The First Official Honorary ODMU Certificate goes to!

national-honesty-day

Honesty is not a high virtue for us Truth Warriors; if it was, then how would we be able to attack others as vicious as we do! To make my point in how the best of the best Truth Warriors operate, (not just the ODMafia) we turn once again to Discerning the World to show us how to be dishonest and yet come across righteous about it.

Here is a response to yours truly:

Comment by itodyaso | 23 June, 2009 <!– @ 14:50 –>| Reply

  • I see you let the one post through… but where are the others? Are comments monitored on this site? Usually it states it is or not.

    Comment by iggy | 23 June, 2009 <!– @ 15:01 –>| Reply

    • Iggy.

      Yes they are and I don’t sit here waiting for you to comment so I can jump and approve it. All comments are allowed.

      Comment by Discerning The World | 23 June, 2009 <!– @ 15:51 –>| Reply

  •  

    Why are you censoring my last comment? Afraid people might learn the truth?

    Comment by itodyaso | 23 June, 2009 <!– @ 14:44 –>| Reply

    • Not censoring your comments…

      I monitor all comments on my own and then approve them.

      Like I said earlier: “I like to do it this way, so I can keep up with everything that is being said. I ‘allow’ all comments…except foul language, people trying to use fake names – multiple split personalities (like Roger/Frank did and friend of Steve’s), posting the same thing over and over again (this is not spam, it’s real people), people who seemed relatively sane to start with but do not end that way after a few approved comments, people who blatantly lie and try turn my blog into something it’s not meant to be (an advertisement for false teaching). etc. I will let everyone have their say, until it gets out of hand, so don’t EVER come say I did not let you speak yur mind.”

      Comment by Discerning The World | 23 June, 2009 <!– @ 16:47 –>| Reply

    Then from that comment on and also in other threads, “Deborah” of Discerning the World deleted many comments citing that they were “not biblical”.

    Now we here at the ODMafia allow all comments no matter how annoying they are. Yet, at Discerning the World it is an amazing gift she has to be able to state “All comments are allowed” and then delete whatever comment as she deems. (Often in a way that does not allow her readers to see the rebuttals so she can lie about what they stated! Clever!) Deborah really does not let you speak your mind… oh wait she does, but she just deletes it and lies about what you said. I am almost tempted to do that here!

    We give the honorary certificate today as a Dishonest Comment Deletor in “Allowing all Comments”  yet not allowing
    “all” to Deborah of Discerning the World. (She must be a Calvinist as “all” does not mean “all”) Congratulations!

    HONORARY%20DE copy

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    65 Responses to The First Official Honorary ODMU Certificate goes to!

    1. >> Then from that comment on and also in other threads, “Deborah” of Discerning the World deleted many comments citing that they were “not biblical”.

      ROTFLMAO

      not biblical? nooooooo really??? Actually the reason I deleted them was because they were stupid! Not “not biblical”.

      I would never expect any of you to quote scripture correctly. That would be unfair of me to delete your comments just based on that. Because that would mean I would have to go back and delete all comments made by Emergents (a good 400+ commnets)

      Like

    2. itodyaso says:

      And our point is made for us…

      Every Scripture verse I quoted was cut and pasted directly from the NIV Bible… so I wonder who really knows their bible if it was misquoted?

      “Everyone’s comments are allowed, except those who do not follow the rules. But you are free to go and comment on Iggy’s ODM website or your own for that matter and spill out your hatred for born again Christians there.”

      Apparently the rules flux and flow as does Deborah’s version of truth and honestly… Again, the ODMafia applauds you!

      Like

    3. itodyaso says:

      As was predicted… Deborah did not post my comment.

      Instead she (who allows all comments unless they break the rules… did this…and the comment was the same as above!)

      Here are some more “hate” inspiring sites for you to publish!

      People, Things & Places of Interest

      [URLS deleted]

      Comment by itodyaso | 12 July, 2009 | Reply

      No Iggy I am not interested in your “People, Things & Places of Interest”. Only the ones that Inspire you, under your “People Who Inspire Me”, which I got. Thanks

      They should be happy to be your inspirtation. I dunno why they are getting so annoyed.

      Comment by Discerning The World | 12 July, 2009 | Reply

      Oh they are fine with inspiring me, it is your lies and hate against them and me that is what they are annoyed with… As Jesus is… with those who bear false witness against others as you have done here with them and me.

      Comment by itodyaso | 12 July, 2009 | Reply

      I mean they are on my blog right? Just below the other links that she posted… and yet… she called the others “hate” site and yet ignores these… hmmm… now you are getting the picture why 1 out of 11 people voted “Crazy lady” in the poll… and we can guess who the 1 that was for her was done by! LOL!

      The best laugh at her accusing the those on the list of being hate sites is the early church father Iraenius who wrote against heresy… http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/freewill.html yep she called him a person who inspires hate… an early church father who fought against heresy! LOL!

      Like

    4. Chad says:

      lol iggy. too funny.

      That site (DTW) is like watching a train wreck – I know I shouldn’t but I just can’t turn my head away. I’ve never seen such craziness.

      The award for comment deletion is priceless and so very appropriate. She deletes only those comments that question her validity as a “discerner” or require her to back up her lies.
      I asked 5 different time a simple question: Please tell us what emergent leader/teacher is saying that all gods are the same, all roads lead to heaven or that you can believe anything you like?

      Each and every time the comment was deleted and she added in her own commentary, saying that I was being hateful and insulting. really??? For asking an honest question for her to back up her accusations with proof? wow.

      LIke I said – a train wreck. I would laugh if it weren’t the body of Christ she was mocking, dividing and plundering.

      Like

    5. Roger Saner says:

      My favourite comment is when Nic asked her where she lives, and she took that as a threat to herself. Like he was going to drive the 1400 kms from Cape Town to Joburg and do something horribly threatening, like throwing eggs at her house.

      Still, she feels she’s being persecuted by the Emergents, and that’s proof that she’s doing what is right. *sigh* She believes that one day the New World Order is going to come for her, like they will for all true Christians, and execute her for her faithfulness, while us Emergents watch and do nothing.

      Aside from that she has a pretty good sense of humour!

      I tried to engage with her for a while, and it felt like I was having a slap fight with a 5 year old. It wasn’t pleasant. And I lost.

      Like

      • Wolf says:

        “She believes that one day the New World Order is going to come for her, like they will for all true Christians, and execute her for her faithfulness, while us Emergents watch and do nothing.”

        Roger. Not only will I do nothing, I might actually lend a helping hand throwing the switch.

        Like

    6. Yeah Roger (Mr nice guy)

      Like

    7. Will Farel XV says:

      Roger (Rabbit?)

      You have NO idea what persecutions we REAL discernmentalists must endure because we tramplestand on our Truth. It is of vital importance to keep our identity and location a secret so that we can continue our mud slinging of all who do not agree with our Truth without being held accountable.

      Will Farel XV
      Hiding fromfor the Truth

      Like

    8. Hi,

      Iggy….this is hilarious! Can I borrow this oh discerning one?

      “Deborahs” site gave me a chuckle….like yours does Iggy. We all need to laugh every once in a while!

      Thanks Iggy and God Bless,

      Phil

      Like

    9. […] would never expect any of you to quote scripture correctly. That would be unfair of me to delete your comments just based on that. Because […]

      Like

    10. Michael says:

      Deborah is not perfect (she knows that) and is a sinner saved by grace as all true believers in Christ’s atoning death on the cross at Cavary are. However there is a lot of merit in the truth she advocates.
      There are indeed many so called voices that are spreading lies, false doctrines. lying prophecies and living lives that put people of integrity off.One cannot ignore this as it is fact. Just take Benny Hinn,Angus Buchan,Kim Clement and the O’Hagans ,to mention a few.
      She is not dividing the true church only those who set themselves up by manipulating the scriptures and their followers to justify their greed and lusts. This is insanity at it’s worse.
      I used to worship in a charismatic church but because of their association with these teachings, the Holy Spirit has guided me away. I am not saying that all charismatics are insincere and are entirely on the wrong path as I have good Christian brothers and sisters in those congegations who truly love Jesus and I believe are saved.
      Deborah’s stance takes courage and I genuinely believe like the prophets of old she is warning us of heresies and unholy living. There is no doubt in my mind that she has integrity. What she is saying is a wake-up call which we (like all sinful human nature)find uncomfortable. Preachers that preach a false gospel (sometimes with a lot of truth mixed with lying implications)-ie red herrings are excepted because people “love to have their ears tickled”.
      Please do not quote what she is saying, out of context.

      Like

      • Wolf says:

        “Deborah’s stance takes courage and I genuinely believe like the prophets of old she is warning us of heresies and unholy living. There is no doubt in my mind that she has integrity.”

        Go bleed somewhere else for “your” false prophet mate. We don’t need to doubt that she has integrity. we’ve seen proof that doesn’t have any.

        Like

    11. itodyaso says:

      Oh we here love Deborah and totally support her using lies to show her integrity and expose false teachers. Lies are one of the best tools in her arsenal to show the love of Jesus to those she exposes. We here at the ODMafia support Deborah in how she twists others words and make them mean the opposite.

      Only one full of the Spirit of OUR DOCTRINES can stand so righteous in self as Deborah. We must protect our God and His ever fragile truth from all that comes against Him for without us we are sure God will fail! And we applaud that Deborah has learned from those heretics by also mixing in a lot of lies with her truth. We must take this worlds tools of slander and hate against others. More so, we should make sure that we never listen to anyone we expose and try to talk to them to understand them… I mean it is better to not have eyes to see and ears to hear than to hear what God could be doing out of our own context and minuscule view of scripture!

      We must use Jesus and the bible to abuse those who stand against our DOCTRINE! RISE UP AND LIE ABOUT OTHERS FOR THE END IS COMING SOON!

      I. Todyaso

      Like

    12. Michael says:

      You are replying in circles.Also throwing red herrings at this issue.Nobody is inciting hatred and abusing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ except you. To put this in the right context, Christ loved the sinner but hated the sin that enslaved the person. Lies and deception are sin and need to be exposed. The very hypocracy of your comments illustrate your need to repent. I certainly do not hate you or anybody, just feel pity.Jesus told us to pray for those who despicably use you and bless them that curse you. On the contrary your sarcastic tone says it all. I was merely giving credit where I felt was due. Incidently I believe Deborah needs to change her tone as well. But some of the things she is outspoken about are true, it is just the way she says it needs to be addressed. Jesus was never a diplomat but He said things in love.

