What exactly is religious fundamentalism

I hear the term “fundamentalist” tossed around as though it’s some kind of pejorative.  It’s as if being a fundamentalist of whatever stripe is a bad thing.  When I hear the term, I’m not automatically associating the label negatively.  It seems to me that a fundamentalist, is someone who believes in the basic, original tenets of a particular religious or political ideology.

What do you, the reader, especially the Atheist or skeptical reader, believe a fundamentalist is?  Is it by definition a bad thing?  Is there such thing as an atheist fundamentalist?

Comments

  1. To me, a fundamentalist is one who adheres to the fundamental teachings of one’s religion. I would regard myself as a fundie Christian, because I do adhere to the fundamental teachings of the Christian faith, as clearly revealed in Scripture. To those who do not like those teachings, or find that some of them interfere with a preferred lifestyle or behavior, fundamentalists are portrayed as oppressive for their staunch defense of those teachings. This not the same as demanding a theocratic government, or that a civil government must also adhere to those teachings, despite the rantings of those who disagree with the fundie on a given topic. But the fundie cannot deny that to engage in behaviors Scripture calls sinful or abominable is wickedness or evil, and those who prefer to engage in those behaviors do not like to be reminded of what Scripture says, so they will demonize the fundie or pretend the fundie hasn’t gotten with the new program the anti-fundie wants to project as legitimate revelation.

  2. I agree with Marshal – a fundamentalist is one who follows the fundamentals of their faith as spelled out in their holy books. That’s why REAL fundamentalist Muslims are out to destroy the world to make it submit to Islam. That’s why REAL fundamentalist Christians are so hated by the liberal so-called Christians and why they are hated by liberals.

  3. I’m glad you don’t see it as a pejorative, but it is meant to be just the same. It is a term used for dehumanizing those with which the person using it hates, or in order to survive in cases of war. The North Vietnamese were called “gooks”, Germans “krauts” , Japanese “Japs”, so I’m been told, in order that killing them would be easier. The new atheist have not reached the level of mass murder achieved by their predecessors Stalin and Mao just yet–if you don’t consider the unborn that is–but when they do, I’m sure that in their minds they will be killing fundies, not people.

  4. paynehollow says:

    You’re bumping up against the intricacies of using a living language. Words evolve, change, migrate.

    I, for one, certainly consider myself one who strives to hold to the fundamental teachings of Jesus, the Christ, as he taught us. In that sense, I am a “fundamentalist…” but I am not a Fundamentalist, as the term has evolved into meaning (for both Christian and Muslim, and probably other, traditions).

    As an anabaptist trying to get to the roots of Christian teaching, to return to what Jesus and the early church taught, I am a radical (one who returns to the roots) in that sense, but not what the word has evolved to mean.

    And, as a lover of and follower of the teachings of Jesus, the Christ, I am, by definition, a Christ-ian. But as many here would point out, I’m not a Christian in the sense that I don’t hold to the fundamentals of modern Southern Baptist or some of the other modern conservative sects/denominations.

    Words evolve, sometimes we have to clarify our meanings and that’s okay.

    For what it’s worth…

    ~Dan

    • To liberals like troll Trabue, words “evolve,” yet what they really mean is that they want to redefine them to suit their own agenda. For example, “marriage” to them means the union of any group of people be it same sex, multiple partners, etc, and pretty soon they won’t stop there but will include in the definition the union between a person and an animal.

      Here we have a perfect example of redefining what fundamental means for Christianity – he has redefined it to mean anything he wants to call fundamental to the liberal ideology. Of course he has long since changed the meaning of “teachings by Jesus” to mean “teachings as we define them rather than as the Bible defines them.” In fact, he has demonstrated in the past how he redefines “Jesus Christ” as someone the Bible wouldn’t recognize, i.e., his evolved Jesus is one who preached the social gospel, who approved of homosexual unions, etc.

      Most words don’t “evolve” or change their meanings, which is why the dictionary definition for the majority of English words has remained the same since the first Webster’s dictionary of 1828. The majority of words which have “evolved” in their meanings are those which have been stolen and abused by liberals to promote their agendas.

      • Uh, actually languages do evolve. English especially. True, the majority of English words found in your 1828 Webster’s dictionary have stayed pretty much the same, but some have changed drastically. In the KJV, Esther “made messes before the King…” referring back to a usage for the word mess that gave us mess halls in the Navy but certainly is different from the mess you found on the floor after the cat was sick. As far as languages evolving, that’s how we got French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian. Latin evolved. Consider the problem for people who were taught that the Ten Commandments included one telling them not to kill. It actually should be “murder” since God regularly commands people to kill others. So don’t be too harsh on people when words change usage.

        • Mariah

          Trying to remember back to that comment, I think the point wasn’t so much that definitions don’t evolve so much as some people equivocate using different meanings, and that some words have been intentionally changed for certain political or theological reasons, and not necessarily as a natural change of usage.

          Take the word tolerance. It used to mean respecting a person while being able to disagree with their positions or behaviors. It has come to be redefined (evolved) by activists of all stripes to mean accept, endorse, and agree that all views are acceptable and true. So we used to tolerate people, now we are told to tolerate ideas.

  5. paynehollow says:

    Words have meanings, Glenn. Words also evolve. No nefarious plot or evil design to it, it just happens.

    Funny you want to “blame liberals” for the very natural phenomena of words evolving… is there NOTHING the evil liberals don’t do in your mind?

    The fundamentals of Jesus’ teachings revolve around a life/a way of Grace, not of rule-following, not of traditions, but of grace. Fundamentally, Jesus taught us to love one another, to forgive, to be peaceable, to live simply, to care for the least of these, to be open and inviting to all (not merely the “clean” or “good…”). I ascribe to these fundamentals and do so quite literally. That makes me literal a Jesus-ian – one who ascribes to the teachings of Jesus, or Christ-ian, if you believe – as I do – that Jesus was/is the Christ.

    I am quite literally a follower of Jesus as presented in the pages of the Bible. You are the one trying to change the definition to Christian from “a follower of Jesus” to “one who ascribes to modern conservative religious doctrine…” What you are describing is literally more “southern baptist-ian” or “calvinian…” not “Christian…” And the fundamentals you ascribe to are not literally Jesus’, but some more modern twist on Christian teaching.

    So, perhaps you can appreciate the irony of you suggesting I’m the one changing the meanings of words.

    Just for the record.

    Peace out, y’all,

    Dan

    • Dan is the one who changed the meaning of “fundamental” to mean his liberal version of so-called “Christianity” and yet he says we are changing definitions?!?!? Dan changes the definition of Christ to a person who approves of same-sex unions, abortion and social gospel and he says we are the ones who change definitions?!?!

      By the way, a Christian is NOT a “Christ follower” or “follower of Christ.” There were many people who followed Christ around for all sorts of reasons but never accepted him as the Messiah or the Savior.

  6. Dan probably shouldn’t leave so suddenly after making a very serious accusation without going into a single solitary detail, but he has a point.

    Glenn, Dan’s right about your beliefs — and, honestly, he’s right about mine.

    He writes, “the fundamentals you ascribe to are not literally Jesus’, but some more modern twist on Christian teaching.”

    He’s exactly right. The belief that Jesus gave His life as a ransom for many and shed His blood for the forgiveness of sin; the belief in the authority of Scripture to the smallest penstroke, in its authority in our understanding both Christ’s mission and our own ethical duties; the belief that Jesus inaugurated the observance of the Lord’s Supper, telling His followers that it represented His broken body and shed blood and commanding them to take the bread and wine in remembrance of Him; the belief that God created man male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife; and the belief that Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection were necessary in order to fulfill Scripture, and that His resurrection was an explicitly bodily resurrection such that He could have eaten with His astounded followers and invited them to examine his wounds: NONE OF THESE BELIEFS HAVE ANY BASIS IN JESUS’ OWN TEACHINGS, certainly not from “Jesus as presented in the pages of the Bible.”

    For that reason, you and I should never reference any of these of doctrines as fundamentals.

    (Or is Dan referring to other doctrines? Again he shouldn’t have left things so vague.)

    If the Bible did attribute those teachings to Jesus, Dan would be in a tight spot, having to deny that Jesus taught them. He couldn’t merely presume to have a unique authority to dictate which of His recorded teachings are “fundamentals,” overriding even the Apostles’ written emphasis of these doctrines (e.g., the atoning death of Christ), because he didn’t argue that you’re merely over-emphasizing minor teachings of Jesus.

    His argument is that you’re emphasizing doctrines that didn’t come from Jesus at all, that they’re “not literally Jesus’.”

    On the one hand, I hate that he’s right, because that means we’ve been overstating our beliefs for years. On the other hand, it’s a good thing he’s right, because if Jesus did teach these things, we’d have to conclude that he’s either woefully ignorant of the contents of the New Testament or shameless in his attempts to prune Jesus’ clear and emphatic teachings to just those ethical commands that he finds palatable, retaining those commands for that meager concept he promotes as uniquely compatible with grace.

    He wouldn’t be a true follower of Jesus, not “Jesus as presented in the pages of the Bible.” Instead of following ALL that Jesus taught, Dan would be guilty of selectively sifting through His teachings; instead of following Jesus, he would be subordinating Jesus to his own ego, and in claiming to follow Jesus he would, in fact, be guilty of following a false Jesus of his own making.

    But, thankfully, that’s nothing to worry about: Dan’s summary of Jesus’ fundamental teachings is thorough, what we claim are fundamentals have nothing to do with the Bible’s record of Jesus’ teachings, and so we should be far more worried about our need to repent than any imagined dishonesty on Dan’s part.

    • Dan has taken a hit and run method lately. I think he had decided to abandon us here but wanted to put his two cents in on something. However he doesn’t want to get pulled into a regular discourse. Thus it’s an accuse and out tactic. Broadly speaking, my experience with the political and theological left is like this. Whoever shouts the loudest and makes the most accusations and runs away fastest wins because they got the last word in. It’s unfortunate.

  7. It seems like there are several issues at play here.

    First, the term Fundamentalist was, at one point, descriptive of a particular Christian sect. So from that perspective none of us are fundamentalists.

    Second, I think most evangelicals would agree that there are certain fundamentals of the Christian faith which can be known, articulated, and are non negotiable for anyone who calls themselves Christian. I suspect most of us here fall into this category.

    Third, there is the pejorative use of the term which many on the left seem to fling at anyone they oppose regardless of how accurate it is.

    Where we run into difficulty is is ascertaining what the “fundamentals” consist of. For example, most would agree that a belief in the existence of God would be a fundamental underpinning of Christianity. Yet, there are a growing number of “christian” “pastors” and “teachers” who deny even this belief. I seem to recall that even Dan was reluctant to assert that a belief in the existence of God was necessary to being a Christian. A further difficulty is exactly what Bubba pointed out. It doesn’t seem to be adequate to say that one believes in the Jesus revealed in scripture, unless one is to believe in the entirety of the Jesus revealed in scripture. As an aside, I’d argue that to focus on the NT Jesus to the exclusion or minimization of the OT Jesus or to pretend as though Jesus is distinct from YHWH is a potentially serious error.

    It’s interesting that someone would say “The fundamentals of Jesus’ teachings revolve around a life/a way of Grace, not of rule-following,…”, even though Jesus is specifically recorded as saying “If you love me you will keep My commandments.” (which sounds a lot like following rules) or “not of traditions, but of grace.” yet Jesus Himself practiced traditions instituted in the OT as well as instituting new traditions in the NT. While I would agree that blindly following rules, or adding additional burdensome rules, or teaching that following rules will save you, is not an accurate representation of the totality of Jesus teachings. In the same way salvation does not come through mindless adherence to tradition. Yet, clearly, both tradition and rule following are fundamental to the teachings of Jesus.

    I’d also suggest that we could probably come up with a list of fundamentals that everyone but Dan could agree on, and provide significant support for said list without referencing anything but the Bible. Which would seem to undermine the claims of “modern twists” being made. Along those lines I’d suspect that anything other than references to the “red letters” would be dismissed out of hand as being appropriate.

    Bubba, as always, well said.

  8. paynehollow says:

    John…

    I think he had decided to abandon us here but wanted to put his two cents in on something. However he doesn’t want to get pulled into a regular discourse.

    ? What would you have me do, John? The question you raised in your post was “What is religious fundamentalism…?” I answered that question with a reasonable answer.

    I noted that, factually speaking, in the real world, words evolve. Thus, if I want to be clear what I mean if I use “Christian fundamentalist…” I should explain specifically what I mean.

    This is reasonable and I don’t really see anyone disputing the point. So, I made my point and I moved on, what else should I do? Do you disagree with my point? If so, feel free to disagree and ask questions, if you wish. If not, well then, we agree.

    Now, in response to my on topic comment, Glenn responded with an ad hom attack that is off topic and factually mistaken. I made a point to respond with a bit of sad humor how ironic Glenn’s comments were.

    It is a fact that I am a lover of and follower of the teachings of Jesus, whom I call call Christ. That is, BY DEFINITION, a Christ-ian. (-ian, adhering to or following).

    You can point to any of Jesus’ teachings and see that I am a follower of, and adherent of, those teachings. Unlike Glenn, I DO believe that a Christian is a Christ follower.

    But that is the point I was making on this post. Sometimes, we have to define the manner in which we are using a word such as “fundamentalist” or “Christian…” By Christian, I mean “a follower of Christ…” Glenn means something different (an adherent to a fairly specific Calvinist or Reformed or Evangelical flavor of church, I think is his definition, but he can clarify…).

    I do find it interesting that you all take exception to my noting the reasonable and observable, but do not take exception to Glenn defining Christian as NOT meaning “A follower of Christ…”

    Other than responding to ad hom, off topic comments, is there anything you feel I should be responding to, John?

    (Oh, and given how rarely you and Glenn respond to my questions, I have to note the irony of you saying that “liberals” engage in an accuse and out tactic. I have made no accusations, I have just pointed to actual real world observable realities, just to clarify your misunderstanding…)

    On the topic of the post, John, is there something you have to say about my comments that you would like a reply to?

    ~Dan

    • Trabue again claims he made a “reasonable” explanation – like all his “reasonable” explanations for every one of his bizarre beliefs. Then he whines about an ad hominem attack, which never existed.

      Trabue does his usual misrepresentation; I never said a Christian wasn’t a Christ follower, rather I said a Christ follower wasn’t necessarily a Christian, and therefore it could not mean Christian by definition, rather it means anyone who follows Christ in whatever way they choose; either as an observer or an adherent.

      Trabue is in the same league with the Mormons who also claim to be Christians because they follow Christ’s teachings – except that, like the Mormons, Trabue’s Christ is one of his own making and doesn’t match the one described in the Bible. You know Trabue’s “Christ” – the one which approves of homosexuality, including same-sex fake marriage, who approves of abortion, and who preaches the social gospel. I’m still trying to find that one in the Bible.

      Glenn means something different (an adherent to a fairly specific Calvinist or Reformed or Evangelical flavor of church, I think is his definition, but he can clarify…

      Trabue couldn’t be more in error, but that doesn’t prevent him from his usual trollish nonsense. What he claims is the “real world” is about as unreal as it gets!

    • I don’t dispute that words meanings change over time. I just find it dishonest the way you equivocate regularly and how you even do it to others words.

  9. paynehollow says:

    So, for my comments on the topic here, you have no problem and we are in agreement? Fine.

  10. paynehollow says:

    John…

    I just find it dishonest the way you equivocate regularly and how you even do it to others words.

    Oh, and this is false and an unsupported claim distracting from the point of the post. That is, an ad hom, by definition. So, it would appear that on the topic of my actual point, you agree with me, but instead of just letting it go at that, you choose to engage in false claims and ad hom attacks. Why would you do that?

    But never mind, no point in asking what you won’t answer.

    ~Dan

    • Since when is it an “ad him” to tell the truth? We’ve all seen the equivocation in your comments, Trabue. I just recently pointed out how you changed my use of the word “nation” to be a different definition so you could attack my comments. You are pathetic!

  11. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, conversations happen like this:

    Dan says A, B and C.

    If Glenn objects to A, B or C, thinking it a mistaken point, he can say, “Dan, when you say A, you are mistaken because…” and provide support for his position.

    Saying, “nu uh, you ain’t REALLY a follower of Jesus because you hold different opinions than I do…” is not responding to my points. It is an ad hom. You are objecting to me because I hold different opinions than you do, but you aren’t taking on those actual positions (for instance, “I am a follower of Christ, I believe in an adhere to the teachings of Jesus…”), but are instead saying, “You’re just making up a fake Jesus to follow…”

    There is no support for the claim. There is no evidence for the claim. It is a simple slander, without support or rational defense.

    It is, by definition, an ad hom attack.

    See?

    Now, if you want to point to a specific place where I don’t agree with or adhere to the teachings of Jesus, you could bring that up as evidence, but you have not done that.

    Aside from all of that, my following Jesus (and thus, being by definition a Christ-ian) is not even the point I was making, but rather an illustration for my point. MY point was that words change meanings/have different meanings in different contexts and thus, it is wise to make clear what we mean when we use words.

    To my actual POINT, do you have an objection? You offered only “Most words don’t evolve…” which would make sense only if I said that most words evolve. I didn’t. I said words DO evolve. SOME words. MANY words. Not “most” or “all” words.

    My point is a simple statement of fact. Do you object to that fact? Based on what?

    That is what conversation looks like.

    ~Dan

    (Oh, and your false representation of my point on the word “nation,” is yet another distraction from reality. What I did there was merely point out that native nations and laws factually DID exist. I do not have mind reading capabilities and could not know that you didn’t mean “nations” as a people. Again, if you want to be clear and you are making a questionably true statement, you benefit from making your meaning clear. To the point of this post.)

    • Trabue,
      
I DO respond to your points. You claim to be a Christian. I prove that the “Christ” you worship is not the one from the Bible; i.e., you worship a Christ of your own choosing – one which approves of homosexuality, one who approves of abortion, one who teaches the social gospel, etc. How often do I have to demonstrate that what you claim Jesus teaches and what the Bible says he teaches are two different things?!?! Everyone on this string has seen your teachings. Ergo, when you claim you follow the fundamentals of the Christian faith, you have to redefine the word “fundamental.” No ad hominem attacks. But you play the victim and almost ALWAYS holler “ad hominem.”

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
      
The word you chose to use – “fundamentalist” – as an example of how words “evolve” was a poor choice. Guess what, while people may have used the word for some definitions, the main definition – i.e., one who adheres to the fundamentals of a professed belief, teaching, occupation, etc. A fundamentalist pilot is the only kind I’d want to fly with. A fundamentalist CPA will keep my taxes straight. A fundamentalist Christian is one who follows all the fundamental teachings of the Christian faith, including creation, the fall, the flood, the dividing of languages at Babel, the sacrificial system culminating in Christ, the deity of Christ, marriage as between one man and one woman, sex outside of marriage being wrong, abortion as murder, the trinity, etc, etc, etc. Choosing to use a different definition and then claiming the word has evolved is nothing less than equivocation so as to push an personal agenda.

      Your claim as to what took place with the conversation about the word “nation” was not as you lyingly claim, and all anyone has to do is to go back and look at the comment string where I kept explaining to you the context of my use of the word while you kept using your context to prove me in error.

      Your dishonesty is recognized often in the many comment strings you join in on.

  12. John, leave Dan alone. All he did was answer your question; he didn’t do anything else to provoke your irrational and undeserved scorn.

    ? What would you have me do, John? The question you raised in your post was ‘What is religious fundamentalism…?’ I answered that question with a reasonable answer.

    “I noted that, factually speaking, in the real world, words evolve. Thus, if I want to be clear what I mean if I use ‘Christian fundamentalist…’ I should explain specifically what I mean.

    This is reasonable and I don’t really see anyone disputing the point. So, I made my point and I moved on, what else should I do? Do you disagree with my point? If so, feel free to disagree and ask questions, if you wish. If not, well then, we agree.” [emphasis mine]

    That’s all he did, and so you’re just being hateful for jumping down his throat for it.

    I mean, sure, if he had said more than that — if he had added to that reasonable real-world observation that language isn’t static some sort of serious accusation about your beliefs but refused to substantiate it or stick around long enough to defend it — you might have cause to criticize.

    You are the one trying to change the definition to Christian from ‘a follower of Jesus’ to ‘one who ascribes to modern conservative religious doctrine…’ What you are describing is literally more ‘southern baptist-ian’ or ‘calvinian…’ not ‘Christian…’ And the fundamentals you ascribe to are not literally Jesus’, but some more modern twist on Christian teaching.

    If he had written something like this, you would have good reason to expect more than a transient comment, but he didn’t, so you don’t.

    Or if he had contentiously (and arguably tendentiously) presented a subset of Jesus’ ethical teachings as the “fundamentals” of His teachings as if Jesus either never taught about the authority of Scripture or the saving efficacy of His crucifixion, you might have reason to think that he did more than write banal platitudes about which we can all agree, but he didn’t, and so you don’t.

    All Dan did was answer your question. He didn’t write anything controversial, nobody like me highlighted the controversial claims and accusations he didn’t write, you didn’t respond to that, and so your comment about his “hit and run method” is from out of the blue and completely out of line.

    And if I may say one more thing in defense of Dan Trabue — mild and sincere Dan Trabue — I think we can all agree about his virtues.

    Dan Trabue is just as honest about his own words as he is the written word of God, and we should commend him for his consistency.

  13. “I just find it dishonest the way you equivocate regularly and how you even do it to others words.”

    Just to be clear, this is obviously a statement of opinion, not a statement of fact. It is, however, an opinion that could be supported quite easily if one would take the time to go through (for example) Dan’s recent lengthy exchange with Bubba.

    Fortunately, since expressing opinions is still an acceptable practice, we’ll be spared that pleasure of a recitation of Dan’s equivocations.

    I also fail to see how expressing an opinion is an ad hom attack. Seems like it’s just an opinion.

  14. Bubba,

    You forgot full of grace and peace, when describing Dan,

    How could you.

  15. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    All Dan did was answer your question. He didn’t write anything controversial, nobody like me highlighted the controversial claims and accusations he didn’t write

    I saw nothing that you wrote of consequence, insofar as it relating to anything I have actually said, so I didn’t address your non-relevant comments.

    So, it appears that, ON MY POINT I made, you all have no serious problem. It IS a good idea to clarify your words so people know in what sense you are using them.

    You all appear to have a problem with my illustration, that, for instance, I am a Christ-ian because I am an adherent to Christ’s teachings. So, off topic, go ahead and tell me ONE CLAIM I have made that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Not to various religion’s interpretations of what Jesus meant, but to the literal specific teachings of Jesus.

    Even one?

    To this end, you offered earlier… “the belief in the authority of Scripture to the smallest penstroke” Of course, this is not what Jesus said. What he said, literally, was…

    Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

    For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    And indeed, I agree with Jesus, Scripture (ie, God’s Word to us) will NOT disappear, and he did not come to abolish the Law or Prophets, but to fulfill them. To give us a more complete and more holistic understanding of them. Indeed, this is what Jesus did. Which is why we reasonably set aside laws for ancient people, because he has helped us understand the Law’s actual role and that ancient laws are not necessarily something we should obey just because they are ancient laws, but rather, we should do the right, the good, the helpful and kind because they are right, good, helpful and kind.

    So, you see, I do not disagree with Jesus, I am an adherent to his teachings, even the ones that some of you don’t take literally.

    You can point to teaching after teaching of Jesus and you will see I am an adherent to his teachings, and thus, BY DEFINITION, a Christian. At least by that definition. Which gets back to my actual point, that it helps to clarify how we’re using words.

    I will note that where you object to my words…

    “You are the one trying to change the definition to Christian from ‘a follower of Jesus’ to ‘one who ascribes to modern conservative religious doctrine…’ What you are describing is literally more ‘southern baptist-ian’ or ‘calvinian…’ not ‘Christian…’ And the fundamentals you ascribe to are not literally Jesus’, but some more modern twist on Christian teaching.”

    … you do not state how I am mistaken. The notion of a Penal Substitutionary THEORY of Atonement is a more recent development, NOT something from the mouth of Jesus. The notion of “Sola Scriptura,” is not from the mouth of Jesus, but a more recent development. The notion that it is immoral for gay folk to marry is not from the mouth of Jesus, but a separate human theory.

    The points where you all object to my opinions are not based on Jesus’ words, but on human traditions. Where am I mistaken? Where is there a line from Jesus that I have opposed and you have supported?

    You offer nothing on this point and ALL of this is aside from the point of the topic, a chasing after of rabbits, not related to my point on this topic.

    ~Dan

    • Jesus pointed back to Genesis when he discussed what marriage is. Jesus as God said homosexual behavior is an abomination worthy of execution in a theocracy. Paul stated he was directly taught by Jesus and Paul said homosexual behavior was unnatural and perverse, and said those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God.
      Yet Trabue claims that Jesus is actually okay with homosexuality because nowhere in the Bible does Jesus specifically state “homosexual behavior is wrong,” — of course nowhere does Jesus say bestiality is wrong either, so I guess that’s okay according to Trabue.

