Who’s on first?
You are the man, sir! I was gonna congratulate this AM, but I kept getting the server error.
I’m on second!
Well george this is the highest we have placed in quite a while.
yes Don, it is. We have been training so hard all summer and it looks like it is beginning to pay off.
Ah, but it still wasn’t Gold. *sigh*
The adult stick figure missed a golden opportunity to give Jr. a lesson in discernment. He must learn to rightly divide the word so that it lines up with what the pastor says it says… otherwise he is going to have a rough life in the IFB.
That’s what he meant by “creativity”… 😛
I’ve known a lot of people in the IFB who constantly use the phrase “we do things Biblically”. And without fail, almost every one of them would make it known that they spank their children because it’s “Biblical”. Even if no one asked them. Why would they share that bit of info? It is very disturbing to me.
I guess they also stone children who talk back to their parents. That’s biblical, too.
To steal from rtgmath, “Rocking a child to sleep” has different connotations for them…
having tons of wives and concubines is biblical, too. I want to do things biblically, you know…
Yeah, but then you’d have to give up not only pork but shrimp, too.
That’s ok. I’ll be porking someone new every night all year. I’ll stop when I have 365 wives/concubines. Any more than that, and it’s just hard to remember them all.
366. Don’t wanna forget that leap year, now do you?
I’ve done things similar to this (sharing information nobody asked for.) I can give you the reason I’ve done it, but I can’t speak for others. The underlying motive for me was I was looking for input. It was something I was unsure about, and I was looking for approval or rebuke. I imagine most Fundamentalists feel the need to prove themselves all the time and are constantly nervous about doing something out of line. I could see why they’d do this for the same reasons I did.
Thanks for sharing that. It never occurred to me that they were asking for input–I’ve only ever gotten a vibe that whatever they chose to share was their own pet peeve and they wanted to push it on others because it was so important to them.
Perhaps I’ve judged some too quickly, and wrongly. You’ve made me think to be more careful next time.
Didn’t you know in the AV 1611, the Textus Receptus has a marginal note next to Titus 2:5: “When the seed of thine loins talkst back to thee in the early twenty-first century, yea it is right and good for ye to smack thee child as forcefully as thou dost wish. An the behavour changest not, continue to smack until the hour of thee Lord’s return, who is like a thief in the night”
You should point out Exodus. Stoning your children is Biblical. Beating them with a rod is Biblical. Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about spanking. Biblically, you have to “beat the hell” out of the little critters, and if they happen to go to hell in the process …
I find that anger is part of the process. Fundies believe in an angry god (yes, small letters) who is ready to strike down the smallest sin even if done in ignorance. Fundies believe you have to break the will. That way your kids won’t question the abuse.
I was raised that way, I listened to that kind of preaching and I began to raise my kids that way. Angry. If I wasn’t in complete control, enforce it. God commanded it. If I didn’t control them completely I didn’t love my children.
The Lord rescued me from that mode of thinking when my son — whom I was “disciplining” (aka “abusing”) ran out of the house and called the police. I had to deal with Social Services, but more importantly I had to deal with myself. My church “disciplined” me — but more for getting caught than for inappropriate discipline.
I had to realize that my desire for complete control was not right. As a victim of abuse in my childhood, I was perpetuating a cycle of abuse.
As I said, the Lord rescued me from that cycle, and over the years I made peace with my children, apologizing in words and by life for my abusive ways. But those who propose “Biblical” methods for everything wind up encouraging abuse. Fundamentalism is fundie-mental-institutionalism.
One could categorize the outcomes of door knocking this way:
The homeowner, after being disturbed on only day off,
1. angrily slams door in face.
2. smiles, nods and gently closes door (I’ve adopted this for personal use.)
3. feigns attentiveness for a very brief time, apologizes that they must go, takes tract, closes door. Next time you ring the doorbell, homeowner pretends not to be home.
4. takes time to listen, takes tract, repeats prayer of salvation, (only to get rid of you), and promises to visit your church following Sunday. Never does. Next time you ring doorbell, the homeowner pretends not to be home.
5. does everything in #4 and attends church service. Decides you’re all a little odd and never returns. Again, ignores doorbell.
6. actually receives the Lord as Savior and I pray finds a church other than the one on the back of the tract.
If I had to guess, #6 would be less than 2%. Feel free to add to above based on your experiences. And no, I’ve never killed anyone’s dog.
7. Pretends not to understand the language you are speaking.
This is very handy in my neighborhood, which is about half English-speaking and half Spanish-speaking, with a few other languages scattered in for seasoning. In reality, many people are bilingual, as I am, but the “soul-winners” usually don’t ask, so there’s no need to volunteer that information.
#8 – Answers door totally nude except for a hideous African mask
Yes, my roommate right out of college did this.
What did the proselytizers say/do?
They left rather abruptly, muttering something about casting out demons.
#8 – Answers door totally nude except for a hideous African mask…
GREAT TRICK! I’ve heard of someone answering the door buck naked to scare them away, but the “hideous African mask” is a great touch!
Other tricks I heard was to start Witnessing(TM) right back to them — plugging Mormonism, Scientology, Cthulhu — and out-Witness them. (Black robes, pentagram on the forehead, and bloody dagger have quite an effect.) Or the guy who kept getting both JW & Scientology junk mail — he rigged forwarding addresses so all the JW tracts went to the local Scientology Org and all the Scientology literature went to the Kingdom Hall.
To deter fundies, appear at the door naked holding a jar of vaseline. A guy I know did this with a couple of JW’s and it seemed to work, he was never bothered again.
To deal with Mormons, do what another friend, DJ, did. The conversation went:
DJ “Hmm. Mormons, eh? Are you the guys who have all the wives?”
Mormon “Well, actually we don’t believe in polygamy in Northern Ireland”
DJ “Then, sorry, I’m not interested”
-sound of slamming door –
“Then, sorry, I’m not interested.”
This reminds me of a story the filmmaker John Waters told. He was casting a movie and wanted to include a former burlesque dancer, now in her sixties, in the cast (if you’ve seen any of Waters’ movies, you realize how appropriate this would be). It turned out the former star’s sister acted as her agent, so Water’s called her and said he wanted to put her sister in a feature film.
“Hmm. Does it involve nudity?”
“No,” Waters answered.
“Then she wouldn’t be interested.”
After 5.5 years in Canada, I’ve only been visited once – and that was by JW’s. They were friendly, but started retreating after I mentioned we are Lutheran 🙂
Then again, I live in a majority Mennonite town – IFB’s will not exactly feel welcome there.
