The only real man in the room.

In the discussion of Turning a blind eye a commenter mentioned Pastor Mark Driscoll.  Driscoll is an interesting case because while he generally couldn’t see women’s sins, his signature was as the champion of masculinity.  However, while loudly championing masculine virtues, Driscoll never missed a chance to berate the men in his church as less than real men.  The combination of the two messages made it clear;  Driscoll was the only real man in the room.  This of course delighted both the men and the women in the church.  Modern Christian men simply can’t get enough abuse, and modern Christian women enjoy watching their husbands be abused almost as much as the husbands enjoy the abuse.  Driscoll didn’t just put down the fathers and husbands in the room, he even put down Gideon and Noah.

Usurping the headship of the husbands in the congregation is a brilliant way to secure a power base in a time when women are in rebellion.  Driscoll bypassed dealing with the rebellion, and convinced the wives to follow him as the strong man.  While this is a terrific way to secure a power base, it is a terrible way to build a church.

Aside from the theological problems with a pastor usurping the headship of the husbands in the congregation, there is also the problem of sustaining the model.  For the strongest-man-in-the-room model to work, the pastor has to always sustain this position.  Over time some of the men he steps on are going to hold a grudge, especially those closest to him in leadership roles.  The more time passes, the more essential it is to maintain the ultimate tough guy image to keep dissent under control.  This appears to be what did Driscoll in.  Not long before his fall we started seeing a much softer, weaker looking Driscoll.  Compare the picture I just linked with a previous one to get a sense of the transformation.

According to the image properties, the softer picture was taken on October 23, 2013 (even though the photo itself is named Mark-and-Grace_2014.jpg).  This appears to be right around the time his problems started.  According to the Seattle Times the beginning of the end for Driscoll was when Pastor Dave Kraft resigned on September 13, 2013.  From this it would appear that Driscoll was already in some danger when the photo was taken, but the softer, weaker look certainly would have predated the photo.  Whether the softer image was an attempt at appeasement that backfired, or simply a softening/weakening which came with age, it is no surprise that when Driscoll looked weak a list of old grievances caused him to be forced from leadership.

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234 Responses to The only real man in the room.

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  2. JF says:

    “Usurping the headship of the husbands in the congregation is a brilliant way to secure a power base in a time when women are in rebellion. Driscoll bypassed dealing with the rebellion, and convinced the wives to follow him as the strong man. While this is a terrific way to secure a power base, it is a terrible way to build a church.”

    JF: It is, however, a really good way to build a Jonestown.

  3. Pingback: The only real man in the room. | Neoreactive

  4. okrahead says:

    Pastor AMOG….. Surprisingly close to Gog or Magog.

  5. Aging hipster.

    I love the smell of burning hair gel in the morning, it smells like victory.

  6. RichardP says:

    If a pastor/priest inserts himself into the chain between man and God, we assume the following chain: pastor/priest models God; man models pastor/priest as he operates as head of his wife. Well, if man is modeling pastor/priest more or less perfectly, why is he needed? When we have two sets of behaviors that mimic each other, one of those sets of behaviors is superfluous. Husband becomes a middle-man. It’s more efficient to just get rid of him. Let the pastor/priest become the head of everywife. Yeah, that’s the design that God instituted. Not.

  7. Weenis says:

    I wonder how many women in today’s ‘church’ imagine their Pastor while their husbands attempt to ‘make love’ to them.

    It’s an interesting warning to us all- Alphas rise and fall, and if you want to assert your alpha amongst other men, understand that as soon as you falter, you get slaughtered. Better not to AMOG your colleagues too much… and definitely better not to capture their women in any form. I wonder if the Driscolls put there can understand how they should heed the warnings of adultery in Proverbs… he is like the fool that so enjoys the sweet words of the adulterers, and savors her attentions.

  8. DaveD says:

    I’ve never understood the animus against Driscoll in the MRA/PUA community. He was the most masculine & man-positive preacher I’ve ever heard.

    Anyone have any suggestions on “better” masculine preachers?

    Dd

  9. Jvarr says:

    In today’s landscape (especially), it seems any Pastor with a wife is basically AMOG’ing his congregation. Not only is he closer to God, but he’s virile enough to satisfy his wife–and any other potential woman. Obviously not a problem in more disciplined/trad times but the perception is unavoidable–whether the pastor is consciously doing it or not.

  10. Neguy says:

    I followed Driscoll a long time and listened to a lot of his sermons online though never attended Mars Hill. I can see a lot of what you are saying.

    You also see it clearly in the various reactions from the betas around him. All those people sat around, many of them for years, with their mouths shut. Nobody would speak up about Driscoll. But like sharks, when they saw blood in the water, the knives came out. I can’t speak to their hearts since I don’t know them. But it sure looks like they were waiting for their chance to get back at him. It’s one thing to leave judgement to God. It’s another to simply wait for your own opportunity for revenge.

    One example is that web site where a bunch of people posted all those public repentances for not speaking up sooner and all their enabling behavior and participation in what when on. Firstly, it’s self serving. Since as a Christian you are supposed to repent, by making a big public spectacle, you’re actually trying to make yourself look good. Secondly, it’s a mechanism to kick more dirt in Driscoll’s face.

    Driscoll had many flaws, but these men around him have not in my view been acting in a manner worthy of the calling with which they’ve been called either.

  11. Neguy says:

    @David D, even before I found the Red Pill, it was deeply bothered by how Driscoll blamed men for everything and how he and pastors like him refused to hold women accountable for their actions. In fact, they all but encouraged women in their church to exploit men as de facto orbiters, such as by putting a relationship on hold until the man is deemed worthy of her, but nevertheless not saying that the woman should not continue to suck up attention, commitment and the fruits of marriage from a female perspective from the guy. The obvious wrongness of this was clear even to this then blue piller.

  12. A Regular Guy says:

    Hello, I’m a new poster here. I’ve been lurking these forums since March of 2014 and to say that I’ve learned a great deal would be an understatement. I’ve stayed quiet because I felt like I really couldn’t contribute much here, but on this topic I can share an experience.

    Since I was young, I’ve felt there was always something wrong with the way women were elevated above men, but I didn’t fully understand it and couldn’t explain it. Throughout my life, there were cracks in the blue-pill facade, but like most blue-pillers, I simply dismissed them.

    One of the biggest cracks in the facade that influenced my drift toward the red pill was a Mother’s Day sermon (surprise!) several years after my divorce. I was a new believer at the time and I still remember my pastor’s words to this day. “Ladies, when you are looking for a man, don’t marry a man who hates his mother.”

    It hurt like hell to hear it for two reasons. First, I resented my mother because she was a passive/aggressive manipulator that enabled my NPD sister to nearly tear the family in two and I felt the conviction of the spirit. Second, it hurt because I knew it was the truth. My resentment was keeping me from drawing near to God and it would be redirected to my future wife (I have since come to the realization that I am forbidden to do so as per Mark 10:11).

    As I thought about what I heard, I became very, very angry. Not because of what my pastor said, but because of what he didn’t say; what no pastor I’ve ever listened too say, “Men, when you are looking for a wife, don’t marry a woman who hates her father.”

    As an unbeliever, I married an unbelieving woman who hated her father. My marriage made me regret the day I was born. I never received direction or advice regarding marriage or anything else important for that matter. So here was this pastor (EVERY PASTOR!) strangely silent on the sinful nature of women while taking every opportunity they could to White-Knight-it-up on Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, [Enter Non-Holiday Here]’s Day…

    Thank you Dalrock for providing the blog and thank you to the men and women who contribute in good-faith to the discussions in it

  13. I watched his sermons for a while and liked what he had to say on a lot of topics but it always bothered me, even when I didn’t know precisely why, how he held men responsible for the actions not only of their wives, but of women. Whenever a woman sinned, there was a man who wasn’t doing his job.

    A classic example is the concept biblical marriage in which the husbands love their wives and wives respect their husbands. He was eager to yell at men for not loving their wives, but whenever he mentioned wives having godly submission it was with an asterisk of how it must be done (which, incidentally, is not in the Bible).

    Other than blaming young men like me for modern female promiscuity, the one that really got me was when he said the wife got to decide how well the man was upholding his end of the bargain, i.e. she got to be the referee. Meanwhile I’m thinking “Doesn’t that make her the ultimately authority in the household, since she gets to decide if he’s doing his job correctly? And where’s this in the Bible?”

  14. Boxer says:

    It’s an interesting warning to us all- Alphas rise and fall, and if you want to assert your alpha amongst other men, understand that as soon as you falter, you get slaughtered. Better not to AMOG your colleagues too much… and definitely better not to capture their women in any form.

    Jack Donovan’s work enlightens one on what an alpha male actually is. Manly behavior does not curry favor with women. Healthy men seek approval from other men. This is the way we were designed. Men earn approval within their masculine ingroup by becoming good at useful things, by working hard, and by being loyal. Fucking or even flirting with another man’s wife is, in this context, the opposite of strength or “alpha”.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Way-Men-Jack-Donovan/dp/0985452307

  15. mequint says:

    I just want to say thank you for pointing out this abuse in his church. I was one of the men of his congregation (even interned for it). Although he calmed down a bit in his final years, relationships seemed a little but off between the sexes (but this could also be because his church was in one of richest cities in the west – talk about the need to display higher value) and they would often justify berating the men to get the women to follow since women “loved men under authority”.

  16. Dalrock says:

    @DaveD

    I’ve never understood the animus against Driscoll in the MRA/PUA community. He was the most masculine & man-positive preacher I’ve ever heard.

    The video has since been marked private on Youtube, but in one of his sermons after reading the instruction to husbands in 1 Peter 3:7 Driscoll prayed:

    Lord God, as well, I pray for those men who are here that are cowards. They are silent passive impish worthless men. They are making a mess of everything in their life. And they are such sweet little boys that no one ever confronts them on that. I pray for the women who enable them, who permit them to continue in folly, those who are mothers, sisters, girlfriends and wives. I pray Lord God for men who are chauvinists. Those who are mean who are brash who are rude who are harsh. Who Lord God think they are tough when in fact they are satanic…

    This kind of thing, ripping on the husbands in the congregation in front of their wives, is something he did very often. SunshineMary had a post Can a wife respect a husband who is an idiot? where she shared videos of Driscoll explaining to the wives in the church not to worry about submitting to their husbands because (essentially) he outranked the husbands and knew how to deal with those idiots. SSM’s site is private now, but perhaps she will see this and can share the videos. In addition to what he did in published sermons, see also the allegations of abusive behavior from large numbers of Mars hill pastors and leadership. It was the latter which caused him to lose his position, but the pattern is consistent with how he treated the husbands of the congregation in public.

    In addition to regularly tearing down the men in the congregation, Driscoll also blamed men for not marrying aging career gals. Along the same lines, he tweeted:

    Single guys: don’t overlook the single moms. Jesus’ mom was a single mom & it went pretty well for Joseph.

  17. Patrick Pedat Ebediyah Golston says:

    Mark’s problem is that he didn’t rightly divide the word of truth..in the letter or the spirit.

    In fact, his methods seems to have been a method of manipulation, and perhaps to a lesser degree, control. I believe this feeling of being manipulated is what the men in his midst began to pick up on, and when they saw he was losing his influence, pounced.

    There is nothing wrong with admonishing men to get their ish together, because I do it with my personal ministry, yet I have no problems putting women in check for their unseemly and unfaithful ways as well.

    Everybody has a responsibility to work their measure, and you can’t fault MEN because the women aren’t working theirs. This is what the brother failed to do; be as clear as mud that the women needed to be diligently handling their business without equivocation.

  18. embracing reality says:

    Excellent observations by Dalrock here. Driscoll always reminded me of an arrogant high school athlete or otherwise alpha juvenile or 20 something trying to elevate his status by running down other men. Showing up at a bar or party and making jokes with women about what losers other men in the room are is an old PUA technique for elevating ones status, this was Driscoll in every sermon I ever heard from him on marriage/dating. His words, yes but especially his cocky attitude. The fact that more people (men or women) didn’t see through a grown man strutting like a peacock demonstrates to me the social retardation of the average churchian. In the end I not only doubt his judgement but is sincerity as well. He sickens me honestly. Masculine does not define Driscoll in the slightest to me. Deeply controlling and insecure is my take on him and I hope he disappears into obscurity.

    Men who use women sexually, abuse them and so forth only do so because the women in question are sufficiently attracted to such men to tolerate or actually like the abuse and obviously the sex. If Driscoll shamed these women for their indiscretions, just like he shamed men, I would applaud him. Of course shaming women in any way is the fast track to nowhere in the modern church and we would probably never have even heard of Driscoll that had been his method. The only thing that puzzles me now is why the hell do so many churchian men so dearly love being abused from the pulpit.

  19. DrTorch says:

    Never heard Driscoll, but Dennis Rainey took this approach when I’d hear him on the radio.

  20. Dalrock says:

    @Patrick Pedat Ebediyah Golston

    There is nothing wrong with admonishing men to get their ish together, because I do it with my personal ministry, yet I have no problems putting women in check for their unseemly and unfaithful ways as well.

    No. But there is a way to do it. I assume for example that if you had some women in the congregation who were too harsh with their teenagers you wouldn’t go into a tear about how unfair mothers are to their teenagers with the teenagers in the room. A private word might be in order, or perhaps a discussion with only the adults or parents of the congregation. What Driscoll did was make it a pattern to ruthlessly shred the husbands of the congregation in front of their wives. He did this in ways calculated to add fuel to the existing feminist rebellion of our era.

  21. “Single guys: don’t overlook the single moms. Jesus’ mom was a single mom & it went pretty well for Joseph.”

    His church should have been empty when he showed up the next Sunday after posting that. It’s bad enough when ignorant leftists politicians spout that garbage to defend their spending, but for an alleged Christian pastor to do it is ridiculous.

    Mary was not a “single mom.” She was either Joseph’s wife or fiancee when the angel arrived, depending on how you look at their marriage process. Since Joseph was considering divorce, “wife” seems like the best term. And Joseph only kept her because a freakin’ archangel paid him a personal visit and explained that the child didn’t belong to some other man. If Gabriel pops by my place tonight and tells me to marry the single mom who comes to my church, and says her kid was a virgin birth, I’ll do it. Until then, shut up, shame hustlers.

    But let’s look at the last part: just how well did it go for Joseph? Well (in Western tradition, anyway) he never got to have sex, and tradition says Mary was extremely beautiful. That doesn’t sound so great. He also had to flee for years to a foreign country with a young wife and baby, leaving behind his business. He seems to have married old or died young, because he’s never mentioned in the gospels after Jesus is grown, and Mary is in the charge of her son, not her husband.

    Presumably he’s being rewarded now in Heaven, but I wouldn’t say it “went pretty well” for him down here. Sounds like quite a sacrifice, in fact — not something to be tossed off as no big deal, nothing to worry about.

  22. embracing reality says:

    Having read the Apostle Paul’s letters the the churches like Corinthians and others who were in all kinds of sins one can see the appropriate ‘tone’ in dealing with these kind of problems. Arrogant Driscoll was absolutely disgusting, course, off-putting and so one sided to the favor of women to the point I can’t understand why any man with any self respect would ever go back. Lack of self respect… Maybe that explains why men would follow that train wreck.

  23. embracing reality says:

    1 Cor 7:38

    “The man who marries the virgin does well but he who marries her not does even better”

    Could Driscoll direct me to the verses recommending Christian men marry reformed sluts with kids?

  24. DaveD, when it comes to old fashioned Baptists I am kind of fond of Paul Washer. Not a huge fan of preaching for the most part, to cult of personality and a seriously overemphasized ministry in today’s church. Preacher = mega-corp CEO in today’s formulation. They don’t make good pastors, they can stink as teachers and in the case of a guy like Driscoll they can be in desperate need of a prophet or apostle to pull their tail feathers but get far too big for their britches, Then instead of a mega-church (*mouthpuke) you end up with a mega-disaster.

    Take away the amplifier. That should rein it in appropriately (Jesus never had one).

  25. JF

    :

    “Usurping the headship of the husbands in the congregation is a brilliant way to secure a power base in a time when women are in rebellion. Driscoll bypassed dealing with the rebellion, and convinced the wives to follow him as the strong man. While this is a terrific way to secure a power base, it is a terrible way to build a church.”

    JF: It is, however, a really good way to build a Jonestown.

    Its an even better way to build a branch davidian compound in Waco Texas.

  26. The only thing that puzzles me now is why the hell do so many churchian men so dearly love being abused from the pulpit.

    They can’t tell abuse from constructive criticism.

    A real man, especially a Christian man, welcomes honest criticism, because it’s an opportunity for him to be a better man. When a man he respects approaches him and tells him he’s screwing up, he swallows hard and tries to do better. That doesn’t mean he always succeeds, or even agrees, or that it’s easy to hear it. But in general, the kind of man who goes to church wants to be a better man — that’s a big reason he’s there — so he’s open to a certain amount of dressing-down. He knows he’s a sinner, he knows he doesn’t always do his best, so when the pastor — respected by dint of his position — starts pointing that out, it feels like an opportunity to learn and improve.

    So our guy is sitting there in church, waiting for moral instruction in the sermon, and the pastor starts bashing on men for being such selfish, uncaring jerkweeds towards women. Our guy doesn’t think that’s really a problem for him, but he doesn’t want to be stubborn. Maybe he could improve in that area. The pastor sure seems convinced it’s an epidemic, and when he looks around, all the other men and women are nodding along. No one else looks upset. They can’t all be wrong, can they?

  27. embracing reality says:

    “They can’t tell abuse from constructive criticism.”

    I see. After attending some local churches, including several mega churches, for years I eventually became so disillusioned I decided just to stay home on Sunday reading my bible. Having read and comprehending vast amounts of scripture I’m ruined for any of the churches I’ve ever attended in my life. This is what men need to be doing in my opinion instead of feeding these bloated apostate monsters.

  28. James Rogers says:

    Driscoll is a gender trailer and he embodies everything wrong with Christianity. He makes me sick. I honestly want to do him harm. . He is a pathetic beta male masquerading as an alpha and he made millions trashing and shaming men. I used to go to gateway in Southlake Texas. And stopped after they invited Driscoll to speak a month after he Resigned. I will have no part of a church that supports a parasite like Driscoll. These Christians had better start slut shaming and holding women accountable and stop treating men like dirt. . Their religion is dying and they are clueless about why men won’t come to church.

  29. cynthia says:

    This is a good example of something I have, as a Catholic, always found odd about the larger, newer US “non-denominational” Christian churches. In the Catholic Church, whatever his intentions or personal ambition, the priest is performing the same ceremony, reading the same Bible passages and talking about the same themes, as every other priest on the planet, for any given day. His personality comes through the homily, but that’s about it. The Mass, and by extension, the community at large, does not fail or succeed on the priest’s personal charisma. (A caveat: my boyfriend had a hard time with Spanish/Southeast Asian accents, so we’ve had to look around for a parish with an American priest for him. But when I was living in Japan, our Mass was half in Tagalong, and it affected my personal experience not at all). I believe this emphasis on the whole, rather than a specific individual, is somewhat shared by other older Protestant denominations.

    It seems to me that these newer churches are almost wholly dependent upon their leaders’ personal appeal. Lacking history, organization, national or international tradition, it’s easy to see why this happens. I don’t think it’s a good way to run a faith community. When you’re attracted to a church because of its pastor, you’re making the pastor more important than the beliefs he represents. You have to absorb his particular interpretation of those beliefs, rather than having the room to explore them yourself.

    This man had a great deal of power over people under him, and he chose to abuse it, and them. It’s very sad.

  30. Laura says:

    Cynthia — a lot of the non-liturgical churches run into serious cult-of-personality issues sooner or later. And sometimes the extemporaneous prayers during the service get to be an issue as well.

  31. Sometimes I really feel like I missed a lot of this churchianity crap growing up in Massachusetts.

    I don’t live there now (Arizona is my home) but I am Bay State by blood (go Patriots and I don’t care about deflategate.) The several different Protestant congregations I was part of in my blue pill eating days, I don’t remember seeing any of this crap. And it pretty clear why I never saw it. In Massachusetts, most Protestant churches are empty sans all the old people. There just isn’t a lot of shaming of anyone (men who wont “man-up” vs sluts who wont stop letting their legs fall open) because there is not one in the pews to shame other than all these old people. What good does it do a pastor to shame old people? All the young people are still passed out from drinking heavily Saturday night. They didn’t go to church. I was the exception, never the rule.

