A Response JD Greear’s Biblical Argument for Multi-site Churches

JD Greear argues that multi-site churches can be biblical. His two thoughts in response to the critique of multi-site churches are:

(1) The question—our primary point of disagreement with ‘single service only’ advocates—is whether the New Testament mandates that we must all assemble in the same place, at the same time, every week; and

(2) We continue to maintain that the essence of the local church is covenant, and assembly a necessary function of a church.

Here’s my comment response posted on his blog that has not yet been approved. If he posts a response to these questions for clarification I’ll repost it here.

Thanks for the post JD. I appreciate it and appreciate your ministry brother.

A few questions that may help clarify your position (and I don’t mean to be argumentative but to further understand your understanding of the ecclesiological issues):

1. “Assembly is an indispensable function of the church, but covenant is its essence.” So could multi-site churches that NEVER meet all together be considered “biblically sound”? I’m guessing your answer is “no” because they are not fulfilling the “necessary function” of the church. If so, then where do you draw the line in exhorting multi-site churches to obey “biblically sound” ecclesiology? Maybe once a year? Maybe once every few years? “If God” requires (necessitates) the “function” for his church to meet all together at least sometimes has he “made that abundantly clear”? Are the other multi-site practitioners just not hearing what he has made abundantly clear?

2. When one tells “the church” of an unrepentant member (Matthew 18.17), do all the members in all the campuses know? And are all the covenant members on all the campuses responsible to call this brother/sister to repentance since the brother/sister needs to “listen to the church” before being excommunicated?

3. Why does the Summit Church gather all together annually? Is it only to experience a powerful encouragement to the body and compelling testimony to the world and to meet the bare minimum frequency of “assembly” to be a faithful New Testament Church? I understand the reasons Greear gives for multi-site, but I’m not sure I understand his compelling reasons for assembling. It might be seen as primarily a hoop to jump through or box to check off that they’re keeping the New Testament and it just happens to be powerfully encouraging.

In Christ,

UPDATE: 10/24/14 response by JD

PJ, excellent questions. Let me answer questions 1 and 3 together. It seems that you are looking for a “rule” about how often to assemble (and I don’t mean to be pejorative by that), but the NT simply doesn’t give one. That’s the crux of my argument–single-service-advocates have added a rule about meeting weekly that isn’t found in the NT. It appears, and again I don’t mean to be pejorative, to be a “hedge about the law” of the NT description of churches as assemblies. They can provide no chapter and verse for that shade of the rule, and, as I’ve noted, we seem find as much biblical evidence supporting churches not assembling all together weekly as we do them assembling all together. My question is why feel the need to go farther than the Scriptures? Why not emphasize that assembly is an important function of church, and let individual churches work that out, knowing they will answer to God for how they do it?

What is clear is that churches do assemble. So, each person in a 100 person church can’t stay home each week and say they are united by covenant so therefore they don’t need to assemble (as Leeman charges would be consistent with our model). Furthermore, it seems healthy, by implication, that a church should all assemble together periodically. That’s less a rule and more an inference from the church’s nature, but I think it’s a valid one. “Once a year” is not the magic number. The point is that healthy churches assemble often, and it makes sense that from time to time the whole body comes together. If you have 6 grown kids, how often do you come together for a family reunion? I can’t give you a “rule” on that, but I can tell you that if your family never comes together for a family reunion, you likely don’t have a healthy family. That analogy will break down eventually, but hopefully you get the point that this is less about rule and more about healthy expression of church.

Your second question, about discipline, is one created for us more by being a large church than a multi-site one. Discipline in a larger church can be complicated, even bringing in legal ramifications. We believe that discipline must be public, but that me announcing each week a list of people we need to discipline the majority of people have never met is not healthy or edifying. So we make the circle of discipline as wide as that person’s relationships. Sometimes that is on the campus level; sometimes it is a circle of small groups. It is the congregation that disciplines, but elders act as congregational representatives in this.

The exception is elders. We believe, as Paul says, a more public office demands a more public rebuke.

This is an issue we continue to wrestle with, and have a lot to learn about. But, again, it is more a function of being a large church than a multi-site one.

Thanks again.

Posted in 9Marks, church, church health, church polity | 1 Comment

How can I lead my church toward meaningful membership? Help from Mark Dever

How can I lead my church toward meaningful membershipMark Dever addressed this at an SEBTS 9Marks conference (30:23). So I listened to that section and used this web page to expand what I learned.

