Mythos and Logos

This article by Karen Armstrong contains the best explanation I have found for how the religious and the secular modes of thinking do not have to be in conflict.  They are separate spheres and we do ourselves and the world a great disservice by confusing the two : 

           

 

We tend to assume that the people of the past were (more or less) like us, but in fact their spiritual lives were rather different. In particular, they evolved two ways of thinking, speaking, and acquiring knowledge, which scholars have called mythos and logos. Both were essential; they were regarded as complementary ways of arriving at truth, and each had its special area of competence. Myth was regarded as primary; it was concerned with what was thought to be timeless and constant in our existence. Myth looked back to the origins of life, to the foundations of culture, and to the deepest levels of the human mind. Myth was not concerned with practical matters, but with meaning. Unless we find some significance in our lives, we mortal men and women fall very easily into despair. The mythos of a society provided people with a context that made sense of their day-to-day lives; it directed their attention to the eternal and the universal. It was also rooted in what we would call the unconscious mind. The various mythological stories, which were not intended to be taken literally, were an ancient form of psychology. When people told stories about heroes who descended into the underworld, struggled through labyrinths, or fought with monsters, they were bringing to light the obscure regions of the subconscious realm, which is not accessible to purely rational investigation, but which has a profound effect upon our experience and behavior. Because of the dearth of myth in our modern society, we have had to evolve the science of psychoanalysis to help us to deal with our inner world.

Myth could not be demonstrated by rational proof; its insights were more intuitive, similar to those of art, music, poetry, or sculpture. Myth only became a reality when it was embodied in cult, rituals, and ceremonies which worked aesthetically upon worshippers, evoking within them a sense of sacred significance and enabling them to apprehend the deeper currents of existence. Myth and cult were so inseparable that it is a matter of scholarly debate which came first: the mythical narrative or the rituals attached to it. Myth was also associated with mysticism, the descent into the psyche by means of structured disciplines of focus and concentration which have been evolved in all cultures as a means of acquiring intuitive insight. Without a cult or mystical practice, the myths of religion would make no sense. They would remain abstract and seem incredible, in rather the same way as a musical score remains opaque to most of us and needs to be interpreted instrumentally before we can appreciate its beauty.

In the premodern world, people had a different view of history. They were less interested than we are in what actually happened, but more concerned with the meaning of an event. Historical incidents were not seen as unique occurrences, set in a far-off time, but were thought to be external manifestations of constant, timeless realities. Hence history would tend to repeat itself, because there was nothing new under the sun. Historical narratives tried to bring out this eternal dimension. Thus, we do not know what really occurred when the ancient Israelites escaped from Egypt and passed through the Sea of Reeds. The story has been deliberately written as a myth, and linked with other stories about rites of passage, immersion in the deep, and gods splitting a sea in two to create a new reality. Jews experience this myth every year in the rituals of the Passover Seder, which brings this strange story into their own lives and helps them to make it their own. One could say that unless an historical event is mythologized in this way, and liberated from the past in an inspiring cult, it cannot be religious. To ask whether the Exodus from Egypt took place exactly as recounted in the Bible or to demand historical and scientific evidence to prove that it is factually true is to mistake the nature and purpose of this story. It is to confuse mythos with logos.

Logos was equally important. Logos was the rational, pragmatic, and scientific thought that enabled men and women to function well in the world. We may have lost the sense of mythos in the West today, but we are very familiar with logos, which is the basis of our society. Unlike myth, logos must relate exactly to facts and correspond to external realities if it is to be effective. It must work efficiently in the mundane world. We use this logical, discursive reasoning when we have to make things happen, get something done, or persuade other people to adopt a particular course of action. Logos is practical. Unlike myth, which looks back to the beginnings and to the foundations, logos forges ahead and tries to find something new: to elaborate on old insights, achieve a greater control over our environment, discover something fresh, and invent something novel.

In the premodern world, both mythos and logos were regarded as indispensable. Each would be impoverished without the other. Yet the two were essentially distinct, and it was held to be dangerous to confuse mythical and rational discourse. They had separate jobs to do. Myth was not reasonable; its narratives were not supposed to be demonstrated empirically. It provided the context of meaning that made our practical activities worthwhile. You were not supposed to make mythos the basis of a pragmatic policy. If you did so, the results could be disastrous, because what worked well in the inner world of the psyche was not readily applicable to the affairs of the external world.

From “The Battle for God”

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/a/armstrong-battle.html

 

 


127 thoughts on “Mythos and Logos

  1. Most of it is.

    eg 2 Sam 23:8

    “These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, he was called Adino the Eznite, because of eight hundred slain by him at one time;”

    800 slain in one battle!

    Without a chaingun!

    Other versions says 800 with a spear!

    Reminds me of Max Smart

    “Well would you believe he killed 50 with a sharpened toothpick.

    OK then 3 blind old men with a very blunt mango”.

  2. That’s an interesting article.

    Her book is mainly about the dangers of fundamentalism. She notes

    “”The chances of this theology’s achieving much popularity in the United States are, to be sure, remote; but it has been suggested that in the event of an environmental or major economic catastrophe, an authoritarian state church could replace the liberal polity of the Enlightenment,” she writes. ”Christianity, after all, was able to adapt to capitalism, which was alien to many of the teachings of Jesus. It could be used to back a fascist ideology that, in drastically changed circumstances, might be necessary to maintain public order.”

  3. So you are 100% sure that it was impossible for a man to kill 800 men in one battle.

    How many men would be the upper limit that you would accept. 8? 80? 97?

    But in the end, it’s hard to know what you accept as being true. You don’t purport to be a Christian but a few months ago you said you believed in the physical resurrection of Jesus.

    Plenty of people think that’s a myth but you don’t, or at least you didn’t a few months ago.

  4. I say it’s impossible for one person to kill 800 even with artillery and machine guns. That’s more than Rambo’s 3 movies put together.

    To physically fight 800 people in one battle and kill all of them is nonsense even if they were women and children. It shows you know know nothing of the physical nature of hand to hand combat.

    I’m amazed someone would try to defend it.

  5. Well thanks, Bones, at least, for giving context to the article. Karen Armstrong comes at it with a rather large amount of force and a bucketful of assumptions she obliges her readers to swallow. For instance…

    One of the most startling developments of the late twentieth century has been the emergence within every major religious tradition of a militant piety popularly known as “fundamentalism.” Its manifestations are sometimes shocking. Fundamentalists have gunned down worshippers in a mosque, have killed doctors and nurses who work in abortion clinics, have shot their presidents, and have even toppled a powerful government. It is only a small minority of fundamentalists who commit such acts of terror, but even the most peaceful and law-abiding are perplexing, because they seem so adamantly opposed to many of the most positive values of modern society. Fundamentalists have no time for democracy, pluralism, religious toleration, peacekeeping, free speech, or the separation of church and state. Christian fundamentalists reject the discoveries of biology and physics about the origins of life and insist that the Book of Genesis is scientifically sound

    And that’s just the opening paragraph.

    So now, to contexualise the author’s surmising, the reader, from the outset, is expected to go along with her presumption that all devout believers in the major religions are to be henceforth known by her definition of ‘fundamentalists’, tarred with the same brush, birds of a feather who flock together, in lockstep, of the same ilk, etc, etc, whether they’re Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Christian, Rastafarian, and, as far as she is concerned, Christian fundamentalists are no different to Islamic fundamentalists, whose manifestations she refers to as sometimes shocking.

    In the immortal words of Status Quo, “Here we go, here we go, here we go again…” with the utter bunkum of the theologically liberal classes who have long determined to group all Biblical religions alongside the obviously militant Islamic fundamentalists who strap explosives to themselves and destroy other human beings on a daily basis, who burn cars in cities for fun, and who threaten the lives of anyone who so much as looks at their ‘Prophet’ in the wrong way.

    As a result of this contrived logic, the difference between following the Islamic ‘Prophet’ and following Christ is totally obscured by the use of one word to describe all faiths – ‘fundamentalists’.

    Well, last time I looked, the main targets of Islamic militants were nations and individuals who associated in some way with either Jews or Christ, who was a Jew anyway. So how in the world do you now assume to make them one and the same?

    And last time I looked, Christianity was, amongst it’s billion or so followers, a relatively peaceful faith, not known, in the modern sense, for the kind of militance and mayhem currently associated with extremist Islam.

    And the growing epithet of ‘fascism’ is now thrust into the arena.

    Somewhere in the midst of this false dichotomy she throws in some piffle about mythos and logos which is basically a mythological attempt at logic.

    Now this ‘fascism’ thing is intriguing to me because I have noticed that Daniel Gorter and his chum Jake Elliott are bandying about the notion that Contemporary Pentecostals are in some way now the new ‘Christian fascists’, and cite as their evidence the spurious conspiracy theories of their superlunary mentor Chris Rosebrough.

    Who says mythos is lost to modern society?

    All of sudden, and this is very recent tactically, we have the notion that fascism is being revised in the more contemporary church movements and the big drive is to associate fascism with successful Pentecostal and Evangelical churches and movements of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

    Rosebrough isn’t the only purveyor of this wrongheadedness, but he has a growing movement of angry young men and fresh faced disciples willing to push his contrived machinations as fact, and, it seems, there are others of the liberally theological class who are willing to push this idiocy to the limit.

    So stand by, there, in the wings of Christian evangelicalism, for an onslaught of accusative pieces like this one.

    They are here, and they are coming, and the lie is that we Pentecostals and Evangelicals are suddenly evil cultic neo-gnostic fundamentalists akin to militant murderers who are the vanguard of a new fascism about to be unleashed on the unsuspecting world.

    OK, liars, bring it on. Call us what you will. It makes no difference.

    We’ll stand our ground and preach the same Christian gospel we always have – that of Christ, the cross, of the kingdom, of peace, of joy, and of righteousness.

    So, to all true Evangelicals and Pentecostals reading these pages, don’t be moved by the coming onslaught of lies and deception from the anti-faith movement. Preach the gospel as it is written. Be constant. Be ready in season and out of season to give a reason for your hope. Tell it as it is. Don’t be moved.

  6. Armstrong writes :

    Perhaps the most important factor to understand about this widespread religious militancy is that it is rooted in a deep fear of annihilation. Every single fundamentalist movement that I have studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced that modern secular society wants to wipe out religion ~ even in the United States.

    Fundamentalists, therefore, believe that they are fighting for survival, and when people feel that their backs are to the wall, some can strike out violently, like a wounded animal.

