Church Sign: Santa is Satan

santa

The Christian Post reports that this is an actual church sign put up by people who must be a heck of a good time at office Christmas parties.

Some have pointed out that this sign presents a theological issue if taken to its logical conclusions. After all, if Santa is Satan and Santa is imaginary then Satan is…you get the idea.

570 thoughts on “Church Sign: Santa is Satan”

    1. Thanks, semp, for setting the record straight! The chewing gum reference definitely wasn’t expressed in the same jovial spirt as Big Gary’s red carbonated beverage commercial link!

      B.R.O.

      1. No prob, BRO. Setting people straight is a gift I have.

        BTW, I’m not angry. LOL.

        Hope everyone celebrated Winter Solstice safely and responsibly yesterday.

        1. Sorry about that BRO. No offense meant. I guess if that post didn’t come across as idiotically jovial then I’d better keep my day job. I don’t know if you read Brian’s response, but he wasn’t laughing either. At least I got a chuckle from rtgmath. I really wasn’t mocking on your moniker, I just said the first thing that came to mind. This endless conversation was getting me down and I was trying to inject a little levity. You dig, B.R.O. ?
          the Admiral

  1. Brian is a tool of Santa. Santa has brought him to SFL to remind us all as to why we are no longer in bondage to the IFB. And for that, I can think of no better Xmas present. Not having to be in the church every time the doors are open this week.

    1. You are about to get owned, but graciously, as I follow the Lord Christ, but you did walk right into it.

      First, instead of your baseless ad hominem attacks against me, how about pointing out one thing that I said regarding my life, my church, my beliefs or practices that suggests I am in any way in bondage to anything and that would specifically remind you of “being in bondage”. You will search high and low and find nothing. I will not hold my breath, as anything you MAY reply with will simply be more of the same unfounded drivel.

      The only thing or One I am “in bondage to” is the Lord Jesus, but as a freewill bond servant who seeks to honor and glorify Him in my life. I’m far from perfect, but that is my goal in life. Not to go on a site like this every day for the purpose of mocking other believers who I disagree with. I think you may find there was another reason the Lord led me to this site “accidently”. Trust me, I am not waking up to anything regarding myself or my beliefs by visiting this site, but I am waking up to this heretofore unknown fringe group that I had no clue about that seem to live on this site and perpetually bash other Christians. What a strange phenomenon. I know my time here, to the thrill of you all, will be ending soon. Pop the corks!

      Finally, your last statement demonstrates the tunnel vision at least you, and seemingly many others on this site, possess. What we have at our church AVAILABLE is Sunday School, Sunday service, evening service, Thursday Bible Study, Friday Bible School, Saturday Caring ministry in the morning and prayer group at night. Those are the regular weekly times “the doors are open”. How often do I TYPICALLY attend? Two services on Sunday morning. Occasionally I partake of others as I am able or feel led to. Do most in the church attend most of those? Not even close. Are people chided, belittled, mocked, made to feel less worthy by not doing so? NEVER.
      So is offering times for worshiping, fellowshiping and learning something to be spoken of as evil now? That is a strange attitude to have from a Christian?

      We have anywhere between a 100 and 200 on a Sunday morning and very small percentages in all the others. So, once again, you are simply wrong and projecting your own bias onto a church, a group of people and one person in particular you know nothing about, and, yes, WE WILL give an account of every idle word we speak. Yes, it’s in “there”, in case you think that is just “fundy-speak”. Gee, did I coin that phrase?

      1. Brian – I am so glad that you have a positive experience in your church. But if you paid any attention to the experiences of those who post regularly here, you would understand that that is not always the case. Many of those have been abused physically, sexually and spiritually. All in the name of your Lord Christ. SFL gives those people a safe place to share their stories and pain. To vent. To understand they are more important than any church “ministry” or fire and brimstone sermon.
        But you just keep your head in the sand. Ignore the pain in the words of the people that post here and go continue to spread your Truth™ at any number of other websites that you disagree with.
        And let me just add that, that your attitude is just another reason I will probably never step foot in a church again.

        1. Again, you make VERY selective reading and comprehension choices, having missed all of my compassion, stated understanding and appreciation of the fact that actual abuse has occurred to some people, INCLUDING MYSELF, which I have pointed out to anyone with ears to hear, or eyes to read with.

          You have utterly missed ALL of my points and the SPECIFIC issues I have stated about a site like this and things that have been expressed, as well as much of the tone. In that regard, I have, many times, stated that a site for people recovering, finding hope, sharing experiences, etc., is a GOOD THING. It is simply MUCH of the tone and the direction this site seems to take things that I have objected to. For someone to accidently, though I do believe it was providence, find this site and make a few comments about what he is actually reading to be so immediately lambasted and ridiculed speaks volumes about MANY, not all, of the attitudes expressed on this site. Done.

      2. hey just a small observation. I think scorpio was making a cheeky remark not a personal attack. Using a play on words with santa instead of satan in a post that talked about both in my house be applauded as cleverness. Just my two cents

  2. In honor of our friend who “stumbled” onto SFL: BRIAN
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

    How to Win an Argument Against Someone Who Won’t Lose

    Occasionally, you’ll meet someone who just refuses to lose arguments. That is, you win an argument beyond a reasonable doubt, and yet he is still desperately trying to win the argument. Make them believe you by following these simple steps.

    1:
    Stay cool-headed.

    When these people are losing an argument, they tend to do little more than cut you off and then insult you. If you become irritated or enraged, they can continue to insult you as they know you are weak at that point. However, when you stay rational and calm, you can continue to prove their points wrong without getting into physical violence.

    2:
    Use his arguments against him, rationally.

    Often when he insults you, he may not realize that he is calling you what he truly is. Let’s say he calls you a hypocrite, for some reason. If you’ve known him for a while, you can bring him back to a certain point in time that he was being a massive hypocrite and tell him that he himself was once a hypocrite, and indeed, is still a hypocrite for calling you a hypocrite when he once was one. If he commands you to do something absolutely impossible, like videotape someone’s mind, then you can ask him, “if I asked you to do that, would you?” If he says yes, prompt him to. If he reluctantly says no, you could actually get him to accept that you won, for you can see that he conceded defeat on one point. Try to get him to accept defeat by convincing him that his other points are also wrong. If he does not answer your question at all and instead insults you, see the next step.

    3:
    Recognize when you’ve won.

    Usually, these people will never see that you’ve truly won the argument. However, you can. At a certain point when you’ve backed him into a corner with no arguments left to say against you, the only thing he’s got left is his insults. At this point, you know that you’ve won the argument, even if he does not accept this point. You can choose to walk away here, if circumstances allow.

    4:
    Learn his habits.

    People have certain movements, facial expressions or gestures when they reach the point where they have lost. Some hide it well, some burst into tears, and, in the case of these people, some assume an apathetic face that ignores your rational argument. When you see that on the person face instead of anger, contempt or sarcasm, you may have won. However, some people plaster an ignorant mask onto their face when the argument has just begun. They will have something to mark their loss, though. Look for it.
    [NOTE: THIS IS A TOUGH ONE IN THE CYBER WORLD!}

    5:
    If he is making a rule, consider the fairness of it.

    The person may be trying to secure a rule that is completely unfair to one group of people while placing the other group in a superior position. Tell him that it’s unfair, and explain why. He might dismiss your explanation with a wave and use some tiny justification by giving the lesser group a minuscule bonus to their pitiful status. In this case, you can inform him that it is still unfair. This can keep going on for very long, so you can tell him what you have in mind. Note that what you have in mind must be truly fair, or he can jump on the chance to insult you and your hypocrisy. Perhaps he will deny the unfairness of the rule, in which case you can prompt him to explain his position. After listening attentively to his explanation, you can decide whether it is correct in your mind or not.

    6:
    If he is making a demand, decide whether you should grant it.

    You can follow previous tips from this guide in this situation. If he is asking to obtain something impossible, ask him whether he could retrieve this item himself. If he says yes, ask him to, if he says no, try to get him to understand that you won, and if he insults you and tells you to “just get it,” you can tell him that it is impossible and ask him if he can get it himself again. “Just get it” is never a reasonable argument, and you have to make him understand that. If he asks you to respect him more, ask why. If he simply places himself as superior, ask why he deserves that. Until you receive proper reasons, you should not respect him more than anyone else at his rank. Any other demands can be seen in much the same way.

    7:
    Remember that, generally, the way to win against someone like this can be summarized with the 5 Ws:

    •Who: Can the person that you are arguing against eventually be persuaded to accept defeat, or is he completely unwilling to lose?
    •What: The topic that you are arguing about, the request that you are considering, whatever you might be arguing about it very important. You have to consider all the facts about your topic as you argue, so you don’t miss something important that the person can jump on and use against you.
    •When: Choose an appropriate time to confront this person, or for him to meet you if his first confrontation is at a bad time. You are better arguing when you are clear-minded than when you are clouded with emotions or tiredness.
    •Where: Pick a place where any shouting won’t disturb many people, like outdoors where many people are shouting with fun anyways. However, if you know that your opponent can manage to keep a cool head, the location does not particularly matter.
    •Why: Always know his reasons. If he does not share them with you first, demand them. If he has no reasons, his argument has no base and will soon crumble.

    8:
    Recognize the Reverse.

    In the guide above, it has been stated what to do if a person came to you, led the argument until you took control of it, made the request and made the demands. However, you may be the person to confront another. It is not much different if you are making a request, but the one that would grant it simply refuses to. You must be the opposite of the person depicted above, presenting a fair request, giving proper reasons, etc. It’s really no different. All you need to do is argue in the same logical way while staying calm

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    I wish I could say that I had the smarts to think up these suggestions, but nay. I’m also somewhat embarrassed that “wiki” is herein referenced as my source. My apologies to those here with real educations and brilliance.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Win-an-Argument-Against-Someone-Who-Won't-Lose

    B.R.O.

  3. Pro tip to our dear friend Brian: if you’re trying to help wounded people, you don’t do it by shooting them.

    Seriously, regardless of the validity of your position, you’re talking to people who are hurt. Show some compassion and let people heal in their own time. Have a little faith in God’s ability to do so by Himself.

    (This is all assuming you’re actually trying to help people. Though I have my doubts, I try not to ascribe sinister motives to others without solid evidence.)

    1. WHAT are you talking about? Seriously, virtually NO one I have read on here seems hurting. You recover from hurt by mocking and making sport of others? That is twisted. I am not saying no one is, but that it is not evident. This almost seems like a parody site. All I have been doing is responding to the derision, ridicule and mocking of me and my beliefs since I stumbled on this site. No one has had such directed at them more than me since this began. Also, “unfrozenchosen” (funny), I guess you have not seen my multiple postings about my OWN hurts, that I am in the process of recovering from personal abuse in a dysfunctional relationship and also dealing with two parents with cancer. NOT ONE has shown compassion, well perhaps a little, regarding MY hurt, since the maturity of people posting about me and responding to me do so with mostly mocking and scorn. It goes both ways.

      1. Brian, the scorn you have received is because of the scorn you have spread. You get what you grow, you reap what you sow. This is the Law that the Lord has made. Give to others and you’ll never lack. Do some good and the good will come back.

        When you try to look through the eyes of others, you grow in grace as you give grace. You get mercy because you give mercy. No one here opposes you because you are doing good. The opposition is a response to your unwillingness to understand.

        Lots of people have tried to be kind to you. It seems you reject those attempts out of hand. You take umbrage at the slightest correction.

        If you want to be friends, start being friendly. Please?

        1. Again, everything you just stated is exactly what I have experienced since coming on this site from you and others It did not start with me. I am sorry you do not see that.. It started out by me simply sharing I did not experience all you were sharing. FOR THAT, I was mocked, ridiculed, scorned, told to open my eyes, that I was deceptive or deceived and so on. I did not have time to come up for air once this started. So I returned it all in kind. At first it was just kind of fun. Then it became more of a burden. Then it turned to sadness, in a way. After getting away for awhile, I had a chance to gain some perspective and come back much more balanced and serious about it all.

