Have You Seen My Twitter Feed? An Short Explanation and Read This Article about Aimee Byrd

 

The Butterfly Nebula-NASA

Accusations fit on a bumper sticker; the truth takes longer. Michael Hayden


It is really frustrating to be in this position. Due to being reported to the police for blackmail, I decided I needed to spend some time talking with some pastors and my attorney. I am grateful to law enforcement for alerting me (and someone else) to this situation. I hope to explain about this later this week.

Because of this ridiculous situation, I did not have time to write a post. Please forgive me. I will write about a sexual harassment charge at Cedarville University on Wednesday and may write about my unusual encounter with law enforcement on Friday.

In the meantime, you might read about Aimee Byrd who is bringing some sanity to the gender wars from a Reformed perspective. Why the Church needs more focus on discipleship than ‘biblical manhood and womanhood’: author Aimee Byrd.

For the record, I deeply dislike the book, Recovering Manhood and Womanhood primarily written by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. This is the creepy book in which Piper claims that muscular women have bad sex lives and Grudem has 81 rules for what women can and cannot do. They think it is so important for your welfare that the offer it up free for your study.

Back to Aimee, the article starts with:

Whenever the subject of gender and the Church comes up, controversy seems to inevitably follow and for some, the way in which “biblical manhood and womanhood” has been taught has been detrimental to them.

Having experienced some of that dysfunction herself, author Aimee Byrd of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals emphasizes in her latest book, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: How the Church Needs to Rediscover Her Purpose, which was released on May 5, that discipleship is the main aim of the Church.

As evangelicals continue to debate who can and cannot serve in leadership positions in the Church, the vast majority must be trained to find their calling in God’s Kingdom and in the Church, she maintains, and in order to do that the entire biblical metanarrative around conventional ideas regarding manhood and womanhood must be reengaged.

“What do we believe about what the Bible says about why we are made and where we’re headed?” the author asks in recent video series from Zondervan about her book and what inspired it.

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Comments

Have You Seen My Twitter Feed? An Short Explanation and Read This Article about Aimee Byrd — 151 Comments

  1. In Aimee’s book, she asks:

    “Is God’s created order that delicate, that a man needs to be careful about whether a woman giving him driving directions is doing it in a personal and directive manner? Do women need to so manipulate their words to be careful not to damage the male psyche if they have something they could teach a man? Does male leadership define my femininity? Is that how a woman is an image-bearer of God?”

    well, she just articulated my thoughts for the last 15 years.

    The Geneva Commons is the group of male christian brats that are having a temper tantrum that she would have the audacity to communicate her convictions.

    …talk about delicate.

    they are indeed jerks. mature grown-up men simply don’t act like this. their false bravado is a defensive mechanism for what must be a very a fragile manhoood inside.

    goodness, if there are any grown-ups in the Geneva Commons, please be the adult in the room and address the boy-men with arrested development.

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  2. We have a saying in my old gaming guild – “Real Life comes first.” Of course, your internet presence largely deals with real life as well, but the point being you have to take care of yourself, and no one has the right to criticize.

    Meaning – you don’t need to apologize to us. Take care of yourself. Thanks for letting us know, though, so that we can pray, think good thoughts, direct energy, or whatever else the various people here do, on behalf of you.

    Off to read Aimee’s post.

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  3. Ravi passed away…
    very interesting to read posts on FB criticizing a Christianity Today Obit that mentions the issues surrounding Ravi… it further underscores how so many in Evangelical world embrace “ends justify the means” . Exaggerating, dare I say “lying” about your academic credentials, when you have attempted to make your name by being an “academic apologist” is not a “trivial thing”…

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  4. I would agree with the closing quote from the post.
    “What do we believe about what the Bible says about why we are made and where we’re headed?” the author asks in recent video series from Zondervan about her book and what inspired it.”

    The problem is a flawed orthodoxy that can’t explain elements of our human existance. Subordination of women is an unstoppable force. It’s common to man, whether a North American church, or the Pakistani Tribal Region.
    But Christianity should have answers of why. It doesn’t.

    Why where we made? No answer.

    Where are we going? Some of the emerging theories are mentaly ill. Forget chem trails, now it’s the Beast System secretly introducing The Mark, that will be operated by 5G.

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  5. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Ravi passed away…
    very interesting to read posts on FB criticizing a Christianity Today Obitthat mentions the issues surrounding Ravi… it further underscores how so many in Evangelical world embrace “ends justify the means” . Exaggerating, dare I say “lying” about your academic credentials, when you have attempted to make your name by being an “academic apologist” is not a “trivial thing”…

    I’m having a difficult time seeing the tributes also for exactly this reason. I know we are supposed to “eat the meat and spit out the bones” of stuff we read that had stuff that we might disagree with, but it is extremely hard to enjoy the “meat” from someone who has lied about his qualifications.

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  6. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Ravi passed away…
    very interesting to read posts on FB criticizing a Christianity Today Obitthat mentions the issues surrounding Ravi… it further underscores how so many in Evangelical world embrace “ends justify the means” . Exaggerating, dare I say “lying” about your academic credentials, when you have attempted to make your name by being an “academic apologist” is not a “trivial thing”…

    Indeed. At least CT mentioned the various issues in their obituary, which is more than can be said for the obituaries published at Charisma and World magazine’s respective web sites. One can mourn Ravi Zacharias’ passing and still acknowledge his legacy is complicated at best.

