Kevin H: No Booze, More Politics

You may also like...

116 Responses

  1. Pastor Al says:

    “The Bible is God’s Word.”

    No, that is a well-spread commonly accepted Falsehood. I wish you folks would quite spreading that lie.

    Logos. “The Logos of God”.

    In the beginning was the Logos….

    The Logos of God is “God’s utterance, God’s Word”…it is Jesus Christ, not the “bible” that is a hodgepodge of disparate copied and recopied books that somehow got chosen through very long very messy man-made Canonization process that was heavily Roman Catholic….not to mention all the translations, retranslations, picking and choosing of verses that made it in some “bibles”, didn’t make it in others

    It is intellectually dishonest or ignorant to present “the bible” as “God’s Word” in this manner.

  2. Pastor Al says:

    Strong’s Transliteration Greek English Morphology
    1722 [e] En Ἐν In [the] Prep
    746 [e] archē ἀρχῇ beginning N-DFS
    1510 [e] ēn ἦν was V-IIA-3S
    3588 [e] ho ὁ the Art-NMS
    3056 [e] Logos Λόγος, Word, N-NMS
    2532 [e] kai καὶ and Conj
    3588 [e] ho ὁ the Art-NMS
    3056 [e] Logos Λόγος Word N-NMS
    1510 [e] ēn ἦν was V-IIA-3S
    4314 [e] pros πρὸς with Prep
    3588 [e] ton τὸν – Art-AMS
    2316 [e] Theon Θεόν, God, N-AMS
    2532 [e] kai καὶ and Conj
    2316 [e] Theos Θεὸς God N-NMS
    1510 [e] ēn ἦν was V-IIA-3S
    3588 [e] ho ὁ the Art-NMS
    3056 [e] Logos Λόγος. Word. N-NMS

    3056 lógos (from 3004 /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”) – a word, being the expression of a thought; a saying. 3056 /lógos (“word”) is preeminently used of Christ (Jn 1:1), expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit.

    [3056 (lógos) is a common term (used 330 times in the NT) with regards to a person sharing a message (discourse, “communication-speech”). 3056 (lógos) is a broad term meaning “reasoning expressed by words.”]

    “The” Logos or Word of God is Jesus Christ.

    Others have opinions….they are not Deities. They may express “reasoning” regarding Jesus and God….but they are not “THE WORD OF GOD!”….anymore than your local preacher’s sermon and his opinions are….

  3. Josh the Baptist says:

    Affirming the Bible as the word of God is, of course, a statement of faith, not a claim of fact.
    Thus Al’s #1 is irrelevant.

  4. Pastor Al says:

    If you believe that the Moses, David, Solomon, the minor prophets, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, etc are equal to Jesus and are also God-incarnate, AND that all those involved in the Canonization Process who picked and chose what was in, what was out….are all God-incarnate as well….then by all means…your “bible” is the “Word of God” and equal to Jesus Christ.

    That does not seem to be the case.

  5. Josh the Baptist says:

    No one is claiming the bible is equal to Jesus, or that any of those men in the bible are equal to Jesus.

  6. Pastor Al says:

    J to the B, love you brother and not going to get in the mud (and not saying you are, just saying I won’t take it there out of respect for you).

    I don’t understand your statement. That doesn’t make sense to me. Do you believe that Paul the Apostle’s words are equal to Jesus Christ’s words? Is Paul the Apostle “God’s Utterance” and “the Logos of God” that was “in the beginning”?

  7. Pastor Al says:

    “No one is claiming the bible is equal to Jesus, or that any of those men in the bible are equal to Jesus.”

    Yes, you and others do by the equal importance and reverence you give to the verses that are supposedly authored by men other-than-Jesus himself.

    It is one thing to REPORT what Jesus supposedly taught and said, it is quite another to create a Doctrine or Teaching on your own that others then place EQUAL to Jesus and what he reportedly said and taught.

  8. Pastor Al says:

    Josh, do you believe your local preacher’s opinions are EQUAL to the words of Jesus Christ?

  9. Josh the Baptist says:

    Of course not. I’m sure Paul said thousands of things that are not recorded in Scripture. It is the doctrine of inspiration that you are misunderstanding. We aren’t talking about some automatic writing kind of thing.

  10. Pastor Al says:

    The Old Testament teachers and authors were wrong. Jesus set the record straight. Is that not part of your Christian narrative?

  11. Pastor Al says:

    It is not that I don’t “understand” the doctrine of inspiration, it is that I view it as a false doctrine.

  12. Josh the Baptist says:

    “verses that are supposedly authored by men other-than-Jesus himself.”

    That would be all of them. AS far as we know, Jesus never wrote down anything.

  13. Pastor Al says:

    This is another major anomaly that does not nearly pass the Logic/Reason test. Ironically “Logos” is the Reason/Logic of God.

    I think man’s fingerprints are all over a whole lot of “the bible” and “Christianity” and “Church” which is why there are so many many many problems and why it is so so so flawed and corrupt.

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    “The Old Testament teachers and authors were wrong. Jesus set the record straight. Is that not part of your Christian narrative?”

    Not at all. Entirely backwards from that, in fact.

  15. Pastor Al says:

    “That would be all of them. AS far as we know, Jesus never wrote down anything.”

    He wrote down the names of the those seeking to stone the woman for adultery…as well as their specific sins.

