Saturday, October 15, 2005

Purpose, Motivation and Godblogging

Hi everyone. As it worked out, my first post about the Godblog conference ended up being a reply post on someone elses blog called "Benediction Blog".

Scroll down to the post called, "Organize, Dialogue or Learn: GodblogCon."

(Update 10/23/05 - Unfortunately, the entire post has been deleted! I guess this person would rather delete than dialogue. How sad... Good thing I posted this copy of my reply. There were several more in the thread that I wish I would have copied before they were deleted. Oh well...)

Here is a copy of my reply:

Hello Joel,

I can certainly appreciate all that you have shared here in your blog post. There are political and religious issues and differences that Christians have to face on almost a daily basis. You mentioned that you believe some are more pressing and important than others (e.g. homosexual issues less important than the war in Iraq) and maybe you are correct to a certain degree. However, when a small group of elitist politicians (the CA legislature) set a goal to change the definition of marriage over the objection of the majority who VOTED against 'gay' marriage (as in CA's Prop. 22 passed by 62% of voters in 2000), it is THEN that I think that the checks and balances of our democratic republic become most needed and meaningful.

Gov. Arnold did the right thing. It is evident that he decided this issue based on political rather than moral reasons. He was correct to allow the voted in proposition to stand vs. caving in to the liberal democratic majority of legislators that would have usurped the wishes of the voters on this issue.

I have the kind of blog where some liberals occasionally post and we often get into some heated discussions. But I try to keep it civil. Sometimes I fail (as we all do), but the beauty of the blogosphere is that this is how we learn. No one will ever be the "perfect blogger". But I do think that the give and take can be very helpful in developing a dialogue between those whose views happen to be polar opposites. As posters get to gradually know each other through conversation, we develop a kind of community between each other. As an example, even if we are polar opposites in worldviews, if one of my visitors is sick or absent from blogging for a while, we all worry about him or her! John Mark Reynolds mentioned something similar last night during the panel discussion.

I can certainly understand your feeling "outnumbered" by the conservative bloggers who showed up at the conference. I had a similar feeling when I joined a breakout group that appeared to be filling up with only male bloggers! As one of only two females in the room, I wondered if my questions and comments would be considered valid and/or welcomed by the majority. I quickly realized that my fears were totally unwarranted because I was not made to feel inferior in any way.

The panel last night was really good and very informative. The few people who were chosen out of the audience to speak and ask questions were good and added a lot to the panel conversation.

But I could not help feeling that something was missing.

I would have liked to have also heard questions/comments from some of the ordinary Christian 'lay' people bloggers who attended the conference. I could be wrong about this, but it appeared that many attendees were hailing from the more "professional" realm of bloggers and not from a group that might be considered just a beginner in the blog world and ordinary homemaker like me.

One question that I would have liked to have had the opportunity to ask the panel was, "If you had to choose just two Bible verses to describe the purpose of your blog and/or motivation behind your blog, which verses would you choose and why?"

Mine would be:

2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV - Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

and

Colossians 2:8 NIV - See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

I'm curious. Which verses might you select for your choices? I wonder which verses other Godblog attendees might have been led to choose?

As Christian Godbloggers, I think that we could all agree that the person of Jesus Christ and God's Word should be our ultimate purpose and motivation within our blogging efforts, even if we have disagreements politically and/or denominationally (e.g. Calvinism vs. Arminianism).

Amen?

In Christ's service,
Christine

9 comments:

jpe said...

it is THEN that I think that the checks and balances of our democratic republic become most needed and meaningful.

So....your evidence of the system being broken is that legislators passed a bill per their constitutional authority.

Wow. Compelling stuff.

Thomas said...

My own favorite Bible verses are as follows:

1 Samuel 18:1 -- "And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."

2 Samuel 1:26 -- "I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."

I find this part of the Bible to be very romantic. I might also have included Ezekiel 23:20, but this is a family site. Equine analogies are never very sexy, either.

And, yeah, what about those darned legislatures, passing laws like it ain't nobody's business. What a bunch of elitist, um, elected representatives of the people.

Christinewjc said...

jpe and Thomas,

The fact is, many of the legistators were NOT voting in accordance to wishes of the majority of Californians on this issue. Many 'on the fence' legislators were pressured through heavy lobbying by 4 gay-activist legislators and their supporters to vote for 'gay' marriage.

