Archive for February, 2014

Dr. Elisha Weismann

tug of warAn interesting conundrum for Calvinists to figure out, in my opinion, is reconciling God’s determinism with specific rewards and punishment. If God determined from eternity past who will be saved, then it would make sense that He would or could have also determined what rewards they will receive. Paul is clear in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 that Christians will receive rewards, but some will receive wood, hay and stubble while others receive gold and silver. John also admonished believers to guard what they worked for so that they receive a full reward. 2 John 8.

This would seem to be a system of rewards based on the believer’s willful obedience. But if the believers actions are determined, does this mean that God caused some believers to be more obedient than others, and caused the rest to be less obedient? (Although as Dr. Jerry Walls points out, it seems Calvinists are compatibilists before the cross, and adopt libertarian freedom after the cross.)

Furthermore, Scripture is also clear that there will be varying degrees of punishment for the lost. Calvinist Apologist Matt Slick of C.A.R.M. writes,

“So, if Jesus speaks of greater condemnation for Chorazin and Bethsaida than Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 11:21-22), one slave received more punishment than another (Luke 12:47-48), the one who delivered Jesus to Pilate has the greater sin (John 19:11), and a more severe punishment is reserved for those who trample underfoot the Son of God, then does not greater sin mean that greater punishment will also happen in hell? Yes it does”

For Calvinists who deny double-predestination this presents quite a quandary. If God simply “passed over” the non-elect, then how did God determine the various degrees of punishment the non-elect would receive without any reflection or consideration of their actions? The Westminster Confession (III, V) states that God did not elect the believers who are irresistibly saved by “any foresight of faith”, meaning God did not choose His elect based upon knowing who would choose Him in the future. In clause II of the Confession, God does not decree anything that He foresees in the future, or as that which should come to pass on such conditions. Thus to be consistent with the Calvinist view of God “passing over” the non-elect, God could not have damned anyone based on any foresight of them rejecting the gospel. God’s “passing over” them, as Calvinists argue, is a completely passive “act”. However, considering that God would have to determine the degrees of suffering for the non-elect, this assumption can not possibly be true, and be logically consistent with Calvinist philosophy.

God would have had to cause certain sinners to sin greater than others in order to punish them more severely. This would necessarily involve reflection and deliberate consideration*. Thus it must naturally follow that God could not have simply “passed over” the non-elect, but actively chose who would be damned, and purposely caused their course of actions resulting in some sinners being more egregious sinners than others. If God merely passed over some without any reflection or deliberate choosing, then all sinners would end up as equally sinful at judgment day.

Likewise, God would have had to also cause the good works of the elect as well as the lack of good works from others who do not perform as well as other believers. This is not to be confused with various gifts that God gives believers for the edification of the body of Christ, but to the level of personal commitment that a believer demonstrates his obedience and loyalty to the Lord. Gifts may be given, but not exercised as Paul warns Timothy. 1 Tim 4:14. But then how could Timothy neglect a gift that was determined for him to exercise?

The tragedy of this argument is that is demonstrates that God does not love even His own elect equally or unconditionally as He causes some to receive greater rewards and causes the rest to be less then submissive and at least less than moderately obedient. Of course, the Calvinist’s only real defense would be to argue the person was not saved or elected in the first place, but this defense opens a can of worms to all Calvinists who do not demonstrate an equal amount of dedication and obedience among themselves. It would also fail to explain how a person could yet receive different rewards if the believer’s obedience and good works were determined (if Calvinists were consistent with their interpretation of the word “ordain” then according to Ephesians 2:10, Calvinists should not have a problem with us claiming that God can and should ordain their works).

Calvinists can not possibly reconcile the explicit contradiction that exists between their view of election and reprobation (regardless of whether the Calvinist is supralapsarian or infralapsarian, this argument applies equally to both), with the rewards and punishment system of Scripture that shows that man is judged by actions he does in time. The Calvinist can not maintain a compatibilistic view of freedom and claim that God does not operate with foresight of faith or conditions at the same time given the conflict shown here between rewards and punishment.