      This is just ONE example of Trabue claiming Jesus taught things which he didn’t teach, or that Jesus didn’t teach things that He DID teach. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Trabue!

  16. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    I prove that the “Christ” you worship is not the one from the Bible; i.e., you worship a Christ of your own choosing – one which approves of homosexuality, one who approves of abortion, one who teaches the social gospel, etc. How often do I have to demonstrate that what you claim Jesus teaches and what the Bible says he teaches are two different things?

    At least once. You keep offering your opinions about what Jesus thought but not anything more solid.

    Jesus said zero things about gay folk marrying. I think that it is a moral and blessed and beautiful thing for gay folk to marry.

    That is NOT a contradiction of Jesus’ teachings. You offer EXTRABIBLICALLY that, IN YOUR OPINION, Jesus would disapprove. But I disagree with your opinion. Disagreeing with Glenn is not the same as disagreeing with Jesus, see?

    Jesus said PLENTY of things about taking care of the poor, clearly, it is a priority of Jesus’. I agree with that.

    Jesus said nothing against “the social gospel…” (however you’re defining that.)

    YOU hold the opinion that Jesus would be opposed to what YOU think of as “the social gospel…”

    So, if I disagree, it is with your opinions, not Jesus’ teachings.

    Disagreeing with Glenn is not the same as disagreeing with Jesus, see?

    Do you see the problem. You are conflating your opinions with Jesus’ Word and saying because I disagree with your opinions, I disagree with Jesus. But you are not Jesus.

    So, at least ONE TIME, you would have to offer SOMETHING that says I have misunderstood Jesus. That has not happened yet.

    But feel free, Glenn: Offer ONE DIRECT teaching of Jesus where you KNOW I disagree with what Jesus said. A direct quote from Jesus and a citation from me where I disagree with what he is teaching.

    Do you have even one?

    ~Dan

  17. paynehollow says:

    Craig…
    I also fail to see how expressing an opinion is an ad hom attack. Seems like it’s just an opinion.

    It is “just an opinion,” but it is an off topic opinion attacking the person, rather than the person’s argument.

    Definition:
    Ad hominem: Ad hominem (Latin) means “against the man”. As the name suggests, it is a literary term that involves commenting on or against an opponent to undermine him instead of his arguments.

    Example of NOT an ad hom attack:
    Mr X: When the meaning of our words are in doubt, we should clarify how we’re using a word, after all, word meanings can and do change.

    Ms A: No, word meanings DON’T change. They are and should forever stay the same.

    That is NOT an ad hom, Ms A is attacking the argument.

    Example of an ad hom attack:
    Mr X: When the meaning of our words are in doubt, we should clarify how we’re using a word, after all, word meanings can and do change.

    Ms A: Mr X is a creep and molests women. He is no follower of decency, therefore, his words are wrong…

    Both are opinions, one is an opinion that is also an ad hom attack, rather than dealing with the argument.

    See?

    • Since the discussion was about what a fundamentalist is, and therefore cruxed on definitions, and there is therefore a propensity to equivocate, whereas equivocation could be intentional or unintentional, my opinion based on observation is wholly on topic.

  18. paynehollow says:

    But, John, factually speaking, I have no equivocated. You can not point to any instances of me equivocating to support this charge. It is utterly false, demonstrably so, since you can produce no evidence.

    Beyond that, my actual point stands as a point of fact, one which nearly everyone here agrees with, so what’s the beef?

    It appears that you all (with the possible exception of Glenn) agree with the point I actually made, but take claim to my examples I offered to illustrate the point with which you agree. But instead of simply acknowledging the point as legitimate, each one of you is choosing to go on attack with false and unsupported charges. And this, WHEN WE AGREE!

    Why do you all do this, especially when it is easily demonstrated that your charges are flimsy, false and unsupported?

    ~Dan

  19. It is true that the meanings of words evolve. For example, “bastard” means a child born outside of marriage. It has come to be used as a epithet or pejorative. In a past discussion with a far left former visitor to both my and Dan’s blog, I used the word properly, but was constantly accused of cussing out someone of that visitor’s ancestry. It did not work in this person’s favor to deal with the question in which the word was appropriately and properly used. In this way, it aligns with Dan’s stated purpose to be clear in the use of words. That’s pretty much the point of John asking the question in the first place.

    Too often, however, words aren’t evolving naturally. The word “bitch” means a female canine but has “evolved” to deride women. It has evolved still to denote an attitude or emotion (bitchy) and yet still to denote something “cool” (that is SO bitchin’!) It has yet again “evolved” to mean one’s subordinate (He’s my bitch.)

    But not all words evolve naturally and I believe “fundamentalist” (in any of its varying forms, such as “fundie”) is one of them. Like “marriage”, “family” and other terms in the news today, definitions never used are forced upon certain words for the purpose of gaining rhetorical and ideological advantage. “Marriage” has never meant merely the union of any two people, but the union of one man and one woman specifically. But proponents of sexual immorality, like Dan, corrupted the word to satisfy their position and agenda.

    There is another distinction here. While “bitch” was, to some extent, forcibly altered, it was merely another way of calling a human being a “dog”, but being sex specific. In other words, it is using one meaning as a sort of parallel or analogy for another purpose. The true meaning continues to exist along side the “evolved” variation.

    To some extent, I think that is true of “fundamentalism”. It is both a pejorative and maintains its true meaning. What we are finding in this discussion, however, is another redefining, or at the very least, a very biased (in a benign way) opinion of what it means. Clearly, most of us here do not agree that Dan is an example of a Christian fundamentalist. Bubba’s brief list of issues debated in the past suggest a clear difference of opinion regarding what it means to be a “follower of Christ”. Here, too, terms are used in a manner that reflects one’s own desire rather than one’s behavior reflecting a true definition of a word or term.

    But to some extent, that it not a bad thing until engaging in a specific discussion regarding definitions, as John has attempted here. Ask any number of people what it means to be an American, or what an American is, and likely the result will be the same number of different definitions. There is a degree of opinion in the use of some words and terms, and to be specific when discussing any of them is a good idea.

  20. We must be fair. This is Dan’s words from his original comment:

    “I, for one, certainly consider myself one who strives to hold to the fundamental teachings of Jesus, the Christ, as he taught us. In that sense, I am a “fundamentalist…” “

    This is really no different than the definition I put forth. Of course, the “devil”, so to speak, is in the details, and in this discussion, I don’t think John asked for details from any of us. Should he decide to go there, we will see clearly that the this definition is a most general one and not reflective of the truth of the matter. Dan clearly believes, or insists he does, that he is an ardent follower of Christ and His teachings and thus, that would indeed make him a fundamentalist. Our objections, of course, are based on his very loose an ideological idea of what it means to follow Christ. Again, I point to Bubba’s list of issues.

    I also need to once again object to Dan’s insistence that Scripture in any way defines marriage in a manner that would allow for two of the same gender to unite and receive God’s blessing and tolerance. There is nothing in Scripture whatsoever that can support this truly worldly and heretical stance. It requires that the definition of the word “marriage” be corrupted beyond its true definition of the union of one man and one woman. If Scripture speaks of the goodness and benefit of marriage, it is speaking of the union of one man and one woman. I defy Dan to make a case from Scripture that it could possibly mean anything else. Perhaps he could do a post for that cause at his own blog.

  21. “I think that it is a moral and blessed and beautiful thing for gay folk to marry.”

    This statement raises a few questions.

    Is the above a statement of pure opinion, or do you think it is factually true?
    If it is opinion, then is it based on anything beyond your personal observations?
    If you believe it to be factual, then what is your basis for that belief?
    By what objective standard do you base the morality of this (or really anything else)?
    Why would you consider this blessed?
    By whom do you believe these marriages to be blessed?
    By what objective standard do you declare these relationships beautiful?
    Are ALL “gay marriages” always moral, blessed, and beautiful?
    Are ALL marriages period always moral, blessed, and beautiful?

    As you your ad hom obsession, I’d suggest that if any of us cared enough to search your last exchange with Bubba, we’d find plenty of examples. Of course that presumes that anyone would take the time to confirm what we’ve seen enough of. That also presumes you’d be honest enough to admit that anything we found was actually pertinent. Given that, why bother.

  22. paynehollow says:

    You keep saying examples exist and not providing one. If there were so many out there, you truly would think they actually exist and could be provided.

    If they existed.

    As to your questions, yes, it is my opinion that it is a moral, blessed and beautiful thing for gay folk to marry, just as it is for straight folk (with the obvious provisos: That they love and are committed to each other, that it isn’t forced, etc).

    It is based on more than just my personal observations.

    Healthy marriages, I would posit, can be demonstrated to help strengthen societies. They provide a healthy place to raise children, they provide mutual support, they provide a healthy outlet for sexual expression, etc.

    Do you agree with me that healthy marriages (in general) strengthen societies?

    If so, do you have any hard evidence to think that healthy gay marriages would somehow not do this, just as with straight marriages?

    By what objective measure? By research that shows (from a negative side) that promiscuous sexuality reduces individual and societal health and (from a positive side) that healthy marriages (gay or straight) make for a stronger society.

    Do you have any evidence to suggest that marriages for gay folk is not healthy?

    Blessed in the Bible means happy. Healthy marriages make for happy lives, families and cultures. Do you have any reason to think that gay folk who have healthy marriages will not be happier just as healthy straight marriages are happy?

    By whom do you believe these marriages to be blessed?

    Blessed means happy. Right living brings happiness. They will be blessed by right living.

    Are you using some other definition of “blessed…” than the biblical one?

    By what objective standard do you declare these relationships beautiful?

    Healthy, happy, whole lives are beautiful. Do you disagree?

    Are ALL “gay marriages” always moral, blessed, and beautiful?
    Are ALL marriages period always moral, blessed, and beautiful?

    Unhealthy, abusive, harmful marriages of any sort are not great.

    Do you disagree?

    Your questions have been answered, I hope you’ll answer mine. Thanks.

    ~Dan

  23. “You keep saying examples exist and not providing one. If there were so many out there, you truly would think they actually exist and could be provided.”

    …and you keep pretending that I haven’t already explained this. But, by all means, if it makes you feel better then keep up the denial.

    So, it is now your opinion that not ALL marriages are blessed, moral, beautiful etc., just the ones your perceive to meet your personal criteria. These criteria you mention, where do they come from?

    “Do you agree with me that healthy marriages (in general) strengthen societies?”

    In general I do. The problem is, you didn’t specify “healthy” marriages, you quite clearly said “I think that it is a moral and blessed and beautiful thing for gay folk to marry.”. So, we are left to surmise that your original statement was not an accurate representation of your opinion.

    “If so, do you have any hard evidence to think that healthy gay marriages would somehow not do this, just as with straight marriages?”

    Without knowing how you are choosing to define “healthy marriage”, and given the fairly significant evidence that the a high percentage of the gay community does not consider monogamy as an integral part of marriage, as well as the documented health hazards of anal sex, I’m not totally sure how many “gay marriages” could be objectively categorized as healthy, I’m not sure your question could be answered to your satisfaction. But I will say, that IF there exists some number of gay marriages that do fully embrace monogamy as well as abstain from behaviors that cause physical harm, then it could be argued that those marriages are more beneficial to society than some would argue. Ultimately given that only 1.6% of the US population identifies as gay, and of that tiny number the % of what you would call “healthy” “marriages” would be so tiny as to have virtually no impact on society as a whole.

    “Do you have any evidence to suggest that marriages for gay folk is not healthy?”

    If one looks at the CDC statistics for disease on the gay community as a whole, as well as the documented health risks of anal sex, I’d suggest that a case could be made that “gay marriage” is not healthy. However, as you have not defined healthy, I can’t really answer. Oh, don’t ask for the disease and anal sex danger information again. the last time I gave it to you, you just pretended it didn’t exist, probably because you couldn’t counter the medical facts.

    It would seem that you’ve cherry picked the definition of “blessed” to the one you prefer. Had you looked closer, you would have seen;

    “…properly, when God extends His benefits (the advantages He confers); blessed.”

    “Do you have any reason to think that gay folk who have healthy marriages will not be happier just as healthy straight marriages are happy?”

    Without understanding your subjective use of terms like “healthy” and “happy”, I’m not sure I can answer to your liking. I will repeat, that given the available statistics for issues of mental and physical health concerns among the gay community, I’m not sure how much of a blanket statement one could reasonably make.

    “Are you using some other definition of “blessed…” than the biblical one?”

    I didn’t use the term, you did. I don’t understand why I should have to define a term that you used, when I was asking your for clarification about what you meant in your original statement.

    “Do you disagree?”

    I never said otherwise, so why would you ask.

    Some follow up questions. Or re asking of earlier question in the light of the new qualifications you made to your original statement.

    “By what objective standard do you base the morality of this (or really anything else)?”

    Why would you consider this (all “gay marriage”)blessed? Or are you now suggesting that you only consider certain “gay marriages” blessed?

    By whom do you believe these marriages to be blessed?

    Given the standard English definitions of the word “blessed”;

    “1.consecrated; sacred; holy; sanctified: the Blessed Sacrament.
    2.worthy of adoration, reverence, or worship: the Blessed Trinity.
    3.divinely or supremely favored; fortunate: to be blessed with a strong, healthy body; blessed with an ability to find friends.
    4.blissfully happy or contented.
    5.Roman Catholic Church , beatified.”

    Can you in good faith make a rational argument that blessed means “happy”? Or even that happy is the primary meaning (you might want to re read your own link before you answer)

    “By what objective standard do you declare these relationships beautiful?”

    i was hoping for an objective standard, not a subjective one, could you try again?

    Are you really suggesting that happy is the most important defining characterization of a “healthy” marriage?

    Are you really suggesting that happy, is any sort of solid objective standard?

    Are you really suggesting that the sermon on the mount text could be translated as “Happy are those who weep”, or “Happy are those who mourn”, or “Happy are the poor in spirit”?

    Anyway, you got answers. That should make you happy. Now it’s time for work.

  24. John, as usual, if this goes too far off topic delete it. I won’t take offense.

  25. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    So, we are left to surmise that your original statement was not an accurate representation of your opinion.

    I thought I could say that “marriage is a blessing to society” without noting that “abusive marriages are not a blessing…” But that would be an example of making your point clear. So, to be clear: In general, I believe marriages are a blessing, a joy, a boon to society. Of course, with the caveat that, NO, abusive marriages are not a blessing to anyone.

    So, yes, with this caveat, my original statement WAS an accurate representation of my opinion.

    Tell me, Craig: Did you really think I was including rape and abuse in with the blessing that I believe marriage to be?

  26. Dan, clearly you’re a Christian, completely orthodox in your doctrine and obedient to every recorded teaching of Jesus of Nazareth and His hand-picked Apostles.

    So, off topic, go ahead and tell me ONE CLAIM I have made that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Not to various religion’s interpretations of what Jesus meant, but to the literal specific teachings of Jesus.

    One comes immediately to mind: Jesus said He did not come to abolish the law, but you once wrote, “clearly, Jesus HAS abolish[ed] (or set aside, or reinterpreted, or taken from and added to our understanding or SOMETHING like that) at least some laws.”

    But surely you must have misspoken, and now you observe, quite rightly, that Jesus didn’t explicitly affirm “the authority of Scripture to the smallest penstroke.”

    Of course, this is not what Jesus said.

    Of course, and your position is not only a plausible interpretation of the whole breadth of Jesus’ recorded life and teachings, it’s MORE plausible than mine and much more obvious, “that ancient laws are not necessarily something we should obey just because they are ancient laws, but rather, we should do the right, the good, the helpful and kind because they are right, good, helpful and kind.”

    One of Jesus’ favorite phrases was gegraptai — literally, “it stands written.” He submitted to Scripture during His temptation, in the controversies with the religious teachers, and in His understanding of His own earthly mission. He contrasted mere human tradition with God’s word but equated what Moses said with what God said. The obvious conclusion from all of that is that we should be guided more by our own understanding of what is right, good, helpful, and kind than what is in what you (perplexingly) call “Scripture (ie, God’s Word to us).” Even though we all agree that Scripture’s is God’s word, Jesus could not have been more clear that our own consciences clearly trump its teachings.

    You’re equally correct on other counts. The idea that Jesus came to give His life as a ransom for many, that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins: this idea is, as you put it, only a THEORY, “a more recent development, NOT something from the mouth of Jesus.” The same is true about the idea that God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife, a theory wholly separate from the words of Christ.

    But I’d like to focus on the question of what Jesus meant on when He claimed not to abolish Scripture. The last time we talked online, I had reminded you of an ancient discussion where I posted, at great length, a verbatim transcript of John Stott’s commentary on that portion of Matthew 5, and you never did address the substance of his argument — and mine — that Jesus indeed did affirm the authority of Scripture. Instead, we argued over a question of yours of much more recent vintage: I believe I addressed the question adequately, you disagreed, and I raised more than a dozen questions that you never answered and, in many cases, never even acknowledged. You accused me of denying absolute morality and believing in a God who acts on “whim” or caprice, and when I corrected you on that positively slanderous misunderstanding of my position, you decided to jump ship rather than apologize and retract the remark — or justify and argue in its defense.

    (I’m assuming your behavior there was an advanced lesson from your courses on What Conversation Looks Like, something far beyond the grasp of those of us who can’t even get past the rudiments of your authoritative expectation of how “conversations happen.” Oh that we knew the intricacies of the meeting of the minds, so we would not be tempted to think that you rewrite the rules to fit your own fancy!)

    Now, I know that your position is the more reasonable one, but I’m having trouble putting into words the reason why. I’d find it helpful if you would address that lengthy excerpt, perhaps at your own blog.

    Or maybe I missed it the first time. In that conversation at Marshall’s, you lamented having to answer my questions “again,” but I’m such a neophyte at this here Interwebs that I cannot seem to find that earlier explanation. I’d appreciate it if you would link to that earlier explanation.

    To get to your point, though, I completely agree: In general, if a person professes to be a follower of Christ, we CANNOT AND MUST NOT conclude otherwise unless he renounces at least one teaching of Christ explicitly, directly, and without any ambiguity. As long as he affirms all of Christ’s teachings, it does not matter a whit whether his interpretations of those teachings are implausible in the extreme, tendentious, and even in obvious opposition to the teaching’s clear meaning.

    After all, when Jesus warned us about false prophets in Matthew 7, He told us they would appear as wolves in wolves’ clothing, so completely obvious in their apostasy that they would practically confess to being traitors to the faith.

    Since you’ve never written, “I am not a Christian,” we must give you every possible benefit of the doubt with no consideration for the details of what you believe, just as we ought to accept an individual’s claim to be a woman even if that person was born with a penis and that individual’s every cell has a Y chromosome. Putting actual evidence over a person’s self-appellation is the mark of an irrational and close-minded man, unless of course that person describes himself as rational and open minded.

    And we must trust that you would reciprocate. You would never accuse people of deicide and worshipping a bloodthirsty false idol just because they disagree with you on which political candidate to support, and if I were to insist that my conception of God is that He is perfectly just and would never give whimsical commands even if we don’t always understand Him from our limited and imperfect vantage point, I’m sure you would never suggest otherwise.

    • I pointed out just ONE teaching of Dan’s which he says is of Jesus – i.e. the whole homosexual issue – which actually is NOT of Jesus. He asked for just one, and I gave him one and he has not responded to it. I have proven him to be a liar.

  27. John, I’d like to thank you in advance for approving my comments, and I apologize for the hassle resulting from my putting in a good many hyperlinks.

    Craig, you write, “Anyway, you got answers. That should make you happy. Now it’s time for work.”

    It should make Dan happy — and blessed!

    Obviously, the Sermon on the Mount’s Beatitudes are about our subjective feelings of happiness and not the objective approval of God. Look again at Dan’s tremendous and wonderful encapsulation of the fundamentals of Jesus’ teachings.

    The fundamentals of Jesus’ teachings revolve around a life/a way of Grace, not of rule-following, not of traditions, but of grace. Fundamentally, Jesus taught us to love one another, to forgive, to be peaceable, to live simply, to care for the least of these, to be open and inviting to all (not merely the “clean” or “good…”). I ascribe to these fundamentals and do so quite literally. That makes me literal a Jesus-ian – one who ascribes to the teachings of Jesus, or Christ-ian, if you believe – as I do – that Jesus was/is the Christ.

    What’s missing? More precisely, WHO is missing?

    God is missing.

    Look again at how Dan so perfectly describes what Jesus did in explaining ancient Jewish Scripture.

    And indeed, I agree with Jesus, Scripture (ie, God’s Word to us) will NOT disappear, and he did not come to abolish the Law or Prophets, but to fulfill them. To give us a more complete and more holistic understanding of them. Indeed, this is what Jesus did. Which is why we reasonably set aside laws for ancient people, because he has helped us understand the Law’s actual role and that ancient laws are not necessarily something we should obey just because they are ancient laws, but rather, we should do the right, the good, the helpful and kind because they are right, good, helpful and kind.

    Here, too, God isn’t in the picture, except that Scripture is described as “God’s Word to us” but is immediately dismissed as ancient laws that we ought to subordinate to our own understanding of what is right, good, helpful, and kind.

    (I do wish Dan would recognize how helpful and kind an Oxford comma can be.)

    Dan’s right, the “fundamentals of Jesus’ teachings” are solely about our relationships with other human beings, informed primarily by our own understanding of morality.

    God is tangential to all that, an add-on that’s nice to have or perhaps a useful concept to some who need it in their ignorance or for their own solace. It’s not as if Jesus’ greatest commandment was to love God supremely, and it’s not as if He treated Scripture as God’s written revelation, authoritative in His own life and in ours.

    Who can ever forget what Jesus taught that young pupil while they were travelling?

    “Let go your conscious self and act on instinct. Stretch out with your feelings, and you will have taken your first step into a larger world.”

  28. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    One comes immediately to mind: Jesus said He did not come to abolish the law, but you once wrote, “clearly, Jesus HAS abolish[ed] (or set aside, or reinterpreted, or taken from and added to our understanding or SOMETHING like that) at least some laws.”

    Clearly, we are NOT under OT laws. You don’t think so and I agree with you on that point. Clearly, Jesus did not teach us to hold to OT laws. You don’t think so and I agree with you on that point.

    So, it appears that you and I agree that Jesus did not teach us/command us/want us to hold to OT laws. We are under grace, not law. Jesus taught us a new way, a way of grace, a salvation by grace.

    So, as noted, you can not note even one teaching of Jesus with which I agree. And this one you’ve cited, I would suppose that you and I agree upon. But you tell me: Do you really think that Jesus taught us to obey OT laws specifically to ancient Israel, in toto?

    I doubt seriously you are heeding to laws about what to do when you sell your daughter into slavery or how you should not be cutting your hair, but you tell me.

    ~Dan

    • So, as noted, you can not note even one teaching of Jesus with which I agree. And this one you’ve cited, I would suppose that you and I agree upon. But you tell me: Do you really think that Jesus taught us to obey OT laws specifically to ancient Israel, in toto?

      I doubt seriously you are heeding to laws about what to do when you sell your daughter into slavery or how you should not be cutting your hair, but you tell me.

      Here’s Trabue’s usual canard against accepting the O.T. teachings against homosexuality. He never seems to understand — no matter how many times it’s shown to him — that there is an entirely different context. The issue about sexual acts which are forbidden were forbidden for every one — not just Israel. God specifically stated the sexual perversions were reasons He destroyed other nations. Laws for Israel under the theocracy were just for Israel. Two different things Trabue. No matter how much you want to blaspheme Christ by saying He is okay with same-sex fake marriage, you are still lying.

  29. paynehollow says:

    Of course, I meant, “With with I DISagree…”

  30. “Tell me, Craig: Did you really think I was including rape and abuse in with the blessing that I believe marriage to be?”

    No, I didn’t. What I did think was that when you literally actually said, “I think that it is a moral and blessed and beautiful thing for gay folk to marry.”, that you actually literally meant that you think it is a “moral, and blessed, and beautiful thing when gay folk marry” that you meant what you actually literally said. I apologize that I couldn’t read your mind and be aware of all of the caveats you seem to be bringing up now.

    “I thought I could say that “marriage is a blessing to society”

    But you didn’t say that, you said what you said. No where in the statement I quoted did the words “blessing to society” appear. Perhaps If you’d not make such sweeping generalized broad statements when you don’t mean them it would help.

    “Your questions have been answered, I hope you’ll answer mine. Thanks.”