I’m in California… I feel like I get visited by JW’s ALL the time… once or twice by Mormons; but not ONCE have I ever been visited by any IFB-ers. I’ve never even seen them around my neighborhood on their regular Thursday soulwinning night.
Island town in Alaska. The JWs come around every few years. The last time I listened to his spiel, which was aimed at someone living a frightened, lost life who would See The Light (cue choir) after being read a short encouraging passage and join his church. I invited the guy over to my desk, pulled down a Bible, and excitedly began to discuss the passage after paging to it from memory. He excused himself shortly afterward. Guess I was too far off script.
#9 Tell your wife to play along and pretend to be a womanizing, devil worshipping, drunk who wants to have them in for beers. (pulled off by a very funny friend of mine)
Oh, to be a fly on the wall.
There’s an SCA urban legend about the time when there was a bardic (a singalong) or an A&S night (arts and crafts for grown-ups) at somebody’s house and some soul winners showed up at the door. Well, since it was an SCA event, everybody was in garb. So they all threw on their cloaks, began chanting ominously (a passage from Winnie-the-Pooh in Latin, I think), picked up their eating knives and held them up in a menacing fashion with candles in their other hands, and crowded in behind the householder at the door . . .
Yay, the stick figures are back!
Another example of fundys sanctifying a relic from the not-so-distant past. Door-to-door cold calls were an accepted means of sales/promotion from about the 1870s to the 1940s, when there was usually someone from the family at home and most people in America lived in neighborhoods. But as the suburbs began to fan out across the countryside and later planned communities sprang up, and more families required two incomes to maintain their lifestyle, cold calling became a threat to either the family’s security or their limited weekend free time.
Yes, that’s a good analysis.
Back before air conditioning, television, radio, etc., you could find most people on their front porches whenever weather permitted, and they were likely to have time to chat. But those days are gone.
What you wrote is so true, but it is heresy of the worst kind of most fundamental churches to mention it. At a prior church, members were forced to go out door-knocking; if they didn’t, they were banned from serving in any way. Those that did go had their results checked, and it they didn’t have enough sales recorded (er, souls won), they were guilty into putting more sales time in (er, spending more hours soul-winning).
So many members are eager to “go soul-winning”, but won’t bestir themselves to help out a fellow church member, or show Christian kindness to their unsaved neighbors (unless “kindness” is redefined as telling them that they are hell-bound)
Yes, or the heresy of admitting that only child molestors and other suspicious creeps go door to door asking to take your kids in a bus to “VBS.” “And here’s some candy kids! Don’t you want some candy…?”
The now scandalized and ousted former pastor of my former ifb church used to call them “prospects” always thought that was so worldly and salesman-like.
A similar observation on the word “biblical” hit me yesterday, in the comments to the 1611skirts post. Somebody referred to a Baptist haircut as a “biblical haircut.”
I’d love for someone to show me which character in the bible had a Baptist/Fundy U haircut, or where the Bible describes one. This (plus being “clean shaven”) was the style of the Roman ruling class, *not* that of Jesus or any other character from the Bible.
I had the exact same reaction to the phrase “Biblical haircut.”
About the only thing the bible says about haircuts is not to round the corners of your head, whatever that means.
All archeological and historical evidence indicates that people in Bible times (roughly 800 BCE- 100 CE) did not have any of the hairstyles typical of Fundamentalists today. About the closest thing would be the male Egyptians of that period, who shaved their heads. But then they wore long wool wigs over those bare scalps.
Evangelist Mike Manor (BJU orbit) once told me that fundamentalists shouldn’t have facial hair. I was 18 years old, and had a goatee that he obviously wasn’t a fan of. That was one of my first reasons to leave fundyism.
Didn’t get to my point there…oops. Anyway, I asked him how he came to that conclusion, and he tried to make it sound biblical, but he really only had a cultural reason. He thought it was too hippy. This was in 1998. Yep, hippies with nicely trimmed goatees in the late 90’s.
Someday he’s going to have to explain that anti-facial-hair position to a God with a beard, I suppose.
Just one more example of Fundy standards being so “high” that even God himself doesn’t measure up to them.
Stephen Jones has a goatee. 😀
It is now biblical to have facial hair. Amen!
Nope, because I don’t think the students can…in fact I believe they still have the length-of-sideburn-rule for students (men and women :)). Urrrg…you made me start thinking about that #%^%$&#% place again…
I always wondered how the prophecy in Isaiah that the Messiah’s beard would be plucked out was possible since Jesus was clean shaven. It must be one of those mysteries of god that we’ll only understand once we get to heaven.
To me the term “Biblical haircut” sums up the legalistic, outward holiness fallacy of fundies in one swoop. Over time their rules and “standards” became doctrine and continue to be the measurable standard by which we “honor God”
There’s a deeper problem there, which is the strong tendency to confuse normative conservative American culture, circa 1930 or so, with the Gospel.
I agree completely, although I would peg it more in the pre-rock early 1950s. My example of hair length is IMO a perfect example of this attitude…the focus is on outward conformity as evidence of inward holiness, resulting standards that have become “scriptural” When will they learn that the two rarely have any correlation…
“This (plus being “clean shaven”) was the style of the Roman ruling class, *not* that of Jesus or any other character from the Bible.”
There was Pontius Pilate…
Some of them have moved on from calling their music merely “biblical” to saying it’s “God-honoring music”, the implication being that YOUR music does NOT honor God.
When you go to the Bible to read how it actually says to honor God musically – “Praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals” Ps. 150:4-5 – they dismiss it and say times have changed.
It must be interesting to have a conscience that has no problem ignoring parts of the Bible while claiming that their own rules and preferences are what is actually biblical.
We all pick and choose. Some of us are more honest than others.
Partly true. True in the sense that everyone is a sinner, and on a daily basis fails to obey God, finding “a power within them war with their minds,” making them a slave to the sin that is in them.
But not true in the sense that most of God’s people are not happy arbitrarily choosing to obey one thing and reject another. Some have good theological reasons that can be explained legitimately for not following some things–for example OT dietary regulations. And most who I’ve ever met can articulate why.
But this does not describe the fundies. They reject huge swathes of the Old Testament for no clear, discussable reason, but then want to say that random parts are still applicable. Usually parts that bring some kind of benefit, like tithing. And they usually cannot articulate anything about it. They have never really studied the issue, nor made any kind of choice of conscience about anything.
Leviticus comes to mind… where we quote only two verses, and only partially -while we dine at Red Lobster.
