The action today in Dupage County Circuit Court in the ongoing lawsuits against IBLP and Bill Gothard was not what we wanted, but know the Lord is firmly in control.
1). The judge denied the motions brought by IBLP and Bill to dismiss the lawsuit “with prejudice” based on statute of limitation barriers and other concerns. The plaintiff team sought for a narrow foundation of possibility to stay within the statue laws based on each plaintiff claiming a medical condition which kept them from understanding or remembering the “abuse” until – in most cases – decades had passed. The judge is allowing them the ability to proceed with that possibility remaining to be proven. This would have been an ultimate “slam dunk” conclusion, not typical for a major lawsuit. The fact that the defense lawyers were quite hopeful the motions were going to prevail could shed some light on their perspectives on the relative strength of the claims being made.
2) The objection to the “bundling” of a group of plaintiffs not in a class was denied. Rationale was that this is sometimes done for expediency in the early stages of multiple lawsuits with similar concerns, with the understanding that each plaintiff will eventually stand alone in trial in his/her own complaint, should their cause get that far.
3). Ruth Copley Burger’s charges were dismissed “with prejudice”, meaning they cannot be retried – each side handles their legal costs. This drops Dr. Ken Copley from the lawsuit. We have no idea what actions he may wish to take, but he has been savagely slandered over many years, most recently at the hands of Recovering Grace. He has suffered loss of employment and open hatred from those that believed the published accounts, which include the hastily withdrawn allegations by Jane Doe 2 against him. Dr. Copley had at his disposal testimony of those whom Ruth had told early on that she, with the encouragement and help from others, had fabricated allegations to get even with her parents. Simple objective fact checking would have clued the RG “team” in that the accusations were likely false . . . But instead she was simply considered acceptable fodder for the overall objective of harming IBLP generally and Bill specifically. Our justice system is not set up to allow personal vendettas to be furthered with lies and frivolous lawsuits. It does protect those that are so defamed.
4). Matthew Heard’s case lags the others as he just obtained counsel. We believe he also filed for dismissal, hearing early March.
5). All references to “criminal sexual assault” as a charge were stricken from the lawsuit.
Next steps involve examination of each remaining count in the suit, challenges from the defense, responses from the plaintiffs, with a status hearing March 2nd, 2017. Thereafter depositions will be taken from each plaintiff, witnesses as discovery proceeds.
There were mixed feelings praying for a speedy cancellation of the suit. On the one hand the flow of tons of money into legal firms would be stanched, but Bill guilt or innocence would never have been addressed. As it stands now the claims will be examined under bright lights, getting brighter the further it goes. And that is a very good thing.
About the Copley dismissal: I infer from the text that attorneys for Copley and his daughter agreed to terms of a dismissal with prejudice. Am I reading that correctly?
Wow, a lawsuit on phony charges to get even with your parents? That sounds pretty staggering. Talk about bad blood! Something in the Copley house overruled the Fifth Commandment.
But I don’t understand the influence of money. Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams says that experts work for money, not truth. That probably applies to lawyers and judges.
But how to follow the money? It flows from whom to whom? Where are the deep pockets? The plaintiffs are probably middle-class or professional-class. They could probably not afford $200/hr. for a protracted case, even if they were very motivated. Or are the plaintiffs’ attorneys working only on contingency in hopes of eventually picking the much deeper pockets of IBLP?
Dr. Copley relayed to us a few weeks ago that his daughter’s counsel chose not to counter his lawyer’s motion to dismiss. She never should have been included in this effort from any number of perspectives. With no chance of prevailing, this was likely the least damaging option. We can say with absolutely certainty that there were no “terms”, other than that both sides pay their own lawyers.
Of that there can be no doubt. Bill has no money, and everyone knows it. The entire focus is to prove “negligence” on the part of “IBLP”, which will then reap a large cash reward.
And, don’t forget . . . David Gibbs is still planning to get paid somehow as well. All that money . . . is hopefully coming from the great Cash Cow, the IBLP ministry.
I just did a complete google search of Recovering Grace, and they have never once mentioned Copley.
Are you sure you aren’t confusing them with this site?: http://incongruouscircumspection.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-great-deceiver-being-primed-for.html
Or this one?: https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2016/06/13/the-hammer-drops-dr-kenneth-copley-exposed-adoption-into-a-family/
No . . . they didn’t mention Copley. http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2012/04/its-all-my-fault/ But since the account mirrors those other accounts cited it is easy enough to figure it out. And matches, of course, her account in the lawsuit. Defamation is held for unnamed individuals . . . if the identity is relatively easy to spot.
You just accused RG of directly sullying the good name of Dr. Copley. The link to the article doesn’t mention his name at all and it is presumptuous on your part to claim that it is. RG had nothing to do with brining up Dr. Copley at all, his abused adopted daughter did.
Recovering Grace, and organization allegedly run by lawyers, should know better than to post salacious attacks on private citizens without vetting. And I am not talking about gossip magazine vetting. But they have done so. Because Dr. Copley was part of Bill’s organization, and a conservative pastor, he was an elephant, and everybody knows elephants don’t have any feelings. Or rights. A time for accountability has come.
And, as posted in reply to “David”, read “Rebekah’s” account for yourself. Read some of the links he posted and read her statement in the lawsuit. Somehow these RG lawyers assumed that if you just don’t use the right name, the person being slandered has no rights. It just doesn’t work that way.
This was published in 2012 and someone reading it, isn’t going to at all associate that with Dr. Copley until now that you have pointed it out. RG is run by a bunch of different people and the two founders are not lawyers. The bigger damage to Dr. Copley are the other blog articles that mention his name directly such as HA. You need to stop making threats to RG about dragging Dr. Copley’s name in the mud. His own adopted daughter has done that and if this is her on RG, initially wrote it under an assumed name. All this stuff about Dr. Copley is now out there and the damage is already done that you are so worried about. Dr. Copley is really the side show you can focus on right now as some sort of victory for Bill. But it is not any victory for Bill or IBLP at all.
Kari Underwood IS a lawyer, as is her husband. She is a member of a law firm in some capacity.
Well, in this day of “fake news”, RG has published other personally damaging accounts which they, with minimal research, should have known were . . . fake. This is simply another example, and so it is a victory. And it SEEMS like you are sure you have yourself judged the situation justly, condemned Dr. Copley, and concluded that any and all consequences against him, even if built on lies, are just. That, frankly, is disgusting. God’s ways are often to allow us to personally taste things that we carelessly and callously dismiss as inconsequential for others. Are you prepared to stand to that?
I have personally spent hours with Dr. Copley, talking through these things, hearing his pain, grief, that of his wife. Ruth has sinned against God, let alone her own parents in this matter. The Lord is merciful, He is gracious, He loves each one . . . but lies carry His strongest condemnation. And “talebearing” is also condemned in the harshest of terms. RG is emphatically guilty, willing to publish account after acount that are substatively false. Guilty of a complete lack of love toward the “elephants” they blame for harming themselves and their families. And a consistent unwillingness to correct accounts when new information is presented to them, unless the subjects themselves request it. That is most foolish. Every day a false account is posted starts the defamation statute of limitations clock anew. And with private individuals, the motive and circumstances are completely irrelevant – if it is damaging and false, it is libel. And if you can easily figure out who it is, as folks will do when faced with a horrible affair that has not been resolved, it is most definitely counted as defamation.
Someone reading the article on RG, isn’t going to put that initially at all with Dr. Copley. Only now that you have pointed it out, can that be done. The article on RG which looks to be written with assumed names and doesn’t mention what family or father and doesn’t look to be written out to get Dr. Copley. Even though his name has been dropped “without Prejudice”, I’m not seeing where the other articles on the web, will be taken down, so the account of abuse by him will continue and is out there. I highly doubt that Dr. Copley is going to sue to have them taken down. If he did these things, I really don’t feel sorry for him at all and in the court of public opinion, the damage is already done. Maybe he told you personally that he is innocent, but really Alfred, do you think he is going to admit to being a child abuser over the phone to you? I think not.
If he were guilty of even half of what Ruth alleged, do you think she would have left the suit “with prejudice”? If people were told by Ruth she “made it up” would you feel differently?
BTW, while Dr. Copley DID have an affair as Ruth alleged, it was emphatically not covered up. It was publically addressed, confessed . . . He was placed under a multiple year program with a team of pastors and other men of God to work through it to the satisfaction of his wife and his church. A fairly simple fact to verify. That was one of many untruths in her account(s).
See, if you come into some knowledge of facts of sin against a brother, let alone an “elder”, a leader in the church, what are you supposed to do? You are to make it your personal mission to check it out, and confront the individual with it. The purpose is restoration immediately, and clearing the name of Jesus long term. That is exactly how some of us got involved personally with Bill, purposing to show him the love of Jesus and hold him accountable in the light of published accusations against him. If anyone on the RG team had loved Dr. Copley at all, they would have gone to him, checked out her story, checked out his story. Ruth’s account would never have been published. That is a crime against him, a crime against Jesus, let alone legal defamation “per se” in the eyes of the law.
RG had nothing to do with Dr. Copley’s current problems. His own daughter that he adopted did that in the law suite. An article written in 2012 doesn’t look like it was “out” to get Dr. Copley if it was him or not and the fact that it was written under pseudo names mean more like it was to protect all those mentioned in the story. RG’s account was more about the negativity of the adoption views and teaching coming from Bill and how they were applied in life in real time situations. I think you are making the assumptions here about RG. HA and the other sites mention his name much more aggressively and openly than RG. And in fact my husband and I have had experience with going to a Bishop about a problem at a particular parish we were at. The problem didn’t involve sexual sin but we carefully went through the chain of the Church, documenting everything and did approach the auxiliary bishop. Needless to say, that person along with another eventually did get fired from that parish school. Justice does work slow but it does work and in the end we were satisfied with the results. If Dr. Copley even had an affair that you are admitting to, it would seem to me that he couldn’t keep it zipped up and lends to the credibility of the other accusations against him.
You have much to learn about defamation. A published damaging account about a private individual is considered libel simply if it is false. If it involves certain classes of accusations, such as sex abuse, the libel is “per se”, instantly condemned. And publishing about an anonymous individual is no protection if you can figure out who it is. In this case, it is crystal clear.
If you cared about Dr. Copley, if you knew him, you would not be so quick to condemn him, accept the witness of his daughter. There is ample evidence to not take Ruth’s accounts at face value, even more than I have disclosed here. There is no redress for the lies published and then retracted as “Jane Doe 2” in the third iteration of the report. That account did him incalculable damage – being included in a legal action shields the individuals from defamation lawsuits. But, in the Court of Heaven, the absolutely just Lord will weigh it all, and those who are guilty will bear their sin before Him.
An unnamed man in an article using pseudo names is not defamation, especially 5 years ago and no one reading it is going to know if or if not it was Dr. Copley or not. Only you pointing at it as your “proof” that RG was going after Dr. Copley make any connection to him. Dr. Copley being mentioned in the current lawsuit which now he has been dropped which everyone and their mother could read on the internet due to freedom of information has brought him this so called great shame. I think Dr. Copley own immoral actions which may seemingly include his one daughter and her abuse seems to have brought him “great shame”. Alfred, you are really grasping here. If he lost his job do to immorality which you are admitting to that he has been unfaithful to his wife should have caused him to loose his job with any Church or Church organization. If he was hired back, the IFB Church which already has a worst reputation in hiding perverts than the Catholic Church, then people really should avoid him and those that hired him back. He is suffering from his own immorality. The article on RG mentioned that he brought into the home and hide pornography and then blamed it on another young girl for brining it in. If this is really Dr. Copley like you saying now it is, those idiots that hired him back ought to be ashamed.
“A matter for a jury to decide”, I suppose. My understanding of the law differs from yours.
No, he lost his job because people read the lawsuits – and RG – and were incensed. Actually marched on the church, etc. The particular issue that was clearly in the forefront were the allegations of rape by Jane Doe 2. All “backed up” by the other accounts. Like was stated, the adultery was and is out in the open, fully and Scripturally dealt with, so that was not the issue. Had the false accounts not been published, he would not have been fired, which was noted by his boss when brought back on.
Wait, so your only evidence of “savage slandering” is an anonymous post from nearly 5 years ago that may or may not even be about Copley? Logic would dictate that if they were out to savagely slander him, they would have used his name.
I also find it interesting that two other sites (one which is every bit as prominent or even more prominent than RG) DID in fact use Copley’s name and DID go after him with a vengeance. SIX MONTHS AGO. Yet, your words were, “most recently at the hands of Recovering Grace.”
Methinks the only slandering taking place around here is what you are saying about RG.
If someone is a complete idiot, maybe. If you wanted to defame someone – and get away with it – well, you would do something with some deliberate built in protections. The piece was aimed to hurt IBLP as much as anything and so may become of greater interest over there. But from where Dr. Copley sits, it lends RG’s reputation to the veracity of the tale, for anyone who cares enough to look. Posting lies about private individuals is a crime. That account is not accurate, which could easily have been confirmed.
The “savage” part of the comment was made primarily with the other sources in view, some of which you cited. These fine folks posted his whereabouts, his employer . . . and got him fired . . . for a while. Once his situation realized the nature of the accusations against him, information available to anyone serious enough to care, he was reinstated. Posting false information along with private details about a private individual with the goal to see him hurt, and directly responsible for him losing his employment, is a textbook definition of malicious libel.
who did he “lose” his employment with? If it was a Church or connected with a Church, then yes, I absolutely think that he should loose his employment, especially if he has access to young women and girls. He shouldn’t be back in ministry whatsoever and there are consequences to immoral actions and there should be.
True if he is actually guilty of published crimes. He did not do ANYTHING immoral with his daughter, neither did he or his wife engage in the bizzare discipline Ruth alleged. “Jane Doe 2” (not Ruth) said that he raped her (as a 7 year old, if you add the dates up), along with Bill, her father, and countless strangers as a sex slave. That was completely false – her claims were investigated by law enforcement in the US as well as the nation her family lived in and found to be unsustantiated. But it made it all over the news. Because that is what irresponsible media outlets do. If YOU were the innocent subject of such slander . . . and YOU heard someone self righteously condemning you and welcoming consequences as a result . . . HOW would you feel?
Where there is smoke, there is fire.
Often true . . . but stunningly not always. Sometimes the smoke comes from the fury – dare I say “hell fueled” – of those who, given an unrelated agenda, are determined to take someone down “no matter what”.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
“And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
But wisdom is justified of all her children.” (Luke 7:31-35)
LOTS of smoke . . . wild laughter, melodramatic weeping, loud accusations . . . The Lord knows, and He doesn’t miss a thing.
You do have a big heart, but you have just done more here now to sully Dr. Copley’s “name” or reputation than an pseudonym article on RG from 2012. You have just stated the Dr. Copley had an affair, that none of the rest of us would know or even have access to. That in it of itself should have caused him to be removed from ministry than anything RG or HA or the law suit/dropped charges did. Just because talking to him and listening to his sob story is really just another manipulation of your desires to try and do him some good. I feel sorry for his wife more than Dr. Copley who was unfaithful to her and his vows to her. That’s where some of sympathy should be and your own concern in this matter be.
If you didn’t know it you either did not believe Ruth when she said so in multiple accounts, or you didn’t read what has been written. Which is what we are discussing here. So I wanted to clarify that that FACT of the affair was correct in Ruth’s allegations, but the suggestion that there was a cover-up was completely and verifiably false.
If you feel for his wife, who has completely forgiven him for that and supports him, then feel for her as her own daughter has lifted her heel up against her. There is more to the story which is not mine to publish.
One more things Alfred, you keep calling him “a private person”. If he is a minister or pastor in a Church, any Church, he is no longer a “private person” even if his range is just local and at a local Church. He is a public ministry, even if it is in one locale. Due to that, he should be held to a higher standard than the average person sitting in the pew, listening to him. Looks like he was some big shot in IBLP which again is a world wide ministry at that, not just some local mocal church.
Then you also have much to learn about what is a “private person”. Dr. Copley is NOT a recognized public figure . . . I know you know the difference. His notoriety comes because of the accusations of his daughter, as well as a lengthy published account about the affair. If he is a public figure, then, say, Lourdes, the young woman who accused Doug Phillips, is also a “public figure”.
“Posting false information along with private details about a private individual with the goal to see him hurt, and directly responsible for him losing his employment, is a textbook definition of malicious libel.”
I completely agree. Then why are you going after RG in your blog post and not the other sources who have actually committed malicious libel?
That little tale of lies posted on RG has been damaging the reputation of IBLP and Dr. Copley for 5 years now. It was irresponsible and negligent to post it, along with any number of other falsehoods. Nobody else did that. Recovering Grace is responsible for that, and if, in a court of law, it is proven to be lies, that is defamation “per se” against Dr. Copley . . . and if proven to be posted with malice toward IBLP and Bill, defamation against them. Proving personal malice against Bill by RG principals is a legal cakewalk.
Other sites come and go . . . RG is solely dedicated to taking Bill and IBLP – and his associates, like Dr. Copley – down. So they get the attention they deserve.
Alfred: “Proving personal malice against Bill by RG principals is a legal cakewalk.”
If so, then why hasn’t Bill/IBLP gone that route? Seems like that would be the easiest way to put an end to it all if the lies are as easily disproven as you say.
“RG is solely dedicated to taking Bill and IBLP – and his associates, like Dr. Copley – down.”
If this is true, then logic would follow that they would have tried to take all of Bill’s associates down, and there are many. Who else can you name that has been an alleged target of RG?
On a related note, I personally have spoken with two former training center directors who know members of the RG team and have verbalized appreciation of their work and gratefulness for their even-handed approach to these difficult matters.
That is never the first solution, right? I would say . . . stay tuned.
Associates as a whole are “small potatoes” compared to Bill, right? But how about Bill’s family . . . recall anything on them? I do recall bad talk about the likes of Dr. Stanley and McLario, pro-Gothard. Come on . . .
And we have spoken with several – more than two – former training center directors who are deeply grieved with what RG is doing. Former board members, associates . . . current IBLP leadership. Even handed? Who are you kidding? The Lord is the ultimate judge of that. Present your cause to Him, as will we.
Whether you want to split hairs over the definition of private vs public figure, you are defending Alfred an admitted adulterer as some godly man which he is not if he has committed adultery. It also doesn’t look like with the dismissal of him from this case that the previously published accounts by Ruth are not going to be recalled because they have not. While you want to quote the verse from Matthew 7 of “judge not …” the following verse is “you shall know them by their fruit”. Dr. Copley’s fruit looks to be adultery and a broken relationship with his daughter Ruth. Not really good fruit there. Any Church that has him on staff and proud of it, ought to be avoided at all costs. I have not clue why you need to carry on in defending him. If he is so innocent, he can do that himself.
I am gasping a tad. Really?! David was an “admitted adulterer” AND a murderer . . . only evil people did not defend him when his time of trouble came at the hands of Absalom. There are testimonies of admitted sinners all over RG . . . that are being defended. Boy, for your own sake, I hope you correct your words . . . lest you stand and have to defend them before Jesus.
King David also greatly suffered and paid the consequences of all of that. He lost the baby, his son caused a civil war and he ended up as an old man shivering in bed in his later years. Not such a great way to end one’s life. I am speaking about responsible moral behavior in Church leadership and when that is violated, that person should not be in any position where that person has access to others to repeat the behavior. Secular groups sometimes seem to have higher standards in this, than what many Churches do. If a teacher is caught having an affair, they are gone. If a therapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, social worker, counselor is caught having an affair, they are done, they lose their license, it’s over. The same for Doctors. Yet, too many Churches just shuffle people like Dr. Copley around. Look at the big scandal involving Billy Graham’s grandson which is much bigger than one woman. Whether Ruth’s account it true, partially true or not, you yourself has admitted and according to you, his wife has “forgiven” him of immorality. Then you are crying that Dr. Copley has suffered so much because he was fired from one Church, yet picked up by another. RG had nothing to do with Dr. Copley not keeping his pants on. Other blogs have named him openly in all of this. RG has one article from 5 years ago that doesn’t even name him and everyone has forgotten about but you and you want to turn around and make your usual threats towards RG that Dr. Copley may (in your mind only) go after RG for slander and defamation. You are gasping after the wrong things here. I’ll even further support my point with a couple of Catholic examples where the priests were caught in affairs and they are now gone. One, Fr. Corabi was a very popular ETWN priest and had a widely followed program on. It turned out that he actually didn’t leave his previous playboy life style and a number of women came forward to complain. He was immediately pulled, his videos and books pulled even though he was a very popular priest and people still complain about him being gone. In NY diocese, an auxiliary bishop had a pretty hot affair with his married secretary a number of years ago. They even had pictures of them going in and out of hotel rooms together. They repeatedly denied it but it turned out to be true and resulted in a nasty divorce for the woman and this priest resigned in disgrace. Likewise, he was also on TV and all his programs were pulled. If you are gasping Alfred, you are gasping over the wrong things and wrong people. Even if Ruth’s accounts published all over the place are not true, Dr. Copley likewise signed off on suing her back, the accounts are not pulled at all on the other blogs AND Dr. Copley should not be in any ministry with any Church what so ever because and according to you, he is an admitted adulterer and that should be enough.
Well, that is interesting. Interesting it is that God quite deliberately placed the following in the earthly lineage of the Savior:
– The perpetrator and product of an incestuous gettogether (Judah and his daughter-in-law)
– Prostitute (Rahab)
– Descendent of a daughter and Dad getting together (Ruth, the Moabitess)
– Murderer, Adulterer and his mistress (David)
David ended his life fully in charge of his “ministry”, despite his failures. The God I serve says, “The glory of the latter shall be greater than the former” (Haggai 2:9) Your opinion is a minority opinion.
Same church . . . after the initial knee-jerk reaction and they finally sat down and thought it through based on what was known. God bless them.
But you are barking the wrong tree. The rejection of the church had nothing to do with the affair, which they knew – it was out in the open. Try, just for a moment, and visualize a scenario where nothing of substance in his daughter’s or “Jane Doe 2″‘s allegations are true. “Fake news” that deeply harmed the family. If it were you or a loved one, I KNOW you suddenly would understand why your comments are neither righteous nor helpful.
This has nothing to do with a whose who in the genealogy of Jesus. I’m not defending like you are immoral behaviors of those in Christian leadership. Just because there is a Moabite Ruth, Rahab, King David, and even Judah and his daughter-in-law in does not mean or justify any of those behaviors. After Rahab and her family were saved, it looks like she was no longer a hooker but seemed to have settle down and married and became the mother of Boaz. That sounds like conversion, not a continuation of immorality. Ruth likewise was a convert. While David confessed, he still was never the same and problems continued till his death. You have not offered anything to disprove Ruth or Jane Doe II story but that they are lies according to you. Whether they are lies or not, Dr. Copley’s problems that he has admitted to you has been unfaithfulness to his wife and that in it of itself should exclude him from further Church ministry. But IFB type of Churches have become infamous for hiding and shuffling around immoral pastors and one of the worst records in this area. For someone that doesn’t even attend IFB Churches yourself, I’m not sure why you are so concerned about Dr. Copley. Defending immoral people like Dr. Copley and even Bill Gothard doesn’t really sound like righteousness to me.
Then consider me mystified as to your point. Your demand that a single properly confessed and corrected offense bars a man from future service . . . Is not supported, scripturally. Not even by you.
Fake news! Now that is a funny use of terms now that it has come into common usage. Maybe there really is nothing new under the sun.
Under the winter sun,
You are making strong claims about how professionals police their professions. By your account, churches need to be like professional cartels which disbar attorneys, de-license physicians, etc. to punish adultery. Perhaps you are correct, but do you have any evidence that these professions really apply drastic sanctions for adultery? The code of military justice forbids adultery, but it is rarely enforced, at least during 1981-1992 in the army. I have also known situations where adulteries among professionals was pretty common knowledge. There were the usual smirks and whispers, but no professional sanctions.
But apparently ETWN and the Diocese of New York are pretty hard core. Perhaps the morally lax professions should follow their example.
Don’t you think the Copley situation was decided by people who were more qualified than you and I? They had personal first-hand knowledge. They had access to facts which we don’t. They reap the rewards for getting it right and suffer the consequences of getting it wrong.
The military has never been known to be a bastion of morality. I have sat in on many an ethics classes with my husband to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that those in the helping/counseling/therapy professions if they have an affair with someone they are trying to help will end their career and license. Likewise in the teaching profession and any one that makes the news in scandal, the affair will end their teaching career. Dr. Copley had a long term affair as talked about on other blogs with someone he was counseling. That not only violates professional ethics and standards in counseling, it should end it as well in any Church. I also know in many a police department that will fire police officers if they are caught having affairs. But again we are talking about IFB Churches and they have the worst reputation among all Christian groups in hiding, excusing and shuffling around immoral pastors. There is a big difference in the handling of Dr. Copley and how ETWN pulled the plug on one of it’s most popular priests, Fr. Corapi. EWTN did the right thing and a brave thing as well because they did get a lot of flack for it. But, if that is “hard core” to you, that says something more about the standards you hold dear than mine.
I saw your 1/16 reply to my 1/15 post.
I don’t know any more about ETWN than what you wrote, but we were both praising them, albeit with different terms. I called them hard core, while you called them brave in the face of flack. Bill Gothard might have said they had high standards. These are all distinctions without a difference, as the saying goes.
But here is a distinction with a difference: You claimed that certain professions expel their members for adultery. But I wonder if you didn’t mistakenly conflate some professional groups in your example. Of course some professions must deal firmly with adulterers in their ranks. We might call these the social priesthood because they help people with sensitive personal problems. You called them the helping/counseling/therapy professions. Of course they must be scrupulous about adultery. Medical and other professionals like architects, engineers, and military, maybe not so much.
So I am skeptical about your claim that adulterous cops get fired. Can you cite an example of one who did? Wouldn’t the police union close ranks and defend their wayward man? Of course adultery will be condemned in an ethics class as you say. But whether professionals get expelled for it is another question.
Anyway, back to Ken Copley. Because charity hopeth all things, perhaps you and I can hope together that all hurts are healed, all trespasses forgiven.
“hard core” is not a compliment in my book. I do not consider Bill having “high standards”. Billy Graham had high standards, Bill Gothard does not. Nor do I share in “hope” for Dr. Copley. Any Christian man that commits adultery with someone he supposedly is “counseling’ is not a Godly man, let along the other accusations against him. My hope for him is that he is out of ministry, he should be done.
