Sunday Shoutout: Framing Conversations

Sunday Shoutout: Framing Conversations October 6, 2013

First let me say I dropped the ball last week and completely forgot about posting a question or the answers of the week before. I’ll try to do better 😉

In the wake of examining Vaughn Ohlman’s ideas about betrothal, Lana Hope’s piece Duggars Are Not Crazy and other writing by those in and out of Christian Patriarchy I’m starting to consider the best ways we can engage in conversation with those we don’t agree with.

They don’t respond to snark, mocking, put downs or other more negative conversational tactics many (myself included) have used towards them. Should we try to be civil, seeking to understand them, instead of hurling slings and arrows?

So my question is actually in four parts.

  1. Should we try to engage Quiverfull and Patriarchal people in conversation in the first place?
  2. If we do what does that need to look like?
  3. What are the best ways to proceed here?
  4. What would you like to see us do in regards to the conversations here?

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • persephone

    This is a tough one. Recent studies on the brain and behavior differences between conservatives and liberals, and another study that shows that people with a set belief will actually become stronger in that belief when presented with evidence that they are wrong (birthers, for exams), indicate that just because you are willing to listen and discuss and review does not mean that everyone is.

    A lot of the stories on NLQ by people who ha e left HDOs seem to follow two patterns: 1) the people who grew up questioning everything, and 2) those who did not question, but then had an epiphany, either a sudden eye-opening after a specific incident, or a gradual change after gaining more interaction with the world outside the family. It almost never seems to happen with those who went into this life by choice.

    Vyckie is an example of this exception, but she sought refuge from a bad childhood and was looking for safety. She didn’t have family to keep her tied into that life. Her love for.her children helped pull her out.

  • Madame

    I’ll try to answer questions 1 and 2 and 3 with Vaughn Ohlman in mind. Vaughn will have a conversation with us, but he uses a lot of arrogance (look at me, I quote a lot more Bible! you miss the last part of that story, missy! ) and keeps pointing us to his blog, where conversation is nigh to impossible. He’s also quite extreme, and I doubt most QFers would agree with his betrothal ideas. The only moral guideline he respects is the Bible.

    1. Yes! If they come here, let’s talk!

    2. I think we have to try to see things from their perspective. Answers like “that bronze-age book you get your ideas from is just a bunch of fairytales” isn’t helpful. We have to show respect for their source of beliefs, however much we may disagree with it.

    3. How to proceed… with respect and using the same book they use.

    I’ve given up discussing with Von. I’ll still air my opinions, but he just won’t listen, and is extremely arrogant in his lonely position.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    >> He’s also quite extreme, and I doubt most QFers would agree with his betrothal ideas. The only moral guideline he respects is the Bible.

    True, true, and thank you very much!!

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    >>keeps pointing us to his blog, where conversation is nigh to impossible.

    Do you mean this in a technical fashion? Or just that there wouldn’t be a lot of other anti-QF people around?

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    And do you mean TLDW, The Practical Theonomist, or Persovero News??

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    As to the OP, I would think it would be first necessary to ask, “Why do you wish to engage them in conversation?” It would seem that that question is needed to lay the ground work for the ‘how’ questions.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    To understand the why with some of these folks. When I was a fundagelical there were things we did/said that weren’t always explained and hearing the why, seeking common ground, understanding in a genuinely non-confrontational type conversation is just something I’m looking at.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Ah, well then I think Madame’s 2 and 3 are well put. I have noticed that many people have no desire whatsoever to understand the root and foundation of another’s beliefs; if you do want to know that, then it will take a great deal of struggle to work past your own presuppositions.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    I might also add that assigning to them horrible motives might just not be the best way to start the conversation 😉

  • Nea

    We mean in a “you stifle any voice contrary to yours and then write blog posts misrepresenting what we said” sense.

    You have made it clear that no one is allowed to post on any of your sites without enough bible quoting (by your definition of enough) and your assessment of comments about subjects like “pieces of the heart” are not accurate.

