The Law of Moses and equitable solutions specifically for Israel

One of the difficult things for Christians to understand is the context of Jewish culture and some of the equitable solutions proposed. This is true with both marriage and divorce.

We discussed this some in the comments of Divorce Part 7 Final.

Deuteronomy 24:1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, 2 and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, 3 and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife,

4 then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.

The key to verse 4 of this passage is understanding inheritance. The wife is ‘defiled’ because of inheritance issues, not because going back to the former husband makes her defiled. If a wife went back to her former husband and then had a kid 9 months later, you couldn’t tell whose kid it was.

Inheritance is clearly important in ancient Israel that God had Levirate marriage (brother to deceased brother married his widow to produce an heir), Ezra had the Israelites put away their foreign brides, Samaritans were looked down upon because of their mixing with the surrounding cultures (cut off from the inheritance of Israel), and things like these.

The equitable solution in this instance is making sure she does not remarry the first husband. She is defiled as her womb (which produces sons for inheritance) has been defiled by the second husband having sex with her. Not having clear heirs brings sin on the land through lack of clear inheritance.

Similarly, the sex = marriage proponents also take the Law out of context.

Deuteronomy 22:28 “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

It’s important to acknowledge the Law was written not as a “perfect guide” but aims to show what it means to Love God and Love your Neighbor. If you broke the Law, it imposes equitable punishments. The perfect guide is the example of Jesus Christ.

In Israel, women who were not virgins had virtually no marriage prospects anymore, so marriage to a man who was interested in her but did wrong was likely better than being shunned for the rest of her life.

The Amnon and Tamar story confirms this.

2 Samuel 13:10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes which she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. 11 When she brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing! 13 As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 However, he would not listen to her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.

Incest + seized and violated her. Continuing on in the story…

2 Samuel 13:15 Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!” 16 But she said to him, No, because this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done to me!” Yet he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his young man who attended him and said, “Now throw this woman out of my presence, and lock the door behind her.”

The Law is interested in protecting the woman in this instance, which means making her the seizing man’s wife AND he cannot divorce her all his days.

We live in a different culture makes it odd to us that it was an equitable solution for the violated woman to be with her rapist, but women in that culture would rather be the wife of their rapist rather than live in shame the rest of her days.

In the case of the sex = marriage proponents, the case that would “most apply to today” — which it doesn’t but let’s say it did — is the passage from Exodus.

Exodus 22:16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.

A man who seduces (not seizes) a virgin would have to give a dowry to the father and get his permission for her to be his wife.

It’s unlikely that men having sex with a woman would go get permission from her father AND offer a dowry for marriage. Most will try to keep the sex a secret from the father much less offer a dowry for her. They are obviously not married.

These are some of the many problems of trying to apply the Law that was written for the Jewish nation to non-Christians and Christians alike that are not under the Law. Christian who try to live under the Law but not under grace are making grave errors in their application of the Scripture.

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22 Responses to The Law of Moses and equitable solutions specifically for Israel

  1. SirHamster says:

    > Fat chance that most of the men having sex with the woman would be able to get permission from her father just like that AND they offered a dowry.

    Sentence unclear, though I have a good guess what you meant.

  2. @ SirHamster

    Edited

  3. fuzziewuzziebear says:

    You do bring up a good point. Things do need to be looked at in historical and cultural context.

  4. @fuzziewuzziebear:

    “Proper” context. It seems lost on nearly all Christians that the Lord is far more clever & inventive than they can imagine. He can be addressing many things, over the course of the ages, in little passages in the Bible. The Books of the Prophets have to be read in a Forecast, Backcast and Current Day views. Sometimes needing to switch the perspective between lines.

    The issues are rarely ever the Details or the Breadth of the topics with this stuff. It’s almost always that a person’s “heart” is in the wrong place, and I don’t mean in the emotional context. They’re not being honest and not addressing the Lord with the proper reverence to the subjects, as their Vanity is getting in the way. There’s also a “feels Good” vs “is Good” issue in here. Positions that are cribbing at the edges of bring correct without actually being such “feel” better, as you get the benefits without the consequences.