    More to the point, Protestant congregations in Massachusetts the pastor has very little real power. They are just a hired gun, someone to stand there, recite their weekly 30 minute sermon for (at that time) $42,000 a year, visit people in the hospital, and bury whichever blue hair in the church passed that month. If the pastor ever raised his (or sometimes in pure blue pill hell, HER) voice at anyone in the congregation, the congregation would show the pastor the door. It was a simple as that.

    I missed all this crap. I see it now and with youtube we can all see it, but I never grew up with it and I doubt seriously very many Protestants from New England could empathize with any of this.

  32. JF says:

    IBB: “More to the point, Protestant congregations in Massachusetts the pastor has very little real power. They are just a hired gun, someone to stand there, recite their weekly 30 minute sermon for (at that time) $42,000 a year, visit people in the hospital, and bury whichever blue hair in the church passed that month. If the pastor ever raised his (or sometimes in pure blue pill hell, HER) voice at anyone in the congregation, the congregation would show the pastor the door. It was a simple as that.”

    JF: You think it’s only Massachusetts? Hey, when you and your entire denomination subordinate yourselves to the State via secular adhesion contracts (501c3 tax exempt status/State Incorporation), give the God-ordained institution of marriage over to the State along with the children of any of those unions, conduct your business affairs after the secular corporate model (board of treasurers, etc), then you become irrelevant indeed. It’s across the entire dying civilization. Not just NE. Just because there are none of the asinine and heinous “megachurch ministries” based in NE, that doesn’t mean anything. Those megachurches are spiritually dead corporations with an evanjellybelly salesman chrome-plated veneer. Means nothing.
    The whole of it is dead. Spiritually dead. These people have had their history, their eschatology, and their churches stolen right out from under them, and they even assisted in the process of the latter.

  33. Splashman says:

    Dalrock wrote:

    While this is a terrific way to secure a power base, it is a terrible way to build a church.

    C’mon. As if there is a difference.

    Seriously, big institutions = big temptations = big trouble, sooner or later, so keep ’em small. <50, say. Small institutions don't avoid trouble, but are much less prone to big trouble, and if/when the SHTF, the fallout is not proportionally less, but exponentially less.

  34. Splashman says:

    @Embracing Reality wrote:

    After attending some local churches, including several mega churches, for years I eventually became so disillusioned I decided just to stay home on Sunday reading my bible. Having read and comprehending vast amounts of scripture I’m ruined for any of the churches I’ve ever attended in my life. This is what men need to be doing in my opinion instead of feeding these bloated apostate monsters.

    That’s where I’m at, too. It pains me to think that I contributed to the problem for many, many years.

    I like the idea of a “home church”, assuming it isn’t just a smaller version of a big church. Unfortunately I don’t know of any in my area, and the thought of starting one is a bit overwhelming. That’s one reason why people go to churches — it’s really easy. Just switch your brain off, raise your hands during the singing, and you’re golden.

  35. Splashman says:

    @Cail wrote:

    But let’s look at the last part: just how well did it go for Joseph? Well (in Western tradition, anyway) he never got to have sex . . .

    Huh? Western tradition on which planet? Or perhaps you consider Mary worshippers Catholicism to represent the whole of Christianity?

    Regardless, it’s pitiful to hear you attempt to convince us Joseph got a raw deal.

  36. KP says:

    Sorry, Dalrock — while Driscoll’s remarks on those two passages were delivered in his typical (reprehensible) style, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the underlying concept of pointing out the ironies in Gideon’s or Noah’s positions.

    The Old Testament in particular is full of irony: look at Isaiah’s call, for another example.

  37. infowarrior1 says:

    @cynthia
    ”This is a good example of something I have, as a Catholic, always found odd about the larger, newer US “non-denominational” Christian churches. In the Catholic Church, whatever his intentions or personal ambition, the priest is performing the same ceremony, reading the same Bible passages and talking about the same themes, as every other priest on the planet, for any given day. His personality comes through the homily, but that’s about it. The Mass, and by extension, the community at large, does not fail or succeed on the priest’s personal charisma.”

    Why sticking to the reformed tradition is superior. Otherwise its leftism gone mad sooner or later.

  38. BradA says:

    Cail,

    Well (in Western tradition, anyway) he never got to have sex, and tradition says Mary was extremely beautiful.

    The Scriptures don’t describe Mary’s direct beauty. They also never say she was a virgin forever, just when she gave birth to Jesus. They do say he had brothers and at least one sister, with no evidence they were dragging along a whole troop when going to Bethlehem the first time, as would be necessary if Joseph already had them. The evidence points to them coming later and they were definitely there.

    I realize RCC tradition says that, but it is not built on Scriptural evidence.

    I also tend to wonder that if Mary had to be sinless to birth Jesus, what about her mother, and on back the line? The sin came from the father and his seed, which is why it is the sinlessness of God’s seed that is the issue, not that of Mary.

    I doubt I would convince you anyway, but it is only RCC tradition, not Western Christianity, that believes those things about her. I believe she had a quite fulfilling sex life when Joseph was alive as he was a Biblical man and was never given a command to never have sex with her. It only notes he did so until Jesus was born, indicating that wasn’t true afterward.

  39. BradA says:

    I heard Tony Evans the other day saying that it was a husband’s fault if a wife wasn’t following him in marriage. He has chastised women for some things, but really dropped the ball on that one.

  40. BradA says:

    TFH, it may sound like a great concept to chastise, but I have yet to hear of a single church that was merging with a night club. I think I recall hearing of one or two that met in a bar years ago, but that was for other reasons and well before the current situation.

    I would greatly question your claim there without a lot more solid evidence.

  41. ballista74 says:

    innocentbystanderboston January 21, 2015 at 11:02 pm This is true of (just about everywhere), as all churches are uniform franchises of Churchianity (covered well by JF). There’s really no difference between denomination either, as you can walk into any church and see the same elementary thing on Sunday mornings, including the demographics and lack of concern for the real Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

  42. Casey says:

    MGTOW is the only sane choice in this sick, sick, sick world.

    Trying to lead a gender who is in open revolt against the opposite gender is a fool’s errand.

    By the way, there are only 2 genders; male and female. The fact this is a topic for debate demonstrates how sick a society we have become.

  43. earl says:

    ‘Aside from the theological problems with a pastor usurping the headship of the husbands in the congregation, there is also the problem of sustaining the model.’

    Another reason why this is timeless advice…it’s a model that lasts.

    Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:10-12

  44. Looking Glass says:

    It should probably be pointed out that Mark 6:3 should be read as two things:
    1) Jesus had at least 6 siblings (4 brothers & 2 sisters, minimum) and
    2) an utterly intended insult.

    Asking a Jew if he’s the “son of Mary” is an absolutely unveiled insult. If doesn’t take very long in the Old Testament to understand the importance of Family Line, through the Father. That doesn’t seem a hard concept. Obviously, it’s a hard concept for “Christians” when political correctness & appeasing Women gets in the way.

  45. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    BradA: “The Scriptures … do say [Jesus] had brothers and at least one sister … I realize RCC tradition says [otherwise], but it is not built on Scriptural evidence.”

    The Scriptures don’t specifically say Jesus had brothers or sisters. According to my Catholic study Bible (the Navarre Bible), ancient Jews did not have words distinguishing siblings from cousins. The word used for Jesus’ brothers (which my Bible translates as “brethren”) could as easily have been referring to Jesus’ cousins.

  46. Robin Munn says:

    However, the Gospels were not written in Hebrew, but in Greek. Greek does have a word for “brother” and a word for “cousin”, and they’re different. And Matthew, who was a disciple of Jesus and was fully aware of Jesus’ family status, used the Greek word for “brother”, not the word for “cousin”.

    The Roman Catholics are committing the error of eisegesis when it comes to Matthew 13:55-56 and Mark 6:3. Their tradition says that Mary was a perpetual virgin, so they have to read something into the text that’s not there.

  47. earl says:

    ‘Their tradition says that Mary was a perpetual virgin, so they have to read something into the text that’s not there.’

    Hence tradition. I’ll go with Apostolic Tradition on these matters…it was around before the Bible was produced.

  48. I agree that Driscoll’s authoritarian style and tendency to berate men in front of their wives is part of the larger cultural ambivalence toward masculinity; however, a man owes it to himself to find a fellowship in which to seek and serve God with other believers.

    There are mega-churches with sound governance — those sorts of churches tend to be elder-led and to post their governing documents online for public perusal — but a house church can be equally valid or invalid, depending on who is leading and how. Keep looking and commit only after you’ve taken the measure of the place adequately. It can be done.

    @Dalrock – Thanks for your excellent choice of topics. Although this is my first comment here, I always look forward to your next post and to reading all the comments. -Geo.

    [D: Thank you. Welcome.]

  49. Drew says:

    If Mary remained a perpetual virgin while married, then she was just as much of a grotesque sinner as all the women you complain about here. See 1 Corinthians 7. Defraud ye not one another.

  50. Robin Munn says:

    @earl –

    I wasn’t clear enough in my previous comment. What I should have said, because it would have been more accurate, is “they have to read something into the text that directly contradicts the text.” The Greek word is adelphos (brother), not anepsios (cousin), but the Catholics have to ignore the plain meaning of the Greek word and pretend it means something else. Hence my accusation of eisegesis.

  51. earl says:

    ‘If Mary remained a perpetual virgin while married, then she was just as much of a grotesque sinner as all the women you complain about here. See 1 Corinthians 7. Defraud ye not one another.’

    She is full of grace…therefore she had no sin. Her spouse is the Holy Spirit. Joseph is her temporal spouse.

    She was in a unique situation. She certainly needed a temporal spouse to protect her and Jesus.

  52. BradA says:

    And your evidence of this is what Earl?

    On what do you claim to base the idea that the Apostles claimed she was a perpetual virgin? We have no written evidence of this except by the leader of a church (RCC) that formed long after they were gone. (No, Peter was not the first Pope either. He was also wrong and deferred to Paul in at least one instance.)

  53. earl says:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/mary/general-information/the-four-marian-dogmas/

    And Peter was the first pope. We have the explicit statement where Jesus handed the authority over to Peter in Scripture (Matthew 16:18-19). Just because he was pope doesn’t mean that he couldn’t seek help from others or was freed from sin. Why do you think there are cardinals and bishops? There are many parts to the church but it is one body.

  54. Opus says:

    The Mega Church, is, so far as I know, an entirely American phenomenon. Over time many a preacher has come – and gone – and when he came built up a very large following. When I was in Chicago I visited a Mega-church of its time – built I would suppose in the 1920s and being on two levels looked essentially like a movie-theatre. The Pastor eventually either died or retired and when I visited, the place seemed to be run entirely by women but with a congregation barely into double figures. They were hoping for better times and greater attendances.

    I wish I could remember the name or the address (in the north part of Chicago). Does anyone know?

  55. infowarrior1 says:

    If anyone else is interested on the 2 sides of the argument:

  56. infowarrior1 says:

    @earl
    She is full of grace…therefore she had no sin.

    Other than Jesus Christ. No one else is described without sin.

    Otherwise:
    Ecclesiates 7:20
    Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.

    Romans 3:10
    as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;

    .

  57. earl says:

    ‘She is full of grace…therefore she had no sin.

    Other than Jesus Christ. No one else is described without sin.’

    More specifically she never committed a sin. She wasn’t born into Original Sin because she was preserved by God’s grace…and she never committed a sin during her life.

    http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/hail-mary-conceived-without-sin

  58. She is full of grace…therefore she had no sin. Her spouse is the Holy Spirit. Joseph is her temporal spouse.

    She was in a unique situation. She certainly needed a temporal spouse to protect her and Jesus.

    Then Joseph was not a husband, he was a body guard. Any married person is only a ‘temporal spouse’ yet are still required to give sex to their spouse. Otherwise, we all back up and go home.

  59. ‘….all pack up and go home.’

  60. How was she preserved by God’s grace? She came from the exact same sinful side as us Earl.

  61. Junkyard Dawg says:

    Sounds like the cult I used to be in years ago. The leader was constantly berating the men, so much so that there were no marriages in the church, because the men were considered to be weak and worthless (at least in that area – though they were very needed in working in the church-owned businesses). At the same time, the leader built up his own harem of women who depended on him, being that they had no husbands. Driscoll seems like the same thing, though a much, much softer version. But from what you describe, the same forces are at work. I mean, this stuff really does happen. Someone above commented that “it sounds like another Jonestown.” Probably won’t go that far. But nothing wrong with exposing these things when they are happening.

  62. earl says:

    ‘How was she preserved by God’s grace?’

    The Immaculate Conception.

  63. Junkyard Dawg says:

    Also, “the only real man in the room,” was just how it was in our church/ cult. Since no other man was a “real man” and the leader was the one who was able to point this out and talk about what being a real man was, by way of implication then, he was a real man. The only real man in the room – at least the room we were in.

  64. earl says:

    ‘Then Joseph was not a husband, he was a body guard. Any married person is only a ‘temporal spouse’ yet are still required to give sex to their spouse. Otherwise, we all back up and go home.’

    Read this passage again.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+1%3A18-24&version=NIV

  65. FaytesEnd says:

    Hi Dalrock, I’ve been reading your blog for a while. I came accross this article and I wasn’t sure how to share it with you (I don’t see any way to contact you except via comment)

    http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-05-024-v#ixzz3KwweiOxL

    [D: Welcome. Thanks, I’ll check it out.]

  66. No where in that passage does it state that Mary and Joseph didn’t have sex after the birth of Jesus Christ.

  67. Anonymous Reader says:

    Opus
    The Mega Church, is, so far as I know, an entirely American phenomenon.

    Maybe so, if one includes Central America and South America in that term “American”.

    Here’s a view of one in Guatamala.
    http://www.meyersound.com/news/2008/megafrater/?type=17
    There are others elsewhere.

    By the way, the biggest Roman Catholic cathedral in the world is not in Rome.

    Returning to Driscoll, from what I can tell he had an accountability board that he wasn’t accountable to. That goes along with his AMOG tendencies. Both are indicators of his mindset.

    I’ll leave the theology to others. Just looking at Mars Hill from an organizational standpoint, it pretty obviously was “all about Mark” at some point, and therefore could not last once he was no longer the bull Alpha. Lots of family run businesses have followed that trajectory as well.

    The relevance to male / female relations has been spelled out. Any church that denegrates men… doesn’t need any men inside it.

  68. The Immaculate Conception.

    She was born exactly the same way as everybody else, the Roman Catholics just need to worship the vagina, and bam, immaculate conception of Mary, which wasn’t really…

  69. And if God made Mary immaculate through his own force and not her own, she had no free will..

  70. Scott says:

    You mentioned this phenomenon in a comment at my site as being the biggest internal threat to any kind of return of biblical headship. I think this is a good warning that needs to be heard regularly. Since most men living today (especially those of us under 50) have never really seen it in action, (while the state and culture were also sending compatible messages) we have a lot of stabbing in the dark to do. No need to hear “you’re doing it wrong” from the self-styled “alphas.” Encouragement is what is needed, even if you get it wrong.

  71. JF says:

    Protestants and RCs in vehement disagreement over Mary and Peter??
    Wow. Now I’ve seen everything.

  72. DaveD says:

    I always took Driscoll at his word: that he was hard on guys because he was in Seattle & had a lot of guys who were hipsters living in mom & dad’s basement with no job or plans. I have no problem telling guys like that to “man up” by getting jobs, moving out etc.

    All I see in this thread is a bunch of guys bitching about how awful church is but doing nothing about it. Its like talking politics with a libertarian; anything less than 100% ideological purity (as defined by you) makes someone the enemy. In the meantime, only ONE of you could suggest a good preacher. One.

  73. Steve H says:

    I apologize that this is entirely OT, but for the love of pete would somebody in the ‘Sphere please eviscerate Holly Fisher already? This is what separates us from TradCon frauds. C’mon now, let’s have at it.

  74. Dalrock says:

    @feministhater

    The Immaculate Conception.

    She was born exactly the same way as everybody else, the Roman Catholics just need to worship the vagina, and bam, immaculate conception of Mary, which wasn’t really…

    Please stop doing this. You know Protestants and Catholics fundamentally disagree here. All this does is stir up division.

  75. new anon says:

    James Rogers says: I used to go to gateway in Southlake Texas. And stopped after they invited Driscoll to speak a month after he Resigned. I will have no part of a church that supports a parasite like Driscoll.

    How ironic. I left my local mega-church after they had Robert Morris (the pastor at Gateway) in to speak his tithing shtick. I’m not surprised Morris has had Driscoll and other mega-pastors like Creflo Dollar (an unabashed “word of faith” preacher) and Joel Osteen (a “prosperity gospel” preacher) come into speak. There is something that ties these mega-pastors together, and it is not (imho) the ability to correctly interpret scripture or theology at all for that matter.

    One problem is they have all used the size of their church as “proof” that God has blessed their ministry. But, that means they can’t point the theological finger at another mega-church pastor who is using the same “my church size proves God is blessing my ministry” argument.

    If anything, they have to be supportive of each other, which means turning a blind eye to theological error.

    The entire mega-church/rock-star-pastor has resulted in a plethora of problems.

    This is probably not the place to go into the problems with Morris’ tithing teachings. I suggest you use the Secret Services process on learning how to spot counterfeit money: study what real money looks like, then the counterfeit is easy to spot. Study what the Bible actually has to say on tithing (tithing.com has a lot of free papers on the subject; Russell Kelly’s “Should the Church Teach Tithing” is a straightforward and thorough examination of what scripture teaches). Once you’ve done that, compare what the Bible says vs Morris’ teaching. The counterfeit won’t be hard to spot.

  76. Derek says:

    I am not so sure that ‘full of grace’ corresponds to sinlessness, even if that’s how the angel greeted Mary. Stephen, the first martyr, is described as being ‘full of grace and power’ as well (Acts 6:8).

  77. JF says:

    DaveD,
    I keep having to repeat myself. Most here are criticizing the branches of the rotten tree. You think you’ve got a handle on it, because you’ve focused lower down, somewhere near the rotten trunk. But I am telling guys like you, over and over and over, the problem is buried in the roots. BURIED in the rotten roots.
    They are BURIED because the 99% of “churches” in the U.S. now that have double-mindedly, unequally yoked themselves to the secular STATE and the true meaning of that is BURIED; no one in the congregation is going up to their hired, contracted, regular-salaried CEO “pastor” and asking to see the CHURCH CHARTER that these “churches” have signed with the State which in fact legally declares that the STATE is the Creator of that “church” and not the Lord. So very few are asking why the notion of a hired, contracted, regular-salaried and semanaried-up “pastor” is so strangely absent from the Scriptures; we read a lot of missionary activity, but even the example of Timothy that today’s licensed hireling shepherds trot out is very, very, very tenuous and frail.
    But these ADHESION CONTRACTS that these “churches” are today signing with the State, they mean something, DaveD. In fact, they mean that that church is NOT a New Testament church. Do you know why the 1st century Christians were thrown to the lions in the Colisseum? It was NOT because they worshipped Jesus. It was because they would not first pay their LICIT to Caesar for the privilege of worshipping Jesus. Rome didn’t and doesn’t care what you worship, as long as you acknowledge that your ultimate obeisance is to Rome. Licit. That’s where we get the word LICENSE today.
    John Bunyan, author of PILGRIMS PROGRESS which so many evanjellybellies would say that they love today (without ever reading?)—that John Bunyan guy wrote that book in prison. Why was he in prison? Because he refused to submit to getting a license from his civil ruler in order for the privilege of preaching!! And yet today we have 99% of today’s evanjellybellies all tripping over themselves to get licenses from Caesar (501c3 tax exempt status/State Incorporation contract) in order to preach and worship!
    This means that, IN LAW, 99% of “churches” in the U.S. belong to and are subordinate to the STATE. So whatever the STATE does, those 99% of “churches” must comply or else they are not only contractual idolators, they are also liars because they are violating the very contract they signed with the secular master.
    People wonder today how it was that nearly all of the “churches” in 1930s Germany went along with Hitler. Those people need to take a look around at the U.S. today. When the churches are unequally yoked to the State, they go along with the State, they start to think like the State, do like the State–or else their secular creator legally quashes or bulldozes them (literally happened in the U.S. already in Indiana, by the way).
    So you throw out there: “Name a good pastor” or “Name a good church.”
    I’m trying, man. I’m trying. I’ve been looking. There is NOT a non-licenses, legit New Testament church in my area. There is probably not one near you either.
    The situation is that bad. DaveD, let me repeat: The situation really is THAT bad!
    The only solution is to do what they have done in China, where the persecution is less sophisticated and more obvious even to the most doltish of believers: Start up a home church, just like they did in the New Testament.
    You gotta go OUT of the institutional crap. Come OUT of her, He said.
    Of course–that’s not gonna be that much easier, perhaps—try getting people to start up a home church with you, and you are going to find that nearly everyone just wants their ears tickled and the warm personal jesus fuzzies.
    I repeat: Do not underestimate how bad the situation is in the U.S. right now. Do not.
    So no, it’s not just as easy as “find a good pastor” or “find a good church.” The problem is WAY beyond that now.

