Church Attendance: What Makes a Good Church Member?

Until he retired in 2002, my dad was a railroad man.  As I was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, he worked in the city 90 miles from where we lived, driving back and forth every night.  His weekends were unusual—typically Tuesday and Wednesday—and he worked nights.  This was hardly a 40-hour-a-week job as it was often fraught with late trains and mechanical problems requiring overtime.  When he was at home he slept about four hours a day, and spent a good chunk of the rest of his time building various carpentry products to supplement his income.

For most of my childhood, dad didn’t go to church on Sunday mornings, mainly because he got home around the time the service started and needed sleep.  He did, however, almost always make it to Sunday nights and Wednesday nights and the rest of the family was there with him.  Church mattered.

I hear people talk about being too busy, they just can’t make it every Sunday.  They show once a month, maybe twice a month.  When I meet these people I’m left to roll my eyes (after all, the bar for me was set pretty high).  It’s not like we have that one service only and if you can’t make it at that time then you’re just out of luck.  People make time for the things that matter to them.  Even busy people can and do find time for church if it matters.

And if we call ourselves followers of Jesus, church should matter.  It is, after all, Jesus’ body.  Can we be devoted to and love him if we aren’t devoted to and love his body?  I think not.

With this, in Hebrews 10 the author looks to the things that the blood of Jesus has bought for us—confidence to enter the holy place (as a now holy people), full assurance to draw near to God, and a sure confession of hope that comes from the One who is faithful to his promises.  And then he says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (10:24-26, ESV).

Obviously in the early church they had the same problem we see today: some are in the habit of not meeting together.  And what are they missing, aside from a place in corporate worship?  They’re missing the opportunity to be challenged to live the faith—to live out love and good works, and they’re missing the opportunity to challenge others to the same.  They’re also missing the encouragement that we all need to remain faithful and to flee from sin (Hebrews 3:13), as love on the earth grows cold and we race towards the end (Matthew 24).  They’re missing the opportunity to serve and be served, and isn’t that what being the body is all about?—building each other up for the glory of Jesus (Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 12).

At one of the churches I’ve worked in, to be a member in good standing (i.e. to be able to vote at business meetings, after all that’s what being a member in good standing is all about—right?) all you have to do is write to the church twice in a year…not even show up, just write.  And we wonder why people aren’t more faithful and don’t take it seriously!

So what makes being a good member?

One lady answered: they should at least show up twice a month.  I think that’s being very, very generous, and still misses the point of church.  But here we do run into a little bit of subjectivity and can’t get too legalistic (you have to be there every time the door is open!)…

I define a good member as being one who is at least at one corporate service a week, involved in at least one small group a week, and actively ministering to/serving others in some form; unless certain mitigating circumstances apply—obviously bad health might keep a person home-bound or in a nursing home; or military service might take them away from home, family, and church for a time (heck, I’ll even grant the occasional vacation as a grounds for missing a week or two, but doesn’t it seem like some people have a lake vacation every other weekend?)

So what say you—since church attendance mattes what makes a good member?

Comments

  1. says

    You don’t want my opinion, probably.

    We’re baptized into the body for that which “every joint supplies”. We’re there for a purpose, and Sunday morning is the focal time set aside each week to worship and praise and have the word applied to our lives. When anyone “skips church” on Sunday morning for any self-serving reason .. other than illness .. they take themselves out of the “good member” category, and put them into a class with others who show up when it pleases them to do so.

    Now I suggest that MUST be where you’re a member, if you have reason to be elsewhere. I taught an 8-week course across town a couple years ago on Sunday nights, so wasn’t at FBC. And I’ll occasionally visit (though not in the past couple years) other churches just to see how things are done there, and to worship with some new folks.

    That’s my take anyway, and if it borders on curmudgeonliness, well, I’ve worked long and hard at becoming one.

  2. John says

    Many churches don’t have small groups, so I think your “involved in at least one small group a week” rule is impossible for many believers to implement.

    • says

      I’d say most SBC churches have Sunday School, which is, technically and in my use of the phrase, a small group.

      But yeah, if a church doesn’t have it then it’s kinda hard to show up to it…

  3. Lynn Gray says

    Membership seems not to matter much today. In my own church most of our members skip every service. Many of our members never attend at all during the year and have avoided services at this rate for years and years. Very hard to encourage, fellowship with, pray for, etc. a brother or sister you never see or might not know at all.

    I recall talking to one member who had avoided almost all of our services for several years and she said she could not attend because her child played sports at a serious level and much travel was required. I dont understand her type of parenting or her type of faith.

    Lynn Gray
    Shawnee, OK

  4. says

    This is a two fold issue for me. In direct answer to your question, ‘What makes a good church member?’ The simple answer is, a good follower of the Lord Jesus. For the church is the body of Christ and any part of that body that does not serve its purpose effects the whole body. The sins of unbelief, unfaithfulness, lukewarmness are sins that affect the whole. The Spirit is quenched, greived and resisted by excuses and disobedience. The issue of work, sickness, and other things that come up to keep us out of church should be examined. I used to work night shift on Sat. and then drive 80 miles Sunday morning and preach; sleep in the afternoon, preach in the evening; drive back work Sunday night and go to classes on Monday morning. so when someone says that they have to sleep, I just say, ‘You do what you want to do.’ That’s not for all, I know, some need to or have to sleep. but the second issue that I think indirectly comes up with this, if they are not a good follower of Christ then what. This is raised by the comments about church memebers only coming a percentage of the year or week. This is how church discipline has failed. And I know to discipline someone today over unfaithful church attendance, is to stir a hornets nest. But how much more shall they answer before the Lord on that day for their sin. This is the reason for a True Revival is neededin the church that brings us back to a pure desire for God’s people and sinners to come into the church, because God is drawing them. But if the church does not have prevailing prayer, traditions and religion are at the forefront and the ways of Christ New Testament church is regulated by the affairs of men’s hearts. The ways of holiness is cheapened to offend God.

    Until,
    dan biser
    http://dbiser.blogspot.com

  5. says

    I started commenting on this, but when I was done I realized my thoughts were insanely long to be left as a comment. So I cut the post over to my blog instead. But this sums up my thoughts: “I’m not saying we shouldn’t care about church attendance, but that we often care too much about it, and that it should be seen as one of many heart indicators.”

    • Dave Miller says

      Perhaps someone can be a “good Christian” without church attendance (not sure of that). But the question is what makes a good church member. While attendance is not primary, it certainly seems to be a factor – an important one.

  6. Bill Mac says

    The regular assembly of the church is a command, but all too often we substitute the spirit of that command with the letter. I think, after the initial birth pains of the church subsided, that the early church met once a week for worship, edification, and the Lord’s supper.

    Now all too often, our level of dedication is measured against being in church “every time the doors are open.” I’m not opposed to Sunday evening and mid-week services, but I am opposed to making them any kind of a measure (usually unwritten) of the quality of one’s Christian walk. I find myself in church 4 times a week, when I would really prefer twice a week.

    I think it is important to realize that it is most often the “good” Christians who burn out.

  7. Jay Turner says

    Good question!

    Your implication is that I cannot love Jesus and be a good Christian without being a good church member and 1.) attending one corporate meeting per week and, 2.) being involved in at least one small group study per week and 3.) actively involved in some form of ministry, 4.) with two weeks vacation absence per year. Is that at minimum? I find that to be extremely legalistic, and discouraging.

