Tuesday, July 08, 2008

On "canceling a soul"

I've recently encountered the online work of Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor who also blogs about issues of faith, family, and culture. After reading an article of his addressing legal and moral aspects of abortion, I submitted a response that was (I know, not surprisingly) rather involved. At Dr. Throckmorton's suggestion, I am re-posting my response here for discussion, and as a way to recommend his site to you. Quoting thusly, and like so:

It is interesting to read the scattered, specious, insubstantial opinions of people who haven’t taken the time to consider the consequences of indulging abortion-on-demand. Before addressing the behavior of Mr. Harrison’s (not “Dr. Harrison,” since he forfeited the use of that title after killing his first child), let’s review some of the boilerplate previously advanced, shall we?

1) Okay, I just find this law a little creepy. It isn’t as though women who choose to have an abortion don’t know why they there are there. It seems like a way to shame or scare people off from having abortions - rather than just giving them medical advice. And in what sense is a fetus whole or separate anyway.

I didn’t realize someone had to be “whole or separate” to be human; apparently, conjoined twins don’t make the grade. Do you understand that the developing child has a separate brainwave pattern, a separate heartbeat, and can even have a separate blood type from his or her mother?

And some of the best medical advice one can give a pregnant woman is “Don’t kill your child.”

2) Of course most people know that the images associated with abortion aren’t pretty.

Neither are images associated with lots of medical procedures.

Let’s just park there for a moment.

Abortion is not a medical procedure. It can be hidden behind abortionists’ phraseology, but at the end of the day, what negative medical condition does it address, treat, or relieve? Unless you’re of a mind to define pregnancy as an illness or other deleterious medical condition, the only available answer is “Why, none, Mike.”

I think most people would freak if they actually saw the images associated with open heart surgery - but we don’t expose people to that. In short there is no reason to be blatant with the imagery *unless* someone wants to push an anti-abortion agenda.

Abortionists lie to the women whose children they kill. Forcing them to tell the truth–and isn’t it fascinating that they must be forced to do so?–is only asking them to be held to the same standard actual, legitimate physicians must attain. To use your example, would you tolerate it if a heart surgeon working on a family member–or on you–lied about the goal of a surgical procedure?

Somehow, I doubt it.

3) What percentage of abortions does this procedure represent?

A remarkably small percentage, thanks for asking. But partial-birth abortion is but one tool in the abortionist’s kit. Are you familiar with the standard procedures used in the vast majority of abortions, or do you need details?

And given that the original Roe v. Wade decision does give States authority to regulate 3rd trimester abortions, wouldn’t that indicate there was some sort of necessity for this procedure?

Most state legislatures have been flummoxed by Roe v Wade and every other pro-abortion ruling since. But I thought you were the one who wanted to note how very, very rare third-trimester abortions were in the first place?

As for the law in question, I think it is just as bad as a law that said doctors have to tell their patients that “God thinks abortion is bad” or “If you vote for a Democrat, innocent children will die.” All of these statements (including the one in question) are based on philosophical or political beliefs not medicine. Medical science does NOT define when life begins (nor do I believe it should). It does define when life ends, but that is more of a legal definition (i.e. when can a doctor legally stop trying to revive or treat a patient).

It doesn’t take “medical science” to develop a definition for the beginning of human life, not when common sense is such a handy aid.

Would you say that a developing child eight months past conception is a living human being? Most folks would say “yes.”

How about seven months? Six? Five? From what I’ve heard and read, children only 22 weeks post-conception have survived premature delivery, which pushes things back to the five-month area.

So how about four months? Are you interested in saying that a child who’s a human being at five months’ gestation wasn’t a human being at four? Or at three? If we keep dialing back, developing children have a discernable heartbeat at roughly three weeks’ gestation, and discernable brainwave patterns at six weeks.

Even before this time, from the moment of conception, the developing human being is just that–developing, and with unique, and uniquely human, genetic information. Common sense will tell you that life begins at conception, if you’ll just employ it.

4) Perhaps we should get into a discussion about what abortion was like BEFORE it was legalized - would images of coathangers and the loss of the life of not only the child but the mother be better?

Ah, one of the best red herrings of them all. But read your own words: You define abortion as “the loss of the life of… the child”. Please ask yourself why you’re limiting your own argument to the choice between one death or two, when you could be considering scenarios where no one dies!

I see abortion as one of those necessary evils.

What other “evils” are “necessary”? I’ve never encountered even one, so I’d appreciate hearing why any sort of out-and-out evil is ever necessary.

I don’t agree with it, I stand opposed to it, but I will not force my particular belief onto someone else by voting for legislation that tries to make it illegal.

Then you are actively engaged in cognitive dissonance. If you say you believe a thing to be wrong, but you refuse to enter the arena of ideas and contend for the advancement of what you say you believe, you do not have a belief, but rather a lukewarm opinion that brings you comfort.

I think there needs to be limits to its use and that we should use eduction (sic) as one of our best weapons to lessen its occurrence. I do not, however agree that the world would be “better” if it weren’t legalized.

Millions of children have been murdered by people pretending to be doctors. It has been facilitated by politicians and judges with no substantive morality, and pursued by women (and the men who aid them) who range from the brainwashed to the hedonist. How is the world a better place by indulging the slaughter of fifty million children in the United States alone?

Bill Clinton, for all his faults, had a great quote that I use often: “Abortion ought to be safe, legal and RARE”.

“Faults”? Bill Clinton is a diabolical individual; you would do well to never consider anything he says to be “great.” But what inspires you to think his quote is even something he believed? What did William Jefferson Blythe Clinton ever do to make abortion-on-demand more rare? Anything?

Here’s an even better quote for your mantelpiece: “We must champion the innocent and the defenseless; there is no one more innocent, more vulnerable, than the child yet to be born.”

Now as for Mr. Harrison (and I use the “Mr.” loosely), it is evident from his statements that the psychological strain of killing approximately 20,000 children has taken its toll. If he frequents a church that at all preaches the Christian Gospel, he cannot help but be aware of (even if he will not admit it) the ramifications of willfully, freely violating God’s own standards by murdering child after child over the years, much less the ramifications of rejecting the call of God to repentance and faith in Christ.

While those of us who are Christians should pray for his salvation, we must not allow ourselves to be surprised when a man who indiscriminately takes life makes statements that are non sequiturs.

Dr. Throckmorton, you are being generous in your statements considering what Harrison has said. He will not entertain the notion that one of the 20,000 he has killed could have been anything other than an anguished, tortured human being with no chance of redemption; were he to do so, he would face being personally convicted of the crimes against God and humanity he has enthusiastically committed.



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David said...

Good post, Mike.

I prayed with a woman yesterday who was absolutely awash in guilt. We went over the sinners prayer, but she didn't have the joy I expected. I probed. She revealed that she had an abortion earlier in life and that it haunted her. We paused and took time for specific prayer and repentance for that act.

We do not realize the harm being done to women as a result of this. It's a quick option with massive implications! It wears down on the soul. This woman looked hollow as we walked, so completely empty and hopeless. I pray she can know that she truly is forgiven.

I have always believed abortion is wrong. I have never encountered that side of it.

faithnhope said...
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Cakes said...


The actual quotation is "birth control appeals to the...," not "abortion." You may collude the two, but be good enough not to inject your own editorial into what is represented as someone else's words.

I like birth control--it may be argued that taking some responsibility for ones own sexual and familial health is not a bad thing. But Sanger was a feminist, and what good can come from feminism--well, besides the right to vote and to compete in the work force?

Anyway, I find the raising of the abortion issue odd, but it is an election year--the season of sanctimony and posturing.

I just wonder how much your hearts ache for scores of dead innocents who've died as a result of the Iraq mess--the Lancet estimates over 100,000. Oh yeah, evangelicals are the last true believers in the Bush administration.

Ah, but it is also the season of cognitive dissonance.

Cakes said...

Sanger's advocacy for birth control was driven by the lack of attention and concern for women's health issues during her time, especially with regard to childbirth and VD.

Her message was opposed by religious zealots and politicians; so yes, she saw the matter as one of keeping women in submission. She accused them of "obscurantism," "(from the Latin obscurans, "darkening") is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known. (1) opposed to the spread of knowledge—a policy of withholding knowledge from the general public; and (2) a style (as in literature or art) characterized by deliberate vagueness or abstruseness." (wikipedia)

Oi, then I guess misquoting her words really has her spinning in her grave. How ironic.

faithnhope said...
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faithnhope said...
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Dr. John Mark said...

WHOA!!!! HOLD IT, HOLD IT, HOLD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MARGARET SANGER?!?!?!?!??!?!!?!


Are you telling me that there's someone who's so fond of getting laid that he'll wink at genocide and ethnic cleansing because its sponsor approves of safe sex????

Margaret Sanger? The woman who advocated the murder of 'socially undesirable people?' (blacks?)

Boy oh boy, who was it who said that given enough time the truth will always come to light?

Talk about thinking with your gonads!

Dr. John Mark said...

"The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it."
Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

In Margaret Sanger's book The Pivot of Civilization she also called for the elimination of "human weeds," for the segregation of "morons, misfits, and maladjusted," and for the sterilization of "genetically inferior races."

Who Was Margaret Sanger?

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an adulteress, racist and bigot, a supporter of Hitler's Nazi party, and a believer in eugenics - the purification of a particular race of people by selective breeding. Her magazines and journals were filled with writings and articles by well-known eugenicists and members of Hitler's Third Reich.

NO ONE with any spirital beliefs WHATSOEVER would defend her!!!!!!

Explanation, please! And enjoying sex is no defense!!

Dr. John Mark said...

Margaret Sanger campaigned for eugenic controls to enforce what she called "race hygiene" (a plan to sterilize and marginalize American immigrant Slavs, Italians, Jews, and blacks), and was a member of the American Eugenics Society and the English Eugenics Society.

Margaret Sanger associated with racists and in 1926, she was the guest speaker at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Silverlake, New Jersey.

"The mass of significant Negroes, particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes, even more than among whites, is that portion of the population least intelligent and fit and least able to rear children properly." - Margaret Sanger - The "Negro Project"

Sol, are you out there??? What do you think about someone who lauds someone like Sanger just because he enjoys sex? She was opposed by the church and the politicians because GENOCIDE was opposed by the church and politicians!!!

But hey, throw the dog a bone (r) and keep him happy, ay?

Dr. John Mark said...

Simply consider Sanger’s horrific contradictions. For Sanger and her generation of radicals, the success of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia largely validated Marx’s promise of a pending new world order. As a proponent of birth control, Sanger certainly sought to remedy specific health threats impacting the lives of poor women, but as a Marxist member of the Women’s Committee for the New York Socialist Party, she certainly anticipated the day when, as predicted, poor workers would rise up, kill off significant numbers of men, women, and children within the American middle class, and then fully seize the nation’s political and productive powers in efforts to establish a communist workers’ utopia. It is indisputable that such was the manifest plan for achieving the expected Marxist future.

Dr. John Mark said...


I think someone has some explaining to do!

solomon said...


Let cakes answer before you condemn him. Frankly, I'm eager to hear his thoughts about Sanger's ethnic cleansing. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm learning all the time.

Cakes said...

The point was to encourage folks, when editorializing, to not get so carried away as to put words in the mouths of dead authors. I'm defending clarity and substance in rhetoric. But if that is signified as defending the author's polemics--en masse--then so be it.

But I digress; if the person is deemed "evil," then repeat any old accusation you wish, especially if you're among the elect.

Cakes said...

A lot of the stuff the good Dr. traffics is cut and pasted from pro-life folks with an axr to grind--most of the accusations are disputed--and I don't care enough to do a research project on Sanger. I presume Sanger held views that are antiquated and superceded, the same as Washington, Lincoln, or Henry Ford. (You gonna eschew dollars, fivers or the automoble?)

It doesn't diminish one bit the contribution and legacy of these individuals. If I had to agree four-square with anyone, then I would have to sit out the next election.

Sanger watched her mother die, worn out, before her time after giving birth 15 times--you may deem her evil, but she challenged the religious and civil authorities of her time, when women were regarded as second-class citizens. At the time, birth control was illegal--dig that, illegal. That's freaking Medieval.

Cakes said...

And Dr.

Yes, I am a sexual being, like most of the life forms on the planet--I neither fear it nor am ashamed of it. But it is presumptuous to say that I defend birth control or Sanger because I like to "get laid."

You Christians crack me up sometimes.

Dr. John Mark said...

At the time, birth control was illegal--dig that, illegal. That's freaking Medieval.

What does that have to do with her approval of the ethnic cleansing of the "negroes"? Ya know, the "human weeds"? Or, dare I say, the 'niggers'?

Let's not let our advanced 21st century propriety keep us from talking about our 20th century ancestry.

Sanger wanted inferior races destroyed. She also wanted safe sex. Did the siren song of Babylon win us over?

Just wonderin!!!

Dr. John Mark said...

Sanger includes 'getting laid' in her portfolio, and you sign on for her entire platform which includes genocide and ethnic cleansing.

As I said, talk about thinking with your 'nads.

You're the one who 'cracks' me up. In the third person, of course.

Cakes said...

So. Dr,

Is your point that I should let Sanger's words be twisted by the elect because she was an evil heathen who spoke out against the oppression of women by the religious and civil authorities of her time? Or because she championed eugenics?

Or is the point to paint me as championing eugenics because I won't sit by as Sanger's words (regarding birth control, not abortion) are twisted?

Because in both cases, you just look like the same pathetic manipulator.

solomon said...

For what it's worth to all concerned, I don't think this is a worthwhile discussion.

As Hope said, she was mistaken in her quote. JM obviously has some serious issues with MS, but that's his business.

Cakes has admitted that he's not an expert in or a staunch supporter of her beliefs, so what's the fuss? No one here supports genocide or murder, so let's just drop it.

Why don't we all just call it a day?

Dr. John Mark said...

Forget history and it will repeat itself.

But what do I care? I'm white. No one's trying to stamp me out.


Cakes said...

Amen, Sol.

Sweet dream, doctor.

Dr. John Mark said...