      Like

    13. itodyaso says:

      I spoke of no fish… and we are praising Deborah for her abusiveness. We love how she deletes comments and then lies about what was said. We love how she twists the words of people to make them say what she believes them to be saying (instead of what they actually stated!) Our god uses Deborah mightily as she causes divisiveness in the Body of Christ! We love how you pick and choose what Deborah does and defend her in her ways! We love how you give credit where credit is due… as we are also doing with Discerning the World here on this post! We mostly love how Deborah is never a diplomat and never lets love get in the way of her lies and slander… yes… we love Deborah for all her ways and pragmatism as she never has a sarcastic tone. We also love how Deborah hates the sin and sins to hate the sinner!

      Yes… we love Deborah… She is high on the list of our admiration.

      I am beginning to wonder if you are making fun of her! We ask you to stop.

      To use the vernacular of today’s kids… Deborah is wicked cool!

      Like

    14. Michael says:

      The very things you attack (intolerance) you practice yourself.
      St Augustine said it well … “That which first overcame man is the last thing man overcomes , it even cleaves to virtues and graces”. The underlying problem around these issues stems from pride.
      Every body falls victim to this is the process of spiritual maturity. True humility recognises this – not false humility.
      Do not always throw the baby out with the bath water. Two wrongs do not make a right.Righteousness and self righteousness are poles apart.

      Like

      • Wolf says:

        “Righteousness and self righteousness are poles apart.”

        I haven’t noticed the former anywhere on the DTW site, where as I’ve seen a lot of the latter.

        Like

    15. itodyaso says:

      Michael… here the thing… everything you say is great… yet…

      You seem to miss that Deborah lies. Bearing false witness against someone is wrong and against one of the Big Ten…

      Also, you come here and yet attack this site… and me with you self righteousness. This makes all you say sound like a loud banging gong.

      So while you build a case for Deborah, you tear me down for holding her accountable to biblical standards of what is right and wrong.

      Ironic to me.. that you miss this.

      There is not one lie on this site against Deborah. Meanwhile Deborah accused me of being a Universalist from a quote that stated that I was not. She then wrote more lies against this site and myself.

      Defend her if you want… but you sound like the guy who says the victim deserved it because her dress was too short. And that is rather sick.

      iggy

      Like

    16. Michael says:

      If Deborah (I hope I have the right Deborah) told lies and untruths about you or anybody else this is absolutely unacceptable and sin and she needs to repent.
      However, I am not aware of this and never have any time for hearsay.
      Inaccuracies,exaggerations and lies are an abomination in the Christian walk.
      Typical lies we hear are : Benny Hinn….. He claimed that his father Constanti Hinn (born an Arab in Jaffa – a Jewish city) was a mayor of that city. Technically Jaffa did not exist after 1948 because it merged with Tel Aviv to become a combined municipality. Politically it is impossible for an Arab to be mayor in a Jewish municipality, besides there was no city of Jaffa when Benny was born.
      He “prophesied ” that Castro will die in the 90’s,someone will try to kill him but he won’t succeed but there will be a change in his physical health….he will not stay in power
      That the Lord has told him to tell you that God will destroy the homo-sexual community of the USA in 94/95, not later than that….
      Angus Buchan… Page 18 -“Faith like Potatoes”….our children Andrew,Lindi and Robyn were all born here (Kabwe,Zambia). This is a lie – Andrew was born in Durban SA and Lindi was born in Fishhoek Cape Town.Both these children were not born from this marriage. Angus’s present wife Jill left her first marriage, divorcing her christian husband and went to Zambia taking the 2 children with them. She later married Angus when he was a farmer in Zambia.
      We can go on and on with guys like Joel Osteen,Jakes, Dollar etc.
      These are NOT even a doctrinal issues but lies nevertheless.

      I do not know how people can swallow all this and still believe in the integrity of what people preach.

      It was only in this context that I supported Deborah. What lies she told you and about others (if any) only she must account for to God.

      Like

    17. itodyaso says:

      Michael,

      1. I am the victim so it is not hearsay but a firsthand experience related to you.

      2. Here is the post and comment thread of when I first talked to Deborah. http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2009/06/22/born-again-christians-are-now-compared-to-inquisitors-of-the-inquisitions/

      3. It is a very revealing read (unless you also suffer the same reading deficit as Deborah) as she twists my words and accuses me of stating all religions are the same as they lead to God… I never stated that nor ever would I stated:

      iggy
      June 24th, 2009 at 4:02 pm
      I see you are willing to twist everything I said to meet your own twisted and perverted pleasure…

      So you think all religions are good? As I said all religion are the same as they are wrong… even Christianity if presented as works and as a vehicle of hate as you are doing. You have proven me right in every comment about you and also have shown you lack of knowledge of the bible you claim as believing so strongly…

      So in a very sad way I will say thanks… and continue to pray for you that you find your way out of religion and into the arms of Jesus…. Jesus came to give us Live and not the religion you are preaching. Please, in the Name of Jesus stop abusing the bible and Jesus and using them as worldly tools of hate.

      I wish you well on your journey and pray you find the Living Christ Jesus and that He will dwell in your heart for all eternity.

      iggy
      Discerning The World
      June 24th, 2009 at 4:19 pm
      Iggy

      YOU SAID TO ME. “unless you understand that all religion is WRONG”

      See you lying again… I did NOT in any way insinuate and never have during this entire conversation that all religions are correct….YOU AGREED THAT THEY ARE, and and then you go and say it again with: “As I said all religion are the same as they are wrong…” Bwwahahahahahhahahaha on my. And Nic backs you up on that one, with his latest comment.

      REPEAT OF PREVIOUS BIBLE SCRIPRUTE: 1 Timothy 6:1, 3-5, 11-12, 20-21…
      iggy
      June 24th, 2009 at 4:39 pm
      Edited by DTW because:

      Iggy refuses to read and quote people accurated and insists on lying. Therefore comments will now be deleted. You have had ample space to air your views here.
      itodyaso
      June 24th, 2009 at 4:43 pm
      Edited by DTW because:

      Iggy refuses to read and quote people accurated and insists on lying. Therefore comments will now be deleted. You have had ample space to air your views here.

      She then began a heavy attack on me and everyone I linked to… http://www.discerningtheworld.com/?s=iggy&submit.x=15&submit.y=10

      Up to this time Deborah was not even in my sites… I had never heard of her. It was after this conversation and reading the misinformation and lies against others I started to warn people of Discerning the World.

      Personally if you read these sort of sites it is like injecting spiritual poison. One must pick through truth and lies… God does not use lies to protect the Truth nor does Truth need protecting.

      If you think warning others of liars and those who slander others in the Name of Jesus is wrong then I am not sure what else to say to you other than I will pray for you to have your heart softened and eyes opened to the Truth.

      iggy

      Like

    18. Michael says:

      If Deborah has misconstrued facts then she must answer to God for that.
      In order to discern we must be accurate and our hearts must be right with God. We have first to die to self (pride) even if we believe we are right because even virtues and graces hide themselves in spiritual pride. The true test is that can we take well directed critism, it seems that we must be more than willing to accept this.
      One of the biggest problems today in the church is that evangelists are selling doctrines that appeal to the flesh and dilute the need for sinners to truly repent and come to the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from sin and eternal death, get rid of the “old man” and die to self. There is very little value (if any) in “bless me clubs” etc.
      I do however entirely agree that to launch sites in the name of God it must be done with a loving and unselfish heart and a genuine concern for the lost. God’s truth however is not fragile, on the contrary it is very clear. The trouble is our sinful hearts are very fragile and prone to error and that includes every one. We become even more of this as we grow older in faith.

      Like

    19. Michael says:

      Sorry, I left out the word “aware” in the last line, ie We become even more AWARE of this as we grow older in faith.

      Like

    20. Rudolph says:

      Iggy. I also got censored by Deborah.

      [EDITED by DTW: DELETED as Rudolph quotes verses out of context.]

      I’ve copied the whole page with all the comments to file and find it really funny that I got censored as soon as she realized that I wouldn’t be steamrolled or intimated by her and DTW’s little crew of stormtroopers.

      Here is post that was censored.

      Rudolph

      ….

      Micheal.

      Luke 6:6-11

      Mark 9:14-16

      Mark 9:38

      Matthew 7:1-5

      Matthew 23:25-28

      The scriptures above where posted in response to the comments made by yourself and Burning Lamp as can be seen below.

      …..

      Burning Lamp
      8 February, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      Rudolph, you are clearly NOT a fundamentalist who knows his scripture. If you were you would IMMEDIATELY be able to call from memory (led by the Holy Spirit) multitudes of Scriptures that CLEARLY speak against everything this shirt stands for.

      Michael
      8 February, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      If you think there is nothing wrong with this Rudolph I would question whether you are genuinely saved because genuine believers hate sin and have no flirtation with darkness.
      This is a classic example of quoting scripture totally out of context. These scriptures have got absolutely nothing in common with child who advertises blatant evil on a t-shirt.The child is probably unaware and impressionable and unsaved.The point is why is this so attractive to the unsaved world and why tempt God’s wrath and judgment and remember what Jesus warned about those who cause the little ones to stumble.

      …..

      Even if you get only a portion of the words, that is enough. If the words (clearly visible in the picture), “aid of demons and supposed spirits, the use of magical arts, spells, or charms incantation” enough for you, may God help you!

      If you go to the website for Jet stores and look into the brands they carry and the messages they promote such as premarital sex, etc. you would know that the source is demonic and we are to have NOTHING to do with such things. And you should know that Satan is after the young – to put such a horrible thing on a child would be blasphemous!

      ….

      Rudolph

      Micheal,Burning Lamp, Deborah

      This is what I’ve seen on this site so far.

      You claim to be Christian and at the same time persecute and judge all others you accuse of being unbelievers.

      You have turned yourselves against all who do not believe in your doctrine yet have no true fruits that I can see here.

      Those few who make the effort to stand up against you are steamrolled until they either agree or stop commenting.

      If I had no issue with your doctrine then I would still surely take exception at the way
      you treat others.

      You do not just disagree and try to counsel those who post comments contrary to your doctrine, you brand them first and then expect everything out of their mouth to be lies.

      Your site is littered with news of death, paranoia and fear, engineered to scare Christians into submission using end-time doctrine,claims of witchcraft, accusations of false doctrine, blasphemy etc.

      You are so driven to burn down other ministries that you make me think of the farmer who salts his land to drive out the weeds.

      He kills the weeds but also kills all of his crops at the same time, the only thing left is a dead and barren wasteland.

      You put your back to the wall of your doctrine and judge the world, not realizing that while you are spending your time judging and condemning your neighbours, I am spending my time loving God and my neighbours.

