Wednesday, October 25, 2006

People of fact

A reply to my "21st Century malady" article was particularly interesting, so I thought it would be appropriate to reply to it in a more open fashion, rather than in a comment thread. Here is the reply, quoted thusly and like so:

"Those of us who are Christians are, by definition, people of fact."

You are wrong Mike. In fact, it's the exact opposite. "Those of use who are Christians are, by definition, people of FAITH.". The Darwist and the Humanist would say that he is the person of "fact".

Sounds right, doesn't it? The Bible is loaded to the brim with references to faith. Faith is a fundamental part of Christianity. So why in the world would I say that those of us who are Christians are people of "fact"?

Because every person is a "person of faith," even if that person chooses not to admit it.

To reference the above-quoted observation, the Darwinist is a person of faith. He or she invests his or her faith in the notion that, given enough time, amoeba can become accountants. The Darwinist has no facts to work with, no transitional forms that would give evidence of between-species evolution, nothing but the dogged belief that organic life, in defiance of a basic law of physics, gets more complex over time.

The Humanist has even less to work with. He or she invests his or her faith in the notion that human beings are basically wonderful. Did you know there's a Humanist Manifesto? Absolutely, and organized Humanism does Darwinism one better; the tail end of their Manifesto reads thusly: "We assert that humanism will: (a) affirm life rather than deny it; (b) seek to elicit the possibilities of life, not flee from them; and (c) endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few. By this positive morale and intention humanism will be guided, and from this perspective and alignment the techniques and efforts of humanism will flow."

Does anyone know of any facts that would have motivated anyone to think that human beings, in and of themselves, are ever going to turn this planet into a Utopia?

Didn't think so. Me either.

Darwinists put their faith in random chance. Humanists put their faith in human goodness. Those of us who are Christians, to the contrary, put our faith in facts--in a set of undeniable truths. We are not merely "people of faith," because everyone possesses a faith which must be invested, either in something or someone. Or, in our case, Someone. We have put our faith in the fact that "God became flesh, and dwelt among us," and thus made a way for us to have an everlasting, saving relationship with Him.

Faith and facts are not polar opposites. As Adrian Rogers used to say, "Faith in faith is positive thinking." Faith in Christ leads to salvation.

And that is a fact.

--Mike

27 comments:

Justthefacts said...

Mike, I'm the person who left the comment. I believe you still miss the point. Of course the Darwinist and Humanist believe as they do in faith. Infact, I would argue that it takes more "faith" to believe that complex life forms just "sprung" into being, or that based on man's behavior, he indeed, is god. However, I stand by what I said. Your entire post addressing my comment assumes that I somehow believe that Evolution and Humanism are based on facts. I don't, but those who subscribe believe they do. "The Darwinist and the Humanist would say that he is the person of "fact". The evolutionary scientist is always saying things along the line of "I believe in facts, things I can see, etc, etc". He decries the Christian who in his view ignores science in order to follow a belief in some abstract supreme being who created the universe-“intelligent design”. I continue to take issue that Christians are defined as people of fact. While I believe that the things you stated in the paragraph are true, one can only believe they are “facts” through “faith”. Thus, it is more accurate to say that Christians are defined as people of “faith” not “Facts”. Not one item in your “paragraph of facts” is an objective fact. You cannot prove any one of your assertions beyond a shadow of a doubt without acceptance by faith. It’s more accurate to say they are subjective facts, based on one’s worldview or beliefs. You will probably say that you addressed this by saying “Our choice to accept them as such gives them no more credibility than rejection of those facts gives them less. I would say they have no credibility at all outside of the ‘faith” that defines a Believer. Are they any less true? You and I would agree to the negative. However, you cannot say that they are objective facts, like “Bellevue Baptist is at 2000 Appling Road.”

As Faith is indeed the evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1), it is by faith that the Christian knows that these “facts” are true. Thus, the Christian is distinguished or defined from the non-Christian by his faith, and not by any “facts”.

And that, my friend, is a fact.

Mike Bratton said...

Always interesting when arguments are about fine points and semantics. You run right by your own quotation of Hebrews 11, which deals with "substance" and "evidence."

Why? I couldn't tell you.

--Mike

justthefacts said...

It's difficult to discuss issues with you when you respond like that. It almost seems like you are trying to goad people into an insult so you can 'prove your point". It's not a question of semantics or fine points. It goes to the fundamental nature of who a Believer is. Someone who believes only objective tangible facts could never by definition be a true Christian. Only someone who accepts a set of tenants and "Facts" that are improvable, but can only be accepted by faith. None of it's true outside of the Bible, which must be accepted by faith.

The reason I 'ran right by Hebrews 11" is because I erroneously assumed that you were familiar with the passage, and understood it in context, and I didn't need to sit on it.

My Bad

"Faith is the evidence of things UNSEEN, the Substance of things HOPED FOR". The rest of the passage goes on to describe the great men of faith in the Bible, and how they exercised that faith.

Seems to me that this little bitty verse kind of defines the Christian as a person of faith does it not? The remaining chapter encourages that faith by illustrating it in others.

"Why? I couldn't tell you."

That's not a remark designed to encourage constructive dialogue, as while it's true, it's tone is offensive. I'm sure you heard to Joe Jernigan last night caution against assigning people motives. However, you in a backhanded not-so-subtle manner you just called me a moron, and I doubt that was the point he was making in his sermon last night.
If you disagree that’s what you intended to communicate, then you need to examine either your attitude or your communication style.

