Friday, April 25, 2008

Albert Mohler Does It Again

I was just listening to Albert Mohler's most recent radio program, and, to be honest, I think that the tactics that Dr. Mohler uses in this program are simply reprehensible.

The program is the discussion of an article about wealth, and how conservative evangelical protestants who believe the Bible to be inerrant have less than half the net worth of all other religions. This is, indeed, a great testimony to how we are living out our faith. We do not care about money, but are, over all, more concerned for the glory of God.

Although Albert Mohler does mention a few things about moderation in Christian living being commanded in the Bible, he brings in his odd "delay of marriage is a sin" ideas, and picks up on this point about how conservative evangelical protestants who believe the Bible to be inerrant marry earlier, and have more children than all other religions. He then goes on to try to make a connection between his idea that delay of marriage is a sin, and evangelicalism. He says that "Evangelical Christians are making less money because they are making the decision to have the baby." He goes on to practically equate is "delay of marriage" ideas and his idea that all married people must have children with conservativism.

Something that I find interesting as a side note is that Dr. Mohler did not deal with the arguments of those who oppose him. The only time I ever heard him deal with the arguments of a decenter was a woman by the name of Camerin Courtney, who had badly misrepresented Dr. Mohler. However, why does he not deal with anyone who as actually addressed his arguments? Now, I am obviously not expecting him to know who I am, but does he not know that Andreas Kostenberger has had this huge dialogue with Debbie Maken? What about my professors who descent from his position that delay of marriage is a sin? What about the hundreds of other exegetes who are well trained in this subject? He never touches the other side at all. Sadly, this is a common theme amongst those who hold to these beliefs [which is why I always commend Boundless for having the opposite attitude].

What I find most fascinating is that 95% of conservatives would disagree with him that delay of marriage is a sin, and that children are mandatory to a marriage [a fact he conveniently never mentions]. Yet, they still marry early, and have children. Why is that? Could it be that it is not necessary that it be mandatory in order for people to do it? Could it be that the sheer goodness of the responsibility of marriage and children will naturally cause people to want to do it, even though it is not mandated by the Bible? Indeed, far from upholding Dr. Mohler's beliefs, it is actually the strongest refutation of his beliefs. People do not need to hold his views to be conservative, and they don't need to hold his views to have early marriage and children.

I also find it ironic that many people have left conservativism for liberalism simply because many conservative churches refuse to embrace his teaching. I can't tell you how many notes I have gotten from women who left evangelical churches that believe in inerrancy for liberal churches just simply because the evangelical church would not buy into this thinking, and also hold that against evangelical churches. In fact, you have many people in this movement arguing that women should be pursuing Christian men outside the church [which, if you are going to believe in inerrancy, is an oxymoron]. I wonder how Dr. Mohler would explain this?

In fact, I would argue that his view actually does damage to our view of marriage and children. By adding certain commands to God's word, such as the idea that delay of marriage is a sin, and children are mandated within marriage, he has actually stated that the definition of marriage as found in God's word is not sufficient. We have to add things to these definitions, and thus, they are not the very good things they are said to be in God's word. Thus, people view them as a burden, and I know of many men who say that they refuse to marry any woman who holds to these ideas. The reason is very clear. The women who hold these views put an unbiblical burden upon others, and thus, we do not have the easy and light burden of Christ, but the heavy and hard burden of unbiblical tradition.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh Brother!!!!!!!

I agree with Eric Svendsen on this. It is spring. That must mean that another unqualified antichristian bigot taking shots at Jesus. I mean, come on, if people can't see the bias in a worldview that would produce movies such as Showgirls, and Basic Instinct, and also sit in on the Jesus Seminar, then I don't know how to define bias. The whole thing is laughable from the beginning. Sadly, those who look for any reason whatsoever to disbelieve the gospel will grab hold of this.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reports of the Death of the Gift of Singleness Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Recently, Gortexgrrl posted this over at the Gift of Singleness blog:



After months of campaigning to have it removed from the remaining modern Bibles where it still occupies a place in 1 Cor 7:7, IT HAS FINALLY BEEN REMOVED FROM THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION.

Check the online version for yourselves here.

Dr. Eugene Peterson at The Messsage has also agreed to do the same.

This is a tremendous victory, folks. Now the next task is to get the NLT to have the word "better" ("to remain as you are") changed to "good" in 1 Cor 7:8 (as it is written in most Bibles). Also, there are still some problems with The Message's version of Matthew 19:10-12. But for now, let's savour this moment and express thanks!

