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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Saving the Planet One Left-Wing Position at a Time (VII)

Is There a Foundation for Theology?

Recently, we’ve been interacting with John Armstrong, Dan Kimball, and Brian McLaren. Each is slightly different from the other two, but they do have a lot in common. John MacArthur (The Truth War) cites Armstrong saying, “I have been forced, upon deeper reflection about theological method, to give up what I call epistemological certitude.”[1] Armstrong continues, “If there is a foundation in Christian theology, and I believe that there must be, then it is not found in the Church, Scripture, tradition or culture.”[2] Those are highly interesting and telling statements—not to mention chilling statements. It might be helpful for Armstrong to move away from the via negative and tell us what that foundation is and where it might be found. If it is not to be found in the Church, in Scripture, in the Christian tradition, or the culture, many would be interested where it might be. Since Armstrong has moved his church membership to the long-since liberal Reformed Church in America, surely he cannot expect us to believe that the foundation is there.

Dan Kimball believes that the Church is anti-female, homophobic, and that it arrogantly claims that all other religions are wrong. This is just the type of guy you want teaching your family. In order to prove that the Church is homophobic, Dan asked a number of homosexuals if the Church was homophobic. The answer was Yes. What a surprise. To make his point, he lets us listen in on a conversation he had with a young woman, who was filling in for his regular stylist. That’s funny. Bri loves Starbucks and Birkenstocks and Dan has a regular stylist, which is, no doubt, far better than having an irregular stylist. Back when I was cool, hip, cutting edge, and seriously engaging the culture, I had an irregular stylist and it was no fun. Dan asked her if she went to church and she said no because she was gay and the church wouldn’t want her there. Well, that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard—apart from the fact that Dan actually pays a stylist to give him such a lousy haircut.

He carefully sets up his straw man and then knocks him over. I don’t believe that any thinking and praying Christian would deny entrance to a worship service to a male or female homosexual. It would seem that they would want them to hear the gospel. Simultaneously, they would not want that person to remain a practicing homosexual, because the Bible says that that is a sin. Dan doesn’t like that approach. He’s not certain about what Scripture says about homosexuality nor does he like the word “sin.” The only people that dislike the word sin more are Bill Hybels, Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen, and Brian McLaren.

But to understand how impoverished the Emergent church movement is, you need to listen to a heterosexual. I’m not sure where Dan dug “Gary” up, but you get the impression that Gary stays awake at night trying to get his IQ into double digits. Listen to this piece of irrefutable logic from old Gar: “I don’t see anything corruptive or destructive about homosexuality. Jesus was about love, not hate. So homosexuality shouldn’t be something the church hates. It shouldn’t be a religious issue. With all the things wrong in this world, I don’t understand why the church makes such a big deal about homosexuality.”[3] Gary was, no doubt, taught by Dan. It’s funny that Dan has this in response to Gary’s very well thought through ethical statement: “This is the viewpoint of many in emerging generations, who perceive that we fear and hate all homosexuals. Out of all the other things in the world we could focus on—poverty, AIDS, greed, abuse—we make a bigger deal about homosexuality.”[4] While it is patently true that AIDS is not limited to homosexuals it would seem that AIDS might just be considered rather corruptive or destructive. Just what is a “religious” issue?

Some modernist might be out there thinking, Wasn’t Sodom condemned for unnatural sexual sin? Well, of course not. Dan gives us the solution: The sin of Sodom was its lack of hospitality and not helping the poor.[5] (cf. Ezek. 16:48-49.) If you look that text up, it does say that—and more. It lists pride, excess of food, prosperous ease, and not aiding the poor and needy. If Dan had included v. 50 in his explanation we would have read the following: “They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them when I saw it.” If Kimball wants us to believe that lack of hospitality carried with it the epithet of “abomination,” then this is the only place in Scripture where God states that lack of hospitality is an abomination. That Hebrew word occurs in Leviticus 18:22 where it refers to the sin of homosexuality. The same word is used again for the same sin in Leviticus 20:13. In the New Testament, the book of Jude (v. 7) reminds us that Sodom and Gomorrah indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh. So be forewarned! You now see where lack of hospitality will land you! I’m going to throw a big party and invite all the neighbors.