  • Brennan

    She probably means that the rules for membership and posting exclude many of us. Non-Christians are explicitly not welcome, as are Catholics, Mormons, ect. Even Protestants like myself would have a hard time posting there, since very few have any interest in adhering to your particular biblical interpretation. I, for example, do not believe in Biblical inerrancy, which means that I do not automatically assume that any word attributed to, say, Paul, is a direct commandment from God. Thus, many of the things I would be tempted to say (like “We should prioritize the teachings of Christ over other writings” or “The epistles should be read critically with an eye to the culture they were written for and to the rhetorical point the writer was trying to make”) would probably be taken as blasphemy and excluded on those grounds. If you really want your forum to be a place where you can engage those with different viewpoints, you should run a forum where such people don’t automatically get the ban-hammer. Otherwise, you have an echo chamber where you and a few people who are very close to you on the ideological spectrum sit around debating minutia. Which is fine–it’s your forum–but it’s disingenuous to keep pointing us there when you have no intention of engaging our ideas.

  • Trollface McGee

    I have, as my name would suggest, partaken in the hobby of “trolling” from time to time, so the adage about not feeding trolls, I think can be apropos. I think, while most fundies are genuine in belief, many exaggerate or deliberately make their writings more inflammatory to elicit a certain quality and quantity of response.

    Conversation is generally good. Some people exist in a bubble where they are never challenged and I think that is an awful thing. Even if it doesn’t change their view, it might make them do some more research to support their view which will increase the net knowledge in the universe or at least shock them into realising that actual humans might think they’re wrong about things.

    There’s also a benefit to the respondent in speaking out as well. I think we “feed the trolls” because there’s a cathartic value to it.

    I think civility is good where the person is genuinely trying to have a conversation. When they are merely talking “at me,” I reserve the right to be my snarky self.

  • Independent Thinker

    Add, subtract, multiple, and divide. It’s the formula to spot questionable or cult like theology. Add parts to the bible that do not exist, subtract parts that do not tow the line with the message you are trying to convey, multiple the steps to salvation, and divide and conquer. If the theology presented is considered extreme it will always have the characteristics listed above.

  • Madame

    You missed the “extremely arrogant” part, but you’re welcome.

  • KarenH

    Speaking as a long time internet user, I think the conversation needs to remain in a venue where dissenting opinions are not deleted or blocked. So I don’t see any good purpose served by attempting to engage QF/Patriarchal folks anywhere but here. As an example Von/Vaughn can snark all he wants to about how we won’t engage him on his board, but since he makes a practice of silencing any opposition, his site cannot be a trustworthy place for engagement on the topic.

    I think it’s important not to name-call or engage in ad hominem attacks, but that needn’t preclude us from speaking frankly–even bluntly. When a statement is a provable lie or when we are being attacked, it’s fine to note the fact, deny it and bring the conversation back to the issues and refuse to engage in character assassinations. They deserve respectful discourse, but by that I mean we engage the discussion and not the speaker and it may well be that our opposite number fails to see that as respectful discourse. Which is a shame, but no reflection on us. Nor should we be ashamed of standing up for our right to declare their argument insupportable. And to refuse to engage when the attacks are on our persons, rather than our argument.

    It’s nearly my bedtime, so I hope I’m making sense 🙂

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    So, in answer to the OP, this would be another hint: avoid gratuitous and untrue insults. For the record I have banned, in my entire blogging career, about two people. Maybe three. None for the reasons suggested above.
    It is perfectly true that if you wish to post off-topic (which, for my blogs, includes personal attacks) then you are not welcome to post. But the OP here implied otherwise: implied that you wished to have a ‘conversation’. Obviously when you wish to have a ‘conversation’ with someone you engage them in the topic at hand. If I was posting about the care and feeding of the Carpathian Beetle, then it would be silly and petty to post there about the causes of the Battle of Midway. Or, at the very least, it would seem to require a rather long rabbit trail.

  • gimpi1

    In my opinion, shark only weakens one’s arguments. I generally try to be civil to everyone. It’s always worthwhile to try to understand someone, if only to be forewarned.

    I believe the most important question, and a valid one, considering the political aspirations of some of those on the religious right, is weather or not people in the quiverfull movement want to impose their lifestyle by force of law. Do they want to ban birth control? Do they want to make domestic-abuse and marital rape legal? Do they want to eliminate child-abuse laws and no-fault divorce? Do they want to defund public schools? Ban the teaching of actual science? (Evolution, geology, astronomy and climate science give some people in this movement fits) Make church-attendance mandatory? Ban gay marriages or adoptions? Stone rebellious children or women not virgins on their wedding-night? Make Leviticus the law of the land?

