373 thoughts on “Coffee Separation”

  1. Oh the memories…of those days when I was told what to wear, where I could go, what to read and listen to, what to think, who to vote for…how refreshing to attend a church where the pastor calls this type of teaching “binding people’s consciences,” something he has no right to do.

  2. When I was living in Coleraine one of my favorite eating places was called “Bob’n’Bert’s” I guess fundies would wonder, with a name like that, if it was run by a gay couple…. πŸ™‚ if it was, I would not care – it was a great place to eat. Clean, comfortable, great atmosphere, the food was great, nothing fancy, but just really excellent food. Prices were great too.

  3. I also stopped drinking Starbucks (before I even realized they did not support traditional marriage) because their coffee costs more and the quality is no better. Then I had to start boycotting 7-11 because there were magazines in there that revealed bare women’s flesh. Then I had to cut off Walmart because the clerk wished me Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Finally had to settle on Chick Filet – the coffee sucks but the bible says the Lord honors our sacrifice.

  4. A friend of mine just started boycotting Starbucks not because of the gay thing but because they have a mermaid on their cup. According to her, the mermaid is a siren and a siren is a pagan goddess and the siren in question used to, on their cups a long time ago, have actual bare boobs, and of course all of this adds up to perversion and wickedness, and would you really want to give your money to a company that would support such wickedness??? Except that if you understand the history of Starbucks, they have a very nautical history, with their name coming from the first mate in Moby Dick. And the siren is connected to sailors and the sea. It’s nothing so nefarious as wanting to have some wicked pagan goddess on their cups. And you’ll notice that the Boobs of Wickedness are now a blank white space, so isn’t that an improvement? I’ll never understand the desire of certain people to dredge up deep dark Bad Things (because who even bothers to research the symbolism on their coffee cup?) everywhere they go. She also doesn’t celebrate Christmas because it’s pagan and follows Jewish law regarding diet and wears those tassel things despite the fact that she isn’t Jewish. She’s also very young, so hopefully it’s mostly a maturity issue.

    1. Your friend follows Jewish Laws? What scriptural backing does she have for that. In my pagan ignorance I thought Paul had something negativ e to say about Gentiles having to follow Jewish customs…. I always thought it was in Galatians, but I’m probably wrong.

      1. “The Bible says it.” That’s it. As I said, she’s very young, very enthusiastic, and she tends to pick out teeny little things and develop them into “things I’m going to give up out of my love for Jesus and then blog about”. It all comes down to this false paradigm of “if it might conceivably through some twisted logic be wrong and if I struggle whatsoever with the idea of giving it up if God asked me to, I should give it up.” She gave up *all* music for awhile as she felt it was something coming between her and God (even good Christian music). I don’t think she’s a fundy. She’s just one of those people who likes to make up rules for themselves.

        1. A common problem. Paul said in Romans: “For I can testify that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the truth. For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to GodΚΌs righteousness. “

  5. I was a progressive thinker even as a child. I never believed in the stupidity presented in sermons and I wondered why I, as a child, understood how infactual the preacher was yet everyone else, as adults, seemed to fall in line with his way of thinking.
    I don’t understand and will never understand why Christian people feel that businesses that cater to the general public should have the same belief system that they do. No one is going to believe as extremely as a lot of fundy folks yet they have to shop somewhere: have to buy gas at stations that are open on Sundays, have to buy food that is sold at stores that sell alcohol and cigarettes and lottery tickets (reminds me that we need to renew our weekly draw tickets!). Fundy folks don’t even like non-fundy folks. There’s no pleasing them! Preachers pick some pet peeve and elaborate it into a sermon. What should happen is that someone with a brain should have stood up in that service and said “Do you not understand how stupid you sound right now?!!!”

  6. I agree with not supporting Starbucks….but how do we know he has “no problem with Amazon”….and what does Amazon do that a fundy would find objectionable?