Darrell, there has to be more than 72 fundy rules. Seriously, the Pharisees had over 600? Do you think between Sri Lanka, work, home life and clever posts you could unearth some more?
The correct answer to the young person’s question is “FIRST TIMOTHY THREE SIXTEEN.” That is the ONLY correct answer, it is a Bible-based answer, and it contains THE TRUTH. Amen.
(Seriously, I can’t remember how many times our pastor and/or youth pastor would rattle off I Tim. 3:16 as a sort of vague general look-to-the-Bible-for-the-answer-to-EVERY-question proof text.)
My bad, I meant SECOND Tim. 3:16. George’s efforts to corrupt GOD’S WORD continue unabated. I may need to separate from George.
That is right! 2Tim3:16 is in the Mormon bible, the Jehovah’s Witness bible, the Adventist bible, the Catholic Bible.
ALL scripture is inspired!
The more I analyze the Bible and open my mind to other positions and thought differing from my fundy upbringing, the more I realize how black and white scripture is NOT. What is “Biblical” to one is different for others because the Bible is a very complex set of writings. For the fundy this concept simply cannot be…a fundy must be completely and consistently correct in his theology and personal standards, and for him to consider that other thought may also be viewed as “Biblical” is frustrating, unsettling or even heretical.
Here’s a thought!
That the apostles approached questions in differing ways is seen in the deliberation at the first Jerusalem council [Ac 15:1-33]. Those still unconvinced can ponder the varied approaches toward civil authority found in Ro 13 and Re 13. As a serious student, you can no doubt find mediating positions between those statements by comparing how John and other evangelists deal with Jesus’ trial before Pilate.
This leads to some intriguing questions: I’ll broach just two here.
1] What if the dialogue between the apostles [Ac 15:1-33; Ga 2:11; 2Pe 3:16] extends into Scripture itself? What if there is inner-dialogue BETWEEN the canonical writings which we call ‘the Bible?’
2] What if it is there, in the ‘cracks between the Scriptures’ that the church is called to live, to listen and to share in the dialogue between the writings? What if that it is there that the Spirit and word lead us?
Where this view of Word and Spirit prevails, there is little tolerance of tyrants who pastor themselves on the backs and lives of God’s sheep. Indeed, those with Diotrephes’ complex [3Jo 9-10] will avoid such churches like the plague. Such churches offer no them opportunity, and would ensure the exposure of their narcissistic personalities and self-serving ways.
PS: How’s life in Springfield?
Your comment was so eloquent that I’m only half certain you were agreeing with me. Your points about historic discussions and debate concerning the canon of scripture does remind me that in 25+ of fundy education (including 4 regrettable years at BJU), I cannot recall one time where I was taught or where a discussion took place concerning how the scripture which we hold as the inspired word of God came into the form we have today – specifically, the discussions, debate and decisions that occurred at the Council of Nicaea To many fundies it’s almost like the Bible came drifting down from heaven without any human involvement at all…
You decoded my handle…I’m not in Springfield anymore (thankfully, as it’s not my favorite place), so I need to change to Doc37032. Might you be from the area?
Dear Doc37172 … er … 37032
That’s the thing about this strange and wonderful thing called ‘the internet!’ You never know who is on the other end of the line!
Today, my BJU days are remembered only by scholars of antiquity. My anarchic streak and rhetorical flourish were so appreciated that I was required to repeat Freshmen English. The most ‘real’ people on campus were in the music department, and the school would not care for you to know how many of them were/are gay.
Let me assure you that we are entirely in agreement, and I am very sympathetic toward Darrell’s work. With less than 3 months to a full, medical retirement, I am beginning to reflect on what this wild ride means. I thought I’d look back into what is happening in a world that I left long ago. But it’s a wrench, though! I’m SO tempted to crash a BJU/fundamentalist board! How they’d love my returning to resume my former career in seditious malfeasance!
PS: God’s blessings on you and everyone in Cedar Hill! Let me know if you ever plan to drop by 44135!
I can’t believe nobody has quoted the verse yet. LOL.
I believe in Biblical tithing. I follow Deut 14:26 and spend my tithe on booze and food. Hey, Jerusalem is too far for me to go!
(On a serious note, that chapter also teaches to lay up a portion of one’s tithe to care for orphans, widows and foreigners. Though caring for them is explicitly Biblical I have seen little of it in fundy churches.)
Absolutely! This is their random picking and choosing PW mentioned. They heard someone somewhere talk about the Nazarite vow, and that’s what the really holy people have always done, so that means to be really holy God secretly wants none of us to drink only He didn’t tell us that directly because He wants us to figure it out to prove we’re really holy and love Him.
But mention Deut 14 and you get a long, blank stare.(For some of them, that’s while they try to decide if Deuteronomy is really the name of a book of the Bible.) And mention widows and orphans! Why, you must just be in for the social gospel, brother. You gotta watch them liberal new evangelical tendencies.
Mentioning the Nazirite vow is so very interesting given the other requirements, most especially the no hair-cutting one. Does that ever come up, or have they conveniently forgotten it, Samson notwithstanding?
It would be funny to try to sell the concept “only drunkards cut their hair!”
Amen on watching for that social Gospel! The last thing we want is to have people pointing out that the theological core of Jesus’ preaching was the Kingdom of God. Much less do we want it pointed out that God exists as an eternal community of persons, one in nature, and in eternal communication and communion.
When a fundy preacher screams from the pulpit “He that winneth souls is wise”- he really means “Build my kingdom ye minnions”
I’m extremely thankful that the only fundy preachers who mean that are the ones I read about here, not ones whose churches I’ve attended. 😐
I have yet to hear someone satisfactorily explain what “he that winneth souls is wise” meant back when Proverbs was written.
I’ve been rethinking my 2 Tim. 3:16 answer. Perhaps I was too hasty. The correct answer is:
(1) Spank the kid for questioning his authorities.
(2) Secretly tell the pastor that your kid is “questioning authority.”
(3) Sit back while the pastor preaches a series of sermons on kids who question authority (complete with the illustration of the little girl who asked “why” and THEN SHE DIED!!!!)
Soon enough, your kid will learn not to ask questions.
(Or, join a catechizing church and then YOU get to ask all the questions!)
Wow! I think this happened to me! One time in a Christian School chapel the pastor actually singled me out and asked me where dad was. I said “at work.” I think he then went on a rant about being grateful to parents. This was not something he did often, so it really surprised me. I was sure my dad must have said something to him about me. Btw, I, too was a deacon’s son.
