Test the genuineness of Christians

Inspired by Dan’s comments on a recent post.

The next time someone tells you that he is a Christian but disagrees with your moral perspective on politics, first find out the genuineness of that objector’s Christianity. The word “Christian” doesn’t seem to mean much in modern culture. Ask the objector if he actually believes that Jesus is his savior, and that Jesus has thereby given him eternal life which cannot be lost, based simply on faith in Jesus. I suspect that the majority of “Christians” would answer no to at least some part of that question. For example, they might say that hell does not exist so we have no need to be saved, or that Jesus was just a good man, or that Jesus was indeed God but that we must live a moral, perfect life in order for him to “save” us. If so, point the objector toward John 11:25-27:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

Alternatively, if the objector does agree that Jesus is the Savior, then ask him whether he also believes that the Bible is the Word of God. Jesus did, and stated in John 10:35 that “the scripture cannot be broken.”

If the objector then agrees that the scriptures cannot be broken, then ask him whether the scriptures don’t also define government as “an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4).

You might also point out that our nation was founded on Christian principles, as referenced in the Declaration of Independence. You might point out that inalienable rights come from Christ, that Christ oversaw the divine providence which created our country, and that Christ was the eternal judge who adjudicated our dispute against England. But in many cases, I doubt you will even get that far. You will often find that the objector does not even believe that Jesus saves all who believe on him, and so he lacks any real foundation to get to those more complex, political matters.

By contrast, if the objector is only a liberal Christian, he might agree that Jesus is the Christ, but will disagree on the authority of the Bible. In such cases, he might theoretically be called a “Christian,” but he certainly isn’t much of a Christian.

Finally, I suppose it is conceivable that you might find a Christian who really has Jesus as Savior and really believes in the authority of the Bible, but simply disagrees with moral political principles. In such cases, the problem is basically that the Christian has not read the Bible, and that should be your recommendation to him.

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64 Responses to “Test the genuineness of Christians”


  1. 1 Glenn E. Chatfield February 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Very good post, Drew.

    As for Dan, he is such a liberal that I doubt that he is truly Christian. His sort (and I’m sure he will be reading this) practice eisegesis with the Bible and end up with a Bible described in Neil’s post http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/the-tiny-bible-of-liberal-theologians-read-it-all-in-5-minutes/
    I won’t even allow his comments any more because it would link to his site with all the false teachings he promotes – which is also why I finally removed his previous comments.

    You have an excellent point that the problem is in not reading the Scripture. Too many Christians end up with a liberal political view because they don’t understand that Scripture should be dictating what their worldview should be.

  2. 2 Dan Trabue February 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Ask the objector if he actually believes that Jesus is his savior, and that Jesus has thereby given him eternal life which cannot be lost, based simply on faith in Jesus. I suspect that the majority of ”Christians” would answer no to at least some part of that question.

    Feel free to ask me any questions you’d like, friend.

    I am a fairly orthodox Christian from the anabaptist tradition (Amish, Mennonite, etc).

    I am a sinner in need of salvation.
    I have been saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the son of God, who came teaching us how to live and about God’s love, who died and who rose again.
    I have repented/do repent of my sins and strive to follow in the steps of Jesus, as the Bible teaches, by God’s grace.

    Standard basic orthodox Christian doctrines, all.

    I am a Christian. Do you have any other questions for me, brother (assuming you are a Christian, too)?

    Brother Glenn, I know you know that the Bible teaches us not to gossip. If you have concerns for my soul, the place to address that would be in an email or private communication, not gossiping on some blog, right?

    Those who gossip are not walking in the Kingdom of God, according to the Bible.

  3. 3 Dan Trabue February 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Drew…

    I suppose it is conceivable that you might find a Christian who really has Jesus as Savior and really believes in the authority of the Bible, but simply disagrees with moral political principles. In such cases, the problem is basically that the Christian has not read the Bible, and that should be your recommendation to him.

    Isn’t it ALSO conceivable (likely, even?) that the person IS a Christian, saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus and that they LOVE the Bible, God’s Word, and yet simply disagree with your take on a particular behavior/action/policy?

    It happens all the time. Sincere Christians seeking God’s will in their lives have disagreed on whether or not alcohol should be legal, on whether women should have the right to vote, on whether black folk and white folk ought to marry each other, on whether gay folk can marry just as straight folk do, on whether war is something Christians ought to take part in, on whether a particular war is something we ought to take part in…

    Christians have always disagree with one another over all manner of topics. That disagreement is not a sign that “the Other” is either NOT a Christian or NOT a “good” christian or not well-versed in the Bible. It’s just a sign that we’re fallible human beings who don’t have a perfect handle on all that is right and holy and good and that, sometimes, Christians of good will simply disagree with one another. It happened with Peter, with Paul, with Barnabas, with Mark and others in the Bible and it has happened throughout history.

    In our case, given your relative young age, it is not the case that I’m not a Christian or that you’re not a Christian (giving you the benefit of the doubt) and it’s certainly not the case that I’m unfamiliar with the Bible, having studied it for longer than you have been alive, and (again, giving you the benefit of the doubt) that you have necessarily not read the Bible enough.

    It’s just that we disagree. It happens. We just need to be careful to do so in grace and love.

    Fair enough?

  4. 4 Glenn E. Chatfield February 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    What I see with the majority of liberal “Christians” is that, just like members of cults who claim to be Christians, they worship not the Christ of the Bible, but a Christ of their own making. You can call a dandelion a rose, but it remains a dandelion nevertheless.

    A “Christian” who says abortion is okay, who says homosexuality is okay, e.g. is not worshiping the Christ of the Bible who says both are sinful actions.

  5. 5 Dan Trabue February 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Brother Glenn, if you are truly concerned about my soul, tell me what I have wrong.

    I believe that Jesus is the son of God, one third of the Triune nature of God. I believe Jesus was born of the virgin Mary right around 2000 years ago.

    I believe Jesus taught exactly what he taught:

    He came to bring good news to the poor, liberation for the captive, healing for the ill, the day of God’s good favor.

    He came teaching that we are sinners who are to be saved by/are being saved by God’s grace, through faith in Him.

    He came teaching that God is love, that we are to accept that love and to share it with others; that we are to love our neighbors; that we are to love the least of these; that we are to love our enemies!

    He came teaching that the religiosity and rule-following of the sort found in the Pharisees would get us nowhere.

    He taught us that the poor are blessed, but woe to the wealthy.

    He taught us to turn the other cheek, to overcome evil with good.

    He taught us that we are NOT of this world and its ways – that we are not to find our security in great wealth, but to share our wealth; that we are not to find our security in weapons of mass destruction but that we are to trust in God.

    Where SPECIFICALLY in any of that am I following a Jesus of my own making? Generally, we anabaptists are accused of being TOO literal in our following Jesus, not making a Christ of our own making.

    Where have I said that abortion is okay? It is a horrible tragedy when folk find themselves faced with that sort of solution. That I don’t want BIG gov’t solutions to personal health and end of life questions does not mean that I think abortion is okay.

    Jesus does NOT condemn either homosexuality or abortion.

    I find it ironic, brother, that you would suggest that I might be worshiping a Christ of my own creation when I’m not the one re-making Christ in their image, to fit their own political agenda.

    So, yes, I DO disagree with your approach on those TWO behaviors/issues, but Christians don’t always agree on every point. You don’t agree with the Amish on war-making or money issues, does that mean you’re not a Christian?

  6. 6 Glenn E. Chatfield February 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    The Mormons would say all the same things you just said; dare I suggest they are true Christians?

    Where you make a Jesus of your own making is when you said he doesn’t condemn abortion or homosexuality. The Jesus of the Bible condemned murder, which abortion is. The Jesus of the Bible -as God – condemned homosexual behavior in the O.T., and in the N.T. through Paul. He also explicitly stated what marriage was when, while addressing the issue of divorce, he said that from the beginning it was one man and one woman.

    If you Jesus did not condemn homosexuality or abortion, then your Jesus is the dandelion compared to the rose of the Bible. Simple as that.

  7. 7 Drew February 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I personally think the Amish are a despicable cult. I also think your erroneous statement that Jesus “came teaching that the religiosity and rule-following of the sort found in the Pharisees would get us nowhere” is probably the source of much of your bad theology. But based on what you’ve said, I wouldn’t question your salvation.

    I would just suggest that given your stance in favor of homosexuality, you probably don’t have much faith in the authority of the Bible. Either that, or you just don’t read it much. Or some of both problems.

  8. 8 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Drew…

    I personally think the Amish are a despicable cult.

