cartoon: evangelism

This poor little fish is being sold a bill of goods. He has no idea that what he’s being offered has nothing to do with his own good, but totally with the good of the evangelist. This little fish just might be a sucker.

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About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • kelseyud

    I’d love to see a cartoon on what you think to be the correct attitude. :)

  • http://www.jasonmarshall.co.uk Jason

    Ha Ha, into the belly of the beast..lol

    Very topical is I’ve just been ranting about some of the deceptions in “church”

    What amazing grace that god shows that people can get saved and find Jesus through many odd means, even the odd evangelist here and there

    Thanks

  • Lisa

    wow. on many levels, wow. many might be offended by this, but i totally get it, and concur.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    Lisa: Yup. Not all evangelism’s bad. But this one is. Well, for the little fishy anyway.

  • http://theprodigalprophet.wordpress.com The Prodigal Prophet

    If you believe that Yeshua has already reconcilled the ‘world’ – all humanity and in fact all the cosmos then it’s a proclamation of ‘you’re already back’ and not you got to join us to get in!!!
    My interpretation anyway!!

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    prodigal prophet: i wouldn’t disagree

  • fishon

    I’ll be darned, I recognize that big old fish. Sure enough, it is a “Z Theory” fish looking for suckers.

  • Christine

    Would you see “quick fix” Christianity with it’s boat-load of meaningless platitiudes as being anything other than this big fish?

  • Joey

    This reminds me of the time I was doing an outreach to Mormons. The leader said, “Just wait until they get saved and THEN find out about all the bickering in the Church”…

  • kelseyud

    Also, the page’s ID ends in 666, this post was clearly of the devil.

  • berci

    @kelseyud: that’s what i noticed in the first place, but forgot to mention. :D

  • http://superstitionfree.blogspot.com Robert Madewell

    David, is it OK to link to your blog posts on face book? That’s what I usually do. I never DL your pics and post them that way. It’s always a link with a tiny thumbnail of your comic. It brings them here where that can view your comic on your website.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    Robert: Sure, that’s great. Thanks.

  • Doug

    I’ve been a pastor for nearly forty years. I’ve managed, by the grace of God, to be the instrument through which some people really have heard the Good News (at least as David, the Prodigal Prophet and I interpret it),through my preaching and through personal interaction. But boy, I hate evangelism as it’s traditionally been taught to me. I feel like I’m (A) treating people as categories, not as persons, and (B) treating them as though they were territory to be captured. Very uncomfortable, for me and for them, all the way around. I understand this cartoon all too well.

  • http://theprodigalprophet.wordpress.com The Prodigal Prophet

    Doug

    That’s the most honest statement I’ve heard from a pastor in my lifetime! Sir, you are worthy of the name ‘pastor or shepherd. The taking ground analogy is so true – in my previous incarnation ours was a militaristic Jesus sending down commands from on high to take ground from the enemy – what a distortion of Yeshua and indeed the world He chose to inhabit. I think the dualism of Greek philosophy has much to answer for in our interpretation of the life and death of Yeshua bar Allahah

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    I felt this exact way about the church prior to leaving it, just couldn’t in my right mind bring people to a place that was becoming a thorough disappointment all around. I used the idea of bringing sheep amongst wolves, but this works too.

  • Christine

    Part of the problem is that we are all too often trying to sell something, telling people that finding Jesus will miraculously makes their lives perfect – and perfect being defined as getting whatever you want and never having to worry about anything – far from the kind of Christian life we are called to. Then, all the disappointment come. Well, more like guilt than disappointment. People feel (or are sometimes told) that all those things didn’t happen because it’s there fault, because they didn’t have enough faith or didn’t commit, or love God enough or some such nonsense. We tell everyone whose life we have a problem with, that if they just come to Jesus they will *want* to live exactly the way we want them to (yes, we’ll call it God’s will, but usually it’s just about trying to convert people to be within our own comfort zonez). Then, of course, they find they do not want to be perfect carbon copies of the other members in their church, and are suddenly rejected by the people who claim to love them. Yes, indeed, we have a big problem. And it starts with the false hope of a care-free life, praying on people’s fears and desires, and is reinforced by our own arrogance that we have all the answers for them.

  • Doug

    Prodigal Prophet, thank you for your kind remarks. I’m humbled — I don’t see myself as a very faithful pastor sometimes, and have often wondered whether I even belong in the ministry, but I’m still here, some days for the better, some days for the worse.

    Societyvs and Christine, I couldn’t agree more what you’ve both said. Part of the problem is evangelicalism’s perception of what evangelism is: as you inferred, it’s the selling of a product — a product that will gain you a blissful eternity in heaven AND, if you have enough faith, will get rid of your zits in the short run. It’s no wonder that the whole thrust of church growth has become niche marketing — inviting people to “shop” for what they want, each church offering a variety of programs (products) that will ostensibly meet their needs. I serve two tiny (and I do mean TINY) rural churches that have little to offer except community. Both churches are struggling to stay alive. Liberal Christians in the area tend to gravitate to the larger mainline churches because they offer good classical music and programs on spirituality. Conservative Christians go to the evangelical or fundamentalist churches that offer theological certitude, big youth ministries, men’s groups, women’s groups, and which help foster a paranoid right-wing political ideology (i.e., we’re Christians, so of COURSE we hate Obama).

    Is it any wonder I’m a bit cynical?

  • fishon

    (i.e., we’re Christians, so of COURSE we hate Obama).
    ——-Oh, you mean the same ones that hated Bush?

  • Doug

    Fishon, I know it runs both ways; a lot of liberal Christians hate Bush just on principle, it seems. I’m not about to get into a pissing match here, but in defense of what I said, a lot of what conservative Christians in this area say and write about Obama is so vitriolic it makes me wince, and if they back it up at all, it’s usually with half-truths or outright lies, most of which they have gotten second- or third-hand. I’m not a big Obama supporter myself, but I hate gossip, and when Christians do it it’s indefensible.