Let the Bible be my guide. For I, and only I, will give an account before God.
So true. I love it.
With regards to the OP… some IFB-ers can definitely have an imagination! I mean, all you have to do is look at some of the stuff they can pull out of their a- I mean, some of the stuff they can come up with. You’d have to be pretty imaginative to do that. 😛
What does OP stand for?
OP could also stand for “original post” or “original poster”. 😀
I have been reading posts from SFL for quite some time now. One thing that I have noticed is that while there are a lot of legitimate problems addressed concerning the IFB movement I don’t see anyone try to explain what the actual truth is in contrast to what the IFB movement teaches. I understand, from what others on this site have explained to me in the past, that the purpose of this site is to provide a refuge for those escaping fundamentalism. While I understand this I still would love to know what Darrell actually believes about what the Bible teaches in regard to the topics discussed. It’s easy to point out an error but I would love to know the truth. Unfortunately, I feel that truth tends to be very relative on this site. At some point we have to say, “this is truth!” I guess I wish that this site would not only expose error but also expound on the truth as revealed in Scripture.
Then you are not reading this blog very closely…theology, beliefs, actions, attitudes, etc. which are contrary modern fundamentalism are described in posts all over this blog. But, irregardless, why should you need people on this blog to explain truth to you? If you study and analyze scripture while considering multiple areas of thought and idea and reach the conclusion that modern day fundamentalism as commonly understood and practiced today is TRUTH, then so be it…I think you would somewhat delusional, but so be it.
The greatest difficulty with proclaiming “This is the TRUTH!” is that you fall into the error of so many fundamentalist pastors, of believing that only your interpretation is valid. The plain meaning of texts written thousands of years ago by people of different cultures in several different languages is impossible to know; everything is subject to study, debate, and interpretation, which changes over time as we learn more. While the liturgical traditions, which add the weight of centuries of scholarship and tradition to their interpretations may offer guidance in your search, the study of many viewpoints is probably your best hope for arriving at what you believe is closest to the impossible-to-reach “truth.”
Drat, George! This was supposed to be a reply to David! Go bug somebody else!
That Other Jean: I completely understand your aversion to absolute truth claims since clearly you believe that absolute truth is impossible to know. Would I be correct in labeling you as a relativist? I have a few problems with what you are saying. First of all, I believe that it is self evident that absolute truth exists as a category (There are different ways of arriving at that conclusion). Second, if truth exists than truth by definition is exclusive (By claiming that something is true you are excluding opposing claims as false). For instance, to say that all truth is relative is an absolute statement that excludes absolute truth as being true. Finally, we have the law on non contradiction which states: two or more truth claims cannot be true in the same sense or at the same time. Based on this understanding of truth I can boldly proclaim that Jesus is the only way to God. I would ask you, “Do you believe that we can arrive at any absolute understanding of truth on any subject in the Bible?”
David, you are making some huge leaps of logic in your grandiose claims regarding “truth.”
First, you seem to be assuming that if there is absolute truth that it is absolutely knowable. That is a big leap. For example, I know that it is absolutely true that there are about 7 billion people on this planet. But the names and identities of all 7 billion persons are not knowable by me. Donald Rumsfeld sounded dumb when he said it but he was onto something profound with his “known unknowns and unknown unknowns” ramble.
Second, you seem to be assuming that one is a “relativist” if one acknowledges the unknowability of all “truth.” The apostle Paul (presumably not a relativist) said, now we see through a glass darkly, then we shall see face to face . . . now I know IN PART. I know that fundies claim that this passage was fulfilled when the Bible was completed but the problem with that argument is that since the Bible was completed no living person has seen God face to face or can claim to “know fully even as I am fully known.” (No apologies to those who believe KJB is God.) I would submit that Paul’s teaching applies to all Christians at all times until death or the return of Christ. Thus, the Bible itself seems to teach that we cannot know all “truth” in this lifetime. I’d also add that when Pilate asked Christ “what is truth,” that Christ was unable to answer. I know that the common understanding of that story is that Christ CHOSE not to answer, but I think that reads something unnecessary into the story. To me, the story teaches us that the answer to the very human (and humanistic) question “what is truth” is not something that God is able to answer because “his thoughts are higher than our thoughts and his ways than our ways.” Sort of like if I asked you “have you stopped selling illegal drugs?” You wouldn’t be able to give a yes or no answer to that question. The question would have no “true” answer.
Third, you twist some basic rules of logic with your statements that truth by definition is exclusive and that you cannot have two truth claims at the same time. While these rules of logic are correct as a matter of tautology (and are therefore irrelevant), you seem to make the leap of assuming that thanks to these rules, your understanding of what is “truth” is by definition not open to challenge, critique, development, or refinement. This sort of logic was the impetus for Christ’s cricifixion: “he cannot be Christ because we know the TRUTH about what the Messiah will be and this Jesus of Nazareth has not fulfilled that!!!” The problem was that the Jews’ “truth” about the kingship of Christ was not the disciples’ “truth” about the kingship of Christ. Both assumed their positions to be true: a disagreement regarding “truth” that has lasted for two millenia. Both sides passionately believe their claim to truth to be exclusively correct. Belief becomes the key here: I believe in Christ because I believe in what the Bible says about him because I believe that the Bible is the Word of God. But at no point in that statement have I “proved” anything based on “truth.” I have merely stated what I believe. As Noam Chomsky and others have emphasized, it is an abuse of language and a false statement to say “A is true” when what we mean is “I believe A to be true.” (Not everyone agrees with this analysis, obviously.) Even our assertions of the truth of our religion are based on a belief that our religion is true and our belief that we are therefore entitled to make such assertions!
It is for these reasons that I deplore the statement: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it!”
In short (haha, irony), once we admit that we have come to the truth through faith and not through absolute proof as a matter of logic and reasoning that our beliefs are true, humility teaches us to be open to having our beliefs corrected and shaped over time. As others have mentioned here, the Scriptures are full of stories of men and women doing just that: growing in their knowledge of God and in their understanding of truth.
Over-reliance on tricks of logic = an anemic and ineffective apologetics. I think humility and a willingness to grow are essential here.
This is in reply to David.
Here is what I believe when it comes to absolute truth. There is absolute truth and it is God. He is truth perfected. The problem we have as humans is that we have a veiled understanding of God and will never know Him fully this side of eternity. This is where the danger lies when we attempt to proclaim that we have figured out absolute truth especially when it comes to scripture. Most of the “truth” that we like to say is absolute is really nothing more than human interpretation. If you want to know what I believe are the important truths from scripture feel free to read my blog post here:
When we try to put the term absolute truth on ideas other than what I wrote about there, I believe we end up turning personal interpretation of scripture into an idol.
