This month, we are covering a seemingly simple concept that has powerful, revelatory, and wide ranging applications: Right-Right vs Right-Wrong.
This week's story is in five parts and covers almost fifty years of the latest church history. This post is part three. Please make sure you have read the previous parts of this week's story. The first post in this week's story was: Always AND Completely.
In the previous post we saw that Christians think that God ONLY has to be Right in WHAT He does. Christians think He could be Wrong in HOW and WHY He does it! In fact, they actively argue for WHY God is able to be Wrong in the HOW/WHY...they ACTUALLY spend the majority of their "God time" thinking about and learning about HOW/WHY God is able to be Wrong. They even spend the majority of their teaching time explaining to other people HOW/WHY God is able to be Wrong!
It turns out that EVERYONE agrees (even atheists) on the Right WHAT. However, the difference comes with the HOW/WHY.
People who have a Wrong or NO HOW/WHY are hypocrites and easy to frustrate...
Today we will see how one person taught me the wildest rationalization...
THE WILDEST RATIONALIZATION
When I wrote the manuscript for "Modeling God", I actively sought out people to read it and tell me where it was wrong. There were over 200 corrections from the time I finished the manuscript until publication. After publication, I continued to ask people to tell me where "Modeling God" is wrong.
Throughout this entire time, there is one group of people who actively avoided reading and commenting on this material: pastors! I gave the manuscript to a dozen pastors that I personally knew and NONE of them would give an endorsement or even comment on the material! I offered to meet with every pastor to discuss the material. NONE of them would even meet with me!
I sent out books to the pastors of the largest dozen churches in Northeast Wisconsin and offered to discuss the material. ONLY one pastor responded and we have seen (and will see) how this Traditional Pastor continued to avoid stating a conclusion. I prayed for a pastor to publicly comment on this material...and my prayers were answered.
A pastor in Appleton wrote a 30+ page refutation of "Modeling God". I was happy because I WANT to know where "Modeling God" is wrong and WHY. However, when he explained to people WHAT he was writing, several of them told him to meet with me. He refused. He used several rationalizations for NOT meeting with me.
One of the more popular rationalizations was that since I have written the book, I am on the record and he shouldn't have to get clarification (or I shouldn't need to give clarification). He wasn't the only person who used this rationalization. I wonder if these same people ask God for clarification on what He has written? Everytime they ask God for clarification, they would ACTUALLY be proving they are hypocrites. I wonder if these people ever demand the ability to clarify anything they have written? Again, this would make these people hypocrites...
He published his refutation of "Modeling God" on a website titled "www.lenharteatsrocks.com" (that link was immediately taken down when a lawyer showed him it proved he had broken Wisconsin Law concerning defamation).
The bottom line is that I believe the same WHAT as WHAT he and every other Christian believes. Some people refer to this WHAT as "The Nicene Creed".
"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, of things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the begotten of God the Father, the Only-begotten, that is of the essence of the Father.
God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten and not made; of the very same nature of the Father, by Whom all things came into being, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.
Who for us humanity and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate, was made human, was born perfectly of the holy virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit.
By whom He took body, soul, and mind, and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance.
He suffered, was crucified, was buried, rose again on the third day, ascended into heaven with the same body, [and] sat at the right hand of the Father.
He is to come with the same body and with the glory of the Father, to judge the living and the dead; of His kingdom there is no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, in the uncreated and the perfect; Who spoke through the Law, prophets, and Gospels; Who came down upon the Jordan, preached through the apostles, and lived in the saints.
We believe also in only One, Universal, Apostolic, and [Holy] Church; in one baptism in repentance, for the remission, and forgiveness of sins; and in the resurrection of the dead, in the everlasting judgement of souls and bodies, and the Kingdom of Heaven and in the everlasting life."
I believe everything The Nicene Creed stated! The difference is that "Modeling God" (and this blog) gives the HOW/WHY behind this crucial WHAT!
When people complain about "Modeling God", look very carefully at WHAT they write...they state that I believe something (WHAT) different than orthodox Christianity...and they can't or don't give the HOW/WHY for orthodox Christianity. In fact, it looks as if they believe we aren't supposed to know the HOW/WHY. WHAT are they REALLY stating?
Basically, people are uncomfortable reading a HOW/WHY for their WHAT...when they do NOT have a HOW/WHY! These people are factually incorrect when they state that I believe something (WHAT) different than orthodox Christianity.
When I wrote this pastor asking for his definitions for his WHAT's, he refused to state them...yet he spent his time refuting the HOW/WHY's that I wrote about...and even then he couldn't do it in a moral fashion!
This pastor actually changed my definitions to prove his points!
He ignored sections of "Modeling God" to prove his points!