    It is discouraging in that if I can’t be a “good” member, and I cannot according to your standards, then why should I be a member at your church at all? What would I have to do to be a “great member”?

    You would probably disagree, but I think there are two separate issues which you have mingled: being a good Christian and being a good church member. Good church members are not always good Christians.

    It sounds to me as if you are looking for a professional church member, much like our professional pastors, who do not have to work for a living in the real world, or do not have many other obligations.

    • Dave Miller says

      I think, Jay, that you mingled those two things, not Mike. Mike asked what made a good church member. He did not ask what made a good Christian. You confused the two.

      The subject is what is a good church member. You don’t have to agree with Mike, but you should at least try to understand what he wrote before you speak against his views.

    • cb scott says

      Most stupid comment of the week thus far is:

      “It sounds to me as if you are looking for a professional church member, much like our professional pastors, who do not have to work for a living in the real world, or do not have many other obligations.”

      Why is it the most stupid comment of the week thus far?

      Because:

      “Real” pastors live in the “real” world. “Real” pastors have more “real” “other obligations” than most “real” world people who are not “real” pastors.

      This concept that local church pastors do not live in the “real world” is asinine.

      Any person who seriously takes the calling to shepherd a group of Christians with all of their inherent needs, problems, sinful natures, hopes and dreams lives in the real world and is either physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually at work or is on call to be such 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year in the “real” world.

        • says

          You didn’t so much hit a nerve as a bad foul ball.

          Just because a lot of us thought your comment was way off base doesn’t mean you hit a nerve. It means we thought your comment was really out of line.

      • Jay Turner says

        cb scott is right, it is stupid. You missed the point, my fault for being facetious, sorry. Attendance should not be the criteria for judging a good member. Mike said “I’ll even grant the occasional vacation as a grounds for missing a week or two”, How generous! (I suppose that the pastor should be “granted” a week or two as well.) Asinine? Sure it is.

        As a member of my local church, I represent that body to the community 24/7. I am also “on call” 24/7 at the local hospital. My attendance at church on Sunday or any day, does not determine my “goodness” as a church member. Perhaps I should say, “I hope not.” because according to to most of you, I am a total failure. If you grant me an excused absense, then why not the other guy. As Mike says later, it can get subjective.

        It is good that Mike brought this up As, for me,I would hope that my fellow members judge me with understanding and love.

        • cb scott says

          Jay Turner,

          Tell me how working in a hospital is a “real” world experience beyond and pastoral ministry is not.

          • cb scott says

            BTW Jay,

            You didn’t hit a nerve in the manner of which you boast.

            What you actually did was to pridefully enter this comment thread trying to flex the muscles of a pseudo-intellect and got called for it by some just plain ole, ordinary guys who recognize the absence of “reality” (“real” world savvy) when they see it.

            Then you tried to mask your foolishness by calling it “being facetious.”

            The bottom line is that you made a stupid comment and your pridefulness is pushing you to avoid a “real” Cowboy-Up apology for it.

          • Jay Turner says

            cb, With the regulations or standards some seem to want to police, it would seem to require a “professional” laity to achieve those standards. My allusion was to having to pay someone to attend. I was, as I admitted, wrongly facetious. And it wasn’t funny. Sorry I was not constructive. I will work on that.

            But to judge the quality of a member based by focusing on attendance conjurs up visions of attendance police to keep up with the actual numbers. Sounds like the JW’s

            cb, are you a pastor or something? Did I step on your toes? If I have offended you, pastor, or hurt you, by my remarks in any way, I humbly ask you to forgive me. If my being here is offensive to you, council me. In the future. I will try to avoid posting remarks classified as such. And I certainly did not intend to demean the work that most pastors do, neither do I want to be demeaned by failing some nebulus attendance standard.

            Certainly, every church can set whatever standards regarding attendance, tithing and regulating other behaviors they want.

          • cb scott says

            Jay Turner,

            First: I am a pastor.

            Second: You did not offend me. I deal with people like you every day. Its my “real” world job. If I am going to be offended by people like you, I need to get a job in the often “unreal” world such as working in a hospital.
            (That was just a little cb raggin’ on you there Jay. “Real” world guys rag on each other.)
            What I said to you is no different than what I am sure I will say to someone today.

            Third: You were forgiven before I called your hand. Otherwise, I am a hypocrite for calling your hand at all. You made a stupid statement. I called your hand. It is that simple. You needed to be called. I did it. So did Dave and SSBN. That is just one of the things “real” world, working pastors do if they are worth their salt.

            Fourth: Churches do not set the “standards” for committed Christians. If a church begins to do that, then that church is edging toward legalism and should be reconsiding their actions in the light of Scripture rather than the rudiments of man.

            The standards for committed Followers of Christ were set by Christ. The Holy Spirit inspired men of old to record those standards in the Scripture. It is my opinion that Mike Bergman was only directing us to a gut check as to whether or not we are seeking to be committed Christians or if we are seeking our own comfort zone.

            Jay, as Believers we have been called to take up the cross and follow Jesus. The way of the cross is the way of death.

            The way of death for the Believer is to die to self and live sacrificially unto Christ. The American Church is weak today because for some strange reason (the reason is low-down, sorry, panty-waisted pastors) Christians have been taught that following Christ is the way to “Happiness” above all things.

            Nothing could be farther from the truth. To follow Christ is the way of death. The cross meant death. In America, we have made the cross “jewelry” to wear as compliments to our clothing. We have lost the meaning of the cross in our culture.

            That’s where I am coming from in my rebuke of you Jay. I will be glad to come back later and talk about this some more, but right now, I must leave.

            For on this early morning, I have to go meet a man who got himself into some “real” world trouble before he goes to his “real” world job and hopefully, by God’s grace, I can help him to see the only “real” world solution to his trouble, which is to; “take up the cross, deny himself and follow Jesus.

    • says

      Good church members are not always good Christians.

      Amen! I’ve known people who hardly miss a service, but don’t know much about Jesus and don’t do much (if anything) for Jesus during the rest of the week.

      But let’s turn this around: can a person truly be a committed Christian and not committed to a church? The whole “I love Jesus but not the church!” thing?

      It goes back to one of the questions I asked in the opener: can you love Jesus but not love his body, not love the very thing he promised to build?

      Oh–and everybody has obligations and lives in the “real world”…we’re all busy, a lot of us are too busy. But we also all make time for things that matter. Why shouldn’t church be a priority?

  8. bill says

    Wow.

    I just came off missing the last seven weeks due to illnesses with my children because I refuse to put sick children in childcare.

    Guess I’m just a sorry Christian for looking to the well being of not only my children, but the other children in childcare as well.

    Then again, I think it’s sorry for people to drag their sick children to church which invariably causes the other children to get sick during the week. This puts the parents of the previously well children struggling to either find replacements for work, using sick days/vacation to care for the children, or losing out on money and/or work. To me, that’s worse than not going to church in the first place.

    • bill says

      Scratch Christian and insert church member…

      Sorry, didn’t realize my mistake until after I clicked send.

      oops…

    • Dave Miller says

      No one, certainly not Mike, would say that someone who has sick children is violating any kind of membership commitment.

      C’mon guys. Read what Mike wrote and deal with that.

    • says

      To quote me:

      “unless certain mitigating circumstances apply” and “we do run into a little bit of subjectivity and can’t get too legalistic”…

      My rule of thumb for this isn’t a check-list; in general I’d define mitigating circumstances as “you really want to be there but can’t.”

