Atheist Marionettes Dance At Behest of Christian Puppeteers

I love irony in all its forms, even when it’s at my expense, but I prefer it’s at someone else’s.  It was visiting another blog where I encountered this post’s inspiration.

The entire post consisted of but two sentences: “I’ll be out in the world actually volunteering my time to make the word a better place. Actions, not words. Or in this case, directionless thought.”

I’ll be honest here.  I interpret the post to mean that ‘While you religious people merely pray, I’ll actually be doing something.’  Furthermore, there seems to be an implication that the religious are more prone to praying than actually doing.  I also found an unsubstantiated presumption in the mix: That prayers are useless because God is non-existent.

In the comment section I provided links to sources that people who consider themselves Conservatives give more time, money, and even blood than Liberals.  I thought this was relevant because in addition to the stark differences between Conservatives and Liberals in their generosity, it has implications pertinent to the differences between the religious and the non-religious in that the non-religious are more likely to be Liberals politically.

Now, you can’t fault the author for coming to conclusions based on how she sees the world.  After all if there is no God, then prayer is utterly useless, as she explains:

…prayer is fairly useless when it comes to trying to better the world around you. It’s actions that get things done. It’s science and people who are willing to put the time in instead of something easy like praying that get things done. Praying is just believing you’ve done something good and getting to pat yourself on the back for caring about someone without actually doing anything about the situation you’re praying for.

I agree with the sentiment that merely offering prayer and patting yourself on the back for ‘doing your part’ probably isn’t what God has in mind for such kinds of prayers.  I would go out on a limb and suggest that after you’ve prayed you get off your knees and involve yourself.

But here’s what I found ironic: Has it occurred to her that her desire and motivation is the answer to some lazy theist’s prayer?  The you sit and pray for xyz to happen, I’m going to go make it happen attitude could very well be missing the fact that she is the manifestation of the answered prayer.

On my worldview, that is certainly a plausible interpretation of the facts, but it’s an interpretation completely defined out of the realm of possibility by the Atheist.

I’m realistic though, I understand there’s no way to prove her call to action is a response to my petition to God.  I get that.  I just find it semi-amusing that to the Atheist it doesn’t even register that it might be the case that he or she is unwittingly doing the bidding of the slothful Christian.

Comments

  1. Christians sure have it good. Their god gets all the credit for the good in the world and none of the blame for the bad. Now JB and Christians will start claiming all the credit for atheists service projects and charity. Must be nice to take credit for the good others do.

    • You haven’t been reading me long enough to know that’s a poor generalization of my view. You also seem to have missed the closing portion of the post as well.

  2. I say to the atheist, in light of Christians’ higher propensity to actually do good things, welcome aboard! Go preach to your atheist friends. WE could use the help.

  3. To this vast number of atheists who are out doing all this great stuff. I’d be happy to make a few suggestions of some great folks (who happen to be Christians) doing some great work, in some really difficult situations who could use the help.

  4. I am surprised that my post inspired this one. Although interested in its contents, I think Jason said it well, how is it that you can give credit praying Christian person (let’s assume for the sake of this argument that this person is only praying and not going any further) for the actions of someone who actually goes and does charitable work? That seems to me to be nothing more than a convenient ‘what if’ statement for your argument.
    I’ll admit that the post did little to specify that I did not mean that there aren’t Christians who go out and do things other than just pray about them, clearly that isn’t the case, although I’d recommend reading the commentary on the post to understand the context of the argument (and why I made the post at all) that took place afterwards. I encourage you to comment on the post if you’d like to discuss it with me further.

    • Good point. That’s why we can’t look at the individual. A Christian who prays and does nothing else is not doing all that they can. But as a group, Christians actually do more. Is that not significant? Why point to the individual “prayer only” Christian? Why not encourage the other-than-Christian folks to do more? It’s clear that the Christians who only pray are a smaller group than the atheists who neither pray nor do good works (as a percentage). As a Christian, I would encourage to do both. Pray and do good things. But if doing good things is your only concern, please, point your pleas to those who do less. That’s all. Thank you for your service. Just don’t act like Christians are not doing their fair share of helping

      • And now you’ve made the same assumption that because I made a post that indicated my belief that prayer does nothing, that that somehow means I said that Christians sit around all day while everyone else does everything. I never said that, I merely indulged John in conversation about it once he brought it up. Since I made no such claim in my post, and these things were only spoke of after he brought them up as an extension of the topic I meant to convey, it’s not exactly fair to just assume that’s what I’ve said. You’d know this if you’d read the commentary (it is very out of order, I admit) but seeing as how I know that I don’t believe such a statement (that Christians don’t do anything but pray) then I know that that’s not what I was saying. So maybe you’ve made that misconception based on what was said here, but those words would not come out of my mouth. I’m not unreasonable, I’m not the type of person who looks to low blows because I don’t agree with your views, I’m not that desperate to make such a plea – I just think that prayer does not work, which was what that post was SUPPOSED to be about. John took it somewhere else, and just because I indulged him in this topic does not suddenly mean that what he assumes about me is true.

        • Whether or not prayer alone helps people is beside the point. YOU would be more effective by saying to atheists “Video games alone don’t help people in need”. You’d be speaking to a larger audience than prayer only Christians. You and I are on the same side. We both want more people to do more to help, right? I just think you should substitute “prayer” with “nothing”, unless you’re only intent on attacking Christians.

          • Christians aren’t the only ones who pray, I wasn’t necessarily focusing on them.
            And besides, if there were any good evidence that prayer was effective, I would never make such a statement.
            I’m not sure the video game comparison is a solid one. I also never said that just because someone prays that means that they stop there. I just think prayer is a waste of energy, you can spend time thinking bad things to death, or (assuming you’re in a position to) do something about it. It’s really not besides the point since it’s my post that’s being discussed here, and objectively I’m the only one who knows for certain what I meant by it.

            • So, your point was only to poo poo prayer? Is meditating a waste? Is planning? Quiet introspection? Come on. Let’s say that no one is listening to prayers. If I pray every day for God to help starving people, don’t you think that I might subconciously find a way to help?

              • Meditating, planning, and introspection can reduce stress, but that’s about it. If you subconsciously find a way to help, I’d call that thought rather than prayer. But yes, bluntly, I was trying to ‘poo poo’ prayer. My opinion on it is that it doesn’t work, I made a post about it on my blog, where I have a right to express my opinions – especially in light of the situation that I posted it in. I can’t help that he felt so compelled to take my post, put it on his blog, and say whatever he wanted to about it. It’s fine if you disagree with me, but I’m not getting why you seem so appalled that I expressed a personal opinion about an aspect of religion on my blog. I’m certainly not ordering people to stop praying.

              • I’m not apalled. I get it. You don’t believe. And you’re right. We disagree. That’s all.

                Just understand that you said more than “prayer doesn’t work”. Had that been it, we’d simply have had something on which to disagree. You added an alternative: “Do something”. I hope you get that what was understood to be the message was “Unlike praying folks, I’m helping people, and that makes me smarter and better”. Whether it’s what you meant or not, the wording was close enough to the things we’re accustomed to hearing from non-believers, that we felt compelled to point out that religious folks find time to both pray and help (more than those who don’t pray).

                So… Are we on the same side? Don’t we both want more people (praying and otherwise) to actually do more helpful things? If so, say it. And leave prayer out of it. UNLESS… you just want to say “I’m smarter than the dummies who think prayer does a dang thing!”. If THAT’S the case, leave helping out of it. We dumb, gullible religious folks need less encouragement to help than the logical atheists.

              • You choose to interpret my words differently from what my personal meaning is, and I can’t stop you, but it doesn’t make you more right about my own, personal words. We are on the same side though, obviously I’d prefer people take action.

              • COMMON GROUND! Thanks.

                We can all work together. I’m thankful for the good deeds of anyone willing to help.

  5. As a Christian, I’d say I’m not sure that the “Christian praying CAUSED the atheist volunteering,” what-if scenario is a credible hunch insomuch as Christians don’t believe that God forces or causes people to do things against their will.

    If I pray, “Oh, Lord, please make the pagan give money to the poor…” I don’t think that means God feels compelled to compel the pagan to do that. That would be a poor understanding of Christian prayer, seems to me. Prayer and meditation is for changing us, not forcing God’s hand.

  6. John…

    I provided links to sources that people who consider themselves Conservatives give more time, money, and even blood than Liberals.

    I read the link, I didn’t see where it said that conservatives in general give more time to helping people than liberals in general. I’m not saying it isn’t the case, I’m just saying that I don’t see that in George Will’s column.

    My hunch is that religious folk – left and right – who feel that God wants us to help the least of these might tend to give a bit more time and money in charitable giving/work than non-religious folk, but I don’t know that any research has been done to demonstrate this. I say that not as a knock to my non-religious friends out there, but just as an acknowledgement that I know religious folk and that we really do put out some effort in helping others.

    I would also say that for more conservative religious folk (and to a lesser degree, more liberal religious folk), a large part of that “charitable giving” is to their own churches to pad their own pews, for instance, and I think for these sorts of discussions we really ought to count out that as not the sort of charity being spoken of here.

    In the non-religious folk’s defense, I would suggest that there is something admirable in their collective giving purely out of the goodness of their hearts, not as a part of feeling compelled by God’s rules. That is a noble thing. I would just add that, by and large, religious folk also give out of the goodness of their hearts, as well as thinking God wants it.

  7. Second bullet point:

    — Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

    Donate more time TO WHAT? Their church (padding their own pews) as a charitable organization? No doubt. But I’m not thinking that’s applicable here.

    Again, I’m not saying it’s not so, I’m saying I have yet to see any proof of it, I certainly don’t see it in my own small circles (ie, I do see both liberal and conservative Christians giving time, although in my circumstances, liberal Christians give more time to specifically helping those in need – as opposed to giving time merely to our own church’s needs – and working for justice than I do in my own conservative Christian circles.

    Do you know factually if Brooks’ study (or other studies) take in to account “charitable giving” that is essentially giving to one’s self versus charitable giving (of time and money) that helps others?

  8. I made the same point, Dan.

  9. Padding their pews? You mean building places where people can come and receive encouragement, spiritual healing, and a sense of belonging? A base of operation from which missions are sent to all corners of the world? Yes, my money goes to pad the pews. If that’s all that it was used for, it would be well spent. Great things happen to people within the four walls of the church. I know recovering addicts who find strength from within my church. I know some bikers who have come to know a better way of living than their previous lives of crime. They’ve been helped by people providing padded pews.

    We don’t build churches for “good Christians”. We build them for the sinners (including ourselves). THEN, we go out and help. We drill wells for people in far off lands. We take food to the hungry in our community. We build homes. We provide clothing. Among my most prized possessions is a photo of a toilet I donated to a mission to Belize.

    Non-believers can do good things. Great! Helping people is good for the helped and the helper. I assume we all agree. But for some, the lack of a belief in an after life reward or punishment leads to purely selfish pursuits. Atheism offers no values system. The atheist has a tough job. “No God. No punishment for bad behavior. No reward for helping. But please be good and help people. Because I say so”.

    Some of us pray and do nothing else. Some of us don’t pray and serve our neighbors. Some of us do neither. Some of us do both. Let’s applaud the ones who help. Whether they pray or not, our interests are aligned.

  10. c2c…

    You mean building places where people can come and receive encouragement, spiritual healing, and a sense of belonging?

    The padding the pews comment was from me, Dan, and I am a Christian. I love churches and support them, have attended church all my life. I believe in the value of churches.

    I am merely making the point that “giving” that goes to help us in our more “churchy” efforts is a different sort of giving than going to feed a family or going to build a house for the homeless. In considering charitable giving, I think it would be good to separate out the two sorts of giving.

    Of course, it is (or can be) a complex division. At our church, for instance, some of our money goes to pay for our church building and the folding chairs we sit in on Sunday morning and the layout of our sanctuary and our office space… charitable giving that benefits “us,” directly.

    At the same time, during the week and on weekends, that same sanctuary space and those same folding chairs and those same offices, etc are being used to welcome the homeless in for shelter and food during the day, to providing support and counseling for those who need it. To hold AA meetings and meetings planning on how to get assistance for the poor, needy, foreigners, etc.

    So in our case (and some others), the money spent IS “for us,” but it is also for those in need. Still, if we’re trying to count money and time given towards “charity,” in assessing “giving,” I don’t really want to count things I do for myself to count as “charity,” even though there may be a co-relation.

    Money and time preparing a Sunday School lesson for the charitable organization “the church” is not really “charitable giving” in the sense that most people are talking about it. Padded pews for the butts of Christians is not really what most people mean by “charitable giving…”

    That was my point.

  11. Dan is NOT a Christian and has no right to speak for them. He is a fraud, a false teacher and a heretic exposed on many, many blogs. Here is my evidence:
    http://wolfsheep2.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/false-teacher-profile-updated/

  12. Slander and bear false witness much, Glenn?

    You know, those behaviors are not part of the kingdom of God.

    My beliefs:

    1. I am a sinner in need of salvation.
    2. God is the great Creator of the world, God is love, God is and was and will be.
    3. Jesus is the son of God who came to earth in human form, teaching us how to live, dying on the cross and raised to go to be with God in heaven.
    4. I believe in the Holy Spirit of God, revealing God’s Self to the world today.
    5. I believe that we are not saved by works, but by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus.
    6. God is not willing that any should perish, but that we all repent, turn from our ways and accept God’s grace, through faith in Jesus, the risen son of God.
    7. I believe God reveals God’s Self through all of creation, through the Holy Spirit, through God’s word written upon our hearts, and through the Bible, which is, as it says of Scripture, good for teaching, correction and rebuking.

    This IS orthodox salvation, in the Christian church. No matter how much brother Glenn hates it, I am not a fraud, but I am a Christian saved by God’s sweet grace, not by Glenn’s acceptance. Fortunately, as the good book says, Neither things above nor things below (this would include Glenn’s hatefulness) can separate me from the love of God.

    Your “evidence” is just more false reports, gossip, slander, half truths and whole lies at a blog site that won’t even allow me to defend myself. Glenn, if you have a bit of concern for truth and grace in you at all – and I’m sure that you do, despite your repeated immoral behavior here – I’d ask that you give up this slander and false witness.

    Disagreeing with Glenn is not the same as being a heretic or a false teacher. Fortunately, Glenn is not the author or decider of my salvation. For that, I trust in God, not Glenn. For God saves by grace and love and forgiveness, whereas Glenn seems to value something else.

    Shame on you. This ad hom attack is off topic and further evidence that you have no facts to support your position, so you engage in angry and graceless ad hom attacks, instead.