There's another "fact" for you.

Mike Bratton said...

"However, you in a backhanded not-so-subtle manner you just called me a moron, and I doubt that was the point he was making in his sermon last night."

The technical term for your statement is "reading into something what you wish to be there."

Once again, I'd love to see issues and viewpoints addressed. The only thing such responses as yours, and the handful of similar ones, accomplish is to demonstrate a reluctance to engage in such discussions, in favor of anonymous personal assaults. Which, unfortunately, is still the only page in the so-called "saving Bellevue" playbook.

--Mike
"Why? I couldn't tell you" means just that--that I see no evidence for why someone chooses how to respond to an issue, so I'm unable to hazard even a guess.

Calling someone a "moron" is something I simply don't do--so a futile attempt to put words in my mouth doesn't exactly work.

justthefacts said...

You completely ignored my point that you communicated something that perhaps you didn’t mean to. If you didn’t mean to call me a moron, it at least communicated condescension.

“If you disagree that’s what you intended to communicate, then you need to examine either your attitude or your communication style.”

Anyone who has your stated interests (Theater broadcasting writing comedy accents and dialects) should understand that less than half of all communication is verbal. That’s is precisely why a lot of online communication is prone to misunderstanding, because subconsciously, the normal “nonverbal” clues are assumed based on what you know about that person. In this case, I’ve read your posts and comments on other blogs, and that’s all I know about you and your character. I just assume that you are once again being sarcastic and mean. And before you comment on that, keep in mind that you’ve made all kinds of assumptions of character and motives to the “so-called saving Bellevue” crowd, 90% of them you don’t even know who they are or have ever even spoken to them.

Now, back to the “issues”.
Faith and facts are not polar opposites. As Adrian Rogers used to say, "Faith in faith is positive thinking." Faith in Christ leads to salvation.

How in the world did you get that I said those were opposites? And the AR quote isn’t germane at all. Again, I’m discussing how you define a Christian, which is a subject you brought up.
Do you disagree with my discussion on Hebrews 11? Do you still hold to the assertion that Christians are by definition, people of Fact? If you believe that it’s a “fact” that the Bible is true, then I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that you can find the “definition of a Christian” in the Bible. I’ve found what I believe to be the Scripture that “defines the Christian”. If you have one supporting your position of definition by facts, I’m more than open to listening. If you are just going to mischaracterize and answer a question I didn’t ask, then I’m going back to my life.

Mike Bratton said...

Tell me this: What do those of us who are Christians invest our faith in?

Fairy tales?

Wishful thinking?

Abstract notions of truth?

--Mike

yada yada yada said...

hi facts,

Mike continues to not answer you questions--except with more questions of his own, but don't worry, that's his defense when he has no answer. It's also a classic passive-aggressive tactic that he has nearly perfected.

I suggest you do what most of us have done and stop engaging him. The visitors to his site has clearly declined (based on the number of comments and number of individuals leaving them), most likely because most everyone is tired of his divisive, arrogant holier-than-thou-I'm-doing-this-all-because-I-love-Bellevue-and-for-no-other-reason tone that pervades everything he says.

All he will do is spend time telling you to stop making personal attacks and stick to the issues, while at the same time it is his conduct that causes people to focus on him to make it the issue.

Take my advice and just let it go. Mike believes in his heart he is doing the right thing--of that I have absolutely no doubt--but he is who is he is, a leopard doesn't change his spots, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, etc., etc., etc.

Mike Bratton said...

I must applaud the choice of a Seinfeld reference for a pseudonym, yada, but then my applause must be cut short.

Apologies for not putting up a counter--those can be manipulated, you know, and often represent mouse clicks rather than unique visitors. Funny, though, that my analytics don't agree with your shot-in-the-dark guess, but I digress.

If the best you can do is to call others schoolyard names, yada, it probably wouldn't be in your best interest to visit this site.

However, if you feel up for having a discussion that doesn't involve calling others "passive-aggressive," "divisive," "arrogant," or "holier-than-thou," I'll still be around.

I do know of a place that likes to have discussions which are chock-full of emotional appeals, where they call those with whom they disagree "Clinton," "Hitler," or "the devil" under the guise of being "saviors," but perhaps you're already familiar with it?

--Mike

Never Posted Before said...

Mike,

I have thought and prayed about whether or not to make this post and I believe that the Lord would have me do it, so here goes.

In a post dated October 25, 2006 on BBC Open Forum in response to a post from someone calling himself “mikebrattonisciaphas, you stated this:

“I love you, I don't want you to keep behaving the way you're behaving, so I tell you things you might not want to hear about your worldview and your behavior as I'm led to do so. It's all in the hope that you people will take a step back and realize that your way violates Scripture, and does not honor God, advance the Gospel of Christ, or do one blessed thing to 'save' Bellevue Baptist Church.”

If you truly love these brethren who you believe are, at best misguided and at worst deliberately trying to bring down God’s chosen servant, then where in your posts is the meekness God requires in Galatians 6:1 for restoration of a sinning brother? That verse says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Mike, I hold no animosity toward you at all, but I take great issue with the liberal use of sarcasm in many of your posts.

