Thursday, October 11, 2007

Losing My Religio...Friends?

This is a crazy week for me in the blog world - wow - now 2 people want out of my life for good - on the basis of my stances on issues.

(1) Timothy (the prophet): "Jason, the Lord commands me to now turn away from you in person and in speech...yet not in spirit, for I am also commanded to pray for you. So I leave you, Jason, with this, because you have chosen your own way and refuse to listen to the Word of the Lord." This was over the fact I like to celebrate Halloween.

(2) Burning Bush: "I cannot allow myself to be associated with calling perverse sin acceptable in God's sight. This then is what you must do. You must remove the link to my blog from your blog. It is fine if you criticize me openly for making you do this (I will take all the blame for it), but you must remove the link to my blog." This was over the fact I accept gay people as 'they are'.

I have no hard feelings about it - but there is an aspect of religious bullying happening here. Both of these people do not want to be associated with my viewpoints - or the discussion of them in anymore depth - I can handle that. That being said, they are both leaving in such a manner that makes them think they are 'right' and I am 'wrong' - and I need to 'repent' of something.

Ever feel like you were being judged for something you 'didn't do'? Goes to show 'what you believe is truth' still might be more important 'than what you do with truth'.

34 comments:

Steve said...

I only wish sometimes that some of my readers would leave me alone.

Lucky you.

I have three words for you regarding this development Jason....

Stupid Church People.

SocietyVs said...

Amen Steve - I like your site BTW

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say, Jason. It just makes me sad.

Pam

Steve said...

I am excited... it give me something to blog about (along with links to their sites).

I love when SCP come out of the closet.

Anonymous said...

Yep, fundies are good at bullying. You're lucky they go away. I'm with Steve on that one. I had a fundie stalking me for the longest time. Much nicer when they just stomp off in a huff.

If these guys are examples of what it is to be godly, I would rather be ungodly, which in their opinion I am anyway. Oh well, God likes me anyway ...and somehow I think God likes you as well SocietyVS.

God likes wrestlers and wanderings more than God likes prophets. I am of the opinion that God ever regrets unleashing prophets on the world and that is why prophecy came to an end. Unfortunately too many people take themselves to be modern day prophets beating people over the head with their versions of the Bible. When God appeared to Elijah God was not in the thunder, God was not in the lightening. God was in the whisper....

Yael

SocietyVs said...

Thanks everyone for the encouraging words - I was a little dis-heartened by the whole ordeal - I figure I am a nice enough person - and I was made to feel like I was a very bad person (so bad people have to discard me to keep their daily living going). Reminded me of elementary in some strange way - you know when people don't want you on their team - so they try to get rid of you.

Oh well, growing pains is what it is. I now remember the actual bite of religous narrowness - and maybe I am more the wiser for it. So thanks BB and Timothy - in an off hand way - you brought something out of me and opened my eyes.

chris said...

Don't worry about it bro! your still cool in my book!!!

Jim Jordan said...

You still talk to Himothy? I thought the Prophet had severed ties long ago.

Could it have been a misunderstanding with Burning Bush? After all, accepting gays as they are isn't necessarily the same as accepting homosexuality as God-ordained.

But nonetheless, don't lose faith, there are millions of other links in the sea...:-)

BrotherKen said...

You rock Jason! Just forgive them. Oh yeah, you can't until they repent :)

SocietyVs said...

Ledge - I have been checking your site - and it's not there...you still posting? Thanks for the comment.

Jim, Timothy did sever ties a while ago - but he came back - not too sure why (receptive audience?). BB pulled out on me - something to do with the idea of homosexuality - I respect them and he struggled with that for some reason (plus he didn't like the fact we brought up problems in Capitalism - it didn't help).

Ken, I have nothing to hold against those guys - we were discussing issues and it got to offensive I guess? Not sure, but Timothy did call my faith into question over Halloween - and that kind of made me a little peeved. BB - I still respect the guy - he just had struggles with the things I was saying and I can respect that.