    Grow up, my little brother.

    • Dan,
      For it to be slander and false witness it has to be untrue. I posted the link with incontrovertible evidence for what I stated about you.

      And it was not off topic, because you are making statements in your comments claiming to be from a Christian perspective. You do NOT represent true Christianity. And anyone with any doubts can read the link I provided. Nothing angry and graceless about it, rather it is exposing you as what you are so people will not be deceived by you. I will do this everywhere I see you posting where you pretend to be a Christian.

      I am not your brother. Your father is the devil.

  13. I know, Glenn, and my brother is the boogety man and I eat baby unicorns.

    I welcome a rational adult conversation at any point if you should ever get over this emotionally-distraught craze that has apparently addled your thinking.

    In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord,

    Dan

  14. How else does one explain irrational, emotion-based non-reasoned arguments? I offer the actual evidence of what I believe (orthodox Christian tenets, all) and you respond with making an unsupported claim that I am the spawn of Satan?

    You sound just a bit crazed, as if this election has pushed you over the edge or something. Although, to be fair, you usually sound this crazed and you usually don’t engage with actual points but rather with false allegations and ad hom attacks. You just seem a bit more emotionally high-strung these last few days, Glenn. I’m just saying how you come across to me.

    But, ANY TIME, you would like to discuss my ACTUAL points and offer ACTUAL fact- or reason-based arguments, I’d be glad to talk with you in a respectful adult manner. I’m just wondering if you need to take some time off to relax and gather yourself a bit, for your sake.

    May the peace of Christ be with you. Seriously.

    • Dan,
      In order to attempt to marginalize me, you attack anything I say as “emotional,” (as if you aren’t), and now you are claiming I am “high-strung” and not acting in an “adult manner.” Any ad hominem attack you can think of in order take the discussion off of your false teachings. “Look over there at him” so they won’t analyze what you non-logical and irrational arguments really are.

      My claim of you being of “your father the devil” happens to be a citation from Jesus when he was dealing with your ilk.

      You offered evidence of words about what you claim to believe, but the Mormons make the exact claims you just made. The problem is in your definitions of who God and Christ are. You worship a homosexualist God who has no cares about what marriage is, a god who has no idea what he really means in the Bible, etc. And the link I provided will give all the other evidence proving you are not a true believer.

      We’ve all discussed your actual points on blog after blog after blog and you always spew the same homosexualist, social gospel, false claims to being a Christian who thinks the Bible can be mangled to suit your ideology.

      I have things I need to do today, so I’m finished with your foolishness and your foolish claims.

  15. Glenn…

    Any ad hominem attack you can think of in order take the discussion off of your false teachings.

    Off topic, but I’ve offered my exact theological beliefs. Rather than say “When you say THAT, Dan, you are wrong because…” you simply engaged in ad hom attacks, making up garbage and make false and unsupported allegations.

    I’ve offered you a chance to support with even just ONE fact your false claim that “homosexuality corrupts society,” and you have not taken me up, not with even ONE SINGLE real world observable fact.

    How is anyone to take you seriously?

    Glenn…

    My claim of you being of “your father the devil” happens to be a citation from Jesus when he was dealing with your ilk.

    My ilk? You mean folk who love God, love the Bible, who follow Jesus and his teachings, who feel themselves to be sinners in need of God’s grace and who repent of our sins and seek salvation in grace and love? Where did Jesus refer to those people being the children of Satan?

    As you know, Glenn, FACTUALLY speaking, Jesus never once said any such thing. In fact, quite the opposite.

    How is anyone to take your arguments as anything but the rantings of a cranky, emotional shipwreck who does not know how to have a conversation or make a rational argument?

    • Here I am checking e-mails after being away for a performance and find a comment from Dan with more lies. Okay, l am going to lower myself to respond to a bit.

      Again you claim my comment was off topic. Negative. The topic was your comments claiming to speak for Christians and I had to demonstrate that you cannot speak for Christians because you are not one, and don’t even understand what Christian teachings are.

      I provided several links of ways homosexuality corrupt society and you read the first and claimed there was no connection. In many previous dialogues with you I – and others – have provided factual evidence demonstrating the corruptive and destructive nature of homosexual behavior. You ignore all the evidence, then say it has never been provided.

      You claim to “love God, love the Bible, and follow Jesus and his teachings…” and yet, I provided a link to a lengthy examination of your teachings and beliefs which belie your claims. I have demonstrated that you only love a false god of your own making – a god who loves homosexual behavior, a god who never had a thing to say about marriage, etc. Your Jesus is just as false. Just like Mormons, you make up a God and Christ in your image and then claim it is the same one the Bible describes. Sorry, you can keep calling your dandelion a rose but it will remain a dandelion nevertheless. You also only love the Bible in so far as you can twist it to make it appear to agree with your homosexual agenda.

      My arguments have indeed been rational and accurate, but you pretend none of it is there. Instead, you claim to be victim of ad hominem attacks when people point out the FACT – the 100% truth – of your being a false teacher. Then you hypocritically resort to ONLY ad hominem attacks claiming that by exposing you for what you are I am therefore and “emotional shipwreck” and all other sorts of claims agains emotions you cannot possibly know I have (and I don’t). Which means you are judging the heart – which Christ forbids.

      I challenge everyone reading this comment string to look at the article I linked to which goes into detail about how Dan has historically treated people on many, many blogs for telling him he is wrong. It also details much of his false and heretical theology and blasphemy against God by claiming God approves of homosexual behavior.

      Have a good night Dan.

  16. Just to respond to the wondering about research into the point regarding who cares, I offer Arthur C. Brooks’ book “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism”, wherein he demonstrates that the giving of the conservative Christian (the most giving end of the spectrum) does not limit his donation of time, money and sweat equity to only his church, but even out performs others (including leftist Christians and leftist atheists—the other end of the spectrum) in even secular causes. I’ve brought up this book many times before, though I’m not surprised the suggestion that Christian conservatives only give to their church is still being put forth.

    I think John’s suggestion that the atheist who acts might be the result of a prayer to God is Biblical correct as a possibility. And yes, it is right and just to give praise to God for all good that happens, no matter who actually is the instrument of good in any given circumstance. All things work after His will.

    And Dan, who is a “serious” student of the Bible, narrowly defines the purpose of prayer. Prayer is a means of us connecting with the Father. It can be used to praise Him or to petition Him or to thank Him. The Lord’s Prayer is an example.

  17. Glenn, really, this is embarrassing for you…

    1. The topic was your comments claiming to speak for Christians and

    2. I had to demonstrate that you cannot speak for Christians

    3. because you are not one, and

    4. don’t even understand what Christian teachings are.

    1. The topic of this post was “Do Christians do more than pray? Do Christians get out there and make a positive change for hurting people?” MY comments were not the topic, at all.

    2. You had to “demonstrate” (OFF topic) that Dan Trabue does not speak for Christians? Why did you “have” to do this? Who made you keeper of Christianity?

    3. Well, if you look at my testimony above, you can see that I am a Christian, by orthodox standards. What makes one a Christian, according to orthodox Christianity? When one repents of their sins and accepts God’s salvation by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus. By that orthodox standard, I AM a Christian. What additional hoops would you have me jump through in order to be saved, Glenn? Are you suggesting that I must agree with Glenn on the point of gay marriage in order to be saved? If that is what you are saying, that would make you a false teacher by orthodox standards, because you are adding to salvation by grace through faith in Jesus.

    4. Well, I left a list of what I consider to be orthodox Christian essentials. All you have to do to demonstrate that I don’t understand Christian teachings is point to where I’m mistaken specifically and tell me specifically, where I am mistaken.

    THAT is how adult conversations work between rational and respectful human people, Glenn.

    NOT pointing off to a website that demonstrably is spreading falsehoods about me that does not allow me to even defend myself (quite intellectually and spiritually cowardly, that) against the false charges. I mean, I could create a website called, “Glenn wears his mother’s underwear.com” and point out “proofs” that Glenn isn’t a Christian because he strangles puppies with his mother’s underwear and sacrifices the dead puppies on an altar of fire to the Great Molech, but me SAYING it would not make it so, would it, Glenn?

    Just because you point to a slanderous, cowardly site full of lies and half truths does not prove anything.

    Rather than do that, why don’t you man up and point to something THAT I HAVE SAID (NOT what other people SAY I think, but what I have actually said) and point to where what I HAVE SAID is demonstrably false or wrong? Why don’t you man up and do that? BECAUSE YOU CAN’T. One can’t demonstrate false things because THEY. ARE. FALSE.

    Thou shalt not bear false witness, Glenn. Shame on you.

    Now, if you can not point to ONE SINGLE THING that I’ve actually said and demonstrate, “Dan, when you say this you are wrong because…” then you really ought to just let it go. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  18. How sad

  19. SIGH!
    Dan, your reading and comprehensions skills have been proven to be poor based on your understanding of the Bible. I should have known better, then, than to try to have plain communication with you.

    I was “on topic” by addressing a comment you made on the posted topic. By commenting on your comment, I was on topic by exposing you as not representing the Christian faith. Comprende?

    I never claimed to be a “keeper of Christianity.” However, the Lord led me into the apologetics ministry. The apologetics ministry field has been tasked to defend the church against threats both outside and inside the church by exposing the wolves and proclaiming the true faith. Therefore, you must be exposed as a wolf so as to warn people against listening to any claim you make for Christianity.

    As noted above (remember reading and comprehension?), your “testimony” to your faith is no different that that of a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness. It isn’t what your testimony says, it’s what it doesn’t say. It’s the definitions behind your words, especially in relation to the identities of God and Jesus Christ. Those you worship do not meet the biblical definition, ergo you worship gods of your own making – i.e., you are an idolater. This has been proven by blogger after blogger, especially the many who now block you to prevent you from spreading your “disease.”

    The website I linked to is 100% factual about your teaching, and it uses your own words against you. Yes, anyone can post anything, but there must be facts to back up charges, and on the link I posted by Neil Simpson, the facts are there for everyone to see. You can claim “falsehood” all you want, but that just puts you in the same class as other false teachers who say the same thing when they are exposed for what they are.

    I have pointed out things you have said, as have others. Two simple things demonstrate that your God is not of the Bible, and that you refuse to accept the Bible without your own interpretations: 1) you claim God (including Christ) sanctions homosexuality (albeit with a caveat of “love”), that God (including Christ) had nothing to say about same-sex fake marriage. 2) you claim the Bible does not condemn “loving” same-sex relationships. Just those two things demonstrate conclusively that you worship another God and could care less about what the Bible truly says.

    How about a very recent post – i.e. yesterday – where people can go to see first-hand just how badly you misrepresent what people say in order to be able to attack them as racists, elitist, and arrogant – as well as being “Pharisees”. (I was surprised you didn’t call him a “homophobe.”)
    http://birdsoftheair.blogspot.com/2012/11/about-us.html

  20. Glenn…

    Two simple things demonstrate that your God is not of the Bible, and that you refuse to accept the Bible without your own interpretations: 1) you claim God (including Christ) sanctions homosexuality (albeit with a caveat of “love”), that God (including Christ) had nothing to say about same-sex fake marriage. 2) you claim the Bible does not condemn “loving” same-sex relationships. Just those two things demonstrate conclusively that you worship another God and could care less about what the Bible truly says.

    Finally, you ALMOST get around to dealing with my points. But then, don’t. (As an aside, if God “led you into the apologetics ministry,” doesn’t it seem God would have given you a bit better communication and reasoning skills…? Just sayin’…)

    1. re: refuse to accept the Bible without our own interpretations. WE ALL DO THIS. We INTERPRET the Bible. Each of us. If you don’t interpret the Bible, then you will make rape victims marry their rapists, you will kill two guys who happen to “lie down” together (sexual or not), you would give me your money as I have asked you in the past (Jesus says clearly, “If ANYONE asks you for something, given it to them…” and yet you haven’t given me the $1000 I asked for!) and you would pluck out your sinful eyes. But you don’t do ANY of those literal readings because YOU INTERPRET. As you should (although, I believe you do it poorly). We ALL should interpret the Bible. We have brains and God-given reason for a reason.

    2. re: “I claim God sanctions homosexuality and that God had nothing to say about loving same sex relationships.” Yet another unsupported claim.

    3. God HAS NOT given anyone God’s opinion about loving same sex relationships. That is simply a real world fact. Anyone who says otherwise is making BS up to support their cultural traditions and not dealing with real world facts. IF they truly believe that false claim, they are probably delusional – unable to reason clearly probably due to their human cultural prejudices. It happens, but we can get past it. I have.

    4. It is my opinion that loving relationships – gay or straight – are self-evidently and rationally “good,” I have not spoken for God on this point, just made it clear that it seems to me entirely reasonable that God would support good, healthy, loving relationships, as the Bible and our own reason would support such a conclusion. Unlike you all, though, I don’t presume to speak for God, this is clearly my opinion on something God has not told you or me directly.

    So, do you have any real world support for your hunches, or is your “support,” that “I, GLENN, THINK that God doesn’t support loving relationships – gay ones, anyway – and thus, because I THINK IT, it must be factually true…”? You do know, Glenn, that real world reason does not begin and end with your opinions. In fact, if you are claiming that because you think it (or even, you and those who agree with you think it), then you are the one that is coming closer to self-idolatry. Myself, I am self-aware enough to know I am speaking of MY OPINION, not what “God said…” Are you self-aware to know that, too? In the past, you have claimed, “I CAN NOT BE MISTAKEN on this point,” so it seems you ARE worshiping your own cultural opinions. Be careful about that.

    Glenn…

    Just those two things demonstrate conclusively that you worship another God and could care less about what the Bible truly says.

    That I disagree with the Mighty Glenn’s opinion about the Bible is not in any sense a “demonstration” that I don’t love and respect the Bible. Read this and understand, Glenn: We ALL have our opinions and interpretations and, just because we hold different opinions, does NOT mean we don’t love the Bible. By that graceless standard, WE ALL hate the Bible, because you disagree with the Catholics who disagree with the anabaptists who disagree with the methodists… on SOME points, anyway. That we disagree is NOT proof in the real world that one group or another hates the Bible.

    I guess the reason why you think you’ve answered this is that you just ignore the problems with your “evidence” and proceed as if the matter is closed. Fortunately, Glenn is not the final arbiter in all that is Good and Holy.

    So, AGAIN, if you can EVER point to something that I have said (“When you say you believe in repentance and salvation by grace, and you’re wrong because…”) and support it with one single simple statement that is factually and observably correct, THEN I will acknowledge you’ve made a rational, adult point. But these twistings of facts and ignoring of real world evidence and the huge holes in your “logic” are just silly, Glenn.