For instance, is there meekness in this statement:

"To what "morality issue" do you refer? The crack pipes that folks in the front sections seem to always whip out whenever a Black Sabbath tune gets played?"

Or this:
"How, exactly, were you 'dismissed' from Pastor Gaines' 'presence'? Did he clap his hands twice and summon the palace guards?"

Or this:
"Interesting standard. All you pastors who've ever failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, listen up. Since it has been determined that 'sinless perfection' and 'above reproach' are synonymous, you will receive instructions very soon as to how you are to step down from your pastorates."

Or this:
"Another bit of witty repartee from the world-renowned 'I Know You Are, But What Am I?' School of Argumentation and Debate."

Surely you would not attempt to argue that these remarks are not sarcastic in nature. The word “sarcasm” is derived from words that mean “to tear as a dog tears flesh.” (I’m not calling you a dog, that’s just what my dictionary says.) This “tearing of flesh” seems to me to be very much at odds with restoring in the spirit of meekness. Anyone who wields sarcasm (which I have done my fair share of in my day) knows that a good sarcastic remark always serves to point up the cleverness of its originator, thereby elevating him in the argument. The deliberate use of this kind of elevating tactic would seem to be out of place in someone who is “considering himself, lest he also be tempted.” Further, Galatians 6:1 says nothing about the kind of offense committed by the sinning brother, so I think I am safe in saying that it doesn’t matter what odious fault your brother is overtaken in, meekness is always the key to restoration. If I can take you at your word in the first post I cited (“I love you. I don’t want you to keep behaving the way you’re behaving, so I tell you things you might not want to hear about your worldview and your behavior as I’m led to do so.”), I must believe that you ultimately desire restoration for those that you sincerely believe are in error. If that is true, Galatians 6:1 would indicate that sarcasm has no place in your responses.

Thank you for reading this. I’m sorry it’s so long. I pray that it will cause you to think and pray and search your heart and ultimately re-evaluate your methods. Please, speak what is on your heart. Please, speak up where you see error. Please, decry wrong-doing. But please do it as the Scriptures instruct — in the spirit of meekness.

Mike Bratton said...

"Mike, I hold no animosity toward you at all, but I take great issue with the liberal use of sarcasm in many of your posts."

Nev, I thank you and appreciate your kind words, but I'd like to retune some of what you've suggested.

Satire is a different animal from sarcasm. Sheer, unvarnished sarcasm is aimed at individuals in an attempt to injure. Satire, while employing sarcasm, is humorously aimed at opinions, behaviors, and worldviews, not at individuals.

Yes, I employ liberal amounts of satire in what I write. It's nothing to apologize for, or repent of, because there's nothing wrong or sinful about it.

"Meekness," Nev, is the Scriptural concept of strength under control. The fact that the Lord keeps at the very top of my mind the need to avoid attacking individuals in what I write is, if I may be so bold as to suggest it, an example of meekness.

Members of the so-called "saving Bellevue" group, however, specialize in personal attacks--just read their website for five minutes. Or, peruse their comments on their affiliated blogs; comparing Pastor Gaines to Hitler, and comparing my own self to the devil, a venomous Pharisee, and the priest who plotted to kill Jesus.

Those are just a handful of the examples of how that group conducts itself. I would encourage you to direct the same thoughtful reminder to them that you did to me, substituting some of their more incendiary and hate-filled personal attacks for my bits of satire.

It will be interesting to see what response you get from those folks.

--Mike

justthefacts said...

Mike,

< Those are just a handful of the examples of how that group conducts itself. I would encourage you to direct the same thoughtful reminder to them that you did to me, substituting some of their more incendiary and hate-filled personal attacks for my bits of satire. >
Mike, your “bits of satire” are no different, just subtler.

It's kinda funny how you continue to disagree by agreeing. Instead of addressing the root of what “never posted before” said, you disagreed that he was right that you use sarcasm as a "tool", saying that you use satire, not sarcasm. Mike, since you are splitting hairs with him, I'll split them with you. Even if you are right, Satire is defined as the use of sarcasm, which is apparently the only way you know how to talk to people.

But then again, to paraphrase a previous comment by you to me, “when your only tool is sarcasm/satire, I guess every argument has to be addressed sarcastically.

You disagree with people who express dissatisfaction with the change in the music service?
BAM! Hit it with satire/sarcasm

You disagree with people who want their pastor to preach at their church instead of other peoples churches on Wed night?
BAM! Hit it with satire/sarcasm

You disagree with people who have the temerity to disagree with your group's behavior/language/position?
BAM! Hit it with satire/sarcasm


See the pattern here?

I can't speak for everyone, but to me you appear to be only interested in stirring people up to get them to attack you personally so you can put up the Pharisaical self righteous cloak of" See? there they go again, all they can do is engage in personal attacks".


Your profile is wrong. This is "all about you".

And by the way, one could make an argument that your use of satire and sarcasm is indeed sinful. It shows a huge lack of love and respect for your fellow believers, in direct contradiction to many different Scriptural teachings and commands on the subject. Funny, this is something that you’ve been very vocal about The liberal use of satire and sarcasm only has one purpose, and that's to show everyone how clever you are. I believe that this goes to the sin of pride. As your particular brand of satire seems designed to rile people up and goad them into reactions, then you are violating Scripture about sowing discord and divisiveness among brethren. Again, something you claim to be trying to “help” the saving Bellevue crowd stop doing.

