This month's Series is on Abuse. We began with foundational background and the stated objective that by the end of this month's Series we will be able to answer the following two questions:
1. How OUGHT we to deal with an Abuser in a non-contradictory Biblical manner?
2. How OUGHT we to help bring about the end of our Dispensation?
We spent two weeks identifying an objective measure for Abuse: ten characteristics of the Abusive Mentality. We saw the most destructive effects come from the involvement of people OUTSIDE the Abusive situation.
Ultimately, we concluded that each characteristic consistently points out that what the Abuser SAYS is radically different from what the Abuser DOES. The Abuser is hypocritical and clearly NOT a Believer...they do NOT walk in the light. The Abuser is enabled by people OUTSIDE of the Abusive situation to widen the gap between their SAY and DO.
This week, we have been looking at HOW/WHY the Bible tells us to Confront Abusive Believers...
We OUGHT to confront Abusive Believers to their face in hopes that they Repent (Repair). If they Repent (Repair), then we forgive them. (Luke 17:3)
If the Abusive Believer hears us and does NOT Repent, then we do NOT forgive him. (Luke 17:3)
If the Abusive Believer does NOT hear us, then we OUGHT to follow Matthew 18 and EXPOSE the Abuser to other Believers FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ENTIRE BODY...to hinder the Abuser's ability to be deceptive. Eventually, we treat this Abusive person in need of reconciliation as a Non-believer.
We don't confront Abusive Non-believers. We forgive them instantly so that we reap Spiritual Reward AND God can confront them. (Matthew 5:38-48)
God being able to confront these people is a GREAT thing. It is something we OUGHT to REJOICE over!
In the previous post, we saw the specific way HOW/WHY to help people get Confronted by God. Here is the summary:
From the posts covering Luke 17:3, we see the Confronter extends mercy to the Abusive Believer who HEARS and does NOT Repent.
In order to LOVE the Abusive Believer (WHY), the Confronter OUGHT to get the Abusive Believer to State His Will (HOW).
Basically, the Abusive Believer is asked a Question where the response is either "yes" or "no". Answering a Question in a definite manner is a Statement of the Will of the individual. As long as the Abusive Believer does NOT State Their Will, they remain under mercy. God will continue to give them time to PROVE what they BELIEVE in either WORD or ACTION.
God WANTS the individual to Repent willingly. God WANTS the individual to come to this decision by themselves. This is WHY God allows them to stay under mercy. However, the moment the Abusive Believer States a Wrong Belief, God can Confront them FOR THEIR BENEFIT.
In addition, I have added an Objective Measure to the process once the individual has Stated Their Will.
Stating Your Will with an Objective Measure is the SPECIFIC way (HOW/WHY) to help people get God to confront them.
Taking people through the State Your Will process WITHOUT an Objective Measure OR WITHOUT a follow up Confrontation is NOT LOVING.
Today, we will look at a real life example of an Abusive Believer who has embraced Pride...
TIM SNELL'S FORMAL SUPPORT
Throughout this year, I have shared the story of how a pastor in Appleton, WI has intentionally misrepresented my beliefs, which includes (among other things) creating a website that has over 200 factual inaccuracies. He has been unwilling to share the support for his false claims. He has been unwilling to meet with me to discuss these false claims. Yet, Tim Snell endorsed himself ANONYMOUSLY on one of my posts!
When we last left the story, he rallied a group of pastors (Fox Cities Evangelical Minister's Fellowship) to publicly issue a statement that also misrepresented my beliefs. Meanwhile, there has only been one pastor from this group of forty pastors that has been willing to meet with me. Here are the links to the posts from this year that present this story...
The first set of links gives background on the events from before 2009:
Book One: Modeling God
Book Two: Modeling God's Wills
Book Three: Modeling Church
This set of links explains how this type of abuse is actually why the church in America has been dying:
Always and Completely
Right-Right vs. Right-Wrong
The Wildest Rationalization
The Godless Christianity Movement
The Cause of the Controversy
This set of links presents the events of this year.