He participated in lying and gossip to prove his points!
He even endorsed himself on this blog under an alias!
He accused me of censoring him when ACTUALLY he is currently censoring positive testimonials about me to his website!
(By the way, I have been looking into my legal options with respect to what this pastor has written (as well as the actions of other pastors). Here is one response from a lawyer: "This would fall under Libel and defamation of character. If he has printed anything on this and states it as fact when it can be shown otherwise then he has committed libel and can be sued. This could also be viewed as harassment as well." Also, since this deals with religious beliefs, we are looking into whether my civil rights were violated. Do you believe this behavior, that is against the law in the world, OUGHT to be acceptable in the church?)
Throughout this time, this pastor continued to refuse to meet with me and told me to write a rebuttal to his refutation.
Here is the link to the rebuttal he asked me to write: The Rebuttal.
This pastor asked me several WHAT Questions in a private e-mail. When I answered all of them with the SAME WHAT as him (basically The Nicene Creed), he concluded I was lying. All of this occurred a year ago.
Over the past year, I have seen HOW/WHY some Christians confuse Righteousness with being right...
Christians either believe they achieve Salvation with Righteousness or lack of Unrighteousness.
Some Christians believe this means they always have to be right, because if they are ever wrong, then they aren't going to heaven.
Consequently, these Christians BEGIN with the belief they HAVE TO BE right and their entire focus, and all their energy, is spent on proving they are right...which is hypocritical. ACTUALLY, this is pride (inability to consider one is wrong) and ensures the person is going to be wrong.
How would two pastors who don't agree, believe they are BOTH going to heaven? One of the answers I've received from pastors to this Question is that there are certain things that we HAVE to agree on. WHAT are those things? Their answer: The Nicene Creed!...then WHY are these pastors avoiding me and/or libeling me?
The real issue for this pastor is that he has NO OBJECTIVE way (HOW) or reason (WHY) that will prove to him he is wrong! He asks me questions. My answers state the same WHAT as him. He tells me I'm lying!
IF you have seen the movie "Doubt", this pastor is essentially the character played by Meryl Streep. She is so convinced she is Right in WHAT she believes that it is acceptable to use a Wrong HOW/WHY to prove herself Right! This pastor believes that he ONLY needs a Right WHAT...and his HOW/WHY is NOT important.
This pastor has admitted to his elders that with respect to me, he has done some things the wrong way (HOW) and for the wrong reason (WHY). In fact, this pastor recently found out SOME of the destruction he has caused. For example, he accused me of causing one couple to get divorced when in reality I was helping the couple stay together and an e-mail that he wrote actually was the trigger event to the couple filing for divorce! He saw the e-mails from both spouses documenting this fact!
Recently, I have offered to meet with him privately and keep not only the conversations confidential but the fact that we were meeting confidential. However, he continues to state that all he wants from me is a confession and repentance for writing "Modeling God". Notice, he wants me to confess and repent to him even though he hasn't explained his HOW/WHY, when he hasn't confessed and repented to me for WHAT he has admitted to his own elders that he has done wrong to me.
(For the record, I made the same offer to the Traditional Pastor in September 2008. Shortly after the offer, the Traditional Pastor told "The Judge" he had an e-mail written by me to him that proved I was in pride over "Modeling God". The Traditional Pastor eventually shared the e-mail with "The Judge" and the one sentence the Traditional Pastor referenced had to be taken out of context to even begin to prove his point. It only proved how the Traditional Pastor's technique of misinterpreting one sentence isn't limited to the Bible. Once the Traditional Pastor shared a confidential e-mail in order to attack me to people outside of his circle, the confidentiality of our e-mails was violated. I have only shared a couple of the Traditional Pastor's e-mails to date...)
Most Christians believe God can have the Right WHAT AND have the Wrong HOW/WHY...they actively focus on it and argue for it! Why? Because THEY want to NOT feel guilty about having the Right WHAT by doing it the Wrong way (HOW) or for the Wrong Reason (WHY)! They want to make God in THEIR image!
This pastor is convinced that even though we both state the same WHAT, he is right and I am wrong BECAUSE I state a HOW and WHY, while he refuses to state a HOW and WHY...or uses a Wrong HOW and WHY to do damage to me and others!
Basically, this wildest of rationalizations is that: it is Wrong to state the HOW and WHY supporting our Christian beliefs (WHAT)...otherwise, he would state his HOW and WHY!
WHY are MOST Christians convinced they have to be right AND NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT they believe?
WHY are MOST Christians convinced it is Wrong to understand the HOW and WHY supporting their WHAT?
Actually, in April 2009 we got the answer to WHY most Christians embrace this wildest rationalization...