Of course your heart attitude is between you and God, I only bring this up because you insist there’s nothing sinful in what you are doing. I suggest you go seek the Lord and ask him if perhaps you have a blind spot that people are reacting to, that you need to overcome.


I’m reminded of the saying, “Physician, go heal thyself”. I believe Jesus put it this way, something about removing the beam from your own eye before trying to remove the speck from your brother’s. Perhaps the same could be said for 90% of the people involved in this church “disagreement”, but certainly could be said about you.

You will of course disagree with what I’ve said, and state that there are other valid reasons for satire. In the entertainment/theatrical world that’s true, but there is no place for your brand of satire in such a serious situation. Unless of course, it’s all a game to you.

I know you will not address the substance of what I said. You’ll do some spin action and hairsplitting about some semantics or whatnot. I don’t care. This is primarily for the benefit reading this. I’m sure I’m not the only one with these observations of your character.



Excuse me while I go back to my real life...the one that involves my family and employer.

Mike Bratton said...

JTF, you ignore your own pseudonym. Your posts attack others from the comfort of the shadows, where it's easy to throw a rock, then hide one's hand. And your posts are surprisingly fact-free.

Last I checked, those such as yourself--beset with the anti-Bellevue mindset--didn't need to be "stirred up." Your group's pattern is to ignore the Bible when convenient, to use it as a club when convenient, and to attack the personal lives of those who dare disagree, even taking potshots at families and jobs. Your group stirs itself up quite nicely, with no need for external motivation.

Never mind that you folks wouldn't say anything you've written (to anyone you've slurred) face-to-face--that's a given. And forget the "big meeting" so many of you demand; you folks can't even handle written exchanges of ideas, and balk at the notion of even a small meeting.

As the song says, "Where Is The Love?"

--Mike

justthefacts said...

As the song says, "Where Is The Love?"

Sure not coming from you.

Mike Bratton said...

Actually, if I didn't love you, I wouldn't let you post. I'd treat you the way so many in your group have generally treated people like me since the inception of "saving Bellevue"--by either deleting your comments out of hand, or just ignoring them.

Please consider that.

--Mike

justthefacts said...

If you loved me, you wouldn't talk to me the way you do, which is in a condescening and exasperating way.

That's like the man who beats his wife saying "If I didn't love you, I wouldn't let you live in my house and eat my food".

It's become apparent that you are a right-brain individual. As I am more left brained, I guess that’s why I'm having a hard time following your logic. Especially about comments being deleted. Your comments have been all over all of the forums involved. You haven't been treated any different than anyone else, even though the moderators appear to be frustrated with you.

If you love someone, you don’t have to tell them. They will know it in your words and actions.

Mike Bratton said...

You have a preconception, whoever you are. More than one, actually.

If they bring you comfort, no one else can persuade you that they're not in your best interest.

--Mike

justthefacts said...

Nope, they aren't preconceptions. They are "post" conceptions based on your stated interests, and your multiple comments and posts that fail to address people's questions to you in a logical manner. Even now you will not address the substance of what I say, and just "dismiss" me as "having preconceptions that aren't in my best interest".

You've assigned many motives and "preconceptions" on people in your comments in posts, so I'm not sure why you say that the way you did. Apparently that's the right way to debate with people in your world.

If conversing with people with "satire" and "sarcasm" brings you comfort, no one else can persuade you that is not in your best interest.

notonlyamemberbutsomuchmore said...

Mike, you need to post a link to the Adrian video on youtube. Probably should dedicate your front page to it. Adrian's sermon from 1/05 is ALL that ever needs to be said about all of this mess. After listening to this, anyone who says anything else is a fool. I found it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o929QwKAfGQ

the poster is "lovingbellevue" on youtube. anyone can find it.

How libelous webmaster could see this and still keep his site up is beyond my comprehension. May God have mercy on all of them. "God hates him who sows discord among the brethren"--Adrian Rogers quoting scripture.

Mike Sense said...

Mike Bratton-
I just wanted to comment that through all the posts I have read Mike, the spirit in which you interact with people is far from signs of a wise man. You seemingly speak down at your readers and do not seem very gentle and/or kind. I just want to implore you to further evaluate, as I'm sure you do often, the manner in which you interact with your oft-hostile readers.

I understand your vigilance and desire to be heard, however I have a strong feeling that people do not read a man who falls under what we see in James 3. Sorry if that's a big standard to hold you to, but as anyone who is a minister of the Word, anyone who is in a position of influence, we need to interact with and love our brethren in a manner that honors them.

Whether it is through misunderstandings or not, people often do not feel a spirit of love and grace from you. I read most peoples responses as them being communicated truth mixed with heavy sarcasm and condescension. To this I am sure you will respond with asking me to site sources and excerpts, but if you can't sift through your blog and find them then I guess it's possibly moot.

Blessings Mike and I truly hope that you can see some of the things that others see and continually be conformed to the image of Christ. It is then when we are grow more and more into having an effective ministry, which, to be frank, is seemingly lost when people feel attacked...as I'm sure you feel that way often too.

Mike Bratton said...

Mike, thank you for your comments. Nice picture, by the way--is that the White House briefing room?

