Tuesday, June 08, 2010

"Turretinfan" Goads and Baits for Debate / Double Standards of Anti-Catholic Reformed "Moderator" Rev. Reed DePace, Who Now Classifies Me as a "Swine"



Folks, here is a classic example of several of the 3,894 reasons that I decided to stop attempting theological debate with anti-Catholics in October 2007. This occurred in a long combox thread on the Reformed Protestant Green Baggins website (and later a second accompanying one: starting at my comment #53). I went there because at first I didn't know whether it was an anti-Catholic venue or not. In my very first post, I made my policy clear and asked for clarification as to how the word "Christian" was defined.

"Turretinfan" (knowing my policy) desperately tried to goad me into debate. At length, "moderator" Rev. Reed DePace ("Reed Here") decided to forsake any pretense of moderation whatever, and to join in the usual personal attacks from the anti-Catholics. Whether he himself is an anti-Catholic was not clear at first (it wasn't properly clarified), but on 6-15-10 he verified it in his remarks about Catholics supposedly teaching "another gospel".

"Turretinfan" knew full well that I would refuse to debate him, because I always have with him over the last several years. And he knew that my refusal would appear in the eyes of his other fellow anti-Catholics as cowardice or inability to answer. That very thing did in fact occur. Now I am being excoriated on the site as an intellectual coward. This is what one goes through in trying to abide by principle in matters of stewardship of time and avoidance of the Pauline "vain discussion." But so be it. Being called names never stops me from abiding by my own principles and managing my time as I see fit, under God. It makes me even more motivated to do so, because it confirms the correctness and prudence of my policy.

The other moderator (and apparently main webmaster) of the site, Rev. Lane Keister ("greenbaggins"), took a commendable principled stand of fair-mindedness, and conducted himself as a Christian gentleman at all times. He even condemned the character attacks (comment #416 below) and asked that folks refrain from them on his blog. Jeff Cagle and Andrew McCallum also engaged me in normal, cordial debate (recorded elsewhere on my blog). I commend all of them for daring to go against the usual grain in these sad situations and doing the right thing, and exhibiting true Christian charity and courtesy. I truly admire that, and appreciate their kindness in the midst of all the slander.

Turretinfan's words will be in orange; anti-Catholic Bob Suden's in red; anti-Catholic Ron DiGiacomo's in green; Andrew McCallum's in brown; Jeff Cagle's in dark red. Words of the anti-Catholic pseudo-"moderator" "Reed Here" (Rev. Reed DePace) and webmaster / moderator "greenbaggins" (Rev. Lane Keister) are in blue and purple, respectively. I will link to the comment number so anyone can read the entire comment for context. I am highlighting the goading and baiting and insulting aspects.

"Turretinfan" (as predictably as the sun coming up) made an all-out assault against my character (accusing me of "evil motives" and deliberate deception), to try to shut me up and to achieve the goal of getting me kicked out (echoed by several others).

After 6-14-10, there was what I call a "feeding frenzy": a bunch of folks patting each other on the back and seeing who can be more insulting, stupid, and calumnious than everyone else, against the lowly, despised "Romanist" apologist. It's important that we observe how such people "argue" so that we can avoid wasting valuable time in the future, wrangling in the mud with slanderers and those who spread falsehood (willingly or not).

* * * * *

Comment #205 (6-4-10) I have a policy of not interacting with anti-Catholics: i.e., those who classify Catholic theology outside of Christianity in a way that sets it apart from Protestantism, . . .
I took this stand as a matter of principle and of stewardship and time-management. Interactions with anti-Catholics for over ten years online were entirely unfruitful and usually entailed personal hostility on the part of my opponents: a thing that always kills dialogue. Socrates held that good, constructive dialogue was only possible if folks understood the views of their opponents, had some measure of respect for them (including recognizing things in common), and preferably if those in a dialogue were actually friends or at least not hostile to each other. . . .
If I do participate (as I would like to, if possible without violating my own parameters), it needs to be understood that I will not spend time interacting with individual anti-Catholics who do comment here (I know of one in particular, and I am sure there must be more). This is not due to rudeness or inability or fear, but, again, stewardship and time-management, and avoidance of the Pauline “vain disputation.” I have about 700 posted dialogues on my blog: many with anti-Catholics.
#207 (6-4-10) . . . firm Romanists are welcome to comment on my blog, and I try to keep the rhetoric to a minimum, and instead concentrate on substance.

#210 (6-4-10) I was simply making my own views clear, so there is no misunderstanding. I understand that this might offend some, but of course it is also offensive for Catholics to be characterized as we are by many who hold anti-Catholic views. I need not go through the laundry list.

#212 (6-4-10) . . . if you wish to dialogue with me, I am more than willing. For myself, you can expect respect, lack of rhetorical flourish (done in order to belittle opponents), and a desire to stick to the logical points.

#272 (6-5-10) You said that you did not want to interact with those who you deemed to be “anti-Catholic” and I understand this and certainly don’t blame you. I think that you will find most all of the Protestants who interact here are fair-minded and careful in the way they interact.

#280 (6-5-10) It’s wonderful that this is understood. No one likes to try to interact with folks who are persistently hostile, and often, unfortunately, in a directly personal, ad hominem fashion. I’ve been personally called every name in the book over 14 years online: virtually every calumny imaginable. I won’t bore you or anyone with those details. Like I said, my experience is what it is, and I can’t change it. . . . overall I like this place and the people here. I think there is an excellent, refreshing mix of thoughtfulness and cordiality. I’m delighted that I haven’t been 1) personally attacked, or 2) kicked out yet. :-) Surely we all are aware of how rampant such things are on the Internet. I gave up on discussion boards way back in 2003 because of it. . . .

The tone of this site is plainly very different from most Reformed sites I have seen (that tended to be anti-Catholic and often extremely uncharitable, sad to say).

#279 (6-5-10) I know you don’t care for philosophy . . . Given that you dismiss critical thinking from the start, you are not in the best position to recognize, let alone submit to, a sound argument.

#286 (6-5-10) . . . everyone is firing questions at me, and I’m just one guy (however voluminous my writing may be). I’m still restricted to the laws of physics regarding finite amount of time to answer 3,783 questions all at once. Here I am spending the greater part of my daytime hours on Saturday trying my best to offer some answer to all the questions asked of me.

#288 (6-5-10) That you don’t particularly care for this part of debate simply means that you don’t particularly care to have your arguments critiqued. You seem most pleased to pontificate but not argue. No surprise there I suppose.

#291 (6-5-10) Next time, I suggest that you make at least a minimal effort to get to know the actual views of a person before you jump all over them and commit all kinds of factual errors. You’re dealing with a guy who has over 2500 posted papers and over 50 distinct web pages. It’s not difficult to ascertain what my actual beliefs are.
I’m completely unimpressed by both your argumentation thus far and hostile tone. I’m having excellent discussions with several others here. I’m not gonna get dragged down in the usual acrimonious exchanges. If at a later time you decide to adopt a different tone (and you are not an anti-Catholic, which I suspect to be the case, though I don’t assert it [he is indeed], like you do about all my mythical alleged beliefs), then we’ll see (we all have bad days and we all misunderstand and misjudge at times), but not now.

#292 (6-5-10) I guess that is why I have posted on my blog some 700 or so debates (I stopped counting a while ago when it was well over 500). That proves beyond any possible doubt my antipathy to rational argument and debate, doesn’t it?

If anyone here knows of a theological site that has a higher number of debates (as well as individual posts / papers) by one individual than that, please let me know, because I’ve never seen one, and to my knowledge I have more posted (with — in almost all cases — all of my opponents’ words) than any apologist I’ve seen online.

Not bragging; just stating the facts in replying to a ludicrous criticism. Like good ol’ Dizzy Dean said, “it ain’t braggin’ if you can do it.”

#293 (6-5-10) I’ve never seen someone so in love with himself as you,. . .

#297 (6-5-10) Note how the personal attacks almost immediately follow the prior intellectual disposition of anti-Catholicism (I’m full of myself, I’m this and that, I’m an intellectual coward …). This has always been the case in my eleven years of interaction with anti-Catholics online (off and on) till I gave it up in October 2007.
I don’t include such ad hominem rhetoric in my definition of anti-Catholic, yet in practice I find that the views are almost always accompanied by the uncharitable attitude. And it does because if one considers another a wicked denier of Christ and leading people to hell, etc., then obviously that will not be a person with whom we are inclined to be charitable and nicey-nicey, and engage in a warm fuzzy relationship. People can’t help following their philosophies in their behavior.

#298 (6-5-10) You then went on to tell us all how wonderful you are:. . . 
 
Dave, what a luxury it must be for you to have attained to such a level of distinction and repute that you may make assertions that no longer require a defense. One might think you thought yourself divine. Does the word narcissism mean anything to you?
nar•cis•sism n.
1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms “conceit”.
2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one’s own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.
4. The attribute of the human psyche characterized by admiration of oneself but within normal limits.
#310 (6-5-10) You’ll have to ask someone else. I don’t waste my time with anti-Catholics, as I stated in my first post (#205). I didn’t know you were one at first (only illogical and quick to judge); now I do.

#311 (6-5-10) In defense of your avoidance to offer more than mere assertions you have either excused yourself by pleading your reputation and debating prowess, or stated that you do not argue with anti-Catholics. It seems rather apparent that you never had any intention of defending your assertions. When asked to put forth clear and concise arguments that could be examined and critiqued, you always refused.

#322 (6-6-10) Dave: consider it fair game to respond to questions two or three degrees off topic, provided that the answer is intended to respond to a prior question on topic. E.g., Jeff’s PV question relates to “dogma creation,” relates to “authority,” relates to “canon dogma.” We’re back home pretty quickly.

#323 (6-6-10) P.S. please, at least follow up with the fallible know infallible topic, as it has been addressed by at least a few. Thanks.

[I did, in comment #330 ]

#344 (6-6-10) . . . in large part we seem to be watching a ho hum replay of previous threads in re. with the current verbose substitute and pinch hitter for Mr. Cross, Tole, Dozi etc (speaking of filibusters, where was this guy when they passed the Patriot Act, the TARP bailout and healthcare, not to mention the upcoming cap and trade and amnesty legislation?) . . .

#349 (6-7-10) If this is referring to me (as I suspect, but can’t be sure), I would reply that a filibuster is designed to shut down discussion, whereas I have been doing exactly the opposite: carefully trying to give answers out of courtesy to many different folks who have asked me questions (which I call — strangely enough, perhaps –”dialogue”). 

If someone objects to my doing that, or is bored by it, etc., then I suggest that they urge folks to stop asking me questions! But if questions are being asked, obviously, the ones asking think I have something to offer by way of reply, agree or no. I’m enjoying myself. I hope a few others have enjoyed the dialogue, too.
The many questions fired out were even alluded to by host Reed Here, who said that folks should reserve some of their “ammo.” [see his comment #282 ] That is hardly my fault. But it is common when a Catholic apologist enters Protestant venues. I don’t mind it at all, myself, as long as I have time to interact and am not required to deal with too many topics at once.

That being the case, the potshot is almost as much directed towards those who question me as it is to myself: the one who attempts to answer. The “filibuster” (i.e., lengthiness) is a function of how many questions asked and complexity of the questions asked, not some desire to dominate, as if I am sitting here lecturing, etc.
I happen to believe that someone making a defense of anything should give it everything he has and bring as many relevant considerations into the mix as are necessary to make the case. That is not to everyone’s taste (and I would never say it was). Different strokes for different folks . . . 

But if someone wants to see some serious theological “filibustering,” I would recommend anti-Catholics Steve Hays and “Turretinfan,” who both make me look (in comparison) like I never typed a word in my life, and who often spew out more words even in a single post than there are electrons in the universe.
#361 (6-7-10)

Hi Jeff (#354),

Continued excellent dialogue. Thank you. It is a rare pleasure these days.

#370 (6-7-10) I’ll be hanging around (I have concluded that this is a cool place to dialogue, if y’all will have me). We have a whole lifetime to discuss Catholic-Protestant differences. I look forward to it. I’ve been looking for a place to have good discussions with thoughtful, cordial Protestants for a long time now, so I’m very happy to have discovered this site.

[see moderator comments from Reed Here [#371] and greenbaggins [#372] about long-winded posts]

#373 (6-7-10) A final thought: Dave, I’ve enjoyed our conversation, and I’m sorry for the long-windedness.

#374 (6-7-10) I have tried to stop discussions as off-topic earlier. On one occasion, Reed said I should keep talking about second- and third-degree stuff (after I expressed reluctance to do so, as off-topic) and asked me a question himself (that I carefully answered). It’s simply not my fault that I am being asked a lot of questions and am trying to give a cogent, careful answer. Granted, I can get long-winded (guilty as charged!) but if I wasn’t being asked what I think are good questions, I wouldn’t be answering in the first place (or at length, since many factors were being brought into play and needed to be given a solid answer), would I?

#376 (6-7-10) Dave: no disrespect, but you have got to be kidding me. You do not see your long-windedness? C’mon dude, just a little humility, maybe? :-)

#378 (6-7-10) I guess you missed my statement all of ten minutes before yours (#374): “Granted, I can get long-winded (guilty as charged!).”

Virtually all of my posts except my very first one have been replies. If you guys want to write quite a bit about Catholic teachings (as seen in the topic of the posts), then surely if a Catholic apologist comes in and tries to offer answers, and is confronted by 6-8 people at once, with as many or more topics thrown out and introduced (all I asked about at first was the definition of “Christianity”), clearly he will have to speak at come length to adequately answer. Otherwise, we get accused of having no answer.
So what do you expect me to do? Just ignore the questions? I’m between a rock and a hard place. I’ve tried to end individual discussions but was egged on to offer more (including by you yourself in the fallible / infallible thing).
#380 (6-8-10) Dave: here’s how you end a discussion.

[#383: Turretinfan first attempts to goad me into debate]
 
#386 (6-9-10) Dave: My comment [#383] wasn’t an invitation to you to respond. We both know you cannot.

#387 (6-9-10) That’s right. This entire thread amply proves that I am out to sea in terms of making any response to Reformed arguments. Dream on.

#388 (6-9-10) There’s nothing distinctively Reformed about my exposure of your sophistry. I happen to be Reformed, but my argument could be made by anyone, even one of your co-religionists.

#392 (6-11-10) [more baiting and goading] Yet together, they demonstrate your sophistry. Anyone could use the argument, it just happens that I did. But you cannot give any good answer, which is why you are responding as you have above.

#393 (6-11-10) zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………….Your usual sophistry and fallacy-laden “argument” . . .

#394 (6-12-10) Ok, guys, both of you have to actually offer a substantive response to a point for the conversation to continue. As this is off topic, if one of you isn’t interested in doing that, then let’s let it drop.

#395 (6-12-10) [long demonstrations -- in-between the obligatory personal insults -- of illogical, fact-challenged sophistry and vicious self-contradiction, per his usual modus operandi] Since you, Reed, have encouraged me to focus primarily on the substance (I assume you don’t mean the substantive argument about Dave’s sophistry, but rather arguments relating to the canon),. . . So it is unclear whether Dave is trying to criticize his own church for being theologically liberal, or he just doesn’t know what his own church looks like. . . . (enter my demonstration of Dave’s sophistry) . . . Since apparently you, Reed, would prefer for me not to continue to demonstrate Dave’s sophistry here, . . . That is the reason he came here, and I thought it prudent to identify to the reader his sophistical method, which is aimed at deceiving Christians. I didn’t see anyone else in the course of 150 or so comments identify this particular sophistry, so I thought I’d bring it to your attention.

He cannot respond to the substance of my criticism of his sophistry, any more than he will respond (in any substantive way) to my substantive points above. Nevertheless, given the fact that the vast bulk of his voluminous comments here have nothing to do with the opening post (and the few that do are easily defeated, as noted above), it’s understandable why you might want to discourage his further interaction here.

#396 (6-12-10) TF: as long as your [sic] on topic :) Chil dude. Looked like Dave didn’t want to play anything with but tit for tat. Y’all aren’t gonna play that here. If Dave wants to respond to your substantive challenges, even if they are directed toward proving his sophistry, fair game.

#397 (6-12-10) As I have reiterated many times (in this very thread), I don’t waste time with anti-Catholics.
I wrote a lot in this combox because I was asked questions. Period. If I was off-topic then so were my questioners. Since all the questions ceased and the combox ended, you don’t see me writing much here, do you? And that is because I was responding, not just preaching and lecturing. It’s dialogue . . .
Now I am being insulted and lied about up and down by an anti-Catholic. What else is new? That’s all these guys do . . . 

If I came merely to deceive and engage in sophistry (or to simply be a troll), then webmaster greenbaggins was taken in himself, since he wrote in #212: “if you wish to dialogue with me, I am more than willing.”

But if TF can get him in a corner and convince him (and who knows who else?) I am Attila the Hun and an altogether wicked, unsavory scoundrel, then more power to him. I would hope any fair-minded person could see through such a cynical ploy. Jeff Cagle and I had an excellent dialogue, that he said he enjoyed. So he better be instructed soon about what a deceiving rascal I am before he is deceived, too!

#398 (6-12-10) I do confess that I get quite a laugh out of the position I am in here. When I was answering questions left and right (virtually all introduced by Protestants and regulars here) and dialoguing, I got in trouble for writing too much and straying from the topic, and no doubt some folks consider me a troll and intruder. We know what TF thinks of me.