Now, I happen to know one of the translators of the NLT. So, I e-mailed him, and he fowarded me the meeting notes from their discussion of this passage. Here are the meeting notes that were fowarded to me:

We have received an eloquent letter from four single women who take issue with our translation of this passage. They have respectfully asked that we reconsider our translation of this verse (the wording of which is similar to that of The Living Bible) and make it more generic in relation to the various gifts.

Norm has read and evaluated their letter, and he responded with this translation draft:

7But I (might?) wish that everyone was just like me. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another.

He went on to say, "I think the important feature is to eliminate a reference to the gift of tongues [does he mean singleness?] and then make the final phrase of 7:7 a general statement applying to all and any gifts, not denoting the gift of tongues [does he again mean singleness?]. Paul affirms that all Christians have a spiritual gift, but not all Christians have the gift of tongues [??], as he proceeds to apply the matter to marriage and abstinence.

Now, before we get too excited, I was also fowarded a letter by the editor of the NLT, Mark Norton in which he explained the committee's reasoning at this point. It will give you all of the context you need [The reference to the idea of manhood is something I had mentioned about Dr. Albert Mohler's recent statements on his blog]. You will just be left shaking your head that such a thing would ever be misconstrued as the "death" of the Gift of Singleness:

Hi Mark and Grant.

I just pulled up this content on our discussion forum as well and have been reviewing it. I think we did the right thing We were concerned that our rendering “But God gives to some the gift of marriage, and to others the gift of singleness” was too specific. I don’t think anyone disagreed with the meaning expressed in our earlier more dynamic/contextual rendering. I think it obvious that in context some are gifted with singleness. But with our more literal rendering (“Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another”), we have allowed Paul to connect this discussion of marriage and singleness to the larger discussion of spiritual gifts.

I recall that the young woman who brought this up was concerned that our wording (“the gift of singleness”) was fueling an unhealthy assumption among some Christians, i.e., that if God hasn’t provided a mate for you, then you must have the “gift of singleness” and should just accept it and be happy. From perspective of the young woman who wrote us, we had given unnecessary ammunition to people who had drawn a black and white conclusion in a world of difficult gray.

The problem in this case is a little different, where someone out there has taken our change toward the literal as an indication that we have strong feelings against the idea of a gift of singleness. I don’t think any such thought was ever expressed. I think we were happy with the meaning of our earlier rendering. We don’t advocate the idea that the only path to manhood is through marriage. Paul made it clear that there are some would be far better off single. On the other hand, we don’t want to fuel the idea the young woman was struggling with, i.e., that there is this particular “gift of singleness” that (assuming God’s sovereignty) all the “unclaimed” must be gifted with.

Anyway, Grant, I think the young man who has queried you can rest assured that BTC isn’t against the concept of a “gift of singleness,” only the abuse of such a concept.


Notice, the NLT is not against a concept of the "gift of singleness," but against the abuse of that concept, that is, if God hasn’t provided a mate for you, then you must have the “gift of singleness” and should just accept it and be happy, which is something I stand on the record as being totally against. I have said many times that I have no problems with a woman pursuing marriage if she wants to do so. I also have no problems with a woman wanting marriage. In other words, they [like me] are against the fatalistic notion that, if you are not married, you should just accept it, and do nothing to get married. The issue is whether or not God can say "no" to your request for a spouse both in your actions and in your prayers, and how you will handle it if he does.

Not only that, but also notice that the main reason why the translated it this way is because of the context of spiritual gifts. One of Gortexgrrl's main arguments is that the phrase "one in this manner, the other in that manner" can be a generic statement of all gifts, without referring to any specific gift. However, I argued that we are in the context of marriage and singleness here, and that there is a contrast presented in the text. The NLT committee agreed [and still does agree] that marriage and singleness are both gifts. The NLT committee is taking a position somewhere inbetween what I stated and what Gortexgrrl stated. They agree that the phrase "one in this manner the other in that manner" is referring to a general statement [which it certainly can], but are arguing that singleness and marriage are two of these gifts, along with the spiritual gifts that are mentioned in this chapter. Thus, they wanted to stress the connection between this passage and the discussion of spiritual gifts that will follow. In other words, they reject Gortexgrrl's argument that, because the phrase "the one in this manner, the other in that manner" can be used generically, that, therefore, it precludes the inculsion of singleness and marriage within the realm of spiritual gifts.