Anyway, Kimball believes—along with a large number of those who call themselves evangelicals—that God loves all people.[6] This is probably why he gets so bent out of shape when there is even a hint that people in other religions aren’t right too. Dan also listened to one pastor preach a sermon on homosexuality, but wasn’t impressed. Why was that? Kimball tells us: “My guess is that’s because the pastor couldn’t tell even one story of actually having any homosexual friends himself, so he viewed them and spoke of them more like someone would talk about an object.” This, friends, is the premise that if you don’t know a homosexual, you cannot possibly interpret Scripture correctly. Unless you’ve cross-dressed or committed bestiality, you cannot possibly tell God’s people what the Word of God teaches on those matters. I wonder if Dan the Sensitive knows any people like that. Here’s the crass answer: You don’t have to live in a garbage can to know that it stinks. I’m not certain that old Moses had any homosexual friends, but he told us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that it was wrong; it was a sin. How many homosexuals did Paul know personally? Kimball’s arguments are about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

But here’s some of the nonsense you can get into. Kimball describes a 21-year-old college girl who began attending his “worship gatherings.”[7] She was a creative musician studying fine art, who was a lesbian. Fine. Kimball began to let her serve in “several ways,” which remain undefined.[8] She also started serving on the “ministry team.” Eventually, she wanted a teaching role. You’d think that her age would have been reason enough to discourage her from any serious teaching position, and if that weren’t sufficient, you could have added the flimsy excuse that she wasn’t a Christian. Here is Kimball’s effeminate explanation: “With anguish and tears, I explained that I couldn’t let her serve in that position. I felt like I was yanking my heart out, and yanking her heart out, and slamming them both on the ground.”[9] It could have been worse. Just think what it would have been if Kimball had lacked hospitality. It would never cross my mind to allow a non-Christian homosexual to teach in my congregation. I’ve known some homosexuals in my life. I’ve helped homosexuals and listened to them as they told me about their struggles, fears, and temptations. I think there are appropriate places for men to cry, but what Kimball described isn’t one of them. Get a grip!

I’ll be brief about other religions. We’re back doing man-on-the-street with Kimball. This time we’re introduced to Duggan, who is Irish. Here was his dad’s approach to religion: “When I was a teenager, my dad gave me several books to read—the Bible, the Koran, the I Ching, some Buddhist writings—so I could be open-minded and discover a spiritual path for myself and understand God more fully.”[10] Right. Duggan’s brains fell out he was so open-minded. This approach by “Dad Duggan” is often viewed as the right and tolerant thing to do. There’s another way of looking at it, however, that is not quite as harsh as the Old Testament lack of hospitality thing, but makes the point. Duggan’s dad cared so little for his son that he was unwilling to take the requisite time to teach his son the values and the virtues that he held near and dear—if he had any principles in the first place. How in the world is some pimply-faced, zit-infested teenager supposed to make heads or tails out of those books? Was anyone around to sit down and talk to Duggan and parent him? Good grief! But Kimball thinks that Duggan is a good person to talk to if you want to understand the emerging culture. Maybe and maybe not.

Anyway, “In Duggan’s home, religion wasn’t really talked about much,”[11] which probably explains why dad just threw some books at his son. Dad was—in some sense—Roman Catholic so he gave him books from other religions. Are you following this? You need to if you’re going to understand emergents. The upshot of such careful and caring child rearing was the following: “Duggan grew to appreciate beauty in all religions and to see truth in all of them. He doesn’t practice any one faith exclusively but sees himself as a spiritual person with Buddhist leanings.”[12] Yep. Duggan is the product of his father’s irresponsibility. But all is not lost. He is a metro-spiritual and I’m willing to bet he practices hospitality just in case the Christian God is the right one. He doesn’t want to end up like Sodom. It’s funny, because all these years I thought sodomite meant something entirely different. Now I know if I don’t share my Twinky I could have fire rained down from heaven on me. Old Open-Minded Dug is in a quandary though. “He doesn’t understand why most Christians can’t see the beauty in other faiths.”[13] Why, all he hears “from Christians is that all other world religions are wrong and going to hell.”[14] Maybe Dan can help him out—but then again, maybe not. Apparently, with all that open-minded, tolerant study Dug did he failed to see the clear, obvious, and blatant contradictions among the world religions. It will come as no surprise that Kimball is ever-understanding. He informs us that “What Duggan’s saying is that Christians come across as naïve and arrogant when they can’t even carry on a conversation about the religions they reject.”[15]