  7. Somebody needs to point out to Fundies that their very favorite “Christian restaurant”, Chick Fil A, hires gay people. They’re also franchised. So, if you shop at a franchise and the manager is gay (and you may never know this, so don’t insist they’re not), a pretty substantial portion of your bill is going to directly pay his salary. Especially if you’re a regular. And a lot of Fundies are regulars. You’re probably giving far more money to the gays by eating at a Chick Fil A (like the family of five that used to eat lunch at the one I worked at EVERY DAY) than by buying a coffee occasionally at Starbucks. But people don’t think critically like that. They just go “OMG THEY’RE DESTROYING MARRIAGE” (because of course when marriage for gay people is legal everywhere, marriage for straight people will vanish off the face of the earth. Barton’s own marriage will disappear before his eyes; his license will simply vaporize and he will be living in sin with the woman formerly known as David Barton’s wife. *eyeroll*). I suppose Starbucks may have destroyed a marriage once, but it probably had more to do with the customer’s regular purchase of large quadruple-shot vanilla caramel mochas breaking their budget than anything else.

    1. But you don’t find if he supports traditional, biblical marriage do you?…..Marriage is union between one man and one woman…..No one should be able to redefine marriage…..or should they?

        1. That’s not even a comprehensive list of all the “traditional” marriage types in the Bible, although it’s a good list.

        2. The only marriage practice Jesus specifically criticized was divorce.
          I’m not against divorce; I’m just saying that’s the only comment about marriage I can think of that is attributed to Jesus. He didn’t condemn slavery, polygamy, or even concubinage.

        3. I was always taught in the IFBC that all of these types of unions were wrong, save one man, one woman. But God used men for his purposes in spite of their sin in this area. I tend to agree with that teaching.

          Too bad I was also taught at the IFBC that if *I* have any unconfessed sin in my life (no matter how small), God can’t use me like he would like to.

        4. I don’t doubt that many in the IFB preach against other kinds of arrangements besides one man/one woman marriage. But they aren’t getting that principle from the Bible; they’re getting it from mainstream American culture.

        1. My point is that if you want to condemn adults having sex with children, you’ll have to go outside the Bible to find your reasons.
          Fortunately, that isn’t hard to do.

      1. Nearly a year ago an article was posted on Facebook about a judge in Australia who said that sexual relations between family members should be decriminalised, as long as they are consensual, and that marriage should be made available. I not on Facebook at the moment but on sure the article is available on the internet, so I will hunt it out and post a link. I found the article to be disturbing, especially since he was using very similar logic and arguments to those used about same sex marriage. There is a chance that the offspring of such unions may have birth defects but there is a very simple solution to that problem, which is already being used all the time. It’s called Abortion.

      2. And why not? Marriage is not defined as only one man and one woman in the Bible. If you actually read the Bible, one man can have many women. In fact, God told David He had given David all his wives, the concubines of Saul, and would have given David more women if that hadn’t been enough. That’s right. God told David that! God-approved Biblical polygamy.

        Just because you can take a few verses out of the Bible referring to marriage one way doesn’t mean that is THE definition and the only one.

      3. I didn’t say that anywhere. My point was that it’s naive to think that one can avoid supporting gays by boycotting Starbucks. Or to think that legalizing gay marriage (whatever you think about it) “destroys” traditional marriage. Marriage isn’t some nebulous concept out there that can be destroyed. It’s a union between two people, and should not depend on what the world at large thinks or says about it. I doubt that anybody’s real, actual, existing marriage will be affected in any way, be made less sacred, less special, less intimate or holy, because some gay people got marriage licenses. That was my point. Nobody wants to destroy traditional marriage. No gay person was ever like “I want traditional marriage to go away.” They just want to add on gay marriage. There’s a difference. That was my point. I wasn’t speaking to the legitimacy of gay marriage, but the idea that somehow gay marriage destroys traditional marriage. And traditional marriage in the way we think of it is a pretty modern construct as human history goes, whatever God’s original intent. I don’t think that gay marriage is biblical in the sense that I don’t think that the Bible permits it. I also don’t think that a country’s laws should respect one religion’s take on things over any other. The laws should be used to keep order and promote the safety of citizens and their property. Not to enforce morals or religious beliefs. If you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t marry a man. It’s that easy.

        1. The laws should be used to keep order and promote the safety of citizens and their property. Not to enforce morals or religious beliefs.
          Extremely well put, Free Little Hummingbird!

    2. Remember Satanic symbols on Proctor and Gamble products and all the furor over that? Anybody still talking about it? Nope, didn’t think so. Fundies just need a cause to make noise about and make everybody feel righteous till the next cause comes up.

