Looking Further at Iain Campbell and Others: What is a Dishonest Hypocrite?

“It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” ― Noël Coward, Blithe Spirit link

http://www.hardcoretruth.com/Hypocrisy/
link

A few days ago, Phil Johnson, Executive Pastor of Grace to You, John MacArthur's ministry called me a "hypocrite." You can read a bit about the conflagration in this post A Response to Phil Johnson by Dr Rich Poupard, an Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeonI wasn't 100% sure why he thought that way but I guess it was because I was claiming that he should not have spoken ill of a women who had been abused. He claimed that I was more concerned about her than I was her children. Given the emphasis of this blog, I believe he was mistaken but I knew a denial would not amount to anything but further accusations. Instead I said that everyone, to one extent or another is a hypocrite and I got back to the subject at hand.

What is a hypocrite?

The simple answer is when one's actions do not align with their stated beliefs. However, in an article titled Are You a Hypocrite?, Lonnie Best delves into this a bit more. 

Honest External hypocrites: Their stated beliefs contradict their actions. However, their stated beliefs are consistent with their actual internal beliefs. Therefore they are also honest internal hypocrites. They have strong convictions but do not always follow through. Causes for this type of hypocrisy will be discussed later.

Dishonest External hypocrites: Their stated beliefs contradict their actions and their stated beliefs are not consistent with their actual beliefs. They often have weak convictions, and it is possible for them to be non-hypocritical on an internal level.

Honest internal hypocrites: Their internal beliefs contradict their actions. Their internal beliefs remain constant despite their contradicting actions. They are honest with themselves, and strive not to conform their beliefs around their own desires, actions, or imperfections.

Dishonest internal hypocrites: stated beliefs are consistent with actions but actual internal beliefs are not. They are often people pleasers with weak convictions.

What is an honest hypocrite?

Best is not a declared Christian as far as I can tell but he give us some insights into what  might be called honest hypocrisy.

Uncertainty of Beliefs: If you are not 100% certain in what you believe, then your actions are not likely to be consistent with your beliefs 100% of the time. A conservative interpreter of reality is seldom 100% certain about anything. This uncertainty can cause one to be hypocritical at times. 

Carnal Desires: These are inherent human desires that often cause one to act on what the flesh desires, rather than what one believes to be the right action. 

The difficulty level of the belief system: If one's belief standards of right and wrong are higher than what is humanly possible, then their actions are obviously not going to be consistent with their beliefs.

So, according to Best, three things can constitute honest hypocrisy. Think about these categories as you read the remainder of the post.

  1. A person is not totally convinced of his belief system so he behaves erratically.
  2. One is overwhelmed with certain desires that make it terribly difficult to be consistent.
  3. It is too difficult to maintain consistency in actions since the belief system demands something not humanly possible.

George Rekers

According to Wikipedia:

George Alan Rekers (born July 11, 1948) is an American psychologist and ordained Southern Baptist minister.[2] He is emeritus professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.[1][3]

Rekers has a Ph.D from University of California, Los Angeles and has been a research fellow at Harvard University, a professor and psychologist for UCLA and the University of Florida, and department head at Kansas State University. In 1983 Rekers was on the founding board of the Family Research Council, a non-profit Christian lobbying organization, and he is a former officer and scientific advisor of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH),[4][5][6] an organization offering conversion therapy intended to convert homosexuals to heterosexuality. Rekers has testified in court that homosexuality is destructive, and against parenthood by gay and lesbian people in a number of court cases involving organizations and state agencies working with children.[2]

Rekers believed and preached that homosexuality could be cured. He was featured and promoted by many Christian groups and churches as he  preached his "cure homosexuality" message. But Rekers had a secret. 

In May 2010 Rekers employed a male prostitute as a travel companion for a two-week vacation in Europe.[7][8][9] Rekers denied any inappropriate conduct and suggestions that he was gay. The male escort told CNN he had given Rekers "sexual massages" while traveling together in Europe.[10][11] Rekers subsequently resigned from the board of NARTH.

TWW wrote about this situation here. (Please ignore the pagination issues.) There is little question that Rekers was involved in at least one two-week homosexual encounter. It is not beyond the possibility that he had struggled with his sexual orientation for a long time before this incident.  What caused Reker not to seek help since he claimed to have the cure for his issue? Was it shame? Was it that he as afraid he would lose money by admitting his attraction? Was this honest hypocrisy?

(For the record, reparative therapy has been shown to not only be totally ineffective but may even be dangerous and is no longer endorsed by the SBC or the Christian Medical Dental Associations.)

Tullian Tchividjian

Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, admitted to being rebellious in his younger years. Eventually, he returned to the family business- preaching. He became known, in Reformed circles, for his teachings on grace.

Bestselling author Tullian Tchividjian is convinced our exhausted world needs a fresh encounter with God's inexhaustible grace—His one-way love. Sadly, however, Christianity is perceived as being a vehicle for good behavior and clean living—and the judgments that result from them—rather than the only recourse for those who have failed over and over and over again. Tchividjian convincingly shows that Christianity is not about good people getting better. If anything, it is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good.  

In this "manifesto," Tchividjian calls the church back to the heart of the Christian faith—grace. It is time for us to abandon our play-it-safe religion, and to get drunk on grace. Two hundred-proof, unflinching grace. It’s shocking and scary, unnatural and undomesticated … but it is also the only thing that can set us free and light the church—and the world—on fire.

Tchividjian was eventually critiqued for his views on grace by his friends at The Gospel Coalition and was forced to remove his blog from their website. Shortly thereafter, he stepped down from the pulpit when he admitted to two affairs, more were documented by Spiritual Sounding Board. He divorced his wife and quickly remarried a woman who had been divorced two times.

Question: Was his emphasis on inexhaustible grace due to his hidden behavior? Was this honest hypocrisy or not?

CJ Mahaney and humility

Was Mahaney's book on humility an example of humility or just the opposite? Mahaney, at one time, once called himself the Head Apostle for his churches, exhibiting what appeared to be profound egotism. The history of his rise and fall proved to be an example of hypocrisy. Yet, many of The Gospel Coalition fanboys continue to recommend this book as required reading and continue to make pilgrimages to his new church. I would assume that none of these pastors ever tell the folks who read the book about Mahaney's history. 

How would one describe the hypocrisy that is evident here?

Iain Campbell: Was his suicide due to the truth of his hypocrisy being revealed?

If you haven't read our post on Campbell  here is a link to Reformed leader Dr Iain Campbell Dies By Suicide Amidst Allegations of Affairs and an Out of Wedlock Child. His Wife Gets Blamed!It will be of help in understanding the following.

Campbell taught about hypocrisy.

He wrote Hypocrisy in High Places for Ligonier Ministries. As I read the following, I wondered if he might have been talking about himself.

“We are all within an inch of succumbing to the delusion that it is possible to be one thing in one context and something else in another. The real danger lies in the deception that whispers that we are safe behind the mask of hypocrisy.”

He discussed the problem of living up to our profession of faith.

One of our readers, Max, sent us the following quote from You Should Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain? by Campbell.

“… ways in which we take God’s name in vain. Among them … professing His name but not living according to our profession 

He stood firmly against the laws legalizing assisted suicide yet he took his own life.

Here is a letter to the editor of the Stornoway Gazette disagreeing with Campbell's stand. 


Assisted dying Rev. Iain D. Campbell’s “Life, death and dignity” take on the assisted suicide debate at Westminster made interesting reading (Gazette 3.9.15), and since he is opposed to any form of assisted dying he will be well satisfied that a majority of M.P.’s agreed with him and kicked this thing into touch yet again.

It’s an issue however that refuses go away, and it’s my belief there’ll come a day when assisted dying will get onto the statute books. I find myself in disagreement with Rev. Iain when he writes that to be debating this subject at all is a sad indictment on the kind of society we have become. In my view that’s a nonsense thing to say, and nor can I agree with him when he claims that by no stretch of logic can theology concede that assisted dying adds to the dignity of the person. I agree even less when he states that a society that makes assisted dying legal has already sold its soul. That too in my view is nonsense, and maybe Rev. Iain needs to get out of his study a bit more and into the real and suffering world.

In this country of ours we have in the main the greatest concern for the welfare of animals. If an animal is suffering and in distress, and with no possibility of relief or betterment, we intervene on its behalf and put it to sleep. It’s the right thing to do and we have no hesitation in doing it. In my view that facility should also extend to ourselves, indeed it seems entirely illogical that it doesn’t. There are folk out there who, from whatever cause, have fought pain and distress beyond our imagining, who have neither the bodily strength nor the will to go on and who want to go home. The law of this land should permit them to do that. It has not a thing to do with theology, but has everything to do with reality, with compassion and dignity and the mind and heart of a loving God. Keith Fernie 8 Drakies Avenue,

Here is an interesting take by Campbell on the presumption of salvation.

Campbell, once again writing for Ligonier Ministries, discusses True and False Assurance.

The particular doctrine this parable represents is highlighted in Matthew 22:14: “Many are called, but few are chosen.” There is a generous and free invitation. But not everyone who receives this invitation will finally partake of the feast. As B.B. Warfield reminds us in his essay “Are They Few That Be Saved?”, Jesus is not here speaking about the eternal number of the elect and the reprobate; He is pressing home to His hearers the need “to see to it that they both respond to the invitation of the gospel and live according to it.”

The point of the parable and its warning is to remind us that there is such a thing as a presumption of salvation, a sense that all is well with our soul, when, in actual fact, the opposite may be true. Thus, to be sure we are saved requires a consideration of the possibility that we may not be.

…The “Lord, Lord” of theological knowledge is not a ground for believing we shall be saved. The demons believe but are still demons (James 2:19). To know that there is a wedding feast, and that there is an invitation to it, is not the ultimate qualification. Indeed, if we take the nature of sin seriously, it could be the ultimate disqualification; for to know the truth and not act on it is a greater sin than not having known it at all.

The “Lord, Lord” of Christian experience is not a ground for assurance. There is an inseparable connection between the promises of the gospel and Christian experience. When the gospel impacts our lives, we will feel and experience certain things. But, as Jonathan Edwards reminds us in his Religious Affections, there is a real distinction between the exercises of grace and the evidences of grace; and to make evidences out of our experiences without any real love of Christ, which alone comes from the exercise of grace, will lead to a false assurance. Apparent evidences of piety there may be, but these, in Edwards’ words, may be nothing more than “the common influences of the Spirit of God, joined with the delusions of Satan and the wicked and deceitful heart.”

Nor will the “Lord, Lord” of Christian service serve as a ground of assurance. In the context of the Sermon on the Mount, that is what the Lord drives home in particular. People will appeal to the fact that they prophesied, exorcised demons, and did mighty works in Christ’s name. He will not deny that they did these things, only that, in the doing of them, they did not know him.

…That assurance is but presumption that works men to play with sin, to be bold with sin, to make light of sin, to walk on in ways of sin. Such assurance will never bring a man to heaven, it will never keep him from dropping into hell, yea, it will double his damnation and make him the most miserable among all damned, miserable, forlorn spirits. Ah Lord! from such an assurance deliver my soul, and give me more and more that divine assurance that makes sin to be more hateful than hell, and that makes the soul to be more careful to avoid the one, than it is fearful of falling into the other.

In 2000, Iain Campbell was allegedly involved in the expulsion of 20 ministers who wanted an investigation of a colleague allegedly involved in sexual improprieties. (I am sorry for all the *allegeds.*(Lawyers, you know.)

One of our readers, JYJames, referred us to this story which we will investigate in greater depth. A letter to the editor regarding CHURCH SEX CLAIMS :Married reverend found hanged is accused of having SEVEN mistresses – and his wife ‘wants them kicked out of the church’  refers to this incident.

“This is the same minister who seventeen years ago argued that fellow ministers who argued that allegations of serious sexual improprieties on the part of one of his senior colleagues should be investigated [and] should themselves be expelled from the Church. Over twenty of them were expelled, in 2000 but the subject of those allegations never dealt with.”

Did he understand the gospel as I related to him and his sin?

Married Lewis minister dies after wife discovered he had seven affairs

though gifted in so many fields Iain’s great love was preaching the gospel. It was a preaching of the highest calibre.”

Is this honest hypocrisy or not?

Are these men examples of honest hypocrisy?

Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

  1. It is next to impossible to fulfill all the commands for living a sinless life. The Holy Spirit, while present in the life of the believer, is a divine helper but does not irresistibly lead the believer to sinless perfection. We do not have the freedom to obey perfectly no matter what some people at TGC claim. That means we will all sin. I love the confession of sins each week at my church because it reminds me to be aware of my shortcomings and failures and to admit, out loud,  that I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
  2. I believe that these men all were certain in their beliefs as Christians. I cannot read their minds but I have, with the exception of George Rekers, read extensively on the others.
  3. I believe that all of the men mentioned were dishonest hypocrites. Let me explain why.

George Rekers:

Rekers hid his same sex attraction while at the same time claiming that same sex attraction could be cured by reparative therapy. His claims in the area were adopted by many church and parachurch organizations. As we now know, reparative therapy was not only an abysmal failure, it led to serious consequences for those who have same sex attraction and attempted to *take the cure." My guess is that untold numbers of people have been hurt by his hypocrisy. 

If Rekers had been honest about his own attraction, it would have become patently obvious that reparative therapy was ineffective. Rekers appears to be a dishonest hypocrite.

Tullian Tchividjian:

It is my opinion that TT is also a dishonest hypocrite. If one looks carefully at his writings, it appears that he was advocating for grace that forgives sin over and over and over. I am one who bought what he had to say, thinking that he was discussing the fact that Christians cope with sin every day of their lives. However, it now appears to me that he may have been advocating that there was no hope to deal with serious sin in our lives. Strangely, he did not seem to emphasize repentance.

In other words, TT knew he had a problem with serial adultery yet decided not to deal with it over a prolonged period of time. Please read the linked in Timeline at Defend the Sheep. I believe that he was playing a game with his perspective on grace and not telling the truth. TT had a woman problem-not a one time fall from grace. He gave up on his marriage, attempted blame his wife, leave his children behind in Florida and allegedly married and moved to Texas with his honey who was allegedly twice divorced and allegedly involved with him during his marriage. What a pair!

This is far different than a pastor I know who had an affair, confessed it, stepped down from the pulpit and has led a life of repentance for many, many years. He is is an honest hypocrite. In fact, it was he who once said "We are all hypocrites."

CJ Mahaney

Wowza! I could write a book on this subject. CJ Mahaney, when confronted by his own sin, took off from his church and hid out under the protection of Mark Dever and Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Then, when the going continued to be rough, he ditched his church and people and took off to Louisville, Kentucky to be near to his BFF, Al Mohler and start again How sad it is when pastors help their friends to avoid being truly humble by avoiding repentance and apologizing.

Recently, Mahaney stated that people should make their pastors happy by not expressing any sort of dissent. Seriously? This is humility? Due to the number of years that are involved in this short narrative, I believe that Mahaney is a dishonest hypocrite.

Iain Campbell

I have received a number of emails from people from across the Pond about Campbell. They all told me that they believe that Campbell is guilty of these allegations. Campbell took his own life immediately when allegedly confronted by his wife regarding what was allegedly years of infidelity with a number of women. If this is true, he lived a lie for years. Not only that but he wrote about hypocrisy and the problems of living up to the faith that we profess. He claimed to be against assisted suicide but took his own life when confronted with his sins.

He may have been involved in covering up the sexual improprieties of a colleague while helping to expel 20 pastors who were concerned about this pastor. This seems a bit radical. Did he see himself in the one pastor whom he allegedly protected at the expense of others?

Sadly, he was known for his preaching of the Gospel. The Gospel that I know claims that we are sinners in need of grace and we must repent. If we repent, we are forgiven. Was his faith tied up in being the *great preacher?* Did he not understand that a confession of his sins would be a way to truly preach the Gospel? As he stood in repentance he could cling to that Gospel as he faced the consequences of his sin. How many people would have come to an understanding of grace if he had lived it out, courageously, in his own life? 

Due to the years of alleged hidden sin and his response, I believe he was a dishonest hypocrite.

A final caveat

Being a dishonest hypocrite does not mean that someone is not a Christian. I gladly leave that judgment up to the One who truly knows us.

Help with further posts on Campbell, Robertson and others

I am so thankful to a number of readers who have sent us information on Iain Campbell. I am interested in writing more posts on Campbell and a few of his friends such as David Robertson. I would appreciate any newspaper articles, etc. along with your thinking. Also, if any of you know Anne Campbell, please tell her that TWW is standing with her and wish to offer our assistance to her in any possible way.


Comments

Looking Further at Iain Campbell and Others: What is a Dishonest Hypocrite? — 442 Comments

  1. Off-topic announcement.

    Hi Folks,

    Just an updated note that someone made a $200 donation to the GoFundMe that Dee set up for Shuana and her son Billy in Texas. Thank you donors. And all those who pray for this little family.

    (Dee wrote about their story here on TWW.)
    Shauna and Billy are in a dire financial situation right now. Shauna’s part-time job at a grocery store was cut to 13 hours per week. And she doesn’t get paid a lot per hour.
    Right now there is $625 in the GoFundMe account for them, minus fees that are taken out.
    Rent is due $700 and Shauna doesn’t want them to become homeless.

    Would you kind folks please donate whatever you can to this campaign: $20, $25, $50,
    $75, $100 or more so that we can help them keep a roof over their head.

    https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

    Thank you, friends!

  2. dee wrote:

    @ Loren Haas:
    Are we discussing flour?

    We are discussing The Wartburg Watch Olympics. Loren is faster than a Cheetah tonight!

  3. When I was in “ministry” with a professional parachurch group they had these forms you would sign that held up their confessional statements and that you would only have sexual relations within the covenant of marriage. Then they ranted on about how awful gay people were and almost made you sign twice to not be one of those things. Well as a Christian I have lived a celibate life, I mean in the faith community I did not even hug and maybe shook hands because of how weirded out people would get. I struggled signing the agreement because of their stance on the inerrancy of scripture and their stance on some aspects of soteriology. I really struggled because I did not want to be a hypocrite, but I took care to teach according to their doctrinal view when I taught in their name. When I discussed these concerns I was told to basically signed the stupid form and stop grandstanding. I took a great deal of grief over living a celibate lifestyle, for some reason that really ticked people off. I mean others were living with other people outside of marriage, some did not really believe in God etc. When I got the boot it was because I followed the guidelines to deal with issues and for being friends with people and going over to one person’s house with an invitation three times in six months. I was told I was menacing people and was a dangerous person. That totally affected my ministry ability for years, I did eventually reconcile with the group because I think the scriptures is clear about that. That too was seen as weak and even viewed as stupid.

    I do have one fear I really struggle with and it, at times, terrifies me, that I might snuff out a smoldering wick, or crush a bruised reed. Which is one reason I steer clear of churches because why would I go to an organization where I disagree with some or much of the doctrine and eventually end up getting booted? But I do agree that we are all hypocrites at times. I hope to not be a coward and grow a thinker skin.

  4. Off-topic announcement.
    Hi Folks,
    Just another updated note that someone just made a $100 donation to the GoFundMe that Dee set up for Shuana and her son Billy in Texas. Thank you donors. And all those who pray for this little family.

    (Dee wrote about their story here on TWW.)
    Shauna and Billy are in a dire financial situation right now. Shauna’s part-time job at a grocery store was cut to 13 hours per week. And she doesn’t get paid a lot per hour.
    Right now there is $700 in the GoFundMe account for them, minus fees that are taken out.

    Rent is due $700 and Shauna doesn’t want them to become homeless.

    We now need to cover the GoFundMe fees that are taken out. (Jeannette Altes, please comment as to what percentage is taken out.)

    So we need to cover fees. We also need to cover food and gasoline for Shuana and Billy.

    Would you kind folks please donate whatever you can to this campaign: $20, $25, $50,
    $75, $100 or more so that we can help them keep a roof over their head.
    https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

    Thank you, friends!

  5. George Rekers:

    Rekers hid his same sex attraction while at the same time claiming that same sex attraction could be cured by reparative therapy.

    I think he didn’t want to be SSA and was trying to self-medicate and self-treat in secret. His preaching against it was more to himself than to anyone else.

  6. @ Velour:
    Y’all don’t know what good flour is. White Lily is 1st place in my kitchen. Martha White is a very, very distant second!

  7. @ Nancy2:
    I take that back about Martha white.
    White Lily makes self-rising, all-purpose, and bread flour. So, White Lily covers all three ores!

  8. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I think he didn’t want to be SSA and was trying to self-medicate and self-treat in secret. His preaching against it was more to himself than to anyone else.

    I have wondered if he just wanted easy access…… ya know?

  9. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Y’all don’t know what good flour is. White Lily is 1st place in my kitchen. Martha White is a very, very distant second!

    I bought a book about how to make really good biscuits. White Lily was listed by the author (a man) as being “The Flour” to use. Book: Biscuit Bliss by James Villas.

    But you’re a Southern gal and you don’t need that info.

    I’m in hockey puck California.

  10. Nancy2 wrote:

    Martha White is a very, very distant second!

    Maybe your family connections could ship this Westerner some White Lily Flour. I wanna make some really good biscuits!

  11. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    (Jeannette Altes, please comment as to what percentage is taken out.)
    The formula us a bit conplicated, but it works out to about 8%.

    Ok, thanks Jeannette.

  12. “A few days ago, Phil Johnson, Executive Pastor of Grace to You, John MacArthur’s ministry called me a “hypocrite.” – Dee

    In psychology what Phil Johnson did is called projection.

    Jesus, of course, also talked about that type of thing. Take the log out of your eye Phil Johnson before you go after taking “a splinter” out of Dee’s eye. (God bless you, Dee.
    Deb too. You ladies put up with quite a lot from so many people. And you have a wonderful ministry for God’s hurting people and children.)

  13. seems to me that a problem arises when a person holds to ‘beliefs’ or a ‘belief system’ mentally in a very strong way;
    and yet he has difficulty digesting this belief and incorporating it into ‘who he is’ integrally

    maybe we all this problem, and it shows up when we are ‘put to the test’?

    it may very well be a part of our human condition, and that would explain why God took millenia to guide mankind gently towards ‘the better way’, starting where we were and leading us forward in a good direction with up-grades in His revelation and teaching as we were able to tolerate them in our need to take ‘small steps’ towards the Light

  14. That sermon from Iain Campbell sounds very troubling in places. If Campbell believed in Evanescent Grace as Calvin taught in his Christian Institutes, then that would explain why he said some of the things he did in that sermon. Being that it is a late hour, I don’t have the wherewithal to delve deeper into this. Suffice it to say, that Campbell could have very well thought himself to be an example of one who was deceived by evanescent grace, and therefore in reality, a reprobate – without hope or the possibility of repentance.

  15. Off-topic update.

    Hi Folks,

    Just an updated note that we have raised the $700 to pay for Shauna and Billy’s rent in Texas in the GoFundMe account.

    *We now need to raise the $60 in fees that GoFundMe charges (they charge about 8%).

    *Also we do need some more funds to pay for food, household items, and gasoline for them.
    (I think for right now another $220 would be helpful for these expenses.)

    https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

    Thank you to all of our donors!! Thank you to everyone who is praying for Shauna and Billy. (Shauna has a part-time job at a grocery store that was reduced to 13 hours per week.)

    (Dee previously wrote about Shauna and Billy here on TWW.)

    Love and thanks to all,

    Velour in California

  16. Velour wrote:

    “A few days ago, Phil Johnson, Executive Pastor of Grace to You, John MacArthur’s ministry called me a “hypocrite.” – Dee
    In psychology what Phil Johnson did is called projection.

    Especially since his way of dealing with the uncouth things he said was by deleting his tweets and then playing the victim and acting like everyone was just so mean to him.

    Wait, wasn’t that just like his good buddy Frank Turk?

  17. I think all these men were predators of a type. They all used their positions to enrich themselves & exploit others.

    My opinion is that christianity and other religions force people into an unnatural morality.

    For example, homosexuality. There’s no denying that God​ was very explicit in his “put to death” edicts. So we have young men & women believing that they are the worst sort of evil for something they can’t control. It’s set up for clowns like Rekers to come in and offer a cure.

    As we’ve seen time & again, this focus on inherent sin. That we start off evil as babies allows for a fertile field for the wolves to feast.

    I don’t think we are all evil. I think we’re capable of it. But some of the’sin’, especially the so called moral crimes (like homosexuality) have become the focus of the faith, causing much unnecessary suffering.

  18. Tchividjian appears to have acted out in extreme ways in his youth. This raises red flags for me and leads me to suspect some sort of psychological damage done to him at that point, which may have carried forward in later life. This, in Catholic teaching, may reduce culpability in that it reduces the ability to form intent. This does not mean that his actions are less serious and damaging to his victims or that he should be allowed back into any type of work that involves intimate trust of others. It means, for me, that he probably needs real psychological help as well as, separately, a mature pastoral relationship with someone. In fact, he probably has a moral obligation to seek that. I point this out because of his childhood behavior. I know nothing about the psychological backgrounds of the others. Of course all of us must repent of the harm we have done others. However no one’s behavior here is outside the possibility of grace.
    As to Tchividjian’s theology and its possible origins in his internal struggles, that is hard to say. And as to the others’ hypocrisy since I have only indirect insight into their internal states (as I am not their confessor or therapist) I will not speculate.

  19. Jack wrote:

    For example, homosexuality. There’s no denying that God​ was very explicit in his “put to death” edicts. So we have young men & women believing that they are the worst sort of evil for something they can’t control.

    My Church doesn’t teach this, Jack. I know that some ‘churches’ or entities do preach this kind of thing, but many Christian people reject the idea that because someone is born with SSA, they are ‘evil’ or ‘sinful’. I hope you realize this.

  20. @ Dew:
    wise words, especially the recognition of Catholic teaching that a person’s ‘intent’ affects the condition of their culpability …. thank you for sharing this comment here

  21. I truly believe that when a “minister” preaches on and on about a subject, then they themselves are having a problem with that issue. When you go off on a tangent and can’t get past it, something is wrong. God’s word is not just about one thing. It encompasses our whole life. We are all guilty at times of getting side tracked by an issue. But most of us don’t go preaching it from the platform or write books about it or get international coverage about it.

  22. I think if Rev. Campbell had sought assistance in committing suicide, that would have made him a hypocrite in that area. At least he did it in secret without trying to involve anyone else.

  23. I’m struck by this quote in Dee’s post, taken from the Evening Times:

    [his] great love was preaching the gospel. It was a preaching of the highest calibre.

    I’ve used the generic “his” rather than Mr Campbell as such because a) I can’t be certain it was true of him, and b) there is abundant evidence that I am not alone in enjoying the experience of public speaking, and it’s a widespread problem in many church movements and denominations.

    However many Christians dislike Rick Warren’s output, he did make a very good point. I can’t quote it verbatim from memory, but it’s along the lines of: I often hear ministers say, “I just LOVE to preach!”. That never impresses me. I have to ask them: that’s all very well, but do you love the people to whom you’re preaching?

    A questionable piece of translation in the King James (what else) has Paul telling Corinth that God is pleased to save through “the foolishness of preaching”. More accurate is “the foolishness of what’s preached”, but the phrase stuck, and many have got it into their heads that God saves through the foolishness of preaching. Then, they dropped the “foolishness” part of it and decided that the preacher was the most important man in the church and his preaching the most important aspect of a gathering of believers.

    Thus, men are honoured and promoted based on their rhetorical gifts. As we’ve often seen, a good actor (Greek: ὑποκριτά, or “hypocrite”) can preach with great pomp and passion on something he doesn’t understand or even believe. If his life doesn’t matter, but only his performance on the stage, then the church will inevitably get preachers after its own heart. Which is why an entire church will often collude with its favourite pulpit-actors when the latter take advantage of their celebrity and abuse the vulnerable.