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/pdf/20050126-Intolerance-Armstrong.pdf

  7. Yep, Steve’s at war. Though he seems to at war with Evangelicals as well as everyone else.

    Watch out, he might kill 800 people with a single post.

  8. ” It shows you know know nothing of the physical nature of hand to hand combat.
    I’m amazed someone would try to defend it. “Watch out, he might kill 800 people with a single post.”

    Okay, Bones, calm down and think.

    First of all, perhaps you are assuming that the verse is saying that one man fought against 800 and killed them all in an hour, like some Bruce Lee movie.

    Look at other verses when statements like that are made.

    First, we don’t know the time period. That battle could have easily have lasted days.
    Secondly, we don’t even know if the verse is saying that he ALONE killed the 800. In other places where it talks about someone killed many, we read that the name mentioned is the leader.
    e.g David.

    So, I could have been one man leading a group of men of how many we don’t know, and for a battle as long, we don’t know either. But suffice it to say, it was a worthy and remarkable feat.

    IF you read your bible slowly and compared verses and thought through things, you would have already thought about the above. But it seems you always just want to argue that the Bible isn’t true.

    But there’s danger in automatically writing things off that at first seem unlikely. Read the newspaper and there are always amazing true stories.

    But, I understand you. Wazza and some others can’t believe the towers weren’t a controlled demolition by Bush’s orders. A guy called Chirpy couldn’t believe that the Germans could have killed 6 million. So, I know people on this site and in real life who just can’t believe that there were thousands of sex slaves of the Japanese in WW2, that Bush wasn’t involved in the towers coming down, that the Americans landed on the moon, that millions of Jews were gassed and killed in WW2.

    There are lots of things that you don’t understand. But it seems you not only don’t understand combat, but you haven’t done much simple bible study. You claim to have studied theology. I’d be asking for a refund!

    So, you are quick to call things myth. You don’t believe that Jesus healed or performed miracles right? But you believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus which many liberal theologians would call myth and say “Shows how much you know about medical science”.
    But basically, you’re all over the place. You’ve gone from gay sex being sin but not to be legislate over, to thinking it’s all good. You’ve gone from claiming to be a Christian to saying you don’t purport to be one.

    So, have you given up on the resurrection of Christ as well?

    So, is the resurrection also myth?

    “That was inspiring Steve, you missed the part where you say “We shall fight them on the blogs,”

    Seems to me like Steve is basically just responding to the people here who don’t seem interesting in the church, the bible, or Christianity, but love to spend all their time on blogs fighting..

    The difference is that Steve seems to win the fights! lol

    But that probably won’t stop you.

  9. Yes, well the Doubty Brothers never could understand what it actually means to fight the good fight of faith.

    It astonishes me how willing you are to come on to a blog like this and constantly put down evangelical Christianity in its various forms as if you have the sole right to all knowledge understanding and wit, when, in fact, it is patently obvious to anyone who has ever read the Scritpures from the perspective of faith as an actual Christain believer, that you don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

    Quoting Ms Anderson, in fact, heightens the awareness that you are totally in league with her narrow view of religion and presumptive claims on what constitutes evangelical Christianity, and completely at odds with the New Testament.

    Next you’ll be saying that the pope secretly wears a burka in the Vatican grounds and dreams of annihilating protestants by flying planes into their churches.

    What does ‘fight the good fight of faith’ actually mean to you fellas?

  10. Clearly that’s all in your mind, Q.

    You’d better argue with whoever wrote 1 Chronicles cos even they thought it was crap and said he ‘only’ killed 300.

    “11 These constitute the list of the mighty men whom David had: Jashobeam, the son of a Hachmonite, the chief of the thirty; he lifted up his spear against three hundred [e]whom he killed at one time.”

    The whole of the OT is reconstructed mythology.

    Any sensible person can see that.

  11. I don’t see how you can rationally claim that the whole of the OT is reconstructed mythology simply because there are some passages you can’t put together reasonably. I agree there are some difficulties in some areas if you view scripture from a purely scientific or sceptically rational perspective. But to write off the entire OT because you can’t grasp a few portions is not sensible at all.

    It’s like saying all devout believers are murderous and dangerous fundamentals because a handful of one sect commit atrocities.

  12. No, they never said it was crap. I know you said you don’t purport to be a Christian, but have you decided to just be as offensive and blasphemous as you can?

    So, do you believe in the resurrection of Christ or have you rejected that too?

  13. ” whoever wrote 1 Chronicles cos even they thought it was crap”

    No they didn’t. So I know you don’t purport to be a Christian anymore but do you have to try and be as offensive and blasphemous as possible/

    I assume that means you no longer believe in the resurrection of Christ now? So do you or don’t you?

    I assume you have changed your mind on that one too.

    Never met a person who believes in the resurrection of Christ who says as many offensive things as you and shows so much hatred of Christians.

    So, you think that is myth too now?

  14. So now Bones claims that the apostles built their doctrine on what turns out to be predominantly myth.

    Therefore, he must also consider that the NT is myth. And reconstructed myth at that.

    So, having said he purports not to be a Christian, he now denies the authenticity of scripture.

    This places him somewhere between agnostic and atheist.

    Have you ever considered that blogs such as this are useful in determining what we actually believe and for testing us on the very basics and foundations of faith?

  15. Steve “Yes, well the Doubty Brothers never could understand what it actually means to fight the good fight of faith.”

    Read your Bible again, it dosent mean to fight other people, or other faiths

    6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

    11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

    It is the fight within ourselves – against the love of money, against the love of quarrelling and contending about trivialities.

    Your misinterpretation is similar to the Muslim fundamentalist’s misinterpretation of Jihad

  16. Why thank you very much, wazza! Brilliant. He goes to scripture and proves my point for me. Wonderful. Congratulations.

    Be careful you don’t get turned on by scripture, wazza, it might change your life and produce the kind of Christian faith you tend to resist.

    Why are you telling me this, wazza?

    That’s weird. Really weird, because it was you and Bones who implied we were advocating fighting with physical violence.

    Bones, in agreeing with the thrust of the post, thinks Christian fundamentalists are like the militants of Islam. He thinks Q is advocating physical violence. He defends the fundamental errors of Anderson’s piece and awards her kudos for grouping Christians with violent militants.

    But, look, do you really think I don’t understand what ‘fight the good fight of faith’ refers to? After all this time?

    I asked you the question, remember, because it seemed to me that you thought it referred to fighting a violent warfare and not a faith warfare based on the Word of God.

    Your circumlocutory method of arguing with people twists your own case in knots.

    Incredible.

  17. And, to set the record straight, I have never contended about trivialities. I contend for the faith as instructed in Jude.

    I contend against the vain philosophies of the world, against the trickery of the sleight of hand which sends people running to and fro with every wind of doctrine, the antichrist systems advocated by liberal theologians, the watering down of the Word of God, the diminishing of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible to mythology, the downplaying of vast tracts of the Bible as worthless, the denial of the miraculous, the mockery of Bible history, the arguments against faith, the scoffing at Christian faith, the attacks on good Christian people for believing the Bible and taking God at His Word.

    I produce a defence against the deconstruction of faith by post modernists and men who are so weak in their own faith that they can’t believe the Word but only try to explain it away as fable, who take away from the seeker the importance of books like Genesis, Revelation, Peter, James, Hebrews, who charge that prophecy has ended and there is no prophecy to be fulfilled, who claim a cessationist gospel, who deny the gifts and graces of the Spirit, who pervert truth by serving empty traditions, many of which have appeared on these pages in the guise of arguments but are in fact assaults on faith.

    I have constantly and purposely stood for Christ, the Word, the vitality of Scripture and the importance of salvation by grace through faith.

    I call you the Doubty Bros because you represent the antithesis of faith, challenging every virtue in the Word of God, diminishing it in the sight of anyone who reads your faithless explanations of why a person should avoid anything Biblical, holy or of God as he revealed Himself in Christ through the gospel in Scripture.

    If you want to set yourself up as a triviality, go ahead, but it is your inability to believe God which has filled these pages with opportunity to oppose the vacuum of your unbelief and reveal why God is worth listening to and why we stand against your liberal brand of emptiness, where you show the form of godliness but deny the power of it.

  18. “thinks Christian fundamentalists are like the militants of Islam.”

    That’s the difference between Christian Fundamentalists and Islamic Fundamentalists.

    A comedian dresses up as Jesus and invites people to insult him. What do Christian Fundamentalists do? They write on blogs something like, “He shouldn’t do that,”

    If he dressed as the Muslim god or prophet what would happen?
    People could be killed, and embassies attacked in different countries.

    So, knowing that, what do liberals do? Increase the lampooning of Christians and then write blogs and books warning of the dangers of evangelicals.

    It’s pretty interesting leap.

    But yes, it’s part of the attack that just keeps getting worse.

  19. Steve and Q have never advocated violence. But there is no doubt that they feel under attack, and feel that they are in a war of sorts (albeit a spiritual, intellectual or moral war). They are using the language of warfare.

    Steve’s impassioned plea

    OK, liars, bring it on. Call us what you will. It makes no difference.

    We’ll stand our ground and preach the same Christian gospel we always have – that of Christ, the cross, of the kingdom, of peace, of joy, and of righteousness.

    When I pointed this out, Steve asked “What does ‘fight the good fight of faith’ actually mean to you fellas?”. I quoted from scripture and showed that it dosent mean fighting other people but fighting our own natures. It has nothing to do with the subject being discussed, but Steve was clearly implying that it was a call to fight against the forces of liberal godlessness.

    I have proved you wrong directly from Scripture. You don’t have to apologise to me but I hope you have apologised to God and repented for it.

  20. I don’t think Paul had a love of quarrelling, but he certainly defended the truth, and the gospel against error.

    If it’s wrong to state truth and explain it when it is attacked, then maybe you should go back in time and rebuke Paul. And Jesus too.

    But I won’t get into an argument more than that. I’m just grateful that you quoted the Bible!

    We need more Bible quotes and less quotes from people who attack all that’s good.

  21. Well, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of darkness.

    How? With the Word of God. That is clearly what is being said.

    Wazza is suddenly the holy man from heaven and quotes scripture, but then the devil used scripture against Christ in the same way. How did Jesus respond? With the Word.

    Wazza pretends to call us out on what the fight of faith is when in fact he forgets that scripture isn’t made up of one cherry picked verse but of the whole context of the canon, which wazza and Bones have declared to be myth.

    I totally agree with wazza’s assertion that the fight of faith involves standing for the cross, the resurrection, Christ, the gospel, righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost, so what I said, in regards to the fight of faith, was accurate.