Don’t you see? It’s the Christians fault. Why I’ll bet if we sat down and asked Duggan questions about the Christian faith, he could click off sentient answer after sentient answer. I say this, because old open-minded Dug is rejecting the Christian faith. Remember Penny the lesbian? Kimball trots her out one more time, but this time her subject is not Jesus and homosexuality, but Jesus and other religions. Kimball quotes Penny as saying, “Eastern religions were more attractive to me, because they focused more on being kind to others, loving other people of other spiritual beliefs even if they are different from you, treading lightly, and being humble. I think that was similar to the message of Jesus, ironically, but that’s the opposite of what I experienced from church and Christians.”[16] No, not quite, Penny. Eastern religions were more attractive to you because you are at enmity with God and you are running from him. So by treading lightly, being kind by manmade standards, and loving other metro-sexuals you could enter a works righteousness situation that allowed you to continue to move farther and farther away from the Jesus who said that he was the way, the truth, and the life and that no man came to the Father except through him. You moved farther and farther from the Jesus about whom it is said, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)

Kimball’s solution is that we need to train our churches to understand world faiths.[17] I disagree. Given the sad state of modern evangelicalism, it would seem that we need to train many of our churches to understand the Bible!

Back to Bri

When you left Bri last time he had some global questions simmering in the back of his mind. He’s convinced that we’re living in a suicidal system, and to some degree I might agree with him although I’m convinced that we’re coming at this “suicidal system” from very different points of view. Bri informs us that when he left teaching English to become a pastor he wasn’t contemplating any “deep shifts.” Instead, like most pastors he was looking to make a bundle of money and retire on Maui. He got mugged by reality, however, because sincere spiritual seekers would attend his church and ask him simple questions like, “Did God really wipe out Sodom for being inhospitable” and he didn’t have the correct answer. Obviously, this was before he met Dan Kimball or Penny or Duggan.

It was in the midst of the West’s confidence-mania and uncertainty-phobia that Bri began to see those nasty little destructive framing stories. What ever was to be done? Well, for starters, “we must face the injustices of our past and seek justice for everybody everywhere.”[18] Wow! That’s a tall order. But rest assured: In the course of the book Bri doesn’t tell you how to do that. He just mouths some insipid platitudes so that he sounds concerned and hospitable, but the best he can do is to continue to speak in vagaries and generalities. This was a very freeing chapter in Bri’s life though. It enabled him to turn from a “set of intramural religious arguments” to question what the biggest problems in the world today are and what do the life and teachings of Jesus have to say about the Kyoto Accord?

Why spin your wheels trying to figure out what Scripture says about issues when you have the Copenhagen Consensus and the United Nations? I ask this because this is where Bri takes us. A modernist—you know, someone with a brain—might have expected an exposition of what Jesus had to say about global problems since Jesus was mentioned in the question. But old once-English-teacher-then-silly-pastor-now-enlightened-thoughtful-non-fundamentalist Bri turns us instead to the Millennium Development Goals (or MDGs—and this is not a dyslexic reading of Miller Genuine Draft) to make us aware of the world’s top problems that Bri is going to tackle and solve. There are eight: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.[19]

Lists like this from the U.N. are part of the reason I want to send everyone in the U.N. back to their country of origin and turn U.N. headquarters into a night club. At least then it would serve some purpose. Of course, the U.N. can’t accomplish fixing these problems alone. Is this where Jesus comes in? Well, no, but the World Bank’s vice president for Europe, J.F. Rischard, does. That’s helpful. All we need is for a religiously bankrupt Europe to teach us how Jesus would solve the global problems hospitably. What does Rischard’s list look like? Well, it’s closely akin to George Soros’ list. We need to fix global warming, deforestation, peace-keeping, providing education for all, reducing the digital divide, preventing natural disasters, reinventing taxation, updating global financial architecture, stopping the spread of illegal drugs, improving rules for competition, creating protections for intellectual property rights, and the like.

I can hardly stop laughing. Let me cut to the chase. What Bri wants is to return to the liberal social gospel—that was substantially more social than gospel—and to socialism and the welfare state. He envisions a society where the elite tell you how to live because you’re too stupid to know how to do it yourself. And it’s this swill that postmoderns are willing to drink and call it Christianity.

[1] John MacArthur, The Truth War. Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), p. 20.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus but no the Church, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007), p. 150.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid., 153.

[6] Ibid., 154.

[7] Ibid., 160.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid., 163.

[11] Ibid., 164.

[12] Ibid. Italics mine.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid., 165.

[16] Ibid., 166.

[17] Ibid., 176.

[18] Brian McLaren, Everything Must Change, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), p. 45.

[19] Ibid., 47.



Blogger SolaMeanie said...


