WHAT CAN I DO?

United StatesI am just one guy. I am not very important. Yet when I look at the state of my country, I wonder what I can do.  Fortunately, I can look into the past — into the Bible — and see what wiser men have done before.

Joshua 24:14-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24 is the last chapter in the Book of Joshua. The Book of Joshua tells us how Joshua led the Hebrews into the Promised Land and conquered. Now Joshua has grown old, but he has one thing left to do. He calls the People together. He reviews their history, and he asks them to reaffirm their loyalty to the Lord. And the people renew their covenant with the Lord. After that, the Bible tells us that Joshua and Eleazar (the priest) died.

Even though Joshua had served as their war leader, he knew from experience he could not make the people love God. At best, Joshua could only influence his own house. When I think about that, I am forced reconsider my own limitations. I have only a trifling ability to influence the world about me. Even on this small planet, a tiny part of creation, mine is a small influence. Yet the end of his life, Joshua, someone powerful enough to call together all the tribes of Israel, claimed no more influence than I might have.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

If we can set a good example for our spouse and teach our children to serve the Lord, we may not save the world, but we can help to save the souls of the people most important to us.

55 thoughts on “WHAT CAN I DO?

  1. Note from the resident blogger

    Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

    If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

    —-

    Of course, the Book of Joshua is mythology.

    “The Pentateuch is the Jewish Mythology. My duty as a Rabbi is to interpret the Bible and consider it as my Mythology, as the founding story of the people of Israel, of course not to take it literally… it is not a book of facts, but a myth.” (Rabbi Nardy Grün)

    “The rejection of the Bible as literally true is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis… The Torah is not a book we turn to for historical accuracy.” (Rabbi David Wolpe)

    “The Torah is a piece of human literature. Its stories are fictional and that is how I teach them” (Rabbi, Jeffrey Falick)

    “The period of the patriarchs, exodus, conquest, or judges as devised by the writers of Scriptures never existed” ( Robert Coote, Senior Research Professor of Hebrew Exegesis at San Francisco’s Theological Seminary)

    “The actual evidence concerning the Exodus resembles the evidence for the unicorn,” (Baruch Halpern, Professor of Jewish Studies of Pennsylvania State University.)

    “The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years,” (Professor Ze’ev Herzog, Tel Aviv University)

    “Scholars have known these things for a long time, but we’ve broken the news very gently” (Professor William Dever, University of Arizona, Retired).

    “The fact is that not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery” (Kevin D. Miller, Christianity Today)

    —-

    Note from the resident blogger

    Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

    If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By all means! Follow the evidence! I encourage it.

      Now, I didn’t think it prudent to post a link in the original comment, but considering Tom wishes people to follow the evidence, then I will.

      Read and enjoy!

      https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/of-course-what-you-say-is-true-but-we-should-not-say-it-publically-13/

      —-

      Note from the resident blogger

      Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

      If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

      Postscript – Links to Zande’s websites have been redirected to a better website.

      Like

      1. And again, please do follow the evidence.

        I strongly, strongly, strongly encourage it!

        As Professor Carol Meyers of Duke University said:

        “No archaeological evidence of a massive migration of Jews from Egypt across the Sinai Peninsula to Israel has been found and the biblical account of Jewish origins is, at best, historical fiction.”

        Here is another link which touches on the state of belief in Yhwh within the largest Jewish movements.

        https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/when-jews-bury-yahweh-4/

        I’d also urge readers to purchase and carefully read the Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary: the first authorised commentary on the Torah since 1936. Published in 2001 by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (in collaboration with the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Publication Society) the 1,559 page long Etz Hayim concludes with 41 essays written by prominent rabbis and biblical scholars who officially concede the Pentateuch is little more than a self-serving geopolitical myth (invented in the 6th and 7th Century BCE) rife with anachronisms and un-ignorable archeological inconsistencies, and rather than triumphant conquest, Israel instead emerged slowly and relatively peacefully out of the general Canaanite population, with monotheism only appearing in the post-Exilic period, 5th Century BCE.

        Another great book for learning about the current state of biblical archaeology and Judaism is Torah from Heaven: The Reconstruction of Faith, 2012, written by Orthodox Rabbi Norman Solomon who urges his fellow orthodox rabbis to finally accept what the majority of rabbi’s from every other Jewish movement have already accepted: that the concept of Torah Mi Sinai is not rooted in reality but is rather a “foundation myth;” an origin dream, not a descriptive historical fact. To accept that the narratives of the Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus and Conquest are dead subjects in the field of serious archaeology. To accept that the Jewish original narrative is myth.