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  7. Muff Potter: Probably (my opinion) because he (God) could.
    And maybe for the same reason(s) Geppetto made Pinocchio.

    Are you sure you mean that?
    It would be a determinate understanding of life, similar to the Reform view of determinalism.
    It would differ from Reform that God is benignly responsible for the Universe and it’s ills.

    In Reform, God is evil and arbitrarily unleashes death. Grace is a mysterious lottery with unknown election parameters.

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  8. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    As I have mentioned several times… I would be fired for lying about my credentials….
    also, when I get a formal invitation to speak at a University or conference, it is based on accomplishments that are well documented and vetted… I have never seen, in over 35 years in graduate level academia, someone speak for which there was “questions” about their academic credentials.. finally, when people speak of “Ravi” speaking at “Universities”, all of the speaking engagements I know of by Ravi are not by invitationfrom true academic departments, but by “para-church” groups that have “club status” on campus. This is a BIG difference to us academics…..
    but then again, I am some “compromised Christain”, that has “bought into the “secular humanist” system..

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  9. dee,

    Interesting perspective….
    On a related note, I went to a Jewish funeral of a colleague of mine.. very eye opening….. while they read OT passages that I know, they did NOT read OT passages that promise, or at least imply, hope of my colleague being with G$d… they did speak of all his good works,
    but compare to evangelical funeral which tends to focus of being in heaven with “Jesus”, and the “joy of that concept”, my friends funeral was very somber … I am still processing it all, but friends funeral could be more “honest” than celebrity evangelical funerals..

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  10. dee,

    “Mankind wants to wipeout the bad when giving a eulogy. However, by not saying the truth, we not only live a lie but we bring pain to those who have been hurt.”
    ++++++++++++++

    i haven’t been personally hurt by Ravi Zacharias.

    i have never met him, never listened to him speak in any of his presentations, never bought or read any books or articles written by him.

    To those who met him and listened to him, he lied for years, by commission and omission to create false credibility. which ironically negates his credibility.

    if people don’t feel pain and hurt from this, does that mean no injury took place? i say yes, it did.

    if these same people continue to deem him credible, does that mean no false credibility exists? i say yes, it does.

    and, well, others see it. others recognize it.
    ————–

    an analogy:

    –a spouse who is cheated on but doesn’t know it has still been betrayed, regardless.

    –if others know what happened, they recognize that the person has been harmed.

    –the marriage in the eyes of others is no longer seen as a mutually faithful commitment, and no longer has credibility as such.
    —————-

    (…but these are surprisingly confusing philosophical things to sort out)

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  11. Nathan Priddis,

    Nathan Priddis,

    “Why where we made?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    here’s how i see it:

    God created for fun. for his own good pleasure. for the joy of beautiful things. for the fascination of watching what creation does. for companionship. to have someone to love.

    ridiculous analogy, but it’s why we adopt our pets. for fun. to watch them interact and how cute, funny, kind and noble they are. to give love, and receive love. because it’s a beautiful thing.

    when we visit my mother-in-law in a faraway place, we have wonderful companionship. when we get home afterwards we call her to let her know we’ve arrived safely. she remarks,

    “the house is still singing…. the house sings for days after you’ve come.”

    the spiritual and physical universe sing because of loving companionship between God and creation.

    (*footnote: which isn’t to say God doesn’t grieve at times when watching what creation does)

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  12. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Has anyone read the book? I don’t really want to spend time reading it if it ignores the plight of not-married women (single, divorced, widowed) in the churches. /sorry not sorry for being honest.

    You and me both.

    Please don’t apologize. I’ve never married, and I’ve noticed most Christians are too consumed with marriage, parenthood, and The Nuclear Family.

    I’d say that Nuclear Family / Marriage Obsession may be ten times more true for Complementarians than Christians in general.

    If I can find the link, I’ll paste it in for you – someone wrote a review of the book.

    Off hand, I don’t recall the review saying if the book mentions single women and men or not.

    Here is it:
    Book review: Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
    https://lightenough.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/book-review-recovering-from-biblical-manhood-and-womanhood/amp/

    I’ve been thinking of writing at least a brief blog post about Byrd’s book.

    I mean, not that I’ve read it myself,
    but I notice a certain annoying tendency among complementarian reviewers when they are reviewing books that criticize complementarianism in any way, shape, or form (as Byrd’s book does), and they’ve done it with her book as well.

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  13. Nathan Priddis: Are you sure you mean that?

    Short answer and from my own subjective context?
    Yes.
    And I couldn’t care less whether or not reformed or uber-reformed theology is coincident with my thesis.

    We as humans all do things simply because we can, why should God be any different?

    Geppetto made Pinocchio because he wanted something like him, something real, something living, something that he could love, and get loved in return.

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  14. Jeffrey Chalmers: all of the speaking engagements I know of by Ravi are not by invitationfrom true academic departments, but by “para-church” groups that have “club status” on campus. This is a BIG difference to us academics…..

    Right, but I don’t think that’s a fine point. I doubt any students would be confused about this either. Who can’t tell the difference between an academic lecturer and a speaker invited by the campus fellowship group?

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  15. Friend,

    My point was more focused on how Ravi, and his supporters would go around and advertise that “Ravi spoke at Harvard, Ravi spoke at….”…. in fact, just read how Ravi spoke at the first “Veritas Forum” at Harvard, and how he made Christianity intellectually acceptable… Again, most pew peon do not realize that these talks are NOT officially sanctioned by the given university… this behavior is consistent with inflating/lying about your credentials…
    now, if the Philosophy department had sanctioned, organized, the Veritas Forum, would be a WHOLE different situation..

