I enjoyed the interaction with the comments after the first post of this series.  I highly encourage you to leave a comment if you read this post – it doesn’t have to be long, but I would appreciate reading your thoughts on this subject and joining our discussion.

The second chapter of UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity… And Why It Matters dives into what they discovered about the faith of outsiders, as well as, Christians in the 16-29 age range.  Kinnemon and Lyons noted that the Christianity’s image problem is partly fueled by the unique characteristics of Mosaics and Busters.

  • Young adults enjoy challenging the rules.

  • They are also extremely skeptical.

This is partly due to young people, more than any other generation, being targeted by advertising, media and marketing that leads them to have an “incredibly savvy and unusually jaded” mindset.

The authors warn us not to expect in due time these Mosaics and Busters will “grow up and look like everybody else.”  We will be disappointed if we do so.

Rather than looking for an end to the generation gap, it is important to recognize its existence, because it can help us understand the thoughts that Mosaics and Busters have about Christianity.

They go on to describe the “contours and complexities of emerging generations.”

Their lifestyles are more diverse than previous generations (education, career, family, values, and leisure).

  • Relationships is a driving force.

  • Though they esteem fair-mindedness and diversity, they are irreverent and blunt.

  • Being skeptical of leaders, products, and institutions is part of their generational coding.

  • They consume more hours of media from more sources than do older generations.

  • In a nearly constant search for fresh experiences and new sources of motivation.

  • They prefer casual and comfortable to stuffy and stilted.

  • They view life in a nonlinear, chaotic way, which means they don’t mind contradiction and ambiguity.

Spirituality is important to young adults, but many consider it just one element of a successful, eclectic life.  Fewer than one out of ten young adults mention faith as their top priority, despite the fact that the vast majority of Busters and Mosaics attended a Christian church during their high school years (emphasis mine).

Those of us involved in youth ministry call this the “great graduation evacuation”.  It is not unusual to see with young adults in any generation.  However, the authors note that these two generations are less likely to return to church later (as many Boomers did), even when they have kids of their own.

One of the generational differences that they noticed was an increase of hostility and resentment toward Christianity.  In 1996 they discovered that 85% of outsiders (all generations) were favorable toward Christianity’s role in society.  The younger generation was mirrored this finding.  Now it is a different story.

These days nearly two out of every five young outsiders (38 percent) claim to have a “bad impression of present-day Christianity.”  Beyond this, one-third of young outsiders said that Christianity represents a negative image with which they would not want to be associated.  Furthermore, one out of every six young outsiders (17 percent) indicates that he or she maintains a “very bad” perceptions of the Christian faith…. this group is three times larger than it was a decade ago.

This is hostility is toward all things Christian, but mainly are most frustrated with how Christianity is expressed (especially their impression of born again Christians/evangelicals).  They are also aggravated by Christians themselves as well.   Why?

  • We have become famous for what we oppose, rather than what we are for.

  • We are perceived to have an “us-versus-them” mentality.

  • Many believe that Christians do not like them because of what they do, how they look, or what they believe.

  • They feel demonized by those who love Jesus.

These perceptions are very common among young outsiders.  In the surveys that they did with young people they found:

The three most common perceptions of present-day Christianity are antihomosexual (an image held by 91 percent of young outsiders), judgmental (87 percent), and hypocritical (85 percent).  These “big three” are followed by the following negative perceptions, embraced by a majority of young adults: old-fashioned, too involved in politics, out of touch with reality, insensitive to others, boring, not accepting of others faiths, and confusing.  When they think of the Christian faith, these are the images that come to mind.  This is what a new generation really thinks about Christianity.

These perceptions of our faith are not based on limited exposure.  Many young outsiders cite painful experiences in the church (remember a majority attended church in high school) or have had painful encounters with faith.  Another thing to note is that Mosaic and Buster believers share some of the same negative perceptions as outsiders.

Part of the reason that we encounter these perceptions is because our worldview typically runs counter to the worldview of a Mosaic and Buster that have grown up in a morally relativistic culture.  Biblical motivations do contribute to those perceptions, and should not be tossed aside.  There has been a tendency by some to promote a less offensive faith and parts of our teaching are being omitted or de-emphasized (Jesus becomes hijacked and is portrayed to “be an open minded, big-hearted” moral teacher that never offended anyone.)  That is the opposite and equally dangerous extreme that needs to be avoided the authors claim.

We can’t dismiss the perceptions of outsiders by thinking we are just doing what we are supposed be doing in proclaiming God’s truth.

The real problem comes when we recognize God’s holiness but fail to articulate the other side of his character: grace.  Jesus represents truth plus grace (see John 1:14).  Embracing truth without holding grace in tension leads to harsh legalism, just as grace without truth devolves to compromise.  Still, the important insight based on our research is that Mosaics and Busters rarely see Christians who embody service, compassion, humility, forgiveness, patience, kindness, peace, joy, goodness, and love.”

Working with mostly young outsiders in the ministry that I work for I can hardly dispute their findings.  It would be easy to become defensive.  I’m afraid that at times I’ve advanced these perceptions in my personal relationships and also on this blog.  The simple fact based on my experience is that young people rarely have trouble embracing Jesus Christ.  It is embracing God’s people that they have a hard time with.  What to do? 

I think those of us who are Christ-followers need to examine ourselves to see if we are living our lives in a way that validates their perceptions.  We shouldn’t through out truth, but do we truly love people as we should?  If you were an outsider how would you view… you?  How do you think your church would be perceived?

What do you think?  If you are an “outsider” do you consider this overview accurate?  Your perceptions of the Christian faith is it based more on a Christians conduct or their belief?

I’d love to read your thoughts and dialogue with you … Christian and outsider alike!  So please comment.

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53 comments
  1. Excellent post. I have not read this book, but this perfectly summarizes my criticism of the church in America:

    We have become famous for what we oppose, rather than what we are for.

    I converted at 18, but it would be several more years before I would publicly identify myself as Christian. For me and those I knew, Fred Phelps was what it meant to be Christian. He was highly active on my campus and to say you were Christian pushed you into that stereotype.

    I did not know enough to be able to effectively tell people that what he was doing was not really Christian, so I remained silent.

    Christ said that we would be recognized by our love for one another, a trait sorely lacking in the denominational strife we see today.

  2. Excellent post. I have not read this book, but this perfectly summarizes my criticism of the church in America:

    We have become famous for what we oppose, rather than what we are for.

    I converted at 18, but it would be several more years before I would publicly identify myself as Christian. For me and those I knew, Fred Phelps was what it meant to be Christian. He was highly active on my campus and to say you were Christian pushed you into that stereotype.

    I did not know enough to be able to effectively tell people that what he was doing was not really Christian, so I remained silent.

    Christ said that we would be recognized by our love for one another, a trait sorely lacking in the denominational strife we see today.

  3. Excellent post. I have not read this book, but this perfectly summarizes my criticism of the church in America:

    We have become famous for what we oppose, rather than what we are for.

    I converted at 18, but it would be several more years before I would publicly identify myself as Christian. For me and those I knew, Fred Phelps was what it meant to be Christian. He was highly active on my campus and to say you were Christian pushed you into that stereotype.

    I did not know enough to be able to effectively tell people that what he was doing was not really Christian, so I remained silent.

    Christ said that we would be recognized by our love for one another, a trait sorely lacking in the denominational strife we see today.

  4. Excellent post. I have not read this book, but this perfectly summarizes my criticism of the church in America:

    We have become famous for what we oppose, rather than what we are for.

    I converted at 18, but it would be several more years before I would publicly identify myself as Christian. For me and those I knew, Fred Phelps was what it meant to be Christian. He was highly active on my campus and to say you were Christian pushed you into that stereotype.

    I did not know enough to be able to effectively tell people that what he was doing was not really Christian, so I remained silent.

    Christ said that we would be recognized by our love for one another, a trait sorely lacking in the denominational strife we see today.

  5. Thanks for your comment. His group actually protested outside my church – we still are not quite sure why. I attend an evangelical church that certainly does not condone a homosexual lifestyle, but I guess we don’t hate them so we were worthy to picket.

    “Christ said that we would be recognized by our love for one another, a trait sorely lacking in the denominational strife we see today.”

    How true.

  6. Thanks for your comment. His group actually protested outside my church – we still are not quite sure why. I attend an evangelical church that certainly does not condone a homosexual lifestyle, but I guess we don’t hate them so we were worthy to picket.

    “Christ said that we would be recognized by our love for one another, a trait sorely lacking in the denominational strife we see today.”

    How true.

  7. Thanks for your comment. His group actually protested outside my church – we still are not quite sure why. I attend an evangelical church that certainly does not condone a homosexual lifestyle, but I guess we don’t hate them so we were worthy to picket.

    “Christ said that we would be recognized by our love for one another, a trait sorely lacking in the denominational strife we see today.”

    How true.

  8. Thanks for your comment. His group actually protested outside my church – we still are not quite sure why. I attend an evangelical church that certainly does not condone a homosexual lifestyle, but I guess we don’t hate them so we were worthy to picket.

    “Christ said that we would be recognized by our love for one another, a trait sorely lacking in the denominational strife we see today.”

    How true.

  9. “Young adults enjoy challenging the rules”

    Thank God! If our parents faith of the 70’s and 80’s was trying to codify this whole faith and towed the line – we just may have a generation that will take on thiesepharisee’s and see some serious change in the structure…much needed change and focus.

    “an increase of hostility and resentment toward Christianity.”

    I think people are seeing how narrow minded this faith can get and is. I think the focus these kids see is one of negativity, judgment, and dis-like of all things not churchy – with very little focus on the things they actually teach (like love and mercy) and say Jesus was (sacrifice). I see this attitude all over the place and I just have to bring up church in a convo and it illicits the worst of responses and immediate emotion (due to being bullied by it). Which always puts me in a weird spot because I live by the paradigm of ‘follow Jesus’. Makes for some good convo’s.

    “judgmental and hypocritical”

    These kids are bright. These are the most common things I hear railed at the church also – and I have seen and felt them both while in the church also – so it makes me hard to deny it is happening. I actually left church due to the idea of it’s narrowness and judging of everything and anything – it got sickening after a while – it was like older church people were finally shedding their skin and showing their true identity. What’s even worse – the people that do these things never say sorry.

    “There has been a tendency by some to promote a less offensive faith and parts of our teaching are being omitted or de-emphasized”

    Now this is worth books being writen on it – since this is the big one I hear from more conservative believers and why we cannot change things.

    I actually don’t want to scrap anything from our faith except the hypocrisy I see going on (mainly from interpretation) and the focus our faith is taking. The big problem is too many people in this faith defend things they cannot change – and then ignore things they can. This faith is losing it’s relevance and with the recent tying into politics it’s become even worse and more hypocritical. It’s like when this faith can start down a path that works – they always choose the one that gets them more mired in confusion of identity (ex: politics, televangelism/tv stations, mega churches, etc).

    But the faith needs to lighten up and get back to it’s roots of love. community, sharing, justice and mercy. All the church represents these days is exclusivism, harshness, egocentricity, pushiness, judgement, and condemnation. At some point the negativity has to spill back in their direction – they are the one pouring the drink.

    “but do we truly love people as we should?” (Shane)

    I can only speak for myself and I am trying – I don’t attend church mind you – but I feel like I do care for others and do what I can, when I can. I just quit being shallow about it – when someone needs something tangible – help them out in a tangible way (I don’t pray for them – I just start trying to help and let God worry about the rest).

    “If you were an outsider how would you view… you?” (Shane)

    I expect for people to dislike my faith and I have seen that a lot – and I can say they are right (my faith has done what for them lately?). I just listen to their views and agree – and I let them know what the church can be and should be – and that’s all I can do (cause fact is the church doesn’t even like my views – too lenient). So I find myself in more secular circles than in Christian ones – can’t say I mind that one bit.

    “How do you think your church would be perceived?” (Shane)

    If people can forget about church then I am almost sure they could care less if it exists in their neighborhood.

    “If you are an “outsider” do you consider this overview accurate?” (Shane)

    I am caught between both sides and I can tell ya – this survey is totally on the money. It lacks a few things but it hits about 99% of the problems people have with the church.

    “Your perceptions of the Christian faith is it based more on a Christians conduct or their belief?” (Shane)

    I base my beliefs on the writings about Jesus – cause if I went by behavior within the church I am not sure I could live with myself. I love gay people, I extend mercy to those that have had an abortion, I am close friends with every type of sinner (and I respect them) and I will hang around with them more than with Christians (cause I see myself in them), I think all cultures have something really good to offer this faith, etc. I have broken a lot of fundamental rules and I really don’t give to cares about it all…I love God and I love my neighbor – the church has yet to model this effectively to me in any way, shape, form, or movement.

  10. “Young adults enjoy challenging the rules”

    Thank God! If our parents faith of the 70’s and 80’s was trying to codify this whole faith and towed the line – we just may have a generation that will take on thiesepharisee’s and see some serious change in the structure…much needed change and focus.

    “an increase of hostility and resentment toward Christianity.”

    I think people are seeing how narrow minded this faith can get and is. I think the focus these kids see is one of negativity, judgment, and dis-like of all things not churchy – with very little focus on the things they actually teach (like love and mercy) and say Jesus was (sacrifice). I see this attitude all over the place and I just have to bring up church in a convo and it illicits the worst of responses and immediate emotion (due to being bullied by it). Which always puts me in a weird spot because I live by the paradigm of ‘follow Jesus’. Makes for some good convo’s.

    “judgmental and hypocritical”

    These kids are bright. These are the most common things I hear railed at the church also – and I have seen and felt them both while in the church also – so it makes me hard to deny it is happening. I actually left church due to the idea of it’s narrowness and judging of everything and anything – it got sickening after a while – it was like older church people were finally shedding their skin and showing their true identity. What’s even worse – the people that do these things never say sorry.

    “There has been a tendency by some to promote a less offensive faith and parts of our teaching are being omitted or de-emphasized”

    Now this is worth books being writen on it – since this is the big one I hear from more conservative believers and why we cannot change things.

    I actually don’t want to scrap anything from our faith except the hypocrisy I see going on (mainly from interpretation) and the focus our faith is taking. The big problem is too many people in this faith defend things they cannot change – and then ignore things they can. This faith is losing it’s relevance and with the recent tying into politics it’s become even worse and more hypocritical. It’s like when this faith can start down a path that works – they always choose the one that gets them more mired in confusion of identity (ex: politics, televangelism/tv stations, mega churches, etc).

    But the faith needs to lighten up and get back to it’s roots of love. community, sharing, justice and mercy. All the church represents these days is exclusivism, harshness, egocentricity, pushiness, judgement, and condemnation. At some point the negativity has to spill back in their direction – they are the one pouring the drink.

    “but do we truly love people as we should?” (Shane)

    I can only speak for myself and I am trying – I don’t attend church mind you – but I feel like I do care for others and do what I can, when I can. I just quit being shallow about it – when someone needs something tangible – help them out in a tangible way (I don’t pray for them – I just start trying to help and let God worry about the rest).

    “If you were an outsider how would you view… you?” (Shane)

    I expect for people to dislike my faith and I have seen that a lot – and I can say they are right (my faith has done what for them lately?). I just listen to their views and agree – and I let them know what the church can be and should be – and that’s all I can do (cause fact is the church doesn’t even like my views – too lenient). So I find myself in more secular circles than in Christian ones – can’t say I mind that one bit.

    “How do you think your church would be perceived?” (Shane)

    If people can forget about church then I am almost sure they could care less if it exists in their neighborhood.

    “If you are an “outsider” do you consider this overview accurate?” (Shane)

    I am caught between both sides and I can tell ya – this survey is totally on the money. It lacks a few things but it hits about 99% of the problems people have with the church.

