover about the company we keep, and yet you call me a fundie for pointing out the obvious?

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

    Like

  119. Todd, whatever Calvin or Paul was talking about prior to this axiom is irrelevant!

    Bad company *still* ruins good morals! Its an axiom! It’s true in every circumstance! Unless you’re inferring that only in the case of talking about the resurrection of the dead can bad company ruin good morals, I hope not, because that would make you look absurd.

    So who’s just trying to win the argument Todd? Here you will go to extreme lengths to evade the clear warning found in Scripture.

    “Be not deceived, bad company ruins good morals”.

    It’s always true Todd! Just as it was with Israel, just like it was when Paul wrote this letter, and it’s true now!

    Think about sheep. Maybe a light will blink on in your bean.

    Like

  120. Todd exclaims: As a theonomist, you do not understand how the new covenant fulfills the old covenant.

    Oh please! The Mosaic covenant with its shadows and types were fulfilled in Christ Jesus alone! All of the post fall covenants are essenscially one covenant of grace in that all the promises were founded on the promise that Christ would be our God and Savior and we would be his people. Moses was saved just like you were, by grace through faith, period!

    While the shadows have given way to reality, (and amen!!), we are still called to be a separate people, who need to be wary of bad company! That has not changed! Wake up out of your slumber bro! We no longer look at Jew and Gentile separation, (true enough) but we are still called to be a separate people holy to God!

    “Be not deceived, bad company ruins good morals.”

    That is just as true today as it was when Paul instructed the Corinthians 50AD.

    Like

  121. Merry Christmas to Erik (one of myfavorites), John Yeazel, Richard, Todd, Don, Luther, Sean, McMark, M&M, and good old Bob!

    God bless you all!

    Oh, sorry DGH, how could I forget you? Shy grin. Merry Christmas to you too!:-)

    Like

  122. Todd asks: I am aware of being told if we follow the word’s example we will fall into sin, but where does it say if we are friends with the immoral of this world we will do things God hates?

    Exodus 34:12

    Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)

    Pay close attention to this next passage!

    Lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.

    Now Todd, I realize that we no longer live in Israel BUT can’t you see some parallels with us today? Sure we arent too literally tear our worldly friends idols down today, (maybe there not physical) but we should not get to cozy with them, lest we fall into a snare. What if their idol is playing a mean bass and they’re really gifted? Next thing you know, were worshiping the creatures (talent), rather than our creator. We’re the ones who wind up compromising!

    Think Sheep! Baaaaaa baaaaaa!

    Like

  123. Merry Christmas Todd, I have some powerful compelling New Testament instruction from the Apostle Paul that I would like you to consider.

    2nd 6:14

    “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

    “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

    Paul is quoting the Law to be separate from the Gentile world, and applying it to the new covenant church. Now the divide is no longer Jew and Gentile, its believer and unbeliever. Church and the world. But the same principle of separation applies, why?

    “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s