  24. @ Dew:

    What struck me most about Tullian’s account of his upbringing and later his first pastorate, was how moralistic and performance oriented he made that environment sound. I realize that’s just his version of things, and it excuses none of his behavior, but it is rather consistent with what I personally have observed over the years in the Reformed world. Then of course, there was the added pressure of being related to Billy Graham. If I had been a descendant of one of the biggest celebrities of the modern evangelical protestant world, I probably would have done my best to disappear and go do something else entirely. I don’t need moralism, but the gospel. I don’t need some religious empire, just God’s grace. And I don’t need celebrity; give me Jesus instead, thank you very much.

  25. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Thus, men are honoured and promoted based on their rhetorical gifts. As we’ve often seen, a good actor (Greek: ὑποκριτά, or “hypocrite”) can preach with great pomp and passion on something he doesn’t understand or even believe. If his life doesn’t matter, but only his performance on the stage, then the church will inevitably get preachers after its own heart. Which is why an entire church will often collude with its favourite pulpit-actors when the latter take advantage of their celebrity and abuse the vulnerable.

    Theatre.
    Tragic.

  26. NJ wrote:

    What struck me most about Tullian’s account of his upbringing and later his first pastorate, was how moralistic and performance oriented he made that environment sound. I realize that’s just his version of things, and it excuses none of his behavior, but it is rather consistent with what I personally have observed over the years in the Reformed world.

    Not just new-Calvinists, but fundamentalists and hardcore evangelicals. I went to Liberty with one of Graham’s other grandsons, along with a number of other celebrity pastors kids, and there was so much “Don’t ever do that” or “Be afraid of everything!” from many of them, as well as celebrity pastors who visited. One of my roommates was a PK, and her dad was fairly well-known, and she talked about how she often felt in church like she could never be accepted no matter what she did so just really just stopped talking and interacting for a period. She worked her way out of that (without much help, I gathered), but I imagine

    While I was there, I had a professor (a card-carrying member of CBMW I might add) who said that he forced his daughter, then 13, to sign a contract that he would pick her spouse from “a well-known Christian family”. He argued that he couldn’t be sure they were “good Christians” unless they were famous. Even more sadly, this was a theology professor.

    It’d be really hard to focus on Christ when everything is about rules to make sure you keep being famous.

  27. ishy wrote:

    She worked her way out of that (without much help, I gathered), but I imagine

    Oops I didn’t finish my sentence. I was just going to say I’d imagine it’d be really hard to have everyone watching your every move.

  28. As most of you know, I’m not a fan of Matt Chandler nor his beloved reformed movement, but the following quote about hypocrisy in the church rings true.

    “Without a heart transformed by the grace of Christ, we just continue to manage external and internal darkness.” (Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel)

    Hypocrisy springs from a heart problem. Doctrines about grace won’t fix it, but a touch of Grace will. Religious observance is not the cure; it takes a relationship with the living Christ to right the ship. If we have an obedience problem, we have a heart problem … if we have a heart problem, we have a love problem. If we truly knew Christ as we ought … if we were led by the Holy Spirit as we ought … hypocrisy would find no home. Hypocrisy is born in a churchman’s life when the remnant of the old man within wars with the new man that is trying to come forth. That’s why I’m a proponent of “transformed” theology, not reformed theology. Have we truly put on Christ? Have we been transformed?

    Scripture addresses this external/internal struggle. The fix: repentance.

    “Here, then, is the message which we heard from Him, and now proclaim to you: GOD IS LIGHT and no shadow of darkness can exist in him. Consequently, if we were to say that we enjoyed fellowship with him and still went on living in darkness, we should be both telling and living a lie. But if we really are living in the same light in which He eternally exists, then we have true fellowship with each other, and the blood which His Son shed for us keeps us clean from all sin. If we refuse to admit that we are sinners, then we live in a world of illusion and truth becomes a stranger to us. But if we freely admit that we have sinned, we find God utterly reliable and straightforward – He forgives our sins and makes us thoroughly clean from all that is evil. For if we take up the attitude ‘we have not sinned’, we flatly deny God’s diagnosis of our condition and cut ourselves off from what He has to say to us.” (1 John 1:6-10 Phillips)

  29. JYJames wrote:

    Thus, men are honoured and promoted based on their rhetorical gifts. As we’ve often seen, a good actor (Greek: ὑποκριτά, or “hypocrite”) can preach with great pomp and passion on something he doesn’t understand or even believe. If his life doesn’t matter, but only his performance on the stage, then the church will inevitably get preachers after its own heart. Which is why an entire church will often collude with its favourite pulpit-actors when the latter take advantage of their celebrity and abuse the vulnerable.

    Theatre.
    Tragic.

    and if the popular ‘actor’ isn’t really a minister,
    is the ‘audience’ that colludes with his abuse really a ‘Church’?

    I don’t think so. ‘Theatre’ sounds about right: with a ‘stage’ and lighting, and a sound system, and a ‘praise’ band, and a smoke-machine, and …….

  30. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Thus, men are honoured and promoted based on their rhetorical gifts. As we’ve often seen, a good actor (Greek: ὑποκριτά, or “hypocrite”) can preach with great pomp and passion on something he doesn’t understand or even believe. If his life doesn’t matter, but only his performance on the stage, then the church will inevitably get preachers after its own heart. Which is why an entire church will often collude with its favourite pulpit-actors when the latter take advantage of their celebrity and abuse the vulnerable.

    I have seen that happen, even in small churches. There have been times when I’ve thought, wow this guy is a great preacher. But as I heard him more and more, it turned out that he was just a great speaker, nothing more.
    The 4 pastors/preachers who have had the biggest impact on my life, whose messages have touch my heart the deepest, have been everyday grammatically incorrect, plain spoken, soft spoken men who were willing to admit, even from the pulpit, if they didn’t understand something, or when the Bible wasn’t clear on something.

  31. ishy wrote:

    While I was there, I had a professor (a card-carrying member of CBMW I might add) who said that he forced his daughter, then 13, to sign a contract that he would pick her spouse from “a well-known Christian family”. He argued that he couldn’t be sure they were “good Christians” unless they were famous. Even more sadly, this was a theology professor.

    that daughter …. all I could think of was poor Anna Duggar

  32. Christiane wrote:

    My Church doesn’t teach this, Jack. I know that some ‘churches’ or entities do preach this kind of thing, but many Christian people reject the idea that because someone is born with SSA, they are ‘evil’ or ‘sinful’. I hope you realize this.

    All churches teach it. It’s black and white in the holy scripture. Maybe individual christians reject it (or modify it or make peace with it in some other way) but for me it’s always been the elephant in the room.

  33. Jack wrote:

    I think all these men were predators of a type. They all used their positions to enrich themselves & exploit others.

    It sure seem like it.

  34. Harley wrote:

    I truly believe that when a “minister” preaches on and on about a subject, then they themselves are having a problem with that issue. When you go off on a tangent and can’t get past it, something is wrong.

    I would agree with you. George Rekers is an example of that for sure.

  35. ishy wrote:

    While I was there, I had a professor (a card-carrying member of CBMW I might add) who said that he forced his daughter, then 13, to sign a contract that he would pick her spouse from “a well-known Christian family”. He argued that he couldn’t be sure they were “good Christians” unless they were famous. Even more sadly, this was a theology professor.
    It’d be really hard to focus on Christ when everything is about rules to make sure you keep being famous.

    Seems like so may of these men are pushing for OT stuff and ignoring that the NT even exists. They keep women separate from the body as if we were in the Tabranacle or the Temple instead of a (Christ)ian church, marriages that border on being arranged (why not a bride price, too?) …….. Oh, and concubines, yeah lots of those.

  36. @ NJ:
    Interesting thought. Given his POV on assisted suicide, my guess is that he was strongly opposed to all suicide.

  37. For a break from the sleazy world of hypocrisy of religious leaders, and in honor if Nick, news from a great sport of Scottish origins:

    Round-robin play concludes today at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Edmonton, AB. Canada and Sweden have clinched 2 of the 4 playoff spots, with Switzerland and the USA third and fourth.

    In action last night, Sweden defeated Switzerland 10-4 to maintain their hold on 2nd place behind undefeated Canada. China played USA and in the fourth end, USA skip John Shuster tapped up one of his own stones to score two points and give his team a 5-1 lead. In the next end, China’s skip Rui Liu wrecked his last stone on a front guard on the way into the house to give USA a steal of two points to move their lead to 7-1. China later conceded, with a final score of 8-2 for USA.

    All teams have 2 games to play today.

  38. Dew wrote:

    no one’s behavior here is outside the possibility of grace

    Indeed! It’s a possibility, but not a positively! The attitude within reformed ranks that it’s all God and no me denies Scriptural truth that we have something to do about accessing Grace (a person, not a thing) to change us. But we’ve got to make motions in that direction by free will. Repentance is a good place to start in changing hypocritical behavior; maintaining a repentant heart is the best way to stay true.

  39. Nancy2 wrote:

    Seems like so may of these men are pushing for OT stuff and ignoring that the NT even exists. They keep women separate from the body as if we were in the Tabranacle or the Temple instead of a (Christ)ian church, marriages that border on being arranged (why not a bride price, too?) …….. Oh, and concubines, yeah lots of those.

    He really loved Grudem, but that was before the neo-Cals outed themselves, so he probably is a neo-Calvinist now.

  40. dee wrote:

    Harley wrote:

    I truly believe that when a “minister” preaches on and on about a subject, then they themselves are having a problem with that issue. When you go off on a tangent and can’t get past it, something is wrong.

    I would agree with you. George Rekers is an example of that for sure.

    And Ted Haggard.

  41. Jack wrote:

    Maybe individual christians reject it (or modify it or make peace with it in some other way) but for me it’s always been the elephant in the room.

    You are correct Jack. It is one of many difficult things in the Old Testament. Take, for example, the utter destruction of certain people groups-including their children, horses, etc.

    Years ago, I went through a crisis of faith of sorts. I then started to explore the *hard stuff* in the Bible. I bet you expect me to say that I found all the answers. I didn’t and I haven’t. But I did find some.

    For me, I found it helpful to realize that I was not the first to read such difficult stories and find them hard to take. Yet, many like me still found that the Bible best described the world that I see around me. I well recognize my shortcomings as well as my guilt. That guilt finds forgiveness in the person of Jesus

    There have been many people who have taken on the elephants (there are many) in the room. They do not deny it as they struggle with it yet they still believe. Are they deceived. I don’t think so.

    There is a decent book (no-it doesn’t have all the answers) but it deals wth some of this. Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God

    https://www.amazon.com/God-Moral-Monster-Making-Testament-ebook/dp/B004EPYPY4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491489346&sr=8-1&keywords=Is+God+a+Moral+MOnster

    I do not mean to give you advice. I do know that I have been there and now find myself more at peace after searching for years for answers to these difficult questions.

  42. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    men are honoured and promoted based on their rhetorical gifts. As we’ve often seen, a good actor (Greek: ὑποκριτά, or “hypocrite”) can preach with great pomp and passion on something he doesn’t understand or even believe. If his life doesn’t matter, but only his performance on the stage, then the church will inevitably get preachers after its own heart. Which is why an entire church will often collude with its favourite pulpit-actors when the latter take advantage of their celebrity and abuse the vulnerable

    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread!

    Such “preachers” would have no stage if they didn’t have an audience willing to prop them up. Pulpit-actors would have no pulpits if they didn’t have a congregation of fools underwriting corporate recklessness.

    This can also be said about movements. Piper, Mohler, Mahaney, Dever et al. would not be sitting on thrones of the new reformation if it weren’t for a multitude of young fools buying their lies, praising their rhetorical gifts, buying their books, and attending their conferences.

  43. Nancy2 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    I think he didn’t want to be SSA and was trying to self-medicate and self-treat in secret. His preaching against it was more to himself than to anyone else.

    I have wondered if he just wanted easy access…… ya know?

    That is also plausible.

  44. dee wrote:

    Harley wrote:
    I truly believe that when a “minister” preaches on and on about a subject, then they themselves are having a problem with that issue. When you go off on a tangent and can’t get past it, something is wrong.

    I would agree with you. George Rekers is an example of that for sure.

    Can’t remember where I heard this, but:
    “You can tell when a preacher’s in trouble when he stops preaching on what he’s for and starts preaching only on what he’s against.”

  45. NJ wrote:

    If I had been a descendant of one of the biggest celebrities of the modern evangelical protestant world, I probably would have done my best to disappear and go do something else entirely.

    Famous Father Syndrome, just like JFK Jr had to deal with all his life.

  46. ishy wrote:

    While I was there, I had a professor (a card-carrying member of CBMW I might add) who said that he forced his daughter, then 13, to sign a contract that he would pick her spouse from “a well-known Christian family”. He argued that he couldn’t be sure they were “good Christians” unless they were famous. Even more sadly, this was a theology professor.

    At 13, she’s about to “flower”; time to arrange the union of House Lannister with House Baratheon. (Or House Bolton with the last known Stark heiress.)

  47. Nancy2 wrote:

    I have seen that happen, even in small churches. There have been times when I’ve thought, wow this guy is a great preacher. But as I heard him more and more, it turned out that he was just a great speaker, nothing more. The 4 pastors/preachers who have had the biggest impact on my life, whose messages have touch my heart the deepest, have been everyday grammatically incorrect, plain spoken, soft spoken men

    It matters not how much education one has and how articulate he is, if he hasn’t been with Jesus. “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were illiterate and uneducated men, they marveled. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

    It’s the anointing that breaks the yoke, not a doctorate in theology. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing against education – I even have some! But education does not produce one ounce of revelation. It’s the difference between being a Preacher, rather than being a preacher.

    One of the best Gospel preachers I ever sat under was a former town drunk. He came to Christ late in life after seeing his father killed in a bar room fight, in which he almost lost his. He began to preach at around 50 years of age after his praying mother led him to Jesus. An uneducated man (by the world’s standard), he openly confessed that he didn’t know anything except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He stayed true to that message, leading countless souls to Christ. In the Kingdom of God, it’s not how much you know but who you know.

  48. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “You can tell when a preacher’s in trouble when he stops preaching on what he’s for and starts preaching only on what he’s against.”

    I really like that quote. I looked it up, and didn’t find who originally said it. Oh, well.

    I think it’s a pretty good evaluation for everything in life.

  49. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    At 13, she’s about to “flower”; time to arrange the union of House Lannister with House Baratheon. (Or House Bolton with the last known Stark heiress.)

    There was a woman who stood up and just ripped on him with verses about what makes a “good” Christian. I never thanked her, and I wish I had. I do wish now somebody had asked him why he forced an underage girl to sign an illegal contract.

  50. Max wrote:

    It’s the anointing that breaks the yoke, not a doctorate in theology. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing against education – I even have some! But education does not produce one ounce of revelation. It’s the difference between being a Preacher, rather than being a preacher.

    I think a lot of seminary was absolutely useless for this very reason. I loved learning Greek, but reading hundreds of academic papers doesn’t teach people to study the Bible or minister to people. And the seminary I attended had no practical component, which is actually totally opposite of the model Jesus presented. If many new Baptist pastors or missionaries went into churches as associate pastors or in a position where they are learning on the job, I wouldn’t have much of a problem with this. But many are thrown straight into lead pastoral positions with no experience.

    And a lot of people clearly had this idea that their education and ability to string words together made them more special than other Christians.

    Education doesn’t impact people for God. The Holy Spirit moving through a surrendered individual moves people toward God. That doesn’t happen with education, in fact, I think it’s easy to let education hinder that. Prayer and surrendering oneself every day does that.

  51. ishy wrote:

    Education doesn’t impact people for God. The Holy Spirit moving through a surrendered individual moves people toward God.

    Amen

    “Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. On le sent en mille choses. C’est le cœur qui sent Dieu, et non la raison. Voilà ce que c’est que la foi parfaite, Dieu sensible au cœur.

    The Project Gutenberg translation is as follows:

    “The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This, then, is faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason.”

    and so the ancient starting prayer of the Israelites, and now of the Church:
    ‘sursum corda’ – Let us lift our hearts up to God

  52. Christiane wrote:

    and if the popular ‘actor’ isn’t really a minister,
    is the ‘audience’ that colludes with his abuse really a ‘Church’?

    Well, are the sacraments valid if the priest is in a state of sin at the time? Are the people who partake of the sacraments from such a priest Christians, and is the church/Church that fails to solve this issue really a church/Church? Does a real church/Church cover up child sex abuse?

    Of course it is a church/Church. But it is doing something wrong.

  53. @ ishy:
    Ishy, I forgot to credit Blaise Pascal with this quote:

    ““The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This, then, is faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason.” (Blaise Pascal)

    actually this is a translation from his very famous French saying

    there are times when theology and prayer and philosophy and literature come together and for me, this quote of Pascal’s mirrors what you wrote, Ishy.

    It’s like when someone much loved passes away, your mind ‘knows’ it; but your heart takes a lot more time to process what has happened

  54. Velour wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Y’all don’t know what good flour is. White Lily is 1st place in my kitchen. Martha White is a very, very distant second!

    I bought a book about how to make really good biscuits. White Lily was listed by the author (a man) as being “The Flour” to use. Book: Biscuit Bliss by James Villas.

    But you’re a Southern gal and you don’t need that info.

    I’m in hockey puck California.

    Oooh, gotta get that book. My husband makes the BEST biscuits. They’re not the fluffy kind (although I love those, too, when they’re made right). Rather, they’re really rich and flaky. Yum. But I’m always open to new Biscuit Experiences.

    True story: When we moved down to Louisiana in the ’80s for my husband’s teaching job, we took more than 2 weeks to drive there, so we could “see America” on the way. At one point we had breakfast in Chattanooga. I had biscuits for the first time in my entire life. (I’m from Boston. We do bagels, not biscuits.)

    At the first bite, I said to my Kentucky-born husband, “Where have these been all my life?”

    And thus began my love affair with biscuits. We live in the NC Piedmont now (AKA God’s Country), and I cannot imagine life without biscuits.

  55. Nancy2 wrote:

    You can buy it online! Scroll to the bottom!

    I just might check it out for the next time I pan-fry tilapia.

  56. Off topic; sue me again (stereo headphones with only one earpiece up for grabs), but I can’t wait for Headless Unicorn Guy’s book “There’s A Verse for It!”

    Sometimes, I come her just to read him, but I enjoy him every time.

    Blessings, HUG.

  57. Velour wrote:

    “A few days ago, Phil Johnson, Executive Pastor of Grace to You, John MacArthur’s ministry called me a “hypocrite.” – Dee
    In psychology what Phil Johnson did is called projection.

    That’s OK. I’m pretty sure that Johnson, like MacArthur, doesn’t believe in psychology.

  58. @ Velour:
    @ Muff Potter:
    One catch with White Lily flour (does not apply to the bread flour): if you are using a recipe that simply calls for a certain, measured amount of flour, and not White Lily specifically (cakes, waffles, pancakes, muffins, etc) 1 cup of flour = 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. white Lily. (Says so on the side of the bag, if you forget). White Lily is very airy, thus less mass in the same amt of volume. In recipes where you add flour until a certain consistency is achieved is no problem.

  59. Rekers hid his same sex attraction while at the same time claiming that same sex attraction could be cured by reparative therapy.

    I wonder if it isn’t rather more an example of him being interested in the topic initially because he maybe wanted to ‘cure’ himself, but then being unable to. I’m sure public status and money made recanting sound like a terrible option, so he did his thing on the sly.

    Or he could always have been lying and this was a front. Hard to know. I wonder if he tried for a while and then failed, or if he actually never tried.

  60. I don’t think I would accuse anyone of hypocrisy for committing suicide, regardless of their previous stance on it. It is such a tragic thing and I can’t imagine the psychological turmoil that much have been going on prior, that leveling hypocrisy charges seems a bit like rubbing salt on the wound. But the affairs are a different issue.

    I am a huge fan of education. I think a good education can be transformative. Learning about the language, cultures, and the history is invaluable. Education can expose people to new ideas and perspectives. That said, I think universities should require students to read more than just “their people.” We have some good Baptist friends with MDivs and while comparing classes and degrees we realized that they were only required to read mostly Baptist material, and mostly Neo-Cal. So their education was more like indoctrination. We also met some presbyterians who talked more about the Institutes than any other piece of literature. (Churches of Christ don’t have enough scholars, so our texts were from everywhere)

    But as Paul says, what good is education if you don’t have love. I’d take a loving “uneducated” minister over a self-centered PhD any day.

    There was a post here a while back about a company that will write and research sermons for people – I forget the name of the company. It seems that when people stop digging into the word, their character suffers. There is no substitute for wrestling with scripture – no matter how much you think you know.

  61. Darlene wrote:

    That sermon from Iain Campbell sounds very troubling in places. If Campbell believed in Evanescent Grace as Calvin taught in his Christian Institutes, then that would explain why he said some of the things he did in that sermon. Being that it is a late hour, I don’t have the wherewithal to delve deeper into this. Suffice it to say, that Campbell could have very well thought himself to be an example of one who was deceived by evanescent grace, and therefore in reality, a reprobate – without hope or the possibility of repentance.

    I think you’ve “got it!” Especially when he quotes Edwards, ‘Apparent evidences of piety there may be, but these, in Edwards’ words, may be nothing more than “the common influences of the Spirit of God, joined with the delusions of Satan and the wicked and deceitful heart.”’
    If I believe that I’m a dishonest hypocrite, I may still hope to change.
    If I believe that I’m a dishonest hypocrite, and, to channel The Supremes, “there ain’t nuttin’ I can do about it” then I am hopeless.
    If I believe that GOD is a dishonest hypocrite who purposely deludes the hopelessly reprobate with assurances of salvation in order to “glorify himself” or some such, then…
    Why don’t you be a god about it
    And set me free? (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
    Now, you don’t care a thing about me
    You’re just using me (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
    Go on, get out, get out of my life
    And let me sleep at night (Ooh-ooh-ooh)
    ‘Cause you don’t really love me
    You just keep me hangin’ on
    Or in other words:
    “In the latter part of May, it began to be very sensible that the Spirit of God was gradually withdrawing from us, and after this time Satan seemed to be more let loose, and raged in a dreadful manner. The first instance wherein it appeared, was a person putting an end to his own life by cutting his throat. He was a gentleman of more than common understanding, of strict morals, religious in his behavior, and a useful and honorable person in the town; but was of a family that are exceedingly prone to the disease of melancholy, and his mother was killed with it.
    He had, from the beginning of this extraordinary time, been exceedingly concerned about the state of his soul, and there were some things in his experience that appeared very hopeful; but he durst entertain no hope concerning his own good estate. Towards the latter part of his time, he grew much discouraged, and melancholy grew again upon him, till he was wholly overpowered by it, and was in a great measure past a capacity of receiving advice, or being reasoned with to any purpose. The devil took the advantage, and drove him into despairing thoughts. He was kept awake at nights, meditating terror, so that he had scarce any sleep at all for a long time together; and it was observed at last, that he was scarcely well capable of managing his ordinary business, and was judged delirious by the coroner’s inquest. The news of this extraordinarily affected the minds of people here, and struck them as it were with astonishment.
    After this, multitudes in this and other towns seemed to have it strongly suggested to them, and pressed upon them, to do as this person had done. And many who seemed to be under no melancholy, some pious persons who had no special darkness or doubts about the goodness of their state-nor were under any special trouble or concern of mind about any thing spiritual or temporal-had it urged upon them as if somebody had spoke to them, “Cut your throat, now is a good opportunity. Now! now!” So that they were obliged to fight with all their might to resist it, and yet no reason suggested to them why they should do it.” -Jonathan Edwards

  62. @ Nancy2:
    @ Velour:
    I was young and now am old. In addition to being known as a really spiritual person :-), this old man is semi-famous for making the best biscuits and gravy in my neck of the woods. I have experimented with various flour brands (White Lily and Martha White are favorites), but the real key to great biscuits is cutting in Crisco shortening to your flour recipe (of the lard type). The biscuit recipe on the back of the White Lily package is essentially what I use. My dear mother was a State dietician, but she loved to put bacon grease and lard in things! It wouldn’t be Southern cooking without those two basic food groups.

    I realize this is off topic, but I’m no hypocrite when it comes to biscuits!

  63. Max wrote:

    but the real key to great biscuits is cutting in Crisco shortening to your flour recipe (of the lard type). The biscuit recipe on the back of the White Lily package is essentially what I use. My dear mother was a State dietician, but she loved to put bacon grease and lard in things!

    I use lard in my biscuits, gotta keep it real. I put about half the flour in a bowl, then cutting the lard, then add the milk and the rest of the flour. And I’ll tell ya what, Max. They ain’t nuthin better than steaming hot chocolate puddin’ dolloped over a cold, left over, homemade biscuit, split in two, on a cold rainy day! A slice of tomato with mayo is pretty good on ’em on a hot summer day, too!

  64. Christiane wrote:

    Let us lift our hearts up to God

    We lift them up to Thee, Oh Lord! In Orthodoxy, we are taught that the mind must be in the heart. That only when the mind surrenders itself to the heart, will it then understand and know God. Knowing things rationally and then attempting to use that knowledge in a pastoral setting is dangerous – harmful to souls. Because it does not take the person and his/her struggles into account. Rational religion responds with hard, cold, rigid answers that do not satisfy the longing of our hearts. If a person only knows this kind of religion, they will never be satisfied with God. Their hearts will remain untouched by His love, compassion, mercy and grace.

  65. @ ishy:

    Any man forcing his 13 year old daughter to sign a contract to let him pick her husband from anywhere, is a form of child abuse. I hope she realized at some point she is not bound by such a thing.

  66. dee wrote:

    @ NJ:
    Interesting thought. Given his POV on assisted suicide, my guess is that he was strongly opposed to all suicide.

    Oh, I’m sure he was. Then again, I’m sure he was publicly opposed to adultery, as well.

  67. NJ wrote:

    I hope she realized at some point she is not bound by such a thing.

    I was in high school with a girl who had a father like that. A “holiness” preacher, he was overbearing and oppressive – demanding his children to dress a certain way and to have only certain friends. As soon as she graduated from high school, she tossed all that bondage aside and struck out on her own, never to look back. I’ve thought about over the years and wondered if her father caused her to turn away from Christianity altogether.

  68. Max wrote:

    I was in high school with a girl who had a father like that. A “holiness” preacher, he was overbearing and oppressive – demanding his children to dress a certain way and to have only certain friends. As soon as she graduated from high school, she tossed all that bondage aside and struck out on her own, never to look back. I’ve thought about over the years and wondered if her father caused her to turn away from Christianity altogether.

    I had a high female school student in a similar situation – she graduated with my daughter. I’ve known the girl since she was a sixth grader. She was a wild thing when she was out of daddy’s line of vision. ……And daddy never believed anything the teachers and fellow students told him.

  69. @ dee:
    In the OP Dee wrote, “I have received a number of emails from people from across the Pond about Campbell. They all told me that they believe that Campbell is guilty of these allegations. Campbell took his own life immediately when allegedly confronted by his wife regarding what was allegedly years of infidelity with a number of women. If this is true…” But that’s a big “If”, isn’t it? Have any of those people from across the Pond spoken to anyone who knows anything, or have they only read the same gossip we have? I have yet to see one solitary soul, whether woman or love child or church officer or pewsitter or innkeeper come forward with one actual quote supporting the 7 Women theory. Until today, I thought it was still the best theory we had to explain why this man took his own life and at least one of his friends and fellow-denomination-leaders does NOT want to know why.
    Another plausible theory, for which I’ve not yet seen evidence, is that he was suffering from depression or other psychiatric issues but his pride or his beliefs prevented his getting medical help. But now Darlene has presented a theory which is supported by the poor man’s own teachings — namely the 6th point of Calvinism – – Evanescent Grace. Now that I’ve seen that one, I’m going with that until and unless SOMEBODY presents a bit of support for another one.