    • This is especially true given Dan’s constant reprimand that we not assume what he means. So, even when we quote him directly we need to assume what he means…wait…

  31. Fundamentally speaking, I don’t think something is good because it is perceived by any of us as beneficial to society. That’s subjective and many possible disagree with that perception. Fundamentally speaking, something must first be pleasing to God before we can presume it is a good, even if it appears to us to be beneficial to society. Fundamentally speaking, God never speaks of sexual intercourse as wicked, but does say as much depending upon the circumstance or context in which it might take place. To be more direct, He does not prohibit heterosexual behavior except for stated circumstances. He does not prohibit it between a husband and wife, nor does he refer to the act in a negative way. Fundamentally speaking, He does not label such behavior with any negative connotation at all. BUT, fundamentally speaking, He is quite clear about sex between those of the same gender as being an abomination. It’s the reason why He prohibits the practice. He does so without reference to any circumstance, context or scenario in which it might take place. Ever. Thus, fundamentally speaking, any reference to “marriage” in Scripture cannot mean anything other than one man/one woman. What’s more, there is no reference to marriage that is NOT a union of one man/one woman, even when one man unites with one woman multiple times. So, to apply the word “blessed” to any “gay” marriage requires a major departure from both common sense AND a fundamental understanding of Scripture, at least as far as this issue is concerned. Even if a “gay” marriage is somehow beneficial to society, and at this point that is no more than speculation and self-serving opinion unsupported by any facts, it still cannot be “blessed”…except by Dan and those like him. Certainly not by God.

  32. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    that you actually literally meant that you think it is a “moral, and blessed, and beautiful thing when gay folk marry” that you meant what you actually literally said.

    Well, I apologize that you don’t have the good sense to know that I would not include abusive marriages or unhealthy marriages in with good marriages when I spoke of moral, blessed and beautiful. I think MOST of the world recognizes that when one speaks of good stuff, they are not including abusive stuff in as part of the good stuff. I am sorry that you don’t have the good sense to recognize that.

    Now you know.

    ~Dan

    • Dan, have you ever noticed that when somebody says something you run with a sumptions then come back and say “well you know you said… I’m not a mind reader” then when somebody takes you for exactly the words you write, you expect them to know every unspoken exception you would personally make. That’s another reason people don’t like discussing with you very much

  33. paynehollow says:

    No wonder you all have such a hard time with the Bible. I wonder if it’s possible that what makes some people conservative is some gene or some portion of their brain that makes them incapable of distinguishing between literal words and other words?

    Here are some hints for you:

    When somebody walks up to greet you and says, “Man, what a beautiful day!” don’t respond by saying, “What?! There was a car wreck that happened this morning that killed three people! You’re calling that beautiful? You’re sick!”

    When someone says, “Children are a blessing to society,” don’t respond by saying, “What?! I know of ten children that raped and killed people! You’re calling that a blessing? You’re evil!!”

    And when someone says, “Marriage is a blessed, beautiful thing…” don’t respond by saying, “Really? You count all those abusive marriages as beautiful? You pervert!”

    Seriously, I don’t know how you can make it through a day in the real world.

    Don’t be obtuse when you read. Use your God-given reasoning to sort things out.

    ~Dan

    • I see. So it’s our fault that we constantly fail to accurately navigate the waters of Dan Trabue’s commentaries. It has absolutely nothing to do with your two-stepping and admonishments every time your own words are held up. If your words come to conclusions, you deride us for mind-reading and putting words in your mouth. If we go strictly by your exact words typed out by you personally, we’re derided for not assuming what you do and don’t mean. Can you please provide a more detailed list of rules for deciphering your comments so that we don’t have to waste time with your chiding. Or perhaps you can just be honest and man up when your positions are shown to be flawed.

  34. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    If one looks at the CDC statistics for disease on the gay community as a whole, as well as the documented health risks of anal sex, I’d suggest that a case could be made that “gay marriage” is not healthy.

    1. Gay and straight couples engage in anal sex (much less regularly, I’d guess, would be lesbian couples). If people engage in it too much, this might be against good medical advice. It is not, however, evidence that marriage – gay or straight – is unhealthy.

    2. Your “CDC” citations, as always, are an argument in FAVOR of encouraging faithful, responsible, monogamous marriages for all people who want to express their sexuality and against encouraging promiscuity. This is an argument IN FAVOR of marriage for gay and straight people, not against it.

    3. I ask again: Can you make a rational argument against encouraging marriage for all people, gay or straight, who wish to be married?

    The answer appears to be – after all these years – still No.

    Craig…

    Can you in good faith make a rational argument that blessed means “happy”? Or even that happy is the primary meaning (you might want to re read your own link before you answer)

    It is the literal meaning of the Greek word translated “blessed.” (Read the link again).

    When one is following in God’s ways, one is happy. I think following God’s ways, living a life of love and grace DOES tend to make one happy. Do you disagree?

    • Dan,

      We DO encourage homosexuals to marry. But “marriage” is the union of one man and one woman.

      “When one is following in God’s ways, one is happy.”

      It is quite clear that many do not follow in God’s ways because they claim to be happier doing things their own way. Homosexuals who insist they are Christian, as well as their enablers like yourself, are obviously happy in rebellion. So I don’t see the relevance of that statement to this discussion.

  35. paynehollow says:

    John…

    then when somebody takes you for exactly the words you write, you expect them to know every unspoken exception you would personally make.

    Yes, indeed, this problem you all have with knowing when to take words literally and when not to DOES make conversation difficult.

    Seriously, John: When someone says “It’s a beautiful day” do you REALLY think they are including the murders and rapes that happened on that day in with “beautiful…”?

    This IS why I’ve mostly given up on conversing with you all. It’s just too much work.

    Seriously, I considered spelling out what I meant by “marriage is beautiful,” to make clear that I was not speaking of abusive marriages, but I thought I would be insulting your collective intelligence.

    I see now that I might have to define each word and phrase I use to converse with you all and that just makes it too much work.

    ~Dan

  36. OK, instead of Dan answering questions, let’s a a remedial look at what he actually said, as opposed to what he thought he said. While this probably isn’t an example of equivocation, it is certainly an example of one of his favorite tactics, obfuscation.

    First, the comment which started my line of questions.

    “I think that it is a moral and blessed and beautiful thing for gay folk to marry.”

    Then he insists that this:

    “I thought I could say that “marriage is a blessing to society”

    Is the same thing. It clearly is not. In the first case it is a clear blanket statement that “gay folk” marrying is “moral, blessed, and beautiful”. No where in that sentence does he even hint that “gay folks” marrying has any impact on society.

    In my experience this is not the first time that Dan has made a broad sweeping generalization, then had to walk it back while insisting that he really meant something other that what he actually said.
    I don’t know why I’m surprised.

    I guess that’s why Dan seems to think not answering questions is answering questions.

    1. I’ve shown you the medical evidence about the health risks of anal sex. You ignored it then, you’re ignoring it now. Despite your opinion which you haven’t bothered to support with actual evidence, the fact remains that anal sex is harmful, and the fact that you can equivocate in order to pretend to minimize the harm doesn’t change the facts.

    2. You might be correct, if the gay community shared your definition of monogamy. Again you’ve been provided with plenty of evidence that this is not the case. You ignored it before, and choose not to provide any counter evidence, one can only presume you’d do so again.

    3. “Can you make a rational argument against encouraging marriage for all people, gay or straight, who wish to be married?” I’ll be glad to make an argument against encouraging “encouraging marriage for all people, gay or straight, who wish to be married?”, as soon as you make a rational argument for “encouraging marriage for all people, gay or straight, who wish to be married?”.

    The problem with you question, and why I’m asking for you to make the first argument is that I’ve never asserted that marriage should be denied to “all people…who wish to be married”. Since I’ve never, made the assertion, you ask me to defend, I see no reason to defend a position I’ve never taken. If you advance a rational case for allowing “all people…who wish to be married” to be married, I’ll deal with that.

    RE; happy. So you are ignoring what the link you provided says and the standard English language definition of ‘blessed”, in favor of the simplistic happy definitional.

    “Your questions have been answered, I hope you’ll answer mine. Thanks.”

  37. Dan,

    You might have noticed I ended my last comment with a quote from you, which seems appropriate.

    However, if it is too much of an imposition to answer the questions already posed, I’d be somewhat satisfied if you’d just focus on defending your premise that “all people…who wish to be married” should be married.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d appreciate answers to all of my questions, in the exact same way you do, but I’m willing to put aside what I’d prefer to focus on this newer direction you’ve taken.

    Just noticed this, ” It is not, however, evidence that marriage – gay or straight – is unhealthy.”.

    Unfortunately, I never made the claim that “marriage-gay or straight” is unhealthy. What I actually said is “If one looks at the CDC statistics for disease on the gay community as a whole, as well as the documented health risks of anal sex, I’d suggest that a case could be made that “gay marriage” is not healthy.”

    If you’re going to have a conversation, you need to address what people actually says, not what you think they said. That’s why, I quote your actual words and take your statements at face value. Why you won’t do the same is baffling.

  38. paynehollow says:

    Here’s the thing: I doubt seriously that you all have difficulty understanding English conversation in every day life. If a fella says it’s a lovely day, you don’t suspect he’s endorsing rape that happened that day. That would be asinine and ridiculous in the extreme.

    No, you don’t do that. I don’t guess you do that at all, UNTIL it comes to a person whom you consider an “enemy,” or a liar or an opponent. THEN, you no longer (it would appear) give them the grace you would normally give to people in normal situations.

    That is, in every day life, you do not suspect the guy who says “it’s a lovely day…” of endorsing a rape or murder that happened on that day that he just called lovely. No, of course you wouldn’t, that would be stupid and graceless and presumptuous in the extreme.

    The thing is, it is just as stupid and graceless when you do it to a political opponent. NO ONE is endorsing unhealthy abusive marriages. Thus, ANY NORMAL rational adult would know that when I say, “Marriage is a good thing…” would realize that. It would appear, however, that your political and cultural allegiance have caused you to abandon the wisdom and grace you’d normally extend.

    More’s the pity.

    So, Craig, the reason I don’t “do the same,” is that I am entirely capable of recognizing that when someone says “it’s a lovely day” or “marriage is a blessing” that they aren’t including abusive behavior in with that sweeping generalization. It’s normal conversational understanding that reasonable adults start with, but some appear to have abandoned, apparently for political, cultural reasons, along with a bit of hubris and gracelessness.

    I note that you still have not backed up your false claim (of course, you can’t, since it’s false, there is nothing with which to back it up) nor answered the questions put to you except to provide answers that support my position, not yours.

    As always, I see you all keep bringing it back to the gay issue, even though it’s not the topic here and I did not bring it up. You all seem to have a one track mind.

    ~Dan

    • But once again, Dan, you ignore your own history of dancing back and forth between us allegedly misinterpreting, misquoting, or outright lying about what you say, and the dancing that takes place when we do not assume with perfection your unusual intentions behind the copied and pasted exact quotes from you. You can’t have it both ways. Instead of constantly wasting time, as if you are the victim of some injustice for our attempts to engage with you honestly, try engaging honestly yourself, don’t assume an attack is being launched, and defend honestly your position. We have no rational understanding of how to take anything you say since you object no matter how we respond. It has nothing to do with our understanding of words or the English language, but everything to do with the honesty of your methods of argumentation.

  39. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    if you’d just focus on defending your premise that “all people…who wish to be married” should be married.

    It’s easy, Craig: ALL people who are rational adults and able to make choices for themselves should be allowed to make those choices so long as they don’t cause harm to others. It’s called religious liberty. It’s called freedom.

    Why do you oppose other people’s religious liberty and their own freedom of conscience? I suspect that you support people respecting YOUR religious liberty, YOUR freedom to make your own choices that don’t cause harm to others. Why not simply do unto others what you’d have them do unto you?

    There’s another question that will go unanswered.

    ~Dan

    • ALL people who are rational adults and able to make choices for themselves should be allowed to make those choices so long as they don’t cause harm to others. It’s called religious liberty. It’s called freedom.

      Of course the first thing here is that Trabue gets to decide what is or is not harmful. We all know that homosexual behavior is harmful medically, psychologically, and spiritual, yet Trabue denies it.

      So, by Trabue’s statement, an adult son should be able to marry his mother, an adult daughter should be able to marry her father, and adult siblings should be able to marry each other. At least one thing they have going that “gays” don’t – they fit biologically!

  40. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Despite your opinion which you haven’t bothered to support with actual evidence, the fact remains that anal sex is harmful

    That is what some research has shown. Some research has shown that driving cars is harmful (no doubt about that, actually). Some research has shown that smoking cigarettes and drinking is harmful, that eating fatty foods is harmful. In EACH of these cases, I recommend that people heed the research-based warnings. In EACH of these cases, I respect adults to make their own decisions on this point. I do not favor laws telling people they can’t smoke, they can’t eat fatty foods, they can’t engage in anal sex.

    Do you agree with me that gov’t should leave these decisions to the individual?

    That SOME sexual practices may be harmful if done the wrong way or too often does not mean that marriages that engage in them are bad marriages or harmful marriages. It means that the people who engage in them are making unhealthy personal decisions.

    Do you think marriage should not be permitted to straight people who won’t agree not to engage in anal sex?

    Do you agree that a marriage between loving straight people who may smoke or eat fatty foods or engage in anal sex is not necessarily, by default, a bad marriage?

    Also, by your measure of “harmful anal sex” then you are opposed only to gay men marrying, but not lesbians, is that right?

    More questions for you to ignore.

    ~Dan

  41. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    when we do not assume with perfection your unusual intentions behind the copied and pasted exact quotes from you. You can’t have it both ways.

    I disagree. Reasonable people can reasonably give the benefit of the doubt to someone so that, when they say, “It’s a lovely day,” they would not assume that they were calling the rape that happened that day “lovely,” or that when they say, “Marriage is a blessed thing” that they are not calling abusive marriages “blessed.”

    Marshall, just answer this question:

    DO you think it is reasonable at all to assume the “lovely day” person intended to include harmful events in with his “lovely” assessment? OR do you agree with me that to conclude the person meant to say “rape is lovely” is not only ENTIRELY without grace, but it is arrogant and presumptuous as hell, and just as insane?

    Marshall, we CAN have it both ways. We CAN reasonably expect people to not READ INTO what we have said some nefarious meaning that we did not say, AND we can reasonably expect people to take our literal words to a crazy-as-hell conclusion.

    The point is about reason and about grace. It is neither rational nor grace-full to take a literal statement (“it’s a lovely day”) and find some twisted, ugly meaning in it. Nor is it rational or grace-full to take a statement beyond what is literally said to find some twisted, ugly meaning in it.

    I vote for and encourage reason and grace in conversations.

    I’d hope you could agree with me on this.

    This DOES get back to the topic of fundamentalism and the ugly “fundamentalism” that has caused some people to consider fundamentalism a horrible thing – fundamentalism of this ugly sort is lacking in reason and grace and is rightly considered a negative thing.

    ~Dan

  42. “Do you agree with me that gov’t should leave these decisions to the individual?”

    Haven’t seen anyone argue in favor of the gov’t stopping homosexuals from engaging in deviant sexual behavior with each other. That is irrelevant to anything in this or any discussion specifically focused on the issue of SSM.

    “That SOME sexual practices may be harmful if done the wrong way”

    Is there a right way to smoke cigarettes that isn’t risky to one’s health? Is there a right way to fire a gun at one’s own head that isn’t risky to one’s health? Dangerous behaviors can only be adjusted to minimize risk, but never eliminate it. It takes a special kind of moral bankruptcy to presume harm is the sole gauge of what is pleasing to God. His Word has nothing to do with it.

    “Do you think marriage should not be permitted to straight people who won’t agree not to engage in anal sex?”

    The unhealthy nature of homosexual sex practices is not the sole reason for opposition to SSM. Opposition begins with the definition of the word, which SSM selfishly ignores. It’s another idiotic question then.

    “Do you agree that a marriage between loving straight people who may smoke or eat fatty foods or engage in anal sex is not necessarily, by default, a bad marriage?”

    Has anyone here even hinted at such a proposition? I don’t see it anywhere. Loving NORMAL (“straight” is “normal”—“homosexual” is not) couples are obviously not in a bad marriage if they are loving. They are leading an unhealthy lifestyle by engaging in unhealthy sex practices, smoking or eating unhealthy foods. Glad I could clear that up for you.

    <i?"Also, by your measure of “harmful anal sex” then you are opposed only to gay men marrying, but not lesbians, is that right?"

    Only right if harmful anal sex is the only reason to oppose SSM. It isn’t.

  43. “Reasonable people can reasonably give the benefit of the doubt to someone “

    You’ve made that assumption foolish when dealing with you, because you do not regard the conclusions to which your own clearly understood words lead us to be evidence that we are reasonable. Indeed, you do not consider us reasonable at all specifically for not agreeing with your strained arguments in favor of the unsupportable.

    “DO you think it is reasonable at all to assume the “lovely day” person intended to include harmful events in with his “lovely” assessment?”

    No. But you’re nothing like the typical person who would make a statement and have such expectations. What’s more, you’re typical struggles with appropriate analogies do not remotely approximate what is happening between us.

    “OR do you agree with me that to conclude the person meant to say “rape is lovely” is not only ENTIRELY without grace, but it is arrogant and presumptuous as hell, and just as insane?”

    Again, your history has compelled, nay, forced us to resist taking anything for granted where your words are concerned.

    “Marshall, we CAN have it both ways.”

    I wasn’t referring to “we”. I was referring to YOU!

    “I vote for and encourage reason and grace in conversations.”

    I look forward to the day you actually practice either. If you had been, we wouldn’t be having this discussion now.

  44. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    But you’re nothing like the typical person who would make a statement and have such expectations.

    Hold on now, guys, don’t get carried away. Just stop and think about what you’re saying. Do you seriously think that there is even the SLIGHTEST chance that, if I were to say, “It’s a lovely day…” that I was hinting at “including all the rapes and murders that happened today…” in so calling the day “lovely…”? Do you REALLY think there is the slightest chance at all that is what I meant?

    Guys, the Bible teaches us to love our enemies. I get that you may consider me an enemy (even though I consider you beloved brothers with whom I disagree), but even so, do you really think assigning evil intent to even the most benign statements is loving in the slightest? Or rational? Don’t you think that is at least a little crazy?

    Come now, Marshall, for all our disagreements, surely you don’t think that I think rape is lovely?

    ~Dan

    • “Do you seriously think that there is even the SLIGHTEST chance that, if I were to say, “It’s a lovely day…” that I was hinting at “including all the rapes and murders that happened today…” in so calling the day “lovely…”?”

      It is clearly you who is getting carried away, and you’re doing the carrying. We have not been dealing with a statement anything like “it’s a lovely day” by you, and as I said, you have given us ample reason to get that anal about every little thing you say. But once again, you project upon us blame for problems in our discussions that are the result of your own behaviors, demands and objections.

      “…do you really think assigning evil intent to even the most benign statements is loving in the slightest?”

      We’ve never assigned to your statements anything those statements don’t themselves compel. The point here is that we’ve learned to take nothing for granted regarding whatever intentions lie behind your statements. After all these years, that would be both irrational and crazy.

      “Come now, Marshall, for all our disagreements, surely you don’t think that I think rape is lovely?”

      Never hinted that in the least. But fishing for clarification, something you’ve insisted upon rather than assume anything about what you think we don’t understand regarding your statements, has put us in an awkward position. Thanks for that, but don’t now give us crap for it.

  45. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    I look forward to the day you actually practice either.

    The evidence shows that I at least strive to. Look at my words where I show reason and grace towards you all…

    “I get that you may consider me an enemy (even though I consider you beloved brothers with whom I disagree)…”

    and…

    “I doubt seriously that you all have difficulty understanding English conversation in every day life. If a fella says it’s a lovely day, you don’t suspect he’s endorsing rape that happened that day. That would be asinine and ridiculous in the extreme.

    No, you don’t do that.”

    For instance. It would be crazy and presumptuous of me to assume that you all actually have trouble understanding normal English conversation and I say as much, to be clear. I then raise the reasonable question: If you are able to do this normally, why can’t you do so with people you consider political enemies?

    So, there’s evidence to contradict your claim, for what it’s worth.

    ~Dan

    • “The evidence shows that I at least strive to.”

      Actually, no such evidence exists. What does are constant admonishments when our conclusions, based on your exact words, do not set well with you, as if it is our fault that your words fail to accurately express whatever the hell your position might be. That’s not the least bit graceful to assume the problem is ours or that we have nasty intentions. Grace would be to simply restate your case in another way without all the panty-wetting about gracelessness on our part.

      And here’s evidence against you:

      “I then raise the reasonable question: If you are able to do this normally, why can’t you do so with people you consider political enemies?”

      You are assuming that the problem is ours and not your poor attempt at accurately expressing yourself. Frankly, I believe you do indeed express yourself exactly as you intend, but then balk that we fully understand what you’re saying, which we do. It is then that you pretend we lack grace because you do not like the logical implications of your position and the rational conclusions drawn from your own words.

  46. paynehollow says:

    John…

    . You said all marriages are a benefit with no qualifiers. This is the problem. What you said isn’t as trivial as a beautiful day, you need to make basic qualifications.

    I would think that “marriage is a beautiful thing” would be as clear as “it’s a lovely day…”

    John, the question remains:

    DO YOU SERIOUSLY think I was including abusive marriages in with “marriage is a beautiful thing…”?

    Where is the answer to this question, guys?

    If you think people who disagree with you SERIOUSLY consider abuse and rape as beautiful and lovely, then you all have some serious issues that are beyond my ability to help with. I think if you just take a breath, you will agree that it is irrational and presumptuous to think your political “enemies” think rape and abuse are beautiful. I can’t believe you all are that out of touch with reality – I DON’T believe it – but you tell me.

    ~Dan

    • It doesn’t matter what I seriously think. A valid point at this junction is being made that illustrates why it’s difficult to discuss with you. If you mistake our statements, you say we weren’t clear enough and you’re not a mind reader. When we mistake you, it’s our fault because we should have sense enough to know what you really meant even if it’s not what you verbatim wrote.

      • Indeed. Worse is the constant wasted time discussing rules of discourse with someone who changes them when they don’t work in his favor. Just make your point and answer criticisms without all the superfluous crap. Think of the time we’d save. At some point, no doubt serious misunderstandings will arise. But you force us to examine every little nit-picky point and respond to your constant play of the victim card. Knock it off and just discuss. That’s all I seek.

        Frankly, this is an example of something on which I’m working for a post regarding creating a problem and then expecting it to be addressed as if the consequences are the issue and not the behaviors that led to them. Dan has created this atmosphere that demands we not assume anything unless he thinks it is appropriate. It seems we must read his mind to know when it it OK to read his mind, when all we’re doing is reading the words he typed on the comments boxes and drawing our conclusions. What is quite clear now is that no one wants to play that game anymore.

        It’s not the debate nor the fact that you disagree. It’s how you debate. It lacks the grace and brotherhood about which you pretend to care so much.

  47. paynehollow says:

    So, no, you won’t answer the reasonable question? And you think I’m the one that is making this conversation difficult?

    John, never – NOT ONE TIME – have I considered you all evil, nor have I considered you not of God, nor not a Christian. I have always assumed you are Christians seeking to do the right thing.

    If you say something that I actually misunderstand, then I acknowledge it and own up to the mistake. I may point out, though, why I made the mistake, but that’s only for clarification’s sake.

    When YOU misunderstand and misstate my positions, though, it has been because you have stated something I do not believe nor have I said. You have taken my words and reached ridiculous, crazy assumptions with them. For instance, when ANY person says, “Marriage is beautiful…” they are NOT suggesting “…and that includes marriages where the man beats the wife…” THAT is a crazy assumption to make. If you all are seriously making that assumption about me, then, no, I do not give you much hope for understanding other people and conversation is going to be difficult.

    I do not think you all are that crazy, arrogant and deluded, but you can clarify with a simple answer. Why wouldn’t you?

    ~Dan

  48. paynehollow says:

    Okay, I recall now why I quit trying to communicate with you fellas.

    In summation:

    My point on THIS post is that word meanings evolve, therefore it pays to clarify if you are using a word whose meaning may be taken different ways (fundamentalist, for instance, or Christian, evangelical or radical.

    On this point, we all seem to agree (with the possible exception of Glenn…), so there is no disagreement with my point on the topic of this post.

    In illustrating the point with which we seem to all agree, I offered an illustration that is literally, technically, exactly factual. I noted that I am a follower of Jesus, the Christ. Since the suffix -ian indicates a follower of or adherent to, I am literally a Christian, AT LEAST IN THAT SENSE. However, I am not a Christian IF one assigns a meaning to “Christian” that is more along the lines of “A believer in the conservative religious traditions as found in Southern Baptist and other Christian denominations of that sort.

    The illustration entirely successfully made the point – on topic – that HOW a word is defined and understood matters and illustrates why it is important to clarify. I AM a Christian fundamentalist IN THE SENSE that I adhere to the fundamental, core teachings of Jesus, but I wouldn’t use that term without clarifying, because “fundamentalist” has come to mean something else – an extremist, one who is graceless and arrogant and presumes they hold all the answers.

    Again, all of this is a perfectly apt illustration of the point I made. No one has said otherwise.

    However, many of you all took exception to my illustrations NOT because they didn’t aptly demonstrate my point, but because you do not agree with me that I am in any sense following the fundamental teachings of Jesus. This is off topic to the point, but it has become the focus of this thread. So be it.

