Is the Sovereign Grace Ministries Pyramid Collapsing?

"They said, 'Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.' "

Genesis 11:4 (NASB)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tower_of_Babel_cropped_square.jpg

Tower of Babel

WORLD Magazine, in an effort to keep its readership apprised of developments in Christendom, has published two articles in recent weeks about a lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries and eight individuals. The first article, published just a day after the lawsuit was filed, is entitled Lawsuit claims evangelical church hid abuse claims. It begins as follows:

"Three female plaintiffs claim an evangelical church group covered up allegations of sexual abuse against children, failed to report accusations to the police and discouraged its members from cooperating with law enforcement, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The lawsuit was filed in Maryland state court against Sovereign Grace Ministries, a 30-year-old family of churches with more than 80 congregations. Most of its churches are in the U.S., but it also has planted congregations in other countries. The alleged abuse happened in Maryland and northern Virginia in the 1980s and 1990s.

The plaintiffs allege a conspiracy spanning more than two decades to conceal sexual abuse committed by church members. They accuse church representatives of permitting suspected pedophiles to interact with children, supplying them with free legal advice to avoid prosecution and forcing victims to meet with and "forgive" the person that had molested them.

"The facts show that the Church cared more about protecting its financial and institutional standing than about protecting children, its most vulnerable members," the lawsuit claims."

Two weeks later, WORLD Magazine published a follow-up article called Troubled ministry, informing its readers that -

"Troubles continue to mount for Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), an evangelical association with about 90 churches and 28,000 members worldwide. The SGM board of directors reinstated the ministry’s founder, C.J. Mahaney, as president of SGM in early 2012 after he took a leave of absence for several months.

Accusations of spiritual pride and hypocrisy precipitated Mahaney’s leave. Now SGM is facing a lawsuit by three female plaintiffs, alleging that SGM leaders covered up sexual abuse that occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, and that they discouraged church members from cooperating with law enforcement officials…

The lawsuit charges SGM leaders with allowing suspected child abusers to continue interacting with children, sheltering the accused perpetrators from prosecution, and forcing alleged victims as young as 3 to forgive their molesters. The complaint accuses several SGM elders and officials of actively covering up the crimes, while it names Mahaney because the offenses allegedly occurred under his leadership."

Meanwhile, we are keeping track of how long it takes for The Gospel Coalition to acknowledge that one of its Council MembersC.J. Mahaney – and the ministry he leads – Sovereign Grace Ministries – have been named in a lawsuit.  We are currently on Day 20 (since we started our count).  It will be interesting to see how long it takes for this crowd to acknowledge this serious matter. 

As the information from World Magazine indicates, it appears there is some uncertainty regarding the number of churches currently in SGM.  Several congregations have recently left this "family of churches".  There have been indications that Covenant Life Church may disassociate from SGM, and it now appears that this may indeed come to pass before year end. 

Brent Detwiler, who was at one time in the inner circle of SGM, wrote an insightful post earlier this week which provided some background about Covenant Life Church.  He began with these words:  

"No church has loved C.J. and Sovereign Grace Ministries more than Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD.  From its inception in 1977, CLC has served as the model church for all the churches in SGM.  The members of CLC have worked harder and given more to serve the interests of C.J. and SGM than any other church."

He then talks about the expansion of CLC (completed in 2002), which housed SGM headquarters and the pastors college for a decade.  With regard to the CLC facility, Brent explains that many conferences have taken place in this facility.  Not only that, church members (approximately 5,000 of them) have sacrificed their time, talent, and treasure to help SGM succeed "for the glory of God".  

Now for the rest of the story… Brent explains:

"All that has changed.  In July 2011, C.J. abruptly left Covenant Life Church without talking to any of his pastors about his decision.  In April 2012, he abruptly decided to relocate the SGM headquarters to Louisville, KY without talking to any of the pastors.  In September 2012, he started a new church even though he was unreconciled to his old church and the pastors.  Tens of thousands of people have watched C.J. destroy the ministry we began in 1982.  Friends and supporters throughout nation and many parts of the world have been shocked as they’ve observed C.J.’s pride, deceit and hypocrisy over the past year and a half.

After being ever so patient and forbearing with C.J., Joshua recommended last night that Covenant Life Church end their partnership with Sovereign Grace Ministries.  All 18 pastors were in complete agreement with Josh…

Only someone who has been a part of Sovereign Grace for a long time can fully appreciate the magnitude of this action by the CLC pastors.   These 18 men were all loyal and devoted friends and followers of C.J.  Their lives and ministries were largely built around C.J. and his leadership.  None of them ever imagined having to leave SGM because they no longer trusted C.J. or the Board of Directors given their abusive leadership practices and unethical conduct.  Many other churches in SGM feel the same way.  A few have left.  Many more will follow."

Detwiler further explained that last Sunday night Joshua Harris, pastor of Covenant Life Church, explained to the congregation why the flagship church needs to separate from Sovereign Grace Ministries.   It is my understanding that some of the CLC pastors attended the SGM Pastors Conference that took place last week in Florida.  According to Detwiler, C.J. remains unrepentant since July 2011, when he voluntarily stepped down as SGM president.  Brent further states that the CLC pastors have "experienced the trickery of Dave Harvey, the heavy handedness of Mickey Connolly, and the partiality of John Loftness".

According to Brent Detwiler, a large number of congregations will disassociate from SGM for two reasons: 

Unethical conduct and unbiblical polity      

According to Detwiler's post, the constitution of Covenant Life Church stipulates that the entire congregation must vote on the pastors' recommendation to withdraw from SGM.  The CLC pastors will be having two “Coffee and Conversation” meetings on November 11 and 18 to address questions.  Two weeks later church members will vote ONLINE over a three week period.  In order for CLC to sever ties with SGM, 51 percent of the congregation must vote in favor of it.  By mid-December, this process should be complete.

Brent Detwiler concludes with this sad statement about C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries:

"From my perspective, C.J. began to build a “Tower of Babel” around 1996.  The Sovereign Grace tower reached to the heavens by 2010.  But now in 2012, the Lord has come down and begun to scatter it over the earth."

We leave you with this clip from the 2012 Together for the Gospel conference, which was featured a few days ago on the Sovereign Grace Ministries website.  C.J. Mahaney has left CLC behind and appears to be moving on to BIGGER and BETTER things, for "the Savior's" glory, of course.

Lydia's Corner:   Leviticus 22:17-23:44   Mark 9:30-10:12   Psalm 44:1-8   Proverbs 10:19

 

Comments

Is the Sovereign Grace Ministries Pyramid Collapsing? — 188 Comments

  1. I’m glad that World Magazine is reporting on this. Christians need to be among the first to expose and denounce these things. The world is watching, but more importantly, God is watching.

  2. TGC needs to get its priorities straight. All the heresy and false teaching in the world is still not as bad as sex abuse, let alone sex abuse (or any abuse) done in God's name. But TGC will just keep defending their superstar members. In a decade or so there will probably be no TGC.

  3. What’s so interesting is that so many in SGM do not know about this abuse stuff that is being discussed on the internet. If they know about the survivor blogs, they have been told that it’s gossip and because of their preoccupation with sin, they don’t bother to give into temptation and “sin” by reading them (after all, they’d have to disclose that sin at their care group meeting and their care group leaders report sins to pastors – this is what I’ve read on SGMSurvivor.com for the past several years). So, I believe a big majority of them really are in the dark on what is going on. It is the culture to keep people in the dark. That’s why all of those cases of sex abuse were covered up.

  4. Julie Anne,

    Your comment is spot on!  When you have the Mahaney ‘girls’ (Carolyn and her daughters) posting ad nauseam about the  internet and gossip, it’s not difficult to see the strategy they have used for all these years to keep their followers in the dark. 

    Incredibly, they have abandoned many of their loyal followers and are still trying to control them. 

    WAKE UP, SGMers!!!

  5. ‘So….it appears that TGC fears an egalitarian more than they do a pedophile. This is why atheists laugh and poke fun at groups like this. If they really believed in God their response would be different. Instead….they disgrace the God they claim to serve.’

    So completely true. Their primary concern is making distinctions between the right beliefs and the wrong beliefs, the lost and the saved. People have suffered long enough under churches with twisted priorities.

  6. Ironically, the last two posts on the CBMW blog are taken directly from WORLD Magazine.  Well, at least they’re reading it, although they won’t acknowledge the coverage about the lawsuit against SGM.

  7. Dee,

    off topic, but you recommended 2 books for me to look at…one was by Josh M. but I cannot remember the other one, and I can’t find the original message…could you help please.

    Thanks

  8. Fendrel,

    Dee is away until Nov. 19, so her input here will be extremely limited.  I’ll try to track down the other book she recommended. It may some time, but I will persist until I find her comment.  :-)

  9. Meanwhile, we are keeping track of how long it takes for The Gospel Coalition to acknowledge that one of its Council Members – C.J. Mahaney – and the ministry he leads – Sovereign Grace Ministries – have been named in a lawsuit.

    doubleplusungood ref doubleplusunevent.
    two plus two equals five, comrade.

  10. Deb – I try to keep up on the SGMSurvivor blog and it was mentioned that a number of SGM churches never even mentioned the lawsuit to their congregations. Most likely the ones who had pastors involved did, but come on – - – if the president of SGM is named in the lawsuit, shouldn’t all of the congregants know about it, regardless if CJ pastors their church or not? Why so hush-hush? Because it’s their culture: everything is about their personal sin. That is why a 3-year old had to face her perpetrator for reconciliation. (blech) It’s all about sin.

    Why is it that churches whose names have “grace” in their names seem to not fully understand grace? (Sovereign Grace, Beaverton Grace, Grace Community). That is very odd to me. They should have the grace-thing down, doncha think? :::::: JA = pretends she’s a teen and rolls her eyes::::

  11. Julie Anne,

    Perhaps that’s why these alleged victims went ahead with the lawsuit – because they believed the SGM code of secrecy would persist if not challenged in the public arena.

    Great observation about the use of the word “GRACE” by certain churches.  BAIT and SWITCH perhaps? 

  12. HUG said:

    doubleplusungood ref doubleplusunevent.
    two plus two equals five, comrade.

    Are you speakin’ Newspeak

    This sentence in the Newspeak Wiki article caught my attention:

    “Newspeak root words serve as both nouns and verbs, further reducing the total number of words; for example, “think” is both noun and verb, so the word thought is not required and can be abolished.”

    Hmmm….

    Gospel, anyone?  The Calvinista crowd uses it as a noun, adjective, and verb to the point that it has lost its true meaning IMHO.  Maybe their language should be referred to as gospelspeak

  13. Even though they are separating from CJ, they still think like him and will do “church” as usual. I’m still waiting to see what MacArthur is going to do with all of this info.

    Julie, so true about the “grace” thing.

  14. I’m glad to see World reporting these things. A few years ago, based on secondhand reporting from “homeschool bubble” friends who subscribed to the magazine, they sounded like a purely conservative evangelical rag. But now they’ve broken the D’Souza story, reported on SGM twice, and run an editorial (last summer) taking Christians to task for glorifying Ayn Rand. In stark contrast to Fox News, which STILL hasn’t said squat about D’Souza except to publish his rebuttal on their website (but not a word on TV) and continues to give airtime to Truthers. (And no, I’m not a Democrat.)

    I wonder if World has annoyed some of their readership by saying this stuff.

  15. Some people were annoyed at World’s expose of the lying fraud David Barton (who associates with word-faith heretic and charlatan Kenneth Copeland).

  16. Stormy,

    Whenever I think of John MacArthur, I am reminded of the Resolved conferences which featured C.J. Mahaney EVERY SINGLE YEAR

    I am still offended by the Scream of the Damned, as described in the Resolved Trailer 2009.

     

  17. Eagle, maybe a more general format would be to avoid any building that has the word “church” in it’s name. :)

  18. I’m saddened but not really surprised that they’re clamming up and covering up and turning inward. That is a typical response from radically authoritarian personalities and systems when they are seriously challenged. At some level they have to know that what they are doing is incredibly sinful, but the denial and defense mechanisms are very strong. If they think this will end well for them, though, they are truly deluded. The legal system can have incredible reach and power once it gets moving, and it will all be a matter of public record.

  19. Years ago when I was in the fundamentalist bubble…someone told me that if a church had “grace” in a name that I should avoid it. I was told those churches tend to be more legalistic and deceptive. — Eagle

    Sounds like a Christianese variant on the TV Trope “People’s Republic of Tyranny”, where the more adjectives about Freedom and Democracy in a country’s official name the nastier a dictatorship it is.

  20. In stark contrast to Fox News, which STILL hasn’t said squat about D’Souza except to publish his rebuttal on their website (but not a word on TV) and continues to give airtime to Truthers. — Hester

    Sure that shouldn’t be “Birthers” instead of “Truthers”?