      If you have sick kids and take church/community seriously–by all means, stay home and take care of those kids and thank you for not getting others sick… but you’ve probably also let other people know that’s why you’re gone, and then the church is there to pray for you and your kids, check on you, and see if you need any help in the situation. That’s part of what churches are for (or should be for)…

      But my sympathy is missing for those who are missing seven weeks not b/c little Johnny is sick, but b/c his traveling baseball team practices and plays on Sundays. Priorities there are a lot messed up!

      That’s what I’m trying to get at the most with this post: what are our priorities when it comes to church?

    • SSBN says

      “”I did miss my 4th Sunday in about 30 years because I had a major heart attack. You can bet I enjoyed being with the church family the following Sunday, even though it was a bit of a struggle.

      I give Bill the award for “most likely to miss the point.” The point has been made clear: good Christians WANT to be in church unless they absolutely cannot attend. I don’t know whether Bill was bragging or complaining, but the issue is: how many people miss church for reasons they would never miss work — and more importantly, never miss being in church.

  9. Dave Miller says

    Let’s discuss the post, folks. Mike is trying to define what makes someone a good church member.

    Disagree with what he says – that’s the essence of blogs. But stop reading nonsense into what he says. Stop looking for offense where none exists.

  10. Mike Woodward says

    It’s actually a pretty simple formula. If you define Christianity as solely a private individualistic relationship, then the only service a church provides is as a vendor of religious goods. Using my own preaching as a sample, I can agree that there are much better vendors available than what is found at my church. Watch Stanley or Driscoll and enjoy the lake.

    However, if you understand that churches are in reality communities that display the wonder of the gospel through preaching, teaching, praying for one another, sharing burdens, just plain living life together (Acts 2)…then why are you at the lake?

    If you want community when your child is in emergency surgery, why do you neglect it when the sun is shining and soccer season is in session?

    I don’t think there are any specific number of services that you attend that define you as a good gospel community member, but it is obvious when you are not.

    • says

      Bingo! I think you say it well here:

      However, if you understand that churches are in reality communities that display the wonder of the gospel through preaching, teaching, praying for one another, sharing burdens, just plain living life together (Acts 2)…then why are you at the lake?

      Community is what it’s all about…and when you think of that community in terms of biblical metaphor we are presented with the body and the temple and we are each individual members or bricks of it…

      If a body part goes in active you see a doctor; if a brick falls off the building you bring in a carpenter… b/c something ain’t right.

      So why don’t we think it odd when a church member is only there half time! Seems like it needs a fix…

      • cb scott says

        I agree with Dave. The subject of the post seems to be in reference to being part of a local fellowship.

        It is my opinion that the Book of Ephesians is about the Church and its importance to the intentions of Holy God in His redemptive work toward fallen humanity through the Blood Atonement of Christ.

        Local NT churches are manifestations of the Church of which Christ died for, established, and is currently building and will return to claim and present to Himself without spot or blemish.

        Therefore, it is incumbent upon Follower of Christ to enter into fellowship with Christ in the edifying and enlarging of the Church. In the NT this was done in local manifestations of the Church such as the one at Corinth, those in both North and South Galatia, those in and around Ephesus, Sardis, etc, etc.

        If we follow a NT pattern, fellowship in and with a local manifestation of the Church should be important to us. It should also be important to us to minister in and through a local manifestation of the Church.

      • SSBN says

        I’d be interested in knowing how one “attends” the universal church (that is only mentioned twice in the N.T.).

  11. cb scott says

    Mike and Dave,

    I don’t know if there is such a thing as a “good” Church member or a “good” Christian, for that matter.

    But I do believe that a “committed” Follower of Christ will, by the very nature of his/her commitment to Christ who died for the Church, be an active co-laborer in a local church, making the sacrifices necessary as an individual Believer and as part of the Fellowship as a whole to fulfill the Great Commission in order to advance the Kingdom for the glory of God.

      • cb scott says

        None the less,

        I think your post is a valid post and worthy of individual reflection before the Christ who gave Himself for the Church as to what we are doing to fulfill our roles, using our gifts to build up the Body, honoring His mandate of the Great Commission.

    • SSBN says

      CB, just want to “amen” your observation. How can one say they “love Christ” but do not love what He loved — the church.

      My theology analyzes the situation thusly: “If it walks like a duck and skawks like a duck, don’t call it a chicken.”

  12. says

    What makes a good church member?

    – Worship:
    (Romans 12:1 ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

    (Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV) Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, (29) for our God is a consuming fire.

    – Serving the body with the gifts they have been given:
    (Romans 12:4-8 ESV) For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, (5) so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (6) Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; (7) if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; (8) the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

    (Galatians 5:13-14 ESV) For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (14) For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    – Fellowship:
    (Acts 2:41-47 ESV) So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (42) And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (43) And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. (44) And all who believed were together and had all things in common. (45) And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. (46) And day by day, attending
    the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, (47) praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    That’s a short list, but it seems that many people have a box checking mentality when it comes to church. I hate to say it, but it smacks of the warnign in Hebrews 10:25:

    (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV) (24) And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, (25) not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

    When I see a person who is content with attending church only sometimes, I see a problem. It could be the church, it could be the person, but it’s a problem no matter how you slice it.

  13. cb scott says

    “When I see a person who is content with attending church only sometimes, I see a problem. It could be the church, it could be the person, but it’s a problem no matter how you slice it.”

    Excellent commentary on the heart of the problem.

  14. says

    Unless otherwise providentially hindered (sickness, vacation, working, fill in the _______), a “good” church member would be one who consistently and regularly (not perfectly and not always) does the following:
    1. Attends his/her church’s main corporate worship service. If a person is working on Sunday morning and your church has an evening worship service, then that would be the main (and only) one that they could attend.
    2. Involvement in an on-going small group Bible study. For us, that is Sunday School/Bible study on Sunday mornings. For others, it might be small groups meeting in homes.
    3. Systematic and Sacrificial Financial Contributions to the Church. If you want to call it tithing, that’s okay. I would as well. But, at the very least, there is giving financial gifts to God THROUGH the local church.
    4. Serving the body of Christ in at least one tangible way. Every Christian is placed within the body of Christ by God for the building up of the body. And, everyone has at least one spiritual gift to be used to that end.
    5. Growing in your faith. All good members (and Christians for that matter) should seek to grow in their personal walk with the Lord.
    6. Going to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Every Christian and every good church member should be able to share their personal testimony with someone who is lost.
    7. Living a consistent Christian witness throughout the week. That does not mean that we are perfect, but we should remember that we are representing Christ and His Church in all of life, not just on Sunday mornings.

    I’ll be teaching a Pastor’s Class for new and prospective members in two weeks. While I will not necessarily tell them that doing the above seven things will make them a “good” church member, I will tell them that these are our expectations for church members. I’m not going to keep a check list of whether or not folks are living up to these expectations (which would be legalism), but I will set a standard for church membership that we should aspire to. That’s how I would answer Mike’s question. God bless,

    Howell

  15. Bill Mac says

    Unfortunately the culture that celebrates rugged individualism can have an unhealthy influence on the church. The United States is an individualistic culture (see Geert Hofstede). That isn’t a problem until and unless it produces individualistic Christians. There’s way too much of a “just me and God” attitude in the church in this country. A good church member is someone who edifies and undergirds the local body of believers by their presence and service, AND, one who is willing to receive edification and support from that same body. I have known people who will serve, but who will not be served.