    Given the off topic nature of this red herring, I noted that no one can point to any one teaching of Jesus and say, “Dan does not agree with Jesus on this point.”

    No one has done so.

    Some here have attempted to point to a passage of Jesus, THEN ASSIGN THEIR MEANING to that passage, and say (not using these words), “see, you disagree with MY understanding of what Jesus meant here, therefore, you do not heed to the fundamental teachings of Jesus…”

    Of course, as always, that I disagree with your take on Jesus’ words (or more often than not, words that Jesus did NOT say) is not a sign that I disagree with Jesus, but with you.

    That has not been successfully disputed. Clearly, you all believe sincerely that you hold a right understanding of Jesus (THE ONE RIGHT understanding of Jesus, perhaps). But just because you believe it does not make it the one possible understanding.

    And so it stands. I think any rational people without a blinding cultural bias can see that my statements have been simple statements of facts and they stand on their own.

    Peace, good men. Perhaps one day, we shall understand more completely and these petty bickerings will disappear. May God’s blessing (happiness found in following in the Way of Grace) be upon you.

    Dan

  49. Dan,
    The problem is that you factually did no say what you now claim to have said, we know this because we can read the words you actually literally wrote. So now that you insist that you said something different from what your quoted words said, and blame us for taking your words the way to chose to write them.

    “I note that you still have not backed up your false claim (of course, you can’t, since it’s false, there is nothing with which to back it up) nor answered the questions put to you except to provide answers that support my position, not yours.”

    I haven’t made any false claims that I’m aware of, and I’ve answered every question put to me, unlike you.

    “It’s easy, Craig: ALL people who are rational adults and able to make choices for themselves should be allowed to make those choices so long as they don’t cause harm to others. It’s called religious liberty. It’s called freedom.”

    I think that you are saying that you are sticking with your earlier comment that “ALL (emphasis yours) people…who wish to be married”, should be able to be married. I just wanted to make sure that you really mean what your words convey. Because what I understand you to be saying is that “ALL people who… wish to be married” should be allowed to marry. If you could confirm that I understand your words correctly that would be great. Thanks.

    Just so as to continue to answer all questions posed to me I’ll jump ahead in the assumption that you will answer the above.

    “Why do you oppose other people’s religious liberty and their own freedom of conscience?”

    Since this appears to be an accusation phrased as a question, I’ll show some forbearance and treat it as a question. The answer is, I don’t.

    “Why not simply do unto others what you’d have them do unto you?”

    I do.

    “There’s another question that will go unanswered.”

    Another lie, that will go unacknowledged.

    “Do you agree with me that gov’t should leave these decisions to the individual?”

    I do, even though this question is unrelated to the conversation at hand.

    “Do you think marriage should not be permitted to straight people who won’t agree not to engage in anal sex?”

    Nope, although again, it’s not germane to the conversation. Your assertion was the “gay marriages” were “healthy”. I pointed out a couple of things that would call that assertion into question.

    “Do you agree that a marriage between loving straight people who may smoke or eat fatty foods or engage in anal sex is not necessarily, by default, a bad marriage?”

    No, but I wouldn’t describe it as healthy. Since anal sex is demonstrably physically damaging, any marriage which includes only anal sex could not reasonably be described as healthy from a physical standpoint.

    “Also, by your measure of “harmful anal sex” then you are opposed only to gay men marrying, but not lesbians, is that right?”

    No, but thanks for misrepresenting what I said. My reference to anal sex was in response to you calling gay marriage ‘healthy”

    “More questions for you to ignore.”

    One more lie, although you’ve already started the pretending I haven’t answered your question while not answering mine dodge.

    “Marriage is a blessed thing” that they are not calling abusive marriages “blessed.”

    I’m confused, if “marriage is a blessed thing” and ‘abusive marriages” are marriages, then it seems inescapable that the statement as formulated clearly suggests that “marriage” (ie the institution of marriage, or marriage in general, or all marriage) is blessed, without any qualifications.

    Just for the record, this gets all of your questions directed at me through your comment at 2:26 answered.

    I’d hope you’d catch up at some point.

  50. “Look at my words where I show reason and grace towards you all…”

    OK let’s.

    “I’ll be blunt with you here: it’s this sort of verbal vomit that makes folk sickened by your sort of Christian. This repeated arrogant and sanctimonious excrement that you spew from your mouth sometimes is not becoming an adult Christian or adult human.”

    Your words, yes. Reason and grace, not so much.

  51. “I do not favor laws telling people they can’t smoke, they can’t eat fatty foods, they can’t engage in anal sex.”

    RED HERRING ALERT!!!!!!

    Shockingly enough, no one (that’s right NO ONE) has suggested making any of these things illegal.

    The context is that Dan is asserting that it is “healthy” for “gay folk” to marry. However if the sexual act that is an integral part of (male) homosexual relations is demonstrably unhealthy, then I fail to see how a relationship based around unhealthy dangerous behavior can somehow become healthy.

  52. Equivocate
    1: to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive
    2: to avoid committing oneself in what one says

    May 7, 2014 @2:14 comment in Dan’s conversation with Bubba. I suspect that everyone but Dan will agree that this is an excellent example.

  53. paynehollow says:

    Okay, Craig, coming back to give you the benefit of the doubt, that you DO find something “equivocal” in that post. I’m looking and I’m seeing NOTHING. Certainly there is NOT ONE SINGLE WORD in what I wrote at 2:14 that was written with an intent to deceive.

    I’ll give you one chance to answer these questions to show good faith and common understanding on your part. If not, that is your choice, but I’ll pass on continuing down a crazy, one-sided conversation. Two questions for you to answer then:

    1. What word(s) do you think were written with an intent to deceive?

    Or is it the case that you think my words were equivocal in that I avoided committing myself?

    Here’s part of the text from that day… I was asked:

    Do you really believe that there are essential Christian doctrines?

    I responded clearly and directly by clarifying the question so that the answer would be perfectly clear:

    Do I believe that humans have agreed on some doctrines that these groups of humans have considered “essential” Christian doctrines? Yes, absolutely.

    Has GOD given us humans a list of doctrines that GOD has called “essential…?” Absolutely not.

    Clarified and answered directly with exactly what I believe. Then, moving on, I asked a more complex take on the original question:

    Does the Bible give us a list of doctrines/beliefs that the Bible calls “essential Christian doctrines…”? This is a bit more complex to answer.

    I then proceeded to answer this more complex answer with a multi-faceted, direct response. I concluded with a direct answer to this question:

    So, the Bible doesn’t make any “claims” as to essential Christian doctrines. Those are all part of human interpretation and agreement, not something God has told us.

    So far, I’m trying to be pretty literally factual, just stating observable, discreet facts that I would think we should be able to agree upon.

    Again, I answered the question being asked by clarifying the question so as to be EXACTLY PRECISE in my answer. In other words, I went way out of my way to COMMIT myself to an exact and direct answer, made abundantly clear.

    In other words, I did the OPPOSITE of equivocating.

    The second question is the same as the first, but in the context of the second meaning of the word:

    2. What word(s) in my answer do you think were written with an intent to NOT commit to an answer?

    One final question for you:

    Do you think that if someone is asked a question that they are mistaken and, indeed, equivocating if they clarify the question so as to give a MORE precise answer?

    For instance, if someone asks, “What is your favorite animal?” do you recognize that for the respondent to say, “Well, if you’re asking what my favorite animal is AS A PET, then I’d say Dog, but if you’re asking what my favorite wild animal is, I’d probably say lion…” that he is NOT equivocating, but is giving a very clear and direct answer?

    You can answer these three questions (try to) or, better, admit you made a mistake and that clearly, I was not equivocating – I was doing the OPPOSITE of equivocating and you just misunderstood or whatever.

    The ball’s in your court.

    ~Dan

    • “I responded clearly and directly by clarifying the question…etc”

      Equivocating. At least, one should answer the question as asked and THEN attempt to clarify. The question is quite clear and is a “yes/no” question. It is not “clarifying” to alter the question in order to make it easier or safer for you to answer it, especially if one insists one is honest in answering questions at all times. One’s “yes” or “no” would most likely lead to a follow up question which would allow for the questioner to expose his intentions. Your alterations only muddy the issue and provide an “out” in order to protect what is a position in which you lack conviction.

  54. paynehollow says:

    Marshall, the question – as asked – NEEDED clarification because it mattered.

    “Do you really believe that there are essential Christian doctrines?”

    ESSENTIAL TO WHOM is a critical question to be answered before I can answer the question.

    Do you have a problem with clarifying questions in order to make an answer as clear as possible?

    Do you think that clarifying a question IN ORDER TO BE CLEAR is REALLY equivocating?

    I don’t think you understand the meaning of the word, if so. Take a look again at Craig’s definition he offered.

    But you can answer my questions to Craig easily enough and solve this:

    WHICH of my words were written with an intent to deceive?
    Where is your evidence of the intent to deceive?

    Or, if you don’t think my intent was to deceive, but you DO think my intent was to avoid committing myself:

    WHICH of my words were written with an intent to NOT commit myself (given that MY ACTUAL intent was to be exact and clear)?

    Where is your evidence of the intent to not commit (since, indeed, I committed to a very EXACT and specific response)?

    • “I responded clearly and directly by clarifying the question.”

      No. It didn’t. It is a yes/no question. Doesn’t require anything but one or the other. Again, answer first and then ask your clarifying question. OR, answer and following it with a “BUT”…as in, “Yes, but different people might not agree on what constitutes ‘essential'”. Your “essential to whom?” question is foolish given the fact that the question was directly solely to YOU! “Essential to whom?” is a stupid question given that fact.

      “Do you think that clarifying a question IN ORDER TO BE CLEAR is REALLY equivocating?”

      “Essential to whom?” IS equivocating since the question was directly specifically and distinctly to YOU! If one wants clarity before answering, the best way is to say something along the lines of “I’m not sure I understand the question.” and then let the guy explain it or rephrase it. YOU altered it for your purposes, not his, since he is seeking info that is not attained by your answer to your alteration.

      “WHICH of my words were written with an intent to NOT commit myself (given that MY ACTUAL intent was to be exact and clear)?”

      “Essential to whom?” When the question regarding the existence of essentials was asked, it was asked of YOU. That is, “what to YOU believe”, and your “Essential to whom?” question indicates an avoidance of commitment. Your insistence that you intended to be exact and clear fails to impress given the simplicity of the question and your refusal to answer.

      “Where is your evidence of the intent to not commit (since, indeed, I committed to a very EXACT and specific response)?”

      The fact that there was absolutely no more “exact and specific response” to the question asked of you other than either a “yes” or a “no”, given it was a yes/no question.

      Honestly, Dan. You routinely ask the most ludicrous questions of the yes/no variety, question that are generally routinely loaded and outrageous extremes that go way beyond reason and insist we’re dodging when we balk as the ridiculous nature of them. Here, Bubba asked a very simple, direct, and REASONABLE on-topic question, and you couldn’t strain out a yes or no. Dan Traube, thy name is “Equivocation”.

  55. paynehollow says:

    When you find yourself unable to answer these questions – as indeed, you can’t – a simple, “Whoops, my bad. I get your point. My misunderstanding…” will suffice.

  56. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Your alterations only muddy the issue and provide an “out” in order to protect what is a position in which you lack conviction.

    Factually speaking, NO. Not in the real world. In the real world, I happen to know my intent and my intent was to be specific and exact and clear, to give a purposeful exactly direct answer. Again, the OPPOSITE of equivocate.

    Now, what a reasonable person COULD say is, “Well, in order to be clear, I wouldn’t have answered it that way, I would have answered with my own answer as best I understood the question and let people ask me questions if they did not understand…” and indeed, maybe you would have done that. But MY actual intent and aim was to give an exact and clear answer. You see, having dealt with you all repeatedly, I KNOW that you all very often misunderstand my words, so rather than just giving the straight, simple – but less exact – answer, I gave a specific direct answer given the clarifications ahead of time.

    Regardless, there was NO intent to deceive, NO deception and NO intent to not commit, as is clear by my answer which IS a commitment to several specific takes on that question (ie, filling in the “essential to whom” question ahead of time).

    Do you see now where you have made your error? In presuming that if someone does not answer like you would that this is the same as them equivocating, you presume too much.

    • What about the question was so hard to understand? It was simple, direct and intended to draw from you YOUR belief, not the beliefs of anyone else. It was easy:

      “Do YOU really believe that there are essential Christian doctrines?”

      The “Dan Traube” should have been understood by you, as it was by everyone else who read it. As in ““Do YOU, DAN TRABUE OF KENTUCKY really believe that there are essential Christian doctrines?”

      “…I KNOW that you all very often misunderstand my words…”

      Not true at all. We’ve been through this. We understand far better than you hope, and you simply don’t like the way your words provoke the only conclusions we can draw from them. Not our fault. The fault lies in your positions.

      “Do you see now where you have made your error? In presuming that if someone does not answer like you would that this is the same as them equivocating, you presume too much.”

      Not what I’m “presuming” at all. I’m clearly stating that you’re dodging because the question was a yes/no and you refused to answer with either a yes or a no. Your “essential to whom?” question has been shown to be a stall, a dodge, irrelevant, superfluous and, based on the question itself, really quite stupid.

  57. “I’ll give you one chance to answer these questions…”

    With all of the questions unanswered by you, you are in no position to be handing out ultimatums about what others should do.

    “1. What word(s) do you think were written with an intent to deceive?”

    I have absolutely no idea what your intent is when you write anything. However, the following seems clearly intended to avoid committing to any particular specifics.

    “Has GOD given us humans a list of doctrines that GOD has called “essential…?” ”

    The fact that you claim that there are essentials, yet refuse to provide examples after being directly asked, is another example of you not being willing to commit to clear direct answers. The best clue to this is your lack of committing to a clear direct answer.

    “Do you think that if someone is asked a question that they are mistaken and, indeed, equivocating if they clarify the question so as to give a MORE precise answer?”

    If they use the clarifying questions to avoid giving a more precise answer, then yes. Unfortunately, as in this very exchange, you use clarifying questions to move the discussion away from your own failure to answer questions, or to throw in enough other tangents to avoid areas where you’d prefer not to engage.

    “You can answer these three questions (try to)…”

    I’ve answered your questions. This repeated BS about me not answering your questions, when I’ve answered every direct question I’ve been asked, is getting old. How many times can you trot out this particular lie, while engaging in the exact same behavior you falsely accuse me of. Seems to me that one could argue that not answering, dodging, and obfuscating when you’ve been asked direct questions also fits the definition of equivocating.

    So, once again, the ball is in your court. If you won’t play by the rules you expect others to play by, then don’t lie about what others do to hide your own failure to live up to your own standards.

  58. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    If they use the clarifying questions to avoid giving a more precise answer, then yes.

    But as you can see, I GAVE a more precise answer, by clarifying the question. So, you can’t really say I didn’t give a more precise answer when I did. I made sure we all knew “essential to whom” was being answered and proceeded to give answers for each “whom.”

    Craig…

    The fact that you claim that there are essentials, yet refuse to provide examples after being directly asked

    I quoted the question that was asked: Do I really think there are essentials? That is a yes or no question. I answered the question I was asked, in depth.

    Again NO AVOIDANCE.

    Craig…

    I have absolutely no idea what your intent is when you write anything. However, the following seems clearly intended to avoid committing to any particular specifics.

    Stop: “Seems” to WHOM to be avoiding committing? It may seem that way to you, but clearly to me, I am clearly striving quite hard to commit to a very exact and precise answer. Just because something “seems” that way to you is not evidence of equivocation.

    So, just to go back to the questions you need to answer:

    1. Where is the evidence that I equivocated, in the sense of having an intent to deceive?

    You gave a wishy washy (some may say equivocal) response saying you don’t know my motive. I assume that means, “No, Dan, I don’t think/have zero evidence that you equivocated with the intent to deceive.” Is that correct? A direct, non-equivocal answer would be appreciated and less ironic.

    2. What word(s) in my answer do you think were written with an intent to NOT commit to an answer?

    Your vague, non-specific answer SEEMS to say that you admit not knowing my motives… AND YET, you go on to say “However, the following seems clearly intended to avoid committing to any particular specifics…”

    Which is it? Do you have zero evidence of an intent commit? Or, is my answer “clearly intended to avoid committing?”

    A direct clear answer, please.

    I will assume that your hinting at my intent IS your answer. But then, you see that “the following” quote you cited (“Has GOD given us humans a list of doctrines that GOD has called “essential…?” ”) IS answered clearly. My answer was “Absolutely not.”

    What part of “absolutely not” was not clear enough for you?

    HOW exactly is “absolutely not” an equivocal, non-committed answer?

    As to your concern about my not answering this additional question you’re asking now, I suspect I did in that exchange, but in case it’s not clear:

    I, Dan Trabue, am not willing to say that God demands anything that God has not demanded. I am not willing to say that God has a list of essentials that God has not given. Since God has not given you or me or anyone a list of “Christian essentials,” I am not one to demand what God has not.

    Are you willing to demand that there is?

    Are there ideas of Jesus, the Christ, that I, DAN TRABUE, think are fundamental and essential to his teachings? Sure. Ultimately, I, DAN TRABUE, think that Jesus’ Good News message is one of salvation by God’s Grace, and as part of that life of Grace: that we are to forgive one another, even our enemies, that we are to turn the other cheek, that we are called to work with and for the poor… ALL of these (and more) are essential, fundamental parts of Jesus’ Christ-ian message, IN MY opinion.

    I’ve clarified and clarified. If “absolutely not” is honestly equivocal in your head, then I can’t help you.

    More clarifying needed on your part, Craig.

    Unequivocally, please.

    Ah, the sad irony.

    ~Dan

  59. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    No. It didn’t. It is a yes/no question. Doesn’t require anything but one or the other. Again, answer first and then ask your clarifying question.

    Why? Why not begin by clarifying? How is that not completely rational and orderly?

    And even if YOU hold the opinion “One should always answer a question first – regardless if there might be some confusion, then one should answer questions that might arise…” Who made you in charge of who gets to decide how to answer questions?

    Regardless, clearly you can see now, MY INTENT was to be as clear as possible, NOT to not commit to a direct answer. So, you can see then, that the charge of equivocation is unfounded?

    Or HAVE you been placed in charge of how questions MUST be answered and I missed it?

    Look, here’s the point that perhaps you all are missing… Given the question: “Do you believe there are any Christian essentials?” there ARE simply some implications in the question that need to be cleared up. At least two:

    1. What do you mean by Christian essentials? For ME, “Christian essentials” are teachings of Jesus that are at the core of all his teachings, that are an essential part of what he had to teach, that are fundamental to his teachings.

    However, for some other people, it might be “Christian essentials are those tenets of traditional Christian Church teachings which one must believe to belong to the Southern Baptist denomination, or to be rightly considered a Catholic, or an Evangelical…”

    Also, the questions, “Essential to what? To be saved? Those teachings one MUST affirm in order to be considered a Christian (by whom?)?…” need to be weighed.

    So, WHAT do you mean by “christian essentials” really should be answered/clarified before one can answer the first question.

    2. “Essential to WHOM?”

    If you’re asking me, “Dan, according to God, do you think there are Christian essentials?” then I answered that. Absolutely not, at least in the sense that God gave us NO list of “christian essentials…” the concept is a human one, not a biblical or Theistic one.

    If you’re asking me (and I think now this is probably closest to what was being asked of me, or at least, is being asked of me now): “Dan, do you think there are some teachings of Jesus that are essential to the whole of his teachings? What do you consider the core teachings of Jesus?” …Then I can (and have) answered that question. Yes, I hold opinions that there are some of Jesus’ teachings that are an essential/fundamental part of the whole of his teachings.

    Do you understand that the answers to these questions really must be given before answering the given question?

    Do you understand that, especially given how you all completely MIS-understand my positions a good part of the time, why I’d want to be clear and QUITE SPECIFIC in my answer, and thus consider the preliminary questions first?

    Regardless, do you see how my INTENT was to directly and specifically answer the question and thus, by definition, NOT equivocation?

    ~Dan

    • The reason there isn’t an initial need to reword the question to one you’d rather answer is because the question wasn’t equivocal itself.

      You have a nasty habit of recording questions and making ridiculous comparisons. For example you equate the questions here with “it’s a beautiful day”. You also overlook all the mental and physical health plagues in the homosexual community and argue in favor of same sex marriage by citing the quite rare longterm monogamous gay relationships as if they’re the norm.

      It’s unfortunate that in boasting that you try to deal with reality, that you’ll bury your head in the sand when it comes to such issues.

    • “However, for some other people, it might be “Christian essentials are those tenets of traditional Christian Church teachings which one must believe to belong to the Southern Baptist denomination, or to be rightly considered a Catholic, or an Evangelical…””

      Then that wouldn’t be answering the question “Do YOU really believe that there are essential Christian doctrines?”, would it? It would be Do you really believe that there are Southern Baptist essentials? isn’t it?

      “1. What do you mean by Christian essentials?” A legitimate question that you never asked. It would have gone perfectly with “I’m not sure I understand the question” and would have been a more honest way to go. At the same time, one needn’t ask that to answer the question.

      “Who made you in charge of who gets to decide how to answer questions?”

      I don’t need to be in charge to point out the problem. But to answer, I was appointed back during the Reagan years. It’s a lifetime thing. Thanks for asking.

  60. paynehollow says:

    I had said…

    “…I KNOW that you all very often misunderstand my words…”

    To which Marshall responded…

    Not true at all. We’ve been through this. We understand far better than you hope, and you simply don’t like the way your words provoke the only conclusions we can draw from them.

    Do you not recognize the crazy arrogance of this?

    It’s like this:

    DAN: I believe 1, 2 and 3.

    Marshall: AHA! Dan believes X, y and “purple!”

    DAN: You have misunderstood my positions, I do NOT believe X, y or “purple…”

    Marshall: Dan, when you say, “1, 2 and 3” the ONLY conclusion we can reach is that you DO believe X, y and “purple…”

    DAN: Even if I affirm for you that I do NOT, as a point of fact, believe that?

    Marshall: Yes.

    So, you reach conclusions that you say you “have” to reach and therefore you know what I believe, even if I affirm that I do not believe what you have concluded? Do you not see the arrogance in that?

    Do you not recognize that there is at least one other likely (in fact, entirely likely, since it is evidenced in the real world, as opposed to only in your mind) explanation? That you have misunderstood my position? That you have erred in your reasoning process?

    Who says, “No! Even though you affirm you do NOT believe X, y and purple, I know BETTER than you what you believe. You DO believe that!”?

    Do you understand why some people will just write you off as crazy and not bother having conversations when you say crazy things?

    • Dan, the further problem is the numerous times where people only quote you via copy and paste and you say they are misrepresenting you when all they did quote you. You don’t find that dishonest?

  61. paynehollow says:

    John…

    The reason there isn’t an initial need to reword the question to one you’d rather answer is because the question wasn’t equivocal itself.

    Read my words in my comment RIGHT ABOVE YOURS. It shows why the question DOES need to be clarified.

    Why ISN’T “essential to whom?” important? Who gets to decide what is an isn’t an important point to clarify?

    Do you understand that “Does God give us a list of Christian essentials?” a different question than “Do you think there are essential/fundamental teachings of Jesus?”

    The LITERAL, FACTUAL answer to the first question is “Absolutely not.” The answer to the second question depends on the person, but in my case, is “Sure, yes, I do.”

    As I have repeatedly stated.

    But GIVEN THAT the answer to the one question is NO and the answer to the second question is YES, then clarifying the intent of the question DOES matter to what answer you get.

    Can you acknowledge that much? (I’m not holding my breath…)

    ~Dan

  62. paynehollow says:

    John…

    the further problem is the numerous times where people only quote you via copy and paste and you say they are misrepresenting you when all they did quote you. You don’t find that dishonest?

    I’m am saying flat out that your claim is dishonest. You can NOT support it with data. It is a blatant false witness.

    When people read INTO my words something I didn’t say and don’t believe, they ARE misrepresenting me, as a point of fact.

    To read into “marriage is a good thing…” that “Oh? So you think abusive marriages are good?! Scum!” that is reading INTO what I said, it is not an apt or rational conclusion to reach from my words.

  63. Dan

    As long as you continue to equivocate in order to avoid answering questions, continue to lie about me not answering your questions, and refuse to abide by the standard you expect of others, I will suspend responding to your attempt to take the conversation down a rabbit hole of your choosing, while continuing to avoid questions.

    The ball is still in your court.

  64. Dan

    To blatantly misrepresent other peoples positions as you have done in your last comment, is but one more example of your equivocation/obfuscation. By suggesting that people have said something that hasn’t been said, then arguing against a position which you have created, you are using a straw man fallacy in order to avoid dealing with the actual positions taken and the actual questions asked, in order (presumably) to avoid committing to a specific position or answer.

  65. paynehollow says:

    Good luck, brother. I hope you may prayerfully reconsider your mistakes in this thread.