1. Proclaim the gospel. Preach about God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness, Christ’s substitutionary atonement and resurrection, and our need to repent of our sins and trust in him. And make it clear that those who are not committed to one another in love have no reason to think that they have committed to God in love (1 John 4:20-21).

2. Use a statement of faith and church covenant. Require members to affirm a statement of faith (what a church believes) and a church covenant (how members will live together). Mark Dever said in Africa in 2007 http://andynaselli.com/mark-dever-on-the-function-of-statements-of-faith:

Have and use a congregationally agreed-upon statement of faith and church      covenant.

Now I’m aware we’re from different polities at this minister’s conference, and that’s      great. If you have a denominational statement, depending on your structure you can take your denominational statement and use that. If you’re a congregational independent church, you can come up with one yourself or use one that other churches before you have used. But with membership in the congregation comes responsibility, and the statements of what the congregation together believes (and in our church we call that our statement of faith) and of how we will live (we call that our church covenant) are very useful tools. They are a clear ground of unity, a tool of teaching, [and] a fence from error and from the worldly who would erase such distinctions or [from] the divisive who want to see them more narrow. We can point to the fact that, “Well actually, this is what we’ve agreed on.”

So, for example, I’ll give you something else provocative. Our church’s statement of faith talks about the second coming of Christ, and it basically says, “He will come back; he will raise the dead; he will judge them; and they will go some to eternal felicity with God and some to eternal torment in hell.” That’s it! “But Mark, what about the rapture? What about the nation of Israel? What about the seven-year tribulation? What about the millennium?” You know, praise God, our statement of faith was written in the 1830s, so Christians hadn’t thought of all that stuff yet. They were just about to get divisive about that in the late nineteenth century, but our statement of faith is so old we only have this really clearly biblical stuff about the return of Christ. And then we can disagree—we can argue with each other—as best we see implications of these other precious truths.

So every Christian in the church should believe a lot more than what’s in your statement of faith, but what you’re trying to define in your statement of faith is “What do we need to have agreement upon in order to be a church together?” And I think we need to know that Jesus is coming back and that he told his disciples that he could be coming back at any time, so they need to be ready. Beyond that, well, you and I can argue about it. We can [dis]agree. We can read and write books.

3. Require a membership class. Help prospective members know what will be expected of them, and what they can expect from the church. Use this opportunity to teach through the statement of faith and the church covenant, the importance of membership, the history of Christianity and your own congregation, and the practical nuts and bolts of how your church works.

Thom RainerKeep the initial orientation brief. Some churches have new members’ classes that last multiple hours over multiple days. These orientations are counterproductive. They engender information overload and have little impact. If there is much information you need to share, do so over a longer period of time, but not in the initial new members’ class. The new members’ class works best if it is two to three hours in one setting.

I prefer the Capitol Hill Baptist Church’s 6 session orientation or something like it rather than a shorter 2-3 hour one time class recommended by Rainer. CHBC offers a 3 hour Friday night and 3 hour Saturday weekend to get it done and also has one session every Sunday during Sunday School hour every week all year long.

4. Require an interview with a pastor-elder. In the interview ask the individual to share the gospel and provide an account of their conversion and their discipleship since then. Have they seen change in their lives? Get their feedback on the church and programs and tell them their basic responsibilities (attend Sunday gatherings, Lord’s Supper, Members’ Meetings; get to know others and be known; pray for others, give).
Require this conversation before you recommend them to the congregation but after the membership classes. This is what Baptists have done historically before other members, pastors, or even the whole congregation.

5. Stop baptizing and admitting children into formal membership. A young child can certainly become a Christian. But a church can’t necessarily discern whether or not a child has become a Christian. Children should be given the opportunity to mature and have occasion to resist the pull of the world. So don’t create confusion by baptizing those whose professions of faith the church cannot reliably assess.

6. Require congregational approval of new members. Admission into and exclusion from church membership is an act of the congregation (this is an implication of 2 Cor. 2:6). So lead your church to explicitly affirm every member the church receives in and sees off.

7. Regularly publish an accurate membership directory. Encourage the members to use this as a prayer list. Name, picture, physical address, email, phone number, Facebook, twitter. Have them pray for members and they will eventually get to know many of them.

