Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Heart to Heart

I have had a major breakthough in my thinking this week!

Funnily enough, it started with some frustrating interactions on a blog. I clicked on a link to a blog and was reading a post that I thought was very heartfelt by a man named Dave and I wanted to encourage the brother. So I left him a very benign comment - something like "Thanks for sharing your story."

Immediately, Lou Martuneac came in and began posting that "Rose" is a "supporter of the crossless gospel." It was nuts! "Here we go again." I thought. *sigh* The blog owner, of course upon seeing such an awful phrase, "crossless gospel", deleted my simple comment. I thought that would be the end of that. I am not a propegator of any "crossless gospel," but it seemed I would not be able to say such.

It wasn't. Dave emailed me and apologized for not letting me speak for myself. We sent several emails back and forth and I was encouraged that he believed me about who I really am... despite Lou Martuneac's attempts to spread his "Rose" talk.

This caused me to trouble: Where can I go from Lou Martuneac? Can I ever escape his hand? Will he follow me everywhere I go and try to pin this "heresy" on me?

I was a bit bothered by it all.

Dave opened up his blog for discussion because he wanted to hear just what this "crossless gospel" was all about. He had never heard of the hulabaloo before. (Lucky him!) There were many comments. A litmus question was asked. I answered it in what one would think was the way that would dispel (for Lou) the notion that I am a propegater of this nuance of doctrine he calls the "crossless gospel." Not so.

Lou continued with these kinds of comments:
Lou said that I am:...determined to help them open new doors for that error, which could sadly deceive and ruin others.

In response I then told the blog owner: I am not. That is not my passion. I personally wish the whole thing would go away. My passion is that I am bothered that Lou and others keep bringing it up and the way this is being over-emphasised in some corners of the FG community. Lou is making it sound like I am trying to promote the teaching, which is not what I am doing.

Lou said in one comment that I was "dangerous." It almost became funny when I read the last comment by Lou (the comments are now, mercifully, closed):
Rose, All of us who have interacted with you over the last year or more and now read your comments in this thread and come away with this same conclusion we've had for months. Your pretense at being neutral toward the CG or its advocates is a facade and quite obvious.

So he uses language like "all of us... have the same conslusion" which might make me feel isolated and defensive.

BUT ... this passage came to mind just then:

8 The LORD judges the peoples;
Vindicate me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me.
9 O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous;
For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds. (Psalm 7)
Lou tries to pigeonhole me by saying that "all of [them] ... have come to the same conslusion [about me]." Even if it were true that it is more than just him, talking behind the scenes and saying these things about me... what does that matter?

The LORD is my judge and he knows my heart. What a relief that thought is!

My conscience is clear in this! I will not allow peer pressure tactics to get me to jump on the bandwagon and take up these fights. I am all for talking about doctrine and even debating it (as I do with Antonio and Matthew and others) but I will not throw brothers under the bus because we disagree over these things. Once again, internet friendships are not the same as a church membership. I can associate with any Christian I want to on the internet, even if we would not belong to the same church, based on our convictions. I can post at any Christian blog I want to... as long as I do so in truth and grace. THIS IS MY CONVICTION. I am not as easily persuaded as what Lou may think. I have my own mind. Listening to someone's ideas does not mean I will assimilate them. Listening to someone else's insistence that I am this or that does not make me this or that, either.

The LORD will judge this.

Lou ended by saying this:
I will warn anyone that comes into contact with me and has had an encounter with you that you are the friend of and supportive of the Crossless gospel.

If Lou Martuneac is going to follow me around and defame me on the internet because I would not bow to his demands to denounce these brethren, then he will have to answer to the LORD for doing that to me. I will pray for him. I believe him to be my brother in Christ and I have taken this to our Father.

May the LORD judge between you and me, and may the LORD avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you.
13"As the proverb of the ancients says, 'Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness'; but my hand shall not be against you. (1 Samuel 24)


  • Oh, and I wanted to correct a mis-spelling I made on Dave's site. He had comment moderation on and so I could not change it. I typed in "adimate" and what I really meant was "adamant."


    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/19/2008 2:02 PM  

  • Rose, I don't know who this Lou Martuneac is, but he sounds as if he is drawn from the same cartoon as some of those who are hung up on other so-called "theological" positions and seem bound and determined to force their positions on others or castigate others for the positions they hold which are different from theirs.