  78. Please stop doing this. You know Protestants and Catholics fundamentally disagree here. All this does is stir up division.

    A question if you will. I don’t intentionally try to stir up ill will between Catholics and Protestants. I don’t actually care for either. However, just as I do care when I believe Protestants and being led astray, I also care when Catholics are being led astray. It is in that line of thought that my link to the Pope was made. He is Amogging an entire base of Conservative Catholics in America, which includes the idea of Patriarchy, and I believe that is important to bring up. He is saying that women are moral and men are not; and that men should listen to women. He is literally giving women the go ahead to rebel. Exactly as Mark Driscoll and Stanton are doing. He fits the same mold.

    I also believe it important that Catholics actually have some substantial backing to their ideal of making Mary akin to a female form of Jesus and worshiping and praying to her. And not just some Priests idea of reading his own thoughts into texts.

    The question I wish to ask is this. Do you not think it’s important to bring that to light or at least discuss it in the same vain that we discuss Stanton and others? Taking into account that the Pope has a vastly larger audience and is granted real powers to change the Religion of Christianity.

  79. new anon says:

    TheRealGeoBooth says: There are mega-churches with sound governance —

    Until they don’t.

    First Baptists Church of Atlanta is an example. They had a long standing rule that any man who divorced was removed from his pastoral position (even if it was his wife who filed for divorce), and it was strictly enforced. There were numerous examples of assistant pastors being fired.

    Then Ralph Stanley’s wife filed for divorce, and SHAZAM the rule disappeared. After all, you can’t expect THE MAN to follow the same rules as the little guys. He can enforce them against the little guy, but follow them himself? No, that won’t do.

    Of course, the real reason is that Stanley was the financial engine that kept the church going and made it a mega-church. Stanley, like most mega-church, rock-star-pastors is all but untouchable. As long as he keeps his nose relatively clean he is all but untouchable (and thus unaccountable to anyone).

    BTW, FBC Atlanta is not a problem church, imho. They teach a pretty conventional baptist message. It is an example though, that even in the best of mega-churches the rules will be thrown out to accommodate a powerful pastor.

  80. BradA says:

    JF,

    The Church has people in it. That problem will remain until we are all transformed completely into His image in the future. All alternatives have the same problem.

    =====

    The Scripture used to say Peter was the first Pope is ignoring the different words used for rock there.

    Though believe what you want. I never bought it even when I took myself to the Red service each week by myself as a teen. The contradictions with what is written are what made me leave.

    Much truth is buried in the RCC, but too much of the traditions of men for me.

  81. BradA says:

    New anon,

    Tell me one organization that is not true for. Humans are stupid and sinfull. All organizations, large and small, face the same challenges.

    ====

    I know swiping at those who believe God is good and does promise to bless those who seek it is a favorite pasttime, but it also misses a full understanding of what is written. Many famous in that area have misused it, but search the ScriptuScriptures yourself and you will find the Of promises it and nothing removed that in the NT.

    It is off the focus of this blog though. I just don’t find it appropriate to swipe at it regularly.

  82. Eidolon says:

    @new anon

    I’ve read about Charles Stanley and his relationship with his son. It’s not right to bend the rule for himself, no doubt about that. I do respect him for, as far as I’ve read, not seeking another marriage or relationship, and for being relatively humble about the situation.

    On the other hand, it seems he wanted his son to take over his church, and when his son went off and started his own church he’s been staying on as the head of FBCA. To me this is a problem — a church isn’t a corporation. Leadership shouldn’t be hereditary, it should be based on who God chooses to lead. And Stanley should’ve stood aside in the main leadership role years, probably decades ago. He has interviews, radio shows, TV shows, etc. to do. To me it’s arrogant for him to hold onto the “head pastor” sort of role when he clearly is too busy (not to mention old) to really fill that role for his actual congregation. How many people is he going to be able to talk to in Atlanta on any given day? Probably close to none. He should’ve relinquished control years ago.

    And yes, that does appear to be an exceptionally good case. I like his son far less. Since I’ve really been paying attention, I’ve encountered one pastor I thought was really solid. We’ve been church hunting for ages since we moved away from there. I feel like a jerk sometimes, like I’m being insanely picky — but all I’m looking for is someone who doesn’t say things that I can prove, from Biblical sources, are wrong, in the first sermon or two. That doesn’t seem like an incredibly high bar to me.

  83. earl says:

    ‘She was born exactly the same way as everybody else, the Roman Catholics just need to worship the vagina, and bam, immaculate conception of Mary, which wasn’t really…’

    Temporally yes…when it comes to matters of her soul she was different since she was preserved from original sin due to God’s grace. Hence this has nothing to do with what genitalia she possess.

    ‘And if God made Mary immaculate through his own force and not her own, she had no free will..’

    If she had no free will why didn’t God just make her pregnant without telling her His plan first? Or why did she have to give her consent before anything happened?

  84. new anon says:

    BradA says: “I know swiping at those who believe God is good and does promise to bless those who seek it is a favorite pasttime, but it also misses a full understanding of what is written.”

    Unfortunately, this exact same line of logic is used to suppress legitimate criticism within churches. Psalm 105:15 (“Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.”) is used to shutdown and and all criticism of a pastor.

    This is taken from the comments on a blog that was critical of Driscoll:

    Dan Youngerling UNITED STATES on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:53 AM said:

    We are not going to take it anymore! Pastor Mark is fed up and so am I.

    God does not bless your rancor and your poison in the Body of Christ.

    Stop this mess and get your heart tender before Jesus.

    This is a phantom issue, please stop the trashing of Godly people and please take a look in the mirror.

    Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” Ps. 105:15

    When you take a long look in the mirror, you will see a hypocrite, pharisee, and a rebel.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/03/12/the-mark-driscoll-facade/

    Before you are critical of a pastor or church, you must first practice DISCERNMENT. Something that is sorely lacking in modern Christianity. The calls for Christians to refrain from being critical is really a demand that Christians refrain from practicing discernment.

  85. new anon says:

    Why in Hades is the subject of Mary’s perpetual virginity being debated on this site. It it totally irrelevant to the site’s subject.

    This is a site about Christian marriage. As far as I can tell, the Catholics and Protestants on this site agree 80% of the time on this subject. The other 20% they seem to be able to debate in a civil manner.

    Catholics and Protestants should be allies on the subject of marriage. Why drive an artificial wedge between the two groups when the discuss marriage by focusing on Mary’s virginity? On this we should just agree to disagree, agree to take the argument to more appropriate venue, and focus on what this site is focused on.

  86. earl says:

    ‘Catholics and Protestants should be allies on the subject of marriage.’

    Well if they would live out marriage like it should be they would be allies. Many of them have swallowed concepts of the world and it has poisoned their marriages.

  87. Patrick Pedat Ebediyah Golston says:

    “The calls for Christians to refrain from being critical is really a demand that Christians refrain from practicing discernment.”

    Good point, and moreover the discerning of the SPIRIT that is in operation at that time is most vital.

    There are things that people don’t think about as it concerns their preacher. For example, was it even HEALTHY for their preacher to even ENGAGE in such ways? I mean, emotionally healthy for the do-er AND the hearer?

    Can you imagine the inner voice of a male congregant, “look man, I’m trying to be a devout husband and Father, but you don’t know what I’m dealing with over here..what with my job, the kids, the sick (mother/father/sister), and my wife who questions and challenges EVERYTHING. So why are you yelling at me (us)?”

    Suppose the preacher did suffer from NPD or BPD…seems it could be disguised as a firebrand who “keeps it real” and is “politically incorrect”…

    There was something else awry… in fact it’s often the “something else” that is truly the problem.

  88. BradA says:

    New anon,

    Huh?

    I am saying go to the Scriptures rather than the opinions of men. I am glad to be b called a heretic if that is what it takes. You seem more like the Paris et your comment mentions.

    I can oppose foolish modern teaching on the roles of men and women without ignoring what is written. Live without his benefits if you want, but I would bet most who chant on this topic are living much better off than most in the world and fail to realize that is an aspect of the same prosperity they decry. Sounds more like a Christian version of Occupy Wall Street to me in many ways.

  89. BradA says:

    Stupid auto correct. That should say Pharisee, not Paris.

  90. new anon says:

    @Eidolon,

    I got the first name wrong. Charles Stanley is the dad who had the divorce.

    Andy Stanley is the son who left and founded North Point Church, at least partially over his disagreement with how FBC changed the rules for his dad’s divorce.

    Andy is also the one who said there are some (theological) issues you can’t address if you want to grow a church.

  91. Earl, now that I’ve said where I come from in this, I’ll leave the debate to others. I would like Dalrock to give my question some thought and perhaps answer it at some stage but I do respect him and his blog to know when I think he has had more than enough of the back and forth with regards to Catholic and Protestant doctrine.

  92. JF says:

    Brad,
    Do you believe those PEOPLE in these “churches” are instructed by the Scriptures to not take gifts from the gentiles, not take even a shoelatchet from the king of Sodom, and to not be double-minded and unequally yoked with the world in their spiritual unions? Do you believe those PEOPLE need to declare always that their Creator is the Lord and not something else?
    You say YES, right?
    Do you believe that CHURCHES should be held to a different, non-scriptural standard here? If so, then what is that Standard? Seriously, what is it? I am asking a serious question here. Aren’t ALL these churches claiming to represent the “Bride of Christ”? Go ask them. I’m pretty sure they’ll tell you.

  93. Dave says:

    On another note, the wife is like God in her husband’s life, according to this link.

    Exerpts:
    “Someone limited to English, unable to access God’s Word in its initial form, might be excused for supposing that the term “helper” could apply to a servant and/or menial tasks. The reality is very different. Never in the Bible does the Hebrew word here translated “helper” imply servitude. It is term for a savior/deliverer. It is such a strong word that it is used almost exclusively of God as man’s helper. For example:

    Exodus 18:4 . . . “My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

    Psalms 33:20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

    Psalms 70:5 Yet I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay.

    Psalms 121:2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Emphasis mine.)

    This strongly implies a wife is like God to her husband. Of course, she does not in any way replace God, but by giving a woman the status of her husband’s helper/deliverer, he is assigning her a Godlike role in his life.

    O my, American Christianity may be beyond redemption.

  94. Regardless, it’s pitiful to hear you attempt to convince us Joseph got a raw deal.

    I thought I was obviously speaking tongue-in-cheek there. Perhaps I should have included some emoticons.

    Point is: Driscoll’s suggestion that guys should marry single moms because Joseph’s life turned out great is wrong in several ways — including the offhand claim that Joseph’s life was just peachy.

    I realize RCC tradition says that, but it is not built on Scriptural evidence.

    Yes, that’s why I said it was tradition, and said nothing about scripture. It’s Catholic tradition that Mary was beautiful, sure, but it’s also the tradition (in a non-doctrinal sense) of all Christian art for two millennia. How many paintings or statues of Mary, by Christians of any stripe, portray her as ugly?

    I wasn’t trying to start a sectarian argument over stuff like the Immaculate Conception here, and I won’t participate in one. Just pointing out one more way that Driscoll’s statement was full of crap.

  95. Cane Caldo says:

    @Opus

    Your description matches a (the) mega-church called Willow Creek.

  96. Opus says:

    @Cane Caldo

    Thanks but it is not that one – too modern and much larger.

  97. Lyn87 says:

    I am going to (perhaps uncharacteristically) stay out of the Mary discussion going on. But I can address some of the other topics from the perspective of a PK (Preacher’s Kid).

    1) Anyone who thinks that NO churches are preaching the gospel – including what the Bible says about intersexual relations – is as wrong as Elijah was in 1 Kings Chapter 19. I have attended numerous such churches over the years. Often people use tests of purity to decide where (or even if) they will attend church. Well… pastors are humans and make mistakes (trust me on this one), and nobody is right all the time (including you and me). But while my Bible tells me that I won’t find anyone who is righteous in this life (Romans 3:10), it also tells me to not forsake the gathering together of believers (Hebrews 10:25). So… stop making excuses. That doesn’t mean that one should accept all manner of error, but it does mean that one should not let despair keep one from fulfilling one’s DUTY to be part of the corporate body of Christ.

    2) Churches having tax-exempt status does not make them beholden to the state – as least for now in the United States. The reason churches are tax-exempt is because the founders correctly understood that regulating religion was beyond the legitimate scope and authority of the state. Having such bodies register is simply how the state keeps track of who may be taxed and who may not. If you have a problem with that, blame the people who pass current tax laws, not the churches who insist that the government stay out of their affairs by declaring themselves as churches. That blame belongs to everyone who is not of libertarian bent, by the way, as every other group seems pretty fond of such taxation.

    3) I have, on occasion, walked out of sermons, and even changed churches a couple of times when the error was too great – and in retrospect I sat through a few services I should have walked out of. That’s always an option, but in those churches where I could influence things I attempted to do so first – it was only the result of the pastor and/or board refusing the follow scripture that I ever dusted off my shoes and walked away. It’s easy to complain – it’s better to confront error (and be called a Pharisee) than to silently leave in a huff. We’re called to bring the light.

    4) Pastors are not called to AMOG – whenever coming from a Mark Driscoll or a Francis I, anyone who stands in a pulpit and declares that “men should defer to women, and everyone should defer to me” should be confronted and corrected.

    …Plane to catch… maybe more later.

  98. Eliezer Ben Yehuda says:

    >>> Jesus’ mom was a single mom & it went pretty well for Joseph.

    No, it didn’t. He was a beta schlub, and in fact is barely present in the Gospels.

    The most important man in Jesus’ life was Judas. God did not send Jesus to earth to enjoy the beach and get job satisfaction from a carpentry job well-done…..

  99. Looking Glass says:

    @Dave:

    The sad part is there’s a little truth to what is going with the topic, but it’s utterly lost in modern Woman-Worship. (I nearly typed “Whoreship” there, which might actually be more accurate)

    God describes himself as “help”, mostly through the Spirit. Much as God created Woman to be a “help-meet”. But the proper read doesn’t make “Woman = God”, so they obviously can’t read it properly.

  100. BradA says:

    JF,

    I am not clear on your point. Abraham took a bunch fro Pharaoh years before, though you are free to assert I should not keep any spoils of war the next time I take my ow personal army to free some kings.

    Do you work for a secular employer? Do they pay you? You are violating your own idea.

    Believing God wants me to do well in all areas of my life requires no marriage to the world.

    Cail, stating it as RCC tradition would be accurate. It is not the core idea of the entire Christian Church. Some go too far in completely negating the value of Mary, but it is not better to effectively worship her. The latter is why some overreact.

    I do not see that worship from you, but it is inherent in some of the contexts, such as the Rosary. Hence the strong reaction.

  101. earl says:

    ‘No, it didn’t. He was a beta schlub, and in fact is barely present in the Gospels.’

    Well he did raise and protect the savior of mankind during His formative years. He’s also a saint. His situation is unique…the child he raised was from God, not some other man’s seed.

  102. @new anon I agree that “Rules for thee, not for me” is inconsistent with faithful Christian witness. I would add, however, that use doesn’t invalidate use. By that I mean that we all agree there are too many churches that have turned into ear-ticking salons, but that doesn’t mean that the Church is no longer important. After all, the Church is one of three institutions ordained by God — the family and the state are the other two — and the Church is Jesus’ bride. @Brad A is right that every individual congregation is flawed in some way. A man’s challenge is to find as healthy and sound a congregation as possible and work to make it better. Isn’t this what we men do everywhere else?

    @Lyn87 I think the 501(c)(3) status of churches will be the next battleground — and it could come as soon as this June depending on how the SCOTUS rules on same-sex marriage. Congregations that intend to remain faithful to Christ would be wise to trim their financial sails and consider how best to continue to minister if the church’s status changes.

  103. Eidolon says:

    I agree that pastors shouldn’t have to be perfect for us to follow. I’m more inclined to send an email to a pastor after a sermon which is contradictory to scripture than I was; I’m trying to be more forthright about my problems with pastors. It may even help them to avoid others leaving quietly in the future, though I haven’t yet had one acknowledge any sort of error on his part. Most of them have struck me as quite arrogant, and they tend to assume the problem was my lack of understanding.

    I’m an engineer, so my problem is this. If I needed help with circuitry, I would go to an electrical engineer. If, within the first short discussion with him, I picked up errors in his understanding of EE — despite my very limited knowledge of that subject — I would thank him, leave, and find another EE. Certainly the fact that EE #2 doesn’t say anything I know to be wrong doesn’t guarantee he’ll give me the right answer, but I would no longer trust the first one, because if even I can tell he’s wrong on something in his field, then I don’t trust anything he says.

    Nearly all the pastors I’ve heard don’t give me the feeling of “this is an expert in this area and I can trust his judgement and knowledge where it surpasses my own in spiritual matters,” which is what I’m looking for. Nearly all say things that even I can prove are wrong from scripture, even though I’m far from an expert there. I’m looking for someone who is clearly an expert in the Bible and Christian theology, such that if I had a moral or theological question, I would feel comfortable asking him and trusting his answer so long as it comported with my more limited knowledge. If I can do that for circuitry, why not theology? Is that too high a bar?

    And following on from that, what should a man do if he can’t find a pastor he respects and can recognize as a biblical expert? If I join a pastor’s church, I’m placing myself under his authority, and ought to do what he tells me unless it’s contrary to God’s instruction to me. How can I be a faithful member of the church if I don’t have that kind of respect for the pastor? Aren’t I being rebellious if I say I’m a member of X church but I don’t listen to the pastor, or ignore his teaching on various subjects and advise my family to do the same?

  104. Dalrock says:

    @feministhater

    A question if you will. I don’t intentionally try to stir up ill will between Catholics and Protestants. I don’t actually care for either.

    But you did when you wrote:

    the Roman Catholics just need to worship the vagina, and bam, immaculate conception of Mary, which wasn’t really…

    Splashman got it started by calling Catholics Mary worshipers.

    I take a pretty light hand at moderation, and I don’t want the differences between Protestant and Catholic/Orthodox beliefs to be out of bounds. I have learned a great deal from Catholics and Orthodox members of this site and on other sites, and hopefully this worked both ways. What I’m trying to stop though are the incendiary shots from one side or the other, which will perpetually derail us into arguments which for the most part are 500 years old. More specifically, I don’t want my blog held hostage, so that we can’t discuss anything before we go back to a list of 500 year old disagreements.

    Catholics have certain beliefs which are foundational to being Catholic. One of them is not relying solely on the Bible. Along with that is the RCC teaching on Mary. It wouldn’t make sense for Catholics to reject these things, because they wouldn’t be Catholic if they did.

    Again, I’m not saying we can’t discuss differences, but the constant derailing of unrelated discussions is tedious, especially early on in the thread. This is the same when it is a Protestant spouting off about the Pope or the Virgin Mary, or a Catholic wanting to make every discussion about birth control and NFP or why I as a Protestant shouldn’t reference the Bible since the RCC also uses Tradition. A biblical example would be Paul in Acts 23:6 brilliantly inciting disunity in the Sadducees and the Pharisees who were trying to kill him. Note that he wasn’t really trying to foster an intelligent discussion on the Messiah. He was trying to sow discord. This is what a small group of Catholics and Protestants are continually doing here, and I’m asking very politely for it to stop. If the same individuals continue doing this, I’ll put them on the ban list.