        2. Thanks for explaining your thought process. That does make sense to me.

          I see where you’re coming from re: Muslims, but I’m not so willing to say that they don’t worship the “right” God, and I don’t feel like you saying “Jesus is the brother of a Lucifer” is the same as me saying that Muslims worship God the Father. You, of course, can continue to challenge me on it if it makes you feel any better. 😉

        3. That was my feeble attempt at an illustration. That was something I think we could both agree is wrong, so I was wondering if I did say that if you would challenge me on it for my good out of love. That’s all i was attempting to do. The true God is the True God. We just don’t see this the same way.

        4. At this point I’m more of a “live and let live person” and don’t *usually* challenge people aggressively on their beliefs. Sorry to disappoint. 🙂

      2. Dear Brian,
        I truly am sorry for your parents’ illnesses. I really am. I lost my dad in 2012, and my mother in 1998. We’re never old enough to lose our parents. Grace to you, and peace. We all have our differences on this site (believe me). However, illness and loss impact all of us deeply. Going through cancer is awful, and God’s blessings & healing to them.
        Kindest regards,
        BJg

        1. Ps Rick Warren is right, Muslims and christians DO worship the same God, they just have different names for Him. Again, not sure what point you were trying to make.

        2. OK, well now we DON’T agree. There is One God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Muslims do NOT worship that God, nor do buddists, (I guess I spelled that wrong), or Hindus, and so on. You actually believe those who reject Christ, say He did not die for our sins, that He is not God (When Jesus said, Except you believe I Am He, you shall indeed die in your sins) believe in that same God? I admonish you brother, you are in error. I love you and pray for you, but that is simply not true. How many on this site believe this? I really want to know. before you start mocking and say, Oh there goes the “fundy” again, bone up on your Scripture and how Paul warned the Ephesians night and day for three years with tears about deceivers, of which false religions are included. So do you think everyone who claims to believe in a god worship the same God? Did Baal worshipers? Did those who worshiped Zeus or Artemis or Dianna? Please do tell? I think THIS is the most telling and disturbing thing I have now heard on this site.

        3. I’m starting to feel like you’re just trying to pick a fight. You asked where I (or we, not me individually) go to church and if I felt it was the One Right Church (paraphrasing) and when I answer you proceed to attack my answers. I’ve played this game enough with my parents, I’m not playing with you.

        4. I think you are too sensitive. When did I attack? I was interested in what that church was so I researched it, as I do all things. I found those site and shared them. Then I asked you a question of something I honestly read and wondered if it were true. You volunteered that muslims believe in the same God. I speak the truth in love. I am not bashing you, I am earnestly contending for THE faith that was once for all delivered to the saints, as the Lord commanded me to. I am not angry nor bashing you. I simply disagree and think it serious to say those who follow a false god worship Our Lord. They don’t. There is One Name under heaven given among men whereby we MUST be saved (Jesus Christ), and they reject the true Jesus. Paul through the Spirit warned us there is “another Jesus”, so who might that be? I we warned by God to ignore His admonishments to seek, know and protect truth? Please just pray about it. I am not bashing you.

        5. Brian, I hope you have a blessed and restful Christmas and a wonderful New Year that brings peace, joy, and healing to your parents. I’m really sorry that they’re sick. Regardless of our differences I really wish you the best and pray for your blessing. You bring meaningful dialogue to our little web community and I thank you. From a careful reading of your posts it sounds like you’ve had somewhat of a Job experience lately and I want you to know that we at SFL may argue and bicker and theologise but we do care. And that caring extends to you, my friend.. I’m sorry I was harsh with you a few days ago. I really am. I’m a bit defensive of my SFL friends. Now you’re turning into one of them. Believe me, people on this site are caring and loving, and that includes caring about you. Blessings to you, and to your church.
          Kindest regards,
          BJg

        6. Thanks much. I feel the same. There was a reason for me coming here. No “Bah humbugs”! But “God bless us, everyone’s” instead! Can’t wait to watch that tomorrow night! 🙂

        7. I’m “too sensitive”. You’re just “speaking the truth in love”.

          Yep, just like my parents. Regardless of your intentions, it felt like you asked me a question, then proceeded to play “I’m right, you’re wrong” with my answers.

          Ps I’m a woman. Although according to a website I found, I write like a man. 😉

        8. Why are YOU judging my heart? Paul said, “You are all too superstitious”. Was he playing games in saying that? I was not being overly critical. I honestly felt you were being too sensitive. I am sorry It upsets you that I spoke honestly. When did I play that game? Are we not to admonish one another? Are we not told to reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine and to speak the truth but in love? I cannot count how many times I have actually been angrily told how wrong I was on this site. Then I asked you some legit questions about what you said about muslims. I cannot agree that those who reject Christ as revealed in HIs Word are worshiping the same God. I am wondering how you have come to that conclusion. Sorry I assumed you were male. No way of knowing otherwise.

        9. I’m not judging you. I’m saying how your actions made me feel.

          As far as “rebuking in love”, is that why you asked the question in the first place? To rebuke any “wrong” answers?

          As far as Muslims worshipping God, they may not worship Hesus Christ, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t worship God the Father. Like I said, it’s possible to find *parts* of the truth everywhere. A person or faith system can get one piece right and miss others. It’s not so black and white.

        10. NO, here is the actual path of my thinking.

          1. I asked everyone where they went, because everyone reading my posts knew where I went to church and a lot more about me and my beliefs so I was interested, as far as those who reject IFB churches, what they have turned to instead. Natural question to ask.

          2. You answered the question. I was not familiar with the type of church you mentioned, so I looked it up, and then I came to those sites and thought I would ask you about what they were saying, since you would know better than I.

          3. I also asked if the thing about muslims was true and you said that you agreed with it. That was honestly troubling to me. So I honestly expressed that out of concern. You can doubt my sincerity if you wish.

          4. I am having troubling formulating why the muslims cannot reject Jesus and at the same time believe in the same God, without you feeling I am being critical. I’m trying to be sensitive. I guess that just because someone believes in one God it does not mean it is the True God of the Bible. Allah does not exhibit the same traits as our God. He is not a triune God. He is not One with Christ, as we know He is. That, alone, would tell me he is not the same God. I honestly believe they worship satan. Such a concept is not extreme nor foreign to Scripture. In Timothy we are warned of doctrines of demons, and in Revelation, the Lord Himself tells us of those who are not truly Jews, but are of the synagogue of satan. Pretty strong words. I believe the same about those who worship “Allah” and pray that they would come to salvation and true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We can agree to disagree.

          If I made a statement like Jesus is the brother of Lucifer, how would you respond to that? Would it be true love for me if you just “let it go” and let me believe such a blasphemous thing without some loving admonishment?

      3. Brian,

        Derision, ridicule and mocking?

        Further, not a single person here is unfeeling regarding personal struggle and sorrow.

        This has not been the issue, and I feel that you are throwing a red herring out there to either change the subject, or get others to forget those things you’ve argued which fly in the face of so much people here have had to endure contrary to the spirit of Christ.

        B.R.O.

      4. ad hominem works both ways, Brian. At least be honest about that.

        By the way, would you be so kind as to point out the ad hominem posts directed at you? Just one would suffice.

        B.R.O.

        1. Dear SFL Reader,

          In all fairness to Brian, and in response to my own question, I have found an ad hominem post directed at Brian.

          Here it is:

          BigRedOne

          December 21, 2014 at 11:28 pm

          brian is a psychopath.

          B.R.O.

          Reply
          *********************************************************
          What I should have wrote was that Brian’s argument is such and such. I directed my assertion at him personally by defining him as a psychopath. I don’t know Brian personally.

          B.R.O.

        2. I have sat for hours responding to every sordid post, and some rational ones, so would someone answer my three or four simple questions I asked earlier. No one seems willing to volunteer what type of churches they attend, nor to answer my other questions.

        3. You have asked for a lot of detailed information at a busy time. If you were to stick around, participate in a nice way, you would get many of the answers you seek as these things tend to flow naturally in collegial talk.

          Otherwise, it isn’t worth the additional time and effort just to feed your curiosity.

          Speak kindly, with respect. Listen without demanding. Participating in a positive way gets results.

          Oh, and paragraphs would be nice, too. The breaks allow smaller chunks of text and ideas to be absorbed more readily.

          Regards.

        4. so very happy to do so:

          ad ho·mi·nem
          1.
          (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

          “When Brian isn’t busy leading the choir at Heritage Baptist, he enjoys spreading The Word in the community.This primarily involves him going to the cancer ward …to let all of the patients know that cancer is God’s judgement – and they need to repent…(he draws) them a picture of God judging them on the hospital’s white board….That’s what it’s all about for Brian. ”
          “brian is a psychopath.”

          “If you say anyone who does choose to do the Santa routine is an agent of Satan, I think you’ve gone off the rails” Of course I never said such a thing.

          ” I doubt his sincerity and think he just likes to bait the hook and see if someone will bite back.”

          “Brian is a tool of Santa. Santa has brought him to SFL to remind us all as to why we are no longer in bondage to the IFB.”

          These are only a few among dozens, and these are all from different people, I believe.

          OK? Attack the person, not the issue.

        5. I agree that we should deal with issues and avoid attacking the person. Where I have attacked you personally, I am sorry and will attempt not to do so in the future.

          However, it is incumbent on you to ask yourself why others have viewed you negatively and what you might change in your words, actions or responses to correct the bad impression. It isn’t just all our fault, you know.

          So it might be instructive for you to look at your posts and see where you have attacked individuals or groups in an unfair way. I am not saying we should point those out. We have been doing so, only to be rebuffed. You should discover those things now, on your own.

          Then, perhaps, with a better perspective we can all converse more pleasantly.

        6. I’ve already confessed to my faults and asked forgiveness. A few, like you, to a point, have as well. I forgive any such offenses. I generally do use paragraphs, but I am often in the middle of multitasking and, actually, quite exasperated with this whole thing, as stated, and just quickly typing out responses, with not too much thought to grammatical decorum. Sorry. Like you, I am not perfect in any way.

          It is abundantly clear that MUCH of the animus towards me stems from preconceived bias as displayed on this site repeatedly. It is time for many of you to admit deep bitterness towards anything “fundie” and that anyone who comes with that label is guilty till proven innocent.

          The only “group” I have attacked is THIS one, and that in a general way based on what is displayed here, but I have tempered that with repeatedly saying such things like that we all have faults, no on is perfect, and so on, and I have included myself in that statement.

          I changed my tone. Then, trying to be civil, I asked some basic questions, as I am genuinely curious, but, for some reason, not you do not wish to respond. Is there some reason you cannot even share what TYPE of church you attend? I am not asking for name and address.

        7. Wow, Now that was easy. Thank you. Just out of curiosity, did you leave an IFB church and eventually join the other? I am not sure if everyone here were all in IFB churches. I can’t keep everyone straight. It’s been a whirlwind.

        8. Brian, the reaction of some people here may be a little bit like a rape victim who encounters someone who is a completely innocent good person but strongly resembles the rapist and maybe dresses the same way. That can trigger a flood of a memories and areaction that is definitely not rational but can be very strong, which the innocent person finds bewildering hurtful and impossible to undetstand. Get what I’m saying?

        9. Two for the Episcopalians. Can I here some more? So, out of curiosity, what attracted you to THAT denomination and what within its practices and teachings makes you feel it is closest to biblical Christianity?

        10. Brian, I hear the sneer in your words. “what attracted you to THAT denomination and what within its practices and teachings makes you feel it is closest to biblical Christianity?”

          So, being an independent fundamentalist Baptist, when we took our vacations we would go to church at one of the local IFBs. We pretty much ran through the list, some more quickly than others. In the largest, the Pastor spent the sermon telling how he had saved such and such number of people on his recent vacation. So full of himself was he that my wife and I decided we’d never go back. But on learning we were from out of town, the IFB churches all pretty much ignored us when we came.

          Finally a vacation came where we were not looking forward to the same old being ignored, so on a whim we decided to visit a different kind of church “as a cultural exercise.” We came to an Episcopal church. We were welcomed in the Sunday school. People actively welcomed us. My sons were invited to a youth activity. They asked how long we would be there and when we would be coming back. Never such a welcome in any IFB church!

          But what pressed us most was the sheer volume of Scripture used in the liturgy. Never a service in the IFB churches I’d been in ever used as much as half. Many an IFB sermon of 45 minutes were hung upon as little as a single verse, often out of context. A contextual section from the Old Testament, the Epistles, and the Gospels. The prayers and responses all had biblical wording. The Gospel was presented more clearly than ever I’d heard in an IFB church. The culmination of the Service was at the altar where we received communion, the joy of fellowship with Christ.