    Since I have heard prominent people in the Home-schooling movement, the Republican party and some conservative political-action groups express these goals, I think these are important questions.

    I personally find their lifestyle distasteful, However, if they are happy in it, I wish them every happiness, so long as the exits to their lifestyle are clearly posted and easy to use. However, if they want to hide or block-up those exits, or push those of us who don’t want to go through the door into their way of life, then I want to know. I want to know, so I can take action to limit their power. I want to know so I can stop them.

  • gimpi1

    A question, Vaughn. Why do you ban people posting if they are likely to disagree with you?

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    As I said, I have only banned maybe 3 people in ten years: and that ban had nothing to do with their likelyhood of agreeing with me.
    If you mean ‘block’ people from posting, ie ask them not to post, I don’t do that either.
    TLDW is limited to a discussion of what the Scripture say about marriage, so posting off-topic is not allowed (but, again, is not very ‘conversational’ either). And I can’t find anything on vonstakes (the Practical Theonomist) that limits who is allowed to post (maybe it is hidden in the settings?). I certainly have allowed all sorts of people to post.
    I think maybe people are thinking of someone else, not me.
    (Oh, and I have never blocked anyone except spam from P!N).

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Indeed I think the overwhelming majority of commenters have been those who have disagreed with me!

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    >>I believe the most important question, and a valid one, considering the political aspirations of some of those on the religious right, is weather or not people in the quiverfull movement want to impose their lifestyle by force of law.

    Just so you know, Gimpi, this is exactly the kind of subject that the practical theonomist is meant to address. If you wish to ask the question there you will probably be asked to actually quote the law you wish to know about. I would suggest something like: “How do you see the leverate law (Deut 25:1-10) being enacted and enforced in a theonomic society?”

  • Madame


    I think I understand the root of your beliefs, and I try to counter them with more of the same: Bible.

    When I said that you only listen to Bible, I didn’t mean it in a positive way. People who are unable to see the humans they are imposing their interpretations of the Bible upon, might as well close those Bibles and start looking at the people. All that law, all that knowledge, is of no use.

  • Independent Thinker

    “Since I have heard prominent people in the Home-schooling movement, the Republican party and some conservative political-action groups express these goals, I think these are important questions.” As soon as I read your post two words popped into my head. Rick Santorum.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Oh, Madame, have no fear! I didn’t dream of thinking you meant it in a positive way!
    But you know, I assume, that there are few greater compliments you can give me than what you said.

  • Nea

    I have said nothing either rude or untrue. Nor have I asked for “off topic” conversation.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Well, then, feel free to try to back up this statement:

    >>You have made it clear that no one is allowed to post on any of your sites without enough bible quoting (by your definition of enough)

    As I said in ten years only about three people have been banned from my sites.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    The Jewish marriage comment was interesting. It’s a bit off, but the tradition can be found explained here:

    The B’deken

    The first time a bride and groom see each other in an Orthodox wedding is during theb’deken, or veiling of the bride. Both fathers and all the men lead the groom to the bride’s room, where both mothers and all the women surround her. The groom lowers the veil over her face, setting her apart from everyone else and indicating that he is solely interested in her inner beauty. The ceremony is based on the biblical story in which Jacob did not see his bride’s face beforehand and was tricked into marrying the wrong sister, Leah. Some couples have created a more egalitarian veiling ceremony in which the bride places a yarmulke on the groom as he covers her with the veil.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    I don’t suppose anyone realizes how silly it is to both say: Von wants us to comment on his blog AND Von won’t let us comment on his blog.

    Just saying.

  • Nea

    I refer to the first time you posted on this site, where you went into long and explicit detail about how only Christians and those willing to quote the Bible were allowed to talk on your sites. I pointed out that this cut out anyone who was not a Christian to post at all. it was quite a long conversation. The entire text should be in your Discus history for easy reference. This was at the time when you were confusing me with the OP, though.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    I doubt I can easily find this conversation, as my Disqus is rather full. feel free to point me to the link.