      You question whether I am a believer. If I was an unbeliever your words would rather obstruct than motivate me from accepting Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

      This will be my last post on this site.

      Hosea 4:6
      Malachi 2:7-10
      Proverbs 10:21
      Jeremiah 9:3
      2 Timothy 1:7

      Oh. And thanks for posting this page.

      Like

    21. sylesa says:

      This site is little more than sour grapes. This sort of bitterness that has a personal axe to grind with another individual from another blog, has no value to anybody who stumbles upon it as i have done. I may not agree with some views from the above mentioned site but that does not lessen the fact that she has alot to offer in educating those who are seeking truth , from all the “Christian” movements. All thru the scriptures there are warnings against false teachers. Doctrine DOES matter. She may not be perfect but is offering a helpful service. If you have a issue with her, email her and work it out with her as you ought to do if you have an interest in what is right. This blog seems devoted to addressing a personal issue with another person from another blog, that seems ok to you? Wow. I hope that you will email her and work it out and use this site for a good purpose.

      Like

    22. Rudolph says:

      @sylesa

      I disagree.

      I tried conversing with Deborah and DTW.

      Though I differed greatly with their doctrine, I took the time and effort to deliberate with them.

      I did not challenge their salvation or imply that they where blasphemers.

      Nevertheless I was judged exactly so by Deborah and her cronies.

      The only reason I posted on Iggy’s page was because I felt it might do someone some good.(thanks again btw)

      People with less debating skill or scriptural knowledge might get intimidated by their inquisition style tactics but the rest of us know that the way they conduct themselves is not scriptural.

      Christ was sent to bring us life, not death.

      I cannot entertain the thought of taking any doctrine seriously, if it does not include God’s love.

      I might even disagree with Iggy’s doctrine and he with mine, but at least he leaves the facts here for everyone to see.

      It is one thing to claim you discern the truth for the world. It is another to discern falsely, and then hide it from the rest of the world.

      Like

    23. sylesa says:

      Rudolph,
      I understand what you are saying. I also disagree with some things that are said and done on the mentioned site.I do believe that at times she is not fair minded. But having said that, i also believe that she is very sincere in her desire to warn against false teachers and doctrine. She also takes some abuse from bloggers at times.I think that that is why she can be defensive at times. Just imagine some of what must get deleted, lol!
      I have emailed back and forth with her a couple times and she seems to be a really nice person. If you email her and try to make your point and she is still unreasonable, i would be surprised. Also, I feel compassion for her because she has a health issue, i don’t want to say because i don’t think it’s my place to. Sometimes we all take things personel. Thank you for your kind response to my complaint on this blog. I will check out this site a little further and i hope that you will still comment on DTW as well. God Bless.

      Like

      • Rudolph says:

        You can be be both 100% nice and sincere and 100% wrong at the same time. Whether Deborah and the rest of the DTW team are really nice, cuddly and sincere people is completely irrelevant. The point is the DTW site preaches fear not love and false doctrine not truth.

        Like

    24. Roger Saner says:

      Hi Sylesa

      Thanks for your comments – I believe they’re offered in helpfulness. You can’t understand why this site would take issue with Deborah. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you say, “If you have a issue with her, email her and work it out with her as you ought to do if you have an interest in what is right.”

      That seems to be a very reasonable approach, and one I’ve followed many times on the interwebs. I’ve sometimes come across people blogging about me, and have (in most circumstances) been able to have a respectful conversation about our differences (or similarities, as the case may be).

      So when I came across DTW, I was very surprised to read things that I’d been accused of doing. Apparently I’ve been practicing witchcraft. And also worshipping the next incarnation of Buddha.

      Now, since I do neither, I thought it would be a reasonably simple affair to contact Deborah (via comments on her blog) and say something like, “Hi Deborah, thanks for your claims about me, but they’re unsubstantiated, and incorrect. I do not practice witchcraft or worship the next incarnation of Buddha. Please correct these claims on your blog.”

      According to you, “If you email her and try to make your point and she is still unreasonable, i would be surprised.” Well, be surprised! Not only did Deborah refuse to listen to me, she told me that I was mistaken – that actually I really *do* practice witchcraft, and that I really *do* worship the next incarnation of Buddha. Excuse me? She’s claiming to know something about me, who she’s never met, and when I tell her, “No, that’s not true,” she tells me I’m wrong? This pattern – of her being the authority on other people, regardless of what they say – has repeated itself many times on her blog.

      Most people would’ve walked away at that point, but I did something which I’ve done many times before, and which has led me to meet many interesting people, many of whom I count among my friends now: I invited her for a face-to-face coffee so that we could discuss these misunderstandings.

      What happened next was remarkable: Deborah started claiming that I was trying to physically harm her and her family. Physically harm her!!! I do not understand how a social invitation to coffee in a public place constitutes a threat of physical violence. I tried to convince Deborah that COFFEE doesn’t not equal PHYSICAL VIOLENCE. I mostly failed.

      This is when I discovered that, in her worldview, Christians (only the true Christians) are fast approaching the time when they’ll all be rounded up like cattle and put in detention centres, wearing grey overalls. She does not count me as a Christian – she counts me as deluded and anti-God. Nothing can change her mind.

      Eventually Deborah banned me from her blog. I’ve never met anyone online (although the more I see of some American Christians, particularly Westboro Baptist Church, the more I understand Deborah) who has been this uncharitable and unreasonable.

      Sylesa, I agree with you that “she is very sincere in her desire to warn against false teachers and doctrine.” Unfortunately, the way that has turned out has caused much unnecessary pain. In some things I agree with her (Benny Hinn, anyone?) but I cannot agree with the way that she completely ignores the reality of those she makes unsubstantiated claims against. This is not helpful. This is not Christlike. This is not love. If Deborah was able to make an attempt to understand those she rails against, more people would listen to her. However, since she neither displays a willingness to dialogue, or to do basic fact-checking, neither her or her blog can be taken seriously.

      Kind regards
      Roger

      Like

    25. sylesa says:

      Hi Roger,
      I am sorry that you have had a negative experience with the DTW site. I do hear what you are saying.
      I do personally agree with all those false teachers she has exposed on her blog , with the exceptions of Beth Moore, because I need to research her first to see what she believes before i agree with her being on that list. And i vehemently object to John Macarthur being caught in the net of false teachers! There are false accusations about him on her site that need corrected. I have debated with her about him and one of my comments has not yet been approved yet and I’m not sure that it will be approved. I was myself accused of believing something that i did not believe. We share that experience. I understand what you are saying. It would be more helpful, if she would with patience, take the time to reason with people from the scripture.
      Deborah truly is biblically correct in her assessment of the “ministries” she has exposed.I know this because i know the Word of God and know that those whom she has exposed are false. Gods truth does need defending , the bible says to contemd for the faith. But it also says to be patient with all men and Deborah has a weakness in that area.That is not helpful. More is needed than expose the darkness, we must also be a light. I can hear you and the point that you and others have made on this site about DTW.
      However, two wrongs don’t make a right. Some of her ways may turn people away from being open to the truth and some of the sour grape posts on this site would do the same for some people that are not grounded.
      At the end of the day,we are all sinful and lacking in many graces towards our fellow man.Of course myself included. I don’t want to defend her so far as to ignore that you have a valid complaint about how you were treated. I am new to the DTW site and have read some of the blogs and have had my own disagreement with her. I’m hearing you.

      On the other side of it— she does ALOT of research and takes alot of flack herself. Her heart is to help others not get caught up in false doctrine because the scriptures speak of damnable heresies that ruin mens souls.I think she is doing a very needed thing, even tho she needs to treat people better. I was reading thru the blogs one day and on one of them she was saying how that she was having a bad day and how that people are rude to her and nobody cares ect, and i realized as i was reading that she is a person to. Sounds silly, but it is sometimes easy to depersonalize people in cyberspace.
      We all are at different places spiritually,sometimes because not everyone really is a Christian and sometimes because some people are real Christians but very immature ones, and others are searching for truth. I was really just wanting to make the point that we are all people with hearts and souls and need to be more charitable towards one another all around.
      Sorry that i tend to ramble and be long winded. Thank you for your post. God bless. Ps. I am from America, but not from that Baptist church you mentioned, lol!

      Like

    26. sylesa says:

      Hi Rudolph,.
      I read your comment about the Jet store childrens t-shirt , and you came across as combative right out of the gate.Not only combative, but mocking. I haven’t read all the threads and posts, but it definetly started with you that day. I mean this in a right spirit–try to look at your part in your difficulty with DTW. God Bless.

      Like

      • Rudolph says:

        Slightly shocked and very much amused at first.

        If a random person comes to you and tells you to burn a t-shirt because they discern it to be demonic, and the holy spirit inside of you doesn’t tell you that it is in fact demonic.

        How would you react?

        You’d look at them funny and call them on their bluff right?

        I requested scriptural backup for their claims.

        I also criticizing their claim by posting my own scripture.

        I was then accused of quoting scripture out of context.

        At no time did I mock them or belittle them.

        That aside.

        Have you ever wondered how a website can claim to discern the world for you?

        Isn’t that up to the holy spirit inside of you?

        After doing some searching on DM’s. I am of the opinion that the “discernment ministries” like DTW are reminiscent of the old 1950’s turn-or-burn ministries. Lot’s of fire, brimstone and certain death around the corner to scare the other Christians into believing “their” truth.

        Like

    27. Roger Saner says:

      Thanks for your response, sylesa. I personally don’t like John MacArthur one bit (he’s recently denounced the protests in many Arabic African countries, saying that the people should not protest because God put those governments in place – at best, insensitive, and at worst, silencing those who are the victims of injustice – the very opposite of what the Bible calls us to) but I don’t have the black/white lens of DTW – which is that either you’re a true Christian, or you’re a false prophet – no middle ground, and no room for talking about specific issues. So, just because I don’t like what MacArthur said above, doesn’t mean I now claim he is a false prophet. Unfortunately, this is the kind of logic that DTW employs.

      You’re making the point that two wrongs don’t make a right. I agree; however, in this case I don’t see satire as a wrong – I think DTW should be satirized for all that it’s worth, so that its self-referential “I-only-care-what-I-say-and-everyone-else-is-wrong” madness is exposed for what it is.

      In my case, at no point did Deborah bother to do basic fact checking, which amounts to her publishing lies about me, and about the gathering I’m a part of. I have very little knowledge of the other people that she exposes, but since I have first-hand experience of how unfair she was towards me, I cannot with any confidence take anything else she writes seriously – even if I happen to agree with her on any particular point.