      1. My job involves stocking a lot of Procter & Gamble product. The individual packages generally just have the PNG name somewhere on an end flap, but every shipping carton has the old Man in the Moon logo on it. Such a resounding victory the Real True Christians won against the forces of…Art Nouveau advertising graphics.

    3. I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how legalizing same-sex marriage is going to make me want to leave my wife and marry a man. I just don’t see a cause and effect there, no matter how many people claim that heterosexual marriage is being threatened. I can’t see how it threatens my one marriage, or any of Rush Limbaugh’s four marriages, or any of Newt Gingrich’s three marriages, or any others.

      1. Do you think that ministers or pastors ofchurches should be forced to perform same-sex marriage even if the feel they cannot accept it? Or are they allowed to opt out? This is a serious question. I do know that there is a strong movement within the Gay Rights Movement in Britain to remove all elements of choice in the matter. Such marriages are not yet legal in Northern Ireland – apparently most people here are reactionary bigots – but I think it will eventually be forced through, and there is going to be a referendum in tge Republic of Ireland on the issue.

        1. Paul, I understand that it is a serious question. Personally I suspect that if it becomes law that all officiants must marry whomever comes to them with a licence there will be a furor for about 5 minutes and then nothing. Here in Canada the law preventing woman from going topless was removed from the books. Know how many women go around topless? In about 10 yrs I have seen two. I think it is one of those things that people don’t want to take advantage of but want on, or off, the books. That’s just my take. I do not feel good about forcing people who feel it is against their religion to perform the ceremony but then again if the option is to pay a fine, or whatever, they could always pay the fine. Kind of like me sitting like a dunce on the sidelines in gym because my religion forbade dancing.

        2. What is the situatiom with Gay marriage in Canada? I understand it’s legal? Have any minister got into trouble for not marrying a Gay couple, {but maybe suggesting another church that might perform the ceremony)?

        3. It has been legal for over a decade and to the best of my knowledge there hasn’t been any problem. The truth is, who wants a priest or minister who hates doing it to officiate?
          It really is a non-issue.

        4. What is the difference between a priest who refuses to officiate at a wedding and a baker who refuses to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Both are supposed to be providing a service that people Pay For, and both are showing bigotry against Gays. Maybe you dont get the same degree of militancy in Canada.Anyway that is only one issue. This side of the Atlantic society is happy to let you be a Christian for 1-2 hours a week on Sunday Morning (maybe even for 1-2 hours in am evening as well, butif you let your faith or beliefs influence major decisions on a daily basis that go against what our secular society accepts as normal then you you can increasing be regarded as a dangerous fanatic. As Christians, we are called to be Salt and Light. Western society wants us to be Sugar.

        5. I agree, there isn’t a difference between the priest and the baker. There should be tolerance of both sides but we live in an imperfect world. The loud intolerance has mostly been on the side of the churches. You haven’t seen gay people, or any people for that matter, going around saying going to church, or straight marriage, should be illegal. The intolerance of one has brought about the militance of the other. Women had to fight for the right to vote. I am thankful for those in your face, militant women because they won my freedom. People didn’t like them either. I am sure there will be a struggle, change is uncomfortable. I don’t have all the answers, I doubt anyone does but some give and take would make things so much easier. As for salt and light, that is all well and good but what if Buddhists felt the need to be your salt and light? Would you feel good about it? Just a few jumbled thoughts….

        6. I know that Same Sex Marriage is the big not topic at the moment, but there way be other issues arising against which Christians may not be allowed to sphave any sort of voice. That is my fear.

        7. Why should Christians, as a group, have any more say in anything than any other group? Canada is not a Christian country. Christians are free to practice their religion as long as they stay within the law. People who spank their children, (and get caught) are charged with child abuse. A lot of Christians don’t like that but it is the law. Sometimes the law doesn’t work perfectly but it is better than having no law saying that it is wrong to hit children. I do understand your fears Paul. Times change and so do religions. My gr. grandmother was considered her husband’s chattel. There were a lot of good Christian men who thought God would strike us all dead for taking that law off the books.