Now that I am refusing to answer an anti-Catholic (per my openly stated policy), it is implied that I am a coward and/or unable to give an answer.

#399 (6-13-10) This is real simple. Somebody needs to back up their accusations or kindly stand down, shut up and take their evasions elsewhere.

If TF really is what he is accused of, there was no need to necessarily respond.

1. It would be clear to the average reasonable reader. The discussion would be over and we could all move on.
2. Or someone could respond in substance and demonstrate rather than blithely assert TF’s errors. [as Reed gave you permission to do in 396]

But that didn’t happen. Somebody tried hiding behind the skirts of “anti-catholic, insults” and lies” to carry the day instead of a genuine rebuttal. 

You got a beef with TF’s view of your views in 395? Deal with it rather than duck it. (I am bold to say you didn’t, because you can’t, but whatever.)

Otherwise you will come across a low and cunning roman apologist, if not a low, cunning and self deceived roman apologist. (Likewise don’t bother with the ‘can’t win for trying’ option. You chose to respond when you could have and should have remained quiet.)

Thank you.

#401 (6-13-10)
If TF really is what he is accused of, there was no need to necessarily respond.
Exactly. That’s what I’m trying to do.
1. It would be clear to the average reasonable reader.
Precisely, again; and the key word is “reasonable.” I couldn’t agree more.

I don’t care what you or anyone else thinks of my policy of how I manage my time, Bob. It’s a matter of stewardship, between myself and God. If that causes you to have a need to call me names and judge my heart and motives, then that is your problem. I’ll pray for you.

If my presence on this site is not welcome, the webmasters only need say so and I’ll split. That is up to them. I was initially welcomed. Otherwise I have enjoyed the dialogue with those who acted like Christian gentlemen. I think there are several sharp people here that I can learn from and have great dialogues with. The others I avoid, just as the Apostle Paul commands us all to do if it is a vain, fruitless controversy.

#402 (6-13-10) And furthermore, either I am free to speak my opinion like anyone else when my motives are publicly cast into question or else I can be kicked off, if that is what is desired. That’s fine; I am a guest here and the webmasters are free to do what they wish. If I am not free to respond, then I submit that the persons offering the initial insults and calumnies that I reply to should be censured, and their posts deleted, because that is the employment of a double standard. 

This can be the sadly typical Reformed site where non-Reformed are treated like dirt and kicked out, or it can be different: a place where diverse viewpoints are welcomed, rather than feared or pilloried. I believe it is indeed different from the usual (which is why I am here), but with a minority faction that wants to keep the old hostilities brewing.

It’s true that Turretinfan and I have a history. He chose to come in and try to bait me into debate with him, when he knows full well what my policy is (and after the webmasters have said this thread is exhausted). I chose not to respond to his “arguments.” There is nothing wrong with that. I have already stated about seven times that I don’t waste time with anti-Catholics. But he wants to make hay out of my refusal and keep it going. Someone has to refuse to reply when it is fruitless. Insult away: whoever has a need to do that. It has no effect whatever on my own personal policy of how I spend my time doing apologetics and dialogues.

#404 (6-13-10) The thing is this: you don’t refuse to reply. You just reply in sophistical ways, as demonstrated above. Let me summarize: You accuse of lying without substantiating your charge.You allege that you are being insulted, but the accusations against you have been substantiated.You run for cover behind a policy that you set aside and impose whenever you like. And you waste space with comments like “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………….Your usual sophistry and fallacy-laden “argument” . . .” although you cannot identify any sophistry or fallacies in the argument to which the comment is putatively responding.I’m confident that folks here, having had your pattern of behavior brought to their attention, will see through it. You may be able to blow smoke, but once someone turns on a fan, it dissipates.

#405 (6-13-10)

You allege that you are being insulted, but the accusations against you have been substantiated.
How does one substantiate an idiotic and slanderous statement such as “his sophistical method, which is aimed at deceiving Christians” (#395 above)? According to you, that is only an “alleged” insult; not a real one?

I know there are several charitable, reasonable people here who do not have to “argue” as you do, by attacking motives: even if they may not think I am a “real Christian.” I appeal to them; I write to and for them. They are the ones I have had great dialogues with.
You run for cover behind a policy that you set aside and impose whenever you like.
I don’t “run” at all. I have simply chosen not to interact with anti-Catholics any longer, because for eleven years doing that always reduced to a fruitless, vain discussion and stupid controversy (what St. Paul condemns and tells us to avoid). And you are providing an absolutely classic example of why I made that decision in 2007: immediate personal insults, no charity whatever, quick charges of deception, etc. I don’t get involved in mud pie fights any longer.

People choose with whom they will debate all the time. Your cronies do that. James White picks and chooses. He has systematically ignored my critiques for many years now. R.C. Sproul has a policy of not debating Catholics (James White reported this from a remark Sproul made to him). But of course you will never accuse them of being cowards because they made this deliberate choice. They have the utmost integrity. But when I make the same decision of who to spend time answering, it must be for low, unsavory motives. It can’t possibly be otherwise. This is a perspective of rank prejudice.

When I did debate anti-Catholics, I did so probably more times than any other Catholic online. I am currently putting together a list of all my dialogues and debates. The ones with anti-Catholics are already listed (though the entire list is incomplete), so if anyone wants to see if I am a “chicken” or not, take a look at all those.
I continue to debate all sorts of people (I was in a room alone with eleven atheists about a month ago), but there are groups that I ignore, debate-wise. You happen to be in one of them. And objective, fair-minded people can easily see why.
. . . you cannot identify any sophistry or fallacies in the argument to which the comment is putatively responding.
I certainly can. I have many times in the past with you, but one tires of doing that, and so I choose not to do so here. I don’t take you seriously.
I’m confident that folks here, having had your pattern of behavior brought to their attention, will see through it.
The anti-Catholics will think just as you do, because their mind is made up. The others may see it quite differently.

But I won’t sit here and let your personal insults and calumnies pass by without protest. Like I said before: if your insults are allowed on the forum, then my replies should be as well. And they are, as far as I can tell. If your insults were deleted, then I wouldn’t have to bother with you at all.

#406 (6-13-10) The temp on this blog needs to cool off, both sides, guys.

#407 (6-13-10)
According to you, that is only an “alleged” insult; not a real one?
It’s a criticism, even a harsh criticism. It’s not an insult. . . . The argument of #383 does not hinge on the evil motives that I’ve observed in your behavior here and elsewhere. In fact, whether your arguments spring from ignorance or malice isn’t really the issue. . . . You do an exact impression of what someone running away looks like. . . . R.C. [Sproul] doesn’t troll comment boxes selectively responding to folks and Dr. White is notoriously famous for allowing practically anyone to call into his weekly broadcast program. Your self-comparison to those godly men is hardly compelling. . . . the supposed insults are just substantiated criticisms. At some point, your “protest” sounds more like whining. I’m happy to let the reader judge whether my criticisms are better thought to be empty insults or solid critiques.
 
To the Greenbaggins moderators. You have my email address, I think. Feel free to e-mail me if you think I’m out of line. I’d be happy to provide the testimony of men like Dr. James White or Pastor David King who have a long history of dealing with Mr. Armstrong.

#408 (6-13-10) .

#409 (6-13-10)
“the evil motives that I’ve observed in your behavior here and elsewhere.”
Of course, this is not a personal insult, either. It’s merely a “harsh criticism” or a “solid critique.”
And I have some oceanfront property in Kansas I’d love to sell, too.

#410 (6-14-10) The demonstration is provided above. Specifically, See #383 and See #393, both of which, despite your “protest” (your description), remain unanswered.

Yes, taking my comment out of context (especially separated from the demonstration and proffered testimony of two Christian elders), it may sound like an insult. However, folks who view the comment in its context will see through your characterization of it.

#414 (6-14-10) Pastor King is hardly an objective judge of the character and motives of myself or any Catholic, since he paints us all with a broad anti-Catholic brush:
I already have a very low view of the integrity of non-Protestants in general, . . . most of you are too dishonest to admit what you really think.


(on Eric Svendsen’s Areopagus board, 4-15-03)

It is a typical Roman Catholic tactic to misrepresent one’s opponent purposely in order to "name and claim" a victory.


(on Eric Svendsen’s Areopagus board, 6-5-03)
Many similar statements from James White can easily be found as well. I found these in a few minutes of searching his site:
. . . those Roman Catholic apologists who really are not serious about truth but do what they do for less-than-noble reasons, . . .


(7-31-08; Steve Ray and myself were mentioned by name earlier in the post)

And yet this is the sum and substance of 98% of everything you will find said repeatedly, endlessly, by the folks who frequent the Roman Catholic apologetics forums. Where are the moderators? . . . Those who are serious about issues of truth are few and far between these days. I am more convinced than ever that such a disposition requires the work of the Spirit in the heart, and therefore I should not be surprised when unregenerate men act like…unregenerate men. Unregenerate religious men will act in a way that shames and dishonors the truth.. . . Beza was right on when he said, "For piety has no enemies more inveterate than those who have sincerely embraced a false religion, thinking it true." (5-24-05)
When you have to play so fast and loose with history as Rome’s defenders do, you are crippled when it comes to meaningful apologetics. (3-30-07)

Your gospel is a shadow, a shell, a soul-enslaving treadmill of never-perfecting sacraments without a perfect Savior, without a true promise of God-centered salvation. I will never understand how anyone who once professed the true faith could embrace it, but, of course, I don’t believe anyone who has, by the Spirit’s power, come to know their own sinfulness and Christ’s glorious sufficiency could do so. Empty profession is no bulwark against apostasy. (8-10-07)
I do agree with James White, however, that sheer insults prove that the one making them has no argument (and carries not the slightest appeal):
. . . calling for me to be "charitable" while throwing every possible kind of insult at me, from questioning my mental stability, intelligence, honesty, integrity—well, you name it—does nothing more than prove my point. . . . "charity" is the last thing driving the comments of the Roman Catholics there. Hatred and animosity, yes, charity, no.. . . the thread was filled with the ever-present insults, slams, lies, etc.—all very charitable, of course. Do these folks really think that lying about me, slamming what I have written without showing the first bit of knowledge of it is supposed to attract me to this religion? . . . But I do thank you for joining so many of your co-religionists in proving my points for me regarding how to be charitably uncharitable. No one has ever been so charitable while calling me a moron. Many thanks.

(“Could it Get Any Loonier?”, 8-10-07)
Now, lest I am reprimanded, please note that I have been publicly charged by Turretinfan with deliberate deception and “evil motives”. To this end, our friend has cited White and King as “witnesses” in an effort to shut me up and get me kicked off of this forum.

That was allowed, though mild, “two-sided” moderator statements were issued. This being the case, all I’m doing now is documenting that both men have a strong animus against Catholicism and Catholics in general, before it ever comes to me personally; therefore, they are hardly objective judges of my alleged “evil” motives, supposed dishonesty and cowardice, etc. 

And again I appeal to the moderators: isn’t it better to disallow such sweeping, condemning, judgmental statements about others, seen in Turretinfan’s comments, than to prolong this by allowing them; thus entailing my reply, that I am entitled to make: since my character and personal integrity is being roundly attacked here, in public?

Even the secular world understands this. But a Christian forum wants to allow this low level of calumny? Are there no rules about personal attack here? There must be somewhere . . .

[the comments were then turned off; thus the following comment of mine was not allowed]:
Re #412-413. Again, I'd be more than happy to stop this. But if insults and attacks on my integrity and person are allowed here, then I have every right to defend myself, as a matter of elementary principle and fairness. I say that Turretinfan's comments should be disallowed and deleted. If that happened, then my replies could be deleted, too. I'm all in favor of that. In fact, I would strongly urge it.
[to his great credit, moderator "greenbaggins" made the following fair-minded, refreshing comment to close the thread]:

#416 (6-13-10) I think that this thread has reached the end of its usefulness, and I am therefore closing the thread. People are not staying on topic, and are resorting to aspersions to character. The character of every one of us is surely suspect, is it not? While the character of anyone commenting on this board may be suspect and open to challenge in other forums, it is not open on this forum. To the Protestants: even if you think that a particular Romanist’s character is less than honorable, I would prefer if that were not made the topic of debate on this blog. If we keep to the topic and the specific logical argumentation, we will do just fine, I think. To the Romanists, I encourage open and free dialogue. But responding in kind won’t help, either.

* * * * *

Things took another turn, however, in a separate discussion I started in an existing thread, regarding Paul's praying for the dead man Onesiphorus. The initial exchange was between myself and moderator / webmaster, Rev. Lane Keister, who remained a perfect gentleman, while disagreeing firmly. My posts were #53, 55, 56, 58, and 61. Rev. Lane responded in comments #54 and 59. But then in #62 he suggested (quite wisely, as it turned out) that we end it: "Dave, you have your opinion, and I have mine on this. I suggest we leave it at that." I agreed in #65, stating, "Thanks for your cordial interaction, Lane."

But pseudo-"moderator" Rev. Reed DePace took a different view just seven minutes later, (#66) and wanted to press me into replying further. He reiterated the same virtual demand in #77. I painstakingly replied to everything he asked in #71 and again in #84, but he ignored all that and ceased interacting, in terms of actually replying to what I wrote. It was the proverbial point of no return. Rev. Reed decided to join in on the personal attacks in #86 and #87, throwing (alleged) moderator (and pastoral) objectivity and fairness to the winds.

At this point I knew there was no hope for constructive dialogue on this forum, since a so-called "moderator" had clearly forsaken his task. Three anti-Catholics were also active throughout, keeping up mostly (in-between some legitimate arguments) a steady stream of obfuscation and personal attack (#57, 60, 63, 67-70, 72, 78-81, 83, 89, 91). The feeding frenzy picked up at comment #94 and thereafter, since Rev. Reed had now decided that I was the wascally wascal whom the more active, aggressive online anti-Catholics detest and have shamelessly lied about and publicly slandered for years.

It's always the same with anti-Catholics. I've seen this sad dynamic a hundred times over 14 years. At first, I thought this site was different (and the three persons I mentioned, were indeed different), but anti-Catholics always see to it that personal attack will carry the day. Here are the highlights of the "end game" nonsense:

* * * * *

Dave: I understand why you are ignoring D.T. King’s and Ron DiGiacoma’s comments. Might you, however, at least apply yourself to the substance of Lane’s comments?

I thought I did! But since he wrote, “Dave, you have your opinion, and I have mine on this. I suggest we leave it at that,” why would I want to contravene his wishes?

You’ve only made one salient point, Onisephorus may have been dead, and then have used that to build your whole case. Lane has offered at least two salient responses, one to who was actually being prayed for (an argument based on the text), and a second to the unreasonableness of praying for the dead.

In my citing of Dods, there were a number of arguments from context and cross-referencing, and the text itself.

It might be good on your part to at least respond to the substance of Lane’s responses.

Again, as far as I am concerned, I did. The exegesis is clearly decided already against prayer for the dead, before the Reformed person even considers the text. That has been amply demonstrated. All Christian traditions do this, or strongly tend to do it in exegesis, but I can’t overcome it and try to get y’all to look at the text by stepping outside of your presuppositions for a moment. 

Plus, now I have three anti-Catholics thundering from on high against me, which means this thread will become another fiasco if I continue. I’m not looking for fiascoes and tremendous controversies, but rather, for calm theological and exegetical discussion (it may still not be possible on this site if the anti-Catholics want to continually hound me whenever I comment on anything). So I am answering your post only, to clarify my position.

For my own curiosity, are you familiar with the reformed confessions in regards to prayers for the dead? 

As far as I know and knew (and you confirm it), they uniformly deny this. Does it follow that open-minded exegesis is impossible, because of prior dogmatic confession? One can still have a discussion . . . 

Are you familiar with reformed fathers that are more representative of our reformed convictions, say someone like Calvin or Turretin? 

I just wrote a book about John Calvin. I have the most extensive web page online that I am aware of, that critiques Calvin and Calvinism from a Catholic perspective. I have replied online to the entirety of Book IV of the Institutes point-by-point and I’ve had scores and scores of dialogues with Reformed Protestants.

I.e., throwing out Luther is not really going to advance the conversation here, as we’re not Lutherans (at least the regular commenters).

It was simply a footnote. I never said you were Lutherans, so this is neither here nor there. But there is relevance insofar as it was implied (esp. in one of the thunderous posts) that my reasoning was merely “Romanist” etc. There are Protestants (albeit not Reformed) who do accept prayer for the dead, and do so based on the Bible. That defeats the notion that it is only conceivable within a “Romanist” framework. And that is directly relevant to the charge made; therefore it is appropriate in that sense, too. That was my reasoning and intent there. 

But often I get this back: “we’re not so-and-so” or “we don’t think Calvin / Luther / whoever is infallible, like you do the pope” as if any of that is relevant to the point I’m making at the time. It’s not. I have conversations. I acknowledge the importance of many Christian traditions (it may possibly be that I even respect Martin Luther more than many of you do), and I don’t have to restrict myself to any given one in any particular discussion, as if the others have no relevance to exegesis, historic theology or anything else.

Did you know that Luther and the Lutheran Confessions both accepted prayer for the dead? If not, then you (and others here) learned something, didn’t you? And it is never a bad thing to learn new facts.

Dave: I repeat my questions: Why not respond to Lane’s actual response to you?