OK . . . for the second time . . . you have stated your vindictive judgments repeatedly of a man you do not know. That is probably enough, if you have nothing else to add. I shake my head . . . again. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
So Alfred, you’re saying that *your* assessment of the 2012 story – a woman’s (by the name or pseudonymn of Rebekah) personal account of abuse by an unnamed perpetrator – has changed since your April 11, 2012 comments, “This simply must stop. Yes, abusers can be articulate, spiritual, reasonable . . . and liars.” ?
Not at all! We’re it true, as I suspected it to be in 2012, my expression would be the same. But now that we know it to be fundamentally false, of course my opinion changes. Just because a person makes an accusation does not somehow make it true. Once again, we check into a tale . . . And find something completely different than alleged.
it is incredible presumptuous on your part to claim with certainty that the 2012 account on RG by “rebekah” was about Dr. Copley. What solid factual proof do you have for your current assertion ?
Read it through – an adopted girl from Korea, whose parents are on staff at IBLP? The details, the timeframe. There are no other options.
Ok Alfred, the detail of being from Korea which is only mentioned at the end of the RG article and mentioned in the other blogs that give rather graphic details of her abuse could someone possibly put that together. But the RG article was not written in a way or manner that identifies him specifically. Only since she came out in the open, using her name and details was a finger ever pointed at him. The dropping from the lawsuit of his abuse of Ruth which you are calling lies, doesn’t mean that they didn’t happen and he can’t counter sue her for defamation and all these other statements by her are still out there for the world to read.
This is Ruth. You will notice no one authoritative has stepped forward to deny it. Beyond that, we know some of the history she did not include, as well as statements she made to indicate that the salient parts were fabricated. And if you read the other articles written in support of her, you will note that she has approached authorities at many levels to file criminal charges . . . And failed to even get that kind of traction. She even sent a petition to the governor of Indiana pleading for help. Either they are all colluding against her . . . Or knowledge of the types of facts that combined to have her dropped from the lawsuit “with prejudice” were before those authorities as well.
Just because a woman alleges abuse does not make her truthful or brave. Just like the proverbial “race card” it can in fact be used as an all too convenient cudgel to beat up men that someone dislikes. Or parents. In the Doug Phillips case the woman in question was forced to retract her public allegations against the man as part of her settlement, “with prejudice” That means . . . She lied, at least in that venue. And those that unreservedly championed her because they despised Doug are guilty of aiding and abetting. At times I just thank God that He knows and is so incredibly just, fair. My greatest prayer for the pending lawsuit is that the truth about sexual abuse will be known, and all liars will be brought to public light. If that is Bill or IBLP . . . Or any or all of the remaining defendants.
You are entitled to your opinion and have been allowed to express it. I think Scripture would support another approach, as evidenced in the life of David and others.
Are you talking to me?
Yes, the responses did not interleave well.
You reference a lot of Old Testament scriptures. Now, I’m not saying they aren’t for us to learn from and we shouldn’t look to the OT for perspective etc, however, when Jesus came, He changed things. Maybe some New Testament examples would be more relevant.
Here is how things changed:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil[“fill up”]. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled[“filled up”].”
To fill up . . . Means you take something partial . . . And go “all the way”. In this case you can see this in His examples. “Don’t murder” is filled up to “don’t hate”. “Don’t commit adultery” is filled up to “don’t lust”. “Don’t do evil to people” becomes “don’t stop them from doing you evil”
Paul sums it up:
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
That all having been said . . . There is no deliberate attempt to favor the OT. But when it comes to the practical affairs of life, the OT contains way more data. So . . . It may come up more.
LOL! done with this debate I suppose. That’s Ok.
Not necessarily. But . . . if you say the same things several times . . . I get it, and I run out of ways to express our side.
I didn’t think I’d need to point out the irony, but here it is …
Based on your own knowledge, you now say that the abuser in the story is Dr Copley, although when you read it in 2012, it was an unknown father of an adoptee. I have no personal knowledge to the contrary, so it’s no problem if we just assume it was Dr Copley.
You state that Dr Copley has flatly denied the accusations made by the article’s author, and you declare him innocent. That is well and good for yourself, if that is your own deduction from your own experience or observations. But you take it a couple steps further by voluntarily revealing the identity of the accused in the story AND declaring his innocence to the rest of us, insisting there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hawaii that the author’s account is truthful. (Good luck with that defamation thing you keep talking about, btw.)
But if we go back to WHAT YOU SAID in 2012 when the accused was an unknown to you, YOU SAID that ****abusers can be articulate, spiritual, and reasonable, and that they can lie.****
I can’t say which it is since I have no personal knowledge or dog in the fight, but the way I see it, either:
(1) Dr Copley is innocent and he has told you he is and you believe it and we can all go home, OR
(2) Dr Copley actually did what the author described AND YOU WERE RIGHT (!!!) ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE CAN BE DEAD-PAN SPIRITUAL AND ALL, AND LIE TO COVER IT UP.
If your argument is that certain charges have been dropped from the current law suit, that means absolutely nothing except that they won’t be heard as part of this court case, or ever, or whenever. There’s a big difference between that and innocence. Far more injustices have ever happened than have ever seen their days in courts for any number of reasons.
But I’m gonna go out on a limb here and state what I *think* *might* be the case, and the reason you cannot, will not, and probably will never give credence to the author’s claims, now that you say you know who she was talking about. Based on a history of going back and forth with you about the basis on which you believe any given thing to be true, I’m guessing Dr Copley’s innocence has been cemented in your mind by your friend Bill’s rock-solid, good-as-gold, never-to-be-questioned guarantee.
I just bring you back to YOUR OWN STATEMENT – that abusers can be articulate, spiritual, and reasonable, and that they can LIE.
If you read all the way to the bottom of the comments in the story you may come across another comment by this random unknown individual named “Alfred” making the connection to Dr. Copley. Apparently it was not that hard to figure out for someone who knows the personnel at HQ.
To make such statements, yes, we are quite confident in our information. Ruth told a partial truth about Dr. Copley’s affair, but completely mischaracterized it. Given the list of individuals that were in on the restoration – whole team, public names you would know, folks that have given us permission to involve them – well, there is no way she got confused on that.
Given Ruth’s quest for “justice”, what reasons can you come up with for her accepting this ruling? Her lawyer and Dr. Copley’s lawyer jointly agreed to this. You may draw your own conclusions.
You know, whether you realize it or not, you MAY be being used by The Enemy to continue to further his agenda . . . on the assumption that what we have put forward here is the truth. Fact is, you know far less about this than we do. God forbid that this insane hatred of Bill and all he stands for should drive those that claim to know Jesus to do evil, while believing they are doing good.
You mean there are two Alfreds? I thought one was enough! 🙂
Here, check out count 457 from the lawsuit:
The graphic version was on one of the blog links supplied by Dave. That was in 2012. Her post on RG was done under assume names and is not at all graphic and that was also 2012, not 2010 or 2011. I’m not sure what your point is but just because Dr. Copley was dismissed without prejudice doesn’t mean what so ever that he did not abuse her. Likewise, he cannot go back and try to sue her for defamation, which seems to be something you want to happen. The very graphic, almost pornographic account published by others are still out there. Wasn’t this brought into the case by the previous lawyer G III, that you got kicked off the case? I mean, I really think that did the plaintiffs a favor, not Bill and the IBLP buds. After reading about Jack Hyles, Schaaps and the other IFB abusive perverts that have been convicted and thrown in jail, it seems like Dr. Copley is cut from the same sick cloth. Maybe you ought to ask G III why he would include this in the case originally if it was all lies according to you. At least Alfred, you belong to PB church which doesn’t seem to be run by a bunch of abusive perverts. You do realize that when false teachers are described in different places in the NT epistles, there is usually an outward image of “godliness” but underneath are immoral abusive greedy evil people.
I shake . . . my . . . head. No ability to be objective here? ANY desire, even? We should know by now . . . If, after any number of proofs, from the very source now, signed affidavit, that the “Cabin Story” is “fake news” . . . it is till there, it is STILL believed! So . . . why would we expect anything different here?
Dr. Copley did NOT do the things he has been accused of. There is a God in heaven that will not “snuff the smoking flax or break the bruised reed” . . . and will set all things straight. May his daughter have the grace to set things straight.
Alfred, the fact that RG only stated at the end of the article that she was from Korea didn’t cause you when you first read it to think of Dr. Copley? I think that the stock picture that RG put with the article of a blond haired, clearly caucasian girl would have thrown most people off of that. If RG was “out to get” poor old Dr. Copley, I think they would have posted a picture of an Asian looking girl, not a blond haired girl. The Korean detail in only buried at the end and what sticks in most peoples minds is the visual which was a caucasian blond haired girl. That doesn’t sound like people out to get poor old D.r Copley. It sound like they wisely wanted the basics of the story to be told while protecting all of the identities of those involved, both the victim and the accused.
There are several motivations to come forward anonymously. One of them is to not be examined. Are you even capable of beginning to doubt the story that Ruth told? I just don’t want to keep saying the same things over and over again.
Yes, I’ve been very objective here. You have not proven at all Dr. Copley’s innocence in the abuse of his daughter. A 2 hours phone conversation where he has denied it, is not proof for anyone except you. The fact that Dr. Copley has never gone after Ruth since 2012 for defamation supports Ruth more than him. The fact that Dr. Copley is an admitted adulterer to even you certainly proves he is not or has not been a moral man. The fact the that IFB teaching and theology which seems to attract abusive people to it’s ranks as documented by many books, articles, blogs etc, not done in pseudo names but real time support the fact that the environment for Ruth was abusive than not. The fact that Bill’s teaching which is a part of IFB culture and theology which is a heavy handed abusive authoritarianism support Ruth’s side of the story than Dr. Copley. The fact that his part in the current lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice does not prove that abuse didn’t happen just that BOTH sides have agreed to not go further.
Since you seem to be stuck on “fake news” and want to take the cabin story as “fake news” and use this as proof that Ruth’s accounts of abuse fall in the “fake news” category is another grasping at straws. While maybe the total of the cabin story is not reality, taking it apart in pieces is reality. Bill had secretaries sit on his lap pre-1980s. That has been attested to by secretaries and eye witnesses that walked in on them. The fact that Bill went around to cabins at night to give “good night” hugs which the girls there tried to avoid and lock their doors has been attested to by them in many ways in documents, phone logs etc. While you have always wanted to lump that story as one big lie, the bits and pieces of that story are not and are not “fake news”.
Armchair quarterbacking at its finest. Come back to me when you are prepared to explain how you would sue your own penniless daughter, spending $100,000 or more on the hope of clearing your name.
We have one (1) account of Bill with a secretary on his lap . . .
1) Bill says she was being playful and jumped on as a lark
2) Bill apparently said he was “dating” her, several people stating he said that to them. They also went on canoe rides and lay on the roof, gazing at the stars.
3) The one (1) person – Gary Smalley – who observed it signed a witnessed affidavit (you will find that up at http://www.discoveringgrace.com/2015/10/19/did-he-do-it-the-cabin-story-and-more/) that he pointedly asked her if Bill had done anything “inappropriate” with her, and she stated repeatedly that he had not. Said the same thing to others, unsolicited comments.
Ruth (Gabriel) made the statement in a phone call, saying that the secretary across the hall at the Northwoods would verify that. We have spoken to the secretary and she became rather upset . . . stated that Bill’s brother most definitely did that, but not Bill. That is the only record I am aware of on that. BTW . . . the only cabin there was Bill’s, for whatever it is worth. We have no testimony – 0 – that anything untoward ever happened there.
So, yes . . . you are repeating back “fake news”.
“Judge not lest ye be judged”. You have no idea what you are talking about, taking all of your confidence from a website that has certainly not been entirely truthful. And if there is any chance that either of these gentlemen is on God’s list of people He really cares about, I would limit or at least balance my comments.
Dear sister Rob,
re: your 1/18 post. Please don’t discard your charity so cheaply. Remember the burden of proof lies exclusively with the accuser, because charity “thinketh no evil.” No man bears any burden for proving Ken Copley’s innocence. But the burden of proof lies with his accuser. Apparently Alfred doesn’t think any accuser has met that burden. I have not followed the accusations as closely as you, so I don’t have an opinion on the topic.
But we mustn’t rule out the possibility that Vladimir Putin ordered it!
I think the best answer is to pray for peace, healing and wholeness for all involved since the legal aspect is over for them in a dismissal.
I’m not sure if a full reconciliation could ever occur but healing and wholeness still can.
Appreciate that, we would be in hearty agreement. We forget who the real enemy is, ultimately, and if the one we are fighting has flesh and blood, we got the wrong target.
An addendum to the allegations made by Ruth Copley Burger against her father. She launched her allegations back in 2004 or 2005, going to the Hamilton County Police department in Indiana. The police launched a full scale investigation, meticulously interviewing all members of the family. They found her allegations to be without merit and closed the investigation without charges. That was the beginning of this process that appears to have finally come to an end with her dismissal from the lawsuit a decade later. That fact seems to be missing from all of the accounts that have been made from and about her.
Dr. Copley wrote a book along with Logan in 2001, “The Great Deceiver, unmasking the lies of Satan”. Per our debate on “public vs. private” person, doesn’t being an author of a book make Dr. Copley a “public” person per say?
A “public person” is someone who is a “public servant”, or someone that lives in and benefits from the public arena. Being the author of a book – unless accompanied with a lot of exposure, again a “public life” – is in no way a public – vs. a private – person. We are no lawyers here, but . . . I would not bet on that as a means of protection for playing fast and loose with the truth.
The legal web site http://www.defamtionremovallaw.com/defamtion-public-official-vs-private-person/ give an legal analysis of what is public vs private in relationship to defamation. They do point out that public figure isn’t always clearly defined and in some of the other legal web sites and blogs I’ve looked at talk about there is a semi-public in that someone is locally or publicly known in a limited circle or location. Yes, there is a different between Bill Gothard being a public person in that he has an international ministry. Dr. Copley is much more limited in the tight night IBLP circle of fundy followers. His published book had a limited readership but one can still buy it on Amazon. He would have the burden of proof for defamation against any of the web blogs that have talked about him but it seems like he has signed off on that with the dismissal. Most of the people reading RG really would not have seen that article as about him until you have pointed it out.
To prove that he is not a public person? That would not be hard to do. Sort of like the “expectation of privacy” test when people complain about pictures being taken of them, let’s say . . . at a ball game, come on . . . in your back yard, yup.
To prove defamation? Maybe not. There is a standard of “per se” which is applied against certain things which are simply considered damaging without proof required. And, yes, allegations of illicit sexual activity with a minor is definitely in that category. All he has to do to gain a conviction is . . . demonstrate that he is a private person, that he was publically declared to have done such things, and that the charges are false or negligently reported. If someone is a “public person”, like Bill, the added standard of malice must be proven, i.e. false information reported with deliberate intent to hurt.
I did not understand the “signed off” statement. Copley has not relinquished any rights in any context. He cannot sue for stuff presented in the lawsuit alone, but if separately published, absolutely yes.
A hypothetical question for general discussion and not really related to this case; with today’s social media and most everyone and their mother on things like Facebook etc., is there really any “private” person or even privacy any more? With most everyone out there letting it all out there, what is or is not privacy and private persons really mean?
An excellent question. The “right to privacy” is, according to Supreme Court rulings, enshrined in the Constitution. Or at least became the explanation for the unbridled scope of abortion. Regardless, it is a prized American value. That means that this is the default position for individuals. What forces them into the “public” arena is not completely perfectly defined. Again, it comes down to an “expectation”, I expect . . . what a reasonable person would expect. Tom Brady has no (0) expectation of privacy as virtually every aspect of his life wil be discussed all over the world (obviously with some limits) . . . hence he is a public person. A “public servant”, government official, is by definition the “property” of his/her constituents . . . to some extent. My employer knows a lot about me that others do not . . . because of our special relationship. Similarly, a “public servant” enters into a special relationship with the people he is serving . . . and privacy expectation is decreased.
Dr. Copley would have an expectation of privacy comparable to what I expect. Bill Gothard in his worldwide ministry has inserted himself into public consciousness deliberately and willingly. A good clue . . . if you get your own Wiki . . . you might be a public person.
If any public figure ever had a case against people using deceit with the intent of malice, it would be Bill. This whole situation is like malice on steroids. Also, too, taking advantage of someone’s kindness, like Bill, by pummeling them publicly, with the sky as their limit, is ethically wrong and not “Christian” in any way.
Well, trust me, the LAST thing I would ever want is a Wiki page! :). However, the thought I was thinking is the complete thoughtlessness people seem to have about themselves in what they put out there on the internet for the world to see. Usually, it’s the young, but older people that should know better can act like kids. While what people put out there on social media is voluntary, what you attach your name and face to can’t really be taken back.
That would be a boon for a PI or for an enemy . . . but does not make your a “public figure”. Unless you do that for a living 🙂 Some do
A very interesting article in Politico, discussing Melania Trump’s $150 million defamation lawsuit against a blogger . . . who claimed she used to work as a “high end escort”. Discussions of “public” figures and the “malice” test, which she appears to have passed. Also a discussion of SLAPP defence against lawsuits which some on this website claimed could be used against a Bill action . . . which was also batted down. This is real, and it relates very directly to Bill’s and Copley’s concerns. Allegations of sexual misconduct – say that you were a prostitute or Ken raped a counselee or Bill fondled girls – are defamation “per se” if proven false. That means immediate conviction.
Yes, some have made it their “living” like the Duggar kids. It seems out of control for them. How many baby bump picture do we need of Jessa and Jill? Do we really need to watch them brush their hair before a wedding? A lot of people are out of control on social media etc. but reality TV even ups the ante. Maybe they like or must be addicted to all the attention and money it gives them but I don’t see anything “Godly” about it and it’s not living “quite and peaceful lives” as St. Paul exhorted us to live as Christians. Is this the best that IBLP has to offer? Is this what ATI education leads to?
If reality TV is a problem, it is because people like it. When ratings drop . . . adios. Putting up with the hassles of that process has supplied the family some decent cash . . . and provided platforms for several of them to do things they would otherwise not have been able to do.
The problem with reality TV is that it really isn’t “reality” but a highly edited version of it. The Christian families that have gotten caught up doing it which includes Bates and the bigger Duck Dynasty family convince themselves that doing this, they are doing “outreach”. But there really isn’t “outreach” for Christ, it just makes the families that do this into another set of stars. Look at the DD guys, they have turned themselves into looking like cartoon characters with their hair, beards and clothes. The shows end up taking over their own lives. It just another advancement of our celebrity culture but because many of these people have “Christian” in front of their names, people think it’s ok and Christians that should be avoiding the celebrity culture all together, get caught up in watching and supporting this. No one is saved by watching any of these shows and the latest Jessa baby bump instagram picture does nothing for Christ, only continues her self-absorbed life.
Hopefully they pull us up, which is the intent, I think.
I like the point Rob raised about modern privacy. The Edward Snowden revelations raised it too. People want privacy. We wear clothes to cover our “privy” members, etc.
Fortunately, technology is a two-edged sword. The NSA uses technology to spy on everyone, but I expect the market to produce consumer encryption technologies to restore privacy. As the 55 mph speed limit in the 1970s was countered by the CB radio, some technology will help the common man get recover his privacy from the NSA. So we mustn’t despair for our privacy, even in 2017.
Klingon Cloaking device David K
I have no clue how you came to your conclusions from what I wrote above. Is Snowden a hero for you, someone that broke laws, sold secrets and fled the country is someone you admire?
Dear sister Rob,
Okay, I’ll explain the connection between Snowden and your 1/25 post. You raised the topic of privacy, which made Snowden a household word. Snowden revealed that the NSA was violating everyone’s 4th Amendment guarantee of privacy. Whether Snowden is a hero or villain depends upon whose side you take in the dispute between him and the NSA. But you make a claim I have not heard before. Have you seen any evidence that Snowden sold secrets? Snowden’s enemies have probably accused him of this.
But accusations and evidence are two different things. Isn’t that the central point for Snowden, Gothard, and Copley?
Let the accusers meet their burden of proof, then decide. Meanwhile, enjoy whatever privacy remains to you.
Currently Snowden is hiding in Russia. Copley and Bill are not hiding in Russia being charges with theft and espionage. Only a twisted mind would even link all three together. If Snowden is so innocent of theft and espionage, then he wouldn’t be hiding in Russia and come home and face the serious charges and then prove his innocence that you apparently consider about him.
In a non-consequential twist of irony, Copley’s son and wife used to hang out with Snowden and his girlfriend during their time in the Marines. Not even worth bringing up . . . except that somehow Snowden and Copley are being discussed in the same conversation.
On the contrary, sister. Snowden is not constrained to prove his innocence. His accusers bear the burden of proving his guilt. Have you seen any facts which prove his guilt? His physical location is irrelevant. If his accusers had any facts to produce, they could produce them whether Snowden is in Moscow, Maryland, or Mars.
Yes, I know the NSA’s evidence is classified. How convenient! I retired with a Top Secret Clearance. You can trust me.
That is an interesting fact about Copley and Snowden which Alfred slipped in. I inserted a comparison to Copley because I felt constrained to return to our original topic.
It is too easy to wander off topic. I’d love to divert us to controversies like Donald Trump’s energetic beginning in the White House, but that would be yielding to temptation. Perhaps in the coming months it might even be worth mentioning the Cubs’ title defense. I hope so!
Your eclectic brother,
Yeah . . . let’s keep/get focused on the reasons the blog exists here.
Just curious, isn’t it a little concerning and would you Alfred have one of your daughters at 31 marry a man 15 years her senior? Not only that but your 31 very nice, never been kissed virgin marry a man that sodomized his former room-mates stripper live in girl friend? Now supposedly this man who is now nearly 50 years old has changed his life around by prayer according to him and attributes God for getting him out of serving time and being put on a sex offender’s registry for the rape. Something seems very amiss. Of course, I would think her father on the board of IBLP wouldn’t allow his very nice never been kissed 31 year old daughter to marry a man that is nearly 50 and has done totally disgusting things to another woman. It’s no wonder why people on the outside of the IBLP world look at this, shake their heads and think there is something seriously wrong with this picture.
Please catch me up, as I am not tracking on the obvious actual example you must be referring to. Or is this about Steve Gothard? Two comments:
1) I believe in the recovery by God in complete terms. I happen to not believe in “once a pervert, always a pervert”, if that is the point. Otherwise the power of God and blood of Jesus is, once again, proven to be terribly ineffective, if it even exists at all. On the other hand, I assure you that coming to a conclusion that a specific scenario fits that would require a great deal of prayer . . . and would generally not be advisable.
2) Marriage of a much older man to a much younger woman is NOT a problem per se. Quite Biblical, as demonstrated over and over. It comes down to modern social morès . . . which is non-trivial, in terms of pressure, stress . . . but is not a spiritual or Biblical concern.
Sorry, this involves the live in tutor for the Duggars, daughter of the Paines that just got engaged to this man. She is 31 and he is 46. I think my concern is not so much the age difference ( but it is a little curious) but the fact that he assaulted the girl friend of his roommate in this manner. The Duggars just threw them an engagement party which really isn’t surprising but it’s all over everywhere that there is “another” Duggar sex scandal. Sorry, but a man that has done that, even in the past would never get near my daughter.
Well, I went and looked it up, this was all news to us. I read his testimony, which appeared to stop short of affirming that the event actually occurred, a confusing evening apparently drenched in a lot of booze and drugs. He was afraid and made a plea bargain, thus avoiding jail and eventually clearing his record. If he really got saved has been furiously involved in the Lord’s business since then with no issues, I personally would not share your condemnation.
Again, the age difference is a non-issue as far as I am concerned, especially if family is on board. And that magazine has a lot to answer for to God, delighting in the slandering of others . . . for a buck or two.
Again, just because the Bible records older men marrying much younger women doesn’t make it “Biblical” any more than polygamy and endogamy and a host of other things that are likewise recorded in the Bible. The bigger the age difference, the bigger the problems of control in the marriage relationship. But considering your views of husband’s owning their wives, fathers owning their daughters I’m not at all surprised. I’m not sure how far you want to go down this road. Child brides is a big deal in Islam because Mohammed married a 9 year old. I’m surprised the Paines would approved of a man that’s “been around” especially in that manner, but maybe they were running out of options for their 31 year old daughter.
What Biblical precept do you see violated here? No, polygamy is not condemned in Scripture. Personally, I think we are far wiser to rely on the testimony of Scripture than the perspective of our own hearts or the opinions of our culture. Only one thing will survive the fire of the end of life, and that is God’s Word.
So you are saying polygamy is ok because it’s in the Bible?
Haha! The only “per se” condemnation in Scripture that I see is that a leader in the church is required to be the “husband of one wife”. Missionaries that have dealt with polygamous cultures have not felt compelled to require a new Christian to shed all but one wife, as though that were a sin. Because it isn’t. It is illegal in this country, and it certainly is not a great idea . . . but God tolerates a great many “not a good idea” things in life as He deals with us gently.
I am wasting my time here.
Ok, prayer break over. Any time in the OT that records a number of polygamist situations, which include Abraham, Jacob, King David, Solomon, Hannah etc. all the problems that come with polygamy which are conflicts between people in the family are all there as well. The fruit of polygamy is repeated jealousies and fights between especially the children, and somewhat the wives. The consistent teaching from the beginning of the Church from the apostles is that marriage is between one man and one woman and that bond is unbreakable. None of the recorded OT polygamist situations are happy and just because these situations are honestly recorded in the OT does not imply God’s approval or blessing. Unless you want to end up in fundamentalist Mormon camp and religions like Islam, you can be my guest is trying to support polygamy. But if one is trying to support their point blank literalist fundamentalist Bible interpretations and use, then that is how someone like you would come to such conclusions. I think I’ve read where even Martin Luther flirted with the idea that polygamy was ok, but was pulled back by the consistent historic Christian teaching and views that marriage is between one man and one woman in an unbreakable bond. Now maybe when polygamy comes as a legal option because we now have SSA marriages as a legal option, your thinking and reasoning expressed here should cause you to be supportive of such things. You do realize that the pro-polygamy crowd is waiting in the wings for this. Is that something you want because in your mind “it’s Biblical” because “its in the Bible”?
