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November 06, 2006

Comments

Dallas Tim

i'd like to hear some discussion on the propensity of Catholic priests to abuse boys. I'm not trying to paint with too broad a brush here, but if you haven't been in a coma for the last 10 years, then you know what I'm taking about.

My take is that when a segment of the Church goes against the God ordained natural inclinations (sexual in this case) and tells men that they have to remain celebate, it sends a very bad message like "Hey, to be really spiritual, you can't have sex, because it's kinda' dirty and then God won't pay as much attention to you."

Again, this is somewhat of an off the cuff take for me. I'd be curious to hear some additional comments.

greg

Jay,

Is combative your most comfortable mood? I assume when you're talking about marriage you're speaking from experience?

Jay

To imply that one has to be married to discuss the roles of men and women in relationships is very Okie Nazarene of you, Greg. I'm sorry to see you pulled into that hideous culture. ;)

greg

To discuss the roles of men and women doesn't require marriage. To meaningfully discuss sexual dynamics and emotional wholeness within marriage would seem to require some sort of experience. Nazarene or not.

ninjanun

I'm so glad there are so many men out there more than willing to assume the role of speaking on behalf of women and our emotional needs and how we aren't measuring up in our marriages! Oh, and then discounting the women who DO speak up. Thanks! I see my opinion is totally unnecessary to this discussion (according to some). You guys have it covered. ;)

Jay

"Sexual dynamics" and "emotional wholeness" are components of relationships that can exist outside of marriage. To suggest that it can't or doesn't is myopic and, dare I say, fundamentalist.

Jay

"I'm so glad there are so many men out there more than willing to assume the role of speaking on behalf of women and our emotional needs and how we aren't measuring up in our marriages! Oh, and then discounting the women who DO speak up. Thanks! I see my opinion is totally unnecessary to this discussion (according to some). You guys have it covered. ;)"
Actually, no. You're a woman and we men are pigs. You can say "men need to have their balls bitten off by a rabid wolvarine", and Greg or someone else will say, "Hmmmm.....ninjanun has a point."

ninjanun

Thanks for demonstrating my point, Jay.

greg

jay,

you're being a jackass. if you can't get past the hurt of some girl dumping you, save it for your therapist.

Dallas Tim

Greg,

Just start a thread entitled "The Parish Men's Guide; Everything we know for sure about women."

I just want to check it a month later and it still say "Comments 0."

greg

Tim,

Back to one of your previous comments about going against God-given inclinations. How did Jesus manage it for 33 years? You act as if it's something we have to do.

Dallas Tim

I understand the Bible to teach that sex is to be reserved for the marriage covenant. Jesus knew that His mission did not include marriage and therefore as a human was able to keep focused on the task at hand.

I guess you could liken it to His stint in the wilderness for 40 days with no food. Our natural inclination is to eat regularly. He laid this aside to pursue something greater.

That doesn't mean that sex and food are bad, in fact God created them both to be enjoyed in their proper contexts.

Sex isn't something we "Have to do..." but is something that God created for the normal course of human relationships (again, within it's proper context).

My issue is that a Church saying "OK, no leaders/priests/etc.. can be married" when the Bible never lays down that law, is imposing something that God never intended to be imposed.

No one "told" Jesus to be celibate. No one should tell a priest or pastor that they should be either.

Paul

Some of us in Seattle who are rational are going to picket Mars Hill and Mark the Misogynist on Nov 19. More details & an e-mail list to join are available at http://www.endfundamentalism.org/.

We'd love for any of you to join us!

Dallas Tim

If only Driscoll would advocate paying a doctor to go into a woman's womb to suck the limbs off her female (or male) child, or injecting saline into her womb so her child slowly burns to death inside her.

If bet if he was all for that, you'd ignore him wouldn't you?

True colors fly the highest.

greg

Tim

what the hell is that supposed to mean?

Dallas Tim

It means that I find it odd that people are actually going to picket a ministry that THEY THINK promotes misogeny.

Have church leaders been guilty of misogeny? Has the media, have the feminists, has the pop music culture, has TV, movies, parents, advertisers? Who hasn't.

Here's a quote from the very entry that you referenced from Driscoll...

"No church should tolerate sexual sin among its leaders. Christians cannot be guilty of playing plank-speck with non-Christians on matters of pornography and homosexuality and be guilty of going soft on sin in their own leadership. As Paul says, nothing can be done out of partiality or favoritism."

I don't know much about Driscoll, but even you mentioned that some of his ideas were good.

My problem is that now some group wants to picket him? Babies are being aborted and we're picketing Driscoll?

Isn't there something more appropriate to do with a few hours of your day than to try a pick the speck out of someone else's eye?

greg

Tim,

The misogyny in Driscoll's ministry is widespread and, according to sources on at least one of the pages Paul links from his site, devastating to the live's of more than a few young women. The Bible you allegedly take literally says judgment must begin at the house of God. If that's the case, why not picket the churches before anything else?

Dallas Tim

"...judgment must begin at the house of God..."

Comparing the public picketing by a group of people to what Peter was talking about is not being fair to the text.

If Peter himself (along with everything he said) had a ministry today, then the endfundamentalism crowd would be picketing them as well.