I got through half of this column and then had to get busy with office stuff. I'll finish it later (and yes, I am in agreement).

I do have to tell you though, that reading the first part about the EC and homosexuality made me think of this little ditty.

Sorry. I couldn't resist.

7:32 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

I just finished the rest of it. Perhaps Brian can run for the UN Secretary General's post the next time it becomes vacant, unless they give it to Bill Clinton first.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

While I cannot claim to get on board with everything that either McLaren or Kimball says their way of thinking is much more preferable to yours!

I believe you have misquoted them on such matters such as sin, and that they are simply contextualising here, of course you will no doubt think this is heresy. And it remains a sad reality, that whilst many churches claim they want to be open to letting homosexuals in, they condemn them in the next breath, giving them no reason to come back, and offering no support of guidance out of this situation. I certianly think this poorly researched...and backed up with your usual level of arrogance. anyone else....

3:57 PM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

also over at my site on this page if you scroll down the page a little, you will find an article on post-modernism. May i make it clear at this point, that I am not trying to loosen the morals of the church, and get them to become post-modern and compromise their values and beliefs, but rather evangelise in a post-modern context, which means making some slight adjustments to the way we DO evangelism on the whole.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

ps my first post is certainly not backing p Kimballs approach to his theology on Homosexuality, just stating the percieved problems with the churches approach to this particular issue.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

A good reading of the letter of Jude in Greek would clear up a lot of these matters and manifest that I am not taking them out of context.
What is most wearisome is when people write articles and books and you quote them and their adherents or they themselves say either "You don't undertand me" or "You've taken me out of context." So me clearly where I have ever taken McLaren, Kimball, or any other Emergent tribe member out of context.
That is a self-serving argument that liberals used repeatedly. If it's legitimately out of context then show when, where, and how. If it isn't, back up your position biblically.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

ahh, so much for me thinking perhaps this time we could have a fruitful arguement...seems not. perhaps you need to be less defensive, and be open to the fact that others have opinions as well. just a thought...

4:31 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

I'm not interested in opinions. Substantiate what you believe and answer my questions and then we can have a fruitful discussion.
Unfortunately, all that you are doing is the usual "modus operandi," which is to throw up a smoke screen. I put items for you to respond to, now start responding. Otherwise, be quiet and get off the blog.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

it scares me that people like you can call themselves church oxymoron if you ask me.

you are not a leader, but a dictator, and not even a sound one at that. i suggest you rethink your apporach to a lot of things, your theology does't appear to be that far off, but your approach is certainly not Christ-like.

5:44 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...


Again, read behind the satire and see the points being made. I think Dr. G is willing to dialogue with you without satire, but part of debate and discussion is to engage specifics. He asked you to substantiate what you said, and then you say "so much for dialogue." What?!? I know you're capable of it because you and I have actually done so.

If Ron has taken McLaren etc. out of context or misquoted them, show him where and how and I am sure he'll retract what he said. Don't do what Randy Buist tended to do, which was to hurl everything but the kitchen sink out there and hope something stuck.

6:31 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Also, the dictator line is patently unfair. Ron answers to the authorities in his church, and I am sure his congregation would tell you that they have opinions and voices.

You seem to have something in common with this particular generation in that a confrontational tone of any type really bothers you. However, Scripture makes it very clear that this type of tone is necessary from time to time. Read Galatians and a good chunk of both letters to the Corinthians and you'll see what I mean. Sometimes theological error and false teachers have to be confronted sternly, especially when they won't repent of their false teaching.

Another hallmark of this generation is a near worship of pluralism or relativism. Everyone's opinion is equally valid. That is just logical nonsense. Everyone can't be right. There are people out there who teach "doctrines of demons" and therefore are wrong in what they teach. To be obedient to the Lord and His Word, such error must be opposed and confronted.

Please see this, and do not take my words here more sharply than intended. I am not yelling at you or trying to put you down, but trying to help you see the point.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

What have you learned from reading and exegeting Jude?

6:03 PM  
Blogger Tim Bushong said...

What have you learned from reading and exegeting Jude?"

Yeah- that's what I thought you asked the first time, only in a more intimated way. I get pretty glassed-over when I read posts or have conversations like this one, especially the "you're not being Christlike" part.

The term "offensive" does not automatically mean "anything contradictory"- one can contradict respectfully, and still be polar opposite of the other person.

And pure opinion isn't worth the...well, paper, but we're not actually usng paper, so...

