What’s In a Cliche?

“Putting God in a box”: it’s one of those Christian cliches that has the same effect on me as someone loudly chomping on their chewing gum, or someone struggling violently to “play” an instrument for the first time, or having nowhere else to eat but McDonald’s, or seeing a man wearing a backward baseball hat, or seeing someone allow his dog to lick him on the mouth. When I hear people say things like, “Don’t put God in a box” or “You’re putting God in a box,” I wince, squirm, tighten my shoulders, squint, and clench my teeth. The reason: more often than not, those who use this cliche or one of its derivatives, use it in the context of denying a Scriptural truth to justify unbiblical beliefs or behaviors. I’ve heard it many times over the years by those who ascribe to a continuationist perspective regarding some of the spiritual gifts. I’ve likewise heard it many times over the years from the various “seeker movements,” as leaders in these movements try to justify turning Scripture on its head in order to turn the church into a social club for the saved and unsaved alike. When biblical criticism is brought to bear against an unbiblical or extra-biblical activity, a deflection and avoidance technique is to accuse the one bringing the criticism of “putting God in a box.”

Accusing someone of “putting God in a box” can be, and often is, an expression of arrogance. The one using the phrase assumes they are more spiritual, closer to God, more attuned to what God is doing in the world, today. Making the accusation can also be a sign of laziness. Some Christians are simply too lazy to study the Scriptures, so it’s easier to accuse those with whom they disagree with “putting God in a box.”

However, there are also times when Christians actually do put God in a box. They do so by trying to box other Christians into an unbiblical or extra-biblical philosophical or theological construct, and then question the genuineness of the faith of other Christians if they don’t willingly squeeze themselves into the prescribed philosophical or theological box.

A case in point is illustrated in the above, handwritten diagram.

The Abortion Abolitionist Box

As I’ve asserted before, I will assert here, again. I am an abortion abolitionist. I believe abortion should be abolished. I believe abortion should be punishable under the law the same way every other form of premeditated murder is punished. I do not believe women who choose to abort their children are victims. I believe their unborn children are victims.

AHA_SanBerdoo_PicAs I write this article, I am sitting in a local Starbucks (a supporter of Planned Parenthood), wearing my “Abolish Abortion” baseball hat, with a stack of In the Womb gospel tracts next to my computer.

Last month I stood with a wonderful group of Christian abortion abolitionists, led by an extraordinary young pastor by the name of Jeff Durbin, in Tempe, AZ. They preached a solid gospel. The balance between gentleness and firmness in their rhetoric was, I’m sure, most pleasing to the Lord. They showed great compassion without a hint of compromise. It was an honor to serve with them.

Yesterday I drive 90 miles to San Bernardino to join a group of wonderful Christian abortion abolitionists in their fight for unborn children and the souls of the men and women who would murder them. I joined them last Wednesday, and I hope to join them as many future Wednesdays as the Lord permits.

Unfortunately, I have to share these things because there will be readers of this article who will immediately try to prop up various fallacious arguments against it by dishonestly attacking my character, motives, and commitment to “the cause.” So, I share these brief testimonies, not for my own glory, but to provide some context and in an attempt to show my heart behind the words that follow. You, the reader, will have to decide for yourself if I hit the mark in this regard.

The above diagram is not representative of the theology or philosophy of all Christians who call themselves “abortion abolitionists.” While I know some who agree with the message the diagram conveys, my hope and prayer is that they are nothing more than a vocal minority of the abortion abolition subculture.

In case you are having difficulty reading the diagram, allow me to transcribe it, here.

The diagram is titled: “Should I Be An Abolitionist?”

The diagram flows as follows:

“Am I a Christian?”

If your answer is no, then you must “repent and be saved.” I heartily agree. There is no other way to receive forgiveness of sin and the free gift of eternal life than by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

If your answer is yes, you are taken to a box that reads: “Do I believe the Bible is truth?”

If your answer is no, then the diagram calls you to repent of your unbelief, and redirects you to the right answer for the question, “Do I believe the Bible is truth?”

If your answer is yes, and you affirm your belief that the Bible is true, then you are taken to a box that reads: “Is [Abortion] Abolition my special calling?”

If your answer is no, you are redirected back to the box that reads “Do I believe the Bible is truth?”

If your answer is yes, and you affirm abortion abolition is your special calling, then you are directed to a box that says, “It’s everyone’s calling!”

You are then directed to a box that says, “Faith without works is dead; Amos 5:23-24; Proverbs 24:11-12.”

You are then directed to the last box, which reads: “Become an [abortion] abolitionist.”

Let’s first take a look at the two passage of Scripture cited in the diagram.

Amos 5:23-24 reads:

“Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

I can’t even begin to imagine why the person who made the diagram (I don’t know who it is) chose this passage from Amos. If the diagram is simply taken at face value, then the writer is somehow connecting Amos 5:23-24 with the biblical truth that “faith without works is dead.” Why the person didn’t cite James 2:18-26, I do not know.

The fifth chapter in Amos is a prophetic word of wrath and judgment upon Israel (Amos 5:1-3, 8-13, 16-25), as well as a call to the nation to repent of their idolatrous, religious sin (Amos 5:4-7, 14-15).

Amos 5:23-24 is not speaking about a dead faith without works. It is speaking of false and blasphemous worship. Works Israel had in abundance (Amos 5:21-22). It was saving faith they lacked (Amos 5:25-27), as they chased and would continue to chase after false gods. Israel’s hypocrisy was seen by God, not in their idleness (lack of works), but in their idolatry (lack of true faith in God). Israel’s hypocrisy was also seen in their hatred for their fellow man, while professing a love for God (Amos 5:10-13).