  5. Robert What? says:

    This is sort of on a tangent, but today’s orthodox Jews do not follow the Old Testament. Oh they revere it for ceremonial purposes, but what they truly follow is the Babylonian Talmud. So trying to understand modern Jewish behavior based on passages from the OT is largely futile.

  6. greyham9 says:

    If the first proposition was the case then she would be allowed to remarry the first husband after her time of separation. Paternity\inheritance is important to the law but not at play here. If it was it would demand a time of separation from the first to the second, as the problem o

    What a Woman will do for a Man that she’s extremely attracted to actually disturbs most Men.

    On the topic in general, the ones that actual “pay” for a Man with Multiple Wives is the Men lower down the totem pole, but the biggest “payer” is the children. You create a de facto hierarchy among the children for their entire lives. The Bible records it going badly quite regularly. Because it would.f the divorced woman carrying the first husbands child into the house of the second man is still present. Similarly nothing prevents her from moving to a third husband once put away, carrying the second husbands seed.

    While this law has a variety of purposes, the most clean-cut social purpose I can explain to you is that it prevents the sharing of woman via repeated divorce and re-marriage as the Muslims today do. They keep clerics in whorehouses and ‘marry’ the couple as they go in and ‘divorce’ them as they come out, so all things are on the up and up in the eyes of Allah.

    This is not a law relating directly to preserving the line of inheritance, though it has indirect ramifications on that topic. But your premise as a whole falls apart even on your own terms.

    The second proposition, I dunno even where to begin. Some of your assertions are made up whole-cloth. There’s definite elements of re-interpreting the past via a modernist lens, like those folks that take information like ‘the average lifespan in the 1300s was 30 years’ to mean that a 30 year old was equivalent to an old man. Really the whole focus on being ‘equitable’ whatever you think that means, belies a strong modernist taint.

    If you want to apply modern terms to Mosaic law go for ‘functional’, as it it’s a law that does the best possible to set out limits and boundaries on human corruption, and maintains a society that tends towards procreation, prosperity, and piety.

    If you want to talk about cultural context, you’re going to have to read quite a lot of history of marriage, ancient near eastern, imperial Roman, even the various Christian European developments and changes to views on and laws concerning marriage.

    In short, there are parallels but extreme differences between Roman and ANE, (to your credit I think you tipped your hat too differences elsewhere). But neither of those institutions parallel to modern (like, post 1600’s, even less post 1960s) Christian marriage in tangible ways beyond the name. Even the post 1200’s changes, and the culture of courtly love and priestly celibacy and the more or less end of concubinage put a chasm between ‘biblical marriage’ and ‘Christian\cultural marriage’ that can’t easily be crossed.

    Sex with an unmarried woman in Mosaic law put them in a state which has no parallels in our culture. It is not fornication or adultery, it is not marriage as we see it and it’s kind of marriage marriage in Mosaic law but it’s kind of not. What we call marriage is two different things; First a man taking ownership and responsibility for a woman and his children produced by her and second the various way a society recognizes and regulates that relationship. A sexual relationship where the woman is only with her man always implies the first kind of marriage.The second is so tangential that scripture translates usually infer ‘marriage’ from indications of sex in the first place.

    The sex = marriage guys are far less wrong than the people who say only marriage = marriage; once that say modern (post council of Trent, for Catholics, post whenever their government tookover [usually 17xx] for prots.) marriage is the be all and end of morally licit sexual relations.

  7. @ greyham9

    The second proposition, I dunno even where to begin. Some of your assertions are made up whole-cloth. There’s definite elements of re-interpreting the past via a modernist lens, like those folks that take information like ‘the average lifespan in the 1300s was 30 years’ to mean that a 30 year old was equivalent to an old man. Really the whole focus on being ‘equitable’ whatever you think that means, belies a strong modernist taint.
    If you want to apply modern terms to Mosaic law go for ‘functional’, as it it’s a law that does the best possible to set out limits and boundaries on human corruption, and maintains a society that tends towards procreation, prosperity, and piety.

    I like your description better than mine. I was trying to find the words to describe it but could only come up with equitable. Practical sorta fits, but functional fits better.

