Now, now my friends – I understand your strong and emotional feelings for matters of the heart, like salvation, sin, forgiveness and grace. But we can all do a better job of exercising some love toward one another, don’t you think?

ReasonAs with any interchange of ideas, there will be disagreements – but that’s the whole point! You should not enter this discussion if all you want to do is foist your opinions as total truth on someone else.

You should only take part as you open yourself up to new ideas, explore fresh ways of looking at old ideas, empathize with your brothers and sisters who write opposing points of view, and prepare yourself to respond in the love of Jesus toward one another.

Is that possible? Yes. Let’s do it.

Let’s not see this debate slow or stop – there’s something good happening here and I would love all of you to share this blog with your friends and families and invite them in.

Ask your unsaved friends to read and comment. Encourage your relatives who’ve always gone to “traditional” churches to take part. Please find a few atheists and open the doors for them to have a part! How about former church members who have been hurt and are disillusioned with the whole organized church scene?

Do we just write everyone else off as being in error, or do we take our time and calmly listen, then reason together until we all gain understanding?

How did Jesus handle this type of situation?

Wouldn’t it be beautiful if this became a forum whereby we could be honest with one another, grow together and become “fitly joined together,” as the Bible says?

Gee whiz, saints, the world might even see this and be impressed!



Posted on October 5, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Western dogmatic christian

    I guess i have to apologize once again… i mean i am obviously in the minority in this forum…

    so i think we shouldnt get offended so easily and assume i think a certain way…(prejudice) i didnt get offended, and i just let those things far as what you and jiffy pop had to say…..

    Praise The name of Jesus

    I agree with Dennis lets move on !!

  2. I have yet to hear very much about the “whole picture” Dennis has so carefully and creatively painted on this blog through writings, songs, articles, quotes, poems, etc.
    Let’s be careful not to get our skirts in a bunch over one post or comment before taking everything in.
    And by the way, Jiffy Pop – you always amaze me.
    Keep poppin’.

  3. peace to ALL my brothers. whether they be brothers in christ, brothers in allah, brothers in paramahansa yogananda, brothers in atheism… let us all welcome each other in peace (regardless of our faiths or choice to not believe in a faith) to an open forum.

    DISagreement? ok. DIFferent opinions? ok. DISlikes? ok. but let us not DISmiss each other. “(Jiffy Pop?) whew….dude…” that’s not ok.

  4. Western dogmatic christian

    Dennis ,
    I kind of see where mike is coming from, its on the same grounds that i laid in the previous posts the main part i like is this:

    The New Testament often addresses the distortion that results when the ideas of popular teachers become more important to us than what God says. God’s purpose, said the apostle Paul, is “love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:5). Sound teaching does not distort God’s Word or divide the church. Rather, it unites believers and builds up the body of Christ to care for one another and to do the work of God in the world (1 Cor. 12:25).

    This i hope is your goal….and i appreciate your comment:

    “You should only take part as you open yourself up to new ideas, explore fresh ways of looking at old ideas, empathize with your brothers and sisters who write opposing points of view, and prepare yourself to respond in the love of Jesus toward one another.”

    Peace my Brothers in Christ !

    (jiffy Pop?) whew…….dude…

  5. MH,
    Good to read YOUR opinion, just like you read others opinions on this forum. That’s what blogging is for, writing and reading. Some come, stay and apologize for their harsh comments, and some hit and run – whichever it is, it’s O.K. It’s an open forum.

    You came in and offered up your ‘gripes’ and ‘dislikes’ just as others have. If someone decides they have to offer a counter opinion, that’s their right. If a person decides to practice anonymity, they have it here.

    People here have AKA’s because they are ‘known’ by them. I know Vagabond and Jiffy Pop, Western Dogmatic Christian and others. These are not people veiled behind well-crafted user names, they are just people contributing to a blog who are known to this blog by their “AKAs”.