  • “I personally find their lifestyle distasteful, However, if they are happy in it, I wish them every happiness, so long as the exits to their lifestyle are clearly posted and easy to use. ”

    I would think twice about that: People’s actions influence those around them, in this case most likely including a whole bunch of children.

    IF your actions imply lording it over someone – lording and expeccially corporeal punishment actually influences the person below, making them less capable of standing on their own feet, of exiting. A choice to, for example, let your children not go to school while you teach them hardly more than basic literacy, is not something of which I will say “as long as the home schooler and her children feel happy now, it is okay.”

  • KarenH

    Except the reality is you’re only SAYING you want us to comment on your blog. If you actually did want us to, we’d be able to. Since you limit discussions on your blog in such a way that such discussions are impossible AND since you are wholly responsible for placing those limits in just that way, it is clear and obvious that you do NOT really want discussions.

    Therefore, your claim that you do want them is simply you telling a lie.

    and since you like Bible quotes, here’s one: Exodus 20:16

  • Madame

    I couldn`t even log on to TLDW. I wanted to comment on one of his posts. I can’t even see comments.

  • Madame

    I found that post last night. It is something like “the most quoted quiverfull writer”.

    I wanted to write a reply to it (his post, on TLDW, not the one on here), and I couldn’t even log on.

    I don’t know if Von will even listen to other Christian perspectives. He seems to think he has the ultimate interpretation of the Bible, which he probably doesn’t even consider to be “interpretation” because he takes it all so literally, except the passages he misses.

    I wanted to point out to you, Von, that in your interpretation of marriage, you leave out the passage that God, Adam, Jesus and Paul all understood as the foundation of marriage: a man leaves his father and mother, cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh.

    My question to you: do you think God meant it when he said that a man should leave father and mother?

    I’ll spare you my story (I’ve written it elsewhere). I firmly believe that parents have to take the lead and LET GO of their children. Encourage them to become independent from them, and pursue their own relationship with their spouses and with their God.

  • houstonschic

    Yet, oddly enough, Rick Santorum voted to fund birth control and family planning efforts. He believed that it should be available, but that religious institutions shouldn’t be *forced* to provide it against their belief system. What part of Rick Santorum’s platform would be a problem?

  • houstonschic

    As someone who only recently realized how damaging and unbiblical QF/Patriarchy is, I would say,

    1) Speak about the topic with gentleness

    2) Understand the motivations for embracing this lifestyle (wanting a good marriage, caring about your children, wanting a good education for them, wanting to follow God’s will)
    3) Give testimonies and factual evidence for how #2 simply does *not* happen as a result of QF/Patriarchy.

    4) Don’t attack or snark on others who wish to *Biblically* take QF/Patriarchy apart. My heart sinks to my toes every time I see a FABULOUS article showing how QF/P leaders twist and turn the Bible for their own purposes, but comments below keep saying things like, “Well, if you’re going to let a 2000 year old book dictate how you live your life, then you’re an IDIOT!” That plays on a QF/P adherents’ worst fears: “If I leave this movement, I’ll have to leave Jesus behind too. So I’d better just navigate away from NLQ and go bake my bread and sleep with my husband, or he’ll leave me for a dime store hussy…”

    5) Give examples that show how the horrible fears of leaving QF/P simply don’t materialize. Leaving poverty, for example. Having a husband actually respect you *more*.

    Ok, the toddleris up–gotta go, but will post more later!

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    So, just to clarify and terminate this part of the discussion:
    1) It is not true that I routinely ban people from my sites, nor limit discussion to only certain people. There are certainly sites that do that, but I don’t. I enjoy debate with people of opposing views. They don’t always like debating me…
    2) It is true that my sites are about certain subjects, and I expect people to stay on topic. I ban porn, obscenities, personal attacks, and anyone that insists on staying off-topic. If you aren’t interested in discussing what Scripture says about how to get married; or how God’s law should be implemented today, then it seems odd to discuss those subjects.
    3) Almost nothing of what has been posted in the last few threads would have been off-limits for my site. In particular what Madame has written.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Huh. What post? Or was it a page? I just see the comment box at the bottom, but then I’m logged on.

  • I love your answers 1, 2 and 3. But I don’t quite agree that Von respects the Bible. He respects his paradigm, and use the Bible to find justification for it. Parts that don’t fit in with his paradigm is ignored.