Anonymous said...

BB pulled out on me - something to do with the idea of homosexuality - I respect them and he struggled with that for some reason (plus he didn't like the fact we brought up problems in Capitalism - it didn't help).

But, SocietyVS, if you want to have the kind of blog where people can discuss ideas freely, from a variety of angles, then you can't be apologetic because you made a comparison from lesser to greater.

A person can throw Bible verses around all they want, but if they can't handle someone pointing out that they have become livid over what a small group is doing, but aren't bothered in the least by a huge wrongdoing, then this is not the kind of person who is going to be able to handle an open discussion blog anyway.

They have their POV, which is set in stone, they're not budging, and if you won't join them they're gone.

Which is why I think you'll have a tough go of making your blog into the blog you desire it to be. People have to be able to disagree sometimes, people have to be able to question how others arrive at their conclusions, people have to be able to request clarification, without it becoming a matter of eternal damnation or some such thing.

Anonymous said...

Oops forgot to sign. It's Yael, in case you couldn't figure it out!

Anonymous said...

Yael,

We agree on this one too. I think God is exasberated with us when we argue over Him. No matter what any of us understand about Him does not change Him or take away from His power. Our agreeing or disagreeing shouldn't be taken personally. When things get taken personally that is the end of all meaningful dialogue. Interestingly enough, our faith ought to be our greatest ally in moments of conflict but few resort to faith in resolving conflict. This is senseless because God doesn't need us to fight for Him.

Pam

SocietyVs said...

"People have to be able to disagree sometimes, people have to be able to question how others arrive at their conclusions, people have to be able to request clarification, without it becoming a matter of eternal damnation or some such thing" (Yael)

I think so also - and there are a lot of us out there willing to dialogue this stuff - what I am finding tough though - is keeping people in the conservative Christian camps around (for discussion). And without their representation we will miss a perspective - we might not agree - but it is a persepctive that can help us with our interpretations. But I think we can still work towards open-ness here.

"This is senseless because God doesn't need us to fight for Him." (Pam)

This is so true. I realized this a long time ago in my faith walk and have lived by it ever since. I find nowhere in my readings where God wants me to harm someone in His name - it just ain't there.

Anonymous said...

:0) "Blessed be the peacemakers."

Pam

p.s. There is also a tear on that smiley face...

BrotherKen said...

Should we be upset or surprised when the search for truth causes tension or even a parting of ways? Even the disciples (Paul and Peter?) parted ways over a disagreement.

Yes we ought to try to reconcile our differences or at least tolerate another persons' viewpoint, but there will be times when we must go our own way.

Maybe we should look at what Timothy and BB did as something that is inevitable and not so disheartening?

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Even Jesus said that He came to bring division and not peace and I agree that we will always divide with one another as we each grow in Christ. We must have loyalty to Jesus instilled in us and this is the process He has chosen to grow us by. We all must walk the narrow path and there it is only wide enough for ourselves and Jesus; but there are many on the same narrow path with Jesus ahead of us and behind us. I believe it is possible to divide on issues and come together again in Christ. He's the only hope we have for unity! I have hope that those of His body who have seperated from each other over issues can again be unified as each comes under the authority of the head of that body, Jesus. He is afterall, the ultimate peacemaker. Not the peacemaking that is common to human beings that of laying aside our priciples but true peace that can only come from God and each individuals submission to Him.

Pam

Anonymous said...

p.s.LOL! I just read what I wrote...Jesus did come to bring peace and He did so by laying down His own life. He also said that people would divide with even persons of their own household for His Names Sake. The peace He brought was peace between man and God through the sacrifice of Himself. He did so and never wavered from serving His Father. We too must lay ourselves down but never the principles He has instilled in us in order for peace to reign among us. Peace begins with Peace with God. Following the example of Jesus will bring goodwill to all men and a peace that does not require force to be maintained.

Pam

BrotherKen said...

Pam, that is a mouthful that I will have to chew on for a while but I like the taste :)

Anonymous said...

