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How is it that we do not at all share a conception of "God" or "Creator" with Muslims, Sikhs, and Buddhists, but we jointly sign a document with such believers as if we are speaking of the same thing.  How is that not bearing false witness?  Is that not also a blaspheming of our Creator and God to lend credibility to these foreign and false conceptions of God?

Hello Darren.  Thanks for interacting.  As to your response to Keith, I'm not sure what the statement that you signed has to do with the "fight for a legitimate opportunity for the freedom of religion in our country".  Perhaps I'm not understanding well what you were trying to communicate.  I share Keith's lack of admiration over the milquetoast nature of the statement and his concern over the misleading nature of Christian hope being at all tied to fickle human institutions and relationships.

I'm not sure how I have at all attempted to deny any of God's truth, so your citiations of affirmation that "all truth is God's truth" seem to me to miss the mark.  A hypothetical for you, somewhat crass: Do I rightly join pornographers in joint statements about the beauty of women because all truth is God's truth and women are indeed beautiful?  My concern lies in that the joint statement actually does not tell the truth.  Several lies are embedded in a joint statement like this.  First and foremost is the lie that Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, and Christians share a conception of God and Creator.  We absolutely do not, and I fail to find any biblical support for propping up a lie and promoting the illegitimate conceptions of God that false religions promote.  Did God indeed reveal himself as a jealous God?  Were God's OT people right to make common cause in prayer with the surrounding nations and their gods?  What commonality was their between God and Baal or Molech?  Would the Isrealites rightly have joined in calls to prayer to Baal or Molech? ("We earnestly pray..." "...let us pray...")  The document calls for everyone to trust "in the loving and ever merciful God".  Do Christians believe the God of Islam to be a loving and ever merciful God?  So meaningless is the document that even Buddhists signed it while not even believing in a Creator God.  No, I don't believe the document affirms truth at all, but rather affirms false religion and paints a false equivalence between the God of the Bible and false gods.

Please remove all references to and promotion of Break the Cycle,, and Love is Respect from this article.  These linked organizations/sites do not promote God-honoring views of sexuality.  

One short example that should be clear enough:  From a Break the Cycle article entitled "Real Stories: Having a Healthy Hookup":

"So whether it’s because of our hectic schedules from school and work, or because we are trying to find out what we want and don't want in a partner, hookups make a pretty popular choice for people our age. Sometimes we just want to have good, safe fun without the pressure and responsibility of a serious long-term relationship..and guess what? That is fine, normal, and when done the right way, HEALTHY."

Hello Bonnie,

I disagree.  The church has no business recommending organizations that hold a fundamentally wicked understanding of human sexuality to guide us in understanding human relationships.  It's not enough to simply hope that people (especially young people) will exercise discretion.  We have no common ground with these organizations in understanding human relationships because they understand human origin and purpose in a fundamentally different way than we do and they have no conception of human relationship with God.  

As for resources, I offer this to start from 2 Timothy 3:16-17: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."  What vexing teen dating/relationship questions are we better prepared to answer by using the resources you listed than by turning to God's Word?

Certainly you must agree that there must be boundaries, Dan.  We are members of the body of Christ, after all.  If we can't agree that church agencies, staff, ministries, websites, etc. should not be sending church members (adults and teens) seeking advice on teen relationships to secular websites that openly promote many forms of sexual immorality and base their entire ethic of sex on consent and autonomy, then we have little agreement on what it means to be the body of Christ, set apart to be holy.  The idea of sharing ideas and resources and discussion is not somehow outside the bounds of basic biblical morality.  "We're just discussing" is a cop-out.

Dan, you are introducing some novel concepts here.  Banned?  Who said anything about banning anyone?  Your stretch shows the weakness of your argument.  No, this situation is not akin to a simple conversation between church members in the lobby where a disagreement arises.  What we have here is a church agency and employees (with the denominational imprimatur) recommending a resource for teen relationships that builds its understanding of relationships on principles of wickedness.  Your past history with having posts or comments removed is coloring your judgment here and placing you on the side of defending promotion of wickedness by the church.  The idea that censorship is universally a bad thing is a worldly and individualistic concept, not a biblical one.  I am very supportive of the free and open exchange of ideas and arguments, but the thought that this exchange of ideas should rightly include church promotion of worldly concepts at odds with scripture is foreign to the witness of the church throughout history.  