Rob: In this I am a Biblical literalist. I have to follow the Scriptures where they lead. Modern “Christianity” is awash in so-called “believers” who, in fact, believe their own hearts and pull the name of Jesus in to support their viewpoints. The Bible is like a law text, very precise and absolutely true. Polygamy IS a bad idea, in that we are in full agreement. But the reality is: Scripture does NOT define it as a sin, in fact making provision for it. I am not afraid of the precision of God’s Word . . . God loves His Word as well, and I wonder what He thinks when we are forever declaring ourselves smarter than He is. I will NOT be supporting it, any more than I support divorce which I also believe to not be God’s will, just permitted “for the hardness of our hearts”.
Dear sister Rob,
No need to build a straw man of ownership. Give your neighbors credit for being reasonable. We should own our loved ones in one sense though not in every sense.
In Holy Matrimony we vow to “have” and hold our spouse, but no one takes that to mean we may trade up to a newer model a few decades thence.
So ownership of our loved ones is one thing and ownership of the stuff we trade on Craigslist is a different thing. We may speak of “our” children without diminishing their dignity. Jesus is “your” savior, but you dare not trade him in for Baal.
I am not following Duggar affairs, but we can agree that everyone ought to own his loved ones in the wholesome sense, not the corrupt sense.
I have no clue what you are saying. You are making no sense whatsoever. There is a saying “quit while you’re ahead” and I think that is good advice which I plan to follow here. I’m wasting my time, I’m done.
” Answer not a fool according to his folly, least you be like him” Proverbs 26:4
related verses Proverbs 23:9, Proverbs 29:9, and Matthew 7:6
No one should own no body. We all belong to God and are responsible to God and answer to Him. This idea that husbands’ own their wives or parents own their children is backwards and leads to the abuse that other complain about all over the internet. Parents don’t own their children. Parent are temporary custodians of their children given that responsibility by God, not the other way around. Parents have the responsibility to raise the children they are entrusted with from God to become healthy adults on their own. Honoring one’s parents doesn’t mean blind life long obedience either. This idea that you hold that people own each other is not a healthy one or even historic Christian teaching. But what can I expect from people steeped in authority teaching of Bill Gothard and even the patriarchy/complimenartian movement.
I remember the line from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” where Paul Varjak passionately and furiously tells the fleeing Holly Golightly, “But you belong to me!”. To “own” is to be responsible for, in this case in the best possible way . . . as an expression of love and commitment. So . . . I disagree. You provide 9 authoritative statements, none of which you grounded in Scripture. I disagree with a number based on my own authority 🙂 If we want, we can take each statement up point by point and compare with Scripture.
1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
This is highly unusual for you to refer to movies. I have not seen this movie although I have heard of it. I’m not against movies but I am not a big movie buff at all even though I think this was considered a cult classic from the 60s. I think we are talking past one another. I am talking about people possessing others like objects and heavy handed authority teaching that stem from Bill Gothard and others as well leads to these ideas that husbands own their wives, parents own their children etc. I’m not talking about that there are not relationships between people. My children are not my objects. I am not an object of my husband. We are all self autonomous to God. Children are a gift from God. Parenting is a responsibility from God. The verses you just quoted really don’t support what you are trying to say. Submitting to one another does not equal people possessing one another and that I what I am trying say. We all belong to God even if we are in exclusive relationships like marriage and parenting.
Well, I gingerly point out that the Bible nowhere condemns “people owning people”, in fact making clear provision for it, even in the NT. The entire book of Philemon dealt with a runaway slave . . . coming back voluntarily to his believing master after he got saved. That flies in the face of our loud modern culture, but . . . there it is. We are called “bondslaves” of each other . . . that implies “ownership”, right? Otherwise, use some other word.
We are talking past each other again.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s! Now that’s a blast from the past! It’s a rare man who can quote from it. But it’s a good flick.
I’ll let Alfred work the point-by point reply to Rob’s 2/1 post if he wants to.
Meanwhile, I’m calling out Rob for her complaint against authoritarianism. Authoritarian pots are calling authoritarian kettles black. The Church of Rome had a long history of authoritarianism before IFB churches emerged from their 16th Century roots. It took them a while to catch up with Rome. So no denomination has a monopoly on authoritarianism. There’s plenty to go around.
I think this blog is about Bill Gothard not the Catholic Church. If you have questions or issues with the Catholic Church, you need to go to those blogs and forums that deal with it. You are not defending Bill’s teaching on authority by attacking another Church that has nothing to do with Bill Gothard and his teaching. That is a deflection and cheap shot attacks, not a true defense.
No, sister. I was defending neither IFB authority teaching nor Rome’s. IMO, neither needs defending. I like them both. And both have been questioned where they deserve it. Authority is a good thing where it is justly exercised. Don’t you agree?
And sometime soon we will get to see whether Caesar’s court will do justice for Bill Gothard and his accusers.
Nice try but you have equated the authority teachings found in groups like IFB and taught by Bill Gothard equal to teaching authority as understood and taught by the Catholic Church. They are not the same and you are confused. Bill Gothard on Tues. night and I clearly remember it and still have my “red notebook” that in order to have great faith in God, one must obey their authorities in their life which was either one’s parents if unmarried or the husband if a married women. One had to obey their authority as if they were God themselves. The Catholic Church does not teach that one is to obey without questions their parents. In fact some of the biggest named saints disobeyed their parents in order to obey God or what they thought God was telling them to do. They is a huge list and their examples definitely helped me understand the error of heavy handed authority teaching.
I’m responding to your above comment about being a Bible literalist. I think Alfred we would both agree that the Bible is the Word of God in written form. But what I find almost sad Alfred is that you are reading the Bible as some kind of legal point blank manual and I am reading the Bible as God’s love letter that everything in it points to God incarnate Jesus Christ. The NT is hidden in the OT and the OT is revealed in the NT. Likewise you made a statement about “modern” Christianity. Now I think what you were trying to talk about is liberal Protestant theology which takes too much liberty with understanding the Bible as more allegory that more literal. However, fundamentalism which is what you consider yourself is a “modern” movement and theology. The views you hold only developed in the 1800s. They are not historic Christian teaching and theology even in the Protestant world. The Bible is made up of many different kinds of literary modes and while yes, a good chunk of it is recording history that is literal, certainly many sections of it are not such as Psalms. One cannot read books like Psalms which is the biggest book in the Bible using point blank literalist legal mode that you are talking about. Likewise there are many cultural idioms and expressions that will be lost and misinterpreted if one follows your point blank literalist mind set. Jesus Himself, spoke in parables and idioms in order to teach. The book of Revelation likewise uses symbolic language and has been interpreted as such until the rise of dispensationalism in the 1800s. (the pre-tribulation stuff). Anyway, I’ve given you enough to chew on and argue back with but I honestly think that the literalist type of approach sells yourself short and lead one to conclusions that the Bible doesn’t really teach.
The “symbolic” argument is used to wholesale ignore large portions of God’s word that is very much binding on us today. And, yes, I see it as a legal document. Yes, there are “literary modes”, such as commands (imperatives), poetic writing, proverbs, parables, accounts (“judgements”, what happened in God’s universe and what He did about it) . . . Still, it says what it means, means what it says. We can, as Jesus pointed out, miss the deep meaning because we are focused on the immediate reading:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and NOT TO LEAVE THE OTHER UNDONE.”
See the point? Don’t miss the main point . . . and do NOT leave the obvious surface interpretations “undone”, while you gain that.
Many of Bill’s detractors do consider that Bill misses the “main point” and instead becomes obsessed with the “little” points. Jesus repeated issues with the Pharisees was that they were missing the “main” point. I’m not sure what you are trying to say in that there are “large” sections of the Bible that you feel and believe that are “binding” on us today. I think you are meaning a number of OT laws, am I correct in this? The OT laws cover and number of things, not just in eating which is something Bill just focused on and even with that he ignored or over looked the biggest part of dietary laws which was not to eat the blood with the meat but kill the animal in such a way that the blood is drained out. The Counsel of Jerusalem as recorded in Acts only mentioned an extremely short list of things Gentile believers coming in should do and one of them was not to eat the meat from strangled animals. They also did not require circumcision either, something Bill did make a big deal about in his seminars. Now Bill did make a big deal out of the eighth day and the reasoning I remember Bill giving was due to maturity of the blood’s clotting system. But again, a hyper literal interpretation missing the meaning of the eighth day as the new beginning. Jewish web sites explain it very well. Jesus also rose again on the eighth day or the beginning of the new week. Just looking at circumcision only as a literal function misses the deeper and connected symbolism and between the old covenant practice and the new covenant of Jesus death and resurrection. Likewise the OT laws talk about different holidays that the Jewish people were suppose to keep. I don’t remember Bill ever suggesting that Christians ought to keep and practice these things.
No argument. And He had repeated issues with the Sadducees because they were not taking the Bible seriously enough, literally enough. Troubles on the right and troubles on the left. We want to be in the middle. That is, in this case, understanding the principle of ownership and love and discipline and commitment found in the “tithe”, making sure to take care of widows, AND not to stop tithing the mint . . . and rue (interesting herb, BTW . . . in modern use for medicinal purposes and food flavoring in Latino countries, called in Spanish “Ruda”).
And those were ONLY because they all lived close to practicing Jews, and it would deeply offend them if they didn’t keep those – to them – “big” items.
Boy, I get tired of this! Bill NEVER made a big deal about circumcision in his seminars. He DID bring it up in the medical context, and published a booklet about it . . . which I have somewhere. Makes a compelling case that God designed boy’s foreskins to come off. As seen in things like the optimal blood clotting on the “8th day”. All found in the old book, “None of These Diseases” by S. I. McMillen. And that there is a big lesson to be learned from the type. That was the only place I ever heard about it . . . and I went to a lot of seminars and meetings. It has the same significance as some Christians find in practicing a type of “Passover” – Seder meal – with their children. It is all about Jesus, NOT getting to heaven.
Yes, I’ve read that book a long time ago. It seems like Bill took many of his health ideas from that book and that book blamed a number of diseases on things like anger and other emotions. The book was from the 1960s. One simply cannot take diseases such as arthritis and cancer etc and make blanket blamed statements about their causes which in that book usually blamed the person for anger etc. I worked for a Rheumatologist in his office. There are over 100+ arthritis diseases and there is a big difference between something like Rheumatoid arthritis which is an auto immune disease and Osteo arthritis which is the wear and tear or due to injury to the joint. One simply cannot take all arthritis diseases and lump them into one cause which that book did as “bitterness”. Bill Gothard just copied the ideas from the book. Look at something like Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis and tell me that the child that suffers with such a thing was due to “bitterness”. It’s ridiculous. While I’m a critic of the “Matters” book, the chapter I though they were spot on about was the chapter about “Bill the medicine Man”. I remember clearly on Thursday night of the seminars, Bill talking about circumcision. I’ll go look at my old “red note book” if you want. I think circumcision is the least of the issues here will Bill. There are bigger fish to fry with him.
Why not? A great many non-Christians . . . believe that “wholistic” medicine is the only way to go. Treat the spirit and the body together. Science is replete with examples of how bad attitudes, negative thinking, even negative talking, affects your health. It ain’t no different when the Bible says it. And in this case, we literally have our “Maker” making the rules. It would seem that the manufacturer of the car is the best equipped to explain design and present solutions to various problems.
Probably true. But . . . exceptions are just that . . . and rules are just that too. If 80% of people observing a certain procedure see results . . . medical science considers that a home run.
You aren’t going to find it, other than in passing, along with other examples of seemingly arbitrary “rules” that have been discovered to have a sound scientific basis.
Did you read what I said? The term arthritis covers about 100 types and they are not all the same. Likewise, the term “cancer” has a number of different types, based on where it is in the body. There is a different between skin cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer and leukemia which is a cancer of the bone marrow. Cancer can be caused by a number of things like exposure to a carcinogen like in lung cancer and smoking or over exposure to the sun as in skin cancer. Breast cancer can be exasperated by abortions and has a genetic component. Leukemia is likewise complex. Likewise things like diet, genetics, one’s weight, stress, etc. play a role. In other words Alfred, one can’t make point blank statements about broad based diseases and boil down the causes to simplistic emotions like anger or bitterness or fear. Holistic medicine of which I have a sister very much involved with does not treat different diseases as if the blame is solely on emotions. Only people like Bill that have not background in anything that is real science and medicine cook up ideas like this while misquoting the Bible to try and prove their point. There is a documentary coming out about Bill called the “Cult Next Door”. In one of the trailers, they have Bill taking about fear and that fear causes diseases like Asthma and that kids from broken homes have more asthma. Bill have no proof and anyone I’ve known with asthma has not come from a broken home at all. All of this is voodoo medicine. It’s sad because it puts guilt trips on people in dealing with illnesses. I’ve worked 30+ years in the lab, I have a brother who is an MD, his wife is a nurse, my one sister is totally into alternative medicines. I look at the healings Jesus did and they are all different and He never blames those coming to Him for anger, bitterness and fear. Only the paraletic did Jesus start out with “your sins are forgiven”.
Apologies for the delays. Death in the extended family, a whole lot of activity. God is so good.
Medical science has no cure for cancer. There are a great many causes, even “pairings” of causes, like exposure to a chemical plus a genetic disposition. God is HUGE 🙂 . . . and He is big enough to give us massively big problems to solve, for which there are simple solutions. We would expect no less from the Maker of All than to bury special secrets in His Word to honor those that take the time to dig it out and take Him seriously.
“Cult Next Door” . . . from a clip or two I saw, boy, I thought they did Bill credit. And for you to say he “has no proof” . . . what proof do you have of that? I have taken issue after issue of this type back to him . . . sometimes it took a while, but he would produce backup for it.
AND . . . . there were at least two paralyzed folks that were forgiven sins, and thereafter walked. A woman stooped over because of a demon. And illness as a spanking?
“Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.
Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.”
The Sadducees were not “liberal” as we would think of the term. They only considered the Torah as the canonical and did not accept the writings of the prophets as part of the cannon of scripture which the Pharisees did. Since there were more literalists with the Torah and the Torah does not mention the resurrection, they therefore did not believe in the resurrection of the dead which the Pharisees did. That is one reason why they were asking Jesus in order to trick Him about “whose wife” a widow would be who married 7 brothers, Jesus responded from the Torah with quoting God from the burning bush “I am the God of Abraham …” Jesus in one swoop turned their “literalist” interpretation of the Torah upside down. Likewise, St Paul played up on this divide in Acts when he was brought before both groups and St. Paul proclaimed that he was being tried for belief in the resurrection of the dead. This then divided these two groups and they started to argue among themselves. So Alfred, you probably have more in common with “literalists” Sadducees that read the Bible like a legal book, only focusing on the law.
Nah. The Sadducees were the pragmatists . . . making alliances with Rome, amassing wealth . . . buying their way into positions. Paul confirms this “liberal/conservative” divide:
Acts 26:5 “Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.”
You make a good point, brother. During my many years in ATI, the topic of circumcision never came up. Bill Gothard made a case for it in a medical bulletin, but that was all.
Rob, you ought to give Alfred some space and not build a straw man of extreme literalism. He has not wandered outside the boundaries of the Apostles’ Creed, has he? If so, I have not seen it.
Within the boundaries,
You are also getting “bossy” again. I don’t take orders from you. This is as charitable as I can be and at the moment I’ve reached my limit so I will stop.
Sister Rob War.
1 Korinthians 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
1 Korinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
If you wanna go against this you will be responsible before God. And it’s not you wasting your time but The brethern trying to explain something.
I don’t know who you are but this isn’t a Church, this is a blog and the moderator of this blog has asked me not to quit.. Therefore, the above verses you just quoted don’t apply here. If you have a problem with women being able to speak their minds, then I feel real sorry for any females in your home if you have any. Attitudes like this are horrible and the above verses are taken out of context and are countered by a ton more Bible verses, both OT and NT where women have and did speak their minds. I will also point out to you that Jesus first miracle was done on the request and suggestion of his mother Mary. Likewise, Mary was the one talking, not Joseph when they went back to find Jesus in the Temple. I also want to point out to you that St. Joseph, the foster/adoptive father of Jesus does not have any recorded words at all in the Bible. There is not one direct quote from St. Joseph but there is plenty from Mary. You are very misguided in your thinking. Abraham was told by God to listen to Sarah. It was Rebecca’s idea to have Jacob blessed over Esau. I would suggest to you that you reread your Bible and balance your interpretation with other verses. St. Paul also said that “there is neither male nor female” in Christ.
Alfred is perfectly capable of handling my questions. He is an adult and has repeatedly stated that he is a black and white literalist fundamentalist and reads the Bible like a point blank legal document.
We have mentioned the recent lawsuit by Melania Trump against a blogger who said she had been a “high priced escort”, i.e. a prostitute. This would be a falsehood that the blogger believed to be true about a public figure. As indicated, Melania won the case, the blogger was forced to publically acknowledge his error, and pay a “substantial” amount to her.
This for those that believe that public figures – like Bill – don’t win defamation lawsuits. The standard is – Is what was published false, even if believed to be true, did it cause damage, and was it done “with malice”, i.e. published deliberately to hurt the public figure.
re: Bill and circumcision
Here is one possible explanation for Rob’s recollection of circumcision in the Thursday evening Basic Seminar material. When Bill was in afriendly live venue, he liked to ad lib. If circumcision was a fresh topic in his personal studies, I would not be surprised if he deviated from his usual script in order to discuss circumcision.
I never heard circumcision in the Seminar because I always attended the taped version. I also never read the Veinot book. But I would not be surprised if Veinot sniped at Gothard for speculating in medicine.
Just a guess,
Yes, the ad libbing was common, always interesting. I think that is how he “tried things out”. Some things survived, others did not. It remains that the medical side = MTIA = was all I recall. It was for him a design principle, “how God made us”, plus he was very impressed with the type, the symbol. The “circumcision” that Paul reacted to was the “package” of “coming under the law for salvation”, a symbol in Judeaism akin to baptism. But, as has been often pointed out, Paul, who circumcised Timothy himself as a young man, had no problem with Christians being circumcised. Just not as a symbol meaning “I will keep the whole law from this point forward”.
St Paul circumsized Timothy because Timothy was considered a Jew since he had a Jewish mother. Someone even today is considered automatically Jewish if their mother (not the father) is Jewish. Timothy’s father was not Jewish. The controversy surrounding this issue as recorded in Acts was that Gentiles were coming into the Church. Bill seemed to make this a health issue that Christians should still follow.
I am curious how Bill would see a connection between baptism and this because this was always done on 8 day old boys. I would think Bill would have been against infant baptism being a life long Baptist.
I made the analogy, just in terms of meaning. Baptism is for most a symbol of a complete new beginning, death to the old self, resurrected with Jesus to new life. I never heard Bill made the connection, because that is not what he held as far as circumcision. The Judeaizers treated it that way.
The reason for the circumcision of Timothy is secondary. Paul states clearly elsewhere,
1 Corinthians 7:17-19
“17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. 18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.”
Intersting, BTW . . . “Circumcision is nothing” . . . but what is “something”? The modern Christians would say, “Grace”. But instead he says, “the keeping of the commandments of God”.
Back to the point . . . that by that rule Timothy should stay uncircumcised. The “state” of circumcision is compared in that same passage to the “state” of marriage. Clearly there is nothing wrong with being married, although Paul says elsewhere it is better to be unmarried, all things being equal. Circumcision is simply . . . “No Big Deal”. Which tells me that if there are perceived medical advantages, or even if someone feels it would honor those that were circumcised, like Jesus . . . Paul . . . all twelve apostles . . . David . . . Moses . . . Abraham . . . no big deal. Every Christian male, at least in the US, was routinely circumcised for centuries . . . considered it an honor. NOBODY considered it an act of law keeping.
We might consider this one of those many discretionary issues which keep surfacing. All four of my sons were circumcised as infants, partly because their mom wanted it that way. I had a mild preference in favor of circumcision, but I hope I would not have been too hard-nosed if Mrs. K had not preferred, but rather objected to the circumcisions. Other Christians believe that circumcision is cruel mutilation.
Some Christians believe that drinking in moderation is okay, but drunkenness is wrong. Others are teetotalers. Let’s love our neighbors who arrive at different conclusions from ours.
I am not against circumcision at all. My sons both were. Most American men are. I think what others were objecting to with Bill was his presentation or at least how he might have presented it in the past that a number of OT laws are requirements on Christians and that the main purpose of a number of these OT Torah laws purpose was just for health reasons only and if Christians didn’t follow a number of these OT Torah laws, they would suffer health consequences. I think with male circumcision, it needs to be looked at as how the Jews look at it as a requirement to be part of the covenant Jewish community and any covenant was sealed by blood. The eighth day had spiritual symbolism of a new beginning. Jesus rose on the eighth day. Things like not boiling a kid (baby goat) in its mother’s milk has a spiritual symbolism of not mixing death (meat) with milk (life). Orthodox and conservative Jews take that to not only not eat dairy and meat together but to have separate dishes as well. But if one just has “one interpretation” which Bill touted over and over again, then one will miss the rich and deeper meaning in some of these OT Torah laws.
Again, the greatest mind in the Universe cannot but have packed ALL of His words with the deepest of meanings. Whatever we think, He word is deeper and richer still. Why should that be novel or strange? This is seen in the multiple layers of interpretation found in many of His prophecies. Great example is the “Man of Sin” or “Abomination of Desolation” that Jesus spoke of . . . first spoken of by Daniel:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains . . .”
So . . . who is this “Abomination”? There are three interpretations:
1) The prophecy of Daniel (Daniell 8:13) appear to be completely fulfilled in 168BC when Antiochus Ephiphanes slaughtered a pig on the holy altar of the temple, in the days of the Macabees. A careful consideration of the timeline given to Daniel from that point exactly predicts the birth of Christ in 4 AD.
2) Yet the prophecy was still future for Jesus. Most of the commandments given by Jesus would mirror the destruction of Herod’s temple in 70AD . . . fleeing to the hills and all. The Romans entered the holy place at that time, hence standing “where he ought not”.
3) Yet . . . this is clearly the “man of sin” spoken of by Paul and John . . . and the parts of the stars falling from heaven, the moon red as blood and so forth . . . clearly have not happened. So . . . there is an “Antichrist” yet to come, that is the exact fulfillment.
Which of these is correct? Answer: I believe they are all at least partially correct, with the first two shadows of the “real thing”. This is confirmed by the odd statement made by Jesus – “whoso readeth, let him understand” – meaning that we, the ones reading this, AFTER the fall of the temple, I would presume, would understand it fully, not those standing there.
In same manner, ALL of God’s word, in this case focusing on the precepts, commandments, have multiple layers of understanding an application. Paul gives the example of not muzzling the ox that is tredding out the wheat, telling us that this commandment was specifically written, not to the ox, but to us, to the church, showing us how to take care of Christian workers:
1 Corinthians 9:8-10
“8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.”
Please note this very carefully: The law was NOT given primarily to the Jew, let alone to the ox . . . but TO US!! So we are fools to not focus intense effort on understanding and applying all that God has there for us.
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
Are you busy “establishing the law”, whatever that means? And if not . . . why not?
That is an accurate assessment. All the seminars I attended which include the one time advance in1986 were all live with Bill. Currently in sunny Fl. but when we return home, I will look at my Red basic which I still have. I do remember Bill talking about it clearly on Thursday night.
No apologies are needed. Taking time off to attend to family needs (as well as your own) is perfectly understandable considering the situation.
The Sadducees only accepted the Torah as their cannon of scriptures. Yes, they were political pragmatics in which they cut deals with the Romans which resulted in power and wealth for them. But because they only accepted the Torah as canonical and rejected we would call the rest of the OT, they did come to some inaccurate conclusions by their point blank reading of the Torah and one of them was a rejection of the resurrection which the Pharisees did believe in. That is why Jesus replied to their hypothetical from quoting the Torah when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush with “I am …” Jesus in one swoop showed them how off the mark their understanding of the Torah really was and basically shut them up.
Again, I’m not sure how quoting Psalms 72 proves that all diseases are punishments from God for violations of the Torah. Again, taking Psalms which is poetic literature and reading point blank literalism into it in that you are taking Psalms 72 and applying that to all diseases and physical ailments is not correct. If you are going down this road, then you will have to ascribe to God feathers and wings which are spoken of in a number of the Psalms. I don’t think you literally believe that God has feathers and wings correct?
There can be no doubt of the connection between physical disease and sin throughout Scripture . . . agreed? Also agreed that it is not so in every case. Bill made this distinction clearly . . . that there was a “Sickness unto Death, a Sickness unto Chastisement, and a Sickness to the Glory of God”. The first you don’t want healed, and neither does the Lord . . . the second will let up if the sin is corrected . . . and the third is there specifically to prove that God is awesome in power, to master it in a dramatic, public, powerful way.
Yes, He has feathers and wings as much as He has hands and feet. Got absolutely no problem with that. He takes many forms . . .
Yes, there are certainly some direct sin relationship to some diseases. Interestly, the Mass readings for this Sunday, one of them is from I Corinthians 3:16,17 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you. If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person, for the temple of God which you are, is Holy.” St Paul also stated that immorality is a sin against one’s own body. So considering the above verses, repeated and direct immorality will cause serious health problems. Using artificial contraception will cause health problems. Abusing one’s body with substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, smoking) will cause serious health problems. Now this gets more tricky because many diseases are also caused by poor diet, being over weight, lack of exercise etc. The biggest killer at least in the US is heart disease which is often caused by being over weight and poor diet and poor exercise. I think Bill had a poor view of physical activity. The next biggest cause of handicaps in the US is strokes. Strokes are often caused by the same things as heart disease. Diabetes can be caused by a number of things but often times with later onset adult type II diabetes, being overweight, poor diet and lack of physical activity play a role. So while, yes direct sin particularly immorality do cause consequences in one’s body, it’s not so clear cut and it’s complicated. Many things play together in different diseases. It’s not just one thing and diseases can’t be just boiled down to one cause based on one or two Bible verses which was promoted in the above mention book. So yes in part, I can agree with you on some things but I am not looking at this subject like I think you are based on what Bill Gothard taught. BTW I do not consider being overweight as “sinful” or even abusive of one’s body. That again is a complicated subject but it is a big root cause to many common physical diseases.