10:04 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Just to give you a bit of a jump start on the Jude matter: V. 3 is especially poignant and important because it speaks of "the" faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Even though pomos and emergents like relativism, Scripture doesn't. The words that Jesus spoke are spirit and life (cf. John 6:63). McLaren, Kimball, and others have made it abundantly clear that confirmed and convinced Buddhists can become followers of Jesus. (A Generous Orthodoxy, 260, 264.) Kimball chides Christians for being so judgmental of other religions.
If biblical truth is not absolute, then Jesus (remember him? You know, as in the Ethics of Jesus--as opposed to, say, Paul or Isaiah)then our Lord's words in Matt. 24:11 & John 8:32 make no sense at all.
Jude tells us that he felt the need to write this command in v. 3. The Greek verb implies "pressure." Notice what it is that Christians are supposed to be fighting for: We are called to defend "the" faith. But it is not just any "faith," but rather the faith that was delivered to all the saints. No one discovered or invented this faith; it was delivered to us.
This truth was entrusted by God to the whole Church, intact, once-for-all-time. "The faith" is a complete body of truth already delivered. That should get you started, Jonny.
One more thing, son. You need to understand this very clearly: I will not be lectured by you on leadership. I have been leading men and women for longer than you have lived. I have led as one with feet of clay, but by God's grace I have led and have led effectively. I have trained men for combat and men and women for spiritual combat. Why not try this: volunteer to go into the military and serve for 5-10 and then come back and let's compare notes.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Sister said...

Wow. Verbose, but so wrong.

Have you considered that the closest thing to a righteous man that the angels could find in Sodom was willing to defend them by offering up his daughters to be ravaged by a horde of rapists? That truly is, as you say, an abomination, and apparently worthy of destruction.

I've been looking at your blog and it's associated comments for the past while, and I'm now assured that you haven't changed much from the narcissistic, pompous know-it-all I used to know.

If that list of leadership accomplishments is going to help you get into heaven quicker, or even guarantee you a better spot, then God can just get the info from your web page (or any of the many other places you publish/announce/display it)... you don't have to use it to demean people who disagree with you.

It's too bad you've wasted so much of your time on this kind of dogma, because with your abilities you could have brought many more people to God, instead of scaring so many away. I hope that, one day, you will understand the destruction that you have wreaked.

Oh, and by the way... it's not satire. It's just plain mean.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Your response is typically pomo: Truth by declaration. If you quote an emergent, you've taken him out of context. If you quote Scripture, you're verbose.
BTW, I never claimed that leadership would get me into heaven. Go back and re-read what I read. However, leadership does not back down from silly, cheap, anonymous Internet bravado. But your response is typical pomo response: name-calling. Very mature.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Sister said...

"Your response is typically pomo"

I would like to thank you for affording me a label, since I wasn't even aware of the term until I read your hate mongering, except that I get the feeling you use it to demean anyone who doesn't interpret scripture with the same result as you... so I'm not sure it's accurate.

"Truth by declaration."

I'm sure you have Genesis 19 memorized already, but I would challenge you to go back and read it again. Sodom was not destroyed because they practiced homosexuality. They were destroyed because they were, ummm, very bad people.

My declaration is that your interpretation is wrong.

"I never claimed that leadership would get me into heaven."

You're right. You didn't. Please forgive my hyperbole. However, you suggest over and over again that your leadership experience puts you in a better position to know God and his plan than any of the people who disagree with you. Ordering pushups while flaking off of the chassis of a military machine does not put you in a better position than me to interpret scripture. I have seen, first hand, what your kind of leadership can do, and it ain't pretty.

"But your response is typical pomo response: name-calling."

My intent was not to call names, but rather to describe your egocentrism. Odd though, that you use this defense, since your writing is peppered with name-calling. (Hey, does that make you a "pomo", too?)

8:25 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

(I really think you're Jonny since you refuse to publish a profile for your name.) Was Paul a hate monger as well (Galatians 1:8-9)?
Does "very bad people" mean sinful? Where in the Bible does God condemn "very bad people?" I can't find that particular reference.
You really missed the whole point on the leadership thing, but I think you really wanted to and were trying to. But just for the record, I was speaking to 19-year-old Jonny who probably has not had a lot of leadership experience. Understand? Probably not.
Egocentrism? You're kidding, right? You really must know be very, very well.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

i am not sister ron, although are thoughts are similar in some ways. what I want to say to you, i will do, giving you full knowledge of who i am. I have no need to hide my identity

3:17 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Fine. How's the work going on Jude?