    In short, there are parallels but extreme differences between Roman and ANE, (to your credit I think you tipped your hat too differences elsewhere). But neither of those institutions parallel to modern (like, post 1600’s, even less post 1960s) Christian marriage in tangible ways beyond the name. Even the post 1200’s changes, and the culture of courtly love and priestly celibacy and the more or less end of concubinage put a chasm between ‘biblical marriage’ and ‘Christian\cultural marriage’ that can’t easily be crossed.

    Well, drawing the line has always been difficult.

    Sometimes the cultural definition of marriage is similar (though never exactly) as God’s. Many other times it is not.

    That’s where I think the Catholic/Orthodox definition seems to fit the best to distinguish between various ‘cultural marriages’ (no matter the form) and ‘sacramental marraige’ (God’s/Bible’s prescription).

    The other problems being of course that Christians always default to confusing the two or imposing their own thoughts on what should be or what ought to be.

  8. greyham9 says:

    “That’s where I think the Catholic/Orthodox definition seems to fit the best to distinguish between various ‘cultural marriages’ (no matter the form) and ‘sacramental marraige’ (God’s/Bible’s prescription).”

    Contrarily it’s the sacramental view and definition of marriage that’s the problem. It’s an artifact of the rivalry between the Papal states and the Holy Roman Empire, and a following era of wild expansion of Papal power over minutia of human life in order to bolster the churches secular power over kings and men.

    God and the Bible do not give a prescription for marriage. Marriage is neither more nor less than the recognition of a reproductive relationship between members of the community, and the obligations such a relationship entails. Scripture gives a stern and clear proscription against some sexual behaviors that precludes practitioners from marriage on the grounds that such people are not to be included in your society at all.

    Sacramental marriage is the view that marriage is an instrument of sanctification and a channel of grace. It’s not by accident that reformers saw this as nonsense. There’s a kind of parallel between the rise of the idea of courtly love and the rise of the idea of sacramental marriage.

    Sex and reproduction are pleasures of life not to be spurned without good reason, but they’re not instruments of grace or sanctification. Sex, marital sex, has metaphysical qualities, to be sure, but so does wine, so does a good fight, so does an interesting conversation. Elevating this kind of thing to a special holiness, either by elevating feelings like courtly love or by selling a stamp of approval like the modern state and church is really erring on the same side of the ditch, even when they claim they’re opposite forces.

  9. SirHamster says:

    Sex and reproduction are pleasures of life not to be spurned without good reason, but they’re not instruments of grace or sanctification.

    How does that square with 1 Timothy 2:15?

    “But women will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

  10. greyham9 says:

    Well Sir Hamster, how do YOU square 1 Timothy 2:15 with the rest of scripture and human experience?

    It’s a very, very tiresome facet of our culture that all comers, religious and misotheist alike, enjoy throwing out individual verses that may or may not have any bearing on the topic at hand but kind of look like they might, and then ask for an explanation.

    The explanation is in a wider and deeper understanding of scripture and theology as a whole. And usually, when people throw out a verse and say ‘explain this to me’ they have a very large gap in their understanding.

    Forming a counter-assertion like so: I would say ABC X verse Y contradictions what you’re saying based on QRS.

    There are a number of ways to look at 1 Timothy 2:15. None of them, Catholic or Protestant, have more than a tangential bearing on my assertion. I mean, if you go really fringe like cults that say a woman can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven if she doesn’t bear children, then it has something to do with my assertion.

    What you asked for here is an in-depth lesson on soteriology from multiple perspectives, coupled with a detailed lesson in theology and scriptural interpretation.

    The answer is no. Present an actual counterpoint.

  11. greyham9 says:

    “Forming a counter-assertion like so: I would say ABC X verse Y contradictions what you’re saying based on QRS. ”

    Should be

    Form a counter-assertion like so: I would say ABC X verse Y contradictions what you’re saying based on QRS.

  12. @ greynham9

    Sacramental marriage is the view that marriage is an instrument of sanctification and a channel of grace. It’s not by accident that reformers saw this as nonsense. There’s a kind of parallel between the rise of the idea of courtly love and the rise of the idea of sacramental marriage.

    Disagreed. The marriage of a husband and wife is a the reflection of the Christ and the Church and a parallel of the sanctification process.

  13. SirHamster says:

    @greynham9

    Well Sir Hamster, how do YOU square 1 Timothy 2:15 with the rest of scripture and human experience?

