Avery made me do it

It was interesting watching the response to my post a few weeks ago about trolling and flaming, wherein I wondered about some of the origins of the vitriol and venom that dominates so many comments threads. Especially illuminating was the “Avery made me do it” argument  that more or less blamed my unorthodox views about gospel music and its culture for inciting fits of rage and other leave-takings of the senses that so many discussions seem to devolve into.

[T]here is a decidedly harsher tone that has surfaced of late. But perhaps consider this as possible reasons why this is happening. Its recent increase came when you posted about Joel Hemphill denying the deity of Christ. I’d have to assume that the majority of your readers are Christians, and when a cardinal truth of the church is attacked, strong feelings surfaced.

[snip]

Bottom line, I guess, is that if the comments have denigrated - and they have - it’s at the very least partially due to what has been posted [by Avery].

Another commenter put it slightly more concisely:

[Y]ou are surprised that a red cloth is waved at bull and the bull charges? That is crazy and that’s no bull.

I’ve never made any bones about the fact that one of my goals is to approach gospel music and culture from an unorthodox perspective (indeed, CVH has my number), and I can hold my own with the charging bulls on my right flank. But isn’t the underlying assumption in the Avery-made-me-do-it argument that evangelical fundamentalists, biblical literalists, and other conservative Christians who flame all ideological opponents need to be graded on curve when it comes to judging the quality of their public conversations, that their powers of argumentation and intellection are so fragile or rigid, their skins so thin, that they simply can’t be held to the same standards of adult discourse that the rest of civil society abides by, can’t be held accountable for what they might do if someone, say, suggested that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to get bent out of shape about a book of fringe theology from an armchair theologian whose 15 minutes of fame as a songwriter were over two or three decades ago? In case it doesn’t go without saying, this is madness, and self-evidently so. Just go back and look at some of the fine layers of dissent and thoughtful disagreement that build up beneath many of my original posts (and often from some of the some of the same people claiming the Avery defense of their occasional fits of hysteria). Clearly evangelical doesn’t necessarily have to = anti-intellectual.

Look, I know for a lot of people it’s important to believe that everyone enjoys gospel music for the same reasons and that anyone who disrupts the appearance of consensus has to be flamed for the good of Christ’s kingdom. But I think most reasonable people can agree that the notion of a single-minded fan culture in gospel music has never been more than a useful fiction.

Scratch that apparently homogeneous surface, and in addition to the mainstream brands of evangelicalism and other affective Protestant religions that dominate (and they do dominate, which makes the hysteria from the dominant orthodox commenters over alternative POVs all the more inexplicable), you’ll find more than a few heretics and the odd renegade spiritualist who get deep and genuine, if also unorthodox (or maybe more accurately heterodox) satisfactions in close harmony and the sound of the soul’s lament for salvation and struggle for grace that gospel music gives voice to. There’s a pretty rich and fascinating discussion to be had about how to interpret that fact, but yelling really loudly that you’re right and everyone else is wrong won’t make the fact itself go away.

It’s never been immediately clear to me why it’s so disturbing to so many that gospel music supports a variety of religious and spiritual experiences. But then, I’m used to being in the minority on these matters, so maybe it’s just what you get used to. In any event, yelling and hyperventilating are not the only ways to believe strongly or argue passionately. You just have to get used to using other mental muscles.

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Comments

  1. Wade wrote:

    AMEN… you go now!!! Butit is not just SGM… it is every theological issue you can think. Their fav line is I have to tell you cause that is what God wants… after they have said 10 times in 20 different blogs. I am waiting for the debate about once saved always saved. Water Baptism vs. Sprinkling. If it is OK to drink a little booze occasionally. I know ppl who would never drink but they will pop xanax & hydros until they loose their minds, but that’s OK!!!

    But they beat up on the homosexuals every chance they get cause God told them to!!!

    There will be blood on their hands in heaven.

  2. Leebob wrote:

    Men are tempted when they are “drawn away of their own lust and enticed…”. For some people, it is their particular sin bent to vent in anger and fel justified because it is, after all, “righteous” anger. I am amazed at some “holy” people’s lack of embarrassment at their own lack of self-control and arrogance, especially when they make it so publicly blatant.