And I repeat my answer: I thought I did, and he asked me to stop the discussion, so I did.

Are you familiar with the reformed confessions on prayers to the dead? Are you familiar with reformed fathers closer to our tradition (e.g., Calvin, Turretin) on the same subject?

I’m repeating my questions because I do not think your prior response actually does answer these questions.

As far as I know, they deny the correctness of the practice. I couldn’t quote chapter and verse without looking it up. If I am wrong about that, I’d appreciate you directing me to the relevant spot to show me that Reformed do indeed agree that one can pray for the dead. Thanks.

You do not offer anything in particular to add to what you already said to Lane. Your initial responses did not directly respond to his main points. Might you go back and read his responses to you. We’re open to both exegetical debate and doctrinal refinement?

You may not think I answered because I have a little different method than you do. But I think I did. So we can argue about whether my reply was a “real answer” or not, or we can let it drop, just as Lane suggested, and I can be subjected to 14 additional condescending lectures from my anti-Catholic overlords, so everyone can be sure that the “Romanist” was refuted 51 times, so no one can be deceived!

You’ve answered the other questions with only generalities. Having written extensively on Calvin’s Institutes does not specifically answer this question. Neither does your response vis-a-vie Turretin. I’ve asked if you might be familiar with these merely because it might be helpful, at least to present our understanding, to refer to such sources. I did not want to waste your time if you were already familiar with them on this particular topic.

Again, I understand that it is not a Reformed view. I don’t know all the particulars. I don’t know much about Turretin, but I have a good knowledge of Calvin, generally speaking (not like you guys, though, which anyone would expect, since he is “your guy”).

Please do not keep harping on your having to deal with the attack from “anti-catholics” here. 

I’m forced to because they won’t let it drop and keep making it an issue, with the personal attacks. I can ignore them absolutely, if you prefer that: just act as if their replies do not exist. Onlookers may see that as cowardice and evasion when it is not at all.

You have demonstrated a willingness to pick and choose when you respond to them (quite inconsistent with your stated principle to not respond to them). 

I see now, though, that my initial language used the language of “interact.” I meant, more specifically, “not engage in debate.” I should have made that more clear. My mistake. Turretinfan knows full well what my policy is. He was a major reason why I stopped debates in the first place. It doesn’t stop him from frequently goading and baiting me. 

I probably used “interact” in that context, to make it clear that if I didn’t answer at all, it was because of my policy, not rudeness. It may be a losing battle on this forum, though, the way things are going. The great likelihood [is that] anti-Catholics will either keep insulting or persuade you and Lane to kick me out.
I worded it more precisely in #405 of that long thread:
People choose with whom they will debate all the time. . . . James White picks and chooses. He has systematically ignored my critiques for many years now. R.C. Sproul has a policy of not debating Catholics . . . When I did debate anti-Catholics, I did so probably more times than any other Catholic online. . . . I continue to debate all sorts of people (I was in a room alone with eleven atheists about a month ago), but there are groups that I ignore, debate-wise. You happen to be in one of them.
In particular, I find it quite disappointing that you seem willing to respond to secondary issues (at best) instead of their particular arguments that address the specific topic.

Life is tough. I have to be a steward of my time even in a good discussion, too. I was doing this off and on all day when I had other work to do. You demand more. Three people are haranguing me and being insulting. I have to explain the anti-Catholic thing yet again. I answered your questions carefully; you asked them again, and here I am spending more time answering them again with more precision.

I assure you that in the 8-10 discussions I have already been in on this forum, many many particulars of my arguments were not dealt with at all, let alone at length. So I know the feeling well. Yet you are virtually demanding that I have to give more and more answers when I have stated that I basically stated what I wanted to say. It’s an unreasonable demand. I don’t have unlimited time to get into every jot and tittle of every discussion. I don’t have anything to prove, either. 

For example, strip away anything you find offensive in what DT King has said, or what Turretin Fan added to his comment, and you’ve actually got quite reasonable and fairly worded arguments, ones that are not steeped in anti-catholic rhetoric, but rooted in both textual and historical considerations, things which can be debated without giving or taking offense.

There is always some truth to be found mixed in-between all the condescension, sure. That’s the tragedy of the whole thing, actually. But if I go down that road, then I am into a debate with them, and believe me, these guys will use any pretext to engage in any mockery of me. They would have a field day with that. It has already been a huge urban legend (White, Svendsen, King, TAO, Hays, others) that I supposedly “vowed” to not debate anti-Catholics and broke the vow. This never happened. I’ve never made a vow in my life except my marriage vows. I did make a too-strongly worded resolution once that I changed my mind on. Resolutions are not vows. I have informed all those who have lied in this way that it’s not true, but no matter.
Why not spend your finger strength on those arguments?

Precisely because nothing is ever accomplished. Your experience is not mine. You see your friends making arguments, and you’d like to see the Catholic respond. But I know what lies down the road if I do, because I’ve been through all this over and over. Pastor King detests me. Why would I want to spend time dialoguing with him, even if I didn’t have my restrictive policy? He once called me “a filthy, foulmouthed Romanist.” He’s called me a liar many many times in James White’s chat room, and kicked me off of there more than once.

Turretinfan thinks I am not a “real” Catholic and don’t even properly represent the Catholic Church. Etc. You’ve seen his recent insults, that were censured by Lane as attacks on character. So this is why I don’t try to dialogue with them anymore.

I’m not in this to vanquish and conquer and humiliate dialogue opponents, but to seek truth. It’s not about chest-puffing, but about building up the Body of Christ. Dialogue should be enjoyable and edifying, not miserable and filled with insult and mud, as it always is with these guys.

I have all kinds of papers on prayers for the dead, purgatory, and so forth, if you are so interested in my opinions. They’re out there on my blog.

[to anti-Catholic Ron DiGiacomo] I do take seriously your concern and question concerning Dave’s debating tactics (my label). Attempting to find a way that does not merely hack him off, I’ve sought to ignore quite a bit and address the need from a different direction. I do not believe challenging Dave extensively on his “anti-catholic” rhetoric is productive. (I note his last response to me does contain quite a bit of self exposure on his part, suggesting that his “no interaction with anti-catholics” principle is held with some serious inconsistency that he his not willing to own. I trust readers can see that for themselves). . . .

Dave is not adequately responding to the point you are making. His effort to deflect from your primary point has not been sustained. In this sense, he is not making his case, but demonstrating the kind of pugnaciousness he derides in his interlocutors. I think his behavior speaks for itself.

His continued defensiveness and selective interaction is, as I said, disappointing, and does speak to his relative confidence in his positions. I’m sure he will not like reading this, but I’ve no animosity in observing that his behavior does demonstrate that the positions he takes are more defended by argumentativeness than substantiveness. Again, I think this behavior speaks for itself.

Dave: you really aren’t interacting with substantive points directed at your arguments.

Instead you’re given to much too much bloviating and claiming expertise instead of demonstrating it. This is not anti-catholic, or even anti- Dave Armstrong, merely my opinion based on your selective interaction.

E.g., I’ve yet to see the “anti-catholic” nature of DT King’s comments here. (I’m not thereby inferring something about Ron’s or TF’s comments; merely limiting the scope of my example).

Seriously Dave, if you want to prove your point about Oni and prayers to the dead, ignoring substantive points by both Lane and DT King is not credible.

* * *

This has nothing to do with your absurd view that there is no past or present with God. It has everything to do with the impossibility of man being dead and alive at the same time. 

John Calvin:
When we attribute prescience [1960 version: "foreknowledge"] to God, we mean that all things always were, and ever continue, under his eye; that to his knowledge there is no past or future, but all things are present, and indeed so present, that it is not merely the idea of them that is before him (as those objects are which we retain in our memory), but that he truly sees and contemplates them as actually under his immediate inspection. This prescience extends to the whole circuit of the world, and to all creatures.
(Institutes, III, 21:5)
I truly believe that my motivation is not so that I can be vindicated but that Romanist lurkers and those Protestants who might be taken in by this man might appreciate that studied-Protestants like yourself do affirm God’s nearness in time. . . . Finally, it’s interesting how he quotes Calvin (and Luther, etc.) when he thinks it supports his position. Sophistry?

Ron is indeed an anti-Catholic. I have not stated that I would not interact with them, period, but rather, that I would not debate theology with them any longer. I don’t have to be discourteous, as they almost uniformly are with me. We could even have a marvelously enjoyable discussion about baseball or music or good movies. I have decided to refrain from theological debates, because we have all seen before our eyes what happens: personal attack, nonsense, going around in circles, etc. 

In Ron’s case, I refused the debate, but issued a correction about his theology of God, since in my capacity as an apologist, it is my duty to warn anyone who believes in such a gravely erroneous opinion.

The label “anti-Catholic” is misleading and offensive. For some reason, Dave is permitted to continue to use it, even while using that as a “personal attack” basis for ignoring our critiques of his position. I don’t understand why.

Reed: I’m a little confused. Is Dave allowed to personally attack and defame those people whose arguments he doesn’t want to address? If not, would you please remove his latest defamatory posts (currently #84 and 85)?

Same old same old. How disappointing. But I suppose it was inevitable here. The normal fun dialogues I have had on this forum were with Jeff Cagle and Andrew McCallum. But they are nowhere to be seen lately.

Reed, with all due respect, I truly believe that a lesson should be learned here by all of us – though I can probably think of a few people that were confident this would happen. David Armstrong will stick around as long as his ego is stroked, or at least people are not calling him on his tactics. Now that you have put the press on – you too are no longer worthy of this time. Given this man’s long history, there was no reason to have believed that he was ever interested in rational interchange. He was going to stay as long as the moderators were giving him leniency. Now he holds Jeff and Andrew up as an example to you. Only if you could have been more like they! Yet if they were to ditto your recent post to David, then they too would fall out of favor with Mr. Armstrong.

I agree wholeheartedly with Lane’s advice that this thread should have ceased by mutual decision. It looks like he saw what was coming and was trying to avoid it. And I completely agree also with his statement at #416 of the Canon thread:
While the character of anyone commenting on this board may be suspect and open to challenge in other forums, it is not open on this forum. To the Protestants: even if you think that a particular Romanist’s character is less than honorable, I would prefer if that were not made the topic of debate on this blog. If we keep to the topic and the specific logical argumentation, we will do just fine, I think.
[interjected bracketed comments of mine below were not made in the thread, but only here]
Comment #94 (6-15-10) Dave: you’ve given as good as you’ve gotten – routinely ignoring appeals to not engage in such. “Well, he started it first,” is a child’s excuse, and one unbecoming whom you purport to be. [the old, "immoral equivalence" canard . . . YAWN . . .: the anti-Catholic attacks and lies, the Catholic objects to it, and then is accused of doing exactly the same thing]
 

I’ve ignored (intentionally men) the fair and reasonable complaints that Ron and Turretin Fan have made about your insinuations about them, in large part because they have been making similarly worded challenges back to you. If your willing to engage what you perceive are personal attacks, even after being admonished to not do so, then you have no right to complain. [in other words, "I'll allow them to engage in personal insult and slander, because you have answered back and defended yourself, thus lowering yourself to their level. But they're right and you're wrong, so I'll take their side"]

You have repeatedly made statements that are personally offensive to me and many others on this blog. [and of course, the anti-Catholics have not done so, with charges of "evil motivation" and deception and extreme narcissism, etc. Always the outrageous double standard and blind Pharisaical hypocrisy. . . ] Most of those have been ignored (I do not believe I’ve called you on one). I’ve urged repeatedly that you follow the same pattern. You hold up Jeff Cagle’s conversation as an example – well follow that pattern yourself and you’ll find that even the “anti-catholics” will tone down quite a bit, [precisely because Jeff acted normally, he and I had an excellent dialogue on Calvin and the perpetual virginity of Mary. It takes two . . . ]

My most recent exchange has been to press you to deal with the substance of the topic here. You have demonstrated a consistency in obfuscating that is impressive in its ability to mask the fact that you refuse to do so. [this is how he describes my patiently answering all his questions two times, in a futile attempt to explain my point of view; he systematically ignored and/or disbelieved all that I had explained. How charitable is that?] In spite of your professed policy to not interact with “anti-catholics”, even as you’ve recently qualfied it (not debate theology with them), you still do so selectively [I have defended myself against scurrilous attacks that are allowed to take place on a public blog: a thing that every man has a right to do: St. Paul did it when he was lied about at his trial]. It is sad that when you choose to interact with them you do so to return what you perceive is an attack. [note the insinuation that no real attacks occurred -- or at any rate, a lot fewer than actually did -- : by use of the term "perceived"]

How might you receive the charge of being an anti-Protestant? [not at all, since I am on record many times, defending Protestants and showing respect to them; hence, my multiple hundreds of cordial dialogues. In the first thread in this venue I argued that Trent did not anathematize Protestants. I'm the one who is deemed non-Christian] After all, you spend most of your time here deriding and denouncing, playing one-up games at most when you decide to interact with the subject [if personal attacks were censured as they should have been, I could simply dialogue with those I choose to dialogue with: exactly the persons who want to talk substance and not judge hearts and motivations]. Your rhetoric has a decided, “you silly protestants, I know your theology better than you do, and y’all are sooooooooo wrong,” condescending tone to it. [sheer nonsense. I never said or implied any such thing].

None of this is said is anger, or tit for tat Dave. [of course not: only in condescending boorishness and rank hypocrisy, from a pseudo-"moderator"] I’m offering some sincere criticism. When you debate the topic at hand you do o.k. (even if I disagree with you, at least you’re making substantive comments). But to choose to ignore the substantive comments of “anti-catholics” and then to get heated up and respond to what you perceive are their slights … this is not a failing of this blog, but you. [right]

Comment #95 Well, it may be that folks haven’t woken up yet and had time to read the last few exchanges. I’m holding out hope that Dave A. has not done what Ron D. thinks he may have done, labeled me an anti-catholic not worthy of debating. (But, Ron, you may be right). [since he systematically refused to have a normal conversation when I carefully clarified my positions, why would I waste my time with patronizing lecturers who pretend to be "moderators"? What a joke . . . I didn't know whether he was an anti-Catholic or not, until he made it clear, below]


At the risk of pushing Dave A. even further, let me note a few things for folks just reading along.
First, it is clear that my initial expression understanding for why Dave A. does not want to interact with DT King or Ron D. (and TF by implication) carried with it some inferences that I did not intend. In fairness to Rev. King and Ron (TF) I should clarify that here. [we must always appease the anti-Catholic big shots like Rev. King]

I did not mean to infer that Rev. King or Ron (TF) were not making substantive comments that directly addressed Dave A.’s argument. [of course not; Ron is a perfect Christian gentleman, who never attacks people's motivations or character (least of all, my own!). And the moon is square and made of cheese, too] 
Indeed, I believe quite the contrary and wish Dave A. would re-consider. If he wants his position to be taken credibly, he needs to deal with the actual arguments against it. These men have offered cogent arguments against his position. [my policy is to not debate theology with anti-Catholics because it has always been a fiasco and mudfest whenever I attempted to do so over eleven years. My experience cannot be changed into something it is not. This very farce of a "discussion" proves my point a hundred times over]
I personally do not agree with Dave A.’s principle to not debate (theologically, but willingly exchange barbs with) men he deems as merely anti-catholic. [it's my life and time, not his] I further agree with Turretin Fan’s point that such rhetoric is at best stifling to any real open exchange between men who hold opposing views. [but TFan's own talk of my "evil motivations" and intent to "deceive Christians" is, of course, most conducive to fruitful, constructive, mutually-respecting discourse] Labeling someone “anti” anything, whether you can establish a “scholarly” reputation for it or not, is simply not conducive to the kind of friendly interaction Dave A. states he wishes. [then why doesn't he blast TFan for doing the same thing, since I documented in this venue that he does it, too, from his perspective? We can't have that, because it would be a sensible principle, rather than a cynical, patronizing double standard. One tires of the constant hypocrisy of anti-Catholics. It's an insult to everyone's intelligence, who observes these outrageous double standards, constantly on display]
Further, if this is his intent, he would be wise to quit making himself out to be an expert on what we think, and a martyr to boot. [straight out of the James White Playbook . . .] By way of example, in one of his recent exchanges with me he in effect claimed to have a better working knowledge of Calvin than most “Calvinists”. [this is an outrageous lie. Where does he come up with this garbage? I stated above, precisely the opposite: "I understand that it is not a Reformed view. I don’t know all the particulars. I don’t know much about Turretin, but I have a good knowledge of Calvin, generally speaking (not like you guys, though, which anyone would expect, since he is 'your guy')." I specifically said that the Calvinist's knowledge of Calvin would obviously be greater than my own, because he is their "guy". In another spot, I asked that he please correct me, if I incorrectly understood anything in Reformed belief, concerning prayer for the dead -- I had stated that as far as I knew, they denied the validity of the practice]

He then defends his diatribe trading with the anti-catholics because he is being personally attacked. Both “defenses” of his rhetoric completely ignored the reasonable, Christlike response to such things, stick to the substance. [since my policy is not to debate theology with them; why is this brought up at all? I don't debate theology with the anti-Catholic. I never said I wouldn't defend myself against scurrilous personal attacks from them . . . I stated repeatedly that if the insults were allowed on the forum, that I had the right to respond, and that there shouldn't be a double standard, whereby I can be attacked, but am not allowed to defend myself against outrageous lies and calumnies. It was a matter of rudimentary fairness and ethical principle]

I anticipate the possibility that Dave A. may read this post as personal attack. I intend it to be nothing of the sort. He needs to understand that most of us here at GB are just as “anti-catholic,” at least in terms of how he has demonstrated what he means by that term. [now I know that. I asked for clarification, and there was a lot of hemming and hawing, so I couldn't be sure in the beginning] After all, most of us agree that the RCC teaches “another gospel,” one that is not the gospel at all (Gal 1:7-8). If that makes us “anti-catholic” so be it. [thus, Reed appears to also be anti-Catholic, insofar as he agrees with this characterization. I didn't know till this point, but this nails it]. The truth of the matter is that Dave’s own Church believes that we likewise teach another gospel, making him by his definition an “ant-protestant.” [this is untrue, as I demonstrated earlier in the discussion, in clarifying the Tridentine anathemas. But the anti-Catholic always wants to keep unnecessary division and conflict going, whenever possible. We have enough real division without creating myths to make possible more animosity and misunderstanding than there already is on both sides]

I’m fine with living with these labels. I don’t think they’re helpful and won’t make a habit of using them. Yet I won’t ignore that my opponent thinks this way about my position. Nor do I expect him to ignore that I think of his convictions the way I do. 

