Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Should We Pray for "All Men" (1 Timothy 2:1) or Not? Bible and Calvin Say Yes; Anti-Catholic Calvinist Ron Van Brenk Sez No / Van Brenk's Website Devoted to Deviant Sexuality


In the course of a dispute with anti-Catholic Presbyterian polemicist John Bugay (three parts: one / two / three), mention was made of an atrociously uncharitable post by Ron Van Brenk, entitled, "Do NOT Pray for Patty!". I described this in the third paper as "one of the most outrageous pieces from a purported Christian that I have ever seen in my life."

Anti-Catholic TAO (The Anonymous One, or "Turretinfan" is aware of it because he critiqued some of this material of mine, and is aware of my response, that prominently mentioned it. But he won't rebuke this notion of deliberately not praying for another human being (because -- I speculate -- she is deemed as wicked and non-elect, and/or unregenerate; hence totally depraved?). John Bugay won't renounce this disgraceful display of supposedly "Christian" piety. Steve Hays, on whose blog this link was posted, has not done so, either. It seems that none of the fringe wing of (active, online) anti-Catholic Calvinists (thus, far, anyway) will denounce or renounce this article or the concept it highlights.

As a bizarre, curious aside, our friend Ron seems quite obsessed with all things sexual, including defense of immoral practices, such as masturbation, which he defends on his second website (that seems to be completely devoted to such things), in a three-part series (one / two / three). Shades of Steve Hays, who has defended the same grave sin (one / two / three) . . . Hays makes sexual jokes about nuns, but Ron takes it a step further, and makes sexual jokes and insults about Mary and Joseph, and writes blasphemy (with explicit sexual detail) about Our Lord Jesus.

Some of his morally ridiculous and scandalous posts, have titles such as:  "Lot's Wet Dreams," "The Cult of the Orgasm," "Was Joseph Permitted to Kiss Mary?," "Rez Erection?" (a particularly outlandish and also blasphemous screed), etc. This is a very disturbed person indeed, who has no business writing publicly and representing Christianity of any sort. Where is the oversight? Where is his pastor on this (if he even has one)? Why doesn't the anti-Catholic online community rebuke this and demand that it be removed from view? Let's definitely lift Ron up in prayer, and pray that his anti-Catholic cronies will speak up against this outrageous material, if they become aware of it (after reading this, if not by some other means).

Fundamentalist anti-Catholic Calvinism and self-generated orgasm and Woodstock Free Love: quite a combination there. What would the old Puritans think? Even TAO would blush at such a juvenile display of sinful carnality and sensuality. Will he rebuke it publicly? We'll see, won't we (because he will surely read this). I guess Ron can find nothing better to do with his time than exalt the glories of auto-sexuality and mock people with serious health  issues, writing posts urging others to not pray for that person. He really has his Christian priorities straight there, doesn't he?

But back to the topic at hand. In order to refute the notion of deliberately refusing to pray for folks one deems too wicked to deserve it, I brought Holy Scripture to the table (expanded for more context presently):

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (RSV) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, [2] for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. [3] This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, [4] who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Since we're dealing with Calvinists, then it is sensible to see what John Calvin would have to say about this. First, let's look at what Ron Van Brenk, digging in his heels, reiterated today, on TAO's blog:

Now, as I mentioned in the first part of that "Do NOT Pray" series- there are several times when we are commanded NOT to pray for people. And Dave's recourse to 1 Tim. 2:1 does not stand up to proper scrutiny. Will be addressing a response [to] him later tonight on that.

Now, let's see what John Calvin had to say about the matter, from his Commentaries (for 1 Timothy 2:1-4):

That, above all, prayers be made. First, he speaks of public prayers, which he enjoins to be offered, not only for believers, but for all mankind. Some might reason thus with themselves: “Why should we be anxious about the salvation of unbelievers, with whom we have no connection? Is it not enough, if we, who are brethren, pray mutually for our brethren, and recommend to God the whole of his Church? for we have nothing to do with strangers.” This perverse view Paul meets, and enjoins the Ephesians to include in their prayers all men, and not to limit them to the body of the Church.