    Given the way “Birther” and “Truther” break down near 100% along Party lines…

  21. Julie Anne and those who also wonder about the word “grace” in the title of a church:

    Okay, the word “grace” appears in the names of churches not because they love grace and love to practice it. They name their churches “grace” because of their belief in a certain doctrine of “grace.” They are promoting a point of theology, not a way of life.

  22. Are you speakin’ Newspeak ? — Deb

    Like I haven’t been citing “Principles of Newspeak” by G.Orwell a LOT on these comment threads re the SGM/IFB/MH Party Line?

    As for “nouns being used as verbs”, that’s an old, old tradition in English. The example cited was from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, where the Duke enters town incognito “To see how my substitute is Duke-ing”. (The Gerund is a verb used as a noun, why shouldn’t they return the favor by using nouns as verbs?)

    And a local TV commercial from the Sixties (don’t remember who for) had the line “President is presidenting… Vice-Presidents are vicing…”

    But still, Christianese seems to turn noun into verb more often than any other dialect of English. “Fellowshipping”????

  23. Ah, yes, Steve, that’s it!! Of course – it’s the Doctrines of Grace. Thank you!

    So the word “grace” is not their way of life, but that particular theology is definitely their way of life.

  24. HUG – have I mentioned, on these esteemed pages, my experience of hearing a Christian leader use the verb “to fellowship” transitively? As in, to go up to a visitor and fellowship them?

  25. “What is the difference between the Doctrine of Grace vs. regular grace”

    In the first, you have no choice as in John 3:16 ONLY, for the select, the rest are damned. In the second, you do have a choice. You can reject Christ’s free gift.

  26. Eagle said, “Do members of SGM and people who attend their churches realize, I mean really realize how destructive all this hypocrisy is?”

    Most people who read about abuse within church structures are dismayed with those members who seem to not care what is happening in their own church. I was a person who reported abuse in my church believing that leaders (whether pastors, elders, or congregants would not only listen, but take appropriate action. What I found is that everyone was willing to listen and most sympathized but no one would do anything because as they put it, “I don’t want to lose my friends here.” The church is their spiritual haven, their social network. Their leaders are those whom they have learned to trust with life guidance. To question is to risk being “cut off” from their family, perhaps the only thing resembling a family that they have and that is something unthinkable to most people. Its easy for those on the outside to say its better to stand up for what is right and pay the price, but its quite different when you have to face that in your own church. There are pressures that those on the outside looking in can never understand. What I found is that everyone is willing to do something if they know they will get a pat on the back for doing so. The biggest realization I came to with all this (with my own situation)is the vast number of professing Christians who so idolize their church leaders that they can do no wrong. The average church goer has little concept of personal reality in knowing Christ as Lord of their own life. They know the lingo, but everything else is spiritually hollow. Church leaders are not the problem IMO, even using C.J. as an example. Members empower the very leaders they look up to. Its like the jewish nation wanting a king when God said no. They chose men who became a substitute for God. Its not enough for church leaders to wake up and come clean, but for church members to wake up and return to the Lord.

  27. Anon -

    Along with your description of grace we could add the word “love.” Love cannot exist without choice. You cannot “force” someone to love another being. How can I love the Lord with all my heart if I don’t have freedom to do exactly that, or not? Without freedom to chose it is not love.

  28. Bridget, Thanks for adding that. Yes, LOVE!!!! Grace IS LOVE.

    Mike, I can echo your comment. You are so right on. I have seen it over and over.

    Just last night I was having dinner with a friend who attends a very leader idolatrous mega church. I was speaking to her of SGM. She immediately said, oh our elders would never do such a thing. I am exhaused from people who are so blind and have learned not to argue with ignorance. I happen to know they DID do something similar to hide evil a few years back because of “image” concerns. But she only knows them from stage. And she believes the persona they present on stage. There is a lot of that about. And for a lot of people, the church life is their social life and that is a huge consideration. Especially in mega churches where that is pushed like crazy and your whole life revolves around it and you have no free time to be salt and light in the world except maybe to invite someone from work to go to church. :o).

  29. Mike -

    I agree. Israel pleaded with God for an earthly king (as the other nations had) when they had God, himself.

  30. Eagle,

    If I can add a not very surprising comment, I also think, as an atheist, that this is the exact reason so many people continue to profess belief in God…their beliefs are too tied up with their self-image, community, family and jobs to be able to deny it publicly, even though, if they were honest, they would probably admit that they don’t truly believe.

  31. @ Deb 10:48

    “Gospel, anyone? The Calvinista crowd uses it as a noun, adjective, and verb to the point that it has lost its true meaning IMHO. Maybe their language should be referred to as gospelspeak…”

    Like –gospeled. Has anyone been gospeled? Or is it gospelled? It’s gospelled in the Urban, but no gospeled found in Merriam Webster. Jared Wilson is a “gospeled man” according to his blog on 11/6. Is there no end to the misuse of the word gospel?

  32. Eagle,
    Speaking of grace, and of Smith and Young, if you google the word “doctrines” the top suggestion is “Doctrines of Grace”. The second is “Doctrines and Covenant”. It’s telling that both these are more popular searches than “Doctrines of the Bible” or “Doctrines of Salvation”.
    IMO Doctines of Grace ought to mean something like “God shows grace to me: therefore I ought to gracious toward others”. I’m afraid it gets twisted round to mean, “God capriciously loves Some and hates others, and of course I’m one of the Some. Not so sure about you.”

  33. Fendrel – I think you’re more right than you realise. Many – probably most – church interweb sites have some kind of statement of doctrine. A large proportion of them state, in some way, shape or form, that God is triune. But I have never once seen an interweb, or any other, statement of doctrine that states God to be trustworthy.

    Though putting the boot, for a moment, on the other hand’s foot… I recall a relatively prominent christian apologist over here stating that, in his experience, “most atheists do believe in God; they just hate him”. I’m not saying that to score cheap points, either. If God were like Driscoll or SGM state him to be, I think you’d have to say many reasonable people would hate him. The irony is that, quite possibly, the atheist community might just have more faith in God than large numbers of professing christians. They’re just more honest about how they feel about him.

  34. Re: Grace in the church’s name as code for Doctrines of Grace.

    I think there is definitely something to this though it’s not universal. I have been an attender at a church with Grace in the name and it does not hold to TULIP. Nevertheless, this particular church has single handedly caused me to realize the wisdom of fleeing to the hills from any church with Grace in the name.

  35. @ HUG:

    No, there is at least one Truther (9/11 conspiracy theory-ist) on Fox News, Andrew Napolitano. (I haven’t looked into who is and is not a Birther.) He talks at least once a day on Fox. Frankly it amazes me that someone who used to be a judge could fall for a theory that has been so thoroughly ripped to pieces. It makes me question his judgment on other things. Quote below:

    “‘It’s hard for me to believe that [7 World Trade Center] came down by itself. I was gratified to see Geraldo Rivera investigating it. I’m gratified to see people across the border interested. I think 20 years from now, people will look at 9/11 the way they look at the assassination of JFK today,” he added, in an interview with radio host Alex Jones. ‘It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.’”

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/01/fox-takes-heat-from-left-and-right-over-analyst/

  36. So what will become of Joshua Harris and CLC should the majority of the congregation decide to disaffiliate from SGM? Or maybe I should ask what will happen if the congregation doesn’t vote to separate?

  37. Nick,

    Possibly, but I’m not sure I’d go that far. To be sure there are just as many reasons for becoming an atheist as their are for being a Christian and I imagine there are atheists who have dropped faith in God, not because they realized there isn’t sufficient evidence to support the concept, but rather because they have been hurt, disillusioned or feel that “God” has somehow let them down, etc., etc.

    Maybe the word “Antitheist” is a better description (you heard it here first folks!) for those who still believe, but like an angry child, refuse to acknowledge either God or their belief in him.

    Now, if I really thought that God existed, there is certainly enough evidence around to convict him at any human rights tribunal you might want to convene. Since, however I simply believe there isn’t sufficient evidence to go out on the “existence” limb, I have no emotional response to “God”, but rather to the damage that the concept and results of believing in that concept cause.

    Now, (getting ready to duck), since I do not believe God exists, I must also confess that puts me in the position of thinking that anyone who says they DO believe, is not telling the truth, and that when they are alone with themselves, and being totally honest with themselves, they would readily acknowledge that fact (unless the self-deception and delusion is so bad they have actually convinced themselves that God really does talk to them). But for whatever reason, they are simply unable or unwilling to make that declaration to their friends and families and instead retreat into a state of denial, pretending instead that they are doing something wrong or are unworthy somehow and everyone around them OBVIOUSLY hears Gods voice…so they keep silent, pretending and trying to emulate and become closer to those they perceive to be more spiritual, never realizing that those whom they admire are in exactly the same condition.

  38. HUG,

    I know I’m not the only one who wishes you’d write The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Calvinism ~ A Satirical Whimsy and Black Comedy.

  39. Fendrel, we can not do not judge God. God IS the Judge. Man’s shaking of fists and yelling up at him are futile.

  40. Nick,

    Of course we can…we can shake our fist at the foolish waste of human intellect and time. We can rage against allowing ourselves to be involved in killing our fellow man over who has the best invisible friend. We can fight against the idea of God on all fronts….and in the end, we will have done a good thing.

    IMHO

  41. Of course you know that Christ gave no command to kill the unbelievers, in fact quite the opposite. But don’t bother to differentiate between Christians who have kept His commands and “Christians” who haven’t. And don’t bother to distinguish between Christianity and Islam, either.

    BTW, atheism won’t stop man from killing his fellow man. Look at the USSR, Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, etc. In fact, the Bolsheviks executed thousands of Orthodox priests, an example of atheists killing solely on the basis of religion.

    Fallen man will always find something to fight and kill over. Your idea of a peaceful world under atheism will never happen.

  42. Diane, thanks for pointing out the “Gospeled Man” post. Kinda sorta sorry I went there. http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/gospeldrivenchurch/2012/11/06/a-gospeled-man/
    He says “flee, pursue, fight, take hold” mentioned by Paul as he adresses Timothy as “man of God” are the holy activity of masculine activity (and true personhood generally). Later he says “Biblical manhood is about denying excuses and taking responsibility”. (and biblical womanhood or childhood are not, or not as much?)
    If I had the energy and thought it would be beneficial, I’d be first to comment with some question like, “Are the virtues Paul recommends in the passage– righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness, the good fight, the call to eternal life, and the good confession– are these to be considered masculine virtues unneeded (or mostly so) by da wife and da kids?

  43. When I read the words “cover up” in regards to sexual and other kinds of abuse, I think of a kitty in her box. Yep, think of what she covers up!

  44. Not to mention the vices the “Man” of God is to flee, such as conceit, controversy, quarrels, envy, dissension, slander, friction, love of money….masculine vices only or primarily?

  45. We can rage against allowing ourselves to be involved in killing our fellow man over who has the best invisible friend. We can fight against the idea of God on all fronts….and in the end, we will have done a good thing. — Fendrel

    Fendrel (and I can’t stop thinking of Doctor Who every time I see your handle), have you ever seen South Park‘s Atheism two-parter? Where these far-future Atheist cults are waging Holy War against each other over some obscure point of Atheist “theology”? (Including an aside with talking Sea Otters where they show no hesitation towards killing Theistic “heretics”.)

    “Men of Sin” (to use a Bible term) will cite ANY Cosmic-level Authority — God, Christ, Bible, Koran, Marx, Darwin, Freud, Gaia, History, Nature, Reason, ANYTHING — to get Cosmic-level Justification for what they wanted to do anyway. And Atheism as Philosophy is one of those authorities. Even officially-atheist societies and states (from the French Revolution to the USSR) have functioned by making Atheism into “the State Religion” in all but name. Jihad against Infidels, Inquisitions against Heretics, and all.

    Because that kind of crap (and trying for high-level/cosmic justification that I Am Right) is just one of those things people DO.

  46. “It’s easy for those on the outside to say it’s better to stand up for what is right and pay the price” It’s never easy but there is freedom at the end. The heartache still remains because the situation will never change. And I’m not just talking about “church.”

  47. Church leaders are not the problem IMO, even using C.J. as an example. Members empower the very leaders they look up to. Its like the jewish nation wanting a king when God said no. They chose men who became a substitute for God. — Mike

    “You give me Honor,
    You give me Fame,
    You give me Power
    In your god’s name;
    I’m everything you want Me to be –
    I’m the Cult of Personality!”

  48. Hi Fendrel. I can see in some places and times belief in God was socially more convenient and comfortable (and, shamefully, safer) than an honest profession of unbelief. Maybe that is so in some parts of North America today. I can however say that in the UK there is no gain or loss at the moment from being a theist or anti-/atheist, socially, economically or politically, except that if you’re too dogmatic (whether hardline religious or atheist) you may get funny looks after a while, or find people avoid you for being what they regard as a bore ;-). In the USSR one stood to lose a lot from being religious, and yet interestingly the church survived. Similarly there are economic enticements in some countries to renounce Christianity, and yet the church still has a presence, albeit perhaps precarious, in those lands.