          In the IFB churches many (most) sermons end in an altar call for repentance. In the Episcopal liturgy, repentance is midway in the service. The service ends with the knowledge of sins forgiven, fellowship restored, and the call to serve the Lord in the power of His Spirit. I was refreshed as I had never been after a church service in years.

          All of us, children included, wanted to go back. And we have.

          Back at the IFB church, we were asked where we had gone to church while on vacation. When we told them, they were shocked. My #2 son’s Sunday School teacher told him, “You know they don’t preach the gospel there.” My son said they did, too! When the teacher continued, my son interrupted, “You weren’t there. You don’t know. I was there and I heard it!” That made me proud.

          It took years for me to finally leave IFBism. But I have never been happier with church services.

          So put away the surprise, the preconceptions which are misconceptions. Those people love the Lord.

        11. First of all, NO sneer at all. I tend to use caps to emphasize, sorry. I literally meant THAT church, meaning the one you chose and what made you feel led there. That’s it.

          The way you were welcomed is the way I have always been welcomed all over the country in Baptist churches I have visited. No matter where I go I feel I am part of a family, perhaps because I am, as if we have known each other our whole lives. It is the Spirit we share. I’ve always been warmly embraced by churches I visited in the same way you describe. The least was the last church I was in, partly because it was just so darned big! I kind of melted into the crowd and never really felt as much a part of it as I should have.

          Interesting about the Word. I’ve been to more mainstream churches and have heard very little Bible. Sometimes lots of reading of passages but with no or very little teaching. The last church I was in was a teaching verse by verse, with context and history, church. Can’t get more than that. The one I am in now, though the pastor often emphasizes smaller passages for the message he is preaching, we always ready in unison out loud the entire context, sometimes it may be a chapter, the whole congregation reading together. Then he is flipping all over the Word like speedy Gonzalez! LOL. That’s what I love about the churches I’ve been in, getting so deeply into the Word every service, every Bible study. It’s like we’re talking different worlds, you and I and our experiences.

          For me the joy of fellowship with Christ is the personal relationship with Him through His Spirit. Communion is part of that but not THE joy, but A joy, and it is joyful and also introspective, as Paul admonished.

          When I went to where I am currently and hope for the rest of my life, it fit me like a glove. I was so refreshed and KNEW that this is where “the Lord set me as it pleased Him”. I am so grateful it is the Lord that leads us to the body that He wants us to be part of.

          My pastor this Sunday emphasized how much he doesn’t like religion, that it’s not religion that matters but our walk and relationship with Christ, our faith, and he asked, are there saved people in…and named all kinds of churches, and everyone said AMEN! He emphasized that God deals with us as individuals and being a baptist or anything else means nothing without a genuine relationship with Christ. And I can say AMEN to that!

        12. Thank you for correcting my misinterpretation of you tone. I apologize for misunderstanding.

          I am glad you are happy at your church. Frankly I am glad your experiences in fundamentalism are better than mine have been. And I wish you well where you are.

          But in my mind I can never return to the IFB churches as anything more than a visitor. That, of course, is my assessment. My wife and daughter attend with me but twice in the month. They are in IFB services at least 10 times a month. I quickly learned where my wife’s true allegiance lay. I don’t raise any objections to their attendance.

        13. My heart goes out to all who have experienced much differently than I have. Some of what you express is horrifying for Christians to behave that way. The Lord is impressing that on my heart. There is evil everywhere in this world, even in the church, as the tares grow up with the wheat. It is tragic, but I assure you, though I have, of course experienced, even been guilty of at times, some extremes, the BIG PICTURE of my experience has been immeasurably a blessing and allowed me much growth in the Lord and opportunity to serve Him and share His love and grace with others.

        14. Attempting to answer Brian’s question about where we ended up church-wise, hope it ends up in the right place.

          I was a cradle fundy (my parents helped start the ifb church they still go to) and left it a couple of years ago for a church of God Abderson/Willow Creek church.

          As to whether or not this church is “the closest to biblical Christianity”, I don’t think it’s as black and white as all that. Look at all the different denominations we have – all started by men who believed that THEY were the only ones who were right and everyone else was wrong. I think just about every denomination has some truth. How much, we won’t know until we get to heaven. For now, I know that where I am now is where I need to be, and I’m growing and learning. That’s enough for me.

          I’m not sure why you’re confused as to where everyone has come from. Most of us came from ifb churches – that shared past is what drew us to this site. I’m also not sure why it matters to you where everyone ended up. How does that change anything?

        15. I find this interesting, with very little comment. I just read it briefly.

          http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?tag=willow-creek&zoom_highlight=emergent&paged=2

          It seems you can find a site for Christians bashing Christians everywhere. So here is one that is bashing YOUR style of church and worship as being unscriptural, just like this site does for IFB churches. I am SO joyful for my freedom in Christ and I can just live my life joyfully, serve Him fully, be only accountable to Him and those godly people the Lord has placed in my life and not worry about what is under every rock all around me, knowing I answer to Him alone. Hallelujah. I think the Lord sent me to this site to just be refreshed in the freedom and lack of bondage I have in my life. I have gone through the most intense personal, interpesonal trial of my life in the last two years, yet my faith has only strengthened and my joy in Him grown through it all. We truly can “glory in tribulations” by His grace and mercy! I am more fired up for my Christmas celebration now! Merry Christmas to all!

          is this true: https://muddystreams.wordpress.com/category/willow-creek/

          and this?

          http://www.mfairlady.com/protestantnomorewillowcreek/

        16. Hmmm I’m not sure what point you were trying to make? I know people bash my church, my former church as well as my own family bashes it, and to my face! An anonymous website or two don’t bother me. Thanks though? I think?

        17. Grrr my reply went up too far (thanks George) but I agree with Rick Warren. Christians, Muslims, even Jews – all worship the same God. Again, not sure what point you were trying to make.

    2. Pro tip to our dear friend Brian: if you’re trying to help wounded people, you don’t do it by shooting them.

      That’s how I saw it done all through Fundy High and a few years afterward at “The fastest Growing Church In Georgia”.

      Until “Dr.” Pastor Hyles-Wanna-Be left with the wife of another man. That was 30 years ago, and the pain left by that so called ministry still exists, amidst fallout that affects later generations. I was not affected too much, but the effects on others were enough to tear families and friendships apart and turn many from anything Scriptural or even remotely religious.

      But we had enough standards that we were holy enough to glow. Christ-likeness–you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  4. That was supposed to read majority, not maturity. There is actually very little of the latter observable here. Freudian slip on my part.

    1. (Creeky geezer voice) You’re not out of short pants yet yourself, sonny! Mind yer manners or I’ll take me cane to ye! If I could find it. I know I left it around here somewhere. Consarn it! Quit laughing! (Hobbles away on the cane he didn’t realize was in his hand all along, muttering geezerish stuff as he moves away).

  5. For those engaging with Brian (I haven’t been brave enough to do it)–He seems to repeat himself a lot and not think analytically about the purpose of the site as a sounding board for folks who have been involved with, and often deeply hurt, through their experiences with fundamentalism. I doubt his sincerity and think he just likes to bait the hook and see if someone will bite back.

    I don’t always agree with what I read here, but I find that most of it makes me think and consider my own faith experiences, both past and present. I appreciate the different points of view, and the insights I receive. I don’t think it’s my job to set everyone straight about what I think is right or wrong.

    1. I read him as somebody who’s just now peering out of the bubble and is shocked to discover that blustering, making sweeping pronouncements, and throwing thoughtstoppers and dogwhistles at people don’t work everywhere. When you’ve got a MOG as your debate model…

      1. What is a “MOG”. Sorry for my ignorance, and, no, you are wrong. I have dealt with ALL kinds in my life as a Christian. Most of this has been an amusing pastime for me. I’ve enjoyed some of the more rational discussion and shaken my head at the more outlandish, but, all in all, it’s been an interesting diversion that I never anticipated engaging in several days ago.

  6. Darrell:
    I want to nominate Brian for an award for instigating the most drawn out conversation ever on SFL. The comments on this post should have petered out somewhere around 270, but here we are at 350 and apparently no end in sight. Seriously, when it comes to moving on, what are we waiting for, Christmas?
    the Admiral
    (tcfkaMark)

      1. In typical fundy kingdom fashion:

        All those in favor (as long as it’s according to the Mog’s good pleasure) say, “Aye!”

        All opposed the same sign?

        1. Ah yes, business meetings. I definitely don’t miss those! My church was so small that every able-bodied man was serving as either a deacon or a trustee, so when it came to business meetings, the only people Left to do the voting were the wives and children. So everything always passed unanimously!

        2. Hmmm, there is a problem with business meetings? YOu mean to tell me that the more hierarchical churches many of you seem to have associated yourselves with don’t hold meetings, especially with all their boards of this bishop, or that synod, etc? They just hold them on a much GRANDER scale of lords over their kingdom than us lowly baptists who just have US, as the people, to meet and discuss things needed to be done in a mutual fashion.

        3. Internet Troll: A person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the internet over extremely trivial issue.

          Thus, I am NOT a “troll”, as I clearly pointed out. I came to this site by accident while doing a search for something regarding Christmas. I don’t even remember how it happened. I began reading. At first, when I read Darrell’s post about being depressed, I actually thought it was a sight of unsaved people bashing Christians. That is how it INITIALLY came across, so I responded in that way. I never sought to argue with anyone. I was legitimately responding to what people were saying.

          My journey here went through a few phases. The first one, above. Then I realized I was wrong about what the site was, but then the hounds were released on me and the mocking, ridiculing and ad hominem attacks against me began in full. Having no time to even breath at that point, I began to respond in kind. Later, I apologized and asked forgiveness for some of my initial hasty words and attitudes. I also confessed I have suffered from depression and expressed compassion.

          My final, stage, where I am now, was, after being away from the chaos for awhile, I came back, refreshed and with a different perspective and have been much more serious and seeking more reasonable dialogue since, but many are not quite getting that and are still stuck back in phase one, sadly.

        4. Here’s two answers in one post.

          My current church would be considered conservative evangelical and non-denominational, so no national hierarchy.

          We have a plurality of elders and deacons and they don’t move forward on any decision until all are in agreement. There is no “senior pastor,” per se, but a directional leader who sets the tone of the church, but is still just one vote in the mix. When they can’t come to an agreement on something they wait on the decision and seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance (something completely glossed over in all the Fundie churches and schools I attended), and they don’t move forward until they feel the Holy Spirit’s leading. The church body has to approve expenditures over a set amount and the appointment of new elders and deacons.

          This way they avoid drawn out battles over say, whether to repair or replace the furnace or whether to change hymnbooks or which retreat the pastor should go on. (All of these are things I remember being battled over in my childhood.) The congregation affirms the leadership and then trusts them to guide the church.

        5. Well, not much different with us and it is scriptural to have a leader in the church. My pastor bathes everything in prayer, even regarding something as simple as heading up the usher schedules, to be sure it is the Lord’s leading, and he is accountable to Godly men in the church who help make all decisions. He makes the FINAL decision on SOME things, of course, as leaders in any organization would, but some things the church votes on as a body.

        6. Brian, sounds like your pastor is a good man. I wish him God’s blessing. I would *not* want to be a minister or pastor. Ok, some churches I’m America may treat the pastor with Pope-like infallibility, but the experience of many leaders/ministers/pastors in Northern Ireland is that when things don’t go well they catch hell. When I was growing up in the minister (methodist) was expected to be in all places at all times, be all things to all men. A lot simply got burnt out, but could not admit it. Pastors and need prayer not criticism.
          Oh yeah, Merry Christmas to you all and God Bless.

        7. Sorry that should have read “when I was growing up in Northern Ireland.” Anyone else want to send George on a long Christmas vacation?

    1. I don’t know: we’ve had some REALLY long conversations in the past, but then again, I think it’s been like four years for me. (Four? Really? Since 2010, I think. Whoa.)

  7. Santa = Satan?

    We were just watching a holiday special on ABC starring Shrek, and Donkey was describing a Christmas parade (I think – I was actually cooking, not watching) and as Santa enters, the crowd starts singing, “Oh-oh, Santa! Oh-oh, Santa!” to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus! All I could think about was how some might see it as stealing Jesus’ glory.