  105. Random Angeleno says:

    There’s another overseas superchurch, actually a string of them based on one man’s personality and charisma. Check out Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines. I’ve never been inside one their behemoth churches, but I can tell you they are all out of proportion to the relative per capita wealth of the neighborhoods they are situated in. I don’t recall what their theology is, but I understood from the locals that the pastors are AMOG’s who live large.

    As a Catholic, while I won’t wade into the debates above, I will say that pastors are not called to AMOG others. But that often means that pastors are found at the other extreme, they become too wimpy, too much of a milquetoast, too much ruled by the women in their parish. So men leave and don’t come back. Fathers don’t pass their faith on to their children. Msgr Charles Pope has some decent articles on his blog addressing the lack of masculine men within the RCC. Cardinal Raymond Burke discusses this a little bit (see Donal Graeme’s blog about that one).

    Churches being tax-exempt goes back long, long, really long before the USA was even a figment of someone’s imagination. But in order to have that tax-exempt status, some record must be kept within the ruling government so it knows who is or is not subject to taxation. One can go back into history and find this tax-exempt status of the RCC all the way back to the Dark Ages. Source of a great deal of conflict between the RCC and the royalty around it.

    Apparently DaveD sees nothing wrong with a failure to call women out for their sins along with the men. I notice he avoids any mention of calling women out in his comments.

  106. new anon says:

    @Lyn87,

    The core flaw in your statement is you equate these modern INSTITUTIONS we call churches with the biblical word church. They are not the same thing at all.

    Ekklesia (Strong’s G1477) was a common Greek word at the time. It always refers to a group of PEOPLE–not an institution, organization, location, or building–but people. Every variant of the definition is a group of people.

    It would be more accurate to define the things we today call a church as “the building the church shows up to on Sundays to worship; after which the church leaves and goes home.”

    The church is the people, not the building.

    It is true that Hebrews states we should “not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some”. But that means the church (the people) should meet together.

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1577&t=KJV

  107. @feministhater but you did when you wrote:

    the Roman Catholics just need to worship the vagina, and bam, immaculate conception of Mary, which wasn’t really…

    You got me there, that was an underhanded blow. I’ll keep it to a minimum with the discussions on Catholics and Protestants from now on. Perhaps I should have said that the questions on doctrine don’t start out with the intent of sowing discord, however, they often end up that way. Sorry for the derailment, please give some thought to the topic on the current Pope though. I believe he can cause huge problems in future, not just for Catholics but for other Christians as well.

  108. Random Angeleno says:

    I think the 501(c)(3) status of churches will be the next battleground — and it could come as soon as this June depending on how the SCOTUS rules on same-sex marriage. Congregations that intend to remain faithful to Christ would be wise to trim their financial sails and consider how best to continue to minister if the church’s status changes.

    Missed this comment from RealGeoBooth.

    There’s a long history of governments going after religious institutions for money. That history predates Christ even. It is almost always painted as ideological, but it is ultimately always about the money. We are in an age when governments everywhere are hunting down cash anywhere they can find it in order to keep their jobs and their pensions. For instance, witness the state of our civil asset forfeiture laws. Or witness the ever-increasing share of our income taken up by taxes and fees from all governments having jurisdiction over our lives and our businesses. And soon, our religion. So I can see the day when the RCC, the LDS, the Baptists and others will get hunted down and forced to vacate their tax exempt status if they won’t accept gay marriage into their own institutions. It might not happen right away, but it will be agitated for as soon as the Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage. I cannot see them not doing that even though there are six Catholics up there. Mostly Catholics In Name Only now.

  109. Gunner Q says:

    One general thing I’ve observed in Churchian circles is that leadership is closed off. Only one church I can remember had any process by which a member could rise to teaching Sunday classes, fill-in preacher and such. Invariably, the senior pastor held power exclusively and only picked lesser officers (children’s pastor, worship leader, pastors from other churches even) to fill in when needed.

    This flies in the face of the Reformation. Martin Luther coined the phrase “priesthood of the believer” to emphasize the point (paraphrasing here) that discipleship involves raising other men to one’s own level of competence. Churchians still talk about “mentoring the young” but never quite get around to sharing actual power. It ends up being rent-seeking, at best.

    Catholic leaders have a formal hierarchy to hold them accountable. Protestant leaders (in theory) prioritize the training of their replacements who then hold him accountable as brothers in Christ. But Churchians have accountability from neither hierarchy nor peers. Certainly, I’ve never seen church elders call a pastor to task over anything short of infidelity. And when has any of us seen a pastor encouraging debate in church on theological principles? Who checks his math?

    One radical idea, then, is to have churches be formally led by elders who train their own proteges and have the preaching/classes done on a rotating basis, probably with formal debates between theological camps. No more AMOGs, no more changing churches over trivial issues, no more credentialism, the men see an opportunity to make a name for themselves by learning good doctrine, the women gain a better venue for identifying quality men than nightclubs and, if the State closes the church for political incorrectness, it’ll easily splinter into house churches and start growing again.

  110. anonymous_ng says:

    @Gunner Q, I don’t have personal experience with this, but have heard what I’m passing on from friends in the South. There are two types of churches(Protestant and probably Baptist), those with a charismatic preacher who runs things, and those where the deacons run things. Where the deacons run things, the preacher holds his position at the sufferance of the deacons and if his preaching offends them too much, he’ll be out on his ear.

  111. new anon says:

    @TheRealGeoBooth says: “After all, the Church is one of three institutions ordained by God — the family and the state are the other two — and the Church is Jesus’ bride. ”

    As long as this thread is blowing up into a hodge-podge of a theological discussion…

    One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. – Rev 20:9-10

    If the city of Jerusalem is the bride of Christ, how can the church (which is a group of people, not an institution) the bride? How can a group of people be a city–a city people live in?

  112. new anon says:

    Gunner Q,

    You’re not the only person asking what the “what should church look like” question.

    I have a friend in Kentucky that tried something different. A small group of people. The “church” didn’t own anything (land, building, even chairs). They met in homes. There was no single person in charge, instead they had a group of elder men (which was essentially ALL the grown men in the church) that made the decisions. There was no pastor that spoke each week, instead members took turns speaking each week.

    They lasted as a group for a little over a year.

    The institutions we call churches today are not biblical (although neither are the non-biblical; the Bible actually says little about how groups of believers should organize themselves), they are traditional institutions with a traditional structure that has developed over time.

  113. craig says:

    “Catholics have certain beliefs which are foundational to being Catholic. One of them is not relying solely on the Bible. Along with that is the RCC teaching on Mary. It wouldn’t make sense for Catholics to reject these things, because they wouldn’t be Catholic if they did.”

    I’d say Catholics have seven axiomatic beliefs:
    (1) that Jesus is fully God and fully man;
    (2) that Jesus, being fully God, provides the full revelation of God that is intended for mankind until the Apocalypse;
    (3) that the content and correct understanding of this revelation was given in toto to the original Apostles by way of the Holy Spirit;
    (4) that the Church itself was founded by Jesus Christ to be led by His chosen Apostles, in order to teach and preserve the deposit of faith through an apostolic charism of divine authority to declare what does or does not authentically belong to that deposit of faith;
    (5) that the Church continues to have this charism to this day through the apostles’ chosen successors, generation to generation;
    (6) that the Church may discern a more precise understanding of the deposit of faith over time through reference to the scriptures, liturgies, and practices that have been universally accepted by the Church as faithful to the apostolic tradition;
    (7) that the Church may never rescind what it has once taught as belonging to the deposit of faith, and that no new revelation ever has or ever will amend the deposit of faith, and that any ‘revelation’ claiming to do so is, ipso facto, a lie from the pit of hell.

    So Marian teachings are not actually foundational, but it’s impossible for a Catholic to deny them without also denying at least (4), (5), (6), and (7) above.

    Eastern Orthodox can affirm all seven of these for themselves, despite their break with Rome which colors their interpretation of (6) and their disagreement about the charism of the Pope.

    Serious Protestants should be able to affirm (1), (2), and (3) without difficulty, and (7) with respect to no new revelation, but some of them would deny (4) while others would affirm it for the original Apostles but not their successors. All of them would deny (5), (6), and the first part of (7).

    Mainline Protestants can’t be counted upon to affirm any of these without reservations anymore.

  114. Scott says:

    “So I can see the day when the RCC, the LDS, the Baptists and others will get hunted down and forced to vacate their tax exempt status if they won’t accept gay marriage into their own institutions.”

    There is no doubt this is next.

  115. earl says:

    1) Driscol is the classic example of exalting himself and then being humbled. The whole AMOG mindset is one that doesn’t last because they will eventually be humbled. Those who speak of being alpha all the time probably never talk about all the humilation that came their way. Better to be in a humble mindset and do your work…that way you can be exalted by merit and not your empty words or delusions of grandeur in your mind.

    2) Protestants protest Cathlolics because that is the nature of the religion. Luther protested the church. Catholics refute their claims with their doctrine…that’s the way it has been and will probably continue to be unless there is some unification.

  116. Gunner Q says:

    “The institutions we call churches today are … traditional institutions with a traditional structure that has developed over time.”

    They only seem traditional. Churchian churches pick the worst of both the Prot and RCC traditions. Their clergy hoard power without a Catholic-style hierarchy to keep them honest and try to be approachable to the laity without treating them as equals. AMOGs like Mark Driscoll are the result of combining “sola scriptura” with “I am God’s appointed representative”.

    Scott @ 3:03 pm:

    “So I can see the day when the RCC, the LDS, the Baptists and others will get hunted down and forced to vacate their tax exempt status if they won’t accept gay marriage into their own institutions.”

    There is no doubt this is next.”

    Good. The last church I attended passed itself as conservative by ducking all current events and moral issues. I’d love to see their feet be held to the fire because, after half a year of attendance, I still didn’t know where they stood.

  117. Scott says:

    GunnerQ-

    Agreed. I am not really so much complaining as I am observing. The near miss in Houston with the pastors receiving subpoenas was a shot across the bow of what is to come.

    On what grounds to pastors have the right to resist? They are agents of the state under the 501c3 scheme.

  118. Lyn87 says:

    Okay… plane landed. To address those who responded to me while I was flying.

    TheRaelGeoBooth: you are probably right about 501(c)(3) status being the a battleground, although whether it will be next battleground is up in the air. I don’t think we’re at the place where churches will have to conform their doctrine to be considered churches – there would be too much backlash at this point. But your larger point is well-taken: the true church (by which I mean the Bride of Christ, not the Churchian whore) will eventually find herself seriously at odds with the state, and when that happens, the threat of losing tax-emption will be the least of the worries.

    Eidolon: I have told pastors where they are wrong and have gotten mixed results: maybe 50/50. Likewise, I have changed my mind about a few things based on what pastors have told me: it’s more important to be right scripturally than to “win” an argument. Although many here don’t believe it, a lot of those guys really are trying to do what’s right – you don’t go into ministry to become rich or popular (exceptions exist, of course). I’m inclined to think that most of the guys who go the mega-church, rock-star pastor route probably started with good intentions (and maybe some questionable theology), but too many people put church leaders on pedestals because they don’t know their Bibles themselves, and all the deference went to their heads. I cannot think of any reason why I (as a Christian all my life) should not know my Bible as well as my pastor. And while a pastor should be very knowledgeable about theology, his job is to fulfill his pastoral calling, which goes far beyond knowing theology. Studying the word is everybody’s job (2 Timothy 2:15): if I, as a mature Christian, am relying on somebody else to tell me what to believe then I’m failing at my job.

    New anon: there is no flaw in my thinking – the corporate body of Christ is the people that make up the Church. Nobody is saying that you have to go to a 501(c)(3) organization that meets in a tax-exempt building, but you need to meet and worship and serve with other believers in some fashion. The idea – that some have – that registering for the proper status under the current tax code somehow invalidates that ministry is nonsense. It neither validates nor invalidates it in the eyes of God. A local church can meet in a home (I have been to home churches), under a tree (like this one), in a rented space (been to those too), or in a tax-exempt building (lots of them as well). God can, and does, use all these arrangements, and others as well. Whether or not those bodies have tax-exempt status says exactly nothing about how close they are to Biblical teaching and conduct.

    Having said all that, it’s up to each of us to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:15) Then fewer people will fall for either AMOG-ing charlatans or milquetoast “leaders” – and we’ll all be better off for it. And those churches that are Biblically-sound will do what’s right when 501(c)(3) status collides with “Gay Marriage” or whatever else the issue is (keep in mind that churches are currently given wide latitude about such things that businesses are not given – a church can legally refrain from hiring a female “pastor” simply because she’s a woman, for example).

  119. Joe says:

    Driscoll’s right about being the only man in the room if he spews that crap and all the guys just sit there. If I heard that in my church – and one of our young priests is getting close to that with his politically correct sermonizing – is I would be thinking on the way out the door, mid-sermon, “that thing about being the only real man in the room wasn’t true a minute ago but it is true now.”

  120. Bluepillprofessor says:

    Re: The Catholic/Protestant divide on Mary. Sorry Dalrock, but I have a unique perspective as a Protestant who prays the entire Rosary weekly. If you don’t know, the Rosary takes about 1-hour to get through and involves mental meditations on different parts of the life of Jesus while (mostly) verbally reciting the Hail Mary prayer.

    As a Protestant I never cared whether Mary was a perpetual Virgin. If she was, it would be because (according to some of the earliest Church tradition) Joseph was quite old. Or it could be because Joseph had another wife that he preferred. Wouldn’t surprise me if they left that little tidbit out of the book and the traditions. If she wasn’t, it would be because she was submissive to her husband as required by scripture. Mary always submitted and when she asked the Lord for something and he responded with the odd and almost rude “Woman, what do I have to do with you” her response was to look at the servants and tell them the advice for all the ages: “Do whatever he tells you to do.”

    Catholics and Protestants both agree that Mary earned her crown long ago and that of all mortals she has the best chance of getting the Lord’s attention -you know, being His Mother and all. She did what she was supposed to do and I don’t want to know the details any more than I want to know the details from my own mother. Who cares? The whole issue of whether she had sex and how “hot” she was is nothing but a titillating and rather disgusting jerk fantasy disguised as a religious difference.

    Driscol makes me want to heave like a Family Guy puke scene. How dare he!

  121. ballista74 says:

    @Lyn87

    I don’t think we’re at the place where churches will have to conform their doctrine to be considered churches – there would be too much backlash at this point.

    And you don’t think that’s not already happened vis-a-vis inversion of gender roles and full acceptance and support of the divorce culture? There won’t be a backlash, because people are accepting of whatever makes them feel good. Keep in mind, a significant percentage of those who claim Christianity support gay marriage. Most all churches will support gay marriage in the end.

    The idea – that some have – that registering for the proper status under the current tax code somehow invalidates that ministry is nonsense. It neither validates nor invalidates it in the eyes of God.

    It’s not. “The State is Lord” is what they say when they apply for these statuses. In other words, they completely disown Jesus as Lord and King – this indeed invalidates it in the eyes of God. And that’s very true. Such status is not “proper” but voluntary – doing that or joining a group that does that cedes rights to freedom of religion. Freedom of religion does not exist in a corporation pretending to be a church.

    Jesus is of no concern to most churches anymore, beyond putting up appearances. As mentioned before, the churches in Scripture did no such thing in the face of Caesar.

  122. ballista74 says:

    On what grounds to pastors have the right to resist? They are agents of the state under the 501c3 scheme.

    Under the corporate scheme rather, but the point is true. The created have no right to resist the creator – the only response any of these corporate “churches” have to anything the State commands is “Yes Lord thy will be done.”

    Mind you they could cede their corporate and 501c3 statuses, but they will cede all their assets in the course of doing so, since the not-for-profit corporation only exists as trustees of the property for the State’s bidding. This is unacceptable to most, given the very old practice of church building worship, coupled with the fact that they willingly ceded a huge portion of their incomes to the State to build up said assets.

  123. Lyn87 says:

    Ballista74,

    Your first point is moot – churches are not required to accept the state’s official pronouncements on marriage or divorce in order to be tax-exempt. The day that changes, your point will become valid and I will agree with it. Until then, no. I agree that many churches and their members support absurd stuff like “Gay Marriage” and Female “Pastors,” but that just means that those churches are weak, not that the Bride of Christ is laying down with the state.

    Your second point is invalidated by Romans Chapter 13 – adhering to secular tax laws does not mean that a body is worshiping the state as God – otherwise we’d all be idolaters (or tax evaders, which Jesus Himself said was wrong). And filling out a piece of paper declaring one’s faith is exactly the opposite of declaring that “The State is Lord.” On the contrary, that status is saying, The Lord is My Lord, and the State Has No Religious Authority Here.” That’s what the founders intended, and that’s what we have… for now. Hard and bloody lessons from hundreds of years of European history went into this arrangement – history that I suspect few know and fewer understand. As a wide man once said, “Before you tear down a fence, find out why it was built in the first place.” Tax-exemption for churches is proper, as it demonstrates a hard limit on state authority in religious matters – one of the few areas left where the state may not tread. But if you want your church to pay the small number of taxes from which you are exempt, go right ahead… the treasury will be happy to cash your checks and it’s no skin off my nose.

  124. ballista74 says:

    @Lyn87 Such denials of the truth has lead to the downfall of most churches in this country. Educate yourself and maybe we can discuss things further.

  125. Serious question for Biblical scholars….

    As a Protestant I never cared whether Mary was a perpetual Virgin. If she was, it would be because (according to some of the earliest Church tradition) Joseph was quite old. Or it could be because Joseph had another wife that he preferred.

    Is that right there in the KJB? I always just assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that Mary was indeed virgin before the birth of Christ, Christ was born, then Mary and Joseph started “going at it” afterwards. And that it was possible (even likely) that Christ our Lord and Savior had a half-brother or half-sister (or both, or more) fathered by Joseph and not God. To me that just made sense and it would not (in anyway) have invalidated or diminished the Emaculate Conception.

  126. ballista74 says:

    @all some education if you don’t know what JF, myself, and others in this thread are talking about.

    How To Destroy The Church (Part 1)
    How to Destroy The Church (Part 2)
    How To Destroy The Church (Part 3)

    Of course there’s other sources, but that covers the whole thing pretty much with the shortest amount of text possible.

  127. Weenis says:

    Catholics pray to a woman, and to statues.

    Not sure how you can square that up with scripture, but okey dokey. Rock on.

    The new pope has the ecumenical movement well under way.

  128. craig says:

    IBB, Joseph would no doubt have been familiar with the story of Uzzah. Knowing that, would he have ventured into the place that sheltered the Presence of God?? 😉

  129. Eidolon says:

    @Lyn87

    Don’t really agree with you about knowing as much as the pastor. A pastor’s focus, his job, is scripture and theology. I dabble in those things, but not every day. I try to have a solid amateur level of familiarity with the Bible and theology, but I don’t have time to spend hours on it every day.

    If my pastor isn’t considerably more knowledgeable about these things than I am, then what’s he doing with his time? Unless they have a real genius for technology, I should be more knowledgeable about tech than a person who dabbles in it — and not just a little, but a lot more (in my areas of expertise). If I’m not, that says bad things about my knowledge level.

  130. IBB, Joseph would no doubt have been familiar with the story of Uzzah.

    Well jeez…. I thought it was just the Nazis on that uncharted island in the Mediterrian who “bought it” in 1936 because they refused to shut their eyes the way Indy and Marian did?

    Knowing that, would he have ventured into the place that sheltered the Presence of God??

    In all seriousness, Joseph and Mary were married right? Okay, so why would God have had a problem with that? I thought He encouraged that? In fact, I think that Genesis says He demands it.

    The way I looked at Mother Mary was that she was “divine” in that she (more specifically, her body and womb, which was not just “hers”) brought our Savior into the world. Once she did that, her job (for God) was done. Completed. Now, she was free to live out her remaining days as a mortal being a good wife and a mother. Okay, so she’s married to Joseph so they can go off and have more children.

  131. adam alan says:

    Dalrock,

    If what you say is true about the fundamental nature of RCC, then they are fundamentally and irrecoverably part of the feminist/blue pill problem.