  49. A fine and timely quote for you from Dostoyevsky:

    “I got entangled in my own data, and my conclusion directly contradicts the original idea from which I start. Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that apart from my solution of the social formula, there can be no other.”
    …..
    Shigalyov, in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Demons, Part 2, Chapter 7: “With Our People”, tr. R. Pevear and L. Volokhonsky (London: Everyman, 2000), p.402.

  50. NB Dostoyevsky himself was not immune to the disease either, as one of his biographers pointed out: in an essay, starting with an appeal for a return to Christianity, he ended up calling for Russia to seize Constantinople from Turkey :-/

  51. Nick, et. al

    I don’t deny that there have been people who did not believe in God that have been horrible leader and committed terrible atrocities.

    The thing is that when religious people go to war, many times, it is BECAUSE they are religious…whether God told them to kill their enemies (lots of OT stuff like that), or they just believed they were doing God’s work, etc. It is religion itself that is driving the conflict.

    Headless,

    Yes, but one of the problems is that, if you believe the bible to be true, then you can’t just write it off as a crazy person using God to justify their own hatred or insanity, because the bible SAYS that God really did speak to whomever and ordered them to commit the massacre, genocide, etc. and saying that “God must know best…” in my mind is just a feeble attempt to get God off the hook.

  52. I know this is not a gracious remark…but don’t these people realize how ridiculous they are? All I see is a group of aging hipsters…..mutually massaging their egos while they bliss out to a beat…..and after that they’ll go get a cappuccino….it just seems like such a tired scene. I know I’M tired of it.

  53. Fendrel, you made me laugh out loud with your line, “Do Calvinists bother to look both ways before they cross the street?” Hahahaha!!!!

  54. I know this is not a gracious remark…but don’t these people realize how ridiculous they are? All I see is a group of aging hipsters…..mutually massaging their egos while they bliss out to a beat…..and after that they’ll go get a cappuccino….it just seems like such a tired scene. I know I’M tired of it.

    hereweogkids,

    Yes, I looked at the Together For The Gospel Live video clip & ridiculous came to my mind. But it gave me a weird feeling, too.

    I found that I felt decidedly uneasy at observing the singleminded group singing (can’t pinpoint why). It reminded me of the movie “The Polar Exress”, when all the zillions of Santa Elves begin slowly singing a capella “… Santa Claus is coming…to town!”. I found both scenes disturbing in the same way. Something brainwashed about it.

    The NT talks of “unity”, and in II Chronicles 5 describes “being as one” and making “one sound”:
    ****

    11 And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place …12 and the Levites who were the singers, …, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets— 13 indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying:

    “For He is good,
    For His mercy endures forever,”

    that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.”

    *****
    …but why, I wonder, does the depiction of “unity” and “being as one” and “one sound” as seen in the video clip disturb me so? Does anyone else feel the same way?

  55. I heard no women’s voices and I saw very few women present. Unity of the manly sort? The women are not seated at the adult table.

  56. Perhaps it was seeing this person called C.J. Mahaney stiffly rocking from side to side as if in some kind of empowered mania under wraps.

    I guess knowing the kinds of unconscionable things he’s done and seeing the kind of power at his fingertips in such an assembly… makes the whole thing suspect.

  57. Bridget — yes, maybe it was the homogeneousness of it, too.

    Can’t get those WWII black & white films of the crowd’s unison response to Hitler’s orations out of my mind.

  58. It disturbed me because the noise, IMO, comes from a wrongful man centered worship, and a new law, (covenant theology). ‘We have emulated, we have all conformed, we have read the books, we have mimicked the speech, we have copied the walk and the way. Now let us lift our voices as one symbiotic ego stroke to one another, to the one that died on the cross for our admission into this exclusive club, and to praise what we have accomplished through our hoarding of money and sales of media.’

    The unity may also be an affirmation of the principals, programs, and publications of a chosen few that promote a safety in numbers with submission rather than from a mutual security in Christ himself.

    Maybe it’s because they may sing to a God that looks like an aging hipster that will bliss out and get a double espresso afterwords. Just one big self affirmation sing rather than a genuine outpouring to Jesus for his daily personal relationship and voice that guides their individual lives and callings.

    Perhaps it is simply disturbing because when one walks with Jesus on a daily basis, counterfeit Christianity becomes obvious, and righteously disturbs the soul.

    IMO of course. That and because, it was what me and many of my friends did while in SGM. Individual experiences may vary of course.

  59. Can’t get those WWII black & white films of the crowd’s unison response to Hitler’s orations out of my mind.

    Me either.

  60. unassimilated,

    “we have copied the walk and the way.”

    –Can you elaborate on the walk? The way?

    “Perhaps it is simply disturbing because when one walks with Jesus on a daily basis, counterfeit Christianity becomes obvious, and righteously disturbs the soul.”

    –That occurred to me, too. While I don’t think I can say I’ve “walked with Jesus on a daily basis”, what I can say is that I’ve never been more lucid (having removed myself from heady christian culture for a good long while). And by golly, God/Jesus/Holy Spirit are here on the outside. Whadyaknow. Maybe they needed fresh air, too.

  61. “I know I’m not the only one who wishes you’d write The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Calvinism ~ A Satirical Whimsy and Black Comedy.

    Totally agree!

  62. This was offered by Fendrel:

    “…I must also confess that puts me in the position of thinking that anyone who says they DO believe, is not telling the truth, and that when they are alone with themselves, and being totally honest with themselves, they would readily acknowledge that fact…but for whatever reason, they are simply unable or unwilling to make that declaration to their friends and families and instead retreat into a state of denial…”

    Speaking personally — sure, I have my doubts. There are plenty of things in the Bible that I don’t understand. I’ve heard lots of questions that I have trouble answering, even to my own satisfaction. As for family and friends, many are Christians, but many are not. In fact, in Japan (where only about 1% of the population is Christian) I could probably get by socially just fine even without belief in God. And I know my loved ones well enough to trust that none of them would cut me out of their lives, if I weren’t a Christian.

    So, what keeps me believing in Him? Because it’s what makes the most sense to me. Because too many truths that I hold dear would make no sense to me without Him. And most of all, because when I’m alone with myself, I know in my heart of hearts that He’s there. I don’t recall ever hearing His voice. But I’m convinced that He hears mine.

    More on topic… It’s good to see a Christian publication informing readers about this lawsuit. I imagine it must be discouraging at times for bloggers like Julie Anne Smith and Deb and Dee, kinda like “voices in the wilderness”. I hope it vindicates them a bit to have the voice of a magazine like this joining in.

  63. Japan,

    I know that there are other reasons why it is difficult for Christians…but from my personal experience (20 years as a born again Christian) and that of many other that I talk with (friends) as well as the writings of many other ex-Christians…those reasons do seem to be a very common thread in their stories.

    You said “Because too many truths that I hold dear…” Can you give me one example…what truth do you hold dear that would not make sense without believing in the supernatural?

  64. Fendral

    You write…
    “from my personal experience (20 years as a born again Christian)”

    Was wondering…

    What is your definition of – “born again Christian?”

    And – How do you know you were – “born again?”

  65. Hi Serving in Japan: It really is great to see when other publications are taking on stories – especially stories of abuse that leave a trial of victims in its path. However, I am thrilled to know when I search for certain people or church groups on Google I can see TWW articles, FBCJax Watchdog articles, or my own articles interspersed with the major news organization articles. When it comes to internet searches, bloggers are on an even playing field, so we really do have a voice. Yea!!!

    Your story of what keeps you believing in Him is beautiful. I very much enjoyed reading it and it echoes my faith.

  66. I’ll have to rattle this one off quickly. Must get to bed soon.

    One of my more intellectual reasons for believing in God: Our awareness of right and wrong. Human conscience, as far as I can see, isn’t born of either instinct (i.e. natural impulses) or logical inference. It has always co-existed with them, but has never been derived from either, or from any combination of them. The only conclusion I can draw is that its origin is divine.

    I don’t mean to say that only those who believe in God know how to be moral — I know that many atheists and agnostics are highly principled and compassionate. I mean I don’t see how anyone (pious or otherwise) could have a concept of “ought” or “ought not” unless God exists. If we didn’t derive it from His goodness, I can’t see how we could have derived it from anything else.

    Of course, I have other, more emotional reasons for my stubborn faith, but that must do for now. Besides, I don’t want to derail this thread too much.

    Good night, all.

  67. Amos,

    I just got done writing you an answer and then erased it. Do you have any idea how many times I get asked that same question and have to parrot back some compact version of the 4 spiritual laws…only to have the person on the receiving end still imply that I must have not have been a “true” Christian and then left.

    It’s the true Scotsman fallacy over and over and over (my little hell..if you will).

    I apologize if I seem a bit touchy about this, but I’ve had to deal with it so much it drives me crazy. If I say I was a Christian, then I was and you do not get to second guess either my sincerity or my theology simply so you can dismiss what I say.

    I know it would make you feel better to believe that I wasn’t “really” a Christian because otherwise I would have “truly” experienced God’s love and I could never have left and become an atheist. Not to mention that you can then dismiss the same claims of tens of thousands of others who have done the same…but it’s simply not true and you’ll just have to learn to accept it.

  68. Fendral

    Thanks for the response.

    And it’s okay to be “a bit touchy.”
    I woke up “a bit touchy” today also. Usally I just let her sleep. Budda boom…

    You write…
    “I would have “truly” experienced God’s love and I could never have left and become an atheist.”

    Did you “experience God’s love?” And then became an atheist?

  69. Fendrel

    You write…
    “I just got done writing you an answer and then erased it.”

    Are you still writing with pencil and paper?

    How do you do that on a blog? ;-)

  70. Amos,

    That’s like asking “Have you stopped beating your sister yet?”, it begs the question. Of course not, and in my mind, neither have you. There is zero evidence for the existence of the supernatural…any of it, God included.

    Whatever warm fuzzies a person may feel, are nothing more than our brains making us feel good about a decision we’ve already made…in the same way that we all think our wives are beautiful and are children are smarter than average. :)

    To answer more directly, I became an atheist over several years primarily as the result of being unwilling to continue ignoring that little voice in we all have in our heads that tells us something isn’t right. We can ignore it, push it to the back, engage our brains on some other topic or in the case of religion, we can pretend it’s the “devil” trying to tempt us…the truth is we all know what it is…the result of cognitive dissonance, when we realize we are trying to hold on an idea or a “truth” that we know isn’t true.

    During my time as a Christian I was focused primarily on Christian apologetics, witnessing to the cults, mostly JWs and Mormons, I was forced to acknowledge, over time, that I was refusing to apply the same reasoned arguments and strict logic that I used in evangelism, proving that, for example, Watchtower theology was not Christian theology, to the existence of God itself. Once I did that, it took a very short time for me to realize I had not be intellectually honest with myself…so one day I simply decided enough was enough…and dropped the pretense…what a relief.

    So, maybe unlike many atheists, I do not argue with Christians simply for the pleasure of arguing or to prove some abstract point. I do it because I truly believe it is in the best interest of those who believe, to drop the pretense. I think their lives will be fuller, they will be more honest with themselves and overall, although it sounds a bit naive, I think the world will ultimately be a better place without all that silly nonsense.

    How was that for an explanation? Anything else you’d like to know?

  71. Fendrel

    You ask – “Anything else you’d like to know?”

    Yes – You write…
    “you do not get to second guess either my sincerity or my theology”

    Was wondering…
    Since “Theology” is “the study of the nature of God”

    Why do you have a “Theology?”

    If there is NO God who’s love you did NOT experience?

  72. Fendrel

    And I’d also like to know…
    When you answered my question – “Did you “experience God’s love?”

    And write…
    “Of course not, and in my mind, neither have you.”

    Why is it okay for you to – “to second guess either my sincerity or my theology?”

  73. Nope,

    I am not second guessing your sincerity…I believe that you really believe it. I have no theology now…but I did 25 years ago, which is what you were questioning.

  74. So, maybe unlike many atheists, I do not argue with Christians simply for the pleasure of arguing or to prove some abstract point. I do it because I truly believe it is in the best interest of those who believe, to drop the pretense. I think their lives will be fuller, they will be more honest with themselves and overall, although it sounds a bit naive, I think the world will ultimately be a better place without all that silly nonsense. — Fendrel

    It almost sounds like you’re Soul-Winning, Saving Their Souls that they may Have Life more Abundantly(TM).

    Fendrel, were you ever mixed up in a Fundy/Evangelical church years ago? That burned you out and flipped you one-eighty in reaction? Because often in a burnout flip like that you get the same intensity and tactics, but applied to an opposite Gospel (or lack of one). Communism begets Objectivism.