    “Your perceptions of the Christian faith is it based more on a Christians conduct or their belief?” (Shane)

    I base my beliefs on the writings about Jesus – cause if I went by behavior within the church I am not sure I could live with myself. I love gay people, I extend mercy to those that have had an abortion, I am close friends with every type of sinner (and I respect them) and I will hang around with them more than with Christians (cause I see myself in them), I think all cultures have something really good to offer this faith, etc. I have broken a lot of fundamental rules and I really don’t give to cares about it all…I love God and I love my neighbor – the church has yet to model this effectively to me in any way, shape, form, or movement.

  11. “Young adults enjoy challenging the rules”

    Thank God! If our parents faith of the 70’s and 80’s was trying to codify this whole faith and towed the line – we just may have a generation that will take on thiesepharisee’s and see some serious change in the structure…much needed change and focus.

    “an increase of hostility and resentment toward Christianity.”

    I think people are seeing how narrow minded this faith can get and is. I think the focus these kids see is one of negativity, judgment, and dis-like of all things not churchy – with very little focus on the things they actually teach (like love and mercy) and say Jesus was (sacrifice). I see this attitude all over the place and I just have to bring up church in a convo and it illicits the worst of responses and immediate emotion (due to being bullied by it). Which always puts me in a weird spot because I live by the paradigm of ‘follow Jesus’. Makes for some good convo’s.

    “judgmental and hypocritical”

    These kids are bright. These are the most common things I hear railed at the church also – and I have seen and felt them both while in the church also – so it makes me hard to deny it is happening. I actually left church due to the idea of it’s narrowness and judging of everything and anything – it got sickening after a while – it was like older church people were finally shedding their skin and showing their true identity. What’s even worse – the people that do these things never say sorry.

    “There has been a tendency by some to promote a less offensive faith and parts of our teaching are being omitted or de-emphasized”

    Now this is worth books being writen on it – since this is the big one I hear from more conservative believers and why we cannot change things.

    I actually don’t want to scrap anything from our faith except the hypocrisy I see going on (mainly from interpretation) and the focus our faith is taking. The big problem is too many people in this faith defend things they cannot change – and then ignore things they can. This faith is losing it’s relevance and with the recent tying into politics it’s become even worse and more hypocritical. It’s like when this faith can start down a path that works – they always choose the one that gets them more mired in confusion of identity (ex: politics, televangelism/tv stations, mega churches, etc).

    But the faith needs to lighten up and get back to it’s roots of love. community, sharing, justice and mercy. All the church represents these days is exclusivism, harshness, egocentricity, pushiness, judgement, and condemnation. At some point the negativity has to spill back in their direction – they are the one pouring the drink.

    “but do we truly love people as we should?” (Shane)

    I can only speak for myself and I am trying – I don’t attend church mind you – but I feel like I do care for others and do what I can, when I can. I just quit being shallow about it – when someone needs something tangible – help them out in a tangible way (I don’t pray for them – I just start trying to help and let God worry about the rest).

    “If you were an outsider how would you view… you?” (Shane)

    I expect for people to dislike my faith and I have seen that a lot – and I can say they are right (my faith has done what for them lately?). I just listen to their views and agree – and I let them know what the church can be and should be – and that’s all I can do (cause fact is the church doesn’t even like my views – too lenient). So I find myself in more secular circles than in Christian ones – can’t say I mind that one bit.

    “How do you think your church would be perceived?” (Shane)

    If people can forget about church then I am almost sure they could care less if it exists in their neighborhood.

    “If you are an “outsider” do you consider this overview accurate?” (Shane)

    I am caught between both sides and I can tell ya – this survey is totally on the money. It lacks a few things but it hits about 99% of the problems people have with the church.

    “Your perceptions of the Christian faith is it based more on a Christians conduct or their belief?” (Shane)

    I base my beliefs on the writings about Jesus – cause if I went by behavior within the church I am not sure I could live with myself. I love gay people, I extend mercy to those that have had an abortion, I am close friends with every type of sinner (and I respect them) and I will hang around with them more than with Christians (cause I see myself in them), I think all cultures have something really good to offer this faith, etc. I have broken a lot of fundamental rules and I really don’t give to cares about it all…I love God and I love my neighbor – the church has yet to model this effectively to me in any way, shape, form, or movement.

  12. “Young adults enjoy challenging the rules”

    Thank God! If our parents faith of the 70’s and 80’s was trying to codify this whole faith and towed the line – we just may have a generation that will take on thiesepharisee’s and see some serious change in the structure…much needed change and focus.

    “an increase of hostility and resentment toward Christianity.”

    I think people are seeing how narrow minded this faith can get and is. I think the focus these kids see is one of negativity, judgment, and dis-like of all things not churchy – with very little focus on the things they actually teach (like love and mercy) and say Jesus was (sacrifice). I see this attitude all over the place and I just have to bring up church in a convo and it illicits the worst of responses and immediate emotion (due to being bullied by it). Which always puts me in a weird spot because I live by the paradigm of ‘follow Jesus’. Makes for some good convo’s.

    “judgmental and hypocritical”

    These kids are bright. These are the most common things I hear railed at the church also – and I have seen and felt them both while in the church also – so it makes me hard to deny it is happening. I actually left church due to the idea of it’s narrowness and judging of everything and anything – it got sickening after a while – it was like older church people were finally shedding their skin and showing their true identity. What’s even worse – the people that do these things never say sorry.

    “There has been a tendency by some to promote a less offensive faith and parts of our teaching are being omitted or de-emphasized”

    Now this is worth books being writen on it – since this is the big one I hear from more conservative believers and why we cannot change things.

    I actually don’t want to scrap anything from our faith except the hypocrisy I see going on (mainly from interpretation) and the focus our faith is taking. The big problem is too many people in this faith defend things they cannot change – and then ignore things they can. This faith is losing it’s relevance and with the recent tying into politics it’s become even worse and more hypocritical. It’s like when this faith can start down a path that works – they always choose the one that gets them more mired in confusion of identity (ex: politics, televangelism/tv stations, mega churches, etc).

    But the faith needs to lighten up and get back to it’s roots of love. community, sharing, justice and mercy. All the church represents these days is exclusivism, harshness, egocentricity, pushiness, judgement, and condemnation. At some point the negativity has to spill back in their direction – they are the one pouring the drink.

    “but do we truly love people as we should?” (Shane)

    I can only speak for myself and I am trying – I don’t attend church mind you – but I feel like I do care for others and do what I can, when I can. I just quit being shallow about it – when someone needs something tangible – help them out in a tangible way (I don’t pray for them – I just start trying to help and let God worry about the rest).

    “If you were an outsider how would you view… you?” (Shane)

    I expect for people to dislike my faith and I have seen that a lot – and I can say they are right (my faith has done what for them lately?). I just listen to their views and agree – and I let them know what the church can be and should be – and that’s all I can do (cause fact is the church doesn’t even like my views – too lenient). So I find myself in more secular circles than in Christian ones – can’t say I mind that one bit.

    “How do you think your church would be perceived?” (Shane)

    If people can forget about church then I am almost sure they could care less if it exists in their neighborhood.

    “If you are an “outsider” do you consider this overview accurate?” (Shane)

    I am caught between both sides and I can tell ya – this survey is totally on the money. It lacks a few things but it hits about 99% of the problems people have with the church.

    “Your perceptions of the Christian faith is it based more on a Christians conduct or their belief?” (Shane)

    I base my beliefs on the writings about Jesus – cause if I went by behavior within the church I am not sure I could live with myself. I love gay people, I extend mercy to those that have had an abortion, I am close friends with every type of sinner (and I respect them) and I will hang around with them more than with Christians (cause I see myself in them), I think all cultures have something really good to offer this faith, etc. I have broken a lot of fundamental rules and I really don’t give to cares about it all…I love God and I love my neighbor – the church has yet to model this effectively to me in any way, shape, form, or movement.

  13. Hi Society I’m glad you commented on this post.

    I think you and I are in agreement on quite a few things – like the church has a problem. We just have different ways of approaching that problem.

    Your comment – “I actually don’t want to scrap anything from our faith except the hypocrisy I see going on (mainly from interpretation) and the focus our faith is taking. The big problem is too many people in this faith defend things they cannot change – and then ignore things they can. This faith is losing it’s relevance and with the recent tying into politics it’s become even worse and more hypocritical. It’s like when this faith can start down a path that works – they always choose the one that gets them more mired in confusion of identity (ex: politics, televangelism/tv stations, mega churches, etc). ”

    I’m not clear what you mean by the hypocrisy in our interpretation of scripture. I see hypocrisy as saying one thing and then doing another – which you would have to admit we all do, I don’t care what your faith system is, because we all sin. I’m believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and I think on major doctrine of scripture there is consensus (deity of Christ, the Trinity, Jesus’ death & resurrection, Holy Spirit, etc.). In minor stuff (like sign gifts – which I don’t want to get into… just using as an example) we should exercise charity toward one another which often times doesn’t happen. The world unfortunately sees that infighting and shakes their head.

    That being said when I sin – it isn’t my interpretation that is off. It is my conduct that offends God. Perhaps one can argue how well I really believe what I believe if I’m not putting into practice (at least in the instance I sin), but they really can’t point to my interpretation… unless I am linking my behavior to my interpretation of Scripture. Like Dana mentioned Fred Phelps – that would be an example of what you are talking about I guess. I would be the first to say he is not mainstream by any stretch of the imagination.

    Politics – as citizens Christians I believe should be involved in the political process just as everybody else who are citizens should be. We should pray for our leadership. Pray that we would have godly leaders, and then go vote our conscience. I think the problem that exists for evangelicals in particular is with our leadership there has been a “kingmaker” mentality, and that is prideful and wrong. Also there is a tendency of late to let pragmatism trump principle and I don’t think we should ever do that. That being said there are some who spell God – G-O-P (Republicans – since your a Canadian I wasn’t sure if you knew what GOP was), and that shouldn’t be the case. Any this stems back to being salt & light (Matthew 5:13-16), but it shouldn’t be our primary concern. Politicians can’t change hearts – Jesus can. Does that make sense? That being said, I can certainly see how we are perceived to be too political, and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that too.

    Your comment – “I base my beliefs on the writings about Jesus – cause if I went by behavior within the church I am not sure I could live with myself. I love gay people, I extend mercy to those that have had an abortion, I am close friends with every type of sinner (and I respect them) and I will hang around with them more than with Christians (cause I see myself in them), I think all cultures have something really good to offer this faith, etc. I have broken a lot of fundamental rules and I really don’t give to cares about it all…I love God and I love my neighbor – the church has yet to model this effectively to me in any way, shape, form, or movement.”

    I think it is great that you love gay people. Christians should extend hope, mercy and grace to those in sin. Jesus in John 8 did so with the adulterous woman, but then he said… go and sin no more. I think ultimately in the church (at least evangelical ones) there has been a lot of truth and talk of sin, but not much grace extended.

    I’ve sinned too (you call it breaking fundamental rules), but I realize that when I do that I need to confess it, repent and turn back to Christ, (1 John 1:9). If I didn’t my relationship with Christ would still be there, but I wouldn’t be as close to him as I would want..

  14. Hi Society I’m glad you commented on this post.

    I think you and I are in agreement on quite a few things – like the church has a problem. We just have different ways of approaching that problem.

    Your comment – “I actually don’t want to scrap anything from our faith except the hypocrisy I see going on (mainly from interpretation) and the focus our faith is taking. The big problem is too many people in this faith defend things they cannot change – and then ignore things they can. This faith is losing it’s relevance and with the recent tying into politics it’s become even worse and more hypocritical. It’s like when this faith can start down a path that works – they always choose the one that gets them more mired in confusion of identity (ex: politics, televangelism/tv stations, mega churches, etc). ”

    I’m not clear what you mean by the hypocrisy in our interpretation of scripture. I see hypocrisy as saying one thing and then doing another – which you would have to admit we all do, I don’t care what your faith system is, because we all sin. I’m believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and I think on major doctrine of scripture there is consensus (deity of Christ, the Trinity, Jesus’ death & resurrection, Holy Spirit, etc.). In minor stuff (like sign gifts – which I don’t want to get into… just using as an example) we should exercise charity toward one another which often times doesn’t happen. The world unfortunately sees that infighting and shakes their head.

    That being said when I sin – it isn’t my interpretation that is off. It is my conduct that offends God. Perhaps one can argue how well I really believe what I believe if I’m not putting into practice (at least in the instance I sin), but they really can’t point to my interpretation… unless I am linking my behavior to my interpretation of Scripture. Like Dana mentioned Fred Phelps – that would be an example of what you are talking about I guess. I would be the first to say he is not mainstream by any stretch of the imagination.

    Politics – as citizens Christians I believe should be involved in the political process just as everybody else who are citizens should be. We should pray for our leadership. Pray that we would have godly leaders, and then go vote our conscience. I think the problem that exists for evangelicals in particular is with our leadership there has been a “kingmaker” mentality, and that is prideful and wrong. Also there is a tendency of late to let pragmatism trump principle and I don’t think we should ever do that. That being said there are some who spell God – G-O-P (Republicans – since your a Canadian I wasn’t sure if you knew what GOP was), and that shouldn’t be the case. Any this stems back to being salt & light (Matthew 5:13-16), but it shouldn’t be our primary concern. Politicians can’t change hearts – Jesus can. Does that make sense? That being said, I can certainly see how we are perceived to be too political, and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that too.

    Your comment – “I base my beliefs on the writings about Jesus – cause if I went by behavior within the church I am not sure I could live with myself. I love gay people, I extend mercy to those that have had an abortion, I am close friends with every type of sinner (and I respect them) and I will hang around with them more than with Christians (cause I see myself in them), I think all cultures have something really good to offer this faith, etc. I have broken a lot of fundamental rules and I really don’t give to cares about it all…I love God and I love my neighbor – the church has yet to model this effectively to me in any way, shape, form, or movement.”

    I think it is great that you love gay people. Christians should extend hope, mercy and grace to those in sin. Jesus in John 8 did so with the adulterous woman, but then he said… go and sin no more. I think ultimately in the church (at least evangelical ones) there has been a lot of truth and talk of sin, but not much grace extended.

    I’ve sinned too (you call it breaking fundamental rules), but I realize that when I do that I need to confess it, repent and turn back to Christ, (1 John 1:9). If I didn’t my relationship with Christ would still be there, but I wouldn’t be as close to him as I would want..

  15. Hi Society I’m glad you commented on this post.

    I think you and I are in agreement on quite a few things – like the church has a problem. We just have different ways of approaching that problem.

    Your comment – “I actually don’t want to scrap anything from our faith except the hypocrisy I see going on (mainly from interpretation) and the focus our faith is taking. The big problem is too many people in this faith defend things they cannot change – and then ignore things they can. This faith is losing it’s relevance and with the recent tying into politics it’s become even worse and more hypocritical. It’s like when this faith can start down a path that works – they always choose the one that gets them more mired in confusion of identity (ex: politics, televangelism/tv stations, mega churches, etc). ”

    I’m not clear what you mean by the hypocrisy in our interpretation of scripture. I see hypocrisy as saying one thing and then doing another – which you would have to admit we all do, I don’t care what your faith system is, because we all sin. I’m believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and I think on major doctrine of scripture there is consensus (deity of Christ, the Trinity, Jesus’ death & resurrection, Holy Spirit, etc.). In minor stuff (like sign gifts – which I don’t want to get into… just using as an example) we should exercise charity toward one another which often times doesn’t happen. The world unfortunately sees that infighting and shakes their head.

    That being said when I sin – it isn’t my interpretation that is off. It is my conduct that offends God. Perhaps one can argue how well I really believe what I believe if I’m not putting into practice (at least in the instance I sin), but they really can’t point to my interpretation… unless I am linking my behavior to my interpretation of Scripture. Like Dana mentioned Fred Phelps – that would be an example of what you are talking about I guess. I would be the first to say he is not mainstream by any stretch of the imagination.

