Overheard (v. 7)

Overheard — By on January 13, 2006 at 1:06 am

“When Mr. Biden says things like, “Try to follow me, Judge Alito,” as he goes on one of his long, sterile journeys, I wonder if Judge Alito has to control himself with an act of will. I wonder if he has an inner Regis Philbin, and wants to throw out his arms and say, “Follow you? If I follow you, we’ll both wind up lost!” When Mr. Biden says, “Now this is a somewhat subtle point,” I wonder if Judge Alito wants to say, “Joe, if it were a subtle point you wouldn’t be making it!”

Peggy Noonan on what she imagines Judge Alito thinks of Sen. Joe Biden

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“It’s about saying: ‘I’m sorry, if your family is out of control and causing hell for everybody else in the local community we cannot sit there and simply say nothing’s going to happen to you.”

– British Prime Minister Tony Blair on his National Parenting Academy where frustrated parents would be given help in dealing with out-of-control offspring.

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“I just know if I saw that movie, the voice inside my head that delights in torturing me would have a field day. “You like those cowboys, don’t you? They’re kind of cute. Go ahead, admit it, they’re cute. You can’t fool me, gay man. Go ahead, stop fighting it. You’re gay! You’re gay!
Not that there’s anything wrong with it.”

Seinfeld creator Larry David, explaining why he refuses to see Brokeback Mountain

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  • Lots

    What if, however, you happen to agree with Pat Robertson’s assessments? By what moral foundation does a so-called secular government decry the assasination of a foriegn dictator who threatens the life and well-being of his own people, and the citizens of those who might send an assassin? Do not all BIBLE-believing Christians ACTUALLY believe that God will punish Christians who defiantly believe or act inconsistently with the revelation of Scripture (whether in thought or deed)? Does not God chasten His children and punish His enemies? From what Bible are those who might sign a CAPS petition reading? Finally, Sharon will die … sooner or later … and it will be God’s punishment

  • Kal

    Joe,
    I didn’t see your name on the Robertson petition.

  • http://www.gryphmon.com Patrick (Gryph)

    But whether you are a creationist or a Darwinist, having children and struggling to survive are what’s “natural.” Leaving your family for escapist, sterile sex is literally “unnatural.””…Gene Ed Veith

    I’ve have already gone and trolled over to Gene’s site of course, but there is no reason not to spread the love around. So…..
    Wow, what a typically self-righteous, self-serving statement. As if straight guys never go for “escapist, sterile sex”, when in fact for most straight young men that is what they are looking for 90% of the time.
    One of the best ways to dehumanize someone or a group of people is to deny that they feel the same things in the same way as you. In this case the emotion of love. Homosexual “love” feels and is exactly the same as Heterosexual “love”. If you think there is a difference you are greatly mistaken.
    You can criticize gay men for enjoying “casual” sex, but the truth is that you can make that same criticism of all men regardless of sexual orientation.
    Straight men of course have the support and expectation of society to settle down and marry, raise kids, etc. Society is not as kind to gay men nor does it ask for the same commitments. Most are willing to but its not as if they have the option of getting married after all. Unless to a woman, which truly would be unnatural and dishonest.
    Speaking of which, I notice that these little tirades about gay casual sex alway leave out lesbians. It’s an interesting omission considering lesbian couples have a higher rate of monogamy and longevity in their relationships that straight people so.
    By that omission, he manages to not only be prejudiced toward gay men, but toward straight men and all women as well. Thats quite a trick.

  • Don

    Andrew Sullivan posted a thought-provoking e-mail from a reader yeasterday concerning Robertson:

    Isn’t the Bible replete with examples of God inflicting natural disasters on people? Some because they do not act righteously (Sodom, Gomorrah, Egypt, etc.) and at least one, very famously, to test his faith (Job)?
    My point is not that Robertson is right, but rather that people who want to maintain their belief that the Bible is the word of God and yet disbelieve in Robertson have an awful lot of rationalizing to do.