    Jesus spoke and taught, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the original Reporters of what he said….and even so they did it imperfectly which explains some of the anomalies in the Gospels.

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I think man’s fingerprints are all over a whole lot of “the bible” and “Christianity” and “Church” which is why there are so many many many problems and why it is so so so flawed and corrupt.”

    Yes! Of course, that is the doctrine of inspiration.

  17. Josh the Baptist says:

    “He wrote down the names of the those seeking to stone the woman for adultery…as well as their specific sins.”

    No, That’s not even in the Bible, and if it were, it would still require you believing whoever wrote it down.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I want to know how Al does his biblical evaluation.

    Everything we know about Jesus we know from these Bible writers. So, they had better be pretty accurate.

  19. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Jesus spoke and taught, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the original Reporters of what he said…”

    And that is a faith statement. I agree with it, but there is no factual information there. You believe the authors claims that they knew Jesus. I do to, by faith.

    Now, Paul also claimed to have spoken with Jesus.

  20. Josh the Baptist says:

    All that being said, I totally agree with the point of Kevin’s article. Good insight on the 1700’s there too. Thanks!

  21. Kevin H says:

    Pastor Al,

    I don’t have the time to deal with it right now as I am in the middle of traveling.

    However, I was the one who made the statement that the Bible is God’s Word and no it is not meant to equate the Bible with Jesus.

    The point of this post was not to argue about what the Bible is.

  22. dswoager says:

    On more or less the same topic Stephen Prothero’s ‘American Bible’ has a chapter on the book of Exodus, and how that narrative has been appropriated by a large number of groups over American history. All across the political spectrum, and there is some seriously sick stuff in there. Twist away.

  23. Em again says:

    skimmed the post – well thought out post and will come back later and read carefully it and the comments… hope and pray it leads to good thinking today
    i’m repeating myself, i know, but what we seem to lose sight of in this argument/discussion is that America was founded with great respect for the Christian faith… men (not generic) who wielded power knew that the best citizenry that they could possibly have was the Christian… the Book was a useful tool sometimes? yes and that’s not always bad as it’s where true wisdom comes from… sadly, today everything is so superficial and, if we’re not respected, treasured as the heart of a solid nation, it is most likely our own fault – with a few nudges from the evil one

  24. Babylon's Dread says:

    I believe the discussion of whether America is a Christian nation needs some genesis in Jamestown and Plymouth. Those settlements antedate the discussion in Fea’s book at least at first glance. These two colonies one a slave colony and the other free, one secular the other intentionally Christian though of mixed population carried two visions of America. Lincoln seems to have pulled on the Plymouth side of the matter in his establishment of Thanksgiving. He gave the presidential imprimatur to the notion that Christian Plymouth rather than slave-holding Jamestown was the true heir.

    Unwittingly I think Lincoln contributed to the ongoing narrative of Christian America that has been so desperately revived by evangelicals in this past generation. It is a narrative that cannot prevail, and if the 700,000 dead of the Civil War is the precursor then what are we in for if the narrative is successfully revived.

    Imagine what it would take for ending abortion. Likely the bloodbath would rival our national calamity that resolved slavery.

    I hint at too much but I think the underlying narrative of Jamestown vs Plymouth should not be overlooked in Nea’s introduction.

  25. Jean says:

    Christianity, as a social and political influence, is designed by its Founder to be a bottom-up movement, not a top down movement.

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “a bottoms-up movement”? you have been hanging around the pub too much … and Kevin said this was not a booze article. 😉

  27. dswoager says:

    No matter what someone’s personal view of the scriptures are, there are a ton of people who hold it to be the authoritative word of God Himself, so when you go around twisting the scriptures to manipulate people for your own purposes, appropriating that authority for yourself, you really aren’t much better than those guys who mount emergency lights on their cars and pull over young women on the highway.

  28. Michael says:

    Kevin,

    Thanks again for another thought provoking article.

    I might as well unburden myself of some stuff while we’re on the topic.

    It is, in my mind, utterly irrelevant to today what the religious persuasions of the Founders were.
    This is 2016, not 1776 and we live in an age with little in common with that time.

    I don’t give a damn if they were all Druids…they wrote some great governmental documents.

    Furthermore, it is my deeply held belief that nothing has damaged the cause of Christ and His Gospel in this country more than the conflation of church and nationalism in the last fifty years.

    The current election year farce that see’s the “Christian” right embrace a man with the character of Donald Trump is nothing more than the inevitable result of melding faith with politics…the faith will always be pushed aside for the sake of politics.

    Further furthermore…we have looked to the “law” to do what only the Gospel can accomplish…and just like the Bible says, the law has inflamed the sin natures of the populace.

    I think I’m done now…

  29. Erunner says:

    “The Bible is God’s Word.

    It is the book where God tells His story to us.

    It speaks to and brings life to those who read it and believe.

    It is the most important book ever written.

    Let’s treat it as such.

    Let us not use it as a tool for our own selfish benefit, political or not.

    God deserves more than that. Much more.”

    AMEN and a standing ovation from me!

    Men and women through the ages and even now have laid down their lives for the truths that are found in God’s word.

    It’s changed the lives of countless millions through the ages.

    As the truths in it have not and will not change it will continue to be scorned by many.

    God give us the strength to live a life that would glorify Him and not look down upon others lest we forget who we were and what we were saved from.