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  16. I call people like Piper, Naselli, Grudem, and the CBMW folks pseudo-Reformed. They want all the trapping of Reformed soteriology, but none of the Confessional aspects of it, the Zwingli view of the sacraments, BCO, etc. They are Baptist pretenders in a veneer of Reformed theological terms (as if they know or care about the differences between Continental and Scottish reformed flavors). Throw in their ESS false theology to justify their views, have them suddenly like beer and want to grow beards, and you get a pretty messed-up bunch.

    That is why when someone like Aimee Byrd who is a solid Confessional Reformed Christian criticize these folks, they go crazy and don’t know what to do. It;s like a war veteran calling those who are so gung-go chickenhawks and posers.

    That is why when you have someone like Aimee Byrd

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  17. Muff Potter: Short answer and from my own subjective context?
    Yes.
    And I couldn’t care less whether or not reformed or uber-reformed theology is coincident with my thesis.

    We as humans all do things simply because we can, why should God be any different?

    Geppetto made Pinocchio because he wanted something like him, something real, something living, something that he could love, and get loved in return.

    You may not care but Reformed Christianity would care a lot about you. Remember that indetermanism was labeled a crime at Dort. And remains at the very heart of the Reform Gospel, and always will.

    The ability to love in return, is indeterminate. Geppetto could not force love in return. It could only be hoped for, or estimated as a probability factor.

    If man could love in return, Satan and Reform Theology have lost, and thier case against God collapses. A determinalism argument must be defended to the end. Determinalism places the blame on God, and leaves man currupt and worthy of death.

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  18. elastigirl,

    i’m obviously wrestling with things.

    for the record:

    i’m very sorry for the Zacharias’ family’s loss. I had a similar loss a few years ago. the pain of loss of still present. I know he meant a great deal to them, and to many others.

    when someone passes, loss is experienced on different levels. for those closest, it’s loss of loved one. for others, it can be loss of something else. perhaps loss of the possibility of a wrong being made whole & right. that kind of loss is grieved over as well.

    seems to me all grieving deserves its place to be worked out.

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  19. Nathan Priddis: If man could love in return, Satan and Reform Theology have lost, and thier case against God collapses. A determinalism argument must be defended to the end. Determinalism places the blame on God, and leaves man currupt and worthy of death.

    Like Islam, you get a God who is Omnipotent but NOT benevolent.
    All-POWERFUL and that is it.
    Here’s an example of such Omnipotent Sovereign Will:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Good_Life_(The_Twilight_Zone)

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  20. CM: That is why when someone like Aimee Byrd who is a solid Confessional Reformed Christian criticize these folks, they go crazy and don’t know what to do.

    Actually, I think they go crazy more because she’s female and can’t possibly “teach” them anything . . .

    I think it’s because of their hard hearts that they refuse to hear.

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  21. Headless Unicorn Guy: The actual Christianese for “ends justify the means” is “Many Souls Are Being Saved!”

    Strictly speaking, since we do not know another’s heart, and for all we know any evidences of “grace” might be evanescent, one should limit oneself to observables. CCC figured that out decades ago; as they would put it, “many decisions are being indicated!”

    —-

    Dee, glad to hear that you are well. Don’t stress over ‘blog “production”. We can dig our gardens while we wait for the next post.

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  22. dee: I recommend a science fiction book called Speaker for the Dead which is Book 2 in the Enders Game series. The point is quite simple. Mankind wants to wipeout the bad when giving a eulogy. However, by not saying the truth, we not only live a lie but we bring pain to those who have been hurt.

    I find it fascinating that Ender Wiggin withdraws from the “ministry” position he had competed so forcefully to gain, and seems to spend the rest of his life making reparations for the harm he did to an entire species of beings. He does this by speaking the truth.

    I use the Ender’s Game series as one of the best multiple media (books, movie, graphic novels) case studies available in what embodying a genuine apology and reconciling the damage looks like–a powerful potential role model for “fallen ministers.”

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  23. Headless Unicorn Guy: The actual Christianese for “ends justify the means” is “Many Souls Are Being Saved!

    And this is what it comes down to, people in the seats = money in the bank uh I mean… souls being saved.

    I’ve heard internet stories being told as “happened to me stories” in church. I think it was one of Chris Hedges’ books that I read some evangelicals believe that lying is perfectly fine if it gets people into church.

    One of the more disingenuous tactics I saw promoted was something called “Operation Andrew” where the Christian was to seek out friendship with a non-christian (or not-like-us-christian) with the express purpose of eventually bringing them to a Franklin Graham Crusade (and of course they would just be “saved” after that – and could become your real friend).

    Part of the tactic that I read about was to fudge your story to align with their story to promote understanding. It’s pretty whacked. LOL, the pastor had to stand up one Sunday and address all the stressed people who came to him with reservations about the whole “Andrew” project.

    This is probably the world of Ravi Zacharias, his goal was maskirovka. Hopefully by the time you notice, you’re bought in – and buying in – I’m sure the payday didn’t hurt.

    I’m completely ambivalent about his passing. He wasn’t part of my world.

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  24. Jack: One of the more disingenuous tactics I saw promoted was something called “Operation Andrew” where the Christian was to seek out friendship with a non-christian (or not-like-us-christian) with the express purpose of eventually bringing them to a Franklin Graham Crusade (and of course they would just be “saved” after that – and could become your real friend).