Well said Deacon’s son. Even the absolute truth I believe in is exactly that: a belief. I think that’s where faith comes in.
I think the fascination with “absolute” truth comes from a need to be comfortably certain. The problem is when we are so comfortable in our certainty, we don’t need to have faith in God we just need to have faith in our certainty. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. He didn’t have a deed in hand before he believed God, his belief was based on his faith.
Your last sentence is especially spot on.
Wow, that was a lengthy response! I will attempt to answer you point by point.
– David, you are making some huge leaps of logic in your grandiose claims regarding “truth.”
First, you seem to be assuming that if there is absolute truth that it is absolutely knowable. That is a big leap. For example, I know that it is absolutely true that there are about 7 billion people on this planet. But the names and identities of all 7 billion persons are not knowable by me. Donald Rumsfeld sounded dumb when he said it but he was onto something profound with his “known unknowns and unknown unknowns” ramble.-
I certainly am not making a huge leap of logic by assuming that it is possible to know truth nor is it some grandiose claim made only by me that in fact absolute truth exists as a category. All sorts of people from different backgrounds (Christians, Atheists, Agnostics etc…) claim these things. While I cannot absolutely prove that absolute truth exists or is knowable it certainly makes more sense than the opposite (absolute truth does not exist as a category). I would say that you are making the huge leap in logic by denying the knowability of truth. I would say that the knowability of truth is quite self-evident. If truth were unknowable than we would hardly be able to live our lives nor would we be able to learn anything from science. As a matter of fact by claiming that absolute truth is unknown you are making an absolute statement that contradicts what you are trying to prove. In essence you are saying that absolute truth is unknowable and I know that. How do you know that absolute truth is unknowable if in fact the phrase, absolute truth is unknowable, is an absolute statement that you claim to know? As you can see your argument is self-defeating.
-Second, you seem to be assuming that one is a “relativist” if one acknowledges the unknowability of all “truth.” The apostle Paul (presumably not a relativist) said, now we see through a glass darkly, then we shall see face to face . . . now I know IN PART. I know that fundies claim that this passage was fulfilled when the Bible was completed but the problem with that argument is that since the Bible was completed no living person has seen God face to face or can claim to “know fully even as I am fully known.” (No apologies to those who believe KJB is God.) I would submit that Paul’s teaching applies to all Christians at all times until death or the return of Christ. Thus, the Bible itself seems to teach that we cannot know all “truth” in this lifetime. I’d also add that when Pilate asked Christ “what is truth,” that Christ was unable to answer. I know that the common understanding of that story is that Christ CHOSE not to answer, but I think that reads something unnecessary into the story. To me, the story teaches us that the answer to the very human (and humanistic) question “what is truth” is not something that God is able to answer because “his thoughts are higher than our thoughts and his ways than our ways.” Sort of like if I asked you “have you stopped selling illegal drugs?” You wouldn’t be able to give a yes or no answer to that question. The question would have no “true” answer.-
I apologize if I assumed that you are a relativist, although I haven’t read anything yet that makes me think that you don’t believe that truth is relative (dependant on each individuals perception or interpretation). Also, I am certainly not claiming for a second that all truth is knowable (when did I give that impression?). It is one thing to say that all truth is knowable and another thing entirely to say that we can absolutely know some things about God. This reminds me of one of my favorite verses in Scripture, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29) You and I both agree that we cannot know all things but this verse clearly says that God has revealed some things so that we can know what God wants us to do. Obviously if God revealed his law to Moses it was so that the children of Israel would know exactly what God wanted them to do otherwise God would have been asking them to do something impossible. Now concerning 1 Corinthians 13:9- 10 I would completely agree with your interpretation of the passage. If find it amusing that you assume that I am KJV only. Another thing that I find interesting is that you sure seem pretty certain that your interpretation of this passage is true (I don’t have any problem with that). As a matter of fact you speak pretty confidently about many things. For a guy that believes that truth is unknowable you really do know a lot of things. How do you know? Do you see how it is almost impossible to live out your particular understanding of truth in a practical way? Now once again concerning what that verse is actually saying I have no problem with the idea that I cannot know all things. I never said that. I am simply arguing that in regard to God we can know those things that God has chosen to reveal to us. Now about the Pilate story once again you are confusing knowing all truth absolutely with knowing some truth absolutely. If you are trying to say that Jesus could not make Pilate understand all truth than you are absolutely right (ironically). None of us can understand all truth as it pertains to God. However, the Bible is very clear about us having the ability to know truth. Obviously not to know all truth but to know the truth behind truth as John Macarthur would say. You seem to have missed the verse right before Pilate’s question (it’s a small world I just read this passage yesterday). “…You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” If you read this verse in light of John 14:6 you would understand that Jesus is the truth behind all truth. Most of us understand truth as a statement or belief that corresponds with reality. The problem of course is how we define reality. That’s were Christ comes into the picture. I like what R.C. Sproul says about this, “truth is defined as that which corresponds to reality as perceived by God, because God’s perception of reality is never distorted.” You see, none of us can define truth perfectly because of our sometimes faulty perception of reality but Jesus came to give us the perfect truth behind all truth because he is God. Jesus said, “and you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Jesus was not saying that if you believe in him you will know everything about everything he simply meant that you will know what truly matters and what you need to know. For instance, I may not be a good scientist but I know who made everything. I may not always make the right moral choices but I know that objective moral standards exist and that they are defined by God. I may not know what causes cancer but I know where I will go if I die of cancer. So once again Jesus is the truth behind truth. Not only that Jesus prayed in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth.” Then on top of that John 16:13 says, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…” We can know absolutely the truth about reality as defined by God through his word and we can understand his word through His Spirit.
-Third, you twist some basic rules of logic with your statements that truth by definition is exclusive and that you cannot have two truth claims at the same time. While these rules of logic are correct as a matter of tautology (and are therefore irrelevant), you seem to make the leap of assuming that thanks to these rules, your understanding of what is “truth” is by definition not open to challenge, critique, development, or refinement. This sort of logic was the impetus for Christ’s cricifixion: “he cannot be Christ because we know the TRUTH about what the Messiah will be and this Jesus of Nazareth has not fulfilled that!!!” The problem was that the Jews’ “truth” about the kingship of Christ was not the disciples’ “truth” about the kingship of Christ. Both assumed their positions to be true: a disagreement regarding “truth” that has lasted for two millenia. Both sides passionately believe their claim to truth to be exclusively correct. Belief becomes the key here: I believe in Christ because I believe in what the Bible says about him because I believe that the Bible is the Word of God. But at no point in that statement have I “proved” anything based on “truth.” I have merely stated what I believe. As Noam Chomsky and others have emphasized, it is an abuse of language and a false statement to say “A is true” when what we mean is “I believe A to be true.” (Not everyone agrees with this analysis, obviously.) Even our assertions of the truth of our religion are based on a belief that our religion is true and our belief that we are therefore entitled to make such assertions!