  30. Kevin H says:

    “so when you go around twisting the scriptures to manipulate people for your own purposes, appropriating that authority for yourself, you really aren’t much better than those guys who mount emergency lights on their cars and pull over young women on the highway.”

    dswoager – not a bad analogy.

  31. Kevin H says:

    Without a doubt Christianity and religion had influences at the founding of our country and have continued to do so throughout it’s history, even to present day. How “Christian” our nation was, is, and should be takes a lot of nuance and time to fully understand the past.

    However, if our claim is to be Christian’s first and Americans second, then our main concern should be with carrying ourselves as Christian’s and honoring God as such. Not misusing the Bible for our own purposes should be way up on that list. And allowing politics to trump (maybe pun intended) doing right is also something we should be very careful of.

  32. Michael says:

    Kevin,

    Here’s the question I would ask…
    What does it mean to be “Christian”…when applied to an entity other than a person?

  33. Pastor Al says:

    No “bible” in Jesus’s day, just his Words and the Septuagint he supposedly quoted directly from…even so, what Jesus spoke undid most of the OT and the “words” of those who said they spoke for God at that time.

    Paul comes post-Jesus and rewrites a lot of what Jesus said and adds a lot to it. When Paul sent out letters to the “church”….it was not their “bible”….it was letters that were more political and philosophical/doctrinal opinions than anything else along with dealing with church garbage that is the result of humans being together with other humans in a hierarchical construct that was never meant to be.

    The reason there are so many Denominations and Sects and Gurus who disagree throughout history? B/c there is Jesus, the Logos of God and he is “God’s Word”…and there were fallen, corrupt, stupid humans who then hear a glimpse of the Logos of God and then put their spin on it….ergo all the factions, divisions, many different opinions, many different translations etc.

    It is how the pieces fit together and is the most Logical/Reasonable conclusion which explains the many many anomalies, inconsistencies, errors, mistakes, factions, divisions, duplicity, contradictory nature of the texts, differences between authors and gurus etc.

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think that some of the prominent Founding Fathers were Christians in the mode of Donald Trump. Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were certified deists who were comfortable throwing around Christian talk as the language of currency — but like Trump would never think it was anything real.
    So, we had a warped Christian influence that sounded good in speeches.

  35. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    I’ve asked the same question myself. I think it’s awkward to apply the name Christian to anything that is not a person unless it is an entity made up of of all or just about all Christians.

  36. Pastor Al says:

    ^^ Not open for debate. View that as a Statement and not looking for any discussion, it is pointless to argue with some of you folks who are Dogmatists who do not practice sound Logic and Reason nor do you practice or understand Critical Thinking. So, please read it as a Statement and leave it be. Thanks.

  37. Michael says:

    Alex,

    We are not going down your deconstructionist rabbit trails.
    While we may differ among ourselves over the nature of Biblical authority, we all agree that it is authoritative.
    I’m sure that there are blogs where this kind of discussion is welcomed.
    This is not one of them.
    We all work hard to provide content for this community and it is wrong to have them constantly railroaded onto your views.
    Your blog is where you can post these things to your hearts delight.
    My blog is for what we’ve written.

  38. Pastor Al says:

    The USA is a “christian nation!” in a Political Sense only.

    If the delineation is Christian vs. Muslim vs. Hindu vs. Secularist/Humanist vs. Communist or other General Philosophical Ideology….then the USA is a “Christian” Nation.

    If you mean “Christian” as in somehow favored special by God, somehow a Theocracy, somehow “truly Christian!” <—and none of you can define that LOL, and still have not….and it always leads to "It's a mystery!"….then Nope. The USA is not a "christian nation" in that regard, not nearly.

    Our Founding Fathers were largely/overwhelmingly products of the Enlightenment and more Deist and Universalist and very Liberal Theologically than today's Evangelicals. They expressly spoke against the USA becoming a Theocracy and intentionally built the System to guard against a Theocracy….while protecting Freedom of Religion/Philosophy….and Atheism and Secularism are as much a Religion as Christianity or Islam.

  39. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, I did not ask you for any feedback or discussion on that matter. Like I stated, read it as a statement and move on.

  40. Pastor Al says:

    I can no more convince you to think with Logic and Reason than I can convince a hardline Creationist Muslim that the planet is round.

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex – you are the only one playing the dogmatics card today.

    You fall into he trap of saying you know the superiority of Jesus’ words over the other writers – yet we know nothing of Jesus and what he said outside of these less superior writers.

    Here is a logic / reason question for you – So how do you know Jesus is the logos of God other than you read it from some fallible writer?

    Serious – stay with me here and just answer that one question.

  42. Pastor Al says:

    Kevin H said, “I’ve asked the same question myself. I think it’s awkward to apply the name Christian to anything that is not a person unless it is an entity made up of of all or just about all Christians.”

    Well, then if you include Roman Catholics in that Group…the Calvary Chapel types will claim they aren’t “Christian” and so on and so forth.

  43. Michael says:

    Then move on.

    We don’t agree with you, we don’t want to argue with you, and it just takes the whole place somewhere the rest of us don’t want to go.

    Why do we not have a right to assemble online and have these discussions in peace?

  44. Pastor Al says:

    MLD, the analogy I used that answers your question: View them as Reporters/Witnesses….not as God-like Deities making “God’s Word” from whole cloth.