    On what would you make that sort of claim? The Amish are orthodox Christians as most Christians count orthodoxy on matters of faith.

    Usually, when people make claims of culthood of groups, it is because they reject key, core Christian tenets – on what do you base that astounding claim?

    Drew…

    I would just suggest that given your stance in favor of homosexuality, you probably don’t have much faith in the authority of the Bible. Either that, or you just don’t read it much.

    As I have stated: I LOVE the Bible. I use it as a guide to my life. I seek to understand God’s Word and apply it. So, to your first hunch, you are mistaken.

    And, as I have stated, I have studied the Bible all of my 48 years (with my mom, dad and church telling me its stories before I was reading it myself). So, you are mistaken on your second hunch, as well.

    It is NOT the case that I don’t trust the Bible. I just disagree with some Christians’ INTERPRETATION of the Bible as it relates to homosexuality.

  9. 9 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Drew…

    I also think your erroneous statement that Jesus “came teaching that the religiosity and rule-following of the sort found in the Pharisees would get us nowhere” is probably the source of much of your bad theology. But based on what you’ve said, I wouldn’t question your salvation.

    I appreciate at least that bit of grace, Drew, truly. And yes, by normal orthodox understanding of salvation in Christianity, I AM saved. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    As to the first half of that comment, I don’t know what you mean. What “bad theology?” What does that have to do with my statement? Would you mind elucidating?

    Do you think that Jesus did NOT often and strongly correct the Pharisees and their mistaken notions of salvation by following a series of complex and harsh rules? That Jesus did NOT rebuke the Pharisees harshly for their hypocrisy?

    Did you know that the “good religious folk” were practically the ONLY “sinners” that Jesus harshly rebuked? Adulterers came to him and Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more,” and you can feel the love. “Let the children come to me” Jesus said in love. “Invite the poor, the outcasts, the sinners to my banquet,” love, love, love.

    Even the rich young man who walked away unwilling to part with his wealth, Jesus showed his great love for him, even in his departure.

    But the harsh rebukes? “Sinners! Brood of snakes! Blind guides!” The taking a whip and casting out of the temple? These were saved for the “good religious folk” while he ate, lived, laughed and loved the sinners and tax collectors. An interesting point, I think.

  10. 10 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Glenn…

    If you [think] Jesus did not condemn homosexuality or abortion, then your Jesus is the dandelion compared to the rose of the Bible. Simple as that.

    So, I – the one who is sticking to what Jesus ACTUALLY said and can demonstrate it with quotes – am making up a false Jesus? But those who say that Jesus condemned abortion and homosexuality (when Jesus literally never did so at all) are the ones who are sticking to the TRUE Jesus? So, the “True Jesus” is the one that aligns with Glenn’s political views (in spite of having never said what Glenn says) and the “false Jesus” is the one who said, you know, what Jesus actually said?

    I hope you can understand my bemusement at such a comment, Brother Glenn.

    But let’s assume you are right. Let’s assume I get to heaven and I have understood ALL of orthodox Christianity, that I am a sinner in need of grace, that I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus, that I have repented of my sin and turned to Jesus, the risen son of God for my salvation… AND YET, on TWO behaviors, I have misunderstood God’s will. I THOUGHT gay marriage was a good thing and I was mistaken to think so. I THOUGHT it was better to not criminalize abortion and I was mistaken to do so.

    Are you suggesting that one can do all the normal orthodox Christian things, trusting in God’s grace for salvation AND YET, if they are mistaken on TWO behaviors, they are not Christians? What if they are mistaken on only ONE issue? Are they still not a Christian?

    What if it were you, Glenn? What if YOU were mistaken and the Amish were right about, let’s say, refusing to pledge allegiance? Or refusing to go to war. IF, on judgement day, you found yourself mistaken on those two issues, are you doomed?

    OR, is it the case (as orthodox Christians believe) that we are saved by grace and any mistakes we fallible humans have are covered by God’s sweet grace?

    I think the latter is the orthodox Christian and right answer. You?

  11. 11 Glenn E. Chatfield February 17, 2011 at 7:37 am

    The Amish are indeed a cultic group because of their legalistic application of Scripture.

    Drew, you will never win any debate with Dan – he has his own interpretation of the Scriptures. You will find you will be wasting lots of time with his arrogant nonsense.

    Dan, we have gone over the issue of what God has said about homosexuality before, and you deny the actual meaning of the text, claiming instead that it is some Christians’ interpretation which is the problem. The Bible is perspicuous about homosexual behavior being a sin. Jesus – you know, God in the flesh – did not retract anything from the O.T. charge against homosexuality, and I did cite where he designated what marriage is – one man, one woman. Paul received his teachings by direct revelation from Christ, and he in no uncertain terms condemned homosexual behavior in many places in the NT. Deny it and say it is incorrectly interpreted just so you can justify it.

    Also, God has called murder a sin, and abortion is the murder of the unborn. If you want to claim this is a bad interpretation of Scripture, then you are again practicing eisegesis.

    Jesus told the adulterer to sin no more – he didn’t say continue in your sin and all will be okay.

    As noted previously, your claims about your faith in Jesus are identical with that of Mormonism (I know – I am an ex-Mormon). The problem is who their Chris is, just as who your Christ is, is your problem.

    By the way, Christ is never recorded in Scripture as saying bestiality is wrong. So using your logic bestiality is okay.

  12. 12 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 8:27 am

    The Amish are indeed a cultic group because of their legalistic application of Scripture.

    So a LEGALISTIC application of Scripture makes one cultic? Then, by that standard, aren’t YOU being cultic by your legalistic application of Scripture (ie, the Bible says “men shall not lay with men, kill them if they do” and you say, “THAT IS EXACTLY what it means, except for the ‘kill them’ part…” Sounds rather legalistic to me.

    It’s at least a little off topic and probably not appropriate for discussion here, but I wonder what you find “legalistic” about the Amish.

    Funny.

  13. 13 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Glenn…

    God has called murder a sin, and abortion is the murder of the unborn. If you want to claim this is a bad interpretation of Scripture, then you are again practicing eisegesis.

    Again, I hope you can understand how amusing and ironic this is. YOU READ INTO scripture something that is not there and then accuse ME of eisegesis??

    That is, Murder = Sin
    I THINK (ie, it is MY UNDERSTANDING, MY CULTURAL group tells me) abortion = Murder
    THEREFORE, abortion = sin, according to God.

    !?

    THAT is the definition of eisegesis, Brother Glenn. Am I missing something?

  14. 14 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Glenn…

    he has his own interpretation of the Scriptures. You will find you will be wasting lots of time with his arrogant nonsense.

    Yes, I have MY understanding of Scripture. You have YOUR understanding of Scripture. What else would we have but our own understanding of Scripture.

    We ALL are striving to understand God’s will and align our own to it, but WE ALL use our understanding (prayerfully, carefully, by God’s grace ideally) to get there. Our understanding is what we have to work with.

    Are you suggesting you’re using something other than your understanding??

    As to “arrogant nonsense,” please help me out. If I have stated something that is arrogant, please point me to it so that I can see what you’re saying and repent or correct a misunderstanding. Casting accusations publicly and without support would be contrary to my understanding (which I think is fairly mainstream Christian understanding) of God’s will.

    Do you think that casting accusations publicly and without support is Christian, Glenn?

  15. 15 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Glenn…

    As noted previously, your claims about your faith in Jesus are identical with that of Mormonism (I know – I am an ex-Mormon). The problem is who their Chris is, just as who your Christ is, is your problem.

    Well, I’ve given you a list of what I believe Christ taught, at least in part. WHAT SPECIFICALLY of what I believe about Christ’s teachings is mistaken, Brother Glenn? Telling me I’m mistaken and not supporting it is not helpful.

    Yes, I get that it is YOUR UNDERSTANDING that Christ would support the criminalization of abortion. But Christ does not say that and I do not know that to be the case. You have not sufficiently shown me that this is the case and so, lacking sufficient evidence for me to believe your claim, I don’t.

    For my part, I have not made any extrabiblical claims about Jesus. I’ve shown you exactly what I think Jesus taught, which is what is found in the Bible. If you have a problem with something I have ACTUALLY said about Jesus, then make your case, please, because that will help everyone.

    But making unsupported and fairly whimsical claims does not.

    And, as always, I invite you to do so via email, since corrections are best handled in private, according to the Bible (or at least my understanding of it).

    Like this, Glenn…

    Dan, when you say … [fill in the blank with an actual quote], that is problematic because… [fill in the blank with some support}

    I think that would be the more rational, grace-full and Christian way to handle these sorts of disagreements, don’t you?