A bunch of women with stories about how they were mistreated could have been lifted from any group or organization in the world (religious or not).


Several of the comments after the protest entry were also asking that such harsh rhetoric be tamed down in favor of a more peaceful resolution.

If we're going to protest the church before we do anything else, then we're never going to be able to DO anything else.

I just think that there more worthy causes than tearing down a brother. Maybe they don't consider themselves "Brothers." If that's the case then where does it all end?

April

I'm sorry to say something so cliche, but I have a feeling it's a lot easier to use the logic that "worse things are happening, so why bother fighting this one" (the aborting babies argument) when you haven't actually experienced pain or abuse at the hands of male dominated church power. Sure, there are bad things happening all over the world- does that mean we have to find the "worst thing" and focus all our energy on that? Should we wait to speak truth to power like Driscoll until the AIDS epidemic is wiped out in Africa? Evil is evil- I'd rather confront it where I see it, than avoid it and wait to fight some other battle.

It makes me sad and angry that some people think that this kind of ideology isn't worth standing up to. And it makes me sad that the stories of women who have been so injured at Mars Hill are, instead of being taken seriously, looked at as "stories that could have been lifted from any organization." Why do you assume that the truth isn't being told here?

As someone who has experienced sexual violence at the hands of a trusted, religious man, I can't explain to you how reading comments like that feels. Dallas Tim, are you forgetting that there are real people in this issue- that it's not just a theoretical argument, that there have been lives destroyed at the hands of men who "stand for Christ" and who will never see justice, and in fact, will never even feel guilty for the pain they've caused because they can hide in the ideologies of their religion?

Dallas Tim

Jesus and His disciples were all males. Is that the "male dominated church power" you were referring to?

All of our great presidents were men. Does that make the presidency inherrently bad?

I don't care if it's a man or a woman. If you abuse your power and twist the Bible to justify your malice and power-mongering, then it's wrong. Period.

Our society is (in many leadership sectors) dominated by men. Why? Because men can run faster, jump higher, hit harder, throw farther, and (insert your favorite physical activity here).

Am I defending that reason(s). No, it's just the way it is.

If we were to turn the tables, then women would do just like the men and (in many cases) abuse their power.

Misogeny is a two-edged sword. Christians should work to dialogue and try to resolve differences in a way that doesn't throw around ad hominem lables like racial slurs.

April

Wow, yeah, Tim, I was definitely criticizing Jesus and his disciples. I'm so glad you took the time and energy to understand exactly what I was saying.

Really, if you can't give my comment a more thoughtful reading than that, don't bother trying.

greg

Tim,

April made a couple very valid points you seem to have ignored. If you're such a Driscoll fan, say so. Or if you go to a PCA church. Whatever your issue is. Jesus didn't pick twelve male disciples because he didn't like the ministry of women; he did it because he was recapitulating the story of the founding of Israel.

All of our great presidents have been men? Two corollaries then: so have all the bad ones, and we've never had one that wasn't a man. You might also have heard of Meir, Thatcher, and Bhutto. They led nations too. Your point is completely irrelevant to what April said.

If a church is in the habit of spiritual abuse, I think we have to say so. Using your thinking, and April was right about this, everything would have to wait until we: a) decided what the worst thing was, and; b)eradicated it.

And the church has had a male-dominated power structure. In that Bible you claim to have read, in the book of Romans, you'll find a reference to Junia, foremost among the apostles. How is it that the church doesn't know about a female apostle whose name is right there in the inerrant, infallible Word of God? How is it that by the time of the Pastoral Epistles (late first, early second centuries) women can't even be a deacon anymore? Pay attention to the other voices, Tim, and quit scanning posts to find things you disagree with just so you can argue things you want to argue.

Dallas Tim

Greg,

I had never even heard of Driscoll until this thread started.

April labled Driscoll "evil." I'm sorry, that's just a huge stretch. Hitler was evil. Driscol might be opinionated, but he's not "Evil."

If you want to confront Evil, go picket an abortion clinic.

If you want to picket someone with different views than you, then picket Driscoll, but don't pretend that you're fighting some valiant battle.

As I made clear in regards to the passage from Peter that you touted, Peter went as far as to reference the fact that Sarah called Abraham "Master."

Again, if Peter were here today, the endfundamentalism guys (and GALS for all you misogynist haters out there) would be picketing him too.

"In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free." That doesn't mean that God hasn't ordained different roles for the sexes. Not based on importance value, but on a God designed structure (at least according to Peter and others) for families.

Pat Riley is the coach. Shaq is the superstar (or D. Wade if you like him better). Shaq/Dewayne would make Riley look like a 1st grade schoolboy if they went one-on-one with him. They still follow his guidance and leadership.

Marriage is much the same. It's not a perfect analogy, but the idea that it's not about talent or skill, but structure is what I'm getting at.

Yes, I believe the husband is the head of the home. Yes, my wife does all the laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc... She always has my dinner ready, slippers ready, even my pipe and paper are waiting on me when I come home. I point out how fat she is and she apologizes and begs my forgiveness. I don't even allow her to look me in the eye when I speak to her. You know all the stereotypes that you would expect from a fundamentalist.