  • Greg Forster

    Actually, it’s not that hard to figure out the difference between biblical accounts of misfortune as “judgment” and the ravings of a con artist like Robertson:
    1) If divine revelation explains to us that a particular historical event is a judgment on a particular person for a particular reason, we have some grounds for making statements about that particular event being a judgment on a particular person for a particular reason.
    2) Otherwise, we don’t.
    So, for example, if Pat Robertson were on TV saying that Nebuchadnezzar’s successful seige of Tyre was permitted by God as a judgment on Tyre for its wickedness, citing Ezekiel’s prediction that Nebuchadnezzar’s seige of Tyre would be a judgment on Tyre for its wickedness – well, we’d still object, because any time Pat Robertson is on TV it’s a bad thing. But we wouldn’t raise this particular objection.
    For the record, Robertson is a con artist. He denounces dictators in countries where he dosn’t have financial investments, but he praises far worse dictators (Charles Taylor, the communist regime in China) where he does have financial investments. What a nice coincidence for him that the countries where he has his money invested turn out to be the ones being run by *good* bloodthirsty killers.
    The only reason he’s still on the air is that he has an ironclad contract with the network requiring them to air him. They’ve offered him millions of dollars to go away, but he won’t take it. He could be out there telling people to watch his show and send him money or else Mordak the Martian Monkey God will strike them down, and the network would still have to air him.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Don My point is not that Robertson is right, but rather that people who want to maintain their belief that the Bible is the word of God and yet disbelieve in Robertson have an awful lot of rationalizing to do.
    That’s a non sequiter. Believing that the Bible is the word of God and that He can choose to inflict natural disasters on people does not mean that we have to believe in Robertson. I don’t know anyone who thinks that Pat is a prophet and has the authority to speak for the Lord.

  • Don

    Joe, how do you judge whether someone is a prophet?

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Don Joe, how do you judge whether someone is a prophet?
    The minimum biblical requirements for a prophet (with a big “P”, not just someone who is “prophetic”) would be that they make predictions that can be clearly understood, completely accurate, and in accordance with Scripture.
    Robertson’s tactic of “calling it after it happens” shows that he in no way speaks for God.

  • http://www.swartzentruber.net/CS/CurtBlog Curtis

    The distinction for prophet: would you say that someone who is prophetic is a “truth-speaker”, someone who is a conveyer of God’s truth vs a Prophet being someone who actually predicts/forecasts the future. That’s kind of my understanding, just curious if I’m following here.

  • Don

    God is routinely thanked for beneficent events, particularly improbable ones. But the Bible has many examples of

  • Bob (rdsmith3)

    >Of course, thanking God for favourable events could be considered merely a form of expression, never intended to be taken literally. But if it is considered meaningful at least some of the time, then it seems consistent (though impolitic) to invoke Him also in reference to disciplining those who have strayed.
    But who is Pat to be determining that someone has strayed? Isn’t that really the issue? He has no special insight into the hearts of the residents of Dover, for example.
    Moreover, who is Pat to be determining the appropriate punishment, as he did with Chavez. We may agree that Chavez is an immoral man, but that does not mean we have a moral duty to kill him.

  • JBP

    Don,
    Your points, I am afraid, do not demonstate a very strong knowledge of the bible. But then again, so do Pat Roberson’s words and he is supposed to be a preacher. What Pat Robertson does (when he says that something is a punishment from God) is specifically condemned in the Bible. In fact, a whole book, “Job,” is written to teach us not to act lile Robertson. Yes, God does sometimes use bad things to punish people. But unless God tells us this is what he is doing, we should never assert an bad thing is a punishment.
    In the book of Job, his faith is tested by pain and his friends come to visit and assert that he is being punished for sinning. Job denies that he has sinned in any way deserving of his pain. His friends keep asserting that he must have sinned and is trying to hide it. God decides to join the conversation. The first thing he says, speaking to Job, is “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” In other words, these people who keep insisting that this is a punishment are ignorant.
    I wish Pat Robertson would spend more time reading Job before he shoots of his mouth and makes Christians look like idiots, which is what God apparently thinks he is.