  70. NJ wrote:

    If I had been a descendant of one of the biggest celebrities of the modern evangelical protestant world, I probably would have done my best to disappear and go do something else entirely.

    I think the money was too good.

  71. @ Dave A A:
    One last thing then I’ll be quiet. If he had 7 Women on his mind, his friends would not be REQUIRED to cover it up, since it would just prove we’re all sinners in need of grace like King David. But IF he had Evanescent Grace on his mind, then despairing of life would be a logical consequence rather than an exception, and might have bad results in the churches in surrounding towns as it did in Edwards’ day. In that case his friends would really rather NOT know.

  72. ishy wrote:

    It’d be really hard to focus on Christ when everything is about rules to make sure you keep being famous.

    I like the way you put that.

    A lot of rules. BG rule. Purity rules. PK rules. Mucks up human relationships because you can’t actually see real people through them.

  73. @ Max:

    Nancy2 and Max,

    Please put your biscuit recipes for me at the top of the page under the Interesting tab,
    the Cooking tab.

    I will give them a whirl.

    Who knows instead of vying for a hockey league championship with my “hockey pucks”,
    maybe I would truly take on some Southern charm.

    P.S. I vote “yes” for the TWW picnic in Kentucky at Nancy2’s. But, we could have
    a picnic at Camp Backbone, which were are planning on having there anyway!

  74. okrapod wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    and if the popular ‘actor’ isn’t really a minister,
    is the ‘audience’ that colludes with his abuse really a ‘Church’?
    Well, are the sacraments valid if the priest is in a state of sin at the time? Are the people who partake of the sacraments from such a priest Christians, and is the church/Church that fails to solve this issue really a church/Church? Does a real church/Church cover up child sex abuse?
    Of course it is a church/Church. But it is doing something wrong.

    The church of the First Millennium dealt with the Donatist controversy and came to the same conclusion, Okrapod. St. John the Evangelist in writing Revelation, speaks of many churches and their various spiritual conditions. Some of those churches are in a deplorable spiritual state, but they are churches nonetheless. Others are on the verge of becoming deplorable and the Lord is warning them. “But this I have against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first,” the Lord says to Ephesus. “But this I have against you; you have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam…” the Lord says to Pergamum. “But this I have against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel…” the Lord says to Thyatira. “Yet you have a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments.” Still, other churches the Lord commends as having faith even under persecution. All the churches in Revelation are indeed churches. They are in various conditions of spiritual decay or spiritual growth. Even within the churches that are in a stage of severe spiritual decay, there are still some within those churches that are faithful believers.

    And perhaps this is how we should endeavor to understand Christians, even Christians such as the examples above: George Reker, Tullian T., CJ Mahaney, Iain Campbell. Could/can it be that in the case of each of these men, God warned them of their impending downfall should they not repent? Could it be that in each case He spoke to them through various means, but at some point they ignored and went on their way? If I understand our Lord to be One who is filled with compassion, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” then the answer is ‘Yes.’ God speaks to us in many and various ways, but He does not force us to listen or heed his instruction. God honors the free will He gave us so that we would willingly follow Him. Or, as is the case with those who make shipwreck of their faith – willingly choose not to follow Him. (In saying this, I realize that there are hard cases: the mentally ill, the cognitively impaired, those with serious mental/learning disabilities.) These hard cases I leave with the Lord, who knows the internal condition of the heart, mind and soul.

  75. Dave A A wrote:

    @ Dave A A:
    One last thing then I’ll be quiet. If he had 7 Women on his mind, his friends would not be REQUIRED to cover it up, since it would just prove we’re all sinners in need of grace like King David. But IF he had Evanescent Grace on his mind, then despairing of life would be a logical consequence rather than an exception, and might have bad results in the churches in surrounding towns as it did in Edwards’ day. In that case his friends would really rather NOT know.

    Love the Eagles allusion.

  76. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    They’re not the fluffy kind (although I love those, too, when they’re made right). Rather, they’re really rich and flaky.

    My grandmother made yeast biscuits! I have never been able to get them right, although I can make the other kind just fine.

  77. Dave A A wrote:

    Another plausible theory, for which I’ve not yet seen evidence

    I don’t see any reason to invent theories for this, unless you have some reason to believe the wife is lying when she said he was having at least an affair (I don’t know how many, but if you find out about 1 there are likely to be 3 you missed).

    He may well have been depressed too, for whatever reasons.

  78. Velour wrote:

    Please put your biscuit recipes for me at the top of the page under the Interesting tab,
    the Cooking tab.

    “Max’s Drop Biscuits” recipe posted on the cooking tab.

    Apologies to Deebs for wandering from the blog topic. Had a momentary weariness of talking about all the hypocrites out there, but we need to stay after them.

  79. Velour wrote:

    Who knows instead of vying for a hockey league championship with my “hockey pucks”,

    Southern living has some videos with technique, which is every bit as important if not moreso than the recipe!

  80. @ ishy:

    ‘Hard cases make bad law’ is a saying in the legal field, I believe. I think more of the legalistic, rule followers should adopt it because it makes an awful lot of sense.

  81. Lea wrote:

    ‘Hard cases make bad law’ is a saying in the legal field, I believe. I think more of the legalistic, rule followers should adopt it because it makes an awful lot of sense.

    I agree. I think many of these people, and this has followed on to the neo-Cals, have made it a competition though. If I follow the rules just a bit better that that other person, God will bless me more and make me more famous and give me more money.

    I may not have heard anyone say that, but I’m pretty sure that was a driving force.

    Of course, this is nothing new, the Pharisees were doing it at least 2000 years ago.

  82. Speaking of biscuits. I grew up every summer on tomato sandwiches-just tomatoes and mayo and bread. Home grown and vine ripened tomatoes and really fresh bread. I thought that was the greatest use of a tomato that there was until my DIL introduced me to tomato biscuits. Just a thick slice of a vine ripened tomato on a home made from scratch biscuit. It was an instant conversion experience.

  83. Dave A A wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Suffice it to say, that Campbell could have very well thought himself to be an example of one who was deceived by evanescent grace, and therefore in reality, a reprobate – without hope or the possibility of repentance.

    I think you’ve “got it!” Especially when he quotes Edwards, ‘Apparent evidences of piety there may be, but these, in Edwards’ words, may be nothing more than “the common influences of the Spirit of God, joined with the delusions of Satan and the wicked and deceitful heart.”’

    If I believe that I’m a dishonest hypocrite, I may still hope to change.
    If I believe that I’m a dishonest hypocrite, and, to channel The Supremes, “there ain’t nuttin’ I can do about it” then I am hopeless.

    If I believe that GOD is a dishonest hypocrite who purposely deludes the hopelessly reprobate with assurances of salvation in order to “glorify himself” or some such, then…

    “In the latter part of May, it began to be very sensible that the Spirit of God was gradually withdrawing from us,… -Jonathan Edwards

    Well, yes, Dave – evanescent grace was the first thing that came to my mind upon reading the quotes from Edwards that Iain Campbell was using in his sermon. I like how you use The Supremes song to tie that in with a God who just plays around with our hearts, all the mere pleasure of His glory. This why some say that God/god is a Cosmic Monster.

    But think of it. If one truly believes and internalizes that God chooses to deceive us, even by causing us to experience and taste of the Holy Spirit, only for the final purpose to cause our damnation to be all the greater (I’m working from memory here) – then there is no recourse except hopelessness. God as the Cosmic Magician, who plays tricks with our mind and heart, dispensing illusions which cause certain people to taste of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to have peace and comfort and joy – only for all of it to be snatched away by God Himself! I cannot even fathom the pain and heartache to believe in such a deity.

  84. Max wrote:

    As soon as she graduated from high school, she tossed all that bondage aside and struck out on her own, never to look back. I’ve thought about over the years and wondered if her father caused her to turn away from Christianity altogether.

    It is said (according to Warren Throckmorton, who has researched the topic extensively) that Mars Hill created as many atheists as Christians.

  85. Dave AA has finally solved a great mystery for me. What (besides patriarchy and logorrhea) is the reason for the highly unlikely bromance between John Piper and Doug Wilson? It’s because of John Piper’s love of Jonathan Edward’s Evanescent Grace and Doug Wilson’s love of Temporary Justification/Election. Somehow I doubt that they have made that connection, though! 🙂

    Now, about that mysterious and highly unlikely bromance between Mark Dever and C.J. Mahaney…

  86. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    You’re usually more even-handed than this, Nick, and your asides about Rev Campbell and the KGV added nothing to the point you were trying to make. I think most if not all of the Reformed would agree with you that it is not so much the act of preaching as the message that is preached and applied by the Holy Spirit that is effectual in bringing people to salvation. That said, how will they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14). The danger of exalting style over substance is something that is prevalent in every denomination and not just the Reformed.
    “Preaching is not men teaching from the Bible. It is God teaching from the Bible through men” (Iain H Murray, courtesy of Challies.com, 31st March).

  87. Gram3 wrote:

    Now, about that mysterious and highly unlikely bromance between Mark Dever and C.J. Mahaney…

    All I have so far is proximity…

    Did CJ have a para church type org or just a denomination?

  88. Lowlandseer wrote:

    The danger of exalting style over substance is something that is prevalent in every denomination and not just the Reformed.

    Where did Nick say this was only an issue in reformed denominations? I must have missed it, if he did.

    The thing Nick addressed IS an issue. We should be careful of it.

  89. On a general point about this article, there is too much speculation about what may or may not have happened in the case of Rev Iain Campbell. Two things seem to happen here. One is that there is a rush to judgment without compassion or discretion for ALL those involved; the other thing is the post becomes a convenient hat stand on which to hang your favourite unloved hat – Calvin, Calvinism, KGV, TGC, Jonathan Edwards and all the usual suspects. Unedifying in the extreme.

  90. Gram3 wrote:

    Now, about that mysterious and highly unlikely bromance between Mark Dever and C.J. Mahaney…

    Perverts, birds of a feather.

  91. Lowlandseer wrote:

    there is too much speculation about what may or may not have happened in the case of Rev Iain Campbell

    Really? We may not know every detail of every affair, but it seems likely that those affairs happened or his response to being accused of them would not have been what it was.

    When someone has seemingly been leading a double life and it all blows up, people will talk about it because they are trying to figure it out. Maybe they are trying to figure out how to better see the truth in the future. I know that was response to the exposure of a big lie. What red flags did I miss. That is a reasonable response.

    Telling everybody to stop speculating is not helpful in that respect.

  92. Nancy2 wrote:

    Perverts

    I really, really hope we don’t hear something similar about Dever as we did about CJ in that respect. I have already accepted that he has gone round the bend on comp and authoritarian nonsense.

  93. Darlene wrote:

    Suffice it to say, that Campbell could have very well thought himself to be an example of one who was deceived by evanescent grace, and therefore in reality, a reprobate – without hope or the possibility of repentance.

    That reminds me of some private correspondence from Martha from Ireland a few years ago. About how the iconoclasm of the Reformation destroyed all the folk religion leaving only Naked Faith and Bible. (Resulting in Bible-as-Grimoire and Verse-as-Fetish.)

    Specifically, how the Calvinists were the most extreme on this, teaching that God not only Predestines some for Eternal Damnation, but sends a false assurance of salvation to these Reprobates; the end effect of such teachings is to destroy any and all hope or assurance.

  94. Boston Lady wrote:

    Off topic; sue me again (stereo headphones with only one earpiece up for grabs), but I can’t wait for Headless Unicorn Guy’s book “There’s A Verse for It!”
    Sometimes, I come her just to read him, but I enjoy him every time.
    Blessings, HUG.

    HUG has given me quite a few laughs. We need humor in this world of so much trouble and pain.

  95. Dave A A wrote:

    @ Dave A A:
    One last thing then I’ll be quiet. If he had 7 Women on his mind, his friends would not be REQUIRED to cover it up, since it would just prove we’re all sinners in need of grace like King David.

    With the Four who want to own him, Two who want to stone him, and/or the One says she’s a friend of his?

  96. Darlene wrote:

    HUG has given me quite a few laughs. We need humor in this world of so much trouble and pain.

    Because sometimes if you don’t laugh, you groan.

  97. @ dee:
    Or maybe C.J. about humility! And also about counseling, which he badly needed but condemned even Christian counseling.

  98. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    Education can expose people to new ideas and perspectives. That said, I think universities should require students to read more than just “their people.” We have some good Baptist friends with MDivs and while comparing classes and degrees we realized that they were only required to read mostly Baptist material, and mostly Neo-Cal. So their education was more like indoctrination.

    Well, there’s a reason they do that in those institutions. Anything pre-Reformation is just too Catholic! We can’t be having any of that among the Baptists. The church was in darkness for 1,500 years until Luther and Calvin came along.

    And now I’ll go hide behind a rock and let the dust settle. 😉

  99. Darlene wrote:

    Preacher’s Wife wrote:
    We also met some presbyterians who talked more about the Institutes than any other piece of literature.

    Well, there’s a reason they do that in those institutions.

    Part of it is that they are apparently really really long, at least that’s what I have heard. Presbyterians are also required to learn Hebrew and Greek. And the confessions.

    I do agree that people should read widely in school and be exposed to different perspectives.

  100. Preacher’s Wife wrote:

    That said, I think universities should require students to read more than just “their people.” We have some good Baptist friends with MDivs and while comparing classes and degrees we realized that they were only required to read mostly Baptist material, and mostly Neo-Cal. So their education was more like indoctrination. We also met some presbyterians who talked more about the Institutes than any other piece of literature. (Churches of Christ don’t have enough scholars, so our texts were from everywhere)

    The neo-Cals are very big on only reading in their own sphere. And I am guessing they have demoted the original languages, especially consider it is studying those which made me an egalitarian. It is indoctrination on some levels, but some of these YRR guys just do it without any spurring by anyone else. Even very early on, I knew guys who never said anything unless it was a quote from Piper, Grudem, Ware, or Mohler. They’re really scary on a lot of levels. I am nearly positive much of it is the devil tearing Christians away from Christ.

    I had one history professor at SEBTS who loved pre-Reformation Christian writings. We learned Latin in his class (thank goodness I had five years of Latin already, or I wouldn’t have passed! His classes were hard). We read a lot of Catholic literature. I also had a Greek professor that liked to read letters and such from early Christians in Koine Greek. I’m sure Akin did away with that as soon as possible.

  101. Max wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    Wow. I vote that the TWW summer picnic be held at Nancy2’s place this year!

    Is there going to be a TWW picnic? If so, count me in! I live in Pennsylvania so Kentucky wouldn’t be too far off. I’ll bring some halupki, otherwise known as pigs-in-a-blanket or stuffed cabbage.

  102. Darlene wrote:

    Well, there’s a reason they do that in those institutions. Anything pre-Reformation is just too Catholic! We can’t be having any of that among the Baptists. The church was in darkness for 1,500 years until Luther and Calvin came along.

    Yes, that. But also there is the theory that there always were those who were not a part of the predominant church prior to the reformation. Now, I certainly assume that is true since there is so much written about so many different kinds of ‘heretics’ over the centuries. And not just stories, some really drastic political and military events. One of the ideas in Baptistville when I was young was the reason that Baptists were not protestants was that they were not protesting the Catholic Church and had not separated from the Catholic Church but were rather in a long tradition of people who never were (willingly at least) a part of the Catholic Church.

    Baptist history (not just SBC) being what it is I don’t doubt that there may be some truth in that for some people who ended up affiliating with the Baptists. My father liked to think that he came from that tradition. He had no facts or genealogy to back it up that I know of.

  103. Lea wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Preacher’s Wife wrote:
    We also met some presbyterians who talked more about the Institutes than any other piece of literature.
    Well, there’s a reason they do that in those institutions.
    Part of it is that they are apparently really really long, at least that’s what I have heard. Presbyterians are also required to learn Hebrew and Greek. And the confessions.
    I do agree that people should read widely in school and be exposed to different perspectives.

    Lea, I was specifically referencing the Baptists. 😉 The classical Calvinists have no problem learning about and benefiting from church history prior to the Reformation.

  104. Velour wrote:

    “A few days ago, Phil Johnson, Executive Pastor of Grace to You, John MacArthur’s ministry called me a “hypocrite.” – Dee
    In psychology what Phil Johnson did is called projection.

    We’ve been discussing Phil Johnson over at Julie Anne’s blog, as well as a guy named “KAS,” who shows up every other blog post at JA’s blog to defend guys like Johnson (KAS thinks we’re not nice enough in how we critique the Johnsons of the world).

    As I said in a post at JA’s blog about PJ (Phil Johnson):

    “BTW, based on PJ’s subsequent tweets to Julie Anne (and I think to Dee) in the context of this dust-up that I read, the man holds victims and the entire concept of victimization in contempt (which speaks ill of his character).”

    I’ve seen PJ’s tweets about victims or the topic of victimization – the scorn the man feels towards folks who have been wounded, taken advantage of by others, is disturbing.

    Also, as I remarked on JA’s blog, I do believe in the concept of “taking personal responsibility” for one’s actions, as Johnson and KAS go on about, but there is a time and place for it.

    If someone has been abused by another person, it’s normal for that person to go through time periods, or a phase of, hurt, fear, betrayal, anger, and a whole host of emotional reactions.

    It’s rather heartless to scream at a person in that state that they need to “take personal responsibility.”

    At some stage in life, yes, I say a person needs to make a choice to move forward (that would be healthiest for them in the long run), but it’s not really up to PJ to make that determination for them, or not allow them to have a grace period.

    This whole thing got started when PJ mocked, on Twitter, a woman who was married to an abuser. The abuser had a tattoo of a skull on his face.

    From this, PJ implied the woman in the news story (who was married to Face Tat guy) should have known better to marry him,because obviously, any guy with a face tat must be an abuser.

    (As Lea pointed out on the other site, maybe the guy didn’t even get the Face Tat until after the two married.)

    Another point I made on JA’s blog is that not all abusers give off warning signs during the dating stage.

    Some abusers don’t turn abusive until after marrying a woman, because the wedding denotes “ownership” of the woman in the minds of a lot (not all) abusers.

    So some women have no reason to think the guy they are dating will turn abusive once they marry. There are no clues.

    It’s not really fair to tell a woman who married an abuser it’s her fault for marrying an abuser by chalking it up to the notion, “she didn’t take personal responsibility, she should have known the guy was a louse,” as so many abusers don’t give off any “red flags” while dating.

  105. Darlene wrote:

    Lea, I was specifically referencing the Baptists

    Got it. I wanted to talk about the institutes and saw your ‘institutions’ and my brain made the swap!

  106. okrapod wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Well, there’s a reason they do that in those institutions. Anything pre-Reformation is just too Catholic! We can’t be having any of that among the Baptists. The church was in darkness for 1,500 years until Luther and Calvin came along.
    Yes, that. But also there is the theory that there always were those who were not a part of the predominant church prior to the reformation. Now, I certainly assume that is true since there is so much written about so many different kinds of ‘heretics’ over the centuries. And not just stories, some really drastic political and military events. One of the ideas in Baptistville when I was young was the reason that Baptists were not protestants was that they were not protesting the Catholic Church and had not separated from the Catholic Church but were rather in a long tradition of people who never were (willingly at least) a part of the Catholic Church.
    Baptist history (not just SBC) being what it is I don’t doubt that there may be some truth in that for some people who ended up affiliating with the Baptists. My father liked to think that he came from that tradition. He had no facts or genealogy to back it up that I know of.

    Ah, yes. The Trail of Blood teaching.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trail_of_Blood

  107. brian wrote:

    I took a great deal of grief over living a celibate lifestyle, for some reason that really ticked people off. I mean others were living with other people outside of marriage, some did not really believe in God etc.

    As a lady who’s a virgin into her 40s, yep to all that.
    Christians say they respect virginity and celibacy in adults, but nope, they really do not.

    They show more compassion, understanding, or support for folks who diddle around outside of marriage, or sympathy for folks who commit adultery.

    As to being a female celibate, I think a lot of Christians have hang-ups because many of them (like the complementarians) only assign value to a woman’s baby-making potential, as though God’s only purpose for women is to have babies.

    As a celibate, I am obviously not fulfilling that “having kids” thing.

    I remember Julia Duin (Christian author and journalist) saying in a book or interview that none of the evangelical churches she attended as a celibate, childless, never-married woman “knew what to do with her” until she adopted a kid in her late 40s or in her 50s.

    Then, after she adopted and went back with her newly adopted daughter, they could think of her as “a mother,” one role that seemed right and familiar to them for a woman.

    But when she was childless and went to church, she was like persona- non- grata among Christians.

  108. Darlene wrote:

    That sermon from Iain Campbell sounds very troubling in places. If Campbell believed in Evanescent Grace as Calvin taught in his Christian Institutes, then that would explain why he said some of the things he did in that sermon. Being that it is a late hour, I don’t have the wherewithal to delve deeper into this. Suffice it to say, that Campbell could have very well thought himself to be an example of one who was deceived by evanescent grace, and therefore in reality, a reprobate – without hope or the possibility of repentance.

    Yeeesh! Somehow, *that* bit of Calvin’s theology got overlooked in my theology classes at RTS! I think I understand why, even though it’s a total whitewash job to ignore such a theological and pastoral landmine…

  109. Lowlandseer wrote:

    better respect nose

    I feel certain this is an autocorrect of some sort but…

    Looked at the link. It looks like a press release. I’m not really sure what you meant to say with that.

  110. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Mars Hill created as many atheists as Christians

    When the dust settles from the New Calvinist movement, the greatest mission field on the planet will be among the disillusioned multitude it created.

  111. Max wrote:

    I was in high school with a girl who had a father like that. A “holiness” preacher, he was overbearing and oppressive – demanding his children to dress a certain way and to have only certain friends. As soon as she graduated from high school, she tossed all that bondage aside and struck out on her own, never to look back. I’ve thought about over the years and wondered if her father caused her to turn away from Christianity altogether.

    I believe Fundamentalism has created more atheists than just about anything else.

  112. okrapod wrote:

    I grew up every summer on tomato sandwiches-just tomatoes and mayo and bread.

    Then someone decided to put bacon on it, followed by another brilliant soul toting a piece of lettuce … Bingo! … BLT!

  113. okrapod wrote:

    home made from scratch biscuit

    Back to the topic of the blog … scratch biscuits are like hypocrites – sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad – you just can’t trust them.

  114. Dave A A wrote:

    @ Dave A A:
    One last thing then I’ll be quiet. If he had 7 Women on his mind, his friends would not be REQUIRED to cover it up, since it would just prove we’re all sinners in need of grace like King David. But IF he had Evanescent Grace on his mind, then despairing of life would be a logical consequence rather than an exception, and might have bad results in the churches in surrounding towns as it did in Edwards’ day. In that case his friends would really rather NOT know.

    In reading the comments over on that WeeFree blog from the folks that knew Rev. Campbell, they spoke as if the man very well could have been depressed or in despair. But here’s the gist (at least for me): I don’t think they would want to know how such despair is actually tied into their belief system. Their belief system is meant to give them hope, Calvin’s words notwithstanding. I think cognitive dissonance plays a part in their thinking.

  115. Max wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    home made from scratch biscuit
    Back to the topic of the blog … scratch biscuits are like hypocrites – sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad – you just can’t trust them.

    The Pillsbury Doe Boy biscuits are the phonies as far as I’m concerned. Counterfeit biscuits selling themselves as the Real Deal.

  116. Max wrote:

    cratch biscuits are like hypocrites –

    My grandmother used to bake a lot including but not limited to pies and hand-beaten cakes (did not have a mixer or a beater) and yeast rolls and real actual corn bread and rolled biscuits made with baking powder. She had one of those old Hoosier cabinets with the built in flour dispenser when you put the bowl under the funnel and crank the handle and flour comes pouring out. The stuff she made was awesome. Grandmother did not think that women were real women if they did not have their babies at home instead of in the hospital, laboriously hand wax their wood floors, and have fresh baked bread of some kind for every supper.

    I buy frozen biscuits at the ChefSmart, my bread comes in plastic wrappers from the store, actually had a C section with each child, and my floors are not waxed. I tell myself that I am going for the rustic look with the floors. Now that is real hypocrisy.

  117. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    The Pillsbury Doe Boy biscuits are the phonies as far as I’m concerned. Counterfeit biscuits selling themselves as the Real Deal.

    Jerry Clower, my momma made biscuits
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fcpducwW8w4

    Jerry Clower…bwahahaa! I have a ton of his recordings on my computer and never get tired of them.

    I just put a couple of posts in the Cooking section – maybe you could put that link there too…?

  118. Max wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    I grew up every summer on tomato sandwiches-just tomatoes and mayo and bread.
    Then someone decided to put bacon on it, followed by another brilliant soul toting a piece of lettuce … Bingo! … BLT!

    The secret to it all is vine ripened tomatoes, not the grocery store kind. Let’s hear it for farmer’s markets. We have one here every Saturday, but down the road in the next town they have an awesome farmer’s market. We go when we can. I tried raising heritage tomatoes with really bad results last year. This year I am just saving that money and spending it on gas for the market in the next town. I justify that with by the philosophy of supporting the economy.

    I also sell excuses to people who need excuses. Really cheap. The price, not the excuses.

  119. okrapod wrote:

    I buy frozen biscuits at the ChefSmart, my bread comes in plastic wrappers from the store, actually had a C section with each child, and my floors are not waxed. I tell myself that I am going for the rustic look with the floors. Now that is real hypocrisy.

    If that’s hypocrisy, then count me in.

  120. Gram3 wrote:

    Dave AA has finally solved a great mystery for me. What (besides patriarchy and logorrhea) is the reason for the highly unlikely bromance between John Piper and Doug Wilson? It’s because of John Piper’s love of Jonathan Edward’s Evanescent Grace and Doug Wilson’s love of Temporary Justification/Election. Somehow I doubt that they have made that connection, though!
    Now, about that mysterious and highly unlikely bromance between Mark Dever and C.J. Mahaney…

    I had no idea Wilson believes in temporary justification. Is that connected to his Federal Vision beliefs?

  121. If Anne Campbell happens to read here, I’d like to offer my sincere condolences, and I pray that the Lord will enable her and her loved ones to have a wonderful future.

  122. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    The Pillsbury Doe Boy biscuits are the phonies as far as I’m concerned. Counterfeit biscuits selling themselves as the Real Deal.
    Jerry Clower, my momma made biscuits
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fcpducwW8w4

    LoL! I just listened to that comic routine. Never heard of it before. But he’s right. The only genuine (jin-you-ahn in the South) biscuits be the kind that’s made from scratch. All others are posers.

  123. Lowlandseer wrote:

    You’re usually more even-handed than this, Nick, and your asides about Rev Campbell and the KGV added nothing to the point you were trying to make… The danger of exalting style over substance is something that is prevalent in every denomination and not just the Reformed.

    I’m not entirely sure what point you thought I was trying to make.

    My aside about Iain Campbell was precisely to state that I am not discussing him in particular, but was applying a quote (made about him) generically. Indeed, I didn’t specify – and wasn’t thinking of – any particular denomination, reformed or otherwise. The habit and culture of admiring an orator, evidently present in 1st-century Corinth and certainly present in the wide culture today, is present just as widely in the professing church.

    My reference to the KJV was to a particular mis-translated verse that has frequently been, and continues to be, used in support of the wrong view of preaching and the office of professional preacher. While there are many other widely-used english-language translations, I know of no other that has attracted anything like the same veneration and loyalty; not even the ESV comes close despite the fact that there are denominations actively pushing it. Ergo, a mis-translation in the KJV is much more likely, and has had much more time, to have knock-on effects in church culture.

    I note your speculation that I was using the death of Iain Campbell as an excuse to engage in petty King-James-bashing (not your exact words, but I think a fair representation of them). Why you would chose to speculate thus, as a means of demonstrating your indignation at unedifying speculation, I have no idea.

  124. Max wrote:

    When the dust settles from the New Calvinist movement, the greatest mission field on the planet will be among the disillusioned multitude it created.