____________________________________
*Calvinist author and theologian, B.B. Warfield writes,

Warfield says, ““The mere putting of the question seems to carry its answer with it. For the actual dealing with men which is in question, is, with respect to both classes alike, those who are elected and those who are passed by, conditioned on sin; we cannot speak of salvation any more than of reprobation without positing sin. Sin is necessarily precedent in thought, not indeed to the abstract idea of discrimination, but to the concrete instance of discrimination which is in question, a discrimination with regard to a destiny which involves either salvation or punishment. There must be sin in contemplation to ground a decree of salvation, as truly as a decree of punishment. We cannot speak of a decree discriminating between men with reference to salvation and punishment, therefore, without positing the contemplation of men as sinners as its logical prius.” Warfield, Plan of Salvation, Part 1.

Advertisements

By Will Kinney

 Lie Number One – We now have older and better manuscripts.
 

 

James White’s tells us in his book, The King James Only Controversy, on pages 152-153  “Every one of the papyrus manuscripts we have discovered has been a representative of the Alexandrian, not the Byzantine text type” and “The early Fathers who wrote at this time did not use the Byzantine text-type” and “the early translations of the New Testament reveals that they were done on the basis of the Alexandrian type manuscripts, not the Byzantine text-type” and “the early church fathers who wrote during the early centuries give no evidence in their citations of a familiarity with the Byzantine text-type”. 

 

These are such huge whoppers I could not believe he actually wrote this totally false information in his book.

 

There is tons of evidence that even the early papyrus manuscripts, all of which came from Alexandria Egypt, were a mixed bag and there are many Byzantine readings found in them where they agree with the KJB readings and not the Westcott-Hort Alexandrian copies of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.

 

Furthermore, concerning the church Fathers, John Burgon compiled over 86,000 citations and quotes of the church Fathers and found that not only did the Textus Receptus readings exist, but they predominated.

 

The early versions like the Old Latin and Syriac Peshitta contain numerous textual readings and entire verses from the Traditional Text of the Reformation bibles that are not found in Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, and thus, are omitted in many modern versions.

 

Even Dr. Hort, of the famed Westcott Hort critical Greek text, said: “The fundamental Text of late extant Greek MSS generally is beyond all question identical with the dominant Antiochian or Graeco-Syrian Text of the second half of the 4th century.” (Hort, The Factor of Geneology, pg 92—as cited by Burgon, Revision Revised, pg 257).

 

Dean Burgon, in his book The Revision Revised, immediately comments: “We request, in passing, that the foregoing statement may be carefully noted. The Traditional Greek Text of the New Testament, —the TEXTUS RECEPTUS, in short – is, according to Dr. Hort, “BEYOND ALL QUESTION the TEXT OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE FOURTH CENTURY.”

 

In other words, at the very time Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were penned, the Byzantine texts were already the predominate texts of the Christian church!
[EDITORS NOTE: We are currently doing research with some friends on the validity of the date of Codex Sinaiticus since it’s veracity had been called into question as a modern forgery by a documentary produced by Christ Pinto titled, “Tares Among the Wheat”. Although this matter was debated between James White and Chris Pinto, and then follow up exchanges were made post-debate, there have been studies done, particularly by Steven Avery, as well as my brother-in-law, Dr. Elisha Weismann, that have discovered some damaging evidence against the dating of the Sinaiticus, believed to be a 4th century manuscript. Steven Avery has labored countless hours pouring over the quires of the Sinaiticus, and has found some interesting anomalies, some in particular which include 9th century minscule correction marks by correctors proving such corrections could not have been made by 4th or 5th century scribes. We will keep this site updated on this issue when all of the studies are complete]

 

Somebody is Lying

 

Contrast the quotes from James White with the quotes found in the 1982 edition of the NKJV. Keep in mind that these NKJV textual scholars are NOT King James Bible onlyists, but they have been to the same seminaries and had access to the same information James White and Dan Wallace have. Yet their conclusions are THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what these modern Vatican Version promoters tell us.

 

In the preface of the NKJV, which was translated by some of the same men who worked on the NIV, it says on page vii “The manuscript preferences cited in many contemporary translations are due to recent reliance on a relatively few manuscripts discovered in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dependence on these manuscripts, especially two, the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts, is due to the greater age of these documents.”