  • JBP

    Don,
    Your points, I am afraid, do not demonstate a very strong knowledge of the bible. What Pat Robertson does (when he says that something is a punishment from God) is specifically condemned in the Bible. I fact, God has written a whole book, “Job,” to teach us not to act like Robertson. Yes, God does sometimes use bad things to punish people. That is biblical, but unless God tells us that is what he is doing, we should never assert an bad thing is a punishment.
    In the book of Job, his faith is tested by pain and his friends come to visit and assert that he is being punished for sinning. Job denies that he has sinned in any way deserving of his pain. His friends keep asserting that he must have sinned and is trying to hide it. God decides to join the conversation. The first thing he says, speaking to Job, is “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” In other words, these people who keep insisting that this is a punishment are ignorant.
    I wish Pat Robertson would spend more time reading Job before he shoots of his mouth and makes Christians look like idiots, which is what God apparently thinks he is.

  • Tim L

    There are examples in the Bible of God using natural disasters to “chasten his children and punish his enemies”.
    But the facts are that it was incredibly rare for God to use natural disasters in the Bible. It just didn’t happen that often.
    In addition, not once did God use physical forces and allowed people to guess of come up with reasons why. It was always revealed. Not once did he say “guess why I did…(name event)…….”
    Even so, the New Testament changed everything. Jesus said, if you want to see God, look at me (not an exact quote). Jesus did not hang out with idiots like me who thought they knew everything. He was with the prostitutes, the poor, the adulterers etc and worse of all the tax collectors. Was this because they needed Jesus more than me? No, it was because idiots like me who thinks we have everything figured out are not willing to change or listen. We have too much invested in feeling that we are superior to others. (in other words we are just like democrats)
    Many of us believe that Jesus died on the cross for all sin. Are you saying that the crucifixion is not enough? All sin has been punished through Jesus. Therefore there is no more sin to punish (there is sin, its just that it has been paid for). God does not have any undone judgment left to punish. By saying that there is still some wrath that has to be done is saying that the cross was not enough.
    The cross is enough.

  • Don

    JBP, I get what you’re saying – it is presumptive to declare something to be an act of God.
    Tim, are you saying there is no wrath still to be done? That seems at odds with the Book of Revelation – or least one interpretation of the Book.

  • tom

    Joe, how do you judge whether someone is a prophet?
    In addition to the other answers, a makes a false prophecy is automatically ruled out. I seem to remember Pat predicting meteor storms for Orlando because of the gay days thing at Disney.

  • ex-preacher

    What I find so fascinating about Robertson is that he does the exact opposite of most Christians.
    Most Christians attribute any good thing that happens to God’s loving intervention, but bad things are attributed usually to nature, free will, or maybe Satan.
    Some examples:
    1. Beautiful, sunny weather: The Lord has truly blessed us with a wonderful day.
    Killing ice storm, blizzard, drought, flood, tsunami, hurricane: it’s all part of “the fallen world” (it’s Eve’s fault).
    2. Missing miners are thought to be found alive: Praise God, Hallelujah, He has brought them back.
    Turns out they were dead: stinkin’ mine owners!
    3. Plane crashes, no one dies: The Lord was watching out for me.
    Plane crashes, everyone dies: airline at fault
    4. Person with cancer goes into remission (after surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation): It’s a miracle!
    5 year old girl dies of leukemia: bad break
    I actually read a missionary newsletter once that exemplified this. The missionary was in Rio de Janeiro, notorious for bad drivers and lots of street children. The missionary wrote that they were almost run down by a speeding car, but thankfully an angel of the Lord pushed them to safety. In the next line, the missionary reported that, oh yeah, a street kid was run over. I guess the angel missed him.
    It seems to me that if believers are intent on giving God credit for everything that goes right, they should have the guts and consistency to give God at least a little responsibility when things go horribly wrong.
    Robertson has the cahonas to say things that other evangelicals are thinking. Robertson was not the only one who thought AIDS was God’s punishment for homosexuality or that 9/11 was “God’s judgment on America.”
    Even in his apology for what he said about Sharon, note that Robertson says his comments were inappropriate and insensitive. He doesn’t say they were wrong.
    If you read the Bible closely, you can find instances where God actually claims credit for causing blindness, leprosy and “natural disasters.”