    What you asked for here is an in-depth lesson on soteriology from multiple perspectives, coupled with a detailed lesson in theology and scriptural interpretation.

    The answer is no. Present an actual counterpoint.

    Touched a nerve, I see.

    You spent 7 paragraphs to say that you refuse to answer the question.

    Interestingly, you didn’t even give me a basic answer of, “Of course it squares with it.”

    I am satisfied with the answer you gave, but it is not a convincing one.

    My answer to your question is that 1 Timothy 2:15 contradicts you point that I quoted. Childbearing, which includes sex and reproduction, provides a method of sanctification for a woman. The human experience is that a woman’s self-centered perspective is transformed by childbirth into a child-centric perspective, which partially fulfills Jesus’s command for followers to die to self.

    Thus, 1 Tim 2:15 squares with Jesus’s commands and human experience, fulfilling the rest of scripture.

    Disagreed. The marriage of a husband and wife is a the reflection of the Christ and the Church and a parallel of the sanctification process.

    Concur.

  14. @SirHamster:

    One can reflect even deeper on this point. When you say “she’s a good woman”, everyone understands that phrase to be discussing the intrinsic mothering nature of a Woman.

  15. greyham9 says:

    Yes Sir Hamster, people being ludicrously careless with scripture touches a nerve, especially when it’s someone who’s supposed to be on the Christian side. This is because you’re horribly decontextualized, unfounded use of scripture validates their horribly decontextualized, unfounded use of scripture.

    You’re reply to me isn’t only following the same line of reasoning of ‘judge not therefore fag marriage’, it’s the REASON shitlibs feel confident when making the argument ‘judge not therefore fag marriage’.

    When our guys handle scripture like that on a regular basis what answer can we give?

    Regardless, you accused me of not answer your question plainly, I did. My answer was that the verse you cited has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. It’s quite correct I didn’t answer you yes or no or tell you ‘it squares’, I told you your assertion was nonsense. Obviously you where unprepared for that. You will have to let go of concerns about answers within your frame, your satisfaction, or your criteria of being convinced.

    Conversations about theology are not about your feelings.

    Let me state what I said more clearly for you, the verse you cited, as explained by commenters and theologians such as Gill, Clarke, or Haydock, to pick three very, very different points of view on it, has nothing directly to do with my assertion. When people who take scripture seriously and with proper gravity debate the sacrament of marriage, this verse rarely if ever comes up, and when it does it’s a footnote not an argument.

    And people have had these arguments. This topic is one of the major divides of the reformation. Here, I’ll quote New Advent with hopes you can understand:

    “To the teaching of the Apostles, indeed, are to be referred the doctrines which our holy fathers, the councils, and the tradition of the Universal Church have always taught, namely that Christ Our Lord raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament.” The pope rightly emphasizes the importance of the tradition of the Universal Church. Without this it would be very difficult to get from the Scriptures and the Fathers clear and decisive proof for all, even the unlearned, that marriage is a sacrament in the strict sense of the word. ”

    It IS difficult to get this idea out of scripture. It IS NOT a matter of citing 1 Tim 2:15. Any interpretation of 1 Tim 2:15 that you think is relevant to this topic is either absurdly lazy or flatly heretical by the standards of ANY branch of Christendom.

    This is just re-stating my last counter to you with a clearer explanation of this force

    ” Childbearing, which includes sex and reproduction, provides a method of sanctification for a woman.” ect…

    You choose to err towards the heretical. Does childbearing remove sin? No, obviously not. I don’t think I have to explain to you the gravity of the error that assertion would have. You know.

    Does it by it’s nature alone require a woman to change from a self-centered to child-centric perspective. No, obviously not. I don’t think I have to explain to you the greatness of the error of that assertion. I expect you know how common it is for that not to happen.

    Your error takes on many of the flavors of the Catholic orthodox view. The view is that this verse is referring to the ‘bringing up’ aspects of a woman, guiding younger with humility and promoting faith, charity, and holiness. This view does not require, and thus is not directly related to, physically having her own children. Nor does this behavior pattern require her to be married, quite the contrary the virginal nun who takes care of the church as her child is more celebrated in that tradition.