Here is again where professional exegetes trump college graduate level exegetes, and why I am still learning in college while they are making money selling translations. I must say, I am impressed with this interpretation of this text. It fits Paul's argument nicely, and shows that Gortexgrrl's arguments from the text are irrelevant.

We must again point out that Gortexgrrl has no training in this area. Now, it would not be hard to get training in this area. In fact, I think one of the main reasons that Debbie Maken's book has become so popular is that young girls and boys are not trained how to do exegesis of their English Bibles in their preteen years, and thus, are left with their feelings, the way things always were, what is "countercultural," and the endorsement of the author on the back of the book to decide who has done the most accurate exegesis of the passage. Her linguistic philosophy is basically, if the Bible does not use a specific term to identify something as a "gift," then, therefore, the Bible does not say it is a gift. However, almost no one today holds that philosophy of language. In fact, the reality is, divorced from a context, words have no meaning whatsoever. My hermeneutics professor, Dr. Grant Osborne, in his book The Hermeneutical Spiral writes that:

Without grammatical relationships to other words, there is not meaning. If I utter the term counter, the hearer has no idea what I mean. Without a context in a grammatical sentence, a word is meaningless. Only as I say "Look on the counter" or "Counter his argument" does the term have a connotation [Osborne, Grant. The Hermeneutical Spiral. IVP Academic. Downers Grove, IL 2006 pgs.82-83 (emphasis mine)].

However, by contrast, Gortexgrrl believes that the specific term "gift" must be used of singleness, or the Bible does not say that singleness is a gift. However, what if other words were used in such a way that they stated that singleness was a gift without using the specific term "gift?" Or, in the case of this passage, what if a generic phrase was used in the context of singleness and marriage to clearly include singleness and marriage as a gift, but not to the exculsion of other spiritual gifts? Indeed, if we allow what Dr. Osborne has said to be true, then we can see that it is not impossible.

In fact, the whole reason why Gortexgrrl is leaping for joy, and misrepresented the NLT translators is precisely because of this odd view of language. She thinks that, if they don't translate the passage with "the gift of singleness," then they must not believe that the text teaches that singleness is a gift. That is saying too much. In this case, they wanted to emphasize the continuity with the passages that follow, without denying that singleness and marriage is a gift, and thus, they decided to make the translation less specific.

As to Gortexgrrl's statement, that "the next task is to get the NLT to have the word "better" ("to remain as you are") changed to "good" in 1 Cor 7:8 (as it is written in most Bibles)," she is referring to an article she wrote here for Thegiftofsingleness blog. In this article, she said:

Verse 8: The NLT translates this verse to mean that it's BETTER to not marry, despite the fact that the original Greek uses the word "KALOS", which is more correctly means "GOOD", as written in the KJV, NASB and the NRSV. Again, it leaves us to wonder why the editors of the NLT would take an interpretation so denigrating of marriage? Even if there are other passages in 1 Cor 7 that suggest the superiority of singleness over marriage (v. 38), they must be looked at within the context of "the present distress" (v. 26, and also 29, 31) that faced the Corinthian people at that time.

Now, I find it interesting that New English Translation, whose New Testament editor is none other than Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, translates the passage like this:

1 Corinthians 7:8 To the unmarried and widows I say that it is best for them to remain as I am.

Again, Gortexgrrl's erronious philosophy of language is coming back to bite her. It is, indeed, true that the Greek term kalo,j means "good" and not "better." However, again, Gortexgrrl has not considered the possibility that grammatical constructions, indeed, even the argument of a whole book can greatly effect the meaning of one word. This is an issue known as syntax. How is it that the usage of a particular for in a particular phrase, sentence, and paragraph can effect the meanings of words and grammatical constructions? What are the possible meanings for any given form? This is a very technical study, but books like Daniel B. Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, an Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, and Bruce Waltke and Michael O'Connor's An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax are very good tools for learning the basics of the syntax of Greek and Hebrew, and I am indebted to these scholars for all I have learned in this field, and highly recommend these books to anyone wanting to study this area.