Modern Day Prophetess?
Bringing Prophecy to Pass
Since the final post in this half of the story, I had a lawyer write Tim Snell a letter proving to this pastor that he has broken the laws of the land by defaming me. I did NOT sue Tim Snell or his church. I gave him the opportunity to take down his website and issue an apology.
The main issue concerns a book review Tim Snell wrote on Amazon concerning Modeling God. He made claims about MY BELIEFS (NOT his beliefs). His claims were false.
I repeatedly asked for the support for his claims. He refused to support his claims or meet with me to discuss his claims.
My lawyer PROVED that Tim Snell's actions met all of the characteristics of DEFAMATION. For example, Tim has a link (lenharteatsrocks.com) to his Refutation of Modeling God that PROVED he is "expressing malice and ill" towards me. (Tim took this link down one day after getting the letter from my lawyer...then proceeded to "Deny and Minimize" the Abuse to his congregation. He had refused to take down the link for almost two years when others told him the link was wrong.)
My lawyer listed several FALSE claims that Tim made. Note, ANY ONE of these claims being false would PROVE that Tim Snell participated in Abusive behavior that violate the laws of the land.
Tim got a lawyer (Charlotte Cover) from the Gibbs Law Firm in Seminole, Florida. The Gibbs Law Firm website is the same as the website for the Christian Law Association. Their purpose is to "provide free legal assistance to Bible-believing churches and Christians who are experiencing legal difficulty in practicing their religious faith because of governmental regulation, intrusion, or prohibition of one form or another."
Remember, Tim attacked me. Tim made this dispute public. Tim involved other pastors and Believers. Tim is the one who wanted me to publicly respond to him. Tim INITIATED ALL OF THIS. Chuck Colson wrote in "The Faith" that you can tell who the Christians are because they get attacked AND they don't attack.
HOW am I causing Tim Snell to experience legal difficulty practicing his religious faith? If anything, Tim Snell has CAUSED me legal difficulty. Tim Snell has REVERSED REALITY! Tim's Abuse has now extended to a national "Christian" law firm!
However, Charlotte Cover did respond with the support for Tim's claims...something I have requested for almost two years. After reviewing the formal support for Tim's claims, I now KNOW he has no support for his claims. I will now share Tim's support...
AMAZON REVIEW CLAIMS
Remember, Tim's Abuse was made public in March 2008. He has since convinced a group of pastors (FCEMF) to also Abuse me BASED ON TIM'S CLAIMS.
For the rest of this post, I will present the claims Tim made about Modeling God in the Amazon review. Then I will quote Tim Snell's formal support for this claim as presented by Charlotte Cover. Then I will present my response.
Amazon Review Claim: "Grace is something you pay for."
Tim Snell's Formal Support:
"Grace is something you pay for (Modeling God, p. 66 - "God may give us a value [grace] to pay for sins here, but we still need to reimburse God" and p. 97 - "This giving of value to the individual is the first half of the biblical definition of grace...The final step is for the individual to choose to have this influence come out in their actions (Step 4). This is the other half of the biblical definition of grace. Notice this results in a value."
The passage from Modeling God p. 66 begins with the premise that IF "grace" is "unmerited favor", then it violates Justice...unless we reimbursed God. I am stating that "grace" is NOT "unmerited favor" because it violates Justice. For Tim to be correct in his accusation, he would have to claim that I am saying "grace" IS "unmerited favor"! THE ENTIRE SECTION is built on the premise that "grace" IS NOT "unmerited favor"!
The passage from p. 97 does NOT say we have to pay for grace! HOW is this support for his claim? In fact, the passage quoted says that God gives to us AND if we let it come out, it results in a value...that God gets credit for! We don't get credit for it BECAUSE we didn't pay for it!