  132. Spike says:

    I don’t know about Mark Driscoll,except from the clips I have seen here. His berating of men is self-evident.
    What I will say is that many, many years ago, my local Baptist church had a Pastor almost identical to him. This pastor believed in “holding men accountable” in all areas of their lives, yet there was no reciprocal “holding women accountable” rhetoric, ever.
    At the time I was massively struggling to complete a misguided and badly managed postgraduate degree. Every area of it was bad: my own work, supervision, results, the lot. I was working full-time, completing the degree and thesis writing. I was constantly physically and mentally exhausted and suicidally depressed over it all.
    When he heard of this he (publicly and in front of my wife) pointed at me and told me that he would “hold me accountable” for my efforts. I was crushed.
    Needless to say, when the great heresy of the ’90s known as the “Toronto Blessing” showed up courtesy of the shyster evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne, he was one of the first to attend the local staging of the event, rolling around like a stupid drunk and making a fool of himself. He moved on very shortly after.
    Many contributors here have stated that heresy of the worst kind follows pro-feminist church leaders, and this corroborates them.

  133. Lyn87 says:

    Ballista74 writes,

    @Lyn87 Such denials of the truth has lead to the downfall of most churches in this country. Educate yourself and maybe we can discuss things further.

    This reminds me of something BradA wrote yesterday:

    …Or my son telling me I don’t know how things work in my field of work because he wrote a college paper about that recently. Immaturity has a way of clouding the mind.

    I’ve have both lived this and studied this all my life. By the Grace of God I’ve been a Christian for about half a century. I grew up as a PK, I have been in scores of churches (a military career will do that to you), I have sat on four church boards in three denominations, I have taught in two Christian schools, I have taught classes that included ordained ministers (one had one, one had three, and one had five), and I have studied several sub-categories of history extensively for decades – got a masters in one and knew enough about two more that I taught them. So get yourself educated, then you’ll have grounds to form an opinion.

    Eidolon,

    A pastoral ministry goes far beyond theological knowledge. Granted, a pastor should be very knowledgeable about that (I Timothy 3:6 forbids novices or new converts from holding pastoral positions), but he is the shepherd of the flock also. Bible knowledge is available to anyone, and all Christians have a Biblically-mandated duty to know the tenets of Christianity, not just pastors. If someone who’s been a Christian for 50 or 60 or 70 years doesn’t know Christian theology better than a 30-year-old pastor, something is probably amiss. I knew Christian theology a lot better than some pastors of churches I attended, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t put there by God to perform that particular type of ministry, or that I was more qualified to hold that position – I was not. In one church I attended the pastor was leaving and there was talk on the board of asking me to step into the role. My response was that God had not called me – it had nothing to do with theological knowledge or ability to speak publicly: it is that I wasn’t called. Much of the problem with churchianity is that far too many people think they’re called when it is not God calling them. Most such endeavors quickly fail, others turn into Frankenstein’s monsters. That’s why I’m skeptical whenever I see someone saying that the answer is to form a home church. Sometimes that is called for, but if one lives in an area surrounded by decent churches and can’t find even one worth attending, the problem might be the person.

    We rightly criticize feminists who set their standards so high that no man can attain them while bemoaning the lack of “good men.” Some Christians are that way with churches.

  134. Boxer says:

    As a non-Catholic, I gotta say, all you other non-Catholics are being hella disrespectful.

    Catholics pray to a woman, and to statues.

    You guys realize it’s fuck’n mythology, right? The hero Romulus was born to the Rhea Silvia, a vestal virgin, who was impregnated by a moonbeam sent by the god Mars. She was forced to cast her kids (Romulus had a twin brother) into the Tiber. Fortunately, a she-wolf swam out and fetched them up. Once ashore, she suckled them at her breast, and then found some other couple to take the boys in. That was the founder of Rome.

    This pattern in the hero story has existed for a long, long time, and will continue for a long time. It doesn’t need to be true. We tell the story because it’s meaningful.

    And if you aspie dolts still don’t get it, then just relax. Catholics are here resisting feminism for Mary’s sake. Be thankful to her for that much.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  135. infowarrior1 says:

    @Dalrock
    Agreed the constant disagreement over 500 year old doctrine in a thread not dedicated to it is fruitless.

  136. ballista74 says:

    @Lyn87

    I’ve have both lived this and studied this all my life. By the Grace of God I’ve been a Christian for about half a century. I grew up as a PK, I have been in scores of churches (a military career will do that to you), I have sat on four church boards in three denominations, I have taught in two Christian schools, I have taught classes that included ordained ministers (one had one, one had three, and one had five), and I have studied several sub-categories of history extensively for decades – got a masters in one and knew enough about two more that I taught them. So get yourself educated, then you’ll have grounds to form an opinion.

    Then you’ve set with a lot of ignorance around you. Much of what me, JF, etc, writes is complete news to most of that crowd, when it is their business to know of such things. To openly deny the truth when it set in front of you not only makes you ignorant, but makes you a fool too.

    Note, others: This is the kind of attitude you will face when dealing with the so-called “leaders” of the Church. No wonder the Church is on life-support.

  137. Eidolon says:

    The question I would ask then is, for Protestants at any rate, where does one ask serious theological questions? I’ve generally gotten vague, mushy, or no answers from pastors. You can ask a professor or academic, but their answer will be academic and probably not the mainline doctrine of the denomination, and a lot of academics are way out there anyway.

    The central bodies seem to be at least as crazy as the craziest church in the group, see Presby USA, so I don’t see much use there either, nor would I know how to contact someone there.

    Would you say that many people in the congregation knew the doctrine better than Peter or Paul? Who is our Protestant equivalent of Paul, someone who starts churches and corrects errant doctrine, and is recognized by nearly everyone as having doctrinal authority?

    I don’t know the answer here. I disagree with Catholicism on a lot of grounds, but I envy the ready, worked-out answers for common issues, along with deep explanations for those interested. I worry that Protestantism has taken distrust of authority too far, and has become like an army where every soldier determines his own orders.

  138. Lyn87 says:

    Boxer,

    I’m staying out of the Mary thing, and I’ll point out that the virgin birth is a central tenet of both Catholicism and Protestantism – it’s one of the things we agree upon. And it matters – a lot, because if Jesus was not conceived by a literal virgin then all of Christianity is fraudulent… yeah, it’s THAT important.

    And for the birth of Romulus (and assuming he was an actual historical figure born around 771 B.C.) the myths surrounding his birth came years after the prophet Isaiah foretold the Messiah’s virgin birth, not the other way around.

  139. Lyn87 says:

    Ballista74,

    I’m done with you – come back when you’ve learned enough to have something substantive to say.

  140. Dalrock says:

    @feministhater

    You got me there, that was an underhanded blow. I’ll keep it to a minimum with the discussions on Catholics and Protestants from now on.

    Thank you.

    Perhaps I should have said that the questions on doctrine don’t start out with the intent of sowing discord, however, they often end up that way. Sorry for the derailment, please give some thought to the topic on the current Pope though. I believe he can cause huge problems in future, not just for Catholics but for other Christians as well.

    I think it would be better for a Catholic blogger to take up the topic. They not only will better understand what is going on, but it won’t be a Protestant potentially criticizing the Pope. What I will say though is that there are three things to keep in mind. The first is what the media says the Pope said, the second is what he actually said, and the third is what the RCC teaches. I’ve noticed on several occasions recently the media wildly mis-characterizing what the Pope has said. The most recent being his statements on fecundity and NFP. But aside from that as I understand it the Pope’s statements, even when prepared, aren’t automatically official RCC teaching.

  141. Jvarr says:

    The “Catholics worship a woman” claim would be an issue if the female emancipation/equality/feminism tidal wave actually originated from Catholic areas. Hmmm, it didn’t come from Muslims, Latinos, Orthodox Jews, Arabs, Eskimos, the current Pope or even this Driscoll character…. Oh where oh where did this menace come from?

  142. JF says:

    @ Brad and Lyn:

    Brad,
    You’re obviously a details guy. Let me try again. I’m a big-picture guy myself. But this issue, unlike many others I could think of, I have researched assiduously enough to have many of the details as well. I earnestly hope they can help you have a greater appreciation of the big picture. I will try to go through this one point at a time. I could cite the Scriptural verses to confirm my points if you like, but I believe you will already be familiar with the passages in Scripture to which I will be referring:

    1. When Abraham was told by God not to take even a shoelatchet from the King of Sodom, that wasn’t only for the sake of Abraham that God did that. It was also a metaphor for God’s people to not take gifts from the gentiles because those gifts always come with strings attached. Are we good on that? Would you agree with that symbolism in this passage?
    2. Further corroboration along the same lines: MORE THAN ONCE in the Old Testament, God’s people were commanded NOT to make covenants with the Gentiles. Yet those who say they are God’s people today HAVE made covenants with the Gentiles. The 501c3 tax exempt status and the State Incorporation are but two of the most deadly of these unequally yoked covenants.
    Has God changed?
    3. John in the New Testament warns those in Christ to NOT take gifts from the Gentiles, yet today’s 501c3 tax exempt churches have signed covenants to take gifts from the gentiles. Has God changed?
    4. Paul wrote in Colossians that CHRIST is the Head of His Church, yet about 99% of churches in the U.S. have signed covenants with the State which declare that their Head and Creator is the State and not Christ. Brad, does this not bother you??
    5. I could go on and on with more Scripture, I really could (“ do not be unequally yoked,” for such is “double-minded” and “unstable in all,” etc, etc), but I would like to ask your opinion of what I recounted about John Bunyan. He went to prison rather than take a license to preach as 99% of churches in the U.S. now do. Brad, was Bunyan a dumbhead or what? Seriously, what is your opinion of Bunyan’s action? Do you think he was making a mountain out of a molehill or what?
    6. The history of the early Christians being thrown to lions rather than pay licit to Caesar, also. Were they all dumbheads? They could have worshipped Jesus just like 99% of today’s U.S. churches, but they chose death to the lions instead. Were they dummies? Were they too making a mountain out of a molehill.
    7. The Anabaptists submitted to being mass murdered rather than submit to a licensed State Church. Were they dummies? Making mountains out of molehills? How about the Pilgrims?—they were, of course, Separatists, meaning, they separated from the State Church of their day and braved serious tragedy and hardship because of it. Were the Pilgrims misguided about this too?

    Lyn, this goes for you as well as Brad. You guys are both here because you are RED PILL men about women, right? Well, what we have here is a huge RED PILL about the nature of churches in the U.S. nowadays. Are you guys willing to take this pill, or do you instead wish to stay BLUE PILL men on this particular subject? If you choose to take the pill that opens your eyes, here are some resources for you:

    Hushmoney by Peter Kershaw (booklet)
    In Caesar’s Grip by Peter Kershaw (book)
    The Trail of Blood Revisited by Greg Dixon
    Church in Chains by Barbara Ketay

    Here are relevant links that, if you take the time to read them, might just prove to be the first red pills that you take (because this red-pill-taking is always a PROCESS, right?):

    http://www.unregisteredbaptistfellowship.org/UBF/docs/curve.php
    http://hushmoney.org/Richard_Hammar_review.htm
    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20Government/Police%20State/501c3_unbiblical.htm
    http://www.mercyseat.net/marriagelicense.html

  143. But aside from that as I understand it the Pope’s statements, even when prepared, aren’t automatically official RCC teaching.

    They’re not. Unless he speaks ex cathedra, which popes have only done a few times, he’s as fallible as anyone. The rest of the time, his opinions are just that — his opinions. Faithful Catholics are expected to consider his words with the respect due his office, but we’re allowed to decide he’s just plain wrong. Popes have contradicted each other too many times for anything else to be reasonable.

    I should address this on my own blog sometime as you suggest, but every time I think about it I just get tired. We Catholics are going to spend a lot of time sighing and cringing during this papacy.

  144. Boxer says:

    Dear Lyn:

    I’m staying out of the Mary thing, and I’ll point out that the virgin birth is a central tenet of both Catholicism and Protestantism – it’s one of the things we agree upon. And it matters – a lot, because if Jesus was not conceived by a literal virgin then all of Christianity is fraudulent… yeah, it’s THAT important.

    I find the recurrent cat/prod fighting to be one of the least interesting parts of studying religion; and the evangelical atheists who like to stir up this nonsense usually prompt my replies (which I try to keep at a minimum). If we have a deadly enemy who is constantly harassing us, it’s nonsense to fight the other men who are resisting with you.

    If Mary’s supposed devotee, Joe Biden, would get up on the podium and renounce his faggoty male feminism, and begin agitating for a return to sanity, I’d personally convert, and say candlelit prayers to Mary every day in gratitude.

    Best, Boxer

  145. Hollis says:

    I could see what Driscoll was up to from day one. Funny, he consolidated power in the same way female social hierarchies do. You were as “masculine” as you were personally close to Driscoll. If consensus makes you unpopular, you’re forced to leave the group. You’re unpopular, uncool, and unmasculine. There’s no possible way to use force, so it’s a female hierarchy. It’s a battle of words, friendship and flattery.

  146. DaveD says:

    Random Angeleno, at what point did you read me saying not to call women out on their sins? I’ll give you a hint: you didn’t. So what was your point again?

  147. Bluepillprofessor says:

    @Boxer: You guys realize it’s fuck’n mythology, right? The hero Romulus was born to the Rhea Silvia, a vestal virgin, who was impregnated by a moonbeam sent by the god Mars.

    This was written about in some of the earliest writings of the church and later. Yes there were many stories predating the virgin birth that were similar to the Nativity. All of this has been known- it is just that people discover the ancient literature and go, wow, so that means there were other virgin birth myths before Jesus. Yes…and?

    Mystics call it the universal law of attraction. Christian writers were not surprised in the least that knowledge would foreshadow and indeed point towards such an important event as the Annunciation and the circumstances surrounding the Birth of Jesus.

  148. Isa says:

    @Dalrock
    No, the Pope can only speak infallible on faith and morals when he makes it clear that he is doing so. So if Pope Francis said that we must all believe in the giant twinkie of doom in the sky, we don’t have to listen unless he is speaking “ex cathedra” (literally, from the chair in St. Peter’s). In the last 200 years, there have really only been 2, which were basically used to settle brewing theological fights that were previously settled. It’s not as big a deal or as common as most people think.

    As for getting the entire details behind Vatican news, look to Zenit. They tend to have the entire text of speeches etc so you can determine whether or not to be offended.

  149. Gunner Q says:

    @Eidolon,

    “I worry that Protestantism has taken distrust of authority too far, and has become like an army where every soldier determines his own orders.”

    This is what I was talking about in my last posts. Churchian leaders have the Prot distrust of authority yet treat the congregants as their inferiors. That’s hypocritical, really.

    “A pastor’s focus, his job, is scripture and theology.”

    Well, there’s more to it. Leadership, emergency counseling, weddings/funerals and similar tasks can be just as important.

    There’s a guy I knew who ran a tech company. He said he didn’t understand the actual technology but he did understand people. So, he focused on writing contracts, hiring/firing and similar duties while leaving the actual techie work to the proverbial basement-dwelling geeks. Last I heard, his company was doing well. I wouldn’t mind a pastor who left Bible teaching to others and focused on people issues exclusively… although maybe Chaplain becomes the proper term?

    “Who is our Protestant equivalent of Paul, someone who starts churches and corrects errant doctrine, and is recognized by nearly everyone as having doctrinal authority?”

    This is a deeper question, one neither Prots nor Cats have a formal answer for. It is God’s job to grow His Church and support us, either directly or by raising up appropriate leaders. But He hasn’t done that. In fact, I’ll be so bold as to say God has abandoned His Church, at least in North America. When the Communists infiltrated, He let them in. When they began teaching feminist lies, He let His people be misled. Now that we loyalists are figuring things out and have ideas on fighting back, God isn’t giving any of us the resources or authority to do so. There’s a major lack of spiritual guidance and gifts and this is God’s fault, not ours.

    Well, that’s His prerogative. He built the Church and He can break it if He wants. We must acknowledge the limits of what we can accomplish on our own and not beat ourselves up if our best isn’t good enough.

  150. MarcusD says:

    Being the spiritual leader
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=940880

    ok to use condoms if have std and past child bearing?
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=940966

  151. Boxer says:

    Well, that’s His prerogative. He built the Church and He can break it if He wants. We must acknowledge the limits of what we can accomplish on our own and not beat ourselves up if our best isn’t good enough.

    No fight is over, so long as there are a couple of committed people who are ready to keep fighting.

    Anyway, quit blaming this crap on your god. He had nothing to do with our current problems. They hatched on earth, and they’ll be solved here too.

    Boxer

  152. pukeko60 says:

    The biggest issue is an attiude attributed to Andy the pastor upstream. That you can not preach parts of the gospel if you want to grow your church. I would argue the exact opposite: if you want God to be in your church, you better preach the gospel, if it is wanted or not, and let God grow the place.
    God judges us, and he does not do that by our salary or the size of a congregation.

    I agree with the Preacher’s Kid: there is no perfect church, so find one you can tolerate. The liturgical and confessional churches are a place to start: I’m reformed and the Papists give me hives, but they have a liturgy that proclaims the gospel — and we can argue about transubstantiation and the state of the Marian hymen until the end ot time, when Christ will correct our theological errors.

    Much more important is the warning of Charles Stanley. It does not mattetr how much you make yourself the big chief. If you do not preach all the gospel, and support husbands… and even then, in this time of frivorce, frivorce can get you.

    The only difference is that in the Roman times the Husband had to serve the papers.

  153. Dave says:

    Virginia church fires unwed, pregnant mom for not marrying fiancé.
    The church should have remembered not to judge, because “The only one who can judge me is God himself”, she claims.

  154. earl says:

    ‘Catholics pray to a woman, and to statues.’

    The statues represent people who actually lived on this earth…they aren’t idols created from the minds of men. And we don’t pray to the statue…the statues remind us of who those people are.

    And that woman you speak of…is the mother of our Savior and the spouse of the Holy Spirit. She definitely helps out Christians who ask for her help. We also pray for each other and pray to the saints for their intercession.

  155. cynthia says:

    @ Dalrock

    “I’ve noticed on several occasions recently the media wildly mis-characterizing what the Pope has said.”

    The liberal media hates Catholics almost as much as it hates the Jews and the Evangelicals (while simultaneously pretending that Catholics also embrace the sillier things to come out of the megachurches, such as the “Satan put fossils in the ground to fool man” foolishness). They think we’re anti-science, anti-reason, and anti-humanism.

    They adore the new Pope, because they think he’s a leftist. They want him, need him, to be a leftist. The man skews a bit more towards that side of things than I would like to see, but at the same time, he has spent a lot of time actually working with and advocating for the poor in his home country, and comes by it honestly. They celebrate his simplicity not because they see it as pious, but because it is a “f- you” to everyone who came before him. They take his statements out of context because they want the validation, because they want to tell us that even our leader doesn’t agree with our beliefs. And then they are disappointed, when (if!) they figure out that he is actually adhering to doctrine, and even worse, calling people to be responsible for their own lives and behavior.

    There are plenty of things to criticize about the Church. But the media lacks the knowledge base and critical thinking skills to do so in a way that makes sense, from a religious point of view. All they’re doing is making fools of themselves, these little post-modern idiots looking an an ancient institution and whining that it isn’t what they want it to be.

  156. Robin Munn says:

    @cynthia –

    … the media lacks the knowledge base and critical thinking skills …

    Sadly, this is the case on just about any subject, not just religion, hence the formulation of the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

  157. Scott says:

    Marc-

    Being the spiritual leader

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=940880

    This post was the reason I gave up on Catholic answers. (Plus I’m not Catholic anymore).

    The very first response (a guy, of course). THE VERY FIRST ONE goes for the equalitarian response. That site has no value to the traditionalist-minded person.

  158. Scott says:

    Sorry, –MarcusD

  159. ballista74 says:

    Eidolon says: January 22, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    The question I would ask then is, for Protestants at any rate, where does one ask serious theological questions? I’ve generally gotten vague, mushy, or no answers from pastors.

    Who is our Protestant equivalent of Paul, someone who starts churches and corrects errant doctrine, and is recognized by nearly everyone as having doctrinal authority?

    Part of this issue is, facts put together, that sola scriptura really has never been practiced. Most go on the authority of men, over Scripture, even within leadership. This is what is primarily noted by any denomination from Catholicism, Lutheranism, or any other. Any pastor more generally repeats the opinions of his professors at same-inary than anything formed by his personal study of Scripture. Either by ignorance or laziness, men are listened to over God. Note all the books, all the position papers, and the like that are produced within all denominations. This is where these men go looking for answers to such questions.

