Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Lighting Candles for True Believers


Subtitle:  I'm not converting to Mormonism.  I'm arguing that we should  love and respect those who are in sects and groups when they need help and kindness.

Imagine that you are a young, married woman with a budding family, and you're a Second Generation Adult who grew up in Quiverfull. Your husband gets arrested and convicted of a crime that sickens people. Both inside and outside of your religious sect, and you become a reminder of all of your husband's deeds -- and you haven't even had time to consider whether you believe if he's guilty of anything. He's your husband who has been good to you. Imagine that you have a different story to tell, because from your perspective, your husband never did one thing to hurt you or your children. Your church folk abandon you and your children, and you'd never imagine that this would happen. Never in your wildest dreams could you have dreamt this.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Glimpses of Beauty

I have shared little contact with my parents for twenty years, and I've had no contact with them at all for the past eight. We agreed to part because I did not become who they hoped I would be, and my life that my husband built together differs from theirs. They believe that I have the power to change who I am, though I don't know that my life is wrong or evil. Another part boils down to my rejection of televangelists along with some of what they teach. My parents also question whether I'm fit for heaven, but I suspect that they allowed fear to borrow their voice to speak its torments. I know that we love one another deeply, and that makes the situation that much more sad

.From time to time, unexpected ideas catch my attention and set me thinking about my parents. I'm not sure what reminded me about an engineer that my surveyor father worked with before I was born, but I'd always heard about how remarkable my parents thought he was. It seemed that there was nothing that this mythical man could not do, and he devoted much of his free time to creating works of art. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

A Study of Galatians for Those Who Have Exited Cults


One of the wisest men I know finally finished his book on Galatians.  I've read sections of the Bible Study a few years ago, and it was brilliant.  I just downloaded the very affordably priced Kindle copy from Amazon.com, and I look forward to delving into it.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Seneca Falls II and the Demand for an Apology: Looking Back Ten Years

I look with a great deal of suspicion on such declarations now, but I've been called a pioneer many times in my life. When I first heard it 40 years ago, I had no understanding, though it would grow. Looking back on the hard stand that I took with the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition that was established ten years ago today, I understand the concept far better. 

Pioneers go into new territories with some wisdom, lots of preparation, and a great deal of faith to tread where no one from their tribe has ventured before. Splashes of appreciation come now and then, but in between, a pioneer pays a price that even they don't yet fully grasp as they do what many don't understand. Many people end up heaping criticism upon resistance, adding to it myths and lies and misconceptions and all sorts of levies out of their own fear. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Gothard's Game of Grace: An Exemplar of Externally-Pursued Sanctification

The discussion of the external works as a saving power presents an excellent opportunity to review
 Bill Gothard's redefinition of grace, as he ends up remerging justification and sanctification to turn the Christian life into salvation by works. 

We've already established that justification as an external and alien declaration defines Protestant belief, and sanctification that follows in a Believer comes about by God's work in them from the inside out. 

Luther resisted the idea of participation in sanctification altogether, and Calvin defined it as cultivating obedience. Both men stated emphatically that all holiness arises from union with Christ which begins in the inner spiritual life of a Believer which eventually results in good works. "Not of works lest any man should boast.”

Monday, June 29, 2020

Bill Gothard's Novel Redefinition of Grace

View the original video in its entirety HERE.

Luther and Calvin on the Three Uses of the Law

Luther and Calvin differed on little, but as previously stated, Luther's different experiences and circumstances gave him a different perspective. To avoid a return to the ideas of Rome's synergistic works and faith, he focused on the daily reckoning of the Law and Gospel. Finding union with Christ came through a full comprehension of justification, and he saw that union as the source of obedience and good works.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Hirelings and Their Deceptive Theology of Glory

Another way to understand Luther's view of the Law comes by considering what it is not. 

He sees the Law as nothing but the source of condemnation and death for the Christian, and it is not something that humans can harness for their use. Luther shares with Calvin the view of the total depravity of human beings who are unable to sanctify themselves (Gen 6:5, Jer 17:9, Rom 3:10)

The Cause of Luther's Sober View of the Law

Sanctification: from Luther's Cross to Calvin's Union

Luther's Theology of the Cross and Calvin's Union with Christ motifs are different exegetical or theological tools to use as a key to studying the Bible. For both Luther and Calvin, the Epistle to the Romans serves as the basis for understanding what salvation entails. Both men's concepts depend upon an intimate experience of reconciliation. They also emphasize the critical understanding of justification, sanctification's absolute dependence on it, and the Holy Spirit's sovereign work in our inner being to transform us in holiness as we grow in Christ.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

RC Sproul, Sr: A Brief Description of Justification

I think that RC had a firmly developed concept of Justification and Sanctification
long before the New Calvinists came around.  I've never heard him teach anything questionable on this subject.  ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Luther on the Righteousness of Faith

Late Edit: [I don't know how well it conveys, but I chose the statue of Hamlet at Stratford on Avon to illustrate how I think of Luther's contemplation of the Law. Because our efforts to keep it prove futile, I had it drilled into me at a young age that “all we get from the law is sin and death.” My mind locked it into auditory memory so clearly because I spent so much time and effort thinking about the paradox of Paul's writing in Romans that we do nothing to merit or receive salvation that becomes an admonishment to go forward and walk into the future with our weapons of righteousness.