 

“However, in spite of their age, some scholars have reason to doubt their faithfulness to the autographs, since they often disagree with one another and show other signs of unreliability.”

 

“On the other hand, the great majority of existing manuscripts are in substantial agreement. Even though many are late, and none are earlier than the fifth century, MOST OF THEIR READINGS ARE VERIFIED BY ANCIENT PAPYRI, ANCIENT VERSIONS, AND QUOTATIONS OF THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS. This large body of manuscripts is the source of the Greek text underlying the King James Bible. It is the Greek text used by Greek-speaking churches for many centuries, presently known as the Textus Receptus, or Received Text, of the New Testament.”

 

Then on page 1231 the NKJV editors say: “The Byzantine Text. This text was largely preserved in the area of the old Byzantine Empire, the area which is now Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia. OVER EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT of the extant manuscripts belong to the Byzantine text type. Also, from the oldest to the most recent manuscripts of this type, there is greater homogeneity than among the manuscripts of any other text type. The King James Version is based largely on a Byzantine type Greek text.”
Lie Number Two – Vaticanus and Sinaiticus Are The Best Manuscripts
Most modern version promoters who keep repeating this Mantra have no idea what these two so called “Oldest and Best Manuscripts”, upon which today’s modern versions are based, are actually like.  I have done a fairly extensive comparative study of these two manuscripts proving that they not only differ from the vast Majority of remaining Greek texts, but also from each other. There are many concrete examples you can see here, but this is just a sampling of what you will find.

 

The character of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus texts – the so called “Oldest and Best Manuscripts”
Mr. Burgon states on page 11; “Singular to relate Vaticanus and Aleph have within the last 20 years established a tyrannical ascendance over the imagination of the Critics, which can only be fitly spoken of as a blind superstition. It matters nothing that they are discovered on careful scrutiny to differ essentially, not only from ninety-nine out of a hundred of the whole body of extant MSS. besides, but even from one another. In the gospels alone B (Vaticanus) is found to omit at least 2877 words: to add 536, to substitute, 935; to transpose, 2098: to modify 1132 (in all 7578): – the corresponding figures for Aleph being 3455 omitted, 839 added, 1114 substituted, 2299 transposed, 1265 modified (in all 8972). And be it remembered that the omissions, additions, substitutions, transpositions, and modifications, are by no means the same in both. IT IS IN FACT EASIER TO FIND TWO CONSECUTIVE VERSES IN WHICH THESE TWO MSS. DIFFER THE ONE FROM THE OTHER, THAN TWO CONSECUTIVE VERSES IN WHICH THEY ENTIRELY AGREE.”
 

SINAITICUS (Aleph) completely omits the following verses while they are found in Vaticanus. Matthew 24:35 – “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away”; Luke 10:32 – “And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.”; 17:35 – “Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”; John 9:38 – “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.”(omitted in Sinaiticus original and P75, but found in Vaticanus and P66);  16:15 – “All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”; 21:25 – “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”; and I Corinthians 2:15- “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” and 13:1b -2 – “I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not – (charity, I am nothing).”

VATICANUS (B) omits Matthew 12:47 – “Then one said unto him, Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.” and Luke 23:17 while Sinaiticus retains them. Luke 23:17, “For of necessity he must release one onto them at the feast”, is omitted in B, the NASB, and NIV, yet it is in Sinaiticus and the majority of all Greek texts. Yet B omits Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”, while it is retained in Sinaiticus and this time kept in the NASB, ESV and NIV. But James White does not believe it is inspired Scripture and says he would not preach on it. Go figure. Vaticanus also omits the entire verse of 1 Peter 5:3 but it is found in Sinaiticus and the Majority of all manuscripts and Bible translations – “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”

Lie Number Three – We Are Getting Closer To The Original Autographs

 

Some critical text scholars are a little more honest about this than others.  
Forever Settled – A Survey of the Documents and History of the Bible.

 

The neutral method of Bible study leads to skepticism concerning the New Testament text. This was true long before the days of Westcott and Hort. As early is 1771 Griesbach wrote, “The New Testament abounds in more losses, additions, and interpolations, PURPOSELY INTRODUCED THAN IN ANY OTHER BOOK.”