  • ex-preacher

    Tom writes: “In addition to the other answers, a makes a false prophecy is automatically ruled out. I seem to remember Pat predicting meteor storms for Orlando because of the gay days thing at Disney.”
    And Revelation says “Jesus is coming soon.” Give it some time, baby.
    (Actually, Robertson predicted that Orlando would be hit by a hurricane, a prediction that is sure to come true someday.)

  • Albert

    1) I think JBP is right. Job is insightful.
    2) ex-preacher: God does control natural disasters and other types of horrible calamities, e.g. 1. Exodus 4:11 The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” And yet God does not sin. The Reformed biblical teaching is summarized in the doctrine of God’s providence. It’s very interesting and I encourage you to look it up.
    3) Pat Robertson dishonors God with his presumptive statements. Defenders of Robertson would be wise to read John 9 and THINK very, very carefully. Specifically:
    1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3″Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
    From here it is clear God does things that may be viewed as bad (blindness, or whatever disaster), yet Jesus refuses to pin the blame on the man or his parents or anyone, but instead says it happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. And then, instead of proclaiming God’s wrath upon him, Jesus heals him.
    If you feel tempted to respond that it’s never technically wrong to say that a bad thing that happens to someone is God’s punishment for their sin, please note that Jesus himself, who surely knew that everyone is sinful, nevertheless rejected the attribution of the man’s blindness to his sin.
    This is why Robertson is wrongly presumptive. Absent specific knowledge from God himself–which I don’t even think he claims, though I’m not sure–he should have mercy.
    Blessings,
    Albert

  • Albert

    and no, I wouldn’t sign the petition either, even though I would rather Robertson stop talking.

  • Mike O

    De 18:18-22 gives you God’s qualifications for a true prophet. Short version is does it happen.
    I don’t think Job fits too well as he is not being punished by God and never really finds out why all that befalls him happens.
    God brings many judgements on Israel and the neighborhood in general, but He never does it without announcing it first by his prophets and the prophets we have in the Jewish Scriptures are the ones who made the unpopular prophecies that came true.
    When someone says a catagory 5 huricane will hit New Orleans on November 27th, 2006 because God is mad at that city for thus and such sin and it happens I’ll pay attention, especially if I know for certain he hasn’t made any prophecies that didn’t come true.

  • Bob (rdsmith3)

    ex-preacher
    You miss the point. Perhaps God does dole out punishments. But that is for God to decide, not Pat. By what scriptural authority does Pat decide that Chavez should be killed?
    Regarding his apology to Sharon, maybe he has too much hubris to admit he is wrong? Isn’t pride a sin?

  • Jerry

    This is so crazy! You people must envisage Gawd, perhaps favoring Heston or Michaelangelo’s finger-pointing patriarch, sitting at a gigantic console, pushing buttons, twirling dials, pulling stops, flipping switches, muttering “I’ll send a tsunami to punish the rich lounging naked on the beaches, the fishermen who have not converted to Christianity, and the babies who will one day grow up to be godless communists and Islamists. Oh yea, and there’s that miracle I have to do for that woman and her child in Califirnia’s mudslides. Let’s see, what am I going to do about these thirteen miners? I few seconds earlier and I might have trapped 22 of them. Hmm, What if I cause 12 to die and allow the thirteenth to live? Won’t that throw them all into a tizzie?”
    As Ex-preacher says: “Missing miners are thought to be found alive: Praise God, Hallelujah, He has brought them back.
    Turns out they were dead: stinkin’ mine owners!
    God has left the building. Abandon all hope. God rules only in the sense that life, chance, luck, and circumstance rule.
    BTW, before anyone accuses me of being an atheist, I really am not. Just a realist.