Actually my wife is my partner. She makes me look good. She speaks well of me (sometimes she has to lie to do so). She want me to feel masculine. She likes it when I romance her. She wants me to be the one to check out the spooky noises late at night. She grabs my arm when the scary music starts. She knows that God has given ME TO HER as a protector and provider. She loves it. She's been thru some shit it her life and understands that God's design is the easiest and most rewarding. Without my wife I'd just as soon be dead.

I'm sorry that some pastors have f*%$ed up God's view. The real plan is much more fun and usually last a long, long time.

People should quit whining about how their way didn't work. Or about how they put their pastor on a pedestal that the Bible strictly warns against.

If you don't see God's pattern for marriage in the NT, then there's not much else to say. People have long thought that they could do it better than God (you remember the 60's don't you?)

For evey woman with horror stories about how some religious nut took advantage of them, you'll find 100's more who say that they are happier than they've ever been following what the NT prescribes.

They'll be glad to tell you all about it right after they finish scrubbing the floors.

greg

Tim,

I often wonder if you're even reading the comments before you respond. Seriously, you're offering us complementarianism as the biblical model without a trace of irony? Again, go read April's actual comments.

Zossima
For evey woman with horror stories about how some religious nut took advantage of them, you'll find 100's more who say that they are happier than they've ever been following what the NT prescribes.

I would love to see the evidence for that. But even if you could produce it, it in no way rationalizes the suffering of those women who have been hurt.

Tim, I'm happy for you and your wife. Really.

But your last two comments are filled with so much interpretive and logical error that I have to wonder if you're just trying to be argumentative for argument's sake.

For starters:
* You present descriptive passages (Jesus with 12 men, for example) as being prescriptive
* You assume "God's pattern for marriage in the NT" is obvious---once again, ignoring the widely divergent interpretations even within evangelicalism
* You present yourself as enjoying that plan and a literal interpreter of scripture, yet your wife doesn't wear a head-covering and you clearly afford her much more liberty in your home than some of the epistles command

But the big kicker is that you look to power structures in this world as an interpretive tool for scripture or God's plan for men and women. (And of course, you do this while claiming to interpret literally.) What you're saying is that since men have pretty much always been over women, that must be how God wants it to be.

Eldredge has gotten books out of this thinking: Since boys like to storm the castle and girls like to be princesses, that must be god's plan---boys rescuing girls.

How do people who claim that everything in the world is fallen and must (literally) burn afford themselves this kind of thinking? (These are the same people who think Bush can surround himself with Rove and Cheney and still be a christian, so what do I know?)

But on top of that you throw out the classic "That's just the way it is" insult as justification for the so-called natural order. I wonder what is "the way it is" (ie., God's wonderful "plan") and what isn't?

1 in 4 black men in jail. Is that just the way it is?

Darfur. Is that just the way it is?

The richest 1% in the US controlling 40% of wealth. Is that just the way it is?

In a survey, men's greatest fear was being ridiculed for the size of their penis, while women's was being raped or killed. Is that just the way it is?

How do you know what is "the way it is", which is your euphemism for "God's order", and what is something that's really messed up?

Well, don't bother responding. I've already heard it before: You interpret literally. We don't. You understand God's plan. We don't. You're happy. We're not.

But here's the thing: With all those flaws in your thinking, might you be missing something of what Jesus' is about?

Big Mike

What I find extremely funny is that because Hitler is evil, that means that someone who lives a life of bigotry is not evil? Oh, wait a minute, the only reason why Hitler is evil is because he acted upon it. Hmmm... if I am to read the Bible literally, I remember Jesus saying that if you have hate for your brother in your heart, then that is equal to murder. Oh whoops, I caught my mistake. He didn't say anything about hating your sister or sisters. Therefore it is okay to subjugate and oppress them, because that's the way it is.

Of course Hitler wasn't really that evil. He was only trying to get rid of 'dem Jesus haters, the Jews. I mean it wasn't like he didn't get the church's permission first. In fact, I remember something about the church (not to be confused with the Confessing Church) being the first to support the man.

I'm sorry. If what I am saying sounds like jibberish it is probably because it is jibberish. We should continue to treat women as slaves, but not black people... because somewhere in 1 Peleponesians it says that women were slaves and not black people.

D-Tim, I honestly think you and Jay have some major issues. Greg, believe it or not, used to be a fundy kind of like you. So did I. We actually do understand where you are coming from. Our mouths used to spew the same propaganda. But saying that picketing abortion clinics is better than picketing a church like this one is stupid. Picketing clinics has been really successful of showing Christ's love for the women. You know nothing shows love for a woman going through a hard time like getting cussed out and having things thrown at her. I'm sure she is thinking, "Hey, these guys are really trying to invest in my life. I think I should become a Christian." I would be curious to see the stats of how many abortions are funded by anti-abortion pastors who subjugate their lay-women who can't keep their zipper zipped. I know of at least five.