Having a hard time disagreeing with any of that. Very balanced approach.
One of the biggest problems with Bill’s critics is focusing on a few statements while sort of ignoring the main thrust. The one thing is that Bill takes the Lord and His word very, very seriously. Like a legal document written by the Maker and Controller of the universe. Whose unsleeping eyes see all, He knows all . . . and He will judge us according to our deeds. Who expects us to diligently study, meditate on His words day and night, nonstop, love and follow Him with all our might, soul, strength. He does misfire on some details, but the core of His perception and purpose is, I believe, right on.
There are lots and lots of Christians that take the Bible “very seriously” and do not at all come to some of the conclusions that Bill has. It’s not a matter of taking the Bible seriously. It is a matter of how the Bible is being interpreted and then used and applied. Reading the Bible as a point blank legal document which includes yourself is really a set up to using the Bible the way Bill has. It is short changing and misses the point of the Bible which the story of God’s salvation for man. If God is love which is stated in a number of places, I’m not sure how reading the Bible as a point blank legal document leads one to see God is love. When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, He pointed to the “Shema” from Deut. about loving God with all your…then Jesus stated the second commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself. That boils all the law and prophets according. to Jesus.
There is a difference between “very seriously” and “I commit my very existence to this”. In one case you still have the right to veto and do something else . . . if you commit your life, your eternal existence to something . . . in a very literal way . . . as in, if the Bible is wrong, I go down in flames . . . THAT is “faith”. It is scary, right? It is not outside the realm of reason that the Bible might direct me to abandon father, mother, right to marry, children . . . even my own life, money . . . in favor of eternal treasures. Things you can’t see. It becomes a “Book of Life” in the sense of a book that controls life . . . and it behooves one to chew on it, meditate on it day and night, nonstop . . . last thing on your mind at night, wake up pondering in the middle of the night . . .
I see a big difference. There are lifelong Bible scholars . . . like lifelong Shakespeare scholars . . . that I am quite sure don’t see it with that kind of intensity. Even desperation, if you will.
Psalm 119:148 “Mine eyes prevent [await] the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”
Alfred, it’s not a matter of being “committed” to Bible memorization and meditation. What I interpret from what you stated is that you feel that Bill’s interpretation and use of scripture is the best, even in 2000 years of Christian history because he is so committed in your eyes and mind to scripture memorization and meditation, over and above anyone else. I’m not sure even if your own Church group would agree. You do realize that the devil in the temptations of Christ quoted and used scripture.
The amount of Bible study and memorization and quoting is not the issue . . . but the deep fear and respect for the Living God as expressed in an intense focus on His words as though they were life itself. This is something that comes from the heart, based on a fairly simple perspective. Would we imagine to literally shake for intensity, be that fear or excitement, when we hear the words of God? If we can’t imagine it, we don’t understand. Think about a scientist, searching his life for the cure for cancer, finding some old writing from someone that had cured it thousands of yeas ago, opening the book for the first time, translating it out of some other language. Trembling with excitement. Or the discovery of an obscure law that decrees the death penalty, of which we are unaware, which appears to apply, which we are reading for the first time . . . trembling with fear. In both cases the writing is life-consequential in the most extreme way. And God’s Words are all of that and more, not only in this life, but for the forever existence that follows. Many people say that take the “Holy Bible” seriously as the “Word of God”, but their actions deny it. What they believe comes out in where they spend their time . . . and what makes them shake with intensity.
“For all those things hath mine hand made,
and all those things have been, saith the Lord:
but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word.” (Isaish 65:2)
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and t0rembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13
You have become a moving target. I’m not following your thinking here, but it seems like you have fallen into the trap where the Bible is elevated to be God where the Bible is God’s word to lead us to God. You also seem to have a view of God that doesn’t include love. It seems like your view of God is one of some heavy handed task master ready to pounce on you if you error. It’s one thing to have a “fear of the Lord” and a reverence for the Bible but it’s another where the only focus is fear and you have mentioned trembling along with this. “perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment”. The Lord’s prayer that Jesus taught starts out with “Our Father…” Maybe that is how you see fatherhood, someone that is a heavy handed task master. But what little I know about you, I don’t even think that fits you as a father. This constant focus on fear and trembling that you have mention more than once seems to be very imbalanced. Bill’s view of God seems to be this heavy handed task master instead of a loving father. I think all of it is very sad.
One verse . . . in opposition to many that speak of how essential fear is for Christians. With these you can see that this cannot mean . . . no fear is good fear:
Hebrews 12:28 “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”
Phil. 2:12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Luke 12:4-5 “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”
If you recall the Basic Seminar, you will remember that Bill dealt with that verse specifically. This is the FEAR OF MAN, the FEAR OF REJECTION or even the FEAR OF HARM. His analogy was you, walking down the street past a house of happy, partying neighbors. You have a natural fear of walking up the front door, uninvited . . . and walking in. Fear of rejection, abuse, unhappiness, some kind of “punishment”. If, however, you say that the house was on fire, you would without hesitation overcome, “cast out” that fear as you rush up, knock the door open, and command everyone to leave. Your love, care for the neighbors overcomes your fear.
Substitute “the Bible” or “the Lord” in there instead of “you”, and you will see my problem. Check out the verses above – you will see that this did not originate with me. Here is another:
1 Peter 1:17 “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:”
Do you . . . pass the time of your sojourning here in fear”? If not . . . why not?
I do not pass any time anywhere in “fear” of anything. I consider “fear of the Lord” as reverence and respect for God that is due God because he is God. I have trust in God and that trust in God who is perfect love “drives out fear”. Bill played up on people’s fears. Since fear isn’t something that I ever had a problem with, his play on fears didn’t affect me.
But it SAYS . . . pass your time here on earth “in fear”. No qualifications, just Greek “phobos”. Do you? See . . . when a “literalist” like myself sees that, I satisfy myself on whether it is correct in context, etc. . . . but we don’t have the option to not obey what we are told. Here, look at the context . . . and tell me what gives you or I the right to decide that . . . we don’t have to be afraid:
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (1 Peter 1: 15-19)
In an addendum to my previous reply to this, Bill tried to explain away St. John’s verse with putting in his qualifiers (fear of rejection, man etc.) that you just stated. However, the verse from St. John does not have any of these so called qualifiers and the whole theme of John 1 is about God being love and is perfect love. I don’t accept or consider any of Bill’s qualifiers on this and all the other Bible verses that he misquotes and misuses. The message of this along with many other verses balances out the “fear and trembling” verses you seem to like to quote and gravitate to. The Bible balances itself out here and an over focus on one or the other is very unhealthy.
I replied prior to reading the addendum. The theme of 1 John 4 is loving “our brother”, how vital it is. What keeps us from loving our brethren? Why . . . fear. Fear of rejection, fear of misunderstanding . . . goodness, fear of our own “nakedness” in the spiritual sense, of them finding out “who we really are”. Perfect love sweeps that all away. That has NOTHING to do with the fear of the Lord. I will spare quoting a large chunk of that chapter for context. The context is “loving others”, not the love of God or loving Him.
Rob contrasted a loving Father with a heavy-handed taskmaster. Speaking as an experienced (and successful?) father, I submit that those two categories overlap. There are occasions both for tenderness and also for the heavy hand. If all goes well in the parent-child relationship, tenderness can rule the day. But tenderness must sometimes be purchased with firmness. (Christian author once published a book about Christian manhood titled Tough and Tender.)
Yes, I remember that Basic Seminar illustration about the fear of man vanishing in the face of the crisis.
Right now I have only access to my Kindle Bible which is NAS (Catholic). So the above verses are this:
“Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but as He who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct for it is written, “be holy because I am holy. Now if you invoke as Father Him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with REVERENCE during the time of your sojourning realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.”
In a quick online Bible search on Protestant web sights, some Bibles use fear and other use reverence. Now maybe you want to literally read it as fear and use that to justify having “fear” but in looking at the whole tone of that passage, reverence seems to be a better fit and appropriate for the passage and looking at one’s “sojourney ” here on earth before we get to heaven as something to take seriously and one’s own holiness and conduct the same.
The Greek word is φόβος phobos; “from a primary φέβομαι phebomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright: — be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror.
AV (47) – fear 41, terror 3, misc 3;”
“Reverence” is an editorial comment. That is NOT what the word means.
The web site: biblehub.com/greek/5401.htm breaks down “phobos” into two definitions
1. the subjective sense which is fear, dread, terror and then
2. reverence, respect
both give the scriptures of its use and under number 2, I Peter 1:17 is used as reverence because it is suggested by the context of the chapter. That is why different English translations use both, fear or reverence. You are trying to justify having “fear” or being “fearful” but that is not the context of I Peter 1 and reverence is a better fit for that chapter and hence why some translations use reverence instead of fear.
This is Thayer’s Lexicon, entry for phobos, which reaches back to non-Biblical Koine Greek sources for definitions. Notice that the ONLY references to phobos as “reverence” . . . are from the Bible? Because it is something WE keep reading into it:
Neither one of us are Greek scholars and I think we are splitting hairs over one word which has been translated by both Protestant and Catholic Bible scholars as reverence. Calling Koine Greek “unbiblical” is news to me. Maybe that’s some JKV type of Fundamentalist distinction. But the emphasis of that verse and even repeated again in I Peter is that “this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through” and that we a sojourners and our real home is in heaven. St. Augustine repeated that in “City of God” classic. Another book I will probably read for Lent is “Strangers in a Strange Land, living the Christian faith in a post Christian World” by Archbishop Chaput. I think focusing that we are just passing through to our real home in heaven is a much better focus than singling out “fear” and twisting that one verse to justify “fear”.
Koine Greek existed apart from the Bible, right? Read “non-Biblical” as “extra-Biblical” . . . Bad choice of words on my part. Point being that theologians find wonderful things in the dead language of Koine Greek . . . Which need to be sanity checked against common usage of the day. THAT is one of the things Thayers helps with (and it’s modern upgrade, Mounce).
And I cited a great many verses that prove that fear is very much the characteristic of godly believers. Must I go on?
“20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.”
1 Peter 3:15
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
I think you must have memorized every verse in the NT that has fear in it. But sadly, you are taking different verses out of context again to justify having “fear”. That really is very sad Alfred. I’m not sure what to say to you any more on this but that I hope you realize that God is love and loves you and that “perfect love drives out fear since fear has to do with punishment.” It would seem to be a heaviness to latch onto all this fear. I’m keeping you in my prayers.
Right, there is a balance, and I am one-sided right now because you are one-sided. We are not to have “the spirit of fear, but of . . . love” (2 Timothy 1:7). But there is no way you are trying to eliminate all fear from your life, right? I would expect that you would acknowledge that people without any fear are not healthy. True? Assuming that to be the case, what constitutes healthy fear to you?
What constitutes “healthy” fear is reverence for God. I think there is a balance between extremes of seeing Jesus as our big buddy (the all to common mode in too much of Evangelical presentation) and seeing God which is how Bill Gothard presented Him as someone up in heaven with a big club ready to clobber you if you make any mistake. Reverence recognizes God as all Holy and yet all love. I think what I would consider reverence is the attitude expressed by John the Baptist where he said about himself that he wasn’t even worthy to untie Jesus sandal straps yet Jesus went to him to be baptized. The context of a number of the NT verses you were quoted are not so much about “fear” as they are about reverence which I think in a number of the English translations, reverence was used instead of fear. Maybe another word would be sober over the all too glib type of God is your buddy. I’m not sure if that answers your question or not. Liturgical worship is more sober and reverent as opposed to the slap happy blabber mouth noise of a more informal low church service. Reverence is recognizing one is a sinner in contrast to a Holy God. At least in going to Mass, there are signs on the doors asking for silence in the sanctuary for reverence and to create an atmosphere of seriousness and peace. “Be still and know I am God”. Now maybe that is what you are calling “fear” and we are talking about the same things using different terms. But I think I would call it reverence and recognition of God is all holy and all love.
Where I was going . . . is there any healthy FEAR . . . in life, outside of the Bible per se at the moment? Genuine terror . . . that is healthy?
In reference to your question of “outside” the Bible, I would not consider “terror” healthy at all in any circumstances. I would consider terror a tool of the devil. he would want to terrorize us. I mean look at terrorists, they are all evil and go around to strike fear in others in order to control. Sometimes when someone has suffered a traumatic life threatening situation or been witness to such, they will very often times struggle with “terror” or PTSD. There is help and healing for that. The fear or terror that is a natural defense against traumatic situations but there is also hope to over come traumatic situations where one can with help especially from God heal from trauma. Maybe that is the sense I get from your question. A few years ago, I was walking on a sidewalk, carrying my daughter’s backpack and mis-stepped off the curb and fell hard on the black top and broke my arm. So, I have a healthy respect for all curbs now and take my time stepping off. I’ve over come the trauma by being extra careful. Am I terrorized by curbs and blacktop? No, but I am cautious. But that is minor trauma compared to many bigger things people have suffered.
OK, My point remains that theologians insert meanings into words, with little to stop them. Reading how non-Bible writers used the word gives us a clue if our notions are accurate. Not discounting that the Holy Spirit does commandeer words for His own purpose.
I remain convinced that “fear” means “fear”, which can translate into “reverence” or “respect”. Alone the lines of your curb example, you respect the gang that lives in your neighborhood, or the mob, mafia, because you know they can really hurt you. You respect high tension electrical wires for the same reason. You may shake when stopped by a policeman, who may be the nicest guy in the world, because you may not know what he dislikes, and you know how one decision on his part can mess up your life as it brings the full force of government power down on you.
And we respect God because He is our final judge and will be, without regret, hurling men, women, boys and girls into endless unimaginable torment. The thought takes the breath away, makes one tremble, no matter who we are. As CS Lewis put in the narrative in his Narnia Chronicles: “Is He (Aslan) safe?!” “No, He is not safe. He is good, but He is not safe.”
This is in response Alfred to your above comments about Matthew 24. I did read in the 1970s the books by Hal Lindsey so I am well acquainted with that form of end times teaching. There were 2 questions to Jesus in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. One was when the destruction of the temple which Jesus already predicted would occur and the other was when will Jesus finally return. They are not the same events. Jesus gave his disciples 8 signs to watch for when the Temple would be destroyed which did happen by Titus in 70 AD. One of these signs which you are talking about is the abomination of desolation which refers back to Daniel’s prophecy. Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled as you mentioned by Antiochus Epiphany in 167 BC. The sacrilege Jesus spoke about would be the Jewish leaders rejection of Him and the final destruction in 70 AD by Titus. In Luke 21:20, Jesus warns his disciple that when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies you know the desolation is near and to immediately leave. Jerusalem was 1st surrounded in 66 AD but was pulled back at Nero’s suicide. The early Jewish Christians in Jerusalem took this retreat and fled the city which is why there were no Christians in Jerusalem at the final siege and destruction by Titus. The abomination of desolation that Jesus was talking about in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 in reference to the final destruction of the temple is not the same as the anti-Christ mentioned in Rev. While Jesus gave great detail in 8 signs for the final 70 AD destruction in which all were fulfilled, Jesus in reference to His final return only gave the comment that “no one knows the hour”.
All of this is from the super excellent book by David Currie ex-fundamentalist turn Catholic “Rapture The End Times Error That leave the Bible Behind”. He goes into every verse starting with the book of Daniel. Great book, it would be an interesting challenge for you if you ever read it.
Lots of ways to ponder this. But . . . again . . . WHY did Jesus say, “Let him that readeth understand”? That seems to indicate that there was some level of understanding that only those reading – us – would have. It was stated immediately before telling his disciples to flee. My point remains . . . EACH of the interpretations of the “Abomination of Desolation” is correct. The first two are echoes, the final is the fullest expression of brutal reality.
AND . . . it is also correct that the command about not muzzling oxen is for the ox . . . and actually fully for Christian workers in the church. If you focue on the ox, you are a legalizer of sorts . . . if you focus on the lesson for the Church . . . you are wisely “establishing” the law. Same law, different focus.
Those are good questions and David Currie did talk about the comments found in both Matthew and Mark “let the reader understand” which David commented that was probably not spoken of by Jesus but added by Matthew and Mark. David stated that “desolating sacrilege” would be obvious to the average Jewish Christian “of the first century” and “would automatically recognize it for what it was”. In other words, there was a common understanding among the first mostly Jewish Christians of what “desolating sacrilege” is and this throw back to Daniel’s prophesy. Luke clarifies this “when you see Jerusalem surround by armies, then know that its desolation has come near” Luke 21:20. David then quote early Church father St. John Chrysostom “The abomination of desolation means the army by which the holy of Jerusalem was made desolate”.
Now about your reference to the OT law about not muzzling an ox and St. Paul using this as a basis for Church workers to be paid. There is a type of Bible interpretation called “typology” which is to say the OT is reveled in the NT and the NT is hidden in the OT. That is the fundamental basis of Catholic Bible interpretation and is even used by some Protestant groups. That is why there is always OT and NT readings together. St. Paul was not trying to establish “following OT laws to the letter” but showing a consideration from the OT that even animals were allowed to eat from their labors, thus those working for the Church the same.
Scott Hahn wrote in the forward of this book: “The Fundamentalist tendency, however, is to read each biblical text in isolation from other texts and from the larger context of Sacred Tradition, including the ancient Israelite prophetic traditions. The problem, of course, is that the test themselves were not written to be read this way. The Biblical authors assumed that their reader would all share a common life, liturgical worship, and awareness of history…Yet these are precisely the things, sacraments, liturgy and Tradition, that modern movements such as Fundamentalism have rejected. Lacking these interpretive keys, they end up groping and guessing at what’s being the locked doors of apocalyptic passages”.
Now maybe Bill Gothard’s use of looking back at OT was an attempt to reconnect NT and OT that was lost from the Reformation but what he ended up doing was more proof texting and taking things out of context and isolation even further and gave appearances of “enforcing OT laws” in isolation of their meaning and purpose and relationship to who Jesus is. If Jesus came to fulfill “the Law”, then OT laws ought to be looked at on their connections to Jesus. Going back to the un-muzzled ox that St. Paul referred to, that is a form of compassion and taking care of even an animal’s need to eat, thus Churches need to take care of the needs of it’s own. That is a typology I’m trying to express here. Bill did not do that in reaching back to OT laws. He hunted and pecked them, here in there, out of context and in isolation of their meanings and purposes.
So . . . where is Antiochus Epiphanes in there . . . . let alone the Antichrist? ARE those “Abomination of Desolation” . . . or not? Jesus said the disciples were to look for that AoD, the one spoken of by “Daniel the prophet” . . . so . . . was Daniel speaking of Antiochus . . . or of Rome . . . or of the “Man of Sin”? OR . . . all three?
So, let me ask again: To WHOM was the precept of the unmuzzled ox written? Paul is quite clear that the intended meaning is FOR US. That law is an encapsulated truth, deeper than surface understanding, intended specifically FOR US, primary meaning. (Not the Jew, not the Ox) So . . . we better get busy and study out the law, lest we miss anything that God has buried there for us. The only way to do that . . . is to meditate on that law day and night, chew over it, cry out for wisdom. Do you know anyone else besides Bill that does that for us – or encourages us to do it – in modern times?
It says in Proverbs 12:10 “The righteous care for the needs of their animals but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel”.
So, I would guess that the law about letting your ox eat while working falls in that vein of care and concern for one’s animals and was meant to warn against animal cruelty. There are other OT laws about prevention of cruelty to animals. They were even to rest on the Sabbath. It appears to me that St. Paul used this law allegorically about having Churches met the needs of those that work on behalf of the Church. Now maybe you can laugh a little but St. Paul was comparing Church ministers to animals but I think it was just a allegorical use and not the way you are concluding it to be or trying to. It’s common sense to care for one’s animals and I think one should have compassion even on God’s fellow creatures we are to take care of don’t you? If you want to cite OT laws, I think that you could do so on cruelty to animals. I saw the video of the Duggars where Jessa’s husband was sledding with some of the younger boys and there is a cat sitting down the hill and Dillard sleds right at the cat, hitting it and flipping it in the air and everyone one of them are standing around laughing. I think they got a lot of heat over it and rightly so. That is not righteous behavior in my book nor is that supported in any way in the Bible that these people claim to live out.
To belabor the point: 1 Corinthians 9:9-10 says to was NOT written for the ox, i.e. to avoid cruelty . . . But “for” us:
“Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? FOR OUR SAKES, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.”
Important point, the Bible interpreting itself.
May I submit an example from my Army days which illustrates healthy fear? About thirty years ago, I commanded a headquarters unit in an armored brigade. A rare accident occurred in which a soldier was killed in his tank during training. Afterward my first sergeant mused, “that is what happens when soldiers get too comfortable and complacent while operating sixty-ton equipment. For their own safety, I warn my men to always remain just frightened enough of their tanks.” They mustn’t be paralyzed with fear, but they mustn’t get sloppy, either.
I like it, great example.
One more thing (as Steve Jobs used to say),
What’s the news on the Gothard lawsuit hearing? Weren’t we expecting something on 3/2?
The 3/2 hearing was replaced by several actions in the week prior. Some of that was exclusively devoted to the other “new” defendant (besides Dr. Copley), one who is alleged by one of the plaintiffs to have abused her at the ITC and who just obtained counsel. There is a hearing scheduled for 3/29 which we do not know the nature of at this time.
Yes, that is a beyond excellent example! I like what you said in that you didn’t want your men to be “paralyzed” in fear yet conscious of the fact that they are working with weapons that can kill themselves if not cautious and careful. There is a balance in this. Working in a blood bank where a mistake or error in giving someone the wrong type of blood product can kill them, there is a balance between having confidence in what one is doing and knowledge of the seriousness and nature of mistakes can cause in someone’s life. Trying to currently work with a new girl that is almost paralyzed by her fears of making any mistakes in blood bank, even though I tell her over and over again she is going to be a good tech. There is carefulness and then there is scrupulous and it’s the scrupulous that is hurting her and her ability to manage working in the department. A lesson of true patience for me.
Here is the patient’s perspective. When I had a very bloody career-ending accident many years ago, I must have had a tech like yours processing the blood. Somebody got it right. Otherwise, this former patient would not be pecking out messages link this online. That’s a mercy.
Yes, I am truly sorry for that. I’ve been involved in many a life threatening traumas or surgeries of all sorts. The Bible repeatedly says that “life is in the blood”. I see that reality every time I work. The American Red Cross always says in their advertising “give the gift of life” and for you, you benefited from voluntary blood donations and techs like myself putting it together in order for you to be here today. It’s always good to hear the end result of all of that because one doesn’t often really see it working in the blood bank.
This is in response to you comment about “successful parenting”. That is an interesting assessment. I’m not sure how one truly defines that. I would think you meant that your children are following God, not in trouble with the law, substances or immorality and functioning adults. But all of us between you, Alfred and myself still have children in the home in the process of being raised so the final assessment of “successful” should yet to be determined. Since all of us do have children 20+ and none of them between all of us are “living in sin”, doing drugs and alcohol and are attending Church with us ( although we have made it clear that as long as they are living in the home, they will attend Church) then all of us are “successful” parents using the above guidelines. I think the better idea is “faithful” than successful since I would consider “successful” a “worldly” term. I mean faithful to what God requires of parents to do in passing the baton of faith on to one’s children. There comes a point in that they either accept the baton or drop it. Maybe the prayerful parent is a better idea.
The other question is this, does “discipline” always mean “punishment”? It seems the use of discipline = punishment. Is it always that or is there broader meaning in that discipline is also guidance or direction? Does it always have to be punitive? The Proverbs verse “train up the child in the way they should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (22:6), is usually interpreted to mean punishment but does it also mean that “training the way they should go” indicate developing the child’s gifts and talents that God gave them and if raised where their gifts and talents were encouraged and developed, they will not depart from them when older. I think the later view is a better one to consider. food for thought.
Thanks for the good word, sister. It’s remarkable that our main topic is a lawsuit against an unmarried man, and we end up comparing notes on parenting. I hope I was duly tentative in labeling myself a successful parent. I have thought on those questions you raised.
When indeed do we get to see our parenting score? It is easy to see whether our kids avoided some problems which you mentioned. I like your idea of aiming at parenting fidelity (in faith that success shall follow).
I would connect some of your points. I am thinking of success, discipline, and punishment.
As a parent I consider myself successful if I rarely resort to punishment. If I must punish, I can often trace it back to some failure on my part. Why didn’t I lead better? Set a better example?
Success should look as much like the Jesus pattern as possible.
Jesus said “follow me,” and men would leave everything behind to fall in line behind him. They abandoned everything from a crony tax business to fishing nets. Apparently Jesus used none of the tools in the typical parenting tool kit. No bribes. No coercion. We are not told why disciples paid the steep price of following Him, but somehow they did. So how did Jesus achieve his recruiting success without any of our modern parenting incentives? I don’t know.
I also like your point about working with the natural inclinations of our kids where possible. That has worked well with my second son, who is scrupulous in his work, almost to the point of OCD. He has landed a position building very expensive homes for customers with high standards. It can be exasperating, but a detail-conscious man is perfect for that job.
All my best for a holy lent,
Well, I think God would be considered the “perfect parent” or father per say. I love the parable of the prodigal son and there are many angles to take with it. It’s interesting that the second son basically told his father (which represents God) that he wanted his inheritance now. So basically what he was saying that he wanted his father dead in order to get the money which the father gave him. The son then split with it. The father let him go. The son reaped the results of wasting it and did come back in disgrace. Now, it says that the father saw the son coming from afar off and ran to meet the son to accept him back. The father was watching for the son obviously, probably every day. I think God gives us space to make our own decisions and fail but ready to help us up and take us back if we return. There is a generosity there.
I am sliding in without a full knowledge of the chain of discussion. Just a comment:
In Bible times the inheritance was given at the time the father “retired”, not at death. At that point he divided his stuff into as many piles as there were sons, plus 1. So, in the Bible example of the prodigal son, he asked Dad to retire early. At that point the younger sons – daughters were given “gifts” upon marriage – took their portion and went off to make their fortune, while the oldest took a double portion, two shares, and Daddy and Mommy moved in with him.