First of all, let us define our terms in terms of the English language, so we can understand what we are talking about when we discuss the Greek language. If you add an -er to the end of a word, it makes the adjective comparitive. For instance, if you add an -er to the end of "high" you get "higher." If you add an -er to the end of "hard," you get harder. Thus, "higher" and "harder" are comparitives. Now, some English words are irregular. Consider the English term in question, "good." To make this a comparitive, you add an -er to the end, but the entire word changes to "better." The initial words "high," "hard," and "good" are what are known as "positives." Thus, "large," "hard," and "good" are positives, while "larger," "harder," and "better" are comparitives. The easiest way to remember this is that a comparitive adjective is used to compare something, while a positive adjective is just stating something positive about the object [there is one more category called the "superlative," but is not relevant to this discussion].

Now, Greek has a system very similar to this. They have positive and comparitive adjectives as well, and yes, this is not a comparitive adjective. However, Greek can, in point of fact, use a positive adjective in place of a comparitive adjective. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace in his Syntactical Grammar, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, writes the following:

2 . Positive for Comparative

On a rare occasion , the positive adjective can be used for the comparative.

Matthew 18:8 kalo,n soi, evstin eivselqei/n eivj th.n zwh.n kullo.n
it is better to enter life crippled

Here, h' is used later in the sentence to indicate comparison . Obviously, the idea of the positive adj. is insufficient, i.e., it is not good in and of itself to enter life crippled!

Luke 18:14 kate,bh ou-toj dedikaiwme,noj eivj to.n oi=kon auvtou/ parV evkei/non
this man went down to his house more justified than the other

In this text the adjectival participle functions as an adj. Zerwick notes that the true force of Jesus’ words here is that the tax-collector was"justified whereas the other was not." A better gloss would thus be justified rather than the other.

1 Corinthians 10:33 mh. zhtw/n to. evmautou/ su,mforon avlla. to. tw/n pollw/n
not seeking my own advantage, but that of the majority

Certain substantival adjectives which have the notion of comparison embedded lexically (esp .
polu,j) are used for an implicit comparison. Such examples do not follow the structural pattern of comparative adjectives(e.g. , they are not followed by a gen . or h').

c.f. also Matt. 24:12; Luke 16:10; John 2:10 [Wallace, Daniel. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. Zondervan Publishing House. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1995. from the Pradis Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics CD ROM.]

Notice, incedentially, that the term that Dr. Wallace translates as "better" in his first example [Matthew 18:8] is kalo,j. Also, notice that Gortexgrrl's methodology does not work here, as it is "totally insufficient" to translate kalo,j as good. Thus, we have established that, in New Testament Greek, positive adjectives can be used where one would expect a comparitive adjective.

At this point, this is where exegesis comes in to play. You have to be able to defend your choice of a positive translation, over and against a comparitive translation. How does Gortexgrrl do that? She says:

The NLT translates this verse to mean that it's BETTER to not marry, despite the fact that the original Greek uses the word "KALOS", which is more correctly means "GOOD", as written in the KJV, NASB and the NRSV. Again, it leaves us to wonder why the editors of the NLT would take an interpretation so denigrating of marriage?

On any level, Gortexgrrl has failed to give an adequate defense of the positive here. The dictionary meaning is not in dispute. In fact, BDAG lists two definitions with several subcategories, and subcategories of those subcategories. The question is what is the syntactical function of the adjective here. As far as it being "denegrating to marriage," notice how Gortexgrrl has sorta begged the question. She seems to assume that, if you take this interpretation, you are denegrating marriage. Of course, she never bothers to prove that.

The reason why some scholars today take this to be a positive used as a comparitive is because these two are compared again in verse 9, where Paul says "It is better to marry than to burn." Thus, this sets up a parallel with verse 8, and thus, they argue, this is how we should understand verse 8.

Now, maybe they are wrong. However, Gortexgrrl's answer doesn't even begin to prove what she is trying to prove. To go back to the dictionary definition is to once again display this bad linguistic philosophy that every word has meaning in and of itself, and, you cannot identify something as a gift, unless the specific word is used of it. As a matter of fact, that is why Gortexgrrl thought that the gift of singleness was "dead." If the very words are removed from the Bible, then, obviously, it must not be in the Bible. As I pointed out, Gortexgrrl could never translate the New Testament or any document that way. However, I guess that is what you have to do to defend Debbie Maken.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Few Odds and Ends

I wanted to let everyone know that Dr. Daniel B. Wallace debated Dr. Bart Ehrman at the Greer-Heard Point/Counterpoint forum. Dr. Wallace is no slouch. He is one of the top experts in New Testament Greek in the world. On top of that, he is also an evangelical. I cannot wait to hear the audio of this discussion. Bart Ehrman is quoted by just about all enemies of the faith, but rarely does he come up against someone who knows the issue like Dr. Wallace does. He has written a Greek Grammar, and has written many articles on issues of exegesis and textual criticism of the New Testament.