    Politics – as citizens Christians I believe should be involved in the political process just as everybody else who are citizens should be. We should pray for our leadership. Pray that we would have godly leaders, and then go vote our conscience. I think the problem that exists for evangelicals in particular is with our leadership there has been a “kingmaker” mentality, and that is prideful and wrong. Also there is a tendency of late to let pragmatism trump principle and I don’t think we should ever do that. That being said there are some who spell God – G-O-P (Republicans – since your a Canadian I wasn’t sure if you knew what GOP was), and that shouldn’t be the case. Any this stems back to being salt & light (Matthew 5:13-16), but it shouldn’t be our primary concern. Politicians can’t change hearts – Jesus can. Does that make sense? That being said, I can certainly see how we are perceived to be too political, and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that too.

    Your comment – “I base my beliefs on the writings about Jesus – cause if I went by behavior within the church I am not sure I could live with myself. I love gay people, I extend mercy to those that have had an abortion, I am close friends with every type of sinner (and I respect them) and I will hang around with them more than with Christians (cause I see myself in them), I think all cultures have something really good to offer this faith, etc. I have broken a lot of fundamental rules and I really don’t give to cares about it all…I love God and I love my neighbor – the church has yet to model this effectively to me in any way, shape, form, or movement.”

    I think it is great that you love gay people. Christians should extend hope, mercy and grace to those in sin. Jesus in John 8 did so with the adulterous woman, but then he said… go and sin no more. I think ultimately in the church (at least evangelical ones) there has been a lot of truth and talk of sin, but not much grace extended.

    I’ve sinned too (you call it breaking fundamental rules), but I realize that when I do that I need to confess it, repent and turn back to Christ, (1 John 1:9). If I didn’t my relationship with Christ would still be there, but I wouldn’t be as close to him as I would want..

  16. “That being said when I sin – it isn’t my interpretation that is off” (Shane)

    Well that’s up for debate in my opinion. Most of the problems with hypocrisy I see in the church stem from doctrinal beliefs and how they play out. I’ll give a few examples.

    (1) The problem with judgmentalism in the church stems back to how one interprets those passages in Matthew 7. I have heard lots of Christians defend their ‘judging of another’ based on those scriptures and even say ‘God wants it that way’. Then they don’t know where to draw the line with their judging and soon things are way out of whack – and people feel unwanted, hurt, neglected, and attacked. But this is self justified by using scripture and if it wasn’t – I am not sure the church would have as big a problem as it has with ‘being judgmental’.

    (2) The talk about the ‘world’ causes mass division and the church going inward and not outward – for the sake of protecting its members. This idea is based on various scriptures from the letters mostly – and is enacted with an ‘us vs them’ mentality. But the idea goes back to how one looks at those scriptures and what is taught – namely concerning holiness and sin.

    (3) The idea of salvation being a gift and us being horrible unwanted people prior to accepting Jesus’ blood as a covering – tends to lead to the idea humans are not as important as we originally thought – God loves us but doesn’t at the same time (he cannot love us without that covering)? I think it demeans the human race on some level and we see certain Christian sects go from this idea to breaking a lot of commandments (ex: treating others with some weird regards and not how they want to be treated, hatred is sometimes espoused as a normal way of functioning, and dislike of people can become a norm).

    “I’ve sinned too (you call it breaking fundamental rules)” (Shane)

    To me sin isn’t the problem with fundamentalism faith as we see it – narrow mindedness and focus are the real problems. We see this with the dislike of gay people in religious circles – some people are very content to hate them because they think God does (they focus on a God that isn’t very gracious).

    The ideas are also very narrow minded that come from orthodoxy – like things are set in tablet stone and were handed down on some mountain (ex: inerrancy). To me that can become a problem and doctrinal statements seek to defend the faith yet they have little to nothing to do with the faith. Read a doctrinal statement and read the 10 commandments – there are huge differences there. We start to see the big problem with our faith – focus and what is important.

    Or as I have begun to coin it ‘it is more important what you do with truth than what you think is truth’. It’s good to think God is 3 in 1 – but it does little to nothing – it is one of those things that just ‘is’ or ‘isn’t’ (it does nothing for you ethically). But what you do with the idea of judging will change the way you live life and what you get out of life (and how you treat your neighbor and honor God). Jesus may very well be the son of God – but I am more interested in how peacemaking works than who Jesus is or isn’t. Since peacemaking will require something of me – Jesus being the son of God will not. I could say the same for inerrancy or which church is the ‘one true church’ – those are not things I can change nor do I care to – since changing them does nothing. But changing my behavior concerning mercy and justice might do something in my community.

    Do you see the line I crossed? I went from focusing on what Jesus did to what we can do in this same faith in God. Now it may very well be important to initially have the focus on Jesus – but to stay there and not build on what that means for our lives – is like retarding growth.

  17. “That being said when I sin – it isn’t my interpretation that is off” (Shane)

    Well that’s up for debate in my opinion. Most of the problems with hypocrisy I see in the church stem from doctrinal beliefs and how they play out. I’ll give a few examples.

    (1) The problem with judgmentalism in the church stems back to how one interprets those passages in Matthew 7. I have heard lots of Christians defend their ‘judging of another’ based on those scriptures and even say ‘God wants it that way’. Then they don’t know where to draw the line with their judging and soon things are way out of whack – and people feel unwanted, hurt, neglected, and attacked. But this is self justified by using scripture and if it wasn’t – I am not sure the church would have as big a problem as it has with ‘being judgmental’.

    (2) The talk about the ‘world’ causes mass division and the church going inward and not outward – for the sake of protecting its members. This idea is based on various scriptures from the letters mostly – and is enacted with an ‘us vs them’ mentality. But the idea goes back to how one looks at those scriptures and what is taught – namely concerning holiness and sin.

    (3) The idea of salvation being a gift and us being horrible unwanted people prior to accepting Jesus’ blood as a covering – tends to lead to the idea humans are not as important as we originally thought – God loves us but doesn’t at the same time (he cannot love us without that covering)? I think it demeans the human race on some level and we see certain Christian sects go from this idea to breaking a lot of commandments (ex: treating others with some weird regards and not how they want to be treated, hatred is sometimes espoused as a normal way of functioning, and dislike of people can become a norm).

    “I’ve sinned too (you call it breaking fundamental rules)” (Shane)

    To me sin isn’t the problem with fundamentalism faith as we see it – narrow mindedness and focus are the real problems. We see this with the dislike of gay people in religious circles – some people are very content to hate them because they think God does (they focus on a God that isn’t very gracious).

    The ideas are also very narrow minded that come from orthodoxy – like things are set in tablet stone and were handed down on some mountain (ex: inerrancy). To me that can become a problem and doctrinal statements seek to defend the faith yet they have little to nothing to do with the faith. Read a doctrinal statement and read the 10 commandments – there are huge differences there. We start to see the big problem with our faith – focus and what is important.

    Or as I have begun to coin it ‘it is more important what you do with truth than what you think is truth’. It’s good to think God is 3 in 1 – but it does little to nothing – it is one of those things that just ‘is’ or ‘isn’t’ (it does nothing for you ethically). But what you do with the idea of judging will change the way you live life and what you get out of life (and how you treat your neighbor and honor God). Jesus may very well be the son of God – but I am more interested in how peacemaking works than who Jesus is or isn’t. Since peacemaking will require something of me – Jesus being the son of God will not. I could say the same for inerrancy or which church is the ‘one true church’ – those are not things I can change nor do I care to – since changing them does nothing. But changing my behavior concerning mercy and justice might do something in my community.

    Do you see the line I crossed? I went from focusing on what Jesus did to what we can do in this same faith in God. Now it may very well be important to initially have the focus on Jesus – but to stay there and not build on what that means for our lives – is like retarding growth.

  18. “That being said when I sin – it isn’t my interpretation that is off” (Shane)

    Well that’s up for debate in my opinion. Most of the problems with hypocrisy I see in the church stem from doctrinal beliefs and how they play out. I’ll give a few examples.

    (1) The problem with judgmentalism in the church stems back to how one interprets those passages in Matthew 7. I have heard lots of Christians defend their ‘judging of another’ based on those scriptures and even say ‘God wants it that way’. Then they don’t know where to draw the line with their judging and soon things are way out of whack – and people feel unwanted, hurt, neglected, and attacked. But this is self justified by using scripture and if it wasn’t – I am not sure the church would have as big a problem as it has with ‘being judgmental’.

    (2) The talk about the ‘world’ causes mass division and the church going inward and not outward – for the sake of protecting its members. This idea is based on various scriptures from the letters mostly – and is enacted with an ‘us vs them’ mentality. But the idea goes back to how one looks at those scriptures and what is taught – namely concerning holiness and sin.

    (3) The idea of salvation being a gift and us being horrible unwanted people prior to accepting Jesus’ blood as a covering – tends to lead to the idea humans are not as important as we originally thought – God loves us but doesn’t at the same time (he cannot love us without that covering)? I think it demeans the human race on some level and we see certain Christian sects go from this idea to breaking a lot of commandments (ex: treating others with some weird regards and not how they want to be treated, hatred is sometimes espoused as a normal way of functioning, and dislike of people can become a norm).

    “I’ve sinned too (you call it breaking fundamental rules)” (Shane)

    To me sin isn’t the problem with fundamentalism faith as we see it – narrow mindedness and focus are the real problems. We see this with the dislike of gay people in religious circles – some people are very content to hate them because they think God does (they focus on a God that isn’t very gracious).

    The ideas are also very narrow minded that come from orthodoxy – like things are set in tablet stone and were handed down on some mountain (ex: inerrancy). To me that can become a problem and doctrinal statements seek to defend the faith yet they have little to nothing to do with the faith. Read a doctrinal statement and read the 10 commandments – there are huge differences there. We start to see the big problem with our faith – focus and what is important.

    Or as I have begun to coin it ‘it is more important what you do with truth than what you think is truth’. It’s good to think God is 3 in 1 – but it does little to nothing – it is one of those things that just ‘is’ or ‘isn’t’ (it does nothing for you ethically). But what you do with the idea of judging will change the way you live life and what you get out of life (and how you treat your neighbor and honor God). Jesus may very well be the son of God – but I am more interested in how peacemaking works than who Jesus is or isn’t. Since peacemaking will require something of me – Jesus being the son of God will not. I could say the same for inerrancy or which church is the ‘one true church’ – those are not things I can change nor do I care to – since changing them does nothing. But changing my behavior concerning mercy and justice might do something in my community.

    Do you see the line I crossed? I went from focusing on what Jesus did to what we can do in this same faith in God. Now it may very well be important to initially have the focus on Jesus – but to stay there and not build on what that means for our lives – is like retarding growth.

  19. Hi Society –

    “The problem with judgmentalism in the church stems back to how one interprets those passages in Matthew 7. I have heard lots of Christians defend their ‘judging of another’ based on those scriptures and even say ‘God wants it that way’.” (Society)

    They are obviously misinterpreting those passages since those he has addressed to had “logs” in their eyes. Accountability – I like that word rather than “judgement” is meant to be done in the context of a relationship – Ephesians 4:15 says to speak truth in love. How can we do that if we don’t know the person. Also when you go to Matthew 18 it clearly states that this is for people who are in the church, actually anytime you see discipline of any type in the New Testament it is for those who believe…. to help them grow in Christ-likeness and to restore one who has fallen. This is the problem when you “cherrypick” scripture.

    I think you and I both agree on point #2.

    With your third point I think just the opposite – doesn’t express our great value in God’s eyes that he sent His Son to die for our sins? I know that people are offended when told that we have a sin nature and we are born with it. That isn’t popular. I would say scripture is pretty clear on that from Genesis onward. I agree with you however that as believers we shouldn’t “hate”. However if you are intrepreting “hate” as non-agreement with your value system then I think you’ve cheapened the word.

    Like the word intolerant. That word’s meaning has been altered. I can only tolerate those with whom I disagree. Agreement isn’t being tolerant, it is being likeminded. Does that make sense?

    Regarding the nature of God (like you can cover that in a brief comment, LOL)… looking at the whole of scripture – He is a just God who can not tolerate sin (Isaiah 59:2), and yet at the same time He is a loving God who sent His Son Jesus to pay for that same sin. There is a tension… the problem is that people tend to lean in extremes, and end up missing the mark.

    I would disagree that theology doesn’t require anything of you. If Jesus is the Son of God, and was indeed crucified and rose again for our sin that requires a response. If the Bible is indeed inerrant that has implications on how we live our lives too. I think that those things should drive us to greater mercy and justice. I can love because God first loved me.

    I agree with you that we need to build on what Jesus means for our lives. James 1 says that we are to be doers of God’s word not just hearers only. James 2 says “faith without works is dead.”

  20. Hi Society –

    “The problem with judgmentalism in the church stems back to how one interprets those passages in Matthew 7. I have heard lots of Christians defend their ‘judging of another’ based on those scriptures and even say ‘God wants it that way’.” (Society)

    They are obviously misinterpreting those passages since those he has addressed to had “logs” in their eyes. Accountability – I like that word rather than “judgement” is meant to be done in the context of a relationship – Ephesians 4:15 says to speak truth in love. How can we do that if we don’t know the person. Also when you go to Matthew 18 it clearly states that this is for people who are in the church, actually anytime you see discipline of any type in the New Testament it is for those who believe…. to help them grow in Christ-likeness and to restore one who has fallen. This is the problem when you “cherrypick” scripture.

    I think you and I both agree on point #2.

    With your third point I think just the opposite – doesn’t express our great value in God’s eyes that he sent His Son to die for our sins? I know that people are offended when told that we have a sin nature and we are born with it. That isn’t popular. I would say scripture is pretty clear on that from Genesis onward. I agree with you however that as believers we shouldn’t “hate”. However if you are intrepreting “hate” as non-agreement with your value system then I think you’ve cheapened the word.

    Like the word intolerant. That word’s meaning has been altered. I can only tolerate those with whom I disagree. Agreement isn’t being tolerant, it is being likeminded. Does that make sense?

    Regarding the nature of God (like you can cover that in a brief comment, LOL)… looking at the whole of scripture – He is a just God who can not tolerate sin (Isaiah 59:2), and yet at the same time He is a loving God who sent His Son Jesus to pay for that same sin. There is a tension… the problem is that people tend to lean in extremes, and end up missing the mark.

    I would disagree that theology doesn’t require anything of you. If Jesus is the Son of God, and was indeed crucified and rose again for our sin that requires a response. If the Bible is indeed inerrant that has implications on how we live our lives too. I think that those things should drive us to greater mercy and justice. I can love because God first loved me.

    I agree with you that we need to build on what Jesus means for our lives. James 1 says that we are to be doers of God’s word not just hearers only. James 2 says “faith without works is dead.”

  21. Hi Society –

    “The problem with judgmentalism in the church stems back to how one interprets those passages in Matthew 7. I have heard lots of Christians defend their ‘judging of another’ based on those scriptures and even say ‘God wants it that way’.” (Society)

    They are obviously misinterpreting those passages since those he has addressed to had “logs” in their eyes. Accountability – I like that word rather than “judgement” is meant to be done in the context of a relationship – Ephesians 4:15 says to speak truth in love. How can we do that if we don’t know the person. Also when you go to Matthew 18 it clearly states that this is for people who are in the church, actually anytime you see discipline of any type in the New Testament it is for those who believe…. to help them grow in Christ-likeness and to restore one who has fallen. This is the problem when you “cherrypick” scripture.

    I think you and I both agree on point #2.

    With your third point I think just the opposite – doesn’t express our great value in God’s eyes that he sent His Son to die for our sins? I know that people are offended when told that we have a sin nature and we are born with it. That isn’t popular. I would say scripture is pretty clear on that from Genesis onward. I agree with you however that as believers we shouldn’t “hate”. However if you are intrepreting “hate” as non-agreement with your value system then I think you’ve cheapened the word.

    Like the word intolerant. That word’s meaning has been altered. I can only tolerate those with whom I disagree. Agreement isn’t being tolerant, it is being likeminded. Does that make sense?