While I appreciate your comments, not everyone shares your perception. I have consciously refrained from keeping a list of the slurs members of the so-called "saving Bellevue" group have tossed my way, but let's just say they've questioned everything from my salvation to my sexual orientation.

I have not responded in kind, as some have actually encouraged me to do. My articles, posts, and comments regarding this "saving Bellevue" business have been about this issues raised and the viewpoints represented, not about libeling or slurring the people holding those viewpoints.

If my worst offense is using satire to highlight the flaws in others' arguments, then my worst offense is no offense at all. And that's not self-aggrandizement; people who know me well, people who've known me awhile, people barely acquainted with me, and people I've never met have taken the time to encourage me in this thing I've felt led of the Lord to do. While personal attacks are made in public posts and comments almost exclusively, those encouragements are almost exclusively in my e-mail inbox.

I'd encourage you, Mike, to go back and re-read what you posted; you made your personal opinion of my level of wisdom and maturity, developed at a distance based on a few things I've written, read very much like a pronouncement of fact. I'm confident that's not how you meant to be perceived.

--Mike

Mike Sense said...

Mike-
Yes, the picture is from the White House Press room. One of the benefits of knowing a veteran WH staffer :)

Mike, I'm really not trying to lob stones brother...I just wanted to communicate that to you. I approach you in a spirit of unity and encouragement.

While I did not mean it to be a pronouncement of fact, it is still the perception that I have come to when reading your posts. Even on Jon the Baptists page (my friend), you did nothing but reinforce my opinion of what I have read in your responses. To be honest, I'm a bit bummed that people have encouraged you to respond in a manner that makes people feel the way they do. How can you claim to be communicating well when so many people don't feel honored and treated with respect by your comments? For me this seems to be a cause for concern with anyone. As you know, just because you feel that you are right doesn't mean it so.

While I understand your claim to making no offense at all, can you really make that claim? I get the fact that not all people all the time are going to like what a person says, however there does seem to be a large number of people who have articulated the same things that I have. Whether you feel it is justified or not, it would still be wise to take that in consideration when evaluating how you communicate with people.

I understand that you see your position as being right, but I think it would be prudent to consider what I have written. I'm confident you wouldn't simply discard what I have written due to it showing a varying opinion.

Do you feel confident that you respond to people with kindness, gentleness, love, truth, grace? If so, then blessings to you brother. It just doesn't read that way over the internet...which is important seeing as it's the medium in which we communicate.

Also, I just wanted to let you know that I think it's a bummer the manner in which people have treated you. Learning to disagree and have good, constructive dialogue is something that many, many Christians don't embrace. This has contributed to our country being in two halves...quite sad.

Mike Bratton said...

Mike, I appreciate your input. And I never know just what cool people I'll run into these days; yesterday I met a man who knows Eric Clapton, Paul Shaffer, and Steve Cropper, and today I meet a man who knows a senior White House staffer! (Just to hazard a guess, did you have to hop up behind the podium, have someone snap your picture, then hop right back down, or was it all much more leisurely than that? Either way, it must have been great fun.)

"How can you claim to be communicating well when so many people don't feel honored and treated with respect by your comments?"

Because the same remarks that make some people laugh, smile, and give that little knowing nod can be the same remarks that cause others to get a little chartreuse around the gills. Not to disagree with McLuhan, but the medium isn't entirely the message; it depends on the point of view of the audience as much as the point of view of the author, wouldn't you agree?

A handful of men got this so-called "saving Bellevue nonsense rolling several weeks ago, and their self-aggrandizing emotional appeals have struck a chord, for whatever reason, with a small group of church members. And when people have their emotions wrapped up in an opinion, disagreeing with that opinion will precipitate an emotional response.

Not for a moment would I discard your comments, Mike--I appreciate them a great deal, and thank you for them.

--Mike

Mike Sense said...

Mike- 1, I would agree with what you said about the a lot depending on the point of view in which things are taken in by. And because of this, though hard, I think we should take the audience in consideration with things that we write.

As for the White House jaunt, yes, it was informal. It was terribly neat to stand behind that podium and think about McCurry, Lockhart, Fleischer and the many others that have occupied that position. In fact, I think a number of Presidents have stood there too...although only once or twice a year.

The person I know is now retired and doing international consulting work with national budgets and such.

Thank you to the manner in which you dialogued with me today. Blessings in your work and I pray that your blog blesses people.

justthefacts said...

"self-aggrandizing emotional appeals"

Mike, how is that not assigning motives and making judgments of other people? Who made you God where you can judge people’s hearts?

"but the medium isn't entirely the message; it depends on the point of view of the audience as much as the point of view of the author, wouldn't you agree?"

A true statement, but a dangerous attitude to have, especially if your attempt is to persuade others to come to your position.
If as you say, these people are completely motivated by emotion, why in the world would you respond to them in a way guaranteed to stir up that emotion???

I'm sure you are familiar with the Harold Ford Jr foot-in-mouth dust up yesterday. If not, go search the CA's website, or call Mike Fleming or Rush Limbaugh. They both had plenty to say about it.

That's an example of how Jr said something that played to the people who agreed with him, but to those who didn't, or were "on the fence", it aroused passions in them that made them run to the voting booth to vote against him.