Conclusion: With the p. 66 example, Tim took one sentence from Modeling God and then TIM SUPPLIED HIS OWN CONTEXT that was the OPPOSITE of the context stated in Modeling God! With the p. 97 example, IT DOES NOT APPLY TO Tim's claim! Tim is demonstrating that he has problems interpreting text.
Amazon Review Claim: "Jesus is not fully divine by nature."
Tim Snell's Formal Support:
"Jesus is not fully divine by nature (Modeling God, pp. 26-27 - Jesus has a free will and may choose to be righteous or not.)"
Page 26 AND page 27 BOTH have a table showing Jesus is Divine by Nature. On page 26, the definition of "free will" is given as "the ability to act apart from one's nature". This definition is non-contradictory...it removes the contradictions that result when "free will" is simply define as "choice". God CANNOT act apart from His Nature AND God can make CHOICES WITHIN His Nature.
Tim does NOT quote a passage from Modeling God to support his claim. What he does state is HIS CONCLUSION about my beliefs. However, I agree with HIS CONCLUSION: Jesus was able to choose to be righteous or not. In fact, THAT IS WHAT MAKES JESUS FULLY MAN. Tim is implying that Jesus was NOT able to choose to be righteous or not! If Tim does NOT believe Jesus could choose to be righteous or not, then Tim does NOT BELIEVE JESUS WAS FULLY MAN! Where can we go to resolve this theological question? How about God's Word?
Isaiah 7 presents the most famous prophecy concerning Jesus. It is a passage that a pastor OUGHT to be familiar with:
"14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall he eat, when he knoweth to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings thou abhorrest shall be forsaken."
This passage PROVES MY POINT TWICE! GOD the FATHER states through Isaiah that NOT ONLY will Jesus CHOOSE THE GOOD, but He will REFUSE THE EVIL.
CONCLUSION: Tim Snell denies orthodoxy and the Word of God when Tim denies Jesus' ability to choose to be righteous or not.
Amazon Review Claim: "There is no event where one accepts Christ and is saved."
Tim Snell's Formal Support:
"There is no event where one accepts Christ and is saved (Modeling God, pp. 87-94; 95 - "Essentially, salvation is a process that depends on progress, not a quantitative threshold.")"
Basically, Tim Snell presents the "eternal security" and Calvinistic belief that once you say a prayer, you are saved and there is no way to lose that salvation.
I believe this "eternal security" and Calvinistic belief violates Justice. I learned from Joel Swokowski that the definition of salvation is "avoidance of a punishment". Paul wrote in I Corinthians there are three parts to the Gospel: Christ died, Christ was buried, and Christ rose again. Each part deals with a specific aspect, respectively: Salvation, Rewards, and Eternal Life.
It is possible for a person to be in the position of avoiding punishment while they are on this earth. If someone wants to call this "being saved", I can agree with that. However, being in the position of avoiding punishment does NOT guarantee that you can't lose that position...otherwise, God is NOT Just. The individual can express their will NOT to go to heaven, either through words or actions. So, it is NOT a one-time event to achieve "being saved" while you are on earth. You have to continually make sure you are expressing your will correctly.
IF a person wants to believe "once saved, always saved", then the only non-contradictory explanation is that this "saved" occurs once the person actually makes it to heaven.
Therefore, I believe that there is ONE EVENT that begins this process of "being saved" AND you have to continue expressing your will correctly to assure you remain "saved". I wrote this:
"Salvation occurs once the individual dies and makes it into heaven. Once you make it to heaven, then you don't have to worry about getting kicked out because "once saved, always saved"." (Modeling God, p. 87)
"Salvation is not a one-time event. It begins with a commitment to give the spiritual self preeminence over the physical self. After this "born again" event, salvation is a process that we need to continually grow in. We need to express our will to God that we want to take direction from Him instead of ourselves. We need to continue to become better at hearing God and letting it come out in our actions (grace). We need to continually grow in our experience and understanding of God (faith)." (Modeling God, p. 103)
Conclusion: Modeling God DOES state ONE EVENT that begins the process of Salvation. Again, this is EVEN MORE PROOF that Tim Snell has difficulties interpreting text.