    I have tried to remain calm in most of my discussions that I have had on here, thus showing a lack of CAPS!!!!!!!! Then again, maybe it is a knowledge of email etiquette that people are lacking. I say this so we can remain positive towards the bloggers. That being said, I don’t mind a little lively discussion of any issue as long as people remain respectful and at least have some clue in the realm of Biblical truth. Therein lies the biggest problem with all of this, personal attacks and personal agendas. As long as you have humans you will have both. So we either deal with it or we quit blogging altogether. I have chosen to take LeeStinkingBob as my own personal badge and have gotten some good mileage out of it. When it first came up though, I gotta tell you, I was genuinely not happy because of the lack of respect shown in that particular post.

  3. CVH wrote:

    I’m sitting on the deck of my condo in Williamsburg sipping a refreshing adult beverage (Wade, sure hope it’s ok) and laughing my butt off. What a great post! And comments like that need to be made
    occasionally, even if reminding readers to be kind to themselves and others produces no ultimate change. It’s like being a referee for a pre-schooler’s soccer game.

    While there is still a general pattern of sane, well thought out, insightful discourse here, there also seems to be an increase in the polarizing, small-minded vitriol from the great unwashed masses. I can’t say I blame them for their “Jesuzzz told me”, arbitrary, unquestioning viewpoints. Many are probably a product of shame-based, legalistic, fundamentalist backgrounds. To them the gospel is about love, but only if you believe in love the way they do. The premises of the first two commandments (and the general themes of scripture) are subject to the context of their enculturated views. Thus, it’s easy to point the hate finger or take the ‘holier than thou’ stand because they really think they’ve got the inside track on Truth. It’s much too complicated (and might lead to self-doubt) to put forth a comment like, “Well this is how I see it but obviously, people of good will and faith will disagree on some things.” Legalism and fundamentalism are built on the facade of determination and self-righteousness.

    No, evangelical doesn’t have to equal anti-intellectual but too often it does. And moreso, I would think, on a blog that is focused on aspects of a style of music and a stream of Christianity that was birthed in spiritual simplicity and intellectual shallowness, or at least, suspicion.

    There are many threads of spirituality in fans of southern gospel music. But whether a minority view or not, the die-hard, “Jesus said it, I believe it, that’s enough for me” mindset that permeates so many aspects of the genre only reinforces the perception that southern gospel fans are, for the most part, a bunch of intellectual and spiritual boobs who couldn’t think their way through a dialogue on, as Wade suggests, eternal security, baptism or anything else of consequence. Nor would they feel the need to; they’ve already got all the answers!

    I think one of the reasons such a diverse range of people like southern gospel music is that it’s similar to blues music; there is a quest for redemption, for simple reassurance and a glimmer of hope against the darkness of our surroundings. It’s a universal expression of yearning that plays against a counterpoint of self-assurance and self-satisfaction (bordering on smugness). I know people on both sides of the equation; those who have a I, IV, V intellect to match their musical preference and those who are capable of discussing cultural, theological and musical nuances of songs and lyrics at length. I’m convinced God loves them all; I just wish they’d all love each other a little bit more. But then I’m usually in the minority on these things too.

  4. Joe wrote:

    Leebob;

    I for one, always enjoy your posts. I, too, was upset when you were handed your new moniker. You took it with grace. I will choose to refrain from using it, however, in deference to yourself.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. You said “…as long as people…at least have some clue in the realm of Biblical truth.”

    When subjects are thrown out for discussion, either by Doug or other posters, that demand a black-and-white Scriptural response, how can those exercised this way remain quiet? Especially, on a board that purports to be talking about HIS music. (There- I just used capitals…)

    Some of these things are so egregiously defended, when they are Scripturally indefensible, that many of us just cannot sit here quietly, and move on.

    And I think Doug knows that very, very well.

  5. quartet-man wrote:

    First of all, I wouldn’t say “made” anyone do it, because we all have free will. :-) A better way is perhaps done as a result of a preceding action.