8. Give active pastoral oversight to members. Try to make sure that every member is in regular conversation with an elder or a mature Christian in the congregation. Take initiative in getting to know what’s going on in the members’ lives.

9. Cultivate a culture of discipleship. Encourage younger Christians to become disciples of older, more mature Christians. Encourage more mature Christians to take less mature Christians under their wing. Encourage every member of the church to be in multiple spiritually beneficial relationships.

10. Limit certain activities and areas of service to members. Churches should consider the possibility of restricting its business meetings, public service, and small groups (except for evangelistic ones) to members only.

11. Revive the practice of corrective discipline. Only after you have established a culture of meaningful membership, begin to lead your congregation to excommunicate those who persist in serious unrepentant sin.

12. Recover something of the grandness of God’s plan Pray for other congregations by name in your Sunday morning gatherings. Don’t just be about your local church but for every gospel church everywhere. Remind them of the story that is much greater than our local church. Remind them of the pastor’s serious accountability that they’ll have to answer to God. Remind the church that they affirm the salvation of each member.

What single bit of counsel has made the most significant difference in your leadership?

John Brown in a letter of paternal counsels to one of his pupils newly ordained over a small congregation:

“I know the vanity of your heart, and that you will feel mortified that your congregation is very small, in comparison with those of your brethren around you; but assure yourself on the word of an old man, that when you come to give an account of them to the Lord Christ, at his judgment-seat, you will think you have had enough.”
(This material (1-11) has been adapted from Mark Dever’s chapter “Regaining Meaningful Church Membership” in Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches, ed. Thomas White, Jason B. Duesing, and Malcomb B. Yarnell, III, pages 57-60)

Posted in 9Marks, church reform, Church Revitalization, Mark Dever | Leave a comment

Quick Thoughts on Mark Driscoll’s Recent Resignation from Mars Hill Church

Mark Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill Church. While I personally think that was the right decision, I’m not sure that was the most important need. I think the most important need is public repentance confessing sins in specificity regarding the fellow pastors and others he and the board agree he sinned against. I think that is entirely in line with true repentance and with 1 Tim 5.19-20 that says, “Don’t accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will also be afraid.” Even if you’re the one to be rebuked, as pastor you should initiate this public rebuke and repentance out of love and obedience to God and out of a desire to exalt God’s grace to the church and watching world.

Christians, let’s look at the log in our own eyes, and repent before God and those he calls us to repent before. Then let’s continue to pray for God’s will to be done at Mars Hill regarding repentance and moving forward in the great commission with increasing faithfulness to Christ Jesus.

Posted in church health, Leadership, Mark Driscoll, Pastoral ministry | Leave a comment

A Response to Danny Cortez for my Fellow Los Angeles Southern Baptist Association Pastors and Messengers

A response to “The Third Way: A Response to the Southern Baptist Convention” by Danny Cortez.

Danny Cortez and New Heart Church have clearly communicated their stance to Southern Baptists in Danny’s most recent blog post. Here’s a response from a fellow Southern Baptist pastor in the same Los Angeles Southern Baptist Association. The state and national convention have already disfellowshipped New Heart Church. The Los Angeles association will vote on the matter this coming Saturday.

Unity, the Lord’s Table, and God’s Grace

Jesus prayed for unity among his disciples (John 17.20-23). This unity is not an institutional unity like the Roman Catholic Church supposes, but a spiritual unity of all true believers united to Christ Jesus being born again by the Spirit with repentance of sin and faith in the gospel message. This spiritual unity should be expressed relationally and practically as opportunities arise. This is what Danny wants within our association and convention. But this unity is seen most clearly in the local church, which is the frontline expression of God’s kingdom to the world around us. Secondarily, this unity is seen in our evangelical unity across denominations centered on the gospel message. This is not a prayer against denominations as if there should only be one denomination. Denominations in evangelicalism are groups disagreeing on secondary matters but united on the evangel (the gospel), thus an evangelical unity. Denominations are institutional. Evangelicalism is not. Jesus is not praying for an institutional unity but a spiritual, commissional, and doctrinal unity centered on the gospel message.

Danny thinks the biggest impediment to the spread of the gospel is our disunity on the denominational level evidenced by our willingness to disassociate from some churches. That is a misunderstanding of Jesus’ prayer as a prayer for a single denomination that doesn’t disassociate from others on secondary issues within evangelicalism. That is misunderstanding Jesus’ prayer as a prayer for institutional unity that would squash legitimate diversity. Danny wouldn’t argue for a single denomination, but I don’t know how else to apply his understanding of unity to denominations. I look forward to him clarifying his understanding on this point.

