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Sondra Jamison
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2005, 11:11:49 pm »


Folks,

Here is a link that gives shows the kind of teaching on authority that Keswick/Deeper Life/Higher Life thinking can lead you to.  It is a review of Watchman Nee's book "Spiritual Authority".  Nee's ideas are derived from the beliefs he held about man, revelation, and being taught of God.

His views on absolute obedience to authority were virtually identical to GG's.  GG spent years in contact with this movement's teachings, and I suspect that this is where his own teachings on  the subject came from.

It might be a little upsetting for some to read this.  So be warned. 

The author was involved in a cult that promoted these ideas.

http://www.dtl.org/cults/review/authority.htm

Thomas Maddux

I cannot promise I will have the time to run after every rabbit, (I know many are disappointed to hear this)  Sad but I felt I would give answer to Tom's suggestion that Nee was off base.  Someone who posts site after site in general criticism should, IMO, show he is up to the task of arguing his points in his own words.  Otherwise, it would seem that he is seated with the kings he is quoting.  How do we know whether under his robe, he is truly a king also or just another common servant of the world?  "Mice can be found in cookie jars, but that doesn't make them a cookie." (father Ten Boom)  Not saying either way, but quoting other's from other websites should be supportive of main arguments made by the person posting and not THE ARGUMENT.  Throwing out buzzwords like "deeper life" and then throwing up a website is cheap and almost worthless. 

I didn't read all, but I respect Nee's views VERY MUCH.  What others have done with his writings, the author has no control over.

A quote from the website re. Watchman Nee's views...

Quote
Nee believed that human nature is tripartite (body, soul, and spirit). This emphasis in his teaching plays a major role in his determining how God works his grace in humanity. Because of his emphasis on the "spirit" of a person being the only source by which we can communicate/ relate with God, subjectivity reigns throughout this book.

When determining how authority is to be expressed he says, "there must be subjection. If there is to be subjection, self needs to be excluded; but according to one' self-life, subjection is not possible This is only possible when one lives in the Spirit. It is the highest expression of God's will" (SA, p.14).

How does one acknowledge and recognize authority? It "requires a great revelation" (SA, p.16) and again "not a matter of outside instruction but of inward revelation" (SA, p.38). While inward revelations are certainly good and necessary, so is using our reason in order that we find Truth regarding our world in which we live.

But, Nee further states, "It is very true that we need to have the eyes of our reason put out in order to follow the Lord. What governs our lives? Is it reason or is it authority? When one is enlightened by the Lord he will be blinded by the light, and his reason will be cast aside" (SA, p.93).

What a tremendous blessing to read!  I doubt he wrote his book intending that every word would be scrutinized with a microscope.  Given his general teaching though, I think we could perhaps assume that he was not condoning that believer's should follow other men who are not "spiritual" and even then, should not follow if in conflict with what the Holy Spirit is leading from within their own hearts, a strict, undisciplined Conscience notwithstanding.

Within keeping with the perspective I was hearing from WN's writings from the same website, I would have to add some clarification to the sentence below. 

Quote
But, Nee further states, "It is very true that we need to have the eyes of our reason (natural view) put out in order to follow the Lord (in the Spirit). What governs our lives? Is it reason (natural) or is it authority (Spiritual)? When one is enlightened by the Lord (the Lord's Spirit) he will be blinded by the light, (spiritual understanding) and his reason will be cast aside (natural reasoning)."

I don't believe I have taken too much liberty with the paragraph.  I think WN would be (is) proud of me.   Cool

The spin that Knapp puts on each quote is one from a person who has been burned by an overly controlling church leader.  Some of the words Nee uses would automatically flag someone who has heard those words against their own Conscience and understanding.

Sincere people abuse people in the Name of the Lord all the time.  So many churches I've been in use the literal meanings of scriptures to beat the sheep.

Nee is mainly speaking to "anointed servants of God" who do need to understand that they have a higher obligation and commitment to God if they wish to serve Him.  The scriptures teach the same.  And there does need to be a healthy submission to spiritual leadership, but again, these are "buzz words" for someone who has had non-spiritual authority exerted over them through the use of spiritual sounding jargon.  Should the baby be thrown out with the bathwater though?  Nee was a very godly man.  I didn't take the time to read all, but I read enough in this article and have read him many years ago - to know that what he wrote was claimed by many unscrupulous 'spiritual' leaders.