    As soon as you rely on those other-than-Jesus’s to interject their opinions in the form of Doctrines etc, then you are making them gods and they are not.

    View them as fallible Reporters who witnessed something and reported it…imperfectly…but they got the gist of some of what Jesus said….and the pieces fit together quite well actually.

  45. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, stop arguing please 😉

  46. Pastor Al says:

    I gave my opinion that is actually under the Tent of “christianity” more in the Founding Fathers Group on the liberal theological end of the Tent, ironically….since the Topic of this thread IS USA politics….and the USA was constructed by the Founding Fathers.

  47. Pastor Al says:

    If you want the USA to return to its “Christian Values of our Founding Fathers!” then the Evangelical Fundies need to join the Episcopal Church or the liberal Anglicans or the liberal Methodists etc….b/c that’s where the Founding Fathers would church today….

  48. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al, why do you trust fallible reporters to make eternal truth claims about who Jesus is?
    I will leave you in your folly as Michael is getting pissed and I don’t want to contribute to his misery.

  49. Kevin H says:

    My plane is about to take off and I’m too cheap to pay for WiFi so I will be out for a while.

    Pastor Al, I make the same request as Michael. I am the one who wrote this one and I had no intent for it to be an apologetic for the Bible or to argue about what the Bible is. I’d really rather not have this thread go down that road. We’ve already been there plenty of times on this blog.

  50. Pastor Al says:

    “America needs to RETURN to its Christian roots of our Founding Fathers!”

    OK, here’s Thomas Jefferson, one of the biggies:

    “President Thomas Jefferson was a Protestant. Jefferson was raised as an Episcopalian (Anglican). He was also influenced by English Deists and has often been identified by historians as a Deist. He held many beliefs in common with Unitarians of the time period, and sometimes wrote that he thought the whole country would become Unitarian. He wrote that the teachings of Jesus contain the “outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man.” Wrote: “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.” Source: “Jefferson’s Religious Beliefs”, by Rebecca Bowman, Monticello Research Department, August 1997 [URL: http://www.monticello.org/resources/interests/religion.html%5D.
    Although Jefferson was never an atheist, he was indeed a champion of religious freedom, and the “Positive Atheism” website has a page of quotes by Jefferson at:
    http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/jefframe.htm

    Note that Thomas Jefferson, one of the nation’s most popular and respected presidents, is claimed by many groups.

    Jefferson was born into an Anglican family and was raised as an Aglican. He would later be considered an Episcopalian, after the Episcopal Church was officially founded as a separate province within Anglicanism in 1789 (after the Revolution and independence from England).

    Later in his adult life Jefferson did not consider himself an Episcopalian, or a member of any other specific denomination. Later in life Jefferson held many clearly Christian, Deist, and Unitarian beliefs, but was not a member of any congregation or denomination. Today, many Unitarians sincerely believe that Jefferson should be “counted as” a Unitarian, just as many Christians point to Jefferson as a Christian, and many of the small number of Americans who identify themselves as Deists believe Jefferson should be classified a Deist.”

  51. Pastor Al says:

    “America nees to RETURN to its Christian roots of our Founding Fathers!”

    OK, here’s another biggie: Ben Franklin:

    “Ezra Stiles (1727–1795), the Calvinist president of Yale College, was curious about Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) and his faith. In 1790, he asked the nation’s senior statesman if he would commit his religious beliefs to paper. Franklin agreed. He was nearing the end of his life – he died six weeks later – and possibly believed this was as good a time as any to summarize the religious creed by which he lived.

    “Here is my Creed,” Franklin wrote to Stiles. “I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we render to him, is doing Good to his other Children. That the Soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its Conduct in this … As for Jesus of Nazareth … I think the system of Morals and Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw … but I have … some Doubts to his Divinity; though’ it is a Question I do not dogmatism upon, having never studied it, and think it is needless to busy myself with it now, where I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble.”

    The narrative was classic Franklin, witty and to the point. Religion was worthless unless it promoted virtuous behavior. Jesus was the greatest moral teacher who ever lived, but he was not God.”

  52. Pastor Al says:

    “Christians” today (general you here, not you you Michael) are stupid. They listen to the idiots like Barton who cherry-pick.

    Here’s another HUGE “Founding Father”….John Adams:

    “ohn Adams is regarded as one of the most important Founding Fathers of the United States of America. Before becoming the second President of the United States, John Adams served as the Vice-President under President George Washington. Prior to that, John Adams was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from Massachusetts.
    President John Adams was a devout Unitarian, which was a non-trinitarian Protestant Christian denomination during the Colonial era.

    He was identified as a Congregationalist by The Congregationalist Library. 1995 Information Please Almanac was cited as the source stating he was a later a Unitarian. (Source: Ian Dorion, “Table of the Religious Affiliations of American Founders”, 1997).

    From: Peter Roberts, “John Adams” page in “God and Country” section of “Science Resources on the Net” website (http://www.geocities.com/peterroberts.geo/Relig-Politics/JohnAdams.html; viewed 23 November 2005):

    Religious Affiliation: Unitarian
    Summary of Religious Views:
    Adams was raised a Congregationalist, but ultimately rejected many fundamental doctrines of conventional Christianity, such as the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, becoming a Unitarian. In his youth, Adams’ father urged him to become a minister, but Adams refused, considering the practice of law to be a more noble calling. Although he once referred to himself as a “church going animal,” Adams’ view of religion overall was rather ambivalent: He recognized the abuses, large and small, that religious belief lends itself to, but he also believed that religion could be a force for good in individual lives and in society at large. His extensive reading (especially in the classics), led him to believe that this view applied not only to Christianity, but to all religions.

