277 thoughts on “Rebuking the Scorner”

  1. I think it’s a good thing to be a pure washout for my Lord Jesus Christ.

    O that everyone’s sins would be washed out by the Blood of the Lamb.

  2. When I became agnostic, most of the people around me were sad. Only a few were angry, and even fewer insulted me for it. When I see people (usually on the Internet) insult people for losing faith or moving to a different faith tradition it makes me suspect their own faith isn’t nearly as strong as they think it is. I’m actually OK if someone calls me apostate or whatever as there’s a basis for saying that. But to make Christianity into some kind of contest is just sick. Like they sing “We are the Champions” in church or something. It’s messed up.

    1. Fundy Christians (but not just Fundy Baptists) are the only sect I know of that actually has material putting down other religious groups in its worship services– in the songs, the preaching, and the praying.

      No other group does this– not Catholics, Orthodox churches, mainline Protestants, not Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists. Many of them may have negative opinions about other groups, but they don’t devote time in their services to belittling them.

        1. The Talmud, OK, but you will never find Orthodox Jews putting down other faiths during their prayer services.

    2. I don’t mind being called an apostate, but it drives me up the wall if I’m told that I’m only doing what I’m doing because I “want to sin”. Yes. I went through deep depression and nightmares over hell just so that I could drink a beer without feeling guilty. I’ve only had one person tell me that, out of the few I’ve talked to in confidence.

      Or as I mentioned in the forums before, how the “you were never part of the team anyway” attitude is a pretty common response. It’s hard to not believe that as a fundie, though, when that verse in 1st or 2nd Timothy I think it is talks about the people that were among us and were never part of us.

      1. I wish Fundies would read Romans 7 of Paul’s struggling. And the accusation, “you want to be bitter!” is another one that drives me crazy as well. They are crazy if they think I like even thinking about them in any way, much less to have something to be bitter against.

        The “scientists hate God” meme is also a hoot. You have to believe in God and believe God has the particular set of attributes claimed for him to actually hate him. And then that would be stupid because, hell.

        Nor do I “hate the truth”. Actually, I hate lies, falsehoods, backstabbing, anti-education, puffed-up rhetoric spewed by ignorant pulpiteers who believe that every word coming out of their mouth has to be true because they are the MoG. There ought to be a clean air act regarding this sort of pollution.

        1. I do think there are “atheists” who hate God in a sense. Or they hate their parents and use God to stand in for them. Alot of the really obnoxious atheists strike me as that way.

          But the majority of atheists and agnostics don’t hate God. They really, truly don’t believe that a god exits.

        2. I think there are some people that can be misrepresented as hating God, but only because their form of expression is present the god character and show why you disagree with the idea of that particular god. David Bazan, for example in his song “When We Fell” is singing to the god he used to believe in. Naturally, it’s a method of building an “argument scenario” where you convey why you can’t adopt that idea any longer by confronting the character or idea and expressing disapproval. It doesn’t fail to have people think “if you don’t believe in God, then why are you talking to Him? Ha! Checkmate! God is not dead, you’re just angry at Him!”

        3. I hate George. Anyway, good point.

          IF the God of the Fundies is real, and he has decided to make science and observation unacceptable, rewarding only faith in Blatant Lies and Transparent Deceits, then yes, I would hate him.

          But the god of the Fundies does not exist. While I have not stopped believing in Christ, I don’t have to believe in the inerrancy of Scripture or the infallibility of the Cretinous Men o gosh.

          Better to worship as a child, knowing I am ignorant about God than to worship a lying mock-up, a modern day golden calf.

          But I won’t be ready to sacrifice Isaac. I won’t believe God calls us to endorse evil or to be nationalistic. God should be above that. And if God cannot help in the here and now, or change the evil hearts of those who claim faith, what Good is He, really?

          Time to stand on my own feet and use my own mind.

      2. I let that stuff roll off me because I know the personal hell I went through. Losing one’s religion isn’t an easy thing. At least it wasn’t for me.

    3. Well said. It’s all about numbers and attendance for these fundies and other religious cults. Freedom has never felt so good once I stopped looking inside of a ‘church’.

  3. Had a look at his doctrinal statement. So glad to know that he believes in the “diety” of Jesus Christ.

    Not sure what that means but good to know he believes it.