The author shares no scriptures to make his/her points.  Dead giveaway. 

Frankly, even if he/she had, the scriptures can be misrepresented too if interpreted through natural reasoning especially when one has been abused by those who have misinterpreted those very Truths in their history.

Sondra

p.s.  Subjectivity is emotions and not to be confused with spiritual discernment, hearing God in the Spirit, ...inward leading, etc.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2005, 11:49:08 pm by Sondra Jamison » Logged
Joe Sperling
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2005, 12:53:20 am »

Sondra----

Perhaps I am confused as to what the total disagreement is on the board. All I can do is
mention my experience of being led to read the Bible far more "carefully", and make sure
that what I think I am understanding is really the Truth.

I have old Seminar notes that are filled with so many Scripture references it is amazing. We used
to flip back and forth to so many references that I am amazed anyone could keep on track with
what message was being given. I mean, George would back up what he was saying with Scrip-
ture---this is obvious. Every statement he made he would have a Bible reference for!! I am men-
tioning the Assembly as reference, because I was there, and received the teaching.

The problem was that everyone "accepted" what he was saying as the truth. We accepted his
definition and application of the Scripture without really searching out if what he was saying was
true or not. This is the whole point I have been trying to make--not that God cannot speak to
people individually--I know he does.

But when I look back at those Seminar notes I think "How could I have heard all of that Scripture,
and the message, and not realized just how "off base" much of it was?" I believe it was because I
did not ask the questions that we should all ask. I accepted George's interpretation for the "most
part"(I say this because there were a few of his interpretations I could never accept). You have said
that when you read something and the Word isn't mentioned it's a "dead giveaway". But, the Seminars were absolutely FULL of scripture references, and yet much of it was twisted to define George's own interpretation.

After leaving the Assembly I began to see that reading the Scriptures takes much "care" and
"study". I can pull out a verse and give you my own interpretation on it quite easily, and maybe
even believe God has "given" me this interpretation. But does it square with the rest of the Bible?
Does it make sense historically? Does other scripture overule the conclusion I have come to? I
could preach platitudes based on my own interpretation, and they might sound quite holy, but
they might also be so off base that they have no foundation in Scripture.

If I am misunderstanding you, I apologize. But this is really the whole point that I am trying to
make. I just get tired of hearing people preach, or write about how "annointed" they are, and how
much more mature they are than the "dead" theologians, etc.  I have been in a place where a
man was considered God's "annointed servant", taught the Bible continually--but continually taught
the wrong thing. On the contrary, I think the maturity came in when I realized the Bible was of no
"personal interpretation", and  a systematic study was required to gain a wise perspective on what
the Lord was really teaching. "Study to show yourself approved onto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth(2 Tim. 2:15).  If we are to "study" to show ourselves approved, and there is a way of "rightly dividing the Word of Truth", then one can imagine there must be several ways of "Wrongly dividing the Word of truth"----a systematic and methodical study is very important.

--Joe
« Last Edit: October 05, 2005, 01:11:01 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
Sondra Jamison
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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2005, 02:01:24 am »





Sondra----

Perhaps I am confused as to what the total disagreement is on the board. All I can do is
mention my experience of being led to read the Bible far more "carefully", and make sure
that what I think I am understanding is really the Truth.
......
But when I look back at those Seminar notes I think "How could I have heard all of that Scripture, and the message, and not realized just how "off base" much of it was?" I believe it was because I did not ask the questions that we should all ask. I accepted George's interpretation for the "most part"(I say this because there were a few of his interpretations I could never accept). You have said that when you read something and the Word isn't mentioned it's a "dead giveaway". But, the Seminars were absolutely FULL of scripture references, and yet much of it was twisted to define George's own interpretation.

Thanks for you polite response and for speaking up without labeling me, Joe.  Yes, precisely.  You have hit the nail on the head when you said, “George’s interpretation.”  George’s interpretation was one of reasoning or intellectual approach to the scriptures although he did have some background of study of “spiritual” interpretation of the scriptures.  He called his views “spiritual” – but, in fact, he preached an exterior kingdom….the Assembly.  He connected the OT with the NT by using Acts or the Apostles Doctrine to birth the Assemblies. When you speak of finding "Truth" - if you use the same old tapes, no matter how much comparing of scripture with scripture you do, you will hear the same recording.  The formula has got to be changed to that of inward kingdom maxims in order to get new revelation of the Lord....within YOU.   

