Saturday, December 02, 2006

Non existent "Church Discipline"

I have completed my latest unsatisfactory encounter with "Church Discipline". I am reminded of the "Emergency Stop" lever in SpaceBalls that has a warning attached to it that it never be used.

I won't go into detail but finally resolved that since no action would come anywhere on any front, that I would simply take matters into my own hands. I wanted to avoid lawsuits so I sought a legal means to apply pressure outside church channels, and proceeded to apply it. I applied it. It worked. I'm happy with the result. I'm comfortable with my ethical position and relieved I didn't have to use lawyers.

Several times in my life I have tried to use the avenue of Church Disciplinary procedure as outlined in Matthew 18 and 1st Corinthians 6 to resolve problems that inevitably crop up with other believers. I have even gone to such organizations as "Peacemakers" in attempts to resolve issues that countless numbers of churches, local administrators and even denominations would not confront. Peacemakers was ineffective. They wanted money. They kept me on a mailing list for a long time. They seem to be good at selling merchandise. A visit to their web page shows some very nice coffee cups.

This last time around every church that was involved demurred. They vigorously sought reasons to "not get involved" and I am reminded of those in the parable of the Good Samaritan that crossed on the other side. Every conceivable excuse was employed, just as the one that ended up coming before Peacmakers, it was clear that nice tidy Sunday appearances were desired but "no mud please, we're Holy".

The good news this time around was that all the combatants got back together and found a way to agree and the dispute was resolved. I want to commend EVERYONE involved in the resolution, particularly the go between we used. You all know who you are. Despite the fact that I'm probably never going to be intimate friends with some of the adversaries I had (I emphasize HAD), I am more greatly impressed with them and their behavior than I am of the Church Establishment and the various "ministries" that have grown up around that establishment.

The bad news is that I have never to this day seen or participated in a remotely Christian problem resolution process that involved a Church or Church body themselves. For me to wish this to occur, I would have to get into another "unresolved conflict", something I never hope to do again. God willing, I won't. More →

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Monday, August 28, 2006

So Much for Double Dog Dares

I'm not much of an expert on "Christian Radio". I know there are talk shows out there with a conservative Christian bent. I know there are "internet radio" sites that "broadcast" to who knows how many or how few people. I've put one offer out there to one show that I know about, and I got nothing. Not even a polite demur.

I say this in regard to my offer to debate Polygyny in a Christian framework, namely the aforementioned conservative Christian framework. I'm going to have to start beating the brush out there to see if I can find a venue willing to put me on and take me on. Suggestions are welcome.

Hugh More →

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The First Shot in the "New Crusades"?

Rush Limbaugh opened his show today with a statement I have never heard him make before. Since I don't listen to all of his programs all of the time, he could have made it before, I heard it today. I of course in my finite "wisdom" have said this before. You'd only have to interview my son, who is serving overseas to know this. IT'S A RELIGIOUS WAR. It's not a war on terrorism, it's not a war on Arabs, it's a RELIGIOUS WAR. Antagonists in a Religious war do not back down. They must be defeated, or they will come back over and over and over and over again attempting to enforce their religious point of view.

Fundamentalism governs all forms of religious expression. There is the core and originalist position in all religion. The Torah is God's law given directly by him to his People, Israel. Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, son of David, King forever, Messiah. There is only one God, Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet. These are core belief in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Those that do not subscribe to the core beliefs of each religion eventually fall away. To say for instance as theological "liberals" and the "neo orthodox" do in Christianity that MAYBE some of the core beliefs are not true may draw a large crowd, may draw the faithful away from the core doctrines and may get great play, but the denominations that subscribe to such modified views are not growing. People don't convert to the IDEA of Christ, they convert to following Christ. Likewise people follow Muhammad or the Law of God as given to and through Moses.

Let's look at the three religions and their "warlike natures". Christianity has been used as justification for "Holy War" but no requirement exists in the core beliefs of Christianity to go on Holy Wars. We are to obey our government and are told so and Paul goes so far as to tell us that Governments bear the sword (power of death for order) as ministers of God. That means they are put in place by him and if they are not religious in a way that satisfies us, so be it, God uses all men, good or evil for his purposes. We are to obey them insofar as it is possible while remaining moral. This does not give us the right to go about conquering and rebelling because of our religious beliefs. I'd be happy to discuss this in more detail with whomever.