    Although I am sure that there have been some heated posts here, we cannot always tell the emotion, motivation, etc. by all caps or not or even a lot of times words. The written word can be harder to know how it was intended than talking in person or even over the phone. There you can tell by the tone of voice, expression and so on. Of course in the written word, name calling can be an indicator of intent, but short of that or emoticons or knowing the person, it can be hard to tell. So, I don’t know how one can tell here if there is venom, vitrol, or rage.

    I think the point is that there are certain topics that are near and dear to peoples’ hearts. These are the ones we will defend and many are core parts of who we are. These are ones we are passionate about. The deity of Christ and defending His word (or our understanding of it) are two of these. The more important these things are to us, the more likely we will defend them passionately. Now, I have a passion for SG and will defend artists I like, but there are less absolutes there. Sure there are standards of quality, but even those differ from style. Nasal singing, backwoods accents are two examples that fit in some styles, but not in others. Tastes are a huge part of SG’s appeal to some and not others even if the same quality is in two groups.

    I never had any doubt that Doug could hold his own in a debate and by the same token neither side has all intellectual lightweights.

    I don’t find it fair that passion and strong beliefs in things can be blamed on thin skins, madness, hysteria, fragility or rudeness.

  6. quartet-man wrote:

    Wade, disagreeing even strongly about homosexuality being ok is not beating up.

  7. Ward Hodges wrote:

    Again, great insight Doug! I wonder if people are blinded by the very music itself. Elvis becomes loved and revered, simply because of his rendition of How Great Thou Art. He sang He Touched Me and the fact that he did indeed “touch” many is overlooked because after all, he must be a fine christian man. Our performer’s views or lifestyles we don’t care to know about; they simply must be wonderful people because of their wonderful songs.

    But take away the music and the comments become inflamed and viewpoints all important. If I mention anything about homosexuality, short of brimstone, I no longer am tolerated as a good soilder of Jesus Christ. Conversely, if I say anything to offend a homosexual, I now have blood on my hands. Though we need to be sure of what we believe and why we believe it, I can’t help but think that sometimes it is better to insist on being kind than insist upon being right.

  8. Wade wrote:

    CVH… Sure it is OK… Cheers

  9. Alan wrote:

    Aw…and here I was about to compliment Doug on two good and thought-provoking essays on the NQC. And then I saw where I was quoted on this thread, as one of the poster children for fundamentalists and even worse, Biblical literalists.

    Three times in this essay, Doug, you call yourself unorthodox. It is your blog, and your life, so you have every right to be whatever you wish to be. Others of your persuasion immediately jump in when you share your beliefs, and their glee is evident. We’re all aware that there will be as many viewpoints here as there are posters, and I’ve actually always found that fascinating. Even if I disagree with you or any commentators, I still usually enjoyed the discourse.

    However, I make no apology for having found the Scriptures to be correct. Nor do I have any apology for the journey that has assured me that the God Who is, has never changed. He has given me some difficult tests in life, and through them all, my faith has been cemented in the bedrock of God and His Word. The Bible wasn’t written as a series of suggestions to be interpreted as we might wish, no matter how attractive that might be. We’re not even allowed to pick and choose from among the tenets of Scripture. Possibly the reason for this is that the highest intellectual reach of any human being is simply dwarfed by the omniscience of God. If I’m to be denigrated for that, then I’m honored to be so. While many will be excited to see the awards that people give to others this week, my prayer is that we’ll never lose sight of the fact that what matters for eternity are the rewards of God.

    We’ll be leaving tomorrow for a 3-week trip to the UK; Larry Ford, Lorne Matthews and I, along with our wives. I’m told that among the people who will be attending our concert this Friday evening in Aberdeen, Scotland, will be a majority of the city fathers of that city. We’ll have an opportunity to introduce some to the Gospel, and the privilege (and commensurate responsibility) of this is a real honor. Thank God that we can present these folks with a clear and unambiguous Gospel, both in words that we say, and words that we sing. None of it will be unorthodox, I pray. I know we’d all value your prayers, folks, that the Lord will be the One preeminent in every moment of the tour.

  10. Cliff Cerce wrote:

    Leebob,

    I know how you feel. We sang within 50 miles of home Friday and Saturday, so I spent a good portion of my weekend at home rubbing my aching backside, where I got kicked pretty good last week. And from people that were experts in adding 2 + 2 and arriving at 5 for the answer.

