An interview with Phyllis Tickle

 Phyllis Tickle is the founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly. She is also the author of over two dozen books, and currently serves as a lay eucharistic minister and lector in the Episcopal Church in her home city of Memphis, TN.  I (Greg the Explorer) had the great pleasure of meeting adn listening to Phyllis when she came to Australia in 2002. I am a fan of her writing and her theology. 

The following are videos of an interview of Phyllis by Andrew Marin, the author of Love is an Orientation


57 thoughts on “An interview with Phyllis Tickle

  1. I have a great deal of difficulty with anything to do with the Episcopal and or Anglican Church. It is in my estimation the most riven with deception, especially their Elfa Course. Its like being part of Coca Cola Amatil Corp and telling people the need to drink water but all the while feeding them Coke and crappola.

    The RC and C of E will eventually crawl back into the sack again – the Jezebel spirit of the Black Widow which rules them all will see to it and we will have a nice ecumenical world religion headed by the Pope and embracing all sorts of inclusive doctrine to begin with to get all the reprobates and self-righteous on board and building a brave new world.

    A friend of mine was attending a C of E church here which was taken over by a Lesbian couple. He felt that they were taking the piss out of God, so he began to pray, and a spirit of intercession overcame him and when the prayer broke (those who have been overwhelmed by the intercessory spirit will know what i mean – others will merely think me mad) he was right over where one week later, at the same – time, an EQ happened which destroyed virtually every stone church and masonic hall in Canterbury – Freemasonry and the Anglican Episcopal church is so entwined only God could unravel that mess.

    Now Greg, you are probably wondering why I can say God has nothing against gays yet my friend’s prayer saw churches run by gays being trashed. The point is that gay is flesh – not spirit – gay dies – spirit lives – gay is simply for this life and due to the pressures and demands of the flesh. To treat it like it is some kind of eternal thing is of course utter nonsense – and besides, gays are victims of their parents sin being passed on down to them, just like we all are. But God is not mocked, whatever lifestyle choices we make will have consequences and saying gays can marry means nothing in the long run, anymore than saying Obama is by the will of the people when he is clearly by the will of God and is the manifestation of the sin of a nation.

    Now how did I get on to that…it must be the Libran in me….

    In fact, you may as well make everything legal and permissible, cos God already has, it is just that some things simply do not edify, they are simply not profitable, like sodomy, which is arguably the ultimate act of the physical desecration of another human being. Now what did Paul say about men on men and woman on woman? I guess he must have been confused…but he also said do not judge what God has already judged…and sin in the flesh has been judged, and one man rooting another like a dog is sin, no matter how you might like to glam it up or normalize it. It is wrong, but nevertheless they shall be saved, as by fire…

  2. Here’s the deal: there is no such thing as a gay/lesbian church.

    There is one Church, one God, one Lord, one Spirit, end of.

    What we have here is a group of people who have identified that there is a Biblical anomaly over their lifestyle and what they have termed their sexuality, and attempted to create a subculture within the Church for every other member of the Church to adapt to.

    THey, and their now swelling supporters, are saying that they want to change the Biblical context of sexual relations and marriage to comply with their lifestyle, and not the other way around.

    It is rather like a person with anger problems saying they want the Church to adapt to a subgroup which is permitted to have a bad temper with no control, and take t to a place where the whole Church not only allows the bad-tempered to become a normalised group form within, but to adapt the lack of self-control mandate to lose it whenever their flesh demands.

    Here the issue is not the temperament but sexual desires which go outside of scriptural principles, and the Church is not only being asked to accept this as an alternative lifestyle, but to embrace it and further to adopt it as accepted practice for all and any individuals or couples within the Church community, including training future generations from an early age that homosexual and lesbian practices are perfectly acceptable forms of sexual expression and no longer to be regarded as sin.

    Slowly, gradually, as Ms Tickle reminds us, this phenomenon of adaptation to formerly unacceptable sexual practices is being integrated into the Church culture.

    That is not the way to go about it.

    Once a person is saved and baptised, they have signified that they are now a follower o Christ. Their life is no longer their own. That means their goods, life, strength, energy, ability, body, soul, spirit and, yes, sexuality, are in the hands of God, and they are now obliged, through heir confession and commitment to God, to follow His way and not their own.