Judaism has a "Promised Land", the portion of this earth, quite small as a matter of fact that God has declared to be his, and given to his people Israel to inhabit. They are given permission to be quite militant in their borders, but not outside them. Solomon's temple dedication presents a quite benign version of evangelism, with Israel setting an example, people seeing that example, and coming to God and worshipping as a result. This is not a violent world conquest religion.

Islam believes in Holy War. I know some of you say this is not so, but history shows the largest area and largest number of people subjected to military conquest in conjunction with evangelism at the point of the sword, were subjected to Islam. It's a fundamental belief of that religion. As long as that religion persists, it's most fervent adherents will believe that weaponized evangelism and preaching is the way to go. So if we are in a Religious War, and the opponent is Islam. How do we win as people not wanting to be Islamic? It is only by the DEFEAT of that religion because they will persist in trying to win through warfare. Not all of them of course, but enough of them. If our governments want to survive, they're going to have to go to war with a BELIEF. More →

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Polygamy & Polygyny, No One Left?

Since 2004 I have been engaged in a very public debate about Polygamy. As an extremely fundamentalist Christian I have come to understand that the western notion of Monogamy being marriage is incorrect. The form of marriage in the Bible included what we now call Polygyny and what we now call Monogamy to the extent that the concept of Monogamy didn't even exist in the Hebrew tongue.

Somewhere in the early to mid 90's it began to dawn on me that there was probably nothing wrong with the practice of having one or more wives as a man. The more scripture I read, the more convinced I became. In 2004 I began to "debug" my ideas in public debate and have become even more sure. I am now the leading "Internet Debater of Christian Polygyny in the English speaking world".

That's a highly qualified title. It leaves open the possibility that someone debates in public venues more so than I. It leaves open the possibility that there is a more spirited debate occurring in Korean or Spanish. It recognizes the real possibility that the Polygyny debate rages more in LDS circles or Islamic ones. As this blog title suggests, I love to phrase things in ways that pique interest and spark discussion. Thus this seemly large title I bestow on myself could be the equivalent of saying I'm the last small fish of an undiscovered species, and I will die in that obscurity with no one really noticing. I am of course, the leading authority in the world at any given time, on the subject of when I last had lunch.

Having conquered my obscure domain, "English Speaking Internet Debate of Polygyny", I'm ready to rumble with ANYBODY in the Christian establishment. I will confine myself to inviting those who operate from a conservative theological framework. I really wouldn't care to debate anyone who does not see the Bible as God's word. I absolutely double dog dare anyone to take me on in debate. I'm right on this topic, if you don't agree with me you're wrong.* How's that for starters? I am guessing that I'll get no takers. On that I am not quite as confident of my infallibility.

Hugh McBryde

*Another statement for piquing interest and sparking debate. By saying "I'm Right", I believe only that I have listened to God through his word and in doing so, I am right, because he has caused me to agree with him. More →

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

How the invisible hand works.

A lot of information is snuggled into this picture. Other owners of Ford Super Duty Pickups know that they barely perceptible characters "RBO" and "Si" in the lefthand portion of the image mean I have a turbocharger and that's only available on a Diesel.

The next bit of info is that I'm cruising down the highway at a speed in excess of 50 MPH because you can't see any of the speedometer needle. Also, this is a fairly new pickup truck, there are only 6227 miles on it. I've just barely broken it in. I'm heading north and you can see a portion of my face reflected neatly in the image. The MPG average dates back to my last fill up in Bonner MT and is mostly based on highway miles. The last 300+ miles on my pickup truck have been back and forth between where I live on I90, a Sunday afternoon drive along SR 200 to Ovando, and a jaunt from there down to Avon. The balance of it has been back and forth from work to wherever I have business in Butte and has included me "standing on it" to merge into traffic a few times.

Diesel fuel in my area has topped $3.05 a gallon, and may have gone up a bit since my last fillup over the weekend. I hate spending money on fuel as much as any of you do so my behavior has changed. I have lowered my speed. I admit to occasionally drafting "Big Rigs" to lower the drag of my 4x4 high profile moving brick that I call a truck. I move sedately and serenely through life instead of applying all that horsepower and torque.