Instead I’ll strive for polite polemics; [right; just as he has been doing; acting like a self-righteous Pharisee, pompously lecturing his underling] substantive arguments that attack the position not the person [again, is this not utterly apparent in the above harangues?]. I admit at times I will forget myself. I will endeavor to repent in Christ when that happens. [if he does, then I will gladly note it here]

Comment #97 I guess the most frustrating part is being called a kettle by the pot. Would that Dave A. would be a little humbler and not take any/all criticism as mean-spirited ill-will. Yet I’ll not waste time worrying about that.

Comment #100 To all, Dave Armstrong and I have agreed that the issues on which we are debating would better be debated blog to blog, rather than in the combox. We agreed (in effect) that more heat than light was being generated. He has therefore amicably agreed to desist from commenting in my combox, and instead make the debate blog to blog. I do not know what his rules are for debate on his blog, but those wishing to continue the debate with Dave may go over there. [anyone is welcome to come comment and interact with regulars here. I will continue to maintain my policy of not debating anti-Catholics, on my site or anywhere else. I will continue to defend myself if I am lied about and slandered: especially if it is a matter of plain and indisputable facts that can be verified]
 

Comment #101 I hope that all TR ministers and other elders would agree that Rome proclaims another gospel. I’m not aware of any who have said otherwise. If there is someone here who doesn’t think so, I’d be happy to try to explain why I think that conclusion is the only reasonable one in view of Scripture and our Confessional standards. And I’d be happy to provide that explanation privately, if anyone is shy to acknowledge their uncertainty or disagreement on that issue.


Comment #107 I note that at his blog Dave Armstrong has taken my last comments (i.e., another gospel) as proof positive that I have declared myself to be anti-catholic.

I reject his slanderous accusation. It is untrue, unfounded, and contrary to both my profession and the evidence here.


[no doubt, this entails the usual miscomprehension of even what the word means. I went through all that in comment #85, citing several of my heavily-documented papers dealing with this. I don't have the time to lead everyone by the hand: folks who don't even care to comprehend basic definitions. I think Rev. Reed should ponder his own words from 2 November 2008: "Recently there was a dust up here . . . As these things sometime do, the wrangling continued onto other posts not relevant to the first. As a moderator I sought to squelch the wrangling. I tried to do so in a manner that did not 'take sides'. One side believed that in spite of my efforts, I nevertheless did. While I disagree with that viewpoint, I do understand the concerns that prompt it. At some point I stopped trying to separate the parties and jumped into the dust-up myself. . . . To any who were offended by my behavior I apologize and ask your forgiveness. . . . The issue is about pride, plain and simple. Too much pride masquerading as intelligent discourse brothers, too much pride."].

[it turns out that Rev. Reed is also a former Catholic: "Baptized as a baby in the Methodist Church, baptized/raised in the RCC from age 6, came to Christ via a campus ministry at age 20, joined of my own volition a Grace Brethren church at age 21, and then joined a PCA church at age 39." (5-29-10 on "The Puritan Board") ]

#108 IMO Dave was never interested in “debate”. He only showed his true colors when it became clear that it wasn’t all about him. . . . Born in the RC I remember being told that other people called us the Roman Catholics. By definition the pope perverts the gospel ala Gal. 1:9. The reformed fathers categorically considered the office to be that of antichrist. WCF 25:6, 2 Thess. 2:3-8. Even further, the roman church is a chameleon. If the Psalmist says all who worship idols become like them (115:8) romanists cannot help, but become sophists, particularly if they make it a point to become proficient defending and promoting roman distinctives avidly as some people we know do. (Onesiphorus is a biblical example of praying for the dead!? Like do we need to administer drug tests before allowing people to post (2Cor. 11:19,20)?

Reed, I have to admit I was beginning to wonder if everyone had swallowed DA’s jive, hook, line and sinker! Glad to see it ain’t so. 

Last, if anybody has read Packer’s historical intro to Luther’s Bondage of the Will, pretty much all DA’s affirmation of being an evangelical at one time meant that at one time he was an arminian. But romanism is essentially arminian in principle or vice versa. Both teach a salvation by works, albeit with the last it is according to one’s “free will”. Sad, but true.

[note this closely. Now, not only Catholicism, but also Arminianism (basically, most non-Calvinist Protestants) teach a false gospel of salvation by works. This is the insular, exclusivistic, tortured definition Christianity (and the gospel) that anti-Catholics (often, of the Reformed variety) paint themselves into a corner with. Examples are legion at Green Baggins. For instance:
The New Perspective [on Paul] deserves such barbed comment, because they are changing the Gospel for a lie. They are changing justification for something else. They deny imputation. . . . This is a false Gospel. Woe to us if we do not oppose this might and main! On guard! (8-31-05)

See also a Google search of the site for "false gospel" to see how many are accused of this (Arminians and Federal Vision Presbyterians, as well as Catholics). ]

ADDENDUM

More Documentation of Slander / Alleged "Hatred" Now, Too? / The Obligatory Consignment to Swine and Dog Status

After being (rather astonishingly) challenged by "Turretinfan" in the combox to document lies made in these threads, as if there were none at all (!!!!) ("What lies, Dave? Can you identify any 'lie' about you in the portions of the dialog that you've have had the courage to post?"), I compiled a list of 52 distinct lies and calumnies that took place in these threads, from four anti-Catholics (Ron DiGiacomo [14], Pseudo-"Moderator" Rev. Reed DePace [15], "Turretinfan" [15], and Bob Suden [8]). This is in three parts in the combox (one / two / three). I also compiled an additional "index list" for reference purposes, categorizing the slanders and lies into seven different categories.

I then issued a stern warning (made in love, out of concern for their souls) to those who want to continue bearing false witness after being corrected: that they are in possible danger of hellfire, per Scripture, and that a person who keeps up such behavior can possibly even be questioned as to his or her Christian status, according to both Calvin and Catholicism (and the Bible).

Lastly, "Turretinfan" introduced a new motif / slander in the combox: that I supposedly hate him ("I'm used to Dave hating me (you can see his hatred in this very comment box"). He reiterated it a second time ("I have plenty of evidence of your hatred of me - enough to persuade me that my claim is true.").

I denied this in no uncertain terms:

This is yet another damnable lie. I don't hate anyone. I didn't devote my life in service to God and the Church because I "hate" people. I'm here because I want to spread the message of love; the gospel's message of salvation, peace, joy, and charity.

It's precisely because Christianity is about love, that I detest (as St. Paul did, very much so) the sort of division and calumny and falsehoods that are spread by anti-Catholics. It's the devil's victory, when Christians decide to lie about one another and divide.

What I "hate" is falsehood, lying, and sin, not the persons who commit these sins (otherwise I'd have to hate myself, too, since I am a sinner as we all are, and I don't hate myself, either).

I denied it a second time, as well, stating in part:

Okay; well, I have flatly, vehemently denied that this is true. I have nothing against the man, personally. I only detest his seriously deficient opinions and thinking and relentless ad hominem attacks. Since TAO admits he can't know my heart and read my mind, he can either accept my word or say I am lying about my own self-report, which would in turn be yet another slander (I'm a liar and insincere, even about my own internal states of mind and heart).

Note how the falsehoods and slanders simply keep escalating. Rev. Reed DePace decided to join in when he had had enough of the documentation of his sins and those of others on his forum, that he had no problem allowing:

I believe a fair reading (in context) will demonstrate that this accusation of my lying is a wickedness from Dave's lips.

Dave, you're
[sic] behavior is despicable. Henceforth I will sadly apply the command of Jesus in Matthew 7:6. You clearly have no regard for what is holy, the pearls of God. I do pray for a day before that Great Judgment Day where you will be blessed to repent of your calumny.

So now I am a swine (and a dog) and "clearly have no regard for what is holy." These are additional slanders of a wholly different nature, many degrees more serious than what has already transpired (though they are in a line of progression with the previous "cunning" and "evil motives" and "deceiver"). The only thing remaining is to send me right to hell, as a declared damned reprobate (which other anti-Catholics in the past have done: though not many). I replied:

More lies from a man of the cloth. This is what is truly "despicable" here. Now I "clearly have no regard for what is holy." Faced with incontrovertible evidence that he is guilty of clear sin, instead I am consigned to swine status (which is what Matthew 7:6 says).

[Matthew 7:6 (RSV) "Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you."]

This is the typical anti-Catholic Reformed method: at the first serious disagreement, the Catholic (chances are, not even a Christian, mind you; unregenerate, totally depraved, etc.) is viewed in the lowest possible manner. The battle lines become entrenched. Nothing can ever be accomplished. . . .

I don't return the "compliment" and call him a swine, but the Bible does speak about how these men are behaving:


Proverbs 10:18: . . . he who utters slander is a fool.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,

Proverbs 14:16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool throws off restraint and is careless.

Proverbs 18:6 A fool's lips bring strife, and his mouth invites a flogging.

Proverbs 18:7 A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to himself.

Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a man who is perverse in speech, and is a fool.

Proverbs 26:11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool that repeats his folly.

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear that perhaps I may come and find you not what I wish, and that you may find me not what you wish; that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice,

Colossians 3:8 But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.

1 Peter 2:1 So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander.

After TAO (equally blind to his sin) accused me of "misrepresenting" Rev. Reed and "lying", the good pastor chimed in again, still refusing to acknowledge that he had done anything wrong at all:

Yes Dave, I said you are lying. Don't sit there and accuse me of the "anti-catholic" rhetorical tricks. I've not done anything of the sort. You are way out line.

I retorted:

Have I now proven beyond any doubt that I am unregenerate; therefore totally depraved? Do I get to be classified as definitely going to hell also: a damned, hopeless soul?

Rev. Reed stated: "I don't get your question."

I clarified: "Am I regenerate or unregenerate? Have I been predestined to hell, as illustrated by my allegedly wicked behavior, done with no regard or understanding of what is holy, as you say? How could a swine be regenerated?"

He again: "Nothing in my comment necessarily inferred anything about your regenerate status. How can a swine be regenerated? How can a worm? You are reading into my words things I never said or implied."

Yours truly:

You applied Matthew 7:6 to me. That makes me the "swine" and "dog" that Jesus referred to. So what does that mean? What did our Lord and Savior Jesus mean by it? You have already judged my heart and determined that I "clearly have no regard for what is holy, the pearls of God."

So I ask the next logical question: if I am so classified and trample upon holy things (so sez you, in your "pastoral" pontifications), how could I possibly be regenerate? You want to assert the one thing that (it seems to me) presupposes the other, yet balk at following through the logic of your own calumny and judgment.

If I am such a wicked, lying swine, why is it that you won't also say that I am unregenerate? And if that is true, I would also be totally depraved, by Reformed presuppositions.

And I might possibly (not necessarily) be predestined to hell.

I could always repent and see the light and become a good Calvinist, then I would be in good stead with you and yours. If I stay Catholic (unlike yourself, who left at age 20) and believe all that the Church teaches, then I'm in big trouble.

Note how, through all this, there is not the slightest recognition that even a single lie or slander occurred. TAO won't acknowledge any of his fifteen. He hasn't yet replied, either, as to whether I am correctly reporting my state of mind about whether I "hate" him or not (I don't, of course). Rev. Reed won't recognize that any of his fifteen documented lies are indeed lies, or at the minimum (as I have granted is always a possibility), ignorantly stated falsehoods (nor will Da Doo Ron Ron, nor Babbling Bob Suden). TAO asked me to document (since he thought no slanders at all had occurred); I did, but it is as if nothing has been demonstrated whatsoever. This is how it always is with him. Yet he wonders why I gave up trying to engage in serious dialogue with him and all other anti-Catholics over two years ago, and keeps on desperately trying to goad me into debate?

[for more, see the continuing discussion in the combox, starting with Rev. Reed's reply to my last quoted comment above, my counter-reply, my apology for and retraction of one remark of mine, and comments thereafter. I don't want to have to keep updating this, unless retraction and repentance take place, in which case it will be noted here. The combox can be regarded as a continuation of the post itself]

***

82 comments:

Christine said...

I absolutely agree with your decision to stop dealing with anti-Catholics. Their rudeness and irrationality are a waste of time. I can't help but think there are spiritual realities at work here; Satan would love nothing more than to demoralize those defending the faith, and cause us to waste our time on useless endeavours. God bless you for all your good work.

Adomnan said...

Dave: And he knew that my refusal would appear in the eyes of his other fellow Catholics as cowardice or inability to answer.

Adomnan: Of course, you meant "fellow anti-Catholics."

These people are like an Internet Fred Phelps clan, showing up where they're not wanted with their slogans and slander, loving strife and confrontation and reveling in personal attacks.

For some unquiet spirits, bile is a tonic.

Dave Armstrong said...

Thanks for your support and encouragement Christine.

I agree Adomnan. Thanks for catching the typo too.

Christine said...

I was heartened to see that the moderators at Green Baggins exercised Christian charity and fair-mindedness

Dave, I think you're giving them too much credit. They referred to you as a "Romanist", and then allowed the possibility that Turretinfan may have been right to accuse you of dishonesty. You were not dishonest. Anyone with eyes could see how uncharitable, meanspirited, and unjust Turretinfan was being. His rude demeanor is the greatest argument against his position.

"If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." 1 Jn 4:20

For people who claim to know Scripture so well, certain Protestants seem to have a difficult time applying it to their own lives. Confident that their non-Protestant brethren lack salvation, perhaps they need to be a bit more concerned about their own...

Adomnan said...

Turretinfan is challenging you, Dave, to debate his proposition that you are a dishonest sophist, and he accuses you of cowardice and evasion because you refuse.

Perhaps a better debate topic would be "Ten reasons why Turrentinfan is a fool and a knave." I'm sure TF would get beyond the perceived insult and we could all have an excellent and edifying exchange on that topic, if anyone is interested. And TF would certainly accept so as not to be labeled an evasive coward (as well as a fool and a knave).

But, on second thought, no one would conceivably be such a fool and such a knave as to challenge another to a "debate" on the other's alleged moral failings, right?

Oh, wait, that's exactly what TF is doing. Never mind.

Dave Armstrong said...

LOL Actually, the whole tone at Green Baggins has now taken the usual fatal turn. The hopeful signs of Lane's fair-minded reply have turned sour with the decision of moderator Reed DePlace ("Reed Here") to follow the usual judgmental garbage of the anti-Catholics, after I spent much time carefully answering his questions today and daring to disagree with some of his conclusions.

I will shortly add this info. to the end of the post. I was silly enough to be optimistic that good dialogue could be had there. Heaven help us idealists and optimists. We're doomed to be disappointed every time.

I did achieve real (and fun) dialogue with Andrew McCallum and Jeff Cagle, but that's about it. The anti-Catholics are now being the nattering boors and slanderers that they always are. It was inevitable, I guess, if they were there at all. They weren't about to allow me to engage in rational discussion, minus the trash and calumnies that they always bring.

Eric said...

For some reason, I here the name Turretinfan all the time, and I do not know why.

Maybe it is because Jay Dyer handled him in a debate one time, and it was published on Sungenis's website.

Who are all these armchair theologians, wanting to debate all of the time?

Christine said...

I do agree, though, that the main argument that folks like Dave have tried to use against my arguments is to call me a mean person.

That's not true. Dave has tried to engage in substantive dialogue with you in the past, and you keep accusing him of dishonesty, sophistry, and denigrating his intellectual ability. I'm sure you're sincere in your belief that it's love that motivates you, but your actions don't comport with that. 1 Cor. 13 comes to mind.

1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
...
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


As to the term "Romanist", I am precisely aware of the way it's used in Reformed circles, as I was once a Calvinist Presbyterian myself.

Dave Armstrong said...

I have plenty of documentation of TAO's ceaseless insults, on my Anti-Catholicism page:

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/11/anti-catholicism-index-page.html

He has said I am not even a Catholic apologist: that I do not represent the Catholic Church, but only a goofy belief-system that I have incorrectly projected onto it.

In this very thread, he accused me of having "evil motivation" and of deliberately coming into the forum to "deceive Christians."