So. Dr,

Is your point that I should let Sanger's words be twisted by the elect because she was an evil heathen who spoke out against the oppression of women by the religious and civil authorities of her time? Or because she championed eugenics?

As HP said already, although you chose to ignore it, she made an honest mistake and admitted it.

Or is the point to paint me as championing eugenics because I won't sit by as Sanger's words (regarding birth control, not abortion) are twisted?

No, the point is that you're trying to pick and choose what you wish from an evil woman's teachings. You can't separate her assertions about abortion from her assertions about birth control. Or about genocide, euthanasia, or ethnic cleansing.

If you want to defend safe sex, fine. Just find a more tolerable role model than Margaret Sanger, cause she's pond scum.

The Dr. has spoken.

Lynn said...

I gotta admit....the Red Russian Army Choir does a great version of "Sweet Home Alabama"

John Mark said...

I think you mean "Georgia On My Mind?"

Lynn said...

John Mark said...

I think you mean "Georgia On My Mind?"

3:17 PM, July 11, 2008

Nope. I meant Sweet Home Alabama.

Here's the video:

Leningrad Cowboys and the Russian Red Army Choir Sings Lynyrd Skynyrd

Jessica B. said...

Can we just back up for one second to the whole abortion/war thing? I saw a bumper sticker questioning this very idea last night.

I have had so many others that bring up the argument of abortion/death penalty correlation.

ADULTS who voluntarily sign up for the armed forces or voluntarily commit crimes ARE NOT THE SAME as a baby who has done nothing but allow it's cells to multiply.

oc said...

I will at the outset let you know that I have no love nor agreement with Sanger. I believe she was flat wrong and sinful concerning what she believed as abortion goes, so she is in direct contradiction of what I think of as the "sanctity of life". I will agree with this though, I do not think that every sexual interaction should produce a child. I do believe in contraception. But we also need to give child bearing the honor it deserves. To conceive a child is a holy thing. Because a human life is holy...

But ..we now have, right here and now, in front of us, john mark... talking about a human being as "pond scum". Has it not crossed your mind? Don't you think it's ironic that the abortionists think basically the same thing concerning the human fetus...nothing but pond scum, and yet this is the same idea that the johnmark conveys concerning the fully matured fetus in adult form, called Sanger. Wasn't she made in His image?

Pond scum. Nice. She was made from the same stuff you were.


John Mark said...

Point to OC. I got carried away.

Don't get cocky, kid.

faithnhope said...
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John Mark said...

Hey Jess,

Anyone who compares abortion to the death penalty is admitting that both take a human life. I suppose the question I'd ask the person driving the car is what did the baby do to deserve death?

John Mark said...

Hey Hope, I think we're mixing apples and oranges and walnuts.

We've got 3 things we're mixing up here:

1. Abortion
2. War
3. The Death Penalty

None of the three are something to be proud of, actually.

oc said...


I do understand, we've all been there brother. I've been there frequently. I of all people have no reason to be cocky. Uncockiness to you!

Peace brother.

Cakes said...

Well yes, pondering the issue of seemingly conflicting philosophies by evangelicals (in most cases, F&H, not all)--regarding the sanctity of the lives of a fetus, the brave soldiers in Iraq or an 18 year old on death row--is justifiably perplexing.

The Iraq war is justifiably disputed--the whole mess, from the beginning until know, is embroiled in charges of corruption and bungled leadership--but despite the sea of lives lost, it is not central to the political campaign and the media has pulled out on covering the war. Perhaps it is fatigue or denial, but the indifference of the American public to the suffering there is tragic.

I'm sure there are plenty of conservatives and evangelicals who do not support the Bush administration--I read the threads. (By in large, these folks don't find them conservative enough.) But there is little criticism from evangelicals of the economic and human costs, considering the specious justifications for launching the preemptive strike in the first place. That doesn't seem to indicate much devotion to the sanctity of life from that quarter of the populace.

Indeed, how does one hold on to the sanctity of life argument while favoring capital punishment?I see no caveats in the 10 commandments?

The plight of orphans in this country is horrible. Adopting couples want an infant, and past a certain age, it becomes more difficult to place them in a stable home, especially if they're minorities.

I applaud those folks who live by their vaunted ethos and adopt unwanted children, but I loath the notion of some pro-life advocate in front of a women's clinic, getting in some poor ladie's face--not knowing if she's been raped or going through who knows what.

That's kind of a self-inflating, provocative and no-strings approach to activism, in my opinion.

Yes, I cannot no easily partition these themes of life and death, and there is substance to the inquiry. These are relevant because every political season the Republicans start throwing red meat at Christian conservatives--remember the defence of marriage act in 2006? It got them to the polls. So expect more punditry on reproductive rights, immigration and the second ammendment--but not Iraq.

Cakes said...

And F&H,

You know, all I have to do is show up to demonstrate that some Christians are hypocritical or uncaring.

I, for one, haven't suggested that all Christians are one way or another, nor that any of you are thinking only from your root chakra, to put it nicely--as I was repeatedly last night.

Jessica B. said...

FH- I don't entirely disagree with you, but war is just a whole different ballgame from abortion. So is the death penalty.

War is a battle between two forces working towards a goal (even though those goals may be opposing) and fighting for a purpose (right or wrong).

I actually do have some sympathy for arguments that Cakes and others may make on this issue. But when you have to resort to something like that it seems that you don't have much to offer in the way of real debate.

My heart breaks for someone being gunned down in Iraq or even a murderer being sentenced to death. It is such a waste.

For every sad, hurt and broken girl walking into an abortion clinic, there are a dozen more who treat it as nothing more than taking a kitten to the pound because it scratched their furniture. Don't tell me that there aren't, because I have heard and seen it with my own eyes and ears.

You can't get long term birth control or sterilization for free but you can get an abortion. The message that we are sending these girls is just plain wrong.

Even if you take away the moral/ethical issues we still have a whole multitude of problems.

I do think that there would be a huge decrease in abortions if we were to offer these girls safe long term BC (think IUD) or even sterilization if they want. (It is refused to anyone under 30 with less than two live births).

And as far as the orphan situation goes... as a country, we don't value life the lives of those who don't enhance our lives in some way so to me it seems like a sad yet natural progression. The elderly will likely be next- they make our lives more "difficult" so we will start demanding that the government take them off our hands.

Half of this is probably not coherent because I am crazy tired and my hands hurt from playing the drums on Rock Band. But I tried.

Cakes said...


So I just want to make Christians look "hypocritical or uncaring," I don't "have much to offer in the way of real debate," and I think southernly, to put it kindly.--all on this thread.

You may not like me at all, but I just adore y'all more by the day.


Jessica B. said...

to be fair- you did bring up the correlation, but you are certainly not the first or last to drag this idea into the abortion debate.

Besides, I don't believe for one second you are so thin-skinned. I think you know good and well that no one is trying to hurt your feelings.

oc said...

Yeah I do see life as important. I have a son in law who is serving his second 15 month term in Iraq. Don't anyone make light of his tour, because I will hunt you down and send you to another country.

My daughter is in fear everyday, she did that from the day she married him, because he was sent less than a month after they wed. I performed the ceremony myself, and soon he was off to Iraq. And my daughter was alone, except for me and the Lord. She made it through on the power of the Lord.
She's doing it again, and I'm not there with her this time.

Many people don't know what the soldier goes through over there. Do you realize that some soldiers actually commit suicide? It's happening more and more. It's not club Med over there. Some decide it's the end for them. That's sad, a decision made in pain. But a fetus does not have that option, does it?

My problem with abortion is that it is used as contraception. And to me, that's worse than any war,
it's terrorism at the worst, worse than 9/11. Much worse.

Abortion is just the most irresponsible excuse for not controlling animal instincts that I've ever heard. Come on people, it's not like breathing, you do not HAVE to have sex to in order to exist. Just something I heard. Guess what I else I heard?
If you miss a day of having sex, you will not die! Can you believe that??

So on that special day should it ever come when you don't have sex, sit down and do some cogitation... but since you are not much better than an animal, I'm not expecting too much from you.

But really, I don't expect my dog to consider the consequences of fatherhood, but I expect humans to do so. Is that asking too much?

Since it seems that some cannot control their animal instincts, then at least wrap your winkie before you do your thing, that way abortion does not have to become an issue.

Killing people in war may be wrong. It's debatable but sometimes it's unavoidable.

But killing kids to cover your ass is never right.

oc said...

And just to be clear, my post was aimed at no particular person. It is just my opinion, but one which I hold dearly and honestly, and it was directed to no person, but instead to the whole world.

Cakes said...

The question of when a fetus becomes a child is not answered by science, and thus the disputed territory of philosophers, politicians and theologians.

The pro-life advocate is convinced he sees genocide; it seems all advocacy, like the letter to the editor this morn, begins with the premise--this is the murder of children, period--and shame on you if you don't agree. That is not a premise everyone in society shares however, and are not likely to be compelled by indictments of being pro-murder and genocide.

Even the staunch make caveats for rape and to save the life of the mother. Why then, if everything is so black and white?

The truth is, even biblical literalists have to have some wiggle room. The commandment clearly says killing is a sin--if we condone or support the actions of our government, are we then culpable for the catastrophe of innocent deaths in Iraq? The evangelical says that killing is a sin but sometimes killing is the only option. What if, later, it turns out--oops--no imminent threat after all? Sorry for the apocalypse.

Well, I say the actual deaths of 100,000 to 600,000 innocent Iraqis counts as genocide--the way you think of abortion. I think these repeated stop-loss tours, not to mention 15 month duty, are asking too much of the men and women who joined the military. The sucide rate for soldiers is the highest its ever been, as is divorce.

I support the troops, OC--I support them coming home to their families.

oc said...

If the question of when a fetus becomes a child is yet unanswered by science, then why should anyone take the chance that they might be killing a baby? We had better make sure before doing it, don't you think?

To use your argument, what happens if it turns out later that these were children? Sorry for the apocalypse?

Anyway, my point of the post was that we need to control ourselves, and if we cannot seem to do so, we should not use abortion as contraception.

oc said...

PS. And I support babies, coming out of the womb.

oc said...


faithnhope said...
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oc said...

Hey Cakes,
I'll go with your argument. I will agree with you, yes we are culpable for the innocent lives we've killed in Iraq. But how does that excuse us from murdering anyone in this country?

Is your argument that since "we" have killed innocent civilians in Iraq, that it must be acceptable to kill babies in this country?

I'm not being contrary, I'm really trying to follow the logic.

Your friend,

Cakes said...

No, I'm for less killing across the board. I'm in the middle of the sandwich. Many of my students are the unwanted and unsupervised offspring of child-parents, like generations before them. I would never, in an instance, ever think they would be better off aborted.

But be real, when it's some of these very kids that will fall through the cracks, live horrible lives of abuse and neglect, then end up on death row. A teacher's reach is limited, you know.

The bone of contention is when exactly life begins. Is using the morning after pill homicide?

Ever seen History of the World, Part 1?

Cakes said...

Many of my students and collegue's brothers and sisters are in Iraq.

We sanctify life--not so much.

Lynn said...

"Ever seen History of the World, Part 1?"

One of my all time favorite movies.

Its good to be the king :)

oc said...

Uh, faithnhope,
you know that I don't agree with Cakes' premise of abortion. It's apparent that everyone knows that by now. But I still think we should sit back for just a minute and get an understanding of what Cakes means by what he says. Because I'm not real sure either sometimes. So maybe at this time we should just shut up and wait to hear from him...

That's just a suggestion, my sister, from someone who admits that they do not have all the answers in life...and as for myself, I'm fat on crow. I have done alot of hastily judging of others...but now I have decided to instead of scrutinizing my brothers and sisters, I will search diligently the Scriptures...and when I search the Scriptures, I find out that not everything is about me....and now I have learned that well. But I have also learned that I must do what I can do to save the helpless and innocent. If I can't help there, then I don't deserve to enter the Kingdom. Not because of works, but because of the heart issue. Praying for cardiac wellness. :)


oc said...

Cakes, I may have been one who may have better been aborted. You love me though, don't you? Aren't you glad Momma didn't decide to kill me? Aren't you glad I'm still here?

And guess what Cakes? I'm glad your Momma decided not to wipe you out. You make a difference in my life, and I love you.


Jessica B. said...

The commandment is actually "murder" not "kill"... just for the record.

I guess the way I look at it is this (and it is certainly not perfect- I know that it is hard to know where to draw the line sometimes, even for Christians) when you are fighting in a war you are working towards a goal for the greater good. It horrifies me to think that innocent people are dying, but in theory, those lives are being sacrificed to save future lives.

And Cakes- just for the record- I would not take the morning after pill. I don't believe that we can't use contraceptives at all, but I do not believe in contraceptives that end a pregnancy that has already begun. Even if I was raped.
I know that I would be taking a chance, but no one promised me an easy life.

solomon said...

I don't want to become the "conversation terminator" but I would like to point something out.

Each of us come to the table with experiences that influence our opinions, but they really aren't that different.

Cakes' students have family in Iraq, and he opposes abortion. OC's son-in-law is in Iraq, and he opposes abortion. Hope's husband was killed on 9/11, but she's been on mission trips to Iraq, she doesn't hate Arabs, and she opposes abortion. Jessica hates that innocent lives are being lost, and she opposes abortion.

I really don't understand the disagreements. I don't support the war, and I oppose abortion. I don't see any dissenting opinions. I think that everyone here is saying the same thing, albeit from different perspectives.

Am I missing something?

oc said...

"Am I missing something?"

Uh, maybe. Are your sure of all your assessments? When you declare that clear, then I will make a decision...but in the mean time, I do think that you are missing something...

solomon said...

Then what exactly am I missing? Who is in favor of innocent civilians in Iraq dying? and who is in favor or unborn babies being aborted? No one that I've read yet.

It looks like more arguments just for the sake of arguing.

John Mark said...

It looks like more arguments just for the sake of arguing.

Speaking of which, sol, did you see this from the other blog?

like OC said...where is it written that we have to have a Lisa Parker solo, a choir or praise team, an "authority figure star" preacher,(who thinks the Bible is a guide line) MAJOR missionary projects,( PLENTY to do in plain sight of all of us!, Prayer WALKS, big buildings......