It is for these reasons that I deplore the statement: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it!”
In short (haha, irony), once we admit that we have come to the truth through faith and not through absolute proof as a matter of logic and reasoning that our beliefs are true, humility teaches us to be open to having our beliefs corrected and shaped over time. As others have mentioned here, the Scriptures are full of stories of men and women doing just that: growing in their knowledge of God and in their understanding of truth.
Over-reliance on tricks of logic = an anemic and ineffective apologetics. I think humility and a willingness to grow are essential here.-
Please explain how I have twisted the rules of logic by these statements:
1. Truth by definition is exclusive.
2. Two or more contradictory truth claims cannot be true at the same time.
Now let me be clear, I am not saying that these statements prove that what I believe is true is necessarily true. All these statements teach me is that if truth exists than what is actually true is exclusively true. Also, they teach me that you and I can both be wrong but we can’t both be right at the same time if we are saying opposite things. This leads me to one of the most important things about truth: “truth is true even if no one knows it, admits it, agrees with it, follows it, or even fully grasps it.” (Paul Copan)
Even when people believed that the world was flat it was still round. That is why your illustration about the Jews believing that they were justified in condemning Jesus based on their understanding of the truth is pointless. The fact is that they were wrong about Jesus. It doesn’t matter what they believed the only thing that matters is what is true. I find it interesting that you don’t consider yourself a relativist when your argument in this last paragraph is full of relativism. Please tell me that you see the relativism in this statement: The problem was that the Jews’ “truth” about the kingship of Christ was not the disciples’ “truth” about the kingship of Christ. Truth is not defined by the individual. Truth is truth.
In conclusion, I am completely up front and honest in affirming that I cannot prove absolutely that God exists, that Jesus is God, and God’s Word is true. I accept all of these things by faith, although there is a lot of evidence that points towards these things being true. I do however begin with these presuppositions that I cannot prove empirically; I believe them by faith. All of us presuppose things that we cannot prove; we accept them by faith. If however, God exists and Jesus is God and his Word is true than I have every reason to believe that I can know the truth and that truth is found exclusively in the person of Christ. I can also trust that it is possible for me to know what God wants for my life and I can obey him. If I was speaking with an atheist or an agnostic than I would completely understand the skepticism regarding God and His Word the problem is that for the most part on this blog I am speaking with people that claim to be Christians and claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God. I find it very difficult to understand why people like you would believe that truth is unknowable when you clearly believe that God has revealed his Word to us. What was God’s purpose in sending His Son and in revealing His Word if we cannot know anything about God with absolute certainty? I certainly don’t claim to know or understand everything that God has revealed in his Word. I know that I am probably wrong about many things that I think I know. What’s awesome is that God has revealed to us and made it abundantly clear those things that we need to know concerning our salvation.
1. God created all things
2. Man sinned against God.
3. All men are sinners.
4. God sent his Son to die on the cross for our sins.
5. Salvation is by grace through faith.
I could of course go on and on. Do you honestly believe that we cannot know these things about God? I certainly have never attempted to use tricks in defending my faith. Please explain exactly how I have used tricks. I have never wanted to get stagnated in my spiritual growth and understanding of God. I do apologize if I have appeared as being arrogant. I have much to learn and change about my character. I do however sense a false humility in those that love to say that it is impossible to know anything about anything. It is false because in claiming the unknowability of things you are claiming to know something yourself and are setting yourself above those that claim absolute truth. I don’t claim to know all truth; I simply claim to know the one who is the truth behind all truth, namely Jesus Christ.
Former Lite Fundy:
I have addressed the issues that you mention in my latest response to Deacon’s son. I also read your blog post about what you believe. Thank you for commenting.
Doc37172 I believe that you misunderstood me. I didn’t mean that opposing views are not expressed, I simply meant that there is no attempt to arrive at an understanding of the truth in contrast to the topics discussed. For instance, fundamentalism is big on door-to-door evangelism and many act as though this is the only biblical approach to evangelism. While this is certainly not a Biblical position why not try to express what the Bible actually does teach regarding evangelism. I guess what I am trying to say is that this site is negative in nature and doesn’t seem to promote a more correct interpretation of the matter at hand. If I was a new Christian that was reading this sight I would come to the conclusion that evangelism is stupid or unbiblical. It’s sort of like the politician that bashes his opponent but fails to give a better solution that the problems. By the way, I have always had an open mind about things and I read extensively from different view points. My authority however is the Scriptures.
As someone else said if you have to rely on a blog for theology, you’re probably already in trouble. That being said, I believe there are many alternatives to the fundy mindset discussed on this blog…finding them would take time probably better spent elsewhere. In regards to your example re: fundy door-to-door-say-the-prayer-see-you-later-notch-my-belt soul winning, many here have expressed the thought that sharing the gospel as demonstrated in NT scripture and by the example of Jesus would more clearly evidence genuine love and willingness to truly invest in peoples lives, both materially and spiritually, as well as provide adequate opportunity for discipleship. As a fundy growing up I was lead to believe that just getting a decision was what was important…much more important than trying to minister to the physical needs of people OUTSIDE the church. Finally, in response to your comment that you obtain your authority from scripture…that is such an easy thing to say and sounds so GOOD, but what does it really MEAN? Part of my point was that good intentioned people who truly believe they are lead by the Spirit can and will arrive at different theological conclusions. We want black and white truth, but it is many times not there.
“Based on this understanding of truth I can boldly proclaim that Jesus is the only way to God.”
One of my pet peeves.
How to believe in John14:6 AND Rom1:19-20 at the same time…
Relativism is what we all do. Some of us actually admit to it.