    ‘We’ll stand our ground and preach the same Christian gospel we always have – that of Christ, the cross, of the kingdom, of peace, of joy, and of righteousness.’

    But it is not enough for wazza to accept that this is a peaceful means of fighting that good fight, he has to put his own postmodern twist on everything so he converts it to a violent tendency.

    In fact, I have said that our response to the false claims that we are fascists is to continue to preach the gospel – the good news of Christ, the cross, the resurrection and salvation by grace through faith.

    Now wazza, the eternal optimist in terms of gotchas, wants me to apologise for preaching the gospel and encouraging believers to resist the slurs of antichrist agents by continuing to preach the good news.

    Incredible.

    He still doesn’t get it. Why would he? He obviously doesn’t have a clue what scripture actually says about faith.

  22. Steve, sometimes after your posts it I feel like I saying what Ali said about Foreman after the Thrilla in Manilla.

  23. Q,
    ‘I don’t think Paul had a love of quarrelling, but he certainly defended the truth, and the gospel against error.

    If it’s wrong to state truth and explain it when it is attacked, then maybe you should go back in time and rebuke Paul. And Jesus too.’

    Exactly. Most of Paul’s letters were defence of the gospel, and not only Paul. Jude was particularly strong n his tirade against antichrist elements and instructed saints to contend for the faith, and Peter said some identical things.

    Jesus responded to satan’s accusitive use of scripture against Him by quoting scripture, only in context with realty, until satan was so pummelled with the truth that he gave up the pursuit for a while. We fight the good fight of faith through the accurate use of the Word of God.

    The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. What strongholds are these? The vain and antichrist reasonings and logic of accusers and doubters. What are our weapons? The Word and Spirit.

    The Word of God is called the sword of the Spirit.

    Our faith is based on the Word of Christ, and brought to us by the preaching of the gospel. The best way to fight the enemies of Christ is by continuing to preach the good news, expecting souls to be saved, and the kingdom of God populated.

    That was entirely my meaning.

  24. Thanks Bones

    Wazza is suddenly the holy man from heaven and quotes scripture, but then the devil used scripture against Christ in the same way. How did Jesus respond? With the Word.

    There is little doubt who is Christ and who is the devil in your analogy

    Interestingly Armstrong writes :

    “[Fundamentalisms] are embattled forms of spirituality, which have emerged as a response to a perceived crisis. They are engaged in a conflict with enemies whose secularist policies and beliefs seem inimical to religion itself”

    Fundamentalists see their struggle not as one of conventional politics but as a cosmic war between good and evil;

  25. Let’s see, so wazza uses scripture to fight his cause that fighting the good fight of faith has everything to do with using scripture to fight against false teaching, demonic influence and antichrist sentiment, but when I point this out and use scripture to fight the good fight of faith it is somehow a fundamentalist strategy of good versus evil.

    All we learned is that wazza finally found out what it is all about but doesn’t realise what he has just done, and that it confirms exactly what I was saying. The irony is machined metallic with flecks of rust.

    Bones and wazza continue to support Armstrong’s presumptions about all religions being bagged in one fundamentalist package, headed up by those forms of fundamentalism which utilise violence as their modus operandi, and completely missing the point that, even in the religions which do issue forth militancy, the vast majority are peace loving, law abiding citizens.

    Maybe I’ll research the threads where Bones, wazza and Greg fought hand and nail to defend the Muslims who are moderate peace loving law abiding citizens who are nothing to do with the militant minority who commit atrocities. All of a sudden they claim the moderates are to be thrown into the same pot as the murderers.

    Strange that.

  26. By the way, wazza, my reference to the ‘holy man from Heaven’ in comparison to satan was to point out that it is a very rare thing for you to turn to scripture which you generally decry as myth for your argument.

    It looked to me as if you were using it as a weapon of accusation rather than a defence of the gospel.

    Of course you are not the satan, as in the devil, a spiritual entity, unless you utilise it according to your own interpretation, which denies the existence of the devil as a spirit with personality, but as an opposing thought, in which case it is accurate to the assumption you made.

    Your call…

  27. Well, not at all. She has generalised to such an extent that her opinion on fundamentalism has more holes than a thousand putting greens.

    All you have done is look for something negative to compare with comments I have made regarding the growing assertion that contemporary mega churches and movements base their growth on fascist principles.

    I have so far resisted the temptation to reference the main sites which endorse this conspiracy theory, but Bones added this as quote from Anderson and I gave a response to this preposterous assumption, which is in the bounds of Godwin’s Law gone to seed.

    I am fairly certain that the term ‘Christian Fascism’ is about to explode across discernment sites and appears by liberal theologists, and have preempted the gathering clouds by encouraging those who are being targeted to stay with the game plan by preaching the gospel in season and out as normal and jot to be moved by this attempt at demonising Christians as fundamentalists, cultists, neo-gnostics and fascists, which is already happening.

    Maybe you’re not aware of the gathering momentum in these charges against contemporary movements, but, clearly Armstrong is one of those who are part of the stormfront of accusative journalism.

  28. She’s a woman who is not a Christian, but is a monotheist who tries to pick out the good in religions. Which makes her just like many other people.

    One of her main themes as Wazza pointed out is that fundamentalists always feel they are under attack. But sometimes, certain religions REALLY ARE under attack.

    Just because some women are afraid of men, and some take it too far saying that all men are violent, that doesn’t mean a woman is wrong to take precautions – and in some cases she might have to defend herself against violence.

    If you don’t see my point, I’ll quote her in her interview with Bill Moyer.

    “Every fundamentalist movement I’ve studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced at some gut, visceral level that secular liberal society wants to wipe out religion. Wants to wipe them out. Jewish fundamentalism, for example, came into being … came really to the fore in a new way after the Nazi Holocaust …”

    Yeah, well the Jews in Nazi Germany were really crazy and paranoid weren’t they……

    No. Sometimes religions really are under attack. Take the Christians in many middle eastern countries as we speak.

    And we live in the crazy world where atheist groups are going around trying to take away any mention of religion, whether that’s a 100 year old engraving of a bible in a school, or the singing of Silent Night at Christmas.

    But as Steve and I pointed out. If you are reading a blog and people attack your church, or your bible or evangelical Christianity in general, I don’t see that responding in words and quoting scriptures is being a militant fascist fundamentalist.

    On the contrary, it usually works like this. (at least on this website)

    1. Liberal makes an outlandish attack on a church, christian or 2000 year long standing Christian belief.
    2. Evangelical responds with a Bible verse, or explanation.
    3. Liberal copies and pastes numerous articles from all over the web – some irrelevant, some written by avowed atheists or those antagonistic to Christianity
    4. Evangelical responds with some Biblve verses or explanations.

    Then 5.

    Liberal is soundly defeated and made to look silly. So what do they have left.

    Things like the above – insults, accusation that fundamentalists are all the same, and they’re angry, militant people trying to take over.

    I assume Karen Armstrong doesn’t believe in the physical resurrection of Christ. So Bones and Wazza. Did Jesus physically rise from the dead or would you say that’s myth, and we shouldn’t get caught up in whether it actually happened or not.

  29. By the way, Jesus said (whether or not you believe He actually said it I have no idea) to the disciples that the world would hate them.

    Does that make Him a paranoid fundamentalist?

    If you wanted to follow the same line, you could say that Jesus, Paul, John etc were all fundamentalists who thought the “world” was out to get them.

    In which case, I’d rather be in the Jesus, Paul camp than the Wazza, Bonesm Armstrong one.

    Though I know which camp is easier, and which will be more praised by the non-Christian world.

    Basically, tell people that Jesus or Christianity isn’t unique, and that evangelicals are bad, or wrong, or mistaken, and you will have plenty of friends in the media.

    It’s easy. But it’s hardly original or groundbreaking.

  30. Fundamentalism isn’t 2000 years old.

    More like 100.

    And the argument usually goes.

    1. Liberal argues this Bible verse eg Noah’s Ark, David’s men of war, the genocide accounts, the Exodus, Creation myth, Revelation couldn’t be true
    2.. Conservative then rails and blows a gasket using ad hom attacks.
    3. Conservative posts a Bible verse that has nothing to do with anything
    4. Conservative believes they’ve won having not addressed the issue at all but given themselves a feeling of superiority.

    I’d say Jesus was a liberal. That’s why He said they would be hated. He sure wasn’t a conservative Jew.

    Cos conservatives hate liberals with a passion. Did someone mention Bishop Spong. And Fundamentalists clearly hate anyone who is not like them even other fundamentalists. The Christian Right tore each other apart with the Bakkers and Swaggarts at each other.

    It’s not liberals going around saying that conservatives are going to hell, not real Christians, yada yada yada.

    We know that.

  31. “I’d say Jesus was a liberal.”

    But you have proved to believe nothing that The Lord Jesus has said!

  32. Becuase of you lack of understanding, you consider the Word of God inaccurate.

    Perhaps you should simply ask God for help in your own time?

  33. The definition of liberal theology states that many traditional beliefs are dispensable, disproven by modern thought, or liable to change.

    Jesus, however, came to fulfil the Law. He said not one jot nor tittle was removed. However, he condensed the Mosaic Law into two commandments to love God and love people. Therefore he introduced the perfect Law of Liberty, which upheld traditional beliefs, but converted them into grace rather than regulations.

    So he is the great liberator, but calling him a liberal in the modern sense is stretching it. He is neither a conservative, nor a liberal, nor a socialist. These are terms which politicise attempts by humans to fulfil what Christ had already fulfilled, that is, to bring people into a place of equity and welfare whilst creating and sustaining a viable economy. They can never replace the kingdom of God, however.

    Jesus’ kingdom supersedes politics. It will not be accomplished, however, until the kingdoms and regimes of this world are ended.

  34. Nobody hates anyone Bones.
    I don’t hate Spong. I just think he’s completely wrong. He’s like you except for one thing. You are too afraid to answer whether or not you believe Jesus physically rose from the dead, and if you do, why – given that Spong and Armstrong etc think it’s unscientific and a myth.

    ((Yes I know last year you said you didn’t believe in most of the biblical miracles except the resurrection, but you keep changing your views so it’s worth checking. )

    And your really scraping to say the whole right went at each other by talking about a whole two people over 20 years ago.

    No-ones blowing a gasket either.
    Unless it’s wrong to question someone after they say something in the bible couldn’t possibly be true.

    As for Jesus being a liberal, you are basing that on what he said? How do you know what he actually said?

    You trust the gospel writers now?

  35. Not railing, not angry, but rather full of love surpassing that of a liberal – but your four points were complete rubbish.