    But of course in that well reasoned view it is neither childbearing, sex, nor reproduction, that confers that grace. Thus it does not match, and is in fact not compatible, with your view. This verse does not establish the sacrament of marriage even among those who assert that marriage is in fact a sacrament.

  16. greyham9 says:

    @Deep,
    “Disagreed. The marriage of a husband and wife is a the reflection of the Christ and the Church and a parallel of the sanctification process.”

    An allegory is not literally the thing it is an allegory of.

    There’s a few things to unpack in your short but loaded reply. To get it out of the way, the bride of Christ is New Jerusalem, not the church per se. Secondly the epistles say that husbands ought to love their wives as Christ loved the church, not that they do, or that in becoming husbands they are conferred such grace as to achieve this by the sanctifying nature of marriage. If marriage in fact was a sacrament Ephesians 5 would not need to be written, it would be a mere fact of life.

    A marriage may be made more holy by emulating Christ, but Christ will never be improved by emulating marriage.

    Finally it is in submission to rightful and Godly authority that any holiness whatsoever comes of the marital union for the woman, and by dutifully, responsibly, and lovingly carrying authority that it comes to a man. But these things are not special to marriage. There are parables of virgins to be married and feildhands working for their master and stewards managing investments.

    For women’s sake and in worship of sex we purport that the first of those things, marriage, is a sacrament. You will never hear about the sacrament of the diligent feildhand, or the grace conferred by being a good steward of others resources. Though those things are quite as real a reflection of Christ and the Church as marriage is.

  17. SirHamster says:

    My answer was that the verse you cited has nothing to do with what I’m talking about.

    Which is fine as an answer. You’ve just spent another 15 paragraphs on a response, when a single sentence would do. Your reaction is not helping you. Do you know how to distill your thoughts?

    That said, your assertion isn’t convincing. I don’t believe anyone who thinks there are questions that are too complex to answer. Truth is fractal, and Jesus repeatedly demonstrated the ability to cut to the heart of a thorny question with a simple response.

    Wisdom is the ability to take a complex question and draw out the simple principle that needs to be addressed.

  18. @ greyham9

    To get it out of the way, the bride of Christ is New Jerusalem, not the church per se.

    The Church is in the engagement period where vetting is still occurring. Revelation 2-3 shows this.

    This does not mean that Paul’s analogy in Ephesians 5 about marriage is null and void.

    Secondly the epistles say that husbands ought to love their wives as Christ loved the church, not that they do, or that in becoming husbands they are conferred such grace as to achieve this by the sanctifying nature of marriage. If marriage in fact was a sacrament Ephesians 5 would not need to be written, it would be a mere fact of life.

    A marriage may be made more holy by emulating Christ, but Christ will never be improved by emulating marriage.

    Don’t see how these are relevant to the argument as your definitions are different than normal.

    Baptism is not a mere fact of life. It’s a ‘ceremony’ you do once you accept Jesus, believe, and repent as an outward showing that you are a believer.

    Husbands and wives can do the same thing to emulate Christ and the Church.

    Finally it is in submission to rightful and Godly authority that any holiness whatsoever comes of the marital union for the woman, and by dutifully, responsibly, and lovingly carrying authority that it comes to a man. But these things are not special to marriage. There are parables of virgins to be married and feildhands working for their master and stewards managing investments.

    For women’s sake and in worship of sex we purport that the first of those things, marriage, is a sacrament. You will never hear about the sacrament of the diligent feildhand, or the grace conferred by being a good steward of others resources. Though those things are quite as real a reflection of Christ and the Church as marriage is.

    Sure, there are other similar structures of authority, but none are called ‘headship.’

    Headship is specifically for God > Christ > man > woman and Christ:Church::Husband:wife.

    There is also the argument that marriage is one of the few things that was created prior to the fall and Jesus referred to its permanence.

  19. greyham9 says:

    @Hamster
    When Christ answered he was operating on the subtext of a mutual understanding of the perspectives on the issues talked about. He knew what the rabbis of his day where saying, and everything the Pharisees where implying.

    The primary reason modern churchians tend to get the oddest things out of his exchanges is because they miss and have no interest in that subtext.

