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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


We need to trust the Lord and not fear the effect of allowing others to mature in their calling, even if we think have outgrown that stage (always a risky conclusion, in my view).

To forbid maturity in anyone's calling is not my point here, and I don't believe there is danger of it. Laughing revivals, Brownsville, and raising the dead were thrown out in the beginning of this thread [i]as if they were game to prove the content of the article posted[/i]. And there werwe things that follwed that were unclear, bad hermeneutics offered, and by the grace of God I am able to provide an alternative to which I am persuaded is the more effective and wise way in the paths of godliness. Please, let's not bring up psychology, as I've noticed each time I engage in a discussion hinging on a disagreement with someone here you invariably join in to make a case against what I am doing. Please, if I am offering advice that is untrue, or true advice but with callous spirit behind it, please do point this out.

I am human just like everyone else here, my expressions are not always right on, and, admittedly, I can be detrimentally blunt. These are my shortcomings, though I try to cloak them under a carefully-chosen writing tenor when posting replies. Sometimes I'm not very successfull at it!

Paul Frederick West

 2008/3/13 16:47Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


My apologies Sister Diane for my "contribution" to this thread...

Good idea, brother. My apologies also go out to Diane. What happened here wasn't my intention, sister. I think this is my cue to get out of the building while the walls are still standing.

Brother Paul

Paul Frederick West

 2008/3/13 16:53Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777


My apologies Sister Diane for my "contribution" to this thread...

the full article makes some very good points...

Blessings, brother! This reminds me of a principle held by the Precepts Bible Study ministry. They suggest that those who have not prepared, should refrain from the discussion. This will spare them from exposing their obvious ignorance on the matter.

I went over the entire article today and found it very, very good. Really, everyone here on SI that takes place in active discussions should read this article and at the very least pray about incorporating some of these principles into the discussions that take place here on SI.

I think this is a wonderful suggestion, Roniya. Of course we would need to do more preliminary work before posting our (knee-jerk) opinions. This article, I believe is a useful tool – and equips us with practical measures for dealing with polemic theological issues. It could spare us of so much fruitless energy and actually propel us towards deeper maturity in the Body. Perhaps the first obstacles to overcome are our desire to 1: be right and 2: tell the other person they are wrong.

PS, brother Paul - don't bale out yet! Your apology accepted!



 2008/3/13 18:53Profile

 Re: Polemic Theology: How to Deal with Those Who Differ from Us

Hello again Paul,

Please don't take my contribution to this thread as if it is directed solely at you. I've been following it from the beginning; also, have been in more than one thread with David, where raising the dead has been discussed. I'm British. I've heard about revivals going off the rails, and I don't know anyone who thinks it's a good thing when they do. Honestly, as per the article, I'm trying to understand your sweeping dismissal of a command of Christ 'Raise the dead', which dismissal seems to be on the basis that certain charismatics have over-egged the proverbial pudding. The question is, (surely,) how do we know when to raise the dead, or not raise them; which begs any questions about faith in action (works)?

I utterly reject this notion. What I did, Mr. Bill and Linn, is invert the discussion to demonstrate that the true "box" could be a quiet life in Christ, in all balance and proportion to scripture, and I'm showing that being "in the box" in this respect may not be a bad thing at all. The other camp purports that we must "step out of the box" if we want to "fulfill our destiny" (I have no idea what that means), but the box they are encouraging to "step out of" must be regarded as safer than the area we are told to step into, if only by virtue of the litmus test they place upon certain manifestations for "being in the Spirit".

I am simply proposing my view with a twist: from inside the very box charismatics would call me out of! I already know what is "outside the box" and I've seen enough to know how it much it greviously misses the mark.

I would rather call them back into the box of sound doctrine where there is safety, security, growth, and an increasing knowledge of God's ways. Stepping out of the box in this regard is stepping into unsound doctrine and polluted waters.

Okay, but you haven't at any point addressed David's concern that religionists need to step out of [i]their[/i] box, into the kind of relationship with Christ which you describe. And that the most vehement opposition to the work of Christ on earth, may come from such religionists (who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof).

I do accept you don't have to address David's point, now that you've clarified what [i]you[/i] meant, but, it would be interesting to hear a more detailed account of your understanding of Christ's command in respect of raising the dead, cleansing lepers, casting out demons (and so on), by way of justifying your rejection of David's comments. Would that be possible?

Please, let's not bring up psychology, as I've noticed each time I engage in a discussion hinging on a disagreement with someone here you invariably join in to make a case against what I am doing.