        As Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine to eloquently put it:

        The Jews did not begin with Abraham. The Jews did not emerge as a nation under the leadership of Moses. They were never rescued from slavery. They never stopped at Sinai … Facts are facts. They are enormously discourteous. They do not revere old books, they do not stand in awe before old beliefs. They do not bow before famous ancestors. They are simply the stuff out of which reality made, and the final judge of truth.”

        And as Israel’s oldest daily newspaper recently announced:

        Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the Patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.

        That last bit again: nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise

        Feel free to investigate all this.

        In fact, I encourage all to investigate it.

        —-

        Note from the resident blogger

        Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

        If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

        Like

        1. Seems Tom doesn’t want anyone reading my articles. Strange, as Tom has clearly asked his readers to investigate what I have written.

          Search the title on my blog if you’re interested: “Of course what you say is true, but we should not say it publically”

          The second link, which I’m guessing Tom will also “re-direct,” is to my article “When Jews Bury Yahweh”

          Search for these articles and please read them, as Tom is encouraging you to!

          —-

          Note from the resident blogger

          Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

          If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

          Like

      2. John

        No reply expected here, as I know you do not answer questions, you merely make sweeping presentations of “facts” and then ask the same question over and over and over and over and over again.

        But, you get that this post seems to have been really designed to encourage and edify believers, right? Can’t you let any good think stand without dragging your darkness into it? What does your railing with your so called facts actually have to do with what was going on here?

        Why does Christianity concern you so much that you spend so much of your time trying to defeat it? Bad news..you can’t and you won’t. Gates of hell won’t prevail against the church and all that you know.

        Okay, I do have a question. What is your agenda? What is your purpose? Why do you care? If we are all just misinformed fundie pinheads…why not just let us die out naturally? Surely you can see that resistance just builds resolve, right?

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Wally

          Zande does not give answers because he has none. He will not explain his agenda because he knows it would not make him look good.

          What is his agenda? Consider this stupid, but illustrative joke.

          Question: Why would an ugly woman wear a bikini?

          Answer: She wants the attention.

          Zande indicated what he wants here =>https://citizentom.com/2015/02/17/why-would-a-man-hang-himself-part-3c/#comment-57433.
          He wants attention, any kind of attention he can get.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Zande does not give answers because he has none.

          That’s quite a statement, Tom. Have I refused to answer anything you’ve asked? Have you even asked me anything?

          Ask any question you like, I’ll happily answer.

          —-

          Note from the resident blogger

          Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

          If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

          Like

        3. John. ummm I am rather confused. I did ask. What is your agenda? Whyyyyyyy oh whyyyyyy do Christians matter so much to you? Surely with our stupidity we will shortly expire due to the success of natural selection right? Why is it so important to you? It’s a simply question, probably with a simple answer that you will bury in enough words to populate a dictionary.

          Liked by 3 people

        4. Hi Wally

          Apologies if I confused you.

          Oh, your religion is dying. In the US “260,000 evangelical young people walk away from Christianity each year” (John S. Dickerson, The Great Evangelical Recession p. 26), and the Clergy Project is booming, welcoming hundreds of new priests and pastors every year who can no-longer keep the charade going. I’m just helping this process along. I’m a humanist; I see almost all religious belief as an ancient stain, an unnecessary noise keeping many people from discussing the real problems which face our species and planet.

          Now, I respect Jewish rabbis who have embraced the facts. They have adjusted their belief systems to match reality, and have adapted. This is to be applauded. I hope Christians (evangelicals, especially) can behave in the same adult manner when they too face the facts, as they must eventually do. I’m here to help that transition back to reality.

          —-

          Note from the resident blogger

          Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

          If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Good grief. …you guys all use the same fact reference book or what? Thanks for the nifty numbers. ..but again what is your agenda…why hurry it along? John did you know that if their were no Christians left that you would still be a sinner in need of a Savior?

          Liked by 1 person

        6. Wally, 7 billion people on this planet know your religion is a folktale. Please don’t go down the theology road with me. It’s about as threatening as a hippy saying he’ll punch me in my aura.

          —-

          Note from the resident blogger

          Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

          If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

          Liked by 1 person

        7. John

          Since you are behaving like a troll, I have decided your comments should be directed to the spam queue.