    It is not for us, whether we are heterosexual or homosexual, or asexual, to dictate to God or to God’s Church how He or the Church should think or act on our desires, dreams, will or persuasions.

    It is for us to lay down our own desires, wants and life, and take up His cross daily.

    The cross is a difficult place, yes, and the journey fraught with anomalies, challenges and difficulties, but it is, nevertheless the way we walk as Christians.

    It is we who change, not God, nor the Church.

  3. @Steve

    Great post, although you said “the Church is not only being asked to accept this as an alternative lifestyle,”, whereas the reality is that the Church is being FORCED to accept this as an alternative lifestyle, and people like Greg, Bones and wazza are just as guilty of this as the homosexual activists and God-haters.

    “Once a person is saved and baptised, they have signified that they are now a follower o Christ.”

    That’s why the bible tells us that we are new creatures, the old has passed away, and the new has come. Only, the gays (and Greg, Bones and wazza) are trying to make it so that most of the old passes away, except their sexuality of course, which they should be entitled to keep, because its the way that “God” made them. Well, a guy I know was jailed recently for a single indecent act he committed 15 years before he became a believer. His “old man” was put to death when he accepted Christ, and he never, ever felt the desire to do anything like he had done ever again. In fact, it disgusted him. But, if we follow the “logic” of Greg, Bones and wazza, because it could be said that “God” made him like little girls, that he should be able to continue abusing little girls after he became a believer. Of course, this is a ridiculous thing to say, but, it is exactly what Greg, Bones and wazza are saying. They are advocating allowing sin to be not only accepted, but encouraged, and that is wicked.

    And, no, I am not equating homosexuality with pedophilia, just to make it clear, because whenever the two are mentioned in the same post, regardless of the context, the stock standard response of the hand-wringers and back-slappers and compromisers like Bones, Greg and wazza is to hyperventilate and misconstrue and misquote and bully and froth at the mouth and shout and scream and cry and throw tantrums. So, just to make it absolutely clear Bones, I am not equating homosexuality with pedophilia. Got it?

  4. Only, the gays (and Greg, Bones and wazza) are trying to make it so that most of the old passes away, except their sexuality of course, which they should be entitled to keep, because its the way that “God” made them.

    Do you proof read what you write before you hit post?

    I take it that you ahve not kept your sexuality either then? You are no longer Heterosexual?

    And, no, I am not equating homosexuality with pedophilia,

    And yet here you are placing the two things in context together…

    homosexual love is not the same as child abuse – and yet you think that the natural direction the ‘gay’ argument must take is that if we approve of gay love we must approve of child abuse? It doesnt;’ help to say soemthing adn then argue that it is not that which you have said.

    “Gay love is the same as child abuse, but don;t get me wrong, I’m not saying gay love is the same as child abuse”. Yes you are Raymond, even if you don;t think you are.

    Here’s the deal: there is no such thing as a gay/lesbian church.

    Oh but there is such a thing as an orthodox or, Pentecostal or an evangelical one? Ok, you can have your own club but not gay’s?

  5. We are not advocating for sin to ba accepted – we are saying that this think that you call a sin is not a sin…totally different arguement. Ia gree that to say sin is acceptable is wicked, but it’s not what I’m doing

  6. @Greg

    Didn’t take you long to start hyperventilating.

    “we are saying that this think that you call a sin is not a sin”