Wasn't it you who wrote that Lisa was "living proof that the Spirit manifests himself in women?" And that "her humility when she was unceremoniously cast aside as pianist when Josh came back from Houston was one of the greatest offerings" you'd ever seen?

Are you together with the person who wrote that slam on her?

Just curious...

solomon said...

john mark,

No, I didn't read that, but let's have a little sense, shall we?

OC isn't a Bellevue member, and it's unlikely he knows who Lisa Parker is. Someone is obviously trying to put words in his mouth.

Anyone who has met Lisa knows her heart, and could never say anything bad about her.

larry said...

John Mark (and sol),

Check your email, please.

solomon said...


I don't care who the person who's smearing Lisa's name is, it's wrong. No matter what her issues with Bellevue are, there's no justification for dragging a godly person's name through the mud without reason.

Perhaps gmommy should ask Lisa to have lunch to discuss her concerns. I don't think there would be any hesitation on Lisa's part.

Lisa Parker's reputation is spotless, and anyone who insinuates otherwise is suspect. As well as anyone who defends those who insinuate otherwise.


larry said...


Roger that, sol.

Think about it though, okay???

oc said...

Keith, I don't know what think you are missing...

Yep, I don't know who Lisa Parker is. And I don't care. I have no idea, and I don't give a rat's patootie who she is.

But also, like others, you don't seem to care that what I'm saying may make a difference. I'm saying this..it's not personal now, but to the world.... Keep your winkie wrapped since it seems that we are just a bunch of stupid animals running around humping on everyone's leg. And even though we are supposed to be humans, it seems we are way too stupid and we just follow the animal kingdom. So if you are going to be an animal, at least don't make it someone elses responsibility. Be human enough to own up to it, and pay for it.
Don't put it on us, That's all I'm saying. I'll keep saying this. Pay your own way,and quit procreating if you can't pay for it.


solomon said...


Your lack of discernment is duly noted. All I've heard you say is that people who disagree with you are ignorant.

Ignorant of what, exactly?

So if you are going to be an animal, at least don't make it someone elses responsibility. Be human enough to own up to it, and pay for it.

Don't put it on us, That's all I'm saying. I'll keep saying this. Pay your own way,and quit procreating if you can't pay for it.

At this point, OC, I must stop speaking to you. Why in the world you'd say something like that to me is incomprehensible (unless you've been listening to the savingbellevue crowd).

Never address me again, larry, unless it's to apologize for your crude and vulgar remarks.

As I've said before, there are time's when I've almost liked you. Sadly, those times are in the past. Go ahead and do whatever it takes to make yourself feel good in front of your anti-Bellevue friends. It makes no difference to me anymore. If you get some kind of perverse satisfaction from slandering godly people like Lisa, more power to you.

I'll just keep 'humping on everyone's leg' or whatever crass verbiage you choose to slander me and others with.

May God judge between you and me, OC. I'm comfortable with the outcome.

Are you?

larry said...

Wow, sol.

Is that your final word?

solomon said...


Mike Bratton said...

A few things:

1) Sorry not to have been a more active part of the discussion, but it's been an active week.

2) Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, but it's fruitless to call her names; she is, without a doubt, currently crystal-clear in understanding the error of her ways. Her work to facilitate abortion-on-demand made her an accessory to murder on an apocalyptic scale, but it was her lack of saving faith in Christ that condemns her.

3) Continued personal name-calling betwixt and between participants here will get you the thumb. Cut it out, all who are doing so. If you have to discuss personalities rather than ideas, do it elsewhere--the Internet is a big place.

3a) The same holds for the increasingly-vulgar tone of some recent comments here. Clean it up.

4) Is the "New" "BBC" "Open" "Forum" still even operating? Apparently, yes! Let me take a look and see what's being said about that dear friend of our family, Lisa Parker.

5) Ah, it's just a passing shot from someone who steadfastly refuses to sign her (presumably, the author is female) name to her remarks. Interesting, though, the observations about ego and corporate worship. Does it not strike anyone as egotistical to say "The way you worship God is wrong; here, follow me and I will show you what I think is a better way to worship!"?

6) For the record, OC, Lisa is a sister in Christ, and a friend (along with the rest of her family) of our family. She's perhaps the most diversely talented person I've ever met, but at the same time has a servant's heart. Talent and humility are a tough blend.

7) For those of you who participate at the Forum, ask the author of that dreck about Lisa to e-mail me. I'll provide him/her with Lisa's e-mail address, so he/she can either put up, or (hopefully) hush. Now, I know that communicating with me would require stepping out of the shadows, but hope springs eternal...


Memphis said...

Mike, I am sorry that your blog always gets caught up in the BBC vs anti BBC crowds. Just when it seems that there could be some good discussion going on, someone makes it personal.

For the record, I am pro-life, I am for the troops coming home. I am also for letting hte troops do what they need to do and let them have the equipment to complete their missions the safest way possible so that they can get home.

Mike I will be sending you an email soon with some news I want to share with you. Thanks


solomon said...

I don't participate in the forum since I've been so vilified, but I'll be happy to ask gmommy to email Mike and seek clarification about Lisa Parker's roles at Bellevue.

Gmommy, why do you have issues with Lisa, and why don't you email Mike to resolve them?

Just wondering.

oc said...

That's ok Keith. And don't you be so concerned about Gmommy, she'll be just fine.

Mike Bratton said...

Folks, we can go back to moderated comments in a heartbeat.

Or, more precisely, a mouse-click.

And while I understand that people need to use this place as a safety valve to "let off steam" with regard to the anti-Bellevue kaffeeklatsch, let me be clear: The less their antics are talked about here, the better. It's been six months or so since the last time I wrote an article about that group, and if the lies, character assassination attempts, bitterness, evil speaking and such have become self-sustaning around their small nucleus, so be it.

When people indulge sin, it becomes a waste of energy to repeatedly ask them to stop. From what I hear, folks in Memphis have rightly identified it as a static, non-productive group. Let 'em go, folks, and pray that God will convict their hearts.


solomon said...

I have one final thing to say on the remarks directed at me by OC.

I've NEVER been a person to play the race card, but it's painfully clear now why I've always encountered such hostility from the NBBCOF. It was beyond me why some of the most harmless statements imaginable were scorned and my personal integrity repeatedly called into question. It's clear now, though.

I've fought racist stereotypes my entire life, but I didn't realize I was fighting one now. It's no wonder OC loves to argue with me.

Just FYI, OC, I've been married to the same woman for almost 2 decades. If you would get rid of your insulting and shameful stereotyping of entire races, you'd realize that blacks are not a bunch of uncontrollable animals.

The only mistake I've made is that I've appealed to Christian beliefs in my discussions. I didn't know that those beliefs were being overruled by racist ones, but now that I do I won't bother anymore.

John Mark said...

Well well WELL!

I wondered if anyone would ever mention that honking big elephant in the room.

Bout time!

oc said...

What are you talking about?

John Mark said...

What are you talking about?


So if you are going to be an animal, at least don't make it someone elses responsibility. Be human enough to own up to it, and pay for it.

Don't put it on us, That's all I'm saying. I'll keep saying this. Pay your own way,and quit procreating if you can't pay for it.

And I'm also talking about the reason KS was beaten up and chased away from the NBBCOF. He's never said anything that deserved his being slapped around, other than belonging to the ethnic group God put him into.

I think the time has come to start listening to people for what they have to say and honoring their integrity instead of branding them, packaging them, and jumping to conclusions about them.

You were upset that I called somebody 'pond scum'? Those statements were so far out of line that I can't believe you'd even think them in your head, OC.

oc said...

Read it again honestly without your drama glasses on. My posts had nothing to do with ethnicity, but about the depravity of man.

John Mark said...

And who's the "us" then? Aren't you a depraved human too?

Besides, it's not me you need to convince. I'm one of God's chosen (i.e. I'm white).

If you'd like my advice (rhetorical question) stop trying to defend yourself. What you said was racist and ugly, plain and simple. It wasn't any uglier than hating a man for his color, but much more direct since it was directed at one man, and a man that many of us are quite fond of.

Just say you're sorry OC. I think you might have gone a little too far this time, but who knows? Sol's a reasonable man (for a you-know-what). Besides, you've at least been willing to lower yourself enough to talk to a man of another race. That's more than some of your friends from the other blog can say.

maybejustmaybe said...

Sol - you have deeper and sweeter insights into God's Word and how we are to live it out than many men I encounter in my Christian walk. Take heart, my brother. You are loved. You are appreciated and are part of my family of faith. Don't stop "bothering." Keep speaking, keep sharing your love and wisdom, and keep showing us to the high road. (And don't forget - you still owe me a hug at church sometime!)


John Mark said...

Hey Junkster,

Did you hear what Jesse Jackson said to Derrick Rose after the championship game?

He said "winners overcome it".

So that's where the saying comes from!!!

Cakes said...


It's taken me close to a day to go back through the thread and discern what OC said to create such a tempest in a teapot up in here. Now, you've got John Mark calling OC a bigot.

I don't think he ever implied what he said to you personally, but was speaking generally about humanity or society, which I hear preachers and church people saying likewise all the time. OC even said repeatedly that it was not directed to anyone in particular, and that was not retained in your quotation. I'm not implying you edited it for affect, only that I never signified his words as directed to you or a particular race.

(If anyone can point out something I missed, please do.)

This is what I gathered from reading OC's remarks, and was quite shocked at how the thread has degenerated into charges of bigotry and personal attack. Furthermore, I think someone over at NBBCOF wondered out loud why a service needs a particular soloist, so now that too has been stoked out of proportion.

John Mark, what would you know about someone going to far? Did you just say this?

"I think the time has come to start listening to people for what they have to say and honoring their integrity instead of branding them, packaging them, and jumping to conclusions about them."


Jessica B. said...

Seeing as I have never met Sol and had no idea what he looked like (well, aside from my awesome visions of The Burger King roaming the halls of BBC), I was pretty puzzled at the sudden venom that was spewing forth from OC. It really did seem way out of proportion for the issue at hand and like he was blaming him personally for the evils of the world.

His comments were demeaning and insulting, regardless of race. Even if he does try to explain it away by saying he was generalizing, the fact is that it all seemed very personal. I don't know. Intent is hard to read on the internet. But whatever his intent- the finished product was horrible.

I think the best part was when he addressed him as "baby boy" and "my little feller". Seriously? Do people really talk this way in real life?

Cakes said...

The name of this blog should be Bratton's tree house, because there seems to be no end to the double-standand in outrage over SOME comments from SOME people, but John Mark and others may run roughshod over someone like myself, but it's open season on the heathen, I surmise.

No Jess, OC said much the same before Sol's exchange with him. He did say twice his remarks are
not directed to anyone specifically, did he not?

Cakes said...

So, you don't like venom from OC, but all the venom coming from John Mark is measured and substantive, in your opinion? Or inocuous? Who was it that said (about the regulars of NBBCOF; not this esteemed blog) that "silence is tacit agreement?"

OC can clarify his own remarks, but I find this tempest to be manipulated and massaged to villify someone you don't like or welcome in the first place. So too with the tempest over the soloist.

There is no more evidence of OC being a bigot or "spewing venom" than I am a supporter of eugenics, genocide or have built an ethos upon "getting laid." If anyone here is guilty of sloppy language, then it is those whom intentionally ratchet antagonism. Yet either out of pity or loyalty, the most slanderous and vulgar remarks are left conspicuously alone.

Maybe y'all haven't noticed because you are too busy getting in a lather, wanting to believe OC's rant over absentee fathers was a preemptive attack on Sol personally. I knew exactly what he was talking about before and after their exchange. Why don't you?

Gee, I'm happier by the day to be a solitary Buddhist, if this is what passes for Christianity. I'd have to locate a pit bull fight to experience something similar.

Mike Bratton said...

David the Cakes, why is it that you're such a vigorous subjectivist, but you don't grant that others' viewpoints, however objective or subjective, might be different from your own?

One of the unavoidable facts of abortion-on-demand is the overwhelming percentage of African-American children murdered by abortionists. Tell me again why wholesale slaughter of a significant percentage of an ethnic minority isn't eugenics in practice?

And I think we've all heard just about enough of how Christians highlighting the consequences of your beliefs is some sort of blood sport. You've been shown boatloads of Christian love, compassion, and generosity, David. Pretending that you haven't is, well, nauseating.


John Mark said...

Is it a typical Buddhist practice to make people we don't like the root of all that's evil? Seriously, I don't know much about it.

And speaking of which, I'd have to say that I've learned plenty from Sol about his own beliefs as well as seeing them acted out. I've learned zippo about what Buddhism is, but apparently it has a lot to do with winning arguments, pointing out other people's flaws to demonstrate your superiority, and making pithy remarks.

Think about this, cakes. You're talking to and about people here who have been through a lot together. Taking potshots at someone who these people care about (like the soloist) will generate a reaction much like your effort to defend OC. The problem with your preferred blog all along is that they've been generalizing about BBC members like they're politicians or sports figures. Do you understand that there's a difference between my insulting George Bush and insulting your best friend by name? Hope got into trouble by defending her friends who were being mischaracterized, and then Sol got on the list by defending her. Even so, I noticed all along that some of his comments received 'special attention' when compared to others. Fact.

You're not helping OC, by the way. His beliefs are quite different than yours. He doesn't need to be defended and feel better about what he said. Whatever it was he meant (and perhaps you could explain his logic to me), it's his God alone that he must answer to. He needs to decide whether it was right or wrong for himself. If you help him justify whatever he might say on a Saturday night and reinforce his propensity to argue, then by his own beliefs you are no friend to him.

One of the most important things that separates us, cakes, is that I believe that I'll answer to a higher power for all I've done wrong. And as long as you keep looking for ways to convince yourself otherwise, that separation will be eternal.

How's that for a typical Christian statement?

Cakes said...

Thanks for checking in, Daddy.

John Mark, you poor thing.

Here's the real difference between us--you believe in a ancient god, grace that overcomes the stain of sin, even the sins you willfully engage in now (like stoking antagonism and misrepresenting people), and spend eternity in heaven with folks who do likewise.