    1. And? I must admit I am guilty of using that melody for other things as well, but, since it is known that song IS to the glory of God, I feel it is disrespectful to use it for something else. So I am guilty myself.

      1. For an answer to your earlier question (since iOS seems to have a problem with the Reply button), I have attended a church in the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) that is relatively in the South. The people there come from diverse denominational backgrounds, so definitely experienced both great people and legalism. Most of the crazy I’ve experienced, though, actually came from my interdenominational Christian grade school. The unfortunate part of Christian school is, you pretty much have to bend to all the parents’ demands, from the most conservative fundy to the more “liberal” folks. (I put that in quotations because my family is considered on the left of the spectrum, even though we attend a quite conservative church.)

        1. @Bryan: I have no problem with parents being involved in their kids’ education. My point is, said school had no backbone, and as such had to appease the most sheltered families, leaving everyone else frustrated. Don’t be so on the attack all the time. Look, I’m willing to talk with you as a person and not a troll, if you’ll show me the same courtesy.

        2. How responding to what you actually said and asking a legit question about it “trolling”? Sorry you took it that way. Merry Christmas! 🙂

    1. I have yet to see that movie all the way through. I am usually gluing gingerbread houses together during part of it. But in my next life, I am going to create a roller coaster ride based on it.

  8. Santa (me) brought presents to our house early. Satan (the dog) chewed them up. Santa banished Satan to the yard, where he rolled in poop.

    1. This sounds like Santa (me) who put up a lovely tree one night and Satan (the cat) who tore it down at 6:30 the following morning (which just so happened to be a Saturday), leading Satan and his fellow devils (the other cats) to be banished from the tree room for the rest of the season.

  9. Just came back from a wonderful Christmas Even Candle Light service at church. Such a blessing – the music, the songs, the fellowship, the sharing of God’s message, the meaning! What a blessing. God bless, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

    1. A wonderful Christmas Eve service. At midnight we were beginning to take the gifts of bread and wine as we celebrated the death and resurrection of the One who came to Save us. A nice way to start Christmas!

      Merry Christmas to All of You!

  10. Somewhere in this discussion I mentioned that there are websites that condemn any celebration of Christmas and claim that the act of giving presents in an act of pagan worship. I think one of those sites is http://www.letgodbetrue.com There is enough craziness here to fry your brain all year, not just at Christmas.

    1. Enlightening! I did not know God cared enough about NYC to punish it by destroying the twin towers.
      I also did not know that we desecrated my godly grandparents’ bodies by cremating them after death. God would far rather we mummify them or pump them full of toxic chemicals to await his return.

      1. Maybe God is judging america for its sin. The sin of religious hypocricy and spiritual arrogance, exhibited so clearly by the writer of the article about 9/11……

      2. The writer does give a list of sins that god is punishing the country for. I wonder if the writer has been guilty of any of them himself. Probably not.

      3. Well, you know that God decides it is best to be vague about what He is angry about. He almost always has collateral damage, anyway.

        How many of the 911 victims were guilty of homosexuality, anyway? The only thing all of them were guilty of was being in the World Trade Center where the plane hit.

        But then, in these disasters, God never has had good aim. Even in Israel God had to kill innocent people to make a point.

  11. Hope you all had a blessed Christmas and the celebration continues! I was just ruminating on this and wondering how some of you feel and your perspective on various old men of the faith such as Jonathan Edwards, D.L. Moody, John Bunyan, Billy Sunday, Roger Williams, John Smyth, Oswald Chambers, and Spurgeon.

    1. Some of those are really old!

      Well, take for one Jonathan Edwards. He was a Reformed theologian. He was a Puritan.

      I note that Puritan theology is particularly severe. Puritan practice was equally so. Edwards was little different from other Puritan preachers, except possibly that his speaking skills and personal skills did not match his writing ability. He is famous for Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God. The sermon pictures God as dangling men over the pit of Hell. That is not the way I want to see God, by the way.

      Of course, his Reformed theology also meant that men had no ability to choose God, but only those whom God had chosen to come, the Elect, would come. All else were destined to damnation.

      I object to Reformed theology. It creates Absolutes where none exist, and completely discounts anything having to do with the will of people, where Scripture acknowledges those things.

      Edwards was a man of his time. He was a product of his upbringing and his study. He did try to help others, so I consider him to be a good man. However, as per his time he was not above naming names of young people suspected of reading “unapproved” books and holding a Church disciplinary meeting about it.

      I wouldn’t have wanted him for my pastor.

      1. RTG, thanks for your thoughtfful response regarding Spurgeon. I don’t really care about what any of these preachers did, like smoking, but was genuinely interested in what peoples’ opinions were of some of them. About the smoking thing that someone mentioned, I’m not sure why some are so quick to jump to IFB hot buttons regarding almost everything brought up here. In my church we have plenty of people who smoke. Sad for them. It’s unhealthy! Oh well. Anyway, I still would appreciate more insightful thoughts regarding some of the old time preachers I mentioned. Thanks.

    2. Well, if Spurgeon were alive today many fundamentalists would doubt if he were saved at all because he smoked a pipe and apparently made no effort to quit. He also had a beard.

      1. only familiar with Teresa. She was a wonderful humanitarian, as are many people, both saved and unsaved, however, and I certainly do not know her heart, only God, but, by her own testimonies, I would conclude (and it’s just my opinion – nothing to debate) that she was a person of sacrificial humanitarian works but not a saved one. I agree with this assessment from a website about her:

        “Mother Teresa and her co-workers claim to love the Lord Jesus Christ and to have faith in Him, but in reality it is a mixed faith. It is the unbiblical Catholic gospel of faith plus works, grace plus sacraments, Christ plus the church. If Mother Teresa and her workers had true biblical faith in the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ, they would not attend and actively promote the Catholic mass, which they freely testify to be the “re-sacrificing of Christ.” When Sister Ann called the mass an unbloody sacrifice, she was only repeating the official teaching of her church and of Vatican II.

        Here are some reasons taken from official Catholic declarations that I do not accept the catholic RELIGION, meaning the institution and its official teachings and dogma, as a genuine Christian one, BUT I know that there are individuals who attend catholic churches who are truly saved and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The building you attend or the name over the door does not make you saved, but the personal relationship with Christ:

        “Sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. … Thus it comes about that the Church does not draw her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Hence, both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal feelings of devotion and reverence” (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Chap. 2, 9, p. 682).

        “[Christ] also willed that the work of salvation which they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and sacraments, around which the entire liturgical [ritualistic] life revolves. Thus by Baptism men are grafted into the paschal mystery of Christ. … They receive the spirit of adoption as sons” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Chap. 1, I, 5,6, pp. 23-24).

        “By the sacrament of Baptism, whenever it is properly conferred in the way the Lord determined and received with the proper dispositions of soul, man becomes truly incorporated into the crucified and glorified Christ and is reborn to a sharing of the divine life” (Decree on Ecumenism, chap. 3, II, 22, p. 427).

        “Taken up to heaven she (Mary) did not lay aside this SAVING office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix [Mediator]” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, II, 62, pp. 382-383).

        “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is ONE Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus” Acts 4:12

        1. That’s kind of weird. So you’re saying that a person’s salvation is dependent on what they know or believe to be true?

        2. Did I say that? No, I would say it is dependent on what God says, not what I say. Are you saying the doctrine of salvation is “weird”? I would simply quote the following and you can decide for yourself:

          John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

          John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

          2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

          (Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

          (John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

          (John 8:24) ” I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

          (John 10:1) ” Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

          (John 10:9) ” I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

          (1 John 5:12) “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

          (John 1:12) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

          (Ephesians 2:8,9 ) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

          (Romans 11:6) “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

          (2 Timothy 1:9) “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”

          (Titus 3:5) “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

          1 Thessalonians 1:9. ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

          1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation (or empty manner of living) [received] by tradition from your fathers;

          1 Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

          2 Peter 2:1 – But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

          God bless

        3. I would urge you to become familiar with the other women of faith as well.

          Despite what you have quoted of Mother Teresa, I have to wonder what will happen on the day the sheep and the goats are separated. I wonder what James meant when he said, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (Given the context, I doubt he was referring to deeds such as using the “correct” translation of scripture, or wearing “modest” clothing.)

        4. WHAT you believe is critical, and that is clearly presented more than almost anything else in Scripture, because your belief is agreeing with What God has revealed, and therefore accepting His way. Paul essentially put a curse, through the Holy Spirit, on anyone preaching another gospel (in Galations), which the catholic church, AS A WHOLE, does. Again, since salvation is individual, no doubt, there are saved people within its walls.

          Now, faith without works is, indeed, “dead”, meaning there is no outward evidence of salvation and the faith is not being exercised, however, that in and of itself does not mean someone is not saved, since salvation is solely based on the finished work of Christ and placing genuine faith in that and Him to accomplish it.

          As I said, I did not say Teresa (she is not my mother) was not saved, as I don’t know her heart, but simply that I did not believe she was based on her own statements of what true salvation is. Those statements contradict Scripture, which is our only measure on the matter.

        5. Man can ONLY see the outward appearance, therefore we are supposed to let our light so shine so that men will see our good works and glorify the Father in Heaven. But those outward things do not save us. His finished work on the cross and His resurrection do!

        6. When I have washed as many beggers as Theresa did, and fed as many hungry people, maybe then I will have earned the right to pass judgement.

        7. No one passed judgment. I stated an opinion. Are muslims who do all those things saved because they did all those things? Are those who are atheists and work for unicef who DO all those things saved because they do them? Just curious. Is ANYONE saved because they DO good works?

        8. I remember the Scripture, Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “yet one thing you lack. Sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven.” Was Jesus preaching salvation by works? Argue the point from that passage and its context only.

          Then, too, James said, “show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works. … Faith without works is dead, being alone.”

          The Judgements of the Sheep and the Goats apparently are a matter of works, not of what one believes about them. Theology is not discussed in the passage. Deeds are.

          I venture to say that there will be more “atheists” in heaven than one could expect, and considerably fewer IFBers likewise. We might be wiser to let God judge the hearts rather than us. Quoting Scripture snippets does not indicate the mind of God. It only indicates what we “think” is the mind of God. Interpretation is not necessarily reality.

        9. You know the arguments, and, with all due respect, I am certainly not going to get into a debate over them. The scriptures are clear, “for by Grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one may boast.”

          Good works don’t save. They indicate salvation. Again, I ask, will someone who simply does “good” get to heaven simply because they did “good”? Remember 1 Cor. 13. We can do all kinds of things, but without true love, that which can only truly come from a relationship with He who IS Love, it all means nothing. But God does search the heart and know those who truly have trusted in HIS finished work. It is all of Him, nothing of me. Amen.

        10. I find it curious that there are similarities between *some* branches of IFB and Catholicism. Both can add to the Gospel. Catholics call them “works”. Ifb call them “Standards”. If you don’t follow the Standards, are you saved at all? What those Standards are, can vary from congregation to congregation. The same is true with the Ulster Protestantism that was part of my upbringing.

        11. Actually, I’m sure there are those in their own judgmental minds who question others’ salvation due to outward things (as many of your have done regarding IFB people), but that is a far cry from it being a part of their droctrinal beliefs.

          Those beliefs in fundamentalism would say just the opposite of what you are suggesting. It is the finished work of Christ alone that saves. Some born again people may state outward opinions, but I have heard even people on this site quote, “By their fruits you shall know them. Bible believing Christians do not add to the gospel. The Catholic church, in it’s doctrine and dogma does!

        12. Ps have you ever had someone whisper behind your back “Don’t listen to him – he’s not s Christian at all”? I have. It’s very hurtful and damaging. All because I didn’t hold the same Standards about a certain issue.

        13. I had a student die many years ago. By your interpretation, he is not in heaven. Although he loved Jesus, he did not have all his doctrine correct. He said things when he was younger that were clearly against scripture. If we are to judge by snippets people have said, rather than by their love for others and for Jesus, who will stand?
          By this will all men know that you are my disciples: if you have love for one another. Who has shown love: Bill Gothard or Mother Teresa (who may not be my mother, but has earned a title of respect)?

        14. Then you totally misunderstand me. I did not believe the trinity, but I was saved. I held many false notions, but I was saved. Many of you seem to be reading a lot into what I have said. I would have no idea of knowing if your friend was saved or not and would never pass such a judgment.