. . . Paul, in my own opinion, simply enjoins that, whenever public prayers are offered, petitions and supplications should be made for all men, even for those who at present are not at all related to us. And yet this heaping up of words is not superfluous; but Paul appears to me purposely to join together three terms for the same purpose, in order to recommend more warmly, and urge more strongly, earnest and constant prayer. We know now sluggish we are in this religious duty; and therefore we need not wonder if, for the purpose of arousing us to it, the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of Paul, employs various excitements.

And thanksgivings. As to this term, there is no obscurity; for, as he bids us make supplication to God for the salvation of unbelievers, so also to give thanks on account of their prosperity and success. That wonderful goodness which he shews every day, when “he maketh his sun to rise on the good and the bad,” (Matthew 5:45,) is worthy of being praised; and our love of our neighbor ought also to extend to those who are unworthy of it.

2 For kings He expressly mentions kings and other magistrates because, more than all others, they might be hated by Christians. All the magistrates who existed at that time were so many sworn enemies of Christ; and therefore this thought might occur to them, that they ought not to pray for those who devoted all their power and all their wealth to fight against the kingdom of Christ, the extension of which is above all things desirable. The apostle meets this difficulty, and expressly enjoins Christians to pray for them also. And, indeed, the depravity of men is not a reason why God’s ordinance should not be loved. Accordingly, seeing that God appointed magistrates and princes for the preservation of mankind, however much they fall short of the divine appointment, still we must not on that account cease to love what belongs to God, and to desire that it may remain in force. That is the reason why believers, in whatever country they live, must not only obey the laws and the government of magistrates, but likewise in their prayers supplicate God for their salvation. Jeremiah said to the Israelites, “Pray for the peace of Babylon, for in their peace ye shall have peace.” (Jeremiah 29:7.) The universal doctrine is this, that we should desire the continuance and peaceful condition of those governments which have been appointed by God.

. . . If any one ask, Ought we to pray for kings, from whom we obtain none of these advantages? I answer, the object of our prayer is, that, guided by the Spirit of God, they may begin to impart to us those benefits of which they formerly deprived us. It is our duty, therefore, not only to pray for those who are already worthy, but we must pray to God that he may make bad men good.

Other Calvinists agree. For example, Barnes' Notes (for this passage):
For all men. Prayers should be made for all men--for all need the grace and mercy of God; thanks should be rendered for all, for all may be saved. Does not this direction imply that Christ died for all mankind? How could we give thanks in their behalf if there were no mercy for them, and no way had been provided by which they could be saved? It may be observed here, that the direction to pray and to give thanks for all men, showed the large and catholic nature of Christianity. It was opposed entirely to the narrow and bigoted feelings of the Jews, who regarded the whole Gentile world as excluded from covenant mercies, and as having no offer of life. Christianity threw down all these barriers, and all men are on a level; and since Christ has died for all, there is ample ground for thanksgiving and praise in behalf of the whole human race.

Likewise, John Gill:

not only for all the saints, for all the churches of Christ, and, ministers of the Gospel; nor only for near relations and friends, according to the flesh; but for all the inhabitants of the country and city in which men dwell, the peace and prosperity of which are to be prayed for; yea, for enemies, and such as reproach, persecute, and despitefully use the saints, even for all sorts of men, Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, high and low, bond and free, good men and bad men:

And the 1599 Geneva Study Bible:

Having dispatched those things which pertain to doctrine, he speaks now in the second place of the other part of the ministry of the word, that is, of public prayers. And first of all, answering the question for whom we ought to pray, he teaches that we must pray for all men, and especially for every type of magistrate. And this thing was at that time somewhat doubted of, seeing that kings, indeed, and most of the magistrates, were at that time enemies of the Church. 