  • Tim L

    “BTW, before anyone accuses me of being an atheist, I really am not. Just a realist”.
    With all due respect, an apparantly misguided realist!
    The Bible is pretty clear on who “rules” the earth. However there is nothing that you can do or that can happen in which God in his infinite wisdom cannot anticipate and guide to him and his way. History is His story! And prayer is powerful! He was with the miners and he is with their families! He is with those that suffered from tsunami’s and hurricanes! He is with you! Join him and his kingdom, rather than remaining as a slave of sin. Join him in his care for those that suffer and let his kingdom rule in you.
    Yep, that may have sounded a little cheesy to a non believer, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I honestly understand how you feel. I, at one time, for many years felt that same way. I thought that God was something to fear. Like an abused step-child, I just wanted to find out the right thing to do, so that I could avoid his wrath. Because of that, I abandoned him. It’s an easy thing to do when you fear and lack understanding of God.
    But now I realize that God is to be held in awe, amazement. He cares so much for me that he wants to draw me close, not push me away. He cares so much, that he gave his Son so that sin may be forgiven (for all). My sins are paid for. I don’t have to worry about “doing it right”. It’s been done right for me.
    There are many Christians that still hold the belief that you should fear God (and you should fear not knowing him). But don’t listen to them. Listen to God.
    If you like to read, read the Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard then let me know what you think.

  • Don

    Ex-preacher, I agree with you that it is as presumptious to thank God for a favorable event as it is to invoke Him regarding a tragic event. But the former is routine while the latter is controversial.

  • Mike O

    When I became a Christian, I told my new pastor that I had trouble with the idea of fearing God. It was just plain hard to fear someone who had been so good to me and besides I was pretty sure that He would rather my responses to His leading be out of love than fear.
    The problem is that lack of fear leads to a “white haired old man in the sky” view of God. One who can just wink at our sins and forget them. Any Christian should know this is not the truth. God did not wink at my sins but instead paid a price so great that I can’t really comprehend it. Christianity today seems to focus only on God’s love which is perfect and infinite and forgets that He is also perfectly and infinitely righteous. It leads to a small and incomplete view of God. In the gospels Jesus said that He didn’t come to judge the world, but He is going to.
    We fear atomic weapons simply because of their power and they are nothing compared to the power of God. A little fear is a good thing.

  • Tim L

    It is rather sad that we think that fear should be the feeling that gets us “right with God”.
    If we are truly not wishing or trying to develop a relationship with God, then I suppose fear would be necessary.
    God desires our entire being to be sanctified and conformed to his will. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
    “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:16, 18
    Therefore, yes there should be fear. But to only those who do not know or love God. It is certainly understandable to at first fear God when you do not know him and understand him. However, as John points out above, this fear should change to reverant awe (phobos) with the development of your relationship with him. If you fear him, then you do not know his love.

  • Mike O

    Sorry Tim I missed the change to reverent awe in John’s comment which I think comes with the spirit and grows.