    If you want to make a point to me in the future, Glenn, stick to a direct and clear statement of what I said, where your disagreement is with it and a rational conclusion of factual evidence or I will just have to roll my eyes and pity your poor, delusional self.

    This is just sad.

    May God grant us wisdom and grace. In Christ, Dan.

  21. Look, Glenn, I’ll even give you some help so you can see what I mean by a rational adult argument. You said…

    2) you claim the Bible does not condemn “loving” same-sex relationships.

    That is ONE TRUE STATEMENT. I have stated clearly that the Bible does not anywhere condemn healthy, loving same-sex relationships. So, you got THAT part of the argument correct – you correctly stated one of my actual positions.

    But then, you let it lie there and provided no evidence to support your claim that this is mistaken. All you have to do to COMPLETE a rational adult disagreement/argument is say…

    2) you claim the Bible does not condemn “loving” same-sex relationships. AND YET, in 2 Burblebee, Chapter 15 and verse 2, the Bible says, “and God thinks that loving, same-sex relationships are evil and clearly wrong and something not to engage in…”

    IF the Bible clearly says what you THINK it says, then it should be easy enough to provide the chapter and verse AND demonstrate conclusively that the verse is to be taken literally as applicable to all people and all times. After all, you would agree (unless you’re even more delusional than you already seem) that you don’t want to KILL men who lay with men (whatever that means), even though that is LITERALLY what it says in one space in the ancient texts. You don’t think “if they do, kill them” is literally applicable to all times and places, so why would you think YOUR INTERPRETATION of what goes before that (which, by the way, does not condemn loving healthy same-sex relationships) should be interpreted “literally” (or what you mean by “literally,” which isn’t literally – you’re not condemning men literally laying with men, just what YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD that it means).

    So, to complete a rational adult argument, ALL you have to do is provide the support for your rather ridiculous-sounding claim (really, healthy, loving relationships are BAD??) and the argument would be over.

    You. Have. Not. Done. This.

    Thus, your argument is based on wild-assed false claims and unsupported charges.

    Of course, once you completed that part of a reasoned adult argument, you would still have to demonstrate that my claim that the Bible does not condemn loving relationships is somehow demonstrative that I hate/don’t like/don’t respect the Bible and not simply a different interpretation gleaned in good faith.

    Do you see how it works and the problem with your unsupported and irrational charges?

  22. Dan,
    The unteachable fool. I’m finished here.

  23. Dan Trabue says:

    Oh come now, Glenn, you were on a really good path, there. You correctly identified and articulated one of my actual positions. Honestly, that’s a good start (if you can’t articulate what the other person actually believes, then it is hard to critique what they believe).

    All you have to do is complete the sentence, “The Bible DOES condemn loving same sex marriages, when it says…” and put the Biblical passage that demonstrates that loving same sex relationships are condemned.

    But, as all biblical scholars can tell you, the Bible does not say that. Not at all.

    And so, you rightly run away from this without answering the question because it undermines your position. I suspect you run from it and get so irrational/emotional about it because it scares you that you might be mistaken. “I can’t prove my opinion is right. I can’t prove that Dan isn’t a Christian, even though he is by all orthodox measures… but I really don’t like that he disagrees with me on this issue, so I want to believe he’s not a Christian… I just have no evidence to support such a claim… but now what? I guess I’ll just run away, or maybe I’ll make some more false and unsupported claims again and THEN run away without providing any support for my false allegations…”

    I don’t really believe you are intentionally evil on this point, Glenn. I don’t think you intentionally are making false allegations and refusing to support them. I don’t think you intend to get all emotionally upset and irrational, you are probably just experiencing some cognitive dissonance and find yourself confused and unsure of what to do and, for many of us, striking out – even childishly and with false and unsupported allegations – is a common human reaction.

    I just pray that you have a chance to gather your wits and moral wherewithal and realize you’ve made a mistake and learn from this experience.

    In Christ’s deep and abiding love for you, Glenn,

    Dan

  24. Dan,
    I’m going to make just one comment about your inane comment above and that’s the last I’m bothering.

    God says homosexual behavior is an abomination. No ifs, ands, or buts. This has been proven to you time and time again by many bloggers I’ve seen you communicate with, as well as on my own blogs. But you deny the evidence and claim it is all just an “opinion” or “hunch,” etc, so as not to face the truth.

    Now, since God finds homosexual behavior to be abhorrent (the Bible being very clear on that point, as has been understood by Jews long before Christ and all Christians since until the past few decades when liberal so-called Christians try to justify that which is abominable); and since God has defined marriage as the union between members of the opposite sex (beginning with Genesis 1), then there would be no need for the Bible to have a specific passage which says,
    “Oh by the way, God only hates homosexuality when it isn’t between lovers, and God really thinks homosexuality is okay when the two people love each other, and marriage is only between opposite-sex members unless same-sex members love each other and then that also equals marriage.”
    Nowhere in the Bible will find “husband and husband” or “wife and wife,” rather you will only find “husband and wife” etc. Never will you find a single mention in Scripture of same-sex unions being sanctioned, and everywhere in Scripture which mentions homosexuality states it is abominable, perverse, unnatural, etc. Only by severely twisting the meaning of the words and the intent of the authors could anyone possibly contort it to mean homosexual behavior is okay in any fashion.

    Your demand to see a Bible passage specifically spell out in one verse that which is easily derived from the numerous passages addressing homosexuality as well as marriage, is downright dishonest, disingenuous, and stupid.

    Now, I’ve wasted enough of my time on you and your foolishness.

  25. Glenn…

    God says homosexual behavior is an abomination.

    God has not. The Bible does not. This is YOUR INTERPRETATION. You lose.

    IF you had proof of your hunch, all you have to do – in a rational adult conversation – is offer your proof. It’s easy enough. IF you have the proof.

    But you don’t. God hasn’t said that. Has not happened. So, are you going to admit to making that up and apologize for stating something that is false, or are you going to just hide from the embarrassment of it all?

    Glenn…

    But you deny the evidence and claim it is all just an “opinion” or “hunch,” etc, so as not to face the truth.

    Factually speaking, Glenn, it is objectively demonstrably an opinion. Look it up in the dictionary. It just is. In the contest for rationality, you’re losing.

    Glenn…

    Your demand to see a Bible passage specifically spell out in one verse that which is easily derived from the numerous passages addressing homosexuality as well as marriage, is downright dishonest, disingenuous, and stupid.

    ? Expecting someone to make a claim that seems out and out false and slanderous to provide proof of their hunches/support for their claims is dishonest and stupid? No, Glenn, in rational adult conversations, that is normal.

    You make a claim, “God hates all gay behavior!”

    That does not sound believable to me, so I ask you, “That doesn’t sound believable to me, what is your support for that outrageous claim?”

    What specifically is dishonest or stupid about questioning you?

    If you think that “daring” to question the Mighty Glenn is stupid, I’d suggest you’ve already lost this argument and the attempt to converse at a rational adult level.

    I think that it’s the case that perhaps you’re just a bit like a spoiled child, saying, “If you disagwee wif me, you a stoopid doody head!”

    You calling people “stupid” and “dishonest” does not make it so, not if the evidence does not support it.

    And THAT is what this is all about. If you want to make charges and you want to be considered a rational adult, then you support your charge with evidence, not with calling people stupid and dishonest. Otherwise, you are being dismissed as a pathetic, childish, delusional person unable to converse rationally.

    More’s the pity.

    Sorry, but you lose.

    • Oh, DUH! That’s right – Dan doesn’t accept the Bible as the Word of God, so we can only say “The Bible says,” rather than “God Says.”

      And then he claims to be a Christian.

  26. Dan,

    You can spout Christian essentials all you want. Anyone can. But even if we concede you believe in those essentials and also believe you live your life accordingly, the words you’ve said in the comments you’ve made over the years do not convince anyone but other leftist Christians. Your ideas of what is “good”, for example, do not always conform with what Scripture has revealed is God’s idea of “good”. This issue of how your alleged beliefs match the manner in which they are manifested in your comments has long put your claims regarding your faith in the God of the Bible in doubt. What’s more, the site to which both you and Glenn refer has been more than patient in trying to point out the shortcomings of your understanding of the faith and has given you ample opportunity to respond to those corrections and charges of false teaching, so your pretense that you have been victimized there is shameful.

    A clear example is this homosexuality issue, wherein you claim God makes no definitive statement regarding homosexual behavior. Leviticus 18:22 is quite clear and depending upon which Bible you are using, the behavior is described as either an abomination or detestable, neither being a good thing. That is all the support that is needed because of the fact that it does not provide any hint anywhere in Scripture wherein there is some context by which the behavior can be practiced without being in breech of this law. We see in Scripture such indications for some laws, but never anywhere is there anything remotely hinting of such a dispensation. The law isn’t denied only for rape, oppression or pagan ritual, but to prohibit the behavior itself without regard to any such contingencies.

    Also, you like to continue using this lame argument, that there is some mystery as to why the first half of Lev 20:13, which just restates Lev 18:22, is still in play while the second half, which proscribes the punishment for the behavior, is not. This has been explained to you ad nauseum and is consistent with scholarly understandings for centuries until “progressives” decided to reinterpret Scripture to suit their own preferences. The idea that a behavior can still be prohibited without the Levitical punishment necessary for society to carry out is not difficult for honest and honorable people to figure out and understand. To insist that one cannot hold to one with also holding to the other is a dishonest ploy.

    I regret having had to go through all this explanation yet again, but I will not allow Dan to make the same false statements as if they haven’t been addressed over and over.

  27. In any case, before this gets any further off track, I would like to re-iterate that the point John is making in his post is not inconsistent with Biblical teaching. God can use atheists to accomplish whatever His Master Plan might be. Thus, where an atheist believes himself to be acting morally of his own accord might indeed be the result of God answering the prayer of a believer. A simple thing to accomplish for Him.

  28. Marshall…

    Leviticus 18:22 is quite clear and depending upon which Bible you are using, the behavior is described as either an abomination or detestable, neither being a good thing.

    Of course, I am familiar with Leviticus. And it doesn’t say what you claim it says. Sorry, it simply doesn’t. And even if you think it does, that doesn’t demonstrate that yours is the ONLY way a reasonable person can interpret it. And even if you think that is the case, you have not demonstrated objectively that no other person can read the same passage with the intent of taking the Bible seriously and come to another conclusion in good faith.

    In fact, it is objectively and demonstrably not the case that other people can’t reach another conclusion in good faith, since I am a part of a community full of such people.

    Thus, the charge that Glenn has made – that I don’t follow God as “evidenced” by my not believing homosexuality to be sinful and the “evidence” of that is that I say that the Bible does not ANYWHERE condemn all gay behavior – falls apart objectively and demonstrably because

    1. The Bible DOESN’T say what you claim, objectively speaking, demonstrably and factually speaking. If it did, you could point to the verse that says it. The verse you point to does not say what you think it says, factually speaking.

    2. Not only does it NOT say what you think it says, you have not demonstrated that even if it hints at what you think it says, that this is the only possible conclusion that one can reach in good faith.

    3. Which is demonstrably NOT the case because there are a host of orthodox Christians that have reached this conclusion – people who love the Bible and seek God’s will and who have reached this conclusion in good faith – factually and observably.

    4. And not only does it objectively and factually NOT say what you INTERPRET it to say, and not only have you NOT demonstrated that other Christians can’t possibly disagree with you in good faith, you are still clinging to a works-based heresy that someone MUST understand each “sinful behavior” perfectly in order to be saved. But ORTHODOX Christianity rejects the notion of salvation by our perfect knowledge, saying instead, that we are saved by God’s grace, through faith, not our works.

    Basically, factually and demonstrably, you have struck out about 4 or 5 times. The fact is that Christians believe in salvation by grace and in repentance of sin and embrace of that grace through faith in Jesus. Thus, clearly we are saved by orthodox standards. And factually, you fail.

    Finally, the gossip site you reference as having “demonstrated” my “false teaching” is objectively slanderous and objectively chock full of half truths and whole lies. This poor man is intellectually and spiritually cowardly for not allowing me to defend myself against his slanderous charges. AND, since you all support his slander and gossip and false witness, you are demonstrating an embrace of behaviors that the Bible says are NOT part of the Kingdom of God. Objectively so.

    So, while I don’t claim that you all aren’t saved or don’t honestly believe your slander and false witness is somehow a good thing, clearly, you have demonstrated a poor grasp of simple biblical teachings, which raises credible doubts as to your status as good or reasonable arbiters of biblical exegesis.

    Sorry, you’ve failed on every level at making your case. Just look at the actual facts.

  29. Dan,

    “Of course, I am familiar with Leviticus. And it doesn’t say what you claim it says. Sorry, it simply doesn’t. And even if you think it does, that doesn’t demonstrate that
    yours is the ONLY way a reasonable person can interpret it. And even if you think that is the case, you have not demonstrated objectively that no other person can read the same passage with the intent of taking the Bible seriously and come to another conclusion in good faith.”

    There is no other way to interpret “thou shalt not” other than “don’t do it”. Honest and honorable people of character do not strain to pretend another explanation is possible. The fact is that you have not come close to justifying alternative interpretations, but instead offer the weakest rationalizations for enabling clearly sinful behavior. You have not demonstrated why centuries of understanding on the subject is wrong, and numbers of similarly stupid people do not have anything to do with what is true or false as regards the clear meaning of this passage. You simply ignore the truth in favor or your personal preferences.

    And once again, the site in question that you slam as cowardly did not come to the decision to block your comments after just a few postings by you, but after hundreds of opportunities for you to explain yourself resulted in the conclusions at which the host arrived. In other words, you wore out your welcome there is the same tired and twisted distortions of Scripture left him no choice but to ban you. Don’t blame him.

  30. This post is filled not with a love of irony at another’s expense, it is filled with conscious gloating. I wonder how your god sees this twisted arrogant ego. It represents the opposite of humility. From what I can gather, Jesus seemed pretty humble and spoke of it’s importance on more than one occasion.

    It seems a shame that you have wasted the opportunity to civilly engage a wider audience in a number of important conversations and instead seem to be constantly, consistently, petulantly and purposefully baiting the perceived left (or anyone of any different stripe for that matter) into hollow and fractious arguing with no real interest in furthering anything we might all share in common. Instead you simply instigate this inane culture war with nothing more than droning talking points, why and to what end?

    Specific to the post above though, you seem to ignorantly betray your own teams truths and missives. Two particular and one general point I find of particular importance.