    Ah, yes.
    Cal Poly Pomona, around 1977.
    Campus Crusade for Christ chapter on-campus.
    Billy Graham was coming to Anaheim Stadium (down the 57 at the other end of Brea Canyon) for a Crusade. The Crusade staff told us to “Bring your non-Christian friends and Get Them Saved!”

    Reaction: PANIC. “OH NO! I HAVE ONLY TWO WEEKS TO MAKE SOME HEATHEN FRIENDS AND TAKE THEM TO THE BILLY GRAHAM CRUSADE! WHAT DO I DO?? WHAT DO I DO???”

    I am not making that up. NONE of the Campus Crusaders had any friends outside of Church or Campus Crusade.

    And that was BILLY Graham.
    Not that slimy son of his.

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  25. brad/futuristguy: I use the Ender’s Game series as one of the best multiple media (books, movie, graphic novels) case studies available in what embodying a genuine apology and reconciling the damage looks like–a powerful potential role model for “fallen ministers.”

    Unfortunately my Orson Scott Card introduction was a book called “Empire” which I found to be too right of centre for my liking. This led me to follow up on his politics, including his article advocating a revolution if gay marriage passes, so I pretty much gave anything else he wrote a miss.
    So I find it ironic that one of his themes was about apology and reconciliation.
    Kind of fits the thread around Ravi et al.
    Can you really take any sort of lesson from someone you do not respect?

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  26. CM: technical definitions established by the various historical documents produced the Scottish and Continental Reformers

    The problem with trying to define what it means to be Reformed is each group has a different definition, and each point can explain why the others are not truly Reformed. So there is no way for a non-Reformed person to know. It makes me think there is no such thing as Reformed. Just like there is no such thing as a true Scotsman.

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  27. Ken F (aka Tweed): Jack: I read some evangelicals believe that lying is perfectly fine if it gets people into church.

    I am beginning to wonder if lying for the gospel is not just merely tolerated, but actually required

    As long as you Save their Soul(TM) and get that notch on your Bible for brownie points at the Bema.

    When I was in-country in the Seventies, it was generally known that your position in Heaven would be entirely based on “How Many Souls Did YOU Save?????” The more guys you got to Say the Sinner’s Prayer, the “bigger your crown of glory”. With the threat and curse from the start of Ezekiel 33 grafted onto the above carrot for the “Or Else!” shtick.

    This reaulted in some real crazy “Wretched Urgency” desperation and equally insane high-pressure “Witnessing!” shticks.

    Bad Craziness…

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  28. Nathan Priddis: In Reform, God is evil and arbitrarily unleashes death. Grace is a mysterious lottery with unknown election parameters.

    This is just as unfair as someone accusing God in non-Reformed theology of not caring simply because He lets evil happen.

    (Ed. Removed a short statement to teach Robert how to more graciously converse. Robert, if you object, I can just remove the entire comment.)

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  29. Dee,

    An accusation of blackmail? Wouldn’t blackmail entail threatening to bring someone down unless they paid you off somehow. But that doesn’t sound anything like you. You’re very clearly not in this for the money or fame. Are the police obligated to look into just any crackpot accusation?

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  30. Ken F,

    That was the one where he had the plants in the audience to serve as the initial takers for the purposes of encouraging others and for inflating their success:

    https://religionnews.com/2014/02/24/megachurch-pastor-steven-furticks-spontaneous-baptisms-spontaneous/

    As an aside, if you think Evangelicals are bad on this, the IFB types and their “soul-winning” is an order of magnitude worse.

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  31. Headless Unicorn Guy: So it all comes down to “MEEEEE! NOT Thee!” One-Upmanship.

    Until you’re sealed off inside your one-man event horizon like A.W.Pink.

    Not at all. It is very clear what is Reformed. If a group deviates from classical Reform Theology, it doesn’t change the bedrock of Reform. In 1619 is was cast in stone.

    The men who handed down the decision soon died and the political layout of the World changed. There exist no way to re-litigate the trial. That is, unless one grasp the ramifications of the Resurrection.

    The past is not distant, nor is the future. It is only as far as our death. For some of us, the ancient past and distant future could be closer then our next vacation plans, or remodeling the bathroom.
    And herein lies an unthinkable outcome;

    What happens when Reformed and non-Reformed wakeup to find themselves side by side in the hereafter?

    My opinion is the outcome is certain, and unavoidable. It’s a future civil war in the afterlife. It’s polar oposites in immediate contact. The irreconcilable differences are many.

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  32. elastigirl: Jack: “I read some evangelicals believe that lying is perfectly fine if it gets people into church.”
    ken: “I am beginning to wonder if lying for the gospel is not just merely tolerated, but actually required”

    Just like Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe in Roe v Wade) has admitted she was paid to turn into anti-abortion activist…
    Again, ends justify the means in some minds.

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  33. Was part of Elevation ten days years ago (before the fake baptisms) but during the days of Norm. When Darrin was described as using ministry to self promote I immediately thought of how all of us “leaders” were required to stand when Steven Furtick walked in the room and call him Pastor Steven..

    Dee, I’m continuing to pray for you. So glad you are surrounded by support.

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  34. Ken F,

    Continental Reformed is defined by the 3 Forms of Unity.

    Scottish Reformed is defined by the WCOF, Shorter and Longer Catechisms.

    If one looks at the Continental and Scottish Reformed documents, once can see that the vast majority (almost all of it) overlaps in the various loci in systemic theology (whether soteriology, ecclesiology, view of the sacraments, etc.). The differences are largely due to the historical reasons and geographical reasons from which each flavor developed.