    Regarding the nature of God (like you can cover that in a brief comment, LOL)… looking at the whole of scripture – He is a just God who can not tolerate sin (Isaiah 59:2), and yet at the same time He is a loving God who sent His Son Jesus to pay for that same sin. There is a tension… the problem is that people tend to lean in extremes, and end up missing the mark.

    I would disagree that theology doesn’t require anything of you. If Jesus is the Son of God, and was indeed crucified and rose again for our sin that requires a response. If the Bible is indeed inerrant that has implications on how we live our lives too. I think that those things should drive us to greater mercy and justice. I can love because God first loved me.

    I agree with you that we need to build on what Jesus means for our lives. James 1 says that we are to be doers of God’s word not just hearers only. James 2 says “faith without works is dead.”

  22. “Accountability – I like that word rather than “judgement” is meant to be done in the context of a relationship” (Shane)

    I totally agree – no problem there whatsoever – since we both think personal responsibility is part of the process (and I like accountability also). But who are we? We are 2 people in a mass Christian community that surrounds us – and many people think it is perfectly fine to judge someone to hell or their character based on Jesus’ words in Matt 7. Whether you like that or not – it is happening – and people are being hurt by the church. Best thing we can do is ‘speak truth in love’ and call that kind of garbage out.

    “doesn’t (it) express our great value in God’s eyes that he sent His Son to die for our sins?” (Shane)

    I am not sure where I stand on this – but to answer your question I am leaning towards ‘no’. Because this is predicated on the idea we are depraved people of no value to God – outside of Jesus. Actually it makes us humans look like ‘bad’ people, yet we are created ‘good’ (so there is some mix-up here). I also think it means ‘God does not love us’ unless we accept Jesus’ sacrifice – now that’s quite the line to draw about God. Namely when you consider that for decades after Adam God still worked with Jewish people (ex: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David, etc). Oddly enough – no human blood sacrifice required?

    “I would say scripture is pretty clear on that from Genesis onward.” (Shane)

    I would say scripture (as a whole) does not support that view – namely the Tanakh. Maybe the letters of Paul and works of John but that is really about it. Scripture also seems to support the idea God was willing to work with the Jewish community outside of Jesus’ sacrifice for what seems like 2000+ years. Now I am not saying Jesus’ sacrifice does not have meaning – it definitely does – but it is worth discussing now to see ‘why’?

    “However if you are intrepreting “hate” as non-agreement with your value system” (Shane)

    No hate is when someone literally ‘hates’ someone else – wishes death, a curse, or worse, hell, upon them. I can almost get most Christians to start some sort of pronouncment in this direction via my line of questioning.

    “He is a just God who can not tolerate sin (Isaiah 59:2), and yet at the same time He is a loving God who sent His Son Jesus to pay for that same sin.” (Shane)

    He cannot tolerate sin – I agree – define sin. What does sin look like to you? Also explain why Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses all the sin away? Why can’t we just follow Jesus and this be enough? I am not saying I am right on this – but that the sacrifice is making less and less sense these days.

    “If Jesus is the Son of God, and was indeed crucified and rose again for our sin that requires a response” (Shane)

    But I didn’t tap on theology with the statement about Jesus – you did – I merely state that it makes little to no difference in your personal behavior if this statement is true ‘Jesus is the son of God’. But if I tap on ‘who died for your sins’ – then we get into theological terrirtory. But even that does not tell you what to change to eradicate your sins? It is merely a statement – but throw in the idea it requires a ‘response’ – then we have to ask – what is the response one is looking for? Mere acceptance, some committment to that statement, or a simple nod ‘yes’. But nonetheless, that statement won’t change the habits of one that perpetually lies.

    “If the Bible is indeed inerrant that has implications on how we live our lives too” (Shane)

    How so? If the bible has no errors and as you mention misinterpretation is happening anyways – then what does it matter if that book has no flaws – we certainly do? Now if the book had no errors and we had no error in interpreting it – then all is well – but are you willing to also make that claim?

    Also how does a ‘book’ having no errors even help you in the least? That’s like saying the sky is perfect – it doesn’t do anything for you – it’s another one of those ‘it is or isn’t’ things. Now the book may contain the teachings that can change out lives – but the book itself does not need to be error-free to do that. The teachings need to be error-free to do that (or contain truth).

    Again I am not sure of what I believe on some of these things – namely the sacrifice area – it is something I need to look deeper into.

  23. “Accountability – I like that word rather than “judgement” is meant to be done in the context of a relationship” (Shane)

    I totally agree – no problem there whatsoever – since we both think personal responsibility is part of the process (and I like accountability also). But who are we? We are 2 people in a mass Christian community that surrounds us – and many people think it is perfectly fine to judge someone to hell or their character based on Jesus’ words in Matt 7. Whether you like that or not – it is happening – and people are being hurt by the church. Best thing we can do is ‘speak truth in love’ and call that kind of garbage out.

    “doesn’t (it) express our great value in God’s eyes that he sent His Son to die for our sins?” (Shane)

    I am not sure where I stand on this – but to answer your question I am leaning towards ‘no’. Because this is predicated on the idea we are depraved people of no value to God – outside of Jesus. Actually it makes us humans look like ‘bad’ people, yet we are created ‘good’ (so there is some mix-up here). I also think it means ‘God does not love us’ unless we accept Jesus’ sacrifice – now that’s quite the line to draw about God. Namely when you consider that for decades after Adam God still worked with Jewish people (ex: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David, etc). Oddly enough – no human blood sacrifice required?

    “I would say scripture is pretty clear on that from Genesis onward.” (Shane)

    I would say scripture (as a whole) does not support that view – namely the Tanakh. Maybe the letters of Paul and works of John but that is really about it. Scripture also seems to support the idea God was willing to work with the Jewish community outside of Jesus’ sacrifice for what seems like 2000+ years. Now I am not saying Jesus’ sacrifice does not have meaning – it definitely does – but it is worth discussing now to see ‘why’?

    “However if you are intrepreting “hate” as non-agreement with your value system” (Shane)

    No hate is when someone literally ‘hates’ someone else – wishes death, a curse, or worse, hell, upon them. I can almost get most Christians to start some sort of pronouncment in this direction via my line of questioning.

    “He is a just God who can not tolerate sin (Isaiah 59:2), and yet at the same time He is a loving God who sent His Son Jesus to pay for that same sin.” (Shane)

    He cannot tolerate sin – I agree – define sin. What does sin look like to you? Also explain why Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses all the sin away? Why can’t we just follow Jesus and this be enough? I am not saying I am right on this – but that the sacrifice is making less and less sense these days.

    “If Jesus is the Son of God, and was indeed crucified and rose again for our sin that requires a response” (Shane)

    But I didn’t tap on theology with the statement about Jesus – you did – I merely state that it makes little to no difference in your personal behavior if this statement is true ‘Jesus is the son of God’. But if I tap on ‘who died for your sins’ – then we get into theological terrirtory. But even that does not tell you what to change to eradicate your sins? It is merely a statement – but throw in the idea it requires a ‘response’ – then we have to ask – what is the response one is looking for? Mere acceptance, some committment to that statement, or a simple nod ‘yes’. But nonetheless, that statement won’t change the habits of one that perpetually lies.

    “If the Bible is indeed inerrant that has implications on how we live our lives too” (Shane)

    How so? If the bible has no errors and as you mention misinterpretation is happening anyways – then what does it matter if that book has no flaws – we certainly do? Now if the book had no errors and we had no error in interpreting it – then all is well – but are you willing to also make that claim?

    Also how does a ‘book’ having no errors even help you in the least? That’s like saying the sky is perfect – it doesn’t do anything for you – it’s another one of those ‘it is or isn’t’ things. Now the book may contain the teachings that can change out lives – but the book itself does not need to be error-free to do that. The teachings need to be error-free to do that (or contain truth).

    Again I am not sure of what I believe on some of these things – namely the sacrifice area – it is something I need to look deeper into.

  24. “Accountability – I like that word rather than “judgement” is meant to be done in the context of a relationship” (Shane)

    I totally agree – no problem there whatsoever – since we both think personal responsibility is part of the process (and I like accountability also). But who are we? We are 2 people in a mass Christian community that surrounds us – and many people think it is perfectly fine to judge someone to hell or their character based on Jesus’ words in Matt 7. Whether you like that or not – it is happening – and people are being hurt by the church. Best thing we can do is ‘speak truth in love’ and call that kind of garbage out.

    “doesn’t (it) express our great value in God’s eyes that he sent His Son to die for our sins?” (Shane)

    I am not sure where I stand on this – but to answer your question I am leaning towards ‘no’. Because this is predicated on the idea we are depraved people of no value to God – outside of Jesus. Actually it makes us humans look like ‘bad’ people, yet we are created ‘good’ (so there is some mix-up here). I also think it means ‘God does not love us’ unless we accept Jesus’ sacrifice – now that’s quite the line to draw about God. Namely when you consider that for decades after Adam God still worked with Jewish people (ex: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David, etc). Oddly enough – no human blood sacrifice required?

    “I would say scripture is pretty clear on that from Genesis onward.” (Shane)

    I would say scripture (as a whole) does not support that view – namely the Tanakh. Maybe the letters of Paul and works of John but that is really about it. Scripture also seems to support the idea God was willing to work with the Jewish community outside of Jesus’ sacrifice for what seems like 2000+ years. Now I am not saying Jesus’ sacrifice does not have meaning – it definitely does – but it is worth discussing now to see ‘why’?

    “However if you are intrepreting “hate” as non-agreement with your value system” (Shane)

    No hate is when someone literally ‘hates’ someone else – wishes death, a curse, or worse, hell, upon them. I can almost get most Christians to start some sort of pronouncment in this direction via my line of questioning.

    “He is a just God who can not tolerate sin (Isaiah 59:2), and yet at the same time He is a loving God who sent His Son Jesus to pay for that same sin.” (Shane)

    He cannot tolerate sin – I agree – define sin. What does sin look like to you? Also explain why Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses all the sin away? Why can’t we just follow Jesus and this be enough? I am not saying I am right on this – but that the sacrifice is making less and less sense these days.

    “If Jesus is the Son of God, and was indeed crucified and rose again for our sin that requires a response” (Shane)

    But I didn’t tap on theology with the statement about Jesus – you did – I merely state that it makes little to no difference in your personal behavior if this statement is true ‘Jesus is the son of God’. But if I tap on ‘who died for your sins’ – then we get into theological terrirtory. But even that does not tell you what to change to eradicate your sins? It is merely a statement – but throw in the idea it requires a ‘response’ – then we have to ask – what is the response one is looking for? Mere acceptance, some committment to that statement, or a simple nod ‘yes’. But nonetheless, that statement won’t change the habits of one that perpetually lies.

    “If the Bible is indeed inerrant that has implications on how we live our lives too” (Shane)

    How so? If the bible has no errors and as you mention misinterpretation is happening anyways – then what does it matter if that book has no flaws – we certainly do? Now if the book had no errors and we had no error in interpreting it – then all is well – but are you willing to also make that claim?

    Also how does a ‘book’ having no errors even help you in the least? That’s like saying the sky is perfect – it doesn’t do anything for you – it’s another one of those ‘it is or isn’t’ things. Now the book may contain the teachings that can change out lives – but the book itself does not need to be error-free to do that. The teachings need to be error-free to do that (or contain truth).

    Again I am not sure of what I believe on some of these things – namely the sacrifice area – it is something I need to look deeper into.

  25. “Accountability – I like that word rather than “judgement” is meant to be done in the context of a relationship” (Shane)

    I totally agree – no problem there whatsoever – since we both think personal responsibility is part of the process (and I like accountability also). But who are we? We are 2 people in a mass Christian community that surrounds us – and many people think it is perfectly fine to judge someone to hell or their character based on Jesus’ words in Matt 7. Whether you like that or not – it is happening – and people are being hurt by the church. Best thing we can do is ‘speak truth in love’ and call that kind of garbage out.

    “doesn’t (it) express our great value in God’s eyes that he sent His Son to die for our sins?” (Shane)

    I am not sure where I stand on this – but to answer your question I am leaning towards ‘no’. Because this is predicated on the idea we are depraved people of no value to God – outside of Jesus. Actually it makes us humans look like ‘bad’ people, yet we are created ‘good’ (so there is some mix-up here). I also think it means ‘God does not love us’ unless we accept Jesus’ sacrifice – now that’s quite the line to draw about God. Namely when you consider that for decades after Adam God still worked with Jewish people (ex: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David, etc). Oddly enough – no human blood sacrifice required?

    “I would say scripture is pretty clear on that from Genesis onward.” (Shane)

    I would say scripture (as a whole) does not support that view – namely the Tanakh. Maybe the letters of Paul and works of John but that is really about it. Scripture also seems to support the idea God was willing to work with the Jewish community outside of Jesus’ sacrifice for what seems like 2000+ years. Now I am not saying Jesus’ sacrifice does not have meaning – it definitely does – but it is worth discussing now to see ‘why’?

    “However if you are intrepreting “hate” as non-agreement with your value system” (Shane)

    No hate is when someone literally ‘hates’ someone else – wishes death, a curse, or worse, hell, upon them. I can almost get most Christians to start some sort of pronouncment in this direction via my line of questioning.

    “He is a just God who can not tolerate sin (Isaiah 59:2), and yet at the same time He is a loving God who sent His Son Jesus to pay for that same sin.” (Shane)

    He cannot tolerate sin – I agree – define sin. What does sin look like to you? Also explain why Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses all the sin away? Why can’t we just follow Jesus and this be enough? I am not saying I am right on this – but that the sacrifice is making less and less sense these days.

    “If Jesus is the Son of God, and was indeed crucified and rose again for our sin that requires a response” (Shane)

    But I didn’t tap on theology with the statement about Jesus – you did – I merely state that it makes little to no difference in your personal behavior if this statement is true ‘Jesus is the son of God’. But if I tap on ‘who died for your sins’ – then we get into theological terrirtory. But even that does not tell you what to change to eradicate your sins? It is merely a statement – but throw in the idea it requires a ‘response’ – then we have to ask – what is the response one is looking for? Mere acceptance, some committment to that statement, or a simple nod ‘yes’. But nonetheless, that statement won’t change the habits of one that perpetually lies.

    “If the Bible is indeed inerrant that has implications on how we live our lives too” (Shane)

    How so? If the bible has no errors and as you mention misinterpretation is happening anyways – then what does it matter if that book has no flaws – we certainly do? Now if the book had no errors and we had no error in interpreting it – then all is well – but are you willing to also make that claim?

    Also how does a ‘book’ having no errors even help you in the least? That’s like saying the sky is perfect – it doesn’t do anything for you – it’s another one of those ‘it is or isn’t’ things. Now the book may contain the teachings that can change out lives – but the book itself does not need to be error-free to do that. The teachings need to be error-free to do that (or contain truth).

    Again I am not sure of what I believe on some of these things – namely the sacrifice area – it is something I need to look deeper into.

  26. Hi Society

    “Whether you like that or not – it is happening – and people are being hurt by the church. Best thing we can do is ’speak truth in love’ and call that kind of garbage out.” (you)

    I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t happening. Agreed.

    “Because this is predicated on the idea we are depraved people of no value to God – outside of Jesus. Actually it makes us humans look like ‘bad’ people, yet we are created ‘good’ (so there is some mix-up here). I also think it means ‘God does not love us’ unless we accept Jesus’ sacrifice – now that’s quite the line to draw about God.” (you)

    Genesis 3 shares about the fall of man. We were created in His image, and when Adam and Eve sinned – sin entered into the world. It was perfect, and now it it is corrupted. When I spoke of “it being clear throughout the Bible” I was speaking of the nature of man. The Israelites were constantly messing up.

    We still have a sin nature today – for instance look at children – no one has to teach them to disobey (at least I didn’t have to with my kids!).

    Romans 3:9-18 talks about how no one is righteous. Then in Ephesians you read this:

    “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:1-6, ESV).