    Ok, well, how about I decide that murder isn’t a sin. See, I can twist and bend scripture to say it isn’t. Cain killed Able and got away with it therefore murder is no longer a sin, and of course God killed whoever He wanted at any time, and ordered His followers to dash babies heads against rocks. And then I can get all self-righteous and call you names and call you a murderphobe, and gather with other pro-anti-lifers and bully and threaten legal action, and shut down debate, and denigrate anyone who doesn’t agree with me. And then I will try and enact legislation that forces the rest of the country to accept my beliefs. And then I will demonise other Christians for pointing out that the bible actually teaches the opposite to what I believe. And I will scour the internet searching for any article from any self-righteous liberal theologian that supports my view, and post youtube videos of people set free from sin and death and use them as an example of how evil Christians are for believing that murder is a sin. And I will start to tell those who disagree with my beliefs that they are way too orthodox and behind the times, and that I am so much more enlightened than them because science tells me so, and actually I am more enlightened than Jesus Himself, because as a first century person he could not possibly know that in later centuries people will become so much more knowledgable about murder, and that His first century understandings are trumped by modern science every time. And the “round-earthers” who believe that murder is wrong will eventually be shouted down anyway, because the church needs to fit in with our modern ways, and be relevant and not offend pro-anti-lifers because Jesus taught that we should be inclusive and a God of love would allow pro-anti-lifers to do what they want because He is all about making people feel good, and if it feels good to murder, then it’s only natural, and God made them that way so they should be allowed to murder whenever they want and by the way, get your rosaries off my cut-throat razor or I will organise a protest with other murderers and create giant papier mache floats with oversized caricatures of church leaders, and then we’ll have a dance party later on where we can murder each other in dark corners of the auditorium. So, I believe that what the bible calls sin is not a sin, and, damn you for believing otherwise.

  7. I’ve fixed your embed problem – just post the URL from the browser address, not the embed code

  8. @Bones

    “Do you think Jesus wants to bash babies heads against rocks?”

    No. Do you think Jesus wants two men to stick each other’s sexual organs into each other’s anus? Do you think he wants to see His model for marriage trashed? Do you think He wants to allow people to engage in acts that scripture expressly forbids?

  9. Do you think Jesus likes you sticking your dick in your wifes vagina? Do you think your wife likes it is probably a better question!

  10. @Greg

    “Do you think Jesus likes you sticking your dick in your wifes vagina?”

    Yep, because that’s the way he designed it. He did not design dicks to go into asses. Full stop. It is unnatural.

  11. @Bones

    “Do you think Jesus would have sex with a woman?

    Do you think Jesus condemns anal/oral sex between hetero couples?”

    Your fist comment is just dumb, so I won’t even bother to address it. The second part, yes I do believe He would condemn anal sex for heterosexual couples. It is unnatural. As for oral, no idea.

  12. I should clarify, when I use the word “condemn”, it is in the sense that Jesus would consider it to be be wrong and against His design. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He would not and does not “condemn” us for sin. Our sin condemns us. But there are consequences to what we do. In the case of anal sex, there is the real chance of infection, prolapse and tearing, causing real damage and leading to the need for some people for surgery. Is that natural?

  13. Your fist comment is just dumb, so I won’t even bother to address it

    Hey, you’re getting into some unnatural stuff now with your fist…that’s plain wrong dude.

    Raymond (the disciple whom Everyone loved), there is either NO condemnation or there is…you can’t say, “Well Jesus won;t condemn you but your sin wil”, it just don’t cut the mustard.

  14. @Greg

    “Hey, you’re getting into some unnatural stuff now with your fist…that’s plain wrong dude.”

    Awesome typo!

    “Well Jesus won;t condemn you but your sin wil”, it just don’t cut the mustard.”

    I see what you’re saying and it’s simply a case of me writing quickly while I am at work. To clarify, we condemn ourselves. Jesus judges no one, it is the rejection of Jesus that judges and condemns us – in other words the sin of rejecting Him.

  15. “Hey, you’re getting into some unnatural stuff now with your fist..”

    Fist/fingers/bananas, it’s unnatural. So it must be sin.

    So on the day of judgement Jesus is going to read out people’s kinky habits with their spouses before throwing them into the lake of fire.

  16. @Bones

    “So on the day of judgement Jesus is going to read out people’s kinky habits with their spouses before throwing them into the lake of fire.”

    No, Jesus won’t be judging anyone, or reading out anyone’s sins. He judges no one (John 8:15). However, if they rejected Jesus, their sentence will be administered, and that sentence is, as Revelation 20:15 says, to be thrown into the lake of fire.

  17. @Greg

    “Sounds exactly what a loving God would do – nothing tryannical about that at al!”

    You mean the loving God who desires that no man shall perish (2 Peter 3:9) but instead come to repentance (turn from their old ways and become new creations) through Christ Jesus, the loving God who sent His son to save every man, woman and child if they accept His salvation (John 3:16) and to become the last Adam to set right the wrong that the first Adam brought in (Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Cor 15:22), the loving God who has set before us life and death (Deut 30:19) and urges us to choose life, the loving God who has given each one of us the choice to accept or reject Him – yes there is NOTHING tyrannical about Him.