      “Sounds silly, but it is sometimes easy to depersonalize people in cyberspace.” That’s exactly why I wanted to meet her in person to have a friendly conversation.

      “I was really just wanting to make the point that we are all people with hearts and souls and need to be more charitable towards one another all around.” That is also true. However, it does not mean that if somebody is publishing untruths, and won’t retract or apologise for doing so, that we don’t do anything about it. In that case, satire (IMHO) is one option – because all we can do is shake our heads and laugh.

      Glad you’re not from Westboro Baptist. We have enough craziness in the world without Christians adding to it.

      Like

    28. Roger Saner says:

      Oops, that should read: I-only-care-about-what-I-say-and-everyone-else-is-wrong” madness

      Like

    29. sylesa says:

      Hi Rudolph,
      The scriptures say in Duet.18:10-12-“..There shall not be foundamong you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass thru the fire, or that useth devination,or an observer of times,OR AN ENCHANTER, or a witch,or a charmer,or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.For ALL that do these things are an ABOMINATION UNTO THE LORD: and because of these abominationsthe Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Also 2 chron. 33:vs 2 and vs 6 speaking of Manasseh it states”…but did that which was evil” and goes on to say why in vs 6 “…AND USED ENCHANTMENTS…..” Rudolph, thruoghout ALL of scripture God FORBIDS delving into the spirit world. !st Thess. 5:22 says to abstain from all apearance of evil.Because these spiritual practices of pagans is an abomination to God, why would we want to dress our kids in something basically advertizing it? That was the point DTW was making. She did NOT say anything about burning clothes. It has NOTHING to do with fear but rather a proper respect and fear of the Lord who abominates what the T-shirt was advertising. Would i wear a T-shirt that mocked Jesus or worshipped Buddha? No. Not anything to do with fear, but that those are contrary to all that i believe in , so I would not wear that and neither would i give an impression to my child that it was a trivial matter what was printed on her shirt. I would not buy it for her. That is the point that DTW was making. I think that maybe you misunderstood her point in posting the article.Thus your last comment about “witch burning” and “quacking in your boots” were extreme and cynical. And therefore mocking of the simple point of the post. I could tell by your response that you did not understand the point. And thats ok, just don’t mock.Even so, she might have been alittle patient and explained it to you. That’s all I’m saying. A misunderstanding.

      Like

      • Rudolph says:

        Sylesa

        Your defence of Deborah is commendable to be sure.

        Though I’d have preferred she explain her doctrine in her own words.

        I understand that you believe that these t-shirts are evil.

        I would personally not wear anything that I did not feel comfortable with in my heart, nevertheless I have no problem with this t-shirt.

        The argument for me was never for or against the t-shirt itself.

        My argument was, what makes this specific t-shirt evil to DTW?

        As I stated, on the DTW blog. A dictionary definition of enchantment does not make a t-shirt evil.

        Deborah’s argument was that the writing on the t-shirt made it evil, and that wearing said t-shirt would influence a child in a evil or demonic way.

        How? Is my question.

        These t-shirts are mass produced. The graphics are sprouted out by graphic designers who couldn’t really care enough to properly print the shirt let alone implant some type of spell to corrupt adolescent children.

        If the words were a dictionary definition of tree, DTW wouldn’t care.

        But because it is a definition of something provocative that could be construed as being something supernatural, everyone jumps on it.

        Jesus Christ died and was resurrected, so that we who choose Him would be free from death and destruction.

        Look up the scriptures I posted on DTW and here.

        Like

    30. sylesa says:

      Hi Roger,
      JM is a true teacher of the Word of God. Our fallen nature is at enmity with the Word.This is a ongoing battle.The more we trust God, the enmity lessons , but the struggle to do things our own way will be a life long struggle because we are fallen. The truth of Gods Word is not popular.
      If the Goverment or those in authority tell us to do something that is contrary to the Word of God, then we are told “it is better to obey God than to obey man” Acts 5:29 Proverbs speak much about wise and good kings(rulers, gov’t., leaders ect.) and foolish and wicked ones.In 1st Peter 3:10-17 shows that sometimes a person can suffer for doing right. But says in vs 17 it says”..it is better if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing,than for evil doing”. God does not promise that life will be a bed of roses, but does say “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul” Matt. 16:26 Hebrews 13:17 does say to obey those who have the rule over you and Titus 3:1 says”..Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers , to obey magistrates, to be ready for every good work. in vs 2 continues “to speak evil of no man, to be no brawler, but gentle shewing all meekness unto all men.” John Macarthur is not being insensitive, we do not have reason to judge his heart attitude towards suffering people in the world. But the gospel is not a social gospel, it is spiritual, and deals with mens hearts and souls and eternal destiny.When these scriptures were penned , the Jewish nation was subject to Rome. The Jewish people rejected their Messiah because they expected Him to overturn the gov’t. and release them from Roman oppression, but that is not what He came to do. I thank God that by His providence , i am living in America and have never seen the hardship that some other forms of gov’t. have over their people. I don’t know what that would be like. I would have to believe that if i ever faced that sort of thing , that God will give me grace and a ability in my heart to obey His Word. Your issue is not wth J Macarthur, it is with Gods Word. I mean that respectfully. It is true that you are either a Christian or you are not — there is no middle ground. What ever the issue in life is–Gods Word is the Authority. So we have to ask ourselves “what does Gods Word say?” Sometimes it is easy to discern because the Bible is plain in speaking to many specific issues, such as submitting to our gov’t. There is no qualifications put on that except if we were asked to actually do something wrong.It’s not easy to accept but it is still true. ‘Tight but right’ as they say. Other times, it takes more discernment to know what is right, and that is why we are told to :”STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY dividing the Word of truth.” 2nd Tim.2:15. Gods Word is always the measure of truth. It is never a mans personal opinion. If you truly know the Word, you will recognize the lie when you hear it.
      I don’t know why she didn’t want to meet with you. If you are strangers to one another, she may be afraid, i can’t speak for her. Try emailing her back and forth again instead of the blog and maybe she will be more patient, or maybe not. I don’t know her.
      I can’t make excuses for her tone and impatience, other than it must be a weakness she needs to get a handle on because people would listen more if she did.She has alot of people to reply to and it would be a daunting task to thoroughly answer each person. She would need a bigger operation with others helping her. Anyways, no excuses, she could be a bit more respectful.
      It is still true that she is exposing alot of error.Many of these things i myself was looking into before i ever came across her site 2 weeks ago. I believe that her motive is good. I never read all the threads and posts yet, eventually i will, so i don’t know what she accused you of. As i said in my post earlier, she was not trying to hear me either over Calvinism and J Macarthur, but i still believe she means well. I know what i am and am not so i let it run off my back. Not always easy to do, but sometimes you gotta do it, LOL! Anyways, thank you also for your post and for your patience , as you can probably tell , i am long winded! Take care, God Bless

      Like

    31. sylesa says:

      Hi Rudolph, i just posted one to Roger and saw that you posted again.
      I wasn’t trying to answer for Deborah exactly, i am assuming the perspective that she holds concerning the shirts is in refference to such scripturesas i posted for you in the last post.
      The shirt is not evil in in itself. That is not a point that i believe most are making. It is the Word and definition on the shirt. It has nothing to do with spells on children or superstition. It has only to do with advertising that word and the spiritual implications of that word. I understand it. I guess that you really have to understand Gods view on those things, an enchanter is an abomination to the Lord , it says in the Word. The unseen spiritual world is ruled by Satan , the bible says. It is not by accident that that word was on that shirt. It could spark an interest in the occult, is probably what the concern is as well as the fact that it is far from honoring God to wear anything that is occultic in nature. But as for you, i am trying to show you that from scripture. You don’t seem to understand it yet. I believe that if you seek God and read His Word that He will reveal it to you. If He hasn’t revealed it to you yet, thats ok. That is His job to do anyways. I am not condemning you at all. I hope that i don’t sound like it.Understanding comes in Gods time when He gives it.
      Anyways, i wanted to answer your post before i get off my computer. This computer has become like the bermuda triangle , you get pulled into it, lol! Ever since i discovered the DTW 2 weeks ago and another called 4LoveOfTheTruth and now this!
      Thank you for your post, God Bless Have a good day

      Like

    32. Roger Saner says:

      @sylesa: to reply to your second half first: I’m impressed that you show such charity to Deborah. Or rather, I’m impressed that you’re able to let some things “run off your back” – that ability makes for a much better way of engaging with DTW than I’m able to do (well, that, and I got banned). I was unable to understand why she acted how she did towards me, although I have some personal theories which I’ll keep to myself.

      Your first paragraph is off-topic here, but that’s my fault, because I introduced it. I’m a Christian in South Africa, and Apartheid was conceived with strong theological underpinnings. Of course, it’s now evident that Apartheid was an evil system that systematically de-humanized non-whites – what’s less obvious is how we deal with the contradiction of Christian theology creating something evil.

      For me to be a Christian in South Africa means I have to constantly grapple with this contradiction. How was it that people could be Christians during Apartheid, and not see anything wrong with it? How was it that the Bible could be used to justify it? And, how does our use of the Bible and theology be informed by what we now know? These are important questions that, at least in my context, cannot be ignored.

      One particular concern is looking at particular verses/passages/beliefs that were used by those in power to continue to keep themselves in power. One of these passages is the specific passage MacArthur refers to this article writes about him, saying, ‘But from a biblical perspective, MacArthur maintained that the protesters [in Arab countries] are in violation of the biblical command to “submit to the powers that be because they’re ordained of God.”‘

      That exact verse was used over and over again by the Apartheid government to keep themselves in power. It’s a powerful verse! If you’re in power, and you can convince everyone else that God put you there, then you can stay there as long as you like. AND at the same time sound good and Christian.

      Any Christians who have ever lived under an oppressive regime that used theology to justify their existence knows that “submit to the powers that be because they’re ordained of God” cannot – and should not – be used as a blanket statement that says, “Never rebel against your government.” They recognise that statement for what it is – oppression.

      Why do you think the first Christians were killed? It was because they declared to the power of their day that “Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not.” They didn’t die because Jesus had given them a new spiritual way to live. They died because they were opposing Rome, and in doing so, being faithful to God.

      MacArthur gives that particular biblical command a shallow reading; I’m not surprised really, as he hasn’t lived under an oppressive government. For those Christians who have, we will point out – as loudly as we can – that people have every right to rebel if their rulers are oppressive.