Thanks, that actually makes the parable more real and even fuller. I’ve heard someone on the radio claim that the second son in asking for his inheritance was telling the father he wished he was dead. But this is better and explains why the father was living with the older son since he “retired” early. This also might explain some of the resentment of the older brother because not only now was the father living with him, but the younger prodigal brother as well and the older brother would have to take care of him as well. This completes the story. But it is also interesting that the father still yielded to the younger son’s request and decided to retire to let him have his inheritance. Maybe the father was getting close and the younger son didn’t want to wait any longer. Either way, this shows the generosity of God towards all of us as our father.
Indeed it does. We can’t be too hard on the older brother . . . it is wrong to find too much fault. His emotions were completely understandable. Unlike the Pharisees he was “right”, doing right, faithful, obedient. It is better to be an obedient older brother than to be a prodigal younger brother. But . . . it also highlights the delight of “The Father” in saving, welcoming in some very, VERY unworthy ones . . . being thrilled beyond measure. And we need to adopt the Lord’s heart there and be “perfect” like Him, rejoice and shout with Him, and with the angels.
Well, who really is worthy of anything? The generosity of God certainly goes beyond what we are capable of. As Isaiah 55 says “God’s ways are higher than ours”. and goes beyond what all of us might think of as right or natural.
And on that point you are absolutely right, Rob.
One more thought on this topic. My pastor raised this during his Wednesday evening Bible study. “Prodigal” means goodness gone bad. It means lavish, but to the point of wasteful. The younger son inherited his father’s extravagant spirit, but abused his wealth. Big brother had earned his share of the wealth by being faithful, though miserly. The central truth is the lavish mercy of the father.
Joy to all in lent,
You mention in this post there was to be a status hearing 3/2. What is that? Is that not a trial date? Are they still trying to figure out if this will go to trial? Any idea if this will be a jury trial or just in front of a judge? It’s kind of confusing. I thought you might post an update. Thanks
See my response on the same issue to David. This is still the preliminary process, leading up to discovery, where the two sides show each other what info they have. Part of this involves identifying the unnamed plaintiffs so a defense may be mounted. Also be aware that, should this proceed to trial, each plaintiff will commence their own individual process, i.e. The “bundling” ends. Separate jury pools, separate actions. This is not a “class action”.
In response to the above discussion of a balance between having “fear of God” and responding to the “love of God”, I came across this quote. ” It is the will of God that we remember His surpassing power and His rigorous justice if we despise His grace: but, on the contrary, He wishes that we should treat Him as a most affectionate friend if we love Him, and that we should speak to Him confidently and without restraint. It is true that God ought to be worshipped always with the greatest reverence; however, when He deigns to make you feel His presence and when He makes known His desire that you should speak to Him as to the Friend who loves you better than any other friend, then you should open your heart to Him with the greatest liberty and confidence.” from “How to Pray at All Times” by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. Yes, God has all power and justice but God is also love and it seems like the “God is Love” is missing from how Bill Gothard presented God at his seminars and teaching materials.
Truth there. Let me say this: The different gifts in the body of Christ lead to different emphasis. I have pondered the following (this the Romans 12 list):
The Prophet appeals to the conscience, rebuke
The Servant focuses on the poor and disadvantaged
The Teacher appeals to the mind, doctrine
The Exhorter appeals to the will, discipline
The Giver talks about finances
The Ruler is focused on order, large projects
The Mercy appeals to the emotions, devotion
Bill, of course, is an exhorter. Focus on discipleship, redeeming the time . . . motivation . . . Yes, he focuses on the love of God, but often more as a component of motivation.
BTW . . . I believe that both Billy Graham and James Dobson have the same spiritual gift, at least as a general purpose. Any idea which gift I am thinking about?
Okay, I’ll bite on the question, if only to dodge it. Billy Graham was famous for preaching to large crowds of listeners. That is a large project (ruler?). His crusades featured music which appealed to emotions (mercy?). Dobson was known for large projects: writing best-selling books, hosting a radio show, and influencing politics (ruler?). He gave a lot of attention to emotions (mercy?). So I’m stuck between ruler and mercy for those two men. What’s your opinion?
The key is what need in the body of Christ is being seen and targeted. Both had individual skills – “ministries” – which they were good at . . . Graham in preaching the Gospel (evangelist) and Dobson in counseling. But they are both best known for building large platforms, organizations that, by combining the many gifts of others, created a force that shook the world. I remember Dobson saying once that he abolutely could not stand clutter, disorder. An “organizer” 🙂 So . . . yes . . . they each are “rulers” . . . creating and efficiently running large projects that have the force of an army.
Mercy types . . . that would be Charles Stanley, or Chuck Swindoll. They reach the heart as their purpose.
Well, using your definition of rulers, people that ran large ministries, I would think that might include Bill Gothard as well. I also think this shows the inherit weakness of the “motivational” gifts teaching. I have no idea how Charles Stanely has the “gift of mercy”. He doesn’t seem too merciful to me, especially in his private life. But to each their own, not my cup of tea and that’s my .02 cents.
‘Motivational Gift’ is not what you are good at, or what you have learned to do . . . but what drives you. What need in the Body of Christ is of particular concern. For a “Ruler”, the need seen is getting the right help to the right people . . . by organizing groups of people to work and walk in step. That is a different issue than the need being met. Bill certainly has featured the gifts of others . . . but his drive remains not to organize . . . but to see Christians grow.
WHY am I here, WHERE am I going . . . vs. HOW I get there.
Far from a fine science, I get it. BUT . . . Paul acts like we know what our gift is, because we are to grow it, work it. Bill’s explanation is the best I have heard.
There is nothing in Romans 12 that calls these gifts as “what drives you” or as a “one gift” that one receives when becoming “born again” and that is our “motivation”. Nor is there anything in Romans 12 that breaks down these gifts as strengths and weakness. All of this is add ons to the Biblical text. A number of different teaching ministries picked up on Bill’s ideas here. It’s wide spread but just because it is wide spread, doesn’t make it right at all. Likewise, going around and trying to guess what “motivational gift” someone has is an effort in futility as well. Footnote from my study Bible: ” Everyone has some gift that can be used for the benefit of the community. When the instruction on justification through faith is correctly grasped, the possessed of a gift will understand that it is not an instrument of self-aggrandizement. Possession of a gift is not an index to quality of faith. Rather, the gift is a challenge to faithful use.”
In another comment: ” Paul clearly says that there is hierarchy in the the Church. Course the individual Christian must evaluate overly where he fits into the hierarchy and what function he is called by God to serve.” St. John Chrysostom says: “Here he names a comprehensive thing. For the Apostleship even is called a ministry and every spiritual work is a ministry. This is indeed a name of a peculiar office (administrator or diaconate) however it is used in a general sense” Even the Protestant blog “Studylight.org” makes similar summations here. So that is my additional .02 cents and puts us at .06 cents here (I can do math too). Our little pot is growing, lets see what others can add.
There is actually precious little on the entire topic, especially as vital as it appears to be. As to “what drives you”, THAT can be taken from the following:
1 Corinthians 12:20-26
“20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”
There is a keen self awareness implied here . . . of comparing and contrasting our unique role and function with that of others. Foot vs. hand, eye vs. ear . . . “comly parts” – like the face – vs. “uncomly” . . . like the stomach, maybe?
So . . . what ARE you, Rob? When the time comes to fight, certain parts answer the call, while others go into “protect” mode. When it is time to eat . . . only a few functions respond. If you, like most of the church, don’t know WHAT you are, how can you find your place in the body? As Paul says:
“3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;”
We all have a “measure of faith”, that which we know about our role in the body . . . and we react based on that belief. Which is given by God. It talks about an “office”, a role. If folks in “the office” are unclear on their role and title, how effective will things me? Same in the Body of Christ.
We had better find a “Giver” or our “pot” of money is not going to be worth much. 🙂
Well, what I am? I currently serve the Church as a lector. So I have a heart for service where needed. Not sure that would work in your particular Church since women are suppose to be “silent”. I likewise have a heart for apologetics and truth and compassion on those that are hurting. So now that I’ve answered you, what are you?
Interesting. A servant’s heart. The beatitude that lines up with the servant (line up the lists) is, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted”. Appologetics . . . that could get into the teacher . . . which lines up with “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Linked to the following:
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”
Me? That probably would go without saying . . . the gift most nobody likes 🙂 The Prophet. The preacher. The rebuker . . . black and white . . . loud and forceful. Less mercy than is needed. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their’s is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
I also have an addendum to my answer, I also have a heart for intercessory prayer and when I tell someone I pray for them, I actually do that and mean that. I also have the privilege of living near one of two Carmelite monasteries in all of Michigan and stop in whenever I can (which isn’t enough for me actually), which I consider my “spiritual” home.
That really, truly sounds like “The Servant”. Bearing the burdens of others. Morning over their sins, helping to see them healed.
Ah yes, the “motivational gifts” which Bill covered in the advanced seminar. The cell group in the Church I was at in the early 80s covered Bill’s list, strengths and weaknesses to the nth degree. We all sat around trying to figure out which “gift” we had etc. I am very familiar with Bill’s list due to the heavy use of it in that Church. Other Christian teachers did pick up on it and spread it around as well. You did a pretty good job in trying to summarize them here but Bill’s full teaching on it, at least at that time, was much more detailed, giving the pros and con etc. Romans 12 just reads as a simple list of gifts given by grace for the body of Christ. Romans 12 list does not at all list “pros and cons” whatsoever. I think looking back on it, Bill seemed to turn the Romans 12 list of gifts into a “personality” type of test. The whole context of Romans 12 has nothing to do with different personalities but they are different gifts given by God’s grace for others in the Church. God’s gifts by grace are not going to have a “con” or “down side” etc. So all of that is reading into the Romans 12 list. I personally think that Bill’s teaching on motivational gifts is a fine example of how the Bible was extrapolated above and beyond what the actual Biblical text support and says.
Yes, I remember Bill saying or indicating that he believed that his gift was “exhortation” and as an “exhorter”, his emphasis would be more on discipline and correction. However, I remember that the Prophet gift according to Bill was someone that was very “black and white” which even by your own words Bill is. Likewise, I also remember the “teaching” gift was someone that was found of “lists” and “steps” which likewise matches Bill’s seminars and their emphasis. So even using Bill’s definitions of the “motivational” gifts, Bill himself kinda matches some of the other gifts, so I’m not so sure if Bill’s own analysis is correct about himself. Again, none of these pros and cons are even listed in Romans 12 and Romans 12 does not state that these gifts are “motivational” or that everyone just has “one” etc.
Now about your question about Billy Graham and Dr. James Dobson. I am guessing that you think they are both “exhorters” and that your point is why don’t people “complain” about these two as with Bill Gothard? Billy Graham had a very simple (almost too simple) basic message of “you must be born again and accept Jesus as your personal savior”. That is a summation of Billy Graham. He didn’t deviate from that message. It was very simple and basic and that was all he was all about. If one thinks of what an evangelical is, I think everyone would point to Billy Graham. BTW, the Fundy crowd at BJU broke with Billy Graham as “too liberal” so go figure. Dr. Dobson likewise would be considered the typical political evangelical. I listen to Focus on the Family for many years. He did cover some of the same areas as Bill Gothard did. Dobson promoted homeschooling and courtship on his radio show, even though Dobson did not homeschool his own two children. Dobson was very pro-life, anti-pornography and gambling and did a number of shows why they were harmful effects. The emphasis on “Focus on the Family” was to discuss different issues that affect the family, expose people to different solutions and encourage understanding of different family situations in order to promote ministry. Dobson did not, like Bill did, take the Bible and tell people that the problems and conflicts they had or faced was do to violations of the Bible. Dobson had a degree in Psychology and used psychological understanding of others, something Bill Gothard did not do. Since many of the Focus radio shows were about understanding and maybe even compassion, I’m not so sure if one can peg “exhorter” on him over an above “mercy” which I think Dobson had a lot of. While many of his guests came from the Evangelical world, Dobson also had Catholics, Orthodox, conservative and Orthodox Jews on his radio show. Dobson did have a big ecumenical outreach even though he was a conservative Nazarene Christian. Bill’s seminars in the 1970s likewise had an ecumenical outreach but I think when he sifted his focus on ATI and homeschooling, he seemed to have lost that (the 1980 sex scandal didn’t help either). Bill Gothard was clearly a fundamentalist which makes his earlier appeal interesting.
I probably went beyond what you were looking for but the Roman 12 gift list is something near my heart do to previous experience with them.
Dobson had a multifaceted ministry . . . which was addressed by many experts from many disciplines. Additionally he built things like the Family Research Council to organize believers for governmental change.
And yes, “rulers” tend to worry less about doctrinal differences and more on getting disparite people marching together toward a common goal. A complaint of both Dobson and especially Graham. Where I go, Billy has been also badmouthed for that reason. Again, an apparent weakness is also sign of a strength.
Myself, I favor the emphasis on the common. So I admire all three men we’re talking about, plus C.S. Lewis whose vocation in the mid-20th Century was to proclaim “mere” Christianity to his countrymen. How easy it is to be particular and narrow. It appeals to our vanity, or at least to mine. (Of Paul, of Appllos, of Cephas, of Christ.”) Maybe I am a ruler at heart.
Do three rulers make a yardstick?
Of course gifts can have a downside, whether given by men or by God. No parent hands the car keys to his kid without fearing the horrible downside of the gracious gift he has just bestowed. Life-giving human sexuality is another example of an oft-abused gift with downsides. What a gift of God, but what a disaster when men abuse it!
Of course Bill Gothard’s exposition of the Romans 12 gifts expands the text to application in contemporary life. That’s what exposition does. Preachers do it every Sunday. The listener has liberty to agree or disagree. Bill’s treatment of Romans 12 is no more ex cathedra than anyone else’s. Even if it is no more than psychological labeling, I think it’s pretty good labeling.
I believe the gifts we are talking about here are gifts of the Holy Spirit to be used to benefit others in the church. There are more than one list by St. Paul. Bill Gothard’s exposition of Romans 12 went way beyond anything supported in the text of Romans 12 as well as in comparison with some of the other spiritual lists St. Paul used. Bill Gothard twisted this into a character/personality list which includes “character flaws” which are not listed anywhere. Now maybe you like this kind of exposition teaching which in reality is an extrapolation with Bill’s own added ideas piled on. There is nothing in Romans 12 that each of use has “one gift”, that these “gifts” have a down side or flaws, or any such characterizations of all of the above. And I’m not too sure what the analogy about marital relationship has to do with this.
Of course, I believe his extrapolation is a natural extension of what is given.
1) There are three basic lists in Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Cor. 12. Those lists are very different, so different that you come away with the conclusion that they must be refering to something different. And if you recall, Bill explains it this way:
Romans 12 – 7 “Gifts” . . . 7 is the Scriptural number of “complete”. 7 “Motivational Gifts”, defining the purpose for the believer. Cells in the body are fundamentally different . . . muscle cells designed to stretch and contract, nerve cells designed to carry electical impluses, fat cells designed to hold stored energy, and so forth. One cell type does not become another cell type, ever.
Ephesians 4 – 4 or 5, depending on whether you believe it is “pastors” and “teachers”, or “pastor-teachers”. These are the “Ministry Gifts”, basically the adaption of a motivational gift for a specific focus. This is the idea of a “skill” that you get interested in, and learn. Muscle cells can learn to do many things . . . nerve cells learn and adapt . . . the skin can protect, breathe, even excrete waste, if necessary. A “prophet” may prophesy, that is, preach . . . but he may also teach . . . or evangelize. A “ruler” may evangelize, like Billy Graham, or be a pastor-teacher like Dr. Dobson. HOW the gift is applied, vs. WHY.
1Cor. 12 – 8 gifts . . . These are the “Manifestation Gifts”, how it affects the hearers, the recipients of the motivational gift being ministered. So . . . a person hearing a prophet evangelize may get faith . . . or even healed. A person full of the Holy Spirit after hearing a mercy teach may begin to “speak in tongues”, which I am convinced is an interesting, creative expression of the insight or truth received, in a poem, song, parable . . . or “apothegms”, short weighty statements you want to frame and hang on your wall . . . which is the word used for those speaking in “tongues” in Acts 2 (they spake in tongues “as the Holy Spirit gave them . . . apothegms”, the Greek word for “to utter”). Some may be healed . . . God may do miracles for some.
2) When you start believing Romans 12, well, you start to look for the ways in which these 7 fundamentally different believers function in real life. As Bill suggests in one of his little diagrams . . . suppose a Christian is sick in the hospital, and these 7 gifts come to visit. How would they each seek to meet the need before them? The prophet talks to what the Lord is saying, may wonder if there is any secret sin . . . the servant is taking care of the needs of the sick (bearing burdens), making sure he is comfortable . . . the teacher researches the medical condition and steps being taken . . . the exhorter has a list of alternative treatments that case histories show may work . . . the giver wants to know how this is impacting him financially, insurance,etc. . . . the ruler has formulated a plan for meals, job, kids, getting the whole church involved, and the mercy is laughing or weeping, as the emotions require.
3) Personalities ARE affected by the drive each feels based on the needs that each feels compelled to address. If exhorters are moved to help believers grow, they will be doing a lot of checkups on progress, and you will catch them constantly looking at the face, body language. Servants are moved by pressing needs in others . . . so they may be less inclined to worry about their own needs, sleep deprived . . . teachers, in their quest for precise communication may correct everyone on their use of words and grammar. This may not be spelled out in Scripture, but it is real nonetheless.
Hmm, “the gift no body likes”. Well, that is how Bill Gothard describes it but, I don’t really accept Bill’s definition on this. The gift of prophecy or at least those I consider who may have it or operate with it, are not obnoxious or so much “black and white”, “right or wrong” but people that are able to be more about forth telling than foretelling and usually able to see where God want His people or Church to go. That includes warnings as well as direction. One of my favorite on-line magazines that i subscribe to is “Crisis – a voice for the faithful Catholic laity. The articles cover a lot of cultural directions and the authors have a keen insight into current happenings and where they may lead the faithful. It seems to me that all the recent or those of current memory Popes, had a gift of prophecy. Pope Paul IV in Humanae Vitae gave four bold predictions concerning contraception. 1. rise of infidelity and moral decline, 2. lost of react for women, 3 abuse of power by governments to force family size (China’s one child policy) and unlimited dominion of one’s body which leads to abuse. All of them have come true. But this gift of prophecy is also directional. Pope Francis has upset the apple cart on both sides by calling the Church back to being a “field hospital” for the sick and sinners. I think the recent comments by him about comparing the use of cells phones and musing what would happen if we used our Bibles like our cell phones is in the vein of this. Pope JP II with his “new evangelization and creating a “culture of life” to combat the “culture of death”. Pope Benedict in his concerns over the secularization of Europe and his call to tackle relativism and a return for Europe to it’s Christian roots. Those are to me “prophetic voices” or the gift of prophecy. I think Billy Graham was a bit of a prophet. None of these guys are exactly “black and white” but more foreseeing, forth telling and directional. I think Alfred, i see in you someone with a big heart that doesn’t realize it yet.
I’m not sure what “loud” has to do with it. Are you “loud”? :), Maybe “loud” has more to do with passion and emotions that fuel it that come from loyalty which you certainly are to those you care about. Bill’s definition of a “prophet” is rather negative or highlighted negative features that have more do with personality that to do with someone that truly has a gift of prophecy or operates as a prophet which would be someone in a high level leadership position like a Pope or someone like Billy Graham.
Thank you for kind comments 🙂 Fundamentally the “foretelling” is speaking the mind of God before we figure it out for ourselves, before it makes sense . . . in other words, proclaiming a message directed by God as the source. I believe I used the common (I believe Decartes was the first to suggest this) segregation previously, the three ways to know truth:
Intuition – You know because . . . you know, you see it.
Deduction – You know because you figured it out from other things you know.
Induction – You know because life works that way from many samples or examples.
And this lines up well with
the Prophet – who has the insight given by God to his spirit directly
the Teacher – who studies doctrine and teaching and proves it out from Scripture,
the Exhorter – who deals with all those practical things without a “thus saith the Lord”, discerning how things work, as highlighted by the witness of Scripture as well as examples of life.
In a day gone by those “prophetic” insights were raw and direct – today they involve the illumination of Scripture by the Holy Spirit. Regardless, it is a “burden”, a conviction that often has no initial explanation, other than “That is the way it is”. Messages from, for the conscience, for example . . . as Paul explains in Romans 2, all men have the entire law “written in their hearts” and, even without the written word, know what God wants instinctively. In a room full of people pondering, wrestling with what to do, the prophets usually speak up first: “This is wrong!”, or “This is right!” or “We must do this”. The gift compares to the function of the “T-Cells” in the immune system, those “triage”, first on the scene sentinels that raise the alarm, calling in the rest of the defenses to investigate and attack. As you know, “T-Cells” are what the AIDS disease attacks. Without the “prophet”, the body is slow in responding to attacks, and many diseases get established before a response can be mounted.
In 1 Thess. 5:20 Paul says, “Despise not prophesyings”. Quite simply, when someone “prophesies”, speaks a word of rebuke or warning, pay attention. That doesn’t mean you necessarily agree, but you investigate and take it seriously. Nobody much likes the prophet . . . the negativity . . . the rebukes . . . the challenges . . . but Paul says, “Don’t despise it”.
All the white blood cells are the body’s “policemen”. There are five types, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, Eos and Basophils. They all attack different harmful things. T-Cells are specialized Lymphocytes involved with the immune system and there are even 5 types of them. They particularly go after cancer cells and viruses. Something like Aids does wipe them out which is why Aids victims become prey to all sorts of diseases. This has nothing to do with the “gift of Prophecy”. Alfred if you really want to think that is your “gift”, then be my guest, but what I see in you, even though it’s just through the internet and not face to face or in your fellowship community is something else. Maybe that is a cool gift to you, but in my observation, it isn’t you which again, you are much more big hearted but you don’t realize it or want to acknowledge it. The Roman’s 12 gifts are how we function or minister in our local church, parish or faith community. For me right now, it’s service as a lector. Does that make me a “servant”. I’ll let others be the judge. I think we all are called to function in ministry to others in all of them in one way or another and I think that is something we might all agree on over this topic.
When in college Bill was taught that there were 5 types of nerve types for senses. Bill approached the professor (I suspect this was Wheaton) and asked if there might not be 2 more . . . since they paired so amazingly with the 7 gifts. Professor said, “There you go again, Bill!”, commenting on his desire to see – maybe shoe-horn – Biblical patterns in real life. To his credit, the professor showed up the next day after some reasearch . . . to announce that there were in fact two additional sense types that can been recently discovered. From memory – hope I get this right:
Heat – Prophet
Light tough, vibrarion – Servant
Balance – Teacher
Stretch – Exhorter
Cold – Giver
Heavy pressure – Ruler
Pain – Mercy
SO . . . I wonder if there are 2 more types of white blood cells 🙂
Be a little creative. God is so much bigger than we are . . . and you would expect that He has Biblical patterns upon patterns buried in the natural world. Consider Solomon, who was deeply engaged in hunting those up:
1 Kings 4:32-33
“32 And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. 33 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.”
*I* see an amazing link between the T-Cells and AIDS and the maladies afflicting the church. The prophet – the rebuker, the challenger, the alarmist – is much despised and suppressed. In part because they do misfire at times. Indeed, I think Satan has a coordinated effort to drive them all out. If he succeeds, he has an open road to bring in wave after wave of destructive “diseases”.
Alfred, this is stretching it a bit and making analogies that don’t belong. There are five types of WBC and in those types, there are subtypes as is the case for lymphs (T cells, B cells etc) and then even further subtypes of those.
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
I think it is God’s will that, like little children, we see God . . . Everywhere. It remains one of the reasons I continue to appreciate Bill and his perspectives.
quote for you Alfred,
:Learn the lesson that, if you are to do the work of a prophet, what you need is not a scepter but a hoe”
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
The true measure of loving God is to love Him without measure”
🙂 Good advice for us all. Of course . . . this “prophet” may be more of the idea of a “holy man”, a “man of God”. As opposed to the Scriptural gift which is very much focused on . . . . talking, preaching.
Speaking of soil-moving tools, it sounds like Bernard unearthed the truth in spades.
Enough for now,
Are you sure you’re a lector at church?
• when a man rules nations we call him a emperor
• when a woman rules nations we call her an empress
• when a man portrays a character we call him an actor
• when a woman portrays a character we call her an actress
Should your brethren deem your ladyship a lectress? But that sounds clumsy doesn’t it? When I looked it up I got “wife of a German elector.” Oh, well.
But back to spiritual gifts. Late in his ministry, Keith Green warned his fellow prophet-gifted believers not to be needlessly offensive and over-the-top. So that can be a hazard for the prophet. You gave some examples of prophets who were more sound than loud, if you’ll pardon the word-play.
A lector is someone that reads the Bible at Church. That is their function. Half of the Mass is called liturgy of the word which is on Sunday, three readings (OT, NT and gospel) and during the week, two readings (OT or NT and Gospel). I just do the readings. The priest or the deacon do the homily on the readings.. That is what a lector is and does, read the Bible out loud. I’m not sure what you mean by “do I know if I’m a lector”. That’s a little offensive. I know what I do at Church and that currently is how i serve.
Sorry sister. I am familiar with the office of lector, but I was teasing about politically-correct terms. Keep on lecting!
No problem! thank-you!
Pope Paul was more of a prophet than I, but in hindsight I would amend his list of consequences to contraception. In 2017 we might add LGBTism to the pope’s original list. It follows logically from the spirit of barrenness whose fruit is contraception. When you defy nature by separating babies from sexuality, then you reduce the categories of male and female to arbitrary and meaningless. (You also get dangerously close to Huxley’s anti-human Brave New World.)
What moral objection could artificially-sterile couples have to LGBTism, when LGBTism simply follows their morality to its logical conclusion?
Shall Christians sell their prophetic birthright for a bowl of anti-life philosophy? So that’s my “prophetic” amendment to the pope’s prophecy. I hope it’s not too novel.
Here’s to manly Christian men, womanly Christian women, and their beloved babies.
There have already been commentary in Catholic circles that SSA marriage and same sex attractions are likewise by products of the contraception mentality and it’s wide spread use. The dominos of this began in the 1930s when the Anglican communion approved of contraception. Before that, all Christian groups were against the ideas put forth by Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood. Both Luther and Calvin were very much against artificial contraception. In fact, some recent translations on Calvin had his views edited out by his own reformed/calvinist followers. I guess they wanted to hide Calvin’s original views and hide how they have drifted from their hero.