  4. “Washouts.” That’s kind of a weird word to use in relation to Someone who said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

  5. Just a couple of quick comments regarding this gentleman–
    1.) He doesn’t appear to suffer from low self esteem
    2.) a. He likes blocking people on his twitter account
    b. He really likes announcing to anyone who may be reading his tweets that he’s blocking people on his twitter account

    One might imagine a tweet along the lines of:

    On my fifth day of twitter I blocked for all to see–
    Five Cal-vin-ists,
    Stuff Fundies Like,
    Three gay men,
    Steve An-der-son,
    And a washout who tried to teach me!

    1. 12 authors of books the devil wants you to re-ad,
      11 trouble making infidels, 10 women drivers, 9 human-i-ists 8 groups dying for my attention, 7 narcissistic psychopaths, 6 post-trib, believe onlies………

        1. MiriamD, I don’t know if it’s still on as I haven’t listened to NPR in forever, but there used to be a segment on Weekend Edition Saturday that featured a guy who used to play really, really bad music. Anything based on this guy’s tweets would qualify.

        2. Wow, I didn’t know that. I used to listen to NPR all the time, but now I’ve branched out. Mainly because now I listen to heatheren music.

          My local NPR station didn’t play that show, but the segments I heard on WESat were pretty good, in a painful sort of way.

        3. I used to be a big fan of the Annoying Music Show.
          Each segment was only three minutes long, probably because Nayder figured that was about as much of it as most people could stand at one sitting.

  6. Wow. So I missed all the weekend drama here.

    I actually want to thank Ted Alexander. “Religious Washout for Jesus” is a high compliment, and I only hope I can live up to those words. Seriously. I mean, I don’t agree with the narcissistic psychopath part, obviously, but you know, I think the narcissism charge is just projection, and psychopath, well, he obviously doesn’t have a full grasp on the meaning of that diagnosis or all of its repercussions. Meh. Who cares?

    But “Religious Washout for Jesus” is something to try to live by, and those words will stay with me for a long time.

    Thanks, Ted. I mean that in all sincerity.

  7. He responded, now I feel so important, so …. admired and respected. But then he needed to admit it and I expected he would respond.

  8. It’s funny that he conflates us all as “hyper-calvinists”.

    Buddy, the Reformed Hyper-calvinists condemn me just as much as you do.

        1. You were either predestined to read the wiki or you weren’t. You had no choice, and it isn’t your choice as to whether you believe it or not.

          After all, God is the only player. Everyone else just plays according to the Script.

        2. Yeah, wow. I think reading that a few times might provide all the anesthesia I’d need before surgery.

    1. It has been my experience that those who are fearful of, or have a misunderstanding of Calvinism tend to look at the extreme views and thus “all Calvinists are hyper-Calvinists.” It’s the same as the assumption that all Catholics are idolatrous hell-bound Pope worshipers, or that all atheists hate any religious person, all Mormons are polygamists, or that all gay men are pedophiles.

      My guess is that it is easier for Mr. Alexander and his ilk to broad-brush anything they dislike or do not understand. I’ve seen it before. I grew up in it, and still have friends in that system. Study and understanding are a lot harder that being a proof-texting wind bag who “wins” his debates by insults and retreats. (Yes-I just did it too. Painting with the broad brush is fun. And no, Scorpio–I’m not painting women)

      1. You may be right. Then again, it seems to be similar to placing something on a slope. Without a high friction coefficient, gravity will pull it to the extremes, downhill as it were. Even the moderate Calvinist positions I have encountered quickly allowed the same conclusions as the extremes under the right circumstances.

        I don’t mean to use too broad a brush. As a mathematian, though, I find that following the established rules leads to valid theorems. In a propositional system, you do that.

        And Calvinism is nothing but a propositional system. It is the embodiment of theological logic.

        I would like to know what you consider to be the limiting factors of Calvinism that keep it from becoming hyper? I haven’t ever had someone ever outline the distinctions between them.

        I am by no means agreeing with Ted Alexander. I doubt he knows what Calvinism is — not really.

        1. I do not claim to be, or even agree with much of Calvinistic theology. Many different theological positions have a fine line between moderate and extreme. I have a friend who claims to be a Calvinist. He and I agree on almost all points of theology as pertaining to salvation by grace. The difference is that he believes only the elect can be saved, I believe once you become a believer, you become one of the elect. I guess I would consider him moderate.