    Did you catch that he did this – “even when we were dead in our trespasses”. Also…

    “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:6-8, ESV).

    “While we were still sinners” He died for us.

    Regarding God’s treatment of Israel, they are His chosen people. You see in the Gospels, Acts & the Epistles that they called to place their faith in Christ. Jesus is the Messiah that they looked for. Several OT prophecies points to Him, and he is the final sacrifice. God had a covenant with Israel, and now there is a new covenant that will include all people of every race and nation. Jesus is the fulfillment of Genesis 12:1-2 when God told Abraham that “through you all the nations of the world will be blessed.” Jesus is part of Abraham’s lineage – you see that in Matthew 1.

    “No hate is when someone literally ‘hates’ someone else – wishes death, a curse, or worse, hell, upon them. I can almost get most Christians to start some sort of pronouncment in this direction via my line of questioning. ” (You)

    I’m sorry, that is wrong and that won’t happen on this blog.

    What is sin. Two definitions – one that my kids learned in AWANA – “the bad things we do.” The things that run counter to what Scripture says. Lust, pride, murder, hate, etc… Also another definition… “knowing what is right and not doing it.”

    I know you’ll ask who determines what is right and what is wrong. That is why I look at the Bible, and why its inerrancy (in the original languages) and infallibility in what it teaches makes it my final authority on faith and life. I consider it to be absolute truth for all people, all places and all times.

    “But even that does not tell you what to change to eradicate your sins? It is merely a statement – but throw in the idea it requires a ‘response’ – then we have to ask – what is the response one is looking for? Mere acceptance, some committment to that statement, or a simple nod ‘yes’. But nonetheless, that statement won’t change the habits of one that perpetually lies.” (you)

    You are right just giving a “nod to God” and mere head knowledge won’t change one’s behavior. When you realize that “the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to those who believe,” (Romans 1:16). Those who turn from their sin (repent) and believe (with their head and heart) that Jesus died and rose again and confess Jesus as their Lord will be saved, (Romans 10:9). Then you get into the area of transformation God starts to work in their life – which that is the subject of a completely different blog post.

    Anyway, it isn’t merely intellectual assent. God created us for a relationship with Him, our sin gets in the way of that. Through Jesus, God provides the means in which we can have a relationship with Him.

    Thanks for the comment!

  27. Hi Society

    “Whether you like that or not – it is happening – and people are being hurt by the church. Best thing we can do is ’speak truth in love’ and call that kind of garbage out.” (you)

    I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t happening. Agreed.

    “Because this is predicated on the idea we are depraved people of no value to God – outside of Jesus. Actually it makes us humans look like ‘bad’ people, yet we are created ‘good’ (so there is some mix-up here). I also think it means ‘God does not love us’ unless we accept Jesus’ sacrifice – now that’s quite the line to draw about God.” (you)

    Genesis 3 shares about the fall of man. We were created in His image, and when Adam and Eve sinned – sin entered into the world. It was perfect, and now it it is corrupted. When I spoke of “it being clear throughout the Bible” I was speaking of the nature of man. The Israelites were constantly messing up.

    We still have a sin nature today – for instance look at children – no one has to teach them to disobey (at least I didn’t have to with my kids!).

    Romans 3:9-18 talks about how no one is righteous. Then in Ephesians you read this:

    “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:1-6, ESV).

    Did you catch that he did this – “even when we were dead in our trespasses”. Also…

    “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:6-8, ESV).

    “While we were still sinners” He died for us.

    Regarding God’s treatment of Israel, they are His chosen people. You see in the Gospels, Acts & the Epistles that they called to place their faith in Christ. Jesus is the Messiah that they looked for. Several OT prophecies points to Him, and he is the final sacrifice. God had a covenant with Israel, and now there is a new covenant that will include all people of every race and nation. Jesus is the fulfillment of Genesis 12:1-2 when God told Abraham that “through you all the nations of the world will be blessed.” Jesus is part of Abraham’s lineage – you see that in Matthew 1.

    “No hate is when someone literally ‘hates’ someone else – wishes death, a curse, or worse, hell, upon them. I can almost get most Christians to start some sort of pronouncment in this direction via my line of questioning. ” (You)

    I’m sorry, that is wrong and that won’t happen on this blog.

    What is sin. Two definitions – one that my kids learned in AWANA – “the bad things we do.” The things that run counter to what Scripture says. Lust, pride, murder, hate, etc… Also another definition… “knowing what is right and not doing it.”

    I know you’ll ask who determines what is right and what is wrong. That is why I look at the Bible, and why its inerrancy (in the original languages) and infallibility in what it teaches makes it my final authority on faith and life. I consider it to be absolute truth for all people, all places and all times.

    “But even that does not tell you what to change to eradicate your sins? It is merely a statement – but throw in the idea it requires a ‘response’ – then we have to ask – what is the response one is looking for? Mere acceptance, some committment to that statement, or a simple nod ‘yes’. But nonetheless, that statement won’t change the habits of one that perpetually lies.” (you)

    You are right just giving a “nod to God” and mere head knowledge won’t change one’s behavior. When you realize that “the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to those who believe,” (Romans 1:16). Those who turn from their sin (repent) and believe (with their head and heart) that Jesus died and rose again and confess Jesus as their Lord will be saved, (Romans 10:9). Then you get into the area of transformation God starts to work in their life – which that is the subject of a completely different blog post.

    Anyway, it isn’t merely intellectual assent. God created us for a relationship with Him, our sin gets in the way of that. Through Jesus, God provides the means in which we can have a relationship with Him.

    Thanks for the comment!

  28. Hi Society

    “Whether you like that or not – it is happening – and people are being hurt by the church. Best thing we can do is ’speak truth in love’ and call that kind of garbage out.” (you)

    I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t happening. Agreed.

    “Because this is predicated on the idea we are depraved people of no value to God – outside of Jesus. Actually it makes us humans look like ‘bad’ people, yet we are created ‘good’ (so there is some mix-up here). I also think it means ‘God does not love us’ unless we accept Jesus’ sacrifice – now that’s quite the line to draw about God.” (you)

    Genesis 3 shares about the fall of man. We were created in His image, and when Adam and Eve sinned – sin entered into the world. It was perfect, and now it it is corrupted. When I spoke of “it being clear throughout the Bible” I was speaking of the nature of man. The Israelites were constantly messing up.

    We still have a sin nature today – for instance look at children – no one has to teach them to disobey (at least I didn’t have to with my kids!).

    Romans 3:9-18 talks about how no one is righteous. Then in Ephesians you read this:

    “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:1-6, ESV).

    Did you catch that he did this – “even when we were dead in our trespasses”. Also…

    “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:6-8, ESV).

    “While we were still sinners” He died for us.

    Regarding God’s treatment of Israel, they are His chosen people. You see in the Gospels, Acts & the Epistles that they called to place their faith in Christ. Jesus is the Messiah that they looked for. Several OT prophecies points to Him, and he is the final sacrifice. God had a covenant with Israel, and now there is a new covenant that will include all people of every race and nation. Jesus is the fulfillment of Genesis 12:1-2 when God told Abraham that “through you all the nations of the world will be blessed.” Jesus is part of Abraham’s lineage – you see that in Matthew 1.

    “No hate is when someone literally ‘hates’ someone else – wishes death, a curse, or worse, hell, upon them. I can almost get most Christians to start some sort of pronouncment in this direction via my line of questioning. ” (You)

    I’m sorry, that is wrong and that won’t happen on this blog.

    What is sin. Two definitions – one that my kids learned in AWANA – “the bad things we do.” The things that run counter to what Scripture says. Lust, pride, murder, hate, etc… Also another definition… “knowing what is right and not doing it.”

    I know you’ll ask who determines what is right and what is wrong. That is why I look at the Bible, and why its inerrancy (in the original languages) and infallibility in what it teaches makes it my final authority on faith and life. I consider it to be absolute truth for all people, all places and all times.

    “But even that does not tell you what to change to eradicate your sins? It is merely a statement – but throw in the idea it requires a ‘response’ – then we have to ask – what is the response one is looking for? Mere acceptance, some committment to that statement, or a simple nod ‘yes’. But nonetheless, that statement won’t change the habits of one that perpetually lies.” (you)

    You are right just giving a “nod to God” and mere head knowledge won’t change one’s behavior. When you realize that “the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to those who believe,” (Romans 1:16). Those who turn from their sin (repent) and believe (with their head and heart) that Jesus died and rose again and confess Jesus as their Lord will be saved, (Romans 10:9). Then you get into the area of transformation God starts to work in their life – which that is the subject of a completely different blog post.

    Anyway, it isn’t merely intellectual assent. God created us for a relationship with Him, our sin gets in the way of that. Through Jesus, God provides the means in which we can have a relationship with Him.

    Thanks for the comment!

  29. “I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t happening. Agreed” (Shane)

    I am not mad about it – just what is the next step in the process – we know it happens – how do we address something like this?

    “When I spoke of “it being clear throughout the Bible” I was speaking of the nature of man.” (Shane)

    For me this is also a problem – because God only sends Adam out to live his life and he does just that. I think God even tells Adam he has the unique gift God has – able to see good and evil (maybe man has to control or balance this in order to find happiness? A garden of Eden so to speak). That story is a weird one to say the least – lots of angles in there.

    “The Israelites were constantly messing up” (Shane)

    I blog with a Jewish lady and her take on Adam and Eve is a lot different than ours – why? But if Israel was messing up – did they ever get it right? Under King David? Under Moses? Under Joseph?

    “We still have a sin nature today” (Shane)

    I don’t dis-agree – we have tendencies to do evil since it easy – but even without this faith people can achieve ‘good’ – so what does this say about our nature? Choice – which Adam/Eve realize they have in that story.

    “Romans 3:9-18 talks about how no one is righteous” (Shane)

    In comparison to coming to God – so all nations are welcome (not just the Jewish nation) – that’s all that passage is really saying.

    “even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ – by grace you have been saved”

    This is Pauline theology – agreed. I am not sure what Paul is truly saying here – since we know this is not literal. It has to be figurative language (obviously) since he is writing to someone saying they were dead – and now they are alive via the Christ – since the person(s) must of read and copied this – obviously they were not literally dead. Paul seems to be referring to changing the nature of our decisions and perspectives on life – one to that of truly living (and identifying with Jesus). But I’d have to read this whole letter to see where this thought begins and ends.

    “While we were still sinners”

    Pauline theology – must hearken back to the idea through Adam all sin and through Jesus all have newness in life (right). But what if Paul is getting at the idea that sin was passed on since Adam and through Jesus we learn new direction as to how to use our decision making skills. I actually am not too concerned we all were sinners (or are sinners) – as long as we all are. But then this must mean God died for all of us – and all are covered under that sacrifice (iiregardless of acceptance or not).

    “I’m sorry, that is wrong and that won’t happen on this blog.” (Shane)

    You don’t have to apologize – you haven’t said anything even close to this – actually you’re a very nice person!

    “You see in the Gospels, Acts & the Epistles that they (are) called to place their faith in Christ” (Shane)

    This is a very dicey one that I am looking at with more fervor these days…was Jesus asking them to ‘follow him’ (as a rabbi) – and that he pushed their focus onto the One God – and his teachings were part of that vehicle (even as a messiah)? Cause it is rather odd that Jesus never calls himself equal to God in any of the gospels until John. Fact is, none of these gospels were actually together as we have them today and were likely used singularily in the community lucky enough to scribally copy them. So if someone only has Matthew (for example) – would they still get Jesus as son of God (only begotten from God) or as a messianic rabbinic figure? And if they followed that – wouldn’t they be quite alright?

    “Two definitions – one that my kids learned in AWANA – “the bad things we do.” The things that run counter to what Scripture says. Lust, pride, murder, hate, etc… Also another definition… “knowing what is right and not doing it.”” (Shane)

    Lust is bad until we need to find a wife (then we partly rely on it via attraction). Pride is only bad until we have to identify we and what we do are worth something (self esteem). Aspects of what is evil is also good (that’s what Yael taught me) and she is right. Aspects of pride are sinful, aspects of lust are bad – but aspects of them help fuel a healthy sexual passion for our wives and pride can help us have a certain amount of self-esteem (ex: love yourself). So as much as we want a ‘cut n dry’ sin definition – it is hard to do. People even make justification for murder and hate in America (ex: war and people that are terrorists).

    The problem with knowing what is right and not doing it is – we don’t know what is always right (we are shaded by our biases or our lack of knowledge). I asked you about war and our faith – and you presented many an idea that war could be possibly ‘good’ or ‘okay/legit’. Have you ever fought in a war? If so, did it feel ‘good’? Was pulling a trigger and knowing the person on the other end (that God also gave life) was suffering until they died or could get treatment? Does the God we serve watch that and think – those humans are doing something ‘good and decent’ again? I have to highly doubt that was what God wanted for us…yet if we can make some lee-way for the war idea – how come it’s so hard to do it for another aspect of murder (even abortion)? Interesting huh.

    To me sin is simply hurting another person – or hurting your own sanity. God commands us to love our neighbor and love ourself – and this honors Him.

    “I consider it to be absolute truth for all people, all places and all times.” (Shane)

    That’s going to end up being false if you research it enough – the bible does have errors or problems with contradiction at the least – specially in the 4 gospel comparisons (ex: genealogies, virgin birth, and resurrection) – each gospel is a little different from the next one (info does not all line up coherently). So if it is all true – what do you do when you find a problem?

    So to me, not everything is as easy as we make it to be – basically doctrines are trying to be backed up by scripture – and on closer inspection we find this may not be so.

  30. “I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t happening. Agreed” (Shane)

    I am not mad about it – just what is the next step in the process – we know it happens – how do we address something like this?

    “When I spoke of “it being clear throughout the Bible” I was speaking of the nature of man.” (Shane)

    For me this is also a problem – because God only sends Adam out to live his life and he does just that. I think God even tells Adam he has the unique gift God has – able to see good and evil (maybe man has to control or balance this in order to find happiness? A garden of Eden so to speak). That story is a weird one to say the least – lots of angles in there.

    “The Israelites were constantly messing up” (Shane)

    I blog with a Jewish lady and her take on Adam and Eve is a lot different than ours – why? But if Israel was messing up – did they ever get it right? Under King David? Under Moses? Under Joseph?

    “We still have a sin nature today” (Shane)

    I don’t dis-agree – we have tendencies to do evil since it easy – but even without this faith people can achieve ‘good’ – so what does this say about our nature? Choice – which Adam/Eve realize they have in that story.

    “Romans 3:9-18 talks about how no one is righteous” (Shane)

    In comparison to coming to God – so all nations are welcome (not just the Jewish nation) – that’s all that passage is really saying.

    “even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ – by grace you have been saved”

    This is Pauline theology – agreed. I am not sure what Paul is truly saying here – since we know this is not literal. It has to be figurative language (obviously) since he is writing to someone saying they were dead – and now they are alive via the Christ – since the person(s) must of read and copied this – obviously they were not literally dead. Paul seems to be referring to changing the nature of our decisions and perspectives on life – one to that of truly living (and identifying with Jesus). But I’d have to read this whole letter to see where this thought begins and ends.

    “While we were still sinners”

    Pauline theology – must hearken back to the idea through Adam all sin and through Jesus all have newness in life (right). But what if Paul is getting at the idea that sin was passed on since Adam and through Jesus we learn new direction as to how to use our decision making skills. I actually am not too concerned we all were sinners (or are sinners) – as long as we all are. But then this must mean God died for all of us – and all are covered under that sacrifice (iiregardless of acceptance or not).

    “I’m sorry, that is wrong and that won’t happen on this blog.” (Shane)

    You don’t have to apologize – you haven’t said anything even close to this – actually you’re a very nice person!