  16. 16 Glenn E. Chatfield February 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Dan,

    You obviously have not studied the Amish or listened to anyone who came out of that cultic organization.

    No, it is not legalistic to say sin is a sin.

    You have no clue what eisegesis is, which is why you practice it so devotedly.

    It is not a culture which calls abortion murder. Science had proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that a human life exists from conception. If you kill an innocent human life it is called murder. If you want to lie to yourself that a pre-born baby has some point in it’s time in the womb where it isn’t human, that is your problem.

    What I have said Jesus taught about homosexuality is 100% fact, and what I stated would be Jesus understanding about abortion (And I never said he would criminalize it – you just ascribed to me something I did not say, ergo you lied about me) is also 100% fact. You disagree that Scripture teaches abortion or homosexual behavior is a sin.

    Because you claim neither of these are sin, you make God out to be a liar or else you have your own God. Simple as that.

  17. 17 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Glenn…

    You obviously have not studied the Amish or listened to anyone who came out of that cultic organization.

    Brotherman, I’m ANABAPTIST. The same root group as the Amish. Yes, I am familiar with the Amish. Are you? How many Amish or Mennonite folk do you know? How many anabaptist theologians have you read? Are you familiar with Yoder? Arnold?

    And so, my question remains:

    What SPECIFICALLY about the Amish makes you say…

    The Amish are indeed a cultic group because of their legalistic application of Scripture.

    To be sure, I think there are problems within the Amish community (which is why I’m more closely aligned with the Mennonites), but “cultic” (Definition from MW: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious;
    or from the Christian Research Institute: a cult is any group that deviates from the orthodox teachings of the historic Christian faith being derived from the Bible and confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds.)?

    Hardly, not by normal orthodox standards.

  18. 18 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Glenn…

    You have no clue what eisegesis is, which is why you practice it so devotedly.

    I have DEMONSTRATED with ACTUAL QUOTES from you, why your position on abortion is based upon eisegesis.

    On the other hand, you have made unsubstantiated claims based NOT on what I’ve actually said, but on your hunches about what I believe, that I am employing eisegesis.

    Given these facts (ie, I have DEMONSTRATED your eisegesis, while you have only made unsubstantiated claims) why should anyone think that I have “no clue” what eisegesis is?

    To be clear, I’m using eisegesis as normally defined in the English language:

    the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas (MW)

    Do you mean something OTHER than that?

  19. 19 Glenn E. Chatfield February 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Dan, I live in a very Amish/Mennonite area, and have studied much about them. I did not say they were a cult – read my lips. I said they are cultic. So is the Roman Catholic Church, so is the Local Church, and so are some others I’m not even going to bother with here. This is not the topic of the thread.

    I do not read my own ideas into Scripture. You know all the passages about homosexuality because we’ve discussed them before – it is to them you take your own ideas and claim they are misinterpreted.

    It is not eisegesis to say abortion kills a baby. There are plenty of passages in scripture which demonstrate the it is called a child from conception. There are also many passages in scripture which talk about murder. If you kill a child in the womb, which is not guilty of any crime, then you have murdered it. I am through playing your games and wasting my time and Drew’s comment area.

  20. 20 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Glenn:

    I do not read my own ideas into Scripture.

    Again: I have DEMONSTRATED with ACTUAL QUOTES from you, why your position on abortion is based upon eisegesis, YOU are reading into Scripture YOUR OWN IDEAS that Scripture does not say.

    IF you said, “it seems to me that the Bible clearly hints that babies are considered human from birth and for that reason, I oppose abortion…”

    That would NOT be eisegesis. That would be drawing an interpretation on an issue not found in the Bible and it may or may not be reasonable, but it would not be eisegesis.

    BUT, you are saying “Scripture teaches abortion… is a sin,” and THAT, my friend is NOT in the bible, but rather something you reach via eisegesis. BY DEFINITION.

    So, again, I don’t take UNsupported charges of eisegesis very seriously from someone who turns around and engages DEMONSTRABLY in eisegesis in the very same sentence!

  21. 21 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Glenn…

    I live in a very Amish/Mennonite area, and have studied much about them.

    Very nice. But that’s not what I asked. I asked DO YOU KNOW any Amish/Mennonite people? HAVE YOU READ their actual writings?

    It’s all well and good to “study about them” but if your studies are from some yahoo who doesn’t know anything about them, then that’s not very credible. If your “study about them” does not include what THEY actually believe, then that’s not very credible.

    Fair enough?

  22. 22 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Glenn…

    I did not say they were a cult – read my lips. I said they are cultic.

    ? You DO know, don’t you, that the definition of “cultic” is “like a cult?” So, by “cultic,” are you saying they are LIKE a cult but NOT one?

    And you never DID answer WHY you think they’re “cultic” – whatever you mean by that – other than to reference their “legalistic application of Scripture,” which, as I stated, is pretty funny considering the source.

    Are you merely saying that they take the Bible more seriously than you, therefore they’re “cultic”?

  23. 23 Glenn E. Chatfield February 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Dan are you being intentionally obtuse and stupid?

    My position and what I said about abortion is NOT eisegesis, and only someone who is trying to defend abortion would come up with that.

    Let’s use a wee bit of logic here:
    1. From conception what is in the womb is a human being, a child:
    Exod. 21:22-23; Job 3:3b, 16; Ps. 139:13-16; Ps. 51:5; Prov. 24:11-12; Prov. 31:8-9; Eccl. 11:5; Isa. 44:2, 49:1; Jer. 1:5; Matt. 1:18; Lk. 1:421:44. All identify that which is in the womb as a child.

    2. Abortion is killing an innocent child in the womb.

    3. Killing a human being is murder if that human is innocent of any crime.

    4. God, including the Son Jesus, condemn murder as a sin.

    5. Therefore QED – God/Jesus condemn abortion as murder and as a sin.

  24. 24 Glenn E. Chatfield February 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Dan,

    When I said I live in a very Amish/Mennonite area the implication was that I do indeed personally know some. I have read many of their teachings. Have talked to many who have left them. Have read books by those who have left them.

    Being a cult and being cult-like are two different things, and here again it appears you are being intentionally stupid. This discussion about Amish is over from my side; it has nothing to do with Drew’s post.

  25. 25 Dan Trabue February 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    All of that said with NOT YET ONE LICK OF SUPPORT for your positions, Glenn.

    Which is fine, just don’t expect a reasonable person to be swayed by rumor, gossip and innuendo.

    In fact, you might expect reasonable Christians to correct you, since those behaviors are clearly not part of the Realm of God and, according to the Bible, those who practice these behaviors are not of the realm of God.

  26. 26 Glenn E. Chatfield February 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Oh, and I’d like you to show me from Scripture where being “old fashioned” is more holy; show me from scripture where everyone must have uniform clothing, where a man must have particular facial hair, where women must where a head-covering 24/7/365, where electricity is not allowed, etc, etc, etc – and the many permutations of these rules depending upon the individual assembly and the whim of the leader of that assembly.

    You keep charging me with legalistic application of Scripture, which is really funny because there is no one else who would ever charge me with that! Or do you even know what it means to be legalistic? Four conventional understandings are as such

    1. Keeping the Law as a means of Salvation.

    2. Keeping the Law’s letter by not the spirit

    3. Building a fence of unnecessary extra-biblical requirements around biblical Law.

    4. Imposing obsolete OT laws on NT believers.

    Amish fall into at least item 3, while some are item 1 also. I don’t do any of these, so I am not legalistic. OH, let me guess – I’m legalistic because I say homosexual behavior is a sin?

  27. 27 Glenn E. Chatfield February 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    All of that said with NOT YET ONE LICK OF SUPPORT for your positions, Glenn.

    Which is fine, just don’t expect a reasonable person to be swayed by rumor, gossip and innuendo.

    In fact, you might expect reasonable Christians to correct you, since those behaviors are clearly not part of the Realm of God and, according to the Bible, those who practice these behaviors are not of the realm of God.

    What in the world are you talking about?!?! I gave biblical support for my positions on homosexuality and abortion – what more support do you want?!?! Are you saying what I stated about the Amish/Mennonite has no support? – All one has to do is visit them. Or are you saying being cultic and being a cult are the same and I have no support to say differently? (Other than a dictionary)

  28. 28 Dan Trabue February 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Glenn…

    You keep charging me with legalistic application of Scripture.. Or do you even know what it means to be legalistic?

    Yes, I do. And I agree with your four understandings…

    1. Keeping the Law as a means of Salvation.
    2. Keeping the Law’s letter by not the spirit
    3. Building a fence of unnecessary extra-biblical requirements around biblical Law.
    4. Imposing obsolete OT laws on NT believers.