    Whew! I hope you can follow that. It wore me out just thinking it up.

    By Blogger Joe, at 9/19/2008 2:10 PM  

  • Rose,
    Lou is disgraceful. I have also had a huge problem with his methods and comments. He is the only Christian blogger that I will automatically delete if he ever again comments on my blog no matter what he says.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at 9/19/2008 3:50 PM  

  • We don't all have the same conclusion, Rose.

    I hope you stay encouraged by these scriptures. I am anxious to hear what Dave says, but not as idealistically hopeful as I once might have been. I think the topic is worth discussion, but good intentions especially when fully convinced of one's right stance often lead to pride. And we all know what pride leads to...

    Well, that too - but I meant another great divide. {{sigh}}

    May we all turn to humility - with an awareness, like you have pointed out here, that our help comes from the Lord.

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/19/2008 4:25 PM  

  • Rose,

    Yeah. I don't know what to say right now. I finished another blog post though.

    Please pray for me and I will pray for you too,

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/19/2008 8:36 PM  

  • Hey Rose,

    It is a great mindset to seek the approval of God rather than that of man. It is a bold and courageous thing to submit judgment unto God.

    I am reminded of what Peter has told us:

    ... when [Jesus] was reviled, [He] did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously

    1 Peter 2:23


    By Blogger Antonio, at 9/19/2008 8:40 PM  

  • There are always some wild eyed extreme Fundamentalists willing exaggerate positions they differ with and harass those who may hold those positions. They are those spoken of at Romans 16:17-20. They are to be avoided. Do not respond or mention their names. They are to be separated from. They are disobedient Christians.

    I do not agree with Zane Hodges on the amount of initial information of the Gospel one must understand and believe to be saved. However, I do think that one could possibly be saved with the initial information of John 3:16 as it involves several key theological truths of the Gospel.
    It is a major distortion for a few to label Hodges and GES as espousing a "Crossless Gospel." The gospel they believe and declare involves the Cross with the death burial and resurrection of Christ. They always practice and advocate the full information of the Cross be declared. They probably give a better and fuller explanation of the Gospel than the average Evangelical or Fundamentalist. Many of those declare the gospel in an inaccurate fashion. People still hear enough truth to repond to the wooing of the Spirit and be saved. The issue is regarding recipients who, for one reason or another, do not recieve full information. Such differences are not necessarily heresy. However, they can be major issues.

    I would not pay attention to divisive persons who wish to distorte and mistate issues. They are always with us. I think it best to Ignore and cease all communication with such divisive persons.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/20/2008 2:12 AM  

  • Joe,
    I don't know who this --- --------- is...

    I am thinking something that I am not going to say. :~)

    God bless you and thank you for your visit. I do like your sentence structure and followed it well. :~)

    So you have had some 'fun' with these methods before also? Ah, well... I am sorry for that. Part of me wants to say I am glad it is not just me, but then that is not entirely true. I am not glad for anyone to have had to be troubled by these interactions... even a cat. ;~) (dog lover)
    Thanks for visiting. It has been a long time since you commented here.
    God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/20/2008 8:56 AM  

  • Hi Missy,
    You said: We don't all have the same conclusion, Rose.

    I am foggy on what you mean by that.

    I share your feelings about that particular situation and where it may end up. Several of my comments were withheld and not allowed through. Based on what I saw Lou being allowed to publish, as he continued to mischaracterise me in the comment thread, and what I knew that Dave was not publishing of mine, I was skeptical about how fair it was. I give him the benefit of the doubt though. Dave was very kind in the emails and did believe me as I spoke for myself and for that I was thankful.

    I think the very phrase "crossless gospel" being brought up totally predjudices people to even read or hear what GES people have to say about it with any kind of objectivity. It did for me for quite a while. It immediately turns people off and "poisons the well" for any kind of reasonable understanding. Whoever came up with the phrase was masterful in demagoguery. (sp)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/20/2008 9:08 AM  

  • Michelle,
    :~) I will.

    Thank you for bringing the principle to my attention a couple of weeks ago about letting God be the Judge. I remembered what you said and it came back to my mind. I appreciate that.

    I agree. I was not mentioning this --- on my blog for months and *was* avoiding him... but what do you do when someone follows your comment with such a thing? That is the only reason I made this post. I thought I might use it in the future to explain the situation to another person he tries to "warn" about me.