    That’s all I’m going to say on the subject. Let’s get back to the matter at hand.

  • fishon

    Doug
    July 7, 2010 | 2:15 pm
    That’s all I’m going to say on the subject. Let’s get back to the matter at hand.
    —–So you are telling me that when you wrote::::”Conservative Christians go to the evangelical or fundamentalist churches that offer theological certitude, big youth ministries, men’s groups, women’s groups, and which help foster a paranoid right-wing political ideology (i.e., we’re Christians, so of COURSE we hate Obama).” That was not a part of your arguement. Why then did you put that in your position?

    No man, that comment says a lot about were you come from. Then I reply, and you intimate that I am starting a pissing contest.

    Again, if it isn’t a part of the “subject,” why would you bait conservatives and fundamentalists with that sentence?

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “No man, that comment says a lot about were you come from” (fishon)

    It’s called being cynical/sarcasm fishon, a kind of tongue and cheek humor that I am not sure we are to take that seriously. In fact Doug does it with this line too: “if you have enough faith, will get rid of your zits in the short run”.

    It’s just using part of the human language to reveal a bit about something in a way that isn’t that offensive.

    Ir it’s an example of some of the more conservative churches that actually do lean politically in one direction and teach against the other direction (ie: liberal). It does happen fishon, and using it as an example (or as cynicism) really isn’t all that bad.

  • Christine

    I don’t think Doug’s point was about who Christians should support. It was to say that “paranoid right-wong political theology” is one of the “products” the evangelical churches are selling. Whether one should have a right-wing political theology or not, churches “selling” anything, particularly politics or paranoia, is probably not a good idea. As Society points out, the sacastic mocking was meant to micmic the “sales pitch” not to take a political stance himself.

  • fishon

    it’s an example of some of the more conservative churches that actually do lean politically in one direction and teach against the other direction (ie: liberal). It does happen fishon,
    —–no doubt—but interesting that he doesn’t point out the liberal churches political ideologies. Um, might he agree with them. splames much.

    Societyvs::It’s called being cynical/sarcasm fishon, a kind of tongue and cheek humor that I am not sure we are to take that seriously.
    —–Well of course it tongue and cheek humor to you. You are not the one he is being tongue and cheek humorous towards. I am one of those right-wing political, ideologues who is a conservative Christian who pastors a fundementalist church.

    Why of course you would take no offense.

  • fishon

    Christine
    July 7, 2010 | 3:41 pm

    As Society points out, the sacastic mocking was meant to micmic the “sales pitch” not to take a political stance himself.
    ——-Um, now let me try and figure this out.

    Doug: “Conservative Christians.” “right-wing POLITICAL IDEOLOGY,” “hate Obama.”
    ——Ummmmmmm, I wonder, danged if that doesn’t sound political to me.

  • Doug

    I wasn’t mimicking the sales pitch, but OK, I’ll admit I was being sarcastic. Why? Because the hate-Obama thing really irritates me. Aren’t I entitled to that? A lot of conservative Christians here — not all, to be sure, but a lot — seem to obsess about Obama, his “socialism,” his personal origin, and so forth. I’m tired of it, and I’m tired of my fellow-Christians assuming that their Christian brothers and sisters are somehow not faithful if they don’t agree.

    As I said earlier, I KNOW IT RUNS BOTH WAYS. I was as offended by my former denomination’s consistent and loud anti-Bush stance as I am by the fundamentalists’ rants about Obama. I don’t like being told what my political stance should be. Why does any church have to have its ministry encompass a particular ideology? Am I being naive?

  • fishon

    Doug
    July 7, 2010 | 6:20 pm
    I don’t like being told what my political stance should be.
    —-Doug, we get that from all sides. Always has been that way, always will be. That’s history. By the way, I take it you don’t watch the News any more—cause the talking heads, the phoney Newsmen are telling us every day what our political stance should be.

    Why does any church have to have its ministry encompass a particular ideology?
    —-Because the church is ‘people.’ And people are always going to embrace a particular ideology. Besides, though not the churches priority, political ideology is unavoidable. Should or should not have the Lutherains been involved with the politics of Germany? Should the Catholics stayed quiet in the Iron Curtain countries. Should the churches that were against slavery stayed silent? Should those church denoms that are withdrawing their financial involvement with Israel be doing so? Should the churches and denoms that take the side of the Palistinian do so? I could go on and on.

    Am I being naive?
    —-Yes, I think so, to a point. Just because a person[s] becomes a Christian, does not mean that suddenly they become non-political with no political ideology.

    To the place politics places within a denom or individual church should be thought out very carefully. If, for instance, it became law that all blue eyed redheads were to be sent to prison, just because, and the church sat back and spoke not a word about it, I see that as sin. If on the other hand the government made it a law that homosexuality was illegal and was punishable up to 5 yrs. in prison…. Ah, let’s stay away from that church–denom, cause it is political.

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “If, for instance, it became law that all blue eyed redheads were to be sent to prison, just because, and the church sat back and spoke not a word about it, I see that as sin. If on the other hand the government made it a law that homosexuality was illegal and was punishable up to 5 yrs. in prison…. Ah, let’s stay away from that church–denom, cause it is political.” (Fishon)

    So when ‘gingers’ are hated on it’s wrong, but whrn it’s gays…you would sit back? Hypocritical much.

  • fishon

    Societyvs
    July 8, 2010 | 10:58 am

    –denom, cause it is political.” (Fishon)

    So when ‘gingers’ are hated on it’s wrong, but whrn it’s gays…you would sit back? Hypocritical much.
    ——Why of course I don’t hate gays, nor do I advocate hating them. In fact I love them, in Christ. I love them so much that i am willing to be “branded” a hater to help point them to Christ. But then, we have been around that circle argument before.