Doc37172: I have attempted to explain myself regarding what I believe concerning truth in my latest response to Deacon’s son. You’re comment about getting your theology from a blog was hilarious (I completely agree with you). Now, affirming that I believe the Bible to be my authority is not an “easy” answer. It simply means that the Bible is the arbiter of truth. Jesus clearly said in John 17:17,”…thy word is truth.” This is a position held by many denominational and non-denominational churches. It is not an easy answer it is the only answer. Without an absolute standard of truth each and every one of us becomes the arbiter of truth and we know where that leads us. God has communicated to us his Word so that we could know what he demands of us. Is the Bible not clear in regard to our salvation? The problem is when people set themselves up above the authority of Scripture as we see many times in the IFB movement. I would submit that the easy answer is to say that truth is unknowable or relative. It makes you look good and others view you as humble. In reality it is a false humility because in saying that you can’t know anything you are making the absolute statement that, all truth is relative. Clearly this type of argumentation is self-contradictory. You can’t say that truth is unknowable except for the truth that all truth is unknowable. For the rest of my beliefs concerning Scripture and truth read my latest comment to Deacon’s son (if you want). Nice chatting with you.
I don’t see a problem at all with reconciling those two passages that you mention. As far as relativism is concerned it is a philosophy of truth that is self-contradictory. No matter how you try to argue for it you will always end up contradicting yourself. Try it. I’m glad relativism is not all I have.
David, the subjects of Bibliolatry, of Canon, of Textual Criticism are way more complex than this format allows.
A slightly better place is our forums. I started a thread a while back on the subject. http://www.stufffundieslike.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=2806 As these discussions go, this one continues to be one of the less acrimonious ones…
Ricardo: thanks for the info. I looked at the forum and now I realize that is where the more lengthy discussions take place.
If you are looking for more in-depth discussions of theology and practice, you might like the forums. Also, a surprising number of the posters here have their own blogs where you might find more of the practical ideas you’re looking for. In my opinion, there are always a lot of good constructive points made in the comments as well, interspersed among the anecdotes. 🙂
Thank you Sarahk for your advice and help.
I would also add that not everyone who who comments on this blog is a xian so naturally it would be difficult for us to state what ‘we’ believe.
Good point fundyfacinated.
Great Question David.
Many of my friends on this blog (but def. not greg) would align themselves pretty closely with the Westminster Confession of Faith: http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/
Then again, many of us would not. 🙂
Polished Shaft: Thank you for the info.
Dear David Velasquez:
If I understand you, what you’re seeing may arise from several things.
1] We are not all at the same place in our ‘faith and life’ walk. God’s Spirit has led us in different ways and places for reasons understood better by our Lord than us. I suspect that Darrell himself would be the first to say that he is nourished by multiple streams of thought. I am.
2] Further complicating the matter, we have radically different ideas as to what ‘truth’ means. We have no idea the extent to which we are influenced by Greco-Roman mind, with its penchant for rationalistic ‘truths’ stated in scientific, propositional form. Ask a Christian, ‘what do you believe about the Lord,’ and you will get anything from a list of attributes or , propositional ‘facts,’ to a scholastic dissertation on the nature of the hypostatic union. Put that same question to a convert from Judaism, and you will likely hear something very different.
‘When I was needy, famished, parched, inwardly crushed, exhausted, lost and on Death’s doorstep, the Lord came to my side, gave me rest beside quiet waters, revived my soul, beat off the circling buzzards, took me in his home, made me the honored guest at his table, filled me with good things while the bad guys cringed. He is my shepherd.’
This doesn’t get at your query; but it does show something of the problem in broaching your question. The very way we conceive and ruminate on and discuss ‘truth’ differs radically. In contrast to the Roman mind that we in the West love, the Hebraic mind loves and uses metaphor. Instead of ‘propositions,’ it is RELATIONSHIP that matters in the Hebraic mind and world. These differing constructs, these differing approaches to ‘truth’ matter hugely not only for what we believe, but for the way that we HOLD our Christian faith.
3] While negativity may not help you, others may yet to employ some measure of it to work through things experienced in fundamentalism. But that point itself is too negative. A more positive reply is needed.
This is not stated explicitly, [and as a newbie, I’m going out on a limb], I think that even if not always recognized, there is at work here a very powerful, unstated assumption that our theological work MUST be done in community with other believers. We all confess that Jesus Christ IS the truth. But how do we ‘work out’ that conviction?
Theological work is done not in isolation [2Pe 1:20], but together with the church [Rev. 2:7; 11; 17; 29; 3:6; 13; 22]. So I would rephrase your evangelism question to ask, ‘what are the Spirit and Word telling us [plural] about evangelism.’ With all the love an old sinner can muster, I plead with our separated friends to consider: ‘how can we listen to the Word and Spirit without you?’ How can we do theological work without you? How can we be the church without you? If negativity is burdensome to you, join us, join us, join us, join us, join us, join us!
4] We agree on much! We agree that truth and holiness matter. We know also that our church is imperfect just as is yours. It was the same at Corinth. And Paul used strong language to say, ‘no – it ISN’T “OK”’ [1Co 10:21]! But for all the division and immorality, he pleaded only 5 verses earlier for discernment of Christ’s body and blood, and recognition that together, we are one bread and one body!
Division and immorality remains; but fundamentalism does not offer the response that is needed. And this hurts the whole body of Jesus.
Fundamentalism took a Biblical thread [Ex 23:32; Nu 16:21; Ps 1:1; Is 52:11; 2Co 6:14, 17; 7:1; Ep 5:11; 2Th 3:6; etc.] drew that from its theological context, and used that to reinterpret the entire Christian faith. In fundamentalism, such texts define the community that believes in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, that is the fellowship OF the Spirit, and the communion of the saints, and which looks toward resurrection at Jesus’ Second Advent.
This cannot stand.
For the sake of Christ’s body, and for the witness of the whole church to Jesus Christ, that entire theological construction [and the use to which it is put] that must be put on the exegetical table and subjected to the most incisive, penetrating and exacting hermeneutical scrutiny.
Together, this offers not a critical, but a diacritical programme, which indicates both our error and beside that, what needs to be done – join us! Then as one community, we can listen together to what the Spirit and Word are saying, and address the issues facing our time in witness to Jesus. Thus the world will know that Jesus has been sent by the Father [Jo 17:23].
Wow! Two great additions to our discussion group!
Of course, if you are really interested in THE TRUTH ™ just ask ME!