Our churches and convention also want places that affirm we are one body, with one Lord, and one faith. New Heart is not the only church wanting that though he frames that as a contrast with us. But there are still good reasons for denominations to affirm evangelical unity while disassociating denominationally. Danny agrees that there are some disagreements that separate professing Christians. He holds the line on Triniatarianism which excludes many who profess Christianity. I agree with that line. But my point is that even Danny agrees that there should be “disunity” at some point. He just draws his line at a different point than the Southern Baptist Convention. We have good reasons for drawing the line where we do. Danny’s lines and reasons for them are not so clearly articulated because he frames his church’s position under the banner of unity without addressing the necessary corallary of disunity with those who are not under that “united” banner.

One must understand that if being inclusive leaves at least someone out then being inclusive also necessarily involves being exclusive. No Christian should affirm that all humans are united as Christians just by virtue of being human. Or American. Therefore Danny’s vision also excludes some. Danny states that they don’t want to move away from others but with others. Southern Baptists wanted to move away from them in terms of associating. But why? Paul tells us to disassociate from people (2 Timothy 3:5; 1 Corinthians 5.9-11).  So does Jesus (Matthew 18.17). When Danny quotes Jesus from Matthew 7, it’s quite telling that he stops short of the full paragraph. He conveniently stops at verse 4: ““Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? But what does verse 5 say? How does Jesus end the thought? “Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Danny has little place for what removing specks are from others’ eyes, confronting sin, exercising church discipline, and refuting error. Except for the area of disunity.

That is why we have different ideas of administering grace. Danny defines administering grace as leaving space for disagreement while sharing in the Lord’s table. I understand administering grace as proclaiming and applying the forgiveness of God for all sins through one’s repentance from sin and faith in Jesus’ death for sins. All, everyone, without exception, who comes to God through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance from sin are welcome and able to experience forgiving grace. But those who don’t repent or trust in Christ can’t experience such grace.

The Problem with Third Way Theory

Danny claims that the SBC is already third way on the issue of divorce, remarriage, and the resulting adultery. He’s right that Southern Baptists have been inconsistent with our practice of biblical divorce and remarriage.  Pastors have performed weddings for illegitimately-divorced spouses leading them into adultery. Pastors themselves have been illegitimately divorced and yet the churches and associations affirm their pastoral ministry. This is sinful and wrong. It is displeasing in the Lord’s sight because it dishonors him, marriage, our churches, and those we lead. We must repent, confront the sin, and seek to correct this trend among our ranks. This requires public confession for some of us. Our convention unanimously affirmed a public resolution on this in 2010. So it is on us to practically and publicly repent and hold our fellow pastors and churches accountable.

Third way theory implodes at the Lord’s table. The Lord’s supper is where we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s where we show unity as a church body, affirming each others’ discipleship in Christ. As Mark Dever says, the Lord’s Supper is for sinners, but only repentant sinners. The Apostle Paul expects this standard in 1 Corinthians 5.9-13 and 11.19, 27-32.

Danny argues that though his church members disagree on whether LGBT activity is sinful, they still unite taking the Lord’s Supper together. This shows their professed unity in Christ. But it also shows that those who think LGBT activity is a sin also affirm the Christianity of those who are actively living a monogomous LGBT lifestyle. So while they say it’s a sin, their sharing the table is “gay-affirming” in the sense of affirming the Christianity of LGBT professing Christians. You either include or exclude those professing Christians who are active in same gender sexual relations. In that very important and biblical sense, Danny and New Heart are NOT a third way church but the “gay-affirming” church he said he’d step down from if that’s what the church became. That’s what Danny doesn’t seem to understand about Al Mohler’s point. At the table you are not a third way, you either affirm the profession of Christianity by those who are LGBT practicing or you don’t. If you take communion with them you affirm their profession of faith. If you don’t take communion with them then you don’t. There is no third option or way at the table. You can’t half take communion.

Unless you allow everyone to come to the table, then you’re inclusivity of some is exclusivity of others. Danny called it segregation. Can Mormons come to the table at New Heart Church? Or Jehovah’s Witnesses? Or Roman Catholics? Or unrepentant adulterers who are convinced their sexual activity is not sinful?