          Do any of you believe there are actually false believers, false doctrines and teachings, false “churches” etc.? Just wondering.

        15. Is there “false doctrine”? Sure. Doctrines that misrepresent God are false. Doctrines that tell believers they are “perfected” (KJV word) or made complete in their Christian walk through the energies of the flesh are false.

          But in the US alone there are 25000 different denominations, divisions, sects, splinters, associations, groups, para church organizations and independent churches. All of these believe the Holy Spirit is leading them into “all truth” and all of them think others have major things wrong in practice or interpretation.

          So then, who decides what is false doctrine? When the church was young, it was easy for the apostles to step in. The Church Fathers had a harder time. Are you sufficient to know what doctrines you hold that might be false? Might there be doctrines commonly held in Christianity today that are false? What standards would you use to decide which? What if the doctrine was a popular one?

          Rather than try to point out individual doctrines, which may be a part of a greater understanding, it is better to get a larger view of the issues, including the belief culture and see how the pieces fit together within that culture.

          Divisions and strife have been caused over relatively minor differences in understanding. Wars have been fought, people have died and brethren of good will and honest conscience have been set against each other. The divisions themselves may be more destructive than the “false doctrines.”

          In fact, when you look at the issues Paul was most concerned about, the things he opposed were immorality, divisiveness, denying the resurrection and corrupting the Grace of God. That was it with regards to false doctrines.

          What is worse? Not understanding Scripture the way you do, or dividing Christians on account of it?

        16. I agree with just about everything you said, actually. Some differences, but not worth having a debate over.

  12. Hmm… I googled “Spurgeon” and there appears to be some doubt as to whether he did habitually smoke a pipe. He was known to smoke cigars, and that’s even worse…

  13. I also do not accept much oi reformed theology, though not all. Honestly I cannot stand any doctrines of men, though I have surely bought into some at times in the past, like infant baptism, God not being triune in nature, and others, and I may be holding onto some now that I currently believe are scriptural.

    1. The Christian journey can be an interesting one. My opinions about many things are very different from 30, 20, 10, 5 years ago. 25 years ago I thought I knew everything. I had God sussed. Then my carefully constructed christian world fell apart like the house of cards it was, and I went through a maelstrom that lasted almost a decade. Much of the pain I went through was self- inflicted. When, like the Prodigal Son sitting in the Pigpen, I “came to my senses” I discovered a Heavenly Father who loved me more than I could ever imagine. Why am I telling you this? I’m not sure, except I’ve realised that I’ve been very wrong about a lot of rhings, especially about god. One thing a do know about God is that he loves me.

      1. Paul, I appreciate your statement very much. That is my experience, too. I may not know a lot about God nowadays. But too much of what I knew turned out to be wrong.

      2. I hear you, bro! I was the prodigal straight out for about a year and a half, and I, too, came to my senses. Thankfully, though, before that happened, I was already fairly mature in my faith so that I KNEW exactly where I was and was not playing games with God. I knew I was to be hot or cold, not luke-warm, so I chose the cold path, honestly before the Lord and fully confessed I knew what I was doing. In His mercy, He brought me back and restored me in His perfect timing.

        I’ve had many journeys in my Christian walk. INterestingly enough, in regards to the discussions we had before Christmas, they never caused me to leave IFB churches, but, actually, to become even stronger in and towards them, BUT, in all this I also have grown tremendously in grace, freedom in Christ, forgiveness, personal introspection, non-condemning judgment of others, the art of long-suffering and allowing the Lord to work, where I cannot, etc.

        My first three years as a Christian, I was not officially in any church. The Lord brought me to the point of confusion and fear, or allowed it, so I would finally surrender fully to Him. That was humbling and broke me down before Him.

        That happened after I began at my first IFB church. Then I had more peace than I ever had, and I was pliable in the Master’s hands to learn and grow more than at any point in my Christian life. That took four years.

        Then I was married and went through three churches and had a lot of learning and growing, but always sought to be serving God. I was divorced, and that is when I became the prodigal, or right before we separated, and it continued through almost till the divorce was official.

        Finally, I remarried, and this has been a roller coaster ride of both good and bad, with a lot of emotional and mental trials and anguish, as well as verbal, mental and physical abuse. I am currently going through, once again, a major trial, but I am stronger having gone through so many before. It is still very hard, but I know all things do work together for good, and the Lord will see me through it once again.

        1. Brian, thank you for sharing. You have had a rough go of it, as many of us here at SFL have.

          You turned toward greater faith. Some of us did, too, until we discovered that greater faith meant more vulnerability to abuse. Perhaps it depends on the people around you.

          Just be careful, okay? People I thought were my friends easily turned against me at certain junctures, and I had to make the decision not to let it happen again.

          From what Jesus said, there would be a lot of false shepherds out there, and the sheep don’t necessarily recognize that like they should. Nor do the sheep recognize what has happened when the shepherd’s cooking pot has lamb stew in it. They just know *they* haven’t been eaten– yet.

        2. Thanks. I feel I am very discerning. I have seen false brethren and also those who are not but are carnal or just vengeful and hurtful towards others. I stare clear. Also, remember, I am not a “novice”. I’ve lived A LOT. I’ve also been in six different churches, an active member of five and visited many others. I have a good feel for the “lay of the land”. Not sure what I need to be careful of. My life is in the Master’s hands, who told me to “be careful for nothing…” As I submit to Him and His will, He is faithful to guide, direct and protect. Peace.

  14. some quote from “Mother” Teresa: “I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic”

    “I love all religions. … If people become better Hindus, better Muslims, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there….All is God — Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, etc., all have access to the same God.”

    “We never try to convert those who receive [aid from Missionaries of Charity] to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God’s presence and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for this better men — simply better — we will be satisfied. It matters to the individual what church he belongs to. If that individual thinks and believes that this is the only way to God for her or him, this is the way God comes into their life — his life. If he does not know any other way and if he has no doubt so that he does not need to search then this is his way to salvation.”

    “We could never be what we are and do the things we do without you priests who first bring Jesus to us.”

    All contrary to the Scriptures and the Gospel and an indication of an unregenerate heart.

    1. Well, this would have been my assessment many years ago. I cannot be so certain now.

      “Regenerate” pastors have done horrible things. “Unregenerate” people have done great good. How is it that a child born in the US has a huge chance of hearing the gospel, while a child born in many parts of the world has no chance at all. Does God consign whole regions of the globe to hell, on the basis of where people are born? I can accept that no longer.

      1. NO, God consigns no one to hell. That is our doing. It is His sovereignty. His ways are so much higher than ours that we cannot even begin to grasp His mind. EVERY single person who God foreknows WILL accept Him WILL do so, no matter where that person lives. I cannot understand it, how it’s possible, but I believe I know it to be true. Our God is an Awesome God!

        1. God writes the rules. So yes, He determines who goes to hell and who doesn’t. Again, I admit to some difficulties. Those who haven’t heard are damned, eh? Because God wouldn’t ensure they had a chance to hear, observe, and believe? How is that right?

          None of them deliberately desire to go to hell. None of them make that choice. How do you reconcile that with a good God? Or do you think if God does it, it is automatically good? “Ya’ll don’t believe the way we do, so ya’ll have decided to go to hell by the Grace of God! Hallelujah!”

          No they haven’t. Most of them have no options, no choices, no chance. However you may want to wiggle around it, the theology is that most of the world is predetermined to be damned.

          That bothers me. What bothers me more is that it doesn’t bother most American Conservative Christians. As if they think those people in other cultures deserve to go to hell.

        2. everything you said, especially “Ya’ll don’t believe the way we do, so ya’ll have decided to go to hell by the Grace of God! Hallelujah!” and that THEY deserve to go to hell (we all do), are wrong of me.

          You are not getting it. God knows exactly what everyone when presented with His free gift WOULD do. His choice is based on His predetermined foreknowledge. I do not believe as Calvinists do that God CHOOSES who goes to hell but, rather, that He KNOWS who will choose Him or not choose Him. The election is based on that foreknowledge. NO ONE, in my opinion, is bound for hell who would have accepted Christ,not one soul, or else God is a monster. He is NOT willing that ANY should perish. You either believe or don’t believe that.

        3. By the way, to justify inequity by saying that God’s ways are higher than our ways seems to me a justification for prejudice and lack of concern for the fate of others.

          I see this sort of problem evidenced in the GRACE report. BJU was much more interested in persecuting the victims of abuse than they were in uncovering the sins of the abusers. Somehow the people at BJU had decided that the abused deserved the abuse they experienced. There was a singular lack of compassion to the suffering, and the only thing to do was accept it, forgive it, and praise God.

          I’m not going to hide behind an “I can’t understand it, but it is okay by me” attitude. I have questions that need to be answered.

        4. Do I believe that God is unjust? I have lately looked at both Abraham and Moses, who in admonishing God (they did! They dared! They lived!) assumed that God would be judged by others for His behavior and how His judgments were made and carried out.

          Does God judge the righteous with the wicked? Yes. He appears to have forgotten the reminder given by Abraham that such was not the way the Judge of the Whole Earth should behave. Abraham said, “should not the Judge of the While Earth do right?”

          Abraham did not start with the idea that whatever God did was right because He is God. Abraham realized that even God can be measured by external standards. Sounds like heresy today, but it wasn’t for either Abraham or Moses.

          Of course, Job applying that same standard (and correctly, according to the text) got cowered into submission by God. Might makes right.

          So the question might be asked, is God always right simply because He is God? Is he right because no one can punish Him? Because he can do whatever He chooses? If that is so then you have a “might makes right” moral view of God. Abraham trembled when he reminded God of His place. He knew what God could do. He just didn’t think God’s power conferred an automatic sense of right and wrong.

          And evidently Moses thought the same thing, speaking sense to the Almighty so that God repented of the evil He was about to do to His people.

          If you look closely enough, you will find all sorts of things that do not square with our attempts at a systematic theology. Is God unjust? I don’t know. Can He be unjust? Abraham and Moses thought so.

      1. That is what he has been taught. The discussion may help his understanding of the problems in such a position.

        Even if he is not convinced now, there will be thoughts planted for his mind to reencounter later.

        It took a long time for me to stop being a typical fundy, myself.

        1. I do and shall always stand with those Christians throughout history who always opposed the false nature of the Catholic institution. Again, you can find saved people in any institution, but it does not make the institution itself a Christian one.

        2. Brian, I am not a Roman Catholic. Nor do I say that everything is right there. But I suggest that the main opposition to the Catholic Church over the years has been political, wrapped in religious guise. If you understood the words and could get past your prejudices, you would see agreement with them on a host of things scriptural.

          The main reason for intransigence is fear. People fear that if they find out they are wrong on a particular issue, they may be wrong on others.

        3. Everything you said about peoples; reasoning does not apply to me. I cannot speak for others, but I doubt it is the case with most Christians.

          I agree with JW’s an LDS on a host of things also, but I do not believe those organizations represent historic and biblical Christianity. Is there NO false Christianity (besides “fundies”) in your estimation, even though the Word repeatedly warns of it?

          The things I agree with catholics about will not save anyone. Many believe Jesus to be God, including the devil, but that never saved anyone. I could go on. Galations chapter one, I believe, is one to the biggest indictments against the catholic religion.

          My disagreement has nothing to do with politics but Scripture. It also has nothing to do with fear but with faithfulness to God’s Word. We can agree to disagree.

          One thing that surprises me is the number of people who are vehemently defending the institution of the Inquisitions, the Crusades, the torturing and murder of “heretics” over hundreds of years, pedophilia gone rampant, the denial of basic biblical doctrines, yet think nothing of continuously tearing down a whole group of people in the IFB churches. I just don’t understand the irony. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Baptist put someone on the rack for not accepting a gospel tract. The worst I’ve seen is maybe one yell at someone. Still not nice! 🙂

        4. Defending against erroneous statements and biased Baptist attack points? Yes, I will do that. Just to make sure understand is able to be accomplished. I am not defending the sins of the institution, anymore than you defend the sins of Baptists.

          You aren’t, are you? Just checking.

          Quoting from exposés that quote from “official” publications doesn’t help you get the point. In one quote, the essence of the statement was that faith without works is dead, and a faith that does not have works cannot justify. In other words, what James said!