LOL! Enjoy!

Pam

SocietyVs said...

"Maybe we should look at what Timothy and BB did as something that is inevitable and not so disheartening?" (Ken)

I think I kinda agree. They have their points of views to share - but now they have pulled the reigns on that - and that does not connotate a 'bad thing' per se - maybe a time of inquiry is about to happen? Either way I wish them the best in their endeavors.

bruced said...

That's the kind of thing I endured during most of my 35 years in the church. That's as much as I could take, and now I'm saved from them.

Patti Blount said...

Hi-Me, again. The thing is whether or not it is true according to God. He is the ultimate Truth, and what He says goes-right? So, why don't you ask Him about it? Like say, God, is this true? Do you consider the holidays we celebrate a sin in Your eyes? What would be the harm in asking Him? Isn't it Him we seek to please and honor with our lives? If He communicates to us (in His way) that it is a sin, then what is the problem in not doing it? Do we put Him first or our own wills?

Anonymous said...

All,

There are lots of smooth talkin' false prophets out there these days. Most of them have thousands of followers and are accepted as upstanding leaders in the community. They calculate according to the desires of others and preach according to those desires. They tell people just what they want to hear while they suck the money right out of their pockets while they are charmed and under their spell. No one can accuse Timothy of that. His flesh and blood like the rest of us and I really don't think he's doing this because he is having a good time making a lot of people mad at him by telling them what they don't want to hear. It is really pretty easy to talk to Timothy the young man about most anything. He is not comfortable handling the anger some people have in regard to the things God gives him to say. It is like asking him to question God and he can't do that.

That's all I'm going to say about Timothy and what God has gifted him to do.

I think all of us could do a better job of expressing our gift if we could share our faith, our experience of Jesus, without bagging on other people or groups of people. You know, we all take faith and make religion out of it. It's wrong but we're all guilty of it and we are the most guilty when we try to fit everyone into our miniscule understanding. I do it too and the only cure I know of is Jesus living in me and my persisting in laying myself down that He might have more of me. Jesus didn't come to found a new religion and that isn't what He wants us to do either.

Ah well, I'm on the edge of something that I can't express and I'm exasperated.

Pam

Steve said...

Uh... Pam... are you serious??

Anonymous said...

steve,

About which part? Yes, I'm serious but I don't think I'm expressing it too well. It just seems to me that most of us are unsatisfied by the status quo in the traditional church but we carry those problems with us where ever we go because they are in us. You know, that little thing about having a log in our own eye?

Pam

Steve said...

Pam... I am referring to your defense of "Timothy the young man".

There are so many holes in your defense that give rise to most of my issues with the church, and church people specifically.

You speak of "smooth talking prophets"... who have thousands of followers... sucking money out of people's pockets. Then you follow it with "no one can accuse Timothy of that".

Well I don't know Timothy, but I'm reading what he wrote and thinking how is he any different? Most of these "smooth talkin prophets" utter their dogma and declare it the "WORD OF THE LORD" just as Timothy has done here.

I am sorry, but I think I need to quote you and then give my response. It might be easier.

You then say: I really don't think he's doing this because he is having a good time making a lot of people mad at him by telling them what they don't want to hear.

I beg to differ. Having been in his shoes, I can tell you it is quite an ego stroke to have people mad at you... especially when you believe you are doing "God's work". It validates you... and nothing boosts an ego more than the perceived validation of "the Lord".

Then you say: He is not comfortable handling the anger some people have in regard to the things God gives him to say. It is like asking him to question God and he can't do that.


People like Timothy, especially when he comes in and says, in effect, "This is what the Lord says and since you disagree... end of discussion" aren't speaking for God. They are speaking for themselves pure and simple. We should question them (and their God for that matter).

And that's the rub. No one can speak for the Lord. I can't and you can't... and Timothy can't.