And Matthew Henry:

A charge given to Christians to pray for all men in general, and particularly for all in authority. . . . Observe, The design of the Christian religion is to promote prayer; and the disciples of Christ must be praying people. Pray always with all prayer, Ephesians 6:18. There must be prayers for ourselves in the first place; this is implied here. We must also pray for all men, for the world of mankind in general, for particular persons who need or desire our prayers. See how far the Christian religion was from being a sect, when it taught men this diffusive charity, to pray, not only for those of their own way, but for all men. Pray for kings (1 Timothy 2:2); though the kings at this time were heathens, enemies to Christianity, and persecutors of Christians, yet they must pray for them, because it is for the public good that there should be civil government, and proper persons entrusted with the administration of it, for whom therefore we ought to pray, yea, though we ourselves suffer under them. . . .

In our prayers we are to have a generous concern for others as well as for ourselves; we are to pray for all men, and to give thanks for all men; and must not confine our prayers nor thanksgiving to our own persons or families. 3. Prayer consists of various parts, of supplications, intercessions, and thanksgivings; for we must pray for the mercies we want, as well as be thankful for mercies already received; and we are to deprecate the judgments which our own sins or the sins of others have deserved. 4. All men, yea, kings themselves, and those who are in authority, are to be prayed for.

***

23 comments:

Ron said...

Hi Dave,

I won’t be praying for you either.

Sound “outrageous” again? To repeat myself from my 'Evangelistic Blog', Dave (are you brave enough to interact on my 'Adult Blog', Dave?)… some folks should NOT be prayed for. And that includes you.

Now, I know you don’t like “asinine jeremiads” but check out the Jeremiah references (Jer. 7:16, 11:14 and 14:11) that I provided on that 'Evangelistic Blog', Dave.

Or the 1 John 5:16 reference that I provided.

Did you not read them? Can you interact with them?

Now for you to appeal to a universal prayer (and universal do-gooding as Natamllc rightly pointed out with Gal 6:10) in light of the above… is absurd. There are distinctions there Dave. Distinctions that you are "perverting".

But let’s take a look at your 1 Tim. 2:1 proof-text. That “prayers should be made for all men”:
Now you know very well, Dave- that “all” doesn’t always mean “every”. Nor does it usually mean “every”. And that in his context, Paul was referring to praying that select “Kings” and authorities would enable us to lead godly lives. You know that all kings and authorities are not in mind here. Only relevant ones.

And that is quite clear in the commentaries that you cited above, Dave.
So why do you deceive us?

But let’s look at the back end of your proof-text, Dave:

Here we have Paul telling Timothy that he handed Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan- so that they will be taught “not to blaspheme”. And in the very next verse you think Paul is asking Timothy to pray for those “blasphemers”? To drag them away from Satan?

That’s ridiculous, Dave. Is Satan going to answer Timothy’s prayers? Is Satan going to restore “blasphemers” to a non-blaspheming state?

Dave… you are a blasphemer. You have “suffered shipwreck in regard to your faith” just like Hymenaeus and Alexander. You claim to have faith in Christ. But it is a faith in Jesus-plus-sacraments. That is your Christ.

No different than the Jesus-plus-circumcision that bewitched the foolish Galatians. And no different than the Jesus-plus-baptism that bewitches the Mormons.

No, you have been bewitched by an impotent god, Dave. Not a God that is an employer of means… but a god that is a slave to means. A god that requires a mediator. A god that is certainly not God.

Unless of course… you never had faith in Christ in the first place, Dave. Then I can pray for you. But that seems incredibly improbable.

So, I’ll pray for 'select' kings and authorities instead. Those that never had faith in Christ in the first place. And give a credible profession of such.

You didn’t make the cut, Dave.

C’est la vie…

Dave Armstrong said...

I won’t be praying for you either.

Makes perfect sense with your false assumptions and butchery of the Bible and the gospel of love, Ron . . .

Dave Armstrong said...

As they said in the Civil War, "see ya in hell, Ronnie Reb."

Jordanes551 said...

"Van Brenk's Website Devoted to Deviant Sexuality"

As the old saying goes, "Heresy begins below the belt." Seems this fellow is a particularly notable illustration of that old saw.