    Adams was aware of (and wary of) the risks, such as persecution of minorities and the temptation to wage holy wars, that an established religion poses. Nonetheless, he believed that religion, by uniting and morally guiding the people, had a role in public life.”

  53. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s funny that people wanting to make “America” great again are in error. America was never great — Americans were great.
    This is the trouble with Trump – he makes no proposal to make Americans great – he want to make America great and he will use government (spending and regulation) in his attempt.

    No one is out there trying to inspire Americans to be great.

  54. Pastor Al says:

    Folks will start to scream and email b/c I posted three posts that are longer than a sentence. They are lazy, stupid and don’t care to do the research as I have done….yet think their opinions are more important….and they haven’t done the work.

    I know this stuff, I’ve done the work. When I state it, it’s b/c I studied it. The Truth is…our Founding Fathers were liberal Theologically and not the idiot Fundamentalist Evangelicals of today.

    I can fill the pages of all the major Founding Fathers and show their articulated Religious and Philosophical and Theological beliefs as they expressed and practiced. Good luck finding a Calvary Chapel-type conservative fundamentalist in the bunch. Not there.

  55. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al, I don’t know why you get so mad and condecending – you copy & paste posts are not that much. All you said was the same as I said at #34. I did it in one post – one paragraph and called no one a name.

    Take pill buddy

  56. filbertz says:

    the level of disrespect shown by Pastor Al to Michael and this on-line community has surpassed my ability to ignore it, read around it, confront it, understand it, or graciously tolerate it.

  57. Pastor Al says:

    How many of you on this thread have actually took the time to read what the USA Founding Fathers expressed in their many writings?

    ….yet you will comment and express some sort of opinion.

    How many of you have actually read through and studied how the bible was canonized? The process? What made it in and why and what go left out and why? How many of you have studied the Founding Fathers of America and their views of the “bible”?

    None of you, I’m guessing, or very few.

    Yet you have such solid passionate opinions!

    Make America Great Again! Quit being so stupid and read some books from other-than-fundie idiots. (general you).

    Now the Liberals (politically) go to far, they are no longer the Classical Liberals of yesterday, they are now Neo-Socialists who are largely Marxists in their Ideology and far-afield of our Classically Liberal Founding Fathers and Classical Liberals that included great men like JFK.

    Today’s “Liberals” (politically) are as stupid and idiotic as the Fundamentalist Christians. They ignore history and the historical record worshipping evil men like Che Guevara and others.

  58. Pastor Al says:

    ^^ And that is how we get Donald Trump/Ted Cruz vs. Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders.

    Idiots to the left of me, jokers to the right of me or something like that.

  59. Michael says:

    My apologies to all.
    I have way too many irons in the fire right now to address this, so I will simply shut down the comments on the blog until I get back…
    My apologies to Kevin especially, who was just trying to help me out and gave of his time and giftedness to do so.

  60. Em again says:

    came back to read the comments in depth, it didn’t take long… i skip the sophomoric goads and critiques-so-called

    if one can’t explore the book and find the collection of writings we’ve titled The Bible as completely filled with God’s revelation to the human race, i’m willing to say that they can’t see God – PERIOD

    agreeing with MLD: “America was never great — Americans were great.”
    sinners all, BUT not in rebellion against Christians whether they believed in The Faith or not, they were respectful of it/us

    Michael said, “Furthermore, it is my deeply held belief that nothing has damaged the cause of Christ and His Gospel in this country more than the conflation of church and nationalism in the last fifty years.”
    i think that is the crux of the problem, but first we lost our grip on the fundamentals (sorry) of the Faith – sound doctrine doesn’t appeal to itching ears or children who want to play mindless games…

    God did bless America, the land that i loved – He really did – but that’s another subject

  61. Michael says:

    Well, that didn’t work.
    There used to be a way to shut off all comments…that option appears to have been “improved” away.

    I have to leave, so I will just ask that everyone moderate themselves until I have time to figure this out.

  62. Pastor Al says:

    Em said, “if one can’t explore the book and find the collection of writings we’ve titled The Bible as completely filled with God’s revelation to the human race, i’m willing to say that they can’t see God – PERIOD”

    Well, then don’t go back to the good ‘ol America…b/c that is essentiality the views expressed by America’s “Founding Fathers”

  63. Pastor Al says:

    ^^ that’s the point (hint hint) and completely in line with the impetus of this article.

    It exposes the ridiculousness of the Fundamentalist Evangelical push to “Get back to ‘Merica’s ROOTS!”

  64. Em again says:

    and i apologize, i was typing while the request to stop was being posted

  65. Scott says:

    I recommend a published Smithsonian article called, Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr and the election of 1800.

    It provides a long view perspective back into the divide and fissures that had already begun to develop regarding the principles and direction competing factions were vying to lead our nation into.

    Mind you, this was only 34 years after the declaration of independence.
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com

  66. Pastor Al says:

    “Get back to America’s Founding Fathers and when America was great!” cries the Evangelicals of Ted Cruz or Trump etc.