Examples:

"most of what appears on the web site is not even pretext at Biblical apologetics, just inflammatory material . . ." (10-18-07)

"Dave's defense [in a proposed chat room debate that TAO declined] would not be a defense of Roman Catholic dogma but a Protestantized version thereof (especially considering Dave's apparently anti-Tridentine acceptance of Reformed Christians as Christians rather than as anathema . . . I have no desire to debate whether Roman Catholicism is Christian with someone who is not fully Roman Catholic . . . Obviously, for now, the debate is on hold, pending Dave's decision about whether to follow Roman Catholic dogma or not label himself Roman Catholic."(10-27-07)

"Dave . . . is a self-appointed e-poligist [sic] and largely self-published author. . . . not all of his doctrines are Catholic . . . Dave has apparently never defined Christianity. . . . Maybe Dave will actually stand behind the dogmatic declarations of the church for which he is allegedly an apologist." (10-29-07)

". . . you're not really in line with orthodox Roman Catholic teaching, Dave." (7-6-09)

"Your dishonesty stopped surprising me when you pretended that I refused to debate you." (8-21-09, 8:22 AM)

"You are as kind as you are wise or honest." (8-21-09, 1:10 PM)

"I've recently commented on your lack of integrity. It seems this is going to be an ongoing trend for you." (8-21-09, 5:56 PM)

"Many folks would be ashamed to have the reports of their dishonesty recalled, but you seem to wear the judgment of godly men like Dr. Svendsen and Pastor King as a badge of honor. You actually seem proud to have been judged dishonest by them. I'm glad to be in their company in concluding from my personal observations to the same effect: that your agenda is more important to you than the truth." (8-21-09, 7:29 PM)

Adomnan said...

Christine: "That's not true. Dave has tried to engage in substantive dialogue with you in the past, and you keep accusing him of dishonesty, sophistry, and denigrating his intellectual ability."

TurretinFan: Can you please identify an instance of that, Christine? Perhaps you are confusing me with someone else?

Adomnan: Then Dave provides numerous instances where TurretinFan accused him of dishonesty and "lack of integrity."

What is TurretinFan's response? Does he admit it? Nope. First, there is silence about the lie he told when he professed ignorance to Christine of having attacked Dave's honesty. Secondly, we hear the excuse that Dave "has said many negative things about me," presumably justifying the attacks on Dave which he had just suggested never occurred.

I suppose TurretinFan could say he was not technically lying because he didn't deny that he had accused Dave of dishonesty. Rather, he simply asked Christine to produce the evidence (knowing all along that the evidence was there).

If so, TurretinFan is engaging in a classical example of -- to use one of his favorite words -- "sophistry."

Dave Armstrong said...

Exactly. In fact, I would say he is the biggest sophist I have ever encountered online.

His is a mind that is thoroughly confused and systematically can't see the forest for the trees. It really is pathetic and pitiful.

At least he has the courage to come here, though. I'll give him that much.

Pastor said...

Dave:

I do not appreciate my name appearing in this manner on your blog. Both the connection you make with your accusations against TF and labeling mine as a "double standard" is unjust and slanderous.

Anyone who cares to read our interaction on the blog will see this is true.

Would that you behaved with the ethical standards you propose to hold.

Pastor said...

The last comment should appear with the name Reed DePace.

Dave Armstrong said...

Duly noted, Rev. Reed. If you will act as a moderator should (and I know what a moderator is, since I have had a paid, part-time job doing it since November 2007 with a major Catholic organization), and remove the garbage about me from your site, such as supposedly having "evil motives" and wanting to deceive Christians, being a narcissist, and on and on (that you apparently saw nothing wrong with), then I'll be happy to remove this post (or at least those portions having to do with you).

What I will NOT bow to, as I have stated repeatedly, is an ethical double standard. If lies about me are allowed to be told over there, I will reply by telling the truth about what has happened.

"Pseudo-moderator" is infinitely less offensive, I should think, than "evil motives" and non-Christian and narcissist and intellectual coward and all the other rotgut in those threads.

Ronald W. Di Giacomo said...

Reed,

Count it all a joy, brother. Your reward will be great. I speak of you, not me. You did nothing wrong and anyone who followed the thread knows that in their heart of hearts. The only thing anyone can find fault with is that you were too patient? Hardly a crime. If evil must be spoken of your good, let it be.

Praying for you....

Ron

Adomnan said...

Ron,

Sounds like you attended the Jimmy Swaggart School of Rhetoric.

That was way over the top. Mr. Reed is annoyed by some mildly critical statement on a blog, and "his reward will be great"? If he really gets his knickers in a twist, I guess he can expect a crown so flashy that it will make the Burger King envious.

I don't know if poor Mr. Reed can make it through this terrible trial without your prayers. So, close your eyes tight and pray real, real hard.

Ronald W. Di Giacomo said...

Nope. Reed can take criticism - especially just criticism. What concerns any Christian is the bearing of false witness. Reed, a pastor no less, has a reputation that he would like to uphold, not for his sake but for the sake of the gospel. He is called to protect the good name of men, even if it's his own.

Ron

Christine said...

Ronald,
Then how do you explain Reed's excessive partiality in the discussion he is supposed to be objectively moderating? He focuses all of his energy berating Dave for "selectively answering" his detractors, and yet he gives his co-religionists a pass when they do the same.

And what about this charitable remark?

If Dave wants to respond to your substantive challenges, even if they are directed toward proving his sophistry, fair game.

Is this not tantamount to Reed's calling Dave a "sophist"? If not, kindly correct me. Anyone with eyes can see that Reed took sides: the Reformed side, and that he was not at all impartial or objective in his moderating. He admits that he's done this in the past; he clearly did it here. I'm not entirely sure what Dave said about him that would be considered "libel."

Adomnan said...

Ron: Nope. Reed can take criticism - especially just criticism.

Adomnan: Oh, so your purple prose about "a great reward" and having to pray for Mr. Reed because of the "evil" done to him was just phoney-baloney sanctimony?

Is this what you say whenever someone suffers a little annoyance? Time to tone down the rhetoric.

Ron: What concerns any Christian is the bearing of false witness.

Adomnan: Unless the false witness is borne against Mr. Armstrong. Then it's okay?

You know, Ron, this will come as a terrible shock to you, so steel yourself: Not everybody who disagrees with you is "bearing false witness." There, I said it.

Ron: Reed, a pastor no less, has a reputation that he would like to uphold.

Adomnan: Don't we all? Does that mean no one can ever utter a critical remark about anyone else?

Ron: not for his sake but for the sake of the gospel.

Adomnan: Yes, you people always have the best of motives, as you're always quick to remind us. You are so lucky that you are not like all those sinners out there, aren't you?

Ron: He is called to protect the good name of men, even if it's his own.

Adomnan: Then maybe he can take a few minutes from protecting his own good name to protect Dave's?

Now, back to Ron for some more high dudgeon, "Christian" style.

Ronald W. Di Giacomo said...

Then how do you explain Reed's excessive partiality in the discussion he is supposed to be objectively moderating?

Christine,

Is your next question going to be “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” Truly, doesn’t your question presuppose that which is in question, that Reed was excessive in his partiality and consequently not objective? You must admit that either you intentionally fired off a loaded-question or possibly you did not recognize you did, but in any case that sort of questioning is employed by those who more interested in making leading assertions than advancing actual arguments.

He focuses all of his energy berating Dave for "selectively answering" his detractors, and yet he gives his co-religionists a pass when they do the same.

I would beg to differ. I saw nobody dodge Dave, but I saw Dave dodge many. For instance:

1. I challenged Dave’s thesis that a particular type of retroactive prayer could comport with Protestant theology. Dave’s hypothetical example of retroactive prayer was that God, because he is transcendent, could make prayer for a dead man’s salvation efficacious by granting salvation to the man while he was still alive. The problem with Dave’s thesis, as I pointed out several times, is that the man was to have died unsaved – which is why he was in the need of salvation in the first place. A man who has already died unsaved cannot somehow get saved prior to his death; yet that is what Dave posited, that (a) the man dies unsaved and (b) that God applies salvation prior to the man's death due to prayer offered when he was dead, which would undermine (a), that the man died unsaved! You will find no response to my critique of Dave’s attempt to reconcile that sort of retroactive prayer with Protestant theology. That sort of retroactive prayer is not reconcilable with Roman theology either. The Christian faith has many mysteries but no contradictions. And no amount of mystery can save a contradiction.

2. During that same discussion I pointed out to Dave that I find it ridiculous to believe that there is no past, present and future with God. Dave took that to mean that I believed that God is not transcendent. When I pointed out to Dave that his reasoning was fallacious – i.e. affirming immanence does not imply the negation of transcendence – Dave simply ignored the point. Instead of responding to the issue he simply lifted a quote from Calvin’s Institutes that was aimed at suggesting that Calvin believed in Transcendence and (presumably) not Immanence. That, Christine, is sophistry.

There are many such examples from the past week. When Reed, the moderator, finally called upon Dave to deal with the arguments that were before him, Dave simply refused. In that light, all conclusions Reed drew about Dave seemed warranted to me.

You have made your point and I mine. Let's not quarrel. You take the last word.

Kindly intended,

Ron

Ronald W. Di Giacomo said...

Adomnan,

I find nothing substantially different in your post when compared to Christine’s. So, I will opt to refer you to what I wrote to her.

I must leave this discussion now.

In His grace,

Ron

Ronald W. Di Giacomo said...

P.S. I should mention that any labels Reed tagged to DA were I believe after DA wrote this:

“The hopeful signs of Lane’s fair-minded reply have turned sour with the decision of moderator Reed DePlace (“Reed Here”) to follow the usual judgmental garbage of the anti-Catholics, after I spent much time carefully answering his questions today and daring to disagree with some of his conclusions.” Dave Armstrong

So, if Reed was out of line, which I do not believe he was, certainly he was provoked.

Ron

Christine said...

Truly, doesn’t your question presuppose that which is in question, that Reed was excessive in his partiality and consequently not objective?

I think if a moderator spends 99% of his time berating one side, yet only 1% of his time correcting the other, no reasonable person would call that moderator partial.

Dave Armstrong said...

Many thanks to Adomnan and Christine for standing up for fair play, and for calling this travesty for what it was. I appreciate it.

As always (as with White, Swan, Enloe, and many other of my critics, and occasionally successfully), I have offered to take down my post if Reed will take down the mindless insults (many made by Da Doo Ron Ron himself).

I have the right to defend my character just as anyone else does. Rev. Reed is a pastor: a profession I immensely respect. I'm not a pastor, but I am a Christian Catholic apologist and evangelist, who does this work full-time (since Dec. 2001). I, too, represent Christianity to many people (such as the eleven atheists I talked to for many hours in person a month ago), and in this case, I am being attacked primarily because I am a Catholic, and these guys detest Catholicism (not the individuals but the theology). I don't even think it is personal at all.

So when I defend myself it is exactly the same as in Reed's case inasmuch as I am standing up for that which I represent. I refuse to be some sort of stooge who can be lied about so that my faith can be slandered and misrepresented. That's not gonna happen: not when it is a bunch of lies.

Ron can see that Rev. Reed has his reputation to uphold. We all have that, too. I was attacked up and down, and then the "moderation" became a farce and a sham, with the moderator forsaking objectivity almost totally and taking sides in a dispute, simply because "his guys" were in the dispute. Even the main webmaster (Rev. Lane Keister) didn't do that. He condemned the personal attacks and asked that they cease. But then all of a sudden the other (pseudo-) "moderator" decided to join in the attacks. Amazing . . .

That's not moderation. Like I said before also, I know what a moderator is, because it is one of my jobs (part-time at the Coming Home Network). We actually do treat everyone fairly on our forum, and this sort of biased nonsense simply doesn't occur.

Dave Armstrong said...

Also, notice again the false impression that Christine has received from your post, namely that Reed spent "99% of his time berating one side, yet only 1% of his time correcting the other."

In my opinion, I think he was fair for the most part, till he decided to stop being a moderator and let loose and join in with his anti-Catholic cronies, in a stance of opposition to me, rather than dialogue (and this, after I carefully answered his many questions two times).

After that, there was no fairness at all from him, so that overall, I would say it was 90% berating me, and 10% his buddies.

Dave Armstrong said...

I'm used to Dave hating me (you can see his hatred in this very comment box),

This is yet another damnable lie. I don't hate anyone. I didn't devote my life in service to God and the Church because I "hate" people. I'm here because I want to spread the message of love; the gospel's message of salvation, peace, joy, and charity.

It's precisely because Christianity is about love, that I detest (as St. Paul did, very much so) the sort of division and calumny and falsehoods that are spread by anti-Catholics. It's the devil's victory, when Christians decide to lie about one another and divide.

What I "hate" is falsehood, lying, and sin, not the persons who commit these sins (otherwise I'd have to hate myself, too, since I am a sinner as we all are, and I don't hate myself, either).

Dave Armstrong said...

What lies, Dave? Can you identify any "lie" about you in the portions of the dialog that you've have had the courage to post?

I'm delighted that you asked, and am glad to honor your request, though I know that it is almost certain that you won't acknowledge even a single one of these as a lie, just as you refused to retract your own lies that are on the list, that you have already been called on.

I'd like to start with two classy introductory remarks made by those on this site. Andrew McCallum stated on 6-5-10, in comment #272 in the first long thread:

"You said that you did not want to interact with those who you deemed to be 'anti-Catholic' and I understand this and certainly don’t blame you. I think that you will find most all of the Protestants who interact here are fair-minded and careful in the way they interact."

And webmaster Rev. Lane Keister wrote in #416:

"People are not staying on topic, and are resorting to aspersions to character. . . . While the character of anyone commenting on this board may be suspect and open to challenge in other forums, it is not open on this forum. To the Protestants: even if you think that a particular Romanist’s character is less than honorable, I would prefer if that were not made the topic of debate on this blog."

It is because pseudo-"moderator" Rev. Reed DePace chose not to abide by this advice, that the whole thing completely broke down and became a farce and fiasco. It became like the wild west. When it is known that there are no laws to abide by, all hell breaks loose.

Now on to the host of lies and calumnies:

52 Documented Lies, Slanders, and Calumnies in Two Green Baggins Threads [15 of them by a Pseudo-"Moderator"]

Da Doo Ron Ron DiGiacomo (probably yet another former Catholic, with that name!) [14 lies]:

1) I know you don’t care for philosophy (#279)

2) you dismiss critical thinking from the start (#279)

3) you don’t particularly care to have your arguments critiqued. (#288)

4) You seem most pleased to pontificate but not argue. (#288)

5) I’ve never seen someone so in love with himself as you (#293)

6) You then went on to tell us all how wonderful you are:. . . (#298)

7) One might think you thought yourself divine. (#298)

8) Does the word narcissism mean anything to you? [followed by a lengthy dictionary definition] (#298)

9) your avoidance to offer more than mere assertions (#311)

10) It seems rather apparent that you never had any intention of defending your assertions. (#311)

11) When asked to put forth clear and concise arguments that could be examined and critiqued, you always refused. (#311)

12) David Armstrong will stick around as long as his ego is stroked, or at least people are not calling him on his tactics. (2nd thread: #91)

13) Now that you have put the press on – you too are no longer worthy of this time. (2nd thread: #91)

14) Given this man’s long history, there was no reason to have believed that he was ever interested in rational interchange. He was going to stay as long as the moderators were giving him leniency. (2nd thread: #91)

Dave Armstrong said...

Babbling Bob Suden [8 lies]

15) . . . speaking of filibusters, where was this guy when they passed the Patriot Act, the TARP bailout and healthcare, . . . (#344)

16) This is real simple. Somebody needs to back up their accusations or kindly stand down, shut up and take their evasions elsewhere. (#399)

17) Somebody tried hiding behind the skirts of “anti-catholic, insults” and lies” to carry the day instead of a genuine rebuttal. (#399)

18) You got a beef with TF’s view of your views in 395? Deal with it rather than duck it. (I am bold to say you didn’t, because you can’t, but whatever.) (#399)

19) Otherwise you will come across a low and cunning roman apologist, if not a low, cunning and self deceived roman apologist. (#399)

20) IMO Dave was never interested in “debate”. He only showed his true colors when it became clear that it wasn’t all about him. (2nd thread: #109)

21) romanists cannot help, but become sophists, particularly if they make it a point to become proficient defending and promoting roman distinctives avidly as some people we know do. (2nd thread: #109)

22) Reed, I have to admit I was beginning to wonder if everyone had swallowed DA’s jive, hook, line and sinker! (2nd thread: #109)

The Anonymous One (TAO) [15 lies]

23) My comment wasn’t an invitation to you to respond. We both know you cannot. (#386)

24) But you cannot give any good answer, which is why you are responding as you have above. (#392)

25) So it is unclear whether Dave is trying to criticize his own church for being theologically liberal, or he just doesn’t know what his own church looks like. (#395)

26) That is the reason he came here [to be a sophist, etc.], and I thought it prudent to identify to the reader his sophistical method, which is aimed at deceiving Christians. (#395)

27) He cannot respond to the substance of my criticism of his sophistry, (#395)

28) You allege that you are being insulted, but the accusations against you have been substantiated. (#404)

29) You run for cover behind a policy that you set aside and impose whenever you like. (#404)

30) you cannot identify any sophistry or fallacies in the argument to which the comment is putatively responding. (#404)

31) I’m confident that folks here, having had your pattern of behavior brought to their attention, will see through it. You may be able to blow smoke, but once someone turns on a fan, it dissipates. (#404)

32) the evil motives that I’ve observed in your behavior here and elsewhere. (#407)

33) You do an exact impression of what someone running away looks like (#407)

34) R.C. [Sproul] doesn’t troll comment boxes selectively responding to folks (#407)

35) It’s a criticism, even a harsh criticism. It’s not an insult. . . . the supposed insults are just substantiated criticisms. . . . I’m happy to let the reader judge whether my criticisms are better thought to be empty insults or solid critiques. (#407)

36) The label “anti-Catholic” is misleading and offensive. For some reason, Dave is permitted to continue to use it, even while using that as a “personal attack” basis for ignoring our critiques of his position. (2nd thread: #83)

37) Reed: I’m a little confused. Is Dave allowed to personally attack and defame those people whose arguments he doesn’t want to address? If not, would you please remove his latest defamatory posts? (2nd thread: #89)

Dave Armstrong said...