    Assuming they don’t have a knee-jerk “Take Your God And Shove It!” hostile reaction on the level of Madelyn Murray O’Hair.

  125. ishy wrote:

    I think many of these people, and this has followed on to the neo-Cals, have made it a competition though. If I follow the rules just a bit better that that other person, God will bless me more and make me more famous and give me more money.

    This is called “Can You Top This?” one-upmanship.
    And it can end up making you not only Holier than Thou, but Holier than God.

    And though Islam’s version of it gets into the headlines a lot these days, Judaism also has this problem to a lesser extent with the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox. (I was going to include the Hasidim, but I’m not sure where they fit on the spectrum.)

  126. Darlene wrote:

    In reading the comments over on that WeeFree blog from the folks that knew Rev. Campbell, they spoke as if the man very well could have been depressed or in despair. But here’s the gist (at least for me): I don’t think they would want to know how such despair is actually tied into their belief system.

    There has been a big push in the UK in recent years to talk more openly and honestly about mental illness, what it is (and is not), and how it can affect literally anybody; depression features prominently, as it is one of the commonest mental illnesses. A lot of good work is being done, IMHO, to remove the stigma surrounding it, and to educate people about it. I have no idea whether Iain Campbell had any kind of history of depression, but on a blog discussing a suicide, you can understand that the topic would be raised. Bearing in mind that the causes of depression are many and varied.

    I can’t prove anything from a single data-point, but I have to say that the only Wee Free church gathering I ever attended was anything but despairing. I was sorry to have to leave! Again, I realise that in itself doesn’t prove a great deal, but it’s a part of the bigger picture.

  127. Lowlandseer wrote:

    The danger of exalting style over substance is something that is prevalent in every denomination and not just the Reformed.

    I could not agree with you more on that. The style may look different, but it is still style over substance.

  128. Lea wrote:

    All I have so far is proximity…

    Yes, and I think Dever had the content but no marketing program, and Mahaney had a proven track record to sell it. It is the only way that I can explain Mahaney’s about-face on Reformed theology and Dever’s partnership with the un-theological Mahaney when he is so particular about everything else.

  129. Former CLC’er wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Was he in Winslow, Arizona?

    That reminds me I haven’t been through Winslow since I was a kid and the highway was Route 66 through town instead of I-40 around it. (And then there was the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook…) Closest I’ve been to there as an adult was Meteor Crater between Winslow and Flagstaff — arid grassland barely up to your ankle, with the mountains to the north marking the western rim of the Dinetah (Navajo lands). Northern Arizona, above the Rim…

  130. Darlene wrote:

    I had no idea Wilson believes in temporary justification. Is that connected to his Federal Vision beliefs?

    Yes, but he says he is moving on from Federal Vision which is so 2000’s.

  131. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    There has been a big push in the UK in recent years to talk more openly and honestly about mental illness, what it is (and is not), and how it can affect literally anybody; depression features prominently, as it is one of the commonest mental illnesses. A lot of good work is being done, IMHO, to remove the stigma surrounding it, and to educate people about it.

    Thankfully, we’re seeing the same thing on this side of The Pond in the U.S.: Work done to remove the stigma of getting treated for various mental illnesses and lots of education.

    In my own case, it was a friend here on TWW who got treated for depression, was candid about it, and then I went in for an evaluation. I scored very high for it and was put on medication. Thank goodness. I felt like I had been set free from a prison.

    I think it runs genetically on my mom’s side of the family and has for many generations.

  132. @ dee:
    Speaking of flour, my wife has many talents and one of them is baking!
    I grow fruit and she bakes pies.
    I am well rounded!

  133. Darlene wrote:

    Ah, yes. The Trail of Blood teaching.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trail_of_Blood

    I had to read that as a book, write essays, and take a test on each section of it for a class I took through Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Many of the claimed historical connections are weak, at best. And, it led to Landmarkism and Successionisn claims/debates/arguments in the SBC. Being a math person, I had a lot of difficulties with the book and serious doubts about the claims laid out in it.

  134. Lowlandseer wrote:

    as the message that is preached and applied by the Holy Spirit that is effectual in bringing people to salvation.

    My experience is that it is better to read the message yourself instead of listening to the message preached via man’s interpretation.

  135. Darlene wrote:

    I think cognitive dissonance plays a part in their thinking.

    Yes, that explains a lot. And then write lots of books and stage lots of conferences to untangle the dissonance. But it never gets untangled, so it is a black hole.

  136. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I have no idea whether Iain Campbell had any kind of history of depression, but on a blog discussing a suicide, you can understand that the topic would be raised.

    very good comment, NICK

    depression of some sort and to some degree seems to be at its ‘mildest’ form, an affliction of everyone who lives at some point in their lives ….. and for a number of people, it takes a heavier, darker form that oppresses the person to a point of intense suffering that takes great energy and will to endure from moment to moment, and God help the poor creature who has his/her depression go into the ‘Bell Jar’ type which is likely the worst presentation of that terrible illness.
    I suspect most people who commit suicide were severely depressed and ended their lives at a point where ‘the balance of their mind was disturbed’. That is different from seeking ‘end of life’ relief from a progressive illness or from the intense suffering of a terminal illness, yes.

    I’m wondering if Campbell’s ‘affairs’ were not also a symptom of his instability? We are so accustomed to viewing sex as ‘sin’ in cases like affairs, but I wonder if his extra-marital behavior was not also another way to escape his demons of depression?

    The contrasts in this man’s last years are evidence of something very, very wrong with him. Did he willingly seek his path, or was he running from something very dark into what he thought was an escape or a possible help?

    Or, was he just a scoundrel, another ‘CHEATER’ of the television variety we watch for guilty pleasure waiting to see the ‘reveal’ and the ‘confrontation’ and the wife punching the jerk or fighting with the girlfriend? 🙂

    I suspect we all have known someone who was severely depressed, but not realized the extent of it. And I suspect we all have known someone who was a ‘player’, a ‘scoundrel’, a ‘cheater’.

    Sometimes what seems like ‘sin’ is more ‘symptom’. In any case, what Campbell acted out in his final days was a scene that asks more questions than it provides answers.

  137. @ Harley:I completely agree. I have sat under two pastors who ended up having affairs, one at every church he served, with church staff. They both preached constantly about sexual sin and one always gave the young women lectures about not being stumbling blocks to the guys.
    I won’t sit under one-note pastors anymore. I want the whole counsel of God.

  138. @ Nick Bulbeck:@ Christiane:
    So actually the majority of the quote before Christiane’s comment was from Nick Bulbeck. I added two words: Theatre and Tragic (as in Tragedy, like Shakespeare).

    However, I’d like to comment on what you said, Christiane.
    Christiane wrote:

    is the ‘audience’ that colludes with his abuse really a ‘Church’?

    I was thinking about this today. Personally, I stay away from casinos, bars, nightclubs, rock concerts with drugs, etc., as each of these venues feels like a toxic environment to me. I was wondering if a certain type of church is also toxic and a venue to be avoided.

  139. From the post: “What is a hypocrite?

    The simple answer is when one’s actions do not align with their stated beliefs.”

    Dee, this is an excellent post, rich with research, and embraces a higher level of thinking.

    It brings to mind the fact that we all sin, and that some are living in sin (1 Corinthians 5). All people have problems, but some are problem people. For example, here on TWW, dealing with an abusive spouse has been discussed, not to be judgmental but to save the well-being of the spouse receiving the abuse.

  140. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Ah, yes. The Trail of Blood teaching.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trail_of_Blood

    I had to read that as a book, write essays, and take a test on each section of it for a class I took through Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Many of the claimed historical connections are weak, at best. And, it led to Landmarkism and Successionisn claims/debates/arguments in the SBC. Being a math person, I had a lot of difficulties with the book and serious doubts about the claims laid out in it.

    I agree, Nancy. The Trail of Blood theory cannot be proven from primary sources – evidence which is necessary when trying to establish facts from the historical record.

  141. Nancy2 wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Ah, yes. The Trail of Blood teaching.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trail_of_Blood

    I had to read that as a book, write essays, and take a test on each section of it for a class I took through Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Many of the claimed historical connections are weak, at best. And, it led to Landmarkism and Successionisn claims/debates/arguments in the SBC. Being a math person, I had a lot of difficulties with the book and serious doubts about the claims laid out in it.

    You had to study The Trail of Blood in college? And take a test on each chapter? Please tell me this is a joke. LOL!! That’s like taking a test on Jack Chick’s Alberto Rivera comic books. “Name the three main methods the Jesuits are using to take over the world. Extra credit for demonstrating connections to the Illuminati.”

    “Weak” history is the understatement of the millennium. How about “complete and utter hooey from one end to the other”? You poor kiddo, being subjected to that at an institution of higher education. (Not that the bilge taught at many secular colleges today is much better.)

  142. @ Darlene:
    DARLENE, I wondered myself about the emphasis of Baptists on baptism and if it had perhaps come down from Old Testament times before Christ ….

    ‘ . . . there they were, “by the rivers of Babylon,” longing for home’

    I was fascinated the first time I read that in Jewish tradition, Adam continued to ritually bathe in the rivers that flowed out from Eden, thereby maintaining a connection to it . . . and then I learned about the ‘purification’ rituals of the ‘mikvah’ and I remember asking an evangelical Christian if he thought that there was a ‘connection’ between the origin of the ‘mikvah’ tradition and the Christian practice of ‘baptism’ . . .

    he said ‘no’

    but I cannot say that myself, the transcendent imagery is SO strong that there must be some element of meaning that ties the two together . . . although I can’t ‘know’ this, but I ‘sense’ it must be meaningful, if only in the hope and the yearning for a cleansing from sin and a returning to God

    I’m thinking of the early teachings of Marcion, which I understand is a form of Gnosticism, and I have wondered if some of those ideas have found their way into the evangelical theologies of today (?) . . . particularly in the concepts of ‘baptism’ and the Eucharist . . . why? I notice that the emphasis placed on these two practices by evangelical fundamentalists don’t seem to be tied to ‘fore-shadowing’ events in the OT . . . and these practices seem much more perfunctory and ‘lifeless’ as described by fundamentalist evangelicals, quite a contrast to the full sacramental celebration of these events in my own faith . . .
    I may misunderstand, but a heavy contrast is still noted (rather sadly)

    Among the oldest liturgies of the Orthodox, I found a reference (so beautiful) for the Theophany liturgy that included this:

    “Troparion (Tone 4)
    Be thou ready, Zabulon; prepare thyself, O Nephthalim. River Jordan, stay thy course and skip for gladness to receive the Sovereign Master, Who cometh now to be baptized. O Adam, be thou glad with our first mother, Eve; hide not as ye did of old in Paradise. Seeing you naked, He hath appeared now to clothe you in the first robe again. Christ hath appeared, for He truly willeth to renew all creation.

    Kontakion (Tone 4)
    In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John: Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.”

    In my thinking, the Baptists may have lost a valuable connection to the ‘pre-figuring’ of the meaning of Christian baptism which was foreshadowed in the Old Testament, when during the early Christian years, some sought to separate the OT and the NT in meaning one from the other and focus solely on the NT without its deep connections to the OT. (?)

    So, there is a ‘history’, I think, but it is difficult to sort out, but maybe it is worth a try for some responsible Baptist scholars to take up and explore ….. and I say that with respect because I think people should know and appreciate from where their theology came and why it is as it is today.

  143. Hi Folks,

    Just a note to thank the donor who just donated $100 to the GoFundMe campaign that Dee set up for Shauna and Billy in Texas. (Dee wrote about their story here on TWW.)

    With this latest donation it will cover the 8% that GoFundme charges for a fundraiser.
    We have raised the $700 to pay for Shauna and Billy’s monthly rent.

    They have been in a tight financial situation. Shauna’s part-time job at a grocery store was reduced to 13 hours a week.

    I think that about $200 would help them in the interim with food, some household items, and gasoline for their car.

    Thank you!

    Please keep them in prayer. They have been discouraged of late.

    https://www.gofundme.com/pxs5dk

    Regards,

    Velour in California

  144. Bridget wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:
    as the message that is preached and applied by the Holy Spirit that is effectual in bringing people to salvation.

    My experience is that it is better to read the message yourself instead of listening to the message preached via man’s interpretation.

    Bridget, I would also say be suspicious of these little Facebook pictures that ‘summarize’ verses. I looked at one and then looked at the actual verses and they were pretty wildly interpreted.

  145. Christiane wrote:

    I wondered myself about the emphasis of Baptists on baptism and if it had perhaps come down from Old Testament times before Christ ….

    I don’t the baptism is any more emphasized in baptist churches (excepting the name), it’s just that the timing and reasoning is a little different.

  146. Christiane wrote:

    nd these practices seem much more perfunctory and ‘lifeless’ as described by fundamentalist evangelicals, quite a contrast to the full sacramental celebration of these events in my own faith . . .

    Baptism is not perfunctory at all in baptist churches. Maybe in some of these silly elevation type churches, but baptism was treated very seriously when I was a child. It was just a choice, not something your parents did for you.

  147. Christiane wrote:

    So, there is a ‘history’, I think, but it is difficult to sort out, but maybe it is worth a try for some responsible Baptist scholars to take up and explore ….. and I say that with respect because I think people should know and appreciate from where their theology came and why it is as it is today.

    Father T told us in RCIA that the original preferred form of baptism in the catholic church was ‘adult’ believer’s baptism and that infant baptism only became so widely used over a period of time due to particular concerns. I am not any authority on the history of the catholic church, but said history was of particular interest to Father T so unless I see evidence to the contrary I am inclined to believe him.

    Among protestants some baptize infants and some do not, and some consider baptism to be a sacrament and some do not. These stances are modifications on the historic development of the way of practicing baptist derived from the earlier universal church and they are theological differences as to whether the sacrament of baptist is or is not necessary for salvation in any form or for any reason.

    So if you want to know why christians baptize and how christians baptize I suggest you check out the history on this subject of your own denomination, if in fact Father T was correct.

  148. Lea wrote:

    Bridget, I would also say be suspicious of these little Facebook pictures that ‘summarize’ verses. I looked at one and then looked at the actual verses and they were pretty wildly interpreted.

    Not exactly sure what you mean by “FB pictures that summarize verses,” but rest assured FB isn’t my go to place for scripture interpretation.

  149. @ Bridget:

    I guess that wasn’t really clear! Or maybe you don’t see as many as I do.

    Typically, there will be some summary like
    “Pray:
    Without ceasing (citation)
    For you enemies (citation)
    etc’

    But I did some checking on one of them and the verse was wildly different from what was claimed. I don’t know why this shocked me but it did!

  150. Darlene wrote:

    The Trail of Blood theory cannot be proven from primary sources – evidence which is necessary when trying to establish facts from the historical record.

    I have not read The Trail of Blood, but unless one actually believes in apostolic succession then it would not be necessary to have some actual trail. All that would be necessary would be to have evidence of the survival of a way of thinking as noted by its’ recurrent prominence in one form or the other and at one place or the other over the centuries.

    This is an important issue. When one talks about apostolic succession how is one to understand it, whether the legitimate successors are those who are officially designated by some church as successors regardless of that they believe or teach or practice, or are the ‘real’ successors only those who maintain the integrity of the message-the untarnished ‘faith once delivered.’

    In other words, from the catholic viewpoint can there be false popes? From the protestant viewpoint is it about politics or theology?

    At least this is what I heard back when.

  151. Christiane wrote:

    the transcendent imagery is SO strong that there must be some element of meaning that ties the two together .

    I cannot even begin to explain how little emphasis on imagery there is in baptist faith and practice. It first strikes one in the internal appearance of the churches-no statues, mostly no pictures, no candles or incense, no vestments, no holy water, no sacraments, no counting beads, just no nothing of that sort. But as to the imagery of baptism as it is done by a people who basically don’t do much imagery, that is of believers only and by immersion only-baptists believe that all the ‘imagery’ of baptism since Jesus is now focused on Jesus or nothing. They hold baptism to be the first step of obedience (yes, that word) to Christ by the new believer, thus the formula which includes; ‘ John Doe, upon your profession of faith in Christ and in obedience to his command I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (immerses person) Buried with him in baptism, risen to walk in newness of life.’

    That is it. Nothing about the OT or Aristotelean philosophy or history and no hint that this is a commandment of the church or any group-just in obedience to His command.

    Believe me on this, catholic thinking and baptist thinking are two different languages (thinking styles). Like any different languages it is better to think in each language separately than to try to translate from one to the other.

  152. @ okrapod:
    so when I asked the evangelical if there was some connection to the concept of the ‘mikvah’, and he answered ‘no’, it was representative of the whole of evangelical thinking …. I had wondered about this.

    In the times of the early heresies, Marcion rejected much about Jewish tradition, so I wondered if perhaps the disconnect between the legendary ‘imagery’ of Adam bathing ritually in the waters that flowed out from Eden and the practice of the ritual bathing called the ‘mikvah’ was thought to be connected in any way to baptism ….

    The Lutheran moderator of Imonk, Chaplain Mike, wrote this to me: “Christiane, that’s what John’s baptism was about, and it is why he did it at the Jordan, where Israel first entered the Promised Land. Through John they were returning from Exile to the garden God had given them, preparing for the One who would be to them the Tree of Life.”
    But Chaplain Mike is Lutheran, not evangelical in the Baptist sense, so I will take your word that evangelical people see no connection between the Jewish ‘mikvah’ ritual bathing as a ‘type’ of prefiguring of the evangelical understanding of baptism.

    Thanks, you’ve helped again. 🙂

  153. Christiane wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    I’m not understanding your comment. Was there something specific in what I wrote that you were addressing?
    ?

    Okrapod can speak for herself quite well, so this is my perspective of your theory on Baptism in the evangelical, fundamentalist, Baptist world.

    Just because you have read some blog articles about baptism and communion that present baptism or communion in a certain light, please don’t assume that the entire Baptist, evangelical, fundamentalist worlds do not take these things seriously, or that somehow they are tied to Gnosticism.

    You have no idea what these events mean to individual people.

    Christiane wrote:

    and these practices seem much more perfunctory and ‘lifeless’ as described by fundamentalist evangelicals, quite a contrast to the full sacramental celebration of these events in my own faith . . .
    I may misunderstand, but a heavy contrast is still noted (rather sadly)

    How you celebrate these events have meaning to you.

    Can you let the rest of us find meaning in those events in the way we celebrate them without commenting about them as you have above?

    My adult baptism was much more meaningful to me, for instance, than baptism as an infant in the Catholic Church where I had no choice, nor do I remember. I had no understanding of Jesus, God the Father, or the Holy Spirit as a baby. I had a bit of understanding regarding my first communion, but not total understanding, and certainly not the joy and understanding I had as an adult partaking of these events because it is what I now knew God had called me to . . . Himself.

    So, no, these events are not sad, lifeless, or perfunctory to most of us simply because they are not celebrated the way “your” church does it.

  154. Bridget wrote:

    My adult baptism was much more meaningful to me, for instance, than baptism as an infant in the Catholic Church where I had no choice, nor do I remember.

    My ‘baptist’ baptism happened in childhood, but yes, it was much more meaningful to me than the sprinkling I apparently got as a baby Methodist.

    And having witnessed a number of baptisms of infants now as a presby, these events seem to be mostly meaningful to the church and parents, rather than the child (who is unaware). But Baptists also generally do a ‘dedication’ so they have that aspect, just in a different form.

  155. okrapod wrote:

    But as to the imagery of baptism as it is done by a people who basically don’t do much imagery, that is of believers only and by immersion only-baptists believe that all the ‘imagery’ of baptism since Jesus is now focused on Jesus or nothing. They hold baptism to be the first step of obedience (yes, that word) to Christ

    I disagree just a little. Instead of using the word “imagery”, I would say “symbolic”, and instead of “obedience”, “faith”.
    And your right about the OT. Baptism represents rebirth in Christ, the first step of faith as new child of God, cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Nothing OT about it.

  156. Christiane wrote:

    so when I asked the evangelical if there was some connection to the concept of the ‘mikvah’, and he answered ‘no’, it was representative of the whole of evangelical thinking …

    Nothing is ever representative of the whole of any thinking. For example the differences between you and catholic gate-crasher over certain aspects of understand of and application of your all’s catechism. So if you mean each and every and all evangelicals, then the answer is probably no, but who would ever know.

    However, his answer is adequate and sufficient for enough to agree with him such that for all intents and purposes one might say it represents the prevailing thinking, if indeed most evangelicals ever even thought about it one way or the other.

  157. Nancy2 wrote:

    I disagree just a little. Instead of using the word “imagery”, I would say “symbolic”, and instead of “obedience”, “faith”.

    I have no problem with what you are saying, since I think that imagery and symbolism are the same thing. But wherever they may differ, I am comfortable with either word.

  158. Lea wrote:

    My ‘baptist’ baptism happened in childhood, but yes, it was much more meaningful to me than the sprinkling I apparently got as a baby Methodist.

    I was baptized twice, both times as a Baptist, neither as an infant. I accepted Jesus as my savior in a General Baptist church when I was 11 or 12. I was baptized (in a pond on a farm), but I did not join the church. When I was 14, I joined a Missionary Baptist church. Missionary Baptist churches require baptism upon joining the church, even if you’ve been baptized in another church – unless it was an MB church. So, after arguing with people for 3 months, trying to make some sense of why I had to be baptized again, I was baptized in another pond, on another farm.

  159. Max wrote:

    Then someone decided to put bacon on it, followed by another brilliant soul toting a piece of lettuce … Bingo! … BLT!

    Then someone else, unbound by convention, decided that they wanted to add some guacamole, and the LGBT was born. 😮

  160. Nancy2 wrote:

    Baptism represents rebirth in Christ

    Hi NANCY TWO,
    I believe this also. But I see something in the OT of ‘symbolism’ if you will (some call it prefiguring or ‘type’)

    baptism is very much about our dying and rising to life in Christ, and about the coming of the Holy Spirit in renewed creation . . .
    ” And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. . . . ” (Gen. 1:3)
    ” . . . And the sea gave up the dead which were in it . . . ” (Rev. 20:13)

    (verses are from Genesis 1:3 and Revelation 20:13 respectively work in tandem almost like the Alpha and the Omega, Creation and its renewal in Christ)
    So, even in the Creation narratives, in the ‘beginning’, I see Our Lord at work and in the Book of Revelation, He calls the sea to give up its dead, and I love the ‘wholeness’ of this picture.

    It is said that “the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old is unveiled in the New” 🙂

  161. My own baptism was believer’s baptism by immersion upon profession of faith. SBC. Where and what I am now they baptize infants (pouring), older children and adults on their request which is basically a profession of faith (pouring) or older children or adults upon request/ profession of faith (immersion). My DIL was baptized by immersion there as an adult upon her request for baptism and her choice of immersion. Her youngest child was baptized there as an infant (pouring). (TEC) Her husband was baptized as a child upon profession of faith and by immersion in a farm pond which had a special area set aside for baptizing and used by various churches in the area who did not have a baptistry in their church. (FWB). This did not have anything to do with the OT; it had to do with some farmer with a ministry of furnishing a place to baptize for the many small and poor churches in the area who would rather go out to his farm pond than go down to the boat dock on the Neuse River, though some did that also, and some borrowed some other church’s baptistry but that cost something to pay for the water and the use of the facility.

    Nobody is thinking OT or the cleansing of leprosy or goodness knows what else.

  162. okrapod wrote:

    . For example the differences between you and catholic gate-crasher over certain aspects of understand of and application of your all’s catechism.

    I saw the ‘difference’ as focused in the area of the conflation of the Church’s teachings with political implications, specifically. I have an expanded view of the sacredness of life, from conception to natural death, as coming from God, and I think that expanded view may have impacted much on our ‘differences’ in that discussion, having thought about it in retrospect.

  163. @ Christiane:

    The OT imagery has to do with the water ritual as a religious cleansing ritual. Baptist do not believe that the water ritual is a cleansing ritual. They do not believe in sacraments. Therefore, if they even thought about the ancient rituals of cleansing for ritual purity they would make a big deal of how that is specifically not what they are doing. It cannot be overemphasized how opposed to the idea of baptism as a sacrament of any kind, even symbolically, some people are.

    You are thinking like a catholic. They are not.

  164. Nancy2 wrote:

    Missionary Baptist churches require baptism upon joining the church

    I always think this is odd, because I wonder if it loses meaning when it’s just sort of a ‘check this box’ requirement.

    At my new church, we also do something that I don’t totally understand where you get what I now think of as a ‘baptism booster shot’ once a year. It’s treated a lot like communion.

  165. @ Christiane:

    Well, I do think it is sad that conservative protestants have narrowed their field of vision to cut out from sight a lot of history. On the other hand, we already have enough things on which to disagree and maybe ‘just don’t think about it’ has its uses.

    Please check back for a comment of mine at 9:43 when it is available. It may have some useful information. Explanatory-just only explanatory.

  166. Off-topic. Prayer request.

    Shauna (Billy’s mom in Texas) is meeting with human resources today about problems at her job. Please pray for her.

    Thank you!

  167. @ okrapod:
    @ Velour:
    Thanks, OKRAPOD

    thank you, VELOUR, those reminders are helpful … you call us to prayer for the needs of so many, and your kindness is appreciated

  168. okrapod wrote:

    On the other hand, we already have enough things on which to disagree and maybe ‘just don’t think about it’ has its uses.

    among Christian people, diversity, when shared with good will, enriches rather than injures the Church 🙂

  169. Lea wrote:

    I don’t see any reason to invent theories for this, unless you have some reason to believe the wife is lying when she said he was having at least an affair (I don’t know how many, but if you find out about 1 there are likely to be 3 you missed).
    He may well have been depressed too, for whatever reasons.

    There’s no reason to believe she’s lying. IF she said he had affairs and this led to his suicide, I’ll take her word for it. But I’m uncertain she’s said anything of the sort. Not one tabloid has quoted her. They barely quote any one. Instead, they report everything in the passive voice.
    “It is understood Mr Campbell’s wife challenged him…”
    “It has been claimed”
    “it is also understood”
    “it has emerged”
    “It is also alleged”
    “It is said”
    “He’s accused”
    What follows all these might be true, but so far it’s unsubstantiated.

  170. Lea wrote:

    I don’t the baptism is any more emphasized in baptist churches (excepting the name), it’s just that the timing and reasoning is a little different.

    There is another thing beyond the timing and reasoning of baptism. Baptists in general do not believe that infant baptism/sprinkling is Baptism at all. This is why Baptism by immersion is a requirement for membership in almost all SBC churches.

  171. Dave A A wrote:

    IF she said he had affairs and this led to his suicide, I’ll take her word for it.

    Mrs. Campbell may have confronted her husband, but I can’t see this leading to something as drastic as his suicide. Maybe he was on the edge, and this confrontation was a last straw? But even then, the suicide can’t be said to be laid at her door, no.

  172. okrapod wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    The OT imagery has to do with the water ritual as a religious cleansing ritual. Baptist do not believe that the water ritual is a cleansing ritual. They do not believe in sacraments

    Only in Total Immersion or you’re not really Saved.

  173. Max wrote:

    In the Kingdom of God, it’s not how much you know but who you know.

    Rings a bell of mine, Max. Have always said in light of ongoing health issues affecting income: it’s not what you own, but WHO you know and how you’re known. Sounds works oriented at first glance but it really is rooted in Jesus.

  174. Ken P. wrote:

    There is another thing beyond the timing and reasoning of baptism. Baptists in general do not believe that infant baptism/sprinkling is Baptism at all.

    Where I am, the default for “Non-denominational” or “New Testament Church” or “Bible Fellowship” is Calvary Chapel Clone instead of Southern/Fundamental Baptist Clone.

    A lot of these churches and not-churches have a ceremony called “baby dedication” that sounds like infant baptism without any water. Guess it’s the use of water that makes it Romish.