    Firstly, regarding prayer vs. your gods will, how do you reconcile the “truth/fact” that your god put Obama into office….. twice? This, at the outset seems to suggest one of two things. Firstly, that millions upon millions of Christians prayers and outwardly desperately please went unanswered and now you are left floundering as to the meaning of your god’s will. It can easily be seen and heard how much the Christian right worked and prayed to get him out of office but your prayers and hard work went unnoticed. Or secondly, that your god could not be even in the remotest sense, interested at all in you, your prayers or your 16th century version of America.

    Thirdly, what of free will, which is the usual Christian excuse for the ills of individuals and all the bad non Christian legislation that comes into being? For example, above, you state, “I just find it semi-amusing that to the Atheist it doesn’t even register that it might be the case that he or she is unwittingly doing the bidding of the slothful Christian.” Setting aside your childish and arrogant “bemusement” for a moment, do you not see the disturbing quality of the hypocrisy? How many times have we collectively heard from the Christian right that some heinous act perpetrated by the religious is merely the “human” flaw of free will? We have the free will to abort fetuses, marry homosexuals, take down the Ten Commandments in courthouses etc. But now we have this glaring and outlandish idea that we are doing the bidding of prayerful christians? This old standard crutch never even get’s dusty it is paraded around so often. How exactly can you begin to square this contradictory absurdity between your god’s will and the oft touted free will of humanity, in spite of being made in your god’s image and having his breathe breathed into us?

    And if your history of replies to somewhat difficult to assimilate and many times contradictory ideas and information has been any indicator, I look forward to your benign, rhetorical, one liner reply.

    • R. Nash,

      God doesn’t always answer prayer with “yes” any more than a parent answers every request from a child with “yes.”

      As for God giving us Obama, I think Scripture demonstrates that He will punish nations who turn their collective backs on him. God has given this nation the President it deserves – one who will lead them more and more into total collapse as a nation.

      As I have been telling my friend via FB, e-mail, or other correspondence, I think Christians have a lot to answer for, because for the most part the Church as a whole has accepted and adopted the world’s ways and is no longer the light exposing the darkness. The Church allows so much aberrational, heretical and other false teaching to go unexposed for fear of “causing division” that a large percentage of Christians have no idea what the Faith really teaches or the worldview it expects of them. And so they follow every wind of doctrine and play marbles with the World, yet then wonder why the world is going amok. We need to remember that unbiblical doctrine leads to unbiblical worldview. Living and supporting an unbiblical worldview will eventually lead to a loss of our religious freedoms.

  31. John,
    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t being a Christian more than simply assenting to a series of (admittedly Orthodox) statements. It’s almost like it’s a rule book that you must accept in order to join a club or something.

    • Craig

      It can be difficult to put into words. Sure you could assent to all the right things on one hand, but then it makes you wonder if with the other you advocate as good and holy things God has explicitly said are an abomination and unholy and even advocate for people to take part in the unholiness (ala Romans 1).

      I don’t know that God works on technicalities, maybe he does. But it seems to me that if you champion actions and behaviors that God says he abhors, are you really a Christian?

    • I seem to remember a passage which Jesus says “and on that day not everyone who says lord lord, did we not do these things in your name? And I will say to them depart from me, I never knew you”. So it seems there will be some people who claimed to be his followers but for some reason Jesus’ sacrifice will not be applied to them.

  32. So, what other hoops would you have people like me jump through, Craig, in order be saved?

    Folk like me have repented of our sins, we’ve made Jesus the risen son of God the Lord of our lives, we seek by God’s grace to follow in his steps and we have been saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus.

    What would you add to that, for people like us to be saved? Be specific.

  33. So, my brothers, what must I do to be saved?

    Or, conversely, are you suggesting that you all yourselves may one day stand before God and God will say to YOU, “Depart from me, I never knew you…” – are you saying that about yourselves? That if it turns out you were mistaken on this behavior or that behavior, you will be doomed?

    Do you not see how this sounds like you’re advocating a salvation by works heresy?

    • The first and foremost thing in order for one to be saved is to believe in the true God and Christ of the Bible. The fact that many cults redefine who God and Christ are and worship their own version is why they are not saved. A good example is the god of Mormonism, who is an exalted man who even lived life as a sinner as he worked his way to become a god, and he lives on another planet, etc. Their Jesus was born from sexual union by their god and Mary. There is much more about their IDs of their God/Jesus, but the point is that these are not the God/Jesus of the Bible and so cannot save them.

      And there are many people claiming to be Christians, who are not part of cults, and yet have invented a God which fits their belief system rather than the God the Bible describes. They have a false god which they worship – a god which cannot save them. This is the god of homosexuals and their supporters. A God who has no problem with homosexuality in a “loving” relationship. THat is not the God of the Bible, and cannot save from sins.

  34. John…

    then it makes you wonder if with the other you advocate as good and holy things God has explicitly said are an abomination and unholy and even advocate for people to take part in the unholiness (ala Romans 1).

    Sort of like how you all are fine with slander and false witness, which is not part of the Kingdom of God, like that? Should we wonder about your salvation, given the way at least some of you defend and revel in false witness and slander, is that what you’re saying?

  35. Dan,
    Since I have no idea what you’ve actually done to be saved, why would I presume to suggest that you need to add to it. Come to think of it, I haven’t suggested anything regarding the state of your salvation. I have no way to know one way or another (just as you have no way to know anything about my salvation, a notion which doesn’t offend me in the least. It’s simply one limitation of the medium we’re communicating in.). and I make no inferences or attempt to draw no conclusions regarding your salvation.

    It’s just that for all the vitriol about that bible not being a rule book et al, it seems a bit off kilter that your “proof” of salvation is to list what seems very much like a set of rules. We’ve obviously had some disagreements about what you mean when you use the phrases, and the wording of at least one seems designed to give you some wiggle room, but as to this conversation, I’m just interested in the fact that for “proof” you give us a list of beliefs you assert. Just like a set of rules.

    Sorry you took offense, you certainly read more into that than I intended.

  36. Dan,
    If you are going to throw around charges of slander and false witness, you need to do two things.

    First, you need to stop engaging in the behaviors your decry.
    Second, you need to actually need to demonstrate that the actual words used meet the threshold. In this case you can do neither, so perhaps a different tactic would be in order.

  37. John,

    First, see my response to Dan above. My point was what seems to be his elasticity on the whole rules thing than to question his salvation.

    Second, while I completely agree with you regarding folks who claim to be christians or who say the right words ( I would point you to several ordained folks in the PCUSA who fit this to a “t”). I hesitate to even suggest that someone about who I know so very little (relatively speaking) is or is not saved.

    Personally, as someone who is pretty comfortable as a Calvinist (even though Dan has claimed that Calvin was a near heretic), I am content to leave issues of salvation to the sovereignty, grace, and mercy of God.

    I want to be very clear, that while I can point to a number of folks who claim the mane of Christ, who blatantly deny so much basic doctrine (the existence of God), that I can comfortably say that there is no sense in which one would consider them christians. I am not comfortable in any way suggesting that Dan is one of them. In this I am quite content to allow God to make that determination.

    I can only apologize that my initial, and quite limited point has been misconstrued, and hope that I have sufficiently clarified my point and the limits of it.

  38. Craig, you have not offended me. More later.

    Glenn…

    The first and foremost thing in order for one to be saved is to believe in the true God and Christ of the Bible.

    Then what SPECIFICALLY must I do (in your estimation) in order to be saved?

    It SOUNDS like you’re saying, “One can’t be mistaken about at least SOME behaviors – as to whether or not they are sins – and still be worshiping the ‘right’ God. If one disagrees with ME (and the majority of the church) on thinking that homosexuality itself is not a sin, then one can’t be saved…”

    Is that what you’re saying? And that I just need to agree with you on that behavior’s sin status (and presumably a list of other behaviors) and THEN I can be saved?

    If that is your hunch, then….

    1. Where biblically do I find the list of behaviors about which I must agree with the majority on, in order to be saved?

    2. It sounds more like you’re saying I need to agree with the majority on some unknown list of errors/sins (a list not found in the Bible) in order to “rightly” be seeking the God you approve of. In other words, you said I’m not “believ[ing] in the true God and Christ of the Bible,” and that is my error. But, in my estimation, the True God of the Bible is…

    The mighty creator of all the heavens and earth;
    The God of love;
    omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent;
    The God who reveals God’s Self through the Son, Jesus, who came to earth as a man, lived, taught, died and raised again;
    The God who reveals God’s Self through the Holy Spirit;

    …in short, my understanding of God and God’s nature is completely orthodox. It doesn’t sound like you’re disagreeing with my understanding of God, but rather, with whether you are correct on issues of homosexuality or not. That is, even if you’re right about homosexuality (and there is no hard evidence to support such a claim) my understanding of God is perfectly orthodox, it’s my sincere mistake (in your opinion) about a certain behavior.

    Is my understanding of God’s nature in error (in your estimation) or are we just disagreeing about a behavior’s sin status? If the latter, then I would drop back to asking you to support that claim with a list of behaviors about which one can’t be mistaken and an explanation of how that is not a rejection of salvation by grace, but rather, one that requires us to have perfect knowledge on at least some (vague and unsupported) list of behaviors?

    • Dan,
      You like to play games and go around and around the same subject and ignoring all previous information as if it never existed.

      I stated quite clearly the first and foremost need for salvation, and that is to believe in the God and Christ as the Bible defines them. If your God is defined differently, then it isn’t the true God, and a false god cannot save anyone.

      In your instance, your god is pro-homosexual, among other things, which is contradictory to the GOD of the Bible, ergo you worship a false god. Your understanding of the nature of God is very far from orthodox, but, as with every cult member or cult leader, you deny this truth. You have been told this many, many times so quit pretending you don’t understand.

  39. Dan,

    pardon my confusion, I must have mistaken the tone of your response and your accusing me of lying for you taking offense. My bad.

    “…in short, my understanding of God and God’s nature is completely orthodox.”

    I don’t want to get in between you and Glen, but this is quite a statement. I’m not sure I actually know anyone with the cojones to claim to be “completely orthodox”, impressive.

  40. And “the Bible defines God and Jesus…” how? Be specific so that I might hear the news that I need in order to get “really” saved (Glenn-style salvation). You appear to be suggesting that the Bible “defines” God, please tell me WHERE that definition is and how is it different than how I described God, that would be helpful to telling me what I need to do to be saved.

    I’ve pointed out my very orthodox understanding of God. I’ve pointed out my very orthodox Christian salvation beliefs. You’re saying in spite of this very orthodox understanding I have, that I’m not saved. SPECIFICALLY, what must I do to be saved enough to please Glenn?

    You’re dancing all around the reasonable questions raised by your emotionally-charged poor exegesis. Would you just answer questions directly or admit that you’ve misspoke?

    And instead of making up my positions (straw man) just deal with my ACTUAL positions (you know, those things that I’ve actually said) and go from there.

    My God is “pro-homosexual…”? I don’t know what that means. I have never said that, those are your words, not mine. IF by “pro-homosexual” you mean that I think God loves gay folk and wants the best for them, then yes, I think God is pro-homosexual, but that would be true for any group and all Christians would be have a pro-homosexual by that standard.

    Does your “god” hate gay folk or in what sense is your “god” anti-homosexual, Glenn? Does your god believe the same things that you do? That might be a clue right there for you, Glenn…

  41. Craig…

    I don’t want to get in between you and Glen, but this is quite a statement. I’m not sure I actually know anyone with the cojones to claim to be “completely orthodox”, impressive.

    You keep making rather combative hints at some offense on my part. I offered some of my views about God/God’s nature – creator, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, loving, became human in the man, Jesus, lived, died, rose again… I was just pointing out that these are not very outrageous views in orthodox Christian circles. They are, in fact, completely orthodox.

    On what specific point are they not entirely orthodox?

    Or, if they all ARE orthodox, then why the little snipe? Or is that just an attempt at a joke? I have no idea what your point is there.

  42. Perhaps you should re read your quote.

  43. My quote? What quote?

    Why don’t you folk talk more directly and answer questions directly, rather than these vague non-answers? Just presume that you’re smarter than the rest of us and help out us poor fools with direct answers.

  44. Well, Dan. The Bible clearly defines, or describes or speaks of a God who finds homosexual behavior to be an abomination without any regard to the context in which it might take place. This is no hunch. There is absolutely no hint from anything in Scripture that any context exists in which the behavior is NOT an abomination to Him. None that you’ve ever presented.

  45. Sigh. That is an interpretation of a passage about a behavior. It isn’t God or the Bible telling you “God’s nature is God hates ‘homosexuality.'”

    So you’re not speaking about God’s nature (or at least you have not provided any biblical support for the claim), you are speaking about your opinion about a behavior.

    So, I’ve described God’s nature. Where specifically am I mistaken about God’s nature?

    We all have opinions about various behaviors (smoking is bad, drinking is bad, saying poop is bad, gay marriage is bad, war is bad, loving your enemy is good, going to church on Sundays is good…), but these are OUR opinions about CERTAIN BEHAVIORS. Our opinions about certain behaviors – or even our opinions about God’s opinion about certain behaviors – is not the same as God’s nature.

    Perhaps you all are using “nature” in a different sense than I am? By “God’s nature,” I mean the qualities of God’s Self. God is omnipotent. God is love. God has a triune nature… like that. God disapproves of war, or God disapproves of the gays, or God disapproves of shopping on Saturdays… these are opinions about what God does and doesn’t like to see humans do, but I wouldn’t really call that God’s nature.

    God’s nature is love and justice, THEREFORE, God hates to see humans shed innocent blood. Do you see the difference?

    Thus, the Bible objectively does NOT “define” God as a gay hater.

    Marshall, what specifically must I do to be saved?

    What hoops am I missing jumping through to satisfy you fellas? Be specific.

    And if you’re just going to say (as it sounds like you all are saying), “You MUST agree with my opinion about the gays in order to be saved…” I would ask that you provide biblical support for that additional hoop, but we all know that there IS no biblical requirement that I agree with you in order to be saved, so… on what basis would you add that hoop for people to jump through?

    What other behaviors must we agree with you on in order to be saved? Do you have a list of behaviors people must agree with Glenn, Marshall and possibly John and Craig on, in order to be saved? Could you provide that list?

  46. You see, logically, rationally, biblically speaking – the problem with your all’s approach is this…

    1. You say that in order for one to be saved, we must “be right” about God’s nature. We must rightly understand God’s nature, otherwise, EVEN IF we repent and trust in God’s grace through faith in Jesus (ie, traditional, orthodox salvation), we aren’t trusting the “right” God.