  • Jerry

    Now really Tim, how can a realist be misquided when he is dealing with reality?
    Reality offer copious examples of the existence of God, as well as copious examples of the complete absence of God. It depends upon your interpretation, and, I suppose, your faith.
    When I try to envisage that “white haired old man in the sky”, or that “patriarch, sitting at a gigantic console, pushing buttons, twirling dials, pulling stops, flipping switches”, reality relentlessly intervenes. Gawd would have so much to do, but then, maybe you think that wouldn’t be a problem. Because besides the tsunami, the landslides and miracles in California, little girls with luekemia, and the fate of 12 or 13 miners in West Virginia, He must also control the tides, make sure sparrows get enough to eat, arrange for the phasing-out of the human little toe, do a couple of supernovae, keep the Universe expanding, and a couple of other sesquecenturiaquadrillion things and little details, and that’s all just in one day. With all that, you wouldn’t think that he would even have time for sex, but sure enough, there’s at least one virgin birth in every million, so I guess I don’t know the scope of Gawd.
    But what’s more likely is that what we refer to as God is some nebulous perpetual thought energy that permeates this Universe and several Others and neither you or I or anyone else has the faintest idea what in the hell is going on.
    Or maybe Zappa had it right by calling it the Cosmic Bisquit.

  • Jerry

    “The Bible is pretty clear on who “rules” the earth. ”
    Yes, Tim, if that is your source reference, and you seek no others, then you must be pretty comfortable and assured that all is right with the world and that God has everything under control. A perhaps enviable, perhaps pitiable state. But some of us have and have had questions. And, contrary to the billboards and bumper stickers, Jesus is not the answer.
    The answers change every minute, just as the questions do. The search for truth is a lot more complicated than opening a history book and finding a verse that seems to fit the situation. And I’ve seen that book confuse as many people as I have seen it help.
    Another bumper sticker that I have seen here in Mississippi is: “God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it.” That doesn’t cut it for me. There is just too much other “stuff”.
    Let me ask: Do you remember the Sabbath, and keep it holy?

  • Tim L

    Jerry,
    How typical. Do you actually believe that a person’s reality is automatically right? The President of Iran has a reality that the Holocaust is a lie. According to you, he is right. He can probably even show you evidence that he is right.
    You have the free will to choose not to believe. Granted, the choice is only to accept or not accept God (He does the rest if you were to accept).
    Don’t pretend to know what I believe or that I don’t have questions or doubts.
    Yes faith comes first from the heart but it must go through the mind as well. I don’t care for the bumper sticker that you referred to any more than you do. What the Bible says is important, but what is even more important is what he tells you personally when you listen to him.
    You probably think I am crazy for thinking that I can listen to God and know his will for me. And certainly, there are many who have claimed to have been told things by God and it was a lie to manipulate others. This does not make the fact that you can listen to him less true. Perhaps you would be interested in reading a Dallas Willard book called “Hearing God”. It’s not expensive and I think you would enjoy it even if you didn’t agree with it.
    I don’t think that God has everything under control. Or at least not the way that you (and many others) mean it.
    First of all, you seem to be thinking that I think God “rules” the earth. I am not referring to God, I am referring to the Devil. Earth at this time is his Kingdom. The fact that so many horrible things happen on this earth is evidence of the cosmic battle between good and evil, God and the Devil. God certainly is the greater power (by far) but he gave us free will. Which means despite that power, we can make decisions that is against his will. We can choose to accept him and be an example of his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven or we can choose not to. I choose to have his kingdom in my heart.
    God did not create us for us to fear him. And it is heresy to say that God, which is Love, causes bad things to happen. God created us to have a relationship with, not to control. He doesn’t push cosmic buttons the way that you say he does. But he is infinitely wise (after all he is God) and he does guide people and happenings that are either good of bad to his will. Ultimately his will is won.
    Where in what I have written do you get the idea that I think he is some “white-haired old man in the sky”?
    “The answers change every minute, just as the questions do. The search for truth is a lot more complicated than opening a history book and finding a verse that seems to fit the situation. And I’ve seen that book confuse as many people as I have seen it help.”
    You are absolutely right. Which is why the Bible is not enough. You need to have a relationship with God to get the answers, or at least the answers that are important. He loves you and more than you know. He wants that relationship with you.
    Not that I am in any position to think that I do better with a relationship with him. All too often, I am not connected to his will, and all too often, I look elsewhere to find my worth. I just have to keep plugging away at it and doing a better job of having a better relationship with him.