  18. @Greg

    How about these two verses:

    “And I say unto you my friends , Be not afraid of them that kill the body , and after that have no more that they can do . But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear : Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell ; yea , I say unto you , Fear him.” Luke 12:4-5.

    “And fear not them which kill the body , but are not able to kill the soul : but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28.

    Who do you think the “him” is in these passages?

  19. @Bones

    “Sounds like the same God who destroys cities and sends countries to annihilate other cultures.”

    And this sounds like the same ignorant and pathetic argument from people who are looking for a reason to hate God.

    So, can you answer my question above Bones, or are you just here to make yourself look stupid?

  20. ” I’ve fixed your embed problem – just post the URL from the browser address, not the embed code ”

    Thank you Greg,
    But this does not mean that we will be taking showers together in the near future.
    Maybe a quick hug, but no tongue, OK.

  21. “Again, Bones, jusice is not tyrany.”

    Do you think the bombing of Dresden or North Vietnam was ‘justice’?

    Was this ‘ justice?’

  22. Apparently hell will be worse than Dresden

    Is it just me or do the Nazis seem more humane?

    At least neckshots or gassing was a quick end.

  23. Actually, Bones, I didn’t see or read your last comment on the humanity of the Nazis, or the means by which they eliminated people, including the Jews they gassed.

    Perhaps I should give you time to qualify your statements or apologise before I comment further.

  24. For a man NOT to have sexual desire for women is quite natural, albeit relatively rare. For a man TO have sexual desire for another man is also quite natural, albeit relatively rare, except in certain parts of Sydney and San Francisco, where it seems remarkably common. For your average bloke who appreciates sheilas this is all a bit too much to encompass, or as famous Aussie fast bowler Thommo said, “How can a bloke be interested in another bloke when there are so many grouse looking sheilas around, I just don’t get it?” How indeed, its just not cricket, even though I am sure that stumps get pulled occasionally, but no maidens are bowled – let he who has ears to hear, hear…

    He that sows to the flesh reaps through the labor pains of the flesh – and this issue is a flesh issue, not a spiritual issue, for in Christ there is neither male nor female. I am quite sure that in the kingdom, all inordinate desire becomes nullified in the Light of God’s Great Love. As for all the stuff attributed to God which seems contradictory, I know that all the contradiction is in us and in our understanding, not in Him. The weightier matters of the law involve love and mercy – there was no love and mercy in Sodom and if that is the condition of our hearts, then our heart is as Sodom and Gomorrah and God needs to get in there with His Love Laser and blast that out of you.

    I have a Blue Healer/Huntaway cross – he is a very intelligent dog – he especially loves big boy dogs and their nether regions but he is not fussy – he will play with any dog and if they want to get their pink pencil out that is just fine with him too – but not with his master who views such activity as being animalistic and not much of a public spectacle. Being a dog comes naturally to him as do all the doggy type traits – overriding such impulses is a discipline imposed by his master for the benefit of all.

    Or I could just say, “Hey, he was born that way, I guess he must just be gay” and absolve myself of any oversight, because after all, it is only natural, yes? Dogs of course do not have theologians to contrive a defense for their offense, only a higher order of animal could attach spiritual import or relevance to what is in essence an entirely natural and utterly unsupernatural and unspiritual situation. Pet owners tend to ascribe human qualities to animals, particularly to dogs, when in reality these are traits common to all higher animals and in reality it is not that dogs behave like humans but more that human betimes act like dogs, and that includes the dogs of the circumcision…

  25. In Christ there is neither German nor Jew – “good” Germans put “good” Jews in ovens. Once the thin veneer of civilization is stripped bare one sees what lurks beneath – the Christ life or a cruel and hardened heart of stone? For the record, Dresden was payback – the Jews serve revenge cold and they never, ever forget, and I am talking about the same Jews Jesus avoided as they sought to kill Him – the God of Israel came to them in human form and they rejected Him – John 1:11. I rather suspect that when Jesus should come to His own again, that it will be the Church which shall reject Him as they clamor for the favor of the Beast and yield their kingship to him who according to Daniel is one who derives no pleasure with women and who rejects the God of his fathers.