      Sylesa, you probably don’t think of it like this, but please know that from a certain perspective it sounds as if MacArthur is saying, “It doesn’t matter that you’re oppressed – forget about it and serve God.” That is the narrative of the oppressor – and Christians should never side with the oppressor.

      You may be interested to do some research on Christians who were convinced that God’s Word compelled them to rebel against their rulers. I suggest you start with Deitrich Bonhoeffer, and work your way up to Martin Luther King Jr.

      Like

    33. sylesa says:

      Hi Roger,
      Thank you for your post. I am so in need of wisdom in responding to your post. And i pray that God gives me wisdom.
      One thing that you said that REALLY stood out was that Christian theology created something evil. That is not true Roger. People may have used the Bible in a twisted way to justify oppressing other peoples, but that is not what the Bible tells them to do. While the scriptures do tell us to submit to our gov’t., it NEVER condones people opressing people. That is ungodly. It came from the hearts of evil and proud men, not from God. Sometimes a gov’t. is a evil system. I know that treating Black people with any less dignity than we treat white people is VERY ungodly and VERY UNSCRIPTURAL.God is no respector of persons the bible says.We all descended from Adam.
      I have never lived under an oppressive gov’t. For me to even attempt to relate to it would be to display my ignorance. I wish i had all the answers, but I do not have them.
      I am very familiar with J.Macarthur and I know from his thousands of messages that he is not indifferent to human suffering. Sometimes, simply stating what the scriptures say on a particular topic can make it appear that way. However, if you was to hear him give a message on how we are to love our fellow man and the sin of failing to do so , you would see another side, which is really only one side–the Word of God. This issue is near to your heart and therefore hard to hear ‘submit’ to your gov’t. But the bible does say it plainly. Not John Macarthur. It is different but sort of the same when a woman is told to submit to her husband and he is a bully who uses that scripture to act in a spirit that is wrong. She does not have to be a doormat, but the scriptures say what they say. The boss who is good and the boss who is a tyrant, must both be submitted to according to scrripture, however in all fairness, most are able to leave for another job unlike the wife of a tyrant or somebody like yourself under a oppressive gov’t.
      Please keep in mind that it is always sinful human nature that mistreats anybody, God never sanctions that. But sometimes it is what it is in this world. I can only say what the bible says.
      I do not judge you. I do not have the wisdom to answer the question:”is it ALWAYS wrong to rebel against an oppressive gov’t?”From what i know of scripture, i would say “yes”.I pray that you will seek the Lord to show you, and to by grace affect a change in your heart to enable you to do what He shows you.I hope that i don’t seem heartless to your plight, it’s not how i feel. I have some articles from JM’s website gty.org that might be helpful. I hope that they are anyways. I will put them up last.
      God bless.

      Christ, however, was not devoid of care and concern for the daily pain and hardships people endured in their personal lives. The Gospels record His great empathy and compassion for sinners. He applied those attitudes in a tangible, practical way by healing thousands of people of every kind of disease and affliction, often at great personal sacrifice to Himself.

      Still, as beneficial and appreciated as His ministry to others’ physical needs was, it was not Jesus’ first priority. His divine calling was to speak to the hearts and souls of individual men and women. He proclaimed the good news of redemption that could reconcile them to the Father and grant them eternal life. That message far surpasses any agenda for political, social, or economic reform that can preoccupy us. Christ did not come to promote some new social agenda or establish a new moral order. He did come to establish a new spiritual order, the body of believers from throughout the ages that constitutes His church. He did not come to earth to make the old creation moral through social and governmental reform, but to make new creatures holy through the saving power of the gospel and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. And our Lord and Savior has commanded us to continue His ministry, with His supreme priorities in view, with the goal that we might advance His kingdom: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).

      In the truest sense, the moral, social, and political state of a people is irrelevant to the advance of the gospel. Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36).

      Title

      Philemon, the recipient of this letter, was a prominent member of the church at Colosse (vv. 1,2; cf. Col. 4:9), which met in his house (v. 2). The letter was for him, his family, and the church.

      Author and Date

      The book claims that the Apostle Paul was its writer (vv. 1,9,19), a claim that few in the history of the church have disputed, especially since there is nothing in Philemon that a forger would have been motivated to write. It is one of the Prison Epistles, along with Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Its close connection with Colossians, which Paul wrote at the same time (ca. A.D. 60–62; cf. vv. 1,16), brought early and unquestioned vindication of Paul’s authorship by the early church fathers (e.g., Jerome, Chrysostom, and Theodore of Mopsuestia). The earliest of NT canons, the Muratorian (ca. A.D. 170), includes Philemon. For biographical information on Paul, see Introduction to Romans: Author and Date; for the date and place of Philemon’s writing, see Introductions to Ephesians and Philippians: Author and Date.

      Background and Setting

      Philemon had been saved under Paul’s ministry, probably at Ephesus (v. 19), several years earlier. Wealthy enough to have a large house (cf. v. 2), Philemon also owned at least one slave, a man named Onesimus (lit.“useful”; a common name for slaves). Onesimus was not a believer at the time he stole some money (v. 18) from Philemon and ran away. Like countless thousands of other runaway slaves, Onesimus fled to Rome, seeking to lose himself in the Imperial capital’s teeming and nondescript slave population. Through circumstances not recorded in Scripture, Onesimus met Paul in Rome and became a Christian. The apostle quickly grew to love the runaway slave (vv. 12,16) and longed to keep Onesimus in Rome (v. 13), where he was providing valuable service to Paul in his imprisonment (v. 11). But by stealing and running away from Philemon, Onesimus had both broken Roman law and defrauded his master. Paul knew those issues had to be dealt with, and decided to send Onesimus back to Colosse. It was too hazardous for him to make the trip alone (because of the danger of slave-catchers), so Paul sent him back with Tychicus, who was returning to Colosse with the epistle to the Colossians (Col. 4:7–9). Along with Onesimus, Paul sent Philemon this beautiful personal letter, urging him to forgive Onesimus and welcome him back to service as a brother in Christ (vv. 15–17).

      Historical and Theological Themes

      Philemon provides valuable historical insights into the early church’s relationship to the institution of slavery. Slavery was widespread in the Roman Empire (according to some estimates, slaves constituted one third, perhaps more, of the population) and an accepted part of life. In Paul’s day, slavery had virtually eclipsed free labor. Slaves could be doctors, musicians, teachers, artists, librarians, or accountants; in short, almost all jobs could be and were filled by slaves.

      Slaves were not legally considered persons, but were the tools of their masters. As such, they could be bought, sold, inherited, exchanged, or seized to pay their master’s debt. Their masters had virtually unlimited power to punish them, and sometimes did so severely for the slightest infractions. By the time of the NT, however, slavery was beginning to change. Realizing that contented slaves were more productive, masters tended to treat them more leniently. It was not uncommon for a master to teach a slave his own trade, and some masters and slaves became close friends. While still not recognizing them as persons under the law, the Roman Senate in A.D. 20 granted slaves accused of crimes the right to a trial. It also became more common for slaves to be granted (or to purchase) their freedom. Some slaves enjoyed very favorable and profitable service under their masters and were better off than many freemen because they were assured of care and provision. Many freemen struggled in poverty.

      The NT nowhere directly attacks slavery; had it done so, the resulting slave insurrections would have been brutally suppressed and the message of the gospel hopelessly confused with that of social reform. Instead, Christianity undermined the evils of slavery by changing the hearts of slaves and masters. By stressing the spiritual equality of master and slave (v. 16; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1; 1 Tim. 6:1,2), the Bible did away with slavery’s abuses. The rich theological theme that alone dominates the letter is forgiveness, a featured theme throughout NT Scripture (cf. Matt. 6:12–15; 18:21–35; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13). Paul’s instruction here provides the biblical definition of forgiveness, without ever using the word.

      Interpretive Challenges

      There are no significant interpretive challenges in this personal letter from Paul to his friend Philemon.

      I

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    34. Roger Saner says:

      “One thing that you said that REALLY stood out was that Christian theology created something evil. That is not true Roger. People may have used the Bible in a twisted way to justify oppressing other peoples, but that is not what the Bible tells them to do.”

      Exactly – you’ve grasped the key contradiction that I hoped you would. The key thing here is that when people use the Bible “in a twisted way to justify oppressing other peoples” we need to know how, as Christians, to say, “Hold! What you are doing is wrong!”

      That’s the South African story – theology was twisted to oppress people, and one of the ways it was twisted was by using the “submit to the powers that be because they’re ordained of God.” Can you imagine a situation in which a passage from Scripture can be quoted verbatim, and done so in order to support injustice, not to challenge it? What do you do in that situation – do you say, “No, you can’t use Scripture to support injustice”? Or do you shrug your shoulders and say, “Yes, that’s what the Bible says, and even though if we are to follow that verse it will lead to greater injustice, we must follow the worlds of Scripture”?

      I understand this is a direct challenge on the way you read Scripture, which cannot be comfortable, because I’m basically saying that in this situation, I stand with those who say, “For us to be faithful to God, we cannot be faithful to this verse.” It’s naive to think that theology or the Bible cannot be used to initiate and perpetuate injustice – a basic reading of history will show this story over and over again, particularly any study into colonialism.

      You wrote, “I pray that you will seek the Lord to show you, and to by grace affect a change in your heart to enable you to do what He shows you.” Well, many Christians have done just that, and by a Christian conviction coming from God, have concluded that the true Christian response is to rebel. I refer you again to Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

      Like

    35. sylesa says:

      Hi Roger,
      I mean this in a right spirit Roger, —Always remember that God NEVER councels contrary to His WRITTEN WORD. Because sometimes people can be decieved by their own views and emotions and thoughts, and also decieved by false teachers, or lying wonders ect. , ect. That is why we need to place the Word above all else, it is the only anchor for our souls. Paul said , i believe in Galatians(?) that “If i or an angel from heaven preach to you any other gospel than that which you have recieved , let him be accursed.” The point is this, an angel frm heaven would be quite an experience! But NOT to be followed if CONTRARY to Gods Word. Peter said , after speaking of the transfiguration, which was also quite an experience, “we have a more sure word of prophecy, to which you do well to pay attention as a light that shines in the darkness…” Gods word never contradicts itself, it is one cloth. Just something to consider Roger. I hope that i have not offended you. I am telling you these things in a right spirit. God bless.

      Like

    36. Roger Saner says:

      @sylesa: are you saying that because the Gospel is spiritual only, you’re ok with people being oppressed by a government? Are you saying that if people find themselves victims of injustice, they should be happy that they are in Christ, since God’s Kingdom is not of this world, and they can look forward to heaven? Are you saying that Christians under the Apartheid government should comfort each other with the promise that one day they will see God face to face, but shouldn’t fight against the unjust government, but rather accept it?