In fact, Dr. Wallace runs the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. Their main purpose is to go around the world, and take high quality digital photographs of all the major New Testament Manuscripts. Just take a look at the detail on this photograph of Codex Sinaiticus. The reason for this is that, as these manuscripts get older, they start to decay. Having these high quality photographs enable us to study them long after they have decayed.

Also, Dr. James White recently debated a Muslim by the name of Jalal Abualrub. Here are some clips from the debate. The topic was whether the New Testament teaches the Diety of Christ. Some of the argumentation of Abualrub mimics arguments of Jehovah's Witnesses. That is really interesting considering Muslims would be up in arms if we tried to use arguments from Muslim cults. Either way, I appreiciate the work that James White is doing on Islam. I only wish more reformed Christians would engage Muslims in dialogue.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How NOT To Use The Rod

I recently found a blog that was also addressing the whole Debbie Maken debockle a few weeks ago, and have continued reading. The author, Amir Larijani, is very good at finding interesting stories, and his blog is a very interesting read.

In a post published this morning, he gives the link to a very sad story about a two year old girl who was beaten to death by her mother's "boyfriend" with a video game controller. Apparently, this was not the first time it had happened. According to the article, "It was clear from the bruises and other injuries on the little girl's body that Sunday was not the first time she had been abused, Dauphin County coroner Graham Hetrick told WGAL-TV. He said it was one of the worst cases of child abuse he has ever seen."

Such is what happens when the rod of correction is used as an instrument of your anger and frustration rather than an instrument of discipline. That is the difference between child abuse, and Godly discipline. In child abuse, the rod is an instrument of your rage such that the child can die because you are beating him so hard. Anger and rage can get out of control, and if you use the rod as an instrument of your rage, don't be suprised if one time it *does* get out of control, and your child ends up dead, and you end up with a charge of child abuse. In Godly discipline, just enough pain is inflicted, not to satisfy your own anger, but to teach the child that his behavior is wrong, and to get him back on the right path.

That is why, when I have children, we are going to have a rule that no spanking is ever to be administered unless all parties involved have calmed down. I fear that, if this is not a rule, you will see more incedents like this.

The main problem that I see in today's society with regards to the rod is two extremes. Either it is avoided altogether because any corporal corrective action is viewed as "child abuse," or it is used as an instrument of one's rage and frustration, such as in the above example. I think that both of these errors can be avoided if we remember that 1. The Bible commands that we use the rod, and 2. The rod is to be used for discipline, not for the satisfaction of our own anger and frustration.

Now, I realize that this is easier said than done, especially when you are raising a child who knows how to push all of the right buttons. However, remember that both not using the rod, and using the rod for the wrong reasons are acts of sin. Thus, as Christians, we should work to always be faithful to God and his word in whatever we do. Then, we can help help a society that is utterly confused about this issue.
More Fanmail from the Mandatory Marriage Movement

Well, I could probably pick any of Gortexgrrl's posts from last time, but, as many of you know, Darren Allen absolutely takes the cake when it comes to nastiness, irrationality, and just downright refusal to even listen to what the other side is saying. No comment is really needed here. I just let his own words speak for themselves. He is such a kind soul :-).

Hey when can we see your picture?

I am sure there are a lot peoplr here who want to see your mug.

How come we have no pithy commnents from Ted Slater?

Ted, where are you?

You are a jackass.

We don't care what that means in greek or ancient aramaic.

The Hobbits

Keep in mind, this is a man who goes to Wheaton. Yes, that's right. Yet this is the best he knows how to respond???????? Now, I have no idea if it is the same Darren that is found in Debbie Maken's recent post, but I do know one thing interesting. Debbie Maken will talk about the fruits of her movement in terms of marriages, but she will never tell you about the fruits of her movement in terms of the behavior of the adherents. Her version of this movement has become just as nasty and cultic as Peter Ruckman ever dreamed of being. Apparently, marriage is so important that your behavior is secondary.

However, Darren's behavior is certainly a fruit of this movement. As I said, it speaks for itself.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Don't You Dare Hold Us Accountable Or...