  75. As that goes, HUG, that 180 flip might describe nearly every single person here. :)

  76. Fendrel

    I apoligise for asking the quetions the way I did.

    You thought I was questioning your “Theology” when I asked…

    What is your definition of – “born again Christian?”
    And – How do you know you were – “born again?”

    I’ll try to ask again – differently.

    What would be your “evidence procedure” for knowing when someone is – “born again?”
    How would you explain to someone who asks you – What does it mean to be – “born again?”

    When you told others, and called yourself, – “born again” – What did that mean to you?

    Did you receive some warm fuzzies then? Are you receiving any warm fuzzies now?

  77. Fendrel

    These questions are NOT about “Theology” – “the study of the nature of God”

    This is my small inquireing attempt at “Fendrology” – “the study of the nature of Fendrel.”

  78. Fendrel, thanks for talking about why you left the faith behind… a lot of the time currently I feel like I’d do that if I could (well, a lot of aspects of the faith, not all), but can’t, with intellectual integrity….yet? What I’d also like to know is how you got into the faith? I’ve also spent a lot of time on apologetics, with young people, & it was really the work of Francis Schaeffer that cemented belief for me, I haven’t really experienced a whole load of warm fuzzies…but have had a massive amount of love from my Christian friends. Swings & roundabouts maybe.

  79. Fendrel

    Seems to me the Bible is very accurate – And your testimoney is the proof – You write…
    “There is zero evidence for the existence of the supernatural…any of it, God included.”

    Well, in many different ways, the Bible lets us know that “How you believe”
    “According to your faith”will often determine “What you “See” and experience.

    It is written, .
    “and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.”
    “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed:
    blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
    “According to your faith be it unto you.”

    You say…
    “There is zero evidence for the existence of the supernatural”
    And you, Fendrel, “See” nothing and experience nothing supernatural.

    Now I experience the supernatural, miracles, healings, on a regular basis.
    For me, First I believed – then I began to “See” and experience the supernatural.
    “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

    You believe NOT – And you “See” nothing” and experience nothing.

    I believe – And I “See” and experience the supernatural.

    And thank you for NOT second guessing my sincerity or my “Theology.” ;-)

    Thank you Jesus…

  80. Amos, Beakerj

    How I became a Christian (feels like the start of a high school essay) –
    I grow up in a typical “religious” home, Lutheran Church, Sunday school, catechism classes…but it was pretty much confined to church. During the “Jesus” movement (early 70s) I accepted Christ as my savior…after being witnessed to by someone who later became a very good friend and was involved with Campus Crusade. For the next 20 or so years I was involved with various churches from baptist, to Pentecostal and also some independent churches, including Gathering of Believers and PDI with C.J, Mahaney and Larry Tomczak. I was heavily into apologetics and as a result did a fair amount of study, Francis Schaeffer, Watchman Nee, Josh McDowell, Walter Martin, et. al.

    There was of course the “warm fuzzies” of the conversion experience, which in hindsight, should have tipped me off that it was a conversion made, not based on evidence or fact, but rather on an emotional appeal, being young, hormones…call it what you will.

    I can’t answer how I would know if someone is “born again” because, as far as I am concerned the term is meaningless. When I refer to the “supernatural” I am including not only the Christian God, but any god, angels, devils, souls, spirits, hereafter, etc.

    As I have stated many times before, maybe you are right and heaven does exist, but in this life, in the here and now, there is no evidence to support it and therefore it does not merit acceptance as being true.

    Since becoming an atheist, my life in many ways has improved…I have lots more free time on my hands (no prayer meetings) :) Although I now seem to spend an equal amount of time talking to Christians about my experience and have become sort of an unofficial spokesman on atheism for my friends lol

    The same number of good things (which I would have previously converted into prayers) keep happening in my life and roughly the same number of bad things…in other words, just like every one else. I think the primary difference between Christians and non-believers like myself is that I am willing to change my viewpoint if and when the evidence points me in a different direction…whereas most Christians I know think they have already found the “ultimate” truth and so have become impervious to evidence one way or the other…I think that’s sad.

  81. Fendrel, thanks for your honesty. Would you consider that you are a materialist now in the philosophical sense? (Not a rude question I hope, just an interested query).

  82. Hey Fendrel

    Me too – “I grew up in a typical “religious” home, Lutheran Church, Sunday school, catechism classes…but it was pretty much confined to church.”

    Moved to Texas and accepted Jesus in mid 70’s – Wow – the Bible belt for sure. ;-)

    Me too – For the next 20 (me – 15 years) or so years I was involved with various churches from baptist, to Pentecostal and also some independent churches.”

    The difference – I left “The Corrupt Religious System” early 90’s, I couldn’t do it anymore. :-(
    Trying to live up to mans expectations. Wore me out I tell you. We had 4 meetings a week. :-(

    “Since becoming an atheist, (Me – Leaving“The Corrupt Religious System”) my life in many ways has improved…I have lots more free time on my hands (no prayer meetings)”

    And NO more “Tithes and Offerings. Found out God doesn’t need money. And when those in The system” are told they are giving to God – Turns out God never gets his hands o it. Hmmm? Thank you Jesus

    Seems most “Church Leaders”(Just writting “Church Leaders” makes me sick.) Bah humbug…
    Seems – Most in “The Corrupt Religious System” just want you to – Pray – Pay – and – Obey.

    I left the 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax $ deductible, Religious $ Corporations – The IRS calls church.

    I never left Jesus and Jesus never left me. AAAHHH – Glorious Liberty – Freedom…

    Now the Lord is that Spirit:
    and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. ;-)
    2 Cor 3:17

  83. Kolya,

    I’d say that’s a pretty fair statement (I feel a trap coming) :)
    I’d qualify that by saying that there may in fact exist another realm of reality that is not material, but I do not believe the evidence at hand supports crawling out onto that limb.

    Amos,

    Taking a short break to do some work..back a bit later

  84. RE: elastigirl on Fri Nov 09,2012 at 09:39 PM,

    You are not alone. I too found it disturbing. As disturbing as Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 film Triumph of the Will. Whether it’s blissful Aryans rapt in the beatific vision or zealous Calvinistas arrayed before their beloved leader, the dynamic is the same. You surrender bit by bit your very humanity, and before long you will agree to dogma and horrors that your spark of divine within would never agree to.

  85. Amos

    Nice to see we have much in common, the one thing I would add though is that believe in the supernatural has absolutely no objective evidence to support it and thus there is no basis on which to believe it has anything to do with realty.

    While I am glad you escaped an abusive environment, I think all you have done is trade a church that uses the fantasy of religion to abuse and control its followers for a milder version of the same fantasy…just this time without the abuse being as obvious.

    Certainly an improvement, but I would argue there’s lots of room to improve even more. :)

  86. You are not alone. I too found it disturbing. As disturbing as Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 film Triumph of the Will. Whether it’s blissful Aryans rapt in the beatific vision or zealous Calvinistas arrayed before their beloved leader, the dynamic is the same. — Muff Potter

    In my 1943 OSS psych profile of A.H., outside witnesses are cited as describing the Nuremberg Rallies as “Revival Meetings”.

  87. “But the one thing that really troubles me as an agnostic is this point. To see the majesty and beauty of creation and have nothing to thank for the creation. I mean….I’ve been to Asia and seen some of the majesty of the mountains there. Seen the ocean crash on the beaches in California. Be amazed by the majesty of the peaks of mountains in Glacier and in Montana. Watch wildlife in lakes in Wisconsin. Anyhow….to see all that and have nothing to give thanks for bothers me.” Eagle

    It is hard to believe that all of creation, the universes, and man are all here by happenstance.

  88. Fendrel -

    “Believing in gods just cheapens all the grandeur of nature. It simplifies and turns the incredibleness of physics, chemistry and biology into a carnival magic show for children.”

    I think this is your opinion, which you are certainly entitled to. I have a different opinion on the subject of creation. I do agree that physics, biology, and chemistry are incredible!! :)

  89. Eagle, I’ve never found fundamentalism in any form to be healthy – be it Muslim, Atheist or Christian. An exception I think is cleaning your teeth – it’s good to be fundamentalist about that.

  90. It was similar to the hate spewed by Jerry Falwell or John Piper…but it was from a different perspective. I saw a lot of parallels between Jerry Falwell and Richard Dawkins. It really bothered me…. Here I was…I ran from Christianity to get away from fundagelcialism…and now I was encountering it in a different format. — Eagle

    Communism begets Objectivism, but Fundamentalism is constant.

    (Though I understand in his favorite restaurants in Lynchburg, Jerry Falwell was known to tip BIG — said he wanted to make up for church people being lousy tippers. Does Richard Dawkins tip big?)

  91. eagle – the other side of this re. Dawkins is that he’s now a celebrity – and gets paid big money to come in and preach against theism… like some of the fundy guys you’ve cited.

  92. Fendrel – that’s one of the silliest things i’ve ever heard you say!

    If you think that science, the grandeur of nature et. al. become a bad magic show, i think you are misunderstanding the nature of *many* religious beliefs (not just xtian ones).

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    - “Hamlet,” act i, scene v

  93. Eagle,

    I’m so glad that my post was meaningful for you. At times, I feel like such an outsider on blogs like these. For whatever reason, I haven’t personally encountered or been a victim of the spiritual (or other) abuse that has hurt so many others. My journey thus far has been relatively easy, and I wonder sometimes whether I have anything to offer those who’ve had it so hard.

    It saddens me to hear that you suffered so much — first, in a place where you should have felt safe and valued, and later with such a serious illness. I hope you’re fully healed now. And it’s wonderful that, in your illness, those who claim to know and love Jesus didn’t let you down. One of the things that has strengthened and encouraged me has been the active love of the fellow Christians I’ve met (including some pretty great pastors). It’s helped me a lot through doubts and struggles of life.

    I hear you about the wonder of creation, and the feelings of gratitude that it inspires. You reminded me of these words by Christina Rossetti: “Were there no God, we would be in this glorious world with grateful hearts, and no one to thank.”

    And regarding your thanks to me: Whoops!! I didn’t realize how ambiguous my handle is! I mean “serving” in the sense of serving God. And as an English teacher and ordinary Joe, not as a soldier or even a missionary (yet). Oh, I hope I didn’t confuse too many people. I don’t have nearly enough courage or discipline to be in the military! ;)

    In the spirit of your tribute, however: On this day (Remembrance Day in Canada and the U.K.), I hope we’re all grateful for the courage and sacrifice of those who’ve gone before us, and helped to preserve our freedom. Freedom to worship. Freedom not to worship. And freedom to talk honestly about what’s in our hearts.

  94. Hi ‘Serving in Japan’, your handle is ambiguous in more ways than one. heh ! (Remembrance Day here too)

  95. FenrelYou write…
    “that believe in the supernatural has absolutely no objective evidence to support it”

    NOPE – I’ve got lots and lots of evidence. Emperical evidence. ;-)

    Because – I believe – I “See” and experiece lots and lots of “Evidence” of the supernatural.

    Because = You do NOT believe – You “See” NO “Evidence.” (Tear running down cheek.)

    ————-

    “According to your faith be it unto you.”
    “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.”
    “and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.”
    “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

    ——–

    “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”
    “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
    “If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field…
    how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

    ——–

    “These signs (Miracle – Wonders) shall follow them that believe…”
    “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also;”

    ——-

    I believe and I “See” and experiece lots and lots of “Evidence” of the supernatural.

    Jesus loves me this I know…

  96. And Fendrel

    Faith is used many different ways in the Bible. In my ex[erience…
    When you have “Faith” to “Believe” you too can “See” the supernatural. ;-)
    Here are a few examples.

    — OF FAITH –
    Door of faith.
    Law of faith.
    Righteousness of faith.
    Word of faith.
    Measure of faith.
    Proportion of faith.
    Obedience of faith.
    Spirit of faith.
    Hearing of faith.
    Household of faith.
    Shield of faith.
    Joy of faith.
    Work of faith.
    Breastplate of faith.
    Words of faith.
    Fight of faith.
    Assurance of faith.
    Prayer of faith.
    ——————–

    –YOUR FAITH–
    According to your faith.
    Your faith is spoken of.
    Your faith is increased.
    Your faith in the Lord Jesus.
    Service of your faith.
    Heard of your faith.
    Stedfastness of your faith.
    Your faith to God-ward.
    Concerning your faith.
    Know your faith.
    Good tidings of your faith.
    Comforted… by your faith.
    Perfect … your faith.
    Your faith grows.
    The trying of your faith.
    The trial of your faith.
    The end of your faith.
    Your faith …in God.
    Add to your faith.
    —————–

    –FAITH IN–
    Have faith in God.
    Faith in his name.
    Faith in Christ.
    Faith in his blood.
    By faith in Christ Jesus.
    Faith in the Lord Jesus.
    Your faith in Christ Jesus.
    Stedfastness of your Faith in Christ.