      2. It’s actually called contending for THE FAITH that was once for all delivered unto the saints. It’s hardly the “fundy card”. Search history. First, here is the wonderful statement made by IL Papa about “our” churches (Meaning all non-catholics): “It is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of ‘Church’ could possibly be attributed to [Protestant communities], given that they do not accept the theological notion of the Church in the Catholic sense and that they lack elements considered essential to the Catholic Church.” So much for bashing.” So I guess we do not actually belong to or go to a church, so according to his higheness the Pope.

        now, historical quotes, not from “fundies”, as YOu would describe them:

        Martin Luther: “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.”

        “A Church council may sometimes err. Neither the Church nor the pope can establish articles of faith. These must come from Scripture.” Luther

        “I advised divines to leave scholastic subtleties and study Scriptures… I wish there could be an end of scholastic subtleties, or, if not an end, that they could be thrust into a second place, and Christ be taught plainly and simply. The reading of the Bible… will have this effect. Doctrines are taught now which have affinity with Christ and only darken our eyes” (Froude, J.A., The Life and Letters of Erasmus, pp. 356).

        “Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt… I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” John Calvin.

        “Whereof it followeth Rome to be the seat of antichrist, and the pope to be very antichrist himself. I could prove the same by many other scriptures, old writers, and strong reasons.” Works by Cranmer, Vol. 1, pp. 6-7.

        “the pretended Vicar of Christ o­n earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not o­nly above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself…speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thess. 2).” Roger Williams

        The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647): “There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition that exalteth himself in the church against Christ and all that is called God.”

        “The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.” Cotton Mather 1600’s

        “He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers… He it is…that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped…claiming the highest power, and highest honour…claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.” John Wesley,

        regarding the pope: “the antichrist, the proud, worldly priest of Rome, and the most cursed of clippers and cut-purses.” John Wycliffe

        On the catholic church: “The preaching of God’s word is hateful and contrary unto them. Why? For it is impossible to preach Christ, except thou preach against antichrist; that is to say, them which with their false doctrine and violence of sword enforce to quench the true doctrine of Christ. And as thou canst heal no disease, except thou begin at the root; even so canst thou preach against no mischief, except thou begin at the bishops.” William Tyndale

        “So it happened that when the church [at Rome] became outwardly glorious she became spiritually debased. Her communion table glittered with gold and silver plate, but her communion with Christ was not so golden as before. Her ministers were enriched, but their doctrine was impoverished. for every ounce of outward gold which she gained, she lost a treasure of grace. Her bishops became lords, and her flocks were famished. Her humble meeting-places were exchanged for grand basilicas, but the true glory was departed. she became like the heathen around her, and began to set up the images of her saints, until at last, after years of gradual declension, the church [at] Rome ceased to be [a] church of Christ, and that which was once nominally [a] church of Christ actually became the Antichrist.. Black darkness covered the lands, and the dark ages set in. Instead of pardon bought with the blood of Jesus, false priests made merchandise of souls, and pardons were hawked in the streets. Instead of deacons and elders adorned with holiness and purity; monks, and nuns, and priests, and even popes became monsters of filthiness. Instead of justification by faith, men proclaimed justification by pilgrimages and by penances. The crucifix took the place of Christ Jesus, and a piece of bread was lifted up a god, and men bowed before it” Spurgeon

        interesting side quote about the Baptists from a cardinal in the 15oo’s : “”Were it not that the Baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the PAST 1200 years they would swarm in greater numbers than all the reformers.” Hosius, Roman Catholic Cardinal Hmmm, who would have thunk that BAPTISTS were around in 300 AD (1200 years before this quote) and that they were NOT part of the reformation? Hmmmm. Interesting, to say the last. Thank you, Mr. Stanislaus Hosius!
        and
        “… as early as the 3rd century AD the APOSTATE CHURCH opposed the anabaptists.” .Henry Bullinger (1504- 1575), Protestant Swiss reformer Oh my goodness, in the 200’s?

        wow!
        “We have now seen that the Baptists, who were formerly called Anabaptists, and in later times, Mennonites, were the original Waldenses… On this account, the Baptists may be considered as the only religious community which has stood since the days of the apostles, and as a Christian society which has preserved pure the doctrines of the gospel through all ages.” Ypeij and Dermout, (1819) royal historians to the king of Holland

        “We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor; I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer; as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the Church, the despot over the consciences of men.” Charles Spurgeon

    2. “We could never be what we are and do the things we do without you priests who first bring Jesus to us.”

      I’m curious what you find in this statement that contradicts scripture. How shall they hear without a preacher?

      1. As some of you have said, do not take things out of context. In context, she was bestowing on the priests special powers of literally bringing Christ to earth in the false sacrifice of the mass.
        That has nothing to do with preachers preaching the gospel.

        My friend got saved without a preacher or a priest simply reading His Bible (Besides there is no priesthood today besides the priesthood of all believers and our High Priest, of course).

        1. Hmmm. As a question, what do you do with Christ’s statement that you must eat His Flesh and drink His blood to have life? In all my years in fundamentalism I have never heard a sermon on the text. It is studiously avoided, ignored, allegorized and talked around, but those who insist it must be a metaphor or symbol don’t explain why Jesus didn’t correct the impression in His disciples that He was speaking literally.

          If you object to the supposed idea of “cannibalism”, it is no more repulsive than the idea that God would require human sacrifice–or the Sacrifice of His Son.

          God has never tailored faith to suit the sensibilities of people. Whether it is in the Baptist once-in-a-while version of the Lord’s supper, the Lutheran and Episcopal “co substantiation” or the Catholic “trans substantiation,” I see no reason to call it a “false” sacrifice of the mass. They are remembering the work of the Lord, and if they have details or understandings wrong, how much worse are they than your former denial of the Trinity?

          We seem to have carried along the fights and antagonisms of the 16th and 17th centuries, including the prejudices, hatreds and divisions that were more reflective of the politics of the time than the changes in both up to the present.

        2. Jesus also called Himself a Rock, a Door, a Light, Bread, Water…geez I could really go on. So now must we place a door in our church and say “Behold Jesus, the Door to Heaven!…You must now walk through Him to enter into Heaven>” Then the parishioners all, in unison, one by one, walk through “Jesus” and are now entering the Kingdom of God. The field day we could have in church with all these symbolic terms Jesus used of Himself. Let’s just agree to disagree. Have a blessed night.

          Oh, I just can’t help it. Eat my flesh, drink my blood – symbolically “injesting” Him when we receive Him. Jesus often was purposely provocative to stir both faith and the ire of those who rejected Him. If you want to believe that while Jesus was still physically here on earth and He held the bread and the fruit of the vine in His hands that both His physical body and those elements were also really Him and He expected His disciples to physically eat and drink Him, and that he was not presenting a deeper spiritual truth, have at it. More power to you. Good night.

        3. BTW, you continue to water down what catholicism actually teachers.

          It is not a memorial to them, though they throw that in there to make it seem something it is not.

          “If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.” (Trent: On the Sacrifice of the Mass: Canon 3);

          “As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead,” (CCC, 1414).

          The august sacrifice of the altar, then, is no mere empty commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, but a true and proper act of sacrifice, whereby the High Priest by an unbloody immolation offers Himself a most acceptable victim to the Eternal Father, as He did upon the cross (Mediator Dei, Encyclical of Pope Pius XII)

          The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice. ‘The victim is one and the same: the Same offers now through the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.’ ‘In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner’ (#1367).

          Please show me scriptural backing for this and also point to chapter and verse(s) where the formula for the “priest” to turn bread and wine into Jesus is given. Show me where such miraculous power is given to a man, and, oh yes, please also provide passages that suggest that in the church, (outside of the priesthood of every believer) where the office of priest is specified at all and where such men are given power to forgive sins and have all the authority that catholic priests currently enjoy. thank you.

          (Heb. 10:10-12)

  15. Brian I would respectfully inform you that you are spreading misinformation about the Catholic faith. I am not angry nor do I wish to debate about it here on the blog and I understand that you are only repeating what you have been taught which is exactly what I believed about it at one time.

    Rest assured that I and most of the people here are fully aware of what the Bible says. There is little need to post whole passages of Scripture which takes up bandwidth. Just post the references. We are already familiar with them.

    1. Elfdream, I had a very interesting conversation with one of the deacons at my IFB church before I left.

      He’d said in Sunday School that Catholics pray to Mary and worship her.

      I pointed out that his was a problem of understanding the language. It didn’t mean what he thought it did. I proceeded to acquaint him with the Communion of the Saints and the ancient meanings of prayer and worship. To pray was to ask, anybody. To worship is to acknowledge the rightful position and honors a person has, and by her own statement, Mary said that she would be called “Blessed” for bearing the Savior.

      I pointed out that the anti-Catholic rhetoric was harmful, especially since it spread untruths and misunderstanding.

      He said he would check on it. The next week he came back and said I was half right, but in Latin America they really did pray to and worship Mary! Sigh.

      1. Speaking to an individual in heaven, attributing grace and being a partner in salvation, as the Catholic church clearly teaches of Mary, is a form of prayer and worship, AS understood for that which is reserved only for and to God. Trying to imply that other meanings of those words takes away from what the Catholic church teachers does not further the understanding of truth for anyone.

        No individual, in heaven or otherwise, is able to receive and respond to the prayers of millions of people at once. It is the kind of false doctrine we are warned of in Scripture. Only the Lord God can do that. Mary being the co-mediatrix with Christ is a far cry from one of you asking me to pray for you or the other way around. I am not sure why anyone on this forum seeks to defend such teachings. Please explain.

        Were all the original Protestants wrong and the Catholic church right? Just wondering.

        1. Brian, you don’t understand. I know you think you do, but you don’t. And you never will if you aren’t willing to listen.

          Let’s talk, simply for a minute. My grandfather loved me very much. He is with the Lord, as I understand it. In a few words, tell me why it would be wrong for me to ask him to pray for me.

        2. I suspect there probably would be nothing inherently wrong for you to convince yourself you can do that. As a child of God, I know He is not going to strike you down and condemn you to hell for doing such, but it is quite silly for us to presume such is possible that is not clearly taught in Scripture and with no basis for us to know it is possible. My wife sometimes talks to her mother in heaven. It’s comforting, but we have no way of knowing if she really hears.

          Again, millions of Catholics DO pray to Mary at the same time. Millions of Catholics DO believe she offers some form of special graces to them and has power to perform miracles of her own accord and that she is sinless. No finite human being, glorified or not, has the god-like abilities of hearing and answering millions of prayers at once, among other attributes ascribed to our sister Mary. It is confusion and it is false doctrine, of the type the Word warns us of. Mary was simply a godly, chosen vessel as part of God’s plan. She is now a spirit in heaven as are all the departed saints of God.

          Even angels are limited: Daniel 10:12 – 13.

          Thank you for telling me I don’t understand but you do. I appreciate it. Blessings.

        3. All or nothing, is it? No partially right and partly wrong? One side has to be completely vindicated while the other gas to be completely vilified?

          Brian, you are in the trap of fundamentalist thinking. No, not the “five fundamentals,” but the system commonly known as fundamentalism by those looking in from the outside. Baptist Pride. We do it God’s Way. We don’t need no stinkin’ “scholarship”! Don’t confuse me with facts. Facts are what I say so. Be Strong. Don’t Compromise! Never Admit To Being Wrong. Tell others they are Wrong and going to hell if they believe the wrong things or the wrong way.

          I know the thinking well. Been there. Done that. Hurt a lot of people with it on the way. Made enemies out of friends. Misjudged people. All the time thinking I was right with God as I left carnage in my wake.

          My guess is you have a lot of uncomfortable experiences ahead of you. In ten years you won’t recognize the present you.

        4. “Tell others they are Wrong and going to hell if they believe the wrong things or the wrong way. ” Never said such a thing in my life, at least not as you characterize it. There is a Scripture I believe that says, Whatever sins you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted in heaven. I know what that means, but it surely is a strong statement that a believer who is following certainly needs to fully understand. Yes, there are things as Christians we can understand. Everything is not a “mystery”.

