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Open Comment

Sorry to do this again, but Kris is quite busy with a side project and my poor database is complaining. No “meat” to this post, but I need to start a new thread to alleviate some symptoms. Carry on Survivors!

2,158 comments to Open Comment

  • Rick

    Kris, I appreciate your comments–and your heart. I want to thank you for the grace-full way you and Guy have provided and moderated this forum through the years. I understand why you may feel the time is coming to move away from this. My best to you and yours as you transition.

    Rick

  • Stunned

    Bob, I don’t think you sound screwed up at all. I have been looking forward to heaven since I was a small child and this has not abated as I’ve seen the pain in this world, in the least.

    God loves us and in my imagination, He is hungering to hold us in His arms and for us to see Him face to face, as much or a million times more than we are. You are not alone in this, Brother/Sister.

  • 5years,

    Thanks for such an in-depth response to why your question was not “odd.” I had started to try and say something but lost my mojo.

    For the record, I utterly hate it when questions of basic Christian doctrine arise here and then it becomes the general consensus among commenters that no doctrine matters since those teachings were upheld by leaders and churches that ended up being abusive.

    Yes, it’s true, churches abuse. It’s true that SGM churches have mishandled and mistreated many people through their organization’s own peculiar blend of hyper-authoritarian teachings and pastors-as-mediators with little formal training and zero accountability to their congregations. That combination was (and in some cases still is) particularly lethal.

    But it’s also true, like it or not, that the Bible gives us some pretty straightforward assertions about Jesus and what we need to believe about Him in order to be viewed by God as “on His side” (and not lost, not condemned to an eternity in hell). I find it really troublesome when the conversation moves from calling out SGM’s peculiar twistedness and abuses of various Christian doctrines to trash-talking the doctrines themselves. I don’t really want any part of an environment where it’s suddenly not OK to hold firmly to certain beliefs just because others who held firmly to those beliefs mishandled them and used them as a smokescreen to hide their own self-serving agendas.

    I’ve actually been thinking over the past several months that it’s time to close comments here. It remains true that SGM as it has been in its various iterations over the past few decades has been a dysfunctional mess masquerading as “doing church right.” I do not believe the dysfunction will ever be fully addressed until the pastors who were raised up in the dysfunctional system repent of how they came to power and change their church governance structures to officially incorporate input from ordinary members. I do think there will continue to be a need for the free discussion of SGM’s issues until this visible repentance happens. (It’s not enough for a church to merely withdraw from the SGM organization, hold some coffee klatches, slap a new label on itself, and think it has charted a new course. The way almost all pastors came into their leadership roles is still rotten at its core, and until that is addressed and until the root issue of lack of accountability to ordinary members is changed, the church will still remain SGM. To put it like the familiar saying, you can take the church out of SGM, but it’s not so easy to take the SGM out of the church.)

    But this nonsense of wholesale-condemning everything SGM has ever taught just because SGM taught it has got to stop. Likewise, it is not at all healthy or fruitful for people to build an identity upon having been abused, rather than upon having been redeemed by Jesus. Since the past 6 or 8 months have been something of a “slow news cycle” with respect to SGM’s bigger, more public issues, the conversations here have frequently devolved into something that just, well, makes me tired and (for lack of a better way to put it) feels wrong in my spirit. My heart still breaks for anyone whose walk with God has been damaged or derailed by spiritual abuse…but at some point, it’s time to stop harping on the abuse and start praising God for what He has done. My heart still beats faster and I still get angry when I hear about the horrible fruit that comes from the abuse of various doctrines of the faith…but some of those same doctrines are the very foundation of what will still save one’s soul to the utmost.

    If this site is becoming a place where people just gather to wallow in their victimhood and sneer at the act of really believing in what the Bible says, then I don’t want any part of it. It’s not good for me, and it’s certainly not good for the people doing the wallowing and the sneering.

  • Paula Rice

    #2153

    Holy Sacred Cow of Complementarianism, Batman!

    Hope your day goes well, 5years. Peace :-)

  • 5yearsinPDI

    Paula- just saw reply 2152. I am sorry you do not choose to publicly confess Jesus Christ as God in the flesh. I hope you will do more study on the subject. Thanks for your post.

  • 5yearsinPDI

    Paula…one last thought, have to go out….

    From the beginning, God intended an eternal soul to go with an eternal body. Sin brought death, but Jesus conquered death, and one day our body will again be united with our soul, forever. The creation of the body is something majestic and glorifying to God.