  • Christine

    I think we need to make a clear distinction between political issues and political parties.

  • Christine

    I forget sometimes just how much politics plays a part in American Christianity. We don’t talk politics (in the sense of parties, strategies, or scorecards) in church in Canada, and it’s considered somewhat inappropriate and distasteful when it happens.

    This, of course doesn’t means we don’t deal with political issues (which emcompass just about every aspect of public life), but it doesn’t have that dynamic of allegiance and it isn’t about personalities. (If anything we have the opposite problem, of political apathy, but that’s another discussion.)

    I see a need for the church to be involved in the issue in society (which are alsmost always, in some aspect, political). Indeed, rather unavoidable once you hold an ideology. But why one has to support a particular political party (as if one would ever agree entirely with one party’s platform), and in particular, hate the opposition, is beyond me.

    Just another thing churches are “selling”, the opportunity to promote your brand of partisan support.

  • Christine

    fishon, I missed your response at first because we posted at the same time.

    I can’t help but feel that your love “in Christ” is code for “only because I have to”. When you classify a whole group of people as inherently needing more help being good Christ-followers by virtue of a characteristic of their birth, “loving”, in any sense, is not the term that comes to mind.

    You are supposed to love others by treating them as you would like to be treated. Now, if I was going down a horrible path and sisn’t know it, I would certainly want to be warned. I understand that’s what you are trying to do. It’s your methods I have a problem with. No one wants you just be repeated told they are going to hell when the person telling them can’t produce a single good argument as to why. No one would want everything they said rejected, ignored, or ridiculed. No matter what one might be doing wrong, everyone general would like to be treated with respect, to be listened and understood, to be given the benefit of the doubt in their motives, to be spoken to in civil discussion as another human being.

    We can disagree and everyone can still be loving. You can warn me as what you see as a problem in my life and try to point me to the answer (assuming I have no relationship with Christ is quite a bit presumptious) and we can still be loving. That just isn’t what you are actually demonstrating.

  • Christine

    To try and get back to the topic at hand (women in church leadership), this attitude reminds me of the position that women are “equal but different” that underlies ideas of complementarity.

    Only in the context of this debate “different” here carries a connotation of being suited for different tasks. What is really being said it that women are equal but can only do some of the things men can do. “Different” is expressed as certain restrictions on what women can do (without any restrictions on what men can do).

    Hmmm… sounds like a very superficial kind of equal to me, like a suffercial kind of love.

    Any thoughts?

  • Christine

    So, sorry, got my lines crossed there… LOL. Completely lost track of what thread on was on. (Obviously though it was the other cartoon, which is hopelessly off topic.) Please feel free to disregard my last post.

  • Christine

    I try and actually get us back on topic (evangelicalism – or, if you prefer, giant fish :)), fishon’s position is something else churches are trying to “sell” us.

    Often evangelism is trying to sell people firm answers, easy answers, clear distinctions, and certainty. Christianity actually has none of these things (just look at all of our disagreements) so this is really just a shell game.

    It also “sells” a means of securing one’s worldview. Things that make you uncomfortable become “sin”, “wrong”, “evil” and the church provides you with a means of justifying these feelings so you don’t have to actually address them, and even says that with enough converts, we might be able to eliminate all those uncomfortable things from our society all together. At the least, you’ll have a safe little group weher everyone behaves in a way that will make you feel at ease.

    It also tells you that “love” can be easy, because it will only require you to tell other people what God’s (read: your) will is.

    Evangelism is about selling security blankets.

  • fishon

    Christine
    July 8, 2010 | 2:05 pm

    fishon, I missed your response at first because we posted at the same time.

    I can’t help but feel that your love “in Christ” is code for “only because I have to”.
    ——Gees, you are arrogant and a know-it-all.
    YOU:(perhaps fishon is confusing inclusionist with universalist).
    ———Perhaps I am not confused.
    YOU:fishon, I can’t help but feel you missed the point.
    ———Ah, but you should have read his answers to me—-I understood perfectly his point.

    ————enough of that crap, christine

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “enough of that crap, christine” (Christine)

    Yeah Christine! Lol.

    “I love them so much that i am willing to be “branded” a hater to help point them to Christ” (fishon)

    I know I said hypocritical much last time, sorry I was wrong by saying that. What I should have said was ‘self deluded much’?

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    “I can’t help but feel that your love “in Christ” is code for “only because I have to”.” – Christine
    ——Gees, you are arrogant and a know-it-all.” – fishon

    It might seem like slightly jumping the gun to someone reading only this one thread, but you’ve given plenty of reasons for people to interpret your love them in Christ that way. In the denomination I grew up in as a kid, people had a certain way of talking about people they couldn’t stand to be around. They would say, “I love them with the love of the Lord”. As soon as you heard that you knew that it really meant they wanted nothing to do with that person, couldn’t stand to be around them but knew that they were required to love them in spite of who they were. It was clear to me even as a child that the people using that catchy little phrase knew absolutely nothing about what it really meant to love somebody with the “love of the Lord” which was an extremely selfless and sacrificial love. Your quip about how you love “gays” in Christ always reminds me of growing up hearing people say “I love them with the love of the Lord”. You may call me arrogant for saying that if you wish, but it is the conclusion I have come to only after months of trying to have a legitimate dialogue with you as one Christian to another and finding it hopeless. Your approach to straightening out the gays (pardon the pun) is to neither listening to them, nor attempt to understand where they are coming from nor attempt to explain to them why you believe the way you do. You merely offer that you’re right and they’re wrong and they know it because it’s absolutely clear to you from scripture that it is sinful (though you can’t explain why) and thus must be absolutely clear to them and they are being dishonest to claim otherwise. There is nothing loving in that approach, even if we were to assume that you are right. A loving approach would be one that seeks to find a way to help people to see why it is harmful to them if indeed it is. You know full well that your approach is not helping anybody, so if you were really concerned about the “gays” you would work on your approach.