    And - I was fielding phone calls and Emails from friends in the Industry all weekend - scratching their heads, asking who these “friends” of mine were - and teasing me at how I managed to stir up such a hornets’ nest - all while trying to defend a friend.

    You have responded to your treatment with grace and poise, and I have decided to do the same - especially since I don’t really have a choice.

    You will always be regarded in my home as LeeUNstinkingBob (or Nonstinking - whichever you prefer). I do appreciate the tone and demeaner of your posts.

    I’m off to NQC on Wednesday through Saturday. I hope I bump in to you and Doug.

  11. Wade wrote:

    Ward… you can say anything you want. I was speaking of the folks that doom ppl too hell because they interpret the Bible as giving them the right to judge and condemn because God said to. Like I said say what ya want without the condemnation. God Love Their Heart’s.

    I do think we are making progress. I do not see near as many grammar nazi’s as B4.

  12. GimmeSG wrote:

    When Christ does return, and takes his “children” home, there are a lot of people that won’t be there… Oh,they think they are right and living the life that Christ sets forth for us, but in Matthew 7: 13, 14, We are told that there won’t be many to make it through… I’d rather live a clean decent life and make it, than to live like I see many other “Christians” and not make it… Eventhough we are in the WORLD, we are not to be OF the world… As you live your “pleasures” think on that…

  13. Cliff Cerce wrote:

    Alan,

    I’ll be praying for you, Larry and Lorne - that the Lord will really bless your ministry and give you safety on your trip.

  14. Alan wrote:

    Thank you, Cliff, more than I can express. You have my permission to pray for us in bed, as you’re still resting your backside! LOL

  15. Tom wrote:

    This isn’t the first time that Avery has argued that sg fans are not the homogenous lot that some think. I’m confident he’s correct; at the very least, I don’t think I fit into the parameters of the sterotypical sg fan any more than Avery does.

    Has anyone conducted any solid surveys to produce empirical data on who sg fans are? I know the old CCM magazine [which Salem shut down earlier this year] used to have reader surveys that at least provided some idea of the spectrum of people represented in the ccm fanbase. But I’ve never seen any kind of breakdown of sg fans.

    Ccm (once it grew past its Jesus People phase and became a bit more commercialized) always had some appeal to a broad spectrum of American Christians–that is, mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics were well-represented in the ccm fanbase (AND they were well-represented among ccm artists), as were even a few Eastern Orthodox.

    I know that the sg fanbase has a much higher proportion of evangelicals and other conservatives than ccm. But I’m sure there have to be others out there who, like myself, don’t consider themselves to fit into that stereotype. It’d be nice to know in more detail who actually listens to and spends their money on sg.

  16. Tom wrote:

    The comments from CVH (#3) are perceptive and well-written, so I won’t try to repeat anything CVH has already said so well.

    I just simply want to add to CVH’s argument the idea that many of the knee-jerk reactions some express on ths site seem to reflect an inability to deal with either nuance or ambiguity. Not everything in life, or in theology, is black and white. Those who are afraid to wrestle with major issues are the ones who seem to believe most fervently that what they’ve been taught all their lives is the unquestionable truth.

    It seems that if something is indeed “truth,” it should be able to withstand questioning, should it not?

  17. Leebob wrote:

    Cliff, Joe, and many others - I appreciate the affirmation of what I am trying to accomplish. There are times when I simply shake my head and turn off the computer.

    LeeNonstinkingBob - that is one that will go in my catalogue of all time favorite nicknames.

    Cliff - I will not be at NQC. As a matter of fact, I have never been to NQC. If and when I ever do go I want to go as a fan and simply enjoy the music. I do not think the politics and all the other rumors that I hear are something that Ransomed would care to be a part of. That is the saddest thing of all…I am probably one of the biggest SG fans in a SG destitute area of the country, save for the Lake Country Jubilee. Our radio airplay around here for SG is miniscule at best (Sunday afternoons on KCBI and some static AM play). When I do get to see the National groups, I always have found them engaging, polite and willing to talk about many things including our own ministry (Thank you Booth Brothers - ALL of them). I have a very positive view of many of the groups and their ministry side due to the venues that I have seen them in, I would like very much to keep that intact. The fact is that the setup of NQC lends itself to bringing out the entertainment side of the industry.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy and appreciate the value of Christian entertainment, it’s just that the setting for NQC and all that I have read about it does not place us in the best view I don’t think.