    OK then, big chunks of the Founding Fathers were not Trinitarians, biggies didn’t believe Jesus was a deity, most didn’t take the bible as literal and didn’t believe the bible is “god” as you do today.

    THAT’s the Macro-Point! Yet, you get hung up on my comments and cannot discern and detect that nuance? …and you claim to have a high IQ….you demonstrate otherwise.

  67. Pastor Al says:

    I’ll connect some more dots for you:

    You seem to be saying my expressions about the bible earlier in the thread “ARE NOT CHRISTIAN!”

    OK, those are the views, largely, of the men who FOUNDED AMERICA.

    Ergo….by your view…America IS NOT a “Christian Nation” in your opinion…so why the hand-wringing and “we need to go back!”

    Case closed.

    Next.

  68. Em again says:

    well, something’s gone odd with my web browser and i can’t close ‘Safari’ … my apologies to God if i’ve missed a cue here as i’m going to go pull the plug on this machine and see if it resets

    besides i can’t figure out just who P.A. is talking to… no one here that i can see

  69. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    How about the God of the Bible used theologically confused men to build a great nation for His purposes … which we abuse today?

  70. Pastor Al says:

    Michael said, “I don’t give a damn if they were all Druids…they wrote some great governmental documents.”

    LOL, and agreed.

    The Founding Fathers, as liberal theologically and NOT fundamentalist evangelicals as they were….understood Human Nature and were very bright and logical and reasonable men. Brilliant, actually.

    The constructed the best form of Government the History of humankind has seen….yet.

    It was not “Christian” by Evangelical standards….in fact, find ONE Founding Father who expressed a Theology and Doctrine that would pass the test of today’s Calvary Chapel-type stupid Evangelical….good luck.

    ….yet the men were brilliant and their experiment is the best we’ve seen in over 6,000 years of Recorded Human History.

  71. Pastor Al says:

    MLD said, “How about the God of the Bible used theologically confused men to build a great nation for His purposes … which we abuse today?”

    The USA is not really a great Nation. We abort babies by the millions. We are full of injustice and corruption. We have the biggest Gap between Rich and Poor in US History.

    We are merely the Tallest Midget in the Room of other Midgets.

    And, our Government has devolved into something the Founding Fathers did not intend. We are basically an Oligarchy and Fascist Corporate-Run construct now….and we’ll all be Globalists after this Current Post-Bretton Woods System collapses under its MASSIVE Debts and Moral Hazard in 10 years.

  72. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al, you must have reading problems. I said God used those men to build a great nation and we are now abusing it with abortion etc.

  73. Pastor Al says:

    MLD, fair enough. But, I still don’t buy it. Wouldn’t you assert that “God” builds every great nation? God is in charge of setting up kingdoms and knocking them down? Did God set up Hitler’s kingdom?

  74. Pastor Al says:

    ….you must have memory and logic problems.

    Your Worldview says that “God” is in charge of all kingdoms and Powers and Authorities in one breath….then claims America as “God” setting it up….but then would run from Hitlers’ Kingdom and Power and Authority and would claim the devil set that one up, though you are Lutheran and Luther hated the Jews like Hitler did, so….

  75. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hitler’s kingdom was the abuse part of that kingdom. What we do as an aborting nation (abuse of what God has bestowed us with) is no different that what Hitler did to abuse God’s goodness in Europe.

    You have me confused with someone else – I have never claimed American exceptionalism. I don’t believe a country can be Christian as it cannot be baptized.

    Enough individuals doing the right thing often enough is what makes greatness.

  76. Pastor Al says:

    MLD, do you believe God “gave” Hitler his authority and power?

  77. Pastor Al says:

    I laugh at the way “deconstructionism” is used as a pejorative on this blog.

    Deconstructionism is basically a fancy way of saying “a process that cuts through bull****t”

    If the stuff holds up to scrutiny….OK. If it doesn’t….well, there ya go.

  78. Michael says:

    This blog simply can’t sustain being continually taken over by someone for their agenda.

    I don’t have what it takes to deal with the backlash and I’m not simply going to turn it over to you.

    It’s sad that you have no respect for me or this community, but I guess both myself and the community have to deal with that reality.

    I don’t know what motivates this, but it’s a sad day every time it happens.

  79. Pastor Al says:

    MLD said, “Enough individuals doing the right thing often enough is what makes greatness.”

    What is “right”?

    Was Geneva “right” when as a Theocracy, it burned Servetus at the stake, ISIS style….for Jesus….b/c of a Doctrinal/Theological difference of opinion?

  80. Pastor Al says:

    Sometimes I wish I could see the World and Reality through your lens. It would be much more blissful.

  81. Jean says:

    PAL,
    God gave the German people government. He ordained government to bring order and curb violence. Did he specifically give Hitler the authority? No.

  82. Michael says:

    I wish you could too…and know how many decent people there are in this world who are doing the best they can to make it being decent in a fallen world.

    Places like this mean something to them…and to me.

    Ruining them serves no purpose except I guess to prove you can.

    I do not know why you’re motivated to do what you do…if you simply wanted to express yourself you have many places to do so.

    There are no safe places left, even online.

    We’ll figure something out…but whatever I figure out will not work nearly as well.

    I guess that’s entirely my problem

  83. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex – “What is “right”?
    Do you do the right thing? Do you at least attempt to do the right thing? If you do – how do you know what is right?

