Opinions on faith and life

Duplicity

2009-10-23

Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts. — Psalm 12:2

A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. — Prov. 26:28

Any regular readers here know that I have at times pulled the plug on a comment stream, and it isn’t always easy to explain why I feel the need to do so. Of course some would say I just can’t handle disagreement, but that particular shoe fits on both feet, so to speak. I have yet to see anyone who has made such a charge react any better when they must swallow their own medicine.

But sometimes the best way to get something across is by way of example. Here are some quotes by one individual, with references, one of which is from this blog.

(source)‪‬ Christiane said... … I miss Paula too. I wish she would come back… Tue Sep 08, 11:57:00 AM 2009


(source) Christiane August 13, 2009 at 11:25 am | #3 Quote

Hi DEBBIE, ...Love, L’s P.S. Am worried for Paula and don’t know how to help make things better. Can you help?


several comments in this blog

It all sounds so nice, so genuine. Then we see this:
(source)

Christiane says: October 23, 2009 at 4:31 pm We had one commenting on a blog who got mad when Jimmy Carter was called a Chrisitan man. She was irate and left the blog. Her own blog is filled with all the hatred you could possibly want to avoid, and she proudly says that people will ‘reject’ her because she ’speaks the truth’. Bizarre does not even begin to describe her blog. And she has her followers, one of whom has said she does not believe in following a conscience.
But what is it that causes someone to be like that? I know it is not ‘normal’. What on earth is wrong? There is always a cause. It’s strange, to say the least. Can you imagine innocent children coming to the door of such a person on Holloween night?
Now that IS SCARY !

Very interesting, to say the least. But I hope at least that it helps in explaining why I don’t buy every item people try to sell me, why I “shake the dust from my feet” at times, and why I so strongly emphasize the need for BOTH truth and spirit. But in this example we see that the “spirit” was disingenuous. What appeared to be light was darkness; what appeared to be loving concern was slanderous and hateful hypocrisy.

I could certainly challenge every claim in that last quote, but my point today is that there are good reasons to keep some people at a distance, especially those who refuse to say what saving faith actually is. If we are so ashamed of our crucified and risen Savior as to call “brothers and sisters” those who “climb in over the wall” (John 10:1), then we have become tasteless salt and worthless light (Mt. 5:13-16).

We all need to take a hard look at how we talk about others behind their backs. But all I’m asking right now is for people to cut me a little slack when I sense danger. In this one instance we have evidence to confirm my earlier suspicions, but this will not always be the case.

We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. — 1 John 4:6

14 Comments

lydia

Give me an honest meanie any day. The syrupy flattery and pretend concern is deception at it’s worst. Funny how the loving demeanor changed on another blog.

BTW: I am the one who does not believe we should teach people to follow their conscience.

What if you are talking to Jeffrey Dalmer? After all, he was only following his conscience which was evil.

So, I guess this makes me on of your followers. Never mind we have disagreed on a ton of things and still love each other. (sigh)

lydia

He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue. Proverbs 28:22-24

Proverbs 29:5 A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet.

Paula Fether

Quoting Han Solo, "I prefer a straight fight to all this sneakin’ around!"

Aw, Lydia... [sniff] I love ya too! :-) I’m sorry some of that sticky syrup got thrown at you on my account, but "carrying each other’s burdens" is part of the Christian life, and I’d be happy to share any heat that comes your way as well. And I’d follow you anywhere. ;-)

And of course, we do believe that conscience plays a part, but not the primary part. Without Truth to balance it, feelings can be utterly evil, as you pointed out.

TL

Sorry that you have to deal with stuff like that. It should not be happening amongst Christians. When one feels the need to lash out about someone it should be privately, not publicly.

Hang in there, sister in the Lord!

Paula Fether

Tanx TL :-) I’m a hangin’.

I’ve also been (publicly) accused elsewhere of having some kind of martyr complex for complaining about how some Christians treat others, but that’s exactly the same mentality abusers have towards their victims. "Suffering for Christ" was never intended to mean suffering at the hands of others claiming the Name. And Jesus had something to say about that in Mt. 24:48-51.

Paula Fether

Check this out, and then let’s try the same thing and see how they like it. I’m going to substitute Fundamentalism where they put Halloween.

Now concerning [Fundamentalism], ... we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. ... However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, [considers Fundamentalism evil]; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But [Fundamentalism] will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we [abstain from Fundamentalism], nor the better if we [participate]. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple [attending a Fundamentalism service], will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to [participate in Fundamentalism]? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if [Fundamentalism] causes my brother to stumble, I will never [participate in Fundamentalism] again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

Elsewhere he says in Romans 14:

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may [participate in Fundamentalism], but he who is weak [thinks it is evil]. The one who [participates] is not to regard with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not [participates] is not to judge the one who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? ... He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who [participates in Fundamentalism], does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who does not, for the Lord he does not [participate], and gives thanks to God. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; ... But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

Would those people enjoy being told that they have "weak faith" for being liberals? Do they see themselves at all in the statements I bolded above? It just astounds me that they can feel so self-righteous for bashing people they think are self-righteous!

Paula Fether

Another point:

If we accurately apply ALL Paul’s teachings on "food offered to idols" to Halloween, we would conclude that while eating candy that was meant for a H. celebration is a matter of personal conscience, participating in anything celebrating evil or dark forces would be "participation in the table of idols". There’s nothing wrong with costume parties, unless the costumes glorify evil. Paul did NOT condone participation in pagan rituals, and the "weak in faith" are NOT those who "avoid all appearance of evil".

To look at it from another angle, where would the line be drawn between weak faith and low moral standards? That’s what I was talking about in the Lukewarm article. What one person may call weak faith, another may call high moral standards. But if Paul still carries any weight, we can look to his treatment of food offered to idols and see that there is a line to draw, and it is based on the difference between incidental contact and participation.