  • There are, AFAIK, 2 places where God instructs (prescriptive, not descriptive Bible parts) people on whose work it is to choose a marriage partner: He speaks of the daughters of Zelophehad, and say they can marry who they like, and where it is said that widows can marry anyone they wish – as long as it is in the Lord.

  • Madame

    I can’t log on. I tried my wordpress login details and I got some new name and password. I typed those in and kept being sent back to the same box giving me my new details.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Sorry. You don’t show up as a user on our site. It sounds like wordpress is giving you a hard time… and we are using the free version so I don’t get any technical support. Try commenting over on vonstakes.

  • Independent Thinker

    I realize that there are many contradictions in politics. In my original post I was making a reference to the following quotes by Rick Santorum:

    “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.” And also, “Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

  • gimpi1

    OK, thanks for the information.

    Now, everybody who says you can’t comment on his site, can you explain what you were talking about? Let’s get this sorted out.

  • gimpi1

    I agree with you in principle, Retha. However, I feel freedom truly isn’t free. Sometimes the cost is letting people make mistakes.

    Yes, people’s actions influence those around them. However, we can’t control all those actions, and we would be foolish to try. For example, adultery is very bad for families. It savages trust, sets horrible examples for children and often brings about a divorce. Yet civil penalties for adultery are a terrible idea. They just make a bad situation worse. I feel much the same way about many of our drug laws. Drugs are harmful, but banning them appears in many cases to be worse for everyone. So, as distasteful as I personally find it, I don’t favor trying to make the quiverfull lifestyle illegal. Without force of law, I have little power over it.

    I also agree with you, that we have to think long-term. Now, children absolutely need an education. I would not ban homeschooling, but I would regulate it carefully, and require regular check-ins with mandatory reporters such as teachers, doctors, councilors and such, both to watch for any abuse and to be sure that kids were actually learning. I have always considered striking anyone as abuse. to me, that’s where we draw the line. If you are abusing your kids, then the state’s interest in protecting them overrides your freedom to raise them as you believe you should. To me, that’s sort of like Meth, in my drug-law comparison. Meth is too addictive and dangerous for a relaxed approach. Abuse or totally denying education is also too dangerous to be permitted. That’s were the law must intervene, and that’s where society much have “power over.”

    As to adults in these groups, (stay-at-home daughters, submissive wives, adult children under their parents authority until marriage, plural wives, etc.) that’s what clear exits are for. Your husband or parents can teach you that you will be damned if you defy them. They can threaten to divorce or disown you. But, if you have a passing education (which is why that’s so important) the one thing they can’t do is stop you from leaving, if you know you can. I also favor generous support for anyone fleeing such situations, sort of a “quiverfull alimony” to allow anyone trying to get away from this lifestyle a chance to establish themselves.

  • gimpi1

    He’s one of the names that springs to my mind as well. Unfortunately, in my view, he’s not the only one.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    To further clarify, the type of the conversations most here seem to want to have would be best on It is my personal blog, not one I share with others or merely write for. And it is open to the most free ranging discussions.

  • I agree.

  • gimpi1

    Brennan said,

    ” Non-Christians are explicitly not welcome, as are Catholics, Mormons, ect. Even Protestants like myself would have a hard time posting there, since very few have any interest in adhering to your particular biblical interpretation.”

    Is that correct. Do sites you sponsor or run ban non-Christians, Catholics, Mormons and progressive Protestants from posting? If so, you are banning those most likely to disagree with you. If not, do you have any idea how this information got out there?

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Dunno where they got this.
    You are a bit confused thot. On a site that is dedicated to discussing ‘what Scripture says about such and such a subject’ I would not expect non-Christians to *want* to post, or even care about the subject. The real disagreement would come from other Christians with different views.

  • gimpi1

    Weather or not you think they should want to has no bearing on weather or not they can. So you are saying they can?

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    As I said, above, I have never blocked anyone except Spammers and a couple of trolls (ie personal attackers, in this case). In ten years.
    And, as I said, vonstakes is the best place for open debate. TLDW is there for a specific purpose, that of finding out what the Scriptures want us to do re marriage.

  • gimpi1

    Again, thanks.

    OK, Brennan, where did you get your information that many faiths were banned?