I haven't commented on this blog in a long time, and I am kinda rusty. But think about this - we the Church have allowed false prophets in continuously for several years to form our convictions of how things should be. We endorse people like Hitler and Haggard and Hinn, and then we act like they aren't accountable at all. The church is almost dead in America because we became the Sanhedrin that needs rules in place to keep our power while forgetting that we only have official power when Georgie and co are in the office. As long as we rub their shoulders they will rub our shoulders... unless buy meth from a lovable male prostitute. Then we step back and blame the woman who had to deal with being told she is worthless if she doesn't support this man from God. But you know, that's just the way it is. Pastors should be able to take one for the team everyonce and a while.

One last thing. I was mostly considered an outcast to the church all my life, yet I was still faithful to the church. It is honestly stupid that there have been over 75 posts talking about women need to put in their place otherwise we will get put into ours. These are the kind of bigoted conversations that make me lose hope for the church.

Why in the world did I move back to Texas?

Dallas Tim

Zoss,

This whole issue always comes back to people dancing around trying to find way to avoid the truth of God's words. Greg quoted Peter and I continued the quote. Read 1 Peter 3:1-7. I know you'll figure out a way to discount Peter too, but that's your call.

I always hear "Does your wife cover her head?" Keep reading about 10 verses where Paul says that a woman's hair is "Given to her as a covering."

Maybe I don't quite have that one pegged in my head, but I don't just throw the baby out with the bathwater because one verse gives me an excuse to do so.

You speak of the vast divergency of ideas within evangelicalism. How about just reading the text. There are lots of ideas about all kinds of things. Just do what the Bible says.

I never said that "Just because that's the way things are, then that's the way God intended it."

You flat out discard the NT prescription for marriage. The Husband is the head/covering/protector of the wife. Quit setting up your straw man about that making it ok for men to abuse their wives. Again, if you'll continue reading, then man is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church.

God has a plan for sex, love, marriage, etc... It's really not as difficult as you seem to have been persuaded into beliving that it is.

Mike,

I DO have a major issue. It's called believing the Bible.

Why do people continue to say that the NT model for marriage is the cause of men abusing women? It's insane. God's model is what makes a happy marriage.

Anyone, even pastors who take advantage of women, will have hell to pay (and God will be the one collecting the fine).

I'm sorry that your experience forced you to give up on the truth. I'm sure it was very easy to find others who encouraged to you "Just let go of all that Bible believing stuff."

I don't care about Bush, Cheney, Rove, Clinton, Driscoll, Haggard, etc...

Sin is sin. Driscoll made it clear on the site Greg posted that Pastors, above all, must be held accountable. Do you disagree with that to? If so, then maybe you can picket yourself.

Zossima
I never said that "Just because that's the way things are, then that's the way God intended it."

Tim, that is clearly what you are saying. That is the hermeneutic you have chosen to employ. A little honest self-criticism would help your credibility on this board substantially.

I won't bother to once again point out that you talk about taking the Bible literally while engaging in the most juvenile interpretive errors (which are very common among fundagelicals). But if you refuse to admit the obvious, that you are interpreting, it really is impossible to have anything resembling a productive discussion.

. Quit setting up your straw man about that making it ok for men to abuse their wives.

How 'bout you quit attributing things to me that I've never said?

Dallas Tim

"...juvenile interpretive errors...?"

Like what?

Because I read Peter and then don't feel the need to run and see how some liberal scholar tells me to interpret an otherwise obvious passage doesn't make my take any less credible than yours.

Did the NT authors wirte in secret code? Is the the key on the back of a cereal box somewhere?

You act as if your way of understanding the NT makes more sense. How?

All you do is criticize. You offer no valid alternative. I am told what to think by the text. It's called reading comprehension.

Show me one case where I've been told to understand something other than the obvious meaning of one NT text.

I'm sorry but your Emperor has no clothes.

greg

Slaves, obey your masters. Nope, Tim, no code there. I guess you're all for slavery too. It is the clear meaning of the text, after all.

I don't permit a woman to speak in church. Yup. Pretty clear. I'm assuming your wife gets silent as soon as you enter the door? That is the plain meaning of the text that you seem to be so adamant about.

Here's what's funny. You'll now tell me why those texts don't mean what they clearly say and yet insist you're not interpreting. Ready? Go!

Dallas Tim

Were there slaves back then Greg? Yes. (Note: it wasn't based on skin color, but more on societal caste type criteria)

So then who was Jesus talking to? Obviously.... people who were indentured servants of other people (forced or not) What's so difficult about that one?

Is Jesus saying "If you don't have a slave, go get one, they're great!" No?
Or, "Slavery should be mandated everywhere, it's a really good idea?" Un-uh.

Jesus is saying "If you work for someone else (because you have to or if it's voluntary) do it as if you were doing it for God."

Is that really a hard one to understand? It seems rather easy for me.

I know your trying to trick me into saying that Jesus secretly wanted a black slave. Sorry. He's talking to every employee everywhere. Some of them were trapped, some weren't.

He didn't address the isssue of an owner owning slaves, because He didn't want to at that particular time. You can ask Him "Why?" sometime in the future. Just don't brush off the comment just because He didn't spell it out according to your liking. He was talking to an audience in the 1st century. I thought everyone knew that.