Christian Socialist: Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your screen name is certainly an oxymoron especially in the IFB circle. I certainly have met many Christian socialists in my day especially considering that I live and work in Europe. After a while though they get right with God and become conservative Republicans. 😛
I wish I had more time to respond to everything that you said in detail. I have written a little bit about my beliefs concerning truth in previous comments so I won’t go into detail about that subject. I of course believe that absolute truth exists as a category and that Jesus is the truth behind all truth and he has revealed truth through his word and we understand it through his spirit. Truth is truth independent of our opinions. While I agree that it is beneficial to learn from as many people as possible I don’t believe that we arrive at truth through popular consensus. We can’t all be right at the same time especially when we are saying contradictory things. I guess I’m just old-fashioned in my belief that it is possible to know what God has revealed to us in his word. I cannot prove this belief empirically. Without his Word however, I do not have the answers to life’s most vexing questions and life doesn’t seem to make much sense. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
This probably will not add much to what has already been eloquently said by others but I’ll post anyway. Maybe the issue is that you are considering the concept of truth on a larger philosophical scale such that truth is absolute by its nature…I agree. On a more isolated level in regards to a set of complex historical writings spanning centuries, multiple languages and nationalities which we call the Bible, I think what some here are saying is that we cannot all interpret these writings (even under what we believe to be the guidance of the H.S.) and come to unanimous conclusions on theological concepts or truth. Over centuries, the numerous denominations have formed and splintered over the concept of truth. Because God is THE truth by his nature, most if not all of humanity will be wrong on some points. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of each believer to seek this truth, with the result being that our strongly held BELIEFS become TRUTH to each of us. It is hard for fundies to accept this concept as it pertains to other professing believers who don’t buy into fundamentalism. Maybe we who lambast fundies are no difference, IDK. Wait a minute, what am I saying…modern fundamentalism is just plan crazy 😀
Where did I say ‘that we arrive at truth through popular consensus,’ David? Did I not use the language of our listening together to what the Spirit and Word are saying? How is it that you position me as saying what I neither said nor believe?
How do you distinguish your contention that ‘absolute truth exists as a category’ from Platonism? How do you distinguish yourself from a practitioner of Gnosticism?
Where did I say that it is not possible to know what God has revealed?
You spoke of negativity and asked about positive assertion of truth. Why have you chosen the course you take rather than grappling with my post?
It seems to me that either my post was lost on you, or you dismissed it out of hand because you couldn’t be bothered to give it time for a thoughtful reply.
Perhaps I’m misreading you, and if so I trust you’ll return to the antecedent post, enter into what it is saying, and offer a meaningful reply.
PS: As an aside, how do you reconcile conservative republicanism with John’s critique of the ideology/authority/power/idolatry/extortion/injustice/hegemony/propaganda of imperial Rome as found throughout the Revelation, but especially in Re 13, 17-18?
Christian Socialist: I apologize for not answering your comment like I did the comments above. I’m sorry for misrepresenting you. I am not a philosopher but I do enjoy reading on the subject. I am still learning. I believe that absolute truth exists as a category. I know it intuitively; I cannot however prove it. It certainly makes more sense than the opposite.
-How do you distinguish your contention that ‘absolute truth exists as a category’ from Platonism? How do you distinguish yourself from a practitioner of Gnosticism?-
I wouldn’t know how to answer those questions. I have read a little about Gnosticism but not enough to answer that question the way you may want me to answer.
You were right in that I didn’t take the proper time to answer your comments. I don’t do good with these types of things because I could spend every waking moment answering every person that comments but I simply don’t have the time. I probably shouldn’t start something if I can’t finish it.
I appreciate the spirit in which you wrote and I know that you were attempting to be positive. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on the some things. Thanks for taking the time to answer me and once again sorry for misrepresenting you.
P.S. About the conservative Republican thing I was totally kidding. I really don’t care what you believe about those things. I only draw the line on abortion and issues that clearly contradict Scripture. I don’t think that you have to be a Republican to be right with God.
Dear David Valasquez:
I stopped making and accepting apologies long ago after I was asked to find the word ‘apology’ or ‘apologize’ in the Bible. God prescribes another way to redress faults and injuries [Mt 5:23-24; 18:15; Ja 5:16; etc.]. This means that your confession and plea for forgiveness come from the throne room and with the sanction of him who said, ‘forgive your brother from your heart’ [Ge 13:8; Ps 133; He 13:1; Mt 6:12. 14-15; 18:35].
Today, David, you exemplified the Christian faith and grace to which we are called in our Lord. As ‘time permits,’ I would like to return to the matter of Gnosticism as I believe that it is critically important for the life of the church in our day.
Please stick around this forum. Real dialogue between us is also Christ’s way. God bless you, David, for reminding us of God’s way.
PS: I’m pro-life, and I remind my fellow party members [yes, I carry the ‘red card’ in my pocket], that because we claim to value human life and need over want and greed, that the Socialist Party should be the natural home of the pro-life movement. People never have known quite what to do with me.
I’m beginning to think that all this discussion of “TRUTH” is a bit like dissecting a rabbit. You end up knowing all about the rabbit and how it works – but it’s DEAD.
I was a part of the IBF for the first 22 years of my life. My family went on deputation when I was a teenager and we visited over 200 churches across the country. That being said, I’ve lost count of how many people I heard crying out for someone to tell them what they should believe in because they were too lazy to search the scriptures. I believe I understand what you’re asking, for scriptural backing by Darrell on certain matters. I also believe you are only doing so out of curiosity and not because you are a lazy Christian. However, people asking what to believe is one of the reasons many of us left the IBF. So, as a brother in Christ, I challenge you to search the scriptures and see what you believe on those matters, and post them.
Sorry, this was supposed to be in response to David’s comment.
“Search the scriptures”
Sure beats “Wait for the MoG to tell you what to believe…”
But, considering we have no agreement on how to interpret Scripture, or how to translate Scripture, or even what constitutes Scripture, we have no choice but to hold hands when crossing the streets of Life, talk to each other and listen to God in whatever ways she reveals Her Truth to us.
I am still amazed about our lack of humility when it comes to Divine Revelation. The fact that the “Word of God” was decided by committee, and that there are at least five competing committees doesn’t seem to stop us from claiming that “our” canon, our translation, our version is the one closest to God’s intent…
My first year out of college I was slowly transitioning out of IFB theology into Reformed theology (without knowing it), while attending my family’s IFB church. While there, I signed up for and was heavily involved in ‘Romans Road” door knock evangelism. It was a really meaningful way for me to grow through my own questions and perceptions of myself and the church. I can’t say that the work we did was ‘successful’ but neither do I think we harmed the reputation of the true Church either. Trying to explain salvation in a 2-minute soundbite and then answer all the ‘other’ non-salvation questions posed (drinking, dancing, tv, movies) was a great way for me to realize what really mattered and what didn’t.
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