    ~Dan

  66. Dan,

    It would appear that you are not willing to acknowledge your multiple lies, nor are you willing to answer questions put you you. It appears you are willing to demand that others meet a standard of behavior that you are not willing to hold yourself to.

    The ball is in your court, yet you leave it lying and slink away. Typical, but not surprising.

  67. “To read into “marriage is a good thing…” that “Oh? So you think abusive marriages are good?! Scum!””

    Again, you assert this as if it actually happened. The fact is that NO ONE has actually said the things you say they did. For you to pretend otherwise is intellectual dishonesty of the worst kind.

    I would like to thank you for being honest. You said, and clarified quite clearly that you believe that “all people…who wish to be married” should be married.”. Again I appreciate your honesty. Although, you did somewhat back away from your original statement and add some qualifiers, you did remain quite clear that “ALL” (emphasis yours) “who wish to be married” should be allowed to marry. Again, it’s refreshing when you are this clear about articulating your beliefs. Clearly this is one area in which you chose not to equivocate, and I applaud you.

    Unfortunately, you also chose to ignore the follow up questions which could have been productive. So, I guess we’ll have to let your words, which you stated, AND clarified stand as they are.

    Well done.

  68. Dan, to pick up a comment from late last week, Paul did teach in Romans 6:14 that we are under grace not the law, but in the very same letter, he taught that we uphold the law rather than overthrow it (3:31), that the law is holy and righteous and spiritual (7:12-14), and that we redeemed Christians delight in the law of God in our innermost being (7:22).

    How do we uphold the law while not being under the law? Romans 8:3-4 explains it.

    “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

    The law doesn’t save us: Christ saved us so that the law’s righteous requirement might be fulfilled in us. We’re not saved BY good works, but we are saved “for good works” (Eph 2:10), and that makes all the difference: works of the law are not the ground of our salvation, but they ought to be the result.

    You write, “Clearly, Jesus did not teach us to hold to OT laws.” He didn’t?

    You think that we’re on the same page on this subject, but we’re not. It’s not as if Jesus said, the OT law prohibited murder and adultery, but those prohibitions are lifted. No, He affirmed those prohibitions and EXTENDED them to include murderous and adulterous thoughts — and Jesus warned against not teaching even the least commandment.

    Neither of us believe we are obligated to follow, for instance, the OT sacrificial system, but it’s clear we do so for very different reasons. Evidently you believe that Jesus annulled that system, and I believe He fulfilled it, and that difference is key.

    Hebrews is clear that the sacrificial system was just a shadow and precursor to the Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and the NT calls Jesus the high priest AND the sacrifice AND even the temple — the NT itself, not some more modern theory of atonement.

    You deny the causal connection between Christ’s death and our salvation, and I can see how that could cause you to think Jesus didn’t do anything but set aside the old system, but that’s just a case of one unbiblical conclusion leading to another.

    About the subject of the most recent comments, you write to others, “When people read INTO my words something I didn’t say and don’t believe, they ARE misrepresenting me, as a point of fact.”

    In our last conversation, you accused me of denying absolutely morality and of believing in a whimsical and capricious deity, ONLY because I believe that a holy and omniscient God has the right to trump my understanding of morality, which I hold to be provisional in my limited and imperfect state. When called on to apologize or explain yourself, you decided to bow out.

    The analogy of motes and beams, and the Golden Rule are teachings of Jesus where you don’t always seem interested in obedience — where the fruit you bear speaks much louder than any professed commitment.

  69. paynehollow says:

    I’ve mostly bowed out of this conversation, Bubba, due to the inability to separate fact from fiction, fact from opinion and the complete inability of anyone to back up/substantiate any of your false claims AND YET remaining obtuse in defending that for which there is no evidence. But I will respond to your last, since it is on this theme.

    In our last conversation, you accused me of denying absolutely morality and of believing in a whimsical and capricious deity, ONLY because I believe that a holy and omniscient God has the right to trump my understanding of morality, which I hold to be provisional in my limited and imperfect state. When called on to apologize or explain yourself, you decided to bow out.

    Apologize for what?

    I believe that God has instilled a sense of morality in us. We are innately moral beings, having a sense (however imperfect) of right and wrong imbedded in our psyche. The Bible attests to this, and we can see it in our lives in the real world.

    Thus, when the Bible teaches “Don’t shed innocent blood.” Period. Our own sense of morality says “Of course not! God forbid! This is obvious.” And so, it is obvious, to even we fallen and imperfect mortals, that such an act is very wrong.

    You are advocating that God sometimes might call on us to kill innocent people, to shed innocent blood, that very thing which is so repugnant nearly universally in humanity. In advocating such a view of a god, you are advocating a god that is capricious and whimsical. “It isn’t wrong to shed innocent blood if I say it’s okay” says your imagined god.

    I find that description of God to involve a denying of absolute morality in favor of “whatever I says, goes” kind of a god, a god which seems whimsical. That is my honest opinion about that description of God.

    Are you wanting me to apologize for holding that opinion? Why?

    Should I expect you to apologize because you hold an opinion about how I view God? No. And I don’t. All I ask is that you don’t misrepresent what I believe about God, you don’t have to agree with it or accept it as “good,” just accept that I have it. No apology needed.

    So, again, Apologize for what?

    ~Dan

    • Trague,

      How about you apologize for blaspheming God by saying He approves of same-sex fake marriage? How about you apologized for blaspheming God by saying he approves of homosexual behavior period?!?!!?

    • “I believe that God has instilled a sense of morality in us. We are innately moral beings, having a sense (however imperfect) of right and wrong imbedded in our psyche. The Bible attests to this, and we can see it in our lives in the real world.”

      God may have taught us, or mandated unto us a sense of morality, but I believe it is more accurate to say that the Bible teaches that we are fallen, sinful creatures. Paul speaks of Natural Man not as a moral being, but a selfish, self-worshiping one. If you’re again referring to two passages with the sentiment of something written on the hearts of somebody, we’ve been over that and you’ve never explained how my correction of your misuse of those passages is itself incorrect…which it isn’t.

      “Thus, when the Bible teaches “Don’t shed innocent blood.” Period. Our own sense of morality says “Of course not! God forbid! This is obvious.””

      You ignore a far more likely explanation: Should one respond as above, it is far more likely because one is influenced by the culture in which one is raised. Most of the western world has been influenced by Judeo-Christian teaching for at least two thousand years. It is then only natural that anyone raised in such a culture would respond in that manner. It is obvious to us because we are raised to regard it as so.

      “You are advocating that God sometimes might call on us to kill innocent people…”

      None of us have ever advocated this. We’ve clearly stated two things that you purposely distort:

      1. God HAS called upon His Chosen People to annihilate entire populations, women and children included.

      2. IF, that’s IF God called upon us to kill a child, we’d do it because it is God doing the calling and we trust that His motives are good and holy and just and likely beyond our human ability to resolve the command with our current understanding of Him and His nature. But again, that’s a big IF provoked by hypotheticals posed by those like yourself who like to present the wildest and most illogical of questions as if they are serious and intellectual.

      “In advocating such a view of a god, you are advocating a god that is capricious and whimsical. “It isn’t wrong to shed innocent blood if I say it’s okay” says your imagined god.”

      Not at all. We are acknowledging God’s Supreme Sovereignty over all of HIS creation, including us. We are His to do with what He pleases when it pleases Him to do so. We are saying the God, directly by His own hand, or via human agency or any means at His disposal, can take life “innocent” or otherwise and the act is entirely and completely moral because God cannot be immoral. He is not Holy because of what He does, but because of who He is. YOUR problem (among so many) is that you lack the capacity to understand a basic point: We are not anything like God. He is not anything like us. He gives the rules, but that doesn’t mean He is required to follow any of them, since the rules He gave are meant for us to follow. You, in your arrogance, insist that He follow the rules He mandated for us, or else there’s something wrong with Him. You don’t have that authority to demand that He live by the rules intended for human beings.

      Furthermore, you deceitfully suggest that our acknowledgement of His sovereign authority somehow implies that He would just order such a killing “willy-nilly”. But WE are saying only that He has that ultimate authority to take human life for reasons that might not be clear to us. Note that we consistently speak of it in this way and that it might happen without us understanding the reason…the REASON…He might want us to kill whatever innocent being you’d like to imagine in order to project the worst possible scenario necessary to indict our position. Having a REASON that might be beyond our understanding, again, something we’ve always included in our explanations, make your constant use of terms such as “capricious” and “whimsical” to be as lies. Stop doing that.

      Frankly, I believe that absolutely, you should apologize (not to us) for your opinions about God.

  70. paynehollow says:

    I don’t speak for God.

    Neither do you, Dear Brother Glenn.

    Humble thyself before the Lord.

    • Trabue,
      I never claimed to speak for God. However, God has told us in the Bible what He feels about homosexual behavior. It is an abomination. It is perverse. It is unnatural. etc.

      You claim that God approves of same-sex fake marriage. You are therefore speaking for God when you say that. And you lie when you do so.

  71. paynehollow says:

    No, I don’t, Glenn. I say it is MY OPINION that marriage is a good, blessed thing, the sort of thing that God approves of, in my opinion (with the goofy caveat that I’m not saying that abusive marriages are good, just to be clear). When I say, “This is my opinion,” and I honestly offer my opinion, that is not a lie.

    Understand?

    On the other hand, since God has never told you that God disapproves of two lesbians marrying, so if YOU presume to say God condemns it, you are speaking for God something that God has not said.

    See the difference?

    I understand the difference between my opinion and “WHAT GOD HAS SAID.”

    You do not appear to have that same understanding.

    For that reason, I caution you: Humble thyself before God.

    • Trabue you are such a dishonest person.

      When you say “marriage is a good thing,” etc, you include same-sex fake marriage. You have too often stated that because it is “marriage,” God approves of it. Everyone has seen you say this. You claim Jesus didn’t say anything against homosexual behavior or same-sex fake marriage, and that is a bald-faced lie because the Bible plainly says otherwise.

      YOU are the heretic who needs to humble himself before God and accept the REAL Christ as your savior before you burn in hell (that place you don’t believe exists really does).

    • The difference, Dan, is that we use the reason about which you only give lip service. If God calls homosexual behavior an abomination, does so without any reference whatsoever regarding any context or scenario in which it might take place, and prohibits the behavior because it is an abomination, reason demands that any suggestion He’d regard a union based on such behavior to be a “marriage” is beyond ludicrous. It is illogical that He would regard such as a marriage and a blessed one at that. It is furthermore illogical and ludicrous given that there is no reference to marriage in Scripture that does not suggest a man/woman union, and never anything else. To presume He wouldn’t disapprove of two lesbians “marrying” is unsupportable, and incredibly ludicrous and illogical. What’s more, in typical fashion, you are equivocating once again. What you put forth as opinion is clearly your firmly held belief. You treat such unions as if God has truly blessed them and approved as He would a real and normal marriage. It is not mere opinion, Dan. It is truth to you. You have made it Biblical and God blessed. Talk about arrogance and speaking for God! Where’s the humility in acting as if this heresy is Scripturally sound?

  72. “…due to the inability to separate fact from fiction,…”

    You mean on your part, right? Because you don’t seem to have a problem flat out lying or obfuscating to avoid answering questions or dealing with others comments.

    “I say it is MY OPINION that marriage is a good, blessed thing,…”

    Had you stopped there it might have been OK, hey it’s your opinion, and even though you can’t offer much support beyond your personal experience, but it’s your opinion.

    Then you go here.

    “the sort of thing that God approves of, in my opinion…”

    Now, you are suggesting that even though there is absolutely nothing in the Bible as a whole, or specifically in the words of Jesus that could possibly indicate that God approves of “gay marriage”, you have decided that He probably does.

    Great.

  73. Dan, you should apologize for attributing positions to me that I dispute — or at least, you should apologize in order to live by the standards you demand others to meet, requiring that they never read into your words something you never said and don’t believe.

    ” In advocating such a view of a god, you are advocating a god that is capricious and whimsical.”

    I am not, and so by your own standards you ought not to attribute that advocacy to me, and you should apologize for doing so.

    You write, “We are innately moral beings, having a sense (however imperfect) of right and wrong imbedded in our psyche. The Bible attests to this, and we can see it in our lives in the real world.”

    My position is that our imperfect sense of right and wrong is subject to correction by God in His perfection, the holy correcting the imperfect, the omniscient correcting the limited.

    I have explicitly DENIED the notion of a “‘whatever I says, goes’ kind of a god.” I affirm the holiness and the perfect goodness of God, I just don’t presume to know that *I* approach that perfection enough that I am beyond His correction.

    On the subject of taking human life in particular, I don’t even need to appeal to the chasm between God and man, to note the reason the Bible gives for the prohibition: we are made in God’s image, thus we belong to HIM.

    That being the case, God can take our lives when and how He chooses, including through human agency. It’s not wrong for God to take human life, NOT because He’s whimsical, but because He is our Creator.

    In objecting to that rationale, you hold to a position that is frankly contrary to the Bible’s clear teachings about WHY taking human life is wrong.

  74. (And, Dan, your hypocrisy in supporting the legal regime of murdering infants in the womb should be called out, emphatically and frequently. You say that shedding innocent blood is “that very thing which is so repugnant nearly universally in humanity,” but you have no problem defending the murder of literally tens of millions of children, disguising it in the euphemism of medical procedure.)

  75. I can only assume that we’ve all been following Dan’s interaction with an atheist of two in the other thread here at John’s. I realize this is somewhat off topic, but since Dan has seemed to abandon this thread, and because I see no reason to interrupt the conversation over there, I’ll be doing a few comments on that conversation.
    The first thing I noticed is that Dan appears to atheists, the same way he appears to the rest of us. Equivocating and obfuscatory. See the example below, it seems to be spot on in its analysis.
    “all sorts of ambiguous words and hedging one’s bets type phrases as such folk ( like you) try to present themselves as rational, critical thinkers while trying to avoid answering a straight question.
    But when faced with the ‘truth’ that they are merely cherry picking they often get pissy.”
    Seriously, isn’t that describing the Dan we all know and love to a “T”?

    But let’s take a look at a few of Dan’s comments.

    “While we may have no hard data to support a literal Jesus, we do have what I find to be compelling support for Jesus, just the same. Clearly, there were a group of people called “christians” in the early centuries ACE. Clearly, they eventually made a large impact, eventually becoming a dominant force in world history (unfortunately, for good and for bad). Clearly, it seems to me, these “believers” came from some source and that source, it seems clear enough to me, was Jesus of Nazareth, an itinerant preacher in the first century. Clearly, then, it seems to me, that this preacher likely did exist and I have no reason not to presume that the stories recorded about him are likely at least relatively true (within the spectrum of the type of historic recording that would likely have been used in this time period), nor do I have any compelling reason not to accept the teachings attributed to this Jesus as likely being of the actual Jesus.”

    Is there anything that strikes anyone as being missing from the description of Jesus? Maybe something fundamental to ones understanding of Christ and Christianity? Does that comment sound as if it came from someone who follows Jesus seriously?

    Then there’s this gem.
    “But the honest truth is, Ark, I DON’T know if those texts are reflective of literal events or not. I don’t know even of the resurrection’s literal historicity, I have no evidence to say 100% for sure that it did or did not occur. There is some testimony/evidence, many witnesses spoke of seeing Jesus after the fact and a large sect grew up around his teachings and his story and would seem (to me) less likely if it were built upon a hoax.”

    Again, any fundamental problems with this statement? Anything missing?

    So, far what I see in these comments is a Jesus with His divinity removed. Which really isn’t much of a Jesus at all.

    I know he’s said some of this before, so it’s not much of a surprise, but it’s almost like there are 2 Dan’s, there’s the one we discuss with who seems to exhibit a strong desire to have his beliefs (hunches/opinions) accepted as Orthodox, that he is willing to go through all sorts of logical and rhetorical gymnastics to get there. Then there’s the Dan we see here who so wants to be accepted by the atheist/skeptic/reason crowd, that he’s unwilling to do anything but recycle Marcus Borg crap.

    Will the real Dan please stand up?

    (More to come later)

  76. paynehollow says:

    Craig, it is a simple fact of reality that you do NOT OBJECTIVELY KNOW that Jesus lived, died and resurrected. We have no data on which to base an authoritative conclusion.

    What is wrong with acknowledging reality?

    Or do you have some secret objective data to demonstrate 100% beyond doubt that Jesus existed? By all means, present it.

    Or do you exist here simply to tear down and badmouth people? Hardly Christian behavior, that.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      Craig was definitely right on target.

      By your criteria, we have no objective evidence that George Washington existed. We have no objective evidence that World War 1 took place. After all, all we have are historical documents declaring such.

      And he didn’t “bad mouth” you any more than Paul “bad mouthed” false teachers or Jesus “bad mouthed” Pharisees. HE exposed you for what you are

  77. @ Craig

    The first thing I noticed is that Dan appears to atheists, the same way he appears to the rest of us. Equivocating and obfuscatory. See the example below, it seems to be spot on in its analysis.

    Yes! (Punches the air.) You nailed it. Well done, Craig. ( pee ess) your christian names (sic) aren’t William Lane by chance?

    Is there anything that strikes anyone as being missing from the description of Jesus? Maybe something fundamental to ones understanding of Christ and Christianity? Does that comment sound as if it came from someone who follows Jesus seriously?

    Umm, let me see? He was smallish, olive skinned, unkempt beard, short, black scruffy hair, bad teeth, halitosis, broken, dirty finger nails, smelled of raw locusts and three week old sweat. How we doing so far? Getting warmer?

    So, far what I see in these comments is a Jesus with His divinity removed. Which really isn’t much of a Jesus at all.

    Yes! That’s the guy I just described above. Well done, Craig! Very well done indeed.

    I know he’s said some of this before, so it’s not much of a surprise, but it’s almost like there are 2 Dan’s,

    He is what you might call a very Dan 2 earth Christian, yes?
    Or he has cognitive dissonance?

    Sorry , Dan, just have a bit of fun. Nothing personal.

  78. Dan,

    I’m not tearing you down at all. Nor am I badmouthing you. For you to say otherwise is one more in a string of lies you’ve told in this thread. The fact remains that the language you use has much more in common with the atheists who comment here or with Borg and his ilk than with Orthodox Christian theology. Simply pointing out things where you sound like other people isn’t tearing you down or badmouthing in the least. I’ve only used your own words and asked questions, what could possibly be wrong with that. Or are you regretting what you said and trying to blame me for noticing.

    But, you’re more that welcome to your own opinion, and John can always delete if he feels as of I’ve crossed a line.

  79. @Trabue

    By your criteria, we have no objective evidence that George Washington existed. We have no objective evidence that World War 1 took place. After all, all we have are historical documents declaring such.

    This may be true. However, neither of your examples include supernatural claims and so really don’t matter that much. Where such (supernatural, divine, and/or miraculous) claims are mentioned about other people and events you would surely dismiss them out of hand, I presume? As you would expect most other people to do.
    And there are a great many such supernatural claims, are there not? Past and present.

    So, all you have to do is provide a single, verifiable piece of evidence to back your supernatural/divine claims pertaining to the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth and I guarantee you will become the most famous man alive – and probably the richest and then , quite likely, the deadest, if a religious fanatic gets hold of you.

    • My comment had a context for Trabue – the claim that historical documents do not provide objective evidence that a person lived or an event happened.

      So you can take back your straw men.

      • Context or not, claims of divinity were made about a great many historical people and you reject them out of hand.
        So you can take back your asinine comment.
        Do you have any evidence regarding divinity claims of Jesus of Nazareth, by the way?

        • Ark,

          The only asinine statements are yours. You keep raising a straw man; arguing for something I never raised, never argued.

          I made one point: that we CAN make objective claims for the existence of someone and for an historical event based solely on historical documents. Trabue claims one cannot objectively know this.

          Nowhere did I mention supernatural events, claims of divinity, etc. in my comment. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

          • Ah…so you don’t believe Jesus of Nazareth was divine, in that case?
            I am glad we cleared that up.
            Thank the gods I do not smoke any more.

            • Ah…so you don’t believe Jesus of Nazareth was divine, in that case?

              No, I didn’t say that. That was not the topic – not the context – of the discussion. You are able to follow that, aren’t you?

              • Of course, Glenn, but your point of view regarding this wil have a bearing on how you frame every response, as will mine.
                So, you do or don’t consider the character, Jesus of Nazareth divine?

  80. paynehollow says:

    Again, I’m just stating a fact. We have no objective evidence to support the claim authoritatively.

    I would suggest you provide the evidence or admit that, “Yes, Dan, I agree with you on this point. I should not have been criticizing you for a point on which I agree, and really, we have to agree because facts are facts.”

    Craig as to this…

    I’m not tearing you down at all. Nor am I badmouthing you. For you to say otherwise is one more in a string of lies you’ve told in this thread. The fact remains that the language you use has much more in common with the atheists who comment here or with Borg and his ilk than with Orthodox Christian theology.

    Excuse me, I thought the point was to belittle my position, as if I were stating something false. Then, you AGREE with me and are not belittling my position, since it is fact, is that correct?

    As to “the language I use…” is it not simply the language of facts? Do you think that atheists have a lock on facts and we just have everything else?

    Ark, I can take kidding. Nonetheless, I maintain you are simply mistaken on this point. There is nothing hypocritical or equivocal about saying, “I don’t know” when I factually don’t know. How is that hypocritical? How is it equivocal?

    It is not hypocritical because I’m not saying people who take the OT are wrong to say, “I know I have no hard evidence, but I believe by faith that the stories are literally true…” which is what I do with Jesus’ death and resurrection (and existence). I have no problem with people believing whatever they want as long as they admit it when there’s no proof for the belief. So, no hypocrisy, no equivocation. You are simply mistaken.

    Respectfully,

    Dan

  81. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    that we CAN make objective claims for the existence of someone and for an historical event based solely on historical documents. Trabue claims one cannot objectively know this.

    What are the criteria on which historical documents are judged sufficiently trustworthy as to be “objective proof…”? The Epic of Gilgamesh is an historical document that makes claims about gods and half-gods, is just any historical document “objective proof” of some person or event?

    What consistent objective criteria do you have that will let you take the Bible’s witness as objectively factual but not other documents? I’m open to being demonstrated wrong, Glenn, but you have to have some data that is objective and trustworthy, some criteria that is reliable.

    Fire away, brudda. Demonstrate that the atheist and “liberal” are mistaken, don’t merely assert it. I, for one, will be grateful.

    ~Dan

    • Fire away, brudda. Demonstrate that the atheist and “liberal” are mistaken, don’t merely assert it. I, for one, will be grateful.

      Smile… Ah, Dan, in the background I hear the building of bonfires and the scratching in drawers for matches. “Get behind me, you … you … er…liberal.”

    • What are the criteria on which historical documents are judged sufficiently trustworthy as to be “objective proof…”?

      The criteria that most scholars accept has been demonstrated to be different than yours. You want to have your own little criteria so as to classify the Bible as something less than historical in most parts. You tend to want to make YOUR criteria the standard of measure. Same as you do for sexual morality, or morality in general.

      End of discussion, fool.

      • paynehollow says:

        I’m sorry, WHAT was the criteria, Glenn? I don’t see an answer, just a vague reference to “most scholars” and an unsupported attack on my “own little criteria…”

        Is this a hard question to answer for you? If you’re saying that you have access to some consistent criteria that safely lets you say, “No, Gilgamesh is not a reliable historic document but Genesis is…” please present it.

        If not, just admit that you don’t. No harm, no foul.

        My bet, if I were a betting man, is that you have no such criteria. My bet would be that you accept Genesis because you whimsically want to but reject Gilgamesh because you whimsically don’t want to. Which is fine, just be honest about it.

        How ’bout it?

        ~Dan

        • Trabue,

          I told you what my criteria is — that which is accepted by historians and the majority of biblical scholars.

          You, however, want your own criteria so you can be the liberal that you are so you can preach ungodly nonsense.

          Go away.

        • paynehollow says:

          A source Glenn, I am asking for something that I can look at.

          Here, consider this: I have a source that says Glenn molests kittens. So, quite obviously it’s true. Don’t ask me to provide the source, just trust me that I have it and it can’t be wrong.

          It’s a REALLY good source, oh boy, yah. So, don’t ask me about it. Go away.

          Funny, eh?

          ~Dan

  82. paynehollow says:

    Coming from the anabaptist tradition, as I do, we retain those memories and stories and are glad for at least some progress.

  83. paynehollow says:

    No, we were on the receiving end…

  84. paynehollow says:

    Oh, never mind, I get it…

  85. You want to have your own little criteria so as to classify the Bible as something less than historical in most parts.
    Would you be able to give a short list of which parts of the bible are considered historical and link to extrabiblical sources that confirm this , please?

    • Atk

      So, you do or don’t consider the character, Jesus of Nazareth divine?

      It doesn’t matter; it has no bearing on the current conversation, and I’m not going to get into that discussion with you.