  175. Christiane wrote:

    Mrs. Campbell may have confronted her husband, but I can’t see this leading to something as drastic as his suicide. Maybe he was on the edge, and this confrontation was a last straw?

    He didn’t “just” commit suicide, either. He tried to commit suicide and failed. Very soon there after, he tried again and succeeded. Something was very seriously wrong.

  176. okrapod wrote:

    I cannot even begin to explain how little emphasis on imagery there is in baptist faith and practice. It first strikes one in the internal appearance of the churches-no statues, mostly no pictures, no candles or incense, no vestments, no holy water, no sacraments, no counting beads, just no nothing of that sort.

    Like they’re the heirs to the Iconoclasts, with the Wahabi sense of aesthetics and sacred space. Remember the Calvinists did to the churches of Geneva what the Wahabi do to the mosques under their control.

  177. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    A lot of these churches and not-churches have a ceremony called “baby dedication” that sounds like infant baptism without any water.

    Yep …..free Bible included.
    BTW, total immersion is symbolic of burial.

  178. Nancy2 wrote:

    He didn’t “just” commit suicide, either. He tried to commit suicide and failed. Very soon there after, he tried again and succeeded. Something was very seriously wrong.

    Two attempts in relatively-quick succession (until he got it right) sounds really determined and motivated.

  179. Nancy2 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    A lot of these churches and not-churches have a ceremony called “baby dedication” that sounds like infant baptism without any water.
    Yep …..free Bible included.

    Well, that IS what they substitute for any hint of the Presence.

  180. @ Nancy2:
    He must have already been extremely depressed. I wonder if those ‘affairs’ were also symptoms of his depression, so extreme the moral break from his professed standards …. I agree with you ….. I wonder how he could have hid all this trouble in such a small tight community EXCEPT that Lewis is known for ‘appearances’ of piety: strict ways on Sundays, for example …. so ‘appearances’ may have taken on a very high value for him considering the ways of his people

    The Isle of Lewis and Harris is a very mysterious setting to me, with lots of haunting myth and history ….. the strangeness of what has happened with the Campbells seems epic

  181. okrapod wrote:

    I have not read The Trail of Blood, but unless one actually believes in apostolic succession then it would not be necessary to have some actual trail. All that would be necessary would be to have evidence of the survival of a way of thinking as noted by its’ recurrent prominence in one form or the other and at one place or the other over the centuries.

    Trail of Blood is Apostolic Succession without being Romish.

    And the Landmark types are not the only ones with that idea, just they attempt a more detailed trace. I have heard similar from Mormons, SDAs, JWs, and a lot of those “splinter churches”/Calvary Chapel Clones — that the Original New Testament Church was exactly like them but fell to Romish Popery and all was apostasy and darkness until THEY came along and returned to the Original True Faith. Kind of like the Salafi(?) movement in Islam trying to return to As It Was In The Days of The Prophet.

  182. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Like they’re the heirs to the Iconoclasts, with the Wahabi sense of aesthetics and sacred space. Remember the Calvinists did to the churches of Geneva what the Wahabi do to the mosques under their control.

    I’ll go out on a limb here and speculate that the great flowering of Islamic art, science, and math, could not have flourished under Wahhabism.

  183. Christiane wrote:

    I wonder how he could have hid all this trouble in such a small tight community EXCEPT that Lewis is known for ‘appearances’ of piety: strict ways on Sundays, for example …. so ‘appearances’ may have taken on a very high value for him considering the ways of his people

    Sounds like a type of Displacement Behavior — when everything is spiraling out-of-control, find SOMETHING (no matter how minor or trivial) you CAN control, tunnel-vision onto that, and micromanage it to death. Strict Piety and Following The Rules obsessively compensates for what’s gone into the deep end. And it just keeps ramping up & up until something snaps.

  184. Josh wrote:

    Then someone else, unbound by convention, decided that they wanted to add some guacamole, and the LGBT was born.

    AKA “The Unpronounceable Sandwich”.
    Is there some additional ingredient that begins with “Q” so you can have the LGBTQ?
    If so, watch it become mandatory in my state.

  185. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    makes sense, if any of this tragedy can be sorted out …. that he was deeply conflicted goes without saying

    that strange wild place and the contrasts within the man himself ….. the quieter and more reserved the people, the more drama when something finally ‘snaps’, I guess, like a pressure cooker blowing up

  186. Tina wrote:

    Former CLC’er wrote:
    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Was he in Winslow, Arizona?

    Standing on the corner, no doubt!

    With a Girl My LORD in a Flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look?

  187. Christiane wrote:

    the quieter and more reserved the people, the more drama when something finally ‘snaps’, I guess, like a pressure cooker blowing up.

    I’m pretty much that kind of pressure cooker.
    Snarking and Ranting is how I vent the steam.

  188. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    good ‘snark’ though …. more the kind that makes me smile or giggle at myself, like looking in one of those ‘clown’ mirrors 🙂

    a nice break from the usual mean-girl snark, I must say

  189. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    You had to study The Trail of Blood in college? And take a test on each chapter? Please tell me this is a joke. LOL!! That’s like taking a test on Jack Chick’s Alberto Rivera comic books. “Name the three main methods the Jesuits are using to take over the world. Extra credit for demonstrating connections to the Illuminati.”

    DON’T GIVE THEM IDEAS!

  190. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    @ Christiane:
    The OT imagery has to do with the water ritual as a religious cleansing ritual. Baptist do not believe that the water ritual is a cleansing ritual. They do not believe in sacraments

    Only in Total Immersion or you’re not really Saved.

    Not the way I learned it, because baptism does not make you saved.

  191. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Is there some additional ingredient that begins with “Q” so you can have the LGBTQ?

    Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon, Tomato, Quiche? Quail?
    Hmmmm, quail sounds better than quiche. Whaaddda sanwish!

  192. Lea wrote:

    Not the way I learned it, because baptism does not make you saved.

    Salvation precedes baptism, is necessary before baptism.

  193. Christiane wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    He must have already been extremely depressed.

    This is not necessarily true. People sometimes commit suicide in response to an event, terrible grief, potential loss of status, etc. This may be more akin to the men jumping out the window after losing everything in the great depression.

  194. Nancy2 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Is there some additional ingredient that begins with “Q” so you can have the LGBTQ?
    Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon, Tomato, Quiche? Quail?
    Hmmmm, quail sounds better than quiche. Whaaddda sanwish!

    Quinoa, a grain.

    Quince, the fruit.

  195. Christiane wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    @ Velour:
    Thanks, OKRAPOD
    thank you, VELOUR, those reminders are helpful … you call us to prayer for the needs of so many, and your kindness is appreciated

    Thank you, Christiane for praying.

  196. Christiane wrote:

    I’m wondering if Campbell’s ‘affairs’ were not also a symptom of his instability? We are so accustomed to viewing sex as ‘sin’ in cases like affairs, but I wonder if his extra-marital behavior was not also another way to escape his demons of depression?

    That actually makes a lot of sense.

    Especially if he developed a “tolerance” response and needed larger and/or more frequent doses over time. (I wonder if a timeline would show increasing frequency or intensity?) And one day everything blew sky-high and he hit BOTTOM with fatal results.

  197. Nancy2 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Is there some additional ingredient that begins with “Q” so you can have the LGBTQ?

    Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon, Tomato, Quiche? Quail?
    Hmmmm, quail sounds better than quiche. Whaaddda sanwish!

    I would eat that. For sure.

  198. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    With a Girl My LORD in a Flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look?

    Oh, me. I think I’m going to go with ” And I’m already gone. And I’m feelin’ strong. I will sing this victory song. Woo hoo hoo, my my, woo hoo hooo…….. All right, nighty night.”

  199. Lea wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    @ Nancy2:
    He must have already been extremely depressed.

    This is not necessarily true. People sometimes commit suicide in response to an event, terrible grief, potential loss of status, etc. This may be more akin to the men jumping out the window after losing everything in the great depression.

    Impulse instead of premeditation.

  200. @ Nancy2:

    I can play all those songs on the guitar. With about 4 chords.

    And I found out a long time ago
    What a woman can do to your soul
    Oh but she can’t take you anyway
    You don’t already know how to go

    I got a peaceful easy feeling…

  201. Lea wrote:

    Not the way I learned it, because baptism does not make you saved.

    Exactly. An outward symbol of an inner reality.

  202. Nancy2 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    With a Girl My LORD in a Flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look?
    Oh, me. I think I’m going to go with ” And I’m already gone. And I’m feelin’ strong. I will sing this victory song. Woo hoo hoo, my my, woo hoo hooo…….. All right, nighty night.”

    Weird… My college days in the Seventies were the heyday of the Eagles, but that particular song didn’t get all that much airplay. What I remember was a LOT of “Hotel California”.

    (But for Heavy Rotation, nothing could compare with Elton John’s “B-B-B-Benny and the Jets” six-plus times an hour on my junior college’s PA system… Except maybe Twisted Sister on MTV when I first got cable in the mid-Eighties…)

  203. @ Lea:
    I have absolutely no talent. But that does not change the fact that the Eagles are my mostest favoritest band of all time! About a dozen of their songs tie for favorites! I just can’t make up my mind!
    Back in the fall, I developed a headache that sent my blood pressure up to 170/110. (Weird, my BP usually runs in the 110/70 range.) So, my dh took me to the er. Doc gave me iv meds, including Valium. When doc came back to check on me, I was just kickin’ back singing Desperado, off key and out of tune, I’m sure.

  204. Lea wrote:

    I think all the songs got play in the 90s when the ‘h*ll freezes over’ tour happened.

    Ha! I have their “One Of These Nights” album, the vinyl LP version.

  205. Nancy2 wrote:

    Salvation precedes baptism, is necessary before baptism.

    “See where you are baptized, see where baptism comes from, if not from the cross of Christ, from His death. There is the whole mystery: He died for you.In Him you are redeemed, in Him you are saved “
    (St. Ambrose)

    ” You are the life of us all, the salvation of us all, the hope of us all, the healing of us all, and the resurrection of us all.”
    (Coptic Christian liturgical prayer said before the readings of the Holy Gospel)

  206. Nancy2 wrote:

    I have absolutely no talent.

    Trust me, you need very little talent to play eagles on guitar 🙂 I actually find it relieves stress, but I’m pretty sure I read something about singing doing the same so sing on, I say! Talent, no talent, no matter.

  207. Nancy2 wrote:

    Back in the fall, I developed a headache that sent my blood pressure up to 170/110

    wow …. do you need to be on sustained bl/pr meds daily maybe? low salt regimen for a while?

  208. Christiane wrote:

    But even then, the suicide can’t be said to be laid at her door, no.

    I agree. We know she’s the most-affected victim of the suicide. Beyond that, we can only speculate, since she’s not spoken about it publicly and shouldn’t be expected to do so.

  209. Christiane wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    . For example the differences between you and catholic gate-crasher over certain aspects of understand of and application of your all’s catechism.

    I saw the ‘difference’ as focused in the area of the conflation of the Church’s teachings with political implications, specifically. I have an expanded view of the sacredness of life, from conception to natural death, as coming from God, and I think that expanded view may have impacted much on our ‘differences’ in that discussion, having thought about it in retrospect.

    Arrrrggghhhh. Not this again.

    Christiane, I too have that “expanded view.” I have tried to explain again and again, but clearly I am not conveying my meaning clearly.

    The Catechism teaches that there is a *hierarchy* of social issues. Abortion is at the top of the hierarchy. This does not mean that the other social issues do not matter. They do. VERY much. (How is that for “expanded”?) But abortion matters the most. This is not my “view.” It is the Teaching of the Catholic Church as clearly spelled out by Pope St John Paul II, Pope Benedict, and the Catechism.

    As JP II said, the right to life (meaning the right to BE BORN) is the foundation of all other rights. After all, if the unborn child is butchered in the womb — if she is not even allowed to be born — then how on earth can she enjoy any of the other rights, e.g., the rights to food, shelter, education, and health care?

    Moreover, Catholics may legitimately disagree about the best ways to secure those other rights and promote social justice. We can exercise “prudential judgment” about issues like: how to alleviate poverty, prevent injustices, etc. But abortion is not a matter of prudential judgment. The deliberate destruction of defenseless, innocent, unborn human life is a grave intrinsic evil, a sin that cries out to Heaven. Again, this is not my “view.” Nor is it less “expanded” than your view IMHO. It is Church Teaching. I will look up the relevant passages when I get a chance and post them if it’s ok with the Deebs.

    Okrapod, the Catholic Church does have a Magisterium, a final arbiter, an umpire if you will. Yes, there is much confusion in the Church right now. But that’s precisely why JP II gave us the Catechism — so we would know what the Church actually teaches. We don’t necessarily read and heed it (hence the continuing confusion). But it’s there. If you want to know what the Catholic Church actually believes, please don’t go by blog comments — mine or anyone else’s. Go by the Catechism.

  210. @ Dave A A:

    For the record, I was not ‘laying the suicide at her door’ just in case this conversation confused anyone.

    I have read the stories of a lot of suicides and the events that precipitated them. That isn’t implying fault, especially in a case like this.

  211. Lea wrote:

    Trust me, you need very little talent to play eagles on guitar I actually find it relieves stress, but I’m pretty sure I read something about singing doing the same so sing on, I say! Talent, no talent, no matter.

    I used to be able to sing, as long as I had someone else or music to help me stay in tune. Illness damaged my vocal chords in 2009, so I never know what’s going to come out when I open my mouth! I still love to try though.
    A few months ago, I was in my car at a stop light, bobbin’ my head, banging the dashboard, and singing along with “I’m a Believer” (the Monkeys). ……. nice weather, windows rolled down, feelin’ good. ……. Then I looked at the vehicles beside, in front of me, and behind me —- and realized how close I was to the Western Kentucky State Hospital mental institution ……

  212. Christiane wrote:

    wow …. do you need to be on sustained bl/pr meds daily maybe? low salt regimen for a while?

    Nope. I just have head trouble. Migraines, scar tissue from an accident, stroke damage. A raging, debilitating headache sent my BP through the roof.

  213. @ Nancy2:
    next time you get headache, try this:
    take a large bag of frozen veg (peas work well) and place the frozen bag on the back of your neck and rest your head on a table

    it cools the blood vessels leading to the brain and helps get rid of headache …. it’s worth a try

  214. Nancy2 wrote:

    When I was 14, I joined a Missionary Baptist church. Missionary Baptist churches require baptism upon joining the church, even if you’ve been baptized in another churc

    On a lighter note, I attended a MB baptism at the local Church of Christ. The pastor joked about there being literal sins in the water, washed off during CoC baptisms. IIRC (which I might not) both groups claimed their baptisms traced back to John the Baptist himself by baptismal succession, having miraculously avoided any taint of popery. Nonetheless, I don’t think either accepted the hands of baptizers in the other group as acceptable.

  215. Christiane wrote:

    take a large bag of frozen veg (peas work well) and place the frozen bag on the back of your neck and rest your head on a table

    I have a rice bag, reusable cold packs, and prescription meds. That day, the headache careened beyond control before I was in a position to make use of any of them.

  216. @ Dave A A:
    oh DAVE, I’ve got one for you:

    this, from my wonderful story-telling friend on Wade’s blog, Rex Ray:

    Rex tells about a man so sinful that when he was baptized in the river, the fish all died downstream

  217. Lea wrote:

    For the record, I was not ‘laying the suicide at her door’ just in case this conversation confused anyone.
    I have read the stories of a lot of suicides and the events that precipitated them. That isn’t implying fault, especially in a case like this.

    Right. It may be like air disasters, where there’s a primary cause but usually multiple contributing factors. Whether or not Dr C’s beliefs about grace contributed, we’ll likely never know.

  218. Dave A A wrote:

    On a lighter note, I attended a MB baptism at the local Church of Christ. The pastor joked about there being literal sins in the water, washed off during CoC baptisms. IIRC (which I might not) both groups claimed their baptisms traced back to John the Baptist himself by baptismal succession, having miraculously avoided any taint of popery. Nonetheless, I don’t think either accepted the hands of baptizers in the other group as acceptable.

    Oh, yeah! It gets crazy. My extended family is an eclectic mix of Baptist varieties, Church of Christ, Catholic, Mormon, non-denom, Pentecostal, Congregationalists ……… Funerals, weddings, and family reunions ……. can be entertaining, to say the least.

  219. @ Nancy2:

    I had a recent dust up with HTN. I had surgery and the anesthesiologist gave me albuterol to keep me breathing in spite of my asthma. Breathing is always good. I also have HTN which has been under treatment for decades. Not having a stoke is also good. So I woke up in the recovery room with a female voice at my head saying ‘can’t we move her; she has been in here three hours’ and a male voice toward my feet somewhere said, ‘no, give her another x amount of y (a med); she came in here at 170 and I am not letting her go until we get her below 200’. He was talking about my systolic pressure. This is called a perioperative hypertensive crisis of the urgent category (no end organ damage). They call it an emergency if there is end organ damage. All my people die either from asthma (a family disease) or stroke or heart attack due to long standing HTN. This interchange between these two voices was repeated a little later with the same results of a little more med and then eventually they wheeled me out. Naturally I thought I was going to die.

    Now, the next time I have surgery I will just have to deal with myself about any pre-op drama to which I might be tempted. Life is like this. I liked it a lot better on the other side of some white coat.

  220. Dave A A wrote:

    Right. It may be like air disasters, where there’s a primary cause but usually multiple contributing factors. Whether or not Dr C’s beliefs about grace contributed, we’ll likely never know.

    It is my hope, that regardless of what the contributing factors are, is that Mrs. Campbell does not blame herself.

  221. Nancy2 wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    Trust me, you need very little talent to play eagles on guitar I actually find it relieves stress, but I’m pretty sure I read something about singing doing the same so sing on, I say! Talent, no talent, no matter.

    I used to be able to sing, as long as I had someone else or music to help me stay in tune. Illness damaged my vocal chords in 2009, so I never know what’s going to come out when I open my mouth! I still love to try though.
    A few months ago, I was in my car at a stop light, bobbin’ my head, banging the dashboard, and singing along with “I’m a Believer” (the Monkeys). ……. nice weather, windows rolled down, feelin’ good. ……. Then I looked at the vehicles beside, in front of me, and behind me —- and realized how close I was to the Western Kentucky State Hospital mental institution ……

    Lol!!! Make a joyful noise into the Lord. For me, too, that’s what it is.

    In the car I love to sing along with Patty Loveless on “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” I’ve mastered the “sound” part of the High Lonesome Sound, but nothing else.

  222. okrapod wrote:

    Life is like this. I liked it a lot better on the other side of some white coat.

    I hear ya. But, given an option, I would stay away from white coats altogether! ….As well as BDUs (military uniforms) with stethoscopes!

  223. Nancy2 wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    wow …. do you need to be on sustained bl/pr meds daily maybe? low salt regimen for a while?

    Nope. I just have head trouble. Migraines, scar tissue from an accident, stroke damage. A raging, debilitating headache sent my BP through the roof.

    Have you tried Massage Blocks? (They’re on Amazon.)

  224. That should have been UNTO the Lord. I hate autocorrect.

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    Trust me, you need very little talent to play eagles on guitar I actually find it relieves stress, but I’m pretty sure I read something about singing doing the same so sing on, I say! Talent, no talent, no matter.

    I used to be able to sing, as long as I had someone else or music to help me stay in tune. Illness damaged my vocal chords in 2009, so I never know what’s going to come out when I open my mouth! I still love to try though.
    A few months ago, I was in my car at a stop light, bobbin’ my head, banging the dashboard, and singing along with “I’m a Believer” (the Monkeys). ……. nice weather, windows rolled down, feelin’ good. ……. Then I looked at the vehicles beside, in front of me, and behind me —- and realized how close I was to the Western Kentucky State Hospital mental institution ……

    Lol!!! Make a joyful noise into the Lord. For me, too, that’s what it is.

    In the car I love to sing along with Patty Loveless on “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” I’ve mastered the “sound” part of the High Lonesome Sound, but nothing else.

  225. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Have you tried Massage Blocks? (They’re on Amazon.)

    No. But I have a massage mat with electric vibrators. Honestly, my biggest problem is that I have a tendancy to blow off the headaches and ignore then until they get really bad. Unless I have what they call an aura, I don’t really think about it until they start to affect my physical abilities.

  226. @ okrapod:
    Love that song. When I was a teenager, some of us church kids used to sing it in the cars on trips, at cookouts, etc.

  227. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    We sang the Tanya Tucker version, though. I don’t think she was “Liberty approved”!

    I was going to make a joke about one of her songs and then I saw this one! “I wish I’d known the man a little better that turned my mama on”

    That’s probably not liberty approved! Although reading the lyrics they do seem to have gotten married.

  228. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    We sang the Tanya Tucker version, though. I don’t think she was “Liberty approved”!

    NOW we’re back to ‘Campbell’ …. but wrong one …. didn’t Tanya and Glen mix it up together a while back?
    It was quite a scandal with the age difference as I recall.

  229. Lea wrote:

    NJ wrote:

    If I had been a descendant of one of the biggest celebrities of the modern evangelical protestant world, I probably would have done my best to disappear and go do something else entirely.

    I think the money was too good.

    Yes. That’s exactly what I thought. These celebrity preacher’s kids grow up with extreme wealth, being pampered and fawned over. They know getting a four year degree and learning a marketable job skill will never come close to keeping them in the lifestyle they’re accustomed to. Hence they continue the cycle of gathering a “following” and learning to fleece the flock.

  230. Lea wrote:

    I was going to make a joke about one of her songs and then I saw this one! “I wish I’d known the man a little better that turned my mama on”

    Something about a “mansion in the sky”?

  231. Christiane wrote:

    NOW we’re back to ‘Campbell’ …. but wrong one …. didn’t Tanya and Glen mix it up together a while back?

    PS – Rhinestone Cowboy ……. that might define a lot of the gospel(TM) glitterati.

  232. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Guess it’s the use of water that makes it Romish

    No, it is that baby dedication is not a sacrament (and neither is adult believer’s baptism in credo churches) and baby dedication does not say or do anything about the status of the child whereas it does in pedobaptist traditions. It is most similar to Reformed infant baptism *without* the Covenant Theology attached to it, and that is no small thing in Reformed churches who would recoil in horror at reading what I just wrote. I beg pardon of any Wee Frees who may be reading here. 🙂

  233. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Darlene wrote:
    Ah, yes. The Trail of Blood teaching.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trail_of_Blood
    I had to read that as a book, write essays, and take a test on each section of it for a class I took through Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Many of the claimed historical connections are weak, at best. And, it led to Landmarkism and Successionisn claims/debates/arguments in the SBC. Being a math person, I had a lot of difficulties with the book and serious doubts about the claims laid out in it.
    You had to study The Trail of Blood in college? And take a test on each chapter? Please tell me this is a joke. LOL!! That’s like taking a test on Jack Chick’s Alberto Rivera comic books. “Name the three main methods the Jesuits are using to take over the world. Extra credit for demonstrating connections to the Illuminati.”
    “Weak” history is the understatement of the millennium. How about “complete and utter hooey from one end to the other”? You poor kiddo, being subjected to that at an institution of higher education. (Not that the bilge taught at many secular colleges today is much better.)

    Ditto to everything you said, CGC. Trail of Blood delusion.

  234. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Well, that IS what they substitute for any hint of the Presence.

    The Presence is the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised to send to be among us when we gather and to indwell us. Interesting discussion!

  235. @ Gram3:

    When did Baptists start the baby dedication thing? It was not around back when I was. Around that is. I saw one of those things but all they did was have the parents stand up at the front of the church with the whole family and the preacher prayed for the baby and the family. I did not see anybody dedicated to anything. It was a nice gesture, but as far as I can tell it was mostly a chance for the church to congratulate the parents.

  236. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    the Original New Testament Church was exactly like them but fell to Romish Popery and all was apostasy and darkness until THEY came along and returned to the Original True Faith.

    Of course that is the Narrative that works for all groups that never reached the numbers of the Roman Catholic Church, right? It serves as a motivator and an excuse. It doesn’t even matter if the RCC is 100% pure or 100% evil or anywhere in between. That Narrative works because of the sheer numbers. Similarly, the Tiny Faithful Remnant Narrative works and the Glorious Triumphant Army Narrative works.

  237. Dave A A wrote:

    Whether or not Dr C’s beliefs about grace contributed, we’ll likely never know.

    I think they had to be part of the fabric of his thinking if not the direct cause of the event that day. How he thought about himself and other people and how he thought they thought about him and how he thought God thought about him must surely have played a big role regardless of other events and people and actions. I think you and Darlene are on to something.

  238. okrapod wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    When did Baptists start the baby dedication thing?

    Every Baptist church I’ve ever been to did baby dedications, though some only did them a couple times a year. I think in praying they are “dedicating” the baby to God, and vowing to bring the baby up in the faith. Sort of like when you pray over missionaries to send them out (as they did over me before I went to Japan).

    I don’t believe in sacraments, but I now go to a Methodist church which does infant baptism. I honestly don’t consider baptism a disfellowship issue, and I avoid debating it with people. I can see how infant baptism arose historically, but I also see the biblical argument for adult-only baptism.

  239. Christiane wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    if indeed most evangelicals ever even thought about it one way or the other
    that is sad

    Funny how this thread is going in all sorts of direction. But anyway….No, Christiane, it is not sad. They just do not have a Catholic mindset. Evangelicals take baptism seriously. Heck, some of them are baptized 3 or more times during their lifetime! My husband just told me recently that he has been baptized 3 times in his life. Once in the Anglican Church, once in a lake by Pentecostals (Assemblies of God), and once in a lake with the Christian Jesus Communal sect that we were a part of. Then, when he converted to Orthodoxy, he was chrismated – which is not baptism – since the Orthodox Church accepted his previous baptism/s done in the name of the Trinity. Whew! Lot of dunking, and dipping, and anointing.

  240. Nancy2 wrote:

    I have absolutely no talent. But that does not change the fact that the Eagles are my mostest favoritest band of all time! About a dozen of their songs tie for favorites! I just can’t make up my mind!

    Any Bob Seger fans here?

  241. okrapod wrote:

    I did not see anybody dedicated to anything.

    The dedications I’ve seen a just basically where the parents promise to raise the child in a Christian home and bring the baby to church.

  242. Lea wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Missionary Baptist churches require baptism upon joining the church
    I always think this is odd, because I wonder if it loses meaning when it’s just sort of a ‘check this box’ requirement.
    At my new church, we also do something that I don’t totally understand where you get what I now think of as a ‘baptism booster shot’ once a year. It’s treated a lot like communion.

    What is a ‘baptism booster shot’, is I may be so bold to ask? 😉

  243. Dave A A wrote:

    He may well have been depressed too, for whatever reasons.
    There’s no reason to believe she’s lying. IF she said he had affairs and this led to his suicide, I’ll take her word for it. But I’m uncertain she’s said anything of the sort. Not one tabloid has quoted her. They barely quote any one. Instead, they report everything in the passive voice.
    “It is understood Mr Campbell’s wife challenged him…”
    “It has been claimed”
    “it is also understood”
    “it has emerged”
    “It is also alleged”
    “It is said”
    “He’s accused”
    What follows all these might be true, but so far it’s unsubstantiated.

    I hear what you/re saying, Dave. You want to hear directly from Mrs. Campbell. A direct quote would be nice. I would clear up a lot of ambiguity.

    Now, to the matter of evanescent grace. When saying what I did up thread, I wasn’t specifically thinking Iain Campbell was depressed, thereby leading to doubt as to whether a child of God should be in that condition, which would then lead to despair that perhaps he is really not of the elect, but a reprobate. No. Rather, I was thinking in reference to something that Dee said – that Rev. Campbell could have admitted his sin to the church, repented, and stepped down from ministry. However, if Rev. Campbell came to the conclusion after being confronted with his adulterous affairs that his life was a lie, that he really was only tricked into thinking himself to be a Christian, then what’s the point of going on? If a man such as Campbell had come to the conclusion that he was a reprobate, nothing…NOTHING would change that fact. If a Reformed (Calvinist) actually believes themselves NOT to be one of the elect, then it truly is hopeless. Taking one’s life would put an end to the misery.

