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Author Topic: Why Tom and Dave read words that others can't see  (Read 16960 times)
al Hartman
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« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2005, 07:39:45 pm »



Quote
"Of course it reads like that! Any fool can see it, and to suggest otherwise is plain stupid...


Some years ago Sergio Aragones, a brilliant cartoonist, created a comic book entitled Groo the Wanderer.  The character Groo was a farcical take-off on Howard's Conan the Barbarian, drawn and scripted to poke fun at the artificial seriousness of the latter.  Like "The Far Side's" Gary Larson, "Calvin and Hobbes'" Bill Watterson, and "Dilbert's" Scott Adams, Aragones' insights into human nature made for some hilarious and humbling graphic commentary.

One of my favorite recurring jokes was when someone would remark in Groo's presence that "Any fool can plainly see that..." and Groo would innocently reply, "I can plainly see that." Shocked

Another was when someone within earshot of Groo would describe Groo to another person as being "slow of mind."  The story would continue for two or three more pages before Groo would scratch his head and wonder to himself, "What did he mean, 'Slow of mind'?" Huh

The point is that descriptions such as fool, idiot, stupid, vapid, hypocritical, sanctimonious, etc. have genuine meanings, and their use to cause harm, directly or indirectly, to others or to gain personal support in conflict is abuse of legitimate language and abuse of those to who it is thus applied.

Gospel truth is gospel truth and opinion is opinion-- neither can rightly be presented as the other.

For any of us to criticize, much less deliberately insult another simply for failing to be "like me" in attitude or behavior is, in its best light, immature.  Carried to extremes, it can be the witting or unwitting tool of evil.

It saddens me that the above may be dismissed by some as being a sidetrack that seeks to avoid, evade or otherwise escape the main point of this thread (as they view it), as if our God were not sovereign and mere men are capable of thwarting His divine purpose and plan.  But if that or any part of it is your opinion, I can never justly say that our disagreement makes you wrong.

Be yourself, and allow others to do the same.  Decry evil and heresy, but first be certain that that is what you are addressing.  In preparation for his discourse on the threat, the nature and the fate of false teachers, Peter prefaces those thoughts with the instruction to "make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,
and virtue with knowledge,
and knowledge with self-control,
and self-control with steadfastness,
and steadfastness with godliness,
and godliness with brotherly affection,
and brotherly affection with love
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
(2Pet.1:5b-9) (emphasis added)

It is an impressive list that holds tremendous promise, and it is devoid of such characteristics as
faultfinding,
criticism,
insult,
hostility,
provocation,
and the like.
  Why?  Because those are fruits of the sinful nature of Adam's children, having been flourishing in us long before the advent of our newness of life in Christ Jesus.  But the fruit of the Spirit (see also Paul's admonition and list in Gal.5:16-26) is not so easily come by, necessitating our "abiding in Christ" (Jn.15:1-17).  Jesus, Paul and Peter all strongly urge us to compete for them, not by striving against each other, but by striving each against our own natural proclivity to avoid the things of God, and against the influences of the world in which we live, and against the wiles of the devil.

Think about it.
Pray about it.

Your brother in Christ through it all,
al
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GDG
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« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2005, 05:47:31 am »

Thank you Al, for your wise and well chosen words.  You have articulated many of the things that I have been feeling over the past few days since this terrible storm of words began. 
Dear Everyone else,
I know that I have no right to weigh in on any of this, being a newcomer.  I don't know the history behind your offenses with your fellow bb brothers and sisters, but you all are breaking my heart with your bickering.
Do you remember back when you first were saved? (30 years in Oct. for me)  Do you remember the first scriptures that you studied?  Before you waded out and swam into the deep waters of doctrine and studied deeper things, you walked along the beach as you became accustomed to the waters; simpler concepts.
I am going to share some scripture that most of you will be able to recite from memory, but this is what has been going through my heart since Sunday.  Many may think it too simple and only for simple minds.  May my mind learn to  always be this simple.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbol.
If I have the gift of prophesy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I give all of my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I Cor 13: 1-7

I know I fall very short on a daily basis of the blueprint for life listed above.
Blessings,
Your sister,
Gay


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editor
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« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2005, 09:53:04 pm »

Do you remember back when you first were saved? (30 years in Oct. for me)  Do you remember the first scriptures that you studied?  Before you waded out and swam into the deep waters of doctrine and studied deeper things, you walked along the beach as you became accustomed to the waters; simpler concepts.