Maroun said...

According to Ron , when our Lord Jesus commanded us to pray for our enemies and to love our enemies . Maybe Ron believes that his enemies are the good guys? If your enemies are the good guys Ron , then you are a bad guy . And if your enemies are the bad guys , then why should you chose not to pray for some persons because they are bad (according to you of course )?
Probably Ron never heard these words of our Lord Jesus (Matt.5:43-48)Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust .For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others ? do not even the publicans so?Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Ron , do you pray only for your own interest?because according to you , Paul is asking us to pray only for select kings and authorities would enable us to lead godly lives (your words ) .
Man , how far you are from the spirit of our Lord which prayed for those which crucified Him , and how far you are from the Spirit of saint Stephen which prayed for those which stoned him to death .How far you are from all of Jesus`s commandments , to love God and to love the others as yourself . Please Ron , do not (love us ) or rather hate us as you hate yourself , because whoever hates the others is a murderer (you are killing yourself spiritualy ).
How can you even claim to love God which you dont see , when you hate even (certain men ) which you see ?
as saint Augustine said : in man there cannot be love of God if he dosent love his neighbour , and he cannot love his neighbour if he dosent love God .You have none of these two .
So please stop claiming to be a Christian because you are hardly a publican or even a pagan , because the way you pretend to believe and obey Jesus has nothing to do with the real Jesus .In fact by the way you think , you demonstrate to everyone that you are an antiChrist (against Christ).
I am very sorry if i seem to be rude , but unlike you i am saying these things to help you and not to condemn you .

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Van Brenk,

Instead of barking like a rabid chihuahua with mange, why not offer some proof that Dave got John Calvin statement about prayer here wrong. We are all well aware that "all" doesn't always mean "all" in the Scriptures. However, the issue here is whether the "all" at 1 Tim. 2:1 means "all". I realize I am no Greek scholar but "panton anthropon" "of all mankinds" seems to mean "all" as in everybody in the whole world to me.

Here is another place where Monsieur Calvin comments on 1 Tim. 2:1:

Again, let us know that when the Gospel is preached unto us, it is to make us so much the more void of excuse. And why so? For the seeing that God had already showed us that he was ready to receive us to mercy, if we had come to him, our condemnation shall no doubt be increased, if we be so wicked as to draw back, when he calls so mildly and lovingly. Yet notwithstanding, (as we have here exhorted) let us not leave off, to pray for all men in general: For S. Paul shows us, that God will have all men be saved, that is to say all people and all nations. And therefore we must not settle ourselves in such sort upon the diversity which is seen amongst men, that we forget that God has made us all in his image and likeness, that we are his workmanship, that he may stretch forth his goodness over them which are at this day far from him, as we have a good proof of it. Calvin, Sermons on 1 Timothy, Sermon 13, 2:3-5, p., 160.

BTW, we are talking about 1 Tim. 2:1 and not 1 Tim. 2:4. I am well aware of how dead French lawyer distinguishes between praying for someone and the notion of limited atonement.

Then again, I do realize in the little world of Ron where you are your own personal magisterium of "I" and "me" and what you assert is a proper exegesis will always trump chumps like John Calvin, Matthew Henry,and John Gill, particularly when their exegesis happens to disagree with yours. Anti-Catholics like you always make like Procrustes and stretch or slice up the Bible to fit your views.

Which leads me to ask, why should we Catholics regard anything they say as relevant or important when you disregard them because of your personal whimsy? Or for that matter, why should we take anything you say as relevant or important?

BTW, I am not afraid to pray for you. Based on your delusional worldview presented here, you certainly need them.

God bless!

Roberto Jung said...

Ron:

"Dave… you are a blasphemer. You have “suffered shipwreck in regard to your faith” just like Hymenaeus and Alexander. You claim to have faith in Christ. But it is a faith in Jesus-plus-sacraments. That is your Christ.

"No different than the Jesus-plus-circumcision that bewitched the foolish Galatians. And no different than the Jesus-plus-baptism that bewitches the Mormons."