There are others who have presented similar viewpoints to yours, but you are the one that seems to stir up so much emotion and reaction. Other people have been able to have constructive dialogue with the "opposition". I've not seen one thread that you participated in where you did anything other than stir people up. There have been people on "your side" who've been able to communicate in a way where they are listened. Maybe you should take some lessons.


"I've felt led of the Lord to do."

I doubt the Lord is leading you to constantly wield the weapon of satire and sarcasm that you have been repeatedly told is offensive. The only times that Jesus even came close to using that "tool" was when he was speaking to a hostile crowd that he had no intention of persuading. (Pharisees). And if that is your judgment of the "so called Saving Bellevue crowd", you really should move on and drop it.

Any debate coach would tell you to avoid those "methods" in persuasive speaking. Since you continue to defend your use of "humorous satire" to make your points, even when told how offensive you come across, I just don't see how you can be motivated by anything other than "self aggrandizement".

I echo Mike Sense
"How can you claim to be communicating well when so many people don't feel honored and treated with respect by your comments?"

Your opinion doesn't offend me. It's your lack of respect in dialogue, as well as your dismissive attitude when called on it. You communicate, intentionally or not, an attitude of "if you don't like it, that's your problem.” Where is Christ in that?

While you are doing "what the Lord has led you to do", you should read the scripture about loving and honoring your brothers, and the ones about being reconciled to them, and ask forgiveness for those whom you've offended. Not for your opinion, but the way you've expressed it, which you even acknowledged has been offensive "to those with a certain viewpoint".

Whenever someone asks me what do you mean by “disagreeing by being disagreeable?” Unfortunately, the answer is two words “Mike Bratton”.

Mike Bratton said...

"self-aggrandizing emotional appeals"

Mike, how is that not assigning motives and making judgments of other people? Who made you God where you can judge people’s hearts?


Having judged no one's heart, or the status of their relationship with Christ, your response is a non sequitur.

You, whoever you are, might have noticed that the quote you referenced is about appeals, not individuals.

"but the medium isn't entirely the message; it depends on the point of view of the audience as much as the point of view of the author, wouldn't you agree?"

A true statement, but a dangerous attitude to have, especially if your attempt is to persuade others to come to your position.


I am not in the business of persuasion. Let's say I'm able to persuade someone to accept a position. What's to stop someone from following up behind me and persuading someone to accept a counter-position?

People must do what they desire to do, not what they're persuaded to do.

If as you say, these people are completely motivated by emotion, why in the world would you respond to them in a way guaranteed to stir up that emotion???

So, we shouldn't tell the unsaved that they're unsaved, and in need of salvation through Christ? That might "stir up" some emotions in them...

Fire can be fought with fire.

Emotions, however, cannot be "fought" with more emotions. Facts and information are the key.

If people choose to elevate their personal, subjective emotions over objective facts, persuasive speech is not the answer. The choice must be theirs to admit that there is an objective standard, and the choice must be theirs to release their emotions and embrace objective truth.

I'm sure you are familiar with the Harold Ford Jr foot-in-mouth dust up yesterday. If not, go search the CA's website, or call Mike Fleming or Rush Limbaugh. They both had plenty to say about it.

Actually, I was planning an article about it. I have a paper I'm attempting to finish today, so that has to be my priority; I stopped in to make sure comments were processed in a timely fashion when I came across yours and thought it might be good to respond to your questions.

That's an example of how Jr said something that played to the people who agreed with him, but to those who didn't, or were "on the fence", it aroused passions in them that made them run to the voting booth to vote against him.

I'd really rather that everyone refer to him as "Mr. Ford," or "Harold Ford, Jr." in subsequent comments, if that's all right. "Junior" seems to be something of a diminution, wouldn't you agree?

Regarding the substance of his statement (which I'll address more fully later), it simply wasn't factual, it was nonsensical. And, personally, I'm no more inclined to vote against Mr. Ford than I was before he made his statement; he didn't have my vote in the first place because of his differences with Mr. Corker on the issues.

There are others who have presented similar viewpoints to yours, but you are the one that seems to stir up so much emotion and reaction. Other people have been able to have constructive dialogue with the "opposition". I've not seen one thread that you participated in where you did anything other than stir people up.

Then I would look more closely. From what I saw yesterday, there was at least one thread on the "New" BBC Open Forum where a post of my received a basically positive response from the forum moderator.

There have been people on "your side" who've been able to communicate in a way where they are listened. Maybe you should take some lessons.

There is only one "side" in this business--the side of those who have gathered themselves under the so-called "saving Bellevue" banner. Nevertheless, and since you brought it up, I hear a lot from the people to whom you refer. They make it a point, to a person, to thank me not for just what I say, but how I say it. The fact that they thank me privately might be a key "lesson" for the "saving Bellevue" cadre: Private agreement, or disagreement, in church issues is much better than whipping up a public website and using it to libel and attack people with whom you disagree.

"I've felt led of the Lord to do."

I doubt the Lord is leading you to constantly wield the weapon of satire and sarcasm that you have been repeatedly told is offensive. The only times that Jesus even came close to using that "tool" was when he was speaking to a hostile crowd that he had no intention of persuading. (Pharisees). And if that is your judgment of the "so called Saving Bellevue crowd", you really should move on and drop it.


Sir/Ma'am, you cross a line. Not that it's surprising, but you've crossed it nevertheless. Let me quote your own words back to you, thusly and like so: "How is that not assigning motives and making judgments of other people? Who made you God where you can judge people’s hearts?"