        8. I will try to find some specific examples of how Christians are being treated, if they dare to open their mouths, and post links. I do know that there have been examples of people being reprimanded at work for talking about Jesus, and school children who have been repremanded, and in one case suspended from school, for sharing about Jesus with friends, in casual conversation. It seems unbelievable and is probably not an everyday occurrence – yet- but it has been happening. It’s fine to insist that people talk about Gay Issues, but its not acceptable to talk about Jesus. That is forcing your views on others.

        9. It does not go both ways. Personally I think that in the interests of Equalty , the beliefs and opinions of Jews. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Gays and every other minority with exactly the same contempt as is given to Christians who take their faith seriously. But I can’t see that happening. The meia and politicians would not dare.To mock Jews as many Christians mocked would be anti semitism, and treating muslims that way would cause a Jihad. Christians – those who are serious about their faith increasingly regarded as dangerous fanatics and irritants but at the se time are seen as a soft target.
          “Christians have endured Martyrdom. Can they endure Unpopularity?” – Gene Edward Veith

        10. Well, Paul, when I was in fundystan I only heard about the bad things being done to fundamentalist Christians. I never heard of the bad things done regularly to people of other faiths (or non faiths). As a result, I had the same viewpoint you have now.

          But being out from under the Cone of Silence, I am able to get information from all across the country and the world. I must say that Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christianity is holding its own nicely. They win more than they lose. They are able to persecute others far more effectively and silently than they are persecuted. But they *do* persecute others.

          In the public sphere Christianity is the default. Any attempts to balance the field or to even be able to not participate in Christian events (prayers, etc) are met as an attack on Christianity. But why should a Jewish child in the public schools have to be reverent during a prayer to Jesus? Why should an Islamic child have to listen to someone tell them they are going to hell?

          For that matter, why should an unbeliever have to endure a fellow employee at a business tell them they are going to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus the way the “believer” does? Would the Christian tolerate being told they are going to hell because they aren’t Muslim?

          We get incensed when we hear that Islamists have killed Christians — as we should. But are we incensed that the US military ordered gun sights with Christian Bible references inscribed on them so that Muslims were being killed with “Christian” rifles? And yes, that is a true account. It took a lot of hard work to fix that issue. AFAIK nobody in Procurement at the Pentagon got fired or even reprimanded for that mess. After all, George Bush called the Iraq War a “Crusade” and a “Holy War against terrorism.” No wonder Muslims saw this as a religious war against them!

          And the religious war rhetoric continues apace in fundamentalist churches in the US. I understand the language is toned down somewhat in Canada, where some of this language can be considered a hate crime.

          But in large measure, fundamentalist Christianity has integrated hatred of other faiths, non-white peoples, those of different sexual orientations, atheists and other unbelievers seamlessly into to their rhetoric and standards of living. People feel like they are under attack by Christians.

          A Christian in California has won the right to collect signatures to put a proposal for a law on the ballot — to kill gay people by shooting them in the head.

          Christianity has engineered the hatred it is receiving by what it has given. By allowing the loudmouths and the haters to speak for it, Christians who might have been more reasonable, rational and kind are receiving flack because of their association with these people.

          We brought it on ourselves, Paul. We are reaping what we have sown. The question is, can we bring ourselves to admit it? Can we rethink the living and presentation of our faith in a way that does not include the built-in hatred and disrespect for others that is intrinsically there now?

          We need to. Christianity needs to grow up. Christianity needs to stop being a bully.

          All of the woe-is-me stuff about Christians being picked on for being anti-gay and such amounts to a “Mommy, he hit me back!” accusation.

        11. “Why should an Islamic child be told they are going to Hell?”

          *shrug* I suppose that would depend on whether you take seriously Jesus’ claim “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father but by me.”

        12. Would you let your child be told they were going to hell because they didn’t believe in Allah?

          After all, belief isn’t confined to you. Others have the right to believe what they will.

        13. I think of the story of the “Rich Young Ruler”. jesus did not force the man to follow him but let him go his own heart way and face the concequences. With great sorrow. However that statement of Jesus does have a lot of complicated and often disturbing implications which I still struggle with even after nearly four decades as a Christian. Do you believe Jesus when he makes that statement?

        14. You notice Jesus did not rebuke the young man for his choice. Nor did Jesus tell the young man he was going to hell. He also did not seek out the young man, but waited until he was sought out.