    When I use it in your case, I’m speaking especially of numbers 3 and 4.

    Consider:
    I am a Christian using conventional, orthodox evangelical standards. I have recognized my sinful nature, my need for salvation and I’ve trusted in God’s grace through faith in Jesus, the risen son of God. I’ve asked Jesus to be Lord of my life and dedicated (in a flawed manner, to be sure) the last 30-ish years of my life to striving by God’s grace to walk in Jesus’ steps, following the teachings of my Lord.

    That is conventional salvation in orthodox Christianity.

    Despite this orthodoxy, you suspect I’m not saved. Why?

    Because I do not hold to a couple of specific teachings on a couple of areas of behavior as you do. In other words, IN ADDITION to trusting in God’s grace for salvation, you would ADD an “Old Testament” rule (that I believe “men shall not lie with men” means what you think it means) and “Building a fence of unnecessary extra-biblical requirements around biblical Law.”

    God has not told me that I ought to support the criminalization of abortion. GOD has not told me that abortion is a sin. GOD has not told me that gay marriage is a sin. These are all YOUR EXTRA-BIBLICAL requirements that you add to Jesus’ teachings. Because I disagree with your hunches on those two behaviors, you suspect that I’m not a Christian.

    Well, as any orthodox Christian can tell you, sometimes we are mistaken and our mistaken-ness is not going to condemn us to hell. Why? Because, we are saved by grace, not works. THE BIBLE teaches us that we are flawed humanity. The Bible teaches us that we “see through a glass darkly,” and that we don’t always have perfect understanding.

    And that’s okay. As much as we WANT to do the right and always understand a-right, it is NOT our perfect understanding that saves us or condemns us, it’s grace.

    Have I misunderstood you? Are you suggesting I’m not saved because of something fundamentally wrong with my salvation experience? Or is it simply because I disagree with you on a few issues?

  29. 29 Glenn E. Chatfield February 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    No Dan, I haven’t added anything to salvation. What I have said is that you have a different God which cannot provide salvation if you claim God is okay with homosexual behavior and abortion.

    I have not added to Jesus’ teachings – you just deny that he taught anything about these subjects because you deny what the Scriptures teach.

    If you worship a different God than the God of the Bible, then you have an unsaving idol as your God. Just like the Mormons and JWs – they worship a different God/Jesus. Just because they have the same name as the Biblical models, that doesn’t mean they are the same. As do the Mormons and JWs, you have defined your own God and Christ as being okay with egregious sin.

  30. 30 Drew February 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Dan is obviously wrong to condone perverse behavior, but I think there’s a limit to your reasoning, Glenn. For example, Glenn’s view of God requires that people obey illegally set “speed limits,” whereas Drew’s view of God says that illegal speed limits cannot be legally enforceable. That doesn’t mean that either Drew or Glenn is trusting in a false God and therefore on the way to hell.

    I think that when someone espouses immoral principles, it generally just means that the person isn’t reading and meditating on the Bible enough, or in some other way is not fellowshipping properly with God (1 John 1:6-7; see also 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).

    Mormons and JW’s, by contrast, plainly do not believe the gospel because they teach that we get to heaven by obeying commandments. It’s sort of a leap to assume that because Mormons have some wrong ideas, that therefore anyone else with wrong ideas must be unsaved.

  31. 31 Dan Trabue February 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Glenn…

    What I have said is that you have a different God which cannot provide salvation if you claim God is okay with homosexual behavior and abortion.

    Drew, I think you’re right insofar as you say Glenn is reaching too far (“there’s a limit to your reasoning…”). The limit is, by saying that because I disagree with GLENN on what God does and doesn’t think, that I have a different God.

    There is ONE God and sometimes Christians of good faith have disagreements on what that ONE God’s Will is. For instance, Glenn thinks Christians going to war is acceptable, we anabaptists disagree. Does that mean that Glenn is worshiping a “different God,” OR does it mean we are all fallible human beings and sometimes Christians of good faith disagree on various topics.

    Disagreement is not synonymous to “THEM” having a different God. It’s just disagreement.

    Glenn, do you think anyone who disagrees with you on ANY topic is worshiping a different God? Do you think other Christians who disagree with you ought to consider that YOU are worshiping a different (ie, false) god?

    If you and Billy Graham, for instance, disagree on some topic, does that mean Billy Graham is worshiping a different/false god? Or that you are?

  32. 32 Dan Trabue February 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Drew…

    I think that when someone espouses immoral principles, it generally just means that the person isn’t reading and meditating on the Bible enough, or in some other way is not fellowshipping properly with God

    Yes, I reckon this is what I think, as well. If I disagree with you (on gay marriage, on Christians and war, on driving rules, etc), it doesn’t mean that you aren’t a Christian, just that I think you’re mistaken. Whether or not that is because you haven’t read or meditated “enough” or some other reason, I couldn’t say and wouldn’t guess. For me, it’s enough to say, “We disagree.”

    Now, I might disagree strongly and be passionate about that disagreement (not unlike Paul and Peter or other disciples who disagreed in the Bible), I might condemn your position strongly as wrong or even as sin, but I would still count you as my brother in Christ, as long as you weren’t rejecting the teachings of Jesus and God’s grace.

  33. 33 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Firstly, Drew sort of misunderstands.

    God calls us to obey the law of the land whether or not we like the law or think it is illegal, etc. The ONLY time we are permitted to disobey the law is when it is in conflict with God’s law. Disobeying the law is just a sin; it is not ascribing to God a different character than who He is.

    Scripture is very plain when it says God has used war for his purposes, and has led his people into war, so saying God approves of war in particular instances is not ascribing to God a character that isn’t already revealed to us in Scripture.

    When someone redefines the character of God by their beliefs, it isn’t just a matter of sin or disagreement, it is blasphemy. To say God approves of murder or rape or adultery, e.g., would to redefine the essential character of God. To say that he approves of Homosexual behavior is also redefining the character of God. That is blasphemy.

    If you describe someone by attributes he doesn’t possess, then you are not describing that person. It the God you worship is made up of attributes he doesn’t possess, then you are not worshiping the God of the Bible.

  34. 34 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 9:44 am

    So, Glenn, by your measure, all the Peacemaker Christians out there (anabaptists and others) ought to say to you, “Glenn, YOU are no Christian because you are worshiping a false god…”

    I disagree with that approach. Christians have always had disagreements on various issues – especially issues that aren’t specifically spelled out by Jesus.

    The Bible does NOT say that Christians can’t participate in war, but it seems a logical, biblical conclusion to the Peace Churches (as well as the early church for the first ~300 years of its existence). Nonetheless, as logical as it seems to us, it IS an extrabiblical conclusion.

    Similarly, the Bible does NOT say that Christians can’t support abortion or gay marriage. Rather, those SEEM LIKE TO YOU reasonable, biblical conclusions. Nonetheless, as logical as it SEEMS TO YOU, these are extrabiblical conclusions.

    I’m saying we need to have some grace on these extrabiblical conclusions. To not do so, seems to me, to be contrary to biblical teachings (and thus, again, you’d be worshiping a “false god,” by YOUR standard of approaching disagreements within the church).

  35. 35 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Glenn…

    When someone redefines the character of God by their beliefs, it isn’t just a matter of sin or disagreement, it is blasphemy.

    1. Fellow Christians who disagree with GLENN on an interpretation of the Bible are not “redefining the character of God by their beliefs.” THAT is a diabolical falsehood and I rebuke such false teachings in the name of Jesus.

    2. Your fellow Christians who disagree with YOU on an interpretation are ONLY SEEKING GOD’S will and have reached an opinion other than the one approved by Glenn.

    3. These believers, sinners saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus (ie, orthodox Christians) are the work of the HOLY SPIRIT. Thus to choose to call that which is OF GOD (ie, fellow Christians), “NOT of God,” THAT comes MUCH closer to the BIBLICAL definition of blasphemy. Be careful, little brother. You aren’t as much a god as you think you are.

    Glenn…

    To say God approves of murder or rape or adultery, e.g., would to redefine the essential character of God. To say that he approves of Homosexual behavior is also redefining the character of God. That is blasphemy.

    1. No one in the anabaptist/progressive movement that I know of is saying God approves of murder or rape (well, wait a second, some TRADITIONAL conservatives do that, when they say that God commanded people in the OT to rape and kill the “enemy” – I suspect Glenn falls into that category). NO ONE is saying that from my side. That is a falsehood. Thou shalt not bear false witness, Glenn.