I don't hold to any fundementalist tendency--I know personally how much suffering strident belief systems cause; and even if I didn't, history provides plenty of examples. I hold onto an ethos that favors compassion over dogma--even Buddhist dogmas--and the power of reflection and analysis.

I don't come because I need your love or compassion--actually if I needed those things, then I would stay away to protect myself. Please, I am fine with y'all continuing in the same behavior that you have engaged since I first arrived.

I get a good chuckle highlighting just how much the commentary is driven by the very character assasinations, emotional outburst and vindictiveness that you say characterizes NBBCOF.

But that's right, Bratton's tree house is not single issue, so no big deal. I also enjoy deflating intellectually poor and self-serving caveats too.

Sorry that my being measured and articulate in word, favoring kindness and compassion in the face of trumped accusations and venom--offends you so. But I don't own that supernatural grace that allows me to post drive-by misrepresentations, vulgar accusations, and become gleeful and manipulative at the villification of others.

Enjoy your grace.

John Mark said...

I also enjoy deflating intellectually poor and self-serving caveats too.

Reminds me of the boy who put out his nightlight and went around claiming to have vanquished the sun.

I don't recall ever saying that I had behaved in a decent manner in the past, just that Christianity provided a way to change directions. And it was Sol who convinced me I doing wrong, not you.

I'm glad you don't know about some of the other things I've said and done in the past since grace is an archaic concept to you. I suspect your compassion would completely fail you much the way it does when you're cornered and you resort to throwing the past in peoples' faces.

In one of your times of "reflection and analysis" you might ask yourself why you pick and choose the absolute worst stereotypes and caricatures of Christianity in your opinions.
YOU'RE the one who sounds like your textbook "Christian" - self righteous, argumentative, determined to come out on top of every argument, unforgiving.

And let's not forget insensitive to others. What OC said was offensive to Sol in a way you can't understand, but it's all Sol's fault because he misunderstood what was meant?? I think he understood it just perfectly, just like he understands now why OC would argue with everything he ever said even when he was agreeing with him.

Cakes said...

"Reminds me of the boy who put out his nightlight and went around claiming to have vanquished the sun."

Reminds me of just about ever other non-sequitor that I've come to expect of you.

I was refering to your present behavior, which is consistent with your past behavior. You've got a ticket to heaven now--congratulations. I love the manner in which you paint yourself as the victim here.

I haven't painted any stereotypes here; it seems there are plenty who wish to live up to them. I know and love many Chrstians who seek to live by the example of Christ--in word and deed. Sure, I make a distinction between believers in Christendom, so again you are debating an presumption of me, not the things I have articulated.

You live up to the litany for which you just characterized me, on this very thread--that's not my doing.

faithnhope said...


Please leave me out of your future discussions.


What you said about misusing grace is true, but the problem comes from people accepting a non-biblical theology, not the obsolescence of God.

If you'd really study the life of Jesus, you'd better understand what Christianity is all about. There are only 4 gospels, and you'd be surprised how many of your own complaints against Christians were addressed by Christ.

What Jesus taught about heaven is that there are various levels of stature, and these levels are earned by how we live our lives on earth. That's part of the motivation for living a pure and holy life.

Unfortunately, when you put that truth in the hands of people who don't believe in a just God any more than you do you get exactly the situation you described.

Many people believe whatever they want to, and slap the Christian label on it. If you were to take their beliefs and lay it alongside the Christian faith of the Bible you wouldn't see many similarities. You should learn how to distinguish between them and real ones.

Cakes said...


Ah, some good sense on the Bratton Report--I hope you saw my last post. I presume no generalities about Christians, and am an advocate for more understanding between faiths. I don't have to believe in Christianity to respect your beliefs.

But I have a strong inclination to penetrate inconsistent words and actions, and this place is like a testing-ground for such.

I thought it only the Mormons who believed in degrees of heaven. They actually believe in planets as an eventual eternal home--the domain of God being called "Colob."

The problem with theology as the basis for a world view is in the nexus between what we appropriate--as the best or most beneficial to our spiritual lives--and those in the world who live by a different ethos. For fundementalists of all persuations, the situation is clear--everybody else is wrong.

You've even got christians pointing at other christians saying they aren't really christians, and one fundementalist group pointing out the rigid and archaic beliefs of another, without irony.

I can live with others who hold onto fundementalist beliefs, but I don't think that means I should sit by and show tolerance when antagonism, vindictiveness or sanctimony are exploited to harm another. My faith demands that I don't.

I think we can live together in peace, but only when we respect the rights of others to come to their own faith honestly. I wouldn't be here, defending them, if I wrote off all Christians as hypocritical or uncaring.

I advocate sound communication from all participants, thinking about what one utters before publishing, making no presumptions about others by gymnastic extrapolations (like calling OC a bigot), and (here's a unlikely idea) actually broaching the substance of another's words, not what one desperately needs to believe about their motivations.

I'm dreaming.

Cakes said...


I also appreciate what you said about the Iraq conflict--allowing that the basis of the invasion, its (mis)management and costs in lives and treasure are, at the very least, diputed by many rational and thinking Americans, i.e. that evryone who is against the war is not a loon.

I know the Catholic branch is not very popular around here, but I really respect their consistency in holding to the sanctitity of life, whether talking about abortion, captital punishment or war.

One really cannot blow off a couple a hundred-thousand innocent deaths as a nessesary evil of war, if the same cannot be bothered to defend the war and its authors. This is the weakness of your point, Jess.

If one wishes to deliver the message that life is sacred, then evangelicals--who've had a significant impact upon politics in this country for over 20 years, and especially the seating of our present administration--cannot partition the war's meat grinder from the discussion of reproductive rights without appearing morally and intellectually inconsistent.

Thanks for you imput.

Mike Bratton said...

David, we know you're a subjectivist. We get that. It isn't impressive, it's pitiable, so please stop pushing it as a credential. It isn't one.

We also know you're a provocateur. You told the whole planet that as much, oh, a year or so ago. A number of us have shown you the love of Christ in a number of different ways, and you run roughshod over it, and Him. Not that we're surprised when a self-identified non-Christian acts like a non-Christian, but it's not exactly a badge of honor. Try e-mailing your missives to the Christians in your family, and see just how mortified they are at your behavior. They may not tell you as much, but they will be.

Now, you've actually come close to the original line of discussion a time or two, but veer away from the direct questions I ask. I know you're here to attack those of us who are Christians, but I'll ask you to exert some effort in dispensing with the personal diatribes, and even the subtle, cloaked insults. We get your game; put it back in its box.

To ask my latest question again, do you not believe that abortion-on-demand is eugenics in practice against African-Americans?

And I am ceaselessly amazed at how pro-abortion types want to bring war up as some sort of rebuttal to people who don't think it's right to murder children. I've never met a person who thinks war of any type is some joyous exercise, nor have I heard of anyone with a pro-life worldview thinking armies were doing civilians a favor by killing them, as Harrison believes he's helped the 20,000 children he's personally killed.

Using combat as a herring to divert discussion is poor form. Again, it's not surprising, but it is derivative.


John Mark said...

There's a lot more to winning an argument than spouting out some fine-sounding words and winning the applause of those most eager to believe whatever those they despise DO believe. Convincing your opponent, for example.

I once engaged a quite serious fellow about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. This fellow's argument was "what about people who eat while driving?" "Why don't you complain about them?"

The translation, of course, is that he didn't eat while driving but he did talk on the phone. Therefore, I should leave him alone and harass others. Since he wanted to talk on the phone while driving, talking on the phone while driving was right. In other words, self-righteousness.

My goal was not to solve each and every menace on the road, but the one that statistics show is the more predominant. Using a phone while driving has no relation to eating while driving whatsoever, but since both involve driving it makes for a good debate.

War and abortion both cost lives, but there's no other connection between them. The only flimsy correlation I've heard thus far is that evangelicals support one and oppose the other. That's not an argument in favor or opposition of either, it's only intended to make a certain group of people look hypocritical.

If there's a real argument here, I'm certainly able to be persuaded. How is it that the war in Iraq justifies abortion? I'm not seeing it.

All I'm seeing is a grand stand by someone desperate to win the applause of others who are eavesdropping on the conversation but have nothing significant to add.

Or at least not the courage to add anything.

Show me I'm wrong.

Jessica B. said...

1. I was discussing war in general- if Arkansas and Alabama went to "war" to decide who gets to claim they are the least redneck, I don't think that is a real war- that is a an excuse to kill people. So please don't take my stance on the fact that war is different from abortion as some blanket acceptance that all death in the NAME of war is acceptable. I was not making a political statement- if you will go back and read my actual WORDS (not what you need to believe about my motivations) I hope you will notice that I never actually mentioned the Iraq war.

Jessica B. said...

There was a # 2, but I deleted it.

Just so y'all don't think I'm crazy or anything.

John Mark said...

1. I don't think Jess is crazy.

15. Although most of the anti-TBRers are busy tsk-tsking and tut-tutting about the latest Bellevue activity that's "beyond words" (how many does that make so far?) I trust that their spokesman will check in soon. Assuming that his sense of propriety hasn't gotten bent out of sorts, that is.
His faith does demand that he go on the offensive when we make our hideous efforts to harm others, of course.

Course, I can't help but wonder why he doesn't attack himself when he tries to harm us (as if)? Maybe cause we're the enemy? And the enemy is fair game? And it doesn't matter what you do to them?? Just guessing...

Cakes said...

Remember, until I'm banned (and I believe Mike has too much integrity to ban me, so long as I don't go guttermouth) or dead, then you might as well consider me part of the family. I'm not here to change opinions, but remember a little friction is good for sharpening your rhetoric. That is, unless you only want to be surrounded by people who agree with you.

You see, you're not going to convince (ahem) those of us who are not Christians (that felt good) that a zygote is a child by calling us murderers--in fact, that pretty much ends the opportunity for dialogue on the matter.

There's a difference between being provocative because I so obviously part ways politically and spiritually from all of y'all, and provocatively calling people bigots and murderers. Furthermore, my hat is not in my hand, I am soveriegn and unashamed to speak my mind, do my darndest to be articulate and measured, and kind to those who milign me.

What I don't do is comment emotionally and impetuously or otherwise come here to flame anyone. I haven't written anything on Christianity of which I'm ashamed, and I'll let the comment about my family slide, as it is below you, and uncharateristic of you. I've levied no personal insults, subtle or otherwise.

I recommend policing the blatant, not-so-subtle insults first, then work your way down to subtle. Otherwise, it looks like your gaming for the heathen.

I won't stand idle and become a target, however, even if one of those of you who call yourselves Christians are doing the spitting. As a heathen, I don't owe that to y'all.

I've made no remarks against Jesus Christ (unless not being an outspoken non-Christian counts in your book). You may collude criticism of Christians behavior as attacking "HIM," yet such leaps of desperate logic are common in this neck of the woods. Distinctions, people--language is sufficient to explicate them.

Bratman, no, I do not think abortion is an evil plot to destroy the African-American race. Do you?

Cakes said...


Do you ever read what you've written, in light of the depravity of the other things you've recently written on the very same thread? One could say that you're actually arguing against your own outbursts.

Somehow, I gather this is lost on you. I wish for you wisdom, health and healing from this malady.

Cakes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Mark said...

but remember a little friction is good for sharpening your rhetoric.

Friction might be good, but all I'm encountering is inertia. You have no intention of seriously considering anything said. Nothing said here, right or wrong, will sway your opinions one way or the other.

In case you hadn't noticed, there are Christians being treated much worse on the planet than those who are determined to publicly portray everything Bellevue does as negatively as possible. And there are Christians doing far worse things to others than wishing those people would stop. If you think the remaining NBBCOFers are in any way anonymous you're mistaken. If anyone took them seriously enough to want to do anything about them, they'd do something about them. This is an EXTREMELY long-suffering group of BBCers, and if I was one of them I'd be much less so.

Since you're an expert on inconsistent Christian behavior, what would be your take on a Christian who condemns as apostate (again) a church just because they stopped wearing ties on Sunday night but is best buds with someone who rejects the Lord of that church? (I believe the Bible calls it 'trampling Jesus underfoot.')

Consistent, or not? But of course, since I'm inconsistent myself I don't deserve an answer, correct?

Cakes said...

"Are you telling me that there's someone who's so fond of getting laid that he'll wink at genocide and ethnic cleansing because its sponsor approves of safe sex????"

"I don't recall ever saying that I had behaved in a decent manner in the past, just that Christianity provided a way to change directions. And it was Sol who convinced me I doing wrong, not you."

"I think the time has come to start listening to people for what they have to say and honoring their integrity instead of branding them, packaging them, and jumping to conclusions about them."

"You have no intention of seriously considering anything said."

Not from you, no. If dialogue is a form of currency, JM, then your words are monopoly money. Again, get some help, dude.

John Mark said...

Not from you, no. If dialogue is a form of currency, JM, then your words are monopoly money.

Oh brother. Robin Hood is back to his "word currency", come to steal from the rich and give to the poor.

Or maybe he's James Bond from "Casino Royale" come to gamble with us.

No, since he's not calling any bets, it must be the prince of thieves and his merry men.

They don't get out of the forest much these days! They only show their faces long enough to write graffiti on the walls of the internet and then they're gone again.

Wonder which one's friar tuck?

Cakes said...


Keep posting--with every utterance you prove the superiority of your God and the compassion of his followers.

You're like a living, breathing gospel tract.

John Mark said...

"I wouldn't be here, defending them, if I wrote off all Christians as hypocritical or uncaring."

"Keep posting--with every utterance you prove the superiority of your God and the compassion of his followers.

You're like a living, breathing gospel tract."

Oops! Looks like I'm rubbing off on you. Better head back to the forest before you become further contaminated...

Cakes said...

“In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever result from any attempt to set one of these fiery zealots to rights, either in fact or principle. They are determined as to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal.”

Thomas Jefferson

Exchange with you is unproductive and perhaps injurous to an already fragile psyche. So, be well, JM, and please seek counseling for your feral behavior.

John Mark said...

I wouldn't be here, defending them, if I wrote off all Christians as hypocritical or uncaring.