  16. DLG says

    “For the church is the body of Christ and any part of that body that does not serve its purpose effects the whole body.”

    The Body of Christ is not in the brick & mortar building.

    Too many churches DO NOT teach the FULL GOSPEL and only teach part truths. SBC B&F addresses only one way to Christ (get in) but YOU CAN choose any way you want to exit. (End Times)

    Some SBC churches get away from the Bible and have “Too many traditions of Man”

    Therefore I attend Small group HOME churches now, just like they do in China. I no longer attend the Brick & Mortar church on a regular basis. Sunday School became a gossip section, 50 min talk and 10 min BS (Bible Study).

    Then to make things worse, I read these blogs and see how all the Cooperative funds have been wasted on Seminaries on folks like CB he King of Football and ………………. Just cannot print the rest.

    I attend Church 7 days per week in a Home Church. Amen

    I do not expect you to post this.

      • DLG says

        Well, for me, I was referring to the Truth, The Whole Truth, not partial truth, or 1/2 truth. Teaching he Bible, chapter by chapter verse by verse. No 2-3 verses, then the Opinion of another Man. I am more interested what God has to say than what man has to say. That was my intention of Full Gospel. Hope that explains if for you.

        • Lydia says

          “I am more interested what God has to say than what man has to say. ”

          Me too. And I think the same way about brick and mortar and “offices” in the Body of Christ. Seasoned mature believers, yes.

          -Another dwarf

    • cb scott says

      Hello DLG,

      Haven’t heard from you in a while.

      Who ever said we are talking about “Brick and Mortar” churches here? It seems to me that Mike Bergman’s post was relating to churches based on the NT model.

      And you are right. “Too many churches DO NOT teach the FULL GOSPEL and only teach part truths.”

      We know that has to be true. Otherwise guys like you (theological dwarf) would have a better understanding of ecclesiology and Christianity in general, right?

      BTW, thanks for recognizing my amazingly vast understanding of FOOTBALL. Your generous recognition is appreciated and makes me blush in humble embarrassment at your kindness toward me.

      • DLG says

        No one said brick and mortar, but are you Not of brick and mortar? Or have I been misunderstanding a lot of these posts?

        Mr. CB, please explain, where did you receive your revelation of me regarding my understanding of ecclesiology and Christianity?

        Did you have a Daniel experience that you have not shared with us?

        Now about Football – I apologize, for I forgot – they gave you your own blog for that as it is now taboo here. Please forgive me on that.

        I appreciate those with wisdom that are trying to clean up this site, and sticking to the issue at hand. God bless them for we are to be about Fathers work, and Football is not one of them as it is not in the bible.

        • cb scott says

          DLG,

          I got my understanding as to your lack of “understanding” ecclesiology and Christianity in general from your comments on blog threads. Had I met you in person, I would have gotten from personal conversations.

          The bottom line is, that no matter how I received my understanding, the fact remains, you are a theological dwarf.

          But there is hope. Get into a NT church and you may become informed in such a way that your “theological dwarfness” will disappear.

          • DLG says

            Mr. CB, Again thank you for your ORIGINAL words and for repeating them again here referring to me as a “theological dwarf”. I assume that takes a lot of education and experience for a professional preacher to find words like that to throw at someone whom you disagree with.

            Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

            Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    • DLG says

      Someone on this page somewhere said something about taking responsibility. I have stated that I take responsibility, right or wrong for myself.

      So with that said, I need to CORRECT a post made on this page.

      I said “The Body of Christ is not in the brick & mortar building.” This was an ERROR.

      What I meant to say was “The Body of Christ is not ONLY in the brick & mortar building.”

  17. SSBN says

    “”I do not expect you to post this.””

    Why wouldn’t they post it? They post many extremists views from people who have an ax to grind with the SBC.

    I does seem that in attending church “7 days a week” your group engenders kind heartedness and non-judgmentalism and ability to engage with others outside your group in an inviting and friendly way: NOT!

    • DLG says

      Well, I made that comment based on past experience, and not being a member of he elite.

      My bible teaches Judge not. Only God is judge, I only use spiritual discernment. If you think I am here to judge, you are wrong.

      SSBN, you are welcome to join us anytime. My bible is the same as your bible. My church is your church. In fact any of you are welcome to join in. You would be as welcome here as I would be there. Amen

      • SSBN says

        “”I only . . .”

        This is a very dangerous and telling phrase. When most people speak negatively and perjoratively about another person’s position, as you did, it is normally called, “judging.” When people are deceived as to their own spiritual short-comings — as with those who are in a cult for example — they resort to, “But, I only use spiritual discernment,” meaning of course, that nobody else does.

        If someone is “really” spiritually discerning, they take responsibility for what they say and do.

        • DLG says

          SSBN do you remember when our former president Clinton argued the meaning of what “is” is.

          Well I will not stoop to that level. Your are splitting hairs here when you make your point.

          I do take responsibility for what I say, right or wrong.

          I said “My bible teaches Judge not. Only God is judge, I only use spiritual discernment. If you think I am here to judge, you are wrong.” ONLY a professional preacher or lawyer WOULD try to read more into my statement than what the statement said on it’s own merit. Which are you?

  18. bapticus hereticus says

    Mike: What Makes a Good Church Member?

    bapticus hereticus: Interesting question. I know of no one answer that will suffice and surely no individual wishes for any that is given to and governed tby tics on a checklist, but usually important for evaluating one’s response to a question that one is raising is “what is his or her stated and unstated reason for doing so?”

    • says

      but usually important for evaluating one’s response to a question that one is raising is “what is his or her stated and unstated reason for doing so?”

      Ummm… it’s a blog, don’t over-analyze!

      Simple discussion. We live in a society where, at least w/ Southern Baptists, are membership rolls are inflated with people who have gone missing, with others that show a chronic lack of committment to the church. Yet if you were to ask these people “are you a member of a church?” They’d likely reply: “Oh yeah, I go…such and such place.” Though the word “go” gets a rather large stretch in definition.

      So just trying to raise the question: should membership actually mean anything in terms of showing up and actually being a part of the church? No more…no less…

      • cb scott says

        Mike,

        I don’t know if you have ever had a dialogue with the Beloved Heretic before, so let me make a statement here. The Heretic is a college professor in SC. He is also lost and on his way to a devil’s hell unless he repents of sin and believes the biblical gospel.

        We have been blog pals for the last couple of years and have had many dialogues. His stock in trade is to make an effort to appear as an intellectual.

        The truth is, if we could buy him for he is worth and sale him for what he thinks he is worth we would be able to single-handedly meet the SBC National Lottie Moon Goal for the next decade.

        • DLG says

          Mr. CB, Again, here, where did you get this revelation on who is going to Hell and who is not?

          Your statement seems to puts you on a higher level than others, though I am not judging you, it appears to this unlearned (theological dwarf) that you are? Please explain your seminary Educated comment to this (theological dwarf). I am listening.

          • cb scott says

            DLG,

            My statement does not put me on any “higher level than others.” What my statement does reveal is only one thing.

            That one thing is: I believe the Scripture reveals the only way to peace with a Holy God in a way that even a fool should not err therein. By his own admission, Heretic does not embrace the biblical gospel. Any person who does not embrace the biblical gospel is hopelessly lost and will have their part in the Lake of Fire.