3:23 PM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

the work on Jude is going great. Quite interesting actually. Can you point out a number of verses that you think would be of particular importance to me?

But Ron I must say, you are typical fundamentalist, you have an answer for everything, and your answer is always the right one. Even when it's wrong it's right. Don't think this is the most useful, or appropriate attitude to have. Be true to what you believe sure, but don't do it in an arrogant 'I know everything' kind of way.

Plus, you talk of post-modernity as if it is something you can stop, you can't it's happening deal with it. Contextualise (not compromise, they are different) and get on with things. Stop wasting your time on the internet being rude and bad mouthing people. Hardly a Christlike attitude.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

i must say however, that studying jude is taking longer than desired. but then again i assume my greek is not up to the same standard as yours. I haven't been studying it too long...but I'm enjoying it so far. I actually am supposed to be studying for a greek exam right now...oops.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

But Ron I must say, you are typical fundamentalist, you have an answer for everything, and your answer is always the right one. Even when it's wrong it's right. Don't think this is the most useful, or appropriate attitude to have. Be true to what you believe sure, but don't do it in an arrogant 'I know everything' kind of way.

I'm sorry, Jonny, but this response is idiotic and worthy of a young adolescent. Being confident of having the right answers on some subjects is hardly arrogance. Particularly when those subjects involve spiritual life and death. Postmoderns put a big emphasis on not knowing everything (which no one ever claimed!), but they sure do know that no one else really knows anything at all. Very similar to the way so many are harsh judges of what they judge to be judgementalism. It's foolish, slothful thinkful.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

kyle it's pretty clear you don't understand what I mean. Perhaps you have misread it. I don't understand why you are bringing in the postmodernn assumption of the relativity of truth into this conversation. Perhaps it's best if this continues between Ron and I? Assuming he doesn't misinterpret what I say.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Jim W said...

jonny, you said "Stop wasting your time on the internet being rude and bad mouthing people. Hardly a Christlike attitude."
Maybe you should heed your own advise. I would also suggest that if you really are a college student, you should brush up on some grammar. "are" does not equal "our". This is just one example. Hardly college-level work. If this an example of modern education, it's no wonder the world is a mess. Just some friendly advise, from a "drama-quen". (I still don't know what that is, but I assume it's a bad thing).

6:28 PM  
Blogger Sister said...


Where in the bible does God condemn very bad people? I hate to repeat myself, but the answer is, "Genesis 18:20, and Genesis 19:13."

And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous...

... For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous...

...because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."

RNG (Ron Gleason Version):
Then the Lord said they're homosexuals...

... we are going to destroy this city because they have gay sex.

Now, you can't take me out of context: I'm quoting scripture. The difference in our interpretations is that I believe the people of Sodom were destroyed because they were Rapists, not because they were homosexual. Big, big, big difference, no matter what your perspective.

No, I didn't miss the point on the "leadership thing"... like a schoolyard bully, you wielded your leadership experience to belittle someone else's opinion. The scary part, though, is that Jonny's wrong: I know you are a leader, and that you're leading a whole lot of people down the wrong road. It was under your "leadership" that you and your family shunned me, many years ago. I had learn to love and forgive despite you, not because of you. I am sorry now that I stumbled on your blog, because I see you haven't learned a thing since then. Egocentrism? Yes. It seems I know you better than you know yourself.


Take your meds... you're losin' it.


These people have been training to fight with people like you for a very long time.

Good luck, but don't get your hopes up.


7:03 PM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...


Nice selective quoting of Scripture, but are you forgetting Deuteronomy where God clearly declares homosexuality an abomination? Do you forget Romans 1 and other passages clearly stating that homosexuality is sinful?

Your problem is that you're having a pity party and carrying a grudge, and that grudge is apparently warping your judgment and reading of Scripture. More than that, you are in rebellion. I suggest you repent while you still have time.

8:28 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...