It's been painfully clear all along that you don't consider anyone here a Christian.

And you wonder why I like to yank your chain. Or should quote you and say "I also enjoy deflating intellectually poor and self-serving caveats"? (Which, I suspect, is Greek for "I like to entertain myself at the expense of others?")

You can't touch the people who you seem to think caused such great injury to your pals (and by some strange extension, yourself), so for some strange reason you randomly foist your 'feral' behavior on folks here as the next best thing.

I'd go on, but "Exchange with you is unproductive and perhaps injurous to an already fragile psyche."

Any time a cyber bully shows up and tries to intimidate others into silence because he's so "measured and articulate in word" you can expect a visit from the doctor.

And the doctor has spoken.

Cakes said...


You know, there are many Christians who are ethical subjectivists:

"Ethical subjectivism in the history of Christianity has sometimes been called Divine Command Theory (DCT). This means that whatever God commands is right and whatever God prohibits is wrong. The late medieval philosophy William of Ockham (14th Century) claimed that God could command us to hate him or even kill someone. The Protestant Reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin (16th Century) were influenced by Ockham's students and saw Divine Command Theory as a way to protect the absolute freedom and sovereignty of God. Luther made an exception for the Ten Commandments, but Calvin believed that God had the freedom to do anything short of logical contradiction. (For example, God could not damn everyone and save everyone at the same time.) Christians who support DCT argue that their theory is the only way to protect God from criticism when God commands Abraham to kill his son Isaac (Gen. 22) or when God empowers Satan to kill all of Job's sons and daughters (See the biblical Story of Job)."

This from the University of Idaho philosophy department, so I'm sure you'll scrutinize it. Have you heard of DCT, and do you consider yourself an absolutist or an objectivist?

faithnhope said...
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ezekiel said...


"What Jesus taught about heaven is that there are various levels of stature, and these levels are earned by how we live our lives on earth. That's part of the motivation for living a pure and holy life."

Do you mind supporting this with a little scripture so I can understand where you are coming from?

Junkster said...


(1) Gmommy's reference to Lisa Parker was not in any way a criticism of or an insult toward Lisa.

(2) OC's remarks about animalistic sexual behavior were not in any way racist remarks about Keith.

These are facts, not a matter of opinion. If you do not agree, you are wrong. I intend no debate or dialog on this, and do not care if anyone chooses to criticize what I have just written. I only write it so that the facts have been stated clearly for the record.

faithnhope said...
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Cakes said...


I don't get along with anyone who makes unfounded accusations that my friends are bigots, that I condone murder and genocide or that I've built an ethos upon "getting laid." I am not guilty of reciprocating with such crude and demeaning remarks.

I could be wrong, but I doubt that you'd appreciate it either on remain silent in the face of an attack. Furthermore, I don't appreciate you making equivalences between my remarks and JM's, of course, without qualification.

faithnhope said...
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faithnhope said...


I made no comparison between JM's remarks and yours, only your original motivations for posting.

JM has disqualified himself by his inconsistent actions. That's not a Christian statement, it's a common sense statement and it's something he MUST learn to live with. He may sincerely want to offer spiritual guidance to others, but if he's sincere about following Christ he must accept that Christ's standards are very high and very clear and that he has failed to meet them.

Your behavior has been consistent, cakes, but you're only qualified to comment on your own beliefs. I could say a lot about your DCT post, but I'll leave it up to Mike since I suspect your motive was to expose faults in his beliefs rather than understand the sovereignty of God. If Mike is mistaken about God, I'm sure he'd be the first to welcome correction.

And 'unfounded' is a rather unfounded description of what's been said about your friend OC. Perhaps I'm biased since I know sol's family so well, but he's absolutely the last person who'd fly of the handle and cry racism. After 15 months of blogging most people I've seen have been surprised to find out that he wasn't just another rich white Bellevue member. If Keith said he felt put down because of his race, it was because he felt put down because of his race. Which is more important, proving to him that he was wrong, or showing concern for his feelings? The answer seems simple to me.

I've set a one-post-per-day limit for myself which I've exceeded. I'll be checking in tomorrow, and I hope to see some thoughtful, intelligent posts as opposed to self-defensive rhetoric about who said what about whom. I know that (almost) everyone who posts here is sincere, insightful, and caring. I'm even willing to extend that comment to include JM, but only after a reasonable time of acceptable behavior.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've developed a most serious headache.


John Mark said...

I wonder where Christendom would be if Paul was told that he was disqualified for ministry?

faithnhope said...
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faithnhope said...
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ezekiel said...


No need to get nasty. I thought my comment as worded was a lot better than what I actually wanted to say. (thinking about it again, I am sure it was). It certainly wasn't intended to offend just better understand you.

To answer your question, NO. I repeat NO

I would like to see the case you can make that will show us that He has changed.

Romans 2 11 For God shows no partiality.

De 10:17, 16:19, 2Ch 19:7, Job 34:19, Pr 24:23, 24, Mt 22:16,
Lu 20:21, Ac 10:34, Ga 2:6, 6:7, 8, Eph 6:9, Col 3:25, 1Pe 1:17,

When I get to thinking about it, several visual pictures pop into mind.

1)Dining with the King at his table. That is what we are going to do in Heaven right? Will we be eating the same food? Wearing the same robe?

2)As part of the vine that bears fruit, who's fruit is it and who makes it happen? Are we anything without the vine? Is the cluster of grapes on the vine closest to the root any sweeter than that further out on the limb?

3)Assuming we have all had a bath before dinner (EZ 36:25), did He wash one better than the other or forget to wash behind your ears? Or are we all white as snow? Is it your works that determine your status before God or the Blood of Jesus?

Your comment seems to be decidedly aimed at the quantity or quality of works being a determining factor of our reward in heaven, right? If this is the case, just who's works are you talking about? Yours or His?

Isaiah 26:12
O Lord, you will ordain peace for us;
you have done for us all our works.

Ephesians 2 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Wow, God prepared our works beforehand that we should walk in them. Ahem..His works. His fruit.

Then there is always Romans 8:29 Conformed to the image of His Son. Somehow I don't see any difference in height, weight or hair color here.

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

I would suggest that you take a look at Isaiah 1:11-13 to see just how He looks upon your sacrifice. Your work.

The scripture that goes with this includes:

66:3, 1Sa 15:22, Ps 50:8, 51:16, Pr 15:8, 21:27, Jer 6:20, 7:21,
Am 5:21, Mic 6:7, Mt 9:13,

See especially Proverbs 21 27
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more when he brings it with evil intent.

And Matthew 9:13 Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

It may well be that buying a first class ticket on a plane or a front row seat at a ball game is the american way. I am pretty confident though, that it won't help you one bit in heaven.

Whatever happened to Gal 2:20?

You may want to take a good look at Romans 8:8 as well and just ask yourself if you think the work you are doing is a product of your flesh or His Spirit working through you. 1 Cor 12:18 is good too.

Cakes said...


Well, you don't know me save the words before you--and I'd appreciate it if you'd not make presumptions about my motives. Conversely, I don't know you, so it is always good to be mindful that what you write is the only inclination I may gather about you.

I get really tired of being bogged-down answering accusations that I want to destroy the Christian church, or want to make Christians look like hypocrites, when it is all based upon conjecture, rather than the content of my commentary.

That some folks do end up looking like hypocrites is not my fault or intention--they have to take responsibilty for their behavior.

Repeatedly, Mike has replied to my comments by dismissing me as a "subjectivist." I am genuinely and keenly fasinated by people's assumption that, without a belief in a diety, one has no basis for ethics or a moral compass. The truth is, many religions have all kinds of caveats to established commandments and proscriptions.

So, I responded to an issue introduced by Mike; again, not to make Christians look bad, but because it was directed to me. And I have no qualms about engaging it.

So if Mike wants to label me as a subjectivist repeatedly, I'm OK with it. But then, I may wish to penetrate the subject beyond its use seemingly to marginalize me, and challenge the notion that he is a true objectivist. Protestants do believe God, being omnicient, may work outside the letter of his Own commandments, no? Philosophers call this view ethical subjectivism.

Absolutists believe that morality is black and white, period, for all peoples in all times and allows no grey areas. The philosophers over at the UofI raise instances in the OT where this doesn't seem the case. I don't thinks their work is an evil plot to make Christians look bad--they are explicating categories of belief.

These terms are fluid, of course, and mean varying things to different people, which is another reason to seek clarity from the one doing the labeling.

ezekiel said...
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faithnhope said...
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faithnhope said...
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ezekiel said...


"And remember, the church in Jerusalem had to send Paul away after his conversion because of the trouble he had previously caused. His teaching (although probably biblical) caused nothing but trouble because of residual feelings of resentment.

It wasn't until after a time of healing that he became the great missionary."

Outrageous! He was converted in Damascus. The jews were trying to kill him because he was preaching Christ in Damascus to jews, not because he had previously persecuted the Church. Upon his return to the church in Jerusalem (the one he had formerly persecuted) sent him away to protect him from the unbelieving Grecians. A theme repeated again and again throughout his ministry. His message was resented and resisted by the jews and some gentiles when the jews could incite them(acts 13:50

The church that he had been persecuting was the first to accept and protect him. They protected him in Damascus (Acts 9:25) and they protected him in Jerusalem. (Acts 9:30) and his was they great missionary just as soon as God made him one.

Did you learn anything at seminary or just chase boys? I have always supported a woman's right to teach. But the more you talk, the more I think Paul might have been right.............in your case anyway.

BTW, very sorry to hear about your husband. I didn't know that, or I would have been a little more sensitive to your feelings.

Having said that, let's dispense with the self righteous indignation and go look at your first reply. I was being real nice with my question and you snapped back with

"I don't appreciate the tone of the 'where you're coming from' statement, though, since my theology (to the best of my knowledge) comes from the Bible. I'd think you'd know that by now."

By your teaching above, it is not clear at all that your knowledge comes from the bible but sounds a lot more like stuff you picked up at seminary. If you are going to say stuff like you are, I am going to question you or rebuke you. Show me the error in my teaching, I will show you yours. And lets face it, you are a lot more angry about that than insensitivity that I showed toward you, not knowing your circumstances.

If you are going to teach, stick to scripture.

larry said...

Hope, sister. Don't lose heart. You're never alone, not ever. You're greatly loved and respected, and always will be.

Jesus said "I will never leave you nor forsake you" and that's what you need to remember on days like today.

Keep your eyes on heavenly things, not the things of this world.

ezekiel said...


I have never heard of anyone being able to silence scripture. But have seen a lot of folks distorting it.

You might want to give it a rest. I apologize for my insensitivity. I was just trying to be cute, not speaking from bitterness or anger.

You keep going like this and you will inevitably say more than you should. James 1:26, 3:5:, 3:6

Me too. Good night.

faithnhope said...
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Jessica B. said...

Cakes said:

Absolutists believe that morality is black and white, period, for all peoples in all times and allows no grey areas.

Just because I/we believe that there is an absolute right and wrong in every situation, doesn't mean that we discern it properly at all times. I do think that anyone can have a moral compass-but if you have no single thing that binds it in a direction it could be swayed by whatever comes along.


The comments are running together in my mind so I apologize if this is addressed to the wrong people.
As far as JM goes, I guess the reason I do find it easier to put up with things he says is because he doesn't approach things with the attitude of 'I am holier and better and know more Bible that you so if you don't listen to what I say you don't love God'.

The thing that has always rubbed me the wrong way about those on the other blog that pop in to say hello (or even going back to the days I blogged over there) is that there was always a prideful air about what was said. ( I am being VERY general here- I don't mean that everyone there was/is that way). Esp. statements about how they were clearly the only people in the church with discernment or interested in following God.

So to boil it all down- I have inconsistencies in my own life. There are things I may never reconcile or totally figure out on this earth. I freely admit that and JM has done the same many times. He doesn't pretend to be perfect or better than us or more holy.
I don't expect perfection from him.

But when people preach to me that they have all the answers and that God is clearly speaking to them in a way that I am not "worthy" of- then by golly you better have your crap together.

When my 2 year old forgets to put her dirty clothes in the basket it is easy to cut her some slack. When it is my 30 year old husband it is a different story- he preaches and preaches to me about making sure I don't let the garbage can get so full that stuff falls out of it- so I am not as likely to just let it go when he can't get his socks in the hamper.

JM- Sorry I just compared you to a 2 year old, but you know how much I like her, so you shouldn't be too offended :)

John Mark said...

JM- Sorry I just compared you to a 2 year old, but you know how much I like her, so you shouldn't be too offended :)

High praise!

Hope, I've seriously considered what you said, and you've got a point. But I'm not really sure it's such a big deal for me to write here. It hasn't really been a bastion of learning, since most people here are grown and extremely dogmatic about what they believe.

Perhaps in some ways it's better for me to be aware of where I've come from and how I've misbehaved. That way I don't ever think that I'm superior. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with what you said to ez, but perhaps accruing good deeds to earn rewards might lead some people to think they're a little better than others.

Think about it...

Cakes said...

Well, I think if I ever directed the things JM said to me to any of you, then crap would fly, comment moderation would be instituted, and everyone would denounce me as the horrible person always suspected anyway.

This appears more a matter of loyalty to the team, and not so much discernment.

John Mark said...

Maybe you should give it a try and see what happens.

Cakes said...

I don't have to, the evidence is all over the blog and this very thread. Remember when I had the gall to call some responses "timid." By the reactions and demands for an apology one would've thought I said someone was a bigot, said the name of a soloist in passing or that I condoned murder.

No, I try to play by the Bratman's rules, and enjoy a healthy debate rather than drive-by histrionics.

Junkster said...

Just a quick comment (on topic) ... you've expressed the view that being anti-abortion is contradictory to being for the death penalty. Not sure if this will make sense, but I am against abortion and support capital punishment both because I am pro-life.

Junkster said...

I said I wasn't making my comment (9:13 PM, July 16, 2008) for debate or dialog, but I don't want to be rude and totally ignore your response. It seems as if at least some of your questions may not have been rhetorical; if that's the case and you were seeking a response, just let me know and I will do so, since you were kind enough to remember and use my name. :)

Word Verification: icembvj -- sounds like a rapper name for Mike Bratton if he was hosting a music video show.

faithnhope said...
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Mike Bratton said...