Here we are in complete agreement. Romans 1 seems quite clear on that . . . The “natural use of the woman” abandoned by both male and female homosexuals . . . Is child bearing.
Most of our fellow evangelicals would probably pull up a little short of your position. They would interpret “natural use” narrowly, meaning nothing more than heterosexual copulation, and set aside begetting and bearing as optional modules for couples who want to be parents.
I think they’re mistaken. But who am I that judgest another man’s servant?
“26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change THE NATURAL USE into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving THE NATURAL USE OF THE WOMAN, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
I could understand if it said that women abandoned, turned away from “the natural use of the man” . . . but in this case both sexes abandon a common “natural use” of the woman. What is the common “natural use of the woman” that concerns both . . . or should, in the design of the creator? Again . . . childbearing.
A confirmation may be found in another part of Paul’s writings . . . hiding in plain sight:
1 Timothy 2:13-15
“13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved IN childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”
This has traditionally been interpreted to mean that women who are godly will not die in childbirth. If you think about it, just on an empirical basis, that cannot possibly be what it means. The Greek word “IN” is “dia” . . . which means “through” . . . by means of. Childbearing can “save” women from the troubles spelled out in the prior verses. The “natural use” of bearing of children is clearly designed by God as a “governor” to suppress natural inclinations and ambitions which are damaging, spiritually. And the corrolary is also true . . . focusing on natural relations as being first of all the means designed by God to conceive children is also a “governor” to the often sex-obsessed male, helping keep that unruly drive in check. When sex becomes an end in itself . . . worshipping the created thing more than the creator who designed it . . . then God “gives them up” to homosexual urges. No, they can’t help it.
“24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
Yes, I remember Christopher West making your point in his excellent book about JPII’s Theology of the Body. He thought the Anglican concession to contraception in the 1930s was the fatal first domino, after which all other Protestants abandoned traditional Christian teaching against contraception. Perhaps someone has rebutted his claim, but it looks pretty sound to me.
Any news on the Gothard lawsuit hearing which was scheduled for 3/29?
There some action denying the request to publicly reveal the identities of some or all of the Jane Does. Being “without prejudice” I suspect some technicality is involved. I gather the action was not significant or final, whatever it was.
Okay, so what’s next? Any future hearings scheduled?
Next hearing is April 18, 9:00am. No, I am not sure what is on the agenda. Although the “Jane Doe” identification will likely get some more air time . . . I would imagine.
I think I remember Jane Doe titles in a copy of the lawsuit online somewhere. I can understand the use of that term as a placeholder until a case gets formally heard. But once a case is publicly heard, don’t the plaintiffs have to step out of the shadows and testify publicly under oath? Isn’t how this stuff works, or am I just a naive Jefferson Smith going to Washington?
The named Does are claiming special circumstances where public disclosure of their identities would unfairly damage them. I find it interesting that their unproven testimony of misdeeds – some of which are substantially and materially damaging to Bill – can be freely entered into the public record while their identities may not. Not sure how all of that will pan out. We do not want further harm to come to actual victims but we have reason to doubt the allegations, which if true makes this most unjust. There is a Judge in heaven that was witness in every instance and every secret thought and action that will straighten it all out.
Why is forcing them to reveal their names so important? what does that really do for Bill?
Well, it is not fair to make serious accusations and also demand to be nameless, barring a real cause . . . it is what cowards do. Especially if one is demanding money. If one has a just cause, there is no reason that family, friends, enemies . . . everyone . . . should not be able to ponder the merits of the claims based on the person they know. A “real cause” is, for example, having to reveal a secondary issue, like the fact and identity of a childhood rapist, which relates to a pending action because it was revealed . . . and allegedly mishandled. Barring that sort of thing, the law is clear – accusers cannot be nameless.
But Bill does know ( and I think you do to) and have the names correct? I’m not sure if you remember the Central Park rape case, it was a number of years ago. It was a jogger that was ambushed, brutally attacked and raped, I think she almost died from it. She was never named, at least in the media and her name came out only years later. In a side note to that case, it turned out that it wasn’t a gang rape by the kids that were convicted but one attacker. It seems like for most crimes of sex, the accuser is not so named in public in order to encourage those that have suffered sexual assaults to come forward. One sees this all the time in the news where the victim is not named. Unfortunately, those that have suffered sexual assaults and harassments are too often have their reputations tried in the court of public opinion. So that would be the reason for this.
Bill knows about half of the Does for sure. The others are guesses. He will need to know who they are to mount a response. Whether the public will know is another matter. Above my pay grade.
I think when St. Paul was talking about “unnatural” acts he was speaking more to acts of homosexual type than making a comment on bearing children and those issues. If one considers that women live beyond her abilities to bear children, then one should realize that God has plans for women that go beyond bearing children. In not trying to get gross or graphic here, our body parts and systems have a design purpose by God and our reproductive parts are not meant to mix our digestive parts and that is what St. Paul is referring to as “unnatural” use. There is long term great harm to one’s own body in unnatural acts and use. Saw a show with concerned Drs once discussing the long term consequences of such acts on one’s own body.(EWTN Women of Grace).
Point I am focusing on, again, is that the “natural use of the woman” is not reciprocated by “the natural use of the man”, which a focus on ordinary physiology would give. Sex is a dance, equal partners . . . But once completed, all equality is gone. It is the woman, she alone, that is the focus for all that follows.
Well, again it is going to matter on what translation is used here but nevertheless St. Paul is talking about homosexual acts.
NASB translates it this way:
verse 26: Therefore God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural relations with females and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.”
The context of Romans 1 is not talking about child birth or women giving that up but can only be inferred as a by product of homosexual acts in that these acts are unnatural, will pay a penalty in their own bodies and obviously no children.
Understood. For me, nothing else has made sense with the other statements in the section, of God forcing folks to be homosexual . . . for working the “created thing” more than that creator. The Creator designed sex to produce offspring, with a lot of stuff in there to make it fun . . . and make it happen. So . . . I like the interpretation I presented, which is not original (and did not originate with Bill).
Point well taken, sister. You’re right about Romans 1 and natural use. In fact, it recalls a widely known example. When Bill Clinton famously declared that he had no “sexual relations with that woman,” he was telling the truth. This is because “sexual rations” have traditionally been defined in law as natural male-female copulation. Clinton was either shrewd enough to abstain from that, or simply lacked any realistic opportunity for it.
You’re also right to imply that couples are privileged to indulge in natural use after the fertility season has passed. I sure hope that still counts as natural. Otherwise I’m in deep trouble.
I wonder if you noticed how much you sounded like Bill Gothard for a moment there. He used to stammer while searching for a discreet way to warn couples that they can cross over into wrong and unsanitary practices while indulging their passions.
I’m not trying to sound like Bill Gothard at all and think that Bill Clinton was skirting around his issues and relationship with those not his wife. I disagree with those points.
Yeah okay, Rob. Sounding like Bill Gothard is not necessarily so awful. On this case, you were shy about being too sexually explicit on a public forum. So is he, at least in public.
Probably Bill Clinton was being lawyerly in his infamous testimony. But the technicality he was leaning upon was a point of agreement between him and Christians on the topic of sex. Ironic, but true. Even a stopped clock is correct twice per day.
Till next time,
I have absolutely no clue how Bill’s behaviors with Monica Lewinsky is point of agreement with any sort of Christian teaching or understanding of marriage and morality. Bill Clinton is an admitted adulterer and there a many women that testify to his moral behaviors going well beyond in what he did with Monica which include cigars and stains on dresses. I’m not sure what your point is and why you brought up Bill Clinton discussing Bill Gothard. If you don’t see Bill Clinton’s disgusting behaviors with Monica as immoral to begin with then God help you. I would think and hope that you would see Bill Clinton’s behaviors with Monica as immoral. If not, I would suggest you reread the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus stated standards about adultery which begins in the heart. I think it is a sad day that trying to have a discussion about these issues and trying to keep that conversation from turning into crude and vulgar descriptions and keep the conversation clean and moral in a culture that is over the top in both is too telling and demonstrates how current moral standards have infiltrated the church.
I wouldn’t think the firing of Bill Oreilly by Fox News over sexual harassment is helpful to the cause of Bill Gothard. I mean what is it with the name of “bill”? There is Bill Crosby, Bill Clinton, Bill Oreilly and Bill Gothard. Is there something with the name of Bill that morally corrupts men? Now Billy Graham would be an exception but it’s Billy with him, not just Bill. I would think those with the name of Bill would want to get their reputation back.Did I miss something here?
Well . . . 🙂 . . . that is a tad unfair. In fact, the opposite has been stated . . . Billy Graham, Bill Bright, Bill Gothard, the stars of the 1970s . . . there is allegedly a book on “Famous Williams”.
Point: Nothing has been proven with respect to Bill O’Reilly. Whatever it was, it made the network nervous. That is not always the same as guilt. That is most definitely the case with Bill Gothard.
That was all tongue and cheek. I have a brother-in-law named Bill so I certainly don’t think at all that someone named Bill is a pervert. I just took advantage of the current news and situations with some Bills and wanted to demonstrate the problem of anecdote evidence and associations, something that Bill Gothard did use heavily and those of us who are critics of his teaching do see as a problem with it. Fox/Oreilly paid out 13 million a few years ago to five women over alleged harassments. If it was all bogus, I doubt Fox would ax its top personality. We will see what Oreilly does. My impression is that he made suggestions but not sure. Fox had a hot line for it’s employees to call if they felt they were harassed which was never used by any of these women. I think the old fashioned punch in the nose ought to end any harassment someone experiences.
Not so sure, about “bogus” or no. Paula Deen was dropped for a single comment decades prior in a context which appeared, from all appearances, completely out of character for her. Jimmy the Greek for insensitive comments on a show about black athletes – why they are so good compared to white athletes. Laura Schlessinger . . . comments about the hypersensitivity of some black Americans over the use of the “N” word by whites, while freely using it themselves. Duck Dynasty . . . that straight sex is proper and gay sex is not (which a lot of American Christians would agree with). Money people are extremely shy about controversies of that nature, and the ax swings quick. And when you have money, it is a lot easier to settle accusations than litigate. I am guessing O’Reilly is not pure as the driven snow, but did nothing outside the realm of what most folks consider normal.
All of the examples you just gave were comments that were made by these different people live. In other words, they were not axed over behind the scene behaviors or comments but axed or attempted ax over on air or live comments. I was not a fan of Oreilly but he was cut not for what he said on his shows or in his books but he behaviors with staff and guests off the air. Sexual comments and suggestions and even jokes should not be normal and acceptable behaviors for anyone, especially any one with some semblance of Christianity which Oreilly tried to pass himself off as. He alludes to his Catholic background but I don’t think he was practicing his faith at all even with his “we say Merry Christmas” culture war. His behaviors whatever they were should not be considered normal or acceptable.
Point remains. That trigger got pressed awfully fast. Some of it feels somewhat unjust.
Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok? Bill Shakespeare? Bill the Conqueror? He won at Hastings in 1066. Willy Mays? So the record among Bills is far from uniform.
Yes! Bills are neither all criminals or movers and shakers. But they DO command a lot of attention, eh?
Another Bill from a century ago comes to mind. Kaiser Wilhelm was very much in the news back then. If only he and the rulers of his day would have made peace, they would have spared their generation the unspeakable suffering of World War.
(In our day there is clamor for war with Syria, Russia and North Korea. Lord, have mercy.)
Give peace a chance,
I believe the “Kaiser” was more of a bumbling idiot that sided with Austrian-Hungry when the assassination took place and Russia sided with the Serbs that were trying to break away and killed the Arch-Duke and his wife. WWI is one big complicated mess which usually is overlooked and little understood because of WWII. Even though the war didn’t start with Germany, somehow they took the brunt of the punishment post war. The war to end all wars didn’t really do that at all and set up the dynamics for the rise of Hitler and we know the rest of the story.
I am completely lost on where we are in the thread. :-). One business trip and 106 Viagra ads to kill later, it is nice to hear some intelligence.
As an ethnic German, my $.02 on WW1:
1). Germany was looking for a political excuse to flex its muscles. Not all reasons were bad, but it remained that it was an opportune time to weigh in. Political, not moral.
2). Other nations wanted a political reason to weaken Germany, and that opportunity was also seized. The humbling of Germany post war did more to bring about Hitler and WW 2 with all its atrocities than anything else. Ordinary Germans were no monsters, but they were keenly aware of the injustices done to their once proud nation. Which made it too easy to grab the only train with any hope of rectifying things.
3). To attempt to steer spiritual, and maybe get back to Bill Gothard, not a few evangelicals believed that Germany had stumbled spiritually in the decades leading up to the war by the invention and promotion of “higher criticism” which was a very open weakening of the authority of the Bible. Basically, by the time these respected scholars got done, you are left with the possibility of some of the writings of Paul being genuine, and not much else, particularly the synoptic gospels. I recall reading the opinion of Sir Robert Anderson*, leading Irish preacher and well respected author still living as the war broke forth, attributing this calamity to “Higher Criticism” and the weakening of once holy Germany. So, taking it back to Bill, higher criticism is the exact opposite of his literal reverence of every word of Scripture. :-). How did I do?
* Sir Robert Anderson was a secret agent of Scotland Yard tracking the Fenian Movement among the Irish, precursor to the likes of the IRA. He was inadvertently exposed by a politician, whereupon he was whisked away to London to head that SY office. HE was in charge during the Jack the Ripper investigation, and wrote about it. He was also in this role while the Sherlock books were being published.
I think we were having fun naming famous Bills. But yes, Enlightenment/higher Biblical criticism did play a part in weakening the Protestant/Lutheran side of Germany. Germany’s majority were Lutherans with pockets of Catholic in places like Bavaria and Westphalia (where Bishop Von Galen was). There were also Reformed in the mix. Hitler received the least support from Catholic and conservative Protestants. The fruit of Enlightenment and even liberal higher criticism was a weaken Lutheran Church in Germany where people easily fell for the promises of Hitler in returning Germany to it’s glorious “Christian” past. However, Hitler wasn’t offering an authentic Christianity but a “positive Christianity” which was a mixed up bag of paganism from Germany’s pre-Christian years. Prior to Hitler’s election, to join the Nazi party as a Catholic meant ex-communication. That ban was lifted when Hitler came to power and was an effort to keep people in the fold. There are a lot of lessons to learn from what happen in Germany leading up to WW II.
Interesting information. Possibly quite accurate.
Any news from the hearing which was supposed to occur on 4/18? Any Jane Doe revelation or exposition?
Sometimes gratifying things can occur in caesar’s courts. Here is a recent example involving an innocent old man with a good lawyer who achieved justice: http://suechef1.blogspot.rs/2017/04/mischief-is-superpower.html
At this time we have no information on the hearing.
How many Jane/john Does are left on the case, because I thought a couple of them including the John Doe did drop out. So we are talking about 2-3 correct?
There are 5 Does left. Jane Doe 2, who had the massive complaint about being raped by Bill, Copley, her father, family members and countless strangers, disappeared without explanation between the 2nd and final versions of the suit. Ruth Copley Burger was dropped recently, but she used her name. I believe the defense team is not certain of the identities of all the Does and obviously before their cases go to trial that will need to be rectified.
From Pixar’s Anton Ego:
“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read.”
But when critics become plaintiffs in caesar’s court they will face some risk. Will the Janes Doe unmask and face cross examination?
The court has unmasked the Does to the legal teams and plaintiffs. I doubt they will ever be named in open court. Discovery continues
To indulge in a game of armchair psychologist: According to this lawsuit, there is a decades-long gap between the alleged molestations by Gothard and the day they were alleged, right? Supposedly this time gap is accounted for by a theory of repressed memories.
But doesn’t such a theory cut both ways? Supposedly our memories decay and become less reliable as we age. If we can remember offenses which escaped our notice for decades, isn’t it equally probable that we can “remember” things from our youth which never actually happened?
Looking back four decades from middle age to my teens, I remember some things which look less and less probable with each passing year. Did they actually happen? Some of them are heinous and embarrassing, so I fervently hope they did not happen. And I dare not ask anyone who might know.
Are invented memories any less probable than repressed memories?
Correct, and that is a big reason for “statute of limitations” laws. The point is not to deny justice to a victim, but to ensure justice for the alleged perpetrator. Law enforcement is keenly aware of the ability of the mind to generate “facts” to match a fear or a need. Someone I know well had a man grab her purse in a back area, shoving her to the ground. She has a distinct memory of him saying “Rape!”, but the other witness has no memory of that, the one whose testimony put him away. He was fresh out of jail and needed cash. And that was a memory minutes fresh when recounted.
Color me gullible, but I thought the 6th Amendment guarantee of a public trial was broadly construed, that a man had a right to face his accusers in full view of the public. Was I mistaken? If not, how could the court keep Jane Doe identities any less public than the identity of the man they are accusing? That sounds as unjust as a secret FISA court!
Peace and justice,
I am no lawyer. But laws were passed which provide protections from a legal action exposing certain things about a person which would damage them and cause them to not seek redress in public court. Not sure where those lines fall. I do know that the legal teams representing IBLP and Bill are no idiots in this area so I can only assume it is, or at least was, a battle not worth fighting.
The sixth amendment does state public trial in the beginning but the emphasis was on the right to face one’s accusers. I’m not sure if that should be interpreted that the “public” needs to “face the accusers” but the defendant has the right. There is obviously leeway given in what “public” is or isn’t allowed in high profile cases. The identity of the “jane does” doesn’t need to be “public” or out there since the defendants have that info as they should have in any cases.
Yes, we laymen are probably both out of our depth here. I am unqualified to say how the 6th Amendment works in modern law. I am just operating from a combination of teenage civics-class common sense and a golden-rule mentality. If I were accused and innocent, I would want maximum publicity on everything because “the curse causeless shall not come.” In the Gothard case, clarity and finality would be gratifying for us onlookers.
Gothard’s accusers and their allies have been agitating online for some years now. Let them have their day in court with the lights on and cameras rolling where they will be either vindicated or shamed. Sadly, the only winners will probably be trial lawyers. If we all just stopped sinning for a change, how would they earn a living?
Yes, on who ultimately wins. Now . . . As an example, say a person has a hidden history of treatment for mental illness, and a pending trial involves delving into that, I can see why a plaintiff might not want that information in the public record. Or a childhood sexual abuse trauma that is unknown to friends, family, employers, whatever. The law seeks to be kind and fair.
Brother Alfred, I partly agree with your thoughts on privacy and justice, but maybe not absolutely. It depends upon the facts of the case.
No just man would insist that a plaintiff waive all privacy merely because he is a plaintiff, but a stone-throwing man in a glass house should forfeit his immunity to a counter-barrage of stones.
To use your example, a man with a history of insanity should forfeit his right to conceal his own insanity when he accuses his neighbor of being crazy. That’s what I mean by a public trial. If you accuse a man in public, you should face cross-examination before the same public.
Then again, there is Lilliputian justice in Gulliver’s Travels. When an accused man was acquitted, his accuser was executed, and the acquitted man took title to the accuser’s estate.
Furthermore, “the law” is an abstraction. It cannot be either kind or cruel. Only men can do justice or mercy to their fellow man.
Hopefully Lady Justice will not peek from under her blindfold.
In great agreement, as you can imagine. But . . . if you change the scenario somewhat . . . work with a situation where you believe the plaintiff to be abused, a private individual not interested in a public trial, just rectification of some wrongs done . . . and to get justice they have to surrender a private piece of themselves that is worth more than the wrongs done to them . . . you can see how that would seem unfair.
So . . . a gold-digging private individual seeking to selfishly and unjustly enrich themselves off a corporation or wealthy person should get no sympathy, while a grieved, wronged private individual seeking to gain some relief from outrageous damage done by a corporation or wealthy person should get all the sympathy and protection and privacy they can. Depends on how you hold your mouth when you present it, one of those classic “If-By-Whisky” problems. The judge needs the wisdom of Solomon to separate one from the other.
Ha! I never heard of if-by-whiskey until you mentioned it. But the wiki page about it is really funny.
There is also your case of the man trading away his privacy to redress a grievance. What if that is the price of settling the score with his stronger enemy? One answer is, “all things have their price.” But such a case is a good time to obey Jesus’ command to forgive seventy times seven. As for trespass #491, you need a better man than I to settle that one.
Trespass #490 and holding,
Yes . . . I too learned about it on the Internet . . . and now I use it over and over. 🙂
I agree that justice may have a price. NONE of us want the weak to pay that price.
Now that we have arrived at mid-summer 2017, the Gothard lawsuit has about eighteen months on the clock. Has there been any activity worth mentioning lately?
Nope. Many procedural issues, discovery in particular. Will try to do better on info, but these are the dog days of lawsuits.
That’s fine, brother. Summer baseball is more interesting than summer lawyering, anyway.
May the best team win,
Okay, summer is well behind us and we are running out of 2017. Is the lawsuit still simmering somewhere?
Very actively. The “discovery” process is long and arduous, with that many plaintiffs. There are many clarifications and negotiations and typically some of the plaintiffs drop out. At some point the “group” that is left will become individual actions as each plaintiff will have his or her own trial. The lawyers generally prefer less publicity to more publicity so we have sought to honor that. Be aware that we have had cause to be happy from time to time . . . And we keep praying with all our might that the Lord will step in make it all right.
The lawsuit question recalls some of the NT texts about suffering. Hebrews says that chastening proves we are dear sons instead of outcast bastards. In 1 Peter we mustn’t expect moral credit for enduring suffering which we bring upon ourselves. But our innocent suffering aligns us with Christ (the just who suffered for the unjust).
There are many claims of suffering to be settled here. But which of the two kinds of suffering are they? Some of each kind?
It is beyond sad . . . when young people, once on fire for the Lord, would stoop to grubbing for a few hundred thousand dollars, allowing unscrupulous lawyers to guide them to say things they know are not true. And should they gain their objective, to glory in triumph over a man they hate for various reasons . . . what will it profit them in the long run? What will they do when the Lord calls them into account for every word they have spoken to make it happen? And what about those that know the truth, know that the things stated cannot be true . . . and remain silent? The Lord will visit the iniquity of each one on themselves and their families. Yes, starting with Bill, that sword swings both ways. But if it is as we understand it to be . . . woe to those that have allowed themselves to be swept along and are seeking to remain silent. As Mordecai said to Esther:
The time to speak is nearing an end.
The suffering mentioned in Hebrews 12 is more about the suffering of life and how God can use that to bring us closer to Him or be more like Him. The suffering mentioned in I Peter is about persecution for following God. Neither of those apply to this case. Suffering for God would be a cake decorator refusing to do cakes for SS marriages, for Christians living in Muslim or atheist countries. This trial which also includes the board of IBLP is not about baking cakes or taking photos at SS marriages. It’s about accusations of Bill’s behaviors with young women he surrounded himself with and covered up by the board that didn’t bring him back when he resigned and nothing to do with following Christian convictions in daily life. So whatever suffering there is in this case, is do to unwise, borderline immoral behaviors not righteous or virtuous behaviors. The suffering of life due to illness, accidents, acts of nature, doesn’t apply here either. Too many Christians in the US want to claim persecution or martyrdom when their isn’t any. Likewise too many Christians want to claim it’s the devil ‘s fault for their own bad choices and then turn around and claim the consequences for those bad choices is the devil going after them. Both are pathetic and irresponsible. The blame game is as old as Adam and Eve. While I think the current Judge Moore situation in Alabama is trumped up political hay, I also think that a 35 year old man trying to date teenage girls is creepy and questionable, even if it was 40 years ago and he asked for parents permission. Sorry but if some 35 year old man tried to date my 15 year old daughter, I would call the police. Now maybe admitting that this cultural practice in the deep south might be questionable, instead people are digging in heals and trying to justify why a 35 year old is trying to date teenage girls and the other side is falsifying year books to boost their cause. But the battle lines are drawn and the heals dug in on both sides that are equally hypocritical; the newly self-righteous senators that say they will sensor him if elected and the conservative Christians like James Dobson stumbling over themselves defending a grown man going after teenage girls. And who is causing all this turmoil and suffering? Irresponsible behavior by people that should know better and can’t admit to it and it has nothing to do with God.
I think he was focusing on the plaintiffs . . . suffering. Maybe Bill and the employees and supporters of IBLP too. Frankly ALL suffering is fair in the overall scheme of things, as we are guilty of crimes against God that should result in our death a long time ago. So being alive, let alone saved, let alone with enough food and with money and a place to lay our head . . . family, friends . . . all of that is more, far more than we deserve. When a believer suffers, then, it is not “for cause” as much as it is for discipline, training. If we respond with humility and grace and obedience, well, God often makes our lot a lot better.
The plaintiffs must answer to the Lord for their role in this, just as Bill must answer to the Lord for every word spoken, every program, practice. I cannot say what the Lord will do here. It is for us to seek to honor Him in every way possible even while vigorously standing for truth at every turn. And this we will continue to do with all our might, with the Lord’s help.
Well, maybe David will clarify what he meant or was thinking. 🙂
I was thinking about suffering on both sides. The plaintiffs seek compensation for suffering, right? That’s the whole point of the lawsuit.
BG claims that he is innocent of everything except a mild degree of creepiness, to which he already admitted. Supposedly that would put him among those in 1 Peter who are acceptable with God, because they “do well and suffer for it.”
I think BG would agree with Rob about Hebrews 12, because he used to speak of the “reproofs of life.” The civil cake persecution is a good example.
Rob did a segue from BG to the political attacks on Roy Moore in Alabama (who lost the election). I see a similarity between BG and RM; a critical mass of accusations, but evidence not yet tested. Moore lost the political test, but someday (?) we will see whether the BG evidence will hold up in court.
Perhaps I am a defective parent, but I think Rob’s parental outrage is too arbitrary. I am guessing that modern American girls of fifteen usually suffer a lot more moral damage from boys of fifteen than men of thirty-five. My parental filter is more creep-oriented than age-oriented. Jerks come in all age ranges. So do saints.
As for Alfred’s lawyer shaming, “experts work for money, not truth.” Okay, so I have low expectations.