    And besides guys, work it out, since when did God take a rib from the man and form another man? God’s image is male and female and He made Man in His own image. It is we who behave like animals when we lose sight of the image of perfection which is our reflection and which we are supposed to behold and be transformed into – the image ahead, not the image behind. If you drag your past around with you, then you are not (yet) fit for the kingdom.

    There is no validity in any man or woman judging another as to their peculiarities, peccadilloes and preferences lest we judge ourselves, for who among you is without sin? But just because we have grace it does not mean let sin abound therefore that grace might be seen to be more gracious – it is more in the realms of “Let those that are sinning will keep sinning and those who are righteous be righteous until that Day”, for it is GOD (remember Him?) who has COMMITTED ALL TO DISOBEDIENCE so that he might have mercy on ALL!.

    I do not need to judge nor to to defend what God has already plainly judged, but I do need to defend the fact that God in His mercy understands and that through much tribulation HE brings many sons to glory and that it is Jesus who presents us as being spotless before the Father – as in ALL of us. Spirit is not flesh, and all flesh is as grass, it all burns or at best browns…and dies…all flesh…we are all of us just faggots for the fires of affliction…you cannot harm Spirit!

  26. If say, Iran, decided it was going to roast all its criminals alive we would be appalled and there would be loud condemnations from the usual suspects.

    Not so with hell apparently. That’s called justice.

  27. I think you’ve lost the plot, Bones. You’re making no sense whatsoever.

    Greg,
    there is either NO condemnation or there is…you can’t say, “Well Jesus won;t condemn you but your sin wil”, it just don’t cut the mustard.

    Actually it says there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not in the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

    So if a person is walking in the flesh they are self-condemned. God doesn’t have to condemn them. They condemn themselves by their sin.

    Maybe you should read what it actually says, because your knowledge seems to be letting you dow on his one.

    John 3
    17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
    18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    20 “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

  28. OK, Bones, you’re making no attempt to qualify your statement that the gassing of Jews and point blank shooting of unarmed men and youth was an acceptable act by Nazi Germany.

    This of course is shear madness. Nazi Germany embarked on actions which they knew would lead to war. They wanted to remove Israel from the face of the earth without just cause. They wanted to ethnically cleanse Europe without just cause, without provocation and without conscience.

    I think you’re trying to illustrate how evil war is, which we all know, all agree with, but, at the same time, you’re attempting to say God is evil for carrying out His warnings and applying justice to holy and well defined godly law.

    This, as I pointed out earlier, is like saying a magistrate is evil for pronouncing sentence on a convicted criminal.

    There is no comparison whatsoever between human lust for power, possession and control, and the nature and virtue of God’s justice and judgment.

    He put before us blessing and cursing, good or evil, death or life. He told us to choose life. He said obey His commands and all will be well, disobey His commands all will not be well. He made it clear throughout all creation, through the creation and by His Word, that we were to obey the Perfect Law of Liberty, which,if we had followed through, would have allowed us to live a life in the Spirit, devoid of sin, in love with God and every person on earth, which would have rendered lust for power, prestige and possession null and void, and allowed every man to prosper and be in good health.

    Your attempts at demonising God for His adherence to His own Word have left you so far short of Biblical accuracy that you are now blaming God for applying His own justice to His own creation.

  29. Bones,
    If say, Iran, decided it was going to roast all its criminals alive we would be appalled and there would be loud condemnations from the usual suspects.

    Do you all this just? How could it be? It is evil in manifestation, and completely against God’s perfect law of liberty. How is it, then, an example of justice?

    I think you’re going mad if you think such an illustration comes close to the justice and judgment of God.

    He has spent eons telling us that sin would lead to death, that is, eternal separation and torment. This is just.

    He has warned us and warned us, even setting up Islrael as an example of what could happen if we reject Him, and demonstrating His love for people who repent countless times.

    he has sent Hos Son to pay the price of our sin and take our place on the cross of cursing so that we can repent and recieve Jesus and be forgiven.

    How is it God’s fault if people reject Christ as well as His law?

    That is gross stupidity. If a man rejects the law through sin that is one thing, but if, then, he rejects Christ who fulfils the law and offers the free gift of eternal life that is totally inexcusable.