Pseudo-"moderator" Rev. Reed DePace [15 lies]

38) You have demonstrated a willingness to pick and choose when you respond to them (quite inconsistent with your stated principle to not respond to them). (2nd thread: #77)

39) I note his last response to me does contain quite a bit of self exposure on his part, suggesting that his “no interaction with anti-catholics” principle is held with some serious inconsistency that he his not willing to own. I trust readers can see that for themselves (2nd thread: #86)

40) Dave is not adequately responding to the point you are making. His effort to deflect from your primary point has not been sustained. In this sense, he is not making his case, but demonstrating the kind of pugnaciousness he derides in his interlocutors. I think his behavior speaks for itself. (2nd thread: #86)

41) His continued defensiveness and selective interaction is, as I said, disappointing, and does speak to his relative confidence in his positions. . . . his behavior does demonstrate that the positions he takes are more defended by argumentativeness than substantiveness. Again, I think this behavior speaks for itself. (2nd thread: #86)

42) you really aren’t interacting with substantive points directed at your arguments. Instead you’re given to much too much bloviating and claiming expertise instead of demonstrating it. (2nd thread: #87)

43) Dave: you’ve given as good as you’ve gotten – routinely ignoring appeals to not engage in such. “Well, he started it first,” is a child’s excuse, and one unbecoming whom you purport to be. (2nd thread: #94)

44) If your willing to engage what you perceive are personal attacks, even after being admonished to not do so, then you have no right to complain. (2nd thread: #94)

45) You have demonstrated a consistency in obfuscating that is impressive in its ability to mask the fact that you refuse to do so. (2nd thread: #94)

46) It is sad that when you choose to interact with them you do so to return what you perceive is an attack. (2nd thread: #94)

47) How might you receive the charge of being an anti-Protestant? (2nd thread: #94)

48) Your rhetoric has a decided, “you silly protestants, I know your theology better than you do, and y’all are sooooooooo wrong,” condescending tone to it. (2nd thread: #94)

49) But to choose to ignore the substantive comments of “anti-catholics” and then to get heated up and respond to what you perceive are their slights … this is not a failing of this blog, but you. (2nd thread: #94)

50) Further, if this is his intent, he would be wise to quit making himself out to be an expert on what we think, and a martyr to boot. (2nd thread: #95)

51) By way of example, in one of his recent exchanges with me he in effect claimed to have a better working knowledge of Calvin than most “Calvinists”. (2nd thread: #95)

52) The truth of the matter is that Dave’s own Church believes that we likewise teach another gospel, making him by his definition an “ant-protestant.” (2nd thread: #95)

Dave Armstrong said...

"damnable lie"? Don't you think you're being a bit melodramatic?

Not at all. All lies are from the pit of hell, originating from the father of lies, Satan. (John 8:44)

You (and others who are guilty of this) need to own up to your lies or you might possibly end up there, since inveterate liars have no place in heaven. (Rev 21:8; cf. 1 Tim 1:10; 4:2)

I've just documented 52 such lies (I use the term broadly: several may very well be ignorant falsehoods). If you can't admit that even a single one of those is in fact a lie and a slander, then I think there is more than enough warrant (from either Reformed or Catholic criteria) to possibly question whether you are a regenerate Christian at all.

Both Calvin and Catholicism say that if a person shows little fruit of the Spirit in how they behave, that the authenticity of their faith or state of grace may be in question. 1 John highlights this thought over and over, as does 1 Corinthians 13 and Jesus' reprimands of the hypocritical, spiritually blind Pharisees.

This is not a light matter at all. Bearing false witness -- and doing so after repeated correction -- is a grave sin, and a violation of one of the Ten Commandments.

You probably won't heed my advice, but at least listen to the Lord and Savior you claim to serve, in His truths, recorded in Holy Scripture.

Dave Armstrong said...

Categorization of the 52 Documented Lies and Calumnies

1) My Alleged Aversion to Critique, Dialogue, Learning / Intellectual Cowardice / Inability to Answer Profound Anti-Catholic "Arguments"

#1-4, 9-11, 14-18, 20, 23-24, 27, 29-30, 33, 36, 40-42, 45

2) My Alleged Nefarious, Unsavory Motives and Methods in Entering Protestant Venues / Profound Hypocrisy

12-14, 21-22, 26, 29, 31, 34, 36, 38-40, 42, 45

3) My Alleged Narcissism, Extreme Self-Love and Conceit; Arrogance

5-8, 12, 20, 48, 51

4) My Alleged Hyper-Sensitivity About Wrongly "Perceived" Insults; "Martyr" Complex

28, 35-36, 44, 46, 49, 50

5) Projection of Slanderous Mentalities and Actions of My Anti-Catholic "Critics" Onto Me / "Immoral Equivalence"

36-37, 41, 43-44, 47, 52

6) Supposed "Deceiver" / "Cunning" / "Evil Motives"

19, 26, 32

7) Alleged Profound Ignorance About the Teachings of Catholicism That I Defend

25, 52

None of this rotgut, of course, has anything whatever to do with any particular issues at hand, or rational argumentation. It is sheer personal attack, or, in classical logical terms: the ad hominem fallacy (meaning literally, "to the man" (rather than "to the argument").

Dave Armstrong said...

And, in this very combox, now TAO has introduced yet another lie:

8) My Alleged "Hatred" of anti-Catholics (TAO in Particular)

"I'm used to Dave hating me (you can see his hatred in this very comment box) . . ."

"I have plenty of evidence of your hatred of me - enough to persuade me that my claim is true. God alone knows your heart, of course - I don't claim to be a mind-reader."

=================

Okay; well, I have flatly, vehemently denied that this is true. I have nothing against the man, personally. I only detest his seriously deficient opinions and thinking and relentless ad hominem attacks. Since TAO admits he can't know my heart and read my mind, he can either accept my word or say I am lying about my own self-report, which would in turn be yet another slander (I'm a liar and insincere, even about my own internal states of mind and heart). Many anti-Catholics have done that through the years, too (Svendsen, White, Enloe, and others).

What will it be, TAO?

This almost-paranoid, "hatred" motif has a long history in anti-Catholic circles, too, especially with Eric Svendsen and James White, as I have documented.

Granted, those two men have been the target of many (quite regrettable and pathetic and outrageous) true slanders from Catholics, and on occasion I have defended both men against those (as I have, Luther and Calvin).

So I can understand the human, emotional impulse to jump to the conclusion of "hatred," but it remains an extremely serious charge to make of someone else.

Pastor said...

Christine, Adoman: I encourage you to read the comments Dave Armstrong lists as my lies in their context. Again, I believe a fair reading (in context) will demonstrate that this accusation of my lying is a wickedness from Dave's lips.

Dave, you're behavior is despicable. Henceforth I will sadly apply the command of Jesus in Matthew 7:6. You clearly have no regard for what is holy, the pearls of God. I do pray for a day before that Great Judgment Day where you will be blessed to repent of your calumny.

Rev. Reed DePace

Dave Armstrong said...

More lies from a man of the cloth. This is what is truly "despicable" here. Now I "clearly have no regard for what is holy." Faced with incontrovertible evidence that he is guilty of clear sin, instead I am consigned to swine status (which is what Matthew 7:6 says).

This is the typical anti-Catholic Reformed method: at the first serious disagreement, the Catholic (chances are, not even a Christian, mind you; unregenerate, totally depraved, etc.) is viewed in the lowest possible manner. The battle lines become entrenched. Nothing can ever be accomplished.

The good pastor also utilizes the tired, stupid "out of context" excuse, just as TAO has been doing, as if context can excuse the many falsehoods and lies he and the others spewed, all at my expense.

I don't return the "compliment" and call him a swine, but the Bible does speak about how these men are behaving:

Proverbs 10:18: . . . he who utters slander is a fool.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,

Proverbs 14:16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool throws off restraint and is careless.

Proverbs 18:6 A fool's lips bring strife, and his mouth invites a flogging.

Proverbs 18:7 A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to himself.

Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a man who is perverse in speech, and is a fool.

Proverbs 26:11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool that repeats his folly.

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear that perhaps I may come and find you not what I wish, and that you may find me not what you wish; that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice,

Colossians 3:8 But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.

1 Peter 2:1 So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander.

Pastor said...

Yes Dave, I said you are lying.

Don't sit there and accuse me of the "anti-catholic" rhetorical tricks. I've not done anything of the sort.

You are way out line.

Dave Armstrong said...

Have I now proven beyond any doubt that I am unregenerate; therefore totally depraved? Do I get to be classified as definitely going to hell also: a damned, hopeless soul?

Pastor said...

I don't get your question.

Dave Armstrong said...

Am I regenerate or unregenerate?

Have I been predestined to hell, as illustrated by my allegedly wicked behavior, done with no regard or understanding of what is holy, as you say?

How could a swine be regenerated?

Pastor said...

Nothing in my comment necessarily infered anything about your regenerate status.

How can a swine be regenerated? How can a worm? You are reading into my words things I never sqaid or implied.

Dave Armstrong said...

You applied Matthew 7:6 to me. That makes me the "swine" and "dog" that Jesus referred to. So what does that mean? What did our Lord and Savior Jesus mean by it? You have already judged my heart and determined that I "clearly have no regard for what is holy, the pearls of God."

So I ask the next logical question: if I am so classified and trample upon holy things (so sez you, in your holier-than-thou "pastoral" pontifications), how could I possibly be regenerate? You want to assert the one thing that (it seems to me) presupposes the other, yet balk at following through the logic of your own calumny and judgment.

If I am such a wicked, lying swine, why is it that you won't also say that I am unregenerate? And if that is true, I would also be totally depraved, by Reformed presuppositions.

And I might possibly (not necessarily) be predestined to hell.

I could always repent and see the light and become a good Calvinist, then I would be in good stead with you and yours. If I stay Catholic (unlike yourself, who left at age 20) and believe all that the Church teaches, then I'm in big trouble.

Dave Armstrong said...

Is even a single one of them a falsehood, according to you? Or are they all undeniably, indubitably true?

Pastor said...

Dave: your comment suggests you do not understand reformed doctrine as much as you think.

I never said anything about your heart. I spoke to your actions. This is axiomatic in reformed doctrine. We never make declarations of the status of someone's heart, only their actions. This is simply because only God knows for sure the status of someone's heart.

The logic you are following is not necessary. Therefore you are wrong to apply your opinion to me.

By the way, your "holier-than-thou" crack, is that an inference to my motives, or just my behavior?

If the former, another pot and kettle scenario. If the latter, why can't you apply to me the same logic you apply to yourself?

You hear things that are not said. You take offense at things that are not said. You accuse me of things I've not said, inferred, implied, or even thought.

Dave Armstrong said...

Thanks for your more moderate reply.

We never make declarations of the status of someone's heart, only their actions. This is simply because only God knows for sure the status of someone's heart.

Then why did you say, that I "clearly have no regard for what is holy, the pearls of God"? How can you possibly know (or say) that without judging my heart?

Why did you allow a host of things that clearly judged my heart and motivations, on the forum (eventually joining in yourself). such as Tureetinfan's judgment on my supposed "evil motives" and desire to "deceive Christians" or Bob Suden saying I was cunning, or Ron's idiotic junk about my alleged profound narcissism (when I answered a simple question of his), etc.?

Are you saying that you can't see any sin, any falsehood, any judgment of my heart in the 52 "lies" I have compiled, from just four people?

I find that hard to believe. I can understand folks being angry and therefore, temporarily blinded to certain manifest realities and facts, but to calm down and look at that ridiculous list of calumnies and see nothing wrong there, no judging of a person's state or internal thoughts, is flat-out amazing.

We know for a fact, that Rev. Lane Keister condemned judging others' "character" on the board (which goes beyond mere behavior), and that was in the immediate context of Turretinfan doing this to me:

"People are not staying on topic, and are resorting to aspersions to character. . . . While the character of anyone commenting on this board may be suspect and open to challenge in other forums, it is not open on this forum. To the Protestants: even if you think that a particular Romanist’s character is less than honorable, I would prefer if that were not made the topic of debate on this blog."

This is an admission that he himself saw this happening, to a "Romanist" (and we all know who that is). He saw it, and condemned it. It ain't just me. I just happen to be the target, and so when I stick up for principle, I get a host more accusations, since I myself was the recipient. It's always that way, for some reason, as if it matters who observes that something is wrong. What's wrong is wrong regardless of who points out that it is.

Dave Armstrong said...

By the way, your "holier-than-thou" crack, is that an inference to my motives, or just my behavior?

You're right. Though it was partially tongue-in-cheek, and mostly intended for the behavior, not the heart, nevertheless, it was wrong and uncharitable, and you have my apology, and I retract it. I'll remove it from the posting onto the main post, but it will remain in the combox above (lest I be accused of hiding it).

Dave Armstrong said...

You have ignored many of my direct questions, TAO, so why do you expect me to answer yours? More double standards and games. This is not kindergarten. This is serious ethical discussion.

Pastor said...

Dave: I spoke only to your actions. You can choose to believe me or not.

If you will go back over the record of comments at GB, you were not the only one complaining of attacks on your character. Other complained that you were doing the same to them. I'm not saying whether you or they were right, simply that both sides were making the same complaints.

Further, you continued to be willing to engage comments you believed were personal in nature. You did so by making comments that those you were talking to found to be personal in nature. I.e., they complained you were doing the same thing you accused them of.

My "moderating" habit in such circumstances is to not jump into the middle of a verbal fight that is not helpful. I am not Solomon and I do not have a sword with which to accurately "cut the baby."

Instead I try to get the parties involved to back off the personal comments and return to on-topic substance comments. Following Lane's initial statement that folks stop the personal comments, I sought to be a peacemaker between you and those with whom you were offended.

I sought to have them and you return to on-topic substances comments. Turretin Fan, in spite of your disagreement with him, at least did attempt (at one pont) to do that.

Further, DT King, offered you numerous fairly worded substantive on topic comments. He was even willing to interact with you in spite of what he believed to be your unfair personal assessment of him.

This is why I criticized your principle - not to theologically debat those whom you deem anti-catholic. A much more noble (in my opinion at least) principle would be to note interact with them at all. Instead you are willing to exchange personal barbs but not substance comments.

You've only yourself to blame for their continued responses - as you continued it. This was after Lane's directive and my numerous attempts to steer you all away.

To then take principled differences with you, follow inferential logic without asking first if I intended the inference, and then accusing me of all the things you've said against me is - I hate it again - wicked (an action).

I'm not the judge of your heart, as you know.

Dave Armstrong said...

If the former, another pot and kettle scenario.

It's not now, because I retracted it and was willing to apologize, unlike you or your three friends, regarding 52 objectionable aspersions (several unarguably judgments of the heart and motivations) made at my expense: not a one having yet been retracted.

Even since the 52, I have been categorized as a swine and it is claimed that I "hate" TAO. So the list is at least 54 now, but 52 will more than suffice to demonstrate the actuality of the massive slander.

What does it take? 500? 5,000? 5 million? A hundred trillion examples: to get someone to acknowledge that they have been guilty of slander, misrepresentation, calumny, publicly broadcast gossip, character assassination, demonization, spreading of falsehoods or (at best) unsavory, harmful, unsubstantiated rumors, etc. (whatever one wishes to call all of this)?

Dave Armstrong said...

Please identify one direct question that you've asked me that I've ignored.

No, YOU go back and read, and respond. I'm not gonna play your childish ring-around-the-rosey games. I don't have the patience.

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Rev. Reed,

I am happy we can at least have a halfway civil discussion, given the present supercharged environment. Good for you.

Dave: I spoke only to your actions. You can choose to believe me or not.

I don't deny that you believe that, and that it is your Christian ethical goal, but I fail to see, from a reasoned standpoint, how you could characterize everything you wrote in such a fashion.

I can readily agree that your remarks are, overall, far less offensive and deeply judgmental than those of your three friends. But it is not without judgment of motives in some places. For example:

"Your rhetoric has a decided, 'you silly protestants, I know your theology better than you do, and y’all are sooooooooo wrong,' condescending tone to it."

I said "holier-than-thou" and you objected, I saw the point, and retracted it. You say I am condescending. Is it all that different? This is is your take on my supposed feelings, but it is not true, and you can't prove it to be true by objective means; rather than merely stating it forcefully like this (knowing all your friends will rah-rah it). I flatly deny that I know Reformed theology better than a Reformed pastor does. That would be laughable and absurd. I'd never say that in a million years. But TAO claims to know Catholic theology better than I do, because he believes I am not an orthodox Catholic, and that he understands Trent better than I (or Pope Benedict XVI) do (something you yourself virtually agreed with in your #52 above). There is your target if you want to go down that road.