  • Nightshade

    Fair enough, I think. I do recall asking you a direct question on Persevero, which you did answer clearly and consistently with your view.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    You may be referring to this exchange, which excluded only one site as inappropriate, and deliberately pointed you to another site of mine:

    >>I dare you to throw comments open there. The poster here allows conflicting opinions. You don’t

    The particular blog she references is for a very specific purpose, discussion between Christians. However I write on three other blogs all of which allow open debate. You may post on, for example,…. It is moderated but I have almost never delted comments. Keep your language clean and support your views from Scripture and you are good to go.

    That blog is now closed for maintenance, but, again, is open.

  • Madame

    I agree, Retha. I meant that mentioning any other law or moral code is useless when discussing with people like Von.

  • Brennan

    You’re very accomplished at talking past people. I think everyone was aware of the snark inherent in that “thank you!” and when Madame tried to engage with you all the same, you completely ignored what she said. Specifically, “People who are unable to see the humans they are imposing their interpretations of the Bible upon, might as well close those Bibles and start looking at the people. All that law, all that knowledge, is of no use.” I’m not a mind-reader, so I don’t know where she got those thoughts, but my money is on Mark 2:27b: “Humankind was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for humankind.” You might also want to take a look at the next few verses, Mark 3: 1-6, in which Jesus has a fairly strong reaction to those who would deny help to real, suffering people on the grounds of religious law.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    When someone says a dozen different things in one post, I am free to respond to some of them and not all. I should know, it is common around here 🙂

    I thought she was referring to I Cor 13, myself. The answer to which is, of course, that she is perfectly correct that we cannot ignore love in our search for truth. But that, contrariwise, we cannot love without truth. That which is not true is not loving.

    And you will notice, in Jesus’s reaction to the Pharisees, that it was Jesus who quoted Scripture: the Pharisees quoted their own made-up human law. God’s law always trumps man’s law.

    When Christ dealt with the woman caught in adultery, whose accusers ignored God’s law, His last words were not ‘let’s ignore God’s law’ but ‘Go and sin no more.’

    We never help people by ignoring or affirming their sin and ignorance. Forgiveness is only possible once sin has been acknowledged.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    >>My question to you: do you think God meant it when he said that a man should leave father and mother?

    I do, and have written on this passage. The modern church interprets it as you do, but the church historical has never done. Much of the law, examples, and teachings of Christ would become nonsense if the idea of ‘leave’ here meant ‘cast off your father’s authority’.

  • Madame

    Well, pardon me, I seem to have missed the law that instructs that parents find spouses for their adult children and the law that forbids romantic relationships.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Funny how occupied with *law* Madame is. And funny how betrothal gets put in the middle of a discussion on I Cor 13. But, anyway:

    Jer_29:6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.

  • Nightshade

    The verse you quote was given to ‘all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon.’ That chapter also states ‘That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you,’ I think most of us would agree that doesn’t apply to us since none of us are held captive in Babylon and expecting some special visitation in 70 years.

  • Madame

    I agree with Nightshade’s reply below re. the law you quoted. God also commanded his people to annihilate the Canaanites and Amalekites when they took the land. Should that be a timeless law too? (sorry, I don’t have time to look the passages up).

    As for betrothal being thrown into the discussion on 1 cor. 13, I was replying to your talk about law and how Jesus always re-inforced God’s law. I actually didn’t have 1 cor. in mind when I made the remark Brennan pointed out, I had Jesus in mind, but Brennan pointed that out too.

    I will repeat what I posted in my first reply to this topic.
    “I’ve given up discussing with Von. I’ll still air my opinions, but he just won’t listen, and is extremely arrogant in his lonely position.”

    Theologians often have their noses so firmly packed in their Bibles, they lose all contact with reality. I understand you are a theologian.
    After my brief stint at Bible School, I realized how out of touch I had become with the normal, everyday life. I only spent one year fully dedicated to Bible, and while the year was good, and I met a wonderful person there, we both agree that Bible study also requires meditating on Jesus’ words and seeing everything through the lense of what He himself said was “the law and the prophets”.

    You are obviously set in your ways. I’m still not fully set, but I am pretty certain that patriarchy is not God’s design for humanity. The passages that lead me to that are many and it would take too long to sum it all up here.

    I don’t wish to continue this discussion with you.