    So what is God to do then? Reject His own Word which says the wages if sin is death?

    The gift of eternal life is available through accepting Jesus as Lord which results in our guilt being removed and righteousness accredited. This is the offer that is on the table. What kind of fool would reject it? The one who is so filled with pride he rejects God, His offer, His forgiveness, His Son and His grace.

    How, then, is God evil if He has to carry out the sentence?

    It is written in the Book. Those who obey God preach it from the hilltops.

    I put it to you that the world knows the gospel better than half the Church.

    In fact, the liberal church is doing its utmost to remove the power of the gospel so that no one knows, or they are so confused about it that they think it’s all OK to sin away.

  30. It is a nystery isn’t it Steve why we keep these barbaric notions of God wanting to destroy everyone who doesnt have the right ideology.

    It does sound familiar.

    personally i think its an idol a god made in your own image.

  31. @Bones

    You still haven’t answered who you think the “him” is in these two passages. Could that be because you don’t want to admit that they destroy your “God is a bastard for sending people to hell” narrative?

    “And I say unto you my friends , Be not afraid of them that kill the body , and after that have no more that they can do . But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear : Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell ; yea , I say unto you , Fear him.” Luke 12:4-5.

    “And fear not them which kill the body , but are not able to kill the soul : but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28.

    Who is the “him”?

  32. Then you are consumed by your own ignorance of God’s Just nature.

    If you don’t understand what I just wrote, then you must not have actually read anything of the power of gospel and of grace, and know nothing about why he mercy of God is mercy, and how His long-suffering is such a wonderful testimony to His love.

    My thought is that you don’t want to know the truth because you might have to do something about it which amounts to more than you are prepared to do at present.

    You are preaching a type of universalism which renders the cross pointless.

  33. Bones,
    It is a nystery isn’t it Steve why we keep these barbaric notions of God wanting to destroy everyone who doesnt have the right ideology.

    Ideology? You call faith in Christ Jesus an ideology? You call the gospel of Christ an ideology? You call th cross and resurrection an ideology? The forgiveness of God, the grace of God, righteousness, holiness and mercy are part of an ideology?

    Colossians 2
    8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
    9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
    10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

    Christ is not an ideology. He is the fulness of the Godhead.

    God isn’t offering an ideology. He is offering a free pardon and eternal life to sinners who repent and receive Christ.

  34. You see, Bones, it is n’t about what man thinks. It’s about what God says.

    Ideologies are man-driven. God’s word is eternally established in the heavens.

    This is what counts.

    This is what you and Greg and wazza miss and misconstrue.

    To you the Word of God is part of a human ideological progression. It has less to do with what God reveals to man than man’s concept of who God is.

    You think that the truth of all scripture being inspired of God is, in fact, men being inspired to write about what they perceive of God.

    This, for you, means that, over time, what man thinks of God can be revised and applied to the current vogues and fashions of the world. You make the scripture a trend-driven adjustable code of conduct for small ‘c’ christians with a small ‘l’ liberal perspective.

    You add what fits your vista, and subtract what doesn’t.

    You miss the target completely.

    Which is another definition of sin.

  35. The fire is that which tries our works, of what they are made – it is allegorical as well as categorical – analogous to correction – purification – in ancient times sulfur was used to fumigate dwellings.

    One of the key components stripped from modern foods is the sulfur cells need to function properly – try some MSM on your corn flakes…

    There is no eternal fiery hell – in the East they use reincarnation and caste to control, in the West it was the threat of the fiery pit. Hell is just a Catholic myth but make no mistake, if we die in our sins then there is a Gehenna of Holy Fire but it is there for our good and so that grace and mercy may be perfected in us and we may come into the presence of the Lord.

    All flesh is as grass – it all withers or burns – all flesh. You cannot harm Spirit so perhaps it is better to focus on eternal values and constants rather than the temporal vicissitudes, vagaries and vanities of life on Earth.

    I am not much of a theologian, but I feel that this text pretty much sums it up, and if you want to argue the toss, I would recommend one start at the top and ask God what he thinks about it all instead of simply inventing new ways to reconcile oneself to old sins.