    Now what was that scripture you mentioned, Romans 16:17-20? I was thinking about that passage just a couple of posts ago. I had similar thoughts.

    Thank you for your advice - I had been heeding it already - and I will go back to that M.O.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/20/2008 9:17 AM  

  • Rose, I was refering to your quote from him:

    "...All of us who have interacted with you over the last year or more and now read your comments in this thread and come away with this same conclusion we've had for months..."

    I was saying, No. We don't come all away with the same conclusion. :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/20/2008 11:06 AM  

  • Rose,

    Thanks for the prayers, I really think your post "judge between the two of us," is intelligent for this situation. Did you have what I am about to describe, in mind too? I wonder! The last couple of days I have listened to my two girls fight constantly. The younger is often tattle-tailing, and lately when I give the older one an answer she constantly tries to show me why it's not fair because her sister had more.

    It struck me that it can't be too different as children of God. We share one Father. As His daughter I am confident that He hears me and agrees what I think is wrong, and wants to restore righteousness. But, my Father is just as much invested and defensive about me as He is about... that other guy. He must also have given some kind of vision of righteousness to my brothers.

    In my opinion there's a pendulum of relevance. "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." The Pharisees had all the righteous solutions. But they were out of touch with humanity. The truth is, people are not first and foremost computer processors. We can share our message once, twice... maybe three times, before it goes to being injury to the brothers. Too much more, and it must be becoming clear (in my thoughts), to the Father, that we have become set against our brother (and therefore set against God, who is for each of us).

    I think I'm seeing the "pendulum" of God's favor swinging wherever the oppression is greatest. It swings toward the men who are willing to listen, who are listening to God and the church to try and be obedient -- the guy who is changing is the guy who needs the Spirit for transformation.

    At one time the pendulum might have been with Stegall and his deep concern and contention for the faith, but, because of that one move of extremity by adoption of a philosophy "that there should be no compromise/communication/fellowship/striving alongside the crossless people,"
    the pendulum is now shifting away back toward us.

    I disciplined both my daughters so that there can be peace in the house. I will bless the unfavored one to cause the other to be jealous to try and reconcile willingly. I bless one so that the other notices she is made of the same stuff as her sister.

    In my mind God's heart is redemption, meaning we will never have arrived to fulfilling God's will, if we have arrived to a place where "we're done with them."

    Is this what you were thinking about too?

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/20/2008 1:18 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I am going to break my self imposed silence for a quick comment. I have been deeply disturbed by the tone of a lot of the posts and comments I have read in the Christian blogosphere. I wanted to point out a publication by Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries by the title The Sins of the Tongue. It is a short but valuable study of the sins of the tongue.

    Now, for my disclaimer. I am not accusing anyone of sins of the tongue and no one should take this comment personally. To publicly accuse anyone of slander or misrepresentation would be to commit the very sin(s) that I am urging others to avoid.

    Also, I should probably also state that whether any others love or hate the publication that I have linked to I will not spend any time defending it.


    By Anonymous Glenn W, at 9/22/2008 11:27 AM  

  • Thank you, Missy. I get it now. :~)

    Thanks for your thoughts. I don't think I am seeing it quite the same way as you are. I appreciate the parenting story you share. You are very thoughtful in the way you deal with your girls, it sounds like.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/22/2008 3:23 PM  

  • Glenn... Hello!
    Good to see you. I had that article up on the screen and then the baby did something and I never got back to it before my Adobe Acrobat quit on me. I will check it our again, though. I appreciated the last article you sent my way and have some thoughts about it that I will share with you very soon.

    You said: I have been deeply disturbed by the tone of a lot of the posts and comments I have read in the Christian blogosphere.

    I heartily empathise with you! I am deeply disturbed as well. With the way some of this is going, it is as though we are eating ourselves rather than the world doing it to us. It is awful.

    Thanks for visiting.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/22/2008 3:26 PM  

  • Rose,

    You go girl.

    :D Michele

    By Blogger Sanctification, at 9/23/2008 1:52 PM  

  • Отступите от меня!

    (just checking to see if Russian will publish as a comment)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/25/2008 3:39 PM  

  • that was not a message for anyone who comemnted here, by the way. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/25/2008 3:40 PM  

  • Oh, good. :)

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/25/2008 7:39 PM  

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