Enjoying Life a Little More

My wife and I took a step out to try to get out and do things to enjoy life, each other, and God’s blessings a little more. We saw in a local guide that at a local lake they were doing an “Autumn Paddle”; where you canoe out on a lake with a guide at sunset, land at a little wilderness location and partake in a little snack of cheese, crackers, and cider. This was the best thing we have done in a long time. It started out raining very hard, and we were under dressed, but by the time we were soaked and chilled to the bone, it started warming up and the sun came out, so we didn’t notice the cold too much. In the end, we got to enjoy a lot of wonderful things God made; the lake, the forest, the wildlife, etc. and got to spend some quality time with each other outside of our normal boundaries. We need to do stuff like this more often.

Appreciating Things

As part of my quest to grow closer to God, I want to have a more full appreciation for things that he has created. So far, this includes, art, poetry, music, nature, and somehow, God himself.

Art

Other people are standing in front of paintings for five or ten minutes at a stretch, just loooooooking. What are they spending so much time looking at? You really can’t imagine what it is you’re supposed to be doing with your eyes: Blinking? Looking at all four of the corners? Should you hold your thumb up to it? Should you tell yourself a little story about the picture, or pretend you’re a character in it? Count the toes on the people in it to see if the artist messed up? Do I put my hands in my pockets or behind my back while I’m looking? What are the rules? Just what is it that you could be doing if you want to extend this art experience and get more out of a painting that you already like?

http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/2007/07/16/how-to-look-at-art/

King James Onlyism

Factors in favor of Not-KJVO

  • While most literature written against KJVO has a sincere, level-headed attitude, most KJVO literature ABUSES PUNCTUATION and makes bold a lot of their ideas which is downright annoying. Trying to get through a KJVO book is an exercise in patience as it seems like they are yelling at you the whole time. Not to mention the fact that if you’ve been unlucky enough to doubt the position you are called a liberal, apostate, heretic, or worse.
  • KJVO authors believe that if you don’t believe the same thing they do, you are not worthy of honorary titles such as Dr. So-and-so, and may call you names. Example, I dare you to find the phrase "Dr. White" mentioned in One Book Stands Alone or on D.A. Waite’s website.
  • OBSA (mentioned above) has some arguments in it even a Bible College dropout like myself can see right through. If someone like me can take apart your arguments, what does that say about the case you’re trying to make?
  • KJVO authors get incredibly defensive. For example, Dr. White says that his aim is not to attack the King James Bible. The author of OBSA is incredulous at this and calls him a blatant liar. He is not able to take a step back from his position for a second to see that Dr. White is only attacking the idea of KJV-Onlyism. Pointing out translational errors in the KJV is not attacking it from the standpoint of someone coming from a textual critic position—it’s merely pointing out what he considers to be facts.
  • Whenever you hear an audio debate between the two sides, the KJVO advocate comes off sounding unprepared and ignorant.

Factors in favor of KJVO

  • I can not 100% relinquish this view (that has been part of my family for generations) until I have enough knowledge/evidence to be able to successfully answer anyone who may try to "win me back". My dad has a master’s degree in Theology, and I imagine he could mount quite a case. If I announce that I renounce KJV-Onlyism and am easily shut down in the sure to ensue debate, then that doesn’t look good from the position of those people in my family that are looking to me for leadership.

Notes

What is known of the school of Antioch’s founder, the martyr-presbyter Lucian (d. 312), is minimal, with the exception of his having been a keen Biblical student who revised the Greek texts of the Septuagint and the New Testament.

Jerome tells us that the Churches of Antioch and Constantinople preferred a text revised by the martyr Lucian, while at Alexandria the text approved of was that of a certain Hesychius.

Current Status Of Belief In Fundamentalism

I guess "Fundamentalism" is the wrong term for this page. It’s too broad. What I have a problem with is not so much fundamentalism, but the particular brand of fundamentalism we’ve been exposed to for so long.

A lot of the legalism that our church teaches is due to their understanding of "Holiness". Are they correct? Holiness is why we can’t wear shorts to church functions in summer. It’s why we can’t go to the movie theater. Why we can’t drink, smoke, have piercings or tattoos. Why we can’t listen to music with drums. How do you quantify holiness?

Some Anecdotal Evidence, For What it’s Worth

Here’s a collection of anecdotal evidence acquired over the years. The sum is worth more than the parts.

  • We brought an unsaved friend to a church picnic where we knew salvation would be presented. Her 3 year old son started babbling, and she was shot some bad looks from some of the members, so she took him well out of ear-shot to a playground, and completely missed the message.
  • Visitors were sitting behind us, guests of a couple that had been praying for years they would get in church. They had their daughter with them, who made a little noise, and one of the members turned around and said, "Hey, do you mind!" to the girl! Needless to say, we never saw that family again.
  • In a discussion with another member, it came up that he had sent a letter to one of our friends, telling her how she would "never amount to anything for God."
  • When a member of a church I used to go to told the pastor he would be going to a different church (which was also IFB!), the pastor said he was making a mistake and that God would not bless him. How would he know!
  • When church members heard "through the grapevine" that we were thinking about moving, more than one asked my wife "how she could do that to her mom" and expressed doubt that it was God’s will. How would they know! Pastor also devoted 20 or so minutes of a sermon to something we said about this to him privately. We said we felt God leading us this way, but that He would have to sell our house first (which would be a miracle) and that would clearly be confirmation. Pastor twisted this into an illustration about a guy going into a car dealership and saying "If God approves my financing, then it’s his will that I get that Mercedes!" Among other things.
  • When my wife and I had missed a few sunday school classes because we had just had a baby, pastor confronted my wife and wanted to know what was up. She told him, and he said that if the baby was keeping us from doing what God wanted, God might take the baby away.

Table of Beliefs

Just for fun, here’s a table contrasting traditional IFB stances with my stances that are developing as I pray and research.

Issue IFB Position My Position
Alcohol All Bad Moderate alcohol okay
"White lies for truth" The ends justify the means Not permissible in service for Christ
Saying "Amen" in church Mandatory Personal Preference
Bible verses posted in yard and on car optional, but desirable Cheapens word of God
Altar calls for prayer Necessary Prayer from your seat is fine
Altar calls for salvation Necessary Undecided
Being "Undecided" on an issue Bad Permissible, honest
Church Attendance Mandatory (kids may die if you don’t) Good idea, but we are not enslaved to services
Going to theater Never Free to enjoy
Gambling Gambling a sin Destructive gambling a sin
Bible Versions KJV Only Some modern versions OK
Doorknocking Mandatory Optional
Rules and laws The more, the better Freedom in Christ