  97. Amos,

    Sadly, it seems that you do not understand what constitutes empirical evidence, in fact, your definition for “evidence” is almost the complete opposite of empirical evidence. A short snippet from Wikipedia on the topic may help clarify.

    “Among scientific researchers, empirical evidence (as distinct from empirical research) refers to objective evidence that appears the same regardless of the observer. For example, a thermometer will not display different temperatures for each individual who observes it. Temperature, as measured by an accurate, well calibrated thermometer, is empirical evidence. By contrast, non-empirical evidence is subjective, depending on the observer. Following the previous example, observer A might truthfully report that a room is warm, while observer B might truthfully report that the same room is cool, though both observe the same reading on the thermometer. The use of empirical evidence negates this effect of personal (i.e., subjective) experience.”

  98. Fendrel

    Thanks for that report from wiki – BUT – Here’s my dictionary definition

    empirical |emˈpirikəl|
    adjective
    based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience
    rather than theory or pure logic:

    Your failure is – You base your beliefs on “theory or pure logic.” You have NO observation.

    And – A man with an “Experience” is never at the merch of a man with a “Theroy.”

    Hmmm? “verifiable by observation or experience”

    I believe – I “See” and “Experience” – I “observe” and “experience.” – God loves me…

    So, for me, My “Emperical Evidence” – of Signs, Miracles, Wonders
    Are recorded in the Bible, and are recorded in my “Observation and Experience.”
    I have two witnesses, The Bible and me… or is it “I” And I have “Emperical Evidence.”

    You do NOT believe – You do NOT “See” or “Experience” Signs, Miracles, Wonders…

    Again, my “Emperical Evidence” for someone who does NOT “See” Signs, Miracles, Wonders.

    Your own testimoney is against you…
    You do NOT believe – You do NOT “See” or “Experience” Signs, Miracles, Wonders.

    That is also recorded in the Bible, and recorded in my “Observation and Experience.”
    I have two witnesses, The Bible and me… or is it “I” – And I have “Emperical Evidence.”

  99. Fendrel

    You have NO observation. Could it be that your un-beliefe “blinds you?”

    “But their “minds were blinded:”
    “because that darkness “hath blinded his eyes.”
    “In whom the god of this world hath *blinded the minds* of them which believe not,“

    “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart;
    that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart,”

    “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not;
    and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”

    “By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand;
    and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:”

    “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing,
    and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes,
    and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart,”

  100. Amos,

    Sorry, that didn’t even make any sense. You are using street definitions of theory and empirical, instead of using scientific definition. There is zero scientific evidence for the existence of the supernatural…period.

    You are free to continue believing in it if you want, but why would you want to. You have the ability for rational thought…why do you want to toss it aside and instead run after fairy tales. It is a tragic waste.

  101. Amos,

    You are using circular reasoning..it is not a valid argument..no matter what you want to think.

  102. Fenrel

    ““In whom the god of this world hath *blinded the minds* of them which believe not,“

    That makes perfect sense to me.

    You believe NOT – And you “See” NOT.

  103. Amos, Fendrel…

    You’re both going round in circles on this. You want to fight back-and-forth like a Monty Python Argument Clinic (“DID! DIDN’T! DID! DIDN’T!”, take it off the list.

  104. Headless,

    We are not going around in circles, we are having a discussion. Please don’t feel obligated to read it, if it disturbs you.

    Amos,

    If you are going to continue quoting the Bible in order to prove the bible, then headless is correct and no progress is going to be made. If you have evidence that is objective and testable…please lay it out, if not, then admit that you believe in spite of any evidence.

  105. Fendrel, I posted most of this about a week ago under another article. I’m not sure if you saw it because I didn’t see any comments on it:

    The 1978 Nobel Physics Prize (Penzias & Wilson) was for experimental evidence, the 3 degree Kelvin background cosmic microwave radiation, confirming the Big Bang, the birth of our universe. The 2011 Nobel Physics (Perlmutter, Schmidt & Riess) was for astronomical observations indicating the expansion of universe is accelerating, not decelerating. Our universe had a moment of creation but does not appear to have a built-in end. There is no support of an infinite repeating cycle of universe creations and deaths. The universe is a unique event. This suggests there may be something “outside” of the observable universe. Rationally what might it be?

    That’s the end of the original comment. Given the pedigree of the references this is about as good experimental evidence that science is can provide. Definitely empirical evidence according to your 11:17A comment. I think it is only in question to the extent that science is never finished and there may be some new observations or theoretical developments that limit it in some way. I’m interested in your evaluation of it.

  106. OldJohn,

    Good comment and I will definitely research more, However I will try and make a couple of observations in advance (always a dangerous thing) :)

    1. While it may be “empirical evidence” for how the universe began (at least as far back as we are able to go), it does not necessarily imply a God or divine being.

    2. Maybe off topic, but if you accept the theories surrounding the big bang, then of necessity, you must reject the time scale of young earth creations who want to peg the age of the universe around 10k years old.

    3. There are extant, multiple pending theories that in fact support a cyclic or rebounding universe, so simply because we can trace ours back to a single point in time, that does not necessarily imply a different, outside cause for that singularity (ref below to Wiki article).

    More to come…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclic_model
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bounce
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loop_quantum_cosmology

  107. Fendrel,

    If you have evidence that is objective and testable…please lay it out, if not, then admit that you believe in spite of any evidence.

    I’m not a debater, but noticed your statement here and was wondering if you might consider a life transformed as objective and testable. I ask because there are millions of those who would testify to a changed life as a result of believing in Christ. The “new birth” for those (and myself as well) are evidence of a change in one’s life attributable to Jesus Christ.

    What say you?

  108. Victorious,

    That would be difficult for a couple of reasons…

    How would you “test” whether it was God that transformed a person’s life or whether it was simply a change in personality through natural causes? Just because they accepted Christ wouldn’t ipso facto make Jesus the cause of the change.

    Secondly how would you explain people who have had life changing transformations who were not Christians? What about those who claim it was because of their conversion to other religions or Gods….would you dismiss them out of hand?

    Thirdly what of the people who because Christians and did not have any type of noticeable transformation…would you call them liars because they didn’t transform in the way you would have expected them to?

    If you can tell me how to measure and prove the source of the transformation, I’ll consider it.

  109. John,

    I responded but for some reason it is awaiting moderation…I’ll respond again if it doesn’t come through in a bit

  110. Fendrel, thanks for your reply. I have some comments on your numbered statements.
    1. I agree that the cited empirical evidence does not demand God. However it does allow for Him.
    2. I am not a young earth creationist. That is not a necessary belief for Christians nor is it demanded by our Bible.
    3. The 2011 Physics Nobel essentially rules out cyclical universes as was stated in my previous comment. Whether loop quantum gravity ultimately can change the acceleration of the universe expansion or has significance beyond the instant of creation is beyond my competence.

    Given the stated empirical evidence, your oft made statement in many forms “believe in the supernatural has absolutely no objective evidence to support it” is as much a statement of faith as we believers profess.

  111. Fendrel – Dude, you know I like you and am very glad to see you in these parts again. :)

    That said, I think OldJohnJ is right about your “statement of faith” in empirical knowledge, etc. Honestly, you are evangelizing for a-theism. (Dash is intentional.)

  112. Fendrel,

    If you can tell me how to measure and prove the source of the transformation, I’ll consider it.

    I can’t deny that a personal transformation might be caused or attributed to a source other than Christ. Parents, after all, can cause a behaviorial change in a child by example and/or discipline. But the fact that there could be a multitude of other causes for a personal transformation doesn’t negate the one in question; Jesus.

    I would hope that a person’s word would be your measure of proof. If I tell you that my life changed dramatically following an encounter with Jesus, that should be proof enough I would think. What would benefit me to attribute the change to Jesus if it were not so? Personal testimonies abound in this respect and you might be interested in knowing that I, too, was an atheist prior to my conversion. And that happened in my livingroom by myself, not having been to a church to influence me.

    In the end, a personal testimony cannot be discounted in my opinion.

  113. Gotta agree about that which can’t be nailed down – with empirical data – in general.

    Example: person who has suffered from severe (clinical or reactive) depression but is now free of it, or largely so. Same for people with anxiety disorder who had experienced crippling panic attacks and/or agoraphobia, but are now able to function without being hindered by either.

    You can x-ray a broken bone and then, some time later, show via x ray that it’s healed. But you can’t do that with the mind and – figuratively speaking – the heart (or soul or whatever you want to call it). All we can go on there is whether a person is feeling better or not.

    Hmm…

  114. Victorious, John, Numo

    I think you are all basically saying the same thing. You are all trying to argue that since the evidence doesn’t prevent God as a possibility then it qualifies as evidence FOR God.

    I disagree, they are not the same thing…to be a bit silly, the evidence also does not prevent the possibility of a an extra dimensional unicorn either, but that does not imply evidence FOR the unicorn, nor does it make belief in the unicorn a rational choice.

    Saying that there isn’t any objective, testable evidence FOR the existence of the supernatural is not a statement of faith, it is exactly the opposite, a statement of fact.

    You cannot logically say that because evidence doesn’t prevent something that it is logical to believe it exists….otherwise you would have to believe in a nearly infinite number of things that the evidence does not prevent…because it is silent on the issue.

    The bible says nothing about whether Jesus had an “inny” or an “outy” bellybutton. Does that mean it is logical to assert it must have been an “outy” simply because the evidence at hand doesn’t prevent that possibility?

  115. Fendrel – But I wasn’t talking about God, I was talking about depression (etc.).

    There are plenty of things in life that cannot be measured in a fully “objective” way.

    However, we’re going around in circles, and ultimately, you and I need to agree to disagree. :)

  116. Hi, Fendrel.

    I have zero experience debating about the existence of God or the supernatural. But i wanted to jump in with my question (which may be a very worn out question).

    Using your imagination, what would be evidence for the supernatural that is objective and testable? Is “supernatural” by definition impossible to test?

  117. Fendrel,

    I echo numo. Glad to see you here again friend! I’m confident that we can agree as follows:

    1) Muff to Fendrel ~ I believe that you don’t believe
    2) Fendrel to Muff ~ I believe that you believe.

    Both statements say nothing whatsoever about the truth or not-truth of either person’s belief system, they are just human to human acknowledgement.

  118. Elastigirl…

    That’s a great question and I don’t have a good answer for it. My gut instinct tell me you are correct, that there isn’t anything you can do in the natural world that would prove or disprove something in the supernatural world except possibly God himself doing an on demand magic show.

    I’m open to other possibilities…got any ideas?

  119. Hi Eagle – you might have to remind which questions again sorry – I had a skim through but couldn’t find – was it the nature question? Or about adapting to life outside of the church? For myself, one of the hardest times was when I left the church and declared myself as a believer to those who met me and asked, but said I didn’t want to attend church. I was given the hardest time by other Christians. It’s a lonely no mans’s land – you don’t fit in with Christians who attend church, and you don’t fit in with those who have no belief. Fortunately it wasn’t a lasting phase. I think I’ve learned now that I don’t have to have Christian friends, I don’t judge people by what they believe and I’m just genuinely curious in where people are coming from and where they are going. The pressure was really the pressure I was putting on myself to conform and fit in. Don’t know if I was way-off track there? Anyhow, my reason in participating in TWW is like yourself (I hope I don’t presume too much) – one of curiosity and questioning, and trying to work things out, or through, or to a deeper level. I’m really grateful to those who bother and share of themselves and their knowledge.

  120. @Eagle – your story about your illness and the band-aid was very moving.
    @Haitch – I wholeheartedly agree with your comment about fundamentalism.
    @Serving – I so relate to where your faith is right now. I find myself waking up every day and wrestling with what I believe. Yet my faith is stubborn in certain ways, and in some ways know Him in whom I have believed, but it’s being reformed every day.

    Yesterday I was having a discussion with a good friend about homosexuality. My comment to her was that Jesus was drawn to people whom other people rejected (e.g. the transgender people that I want to run from) and he had the harshest criticism for the religious people who had it all figured out – but wrongly. And in the midst of it all, Jesus drew people to himself. Hardly what we as Christians do these days.

  121. Fendrel -

    I don’t agree with what the parishaners of the church in Florida have done. Children shouldn’t be kept away so that a child molester can preach in the church. The need for “that man” to preach is none existent. The people who made that decision have their eyes and hearts planted on something other than God. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in forgiveness and rehabilitation, but not in stupidity. There are plenty of places that man can serve where children don’t need to be excluded.

  122. Our universe had a moment of creation but does not appear to have a built-in end. There is no support of an infinite repeating cycle of universe creations and deaths. The universe is a unique event. — OldJohnJ

    Well, that does seem to support the Jewish concept of time as linear, progressing from a beginning (Big Bang) to an end (the End of Days).