A few things:

1) I'm glad to see that folks have diluted the acrimony, but you may all consider yourselves on warning. Ideas, not individuals, or I will begin the summary deletion of comments from people who cannot keep control of their tongues--whoever you are.

2) David, your behavior in particular reminds me of my childhood. When I was a boy (and I know everyone's thinking "Here we go again," but you'll just have to tough it out), my schoolmates found out that the quickest way to get me in a fighting mood was to call me names--particularly ones that denigrated my family name. (We're talking over 40 years ago, folks.) I was good at beating the living daylights out of those kids, which was particularly frustrating to them since I was two years younger than the rest of my class.

Now, to be sure, my headmaster always gave me detention (just as he gave it to the boys who would provoke me, though I don't recall anyone provoking me more than once... heh heh...) but my headmaster would always keep me afterwards and remind me that, even though it meant detention, I was doing the right thing to stand up for my family's name.

Nowadays, the only people who try to sully my name, and my family's name, are people with an agenda. If I make a misstep, I repent of it. If I make a misstatement, I apologize for it. Those things aren't habitual, thank the Lord, but for far too many people, they have become a way of life that cannot be pleasing to God.

As an adult, I have no more vigorous reaction to the infantile tactic of name-calling than to smile. I presume you'll attempt to backtrack and retrofit your comments as only jokes, playful jibes, free of malicious intent, and so forth, but it simply doesn't fly. I can smile because I learned long ago that such slurs as you use only do real damage to the people who employ them. They don't hurt me, but they make your claim of "taking the high road" ring hollow. Please reconsider your behavior, David.

2a) I'm told that we're back to people bashing me elsewhere on the Internet, too. If anyone would like to pass along the above observation regarding the efficacy of such behavior, by all means do so.

3) I see that I get asked a lot of actual questions, though my questions (particularly to David) generally go achingly unanswered. Nevertheless, in a nutshell, here's the answer to one: Divine command theory is hardly new, since it's been around for, oh, thousands of years--even back when I was taking philosophy classes in college. It has a fundamental flaw, in that it attempts to separate God from goodness, and goodness from God. God is not bound or limited by some external system of goodness, nor does He set up a system of goodness outside of Himself. And at the end of the day, DCT is subjectivist, because it implies God can act upon whims. DCT argues with God regarding what He has revealed about Himself, therefore it is insubstantial. Proponents of DCT who self-identify as Christians do so with dissonance, since the two worldviews are mutually exclusive.

4) I'd like a substantive response (really, from anyone) on this: "One of the unavoidable facts of abortion-on-demand is the overwhelming percentage of African-American children murdered by abortionists. Tell me again why wholesale slaughter of a significant percentage of an ethnic minority isn't eugenics in practice?"

5) I enjoyed that word verification. Reminds me to keep it real and represent, as the kids say...

6) Hope, we're praying for you.

7) Folks, there are real people on the other ends of these comments. If your current state of mind doesn't take that into account, hold off on commenting until it does, whether that take a minute or a week. I wasn't kidding at the start of this post. You wouldn't throw verbal bombs in my home, so you ought not to throw them here.


Cakes said...

Bark, bark, Bratman, bark, bark. That you would single me out, given the other vicious and provocative remarks said here, says more about your character than I could ever intimate.

Be well, my "Christian" friends.

oc said...
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John Mark said...

Lemme see if I've got this straight.

1. Out of the gate, everyone needs to be ashamed in the first place.
2. Since your intentions were misunderstood there's no need for you to apologize.
3. We made a conscious choice to misunderstand what was said.
4. We should be embarrassed for being mistaken.


Just FYI, OC, I'm not sure how many people thought you to be racist, but you sure have torn into KS pretty good every single time you've responded to him. The thought that it was racially motivated has crossed my mind many, many times. If you say it's not I'll believe you , but it's sure as heck motivated by something. (BTW, a direct statement is much better than telling me to take off my 'drama glasses'.)

Anyway, I'll just say that I'D like to apologize to Sol publicly. I'm sick that you got upset by a discussion that I got heated up.

I also apologize for the undoubtedly countless times you and your family felt put down over the years trying to fit into a predominantly white church. I'm sure that you've graciously turned the other cheek more than I ever will in my whole life.

I hope you'll come back soon!

Mike Bratton said...

Bark, bark, Bratman, bark, bark.


That you would single me out, given the other vicious and provocative remarks said here, says more about your character than I could ever intimate.

The squeakiest wheel, David.

And I know nothing more vicious that treading the Gospel under foot, if I may be so forthright.

Be well, my "Christian" friends.

The judgements of someone who openly rejects Christ as to who do, and who don't, deserve to be known as Christians don't go so far, David.

Yes, we've shown you waves of love and compassion, and your response?


Thanks a lot my Christian brothers and sisters. I was trying to witness of the Risen Christ to one who
everyone else may had given up on snd thrown away. As you did.

Thanks for your short-sightedness. Especially you, Mike. You have no idea of what you've done, or better yet, what, in your smugness and arrogance, your self righteousness, what you've UNDONE.

Honestly, OC, you're a misguided individual. As has been observed, you throw bomb after bomb after bomb, then blame others for not appreciating the shrapnel you produce.

Imagine... How horrible I am for expecting people to be civil in discussion, and discuss ideas rather than attack others.


solomon said...

And Sol. Look at my last post. I refuse to apologize for a sin I did not commit. But I will say I'm sorry that you and others chose to misundertand what I meant.


Perhaps this is the best apology that you're able to offer.

Over the last 18 months, I've had many confrontations with my coworkers, who are now my former coworkers. More than once, they had harassed me in a way that was later repeated by you. And sometimes your reiteration of their insult was on the very same day as their insulting behavior. It was natural that I would assume that one of them had contacted you and that you were working together to insult me. I've never understood why you had such disdain for whatever I've said, but that's ancient history.

The important thing is this. If that's your sincere apology, then I accept it. I do believe that your post was not directed at me because of my color, and I'm greatly relieved. I will hold no grudge against you.

To everyone else,

I promised my wife over a year ago that I'd stop blogging. She's been unbelievably and preposterously patient with me, and it's time that I finally honored my promise to my bride. It's not fair to her or the girls for me to be showing up at home in constant bad moods, so I'm going to do my best to refrain from posting again. I'm not quite done with my own blog yet, but it's coming to a close.

MJM, Mike, Jessica, Memphis, JM, Junk, and the others I've surely missed: thanks for your thoughts and your encouragement during these trying times. There was more than one time that I thought of packing up and leaving Bellevue, but your encouraging words at the right time always convinced me that I should do what my heart told me was right.

I think the ministry of Dr. Rogers insulated us from a lot of conflict over the years, but it found us when his powerful voice was taken away from us. It's up to us to carry on what he started.

I've been encouraged to know that others still believe in the ministry of Bellevue Baptist Church, and haven't abandoned her and are praying for her health.

It's strange that our opponents are so vocal and so visible, but Bellevue's supporters are so out of sight. Maybe I've been looking n the wrong places for support? Regardless, I truly believe that the Spirit of God working through even one man fully surrendered to His will can overcome a countless number of those working on their own.

My very best to each of you, and thanks again.


Mike Bratton said...

Keith, you need to do what's best for your family, obviously. I have examined the limits of my wife's patience more than once, and I can tell you there are better things to do with one's time.

A man's wife is the more fragile, more valuable vessel, and we must do all that God has equipped us to do so as not to chip or crack that vessel.

Stay in touch.


larry said...


Probably no surprise, but you've got email.


oc said...
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faithnhope said...
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John Mark said...

Hey Sol,

What's your secret? I wish I was half as popular as you!

But if you need someone to tell you to go away, I'll help you out.


But if I need someone to help me move again, you're always at the top of my list. I just wish there were more guys like you on the list!

Take care, bro!

maybejustmaybe said...

From Chuck Swindoll's Insights series this morning. I thought it was relevant to our little group.

July 19, 2008

by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Esther 5:1--3

No king has ever intimidated God, no matter how wealthy his treasury, how extensive his kingdom, or how powerful his armies. God can handle anyone. Anyone! He can handle your husband. He can handle your wife. He can handle your kids. He can handle your pastor. He can handle the person who gives you grief. He can handle your ex-mate, that person who made you all those promises and broke most of them. He can even handle your enemy. He can handle the most intimidating situation, because in the hand of the Lord, any heart is like water.

Esther walks in that confidence. Look at her. She doesn't cringe and cower; she stands. Esther stood in front of the king's rooms. "The king saw Esther the queen standing" (emphasis mine.) She's not trembling. Though she's doing what's never been done before, she is standing tall, confident in the Lord.

And when the king saw her standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight, and he extended his golden scepter to her. Remember, without that gesture from the king, she would die. And now, confident, she touches the top of the scepter, making a connection with the king. "Then the king said to her, 'What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you' " (Esther 5:3).

I love that. Esther doesn't know what to expect, and the king says simply, "What's on your mind? What's troubling you?" In fact, he goes further. He says, "What can I do for you? Name it. There's no limit; it's yours."

Now this is her moment to bring down the roof on Haman---but she doesn't. Not now. This is a wise woman who understands the value of timing. She isn't in a hurry, nor is she revengeful. You know why? She has been waiting on the Lord.

We get in a hurry when we don't wait on the Lord. We jump ahead and do rash things. We shoot from the hip. We run off at the mouth, saying things that we later regret. But when we have sufficiently waited on the Lord, He gets full control of our spirit. At such moments, we're like a glove, and His hand is moving us wherever He pleases. Having known that experience, I can testify, there's nothing to compare it to. It's marvelous!

Wait on the Lord.

Taken from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

John Mark said...

Interesting thing about blogs...

You can delete comments when you realize you've made a mistake, but you can be sure that someone has seen them and probably saved them to their PC. (That's why I never bother to delete.)

That's not a bad lesson to learn about careless words in general. You can never take them back. You can apologize for them, and people will forget (or at least pretend to).

The pain will fade over time, but damage is still done and you're still accountable for every careless word.

I think I've learned a lot about the NBBCOF members the last few days. They're headed down a road I'm all too familiar with, and I hate it.

I wish they'd stop before it's too late.

John Mark said...

It's also a shame that they're able to trivialize child abuse just to divert attention and reboot a discussion thread gone bad.

I wouldn't think NASS is above it, but I wish others wouldn't take her bait.

John Mark said...

The deleted posts were mostly OC, but lin was also dropping bombs on others to prove her superior brain.

If you go to the home page, Page, you'll see "links to this post" beside the comments link. Click on that and you'll see who deleted what.

I copied the whole thread, but it's not worth sharing. It's mostly just a bunch of angry women railing against the malecentric malocracy that's corrupted the Bible and the church over the years. Same old tripe. One poor woman foolishly injected that she thought that lin was wrong about something and got beaten up pretty badly. I doubt she'll be back anytime soon. Interesting thing was that OC lit into Lin, and then gmommy lit into him. It turned into a regular battle royal!

It was interesting to observe OC's behavior in the middle of all that, though. I can't help but wonder what drives that dude sometimes. I just wish he'd quit hanging out with the wrong crowd. Maybe he will, now that he's been branded a "Paige Patterson clone".

I defy them to find ANYTHING on TBR that holds a candle to that knock-down dragout. Not even when WHS wasn't banned.

Jessica B. said...

Oddly enough, I read a good bit of those that, um, exchange before it was mostly deleted.

I really don't like to drag that business over here (tsk, tsk JM) but it really did show off some of the more charming sides of certain personalities.

Reminds me of my old friend Esther.

John Mark said...

Reminds me of my old friend Esther.

HA HA HA HAH!!!!!!!!

Good memory! It was a lot like her, wasn't it? A lot like Lindon, too! Also reminded me a good bit of Lydia, and several other kindly women...

You, personally, can believe anything you want but when you start using proof texts to defend your view here, it is only right that they be exegeted as to their REAL meaning within the WHOLE context so others will not be mislead. You may not believe that we are neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female in Christ, but it is important to the kingdom that others do.

Isn't that just the same as telling somebody to go to h---??

The clan of Lin has one belief, and that's the belief that men shouldn't be in charge. Her/thier claim is that the invisible God is the authority, but that those of great spiritual wisdom should be the real rulers regardless of gender.

Unfortunately, her/their definition of wisdom is being right all the time and shredding those who say she's/they're wrong.

She's/they're trying to become great by lording it over people instead of serving others. If she/they would read the gospels instead of the epistles, she/they might realize that the first will be last.

I'm not nearly so much concerned about her/their attitude as I am the way that the others reacted to her/them. And not the ones who flew off the handle, either.

Agreeing with Lin's great monologue of July 19, 2008 just because she's bashes men in her tirades is the worst kind of blindness. And they call BBCers kook aid drinkers?

If she/they want scripture to be exegeted properly in context, then it's only fair to put their posts in context too. And that context is an anonymous blogger who clearly has an animosity towards men and wants to be ruler of a de-facto cult. Take a look at her posts and think about this: if a positive word were a bank deposit, and a negative, scornful word a withdrawal, what would lin's account balance be? The only time she praises someone is when they bash men, and the only time she shows gratitude is when they compliment HER!

It's scary that other women who have man issues put her on a pedestal because she does such a good job of shredding men who aren't there to defend themselves.

Sowing doubt on the accuracy of the Bible, poisoning women's minds against any and all preachers, and finally setting up her anarchist church structure...

Is it really hard to see what she's up to?

David said...

Since Bellevue and the anti blog gets dragged into this no matter what the post, may I ask you: At what point will you just choose to have nothing to do with those opposed to God's Work?

1. We are told that the attitude displayed by the anti's is simply a mark of the last days:

"There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Please note: "Slanderous" "unforgiving" "without self control." Does this hit the nail on the head?

And the command about such people? "What nothing to do with them." I decided not to even read their blog posts. Why let trash about God's Bride enter my mind?

Look, Jesus LOVED the Bride. He gave his blood (not his blog) for the Bride. He doesn't talk bad about the Bride. We should give her the same honor, and not give those who oppose God's Bride the honor of reading their trash.