    This is why Continental reformed denominations and Presbyterian denominations are in communion with one another.

    The 1646, 1689 London Baptist Confessions of Faith sprang from the Westminster Confessions and dealt with the Particular Baptists (of course their view of the sacraments, church polity are different). This is why the overlap is less. Of course the General and the Particular Baptists arose as Dissenters from the Church of England.

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  35. Jack,

    I remembered how embarrassed I used to be to share my testimony as a teen (in the days of David Wilkerson of Cross and the Switchblade fame), and just confess that I was a nerdy kid looking for peace in my soul, and I found Jesus by reading through the New Testament a few times. I mean, how boring could you be! No drugs, sex, murders….Later, I was so thankful that my testimony was so dull. And, it’s the same testimony I’ve shared my almost 50 years as a Christian. I needed to know the truth about Jesus, and I found it reading the Word (by the way KJV, RSV, and Good News for Modern Man-I was thorough!).

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  36. CM: The differences are largely due to the historical reasons and geographical reasons from which each flavor developed.

    Overlap does not surprise me. It’s the differences that appear to separate the truly Reformed from the others, and makes the others not truly Reformed. At least that is how it appears to an outsider like me. If there are no significant differences, why do different Reformed traditions write their own confessions?

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  37. Ken F (aka Tweed): If true, why are there so many reformed confessions? Why don’t all reformed simply use this one?

    Well. You have The Three Forms of Unity.
    I would say, if you have a covenant, then you require a continual standard to measure the performance of the covenant. A covenant is bondage, bound, requirements, terms and conditions,etc.

    If on the other hand you say, though art forgiven, depart in peace, where is the covenant in that? That sounds like freedom, Sounds like a denigration of what we are trying to do here.

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  38. Ken F (aka Tweed): Maube they will just laugh it off when they see how wrong they were.

    Will never happen.

    When I was little, my Mamma told me Protestant derived from protest. They where protesting something.
    In Christian school the textbook told me I was a Protestant. I thought, the book must be wrong, I’m not protesting anything.

    Protestantism is a form of political struggle. It can’t exist if struggle ceases. The struggle just changes as centuries go by.

    In Heaven, the greast struggle of all will emerge over power, and the determination of who is a rightfully a Son of God.

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  39. Ken F (aka Tweed): If there are no significant differences, why do different Reformed traditions write their own confessions?

    Because of the different state churches that emerged as a result of the Reformation. Westminster, for example, exists because the English Parliament, at the time governed by the Puritans, wanted a new confession for the Anglican Church. The Anglican Church never adopted it, partly because the monarchy was restored and the Puritans were forced out.

    Confessions and Catechisms were written in local contexts, and there was no benefit of a single emperor to demand conformity across the board. Contrast that with the ecumenical creeds, where the emperor could command assent. That’s one reason why they are more “universal,” if you will.

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  40. Robert: Well, this Reformed Christian plans on rejoicing when he sees non-Reformed Christians in heaven.

    The problem with that position is Dort was a court judgement, both temporal and involving things in Heaven. Just as Scripture speaks of loosing and binding both here and there.

    The judgement clearly states those that fail to love the Gospel as discribed by the articles are reprobate. That is, they do not belong in Heaven.

    Now you might be overjoyed at non-Reform in Heaven, but the decision remains on the books. There are also those who for readons of their own will want it overturned.

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  41. Ken F (aka Tweed): Why do you believe this? What supporting evidence to you have?

    In no order, but random thoughts:

    -Personal observation. The Church is deeply disfunctional, violent, anti-semitic, racist, nationalist, factional, misogynistic. I’ll stop there.
    Scriptural. When read at face value, substantial portions of Scripture do not correlate to modern Evangelical orthodoxy. Sometimes not even remotely.

    These two elements are not a contradiction in my eyes. Unlike many, I did not reject Scripture when I realized Scripture does not match reality as explain to me by orthodoxy. I concluded orthodoxy contained massive errors, and Scripture discribes an Earthly corruption, followed by a war in Heaven. An explicitly stated event.

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  42. elastigirl:
    Nathan Priddis,

    “In Heaven, the greast struggle of all will emerge over power, and the determination of who is a rightfully a Son of God.”
    +++++++++++

    i reckon in heaven John Smith will be known as John Smith, beautiful human being, and Mary Smith will be known as Mary Smith, beautiful human being.nothing more.Same with everyone else.

    I would say yes. We will be known.
    I would say no. We do not know what wr shall. But we will be like him. Sons of God. That is both amazing and terrifying at the same time.

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  43. Ken F (aka Tweed): The book of Revelation is is notoriously difficult to interpret. Anyone who says they understand it proves that they don’t. You are stating an opinion that has no solid evidence. Do you know other people who also believe what you believe?

    This is where I take a different path ad I have mentioned on occasion. Some things are repeated so often they become a mental barrier to the Church. Like

    We all know the Sodomites where gay men, even though they are the only group ever identified as hetro(sexual).
    Or Mt. Sinai’s location on the Sinia peninsula, dispite is location in Arabia.

    I disagree about Revelation. Only a tiny portion was prohibited knowledge, like a portion of Daniels testimony, and Paul’s eye witness account. Paul said disclosure was illegal, which goes along with my position that Heaven is also a Court, with laws and procedures. Paul could not disclose information kept under seal. Like John and Daniel.
    All non-sealed information is wide open.