*jaw drops*

Lutherans are in agreement with Catholics and Eastern Orthodox on the theoretical question, simply recognizing two or three sacraments rather than seven.

Does the father of the "Reformation"--who instituted the sacramental view maintained ever since by Lutheranism--also deserve to be consigned to hell?

"No, you have been bewitched by an impotent god, Dave. Not a God that is an employer of means… but a god that is a slave to means. A god that requires a mediator. A god that is certainly not God."

Catholics do not view the sacraments as absolutely necessary in all cases, but normatively necessary in most cases. Have you ever heard of the terms "baptism of blood" and "baptism of desire"?

"Unless of course… you never had faith in Christ in the first place, Dave. Then I can pray for you. But that seems incredibly improbable.

"So, I’ll pray for 'select' kings and authorities instead. Those that never had faith in Christ in the first place. And give a credible profession of such."

Calvinists believe in perseverance of the saints. So, how could it be "incredibly improbable" that Dave Armstrong "never had faith in Christ in the first place"? And how can you "pray... [for t]hose that never had faith in Christ in the first place" when praying for those who once had but then lost it would be inconceivable given your theological presuppositions?

"You didn’t make the cut, Dave.

"C’est la vie…"

Who appointed you judge, jury, and executioner?

This is not grandstanding, but a sincere warning: you may not have made the cut either. You may not be part of the elect. The Calvinist heresy to which you subscribe may, because of your consistent application of its principles, have you skating on thin ice in the spiritual domain.

God have mercy on us all.

Roberto Jung said...

Also...

Paul Hoffer:

"Which leads me to ask, why should we Catholics regard anything they say as relevant or important when you disregard them because of your personal whimsy? Or for that matter, why should we take anything you say as relevant or important?"

Nowhere in the Bible do we find a list of those doctrines that an individual must hold in order to be called a Christian and those teachings which can be left up to the opinions of all sincere believers. The rationality of throwing Catholics out of the fold because of their acceptance of sacramentalism collapses in a heap when the Calvinists' doctrine of Scripture alone is employed!

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Roberto: I do not disagree with anything you are saying. To clarify, I was pointing out that Calvinist folks often cite to Calvin, Turretin, and others as persuasive authorities (as opposed to binding authority which they accord only to the Bible) but when what those folks have to say is contrary to what the individual Calvinist states, they no longer are authoritative. To someone like Mr. Van Brenk, we Catholics are never as smart as Calvin, but in turn, Calvin is never smarter than they are. It is truly sad.

God bless!

Ron said...

Hi Dave,

"Makes perfect sense with your false assumptions and butchery of the Bible and the gospel of love, Ron . . ."

Can't respond to the apostle Jesus loved huh, Dave?
And can't respond to Jeremiah either?

Jordanes551,

"Van Brenk's Website Devoted to Deviant Sexuality"

Obviously haven't read any posts at that blog either, huh?

"As the old saying goes, "Heresy begins below the belt."

And yours began with "Perpetual Virginity" ,Jordan.

Maroun,

"and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you"

I don't have a problem praying for them, Maroun.
But I am bound by the further distinction not to pray for apostates...

"How can you even claim to love God which you dont see , when you hate even (certain men ) which you see ?"

I never claimed to hate Dave, Maroun. In fact, I even like him.
He has many redeeming qualities.

Paul Hoffer,

Excellent! A man who isn't afraid to dig. First of all, it isn't "mankinds". It is "mankind". There are no genitive plurals here.
It is like the genitive plural of three verses later which you refuse to consider.
Because you hate "dead French lawyers" ,right? C'mon Owen up to it Mr. Hoffer :)

But let's consider that Calvin quote you provide. The Calvin that I am allegedly supposed to be slavish to:

"to pray for all men in general"
Where does Calvin say to pray for "apostates", Mr. Hoffer? To pray for dead men?
Indeed, "let the dead bury their dead".
And in the very same sentence by Calvin, Mr.Hoffer-
do you think Calvin believed that "all" men would be saved?
Really? "All" men? And I'm misunderstanding Calvin, Mr. Hoffer?