Quote
After leaving the Assembly I began to see that reading the Scriptures takes much "care" and
"study...

This is where we have to get off the road and 4 wheel for awhile.  If it were that easy, any person with a good mind could be a profound man of God.  But it isn’t easy if it is truly spiritual.  What you have attained that is real and perfect has been earned through suffering what has been wrong.  You have been taught a lot of what is “right” also, but you have had to suffer in order to be spiritually enlightened.  One who is quickened, brought alive by the Spirit of God (resurrected) has only been  brought alive because he has been slain.  Heb 11.  Those who have been killed/martyred have experienced death through their undying commitment to the Lord’s cross. 

One who brings his scars with him to the Word can spiritually discern.  One who comes to the Word with an approach to get something of a following, something to sound profound, etc. will surely not be in a heart position to discern spiritually.

Yes, the scriptures should be checked and compared with scriptures, but you did that in the Assembly, didn’t you?  I did, but until I realized that my whole view was based upon an outward kingdom/church/assembly in a corporate expression, instead of understanding that the whole Bible should be applied to one soul FIRST – I was falsely interpreting the scriptures.

Hearing the Word instruct about the inner kingdom is the only safe way to interpret scripture.  The Lord taught “Kingdom” teachings more than anything else.  He also taught through parables regarding households a lot.  These are teachings that teach each individual about their soul.

Quote
......I just get tired of hearing people preach, or write about how "anointed" they are.......


Yes, I was in the same place, Joe, and I fully understand what you are saying, but the literal interpretation of the scriptures is not the safe haven you seem to think it is.  It was reasoning that sounded so reasonable and could be faked apparently when all evidence has it that George had some other bread he was baking in someone else’s kitchen.   Wink  The Lord is anointed and those who follow Him in the spirit share His anointing.  The closer we get the more of His oil gets all over us.  No big deal for spiritual believers, but I do it as a great adventure to be close to the Lord.

Quote
On the contrary, I think the maturity came in when I realized the Bible was of no
"personal interpretation", and  a systematic study was required to gain a wise perspective on what
the Lord was really teaching......

George used the same method you speak of here although he put down those who used this method.  Gg put everyone down who didn’t go with his “assembly” vision.  He put down the authors to me that he quoted in open meetings…but I was thankful that he had quoted them because they led me out of the desert to the river of life.  Sickness worked FOR ME that time.  I took the time to read stuff and became so blessed that I stopped going to the meetings.

Having said all of this, youth/discipleship has it’s own baggage that I am afraid isn’t very pretty – even if you have the best, spiritually centered, godly teacher.  We come to the Lord as natural “hayseeds” and the only option to understand scripture is through feeling and reasoning.  We must be directed into a spiritual perspective through the Holy Spirit.  And that’s where I’m afraid it gets very dicey.  But God is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls and will see us through if we are not stubborn.  I have scuffed my knees a lot to the point I'm down to stubs, but I learned a couple things.  Wouldn’t trade the bad for the good for a million bucks...maybe 2 ??   Cheesy 

Intellectual knowledge puffs up, but the spirit gives life. 


Sondra
« Last Edit: October 05, 2005, 02:03:48 am by Sondra Jamison » Logged
bystander
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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2005, 02:28:01 am »

[quote author=Joe Sperling link=topic=1026.msg27360#msg27360 date=1128455600
Perhaps I am confused as to what the total disagreement is on the board. All I can do is
mention my experience of being led to read the Bible far more "carefully", and make sure
that what I think I am understanding is really the Truth.............

.............."Study to show yourself approved onto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth(2 Tim. 2:15).  If we are to "study" to show ourselves approved, and there is a way of "rightly dividing the Word of Truth", then one can imagine there must be several ways of "Wrongly dividing the Word of truth"----a systematic and methodical study is very important.

--Joe
Quote

There are several things to keep in mind, IMNSHO:

1.)Theology, in general, is not like math or even physics.  In both of those intellectual pursuits, at the higher levels, there is debate and disagreement among experts.  However, even the experts who find themselves on the opposite sides of the Quantum Mechanics vs. Relativity debate agree that the other is capable of teaching physics.