    2. The problem with this suggestion is that you’re saying we MUST “rightly understand” God’s nature – are you saying here that we must perfectly understand ALL of an Infinite God’s Ways and ALL of an infinite God’s opinions about what is right and wrong? If so, then wouldn’t that require perfect knowledge? And if so, who then could be saved?

    3. Conversely, if you’re not saying that we must perfectly understand ALL of God’s Nature AND perfectly know ALL of God’s opinions about “right” behaviors, but only SOME of God’s nature and SOME of God’s opinions about SOME human behaviors, what is that list of what we must perfectly understand about God’s nature and God’s opinions about human behavior? On what would you base such a list of God’s nature and opinions?

    Do you see the huge holes in your argument? How you’re calling for perfect knowledge and human perfection in order to be saved, and how that is a lie, according to traditional orthodox understanding of salvation, which is by Grace alone through faith alone?

    4. This would be my suggestion about why you don’t directly answer my question “What must I do to be saved, SPECIFICALLY?” because you recognize that, on some level, you appear to be calling for a heretical approach to salvation, contrary to sound Christian doctrine.

    But perhaps I’m just misunderstanding you. Perhaps you CAN directly answer my questions.

    I’ll wait and see.

  47. Dan,

    You continue to obfuscate, and then of course, you outright lie. I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone here insist or suggest that “God hates gays”. No where. I’m quite certain I never did.

    I am also certain that Scripture clearly reveals to us that it is not in God’s nature to bless sinful behavior, since He hates sin. Perhaps you could find some example of where this is not the case.

    I am also quite certain, because of reasons I’ve put forth many, many times, that God regards homosexual behavior, a male lying with a male as with a woman, to be an abomination to Him without regard as to the context in which that behavior takes place, be it some totally selfish self-gratification or dressed up as to imitate a normal monogamous and loving heterosexual marriage.

    This isn’t like a question as to whether one should dribble water over the forehead of an infant or wait until that child can be fully submerged by his own choice or whether one should baptize at all. This is a question of taking a behavior clearly defined as an abomination to God and calling it good if it is done in a way that Dan suggests God should find pleasing, while no evidence from Scripture exists that He ever will.

    So if I was to offer a list for you, it would include all those things from your own list of rules for orthodoxy with the caveat “on God’s terms, not yours”. On this subject for sure, it is not how you “interpret”.

    And you can refrain from any further attempts to suggest that you concede you might be wrong, since you have been informed what Scripture is saying on this issue for quite some time, without ever filling in the holes of YOUR arguments, ever.

  48. Dan,
    Quit obfuscating and man up.

    The god you worship approves of homosexual behavior between “loving” couples, and approves of same-sex fake marriage. You say this all the time.

  49. Dan,
    Thank you for confirming what I had long suspected, that you don’t actually read and respond to what I actually write.

    If you will go back to my comment of November 12, 9:48 pm, you will see a sentence that is preceded by ” and followed by “. In between those little marks are words you used earlier in the thread. These words prompted my comment. That’s why I “quoted” them before my comment.

    Had you gone back and checked for yourself, my earlier answer would not have been short and incomplete, rather concise and too the point. Instead, I needed to provide you with a much longer answer.

    I hope this satisfies your need for a more complete answer.

  50. I went back and looked at the quote, Craig, and still did not understand your point. Instead of spending four paragraphs explaining about the quote and mistakenly assuming I didn’t read and re-read the quote, trying to figure out what you were saying, why would you not just clarify your point?

    In short, I did NOT understand your point and I asked quite specifically, “What is it about my description of God’s nature NOT completely orthodox?” Why not just answer the question.

    Two of you all now have mentioned “obfuscation,” but I don’t think you understand what that word means. If you did, you wouldn’t obfuscate so much yourselves.

    I’ve asked you all some quite specific questions, asking nicely for you to provide specific answers and instead of direct, specific responses to my reasonable questions, I get paragraph after paragraph of ad hom attacks and indirect obfuscations by way of answers.

    Why not simply directly answer questions that have been directly asked of you?

    Craig, my direct questions for you:

    C1. What about my list of words describing God’s nature is NOT completely orthodox?

    C2. Or, was your snarky-sounding comment (“I’m not sure I actually know anyone with the cojones to claim to be “completely orthodox”, impressive.”) not intended to suggest my list was not orthodox? If not, then what was the point?

    Marshall/Glenn, my direct questions for you:

    G1. Given that I’ve repented/I repent of my sins and am trusting in God’s grace, through faith in Jesus for my salvation and have accepted Jesus as the Lord of my life, by God’s grace, what SPECIFICALLY must I do to be saved?

    G2. If your answer is, “Specifically, you must rightly understand God’s nature BEFORE you can be saved,” I’d ask…

    G2a. Are you saying I must totally and perfectly rightly understand God’s nature? If so, where is the Scriptural support for that claim?

    G2b. I’ve described God’s nature (with the caveat that I agree with Marshall that God hates sin, so, if that is part of God’s nature in your mind, I agree with that, too), where SPECIFICALLY am I mistaken about God’s nature?

    G2c. If you aren’t saying I must have perfect understanding of the entirety of God’s nature, but that I only need to understand PART of God’s nature and PART of what God considers sin, what is your specific Scriptural support for such a claim?

    Just a few straightforward, reasonable questions based upon your statements. If you can’t answer them, that is fine, but say so and, if you want, explain why you can’t answer them.

    But you surely aren’t expecting me to follow your beliefs/vague suggestions based on the assurance only of you saying, “I think I’m right…”, are you? If I find HUGE logical and biblical holes in your argument, you don’t think I should go along with your opinions if you can’t address those huge holes, do you?

    • Hey everyone! You know what would be fun? If someone went back to see who ot was that took this topic from the one I wrote about onto homosexuality. I haven’t checked yet but I have a HUNCH its the same person who takes every thread to the topic of homosexuality.

  51. Marshall…

    I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone here insist or suggest that “God hates gays”. No where. I’m quite certain I never did.

    That was in response to Glenn’s comment. He complained that I didn’t understand God and his support…

    In your instance, your god is pro-homosexual

    I told him clearly that I don’t know what he meant by that. If he meant that “my God” loves gay folk and wants the best for them, then yes, my God is pro-homosexual, and pro-heterosexual and pro-bisexual.

    I asked Glenn if his God was ANTI-homosexual? Did his God hate “the gays…”? Which sort of sounds like what he was suggesting, but I wasn’t clear, so I asked. It’s what reasonable people do when they’re not clear of another’s meaning.

    I received no answer to that question. So, at the last I heard, the implication was that Glenn thought that God was ANTI-homosexual, whatever that means, but the English language meaning of that term would be, “One who is opposed to homosexuals…” which sounds like to me that he’s suggesting God hates homosexuals, but if he would like to clarify, that would be fine with me. It’s the reason I asked the question to begin with, to give him a chance to clarify.

    See how that works? I don’t understand something you’re saying/you seem to be irrational on some point, then I ask a question so you can specifically clarify. Then you clarify and I can hopefully better understand and respond to the clarification.

    Communication, it’s a wonderful thing, my brothers.

    • Dan,

      I asked Glenn if his God was ANTI-homosexual? Did his God hate “the gays…”? Which sort of sounds like what he was suggesting, but I wasn’t clear, so I asked. It’s what reasonable people do when they’re not clear of another’s meaning.

      I received no answer to that question. So, at the last I heard, the implication was that Glenn thought that God was ANTI-homosexual, whatever that means, but the English language meaning of that term would be, “One who is opposed to homosexuals…” which sounds like to me that he’s suggesting God hates homosexuals, but if he would like to clarify, that would be fine with me. It’s the reason I asked the question to begin with, to give him a chance to clarify.

      You really try a person’s patience. Rather than read the context of what is said, you prefer to obfuscate, ignore it, dance around it and then pretend the answer doesn’t exist.

      Since you are being so intentionally stupid, let me spell it out as I would to a child.

      1. God loves all sinners, but he hates their sin.

      2. Homosexuals are sinners, so God loves them.

      3. Homosexual behavior is sin, so God hates the sin.

      The god you worship says homosexual behavior is only a sin if it is not between “loving” couples. This is a false god, a god who cannot save because he is a god who does not hate sin.

      As for me taking the subject “off topic,” my comment was originally just to expose Dan as a false teacher since he was claiming to speak for Christians. It was Dan that then had to run with it with his false claims – as usual – of “ad homs” “false allegations” and “innuendo.”

      Sorry, but every thing stated about Dan has been proven true time and time again. So there are no “false allegations,” etc. – nor “emotional rants” (except by Dan)

      Dan, you have been answered way too many times, but you continue in denial. You are still as unteachable as ever.

  52. Hey, I have repeatedly pointed out that ad hom attacks/false and unsupported allegations about me by Glenn and others are off topic, but he kept insisting it was on topic, so I guess you’ll have to take that up with Glenn.

  53. Dan,
    When your response to my comment about your quote is , “My quote? What quote?”, I assume you can see why that would lead me to believe you hadn’t read my comment. Perhaps had you said “What’s wrong with my quote?” or words to that effect some confusion could have been avoided.

    “What is it about my description of God’s nature NOT completely orthodox?”

    Now that you’ve asked a question that makes sense, my answer is. You original quote was “…in short, my understanding of God and God’s nature is completely orthodox.”.

    You are making a claim that I’ve never heard anyone make before. Please read your words carefully. The plain reading is suggesting that your understanding of God and God’s nature is completely orthodox. Again, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone claim that they have a “completely orthodox” understanding of God before.

    Now, perhaps you misspoke, that happens often for all of us. If that is the case, then a simple “hey, this is what I meant to say” will clear all of this up.

    Just like how I tried to clear up a comment that was misinterpreted earlier.

  54. In other words, I am not the one who brought in homosexuality. That would be Glenn, way back here…

    https://siftingreality.com/2012/11/09/atheist-marionettes-dance-at-behest-of-christian-puppeteers/#comment-21114

    Or are you saying that it’s Glenn that takes every topic back to homosexuality? If so, you might have a point. If you’re implying me, then you are factually mistaken.

    And really, that IS what a lot of these communication kerfluffles are about: People trying to hold you all to facts and responsible comments and at least some of you all engaging in ad hom attacks not based on facts, but on false allegations and innuendo.

    I mean, “atheist marionettes dancing at behest of Christian puppeteers…”?? Is that somehow fact-based?

    Do you agree with me, John, that in communication, it is vitally important for all sides to make rational, dispassionate cases for their position and that it is reasonable to raise questions about accuracy and facts and rational snafus?

    Glenn, I will gladly take this up at your blog, if you wish to actually address the questions that have been raised by your false allegations and emotional rants.

  55. Oh, and by the way, my first comment was at: https://siftingreality.com/2012/11/09/atheist-marionettes-dance-at-behest-of-christian-puppeteers/#comment-21098

    Dan conveniently by-passsed this so as to make it appear I was the one who took the topic off course.

    Sorry, exposing a false professor of Christianity so as to void his comments is not taking it off topic, rather it is protecting the readers from the BIG BAD WOLF!

  56. Craig, I’m asking a serious question here: Are you deliberately trying to make conversation hard? That is, are you deliberately being vague and obtuse and avoiding direct questions, to make some point or something? Because it seems like it.

    Conversation really would be much easier with people with whom you disagree if you’d stick to a here’s a question/here’s an answer format, and if you spoke to their specific words rather than summary and vague references to what you think they mean. That’s for all of us here, not Craig specifically.

    To what you’ve said, Craig (and noting that you did NOT directly answer or even indirectly address my specific question to you, which would really help in conversation):

    You said…

    You original quote was “…in short, my understanding of God and God’s nature is completely orthodox.”.

    You are making a claim that I’ve never heard anyone make before. Please read your words carefully. The plain reading is suggesting that your understanding of God and God’s nature is completely orthodox. Again, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone claim that they have a “completely orthodox” understanding of God before.

    1. I was speaking specifically of the specific words about God’s traits that I specifically offered about my understanding about God’s nature. Those words (omnipotent, loving, etc) are completely orthodox in the Christian world.

    2. EVEN IF you didn’t understand that I was speaking of those specific words and you thought I was saying, in general, “My understanding of God’s nature is completely orthodox,” I don’t get your point.

    3. What mainstream Christians DON’T have an orthodox understanding of God’s nature or don’t think they have?

    Are you saying that you hold views about God’s nature that YOU, yourself, don’t think are orthodox? What views about God that you think are not orthodox – do you think that “God is hate…”? That WOULD be unorthodox, but I don’t think there are many theists who think that. Do you think that God is cruel and unjust? Not many theists would think that.

    Do you understand what I’m saying? While I don’t think any of us would broadly claim, “I fully understand all things about an infinite God,” we theists (and certainly Christians) generally ALL have the same image of God’s nature: Loving, just, omnipotent, omniscient,caring for the least of these…

    You made the rather unusual-sounding claim to me, that, “I don’t know anyone claim they have a completely orthodox understanding of God [God’s nature is specifically what I was speaking of, if you look at my actual words] before…” Is that what you meant to say?

    My specific question for you is:

    Do you think your understanding of God’s nature is not orthodox? How so?

  57. Glenn…

    Oh, and by the way, my first comment was…

    “Dan is NOT a Christian and has no right to speak for them. He is a fraud, a false teacher and a heretic exposed on many, many blogs.”

    Yes, your VERY FIRST COMMENT was NOT on the topic of the post, but instead, a direct personal attack on my character, a slanderous attack, with three demonstrably false witnesses.

    I am not a “fraud,” [a person who is not what or who he pretends to be, – MW]. Demonstrably so. I am a Christian, saved by grace through faith in Jesus. A poor sinner striving by God’s grace to walk in Jesus’ steps. There is no “pretense” in who I am. I go to church each week as I have for my entire 50 years, reading the Bible regularly, as I have my entire 50 years, asking forgiveness for my sin and otherwise praying (including for my brother, Glenn) as I have for my whole Christian life (~40 years, now).

    There is factually and observably speaking, NO fraud there. AT THE WORST, you can say I’m sincerely mistaken, but you can’t rationally call me a “fraud,” simply because I, in good faith, disagree with Glenn on some few issues. Disagreement does not make falsity.

    Similarly on being a “false teacher” and a “heretic.” At worst, you can say that you believe I’m mistaken. But being sincerely mistaken on some points and being a false teacher or heretic are two different things.

    If the graceless measure of “being mistaken” is the entire measure of being a false teacher or heretic, then by that measure, we’re ALL heretics at some point. That is an irrational and meaningless description of those words.