We will shame you, call you all kinds of colorful names, and tell you to "get some help." Yes, apparently, that is exactly what Gortexgrrl, one of the most radical of the Mandatory Marriage advocates, done in an attempt to defend "Captain Sensible" [aka, Deanna Holmes] from having to be held responsible for the hatred she has spewed at myself and Ted Slater.

Here are her posts, in order:

Adam, you know what I'm talking about -- posting her photo, personal information, etc. You've both engaged in some pretty intense mud-slinging, but nothing she has said about you even begins to compare with this kind of exposure and character assassination. This is your eighth post in a row about her. You have gone way too far with this. It's so spiteful and mean-spirited. The sheer wickedness of what you have done eclipses any theological truth that may have been intended. You are nowhere near being in the company of these Calvinist greats. Surely, if they could see what you have done they would certainly shake their heads and walk away from you.Shame on you.
Excuses, excuses.Basically, you're giving us the "bu-bu-but, she started it" little brother business.It's very plain to see where your heart is at, Adam. It's all about retaliation for you, isn't it?
Adam,If you have to be shown, chapter and verse, post for post, why what you did was wicked and vengeful, then there really is not much hope for you.
You have carried on now, for eight posts about CS. And in the same amount of time, she's mentioned your blog perhaps twice and on one occasion she contritely retracted -- something I doubt you would ever do.Not only to yourself, but to your school, you bring shame. It's just absolutely disgraceful.

First off, again, notice the pure acid from the folks in this movement. I have received a whole lot of mail from these folks, and it is by far the nastiest stuff I have ever read. I have talked with Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholics, and King James Only advocates, and the notes that I have received from these folks are, by far, the most nasty of any group.

However, let us take a look at her claims one by one, and we will say that any person thinking rationally about this situation will be forced to the conclusion that, for some reason, these folks do not want to be held accountable for their behavior.

First of all, yes, the last eight posts mention Captain Sensible, but, first of all, who else do they mention? Debbie Maken, Ted Slater, William Shishko, etc. Not only that, but did she notice how many of Captain Sensible's posts mention Ted Slater? I went to her blog and found that six out of the eight posts now up there mention or allude to Ted Slater in some way shape or form. Yet, why is it that Gortexgrrl is not over there accusing Deanna Holmes of the same things she is accusing me? The double standards here are amazing.

Not only that, but let us not forget the number of times that Captain Sensible has used terms such as "false teacher" of Carolyn McCulley. Yet, Gortexgrrl refuses to say anything about that. Now, I am not saying that this exhonorates me of wrongdoing if, indeed, I have done something wrong. It is just amazing how Gortexgrrl uses one standard on those who oppose her movement, but another standard on those who support her movement.

The reality is, if you look at my posts, my posts are not personal attacks on Captain Sensible. They are discussions of what she is teaching, and how it is dangerious to the church, imparticular, the church in England. They are also discussions of her and Debbie Maken's behavior showing the fruits of this movement in terms of how selfish these people bahave. Not only that, but it is also a discussion about the way her and Debbie Maken treat those that disagree with them, yes, even those who agree with their movement such as Ted Slater! Gortexgrrl would have you believe that I have some personal vendetta against this woman. I simply do not. I am concerned about what she is teaching, and I am concerned about the fruits of the radical version of this movement. Does that mean that, if someone takes the shots that she has taken against me and Ted Slater that I am not going to call her to the carpet for it? Absolutely not. However, that seems to be the expectation. We can hit you, but don't you dare hold us accountable for it. There is nothing wrong with using eight posts to continuiously point out the ungodly behavior and nastiness of this movement so that others will avoid it.

Not only that, but notice how she uses words like "personal information" as if I had put her credit card number up on the internet or something. Everything that I put up had already been posted on the internet long before I ever saw it! The only difference is that now I am letting people know that Captain Sensible is this woman who was interviewed over on Spiral Universe. Why is there some problem with that? Why is there something wrong with finding out that the person who has written personal attacks against you and Ted Slater happens to have a name, and posting it so that people know exactly who is responsible for this acid? Secondly, she says I engaged in character assasination. On the blog, I asked her to prove it. She never did.

Also, she says that what I did is "spiteful." I am beginning to notice that you can make anything wrong so long as you use the right vocabulary [and, yes, Debbie Maken does this too]. No, I am simply pointing out that this attack across my bow is coming from a very influential figure in the church in England, and that this figure is directly responsible for the personal attacks she has written against Ted Slater and myself. BTW, just to show that I am consistent at this point, I have criticized people from my own side when they have behaved in the same way. Apparently, I was also being "spiteful" to the manyluxuryvacations blog when I wrote that post.