2. We are told to have nothing to do with divisive people.

"But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned." Titus 3:9-11

What has happened when this group has been warned? Comments get deleted, people get torn apart verbally, people are told not to come back.

What does the Bible say about people who are caught up with "foolish controversies" (which we are to AVOID)...

They are: Warped, sinful and self condemned.

So, with all respect: Why are some of you still choosing to bother with these people? They are "self condemned." The church has moved on. God's work will be unhindered.

faithnhope said...
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John Mark said...

32yrs@bbc said...

"Steve Gaines was even reported to have issued a public apology."

He met with the kids (and their parents) who participated in the
interpretive dance. Told them in so many words they would not be doing that again in church services - that in hindsight it was not the right venue.
This was after many calls and letters of complaint.

"it's perplexing to me why so many people seemed to think letting a confessed sexual predator freely roam the halls for six months was no big deal, but a dance routine (and a very bad one at that) gets those same people all riled up."

Something I will never understand.

Hey Hope,
Open your eyes, woman. If that's not saying that Bellevue is damned I don't know what is. I don't think Steve was helped into the pulpit in disarray after whatever this 'dance routine' was. I don't think he was asked in the Commercial Appeal to resign, and I don't think he suffered a millionth as much as after the PW scandal or lost thousands of members.

But your poor "misguided" folks seem content to tell lie after lie after lie and make Bellevue sound as filthy as possible, as if some Sunday morning choreography is more intolerable than pedophilia.

David's right, and if anything he was far too easy on anyone who'd tell such lies for vengeance.

I remember reading once that 32yrs actually wrote that they all needed to leave and not murmur in their tents. HYPOCRITE! Why the change of heart?

david said...
They are: Warped, sinful and self condemned.

Bang on the dot, David. But they are a self condemned and sinful lot who must constantly be denounced or else their deception will lead others astray.

NASS has claimed authority to sit in judgement on the church. Her own judgement is inevitable (by her own standard) but others might still be dissuaded from joining her fellowship of fools.

God's patience isn't infinite. Long suffering, but not infinite. There's still time to repent, but who can say how long that time will last?

John Mark said...

Nass the judge and Lin the prophetess reminded me of a passage:

<< Hosea 8 >>
Israel Reaps the Whirlwind

1 Put the trumpet to your lips!
Like an eagle the enemy comes against the house of the LORD,
Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law.
2 They cry out to Me,
“My God, we of Israel know You!”
3 Israel has rejected the good;
The enemy will pursue him.
4 They have set up kings, but not by Me; They have appointed princes, but I did not know it. With their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves, That they might be cut off.
5 He has rejected your calf, O Samaria, saying, “My anger burns against them!” How long will they be incapable of innocence?
6 For from Israel is even this!
A craftsman made it, so it is not God; Surely the calf of Samaria will be broken to pieces.
7 For they sow the wind And they reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; It yields no grain. Should it yield, strangers would swallow it up.
8 Israel is swallowed up;
They are now among the nations Like a vessel in which no one delights.

John Mark said...

Oh, and BTW...

THIS blog is open to anyone who has the courage to post on it. Granted, certain people will get miffed if you do, but no one here will.

Sometimes a step of faith can be quite rewarding.

larry said...


Take a breath, and check your eamil please.


faithnhope said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Bratton said...

You know, I went back and checked.

November 2, 2007 was the last time I wrote an article concerning the anti-Bellevue folks. It's been nearly ten months since I paid a thimble's worth of attention to what they do--and, apparently, they're still doing it.

It's easier for me to move on, not being at Bellevue these days; I understand that, particularly for those of you who are Bellevue members, the provocation practically begs for a response.

I don't begrudge you the use of this site to share your concerns, but I must reiterate my comments from this past November, and call them to collective and individual repentance.

Until and unless the anti-Bellevuers repent of their hate, bigotry, gossip-mongering, and such, striving with them isn't productive. Christians who desire to do God's will are prompted by the Holy Spirit when they do wrong; leaving that clique in God's hands and praying for His movement in their hearts might be the best response.

Reading the particulars of that November article again was, if I may be so blunt, nauseating. Their racist, violent, hate-laden remarks (and the attitudes which spawned them) are, from what we know, still following them around, sins that require confession and repentance. From what some of you have shared, those sins persist into the present day, and that is a tragedy.

But people can only be externally called to repent so often, before beseeching become hectoring. The job of conviction is God's and His alone; we must remember this.


P.S.: John Mark, you owe Hope an apology. Relax, talk, and see what God has in store.

ezekiel said...


JM has offered some very good scripture there in Hosea. I would suggest you give it a read. I find Matthew Henry's commentary particularly descriptive in showing us the problem.

Looking at your comments in this ray of light, we find you making the same mistake Israel did. Idolatry.

Israel at this time was very religious and claimed to worship God. However, this wasn't true. In fact they were worshipping their religion, places, people, leaders...though they still claimed to worship God.

Maybe it would help for us all to take a step back, take a deep breath and take a good long look at what we are worshipping.

When we read 1 Cor 12 we see that there are some parts of the body that are less honorable, some weaker, some suffering.....and if some, we all are.

If we view the people on both blogs this way, in the blinding mirror of 1 Cor 12, what do we see?

Do we see the church? I think so. And it doesn't have BBC stamped on her forehead or Steve Gaines as her head....

So when we run around with the accusations and with all the infighting and arguing we have been doing, do we really honor Christ? This isn't about BBC and Steve Gaines no matter how much you or anyone else thinks it is.

It is about what some members of the BODY think and perceive as apostacy and other members of the BODY perceiving as Christ honoring worship. It is a fight carried out all over the country in various "churches". Each side claiming to know what real worship is.

I think the true answer to it all is reading the WORD and obeying the Husband. Not what you think or what I think but what HE says. What He says his bride is. And acting like He tells us to act. And speak.

So when you attack a part of the BODY and claim they aren't part of the BODY you are not any different than they are when they claim some members of BBC aren't part of the BODY. You condemn yourself. Romans 2:1 We went there several months ago, repeatedly. Lets not go again.

We would all be better off if we turned back to the BOOK and started obeying the commandments. And it has to start with me. And you. US. Inside each one of us. The BODY. I don't think we can honestly look at any of this and not see the need of much repentance. From everyone. The BODY.

Junkster said...

Jesus' teachings in while on earth were so wise and so profound and so straight to the point. That whole thing about focusing on a speck in another's eye while there's a log in our own is a real zinger, and appears to be an almost universal problem.

Mike Bratton said...

Jesus' teachings in while on earth were so wise and so profound and so straight to the point. That whole thing about focusing on a speck in another's eye while there's a log in our own is a real zinger, and appears to be an almost universal problem.

Would you elaborate on that for us, Junk?

From your perspective, are racism, violence and hate "specks"? Or "logs"?


Junkster said...

Jesus words and their meaning are self-evident. The point isn't the size of the obstruction, it is that those who lack humility about their own shortcomings have no trouble focusing on those of other people.

Mike Bratton said...

A few things, Junk:

1) I asked a remarkably specific question, and you didn't answer it. So, I'll ask it again and amplify it.

Do you consider the anti-Bellevuers to have such logs of unconfessed, unrepented-of sin in their eyes that they are out of line in opining on others' behavior? Or do you consider their racist, violent and hateful behavior "specks," with anyone having the gall to suggest that racism, violence and hate are bad things being, by default, the owners of logs in the ol' eyeballs?

2) Representing part of the truth as all of the truth is to make part of the truth a lie--even if the partial truth presented is from Jesus Himself. You said, quoting thusly and like so, "The point isn't the size of the obstruction, it is that those who lack humility about their own shortcomings have no trouble focusing on those of other people."

It is possible, is it not, to keep a short list of one's transgressions? The point of Jesus' teaching was not so much about humility as it was about propriety--about avoiding hypocrisy by having your own spiritual house in relative order before suggesting others might want to "clean house."

So many people love to reference "That whole thing about focusing on a speck in another's eye while there's a log in our own," while leaving out the rest of Jesus' instruction: "First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

Now let me reiterate: From your perspective, are racism, violence and hate "specks"? Or "logs"?


WatchingHISstory said...

ezekial said: "It is about what some members of the BODY think and perceive as apostacy and other members of the BODY perceiving as Christ honoring worship. It is a fight carried out all over the country in various "churches". Each side claiming to know what real worship is."

I searched Websters for a definition of apostacy and could not find that word. However I did find apostasy and my curiosity wants to know who you think are apostate over what they think real worship is. The other side know what "Christ honoring" worship is.

One group is apostate! "Emotive senseless" language. Perhaps the truth is that there is no one group "apostate" nor is there a group "Christ honoring" (except for the 'ezekial' group). Most likely everyone falls between the two extremes.

God, the Father, has honored Christ, the Son, in saving elect sinners. We are saved by grace and Christ is honored by that same grace so we don't contribute much toward honoring Christ except being a sinner saved by grace.

Now I don't personally know anyone who has apostatized from that truth and I have met people of all worship styles.

No worship style can be singled out as more "Christ exalting."

faithnhope said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Junkster said...

I know how much you enjoy framing debate in your own terms (as in "when did you stop beating your wife?), but I do not accept your premises.

My reference what to Jesus said about specks vs. logs was not directed at any specific statement by you or anyone else; rather, it was intended as a commentary on how easy it is to think the behavior of others (particularly those we are at odds with) is so very, very bad while ours (and that of folks who support our opinions) is so very much better.

I've said it before, and I will say it again. And you will disagree, which is your right. I see no significant difference between the worst comments and attitudes displayed on this blog (by host and commenters alike) than the worst of those on NBBCOF. There is plenty of wrong on both sides, and though I know you are convinced that you and your bloggites are on higher ground, I seriously doubt that our Lord sees it as you do. Disagree and provide quotes and examples and your own interpretations of the meanings and motives of others all you want -- but I've read both blogs carefully for a long time and I really can't tell a dime's worth of difference between the nastiness that crops up at times on either site. And I feel that the only reason that you can't see it is your personal tendency to be self-righteous and condemning and a lack of genuine humility and grace in your dealings with "The Losties".

Now, to provide as direct responses as I can to your questions (so that your beseeching won't become hectoring) ...

Do you consider the anti-Bellevuers to have such logs of unconfessed, unrepented-of sin in their eyes that they are out of line in opining on others' behavior? Or do you consider their racist, violent and hateful behavior "specks," with anyone having the gall to suggest that racism, violence and hate are bad things being, by default, the owners of logs in the ol' eyeballs?

As indicated above, I do not accept your premises. First, I do not consider the folks to whom your refer "anti-Bellevuers". Some may be, but most are not against BBC (the people or the institution), but they are very much against the pastor and other leadership. You may not be able to see the difference, but all that indicates is your own lack of discernment on the issue. (Gee, its kinda annoying when someone talks bluntly and harshly and speaks down to you, isn't it?)

Next, you don't know what has or hasn't been confessed or repented of by anyone. And please don't claim that you can tell how repentant someone is by whether or not the repeat their failures, unless you are prepared to tell me that you never repeat a sin once you've repented of it, or that you have no personal, secret besetting sin with which you continue to struggle and fail. And if you do make that claim, I won't believe you anyway, and I doubt anyone who knows the depth of their sin and how hard it is to root it out would either.

Third, as I alluded to earlier, I was not meaning to point to one side of this conflict as having the smaller sin and the other side as having the larger. That was your attempt to frame my words as dealing with the relative seriousness of different sins, not what I was actually saying. I do not believe that Jesus intent in his teaching was to compare one evil to another and weigh one as the worse of the two. I believe he was pointing out the need to humbly examine ourselves and consider our own wrongs (and see them as God sees them, as weighty and serious) instead of finding fault with others (to whom we should show the grace we have been shown by God).

Fourth, I have seen no more evidence of "racist, violent and hateful behavior" on NBBCOF than I have seen here. But I know you can't see it. Which is precisely where Jesus' teaching comes is ... you and some of your pals have enough obstructing your own vision to deal with, and as long as you keep looking at what's wrong in the lives of those folks, you'll never see your own wrongs clearly.

2) Representing part of the truth as all of the truth is to make part of the truth a lie--even if the partial truth presented is from Jesus Himself.

It sure sounds like you are implying that I have misrepresented Jesus' teachings, to the point of turning His truth into a lie. If that's indeed what you are saying, that was particularly insulting and harsh, even someone as known for demeaning bloviation as you.

I did not represent part of the truth as all of the truth. However, I believe you obfuscated the plain truth of Jesus words by trying to make them about which sins are specks and which are logs.

It is possible, is it not, to keep a short list of one's transgressions? The point of Jesus' teaching was not so much about humility as it was about propriety--about avoiding hypocrisy by having your own spiritual house in relative order before suggesting others might want to "clean house."

Humility to understand and accept that our own sins are at least as bad as those of others we sit in judgment of is indeed the point. Too bad that you don't get it. If you did, we wouldn't be having this discussion because your response to my speck/log comment would have been to agree with my assessment that Jesus' words apply to us all.

So many people love to reference "That whole thing about focusing on a speck in another's eye while there's a log in our own," while leaving out the rest of Jesus' instruction: "First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

Perhaps you honestly believe that Jesus meant that we could get our own lives cleaned up and then we'd be in a position to start cleaning up the lives of others. If so, how sad. Jesus knows our sinful hearts, and He knows that if we focus on removing our own sin in humility before God we will be busy long and hard enough to not ever get around to removing the sins of others.

Now let me reiterate: From your perspective, are racism, violence and hate "specks"? Or "logs"?

Let me reiterate ... (1) I've seen no greater evidence of those particular sins on one blog vs. the other, and (2) all sins are logs in God's sight, and if we deal with removing our own logs we'll find we have more than enough to handle without needing to get out our tweezers and conducting splinter patrol for others.

faithnhope said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica B. said...

Junkster said:

"but they are very much against the pastor and other leadership."

You really don't see anything wrong with this? Like it or not, we are all (professing) Christians, and we are not to be AGAINST each other. period. Even if some believe that SG is not a Christian, I don't see how being against him is Biblical.