Amazon Review Claim: "There is no need to receive Christ."
Tim Snell's Formal Support:
"There is no need to receive Christ (Modeling God, p. 99 - "[A] person doesn't have to know the name of Jesus in order to receive the value. The quoted verse that opens this chapter does not say it is the only method. It says it is a sure way of making it to heaven.")"
First, the chapter begins:
"No doubt the "golden key" people that still exist will say the Bible states, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9). There is no doubt this is true; however, we have to make sure this doesn't contradict the other "getting to heaven" verses. We have seen two so far: You are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) and the Sermon on the Mount's "persecuted for righteousness' sake" (Matthew 5:10)."
A lot of Tim Snell's support in his Refutation of Modeling God is similar to this claim. He ONLY presents a sentence or two from Modeling God AND it is COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTEXT. It makes me wonder if he interprets the Bible the same way. Here is the entire passage:
"I'm sure there are still some among us who are uncomfortable by this book. They may even point to the verse (Acts 4:12) that says we must be saved under "none other name" except Jesus. I would agree with that, but I'd also point out what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount about getting into heaven ("persecuted for righteousness' sake"). There is no mention of His name.
All of these passages are true and say the same thing. If we were to put a name to the process, it would be Jesus, because He made it possible for us to receive the value. There is "none other name" that can be correctly placed on this process. However, a person doesn't have to know the name of Jesus in order to receive this value. The quoted verse that opens this chapter does not say it is the only method. It says it is a sure way of making it to heaven. Once could even say it is an intentional way of eventually getting saved." (pp. 98-99)
Conclusion: Modeling God states there is a need to receive Christ because there is "none other name" by which we can be saved. However, NOTHING in the Bible states that NOT knowing THAT name prevents the person from being saved.
Bonus Point: In the Amazon Review, Tim states that people ought to buy a CS Lewis book instead of Modeling God. CS Lewis ACTUALLY SUPPORTS in TWO of his books the point I made in Modeling God!
"The Last Battle" is the last book in CS Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" series. At the end of the book (and series), a follower of Tash (devil) describes his Final Judgment in front of God (Aslan):
"So I went over much grass and many flowers and among all kinds of wholesome and delectable trees till lo! in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like an ostrich, and his size was an elephant's; his hair was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes, like gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world, even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert. Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service to me. Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him, for I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yes I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek."
Just so there is no misunderstanding what CS Lewis meant, here is a passage from near the end of "Mere Christianity":
"There are people (a great many of them) who are slowly ceasing to be Christians who still call themselves by that name: some of them are clergymen. There are other people who are slowly becoming Christians though they do not yet call themselves so. There are people who do not accept the full Christian doctrine about Christ but who are so strongly attracted by Him that they are His in a much deeper sense than they themselves understand. There are people in other religions who are being led by God's secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it. For example, a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain other points. Many of the good Pagans long before Christ's birth may have been in this position."
Conclusion: Tim Snell is hypocritical when he promotes CS Lewis' beliefs AND demonizes mine in an area where there is agreement between CS Lewis and myself.
Amazon Review Claim: "The cross has little meaning in salvation."
Tim Snell's Formal Support:
"The cross has little meaning in salvation (Modeling God contains little if any reference to the cross, making it evident that the cross has little meaning in Mr. Lenhart's doctrine of salvation.)"
"The blood sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is the source of atonement for our sins." (Modeling God p. 38)
This was stated early in Modeling God in the chapter titled "Justice". Every mention of "Justice" and "value" (as they relate to salvation) is based on this passage in Modeling God.
Conclusion: Tim has difficulties interpreting text.
Amazon Review Claim: "That unless you have gained a "value" from God, prayer is worthless."
Tim Snell's Formal Support:
"That unless you have gained a "value" from God, prayer is worthless (Modeling God, p. 171 - 'If you don't have value...,God would have to first take a value away from you before giving it back in answer to prayer." and p. 172 - "[P]rayer doesn't really work unless you have value.")"