  • Christine

    I find it hard to believe that when I say that “I feel” that something might be true or preface something with “perhaps” that that is the equivalent of me saying I absolutely know something to be true. I pick the phrasing intentionally to denote how something strikes me, how it appears to me, or to indicate one possibility. There is a subtle acknowledgement that I might be wrong built into the language, and intentionally so. There is also a subtle question, asking for confirmation or correction. And yet it is viewed as arrogance. Interesting.

  • fishon

    Societyvs
    July 9, 2010 | 11:34 am

    “enough of that crap, christine” (Christine)

    Yeah Christine! Lol.

    “I love them so much that i am willing to be “branded” a hater to help point them to Christ” (fishon)

    I know I said hypocritical much last time, sorry I was wrong by saying that. What I should have said was ‘self deluded much’?
    ——-ah, here come the judge, here come the judge…. You like that position, do you!

  • fishon

    Cindy
    July 9, 2010 | 1:21 pm

    Your approach to straightening out the gays (pardon the pun) is to neither listening to them, nor attempt to understand where they are coming from nor attempt to explain to them why you believe the way you do
    ——Cindy, now you are using code for:::fishon does not agree with me, therefore he ‘neither listens to me nor does he attemp to understand me and where I am coming from.’

    I do listen to you, understand where you are coming from, probably not. But your problem is: I disagree with you therefore I am not listening. And I have attempted to understand. I don’t, therefore I am not listening. Yep, code.

    I have given scripture and reasons, but you don’t accept them, so you tell me I don’t listen nor understand. You just don’t like my arguemental points and postion.

  • Christine

    Oh God, fishon. If that was listening and trying to understand, yikes! Your scriptural references are just that, references, not reasons. The only explanation you’ve ever given for why you think those passages say what you think they do is “it’s clear, read it again”. When I gave you a scripture that says that scripture, particularly Paul’s letters are hard to understand and easily misunderstood, you said nothing. If this is the best you can do, then maybe love would be to bow out, as you’re not helping your own cause.

  • fishon

    Christine
    July 9, 2010 | 11:13 pm

    Oh God, fishon. If that was listening and trying to understand, yikes! Your scriptural references are just that, references, not reasons.
    —–Scripture is way better than my reasons. And if you call scripture just references and only that, and not the Word of God, then why would I think that my reasoning would sway you. So we come to the end of the matter: you see scripture as just references——I see them as God’s word——-we ain’t ever going to come to any kind of agreement, that being the case.

    YOU:When I gave you a scripture that says that scripture, particularly Paul’s letters are hard to understand and easily misunderstood, you said nothing.
    ——Is this the one you are talking about? If not, send me the one you referenced.
    2 Peter 3:16
    He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
    —–I can’t find the part that says as you say: “easily misunderstood.” I even checked 4 of the most popular Bibles to find it. Help me, where is that found?

    Again, if this is the scripture, you are playing games with it. It DOES NOT say, quoting you::”Paul’s letters are hard to understand.” It says: “some things that are hard to understand.” Did you get that; ‘some things….’ And just because it is hard to understand does not suppose that it can NOT be understood. And just because you don’t understand does not mean that I, for instance, don’t understand it.

    Then Peter says about the issue:”…which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
    —–I know, I know, only a reference. But I will let it speak for it self.

    So if that is the scripture you are talking about, you have my reply. By your very words you tried to make it say something it didn’t say. See my above comments. No, I will comment more. You purposefully misrepresented what the Word said, when you said: “I gave you a scripture that says that scripture, particularly Paul’s letters are hard to understand and easily misunderstood….” If that is the scripture you are talking about—-shame on you for fibbing about what it says. NOW IF THERE IS ANOTHER SCRIPTURE TELL ME AND CITE IT, AND I WILL REPLY AND APOLOGIZE TO YOU.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    fishon,

    “And if you call scripture just references and only that, and not the Word of God, then why would I think that my reasoning would sway you. So we come to the end of the matter: you see scripture as just references——I see them as God’s word——-we ain’t ever going to come to any kind of agreement, that being the case.”

    C’mon fishon, please tell me you’re just playing games here and you do actually know what a reference is. When someone says you just gave scripture references and didn’t explain why you think they support your point, that doesn’t in any way imply that they do not value scripture. When somebody asks you why you think homosexuality is sinful and your response is Romans 1. That is a scripture reference. Book + chapter + optionally verse = reference. That is a scripture reference. That is not the whole of the Word of God, it is a reference to one particular part of the bible which may or may not be properly applied. Nothing in calling a reference a reference in anyway infers a lower opinion of scripture.

    “2 Peter 3:16
    He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
    —–I can’t find the part that says as you say: “easily misunderstood.” I even checked 4 of the most popular Bibles to find it. Help me, where is that found?”

    Seriously fishon??? Perhaps Christine’s biggest mistake was in assuming that everybody here is at least beyond a 3rd grade literacy level. Let me break it down for you: to say something is hard to understand would be perfectly equivalent to saying something is easy to not understand. Are you following so far? When somebody does not understand something, in English we often say they misunderstood. Therefore hard to understand and easily misunderstood are saying essentially the same thing. Now grant it, you might argue that if someone failed to understand something and realized that they were unable to understand it, they would be not understanding but if they thought they had understood it, but they had understood it improperly then they would be misunderstanding it. In common usage though, we tend to say misunderstood (perhaps because it flows better than did not understand) and the vast majority of people understand that that may or may not mean that the person thought they understood, but regardless they did not understand it properly. Any modern dictionary will back me up on that and list at least two meanings of misunderstood, one being to fail to understand and one being to interpret improperly. Besides, the sentence that follows makes it clear that people do in fact misunderstand even if we strictly say that carries the connotation that they thought they understood.