      • Fair enough, but it does have a bearing, and I feel you are just trying to point score as you know you have no evidence to back any such claim, thus every other point you make is moot.
        I have read several of your comments on other threads and you appear to be a Creationist. Please correct me if I am wrong?

        • Ark

          The only “point” I was “scoring” was to demonstrate Trabue’s fallacious claim about the inability to know objectively from historical documents that someone existed or something happened. He claimed otherwise.

          I don’t know why you insist on trying to engage me in other topics not germane.

          I think it has been made quite plain at the beginning of this comment string, as well as my bio on my blog, that I am a fundamentalist Christian. You can do with that what you desire except we are not here to discuss my personal beliefs. They have no bearing on the charge I made about objectivity via historical documents in regards to Trabue’s claim. I don’t normally waste my time in theological discussions with atheists as it serves no purpose.

          • @Glen

            I don’t normally waste my time in theological discussions with atheists as it serves no purpose.

            Of course it serves a purpose, or are you not interested in learning anything?

            I once had to inform a Fundamentalist like yourself that, No, there were no chariot wheels on the bottom of the Red Sea and that it was a hoax, and that ”his” archaeologist,” that lying SOB, the late Ron Wyatt was a damn fraud!
            He was not a happy chappy as he genuinely believed this was on the up and up and was preaching it – he is a minister for crying out loud!

            And it is because of such incidents that Fundamentalists ( of ALL stripes) need to be brought down to earth from time to time so they don’t teach erroneous crap like this to kids!

            I just find it very funny that you are ripping into Dan ( I do love it when the Christians tear each other to pieces) over his version of beliefs and there you are a Creationist!
            Hilarious. The irony.
            Are you Pen Pals with Ken Ham as well?

            Do you really believe the dinosaurs were on some silly Ark?

            And no doubt you would agree that it was right that Mike Licona was fired because in his 2010 book he stated that the resurrection of the saints who then went walkabout in downtown Jerusalem did not actually happen.
            Honestly, it is about time some people chilled out and had a real dose of reality.

            • Ark,
              Of course it serves a purpose, or are you not interested in learning anything?

              Learn about theology from an atheist?!? I’m very interested in learning, but I learn from people who know what they are talking about.

              You laugh at Creationism, but you foolishly accept the lie of evolutionism.

              Give it up – I’m not having a discussion with you. Trabue took us off track from the topic of this post by making up his own definition of Christian fundamentalism – claiming that he is a fundamentalist all the while denying all the real fundamentals of the faith. That is why the conversation turned to being about Trabue. I’m not taking it off track any farther, and I don’t know why that bothers you so much – what is it, the first time someone was smart enough to turn you down?

              Give it up, go cry in your beer.

              • Your version has changed over the years as well…look it up.
                Or would you like me to link it for you?

                And you’d likely have been burned at the stake for what you currently believe.

                What lie of evolution?
                You believe you are descended from a single incestuous family that shared a large wooden boat with a pair of Kangaroo, a pair of Allosaurus, a T-Rex and a couple of Chickens, among others and enough animal shit to fertilize a fair amount of Palestine and you think I’m nuts?
                Go figure?

                As for learning. Well, I have never met a person I couldn’t learn something from so for you, it must be wonderful to be so well-educated and knowledgeable about so many things that you believe you couldn’t learn anything – even a bit of theology – from an atheist.

                Oh, dear, you don’t believe there are chariot wheel son the bottom of the Red Sea, do you?

                You really are an angry person aren’t you, Glen.

              • Ark

                As for learning. Well, I have never met a person I couldn’t learn something from so for you, it must be wonderful to be so well-educated and knowledgeable about so many things that you believe you couldn’t learn anything – even a bit of theology – from an atheist.

                Oh, dear, you don’t believe there are chariot wheel son the bottom of the Red Sea, do you?

                Let’s see, what did I REALLY say vs what you just claimed:
                Learn about theology from an atheist?!? I’m very interested in learning, but I learn from people who know what they are talking about.
                Did I say I couldn’t learn ANYTHING from you? I learn something from just about everyone I’ve ever met. Look what I said I couldn’t learn about from you – THEOLOGY.

                You really are an angry person aren’t you, Glen.
                Not at all, which proves you don’t know me one iota.

                And I’m not going to get in a discussion with you about my beliefs. You can be sarcastic, be attacking and mocking all you want. And that is all you have going for you. Have fun with it.

              • Oh, so you don’t think you could learn anything about theology from me. Really? Not a thing?

                The history of the iota is fascinating, by the way.
                Would you like to know it?

                Seriously, Glenn you don’t/didn’t ever believe there were Chariot Wheels on the floor of the Red Sea?
                Please, Glenn, say it ain’t so.

        • paynehollow says:

          That’s right, Ark. We’re here to discuss and deride MY personal beliefs, not Glenn’s…

          ~Dan

        • paynehollow says:

          Oh, joy.

  86. paynehollow says:

    If that is asked of me, I don’t “want” to classify the Bible as “less than historical” in most parts. I have been pretty clear that I’m interested in the Bible as a book of Truth, not as a source for accurate history or as a rule book.

    If it’s asked of Glenn or others, pardon me.

    As to me, I have no data that says ANY of the stories are certainly historically factual, objectively so.

    I have merely noted that the NT stories come from the beginning of the Modern history era and thus should reasonably be measured differently than the OT stories. Which is not to say that they’re all 100% literally historically accurate, just that they were from an era with improved (from a linear, literal angle) sense of historicity and scholars would take that into consideration, I would think.

    My point remains that I take the Bible as a book of Truth, not history or science or rules, so questions about miraculous events are not my central concern. Again, the Bible does not insist upon any literal interpretations of its stories, God has not insisted upon it, I have no rational demand for it and so, why would I?

    ~Dan

    • I have been pretty clear that I’m interested in the Bible as a book of Truth,

      What a joke. IF you agree with what it says, then it’s true. IF you disagree with what it says then it’s false.

      You hypocritical heretic. You are no better than an atheist.

  87. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    IF you agree with what it says, then it’s true. IF you disagree with what it says then it’s false.

    So, when you find a text that you think is not literal – pluck out your eye, for instance – you do what it says, because to do otherwise would be calling it “false…”? Or, do you agree with me that determining a literary style/genre is important to understanding a Truth?

    Glenn, we ALL say, “That verse is not to be taken literally…” for whatever reason. You don’t NOT cut the hair on the side of your head to obey that verse, you don’t believe in overcoming evil with good when it comes to warring, you don’t sell your belongings and give to the poor, etc, because you have reasons you think the verses in question are not to be taken literally.

    You are no different than me in practice, just in which verses you take literally.

    Love ya, big guy,

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      You are no different than me in practice, just in which verses you take literally.

      Oh, I’m much different. You aren’t even in the same class as I am because you don’t want to learn – you have been proven to be unteachable.

      I take everything a it was intended to be taken, and I don’t look for ways out (as you do with passages about homosexuality, e.g.). It’s called the historical grammatical method of hermeneutics. Something you should study. Every solid Biblical scholar takes the Bible that way.

      • paynehollow says:

        Glenn, since my position on topics has changed, since I’ve learned new things and let old things go, clearly, it is false that I don’t want to learn. The data does not support your conclusion and your charge is unsupported and verifiably false. Thou shalt not bear false witness, Glenn. You can’t just make things up and throw them out there. It’s embarrassing for you.

        And where you cite that you “take everything as it was intended…” says who? Who died and placed you in charge of telling everyone else how every word in the Bible was intended to be taken? Rather, the fact is, you take passages AS THEY MAKE SENSE TO YOU, Glenn Chatfield. And that’s fine, that’s as it should be. Just don’t bear false witness against your own ability. You aren’t God and you can’t say on behalf of God, “Yep, that is how God wanted me to take it…” That would be a false suggestion.

        Finally, it is another false and unsupported claim that I “look for ways out…” I remind you: I HELD YOUR POSITION. When I change positions on topics, I chang my position NOT because I want to, but because I no longer feel my old position (the one you still have not changed from, in your example) is rational, Godly or moral. I did NOT look for ways out, as a matter of fact, I looked very hard to find a reason to keep my OLD position. Ultimately, I just had to abandon it as not a good, moral, biblical or rational position to hold.

        Three false claims. Three claims with no support beyond the almighty word of Glenn. Three strikes.

        You’re out.

        • Right, Trabue. Everyone else is in error. All the scholars for 2000 years are in error and you are right. Everything we say during discussions with you is in error and you are always 100% right.

          By the way, changing your positions from bad to worse isn’t learning – it’s accepting propaganda which fits your bias. You are unteachable when it comes to the truth. How about THAT clarification!

          You are such a fool.

        • paynehollow says:

          Glenn, once again, reality interrupts your cultural prejudices. My “bias” at the time was AGAINST gay folk and marriage. I was 100% OPPOSED to all things homosexual, just as you are. My bias, then, would push me to accept the conservative propaganda, not the liberal “propaganda.” But in spite of the conservative propaganda and my conservative bias, I had to reject that traditional position on the issue of homosexuality because it was simply immoral, irrational and unbiblical.

          I reached that position WHILE conservative, so that reality really does undermine your fantasy. Sorry, but while you are welcome to whatever fantasies and emotional comforts make you feel good for your own sake, you aren’t welcome to your own facts in real world conversations with others. Facts are facts, and they are against you again and again in this conversation.

          Tough luck.

          ~Dan

  88. Dan

    Quite clearly all I did was quote your words and make comparisons to what others say and ask questions. I did not use any language that was belittling in any way. Do you consider your words somehow beyond criticism? You certainly can’t claim slander as you have done in the past, nor can you claim you are misquoted or out of context. I’m sorry that what you said has somehow made you ashamed or whatever. I fully support your right to your own beliefs and opinions. They’re yours after all.

  89. paynehollow says:

    So, you agree with me (and reality)? I’m not ashamed of what I’ve said, I’ve JUST STATED REALITY. If I said, “the sun is shining today,” that would not embarrass me, it’s just the fact.

    Now, if I said, “the sun is shining today” and you responded…

    “Is there anything that strikes anyone as being missing from the description of the day? Maybe something fundamental to ones understanding of the sun today and sunshine? Does that comment sound as if it came from someone who follows the sun seriously?”

    I would say, “What? You have a problem with my stating reality? Why the stupid antagonism?”

    And if you responded, “What antagonism? I’m just quoting your words…”

    I would respond just as I have. I’m JUST STATING REALITY. Something I’m sure you can agree with IF you agree with reality. As a point of fact, you can NOT provide objective factual data to prove that Jesus existed. You can’t. Nor can I.

    So while you give me grief (and don’t bear false witness, Craig, you WERE giving me grief, saying “Does this sound like someone who takes Jesus seriously” IS an attack, and a stupid and false-as-hell attack, it is a slander and a stupid one, since you must either agree with me or disagree with reality) for stating reality, you don’t do anything to try to defend your position or admit you misspoke.

    Get serious, brother.

    “Is that the behavior of someone following Jesus?”

    THAT is a good question.

    This is why I don’t see much point in talking to you guys. When confronted with reality, you double down on the stupid and the antagonism. Shame on you.

    ~Dan

  90. Dan

    The factual reality of the situation is that using standard English grammar, a question is (by definition) not an attack. You’ve been quite clear that no matter how loaded your questions might be, they are questions not attacks. Why will you not give others the grace and benefit of the doubt you expect others to give you?

    I have my suspicions, but won’t speculate publicly.

    Remember, embrace grace.

  91. paynehollow says:

    Oh, is Craig NOT a kitten molester then? Are these sorts of words NOT the words of a sociopath who likes to steal from children?

    It’s good to know that you did not mean to suggest that I – in my position that you MUST agree with – am not a serious follower of God. Thanks for the clarification.

    And still you dodge the answers or admitting your errors and innuendo.

    Craig, YOU asked a question that I am saying was a false witness by way of innuendo. You are now trying to backpedal your way out of your own BS. I call you on it. Here’s the question (one of the questions asked with the apparent intention of slander) you asked:

    Does that comment sound as if it came from someone who follows Jesus seriously?

    Now, if you want to publicly affirm that YOUR answer to that question is, “Yes! Of course it is. Dan is RIGHTLY pointing out a simple observable fact. There is nothing wrong with agreeing with reality, in fact, it is stupid as hell to disagree with reality.” then I can see that your intent was not to slander but to agree with me.

    If you can’t affirm that, then the false innuendo, the unanswered questions, the dodged responsibility all point to your trying to deliberately attack another person, and doing so for the “crime” of stating reality.

    Come clean, Craig. Repentance is good for the soul.

    Or, better yet, clarify that I was right and that you agree with me and show that I simply misunderstood you, then I can apologize.

    As it is, I am calling you a bald-faced liar for your slander and your cowardly refusal to admit it.

    Sorry, but that’s just reality and reality is what reality is.

    ~Dan

  92. Dan,

    I’m beginning to be concerned for you, you continue to repeat the same things over and over again as if mere repetition will make things real.

    For starters, no Dan, Craig is NOT a kitten molester, nor does he steal from children, nor is he a sociopath. See, that’s easy.

    I apologize in advance if this get’s a bit remedial, but I want to make sure you understand what I am saying as well as what I am not saying.

    I will start with your intentionally inflammatory and ridiculous cat molester analogy.

    1. The major failure of your analogy is that you are making statements about me and my behavior that you have no possible basis to make. For example, had I written something that sounded like it came from a cat molester web site, you would have every reason to question what I had written. Your problem is that you have chosen silly provocative examples that have no relationship to reality.
    2. In a related note your examples attack me personally (you know an ad hom, which you usually dislike), instead of questioning something that I wrote.
    3. Your questions (disregarding the intent of being inflammatory and nonsensical) are simply that, questions. They are not attacks, they are questions. They can be answered and put to rest. You seem to have trouble distinguishing the two forms of communication.

    Now some basic grammar.

    A question is a question. A question is NOT an attack. A question is not a statement of fact. A question is a Question.

    Asking questions about what you have written is NOT a personal attack. Never has been, never will be. The fact that you seem to have trouble distinguishing this is a concern.

    A question, as it is NOT a statement, therefore CANNOT be a lie.
    An opinion also CANNOT be a lie, as it is not a claim of fact.

    The FACTS are that statements YOU made, and I QUOTED, in my opinion, sound remarkably close to the kind of statements that are made by atheists, or by “christians” who deny the existence of God or the diety of Jesus and the like. Due to the similarity of your statements to people like John Shuck, Marcus Borg, etc, I asked a question based on your quotes to see what other people thought. For you to impute motive that does not exist, or to otherwise question my intent without proof, is exactly the kind of thing you are accusing me of. I’m sorry you are missing the irony.

    “If you can’t affirm that…”

    I can and have affirmed that the SOLE and only intent of my question was to ascertain more information about the content of the question. It was not intended, nor does it, cast any personal aspersions or make any personal attacks against your personally. Those are the facts, as you yourself admit (the lack of proof of my intent, as well as your use of the terms like “apparent”, just demonstrates that you don’t really know, your just assuming), them to be. The words are there to be judged by all.

    “…, then the false innuendo,…”
    Since there was no innuendo, there could not have been false innuendo.

    “…the unanswered questions…,”
    One more in a series of your lies that have run throughout your comments on this thread. The fact that you accuse me of lying in the same context of your repeated lies would be pretty funny, if it weren’t so sad. Again for the record. Up to the point, which I specifically noted in an earlier comment, I had answered EVERY SINGLE ONE of your questions directed specifically to me, while you had already begun to dodge and ignore questions of mine. At that point, I was quite clear that until you lived up to your own standards, I was done with this one way question game you love so much. If you want questions answered after that point, step up and do what you expect of others. Or you can stop lying, either would be fine with me.

    “…the dodged responsibility…”

    Of which there is none.

    “…all point to your trying to deliberately attack another person,…”

    In your mind, maybe. Not necessarily in the real world.

    “…and doing so for the “crime” of stating reality….”

    Actually, more properly, stating your opinion about what reality is. Which opinion, I affirmed is completely proper for you if you prefer it.

    I’m truly sorry that you are having so much trouble differentiating an attack on you personally, with a question about what you literally factually wrote. I’m sorry that your opinions (or reality if you prefer) sounds an awful lot like a bunch of folks who have some pretty far out theology, as well as a lot like the atheists that comment here. I really am, but the similarities are there for all to see, and the fact that you choose to attack me instead of clarifying your positions really speaks volumes.

    Again, I’m sorry I asked the question. I guess you could make the argument that even Borg takes Jesus seriously, in which case I could have worded the question a little better. The fact remains, that a Jesus devoid of deity (which is exactly the Jesus you depicted in your quotes), is a different Jesus that the one we see in scripture.

    As usual, the ball is in your court.

    • Darn it, just thinking about the time I wasted coming up with a point by point response to Dan’s erroneous mistakes, and it all gets lost in the shuffle.

      I guess, I’ll never get answers now.

  93. The fact remains, that a Jesus devoid of deity (which is exactly the Jesus you depicted in your quotes), is a different Jesus that the one we see in scripture.

    Which strain of ‘deity’ are we talking about here?

    Full god, or just son of…?

  94. I have just spent ten minutes skipping through this comment thread and I must say, for a group that professes to be Christian, I consider Marshal, Craig and Glen to be three of the most narrow-minded trash-talking bunch of hypocrites on one thread.
    Truly, the way you three have ‘lorded’ your fundamental self-righteousness over Dan (not that I agree with him much either) reminds of Jesus being confronted by the Pharisees and Sadducees.
    I imagine you all sitting there at your laptops contriving loaded questions simply so you can whoop it up and yell, “Ah, ha! Gotcha!”

    If the bloke says he’s christian then he’s christian. Period. It’s worth remembering that even your version of ‘Fundamental’ ( and this is such a great word isn’t it? Fun & Mental – says a lot, don’t you think? ) would likely have seen you three burned at the stake pretty darn quick merely a few hundred years ago.
    Perhaps you should cut the bloke some slack before your god smites you, or something?

    I’m pretty sure, based on your performance here,your Jesus would shake his head and turn his back on you.

    • Ark

      I have just spent ten minutes skipping through this comment thread and I must say, for a group that professes to be Christian, I consider Marshal, Craig and Glen to be three of the most narrow-minded trash-talking bunch of hypocrites on one thread.
      Truly, the way you three have ‘lorded’ your fundamental self-righteousness over Dan (not that I agree with him much either) reminds of Jesus being confronted by the Pharisees and Sadducees.
      I imagine you all sitting there at your laptops contriving loaded questions simply so you can whoop it up and yell, “Ah, ha! Gotcha!”

      You have no idea of everyone’s history with Trabue. I posted a couple links above which will explain a lot about his character. He’s a troll to begin with, has been banned from many blogs.

      People can call themselves “Christian” but if they do not adhere to the fundamental beliefs as defined in Scripture then they are not to be considered as Christians. Trabue violates many primary, non-negotiable doctrines. So do Mormons, so do Jehovah’s Witnesses, et al. It is not “trash talking” to condemn a false teacher such as Trabue; Christ condemned them, Paul condemned them, etc. We are indeed called as Christians to expose false teachers. Also, Trabue refuses to recant of his false teachings, always claiming 2000 years of scholars are wrong and that HE alone (well, along with his “gay” and liberal ilk) has the real truth about the Bible. Scripture calls his ilk “foolish.” Paul said, “Watch out for those who cause dissensions and pitfalls contrary to the doctrine you have learned. Avoid them; for such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” Trabue is one Paul warned as about. Paul also said, “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.” This also describes Trabue and his ilk.

      The only “loaded questions” ever posed have been by Trabue over the past few years – it’s a standard line with him to lead your conclusions to have to agree with his perversions.

      For someone who is an atheist, you sure make some unfounded, snap judgments about the Christian walk without knowing any history behind the conversation, and without knowing what the TRUE faith is all about. By what moral standard do you decide you have a right to judge anyone, let alone Christians?!?!

      • paynehollow says:

        “Basic human decency” springs to mind…

        Glenn…

        Trabue violates many primary, non-negotiable doctrines.

        But this begs the question: “Non-negotiable doctrines” according to whom? Who gets to decide? In this thread on fundamentalism, it appears that those who fit the more modern notion of fundamentalism have decided that they are the ones who get to decide. According to THEM and their favorite traditions and cultures and sub-cultures.

        I refuse to “recant” my positions which I believe are reasonable and moral and good and, dare I say it, Godly? Would you really encourage people to give up that which they sincerely believe to be morally good, rational and Godly simply because you chastise them for their positions?

        Wouldn’t it make more rational and moral and even biblical sense to encourage people to pursue the good/God’s Way as best they know how and NOT give in to simple peer pressure or bullying? As long as their sense of moral good is not causing harm to others, wouldn’t a live and let live ethos be more efficacious, especially on matters that are unprovable?

        Seems so to me.

        ~Dan

      • For someone who is an atheist, you sure make some unfounded, snap judgments about the Christian walk without knowing any history behind the conversation, and without knowing what the TRUE faith is all about. By what moral standard do you decide you have a right to judge anyone, let alone Christians?!?!

        I don’t need to know zip about the history, I merely have to read your frothing at the mouth, (sometimes) almost rabid replies.
        Doesn’t sound like a gentle, forgiving and humble Christian to me.

        And there you go with the CAPITALS. True faith? Morality? Judgement?
        What is this? Are you moonlighting for the Inquisition, Glenn?

        • Also like Dan, Ark believes one who calls Dan to account is “frothing at the mouth”. How do Dan and atheists determine “frothing” by merely disagreeing? I would say such accusations are indications of “frothing” far more than our commenting on Dan’s routine.

          • How do Dan and atheists determine “frothing” by merely disagreeing?

            No sir, by you lot espousing erroneous nonsense about the religion you claim to be part of.

    • “Truly, the way you three have ‘lorded’ your fundamental self-righteousness over Dan (not that I agree with him much either) reminds of Jesus being confronted by the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

      Wow! That’s just what Dan says! Amazing that the similarities between Dan and atheists keep on coming!

      Another is how he suggests that our holding Dan accountable for the things he says about the Christian faith is somehow “piling on”. Forums such as this one are meant for the purpose of debate and confrontations of ideas and ideologies.

      • Forums such as this one are meant for the purpose of debate and confrontations of ideas and ideologies.

        While I recognise that there is most definitely a Fundamentalist air about the way your three present your case,( William Lane Craig groupies, perhaps?) I do strongly suggest you toddle off and actually learn some history instead of continually reeling off your Christianity-by-Rote theology method that you have been inculcated with at Sunday School or Bible Seminary.

  95. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    And as many, many of us have pointed out, you could NOT have come to your ideology by studying the Bible. It is impossible. So you even lie to yourself.

    .

    Glenn, what are reasonable people supposed to do with comments like this? History is real. You can verify that I grew up as a conservative in a conservative church. You can verify that I believed as you do on the gay topic (and on many other topics). As a point of fact in the real world, I did change from my old position to the one(s) I hold now as a matter of Bible study and seeking God’s Way, and that from a conservative viewpoint.

    The facts are there. In the real world, it is not impossible, and I am evidence of that.

    But I think this helps illustrate the point of this post. A fundamentalist, as it is popularly becoming understood, is one who will reject morality, reject grace and reject even reality if any of that conflicts with their beliefs. This is why Muslim fundamentalists (not Muslims in general, but extremists, fundamentalists in this newer understanding of the word) can embrace terrorism, can reject grace and decency, IF it is to defend their belief system which has very little room or grace for disagreement. It is why Christian extremists/fundamentalists can reject fellow Christians and even reject reality if it conflicts with their belief system, which is very narrowly defined and with little wiggle room for grace.

    Fortunately, fundamentalists (by this definition) of any stripe are a small minority and, one would hope, getting smaller by way of their own self-limiting.

    Thanks, Glenn, for your efforts and struggle, Keep at it. I believe in you.

    In God’s grace,

    Dan

    • And Trabue remains in self-denial and lies. Which is why he remains a fool.

      • Sheesh, Glenn, isn’t that friggin’ great mote a real pain in the….wherever it’s stuck.

      • paynehollow says:

        No doubt, I am a poor fool, entirely capable of being sincerely mistaken. But at least this poor fool has the moral wherewithal to acknowledge my own fallen humanity.

        Regardless, reality does not comport with your opinions, Glenn.

        Go ahead, visit Louisville, research me, interview people and discover for yourself that my story is just as I say it is. That would seem to me to be more prudent than making demonstrably false claims about someone you don’t even know.

        I’ll even guarantee to reimburse you your expenses and pay for your time should you find that I am not who I say I am, that I did not come from conservative roots with conservative beliefs.

        Reality simply isn’t on your side on this point and you really shouldn’t bear false witness. The Bible suggests that’s wrong. If you want to take the Bible seriously (whether you take it literally or not).

        ~Dan

        • “But at least this poor fool has the moral wherewithal to acknowledge my own fallen humanity.”

          But never the moral courage to acknowledge your corruption. More to the point, no courage to defend your claims to have come to your corruption legitimately. Years have passed on you’ve never provided dirt enough to fill the canyon-like holes in your position OR your path to it.