    “You see in the Gospels, Acts & the Epistles that they (are) called to place their faith in Christ” (Shane)

    This is a very dicey one that I am looking at with more fervor these days…was Jesus asking them to ‘follow him’ (as a rabbi) – and that he pushed their focus onto the One God – and his teachings were part of that vehicle (even as a messiah)? Cause it is rather odd that Jesus never calls himself equal to God in any of the gospels until John. Fact is, none of these gospels were actually together as we have them today and were likely used singularily in the community lucky enough to scribally copy them. So if someone only has Matthew (for example) – would they still get Jesus as son of God (only begotten from God) or as a messianic rabbinic figure? And if they followed that – wouldn’t they be quite alright?

    “Two definitions – one that my kids learned in AWANA – “the bad things we do.” The things that run counter to what Scripture says. Lust, pride, murder, hate, etc… Also another definition… “knowing what is right and not doing it.”” (Shane)

    Lust is bad until we need to find a wife (then we partly rely on it via attraction). Pride is only bad until we have to identify we and what we do are worth something (self esteem). Aspects of what is evil is also good (that’s what Yael taught me) and she is right. Aspects of pride are sinful, aspects of lust are bad – but aspects of them help fuel a healthy sexual passion for our wives and pride can help us have a certain amount of self-esteem (ex: love yourself). So as much as we want a ‘cut n dry’ sin definition – it is hard to do. People even make justification for murder and hate in America (ex: war and people that are terrorists).

    The problem with knowing what is right and not doing it is – we don’t know what is always right (we are shaded by our biases or our lack of knowledge). I asked you about war and our faith – and you presented many an idea that war could be possibly ‘good’ or ‘okay/legit’. Have you ever fought in a war? If so, did it feel ‘good’? Was pulling a trigger and knowing the person on the other end (that God also gave life) was suffering until they died or could get treatment? Does the God we serve watch that and think – those humans are doing something ‘good and decent’ again? I have to highly doubt that was what God wanted for us…yet if we can make some lee-way for the war idea – how come it’s so hard to do it for another aspect of murder (even abortion)? Interesting huh.

    To me sin is simply hurting another person – or hurting your own sanity. God commands us to love our neighbor and love ourself – and this honors Him.

    “I consider it to be absolute truth for all people, all places and all times.” (Shane)

    That’s going to end up being false if you research it enough – the bible does have errors or problems with contradiction at the least – specially in the 4 gospel comparisons (ex: genealogies, virgin birth, and resurrection) – each gospel is a little different from the next one (info does not all line up coherently). So if it is all true – what do you do when you find a problem?

    So to me, not everything is as easy as we make it to be – basically doctrines are trying to be backed up by scripture – and on closer inspection we find this may not be so.

  31. “I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t happening. Agreed” (Shane)

    I am not mad about it – just what is the next step in the process – we know it happens – how do we address something like this?

    “When I spoke of “it being clear throughout the Bible” I was speaking of the nature of man.” (Shane)

    For me this is also a problem – because God only sends Adam out to live his life and he does just that. I think God even tells Adam he has the unique gift God has – able to see good and evil (maybe man has to control or balance this in order to find happiness? A garden of Eden so to speak). That story is a weird one to say the least – lots of angles in there.

    “The Israelites were constantly messing up” (Shane)

    I blog with a Jewish lady and her take on Adam and Eve is a lot different than ours – why? But if Israel was messing up – did they ever get it right? Under King David? Under Moses? Under Joseph?

    “We still have a sin nature today” (Shane)

    I don’t dis-agree – we have tendencies to do evil since it easy – but even without this faith people can achieve ‘good’ – so what does this say about our nature? Choice – which Adam/Eve realize they have in that story.

    “Romans 3:9-18 talks about how no one is righteous” (Shane)

    In comparison to coming to God – so all nations are welcome (not just the Jewish nation) – that’s all that passage is really saying.

    “even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ – by grace you have been saved”

    This is Pauline theology – agreed. I am not sure what Paul is truly saying here – since we know this is not literal. It has to be figurative language (obviously) since he is writing to someone saying they were dead – and now they are alive via the Christ – since the person(s) must of read and copied this – obviously they were not literally dead. Paul seems to be referring to changing the nature of our decisions and perspectives on life – one to that of truly living (and identifying with Jesus). But I’d have to read this whole letter to see where this thought begins and ends.

    “While we were still sinners”

    Pauline theology – must hearken back to the idea through Adam all sin and through Jesus all have newness in life (right). But what if Paul is getting at the idea that sin was passed on since Adam and through Jesus we learn new direction as to how to use our decision making skills. I actually am not too concerned we all were sinners (or are sinners) – as long as we all are. But then this must mean God died for all of us – and all are covered under that sacrifice (iiregardless of acceptance or not).

    “I’m sorry, that is wrong and that won’t happen on this blog.” (Shane)

    You don’t have to apologize – you haven’t said anything even close to this – actually you’re a very nice person!

    “You see in the Gospels, Acts & the Epistles that they (are) called to place their faith in Christ” (Shane)

    This is a very dicey one that I am looking at with more fervor these days…was Jesus asking them to ‘follow him’ (as a rabbi) – and that he pushed their focus onto the One God – and his teachings were part of that vehicle (even as a messiah)? Cause it is rather odd that Jesus never calls himself equal to God in any of the gospels until John. Fact is, none of these gospels were actually together as we have them today and were likely used singularily in the community lucky enough to scribally copy them. So if someone only has Matthew (for example) – would they still get Jesus as son of God (only begotten from God) or as a messianic rabbinic figure? And if they followed that – wouldn’t they be quite alright?

    “Two definitions – one that my kids learned in AWANA – “the bad things we do.” The things that run counter to what Scripture says. Lust, pride, murder, hate, etc… Also another definition… “knowing what is right and not doing it.”” (Shane)

    Lust is bad until we need to find a wife (then we partly rely on it via attraction). Pride is only bad until we have to identify we and what we do are worth something (self esteem). Aspects of what is evil is also good (that’s what Yael taught me) and she is right. Aspects of pride are sinful, aspects of lust are bad – but aspects of them help fuel a healthy sexual passion for our wives and pride can help us have a certain amount of self-esteem (ex: love yourself). So as much as we want a ‘cut n dry’ sin definition – it is hard to do. People even make justification for murder and hate in America (ex: war and people that are terrorists).

    The problem with knowing what is right and not doing it is – we don’t know what is always right (we are shaded by our biases or our lack of knowledge). I asked you about war and our faith – and you presented many an idea that war could be possibly ‘good’ or ‘okay/legit’. Have you ever fought in a war? If so, did it feel ‘good’? Was pulling a trigger and knowing the person on the other end (that God also gave life) was suffering until they died or could get treatment? Does the God we serve watch that and think – those humans are doing something ‘good and decent’ again? I have to highly doubt that was what God wanted for us…yet if we can make some lee-way for the war idea – how come it’s so hard to do it for another aspect of murder (even abortion)? Interesting huh.

    To me sin is simply hurting another person – or hurting your own sanity. God commands us to love our neighbor and love ourself – and this honors Him.

    “I consider it to be absolute truth for all people, all places and all times.” (Shane)

    That’s going to end up being false if you research it enough – the bible does have errors or problems with contradiction at the least – specially in the 4 gospel comparisons (ex: genealogies, virgin birth, and resurrection) – each gospel is a little different from the next one (info does not all line up coherently). So if it is all true – what do you do when you find a problem?

    So to me, not everything is as easy as we make it to be – basically doctrines are trying to be backed up by scripture – and on closer inspection we find this may not be so.

  32. “I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t happening. Agreed” (Shane)

    I am not mad about it – just what is the next step in the process – we know it happens – how do we address something like this?

    “When I spoke of “it being clear throughout the Bible” I was speaking of the nature of man.” (Shane)

    For me this is also a problem – because God only sends Adam out to live his life and he does just that. I think God even tells Adam he has the unique gift God has – able to see good and evil (maybe man has to control or balance this in order to find happiness? A garden of Eden so to speak). That story is a weird one to say the least – lots of angles in there.

    “The Israelites were constantly messing up” (Shane)

    I blog with a Jewish lady and her take on Adam and Eve is a lot different than ours – why? But if Israel was messing up – did they ever get it right? Under King David? Under Moses? Under Joseph?

    “We still have a sin nature today” (Shane)

    I don’t dis-agree – we have tendencies to do evil since it easy – but even without this faith people can achieve ‘good’ – so what does this say about our nature? Choice – which Adam/Eve realize they have in that story.

    “Romans 3:9-18 talks about how no one is righteous” (Shane)

    In comparison to coming to God – so all nations are welcome (not just the Jewish nation) – that’s all that passage is really saying.

    “even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ – by grace you have been saved”

    This is Pauline theology – agreed. I am not sure what Paul is truly saying here – since we know this is not literal. It has to be figurative language (obviously) since he is writing to someone saying they were dead – and now they are alive via the Christ – since the person(s) must of read and copied this – obviously they were not literally dead. Paul seems to be referring to changing the nature of our decisions and perspectives on life – one to that of truly living (and identifying with Jesus). But I’d have to read this whole letter to see where this thought begins and ends.

    “While we were still sinners”

    Pauline theology – must hearken back to the idea through Adam all sin and through Jesus all have newness in life (right). But what if Paul is getting at the idea that sin was passed on since Adam and through Jesus we learn new direction as to how to use our decision making skills. I actually am not too concerned we all were sinners (or are sinners) – as long as we all are. But then this must mean God died for all of us – and all are covered under that sacrifice (iiregardless of acceptance or not).

    “I’m sorry, that is wrong and that won’t happen on this blog.” (Shane)

    You don’t have to apologize – you haven’t said anything even close to this – actually you’re a very nice person!

    “You see in the Gospels, Acts & the Epistles that they (are) called to place their faith in Christ” (Shane)

    This is a very dicey one that I am looking at with more fervor these days…was Jesus asking them to ‘follow him’ (as a rabbi) – and that he pushed their focus onto the One God – and his teachings were part of that vehicle (even as a messiah)? Cause it is rather odd that Jesus never calls himself equal to God in any of the gospels until John. Fact is, none of these gospels were actually together as we have them today and were likely used singularily in the community lucky enough to scribally copy them. So if someone only has Matthew (for example) – would they still get Jesus as son of God (only begotten from God) or as a messianic rabbinic figure? And if they followed that – wouldn’t they be quite alright?

    “Two definitions – one that my kids learned in AWANA – “the bad things we do.” The things that run counter to what Scripture says. Lust, pride, murder, hate, etc… Also another definition… “knowing what is right and not doing it.”” (Shane)

    Lust is bad until we need to find a wife (then we partly rely on it via attraction). Pride is only bad until we have to identify we and what we do are worth something (self esteem). Aspects of what is evil is also good (that’s what Yael taught me) and she is right. Aspects of pride are sinful, aspects of lust are bad – but aspects of them help fuel a healthy sexual passion for our wives and pride can help us have a certain amount of self-esteem (ex: love yourself). So as much as we want a ‘cut n dry’ sin definition – it is hard to do. People even make justification for murder and hate in America (ex: war and people that are terrorists).

    The problem with knowing what is right and not doing it is – we don’t know what is always right (we are shaded by our biases or our lack of knowledge). I asked you about war and our faith – and you presented many an idea that war could be possibly ‘good’ or ‘okay/legit’. Have you ever fought in a war? If so, did it feel ‘good’? Was pulling a trigger and knowing the person on the other end (that God also gave life) was suffering until they died or could get treatment? Does the God we serve watch that and think – those humans are doing something ‘good and decent’ again? I have to highly doubt that was what God wanted for us…yet if we can make some lee-way for the war idea – how come it’s so hard to do it for another aspect of murder (even abortion)? Interesting huh.

    To me sin is simply hurting another person – or hurting your own sanity. God commands us to love our neighbor and love ourself – and this honors Him.

    “I consider it to be absolute truth for all people, all places and all times.” (Shane)

    That’s going to end up being false if you research it enough – the bible does have errors or problems with contradiction at the least – specially in the 4 gospel comparisons (ex: genealogies, virgin birth, and resurrection) – each gospel is a little different from the next one (info does not all line up coherently). So if it is all true – what do you do when you find a problem?

    So to me, not everything is as easy as we make it to be – basically doctrines are trying to be backed up by scripture – and on closer inspection we find this may not be so.

  33. Hi Society – good evening.

    You commented – “I am not mad about it – just what is the next step in the process – we know it happens – how do we address something like this?”

    I’m going to defer this question until later on – I think the book will address some of these issues.

    Regarding Adam and Eve – I think you need to go look at that account again. They get kicked out. They were in the presense of the Lord, and now they were not. They were in a perfect world and now corrupted. They to labor hard to sustain themselves when they could live off of the fruit of the garden. The first death is recorded (when God killed an animal to provide skin coverings). They knew shame and they didn’t know that before. I wouldn’t call that a gift. They started to physically die – every generation after them their life span was decreased. Then Cain murders Abel and things go downhill from there.

    You asked, “But if Israel was messing up – did they ever get it right? Under King David? Under Moses? Under Joseph?”

    Yes, when they followed the law things generally went well. When they had a King who followed God things went well. David was known as a “man after God’s own heart.” (He was an adulterer and murderer by the way). Joseph sought to please the Lord. There were a few Kings mentioned in 1 & 2 Kings that sought to follow God.

    Romans 3:10-11 says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

    I’m not sure you read the same passage as me. It doesn’t make mention about nations being welcome, but quite the opposite – no one can stand before God on the basis of their own righteousness. When the text says, “no one has done good.” It aludes to another verse (the exact address escapes me) that “our good works are nothing but dirty rags before God.” So yes we can do good (general we – as in everyone on the planet), but it pales in comparison to the holiness of God.

    Through Jesus we have more than a model for better decision making. Jesus himself said in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life no one comes to the Father, but through me.” He dies for all (there are different views of the atonement which I don’t want to get into here – my comment is already getting too long), but not all come to him – see for instance John 3:16-20.

    There are a lot of Messianic terms used in the Synoptic Gospels if you look, like “Son of Man” a common term used for the Messiah. Matthew 16:13-20 – Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ and Jesus affirms him in that. That is just a brief example, there is a lot more.

    Regarding sin – people come up with a lot of different reationales for their behavior, but that doesn’t make them right. Lust as Jesus defines it in Matthew 5:27-30 is wrong – you are committing adultry in your heart. Attraction and lust are not the same thing.

    I don’t mean pride in the positive sense, but pride that hardens ones heart toward God and lacks humility.

    Regarding war – you are assuming that all taking of human life is murder. That simply is not the case. Is war good? No. Do nations always make the right decisions in these matters always right and moral, looking at history obviously not. Can murder be committed during warfare? Yes. They are called war crimes when the Geneva Convention is violated.

    Personally, I have served in the Army and almost was mobilized for Gulf War I, but it ended before my unit had to go over. I was a medic, and we are trained, by the way, to treat our enemy as well when they are captured. If I were put in a position when in order to protect my patient and myself (which really is the only time a medic is allowed under Geneva Convention to discharge their weapon) I would shoot. It would sadden me. I would never take something like that lightly.

    I would also do the same in defense of my family as well. That is another topic for another post though and really strays from the topic of the post above.

    Regarding the Gospels – you need to do some research as well.

    1. Genealogies – In Matthew it is Joseph’s geneology. In Luke it is Mary’s. Generations were also skipped over which is a common practice in listing through geneolgies.

    2. Virgin birth & Resurrection – not sure of the exact objections, but one great resource I would encourage you to read is Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. It addresses most common objections to the virgin birth and resurrection.

    3. Each gospel is different because it was written from a different perspective and to a different original audience – I actually think it lends credibility – they each focus on slightly different things. Take eyewittnesses in a court – each pointing to the same truth, but have different perspectives and some details may be slightly different, but that brings credibility – if their testimoines were exactly the same – people would think they were coached or got together to make sure their stories were on the same page.

    I take a different tack on theology – I derive my theology from scripture, not vice-versa. I don’t believe in proof-texting, but I do believe in systematic theology.

    Anyway in the words of Forrest Gump – “that’s all I’ve got to say bout thaaaat.”