For some reason, theologians tend to be a little more condemning of those from the other camp.  Please do not take the preceeding statement to be a broad stroke, and mistakenly suggest that I apply it to all theologians, everywhere.  I do no such thing, and recognize that the majority of theologians tend to show respect and a gracious demeanor towards those who disagree with them.  However, in spite of this fact, there are a greater number of warring factions amongst theologians than there are in the science world.

For example, most Reformed pastors accept Baptists and others of the Arminian persuasion as brethren.  There are a few, here and there, however, who accuse the latter of spreading lies and attacking the finished work of Christ.  Of course, there are also Arminians who lash out at Calvinists with equal zeal and hatred.  My personal opinion is that I don't know all the answers, and I would rather live in harmony with other believers than alienate them on issues such as these.

So, back to Joe's quote, there are those who systematically interpret the Bible...and come up with different ideas than others who do the same.

Those who are influenced and blessed by the Keswick/Deeper Life/Nee/Austin-Sparks/Guyon type of ideas are also brethren.  They have done their share of condemning and cutting down others, and have also been the targets of that treatment from time to time.  There is nothing new here, it's pretty much business as usual in the Christian world.

So, posting a link arguing that Watchman Nee's ideas are "disturbing," can easily be countered with another link claiming that graduates from a certain seminary are the most dangerous people to have in the church, because they bring the spirit of this age, and man's wisdom to the pulpit, thereby tainting the gospel of God's Power with the lie of the Devil!  A fine row can then break out with winners on both sides, at least in their own estimation.

2.)Many people come to view themselves as experts after having graduated from the school of hard knocks.  I see this often when I meet people who, upon getting their second divorce, decide to get a MFCC degree and use their wisdom the help help people who many times have fewer failed marriages than they have themselves!  In spite of the fact that these people are two or three time losers at marriage, they really believe they can help others.  I think success is a necessary item on a resume.

3.)Many people need to belong to a group, or camp, for various reasons, not all of them bad.

Is it possible....or should I say, can we consider that perhaps some of the above applies here on this forum?

Could it be that Sondra and Tom both have valid opinions, while neither is absolutely correct?  Furthermore, do any of us have a worthless degree from the school of hard knocks?  In other words, do we have a false perception of ourselves and our mastery of the Bible?  

Lastly, do we seek to divide, isolate and polarize, or do we, as much as possible, try to live at peace with all men?

I submit that each of us reads the words we wish to see, and hears what we like to hear, and that it is simply a miracle if God ever gets a simple understanding of something of His Grace through our thick, proud skulls.

IMNSHO, insinuating that Sondra is possessed, and that her mystical bent is horrible is right on par with suggesting Tom is an unbeliever.  I suspect that neither accusation is true.  I also recognize that it is nothing more that the usual squabbling one can find amongst the various factions withing the Evangelical world.  

I suspect I'm not alone in saying, "Now, what was the point of all this on this thread?"

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moonflower2
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« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2005, 02:30:54 am »

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Is this a spiritual concept?
Quote
I am not name calling.
Not presently.
Quote
I really do believe that Tom, et al, are representing the same type of intellectual superiority that George did. 
Stop the non-equivalent comparisons, please.
Quote
These guys have been VERY abusive in the name of negating George.
You have been very abusive in your language describing many on this BB. I agree with Marcia, WHY DO YOU PERSIST?
Quote
From reading Brian's last post, I would have to believe that he is a little weary also of Tom's deleting, smothering, hushing of contradicting views to his extreme fundamentalism.
I appreciate his deletions of you personally bashing BB members. Your bashings are the equivalent of Shin's "**** **", which was deleted by Tom.

WHY DO YOU PERSIST IN PUTTING PEOPLE DOWN?

You come off as an abrasive person, putting herself in the position of being the "saviour" of this BB.
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2005, 03:04:07 am »

Bystander---

Thanks and very well stated. I hereby withdraw from this discussion, and admit
to the fact that I could be very wrong in some of my arguments.(Notice
I didn't say "all" Cheesy)  You are totally correct in that Arminians are my brethren,
even if they're wrong Grin Thanks for the reminder that though we may be
polarized in opposite directions(regarding certain subjects), we are still all children of the same King.