I have, over many months, avoided most of the threads which have attempted to discuss psychology from an American bias, but in this thread, I am not aware even of [i]thinking[/i] of psychology, so I'd be grateful for some elucidation of what I said which sparked your comment. (Thanks. )

By the way, I don't 'invariably join in to make a case against what [you are] doing'. I'm not even challenging you confronationally. I'm simply reflecting back some of the meaning of what you've already said, but in a qualified way. I realise that can be annoying for anyone who writes how they would normally speak - where immediate misunderstandings are sorted out on the wing, as it were. Whereas posting is not so simple, and here, I know I don't join all the threads where you post. I pick up on some of what you say because it is extremely one-sided. Also, because I would like to communicate with you in a meaningful way, if that's possible.

 2008/3/13 19:48



psalm1 wrote:

the 5 wise virgins were wise due to the fullness of their lamps.
-------------------------------------------------No, they were wise because they also had spare oil with then in a vessel. This was in case the night of watching and waiting for the Bridegroom proved too long for their lamps to last out.

As indeed happened. They made it to the Feast because they had not only oil, (as you say, representing the Holy Spirit), but a store for the dark days and nights of waiting that came before his return to claim his bride.
OK I say oil is a type of the Holy Spirit and you say No.

Then you say it is a type but not like you say it?

??? I don't understand what you mean, David :-? I never said that oil isn't a type of the Holy Spirit! I said that we need more "oil" (= the Spirit) than is actually contained in the "lamps" in order to last in the dark times.

I was thinking of the oil in the lamps as representing a [i][b]"temporary"[/b][/i], supply of the Spirit, that one might get in lively meetings, or special seasons of blessing that we may experience.

But what happens when the blessing fades?

That is when we need an extra supply of "oil" - indeed a constant supply (see below)

Read the parable, (my emphasis):

[color=990000]1 ¶ Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But [b][i][u]the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps[/u][/i][/b].
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.[/color]

Dear David, the Bridegroom came at "midnight". In other words, a time where there will seem to be be no blessing, no revival, no sign of light; indeed as Amos says, a famine of even the word of the Lord.

Surely these "wise virgins" are spoken of in Daniel 12:3

[color=990000]3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.[/color]

In John's Gospel the Spirit is likened to water:

John 7:38 [color=990000] He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow [i][b]rivers[/b][/i] of living water.[/color]

Rivers are supposed to flow [i]constantly[/i]; an even stronger indication that there is need for a greater supply of the Holy Spirit that can be contained in one feeble "oil lamp".

Thus, in Ps 104:16 those who "drink constantly of the Holy Spirit are likened to trees:

[color=990000] The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;[/color]

And your own Psalm 1:
[color=990000]1 ¶ Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 [b][i]And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.[/i][/b][/color]

and Jeremiah 17:7-8
[color=990000]7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8 For [i][b]he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.[/b][/i][/color]

Take all these things together (other scriptures keep coming to mind but the above are probably enough!) and a picture begins to emerge - of those who are not merely filled with the Holy Spirit but who flow in a constant supply of the Spirit; even in the darkest, hardest times; those who are rooted in Him, and never depart, and whose supply therefore never runs dry.

Isn't that what you want? I do.

I'm not talking of quenching the Holy Spirit - far from it! I'm talking of "rivers of living water, a greater and constant supply that will carry us through anything we may have to face in this life!

When I used to go to conferences as a fairly young believer I lived from one conference to teh next. I was dependant on the spiritual "boost" they supplied and thought it was impossible to do without them; that my faith would weaken unless regularly boosted through the ministries of godly speakers, and the blessing and "atmosphere" at such gatherings.

Returning home after a conference used to feel so flat, and the sense of blessing would pop like a soap-bubble in almost no time.

But in recent years the importance of this external source of supply has lessened, as I have gradually (with many stumbles, and days of apparent "failure" even now) begun to learn to rely on the Lord for my daily Supply of the Spirit.

This is basically what I was talking about all along.

...There is another misunderstanding that maybe needs clearing up. As you said, "polluterd Holy Spirit" is an oxymoron. But that wasn't actually what I meant at all. Rather than adding to the parable of the ten virgins, I was using a parabolic illustration of my own.

Not being as good at parables as Jesus, maybe it wasn't clear enough!

As you said, the [i]Holy Spirit[/i] can't be polluted, but [i][u]we[/u][/i] can. For example, if we allow "self" to intrude, rather than walking in the Spirit, or if we receive another spirit that is [i]not[/i] the Holy Spirit.

The latter was Paul's concern I think, and has been my concern too, because the wilder manifestations seen in some of the movements you mentioned seem no different from the actions of someone manifesting a demon!

Love in Jesus


 2008/3/13 19:57


I would rather call them back into the box of sound doctrine where there is safety, security, growth, and an increasing knowledge of God's ways. Stepping out of the box in this regard is stepping into unsound doctrine and polluted waters.

I am not Charismatic, but I do have a Pentecostal background with a Pentecostal "experience". But that doesn't mean that my doctrine is bad or that I am outside the box. It simply means that along with sound doctrine we have embraced what the New Testament talks about being filled with the holy Spirit with the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit.