          1. If someone cares to read through your comments and find those that are pertinent, they will find you have threatened to plague this blog until I answer your ridiculous question. As many have already pointed out, your question assumes a false premise. Therefore, unless I choose to give you the stupid answer you demand, I cannot answer your question as you have demanded that I answer it.

          2. Multiple commenters have established that you use “facts” deceitfully

          3. You consider it cute not to reply to straight-forward questions from other commenters, and yet you harass others with your question.

          Like

        8. Note from the resident blogger

          Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

          If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

          —-

          Hi Wally

          I was responding to Tom’s reference to the Book of Joshua as being somehow true.

          It’s not. It’s myth.

          Now, people can draw great inspiration from myths, I would never doubt this. I am a hopeless devotee of storytelling, and especially fairytales and folk stories. If inspiration can be drawn from any story, then great, but don’t try and pass it off as somehow true and historical when it’s known not to be.

          Be honest.

          Is that too much to ask?

          Why does Christianity concern you… What is your agenda? What is your purpose? Why do you care?

          I’ve answered this previously, but to remind you, I’m not photobombing Tom’s blog. He invited me. I’m here because he still hasn’t addressed the simple question I put to him after posting a hunk of my work. I found this rather odd behaviour, considering he posted my work, berated it, then evaded every gentle, polite request to prove me wrong…. over 100 comments, I think. Further odd behaviour is being demonstrated in Tom posting his “Note from the resident blogger,” which specifically asks his readers to “investigate what I write,” then he censors my comments and “re-directs” my links which are only there to help his readers to “investigate what I write.”

          Which one is it: Investigate, or don’t investigate?

          Personally, I’m all for his readers to dive into what I write and peel through all its fascinating and enlightening knots. Education is a glorious thing, and I’m thrilled Tom has asked his readers to educate themselves.

          It’s a great thing!

          —-

          Note from the resident blogger

          Should you decide to reply to John Zande, I expect you will eventually discover what most of the people who have taken the time to debate him have discovered. It is amusing only for a little while.

          If you take the time carefully investigate some of his “facts,” you will soon decide the rest of his claims are unworthy of being taken seriously.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. You matter far more then you probably realize and what you can truly do is absolutely phenomenal, God willing of course. There’s a bit of a paradox in there, we all live our rather tiny lives trying to do what’s best for a handful of people, and it’s just a drop in the bucket and yet it is everything. All these little pieces fit together in ways we can’t always see but all together they make something amazing. The older I get, the more aware of this I become, how events and simple actions all build upon one another and one person’s simple words have the power to change everything. We’re a bit like an orchestra here, everybody has a section to play, a few notes to focus on, and there is a Conductor who knows how to put it all together.

    As to our country, I have this relentless faith in the people here and our ability to get it right at the last possible moment. It can get bumpy sometimes, but there’s just a spirit in the people here that always seems to rise up right when I start to think all is lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom
    That is my favorite verse you quoted there.Joshua 24:15. Don’t ever mimimize the impact any person can have, just in their own little circle. It can be huge. You keep on keeping on. Remember, we sow the seed, and God ensures the harvest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was shoveling out the driveway this morning, I took a break to talk to a neighbor. We discussed the state of country. When I mentioned I did not know what to do about the mess we are in, he said all you could do is take care of your family and raise your kids to be good Christians. I thought his advice good, and, after a while, I thought of that verse.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Tom–

    This is not given for the sake of argument, but a few readers will appreciate the spirit of Paul Harvey’s ‘rrrrrrest of the story.’

    The legendary, ahem Mr.Wm Dever, who is paraded as a believer and who is referenced many times across the world to support so-called defects in scripture, has said and I quote:

    ‘I am not reading the Bible as Scripture… I am in fact not even a theist. My view all along—and especially in the recent books—is first that the biblical narratives are indeed ‘stories,’ often fictional and almost always propagandistic, but that here and there they contain some valid historical information. That hardly makes me a ‘maximalist.’

    and

    ‘Archaeology as it is practiced today must be able to challenge, as well as confirm, the Bible stories. Some things described there really did happen, but others did not. The Biblical narratives about Abraham, Moses, Joshua and Solomon probably reflect some historical memories of people and places, but the ‘larger than life’ portraits of the Bible are unrealistic and contradicted by the archaeological evidence.’