Something I noticed this morning on the way to work. I pulled away from the house (my RV) and a car rather quickly closed the gap between me and it, I got onto the Interstate and expected an impatient motorist to quickly whip over and pass me at the first available opportunity. You see, I've been driving like this for a while being the cheapo that I am. The car didn't pass me. In fact, I was lumbering along the rural stretch of I90 (most of the stretches of road in Montana are rural) and he continued to not pass me. In fact, there were a line of vehicles stretching out for about a mile behind both of us, not passing each other. Once in a while someone would whip by at 70-80 MPH, but there were at least as many or more vehicles lumbering along the I90 at the same speed I was traveling, 58 MPH.

Later I kicked it up to about 70, catching the occasional draft as I headed for work. By then the engine was warm, all the fluids up to operating temperature and I was in the optimum operating mode for my truck. It's still at 20 MPG. As long as there is a reasonable amount of fuel being distributed at "market prices" we really don't need to worry. For the bulk of us, the invisible hand of the free market economy alters our behavior to fit circumstance. The whole point of this post is just that. When it was under $2.00, I tended to drive a little faster, and "stand on it" more often and I didn't monitor my fuel economy quite like I do now. Problem? None really, not now, not yet. More →

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Authority of Parents, and primarily of Fathers.

To start with, don't even get started with me. If it's in the Bible, I believe it. I consider it historically accurate. With that in mind unless I post about the veracity of something in scripture in general then I'm not inviting you to comment on whether or not it's believable. That's going to be the policy from here on out. It's a given in this blog that I rely on scripture completely and at this time I'm not opening the floor to debate.

I'm reading Job right now. Another disclaimer. By "reading" I usually mean "listening". At this time I am going through the ESV for about the second or third time and I'm in the book of Job. Right away this stood out at me. Job 1:9-11:
"Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face."
Satan declares to God that Job will crumble if all that he HAS (that which he owns, that which is his) is taken from him. God responds with this permission in Job 1:12:
"And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD."
And then Satan does destroy much of what Job has, including his children. Job 1:18 & 19:
"While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee."
Great truths of scripture are revealed in sidebars. The primary point of the first chapter of Job is to record the preamble, rationale for and testing of Job. Snuggled in with that though is God declaring what Satan may touch, those things that are JOB's. As evidenced by the destruction of his children, and the fact that Satan cannot exceed the bounds of his mandate from God, Job's children are his. They are his possessions.
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Friday, July 28, 2006

Using Country as a concept. Lebanon is NOT big.

This is a letter to my daughter, slightly modified. I realized after I had written it that it's a somewhat useful observation for us all.

As the crow flies, the "Shaba Farms" area of northern Israel is about 40 miles from Beirut. For some perspective, my wife drives twice that distance one way to work every day. Overall, Lebanon is about the size of Connecticut. The notion that is conveyed in the media that Hezbollah is in "Southern Lebanon" is a bit misleading since on a clear day you can easily see mountains that are 40 miles away and given the right road conditions you can drive that distance in less than half an hour. Fighter aircraft cross that distance in the blink of an eye.
Being able to see that distance also means that radar support facilities for missile launches can be controlled and evidently ARE being controlled from Beirut.

Propagandists would like you to think that Hezbollah is confined to Southern Lebanon, but that's a myth built in part on your notion of what a country is. Some countries are no bigger than Connecticut, the third smallest state in the United States, only Rhode Island and Delaware are smaller. Having lived in larger towns (some of you will say "duh" at this point) metro areas can also stretch for 40 miles or so.
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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why I choose THAT name.

Ok, ok, it's partly an attention getting device. Here's the logic behind it. In their day it was the Pharisees that believed in the Resurrection. They were the most "Theologically Correct" adherents to the faith of the Hebrews commonly known today as Judaism.

Most don't know it but the only sect that is mentioned as carrying over into early "Christianity" (which wasn't known as Christianity until it spread to the gentiles) were the Pharisees. Paul continued to claim long after his conversion not that he used to be a Pharisee, but that he was a Pharisee.

With that in mind it would make sense that if we truly reformed, we'd end up being most like the Pharisees theologically. Obviously there were excesses and hypocrisies among them. I most certainly don't advocate returning to their micro managing interpretive rules.

I've started this Blog in part to promote my own forum. Expect to find what is discussed here, also discussed there.

Hugh McBryde
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