This seriously blows my mind. Perhaps it was just a poor choice of words, but I can only go by what you said.

Mike Bratton said...

Junk, you had a chance to be all substantive and conversational and such. You didn't take advantage of it, and I must thank Hope for adroitly answering your defense of the Forumite clique, those who defend the means of spreading their unfortunate worldview because it justifies their oh-so-noble ends of publicly injuring others.

To revisit a quote I've posted more than once, one that should be a cautionary tale for the Forum faithful:

"I think, when one has been angry for a very long time, one gets used to it. Then it becomes comfortable, like old leather. And finally, it is so familiar one can't remember feeling any other way. But in the long run, we are the ones who are damaged by that kind of behavior. We are. Not them."

The Forumites are damaged, and have been for quite some time, by their refusal to relinquish their anger and their hatred.

But if equivocation is the sum and substance of your remarks, Junk, you've come to the potluck without a covered dish.


Junkster said...

It seems to me that you care about doing right and that you and try to weigh things out, but (like all of us) you sometimes get upset and say things you don't mean. You also seem to have strong emotional reactions to things that frustrate or upset you, which is not a bad thing. I encourage you to continue to seek to channel your passion towards loving God and loving people.

The example you provided (about your friend, Pam Kanaly) is just one of many -- and like many, different people see how it played out differently. Your friendship with her impacted your initial reaction and subsequent statements (as it should), and the experiences, fears, and concerns of others (as well as their personal preferences and opinions) impacted what they had to say as well. I'm not defending anyone, just noting that when it comes to how we view the sins of others compared to how we view our own, the matter of personal perspective is very difficult, if not impossible, to overcome.

Frankly, I am tired of all the rebuking and calls for apologies that get thrown around. It seems to me to be childish and immature. A proverb reminds us that it is a man's glory to overlook an offense.

Once again, I simply do not accept that Jesus' intent in His speck/log (splinter/rafter, potay-to/potah-to) teaching was to convey anything about dealing with anyone sins but our own. Like any illustration, analogy, or parable, it is easy to put too much into the specific words and miss the general point. When Jesus told his disciples to forgive up to 70 times 7, he wasn't saying that we stop forgiving at 71 times 7. Likewise, when he said to get the sawdust out of your own eyeball before yanking the tree trunk from someone else's, He wasn't saying at what point of personal cleanliness we should start trying to clean up someone else's life. That misses His point entirely.

You (and Mike) don't have to agree with me; I've been wrong before and may be on this -- though I think I am not the one who is wrong this time.

When speaking of wrong things said on either blog, I still do not see significant differences. Each of us interprets things through our own filters, and the truth is not so evident as some suppose. But even if I accepted the premise that this blog stands on higher ground, it changes nothing of my original contention (the point I started out to make) that Jesus was amazingly wise in his recognition that we tend to want to deal with others' sins more than with our own. This whole business about who has the splinter and who has the rafter is a smokescreen that obfuscates the fact that we all have our own sins we need to be dealing with. And saying, "Yeah, but his sin is so much bigger" just won't cut it with the Lord of glory.

Junkster said...

Jessica B. said...
Junkster said:

"but they are very much against the pastor and other leadership."

You really don't see anything wrong with this? Like it or not, we are all (professing) Christians, and we are not to be AGAINST each other. period. Even if some believe that SG is not a Christian, I don't see how being against him is Biblical.

This seriously blows my mind. Perhaps it was just a poor choice of words, but I can only go by what you said.

Thanks for asking. As Mike has pointed out before, words mean things. A corollary is that words may convey different meanings to different persons -- therefore, it is key to understand what the one issuing the words intended to convey, and not just go by what we think they might have meant.

What I mean by folks being "against" the pastor et al is not "hate", or even "dislike", nor seeking his harm, nor at war with. I mean opposed to at least some of his actions, mindset, and teachings. I see nothing wrong with that.

Junkster said...

Mike Bratton said...
Junk, you had a chance to be all substantive and conversational and such.

I was quite substantive -- maybe you didn't like the substance of what I said, or maybe you just didn't get it. I can't do much about either.

As to conversational -- if a conversation requires that I accept your faulty premise, I guess I'll have to pass. Somehow reminds me of an old Monty Python skit, where one man pays a second man to have an argument, but the second man just keeps contradicting the first. Eventually the first complains that they aren't really arguing, but that the second man is just being contradictory. The first says something like, "An argument consists of a series of statements intended to establish a proposition!" To which the second man replies, "No it doesn't!"

But if equivocation is the sum and substance of your remarks, Junk, you've come to the potluck without a covered dish.

Har, har, har. If refusing to be sucked in by a plurium Interrogationum is equivocation, I'll stick with it, and get my food from Arby's.

Cakes said...

Ah, I love Latin and rhetoric; which is why I’m so frustrated by the lack of much authentic discourse in these premises. Well, there’s something to be said for illuminating what threadbare logic sustains the indignant blurbs and self-righteous judgments.

Regarding the quotation, it could also be a poor choice of cut-n-paste. More harm has been done on this blog by cut-n-paste—the so-called point-by-point is nothing but an opportunity to argue points tangential, or inconsequential, to the crux. In this case, “against” is such a provocative word—the meaning in this case is clear to everyone who follows the blog. So Christians should keep their mouths shut because their leaders are Christians? If such logic is to be taken to its extreme, then evangelicals should be loyal to Bush and what he wants since he’s a Baptist. Oops, sorry, bad anecdote.

I don’t feel that this is a place meant for discourse; it is more a repository of one-to-three-liners, devoid of qualifiers and generally consisting of accusations--redutio ad absurdum (the Forumites are bad, thus Gaines is vindicated), argumentum ad populum (many support Gaines, thus Gaines is acceptable), Argumentum ad hominem (Cakes is not a Christian, “a subjectivist,” etc. thus his arguments may be dismissed with the intellectual equivalent of tsk-tsk) and Argumentum ad Hitlerum (Junkster is a Forumite, all Forumites are culpable for the whole [Brattonheads are not, conveniently], thus guaranteed suspicion.) And I bet y’all just thought you were shooting from the hip!

Can’t we engage the substance of what is proffered, instead of playing whack a signifier? Do you really have anything to say, or are you just lying it wait to pluck the most egregious word or expression and beat it to death. If so, get a life. I’m not shocked by the double-standard at this point, but I find the denial of late to border on the hysterical.

If nothing else, it is an interesting phenomenon to witness.

Jessica B. said...

Christian or not, being AGAINST someone is not the same as disliking someone's actions or behaviors.

To me, being against someone has a connotation of actively working to hurt them or "take them down".

I don't care for Willie H., but I would never in a million years say that I am against him. I wouldn't vote for him, I wish he wasn't my mayor, but I certainly don't wish him any ill will either.

Maybe I am alone, but that is how I take the word "against".

oc said...

The word, "Against". Here we are again, dealing with more minutia. So it all depends on the definition of what "is" is, huh? So Clintonesque.

Come on, lets at least be reasonable. If there's a fight, then fight. Let's not look for a fight that isn't really there. That's just shadow boxing.

Cakes said...

I think you'll all but split hairs over AGAINST, and I'm o.k. with it.

Junkster is a good and honorable man, everyone knows what he meant, and it’s not the least bit provocative. And further, I am “unanimous” in that. Don’t chase away everyone who writes in complete paragraphs, employs sentence forms besides the declarative, and actually have something to say beyond the cute retort or latest dirt on NBBCOF.

It’s time for the hectoring and vicious tit-for-tat to end. It causes too much suffering, and I’m AGAINST that. That’s as much as Junkster intimated. There comes a time when the delusions of moral superiority make one susceptible to becoming the very thing he or she despises and blind to ones own credulity.

These are the themes of myths and legends, yet the theme repeats itself incessantly in man’s folly.

WatchingHISstory said...


Can you please comment without "delusions of moral superiority"

Christianity doesn't have a monoply on self-righteousness. It is easy to assume that.

Cakes said...

I did not stutter. If the turtle fits, fly it.

Cakes said...

Of course it is a problem of all times and all traditions; what's your point?

oc said...

His problem, Cakes, is that his turtle actually will not fly, no matter how high he throws it; nor will his bird swim, no matter how many times he dunks it.

Just sayin'.

WatchingHISstory said...

Of course it is a problem of all times and all traditions (religions); what's your point?

It just seemed to me you had forgotten that.

oc, what is your point. Turtles don't fly (unless you carry it with you on a flight) and water fowl fly and swim. Sinners are saved by grace alone. Their salvation is determined by God through election. There is no human effort involved. If there was a hint of human effort certainly you and I would be lost.
I am thankful for God's grace!

faithnhope said...
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Junkster said...

I don't disagree with what you said. You touched on things I wasn't intending to cover in my posts, so I consider that additional information, nothing contradictory to my remarks.

Yes, there is a place for rebuke and judgment; I was just referring to how quickly some seem to be to pounce on every careless or imprecise word, and to demand certain behaviors or responses, rather than taking a tone of encouragment.

As to Pam's ministry, it doesn't sound like my cup of tea (ha ha), but perhaps her methods could reach or minister to some who would not be touched otherwise. If God can use the "foolishness of preaching, and foolish preachers, and even donkeys to communicate His message, no doubt he can use the unique gifts and approach of your friend. I can only hope that He might see fit to use me in some way as well.

Jessica B. said...

Ahhh... what a lovely reminder of why I stopped reading the "other" blog to begin with. I had slowly let it creep back in and now I remember.

See, here is what happens- if I were to post a comment here about how I as Against those bloggers and the people who left BBC or whatever there would be a backlash about that comment. And it would likely be very similar to the one that I posted ( I stand by my feelings on this although I regret the way I went about it).

But that attitude creeps into me and I start behaving that way when I give in to reading over there. Some of the people over there lead me to get frustrated and I get a crappy attitude about it.

Now, I would like to mention that it certainly isn't EVERYONE over there- simply a few people who constantly display a certain attitude.

Junkster said...

Well, bless your heart.


faithnhope said...
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oc said...

You know, it would be funny if wasn't so stupidly sad. Some people are working so hard at finding a fight. Even when someone agrees with them and offers peace, they want to invent a reason to continue to fight and hate. Oh, wait a minute, that's what's said about another blog. Forget it...Carry on.

oc said...

Of course I may well have misunderstood the tone and intent...
I guess that's certainly possible.

faithnhope said...
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John Mark said...

I don't think it matters whether you've got a log or a speck in your eye if you've got a chip on your shoulder.

Always assume the worst, right OC?

oc said...

Naw, you're ok. I misread and jumped to conclusions. My apologies.

oc said...



IDC said...

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


IDC said...

For the record I made the same post on the other blog, and it was not deemed acceptable for publication.

John Mark said...

Ok, honest question time.

It's clear that none of the members of the NBBCOF are happily married/family type people. They've all suffered some kind of serious trauma, and have major unresolved issues in their lives. I suppose that's one reason I keep an eye on them, since I'm so messed up myself. Birds of a feather...

I spent most of my life baiting Christians into doing and saying ugly things, and exposing their hypocrisy. When the rubber hits the road, though, I didn't really care what they did. All that was important to me was proving that God was a liar since his people were so phony.

Is the NBBCOF really attacking God by attacking Bellevue? Inadvertantly, anyway? Am I way off base here? Their lives are totally messed up, and they're looking for a target to lash out at. Sure, they claim allegiance to God, but they sure don't do much of what he tells them to do.

I really wonder, if Bellevue did all the things they said it should, in exactly the way they say it's supposed to, would they still attack it? I think they would, and there's nothing that can stop them.

If that's true, it's really a good thing that they're attacking Bellevue. It's proof that the Lord is at work there. If he weren't, they'd have lost interest long ago.

So as long as the NBBCOF continues to nag, nag, nag at BBC I think its members can be assured that all is well.


oc said...

Well guess what JM? Although you work hard at causing trouble and you seem to want to cause discord and arouse conflict; well that's just too bad. It just ain't working for you anymore bro. You've lost your touch. I think God must have taken care of that. Because now, you are just way too lovable to be upset at.

I love you brother.


faithnhope said...
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Cakes said...

Did I addressed you; did I comment on anything you said? The general point is that as soon as it gets quiet over here, the stink rises over there--as is almost predictable at this point.

You have no reason to be offended, and I haven't particularly followed the latest tempest.

It looks like this thread needs new fodder however, so I'm sure the reportage on NBBCOF will be appreciated.

faithnhope said...
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John Mark said...


(I love your initials! When will DELL start posting?)

I pick my battles carefully, and if I don't get involved it's because I honestly and truly don't believe it's my fight.

Hope, listen to an old man. You say you pick your fights, but are you picking your friends with the same care? Jesus said that not everyone who says to him "Lord, Lord" is his brother, so is it safe for us to assume that anyone who flies the banner of Christianity is a potential friend?

Don't go over there anymore, for your own sake. Not right now. Has anyone really shown any concern for you? Offered to pray for you? What encouragement have you received, other than "don't do this, don't do that!"

I probably can't tell you anything that you haven't already heard sometime in your life, Hope, but can I remind you of something out of the Bible? God loves you for who you are, not for what you do. Good days, bad days - his love is constant as the northern star.

Your friends accept you regardless of what you say in anger, but others will seize every opportunity to beat you down. Stick close to your friends!

I went with my nieces to see "The Dark Knight." At the end, Batman told Commissioner Gorden to let everyone believe that he was guilty of something because he was able to endure it.

Let those people hate me, Hope, because I can take it quite easily. I won't lose one wink of sleep if they think the absolute worst of me. I suspect that even though you think some fights aren't your own, you internalize them and let them fester inside you. If they aren't your fights, then forget them!

I don't suppose it would mean much if I said that I'm praying for you, but I've been saying a bedtime prayer with my great nieces lately, so maybe the prayers of those precious children will encourage you.

faithnhope said...
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oc said...

I'm not commanded to like you. You are not commanded to like me.
And as long as you call me names, I probably won't like you.

But guess what? Because you belong to Jesus, and I belong to Jesus, I love you. Love is a decision, based on what He tells me to do. And all the name calling in the world won't change that.
So I'll just keep loving you.

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