Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The mean season and the joy of Christ

As some complain about how the Jane Spahr case turned out and others write about how they can deal with those who still believe same gender sex is sin the meanness is deafening. On one blog one elder writing a comment about what he believes is the inevitableness of the PCUSA accepting same gender marriage writes:

I'm not sure what the fundies get out of delaying the inevitable (I mean, even they can see it, right?) other than the opportunity to just be mean because they can be mean and/or because they enjoy it. But whatever the reason, the PCUSA and the rest of society will change for the simple reason that we will not stop until it does change.

We’ve clearly taught the PCUSA that lesson on ordination, but apparently some people are slow. So we’ll teach them again.[1]
On the Covenant Network a sermon by Tricia Dykers Koenig entitled All Things to All People has been posted. Using 1 Corinthians 9: 16-23, the text in which Paul admonishes Christians to forego food offered to idols for the sake of the weaker brother, Koenig manages to continually insult those who believe that same gender sex is sin.

Through the whole sermon she considers them weaker brothers and sisters. She speaks of their “homophobia,” their discrimination and insists that they harm others. She even states that they obscure the gospel. And she adds that one of the reasons we must try to stay together is “For the sake of those who think they do know absolute Truth and need, themselves, to be redeemed by the Gospel of grace.”

Added to this is her contrast of the weaker Christian with those who possess a “superior theological understanding.” So how do the orthodox respond?

Not to the Progressives at all, but to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ in thankfulness for his many blessings. In John 17: 13-19, Jesus prays for his own. He says that they will be hated as he is hated. He prays for their joy, their unity, their sanctity in the truth and he sends them into the world with the good news. And not least he prays for their protection from the evil one.

There is joy because we do know the Truth. He has a name, Jesus. In John’s first epistle he writes:

What was from the beginning what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. These things we write so that our joy may be made complete. (1:1-4)

Thomas Brooks, a puritan pastor, in his book, Precious remedies against Satan’s Devices writes of Christ as the only worthy object in a Christian's life. While I find myself wanting to quote several pages there is this:
We have all things in Christ, and Christ is all things to a Christian. If he be sick, he is a physician; if we thirst, he is a fountain; if our sins trouble us, he is righteousness; if we stand in need of help, he is mighty to save; if we fear death, he is life; if we be in darkness, he is light; if we be weak, he is strength; if we be in poverty, he is plenty; if we desire heaven, he is the way. The soul cannot say, this I would have, and that I would have; but saith Christ, it is in me, it is in me eminently, perfectly, eternally.
There is a haven wide enough for all of the weak brothers and sisters. It is a place where we are not considered evil but are seen covered with Christ’s righteousness. Jesus gives us a name that is not known by the world. It is not a place where we necessarily hold absolute truth but where the absolute Truth holds us and we know absolutely that he holds us.

[1] by Alan Kiste

28 comments:

Alan said...
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Alan said...

I see now that you've attributed the quote, but that was not what I asked.

Again, Viola, I have politely asked that you remove the quote (and now, my name) completely from your blog. You did not contact me to ask permission prior to using either one. I do not give you permission to use either my name nor this quote (nor any other words of mine), in whole or in part.

If my request is somehow unclear or if you have questions, you're welcome to contact me and we can resolve this matter privately. In the meantime, I expect that you will cooperate with my request and remove the quote and my name immediately.

Thank you.

Mary E said...

She says,

“How can you tolerate those who are responsible for violence against God’s LGBT children?” While others accuse us of being responsible for conflict and schism: “You’re not doing enough to reach out to those who are offended by the changes.” Have we tried to be all things to all people, only to be nothing to anybody?"

She needs to understand, yes you are responsible for the conflict and schism. And even if you did reach out to me, I really don't know if there is anything that could be said or done that would or could fix the division that has happened in the denomination. Homosexuality is the tip of the iceberg, it is the ever dimensioning authority of scripture that causing the ever increasing chasm.

Before you know it on Sundays we will be reading from the Book of Order, after all in the decision of Spahr, they only quoted the BoO no scriptural bases at all. Also you can't miss the bias of the GAJPC, its like the fox guarding the hen house.

Mary E.

Reformed Catholic said...