    “Again, if this is the scripture, you are playing games with it. It DOES NOT say, quoting you::”Paul’s letters are hard to understand.” It says: “some things that are hard to understand.” Did you get that; ‘some things….’”

    If I say Shakespeare is difficult to understand, anybody with even a basic understanding of the English language would realize that does not mean that there is nothing in Shakespeare’s writings that is easily understood. They would understand that to mean that some things in Shakespeare’s writings are hard to understand. To say that Paul’s letters are hard to understand and that Paul’s letters contain some things that are hard to understand would be taken to mean the same thing by at least 90% of English speaking people. Nobody assumes that when we say a letter is hard to understand that every single thing in that letter is hard to understand. Furthermore, when we take Paul’s letter as they were written, which is as a whole, we also realize that if some concepts within those letters are hard to grasp, that will very often cloud our understanding of the whole.

    “And just because it is hard to understand does not suppose that it can NOT be understood. And just because you don’t understand does not mean that I, for instance, don’t understand it.”

    First of all, Your first statement here is correct, but clearly by making it you are trying to imply that Christine said otherwise, which she most certainly did not. At no point did she say or imply that Paul’s letters, or even any particular thing in Paul’s letters can not be understood. I’m sure she is fully aware that hard to understand does not mean that it cannot be understood. And when she has, in the past, pointed this scripture out to you it was because you were making claims that scripture is easily understood, which this scripture makes clear is not always the case. You like to give scripture references and say that they speak for themselves, by which you mean that everybody should understand them to mean exactly what you understand them to mean. I guess you think that hard to understand could never lead to you misunderstanding something. It’s interesting that you have such a high opinion of yourself when on more than one occasion when you couldn’t seem to explain yourself you have told us that you are not highly educated or not smart enough to explain it. And by the way, as to your second statement here, Christine did not say that she didn’t understand it.

    “Then Peter says about the issue:”…which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
    —–I know, I know, only a reference. But I will let it speak for it self.”

    Ignorant here is also translated, depending on the version you look at, as unlearned or untaught, what we today would call uneducated, something you have called yourself on more than one occasion on this board. So perhaps we should let it speak for itself…

    “By your very words you tried to make it say something it didn’t say. See my above comments. No, I will comment more. You purposefully misrepresented what the Word said, when you said: “I gave you a scripture that says that scripture, particularly Paul’s letters are hard to understand and easily misunderstood….” If that is the scripture you are talking about—-shame on you for fibbing about what it says.”

    Even if you have problems with the phrasing that Christine used, to try and suggest that she was lying about what the scripture said by phrasing it a little differently than the way you understood it (or misunderstood it as the case may be) is utterly ridiculous and unfounded. Furthermore, if changing the phrasing a little is the equivalent to lying, we are all in trouble because we all need to learn Hebrew and Greek before we can read scripture since all the English translations (which each phrase things a little differently and by virtue of being translations must phrase things differently than in the original language in order to make any sense at all) must be lying to us. Shame on those translators for not just translating the text word for word even if that did make it completely nonsensical.

  • http://theprodigalprophet.wordpress.com The Prodigal Prophet

    I think we all need to go back to the Aramaic which expresses a multi-layered meaning to all of Yeshua’s words.

    In my own experience I’ve never been led to Love by theology – only to imitative rivalry which Yeshua came to save us from.

  • fishon

    Cindy
    July 10, 2010 | 1:18 pm

    fishon,

    “And if you call scripture just references and only that, and not the Word of God, then why would I think that my reasoning would sway you. So we come to the end of the matter: you see scripture as just references——I see them as God’s word——-we ain’t ever going to come to any kind of agreement, that being the case.”

    C’mon fishon, please tell me you’re just playing games here and you do actually know what a reference is. When someone says you just gave scripture references and didn’t explain why you think they support your point, that doesn’t in any way imply that they do not value scripture
    ——Ok Cindy. Do you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and infallable written by men as they were inspired byt the Holy Spirit? I do. If you don’t, and I suspect you don’t, then my point about reference [concerning the Bible] stands. No, you play games. You know exactly what I meant.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Your point stands for nothing and I have stated here before that I do in fact believe the bible to be the inspired word of God, written by men as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. As for infallible, are we talking our current bible, compiled from the numerous manuscripts and translated into English (and other languages) the best way the translators were able to at the time, with various translations that do not agree on many details? Are you asking me if I believe that any given translation is completely without error? Because if that’s what you are asking, then the answer is no, I would require a lobotomy to believe that.

  • Chrisitine

    definition of reference:
    * mention: a remark that calls attention to something or someone; “she made frequent mention of her promotion”; “there was no mention of it”; “the speaker made several references to his wife”
    * citation: a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage; “the student’s essay failed to list several important citations”; “the acknowledgments are usually printed at the front of a book”; “the article includes mention of similar clinical cases”
    * reference point: an indicator that orients you generally; “it is used as a reference for comparing the heating and the electrical energy involved”
    * reference book: a book to which you can refer for authoritative facts; “he contributed articles to the basic reference work on that topic”
    * character: a formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person’s qualifications and dependability; “requests for character references are all too often answered evasively”
    * the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to; “the extension of `satellite of Mars’ is the set containing only Demos and Phobos”
    * the act of referring or consulting; “reference to an encyclopedia produced the answer”
    * a publication (or a passage from a publication) that is referred to; “he carried an armful of references back to his desk”; “he spent hours looking for the source of that quotation”
    * address: (computer science) the code that identifies where a piece of information is stored
    * refer to; “he referenced his colleagues’ work”
    * the relation between a word or phrase and the object or idea it refers to; “he argued that reference is a consequence of conditioned reflexes”
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
    * A reference, or a references point, is the intensional use of one thing, a point of reference or reference state, to indicate something else. When reference is intended, what the reference points to is called the referent.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference
    * In computer science, a reference is a value that enables a program to indirectly access a particular data item, such as a variable or a record, in the computer’s memory or in some other storage device. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_(computer_science)
    * A reference work is a compendium of information, usually of a specific type, compiled in a book for ease of reference. That is, the information is intended to be quickly found when needed. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_(work)
    * In the C++ programming language, a reference is a simple reference datatype that is less powerful but safer than the pointer type inherited from C. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_(C++)

