3/21/09

Jorge Munoz

It's hard for me to read stories like these and think that man is totally depraved, when not even the best redeemed and justified Christians I know have gone this far. I am ashamed.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/03/19/cnnheroes.jorge.munoz/index.html

Remy.

8 comments:

Berny said...
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Bill Harvelle said...
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Berny said...
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Remy said...

Come one! Come all to the Wild, Wild West Show! Watch Christians shoot at each other with words that feel like bullets. Behold a flurry of jargon and allusions to authors unknown to 95% of the population. Come and see why Christians are unheeded by unbelievers. Be left in awe of how quickly we can draw weapons towards each other, but how slow we are to care for our wounded.

Berny, you are my brother in Christ and God loves you so deeply, and because of that I don’t want to come off to you offensive, but if you would let me express some of my ardent feelings I would appreciate it.

Instead of using gunslinger imagery towards one another, let’s use some of that energy to feed the homeless, like Jorge Munoz. Or use the power of your eloquence to convince people of the need for a savior rather than the need for doctrine. If indeed God will irresistibly draw those that He has elected, then why waste your time and words correcting what you think needs correcting. Let God separate the weeds from the tares. Our job is to make disciples not enemies.

This post on Jorge Munoz has nothing to do with Catholicism, yet you brought up the subject. We all know where our differences lie. If you don’t believe that a person can be Catholic and be your brother in Christ, then I recommend you use more love towards Catholics. Because it is by our love for God and each other that they will know that we are Christians. And if you do believe that a person can be Catholic and your brother in Christ then I recommend that you reconsider how you address yourself to someone in whom the Holy Spirit resides, for He resides in you as well. And if you’re unsure, then err on the side of love and grace.

I don’t believe that Bill was attacking your position. He certainly is not a Calvinist. But since when does Calvinism belong to you. If you feel that you have to respond to Bill because from your perspective you believe that he is leading others astray then do so in love so that people like me take the time to read your thoughts, instead of being put off by your condemning language. I certainly believe that Bill brought up various points to support his position that you also have left “untouched.”

Finally, it is unfair and unlike a gentleman to say that you’re going to write some killer, “smoking” response to Bill’s comments on ‘Fight Club,’ and then suddenly back away because you have other responsibilities. If your studies are so important that you do not have the time to hear and respond to Bill’s comments to what I can only imagine would be a very condescending post on your part, then wait until you do have time. Don’t throw away your time if you only have time to speak, while the rest of us could only listen and not respond. That would not be an edifying conversation.

The purpose of this blog is to love one another and edify one another without attacking each other. I understand that sometimes the truth causes pain to those that hear it, but let it be the truth that does so rather than our words. I certainly sense that Bill has strong feelings against Calvinism, and he is not perfect. Some of what he says may seem like he has strong feelings against Berny. If I know Bill at all, then I know that the latter is completely false. Berny, I hope that the same can be said of you regarding Catholic doctrine. Nevertheless, your words seem to condemn Bill as much as they do Catholic doctrine. I myself don't make a secret of my disdain towards Calvinism, and this conversation is part of the reason for that, but you didn't come after me with the same fervor. Since none of us are in God’s place to condemn, let’s let the Word of God do His own job, whatever that may be. Our words can be so easily misread. Let’s be brutally gentle with each other.

Finally, if this paper has hurt you in any way Berny then I just encourage you to consider how Bill may have felt to your response. I know we all love each other, and that is the very reason why we have to be careful with our words. Negative words hurt when we hear them from people we care about.

Your imperfect brother in Christ,
Remy.

Remy said...

Just have to say that I do love all of you guys. Some of the reader smight not realize this, but most of us keep in contact outside of the blog. Thanks for all your love and input Berny, Freddy, Bernalt, and Bill.

Remy.

Berny said...
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Remy said...

Berny, engaging me in an honest discussion on the character of what debating should be like is excellent. So, I will respond to your points, though I don't pretend to be able to do so as eloquently as you responded to me.

1st, As far as I understood this blog was never a place for debate, but a place for discussion. In a debate one attempts to bring down their opponent. Certainly, "gunslinger" imagery would be appropriate. I would concede to your description of my attitude as effeminate if this indeed was a debate. You're talking to an experienced competition debater (since middle school.) But, my presumption is that this blog is for discussion. Discussion doesn't have the added burden of having to bring down your opponent. Discussion is for airing sentiments and ideas, gleaning what we can from each other, and possibly attaining a compromise.

2nd, Keep in mind who you are "critically and aggressively" engaging. These are most likely your brothers and sisters in Christ.

3rd, If there is any effeminate behavior is in pursuing those in one's own group. I'd love to see how well "viciously cutting language" stands up to an enraged unbeliever. I'm sure he'll be begging to know the Lord after that.

4th, If indeed you see Bill as an "opponent" and a "false teacher" that needs to be aggressively rebuked then let me know, because I want to have no part in it. If we're going to start calling each other false teachers because we disagree with each other than we're all false teachers.

5th, You falsely assume that Christians have been taking "weenie" stands. It's their harsh, unrepentant, hard-hearted, ungraceful, vicious words that have turned thousands away from God, even if just for a season. We preach a message of the love and grace of God, but live something completely different.

6th, You don't change anyone, and neither can you change anyone. So what do you expect to accomplish with your harsh words that you can't accomplish with soft words?

7th, You end your argument in such a way that leads me to assume that you think that I think that Bill is innocent in all that he writes. I was hoping I made it clear that we all tend to write harsh things. Yet, because we love each other, we should be even more careful with our words.

8th, If my words offended you, then perhaps you got my point. Words hurt, and we should be careful how we use them against each other.

Berny, I'm not debating you. You are not my opponent. I left the world behind me, and in the world I lived for too long seeing everyone as my opponent, wanting to use my intellect to bring people down. If it makes you feel good to do so then that's between you and God, but I'm happy discussing things with people and disagreeing with them without having to somehow bring a person down in order to prove my point. Your insinuation that my behavior was 'shameful' and 'effeminate' would have won you a black eye before I came to know Christ, but I'm grateful to say now that the truly shameful and effeminate behavior is to get violently worked up by your words. I've learned that there are people smarter than you and Bill combined that love Jesus and hold just as many disparaging views. So I know that neither of you is going to come to a conclusion or a compromise. So why don't you focus your energy on bridging the divide between human beings rather than trying to prove theology that cannot be 100% affirmed except by your own personal convictions?

Berny, I only took offense from your comments at first, but the offense quickly faded as I continued to read. Thank you for being honest with your feelings. You were kind enough to let me do the same.

Remy. ;-)

Berny Belvedere said...
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