    Is there a portion you think is unknowable? That refutes my theory of future conflict?

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  44. elastigirl: i reckon in heaven John Smith will be known as John Smith, beautiful human being, and Mary Smith will be known as Mary Smith, beautiful human being. nothing more. Same with everyone else.

    No more effed-up genome and corrupted information in the helix.
    All those A, C, G, and T codes working like they’re supposed to.
    No more disease, no more aging (wearing out), no more dying…

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  45. Ken F (aka Tweed): It’s a very odd interpretation. But suit yourself.

    I think orthodoxy is odd.

    “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; ..”..

    Yes. I’m confident in a future conflict. The only question is whether additional conflicts will occur beside this specific one, and if additional parties/persons will have a reason to engage in conflicts. I say yes. There will be enormous unavoidable conflict.

    I say orthodoxy is odd, because major shifts in direction have occurred as a result of very trivial events.

    Pre-Trib Dispensationism because John Darby had a bad horse ride. Augustine flipped out in a garden one day. Luther got tired of hitting himself and the flagellation thing. Kuyper creates Neo-Calvinism because he’s having a mental breakdown. Centuries later the effects remain but the catalist is forgotten.

    I’m just noticing the gap between text and tradition.

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  46. CM,

    You’re onto something.

    I think I’ve noticed a big difference between the Young, Restless, Reformed crowd and traditional reformed denominations like Byrd’s Presbyterianism: the YRR crowd embraces the more authoritarian aspects of Calvinism that the more traditional reformed denominations have tried to mitigate. For example, 9Marks teaches that pastors have the ultimate authority in a church. More traditional denominations have authority and hierarchy structures that give congregations a chance to appeal to a higher authority if their own pastors need correction.

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  47. Nathan Priddis,

    I’m not sure that’s exactly right. The canons do warn of judgment on those who make false accusations about the beliefs of the Reformed churches. But that’s different than saying all non-Reformed Christians are reprobate. The Reformed have long acknowledged Lutherans as true Christians, for example, but the Lutherans reject some of what Dort says.

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  48. Paul K,

    Yes. The problem with authoritarianism in the YRR has nothing to do with their Calvinism and everything to do with their ecclesiology. Non-Calvinists can be just as authoritarian; just look at the history of Roman Catholicism. Churches that have no court of appeal beyond the local elders and who cannot fire their elders (a la congregationalism) are in danger of becoming authoritarian.

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  49. Paul K,

    Paul K.

    Exactly. The YRR types embrace on the soteriology of Calvinism, love elder-based church polity but still want the pastor to be their own little kingdom. Byrd’s denomination has a Book of Church Order, and has the higher authorities and structures for a congregation to appeal to correct pastors if needed.

    In many ways, the YRR crowd wanted to have their cake and eat it too. And I say this as someone who is more a Presbyterian/Continental reformed type: The YRRs, and Piper and the rest have been the turd in the punch bowl (especially those Baptist types like 9Marks). So I can see why Aimee Byrd and others have been rightly annoyed.

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  50. elastigirl: i think you should go on a picnic and fly a kite

    Me coming back to read a thread after a while only to find…a million things about reformed doctrine again. Sheesh.

    brad/futuristguy: Jack: Can you really take any sort of lesson from someone you do not respect?

    People are often expect women to respect and obey men who are not in way deserving of any of that…there is a legit question of whether you can learn from a person who is so immoral in some way and I think potentially you can (knowing is different from doing) but everything they say is suspect and needs to be filtered through the prism of what you know about them so why bother? Pick someone who isn’t terrible.

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  51. Robert: The canons do warn of judgment on those who make false accusations about the beliefs of the Reformed churches.

    I think you need to clarify this. Which canons? And this is only the case for the false claims against the Reformed church? The canons don’t give a hoot about false claims of churches which are not Reformed? If this is true, it is worthy of a post.

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  52. Lea,

    “…a million things about reformed doctrine again.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    yeah…

    it’s kind of like… a mysterious virus. spreading before anyone realizes, doing weird things, causing secondary problems, impairing a variety of functions…

    the need to understand ‘what in the world’ is sort of a natural response.

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  53. dee,

    Dee,

    I am not sure where Robert gets this either. I have downloaded and looked over the Canons of the Synod of Dort, and all the points were to settle a theological dispute and have a formal response to Jacobus Arminius and Remonstrant doctrines. This was held within the Dutch Reformed Church.

    People tend to forget that all this was in the beginning of the 30 Years War, the backdrop of Dutch Independence, and the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. The era where the line between church and state was not apparent or defined for that matter.

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  54. Dee,

    As a follow-up people need understand that in this era, to hold political office in the various countries one needed to belong to a specific church. This was the same across the board (Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican) and there was a state church in the various countries and principalities. People get all upset about group X doing to religious group Y in country Z. But that was widespread across ALL of Europe.

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  55. dee: I think you need to clarify this. Which canons? And this is only the case for the false claims against the Reformed church? The canons don’t give a hoot about false claims of churches which are not Reformed?If this is true, it is worthy of a post.

    Yes Dee. He is correct.(But I think he added to the Cannons. I do not recall any mention of false accusation. I recall all who do not affirm will be subject to judgement)
    It is explicit.

    Actions of many of the targets of your post, are directly connected to a 401 year old verdict. That is a mental threshold that seems to be un-crossed here.

    As a man thinks, so is he. The thought processes of a 21st century ministry worker directly relate to his actions, without regard to what century the underlying doctrine was developed.