    The next question is which men? The ones that have gained popular traction. This is either the higher-ups in denominational structures, or ones that have gained fame by books or the like. Sometimes they belong to societies of churches formed by Willow Creek or Saddleback (Bill Hybels and Rick Warren) and are receiving materials from there. The texts of these men operate with no open criticism through the lens of Scripture, so they are openly accepted *as* Scripture. This becomes incumbent that these popular men be scrutinized, lest someone might not be so lazy as go looking to see whether others have dared dealt with these men, rather than aspire to be as noble as the Bereans themselves.

    You can guess who some of those influential men are by looking at our blogs. Mark Driscoll because he formed his own church association outside of Mars Hill in competition with Hybels and Warren (Matt Chandler is the guy you need to watch now instead of Driscoll since he’s out). James Dobson, Glenn Stanton, Dennis Rainey, because they have popular parachurch ministries that happen to be listened to in this fashion regarding marriage and family. The list goes on and on.

  160. In fact, I’ll be so bold as to say God has abandoned His Church, at least in North America.

    God never abandons his Church. But he does allow her to be purified through suffering when she needs it.

  161. ballista74 says:

    Oh, given these associations and the like, did you know that your pastor could be preaching someone else’s sermon, purchased and licensed from these entities (and you could freelance by writing and selling sermons too btw), and they aren’t going to necessarily admit it? After all why should they given the average laziness of the common church-goer?

  162. Laura says:

    ballista74:

    There are so many pastors who put their sermons on the net these days that a pastor who was so inclined could easily download enough sermons from here and there to get him through the year. He could always revise them a bit to fit his own personal style, etc., but the bulk of the work would already be done. As long as the sermons were run-of-the-mill sermons, and altered a bit before use, a pastor could do it for a lifetime. And if he changes churches every five years, he only needs a collection of around 300 sermons to get by.

    I would rather that a pastor download sermons openly than whine perpetually about how overworked and understaffed he is, and then spend the bulk of his workweek in his office with the door shut, working on his masterpiece. The only danger would be that the pastor would minimize reading/studying the Bible if he didn’t have to come up with a sermon each week. But it has probably always been the case that after pastors have been in the harness for a few years, the amount of time it takes them to produce Sunday’s sermon drops substantially.

  163. Lyn87 says:

    JF,

    I can’t answer for Brad, but I can answer for myself.

    The thing to understand about a body registering it’s intention to operate in an area outside the control of the state is that it is not doing so in order to receive gifts, or be yoked, or enter a covenant, or cede headship… it is to declare to the state that the state may not intrude.

    Almost all liberals (and far too many conservatives), and you, are under the mistaken impression that lowering someone’s taxes constitutes a “gift” to the people whose taxes are being lowered. In the case of churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations, the taxes are lowered to 0%. But…

    tax exemption is not a gift, any more than my not robbing you would constitute a gift. Your money is not mine to take, so my not taking it isn’t a gift to you, any more than the state not confiscating church funds is a gift to that church. It is not theirs to take – and by confessing Christ in a legal document – the ones that confer 501(c)(3) status – the church is making it clear to the state that it do not have the right to act as a ruler with the power to tax. I’m not sure why anyone thinks that formally and legally declaring an intention to engage in Christian ministry outside the regulation of the state is receiving a gift, or being yoked, or entering into a covenant, or ceding headship with regard to the state. It seems to me to be the exact opposite of that.

    When a church files the paperwork for 501(c)(3) status, it is the equivalent of signing a Declaration of Independence from the state in theological matters. Fortunately, we can still do that here. We are required to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, but we are not required to render unto Caesar the things that are God’s – like the tithes and offerings that come into the church… and if still churches can do that (legally and without bloodshed) by declaring that they are Christian ministries, why is that confession of faith viewed by so many of you as “bending the knee?”

    If the state started offering to pay pastor’s salaries, and churches started taking that money, then the comparisons you noted would be valid, and I would agree with you, but that is not the case here. I’m actually far more of a stickler on this than almost anyone I know. I have used my influence on church boards to come out against church bake sales, even, on the grounds that it constitutes going to the world to fund the ministry rather than trusting God to provide – and it comes dangerously close to what Jesus objected to with a whip of cords at the temple (John Chapter 2).

    God has graciously allowed us to practice Christianity in a land governed by the concept of religious freedom (for now). I’m not prepared to dispute the method by which that benevolent state (in this matter, anyway) goes about doing that – that’s Caesar’s business and no concern of mine as long as I’m taking anything from the state or compromising on theology. The time will come soon enough when that won’t be so easy.

  164. new anon says:

    My wife was shocked to find out that a pastor at a church we had attended in the past was using canned sermons instead of writing his own from scratch.

    Personally, I don’t see it as a problem. The point is the get the message across, not to prove to the world what a great original author you are. Getting a GOOD outline and personalizing it to the local congregation or even reading another’s GOOD sermon verbatim is better than giving a ponderous, poor sermon. Heck, I’ve heard a number of sermons where the pastor would have been better off simply reading the Bible out loud–without any commentary at all.

  165. Novaseeker says:

    My wife was shocked to find out that a pastor at a church we had attended in the past was using canned sermons instead of writing his own from scratch.

    Personally, I don’t see it as a problem.

    It’s not a problem, provided the sermon is *good*.

    On Easter, all parishes in the Orthodox Church around the world hear the same sermon — the Easter Homily given by St. John Chrysostom. It doesn’t get much better — he wasn’t called the “golden tongued one” for nothing. Here’s an example from a church in the American Midwest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3A5lVBGxEw

  166. Scott says:

    Nova–are you Orthodox?

    Since “returning” to it (I was chrismated at 6 months old) it feels like an old warm blanket wrapped around me.

  167. Novaseeker says:

    Scott — Yes. I was received into the Orthodox Church in 2000. I remember you saying you had been initiated Orthodox (Serbian I think?). Good to have you back!

  168. Scott says:

    Yep, Serbian by birth baby.

    My wife and chidlren were all received last month. We have another on the way (I guess this is the internet announcement of that)–all 4 of them will have been chrismated by the same priest.

  169. Novaseeker says:

    Excellent! I love seeing babies get baptized and chrismated, and good to hear there is another one coming for you and Mychael!

  170. Lyn87 says:

    Edit,

    I noticed a few grammatical errors in my last post, but only one is really worth correcting. The sentence that reads,

    I’m not prepared to dispute the method by which that benevolent state (in this matter, anyway) goes about doing that – that’s Caesar’s business and no concern of mine as long as I’m taking anything from the state or compromising on theology.

    should say this instead,

    I’m not prepared to dispute the method by which that benevolent state (in this matter, anyway) goes about doing that – that’s Caesar’s business and no concern of mine as long as I’m not taking anything from the state or compromising on theology.

  171. ballista74 says:

    @Laura

    I would rather that a pastor download sermons openly than whine perpetually about how overworked and understaffed he is,

    That’s the reason why I bring it up. Use someone else’s sermon, fine. Admit it and don’t plagiarize. Too many pastors, I fear, are doing exactly that. Giving someone else’s sermon without admitting it is indeed plagiarism.

  172. Joe says:

    @BluePillProfessor – it’s good to see a protestant who gets the notion of intercessionary prayer and meditation on the life of a saint. I think it’s beautiful that you can appreciate our Catholic tradition of that. I will note that some of the liturgical protestants also use the practice, with prayers asking “St. Peter and St. Paul, pray for us.” As an attorney, I meditate on the life of St. Thomas More. What does it mean to be canny and guarded, to advise clients bent on immorality, and to retain one’s own morals. How does one do that? It is difficult and pondering on the story, both what is known historically and the myths and surmises, is instructional. I revere More’s example, as I revere the example of the tax collector who saw the example of Jesus, and vowed to pay compensation to those he had over-billed. (A common lawyer problem, that). We should revere our moral betters. That is what we intend with intercessionary prayer. I grew up around a lot of evangelicals and sometimes got that Jack T. Chick pamphlet crap about following the antichrist in Rome or worshipping the Pope and Mary… there’s about nothing you can say to somebody who thinks that way.

    I also get how some give the impression that we “pray to Mary and statues.” In terms of the doctrine and what is taught in churches faithful to the Teaching Magisterium, that is untrue. But a lot of my fellow Catholics are quite simple folk, not particularly up to speed on what Rome teaches, and there is a borderline cult of Mary that makes me a bit uncomfortable at times because I am not entirely sure that it is always legit, and among the unwashed it sure looks like flat out Mary worship. That said, Catholicism has always been hijacked by various local cults, and modified to suppport the local religion whether it’s animism or pantheism, or in the case of Mexico, some death cults that probably date back to Aztec days. It would be churlish of me to get resentful about this, having only just taken down my Christmas tree…

    Ironically enough, I’ve started reading a chapter of the bible each night at the dinner table with my family. I am doing this because I believe that there is not enough of The Word in the weekly liturgy and I want my wife and son to hear the Word regularly and think hard about it. As a communicant in the world’s largest Megachurch I’m very conscious of the fact that administratively, the Church is about as dumb as any other huge company. On matters of faith, where the bishops and Pope have convened and the Pope issued a papal bull, I have to believe. But there are a few articles of faith that I believe on a level of committed faith – I believe in the Virgin Birth for instance because even though it does not make sense to me, it is an article of faith, and we are told to believe, and perhaps that is Christ’s challenge for us, to believe in something our rationale mind and the world simply cannot explain or accept. So too the transubstantiation. There is much we do not know and the rationale part of my mind leaves that in a bin, “things I can’t explain but don’t mind if his heart believes.”

    The administrative stuff – the pray, pay and obey mantra – I don’t think that’s beyond criticism. In fact I think it would be wrong if I did not correct my brothers in faith, per St. Paul’s admonition. The churchians in my faith seek, in addition to allegience to Christ, total allegiance to the Administrative church. Perhaps I’m a heretic but I believe that the Church is the relationship between Christ and His people, and as a Catholic believe we also have the intercessionary assistance of the Priest in the sacraments. But there’s nothing mentioned anywhere, inlcuding the teaching magisterium, about a BMW being the Church’s car or the priest’s preference for a particular social policy being the Church’s policy, or why we have to be silent when they botch the handling of child molestation incidents.

    It is a very difficult thing these worldly men, these overly successful mendicant friars, have thrust upon us – and it is coupled with a threat that if we do not follow them in every cockamamie, off-point thing they do, then we imperil our souls. That may be the case but I think as a believer we are charged to follow God’s rules and at times the trivial regulatory efforts of men make that quite difficult. I find myself in dangerous territory here, having to search my conscience before I speak to my son about what is going on in our church. I think there are many paths to God; why do so many in our churchs seek knowingly or perhaps unwittingly to toss us off of them?

  173. imnobody00 says:

    Thank you, Dalrock, for your position of not letting this polemic between Catholic and Protestants get out of hand.

    I am a Catholic who has learned a lot from Protestant authors (especially in the field of apologetics) and, in fact, I have read more from Protestants than from Catholics. I regard Protestants as my brothers and sisters in Christ, which I love and respect.

    In the country I live, Protestants are always referred as the “separated brethren” during the Mass, the main word being “brethren”. They are united in Christ with us. This is why, when a Protestant becomes Catholic, he does not need a new baptism because the our church recognizes the Protestant baptism as valid (Canon Law 869).

    I think the division of Christianity is a great evil and it pains me to see that Christ only intended to create one Church but we have ended up with one thousand Churches, which are the product of our pride, lack of understanding and intolerance.

    Sometimes, when we fight about our different opinions, we forget that the things that we share are more abundant and more important than the things we don’t share. In a world of atheists and non-Christian religions, Christians should be united.

    As C.S.Lewis (an Anglican who was a close friend of Tolkien, who was a Catholic) stated .

    When you have reached your own room [denomination], be kind to those who have chosen different doors, and to those who are still in the hall [with no denomination] . If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house [Christianity].

    However, I understand that are people who are into discussing those things. They have a lot of blogs where they are welcome to do that. This is a blog about Christian red pill, not about arguments between different Christian denominations. You don’t go to a blog about cooking and start talking about baseball. This is hijacking the discussion.

  174. Lyn87 says:

    Joe,

    I’m not going to get into the subject of liturgy, as I’m avoiding the Catholic / Protestant contretemps, but I’ll ask you to reconsider your veneration of “Saint” Thomas More. He gleefully murdered Christians by torturing them to death. Whatever words may legitimately be used to describe him, “saint” isn’t one of them. Even his supporters acknowledge that he martyred at least six Christians by burning them alive after other methods of torture had been applied.

    He was beheaded for refusing the acknowledge Henry VIII (who was a very naughty boy indeed) as the head of the church in England because he preferred to acknowledge Alessandro Farnese (who was also a very naughty boy) in that position. In any case he died a far less painful death than his victims did.

  175. Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail, but that doesn’t mean the Church will always and everywhere be healthy. At one time a majority of bishops were Arian heretics, and I’d argue a majority of 21st century bishops are Modernist heretics. And that’s not even getting into the heresies in the mainline Protestant churches and the rampant feminism everywhere.

  176. MarcusD says:

    @Scott

    “This post was the reason I gave up on Catholic answers. (Plus I’m not Catholic anymore).

    The very first response (a guy, of course). THE VERY FIRST ONE goes for the equalitarian response. That site has no value to the traditionalist-minded person.”

    A lot of people on there are unfamiliar with Church teaching (and yet, are attempting to teach others). It’s quite a mess. I suspect that CAF is actually damaging the Church rather than helping it.

    “Sorry, –MarcusD”

    No worries.

  177. Laura says:

    Scott: Congratulations on the addition to the family!

  178. John Salt says:

    In the wake of his downfall, I’ve been reading and listening to some of the attacks on Driscoll as proffered by fellow Christians. Apart from what I consider to be the substantive issues surrounding his plagiarism and some misappropriated funds, I was surprised to discover that their main thrust instead constitutes an hysterical condemnation his anti-feminist, anti-gay, pro-masculine message: http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/driscoll-troubled-mind-william-wallace

    One oft-repeated critique of Driscoll points to comments he made on his own church’s discussion board – but under the pseudonym “William Wallace II” – in the year 2000. They can be found here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0By0MyUeolZbgU2FMOEVUYTRuTmc/preview?pli=1

    Reading through this and other material, one finds that Driscoll routinely echoes sentiments which are not only in line with the manosphere in general but those of this blog in particular. I’d advise everyone here to read through it and see what I mean. An example:

    Driscoll, in response to a woman on the discussion board:

    “I speak harshly because I speak to men. A woman might not understand that. I also do not answer to women. So your questions will be ignored. I would however, recommend to you a few versed to memorize: I Timothy 2:11-15 I Corinthians 14:33-35.To learn them, ask your father or husband. If you have neither, ask your pastor. If she is a female, find another church. If you are the pastor, quit your job and repent.”

    Driscoll, in response to posters who objected to his comments:

    “Please hike up your skirt and come to my house. I’ll bake you something and pretend like I care.”

    I’d say Driscoll was at least halfway “there.” He seemed to acknowledge the contemptible dearth of masculinity in modern Christianity and, indeed, he viscerally internalized a real desire to do something about it. Unfortunately, he did not understand the naked biomechanics of female sexuality well enough to avoid building much of his his house upon those shifting sands; his apologies, his softening image, and his many actual misdeeds have turned his wine to water, as was inevitable.

    But I will say that the saga of Mark Driscoll, as an unintentional case study into the re-emergence of blatant – if a somewhat misguided – masculinity into modern Christianity, is a very encouraging phenomenon. He shows that a brash man’s-man pastor can, when packaged correctly, enjoy tremendous success; his presence confirms the hunger that exists out there for this kind of leader. He has also again revealed that many mainstream Christians will viciously turn on anyone who upholds scripture in the face of the new progressive tropes – It’s good to know who the enemy is.

    Yes, Mark Driscoll screamed at men to man up. He did it in front of the women which was a huge faux pas and a stunt to give the usual indignation junkies their fix. But often, in so doing, he was imploring the men NOT to keep their mouths shut “as Adam did” whilst allowing women to run things into the ground. In other words, Mark Driscoll grew a megachurch whilst telling men to take charge, telling women to shut up and stay fit, and doing it in an area (Seattle) that is traditionally hostile any non-progressive agenda, much less Christianity of any sort. That is worth noticing.

    Disclosure: I’m a non-religious but very interested third party who would love to see a properly masculine Christianity regain control of Western culture. I also think Mark Driscoll is undeniably guilty of serial plagiarism and spending church funds inappropriately, and for these reasons should not be allowed near the pulpit for a good long while.

  179. Driscoll was just a frustrated Beta christian who had his Stanton-esque delusions of women’s pedestal-worthy sexual control dispelled for him. But rather than let that disillusion lead him to a greater truth he doubles down on his christian FI conditioning.

    And like most angry Betas who realize no one is playing by the rules women said they should, he fashions himself as a christian AMOG by berating other christian chumps for women not playing by that old set of rules.

    There’s no greater Beta than a self-righteous Beta evangelizing for a greater dedication to the Feminine Imperative and blaming men for not living up to creating better women.

  180. Random Angeleno says:

    @DaveD

    Random Angeleno, at what point did you read me saying not to call women out on their sins? I’ll give you a hint: you didn’t. So what was your point again?

    You’re right, I didn’t. The fact is you actually said nothing at all about women. At least not until I poked you. But since you did say of Driscoll that “He was the most masculine & man-positive preacher I’ve ever heard”, it was sorta hard not to put the two together and conclude that you do not believe in calling women out for their sins because that’s how Driscoll is and you never once indicated that you are against that part of his message. So that was the context of my previous comment to you. Now you come back and say “I didn’t say that”. Okay, but it would have helped you separate yourself from Driscoll’s theology in our eyes if you had made yourself clear upthread.

    Dalrock has written plenty about Driscoll before which will help to explain why we hold him in such low esteem around these parts. The search function will do ya good. check it out.

  181. Gunner Q says:

    Lyn87 @ 9:43 am:
    “We are required to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, but we are not required to render unto Caesar the things that are God’s … if still churches can do that (legally and without bloodshed) by declaring that they are Christian ministries, why is that confession of faith viewed by so many of you as “bending the knee?””

    Because it works both ways. Churches who take the exemptions cannot engage in politics, which is what freed our leaders from moral standards. Separation of Church and State? More like Separation of Conscience and State.

    Example, the tax-exempt Church cannot oppose Marriage 2.0 because it’s the State that is doing it. Calling for the repeal of no-fault divorce and upholding a different definition of marriage that the government’s, one not involving sodomy, are violations of the tax exemption.

    If churches were tax-exempt, full stop, then there would be no problem. When tax-exemption comes with a gag order, however, it interferes with our Christian duties to oppose evil. This is why most churches have disengaged from the public sphere, which in turn is why men no longer find church useful, which in turn is why churches now concern themselves only with women, children and going through the motions of worship.

    John Salt @ 12:16 pm:
    “Yes, Mark Driscoll screamed at men to man up. He did it in front of the women which was a huge faux pas and a stunt to give the usual indignation junkies their fix. But often, in so doing, he was imploring the men NOT to keep their mouths shut “as Adam did” whilst allowing women to run things into the ground.”

    As you say, Driscoll verbally abused the men in his church, humiliated them with undeserved public accusations and then demanded they make the church’s problems magically go away. He was a bully.

  182. Lyn87 says:

    GunnerQ,

    Your understanding of the restrictions under which churches can operate in their tax-exempt status is somewhat flawed. Churches can absolutely come out against homosexuality and “gay marriage” from the pulpit without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status in the U.S. (not so in Canada, if I understand their laws correctly). That may change at some point in the future, but it’s been that way for a very long time, and is that way now. What they cannot say is, “When you go to vote, you should vote “No” on Proposition 14 and vote for Candidate Bob Smith for Governor.”

    Basically, churches cannot engage in direct political speech under the guise of ministry (although the majority-black ministries that openly supported Jesse Jackson’s Presidential runs in 1984 and 1988 were never threatened with losing their 501(c)(3) status). The legal work-around that some organizations use is to divide the organization into different entities, with those entities that engage in political activities not receiving tax exemption. We can debate the ethics of that, but that’s not what we’re talking about for the vast majority of churches.