Paul manifested both the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit and he set forth to the Gentile churches the things that you and I embrace inside the box of sound doctrine.

I do understand what you are saying in regards to what Charismatics have embraced, but do we negate the power of God because certain men have crept in unawares have led many astray thru their "signs and wonders"?

I know your answer would be no.

As a general rule most of the Church should live a holy and quiet life before God and man. Then there are those whom God calls for a specific purpose where they have to step outside that box because even those that are in the box don't understand them.

Billy Graham wasn't always a meek and mild speaker as he is today. In his hayday, he was radical. Billy Sunday was another loud mouth. We have no idea what Moody was all about or even Charles Spurgen. But when the fire of God is in your bosom and you need to speak that message out, your not going to be like everyone else. But they are no different then you or I, whether we are in the box or out of the box, we are all one in Christ Jesus our LORD. Each are where they are at, as God has called them to be.

For me, I like to be both in the box and out of the box.

 2008/3/13 20:11

Joined: 2007/11/19
Posts: 159


Dorcas..your thoughtful inspired contributions minister to me greatly.

Compliments,I am blessed to have access to your thoughts.

It is good to get to know all of you folks,listening as carefully as I can to what you are saying.

David,A few thoughts,dear brother, on the ten virgins..all ten virgins may have turned off their lamps or turned them down very low..when they went to sleep while waiting...when in possession of a lamp like don't leave it burning brightly when you don't need to when you go to sleep. It wasn't till they heard the cry proclaiming the coming of the Bridegroom that they arose(got up) and trimmed their lamps..when you trim a is part of lamp maintenance(I used to collect old style oil lamps)to trim the wick before relighting the lamp..because if it is not even or adjusted properly,it will burn,unevenly, erratically..soiling the lamp cover so that it becomes blackened and will not allow the light of the burning flame to shine through clearly.It is also dangerous for the lamp to burn too hot to carry. Recently I heard the Spirit say..those who buy and sell the anointing will find that they will be the ones who will be sent to 'go buy from the merchants' the oil they are now lacking,missing the wedding through not being righteously prepared..just as those who were ready,having discerned, will simply go to meet Him when He comes..entering in.

This aforementioned going to certain types of conferences,now the popular craze, led by those(closely affiliated with) who advertise(their)'cutting edge' books and magazines that offer the impartation of this anointing(False)guaranteeing errand boy angels who deliver this anointing(false) to your home (Lord Have Mercy!)or charge or pay fees to register..mandatory fees to partake of the anointing(false)selling and buying their wares in the same building where they worship God, is similar but not exactly the same to what Littlegift was saying only to find the oil ran out very soon after..reminds me of those who support/promote this nonsense(unwise) vs. those who are filled with oil/anointed because of a continual life in Christ at His feet in personal surrender and devotion(wise) being filled with His Holy Spirit..anointed by the Anointed One..He is the anointing and this oil never runs out.

I am not..I not saying that all conferences are like this. Thank God for great conferences..woe to those who can't tell the difference.May we write their names upon our priesthood breastplates and intercede for these who have been snared in this fashion.

Peter and John who rebuked Simon the sorcerer who offered to pay them for this true gift..must be standing against them in outrage and shock at what these are doing today..offering the gift of God for a mandatory price! Such willful blindness!

Did I make that clear enough to understand? There is much to be said about having your wick trimmed.I have taken this warning to heart myself,and like to be reminded when I am not mindful of this type of maintenance.

G.M. (Destiny) Sweet

 2008/3/13 21:24Profile


Matthew 12:20

20A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

Praise God, those who are Born of the Spirit of the Life of Christ, have been sealed until the day of redemption.

Oh Dear Saints, Remember this promise and cling to it! He will never leave you or forsake you!


 2008/3/13 22:17

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Polemic Theology: How to Deal with Those Who Differ from Us

If we fail to raise ourselves up to effectively meet God in quiet time, we miss the mark for the entire day

Amen. And it shows, first hand experience and enough failure would think would make better inroads yet ...

From the link;

[i]Could I be Wrong?[/i]

The first thing that I should be prepared to learn is that I may be wrong and the other person may be right.


Is it I?

Liked this very much Diane and maybe it's impossible to include everything but some things that seemed overlooked. Some random thoughts;

Personal offendedness

[i]Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? [/i]

Yes indeed, why not?

The Lord, more than our example and we ... defend, not the faith as much as we might think or wish, but our stinking selves.

Our reputation will be better served if we show ourselves ready to be corrected when in error, rather than if we keep obstinately to our viewpoint when the evidence shows it to be wrong. I should welcome correction. It renders a signal service to me! I should respond, "I was mistaken in this; I am glad that you straightened me out; thank you for your help." People who are unwilling to acknowledge their mistakes, by contrast, may be called stubborn and lose their credibility.