    So you don’t purport to be a Christian. Does that mean you changed your mind on the resurrection like you did on gay sex?

    At one point you said you didn’t believe Old Testament miracle accounts but you distanced yourself from the Jesus seminar people.

    So what do you now deem to be not myth? Walking on water? Feeding the five thousand?
    Are they myth but the resurrection is true? If so why?

    Or have you come so far that you don’t believe in the resurrection?

    The original article is about myth and fact. I believe that the Apostle Paul and Luke could distinguish between myth and fact.

    They believed that Jesus actually performed miracles and actually rose from the dead.

    What do Spong and Armstrong who you admire think about that? And what do you think or are you not prepared to answer?
    Need more time?

    And you Wazza, you posted this. How much of the gospel accounts of Jesus life is myth?

  36. Actually, I think, like Q, that GoForth nailed you, Bones. You call someone a liberal whom you deny existed in the form related by scripture.

    Who hates anyone, by the way? You’re very loose with the word ‘hate’, as if you think calling out false doctrine or a poor understanding of biblical theology equates to hatred of the person spouting it.

    Hence, pointing out Catholic error becomes, for you, hating Catholics.

    Now, along with Armstrong, you want all Christians who believe in the authenticity of the canon of scripture to be considered fundamentalists, a term you just confessed is so modern it could not even apply to the Azusa Street Pentecostals, or the Luther inspired Protestants, certainly doesn’t apply to Baptists, out of whom come the majority of US mega-churches, Calvinists, who are the most conservative of all, and their sub-branches of Reformists, who are even more traditional than the Calvinists. Most evangelicals predate the terms fundamentalist! according to your argument. And who are more theologically traditional and conservative than the Catholics, yet they predate the term ‘fundamentalist’ by centuries?

    By your definition of hatred, you must just about hate every Christian on the planet.

  37. And the dogs come barking again.

    Of course the love’s just dripping on this site isn’t it.

    Nah.

    The screaming attacks when you question totally illogical beliefs which even a primary school child would have trouble believing is just mindboggling.

    By your definition of hatred, you must just about hate every Christian on the planet.

    Actually I was thinking the same of you.

    Btw Luther’s understanding of scripture would be impressive for any liberal.

    I don’t know any liberals who ditched whole books of the New Testament.

  38. but you keep changing your views so it’s worth checking.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    I reject the title Christian. I’m weary of the constant attacks so I’m happy to just say that I’m not one, just to make everyone happy.

    The idea that God judges our beliefs with eternal punishment or reward is insane.

  39. You’re the one defending Armstrong, Bones. You’re the one saying people hate. You’re the one calling people dogs.

    You’re also the one who has dismissed ‘most’ of the OT as myth, which means ‘most’ of the NT must follow as myth.

    You’re the one agreeing that all who hold to the canon of scripture are fundamentalists and therefore to be grouped with murderers, bombers, terrorists and militants.

    Wazza seems to be supporting you in this, so you’re not alone.

    I don’t see that anyone hates anyone else. That was entirely your own construction. I said that by your definition you must hate most Christians to demonstrate how ridiculous your claims are. I don’t actually believe you hate anyone, but you don’t do a very good job of showing it.

  40. Slaves to Faith: A Therapist Looks Inside the Fundamentalist Mind

    As Dr. Mercer posits, the fundamentalist is fundamentally driven by anxiety layered over a fragile sense of self-identity constructed upon a system of beliefs that is both logically inconsistent and highly suspect in light of modern science. As a result, the fundamentalist completely rejects modernity while battling mightily in the arena of national politics and culture to bring about a world that aligns more closely with the fundamentalist worldview.

    Focusing on Christian fundamentalists, the author puts Christian fundamentalism in its historical and theological contexts. At the same time, Mercer calls upon cognitive theory to explain that the fundamentalist’s life story is not particular to Christianity or any other religious belief system but that fundamentalist Catholics, Muslims, Jews, and those of all other faiths share a common psychological profile. Indeed, Mercer insists that if the Christian terminology were eliminated from contemporary fundamentalist Christian rhetoric, what would remain would be a framework that fundamentalists from other religions would find quite familiar and even comforting. In other words, the structure of the fundamentalist worldview, and the psychology beneath it, is pretty much the same across religions. It is a controversial thing to say about Christian fundamentalism, a thesis that has already proved contentious in the author’s public appearances, and one that is sure to generate considerable attention and passionate debate as the U.S. populace continues to divide into opposing camps.(less)

  41. ‘the fundamentalist completely rejects modernity while battling mightily in the arena of national politics and culture to bring about a world that aligns more closely with the fundamentalist worldview.’

    Hardyharhar! That leaves out Hillsong and C3 then! LOL!

    They are as contemporary as you can get, and have definitely accepted ‘modernity’, even post-modernity, without compromising the message of the gospel.

    As do most of the mega-churches, come to think of it. In fact, that is one of the main complaints on discernment sites – that they abandon the traditional aspects of Christianity. So I guess that means that the most fundamentalist of all are the discernment sites. Oh, that is so rich!

    But what a load of psychological piffle. It’s amazing how leftists and liberal thinkers can be so blasé about what they spout, and look so ridiculous to the people they are trying to put down with their highbrow sophistication. The failure of the left intelligentsia has always been their pride, arrogance and lack of wit.

    So when does Dr Mercer get onto the fascism part?

  42. Except of course this is a book for clinical psychologists. Not ‘experts’ like on here.

    If I don’t get it right, I’m going to hell: Empathizing with fundamentalists.
    Doehring, Carrie

    Reviews the book, Slaves to faith: A therapist looks inside the fundamentalist mind by Calvin Mercer (see record 2009-11022-000). In this book, Mercer invites readers to step into the minds of those whose fundamentalist faith keeps them segregated. Mercer has an insider’s perspective, having been raised in a fundamentalist Baptist tradition. The book will be of greatest interest to readers who are intrigued about the history of fundamentalist Christianity in the United States, who want to know the foundational beliefs of fundamentalist Christianity, and who want to step into this world and empathically experience the depression and anxiety that can arise as a result of these beliefs. Mercer proposes that the unconscious absolutist schema underlying this dilemma is the following: “If I don’t get it right, I am not a Christian, and I will go to hell.” This depiction of the fundamentalist’s religious world helps teachers and clinicians understand the religious anxiety generated when that individual’s basic tenets of faith are threatened. If clinicians are to engage in ongoing therapy with clients experiencing this kind of religious struggle, then more extensive reading about spiritually integrated psychotherapy would provide a very helpful framework and strategies for helping people not get stuck in chronic religious struggles.

  43. Bones, nobody hates you, and as for attacking, you can’t seem to handle being questioned after you make an attack.

    No, I don’t think changing your mind is bad. Just that in order to attack an evangelical standpoint you seem to depart further and further from what you once believed.

    So let’s have an example.

    You said (in response to my questions)

    “The screaming attacks when you question totally illogical beliefs which even a primary school child would have trouble believing is just mindboggling.”

    Okay first. Nobody is screaming.
    Second, that sounds like an attack to me.
    What are these illogical beliefs that a primary school child has trouble believing?

    Bones, Jesus walking on water – is that one? Jesus calming the storm – is that one? Jesus feeding the 5000 – is that one? Jesus raising someone from the dead – is that one?
    And one more – Jesus destroying death on the cross, and rising again after three days.

    Could you explain which of those fits into your category of illogical and beyond the belief of a primary school child.

    No screaming, no hate – I just want to know which parts of the gospel accounts you deem illogical.

    And I ask because I honestly don’t know what you believe.

    And I think that if you think they are all illogical etc then fine, you are no longer a Christian under most peoples definition – including your beloved Roman Catholic and Orthodox.

    But if you put the walking on water, in the same “illogical ” category as most Old Testament stories as you do, can you explain why you might on the other hand believe in the resurrection which many people think is a myth, illogical and something even a primary school child has trouble believing.

    Just questions. No screaming and no hate.

    It’s weird – you think fundamentalists hate and feel everyone is against them, but actually you are the one who carries on about hate and screaming when you are asked to clarify.

    As for hating everyone, most people who attend a church on a weekly basis (including Orthodox and Roman Catholic) don’t think the virgin birth, and the miracles recorded in the Bible are just myths.

  44. Maybe when Bones gets a little older and gets to hang out with some clinical psychiatrists he won’t start drooling and worshiping and thinking everything they say must be right! Lol

    Oooo a clinical psychiatrist!!!

    Bones who do you define as a Fundamentalist? The Pope? Billy Graham? Brian Houston? The Pastor of Hillsong New York? Rick warren?

    If you do, do they all seem like people with anxiety who can’t find their place in the modern world and are segregated?

    If none of them are Fundamentalists, then what’s the point of bringing it up?
    Are you talking about some isolated group in the US?

    Or do you not know – so I should go and ask your Clinical Psychiatrist (sound the trumpets)
    Guru?

    Makes you shiver doesn’t it …. Clinical Psychiatrist..oooooh Lol

  45. Becuase of you lack of understanding, you consider the Word of God inaccurate.

    As authentic history it is. Neither is it the Word of God. Biblical scholarship and archeaological evidence tells me that.

    I think you should use the scare tactic next time instead of painting anyone who disagrees with your myopic worldview as ignorant. It would be just as effective.

  46. Maybe when Bones gets a little older and gets to hang out with some clinical psychiatrists he won’t start drooling and worshiping and thinking everything they say must be right! Lol

    Oooo a clinical psychiatrist!!!

    See that just makes you sound like a complete dickhead.

    Good argument btw. You really won that.

  47. Oh, and were you ever a fundamentalist Bones? With anxiety problems?

    So now you are not – and a really psychologically healthy?

    So all the time you spend as an ex-fundamentalist/ex-Christian on blogs is your attempt to deprogram people you consider fundamentalists through copyandpaste therapy?

    Too funny.

  48. And I think that if you think they are all illogical etc then fine, you are no longer a Christian under most peoples definition – including your beloved Roman Catholic and Orthodox.

    So?

  49. Lol

    Read your posts again and you’ll get it.

    But Bones – no need for the bad language.

    You were just talking about screaming, hate and attacks!

    So, you haven’t answered any questions.
    You believe in the resurrection and the miracles of Jesus?

    Or too scared to answer?
    Need to check with Spong, Armstrong or a clinical psychiatrist?

    Okay time to sleep. I’ll let you check up on your gurus so you can find out what you believe.

    Good night.

  50. Oooo a clinical psychiatrist!!!

    Oooo look modern scientists have proved evolution down to DNA levels.

    Oooo look astronomers can see to the ends of the universe.