    2. To say that God approves of loving, faithful, committed relationships is NOT redefining the character of God. It is NOT blasphemy. Words have meanings, Glenn. You can’t just take a handful of crap and call it dinner and start to eat. Your falsehoods are crap and move you much closer to the BIBLICAL understanding of blasphemy than any of my positions.

    Glenn, we are SAVED, you and I, because we are trusting in God’s grace through faith in Jesus. If YOU wish to start ADDING TO the work of Jesus, then perhaps you aren’t saved by grace and you are trusting in the power of Glenn’s perfection. I’m suggesting that is a house built upon sand.

    You are not as perfect as you think you are.

  36. 36 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Dan, as my dealings with you before have demonstrated, you are either being intentionally stupid or you really are dim-witted.

    You are assigning to me a “measure” which I have never stated. Whether one believes a Christian should fight in a war or even be a part of military service is irrelevant to the FACT that God has used war for his purposes, meaning that part of God’s character as revealed in the Bible is the approval of war for certain purposes.

    Disagreements on non-essentials is not the problem. And you do indeed misrepresent scripture when you say the Bible doesn’t say Christians can’t support “gay marriage” or abortion. The bible is plain that theses are sins. We are to expose sin, not support it. You are lying about God when you say he is not against these and that they are not sin. This is NOT an extra-biblical conclusion. This is a FACT of the Bible and you know it, you just try to justify your own liberal beliefs by claiming God is okay with sin.

  37. 37 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Dan, your second reply is also misrepresenting me – lying about me as usual with you.

    I DID NOT SAY or even intimate that anyone claimed God approved of adultery, rape or murder. I used that as an example of what would be assigning a false character to God IN THE SAME WAY as claiming God approves of homosexuality and abortion. you apparently lack good reading comprehension skills.

    Nor have I ever intimated that people have to agree with me – what I say is that they have to agree with God on these issues and throughout the history of the Christian church no one has ever claimed God approved of these sins until the last century. You are indeed guilty of blasphemy when you charge God with approval of homosexuality and abortion, just as it would be blasphemy to say God approves of murder, adultery and rape.

    You again lie when you say there are Christians who believe God commanded people to rape – I have never, ever heard anyone ever saying such an asinine thing. But God did indeed tell HIS PEOPLE to kill and eradicate entire cultures – the Bible is plain in this teaching. Just off the top of my head I can mention the Amalekites who in 1 Sam 15 God told Israel to destroy. If you say that isn’t true, then again blaspheme God. I did NOT bear false witness because I never even intimated that you think God ordered people to rape.

    It is NOT adding to the word of Jesus to say that HE says homosexual behavior and abortion are sins. You are the one who makes Christ out to be supportive of what God calls an abomination. Don’t give me crap about a “loving relationship” etc, because by that same claim you cannot deny polygamy or incestuous relationships.

  38. 38 Drew February 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    You can call Dan’s screwed-up ideas blasphemy all day long, and in a way they are, but blasphemy isn’t outside of Jesus’s power to atone. I could say that you are blaspheming God by wrongly invoking his name to support enslavement to illegitimate laws, and that therefore you aren’t saved, either. Maybe there is a line somewhere, and maybe homosexuality is more “essential” in some soteriological way, but you haven’t really shown any Bible verses that say so.

  39. 39 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Glenn said…

    You are indeed guilty of blasphemy when you charge God with approval of homosexuality and abortion, just as it would be blasphemy to say God approves of murder, adultery and rape.

    And WHEN did I say that God approves of homosexuality and abortion? Did I EVER say that?

    I think I have been quite clear that I think the Bible is SILENT on the topic of gay marriage and abortion, both. That being the case (and since God has not TOLD me what God thinks), I don’t know what God thinks about homosexuality or abortion.

    BUT, based upon what the Bible DOES tell us about the nature of God, it is my belief (and that is important – this is MY hunch about two topics that aren’t covered in the Bible)…

    1. That God would delight in people committing themselves in fidelity and love in marriage – whether those people are gay or straight. That is NOT me saying that “GOD SAYS HOMOSEXUALITY IN GENERAL IS OKAY.” It is me saying this is my hunch about what God might think about gay marriage specifically, not homosexuality in general.

    2. That, while I don’t know for sure what God thinks about abortion, I’m generally in favor of avoiding them. The question of its morality is worrisome enough that I would like to see abortions to be rare. BUT, I’m not in favor of criminalizing the medical procedure of abortion. I don’t claim to know what God thinks our position should be on the criminalization of abortion, but my best guess as to the best approach to this troubling topic is to NOT criminalize it, but leave it to the individuals to decide what’s best.

    So, do you understand? I HAVE NOT presumed to speak for God on these two topics. These are MY hunches as to the best way to handle these two topics as someone who DEEPLY wishes to follow in God’s ways.

  40. 40 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    More clarification. Where you said…

    You again lie when you say there are Christians who believe God commanded people to rape

    The Bible speaks of God commanding the Israelites to go kill all the boys and/or adults in a place but save the virgin girls for themselves (to bed them down/make them their wives). For instance…

    When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you. ~Deut 20

    And…

    When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive’s garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion ~Deut 21

    And…

    If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. ~Deut 22

    And…

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

    All of these give the direct or tacit approval of rape (forced marriage, if you find that more palatable), taken literally, and as a command from God. All of these passages are affirmed by your type of “inerrantist” as being factual and true. “Yes,” you say, “God DOES sometimes command people to kidnap girls, kill their parents and marry them.” Now, you may not CALL that rape, but it is what it is. Forced sexual subservience. If you prefer, I can call it that, but I think “rape” is the better term.

    Tell me, Glenn, if you knew a girl today who was kidnapped by a foreign army and forced into marriage, would you call that rape?

    Assuming you agree with me that such behavior IS rape (or at least a wrongful sexual imposition), then you can see that I am NOT lyiing AT ALL when I say that there are Christians who believe God commanded THESE behaviors (whatever term you might give them). Am I right?

    You DO think, don’t you, that God COMMANDED Israel to do these things? That God’s Law allowed a father to sell his daughter off into forced marriage? That God’s law COMMANDED rape victims to marry their rapist??!

    If I am right and you agree with these, I will entertain an apology, Brother Glenn. I think it is important to apologize when we have been wrong. If it is the term “rape” that you find troubling, but “forced marriage” is more apt, then I apologize for using the term rape and will allow the term “forced marriage” to a rapist or to a conquering army. Although I DO think that if it were a beloved daughter or family member of yours who this was being done to, you’d call it rape.

  41. 41 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Drew, now you’re being just plain silly.

    Not only is it blasphemy to ascribe to say God approves of sin, but the point I was making is that if your God has a different character than the God of the Bible, how can you be saved, since the God/Jesus you worship is a different character? That is why the Mormons are unsaved, that is why JWs are unsaved, etc. Because when they describe their God or Jesus he doesn’t match up with the God/Jesus of the Bible, so they are worshiping a God of their own making.

    The Bible indeed does say that homosexual behavior and abortion is wrong, and I already demonstrated that from Scripture.

    So if Dan has a God/Jesus who approve of sin which the Bible plainly says he doesn’t approve of, then how can that be the same God or Jesus? Their character is different.

    You are calling speed laws illegitimate because you disagree with them. However, they are legitimate because they were made by the authority having the right to make such laws. And they don’t contradict God’s laws. Scripture is very plain that we are to obey the laws of the land that don’t conflict with God’s laws. Rom 13, 1 Peter 2.

  42. 42 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Glenn…

    Nor have I ever intimated that people have to agree with me – what I say is that they have to agree with God on these issues

    Listen, Glenn, and understand MY ACTUAL POSITION: YES! We MUST strive to agree with God on these issues. On ALL issues. This is what Christians ought to do. WE AGREE. YOU AND I AGREE that we ought to strive to agree with God, align our will with God’s. Submit our will to God’s will.

    Do you understand that you and I agree on that idea?

    Carrying on then…

    While we agree that we ought to strive to align with God’s will on abortion, on gay marriage, on Christians going to war, on taking oaths, on right living, etc, etc, where we disagree is on the question: What IS God’s will on these topics?

    You think God’s will is to oppose gay marriage. I think such opposition is a mistake and wrong.
    I think God’s will is to support marriage – gay or straight. You disagree and think such support is wrong.

    The thing is, we are BOTH seeking God’s will. Neither of us is saying, “I spit in your eye, God! I’m doing what I want, not you!”

    We are BOTH saying, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

    We just disagree. And one of us is likely wrong. I think it’s you, you think it’s me. God knows for sure. We don’t. In the meantime, we are responsible for striving to seek God’s will as best we can and throwing ourselves on God’s blessed grace in those cases where our failed human reasoning leads us off on the wrong way.