    When one refers to something, their mention of that thing is called a “reference”. When one mentions or calls attention to something or things a number of times, they are providing “references”. The meaning of the word stands regardless of what is being referred to, and makes no comment on the nature or significance of the thing or things being referenced.

  • fishon

    Cindy
    July 10, 2010 | 4:08 pm

    Your point stands for nothing
    —–Ok, enough said.

  • fishon

    Chrisitine
    July 10, 2010 | 4:15 pm

    definition of reference:
    * mention: a remark that calls attention to something or someone; “she made frequent mention of her promotion”; “there was no mention of it”; “the speaker made several references to his wife”
    * citation: a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage; “the student’s essay failed to list several important citations”; “the acknowledgments are usually printed at the front of a book”; “the article includes mention of similar clinical cases”
    * reference point: an indicator that orients you generally; “it is used as a reference for comparing the heating and the electrical energy involved”
    * reference book: a book to which you can refer for authoritative facts; “he contributed articles to the basic reference work on that topic”
    * character: a formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person’s qualifications and dependability; “requests for character references are all too often answered evasively”
    * the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to; “the extension of `satellite of Mars’ is the set containing only Demos and Phobos”
    * the act of referring or consulting; “reference to an encyclopedia produced the answer”
    * a publication (or a passage from a publication) that is referred to; “he carried an armful of references back to his desk”; “he spent hours looking for the source of that quotation”
    * address: (computer science) the code that identifies where a piece of information is stored
    * refer to; “he referenced his colleagues’ work”
    * the relation between a word or phrase and the object or idea it refers to; “he argued that reference is a consequence of conditioned reflexes”
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
    * A reference, or a references point, is the intensional use of one thing, a point of reference or reference state, to indicate something else. When reference is intended, what the reference points to is called the referent.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference
    * In computer science, a reference is a value that enables a program to indirectly access a particular data item, such as a variable or a record, in the computer’s memory or in some other storage device. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_(computer_science)
    * A reference work is a compendium of information, usually of a specific type, compiled in a book for ease of reference. That is, the information is intended to be quickly found when needed. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_(work)
    * In the C++ programming language, a reference is a simple reference datatype that is less powerful but safer than the pointer type inherited from C. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_(C++)

    When one refers to something, their mention of that thing is called a “reference”. When one mentions or calls attention to something or things a number of times, they are providing “references”. The meaning of the word stands regardless of what is being referred to, and makes no comment on the nature or significance of the thing or things being referenced.
    ——Wow, that was a waste of time.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    “—–Ok, enough said.”

    “——Wow, that was a waste of time.”

    Typical fishon. I’ll assume from that, that you realize your ridiculous rant on the use of the word reference and your equally ridiculous rant about the way Christine paraphrased a particular reference was in fact a useless waste of time that had nothing to do with the discussion at hand but you just can’t bring yourself to admit you were wrong. Perhaps now others can continue with the actual discussion at hand if your rabbit trails haven’t succeeded in silencing everybody else who might have actually had something to say on topic.

  • fishon

    Cindy
    July 10, 2010 | 5:43 pm

    “—–Ok, enough said.”

    “——Wow, that was a waste of time.”

    Typical fishon. I’ll assume from that, that you realize your ridiculous rant on the use of the word reference and your equally ridiculous rant about the way Christine paraphrased a particular reference was in fact a useless waste of time that had nothing to do with the discussion at hand but you just can’t bring yourself to admit you were wrong. Perhaps now others can continue with the actual discussion at hand if your rabbit trails haven’t succeeded in silencing everybody else who might have actually had something to say on topic.
    —-Interestingly, you are one that jumps my trail quite often. Wonder why that is?

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    There’s a simple explanation for that actually. I enjoy squashing ill-formed arguments. It’s a particular weakness of mine, almost as good as chocolate. I can generally reign it in somewhat as long as I have hope that genuine on topic dialogue can be achieved with someone but once I lose that hope I lose my reason for not giving in and having a little fun. I lost the last vestiges of that hope with you a while back. I don’t remember which topic we were supposed to be on at the time, but it was the thread where you revealed your true colours telling us that someone like a restaurant owner should have the right to bar people from a restaurant based on their race if they so pleased. Mind you that wasn’t the only thing you said in that particular thread that led me to the conclusion that attempting to have any real dialogue with you was pointless and I was already well on the way to that point from the countless encounters of you avoiding questions and offering nothing more to support your stance than “I’m right and you’re wrong” or “read it again, it’s clear”. So yes, I do hop down your little bunny trails just for the amusement of squashing them now that I’ve conceded to the fact that you have nothing of substance to offer anyway. The bunny trails are all you have.

  • Christine

    Although, if I wasn’t feeling the love before, I’m certainly feeling it now…

    I believe my original point, that your approach, fishon, was less than loving (and, as Cindy put it, you are “neither listening to [others], nor attempt[ing] to understand where they are coming from nor attempt[ing] to explain to them why you believe the way you do) stands.