          Frankly, I think many rich people think they believe in Jesus when they only really trust their riches and their ability to tell others what to do.

          Jesus did not tell his disciples to go into all the world and tell everyone they are going to hell. He said to preach the gospel.

          Of course, if you want to point to Mark 16 and note that those who don’t believe will be damned, it might be noted that the preaching of the gospel was to be associated with certain signs of authenticity: driving out demons, drinking poison, handling snakes and such.

        15. I also wish George would leave me alone when I am trying to make a serious point. He is causing me to miss out words and letters. Maybe it’s tiredness – it’s late here, so I’ll quit jabbering. But I still stand by my comments.

        16. MInisters and pastors aren’t forced to perform marriages. Not even straight. They don’t have to perform marriages for any straight person who asks.

          But, if they marry and heterosexual couple who are not in their church, receive remuneration for it, etc. then they should be willing to marry a gay couple as well.

          Justices of the peace should have to marry anyone with a license. Period. As a public official, whether they are a minister or not.

        17. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see many of those signs of authenticity in western churches let alone Fundy ones…
          I think much of western Europe is very different from USA. America has a substantial proportion of the population which is very religious and politician at least acknowledge that and tailor policies in response because they need the votes of that population. In much of western Europe and especially in Great Britain (of which Northern Ireland is still a part) most of the population has no meaningful link to any religious belief. In America it is good for a politian to have a religious belief because that keeps the religious voters happy and makes them vote for you. In Britain for a poltition to say that Jesus is the Only Way will destroy his/her chances of getting elected to any meaningful posittion. We have seen it happen. It is definitely not OK to say that Jesus is the Only Way, even less so to live as if you believe it.

        18. Paul, you said, “It is definitely not OK to say that Jesus is the Only Way, even less so to live as if you believe it.”

          Perhaps the reason it is no longer OK to say that Jesus is the Only Way is because people did not live like they believed it, they only wanted to impose a belief system on others and live like the devil anyway.

          That, at least, is what is happening in the US. Fundies *say* they believe Jesus is the Only Way. They want to Impose Jesus on Others. They just don’t want to act like Jesus did, or live as Jesus commanded. They want the authority of the Pharisees and the pride of the Scribes. They want the High Places to worship their idols in, call it God and torment everyone else.

          I have seen a few fundamentalists who were honest in their walk with God. A few. Only a few. And I have seen precious few willing to treat others as they want to be treated.

          So again I will ask. Paul, would you allow your child to be told they were going to hell if they did not convert to Islam? Would you listen to them present to you a comprehensive witness of why you ought to convert? Would you want Muslims to have the right to try to convert you as you were doing your work on the job? Or to pigeonhole you on the street and confront you with the claims of Muhammad? Would you want someone to tell you that because you are “straight” you are going to hell, or are unnatural? Or call you names because of your sexuality? Or not serve you in the store because you were a Christian? Or white?

          Living in a multicultural and multi-religious world is confusing. Paul’s actions were reflective of multicultural wisdom. Paul did NOT attack the pagan gods. He preached Jesus from their Unknown God. Paul did not tell them they were going to hell. He told them that Jesus died for their sins and rose again from the dead. Paul was not condemning in his approach, he was inviting. Paul didn’t try to banish other religious points of view; rather he used them to lead into the gospel.

          We hurt ourselves because we don’t treat others as we want to be treated. So instead, we get treated back as we have treated others. If you don’t use the golden rule, you will be subjected to the iron rule. Your choice.

        19. My last comment is in response to rtgmath. For some reason my responses have been appearing in odd places. Darrell could you help me?

        20. Should they be forced to perform same sex marriages? By whom? The state? To me that is a ridiculous question. Then the state is getting into religion, and don’t liberals want absolute separation of church and state? It is not a question of should they be forced, because they actually don’t have the authority in America to approve or deny weddings. The state does. The church only has the authority to perform the ceremony and sign the marriage license. If the gay couple wants married, and it is legal, go to the justice of the peace or similar state authorized person and they can get their so called gay marriage approved.

        21. BobM, church and state should be separate but many of the “liberals” who advocate it can often also expect your Religious Belief to be separate from your Real Life. Keep your Religious Beliefs confined to a Church Building, but if you let them intrude on your Everyday Life and influence desicions that have even the slightest impact on others that becomes dangerous. The “Liberals” can suddenly become very UN-liberal in their attitudes and methods. I have seen it happen more times than I can count. I have also had personal experience of it.