    Oooo look scientists have discovered the Higgs Boson.

    How infantile are you?

    There’s obviously a link between fundamentalism, depression, anxiety and insecurity.

  51. Oh, and were you ever a fundamentalist Bones?

    At Sunday School.

    With anxiety problems?

    Yep, did everything I could to get my family saved especially after Dad went to hell.

  52. I’ll let you check up on your gurus so you can find out what you believe.

    That’s important isn’t it?

    You can’t change your beliefs because …. well…..you don’t want to be wrong……because…..what will others say…..and……what might happen if you die……..Jesus will judge you on that.

    It’s probably likely that what I believe today will be different to what I believe in 6 months.

    It’s called looking at evidence and forming an opinion on what makes sense.

    I think it’s called education.

  53. That’s great, Bones, but the fact is you don’t accord anyone who disagrees with your (changeable) perspective the same privilege.

    You hound them until you’ve worked yourself up into such a state that you consider them the enemy, at war, haters, and all the other epithets, some crude, you attach to people.

    So, to you, fundamentalist is a fundamentalist, but only according to your own (unchanging) definition of what constitutes a fundamentalist.

    But what you have never acknowledged, or I think even considered is that believing in the fundamentals of scripture does not make a person a fundamentalist by someone like Armstrong’s definition.

    All we have said is that her view and opinion is flawed and narrow in the sense of missing too many facts, nuances and considerations to create a theory let alone a fact.

    Appealing to a clinical psychiatrist is meaningless. He is subject to scrutiny just as mud as anyone else.

    I have a personal acquaintance who is a clinical psychiatrist who, in his early days, messed up so many lives it’s a wonder he got away without someone knocking his block off, although, he was boxing champ in his house at University, so that might have something to with it. But, did he get his Freudian and Jungian theories right? I can tell you he missed more than he hit, but he’s on his third or fourth book now, so probably doing quite well. Would I let him near my head? Only if he gave me a free crack at head butting him(that was a joke)!

    Psychology is of the mind. We are of the pneuma. If you think that anyone is smart enough to grasp what goes on in people’s mind at any given time and get it right every time you are in lalaland. But the Holy Ghost knows all things.

    So a cynical psychologist takes on the thinking of fundamentals as if it is a racial profiling issue across all religions. He needs to see a shrink.

    Oh well, it makes for an intriguing book for someone, I suppose.

  54. But if you’re going to use the term ‘fundamentalist’ under the definition peddled by Mercer and Armstrong, then I reject it and renounce any connection with the term, definition or concept.

    If you are going to stick to this reconstructed definition, which turns people who adhere to their creed and holy writings into militants, murderers and haters, then I deny all association with it and ask that you never again apply it to me or my faith, or the congregations I am associated with as a member.

    If you are willing to accept that what I believe is in accord with the fundamental truth of scripture as the source of instruction, correction and teaching under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, then I am happy to agree that I am a follower of the Christ of the Bible.

    But the definition of ‘fundamental’ would be that of ‘forming a necessary base or core; of central importance; affecting or relating to the essential nature of something or the crucial point about an issue; so basic as to be hard to alter, resolve, or overcome’.

    It would have nothing whatsoever to do with the militarist or dominionist concepts of those overreaching liberals who reduce devout faith to fascism, neo-gnosisticim, or any other pseudo-nazi infantile epithet attached to people who simply love God, follow Christ, read their Bible, believe what it says and act on it.

  55. Mercer has just written what we all know.

    Escaping the Emotional Damage of Our Fundamentalist Christian Past

    Maybe.

    If a person is a relative newcomer to Christian Fundamentalism, and they decide to leave it for a non-Fundamentalist Christian religion, another religion, or atheism, I think it is likely quite easy to view their Fundamentalist past as nothing more than a blip in their life. However, for those of us who were raised up in Christian Fundamentalism and spent years attending Fundamentalist churches, it is much harder for us to escape.

    Many of us spent decades being immersed in Fundamentalist Christian thinking. Our minds were filled with Fundamentalist Christian sermons that told us how to think and how to live our lives. It is no small task to walk away from Christian Fundamentalism after spending a lifetime in it. When we do walk away, we walk away with a lot of baggage and emotional and mental scars. How could it be any different? Years of being told you are a vile sinner that deserves hell or being told that certain desires you have are an abomination to God, are bound to emotionally and mentally do damage. When every area of your life is scrutinized by the church, pastor, and God, it is bound to have a lasting negative effect.

    Many long time Christian Fundamentalists end up in therapy. In my case, the psychologist I have seen for the past three years, has worked diligently to peel away my Fundamentalist past one layer at a time. Just when I think I am free from it all, out of the dark recesses of my mind, comes the ugly specter of Fundamentalism. Try as I might to run, it still catches up with me.

    I live with guilt, knowing that I hurt my wife, children, and the people I pastored. Yes, they have forgiven me…but I can not forgive myself. As I told my friend Zoe on her blog today, I view this blog as my penance. I hope through my writing to expose Christian Fundamentalism for what it is; a destructive religion that corrupts and ruins most everything it touches.

    I also hope to give former Christian Fundamentalists hope. No, I am not free from the bondage of my past, and I suspect I will always bear mental and emotional scars from the five decades I spent in Christian Fundamentalism. But, I can let fellow travelers know that it does get better the longer you are away from it. I can let them know that better days are yet ahead and there is an uneasy peace that can be had.

    http://brucegerencser.net/2013/09/escaping-the-emotional-damage-of-our-fundamentalist-christian-past/

    Gerencser writes

    “You are quite right…[I am] victim and abuser. I did what I did because that is how I was raised and trained. It was what was modeled to me by adults, pastors, and professors. Knowing this assuages my guilt at times but I am a big believer in personal responsibility and it was ME who preached the sermons and emotionally and mentally abused people with the Bible. Countless people have forgiven me….but some days it doesn’t seem enough. I am friends with three gay men who were children in the one church I pastored. I think of all the hateful things I said from the pulpit about gays and it is very hard to forgive myself.”

  56. Years of being told you are a vile sinner that deserves hell or being told that certain desires you have are an abomination to God, are bound to emotionally and mentally do damage. When every area of your life is scrutinized by the church, pastor, and God, it is bound to have a lasting negative effect.

    I must not be a fundamentalist or have never been involved with a fundamentalist church, then, because i have ever experienced this level of judgment.

    Quite the opposite. I have always been taught that I am saved by grace through faith.

    I have been taught that Jesus is the High Priest of my confession who has empathy with our weaknesses.

    I have been taught that I can boldly come to the throne of grace for help in time of need.

    I have been taught that it is no longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me.

    I have been taught that greater is he that is me than he that is in the world.

    I have been taught that I am more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me.

    I have been taught that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

    I have been taught that His grace is sufficient for me.

    I have been taught God loved me before I loved Him.

    I have been taught that we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

    I have been taught we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works.

    I have been taught that nothing can come between us and the love of God.

    I have been taught that Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.

    I have been taught… etc…etc…etc…

    Maybe Mercer just went to the wrong church. Sad.

    But don’t blame fundamentalists.

    Blame condemnation theology.

  57. Ok so now you’re not a fundamentalist after defending them to the hilt and condemning those who questioned it.

    It’s hard to keep up with people’s ever changing perspectives.

  58. So where are we with masturbation?

    Do I go with Matthew 5:27-28 which I was always told when ever the subject was broached and condemned my single Christian years to conflicted torture and inferiority?

    My 5 kids are getting older, have we changed our minds?

  59. Bones,
    Ok so now you’re not a fundamentalist after defending them to the hilt and condemning those who questioned it.

    Not according to the definition given by Armstrong, no, nor Mercer, nor, it seems your definition. Besides, it is you who have defended their definition and attached it to myself and Q an any number of targets. We have consistently rejected this.

    In fact, rather than defend fundamentalism, I have challenged the assertions of Armstrong and Mercer, which is totally different to what you have just claimed.

    You are the king of semantics.

    ‘So I take it you don’t believe in Hell anymore?’

    So having made a hash of the previous comment, you add to it in the next.

    You’re an extraordinarily contentious person, Bones.

    The quote you put up had to do with Dr Mercer’s claimed horror stories of having been condemned as a sinner in his Baptist church and extensively mentally traumatised by guilt, shame and self-loathing.

    Gerencser backs this up and fesses up to having abused people with Bible passages by deliberately condemning them. All of this has nothing to do with Christ, the Word, and what we are called to minister to either saints or sinners.

    I have fought (spiritually LOL) the condemnation ministries for years. Many of them now how have minions who run the discernment sites and condemn Christians and especially leaders for not preaching condemnation and calling them a bunch of wicked, evil sinners, rendering the cross, in their theology, of no effect.

    What do you think people like Rosebrough, Gorter, Elliott, Margot, Zorro (pseudonym) and the like are all about? They are condemnation ‘ministries’. (I place ‘ministries’ in inverted commas because they are not the real deal. They serve no one. They are condemnation sites.) They never lift people up. They never encourage. They put believers down. And they use scripture as a weapon.

    Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but that the world through him might have life.

    Yes, there is sin. Yes, there is judgment, but the message of the gospel is good news. Jesus paid the price of our sin and offered us new life in Him through faith in the finished work of the cross.

    ‘Therefore there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit; for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.’

    These people are victims of the fundamentally flawed doctrine of misguided preachers.

  60. Gee Steve can’t even answer questions any more. He’s forever in fight mode.

    Interesting.

    I never said you were a Fundamentalist.

    You just went in swinging declaring war on all and sundry.

    Go back and read the thread.

    Not quite sure what Rosebrough, Gorter, Elliott, Margot, Zorro have to do with anything other than being Fundamentalists themselves.

    Let us know when you finish this war of yours.

  61. Any guy who says he has never looked at a woman lustfully is either a liar or a homosexual.

    So basically we’re all going to hell.

    Well I take it, its ok then cos there’s no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus as Steve says.

  62. Unfortunately, Bones, you and wazza show a lack of understanding of scripture, which is not surprising, given that you reject such a huge slab of it, unless, of course, it can be used in a discussion as a tool for argument, even though you don’t, personally, believe it.

    It wouldn’t be possible, in a few short comments, to explain how this whole thing works and how it is that you can live a life in Christ free of condemnation.

    I suggest you find and join a quality church where they teach on faith, grace, liberty in the Spirit, the good news, how to overcome sin and live a righteous life in Christ, etc.

    As usual, you take a portion of scripture and challenge it without applying it contextually. I take it this is because it is of no actual consequence to you and you prefer the ramblings of any number of clinical psychiatrists or psychologists to help you feel better about yourself.