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  56. Headless Unicorn Guy: As long as you Save their Soul(TM) and get that notch on your Bible for brownie points at the Bema.

    When I was in-country in the Seventies, it was generally known that your position in Heaven would be entirely based on “How Many Souls Did YOU Save?????” The more guys you got to Say the Sinner’s Prayer, the “bigger your crown of glory”. With the threat and curse from the start of Ezekiel 33 grafted onto the above carrot for the “Or Else!” shtick.

    This reaulted in some real crazy “Wretched Urgency” desperation and equally insane high-pressure “Witnessing!” shticks.

    Bad Craziness…

    This is almost exactly what I experienced in college. Your worth as a Christian was in direct proportion to the number of people you converted.

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  57. dee,

    Sure thing. The end of the canons state this:

    Therefore this Synod of Dort in the name of the Lord pleads with all who devoutly call on the name of our Savior Jesus Christ to form their judgment about the faith of the Reformed churches, not on the basis of false accusations gathered from here or there, or even on the basis of the personal statements of a number of ancient and modern authorities—statements which are also often either quoted out of context or misquoted and twisted to convey a different meaning—but on the basis of the churches’ own official confessions and of the present explanation of the orthodox teaching which has been endorsed by the unanimous consent of the members of the whole Synod, one and all.

    Moreover, the Synod earnestly warns the false accusers themselves to consider how heavy a judgment of God awaits those who give false testimony against so many churches and their confessions, trouble the consciences of the weak, and seek to prejudice the minds of many against the fellowship of true believers.

    https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/confessions/canons-dort

    As far as I know, the canons don’t condemn false accusations against non-Reformed churches. However, they didn’t meet to deal with that question but with false teachings and accusations against the Reformed churches. Note also that the canons call for people to judge Reformed teaching based on the Reformed confessions, not the statement of any individual claiming to be Reformed. That includes everyone from John Calvin to Jonathan Edwards to John Piper to RC Sproul.

    Personally, I would say that anyone who makes a false accusation against anyone for any reason should be careful for they are in danger of being held to account by God. “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

    As a side note, the view of election unto salvation in the canons doesn’t seem materially different from the view present in the Lutheran confessions.

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  58. Dee,

    Can you explain why a false accusation that Reformed theology says God is arbitrary is gracious but an injunction for someone to do better in representing a position he disagrees with is not? It’s your blog and you can do what you want, but this seems like a double standard to me.

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  59. Robert,

    You are planning to be a pastor or church planter, whatever. Your response was unacceptable. Your command to “Do better” was authoritarian. I hope you learn something. Think hard. Most people would get it. A pastor should point to himself while discussing something negative and he should point to the congregation when he discusses those who do good things. I learned this in a Lutheran seminary.

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  60. Muff Potter,

    “It’s really emancipating, to not care about theological clap-trap, and to just enjoy life for what it is, and how short it is…”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    isn’t it just.

    what’s the point of lying on one’s deathbed on the last day of one’s life and saying, “i did it! i was theologically sound!”

    i’m shooting for a million moments of happiness and joy, kindness, altruism, sincerity, deep thoughts, sunsets, cheese, chocolate, espresso & cigars…

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  61. elastigirl:
    Muff Potter,

    “It’s really emancipating, to not care about theological clap-trap, and to just enjoy life for what it is, and how short it is…”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    isn’t it just.

    what’s the point of lying on one’s deathbed on the last day of one’s life and saying, “i did it!i was theologically sound!”

    i’m shooting for a million moments of happiness and joy, kindness, altruism, sincerity, deep thoughts, sunsets, cheese, chocolate, espresso & cigars…

    You just reminded me of the ladder analogy from back in the day when I thought Dobson and Focus on the Family had all the answers. It was a common theme in talks by him and his ilk. Something about climbing the ladder to success, and finding out at life’s end that you were on the wrong ladder.

    Of course, they were ostensibly trying to get fathers’ heads out of being totally absorbed in the workplace and career and to get them to take an interest in being a dad (not a bad thing, in general, until you load it up with all sorts of authoritarian garbage).

    I wonder if they will ever be able to see things differently, even at the end of life? Ravi Z went to the grave without a word of comfort for his victim(s) or a breath of apology for falsehoods about his credentials. Another big name took his own life some time back rather than choosing to “go another way” and apologize and make amends.

    I used to think they were in for a shock when they finally came face to face with God, but somehow I have become so jaded, I don’t think they’d even care.

    I think it is a good thing that more and more accounting is being demanded from abusers and power-mongers (or would that be “power-mongrels”?) in this life, rather than waiting (and hoping) for a correction in the next.

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  62. Lea: Me coming back to read a thread after a while only to find…a million things about reformed doctrine again. Sheesh.

    People are often expect women to respect and obey men who are not in way deserving of any of that…there is a legit question of whether you can learn from a person who is so immoral in some way and I think potentially you can (knowing is different from doing) but everything they say is suspect and needs to be filtered through the prism of what you know about them so why bother? Pick someone who isn’t terrible.

    Sound advice. Kind of like the “dog poop in chocolate chip cookies” experiment. Why not just go for poop-free cookies? As much as possible, anyhow?

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  63. “I think it is a good thing that more and more accounting is being demanded from abusers and power-mongers (or would that be “power-mongrels”?) in this life, rather than waiting (and hoping) for a correction in the next.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    a very good thing.

    i mean, what’s the alternative? lukewarm water? numbing one’s conviction until it’s flaccid impotence?

    well, of course that would be gospel-flaccid-impotence-conviction. a very elite form of conviction.