As for the women in Church, well let's take a look:

It helps to read the whole paragraph. It starts in I Cor. 14:26-40. Paul is speaking about prophetic utterances, speaking in tounges, and interpretations. He makes the comment that women should be silent in these situations. Is that really a hard one for you Greg? Not me. In fact I'm proud to say that my wife has never even WANTED to speak up during these types of events. We don't even have them at our Church.

Does Paul say "Women can't teach a class?" No. Does he say "Women can't pray out loud in a service?" Nope. How 'bout "Women can't give their testimony or sing in the sanctuary?" Not at all.

Greg, you really need to be more careful and read the entire context and then ask, "Ok, what is he saying here?" Don't just pull a phrase at random and try to pretend that there isn't any surrounding circumstances. You wouldn't want someone to do that to you. Don't do it to Paul either.

BTW I don't think I'm the first to understand either of these two passages in this manner.

greg

Tim,

These are precisely the "juvenile interpretive errors" Z was talking about. Let's start with I Cor 11: It actually says, "And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head."

You cheated a little, didn't you? You tried to say it was referring to her hair, the head covering that is, but Paul seems to indicate that the head covering is in addition to the hair. Nice try though. So, now that you see what Paul meant, you'll be asking your wife to wear a cap or doily to church?

Women speaking in church. What you just did was eisegete a passage. You read the passage in context and then assumed Paul's blanket prohibition applied only to that context. Odd, since Paul seems to indicate in Chapter 11 (cited above) that women can indeed prophesy in church. (At this point it's always easier to say based on textual evidence that 34, 35 don't belong--they are, after all, following verse 40 in the Eastern text--but let's not quibble about critical methods--besides, that's a problem for inerrantists, not me.) So, you've got a contextual contradiction, Tim. Can they prophesy, can't they? Secondly, you assumed that Paul was speaking contextually, when in fact the PLAIN meaning of the verse offers no such indication. I do not permit a woman to speak in church--don't know how you get much clearer.

And slavery? Well, you've got dozens of verses in the OT dealing with it. That would seem to indicate that God is condoning it. If he's going to outline the treatment of slaves he expects the Israelites to follow, it seems to follow logically that he's okay with slaves. If you want to argue he's not, you'll need to explain why, since he was being so bloody clear about the rules, that he didn't simply say, "No slaves; it's wrong." Jumping into the NT, Paul simply says for slaves to obey their masters. It had nothing to do with workers or day laborers or indentured servants. He was talking about slaves. And it wasn't based on race? So? Are you implying that slavery is okay or better as long as it's not based on race? Interesting position? The exegetical problem I'm trying to point out is that the PLAIN meaning of the text indicates that slaves MUST obey their masters. If their master says, "You must never seek your freedom," what then does a slave do? Easy to speculate so long as you aren't the slave, by the way.

Dallas Tim

You say Paul "SEEMS" to indicate. I say he's referring to her hair serving as God's provision of covering. The text doesn't say "And for those of you in 2006 who were wondering what I'm talking about here..." I'm sorry that because this passage is so problematic that you dismiss the rest of the NT's descritpion of God's plan for marriage. It might very well be that my wife should have a hat on. But if that's the case then it'll be my fault. I go that way instead of using one verse to support my chucking the rest of the NT.

In Chapter 11, Paul says in verse 18 that "When you come together as a church..." The preceding passages deal with events that may happen at home, in public, etc...
The very fact that he says, in effect, "Ok now let's talk about when you get together for group assembly..." in verse 18 shows that the things he discussed earlier were not things that took place in the group.

As far as the slaves, Paul says in I Cor. 7:21 ".... gain your freedom if you can, but be content if not." Sounds like he thought being free was better. He'd didn't condone it, but spoke to Christians who found themselves in it's grip. If you want Paul's view in a little more personal detail, read Philemon.

Yes it says slaves must obey their masters. Your point??? You seem to think that God looks at every problem like you wish He did. The Bible says we're "Slaves to sin." Does that bother you too?

My comment about slavery not being based on race had nothing to do with it being right or wrong. I just made an observation.

Again, I do see passages that I have to really read and think about and even then, I don't always feel like I have it down. That doesn't mean that I say "Well, that doesn't make sense so screw the whole thing."

greg

You've just admitted to a contradiction in Paul. Thanks. In one place he says obey, and in another he says "gain your freedom." Hmm... So much for that inerrant Bible you tout. And as for I Cor 11, I'm not sure why the woman would be prophesying at home, and you're also introducing a bit of an anarchronism into the text. Coming together as a church? Like to a building or a service? Not exactly. We also have Philip's daughters prophesying in Acts. Would that be in or out of church? And why is prophesy okay out of "church" but not in? And why did Moses say he wished that all God's people were prophets? I tell you, this Bible thing is really confusing. All these plain meanings...sheesh.

I'm not rejecting a "biblical model of marriage." I'm pointing out flaws in your hermeneutics. There really is no biblical model of marriage. The deutero-Pauline writings in the pastoral epistles reference "husband of one wife." That likely refers to polygamy, not divorce, although both are possible.

Dallas Tim

Wrong. It's not a contradiction ( it's obvious you wish like anything it was.) If I have job I hate and you say, "Man, you need to look for another job." Then you add "But don't quit the current one until you've found another," that wouldn't be a contradiction at all.