    18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
    19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

    21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

    28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. NLV

    Well, irony of ironies – this sounds about as good an exposition of the sin of Sodom as one might find…and this is where we came in, yes?

    20. Except I have [something] on you, because you have allowed that woman of yours Jezebel, the one who says she is a prophetess and teaches and misleads my servants into fornication and eating of idol sacrifices.

  36. Steve, for the most part I agree with what you are putting down, however Romans 8 is easily misunderstood.

    The condemnation Paul was talking about is the law of condemnation graven in stone and the conditional sounding “who walk not in the flesh but in the Spirit” has been added to expand the meaning but if you read it the wrong way will seem to set a condition.

    If one considers verse 9, or even bothers to read that far, then verse 1 is in fact a statement of condition and not a conditional statement.

    There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION – no need to get circumcised nor to bow to the dogs of the circumcision, for those WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS, for they walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit, for you are NOT IN THE FLESH IF SO BE THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU.

    I learned this lesson in 2001 while in a meeting. The lady next to me was doing Toronto type stuff while I happened to be reading Romans 8 and as I began to judge it and her in my heart out of my ignorance, and the Holy Spirit made verse 9 come alive to me at that moment and challenged me with “Do you believe that my Spirit dwells in her?”

    Sheepishly I replied yes.

    “Then how can she be in the flesh if my Spirit lives in her?”

    Did you get that Steve, and anyone else who think that they know how to read but don’t know nor have the mind of the author enough to comment? But then if we did not comment or venture our opinions than how could we get corrected? LOL. It works for me.

    Is my wisdom too high for you Roundhouse? God usually has to knock us off your high horse or take us down a peg or three….before we learn to read in the Spirit instead of with the mind of the flesh.

    And yes Steve, the scriptures are wonderful and are so full of God’s mind and intention but trouble is the Western mind tends to read the scriptures back to front. Is your body the temple of God or is the Temple of God your Body? Is the gospel the Power or the Power the gospel? The kingdom of heaven does not consist in words, but in expression of Power – and this is why Paul said I will know your doctrine, who you are and where you are coming from, by your Power, or lack of it.

    My experience is that Power is the principle thing lacking in most Xian congregations and in the personal lives of most believers. They are taught a candy cane Christianity which leaves them toothless suckers for priestly pedagogues, pious proselytizing pedophiles – abusers of spiritual children upon whom they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne such that they may not enter in to the peace, Joy and Righteousness which is the kingdom of God.

  37. Funny, its gone very quiet in here….hello…? 0(:->)

    God does not choose us for our strength, but for His.

    For now we see as in a darkened mirror, but when maturity comes, we see or know face to face, and we know even as we are known. In other words, the more He knows you the more you know of Him and the more He opens up because He knows He can trust you to represent Him as He really is.

    Our passport is the Power – Jesus commended some – “I know of your works (of faith and righteousness).” In our championing of grace and rejection of the Law we have perhaps forsaken the weightier matter of mercy and of love, and instead settled for a bland culture of mutually beneficial agreement for our “Christian(ized) community” while forsaking our neighbor – which is kind of like “Sodom Lite”.

    Some year back, there was a Pentecostal Church in CHCH called New Life. It was the happening place – buzzing – the nearest thing to a mega-church this side of Sydney. I asked God why it was so successful, yet by its doctrines even I knew enough then to know that it was really SUCK CESS FULL.

    The answer I got was that it was by the power of their agreement and that in essence it was a form of witchcraft (will craft).

    Why are their millions of Mormons? Have you ever read their book? I nearly died laughing after the first few pages and was utterly incredulous that anyone could actually believe such piffle – but then have you looked at the Koran of the Talmud or other apocryphal Jewish books, or even the apocrypha for that matter? Or what about the Gnostic Gospels? Someone gave me that to read and was all amped up over it and I wondered as to his mental health after reading a little to feel the spiritual temperature of it, which was about at cadaver level. And what is with Popery and the ways of the Nicolaitans?

    Have we forgotten how to read?

    The scriptures have a unique feel or sense, and if you are open to the mind of Christ they will come alive and dance before your eyes – have you ever had words go bold and leap off the page and hit your right between the eyes like a bullet?