    Regardless, your very first slanderous and irrational comments were NOT on the topic here, they were a personal attack. That is just the fact, as evidenced by your own testimony pointing to your own shameful words.

    May God grant you some measure of peace, my brother, and a good deal of grace.

    • Yes, your VERY FIRST COMMENT was NOT on the topic of the post, but instead, a direct personal attack on my character, a slanderous attack, with three demonstrably false witnesses.

      Not every comment on any post is directly related to the topic of the post. In this case my comment was germane to the post due to the fact that you, a known heretic and false teacher, were commenting representing Christianity. Therefore, it was important to warn the readers to disregard your comments which purportedly were from a Christian viewpoint.

      It was not slanderous (since all of it is true), nor was the link to any “false witnesses.” I am a personal witness of your false teachings, and can verify what that links states about said teachings. You have demonstrated on this string that we have all truthfully explained your beliefs that God sanctions homosexual behavior. You are a fraud because you pretend to be a Christian, all the while denigrating Scripture and blaspheming God by saying he loves sin.

      You keep asking that we use “being mistaken,” but that only works until your errors have been proven and then it is no longer “being mistaken,” rather it is deliberate false teachings.

      One is not required to show grace to a proven false teacher who refuses to repent, who refuses correction, etc. We have more than fulfilled the biblical requirement to “warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

      And with that, I will have nothing further to do with you on this string. You are self-condemned.

  58. Glenn…

    2. Homosexuals are sinners, so God loves them.

    So then, you agree with me that God is PRO-Homosexual, inasmuch as God loves them and wants the best for them? Good.

    Glenn…

    3. Homosexual behavior is sin, so God hates the sin.

    You’re begging the question. Not everyone would agree with your opinion.

    Glenn…

    The god you worship says homosexual behavior is only a sin if it is not between “loving” couples. This is a false god, a god who cannot save because he is a god who does not hate sin.

    I have not said that. That is, I have not said, “GOD SAYS homosexual behavior is not a sin…”

    That is the difference between you and I. I read the Bible and glean my understanding of it AND YET freely and rationally recognize it as my opinion.

    YOU, on the other hand, read the SAME text, interpret in a way that is consistent with your cultural upbringing and prejudices, and then think, “MY Opinion about this is GOD’S WILL. I can NOT be mistaken…”

    My dear brother Glenn, you certainly can be mistaken. You are a fallen human being, just the same as I am. You don’t have perfect knowledge in general or on this topic. You have opinions. Factually speaking, that is just the way it is in the real world. Observably, demonstrably so. Your interpretations ARE your opinions and you CAN be mistaken.

    To claim otherwise is to suggest you think of yourself as a little god, omniscient in your own way, and reason nor the Bible support such a claim.

    No, the God I worship is a God of love and justice, a God who wants the best for us and does not want us to sin, to fall short, to fall into troubles associated with bad behavior. The same as all of Christianity. There is no difference on that point in my understanding of God and yours.

    Now, when it comes to WHICH behaviors does God consider “sin”/WHICH behaviors does God approve of or disapprove of, you and I are of different opinions when it comes to marriage. And that’s okay, it happens. But because we disagree on whether or not this behavior or that behavior is sinful, does not mean we worship different Gods. That is not a rational conclusion to reach, my dear brother.

    Again, if you’d just answer the direct questions I asked you above, you could see the huge hole in your argument (or, if you could actually answer it, maybe you’d win me over – but ignoring it only suggests that you CAN NOT ANSWER it and that your argument actually DOES have huge holes in it).

    IF you are creating a premise that we can NOT be saved by being sincerely mistaken on which behaviors are sinful, then you could quite possibly be lost right now. I guarantee you, Brother Glenn, that you are sincerely mistaken on some behaviors right now. You think you’re right and you’re mistaken.

    It’s just the nature of a fallen humanity that we don’t have perfect reasoning/understanding. IF you salvation is based upon YOUR infallibility, you are doomed, Glenn.

    Rationally, biblically, and from an orthodox Christian viewpoint.

    Any chance you could directly answer the specific questions I specifically asked you?

    This is the last time I’ll bother asking. Any further running from the questions will be presumed to be evidence that you are wholly unable to deal with the holes in your argument.

    In Christ,

    Dan

  59. Dan,

    I’m not being obtuse your actual quote is ““…in short, my understanding of God and God’s nature is completely orthodox.”.

    Now if you meant to qualify your original comment to just refer to the few adjectives that you used, that’s fine, I understand.

    But you keep sticking to your claim that your understanding “OF GOD” is completely orthodox.

    While I strive for Orthodoxy, I’m humble enough to admit that I’m might not “completely” understand God or God’s nature.

    I’ve never heard anyone claim that their understanding “OF GOD” is “completely orthodox”.

    I apologize if this is confusing, but it seems as though you have either mis-spoken (in which case a simple clarification will solve the problem) or you have made an extraordinary claim. I’m confused as to which one it is.

    As I read the rest of your comment, it seems as though you have clarifies that you were not claiming “completely orthodox understanding of God”, but rather simply that the adjectives you used are words that would be used in an orthodox description of God’s nature. Thank you for your clarification.

    As to your questions, I’ll try to provide an answer you like in a format you like.

    C1. What about my list of words describing God’s nature is NOT completely orthodox?

    I never said your adjectives were NOT orthodox, I don’t understand why you would ask a question regarding something I didn’t say. For the record your adjectives are words that would be orthodox descriptions of the nature of God

    C2. Or, was your snarky-sounding comment (“I’m not sure I actually know anyone with the cojones to claim to be “completely orthodox”, impressive.”) not intended to suggest my list was not orthodox? If not, then what was the point?

    I’m pretty sure I’ve answered this already. But, Just to clarify. I think most folks would be humble enough to shy away from any absolute statement such as this (that you have a “completely orthodox” understanding of God) , you don’t, I’m impressed with your cojones, it’s pretty simple.

    1. I was speaking specifically of the specific words about God’s traits that I specifically offered about my understanding about God’s nature. Those words (omnipotent, loving, etc) are completely orthodox in the Christian world.

    I just answered this above, but I included it so you would realize that I wasn’t ignoring it.

    2. EVEN IF you didn’t understand that I was speaking of those specific words and you thought I was saying, in general, “My understanding of God’s nature is completely orthodox,” I don’t get your point.

    Again, answered. I was more impressed by your claim of “complete orthodoxy” regarding God, than His nature, but either way.

    3. What mainstream Christians DON’T have an orthodox understanding of God’s nature or don’t think they have?

    This is a hard question, because it gets to what one considered a “mainstream” Christian. So with the following caveat, here goes.

    Caveat #1, for the sake of discussion let’s assume that anyone in a leadership or teaching position in a mainstream “christian” church or denomination is a “mainstream christian”. Many would (rightly) argue that some of these folks are not actually “christian”.

    Here’s a short list.

    Joel Osteen
    T.D. Jakes
    John Shuck
    Aric Clark
    Pretty much any Mormon
    A pretty significant number of Roman Catholics
    Brian McLaren
    Kenneth Hagin
    Kenneth Copeland
    EW Kenyon
    Creflo Dollar
    Doug Pagitt
    Rob Bell
    Anyone involved with the Jesus Seminar

    Good enough?

  60. “Do you think your understanding of God’s nature is not orthodox? How so?”

    Sorry, I think I answered this, but want to make absolutely sure.

    Yes, I think my understanding of God’s nature is orthodox. Do I think it is “completely orthodox”, I hope so, but humility compels me to admit that it may not be.

    To deal with the other part of your quote.

    Again, I THINK that my understanding of God is orthodox. But my humility would stop me from saying “completely orthodox”.

    Because ultimately I could be wrong about some element of my understanding of both God and His nature.

  61. Thank you very much for the answers, and I certainly always appreciate humility and encourage it and strive to embrace it for myself, my intention was not a statement of my own confidence in my own position as it relates to standing before God, but my confidence in my position aligning with what other orthodox Christians believe.

    And again, believing that God is good, loving, omniscient, etc… this just does not seem controversial in the Christian realm in the least and IN THAT REALM (ie, between my fellow Christians and theists here on earth) I am confident that my understanding of God’s nature is completely orthodox.

  62. As an unrelated aside, you think that a “pretty significant number” of Catholics don’t have an orthodox understanding of God’s nature?

    What about God’s nature do you think Catholics have wrong?

    I’m pretty sure that Catholics would ascribe to God’s nature the standard omnipotent, loving, omniscient, everlasting… I can’t think of any quality of God’s nature that would be significantly out of the ordinary. What are you thinking of?

  63. I think the RC Church as some significant problems theologically, it seems like this has already gone pretty far afield.

    But, as an example, I would suggest that the doctrine of purgatory has implications regarding the nature of God.

  64. I think you all are defining “nature of God” way beyond what I would. “Nature” – in this sense – is defined “the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing” – the “essence” of God, the attributes of God, this is what I mean by “nature of God.” Thus, the attributes of God nature would include holy, loving, just, omniscient, etc.

    But the attributes of God’s nature would NOT include what God wants us to do, what God desires to see in us, how God desires us to live or tenets of Christianity.

    I think a rational way of looking at it, from a semantic point of view, is that the Nature of someone is something you could put in this form: God IS love, God IS omniscient… Dan IS silly, Dan is pugnacious… these would be attributes of one’s nature. We ARE this or that.

    “Purgatory” would, to me, be a tenet (or not) of a Christian faith tradition, NOT an attribute of God’s nature. “God is (or isn’t) purgatory…” doesn’t make sense.

    Or, if you’re suggesting that the doctrine of purgatory suggests, what? That God’s nature is patient? Is willing to give second chances? I can see that reflecting aright God’s nature (not that I believe in purgatory, I don’t – it seems an odd and unbiblical doctrine, to me). But I’m not how one can see a belief in purgatory reflecting something “wrong” about God’s character.

    It seems to me you all are describing Christian tenets that you think are important, NOT God’s nature, which most of us agree upon fairly easily.

  65. Dan,
    In my mind the doctrine of purgatory tales away from the elements of holiness and justice inherent in God’s nature. It may not have been the best example, but for this limited discussion, it works.

    Also add Progressive Christians to the list, as well as universalists.

    Also, I’d suggest that the majority of the folks I listed share one trait regarding their version of God’s nature. They elevate certain aspects of God’s nature, while ignoring or minimizing others.

  66. I think that the last 100 comments or so following this blog entry have done a quite accurate job of isolating one of the real issues at hand in the realm of modernChristianity. And that is, that just among 3-4 Christians on this very thread there are seemingly massive chasms about what God is and what his intentions are and by extension, his directions. All of this has been given to us in a book that is 1600-1700 hundred years old, took 800 years or more to write, was written by an army of fellow men(and their myriad of interpretations of events verbally told to them by another guy who also was not present for the original conversation or happening), has had at least 64 editors, thousands of redactions and has so much in common with other religious happenings of the same geographic area and or time, as to be nothing short of needing a lobotomy to have zealot like faith in. This is not the dissecting of trivial minutiae. This is the conversation that broke christianity into 10’s of thousands of separate cults. This is the kind of “rightness” that leads Evangelicals and Fundamentalists of all taints to “know” the “truth” about Mitt Romney and the Pope going to hell.
    I am thankful to not have to separate all of humanity into an ever increasing world of varying shades of gray in which the majority will be eternally damned to a pit of fire because they worship or believe in one of those shades. It could instigate a conversation about why a god would create a book that would allow for so much “interpretation” and so many different sect calling themselves different flavours of Christians and all being so ignorant and and so arrogant to claim they are more “right” and are off to heaven, all the while, the rest of you billions of chumps are so terribly wrong. So wrong in fact in your “interpretation” that it will cost you an eternity of torturous misery. The omniscience and all loving omnipotent grand creator of the universe has left you all to quibble and quabble over the most inane and most integral and important details of the same brand of religious delusion. Huh….

  67. Craig…

    I’d suggest that the majority of the folks I listed share one trait regarding their version of God’s nature. They elevate certain aspects of God’s nature, while ignoring or minimizing others.

    I’ll say it again: You all seem to be defining “nature” differently than the standard English usage of the term. What specifically do you think the Catholics or progressives think about God’s nature that isn’t standard, common and accepted?

    You say, IN YOUR MIND, the tenet of purgatory takes away from your notion of holiness and justice. But that isn’t to say that Catholics don’t think of God as Holy, or set apart; that doesn’t mean that Catholics don’t think of God as a Just God.

    The understanding of the NATURE OF GOD (God is just, God is holy, God is love, God is omniscient, etc) IS THE SAME for Catholics and you, as far as I can see. Unless you can offer some specific understanding of a Cathoic understanding of God and your understanding of God, I don’t see how you can think that we don’t share a common understanding of God’s nature.

    Do you have anything specific, or just these vague feelings?

    R. Nash…

    This is not the dissecting of trivial minutiae. This is the conversation that broke christianity into 100s of thousands of separate cults.

    There is, to be sure, an aura of certainty amongst most folk on most topics. “I think I’m right and you’re wrong” is a common human trait, wouldn’t you agree? I don’t see why the church would tend to be any different, seeing as how we’re just folk like you.

    On the other hand, not every faith tradition/group tends to be as dogmatic and divisive as some do.

    Here, for instance, we have spoken of a moral question – Is two gay folk marrying a good thing or not? – about which no one can definitively say, “Here is the objectively correct answer…”

    Moral questions are, by their very nature, a matter of opinion insofar as we have NO objective way to prove them. This is true whether one is a theist or not. Agreed?

    So, here we have a question about this moral behavior and neither one of us can “prove” we are right. But we need not divide over such a disagreement and not all of us do. I gladly admit that I have no way of “proving” objectively that I am understanding “God’s Will,” or what is right in this case, any more than “they” do. But c’est la vie! That is life, that is human nature.

    None of us can prove authoritatively our moral opinions. But not all of us divide and subdivide in harsh acrimony over each little disagreement. It need not be that way and isn’t that way in many churches (although, admittedly, just like any other human institution, we sometimes have a hard time getting along with those who disagree with us…) We don’t all condemn the “disagreeing ones” to a fiery hell pit because they disagree or don’t have the “wisdom and understanding” we have.

    But I don’t see that mere disagreement about unknow-able ideals is in any way indicative of anything other than our human nature. I don’t see disagreement over a holy text to be in any way reflective of anything other than our human nature.

    Assuming a God exists (as I believe), how would this God “force” us to know perfectly every issue?