 

As early as 1908 Rendel Harris declared that the New Testament text had not at all been settled but was “MORE THAN EVER, AND PERHAPS FINALLY, UNSETTLED.” (Caps are mine)

 

Two years later Conybeare gave it as his opinion that “the ultimate (New Testament) text, IF THERE EVER WAS ONE THAT DESERVES TO BE SO CALLED, IS FOR EVER IRRECOVERABLE.” (Caps are mine)

 

Later (1941) Kirsopp Lake, after a life time spent in the study of the New Testament text, delivered the following, judgment: “In spite of the claims of Westcott and Hort and of von Soden, WE DO NOT KNOW the original form of the Gospels, AND IT IS QUITE LIKELY THAT WE NEVER SHALL.”

 

H. Greeven (1960) also has acknowledged the uncertainty of the neutral method of New Testament textual criticism. “In general,” he says, “the whole thing is limited to probability judgments; THE ORIGINAL TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, according to its nature, MUST BE AND REMAINS A HYPOTHESIS.”

 

Robert M. Grant (1963) adopts a still more despairing attitude. “The primary goal of New Testament textual study remains the recovery of what the New Testament writers wrote. We have already suggested that TO ACHIEVE THIS GOAL IS WELL-NIGH IMPOSSIBLE.”  Grant also says:  “It is generally recognized that THE ORIGINAL TEXT OF THE BIBLE CANNOT BE RECOVERED.”
Lie Number Four – Erasmus Was A Catholic, so the King James Bible is also a Catholic Bible.

 

It is a proven fact that modern versions that are based on the UBS/Nestle-Aland ever changing Critical Greek text like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET, Holman, etc. are the new “Vatican Versions”.  See “Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET are the new “Vatican Versions”

 

Here you can see the documentation of this fact from right out of their own Nestle-Aland critical Greek textbook, the UBS homepage and the Vatican’s own website.  Then go on to Part Two where you can see the literally thousands of words that have been omitted from the Reformation Bibles in all languages (including the older Catholic bible versions as well) and are omitted in these new “Vatican Versions” and the MODERN Catholic bibles too.  They are ALL based on the same Vatican supervised “inter confessional” texts.

 

 Here is just a sample of what you will see –

If you have a copy of the Nestle-Aland 27th edition, open the book and read what they tell us in their own words on page 45 of the Introduction. Here these critical Greek text editors tell us:

“The text shared by these two editions was adopted internationally by Bible Societies, and FOLLOWING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VATICAN AND THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES IT HAS SERVED AS THE BASIS FOR NEW TRANSLATIONS AND FOR REVISIONS MADE UNDER THEIR SUPERVISION. THIS MARKS A SIGNIFICANT STIP WITH REGARD TO INTERCONFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS. It should naturally be understood that this text is a working text: it is not to be considered as definitive, but as a stimulus to further efforts toward defining and verifying the text of the New Testament.”

There it is folks, in their own words. They openly admit that this text is the result of an agreement between the Vatican and the UBS and that the text itself is not “definitive” – it can change, as it already has and will do so in the future, and is not the infallible words of God but merely “a stimulus to further efforts”.

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
This from their own site –

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_pro_20051996_chrstuni_pro_en.html

Collaboration for the Diffusion of the Bible

“Following the responsibility undertaken by the then Secretariat for the preparation of the dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, the PCPCU was entrusted with promoting ecumenical collaboration for the translation and diffusion of Holy Scripture (Dei Verbum, n. 22). In this context, it encouraged the formation of the Catholic Biblical Federation, with which it is in close contact. TOGETHER WITH THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES IT PUBLISHED THE GUIDELINES FOR INTERCONFESSIONAL COOPERATION IN TRANSLATING THE BIBLE.” (1968; new revised edition 1987).

The Erasmus Was A Catholic Argument

So once the modern version user sees all this documentation, they usually come back with “Well, Erasmus was a Catholic and that makes the King James Bible a Vatican Version too.”  What these people deliberately choose to ignore is the fact that Erasmus himself criticized many of the Romish doctrines, but he tried to reform the Catholic church from within. The King James Bible translators did not primarily use the Greek text of Erasmus at all, but rather those of Beza and of Stephanus. And more importantly, NO Catholic bible version has EVER used the Greek text of Erasmus for their translations.