We are amazing creatures, and I think twice of Hamlet. First, comes the soliloquy of “what a piece of work is man!” How noble in reason; infinite in faculty; in form, in action, in apprehension, in beauty, the paragon of animals, yet a quintessence of dust. And in contemplating sin, death and dust do follow. And so I chose the image of Hamlet holding Yorick's skull as he realizes all too painfully that life is so short. I imagine that Luther held that same kind of expression as did so many thespians in their portrayal of the sweet prince.]

Monday, June 22, 2020

How Martin Luther Understood Justification

We noted that Martin Luther began to understand the writings of the Apostle Paul differently that he had in the past. He held a very pessimistic view about his own ability to grow in his faithfulness to keep the law, and while studying Romans 1:17 realizes that only faith could justify the believer in God's sight. But why did he find that distinction so significant?

I see my issue with the Young, Restless and Reformed as quite similar to how Martin Luther felt about how the Catholic Church relied upon good works and upon a mediator to obtain sanctification. (We hear the language of marriage as a sanctifying element in the life of the Christian in the Complementarian View of gender hierarchy where husbands claim that they can make their wives and children holy.) 

I pose the same question that Calvin did: If we are sinful, how can we go about making ourselves holy if it is something that we do not possess? How can sinful flesh cleanse and purify their own sinful flesh? Today, I question how a Christian who still strives to mortify their own sin daily has the ability to do it for someone else, too? Only a Holy God can purify an individual of their sin. Why is this even an issue for Protestants today, especially those who claim the name “Reformed” to describe their faith?

Friday, June 19, 2020

Understanding the History of the Priesthood in Justification and Sanctification

The terms of Justification (right-standing with God) and Sanctification (to be free from sin) emerge as primary themes in the Protestant Reformation from the Roman Catholic Church as separate components of forgiveness from sin. Today, we hear them used by Presbyterians, Reformed Baptists, and others who argue for Calvinism as the true way to comprehend how God confers forgiveness as an act which depends on God's sovereign act alone (monergism).

Thursday, June 18, 2020

My Chief Cause for the Pursuit of Social Justice

I believe that God gave me the most precious and powerful gifts of kindness, life, liberty, and love.  Because they were so freely given to me, I want to share that bounty and blessing with others.  We are fallible creatures in an unfair world, and I want to comfort others with the same comfort that God showed to me through so many people, Christian and otherwise.  There is plenty of God's great love to go around for all of us.
 ~ Cynthia Mullen Kunsman  June 18, 2020

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Might this Be How God Works Social Justice Through Us?

The Fasted Life

Is such the fast that I choose,
    a day for a person to humble himself?

Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
    and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?

Will you call this a fast,
    and a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is this not the fast that I choose?

Towards Understanding New Calvinism's Other Gospel

I have pended this material concerning New Calvinism until I have time to further develop my thesis  I realized that I have failed to describe Calvin's core belief in Union with Christ which does a great disservice to what he believed and wrote.  And without a core understanding of Calvin's orthodox understanding of such matters, we cannot put any modern iterations of Sonship Theology (and any errors to which it disposes modern adherents) into proper perspective.  

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Two Types of Fruit According to Walter Martin

(Originally Published 08Aug08)
I many years ago, I heard Dr. Paul Martin discuss spiritual abuse, making this distinction about exactly how we recognize false prophets, teachers and spiritual con-artists.

As I noted in this previous post, the Word of God does not focus on the evaluation of teachings or doctrine when identifying "wolves in sheep's clothing." We should identify them primarily through their works and their fruit:

Holiness at the Expense of Kindness?

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, 
To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,
 and to keep … unspotted from the world.”
 (James 1:27)

Monday, June 8, 2020

On Social Justice

What satisfies our lust for justice that we often feel after we've been used and abused?

Monday, April 27, 2020

May Our Tears be Translated When the Bell Tolls for Us

I just poured my heart out in a post on No Longer Quivering -- about an expression of grief about the pain what is essentially cognitive bias which ends up leaving us with the feeling of cognitive dissonance when reality breaks through our fantasy.

We see what we want to see as we begin our journey in life.  In high demand groups, we must take the diversity of the world and transmute it into a scheme of black and white.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Spiritual Eugenics and COVID19

The Rodrigues Family and COVID 19

The Patriarchy Workshop 
       (Please scroll down at that link for Bibliography and rigorous discussion of the topic.)
Ethics Daily

Discussing Spiritual Eugenics on YouTube   
(It's apparently a 'real thing' now.)

Spiritual Eugenics in 'Multigenerational Faithfulness' in Patriarchy

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

COVID19 – How Anti-Intellectual Christians Ruin Things for the Rest of Us

Thank you to Suzanne at No Longer Quivering for posting this letter to government officials who may be in a good position to reach the Rodrigues Family with some information that may finally curtail their life-endangering recklessness as our communities and our nation respond to the COVID Pandemic.

The family hobnobs with Bill Gothard's inner circle of Advanced Training Institute homeschooling families including the Duggar Family (TLC Cable Reality TV Personalities). Good stewardship for Christians should begin with love for others and concern for them by first showing them that they have inherent worth. They have equal value to all others regardless of their beliefs and religion, and their physical bodies are just as important as their individual souls. They are precious, their phsycial bodies are precious, and their part in society has as much value to society as that of any Christian – right here 
in the here and now.