Paul says "Work unto the Lord if you're a slave and if your master can be persuaded to let you go then hit the road." Paul practices exactly what he preaches in Philemon.

Why wouldn't the woman prophesy at home? Well, would she pray at home?

Are you forcing the text to mean what you think it has to mean in order to prove something it doesn't mean?

I don't really know why it's OK one place but not another. I just don't throw away the text becsue I don't fully understand all of it.

Can we talk about beer now?

greg

No beer yet. So you will now agree that if your master says you may not be free, then no slave may escape or disobey his master without disobeying God? That's is where your exegesis has led you.

greg

Oh, and I didn't accuse you of throwing away the text. I just accused you of pretending there is a plain meaning which you only follow when it's convenient. You've as much as proved my point with the slavery and prophesy issues.

Zossima
"...juvenile interpretive errors...?"

Like what?

Jesus, Tim, have you read anything I wrote? I pointed out at least 4 obvious ones.

And if you can't read a blog for comprehension, how do you trust yourself with the Bible?

Dallas Tim

Yes Greg. If you're a slave and can figure out how to get free in a way that would follow a Christ honoring method, then be free. If not, then stay put and trust God. I think that's what the text says. I am nothing if not consistent.

That doesn't mean that others who are free don't have a responsibility to say "That's wrong and we're going to fix it." It's not a license to rebel for the sake of rebellion, but I haven't got it all figured out yet either.

Quite frankly, that's not a very convenient position for me is it? I'll stick with God and His Word (and I'm not trying to sound stoic or aloof).

Zoss,

You said "Jesus, Tim..."

Which one of us were you talking to?

All,

I am listening to ZZ Top's "Fool for your Stockings" and drinking Optimator. I'm also trying to teach my boys the basics of dribbling and the bounce pass (without breaking anything).

Won't anyone say "Good call D-Tim?"

Peace.

greg

For the basketball and the beer, yes; for the music, no.

Dallas Tim

I don't listen to much ZZ Top. I just pulled that one up on Rhapsody because I was in a bluesy mood.

Speaking of music, did you check out the version of "I shall not walk alone" by the Blind Boys of Alabama that I suggested when you were looking for songs about Mary?

T.J.

Let's go back to Ted's childhood....(Like we always have to when sexual hang-ups happen).

Ted has struggled with this dark side for a long, long time. Question: Was Ted molested as a child or teen? Question: Was porn pervasive in his life as a child, teen, young adult or grown man?

These 2 questions are biggies. And as a mom of twin sons, it is why I guard my son's innocence like a hawk. 10 years old and no exposre to porn or sexual abuse. But I tell you...it's a FULL TIME JOB guarding their innocence as we are bombarded everywhere by sexuality in your face.
And we are introducing them to the facts of life little by little . We also live a stream-lined life..not all the perks of life so we can afford to send them to CHristian School. It's worth every penny of it!!

So.....back to Ted's Childhood. Start there for the healing. And any parent reading this...put your children's innocence ahead of any personal luxury.

K.H.

I think Nazarene's follow the teachings of John Wesley and he was a self-proclaimed "Man of The Book." I hope you have time to read this...Thank you...
ON CORRUPTING
THE WORD OF GOD
John Wesley
SERMON 136


(text from the 1872 edition)
Preached about the year 1728

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"We are not as many, who corrupt the word of God: But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."
2 Corinthians 2:17
I. The methods of those who corrupt the word of God;

II. The marks of sincere preachers;

III. The results and benefits of sincerity.

[1.] Many have observed, that nothing conduces more to a Preacher's success with those that hear him, than a general good opinion of his sincerity. Nothing gives him a greater force of persuasion than this; nothing creates either a greater attention in the hearers or a greater disposition to improve. When they really believe he has no end in speaking, but what he fairly carries in view, and that he is willing that they should see all the steps he takes for the attainment of that end, -- it must give them a strong presumption, both that what he seeks is good, and the method in which he seeks it.

[2.] But how to possess them with this belief is the question. How shall we bring them to take notice of our sincerity, if they do not advert to it of themselves? One good way, however common, is, frankly and openly to profess it. There is something in these professions, when they come from the heart, strongly insinuating into the hearts of others. The persons of any generosity that hear them find themselves almost forced to believe them; and even those who believe them not are obliged in prudence, not to let their incredulity appear, since it is a known rule, -- the honester any man is, the less apt is he to suspect another. The consequence whereof is plain: Whoever without proof, is suspicious of his neighbour's sincerity, gives a probable proof that he judges of his heart from the falseness of his own.

[3.] Would not any man be tempted to suspect his integrity, who, without proof, suspected the want of it in another, that had fairly and openly professed the principles on which he acted? Surely none, but who himself corrupted the word of God, or wished that it were corrupted, could lightly suspect either St. Paul of doing it, or any that after him should use his generous declaration: "We are not as many, who corrupt the word of God: But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."