      Like

    37. sylesa says:

      Hi Roger,
      Many things are going tru my mind,in no particular order, i don’t really know where to start. I hope that you do not take me the wrong way. I am trying to give you what the bible says and at the same time keep in mind that I am in America and my life is pretty good.I don’t want to seem like I don’t care that things are not as easy in other countries.Sometimes when i am watching television,and i see starving children and people in third world countries, i look at them and think to myself”..those people are being starved, God loves them, just as he loves others,why are they suffering so much? Why was i born in America? Why does God allow all the suffering in the world? I know that the short answer is sin. Sin changed all that God called good when he made it. The wages of sin is death.Death in a thousand different ways.That is the short answer. But that answer is not very helpful when you look at all that goes on in the world, looking at real people suffering. And i think to myself,’thats someones son, thats someones daughter..’, and at times,some of the reality of it creeps in and i know that i am so fortunate by Gods grace and providence to be in America. And i am thankful.But at the same time , i cannot ubderstand WHY God allows so much and does not intervene! I will always wonder that. The short answer of sin does nothing to answer the question, because God is God, why doesn’t He rescue whole countries? Why doesn’t He rescue individuals that are suffering? Why do some Christians who love Him die terrible deaths? I do not know. Jesus told Peter in John 21:18 Verily, verily, i say unto thee,When thou was young,thou girdest thyself, and walkedst wither thou wouldest:but when thou shalt be old,thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee,and carry thee with thou wouldest not. (vs 19 continues) This spake he,signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He saith unto him Follow Me. Roger, It was unjust that Peter was crucified for being a Christian, he loved and served the Lord but God not only did not step in and prevent that injustice, but He predicted it and said that it glorified God. Peter was faithful to God unto death. And that was not justice. In Hebrews 11 it speaks of the terrible things that happened to those in the hall of faith who died unjustly , still trusting and obeying God who testified of them that the world was not worthy of them. What a tremendous thing for God to say 11:38 ‘of whom the world was not worthy’. When you read Hebrews 11, you can not miss the terrible injustice the people of God endured. Yet they endured it by faith. I believe that that kind of persecution of Gods people is coming again under the reign of anti-christ. Revelation talks of the souls of those to many to be numbered that were beheaded because they would not recieve the mark of the beast. Roger , that is unjust, and that day is coming. I ask myself why will God allow it? I do not have any answers Roger. But this i know, God wants us to trust Him. We must believe that God is all that He says that He is. Nehemiah 9 speaks of Gods patience and goodness to the children if Isreal and says of Him in vs 17 “….but thou art a Godready to pardon, gracious and merciful,slow to anger,and of great kindness,and forsookest them not.” All thru the bible in thousands of verses it shows that God is a good God who has great compassion for people. We need to trust and believe that. John the Baptist was thrown into prison during the time of Christs ministry and neither Johns disciples or the Lord and his disciples tried to overthrow the unjust King who put him there and later killed him. Do you believe for one minute that the Lord and all the disciples of both John and Christ didn’t care about the injustice? Peter lifted his sword to defend Christ and He told him to put it away. Roger, for me to say that i believe that the scriptures say to submit to our goverment,is not saying that i don’t recognize or care about injustice, it is not mutually exclusive. I just don’t have anything else to tell you except what the bible says. Don’t you think that i also have conlict in my emotions when i see and wonder about things that are wrong in the world and God does not stop them? Of course i do. But is the answer to cast off Gods Word? I don’t believe that it is. I believe that if your gov’t .was coming to unjustly kill you and you could flee to save your life, then you should do that, but that is different from rebellion and insurrection against your gov’t or leaders.I am sure that there are other places in the world where there is greater suffering than in South Africa, just as Americans have things easier than much of the world. I don’t mean to sound mean or insensitive by saying that. I do care when i see wrong and injustice. I do believe that we must submit to Gods Word and trust Him. I do believe that if there is any way to make a difference in your country or where you live,that does not violate the Word of God, then you should do it.And i do not believe that you are ever wrong to do what you can to protect and preserve your life and the lives of those to whom it is in your power to protect.
      Roger, i don’t even want to pretend to have all the answers of “why” for injustice and suffering. I do not know. I do care and have conflict about it.But when all is said and done, for me,it still comes down to the Written Word of God. That is not equal to saying that injustice does not matter.
      Please try to read the bible passages that i have referred to. They are power that i don’t have to convey to you.
      Can you tell me a little bit about S africa and your life there? I have never been outside of America.
      God bless.

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    38. Roger Saner says:

      @sylesa: could you please re-post your comment, this time with paragraph breaks? I can’t read what you’ve written.

      Thanks,
      Roger

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    39. Roger Saner says:

      @sylesa: I don’t understand how you can say that the Gospel is only spiritual, and simultaneously claim to care about injustice. Surely, by this understanding of the Gospel, you should only care about *spiritual* injustice, and leave other kinds of injustice to other people to fight?

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    40. Roger Saner says:

      @sylesa: let me clarify something: “rebel” is a big word. By “rebel” I do not mean, “Take up arms and attempt to violently overthrow your rulers,” I mean, “Take a stand of non-violence resistance and non-compliance with your rulers until they are forced to change.” (I would even go as far as supporting armed strikes against infrastructure, as Nelson Mandela authorized in South Africa under Apartheid, to attempt for force the Apartheid government to the negotiating table.)

      This non-violent approach is what Jesus was talking about when he said to carry a soldier’s burden for an extra mile – soldiers were allowed to force others to carry their stuff, but only for up to a mile. Can you imagine what would happen if people consistently started carrying soldiers packs for longer than one mile? Who would believe that they did it out of free will? The soldiers would get in trouble because they’d broken the law, and pretty soon no soldier would ask anyone to carry their pack, for fear of it being carried further than legally allowed.

      This non-violent approach is what Ghandi used when rebelling against the British salt tax. Genius stuff! Ghandi came up with his idea of passive resistance by studying Jesus.

      This non-violent approach is also what Martin Luther King Jr used when rebelling against racism in the US.

      As a Christian, would you agree with these approaches? (except for the armed strikes against infrastructure – that is debatable, I agree). Or do you say that Ghandi was wrong, and should have accepted the British salt tax, and that MLK was wrong, and shouldn’t have rebelled?

      Like

    41. Roger Saner says:

      @itodyaso OMG this is soooo far off-topic; please kick us off if you so wish 🙂

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      • itodyaso says:

        Roger,
        You are doing great. Some people are just so indoctrinated in their culture as well as suffer from spiritual sickness they are blind to the truth. They can read the bible and miss massive passages dealing with injustice… we in the US tend to be blinded the most with our mixing of this world’s politics with Kingdom politics. As you noticed, many like to take your words and twist them to their own definition and then use them against you. They are for division more than reconciliation and unity in Christ.

        Peace!

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    42. Roger Saner says:

      Thanks, paper bag head guy!

      Like

    43. sylesa says:

      Hi Roger,
      Sorry about my not having paragraphs. I am new to the world of blog, lol! Somebody else from the other site said the same thing to me, oops!
      When i say that the gospel is spiritual, i mean that Christ came to set up His kingdom in the heart of man , wher He rules. The natural effect of Jesus as Lord in our hearts, would be that we would treat others as God would have us do because,Our minds are being renewed day by day to see and to think as God sees and thinks. And the way that this happens is by the working of his Spirit and His Word in each individual heart. How that would play out in life would be; if i was a ruler,i would begin to enact laws and means to treat people with fairness and justice. If i was a bank teller and helped and stole money , i would stop stealing. If i was a politition, i would stop lying and making false claims to become elected ect., ect.,each heart changed makes for a different world a different society. But , the reality is, the world rejects Gods truth and light.The bible says that men love the darkness because their deeds are evil, and they will not come to the light.
      The point is, Christ came to save sinners and to teach them to repent. That would have changed the qualities of mens lives and would have a ripple effect in all of life so as to change societies, gov’t.,individuals and families ect.
      The reality is,most people do not want to come to the light in this way.
      To say that it is not a social gospel is not the same as saying that injustices in society don’t matter. They do matter. But that does not change the fact that the Gospel came to change mens hearts and eternal destinies. It did not come to do social reform. Social reform would be a outgrowth of Gods work in individual hearts. But that again goes to the problem that people don’t want to hear that.
      Ghandi was not a Christian.
      Martin Luther King rallied for change ,while not breaking any laws of the land. He was subject to the powers that be and rallied for change within that framework(as far as i know).If a person is able to effect change within the framework of the laws of their land and not violate the scriptures to obey those in authority, then you are not wrong. You and God know wether you are or are not.
      Lets bring this to another example. What if you are a Christian and you are a young person living with your parents and they are mean and unkind in what they say and do? Does that child say’i’m not taking this anymore, i am not subject to them’? If a husband is not what he aught to be, do you think that God would change his Word and it would then be okay for her to dishonor her husband? If somebody rails on you , and of course that is wrong, are you thenfree to return the same? There is wrong and injustice in a million places in all of life. And sometimes it is very hard to “turn the other cheek”. Two wrongs never make a right.
      Whatever you are involved in, if it is not breaking laws of your land, then you are not wrong to do what you can to affect change.But if you are breaking the laws of your land, then i believe that the bible makes it clear that you are wrong. There is no man as a example that can change that because Gods Word is the barometer , never a fellow man.And God will never tell a man anything contrary to His Word.
      As i said before, it is not saying that i don’t care about social wrongs just because i believe that Christ did not come to primarily deal with Gov’t.
      To place a high regard to the Word of God is not saying that i don’t care about evil in the world. It’s up to God to judge each individual person that makes up our gov’t and society and family ect. I can only deal with my own evil in my own heart and shine a light to my family and the people where i live.
      What exactly is going on in South Africa that you are so passionate about? As i said b4 , i have never been outside of America.

      Like

    44. sylesa says:

      Itodyaso,
      What massive passages? Tell them to me and exegete them in there context while upholding the rest of scripture, because it is all of one cloth.
      Also i would like to say that i have been most respectful in all of my posts, and for you to imply that i am indoctrinated when i am not , and you know nothing about me, and for you to imply that i am causing division in the body and suffer from spiritual sickness? Hmm. Wow, you are definetly projecting your stuff on to me. Neither did i twist Rogers word in any way shape or form. When i spoke of rebellion, i was not sayin Roger personally is doing anything. I do not claim to know what Roger is doing.
      If this is the spirit of the admin. of this blog, i will not waste anymore time trying to have a respectful dialogue.