  84. Pastor Al says:

    We have a fundamental disagreement that applying Critical Thinking to issues is “ruining” people. It no more ruins them than when they had that science class in high school that taught evolutionary theory or when they found out the tooth fair wasn’t real. Not saying “God” isn’t real…but a lot of church and religion isn’t the truth.

  85. Pastor Al says:

    MLD said, “Alex – “What is “right”?
    Do you do the right thing? Do you at least attempt to do the right thing? If you do – how do you know what is right?”

    I rely on my Conscience and Reason to determine what is likely “right”…something I’ve asserted on here for more than 7 years now.

    You do as well, you just don’t see it….you pick and choose between different Gurus and Sects that have their definition of “Right” and you loosely use your Conscience and Reason to determine what is your “Right” even if you don’t understand that is what you are actually doing.

  86. Pastor Al says:

    What makes it tough for folks like me is we understand the nuance and we can see the b.s. in all the Ideologies. I’m not unique, there’s a lot of people like me….but we’re a small minority compared to the Religious masses…both Dogmatic Atheist and Dogmatic Christian or Dogmatic Muslim etc.

    There are more than a few Critical Thinkers, however. Quite a few in the Liberal end of the Christian Theological Tent and less dogmatic end of the Agnostic Tent.

  87. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, rather ironically….most of America’s “Founding Fathers”…at least the Biggest….were raised in Calvinistic philosophical environments….were pretty much Determinists….and became very liberal theologically….like me.

    So, ‘Merica and Evangelicals….let’s “Make America Great Again!” and be more like me and the Founding Fathers! 🙂

  88. Michael says:

    No, our fundamental difference is over whether or not people of like minded faith and beliefs or interests should be able to gather and enjoy a discussion without someone with differing beliefs showing up and dispensing their contrary beliefs as if using a firehose.

    If they cannot do so they will disperse…they are not interested in the contrarian beliefs, nor want to engage the contrarian.

    I believe people should be able to do so…that we should be able to respect these spaces and the people who inhabit them.

    There are a lot of folks I disagree with in this world, but I don’t feel the need to impose myself upon them and demand a hearing by force and make people go to extremes to avoid them.

    Freedom demands that we allow other people to be free too.

    You have a very high opinion of your opinions that isn’t shared here.
    We are (mostly) people of faith and faith cannot be completely codified or proven.
    That makes us lesser people in your eyes…and we’re ok with that.
    We still will cling to faith.

    If they are as valuable as you think, then you should put them on your own site and let like minded people appreciate your brilliance while us idiots go about our business.

  89. Jean says:

    PAL wrote: “You do as well, you just don’t see it….you pick and choose between different Gurus and Sects that have their definition of “Right” and you loosely use your Conscience and Reason to determine what is your “Right” even if you don’t understand that is what you are actually doing.”

    I think you’ve got it backwards. In order for MLD to have embraced Lutheranism he has had to give, to reject, his natural reason. Believing that bread and wine can be found with, in and under bread and wine, defies natural reason. To believe that God’s Word makes ordinary water holy and regenerating defies natural reason.

    It’s unreasonable for someone to expect salvation by doing nothing. That’s not how the visible world works.

    PAL, don’t go the Ehrman route. Repent and believe the Gospel.

  90. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex needs to have his say, to be listened to as a fundamental right – even though I have been banned on his site for 3 yrs. 😉

  91. Pastor Al says:

    George Washington….an Anglican with liberal near-deist theology….believed in “Providence”

    Thomas Jefferson….theologically liberal deist, Anglican, Unitarian.

    Benjamin Franklin…raised Puritan and Calvinist, claimed Deism for a time…returned to a very liberally theological Calvinist, also believed in “Providence”

    John Adams….Congregationalist who became a Unitarian, very liberal theologically, was not a Trinitarian.

    Madison….liberal theologically….Anglican who became a Deist. Impetus behind Separation of Church and State…very critical of “the Christian ‘religion'”

    John Jay….maybe the most conservative of the Founding Fathers but still very liberal theologically compared to today’s Evangelical Fundies. He was an Anglican and though not considered a true Deist, he used many of the Deist-friendly terms of the day.

  92. Kevin H says:

    I’m glad I’ve been traveling and then enjoying a night out and missing the “dialogue” here for the past few hours.

  93. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t understand your point – when I say make America / Americans great again, that is not a religious statement.
    So, let’s make leaders great like the founding fathers and in the mean time we can try to teach them to be better Bible readers. But the greatness part first.

  94. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I’m heading out to Walmart – me and the wife are going to buy some new fishing tackle.

  95. Pastor Al says:

    Jean, the devil is the accuser of the brethren! Take that!

    You said, “PAL, don’t go the Ehrman route. Repent and believe the Gospel.”

    Ehrman is not my guy. He is however, an expert in textual criticism, a legit Scholar and has forgotten more than you will ever know.

    I am more in the Founding Fathers crowd…the Enlightenment Camp….more in line with an Anglican like Rowan Williams and Calvinists like Karl Barth and Determinists like Sam Harris.

  96. Pastor Al says:

    Karl Barth: “Christ is the Word of God”

    I know very few of you on here have read any of these folks, probably don’t recognize most of those names. Do yourself a flavor…..read them.

  97. Pastor Al says:

    “make them better bible readers”

    SMH LOL.