Now of course I don’t condone EITHER side bashing the other and trying to ram their OPINION down the other’s throat... or mocking them, calling them insane, or calling them weak just because they disagree with us. It’s a very wide two-way street, and it’s time for all of us to pay attention to the logs in our own eyes.

Greg Anderson

I don’t know where the commentor mentioned at the outset of this thread gets the idea that this blog is hate filled?

I am a left-of-center, and dare I use the "L" word (can you say liberal?) who has been treated with civility and respect at this blog.

So far as Halloween goes, should we try some reason and common sense and say that Halloween contains no more satanism and evil than what we choose to attach to it?

When I was a kid growing up in Wisconsin, Halloween was just a continuation of the old harvest festivals but with many of the Celtic traditions brought to it by Irish refugees from the great potato famine.

We made bonfires of fallen leaves, roasted potatoes in those same fires, did the trick-or-treat thing, and had a wonderful time.

Nobody worried about paganism or schmaganism for that matter and we all got along. Jews whose grandparents came from Poland, Italians whose ancestors came from Sicily, we all celebrated life, and civility greased the skids.

Paula Fether

Tanx Greg. :-)

I agree with you about Halloween, which is the same principle with Easter and Christmas. As long as we aren’t doing the witches and monsters and celebration of death and evil, a party’s a party. (Besides, if they can call Christmas "winter holiday", we can call Halloween "harvest festival" if we want.)

But as you know, my post here wasn’t about Halloween at all, yet somehow I got lumped in with those "fundies" who won’t even do a "harvest party". And the main point was, as you mentioned, that this blog is seen as hateful just for not having the same package of opinions as the individual I used for an example.

All I know is that both the alleged "weak in faith" (who are also called "fearful" at the second link) and the other extreme both seem to suffer from the same hate disease. They each do what they hate the other for doing and take mere disagreement as attack, fear, stupidity, insanity, etc. And both sides think themselves the guardians of Christianity.

I’d just like to see either extreme exhibit the tiniest bud of the Fruit of the Spirit, read 1 Cor. 13, and explain why Paul isn’t a fundy/liberal scumbag.

Greg Anderson

In keeping with the original theme of this thread (duplicity), I thought that the following book excerpt might be both germane and instructive.

Kathleen Kent’s work entitled: --- The Heretic’s Daughter --- , is well worth the read.

It documents both a harrowing and horrific narrative of a young girl’s experiences during the witch hysteria in Massachusetts in the 1690(s):

"Do you know what this is?" Mother asked, taking off her cap to let her black hair flow free.

"A meadow mushroom," I answered, trying to sound as uninterested as possible.

"Are you certain?" To which I nodded, crossing my arms again.

I released a short impatient breath. Meadow mushrooms could be eaten fresh from the ground. They had a strong musk like flavor with a dense flesh. A dozen or so could be boiled together with a boullion of dried fat to make a pocket soup, and meat lacking for stew would not be missed. The whitecap was about three inches across, dry and smooth, and it had a short stem.

"Yes," I said, "A meadow mushroom." "Eat then," said Mother, gesturing for me to take it.

The well of my mouth overflowed as I squatted down to pluck it from its shallow root. A weak amends, I thought as I opened my mouth to receive the offering.

The iron grip of her hand clamped down on my wrist and held my hand a few inches from my tongue. Her face was close to mine and for the first time I saw her hazel eyes had equal shares of blue and amber coloring in them.

"Sarah, look underneath the cap," she said as she forced my wrist around, exposing the underside of the mushroom. The gills were white and the mushroom had a white skirtlike ring on the stem just below the cap.

"It is called a destroying angel. If you were to eat this, you would surely die. Not today and perhaps not tomorrow. But after four days of spitting every bit of water from your belly and your ass, you would welcome your death."

She released me and I threw the mushroom from my hand as I would have released an oiled rush torch. I wiped both of my hands on my apron.

"The signs are varied and subtle. You must look carefully, not just at the top of the thing but at its underside, where the poison often gathers The meadow mushroom when early has pink gills that turn brown upon maturity. If you didn’t know the lore, you would liken the dark underside to unwholesomeness and the light underbelly to goodness. The morel can be dark but it always pitted, whereas the false morel is dark but smooth. That which is scarred and pitted in nature can mean sustenance and life, whereas a smooth and pretty skin can mean destruction and death. People too, are not often what they seem, even those whom you love. You must look carefully Sarah..." (Kent 131-132)

Sarah’s mother was tried and hanged for witchcraft under Cotton Mather’s puritan theocracy.

Paula Fether

Thanks for that, Greg. :-)

Excellent lesson. After this much history has passed, one would think we’d all have learned to be more careful about people, but it’s a lesson each generation has to learn. And today’s electronic community is a double-edged sword: a few people can either do great good or great evil, and do it in a hurry. If we don’t learn to discern, we’ll be very sorry for it.

Joe Blackmon

Paula,

That is too funny. I mean, I knew L’s was a big ol’ fake but I can’t believe she seriously said that. I disagree with you on more than just a few things but I wouldn’t characterize you as being hateful. I got a good belly laugh out of her comment.

Paula Fether

Tanx Joe. :-)

But as you know, mere disagreement with the left is hate speech, and quoting the Bible about sexual perversion is a thought crime. Robbing the rich to pay the lazy is etched on golden plates so it must be righteous. ;-)

Paula Fether

Check out the comments at this blog and scroll down to where "Christiane" doesn’t understand my "anger", after all this time. We should pray for her to repent of this backstabbing, especially when she knows I won’t post a response there.