            Yet, there is hope. If Heretic will repent of sin and believe the biblical gospel, he will become a child of God and then all the demons of Hell, nor the Devil, himself can snatch him from God’s possession.

            You see DLG, it is all the grace of God or its hell. Nothing else works.

            BTW, I knew this long before I ever ventured into the halls of a seminary. You could have also had you been part of a NT church that was teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

            So get in one and cease to be a theological dwarf and we can talk about other things. What do you say?

          • bapticus hereticus says

            CB: By his own admission, Heretic does not embrace the biblical gospel.

            bapticus hereticus: Perhaps CB will provide evidence that such has, indeed, been asserted by my person?

  19. bapticus hereticus says

    Mike: “No more…no less…”

    bapticus hereticus: Any ‘no more … no less’ response is probably not a given, and probably should be evaluated by what ‘it’ is trying to accomplish, which itself is open to critique.

    In terms of blogs and analysis: I assume you generally wish people to take your words seriously, assuming a serious topic, and to think and write critically concerning them.

  20. bapticus hereticus says

    CB on bapticus hereticus: He is also lost and on his way to a devil’s hell unless he repents of sin and believes the biblical gospel.

    bapticus hereticus: Happy for CB to be CB, and I thank God that God’s blessings are upon him and that God’s acceptance of him is as secure as God’s nature is loving, but if bapticus hereticus must be as CB and his belief system instead of bapticus hereticus as himself with his professed, but in process, belief system, then bapticus hereticus would prefer the ‘devil’s hell.’ bapticus hereticus is not concerned about CB pronouncement’s about his (i.e., bh) state of being, but am happy that it, apparently, gives CB something to do in which he finds value.

    • SSBN says

      “”God’s nature is loving”

      That’s why God weeps everytime His judgment demands He allow persons who reject Him and “prefer a devil’s hell,” to get what they want.

      It is common for non-believers to focus on God’s attribute of love, but forget He has also declared HIMSELF to be a God of wrath and justice.

      BH, you do identify correctly why people who reject God and His Truth will spend eternity in hell — “it is what they prefer.” God sadly, allows them what they desire.

      • bapticus hereticus says

        SSBN: It is common for non-believers to focus on God’s attribute of love, but forget He has also declared HIMSELF to be a God of wrath and justice.

        bapticus hereticus: OK, but I had in mind 1 John: “…because God is love.” I assume the way I used the verse in my post was appropriate; that is, I could have added wrath and justice, but would that have added any more to the notion of security? If God is love as scripture asserts, and that such is associated with God, is this attribute of God less potent and eternal and is CB less secure because I did not also assert God’s ability for wrath and interest in justice? Does not God declare his wrath on death by his demonstrated love for and relation with humanity? Does not God temper justice with love? Who among us will advocate for God’s justice that is not tempered by love? Could God be God if such was not the case?

        SSBN: BH, you do identify correctly why people who reject God and His Truth will spend eternity in hell — “it is what they prefer.” God sadly, allows them what they desire.

        bapticus hereticus: I am left with, “I wonder if SSBN is following what I wrote?” SSBN, do you wish to be me? To be me with my theological belief system? To deny your baptistness and affirmation of the priesthood of the believer? Do you wish to give up yourself to be another? Let’s not say, “I wish to be like Jesus,” for all of us wish such to be the case, but so as is given by our being, our personality (for with such God’s power is revealed!). But do we really? For “[f]oxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Yes, we want Jesus, and we want this and this, and that and before long we have to ask again, “do we want Jesus?” Nonetheless, SSBN, to be me, with knowledge of self, would be to live with a constant reminder that you would be denying the very thing that God has accepted and promised to nurture and bring to completion. Would being me be heaven to you, or would it be hell? It would be worse than hell. But having said that, the foot stinks the head thinks; and the genitals have sex; oh, goodness, it can’t be; why not me, and to you a hex. That is, too much of the time we don’t desire Jesus anymore than we desire to be the body of Christ.

  21. cb scott says

    Thank you Beloved Heretic. Nothing like absolute evidence to make one’s case.

    See Mike, it just like I told you, he’s out of the park lost as a Reggie Jackson homerun in the Octobers of yesteryear.

  22. bapticus hereticus says

    CB: “…out of the park lost ….”

    bapticus hereticus: The point of the conversation was about the interesting question of what makes a good church member, with attendance being a vehicle for starting a conversation on such, to which you responded with ad-hominem comments instead of comments about the topic. Actually, and ironically, said comments are useful for making my point in that a one-size-fits-all viewpoint on the question is likely inadequate for most people given reasonable, plausible, and surely varying starting assumptions, which themselves are influenced by cultural and historical contexts. These varying viewpoints, even at a higher level of abstraction, will likely not be or perhaps cannot be harmonized to a degree that will satisfy all, but important, given that appeals to privilege will fall on silent ears, is respect be given to the other as not to marginalize or diminish their being, especially important among baptists given to a theological affirmation of: 1) the autonomy of the self before God and 2) the priesthood of the believer.

    • cb scott says

      Beloved Heretic,

      You are right in you assumption. The point of the conversation is indeed about church members and what constitutes being faithful in that relationship.

      Yet, the reality remains, that due to the fact that you are not a Believer, you have no concept as to what constitutes being a “good” church member.

      Others here may not be willing to challenge you in your obvious lostness, but I will. Therefore, I beseech you by the tender mercies of Christ to repent of sin and believe the biblical gospel before you die lost in your sins and burn in an everlasting Lake of Fire for all eternity.

  23. bapticus hereticus says

    CB: Yet, the reality remains, that due to the fact that you are not a Believer, you have no concept as to what constitutes being a “good” church member.

    bapticus hereticus: Thus, it is your view that those outside the faith, as you define it, have nothing of substance in which to add to the understanding of effective functioning of religious organizations, SBC or otherwise?

  24. cb scott says

    Beloved Heretic,

    It is my “view that those outside the faith” have no spiritual discernment whatsoever. It is biblically impossible.

    Therefore it is impossible for them (you personally) to have any concept at all as to “the understanding of effective functioning of religious organizations, SBC or otherwise?”
    (I am speaking of Christian organizations. You can know plenty about non-Christian, religious organizations. Actually the Devil wants you to be as knowledgeable and comfortable in those as possible.)

    That pretty much sums it up there Beloved Heretic. I think you now have the basic idea. So again, let me encourage you to become a Follower of Christ according to the plain, biblical revelation and then you can join right in and make a substantial contribution.

    Beloved Heretic, I have to go make some hospital visits right now. I will pray for you that you might see the Truth before it is everlastingly too late. So drive careful when you leave the college. I would hate for you to die lost in your sin. To make it plain, Get saved, my friend. If you recognize your position as a sinner before a just and righteous God, that can right now, right in front of your computer screen.