      Like

      • itodyaso says:

        Just read the Gospels for starting points on the Kingdom… who did Jesus come to heal? Is Jesus just “spiritual” or is he alive and risen? The Kingdom of God is alive in you and me… and we are physical beings as Jesus was.

        BTW implied nothing about you, I wrote clearly and you read into it what you wanted to see. That is exactly what I was talking about. You have the inability to read without adding or judging the other person instead to of trying to understand. I do commend you that you have been trying… that is more than can be said of some. I do not know you personally, but I know the type of teaching and people you are like. I deal with them daily.

        Like

      • itodyaso says:

        I might add that I have not edited or interfered with your discussion here. Unlike those you defend who twist words and delete comments just because they proved them wrong or because Deborah did not like what was stated. That is dishonest and shows a lack of integrity. Jesus calls for integrity in teachers and “prophets”. Yes, she may get it right now and then, but even a broken clock is right twice a day… the rest of the time it is still wrong.

        I do not have time to unpack you errant theology. I pray that you seek the Holy Spirit to unravel the garbage you have been taught and receive the sound doctrine of Christ. I also pray you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

        Like

    45. Roger Saner says:

      @sylesa: thanks for the line breaks – try adding a few more so there are spaces between your paragraphs, like I do here – it’s easier to read 🙂

      I agree with you about the parent/child example in most cases, but it doesn’t apply universally. If the child is subject to any kind of abuse, I’d get them the hell out of there as fast as possible. I definitely wouldn’t say, “The Bible says ‘Respect your Father and Mother’ so you have to stay.” I’d probably think of some way to use the Bible to say, “Get out of there! Now!”

      “But if you are breaking the laws of your land, then i believe that the bible makes it clear that you are wrong.” In general, I agree with you. However, does that apply in cases where the law of the land says that it’s ok to own a slave? (It was legal up until April last year to own a slave in England). In South Africa 40 years ago, mixed-race marriage was illegal. It was illegal for black people to live in white areas. The law said that you were black if a pencil would stay put if it was stuck in your hair. It was a criminal offence for a black person to perform any skilled work in urban areas except in those sections designated for black occupation. Black people had to carry identification on them at all times. Anybody could be detained without trial (I notice that America has recently started that practice too).

      So in some cases, to be faithful to God REQUIRES that you break the laws of your land. This is not a betrayal of either God or Scripture – rather, it’s a deep fidelity to both.

      I encourage you to leave the States and go and visit other countries (NOT on any mission trips, though) – or at least find some people from other countries who live near you and ask them to tell you their stories. Christianity looks a bit different outside of America. Think of it this way: America is the wealthiest, most prosperous nation on earth. The rest of the Christian world can see how that wealth and privilege has skewed your reading of the Gospel and of the Bible. This is not obvious to you, and you aren’t going to discover this through reading more Scripture, because you’re reading it through skewed lenses (but are unaware of doing so). The only way you’re going to become aware of those skewed lenses and realise that there are other ways to legitimately be Christian (and also to read the Bible) is by learning about and interacting with Christians from other countries – particularly people who come from ex-colonies, or those who’ve gone to “mission schools”.

      Do some research on the Canadian cultural genocide, where Christian mission schools deliberately obliterated the culture of the First Nations people because they saw them as savage, uncivilized, and un-Christian. Know that these missionaries were guided by a similar theology that it sounds like you embrace – and please ask some hard questions about that theology.

      Do some research on colonialism, where Christian missionaries had nothing to say to the colonizers (i.e. “You shouldn’t be doing this – it’s wrong!”) but much to say to the natives (i.e. “Let’s civilize you and make you Christian”). What was so helpful for the colonizers is that the message that the missionaries gave to the natives was the exact thing needed to keep them in their place. You may recognise some of these:

      * The Gospel is spiritual, so you should pray and worship and be in Church
      * Jesus is coming back soon
      * Your reward is in heaven, so even though your suffering is great now, your reward in heaven is greater.
      * Accept the new rulers that God has put in place, because he is sovereign.

      This sounds like good Christian theology, but it’s theology that’s been skewed in such a way that it supports and enables injustice. This is exactly the same thing as when the Apartheid government said, “Accept us, because God put us in power, and the Bible says you have to accept us.” They used the Bible for their own ends, ends that allowed injustice to continue. So when Christians like John MacArthur seem to say that that’s ok, Christians like me say, “You’re wrong, John, it’s NOT ok!”

      In fact, those above points that the missionaries made can be restated as:

      * Do not pay attention to those who are pillaging your land and resources.
      * Don’t bother to get an education – stay in church and worship God.
      * Don’t demand justice for your people.
      * Be subservient so that you can be exploited and made poorer.
      * God put these rulers in place. They didn’t come to power because they had guns and killed a lot of you (aside: I refer you to American history and the wiping out of Native Americans, including the first use of biological warfare – which was putting smallpox into blankets and then handing them to Native Americans as a sign of “charity” – and all this because of fleeing religious persecution in other countries) – they came to power because God wanted it. And who are you to rebel against God?

      Do you not see, then, how theology can be made to exploit people?

      You ask what’s going on in South Africa that I’m so passionate about? What’s going on is that we have a particular history (i.e. it was Christians who gave the Biblical foundations to Apartheid) and so when someone like John MacArthur says what he said, we recognise this as both historical ignorance, and as another example of American ignorance (come ON – I thought 9/11 made you guys so much more aware of what was happening in the world!), and as a very embarrassing example of the decreasing credibility that Christians sometimes display. When I hear MacArthur display this level of ignorance and insensitivity, I want to say, “That’s fine – say what you want, but please stay in America and keep your views within America. For goodness sakes, please don’t go anywhere else and say that – it makes Christians look stupid.” I find myself having to reassure other South Africans who aren’t Christians, “Don’t worry, most Christians are not like John MacArthur!”

      Lastly, (because I’ve said just about all I can say on this subject), I recommend you read the Accra Confession. It’s a document put together – and this is important – outside of America. It manages to display how the Gospel relates to non-spiritual issues (actually, please know that the spirit/matter separation is NOT a Christian or Jewish concept – it’s a Greek concept that has been read in later to the Bible, which means that there is no such thing as “non-spiritual” – EVERYTHING is spiritual. Please do some research on that – or maybe don’t, because it will completely change your understanding of Christianity). While you may not agree with some/all/much of what’s in there, it’s a good lens into what other Christians around the globe are saying.

      http://www.warc.ch/documents/ACCRA_Pamphlet.pdf

      Hugs and Jesus rainbows and stuff.

      Roger

      Like

    46. Sylesa says:

      Hi Roger,
      Rather than compare America and the rest of the world, the history of this , that , or the other thing…… read Hebrews 11 and compare your life to those men. I think that if they were alive today, thay may not think your issues quite as you see them.
      As to what the “rest of the world” thinks of American Christians, all I know is this: No matter where in the world a genuine Christian lives, they recognize the truth of the Word of God. But the fact is the scriptures say that they are few in number.
      While you compare me in America with a life so different from yours, compare your life to the millions less fortunate than yourself. I’ll bet there are millions that would love to go sit in a coffee shop and can not.
      The fact is, there is always somebody that has it better than you and those who have it worse than you.
      I refer you back to Heb. 11, not only Heb. 11, but the ENTIRE bible which does not teach situational ethics. And because it does NOT teach situational ethics, then it transcends time , culture, and anything else you want to point at.And as much as i am by Gods grace and providence , living in America, so by His grace and providence you are not amongst the starving oppressed peoples.
      You have skewed some of the things i said and are taking liberty to attribute some beliefs to me that i do not hold to. That’s ok.Thats one of those things that run off my back, I know what i believe much better than yourself.
      God says that he has elevated His word above His Name, somehow , you are the exception, and you honor Him and show deep devotion if you think it fitting to break His Word.
      As for slaves, read Philemon, God does neither endorses or condemns it, it was a reality. I personally think that it needs to end wherever it is found.
      There is no book or reading for you to refer me to that i would ever place over the clear teaching of Gods Word, or that somehow offers a new way of reading Gods Word. It is of no private interpretation and means what it means. It is not hard to understand and it all fits together. I understand sound hermanuetics.
      I am truly sorry if i have offended you. This blog is not one that will attract true Christians. I am not saying that you are not one , however your perspective is contrary to scripture. I checked out the blog alittle further today and i do not see anything Christian here other than the language , of “blessing” lol after a thinly cloaked hatred(?) of Christians.
      Anyways, i have learned some things from you. Even though we don’t see things the same, thats ok. It’s not personel. I am sincere when i say that it has been nice talking with you.
      Take care Roger, I wish you the best.

      Like

    47. Sylesa says:

      Ps. Never did get the paragraph thing right! Sorry. Take care.

      Like

    48. Roger Saner says:

      Oh well. I tried. I’m not sure how much injustice and evil needs to come about before people say, “We see how the Bible was used to support this – something must change!” It seems that some people would rather choose “being faithful to the Bible” over admitting that there is something wrong.

      Like

    49. Rudolph says:

      Roger

      I agree.

      Some just can’t discern between righteousness and unrighteousness.

      Like

    50. sylesa says:

      Hi Roger and Rudolph,
      I do not understand how that you can not see that i am not denying that there is unrighteousness and injustice. Of course there is, everywhere! I simply do not have the answers.
      Also, i am not saying that God does not care about our physical needs, of course He does! All thru the scriptures is Gods heart toward all of our needs. Even under the law, you could not keep someones garment because God said ‘…for with what will he warm himself?’ Gods heart towards all that we need is so evident in scripture! Saying that the gospel is not a social gospel primarily , is NOT equal to saying that God does not care about our physical/material needs! All thru Christs ministry as well as the disciples, He healed the sick, fed the people and showed concern for the poor. Nobody can read the Bible and not see Gods heart!As a matter of fact, if somebody has this world goods and does not help others as he is able, the scriptures ask the question ‘how does the love of God dwell in him?’ We are all told to love and to help others.
      Having said that, Christ DID NOT free the Jewish people from Roman oppression! In fact , the gospel teaches to obey those in authority over us. When the New Testament was penned, they WERE under Roman oppression!And they were when those words were written!There is no way around it. God does not deny His Word. If situational ethics apply, then Gods Word is not needed. And who wouldn’t or couldn’t use situational ethics in all of life?! At the bottom of it , is usurping Gods place.
      You mentioned Martin Luther King as an example. He does not make your case, he makes mine! As far as i know, correct me if i am wrong, Mr King did all that he did within the paremeters of the Laws of the land. And the laws of the land were very unjust to blacks, but i believe that God used Martin Luther to affect change to the injustice that the blacks were under.God is able to turn things around. Sometimes He chooses to do it, and sometimes He doesn’t. Who can answer why?
      I think that it is a great thing that you have concern for the injustice in your country, who would not applaud you for that? The world needs more people like you.
      Still, i know that Gods Word stands, and there is no such thing as situational ethics and God is able to use you or anybody He chooses , to bring about change, but He does not go against His Word. Thats all that i’m saying. I can’t tell you any different from what my convictions are from Gods Written Word.
      I hope that you live to see the injustice in your country made right.
      Also, i wanted to tell you that you have a great sense of humor! you know , the ‘hugs and jesus rainbows and stuff’, lol, i’m sure that you were mocking , but it made me laugh anyways! That was good!

