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crsschk
Member



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

 Re: Discerning the discernment

Well said MC;

Quote:
This silly example is akin to some of the unhelpful damage that can happen when people are intent on editing a man's entire life down into a few of his worst snap shots.



Quote:
It is not a matter of "proving error", it is a matter of seeking to know the truth and who teaches it. I want to know about a author before I read his writings. This is wise. It makes a vast difference to me when a reading a book if I KNOW, by the authors own words, the he believes in evolution, he believes "Christianity is the fulfillment of paganism", he believes some of the Psalms to be "devilish" "petty" "vulgar" "diabolical" "terrible" "contemptible" and "hard to endure", he cussed, told lewd jokes, committed adultery (and never repented), frequently got drunk, never had a conversion experience, denied Christ is the only way to heaven, believed people of all religions go to heaven, denied a literal hell, and had an ungodly fascination with the occult and pagan mythology.

Now tell me, would you endorse such a man?
Would you not be leery of reading anything written by such a man?

For those who don't know, I was referring to C. S. Lewis.

Nile



Nile have some empathy towards your considerations as it was the discernment out of everyone from John MacArthur to the Bible Answer Man that began challenging me in the days of dwelling in WOF constructs and those of that ilk.

Being some years now removed and here, in it's stead having such a grand buffet to feed from there is enough caution to warrant a disclaimer on discerning the discernment ministries themselves. Not knowing your particulars can only throw out for consideration those that we have seen here and where of my own coming out from underneath one extreme and going to another; That which Zac Poonen characterized as "pendulumitis". It is too easy to be caught up in out takes that "prove" things by way some of these discernment ministries characterize things.
Quote:
I want to know about a author before I read his writings. This is wise.


Would challenge that. What you have stated about C.S. Lewis is suspect because it sounds as if you are taking someone else's word for it rather than finding out for yourself [i]if these things be so[/i]

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

What is problematic is the level of 'proof texting' that can go on to deride and dissuade and what is sadly back of a lot of it is not a concern for better understanding but of a bent to tear down and destroy not false doctrine as much as just pure character assassination. There is often venom and vociferating that casts a pall over true concern and ought to raise it's own red flags of what the real motivation is, if it is feeding pride or is there a sense of grief, a want of reconciliation or a high mindedness that elevates rather than invigorates.

What does happen far too often is to plant poisonous thoughts into the mind before any real investigation. One is already launching out with a predisposition that looks for fodder to feed on and prove out and makes other considerations so contrary as to dismiss wholesale and a fight to defend a position. Often a trinket or two is thrown out to give a sense of 'balance' but what it boils down to is just a pragmatism that is not being completely honest of what is known and that which is speculative.

Why say all this? Because it's a trap if we are not more careful and discerning of taking things by fraction or snap shot as MC pointed out. I have been bowled over by some of the very men that due to some raising such alarms over them had me at arms length because of others associations with them. For instance a Smith Wigglesworth who is often attributed to much of a WOF or prosperity construct, I bought what was stated by the 'discerning' and kept him at arms length until someone else brought forth a challenge by way of excerpts that made for a pause and another look. Take A.W. Tozer and see the peculiars of practically every abomination\denomination under the sun laying claim to his expression. In some places it can be just down right befuddling to hear the nastiness behind the discernment and still hold up the virtue of Tozers exegesis, the wonder is "Have they really read this mans thoughts?"

It is just not that simple and the saints are not that simple either. Some things are along the line of progression and to excerpt parts and make them whole is dishonest and disheartening. To wrestle with what is being taught and to challenge a 'teaching' against the backdrop of scripture is what ought to be done. To discern character and integrity, motivation and heart status is not completely impossible nor without merit, it just requires even more and better discernment, often it is to leave it well enough alone, in the realm of perhaps, in abeyance.

Here is an old excerpt to dwell on;

[i] I was studying Finney's Memoirs recently and read that, when he was young, he had great disagreement and struggle with his theology teacher (an old-school Presbyterian.) Writing his recollections down very late in life, he recalled instance after instance of all of the man's personal shortcomings . . . he railed against his theology, training, methods, and even his "calling."