God bless,  Joe
« Last Edit: October 05, 2005, 03:06:27 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
bystander
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« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2005, 03:20:49 am »

Bystander---

Thanks and very well stated. I hereby withdraw from this discussion, and admit
to the fact that I could be very wrong in some of my arguments.(Notice
I didn't say "all" Cheesy)  You are totally correct in that Arminians are my brethren,
even if they're wrong Grin Thanks for the reminder that though we may be
polarized in opposite directions(regarding certain subjects), we are still all children of the same King.
God bless,  Joe

Joe,

I am not entirely sure about your post.  Are you simply saying,  "well stated, I agree," or is there a slight dig here?  I apologize if I am reading more into it than I should, but the emoticons and the two confusing statements make we wonder if perhaps I came off the wrong way in my post?

I don't want to belabor it, so you can use the private message feature if you like,

Mark
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al Hartman
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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2005, 03:23:17 am »



Sorry, Al.  You are being lazy.  I have written enough about who I say the Lord Jesus is.  Read my book.  www.soaringwiththeeagles.com 

No one can ever write enough about who the Lord Jesus is.  Not anyone.  Not ever.

Quote
I don't know what planet you have been on, because I have heard my share of people come up with their little three line recitations of who they say Christ is and what He came to do - of which some are among the most phony, full of boloney, deceived people one would ever want to encounter.  No, you will not draw me into your web of "cat and mouse"  unless I get to be "cat."   Wink 


Webs are what spiders do.  I have no web, no game to play.  I am not a spider, a cat, a mouse, a wolf or whatever else you can come up with.  I am not practicing laziness, but practicality in asking you to answer simple, honest questions on this board where you post volumes of opinions and accusations.  I have not stated my opinion of you or accused you of anything.  I don't even want to debate you on anything.  I'm just asking you to be open and honest.

Quote
I don't think I will be answering anymore of your posts, Al because, unlike Tom and a few others, you hide behind spiritual jargon.

"Spiritual jargon?"  Would that be when I quote Scripture and/or speak of spiritual principles, unlike when you do the same and call it truth?

 
Quote
You are a little like Dave in that you live at the crossroads.

You pay me a high compliment.  Dave Sable is someone we could all learn a lot from if we are willing.

Quote
I would rather have someone cold or hot....
 

I asked you to tell the board who you are...  The above quote suggests that you may think you are God.  Personally, I don't think that's what you are saying.  But it does raise the question (again), Who do you think you are?  And who do you expect the readers here to think you are?  And why is it so important to you to bring people down who offer no threat to you?

Please feel free to answer honestly...

al




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Sondra Jamison
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« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2005, 03:37:55 am »





Lastly, do we seek to divide, isolate and polarize, or do we, as much as possible, try to live at peace with all men?

Hey, BS --

I don't know, is that what the Lord was doing and the reason for all His trouble?  He was a troublemaker wasn't He?  I think natural fights against spiritual and vice versa.  That's what the scriptures teach...remember them ?  No one else seems to want to talk turkey.   Lips sealed

I've taken beatings for months and actually years re. my "deeper life" views.  I have been run out of town from the beginning being labeled "Witness Lee" by Mark C, Tom, and Margaret.  I have been labeled "Mystic" and many other things.  

I am not angry at all, but I am here trying to discuss the authority on the subject, the Word of God.  It would seem that few, if any, want to get into the specific teachings.  Enough mud has been slung at me over the now....years.... and I just felt led to talk. 

Plus, Verne suggested that I should feel that I could register in my own name and post without fear of what others have to say.  I am sure he doesn't agree with everything I have posted, but I am sure that he does believe that the Holy Spirit opens the Word to the individual heart and that there are things seen of the Lord that are truly unutterable.  As with prayer, we do need the intercession of the Holy Spirit.

Moony, please use quotes if you are going to accuse me of name-calling.  Btw, what is "savior" of this bb if it isn't name calling?  Dear, you have done more than your share of name calling and ridiculing to sound so pious.  Kiss

Sondra



« Last Edit: October 05, 2005, 03:42:56 am by Sondra Jamison » Logged
bystander
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« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2005, 03:52:23 am »

Hey, BS --

I don't know, is that what the Lord was doing and the reason for all His trouble?  He was a troublemaker wasn't He?  I think natural fights against spiritual and vice versa.  That's what the scriptures teach...remember them ?  No one else seems to want to talk turkey.   Lips sealed


Hello Sondra,

Please understand that I do not reject or judge you for your Deeper Life views.  Whether I agree or not is not the issue, as I believe we can discuss these and other ideas in a respectful, gracious manner.  I look forward to doing so.