    The key part of Romans 8:1 says that we walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, so there, in a nutshell, is a clue for you.

    If you could find a good church which teaches how to walk in the Spirit maybe you can get over the condemnation theology you claim to have been upset by.

  63. “So where are we with masturbation?”

    Every thing is meaningless a chasing after the wind, nothing is gained under the sun.
    Didn’t you read the book of Ecclesiastes Bones?

  64. “I suggest you find and join a quality church where they teach on faith, grace, liberty in the Spirit, the good news, how to overcome sin and live a righteous life in Christ, etc…”

    I suggest that you ask God for Wisdom (in the name of Jesus) and not follow Steve’s advice, because it says nowhere in the bible that ,’attending a church can save you’.

    See, I implore(not suggest)you my friend, that you should have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, so be it!

  65. Bones,
    Not quite sure what Rosebrough, Gorter, Elliott, Margot, Zorro have to do with anything other than being Fundamentalists themselves.

    Which is what I was saying.

    OK, I’ll accept that you were not calling us Fundamentalists. I think it was wazza who hinted at it with a quote from Armstrong attached to us, and you agreed, but maybe I was wrong.

    So, why are you defending Armstrong and Mercer, who are definitely placing everyone in the same pot, which is the point of my argument? You seemed to be an apologist for their perspective.

    You quoted her reference to her claim that all Christians are, along with other religionists, fundamentalists and could easily support a fascist regime, which would seem to me to be to be an irrational claim, given what we now know of fascism and its consequences after WW2.

    Admittedly I attached this claim to a move towards asserting that contemporary mega-churches and movements are aligned with and built through fascist tendencies, but you never denied or opposed such a suggestion.

    Where do you stand with this?

  66. FORBE2,
    I suggest that you ask God for Wisdom (in the name of Jesus) and not follow Steve’s advice, because it says nowhere in the bible that ,’attending a church can save you’.

    Who said anything about being saved? Or that going to church can save you? I’m assuming Bones and wazza are already saved but have been taught condemnation theology and feel bad about themselves.

    You see, FORBE2 (eyes?) is, possibly, one of those condemnation preachers who says everyone is a sinner even after they have repented, been saved by grace though faith and made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

    Of course, he can disagree if I have got this wrong, but he’s coming across as someone who calls saints sinners. Am I right, FORBE2?

    What I said was that they could go to a local church which teaches on those things which help them get over the condemnation theology which some ministries peddle and which cause people to have a guilt complex even after they have given their lives to Christ.

  67. Mercer proposes that the unconscious absolutist schema underlying this dilemma is the following: “If I don’t get it right, I am not a Christian, and I will go to hell.”

    That is wrong doctrine, right there. Does anyone know why?

    Gerenscer,
    Years of being told you are a vile sinner that deserves hell or being told that certain desires you have are an abomination to God, are bound to emotionally and mentally do damage. When every area of your life is scrutinized by the church, pastor, and God, it is bound to have a lasting negative effect.

    More wrong doctrine. I pity the man in a way, but he hasn’t helped himself, either, has he, because he purports to have been a pastor, so why hasn’t he read the Word and found the answer?

    Maybe it’s not his fault and he is a victim of denominational inaccuracies, but we all have the same Bible, the same texts the same words of Christ, Paul, James, Peter John, etc. It is all in there for all to see.

    But he won’t let go, will he, even after three or so years of psychiatric help, which suggests other factors at work.

    ‘I live with guilt, knowing that I hurt my wife, children, and the people I pastored. Yes, they have forgiven me…but I can not forgive myself.’

    Everyone around him, he says, has forgiven him and want to get on with their lives, but he has dedicated a blog to his own angst and self-loathing.

    He wants to help others in his position to be free when he doesn’t have the solution himself.

    Well, if I had seriously cut myself in an accident and an artery was gushing with blood I wouldn’t want a trainee medic who hadn’t worked out how to stop the flow of blood and apply a tourniquet to go anywhere near me!

    ‘I hope through my writing to expose Christian Fundamentalism for what it is; a destructive religion that corrupts and ruins most everything it touches.’

    Well here’s the real motivation behind the blog. Revenge. He doesn’t blame himself at all. Nor does he take any responsibility for what he did to his family. He blames Christians for his own lack of ability to sort out his anger, melancholy, finger-pointing and whatever else he is guilty about in ministry.

    If he knew the truth, the truth would set him free.

  68. “What I said was that they could go to a local church which teaches on those things which help them get over the condemnation theology which some ministries peddle and which cause people to have a guilt complex even after they have given their lives to Christ.”

    Once again, you peddle ‘CHURCHYANITY’ rather then,’FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST’.

    What is the matter with you?

  69. Perhaps it is that you are 2 scared 2 mention the name of JESUS, So you would rather invite people to a faith that does not suffice.

    Sunday Church is not going to fly wings and take off into heaven, you know!

  70. Hard to follow this.

    I’d love to respond to it all but it’s again all over the place. So who are we talking about when we talk about “fundamentalist Christians”?

    First it sounded like Fundamentalists are people who believe Bible stories. Then when I asked for clarification about whether believing in the gospel miracles made one a fundamentalist I got no answer. I still don’t know whether these fundamentalists include Rick Warren, billy Graham, popes or who!

    Bones says he never said Steve was one but he said he himself was in Sunday School and later when he tried to convert his family after a tragedy.

    Then we got onto Bones tortured personal masturbation history….

    It’s just all over the place!

    Bones claimed Biblical scholarship proves the bible isn’t the word of God, but fails to define biblical scholarship. If he means the conclusions of biblical scholars that is a complete over generalization because there are plenty of Biblical scholars who use that term. NT wright who Bones seemed to admire speaks of the authority of the scriptures and has a very different outlook to Sponge who he has debated.

    He took offense when I poked fun at his awe of clinical psychiatrists and proceeded to equate them with astronomers when my simple point is that being a clinical psychiatrist doesn’t make that person an authority on the human condition and morality and the place of religion, especially when a highly educated Jesuit psychiatrist would have very different views on both the value/danger of religious belief and human sexuality than some others – especially if they specifically studied psychology after a childhood of abuse in a religious environment.

    But let’s look at Bones and his tortured struggle with masturbation – since he asked!

    Some might consider Dobson a fundamentalist ( not sure if Bones does or not). But he is not at all condemning of teenagers who ask questions about the issue.
    But, if you are asking about lusting in the heart while masturbating, then it’s pretty safe to say that most Christians from Billy Graham way back to the church fathers would dissuade someone from thinking it was good to fantasize sexually about the girls in church. If that makes them fundamentalists who cause depression and anxiety in those who take their advice – well that’s your call.

    On the other hand there are many clinical psychiatrists who would think it’s perfectly healthy to have a masturbation session while looking at porn and then imagining the same scenarios with real people.

    Not to mention that most clinical psychiatrists wouldn’t have a problem with sexual experimentation before marriage. But I don’t see clinical psychiatrists as being the final word on anything.

    But in the end, what on earth are you talking about?

    Who exactly are these fundamentalists.

    If not C3, Hillsong, Steve, me, most evangelical churches then this has all been about some extreme churches in America? Westboro?
    Bones’ church he attended in his youth?

    Once again, really hard to follow.

  71. And now Steve is accused of being too scared to mention the name of Jesus???

    Lol

    This place gives me a headache …,,

    Goodnight.

  72. Eyes, who abandoned church attendance some time ago for his own heterodoxy, now condemns church attendance as pointless, which only goes to show that spending time out of church will result in a rejection of other church goers. The only reason for avoiding the regular gathering of saints would be imprisonment for the faith, or a missionary enterprise for a short time until converts are won.

    Not that church attendance in itself will save you, although you are more likely to be saved in a Christian environment where Christ is preached than outside. It is correct to say that salvation is through faith in Christ alone, and there is no other name but the name of Jesus by which a person can be saved.

    But since all scripture is God-breathed, we are instructed to continue in fellowship with the saints, and the most reliable place to gather with saints is in a congregational setting, however large or small, I would have to say that it is Biblical to be part of a group which meets on a regular basis to share the scriptures, pray and worship God.

    What form this takes is irrelevant, really, but, since God has given us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to build us up and train us in Christian life, one would expect that the local church would be the best place to grow and thrive.

    Being a loner like Eyes only leads to a confused set of values and a critical attitude towards church-goers, as far as I can see.

  73. Psychologists question effects of fundamentalism

    By MARJORIE KRAMER
    For The Coloradoan

    Fundamentalist Christians often find themselves embroiled in controversial issues.

    Recently, the battleground has turned to the arena of psychology as therapists study and isolate the effect of fundamentalism on believers and on ex-adherents.

    Psychologists across the country are becoming increasingly concerned about the possible psychological dangers of fundamentalism, a type of Christianity usually characterized by a strict, literal interpretation of the Bible. This criticism is coming from inside Christianity, and from outside its folds.

    Marlene Winell, PhD., is a licensed psychologist who has been practicing in Fort Collins for three years. Born in Hong Kong of Pentecostal missionaries, Winell now describes herself as an ex-fundamentalist.

    In August, Winell will present a paper at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in New York City.

    In this paper, Winell identifies certain symptoms she believes are common in people who have left the fundamentalist belief system. She quotes Bible verses that she believes leads people to develop certain tendencies that constitute a syndrome, very much like the syndrome experienced by adult children of alcoholics.

    Unlike that syndrome, however. Winell acknowledges that many positive experiences often occur in a fundamentalist family.

    For the past year, Winell has been taking a critical look at tier ex-faith, and talking about her experiences with clients and other associates. She has identified 11 typical “features” of former fundamentalists. These features range from disregard of human emotions, to low self-esteem and the inability to find fulfillment from within.

    “What people out of this background really struggle with is simply relaxing and being happy in the present, instead of how it’s going to be someday in the future,” explains Winell. “That strikes me as really very tragic.”

    Also, she thinks former fundamentalists often hesitate to join any sort of organized group, such as a political party.

    “They have a real apprehension to any controlling systems of thought. So, then, it’s kind of lonely because there’s nobody you can get that kind of feeling of fellowship with, either. It’s a real dilemma,” she says.

    Winell works with groups so that people can have a sense of sharing their struggles. Winell has also identified stages ex-believers go through after they leave the church.

    ”One state is very angry … or hedonistic,” she said. Eventually, Winell says, people must learn to value themselves and to initiate a more personal spirituality … and the process is lifelong.