    Against the Hindu/Buddhist concept of time as endless repeating cycles (…to Brahma to Vishnu to Shiva to Brahma to Vishnu to Shiva to…).

    And both refute Aristotle’s concept of time as steady-state in a Cosmos without beginning or end.

  123. I don’t agree with what the parishaners of the church in Florida have done. Children shouldn’t be kept away so that a child molester can preach in the church. — Bridget

    All Animals are Equal
    But Some are More Equal than others
    AND THE MANOGAWD IS THE MOST EQUAL OF ALL!

  124. I think Darrell Gilyard should (as a condition for reconciliation)start a group for pedophiles anonymous (at an appropriate location off church grounds) and use his preaching gift there to them.

  125. Exactly – Victorious and Bridget. Isn’t it ridiculous that children have to leave the church to safely worship? What a dysfunctional church that the congregation should even want their sex offender pastor to remain in his position. They are skipping the scripture on qualifications for elders, obviously. I can’t wrap my brain around this stuff. Pastor idolatry, anyone?

  126. Julie Anne -

    The article did state that the man is not on staff and does not receive a salary, though he may receive offerings for his service. The article also stated that:

    “This chance also helps Christ Tabernacle out financially. Attendance was down, but with Gilyard it has increased.
    Church members say it was the best decision, based on their beliefs.
    ‘That’s what God would have us do. He would have us to appreciate everybody for who they are because none of us are without sin,’ said one parishoner.”

    I agree with none of this and the god in this case seems to be their finances. You will probably also note their little line of “none of us are without sin” and how it is used to excuse the actions of someone — we are supposed to appreciate child molesters because that’s who they are?!?

    Someone please tell me I’m not crazy because I think this is crazy talk!!

  127. I am curious,

    Given that it’s reasonable that not only the current leadership but probably the majority of the congregation “prayed” to know God’s will prior to installing this man as pastor, not once but I imagine several times…what does that say about their ability to know God’s mind?

    Going back one more step, since Jesus himself claimed that “my sheep hear my voice”, what does that say about the whole congregation…not Christians at all or was putting this man in that permission actually OK with God?

    Just wondering

  128. Fendrel, you ask difficult (but reasonable) questions. I know awhile back you asked for answers apart from scripture. (pretty sure I read that)

    But today, I think the answer is only found in scripture so I hope you won’t mind my posting it.

    But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1Cor. 2:14

  129. Fendrel

    You write @ Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:34 PM – “we are having a discussion.”
    Thanks for calling it “a discussion.” And I’ve been enjoying it.
    NASCAR seems to be a popular sport today – And all they do is go around in circles. ;-)
    But, maybe we are really “Jousting.” Trying to knock each other off our high horse? :-)

    And – I apologize for NOT explaining myself properly.

    You seem to think I’m – “quoting the Bible in order to prove the bible,”
    I’m quoting the Bible to “Support” my “Empirical Evidence” of why I “See” Signs and Wonders.
    And, to “Confirm” my “Empirical Evidence” of why “you” do NOT “See” Signs and Wonders.

    And – You write @ Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:11 PM – about “Street definitions.”

    And again – I apologize for NOT explaining myself properly.

    You seem to think I’m – “using street definitions of theory and empirical”
    The definition I wrote for “Empirical” was from the “New Oxford American Dictionary”
    If you do NOT like the “New Oxford” – Here’s the definition from “Websters.”

    Empirical – Websters
    1 – originating in or based on observation or experience
    2 – relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory
    3 – capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment

    “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God;
    it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot;”

  130. Fendrel, it speaks to me of what they WANT to hear – from God and Gilyard. I’m thinking of ear tickling – they hear what they want to hear. I would not let words from this man enter my ears. There are very good comments against that article, I’ve re-posted the two from Julie Watkins and colleen – see below.

    PS It has just been announced that Australia is having a Royal Commission into child child abuse. Not before time.

    Julie Watkins Science vs. belief February 24, 2012 – 2:01pm

    This church appeared to do it the right way: he’s publically confessed & people are warned. I think the “life sentence” is because of science, not unfairness. If the psychological science findings that, on average, the chance for child abuse recidivism is high then it’s not inappropiate to have life-long restrictions. Same as a blind person shouldn’t have a driver’s liscense.

    One of the reasons why the Catholic pedophile priest problem got so bad is an ideology of “true repentance” vs. science. There’s bad ideology that god’s grace can “cure” bad behavior — iow, certain mental illnesses aren’t acknowledged. That’s dangerous. Another reason is there’s such a shortage of priests. Another reason is their entitlement behavior that their “brotherhood” is most important, so favored collegues are given more “benefit of doubt” than accusers who are strangers. Then their arrogance and keeping secrets increase the damage.

    Then there’s the problem of an overly-broad definition of “sex offender” that can put a lifetime burden on poor people for public urination (a homeless person who has no where to “go”, & tried to hide it but got caught), for consential sex, for youth who traded sex for shelter or food. That kind of criminalization of the poor and vulnerable isn’t fair.

    The dangerous trade-off here is a powerful person can be given too much “benefit of doubt”. I hope truely repentant people have the attitude that “I don’t want to take any chances. Help me stay clean.”

    colleen The children are segregated February 24, 2012 – 3:17pm

    Parole/Probation and post incarceration restrictions aren’t about vengence or punishment, they are about protecting children from men who are inclined to sexually abuse them. I mention this because your analysis fails to mention that consideration.

    Your notion that such men should be allowed access to children because they are in “counseling” fails to protect children as does the absurd notion that it’s a “life sentence”. Most adults (and particularly those of us who care that 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys are sexually abused) place a higher priority on protecting children from such abuse than fulfilling the spiritual and social needs of child rapists.

  131. Fendrel

    And – You write @ Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:11 PM – about “rational thought” and “Fairy tales.”

    “You have the ability for rational thought…
    why do you want to toss it aside and instead run after fairy tales.”

    Well – My “Rational Thought” based on my “Empirical Evidence” “Sees” our creator – God.

    But – I also enjoy “Spiritual Thoughts” from God, Revelation from Jesus…
    Which allows me to “See” and understand things I never “Rationally Thought” possible.

    Hmmm? Fairy Tales?

    Let’s “See?” The Princess and the Frog a Grimm brothers “Fairy Tale.”
    http://www.authorama.com/grimms-fairy-tales-12.html

    The Princess brings the Frog into her home for “three days” and the Frog turns into a Prince.

    Atheists version – Life starts in a pool of goop “3 billion years later” Goop life becomes a Prince.

    Seems the only difference between “Atheists” “Rational Scientific Thought”
    And “Fairy Tales” is Time .- ”Fairy Tales” 3 days – “Atheists” – 3 Billion years. ;-)

    Yup – Just say something takes 3 Billion years – And ALL things are possible. Just believe. ;-)

  132. Haitch,

    I agree with you. I do not view incarceration as punitive, but rather restorative, at least in theory. Vengeance should not be anyone’s motive for incarcerating an individual. If we have the ability to heal and rehabilitate a person, then they should be permitted back into society for a fresh start, but I also agree that we lack the skills to rehabilitate some people and for the protection of all concerned it is better that they are kept out of society.

    I also think that if we currently lack the ability to rehabilitate someone and need to incarcerate them indefinitely, then the person being incarcerated should have the option to be put to death rather than being forced to remain in a cell simply because we lack the tools to help them.

    I would also like to see “terms” or specified times eliminated from sentences. I think it make more sense to say that everyone stays until rehabilitated….whether that means 6 weeks, 6 years or 60 years. I think it would allow people who have truly had a change of heart to get out much sooner and make good use of a second chance.

    Let’s also get away from tracking felons after they are released…I’m sorry, but hanging a sign over their head saying “Prior Bank Robber” is not helping them reintegrate…if they paid their debt, and are considered rehabilitated, let’s give em a real chance to re-enter society.

  133. Hmmm? “Rational Thoughts”

    And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
    and that every imagination of *the thoughts of his heart* was only evil continually.

    The LORD knows *the thoughts of man,* that they are vanity.

    Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:…
    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways,
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people,
    which walk in a way that was not good, *after their own thoughts;*

    O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved.
    How long shall *your vain thoughts* lodge within thee?

    And again, The Lord knows *the thoughts of the wise,* that they are vain.

    And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
    If you then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

    For if *a man think himself to be something,* when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

    And if *any man thinks that he knows any thing,* he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

    that you might learn in us *not to think of men above that which is written,*

    For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,..
    a *discerner of the thoughts* and intents of the heart.

    Casting down imaginations,.. and
    bringing into captivity *every thought to the obedience of Christ.*

    And He said unto His disciples,..
    Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

    Take no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

    Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:

    Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD hearkened,
    and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him
    for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

    Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God,
    that ye believe on him whom he has sent.

  134. Fendrel -

    In theory, I agree with rehabilitation. But the “if” is a big question and “who and how” do we determine if a person is truely rehabilitated? Do we have the ability to to see into the mind and know if a person will not rob again. As far as murder, child/sexual abuse, and violent offenders are concerned, isn’t it better to have a way for the public to protect themselves by either knowing where these people are or keeping them locked up?

  135. Someone please tell me I’m not crazy because I think this is crazy talk!! — Bridget

    “There will come a time when men will go mad. And they will lay hands on the sane among them, saying ‘You are not like Us! You must be Mad!’” — one of the Desert Fathers

  136. Bridget,

    I understand your concern, but I truly don’t think it is a good idea. If we are not going to give these people a true second chance to integrate back into society, then we should at least not pretend that’s the goal. Instead we should be honest, admit we are never going to let them back out and give them the option to be mercifully put to death.

    Now, on the other side, you raise a very good point which is how do we know they have really been rehabilitated, can we read their minds…unfortunately, no we can’t. So I do think we need to proceed with caution, which might mean, depending on the risk they pose, multiple independent evaluations, or restricting them to specific areas for a trial period (GPS bracelet, etc.) so we can monitor them. It may mean a central location that keeps track of their jobs, movements etc, but in a way which doesn’t impede their ability to reintegrate.

    I don’t think we spend enough time researching the possibilities, it has become too easy to just ignore them, throw away the key and never try and give them a second chance.

  137. Fendrel- I may just headbutt a hole in my desk over that bleeping story you posted. I would run far far away from any such church…vomitworthy.

    ‘Don’t stop these little ones coming to me, unless you’re a kiddy fiddler with a gospel message & then just chuck them out somewhere, instead of you facing the true consequences of your choices’, said Jesus, NEVER.

  138. And don’t get me wrong, I believe in redemption & second chances, but whenever that involves the children having to change what they do & being sidelined, rather than the offender being the one who is ‘inconvenienced’ then it’s the wrong way round…

  139. Beaker,

    This is totally beside the point of everything on this thread, but I LOVE your avatar! :D

  140. An idea for a possible scenario of evidence for the supernatural, that is objective and perhaps testable:

    How about this:

    An extremely bright light appears on the sidewalk of a busy street in Mahattan. Brighter than any light humans are used to seeing. Naturally, it takes everyone in the viciniy by extreme surprise. Those closest to the light have to shield their eyes due to the brilliance, although those further away are able to make out a human form in the light. The entity in human form appears to be addressing someone or ones in partiular, although it is not known if said individual(s) were somehow able to see the human form or if they had to shield their eyes like everyone near to them. The voice is audible to all in the vicinity. Just as the appearance itself is exra-ordinary, so is the quality of the voice speaking. Many who have cell phones at the ready have the presence of mind to flick them to the video camera setting, and begin filming. Their footage collectively is from various different angles and distances. The exact words spoken by the being in the light are not known, although many did hear “I am Jesus….”. The incident lasted no more than 20 seconds, and then the light vanished.

    This incident as well as the best footage made it to news reports all over the world, along with eye witness commentary. The identity of the individual or individuals who appeared to be to be in direct communication with the being are not known. All footage of the incident was downloaded onto Youtube that afternoon.

    Those who are expert in video, film, and various sciences have begun analyzing the footage. The area on the sidewalk is also being examined, under the assumption that the nature of the brilliance must also have generated some heat for which there would be some evidence. Scores of eyewitnesses are being interviewed by forensics experts.

  141. Fendrel — above comment about the USO (unidentified shining object) scenario was for you,.

  142. Fendrel – re: prison, retribution, restorative justice
    We’ve had these discussions previously in the past few months, I can link to them if you like.
    I think there needs to be care taken to make a differentiation in the prisoner cohort – were your comments about paedophiles, or prisoners in general?
    I agree with your comment about ‘if there’s no chance of rehabilitation, then what’s the point?’ I have been trying to think around this question. The only conclusion I can come to is to put paedophiles on an island somewhere, separate to the mainstream of humanity. Yes it’s incarceration, but cheaper. Loved ones can visit if they so desire. You get the opportunity to participate in education or a trade. But you don’t get the chance to molest children again. You may have heard of Norway’s Bastøy Prison? It’s on an island in the middle of a fjord one hour south of Oslo. It’s not a prison for paedophiles that I know of, but it’s just an example. Anyhow that’s my small minnow thinking at the moment.