    We do not have that shared subtext, that’s why I demanded present what you mean.

    Wisdom is not the ability to produce zen koans, nor is it the ability to cater to twitter twat attention spans when talking about things of material importance.

    Hamster, if you want this distilled in a simple way, listen to this: You are a fool who cuts himself to the quick with the very weapon he proposes he wins with. You believe you are the one to be convinced when you are the one being convicted. Your error is serious in that yourself in the seat of judge and mediator of scripture, and yourself in the judgement seat of God.

    The responses complaining of how much you’d have to read to understand what I’m saying to you, and the ‘u mad?’ merely highlights that self-righteous pride rules your heart, and you do not seek God, but wish for a God who conforms to whatever you deem to be convincing.

  20. greyham9 says:

    @Deep
    Revelation 2-3 does not say the things you assert. Nor does it imply them.

    An analogy of a thing is still not the thing itself. Again, if it was we would have the sacrament of the investor.

    My definitions are the theological ones. If they’re different from whatever slang you’re using you’ll have to lay down your definitions.

    Baptism is an actual sacrament prescribed by Christ. Repentance prior and beginning to observe the teachings of Christ after are part of the whole as the act of water immersion is. It really does change people when they truly accept Christ. That too is a fact of life.

    “Husbands and wives can do the same thing to emulate Christ and the Church.”

    They can, but it is the emulation of Christ that sanctifies. Marriage does not require that they emulate Christ, or behave as the church ought to. This is one of many things that separates it from baptism: baptism does require one repent, and it does require one commit to obeying the teachings of Christ.

    Nothing is called ‘headship’ in scripture. Not even in the old KJB. The term ‘head’ in the context of ‘leader of’ is used many times in scripture. The husband is the head of his wife. The head of a territory is it’s capital. The head of a tribe is the chief, the wise-men, and known.

    I don’t know if you’re being pedantic there or if you really don’t understand what ‘head’ and thus ‘headship’ is in the context of old English.

    Christ:Church::Husband:wife::Lord:vassal::Government:Citicen::Father:son*::Boss:Worker::Preist:laity::Sergent:soldier::

    I mean, we can go on. Headship is having dominion or principality over. It’s nothing like unique to the husband\wife or Christ\church relationship, it’s just talking about the structure of authority.

    All authority structures, ALL of them, should seek to emulate the relationship between Christ and the Church. But the fact that they exist doesn’t make them sacramental.

    *When he’s young

  21. @ greyham9

    The prescription of Christ as the ‘head’ of the Church and the Church as the body and likewise husbands and wives are a special analogy used in the Scriptures for solely two authority structures and not any other. They are covenants between God and man.

    Authority structures other than these have some of the same characteristics of them such as authority and submission, but they aren’t covenants like Christ-Church and husband and wife. Covenants have critical components that bring about unity such as permanence, sex, procreation, and others.

    I don’t agree with your assessment that they are the same, so I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree here.

  22. SirHamster says:

    Hamster, if you want this distilled in a simple way, listen to this: You are a fool who cuts himself to the quick with the very weapon he proposes he wins with. You believe you are the one to be convinced when you are the one being convicted. Your error is serious in that yourself in the seat of judge and mediator of scripture, and yourself in the judgement seat of God.

    “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

    The responses complaining of how much you’d have to read to understand what I’m saying to you …

    I’m smart enough to parse text quickly and identify key ideas. I’m not intimidated by text, and I am not impressed when one uses many words to say little.

    I’m not complaining, I’m demonstrating intellectual dominance by extracting your point and pointing out how you can argue your own case better than you are. It is better to have a high signal to noise ratio. It is better to answer directly rather than play a Pharisaic game of obfuscation about how the answers are too complex to provide.

    That you’re lashing out at me and throwing out nonsensical accusations is both informative and your concession of the intellectual battleground.

    the ‘u mad?’ merely highlights that self-righteous pride rules your heart, and you do not seek God, but wish for a God who conforms to whatever you deem to be convincing.

    I am not interested if you’re angry, and haven’t cared to ask. Neither is my interest in your anger or lack thereof related to whether I seek God.

    If I were to judge you by your accusations against me, it’s not a pretty picture. But I’m not your Judge, even if you want to play judge.

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