    Interesting. Sound familiar? ‘Not even a theist?’ But what got my attention: ‘FIRST that the biblical narratives are indeed ‘STORIES,’ often fictional and almost ALWAYS propagandistic, but that, HERE AND THERE THEY CONTAIN SOME VALID HISTORICAL INFORMATION.’

    So Mr Dever and his colleagues decide what makes the cut in scripture; what stays, what goes, what is fact, and what is fable, what is true, and what is false.. And people are supposed to be at the mercy of their findings? Please. It’s called God’s word for a reason.

    He has also said ‘Moses may have lived, but the exodus is a fruitless pursuit.’ Ah, so nice of him to give Moses a small round of applause.

    Its a plague of unbelief I tell ya. I can almost see the frogs. Oh, right, no evidence of frogs, sorry.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOVE the humor.

      Here is something else from “The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914).

      INADMISSIBLE, adj. Not competent to be considered. Said of certain kinds of testimony which juries are supposed to be unfit to be entrusted with, and which judges, therefore, rule out, even of proceedings before themselves alone. Hearsay evidence is inadmissible because the person quoted was unsworn and is not before the court for examination; yet most momentous actions, military, political, commercial and of every other kind, are daily undertaken on hearsay evidence. There is no religion in the world that has any other basis than hearsay evidence. Revelation is hearsay evidence; that the Scriptures are the word of God we have only the testimony of men long dead whose identity is not clearly established and who are not known to have been sworn in any sense. Under the rules of evidence as they now exist in this country, no single assertion in the Bible has in its support any evidence admissible in a court of law. It cannot be proved that the battle of Blenheim ever was fought, that there was such as person as Julius Caesar, such an empire as Assyria.

      But as records of courts of justice are admissible, it can easily be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to mankind. The evidence (including confession) upon which certain women were convicted of witchcraft and executed was without a flaw; it is still unimpeachable. The judges’ decisions based on it were sound in logic and in law. Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.

      What makes this all the more funny is that Bierce was an Agnostic.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tom’ you are above average, and incredibly tolerant with John Zande! May Akhenaten, never grace your blog! Seriously that is his blog name. What can on man do? write petition his government, I am in touch with my elected representatives monthly – I think they ignore me mostly, stacks of form replies! But I persisist and vote!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Akhenaten established a track record. He was rude and contributed nothing. So now his comments are spam.

      John Zande is not blatantly rude, but he is also establishing a track record.

      With respect to government, I don’t think any one individual can accomplish much. However, our government is still our government. Therefore, we have to become informed and learn how to participate. If enough of us are willing to fight and work for our country, we can still save our republic.

      As I see it, because we have allowed ourselves to be bribed by our leaders, both political parties are corrupt. To fix our government, we must stop expecting politicians to give us other people’s money. That includes programs like Social Security and Medicare. Yes, we all put our money into those programs, but the politicians spent that money. It’s gone! To pay off the people collecting now, our leaders have to rob the children and grandchildren of the recipients. That’s thoroughly corrupt!

      When our leaders are willing to bribe us with other people’s money, we have to wonder who bribes them. In addition to taking bribes from rich Americans, are they also taking bribes from foreign powers? Given some of the things that they say and do it sure looks like they are.

      Like

  6. CT, you are not alone. I exert my energies to local matters, that is, the family, the local church, the local schools, the local government, the municipal police, etc., etc. The founding fathers recognized that the majority of issues occur on the local level and thus they encouraged the people to resolve their dilemmas locally. Why? Simple. Each locality is unique and each faces its own challenges. Unfortunately, the people of these United States desire the General Government to be the all mighty lord and solve every problem universally, of course, I blame this attitude of centralization on our Prussian model of education and poor civics or lack thereof. Speaking of civics, I talked to a young man the other day and I mentioned civics. He asked, “Civics? What is that?” I was dumbfounded. Our Prussian model of education has “American Government.” I remember when our educational system first introduced said course. Shame.

    If we wish to reform our federated republic, then we must focus our efforts locally. First, begin with our families and local churches; and second, extend to other local matters (e.g., schools, government, agencies, etc.). Beginning on the local level will trickle to the State government and then the General Government. We must stop with the “top down” approach and think “bottom up.” As always, having the Gospel of Christ Jesus at the center of these efforts. I really encourage everyone to read “How Christianity Changed the World” by Dr. Alvin J. Schmidt, Ph.D. How did Christianity change the world? Well, Christians did not begin at the national (or federal) level, they started at the local level to spread Gospel. That is the answer — the Gospel and local focus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said. What we do at the state and local level is critical. State government can become a check on Federal power. If nothing else, many state and local leaders eventually become elected officials at the Federal level.