Dear Gay,

While I agree with you regarding the unfortunate, heartbreaking bickering that goes on, I would like to attempt to get you to see a few things from a different point of view.

As far as I know, most of the people on this forum are saved, and contrary to what you say above, have NEVER waded into the deep waters of sound doctrine.  To the contrary, what most of us did after salvation was wade into the deep evil of a cultic apostate.

In the case of those who claim to have been sound in the faith prior to joining up with George, their long association with him completely negates whatever claim they may make about their soundness at the time.  Only foolish believers, with serious problems, lapse from real faith into Geftakysism.  For the most part, all of us went from an ill-founded faith into a cult.

If anyone here believes themselves to have "waded into the deep waters of doctrine,"  I don't believe a word of their claim if they are unable to judge themselves with regard to their enabling and vigorous service for George. 

I pay little attention anymore to a person who is able to judge George, or David.  We can all do that, and while that's a start, we need to rightly judge ourselves in order to be sound in the faith.  I am highly suspect of those who claim,  "I saw through George," and spent years doing nothing about it.  They may have "seen" George, but they certainly didn't see themselves, and probably still can't.

However many scriptures such a person may be able to play with, their views on things are muddled, at best.  They were wrong about George and totally lacking in discernment then, and may be quite WRONG AGAIN.

While I understand your gentle, sincere admonition regarding love, and your plea to return to the "simple" concepts, I must say a thing or two here.

The same addled minds that fell for George Geftakys, use this passage and many others like it to avoid reality and extinguish any light that may happen to shine on them in such a way that it reveals who they really are.

Instead of RIGHTLY judging themselves, they twist a passage like this in order to WRONGLY judge anyone who upsets their spiritual self-image.  More messengers have been shot to avoid hearing the message with passages about "love for the brethren," and "gentle speech," than any other.

Case in point:

Workers, elders and Fullerton Leading brothers sat under George and endured his abuse for years....decades even.  Most of them could/would not see who he was or what he was doing.  They severely violated their own consciences to the point of searing them.... no other explanation will do. 

If their moral and doctrinal compass was so flawed at that time, to the point where they failed to recognize the horror that they were serving with all their might....there is a strong likelihood that they are WRONG AGAIN with whatever doctrinal points they are trying to make now. 

The exception to this is to be found in those who can clearly judge themselves and admit to what they have done.  (A person who has done that has no problem admitting that they misread a post and then went on a fanciful journey into mistaking one word for another while slandering someone.  That's not a simple mistake, and shouldn't take a sustained chorus of words in order to get them to see what they have done.)  Can you imagine a person who won't admit a small thing like this actually comprehending something as huge as their involvement with George?  Look at this as a small example of the Big Picture.

A person, in this context, who has rightly judged himself, would not handle the passage of scripture in the manner you have above, and such a person would not confuse God's love for some kind of spiritually medicated evangelical tolerism, as Al has done countless times.  Don't fall for it.

God is love.  God's love is perfectly expressed in the fact that Christ died for us.

This same Christ insulted the religious leaders of His day, and called His own followers "foolish," "deaf," "stiffnecked," and "Satan."  Furthermore, He used a whip on many of them, after destroying their property.  Worse yet, speaking through one of His disciples, he called others of those who professed His name,  "fools," "blind," and apostate!


No doubt, many of the Pharisees would have employed 1 Corinthians 13 against Jesus, if they had it.  They were quick to misuse such other scriptures as they had against Him.  There was something wrong with their judgement, you see.

So, the point I am trying to make is this:

Contrary to the predictable objection that arises against anyone who uses strong language to expose a hypocrite; that the person telling the truth is not "acting in love," the opposite is true.  Allowing someone to blather on in self delusion is a radical violation of love.  Had the Apostle Paul had this twisted view of love, he would not have written most of the New Testament!

Weenies and Jackasses will always fall back on this objection with regard to blunt truth.  That is to be expected, and it happens in plenty more areas of life than Christian churches and BB's.  It's human nature.

This BB is sick, the culture that has sprung up around it is sick, and the core group of posters (yes, that's me included) are doing nothing more than perpetuating many of the errors that got us into Georgeism.  As long as we keep doing this, our lives will forever by hung up and defined by Geftakysism.  Is that what you want?

We need to stop it.  The worst thing we could do, is get all loving and "believing the best," and continue on in this nonsense.  The loving thing to do is to say,  "This BB is sick.  It's not healthy.  Don't go there."