          The whole of Louisville could attest to your “change” and that would still not inform anyone of how one can legitimately support that change or explain the basis for it. Serious and prayerful study? We haven’t seen a hint of it. THAT is reality.

        • paynehollow says:

          I’ve explained how I reached my positions, in great detail, Marshall. As you know…

          http://throughthesewoods.blogspot.com/2011/08/marriage-equity-my-journey-i.html

          There is a difference between “You never explained your position” and “You never explained your position to a degree that I found convincing…” The facts are as I present it in that post and the one following it. That IS how I changed my position, in the real world. The reasoning I present ARE the reasons that convinced me. I am not trying and can not convince you to change your position, I’m just saying, in the real world, this is how I went from where you are to where I am now.

          So, I had the “courage” to defend my claims, and have done so many times. That YOU find holes in my explanation does not mean that my explanation is not factual.

          You are welcome to your own opinions, Marshall, but not your own facts. The facts are as I have presented them. I can’t make up facts to say, “oh, yeah, and this and that…” You find “holes” in my reasoning, I don’t. Tough luck, you know. That’s just the way it is.

          You have quite obvious and large holes in your arguments that I don’t think you ever address, it doesn’t mean you don’t hold your position, just that we have a difference of opinion. Again, that’s just the way it is. You’ll have to get over it.

          Reality trumps ideology every time.

          Marshall…

          Serious and prayerful study? We haven’t seen a hint of it.

          How many hours of prayer and Bible study would it take to “prove” it to you? How much mental anguish and sorrow over needing to leave my old position needs to be provided?

          In the real world, I did change my position, just as I have described.

          Reality trumps ideology every time.

          ~Dan

  96. Ark,

    A couple of thoughts, I personally, give Dan the benefit of the doubt in terms of whether or not he is christian. I have no way of knowing and see no reason to doubt his claim.

    However, what you are missing by taking one isolated thread to make such sweeping and broad judgements, is the lengthy history of these conversations. As you detected Dan can be a little less than forthcoming and certainly has issues with his expecting others to live up to standards of behavior he chooses not to live up to himself.

    I think it’s safe to say that Dan has been cut plenty of slack over the years. That’s why we’re much less likely too now.

    • The fact remains, that if he says he is Christian then who are you to say he isn’t?

      You give him the benefit of the doubt, do you? How nice. I am sure he is very happy to have the nod from you. Must make all the difference.

      The Catholics laid out the doctrine for all Christians until after the Reformation when you lot began writing your own rules.
      And Fundamentalism has changed and is still changing.

      I could care less how long this conversation with Dan has been going on, if you are the Poster Boys for Christians, then god (sic) help your faith.

      There are times when Glenn sounds like he is positively frothing at the mouth!

      Kinda reminds me of what Gandhi was supposed to have said:
      ”I like your Christ, but these three Christians suck big time.” (or something like that)

      • The Catholics laid out the doctrine for all Christians

        This statement demonstrates complete ignorance of the Christian faith, let alone the history of the Church. Which is an example why atheists shouldn’t be commenting about theological matters.

        And, no, just because someone says he is a “Christian,” that doesn’t mean we have to accept it. The Bible tells us to examine the teachings. Trabue demonstrates by his teachings that he violates what have been historically non-negotiable doctrines and teachings. Scholars for 2000 years have had the same non-negotiables (although sometimes false belief systems such as Romanism added to what the Bible says), yet Trabue likes to pretend this isn’t so with stupid statements like “nonnegotiable to who?” when he knows darn well they are non-negotiable to true Christians.

        • The Catholics laid out the doctrine for all Christians

          This statement demonstrates complete ignorance of the Christian faith, let alone the history of the Church. Which is an example why atheists shouldn’t be commenting about theological matters.

          Oh, really? And you have the original texts to back this up do you? How arrogant can you get. My goodness!

          If it wasn’t largely because of the likes of Marcion getting his bible under way and Constantine giving the church heads a swift kick in the arse and telling them to get their bloody house in order, you lot might still be scratching your ‘gospels’ on the underside of leather sandals or some such.

          And, no, just because someone says he is a “Christian,” that doesn’t mean we have to accept it.

          In that case….I don’t think you are a Christian. Not based on my understanding of theology and certainly not based on Catholic Doctrine.

          The Bible tells us to examine the teachings.

          Then why not examine the correct etymology of Isiah 7:14. In fact read what it really means from a Jewish scholar of Hebrew. Want a link?

          Trabue demonstrates by his teachings that he violates what have been historically non-negotiable doctrines and teachings

          Really? I don’t see this? It is merely his interpretation of the scriptures. List five examples and explain where he is wrong?

          Scholars for 2000 years have had the same non-negotiables

          Pre or post Nicea?
          Pre or post Theodosius?

          … to true Christians.

          Catholics, Protestants, Friends, Jehovah’s. Trinitarians, Non-Trinitarians, Arians, Cathars,

          Which true Christians?

          • Ark,

            You just demonstrate that you really know the atheist talking points which have been rebutted too many times, but apparently you’ve never paid any attention to the rebuttals.

            And you wonder why I said it is pointless to discuss Christianity with an atheist.

            Have a good night. I pray that you will learn the truth before you stand before God.

            • @Glenn

              What points have been rebutted?
              Lol…what on earth are you talking about, Glenn?
              All you are doing here is confirm your own very glaring ignorance of your own religion.
              Seriously, when it comes to the history of Christianity the average Christian is ( excuse my French) thick as two short planks)
              The vast majority of you have never even read the bible in its entirety, have been indoctrinated from small and would not know how to exercise critical thought in this regard if it upped and bit you on the backside!
              The average atheist knows more about Christianity than many christians simply because you are not encouraged to exercise critical thought. That is even written down. Want a link for it?

              you stand before God.

              And,er, which god would this be, Glenn?

      • “I could care less how long this conversation with Dan has been going on, if you are the Poster Boys for Christians, then god (sic) help your faith.”

        Ah. Another atheist insists we should be Christian according to his definition. How nice.

        • paynehollow says:

          If I’m reading Ark aright, he’s basing his judgment on the words of the Bible. And Glenn assures us that it’s the Bible that tells us things, so…

          ~Dan

        • No…you should be christian by Jesus’ definition.
          Which is not the same as what the Church later determined, either…

          • If you take into account every red letter in the Gospels, you end up with the same intolerant Jesus.

            • I was referring more to the essence of what Christianity is supposed to stand for – you know…being nice? Love thy neighbour and all that?

              The actual character,Jesus of Nazareth is a narrative construct, and all the divine qualities etc were bestowed upon him by the church, so in actual fact you are all arguing over nonsense. But arguing is better than going to war over it I guess.
              And it is entertaining, which is what blogging is all about in the end, yes?

              • You’ve never demonstrated that, merely asserted as something that everyone knows.

              • Demonstrated what, exactly?

              • You repeatedly insist the entire record of Jesus and the earliest Jewish icons are fiction. But all you’ve really said is everyone k ow this and we need to get out more.

              • Smile….archaeological evidence demonstrates the nonsense of the Exodus story and the consensus – including Jewish scholars Rabbis and almost all except ultra orthodox Jewry and Christian fundamentalists consider the Pentateuch fiction.
                I should think the Jews know more about their religious book than a bunch of fundamental Christians, wouldn’t you?
                But you already said you are well read on this subject so why do you keep bleating about it as if we are talking fact?

                As for Jesus. well I have never denied that he may well have existed, though probably not under this name.
                But the character, Jesus of Nazareth is a narrative construct and there is not a scrap of verifiable evidence to suggest otherwise.

              • But what is the evidence. You say evidence demonstrates.. but then you stop there.

              • Have you read Finklestein, Devers or Herzog?
                How about Kenyon?
                Have you read anything from Rabbi Wolpe?

                You keep saying you are well read on the subject but then you stop there….
                I do not understand what you are complaining about?

              • I’ve read plenty. But you throwing names out without any actual argument. I can throw names out too, but it’s not an argument.

              • Why on earth must I argue the case for the fictional tale of the Exodus, Moses and all, when highly qualified experts have done this years ago?
                It is a dead duck in the water except for fundamentalists and those with a vested financial interest.

                Good grief, how do you expect me to improve on the arguements of Jewish scholars who are expert in Hebrew, or an Archaeologist of Finkelstein or Devers’ caliber?
                And Devers was once a devout Christian as I am sure you are aware. Science largely proved the undoing of his faith.
                Even the likes of William Allbright who set out to ”prove” the bible came unstuck.
                What have you got to offer, the bible?
                Sheesh….Any minute now it will be Rn Wyatt, Ken Ham and Pat Robinson.
                if you disagree with their findings, including those of every recognised Egyptologist, then lay your cards on the table and show what you’ve got.
                Let’s see the evidence. Anything pertaining to the Exodus, Moses etc I will be highly motivated to examine and will gratefully follow any scientific links or info you have.

              • If it’s such good evidence, just present it here. I’m starting to get the impression that you’ve never actually read them and are parroting what you’ve heard other atheists say.

                I don’t need you to improve on their arguments, just present them here for others who might not be familiar with them…If you can.

              • Others? Who?.
                If they are unfamiliar with Finkelstein etc then they can go research, just as I did. I am not a perishing babysitter.
                But I will provide links if asked.

                Besides, will it make you reconsider?
                Wolpe did, so did Devers.
                How open minded are you?

                If so then I will post links for you to peruse at your leisure.
                I would certainly re consider my position if you have anything worthwhile to counter their arguments but so far all I see is apologetic rhetoric.

                Furthermore, if you are so well read on the subject then you already know the arguments so what the hell is the point of me presenting them?

                If you disagree then let me hear why?

              • Wow. Now I’m pretty convinced you’ve never read those you’re holding up as authorities! You’re essentially refusing to even bullet point their arguments. Why this hesitation? Please present an argument for your claims that there is a robust quality and quantity of historical evidence for YOUR claims about the OT figures and events as being fiction. Feel free to even present Devers and Wolpe and Finkelstein.

                I think you’ve been caught with your hand in the cookie jar. You claim to be familiar with their work yet after all this you haven’t even offered even a sliver of their work and findings. I think you’re lying. I hope you’re not, but you’re not really offering anything to show.

              • Feel free to believe what ever you like.
                I see no reason to bullet point anything, just so’s you can retort with, ”Ah, well this is the minimalist opinion and not everyone agrees with this” or some such crud.
                And as soon as I do, you will then likely cite Kitchen.
                And I will state that even he is not emphatic that it occurred and you will say absence of evidence blah blah and possibly list those who wish to shift the dates, which of course does not fit in with the biblical account and then you may cite an apologist who has done the math and claims it is possible to arrive at all those numbers and still survive in the desert.
                And I will show that such an exodus would have caused an economic collapse of the Egyptian economy based on demographics and population numbers and besides, the whole area was under Egyptian rule at the time and it would have been impossible for that amount of people to move without being noticed.
                Then we’ll move to the Armana letters or perhaps the Merneptah Stele?
                And eventually you will say …’Well, the bible says….’
                And we haven’t even so much as mentioned the ridiculous notion of the miraculous events.

                You see? Faith is believing in what you know ain’t so.

                I will say this, though.
                I have a friend who lives outside Sao Paulo in Brazil who embarked on a project to find out the perspective of Jewish scholars in several universities in Tel Aviv and other respected institutions regarding the Exodus.( He blogs here, in fact)
                I am sure we could arrange a list?

                I was supposed to be involved with him but after my first email I had to back out due to work constraints. He wrote to every relevant departmental head and staff member and not one was prepared to state that the Exodus was a real event. Not a single one. In fact, there wasn’t one who would state it ever happened!

                You will cling to your biblical version even if you have to do the theological two step to make it all fit.

                If this is not a more or less accurate picture of how this would play out then I am open to suggestions?
                Ball’s in your court, John.
                What you got?

              • Ok, so I’m right. You’re just full of shit. You came in and talked a big game about how learned (pronounced learn-ed) you were, when you really just saw some other atheist bring up the names. You got nothing.

              • Lol…if you say so.
                Go watch a Finkelstein video. Learn something.

                Best I better not admit to having the Bible in that case. Phew…who knows what you’d say then, right?

                Be happy with your delusion, John, it’s fine with me. Just don’t indoctrinate the kids, okay?

              • You are cordially invited to my humble blog.
                This piece might be an eye-opener for you, Dan.
                ( if can handle my irreverent comment style)

                Enjoy!

                http://attaleuntold.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/how-the-church-made-jesus-god/

              • Dan?
                Apologies.John.I have two windows open.
                It is a busy morning.

  97. paynehollow says:

    [He lobs the ball and Dan swings…]

    “True Christians…” according to whom? Based on whose authority?

    Ya keep me smiling with your consistency, Friend Glenn…

    ~Dan

    • “True Christians…” according to whom? Based on whose authority?

      According to the Bible, what it says about Christ and what it says about God, etc.
      Which is why we are able to say Mormons, JWs, Christian Scientists, SDA, RLDS (now called Community of Christ), Unitarians, Unity School, Unification, etc are cults and their members are not Christians. Which is why we can say anyone who teaches another Jesus, who teaches another Gospel, are not Christians – and Paul said such people are to be “eternally condemned.” And YOU teach another Jesus as well as another gospel, as way too many Christians have pointed out by citing your teachings over and over.

      But we’ve been through this before, haven’t we? And yet you keep acting like it’s the first time you’ve ever heard it, and that I am the only one who has said this to you. Which goes to show more of your dishonesty, because I know for a fact that it has come from many people over the years on many blogs. But it suits your purposes to pretend that I am the only one with problems with your teachings, that I am the mean guy, etc.

      Have a nice evening. I’m shutting down.

  98. paynehollow says:

    [He lobs the ball and Dan swings…]

    (I really wish you could see the grin on my face, thanks, Glenn…)

    According to the Bible…

    …annnnnnd, who gets to say that “This interpretation is ‘according to the Bible…'”?

    No, no, wait, I got your back:

    “True Christians!”

    THIRD BASE!

    And round and round the ball rolls.

    Glenn, no offense, but I think you shut down already, since you have no use in talking to (certainly not learning from) atheists, “non-True Christians” and other declared-by-Glenn fools…

    But seriously, thanks for the smiles and the consistency. You bring a bit of joy (even if it is bittersweet) to this fool’s day.

    Peace,

    ~Dan

  99. According to the Bible,

    Crap, ”according to the Bible”. The bible was interpreted by the Church and the doctrines laid out and prescribed and enforced.
    The Church established the Trinity.
    The Church bestowed godhood on the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth.
    And you know how long they fought over that don’t you?

    According to the bible my bum!

    Good grief!

  100. paynehollow says:

    Ark…

    This piece might be an eye-opener for you, Dan.
    ( if can handle my irreverent comment style)

    Might be, if I weren’t familiar with all of it. Don’t presume all people of faith aren’t familiar with church history, just because many are not. But thanks just the same, I read it and can agree with much of what you wrote, if not all.

    I think one suggestion I might make for consideration is that this more recent notion of fundamentalism as a negative, self-righteous and arrogant sort of attitude is that people of all sorts can be fundamentalist in that style. The mistake of all these sorts of fundamentalists is not making room for grace, not making room for their own lack of perspective, presuming that they can not be mistaken.

    “My way or the highway” is not an impressive or compelling argument no matter if it’s coming from the Christian fundamentalist, the Muslim fundamentalist or the atheist fundamentalist. And deliberate antagonism is no more helpful coming from the Christian who’d call you a fool for merely disagreeing than it is coming from the atheist who’d call a book that has been important to many millions throughout history a “stupid little book…”

    One of the wisdoms found in the Bible is the notion of humility.

    “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”

    Words of wisdom to live by, whether or not one accepts the more mystic, magical parts of the stupid little book.

    Just for consideration.

    And I get that many Christians for many years have been similarly condescending and arrogant towards non-believers/other-believers, but “they did it first” is just not a very compelling defense outside of grade school.

    On the other hand, I do enjoy me some irreverent humor, so keeping a balance is cool, too, seems to me.

    Thanks again,

    ~Dan

    • Don’t presume all people of faith aren’t familiar with church history,

      I don’t presume, actually. Most, certainly, but not all. Many of those who are clued-up leave the faith. Many stay. In particular those who livelihood relies on their continued ‘faith’.
      Have you heard of the clergy project? http://www.clergyproject.org/

      Those that struggle with cognitive dissonance eventually learn to compartmentalize or give it up and come clean.

      The problem, Dan is this:
      Moderates and gentle folk who feel no compunction to proselytize or blow ‘shit’ up and often wouldn’t hurt a fly or interfere in any way whatsoever with another, and are often appalled at such disgusting systems like A.C.E for instance, or bloody idiots like Ken Ham worship the same god that the extremist does..
      And read the same religious text.

      And if you cannot see the problem then you are always going to attract flak.
      Thank the gods, notwithstanding such fundamentalism, society is gradually moving away from religion.
      The US seems dreadfully slow out the blocks, and countries such as China and parts of Africa and South America still have to work their way through their god belief phase, but they’ll get there.
      It’s happening.
      It may take a number of years – generations even, but eventually god – belief will largely be confined to the realms of superstitious nonsense in the same way believing in Zeus, Odin, Horus is, and you don’t believe in them, now do you?

      I wont see it, but thinking about it often causes a smile.

  101. paynehollow says:

    People have been predicting God’s (or “the gods'”) death for years, Ark. I think the thing to hope for is an end to extremism/fundamentalism of that sort while retaining the good, moral, working minds and bodies that have contributed so much to the world.

    Thank God (or “thank the stars,” or a simple “thanks be!” if you prefer) for people like MLK and Gandhi and Romero who laid down their lives for the cause of peace and justice; and for the people who helped rescue Jewish folk and other oppressed people from Nazi Germany; for “missionaries” who have helped people around the globe have access clean water and health care, who have built hospitals and schools to improve lives.

    God-believers are certainly not perfect, but we have made the world a better place in many important ways and have done so because of our faith and what we learn from that stupid little book.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to throw the baby out with the bathwash.

    ~Dan

    • You see, you argue this point as almost every religious person does.
      It must be the difficulty you lot have with time frames. Same reason why the Creationists can’t get theirs heads around billions of years, especially when their gods have only been around for a few thousand. They look at it as it it is a packet of two minute noodles. ‘See, there is no evolution.’
      The religious have had centre stage for thousands of years and for a large part of these towing the line was the order of the day. Christianity for instance, was spread largely from behind the point of a sword,and syphilis; from an ignorant world to an even more ignorant one.

      The world is moving toward a godless society, so what if it takes a few hundred years?

      • You see, you argue this point as almost every atheist person does. It must be the difficulty you lot have with notions of a Supreme Being that has the last word on our eternal future, or the difficulty with teachings that are in conflict with your base desires, such as the desire to feel intellectually sophisticated and advanced compared to “superstitious” people of faith. Same reason why atheists, and some marginal believers, can’t get their heads around the concept of the miraculous and the inability of science to detect and/or measure miracles and their effects. They look at all as if it is mere fables because their science god shows no sign of its existence, as if it could possibly produce any. “See? There is no Great Flood/Exodus/Parting of the Red Sea/(pick your favorite miracle to trash)!”

        The atheists have had all of history to dispute that which confounds and confronts them and they still tow that line today. Atheism, for instance, was spread by the point of the sword, and now the gun, and exacerbates the spread of STDs. From an ignorant and self-centered world view to a violent and disease ridden existence for all.

        The world may indeed be moving toward a mostly godless society. That isn’t unexpected by Christians who realize how bad it must get before Christ returns. Unlike Dan, true Christians do indeed weep, but understand it must be.

        • Actually, since your god-man was made Cock of the Rock by Constantine, and later entrenched by Theodosius, atheists have had to listen out for someone shaking the box of matches.
          Come to think of it, so has every other Christian that didn’t believe the official made-up version.
          And you lot still can’t agree.
          What is it 30,000 denominations or thereabouts and stillcounting. You lot are nothing but a bunch of sects maniacs.

  102. paynehollow says:

    Time will tell. The religious/fundamentalist amongst us will certainly agree with you that the “world is moving towards a godless society…” They weep. You rejoice. I say, what will be, will be.

    Peace,

    Dan

    • @Dan
      A godless society does not automatically mean mayhem. This is the mantra of Turn of Burn brigade. Utter crap.
      Face it, without secularism the likelihood of you being able to practice your religion freely is slim. And the irony , of course, is as a proselytizing faith you all strive to convert – after your own fashion.

      A godless society – and/or non religious society assumes humanity has dispensed with the need of superstition in the same way we have no need of many ancient rites and beliefs, other than as a quaint reminder of times past and have moved into a more harmonious, peaceful era.

      It will go. It is the sound of inevitability. It is merely a question of time.

      • “Face it, without secularism the likelihood of you being able to practice your religion freely is slim.”

        Talk about “utter crap”! Religion of any kind is rarely given respect in totally secular environments. It certainly got little of it in communist dominated societies. But one needn’t look further than our own secular “freedom from religion” fascists in this country to understand just how “tolerant” of free religious expression secularists would be. To such as these, freedom to “practice your religion freely” means being herded into one’s church and keep one’s practice there only. One dare not live out his religion in public life, in how one runs one’s business, in commenting on the state of the culture.

        This country was founded by people of faith who formed the government influenced by their faith, a faith that revolves around the governing of one’s self. And it was formed for people of faith since, as John Adams proclaimed, it was not suited for immoral people.

        Note also the explosion of church attendance after 9/11. This is an example of how transcendent people really are with regards to religion, that a disaster routinely results in so many turning back to the faith they previously abandoned. This is because the absence of religion offers no hope for people in need, as the true nature of mankind is revealed when people have only themselves as god.

  103. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    It must be the difficulty you lot have with notions of a Supreme Being that has the last word on our eternal future, or the difficulty with teachings that are in conflict with your base desires, such as the desire to feel intellectually sophisticated and advanced compared to “superstitious” people of faith.

    Marshall, I am just trying to be completely honest and factual in what I say. As a point of fact, I can not, you can not “prove” objectively that Jesus existed or exactly what he said or did.

    I have no difficulties with a Supreme Being (I believe in one, after all). I’m just stating a fact that I can’t – you can’t – objectively “prove” God or any of our opinions about God.

    Where specifically am I mistaken in doing so?

    And I ask, knowing that you all will continue not to answer it, precisely because you all can’t answer it. You’ll assure me, “Oh, yer mistaken, all right…” but not say where, specifically.

    Or, you’ll say, “Ah, but we CAN objectively know…” but not say how. It’s almost as if you don’t understand the meaning of “objective…”

    Marshall…

    Same reason why atheists, and some marginal believers, can’t get their heads around the concept of the miraculous and the inability of science to detect and/or measure miracles and their effects.

    ? Are you suggesting that people SHOULD believe in what they can’t see merely because you say they should? Or because, traditionally, many people have done so?

    Of course, with no evidence, people will reject the miraculous. You do, after all. You don’t accept the stories of the miraculous Thor, simply because they are an ancient story passed on by people.

    On what basis SHOULD people accept the unproven miracles you want them to accept?

    Marshall…

    They look at all as if it is mere fables because their science god shows no sign of its existence, as if it could possibly produce any.

    Again, why would they? Based on what? Fundamentalist bullying? Threats of hell if you don’t agree with you?

    Why?

    What seems odd to you about withholding belief in that which can’t be proven, especially when the unproven sounds unlikely?

    Marshall: I just got word that God appeared down by the Ohio River. I know it was God because God appeared as a golden unicorn with wings (or maybe a golden pegasus with a horn, I’m not sure which). The Golden Unicorn hovered over the Ohio today singing a song saying, “I’m God and you’re not, ya better believe in me or Else!” then it disappeared.

    Now, I did not manage to capture God-icorn-asus on the camera, but I DID see it, so it happened and you can know it happened because I told you it did.

    Do you believe me? Why not?

    What is odd about withholding belief in the unlikely that is not demonstrated or proven?

    You say that as if it were strange.

    ~Dan

    • Dan,

      “Marshall, I am just trying to be completely honest and factual in what I say.”

      Of course you are.

      “As a point of fact, I can not, you can not “prove” objectively that Jesus existed or exactly what he said or did.”

      The same can be said for any number of historical figures, many of whom can’t come close to having been studied and researched to the extent that Christ has been studied, and they’re existence and acts are rarely questioned as much as the existence and acts of Christ routinely is, especially by the likes of an “Arkenaten”, who, BTW, was the person to whom I was responding with my comments to which you are now responding. (Just to be clear)

      “I’m just stating a fact that I can’t – you can’t – objectively “prove” God or any of our opinions about God.”

      Again, just to be clear, I cannot prove conclusively that God exists. This is as true as the inability to prove He doesn’t. Never said otherwise. I can, however, prove my opinions about Him, if by that we mean what is said about the God in Whom we believe. Scripture teaches us all sorts of things about HIm, including much you dismiss.