In fact, the Council of Trent (1545-1564) branded Erasmus a heretic and prohibited his works. In 1559, Pope Paul IV placed Erasmus on the first class of forbidden authors, which was composed of authors whose works were completely condemned.
But guess who one of the chief editors of the UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican critical Greek text was. It tells you who on the opening page of the Nestle-Aland Critical Greek textbook; it was the Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Martini.
Lie Number Five – We Now Have More Knowledge About The Bible
The truth of the matter is that with the widespread use and acceptance of these modern versions the level of Biblical Illiteracy has reached scandalous and epidemic proportions.  Read more about this here –
 
A recent Gallup poll reveals “Americans revere the Bible–but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.” How bad is it? Researchers tell us that it’s worse than most could imagine.Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels. Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples. According to data from the Barna Research Group, 60 percent of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments. “No wonder people break the Ten Commandments all the time. They don’t know what they are,” said George Barna, president of the firm. The bottom line? “Increasingly, America is biblically illiterate.” 

Multiple surveys reveal the problem in stark terms. According to 82 percent of Americans, “God helps those who help themselves,” is a Bible verse. Those identified as born-again Christians did better–by one percent….Some of the statistics are enough to perplex even those aware of the problem. A Barna poll indicated that at least 12 percent of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. Another survey of graduating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife. A considerable number of respondents to one poll indicated that the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham. We are in big trouble.The larger scandal is biblical ignorance among Christians. Choose whichever statistic or survey you like, the general pattern is the same. America’s Christians know less and less about the Bible. It shows.” (End of article portions)

The Lord Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 7:17-20 that a good tree brings forth good fruit and a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit, and that “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

The King James Bible has consistently brought forth good fruit for over 400 years now, while the imposter versions come and go almost as fast as the seasons change. The KJB has been used of God to convert multitudes of lost sinners into Bible believing children of God. It was used to begin the world wide missionary outreach, and is the only Bible still believed by multiplied thousands of blood bought saints of God to be the complete, inspired and inerrant words of the living God.

By contrast, the influx of the modern Bible Babble Buffet versions has produced more confusion, Biblical ignorance and unbelief in the inerrancy of the Scriptures than at any time in history.

Lie Number Six – Professional Liars Who SAY “I believe the Bible IS the infallible words of God.”

There are an number of well known men today who promote these new Vatican Versions who still like to put on a pious pretense of being Bible believers. Men like James White, Dan Wallace, Doug Kutilek, James Price, John MacArthur, Hal Lindsey and others who will stand in the pulpit or affirm in their writings “I believe the Bible is the infallible words of God.”  

And yet if you ask these same men where we can get a copy of this infallible Bible they profess to believe in, they will NEVER tell you.  Why? Simply because the do NOT believe that any Bible in any language you can actually hold in your hands, read and believe is the very inspired and inerrant words of God actually exists.  

The polls themselves tell us in no uncertain terms that the majority of professing Christians today do NOT believe in the inerrancy of the Bible – ANY Bible.  

For more documentation on this see – “The Bible is NOT the inspired and inerrant words of God.” 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/thebiblenotinspired.htm 

Why do so few Christians today believe that any Bible in any language is the complete and inerrant words of God?

 
Pastor Michael Youseff’s Message on His “Leading The Way” program. The title of todays message was “The Bible, The World’s Most Relevant Book – Part 2. In his message he gave statistics of a poll that was conducted. Here is what the poll revealed:
 
85% of students at America’s largest Evangelical Seminary don’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.
 
74% of the Clergy in America no longer believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.
 
George Barna, president of Barna Research Group, reported that a study exploring the religious beliefs of the 12 largest denominations in America highlights the downward theological drift that has taken place in Christian churches in recent years. The study found that an alarmingly high number of church members have beliefs that fall far short of orthodox Christianity. ONLY 41 PERCENT OF ALL ADULTS SURVEYED BELIEVED IN THE TOTAL ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE. Only 40 percent believed Christ was sinless, and only 27 percent believed Satan to be real.
 