  • Christine

    Didn’t read this page before commenting…

    Maybe I’ll just stay out of it…

  • fishon

    Cindy
    July 12, 2010 | 9:42 am
    I do hop down your little bunny trails just for the amusement of squashing them now that I’ve conceded to the fact that you have nothing of substance to offer anyway. The bunny trails are all you have
    ——-At least I am giving you a little exercise. And yes, I believe that a restaurant
    should have the right, based on race OR FOR ANY REASON, bar a customer as long as it is privately owned. You are a one dimensional thinker. You think my position is racist and that is all you can see. However, my position is political and comes from a difference with you and what freedom means.

    I suppose you would stand up against a Jewish restaurant owner when he/she would have a group of Nazi, skinhead, sympathizing, idiots start frequenting and drive the business to ruin, and he/she bans them from their business? Or might you have a bunny trail argument that this is a special case and they can ban? Or maybe based on your ideas, they just have no right to ban them?

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    i’ll repost this comment in the proper thread:
    fishon: Am I hearing you right? You believe that a privately owned restaurant has the right to ban a Jew based on race? And this isn’t a racist position but a political one?

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    The strangest thing is that you actually think that my believing that freedom isn’t freedom if it is allowed to be taken from some people based on race (or any other innate characteristic) is one-dimensional thinking, while your idea that personal freedom should extend to the ability to discriminate racially (or otherwise) thus trumping the personal freedom of a whole group of people is somehow multi-dimensional.

    We’ve already seen the dark road that your kind of thinking leads a country down in your own country in the past. While that sort of thinking was, unfortunately, pretty prevalent within the church in the past, it is rather unusual to find it coming from a Christian today (or at least to find it publicly voiced by a Christian today).

    As for it being political rather than racist, there is nothing to say that racism cannot itself be taken as a political stance. It certainly has been in the past. That doesn’t make it any better. And while technically your stance is more about standing up for the rights of other people to be racist and act accordingly, rather than whether or not you yourself wish to personally discriminate based on race, that doesn’t make it any less racist or any more righteous either.

    And as for your question to me about whether or not a Jew should be able to ban a “group of Nazi, skinhead, sympathizing, idiots start frequenting and drive the business to ruin”, that would be hard to answer without more information. First of all, your characterization of the group you are asking whether or not a Jew (and I’m not sure why you think it makes a difference what the religion/ethnicity of the person doing the banning is)should be allowed to ban is not based on any innate characteristic. That said, I do not believe someone should be able to ban someone based on their political ideals anymore than they should based on their religious beliefs. Of course, by saying that the group is driving the business to ruin, you are implying that they are not just showing up, eating food and then leaving but are doing something (I’m not sure what) that is adversely affecting the business. That is a matter of behaviour, not belief. And of course nobody is suggesting that a business owner should not be allowed to regulate the behaviour within his establishment. Whether that is asking someone to leave because they are creating a disturbance, being too loud, not dressed appropriately for the requirements of management (no shoes, no shirt, no service sort of deal), etc these are all behaviours being regulated to control the atmosphere, functionality, etc of the business. Nobody would suggest that a business owner should not be allowed to control such things, this is entirely unrelated to whether or not they should be allowed to discriminate based on race or some other innate characteristic.

  • fishon

    nakedpastor
    July 12, 2010 | 2:28 pm

    i’ll repost this comment in the proper thread:
    fishon: Am I hearing you right? You believe that a privately owned restaurant has the right to ban a Jew based on race? And this isn’t a racist position but a political one?
    ——–David, I believe a Jew, Black, Asian, White, Red, or Green has the right to ban anyone in their private establishment. If they do it based on race, it should be their right. I personally, would not frequent a place I knew did that, but I believe they should have the right. So as you see, my position isn’t one of race, but political. I am pretty much a States right guy–that is political.

    Since I answered your question answer mine about the Jewish resturant owner and the Nazi want to be’s that I gave to Cindy.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    fishon: Okay, so what if a group of individuals wanted to ban Jews from a privately owned establishment? What if the whole town voted to not allow Jews into their private establishments? What if the whole town voted that no Jews were allowed to rent or buy homes there?

  • fishon

    Cindy
    July 12, 2010 | 2:54 pm
    Of course, by saying that the group is driving the business to ruin, you are implying that they are not just showing up, eating food and then leaving but are doing something (I’m not sure what) that is adversely affecting the business. That is a matter of behaviour, not belief. And of course nobody is suggesting that a business owner should not be allowed to regulate the behaviour within his establishment.
    ——Ah, but these guys are smart. They just go in with their skinned heads, vile tattoos, in a group, and eat and just look at people. They know that they will drive business away because of their presence. They don’t have to do a thing. Just their presence intimidates.

    So based on your idea of freedom, you are going to allow these idiots to ruin a business? Hey, in my neck of the woods, I have watched bikers, the Gypsy Jokers and Mongols kill businesses just by their presence. This freedom think is not as easy as you pretent it to be.

  • fishon

    nakedpastor
    July 12, 2010 | 3:24 pm

    fishon: Okay, so what if a group of individuals wanted to ban Jews from a privately owned establishment?
    —-I say that is their choice.

    And by the way, if they want to ban me, that is their choice.

    What if the whole town voted to not allow Jews into their private establishments?
    —-No. The town shouldn’t have the right to tell me as a “private business” business owner if I can serve Jews or not.

    What if the whole town voted that no Jews were allowed to rent or buy homes there?
    —-No. Again, that takes away from me wanting to rent or sell to a Jew. Freedom, man, freedom.

    Oh, and freedom doesn’t me that everywhere and every place gives me the freedom to be there. I pay to go see the Seattle Mariners play baseball. However, I don’t have the freedom to attend their practices. They get to set the parameters.