        22. BobM, by “Liberal” do you mean Liberal Christians or Politically Liberal people in the secular world. I have found if you scratch a “Liberal” of any sort hard enough, the reactions are identical to someone who is “Conservative”.

        23. (Well, I would be considered to be extremely liberal politically compared to most people in Northern Ireland, though maybe not in america, but then, the politics are very different. I might even be considered to be “liberal” in some of my christian beliefs, by many people here, and certainly by american Fundy standards,so maybe it is not so clear-cut… Some of my beliefs and opinions have changed radically over the years. It has been an interesting journey.)

        24. Yes, but England has a state church. I’m guessing that’s what’s making this awkward for Anglican ministers.

      2. Exactly. It doesn’t. And that’s what leaves gay people so frustrated. They don’t understand the extreme interest by people who don’t even know them in their personal relationships and sex lives. It’s creepy. They also don’t understand how them marrying affects anyone else. And I kind of agree. It doesn’t.

        1. Basically legitimizing gay marriage just allows two people who are not breaking the law any longer by living together in a sexual, committed relationship to enjoy the same tax breaks anyone else who gets married enjoys. It is also a way of saying, I commit to us, publicly. What people who want gay marriage illegal are saying is, I am not going to give them any breaks. Do they really want “gay” to be illegal, or just gay marriages?

  8. No cleric “has to” officiate at any marriage. I have turned down a few, myself. I’ve also been “fired” from at least one.

    There’s a difference between a religious organization, which can make rules of its own, and a business which receives a license to sell to the public.

    1. I wish someone would tell that to some of the Gay Militants in England, Scotland and Wales. There are a few people in Northern Ireland who need to hear it too.
      Its late here. Good night and God Bless.

      1. If you look into the church system in England, it has a long tradition of state-sponsored denominations. I’m guessing that’s the problem here. Both Church of England and Church of Scotland probably are so connected to government that they’re having to show why a state-sponsored entity won’t serve some of the citizens that pay for it (if you have a state church, your taxes support it), especially if gay marriage is legal.

  9. Rtgmath, you cannot keep blaming fundies for turning the unbelieving people of america and the west away from jesus and you can’t say that you did the same yourself because you used to be a Fundy. That’s a cop-out. It is a Fundy Myth to say that you will only win others to Christ if you live Perfect Lives (or at least not be caught out being imperfect). The facts that most Christians do not always reflect Christ, and many have no intentions of doing so and hypocrisy is the order if the day, does not invalidate the Message of the Gospel. I albsolutely agree that we should take a leaf or two out of Paul’s book. There is no one-size-fits-all way if sharing the Gospel. But the fact that christians have ****ed up in the past does not mean we have nothing to say. I do think though that it is impossible to stand up for Jesus without offending some otherwise good people. Sometimes we have to admit something’s are just plain WRONG. The Bible never explicitly condemns Slavery but some people like Wilberforce decided to go beyond what the bible says. I think there are at least some Christians in america who are glad that he did. However Slavery is alive and well in America and the West. In different forms. The fact that one form is called “Political Correctness” instead of “Slavery” does not make it any less controlling.

    1. Paul, you are working very hard to avoid answering the essential question: do you love your neighbor as yourself?

      May I point out that there is nothing more politically correct than your position that Christians should be allowed to persecute others but not be persecuted in return?

      I am forced to that conclusion. You work so hard to get around it. Christians have enslaved others to their will, but they don’t want the same for themselves. In their mind they are right even if they are wrong, and their victims are wrong even if they are right.

      The fact is, “love your neighbor as yourself” is not a suggestion. It is a command. Do unto others as you would have them do to you is not optional.

      And if people can’t get saved without a preacher according to Romans, and people who teach false doctrine turn people away from the truth, then yes, your life and actions can definitely turn people away from Christ. Actions have consequences. As you sow, you will reap. And the Bible says the ministers of Satan will appear as ministers of righteousness.

      The Scriptures command obedience to Government, telling us the powers that be are ordained of God. Jude calls those who despise government “filthy dreamers.”