The Amazon Review Claim is that I state Prayer is worthless unless you have gained a value from God. Then Tim quotes a passage (p. 171) that states praying without value is NOT worthless...it initiates the process for God to help get you the value! So, Tim ACTUALLY PROVED my point with his first reference! (Did a professional lawyer REALLY write this letter?) As for the second reference, here is the entire passage:
"You are told to pray. Yet, prayer doesn't really work unless you have value. Perhaps the reason you are supposed to pray is that it requires you to do things that give you spiritual value. It also requires you to handle justice well. When you understand the implications of exchanging value, several passages of the Bible take on a deeper meaning. For instance, this is just one reason why Paul says he glories in tribulation, because it is an opportunity for him to obtain spiritual value (Romans 5:3)."
Conclusion: Tim has attempted to change the focus from what he stated in his Amazon Review, to what he wanted me to state. Again, Tim has difficulty interpreting text and he resorts to taking sentences out of context in an attempt to prove his point.
Amazon Review Claim: "Marriages can be dissolved if they are "unprofitable" to one of the partners."
Tim Snell's Formal Support:
"Marriages can be dissolved if they are "unprofitable" to one of the partners (http://godsdoctrine.blogspot.com/2008/06/328.html - "When the marriage is Unprofitable and the ability to be profitable is proven to be impossible, the couple OUGHT to divorce in order to minimize the Unprofitability" - Blog posted by JG Lenhart)"
This one absolutely blows me away for its hypocrisy!
First, the date of the Amazon review is March 2008. His response is supposed to give SUPPORT to the claims he made about MODELING GOD in March of 2008. I did NOT write this in Modeling God. So, Tim has NO SUPPORT for making this claim in March 2008!!!!!
Second, Tim and his followers REPEATEDLY stated they did NOT have to meet with me to understand me because they could respond to what I had written. Here is a CLAIM Tim makes against me, yet I had NOT written this...AND Tim would NOT meet with me to discuss this!
Third, the reference he used is from JUNE 2008 AND states that marriages ought to be dissolved IF BOTH conditions are met:
-Ability to be Profitable is proven to be impossible
Notice, Tim does NOT even get the first requirement correct. I wrote "When the marriage is Unprofitable..." Tim wrote "if they are "unprofitable" to one of the partners."
Fourth, this passage comes from ONE SENTENCE of "Modeling God's Wills". There are CHAPTERS explaining HOW to help ONE PARTNER who is making the marriage Unprofitable WITHOUT dissolving the marriage. There are CHAPTERS explaining HOW to make the Unprofitable marriage PROFITABLE!!!!
This claim is an EMBARRASSMENT to Tim Snell and Charlotte Cover. The extent of the lack of comprehension for just THIS one claim causes me to question the competency of Tim Snell and Charlotte Cover to put together a basic logical thought process. It makes me question whether they are walking in the light or walking in the darkness....
This looks to me like two people responding to Confrontation with an embracing of Pride.
Conclusion: Tim's support for this claim causes me to question his salvation...
I had extended mercy to Tim Snell for the last two years because I wanted to believe he is a Believer.
To that end, I constantly rehearsed Tim having support for his claims and Abuse of me that would prove to be correct and help me.
Realize, Charlotte Cover and the Christian Law Association did this work at no charge. Spiritually, she and her firm have a share in the Abuse Tim has done to me because she willingly chose to Enable Tim Snell.
I will Confront Charlotte Cover and the leaders of her law firm FOR THEIR BENEFIT. I have to assume they are Believers who have been deceived. I will help them State Their Will.
Today, I realize that Tim Snell NEVER had ANY support for the Abusive Claims he made publicly. The Effects of this Understanding will be explained tomorrow...
Tomorrow, we will conclude this month's Series AND this year's posts by answering the two questions posed at the beginning of this month.