Well, as to what he readily admitted to . . . He actually did not “readily” admit to anything. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence . . . . What he did admit to was insensitivity to the feelings and scruples of some, where otherwise innocent acts would be viewed with suspicion or grief. Since putting out the statement, with a clearer understanding of the coordinated attack orchestrated by Recovering Grace and expressed in the lawsuit . . . I know he feels he should not have even put that out. Inasmuch as “creepy” is in the eye of the beholder . . . That will not be something he will ever admit to.
I’m not sure how one measures “creep factor”. It’s a rather vague and arbitrary term or even standard. If one doesn’t see that someone trying to repeatedly date girls that are nearly 20 years their junior as “creepy” as opposed to people of the same/similar age then God help us. Someone that made their name in politics as standing for the 10 commandments ought to have their own life reflect the 10 commandments, especially when it comes to “adultery” line. It’s one thing to say or admit that they have not always lived the 10 commandments in the past but can point to their own moral failures as saying, “yes, I’ve failed and suffered consequences from not following the 10 commandments”, it’s another the circle the wagons and defend someone as “righteous” when they haven’t been. Yes, there was a coordinated effort here with the women who all worked for the democratic party and were trying to falsify year books, but they had an achilles heal to work with. Secret sins, especially in the moral department always come back to haunt. See Mark 4:22, Luke 8:17, Luke 12:1-3 and Matthew 10:26.
I AM a tad baffled at the fault you would find. Dating . . . Is not adultery. It is likely – at least that is what some tradition holds, consistent with the norms of the time – that Mary was around 12-14 when she bore Jesus . . . And married a much older Joseph. That was not abuse, it was not creepy. Let’s not substitute our personal scruples for Scripture, God’s word.
The Bible doesn’t mention the age of St. Joseph. The Orthodox favor the idea that he was older man, possibly a widower that had children (the brothers of Jesus). Catholic view is that St. Joseph was younger maybe closer to Mary’s age of 14-15 years. It’s not definitive but both views have some basis in early Christian history. Early Christian art have generally portrayed Joseph as older and he obviously passed away between Jesus in the Temple at age 12 and the start of His ministry which would lend support to an older age for Joseph. Either way and in comparison to Judge Moore, St. Joseph didn’t serial “date” or bounce around younger women in order to take advantage of them. Likewise and considering the idea that Mary was a perpetual virgin, even after being married to Joseph (which was also taught by Martin Luther, Calvin and Wesley), an older Joseph might make better sense in this unusual marriage and he was more of a protecter and father like figure.
Right, there would not be a tight commonality. It remains that the notion that older man interested in a very young girl is not unscriptural, it is not immoral per se, regardless of our current sensibilities.
Alfred, for someone who adheres to the Word of God literally (I do too) you have corrected people’s comments with the statement what the Bible addresses or is silent on the issue. To even try to approximate Mary’s age, when the Bible never addresses it, would be a major departure from the Bible’s silence. Mary could have been much older and maybe God was honoring her for her righteousness and virginity (Even with His Omniscience) We have no idea of her age.
In other ancient cultures where the life expectancy was much lower it was generally due to living conditions such as of disease or conflict and younger marriage was the norm (i.e. middle age serfs). The Jewish culture which was considered a very hygienic culture where bathing, food preparation and isolation of those diseased were cultural norms. In Psalm 90:10, about 1000 BC, David address normal life span as 70 years and sometimes 80. In Genesis 6:3 God address the max lifespan as 120. In David’s time again Barzilla was 80 in 2 Samuel 19:34-35. In Jesus’s time John live to be over 90, most of the other disciples or apostles were not younger men when they were martyred.
My point is that there would have been no reason to rush Mary into a marriage at 12 other than maybe a dowry, but when she was betrothed has nothing to do with when she gave birth, which could have been years later. You have raised girls, emotional 12-14 is not an ideal age for marriage let alone motherhood. This issue in not a matter of doctrine and the Bible is silent on the topic and thus we should be too. If the Bible addressed the age she gave birth than all of Christianity would make that the norm and if someone didn’t have a child by than it would be God’s judgement. I believe it would be better to think that Mary was a mature God fearing woman of some child bearing age that God honored. She was a virgin, obviously righteous but not sinless, only Christ was sinless, 1 john 1:8, 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Cor. 5:21. Only my humble opinion on what there is no reason to have an opinion on. The doctrine out of this story would be to always seek God’s favor in righteous living but those of us that fail we are still covered by 1 John 1:9 :).
Good to hear from you, Larne. It remains . . . that Scripture would in no way condemn an older man interested in, even marrying a young “girl”, by our standards. I wanted to make that point clearly. In some cases the gap was enormous . . . Scripture does not appear to even care. I am momentarily thinking of Abishag the Shunnamite, a “virgin”, very young in comparison to the aged David. He never had sex with her . . . but she lay in bed with him, in his arms, like a teddy bear, to keep him warm. Not shocking, not a problem. They were not married, first because it never says so, and since Adonijah, David’s son, sought to lay claim to the throne by asking for her hand in marriage after his father’s death – marrying the “wife of your father” was specifically banned in the law (Leviticus 18:8). Whether for practical reasons or any number of other reasons, much older men taking up with much younger women for the purpose of marriage . . . was no big deal. And in this case, overtly not for the purpose of marriage. Had Judge Moore done what David did – imagine the nursing home scene – the screaming would not stop until he was, well, dead. Yet . . . not a sin for David.
“Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms, that my lord the king may be warm.” So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.” (1 Kings 1:1-4)
Re: creepiness in eye of beholder.
Many years ago, I brought home my Sicilian bride-to-be for a visit to my stepfather. When she hopped on his lap and gave him a kiss, it was too much for a crabby, reserved old southerner. It was creepy to him, but I thought it was pretty funny. I still do.
There are bad boy behaviors and there are bad girl behaviors. Jumping into someone’s lap when they didn’t want it in order give them a flirtatious kiss on first meeting is bad girl behaviors. Considering that you thought and still think it “funny” supports the idea that bad girl behaviors are usually at the encouragement of bad boy ideas.
So I am tracking . . . is this a reference back to secretary Ruth and Bill . . . or something else? There is no record, testimony, evidence, witness of any kisses ever being shared between Bill and ANY woman . . . his entire life. She did sit on his lap . . . and he told at least two people – one of them Gary Smalley – that he considered their relationship “3rd Level”, which in his notes is “Dating” or “Courtship”. So . . . no bad girl or boy, so far at least. If I missed the focus of the statement, straighten me out. With these long gaps between postings . . . I lose track of the thread.
Happy New Year to you and yours.
I am absolutely not referring to or thinking about Ruth or anyone else that may have “sat” in Bill’s lap. I am responding to David’s comments about his then future wife that jumped into her future step-father-in-law’s lap and gave him a kiss to the amusement of her then boyfriend. Totally different situations. Secretaries sitting in their employer’s laps is considered sexual harassment in the work place. The other is out of control flirting in order to either amuse the boyfriend or upset the old crappy southern gentleman (per David’s description).
Apologies. Again, get lost on where a thread has been.
Easy does it, sister.
You may insult me as you please. My sense of humor has defects. But if you begin insulting Mrs. K, I might challenge you to a duel.
Your honorable brother,
Right. Let’s take the edge off. Appreciate you both taking the time to engage.
We are wandering around, brother. We were on the general topic of honorable conduct toward women. Rob mentioned the Roy Moore thing (which fits). Then I compared my playful spouse to the topic, then referenced the old log cabin story.
It all fits the lawsuit topic of honorable conduct toward women.
Moving right along,
Understood. I saw some connections.
I agree with you, brother Alfred. Probably only Roy Moore knows all the moral facts about Roy Moore. If tradition is correct about the huge age gap between Mary and Joseph, the gap was at least as wide as any Moore gap or even Gothard gap.
Well, in trying to relate back to Bill Gothard in our discussion, one should not take the social family situations described and then turn around and use them as “biblical”. Trying to justify and older man trying to date much younger women because there are a number of those situations in the Bible (Issac/Rebecca, the Shumanite woman etc.). Bill used different family situations in his teachings about family relations, particularly in dating/courtship/marriage. The Bible also describes slavery, concubines, polygamy, endogamy as well and I generally think Bill (or hope so) is not for any of these situations. This article from Baptist News Global sums up very well how comparing Judge Moore to St. Joseph (or anyone else in scripture where there was an age difference between them)https://baptistnews.com/article/jesus-mary-joseph-american-christianitys-shattered-witness/#.WlUrhiOZMmI
Well . . . I do respect your opinions, Rob. I have a lot to learn about the way others see things. I am making a huge difference between “distasteful” – in the sense of “manners” – and “sin”. There is a chasm of difference. So it is vital – to me – that there is nothing sinful about a number of things that our modern conservative American culture may find distasteful. If you disagree with any of the below, please point out how, Scripturally, it is a sin . . . Or isn’t. For this purpose I am taking the OT stance as final, unless countered in the NT:
Older men interested in, marrying very young women – Not a sin. Joseph & Mary, David & Abishag, and other examples.
Polygamy – Not a sin. Abraham, David, Solomon, many examples. It is considered in the NT a point to disqualify a man from Christian leadership, but not a matter for discipline.
Slavery – Not a sin . . . Per se. Key example: the book of Philemon, where a slave Onesimus, runs away from a respected Christian leader, Philemon, meets Paul in jail, gets saved, and goes back to his master. To be clear, KIDNAP, making someone a slave by capturing them, is, with the exception of peoples conquered by God’s direction and slated for death, punishable by death. Serious consequence which would have pretty much stopped the American slave trade (Exodus 21:16). So . . . If you could not pay your bills, yes, you were “sold” to be a slave. It was for a certain number of years – no more than 7 – and could become permanent if the slave chose. Completely different from the crime that was practiced in our nation and many others.
Endogamy – I had to look that one up. That is marrying within your own clan or tribe? I am mystified as to the concern there. Jews married non-Jews . . . Again, David married the daughter of one of the neighboring nations, from which union both Absalom and Tamar were born. Generally speaking . . . That was not a good idea . . . But . . . Not a sin.
Endogamy would be exampled by Abraham and Sarah, Issac and Rebecca, Jacob with Rachel and Leah where close family members were marrying one another. So it’s not just within the tribe but within close family members, something that was actually prohibited later in Mosaic law. Jesus in His comments on marriage and divorce set the final framework that marriage was for life and between one man and one woman which is something I do think you agree with. So for at least 1500 years of Christianity, that was the standard, teaching and practice. The English Reformation began the acceptance of divorce with Henry VIII and while not too well known, Martin Luther gave permission to a Duke buddy to be polygamous, knowing that wasn’t going to be accepted by others. I don’t really believe that you find Polygamy and slavery acceptable. While you pointed St. Paul’s letter to Philemon, at least the Bible commentators I read, point out that this wasn’t to justify of slavery, put the start of the dismantling of slavery because St. Paul told Philemon to accept his run-away slave as a brother and equal in the Lord. It was this equality that was the beginning of the end of Roman slavery because now we are all equal in the Lord and Christian and medieval Europe was the only world civilization that did not have slavery at it’s basis and core and that is due to the Christian view that all men are equal before God. I would very much disagree with your conclusions that all these things are not sin but took some time, thought and prayer in trying to respond respectfully and intelligently in my disagreement.
Hey, when people post on here . . . the spam goes way down 🙂 So . . . I thank you. Seriously . . . instead of 150 Viagra emails I just had to kill . . . 6? I am amazed.
Yes, certain near “kinsman” were prohibited to marry in the law . . . long after that was practiced by necessity and with God’s blessing.
Where did Jesus prohibit polygamy? I think I know a lot of Bible – it wouldn’t be the first time I was surprised.
Divorce is prohibited by the NT in no uncertain terms. Luke 16:18 is about as clear as they come.
Slaves were addressed in the NT from beginning to end without any insinuation that the practice needed to end. Human dignity would certainly move in that direction, which is non-trivial – but I want to treat this like a very clear, even legal, issue. What the Bible says, and commands . . . and does not. There is one reference that says this:
“Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)” (1 Cor. 7:21) “Bondservant” is a fancy word for “slave”. So . . . don’t worry if you are a slave, be happy . . . but if you CAN get legally free, do it.
And as to what I consider acceptable . . . that is a part of the discussion that we need to not have. The question is: What does the Bible say? That is all I concern myself with. Our sensibilities are notoriously messed up.
Your reasoning here and use of scripture is amazing and that’s being charitable. Read Philemon 16 and even 21.
Vs 16 “no longer as a salve but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you as a man and in the Lord” and vs 21: With truth in your compliance I write to you, known that you will do even more than I say”. Your point blank “Well slavery was not condemned or called a sin” flies in the face of people like William Wilberforce that fought tirelessly against slavery in England and John Newton who wrote “Amazing Grace” in response to his conversion from being a slave ship owner and trader. If slavery is not a “sins”, then what did Newton repent of and why did he work with Wilberforce to fight against slavery? You also fly in the face of the Museum of the Bible which has as one of their features how “Christians” misused the Bible to justify slavery and how many in the abolitionist movement used the Bible to fight against slavery. I think both Wilberforce and Newton were featured in the ATI hall of Christian fame. If slavery according to you is not a sin, then what were these men and those of the abolitionist movement fighting against. You cannot use St. Paul’s references where he called himself a “slave” or “bond servant” as Bible proof that slavery is ok. St. Paul in using those terms was talking about his obedience to God and God’s will. That is not a support of slavery. Mosaic law put pretty strict parameters around slavery and reduced it to a bond servant method of paying back debts. The NT recommendations of how Christian slaves were to behave does not in any way justify slavery, but to encourage those slaves to behave in a way to be the silent witness by their behaviors. St Paul and St. Peter were dealing with the realities of the Roman and Greek society in which most people were slaves.
Your point blank reasoning to support your position is leading you to conclusions that are not there in the Bible. Do you realize that calling abortion murder is not found in the Bible as a point blank statement? Some people in support of abortion do point that out. Likewise true with artificial birth control of which you are against. Likewise true with the word trinity and trinitarian view of God. Not explicitly pointed out at all, yet all of the above are inferred through-out the Bible. Jesus just didn’t condemn divorce but He called remarriage after divorce adultery. And you want to say polygamy is not a sin? Yet all the polygamous families of the OT were dysfunctional bastions of fighting, jealousy and immorality. And you want to say polygamy is nor wrong? For someone that claims they go by the Bible, you really want to say these plagues on the family are not sin? Do you realize that atheists also use the “point blank” method with the Bible? They misquote and take out of context verses to show the God is a nutty bully and here is why so then God cannot really exist.
I leave you with this quote about the seventh commandment (thou shall not steal) and how it applies to slavery:
” The seventh commandment forbids act or enterprises that for any reason – selfish or ideological, commercial, or totalitarian – lead to the ENSLAVEMENT OF HUMAN BEINGS, to their being bought, sold and exchanged like merchandise, in disregard for their personal dignity. It is a sin against the dignity of personas and their fundamental rights to recur them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit. St Paul directed a Christian mast to read his Christian slave “no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother,…both in the flesh and in the Lord” CCC 2297
Your reasoning that
Point taken on Philemon, that he was looking for a status far more than just a “slave”. Yet . . . Colossians 4:1 “Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven”. That word is slave, there. I THINK that kind of makes my point, yes?
Abortion was not treated as murder in the Bible, you are right. The Jews have made that point, especially the liberal ones. It was, however, a crime, punishable by a large fine. Still sin. So . . . I, myself, do not refer to it in that way. Instead I point out that what is going on in the womb is God’s business, His “weaving”, handiwork . . . His life . . . and needs to be treated that way. Meaning . . . you would need a Scriptural basis to do that, and you can’t find it. God condemns it.
Artificial Birth Control is NOT a sin. Unlike abortion it is not referred to at all. It is just considered stupid, like cutting off your nose is stupid, though legal. Proof is that Daniel went to the mat to avoid eating or drinking idol-sacrificed food, prepared to die if necessary . . . but pitched no fit when they castrated him, read “artificial birth control” or sterilization.
Trinity, word is not used. Hard to miss, though: “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (Spirit) and coming to rest on him (Son); and behold, a voice form the heaven said, “This is my (Father) beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
Jesus DID condemn divorce: “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, LET NOT MAN PUT ASUNDER.” (Matt. 19:5-6)
Prove, from the Bible, that polygamy is sin. Let’s settle this! 🙂 Not just a bad idea, which you do get from all the trouble that ensued . . . but a sin. We are back to my standard – treat the Bible like a law book, and prove it is a sin.
I already stated that “enslavement”, as in kidnap, WAS condemned and punishable by death. People became slaves legally under the law in one of two ways:
1) Someone, unable to pay his debts, was “sold” into slavery for up to seven years(year of Jubilee). If he was unmarried when he entered, and he accepted a wife from his master during that time, then his ear was pierced with an awl and he and his wife became permanent slaves to their master. BUT . . . he had to state publically, “I LOVE my master – I do NOT want to go free” before that act could be completed. (Exodus 21:5)
2) When a people was slated for death in war, they COULD take some of those as permanent slaves. Better a slave than dead, I suppose. That was done with the entire city-nation of Gibeah, for example. (Joshua 9:21)
I think your post got chopped. I await more.
No, I don’t have more to add, I was interrupted in writing and forgot I started a line, and restarted my train of thought and didn’t catch that I still had that line in their half started. Couldn’t edit it out. Sorry 🙂
Yes, that was an interesting article you linked, Rob. But I thought the author’s case against Moore was pretty lame. I could feel the sneer every time he used the term, “alleged.” Like the Gothard enemies, he seemed to take it for granted that every allegation was presumed true. The Moore election came and went. So far as I know, no evidence turned up that Moore’s accusers were telling the truth. If the accusations were nothing more than a smear for political effect, they certainly worked. No Senator Moore will be seated in 2018. Who nows whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing? Not I.
I think the author’s point or concern was that the possible age difference between Mary and Joseph was being used to give justification for a grown man to “date” much younger women. The tone was that the author was indignant that the possible age difference between Mary and Joseph was being used to try and give credibility to a political candidate. I obviously agree with the author’s view point and even emotions expressed. While the age difference is a concern, what a number of these women have come out with about dates that had with him doesn’t paint a pretty picture of someone that has made as a cornerstone of their political career traditional family values and the ten commandments. Again, it isn’t clear what the ages of Mary and Joseph were but I am pretty sure St. Joseph didn’t pick up Mary from her work, driver her around the corner of the employment, lock the doors and try to force her into oral sex or grab at her chest. And to drag or use Mary and Joseph to justify Moore’s dating habits should made anyone upset.
Accusations presented as though they had been proven . . . and of course, they have not. That continues to be a problem, that a heartfelt tale from decades ago becomes accepted truth with no validation. Judge Moore has denied the accusations and has lived an exemplary life in between that would surely lend some credibility to his words. That continues to be, in the mind of many, a crime.
Point to the above discussion. If you cannot bring yourself to say that abortion is murder and a great evil, then I don’t know what to say to you. Whether or not there is a direct “verse in the Bible” calling it as such, there are obviously plenty of verses that consider the forming baby a new life. Just read Psalm 139 for starters. Consider this thought, the first person to recognize Jesus (in Mary’s womb) was another unborn baby, John the Baptist. Ponder that for a while. Elizabeth responded to John the Baptist in the womb “leaping”. To not to bring yourself to call abortion murder is beyond my comprehension.
Well . . . your truth (Oprah says we speak “our truth”) condemns abortion as murder but, for the record, the Bible makes no such comparison. Please consider the ONLY Bible passage that has any bearing here:
It is surely a “great evil”, of that there can be no doubt. Psalm 139 is my goto section for all such things. With that, I, for example, can prove that NO baby is ever accidental or throwaway. No matter what hideous circumstances may have been involved, the baby is woven together by God for a special purpose. And, because of that, is a precious creation of His very fingers. How dare we reach in there and destroy – kill – that child.
But “murder” is punishable by death, and this is punishable by a fine, as the aggrieved husband would levy. From a legal perspective it cannot be said that the Bible equivocates abortion with murder.
It’s not my “truth”, it’s the truth that has been taught for 2000 years until recently. I Timothy 3:15 says “… the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth”. St. Paul didn’t say the Bible, he said “the Church”. You have learned very well from Bill Gothard that picked and chose OT Mosaic laws to follow as if he is some kind of authority which he is not. That is what you are doing here with some of your conclusions, using hit or miss OT Mosaic laws out of context and out of line with the rest of scripture. Mosaic OT pointed to Christ who is the fulfillment of Mosaic law as He stated in the Sermon on the Mount. The OT should be read and understood in the light of the NT. The NT is hidden in the OT and the OT is revealed in the NT. Bill Gothard did not do this and you are following in his foot steps very well. The problem with someone like Bill Gothard is that he claims that he is following the Bible, but he uses and interprets the Bible with a particular framework. To be honest about this, that interpretation framework should be acknowledged, but it is not.
Well, my reasoning is presented, so you can challenge it as you wish. Same is true for Bill, and if any of his conclusions are felt suspect, we are here to examine that and go back to him for clarification as needed. For your part, I think you just said that because a particular church condemns abortion as murder, that makes it so without regard to what the bible says. And, yes, you know I do not hold to that foundation, although I do condemn abortion as vile and evil based on what is expressed in the Bible. The church is built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles – expressed in the Bible – with Jesus the chief cornerstone.
One more thing, the Mosaic law you referred back to was concerning the situation where a pregnant woman was hurt in a fight to the point of a miscarriage. It was not addressing direct abortion that kills the developing child. The miscarriage was a result and external fight where the woman ended up being assaulted as well. If the assault resulted in a miscarriage (and it must have been quite the fight) then there was a fine for the loss of life. This does not mean that the pre-born child was less than valuable than the born child. There was a penalty in causing indirectly a miscarriage. This law is not addressing a direct abortion with the purpose of killing the child. You have just joined the liberal Protestant camp which uses this as you have done in saying the the pre-born life is less than human and not as important. You can’t have it both ways, you are calling abortion evil (we agree with that) then turn around and say “well the Bible doesn’t directly call abortion murder and sin”. But certainly in many places, the pre-born child is being described as being “knitted together by God”. John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth recognizes Jesus in the womb of Mary. If something is evil, then it is a sin by obvious deduction and the sin is called murder because it is the deliberate taking of a human life as covered in the 10 commandments. This whole go around on this subject of how does one interpret the Bible or use it. Mosaic law in addressing and giving out penalties for even causing a miscarriage lends support to the idea the human life even in the womb is important and valuable.
I appreciate your passion and I am bothered to be opposing you. But . . . as stated, I just have to stick with what the Bible SAYS. IF the fight kills the woman, what is the punishment? Death. Why? Because killing a woman is murder. If the fight kills the baby, what is the punishment? Fine. Why? Because killing the baby in the womb is not murder. I can’t see how we can come to any other conclusion – you know how bad the crime is by the punishment God prescribes. I need you to address this.
And there are many “great evils” that are not murder. Things that are met with imprisonment, or even chopping off of limbs. God is so precise with His judgements. “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” (Psalm 19:9)
Thanks for drawing our attention to 1 Timothy 3:15. I admit I had to look it up. I checked my NKJV and my Living Bible. I don’t see any conflict among Christians (BG or you or Alfred or me) about the relation of God’s Church to God’s Truth. Your translation said “pillar and foundation,” NKJV says “pillar and ground,” TLB says that the Church “contains and holds high the truth of God.” The idea I get is that we Christians are stewards of God’s truth, so we must be rock-stable, reliable stewards. That is a solemn charge for us all.
Please be fair to brother Alfred. He never denied how heinous abortion is (and what could be more obvious?). He was denying that our Bible text attaches the “murder” label to that sin. That sounds too lawyerly, but you won’t find any less outrage about abortion on DG than anywhere else, I think.
The verse does not call us stewards of truth, it calls the Church the foundation of truth. Here is a link for your reading
I’m not surprised you didn’t “know” this verse or gave much thought to it.
I used to bristle at the place in Mere Christianity where Lewis spoke of moral improvement. Thought I, “if my moral judgement conforms to what’s right, the right must be absolute. So if a thing is right, how can it become more right?”
Then I thought of those beautiful word in the hymn, Like a River Glorious. It presents a paradox. (Rob, we Chesterton fans don’t mind paradox, do we?)
Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace
Over all victorious, in its bright increase
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way
God’s peace can be perfect and yet improve. So if our Bible is silent on abortion (in modern practice), hopefully our charity can increase enough to see the sin despite the silence of the text.
I am not following your reasoning here or what either Lewis or even Chesterton have to do with the current line of conversation. I think it would be better to see the whole quote from Lewis and what he was talking about than a quick snap shot reference, most likely taken out of context. If Lewis was talking about “moral improvement”, then I would suspect that he would view and I would agree with is the idea that salvation, justification and sanctification is a life long process, not a one time declaration. This is more fitting with his more orthodox Anglican views as well as those found in Arminian theology (and the Methodist Church) and even in the Catholic Church. If you are holding the view that you are righteous by declaration and that is it and need nor more “moral improvement”, then you are more in line with classic Reformed thinking. But if “moral improvement” made you “bristle”, was that bristling more an inner conviction that you needed “moral improvement” yourself? At least Bill Gothard’s ideas were PBPWMGINFWMY on his pins he use to pass out at the end of his seminars.
I wonder if you did not err when you categorically denied that contraception is sin. Consider the warning in Romans that whatever is not of faith is sin. Consider the context. The Romans text was about satisfying our natural appetite for food. Without stretching too much, we can ask whether the same principle doesn’t apply to contraception. If we sin when we isolate food from faith, might we not also sin when we isolate sex from faith? The faith content of contraception is usually, “God, I hope this works! A pregnancy would be a real disaster in this situation!” Hardly the faith we read about in Romans.
Food for the moral appetite,
I appreciate your point, and . . . you will not find too many more ardently opposed to contraception than I. But . . . I fail to see that the only “faith” reason for sex is children. That is not taught in Scripture. 1 Cor. 7:3 calls it “conjugal rights” in the ESV, “due benevolence” in the KJV. That clearly has nothing to do with kids. In fact, my point is made more clearly if one more or less forgets the natural consequences of that act, and sticks with “it’s what married people are supposed to do.” I found it interesting that respected Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee called that “a holy sacrament”. THAT is all of faith. If and when the kids come, well, we accept them in faith as well. That is how I see it.