  18. irishlad wrote:

    Hey Doug CVH and Wade,don’t forget me,i’m in your gang too!

  19. Wade wrote:

    Well Irishlad come on along…Harry Peters is riding shot gun too. I love Irish People. They know how to have fun while worshiping.

  20. irishlad wrote:

    Thanks Wade, i got a bit of a rough ride from the ‘fundies’ a while back for daring to lampoon poor old JH and his heretical views.Apparently the Deity of Christ was no laughing matter….oops. Well anyway i was brought up Baptist, and shock horror, i happen to think outside the evangelical box.Now some might say Satan has got the hold of me, i’d rather put it down to a bit of free thinking. So there you have it Tom#15 another non-average sg fan.

  21. Joe wrote:

    In dissecting this thread and the comments, I have noticed, as Alan has written above, that besides Doug’s claim to the fame of unorthodoxy, others revel in this as well. Words like “alternative POV’s” and “thinking outside the evangelical box” are combined with the repetitive reminders that Scriptural and fundamental thinking is “madness”, “unquestioning viewpoints”, and simply “anti-intellectual.”

    Well guys- every Christian is commanded to be “single-minded”. There simply are no private or personal interpretations of Scripture. Personal agendas have no place in the lives of those who claim to trust the God of Scripture.

    GimmeSG #9 has already mentioned one horribly sobering fact. There will come a day when many who thought they were saved, who claimed the Lordship of Christ, who prophesied and actually performed miracles in this Name, will find themselves shut out forever.

    And Jesus Himself asked, sadly, why so many who call Him “Lord”, do not obey what He has plainly said.

    I’m all for open-mindedness, intellectual thinking, hearing other points of view. But not when it comes to the truths of God’s Word. There is simply no wiggle room here. If any think otherwise, I ask you please to read and meditate on just 2 verses- 2 Cor. 10:5-6.

    I would do well to remember this. Maybe we all would.

  22. thebigdog wrote:

    I can’t speak for or about anyone else - I don’t know that I know anyone who posts regularly on this blog. However, I know some people (read: relatives) whose entire being, self-worth, and self-image is wrapped up in being “right.” One of these recently retired after 25 years at the same place. There are no “buds,” no friends, no socializing with people who he has spent the past 25 years with. It’s a sad thing that this person is so rigidly applying the letter of the law that he has pushed away the very people that Christ died for.

    Having seen this firsthand from this gentleman (and others), makes me question myself and my motives when I am “right.”

  23. quartet-man wrote:

    I should hope that there are certain “deal breakers” with Christians. Not in being peoples friends necessarily, but in standing up for the truth. Unfortunately, people seem more to want to be popular or placate people than stand up for what is right.

    As far as friends, I have friends. Even unsaved ones. I don’t thump the Bible to them, but they know my beliefs. On the other hand, here there are principles brought up that have the opportunity to preach lies to a dying world, and I do not intend on letting them slide. Someone has to tell people what the Word says instead of allowing a “feel good” anything goes gospel to be taught. Christ is not just love, he is just. We all need grace of course, but that is no license to do things our way after accepting it.

  24. CVH wrote:

    A few random thoughts based on some of the comments…

    GimmeSG (#12), that’s an oft-heard thought, kind of the fundamentalist’s verbal equivalent of the ruler Catholic nuns used to slap the hands of students who spoke out of turn. Actually, I think we’ll all be a bit surprised by who IS in heaven more than the other way around. The heart of the gospel is about love and redemption, not legalistic prodding. It is, ultimately, love that moves a person to repentance, not being told how bad they are.