    • bapticus hereticus says

      CB: It is my “view that those outside the faith” have no spiritual discernment whatsoever. It is biblically impossible.

      bapticus hereticus: One may properly assert that the ‘what’ of the church is a discernment matter, but do not other forms of knowledge have a role in the consideration of the ‘what?’ Is it not plausible that a church will or that one even recommended that it consider a range of alternatives based on the best knowledge available before it makes its choice as to which direction to pursue? Is religious knowledge the only viable knowledge … even for effectively functioning churches? A church’s financial statements are audited by one that makes his living doing research in NT Theology? Cannot the insights of archeologists and anthropologists provide insight for the one doing research in NT theology? And last, is all of Christianity agreed upon one’s capability of discerning God and matters spiritual? Will the Quaker agree with the Bob Joneser, or the SBCer with the Espiscopalian? Can there no longer be consideration for both the benefits of special and general relevation, even if one is believed to be more potent than the other? CB, I don’t doubt the sincerity of what you believe is thought to be true; I don’t, however, have insight as to who is and is not outside the faith and to what degree one has or has not spiritual discernment, but I am inclined to think that people are more capable of spiritual discernment than you seemingly allow. Secondly, if correct doctrine is the measure of who is in and who is out, then I would surmise we are all probably out (unless we are ‘grading’ on a curve) given our finite ability to grasp an ultimate concern (but we could hold ourselves accountable to the internal consistency of our present argument, but we would be found lacking there, too). I am not ready to pronounce the end of theology, to which would be needed in order to make a judgement on theological correctness. And that only concerns orthodoxy. We would stilll have the orthopraxy question to grapple with, too. Goodness, our good fortune to be able to speak of God in terms of relational language rather than just propositional terms. Goodness, our good fortune that God is gracious concerning that, too.

      CB: Therefore it is impossible for them (you personally) to have any concept at all as to “the understanding of effective functioning of religious organizations, SBC or otherwise?”
      bapticus hereticus: Which words among the following are the domain of the church, that is, which words can the church claim as having definitive knowledge and authority over controlling said knowledge: understanding, effective, functioning, religious, organizations?

      CB: (I am speaking of Christian organizations. You can know plenty about non-Christian, religious organizations. Actually the Devil wants you to be as knowledgeable and comfortable in those as possible.)

      bapticus hereticus: Governments, banks, schools, recreation centers, hospitals, etc.. Does not God also have an interest that these organizations be well-understood, -functioning, and that we would find comfort in and through them, too?

      CB: That pretty much sums it up there Beloved Heretic. I think you now have the basic idea. So again, let me encourage you to become a Follower of Christ according to the plain, biblical revelation and then you can join right in and make a substantial contribution.

      bapticus hereticus: And that plain revelation of which you speak supports various viewpoints that people in SBC do not share with each other and that which both sides of present-day SBC does not share with the Godly man it employs each year to help run the annual meeting. Again, CB, the point is well-made: what constitutes a good church member will vary in SBC, even among those in SBC within the same church and as one matures, even within the same individual. A growing faith is one in which faith and doubt are embraced: the tension, dis-comfort, Friday night, Sunday morning.

      CB: Beloved Heretic, I have to go make some hospital visits right now. I will pray for you that you might see the Truth before it is everlastingly too late. So drive careful when you leave the college. I would hate for you to die lost in your sin. To make it plain, Get saved, my friend. If you recognize your position as a sinner before a just and righteous God, that can right now, right in front of your computer screen.

      bapticus hereticus: Don’t forget to wash your hands after or just before you leave the hospital, CB.

  25. Dave Miller says

    Marvin, I understand the gist of your comment, but it made false accusations that could be seriously harmful against another commenter, if someone read them and did not understand your point.

    I got the point, but the danger of someone NOT getting the point was too great.

    • bapticus hereticus says

      bapticus hereticus: Dave, given you deleted a questionable post that might have placed CB in a negative light, I assume that you are going to hold CB accountable for the following accusation that he made in this thread: “By his own admission, Heretic does not embrace the biblical gospel.” He has had an opportunity to respond to my appeal for evidence, but thus far, has chosen not to do so.

      • says

        There is a difference. Marvin made an accusation (which he knew and even admitted to be false) of moral failings which CB could not answer.

        Had he said that CB was “all wet” in his theology, the comment would stand. I’ve said that to CB a time or two myself. CB’s accusation against you is of a theological nature. He claims that you are as you label yourself – a heretic. He claims that you do not believe the biblical gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ.

        You are free here to explain that CB is wrong. Affirm your belief that salvation is found in no one else but Jesus. That only those who repent of their sins and trust Jesus as Lord have any hope of salvation. It is not hard to prove CB wrong on this one, is it?

        You have the freedom to answer the accusation CB made. Show him how wrong he is. Affirm your belief in the biblical gospel as the only hope of salvation for everyone in this world.

        • bapticus hereticus says

          Dave: You are free here to explain that CB is wrong.

          bapticus hereticus: This is an extraordinarily weak response, David. Recall that CB stated that “By his own admission ….”; he did not, instead, state, “this is what I believe about his responses.” The latter is an interpretation of my remarks, which he is free to evaluate, the former asserts a verifiable fact, which absent evidence supporting such, is defined as libel. Further, in a thread at Praisegod Barebones I addressed questions such as this and responded in the affirmative to my faith that God, through Christ, is reconciling the world to himself, (which I learned, affirmed, and was baptized in a fundamentalist Baptist Church that one of the post-79 SBC Presidents preached on several occasions), and I believe CB to be a party to these conversations, thus it is questionable that the comment here was made without knowledge of such and who here that has witnessed various CB comments to me will not verify that he has been called on the appropriateness of several of his posts regarding my person. CB may think I am as lost as the day is long and am the worst person in the world that is going to bust hell wide open, and he may state such, but to state such is a fact about myself that I have made, that is more specifically, that I have stated that I do not believe in the biblical gospel is another thing, altogether, especially when there is available evidence to support otherwise. Is it your intention, Dave, to allow people on this blog to libel others? While I admire your concern for CB, does not said concern extend to others, even if theological perspective differs? If they do not extend to another that claims belief in God, what hope would those that claim no such faith in God have that you give one wit about them? This is not a right-left issue; it is an issue based in law, civil discourse, and basic Christian witness. Where do you stand, Dave?

          • says

            First of all, you need to read the legal definition of libel, because you saying something is libel does not make it so. Second of all, asking you to prove CB wrong is perfectly reasonable and logical. It’s also something you won’t do. You offern non-commital comments that are completely ambiguous and devoid of anything resembling someting like doctrincal clarity. The reason you want to avoid specifics as to what you believe is you know it is not compatble with what scripture teaches.

          • bapticus hereticus says

            Joe: “… [1] because you saying something is libel does not make it so. [2] Second of all, asking you to prove CB wrong is perfectly reasonable and logical.

            bapticus hereticus: [1] Of course you are right, Joe; that is why we have courts to settle disputes when other measures do not work. Libel is the correct term, and I invite you to research the term and the conditions that must be met for such to be the case. [2] This is where you and Dave get it wrong: it is not my task to prove CB wrong; it is CB’s responsibility to prove he is right. CB made the accusation.

          • cb scott says

            Beloved Heretic,

            I have never said you were the “worst person in the world.” Actually, I would imagine you are a pretty nice guy when you are not trying to show off your false intelligence.

            What I have said is that you are lost and on your way to a Devil’s hell because you do not embrace the biblical gospel.

            I have also said there is hope for you if you will repent and believe the biblical gospel.

          • bapticus hereticus says

            CB: I have never said you were the “worst person in the world.”

            bapticus hereticus: I agree; you haven’t made such a statement. Recall what I wrote: “CB may think I am as lost as the day is long and am the worst person in the world that is going to bust hell wide open and he may state such, but to state such is a fact about myself that I have made, that is more specifically, that I have stated that I do not believe in the biblical gospel is another thing, altogether, especially when there is available evidence to support otherwise.”

      • SSBN says

        Why not just give the evidence FOR yuur position on the fundamentals of the faith and quit whinning someone else is NOT giving evidence for what is certainly “seems” is an unorthodox position.