  143. Haitch,

    It’s difficult to say, but I think the same rules should be applied regardless of the type of crime. You might want to increase the level or quantity of evaluations based on the crime’s risk to society. Maybe also increase or modify the type of monitoring when released, but ultimately I think that rehab is the goal for everyone.

    I also would, to some extent, incarcerate criminals together based on category of crime. For example, how do you expect to rehabilitate a sex offender if you put him in a prison environment where he gets rapes or beat up on a regular basis by fellow prisoners…build facilities specially for sex offender, maybe the same for serial killers or terrorists…and find some other way to take care of crimes that are low risk to society…robbery (without violence), blackmail, car theft, etc. The US incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than almost any other country.

  144. elastigirl

    Interesting story about the light…

    Is the video still around? Do you know how to find that video?

    Thanks

  145. Fendrel

    After sending you a few comments yesterday I went for a walk in the woods. It was a lovely day, the temperture was in the 60”s and the Sun was shinning brightly. I was thinking about our “disccussion” when I heard some voices and the crackling of a fire. As I looked through the trees I saw two figures around a camp fire haveing a cup of forest brewed coffe, and deep in a “disscussion.”

    Wow!!! Look at that. God and Satan hanging out together, talking.

    I crouched down behind a few fig trees hoping they wouldn’t see me; and listened.

    Satan was speaking and I heard him saying to God, “Ya know Jehovah, I’ve been watching you for a lotta years. And now, I think I can do some of that same stuff that you do.”

    God, sounding quite pleasant, with just a little touch of sarcasm, asked Satan, “And what would that be, Beelzebub? Oh, and it’s nice to see some interest in your creative side for a change.Just what have you watched me do that you now believe you can do?”

    Satan, with a bit of disgust said, “Man, Humans, I watched you form Adam from the dust of the ground. I’ve been remembering, and thinking about how you did that. I think I can make one of these Humans like you did.

    God, was silent, thoughtful, for a few seconds. Then His whole face began to smile.
    Or was it a smirk? Then He said, “Go for it. Lets see what you can do.”

    Then Satan got down on his hands knees and began to push the dirt together into a pile.

    God let Satan get his hands dirty then interuppted, “Auh, Auh, Auh, No, No, No,

    Get your own dirt…

  146. A A L “Get your own dirt” reminds me of “The Devil Made Texas”, which begins:
    Oh, the devil in hell they say he was chained,
    And there for a thousand years he remained;
    He neither complained nor did he groan,
    But decided he’d start up a hell of his own,
    Where he could torment the souls of men
    Without being shut in a prison pen;
    So he asked the Lord if he had any sand
    Left over from making this great land.
    The Lord He said, “Yes, I have plenty on hand,
    But it’s away down south on the Rio Grande,
    And to tell you the truth, the stuff is so poor
    I doubt it will do for a hell anymore.”

  147. Dave, Amos,

    My daughter is creating a rhyming poem about Jesus for school. She asked me to help her rhyme Jesus. :o)

  148. Tut tut Fendrel…I’m going Croesus, release us, oestrus…that noise is me scraping the bottom of the barrel…

  149. Well, Beaker, I am going to make a confession. Every time I saw your handle I would always think of the Muppet Beaker. :)

  150. Anon 1

    Jesus is with us – where ever we go.
    When Jesus is with us – We just go with the flow.

    Signs and Miracles and wonders abound.
    When you speak the name Jesus – you’ll be loveing that sound.

    Love is a healer and Love is His name
    When you Love the Lord Jesus He removes all the shame.

    The “Lord of the Living” is all about giving.
    “The Head of the Body” forgives all our sinning.

    Well, that’s enough for now – I’m havin too much fun— {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    He’s the best. ;-)

    Maybe your daughter can create a rhyming poem useing more than one of His names.
    Here’s a short list of over 200 names of our Lord and Savior

    Advocate
    Almighty
    Almighty God
    Alpha and Omega
    Amen, The
    Ancient of Days
    Anointed
    Anointed One
    Author
    Author of Eternal Salvation
    Beginning
    Beginning and the Ending
    Begotten
    Beloved
    Beloved Son
    Beloved Son of God
    Blessed of God
    Bread of Life
    Bridegroom
    Bright and Morning Star
    Captain of Man’s Salvation
    Captain of Our Salvation
    Carpenter
    Carpenter’s Son
    Chief Cornerstone
    Chosen
    Chosen of God
    Christ
    Christ Child
    Christ of God
    Christ the Lamb
    Comforter
    Consolation of Israel
    Cornerstone
    Counsellor
    Creator

  151. Creator of All Things
    Deliverer
    Divine Son
    Door of the Sheep
    Emmanuel
    End of the Law
    Endless
    Eternal
    Eternal Father
    Eternal God
    Eternal Head
    Eternal Judge
    Eternal Judge of Quick and Dead
    Everlasting Father
    Example
    Exemplar
    Faithful and True
    Father
    Father of Heaven and Earth
    Finisher
    Finisher of faith
    First and the Last
    Firstborn
    Firstfruits
    Forerunner
    God
    God of Abraham
    God of Isaac
    God of Israel
    God of Jacob
    God of Thy Father
    God of Whole Earth
    God’s Anointed
    God’s Holy Child Jesus
    Good Shepherd
    Governor
    Great I AM
    Great God
    Great Shepherd
    Head of Every Man
    Head of the Body
    Head of the Church
    Healer
    Heir of All Things
    Holy
    Holy Child
    Holy Messiah
    Holy One
    Holy One of Israel
    Holy One of Jacob
    I AM
    Image of God
    Immanuel
    Jehovah
    Jesus
    Jesus Christ
    Jesus of Galilee

  152. Jesus of Nazareth
    Joseph’s Son
    Judge
    Judge of Quick and Dead
    Just One
    Just, The
    King
    King of Israel
    King of Kings
    King of Zion/Sion
    King of the Jews
    Lamb
    Lamb of God
    Life, the
    Light of the World
    Light, the
    Lion of the Tribe of Juda
    Living Bread
    Living Stone
    Living Water
    Lord
    Lord from Heaven
    Lord God
    Lord God Almighty
    Lord God of Hosts
    Lord Jehovah
    Lord Jesus
    Lord of All
    Lord of Dead
    Lord of Glory
    Lord of Hosts
    Lord of Living
    Lord of Lords
    Lord of the Sabbath
    Lord Omnipotent
    Lord our Righteousness
    Lord’s Christ
    Maker
    Man of Counsel
    Man of Holiness
    Master
    Mediator
    Meek and Lowly
    Messenger of the Covenant
    Messiah
    Messias
    Mighty God
    Mighty One
    Mighty One of Israel
    Mighty One of Jacob
    Minister
    Most High God
    Nazarene
    Offspring of David
    One Body
    Only Begotten
    Only Begotten of the Father

  153. Only Begotten Son
    Our Passover
    Physician
    Power of God
    Prince
    Prince of Life
    Prince of Peace
    Prophet
    Prophet of Nazareth
    Propitiation for Sins of Whole World
    Rabbi
    Redeemer
    Redeemer of Israel
    Redeemer of the World
    Resurrection and the Life
    Revealer
    Righteous Judge
    Righteous Man
    Rock, the
    Rock of Heaven
    Root of Jesse
    Sacrifice, the
    Savior
    Savior of Israel
    Savior of the World
    Second Comforter
    Seed of Abraham
    Seed of David
    Seed of the Woman
    Servant of Jehovah
    Servant of the Lord
    Shepherd
    Son
    Son of Abraham
    Son of David
    Son of God
    Son of Man
    Son of Mary
    Son of Righteousness
    Son of the Blessed
    Son of the Eternal Father
    Son of the Everlasting God
    Son of the Highest
    Son of the Living God
    Son of the Most High God
    Spiritual Rock
    Stem of Jesse
    Teacher Come from God
    True Vine
    Truth, the
    Unchangeable One
    Way, the
    Well Beloved
    Wisdom of God
    Wonderful
    Word of Life
    Word, the

  154. Fendrel -

    You might change your mind about equal rehabilitation for all crimes if you did some research on certain crimes. There has been a lot if research on pedaphalia, for instance, in the past 20 years. I don’t know that psycologists and psychiatrists who have worked with these offenders would agree with letting these folks get second chances without exposure so people know who they are. It seems to be difficult to draw a line between protecting the innocent public from people who have offended (even habitual thieves) versus giving offenders a chance to rehabilitate without exposure. We do know that the systems we have are not perfect. I’m sure there are people on the sex offender registries that should not be, and there are many repeat offenders due to drug and alcohol use. I do know that many of the leaser offenders get many chances (via court decisions) but still repeat. This is after classes and group therapies and so forth. It is a difficult problem. Add to the above the issue if cost to run such programs and it is even more difficult.

  155. Anon 1

    Thanks – I’m havin fun…

    Are we really allowed to have so much fun?

    The un-believers tell us that we’re really dumb.

    But – No matter how screwed up my life has become

    I look to the Lord and the warm fuzzies bloom

    Jesus, my buddy, my life and my friend

    When things go dark it’s for Him that I send.

    And when things are a Joy it’s on His strength I depend.

    Because in His presence is fullness of Joy

    And it’s the Joy of the Lord that excites this ole boy

  156. Fendrel – I think there are some people who are beyond rehabilitation. I would put serial killers and serial rapists in that category – and at this point, we have no reliable way to make certain that pedophiles will not abuse anyone again once they’re out of jail.

    I wonder if the best thing is to separate them from the rest of the community… because they *will* seek out victims again. It’s innate to the problem itself. (And hey, I live near Penn State, so I have *very* strong feelings about Sandusky and the way that top-level officials at Penn State actively enabled him to not only go on abusing kids, but gave him keys to various on-campus facilities where assaults took place… don’t get me started!)

  157. Amos, I am afraid you have a plagurist. She was impressed with your poems. She needed 6 lines and had one she came up with all by herself:

    Jesus is my King,
    He makes my heart sing.

    She was delighted with your help that finished it up after mixing the lines a bit. Who knows, you might just win the 6th grade poetry contest. :o)

    Too much fun. She asked me to print out all the Names.

  158. Anon 1 – Deb

    As I was going over this new list – I was enjoying myself – Thught I’d share some more fun…
    Try reading this list out loud to someone.

    I started to cut and paste – Jesus – in front of only some of these names.
    I was haveing so much fun reading His names to myself – I did them ALL… Thank you Jesus…

    With all this junk we have to put up with in – Christian-dumb….

    Just give me – {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    There’s Just Something About That Name – Jesus

    A
    Jesus – Advocate – 1 John 2:1
    Jesus – Alive for Evermore – Revelation 1:18
    Jesus – All-Knowing – Psalm 139:1-6
    Jesus – All, and in All – Colossians 3:11
    Jesus – Almighty – Revelation 1:8
    Jesus – Alpha and Omega – Revelation 1:8
    Jesus – Altar – Hebrews 13:10
    Jesus – Altogether Lovely – Song of Solomon 5:16
    Jesus – Amen – Revelation 3:14
    Jesus – Ancient of Days – Daniel 7:13 & Daniel 7:22
    Jesus – Anointed One – 1 Samuel 2:35
    Jesus – Author of Eternal Salvation – Hebrews 5:9
    Jesus – Author of our Faith – Hebrews 12:2

    B
    Jesus – Balm of Gilead – Jeremiah 8:22
    Jesus – Banner over us – Ps 60:4 S of Sol 2:4
    Jesus – Bearer of Sin – Hebrews 9:28
    Jesus – Before All Things – Colossians 1:17
    Jesus – Beginning and Ending – Revelation 1:8
    Jesus – Bishop of our Souls – 1 Peter 2:25
    Jesus – Blessed and Only Potentate – 1 Timothy 6:15
    Jesus – Blessed Hope – Titus 2:13
    Jesus – Bread of Life, my manna – John 6:35
    Jesus – Bridegroom – John 3:29
    Jesus – Bright and Morning Star – Revelation 22:16
    Jesus – Brightness of His Glory – Hebrews 1:3
    Jesus – Buckler – Psalms 18:30

    C
    Jesus – Captain – Joshua 5:14-15 – Hebrews 2:10
    Jesus – Changeless One – Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8
    Jesus – Chief Among 10,000 – S. of Solomon 5:10
    Jesus – Chosen of God – 1 Peter 2:4
    Jesus – Christ – Matthew 1:16 – 1 John 5:1
    Jesus – Comforter – John 14:16-18
    Jesus – Consolation of Israel – Luke 2:25
    Jesus – Counselor – Isaiah 9:6
    Jesus – Creator – Romans 1:25 – Isaiah 40:28
    Jesus – Crown of Glory – Isaiah 28:5