    You DO understand, don’t you, that Glenn’s (or even “the majority within the church”) ideas are not always God’s ideas? You aren’t conflating your hunches with God’s will, are you?

  43. 43 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Dan, When you say the Bible is silent on the issue of gay marriage and abortion, you are saying opposite of what it is not at all silent about. You can’t have gay marriage without homosexuality and the Bible is perspicuous about that being a sin. You can’t have an abortion without the murder of a baby in the womb, and the Bible is perspicuous that murder is a sin. To say you don’t know what God thinks is a lie, because you do know what he says because you are familiar with the passages – you just refuse to agree with what they say.

    Logic dictates that if God says homosexual behavior is wrong, which he does, then there is no way he would approve of same-sex marriage no matter how much “love” was involved.

    Logic dictates that when God says murder is wrong, which he does, and that if God says the pre-born is a child, which he does, then murdering the pre-born is wrong. There has never to my knowledge been discussion about criminalizing abortion in this discussion. All that has been discussed is whether or not it is a sin.

    God allowing the men to take the women as wives is not rape. And you know that, but you like to drag out the standard atheist canard. This isn’t worth my time to discuss.
    Deut 22 is not commanding rape – it is a command to protect the woman who was raped to prevent her from being outcast the rest of her life.

    God permitting various acts that were part of the culture were not command to do so; he gave rules to follow for the protection of the women, just as he gave rules to follow for divorce (which he hated and did not command, but only permitted) so as to protect the woman.

    You can’t compare cultural standards of war of 4000 years ago with cultural standards today and then call it rape. You know better than that. Permitting and commanding are two different things. No apology, because God did not command rape.

  44. 44 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Dan,

    The BIG issue is the idea that you say God approves of gay marriage because he approves of marriage. That is illogical. Does God approve of three guys and five women calling themselves a marriage? Just what sort of marriage do you think God would NOT approve of?

    As noted, God CANNOT approve of same-sex unions since he calls same sex relations abominable. Period.

  45. 45 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Dan, aside from being an ungodly idea, same-sex marriage will be extremely harmful to society. Here is a good example of the problems which will be encountered: http://www.frc.org/testimony/peter-sprigg-testifies-before-rhode-island-house-judiciary-committee

    And here is a link (read the download) which demonstrates what true marriage is and why same-sex unions never will be real marriages.
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1722155

  46. 46 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Logic dictates that if God says homosexual behavior is wrong, which he does, then there is no way he would approve of same-sex marriage no matter how much “love” was involved.

    Glenn, I am not at all sure you are understanding where we part ways. YES! Logic dictates that IF GOD SAID ANY AND ALL homosexual behavior is wrong, THEN marriage between gay folk would be wrong. BUT, God does NOT say ANY AND ALL homosexual behavior is wrong.

    There are a handful of places in the Bible that speak about what appears to be some sort of gay behavior. From those handful of places, YOU ARE READING INTO THEM, “God condemns any and all gay behavior.” That is not said in the TEXT, it’s what YOU ARE ADDING to the text.

    Now, we could spend some time going around about this, and I’m okay with doing that sometime if you’d like. But the point is, there are some serious orthodox Christians who wish ONLY TO FOLLOW God’s will and they read the Bible prayerfully and carefully and disagree with your conclusions on the matter.

    This is where we disagree: You think your conclusion is a slam dunk. That the Bible is perspicuous about it. I, in ONLY seeking God’s will, disagree with YOUR conclusion on that point.

    On the other hand, I think that if ANY thing ought to be clear and perspicious, it is that Christians ought not engage in war. And yet, despite that I think the Bible is perspiciuous on that point, you disagree.

    And, just as I would be mistaken to say, “Well, just because DAN thinks it is clear, anyone who disagrees is obviously not a Christian or has a false god,” so, too, are you over-reaching in saying anyone who disagrees with you on the point is not a Christian or has a false god they worship.

  47. 47 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Glenn…

    God allowing the men to take the women as wives is not rape. And you know that, but you like to drag out the standard atheist canard. This isn’t worth my time to discuss.

    Woah, hold on. You are making a rather astounding claim, here. You are actually suggesting that an invading soldier who kidnaps a virgin girl, kills her parents and takes the girl home and makes her his wife (and, after a while if she doesn’t learn to love her kidnapper – the killers of her parents – she can leave the kidnapper/forced marriage – “UNDER COMPULSION,” the bible says) is NOT committing rape. What would you call it if a loved one of yours was treated as such?

    You are making an astounding and wholly unbelievable claim and then trying to sidestep it by saying “it isn’t worth my time”? I don’t think so. You are making this astound claim, back it up and support it, if you can. But just to leave it there is to say, “I can’t really defend this so I’m going to surrender this part of the argument…”

    And then to say, “You know that” as if to charge ME with some sort of dishonesty in this discussion, come now. Let’s be adult and rational. “Man up,” as the saying goes.

    If you can’t support this, then I don’t see how you can reasonably claim that I have a problem with MY understanding of Scripture.

    First, remove the plank from your own eye, my brother.

  48. 48 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Glenn…

    God permitting various acts that were part of the culture were not command to do so; he gave rules to follow for the protection of the women, just as he gave rules to follow for divorce (which he hated and did not command, but only permitted) so as to protect the woman.

    Seriously, Glenn? Are you seriously trying to make the case that commanding a raped woman to MARRY HER ATTACKER was an idea from God to “protect the woman?”

    Do you have any idea how crazy that sounds?

    And then, to defend that by saying it was rules that were appropriate somehow 4,000 years ago, but not now? Is that really what you’re saying? Because, if so, then WHY is assuming a rule that was appropriate 4,000 years ago to force a woman to marry her rapist is no longer valid any different than assuming ANOTHER rule from 4,000 years ago (men shall not lie with men – even assuming it means what you think it means) is no longer valid?

    That seems to be rather a wishy washy opinion for a biblical literalist to hold. Are you saying that SOME RULES change and what was appropriate thousands of years ago is no longer appropriate, because this is a different culture?

    Then why THAT rule and not the perceived rule about gay marriage?

    You seem to be vacillating on your hunches, Glenn.

  49. 49 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Dan, that is exactly your problem. The passages are very, very clear about homosexuality being wrong. the Jews never questioned them, and Christians never questioned them until recently as they try to justify the unjustifiable. GOD DOES SAY HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR IS ALWAYS WRONG. There is no question about it except from those who try to justify it. My proof is here, where you’ve attempted previously to twist the Biblical meaning:
    http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/09/bible-and-homosexual-behavior.html

    These passages are very, very clear and do indeed say God condemns homosexual behavior, period. Deny it all you want, claim they all have other meanings, but you know you are wrong and are just trying to justfiy perversion.

    The body was not designed for same-sex unions – or did God have a bad design, too?

  50. 50 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I’m sorry Glenn, I have a hard time taking anyone seriously who says that the Bible supports us sometimes kidnapping virgin girls, killing their parents and baby brothers, and making them our wives by force, who THEN says, “but that’s not rape!” and who refuses to support such an outlandish position.

    You opt out of answering questions that undermine YOUR hunches about biblical text because, well, your position is hard to defend biblically or rationally or morally.

    So, yes, we disagree on the marriage issue, but THIS Christian (Christian, by standard orthodox measures) finds it hard to take your hunches seriously. I hope you’ll understand that I must strive to find God’s will, not Glenn’s. What you find “clear” I find ridiculous and highly immoral, having very little to do with the God of the Bible.

  51. 51 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    GOD DOES SAY HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR IS ALWAYS WRONG.

    This is a lie or a statement of supreme biblical ignorance. But it is easy for you to prove me wrong. Provide even ONE passage where God says that ALL homosexual behavior is ALWAYS WRONG.

    But you should know that, since I value the Word of God, if you can’t support it (and you can’t), then I dismiss your whimsical cultural prejudices on this point.

  52. 52 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Dan,

    Now about your stupid rape idea.

    Culture 3-4000 years ago was what the Israelis were living in. THe entire culture of the world saw women as chattel, because the entire world had degraded since the fall, and left God’s teachings for the most part. All armies took the spoils, including using the women – but never married them (never required anyway). I’d say from all the history I’ve read most marriages were directed by the men and women rarely had a say-so in it, so by your standards when the European kings made marriage alliances which forced daughter to marry someone they didn’t know until the day they saw them, that was rape also.

    By commanding the Israelis to marry the women they took as spoils, it protected the women – gave them security, etc.