        • bapticus hereticus says

          SSBN: Why not just give the evidence FOR yuur position ….”

          For a Christian his or her stated belief in Christ is the most important declaration that he or she will ever make. Baptists, unlike some other faith groups, hold this of such importance that time is given in each worship service for said declarations. For A that has affirmed faith in Christ to be said by B that A has stated that s/he does not embrace the biblical gospel is a serious charge. Would you wish such to be stated about your person? Would it be fair for me to state that you have stated that you don’t or no longer believe in the gospel of Christ because we may differ on points of theology? Of course not! As a Christian, I have a responsibility to be fair in my dealings with people and where I am wrong and have not, to admit such, apologize, and to learn from my mistakes so that in subsequent encounters I will act with greater integrity. In Alabama, some people were alarmed that the statue containing the Ten Commandments was removed from the courthouse plaza. Why is it that some people, perhaps, are less concerned about the content of one of the commandments on the statue that instructed behavior concerning false witness?

      • says

        When CB says you do not embrace the biblical gospel, that’s becuase you don’t embrace the biblical gospel.

        Proof–You do not believe that salvation is found exclusively through repentance from sin and conscious, personal faith in Jesus Christ alone. Therefore, you do not believe the biblical gospel.

        You’re welcome.

        • bapticus hereticus says

          You are free to state such, Joe, but this is a very different thing than saying, “By his own admission, Heretic does not embrace the biblical gospel.”

          • cb scott says

            Beloved Heretic,

            Do you believe that repentance of sin and belief in the biblical gospel is the only way to peace with God for every man, woman, boy and girl on earth?

            Can you articulate a testimony of passing from death unto life due to a specific experience with Christ?

            Do you believe that a person who has lived a splendid life, having cared for others in a sacrificial way and followed God to the best of his ability, yet has never had a “born again” experience will go to heaven?

            Answer these questions honestly as you have answered them and other questions similar to them in the past.

          • bapticus hereticus says

            CB: Do you believe that ….

            bapticus hereticus: CB, this is an attempt to redirect the attention to me, thus away from your responsibility. You have a bigger problem, and that centers on providing evidence for your following comment: “By his own admission, Heretic does not embrace the biblical gospel.”

            I am willing to accept an apology from you concerning your comment: “By his own admission, Heretic does not embrace the biblical gospel.”

          • says

            No, actually it’s CB attempting to get you to admit what you believe. The fact remains that if you were to answer those questions honestly you would prove that what CB has said about you is true. Hence the reason that you won’t spell out what you believe.

            CB has nothing to apologize for–he’s got you pegged. Suck it up and deal with it.

          • cb scott says

            Beloved Heretic,

            My attention was originally upon the fact that you are lost and do not embrace the biblical gospel. It is for that reason and that reason alone that I have engaged you on numerous occasions in blog comment threads over the last two-three years.

            Your response has always been to give obvious evidence that you are lost and on your way to hell, just as you have, once again, done here.

            I will never apologize for pointing out the obvious as revealed by your own comments through the years.

            Repent and believe the biblical gospel.

          • cb scott says

            Beloved Heretic,

            My “responsibility” is the same as Joe’s. We have fulfilled it many times. Our responsibility is to tell you to repent and believe the gospel, for if you do not you will go to hell in your lostness.

          • cb scott says

            Beloved Heretic,

            Joe and I have been the best and most consistent friends you have ever had in Blogtown.

          • bapticus hereticus says

            Joe: No, actually it’s CB attempting to get you to admit what you believe. The fact remains that if you were to answer those questions honestly you would prove that what CB has said about you is true.

            bapticus hereticus: All of which, Joe, is beside the point. There is only this to be done: CB must provide the statement that makes his statement about me true. Absent that, I will accept an apology from CB.

          • bapticus hereticus says

            bapticus hereticus: CB and Joe, if it is your wish, it is your perogative to believe and state that I am lost and in need of Christ. Your interpretation of my person and beliefs are not the issue; you are free to interpret and state said interpretation as you wish. The issue is that CB wrote a statement about my person that is said to have come from my person and will not provide the evidence for such. I have never made such an assertion. This is a serious matter, but it can be resolved with an apology. I am really surprised that participants on this forum have not written to protest how such unsupported allegations can stand and, apparently, be defended.

          • says

            BTW, bh, while you whine and complain about cb and his “libel” you might want to spend some time being ready to prove how the libelous statement cause you actual harm, since that is part of the legal standard for determining libel.

            CB called it what it was–you do not believe the biblical gospel. You believe that a person can get to heaven apart from repentance and concious, personal faith in Jesus Christ aloone for their sins. Therefore, you do not believe the biblical gospel. Therefore, CB’s statement was correct and he has no need to apologize.

          • Dave Miller says

            I did not see the statement that you reference here, BH. I have a full time job and I do not read every comment that comes by here.

            I saw CB challenge whether you believe the biblical gospel. That is different than making the kind of accusation of a moral failing which the blogger admitted was made up. I did not think it wise to allow that.

            I’m sorry if you think I’m unfair. I probably am. This is a pretty active site. I am a full-time pastor and a part-time blogger. I deal with what I see. If there is a particular comment you wish to address, I’d be glad to look at it.

            CB will tell you that I have deleted plenty of his comments, and Joes. Other than Steve Fox, who I delete on a regular basis, I have undoubtedly deleted more comments by CB and Joe than anyone else.

            While I consider both of them friends, I think they would both back me up on that.

          • cb scott says

            I think it might be safe to say that over the last five years I have 20-25 game lead on any other blogger in Blogtown to win the “Most Deleted of the Deleted Trophy.”

            Let me define the phrase “own admission” for you. Maybe that will help.

            Over the years you have made statements and declarations within your comments giving evidence to any true Follower of Christ that you are not one.

            I, along with Joe and others have noted your lack of knowing the gospel as it is plainly revealed in Scripture and have challenged you to repent and believe the biblical gospel.

            That’s about all there is to it. PLain enough?

            So, Beloved Heretic, will you not see your lostness and repent and believe the biblical gospel? Or are you going to continue to gamble with you life hanging over the fires of hell by a thread?

  26. says

    I don’t know how to contact you but it was not my intention to “trash” the Koran Blog if that’s what happened.

  27. says

    I consider these interchanges hilarious! I’m willing to bet that not a single contributor or commenter can talk anyone of you knuckleheads into faith or out of your faith. Which just goes to show the insanity of relentlessly sharing ideas about which your opposers care nothing.

  28. cb scott says

    Marvin,

    Glad you showed up. Maybe we will meet one day in person. I would like to buy you a cup of coffee and a piece of huckleberry pie.

    The point is never to “talk anyone into or out of faith.” That is a biblical impossibility. The mandate is to share the truth will lost people. A person “coming to faith” is totally a work of God.

    Our only accountability is to be faithful in sharing the gospel.

  29. says

    CB,

    I appreciate what you are saying. However, you have relentlessly shared the Gospel with bapticus hereticus. You’ve been faithful, and he is unwilling to listen to reason. Maybe, like Paul turned away from Festus and continued on toward Agrippa and other lost people, you should continue on toward other lost people. This man has apparently made up his mind.

    Nevertheless, I wish you Godspeed.

    • cb scott says

      Thank you Marvin,

      To be “relentless” in this effort is my goal. I have been called “relentless” by many people for many things. Maybe it is just a life-style trait. Anyway, I certainly hope so.