    I’m skeptical of the idea that once the USSC legitimizes “gay marriage” (which may not even happen), that churches will be required to perform the solemnities as a condition of maintaining their status. If they are, they will have to give up that status, of course. We’re not there yet. Although there have been bad rulings with regard to business owners who refuse to bake cakes / provide flowers / etc for “gay weddings,” those rulings were based on different laws regarding commerce – laws which typically do not apply to churches. For example, a corporation may not refrain from hiring a woman as CEO because she is a woman, but a church may refrain from hiring a female pastor if female pastors violate their religious beliefs.

  183. Scott says:

    Lyn87-

    I understand where you are coming from, and I was once a right leaning libertarian. Everything you wrote at 23Jan14 1328 is technically, legally true.

    However, it is the hopeful phrase “we’re not there yet” (and the two or three sentences that follow) that reveals where we differ. You still have faith in our system, I don’t.

    Everything that we all “knew” was impossible under the federalist system came true. Every last thing.

    It is only a matter of time until churches are sued for not performing gay “marriages” and everyone knows it. They have found ways to use libertarian style “freedom” to march through the institutions for decades, and this will be no different.

    I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.

  184. Scott says:

    I should have written “It is only a matter of time until churches are sued for not performing gay “marriages” (or lose their tax exempt status, forced to perform them, or this or that, or some other heavy handed government intervention) and everyone knows it.”

  185. new anon says:

    @Lyn87,

    What you are missing is the chilling effect of tax free status.

    After every election cycle, you hear stories of several churches being investigated for violating their tax exempt status by participating in politics. Does anything come of this? No. As far as I know, not church has had its tax exempt status revoked.

    But, as the churches are investigated and forced by the IRS to jump through hoops to prove they should keep their tax exempt status, the message heard is loud and clear: stay away from politics. For some churches this will mean softening their stance or ignoring hot button social issues. For others it will mean taking a “we don’t do politics” stance. For others it will mean not endorsing (or condemning) a political figure or candidate from the pulpit (something that was common at one in America at least, of course at one time America didn’t have an income tax either; making the question of being tax exempt moot).

    Churches have the right to do a lot of things according to the Constitution, but they don’t, because in the back of people’s minds is the question “what if this causes us to lose our tax exempt status as a church?”

  186. Lyn87 says:

    Scott,

    I agree with your assessment about where we are going, which is why I added, “… they will have to give up that status, of course. We’re not there yet.” When that day comes, I’m not going to say that churches should compromise to save their status – at this point all I’m saying is that the current situation does not mean that today’s churches are ceding headship to the state. As for the future: I have no more faith in the state than you do, I suspect.

    new anon,

    You’re assuming things about my mindset that aren’t true: I’m not missing anything. Perhaps you forget that I lived this for decades: as a PK and a member of multiple church boards. I get it… really, I do, but if some churches are curtailing the preaching of the gospel now… is it even valid to consider them to be strong churches, anyway? And if they’re buckling under a nearly-non-existent “chilling effect” today, what chance do they have of staying right when the real persecution starts?

    Persecution has a way of separating the serious Christians from the non-serious ones. Interesting times lie ahead.

  187. Scott says:

    I agree with your assessment about where we are going, which is why I added, “… they will have to give up that status, of course. We’re not there yet.” When that day comes, I’m not going to say that churches should compromise to save their status – at this point all I’m saying is that the current situation does not mean that today’s churches are ceding headship to the state. As for the future: I have no more faith in the state than you do, I suspect.

    Fair enough. I am going to retire somewhere in Montana in about 6 years, if you and yours care to join us while we ride the storm out. I have lots of food and ammo.

  188. JF says:

    @Lyn87:
    So it’s the Blue Pill you have chosen then.

  189. Anonymous Reader says:

    I am going to retire somewhere in Montana in about 6 years,

    Raising up a crop of …. dental floss?

  190. Scott says:

    Funny.

    I am just going to have a few horses, possibly write a few books about military psychology, do some forensic consulting, and watch my kids grow up. Maybe work at the Helena VA. They generally can’t keep their psychologist slots filled.

  191. pukeko60 says:

    @Scott and Mychael, congratulations, and I hope Mychael is OK — each pregnancy is different.

    I live in NZ. The problem here is if you rent out your buildings you cannot discriminate. The eldership in my church will only let a bona fide minister of the gospel perform a wedding in our faclilities. Our denomination says that only heterosexual weddings can be performed by ministers of the PCANZ.

    But if we hire the place out, Caesar says their rules apply. In the USA, the IRS is politicized, says me from another country: trust it not.

  192. Elspeth says:

    Congratulations, Scott and Mychael. You’re very blessed and I hop she’s feeling well.

  193. Gunner Q says:

    “Churches can absolutely come out against homosexuality and “gay marriage” from the pulpit without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status in the U.S. … What they cannot say is, “When you go to vote, you should vote “No” on Proposition 14 and vote for Candidate Bob Smith for Governor.”

    We’re way past the point of these being two different things. A couple years back in California, Sacramento mandated teaching sodomy to public schoolchildren AND forcing those boys and girls to share bathrooms. The Church did not respond. How could they, without stating “This is an abomination. The government is doing evil. It must be stopped and these specific politicians must be held responsible”? To keep their tax exemptions, the entire Church in California, so far as I’m aware, turned a blind eye to the sexual violation of kids.

    To Hell with tax exemptions. How are the followers supposed to fight evil men when the leaders won’t? That’s why I refuse to support church anymore. That’s also why I’m proud to support the Constitution Party. They are not afraid to call evil by its name.

    Scott @ 3:05 pm:
    “I am going to retire somewhere in Montana in about 6 years, if you and yours care to join us while we ride the storm out. I have lots of food and ammo.”

    Give me your address? Only half-joking. I hear a lot of Christians are moving to that region. God wants me in Cali for now but I might eventually go that way too.

    That reminds me. Your wife is Mychael, right? In “Turning A Blind Eye” she kindly volunteered you to organize a “Christian Manosphere Meetup” this year. I would organize it myself except people tend to avoid my parties. Any interest?

  194. Scott says:

    GunnerQ-

    My entire first website, http://www.courtshippledge.com is about meeting other like minded folks. At least that was my ultimate goal.

    Of course, it is geared toward people with kids (of all ages) to build a community of people who are willing to teach their kids to expect courtship, and so on. I still believe in it, but it is not taking off. I have been told it is because parents still don’t understand how dire the need for it is. Even many “red-pill” (or whatever label you want to give them) parents think their kids are going to magically be successful at “dating”

    But I digress. The point is, the best way to reach me is to go there, make a comment, and I will have your email. I still am operating under the assumption that dark enlightenment/manosphere/reactionaries/traditionalists…… need to organize. Complaining about the decline on websites is cool and all, but what next?

    You could go here and reach me too:

    http://www.westernphilosophyeasternfaith.blogspot.com

    I hope you will.

  195. Scott says:

    Elspeth, et al–thanks for the well wishes. We are very excited. This will be # 4.

  196. BradA says:

    JF, can you provide the Scripture you are noting where God told Abraham what to do in relation to the king of Sodom? I know Abraham said that, but I don’t recall God telling him to do that.

    I do believe he had already tithed to Melchizedek at that point as well. I have just always found it a bit hypocritical of Abraham to assert that when his foray into Egypt was so lucrative for him. I can see reasons for it, but Abraham was a man like all of us.

    I will also repeat my assertion that most Christians have a job outside the church. That means they have some connection to the ungodly and very often work for them. You seem to be advocating a false standard that helps no one and claims a false righteousness. I completely agree that a Christian should not marry, go into a partnership or otherwise directly connect to those outside the faith, but having no connection is unrealistic. Do you register your car?

    I see nothing from John that says to never take anything from those outside the church. Which Scriptures are you referring to?

    The people you mention have their own flaws since they are still human. No man is perfect nor are any churches therefore perfect. All will be influenced by their day and it is an ongoing challenge to stay faithful. Many are idiots, but few are intentionally evil (IMO) as you imply. I don’t buy it nor do I find the Scriptural support for such.

    I am sure most here would believe I am even heretical on some beliefs, but I go off the Scriptures, not anything else. I am willing to change if those show me to be wrong, but I know enough of them that doing so is quite a challenge.

    I believe the core of what is commonly maligned as the “health/wealth gospel” as I find the core to be Scriptural, though I no longer support many of the individuals I followed quite closely in the past as I have seen too much of their feet of clay. I have rejected many of the trappings, but I still hold to the core teachings. I cannot say the same of some false idea that seeking 501c3 status is the evil you present. Go for it if you wish though.

    Note that I am also a “big picture” guy in general, though the basic facts I know have to support the big picture or I don’t believe it. I have not served on any church boards like Lyn87, but I have listened to hours and hours of Bible audio along with a wide range of preachers (who sometimes disagreed with each other). I don’t know it all, but I know enough to have a decent foundation in my view.

    Cail,

    When said “Western Church” in a previous comment, did you mean that as opposed to Eastern Orthodoxy or something else? I apologize to Dalrock for diving into the RCC stuff, but my intent was just to respond to that assertion. I am curious what you were encompassing with that comment.

    Boxer,

    Strong arguments have been made that a great deal of what is now called Christian tradition was brought in when the “church” took over the Roman empire and needed holidays to make up for the ones they replaced. It is impossible for Jesus to have been born in the winter, as one example. I don’t get on the entire bandwagon against it, since the exact date is not the issue in my mind, but I do shy away from some things because of what I see as outside influences.

    I think some of it is just like the RCC and other Christians after them, staying far away from the Biblical Passover date to avoid perceived “contamination” from Judaism. Christians need to watch they don’t go too far in their efforts to avoid some problem areas.

    Eidolen,

    where does one ask serious theological questions?

    I have no idea. I have done so many times and usually get little back. I do not know of many good forums for that, though several different settings will hold forth on specific issues. Few can handle deep challenging, in my experience.

    I worry that Protestantism has taken distrust of authority too far, and has become like an army where every soldier determines his own orders.

    True. That is the tough edge to balance on. Each individual must search things out as the Bereans, but we also need to follow proper leadership. Makes things interesting.

    Boxer,

    I find the recurrent cat/prod fighting to be one of the least interesting parts of studying religion

    That would be a part of almost any human discussion. Name a topic that gets long term discussion interest without some level of challenging. Don’t study computer topics if you don’t want confident people proclaiming their way is right and all others are idiots, either!

    Anyway, quit blaming this crap on your god. He had nothing to do with our current problems. They hatched on earth, and they’ll be solved here too.

    Yes and no. He clearly has us work out a lot of details, and reap the consequences of our actions, but He does divinely intervene and sometimes even work to change the heart that is open to changing (only He knows the difference there), so it is not completely in our hands. I am very thankful for that myself as I do a very poor job being lord of my own life without His guidance, as I have shown at times, and I am probably one of the better ones of the bunch.

    This is one reason I oppose the whole “God is completely sovereign idea,” at least as far as micro managing life. He leaves a lot to us and we live in a nasty world. Though He is still outside of it all and can help us accomplish more if we will seek Him.

    cynthia,

    while simultaneously pretending that Catholics also embrace the sillier things to come out of the megachurches, such as the “Satan put fossils in the ground to fool man” foolishness

    You might want to do better research. I have not heard that in a single mega church I have been in, nor any of the smaller ones for that matter. I didn’t hear it in my early days in the RCC for that matter. Some (including myself) don’t buy the huge ages we are sold, but that is because we have different explanations, not because we claim they are from the evil one.

    I am just trying to comment on the built-in sideswipe, not argue the issue.

    Cail,

    God never abandons his Church. But he does allow her to be purified through suffering when she needs it.

    I would completely agree with that. That Church would include all who follow Him, however imperfectly and possibly even some who are way off since it is based on a reborn spirit and nothing else.

    RE: Canned sermons:

    I can’t see following a sermon either way. I might survive on an outline for a bit, but I could never be that structured. I also fail to see how preparing a sermon should be intense of a job as some present, though studying the Scriptures should be at least somewhat intense for all of us.

  197. BradA says:

    hear the same sermon

    That would bore me to tears in most cases. I can handle covering the same material and idea, but merely reading the same message? What is the point of having a local person in that case? Do that if you think it right, but it doesn’t seem to fit. Even the Gospels tell similar things with a different spin. Reading Matthew 4 times would be much less informative than having the perspective of all 4, for example.

    GunnerQ,

    That is why I don’t and likely never will live in California, even though I could get into some very interesting jobs there. (The cost of living issue makes it a bad place to live as well though.)

    Try that here in Texas and it wouldn’t fly as much, though we will likely see more contention in the future if Austin tries to force crud on everyone else.

    The situation is lousy and makes me quite pessimistic for the future, but God is not reliant on my pessimism to work. He will ultimately have His way and His Church will grow, however bumpy the ride along the way.

    I am amazed we made it this far.

    Scott,

    Congratulations. I would love to find a similar living situation in the future myself, but I seriously doubt moving that far north again. I also know that it would not stay completely bound together once more than one person was there! I wish I knew the true solution.

  198. Don Quixote says:

    John Salt says:

    January 23, 2015 at 12:16 pm
    In the wake of his downfall, I’ve been reading and listening to some of the attacks on Driscoll as proffered by fellow Christians. Apart from what I consider to be the substantive issues surrounding his plagiarism and some misappropriated funds, I was surprised to discover that their main thrust instead constitutes an hysterical condemnation his anti-feminist, anti-gay, pro-masculine message: http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/driscoll-troubled-mind-william-wallace….

    Well said John Salt.
    I read the article @ rachelheldevans.com and was also surprised at the sentiments expressed by Driscoll. We [christians] are like so many arm-chair-analysts looking at the faults of our brethren and overlooking our own. I think if Driscoll just had a mature red-pill mentor he would still smell like roses, and have his position at church.

  199. JF says:

    Brad:
    can you provide the Scripture you are noting where God told Abraham what to do in relation to the king of Sodom? I know Abraham said that, but I don’t recall God telling him to do that.

    JF:
    Genesis 14:23 KJB

    Brad:
    I will also repeat my assertion that most Christians have a job outside the church. That means they have some connection to the ungodly and very often work for them. You seem to be advocating a false standard that helps no one and claims a false righteousness. I completely agree that a Christian should not marry, go into a partnership or otherwise directly connect to those outside the faith, but having no connection is unrealistic. Do you register your car?

    JF:
    Brad, do you seriously mean to equate someone’s job as mailman or a schoolteacher or a cop or an IRS agent with the position of a teacher of the Scriptures? I don’t think that will hold up when looked at through the lens of the Scriptures: James 3:1 KJB; Luke 12:48 KJB

    JF:
    Brad, did you SERIOUSLY mean to equate a CAR with a CHURCH? Really?? Do you seriously want an answer to that??

    Brad:
    I see nothing from John that says to never take anything from those outside the church. Which Scriptures are you referring to?

    JF:
    3 John 1:7 KJB

    JF:
    This is not terribly advanced stuff, Brad. I want to assume you know the Scriptures as I had previously assumed. I really do. But your questions are rather surprisingly basic ones. Even if you didn’t know these, and even if you didn’t have a copy of the Scriptures handy, you could have easily done a Google search and found these verses yourself. Yet you did not conduct yourself like a Berean (Acts 17:10-11).

  200. A Regular Guy says:

    Congratulations on the new baby, Scott!

  201. When said “Western Church” in a previous comment, did you mean that as opposed to Eastern Orthodoxy or something else?

    Yes. The RCC has always maintained the tradition that Mary was Joseph’s only wife. My limited understanding of the Orthodox (someone correct me if I’m wrong) is that they tend to believe he had children from a previous marriage.

    I don’t think it’s doctrine either way, just different perspectives on it.

  202. Biggest problem with reading prepared sermons is that reading tends to be boring unless you’re good at presenting it with some style, as if you’re not just reading. I knew a priest who liked to read selected bits from early Church Fathers like St. Gregory the Great and St. John Chrysostom. Really interesting stuff, and it doesn’t get as much attention as it should, but his reading was so monotone and boring that I could rarely stay awake through it.

  203. JF says:

    Nevermind, Brad.
    I’ll put this conversation out of its misery for both of us.
    You want a church that’s of no more spiritual value than a car.
    Well that’s what you got.
    I’ll leave you to it.

  204. SirHamster says:

    This is not terribly advanced stuff, Brad. I want to assume you know the Scriptures as I had previously assumed. I really do. But your questions are rather surprisingly basic ones.

    I’m not Brad, but you are going beyond what the Scripture actually says. THAT is likely why Brad asked you for references – because it didn’t sound right, because it wasn’t right. I would have done the same; and I would be slightly upset right now getting berated in this manner.

    I’m going to focus on the two items you just provided a reference for:

    1. When Abraham was told by God not to take even a shoelatchet from the King of Sodom, that wasn’t only for the sake of Abraham that God did that. It was also a metaphor for God’s people to not take gifts from the gentiles because those gifts always come with strings attached. Are we good on that? Would you agree with that symbolism in this passage?

    Genesis 14:23 KJB
    “22And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,23That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:”

    It says he swore an oath to God; not that God instructed him to do so. While interpreting it as a result of a command is a reasonable possibility; it could have also been Abraham acting on his initiative. If there is a strict command for man to follow in a matter, God provides it. We don’t have to dig and guess at what God wants us to do. Mainly this story demonstrates selfless action; going to war without motivation of plunder in support of family.

    3. John in the New Testament warns those in Christ to NOT take gifts from the Gentiles, yet today’s 501c3 tax exempt churches have signed covenants to take gifts from the gentiles. Has God changed?

    3 John 1:7 KJB
    “Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
    6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:7 Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.”

    This is not a command. This is an observation that faithful brothers are doing God’s work without support from Gentiles; making it all the more urgent for Christian church audience to step in.

    As far as there’s a command here, Christians should be a community that takes care of its own. There’s no decision here forbidding outside help.

    Speaking of which, I heard a story on radio today where a laid-off fireman found himself performing CPR on a clinically dead man – a Christian who survived the experience. The fireman was invited to church and found salvation there, hence the radio call-in – and it began with a non-Christian finding himself in a place to help a Christian. Should the (then) dead man have shooed away the non-Christian fireman?

    That scenario, where salvation comes to others by receiving help, should quickly bring to mind Jesus receiving water from the woman at the well; or Elijah living at the home of a Gentile widow. Denying all outside help is not a consistent example from scripture.

    Certainly we should beware the strings attached to outside money, there is wisdom in that. But you have gone beyond prudence and claimed divine commands where there are none. I disagree with your interpretation and use of Scripture.

  205. SirHamster says:

    Nevermind, Brad.
    I’ll put this conversation out of its misery for both of us.
    You want a church that’s of no more spiritual value than a car.
    Well that’s what you got.
    I’ll leave you to it.

    The fruit of your blog comments stink.

    Have you examined your eye for logs lately?

  206. Laura says:

    Scott: You’re supposed to keep the supplies of food and ammo a SECRET!

  207. JF says:

    Sir Hamster:
    “As far as there’s a command here, Christians should be a community that takes care of its own. There’s no decision here forbidding outside help

    Discernment, Sir Hamster.
    Discernment.
    Nobody is talking about “outside help.”
    We are talking about CAESAR CONTROLLING THE CHURCHES of the U.S.
    Have you done any research into this before jumping into this fray? Have you examined any of the references or books or booklets I have proffered? How thoroughly have you examined this subject in the Scriptures—How many HOURS of Berean study have you put into this?
    Or are you are guilty of violating the wisdom of Proverbs 18:13?
    You offer up personal anecdotes and chastisement for my having emotionally offended.
    Well that is what women do.
    Not rational men.
    Or have I misunderstood the many posts about that basic gender difference on many other threads on the Manosphere?
    I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. I really am.
    Believe me, I could come at you with personal anecdotes about what your incorporated churches have done before my eyes. But I will not do that.
    I offer you Scripture.
    You tell me my interpretation of the many Scriptures I offer is wrong, and then you always completely ignore the many factual histories I offer of Believers who have suffered and died over this issue.
    That, more than anything, is an affront. But not to me. To them.

  208. Boxer says:

    Dear Brad:

    That would be a part of almost any human discussion. Name a topic that gets long term discussion interest without some level of challenging. Don’t study computer topics if you don’t want confident people proclaiming their way is right and all others are idiots, either!

    That’s true enough. Bear in mind that the only time you’ll find me chiming in on one of these is when I suspect the work of one of my tribe (i.e. atheists or agnostics) who like to poke around to stir things up.