    Same with the rape victim; which fixed both problems: if a guy didn’t want to marry a lady, then he’d better not take advantage of her. Also, once a woman was raped in that society, she had no prospect of a husband. By forcing the man to marry her she was then provided security.

    None of this has anything to do with deviant, perverse use of the human body by homosexual acts. You cannot justify homosexual behavior by claiming culture changes. Culture changes a lot of things, but no culture in history survived once they went down the road of sexual immorality as a norm.

    I posted two links – one demonstrating the harm to society by same-sex marriage, and the other demonstrating what real marriage is, which same-sex unions can never be. For whatever reason Drew has not posted it and it still awaits moderation.

  53. 53 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Dan, call this an ad hominem attack if you will, but you are indeed being super stupid.

    I have a hard time taking anyone seriously who says that the Bible supports us sometimes kidnapping virgin girls, killing their parents and baby brothers, and making them our wives by force

    Notice how you conveniently put in “us” and “our” in the issue. The rules were for the nation of Israel during a time when that was part of the world-wide culture, and the rules were to give the women better protection than they would have had with any other people. And you also conveniently twisted the context away from the issue of war, a war God commanded them to wage to rid the land of pagans, etc. You are just being obtuse, and this whole issue is a red herring to try to justify homosexuality. How about stick to that subject only!

    I provided the passages where God says homosexual behavior is always wrong all the time by the link to my article. I am finished with this discussion because your conscience has been seared to turn off any condemnation of homosexuality. I have better things to do with my time.

    Sorry Drew, that your article got hijacked.

  54. 54 Dan Trabue February 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    First, let me say thank you for trying to address this gaping hole in your argument, Glenn. I appreciate the effort.

    Glenn…

    so by your standards when the European kings made marriage alliances which forced daughter to marry someone they didn’t know until the day they saw them, that was rape also.

    Umm, yes. What do you call it?

    What would you call it if it were YOUR daughter, sir?

    Glenn…

    Also, once a woman was raped in that society, she had no prospect of a husband. By forcing the man to marry her she was then provided security.

    None of this has anything to do with deviant, perverse use of the human body by homosexual acts.

    ??!! Are you serious??!

    FORCING WOMEN TO MARRY THEIR RAPISTS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DEVIANT, PERVERSE USE OF THE HUMAN BODY??

    No, of course this rape behavior that you claim is endorsed by God has anything to do with homosexuality. What it has to do with is your hermeneutics, the way YOU read the Bible.

    By striving to force a “literalist/inerrantist” (what fundamentalists mean by that, anyway) view on the Bible, it forces you to condemn all homosexual behavior. BUT, it also forces you to ascribe to a God who would command rape victims to live with their attacker. It also forces you to ascribe to a God who would command the slaughter of children.

    This skewed version of God (one which runs counter to the truly obvious, truly perspicuous teachings of Jesus) is a clue that you are reading the Bible in a very, very wrong and immoral manner: in a manner that has you defending rape (or “forced marriages,” if you prefer) and slaughter of innocents.

    For those of us who love God and seek God’s will and who love the Bible and esteem it as God’s Word, we have NO compelling reason to adopt this literalist/inerrantist method of reading Scripture.

    God does not TELL US to take it the way you are taking it. The Bible itself does not tell us to take it the way you are taking it. On the other hand, THE BIBLE and REASON dictate NOT taking it the way you take it.

    Those who wish to find God’s will in the Scriptures need to examine passages and strive to understand the writing styles and idioms used. IF a passage seems to be using mythological language, or epic language, then we would be WRONG to take it as a literal passage. Similarly, if a passage seems to be using hyperbole, we’d wrong to take it literally. And, if a passage seems to be written as literal commands/rules and straightforward teachings, we’d be wrong to spiritualize it or NOT take it literally.

    This is basic Bible exegesis…

  55. 55 Drew February 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    [I]f your God has a different character than the God of the Bible, how can you be saved, since the God/Jesus you worship is a different character? That is why the Mormons are unsaved, that is why JWs are unsaved, etc. Because when they describe their God or Jesus he doesn’t match up with the God/Jesus of the Bible, so they are worshiping a God of their own making.

    Mormons do not believe the gospel. It doesn’t even matter which God they worship. They believe in salvation by works. Same goes for JW’s. Regardless of whether they worship the right God, they are still on the path to hell because they don’t believe the gospel.

  56. 56 Glenn E. Chatfield February 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Drew, even if the Mormons and JWs didn’t believe works saved them, they would still be unsaved, because God/Jesus they worship is no different than the golden calve.

  57. 57 Dan Trabue February 22, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Even though Glenn has conceded the fight, let me clarify one more thing. Where I said…

    By striving to force a “literalist/inerrantist” (what fundamentalists mean by that, anyway) view on the Bible, it forces you to condemn all homosexual behavior.

    I want to clarify that we ALL (all of us who are Christians and striving by God’s grace to better understand God’s ways) seek God’s will in our lives. One very important way we all do this is by studying the Word of God.

    I have done so my entire life, diligently.

    One aspect of good biblical exegesis is striving to understand the style in which a given passage is written. We all – ALL of us, fundamentalist, conservative, anabaptist, progressive – consider SOME passages to be NOT literal.

    When Jesus said, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off,” we ALL recognize that as hyperbole, not a literal command to cut off our hands, but an expression to emphasize how important following in God’s ways is for us.

    Not one of us takes that literally. We recognize the importance of NOT taking it literally, but metaphorically. As hyperbole.

    WHY do we NOT take that literally (not one of us)? Because it is obvious to us that it IS hyperbole. We’d be WRONG to take it literally.

    Agreed thus far?

  58. 58 Dan Trabue February 22, 2011 at 6:33 am

    The problem with those who tend to identify themselves as “inerrantists” is they try overly hard to take things literally when there’s NO GOOD REASON to do so (and interestingly, try too hard to spiritualize and NOT take some passages literally that probably should be taken fairly literally – I’m thinking here of Jesus’ “blessed are you who are poor, woe to you who are rich,” where I’ve heard many more fundamentalist types try to slough off as NOT literal, when I think it obviously is).

    So, while it is obvious to me from the Bible, that we have no good reason to take the Creation story as a literal historic retelling of the beginnings of the world, fundamentalists tend to insist upon a literal meaning. And there is NO GOOD REASON for that insistence. It takes nothing away from that beautiful story to say this is a mythological telling of the beginnings of God’s creation that emphasizes the wonderful TRUTH that God created the world. Why MUST we take it literally? Does the Bible tell us to take it literally? No. Does God tell us to take it literally? No.

    There is no good biblical, spiritual, Christian, moral, logical reason to insist upon a literal reading of those stories as history, but most who call themselves “inerrantists” do. And not only do they take it as such, they insist upon it, as some kind of measure of Christianity. “Why, if you don’t take that as literal history, then you’re rejecting the Bible and God’s word!” they say, but that’s just not the case.

    And I’m out of time. I’ll try to finish this thought later…

  59. 59 Glenn E. Chatfield February 22, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Dan, I did not concede – I gave up. There is a point when to continue the debate is useless, especially with people like you who disregard what God says and claim it has so many other meanings, that we can’t really take the Bible as it says – Creation can’t be true, yada, yada, yada.

    As normal with liberals, you have a low view of Scripture with your Dalmatian dog theology – take a spot of Scripture here, take a spot there – making it agree with liberal “God would never condemn loving people” and social gospel mentality.

    There is plenty good, moral, logical reason to read the Scripture as it was understood for almost 4000 years by Jews and Christians alike, until the liberal ideology started primarily with Darwinism in the mid-1800s, along with higher criticism, etc.

    Does any history book say, “When you read this, take it literally”? so why do you expect the Bible to say that. There is plenty in the Bible that tells us it is the word of God and nothing less.

    Again, your God is not the God of the Bible. Why even look at the Bible if you want to change everything it says? That was a rhetorical question – I am not interested in your liberal answer. I don’t concede a thing to you – I shake the dust off my feet to you.

    You sir, are a cafeteria “Christian” as you pick and choose what you want to “eat.”

    I’m done with you.

  60. 60 Dan Trabue February 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

    You can give up your part in the conversation if you wish, Brother Glenn. That doesn’t make a single thing you say true, though. It just means you can’t defend your misrepresentations reasonably.

    1. I do NOT have a low view of Scripture. I have a HIGH view of Scripture. I have a low view of YOUR TAKE on Scripture in some circumstances. But that I disagree with YOUR TAKE is not to say that I have a low view of Scripture. This is a demonstrably false statement.