"Our reputation" ... can be tricky. Sometimes the concern or perhaps the fixation with it is telling, so much so that what follows there and is excellent and for the life of me could but pray for an avalanche of forthcoming ... [i]welcoming[/i] correction and just sheer honesty with these ... 'reputable selves' of ours. Just the simple admittance of it, is this not ultimately at the very heart of revival, repentance/admittance/confession? But frankly, when it comes to reputation, who cares? That is lest we are going out of our way to be a nuisance and contentious. It definitely depends on the meaning we would pour into that word. In the truest sense of it all, isn't it far more often 'What am I know for? What do I give off to others? How am I perceived?' ... I,I,I, me, myself ... sigh. Interesting isn't it, if we say we are not boasting we in fact are. If we say it's not about 'me' it is. Otherwise, why bring it up? Now that I think about it, some of us need to ask ourselves these too introverted questions in reverse. What am I know for indeed! Is it me? Am I making matters worse, is it necessary to interject my less than 2 cents worth into ... you name it.

This may get me in some trouble but there did seem to be a bit of ... humanism ... woven through this and it may have been completely unintentional at that.

(1) What do I owe the person who differs from me?
(2) What can I learn from the person who differs from me?
(3) How can I cope with the person who differs from me?

The "I" and "Me". That emphasis. Not to be overly didactic about it (Too late, I would imagine).

To change it up a bit ...
What do we owe the Lord and what does He think of it all?
What can a worm learn from the Lords disposition?
How did the Lord 'cope' with it all?

Just a different perspective. Recalling now the line used by Philologos awhile back about [i]When your repentance is more notorious than your sin[/i]. Guess that is a reputation of sorts just as well.

'Respect' is another that ties in to our pride and fuels a great deal of controversy in debates which are a bit different than discussions. Respect and reputation, the self awareness trap. The Lord was ... ? Concerned? Preoccupied? Ever gave it a moments notice?

Another is [i]I don't care![/i] as almost some sort of spirit that overtakes and fuels the backdrop of whatever venom is forced out past the pearly gates or the finger tips as it is here. "What have I done wrong?" the motto and holding, it's defense and offense ...

Dying to self, seems we need a resurgence of this neglected topic.

And of course there is just the grand old;

[url=]"Loquacity"[/url] (Excessive Verbalism)

Which has likely been broached ...

Mike Balog

 2008/3/14 0:31Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777

 Re:Implimenting step one

Because the article is long and not necessarily an easy read, I thought I would draw out a few key points from each section beginning with the first:

What Do I Owe to the Person Who Differs From Me?

”Many people overlook the first two questions and jump right away to: "How can I cope with this? How can I bash this person right down into the ground in order to annihilate objections and differences?" Obviously, if we jump to the third question from the start, it is not likely that we will be successful in winning over dissenters.”

This first step should help prevent us from front-end loading our response with defeating verbiage such as confrontational “you” statements, personality "assessments", defensive posturing, etc. Such strategies merely derail the conversation and this robs everyone of potential benefit.

”We have obligations to people who differ from us.”
No doubt our calling is to edify, encourage, spur others on, etc. Maybe the real issue is not the one at hand. Regardless, our obligation is to:

”Submit to one another.” That could include this idea: Do not assert yourself over another human being. Maybe God wants to teach us something from them! (maybe something about ourselves)

”…we must attempt to understand what a person means.”
As Nicole points out, we can’t always interpret words at face value.

I believe that the following questions are ideal for cyber-forum posters because they remind us that there are real human beings behind the posts.

“…we owe to people who differ from us to seek to understand their aims.”
What is it that they are looking for?
What is it that makes them tick?
What is it that they are recoiling against?
What are the experiences, perhaps tragic experiences, that have steeled them into a particular stance?

What are the things that they fear and the things that they yearn for?
Is there not something that I fear as well or yearn for in the same way?
Is there not a possibility here to find a point of contact at the very start rather than to move on with an entirely defensive or hostile mood?

Then my aim is to represent the [THEIR] view faithfully and fully without mingling the criticism with factual statements. In fact, I try to represent them so faithfully and fully that an adherent to that position might comment, "This man certainly does understand our view!" It would be a special boon if one could say, "I never heard it stated better!" Thus I have earned the right to criticize. But before I proceed to do this, it is only proper that I should have demonstrated that I have a correct understanding of the position I desire to contest.”

I covet this skill. Anybody else? Maybe one way to develop it is to take special note of the writings (and posts) of those who do possess it, and learn from their manner of communication – see how closely they comply with the content of the article “Polemic Theology…” .

Were there other points in section one that any of you found helpful?



 2008/3/14 7:16Profile

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