Millions of Californians had previously voted against it in the year 2000. What is more important in a democratic republic? The imposed ideology of a few legislators or the cast ballot votes made by millions of Californians? I think the voters should have more say than legislators like these who are obviously hell bent on pushing their own UNWANTED liberal left ideology on the general public. Yes. They were SUPPOSED to have been elected to SERVE the people. But on this particular issue, they tried to DICTATE according to their own desires and wishes. Not good policy in my book.

Christinewjc said...

Thomas,

If you are trying to point out that David and Jonathan were homosexual, there is no indication that this is true in Scripture.

On the contrary, there is strong evidence that they were not. First of all, David's attraction to Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11) reveals that his sexual orientation was heterosexual, not homosexual. In fact, judging by how many wives he had, David seemed to have too much heterosexuality.

Second, David's "love" for Jonathan was not sexual (erotic) but a friendship (philic) love. It is common in eastern cultures for heterosexual men to express love and affection toward one another.

Third, Jonathan did not strip himself of all his clothes in David's presence. he only stripped himself of his armor and royal robe (1 Sam. 18:4) as a symbol of his deep respect for David and commitment to him.

Fourth, the "kiss" was a common cultural greeting for men in that day. Furthermore, it did not occur until two and a half chapters after Jonathan gave David his clothes (1 Sam. 20:41).

Finally, the emotion they expressed was weeping, not what you probably presume. The text says, "they kissed each other and wept together - but David wept the most" (1 Sam. 20:41, NIV).

jpe said...

The fact is, many of the legistators were NOT voting in accordance to wishes of the majority of Californians on this issue.

So you thought that Clinton's method of leadership-through-polling is the model of what a representative of the people should be.

Gotcha.

jpe said...

Also, just so we get our facts straight: what the bill passed by the CA legislature would've done is put the question before the people in proposition form. This time, presumably, it would be put to the people in a normal election to maximize turnout. As I'm sure you're aware, Prop 22 was voted on in a special March election, and only 20% of registered voters turned out.

So they weren't trying to overturn the will of the people so much as ensure that the will of the people had actually spoken.

Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Thomas said...

Christine, I would hardly be one to deny that King David was a playa; he was certainly rambunctious with the ladies in his later life. But that doesn't mean that he was always that way, does it? Don't you think it's possible for a man to go from loving and "exceeding" with his gay partner, to one day settling down into a respectable heterosexual life, filled with wives and concubines?

Or do you deny that "complete change is completely possible"?

(And yes, I avoid the New International Version with all its "David wept the most" malarkey. I suscribe to the 1611 KJV literalist school of thought -- as the rational thinkers at www.jesus-is-lord.com can best explain. If God wants to tell me that David exceeded all over his royal robe, I'll believe Him.)

Christinewjc said...

Thomas, Thomas Thomas...

You have to stop reading and naively believing those 'gay theology' commentaries and explanations. Twisting the Scriptures here to turn what is a 'brotherly love' encounter and sad departure (because Saul was now out to kill David) into a sexual encounter is just beyond the pale of imagination.

I know that anything I quote here will probably not sway your mind away from your fantasies, but here goes anyway.

Source: Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 20." Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible. Blue Letter Bible. 01 Mar 1996. 17 Oct 2005.


1Sa 20:24-34

Jonathan is here effectually convinced of that which he was so loth to believe, that his father had an implacable enmity to David, and would certainly be the death of him if it were in his power; and he had like to have paid very dearly himself for the conviction.
*******

Christine: Skipping down a bit in the commentary:

*******
II. He is enquired for the second day, v. 27. Saul asked Jonathan, who he knew was his confidant, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat? He was his own son by marriage, but he calls him in disdain, the son of Jesse. He asks for him as if he were not pleased that he should be absent from a religious feast; and so it should be example to masters of families to see to it that those under their charge be not absent from the worship of God, either in public or in the family. It is a bad thing for us, except in case of necessity, to omit an opportunity of statedly attending on God in solemn ordinances. Thomas lost a sight of Christ by being once absent from a meeting of the disciples. But that which displeased Saul was that hereby he missed the opportunity he expected of doing David a mischief.

III. Jonathan makes his excuse, v. 28, 29. 1. That he was absent upon a good occasion, keeping the feast in another place, though not here, sent for by his elder brother, who was now more respectful to him than he had been (ch. 17:28), and that he had gone to pay his respects to his relations, for the keeping up of brotherly love; and no master would deny a servant liberty to do that in due time. He pleads, 2. That he did not go without leave humbly asked and obtained from Jonathan, who, as his superior officer, was proper to be applied to for it. Thus he represents David as not wanting in any instance of respect and duty to the government.