Secondly, as far as posting retractions, I even mentioned that I had to apologize for the harshness of my language. However, again, that does not matter to Gortexgrrl. I would never post a retraction, and don't confuse me with the facts. Also, isn't it interesting that I have changed my perspective on a whole host of views with regards to this issue. I now no longer hold the same interpretation of Genesis 1:28, Malachi 2:15, 1 Corinthians 7, and many other texts that I held when I first started writing on this issue. However, you know something very interesting? I have *never* heard Debbie Maken admit that she is wrong. Even when her position results in utter nonsense, she refuses to admit she is wrong. Yet, according to Gortexgrrl, I am the one who would never retract a post.

Again, the hypocracy of Gortexgrrl's attack on me is simply unbelievable. She tells me I need to "get some help." Let me ask, how does Gortexgrrl understand this verse?:

2 Timothy 2:24 - 26 The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Does it sound like this girl is showing much "gentleness" using phrases like "get some help?" Does that show much "patience?" Interestingly enough, this is in the context of refuting false teachers! How do you understand this verse if you follow Debbie Maken, and language such as this is acceptable?

I think we all need to restart, and attempt to deal with this issue in the very manner spoken of in this verse. I am willing to do so, but, apparently, Captain Sensible and Gortexgrrl are not. I simply let that contrast speak for itself with regards to the integrity of the folks that are part of the radical version of this movement.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Beware of "Captain Sensible"

I will have to begin with an apology. I have been ill recently, and have not even been able to concentrate in my classes. Hence, I don't know how good this post is going to be, but I simply must post this before Captain Sensible gets away with more of this kind of post.

Many people have wondered why it is that I have bothered to respond to Captain Sensible, and I responded in my last post by saying that Captain Sensible is an influential figure in the Church over in England. I said that I could not reveal any more, but, as a matter of fact, I misunderstood the person who fowarded me these things, and I was written again, and told that I do have the ability to release this information.

Hence, just click on this link, and go and read the biography at the bottom of the page. It will tell you all you need to know about this anonymous "Captain Sensible," and why it is that I keep responding to her. A whole lot makes sense now. We all know that Debbie Maken made a trip to London last year. The interesting thing is that this is right in "Captain Sensible's" backyard, and yet, somehow "Captain Sensible" never made a comment about it on Debbie Maken's blog when she announced that she was going to London. That seems really odd [especially since every time Debbie Maken breathes, Captain Sensible writes about it] until you find out that Deanna Holmes actually did make a comment on Debbie Maken's blog when she announced she was going to London. Not only that, but one always wondered why it is that there is a link from Captain Sensible's blog to the website of London Christians.

Not only that, but, if you do a Google search for "Deanna Holmes," you will find that, in all of her writings, she has used very similar phrases as "Captain Sensible," such as "Well meaning Platitudes" [Captain Sensible, Deanna Holmes] , "For such a time as this" [Captain Sensible, Deanna Holmes], both have attacked Carolyn McCully [Captian Sensible, Deanna Holmes], and have even used the "job" analogy [Captain Sensible, Deanna Holmes]. Indeed, there seems to be no doubt in my mind that "Captain Sensible" is Deanna Holmes, the head of London Christians.

In other words, how much do you think that these ideas are presented at the social events of London Christians? Probably quite a bit. That is why I have continued to respond to this woman, so that our brothers and sisters in Christ who get involved with these social events will be able to respond in a Biblical fashion to the unbiblical position of Debbie Maken. I want people who go to these events and hear these things to find a website like this, and be able to respond to what is presented to them.

With all of that said, I want you to look at the selfishness of Captain Sensible's recent post. First of all, she says:

We are seriously misrepresenting God when we attribute to Him situations causing suffering that we have actually caused ourselves, because we have strayed so far from the Bible. Talk about blaming God for our wrongdoings!

First of all, Captain Sensible's position is not Biblical. That is the whole point of the debate. If anyone wants to see just how these people respond when challanged with exegetical objections to their position, click here, and read my interaction with Debbie Maken. Debbie Maken was reduced to nothing more than empty accusations when she was put up against someone who actually knew how to do exegesis. I will let Debbie's behavior and her refusal to answer direct objections to her position be the refutation of the idea that their position is Biblical.