So, let's talk turkey.  Jesus did divide people, and will yet divide them.  You are right about that.  He was certainly a troublemaker for some; again, I agree with you there.

However, wouldn't you also agree that He didn't pit John against Peter, or Bartholemew against Thomas?  I see that latter as being a problem here, and I'm not accusing anyone in particlar.  I am merely suggesting we all judge ourselves and our own motives.

The Word of God is able to do this, is it not?  In fact, I argue that the practical application of "revealing thoughts and intent of the heart, joints and marrow," is somewhat mystical.

Regardless of whether we use the inductive method of bible study or not, we need the Holy Spirit.  I certainly hope no one is advocating something else, whether directly or by suggestion.

We are saved by Grace, through faith.  Jesus is the Son of God, God incarnate, The Eternal Logos, The Alpha and Omega, Friend of sinners, Faithful and True.  I think we both agree on that? If so, you aren't going to get any judgement or mud from me.

bystander
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2ram
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« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2005, 04:00:46 am »

Al, why do you persist in according Sondra special status and demanding that she answer you or else??  I really do not understand yours and Moonie's hostility towards her.

Marcia
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2005, 04:13:33 am »

Bystander---

No--I wasn't taking a dig at you at all. Sometimes we get so into our own side
of an argument that we forget there are two sides, with both being valid. Your
post reminded me that I'm never going to "win" the argument, and I've stated
what I believe already. Sondra is entitled to believe what she does without my
taking a "jab" at her about it. Perhaps if both sides could keep that in mind it
would be a far more civil board. Because as you stated, we truly all are children
of God--we can disagree, but should still be kind to one another, as the Bible
says "As God's dear children". I've decided just to listen to the conversation here
for a while rather than contribute.

Thanks, Joe
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al Hartman
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« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2005, 04:15:19 am »




Al, why do you persist in according Sondra special status and demanding that she answer you or else??  I really do not understand yours and Moonie's hostility towards her.

Marcia

No special status intended-- I'd ask the same of anyone who posted as she does.  You seem to find hostility in my posts where none is meant to be.  Do you see any in Sondra's?

al
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bystander
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« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2005, 04:21:33 am »

Bystander---

No--I wasn't taking a dig at you at all. Sometimes we get so into our own side
of an argument that we forget there are two sides, with both being valid. Your
post reminded me that I'm never going to "win" the argument, and I've stated
what I believe already. Sondra is entitled to believe what she does without my
taking a "jab" at her about it. Perhaps if both sides could keep that in mind it
would be a far more civil board. Because as you stated, we truly all are children
of God--we can disagree, but should still be kind to one another, as the Bible
says "As God's dear children". I've decided just to listen to the conversation here
for a while rather than contribute.

Thanks, Joe
thanks Joe!

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Elizabeth H
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« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2005, 04:30:03 am »

However, wouldn't you also agree that He didn't pit John against Peter, or Bartholemew against Thomas?  I see that latter as being a problem here, and I'm not accusing anyone in particlar.  I am merely suggesting we all judge ourselves and our own motives.

The Word of God is able to do this, is it not?  In fact, I argue that the practical application of "revealing thoughts and intent of the heart, joints and marrow," is somewhat mystical.

Regardless of whether we use the inductive method of bible study or not, we need the Holy Spirit.  I certainly hope no one is advocating something else, whether directly or by suggestion.

We are saved by Grace, through faith.  Jesus is the Son of God, God incarnate, The Eternal Logos, The Alpha and Omega, Friend of sinners, Faithful and True.  I think we both agree on that? If so, you aren't going to get any judgement or mud from me.

bystander

So nicely said. Thank you, bystander. A real dose of common sense and equanimity.

I would also add that perhaps the church needs both perspectives. We need the scholary, academic approach that Tom offers and we also need the deeper life reality that Sondra is fond of. Balance and moderation in both would be necessary.

Since we all agree on the basics, can we get back to discussing issues?

E.

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