    That is funny. Have a good trip to Wally World, Pulp Americana of our age. “Poor” fat American people buying stuff made in China with money given to them by the US Govt. that borrows that money to the tune of $20 Trillion and growing.

    Go ‘Merica!

  98. Pastor Al says:

    Michael, they aren’t contrarian beliefs unless you count yourself as a conservative evangelical fundamentalist. I thought you were an Anglican?

  99. Jean says:

    “Ehrman is not my guy. He is however, an expert in textual criticism, a legit Scholar and has forgotten more than you will ever know.”

    See, PAL, there you go again. What is knowledge? The Gospel is foolishness to… and scandalous to… The only knowledge that is legit is the righteousness of God disclosed in the Gospel which is power unto salvation to all who believe….

    Ehrman might be the best Bible scholar in hell one day. At that point, Abraham won’t be able to bring him a drink. I don’t want you thirsting there either. Will you lower your defenses a little and engage in honest conversation?

  100. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I’m a conservative Anglican.
    I’m also about to shut this puppy down…pat yourself on the back for your efforts.

  101. Michael says:

    From now until I decide what I’m going to do (or get the moderation panel fixed), all comments will have to be manually approved by me.

    I’m not tied to the computer so it may be a while.

  102. Michael says:

    I will try and get prayer requests up immediately, however…

  103. Em again says:

    having lived most of my life with a man for whom logic (and math) was his bread and butter and a man who understood the beauty of our Faith… i think i can recognize the difference between reason and delusion… my only reaction to the diatribe that pops up here occasionally is an embarrassment and… well, what is declared to be sweet and acute reason really just comes across as a bad case of biliousness …

    no one here should give any validity to those declarations, attacks that are at best loosely packed mud balls – and, yes, i do pray

    i pray for all of us, that our souls be healthy and prosper

  104. Dan from Georgia says:

    Kevin H (#93), you missed nothing. Seriously. Nothing.

    Em (#104)…love the avatar..Blue Angels F-18 Hornet. Soon to be replaced by the Super Hornet F/A-18E!!!

  105. Dan from Georgia says:

    BTW, less Politics, less blowhards, less monopolizing from blowhards….more Moscato!!!! Woo Hoo. Thank You Jesus for fine wines!

  106. Michael says:

    I had a good talk with PA…we’re fine and we all move on from here.
    We’ll reboot and I’m laying down. 🙂

  107. Em again says:

    thank you, Dan – my daughter took that picture as they flew overhead at Seafair

  108. Jim says:

    Michael said: “I had a good talk with PA…we’re fine and we all move on from here.”

    I’m sorry, but we’ve seen this movie before.

    Michael, this blog is your private property, and the rest of us are guests.

    Alex, this blog is Michael’s private property, and the rest of us are guests.

    Michael has a heart as big as Texas, and will welcome those who puke on the carpet. Where he seems to struggle is in dealing with those who puke on everyone within reach, simply for sport. Enabling that behavior is not loving the the one who pukes, nor the recipients of said puke.

  109. Nonnie says:

    Agree with Jim.

    I hate to see you(Michael) stressed over what should have been a really good discussion.

  110. nathan priddis says:

    @35 and Michael.

    I’ve asked the same question myself. I think it’s awkward to apply the name Christian to anything that is not a person unless it is an entity made up of of all or just about all Christians.

    This is one of the reasons I show up online. I have questions and interest about life, spiritual things and just plain everything really. But I don’t get a lot of fulfilment in normal church experience in this area. I think it’s OK to wonder about things, or even be able to formulate a question at all. Not stare forward at the podium for forty minutes.

    “Christian” does not have an especial attachment with me. I see it just as a slang term applied to people in the Antioch area. As far as I can tell, it was from non-believers and was never used by believers at all.

    If one does use it, it would only apply to people. I think more and more of the original description, “The Way” or “This Way.”

  111. JoelG says:

    Agree with Nonnie who agrees with Jim. Pastor Al we are forgiven in Christ. Free to love our neighbors like Michael who busts his ass to be a blessing to those of us who struggle in the faith like you. Rest in Jesus my friend and give Michael a rest too. 🙂

  112. nathan priddis says:

    @111 oops.. missed the quotation marks in the first paragraph

  113. Xenia says:

    I do not believe “a good talk” will be adequate.

  114. dswoager says:

    “Then move on.

    We don’t agree with you, we don’t want to argue with you, and it just takes the whole place somewhere the rest of us don’t want to go.

    Why do we not have a right to assemble online and have these discussions in peace?”

    This hit me hard, and I’m not quite sure what to do with it. I was accused a couple weeks ago on another blog of wanting to “burn the house down”. The thing is, they were right. My mindset is that the blog is that vacant house on the block where kids get hurt, and drug addicts squat and get high. It is a blight on the neighborhood, and if it was in my power to do so, I would burn it straight to the ground.

    I don’t think PA feels that way about PhxP, but you definitely got me to analyze my motivations. Stray bullet, but probably a good one.

  115. Michael says:

    I understand everyones frustrations.
    Running this blog for as long as I have has been my personal Bataan death march through the jungles of the internet.
    It has rarely been easy.
    It is harder these days as I’m not physically able to handle it like I used to.
    Still, I think it’s important and I do what I have to do to keep it up.

    My sincere hope is that we are all able to move on from the last few days and do so without further damage to anyone.

    I once again impose on your grace for me and for all those involved.