Likewise, Mr. Gale was embarrassed by Finney. After seeing his pupil's first sermon delivery, He said, "I shall be very shamed to have it known that you studied theology with me."

So it was against page after page of this that Finney quickly added in something that shocked me. "Let not the reader from anything I have said suppose that I did not love Mr. Gale, and highly respect him. I did both." What???

He said it, but it just seems so incongruous with all that he had told us before. I was then left to wonder, in what way did Finney "love" Mr. Gale (and highly respect him?)[/i]


[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=11723&forum=35]Balancing Truth and Love[/url]


_________________
Mike Balog

 2007/5/6 12:53Profile
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re:

First off, let me apologize for my last post. I did not write it by the Spirit nor out of love.

Compton wrote:

Quote:
Much of what I said is in the interest of 'checks and balances.' For instance I have developed some severe misgivings about Dietric Bonhoeffer...enough that I would rather see him not extolled in any church I am attending... but I feel we go too far in calling him a rank athiest. That is just one example of going too far...the one website Ian linked to shows the problem with developing a habit or even a full-time "ministry" of critiquing others by name. Everyone from Finney to Spurgeon is on the criminal list.



Yes, I totally agree. There is no need to vilify or wrongly degrade men with doctrinal problems. We should be aware of their problems, inform others of these problems when necessary, and leave it at that. Also, it is fine to use writings from men who are wrong/differ in non-central issues, but as we can all agree, there comes a point when a man has so much wrong doctrine that it is no longer wise to use such a man's writings. Such I believe is Lewis, although many obviously disagree.

Thank you for your all comments brother!

crsschk wrote:
Quote:
Would challenge that. What you have stated about C.S. Lewis is suspect because it sounds as if you are taking someone else's word for it rather than finding out for yourself if these things be so



When in quotes, I was quoting Lewis's own words actually. When not in quotes, I was describing what I have gathered from reading his writings and reading about him or I was relating what I assumed to be uncontested common knowledge. If anyone believes (with good reason) that any claim I have made is wrong, I welcome the correction.

Quote:
What is problematic is the level of 'proof texting' that can go on to deride and dissuade and what is sadly back of a lot of it is not a concern for better understanding but of a bent to tear down and destroy not false doctrine as much as just pure character assassination. There is often venom and vociferating that casts a pall over true concern and ought to raise it's own red flags of what the real motivation is, if it is feeding pride or is there a sense of grief, a want of reconciliation or a high mindedness that elevates rather than invigorates.



Yes, I agree! But I do not think this site does that. The articles I have read are very sober-minded, that is why I posted it.

Quote:
It is just not that simple and the saints are not that simple either.



No, it is not always a simple thing - but sometimes it is.

Quote:
Some things are along the line of progression and to excerpt parts and make them whole is dishonest and disheartening. To wrestle with what is being taught and to challenge a 'teaching' against the backdrop of scripture is what ought to be done. To discern character and integrity, motivation and heart status is not completely impossible nor without merit, it just requires even more and better discernment, often it is to leave it well enough alone, in the realm of perhaps, in abeyance.



You are right, many people do these things, and we must be very careful when read critiques of people.

Well, I have to go eat! Thanks to both of your for your thoughtful comments!

May He live through us,
Nile


_________________
Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/5/6 13:35Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Gentlemen,

Putting the present topic of dicernment ministries aside, I wanted to take a second here to say how blessed I am to have discussions with spiritual men. (The entire thread.)

Realizing we are all sharing perspectives of personal importance and meaning to our walks with God, it is understandable that we can become passionate with one another. In fact 'passion' is a virtue that has been extolled in recent times even by the church...we are told to have a 'passion for God' and our worship is expressed as 'holy passion'.

Yet lately I am finding this modern 'passion' is really an undisciplined imitation of the fruit of the Spirit. Far better then our energies of mere sincerity, is the character of Christ that does not provoke another with personal convictions, but edifies others through having no commitment except to know God's heart. Accordingly, the character of a spiritual man is singular, though 9-fold: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

What a blessing it is to share in this New Man with you gentlemen, as we overlook offenses in the course of discussions. How helpful it is to be ruled more by patience then with passion.

Blessings all,

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2007/5/7 8:57Profile





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