This brings us to the reason for the state and national convention decisions. Our denomination and association actively uphold associations with churches. By maintaining association with a church that affirms LGBT practicing professing Christians by admitting them to the table, the local association and conventions are affirming the practice of this church as being acceptable within the association of churches. If we maintain our association with New Heart Church as they currently stand, then our association now becomes LGBT-affirming as well. In other words, for the association, the third way is inherently inconsistent and impossible to sustain once the Lord’s supper and formal association of churches are considered.

So What about Danny and New Heart Church? 

Danny is trying to create space for this discussion and debate within our association and convention. He says that we can’t know for sure so we should be open and continually learning. But on this issue, he fits the description that Paul asserts in 2 Timothy 3:7, “always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Is Danny Cortez a brother in Christ? I hope and pray so, but I don’t know for sure. Is he a false teacher? On this point he is teaching something false. He believes LGBT sexual activity is not sinful. He also teaches that churches and Christians should make space for disagreeing on this point while at the same time admitting them to the table and affirming them as truly Christian. That is false teaching. Is he a qualified pastor? No, since pastor/elder/overseer must be “holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it” (Titus 1.9). Do the New Heart Church members have the right as a group to recognize Danny as a qualified pastor? Yes, it’s a free country and they can do that if they like. That doesn’t mean they’re correct biblically or obeying God. So are you saying that the members of New Heart Church are sinning in affirming Danny as their pastor? Yes, because they are actively affirming and following Danny Cortez as their leader when he’s leading them to sin in affirming LGBT practice as permissible within Christianity by sharing the communion table with them. If the members of the church who think LGBT practice is sinful before God according to Scripture, then they should not affirm Danny Cortez as their pastor nor share the table with those who do not see the LGBT practice as sinful. What should the Los Angeles association (LASBA) do? LASBA would be sinning by continuing association with New Heart Church. So they should disassociate.

So how should we serve those who are professing faith in Christ and practicing LGBT sexual activity?

We should love them by allowing them in our gatherings, talking to them, listening carefully to their heart, pain, and perspective, speaking the biblical truth in love, and calling them to faith and repentance. Then, if moved to repentance by God’s grace and kindness, we can and must take communion together and celebrate God’s manifold grace to all of us sinners.

Posted in Christian Tradition, church health, culture, Current Events, LGBTQ, Los Angeles | 2 Comments

A Twitter Conversation: For and Against Gay “Marriage”

If you want to see the conversation on Twitter here’s the link.

Ryan T. Anderson @RyanT_Anderson  Sep 27
Judges should not insert their own preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the Constitution. http://wapo.st/1vmyQ4r

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 27
@RyanT_Anderson hahahahaha….That you actually think it’s all a matter of preference and not equal protection under the law is funny.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 27
@rjmedwed @RyanT_Anderson maybe a better word than “preference” is “personal stance”?

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 27
@SlavePJ Not really, since it’s about the law, not personal stances or ideas. @RyanT_Anderson

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 27
@rjmedwed got it. So you’re saying the “law” or constitution has gay rights already in it? @RyanT_Anderson

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 27
@SlavePJ I’m saying that the Constitution calls for equal protection under the law. @RyanT_Anderson

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 27
@rjmedwed I agree. But to keep from throwing around slogans, equal protection of who from what? @RyanT_Anderson

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 27
@SlavePJ You need me to define what legal recognition of gay marriage gives someone?

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 27
@rjmedwed maybe what it “protects” them from.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 27
@SlavePJ I’m not sure I understand your question. Could you rephrase it?

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 27
@rjmedwed sure. And thanks for the conversation. Question: what threats/dangers does the constitution “protect” gay people from?

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 27
@SlavePJ Like straight couples, the issues that arise when their marriages are not legally recognized.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 27
@rjmedwed anything specific come to your mind?

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 27
@SlavePJ There are 1000+ rights that are denied to someone when their marriage is not legally recognized, including adoption, inheritance.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 28
@rjmedwed So the constitution “calls for equal protection under the law” for everyone, whether married or not for inheritance rights?

Robbie Medwed@rjmedwed
@SlavePJ No, clearly not, otherwise we would not need these laws. But among the laws that exist, they must be equal.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 29
@SlavePJ Obviously, there are laws that are not in the constitution, but are constitutional, and those that are not constitutional.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 29
@SlavePJ Well over 30 judges have found marriage bans to be unconstitutional.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 29
@rjmedwed so how do you define marriage and what’s not marriage?