          A few years ago my wife and I were at a counseling conference. (Not Jim Berg’s style) One of the speakers has written some books on child rearing and one for husbands. The one for husbands was a very good book, other than being so dry it was almost painful in spots. The folks in charge are pretty Calvinistic in their beliefs, and this guy was also. I was looking forward to a session he was teaching, right up until I got there. He was one of those fine leaders who had time for everyone except his family. He spent a lot of the session blaming God, election, and predestination for a wayward child. My take-a-way was that he should have practiced what he preached and reared his kids. I would consider him a bit hyper.

          Well, that turned into a ramble. Sorry about that. I prefer to avoid labels, but many people seem to need them. I think folks like Ted use them to make themselves look better. I agree that Ted likely doesn’t truly know what Calvinism is. I have found it isn’t what I was taught back in Fundystan. Most Fundies see it a a terrible ogre to be feared, just as they fear anything that they don’t understand or might cause the parishioners to think outside the box.

        2. I appreciate your attempt to illustrate a moderate Calvinism for me.

          I have always had the feeling that the problems with much of the theological positions have been that we allowed bad definitions to stand as the accepted definitions and based our own positions in a reactionary manner. We never tried to set the definitions to right. We allowed the wrong questions to hold people’s attention.

          Almost like this. Uncle Wilver, have you stopped beating your wife?

          The “question” is absurd, of course, assumes things without evidence, and cannot be answered in a satisfactory manner. It is the way fundamentalists approach a lot of issues. Then again, it is the way belief approaches things. We have been conditioned to think that belief without evidence or thought is good and questions and doubt are bad.

          I thank you for your ramble. As you know, I do it all the time.

        3. Actually, it is that publishers ca#128n&7;t sell their titles at a lower price anywhere else. Yes, the resellers get a fixed percentage of that, but the point is that they can’t have sales, or promotions, or anything else that might entice a buyer to come to their store over another. In other words, if the book is offered at $14.99 in iBookstore, it has to list at that price — or higher — everywhere else. Since B&N and Amazon and most other resellers also have been forced into signing the agency agreements, that means there is no difference in price anywhere. In other words, price fixing.

      2. Well then that’s no fun Uncle.

        Besides, when I paint women I use a small fine hair brush, not a broad brush. But a broad brush is fine for bozos like our friend Ted.

        1. I was afraid you’d get confused when I used the phrase “broad” brush. I recommend a fine camel hair brush.

  9. To me, the difference between hyper and normal(?) calvinism is that the former may allow the logic to supercede clear teaching in a quest to be consistent. For instance, the Great Commission is pretty clear. It could be asked what the point is if God controls both the wanting and the doing of His good will? Well, I don’t know, but he told me to do it so I need to do it. Why pray if God is only going to do what he is going to do? I can speculate reasons but in the end, we do it because He says to. I do not like cognitive dissonance but just because i don’t know what He is doing does not mean He does not know what He is doing. I am open to correction on this, but that is how I think of the difference between hyper- and whatever the alternative is called.

    1. Joshua, that is a good point. And if I were to believe in inerrancy, I might accept it.

      But it indicates a fatal flaw with “doctrinal” systems generally. They are internally inconsistent. When faced with the inconsistency, it is covered up with “God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.”

      The fact is that we can understand the physical world around us. God made it, right? According to Paul, it reveals God’s power. It indicates how God does things. We can study it, predict accurately from it, understand causes and effects. Languages are cause and effect. Assuming God can communicate as well as He can create, He could have given us Scripture and doctrine and relationships that were internally consistent and cross-culturally relevant.

      But He didn’t. It shows that the Scripture doesn’t meet the criteria claimed for inerrancy.

      That, of course, is only one issue. With the teaching that God is Sovereign, the Scripture actively teaches the ability of man to choose and to act, if not necessarily to accomplish.

      In my opinion, as not-so-humble as I acknowledge it to be, equating Sovereignty with having made the choices for all things is ludicrous. And knowing the End in General does not include knowing or predetermining the Specifics. God is Sovereign, yet God *can* be disobeyed. God can want a thing but have His desires and designs thwarted. The Scriptures are full of examples.

      The conflict in what Theology defines and what actually is can be seen in the conflating the idea of completeness (Hebrew) with the idea of Perfection (Greek). The Greek Ideal has no meaning in Scripture. Not even John’s Logos is in that vein of interpretation. But much of Christian doctrine developed along the lines of Greek philosophy and Roman institutionalism.

      Hmmph. Looking back on this, I see I am subjecting you to another of my “stream of consciousness”-type musings. Oh well, I will post it anyway, with apologies to those who aren’t interested.

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