Then you got into my supposed inflated estimate of my own knowledge (another heart judgment):

"he would be wise to quit making himself out to be an expert on what we think, and a martyr to boot."

"he in effect claimed to have a better working knowledge of Calvin than most 'Calvinists'."

The latter is a factual matter: I simply never did this. You wildly misunderstood something I said, apparently. I expressly stated the exact opposite, as I later clarified in my blog post.

So, sure, your list is significantly less serious than that of your cohorts, but even granting that, your remarks were still decidedly partisan and opposed to myself or my positions or alleged traits or positions, which, I submit, is a violation of the moderator's role (and I have noted that I also do moderation as a part-time job, and know something about it).

Secondly, my main objection to you is the fact that you would not disallow the outrageous judgments of my character and heart and motivations that took place (even when Lane himself suggested that this was his will for the forum). You always allowed them on the pretense that my protests against them proved that I was dong the same thing (the immoral equivalence justification that is altogether ethically dubious).

Lastly, applying Matthew 7:6 to me (in this combox) clearly judges my heart, especially in the words you used to describe what you thought was my desire: to oppose all that is holy.

Dave Armstrong said...

Your choice now, TAO, is to shut up (in which case I'll retain all your comments in this combox) or keep it up, and I will delete every one of them, per one of my blog rules (linked on the sidebar, and enforced very rarely) of not allowing repeated unsubstantiated criticisms towards the host.

Your choice (even one more word and they are all gone). You have exhausted my patience. This is not a banning but a selective deletion due to your intransigence and my respect for the intelligence (and patience) of my readers. But even now I will let your comments stand if you cease and desist your unyielding, relentless nonsensical and boorish comments.

They are self-refuting (as usual), so I have no problem whatever leaving them up. They certainly are not worthy of any reply at this point.

Christine said...

Notice how now the language has shifted from "lie" to something softer, still without an apology for saying the folks accused lied.

Wait--this is really just too much to be believed. TF can insult and accuse and be as uncharitable as he wants, yet it's Mr. Armstrong who must apologize?!?! We've got incontrovertible proof that many unjust accusations were leveled against Dave. Dave himself has humbly apologized for his "holier than thou" remark. And yet no one else here is man enough to show the same humility and admit that perhaps just *one* out of the 50-odd insults may have been a tad over the top? Disappointing.

And Pastor Reed--I don't know you, and I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt. But anyone can see that your moderation was hardly impartial, and I think that even you, in your heart of hearts, know this. If only you had spent as much time correcting your Reformed brethren as you had correcting a "Romanist." Then your umbrage might be taken a bit more seriously.

Christine said...

Meanwhile, you still haven't had the courage, willpower, or whatever to actually identify a single one of those 50+ remarks as an actual lie.

And you haven't had the courage, willpower, or "whatever" to admit that a single one of those 50+ remarks may have been uncharitable and unChristlike. Really, really remarkable! Sad, actually...

Christine said...

"Is even a single one of them a falsehood, according to you? Or are they all undeniably, indubitably true?"

There's a middle ground between those two extremes.


Also still waiting for a real answer to DA's question. TF's response was not an answer. I'd even say TF ignored DA's question here.

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Rev. Reed,

Continuing my reply, and thanks for your continued willingness (even "post-swine") to engage in discussion about what has occurred.

If you will go back over the record of comments at GB, you were not the only one complaining of attacks on your character.

That's right. Rev. Lane did, too, and asked that it stop. He used the word "character." It can't be denied.

Other complained that you were doing the same to them. I'm not saying whether you or they were right, simply that both sides were making the same complaints.

And I will look at those if someone wants me to, and decide whether they were uncalled-for or not, just as I retracted a remark to you when you called me on it.

Further, you continued to be willing to engage comments you believed were personal in nature. You did so by making comments that those you were talking to found to be personal in nature. I.e., they complained you were doing the same thing you accused them of.

I wasn't. I was condemning their personal remarks, just as I am doing now. I wasn't attacking their character, but (as I saw it; open to correction as needs be) condemning individual instances of their condemnation of my character and motivations. That's entirely different.

I stated repeatedly that if these personal attacks were not censured, that I would defend myself. Your job as a moderator was to get rid of them, so that the issue went away and we could stay on substance, per Lane's expressly stated wishes. But you didn't, so I defended myself, and then the hostility increased ten-fold. The failure was essentially yours, not mine. I wasn't going to stand for a double standard and character assassination. That is even more harmful to the people doing it than it is to me. People say stuff about me all the time. It's part of being an apologist. It doesn't stop me from doing what I do. I oppose it because it is wrong, period. Someone has to speak out against it. I oppose it no matter who is dong it and no matter who the recipient is.

My "moderating" habit in such circumstances is to not jump into the middle of a verbal fight that is not helpful. I am not Solomon and I do not have a sword with which to accurately "cut the baby."

Then the forum will suffer accordingly. Lane thought it was so bad that he asked me politely to leave, and I honored his request, because he acted as a gentleman all the way through, and I have no desire to cause him any trouble.If you and he can't even agree as to what should take place on the forum, then that is something you have to work out. But it is publicly contradictory, with his saying one thing and you allowing exactly the opposite.

Instead I try to get the parties involved to back off the personal comments and return to on-topic substance comments.

And you do that by joining in the personal comments, and accusing participants of having a "martyr" complex, etc.? That's an odd methodology . . .

Following Lane's initial statement that folks stop the personal comments, I sought to be a peacemaker between you and those with whom you were offended.

For a time, yes. But then you asked me a bunch of questions, two times. I patiently, carefully answered twice. Apparently because you didn't care for my answers, you decided to join in the personal attacks.

I sought to have them and you return to on-topic substances comments.

Until you decided that you wanted to start coming after me personally and putting me in my place . . .

Dave Armstrong said...

[cont.]

Turretin Fan, in spite of your disagreement with him, at least did attempt (at one pont) to do that.

Look at how he is baheving now in this combox: as an absolute boor; ignoring my questions, asking things over and over, not getting it. This has been my long experience with him.

Further, DT King, offered you numerous fairly worded substantive on topic comments.

You were well aware of my policy, which is absolute. I don't debate theology with anti-Catholics. You KNEW that; therefore, why did you repeatedly try to convince me to violate my own stated principles? You're not my pastor. Even if you were, I would refuse to honor a request that I violate my own prudential principles, because that is wrong to ask someone to do that, unless their principle is itself a sinful one. Choosing who we will spend time talking to is a perfectly legitimate practice.

He was even willing to interact with you in spite of what he believed to be your unfair personal assessment of him.

He never has been in 14 years; why should he start now? He thinks I am an inveterate liar and has been spreading a slander that I am supposedly "foulmouthed" for many years now.

This is why I criticized your principle - not to theologically debat those whom you deem anti-catholic.

You can have whatever opinion you like, but what you can't do is make judgments on my heart and try to make me violate my principle. That's, frankly, none of your business. I stated the principle as soon as I came on the board, so there would be no misunderstanding.
Turretinfan is very familiar with it. He was a major cause of it, in fact. Yet that doesn't stop him from baiting and goading, because he couldn't care less about what my stated desires are.

A much more noble (in my opinion at least) principle would be to note interact with them at all.

That's what I've been trying to do (at least theologically)! The problem here was the environment. There were people with whom I had very excellent, fun dialogue (Jeff Cagle, Anbdrew McCallum) and the usual anti-Catholics alongside them, who couldn't resist hounding me. They couldn't shut up. Their goal was (so it seems) to create such a stink that I would be hounded off the forum.

Dave Armstrong said...

[cont.]

Instead you are willing to exchange personal barbs but not substance comments.

I am willing to defend myself, sharply if necessary, just as St. Paul did (and as Jesus did, when attacked by the Pharisees).

You've only yourself to blame for their continued responses - as you continued it.

That is ethically outrageous. Slander is wrong, no matter how it was supposedly precipitated. If something is a lie and falsehood about another person, it is so regardless of whether the person turned the other cheek and never said a word, or actively defended himself. You have adopted worldly situation ethics if this is how you approach the matter.

This was after Lane's directive and my numerous attempts to steer you all away.

It was never gonna stop, no matter how I acted. I would have been hounded and goaded, and when I refused to reply, in principle, I would be blasted as a coward. That is, in fact, what happened. But you see no wrong whatever in any of it. I'm exactly the same as all my slanderers. You don't see the slightest difference. This is not even a Protestant-Catholic thing. it is a matter of the most elementary NT ethical principles.

To then take principled differences with you, follow inferential logic without asking first if I intended the inference, and then accusing me of all the things you've said against me is - I hate it again - wicked (an action).

I didn't classify you a swine. I didn't say you or anyone else had "evil motivations." Etc.

We can continue discussing things, but there has to be some give and take. I'm here talking and listening to you, despite how I feel I have been abominably treated. I was willing to make an apology and retraction (and will continue to be, wherever it is shown that I should). Some of you should give a bit, too, and recognize that there was wrong done here. Make it right, under God . . .

I'm not the judge of your heart, as you know.

But you're perfectly willing to let others judge my heart on the forum, and do nothing about it.

You're willing to say here (safely away from your own forum where you are a big hero about now, having lambasted the "cunning" so-called "Romanist") that I "clearly have no regard for what is holy, the pearls of God."

Christine said...

What would be an acceptable answer, Christine?

*Sigh*

I also would like to extend you the benefit of the doubt, TF, but when these sorts of word-games are played, it's very difficult. DA asked you a yes or no question; you did not directly answer him. I don't want to accuse you of evasion, but to other eyes, that's what it looked like. Are we to assume from your response that you concede that the insults are not entirely true?

Pastor said...

Christine: you obviously did not read all the comments on two differenct threads at Green Baggins. Had you done so you would have noticed that it was only in the last handful of comments that I spoke increasingly and only to Dave.

Pastor said...

Dave: I've pointedly not made a list of al the egregious comments you made, as I noted that my increasing efforts to ask you to stop never met with success. This is characteristic of what Jesus is talking about in Mt 7:6.

I said you speak with a condescending tone. There could be a number of reasons for that, including merely a weakness in your conversational behavior. That comment does not question your heart.

If we are talking more civilly at this point, it is not I who has changed his rhetoric. I've not done the (now plethora of) things of which you've accused me.

My guess is (you'll have to decide for yourself) is that you are a tad overly sensitive and hearing personal attack where it does not exist. Then you jump to defend yourself, and issue some sort of attack on your opponent. They respond in kind, and the rest is history.

I'm not saying that you do not receive unprovoked personal attacks, nor am I trying to characterize your interactions with the supposed "anti-catholics" at GB.

I am speaking for myself. I never personally attacked you. Indeed, I was more than willing to offer you friendly insights that I expect would have helped you avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and fights.

This is why my approach here at your blog has been to describe your behavior as I have.

(And just because you think that an inference is a reasonable one does not mean it is a justified one. It is especially not when I expressly deny it. Had I actually impugned your motives, then you would be right to say some of the things you've said.)

Christine said...

Yes, TF, that answers the question. Thank you.

There are a number of comments I can see as glaringly *not* true, but we won't get into those. (The one about all "Romanists" being sophists is particularly offensive.) Even if not all of them are "lies" in the strict sense of the word (deliberately and intentionally deceptive), most of them are uncharitable and unChristlike to the extreme, and unworthy of people who claim to follow Christ.

Mr. Armstrong--I suggest you not deal with people who evidence blatant animosity towards you. TF--I would say the same to you. It seems only fruitless argument results, as we can see here.

Pastor said...

By the way Dave, I notice you keep changing the title of this thread, adding to it my latest "offense."

In doing so you are contiuing to present a mischaracterization of both my actual words and my intent. You are doing so in spite of my clarification.

Do you not have an obligation to treat me fairly, regardless of my (supposed) sins against you.

You can argue around this all you want. A better title, one that is more honest, would read, "... who now classifies me as swine, as per Mt 7:6, because he thinks I am not listening, and misrepresenting him"

Such a title would be fair to you and me. Are you sure you can defend such derogatory behavior?

Dave Armstrong said...

Turretinfan's posts in this combox (30 in all) have now all been deleted, after he was warned to cease and desist (in my post above: 6-16-10, 4:58 PM).

Note that I gave him a chance (and choice) there to preserve his opinions here, if he would simply stop. He chose not to and made seven more posts after I warned him that I would delete all of his posts if he persisted. Most people would call posting expressly against the will of any given blogmaster "trolling."

The basis for my decision (made on very infrequent occasions) to delete (not ban), was my sidebar post, called "Purely Slanderous Posts"

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/08/effective-immediately-purely.html

. . . listed under the caption: "Discussion Policy, Socratic Philosophy, & Rah-Rahs". It has been in effect since August 2006 (and can be proved to be so, from Internet Archive).

I also deleted several of my replies that made little sense with TAO's boorish rantings deleted. But I left posts from others that were replying to him.

I have preserved all of the material in my files. I know from long sad experience that this is always necessary with anti-Catholics, because they will deny that things happened. One is, thus, forced to document everything to a tee.

This is a blog where free speech is valued. I've banned extremely few people over the six years it has been online. Even TAO is not banned now. But his boorish, numbingly-stupid antics and obnoxious remarks here went over the edge.

There are cases where deletion is fully warranted. This was one of them.

Dave Armstrong said...

TAO has now posted again since the mass deletion, making it eight posts after being warned, and one since deletion.

Let him continue; this will prove to everyone that he is an inveterate troll and a boor as well. He has his own site where he can post.

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Christine,

Mr. Armstrong--I suggest you not deal with people who evidence blatant animosity towards you.

That is essentially already my policy, at least regarding attempted debates on theology.

This situation was unique. I went to the site not knowing if it was anti-Catholic or not. I immediately inquired about that and stated my discussion policy. I got back mixed and ambiguous answers, so I hung around. I was told by several people that Catholics were treated respectfully, without attacks, and that most of the commenters on the site were of that approach. [choke, cough . . .]

Meanwhile, I got into some excellent conversations with two men who did not appear to be anti-Catholic, and the webmaster, Rev. Lane Keister, acted in a classy fashion at all times: behavior most worthy of a man of the cloth.

I knew there were anti-Catholics there, but I was silly enough to believe I could talk to the others without interjections from the anti-Catholics (that was my biggest mistake, though In knew it was always a distinct possibility that this would happen, because I have a long experience with anti-Catholics). We all see what happened.

All hell broke loose and an avalanche of personal attacks came down on me. I defended myself. I felt that a matter of ethical principle was at stake.

I continue to seek out Reformed brethren who are able to engage in theological discussion without calumny. I know it's possible, because I've done it many times in the past. Even recently I've enjoyed many excellent, cordial dialogues with my friend (and I do consider him a friend), "Pilgrimsarbour."

This Friday (in two days) I'll be attending a Muslim-Christian debate with my friend Sam Shamoun (whom I have met before), who is the Christian debater. He's a Reformed Protestant who is also a friend of James White's, and who probably has similar theological views to his. But we are friends and have no trouble whatever talking and even debating at times.

So these things are on a case-by-case basis. I would never want to judge Reformed Protestants as a whole based on the outrageous behavior of a few of them on one site. That doesn't even properly represent the sub-group out in the "real world." The anti-Catholic mentality is a small minority of the whole.

Dave Armstrong said...

I'm not saying that you do not receive unprovoked personal attacks, . . .

Is that the first acknowledgment from you or anyone involved that some or many of the 52 things I listed are in fact, that?

I am speaking for myself. I never personally attacked you.

I continue to disagree (the swine allusion being the most indisputable and outrageous example), but say I grant this for the sake of argument. Will you at least admit that you ceased being a moderator when you decided to make (shall we say) "pointed" remarks directed towards myself, and/or that you cast off any semblance of moderator neutrality?

Indeed, I was more than willing to offer you friendly insights that I expect would have helped you avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and fights.

You could have been the friendliest guy in the world, and I don't dispute your motivation (as mine has massively been disputed by four people), but it wouldn't have mattered a hill of beans. The anti-Catholics who have made themselves my enemies for years now were not about to let me speak freely there without personal attacks. That just wasn't going to happen. I knew that shortly after the Funeral Mass thread started heating up, but I was initially talking to Lane there. He suggested we stop. You wanted to continue. So that is two instances where your opinion and his directly clashed.


Had I actually impugned your motives, then you would be right to say some of the things you've said.)

You indeed have. I think that in time you will recognize that, if you are open to repentance when you have mistreated someone.

By the way Dave, I notice you keep changing the title of this thread, adding to it my latest "offense."

"Swine" upped the ante quite a bit, so I felt that it had relevance in the title. Folks have an idea when they see that, how low the insults have sunk.

Dave Armstrong said...

[cont.]

In doing so you are contiuing to present a mischaracterization of both my actual words and my intent.

You classified me as a swine. That is not arguable. And that is all I said in the title, so it is no misrepresentation at all: not in the slightest.

You are doing so in spite of my clarification.

You still did it. You applied the passage to me. That doesn't change. If you don't like the consequence of having that pointed out, then don't say the stupid, dumb thing in the first place, or be man enough to retract it. Then I can remove all that. I'm all for reconciliation and making things right between people. What I won't put up with is your trying to water down what that passage means, and act as if it wasn't the serious judgment that it clearly was. I'm not STUPID . . . and I know the Bible very well, having intensely studied and defended it now for some 33 years.