    But it is through tribulation that we come to revelation, and through much suffering, we enter in to His rest. It does not come naturally, but supernaturally, and the pleasing thing is that God is perhaps the ultimate Communist – we all get the same remuneration – one denarius.

    Don’t be fooled by Babylon dressed up as Church guys – these religious demons have had at least 6000yrs of practice – you are just novices – and they especially laugh at theologians…whatever happened to “Everyone shall know Me, from the least to the greatest, and you will no longer teach your neighbor to know me for all shall know Me.” That is SHALL, as in SHOULD – and this is the message – change your way of thinking – the kingdom is at hand – hello – anyone in there….hello….what would you do if you were on a desert isle with no Bible, books, computers, or any such thing? Where would you get your daily bread? Hello? You are on a desert isle and you are alone and no one understands you because this is Babylon and no one totally understands anyone because God sent confusion to confound human agreement and to give one third of the workforce something to do as they are fundamentally too useless for anything meaningful.

    Its Babylon baby, so much more than a place, a way of life! Come out from among her and be ye separate. But at least in this forum the one thing we can all agree upon is that fundamentally we do not agree on one thing, except Jesus.

  38. Recently I heard “Don’t forget the Germans, never forget the Germans.” It hit me tonight (call me slow) what God was saying – an Aussie friend, or should I say brother, Willem Bellaard nailed me once with the fact that Germany prior to the wars was the most Christian nation in Europe, home of the Reformation, the most scientifically advanced, the most culturally developed, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart…yet they fell for Hitler’s illusion and came under his spell – well enough of them – and he lead them like lambs to the slaughter and they too led lambs to the slaughter. Have you watched Obama work a crowd? What has changed already?

  39. Ian, its quite funny reading you poke fun of other holy books and ideas of God then spout your own nonsense.

    Every now and then you have something good to say but its like separating the wheat from the chaff.

    Martin Luther hated Jews. It was ingrained in the German psyche to hate Jews, the children of Satan, the synagogue of Satan.

    You don’t show mercy to a Satan. You destroy it.

    Here we have a society twisted with hating another section and justifying it in the name of Jesus and through His Word.

    Fits some of the comments on this thread really.

  40. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. I am my most trenchant critic, I can assure you. Luther was just a protesting Catholic who probably and arguably caused more harm than good. We make the mistake of eulogizing the one while demonizing others – I am of Paul, I am of Apollos etc. The historical hatred of the Jews intrigues me – especially as the Germans are essentially Indo-Aryan Assyrians of whom Abram was one who by his Turkic Hittite wife produced the Hebrew peoples. Family – who can figure it out? Or are we talking about the Ashkenazim pseudo Jews, and or the Babylonian Talmudic synagogue of Satan? Or should we rather not know anyone after the flesh, but after the Spirit?

    I was thinking this morning on how if you do not have a personal revelation of the Cross you really do not have anything. Its all about sacrifice – either being offered up or offering up – God does not chose us for our strength but for His. We either become a living sacrifice, laying down our lives, or we sacrifice others on our altars to our gods. There is only One God and One Faith and One Way – and we ought not to teach each other to know God so much as encourage one another to know God for ourselves, but not in a “my own personal perspective way”, but having the Mind of Christ. Herein is the crux of the matter, discerning that which is the Mind of Christ and that which is mere hyperbole and without the Mid of Christ you cannot do that – catch 22.

    And Bones, the chaff is for the high horses…LOL….it is Jesus who prepares a feast for us in the midst of our enemies…He feeds my heart and heals all my diseases…like I said, think about how you would know God if there were no scriptures…how did Paul know Him, how did Moses, how did Joshuah and John and the Disciples? Have more than a faith which is based on other people hearing voices (Abram) and hear for yourself…it is going to take a lot more than theology and exegesis to get through the coming darkness…it will take a light unto your feet and a lamp unto your path and a living relationship with Jesus Christ. I am just putting it out there while the opportunity exists, for the night is coming…they can take your Bible from you and even use their Laws to chop off your head but they cannot take the Holy Spirit from you nor separate you from your Head, which is Christ…nothing can separate us form His love except ourselves, and he will never leave nor forsake us, and even though we may deny Him, He will continue to speak the Truth in Love over us…He who can cut off and ingraft at His will…

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