    ”What surprised me about a lot of this, is that it’s not as benign as some people think,” she says. “A lot of people treat religion as something childish, that you grow out of … You had a more adult view of the world and everything was fine. But, 30 years later, they’re not fine. It’s still painful. ”

    Winell says she is familiar with the writings of fundamentalist psychologists, such as James Dobson. Dobson writes books on family life and child rearing and emphasizes building self-esteem in children.

    “That is sort of the fundamentalist definition of self-esteem, that you have to be saved, you’re not OK by yourself … What I’m hoping people would instead feel is that you’re worthwhile in and of yourself,” Winell explains, “You’re not a means to and … that’s different from being valuable because you are a channel for God’s purposes.”

    Winell doesn’t necessarily encourage or discourage her clients from going to church.

    “People will do that anyway,” explains Winell. “They’ll visit churches and try things on for size. But, most of them realize it’s going to have to be an individual process. And that probably no religion, no church, will ever really satisfy them.”

    Winell says her own spiritual beliefs are hard to describe using traditional terms. She says she tries to keep her spirituality low-key when talking with her clients.

    “The last thing I want to do is hand something over to them,” she explains. “So, that is my role – to support them in that process of evolving their own beliefs.”

    Donald Sloat, Ph D., is also familiar with the psychological dangers posed by fundamentalist Christianity. The book he authored, “The Dangers of Growing Up in a Christian Home” (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986) explores the possible ravages that can be imposed by unwitting parents on their children as they attempt to educate them in Christianity.

    Despite the title, the book is not a “frontal attack” on Christianity, says the author.

    Sloat, also a licensed psychologist, practices in Grand Rapids Mich. He grew up in a fundamentalist sect, the Holiness Denomination and now belongs to the Reformed Church of America.

    “I wrote the book because I wanted to say what a lot of sensitive, struggling Christians are feeling, but are afraid to talk about,” Sloat says, ‘ It’s OK to think and struggle. I show why it’s OK to struggle and do some personal exploring.”

    Sloat has also identified symptoms he feels are common among former fundamentalists, and they mirror the features identified by Winell in her work. Using examples and descriptions of various personality traits, Sloat tells how religious socialization negatively impacts certain people, resulting in depression or low self-esteem. He deals with overcoming these problems, and a host of others.

    Although Sloat encourages people to allow themselves to doubt their faith, he does so in the hopes they can establish their own personal belief system, within the confines of Christianity.

    “I don’t push people toward leaving the church,” Sloat explained. ”I feel people can work on this within the church, meaning church in the broad sense … I’m not advocating people chuck he church and leave.”

    Sloat says many Christian patrents today are searching for ways to raise their children that get away from certain common negative aspects of Christianity.

    “What I’m talking about are methods, that are used to pass the Christian faith onto the next generation,” Sloat says. Using mostly guilt and fear to motivate people can create problems that cause people to struggle and leave the church.”

    Reaction to Sloat’s work, has been mostly positive.

    “I get calls and letters from people saying, ‘Where have you been all my life?’ ” quips Sloat. He says the fundamentalists who have reacted negatively usually have been influenced by the book’s title and have not bothered to read the work

    Winell says she has not received any reaction from fundamentalists regarding her paper. But she suspects they would react negatively to her criticism.

    She has presented the paper to a group of local Presbyterian ministers, and found them to be very open to her work.

    To further her research into the psychological effects of fundamentalism, Winell would like to hear from former fundamentalists about their experiences. She will also be starting a support group for ex-believers in the near future.

    http://marlenewinell.net/page/psychologists-question-e-0

  74. Nobody willing to give me an example of a fundamentalist church?

    If believing that Jesus rose again, walked on water, healed the sick etc makes me a fundamentalist then i can accept being one. But that would make Hillsong a fundamentalist church.
    But they don’t seem full of depression and anxiety to me, or fascist, or cut off from the world. On the contrary Hillsong New York is doing exceptionally well, has a good reputation with the secular media.

    And with their latest album on top of the US billboard charts (not just CD sales but frequency of airplay on radio stations) they don’t seem cutoff or struggling with modernity or being part of society.

    So who again are the Christian fundamentalists that need books written about them?

    Maybe all those who feel tortured by their life in fundamentalist churches where every aspect of their life is “scrutinized” should just go to Hillsong and C3?

  75. So bones you are just going to keep posting articles written by people who left the church through bad experiences and then studied psychology?

    If you’ve read one you’ve read them all.

    If you are a depressed ex-fundamentalist still torturer about your masturbation, try your local Hillsong.

  76. If you are a depressed ex-fundamentalist still torturer about your masturbation, try your local Hillsong.

    DOn’t know troll.

    Do they threaten to bash people up at that church?

  77. In church this morning:

    “If you don’t put your hand up. Remember Jesus said if you deny me, I will deny you to my Father”.

  78. Not trolling, and I don’t bash people up.

    Now you are on another copy and paste frenzy so probably the swearing and insults will start when you realize you can’t answer simple questions. Usual pattern.
    So Winnel is an ex-Christian who suggests fundamentalists and evangelicals, bible believers and born-again people are the same, and should’t run for office. Yes, she says a person who follows Jesus words can’t be president….

    Very angry, anti-Christian woman who is very popular with ex-Christian websites – although some of them have doubts about her credentials.

    So, you are now an ex-Christian too?
    Stopped believing in the resurrection?

    You take your kids to church? Is it fundamentalist? Be careful, if that is classed as indoctrination She might accuse you of terrorism…….

    No, this woman doesn’t impress me.

    Oh, I think you were too hard on yourself about your masturbation. You aren’t inferior. Check out the Hillsong podcast.

    That is unless you really do consider yourself an ex-christian and are happier that way.

    But if your reason for posting on here is an attempt at “deconverting”, you’ll have to try a lot harder, and quote some people who have a better understanding of both psychology, the AOG and Jesus words.

    Yes I know, she’s a psychologist and that’s almost as awe inspiring as a clinical psychiatrist….

    But if you want some genuine advice – take some time off the ex-Christian websites, attacking Christians and try praying as you read Jesus words again, and also just have some fun with your wife and kids.

    The constant attacking and negativity will wear you out.

    And I hear the latest Hillsong cd is great.

  79. Given Brian’s recent statements re evolution and homosexuality, you couldn’t classify Hillsong as Fundamentalist.

  80. Okay, so you don’t like fundamentalists and you don’t like non-fundamentalists either.

    Given Brian’s links with AOG and the fact that he hasn’t been censured by the AOG for his comments then neither Hillsong nor AOG are fundamentalist?
    And no mega churches have criticized him or cut him off – so maybe there aren’t many people who you would class as fundamenatist. So what’s with all the raging concern?

    Are you worried about some obscure group somewhere and your old childhood church?

    Just go to Hillsong and tell the other people who you say have so much depression and anxiety to go to Hillsong or other churches like them.

    So, let’s have more Hillsongs!

  81. Gosh, I’d be depressed if I spent that much time looking for and looking at the psychological ramblings of people who haven’t gotten over their own hang ups so create a niche in which which to draw others to their agenda.

    This whole conversation is becoming ridiculous, really. The truth is that there are psychologists who have created a new niche area for themselves in which they can create their own peer reviewed nonsense, who have decided that, if they call Christians ‘Christians’ there isn’t much mileage to it, because it is known that most, the vast majority, of the Christian community is balanced, sane and happy, so they have to come up with a term which is far more sinister, and have landed on the word ‘fundamentalist’ because the militants of Islam have made it into a bad word.

    So they very rarely use the word ‘Christian’, do they?

    Now we are all fundies!

  82. “Eyes, who abandoned church attendance some time ago for his own heterodoxy, now condemns church attendance as pointless, which only goes to show that spending time out of church will result in a rejection of other church goers. The only reason for avoiding the regular gathering of saints would be imprisonment for the faith, or a missionary enterprise for a short time until converts are won.”

    Perhaps you should try and stop going to church on Sundays,
    That is , if you don’t feel condemned for not.

  83. Church attendance is very point full, considering that the Church is the People of God, but yet not a man made building.

  84. Gathering together on a regular basis is not only of great importance to believers, but an instruction.

    Hebrews 10:24-25
    And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

    Being condemned for not gathering with he saints isn’t an option or issue in my life because I enjoy their company and like being amongst the saints, not just on Sundays, but whenever we can, as a large group or small, with other believers from other congregations or with our own. We meet all the time net is never onerous. I don’t understand why anyone would want to avoid gathering with the saints.

    The Church is the people not a place, but we meet in specific buildings designated for our gatherings. So, what’s the problem with this? It’s perfectly normal. We also meet in coffee houses, at other functions, at work, everywhere, in act, where there are two or more of us.

    The weakness of your argument is that in your isolation you claim superiority, when in fact, you are a stranger to the rest of the Body, and not functioning in the capacity God gave you as part of the Body. You are displaced.

    I can’t see how you can help anyone from a position of isolation and independence.

    It also renders your voice mute because you are peripheral to everything that takes place and a mere voyeur.

  85. I’d be so thrilled to find a post on this site that didn’t degenerate into a Bones versus Steve stoush…is it possible? I don’t think so.

    I’m fine with people not naming themselves as Christian – there have been times when I felt that the label was not terribly helpful – that I preferred to call myself a ‘follower of Jesus’. I’m not happy to do that these days. I’m a Christian…I believe that the bible has been delivered to the church, but the church and that tradition has as much bearing on doctrine as the bible – heck – for most of the early church there was only the tradition of the disciples to go on, ad then for most of the early years of Judaism as well there was only oral tradition to go by – that’s all they had while in exile – tradition that then became the text of the Jewish Scriptures.

    I don’t think that calling something myth means that you are saying it is worthless – in fact far from it – I get a whole lot more instruction for life out of Aesops fables than I do out of “A Short History of the World”

  86. “The weakness of your argument is that in your isolation you claim superiority, when in fact, you are a stranger to the rest of the Body, and not functioning in the capacity God gave you as part of the Body. You are displaced.

    I can’t see how you can help anyone from a position of isolation and independence.

    It also renders your voice mute because you are peripheral to everything that takes place and a mere voyeur.”

    I don’t need to leave long sentences, there is just one word that describes you and that is PRESUMPTUOUS.!

    FOR,ahem, what did i do yesterday STEVE?
    Can you tell me?
    What did i do last week STEVE?
    You seem to know everything about everyone, but yet you do not know the leased thing about what may happen tomorrow…let alone what happened yesterday.
    I guess that I’m not as good as you are at playing the TRUMPET.Hey!

    And again, which Christians did i associate with with yesterday?
    Can you tell me STEVE?