Do you not have an obligation to treat me fairly, regardless of my (supposed) sins against you.

It's not unfair to simply repeat an undeniable fact. You did it; you haven't retracted it. You could say you got mad and blew a gasket; didn't really mean it; was thoughtless momentarily, or you're having a bad hair day or something, but you didn't do that. You want to keep the charge and redefine it now to make it less outrageous.

You can argue around this all you want.

And so can you.

A better title, one that is more honest, would read, "... who now classifies me as swine, as per Mt 7:6, because he thinks I am not listening, and misrepresenting him"

Blogger allows only so many words for titles, and that wouldn't fit. But you have clarified and expressed your opinion here in the combox, which is part of the post in the end.

Such a title would be fair to you and me. Are you sure you can defend such derogatory behavior?

Absolutely (I deny that it is wrong). You made the remark. All I did was report it. If you retract and detest it, then it won't have to be in the title, and you would have only my admiration and respect for doing so.

Oh, by the way, do you accept my apology and retraction? It's customary in the Christian circles I have been in (both Catholic and Protestant) to accept a person's apology, so as to complete the process of reconciliation in that case.

And do you intend to interact with my careful replies to all your comments in three straight posts above? I did that on your site, too, but you decided to ignore what I wrote and launch into your psychoanalytical judgments of me.

Here's a chance to learn from your past mistakes. :-)

Dave Armstrong said...

Here is how John Calvin interpreted the Matthew 7:6 "swine" passage (that Pastor DePace saw fit to readily apply to me):

". . . Christ reminds the Apostles, and, through them, all the teachers of the Gospel, to reserve the treasure of heavenly wisdom for the children of God alone, and not to expose it to unworthy and profane despisers of his word.

". . . Though many may appear to them, at first, to be hardened and unyielding, yet charity forbids that such persons should be immediately pronounced to be desperate. It ought to be understood, that dogs and swine are names given not to every kind of debauched men, or to those who are destitute of the fear of God and of true godliness, but to those who, by clear evidences, have manifested a hardened contempt of God, so that their disease appears to be incurable. In another passage, Christ places the dogs in contrast with the elect people of God and the household of faith, It is not proper to take the children’s bread, and give it to dogs, (Matthew 15:27.) But by dogs and swine he means here those who are so thoroughly imbued with a wicked contempt of God, that they refuse to accept any remedy.

". . . The remedy of salvation must be refused to none, till they have rejected it so basely when offered to them, as to make it evident that they are reprobate and self-condemned, (αὐτοκατάκριτοι,) as Paul says of heretics, (Titus 3:11.)

". . . Lest these trample them under their feet Christ appears to distinguish between the swine and the dogs: attributing brutal stupidity to the swine, and rage to the dogs And certainly, experience shows, that there are two such classes of despisers of God. Whatever is taught in Scripture, for instance, about the corrupt nature of man, free justification, and eternal election, is turned by many into an encouragement to sloth and to carnal indulgence. Such persons are fitly and justly pronounced to be swine. Others, again, tear the pure doctrine, and its ministers, with sacrilegious reproaches, as if they threw away all desire to do well, all fear of God, and all care for their salvation. Although he employs both names to describe the incurable opponents of the Word of God, yet, by a twofold comparison, he points out briefly in what respect the one differs from the other."

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom31.ix.lxii.html

Pastor said...

Dave: the reason that the title is misleading and unkind to me is that it does not accurately represent what I've said about your behavior with my application of Mt 7:6.

You make it sound like I'm merely rude, ignorant, and uninformed, that my use of Mt 7:6 is nothing more than a sophmoric name-calling.

Your quoting of Calvin's insights here should make it clear that I was being anything but rude, boorish, sophmorically calling you names. My challenge to you was much more serious than that.

Why not change the title to "... DePace, Who Now Applies Mt 7:6 to Me"? Surely that will fit your space limits. Further it will satisfy both you and I in that it more accuratel represents my criticism of your behavior.

For some reason you seem bent on spending most of your time on cheap shots, accusing your opponents of name calling and then resorting to your own name calling in the context of "defending" yourself.

I called this "tit for tat" at Green Baggins. Here on your own blog you at least demonstrate that you are consistent.

Seriously Dave, I would hope that if we had first met face to face, you might be more open to hearing what is meant as constructive criticsm. You are too touchy, too defensive, hearing slights where there are none, and then quick to return the "in kind" attack you wrongly believe you received.

I'm not interested in proving such to you, as it is clear you do not consider me someone who is friendly to you. I sincerely do hope, as I pray for myself and all my loved ones, that God will be merciful and show you the arrogance you deny in yourself.

Good bye.

Christine said...

Pastor Reed,
Dave asked if you would accept his apology. Any response?

I think we just have different ideas of what it is to moderate a forum. Most people expect a lot more objectivity and impartiality; I would definitely cut off any personal attacks right away (whether they're from Protestants or Catholics). I'll just repeat what was said before:

If only you had spent as much time correcting your Reformed brethren as you had correcting a "Romanist." Then your umbrage might be taken a bit more seriously.

Pastor said...

Christine: yes, I've been remiss to not acknowledge Dave's apology. I've ony hesitated because I see him offering what is at best a partial apology, and actually on a relatively minor point.

Still, I do accept that apology. Dave, I acknowledge and accept that apology.

As to differing moderator principles, I appreciate the effort to find "agree to disagree" grounds. I thought of responding in some detail as to where I think you are wrong in your assessment. Instead I think it wiser to leave your judgment of my weaknesses stand without response other than to say I disagree.

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Rev. Reed.

Thanks for acknowledging my apology.

Unfortunately, you chose yet again to utterly ignore my lengthy replies to your earlier comments (thus suggesting to me that you would rather lecture and preach to me rather than engage in dialogue; especially since you did exactly the same thing in the other forum).

You continue to rationalize your use of "swine" in reference to me (the title of my post stays unless and until you publicly retract that absurd "application"), and now continue the one-sided criticisms / insults of me while ignoring your highly dubious behavior and that of your cohorts. Log-in-the-eye syndrome; more Pharisaism.

Rather than condemn the massive slander, you decide to psychoanalyze me again, and pretend that I am the sole cause of all this mess: "too touchy, too defensive, hearing slights where there are none." It's all my fault; the "perceived" insults are fictional and imaginary, etc. That is hogwash and sheer nonsense. Are you so frightened at the prospect of disagreeing with your anti-Catholic buddies that you won't tell them the truth when they have done something wrong? You may not be their pastor, but your word would carry weight, and they need to be rebuked.

Now you want to take a parting shot, cloaked in the usual super-pious language (as if that softens the intent): "the arrogance you deny in yourself."

It's your life and your friends' life. If you feel perfectly content to leave them in their disgraceful sin without saying anything about it, patting them on the back and cheering them on, and choosing to keep blasting me, then I can do nothing but pray for all of you, and urge others to do the same.

Calumny, slander, gossip, lying are very serious sins, as is plain in the NT.

Dave Armstrong said...

I've only hesitated because I see him offering what is at best a partial apology, and actually on a relatively minor point.

I'll follow that method the next time my wife offers "at best a partial apology, on a relatively minor point." I'll hesitate to forgive her and see how well that works out. Great practical advice for the Christian life, there.

At least I made an apology, which is more than I can say for you and your cronies, who have not, and continue to pretend that they have done nothing wrong whatsoever.

I've also extended many judgments of charity and benefit of the doubt, especially to you, in the discussions in this combox.

If you would carefully read and interact with what I say, rather than "lecture down" to me, you'd also see that I am quite willing to work until we could achieve a complete reconciliation, and perhaps remove this material from the Internet. But all signs are that there is no hope of that, because it requires self-reflection and dialogue, and you have shown no inclination to either.

Dave Armstrong said...

Rev. Reed becomes, in effect, the proverbial "good man who does nothing" in the face of sin. But doing nothing to counter known sin when one is in a position to do so, is, of course, a sin itself. This is his particular failing in all this (whereas that of the others was far worse slander).

The pastor's duty is to correct people when they are in sin (and the moderator function mirrors that in many ways). He is quick to do correct me (and I am questioning the particulars), as we readily observe, but not his friends, as far as we know.

Hopefully, he has done some of that in private, but it looks like they are all safe and comfy in their sin, and will keep committing the same sins, until someone has the courage to rebuke it from within their own ranks.

Rev. Lane Keister had such courage, but his words were ignored, even by his fellow pseudo-"moderator." Jeff Cagle and Andrew McCallum on that forum, were able to engage in great dialogue, minus any hint of personal attack. The latter even publicly acknowledged that he understood my policy of not interacting with anti-Catholics. I gladly recognize the fair-minded folks over there. It's my only solace in this whole farce, and shows me that not all Reformed act in this fashion.

It is possible for Rev. Reed to see that he messed-up in his moderation, because I found a similar instance where he admitted just that:

"Recently there was a dust up here . . . As a moderator I sought to squelch the wrangling. I tried to do so in a manner that did not 'take sides'. One side believed that in spite of my efforts, I nevertheless did. . . . At some point I stopped trying to separate the parties and jumped into the dust-up myself. . . . To any who were offended by my behavior I apologize and ask your forgiveness. . . ." (11-2-08)

http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/author/radp/page/2/

So it's possible, but of course in this case it is the lowly, despised "Romanist" against the anti-Catholics, so we know where the bias lies. Were he to admit (especially in public) that I was wronged by his cronies, he would have hell to pay (and there is nothing like the ferocity of in-house Reformed, anti-Catholic fights, as can be seen even on Green Baggins: just search "Federal Vision").

Pastor said...

Dave: how in the world can you expect to reconcile with someone whose every word you seem intent on reading the wrong way?

I was explaining my error in not accepting your apology in the first place, not justifying my not doing so. Yes, I could have made that clearer in how I wrote. But why not even once grant me some grace?

I do believe you're willing to seek reconciliation. Might it not begin by asking for clarification before assuming you've read my mind?

Seriously, this is an example of what I mean in my criticism of you, what you call "lecturing down," as if I'm merely behaving arrogantly! Quite the contrary Dave, I'm someone who sincerely believes you have been unjust and unkind, repeatedly reading into my words things I never said or intended. You do that not because I've been overtly mean-spirited to you, but because you've read in to things I've said that are simply not there.

Criticizze me for being a poor communicator. To criticize me for treating you unfairly, demonstrating I'm someone whose deserves your perjorative label anti-catholic - this is all your own sin.

Seriously, I'm tired of this. I'm not interested in this any further. Feel free to label (malign) me any way you see fit. Feel free to justify yourself that I defend those who unjustly attack you.

The problem is not with refomred guys wanting to use any excuse to attack RCC. The problem is with your thin skin. I know you do not agree. At least do me the favor of assuming I intend that criticism with the greatest wishes for your blessing, as I sincerely do. Assume I'm just a little slower than you, and not quite able to see the ignorance of my ways. But please, stop accusing me of sinning against you.

Pastor said...

Dave: reconcialiation involves demonstrating that I've made mistakes in the past and am willing to admit them?

Both sides continued after Lane said stop, you and your interlocutors. If they're guilty so are you. If I'm guilty of not stopping them, then I am guilty of not stopping you as well.

I never turned on you. I do not deserve this latest "bias" accusation.

Seriously, you are wrong.

Dave Armstrong said...

I've said what I've said, and you give me no reason to change my mind on any of it.

I sincerely appreciate the clarification on the apology, though. It is true that you could learn to express things more carefully, I recommend reading them over a few times, or even waiting an hour and going back before posting. But that is the least of the problems here.

Note, folks, that the good pastor believes (far as I can tell) all of this is strictly in my own head. His friends acted throughout like perfect angels. They never said anything wrong. They never uttered the slightest thing that could be possibly questioned by any sane, sentient creature, as an insult. They behaved like good Christians all the way through: always loving, always believing the best of others, always edifying and uplifting, always respectful.

Even if they did inadvertently let an insult slip (completely unintentional and by accident, of course), it was all my fault, and I deserved every bit of it.

Just accept all this and all is well with the world, and there is reconciliation. If the uppity Catholic bows to his overlord Protestant masters, and admits that they can do no wrong, and that we are inherently inferior (ethically as well as theologically) we all get alone fine. See how easy it is?

Dave Armstrong said...

But please, stop accusing me of sinning against you.

Forget about me. The far greater sin on your part is in failing to rebuke sin in your friends. If they truly are your friends (and are not [biblical] fools), they will accept it. If you truly love them and care about them, you will be happy to give it.

Dave Armstrong said...

If they're guilty so are you.

Again, please pretend that I don't exist for a second. Are they in fact guilty of slander? If so, where. Just for the record . . . Or are you reluctant to dare publicly disagree with them?

Dave Armstrong said...

The problem is not with reformed guys wanting to use any excuse to attack RCC. The problem is with your thin skin.

Please explain to me how this works. I'll use an actual example from the farce.

Turretinfan accused me of having "evil motives" in entering the forum in the first place, and the intent to go in there in order to "deceive Christians." Bob Suden also used the language of "low and cunning" Catholic, etc. You even surpassed their malice in saying that I had little concern for anything holy, as a "swine."

Now, please tell me how my alleged "thin skin" has anything whatever to do with such a judgment? It was unsolicited; it came out of the blue. How does my supposed hyper-sensitivity (another lie of yours) -- even if it existed -- have anything whatever to do with such a calumny out of the blue?

Turretinfan's remarks along these lines were what Lane condemned as attacks on "character." How is that somehow my fault, or anything to do with a supposed thin skin?

So your theory fails anytime it is actually used as a means to explain what happened. This was not a falsely-perceived slight; there were real personal attacks, and highly grave, sinful ones. These violate the Ten Commandments and constant NT injunctions against lying, a loose tongue, etc.

As I noted, Paul states that "liars" will not inherit the kingdom of God. If someone keeps lying and refuses to stop, they are in danger of hellfire. That's not "Armstrongology" or mere "Romanist opinions," it is plain, explicit NT teaching.

Dave Armstrong said...

As another plain example of the dynamics, look at Ron DiGiacomo's abominable, ultra-judgmental behavior.

He comes in like gangbusters, utterly misunderstanding something I wrote, claiming that I "don’t care for philosophy" and "dismiss critical thinking from the start."

I carefully explained how these are ridiculous charges. I said that it was inexcusable for him to arrive at these judgments, since it was so easy to see what i beliueved, if he would check my site for two second, with its 2500+ papers.

He shoots back with a charge of extreme narcissism (complete with a lengthy dictionary definition) and says "I’ve never seen someone so in love with himself as you" and "You then went on to tell us all how wonderful you are" and "One might think you thought yourself divine."

Now, PLEASE, tell us all how in the WORLD any of that nonsense had anything to do with my alleged "thin skin" and over-sensitivity?

The man comes in, immediately insulting, says ultra-stupid, clueless things that are dead wrong, and demonstrably so; I simply say, "go look at some of my 2500 papers before deciding that I am anti-philosphy and anti-critical thinking, and my 500 dialogues" and he thinks this is proof of my profoudly exaggerated self-love?

Dialogues show precisely that a person loves the back and forth and critical thinking and challenge. I said that I had more dialogues online, I believed, than any other person. This was not "bragging" of conceit; it was a simple statement of fact that blew his contentions out of the water.

But bigots believe what they choose to believe. They are oblivious to facts. That's why, when I gave him a good dose of facts (the facts of my 2500 papers and 500+ dialogues) he couldn't resit that except to say idiotic things and make further insults, as if they were justified by what I said.

None of that has anything whatever to do with my alleged "thin skin." It's ridiculous to assert that in the first place, because the profession of apologetics is not given to those who have a thin skin. If that were indeed true, I wouldn't have lasted a month, with the avalanche of anti-Catholic insults and lies that have been directed towards me through the years. People with thin skins could not and would not put up with that. It makes no sense whatever.

So this "explanation" is desperate and fact-challenged from the get-go.

Dave Armstrong said...

Pseudo-"Moderator" Rev. Reed (thanks for confirming the point of my criticism!) is now starting to go after another person on his forum (David Meyer) who is Reformed, on the way to conversion:

"David: btw, I’m sure it is a convention you’ve picked up as a means of expressing a sincere desire, but it is quite contradictory to write in such an antagonistic manner, issuing even veiled attacks as you have, and then sign off “peace”. Kind of sounds hypocritical.

"Again, I’m not saying you are a hypocrite. Rather that the convention of signing off in such a manner does not comport well with the kind of tone you wrote with. If you feel the need to write in that manner, maybe a different sign off would be more appropriate."

http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2005/11/25/thoughts-on-a-roman-catholic-funeral-mass/#comment-75660

How long can this guy last over there? It won't be a firestorm, as when I was there (because folks there had a prior history with me), but it could get very ugly very quickly.

Dave Armstrong said...

Note the high and comedic irony of what Rev. Reed wrote to the guy now on that thread. Remember, he just got through saying I am hyper-sensitive and thin-skinned, and that I overreacted to imaginary, perceived insults that really weren't.

Yet look how (quite arguably) over-sensitive he is to David Meyer, referring subjectively to his "antagonistic manner" and "veiled attacks" and "the kind of tone you wrote with" and already charging him with possible hypocrisy, because he ends his posts with "peace."

!!!!!

I can't help but chuckle. No one is so blind as he who will not see, as the saying goes . . .