So . . . I know there are those that accept contraception in faith. Even Daniel, previously mentioned, believed God had a higher purpose for him in childlessness, and accepted it. I recall friends of friends getting sterilized just before entering the mission field, feeling they needed to be unencumbered in the work of the Lord. I cringed, since I am hard pressed to find any “work of the Lord” more important than having and raising children for Him. Indeed, 1 Cor. 7 also states that if that is your goal, DON’T GET MARRIED. But . . . I did not doubt their faith, and in the spirit of Romans 14:4 . . . to their master they stand or fall . . . and they will stand, because their Lord will hold them up.
Daniel and his 3 other companions were made eunuchs. It was the practice back then that they took captured young men, made them eunuchs and educated them for the service of the king to be “representatives” back to their own people. Daniel does not record that he and his companions had wives and children, they couldn’t because they were sterilized (castrated). Eunuchs also served in the king’s harems for the obvious reasons. This was also the practice for opera where high singing voices were supplied by castrated males. Fortunately this sick practice ended in the 1800s.
And God could have ended that practice any time. And here is Jesus, referring to it like it is normal, almost equivocating it to those that refuse marriage to pursue His kingdom:
The point remains that Daniel “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank” (Daniel 1:8) We read of no such “foot going down” when the eunuch process was about to be performed.
Again, it quails me to be on this side of this conversation 🙂 I hate abortion and I hate contraception. But I have no choice – I must follow Scripture, at least when it comes to fundamental matters.
Yes, some people do make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God. What do you think celibacy with priests, and religious is all about? That is different than a forced type of sterilization on captured young men during ancient times. Daniel and the other 3 did not want to “defile” themselves over what they were being feed which could have meant anything from banned meats like pork, to the non-draining of blood from meat or animals that were strangled instead of having their throats slit and the blood drained out. They proposed a vegetarian diet so it is probably safe to assume that it had to do with the meats they were going to be feed. This has nothing to do with sex since they probably were castrated in order to serve the king.
That IS the point . . . “Eunchizing” a person is to castrate them. Daniel purposed in his heart that the commanded food was not to be eaten . . . but the commanded sterilization? Did not rise to the level of sin for him. IF I felt as some do today that cutting off children is a sin against God, I would put my foot down in the same way, as in, “You will have to kill me before I let you do that.” Kind of like the “mark of the beast” in Revelation . . . if it is a sin, you don’t let it be done. This evidence tells me that sterilization does not rise to the level of sin, however ill advised it may be.
When one is captured in a war, they don’t have a choice. You are assuming that Daniel and his companions had a choice to refuse to be sterilized (in more polite terms). Since this was a common practice in the ancient world for advisors to the king (look at Acts with the eunuch and Phillip) to be “sterilized”, I would assume not and they might have seen the advantage that they would be in a position to help their own Jewish people which they did. This is similar to Ester who was basically forced to be part of the king’s harem. That doesn’t support sterilization or harems but how God did use is own in terrible situations to protect His own children which is what we should take away from both Daniel and Ester’s situations.
Daniel had no more or less choice with the sterilization as he did with the food that was put before him. This was a sort of elite “college” if you will for the brightest and the best, not a slave camp. Only the best were made eunuchs . . . so they would not be encumbered with anything but making the King successful in his service. Same for Esther . . . she could have run and hid, risk her life to escape had this been a sin. If she had – if he had – it would have been part of the narrative.
I just can’t not comment on this! You are arguing a point that the Bible does not address, we have no idea if Daniel or his friends were castrated and made eunuchs. That might have been the practice of the day but we just don’t know! But your other arguments keep saying that you have to go back to what the Bible says, I can’t agree more, but its silent on this issue. He might have been working with the chief eunuch but that doesn’t make him a eunuch. The thought of being a eunuch tightens every muscle in every males body and equally can embellish or change the story to say more then it does. Its the same as my Mary’s age discussion a while ago. The Bible is silent on many things but you can’t pick and chose the stories you want to embellish and suit your particular doctrinal slant. The Bible doesn’t address working a computer or flying a plane but can we? A computer has “mystical unseen” properties whose inner workings confound the masses and flying is what angels do, so is it wrong that deal in those unseen properties or fly with the angels? Obviously that’s a ridiculous comparison but I believe makes a point.
The first rule in Theology is to interpret the scripture in the way it was written, if its clear that what it means. In Daniel it seems pretty clear that the part about Daniel himself does not address the issue (other parts of Daniel have been argued for millennium). In comparison to the woman and dragon in Revelations 12:1-6, that was recently in the news, that might be a little more of a head scratcher because we have never seen examples of all the imagery the passage illustrates.
Personally, I would rather believe that Daniel and his friends were not eunuchs but were such Godly men that they were able to overcome the powerful temptations of living in such an evil place. That the God I want to follow and the man I want to become! But you are free to chose your own version of the story and what it means to you.
Well, We read over and over in chapter 1 that Daniel and his friends were under the care of the “Prince of the Eunuchs”, the fellow whose job it was to manage the ones who were eunuchs. I see little opposition to that. And Josephus was unequivocal on the fact that that means castration. There is a scholarly article examining this very matter at http://www.academia.edu/10302152/Josephus_and_Castration_in_Daniel that tries to make your point, actually, that “eunuch” could have been uncastrated . . . But on the way they make it clear that there was no doubt for Josephus on this matter as he discusses Daniel:
It’s a word that just can’t mean anything else. The scholarly article seeks to explain why he shouldn’t have picked that word 🙂 But it remains that he did, suggesting that that was a common understanding among the Jews of his day.
This understanding is confirmed in this Josephus quote from “Antiquities”, referring to an interchange between Isaiah and Hezekiah (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/josephus/ant-10.html):
Again, there is no ambiguity.
So, you can see there is good backing for the notion that it was done to him as Jesus said . . . He was “made eunuch of men”. The way the Savior referred to it . . . It was quite common. And . . . It was.
You are missing the point of my post, “the Bible does not address whether Daniel was a eunuch!” Josephus wrote some 5-6 hundred years after Daniel died, oral tradition is not noted for its accuracy unless it is “inspired by God” in the cannon of Scripture. If you look at how Jewish law evolved from the time of when it was given to Moses to Jesus’s time it took on a completely different character that even Jesus fought against. Man has a propensity to change stories and rules to fit their evolving agendas.
Lastly you state:
(“So, you can see there is good backing for the notion that it was done to him as Jesus said…He was “made eunuch of men”. The way the Savior referred to it . . . It was quite common. And . . . It was.” )
You are quoting from Matthew 19:12 where Jesus in response to Pharisees testing him about divorce and in answering His disciples question about marriage and singleness answers with the quote above, which has nothing to due with Daniel. Again, the Bible is silent on the point! Period end of discussion.
Can you agree with that statement without trying to obfuscate my point. You see Alfred this is the issue with Bill’s teaching he obfuscates true doctrine to support his agenda. He like the Pharisees makes the law the salvation of man, (if you live by these seven universal principles you will…) instead of the Grace of God and His unmerited favor. You see Alfred the Gospel is what Christ did for us, that we do not deserve, thus His unmerited favor!! Where Bill get this wrong is that his definition wrong, “The desire and power to do what God wants me to do”. His definition is correctly the outflowing of the Holy Spirit’s work in us after we accept God’s gift of Salvation. His definition has to do with the continuing striving work of sanctification not grace.
Daniel’s story is about a man faithful to God and God alone, to the point of being willing to lose his life. He is a man God rewards that faithfulness with honors, to include prophetic dreams and visions that takes us all the way to end times eschatology. It brings together and ties a neat little ribbon around the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeramiah, Joel, Zachariah, John and the teaching of Jesus Himself. That’s the story of Daniel we should be concerned about, being men and women of God and seeing the unifying theme of God’s story from Genesis to Revelations. It has nothing to due with whether Daniel was a eunuch, if it did the Bible would have said so!
You know, I am going to disagree :-). I poked a little further . . . What Josephus was quoting was Scripture:
2 Kings 20:18. “And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
The word “eunuch” here is (from Strongs):
Now, we can argue that that doesn’t name Daniel . . . But . . . You will have to admit that it sure seems like it is referring to Daniel and “the three Hebrew children”.
I mean . . . What proof do you have that Jesus is “God”? You and I believe it, but you will find that the Savior went out of His way to obscure that, so that it would be left to the children to see, missed by the smart people. Scripture has many treasures to be dug out, and I think I found one here. This gives me proof that, as unwise as it is, contraception does not rise to the level of “sin” in Scripture.
Again, does the Bible say Daniel was a eunuch? Does 2 Kings 20:18 say Daniel was a eunuch, he could have been, maybe, but does it say definitely? NO. Again, we have no concrete “proof” that 2 Kings is specifically talking about Daniel or Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. You are free to be believe that, but is that truly relevant to the message of Daniel? I don’t think so! Daniel has a huge eschatology message and example of faithful worship/service to God and His protection and reward to Daniel that is applicable to us today.
I am not addressing contraception with this discussion, because …….! Not to mention there is always the story of Onan and Tamar and its consequences. We could talk about the word abortion, which is not in the Bible but then there was child sacrifices to Baal, that were rebuked and punished by God. I have read scholars that have “thought” these sacrifices could have been a way of dealing with handicapped children. (The Israelites were often rebuked for bring imperfect animal sacrificial offering to the temple.)
My point is a dogmatism I continually read in your post and what I see as your unwillingness to admit you are wrong and a rather condescending attitude you have to other contributors. Regarding your statement of the “proof that Jesus is “God”” and his obscuring that. I could argue against that from Jesus’s words in Matthew 22:44 in reference to Psalm 110:1, (“The Lord says” Notice the word “Lord” is in all caps, therefore, it refers to the covenant name for God, YHWH, which is a form of the Hebrew verb, “to be”. It is the Covenant God who speaks. “to my Lord” The second term for Lord has only a capital “L” and, therefore, reflects the Hebrew Adonai (“my Lord”). The Hebrew noun (BDB 101) means “owner,” “husband,” “lord,” “master.” It is obvious that this is a reference to the Messiah (bible.org))
We could go to John 10:31-39 when the crowd was going to stone Him, or John 14:10 say He is in the Father and the Father in Him, or Matthew 16:15-16 when He ask Peter ‘Who do you say I am”. There were plenty of smart people that saw who Jesus was and believed, it was the religious elite that mostly rejected Him (a few got it). Their rejection lead to His prophesized crucifixion. But Jesus came the first time to redeem us, His messages were of repentance, love and caring which He accomplished through His example. The next time He comes will be with a sword to rule and reign. He was the suffering Messiah two thousand years ago and while He is the King of Kings that was not His mission then.
But in conclusion, not everything is completely understood in scripture or been revealed to us (example, Daniel 12:4). Historically as “scholars, preachers and teachers” majored in the minors to set themselves apart as the authority it has led to divisions in the Church and been a work of Satan.
Well, we are going to have to see that one – Daniel – differently.
And you do not have to convince me Jesus is God. But you know that there is a mental loophole for every point you made. Those who live by their mind, will die – forever – by the same. These things are spiritually discerned.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth*; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither* can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. ” (1 Cor. 2:12-16)
No, of course the faith content of sex would not be hoping for conception. But I was (gently) mocking the idea of contraception being “of faith.” It would be a rare man who would claim that his contraception was inspired by faith! But perhaps your missionary example fit that category?
And I miss hearing Dr. McGee as I did thirty years ago. RIP! But I never heard him speak of the sex sacrament. Oh well, I guess you can’t hear everything you would.
Back in the day that was . . . Bold. :-). I appreciated him so much.
I sure hope nobody minds if I keep singing baritone. Skip the scalpel.
Daniel, his 3 friends and even Ester were captured people. Now while they were chosen to be a part of this elite type of school in service to a king, they were still captured enslaved people. For all you know, they could have been held down and forced to be sterilized, I highly doubt it would have been voluntary at all. They were also forced to change their names. But the one thing they found that they could control was what they ate and came up with a solution to get out of eating the wrong kinds of meats. This also holds true for Ester. You seem to have views, probably coming from Bill, that people, especially in ancient times had a lot of choices when they were an enslaved or subjected people. You mentioned missionaries couples you have known that felt “called” to go to difficult missionary situations and they went ahead and “sterilized” themselves. If they are using Jesus words about being “eunuchs” for God, Jesus did not mean a literal sterilization but people that have decided not to marry for the sake of the kingdom. One thing about Bill, I remember him being very much against any sort of sterilization for any reason whatsoever. I remember him speaking about that at the Basics way back then. If your ideas here are coming from confused idiots that think sterilization is not wrong because of Daniel or the twisting of Jesus own words then I would think you yourself would be on the wrong side of what even Bill taught himself. Which by the way is probably closer to what the Catholic Church teaches on this than anything else Bill taught.
I guess I would ask: Taking the worst case as you have painted it, if you were in a situation where the government was forcing you to be sterilized, with policemen in tow, no recourse legally . . . What would you do? Is that a crime that rises to the level of, say, “taking the mark of the beast” in a coming day, or, say, forcing you to kills Jews to purge that ethnic group … or is it just a grief? In the case of a “NEVER”, one would resist to death . . . Would you do that for the sterilization?
Hebrews 12:4. “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”
Bill has not spoken on the topics of abortion or contraception, not at least to declaring the former murder or the latter a sin. He is opposed to both, make no mistake. So any opinions ventured further on this topic to slice things a bit thinner are those of yours truly.
You’re right about that, Rob. Some of the harshest criticism leveled against BG accused him of being too much like those dastardly Catholics. When he published a book against divorce (the Rebuilder’s Guide), it was “too Catholic.” Or maybe the words were “a romish view of divorce.”
What happened to the Joseph principle?
You meant it for evil but God meant it for good!
Appear that baskets of good are going to pour down from Heaven for the accused who are so profoundly innocent…sounds like a win win
One of the problems of moderating this blog is the inability to see exactly what comment precedes the one under consideration. Assuming you are referring to the topic of the OP, the “Joseph Principle” most assuredly applies. It is still “evil”, the abuse the Joseph suffered at the hands of his angry brothers … but God turns things for good. We still weep and pray and agonize, even in the sure knowledge of that, just as Joseph did, or as Job did.
A couple of mop up comments. To boldly state confidently that the Bible does not say that Mary was young needs to reread Isaiah 7:14 which is the verse used to predict the virgin birth. The exact Hebrew used is Almah, which literally mean “young woman”. Ancient Hebrew culture didn’t have a word for virgin and used young woman instead, assuming by their culture that a young unmarried woman would be a virgin. Thus Mary was not only a virgin but one can safely realize that her age would most likely be in her earlier teens as has always been traditionally taught through-out Church history.
To boldly state that the Bible does not use “oral Jewish traditions” ought to reread the epistle of St. Jude which quotes in verses 9, 11 and 14 from Jewish oral traditions and are not found in OT writings. Jesus was very specific about what “oral Jewish traditions” He did condemn all traditions or even oral traditions but specifically those that directly conflicted with written laws such as found in the Ten Commandments. And in final note II Thess. 2:15 ought to be re-read because St. Paul specially mentioned to “hold fast” to the traditions they were taught, St. Paul didn’t say “your Bible”, he said “traditions”.
That is interesting, Rob, about “almah”, the word for Mary in Isaiah:
Interesting . . . “a lass”
I agree with brother Larne about the great Daniel and the silence of Bible text about his eunuchhood. My druthers are exactly like Larne’s. I “druther” admire a Daniel with a least as much testosterone as influences my own flesh. But if Alfred is right, Daniel had a different set of fleshly issues to contend with. But Daniel is a hero regardless of that fact. At least we probably agree on that!
What made Daniel and his three companions “men” was not their testosterone but their faithfulness to God in very difficult circumstances. They were captured in war, they most likely lost their families in it and if not were taken away from them to be in this “special school” for eunuchs and diplomats. They determine to do whatever it took to be faithful to God. The other three were nearly burned alive in a furnace. They were not alone and used each other for support as well as relying on God. That is what makes them “real men” and it has nothing to do with whether or not they had “testosterone”. Alfred did a good job in research as well as brining out the verse in Kings about the possibility of being made eunuchs as well as even looking at Josephus, a highly regarded ancient historian. Moral character and faithfulness to God is what makes a man a man because any idiot male usually has testosterone and their are too many of those to go around. Thinking one’s manhood has to be tied to their “testosterone” is well …
a pretty castrated view of what it means to be a real man of God.
Point well taken sis, but I was thinking about our nature as hybrid of animal and spirit. Of course our testosterone has a lot of influence on the animal side, producing effects which a man must temper (fruit of the Spirit). Among these effects are aggressiveness, anger, and lust. The high-testosterone man who can temper these has achieved something more remarkable than the low-testosterone man who does. We ought to give him all the credit he deserves.
Speaking of credit, you deserve humor credit for that corny wisecrack at the end of your post!
I still don’t know what your curious views of hybrid natures have to do with Daniel and his three friends. There is no relationship there. It gets irritating to have people claim their own sinful tendencies and nature on their hormones and that applies to men and women. Hormones becomes the poor excuse to cover up one’s own lack of self-control or one’s lack of being transformed by Christ. Whether it’s “high testosterone” (which seems to be your excuse because you keep bringing it up) or out of control emotionality for women, it’s one’s sinful nature, not one’s God given and designed hormones. All these things can be controlled and transformed by Christ and if not, then there is some serious lack of one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in that person’s life, namely SELF-CONTROL. Blaming hormones for lack of control in either sex is a flimsy cover up and excuse to be out of control.
Okay, I could have used a different word from hybrid. I was thinking of the duality we live every day, and also read about in Romans 6-8. You know, the epic contest within all men between spirit and flesh. (They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the spirit, the things of the spirit, etc.) If Daniel had overmuch testosterone fueling the flesh side of his being, then his spiritual victory was all the greater. Make sense?
You are misunderstanding what St. Paul meant by flesh and are equating it with just our physical bodies which is inaccurate. If one reads St. Paul in all his letters carefully, one should realize that when St. Paul uses “the flesh” that he is talking about our sinful desires or nature which is marred by original sin. So it is our natural sinful selfish nature, not our natural physical bodies. Bill Gothard equated “the flesh” to equal the body itself. Your dualism falls more with heretical groups such as the gnostics which held your kind of dualism and thinking. Even NIV has translated “flesh” to sinful nature. I would reconsider the road you are going down here and here is an article to read:
If you are trying to look at Daniel’s (and his 3 friends) spiritual success, the later part of Daniel records how he made a regular habit of praying 3Xs a day or what is now called Liturgy of the Hours. Daniel is recorded praying morning (lauds), noon (sext) and night (vespers). Daniel was disciplined and kept his commitment to this no matter what the cost (which was nearly his life). The apostles are also recorded in Acts going to the Temple and praying at certain hours or times of day. That probably has more to do with Daniel’s spiritual success that any lack of hormones. There are other OT examples of faithful men in difficult situations such as Joseph (who had his hormones). His was even more challenging in that he was nearly killed by his brothers, sold to be a slave, falsely accused of immorality and spent 14 years in prison. Yet he never gave up his faith in God or faithfulness to Him. And Joseph was all alone which Daniel was not because he had 3 friends in the same boat. This hormone idea is going down the wrong path.
I checked out your link and agree with its claim that “flesh” = “sinful nature” but the very blog entry in your link warned us not to over-spiritualize the term by insisting upon a non-material, philosophical usage. That would be the gnostic error you warn against.
Your link explicitly equated the flesh to concupiscence. Whenever that term shows up in my NT it is quite carnal. Of course it is nonsense to speak of committing carnal offenses without a body. Besides, when our Bibles speak of eating flesh they mean red meat, right?
Of course Paul warns against sinful desires, and those desires have their roots in our animal bodies. C.S. Lewis argues that our worst sin is non-carnal, namely pride. It is way worse than our merely carnal sins. I know that’s true for me. How about you?
The link if you read it carefully stated that when St. Paul used the phrase “the flesh” instead of just flesh, he wasn’t just referring to physical bodies but our sinful nature marred by sin. In Ephesians St. Paul wrote, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against …”
In that verse St. Paul uses “flesh and blood” emphasizing the physical. The other used of flesh by St. Paul in Romans (which you tried to use) and Galatians, he used the phrase “the flesh” and lists sins that have to do with our motivations, sinful desires coming from being marred by sin or what is called “original sin”. For someone that has read (or claimed to have read) “Theology of the Body”, I’m not sure why you have a low view of the physical because the premises there is that the physical is not evil and has a God designed purposes.
I’m not sure where this conversation is going, it has drifted off course. I am aware the C.S. Lewis boiled all sins down to pride as it’s root. I’ve seen others, Protestant and Catholic do the same or take a similar summation. Whether one wants to agree with boiling away all sins down to one (pride) or not, pride is not our physical bodies and it something else. And if you are stating here that all sin can be boiled down to pride, you have just shot your own premise here that our own physical bodies are the cause of our sins right in the foot. In many places in the NT, there are lists of sins that can keep you out of heaven. They are not boiled down to pride just saying.
Nah, but I agree with Lewis that my worst (though not only) sin is pride. Compared to that, the fleshly stuff is pretty mild.
But I submit that we are not off topic at all. The central topic of the Gothard lawsuit is carnal damage to the plaintiffs, right? The plaintiffs accuse Gothard of concupiscence. The suit doesn’t use that old-fashioned word, but that’s the gist of it.
And my view of the flesh is like Chesterton’s when he said that sex is either a servant or a tyrannical master. Christopher West would agree too, I think. JPII, also.
Well, the antidote to your “Pride” is humility. I would highly recommend the litany of Humility which I personally pray about every other day.
Likewise, the recent book “Humility Rules: Saint Benedict’s twelve-step Guide to Genuine Self-Esteem: by Augustine Wetta.
The nice thing about that book which is a quick read is that it is very funny and challenging because he gives humility assignments at the end of each chapter and is the complete opposite of the pop-Christian psychology babble in that we find “fulfillment” in “I gotta be me”.
I checked out that litany, sister. With all due respect to the author of your litany, I cannot pray that opening line. I really don’t want to be delivered from the desire of being loved. I never want to yawn at John 3:16.
For myself, I love the old Thomas Cranmer General Thanksgiving on p. 58 of the BCP, and the Te Deum on p. 52.
For me, thanksgiving and praise is the best antidote to vanity. It redirects my attention from the less worthy (me) to the more worthy (God!).
Anyway, back to BG and the lawsuit. I think the lawsuit is about two years old now, with nothing settled. Alfred, any news?
There is stuff going on, but for the moment it is mostly not stuff that the lawyers want discussed. “Discovery” continues . . . A significant hearing is scheduled for the 26th of this month. Once that process is completed depositions will be scheduled.
Not a problem, I didn’t think you would like it anyway so no surprises. I am familiar with the Te Deum do to Liturgy of the Hours which has it in there and is an ancient hymn of praise. I think what the bishop meant by not to be “loved” was not God’s love but approval or “love” of others. One can’t escape God’s love (see Romans 8). John 3:16 is “God so loved the world …” so God’s love to us is due to God is love. The virtue of humility is quite emphasized by Jesus and through-out the NT. Jesus came into the world in a stable/cave to poor parents. The lived quite lives. Jesus said the “first shall be last, the last first”, the greatest in the kingdom was a little child, to enter the kingdom one had to become a child. The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in the temple, it was the tax collector that was justified, not the pharisee that had it together. The list goes on and on. Philippians 2:3 says ” Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory, rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves”.
A tip for a worthy project in Lent. I subscribed to Embassy Institute streaming service and am watching old Ron Dunn videos, some for the first time. Will probably move on to Otto Koning, Roger Magnuson, and other greats from the 1990s.
That is interesting. Another friend just connected with Embassy . . . and, guess what, was listening to Ron Dunn. Every time he spoke, we were deeply impacted.
I find in middle age that my optimum rate to review good material is about every other year. So for 2018 Lent I started with Ron Dunn and Roger Magnuson, having begun with Otto Koning last year. It’s a family hour well spent after evening prayers.
Jim Sammons waits in the queue, and maybe afterward Ray Comfort.
Isn’t Embassy run by IBLP? It looks like the videos are speakers from IBLP conferences. Out of curiosity, I stumbled on one of their videos “Dark Night of the Soul” by Jim Logan. Now there is a famous book from the 16 Century by the same title by the Carmelite mystic St. John of the Cross. Now, I am not sure if Jim Logan has read or even heard of St. John of the Cross but it is curious how Logan came up with the title. I’ve read the book which is not an easy read or subject, suffering and God’s silence. Logan should give credit to St. John of the Cross for the title because it’s not his own and goes back to the 16th Century (1500’s). It would be curious to compare Logan to St. John of the Cross. I don’t have plans to subscribe.
That is a common statement, or a statement common among Evangelicals. So . . . we own it now 🙂 I have heard it much of my life without attribution.
Well, the saying “Dark Night of the Soul” is from St. John of the Cross and I think you can have pretty healthy debate on “who owns the saying” between any evangelical that copied it from the Carmelites :). It was not about depression if that was what Logan was using it for but much more profound and deeper and about going through trials, dryness, silence where God doesn’t seem there but yet God is and is doing a profound work in us while we go through this “dark night” which everyone that follow God will go through. Not an easy subject.
The phrase strikes a chord in the heart of many. Maybe we can all relate.
Yes, I think we can all relate. Many of the Psalms come out of distress in the soul (Psalms 3, 6, 10, 22, 88 just to name a few). Jesus himself on the cross quoted the first line of Psalm 22, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” That was the only scripture quote from the cross, as He was dying. It is dishonest to believe that there is not or will not be distress of the soul if one is a Christian. Just reading a 4 week Psalter brings out the many Psalms that are based on distress of the soul or “dark night of the soul”. It’s part of our spiritual journey and growth. It’s all not slap happy feel good. That is probably why this phrase strikes a cord even in the evangelical world which at least in my impression has an over emphasis on happy, feel good, be positive because you are a Christian. Yes, there is true joy that should run deep and joy isn’t based or should be on everything going right or feeling good.
Yes, Rob, I noticed the same thing about the title. Though I never read the St. John book, I watched the Logan video years ago and I remember it being about suffering from depression.
Yes, I understand. That isn’t an easy read book. My first attempt at it, I had to stop. At least for me, the second attempt was successful. Curious how Logan used that phrase and applied it.