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 30
@SlavePJ Pretty simply. Two consenting adults who wish to enter into a partnership to share ownership, tax liability, and more.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Sep 30
@SlavePJ Remember, there’s a big difference between civil marriage and religious marriage, in terms of the law.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 30
@rjmedwed I agree that there’s are big differences between civil marriage and the way different religions/beliefs view marriage.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 30
@rjmedwed But in your view, I’m not sure why you have to limit it to 2 adults genuinely wishing to enter such “protective” partnership.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 30
@rjmedwed And in your view, I’m not sure why you have to limit it to adults. What if a 17 year old “wished” to consent? Or a 12 year old?

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 30
@rjmedwed Shouldn’t minors & those adults wishing for more than 2 be protected & have the same benefits to shared ownership and tax breaks?

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Sep 30
@rjmedwed I’m not sure why they shouldn’t be protected or why they should be excluded on your view.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ You’re right. There’s not a good reason.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ This is an absurd strawman. There are laws surrounding “age of consent” – and by the way 16 year olds can already get married.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ Again, an absurd strawman, minors are not adults. There are many other laws surrounding the status of minors. Different argument.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ Because minors and adults aren’t the same thing, and aren’t treated the same way in many, many laws, not just marriage.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ You’ve done a fine job of creating strawmen, but you haven’t shared any valid arguments for govt-sanctioned discrimination.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed you have just endorsed “govt-sanctioned discrimination” against 15 year olds and 3 adults who deeply want the same rights.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ Entirely a separate argument and one that’s not relevant here.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ I’m not getting into a discussion on how the government defines adulthood/being a minor. That’s not my concern.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed 3 consenting partners is relevant because we’re looking for a “reasonable” definition of marriage. “Irrelevant” isn’t a reason.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed I’m wondering why you think your definition of marriage is “reasonable” and should shape the law on marriage.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ “irrelevant” was in response to your sidetracking into the world of minor/adult legal differences.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ I’ve already given my answers. You have yet to give any reason why you are in favor of discrimination.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed so you’re answer for why you favor discrimination against 3 adult lovers is that their wish is irrelevant to marriage definition.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ No, that’s not at all what I said. If you’re not going to stick to what I’ve said, I’m going to stop talking to you.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed my answer to why the law should limit civil marriage to one man and one woman is because of the reasonable definition of marriage.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ what is reasonable about it?

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed Marriage is the bringing of a man & a woman together as husband & wife to be father & mother to any children their union produces.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ So your only argument is about children? That’s not valid.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed Reasons: men/women are different; all children have a biological mom & dad & it’s for their wellbeing to have them as parents;

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed By encouraging marriage norms—monogamy, sexual exclusivity, permanence—the state strengthens civil society reducing its own role.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ Wow, talk about “big government.” And, none of your answers are rooted in science or sound policy.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed you keep saying what’s not valid or relevant or the same argument yet give no argument/reason for your definition of marriage.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed I’m happy to continue the discussion. Please give me reasons for your definition or reasons against mine.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ Here is a list of why we need marriage equality: http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/lovecantwait-america-needs-nationwide-marriage-equality-now …

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed “invalid” & “irrelevant” are not arguments or reasons. It’s just throwing around slogans without thoughtful discussion.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed Thanks for the link. I appreciate it. I’ll take a look. I’d still like to hear YOUR thinking and reasons if you have any.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ and you’re using tired tropes that bear no relationship to actual, proven science.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ I have many, those are many of them. As long as the government offers a special status for two people to be married, it must be >

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ offered equally. That’s all I need. SCOTUS agrees on that point, in fact.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ You’ve offered nothing but “feelings” and “opinions”. That list offers real consequences of marriage.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ You keep claiming I’ve said “irrelevant” to your arguments. I said talking about who is and is not an adult was irrelevant.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ You’re either a terrible reader or you genuinely don’t understand the issues here.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ Stopping gay people from being legally married won’t stop them from raising kids. Being unmarried hurts those kids.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ It won’t stop people from being together, and it won’t stop people from being gay. It will, however, ensure that they are >

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ always considered second-class citizens, and not treated like other adults. It is, absolutely, discrimination.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed I just want to understand why those who want to do it in a group of three are not being discriminated against by you & your view >