      Like

  7. @JZ

    Stop copying and pasting secular arguments, all of which, by the way, have been refuted time and time again. Instead of regurgitating failed and refuted secular arguments, which, by the way, is common among secularists, be original and devise something new. The desperation of secularists never seizes to amaze me. What is more, the Word of God clearly discusses this aspiration of mankind to reject Him, attack His Word, challenge His truth, and reject His good news; therefore, fulfilling His Word and proving it true evermore. How ironic?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sad that you saw fit to ban him. Whatever he is (I’m not quite sure) he is a questioning and reasoning man. Not sure why the breakdown in reasoning together for the Truth. If that is Jesus, as we both believe, then Jesus would surely come out tops… He is after all the way the Truth and the life.
        Enjoy the blogging.
        -mike

        Like

        1. It is Jesus who saves. We can spread the Gospel, but we cannot make others listen.

          Proverbs 22:10 New King James Version (NKJV)

          10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
          Yes, strife and reproach will cease.

          Even Jesus spoke only to those with ears to hear.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Zande behaved himself well and kept things polite. By consigning him to the spam category, you, either accurately or inadvertently, give off the impression that you have no substantive response to him.

    The value of these sites is that they promote the exchange of ideas. Of course, there are always people who fall into bad habits, name-calling, etc. But the threads on which Mr. Zande and others have engaged have been lively and have had some very good substantive exchanges. That’s what we should be encouraging. You have implied that Zande and others of his views are “fools” or “foolish”, or that they are in the process of “hanging themselves”, but have skirted around the nub of his points. It is a shame that you and some others (Color Storm comes to mind – Matthew, by contrast, at least makes an effort) do not have the patience to engage on this on a meaningful level.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Banning is generally not a sign of confidence, strength, or interest in developing ideas. We should all thank Mr. Zande for his contributions to this site. It was lively and informative before he was banned. He was civil, polite, and rational. That some of us may have had a different point of view made it all the more interesting and enjoyable. As long as people deport themselves politely, I have no understanding whatsoever of the concept of a “Troll.” It seems often to be a term simply to denigrate a person with a different point of view from the prevailing opinions on the site. Without those different viewpoints, however, much of the value of this medium is lost, and the sites simply become clanging gongs of repetitive predispositions, biases and assumptions. Obviously, there is no excuse for profanity, personal attacks, or intentional untruths. But neither of the commenters just banned displayed those traits. They stated their positions, posed questions designed to illuminate or explore the views of others, and offered arguments in support of their positions. That is a good thing. It gets one banned only in places where people are very insecure about their own ideas. A prime example of this on a grand scale is the fear that the Government of China has of the Internet and the meticulous efforts it makes to control activity there. Of course, we are not governments, but on a micro, personal level, the same dynamics often cause us to try to snuff out points of view we do not wish to cope with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I explained my reasoning here => https://citizentom.com/2015/02/23/why-i-banned-two-trolls-from-citizen-tom/#comment-57812. If you want to comment further on this subject, please comment there.

      Besides, you compared my tiny blog to the Government of China, and I don’t want that comment buried. I do not want anyone to miss that one.

      Maybe you can persuade Obama force Citizen Tom to post comments from unwelcome trolls. After all, I have an operation as big as the Government of China.

      Do you want me to do a post on the Obama Administration’s effort to take over the Internet? Is that the idea? Then why don’t you just say so?

      Anyway, that’s enough sarcasm. Let’s just say I am not surprised that you have taken a contrary (an perhaps contrarian) position, but I am disappointed. We have argued fiercely and debated ferociously for years. Even when it was not exactly civil, did I so much as threaten to ban you from this blog? No, and why not? You expressed your opinions, often sarcastically, but you did not try to spam my blog with insults and corrupt nonsense.

      Consider this proverb.

      Proverbs 22:10 New King James Version (NKJV)

      10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
      Yes, strife and reproach will cease.

      You may not agree with my rules, but you have abided by them. Since this is a private blog, not Government of China, until King Obama takes over the Internet, I still have a responsibility to make and enforce some rules. And if I do a bad job of it, I will be punished. Nobody will bother to comment.