From the shadows of your anonymity, you have done the very thing you falsely accuse me of doing.

And what makes you think you can discern Jesus' intention in addressing a "hostile crowd"?

And what makes you think the only time Jesus spoke bluntly was to a "hostile crowd"?

Any debate coach would tell you to avoid those "methods" in persuasive speaking.

"Any"? My Debate coach from back in my university days would vigorously disagree with you.

Since you continue to defend your use of "humorous satire" to make your points, even when told how offensive you come across, I just don't see how you can be motivated by anything other than "self aggrandizement".

Your opinion, to which you are not entitled, since it is unfounded. The notion that since someone cannot perceive something must mean it to be impossible is the very definition of subjectivity.

I echo Mike Sense
"How can you claim to be communicating well when so many people don't feel honored and treated with respect by your comments?"


Did you not read my response? To coin a couple of phrases, asked and answered, thusly and like so: "Because the same remarks that make some people laugh, smile, and give that little knowing nod can be the same remarks that cause others to get a little chartreuse around the gills. Not to disagree with McLuhan, but the medium isn't entirely the message; it depends on the point of view of the audience as much as the point of view of the author, wouldn't you agree?"

Your opinion doesn't offend me. It's your lack of respect in dialogue, as well as your dismissive attitude when called on it.

Projection, purely and simply.

If I didn't respect the people with whom I dialogue regarding this "saving Bellevue" nonsense, I'd let them go about their business. It it because I love them, am concerned for them, and have compassion for them that I engage them in the first place.

"You communicate, intentionally or not, an attitude of "if you don't like it, that's your problem.” Where is Christ in that?"

John 3:18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

The recorded words of our Lord Jesus Christ, placing personal responsibility on those who reject Him as the Light of the world and the sole source of salvation. If people don't like that fact, that is, indeed, their problem.

While you are doing "what the Lord has led you to do", you should read the scripture about loving and honoring your brothers, and the ones about being reconciled to them, and ask forgiveness for those whom you've offended. Not for your opinion, but the way you've expressed it, which you even acknowledged has been offensive "to those with a certain viewpoint".

How interesting. I'm supposed to apologize for speaking the truth out of a motivation of love; do you send similar messages to the "saving Bellevue" leadership for publishing outright lies, slanders, slurs and disparagements against senior Bellevue staff on a near-daily basis?

Whenever someone asks me what do you mean by “disagreeing by being disagreeable?” Unfortunately, the answer is two words “Mike Bratton”.

A typical response from your group: Attack the individual, avoid the issues. And do so, generally, from behind a pseudonym.

--Mike

justthefacts said...

Why is it that every time someone tells you that you have been offensive and communicated disrespect and were dismissive, you dismiss them with “you are just projecting” or something similar? Are you that arrogant that no one has anything to say to you about the way you come across?


"You communicate, intentionally or not, an attitude of "if you don't like it, that's your problem.” Where is Christ in that?

John 3:18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

The recorded words of our Lord Jesus Christ, placing personal responsibility on those who reject Him as the Light of the world and the sole source of salvation. If people don't like that fact, that is, indeed, their problem.”

Perhaps you misunderstood. Or perhaps I did. I didn’t know this was all a debate about the place of Jesus Christ as the sole source of salvation. I’ve reread my comments, post on the SB blogs, et al, and I failed to find one comment or post denying Jesus as the source of salvation. Could you show that to me? If so, I’ll agree with you completely they are 180% wrong and should be called out, no matter what they think. If not, I really don’t understand this comment and scripture reference. Are you insinuating that the “SB” crowd does not believe that Jesus is the source of salvation?

If not that, are you trying to equate an honest disagreement (right or wrong) about the goings on at BBC with the question of salvation and that if you are on your side, you are Jesus side. On the “SB” side, you are against Jesus. Is that what you mean?

Perhaps you mean that those who accept Jesus Christ as the sole source of salvation are not to have honest disagreements about the going ons at BBC, or at least shouldn’t disagree with you or church leadership? If so, then you would agree Dr. Rogers, Paige Patterson et al. were wrong to publicly call for and effect change at the SBC because they didn’t do it “privately?

“How interesting. I'm supposed to apologize for speaking the truth out of a motivation of love; do you send similar messages to the "saving Bellevue" leadership for publishing outright lies, slanders, slurs and disparagements against senior Bellevue staff on a near-daily basis?”

Let me emphasis that I do not know what your motives are, except what I observe in your conversation. You’ll say I’m projecting, I’ll say I’m observing, but I’ll paraphrase the old Josh McDowell analogy, “if you were put on trial for showing love, respect, compassion, etc to your fellow brothers, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

“Since you continue to defend your use of "humorous satire" to make your points, even when told how offensive you come across, I just don't see how you can be motivated by anything other than "self aggrandizement".

Your opinion, to which you are not entitled, since it is unfounded. The notion that since someone cannot perceive something must mean it to be impossible is the very definition of subjectivity.”

Huh? Where did I say if someone couldn’t perceive something it’s impossible? Are you saying that no one has the right to make judgments of your character based on their observations of your conversation and behavior? Maybe you mean that just because I don’t see what you believe to be your true motivations, then I have no right to have an opinion about what I can see?