  • Christine

    Amazing, eh? Somehow it’s ok to be worried about the intimidation of a group of people frequenting a business (and, again, if it can be shown that people are causing, intentionally, other people to feel intimidated, then that is behaviour – if intententional, they should get to stay). No concern for the sense of fear and hatred that would be fostered in an entire society if everyone could post their “in” and “out” list in their shop windows. We place limits (yes, freedom is never absolute – laws against murder, for instance, restrict the freedom to kill at will) on business owners about descrimination, not just because of personal freedoms of individuals to enter a particular establishments, but the freedom of each person to not face racial, ethnic, or other types of descrimination. Freedom from descrimination is in itself seen as a benefit to society, worthy of limiting other freedoms for. It is always a balance of freedoms (and I’m not suggesting that is easy or simple) and freedom from descrimination does trump other types on occasion. I happen to think this is of great benefit to everyone in a society. It seems short-sighted to think otherwise.

  • fishon

    Christine
    July 12, 2010 | 3:51 pm
    No concern for the sense of fear and hatred that would be fostered in an entire society if everyone could post their “in” and “out” list in their shop windows.
    ——There you go again. “No concern for the sense of….” Why sure I have concerns. Do you have the same concern for that Jewish resturant owner? The bed and breakfast folks who are told they can not restrict because of their prejudices, fears, or for any reason they would not want someone in their home? I suppose you wouldn’t have a problem with a black having, made to, told to by the government to rent to a KKK?

    Your characterization of me seeming to be short-sited; I don’t know, that is up to you. I can live with it.

    Let me ask you a question. If I [a pastor] owned a house and a couple who are not married wanted to rent my house, and they were the only ones that applied to my add, are you telling me I should have to rent to them by law—–though I believe they are living in sin? My house, my morals, my freedom.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Two things fishon:

    First of all, renting out a room in your home, is not a business. You have every right to pick and choose, based on any criteria that matters to you, who you allow into your own home. That has nothing to do with running a business and I don’t know a single person that would advocate that you should be forced to let someone come live with you.

    Secondly, lets take your idea and apply it to a business instead. Let’s say you run a camp and you don’t want unmarried people (or same-sex couples even if they are married since you wouldn’t recognize them as married) sleeping together in your camp since you consider that sinful. Guess what? Once again you have selected something that is a behaviour and not an innate characteristic. You don’t seem to grasp that distinction. Nobody is suggesting that a business owner should not be allowed to dictate the parameters of the use of their business, which would include times of use, behaviours, etc. This is not discrimination. If a country is truly free, there is protection from discrimination for all of its residents. That doesn’t mean you can do what you want, where you want, when you want. But it does mean that you can expect to not be discriminated against based on your race, religious beliefs, etc.

    It might interest you to note that Christine and I are planning on visiting a bible camp with friends of ours in a few months. This is a very conservative bible camp and as such does not allow unmarried couples to stay together in the same room, nor do they allow same-sex couples to stay together even if they are married as they don’t view such a marriage as being legitimate before God based on their interpretation of the bible. This means, that even though we will be legally married at that time, Christine and I will have to stay in separate rooms while at the camp. We are not crying foul, this is not discrimination. They have a right to regulate the behaviour on their grounds as they see fit. If we don’t like it, we can take our business elsewhere. On the other hand, if they instead decided that because we are gay we cannot come to their camp period, regardless of our behaviour while we are there, that would be discrimination. That would in fact be illegal here in Canada where sexual orientation is legally recognized as an innate characteristic which a person has a right to be free from discrimination on the basis of. Do you see the difference in regulating behaviour and discrimination?

    Personally, I don’t understand why any Christian should have a problem with people being protected against discrimination. This is basic human decency which does not go nearly as far as God would require of us in loving our enemies. It really shouldn’t be necessary to even have laws regarding such matters, but then again, it shouldn’t be necessary to have laws that say you can’t up and kill somebody you are angry with, but it is necessary and human behaviour does need to be regulated if we are to be able to live together in any sense of civility. Just as freedom demands that I should be able to walk down the street and not need to fear somebody walking up to me, pulling a gun on me, and shooting me, so too freedom demands that I should be able to live in community with people of different races, beliefs, etc without having to fear discrimination.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Oh, my apologies for the “renting a room” versus “renting a house” thing, I misread. Not quite the same.

  • Christine

    I think Cindy below makes the point about renting in one’s own home, which is indeed one of the exemptions under human rights laws here in Ontario.

    However, if the house in question belongs to you, but is not your residence (if you will be living somewhere else) then my sense is you don’t get to descriminate. Housing rights are actually a significant part of the human rights debate. If small busniess owners (like someone who owned five rental properties) can decide only to rent to legally married couples, for instance (and marital status is one of those things for which you are protected from descrimination) then there could suddenly be quite a number of people who are unable to find places to live, or can be taken advantage of by a limited number of other renters. It is imperative that, when something is a service for profit (with the exemption of the place where one lives) it is open to all.

    If you own a house, but are moving to live elsewhere and chose to rent the house for $$$ instead of selling, then absolutely you should not be able to descriminate on the basis of marital status, sexual orientation, race, religion, gender or ethnicity.

    Besides which, I can imagine that anyone you rented to would probably do things that you considered sinful in the building that you own. Why pick and choose? And why try to enforce your morality on others?

  • Devendran

    Evangelism, many people are mistakenly known they are brine washing people, actually its not like tat, if any one really got any guilty feeling its a tool to get the people to get relife out of that. and nobody perfect to judge or Criticize any one in the world. dont hurt others. Don’t hurt others even at least you couldn’t make them happy, treat every body how you wish to be treated by others. There many issues & other problems will be solved.


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