    Quibbling over disagreements is what humans do, why would Christians be any different? (Although, given our belief in love and grace, you certainly would hope that we’d at least strive to be different – and some of us do, however imperfectly…)

    • Well Dan, human nature is god’s nature. Being made in his image is the how and why for so much derision and disenfranchisement amongst so few christians. One holy book and 10’s of thousands of sects. Your “softer” version of orthodoxy has you hung out to dry by the “moral” majority in the States. The primary difference is that you see gay marriage a moral dilemma with only an opinion for an answer. This, along with, I am guessing, a number of other social issues or biblical ideas would have had you ostracized as a heretic or worse not that long ago by your very own christian brethren. Think of abortion doctors being gunnesd down in their church on Sunday morning. In some places like Eastern Europe your softer christianity and it’s wayward opinions would have you labeled and excommunicated at a minimum. So the repercussions of trying to isolate fact from opinion can be a dangerous thing when dealing with religio psycho zealots. Moral rightness mixed with a fair dose of absolutism from on high is why this culture war is being waged in the first place and with such vitriol for so long. Good luck.

      • Nash,
        Can you prove that the God defined in the Bible does not exist?

        • Well Glenn, extraordinary claims made by you and your subjugated adherents requires at a minimum just run of the mill evidence. I won’t even hold you to the standard of needing extraordinary evidence. Do you have proof that I am not your god or that the half eaten cheeseburger you threw away 4 years ago at McDonald’s wasn’t your god? Since the evidence for your god wouldn’t even pass muster in a Mississippi county courtroom why even bring it up? Your faith is the best evidence for the proof of your god that you will ever allow for.

          • Thanks for avoiding the question. You keep saying our God doesn’t exist, so I’m asking you to prove it.

            I can recommend a great book to you which I believe proves beyond a reasonable doubt that God does exist. Read the book so I don’t have to waste my time writing out all the evidences.

            Now, prove the Judeo-Christian God does not exist.

            • Your god doesn’t exist because he cannot be seen or heard. He has never presented himself to me along with Poseidon, Zeuss or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If he did exist we would tie him to the electric chair and kill him for being a sociopath. Why does the onus of proof for the existence of your delusional claim ever fall on another person?

              • Nash,
                So if God doesn’t bow down to you, he doesn’t exist?

                You are the one claiming he doesn’t exist. But since you don’t know everything no matter how intelligent you believer yourself to be, then you can’t know he doesn’t exist. You make the broad claim expecting everyone to accept it, yet you have no proof.

                You can say you don’t believe he exists, but you can’t claim objectively that he doesn’t exist. That, sir, is my point.

              • Keep perpetuating the stereotype Glenn. You just proved that all of the aforementioned gods and examples cannot be ruled out as existing. Perfect. This argument of yours is even below the usual Texas average I am used to. Putting the onus of existence of your faith based, conjured up delusion on those who don’t believe it? Try harder.

              • Hey Nash!
                I asked you to prove God doesn’t exist and your only response is that I have to prove he does.

                You are such a fool.

              • A fool? How telling and fantastically judgmental of you. Spoken like just another below average christian zealot. Send my regards to the delusion in your head.

  68. OK Dan,

    i’ve answered your questions, I’ve jumped through your hoops, and what? More hoops, more questions.

    I thought I was fairly clear for following your little digression. If one (person or group) focuses entirely on one aspect of God’s nature while downplaying or denying other aspects of God’s nature it seems clear that that would be a distorted view of God’s nature. Or to put it another way it would not be a “completely orthodox” of God’s nature.

    the fact that you continue to suggest something beyond what I am saying makes me wonder what you are trying to achieve.

    Perhaps a note that I said “some” Roman catholics, not “all” roman Catholics, further I did NOT say that (some or all) RC’s don’t view God as holy. What I DID say was that in an attempt to answer your question WITHOUT going any further afield I said the in my opinion the doctrine of purgatory distorts the holiness element of God’s nature.

    If you want to continue this silly divergence, fine, but it’s not the point. You asked for a list of “mainstream christians” who are not orthodox in their beliefs about the nature of God. I gave you a list. had I known you expected a dissertation of why I included each person/group I probably wouldn’t have bothered.

    As far as Progressive christians I’d suggest that points 1,2,3,4 and possibly five are distortions of a “completely orthodox” understanding of God’s nature.

    Given your exceptional orthodoxy you should be able to figure out what folks might find unorthodox about those. Or at least admit that there is plenty of room to take those points beyond the scope of orthodoxy.

  69. Huh, when I don’t understand the rationality of someone’s position, I ask them questions. When I find holes in their arguments, I ask them questions. This seems reasonable to me, yet seems frustrating to you all?

    That is how communication works, there is no ill-intent on my part in my asking questions.

    It was suggested, “God’s nature is that which agrees with the Christian tenets I believe in… therefore, those who disagree with my tenets, disagree with God’s nature and thus, aren’t saved…” That seems like a huge hole in the argument.

    I’m suggesting that it sounds like you are using the word “nature” in some manner not consistent with standard English usage. Thus, the suggestion that God’s nature is that which aligns with my ideals of Christianity is a confusing and irrational one to me.

    BECAUSE OF THAT, I ask what seems like a reasonable question: What SPECIFIC understanding of God’s nature do you think Catholics have that you disagree with? By getting a specific answer to that specific question, I am hoping to either understand you better OR hoping to help you see that you aren’t speaking of God’s “nature” at all, but rather, of specific tenets of specific sects of Christianity.

    “God’s nature is Purgatory,” is not a rational statement. So, I was trying to understand what SPECIFIC descriptor of God you’re having a problem with. What’s the problem in asking these questions, unless you just aren’t able to answer them (like Glenn and his running away from reasonable questions) and maintain your position you were trying to make?

    Questions are good, seems to me.

  70. …as are direct and specific answers.

  71. John,
    Dan and I go way, back, I know all about frustration with Dan. ;)

  72. Dan,

    Maybe the problem is that you think I said “God’s nature is purgatory”. Since I didn’t actually say that I can see where you might be confused. I agree that it is not a rational statement, therefore I didn’t say it. Maybe the specific question you should have asked is “Are you saying that God’s nature is purgatory.”.

    My point is that I find the concept of purgatory to be against what I know about the nature of God. Therefore if one believes in purgatory it demonstrates a faulty or mistaken view of the nature of God. I would make the same argument for the “idolatry” of Mary that you see in many RC’s.

    Again, I keep doing these huge data dumps for you and you keep ignoring most of it. That’s fine, just let me know so I won’t waste the time.

  73. Dan,

    It is God’s nature to be vengeful, wrathful, jealous. It is His nature to be unchanging (is, was and always will be). He is just and merciful, loving and a several other things. His nature, however, does not give credence to the idea that “loving” homosexual unions are any less sinful than any other homosexual unions since there is no evidence anywhere that YOU’VE ever presented that He does. “When I find holes in their arguments, I ask them questions.” But I’ve tried to get you to fill the myriad gaping holes in your rationale for the notion that God might bless a homosexual union or that such a union might be a good thing. You’ve failed miserably to do so. I will not pursue it here, but if you’re up to doing the dance again, I’m more than ready. The last time you bailed. Just say the word.

  74. Craig, I’m not ignoring your “data dumps.” Rather, I am asking a rather specific question – giving you examples of what I mean by that specific question – and you keep answering OTHER questions. For instance, my specific question to you was, “What specific trait of God’s nature is it that ‘many’ Catholics believe that you find problematic?”

    You answered…

    Maybe the problem is that you think I said “God’s nature is purgatory”.

    I know you didn’t say that. Rather, you answered my direct question about God’s nature by saying, “I have a problem with the Catholic tenet of purgatory. I think it conflicts with God’s nature…”

    But that is NOT answering what SPECIFIC character trait there is about God’s nature that you find problematic.

    Craig…

    Maybe the specific question you should have asked is “Are you saying that God’s nature is purgatory.”.

    Actually, I dealt specifically with this, saying…

    “Purgatory” would, to me, be a tenet (or not) of a Christian faith tradition, NOT an attribute of God’s nature. “God is (or isn’t) purgatory…” doesn’t make sense.

    Or, if you’re suggesting that the doctrine of purgatory suggests, what? That God’s nature is patient?

    Craig…

    My point is that I find the concept of purgatory to be against what I know about the nature of God. Therefore if one believes in purgatory it demonstrates a faulty or mistaken view of the nature of God.

    And reading your words, I already UNDERSTOOD that you find the tenet of purgatory problematic. BUT, what you didn’t answer is, “IN WHAT SPECIFIC WAY do you find purgatory demonstrates a faulty view of God’s nature?”

    I’m looking for an adjective, Craig – a descriptor of God’s nature.

    “God’s nature is… LOVE, God’s nature is omniscience, God’s nature is to be just…”

    Like that.

    Look, if someone says to me, “God’s nature is to be loving, just, omniscient and… IMPATIENT…”

    I can say to that person, “I think you have a bad understanding of God’s nature. I don’t believe traditional orthodox teaching suggests that God is impatient…”

    I’ve been accused of not understanding God’s nature, therefore, due to my failure to understand God’s nature, I am not saved. That is a serious (and silly and goofy and unsupported and, quite frankly, false) charge. I am just asking for one of you all to point out WHAT about God’s nature am I failing to understand? Or, in your case, Craig, What about Catholic beliefs about God’s nature do you find problematic?

    The problem in communicating with you all is that you tend not to answer direct questions with direct answers. Do you see how answering “I have a problem with the tenet of purgatory” is not an answer to “What specific trait about God’s nature do the Catholics not understand?”

    SPECIFIC TRAIT. GOD’S NATURE. That is what I’m looking for. Can you answer that question directly?

  75. “SPECIFIC TRAIT. GOD’S NATURE. That is what I’m looking for. Can you answer that question directly?”

    November 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM, I answered your question. I’m sorry you missed it, think how much useless writing could have been avoided.

    I have to ask, if you knew I didn’t say “God’s nature is purgatory.” why did you suggest that I did. It seems counterproductive.

    P.S. I also expressed my fear of exactly this when I started jumping through your hoops. We are now going down an almost totally irrelevant side road which just keeps moving further and further away from whatever the point actually was.

  76. Your 1:52 “answer…”

    In my mind the doctrine of purgatory tales away from the elements of holiness and justice inherent in God’s nature. It may not have been the best example, but for this limited discussion, it works…

    Also, I’d suggest that the majority of the folks I listed share one trait regarding their version of God’s nature. They elevate certain aspects of God’s nature, while ignoring or minimizing others.

    So, your direct answer to the question, “What specific trait of God’s nature do you think Catholics have wrong/What about God’s nature do you think Catholics have wrong?” is… what? That catholics don’t believe God is holy? But Catholics DO think God is holy. That they don’t believe God is a just God? But they DO believe in a God of justice.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see a direct and specific answer to this direct and specific question.

    What about God’s nature do you think Catholics have wrong?

    Even though there’s not a direct answer there, let me try to guess at what you’re saying (and I don’t know – that is why I keep asking – do you think it unreasonable that I keep asking if I still don’t know what your answer is?)

    My guess:

    Because Catholics believe in Purgatory, I think that – while they certainly affirm that God is a holy God and a God of justice – that this Purgatory belief diminishes the sense of a Just God, because how could a Just God give people a chance after life to be cleansed, as if by fire, stripping/burning away those remaining imperfections (which is how the current pope describes purgatory)?

    If that is your answer (or something like it), then it seems that you’re not sayiing that Catholics don’t believe that God’s nature includes being Just, but that you think this teaching diminishes a proper sense of Justice, is that it?

    And I’m sorry if I’m not understanding what you’re trying to say, but that’s just the reality. I ask questions because I’m trying to understand. You don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, do you?

    I guess I’m expecting, “They believe in a God of hate and I think God is a God of love, and THAT is why they don’t understand God’s nature…” something clear and definitive and I think it is fair to say that you have not offered anything nearly so clear as that, right?

  77. Glenn, I think first you would have to be able to answer: Can you “prove” God is “defined” in the Bible?

    • Dan are you suggesting the Bible does not describe God and assign to him particular characteristics?

      Why would you even waste any time in suggesting the bible is silent on this? If you aren’t suggesting this, why waste our time by sending the discussion in this direction?

    • Dan,
      Yes I can. And without taking anything out of context the way you do.

  78. “In my mind the doctrine of purgatory tales away from the elements of holiness and justice inherent in God’s nature. It may not have been the best example, but for this limited discussion, it works…

    Also, I’d suggest that the majority of the folks I listed share one trait regarding their version of God’s nature. They elevate certain aspects of God’s nature, while ignoring or minimizing others”

    Dan,

    What I intended to suggest is that while purgatory might nit be the answer that makes you the happiest, it does suffice for an example in this limited instance.

    In my opinion the doctrine of purgatory minimizes the justice/holiness aspects of God’s nature. It also elevates (potentially) other aspects of God’s nature in a way that brings their view of God’s nature out of balance.

    It really shouldn’t be that hard. Maybe the best plan would be to latch on the the fact that it’s not the best example and move on rather than keep this going.

    Strangely enough, your explanation, basically re states my original comment.

  79. Maybe the part of my comment that is confusing you is the thought that God’s nature consists of a number of different traits that are ALL a NECESSARY and VITAL part of God’s nature.
    So while love, mercy and compassion are all vital parts of God’s nature so are justice, jealousy,and wrath. It would seem that any understanding of God’s nature that eliminates or minimizes some elements of God’s nature, or that elevates some elements of God’s nature, or that affirms some and denies some, is an incorrect understanding of God’s nature.

    This is where I believe most folks go astray with an understanding of God’s nature.

    I realize that I just restated my original answer, but I hope it suffices.

  80. John…

    are you suggesting the Bible does not describe God and assign to him particular characteristics?

    No, I’m pointing out that Glenn can not objectively “prove” his understanding of God (or God’s “definition”) is the One True Understanding.

    Am I mistaken?

    • Dan,
      Yes you are mistaken. But don’t expect me to prove anything to you here; every proof I’ve ever given you has been answered with “just a hunch” or “just your belief” etc. You have proven time and again that you do not accept the Bible as the Word of God.

      But the point of my question to Nash was for him to prove there is no God.

  81. Glenn, I don’t expect you to prove anything. You never do. You just keep offering up opinion after opinion, based mostly on human tradition and your own personal whims. Given that, I didn’t really expect you to defend your position with reason or admit that your opinion is your opinion. After all, as you believe and have said, “I can’t be mistaken.”

    That says it all.

    Craig…

    the part of my comment that is confusing you is the thought that God’s nature consists of a number of different traits that are ALL a NECESSARY and VITAL part of God’s nature.