IV. Saul hereupon breaks out into a most extravagant passion, and rages like a lion disappointed of his prey. David was out of his reach, but he falls upon Jonathan for his sake (v. 30, 31), gives him base language, not fit for a gentleman, a prince, to give to any man, especially his own son, heir apparent to his crown, a son that served him, the greatest stay and ornament of his family, before a great deal of company, at a feast, when all should be in good humour, at a sacred feast, by which all irregular passions should be mortified and subdued; yet he does in effect call him, 1. A bastard: Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman; that is, according to the foolish filthy language of men’s brutish passion now a day, "Thou son of a whore.’’ He tells him he was born to the confusion of his mother, that is, he had given the world cause to suspect that he was not the legitimate son of Saul, because he loved him whom Saul hated and supported him who would be the destruction of their family. 2. A traitor: Thou son of a perverse rebellion (so the word is), that is, "thou perverse rebel.’’ At other times he reckoned no counsellor or commander that he had more trusty and well-beloved than Jonathan; yet now in this passion he represents him as dangerous to his crown and life. 3. A fool: Thou hast chosen the son of Jesse for thy friend to thy own confusion, for while he lives thou shalt never be established. Jonathan indeed did wisely and well for himself and family to secure an interest in David, whom Heaven had destined to the throne, yet, for this, he is branded as most impolitic. It is good taking God’s people for our people and going with those that have him with them. It will prove to our advantage at last, however for the present it may be thought a disparagement, and a prejudice to our secular interest. It is probable Saul knew that David was anointed to the kingdom by the same hand that anointed him, and then not Jonathan, but himself, was the fool, to think to defeat the counsels of God. Yet nothing will serve him but David must die, and Jonathan must fetch him to execution. See how ill Saul’s passion looks, and let it warn us against the indulgence of any thing like it in ourselves. Anger is madness, and he that hates his brother is a murderer.

V. Jonathan is sorely grieved and put into disorder by his father’s barbarous passion, and the more because he had hoped better things, v. 2. He was troubled for his father, that he should be such a brute, troubled for his friend, whom he knew to be a friend of God, that he should be so basely abused; he was grieved for David (v. 34), and troubled for himself too, because his father had done him shame, and, though most unjustly, yet he must submit to it. One would pity Jonathan to see how he was put, 1. Into the peril of sin. Much ado that wise and good man had to keep his temper, upon such a provocation as this. His father’s reflections upon himself made no return to; it becomes inferiors to bear with meekness and silence the contempts put upon them in wrath and passion. When thou art the anvil lie thou still. But his dooming David to die he could not bear: to that he replied with some heat (v. 32), Wherefore shall he be slain? What has he done? Generous spirits can much more easily bear to be abused themselves than to hear their friends abused. 2. Into the peril of death. Saul was now so outrageous that he threw his javelin at Jonathan, v. 33. He seemed to be in great care (v. 31) than Jonathan should be established in his kingdom, and yet now he himself aims at his life. What fools, what savage beasts and worse does anger make men! How necessary it is to put a hook in its nose and a bridle in its jaws! Jonathan was fully satisfied that evil was determined against David, which put him out of frame exceedingly: he rose from table, thinking it high time when his life was struck at, and would eat no meat, for they were not to eat of the holy things in their mourning. All the guests, we may suppose, were discomposed, and the mirth of the feast was spoiled. He that is cruel troubles his own flesh, Prov. 11:17.

*******

Christine: Now we come to the explanation of the portion of Scripture where Jonathan meets with David.

*******



"(1.) David addressed himself to Jonathan with the reverence of a servant rather than the freedom of a friend: He fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times, as one deeply sensible of his obligations to him for the good services he had done him. (2.) They took leave of each other with the greatest affection imaginable, with kisses and tears; they wept on each other’s neck till David exceeded, v. 41. The separation of two such faithful friends was equally grievous to them both, but David’s case was the more deplorable; for, when Jonathan was returning to his family and friends, David was leaving all his comforts, even those of God’s sanctuary, and therefore his grief exceeded Jonathan’s, or perhaps it was because his temper was more tender and his passions were stronger. (3.) They referred themselves to the covenant of friendship that was between them, both of them comforting themselves with this in this mournful separation: "We have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, for ourselves and our heirs, that we and they will be faithful and kind to each other from generation to generation.’’ Thus, while we are at home in the body and absent from the Lord, this is our comfort, that he has made with us an everlasting covenant."