[4.] Not that the Apostle, any more than his followers in preaching the gospel, desires they should wholly rely on his words; for afterwards he appeals to his actions to confirm them. And those who in this can imitate him need not entreat men to believe their sincerity. If our works bear the stamp of it, as well as our words, both together will speak so loudly and plainly, every unprejudiced person must understand that we speak in Christ, as in sincerity, and that in so doing we consider we are in the sight of that God whose commission we bear.

[5.] Those whom the Apostle accuses of the contrary practice, of corrupting the word of God, seem to have been Jews, who owning Jesus to be Christ, and his gospel to be divine, yet adulterated it, by intermingling with it the law of Moses, and their own traditions. And in doing this, their principal view was to make a gain of Christ; which, consequently, laid them under a necessity of concealing the end they proposed, as well as the means they used to obtain it. On the contrary, those who intend the good of mankind, are by no means concerned to hide their intentions. If the benefit we propose in speaking be to ourselves, it is often our interest to keep it private. If the benefit we propose be to others, it is always our interest to make it public; and it is the interest both of ourselves and others, to make public those marks of distinction whence may clearly be known who corrupt the word of God, and who preach it in sincerity.


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I.
[1.] The First and great mark of one who corrupts the word of God, is, introducing into it human mixtures; either the errors [heresies] of others, or the fancies of his own brain. To do this, is to corrupt it in the highest degree; to blend with the oracles of God, impure dreams, fit only for the mouth of the devil! And yet it has been so frequently done, that scarce ever was any erroneous [heretical] opinion either invented or received, but Scripture was quoted to defend it.

[2.] And when the imposture was too bare-faced, and the text cited for it appeared too plainly either to make against it, or to be nothing to the purpose, then recourse has usually been had to a Second method of corrupting it, by mixing it with false interpretations. And this is done, sometimes by repeating the words wrong; and sometimes by repeating them right, but putting a wrong sense upon them; one that is either strained and unnatural, or foreign to the writer's intention in the place from whence they are taken; perhaps contrary either to his intention in that very place, or to what he says in some other part of his writings. And this is easily effected: Any passage is easily perverted, by being recited singly, without any of the preceding or following verses. By this means it may often seem to have one sense, when it will be plain, by observing what goes before and what follows after, that it really has the direct contrary: For want of observing which, unwary souls are liable to be tossed about with every wind of doctrine, whenever they fall into the hand of those who have enough of wickedness and cunning, thus to adulterate what they preach, and to add now and then a plausible comment to make it go down the more easily.

[3.] A Third sort of those who corrupt the Word of God, though in a lower degree than either of the former, are those who do so, not by adding to it, but taking from it; who take either of the spirit or substance of it away, while they study to prophesy only smooth things, and therefore palliate and colour what they preach, to reconcile it to the taste of the hearers. And that they may do this the better, they commonly let those parts go that will admit of no colouring. They wash their hands of those stubborn texts that will not bend to their purpose, or that too plainly touch on the reigning vices of the place where they are. These they exchange for those more soft and tractable ones, that are not so apt to give offence. Not one word must be said of the tribulation and anguish denounced against sinners in general; much less of the unquenchable fire, which, if God be true, awaits several of those particular offences that have fallen within their own notice. These tender parts are not to be touched without danger by them who study to recommend themselves to men; or, if they are, it must be with the utmost caution, and a nice evasion in reserve. But they safely may thunder against those who are out of their reach, and against those sins which they suppose none that hear them are guilty of. No one takes it to heart, to hear those practices laid open which he is not concerned in himself. But when the stroke comes home, when it reaches his own case, then is he, if not convinced, displeased, or angry, and out of patience.

These are the methods of those corrupters of the word, who act in the sight of men, not of God. He trieth the hearts, and will receive no service in which the lips only are concerned. But their words have no intercourse with their thoughts. Nor is it proper for them that they should. For if their real intention once appeared, it must make itself unsuccessful. They purpose, it is true, to do good by the gospel of Christ; but it is to themselves, not to others. Whereas they that use sincerity in preaching the gospel, in the good of others seek their own. And that they are sincere, and speak as commissioned officers, in the sight of Him whose commission they bear, plainly appears from the direct contrariety between their practice, and that of the dissemblers above described.


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II.
[1.] First. Consider, it is not their own word they preach, but the word of Him that sent them. They preach it genuine and unmixed. As they do not only profess, but really believe, that, "if any man add unto the word of God, He will add unto him all the plagues that are written in it," they are fearful of doing it in the least instance. You have the gospel from them, if in a less elegant manner, yet fair, and as it is; without any mixture of errors [heresy] to pollute it, or misinterpretation to perplex it; [2.] explained in the most natural, obvious manner, by what precedes and what follows the place in question; and commented on by the most sure way, the least liable to mistake or corruption, the producing of those parallel places that express the same thing the more plainly.

[3.] In the next place, they are as cautious of taking from, as of adding to, the word they preach. They dare no more, considering in whose sight they stand, say less, than [or] more, than He has assigned them. They must publish, as proper occasions offer, all that is contained in the oracles of God; whether smooth or otherwise, it matters nothing, since it is unquestionably true, and useful too: "For all Scripture is given by inspiration of God; and is profitable either for doctrine, or reproof, or correction, or instruction in righteousness," -- either to teach us what we are to believe or practise, or for conviction of error, reformation of vice. They know that there is nothing superfluous in it, relating either to faith or practice; and therefore they preach all parts of it, though those more frequently and particularly which are more particularly wanted where they are. They are so far from abstaining to speak against any vice because it is fashionable and in repute in the place Providence has allotted them; but for that very reason they are more zealous in testifying against it. They are so far from abstaining from speaking for any virtue because it is unfashionable and in disrepute where they are placed, that they therefore the more vigorously recommend it.