    The confusing part is where you don’t answer questions directly, but instead offer all sorts of answers to other questions beyond the one I’m asking you.

    So, now you are saying that it’s not enough for fellow Christians to agree that “this list is a reliable list of descriptors of God’s nature.” now you’re saying that they have to agree with the AMOUNT or EMPHASES that you place on each descriptor?

    That is, we ALL agree that God is love and God is justice and that God is omniscient, etc. Catholics believe this, progressives believe it, conservatives believe that. We ALL AGREE on the description of God’s nature. That isn’t what is troubling you and Glenn.

    What is troubling you is, IF you hold the opinion that “they” place “too much” emphasis on God’s love and “not enough” on God’s justice (defined, how? 60% God’s love and 40% on God’s justice…? And how do we measure that??), THEN they are “worshiping the wrong God…”?

    Is that what you and Glenn are saying? Because I have to tell you, it sounds pretty vague and whimsical where you all draw the lines and certainly such an approach would be lacking in grace and biblical support and rational support.

    No, Craig, you don’t really appear to think that we hold the wrong view of God’s nature (love, justice, etc). In THAT sense, we appear to be worshiping the same God – you aren’t pointing to some descriptor of the nature of God that “they” offer and saying “No, that’s wrong…” Rather, your problem appears to be that you think that unless “they” agree with you some undefined amount on some vague measure of “amount” of love/justice “they” assign God, then they’re wrong… but you do this with zero rational or biblical support.

    That is what is confusing – your position, not my understanding.

    If I’m mistaken, the feel free to point out SPECIFICALLY and EXACTLY whereso, because these vague answers just aren’t supported or rational.

    • Dan,
      You are in complete denial or else a bald-faced liar. I have given you proof of everything I’ve challenged you on, in comments of numerous blogs to where I just finally gave up. Why? because no matter what proof via empirical facts or from the Word of God, which are provided to you, you always end up saying, “that’s just your opinion” or “your hunch” or “your interpretation” “human tradition,” “personal whims,” etc. In your logic, 2+2=4 is just my opinion!

      Additionally, every single blog I have seen you on has given you reams and reams of proof for all our claims, but you ignore it all. And now you have the audacity to claim I’ve never proven anything and it is all just my opinion!

      You disagree with thousands of years of Judeo-Christian teachings about what God specifically and clearly states about homosexuality by claiming everyone else has been wrong about it. And that is just one example. Proof to you is only that which agrees with your apostasy and heresy.

      No, when it comes to what the Bible, i.e, the very Word of God, says about homosexuality, it is not just my opinion – it is 100% fact as has been demonstrated for thousands of years. Oh, but we all know Dan knows better, don’t we?

      You, Dan, are a complete fool.

  82. “So, now you are saying that it’s not enough for fellow Christians to agree that “this list is a reliable list of descriptors of God’s nature.” Nope, never said this at all.

    “…now you’re saying that they have to agree with the AMOUNT or EMPHASES that you place on each descriptor?” Nope, not saying this either.

    “What is troubling you is, IF you hold the opinion that “they” place “too much” emphasis on God’s love and “not enough” on God’s justice (defined, how? 60% God’s love and 40% on God’s justice…?” Nope, not saying this either.

    “And how do we measure that??)” Well, If some one ignores one or more aspect of god’s nature, that might be a clue.

    “…THEN they are “worshiping the wrong God…”?” Nope, didn’t say that either.

    “Rather, your problem appears to be that you think that unless “they” agree with you some undefined amount on some vague measure of “amount” of love/justice “they” assign God, then they’re wrong…” Nope, not saying that either.

    “… but you do this with zero rational or biblical support.” I have no earthly idea what in the world you mean with this.

    “That is what is confusing – your position, not my understanding.” Wrong again.

    You asked me for an/some examples of people who are “mainstream” christians who might not have a “perfectly orthodox” view of God’s nature. I gave you some examples. I explained why, in a general sense, that I held that opinion. I haven’t really actually stated much of a position.

    So, I’ll try to make this very simple.

    There are a number of aspects to God’s nature that are pretty clearly revealed to us in scripture. ALL of those aspects are EQUALLY VITAL and IMPORTANT. If someone chooses to focus on one or two aspects of God’s nature, while minimizing or excluding others, then that person/group has a skewed view of God’s nature. We see from scripture that God is love, we also see that God is jealous. WE as humans don’t get to pick and choose God’s traits. It’s not really that hard to comprehend God’s nature is multifaceted and ALL of those facets are EQUALLY Vital to describing God’s nature.

    Are you sure that you have a ‘completely orthodox” understanding of God.

    In all seriousness,. Since you’ve mangled, and misstated, my “position”, dodged my questions, and taken this down a completely different path that no one but you even cares about, I have to ask “WHY?”.

  83. Just for the record, you’ve NEVER provided any support for your original statement that you have a “COMPLETELY ORTHODOX” understanding of God, as well as a “COMPLETELY ORTHODOX” understanding of God’s nature.

    At this point don’t bother, I just felt compelled to make the point.

  84. Craig…

    you’ve NEVER provided any support for your original statement that you have a “COMPLETELY ORTHODOX” understanding of God, as well as a “COMPLETELY ORTHODOX” understanding of God’s nature.

    I have said that I believe my understanding of God’s nature is completely orthodox. I offered some specific examples of what I think God’s nature is (love, justice, etc). So far, no one has pointed to any of my descriptors of God’s nature and said, “Nope, nope, that is NOT God’s nature.” I’m entirely open to someone pointing to something I believe to be true about God’s nature and say, “no, that is not God’s nature, according to orthodox Christianity,” but so far, NO ONE HAS DONE THIS.

    If you have something that I have wrong about God’s nature, by all means, tell me. If not, then to the best of my knowledge, I do hold a completely orthodox view of God’s nature.

    Once again, based on all you said before this comment, I think you all are probably confusing “God’s nature” with “What I think God wants us to do and believe and what I believe to be the ‘right’ tenets to hold to in regards to Christianity…” You all appear to be defining “God’s nature” way beyond what seems to be a reasonable English usage of the word.

    Craig…

    There are a number of aspects to God’s nature that are pretty clearly revealed to us in scripture. ALL of those aspects are EQUALLY VITAL and IMPORTANT.

    Your biblical support for this? How do you “measure” if I am holding “love” and “justice” in equally vital and important measures? (And who says that love and justice are opposites to be balanced by one another?)

    I just don’t think you can make a sound logical or biblical case that “all aspects of God’s nature are equally vital and important.” What does that even mean to you?

    I mean, I get if you treat, for instance, a child with deference and place no limits on them out of a misguided sense of “love,” that you will not have done justice for that child, but that isn’t really love, is it? I get that one can be too “soft” in dealing with someone regarding bad behavior and that one can be too harsh in dealing with bad behavior, what I question as rational is the notion that we can somehow measure “equal vitality” of the two. It’s not a science to objectively measure.

    Thus, to say that someone doesn’t worship the “right” God because they hold a “wrong” balance of love/justice… well, it just doesn’t seem to hold up to logic or biblical testimony. And you may or may not be saying that, but Glenn specifically has said that I am not saved because I worship a “wrong” God and his hunch about the “wrong” God thing is based on his hunch (unsupported thus far, and doubtless, forevermore) that I believe something (thus far, undefined) wrong about God’s nature. That slightly deranged fantasy is what got this line of discussion going and it’s why I keep trying to get you all to be specific.

    Which has not happened yet.

    Jumping back to the Catholic thing, what SPECIFICALLY is not taken in correct “equal vitality” in the purgatory question? Specifics, that is what I’m looking for here. Like…

    “Many Catholics who hold a view of purgatory have the nature of God’s justice and love out of correct balance because… ?? because, in 1 Kanketop 12: 1, it says that God’s love is 145.2 and God’s justice is 145.2 and purgatory Catholics only believe in God’s love 141.8, so it’s out of balance and therefore, they have a wrong view of God’s nature…”

    I’m looking for specifics, not vague charges. Without specifics, I don’t know how to make rational sense of what you’re saying.

    Does that help?

  85. Glenn…

    I have given you proof of everything I’ve challenged you on, in comments of numerous blogs to where I just finally gave up.

    You keep saying that word (“proof”)… I don’t think you know what it means…

    And you keep using the “fool” word repeatedly, do you not know that Jesus said…

    anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

    But I guess that is not one of the verses you take literally?

    Embrace grace, my man. Life is too short to go through with your panties all twisted up like that.

    • Dan,

      I am know very well what “proof” means – but you reject any fact that doesn’t line up with your false teachings – as has been demonstrated on blog, after blog, after blog.

      I’m going to respond about purgatory, since you are being so obtuse. Purgatory violates God’s character because it makes him out to be a liar. God says our sins are forgiven in Christ, and that he purged our sins – paid for them by taking our punishment. Yet Roman Catholicism says this is a lie and one must be purged of sins in a place of punishment. I wrote an article explaining this:
      http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/06/unbiblical-catholic-sin-purgatory-and.html

      As to Jesus saying to not call people fools, again you demonstrate your lack of understanding of Scripture. After all, Jesus himself call people fools (Lk. 11:40). Jesus was not telling us we can’t condemn foolishness (or anger at injustice – remember, the passage also tells us not be angry), rather he was condemning the abuse of people through meanness or self-centered spite.

      I call you a fool because you fit the biblical definition of one; a person who rebels against God and blasphemes Him, which you do every time you claim He approves of homosexuality in any form. A fool is also one who is not open to correction or instruction, which you have demonstrated all the years I have seen you on numerous blogs.

      And a fool is someone like you who always makes asinine comments such as “your panties all twisted up” (which, by the way, is an ad hominem).

  86. Dan,
    You quite clearly said that you have a “completely orthodox” understanding of God. I’ve copy pasted the quote enough times for this to be beyond question, based on your own words.

    I’ll try to make this short as long is not even worth it. The nature of God is that he is COMPLETELY just and COMPLETELY loving etc. So, if one espouses a God that is less that completely loving or completely just etc, is to distort the nature of God.

    Maybe it helps to keep repeating yourself, about what Nature means, i understand the definition of nature.

    I’m not sure why you think that simply throwing out a few adjectives about God’s nature somehow means you’ve got it nailed and no one else does.

    Give it up, we disagree, your continued misunderstandings aren’t going to change that, my continually restating my point isn’t going to change that either.

  87. How do you measure “completely…” sufficiently so that you know that the Catholics don’t have a view of God that is “completely” loving and just?

    “No one else does???” I stated quite clearly that it would be my bet that most theists share a common view of God’s nature. Thus I’m granting to you what you don’t appear to be granting to a large swath of Christendom.

    I believe God is COMPLETELY Just and COMPLETELY loving. What evidence is there that I don’t? Same for my Catholic friends, who’s to say that they don’t think God is completely loving and just? What specific measure are you using to reach your conclusions?

    Are you just saying, “ya know, it seems to me that, WHILE the Catholics think God is just and loving, they don’t REALLY think God is COMPLETELY just because, you know, it doesn’t seem that way to me, therefore, that must be it. ‘Seems that way to me’ is the measure I’m using…”?

    Because I hope you can realize that “seems that way to me” is not a very specific, objective or rational measuring stick.

    I don’t know that we disagree, because I still don’t know what your position is, I don’t know where you disagree specifically with “many” Catholics.

    If you have any SPECIFIC point on which you think I am not completely orthodox, by all means, share that SPECIFIC point. If you don’t, then perhaps we can agree that, by all evidence seen thus far, I have a completely orthodox view of God’s nature.

  88. Craig, how about this: Do I (in your estimation) not hold a “right” view of God’s nature? If not, how SPECIFICALLY do I not hold a right view of God’s nature?

    If you think I don’t think God is “completely” loving, HOW SO?

    Or, if you think I don’t think God is “completely” just, HOW SO?

    By what measure am I not thinking God is completely just, because God sure seems completely just to me. Do I think God is only 89% just? No, sir! Completely! that’s what I say.

    Do I think God is only 99.99% just? Nope, 100% entirely completely just, that’s what I think.

    Now, YOU seem to ME to think that God is not completely just (it would be my estimation that you only think God is 74… maybe down into the upper 60s% just, but nothing like “completely…”)… I base that upon a very complex mathematical scale using ancient biblical and algebraic algorithms that are difficult to explain, but take my word for it.

    So, how about me, how just do you think I think God’s nature is?

    Based specifically upon what?

  89. Dan,

    You’re incessant misunderstanding has completely eliminated any desire I have to continue with this. You’re bizarre fixation with this single point to the exclusion of anything else is kind of creepy. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge the accuracy of your own words, and seem to be using this as a means to obfuscate you’re claim of “completely orthodox” knowledge of God.

    Perhaps you don’t understand what words like complete and vital mean. Perhaps you don’t quite get how I’m using the word opinion. Perhaps you didn’t understand when I said that the example I used was probably not the best, but would suffice to make a limited point.

    Finally, as to what you really believe or acknowledge way down deep in your soul, I don’t know and at this point I’m not sure I care enough to find out. You use the right words, but as has been pointed out by others, no one is quite sure what you mean when you use them.

    Maybe John will shoot this thread in the head, but as of now you’ve completely and utterly eliminated any desire on my part for anything remotely substantive on this topic, well done.

  90. Dan,

    “So far, no one has pointed to any of my descriptors of God’s nature and said, “Nope, nope, that is NOT God’s nature.””

    I believe I have alluded to this here and in discussions past been far more emphatic. Your understanding of God’s nature is NOT accurate because it is constantly and purposely incomplete. I mentioned “wrathful” and “jealous” among God’s characteristics and so has He in Scripture. By limiting your description as you do, it allows for beliefs and interpretations that are also inaccurate and incomplete. By limiting you description as you do, you paint a picture of a God that does not exist, thus creating for yourself a false god, regardless of how closely it might resemble God Himself.

    • This really is fantastic. A perfect example that has led directly to the non stop fractious previous history of christianity the world over. This single thread can’t even get 4 christians to agree on the most basic tenets of their faith. How then does this bickering over the important stuff and the minor things as well, transfer to the 100’s of millions now and the billions before? This is how christianity fabricated 10’s of thousands of different sects, all believing and acting on this belief in many ways, in such a short span of time. And don’t forget that many of these different sects believe they are doing it the right way all the while the rest of you are going to hell. I mean Hinduism has been around for 3k years longer than this flavor of christianity and they only have 6 sects. This, in spite of having hundreds of gods.
      Huh, your god does work in mysterious ways.

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