    As far as making people feel like “lemmings” or “idiots”, what is the motivation behind your statement “The Church (universal) is broken. Wow! Big newsflash!!!”?

    Seriously, it was great reading your comments, welcome to a “FREE” forum.

    Dissent, anger, passion, mistakes, poor judgment, miscommunication and harsh language – it’s all here. It’s what makes us NOT become “lemmings”.

  6. I agree with you that it’s not enough to “slam others views” or talk negatively about past experiences, but it’s a start. Maybe it’s a feeble one, but it’s one that will continue here and hopefully move on to a place of answers instead of accusations; construction, not condemnation. As far as church leadership not being able to defend themselves, this is an open forum where anyone can speak. The truth is, that church leaders have the power, the pulpit and the voice to the congregation, and have used it in some cases to “spin” things, not telling the whole truth about why people have left their churches (and I’m not picking on any single church). Why is that? Maybe other parts of the story are coming out here, and need to be heard. In any case, we need to listen to these voices, because they certainly have no standing in their former (or current) churches. Anonymity sometimes allows people to bring to the light those things they’ve been afraid to speak. The wounds are too deep, the scars are too fresh and the torn-apart personal relationships have left many to feel like they just aren’t worth much. So, Michael, let’s give these folks a break and listen to what they have to say. If you can help in any way to further the discussion or offer some light in the darkness, you’re welcome to share your thoughts and heart. If any leaders want to speak, they know they can do so here.

  7. Michael Hensley

    I agree with you that people can’t tell their stories all at once. My point is, based on comments from your past blogs, some are going out of their way to slam others views. What good does that serve? And it’s not a hit and run. It’s multiple times. If you, the moderator, have to edit some comments for malicious content, what does that say about those that have “moved on” from the church that heaped abuse on them?

    If the “new way” is to talk divisively about the old church in a blog, and by so doing…affecting current members negatively…it seems unfair. Unfair to those that read it, and unfair to the leadership of the church being discussed who cannot defend themselves.

    I don’t speak as a bystander, unfamiliar with the hurts that can come from a fellowship. I attended a church in Royal Oak well known for it’s “cult-like” practices. It was painful and has left some scars. That aspect, I do not minimize.

    Michael Hensley

  8. Michael,

    This forum is a place where a variety of voices can and will be heard (e.g., see the comment from Jiffy Pop). Sometimes those voices will be hurting and tentative, or angry and loud, or bold and fresh. In all cases, we need to listen with respect for each other. Some people are just joining the conversation, and maybe it’s going to take a minute for them to open up. Maybe they need to spill their guts first. Much like you just did. You had your say, and all anyone knows is this part of your story because you can’t tell it all at once. No one can, and this is why I pray the conversation continues, grows and helps us all to learn from one another. Keep talking and listening, brother, and maybe further down the road we’ll all be walking together in a spirit of encouragement and support, because NOW we understand the pain – and the joys – we’ve all experienced.

  9. Michael Hensley


    Point well taken. I would love to see people be able to discuss points and debate views, all while realizing we are all working toward loving people and serving our Lord with perfection.

    What I dislike, is reading comments where people are spouting off about their personal hurts assuming all readers understand what their talking about. Where people give half of a story and then instigate empathy for their situation. Where people react in an accusatory manner because they don’t like something someone wrote. And finally (AND MOSTLY) when people hide behind well crafted usernames so as to blast others with anonymity.

    If someone has something derogatory to say about someone elses viewpoint, at least be man enough to put your name next to it. And if you have a gripe about your current church (or former) put a name to the venue and discuss the problem. Don’t make blanket statements that only serve to divide people. Otherwise, what your saying is that you’ve got the corner on truth and everybody else is just a lemming or an idiot for not “seeing the light” as you did.

    If you want to tell a story, great. But tell the whole story, understanding that you will only provide 1/3 of the details of what actually happened.

    The Church (universal) is broken. Wow! Big newsflash!!! Be part of the solution…or part of the problem.

    And OWN your words,

    Michael Hensley

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