      Best regards Roger. (and Rudolph, whoever you are out in cyberland!) 🙂

      Like

    51. Roger Saner says:

      @sylesa: this will be my last comment on this thread. It’s been good for me to articulate my position – I’ve been thinking through a lot of things, and haven’t wrapped it all up into one package before. I realise I need to do some work to make it even more clearer, especially because it seems that it’s not clear enough that I’m not attacking or attempting to undermine Scripture.

      I’m glad that your understanding of the Gospel is wider than “just spiritual” and that you believe that God cares about injustice, and our physical and material being. Some people don’t.

      “While you compare me in America with a life so different from yours, compare your life to the millions less fortunate than yourself. I’ll bet there are millions that would love to go sit in a coffee shop and can not.”

      You’re right – this is quite true. For while America is the richest country in the world, and the biggest polluter, South Africa is the richest country in Africa, and also this continent’s biggest polluter. Both need theological reflection. I sit (uncomfortably) among the privileged in South Africa. I know I’m in this position because the Bible was distorted in my country. Given that, my options are to either become an Atheist, or to work out my faith in fear and trembling. Simply pretending that it never happened is not an option.

      “There is no book or reading for you to refer me to that i would ever place over the clear teaching of Gods Word, or that somehow offers a new way of reading Gods Word.” My goodness, what do you think those that “clearly” teach God’s Word rely on to do so? They rely on other sources (like the Dead Sea scrolls), and other teachers, as well as the Holy Spirit. Plenty of times in Christian history we’ve got it wrong, and then God raises a prophet who speaks truth to the church, and then we repent. We can never assume we have it 100% right – a reading of Church history shows that. Do we think we’re somehow better and more clever than previous generations? I hope we’re wiser and more humble than that. I’m sure that in a few centuries time Christians will look back on us and say, “How could they not see what the Bible was so obviously telling them?! That’s unbelievable – they were so blind!”

      The first century historian and theologian N.T. Wright says that in EVERY generation the church has to return to the scriptures, AND to historical study, to ask, “Have we got it right?” Otherwise we risk not having the strength to resist people recasting Jesus to be whoever they want (e.g. the Nazi’s recasting Jesus as anti-Jewish). A repudiation of that sort of thing must be both biblical AND grounded in history – hence the so-called “Quests for the historical Jesus” of the last century.

      Sorry to resort to a “Hitler” argument. What rattles me to the core is photographs of Hitler meeting with church leaders, and getting their endorsement. Simple Google “Hitler church leaders” to see what I mean: http://www.google.co.za/images?q=hitler church leaders

      In 1951, the German theologian Ernst Kaizermann published a paper that examined why the German Church had not stood against Hitler. He showed that the Nazi’s were able to make Jesus into a version of their politics (i.e. “Jesus was killed by the Jews. How could the Jews kill God? They are the scum of the earth. We should take revenge.”) Kaizermann showed that because Christians were not sufficiently historically grounded when they looked at the Bible, the Nazi’s were able to twist the Bible to say what they wanted it to say.

      I guess you could call this a theology for the oppressor. This is anti-thetical to what good theology should be, which is a theology of liberation for the oppressed (insert biblical quote here, which would be what Jesus said when he first stood up in the synagogue, something about chains and captives and freedom and stuff).

      So, if we are not to repeat the mistakes of the past, we need to know how not to do that. I’m on a path towards discovering how to do that. I see very little in MacArthur’s theology that can help me.

      FWIW, I’d like re-iterate everything I said in my comment which mentioned colonialism and Canadian mission schools.

      Thanks for hanging around to see this conversation to its end, although you still need to learn to hit enter *twice* at the end of a paragraph :p

      Be well

      Hugs and ponies
      Roger

      Like

    52. Roger Saner says:

      Oh, sorry – I always spell his name wrong. It’s Ernst Käsemann.

      Take a look 1/2 way down this page on the left, for a photo of Hitler shaking hands with church leaders.

      http://www.epm.org/blog/2007/Dec/11/bonhoeffer-resources-and-lessons-for-today

      Chilling.

      Like

    53. sylesa says:

      Hi Roger,
      Of course i believe that God cares about our physical well being. It ultimately is not the most important thing , but clearly,it is important. And God is not cold hearted not to have compassion for those who suffer. If we who are evil are able to feel compassion, imagine what God must feel.

      I never intended to say that we don’t use books to help us in our understanding, I have alot of commentaries and resources in my library. I thought that you wanted to have me read something that you thought would change my mind about Gods Word being the final authority. That was an apparent misunderstanding.

      The scriptures have never changed, they have always meant what they mean, and we are to study them and rightly divide them. From the beginning of the early church, unregenerated hearts have attempted to twist the scriptures, and in every generation, there have been those who with the Spirit of God have rightly divided them. Starting from the beginning of the church until this day. We are not getting wiser and more clever as time goes by. Appolos in the book of acts was said to be ‘mighty in the scriptures’ and the scribes and pharisees twisted them. Notice that it was the religious leaders that twisted them. And so we have it today. The Lord said that in the last days, men would not endure sound doctrine.Paul said that after his departure ‘men will rise up from among your own selves, not sparing the flock’ . There is nothing new under the sun. There has been the true and the false in every generation, the Word has never changed. I do not believe that generations from now, any will say of the true doctrine,”how could they not have known what the bible was saying’. In every generation there have been those who rightly divided the Word of God and those who have not. And the ones that do are a definite minority, and always have been.The truth is , unless God opens a persons heart , they will not come to the light of Gods Word. There are many false teachers today, just as their were risen up in the early church. They are all around us, that is why i study, that i may not be taken in with the widespread desception.

      Roger, you should understand that the “church” that stood with Hitlers evil regime were not christians. I can say that because I know that , nobody in whom the Spirit of God dwells could have been so void of the true knowledge of God, that they would buy into the doctrine of an evil leader like Hitler and be so blind to the scriptures. The truth is , Hitler spoke what was already in the unregenerate hearts of the church leaders. Many are religious and decieved into thinking that they are christians. You will know them by their fruits. No person upon whom Gods grace has come can hate the jewish people or their brother in the faith. False religious leaders are nothing new. Jesus said that they bound heavy burdens and laid them in mens backs but could not lift them with their little finger. He told them that they compassed land and sea to make one prostelyte, and when they have found him, they make him twice the son of hell as themselves. He spoke of those false shepherds who devoured widows houses. He did not condemn the publicans and harlots because they knew that they were sinners! Religious and lost, and so are most thru out every generation. Jesus said that there were few that found the narrow gate and were willing to go thru it.So when you see the likes of the church leader (i will click on the links after i post) who rattles you to your core, remember that many who name the name of Christ , do not belong to Him, because if they did , they would not have oppressed others in the name of God.They would not have strengthened the arm of the oppressor! False shepherds! It was NOT the TRUE DOCTRINE that oppressed! It was evil men who twisted the Word! They are everwhere! The charlatans on television that fleese the poor and gullible! Who “speak the word ” for money and power and for pride, who do not care for the souls of men! They are hirelings and not shepherds! It is nothing to use christian lingo, go to church and read your bible and you can sound like you are spiritual, but God knows who is who. I have read that wheat and tares look the same for a long time, but God will sort it out.

      You may not like to hear what J. Macarthur has to say, because it goes against whatever it is that you are seeking to do. But I know that he is the real article. Don’t confuse his saying Gods Words on submitting to leadership with him approving of oppression. HE DOES NOT OBJECT TO DOING WHAT YOU CAN WITHIN THE PAREMETERS OF THE LAWS OF THE LAND to affect change. But he is not going to tell you what your ears want to hear, if that is not what Gods Word says. But that is a faithful man of God. Injustice is here to stay, it is not going away until the new heavens and the new earth wherin dwells righteousness. John Macarthur is one of few today who fearlessly stand up for truth, no matter how unpopular it may be. Gods Word is never popular.

      It seems that as you have a passion for the result of evil leaders and church leadership, my passion goes to the root of the tree. That is the false teachers themselves and their doctrine that ruins mens lives and souls. Teachers and shepherds that care nothing for truth or the souls of men! How clever they spiritualize and allegorize the scriptures to say what they want them to say! The scriptures call them accursed children! And while they are after their own gain ie power and money and pride, where is the true shepherd? Be careful Roger if you are in the emerging, you may find what you want to hear.

      Thank you for the links. I will read up on where they take me

      May the Lord bless you Roger, i hope that you find your way. Do not be angry at the “church” , the invisable church is the true church, those who God has enabled to repent and believe. They are the true church, not the organization that you see, not the the man shaking Hitlers hand, not any that love and believe a lie

      Jesus did say about setting the captive free and giving sight to the blind. This was sppiritual. Deliverance from sin. Whatever overcomes a man, that he is a slave to.

      Isn’t it a blip , that on our last post i finaly figure out this spacing and paragraphs, lol:)

      I like the hugs and ponies! but not as much as the hugs and jesus rainbows and stuff, lol! that still makes me laugh!:)

      Best Regards

      Like

    54. Helen says:

      Your not the only one she has done it too. She also never deleted my comment to her sarcastic retort to my telling her off for being well sarcastic! She didn’t approve, then delete it, it never showed. She is a controller.

      Like

    55. Rudolph says:

      It’s interesting that “Christians” are almost completely dependent on more “informed,inspired, educated etc” teachers to tell them what to believe.

      Almost makes you wonder why the Bible exists in the first place.

      Why to read of course I hear you say!

      Well done I say! You got it!

      Now go do it!

      Because chances are, most of your fellow Christians are trawling online for the next book, dvd or Discernment site clone that will convince or scare them into believing whatever doctrine they think they should follow.

      Real discernment is throwing away your books, tapes and websites and sitting down and reading the Word with the love and sacrifice of Christ in your mind. Just as God intended.

      Like

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