Hello Jane.  Please call me Eric, if you’d be willing – no need for the formality :).  Thank you for engaging.  I’m going to begin my response at the tail end of your comment with a theme that comes out in several of your comments: fear.  You err in assuming that I am motivated by fear.  My motivation is not that of fear, but of obedience to God and application of wisdom.  I am under no illusion that covenant children and adults are not inundated with any and all forms of unrighteousness in the world that they must sort through, so no, the church cannot “shield” people from such exposure, per se.  But that is beyond the point of my concern.  The church must the place where we counter those prevailing wicked ideologies, and promoting wicked websites as a resource does not accomplish that. 


You list a number of searching and heartfelt questions that a victim of abuse may have.  To be sure, I realize and expect that abuse victims can have many of these questions and more.  But the sites/references in question do nothing to answer those questions.  A pastoral approach must be employed, and the references promoted here have nothing to offer by way of godly counsel.  Absolutely nothing.  That is why I oppose them vigorously.   

Hello Jane.  Again, thanks for engaging.  A few notes of response:

1.  If you note carefully, Dan asked “Should that church member be banned?”  Note Dan’s formulation.  He was not speaking about ideas, etc., but people.  That is indeed a novel concept in this conversation.  I have no problem with the idea of banning immorality from Christian sites.  But no one had even hinted at banning a person until Dan introduced the idea. 

2.  As to your confusion about my concern, I’m confused about your confusion.  Safe Church in this instance does not just recommend statistics and lists, but whole websites and organizations.  They even recommend staff from these organizations for counseling: “Love is Respect is a phone call or text away. Please reach out to them.”  They suggest following these organizations on Instagram.  They recommend other resources, including curriculum: “In addition to knowing what signs to look for, is an agency that offers a great deal of resources to further this conversation. They offer curriculum for middle schools and high schools.”  You are mistaken if you believe that Safe Church has simply pointed to a few neutral resources.  Additionally, there is not one hint of reservation expressed about any work or content of these organizations.

3.  As to my reference to Dan’s history, rest assured that I know Dan well enough to make that reference, and he would expect nothing less from me than to be challenged.  He may disagree with me, but he won’t be offended. 

4.  Am I to understand that the CRC has a Director of Safe Church ministry that is ill-equipped to provide lists of what abusive (read: unloving) relationships looks like or what signs to look for?  Does scripture have nothing to say about these things?  Most of the information that is pointed on these sites is actually banal.  We need a secular website to tell our kids that someone stealing their money is wrong?  We need a secular website to tell our kids that hitting a date is wrong?  We need a secular website to tell our kids that forcing sexual activity is wrong?  And here’s the killer aspect: the whole sexual ethic of these sites is built around the ethics of autonomy and consent.  These are not the building blocks of a Christian understanding of sexual and relationship ethics.  The root of the tree is rotten and so will be the fruit.  Our kids are not to be taught that they own their bodies (contra H.C. Q&A 1).  Our kids are not to be taught that consent is the ruling factor guarding sexual contact and activity.  The reality is that these websites are drenched in that rotten ideology from top to bottom. 



Well said, Doug.  One need look no further than the application of justice or mercy to oneself to understand that the two terms are not interchangeable.  Justice for me would be eternal damnation.  Mercy for me is being pardoned. 

In Psalm 51, David pleads for God's mercy, distinct from his justice, since God's justice has just been announced to him.  Likewise, the tax collector in Luke 18:13 says "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"  The tax collector also rightly does not plead for God's justice for himself.

In II Samuel 12 David pleads for God not to carry out the justice that he had decreed.  God had said through the prophet that because of David's sin, "the child who is born to you shall die."  Yet David is said to have fasted and "sought God on behalf of the child."  God decreed justice.  David pleaded for mercy.  The two cannot be the same. 

Besides the dangers of liberation theology and the associated political ramifications, rolling mercy into justice runs the real risk of making mercy something that I am due or owed. Theologically speaking, this leads to a whole host of wrong understandings of our standing before and relationship with God.


"Why the classification of white people and people of color dehumanizes us all"

What happens when it is the institutional church that continues to classify people based on skin color?   The solution to malevolent classification based on skin color is not benevolent classification based on skin color.   The church must model a better way forward than the world, and that better way forward is not to proliferate the same unbiblical classifications/separations only with good intentions.  Physician, heal thyself.

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