  • Nightshade

    Also, if you want to play the Bible quote game I can play too:

    In 1
    Cornithians 7 Paul says ‘I say therefore to the UNMARRIED and widows,
    it is good for them if they abide even as I,’ but then concedes ‘if they
    cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to
    burn,’ indicating remaining single as the preferred condition. Also he
    says that the unmarried man/woman cares for the things of the Lord, the
    married cares for pleasing his/her wife/husband. AND ‘He that giveth her
    in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth

    Proverbs 19:14. ‘House and riches are the inheritance of
    fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord.’ Proverbs 18:22. ‘Whoso
    findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.’
    That doesn’t say a wife is a gift from the parents, or whoso has
    parents who find him a wife.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Glad to be discussing Scripture.
    … and in I Cor 7 God via Paul says that it is is good thing for a man not to touch a woman BUT because of fornication every man should have his own wife.
    Yes, a prudent wife is from the Lord. But how does one get her? Via dating, courting or… as the Scriptural examples show, as well as law and prophecy,.. via the medium of one’s parents, or other authorities?
    It doesn’t help the dating case to say ‘from the Lord’. One must see how it is the Lord provides things.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Ok… so I won’t ask you, but perhaps someone else can answer for you… what particular quote from Jesus you were referring to.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Yeah, but that doesn’t help.
    The underlying thesis of the anti-betrothal folks is ‘parents picking is wrong’. If God, even one time, told parents to pick.. . then this thesis falls.
    If someone wants to say, “God had parents pick for this group, but wants this other group to date,” then they are welcome to find verses for that thesis.
    But the Biblical evidence, from Genesis to Revelation, is all on the other side.

  • Nightshade

    Not necessarily so. Some of us at least could accept that under some (likely extremely limited) circumstances parental choice could be the way to go. God apparently approved,, although not directly command, Jephthah offering his daughter as a burnt offering, but does that mean he would approve it if we followed that example? And trying to song and dance around what the Bible clearly says isn’t going to fly, his vow to ‘offer it up for a burnt offering,’ he ‘did with her according to his vow which he had vowed,’ and was listed among the great men of faith in Hebrews 11.

  • Madame

    I had Mark 2:27, Luke 6:31 and Luke 11:46. I know the latter is quite judgmental, and I’m not suggesting that you are a hypocrite, but I think that a fixation with keeping every law and not really looking at the people you are having keep those laws is a form of placing very heavy burdens on them.

    I hope this answers your question.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    A couple issues here, but let’s deal with the first one. You must admit that those who thesis includes the ‘always wrong’ idea are destroyed by this example.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Interesting set of verses.

    Mar 2:23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

    Mar 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

    Mar 2:25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

    Mar 2:26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

    Mar 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

    Mar 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

    Let’s talk about this one first. It was the Pharisees law that was being broken, as Jesus points out by referring to the example of David, a man after God’s own heart, and a man who wrote extensively about the perfection of the Law of God.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Next verse:

    Luk 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

    Great verse. Begs the question. What would I want someone to do for me? Point out God’s truth? Or let me go along my little way??

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    Luk 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

    Luk 11:43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.

    Luk 11:44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

    Luk 11:45 Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.

    Luk 11:46 And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

    A little context and… whoops. What Christ is saying here is that is important to keep all of the law, not just the little bits that show. And, of course, the lawyers add all sorts of things to God’s law… while ignoring the law itself.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    The second issue on the table is … are you really saying that offering human sacrifice is something that is ok ‘occasionally’?

  • Brennan

    Sorry, gimpi, missed this in the monster comment thread. I got it from the forum rules of, which Nightshade linked to in a post a few weeks ago. The forum rules are here.

    The forum is set up for discussions of the articles Von puts up on his site of the same name, though there seems to be very little traffic. Along with the usual forum rules (stay on topic, no profanity, ect.) there’s a “general rules” section that states:

    “We expect the members of this forum to share an equal love for God (Mark 12:30), His Word (Ps. 119:97), and the brethren (1 John 3:14). We expect participants to be true, biblical Christians, members of a local, corporate church body (1 Tim. 3:15). We do not look highly on the theology of pseudo-Christian religions, such as Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, etc. (Gal. 1:8; 1 Cor. 11:13). Those who are excommunicated members of a true church body are also generally discouraged from participating in the forums (1 Cor. 5:13). Everyone should approach these discussions with a humble heart and attitude (Eph. 4:2-3), willing both to study out the matter as a faithful Berean (Acts 17:11) and to be corrected from the Word when in error (James 5:19-20). No one will necessarily be expelled by maintaining false beliefs (Matt. 13:28-30), but participation in these discussion boards is generally discouraged if one will not submit his thinking to the Word of God (2 Cor. 10:5-6).”