  34. Hi Society – good evening.

    You commented – “I am not mad about it – just what is the next step in the process – we know it happens – how do we address something like this?”

    I’m going to defer this question until later on – I think the book will address some of these issues.

    Regarding Adam and Eve – I think you need to go look at that account again. They get kicked out. They were in the presense of the Lord, and now they were not. They were in a perfect world and now corrupted. They to labor hard to sustain themselves when they could live off of the fruit of the garden. The first death is recorded (when God killed an animal to provide skin coverings). They knew shame and they didn’t know that before. I wouldn’t call that a gift. They started to physically die – every generation after them their life span was decreased. Then Cain murders Abel and things go downhill from there.

    You asked, “But if Israel was messing up – did they ever get it right? Under King David? Under Moses? Under Joseph?”

    Yes, when they followed the law things generally went well. When they had a King who followed God things went well. David was known as a “man after God’s own heart.” (He was an adulterer and murderer by the way). Joseph sought to please the Lord. There were a few Kings mentioned in 1 & 2 Kings that sought to follow God.

    Romans 3:10-11 says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

    I’m not sure you read the same passage as me. It doesn’t make mention about nations being welcome, but quite the opposite – no one can stand before God on the basis of their own righteousness. When the text says, “no one has done good.” It aludes to another verse (the exact address escapes me) that “our good works are nothing but dirty rags before God.” So yes we can do good (general we – as in everyone on the planet), but it pales in comparison to the holiness of God.

    Through Jesus we have more than a model for better decision making. Jesus himself said in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life no one comes to the Father, but through me.” He dies for all (there are different views of the atonement which I don’t want to get into here – my comment is already getting too long), but not all come to him – see for instance John 3:16-20.

    There are a lot of Messianic terms used in the Synoptic Gospels if you look, like “Son of Man” a common term used for the Messiah. Matthew 16:13-20 – Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ and Jesus affirms him in that. That is just a brief example, there is a lot more.

    Regarding sin – people come up with a lot of different reationales for their behavior, but that doesn’t make them right. Lust as Jesus defines it in Matthew 5:27-30 is wrong – you are committing adultry in your heart. Attraction and lust are not the same thing.

    I don’t mean pride in the positive sense, but pride that hardens ones heart toward God and lacks humility.

    Regarding war – you are assuming that all taking of human life is murder. That simply is not the case. Is war good? No. Do nations always make the right decisions in these matters always right and moral, looking at history obviously not. Can murder be committed during warfare? Yes. They are called war crimes when the Geneva Convention is violated.

    Personally, I have served in the Army and almost was mobilized for Gulf War I, but it ended before my unit had to go over. I was a medic, and we are trained, by the way, to treat our enemy as well when they are captured. If I were put in a position when in order to protect my patient and myself (which really is the only time a medic is allowed under Geneva Convention to discharge their weapon) I would shoot. It would sadden me. I would never take something like that lightly.

    I would also do the same in defense of my family as well. That is another topic for another post though and really strays from the topic of the post above.

    Regarding the Gospels – you need to do some research as well.

    1. Genealogies – In Matthew it is Joseph’s geneology. In Luke it is Mary’s. Generations were also skipped over which is a common practice in listing through geneolgies.

    2. Virgin birth & Resurrection – not sure of the exact objections, but one great resource I would encourage you to read is Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. It addresses most common objections to the virgin birth and resurrection.

    3. Each gospel is different because it was written from a different perspective and to a different original audience – I actually think it lends credibility – they each focus on slightly different things. Take eyewittnesses in a court – each pointing to the same truth, but have different perspectives and some details may be slightly different, but that brings credibility – if their testimoines were exactly the same – people would think they were coached or got together to make sure their stories were on the same page.

    I take a different tack on theology – I derive my theology from scripture, not vice-versa. I don’t believe in proof-texting, but I do believe in systematic theology.

    Anyway in the words of Forrest Gump – “that’s all I’ve got to say bout thaaaat.”

  35. Hi Society – good evening.

    You commented – “I am not mad about it – just what is the next step in the process – we know it happens – how do we address something like this?”

    I’m going to defer this question until later on – I think the book will address some of these issues.

    Regarding Adam and Eve – I think you need to go look at that account again. They get kicked out. They were in the presense of the Lord, and now they were not. They were in a perfect world and now corrupted. They to labor hard to sustain themselves when they could live off of the fruit of the garden. The first death is recorded (when God killed an animal to provide skin coverings). They knew shame and they didn’t know that before. I wouldn’t call that a gift. They started to physically die – every generation after them their life span was decreased. Then Cain murders Abel and things go downhill from there.

    You asked, “But if Israel was messing up – did they ever get it right? Under King David? Under Moses? Under Joseph?”

    Yes, when they followed the law things generally went well. When they had a King who followed God things went well. David was known as a “man after God’s own heart.” (He was an adulterer and murderer by the way). Joseph sought to please the Lord. There were a few Kings mentioned in 1 & 2 Kings that sought to follow God.

    Romans 3:10-11 says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

    I’m not sure you read the same passage as me. It doesn’t make mention about nations being welcome, but quite the opposite – no one can stand before God on the basis of their own righteousness. When the text says, “no one has done good.” It aludes to another verse (the exact address escapes me) that “our good works are nothing but dirty rags before God.” So yes we can do good (general we – as in everyone on the planet), but it pales in comparison to the holiness of God.

    Through Jesus we have more than a model for better decision making. Jesus himself said in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life no one comes to the Father, but through me.” He dies for all (there are different views of the atonement which I don’t want to get into here – my comment is already getting too long), but not all come to him – see for instance John 3:16-20.

    There are a lot of Messianic terms used in the Synoptic Gospels if you look, like “Son of Man” a common term used for the Messiah. Matthew 16:13-20 – Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ and Jesus affirms him in that. That is just a brief example, there is a lot more.

    Regarding sin – people come up with a lot of different reationales for their behavior, but that doesn’t make them right. Lust as Jesus defines it in Matthew 5:27-30 is wrong – you are committing adultry in your heart. Attraction and lust are not the same thing.

    I don’t mean pride in the positive sense, but pride that hardens ones heart toward God and lacks humility.

    Regarding war – you are assuming that all taking of human life is murder. That simply is not the case. Is war good? No. Do nations always make the right decisions in these matters always right and moral, looking at history obviously not. Can murder be committed during warfare? Yes. They are called war crimes when the Geneva Convention is violated.

    Personally, I have served in the Army and almost was mobilized for Gulf War I, but it ended before my unit had to go over. I was a medic, and we are trained, by the way, to treat our enemy as well when they are captured. If I were put in a position when in order to protect my patient and myself (which really is the only time a medic is allowed under Geneva Convention to discharge their weapon) I would shoot. It would sadden me. I would never take something like that lightly.

    I would also do the same in defense of my family as well. That is another topic for another post though and really strays from the topic of the post above.

    Regarding the Gospels – you need to do some research as well.

    1. Genealogies – In Matthew it is Joseph’s geneology. In Luke it is Mary’s. Generations were also skipped over which is a common practice in listing through geneolgies.

    2. Virgin birth & Resurrection – not sure of the exact objections, but one great resource I would encourage you to read is Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. It addresses most common objections to the virgin birth and resurrection.

    3. Each gospel is different because it was written from a different perspective and to a different original audience – I actually think it lends credibility – they each focus on slightly different things. Take eyewittnesses in a court – each pointing to the same truth, but have different perspectives and some details may be slightly different, but that brings credibility – if their testimoines were exactly the same – people would think they were coached or got together to make sure their stories were on the same page.

    I take a different tack on theology – I derive my theology from scripture, not vice-versa. I don’t believe in proof-texting, but I do believe in systematic theology.

    Anyway in the words of Forrest Gump – “that’s all I’ve got to say bout thaaaat.”

  36. Interesting take on Adam and Eve – I would have to say…so bleak and without hope – for some odd reason I don’t see it that way. I think it is explanation about humanity’s struggle in a nutshell. A basic explanation of the way things really are.

    “It doesn’t make mention about nations being welcome, but quite the opposite – no one can stand before God on the basis of their own righteousness” (Shane)

    Oh we read the same passage – you just see what you want to see in there. Verse 1 sets it out pretty clearly this argument Paul is trying to address. It just happens to be in respect to the Jewish people keeping the law and the Gentiles not doing that. Paul is merely saying this faith does not choose between the two sides – all come in the same way (vs.9) and believe the same God (vs. 29). It’s not to point out how horriblly in sin someone is – that merely makes us all ‘the same’. Paul seems to be hacking away at the idea of faith and keeping the law again – that no one is more special than the next person (or no one is more righteous).

    The reference to ‘no one does good’ hearkens back to Psalms 14 and 53 – which is referencing the idea when the ‘fool says there is no God’ and how this can lead to ‘no one doing good’. Maybe Paul see’s some comparison – fact that their seems to be some mind-games being played in Rome about comparing God, the law, and faith – this seems foolish to him.

    “There are a lot of Messianic terms used in the Synoptic Gospels” (Shane)

    Agreed.

    “Attraction and lust are not the same thing.” (Shane)

    I almost care to make a friendly wager on this one.

    “Regarding war – you are assuming that all taking of human life is murder” (Shane)

    Yup. If there is more to taking a human’s life than I know at this point making it not ‘murder’ – explain away. Is not murder the killing of another human?

    “They are called war crimes when the Geneva Convention is violated.” (Shane)

    So you would cede the definition of murder to the laws of the land and not to the 10 commandments – for the final say? Can God be pro-war…I will have to check into this…if so…can he break His own commandments or can only we do that? Cause war helps define that little tidbit from Romans ‘no there is none that do good’.

    I have studied the synoptics – and these little problems to some levels of depth…they all have errors.

    “In Matthew it is Joseph’s geneology. In Luke it is Mary’s” (Shane)

    Why would we even count Joseph’s genealogy – Jesus had no earthly father according to the virgin birth? That more than discount’s any blood line there or am I wrong?

    “Generations were also skipped over which is a common practice” (Shane)

    I am willing to concede this because you may very well be right – but I will ask you this – how can you prove this? From the Tanakh genealogies – because this is not their common practice on the Torah.

    Resurrection is altogether unproveable – it is something we have to take on faith – and I do. I trust the stories of the disciples were about this actually happening. But even with that being said – each account is different (and some even have different people first getting to the tomb).

    The virgin birth has a real big problem – namely in semantics. The Jewish interpretation of that word from Isaiah 7:14 is not ‘virgin’ but ‘young lady’. Then to top that off the myth(s) surrounding the virgin birth in these Roman cultures was that it lended power to the individual – they were someone important – could this be Luke’s/Matthew’s point? I don’t know – but what I do know is it is rather a moot point this stage in the game (since all this gets lost on us).

    “Each gospel is different because it was written from a different perspective and to a different original audience – I actually think it lends credibility” (Shane)

    I totally agree – they are stand alone books anyways – so what of they all don’t read the same way and have stories that differ a little – doesn’t bother me one iota.

    “I derive my theology from scripture, not vice-versa” (Shane)

    Same…actually I use matthew as the lense.

  37. Interesting take on Adam and Eve – I would have to say…so bleak and without hope – for some odd reason I don’t see it that way. I think it is explanation about humanity’s struggle in a nutshell. A basic explanation of the way things really are.

    “It doesn’t make mention about nations being welcome, but quite the opposite – no one can stand before God on the basis of their own righteousness” (Shane)

    Oh we read the same passage – you just see what you want to see in there. Verse 1 sets it out pretty clearly this argument Paul is trying to address. It just happens to be in respect to the Jewish people keeping the law and the Gentiles not doing that. Paul is merely saying this faith does not choose between the two sides – all come in the same way (vs.9) and believe the same God (vs. 29). It’s not to point out how horriblly in sin someone is – that merely makes us all ‘the same’. Paul seems to be hacking away at the idea of faith and keeping the law again – that no one is more special than the next person (or no one is more righteous).

    The reference to ‘no one does good’ hearkens back to Psalms 14 and 53 – which is referencing the idea when the ‘fool says there is no God’ and how this can lead to ‘no one doing good’. Maybe Paul see’s some comparison – fact that their seems to be some mind-games being played in Rome about comparing God, the law, and faith – this seems foolish to him.

    “There are a lot of Messianic terms used in the Synoptic Gospels” (Shane)

    Agreed.

    “Attraction and lust are not the same thing.” (Shane)

    I almost care to make a friendly wager on this one.

    “Regarding war – you are assuming that all taking of human life is murder” (Shane)

    Yup. If there is more to taking a human’s life than I know at this point making it not ‘murder’ – explain away. Is not murder the killing of another human?

    “They are called war crimes when the Geneva Convention is violated.” (Shane)

    So you would cede the definition of murder to the laws of the land and not to the 10 commandments – for the final say? Can God be pro-war…I will have to check into this…if so…can he break His own commandments or can only we do that? Cause war helps define that little tidbit from Romans ‘no there is none that do good’.

    I have studied the synoptics – and these little problems to some levels of depth…they all have errors.

    “In Matthew it is Joseph’s geneology. In Luke it is Mary’s” (Shane)

    Why would we even count Joseph’s genealogy – Jesus had no earthly father according to the virgin birth? That more than discount’s any blood line there or am I wrong?

    “Generations were also skipped over which is a common practice” (Shane)

    I am willing to concede this because you may very well be right – but I will ask you this – how can you prove this? From the Tanakh genealogies – because this is not their common practice on the Torah.

    Resurrection is altogether unproveable – it is something we have to take on faith – and I do. I trust the stories of the disciples were about this actually happening. But even with that being said – each account is different (and some even have different people first getting to the tomb).

    The virgin birth has a real big problem – namely in semantics. The Jewish interpretation of that word from Isaiah 7:14 is not ‘virgin’ but ‘young lady’. Then to top that off the myth(s) surrounding the virgin birth in these Roman cultures was that it lended power to the individual – they were someone important – could this be Luke’s/Matthew’s point? I don’t know – but what I do know is it is rather a moot point this stage in the game (since all this gets lost on us).

    “Each gospel is different because it was written from a different perspective and to a different original audience – I actually think it lends credibility” (Shane)

    I totally agree – they are stand alone books anyways – so what of they all don’t read the same way and have stories that differ a little – doesn’t bother me one iota.

    “I derive my theology from scripture, not vice-versa” (Shane)

    Same…actually I use matthew as the lense.

  38. Interesting take on Adam and Eve – I would have to say…so bleak and without hope – for some odd reason I don’t see it that way. I think it is explanation about humanity’s struggle in a nutshell. A basic explanation of the way things really are.

    “It doesn’t make mention about nations being welcome, but quite the opposite – no one can stand before God on the basis of their own righteousness” (Shane)

    Oh we read the same passage – you just see what you want to see in there. Verse 1 sets it out pretty clearly this argument Paul is trying to address. It just happens to be in respect to the Jewish people keeping the law and the Gentiles not doing that. Paul is merely saying this faith does not choose between the two sides – all come in the same way (vs.9) and believe the same God (vs. 29). It’s not to point out how horriblly in sin someone is – that merely makes us all ‘the same’. Paul seems to be hacking away at the idea of faith and keeping the law again – that no one is more special than the next person (or no one is more righteous).

    The reference to ‘no one does good’ hearkens back to Psalms 14 and 53 – which is referencing the idea when the ‘fool says there is no God’ and how this can lead to ‘no one doing good’. Maybe Paul see’s some comparison – fact that their seems to be some mind-games being played in Rome about comparing God, the law, and faith – this seems foolish to him.

    “There are a lot of Messianic terms used in the Synoptic Gospels” (Shane)

    Agreed.

    “Attraction and lust are not the same thing.” (Shane)

    I almost care to make a friendly wager on this one.

    “Regarding war – you are assuming that all taking of human life is murder” (Shane)

    Yup. If there is more to taking a human’s life than I know at this point making it not ‘murder’ – explain away. Is not murder the killing of another human?