      Now, since you have “engaged” me, I have a question for you. Why do you call your blog: “I Hate Calvinists”?

  30. says

    CB,

    My blog is actually called “I Hate Calvinism.” I have hated Calvinists in the past, but I now know that Calvinism is a gateway to Pharisaical self-righteousness. Not all Calvinists fall prey to this, and I am proud to know many loving Calvinists who aren’t legalistic, self-righteous, or angry/bitter. However, after dealing with several jerks whose sole zeal was found in theological precision rather than merciful interaction with sincere Christians, I became appalled at the devastating effects Calvinism had on the hearts of some of its adherents. Thus, I try desperately not to hate Calvinists, but hey, when you have dogmatic spiritual haters like Zach Doty, it gets tough. Have you read our interactions? What do you think about them?

    Btw….even if you are a 5-pointer, can you at least affirm my Christianity? I’m not saying that you can validate my salvation with absolute certainty, but I do believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Do you really think that my interpretation of God’s sovereignty (as it differs from Doty’s hyper-Calvinistic stance) prevents my salvation? If so, then maybe God isn’t as sovereign as anyone thinks.

    • cb scott says

      Marvin,

      First and foremost: I have made no comment as to the validity of your being a Follower of Christ one way or another. Don’t accuse or even suggest that I have said or “done” things you have no substantial evidence for here or in the future, if you don’t mind there Marvin, OK?

      Second: I apologize for getting the name of your blog wrong.

      Third: Yes, I have read the exchanges you have with Zach Doty. BTW, are you guys related in some way?

      Fourth: I understand you having conflicts with folks about theology, but its a little much to say you “hate” Calvinism is it not? Most Baptists are somewhat Calvinistic are they not?

      Fifth: I notice you have several pictures with firearms involved. Are you proficient or maybe even highly skilled with firearms? What about other weaponry such as edged weapons? Are you a Martial Artist of some type or discipline?

      Sixth: What kind of engineer are you? Or do you work as a tech in some engineering firm?

      Seventh: [CB, I deleted this because it referred to Marvin's offensive comment which I edited above]

      Eighth: What is there to dislike about Joe Blackmon?

      • cb scott says

        OK Dave,

        Let’s see that will now put me out by at least 22 games ahead of anybody else for the Most Deleted of the Deleted Trophy. Man I am smokin’

        OH! in this case, I might be better off using a word other than “smokin'” :-)

        I will give a substitute seventh for my deleted seventh:

        Marvin,

        Here is my new Seventh: Why do you dislike Greg Alford?

  31. says

    Marvin, if I may slightly modify your comment:

    “I have hated Arminians in the past, but I now know that Arminianism/Decisional Regeneration is a gateway to liberal open-theism. Not all Arminians fall prey to this, and I am proud to know many loving Arminians who aren’t liberal, self-sovereign, or fluffy/weak on doctrine. However, after dealing with several jerks whose sole zeal was found in lifestyle evangelism rather than understanding the Bible, I became appalled at the devastating effects Arminianism/Decisional Regeneration had on the hearts of some of its adherents. Thus, I try desperately not to hate Arminians, but hey, when you have dogmatic spiritual haters like Dave Hunt, it gets tough.”

    The sword cuts both ways…

  32. says

    Jeff Meyer,

    The sword does cut both ways. I never said that it didn’t. If you read an implication in my statement that hinted otherwise, it is probably because of your interpretive deficiencies. I find a lot of Calvinists have such problems in determining authorial intent.

  33. says

    And Jeff, I’d like to know if you agree with Zach Doty’s theological interpretations. If so, and if he is indicative of normal Christian belief, I will settle for secularism and anonymity. Cocaine nicely dulls my pain, and I have absolutely no problem going back on that boat.

    If that makes me un-Christian, then apparently I am not the recipient of sovereign grace. I do love Jesus, but I have no problem numbing my pain because I don’t how to cope with jerks like Doty.
    [from Dave Miller - I edited this comment by deleting the final sentence. Marvin, at your request I will delete the entire comment - your choice.]

  34. says

    Marvin –

    First off, I’m glad to see you write “Not all Calvinists fall prey to this, and I am proud to know many loving Calvinists who aren’t legalistic, self-righteous, or angry/bitter.” and then write this “If you read an implication in my statement that hinted otherwise, it is probably because of your interpretive deficiencies. I find a lot of Calvinists have such problems in determining authorial intent.” directed at me whom you don’t even know. And it seems as though you are rather angry/bitter, especially with your references to cocaine and calling Joe an arrogant sourpuss. It doesn’t offend me though that you can’t see past your bias against Calvinists – you are not alone in that regard.

    Secondly – I don’t know Doty nor his beliefs. I will say this – if he is truly “hyper” (i.e. not just “really Calvinistic”), then I disagree with him. Likewise, if he is “hyper”, he is outside of “normal Christian belief.” And if he says that “non-Calvinists cannot be saved”, I also disagree with him.

    Here’s how you cope with jerks like Doty (if he truly is a jerk): you ignore them and don’t engage fools in their folly. Follow your own
    advice and don’t be a knucklehead:

    “I’m willing to bet that not a single contributor or commenter can talk anyone of you knuckleheads into faith or out of your faith. Which just goes to show the insanity of relentlessly sharing ideas about which your opposers care nothing.”

  35. says

    Don’t be a knucklehead? Why? By acting angry and bitter and desirous of illegal drugs, I am a part of a great blogging family who can agree about virtually nothing. Kinda like some churches I know. It’s great to be a part of something so effective and meaningful.

    Thanks for the advice, Jeff. Let’s meet at the next SBC in Arizona so I can pour some hot coffee on your face.

    • Dave Miller says

      By my definition, anyone who advocates illegal drugs as a legitimate way of dealing with anxiety would classify as a knucklehead.

  36. says

    CB,

    I dislike him because he used to be a punk online. He quickly found out that I was way more insane than he ever could have imagined. I have been a pest on his blog and in replying to his comments ever since. Hopefully he has learned to think twice before attempting to punk out someone online. Especially someone like me.

    Greg has seemingly chilled out over the last 15 months. Glad to see he isn’t as arrogant as he was in the summer of 2009. So, I really don’t hate him, CB.

  37. cb scott says

    Marvin,

    Greg Alford is one of the most straight lined guys in Blogtown. He is extremely consistent in his positions and is pretty good at blog stream combat.
    (He has a very good memory of things people say in comment threads, and he keeps up with current events. So he always has ammo to use if needed. You have to stay on your toes to beat him.)

    I really don’t see how you get “punk” from his “blog-persona”

    But I am glad to see you have decided to no longer hate him. That’s a good start there, Marvin.

  38. says

    Good church members are like good Christians. Good Christians are good because they long desperately for God. Good church members are good because they earnestly desire to be with God’s people when they meet.

    People come as often as it pleases them whether they come very often or not.

    If it pleases people to only be with their brothers and sisters in Christ on scarce occasion, then I’m saddened. I’m joyful when I see people darken the door who haven’t been there very often. I go to them and greet them heartily expressing how I’ve missed their presence. If I see them out in town and haven’t seen them in a while, I go to them and greet them like an old friend. I have some fear of talking to people over the phone or I’d even call them up.

    Perhaps we could add that a good church member also desires to fellowship in corporate worship with people who don’t come very often enough to seek those people out.

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