    I wonder how much the modern Darwinian evolutionary mentality, with bodies that slowly evolved from primates back to reptiles and so on down the line, degrades our overall respect and reverence for the sacred work of God in making the human body. Does it contribute to the ease of pedophilia and rape, where a body is nothing more than a physical thing to gratify somebody’s desires of the moment? Just a more advanced worm or frog or iguana? Swat a mosquito, rape a kid? The sociopaths seem to function that way.

    I think there are enormous spiritual repercussions to this doctrine, which is why I press the point. To deny Jesus as God in the flesh, to deny that eternal body of our Lord, to not know that God took on a human body forever, to participate in the lie of antichrist…well, does that same antichrist lie somehow filter down to making the bodies of little girls just another candy bar a guy can grab and eat if he wants? Instead of a body that will one day be resurrected in glory? Does the denial of God in the flesh, which permeates our whole society now, affect perverts?

    Does the doctrine of the incarnation elevate the body of a woman into something holy and not to be raped or beaten? I think so.

    Just something to think about. I would guess the ramifications of Christianity in society- or lack thereof- are huge, even in areas like sex abuse.

    Just my musings……

  • Paula Rice

    #2151
    “If you cannot answer….”

    I chose not to answer. That’s different than being incapable.

    Hi Joy :-)

  • 5yearsinPDI

    Paula-

    This came up before here, but I don’t feel like chasing links and searches. It is not an odd question. If you cannot answer that Jesus is God in the flesh, I hope you will do some study on this.

    The Word was in the beginning with God, the Word was God. All things came into being through Him. He was the eternally begotten son, different than the father but God, one in essence and substance. I won’t try to tackle the doctrine of the trinity in depth. The entire universe was made through the preincarnate son/Word. He had manifestations before the incarnation- the rock in the desert “was Christ”. (See the Book, “Jesus on Every Page” for a good treatise on how the OT is all about Jesus). The lamb that was slain prefigured him. The scapegoat lamb prefigured him. The feasts were about Him, the Temple, etc. It was probably him in the firey furnace.

    Now, at a certain point in time, that Word, that eternally begotten son, that second person of the trinity, took on flesh. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.

    This is the most incredible, amazing, awesome, marvelous, stunning, event of history. (well, next to the cross, sniff sniff, sob sob, look at my passion, I am the pope) But seriously, God became man. Fully God, fully man. God incarnated so that he could work redemption and redeem us, as a man, in our place, to save us from our sin. Amazing! Thanks and glory to God!

    Jesus died in the body, rose again in the body, in the flesh- see Thomas, feel my hands. Peter, share breakfast with me on the beach at Galilee. He was 40 days on earth in His glorified body, rose to heaven in it, now exists IN THE CREATED HEAVEN- within creation, within space and time, in the flesh- and is coming back for us in that body. He abides forever in the flesh, as our eternal high priest, now and forever, and we will live with him forever. In a new body.

    CS Lewis has some good stuff on this. We tend to so degrade the body as God’s intended home of the soul, and to not fathom the marvel of Jesus taking on a body.

    To deny this God in the flesh is from antichrist. Go look this up in the bible, google it online. Do a study. Your salvation may depend on it.

    I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

    Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
    And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

    It is a great pity that some people use this glorious doctrine and apply it only to women, as if the example of Jesus is not for men as well.

    “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

    That attitude is for both genders. Trying to somehow make the humility of Jesus in the incarnation as applying only to women is rather stupid. I can see why you have a negative reaction. There is much better clear support for complentarianism.

    Nevertheless, you must not deny Jesus in the flesh now and forever. That is antiChrist.

    This came up here with Lydia from WW…I was informed that it created quite a stir and much offense over there. Too bad. If you cannot confess Jesus is God in the flesh, eternally God in the glorified body, the first fruit of all the redeemed who will share in a resurrected body, you are at best very deceived and poorly taught. You may not be a Christian. I say this not to criticize but for fear for your every soul and to beg you to do more study. Jesus is not a spirit now. God the Father is spirit, the HS is spirit, but the second person of the Godhead is in the flesh forever. If you are a regular reader at WW, you must be wary. For all they pride themselves on being so discerning, they appear to be oblivious to an antichrist doctrine. Or did, past tense, I have no idea what has happened the past year so correct me if they have made a public statement on this.

    if that is where you are reading, I suggest you try and be discerning