      Like

      1. The timing of the comparison to China’s Internet restrictions is interesting. Tomorrow, the FCC votes (with 3 Democrats to 2 Republicans) on whether the US government will take control over the Internet. The FCC’s chairwoman had explained that the Internet was becoming a factor in political campaigns, therefore it was an appropriate target for rulemaking. They were horrified to realize that they could do nothing to stop an anti-Obama post — such as force them to reveal their identities and bank information. They proposed exactly this and failed.

        Tomorrow, February 26, they will fix this. With one Republican gone from the FCC, the 3 to 2 vote will make this secret 332-page stack of regulations law. So much for transparency; they will pass it and then we will ultimately find out what was done to us, though the previous rules for bloggers, defeated by a 3-3 split vote, are almost certainly in there.

        Incidentally, I have a conversation with John Zande going on, or at least starting, if you are interested.

        ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        Like

      2. I actually have obided only by my own rules, Tom. I believe we can learn from civil and polite engagement on ideas, that I can improve my own awareness by engaging with others who have distinct viewpoints, and that they can learn from me. I have learned things here and I hope I have helped others think more analytically about some things. The process of learning, in my mind, is a good thing, and is to be encouraged. By the way, none of my exchanges with you has been either “fierce” or “ferocious”. We sometimes do see things differently, however. My level of sarcasm (and I occasionally use it with an amused twinkle in my eye that doesn’t show up on the e-page – I may have to learn how to use emoticons) is very low-level, fading to invisibility, against the background of some of the fairly harsh personal things or unsubstantiated motive-questioning that has come back the other way on this site. By and large, you do have commenters that work on a higher level of behaviour than one or two other places I frequent, but don’t fancy that you and your other commenters are immune to lapses in the civility department.

        Zande behaved perfectly within the bounds of polite discourse. The problem was that you didn’t like what he was saying and he was persistent in trying to excite responses to things people didn’t want to address.

        I noted that there were differences between private blogsites and the Government of China. However, I think the instinct to squelch is the same instinct, whether it is by a Government afraid of its citizens or a blogger who is made uncomfortable by other points of view. These are all facets of the same weak and vulnerable human condition, which you and I would probably agree is a condition that Scripture recognizes as the prevailing condition of Man which we must strive against, but are fated never to entirely overcome except through Faith.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Mr Scout said : ‘give off the impression that you have no substantive response to him……….’
    So this is for you scout, sir.

    Perhaps you should look beyond the surface where it is said straws flow, and take a look below in the land of the forked tongue. Maybe you too are not convinced that the Lord was unique in every way, but as was noted earlier, ANY response will do one of two things:

    1. Dignify the request.

    2. Give an answer which has already been proven, that no answer would be acceptable.

    The word of God clearly demonstrates that there is neither time, ink, nor paper to document the effulgent glory of the man Christ Jesus, and His characteristics as the son of God. The request is insulting, for EVERYTHING that the Lord did was distinct, and if a person does not think so, I submit there is simply a lack of understanding.

    And oh by the way, there is always the point the apostle made, ‘that if all the things were written concerning Christ, I suppose all the books of the world could not contain…’ Yea, that could be said of just about everybody, uh huh, and how many people knew him as WONDERFUL… and how many sinless people were Made sin? .

    Am I mistaken about the double tongue? Go visit the sites of the people you applaud, and judge yourself. Look at the comments regarding people here, especially CT, and the opinions there. Case closed.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Funny you mentioned “fellowship.” It just occurred to me today that one reason that there are so many Christian blogs is that it does provide an opportunity for fellowship.

          Thank you and bless you.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. So your position is that the only response to Zande is not to respond. I disagree. So be it. Zande wasn’t asking about the “effulgent glory Christ Jesus”, he was asking about the historic Jesus and His original contributions that justified Tom’s (and many or our) view that Jesus was the most influential person who ever lived. I happen to think the answer is that influence is not necessarily originality, and that the question is ill-formed.

      I still feel you miss an opportunity by refusing to engage Zande substantively and that by acting on an urge to silence him, at least in these circles, we enlarge, rather than diminish his position.

      Like

      1. Scout, you engaged John Zande and endeavored to answer. He blew off your answers as valueless.

        He explains a bit more in a recent comment to me. But I am still convinced that he was engaging in a rhetorical exercise, for the benefit of his audience back at his own blog. For example, there he does not mention to his friends that he actually received answers to his question.

        ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        Liked by 1 person

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