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed how are they not being treated like second-class citizens in your view? It seems that you’re doing that to them as well.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ they well may be, but that’s not my argument. You keep trying to deflect what I’m actually saying

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed Robbie, I’m not trying to deflect what you’re saying. I’m trying to see if your definition and reasoning holds as a good civil >

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed law for all people, not just those adults wishing to commit to one other adult. For the record I’d say polygamy is unlawful too.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 1
@SlavePJ I don’t know the legal issues involved in polygamy. I have no problem with it. But I don’t really care – that’s not my argument.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed Thank you for leveling with me there Robbie. That helps. Looking at that list of benefits you want I think we should change laws >

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed to grant the ones that make sense. But I don’t think we should redefine “marriage” to grant many of those benefits. If u redefine>

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed marriage with your definition or the polygamist definitions then we are consequently abolishing marriage & it’s not good for >

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed the kids who are born to unwed moms and dads. And that forces the government to use more $$ & services to care for kids half as >

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  Oct 1
@rjmedwed well as most married parents would. Does that make sense? I agree that some benefits on that list should be granted.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 2
@SlavePJ No. It doesn’t make sense that you want to selectively grant some of those benefits but not all. The government has NO business >

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 2
@SlavePJ telling people how or when to have kids. And even if they tried, it would not be successful.

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 2
@SlavePJ And stop with the doomsday prediction of “abolishing marriage.” That’s not happening at all. Look at the states where marriage >

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 2
@SlavePJ equality exists. You know what happened? Divorce rates went down. Families are stronger – of all kinds. You have no leg to stand >

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 2
@SlavePJ on here other than “I don’t think gay people should be treated equally because it makes me uncomfotable.” That’s not how laws >

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 2
@SlavePJ are made. I’m done with this conversation now because you’ve ignored any semblance of reality in your arguments. You’ve ignored >

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 2
@SlavePJ the reality of what’s actually happening on the ground and in real, actual families. You haven’t listened to my arguments and >

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 2
@SlavePJ you genuinely seems to think that gay people are unequal to straight people, and I refuse to engage with a person who thinks >

Robbie Medwed @rjmedwed  Oct 2
@SlavePJ that some humans deserve less than others. Goodbye. I will not respond to any further comments.

PJ Tibayan @SlavePJ  20h19 hours ago
Thank you Robbie @rjmedwed for allowing me to attempt to have a reasonable conversation about important issues to us both and to our nation.


Related resources:

  1. What You Need to Know About Marriage (free E-book)
  2. What is Marriage?
  3. What is Marriage (Video)? Stanford Lecture | Question and Answer Session Also posted below:

Posted in culture, Current Events, LGBTQ, Marriage, Same-Gender-Attraction | 2 Comments

9Marks at Southeastern Seminary 2014 – Membership

Posted in 9Marks, Audio/Video Recommendations, church growth, church health, church membership | Leave a comment

D. A. Carson preaching 2 Timothy 2.3-26

Outline on 2 Timothy 2.3-26

  1. Christians focus on ultimate goals (vv. 3-13)
    1. Christians focus on endurance on the way to the eternal goal (3 metaphors, vv. 3-7)
    2. Christians focus on the life to come; Christians focus on Jesus and his salvation (vv. 8-13) – 3 things about the gospel here
      1. It is reminiscent about other times Paul focuses on the incarnation and the resurrection (Romans 1)
      2. Here, Paul reverses the natural order. In Romans, first incarnation then resurrection. Here, resurrection, then incarnation (descended from David). Why? Because Paul shapes the way he emphasizes certain things in the gospel according to what is being denied amongst the people he is addressing at any given point.
      3. How much you include under the rubric of, “What the gospel is” can depend on quite a lot of different things.
  2. Christians focus on central truths (vv. 14-21)
    1. Avoid foolish debates (v. 14)
    2. Handle the bible well (v. 15)
    3. Avoid speculative theology (vv. 16-18)
    4. The analogies of this perspective (vv. 19-21)
  3. Christians focus on purity of heart (vv. 22-26)
    1. What to flee (vv. 22-23)
    2. What to pursue (vv. 22b, 24)
    3. What to hope for (vv. 25-26)
Posted in Audio/Video Recommendations, D. A. Carson | Leave a comment