  244. okrapod wrote:

    When did Baptists start the baby dedication thing?

    I think it was late 70’s. The worst of them are/were as you described. The best of them ask the congregation to assist the parents in nurturing the children in the faith and ask the parents if they promise to faithfully nurture the children in the faith, etc.

  245. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Sounds like a type of Displacement Behavior — when everything is spiraling out-of-control, find SOMETHING (no matter how minor or trivial) you CAN control, tunnel-vision onto that, and micromanage it to death. Strict Piety and Following The Rules obsessively compensates for what’s gone into the deep end. And it just keeps ramping up & up until something snaps.

    And now I’m thinking of the religious community depicted in The Scarlet Letter.

  246. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    okrapod wrote:
    @ Christiane:
    The OT imagery has to do with the water ritual as a religious cleansing ritual. Baptist do not believe that the water ritual is a cleansing ritual. They do not believe in sacraments
    Only in Total Immersion or you’re not really Saved.
    Not the way I learned it, because baptism does not make you saved.

    Which then makes it even more puzzling as far as I’m concerned, when I think of so many of the Evangelicals that I’ve known who have been baptized several times. If it has nothing to do with salvation, then why are so many of these churches rejecting other church’s baptisms? And I’m not even referring to Catholic baptisms. I mean baptisms from other evangelical Protestant churches.

  247. Nancy2 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Is there some additional ingredient that begins with “Q” so you can have the LGBTQ?
    Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon, Tomato, Quiche? Quail?
    Hmmmm, quail sounds better than quiche. Whaaddda sanwish!

    QUINOA!

  248. Darlene wrote:

    And I’m not even referring to Catholic baptisms. I mean baptisms from other evangelical Protestant churches.

    I find that problematic as well. If it’s an ordinance, and not a sacrament, then why repeat it? If someone wants to repeat it on their own, I have no problem with that. But I’ve known some baptist churches who won’t even accept the baptisms from other baptist churches, even though they were done the same way.

    I think some people think, “It was commanded by God to be done after salvation, so it should be done as God commands.” Those same people probably wouldn’t show up for communion, but it wouldn’t even occur to them they were similar.

    But others I think just are doing so out of legalism from an inner belief that either baptism is a sacrament, or baptism has some magic power to keep nonbelievers from being baptized. I’ve heard a few people say, “Well, how do we have proof they are saved if we haven’t seen them be baptized?” (most of that crowd was deep IFB).

  249. ishy wrote:

    But others I think just are doing so out of legalism from an inner belief that either baptism is a sacrament

    I want to clarify that these are people who would never admit that they believe it’s a sacrament, and they go to churches who believe it’s an ordinance. So they resort to legalism to require it be repeated.

  250. Darlene wrote:

    However, if Rev. Campbell came to the conclusion after being confronted with his adulterous affairs that his life was a lie, that he really was only tricked into thinking himself to be a Christian, then what’s the point of going on? If a man such as Campbell had come to the conclusion that he was a reprobate, nothing…NOTHING would change that fact. If a Reformed (Calvinist) actually believes themselves NOT to be one of the elect, then it truly is hopeless.

    And, of course, then everyone else would assume he was unforgivably among the reprobate as well. If that is true, then this is an illustration of the pernicious effect of evanescent grace. Actually, even if it is not true in Campbell’s case, it still is a pernicious doctrine which would lead to despair in such circumstances, ISTM.

    I would like for a thoughtful Reformed scholar to help us understand this better.

  251. Hastening to add that suicide is difficult to understand, IMO. There is one instance in my extended family and one in a friend’s family and one in a family friend that was officially ruled an accident. I do not think anyone understands fully why any of those suicides occurred. Many questions, lots of blame and guilt.

  252. Gram3 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Well, that IS what they substitute for any hint of the Presence.
    The Presence is the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised to send to be among us when we gather and to indwell us. Interesting discussion!

    Gram3 & HUG, I get where both of you are coming from, and I would say there is a Presence in both. It is that both/and approach – not either/or. 😉

  253. Darlene wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Missionary Baptist churches require baptism upon joining the church
    I always think this is odd, because I wonder if it loses meaning when it’s just sort of a ‘check this box’ requirement.
    At my new church, we also do something that I don’t totally understand where you get what I now think of as a ‘baptism booster shot’ once a year. It’s treated a lot like communion.

    What is a ‘baptism booster shot’, is I may be so bold to ask?

    I don’t know. Everybody goes up (like I said like communion) and then gets a little sprinkle! I made up my own name because I don’t really get it. I think the explanation was some sort of celebration That we are all baptized?

  254. dee wrote:

    There have been many people who have taken on the elephants (there are many) in the room. They do not deny it as they struggle with it yet they still believe. Are they deceived. I don’t think so.

    Thanks for the book info. I’ll check it out.

    I think some of the “hypocrisy” in the church in general comes from the dichotomy of believing in the Bible as a literal word of God and living the values of a liberal democracy.

    Those who follow biblical literalism either endorse these views (I have heard Christians espouse old testament laws be enforced) and wind up with backward world views like complementarianism.

    There are no easy answers but we can discern right from wrong.

    This is something I think the men in this post were unable to do in the end.

  255. ishy wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    And I’m not even referring to Catholic baptisms. I mean baptisms from other evangelical Protestant churches.

    I find that problematic as well

    Yeah. I think baptisms from other churches should be accepted so I can explain it.

  256. Jack wrote:

    There are no easy answers but we can discern right from wrong.
    This is something I think the men in this post were unable to do in the end.

    I dunno for sure, but I believe all for of the men were perfectly capable of discern right from wrong. Just look at what they preached/taught.
    I think that either they just didn’t care, or couldn’t resist the temptation. I have wondered if Rekers went into RT just so he would have easy access to other men…….. I think CJ was after fame and money……. I think Tullian was after fame, money, and mostly women. I don’t know enough about Campbell to hazard a guess. And, I’ll admit, I could be wrong about the other 3.

  257. Gram3 wrote:

    The best of them ask the congregation to assist the parents in nurturing the children in the faith and ask the parents if they promise to faithfully nurture the children in the faith, etc.

    Those are Baptismal Promises!
    And those who “assist the parents in nurturing the children in the faith” are Godparents!

  258. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    The best of them ask the congregation to assist the parents in nurturing the children in the faith and ask the parents if they promise to faithfully nurture the children in the faith, etc.

    Those are Baptismal Promises!
    And those who “assist the parents in nurturing the children in the faith” are Godparents!

    It is very similar to infant baptisms I think. But it’s not a baptism, because that is different in baptist churches. it is a ‘ welcome baby’.

    Now, baptism when I was growing up was often done in childhood, so it might have been somewhat analogous to confirmation? Ish.

  259. Darlene wrote:

    why are so many of these churches rejecting other church’s baptisms? And I’m not even referring to Catholic baptisms. I mean baptisms from other evangelical Protestant churches.

    The short answer is because of the meaning and significance attached to baptism by the particular church and by the individual which is wildly different even among various Protestant denominations.

  260. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Ah, nice to take a walk down memory lane thinking about those Eagles songs. I have great memories of listening to them during college, during the times when teens and young adults actually hung out and listened to music together and no one had earbuds. One of those memories was in Europe, when I visited my former exchange student in Finland. We were in Lapland with her friends, staying up late at night, since the sun didn’t set, and listened to the Eagles together. I specifically remember singing along to Desperado, for some reason. The sound tracks of our lives!

  261. Darlene wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Quinoa, a grain.
    Quince, the fruit.

    You beat me to it, Velour.

    How about Quince, the creepy character in The Turn of the Screw?

    Have y’all ever seen Benjamin Britten’s operatic version of Turn of the Screw? It gave me nightmares.

  262. Nancy2 wrote:

    I dunno for sure, but I believe all for of the men were perfectly capable of discern right from wrong. Just look at what they preached/taught.

    Psychopaths are very good at “faking it”. And that is what I think these men were to a greater or lesser extent.
    Ultimately psychopaths will do and say anything to get what they want. I don’t believe these men had a conscience in the conventional sense.
    This is going to sound cold but if the reports of serial affairs are true, then even suicide could be viewed through this lens.

  263. Darlene wrote:

    the conclusion that he was a reprobate, nothing…NOTHING would change that fact.

    And historically, we see this as a contributing factor, at least, in the death of Edwards’ uncle, which marked the beginning of the end of the great awakening. Try as he might, Edwards was unable to reassure him of his “good estate”.

  264. thank you so much, dee, for all your research into this post. you put a lot of effort into it.

    my response: all 3 are dishonest, all 3 are hypocrites. my brain is sluggishly processing the compound concept of both words together.

    to me, these individuals represent highly legislated living.

    rulesrulesrules is a mistake.

    the goldenboys promoting rules-laden living make it all seem so glowingly right, good, and completely do-able; to do otherwise is shameful, grievously disappointing to God and to one’s ‘Gospel’ community.

    it ends up being an unnecessary straightjacket. not even the goldenboys can live up to it, although they don’t let their audience know that — they let everyone keep on thinking they’re Superchristian. (cape, tights, speedo over the tights ‘n all)

    and while everyone else is shamed (even silently; including self-shaming) for not being able to live up to the highly idealized image, when the goldenboys fail they choose to disappear. and they’re protected by all their supersuited speedos-over-their-tights Superchristian friends.

    but for Iain Campbell, perhaps the self-shaming was too much for him. it’s incredibly sad. but i reserve my empathy for those bulldozed by the idealism he represented.

    rulesrulesrules….legalism….. wired – so – dang – tight.

    this is the popular christian trend, it seems to me. it feels so foreign to me. this was not my experience growing up in church. even my non-denominational easy-going childhood community church has recently adopted this highly prescriptive, straightjacket approach with oh-so-many should’s, shouldn’ts, must’s, must not’s.

    it is indeed one-ups-manship (they didn’t distinguish it with the new name “A Gospel Church” for nothing). at the cost of inducing paranoia.

    this can’t be “life in all its fullness”, and being “free indeed”.

    http://www.fpchurch.org.uk/about-us/frequently-asked-questions/

  265. Darlene wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Quinoa, a grain.
    Quince, the fruit.
    You beat me to it, Velour.

    I don’t even know what kind of game we’re playing, but it apparently has H.U.G. written all over it!

    I saw this yummy recipe on my Facebook. A cooked egg, put inside of an avocado. Avocado wrapped in bacon. Fried. Cut up with a knife…pure deliciousness.

    Whenever I want to make it, however, invariably there are other Facebook articles with adorable pigs and piglets, how smart they are, that the moms sing lullabies to their piglets, etc. Then I go to the store and buy a very good vegetarian smoky “bacon” to satisfy all of my conflicts!

  266. Darlene wrote:

    And now I’m thinking of the religious community depicted in The Scarlet Letter.

    And after Hawthorne’s novel, it can spiral even more, I’m thinking Arthur Miller’s
    The Crucible.

  267. ishy wrote:

    There was a woman who stood up and just ripped on him with verses about what makes a “good” Christian. I never thanked her, and I wish I had. I do wish now somebody had asked him why he forced an underage girl to sign an illegal contract.

    I still say that these guys would be much happier in a kind of Christian Pakistan in some kind of skewed alternate universe.

  268. Those people who were being baptized with water down in the Jordan by John the Baptist …. they had not been ‘told’ to do it by Our Lord;
    and yet it had meaning for them…… something to do with ‘repentance’.

    So what DID that early form of water baptism in the Jordan signify to them, BEFORE Our Lord’s coming to the Jordan for His own baptism by St. John.

    Knowing the answers to that might help to add more layers of depth and meaning to something people call an ordinance.

    It wouldn’t hurt for people who ‘go through the motions’ of baptism and the Lord’s Supper to have more comprehension of of the underlying meanings of what they are engaging in. Connecting practices up to Christ as ‘meaningful’ is important in the faith, if nothing more so that ‘the motions’ become more to people than a box they have to tick off that can be a bit annoying, but has to be done ‘anyway’ as some sort of ritual that they cannot directly connect in their hearts to Our Lord Himself.

  269. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Those are Baptismal Promises!
    And those who “assist the parents in nurturing the children in the faith” are Godparents!

    Not exactly for the following reasons: (1) It is not a baptism and (2) the entire body of people standing there are urged as a church body to commit themselves to the task-that would mean hundreds or even thousands of ‘godparents’ which is not the basic idea of ‘godparent’ and (3) nobody actually expects anybody to actually do anything except what a church in general ought to do, hence there are no personal expectations involved.

    Non pedo-baptism Baptists do not do godparents.
    @ Christiane:

  270. @ Christiane:

    Oops. I just wrote something to HUG and got your name tacked on the bottom. It is not in print yet but when it is please understand that you name there is a mistake. It was at 6:14 am today.

  271. @ Christiane:

    You really do need to inform yourself better concerning Baptist thinking. We do not get baptized for the forgiveness of sin (John’s baptism); we get baptized because we have been forgiven and born anew of the Spirit. As the eunuch said to Philip, “what doth hinder me from being baptized’ and as Philip replied ‘ if you believe, you may’.

    As to why you would object to something being a command, as baptism is out of the very mouth of Jesus himself in the Great Commission, well I have no idea.

    May I remind you that everything I am saying is straight out of the canon of scripture, the same scripture that you all keep reminding us that you all officially approved back in the day.

    And may I remind you you that the Catholic Church, of which you have proclaimed yourself an adherent, accepts as valid the baptism of Baptists and does not re-baptize Baptists when they convert to Roman Catholicism.

  272. @ okrapod:
    Good Morning, OKRAPOD
    I am aware that the Trinitaritan formula is respected as a valid form of baptism, but is it used among all congregations that identify as ‘Baptist’?
    I am also aware that in times past, the Church used to baptize people ‘conditionally’ if there was any question about a valid baptism having been performed.
    The Church only recognizes one baptism and does not ‘re-baptize’ people who are known to already have been validly baptized.

    I’m wondering what the format is for Churches where the Holy Trinity is not so much celebrated, and where the position of Jesus Christ as ‘subordinate’ has been emphasized. (?)

  273. @ Christiane:

    None of the protestants in my RCIA group had been baptized by any procedure which the Church had found to be invalid. Most were not Baptists but rather Methodists or Congregationalists from up North. Only those who had not been baptized were those who were scheduled to be baptized by the Catholic Church.

    They told us that if people gave the history of ‘I think I was baptized as a baby but I am not sure’ was one time they would do a conditional baptism. What other instances there might be I have no idea. This BTW is used as one of the debatable issues against the wisdom of infant baptism for those who want to argue against infant baptism.

    And yes, the Jesus Only people, have to be baptized in the name of the Trinity, or so I understand it.
    “jesus Only’ is a pentecostal group/ pentecostal teaching and Baptists are not into that.

    I am concerned about your link of Christian baptism with John’s baptism in light of Paul’s episode in Ephesus (Acts 19: 1-4) in which he found some who had not received the Spirit when they ‘believed’, and when he asked them in what baptism then they had been baptized they replied ‘John’s baptism’ and that they had not so much heard about the Spirit. Note in that passage the link by Paul with receiving the Spirit with believing, not with baptism. So Paul prayed for them and they received the Spirit, and in this passage they went pentecostal but that is a different issue-perhaps reported in scripture in this passage to validate the opinion that Paul had as to what the problem was in the first place.

    There are some seriously good reasons, and easily argued reasons, for some beliefs about belief, forgiveness of sin and for receiving the Spirit which are different from some of the beliefs and practices of some catholics. Note that I did not say that the Catholic Church itself denies scripture-far from it. I did say that not everything is as cut and dried or as clear cut as some people would like for it to be. I found the actual stance of the Catholic Church, if the catechists understood it correctly, much more reasonable than, well, the attitudes of some people on either side of the Tiber.

  274. Dave A A wrote:

    Oh– they also have an official article on there about the death of I D Campbell.

    I read a few of the articles on the site. Male headship, not just in marriage, but in society as a whole.
    Were you aware of the fact that short hair and pants on women led to the moral breakdown of society as a whole? I guess I must be demon possessed, sitting here in my blue jeans, with a short, layered pixie haircut – above the ears on the sides and cut to the hairline at the nape. Then, there’s my hiking boots and holster belt ……..

  275. Nancy2 wrote:

    I guess I must be demon possessed, sitting here in my blue jeans, with a short, layered pixie haircut – above the ears on the sides and cut to the hairline at the nape. Then, there’s my hiking boots and holster belt ……..

    LOL
    now, Nancy Two, you must realize that no self-respecting demon would dare mess with you

  276. Christiane wrote:

    LOL
    now, Nancy Two, you must realize that no self-respecting demon would dare mess with you

    You know, Christiane ……. I seriously wonder if their beliefs concerning “a woman’s subservient role” (yes, they use those words) might have contributed to, or even triggered Campbell’s (alleged) multiple infidelities?

  277. okrapod wrote:

    Note in that passage the link by Paul with receiving the Spirit with believing, not with baptism.

    many of the first Christian baptistries were carved with deer drinking from a flowing stream in honor the Psalm
    ” like the deer longs for flowing streams; so my soul longs for You, O God.”

    I think that people who don’t know the symbolism of baptism and how it connects back to Eden and to the renewal of all Creation in Christ …. these people are impoverished in a way that I find sad …. it doesn’t even have to be a ‘sacramental’ understanding, no, but it does help to realize the biblical beauty of the deeper meaning in the image of the flowing waters and Christ Himself as the Source of all Life, ‘living’ water. None of us, even the ones who believe in baptism as sacramental, can envision just how powerful is the invoking of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ in any activity that He has commanded of us to fulfill.

    In the light of Jewish tradition that the repenting Adam frequently sat down in the waters of the rivers that flowed out of Eden, I find this Orthodox prayer particularly meaningful:
    ‘In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John:
    “Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.” ‘

  278. @ Christiane:

    I think that the revelation of the mystery Christ is a far ‘deeper’ meaning than Eden or rivers or, frankly, anything else in judeo-christian thinking. I think that it is the core reality of our faith. And for me at least, as well as for right many people, I find that to burden that revelation with more and more ‘meanings’ compromises the impact of Christ himself.

    I realize that some people experience ‘meanings’ differently, and I don’t criticize them for it. I do criticize them when they feel ‘sad’ for those of us lesser beings who prefer our christianity straight up, as it were. But if there should be some haughty condescension and/or the presumption of ignorance then that is over the line, as opposed to merely some acknowledgment of difference in the way that people experience their own belief systems.

    Okay, so I will let you have the last word. I am done with this.

  279. @ Nancy2:
    I’m a man with short hair and I wear pants, so I can breathe a sigh of relief. But there are other rules—
    One rule says you’re ONLY allowed to praise God with Psalms. Hymns (such as Christ and the Apostles sang after supper) or spiritual songs enjoined by Paul NEED NOT APPLY.
    But the next rule says you’re never allowed to do what the Psalms tell you, if they tell you to praise God with musical instruments.
    My understanding is that they actually loosened up on these rules back in 2011, and 1 or 2 ministers left the denomination to join an even smaller one which still enforces them.

  280. Jack wrote:

    I think some of the “hypocrisy” in the church in general comes from the dichotomy of believing in the Bible as a literal word of God and living the values of a liberal democracy.

    This is an important observation. I have been sitting here for a bit thinking it over. Interestingly, Jesus did not focus on changing the culture. Neither did Paul. We were to focus on the Cross and Resurrection and tell people that there is a solution for each person individually found in the person of Jesus.

    We should we even expect that people who do not share a POV like fundamentalism to act amor believe in the same solutions for problems in the world? That is one of the reasons I got out of spending so much time in the political arena.

    I do take my responsibility as a citizen seriously and do vote my conscience. However, I do not have any expectations that my elected officials will be perfect or Christian. I take CS Lewis approach about a separation between church and state to deal with the issue.

    From Mere Christianity (please understand that Mahommedans was an acceptable term in those days)

    “Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The conception of marriage is one: the other is the different question – how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws.

    A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mahommedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine.

    My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.”

  281. dee wrote:

    They do not deny it as they struggle with it yet they still believe.

    brings to mind:
    “I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it.”
    (G. K. Chesterton)

  282. Dave A A wrote:

    But the next rule says you’re never allowed to do what the Psalms tell you, if they tell you to praise God with musical instrumen

    I had an uncle who joined a Church of Christ with his wife when they married. My aunt by marriage was raised CoC, and had a brother-in-law who pastored a church. When I was young (12 or 13), I would go to their church occasionally. When I asked them, “Why doesn’t your church do music with the songs?” Reply, “Because it is not biblical. Music dishonors God.” I came back with, “But David played an instrument, and he was a man after God’s own heart. The Bible says so.” ………….. Crickets.

  283. Nancy2 wrote:

    I think Tullian was after fame, money, and mostly women.

    Just got a brain-flash for a theme song for Tullian. A single from 1970, when my family first got a “stereo” and I started spinning vinyl.

    “In the Summertime” by Mugnojerry:

    “In the summer time
    When the weather gets high
    You can reach right up
    And touch the sky;
    In the Summer time —
    You got women you got women on your mind;
    Have a drink have a drive
    Cruise ’round and see what you can find…

    “If her daddy’s rich
    Take her out for a meal;
    If her daddy’s poor
    Then Do Whatcha Feel…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG0oBPtyNb0
    (This song got used for a commercial sometime in the Nineties or 2000s, obviously by someone who never listened to the original.)

    But it’s the B side of that licorice pizza which was just as appropriate and shall we say a bit more “direct” — “Mighty Man”:

    “Gonna get ya in my bed
    Gonna do it to ya all night long
    Gonna do just what I said —
    I’m a Mighty Mighty Mighty Man!
    I’m a Mighty Mighty Man!
    (short kazoo bridge)
    I’M A MIGHTY MIGHTY MIGHTY MAN!
    I’M A MIGHTY MIGHTY MAN!”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6RcYlzFrGM

  284. Nancy2 wrote:

    I read a few of the articles on the site. Male headship, not just in marriage, but in society as a whole.
    Were you aware of the fact that short hair and pants on women led to the moral breakdown of society as a whole?

    Instead of long denim jumpers and loooooong… waaaaaaaavy… haaaaaaair….

  285. Nancy2 wrote:

    I seriously wonder if their beliefs concerning “a woman’s subservient role” (yes, they use those words) might have contributed to, or even triggered Campbell’s (alleged) multiple infidelities?

    If you don’t respect women, then you may not care if you hurt or use them. This is far from a Christian problem, however those sorts of attitudes I could see contributing to lack of respect. In that case you would only have rules and legalism to fall back on i guess?

  286. Dave A A wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    I’m a man with short hair and I wear pants, so I can breathe a sigh of relief. But there are other rules—

    You mean someone’s still fighting the Battle of the Hair Length?

    “Don’t live your life in dread and fear
    With a tangled mess over your ears
    If your hair’s too long
    (If your hair’s too long)
    There’s Sin in your heart
    (There’s Sin in your heart)…”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzx0u2E6-bs

    According to KBRT in the Eighties (where I first heard it), this was written by a “Pastor Ron” in Tulsa — as a JOKE novelty song. The original was a real hoot — sung by a chorus of obvious non-singers (all cracking voices sounding 80+ years old) with a badly out-of-tune piano and crying baby as accompaniment. Unfortunately, that version has passed into oblivion; this is the closest I’ve been able to find:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugZuuQMymIY

    But while searching for it, I came across this DEAD SERIOUS version:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzx0u2E6-bs
    Two possibilities:
    1) Somebody mistook a joke novelty song for a real hymn.
    2) Pastor Ron was filking an existing hymn and just Spike Jonesed the arrangement.

  287. dee wrote:

    . Interestingly, Jesus did not focus on changing the culture. Neither did Paul. We were to focus on the Cross and Resurrection and tell people that there is a solution for each person individually found in the person of Jesus.

    I think liberal and conservative churches have gone awry in focusing too much on politics. I believe we as individuals must follow our conscience and that is informed by belief but also knowledge.

  288. dee wrote:

    @ Dave A A:
    Interesting. Thanks.

    http://www.fpchurch.org.uk/2017/04/death-of-rev-i-d-campbell/
    Lots there worthy of discussion. Most of my response was to Calvinistic stuff, which would be more than I can do justice to now. But I also noticed he did Not say he doesn’t want to know what happened. That’s good. He Does want to leave any and all investigation to the locals. And shows no inkling of any self-examination on the denominational level, to see if their faith and practice are really of the Faith. No thought of “anything we could have done better to prevent this?”

  289. Darlene wrote:

    However, if Rev. Campbell came to the conclusion after being confronted with his adulterous affairs that his life was a lie, that he really was only tricked into thinking himself to be a Christian, then what’s the point of going on? If a man such as Campbell had come to the conclusion that he was a reprobate, nothing…NOTHING would change that fact.

    Utter Despair.
    VERY plausible. Though we won’t know until someone does an actual “psychological autopsy” on IC.

    Didn’t Jonathan “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Edwards end up with a couple suicides among his congregation?

  290. Lea wrote:

    I think liberal and conservative churches have gone awry in focusing too much on politics.

    In this, they’re no different than the USSR which elevated their political system into a State Religion in all but name, where everything “Ees Political Matter, Comrade. Don’t Ask Political Questions.”

  291. Christiane wrote:

    …. these people are impoverished in a way that I find sad

    Yes, we are rather pathetic little creatures, aren’t we? Could you possibly be more condescending and rude?

  292. @ Lea:

    “In that case you would only have rules and legalism to fall back on i guess?”
    ++++++++++++

    can you elaborate on that?

    (something about it is catching my attention… but my brain is not running on all cylinders at the moment)

  293. Dave A A wrote:

    Lots there worthy of discussion.

    Agreed that was an interesting short article. ISTM the writer may believe he was not among the elect and the readers should take heed. Very sobering but I did not sense any call for a coverup.

  294. Gram3 wrote:

    Yes, we are rather pathetic little creatures, aren’t we? Could you possibly be more condescending and rude?

    No we are rich. Rich in the fact that we do not have to go through a series of man-made steps, rules, or rules to have a little talk with Jesus. What did the Ethiopian eunuch do when he met Philip?

  295. Shallow ritual and deep faith can be found in diverse expressions of Christianity. I dislike covert and unnecessary injections of politics and rude putdowns of other people’s expressions of faith into our discussions of abuses in the church.

    Baptism has different meanings *and* different expressions some of which are grounded in the OT (more properly in the overarching Covenant of Grace) and some of which are grounded in the New Covenant. Some are not grounded in either of those things. That’s why it is a complicated discussion, and people should not be so dismissive about other people’s beliefs and practices which should be considered sincere until proved otherwise, IMO.

  296. Nancy2 wrote:

    Rich in the fact that we do not have to go through a series of man-made steps, rules, or rules to have a little talk with Jesus.

    Yep. I think that people do a lot of things which end up distancing themselves from Jesus himself, and man made steps and rules are some of those things. Elaborate theological theories do the same thing. Some people get lost in the jungle of end times prophecy, some in the intricacies of history or language or speculation about cultural attitudes, some in moral nuances, and lots and lots in social activism or creative endeavor, or and or. These things can be good if controlled, but base line is, like you say, having a little talk with Jesus-as He is revealed, not as we wish Him to be

    One of the things that sticks in my mind from The Great Divorce (Lewis) is the one religious professional who chose not to stay in the outskirts of heaven but rather return to the Grey City because he wanted to get back to his small religious discussion group where he apparently felt needed and felt he contributed. I may have some details inaccurate, but for sure it was a model of how religion and even one’s vocation in religion can keep people from God.

    The good is the enemy of the best. We too easily get entrapped by the good. I have some ideas as to why that is, but like some people say it would blow up this thread (I like that terminology).