"Or for that matter, why should we take anything you say as relevant or important?"

I'm not asking you to take what I say as important Mr. Hoffer. I asked you to give some regard to what Jeremiah, John and others said as important.

"BTW, I am not afraid to pray for you."

If you considered me an "apostate" you should be...

Roberto,

"Catholics do not view the sacraments as absolutely necessary in all cases, but normatively necessary in most cases. Have you ever heard of the terms "baptism of blood" and "baptism of desire"?

Yes Roberto, I was well aware of this recent qualification. A qualification that very few Catholics are aware of.
And a qualification that even fewer have the courage to practice.

P.S. I won't be seeing you in the Locker, Davey

Roberto Jung said...

Paul:

"Hi Roberto: I do not disagree with anything you are saying. To clarify, I was pointing out that Calvinist folks often cite to Calvin, Turretin, and others as persuasive authorities (as opposed to binding authority which they accord only to the Bible) but when what those folks have to say is contrary to what the individual Calvinist states, they no longer are authoritative. To someone like Mr. Van Brenk, we Catholics are never as smart as Calvin, but in turn, Calvin is never smarter than they are. It is truly sad.


"God bless!"

Excellent points! God bless you as well!

Ron:

"Yes Roberto, I was well aware of this recent qualification. A qualification that very few Catholics are aware of.
And a qualification that even fewer have the courage to practice."

1) I ask that you document the date this "qualification" was promulgated.

2) Most Catholics are "unaware" of this "qualification" and are afforded no opportunities to demonstrate their "courage to practice" it because this "qualification" isn't very relevant to those living in the modern West. To be martyred for the faith in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand is extremely unlikely given the guarantees of religious freedom in these places. To depart this world before the possibility of receiving baptism is also very improbable, considering the very low infant mortality rates and the very high life expectancies in the same areas, made possible by the advanced medical knowledge and health care available to us common folk. So, baptisms of blood and baptisms of desire in the modern West are going to be about as commonplace as seeing a UFO. :)

3) Do you plan on responding to the rest of my previous post, rather than one paragraph out of four, at some point in the future? I'd very much like to know whether you would consider Martin Luther, an uncompromising proponent of salvific regenerative baptism and real presence-conveying communion, to be a Christian.

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Van Brenk: I am well aware that many Calvinists treat heaven as their exclusive country club and I do know how Mr. Calvin used 1 Tim 2:4. as a proof text for limited atonement, but nevertheless, he was far more charitable than you and still insisted on his followers to pray for all men regardless. I quoted from Calvin's Sermon 13 before. Here is a bit of Sermon 12 to show you the foolishness of your assertions:

"WE have shewed already what Paul’s meaning is in this place, that is to say, that the faithful pray not only for the body of the Church, but generally for all men, even as our Lord Jesus Christ exhorteth us, also to do good to them that persecute us, and pray for them that curse us. For what know we, whether it will please GOD to have mercy upon them or no, and bring them to the way of salvation: for we ought to hope well of them, seeing they are created to the image of GOD: And seeing our salvation cometh only from the mere and free goodness of GOD, why will he not do the like to them which now are in the way of damnation, as we were? Therefore the faithful ought to have care of them, which are not yet joined to them, but are rather their deadly enemies."

Instead of feeding your Satanic hatred of Catholics, you ought to practice what your master Calvin directed you to do, which in this instance is advice suitable for all persons who bear the title of Christian on their forehead and carry the love of Christ in their hearts.

BTW, your notion that one should not pray for apostates smacks of Donatism. Thank you for providing us more proof that Calvinism is nothing less than a bouillabaise soup consisting of pieces and parts of all the prior heresies that plagued the Church throughout history.

God bless!

Jim Paton said...

"Thank you for providing us more proof that Calvinism is nothing less than a bouillabaise soup consisting of pieces and parts of all the prior heresies that plagued the Church throughout history."

Amen and amen!