  159. D
    Jesus – Daystar to Arise – 2 Peter 1:19 Defense – Psalms 94:22
    Jesus – Deliverer – Psalms 40:17
    Jesus – Desire of all Nations – Haggai 2:7
    Jesus – Despised and rejected – Ps 22:6, Is 53:3
    Jesus – Diadem of Beauty – Isaiah 28:5
    Jesus – Door of the Sheep – John 10:7
    Jesus – Dwelling Place – Psalms 90:1

    E
    Jesus – Emmanuel – Matthew 1:23
    Jesus – End of the Law – Romans 10:4
    Jesus – Ensign of the People – Isaiah 11:10
    Jesus – Equal with God – Philippians 2:6
    Jesus – Eternal God – Deuteronomy 33:27
    Jesus – Eternal Life – 1 John 1:2
    Jesus – Everlasting Father – Isaiah 9:6

    F
    Jesus – Faithful and True – Rev 19:11 – Rev 3:14
    Jesus – Finisher of the Faith – Hebrews 12:2
    Jesus – First Begotten – Hebrews 1:6 – Romans 8:29
    Jesus – Firstfruit of Them Sleep -1Cor 15:20 Rom 11:16
    Jesus – Fortress – Psalms 18:2
    Jesus – Foundation Which is Laid – 1 Cor.3:11
    Jesus – Fountain of Living Waters – Jer 17:13 Ps 36:9
    Jesus – Friend of Publicans and Sinners – Luke 7:34
    Jesus – Friend Sticks Closer than a Brother – Prov 18:24

    G
    Jesus – Gift of God – John 4:10
    Jesus – Glory, my and lifter of my head – Psalms 3:3
    Jesus – God Who Avenges Me – Psalms 18:47
    Jesus – God Blessed Forever – Romans 9:5
    Jesus – God Who Forgives – Psalms 99:8
    Jesus – God of My Life – Psalms 42:8
    Jesus – God in the Midst of Her – Psalms 46:5
    Jesus – God manifest in the flesh – 1 Timothy 3:16
    Jesus – God of My Righteousness – Psalms 4:1
    Jesus – God of My Salvation – Psalms 18:46
    Jesus – God of My Strength – Psalms 43:2
    Jesus – God With Us – Matthew 1:23
    Jesus – Good Shepherd – John 10:11
    Jesus – Gracious – Ex 33:19, Rom 16:24, Rev. 22:21
    Jesus – Great God – Titus 2:13
    Jesus – Great Shepherd of the Sheep – Hebrews 13:20
    Jesus – Guide Even Unto Death – Psalms 48:14

    H
    Jesus – Harmless – Hebrews 7:26
    Jesus – Head of all Principality & Power – Col 2:10
    Jesus – Heir of All Things – Hebrews 1:2 Helper – Hebrews 13:6
    Jesus – Hiding Place – Psalms 32:7
    Jesus – High Priest Forever – Hebrews 6:20
    Jesus – High Tower – Psalms 18:2
    Jesus – Holy One Of Israel – Psalms 89:18
    Jesus – Horn of Salvation – Luke 1:69
    Jesus – Husband – Revelation 21:2

  160. I
    Jesus – I Am – John 18:6
    Jesus – Image of the Invisible God – Colossians 1:15
    Jesus – Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14
    Jesus – Inhabiter of Eternity – Isaiah 57:15
    Jesus – Inhabiter of Praises – Psalms 22:3
    Jesus – Intercessor – Isaiah 53:12 & Romans 8:34

    J
    Jesus – Jehovah Jireh – Provider – I Jn 4:9, Philip 4:19
    Jesus – Jehovah Nissi – Banner – I Chronicles 29:11-13
    Jesus – Jehovah Shalom – Peace – Is 9:6, Rom 8:31-35
    Jesus – Jehovah Tsidkenu – Righteousness – I Cor 1:30
    Jesus – Jehovah Shammah – Present – Hebrews 13:5
    Jesus – Jehovah M’Kaddesh – Sanctifier – I Cor 1:30
    Jesus – Jehovah Rophe – Healer – Isaiah 53:4,5
    Jesus – Jehovah Rohi – Shepherd – Psalm 23
    Jesus – Jesus – Matthew 1:21
    Jesus – Jesus Christ Our Lord – Romans 7:25
    Jesus – Judge of All – Genesis 18:25 – Acts 10:42
    Jesus – Just One – Acts 7:52

    K
    Jesus – Keeper – Psalms 121:5
    Jesus – King Eternal – 1 Timothy 1:17
    Jesus – King Immortal – 1 Timothy 1:17
    Jesus – King Invisible – 1 Timothy 1:17
    Jesus – King of Glory – Psalms 24:7-8
    Jesus – King of Heaven – Daniel 4:37
    Jesus – King of Kings – Revelation 19:16
    Jesus – King of Peace – Hebrews 7:2
    Jesus – King of Righteousness – Hebrews 7:2
    Jesus – King of Saints – Revelation 15:3

    L
    Jesus – Lamb of God – John 1:29 – Rev 17:14
    Jesus – Lamb Slain – Rev 13:8 – Rev 5:12 – Rev 7:17
    Jesus – Last Adam – 1 Cor.15:45
    Jesus – Lawgiver – James 4:12
    Jesus – Life – John 14:6
    Jesus – Lifter of Mine Head – Psalms 3:3Light – John 1:7
    Jesus – Light of the World – John 8:12
    Jesus – Lily of the Valleys – Song of Solomon 2:1
    Jesus – Lion of the Tribe of Judah – Revelation 5:5
    Jesus – Living Bread – John 6:51
    Jesus – Lord and My God – John 20:28
    Jesus – Lord and Savior – 2 Peter 1:11
    Jesus – Lord of the Dead and the Living – Rom 14:9
    Jesus – Lord God Almighty – Revelation 16:7
    Jesus – Lord God Omnipotent – Revelation 19:6
    Jesus – Lord Jesus Christ – James 2:1
    Jesus – Lord of Glory – 1 Cor.2:8
    Jesus – Lord of the Harvest – Matthew 9:38
    Jesus – Lord of Lords – 1 Timothy 6:15

  161. M
    Jesus – Maker – Psalms 95:6
    Jesus – Man of Sorrows – Isaiah 53:3
    Jesus – Master – Matthew 23:10
    Jesus – Mediator – 1 Timothy 2:5
    Jesus – Merciful – Heb 2:17
    Jesus – Messiah the Prince – Daniel 9:25
    Jesus – Mighty God – Isaiah 9:6
    Jesus – Morning Star – Revelation 2:28

    N
    Jesus – Name Above Every Name – Philippians 2:9
    Jesus – Nazarene – Matthew 2:23

    O
    Jesus – Omega – Revelation 22:13
    Jesus – Omnipotent – Revelation 19:6
    Jesus – Only Begotten Son – John 3:16
    Jesus – Only Potentate – 1 Timothy 6:15
    Jesus – Only Wise God – 1 Timothy 1:17

    P
    Jesus – Passover, my – 1 Cor.5:7
    Jesus – Pavilion – Psalms 31:20
    Jesus – our Peace – Ephesians 2:14
    Jesus – great Physician, – Luke 4:23
    Jesus – Portion of Mine Inheritance – Psalms 16:5
    Jesus – Potter – Jeremiah 18:6
    Jesus – Power of God – 1 Cor.1:24
    Jesus – Preeminent one – Colossians 1:18
    Jesus – Pearl of Price – Matt 13:46, 1 Cor.6:20
    Jesus – Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6
    Jesus – Propitiation for Our Sins – 1 John 2:2

    Q
    Jesus – Quick Understanding – Isaiah 11:3
    Jesus – Quickening Spirit – 1 Cor.15:45

    R
    Jesus – Rabbi – John 3:2
    Jesus – Ransom for Many – Matthew 20:28
    Jesus – Redeemer – Job 19:25 – 1 Cor.1:30
    Jesus – Refiner – Malachi 3:2
    Jesus – Refuge in Trouble – Ps 46:1, Ps 9:9
    Jesus – Refuge from the Storm – Is 25:4
    Jesus – Resting Place – Jeremiah 50:6
    Jesus – Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25
    Jesus – Reward of the Righteous – Psalms 58:11
    Jesus – Righteous Judge – 2 Timothy 4:8
    Jesus – my Righteousness – 1 Cor.1:30 – Rom 10:3
    Jesus – Rock that is Higher than I – Psalms 61:2
    Jesus – Rock of My Refuge – Psalms 94:22
    Jesus – Rock of Our Salvation – Psalms 95:1
    Jesus – Root and Offspring of David – Revelation 22:16
    Jesus – Rose of Sharon – Song of Solomon 2:1

  162. S
    Jesus – Sacrifice for Sins – Hebrews 10:12
    Jesus – Salvation, my – Psalms 27:1
    Jesus – Same Yesterday, Today, Forever – Heb 13:8
    Jesus – Savior of the Body – Ephesians 5:23
    Jesus – Savior of the World – John 4:42
    Jesus – Scapegoat – Leviticus 16:8 & John 11:49-52
    Jesus – Scepter of Israel – Numbers 24:17
    Jesus – Sent One – John 9:4
    Jesus – Separate from Sinners – Hebrews 7:26
    Jesus – Serpent in the Wilderness – John 3:14
    Jesus – Shadow of the Almighty – Psalms 91:1
    Jesus – Shadow of a Great Rock – Isaiah 32:2
    Jesus – Shelter – Psalms 61:3
    Jesus – my Shepherd – Psalms 23:1
    Jesus – Shield – Psalms 84:9
    Jesus – Sin, for us – 2 Cor.5:21
    Jesus – Son of God – John 1:49
    Jesus – Son of Man – John 1:51
    Jesus – my Song – Isaiah 12:2
    Jesus – Spiritual Rock – 1 Cor.10:4
    Jesus – Star out of Jacob – Numbers 24:17
    Jesus – Stone the Builders Rejected – Matthew 21:42
    Jesus – Strength of My Life – Psalms 27:1
    Jesus – Stronghold in the Day of Trouble – Nahum 1:7
    Jesus – Strong Tower – Proverbs 18:10
    Jesus – Stronger than the enemy – Luke 11:22
    Jesus – Sun of Righteousness – Malachi 4:2

    T
    Jesus – Tabernacle of God – Revelation 21:3
    Jesus – Tender Plant – Isaiah 53:2
    Jesus – Testator – Hebrews 9:16
    Jesus – Treasure – 2 Cor.4:7
    Jesus – True Bread from Heaven – John 6:32
    Jesus – True Light – John 1:9
    Jesus – True Vine – John 15:1
    Jesus – Truth – John 14:6

    U
    Jesus – Undefiled – Hebrews 7:26
    Jesus – Unspeakable Gift – 2 Cor.9:15
    Jesus – Upholder of All things – Hebrews 1:3
    Jesus – Upright – Psalms 92:15

  163. V
    Jesus – Very God of Peace – 1 Thessalonians 5:23
    Jesus – Very Present Help in Trouble – Psalms 46:1
    Jesus – Victory – 1 Cor.15:54
    Jesus – Vine – John 15:5
    Jesus – Voice – Revelation 1:12

    W
    Jesus – Way – John 14:6
    Jesus – Well of Living Waters – John 4:14
    Jesus – Wisdom of God – 1 Cor.1:24
    Jesus – Wise Master Builder – 1 Cor.3:10
    Jesus – Witness of God – 1 John 5:9
    Jesus – Wonderful – Isaiah 9:6
    Jesus – Word – John 1:1 – Revelation 19:13
    Jesus – Worthy – Revelation 4:11
    Jesus – Worthy Name – James 2:7

    X
    Jesus – Exceeding Great Reward – Genesis 15:1
    Jesus – Excellency – Job 13:11
    Jesus – Excellency of Our God – Isaiah 35:2
    Jesus – Excellent – Psalms 8:1
    Jesus – Express Image of His Person – Hebrews 1:3

    Y
    Jesus – Young Child – Matthew 2:11
    Jesus – Yes and Amen – 2 Cor 1:20

    Z
    Jesus – Zeal of the Lord of Hosts – Isaiah 37:32
    Jesus – Zeal of your House – John 2:17

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}} – Name above ALL Names…

  164. Amos, I just copied all that. I am going to use it as a handout for an indepth study we are doing on “Who is Jesus”. Which sounds pedantic but your list proves that question is so vast and incomprehensible we need to dive into it very deep. That list made my heart soar.

    More Jesus, less mere men, please.

    Now, as to your prize, not sure. It might mean recognition among the peer group. (wink) It could mean a pass to be out of uniform one day.

    Do you remember when life was that simple?

  165. Anon 1

    yep – my heart was soaring also.

    Hmmm? “recognition among the peer group. (wink) It could mean a pass to be out of uniform one day.”

    Well, we are supposed to come to Jesus as a little child.

    We might just be on to something here. :-)