  297. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Lea:
    “In that case you would only have rules and legalism to fall back on i guess?”
    ++++++++++++
    can you elaborate on that?

    I think what I meant was that if you don’t care about your wife as a person and you don’t respect her, there is no reason not to hurt her, no reason not to cheat, except that it is against the ‘rules’ of christianity? That of course assumes sincere faith, but bad ideas (subordination of women). (Of course, many men would just pretend at church and be awful in private, which is also what you often see in abuse cases. )

    Ultimately, if you are not acting out of love you are just acting based on rules.

  298. Gram3 wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    …. these people are impoverished in a way that I find sad

    Yes, we are rather pathetic little creatures, aren’t we? Could you possibly be more condescending and rude?

    putting something into the context in which it was written does make a difference, I think

    there is nothing shameful about wanting something more for people

    What kind of emotion IS permissible when you read about a young neo-Cal pastor who put some bread at the back of his church on a table and joked about how he had bought it cheaply and told people to take a piece of it on their way out the door

    sadness is my reaction,
    not anger because who do you get angry at?

    you just want for things to be better for people
    than that, yeah

  299. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Instead of long denim jumpers

    I had a friend that was pentecostal and then I saw her one day and she wasn’t anymore and when we talked, turned out the pastor had said that ‘god said’ they couldn’t wear denim skirts anymore? Just randomly one day. And that was annoying and so obviously not biblical that they questioned it and ultimately left.

  300. Christiane wrote:

    when you read about a young neo-Cal pastor who put some bread at the back of his church on a table and joked about how he had bought it cheaply and told people to take a piece of it on their way out the door

    The reason that got talked about is because it is an aberration.

    It is hardly representative of most people’s faith. Gram is absolutely right that it comes off incredibly insulting.

  301. Lea wrote:

    Ultimately, if you are not acting out of love you are just acting based on rules.

    So, surely you are not saying that if you are not acting out of love then you ought to go ahead and do awful things because you are love deficient; because you surely would not want to let us say obey the speed limit unless did it for love reasons?

    When Paul said that it does not profit somebody if this or that unless it is done because of love he made no mention as to whether it helped the other person or not. If I carry my share of the load at work that helps my co-workers whether or not I do it for love. According to Paul it does not ‘profit’ me-but he never said it did not help them. Carried to the extreme, should one avoid the commandment to not steal if and only if he refrains from theft due to love; or is it a good thing in and of itself?

  302. @ okrapod:

    Or worse yet, is everything good if it is motivated by love? If a man loves his dog can he wink wink with his dog? Can love be misguided and therefore result in wrong behavior? And if love and law of the land conflict, who wins? Think euthanasia.

    Sorry-this is a favorite topic of mine, the idea that ‘rules’ or ‘laws’ by their very nature are wrong. I think not. I think this is just one more area in which common sense is needed.

  303. @ Lea:

    Lea said: “Ultimately, if you are not acting out of love you are just acting based on rules.”

    okrapod said: “Carried to the extreme, should one avoid the commandment to not steal if and only if he refrains from theft due to love; or is it a good thing in and of itself?”

    “Or worse yet, is everything good if it is motivated by love?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    i’m hung up on this topic today. in general, and for how it applies to the bigger picture surrounding the 3 individuals in the post.

    this is the sticking point for me:

    my agnostic relatives are as exemplary human beings as any christian. in fact, they demonstrate kindness, honesty, integrity, generosity in a way that is more natural and pure than any christian i’ve ever known.

    they are beholden to no list of rules, other than the laws of the land, and whatever their employers or colleges ask of them.

    they are motivated by and respond to these basic things:

    *is it kind?
    *is it lying?
    *is it deceptive?
    *how can i help?
    *it’s good to be generous.
    *is it healthy?
    *is it safe?

    and they don’t spend time and energy running their motives through the motives analyzer.

    seems to me christian rules are superfluous, & do more harm than good.

  304. elastigirl wrote:

    they are motivated by and respond to these basic things:

    *is it kind?

    They are responding to something very basic: they are living in a way that honors the fact that they are God’s image bearers

    There is a law written on the hearts of men that directs them to do good and avoid evil. I think your friends bear witness to that primordial conscience given to all who bear the name of ‘human’. In doing so, they unknowingly walk with God. 🙂

  305. @ Lea:
    No ‘it is not representative of most people’s faith’, Lea. I did not say that. They are YOUR words. You own them.

  306. Christiane wrote:

    I think that people who don’t know the symbolism of baptism and how it connects back to Eden and to the renewal of all Creation in Christ …. these people are impoverished in a way that I find sad

    I stand by my words because I very strongly believe such Christian people deserve to be able to make that connection between what they are asked to do and Who has asked it of them.

    At the very LEAST, the connection between Our Lord and what He has asked of Christian people to do in the way of baptism and communion …. that connection needs to be kept meaningful…. or they lose sight of the ‘one needful thing’ being celebrated.

    “but one thing is needful: for Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her”
    (from the Holy Gospel of St. Luke, as is the following Scripture)

    “44Jesus said to them, “These are the words I spoke to you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.” 45Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”

  307. We are about to plunge out the door for palm sunday stuff. I got that-straight from the scriptures, which is where as I have stated I choose to stand.

    But I hate ‘easter’. Easter is a perfect example of how western christianity has mixed derivatives of non-chrstian cultural practices with scripture to come up with what I think is a bastardization of the idea of the resurrection.

    I have no problem with celebrating spring time, the apparent resurgence of life (though we know that winter is not death per se for the creation), and I have no problem with the appreciation of biological life. Heck, I even did an undergrad major in biology for crying out loud. But to compromise the picture of the resurrection by mixing ‘spring’ and the resurrection just curdles the components of my vascular system. It forces me to come to grips for the umpteenth time the extent to which christianity has become a syncretism of scripture, mythologies, cultural practices and derivatives of greek philosophy.

    So my church after mass next Sunday is doing an Easter egg hunt for the kiddies. Nothing wrong with easter egg hunts. RE helped with an ‘beeping easter egg’ hunt for the blind kids which the local PD *b* squad put on. Good idea. Great bunch of cops. But to come out after mass (the resurrection allegedly), and go right to a fertility recognition practice, is just too much. He is risen. That is sufficient.

    The first council of Nicea was wrong about separating what some are now calling resurrection sunday from the Jewish calendar. Evidence of this syncretic mix are just all over the place. Count me out.

  308. I remember a friend from England I knew when we were stationed in D.C.

    She said ‘I draw the line at the Easter Bunny.’ No Easter Bunny or baskets for her little boys. She was adamant. I was in whole-hearted agreement with her about the commercialism and the silliness of the Easter bunny thing;
    but we always in our family did the whole magilla: baskets-the-bigger-the-better, egg hunts, dyeing eggs, decorating eggs, large chocolate bunnies (even one for me and my husband to munch on), marshmallow chicks, jelly beans, etc. etc. ad nauseum. . . . .

    but I do know that Tina was genuinely turned off by the silly commercialism for HERSELF. The nice thing about Tina was that she didn’t mind those of us who had grown up bunny people and were still silly bunny people. Out of respect, we did gift her family with a nice box of good quality chocolates that Easter Sunday, no bunnies included therein. 🙂

  309. okrapod wrote:

    RE helped with an ‘beeping easter egg’ hunt for the blind kids which the local PD *b* squad put on. Good idea. Great bunch of cops.

    that is so kind

  310. Gram3 wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:
    Lots there worthy of discussion.
    Agreed that was an interesting short article. ISTM the writer may believe he was not among the elect and the readers should take heed. Very sobering but I did not sense any call for a coverup.

    It would have been helpful had the writer clarified whether it was the alleged hypocracy of Dr C’s life, or the confirmed manner of his death which caused him to doubt Dr C’s conversion. More hopeful than Robertson’s article so far as not demanding heads in sand. But keep in mind the denom has a track record (albeit 20 years ago) when they refused to investigate alleged misdeeds by the author of Dr C’s obituary and defrocked those who pushed for it (resulting in the Wee Wee Free all the way home denom). Wanted to say more about the article but it’s busy resting on the sabbath right now.

  311. Dave A A wrote:

    when they refused to investigate alleged misdeeds by the author of Dr C’s obituary and defrocked those who pushed for it (resulting in the Wee Wee Free all the way home denom).

    Maybe that was part of the reason for the suicide? Pastorally, ISTM that the leadership of the WWF and the WWFATWH should revisit a lot of history, humbly looking for some answers, because this tragedy has apparently been a slow-mo train-wreck of sorts. I imagine it goes way back before the split 20 years ago.

    I wish peace upon the Campbell family and the churches there and wisdom and courage for the leadership of the churches there. May the leaders all do the right and courageous thing this time.

  312. Dave A A wrote:

    Wanted to say more about the article but it’s busy resting on the sabbath right now.

    Dave, you’re comment got me to thinking about the customs and practices of various religious communities and denominations. Some of the back-and-forth that has occurred on this thread and other threads on TWW come to mind. Dust ups wherein jabs are taken at certain people’s beliefs or ignorance of certain religious perspectives. All that to say…When is a religious belief/practice worthy of scorn, ridicule, criticism? What is the criteria whereby we respect a faith community’s right to practice their beliefs, even if we disagree with such beliefs/practices? Where do we draw the line between respecting their rights (religious freedom), and condemning/criticizing their beliefs/practices?

    “Live, and let live” is something I’ve heard people say in my lifetime. Yet, more often than not such a canned phrase does not address all the nuances that real life situations call for. Qualifiers need to be added to that simple adage. Can I have the attitude of “Live and let live” when it comes to the Wee Frees honoring the Sabbath, even to the point of their website resting on the Sabbath? Yes I think I can because it’s not harming anyone. And so we come to the next adage: “Do no harm”. This is where the rubber meets the road. If that Sabbath rule is taken to the extreme whereby someone is harmed, then I have every right to speak out against it. Example: Not helping an injured person on the Sabbath.

    Tying this altogether with the dust ups that occur here on these threads. How different Christians understand and practice baptism is a topic that has been hammered out over many centuries without resolution among the disagreeing parties. Since there will likely never be a resolution, perhaps in this case “Live and let live” is the healthiest perspective to have. Because really, no one is being harmed for holding to their particular belief about baptism.

    We must pick and choose our battles – those which we believe are worth fighting for. Those which cause actual harm to our fellow human beings made in the image of God.

  313. @ Darlene:
    Good thoughts. I know this group forbids using public transportation on Sunday. Now if they include ambulances in that, I’d have a problem.

  314. Gram3 wrote:

    I wish peace upon the Campbell family and the churches there and wisdom and courage for the leadership of the churches there. May the leaders all do the right and courageous thing this time.

    Amen

  315. Dave A A wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    I wish peace upon the Campbell family and the churches there and wisdom and courage for the leadership of the churches there. May the leaders all do the right and courageous thing this time.
    Amen

    And Amen!

  316. Darlene wrote:

    How different Christians understand and practice baptism is a topic that has been hammered out over many centuries without resolution among the disagreeing parties. Since there will likely never be a resolution, perhaps in this case “Live and let live” is the healthiest perspective to have. Because really, no one is being harmed for holding to their particular belief about baptism.

    Amen and amen. Wars have been fought over this stuff, human misery and suffering escalated almost beyond measure. And for what?

  317. @ Dave A A:
    The second paragraph of the article explains why the matter goes beyond the confines of the church courts.
    “If it were simply a case of alleged immorality, the matter would be best left to the Church courts, but the suicide of someone who professed to be a converted Christian for 40 years, and who was a prominent minister of the gospel on the more conservative side of the present Free Church, is a matter of spiritual concern to the whole Church and nation. Particularly, it is a loud voice to the people of Lewis and elsewhere to give careful consideration to their own spiritual state before the Lord.”

    Rev David Robertson did not call for a “heads in the sand” approach. He sees it, as do many others, that it is a church matter primarily and not one that should be speculated on. The Free Presbyterian article also refers to the unhealthy but predictable response of some sections of society to take this as an opportunity to mock and deride Christianity.

    The reference to the writer of Rev Campbell’s obituary alludes to another scandal. The matter ended up in court. A full explanation, according to one party in the case, can be found and downloaded here.
    http://www.freechurchcontinuing.org/images/books/pdf/when-justice-failed.pdf.

    Regarding the Sabbath rest, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland follows this rule

    “There are two simple rules for Sabbath observance.

    Ask, Is it necessary? If not, then do not offend God by doing it. If it is necessary and cannot be done before the Sabbath comes or after it is over – feeding animals, for instance – then it ought of course to be done.
    Ask, Is it an act of mercy? If it does relieve the miserable, then could it be done as effectively on some other day?
    We are to apply these questions to every thought, word and deed. Cleaning one’s shoes, washing clothes, writing letters and secular study can all be done on other days and ought not, therefore, to be done on the Lord’s Day.”
    So there would not be a prohibition in the use of ambulances.

    Regarding an earlier remark you made about unaccompanied singing in public worship, the Church explains its reasoning here.

    http://www.fpchurch.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/a-catechism-of-the-history-and-principles-of-the-free-presbyterian-church-of-scotland/fp-catechism-6-innovations-in-worship-78-93/

    Finally, please let the family grieve and mourn in peace. If you are going to do anything at all, then pray for them, for the church and its leaders, as Gram3 has said.

  318. @ Dave A A:
    I currently have a comment in moderation which deals substantively with most of what you said. However I should make clear that the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is a different denomination from The Free Church of Scotland where Rev Campbell was a member. So it would not have been a matter for the FPCoS to deal with.

    The other thing is that you said it would have been helpful if “the writer had clarified…….”. My initial thought was why? It is not your business. As it happens, the writer did explain himself. However it does lead to the question of why is it Anyone’s business? Yesterday I was reading the Irish Catholic Catechsm for Adults, Chapter 32, where it deals with the Eighth Commandment under the heading of “Tell the Truth”. Here is what it says in the subheading “The Right to Know the Truth ”

    “No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it(Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2489). The security of others, their right to privacy and a respect for the common good are reasons for keeping silent or being discreet in our language concerning matters that should not be disclosed. It is also for these reasons that gossiping is a sinful violation of the privacy of others”.

    So I ask again, leave the family alone and support them all in prayer.

  319. @ Muff Potter:
    perhaps people feel threatened and insulted when someone points out that a particular viewpoint is more connected with modernity than with the ‘faith handed down’, yes

    but it is still beneficial to discover that there existed a world of thought far greater, more imaginative, and far more ancient than modernism….. 🙂

    If modernism is a ‘comfort zone’, then people ought to avoid reading Lewis, Chesterton, Rowling, Tolkien, etc …… imagination opens people up to the spiritual vistas visually and palpably, but it does not threaten evangelicals, no. There is ‘Word’ and there is ‘Spirit’. And they work in tandem to defy C.S. Lewis’ ‘watchful dragons’ that keep people huddled fearfully in only the most shallow of theological waters.

    “I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which paralysed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.” (C.S. Lewis)

  320. okrapod wrote:

    But to come out after mass (the resurrection allegedly), and go right to a fertility recognition practice, is just too much. He is risen. That is sufficient.

    Sorry to be contentious but didn’t Christianity co opt pagan holidays back in the day? I always get a bit of a chuckle when Christians get brassed over the pagan influences. They do it at Christmas & Halloween too.

  321. dee wrote:

    This is an important observation

    Sometimes I get them. Most of the time my mind is on an endless loop of “a horse is a horse, of course, of course…”
    But I do agree with your view on the balance of faith versus duty as a citizen. And this could apply to all faiths. The problem is that some folks feel that betrays their God in some way, shape or form. In its worst manifestation you have folks assassinating​ doctors who perform abortions and other terrorist acts.

  322. Jack wrote:

    Sorry to be contentious but didn’t Christianity co opt pagan holidays back in the day? I always get a bit of a chuckle when Christians get brassed over the pagan influences. They do it at Christmas & Halloween too.

    Indeed they do. And a lot of people don’t much care except when they notice it and that mostly during holidays. However, if you will look at some of the very issues of the reformation, and compare that to the thinking of the larger church which they opposed, and investigate where some of the ideas and practices that the reformers opposed, you will see this same sort of thinking about issues. And then go back to some of the issues which were struggled over in the pre-nicene church, behold yet again the same thing of whose and which and to what extent the fledgling christianity will be influenced by which philosophies and which cultures. That is the basic issue- whose philosophies and cultures will win the struggle as to what christianity is and how we should believe and live and worship.

    So, I am saying that I think you have accurately observed how this plays out publicly relative to the holidays, I see it this way also, but perhaps you missed out on what I was saying not too long ago on the ODP about the influence of aristotelean and neo-platonic influences on Thomism and its impact on the church.

    I think that much of what christianity in one of its versions or the other thinks and practices, and some of what christianity in all of its versions practices, is not what Jesus had in mind. I discussed with one of the commenters here in relation to my problem with a paper from St. Pope JP II about Mary as co-redemptrix and how I think that that line of thinking which he used to come to that conclusion is a house of cards built on sand. By that I mean the idea of building one argument on the last argument when there are margins of error at each level of argument. And why would somebody so that, especially an actual philosopher like he was? It looks very much like a perpetuation of pagan thinking which he is trying to clean up, paint up and fix so it can be presented as christian. And it looks like an elaborate philosophical approach based primarily on ancient greek paganism is the methodology which enables this.

    So, if you are interested in the topic there is a wealth of material, lots of opinions and heaps of issues, and the issues do indeed go back to the beginnings of the institutionalization of christianity. Check out why they called the first council of Nicea, what they discussed, and who the major players were. Check out Augustine of Hippo and the influences in his life. The only issue at play now, in my opinion, is were they correct? The current inheritors of some of the reformation issues are now bringing a lot of the issues to the fore. I am not as opposed to some of what the reformers have said as some are.

  323. Jack wrote:

    Sorry to be contentious but didn’t Christianity co opt pagan holidays back in the day? I always get a bit of a chuckle when Christians get brassed

    When I taught SS and Wed. night classes at church, I always used a couple of the classes before Halloween, Christmas, and Easter to educate the kids about the pagan origins and Christian connections to the holidays. …….. Like St. Boniface using the triangular shape of the pagan “Christmas” tree when he worked as a missionary to the Germanic tribes, to teach about the Holy Trinity.

  324. Jack wrote:

    The problem is that some folks feel that betrays their God in some way, shape or form

    When and if the state on the one hand and the faith on the other take opposing and irreconcilable positions, then choices have to be made. I think it is unreasonable to think that all people would choose similarly under such circumstances. Look at the differences of approach in a certain nation in central Europe during the middle of the last century, and compare the different approaches between the state church and some of the people (not all) in the confessing church. Choices sometimes have to be made.

  325. Nancy2 wrote:

    Like St. Boniface using the triangular shape of the pagan “Christmas” tree when he worked as a missionary to the Germanic tribes, to teach about the Holy Trinity.

    I have said before, and I want to repeat because I think it is pertinent to the conversation. Father T whom I much admire, a Catholic priest who was our RCIA priest person and who was a church history buff, said that Christianity ‘baptized the idols’ in the process of evangelizing pagan and barbaric tribes. He stopped short of taking it as far as I would have, but none the less what he said was an accurate word picture of what happened to some extent.

  326. Jack wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    But to come out after mass (the resurrection allegedly), and go right to a fertility recognition practice, is just too much. He is risen. That is sufficient.

    Sorry to be contentious but didn’t Christianity co opt pagan holidays back in the day? I always get a bit of a chuckle when Christians get brassed over the pagan influences. They do it at Christmas & Halloween too.

    Hi JACK,
    to me there is something amusing about people who self-identify as Christians but who are not into celebrating the Church calendar year getting all huffy about the failure of a merchant to say ‘Merry Christmas’;
    amusing because ‘Christmas’ is a contraction of Christ’s Mass and is celebrated as a feast day in the Catholic faith and the timing of its celebration is set at the time of year when the pagans recognized the shortest amount of daylight in December, because from that day ‘the light begins to increase’ 🙂 Even the Nordic peoples especially celebrate that midwinter time of year with candles and lovely ceremonies at the time of ‘Lucia’ in Sweden:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcoS6H0Bo_s

    This actually does have a connection to the Scriptures in that St. John the Baptist famously said ‘He must increase, and I must decrease’.

    Easter, also has many pagan connections with the coming of new life. Even the choice of Sunday, the early Christians quickly adopted as the Day of the Risen Lord, and from that time forward, they met together on Sunday for the Service of the Word and for the Service of the Eucharist

    As for myself, I’m half French Canadian descent and the Huron Carol is very dear to me. Syncretic? Oh yeah ….. and meaningful

    Not sure if it is a good thing for people to celebrate that which has NO meaning for them. If people want ‘plain’, they should have it. But, honestly, at this time of year, April comes with such a burst of the natural beauty of renewed life that even nature itself seems to thumb its nose at the iconoclasts among us

  327. Jack wrote:

    Sometimes I get them. Most of the time my mind is on an endless loop of “a horse is a horse, of course, of course…

    And no one can talk to a horse of course!

  328. okrapod wrote:

    because you surely would not want to let us say obey the speed limit unless did it for love reasons?

    I obey the speed limit because of rules! Otherwise I would be obeying it out of rational fear for my own life or alternately fear for others that might be hurt, which is love. SO that fits.

  329. okrapod wrote:

    Sorry-this is a favorite topic of mine, the idea that ‘rules’ or ‘laws’ by their very nature are wrong.

    That is absolutely not what I was saying though. I think my definition of love here is a little more expansive, as it applies to say non-spouses.

    But you SHOULD love your spouse enough not to want to hurt them. Rule or no rule.

  330. Christiane wrote:

    But, honestly, at this time of year, April comes with such a burst of the natural beauty of renewed life that even nature itself seems to thumb its nose at the iconoclasts among us

    You are certainly at liberty to think that. But actually nature does not die and come back to life, whereas Jesus did. Dormancy is not death in nature, and the analogous swoon theory of Jesus’ condition in the tomb is heresy. I am not saying that you take it that far, or perhaps even thought about it that way, or perhaps even imagined where various ideas of nature might take one, but for those of us who do not see ‘nature’ the same what that some poets do, well I am afraid that we are pretty much here to stay. So bless all of you who try to cope with us. I know it must be difficult for you all.

  331. @ Lea:
    ah … the social contract:
    we trust one another to honor the same rules of our communities and states and countries

    so you can drive across the whole country with some confidence that other drivers are also accepting of honoring the social contract of the laws that are mutually shared for ‘the common good’

  332. Lowlandseer wrote:

    However it does lead to the question of why is it Anyone’s business?

    The answer to that question is really quite simple. Dr Iain Campbell was touted as a leader in the Reformed movement. His thinking was sold to the public, published by Reformed leaders who had blogs, extolled as a great preacher, etc. TWW has a motto. Play in public; pay in public.

    The moment the church decides it will extol the virtues of individuals for public consumption, it becomes the public’s business. If Campbell has limited himself to the ministry of his church and had not reached out to the wider world, then I would think your comment had play.

    Sorry-we the public, get to express our concerns. It is time the church live out the Gospel which is to own the sin, ask for forgiveness, live a life of repentance and never, ever forget that one of their public leaders may be leading a double life.

    That also means that, due to the penchant for hiding things in the deep bowels of the church where no light shines, I get to watch what is going on and make comments. It is not my fault the people believe that the church is living a lie. It is the fault of the many live that lie.

    If you all appeared before the public in sackcloth and ashes, saying that the Gospel involves repentance in public (just like David, John Newton, etc.) I would then have hope in the process. As things stand right now, I don’t trust the process.

    One other point, we are not responsible for the pain that Anne is suffering. It is the responsibility of Dr Campbell who decided not to face it and those in the church who blame her for what happened. We have expressed our sympathy to her in our posts. I frankly get tired of so called leaders heaping the responsibility on the observers. It is solely the purview of the church members and Dr Campbell.

  333. okrapod wrote:

    You are certainly at liberty to think that.

    you should see my back property:
    a blaze of colors, bird song, so many blooms I can put bouquets in every room in the house ….lilac, azaleas, camilias …..

    at liberty to do this?
    Nature impels me to celebrate with it, yes.

    even in the midst of the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, we have the Sundays of ‘Gaudete’ and ‘Laetare’ which call us to rejoice

    I’m out to the garden. With a cup of coffee. I wish you well, Okrapod.

  334. Jack wrote:

    didn’t Christianity co opt pagan holidays back in the day?

    Yes and it is a wonderful thing. Why not turn pagan celebrations into celebrations in the church calendar. To co-opt someone else, “Why should the devil have all the good holidays?”

  335. @okrapod, you wrote:

    I have no problem with celebrating spring time, the apparent resurgence of life (though we know that winter is not death per se for the creation), and I have no problem with the appreciation of biological life. Heck, I even did an undergrad major in biology for crying out loud. But to compromise the picture of the resurrection by mixing ‘spring’ and the resurrection just curdles the components of my vascular system.

    I get what you are saying, but I can’t say I agree. I love that mash-up, myself. One of my favorite Easter hymns, “Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain,” includes these stirring lyrics:

    Now the Queen of seasons, bright
    With the day of splendor,
    With the royal Feast of feasts,
    Comes its joy to render;
    Comes to glad Jerusalem,
    Who with true affection,
    Welcomes in unwearied strains
    Jesus’ Resurrection.

    {{Getting shivers. Can’t wait for Easter!}}

  336. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    Oooh, oooh, “Come Ye Faithful” also includes these words:

    ‘Tis the spring of souls today:
    Christ hath burst His prison,
    And from three days’ sleep in death,
    As a sun hath risen.
    All the winter of our sins,
    Long and dark, is flying
    From His light to Whom we give
    Laud and praise undying.

    The English (Anglican) version of this glorious hymn is actually a translation of the original by St John of Damascus, who lived in the 7th-8th centuries. So the rich “winter-to-spring” symbolism associated with Easter has been around a pretty long time…well before we Americans came along with our Easter bunnies and egg hunts. 🙂

  337. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    Yeah, I have been listening to and reading a lot in the general area of the current rethinking Paul historical and theological research. Paul. It does not get much earlier than that.

    You do know that there are those who think that the church began being corrupted even in its earliest years. What I am saying right now has nothing to do with azaleas and robins or spring time or whether there ever was a literal Eden, just a general statement of the variety of thinking among christians regarding the importance or lack of it of how long a belief or practice has been around.

    But there is the reality that ‘we have always done it that way’, however stated, is a recognized fallacy called Appeal to Tradition. That does not mean that all tradition is wrong, only that longevity of an idea is not an argument for validity of the idea.

    I do not think any of this is a reason to break fellowship, however, Far from it. There are people among us who think more like poetry and there are people who think more like science, and there is a wide gulf fixed between the two thinking styles. I believe we can manage to deal with all that, however.

  338. Nancy2 wrote:

    Like St. Boniface using the triangular shape of the pagan “Christmas” tree when he worked as a missionary to the Germanic tribes, to teach about the Holy Trinity.

    The Jesuits have long understood the value of syncretism in their missionary work. The French Jesuits were the first Europeans to make contact with my tribe (Menominees of Northeastern Wisconsin). Rather than trying to stamp out reverence for the ancient totems of wolf, bear, eagle, and sturgeon, they incorporated them into a kind of quasi-pantheon (which also housed the saints) of sorts, since they were never worshiped but only admired for their positive qualities.
    It would also explain (for the most part) why Evangelical Protestantism never made any significant inroads amongst my tribe to this day.

  339. @ dee:
    I agree with you up to a point. There appears to be a difference between his saying and his doing. And that is currently in the jurisdiction of his denomination. I agree too that there are wider issues for the Church worldwide. I’m sure these will also be addressed and will not be hidden away. But It is also my view that much of what has been written here is hurtful for the family (assuming they read it). It’s neither charitable nor supportive to examine a life and speculate on motive, frame of mind or anything else. And I also disagree with the view that responsibility or fault lies somewhere other than here. If what is written here adds to the pain of the family and of the church then that falls on the authors.
    I’ll leave you with one of Robert Burns’ poems which is particularly apt in the circumstances. Apologies for its length.