What this all boils down to is Ron's opinion Vs that of Catholics. He stated on his blog that Rome was insufficient (Basically) Therefore we must conclude that Ron's opinion suffices. Sola Ron!

Roberto Jung said...

Ron:

"Jordanes551,

"'As the old saying goes, "Heresy begins below the belt.'

And yours began with 'Perpetual Virginity' ,Jordan."

Your sect's founder, John Calvin, believed in this too. For the sake of avoiding cognitive dissonance, is it really wise for you to be following a "sexually deviant" individual like him? :)

romishgraffiti said...

Your sect's founder, John Calvin, believed in this too.

Yes, I've always wondered why is Calvin wrong about perpetual virginity, but right about Sola Scriptura? The Protestant roulette wheel--'round and 'round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I posted this over at Ron's site:

I confess that I don't know how it's possible (at least for me at this point) to know who is telling the truth/lying, or who is mistaken/in denial about the events that occurred/did not occur many years ago. Either Patty Bonds is right about what happened or she is mistaken. I would find it shocking that she is deliberately lying; it seems more likely to me, if she is wrong about these events, that she was manipulated into false memories by psuedo-scientific quackery. You allude to such in your article.

I do not think, however, that your readers are well served with what you have written. I don't see how you or I can possibly know the facts in this case. I also think, in one sense, it's none of our business, and must be handled by the family. In that regard, I believe we should pray for all the family members, regardless of our personal views on their respective theologies, that God's truth will be revealed in the end. It strikes me as important that we pray for Patty Bonds' physical and spiritual health, regardless of what our personal opinions may be, especially as that is the key to sorting this whole thing out.

Paul Hoffer said...

PA wrote, "In that regard, I believe we should pray for all the [White] family members, regardless of our personal views on their respective theologies, that God's truth will be revealed in the end."

Me: I agree. I would only add to that prayer that such truth lead to a true healing and reconcilation for all concerned.

God bless!

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I absolutely agree with Paul. Reconciliation and true healing are vital.

Dave Armstrong said...

I very much echo these desires. I expressed the same thing (publicly) a few years ago when I made some observations about this, but of course it was blown off immediately because I supposedly "hate" James White, blah blah blah.

I think that the power of God and His grace can bring about any reconciliation and healing, no matter how terrible circumstances are. He's done far more difficult things. He can bring family members together.

Sean Patrick said...

I hate to admit it but I think Steve Hays has been bested in the vitriol department by Mr. Ron. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...

Ironically, the best thing we can all do for Mr Ron is to [b]pray for him[/b].

Dave Armstrong said...

Yeah; it's a close call, but Ron wins, with his ridiculous "don't pray" stance.

I do think it is a tendency among Calvinists, though, to read someone out of the elect and treat them accordingly. I've been treated in this fashion myself, many times. They may not be as frank as Ron and come right out and advise no prayer, but the coldness and chilling judgmentalism and utter lack of any manifestation of Christian love is crystal-clear. I know the basic thrust of it: what is behind that mentality.

And it goes against Calvin himself and the better lights among Calvinists, historically. It's a distortion of a view that is already wracked with many difficulties and falsehoods.

In any event, of the folks who have treated me most abominably on the Internet, almost all of them are from the anti-Catholic wing of Calvinism: they act worse (far worse) than atheists.

Sean Patrick said...

Another revealing aspect I thought about with this exchange.

These guys often imagine insults/dishonesty/unfair play from people they disagree with online. This often produces complaints of bad 'behavior.'

You often see one of them say to somebody something like, "Your behavior here is poor." I have been told on several of the blogs in question something like, “Your behavior speaks for itself.” I am more often than not scratching my head as to what their complaint involves.

But Ron. Good old Ron and people like Ron can say anything with impunity. All of a sudden the group that is so sensitive about being 'slighted' and people with 'bad behavior' have nothing to say.

Dave Armstrong said...

That's because, of course, we are altogether wicked and evil (totally depraved?) and so anything goes. They are entitled to judge us and say whatever they wish because God already has, you see . . . Lord help us . . .