  • Tim L

    So Jerry,
    Do you really think that you are alone having these questions? And that the Bible is my only source of reference? Smart people throughout the centuries have had these questions and have found that a relationship with God is the answer. Although I am not claiming that I am smart (many of my posts reveal otherwise), I am fortunate enough to have found what I was looking for and what we all seek.
    These questions that you have are the same questions that people in all societies have asked throughout the centuries.
    They are the same questions that I had for years when I was not a Christian.
    The only difference between you and I is that I have found the answer and have accepted it.
    You can disagree with me, but don’t think I am an idiot that is just blinded by the light. I don’t think you are an idiot because of your beliefs or concerns. I know better because I know how God looks at you and your infinite worth.

  • Mike O

    Though I can’t find the exact words in my Bible, I’m pretty sure that “light blinded idiot” is one of the many things God may ask Christians to be for Him. I’m real sure that the Holy Spirit turns a few of Gods words spoken by a “light blinded idiot” into a celebration in heaven on a very regular basis.

  • JBP

    ex-preacher,
    You raise a good point, but I think that the explanation is actually quite simple. When thanking God for good things, the other side of the coin not telling people they deserved it when bad things happen. The other side is blaming or cursing God for bad things.
    When someone sees a beautiful day or is saved from some calamity, they feel thankful and want to thank God. Since God made the world, ultimately everything is attributable to him. But that does not mean that every bad thing is a punishment, it merely means the good and bad event are a part of life. When something bad happens, one may feel inclined to curse or blame God, but that seems imprudent and wrong. So we guard our tongues.

  • Amy

    Mike O wrote, “Christianity today seems to focus only on God’s love which is perfect and infinite and forgets that He is also perfectly and infinitely righteous.”
    If God (or God’s Love or Righteousness) is infinite, then S/He’s perpetually incomplete; if God is complete, then S/He’s not infinite. Which way do you want it? “Perfect infinity” is an oxymoron.
    Your faith is a hoax if you can’t think what you say you believe. Seems a disingenuous ground on which to call others’ (always others’) loves “escapist” and “sterile.”
    Amy

  • Jerry

    Mike O wrote, “Christianity today seems to focus only on God’s love which is perfect and infinite and forgets that He is also perfectly and infinitely righteous.”
    What a statement! Christianity today is focusing on politics, removing the teaching of real science from the schools, and the same old fire and brimstone/punishment message it has preached for hundreds of years. If more Christians acted more like Christ, I could accept both a lot better. I’ve know a few real good Christians, but most have been fallable humans trying to be something they cannot be. Hypocrites more than anything, but I have seen gay and pedophilic priests, (how is a celibate gay?), thieving preachers, violent white supremecists, and liars promoting such farces as “intelligent design”.
    One reason I refuse to convert to Christianity is that I would be more like Christ than most people can accept, and more than most Christians are capable of. I could become such a Christian as to not be able to survive in this world. If you could ever live the Thirteeth Commandment, every day in every way, you would probably find yourself screwed, robbed, and starved by the debbil’s world, including many so-called “Christians”.

  • Eric & Lisa

    Amy,
    Why can’t love be perfect and infinite? Seems like a pretty good thing to me.
    Jerry,
    It is Christians who focus on politics, not Christianity. We Christians also focus on eating, jogging, television, breathing, and all sorts of other things too! It’s because we are human.
    Don’t confuse the Gospel with the Church.

  • Eric & Lisa

    Amy,
    Why can’t love be perfect and infinite? Seems like a pretty good thing to me.
    Jerry,
    It is Christians who focus on politics, not Christianity. We Christians also focus on eating, jogging, television, breathing, and all sorts of other things too! It’s because we are human.
    Don’t confuse the Gospel with the Church.

  • Jerry

    When Mike says “Christianity today…”, he was referring to the faith as a whole, not individuals; otherwise he would have said “Christians today”. And that’s not me saying that, but the grammatical construction of his sentence (and those following).