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  64. Lea,

    “For me it is baby ducks. there are so many right now! Love them.”
    +++++++++++++++

    do you have any yourself?

    Twice (2 times!) have i seen a mommy duck crossing a very busy intersection followed by no fewer than 6 ducklings, proud as punch. and people getting out of their cars, blocking traffic with their bodies to protect the ducks.

    what a beautiful thing that was.

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  65. elastigirl: i’m shooting for a million moments of happiness and joy, kindness, altruism, sincerity, deep thoughts, sunsets, cheese, chocolate, espresso & cigars…

    So am I:

    …”Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

    Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest…”
    — From the Book of Ecclesiastes —

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  66. Dan from GA,

    I am of more of a Presbyterian/Continental Reformed type (much like Aimee Byrd). Yes, many Pentecostal denominations and churches have women pastors and the like, but there is still a tendency in those circles towards rigid pharisee behaviors and unquestioning loyalty to the “ManoGawd” just like the Fundie Baptist IFB types. There is a whole blog devoted to the abuse in COGIC (Church of God in Christ – a primarily black Pentecostal denomination):

    https://cogicabusewatch.wordpress.com/

    Remember that modern Pentecostalism sprang from the Holiness movements and Finney of the latter 19th century. Interestingly, the Temperance and Prohibition movement also had its roots there.

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  67. Dan from GA,

    In addition, through in all the Pentecostal “signs and wonders”, “God told me”, “I’ve had a prophetic word from God”, etc. and you can see how abuse and manipulation among Pentecostal churches can happen. Most, if not all of the Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel churches are Pentecostal in nature.

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  68. Some interesting comments here. I note a lot of complicated words being used, and listed here:

    soteriology

    Remonstrant doctrines

    Pre-Trib Dispensationism

    indetermanism

    Reformed soteriology

    complementarianism

    I’m not sure of what all these terms mean (if they really have any real world meaning), and I think they spring from a tendency I notice in biology, where splitters are folks who notice a tiny difference between two members of a species, and instantly write an article to show that the author has identified a new species. Much easier than trekking through a jungle or mountain range to actually discover a real new species.

    My point here is that none of these terms can be found in the source documents of Christianity. None of these terms were uttered by Jesus. All they do is obscure the simple teachings of Jesus. Which teachings seem to be entirely absent from many current religious groups! If you spend much time on hating people who are different (blacks, gays, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Unitarians, liberals, etc), you aren’t Christian!

    Love One Another is way too simple, you can’t squeeze money nor power out of that!

    Anyone who thinks these theological terms really help anyone achieve illumination is nuts!

    Anyone who really believes that women can’t lead or teach men is nuts! Or perhaps using religion to fulfill their sick personality defects with regard to women, which is a specific flavor of nuts.

    Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Wear a mask, stay safe!! Fly a Kite!!!

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  69. Robert,

    A comment based on observation, that teachings of that kind occur in churches, including some claiming to be “Reformed”, needn’t be taken as an “accusation”.

    Every denomination I’ve come across (which happens to be a lot – but there are some we don’t have in Britain) contradicts, in de facto practice, its own teachings (or what ought to be) at some times and occasions and places. The “excuse” that God is arbitrary has been used by preachers or teachers when they haven’t grasped Holy Spirit inspired meanings in interlocking Scriptures (using margin references). If an objectively erroneous trope often or near-habitually occurs amongst, say, the Roman Catholics or the Virgoists – just to pluck names out of the air – in that sense their teaching “is” erroneous.

    The standards the Reformed drew up for the judging of their own doctrines should be used most rigorously by them before expecting outsiders to take the lead instead, or understand their details. And denominational doctrines need to be viewed in the context of Holy Spirit meanings to Scripture. Otherwise it is erroneous even when “right”, and becomes exactly the claptrap Muff deplores and so do I.

    I’m not convinced any denomination teaches rational Holy Spirit gifts and I can assure you it’s taken me a lifetime to suss those out, having mostly given up the attempt for lost. I think all denominations I’ve been aware of have at some point during the last 100 years stopped teaching prayer.

    Thus, sadly, churches couldn’t even teach in the context of our lives however acceptable. Since we dropped out from having our heads messed – and worse – we have had to find our own position. I call myself an agnostic but am a believer. Some of us have had to “go” further. God’s answers are true but look different to us all, for reasons of mental topology / geometry.

    Robert please don’t actually expect your future congregations to be unimaginative (though they may well be). My own denomination of birth has taken to rattily blaming us all for not writing them off earlier.

    Whilst caveat emptor is true, not only was it not an option under Theodosius or the Tudors / Stuarts / Cromwells / Louis XIV, but we ourselves have had the dazzle of intensity, mystique, mysticism and mysteriousness – combined with the mixed messages – dangled in front of our eyes all our lives. We did try to be respectful.

    Does this new embittered and furious kind of passive-agressiveness fit the amusingly apt description “flaccid” I spotted a few comments ago?

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  70. elastigirl: do you have any yourself?

    Twice (2 times!) have i seen a mommy duck crossing a very busy intersection followed by no fewer than 6 ducklings, proud as punch. and people getting out of their cars, blocking traffic with their bodies to protect the ducks.

    No I live by a lake, with just such a road, with legit ‘duck crossing’ signs ha. It’s prime baby duck/baby geese season and they are always there when I take my walks (which during yee ole quarantine time is…alot)

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