I don’t know exactly what you mean, but I do observe that instead of a humble attitude of “Lord, help me see how I am offending brothers and sisters so I can truly show them your love through me”, your expressed attitude is ‘your opinion is subjective and wrong, and thus you are not entitled to it.’ Do I really need to point out how offensive that is? In the “real world”, a non-Christian would have communicated what you said to me in two words. One would have been a profanity, and the other a pronoun.

“A typical response from your group: Attack the individual, avoid the issues. And do so, generally, from behind a pseudonym.”

Who is “my group”? I’ve never claimed to be part of the SB crowd. You wouldn’t be projecting now would you? This started out with a debate about the definition of Christianity, but it managed to become a debate about you, since you wouldn’t address my comments. I noticed that you treated others the same way on the SB blogs, and pointed that out to you. You don’t know one bit how I feel about what’s going on at BBC. I do have an opinion, but I’m not sure I want to share it with you, since you are so biting in your responses.

I apologize for using your name as a synonym of being disagreeable, but honestly Mike. It’s so frustrating when you keep insisting that you only want to discuss issues, and then you refuse to do just that! From the first comment in this thread, you have answered my honest questions with sarcastic questions that are diminutive and inflammatory, and then when I challenge you on that, as well as your “my way or the highway” attitude, you insinuate that any disagreement with you is disagreement with Jesus!!! How else should I interpret your response to me starting with the verse from John above?

If I am completely misreading Mike’s attitude, would someone else who’s reading this thread please speak up or email me? I’m completely frustrated!!!!!! facts_just_the@yahoo.com


"You communicate, intentionally or not, an attitude of "if you don't like it, that's your problem.” Where is Christ in that?

John 3:18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

The recorded words of our Lord Jesus Christ, placing personal responsibility on those who reject Him as the Light of the world and the sole source of salvation. If people don't like that fact, that is, indeed, their problem.”

Perhaps you misunderstood. Or perhaps I did. I didn’t know this was all a debate about the place of Jesus Christ as the sole source of salvation. I’ve reread my comments, post on the SB blogs, et al, and I failed to find one comment or post denying Jesus as the source of salvation. Could you show that to me? If so, I’ll agree with you completely they are 180% wrong and should be called out, no matter what they think. If not, I really don’t understand this comment and scripture reference. Are you insinuating that the “SB” crowd does not believe that Jesus is the source of salvation?

If not that, are you trying to equate an honest disagreement (right or wrong) about the goings on at BBC with the question of salvation and that if you are on your side, you are Jesus side. On the “SB” side, you are against Jesus. Is that what you mean?

Perhaps you mean that those who accept Jesus Christ as the sole source of salvation are not to have honest disagreements about the going ons at BBC, or at least shouldn’t disagree with you or church leadership? If so, then you would agree Dr. Rogers, Paige Patterson et al. were wrong to publicly call for and effect change at the SBC because they didn’t do it “privately?

“How interesting. I'm supposed to apologize for speaking the truth out of a motivation of love; do you send similar messages to the "saving Bellevue" leadership for publishing outright lies, slanders, slurs and disparagements against senior Bellevue staff on a near-daily basis?”

Let me emphasis that I do not know what your motives are, except what I observe in your conversation. You’ll say I’m projecting, I’ll say I’m observing, but I’ll paraphrase the old Josh McDowell analogy, “if you were put on trial for showing love, respect, compassion, etc to your fellow brothers, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

“Since you continue to defend your use of "humorous satire" to make your points, even when told how offensive you come across, I just don't see how you can be motivated by anything other than "self aggrandizement".

Your opinion, to which you are not entitled, since it is unfounded. The notion that since someone cannot perceive something must mean it to be impossible is the very definition of subjectivity.”

Huh? Where did I say if someone couldn’t perceive something it’s impossible? Are you saying that no one has the right to make judgments of your character based on their observations of your conversation and behavior? Maybe you mean that just because I don’t see what you believe to be your true motivations, then I have no right to have an opinion about what I can see?

I don’t know exactly what you mean, but I do observe that instead of a humble attitude of “Lord, help me see how I am offending brothers and sisters so I can truly show them your love through me”, your expressed attitude is ‘your opinion is subjective and wrong, and thus you are not entitled to it.’ Do I really need to point out how offensive that is? In the “real world”, a non-Christian would have communicated what you said to me in two words. One would have been a profanity, and the other a pronoun.

I apologize for using your name as a synonym of being disagreeable, but honestly Mike. It’s so frustrating when you keep insisting that you only want to discuss issues, and then you refuse to do just that! From the first comment in this thread, you have answered my honest questions with sarcastic questions that are diminutive and inflammatory, and then when I challenge you on that, as well as your “my way or the highway” attitude, you insinuate that any disagreement with you is disagreement with Jesus!!! How else should I interpret your response to me starting with the verse from John above?

If I am completely misreading Mike’s attitude, would someone else who’s reading this thread please speak up or email me? I’m completely frustrated!!!!!! facts_just_the@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

hey justthefacts,

I wouldn't take Mike too seriously. I haven't figured out what his problem is--he either loves to rile people up and pull their chains, or he has a huge blind spot about how he is perceived. He's a lot like a guy I work with who always takes the other side, just to argue.

I only read his posts to get a chuckle. Most everyone reading all these blogs see him as off base.