Secondly, is it true that we are "blaming God for our wrongdoings?" Apparently, Captain Sensible does not believe that God can ordain the pain that we inflict on ourselves because of our sin to conform us to the image of his son. The whole point of this pain is that it is discipline so that we repent of our sins, and turn to Christ. Hence, even the suffering we inflict on ourselves has redemptive value, because it teaches us to turn from our sin, and turn to Christ. Thus, Christ's purpose in his ordination of our sin, and our purpose in committing that sin are two totally and completely different things. Of course, that is why the exegetical issues in this discussion are so important.

Single Christian women, beware!

Instead of addressing the root cause of the problem, this is another attempt to keep you subdued, by making you feel that you should stoically bear your singleness -- and basically not make too much fuss it.

This will allow the enemy to continue to destroy masculinity in the church, and dishonour marriage by making you feel sinful for not being joyful about the suffering or "discipline" singleness causes.

We, as the contemporary church, have brought this problem about.

Here is where the real selfishness of Deanna Holmes' post shows through. What she is basically saying is "I have the right to feel comfortable with regards to marriage and singleness, and, if I do not, it must be someone's fault, either the man's fault, or the church's fault. In fact, this is the very thing I am going to bring to the scriptures, and interpret the scriptures in this light." As I said in my last post, God does not care one iota about your comfort. He wants to conform you to the image of his son. As I have said before, I am not against being proactive in finding a spouse. The way I found my fiancé and [soon to be] wife is by people in my church praying for me, and by actively pursuing a relationship with her. I think the question has to be asked as to whether or not, when we are proactive, God has the obligation to say "yes." I do not believe the scriptures give us any warrant to such a position.

This is why I always bring up the issue of idolatry. If you say that you must have marriage, and God cannot withhold it from you because your comfort is the most important thing in the world, then, yes, you are committing idolatry. And before they go using the starvation analogy, yes, there are many brothers and sisters in third world countries who are starving to death. And you know what? There faith is far stronger than any of ours ever could be. God certainly can grant food, marriage, and conforming to the image of Christ to any person if he so desires, but he is under no obligation to do so. Captain Sensible appears to want to lower God down to her level, so as to make him take her comfort as the highest priority, when it simply is not. And then, to misuse the text of scripture, and selectively cite the reformers in order to make yourself feel better about your idolatry is just simply to get yourself into even deeper water.

Yet, this is what we have to deal with when we deal with these folks. This also, incedentally, shows us why it is that Open Theists are so popular with these folks. They don't want the almighty God of the scriptures who ordains whatsoever comes to pass. They want a God they can control with their own comfort. The God of Open Theism fits that bill very well. It is a sad thing to see, but, hopefully, what I have written with regards to this topic will enable our brothers and sisters in England to see the dangerous road down which this position leads.

In fact, Debbie Maken has been reduced to the level of saleswoman on her blog. The whole post is nothing more than, "Look at the personal comfort that will come to you if you adopt the ideas presented in my book." That is why we need to be careful. Once we value our own personal comfort to the point were single men are shamed, and the church is blamed for everything under the sun, we might feel comfortable, but we will feel comfortable in our sin. That has to be the major question for the church. Do we value marriage more then conforming to the image of Christ, or do we value conforming to the image of Christ more than marriage? By all means, we should help those who want to get married, but to assume that God must give you marriage simply because of your own personal comfort, and assume that someone is sinning by not giving you what you want is simple idolatry.

This whole fiasco also shows the necessity of having sound teaching on the little things in the Christian life. This is why it is important to pay attention to your pastor when he speaks, and to read good sound books on Christian living. I would very highly recommend the preaching of Pastor William Shishko, anything by Edward T. Welch, and, though I don't agree with him on everything, Pastor John Piper has written some excellent things on practical theology. This is why it is so important to, not just be able to interpret the scriptures, but to see how it applies to our everyday life.

All in all, I am glad my post has had the reaction that it has. It really displays the selfish character of this movement, and shows us why it is that proper training Biblical Hermeneutics and practical theology are things which are so desparately needed in the church today. I am also glad that Ted Slater has posted something very similar on the Boundless Blog, and has gotten quite a positive response from single Christian women. I hope that more and more single Christian women start running from Debbie Maken and Deanna Holmes' ideas as fast as they can. However, until then, I guess this website can be a place to which people can point others who are struggling with these issues, both in England, and around the globe.