      I hear your complaints. I see that you avoid answering the questions. You want the benefits without the responsibilities.

      I believe you have the wrong focus on the gospel. The gospel isn’t “I thank God I am not like other men, especially this gay sinner.” It is “God be merciful to me, a sinner. ” It isn’t “you need to be saved from your sins but I am okay with mine.”

      When, in a world antagonistic to the gospel, you can witness to how Jesus has saved you from your sins without any feelings of superiority, you will be showing the power of God. When you are far more concerned with showing the love of the Lord than you are with disapproving the sins of others, you will be living the Gospel.

      It is time for Christians to Grow Up.

      1. I’m not sure that it is possible for me – or anyone else – to “love my neighbour as myself”. Not without the help of the Holy Spirit. And I don’t think that in order to show true love someone you have to agree with and support everything they say and do. But your point is well taken
        I have found that is often more important to be Right than to be Loving. Beliefs have been more importanr than people. God forgive me for that, and may He help me to change. I think we have a lot in common. We are wrestling with a lot the same things. Maybe you are further along the road than I am.

        1. I don’t know how far down the road I am. At this point I feel the road is endless and I have just begun.

          You do help me define some issues, though, and I thank you for that. Just now, I have found that is often more important to be Right than to be Loving. Beliefs have been more importanr than people. Can one be Right without being Loving? Not according to I Corinthians. Without love the most we can achieve is to be a brassy noise or clashing cymbals.

          Because “right” in that sense deals with factual information, not relationships. “Right” in that sense is purely fleshly. β€œI tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, Κ»You must all be born from above.ΚΌ The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

          I am a mathematician. I consider myself to be a scientist. I deal with facts and logic, fallacy and proof, teaching and learning, right and wrong. But there is more.

          I have often been in the unfortunate position of being less important than someone else’s “thing.” I have put people in that position, too. I can be utterly self-righteous and not be aware of it.

          Paul, when we were in kindergarten, we learned things we later realized weren’t entirely true. In grade school we learned there are rules. In high school we learned the rules had exceptions. In college we learned that rules sometimes have to be broken. That sometimes rules exist not because they are right, but because of someone’s arbitrary decision. As adults we learned there are other sets of rules than our own, each with their own rationale. The problem is that Christians want to live in a grade-school world.

          We may not want to live in an adult world, but here we are. Thanks for being my friend.

    2. Thank you for your words. They have touched my heart. We will not see eyes to eyes on some issues, but does that mean you cease to be my brother? No! We are in this together. We are Family. I have a sister and three brothers and we have seldom agreed on, well, pretty much anything. Over the years we have fought like crazy, especially myself and my younger brother. There are still times when I could cheerfully strangle him with my bare hands – and the feeling is mutual – but do anything to hurt him, and you have to face my wrath. Hurt any of my family and you hurt me. That is like the Christian Family, and this group reflects that

  10. Rtgmath, please don’t take Amy of my comments as personal attacks (I have known some who have) they are not meant to be. I really appreciate your contributions, even if disagreements can be strong. You make me ask questions. You make me think. So keep posting. (I know you will πŸ™‚ )All Christians need to have our cages rattled every so often to make sure we haven’t fallen asleep. You are very good at that.

    1. Paul, I don’t see any of your comments as personal attacks. Nor are my responses really personal against you.

      Ultimately my own opponent is me. You are fighting yourself. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be participating. Especially since you know I am every bit as stubborn as you are.

      And these exercises are about us working through our own demons and frustrations.

      And change is scary. But God came to change me, and there is nothing less predictable than God when He is loose in the world. We cannot encounter Him without being changed out of all our expectations. That is why I believe many who claim to be saved have never, ever felt a work of God in their lives. For all their salvation, they are the same miserable creatures they always were.

      You are, without doubt, my Best sparring partner.

  11. In my childhood fundy church they were all against dancing and made the ladies wear dowdy frumpy clothes. The ladies prided themselves in not shopping in any grocery store that sold alcohol (back then such places actually existed). Then the men were all about football games and didn’t turn the TV off during halftime when the cheerleaders and majorettes were strutting around in their skimpy outfits. But we were made to turn off the sound and picture during beer and cigarette commercials. Hahahah, I love the inconsistency, of course it’s all because of this sinful world we live in, right????

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