    Tom (#15), good analysis and question. It would be nice to have some empyrical or objective data to analyze but even gathering that would pose a dilemma. Who would gather the data? The SGMA? Lifeway Books? Based on what criteria? Or would you outsource it to a third-party like Barna or Troy Research for a possibly more objective analysis? I’m sure you would get reasonable response from the public sector but I’m not sure about hard numbers from the industry, either because of competitive concerns or fears of being the first to “unzip their fly.” But you’re right, it would be a fascinating look at what this entire sociological/economic segment of the culture is about.

    Tom (#16…same Tom #15?), yes, truth not only can withstand questioning, it welcomes it. Look at Jesus…and Paul for that matter. They engaged people where they were and reasoned with them in the context of their life. No, reason is not an equivalent for faith, but to deny that reason and intellect play a part in understanding faith is foolish at best.

    irishlad (#18), there’s a delightful little pub not far from me in Williamsburg. Why don’t you, Wade, Doug, Harry Peters and I get together? I’ll buy the first round.

    Joe (#21), I think you’re overstating the point. I don’t believe anyone is revelling in their point of view or stating that their views are a ‘claim to fame’. You state, “every Christian is commanded to be “single-minded”, I don’t believe that means that we are all to interpret or express the truths of scripture in exactly the same way. I can worship with brothers and sisters in Christ in an Anglican setting (as I did earlier today), or pentecostal settings or conservative Baptist settings or for that matter, in a house church style setting. All very different; their histories, their unique practices, the emphasis they each put on various aspects of scripture.

    Single-minded is not the same as like-minded. Scripture clearly states that we are to take on the mind of Christ, but that is indeed as personal and unique an understanding, given the basic precepts of scripture, as are each of us as individuals. No, this is not about personal agendas or off-the-wall interpretations. This is about a common truth expressed over the ages by people of faith from many different cultures. The commonality we share as followers of Christ isn’t judged by the building above the ground; the commonality is the foundation underneath the building. That, despite other differences, is what unites us.

  25. Joe wrote:

    CVH-

    Not to turn this into a huge theological argument, but can you tell me what these Scriptures mean to you…?

    “…be of one mind…” (Phil. 2:3)
    “…be of the same mind…” (Rom. 12:16)
    “…be of one mind…” ( 2 Cor. 13:11, Phil. 1:27)
    “…be of the same mind…” (Phil. 4:2)
    “…be ye all of one mind…” (1 Peter 3:8)
    “…may God grant you…to be likeminded” (Rom. 15:5)
    “…Be likeminded…”(Phil. 2:2)

    Over and over, NT believers ARE exactly enjoined to do what you say we should not or need not do. We can’t look at the way things are now, and reason backwards. We need to plainly look at the pattern, as to what God says should be.

  26. Glenn wrote:

    Once again, Joe makes Doug’s point valid.
    #22, I haven’t seen many posts from you, but I love this one.

  27. irishlad wrote:

    CVH#24.Good post, but i think you’ve just wasted your breath and a fair amount of the old grey matter as well;remember,your not dealing with rational folk here,more of a ’so heavenly minded no earthly good’conglomerate(the late great JC if i’m correct).You have my unreserved sympathy. How’d you know i was fond of the devils vomit anyway….make mine a double single malt whisky, no water,just a single ice-cube….hic.

  28. irishlad wrote:

    It always amazes me why fundamentalists(of all religons)think they have the ‘truth’ market cornered. I’m quite sure someone like Billy Graham or Jerry Falwell would readily attest the fact that the veracity of their Christian faith is anchored by belief and a child like faith.Herein lies the problem,how can they be so absolute about something thats simply a belief.Thy might say they’re 100% right when at best they only think they know.

  29. Joe wrote:

    And Irishlad-

    You continue to literally condemn yourself by your own words. You have freely admitted to the posters here that you do not believe literally in the Bible, nor in the God of the Bible.

    Therefore my friend- you are free to believe exactly what you wish. You may change your thinking at any time. You may vacillate in the wind, if the wind demands it. You may dither at any corner, and you may equivocate at any turn in the road.

    Yours are the most courageous of words. Spoken from the most tenuous of foundations.

    What I am absolutely sure of, is most definitely NOT my faith. It is the Rock upon which my faith rests, and the Word of Him Who never lies nor changes in any way.