Why am I still here?  I'll get to that soon, before I leave.

Brent
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Margaret
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« Reply #48 on: August 13, 2005, 03:38:13 am »

Thanks, Gay, for having the courage as a “newbie” to express your dismay at what’s been going on here. In spite of Brent’s very strong contrary opinion, it seems to me, too, that the simplicity of I Cor 13 applied here. Al said he was addressing the level of discourse—the hostility and provocation and name-calling. I don’t understand why his post should be viewed as “spiritually medicated evangelical tolerism” that you shouldn’t fall for. His entreaty seems very sound and scriptural to me.

Brent in his reply to you is confusing behavior the New Testament employs against Pharisees, false disciples and issues of the gospel, with behavior we’re to have toward fellow-believers. Those called “fools, blind and apostate” were professed followers of God who proved to not belong to Him. Brent is mixing up apples and oranges in his citations of scripture.

It seems to me that the New Testament is pretty clear how we are to relate to one another in Christ, no matter how wrong or offensive the other person may be. (If the issue doesn’t effect the gospel. That’s another category, and that’s where you see Jesus and Paul pulling out the stops.)

Al makes a point from 2 Pet which later proved true on this board, that the qualities of brotherly affection and love, among others, keep one from being ineffective. Brent’s pages of belittling and insults were ineffective in getting through to Tom. What it took was explanation to help him see the error of his ways.

Brent would no doubt object to that statement, saying if he hadn’t beaten Tom over the head, Tom never would have apologized. That’s debatable. In Tom’s case, being objective rather than emotional in how he thinks, as he says, I bet all the highly charged language made it less likely rather than more so that he could see the issue. Dave Sable may have been right, that if Brent had replied to Tom’s first post with friendly clarification instead of firing off a string of insults, the whole debacle might have been avoided. “Let the peace of Christ rule…”

The reason that didn’t happen is evident in Brent’s first reply to Tom: “…you probably didn't read what I posted for information, only for an angle to educate and inform the board members.”  Brent was operating on assumptions that he clarified to us all later in his Big Picture. But that’s another subject.

My thoughts, for what they’re worth. Thanks again for your effort to be a peacemaker. There’s a special blessing for them  Grin

Margaret   
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« Reply #49 on: August 13, 2005, 05:50:36 am »

Brent,
I think you misunderstood my word picture.  I'm sorry about that.  I tried to make clear what I was trying to express, but I don't think I did a very good job.  I apologize.  The word picture itself was not intended to be a focal point.  My only intention was to point out that this passage of scripture, though often overlooked because of it's familiarity, has much to offer.  I'll try not to wax so poetic in the future  Smiley.  Guess I'm not that good at it. (I need to point out though, that you adding an adjective to my words didn't help the clarity   Wink)
I'm sorry that your exposure to this scripture has such negative conotations, but that aside, I hope you'll take a step back and at least consider it's wisdom.  Please don't allow the shortcomings of foolish and wrongly motivated humans keep you from enjoying what God intended for you.  There is incredible wisdom in these words that can be and should be applied in all of our dealings with each other, whether there is a subtle disagreement or a full on blow out.
Despite a person's experience with people, God's word is God's word.

***********************

Hey Margaret,
Thanks right back atcha sis  Smiley  Blessings to both of us  Cool

Gay
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GDG
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« Reply #50 on: August 14, 2005, 12:09:05 am »

Below is a copy of a response I wrote to an email.  I hope it helps to explain my thoughts on how I view conflict resolution.
Dios le bendiga,
Gay

I think I understand what you are trying to say, however, we don't share the same point of view when it comes to confrontation. 
You state ... that you "stuck around (the bb), harsh words or not" and I am personally glad that you did, but what about those out there who are "lurking", that are wounded and don't have the fortitude that you do?
I am not saying not to rebuke serious sin or false teaching, but there is no need to attack the person that is wrong either.  There are better ways to communicate.
... in your example about the JW, you ask "Should you receive his message because he was friendly, or should you react with anger...?"
My answer is neither.  It is the very rare instance when anger is the appropriate reaction to anything.  Please note that I am not saying never, but I am adamantly stating that it should be rare.  I will not win that JW to Jesus Christ by calling him a cultist and telling him he is going to hell, although both are very true.  However, I would rather invite the JW into my kitchen, put on a pot of coffee and approach him with "Come now, let us reason together..."  He may or may not receive what I have to say, his choice, but I can guarantee that the chances are greater of his conversion at my kitchen table than if I took a broom handle to him on my front porch.
From my point of view, perhaps the "swashbuckling" could have better been handled in private emails and not on the bb, but then maybe I don't have a good grasp yet as to what the "mission statement" of the bb actually is.
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shinchy
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« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2005, 11:38:46 am »

Every once in a while, I get a perverse impulse to see what's going on in this board.