Of the Baptists surveyed 57 percent said they believed that works are necessary in order to be saved, 45 percent believed Jesus was not sinless, 44 percent did not believe that the Bible is totally accurate, and 66 percent did not believe Satan to be a real being. Barna said, “The Christian body in America is immersed in a crisis of biblical illiteracy.”
 
“WITHIN EVANGELICALISM THERE ARE A GROWING NUMBER WHO ARE MODIFYING THEIR VIEWS ON THE INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE SO THAT THE FULL AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE IS COMPLETELY UNDERCUT. But is happening in very subtle ways. Like the snow lying side-by-side on the ridge, the new views on biblical authority often seem at first glance not to be very far from what evangelicals, until just recently, have always believed. But also, like the snow lying side-by-side on the ridge, the new views when followed consistently end up a thousand miles apart. What may seem like a minor difference at first, in the end makes all the difference in the world … compromising the full authority of Scripture eventually affects what it means to be a Christian theologically and how we live in the full spectrum of human life” (Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, 1983, p. 44).
Regarding the REAL beliefs of some of these men like James White, John MacArthur, Hal Lindsey and Dan Wallace, see these studies taken from their own words and videos regarding the Bible version issue.
James White – The Protestant Pope of the new Vatican Versions 

 

 

Hal Lindsey – Answers Which Bible do you use and Why

 

 

John MacArthur – Pastor and Teacher with NO Infallible Bible

 

 

Dan Wallace is a Nut!

 

 

And finally “Stop Lying About It!”  What the Bible Babble Buffet Versionists Really Believe about “The Bible”

 

By the sovereign grace and mercy of Almighty God and our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ, I and many thousands of other Christians DO believe God has acted in history to give us a complete, inspired and inerrant Bible and we don’t have to lie about what we really believe when we affirm this.  AND we can tell anybody who wants to know where to get a copy of it for themselves. It is called the King James Holy Bible.  Accept no substitutes.  
All of grace, believing The Book – the King James Bible.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  Luke 8:8 
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”  Jeremiah 15:16  

We are going to post an article written by Ryan Hayden, an independent Baptist pastor out of Matoon, Illinois, USA, as I believe it is a well-written treatise on how to deal with disagreements and differences in a manner that yet glorifies God while still conveying disapproval of sin. Ryan Hayden is a very under-rated author that does not really get the attention he deserves, and he has often mentioned some things to me that caught me in the middle of some of my own heated moments.

Recently I have engaged in some debates and disagreements, and while I believe I have maintained my “cool”, there are moments when I get so disgusted in the manner in which another Christian “rebukes” another Christian and then acts pious and hypocritical in their approach, that I have often nearly crossed the line myself, and sometimes have crossed the line ever the desire to win an argument because I was angry and wanted to make the person ‘get’ my point of view.

I would like to think that I can treat people the way I would treat my wife or children. I have a few disagreements with my wife from time to time, but I would NEVER call her “stupid” or “a dummy” (especially since I’m usually the one that’s wrong!) or even raise my voice to her. My children also have never heard me raise my voice to them in anger-ever. Should we treat our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ any different?

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1-2

As Dave Miller recently Tweeted, “We should rebuke sin without sinning”. Some folks just don’t seem to understand that Christ is just as concerned about HOW we confront others as what we are confronting them about and why. They seem to think that as long as you have the right to put the perpetrators in handcuffs, you have the right to beat a confession and repentance out of them. I am not going to point fingers in this article because I need to hear it as much as they do-and I hope they are listening.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1

Dr. James Ach

_________________________________________________

MAKING SENSE IN THE NOISE MACHINE-Ryan Hayden

[Unfortunately, Ryan’s website is down temporarily. You can visit his site in a few days at http://www.ryan-hayden.com, and Twitter, https://twitter.com/rynhayden%5D

One of the things that I’ve found as I’ve written in various places on the internet is that most people don’t know how to express opposition civilly and intelligently. The web is full of name calling, attacks on character, us-versus-them cheerleading, and “the world is coming to an end if” types of arguments. In other words, when faced with ideas or information that makes us uncomfortable, most of us don’t know how to oppose the ideas, so we oppose the people who present them.