Yeah ... I guess that teaching the PC(USA) that lesson on ordination has not done enough to cause schism and conflict.

Best take that stuff down Viola ... don't want to be known as one of those who still need to be taught tolerance for other's beliefs.

Bob Mc said...

Viola, thank you, for your steady and consistent stand for orthodox reading of Scripture and expecting civil behavior in the church.

As a photographer, I have had to read up on copyright law. The section that Alan Kiste needs to read is on Fair Use:

“Section 107 (title 17, U. S. Code)contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.”

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Alan said...
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Viola Larson said...

Mary E., Reformed Catholic, and Bob Mc, I meant the part about "but to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ in thankfulness to his many blessings." you are all kind and you are all loved in Jesus: )

Debbie said...

Plagiarism? Since when is a quotation plagiarism? I've never heard such a bizarre claim before. People quote other people all the time. And that quote is definitely à propos to this post and a necessary example to illustrate what Viola is talking about, so saying it's unnecessary is just nonsense.

Deborah Milam Berkley
Bellevue, WA

dhollifield said...

Having been pilloried with my own words posted on the internet more than once, I cannot imagine anyone actually believing that their posts are exempt from criticism. Those who post sermons on line should not be surprised when they hear their words coming out of someone else's mouth, annoying as that might be. But on the internet, once it's out there, it's out there, name, nonsense and all.

Alan said...
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Alan said...
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Viola Larson said...

Okay enough-Alan knows perfectly well way I did not put his name with that quote or link to Shuck's blog. And he does use my name and tries to ruin my reputation on other blogs. Here is the link to read.
http://www.naminghisgrace.blogspot.com/2011/04/questions-bullying.html

Must of the links will be gone now.
Alan you have done what you always do changed the subject on my blog. Do not come back here again ever.

Viola Larson said...

For some reason that link did not come out right.

http://www.naminghisgrace.blogspot.com/2011/04/questions-bullying.html

Viola Larson said...

The word questions should be in that link. Or google- Naming His Grace Questions & bullying

Alan said...
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Anonymous said...

Viola,

Alan Kiste's comments here are certainly a good, continuing illustration of the "Mean Season" you mention in your title.

I imagine you intended it as a kindness to refer to him as "an elder" instead of by name. Were those my words, I wouldn't want them repeated either.

"Plagiarism," though? "Theft"? Get real!

Jim Watts

Marie Bowen said...

In Paul's letter to the Colossians, he writes of "the word of the truth, the gospel" which has come to the believers in Colossae and is "bearing fruit and growing". in them. He goes on to say this growth and fruit has been happening "since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth..." "Grace of God IN truth"! We hear a lot of talk about grace and love from those who would want the church to accept homosexuality as a "gift" and who want to change the centuries old understanding of Christian marriage, but my spirit resonates with this Scripture verse (Colossians 1:6). It has certainly been true in my life that my understanding of God's grace was most clear in the precious moments when He confronted me with Truth and revealed my sin. There can be no grace if there is no comprehension of one's wrong--else there would be no need for grace. The beauty of God's grace is that it comes in those moments when we stand before Him undone because we see our sin and know that He has fulfilled in Christ the punishment we deserve.

Thanks, Viola, for persisting in teaching God's grace IN truth.

Alan said...
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Alan said...
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Debbie said...
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Debbie said...

Alan, plagiarism is when you pretend that someone else's words or ideas are your own words or ideas (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize?show=0&t=1330151604). Viola never pretended that your words were her own. Viola not mentioning you by name, but merely identifying you as an elder (which is a form of "crediting the source"), could be construed as Viola shielding you from unwanted personal attention from those who disagree with you.

Alan said...
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Craig said...

I will agree that there is bound to be some frustration when your own words are accurately quoted, and make you look other than you wish to look. Unfortunately many who agree with Alan on these issues routinely do just what he decries here.

Viola, I see no problem with accurately quoting someone as a part of a post.

Fr. Chris Larimer said...

This keeps reminding me more and more of the PoMotivator posters..

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/posters.htm

Viola Larson said...

Chris,
Do you realize how much time I've used to read most of those-I didn't finish. So very funny and thanks.

Alan said...
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Alan said...
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Alan said...
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