Let me ask again. Just where is Ron wrong in what he is saying? Please be specific, please give examples, and preferably in context. I honestly would like to see just what is wrong with what Ron has said. And I am not talking about his tone. I am talking about the substance of what he is saying about the Emergent Church and so-called postmodern ministry. Knowing specifically what you find objectionable here would be very helpful.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Sister & Jonny,
First, please excuse Sister from gym. Okay, we all understand that you like to rant and that you think that I'm a hate monger. You sound like the Advice Goddess out here in SoCal. She is one funny dudess. Now that you've vented, please try to come up with something substantive. If you like, I can point you to international OT scholars who actually believe that the sin in Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexual practices.
I have you a great deal from Jude 3 already. Until you have digested that and given good, biblical answers, please don't come back asking for more info.
I would like to ask this practice question. Why is it that people like Jonny, Sister Permanent PMS, McLaren, Kimball, Randy, and others get all squirrelly if a theologian, who has studied for over 30 years says he's right, but has no problem accepting a diagnosis from a MD? Is your diagnosis just as good as his, or is he being unloving when he tells you the truth. Why is it that we stop for stop signs (except those who live in Boston, of course)and know that our math professors will not accept "relative" answers to math problems, and all sports have clear rules and boundaries, but when it comes to faith and ethics we become consummate relativists?

10:07 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Sister & Jonny,
First, please excuse Sister from gym. Okay, we all understand that you like to rant and that you think that I'm a hate monger. You sound like the Advice Goddess out here in SoCal. She is one funny dudess. Now that you've vented, please try to come up with something substantive. If you like, I can point you to international OT scholars who actually believe that the sin in Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexual practices.
I have you a great deal from Jude 3 already. Until you have digested that and given good, biblical answers, please don't come back asking for more info.
I would like to ask this practice question. Why is it that people like Jonny, Sister Permanent PMS, McLaren, Kimball, Randy, and others get all squirrelly if a theologian, who has studied for over 30 years says he's right, but has no problem accepting a diagnosis from a MD? Is your diagnosis just as good as his, or is he being unloving when he tells you the truth. Why is it that we stop for stop signs (except those who live in Boston, of course)and know that our math professors will not accept "relative" answers to math problems, and all sports have clear rules and boundaries, but when it comes to faith and ethics we become consummate relativists?

10:07 AM  
Blogger Sister said...


I don't remember even being intereseted in your opinion. What is interesting though, is that like so many fundamentalists, subjective interpretation is fine as long as it doesn't contradict your beliefs. You read an awful lot into my words, and unfortunately, none of it was right. Any old excuse, I guess, to pull out your timeless, scripted catch phrases and power idioms like "pity party" and "in rebellion" is good enough. Maybe you should stop mimmicking such parrotted drivel to read more and develop your vocabulary. Or, invest in a thesaurus. Better yet, ask Ron for his, 'cause he doesn't need it any more.

I'm not at all interested in discussing any of this with you further. You are incidental.


1) It is irrelevant that some scholars believe the sin was homosexuality. Some scholars beleive that it wasn't. My point is that the text doesn't support that assumption. The text doesn't even indicate that Lot didn't practice homosexual sex. Lot practiced incest, and peculiarly, he was still righteous enough to be saved.

2) My previous point is only that you are fallible. You have made mistakes in the past, and you make mistakes presently. Doctors practiced leeching and bloodletting for far longer than a paltry 30 years, and it turns out they were, uh, wrong too.

3) Forgiveness does not give you carte blanche to treat people horribly, without compunction.

4) Believing a thing doesn't make it true.

Both of you,

You are far too willing to read between the lines when you find an interpretation that supports your belief, but you're the first to start screaming about black and white when there's contradicting evidence. Hmmmm. Typical.


I didn't even know what the "Emergent Church" was until yesterday. You're right on one thing though... sounds kind of flaky. With that said, however, I get the feeling that they're a lot closer to the Truth than you will be if you insistently cling to your dogma without due consideration.

I'm signing off of this one, for good. The intelligent argument is fun, but too scarce in this forum. Solameanie, see how much you can read into "Adios" THIS time.

11:51 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...


You can try to dismiss me in imperious fashion if you like, and quite frankly I don't care whether you're interested in my comments or not. You posted them on a blog where comments are allowed, so you're going to get them whether you like it or not. What you have done here with Ron is tantamount to drive-by character assassination.

I will readily admit that I assumed quite a lot in what I said, but I don't think I was that far off the mark. I can read between the lines. From your comments here alone, I suspect your issues with Ron had more to do with him trying to correct your theology and keeping you from spreading it in the church. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. There. That's my subjective interpretation. But I do not carry subjective interpretation over to Scripture.

Liberal "scholars" have tried to do just what you're doing in reinterpreting biblical texts, and their efforts are laughable. We actually have facts and biblical history on our side.

I don't need a thesaurus, by the way. My vocabulary is just fine.

1:44 PM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Before I say "adios" to you, let me paste this little gem for your perusal. It's what prompted me to comment in the first place . . .