I have had people call me a "prophet" on my site. Some people would call me a prophet for speaking out against "Timothy". And based on Timothy's logic and your logic, why shouldn't they? (I for one certainly know I am not). But just cause you have an opinion, and your opinion happens to be able to be substantiated by certain scriptures that you pull from the Bible... this doesn't make you someone who is "speaking for the Lord".

I have criticized specific pastors on my site and church leaders and vehemently disagreed with their tactics and ploys. Some, have come on and discussed things, talked about them, and dialogued. Others, have walked in with their arrogance and pretty much dismissed me and "my kind" with the defense of "this is what God is leading me to do"... and who are you to question me (and God). Then they walk away.

One can't just declare that this is what God has told me, even if it lines up with their interpretation of Scripture and then say that no one else has a valid viewpoint or can question them and their beliefs. One can't hide behind faith alone and refuse to dialogue to gain a broader understanding of things.

There's a fine line between Jonestown and many churches in America based on this logic.

Anonymous said...

Well, there's no koolaide at Gracehead and I've not read another site where the contributors so openly disagree at times than at Gracehead. I'm not a Timothyite, I belong to Jesus and I live my life according to the Spirit. Timothy has a gift and there is Timothy who is my friend. He surely does not impress me as someone out to stroke his ego and I know he's not getting rich. The point I was trying to make is that there are false prophets that are never questioned because they fit into our familiar forms. They teach according to their intellect a good deal of the time and there is little preaching that comes from the Holy Spirit even though it may be very Biblical.

That's all I want to say about Timothy because it isn't appropriate for me to discuss him. I hope you understand.

I look at others and see things I don't like as well but I hope that I am becoming mature enough that I can be aware of their sin and caste no stones. I don't want my faith to be built upon the elitist perspection of 'thank God I am not like...' That was the other point that I was trying to make. We all are so bad about separating from one another over something that upsets us and then we turn around and do the same thing. We condemn our brother and justify ourselves. We say we hate religion but when we fail to accept another simply because of where they are at spiritually and gather only with others who hold views simular to ours, we're right back into religion building.

"Pure religion and undefiled is this, to visit widows and orphans in their affliction and to keep ones self unspotted by the world." Simple sentence but hard to do because it goes against our inborn nature. We build religion like bees build hives. The only solution I see is to give ourselves over to the architech of the universe and allow Him to rebuild us in Christ. I want the love of Jesus to flow through me and I pray for the resistance against my own sinful nature to errect systems of belief that block that flow. It is about Love. Even to those who are to us unloveable or even cause us to feel threatened in some way. That is what I desire as the outcome of my faith in Jesus Christ. I pray that I also will be able to love in this fashion without caving in on the Biblical prinicples of my faith. For me this is the reality of the narrow path.

Pam

Pam

shelly said...

I would consider that religious bullying for certain. It sucks.

OTOH, maybe it's just another bend in the road.

Steve said...

Pam,

And so we drift back into Christianese.

So please... define something that comes from the Spirit. Define living your life according to the spirit.

Timothy has a gift... how do you know that... and how do you know it's "from the Lord."

And I don't understand you not wanting to "discuss Timothy". It is he that posted on a public forum something that I find to be troubling. It is certainly open for discussion, and I can certainly question him and his God. Trust me, he may not be out to stroke his own ego, but I am banking that he is blind to his own ego at this point... he's so far deep. I fear for you the same.

I don't want my faith to be built upon the elitist perspection of 'thank God I am not like... And yet this is what your dear Timothy has done. Can you not see that? He is the one that cast the stone...

And Jesus... he had no trouble condemning... especially Pharisees. And that Pam is what most church leaders are... and I should know... I was chief among them (to borrow a line).

Pam, you certainly seem like a kind enough person. We can disagree and I am not even sure we do. I have a difficult time dealing with your Christianese language, not because I don't understand what you are trying to say, I just don't communicate in that fashion....used to, but just don't anymore. This doesn't make me greater than or less than... I just feel that your choice of language and the depth that it is ingrained in you might possibly be one of the biggest obstacles to the ministry of the message you are seeking to deliver. But that's just an observation...