    And that is an eternally huge difference in what you seem to have.

  30. CVH wrote:

    One of the dichotomies of faith is the difference between belief and knowledge. As a follower of Christ, I don’t KNOW anything. But I BELIEVE what I do by faith, which even itself comes from God.

    So Joe, you might want to lighten up on irishlad for his post (#28). He’s expressing what most honestly inquiring believers would - that our hope is in Christ and we believe by faith. There’s a difference between acquiring Biblical knowledge from a systematic study approach and saying you “know” something simply because of the force of your belief. Those who possess great knowledge may not have love in their hearts; conversely, the sincere expression of what you think you “know” means nothing in and of itself. A person can convince themselves, to use the phrase, that “they know that they know that they know”, but no matter how emphatically or earnestly they make that kind of statement it proves nothing and won’t convince anyone outside the faith of anything but your own self-assuredness.

    As for your post to me (#25), I’ll decline your offer to go further down the rabbit trail. You posted a comment to which I responded and you have in turn responded to my reply. That’s enough for this thread. However if you’d like to join us at the pub for a round or two (whatever you’d like, alcoholic or non-alcoholic) I’m sure we could come to a better appreciation of our respective points of view.

  31. Wade wrote:

    CVH…

    When ever I ride in to Williamsburg you can count on being taken up on that offer…Thanks… Harry likes merlot… I am more of a vodka drinker. I do not know what Irishlad likes but I am sure they will have it in a fine Irish Pub.

    Don’t waste your breath with Dr. Joe… he only sees the light at the end of HIS TUNNEL… I love him. But he is convinced it is HIS way or NO way because it is HIS way the way he decided and how ever he reads it is PLAIN.

    I am still waiting on some one to explain the question that Harry Peters posed. It is the first time I’ve seen Dr.. Joe go quite on us. Now he will send You around the world looking up scripture. It is his only defense. Anytime you try to have a convo with him he pulls out a scripture as narrow as it might be and tries to beat ya on the head with it.

    I had a wife like that one time and I do not miss her. I miss the cat & dog she HAD to have… but I don’t miss her. Maybe I could hook her and the Doc up but I wonder who would be the MOST PERFECT!!

  32. irishlad wrote:

    Joe#29.You say your sure’of the Rock upon my faith rests’,but,your definitely NOTsure of your faith.How’d you work that one out?Strikes me you’ve just cancelled out your reason for being so sure in the first place.I’ll say it again, at the best you only think that you know(nothing wrong with that). However, if i were to place my hand in a flame i might well believe it’s going to hurt. If i actually do it i’ll know it hurts and certainly believe it.The pain and resulting scar will be the proof. In this life,at least,you can’t prove to anyone your beliefs so don’t be so dogmatic.

  33. Joe wrote:

    Irishlad-

    I really don’t have to prove to a single soul my beliefs. My beliefs are totally irrelevant when compared to faith in God, and to the Word of God. THAT, I believe totally. I am truly saddened that on a gospel music board, what the Bible says matters so little to so many people. It really IS about style over substance. Most commenters here are only interested in style. That is as far as most discussions and faith ever go here. There is, sadly enough, very, very little Scriptural substance.

  34. irishlad wrote:

    Just read some posts on a laptop.My post to Joe#32 should have read:-’you’re sure’,not,’ your sure’. Sorry for being a bit pedant but as far as possible i like to keep things right. Oh,and Joe, you’re starting to sound like a phanatically phervent Pharisee,let’s chill out in that wee pub in Williamsburg.

  35. irishlad wrote:

    CVH.Williamsburg sounds delightful,that is if it’s not Williamsburgh Brooklyn.I note that the first psychiatrtric hospital opened up in the 1770’s(just an observance).First chance i get to visit that neck of the woods i’ll give you a shout.Lovely over here(apart from incessant rain)but, i’m sure, you’d love it nontheless,make contact if you ever come over.

  36. CVH wrote:

    irishlad,

    Williamsburg, Virginia to be sure. I’m here part of the year and in New York the rest of the time. Delightful area and many of the taverns have backrooms where we could discuss all things SG over a few pints. Or that double single malt. Cheers!

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