This kind of defensive opposition really does no good. When we get defensive, our ideological opponents get defensive. When we bring out the cruise missile of an insult, they start looking for weapons of mass destruction of their own. All you end up with are bruised egos and a bigger divide.

I find it helpful on the internet to always strive to be idea driven. Here’s what I mean:

Attack ideas, not people.

The other day I put a letter to the editor in the newspaper about some homosexual rights legislation being pushed through our state assembly. I didn’t call anybody names. I didn’t write anything that hadn’t been verified. Yet, I couldn’t believe the comments on the newspaper website. Apparently, being opposed to gay marriage for religious reasons makes me a hater, a fear monger and a bigot. Also, plenty of people are glad that I am not their pastor, and glad to let me know.

The common thread in 96% of the negative comments was that the commenters were attacking me, and saying nothing about what I wrote.

One comment was different, it’s author stated disagreement and then pointed out what he saw as a flaw in my argument. I thanked him for his comment, did some research, and rethought what I’d said. He didn’t change my mind about the whole argument, but he changed my mind about one part of it.

Nothing good comes from attacking people for having an opinion. Attack the opinion itself, try to show what’s wrong with it, but don’t attack people.

Which brings me to another part of being idea driven:

Try to change peoples mind, not make people look bad.

One of the negative side effects of the internet is the polarization of our society. We all tend to develop an us verses them mentality and as a result “defeat them” becomes a goal. In the book of Acts, we see Paul going to synagogues and city squares, and in all of those places, he faced instant opposition. We never read where Paul went into attack mode and tried to make the Jews or Gentiles feel stupid or look bad for having bad ideas, rather, we see him working hard and long reasoning with people to persuade them about the truth of Jesus Christ. (Acts 17:2, 2 Cor. 5:11)

In any ideological battle we should remember that we aren’t after casualties, but converts. You can’t get converts if you can’t keep an audience in the first place. This is why being idea driven is so important.

Remember the wisdom from Proverbs:

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Proverbs 15:1–2

“By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.” Proverbs 25:15

It applies to the internet too.

Avoid the taboos of civil argument.

Some of you may have studied debate or logic in school, I did not. I went through high school, college and some graduate school before I learned on my own that their have been rules governing civil discourse for hundreds of years. If you take the time to do a quick study of the “logical fallacies” and you try to apply that knowledge, I guarantee your conversation will be elevated to a whole new level.

Here are some of the main ones (there are many more):

  • ad hominem attacks – attacking the person, not the idea. (i.e. “The only thing that you just proved is that you’re an idiot.”)
  • false-dichotomies – assuming that there are only two possibilities, when there could be more. (i.e. “Either you are a conservative or a liberal.”)
  • guilt by association – assuming because an idea is associated with a person or other idea, it is false. (i.e. “Adolf Hitler said that once, it must be evil.”)
  • straw men – attacking an argument that nobody holds to make yourself look good. (i.e. “Lordship salvation people believe that once you are saved you never sin and live in perfect submission to Christ.”)

I’ve found this list on the carm.org website to be very helpful. (I know little about their organization and just found this via a google search. So don’t view the link as an endorsement.) [EDITORS NOTE: Matt Slick of CARM is an above average apologist although we do not agree with nor endorse his views on Calvinism or the modern versions.]

If I cannot make an argument in a way that is levelheaded or logical, then I must…

Consider the possibility that I am wrong.

Obviously, as a Christian I am going to accept scripture as rock solid and not question it. But if the cause I am espousing is extra-biblical (economic politics for example) and I can’t discuss it logically in an idea centric way. I might need to admit to myself that either 1) I don’t know enough about this topic to be discussing it in a public forum or 2) I might be wrong.

I’ve found that when I approach a discussion trying to change people’s minds, sometimes my mind is changed, and that’s not a bad thing.

(You might also like this post: Liberals are Fundamentalists Too)* [see note below]

Do have your own ideas about civil discourse or being idea driven on the internet. Please, let me know in the comments.

________________________________

*EDITOR’S NOTE: I have read this article and it is showing how liberals who criticize believers, particularly fundamentalists, have their own methods of fundamentalism that is fundamental to their liberalism.