    2. I do NOT take a “spot here and a spot there.” I take it as a whole to be the Word of God, “inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” Just because I disagree with YOUR interpretation is not to suggest that I pick and choose from the bible. This is demonstrably false.

    3. In reading the Scripture, I and my tribe are seeking God’s will and God’s will alone. We are NOT seeking to make it “agree with a liberal” view, any more than we are trying to make it agree with a conservative view. We seek God’s will and go where that leads us. To suggest that we are merely trying to “make” the Bible say what we already want it to say is demonstrably false. Just for one example: I believed as you do on the gay marriage and abortion topics. It was ONLY the word of God that made me change FROM a position that I already held (ie, the conservative view on those topics) because I did not think the Word of God supported that view.

    Demonstrably false, again.

    4. “Again, your God is not the God of the Bible.” Again, demonstrably false. Show me where I disagree with “the God of the Bible” and I will repent. You have not and cannot do so. All you have done is conflate YOUR VIEW with God’s view. I know God and you, sir, are not God.

    Demonstrably false.

    5. I do not want to “change everything” the Bible says. I want to strive by God’s grace to learn God’s will. THAT, and that alone, is my desire. You have no support for this position and it is a ridiculously false position.

    Demonstrably false.

    You have uttered nothing but falsehoods and hunches in your response, brother. I would ask you to prayerfully reconsider your attacks upon this fellow Christian.

  61. 61 Dan Trabue February 22, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Your ONE attempt to support your position is found here:

    There is plenty good, moral, logical reason to read the Scripture as it was understood for almost 4000 years by Jews and Christians alike, until the liberal ideology started primarily with Darwinism in the mid-1800s, along with higher criticism, etc.

    Does any history book say, “When you read this, take it literally”? so why do you expect the Bible to say that. There is plenty in the Bible that tells us it is the word of God and nothing less.

    1. You attempt to defend the “historic and literal” view of some of these passages by saying, “does ANY history book say it is a history book?” but in so doing, you are arguing in circles. You are suggesting “This is a history book, why should it SAY it is a history book? It doesn’t have to because it is a history book…”

    But you make the presumption that it is written in a manner comparable to modern history books with an emphasis on factual accuracy. Who SAYS that this is the way it is to be taken? Where is your defense for taking it as a literal history?

    2. No one is claiming that the Bible is NOT the Word of God. What we are/I am disputing is that YOU are correct in your assumption that some parts of it ought to be considered a literal history.

    Glenn, look, you AGREE that it is important to sort our WHAT type of literary storytelling is going on in the bible, right? You AGREE with me that, if Jesus uses a hyperbole, we ought not take it as literal, right?

    How do you KNOW that when Jesus used hyperbole that it was not to be taken literally? Because it was “obvious?” I think that’s a legitimate assumption.

    So, how do you KNOW that, for instance, the Genesis Creation story is to be taken literally? Because it is “obvious” to yoU? Well, that’s not enough. I and many others think it is patently obvious that it is written using mythological language.

    What makes your assumption the “right” one and mine the “wrong” one?

    “JUst ’cause it’s what I think” is not convincing. “Just because that’s what a majority of Christians think” is not convincing (since we know that the majority is often mistaken, yes? “Wide is the path that leads to destruction,” Jesus tells us).

    Glenn, you are making presumptions that, 1. are wholly lacking in grace and 2, that are lacking in reasonable and biblical support.

    My ONE DESIRE is to follow God, the WORD of God as found partially in the Bible but found fully in Jesus, the Christ. That is MY ONE DESIRE. In seeking that ONE DESIRE, I sometimes may disagree with your hunches on biblical text. That is NOT a rejection of biblical text, it is a disagreement with your hunches.

    You understand the difference, don’t you?

  62. 62 Dale March 30, 2011 at 9:04 am

    What a wonderful Christian topic! Glenn is filled with the grace that saved him and it is readily seen in such comments as:

    1.As for Dan, he is such a liberal that I doubt that he is truly Christian. (Yes, the bible says clearly that only the conservative are saved 😛 Isn’t that quoted in the book of Babble? Glenn, throws first jab in questioning Dan’s salvation but for what reason? Love reaching out or an attack on Dan? Let’s read on…).

    2. Drew, you will never win any debate with Dan – he has his own interpretation of the Scriptures. You will find you will be wasting lots of time with his arrogant nonsense. (Arrogant nonsense? Hmmm, let’s still read Glenn’s comments to follow and let’s figure who is the arrogant proud person).

    3. Dan are you being intentionally obtuse and stupid? (Nice one! Usually people with anger issues talk like that. You can’t win Dan over to your way of thinking, so name calling is the answer. Dan is just so obtuse and stupid compared to Glenn is what I am gathering. I’m sure that Glenn will find a way to justify his tough love position).

    4. Dan, as my dealings with you before have demonstrated, you are either being intentionally stupid or you really are dim-witted. (Comments from a heart filled with grace and most certainly not pride. Isn’t that right Glenn?)

    5. Nor have I ever intimated that people have to agree with me – what I say is that they have to agree with God on these issues (Really? You were just telling Dan that he had to agree with God even though you kept arguing over and over? Your name calling of Dan for not seeing it your way does sound that he should be agreeing with you).

    6. Now about your stupid rape idea. (Glenn’s Christianity. Sign me up).

    7. You sir, are a cafeteria “Christian” as you pick and choose what you want to “eat.” (Yeah!)

    8. Dan, call this an ad hominem attack if you will, but you are indeed being super stupid. (Why would Dan think grace filled words are an attack? Here Glenn is talking to a suspected lost man, and “super stupid” is the gospel that will win him over. I’m taking notes).

    9. Being a cult and being cult-like are two different things, and here again it appears you are being intentionally stupid. (Wow!!)

    10. As normal with liberals, you have a low view of Scripture with your Dalmatian dog theology (Nice one!)

    11. Dan, your second reply is also misrepresenting me – lying about me as usual with you. (However, it is calling Dan names as being the usual with you).

    I cannot believe Glenn even refers to himself as a Christian. He is cocky, arrogant, and proud. It is people like him that sinners run from as they cannot tolerate the self-righteous. I’m sure that Glenn would have condemned Christ for his association with sinners. He would be the one saying to the next person “If Jesus only knew that it was a prostitute wiping His feet with her hair.” It would be Glenn that would be pointing out that Jesus is a friend to sinners. He would be the one telling Jesus that His disciples do not fast. He would be bringing the adulterous woman before Jesus and quizzing the Lord on the law.

    It seemed that Dan and Glenn both had pride as they both kept trying to have the last word. This sort of talk is a turn off to most people. However, the one claiming to be a true Christian had nothing but backhanded comments for Dan. Glenn, are you really saved? How you view things makes me to believe that it would be easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for you to enter the kingdom of heaven. Great Christian speech!!! It really sickened me. You ought to be ashamed. You can comment back, but I did not click the comments via email button, as I do not want to hear your Pharisaical justification. You just need to think about it instead allowing your pride to dictate your words. Holy cow!!

  63. 63 Glenn E. Chatfield March 30, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Dale,

    You have no idea of the past history between me and Dan to make such a judgment on my statements. Talk about arrogance to just drop in on one blog and make spot judgments! We go back a few months. This comment string here is but a small sampling, long after I have lost patience with him. He apparently trolls Christian blogs that mention homosexuality so he can tell everyone that Christ approves of homosexual behavior.

    I never said liberals weren’t saved, but according to biblical principles, very few are because they don’t seem to know the Gospel or Christ, let alone the God of the Bible.

    You apparently have a problem with frank words that aren’t sugar-coated. I guess you’d be a bit upset with Paul when he said false teachers should be eternally condemned (Gal. 1:8-9). I did not call Dan names – I talked about the intellectual level he was demonstrating. He appears to intentionally twist what people say so as to come back as a victim of what was said. He does it very often, pretending confusion, and yet I know he is an intelligent man. The only name I called him was “liberal,” which identifies his theology and politics.

    You have decided I am “cocky, arrogant and proud” by dropping in on one comment string, having no idea of the behavior of this man that I have had to deal with over a period of time. It is not cocky, arrogant or proud to tell someone they are wrong, but it is cocky, arrogant, proud and presumptuous to jump into one comment string out of many previous ones and determine you know everything going on and whether it is appropriate or not.

    You also misrepresented and falsely accused me by claiming what I would think about the prostitute wiping Christ’s feet, and the rest of that paragraph full of false accusations. You have judged my heart on issues about which you know nothing.

    And then you have the audacity to make your comments and run without allowing proper defense.

  64. 64 Drew March 30, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I do think that insults are sometimes useful to get people’s attention, although they shouldn’t really be a first resort.


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