  • Brennan

    If Von is not the author of that sticky post or the administrator of that site, then I stand corrected, but his adorable penguin icon appears in the comments to the post.

  • Brennan

    “The second issue on the table is … are you really saying that offering human sacrifice is something that is ok ‘occasionally’?”
    *sigh* Once again, I don’t claim to read minds, but that example was probably chosen to point out the flaw in your betrothal teachings. To answer your question . . . by your standard, why not? It’s right there in the Bible after all, and I wouldn’t presume to accuse you of acknowledging any other morality.
    But, consider this: you don’t have any more “biblical” standing for your betrothal standard than Nightshade has in facetiously bringing up human sacrifice. Your whole paradigm seems to be built around the story of Abraham’s servant choosing a wife for Isaac without them ever meeting. Based on that paradigm, you’ve betrothed your son to a complete stranger and bragged about it on the internet. Your argument seems to be that we should all imitate Isaac and Rebecca because they’re right there in the Bible. Well, yeah . . . but so is Jephthah, and I really don’t recommend you imitate him.
    Sacrificing kids as burnt offerings is wrong. That thesis doesn’t “fall” just because one time a “righteous” person did it.

  • Would you want someone else to tell you who to marry?

  • Nightshade

    Certainly not, but the Bible seems to say that it is.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    If you wish to put forward a doctrine, then at least put forward one that you believe!
    Or, if you wish, do your research and find out how the various historical commentators have interpreted the example of Jepthah. But it is silly to put forward a theory you don’t even believe yourself, and then accuse me of believing it.
    The story of Isaac and Rebecca is one story among many, that is reinforced by those other stories, reinforced by law, reinforced by teaching, etc. You misinterpret the story of Jepthah, insist your interpretation is true altho you don’t believe it yourself, and then try to pretend it compares?
    Sorry, no dice.

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    >>But, consider this: you don’t have any more “biblical” standing for your betrothal standard than Nightshade has in facetiously bringing up human sacrifice.

    I’m glad you recognize that she was being at least facetious; but your underlying premise is wrong. I have literally hundreds of verses and examples and such that support my ‘betrothal standard’. Far from being built around that example, that example is, well, an example 🙂

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    >>God apparently approved,, although not directly command, Jephthah offering his daughter as a burnt offering, but does that mean he would approve it if we followed that example?

    Your interpretation is wrong, and built upon your own desire. You know that human sacrifice is specifically forbidden. You may know, altho probably not, that the law has specific provisions for how to redeem a human that should otherwise be sacrificed. You may know the issues with the Hebrew word concerned You may also that she bewailed her ‘virginity’ not her ‘life’. I am sure you know that I don’t teach human sacrifice.

    If God truly approved of what Jepthah did, to the point of praising it, then it does, actually follow that, given similar circumstances He would approve of similar actions.

  • Madame

    So you are saying that Jepthah didn’t actually sacrifice his daughter? If I understand correctly, you read sacrifice to mean dedication, which in her case would have meant that she would never marry and would serve God instead. Am I right?

    And if God never approved of human sacrifice, why did he tell Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?

  • Vaughn Ohlman

    I am saying that Jepthah did not kill and burn his daughter as an offering to the Lord. He did ‘sacrifice’ her in the broader sense, as you point out.
    The logic is easy:
    God does not approve of human sacrifice
    God did approve of Jepthah’s actions
    Ergo he did not sacrifice his daughter.

    And the story of Abraham makes that clear. Remember that Abraham was pre-law. The law against human sacrifice had not been written. Abraham’s neighbors would have approved of human sacrifice.
    But God did not allow Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. As Abraham said he would, God provided a lamb.

  • Nightshade

    So much for the inerrancy of scripture…after all, God could have made sure the translators got it right…couldn’t he?