[4.] Lastly. They who speak in sincerity, and as in the sight of Him who deputes them, show that they do so, by the manner in which they speak. They speak with plainness and boldness, and are not concerned to palliate their doctrine, to reconcile it to the tastes of men. They endeavour to set it always in a true light, whether it be a pleasing one or not. They will not, they dare not, soften a threatening, so as to prejudice its strength, neither represent sin in such mild colours as to impair its native blackness. Not that they do not choose mildness, when it is likely to be effectual. Though they know "the terrors of the Lord," they desire rather to "persuade men." This method they use, and love to use it, with such as are capable of persuasion. With such as are not, they are obliged, if they will be faithful, to take the severer course. Let the revilers look to that; it harms not them: and if they are blamed or reviled for so doing, let the revilers look to that: Let the hearers accommodate themselves to the word; the word is not, in this sense, to be accommodated to the hearers. The Preacher of it would be no less in fault, in a slavish obsequiousness on one side, than in an unrelenting sternness on the other.


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III.
[1.] If, then, we have spoken the word of God, the genuine unmixed word of God, and that only; if we have put no unnatural interpretation upon it, but [have] taken the known phrases in their common, obvious sense, -- and when they were less known, explained scripture by scripture; if we have spoken the whole word, as occasion offered, though rather the parts which seemed most proper to give a check to some fashionable vice, or to encourage the practice of some unfashionable virtue; and if we have done this plainly and boldly, though with all the mildness and gentleness that the nature of the subject will bear; -- then, believe ye our works, if not our words; or rather, believe them both together. Here is all a Preacher can do; all the evidence that he either can or need give of his good intentions. There is no way but this to show he speaks as of sincerity, as commissioned by the Lord, and as in his sight. If there be any who, after all this, will not believe that it is his concern, not our own, we labour for; that our first intention in speaking, is to point him the way to happiness, and to disengage him from the great road that leads to misery; we are clear of the blood of that man; -- it rests on his own head. For thus saith the Lord, who hath set us as watchmen over the souls of our countrymen and brethren: "If thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it;" -- much more if we use all methods possible to convince him that the warning is of God; -- "if he do not turn from his way," -- which certainly he will not, if he do not believe that we are in earnest, -- "he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thine own soul."

[Section numbers (and other bracketed insertions of more significant textual variants) follow the Bicentennial Edition.]


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Acknowledgements
[Edited by George Lyons at Northwest Nazarene College (Nampa, ID), for the Wesley Center for Applied Theology.]
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library server.
This version has been designed for the Wesley homepages on the General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church Web Server at http://gbgm-umc.org. (Last modified June 2, 2000.)

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http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/Wesley/sermons/serm-136.stm

greg

kh,

Gee, thanks. I have the set of Wesley's works. But thanks for taking a couple feet of space to post an entire sermon. Next time, just hit the high points.

The Word of God of which Wesley speaks is not the Bible. That is obvious from his sermon. That makes the content of the Word of God up to the community of God; however, it seems Wesley is more concerned with our actions than with the content of our doctrine. That being said, I'm not sure why you posted the sermon. Maybe you could be more clear.

By the way, Nazarenes trace their tradition to Wesley, but we're supposed to follow the teachings of Jesus. For Nazarenes, that is Jesus through the lens of Wesley. Unfortunately, most Nazarenes have no idea what Wesley taught or said or preached. And I suspect there is much in Wesley with which they would disagree. This is of course the danger of tradition; it becomes self-sustaining even as it grows more ignorant of its origin and purpose.

Zossima

Now pretend that Wesley was alive today, maybe pastoring in California, or the scary liberal East Coast, instead of being the sainted Protestant whom no one has read yet whom no one would question.

After reading that foot-long sermon, I wonder what Ingrid of Slice would do with Wesley? Some of Wesley's ideas on the "word" and on communication techniques hardly fit with nut-job fundamentalism.

KH

I did hit the hight points..

greg

kh,

Uhm...no, you didn't. You posted a sermon without explaining your point.

T.J.

after reading this thread and finding that believers think it is better that their wives have slept around before they came to the marriage bed, all I can say is WESLEY WOULD BE ASHAMED.....JESUS WOULD BE ASHAMED...but no one here seems to be. I was not a virgin when I married but my husband was (and he was 30 !!) it can be done...and I was very sad that I had been with other men the night I married my godly husband. but there is grace and forgiveness (and twins came about later !!)

I honestly think the American church has NO CLUE about what is exactly sinful behavior..maybe it's because allofour messages tell us how great we are and how we can be rich. tragic!

joe

so much anger.

greg

tj,

If you weren't a virgin and your husband was, what is your point? I know it can be done. I don't think anyone here said it couldn't.

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