    “They are called war crimes when the Geneva Convention is violated.” (Shane)

    So you would cede the definition of murder to the laws of the land and not to the 10 commandments – for the final say? Can God be pro-war…I will have to check into this…if so…can he break His own commandments or can only we do that? Cause war helps define that little tidbit from Romans ‘no there is none that do good’.

    I have studied the synoptics – and these little problems to some levels of depth…they all have errors.

    “In Matthew it is Joseph’s geneology. In Luke it is Mary’s” (Shane)

    Why would we even count Joseph’s genealogy – Jesus had no earthly father according to the virgin birth? That more than discount’s any blood line there or am I wrong?

    “Generations were also skipped over which is a common practice” (Shane)

    I am willing to concede this because you may very well be right – but I will ask you this – how can you prove this? From the Tanakh genealogies – because this is not their common practice on the Torah.

    Resurrection is altogether unproveable – it is something we have to take on faith – and I do. I trust the stories of the disciples were about this actually happening. But even with that being said – each account is different (and some even have different people first getting to the tomb).

    The virgin birth has a real big problem – namely in semantics. The Jewish interpretation of that word from Isaiah 7:14 is not ‘virgin’ but ‘young lady’. Then to top that off the myth(s) surrounding the virgin birth in these Roman cultures was that it lended power to the individual – they were someone important – could this be Luke’s/Matthew’s point? I don’t know – but what I do know is it is rather a moot point this stage in the game (since all this gets lost on us).

    “Each gospel is different because it was written from a different perspective and to a different original audience – I actually think it lends credibility” (Shane)

    I totally agree – they are stand alone books anyways – so what of they all don’t read the same way and have stories that differ a little – doesn’t bother me one iota.

    “I derive my theology from scripture, not vice-versa” (Shane)

    Same…actually I use matthew as the lense.

  39. Hey Society,

    When you look at Romans chapters 1 & 2 speak of a depraved Gentile society, then in chapters 2-3 he confronts self-righteous Jews – in a nut shell the theme of the first three chapters is that no one can approach God on the basis of their own righteousness.

    He does go back to Psalm 14 & 53, but it also can demonstrate that leaning on one’s own “wisdom” is destructive too – you see that theme in Romans as well.

    Regarding the geneologies – the Matthew one that ends with Joseph – links Jesus (through adoption) with Abraham and David which fulfills prophecy, and the Luke geneology also links Jesus to Abraham & Jospeh.

    Regarding the Torah practices – I have to study that – I don’t remember where I learned that.

    To address Isaiah 7:14 – there is no clear OT example of the use of the word almah for a married woman. It seems to be used pretty consistently to designate a sexually mature, but unmarried woman. A rather short answer… to a complex issue, but I there have been books written on the virgin birth.

    Ultimately yes it takes faith to believe in the resurrection (and virgin birth), but it is a reasonable faith. I’ll refer you to a couple of websites that might be helpful – http://www.leestrobel.com or http://www.str.org. I’d like to go into further detail, but I would like to post on chapter 3 of this book :).

    Regarding war – the commandment is you shall not murder, not kill. Murder is speaks to the motivation behind killing. I will not say warfare is good, but you can not equate it to murder. Biblically or linguistically. I respect your position, and have no problem with someone being a pacifist. I disagree with you broadening the definition of murder.

  40. Hey Society,

    When you look at Romans chapters 1 & 2 speak of a depraved Gentile society, then in chapters 2-3 he confronts self-righteous Jews – in a nut shell the theme of the first three chapters is that no one can approach God on the basis of their own righteousness.

    He does go back to Psalm 14 & 53, but it also can demonstrate that leaning on one’s own “wisdom” is destructive too – you see that theme in Romans as well.

    Regarding the geneologies – the Matthew one that ends with Joseph – links Jesus (through adoption) with Abraham and David which fulfills prophecy, and the Luke geneology also links Jesus to Abraham & Jospeh.

    Regarding the Torah practices – I have to study that – I don’t remember where I learned that.

    To address Isaiah 7:14 – there is no clear OT example of the use of the word almah for a married woman. It seems to be used pretty consistently to designate a sexually mature, but unmarried woman. A rather short answer… to a complex issue, but I there have been books written on the virgin birth.

    Ultimately yes it takes faith to believe in the resurrection (and virgin birth), but it is a reasonable faith. I’ll refer you to a couple of websites that might be helpful – http://www.leestrobel.com or http://www.str.org. I’d like to go into further detail, but I would like to post on chapter 3 of this book :).

    Regarding war – the commandment is you shall not murder, not kill. Murder is speaks to the motivation behind killing. I will not say warfare is good, but you can not equate it to murder. Biblically or linguistically. I respect your position, and have no problem with someone being a pacifist. I disagree with you broadening the definition of murder.

  41. Hey Society,

    When you look at Romans chapters 1 & 2 speak of a depraved Gentile society, then in chapters 2-3 he confronts self-righteous Jews – in a nut shell the theme of the first three chapters is that no one can approach God on the basis of their own righteousness.

    He does go back to Psalm 14 & 53, but it also can demonstrate that leaning on one’s own “wisdom” is destructive too – you see that theme in Romans as well.

    Regarding the geneologies – the Matthew one that ends with Joseph – links Jesus (through adoption) with Abraham and David which fulfills prophecy, and the Luke geneology also links Jesus to Abraham & Jospeh.

    Regarding the Torah practices – I have to study that – I don’t remember where I learned that.

    To address Isaiah 7:14 – there is no clear OT example of the use of the word almah for a married woman. It seems to be used pretty consistently to designate a sexually mature, but unmarried woman. A rather short answer… to a complex issue, but I there have been books written on the virgin birth.

    Ultimately yes it takes faith to believe in the resurrection (and virgin birth), but it is a reasonable faith. I’ll refer you to a couple of websites that might be helpful – http://www.leestrobel.com or http://www.str.org. I’d like to go into further detail, but I would like to post on chapter 3 of this book :).

    Regarding war – the commandment is you shall not murder, not kill. Murder is speaks to the motivation behind killing. I will not say warfare is good, but you can not equate it to murder. Biblically or linguistically. I respect your position, and have no problem with someone being a pacifist. I disagree with you broadening the definition of murder.

  42. Hey Society,

    When you look at Romans chapters 1 & 2 speak of a depraved Gentile society, then in chapters 2-3 he confronts self-righteous Jews – in a nut shell the theme of the first three chapters is that no one can approach God on the basis of their own righteousness.

    He does go back to Psalm 14 & 53, but it also can demonstrate that leaning on one’s own “wisdom” is destructive too – you see that theme in Romans as well.

    Regarding the geneologies – the Matthew one that ends with Joseph – links Jesus (through adoption) with Abraham and David which fulfills prophecy, and the Luke geneology also links Jesus to Abraham & Jospeh.

    Regarding the Torah practices – I have to study that – I don’t remember where I learned that.

    To address Isaiah 7:14 – there is no clear OT example of the use of the word almah for a married woman. It seems to be used pretty consistently to designate a sexually mature, but unmarried woman. A rather short answer… to a complex issue, but I there have been books written on the virgin birth.

    Ultimately yes it takes faith to believe in the resurrection (and virgin birth), but it is a reasonable faith. I’ll refer you to a couple of websites that might be helpful – http://www.leestrobel.com or http://www.str.org. I’d like to go into further detail, but I would like to post on chapter 3 of this book :).

    Regarding war – the commandment is you shall not murder, not kill. Murder is speaks to the motivation behind killing. I will not say warfare is good, but you can not equate it to murder. Biblically or linguistically. I respect your position, and have no problem with someone being a pacifist. I disagree with you broadening the definition of murder.

  43. “I will not say warfare is good, but you can not equate it to murder” (Shane)

    I ddon’t understand why though? What happens in war that is so different from murder? They look alike, the hatred is alike, and the outcome is alike. Why can’t war be the human’s lowest common deniminator – not something normal for humans (or maybe it is?).

  44. “I will not say warfare is good, but you can not equate it to murder” (Shane)

    I ddon’t understand why though? What happens in war that is so different from murder? They look alike, the hatred is alike, and the outcome is alike. Why can’t war be the human’s lowest common deniminator – not something normal for humans (or maybe it is?).

  45. “I will not say warfare is good, but you can not equate it to murder” (Shane)

    I ddon’t understand why though? What happens in war that is so different from murder? They look alike, the hatred is alike, and the outcome is alike. Why can’t war be the human’s lowest common deniminator – not something normal for humans (or maybe it is?).

  46. “I will not say warfare is good, but you can not equate it to murder” (Shane)

    I ddon’t understand why though? What happens in war that is so different from murder? They look alike, the hatred is alike, and the outcome is alike. Why can’t war be the human’s lowest common deniminator – not something normal for humans (or maybe it is?).

  47. I wouldn’t consider it normal. You are comparing a soldier with a street thug. When I served in the army, had I been called up to serve during the first Gulf War. If I had to fire my weapon in defense of a patient (I was a medic), it is not done with hate… it isn’t done with malice… it is done in defense of my fellow soldier against someone who is equally armed, another combatant.

    Murder is done with hate, malice, rage, or out of passion usually against someone unarmed and innocent. You don’t see the distinction between the two?

  48. I wouldn’t consider it normal. You are comparing a soldier with a street thug. When I served in the army, had I been called up to serve during the first Gulf War. If I had to fire my weapon in defense of a patient (I was a medic), it is not done with hate… it isn’t done with malice… it is done in defense of my fellow soldier against someone who is equally armed, another combatant.

    Murder is done with hate, malice, rage, or out of passion usually against someone unarmed and innocent. You don’t see the distinction between the two?

  49. I wouldn’t consider it normal. You are comparing a soldier with a street thug. When I served in the army, had I been called up to serve during the first Gulf War. If I had to fire my weapon in defense of a patient (I was a medic), it is not done with hate… it isn’t done with malice… it is done in defense of my fellow soldier against someone who is equally armed, another combatant.

    Murder is done with hate, malice, rage, or out of passion usually against someone unarmed and innocent. You don’t see the distinction between the two?

  50. “Murder is done with hate, malice, rage, or out of passion usually against someone unarmed and innocent. You don’t see the distinction between the two?” (Shane)

    I don’t. Street thugs are even fighting for something (money or territory) and they murder one another over that – yet since it happens in our streets we see the problem firsthand (yet both sides usually pull weapons and have to defend themselves). But I would consider that the lowest common denominator of a human society.

    As for war, we have two sides who are fighting over land (sometimes money) and politics – and they enter into streets and start fighting with bigger weapons or even small hand battles – both sides are saying they are defending themselves and their livelihoods. I would say that is also the lowest common denominator in society – so low – that this has the ability to wipe out or cherished faith and the rest of planet earth (ie: nukes and bombs). But it starts in the heart of a human man.

    Now you’re addressing murder like it’s one singular thing – someone murdered for being innocent. Now even if that is true – in war – do innocents die? People not involved get hit with schrapnel? In street fights we here of drive-by’s that also kill someone on accident…what’s the big diff? Except the scale is amped up to the point of countries – from singular, to groups, to armies. Freedom cannot be defended with a bullet – it’s actually quite anti-human (a bullet is used for one thing).

    Now you were a medic and that is different – you were there to protect and help people survive (or die in peace). I would also say the same for the clerics that are there – they are there to help in a peaceful way…those things don’t bother me – since you are not authorized to ‘kill or be killed’ – but to ‘save’ (which I see as Chrst-like). But just because certain aspects of war reflect humanity elevated – doesn’t mean all of it does.

  51. “Murder is done with hate, malice, rage, or out of passion usually against someone unarmed and innocent. You don’t see the distinction between the two?” (Shane)

    I don’t. Street thugs are even fighting for something (money or territory) and they murder one another over that – yet since it happens in our streets we see the problem firsthand (yet both sides usually pull weapons and have to defend themselves). But I would consider that the lowest common denominator of a human society.

    As for war, we have two sides who are fighting over land (sometimes money) and politics – and they enter into streets and start fighting with bigger weapons or even small hand battles – both sides are saying they are defending themselves and their livelihoods. I would say that is also the lowest common denominator in society – so low – that this has the ability to wipe out or cherished faith and the rest of planet earth (ie: nukes and bombs). But it starts in the heart of a human man.

    Now you’re addressing murder like it’s one singular thing – someone murdered for being innocent. Now even if that is true – in war – do innocents die? People not involved get hit with schrapnel? In street fights we here of drive-by’s that also kill someone on accident…what’s the big diff? Except the scale is amped up to the point of countries – from singular, to groups, to armies. Freedom cannot be defended with a bullet – it’s actually quite anti-human (a bullet is used for one thing).

    Now you were a medic and that is different – you were there to protect and help people survive (or die in peace). I would also say the same for the clerics that are there – they are there to help in a peaceful way…those things don’t bother me – since you are not authorized to ‘kill or be killed’ – but to ‘save’ (which I see as Chrst-like). But just because certain aspects of war reflect humanity elevated – doesn’t mean all of it does.

  52. “Murder is done with hate, malice, rage, or out of passion usually against someone unarmed and innocent. You don’t see the distinction between the two?” (Shane)

    I don’t. Street thugs are even fighting for something (money or territory) and they murder one another over that – yet since it happens in our streets we see the problem firsthand (yet both sides usually pull weapons and have to defend themselves). But I would consider that the lowest common denominator of a human society.

    As for war, we have two sides who are fighting over land (sometimes money) and politics – and they enter into streets and start fighting with bigger weapons or even small hand battles – both sides are saying they are defending themselves and their livelihoods. I would say that is also the lowest common denominator in society – so low – that this has the ability to wipe out or cherished faith and the rest of planet earth (ie: nukes and bombs). But it starts in the heart of a human man.

    Now you’re addressing murder like it’s one singular thing – someone murdered for being innocent. Now even if that is true – in war – do innocents die? People not involved get hit with schrapnel? In street fights we here of drive-by’s that also kill someone on accident…what’s the big diff? Except the scale is amped up to the point of countries – from singular, to groups, to armies. Freedom cannot be defended with a bullet – it’s actually quite anti-human (a bullet is used for one thing).

    Now you were a medic and that is different – you were there to protect and help people survive (or die in peace). I would also say the same for the clerics that are there – they are there to help in a peaceful way…those things don’t bother me – since you are not authorized to ‘kill or be killed’ – but to ‘save’ (which I see as Chrst-like). But just because certain aspects of war reflect humanity elevated – doesn’t mean all of it does.

  53. “Murder is done with hate, malice, rage, or out of passion usually against someone unarmed and innocent. You don’t see the distinction between the two?” (Shane)

    I don’t. Street thugs are even fighting for something (money or territory) and they murder one another over that – yet since it happens in our streets we see the problem firsthand (yet both sides usually pull weapons and have to defend themselves). But I would consider that the lowest common denominator of a human society.

    As for war, we have two sides who are fighting over land (sometimes money) and politics – and they enter into streets and start fighting with bigger weapons or even small hand battles – both sides are saying they are defending themselves and their livelihoods. I would say that is also the lowest common denominator in society – so low – that this has the ability to wipe out or cherished faith and the rest of planet earth (ie: nukes and bombs). But it starts in the heart of a human man.

    Now you’re addressing murder like it’s one singular thing – someone murdered for being innocent. Now even if that is true – in war – do innocents die? People not involved get hit with schrapnel? In street fights we here of drive-by’s that also kill someone on accident…what’s the big diff? Except the scale is amped up to the point of countries – from singular, to groups, to armies. Freedom cannot be defended with a bullet – it’s actually quite anti-human (a bullet is used for one thing).

    Now you were a medic and that is different – you were there to protect and help people survive (or die in peace). I would also say the same for the clerics that are there – they are there to help in a peaceful way…those things don’t bother me – since you are not authorized to ‘kill or be killed’ – but to ‘save’ (which I see as Chrst-like). But just because certain aspects of war reflect humanity elevated – doesn’t mean all of it does.

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