    My Son, these maxims make a rule,
    An’ lump them aye thegither;
    The Rigid Righteous is a fool,
    The Rigid Wise anither:
    The cleanest corn that ere was dight
    May hae some pyles o’ caff in;
    So ne’er a fellow-creature slight
    For random fits o’ daffin.
    Solomon.-Eccles. ch. vii. verse 16.
    O ye wha are sae guid yoursel’,
    Sae pious and sae holy,
    Ye’ve nought to do but mark and tell
    Your neibours’ fauts and folly!
    Whase life is like a weel-gaun mill,
    Supplied wi’ store o’ water;
    The heaped happer’s ebbing still,
    An’ still the clap plays clatter.

    Hear me, ye venerable core,
    As counsel for poor mortals
    That frequent pass douce Wisdom’s door
    For glaikit Folly’s portals:
    I, for their thoughtless, careless sakes,
    Would here propone defences-
    Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes,
    Their failings and mischances.

    Ye see your state wi’ theirs compared,
    And shudder at the niffer;
    But cast a moment’s fair regard,
    What maks the mighty differ;
    Discount what scant occasion gave,
    That purity ye pride in;
    And (what’s aft mair than a’ the lave),
    Your better art o’ hidin.

    Think, when your castigated pulse
    Gies now and then a wallop!
    What ragings must his veins convulse,
    That still eternal gallop!
    Wi’ wind and tide fair i’ your tail,
    Right on ye scud your sea-way;
    But in the teeth o’ baith to sail,
    It maks a unco lee-way.

    See Social Life and Glee sit down,
    All joyous and unthinking,
    Till, quite transmugrified, they’re grown
    Debauchery and Drinking:
    O would they stay to calculate
    Th’ eternal consequences;
    Or your more dreaded hell to state,
    Damnation of expenses!

    Ye high, exalted, virtuous dames,
    Tied up in godly laces,
    Before ye gie poor Frailty names,
    Suppose a change o’ cases;
    A dear-lov’d lad, convenience snug,
    A treach’rous inclination-
    But let me whisper i’ your lug,
    Ye’re aiblins nae temptation.

    Then gently scan your brother man,
    Still gentler sister woman;
    Tho’ they may gang a kennin wrang,
    To step aside is human:
    One point must still be greatly dark, –
    The moving Why they do it;
    And just as lamely can ye mark,
    How far perhaps they rue it.

    Who made the heart, ’tis He alone
    Decidedly can try us;
    He knows each chord, its various tone,
    Each spring, its various bias:
    Then at the balance let’s be mute,
    We never can adjust it;
    What’s done we partly may compute,
    But know not what’s resisted.

  340. Muff Potter wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Like St. Boniface using the triangular shape of the pagan “Christmas” tree when he worked as a missionary to the Germanic tribes, to teach about the Holy Trinity.
    The Jesuits have long understood the value of syncretism in their missionary work. The French Jesuits were the first Europeans to make contact with my tribe (Menominees of Northeastern Wisconsin). Rather than trying to stamp out reverence for the ancient totems of wolf, bear, eagle, and sturgeon, they incorporated them into a kind of quasi-pantheon (which also housed the saints) of sorts, since they were never worshiped but only admired for their positive qualities.
    It would also explain (for the most part) why Evangelical Protestantism never made any significant inroads amongst my tribe to this day.

    That’s fascinating, Muff Porter!

    There’s also the story of Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci, who was pretty much right on the cusp of converting China when the Franciscans mucked things up by complaining to the Pope. Father Matteo and his fellow Jesuits were non-hostile, shall we say, to Chinese ancestor worship, which they re-interpreted as veneration (which is what it really was anyway…not adoration). They were trying to find a way to gently slide the Chinese into Catholicism — not by compromising Christianity but by seeing (and adapting) the parallels in Chinese beliefs. Kind of like St Paul’s allusion to the Unknown God. 🙂

    Anyway, the Franciscans thought Fr Ricci was taking “inculturation” a tad too far, so they got the pope to condemn it, which PO’d the Chinese Emperor. So, all the Jesuits’ hard work went down the tubes. (This was long before any Protestant missionaries arrived in China, BTW.)

    Now Fr Matteo Ricci is up for canonization. Go figure. 🙂

  341. @Okrapod, you wrote:

    You do know that there are those who think that the church began being corrupted even in its earliest years. You do know that there are those who think that the church began being corrupted even in its earliest years.

    Ohhhh yes, I am well aware of those folks. But I do wonder how they square this view with Our Lord’s very clear statement that His Church would always remain indefectible: “The gates of Hell shall NOT prevail against it.”

    And why on earth would Our Lord found a church that could not even remain loyal to Him for one generation? Seems rather pointless. (And yes, I know about His stern warnings in Revelation to individual churches — what we would today call dioceses. But never does He say that His entire Church can or will go totally off the rails. The gates of Hell will not prevail…although they sure in heck will give it the old college try. :D)

    Anyway, I think that, if one reads the earliest Apostolic Fathers — the ones who knew the apostles personally — one sees continuity, not discontinuity. Continuity…and also authentic, organic development, as Cardinal Newman describes in his great Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.

    Back to bunnies and eggs, though: These are simply symbols of New Life. And New Life is what we have in Christ, thanks to the Resurrection. Doesn’t that make sense?

    If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s fine. But I think it’s perfectly OK for the folks who like it.

  342. Lowlandseer wrote:

    However I should make clear that the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is a different denomination from The Free Church of Scotland where Rev Campbell was a member. So it would not have been a matter for the FPCoS to deal with.

    I never said it was. Unless I added an extra Wee in error somewhere.

  343. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    I was just about to talk about the Chinese Rites Controversy. There is a good article in Wiki called Jesuit Chinese Missions which discusses this. I believe it says the Dominicans were involved in the controversy also. I was going to mention it in the light of evidence that this is not a new controversy and is certainly not limited to the protestants.

    Paula Fredriksen has written and said some stuff that the way that Paul got into trouble was over this same sort of issue-religious and cultural adaptation or not. According to her the ancient jewish synagogues were more like community centers where both jews and ‘god-fearers’ hung out, the god fearers being gentile polytheists who added respect for YHWH but who did not disavow their other gods nor actually convert to judaism and this worked well for everybody. Then there came the issue of gentiles to whom Paul preached who were also polytheists but who had no prior god-fearer relationship with either jews or their god, a whole third group of believers. So, the issue was what to do about this third group. Some whom Paul called the judaizers said they had to convert to judaism but Paul said that they did not but that they did have to give up their other gods. Some thought apparently that giving up their other gods was too much to ask.

    So I am thinking that the controversy has been there since Paul at least and that the controversy has continued for a couple thousand years now. And we are not much closer to a solution now than then.

  344. re: church co-opting of pagan holidays (but Halloween not allowed), Christmas, Easter, Spring symbolism, hymns, hymn content, etc.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Because the message i’ve gotten my whole life in church is that all of these are required in order to be a christian,

    Because substance is subsumed by style that makes my toes curl backwards,

    Because i will never recover from the cumulative hours upon hours of work and time imposed on us by the church for holiday celebration fanfare,

    i much prefer a more spartan faith practice.

    quite honestly, I can do without Christmas (except for special food and drink) and Easter (en toto). the realities they symbolize remain 100% intact.

  345. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher
    Muff
    Nancy2

    ++++++++++++++++

    this is fascinating stuff! one of the things i love about TWW: such an array of interesting pieces of information, all with significance.

    i’m sure the odds are next to nil that i’d ever run across this greater assemblage.

    i very much loathe the ‘purity of ideology’ and culture stance, which is my experience of evangelicalism. i see truth, wisdom, good practices, beauty and fun everywhere, regardless of the religious/cultural badge that is worn.

  346. Lowlandseer wrote:

    agree too that there are wider issues for the Church worldwide. I’m sure these will also be addressed and will not be hidden away.

    I have no idea why you are so sure these will be addressed. Had I told you, 2 years ago, that Campbell was leading a double life, I doubt you would have believed me. I have been watching the church universal, including the Reformed and Calvinist circles, and I do not have faith that the men in charge will handle this appropriately. That is why I shall watch closely. The ones I know have been invested in hiding the sins and pain of the leadership and prevailing upon the members to keep it quiet to protect the church.

    I have little doubt that there will be more of the same in this instance. In fact, I believe the process is already in place to make the situation more palatable. If there is any blame placed on the wife, given the Calvinist bent for spreading the guilt, there will be all sorts of post written on that subject. Due to a number of emails that I have been receiving, I know this blog is being read by a number of church members in that area.

    Lowlandseer wrote:

    But It is also my view that much of what has been written here is hurtful for the family (assuming they read it). It’s neither charitable nor supportive to examine a life and speculate on motive, frame of mind or anything else. And I also disagree with the view that responsibility or fault lies somewhere other than here.

    Once again, I say baloney. This is blame shifting and you can read about it in a book called “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.” https://www.amazon.com/Subtle-Power-Spiritual-Abuse-Manipulation-ebook/dp/B002GEDUR8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1491849857&sr=1-1&keywords=the+subtle+power+of+spiritual+abuse

    I noticed it in your comments here.This situation has been in many of the papers in the UK. Our little blog hardly rates amongst them. We have said nothing more than they have said except to express our concern for Anne and to say that we are here for her.

    Do not be surprised if Anne one day tells the whole story. My guess is that it will not reflect well on the denomination’s oversight or response. I know it feels better to blame outsiders for the pain but the real pain falls on Campbell’s shoulders, along with others who probably knew about this for some time. I do not believe for one minute that this was perfectly concealed.

    Cute poem-did not address this situation.

    Frankly, there is little you can say that will deter me from following a situation that bears watching due to its implications for the greater church. And no amount of blaming this blog will get me to change my mind on this matter. Actually, the mere fact that you are trying to get me to “back off,” the more it causes me to think that there is much more to this story.

    However, thank you for the attempt. It did make me think for a bit.

  347. dee wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:
    But It is also my view that much of what has been written here is hurtful for the family (assuming they read it).

    Once again, I say baloney.

    I doubt anything we could say could possibly hurt the family worse than serial adultery and suicide. What nonsense.

    These ‘it will hurt the family’ arguments seldom make any sense, for that matter. They are used in all sorts of occasions I suppose because it is the only nonselfish reason people can think of why these things should not be discussed but since these pleas are seldom if ever coming from family, I think they are bunk.

  348. @ dee:
    I think it was Dave AA who pointed out that what has appeared so far in the UK Press, particularly the tabloids, has been insinuation and innuendo and that facts are few and far between. There is a similar deficiency here. Not only in the facts but also in compassion, consideration, empathy, call it what you will. (Calling Mrs Campbell by her first name doesn’t count). It seems to me that paying such close attention in recording and discussing the sins of others regardless of how it might affect the people who are actually involved and who are actually suffering, is a neat way of avoiding dealing with our own personal sins and shortcomings.
    I’ll leave you with a story from the Hasidim of Central Europe. Rabbi Nahum of Stepnesht once described piety as “a kind of cloak: the material is made of arrogance, the lining of grudges, and it is sewed with the threads of dejection”. It seems to be the dress code here.

  349. okrapod wrote:

    But there is the reality that ‘we have always done it that way’, however stated, is a recognized fallacy called Appeal to Tradition. That does not mean that all tradition is wrong, only that longevity of an idea is not an argument for validity of the idea.

    True. And one tradition has almost obliterated an earlier one which is recorded in the actual OT and NT texts. Jesus is the Passover and the First Fruits. He is the Crucified Lamb and the Resurrected Savior. He is the fulfillment of those Appointed Times or Feasts that were given by God to his people. That is pretty amazing, I think. What I don’t get is waving palm branches on Palm Sunday which were symbols of the Zealots. We should actually be waving sheaves of barley on the Sunday after Passover, ISTM, if we should be waving stuff.

    I may have some details wrong here, so if someone has better info, please correct me.

  350. I wonder if the newspapers, in order to sell more papers, have purposefully made Anne Campbell the one to blame in all of the trouble. An example is The Sun, which printed this unflattering picture of Anne:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3073417/remote-scottish-isles-web-of-intrigue-over-suicide-of-randy-rev-with-claims-of-up-to-nine-affairs/

    The press sometimes will hype what ‘sells’. And God help the ones they target, especially in small towns and isolated communities where reputation and propriety has an elevated role among the residents.

  351. Lowlandseer wrote:

    But It is also my view that much of what has been written here is hurtful for the family (assuming they read it). It’s neither charitable nor supportive to examine a life and speculate on motive, frame of mind or anything else.

    Lowlandseer, this is a known silencing tactic.
    We’ve been on the receiving end of it many-many times before.
    Even if you’re legit, how can we tell?

  352. dee wrote:

    Do not be surprised if Anne one day tells the whole story. My guess is that it will not reflect well on the denomination’s oversight or response. I know it feels better to blame outsiders for the pain but the real pain falls on Campbell’s shoulders, along with others who probably knew about this for some time. I do not believe for one minute that this was perfectly concealed.

    And if she’s getting leaned on as the Jezebel Scapegoat, she might decide to go public with everything — at that point, she’s already The Antichrist, what’s she got to lose?

  353. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Agreed, HUG. I am concerned about this development. As you can see, there appears to be an effort to make it seem like TWW is to blame for causing pain as well. I m a bit suspicious that this whole thing may not be a total surprise. It seems to me to be a bit difficult to hide a bunch of affairs over a prolonged period of time on a tiny island.

  354. Lowlandseer wrote:

    It is not your business.

    Fine. What Rev Somerset posted on the world-wide-web for the whole plamn danet to read is not my business. Even though he called it “a matter of spiritual concern to the whole Church and nation,” I’m not in his nation and I suppose “Church” (capitalized) might mean just his sect. But what I posted is your business, so let’s talk about my family member, who came within a few minutes of completing suicide. We’ll call her Nell. She was, and is, a Christian but was “living in sin” at the time. Also, Nell suffers from a mental illness for which, at the time, she was taking a medicine purported to cause suicidal impulses. These are things which may have contributed to the attempt.
    Now suppose I’d delayed 30 minutes and lost her (and would still be blaming myself). Now suppose you and she and I were in the same tiny American denomination in which both you and she had been leaders and ministered together for years. If you wrote on the denominational website, “Dave is now reported to have raised allegations she was ‘living in sin’, this phrasing in the passive voice would indicate to anyone reading that you never asked ME whether or not the allegations were true, if I even raised them. I might not consider this supportive.
    If you then described “the suicide of someone who professed to be a converted Christian” I might not consider this compassionate.
    Imagine you went on to say, “There will be some – probably many – who will turn the event to their own destruction…. This solemn event is, in their case, a further aspect of the Divine displeasure towards our nation, which has resulted in virtually whole generations of our fellow countrymen going down to hell in unbelief.”
    If you don’t clarify what you mean, I might wonder if you’re saying Nell went down to hell in unbelief hell because she killed herself, or maybe because of the alleged immorality, or because God is mad at America, or she lost her faith, or she never had faith but God fooled her into thinking she that she did. If you don’t explain how this relates to Nell, l might find it hurtful.
    But if some anonymous person in Scotland wonders about why Nell might have despaired of life and how she might have been saved– well– I would be asking myself the same questions.

  355. Lowlandseer wrote:

    There is a similar deficiency here. Not only in the facts but also in compassion, consideration, empathy, call it what you will.

    You are losing in this discussion. Wr have merely printed what has been reported in the press as well as quoting what has been written in public forums such as Ligonier Ministries.

    You are picking at all sorts of things, even my calling Anne by her first name. In the US we tend to be a little less formal. It is not a tactic. I don’t play games.

    Once again, you are pointing fingers at me and the commenters here. The real problem is how Iain got away with what he did.

    Finally, I can assure you that I spend much time contemplating my own sins. The confession part of my church’s service is very important to me. I am blessed to have had a pastor who once said “Even on my best days my motives are mixed.” I get that, quite deeply in my soul. I am also well aware that I have sins that are unknown. If you would like to have a conversation with my about my sins, please drop me an email and we can share our failing with one another.

    Once again, however, you divert from the real culprit in all of us and that is Iain Campbell and, perhaps, others who suspected and covered it up. The fact that you are blasting meds opposed to dealing with the real issue gives me little hope for the *investigation* to follow.

    I shall pray for Anne because I m becoming more concerned with the trajectory of this by the minute and you share have not helped in that matter to me.

    Please read the book The Subtle power of Spiritual Abuse. Perhaps you could learn how to better convey your concerns in a way that is helpful as opposed to making things worse.

    “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  356. @ Christiane:
    Could you help me out and keep an eye out for any articles referring to Anne Campbell in a negative way? Please let me know via email if you come up with anything new. I am terribly concerned about how this is going to play out.

    We are about to start a major blog overhaul next week and I am feeling a bit overloaded. It will be great for the blog but it does take time.

  357. @ Christiane:
    Looks like it’s just hunky-dory to point fingers at the wife and blame her ……. nothin’ wrong with doin’ that …….. but touch not God’s anointed!

  358. dee wrote:

    I shall pray for Anne because I m becoming more concerned with the trajectory of this by the minute

    Both Anne and their 3 children. Regardless of the reason for Iain’s suicide, it will weigh heavy on all of them for many, may years to come. The locals, the Church, and the press blaming Anne will only magnify things.
    Unless a woman who was involved with Iain, or someone privy to what was going on in with the Campbell’s come forward, the world outside of that church may never know the truth.

  359. Gram3 wrote:

    True. And one tradition has almost obliterated an earlier one which is recorded in the actual OT and NT texts. Jesus is the Passover and the First Fruits. He is the Crucified Lamb and the Resurrected Savior. He is the fulfillment of those Appointed Times or Feasts that were given by God to his people. That is pretty amazing, I think. What I don’t get is waving palm branches on Palm Sunday which were symbols of the Zealots. We should actually be waving sheaves of barley on the Sunday after Passover, ISTM, if we should be waving stuff.

    Which passover? The actual passover of the jews on any given year or would be just count back to the thursday before the christian date of easter sunday for that year. Or would we do it three times, once for the western tradition of dating easter and therefore passover, and once for the eastern tradition dating of easter and therefore passover, and once for the actual date of passover according to the jewish calendar?

    i don’t know where we could get all that barley. Or any barley actually.

    The real problem with that idea, however, is that it might make Jesus look too jewish, and I think we would want to downplay that angle wouldn’t we? (sarcasm)

  360. elastigirl wrote:

    re: church co-opting of pagan holidays (but Halloween not allowed), Christmas, Easter, Spring symbolism, hymns, hymn content, etc.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Because the message i’ve gotten my whole life in church is that all of these are required in order to be a christian,

    Because substance is subsumed by style that makes my toes curl backwards,

    Because i will never recover from the cumulative hours upon hours of work and time imposed on us by the church for holiday celebration fanfare,

    i much prefer a more spartan faith practice.

    quite honestly, I can do without Christmas (except for special food and drink) and Easter (en toto). the realities they symbolize remain 100% intact.

    Can you really do without Christmas? I love it to infinity and beyond! Can’t stand the commercialism but love everything else. But then, I’m kind of into obscure Christmas carols that nobody else likes. When I posted a bunch of them over my department intranet, one of my colleagues complained that they weren’t “normal” Christmas carols. Well, um, no, if normal means “Jingle Bells,” lol.

  361. okrapod wrote:

    i don’t know where we could get all that barley. Or any barley actually.

    I was about to turn in for the evening when I saw your post. I have a Jewish friend who lives just south of Jerusalem, near the base of Herodium, who sights and reports new moons and looks for aviv barley each year. He found a lot of aviv barley this past March 27th near his home. He was quite happy about it, as he’d searched elsewhere around Judea for hours and found none.

  362. Dave A A wrote:

    Lowlandseer wrote:

    It is not your business.

    Fine. What Rev Somerset posted on the world-wide-web for the whole plamn danet to read is not my business. Even though he called it “a matter of spiritual concern to the whole Church and nation,”

    Translated from Christianese, “A matter of spiritual concern to the whole Church and nation” is Solemn Pious justification prefixing juicy destructive gossip.

    Rev Somerset needs to cut the Spiritual(TM) crap and try being REAL for once.

    “God lives in the Real World.”
    — Rich Buhler

  363. okrapod wrote:

    Which passover?

    That is a technical issue having to do with new moons sighted from Jerusalem and ripening grain. 🙂 It’s a little complicated (not to mention moot) since there is no one to declare the new moons any more. There are actually two Jewish dates for Passover, so even that is debated. I like the Karaite Passover date and the Orthodox Easter date. I cannot remember why I came to that conclusion just now, but I retain the certainty that my conclusion is correct. 🙂

    For those who want to know more, Search and you shall know..

  364. elastigirl wrote:

    i much prefer a more spartan faith practice.

    quite honestly, I can do without Christmas (except for special food and drink) and Easter (en toto). the realities they symbolize remain 100% intact.

    I don’t know about Spartan faith, but I like the pretty lights at Christmas and I can’t let Easter pass without peeps jousting!
    https://www.google.ca/search?q=peeps+jousting&oq=peeps+j&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l3.10822j0j4&client=ms-android-bell-ca&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

  365. dee wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    I am concerned that this is a tactic of the *religious mafia* attempting to fling blame like horse manure and see where it sticks.

    dee wrote:

    Could you help me out and keep an eye out for any articles referring to Anne Campbell in a negative way? Please let me know via email if you come up with anything new. I am terribly concerned about how this is going to play out.

    We are about to start a major blog overhaul next week and I am feeling a bit overloaded. It will be great for the blog but it does take time.

    Yes, I will gladly do this for you, if I find something else negative. Try to rest and not be overly stressed.

  366. @ Gram3:

    Aha, I had no idea that the jews were of different opinions among themselves. Well, given my penchant for specificity I would be just as happy to note that we celebrate the resurrection weekly in that we worship on Sunday, the day of the resurrection, and that can just be a gracious plenty for those who want to get away from ‘baptized idols’ to use Father T’s terminology.

    That would free up seed time and harvest to have their own festivities. The churches could still have their own times of special emphasis if they chose of course.

    Now let me again state the reason this is important to me. I was the kid who at age 4, actually 4 and three months, when I had the great defining aha moment about easter bunny, santa claus and jesus that it was all a lie and that my parents were lying to me about it all. The reasoning is this, that if the bunny thing is a lie, and if you link the bunny with Jesus, then Jesus must also be a lie. On the other hand if the Jesus story is true and if you link the bunny with Jesus in some way, then the bunny story must also be true. But the bunny story is not true. So then what. We can say that the child must learn the skills of amalgamation of mythologies or else the child will be forever living at a superficial level of understanding. That is one way of looking at it. Or we may say that we read somewhere that we must come to Jesus as a child does, or else we have sort of lost the basic idea.

    I am only responsible for me. Plan B for my life was that if I did not get into med school I was going to take a PhD in botany and teach, hopefully at the university level. The university had unofficially told me they would accept me into the program. Hence my two semester hours, if you will believe it, in anatomy and physiology of the cryptogametes. No one can say this is not respectful of nature. When I got accepted into med school I rather grieved the loss of Plan B, but I went into medicine instead and the deciding factor was that I thought this was where God was leading me. That much despised word ‘obedience’. I literally chose between Jesus and nature and chose Jesus to that extent and in that limited situation in which choice was necessary. I probably did this because of, well let me see: a superficial belief system which did not fathom the *deeper meanings* of the faith; a penchant for not just scientific specificity but rather for *religious legalism*; or maybe I just wanted the money and prestige and easy life that comes with *privilege*.

    To each his own. Live and let live. For me, somebody else can do what they want with the fables, it is not, like somebody said, my cup of tea.

  367. Nancy2 wrote:

    The locals, the Church, and the press blaming Anne will only magnify things.

    And attempting to blame a blog across the Atlantic for causing pain. I believe that this does not bode well.

  368. We did have an extensive excursion into TheBaptismThing and at least one sub-branch from it, but there seems to be bit of a drawing back to the thread topic. In that spirit, I would make an observation.

    I think a fair paraphrase, at least partially, of the title and content of Dee’s post is: What is it with prominent and widely-cited christian leaders when the power of their preaching ministry has no effect on their own lives? Why can these physicians not heal themselves? And if it isn’t (in the right sense) affecting them, is it really affecting others? Should they be given so much authority in the Church, or should that authority be curtailed or withdrawn, as much for their own benefit as for that of others?

    One of the things the death of Iain Campbell brings home to me is: religion doesn’t make you happy. No more than fame or money, and everyone knows (don’t we?) that they don’t make you happy. Religion can be just as much a shallow substitute for God, and just as hollow. The particular trouble with religion is that it’s supposed to be the one thing that confers True Happiness. This means you have to invest a lot of effort into believing it makes you happy – especially if your career is in some sense bound up with it. When it doesn’t, you have to pretend it does anyway.

    This doesn’t just affect the professional clergy; neither are the professional clergy immune from it.

  369. dee wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    The locals, the Church, and the press blaming Anne will only magnify things.
    And attempting to blame a blog across the Atlantic for causing pain. I believe that this does not bode well.

    Same here. Blaming anybody except the alleged perpetrator is always a bad sign.

  370. I am sorry for the Campbell’s problems, for the problems of their denomination and for the problems of their island community. I hope that they can use this tragedy to remedy whatever needs remedied.

    As one who had a apparent suicide in the immediate family I doubt that any amount of research or any amount of analysis from anybody will ever be the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the lives of the people involved. May God bring healing and peace to them all.

  371. okrapod wrote:

    To each his own. Live and let live. For me, somebody else can do what they want with the fables, it is not, like somebody said, my cup of tea.

    Bunnies and eggs are not for me. Never had them for our kids. I don’t like the term Easter, but don’t have a stroke if someone else says happy Easter. This year we will be total hypocrites and enjoy multiple Easter egg hunts with some of the grandkids. I love Christmas trees and lights but dislike dopey elves, silly Santa Clauses, and creepy nutcrackers. That makes me a cafeteria syncretist, I suppose.

    That said, I celebrate Spring in a big way with whatever can bloom here. Its a glorious baptism of pollen right now.

  372. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Why can these physicians not heal themselves? And if it isn’t (in the right sense) affecting them, is it really affecting others? Should they be given so much authority in the Church, or should that authority be curtailed or withdrawn, as much for their own benefit as for that of others?

    Excellent comment. Surely at least one of his fellow pastors or elders knew of his spiritual struggle. Or, perhaps not. And if not, then how can that be? ISTM that should be one of the main things for them to consider in their inquiry. Was this a failure of one man and also a failure of the Presbyterian model of connectionalism? I don’t mean that in the sense that this one instance defeats the model but rather that perhaps this instance is one where the model was not applied as it should have been applied for some reason. Perhaps they tried and he failed them. Seems that this is an opportunity for a Lessons Learned in the Reformed community in Scotland and well beyond.

  373. dee wrote:

    The confession part of my church’s service is very important to me. I am blessed to have had a pastor who once said “Even on my best days my motives are mixed.” I get that, quite deeply in my soul. I am also well aware that I have sins that are unknown.

    I know you have a kazillion things to do, but as time permits, could you explain this belief of yours maybe on the OD thread?
    I would like to understand this from your point of view (sighting along the vector so to speak) and how this works.

  374. okrapod wrote:

    To each his own. Live and let live. For me, somebody else can do what they want with the fables, it is not, like somebody said, my cup of tea.

    I enjoy the fables, personally. Then again, my parents always told me the easter bunny/santa clause/etc were a ‘game’ that we all play so maybe I see it in that light.

  375. elastigirl wrote:

    peeps jousting?
    you mean this is a thing?

    You bet! Take two different colours of marshmallow Peeps. Set them up with wooden toothpicks facing each other in the microwave. Set the microwave to cook and both swell up and the winner skewers the loser. Loads of fun! Kids love it! My wife?….not so much.

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