    I don’t need to prove myself STEVE?…LEASED OF ALL 2 SOMEONE LIKE YOU!

  87. Just defending the wonderful concept of local church attendance, folks. Makes no difference to me what you did, who you met with, and where you did it. It occurred to me that the concept of Sunday (or any day) gatherings were being poo-pooed. If they weren’t no harm done, if they were the defence is strong.

    I don’t see that not gathering with the saints is a option for disciples of Christ.

    If you like, Greg, I’ll split, the Bones can argue with himself. I think he helps set up some interesting discussions, myself, but if it offends you that we discuss stuff, I’ll do a Con.

  88. Of course you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone, Eyes, but you do seem to have a way of deliberately throwing in pithy one liners which set you up for a response, otherwise I can’t work out why you’d claim I put the Church before Jesus a few comments ago, and claimed I was saying people could be saved by Church rather than Jesus.

    Then you challenged me to stop attending local church meetings and, I take it, be like you, free from any commitment to a local church. You then suggested I might feel condemnation if I did not attend church, which is completely a none issue, since, as I pointed out, I find being with other saints in a local church setting refreshing, inspiring, enjoyable and worth continuing.

    So I don’t think you are entirely the hard-done-by victim here, Eyesy. I think your attempted put down encountered someone else’s enthusiasm and you found yourself compromised by your own desire for clattering a person’s dedication to something you can’t bring yourself to enjoy.

  89. Greg, I appreciate your position on mythos and logos, but, as Bones intimated, there are those who consider that ‘most’ of the OT is myth. He has declared himself as one of them.
    I don’t know what your position is on this, but where does a person draw the line between what is myth and what is reality, because that is what you are claiming here if we break down the meanings of mythos and logos.

    Then you have the situation whereby a person can claim a doctrinal stance which claims the authenticity of a book or passage, but another argues against it by claiming it is myth and not to be understood factually, so, in effect, you have a breakdown of communication straight away between two ideologies, one which has certainty, and the other which is more interpretive and less certain.

    Then you have the concept of faith. How does faith work with myth? I am a person of faith, but I am rational enough to know that faith in a mythological God is folly.

    Myth is fable, mere inventions of the human mind, stories handed from one generation to the next, and therefore, subject to private interpretation, reassessment, adjustment, reconstruction, deconstruction, and any number of realigning disciplines which relegate myth to empty ideals with no power.

    For the person of faith, God must be real, his concepts must be demonstrable, and his thoughts must be capable of being related in some way so that the person of faith has tangible evidence of the presence and person of the deity in his or her own individual life.

    The second point I will make is that, as Bones correctly pointed out, the author’s article from which you quoted was about more than the ideas of mythos and logos, so contextually this was part for broader suggestion that all religions can be poured into one melting pot and called fundamentalists, from where she launches a false dichotomy based on her own failed premise.

    I’m not sure why Bones fought me on this, since I don’t think he disagrees in essence, but once he had declared Armstrong’s concepts perceptive he maybe had to stick to his guns. I think it possible that the idea of grouping all religions as fundamentalists will lead to a growing number of articles and books which will rename Christianity as a subgroup of fundamentalism so that Christians can be aligned with hardliners.

    The false concept of Christian fascism is already flavour of the month on whacky discernment sites, so this is a growing phenomenon which is not going away, but we do have to resist it, not through militant means, but by continuing to stand for the authenticity of the canon of scripture, and the message of God to the world he sent Jesus to save.

  90. “I’m not sure why Bones fought me on this, since I don’t think he disagrees in essence, but once he had declared Armstrong’s concepts perceptive he maybe had to stick to his guns. I think it possible that the idea of grouping all religions as fundamentalists will lead to a growing number of articles and books which will rename Christianity as a subgroup of fundamentalism so that Christians can be aligned with hardliners.”

    Huh.

    It’s clear that all fundamentalist movements have certain things in common eg fear and distrust of modernity (eg science) and loss of certainty, an us v them approach to the world (the saved /unsaved, light/dark, if they are not for us they are against us, righteous/infidel) a distrust of anything not of their brand, religion based on rewards/punishments, a war/jihad against unbelievers & heretics, a peculiar emphasis on parts of doctrine/scripture/ …

    By modernity, we don’t mean technology either.

    I’ve always said there really isn’t any difference between fundamentalists of any persuasion apart from who they’re fighting for.

    Armstrong got that.

  91. For every thesis there’s antithesis, but we don’t group everyone into one mob simply because they identify opposition to their cause.

    In fact, some of the antithesis to, say, Judaism, includes other groups which have now been placed under the same heading as their potential nemesis.

    I think there is more to it than this unreasonable argument that all religions are fundamentally the same. They’re not.

  92. Plus, of course, there are aspects of atheism which are at least as militant in their fundamentalism as any zealous religious group.

  93. “Steve, What do you call a Greek man jumping off a bridge?

    A: Condescending”

    Well call it condescending or call it what you want, but Steves presumptuousness does sound a bit MYTHOS, don’t you think?
    I mean, making up judgemental stories about people (that you don’t have any clue about) could quite frankly be regarded as a myth…yay?

  94. No one said all religions are fundamentally the same. They’re not.

    What is common are the traits amongst Fundamentalist movements.

    Fundamentalist atheism (let’s call it antitheism) is more a reaction against religious fundamentalism. ie it is borne out of frustration at religious intrusions into the world of science & education/ religious hypocrisy/ wacky irrational theology

    “I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.”
    ― Richard Dawkins

  95. Bones, what is wrong with religion?
    Let’s have a look at James, some say(imply) that he was like ‘the big gun’ back in the day.

    James 1:27
    Amplified Bible (AMP)
    27 External [a]religious worship [[b]religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.

    So which religion are we talking about , the right one , or the wrong one?
    Or maybe that some people just make stuff up in their head.?

    I’ll tell you what is wrong with religion Bones, it’s simply the false and misconstrued definition of the WORD.1 PROBLEM IS THAT PEOPLE INTERPRET IT.

    I thought that i would just put a full stop there.Do you know why, well it’s because that we are trying 2 rely on a human beeeeens.
    Sometimes you might have more luck relying on bird signs…LOL!

  96. Eyes, opening the exchange he is now complaining about as presumption on my part…

    I suggest that you ask God for Wisdom (in the name of Jesus) and not follow Steve’s advice, because it says nowhere in the bible that ,’attending a church can save you’.

    Which is true, in regard to not being saved by church attendance, which I already commented on, but not on my advice, which was sound. However, you presumed to know something you could not possibly have known, didn’t you? Because I wasn’t discussing salvation, but the value of meeting with the saints.

    From there on I simply pressed you on the same lines until you burst a blood vessel at your perceived offence because I promoted church attendance as preferable to absence.

    Here’s some more presumption…

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  97. Bones, I don’t understand the necessity for subordinating the major religions under the banner of fundamentalism when they are clearly entities in their own right.

    Especially based on the premise that most of them have a concept of us versus them. That is a weak argument.

    There are at least one billion Muslims on the planet and their religion has hundreds of years of tradition behind it, so there is no reason whatsoever to categorise them as anything but Muslim. They have their own subgroups and sects with varying degrees of complexities, and some even oppose others in doctrine and ideology.

    The same could be said of Christians, who also number more than one billion and have a history stretching back 2000 years, and referencing doctrine which predates their beginnings by at least 4000 years, so there is no necessity whatsoever to re-categorise such a major ideological grouping.

    Then there are other major religions such as Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, which require no further categorisation, since they are an entity in their own right.

  98. “From there on I simply pressed you on the same lines until you burst a blood vessel at your perceived offence because I promoted church attendance as preferable to absence.’

    Wow ,mmm, I thought that ship had sailed,though, it does seem like you are still fixing upon,
    staring at a brick wall.You seem 2 have gone way beyond the horizon there.!

    22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

    Next time you go boating i would suggest that you take an EPIRB !

  99. You don’t attend church Steve, you are the church, and i would like 2 call you a name but Greg said something about name-calling,so there.

  100. Eyes,
    Your fundy mates over at c3churchwatch have just trolled the depths with their latest offering…

    http://c3churchwatch.com/2014/02/10/c3-wedding-wrecking-ball

    The girl in question would be having her wedding around about now, a few weeks after making the comment about her pain that one of her parents refuses to attend her wedding because that parent read the anti-C3 sludge at c3churchwatch and, as a result, will not set foot in a C3 church. The other parent, obviously, consents to the marriage and will be there.

    But, without an ounce of sensitivity, care or consideration, Churchwatcher names the bride-to-be, publicly criticises her for getting married in church, and posts her Google+ Social Media address on the net.

    For heaven’s sake, why would they do something so heartless? So that their fellow trolls can go over there to further abuse the crap out of her or something?

    The girl in question was not commenting on their blog. She wrote to me at my c3churchwatchwatch blog and they lifted the comment out of pure spite.

    http://c3churchwatchwatch.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/c3churchwatch-not-worth-the-effort/comment-page-1/#comment-155

    I think even Bones would have to take exception to this bastardry.

    They unapologetically spoil someone’s wedding with their aggravated onslaught on one church, and contrive, in their blame-shifting headline, to accuse C3 of being the wrecking-ball.

    Now that is fundamentalism.

    Totally pointless and banal people.

  101. They’ve since removed the photo of the girl from the front page and placed a link instead. I guess they’re reading what we say here as well. They’re a disgrace.

  102. ‘Your fundy mates”….

    Well that’s cute,not sure why you are trying to directly associate me with C3CHURCHWATCH?
    Interesting comment though.I’ll be giving it some thought.
    Funny thing is that if you had not informed me, I would not have even bothered in tickling over there for a peek, ! or a watch!, which ever suits your pumpkin.
    What you are really doing is giving them some more hits.
    I’d go check your mail box, cause they might actually be sending you a card of appreciation.

  103. I think that we have all established that you are displeased with the C3Churchwatch.
    But thanks again for reminding us.
    Maybe you could start a blog about them?
    Oh hang on a minute,

  104. Steve,
    I’m not going 2 sit here as a ‘Steve verses C3CHURCHWATCH referee’
    Perhaps I’ll just Watch instead. Not saying i’m going to take front row seats either.
    What I’m saying is that i don’t want to be the meat inside this sandwich.
    I’m just gunna hang out near the snack bar and enjoy the Popcorn.

  105. I factored you in because you seem to be a supporter of their assault on C3 and Hillsong, Eyes.

    Surely even you must agree this is a spiteful thing to do.

    I’m not sure why you have to give it much thought. It’s a shameful thing to do to a person who is about to marry. End of.

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