    While I technically agree with my atheist brothers, that saying prayers is a waste of time, I must point out that many, many such “realists” have their own forms of faith that I find equally silly. (libertarianism, communism, open-source software fanaticism, star trek, my little pony, furry fandom, the list goes on….)

    Yes and no. He clearly has us work out a lot of details, and reap the consequences of our actions, but He does divinely intervene and sometimes even work to change the heart that is open to changing (only He knows the difference there), so it is not completely in our hands. I am very thankful for that myself as I do a very poor job being lord of my own life without His guidance, as I have shown at times, and I am probably one of the better ones of the bunch.

    Well, I read the book. I didn’t find any of the main characters to be feminists.

    I’m generally a big fan of holding responsible those who are doing the dastardly deeds. “God is letting it happen” is pretty much the same argument as “the devil made them do it”. True or not, there are still people who need to be pointed out, criticised, and relentlessly mocked.

    This is one reason I oppose the whole “God is completely sovereign idea,” at least as far as micro managing life. He leaves a lot to us and we live in a nasty world. Though He is still outside of it all and can help us accomplish more if we will seek Him.

    I think that’s right. If there is a god, I think he created us with the expectation that we’d do our part, rather than collapsing into nihilistic, ostrich-headed apathy.

    The feminists and other culture-wreckers only look like they’re winning, in my opinion. They’re quite full of themselves, but much less smart or capable than they think they are.

    Leading feminist starts talking about having PTSD, after people merely disagreed with her lunacy on social media. A truly stalwart hero of the feminist revolution, ladies and gents…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605888/Woman-claims-PTSD-Twitter-cyberstalking-says-bit-war-veterans.html

    Boxer

  209. SirHamster says:

    We are talking about CAESAR CONTROLLING THE CHURCHES of the U.S.

    We are all agreed that Caeser should not control the church. On the other hand, we disagree on what Scripture says about gifts from unbelievers, and we disagree what legal/political systems constitute control of a church.

    How thoroughly have you examined this subject in the Scriptures—How many HOURS of Berean study have you put into this?

    The amount of time does not matter. You offered an interpretation of Scripture, I have pointed out from the very text you offered that your claims of “God/John commanded …” are unsupported; furthermore, by chastising someone else on the basis of your unsupported interpretation, you are misusing Scripture and violating all sorts of Scriptural commands to be wise, slow to speak, and careful to build up with words.

    You offer up personal anecdotes and chastisement for my having emotionally offended.

    I pointed out the error in your interpretation before using an anecdote to demonstrate how receiving outside “gifts” – such as the gift of CPR from a Good Samaritan – can lead to glory to God and salvation of the unsaved. Thus demonstrating that your so called “command” is in error. Christians are ambassadors of Christ for the glory of God – ambassadors both give and receive gifts to serve their country’s interest.

    We have many commands in Scripture to love, to give, to serve; there are none to deny non-Christian gifts. There is wisdom to beware gifts with strings attached, but there is room for discretion here.

    I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. I really am.
    Believe me, I could come at you with personal anecdotes about what your incorporated churches have done before my eyes. But I will not do that.
    I offer you Scripture.

    You have not offered Scripture. You have offered a poor interpretation of Scripture.

    You tell me my interpretation of the many Scriptures I offer is wrong, and then you always completely ignore the many factual histories I offer of Believers who have suffered and died over this issue.

    “always” on the basis of one response? However many Believers have died by Caeser’s hand, it still does not change the fact that your interpretation and application of Scripture is in error. Handle it more carefully.

  210. Lyn87 says:

    I’m with Brad and Hamster on this one, JF. The scriptures you quoted don’t say what you think they say. There are no commandments in either Genesis 14 or 1 John 1. A real Berean would have caught that – and it looks like two did (Brad and Hamster).

    At the risk of finding some common ground, I offer three thoughts I think we can mostly agree upon:

    1 – Churches should not accept anything in exchange for changing their actions or message – that should go without saying.
    2 – Churches should not solicit gifts from unbelievers to further the spread of the gospel – I don’t have a proof-text for this, but it strikes me as sending the wrong message.
    3 – Churches should not engage in selling goods or services – Jesus overturned the temple tables and drove the merchants out with a whip… that’s good enough for me.

  211. RichardP says:

    In the line of succession:
    * wife > husband > God, or
    * God > husband > wife

    If a pastor or priest were to insert himself into that heirarchy, where would he be most successful?

    * God > pastor/priest > husband > wife

    For the pastor/priest who inserts himself as shown above, the heirarch will allow him to call out husband’s sins. Since he has not inserted himself between husband and wife, it is the husband’s responsibility to call out wife’s sins.

    It makes sense that we would not hear pastors/priests call out wives on their sins when they accept the heirarchy which says it is the husband’s responsibility to do that.

    I have no idea why pastor’s/priest’s in this heirarchy don’t call out the sins of unmarried women, other than the suggestions offered above and elsewhere at Dalrock’s.

  212. RichardP says:

    Lyn87 – God required a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. The tables that Jesus overturned were the tables of those who were “selling” to the people, at exorbitant prices, sacrifices that the people need in order to be absolved of their sins.

    In other words, people were selling salvation. It is that which Jesus acted out against. Were they having a bake sale to raise money to give to the widows and orphans of the church, I’m not sure that Jesus would have had the same response.

  213. Richard Cook says:

    This illustrates why I am glad to be Orthodox. We have our share of problems but this is not one of them.

  214. RichardP says:

    I invite you to consider the concept of “foundational truths”.

    It is upon foundational truths that all other “truths” are built. If the foundational truth turns out to be false, so will all of the other truths be false that are built upon that foundational truth.

    Protestants and Catholics are not really arguing over whether we should pray to Mary and the other Saints. What they are actually arguing about is whether a foundational truth is true or not: whether we are dead when we die.

    Whether we are dead when we die is a foundational truth. That foundational truth does not emanate from the New Testament. Therefore, that foundational truth is neither protestant nor catholic.

    Consider that the tree of life was in the Garden of Eden in Genesis. Consider that God banished Adam and Eve from that tree, lest they eat from it and live forever. Consider that the tree of life shows up in the Book of Revelations, beside the Throne of God. Only those who are received favorably by God at the Judgement are allowed access to the tree so that they might eat from it – and (using words from Genesis) “live forever”.

    A foundational truth is this, when we die, we are dead. Forever. Cut off from God. Forever. But God provided a salvation from that reality. He provided a means whereby man might be restored to fellowship with God, forever.

    That salvation comes by way of believing in the final sacrifice while we are alive, being raised from the dead at the Resurrection, finding favor with God at the Judgement Seat, and thereby gaining access once again to the tree of life. From which we may eat and live forever with God. (If we don’t need to eat from the tree of life, why is it there?)

    This foundational truth is contained in the Bible: Opening Book – tree of life – denied access to. Closing Book – tree of life – given access to once again. All Books in between – words on how to find favor with God at the Judgement Seat, available only after the Resurrection, so that we might regain access to the tree of life and live in fellowship with God forever.

    In between – we are what God says we are. Dead. The Old Testament says that the dead know nothing. (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

  215. RichardP says:

    If this foundational truth laid out above IS NOT correct, then nevermind.

    If this foundational truth IS correct, then we are all dead when we die. Cut off from God forever. But God provided a salvation by way of the Resurrection. If this foundational truth IS correct, Mary and all other Saints are still dead. And will be until the Resurrection. Pray to them if you must, but they can’t hear you. They are dead. And the dead know nothing. (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

    What I have laid out above is a foundational truth from the Old Testament. It is neither protestant nor catholic. It is simply God speaking. It is either true, or it isn’t. While contemplating whether true or not true, consider this verse from the New Testament:

    “… God … who alone is immortal.” (1 Timothy 6:16)

    Arguing for whether or not we should pray to Mary and the Saints is really just arguing over whether that word from God is true.

    Is the Resurrection really God’s salvation from the reality he created for Adam and Eve (and their offspring) as he drove them away from Himself and the tree of life – that we are dead and cut off from God forever except for the Resurrection? Or are we not really dead when we die, so we are actually immortal along with God, and the Resurrection actually does nothing to change this status? These are the questions you are actually answering when you consider what to do with Mary and the Saints.

  216. Lyn87 says:

    RichardP,

    You are assuming facts not in evidence. There is no indication that the temple vendors were selling at exorbitant prices, so we can disregard that portion of your objection right off the bat. We can also disregard the idea that they were selling salvation, since salvation did not come through the shedding of animal blood (Hebrews 10:4 makes that abundantly clear). They were offering a service to those people who were coming to the temple to fulfill their religious duties under the law – to go beyond that is to speculate. Jesus violently threw them out, and if the specific reason was important God could have easily told us what it was.

    I have only heard one possible explanation from scripture about this, and that is that the sacrifices were to be from one’s own herds/flocks (which is generally implied and occasionally specified in both Leviticus and Deuteronomy)… so to sacrifice an animal one bought at the temple was contrary to the instructions God gave for which animals were to be sacrificed. Therefore the vendors were making money off of people who were offering unlawful sacrifices rather than doing what they were supposed to be doing by bringing animals from their own herds/flocks. Under the Law, the rules regarding sacrifices were very strict and precise, and to ignore them was to show a lack of respect to God – never a good idea. I’m not married to thisexplanation, because the scripture is ambiguous, but this is the only explanation I’ve ever encountered that is based on a scriptural inference rather than mere speculation.

    I don’t know how God views the church – as the church – engaging in commerce to raise money for the church’s ministries, but the only example in scripture that involves “religious commerce” (for lack of a better term) was met with overturned tables and a whip. That – and the fact that it implies that God can’t or won’t fund the work He wants His church to do – are sufficient reasons for me to advise against it.

    I’m willing to be wrong on this, but I’ll need something more than made-up details of the Biblical account of the temple merchants.

  217. Sarot says:

    I was tickled pink when I read that Mark Driscoll resigned from his “preaching” job. Too bad it wasn’t sooner. The guy is a disgrace to the faith. He is a heretic and a bully. What I mean by the heretic part is that I’ve seen many of his videos on you tube. One video in particular I saw was his comments about Christ. He said Jesus lusted?!!! Why people can’t see that is heresy is beyond me. Lusting is a sin and if Jesus sinned that means that Jesus was a sinner hence he was not able to be the perfect sacrifice to save us. This makes him (Jesus) out to be a fraud- the Bible a fraud and God a liar too boot! So that is why I call him a heretic.

    Now to the other issues I have with Driscoll. He is a bully and a sex addict. If you have ever seen the many reports online about his constant talk about sex and how the wives are supposed to please there husbands and explains to them their man needs a good blow job! And talks abut the use of sex toys in a church service! Yes he said that! I was shocked too! My dad is a Southern Baptist Minister. I have been in church my whole life -49 years now – I have never ever heard a preacher talk about such explicit sexual things in a mixed crowd- especially in a mixed crowd of young people! I was horrified to hear these types of comments from a so called man of God.

    Then on top of that I did more research and found many articles of ex-Mars Hills congregational members who left under direst. Here is an excerpt from various websites restating why Driscoll was asked to resign. http://www.driscollcontroversy.com/ http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/watchman-on-the-wall/45039-mark-driscoll-spiritual-abuse-and-cultish-ministries http://www.janetmefferd.com/jurys-hands-resting-case-mark-driscoll/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/us/mark-driscoll-is-being-urged-to-leave-mars-hill-church.html?_r=0

    Mark Driscoll resigned as leader pastor of Mars Hill Church, Seattle, on 14 October 2014, despite the fact that the elders investigating his conduct do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.

    While Mark Driscoll has rightfully been accused of shameful behaviour, the corrupt fruit of his ministry identifies him as a false teacher. ‘Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them’ (Matthew 7.20)

    Storm clouds gather over Mars Hill Church, as a large number former and current church leaders have lodged formal charges against Pastor Mark Driscoll, accusing him of creating a climate of fear through his verbally abusive language, lack of self-control and arrogant domineering attitude.

    In August 2014 the board of Acts29, the church planting network founded by Mark Driscoll, expelled him, and his Mars Hill Church, from membership on grounds of his ungodly and disqualifying behaviour.

    Janet Mefferd, the prominent Christian radio show hostess, in her well argued article, makes an impassioned plea for true Christians, who understand the Word of God, who love the Lord Jesus, to withdraw from the flawed ministry of Pastor Mark Driscoll.

    He is also accused of inappropriate use of Church funds, plagiarism, bullying and verbal abuse of church members and church workers. There are also reports of sexual misconduct reported by ex-church members. Church or cult? That is what anohter articles states- http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/church-or-cult/Content?oid=12172001 Read the article and see what you think.

    I can’t imagine going to a church that has this many accounts of spiritual abuse. If you have ever seen any of Driscoll’s videos on you tube I dare you to sit all the way through one without cringing or feeling like you want to throw a book at the screen. I’ll never forgot the one of his yelling out and screaming “Men How Dare you!” Here is the link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkaeAkJO0w8

    I couldn’t watch it all the way through the first time. I’m sorry but his self righteous pompous attitude really ticked me off. He is one of those guys that think you should just man up and marry those church sluts! He proceeds to ha rang the men in his church for “abusing” the ladies in the church or not paying attention to their needs as abuse! That sounds just like a feminist doesn’t it? Does every single man in his church beat their girls friends or wives? Paleese! What a tool!

    And he likes to put young men down for not getting the high paying cushy corporate job to take care of the “poor sweet innocent helpless little church chicks”. Trad cons and feminists- I’m not sure who are the worst! They want to turn men into beasts of burden to society and to women. Oh let’s just forget about the fact that Apostle Paul was single shall we? And Jesus too for that matter. According to Drsicoll and the rest of his ilk think men are only put on this earth to serve women and our corrupt government. And of course help him out by buying his moronic misandrist books. He sounds just like Kay Hymowitz. All young men today are just sitting at home in their parents basements playing video games. They are too afraid of asking women on dates and don’t want to become an adult and marry and have a family. How the heck does that make you an adult? I don’t know any men who sit at home and play video games all day and not work. And how does getting married and having a family make you grown up? I guess he would call the Apostle Paul an mamma’s boys? I don’t date neither- I’m not afraid to ask a girl out- I just don’t care too. If I get into the mood to do so i do. This guy is such a tool for feminism and our corrupt government it is beyond belief! How anyone could follow him is beyond me.

  218. John says:

    There is a huge difference in those two pictures of Driscoll. That said, I always thought the faux hawk on a 40-something pastor was ridiculous.

  219. JF says:

    Sir Hamster:
    “We are all agreed that Caeser should not control the church. On the other hand, we disagree on what Scripture says about gifts from unbelievers, and we disagree what legal/political systems constitute control of a church.”

    “The amount of time (spent in the Scriptures) does not matter.”

    JF:
    NO, Sir Hamster, we do NOT agree that Caesar should not control the church. Because you have NOT been a Berean and researched out this issue, and because you clearly have NO value for diligent scholarship and research as evinced by your own words, you do NOT understand that Caesar ALREADY controls the churches in the U.S. You have therefore answered this matter before fully “hearing it out” and thus as Proverbs 18:13 says, this is ultimately “folly” and “shame” unto you.

    Sir Hamster:
    “We have many commands in Scripture to love…”

    JF:
    Ah, yes. Again with the touchy-feely personal Jesus stuff.
    I offer you Scripture, you regurgitate it. You offer NO Scripture, only personal anecdotes and feminine outcries of being offended by my tone, and feminine cries of “where is the love, brother?”
    Hey, let’s just cut to the chase here: Tell me I am a “troubler of Israel” and make this analogy complete. Go ahead.

  220. JF says:

    @Lyn87
    You take the blue pill — the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

  221. Lyn87 says:

    JF,

    I proffer decades of experience and multiple scripture references – you counter with a four-minute Hollywood movie clip. I’ve come expect better from you. Oh well… maybe next time.

  222. Boxer says:

    God Is Laughing:

    That is a pretty interesting exegesis and critique of Driscoll. I get that most people depend on the experts to explain the subtleties, but it seems like the people in that congregation didn’t even have the book open to follow along. Or, perhaps some noticed the contradiction and just didn’t want to stand up and shout him down.

    I like the King James bible, not only for its practical wisdom, but because most of it is written in a plain, non-esoteric style. Despite the grammar changes (Thee and thou, etc.) it can largely be understood by anyone of average intelligence. The verse in question is very clear. Either Driscoll is completely ignorant of the text (which is doubtful) or he is purposely being deceptive.

    Boxer

  223. @Boxer,

    Driscoll is a 5 point Calvinist. TULIP. It fit’s with his view on the sexes.

  224. Patrick Pedat Ebediyah Golston says:

    That video was hilarious, GIL. He was clearly false in what he spoke..and he had that audacity to holler it out. How freaking wrong could one be?

  225. JT says:

    Driscoll had some very red pill attributes.

    According to one of his books:
    He railed against women pastors (“pastors in skirts”) and debated a seminary about it.
    In family counseling he called out wives who were not having regular intercourse with their husbands.
    Feminists in the area hated him. (The enemy of your enemy is your friend).

    Driscoll’s idea was that if you win the male leaders, you win everybody else. (You can argue how biblical this is). So when he is calling men out, that is his motivation.

    It is good discern between different levels of feminism and misunderstanding. Otherwise you alienate valuable allies for no reason.

  226. SirHamster says:

    NO, Sir Hamster, we do NOT agree that Caesar should not control the church. Because you have NOT been a Berean and researched out this issue, and because you clearly have NO value for diligent scholarship and research as evinced by your own words, you do NOT understand that Caesar ALREADY controls the churches in the U.S. You have therefore answered this matter before fully “hearing it out” and thus as Proverbs 18:13 says, this is ultimately “folly” and “shame” unto you.

    Your actions speak louder than your words. Your actions being to accuse, accuse, accuse.

    Can you tell me who is known as the Accuser in the Bible? Who taught you to be an Accuser against other Christians?

    SirHamster:
    “We have many commands in Scripture to love…”

    JF:
    Ah, yes. Again with the touchy-feely personal Jesus stuff.

    For someone who values the Bereans, then you would know this verse well:

    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Do not flippantly dismiss what Jesus himself commanded his disciples to do. Love is an action. And one way Love acts is to correct errors patiently. As this verse describes:

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    (Huh, new NIV changed “rude” to “dishonor”)

    Do you not realize that the command to Love is a higher priority than independence from Caeser? Even Caeser is allowed to claim his due from Christians – but do not deny God what is His by failing to Love.

    Yes, we are commanded to love. Do not dishonor Jesus’ words and expect any further respect as a Christian brother.

  227. Josh says:

    It is my belief that Mark Driscoll is a narcissist.I know that he had resigned but if you watch his sermons. It’s a case of classic narcissism and also the wife on fireproof. This is one of the reasons that I have stopped watching “christian” movies and listening to CCM music. It is all gumdrops and lollipops and they treat God like he is a boyfriend. Now we have CCM artist getting tattoos and saying it is OK. I pray for them. Where is the message in their music? I will get my Christian music from the hymns on Sunday. They say history repeats itself. So is it me or is the church today, the second coming of Israel?

  228. Pingback: Don’t overlook single mothers. | Dalrock

  229. Eliezer Ben Yehuda says:

    >>> Well he did raise and protect the savior of mankind during His formative years

    AKA “beta bucks”

    I don’t see any evidence that he contributed to actualizing J’s Mission, than did a whore and some sick folks.

    If I understand the Roman Catholic paradigm correctly….. Mary could have been a single mom, and nothing would really change. Joseph was an accident of history – not part of the Plan.

    disclosure: I have regard for Christianity, as it is indigenous to the Land of Israel. Overall, Christians in Israel are doing quite well. They seldom emigrate.

  230. Pingback: Message received. | Dalrock

  231. BradA says:

    I just read JF’s comments and it seems SirHamster and Lyn87 have a good handle on the response. I was tempted to be quite snarky, but I will let that pass.

    I suspect I know the Scriptures far better than you JF, though I only do so from having listened to hours and hours of them and having thought through many issues. Believe what you want.

    We do all know who the accuser of the Brethren is and you should be more concerned about not falling into that category JF. I am not your judge on that though. One will judge you in the future and I will leave that up to Him.

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  233. Pingback: The "Just Like Laman and Lemuel" Libel - Red Gulls

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