          You seem very prideful in your knowledge. I appreciate discussing things with you, but it is hard when someone is so right in their own mind.

          what you suggest of me I have already demonstrated the opposite. I have shared much of my testimony and how the Lord humbled me and changed MANY of my held beliefs, and, since that time, others have either changed completely or been altered. I am not as you think, however, I do believe many scriptural truths are clear. Many Christians through the ages, I dare say wiser and more knowledgeable than you or I, have emphatically stated as certainty many of the things I now believe, and you could say the same thing about some of your beliefs. Would you admit that?

      2. rtgmath, this is an interesting comment on understanding the language of the Catholic Church. I had some good friends who are Mormon. From all they said, they sounded saved. They used the same words I do. But as I talked with them further, I found that how we defined the words were very different.
        On the other hand, I have a friend who is Catholic. Not only is she saved, by her works, you can see that.

        1. I believe, as I stated, I think at least several times, there are people attending Catholic churches, perhaps thousands, perhaps millions (I don’t know) who are saved. So the point is?

          Also, what you say is exactly true. The mormon institution, the JW one and the catholic one all use buzz words that sound Christian, but dig deeper and you see they mean something different than they do to born again Christians. Thanks for making my point for me.

        2. I am not sure that your point was actually made, but …..

          As regards to what brighter minds may have said concerning doctrines and distinctions, they can say what they will. I need to work out the problems myself. And so many of the brightest minds disagree with each other!

          If you think I am prideful about my knowledge, you may be right. I want to know, and I don’t take the easy roads of depending on others. I try to keep it in check. But when I hear bad arguments (or what I perceive as bad arguments) it isn’t easy. Since I know a great deal of science, I can’t stand to hear people who know nothing judge it as if they were experts. Is it prideful to actually know what you know, and perceive ignorance in the assertions of others?

          I do have ignorance in a lot of places, too. I do a lot of studying.

          But whatever pride I have is easily eclipsed by people in my alma mater, I am afraid.

          In any case, peace on you. We shall disagree in lots of areas. But peace anyway.

    2. I believe you are responding to my answer to a question asked of me. I thought it best to let God’s Word speak, rather than my opinions. Let God be true and every man a liar. Peace.

      1. Cherry picking verses out of context is not “letting God’s Word speak.” God’s Word is always in Context.

        Nor is it a case of “Let God (I really mean me) be true, but every man (except for me of course) a liar.” Stuff the nose-in-the-air haughtiness there!

        Brian, I say this with all due respect, but you have a lot to learn and possibly more to unlearn. Things aren’t as simple as you suppose.

        God saves us through the Work Christ did, not through our mental understanding of it, our application of it, our doctrines about it or our methods we devise. Christ healed people with faith and without faith, through their obedience or immediately without effort. But Christ in every instance.

        By insisting that there is one methodology to salvation and by relying on snippets of Scripture rather than context — what you have been taught to do, I know! — you assert that your understanding is complete and you put God in a Box.

        I know you don’t mean to do that. But it is what you are doing. Just like I did, many years ago. From our exchanges it is like I am talking to a younger version of myself!

        You aren’t me, of course. But we have a lot in common. One of those things is a natural stubbornness and the idea that we are completely right.

        1. I know exactly what you are saying. Sadly, you are mistaken. You feel you have it “figured out” now and that you are right. That’s fine. You believe I am the one in the wrong, as well as the thousands of scholars, thealogians and Bible students now and throughout history who have supported what I believe. That’s also fin.

          I know the general context from which those verses are derived. I have never taught a passage of Scripture without taking the context very carefully into consideration. For instance, “I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I shall come into Him and sup with him” Great salvation verse!!!! NOT! In Revelation, He is knocking at the door of the church where He is strangely absent and left out. Many Christians misuse that verse. However, the general concept of Him seeking to personally come into us is true, but that verse is not teaching that. I know.

          I know the theological and historic significance, generally, as well. Some verses can truly stand alone and when placed in context and in light of all the scriptures clearly mean what they seem to be saying used alone. As long as we understand the context, it is fair to use verses alone. You also have quoted stand alone verses to me throughout our discussions. I suspect all of the stand alone verses you used were perfectly used in their context?

  16. Brian the Catholic church does NOT worship Mary. If anyone says so they are lying. In fact ‘Mary worship’ can be grounds for excommunication.

    What we have is a failure to communicate. Catholic language is not the language of Protestants. You might see a phrase or a word and ‘think’ you know what it means and in your particular place in Christianity you might be right but say those same words to a Catholic and it means something entirely different. For instance ask a fundamentalist “Are you saved’ and it means one thing. Ask a Catholic and it means something else. Being saved by’ faith plus good works’ is another. To a fundamentalist it means one thing…to a Catholic it is something else.

    By the way Catholics do not believe we ‘saved’ by faith plus works. Catholics believe we are saved the exact same way anyone else is ‘saved’. By the complete and total grace of God.

      1. Probably. Then again, in time, who knows? I know some thoughts took me years to unravel. Some still aren’t.

        Brian, in many respects, appears to be where I was about 15 to 20 years ago. I am sure some people talking to me thought me a lost cause. Some still do!

        1. Can I ask you how comforting it is to know that you know so much? That is not sarcastic. I am being sincere.

    1. we can humble agree to disagree on every point you made. I’ve read many different official catholic literature over the years. It takes commons sense and basic reasoning skills to understand what they are saying, especially when they spell it out clearly for you and say it in black and white. Salvation means what it means. Worship means what it means. Mincing words does not change what is actually taught.

      “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).
      “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.” (Canon 14).

  17. Hoo boy. Just stumbled on this Brialogue. Had I but worlds enough and time….

    Thank you, Scorpio, rgtmath, elfdream, and others for trying to disabuse Brian of his misconceptions WRT Catholicism. I too fear that even the clearest explanation will fall on deaf ears. But one never knows.

    1. Our friend Brian is the perfect fundamentalist. He knows all the answers. He is just following the Bible and God. Not the loving God that can exhibit grace, but the god that gleefully tosses many of his creation into hell. Especially those pesky katlicks. Him and his little congregation, and only them, have The Truth™.
      Reading his posts is a flashback to my days in the IFB. And a reminder as to why I would never go back to the IFB. And reading what Brian says makes me want to distance myself from Christianity altogether. The exact same reaction I had when I was in the IFB.
      It does not matter what any of us say or how any of us say it. He will not listen. After all, in his mind, we are the closed-minded ones. We are wrong for pointing out the problems with the IFB. Reference back to his e-mail to Darrell in the December 16th post to remember how we all were introduced to Brian. My hope, slim as it may be, is that something that he reads takes root and gives him pause and doubt. And that maybe in time, he will see the arrogance of his beliefs.

      1. Brian,

        I don’t have a problem with you not agreeing with things the Catholic Church actually teaches. but once more slowly….Catholics do not worship Mary. If you attend a Catholic Mass which is the highest form of worship for a Catholic Mary’s name is mentioned maybe twice. Once in the creed where it is mentioned that Christ was born of the virgin Mary (which is something I’m sure you agree with ) and in a prayer about being in heaven with Mary and the saints. I don’t think you would have a problem with that either. The rest of the Mass is about God. The Holy Trinity.

        If you want to know what Catholics think of Mary read the wedding at Canaan. She interceded for people and told them ‘Do whatever he tells you to’. That’s it. The ‘co-‘ beside her name does not mean equal to. It meas working alongside of the same way Paul and the apostles and others worked alongside of Jesus because that is what he called us to do. It means cooperation.

        As far as praying to the Saints, prayer is used in the original sense. If you watch a Shakespearean play you will see the word ‘pray’ sprinkled all through them and they aren’t referring to praying to God. It is simply ‘asking’. Catholics ‘ask’ the Saints to pray for them.

        Christ is not re-sacrificed at the Mass either. That is not a Catholic teaching and I don’t care if a Priest or a nun said that. They are wrong. That one is an understandable mistake because outwardly that is what it looks like…but that’s not what’s going on. But no. Catholics don’t believe that.

        Now you are free to disbelieve all of this of course as of course you do….just make sure you are disagreeing about the right things. You know..things Catholics actually believe and not some made up nonsense.

        1. All of my understanding about what Catholics actually believe, but, more importantly the hierarchy actually TEACHES comes primarily from reading their OWN catechisms and official church proclamations, teachings and statements, not to mention my many conversations with both lay Catholics and clergy alike.

          But we shall definitely agree to disagree. I’m sure all the Reformers and original Protestants and all subsequent Bible-believing scholars, theologians and students, despite accumulated years of intense study and research, were simply wrong in their assessments about this institution and you are right! Perhaps someday I shall see the light they missed.

          this is official canon, not some statement by some nun or priest: “For it is in the liturgy, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, that “the work of our redemption is accomplished,” (CCC, 1068). Redemption is not accomplished in the “Eucharist” but was accomplished at Calvary and, no, it is not a “divine sacrifice”, no matter how they seek to gloss over what they teach. Even if this statement found an an apologetic Catholic website is what they really believe, even that is not biblical: “Christ died only once to forgive sins and His sacrificial death was fully accomplished on the cross, but God has given the gift of the Eucharist as the tangible means of applying His Son’s forgiveness.” Wrong.

        2. John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia, 1980, quoting Lumen Gentium, “In fact, by being assumed into heaven she has not laid aside the office of salvation but by the manifold intercession she continues to obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation.”

          Pius IX, Ubi Primum, 1849: “For God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that THROUGH HER are obtained every hope, every grace, and ALL SALVATION. For this is his will, that we obtain everything through Mary.”

          Pius X, Ad Diem Illum, 1904: “Owing to the union of suffering and purpose existing between Christ and Mary, she merited to become most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world, and for this reason, the dispenser of ALL favors which Jesus acquired for us by his death . . .

        3. Catholic doctrine is continually evolving. The Church has gone through at least two reformations, and changes occur at various intervals.

          Even Popes speaking ex cathedra are occasionally superseded by others. The current pope has shown more reform initiative than any for many many years.

          Even the things you quote do not stand alone, but are in context with many other things. And most Catholics do not absorb the full impact of those things. The services are structured in such a way that the minutiae (yes, I called them that) never make an appearance. Instead attention is given to how we live, how we treat others, and how God loves us.

          I’d bet that “let him be anathema” is rarely if ever heard in the sermons or homilies. I’ll let others comment on that!

          On the other hand, fundamentalist doctrine has evolved over the years as well. The doctrine of inerrancy was unknown in the early church. It only in 1978 that it was formalized in the Chicago conferences. The doctrine of the pre-tribulation Rapture was likewise unknown until it was preached by Darby in the 1830s.

          God is big enough for us to ask questions. Unfortunately, many religious and church leaders aren’t.

      2. Scorpio,
        Remember… “Christians” are not the best examples of showing real grace, and love. You and I both know that often the ones who claim to be something the loudest are the ones least suited to exemplify the message they say they embrace.

        Don’t let it get to you. I remember when I was once just like the Jonathans who show up around here. It take’s the Lord opening their eyes to the lack of love and grace they show in their defense of their religious system… which is just as worldly and broken as any they rail against.

        You know how strong the fundie psychosis can be. In the insulated bunker the stale air can produce that sense of moral and religious superiority where one is compelled to set the world straight. (been guilty of that myself) And the sad thing is how the Gospel message gets mangled in the process. And that is the key. Too much righteous indignation and not nearly enough gospel.

        But then again… sometimes it’s just a pure case of rectalcrainum thrombosis.

        1. Funny. I continue to be amused by how dogmatic all of you are about YOUR rightness while condemning another for the same thing. Actually, none of this has anything to do with the gospel nor how I present it. Our discussions, in general, are specifically about the gospel, and I have accepted that the majority of you are saved, so I have not attempted at presenting the gospel for the purpose of leading anyone to Christ. When I do so, by God’s grace, it is with much compassion, patience, love, hopefully sound reasoning, and primarily sharing how much God loves us and what He did for us all through His dear Son. you have no clue about me, Mr. Virtually everything said personally about me has been presumptuous.

        2. Fortunately, you are not the arbiter of who is saved or not. If God was able to stand your own heretical beliefs and yet save you, surely we, who had accepted the Lord before coming to question certain things, are still saved. Once saved, always saved. Right? Not by our own works, but by His mercy?

          Don’t start negating you own doctrines, now.