      As to His existence, the life of Christ provides evidence for the existence of God. And while there is much that we can only take on faith, such is even more so the case regarding secular explanations for creation, especially given the limited abilities of man and his inventions. Indeed, one must regard man’s abilities with an awe normally reserved only for gods in order to accept as “gospel” the findings of man’s research regarding creation. I don’t have that kind of faith in man for that.

      So no. I do not say that we can definitely and objectively “know” that God exists. Not in the same way I can definitely and objectively “know” that the keyboard beneath my fingertips does. But again, the same is true for much that YOU would regard as more likely, and for what atheists take for granted. So what?

      “Are you suggesting that people SHOULD believe in what they can’t see merely because you say they should?”

      No.

      “Of course, with no evidence, people will reject the miraculous. You do, after all. You don’t accept the stories of the miraculous Thor, simply because they are an ancient story passed on by people.”

      The point is that because the miraculous leaves no evidence (the nature of the miraculous), people have a convenient excuse for taking liberties with the history of the Judeo-Christian faith. Loopholes, if you will.

      But unlike Thor, our faith is part of the historical record of people from a more recent history. The authors of the various gospels and epistles are of a time far more recent than any that spoke of Thor or Zeus or Apollo, and they lived in a time in the immediate aftermath of the history they record or on which they speak. What’s more, Paul and Peter challenge their readers to do their own research during a period when reliable testimonies for or against their preaching were available should anyone of the time care to investigate. And of course, skeptics simply cannot resolve the issue of non-believers doing a 180 following Christ’s death on the cross. One must question the honesty of these authors and then provide proof of intent to deceive in order to dismiss what they say. Where do we ever see that happen?

      “On what basis SHOULD people accept the unproven miracles you want them to accept?”

      You’re missing the point. It’s not that they should believe. The point is that the think they can disbelieve due to a lack of evidence for the truth of the miraculous events occurring. That is to say, the mere “fact” that miracles can’t be proven to have happened relieves them of any honest reason to believe OR disbelieve. It’s intellectual laziness given an “out”. “No proof? Whew! Now I don’t even have to think about whether or not it’s even true!”

      “What seems odd to you about withholding belief in that which can’t be proven, especially when the unproven sounds unlikely?”

      Nothing. But again, the point is that withholding belief simply because it can’t be proven or sounds unlikely is lazy and quite frankly, to even ask is self-indicting.

      “Now, I did not manage to capture God-icorn-asus on the camera, but I DID see it, so it happened and you can know it happened because I told you it did.

      Do you believe me?”

      No.

      “Why not?”

      Because your reputation, my familiarity with you after all these years, compels me to regard what you say with great suspicion. Not so with the authors of Scripture about whom there has never been any “proof” that they have lied in the telling of their stories, or were incapable of being accurate in their telling of their stories or were too ignorant to fully understand what they experienced before telling their stories.

  104. paynehollow says:

    Ark…

    Face it, without secularism the likelihood of you being able to practice your religion freely is slim.

    Well, this is one of contributions that people of faith bring to the table, and especially those in my faith traditions. The Baptists and anabaptists were early defenders of religious liberty. They and others (Quakers, thanks, and others…) made real progress in making societies safe to believe something other than the “approved religion…” for believers and unbelievers, alike.

    You’re welcome…

    You ARE familiar with that part of church history, too, yes?

    ~Dan

    • You ARE familiar with that part of church history, too, yes?

      Now, now, Dan, try to save your bitchiness for those that don’t have as thick a skin as moi.
      Just now you’ll be telling me if it wasn’t for the Christians we wouldn’t ever have had such nice churches or if it wasn’t for your god making apples Isaac Newton would never have discovered gravity.
      Your attempted barbs will be worth much more, if used toward the fundies, believe me.

      But need I remind you, there is the point of irony regarding proselytizing?
      And Islam is a proselytizing religion too, remember?

      Deism is probably the better way to go, Dan.( for now) No dogma, no doctrine, no silly rituals just you and an invisible friend.
      And if you need a Code of the ancient variety there is always Hammurabi.
      The Israelites probably ripped off some of this in any case, as they did when they plagiarized my Hymn to Aten.

  105. paynehollow says:

    Not bitchy nor a barb, just returning snark for snark (with a smile, I hope you can read between the lines). I think your skin is probably plenty thick.

    And I guess you do need to remind me (or explain outright) the irony about proselytizing, as I am not getting your point.

    ~Dan

    • Smile, too.
      Islam and ‘normal’ (sic) Christianity are proselytizing religions – the object being to convert the entire world .
      It’s a bit like the Amazing Race except you believe there will be a god at the end and not Phil wotsisname
      But god is going to say to one of you, ‘I am sorry, you have been eliminated from the race.’

      But you are only free to pursue this multi religious insanity in a free and notably secular environment.
      Try starting a Christian focus group with tea and biscuits in Saudi Arabia for example.
      I reckon we could set a stopwatch by how long it would be before you attracted some seriously funny ( and very hostile) looks!
      Want to build a church? Lol…best of luck.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion_in_Saudi_Arabia

      In some parts of the states I have read there is a church on almost every corner.
      I realise this is pushing the point and is not likely literal but in the Bible Belt I am sure there are a lot more churches and god botherers than in my neck of the woods.

      However, actively leave kids alone for a couple of generations and see what happens.

  106. paynehollow says:

    I’m in those parts of the states (Kentucky) and it is not an exaggeration to say that in some areas, there is a block on every corner.

    My Baptist church was facing a catholic church 100 yards away. To our left, if you walked down to the end of the block, there was the Christian church. Another block down on the right was the Presbyterian church. Another block straight ahead was the Episcopal church, two blocks to the right was the Nazarene church, which was a block and a half away from another Catholic church and a Lutheran church, which was just two blocks from another Baptist church and on it went.

    But why would we not want to teach children our values and beliefs (which values include finding your own values and beliefs)? That seems a bit crazy. Who does that?

    We’re none of us perfect or have perfect knowledge. We’re all just muddling through doing the best we can. I highly encourage that you pass on to your kids your values and beliefs, no matter who you are (unless your values/beliefs are actively causing harm).

    ~Dan

    • This is the point. Creationism is harmful.
      Teaching children they are born sinners is harmful.
      The doctrine of hell is harmful
      Circumcision on religious grounds is harmful ( in many cases, fatal)
      Teaching apostasy will receive the death penalty is insanity.
      Teaching that belief and worship of a narrative construct is harmful.

      Need we continue?

      • paynehollow says:

        I think your definition of harmful is too broad.

        I grew up hearing all those points, I was not harmed. I DO know others who had it rougher than I did – more fundamentalist/less simply conservative – but if we are going to call every bad idea “harmful” and call it abuse (as I believe you do) there would be no “fit” parents and children would be taken away left and right.

        I may not care for most of these views you’ve cited, but I also don’t care for parents who smoke or drink too much in front of their kids, or parents who are overly promiscuous, or who drive unsafely. We can’t criminalize any possible “harm” – it undermines the strength of opposing actual harm.

        Kids, by and large, grow up to be smart. In a generation or two, the oppression of/demonizing of homosexuals will be a thing of the distant past. Progress happens.

        Trust people that they will survive and grow out of even bad parenting. Let’s save the outrage for actual direct harm.

        Besides, if we try to call any and all views we disagree with “harmful,” what objective measure will we use to decide? The fundamentalists will say, “Raising your kids atheists increases their odds of going to hell and it don’t get more harmful than that!” and the Muslim extremists will say, “Allowing women the right to go to school will expose them to evils that will harm them!” and atheists might say “Allowing Creationists to pass on their beliefs to their kids will harm them!” and on it will go.

        Seriously: What objective measure would you use if you were king to decide harm? Or would it just be a dictatorial declaration on your part?

        Reasonable questions, seems to me.

        ~Dan

        • Circumcision can be outlawed, and a case was brought before the human rights council last year. It was turned down, but at least it was presented!
          It is a step in the right direction.
          The sick doctrine of Hell is slowly being weeded out of many denominations and this is good.
          And we must remember it was taught as a given throughout Christianity for a long, long time.
          Yet if the heads of these christian churches, The Pope, Arch Bishop of Canterbury etc made clear, public denunciations and issued a bull banning the teaching of it this would go a long way to help eradicate this crap.
          And legislation is slowly but surely being brought to bear against Creationist teaching ( ACE).

      • “Creationism is harmful.”

        Sure it is. In what dreamworld?

        “Teaching children they are born sinners is harmful.”

        We teach them that they are born into sin. YOU are a sinner for lying about knowing the faith against which you condescend.

        “The doctrine of hell is harmful”

        Sure it is. The doctrine of no consequences for our actions is far more harmful.

        “Circumcision on religious grounds is harmful (in many cases, fatal)”

        As if the infant knows why it is being circumcised. Regardless of whether or not circumcision is medically necessary or beneficial, the religious aspect has no bearing in that regard. As to “in many cases, fatal”, not only is that laughable, but “many” is a biased term to use versus the total number of circumcisions routinely done. Even to say “many suffer negative outcomes related to the procedure” is a stretch in light of all such procedures done overall. But then, it is so typical of your kind to latch onto anything you can use to make your case, regardless of how thin.

        “Teaching apostasy will receive the death penalty is insanity.”

        Talk to the islamists. There are none here.

        “Teaching that belief and worship of a narrative construct is harmful.”

        What does this even mean?

        “Need we continue?”

        Can you restrain yourself?

        • We teach them that they are born into sin.

          Yes, I’ll bet YOU do, Marshal. This sounds about the level of psychological abuse you would stoop to in order to impart your religion.

          YOU are a sinner for lying about knowing the faith against which you condescend.

          Lying, Marshal? Really? My goodness, such a bold statement. And without a shred of evidence either. Sigh, but then, the religious are very adept at make such bold assertions without any evidence. The goddiditit theory of everything.. lol…funny, Marshal.
          Go on, Yahweh, smite Marshal, the naughty boy. And stop that! You might go blind! Besides Jesus is watching you, remember?

          As to “in many cases, fatal”, not only is that laughable, but “many” is a biased term to use versus the total number of circumcisions routinely done.

          In the US of eh? probably not. But I don’t live in that (your) neck of the woods.

          You don’t know what the term narrative construct means, Marshal? Really? Smile….
          Moses is another biblical example of a narrative construct. So too, Noah, and Adam and Eve also.
          Are you getting warmer, I wonder?
          Clue? Once upon a time…

  107. paynehollow says:

    As to religious liberty, when our baptist/quaker/anabaptist forebears were settling this nation, many of them pushed the crazy notion of religious liberty – that each person should have the freedom to seek the Good and Right the best they can. Many of those Baptists and anabaptists were imprisoned and otherwise oppressed for it, but they kept making their case and the view won out. The US would NOT be like Europe before it, having state religions that might mean oppression for those not ascribing to it.

    The notion of religious liberty IS increasing, I think, and the moderate Muslims, Christians, unbelievers and others will increasingly see that freedom of conscience is the way to go. Already, for most of Christian places, this idea has firmly taken hold – the notion of imprisoning or torturing someone for their faith is not tolerated in most Christian places. I think the idea will increase in Muslim nations, as well. It’s an idea whose time has come, I believe.

    ~Dan

    • Many of those Baptists and anabaptists were imprisoned and otherwise oppressed for it,

      Opposed and Jailed by whom?
      I am sure i heard the late Chris Hitchens mention this, or something like it?

      Lol…A Bing Crosby song comes to mind ”…dreaming of a white xmas?”
      We are beginning to talk past each other.
      The objective of the two main Abrahamic religions is one world under their god.
      This can only be achieved by either, banning all other religions or allowing them all to flourish in a winner takes all scenario.
      In Saudi Arabia you have the former example in the States you have the latter.
      In the states, however, the more vocal Christians are pushing for Creationism etc
      Without checks, nutters like YEC would have their chuffed up doctrine in schools in a flash.
      Those checks being set by a secular government.

      Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.

      Thomas Paine

      There is really s no such thing as good religion. Good people, yes. Misguided yes, Good god belief religion, no.

  108. paynehollow says:

    Love me some Tom Paine. He no doubt learned a lot from the Baptist and other Christians (Roger Williams, among others) working for liberty of conscience in this new land.

    Liberty of conscience IS and should be part and parcel of any religion worth its weight in spit.

    “One of the more fascinating tributaries that both secular writers and the Religious Right have yet to appreciate fully is the early seventeenth-century Baptist and Seeker Roger Williams. For over a half a century, this undaunted defender of liberty of conscience and freedom of publication fought against those who insisted on using the state to propagate religion. With characteristic boldness, he proclaimed that liberty of conscience must not only include freedom to believe in a given religion, but freedom to disbelieve. Against Massachusett’s Governor John Winthrop and other theocrats, Williams argued that a religion that depends on the state either to intimidate putative heretics or to give preferential treatment to religious believers and institutions will succeed not in building up faith and righteousness but in increasing hypocrisy and deceit…

    The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reflects the influence of both the early Baptists and deistic humanists. Thomas Jefferson was a natural ally of eighteenth-century Baptists. This is nowhere more evident than in correspondence between Jefferson and the Danbury Baptist Association.”

    http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/kurtz_16_1.1.html

    Obviously, real world evidence demonstrates that there are good religions, or at least good people influenced to positive roles by their faith and love of God and humanity. I’ll respectfully have to say you’re plainly mistaken on this point.

    I do share some concern about “religions” as they tend to have a divisive, insular and negative quality (“TEND TO” being key, it’s certainly not innate). But people and groups influenced by a faith tradition? God bless them and the great works done by them.

    ~Dan

  109. paynehollow says:

    And where would Paine be without Locke? And where would Locke be without Smyth and Helwys?

    “With regard to his position on religious tolerance, Locke was influenced by Baptist theologians like John Smyth and Thomas Helwys, who had published tracts demanding freedom of conscience in the early 17th century. ”

    http://www.philanthropyandphilosophy.com/profile_john_locke.php

    Dan

  110. Obviously, real world evidence demonstrates that there are good religions,

    Any religion that has as part of its foundational tenets god-belief is bad. Period. Simply because it is based on unfalsifiable claims but claims to be true.

    Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses, who gave an order to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and then rape the daughters. One of the most horrible atrocities found in the literature of any nation. I would not dishonor my Creator’s name by attaching it to this filthy book.

    [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]

    The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.

    Pretty much covers it, I reckon.

    One doesn’t need to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic to follow religion … but it helps.

  111. I thought I did this the other day, but I guess I didn’t. Just a few more quotes that I find interesti

    “Regardless of the “miraculous” aspects of the story, the MAIN THING I glean from the Bible, again, are its Truths, which I believe to be compelling and powerful, wonderful and challenging. Again, the Bible to me is not a history book, nor a rule book, nor a science book, but a book of truths. Why would I insist on literal facts if the facts are not the critical part of the story?”

    To me this sounds like someone who isn’t confident enough to assert that there are any facts that can be known about anything in the Bible, anyone else agree. However, then we get this.

    “I find sufficient cause to accept the facts as presented for much of the NT, but I certainly can’t prove them, any more than they can be disproved. I am fairly grounded in what is rationally, scientifically possible or likely, but I also make room for the Truth that there is room for Mystery and the Unknown in this world. Regardless of each of the facts, I agree with, am amazed by, am compelled and challenged by the Teachings of Jesus and the Moral and Philosophical Truths found within those teachings. The Bible to me is NOT a book of facts, but one of Truths, and Truth and Understanding are what I seek within its pages.”

    And this.

    “But the honest truth is, Ark, I DON’T know if those texts are reflective of literal events or not. I don’t know even of the resurrection’s literal historicity, I have no evidence to say 100% for sure that it did or did not occur. There is some testimony/evidence, many witnesses spoke of seeing Jesus after the fact and a large sect grew up around his teachings and his story and would seem (to me) less likely if it were built upon a hoax.”

    Again, this sounds like someone who is not willing to assert that there is anything objectively factual about the NT, could I be wrong, sure. I’m less interested in my conclusions, than is what others think. It also ignores the vast resources of apologetics and scholarship that would suggest a different rational position, by simply pretending it doesn’t exist.

    As for me, I would argue that a Jesus who was not the second person of the Trinity, who did not die and rise, is not Jesus that sounds all that compelling. But, that’s me. The “dusty first century itinerant rabbi” who just went around teaching “truths”, and spouting wild messianic claims, is C.S. Lewis’s liar or lunatic dressed up in 20th/21st century skepticism. It’s fine for those who are satisfied with that limited Jesus. Just doesn’t sound compelling to me.

    • I still can’t figure out how you get truths from something that isn’t true? For example, if God didn’t really condone or order the Israelites to war, what truth are we supposed to learn from that false narrative?

      • And if we can’t be convicted that it IS true, then what point is there in believing any of it, including “truths” regarding things like loving thy neighbor as thyself? Without God, that’s really foolishness for anyone unconcerned with things like “thy neighbor”. What’s more, there is no “truth” at all. “Murder is wrong” is not a truth without God. It is just something most people don’t want happening to themselves or people they know or like. Basically, Dan bases his worldview on something he’s merely pretending is true, or hoping is true or simply prefers to believe is true. He certainly isn’t convicted.

      • My educated guess would be that the truth we’re supposed to learn is something like THIS:

        It was the writer’s perspective that God was telling Israel to kill children. Clearly, we know [!!! -Bubba] that God does not do this. Sometimes in the Bible, you have a powerless people who have been oppressed and it is completely natural for them to want to see a God that would take revenge for them, or allow them to take revenge. It’s a natural human response to oppression and we ought not judge it too harshly, especially we who have never known oppression. Still, neither should we mistake it for an endorsement of the practice of killing children…

        The truth that we are to learn is that humans are capable of revenge fantasies and even of false attributing those revenge fantasies to the Creator. This truth tells us nothing about God, only about ourselves.

        Why a person would hold in such high esteem a book that falsely attributes words and deeds to the deity he supposedly worship is a mystery. Maybe it’s one of the great Truths not found within the Bible.

      • I still can’t figure out how you get truths from something that isn’t true? For example, if God didn’t really condone or order the Israelites to war, what truth are we supposed to learn from that false narrative?

        If this weren’t a conversation on an evangelical Christian blog I would have to ask: Is that a serious question?

        What truths?
        What the heck are you talking about? Are you wondering about moral truths, historical truths political truths? Ethical truths? Just what exactly are you asking?
        Yo can get some sort of truth out of a Harry Potter book.
        Why do you believe it is any different with the bible?

        • Ark

          That was for Dan. He asserts, while professing to be an orthodox Christian, that the OT is a work of fiction. Essentially anything that makes God look mean is hyperbole and just a vehicle to teach a broader truth, but not to be accepted as true narratives.

          • I know, but it is such an outrageous statement you can make your reply to both of us, if you like?

            Essentially anything that makes God look mean

            Mean? What is this, kindergarten?
            ”God was mean to me, he turned my missus into a pillar of condiment! And I don’t even LIKE salt. Boo Hoo! ”

            In the OT,Yahweh is shown to be a meglomaniacal, despotic, genocidal, egotistical out of control bastard of the first order.

            Mean. Sheeesh!

        • Apparently it is too much to expect a desperate person like Ark to actually defend his position with more than mere condescension and insult.

          “In the OT,Yahweh is shown to be a meglomaniacal, despotic, genocidal, egotistical out of control bastard of the first order.”

          It takes a truly ignorant person to make such a statement. It demonstrates that no true study of the text ever took place, no attempt to understand what was written or why certain actions were taken. What a childish person indeed.

          • No, all it takes is a simple reading of the Old Testament.
            Is your copy an edited version were all the nasty bits have been expurgated, Marshal?

            What is there to study about murdering, and raping?
            Are there problems with the original text?
            Are my KJV and my Good News Bible not good enough?

        • No, all it takes is a simple reading of the Old Testament.”

          It’s the “simple” readings upon which atheists rely to support their self-serving positions. Someone posturing one’s self as anything more than “simple” would study with a bit more of an intellectually honest curiosity. A “simple” reading would never suffice. I suspect it is abject fear that an atheist like you would find anything that would confound your self-worship that prevents you from anything more than a “simple” reading.

          And though some translations are less than worthy of taking the time, it isn’t so much which Bible translation one has, but what one does with it, how one reads and studies it and how one researches that which one finds confusing, troubling or difficult to comprehend. I fear that last possibility describes your situation too well. But until you make a sincere and honest effort, you will be left with your current pathetic state of ignorance.

          • Then it’s pretty obvious you have done none of these things and merely swallowed the apologist line.
            Start with Isiah 7: 14.
            When you have the guts to read that honestly then perhaps you might be worth listening to.
            And if you are still unsure, study the correct Hebrew reading as defined by a genuine Hebrew scholar and not one of your evangelical Christian interpretations.
            Maybe you’ll surprise me and earn a little respect? Who knows, right?
            Let’s see what you got, Marshal.

        • No. Let’s see what you’ve got. You continue to refer to sources you favor in a manner that suggests they are somehow more correct in their interpretations. You continue to pretend you know that evangelical Christians are subverting the true meanings of ancient texts to present falsehoods. What is clear is that you simply dismiss one for the other because the other supports your desperate desire to pretend God doesn’t exist.

          “Maybe you’ll surprise me and earn a little respect?”

          What possible reason could I have to strive to earn respect from the likes of you? Of what value would that be to me? How would I profit? Are you really that arrogant and prideful to believe any world revolves around you? What a sad little man you are to expect that respect from you could drive anyone!

          In the meantime, you provide nothing that compels respect for you. “Correct” Hebrew reading? What makes it so? Let’s see what you’ve got. Prove the reading you prefer is the “correct” reading. Prove you even understand what the reading says and means.

  112. Here’s a brief excerpt from someone else who thinks that the Bible is full of “truths” but not “facts”.

    “When we read the Sermon on the Mount we are not reading the words of the historical Jesus as presented to us. Some of his words are in there to be sure. Overall, we are reading a portrait of Jesus as painted by the author that the tradition calls Matthew. This Matthew is not an eyewitness of Jesus. It was a name placed on this anonymous collection many decades after the gospels were written, perhaps into the second century.

    For convenience we call the author Matthew as tradition has done so. But we should know I am not talking about the disciple of Jesus. It is not likely that any followers of Jesus wrote any gospels. To gain authority for particular texts, apostolic names or names of others involved in the movement were attached to these texts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Thomas, Mary, Peter and so on.

    Matthew created this portrait of Jesus who is like a new Moses. Matthew’s birth story of Jesus is a retelling of the birth of Moses. In both cases a ruthless bad guy kills all the children but Moses and Jesus both escape because they are destined heroes.

    As Moses received the Law from Mount Sinai, so Jesus climbs a mountain and reveals a new teaching, the Sermon on the Mount. One of the ways in which Matthew creates this portrait of authority is to have Jesus say things like, “As you know, we once were told…but I say to you….” That is not the historical Jesus. That is Matthew.

    As we read or hear the Sermon on the Mount, we are not reading or hearing the historical Jesus. We are hearing or reading Matthew’s embellishment of the historical Jesus. This is Jesus idealized by Matthew, framed by Matthew, and created by Matthew. By the time we get to Matthew’s gospel Jesus is more of a literary figure than an historical person. He is even godlike. The historical person is buried in there. You can get a glimpse of the historical person out of the corner of your eye, or faintly hear his voice amidst the music of Matthew’s symphony, but mostly the historical preacher and prophet has been crowded out by a miracle worker who speaks with the authority of God.

    I take pains to point this out because I think there is confusion between the historical Jesus and the various literary and theological portraits of Jesus. They are not the same thing. Because we place authority on these texts and on the person of Jesus it becomes important I think to separate this out.”

  113. Why do I think Dan might just agree with this.

    “The question is one of authority. It isn’t so much the authority of these old books or of a guy who said things 2000 years ago. The problem with authority is contemporary people using these texts and figures to boss people around. You can’t get married and you can get married because it says so in the Bible. You are a sinner or your behavior is bad because Jesus says this and that in the Bible. Not only external rules, but even more powerful are the internal rules that authority dictates. People take all this to heart. “

  114. Again, I suspect Dan might agree with this.

    “That is a bit of a challenge for church folks because it has been drilled into most of us that the Bible, and Jesus in particular, are the Word of God. Jesus just didn’t have an opinion that one could debate. He was Divine, Absolute, and True. When you read something on the lips of Jesus in the Bible, and you don’t understand it or are uncomfortable with it, well it is because of your sinfulness. No matter what he says, he’s right. He’s Jesus after all.
    I would say that is pretty much how the teachings of Jesus have been delivered over the years. He said it, you should believe it, and the hierarchy of the church will institutionalize it. More precisely, the church will be selective in what it chooses to institutionalize. It has not institutionalized self-inflicted eye-gouging or limb removal. “

  115. Sorry, one more.

    “I think we dishonored Jesus when we turned him into a god. We framed him with our needs for divine certainty and in the process stripped him of his humanity. But that is another sermon. I simply want to assert that you have the freedom and have always had the freedom to say,”

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