I do agree it's about love. But is also about honesty and truth... and Christianity certainly doesn't have a corner on any of those. We would do well to remember that.

Anonymous said...

I speak the language God gives me to speak. I am me and you are you. If we get to know one another, we will learn to speak one another's language and have understanding. That takes time and work, it is relationship. Jesus is also relationship and I can't judge or even know another's relationship with Jesus. I can see the fruits of God's Spirit in another but only Jesus and that other know the process by which they were produced and also what is still being produced. I can't even do a very good job of judging my own heart. I leave all judgment regarding the hearts of others to Jesus. He is the one Who will sit on the judgment seat because He is the only Righteous One able to make right judgements. I am not without sin nor able to cast any stones.

I am older than most people who post on these blogs. When I speak of God I try to use Biblical terms because I want to communicate God rather than my own ideas. God speaks to indiviuals in individual ways to individual needs by the same words, the Spiritual Words that make up the Bible. I also believe that born again persons can speak according to the Holy Spirit those same kind of Spiritual Words that meet different needs in different people. That really isn't quite the same as miscommunication. Remember that when Jesus and the disciples spoke in this fashion many people reacted violently. They wanted to bite, tear, and kill. The Word spoken cut into them, hurt them, and made them angry. Sometimes, we have grown so accostomed to our sin and hardened by it that God must cut into us by the Power of His Word. It hurts and when we hurt we react in anger and self-defense.

I don't think I have the power to be an obstacle to the work of God. I don't think power hungry perveyors of false religion do either. They wouldn't be where they are if we did not also desire to be like them. We all want to be God and ought to be involved in God's work of destroying that common desire that is the heart of all sin in our own hearts rather than bashing each other over the head for what we all do. Jesus condemns sin. We condemn ourselves when we reject Him. Jesus loves Timothy and me and you and the entire world. His love is not limited by what we fear or disapprove of. He came to save the world and He will, despite us. Despite the prideful Pharasee in us all.

Living my life according to the Spirit begins with my surrendering my desire to rule over my life in the place of God. It is giving myself over to God for His purposes and His work in the place of my purposes and works that I choose. I don't live according to my own morality, my own choosing between good and evil, but give that choice over to God as I respond moment by moment to the Holy Spirit that lives in me as I have been given the mind of Christ. I still live in a mortal body and its weakness and desires are strong and they sometimes lead me away from my spiritual walk with Jesus through the distractions of physical desires, pain, physical want, or sickness but each day as I stumble, I take my stumblings to Jesus and God heals me and returns me to a right relationship with Him, that of a child dependent upon her Father for protection and sustenance.

Was that everything?:0)

Pam

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Timothy said...

That's a shame societyVS. I've had personal experience of friends shunning me becuase of my stance on certain issues, and it always really affected me. It destroyed my self-confidence, conjured up insecurity of what God would think of what I was saying, and was just generally depressing.

Whether I agree or disagree with the opinions you express here, I find it is always worth reading either way.

Don't let these things discourage you.

Tim (just to be clear; I am not the young timothy mentioned in the past, haha)

marion said...

I am so very tired and weary of being labelled wrongly.
Why is it that some who claim to be the Guardians of The Truth (by their attitude and words) do not handle the truth carefully, and accurately, concerning words/posts from brothers and sisters.
Steve, I identify with what you say.
The Halloween thing...I'm sure you're not consulting with satan and cursing people etc...
I have been called a witch by apparent Christians on 2 forums for daring to read Harry Potter.
...and what's more the 'protective' Mods felt I'd brought it on myself...
sheesh.
oh, not to mention a bad mother for letting my teens see the films.
WHY oh WHY do some divide and accuse, nastily, over secondary issues?
I am FULLY orthodox on the primary essential doctrines and probably understand them in my heart more than some of my critics!
But they hardly know how to discuss the primary doctrines any deeper than an inch.
(sorry for venting on your Blog).