        3. I think you misunderstood my point, and sorry if it is badly worded. I was in no way suggesting who is or is not saved or that I know. I was assenting that I believe the majority on here are saved. Only God knows for sure. But since I believe that, this is the reason I have not been on here for the purpose of sharing the gospel to get people saved, which is what one person suggested I was negatively affecting. I, well, you know how I came here, but since then, I have just been mostly responding to posts and responses.

        4. Brian, I am sorry for misunderstanding your point(s). The misunderstandings do go both ways. I have said things which would have been better left unsaid. And for those I am sorry, too.

          Some of the misunderstandings may well be posts missed in passing.

          I hold no ill will to you. But our paths have brought us to vastly different places. Perhaps just accepting that fact as an aspect of God’s grace is sufficient.

        5. Hmmm. A response to this comment went to the wrong place. See above.

          But Brian, while some of the responses to you may not have been quite on the mark, many were. You just have the unawareness many have of the consequences of their own assertions.

          You talk about all the Lord foreknows will come to Him as if that were justification for the gospel not to reach some. You say the Lord knows some people wouldn’t accept the Lord, so it is okay that they don’t get a chance.

          Then you quote Scripture that utterly undermines your theological assertion.
          “(He) is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence.” “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live:…”

          God doesn’t deal with people on the basis of what they “would have” done, but on the basis of what they Have done. Where does it say in Scripture that God condemns people on the basis of a would-have or could-have?

          You call us unsaved, you assume you know more about the faiths of others than they do themselves. And while you have engaged civilly in some areas, you don’t, you can’t understand the hurt that has caused so many to turn from the very theologies you espouse.

          You have, at least, admitted that many Catholics are saved. I doubt you have ever really read the Encyclicals. You certainly don’t understand them like you think you do.

          And yes, you remind me of me about 20 years back or so. The difference, I suppose, is that I came to the conclusion that knowledge and understanding trump doctrine.

          Our questions are honest ones. If God isn’t big enough to handle them, what kind of God is he?

          I think you probably have questions of your own you like to ask — but may be afraid to. From what you have shared about yourself, you ought to have a boatload of them.

          In the end result, I don’t blame you for our differences. I blame the system you are in. Your church may not have all the characteristics of fundamentalism we criticize here, but your church has some of them plentifully. Your answers tell us so.

          Nobody here hates God or the Bible that I know of. We hate what people who profess allegiance to God and the Bible have done in their names. No one here has decided to believe false doctrine. But we do question if the doctrines that produce so much hurt and division can be true.

          Maybe, possibly, you should try to understand what could possibly cause faithful people to break, to have crises of faith. We don’t need judgement. We need healing.

          And I’d bet you need healing, too.

          If you stick around we will disagree more. If you don’t, peace on you as you find your way.

        6. Actually it does say we are elect according to His foreknowledge before the foundation of the world. Theologian and laymen alike have debated what those scriptures mean for centuries, and I will not further that debate here. Believe as you will.

          “You call us unsaved” I i never said that but just the opposite that I believe most on here ARE saved.

          Of the rest, I am not getting into a debate again. Need to eat and then go sleepy pie! Night night.

        7. Yikes! I misread a crucial statement of yours. I had read that you accepted that most of us were unsaved. There was no “un”. I am ashamed. Time to sto reading small print or get another, larger phone.

          I am sorry. I accused you wrongly there.

      3. Interesting response. Change the name “Brian” in it to “Scorpio”, and the term “fundamentalist” to whatever you are, since I have no clue, and it will be very fitting. You are misinformed and wrong on so many fronts regarding who I am and what I actually believe that I scarce know where to begin.

        SCORPIO thinks Brian thinks God: “gleefully tosses many of his creation into hell”

        On the contrary, Brian has repeatedly expressed the opposite and understands the following:

        “(He) is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence.” “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live:…”

        Scorpio must have missed all those posts.

        SCORPIO mockingly and scornfully claims that Brian thinks “Him and his little congregation, and only them, have The Truth”

        While Brian has actually said he does not agree with everything that takes place in his “little congregation” nor everything that is taught and that Brian even questions himself about things, realizing he is only human and perhaps could be wrong about many things, having already changed many deeply held beliefs throughout his CHristian walk. One teaching in his “little congregation” that he disagrees with is Old Testament tithing, and he also does not like the degree of emphasis on santa clause, even from his own pastor.

        SCORPIO was MIA for those posts as well.

        SCORPIO says: “reading what Brian says makes me want to distance myself from Christianity altogether”

        That is a sad and very telling statement of the depth of your brand of Christianity, that simply because someone expresses some views you disagree with it may actually shake your faith to the core. I will pray for you that you will have much more assurance in the Lord.

        SCORPIO says: “It does not matter what any of us say or how any of us say it. He will not listen. After all, in his mind, we are the closed-minded ones.” Now, I will reword this, and look how simple an exercise this is: “It does not matter what Brian says or how he says it. Scorpio will not listen. After all, in his mind, Brian is the closed-minded one.” See how that works? You see, Mr. Scorpio (when did you leave General Hospital, BTW), YOU, apparently, have deeply held beliefs and convictions you are certain about, or do you? Do you think it is possible to arrive at that point? It seems you do, but you are being critical of ME being there, while you, yourself, also seem to be there.

        For me, though, you see, it is not about KNOWING it all, but simply having assurance of what I have believed and not being a wave tossed to and fro on an ocean of confusion or being double-minded. Do you think we should be like that? I have come to a place in my faith where I am confident in most of my beliefs but that does not mean I think i know it all. On the contrary, I frequently have a great many doubts I wrestle with and, as stated, I have already changed many of my deeply held beliefs in the past. That does not mean that I should constantly be stuck between multiple opinions, ideas and beliefs, taking a stand on none and believing nothing. You are either doing that or you also have deeply held beliefs and certainty of things you are assured of else you would not be so contrary to me. Yet, hypocritically, you mock me for being JUST LIKE YOU.

        Finally, SCORPIO derisively states: “My hope, slim as it may be, is that something that he reads takes root and gives him pause and doubt. And that maybe in time, he will see the arrogance of his beliefs.”

        I have already addressed most of that and shown the hypocrisy of your own statements. He who is so certain in his own beliefs mocks another for being just as certain as well.

        1. So much nonsense to address but I will just focus on this gem:

          “Finally, SCORPIO derisively states: “My hope, slim as it may be, is that something that he reads takes root and gives him pause and doubt. And that maybe in time, he will see the arrogance of his beliefs.”

          There was absolutely nothing derisive in that comment Brian. The word derisive means mocking. I was not mocking. I was expressing my hope that you will one day see the light. You either have a reading comprehension problem or do not understand the words that you use.

          Either way it does not matter. You have convinced no one here of anything. We have all “been there done that and have the scars to show for it”. If you had taken the time to read many of the previous posts and comments (like many sincere new commenters) you would have a deeper understanding of what we have been through. How so many of us have been hurt by institutionalized religion. But you just came in criticizing Darrell for a post in which he openly spoke of his inner hurt. You showed absolutely zero compassion and grace. Attributes that get lip service in many churches but are rarely shown by the members.

          You are like so many folks who have come on here and attempted to show us the errors of our ways. For some reason you feel the need to defend the god you worship. You, like them, ignore what many of us say. You, like them, disregard what we have been through. And fortunately you, like them, will eventually go away.

        2. SCORPIO misses the mark again.

          First, the tone, in context with the entire response, came off as mocking and arrogant on YOUR part. Further, though I dissected what you wrote, you chose not to directly address hardly any of what I actually said.

          Second, once again you bring up a post from LONG ago, relatively speaking, that I have already addressed multiple times, asked forgiveness for my original tone and words, and also related to, as I, also, have experienced depression. I can understand if you perhaps have missed MANY of my posts, but you, too, should look back and read what you may have missed.

          Further, I HAVE addressed the aspect of genuine hurts and abuse, have related that, even now, I am dealing with some in my own life, and that I DO have compassion on those who have experienced it.

          I never came her to pick a fight. I came by accident. Since then I have simply been responding, oftentimes to a lot of scorn and hurt directed at me PERSONALLY, not just addressing belief systems and doctrinal positions.

          Finally, as saying I have convinced no one, well, you are not God and have no idea what anyone is truly feeling or thinking. Further, I have actually come into some agreement with many people on here in various areas where we have confessed common ground. Somehow you seem to have been out of the mix and missing the larger context.

          I wish you peace.

        3. Brian,
          I think the point is that you need to respond less, and reflect more on what people are writing. You feel the need to respond to every post with which you disagree with a long, theological diatribe that has numerous quotes inserted.

          I am fairly conservative theologically, and there are many biblical points on which we would probably agree. But, I am here to listen, learn, and comment when appropriate-not to have long arguments with people. Those arguments only seem to prove that you are the type of believer many of the posters here have fled from.

          i have not been as hurt as bad as many here, but I had my moments in the independent Bible church movement that were cringe-worthy. I also discovered I had a brain, and that many of the fundamental theological arguments about lifestyle didn’t hold water because there were so many leaks in the bucket. I have found that winning theological arguments usually doesn’t help, but love and listening do. There is a time for theology, but most of us here just need to know that there are other folks like us out there-wounded and burned in churches where no one could think or act outside of the very small boxes in which they had locked themselves.

    2. It’s a good thing that you have all the understanding and humility in this matter, and all those who differ from you in understanding are wrong. Thank you for clarifying. I can sleep more soundly now.

  18. wrote this when returning as a prodigal in ’04

    Took all the jewels: I was cruel
    Got the fix – took my licks
    No turning back when I’m on the path I don’t belong
    Till I lose myself to the truth and find a new song

    Fading faith is finding a place to grow and return
    From the slime pits, the pig pens, the long road away
    The journey back is too long to reach the endless road
    But the reach that is waiting is longing for me to stay
    To stay, never go away, remain forever in the place of no day
    No night, but only eternal light

    Impassioned plea: Look at me
    I can’t feel – God is real
    When I look I can’t see the light that I have lost
    When I lost the love I found when the Light found me

    Fading faith is finding a place to grow and return
    From the slime pits, the pig pens, the long road away
    The journey back is too long to reach the endless road
    But the reach that is waiting is longing for me to stay
    To stay, never go away, remain forever in the place of no day
    No night, but only eternal light

    Delicious pit: You like it?
    I thot so – gotta go
    I opened my eyes to realize the lies in the gathering of flies
    Asking the why’s but receiving no replies till myself I despise

    Fading faith is finding a place to grow and return
    From the slime pits, the pig pens, the long road away
    The journey back is too long to reach the endless road
    But the reach that is waiting is longing for me to stay
    To stay, never go away, remain forever in the place of no day
    No night, but only eternal light…HIS Light.
    Nothing like a good hug in the daylight.

  19. called THE LIGHT

    Beyond the darkened seed there lies
    A light so bright man dies besides,
    But yet this light, a lamb, a lion,
    Was slain for those who were denying,
    That this light may give life — forevermore.

    So to the pit the light was sent
    Extinquished, darkened – it was spent.
    Yet rising, blazing, glory beaming,
    Bursting forth through the veil of tears,
    The eyes so blind may see eternity

  20. hope I’m not bugging anyone by sharing

    this is called TRANSFUSION

    Ravished by disease, tainted within
    Tarnished eternally, by the sickness of sin
    Decaying from inside, the core to the fore
    This world is so sick by the sin that You bore.

    In need of repair, a new heart to transplant
    How desperate the hour, no time to recant
    Except for the nails, driven into your hands
    No time would be left for our souls to withstand

    JESUS! JESUS!

    Your blood is the cure for the world
    They fear, they fear what they don’t know
    A transfusion is what we all need
    Then, only then can we be freed…
    Only then can we be freed.

    Condition is critical, the last breathe to be breathed
    All must repent and fall fast to their knees
    If only to find there your endless mercy
    Forgiveness delivers, heals and sets free!

    One last heartbeat and the shadow of death
    Will precede the darkness that never knows end
    Oh, Lord, Plead, plead the blood that you shed
    Open their eyes, Lord, to see You have bled…

    JESUS! JESUS!

    Our blood is So sinful and hopeless to save
    It needs to be cleansed, Lord, show us the way
    A transfusion from your sinless veins
    Cleanses forever every dark stain
    Heal, Lord, deliver and Save
    You, alone, You are the way
    Deliver, Redeemer, deliver Today!…
    Redeemer, deliver today.

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