I know you are a leader, and that you're leading a whole lot of people down the wrong road. It was under your "leadership" that you and your family shunned me, many years ago. I had learn to love and forgive despite you, not because of you. I am sorry now that I stumbled on your blog, because I see you haven't learned a thing since then. Egocentrism? Yes. It seems I know you better than you know yourself.

So you got shunned? You make an accusation like that in public along with other remarks and expect it just to sit there and spin in the ether? Again, let me guess (subjectively). You were told to repent of something and refused to do it. When you refused to do it, you were subjected to discipline in accordance with Scripture.

If I am wrong here, I apologize for my subjective assumptions. But you owe Ron an apology for posting something like that here instead of dealing with him personally about it and going through proper biblical steps to resolve something like this.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Sister is the Advice Goddess from SoCal who would not know Christianity if it walked up and hit her in the face. If she/he is not the Advice Goddess she/he wouldn't know Christianity if it walked up and hit her/him in the face.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...


Take your meds... you're losin' it.

"I don't remember even being intereseted in your opinion."


kyle it's pretty clear you don't understand what I mean. Perhaps you have misread it. I don't understand why you are bringing in the postmodernn assumption of the relativity of truth into this conversation.

No, Jonny, I don't think I've misunderstood you. I've simply noted that your attitude and reactions to Ron have been precisely postmodern.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Sister said...

Aw, Geez... I knew I shouldn't have opened that email. Oh well, it's a mistake that won't happen again.

So Solameanie, I see you got that thesaurus... otherwise you wouldn't have picked words so ambiguous as "imperious". If you look it up in the dictionary (that's different from the thesaurus) you'll see that it can support two very distinct implications.

Anyway... Let's consider your guesses:

1. There was an action that necessitated repentance
2. A demand/suggestion/request for repentance was made
3. The demand to repent was refused
4. There was discipline adminstered

Then let's consider the facts:

1. Nope. No sin identified.
2. No repenting required or requested,
3. Hmmm... can't have number 3 without number 2.
4. Nope. No discipline. Just the cold shoulder. And no reason why. That's leadership, I guess?

Ok. Let's tally the score now. Oh! No! You got NONE right. Maybe you didn't spend enough time in prayer before reading between the lines this time. I know you're pleased to be Ron's loyal pit bull, but you're not doing him, or God, any good by pulling at the end of your chain of limited intellect to come after me.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Sister said...

Sounds like I might as well be the Advice Goddess since she's obviously a vicarious "pomo" target. Don't know who that is, but I feel her frustration...

Ron, I knew you well enough to know that you like Coors (not Coors Light), and that your oldest son had a better understanding of Jesus than you even when you drove your Pony to Bethel. Any more details, and I would be guilty of "drive-by character assassination" (whatever that means in THIS context???).

If I didn't know Christianity when it walked up and hit me in the face, it's because you taught me what it was. Good thing you're not as influential as you think you should be.

Clicking unsubscribe.... now.

7:55 PM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...


I am writing this with an element of amusement. I think I made it plain -- unless you are more obtuse than I estimated -- that what I was saying was conjecture. After doing some investigating, I believe I now know the real state of affairs. Regardless of the specifics, you've gotten your bloomers in a bunch about some past exchange with Ron, no doubt well deserved. I don't have to be an attack dog for him. He's quite capable of putting you in the ducking stool by himself. Aside from that, you really need to drop the supercilious routine. Only people who have a deep-seated inferiority complex have to try and prove their candlepower by vocabulary. If you want to try and cast aspersion on my intellect, go for it. Maybe you'll send me a photocopy of your Mensa certificate so I can genuflect at it.

The people who really know Ron can attest that they have had quite the opposite experience with him. Most pastors don't survive long in their occupation if they are harsh, ugly people with no shred of compassion or human decency. If you felt an Arctic chill while dealing with him, you might remember something Katerina Luther once said. "If folk don't like you and me, the fault with us is likely to be."

Now, as you have intimated that you don't like the environment in this little soiree, I trust you will do as you said and decamp hastily. If not, I am sure the delete key will be used in due course.

All the best to you, sugar.

8:56 PM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Now that we've had our little jangle, I'll say this, all teasing and tweaking aside.

If you really had some sort of grievance -- one important enough to make a public charge on a blog -- and if you are supposed to be a believer with some semblance of biblical knowledge, why haven't you followed the biblical pattern of confrontation and seeking reconciliation or restoration? For people who say they are believers, this isn't optional. If you haven't done this, or won't do it, then you have no business making cryptic charges in a forum such as this.

9:02 PM  

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