Sorry, I really don't find this a friendly place, especially since some of my comments were censored and I was harrassed off the board by a certain someone.

I'll spit it out: Tom, you offended me. I've never gone out of my way to offend you, yet you seem to have gone on the offensive towards me. What I think of you is untypable on this board. That is how I feel, especially after I have been treated badly by you in the past and then to be censored.

My life after the Assembly hasn't been the ideal ex-member's. After a while, I found I could no longer subscribe to an Evangelical view of Christianity. I explored agnosticism over the past several years. I had to come out to myself as gay. I refused to do any more spirtual violence towards myself, whether it was assimilating intolerant dogma or trying not to be gay. This is the reality of my life and I believe I should be honest about it. And I got shot down for being honest.

I don't think Tom is the only one guilty of the gripes I've stated two paragraphs ago, but he is the worst offender. I can't say that I forgive Tom right now, but I hope this is a step.

Maybe I'll post later. I really don't want to role of a bitter and cynical person. It just doesn't suit me.

Skeptic, you're my new hero! I've been encouraged to read some of your posts. Skeptics are always good.
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Oscar
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« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2005, 12:00:22 pm »

Every once in a while, I get a perverse impulse to see what's going on in this board.

Sorry, I really don't find this a friendly place, especially since some of my comments were censored and I was harrassed off the board by a certain someone.

I'll spit it out: Tom, you offended me. I've never gone out of my way to offend you, yet you seem to have gone on the offensive towards me. What I think of you is untypable on this board. That is how I feel, especially after I have been treated badly by you in the past and then to be censored.

My life after the Assembly hasn't been the ideal ex-member's. After a while, I found I could no longer subscribe to an Evangelical view of Christianity. I explored agnosticism over the past several years. I had to come out to myself as gay. I refused to do any more spirtual violence towards myself, whether it was assimilating intolerant dogma or trying not to be gay. This is the reality of my life and I believe I should be honest about it. And I got shot down for being honest.

I don't think Tom is the only one guilty of the gripes I've stated two paragraphs ago, but he is the worst offender. I can't say that I forgive Tom right now, but I hope this is a step.

Maybe I'll post later. I really don't want to role of a bitter and cynical person. It just doesn't suit me.

Skeptic, you're my new hero! I've been encouraged to read some of your posts. Skeptics are always good.

Shin,

The last time you came here, I asked two things of you:

1. Do not make personal attacks on the people who post here.

2. Observe the same social conventions that we all do about keeping our sexual practices private.

I am repeating the requests at this time.

btw, "Skeptic" was Brent.

Thomas Maddux
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shinchy
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« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2005, 12:22:33 pm »

Shin,

The last time you came here, I asked two things of you:

1. Do not make personal attacks on the people who post here.

2. Observe the same social conventions that we all do about keeping our sexual practices private.

I am repeating the requests at this time.

btw, "Skeptic" was Brent.

Thomas Maddux

Tom, ******  (Vulgar comment removed by moderator)  Angry

« Last Edit: October 03, 2005, 08:00:52 am by Tom Maddux » Logged
brian
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« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2005, 09:48:56 am »

Sorry, I really don't find this a friendly place, especially since some of my comments were censored and I was harrassed off the board by a certain someone.

i can appreciate that you have had a rough time here in the past. noone likes to be censored, particularly when opening up in a vulnerable way in a public place. and i think you were particularly sensitive to the way tom reacted to you because of the spiritual violence done to you in the past. on the other hand, this board is predominantly conservative christians, so it is unrealistic to think that these people are going to be very supportive of the directions your life has taken. i personally don't find it offensive that you told us you are gay, since it is probably a big part of your identity at this point in your life, and it would be difficult for you to interact here meaningfully without putting that out there. but its also true, and i think you must know this, that most of the people here do find this offensive, and will react accordingly. personally, i would enjoy having a little more variety of perspective around here, and i hope you feel comfortable enough to participate in whatever discussions catch your fancy. but if you want to openly discuss your sexual preferences, this is a poorly chosen place to do so.

brian
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