Matthew Henry provides additional insight and clarity of Amos 5, particularly Amos 5:18-27.

“5:18-27 Woe unto those that desire the day of the Lord’s judgments, that wish for times of war and confusion; as some who long for changes, hoping to rise upon the ruins of their country! but this should be so great a desolation, that nobody could gain by it. The day of the Lord will be a dark, dismal, gloomy day to all impenitent sinners. When God makes a day dark, all the world cannot make it light. Those who are not reformed by the judgments of God, will be pursued by them; if they escape one, another stands ready to seize them. A pretence of piety is double iniquity, and so it will be found. The people of Israel copied the crimes of their forefathers. The law of worshipping the Lord our God, is, Him only we must serve. Professors thrive so little, because they have little or no communion with God in their duties. They were led captive by Satan into idolatry, therefore God caused them to go into captivity among idolaters.”

The second passage referenced in the diagram is Proverbs 24:11-12, which reads:

“Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?”

This passage can rightly be cited as an abortion abolition text. But it is an eisegetical interpretation of the text to limit its application to standing outside of abortion clinics and pleading with parents not to murder their unborn children.

Joseph Benson, a contemporary of and fellow circuit rider with John Wesley, would take over leadership of the Wesleyan/Methodist movement, upon Wesley’s death. In his commentary on Proverbs 24:11-12, Benson wrote:

“If thou forbear to deliver ‘ When it is in thy power to do it lawfully; them that are drawn unto death ‘ Namely, unjustly, or by the violence of lawless men; and those that are ready to be slain ‘ That are in present danger of death or destruction. He enforces, in these verses, the necessity of giving our assistance toward the rescue of innocent persons, when their lives are in danger, either by counselling them, or petitioning others in their behalf, or by doing any thing in our power for their deliverance. If thou sayest, We knew it not ‘ I was ignorant, either of his innocence, or of his extreme danger, or of my power to relieve him; doth not he consider it ‘ That this is only a frivolous excuse, and that the true reason of thy neglect was, thy want of true love to thy brother, whose life thou wast, by the law of God and of nature, obliged to preserve, and a carnal fear of some mischief, or trouble, which might befall thee in the discharge of thy duty. And he that keepeth thy soul ‘ Who is the preserver of men, Job 7:20, who daily does, and who only can, keep thee both in and from the greatest dangers; and this favour of God may be here mentioned, partly as an encouragement to the performance of the duty here spoken of, from the consideration of God’s special care and watchfulness over those that do their duty; and partly to intimate to them, that by the neglect of this duty they would forfeit God’s protection over themselves, and expose themselves to manifold dangers and calamities. The Hebrew word ?i???i????, however, may be rendered, he that observeth thy soul, that sees all the secret thoughts and inward motions of thy heart; which interpretation is favoured both by the preceding and following words. And shall not he render, &c. ‘ God will certainly deal with thee as thou hast dealt with him, either rewarding thy performance of this duty, or punishing thy neglect of it.”

Again, Benson wrote: “He enforces, in these verses, the necessity of giving our assistance toward the rescue of innocent persons, when their lives are in danger, either by counselling them, or petitioning others in their behalf, or by doing any thing in our power for their deliverance.” This is a far cry from the narrow, boxed, unbiblical mantra of some in the abortion abolition movement that have insisted (or, at the very least, suggested) in video and written form that a Christian is not doing all he can do to save unborn children (rightly identified as “our neighbors”) if he is not standing outside of abortuaries.

I, on the other hand, agree with Benson. There are many ways to fight for the unborn. To suggest otherwise, to look down upon other forms of abortion abolition as inadequate or to go as far as to look down upon them as non-efforts, is putting God in a box. It is to say that in the fight against what can rightly be described as the greatest evil of our time (abortion), God only moves down one path and works only through one philosophy of ministry–a philosophy of ministry that must include standing outside of abortuaries.

I really wish I was constructing a straw man argument. I really wish I was wrong. But in addition to the plethora of video and written evidence, which shows that some in the abortion abolition movement would put God and abolitionists in a rather small abortion abolition box, there are those two disturbing boxes in the diagram connected by an arrow.

“Is [Abortion] Abolition my special calling?”

If your answer is no, you are redirected back to the box that reads “Do I believe the Bible is truth?”

Nowhere. I repeat: NOWHERE. Nowhere in the Word of God is the Christian told, nor is it anywhere even remotely inferred or intimated, that every Christian has a special calling from God to be an abortion abolitionist. This kind of adding to the Word of God (and, yes, I believe it goes beyond mere problematic, eisegetical interpretation), no matter how well intended, comes with grave consequences (Revelation 22:18-19). It is this kind of legalistic passion for a cause that leads too many professing Christians down the road to Pharisaism and, for some, apostasy. It’s tragic. It’s utterly heartbreaking to watch as some who start out with noble, Christ-centered, biblical intentions allow “the cause” (whatever it is) to become so consumptive that newly formed theology and traditions slowly supersedes truth. Such beliefs and behaviors are tantamount to a return to Vatican City.

To affirm the belief that every Christian has a necessary calling for abolitionist work such that if a professing Christian doesn’t participate in said work, they’re not Christians, is to commit the Galatian heresy. Therefore, if certain abortion abolitionists consistently affirm the belief that abortion abolition work is a necessary function of all Christians, then those abortion abolitionists are Galatian heretics and are not saved.

To show how wrong abortion abolitionists are who subscribe to the above diagram, let’s replace the term “abolitionist” in the diagram with something else.

There Are Others Who Think This Way

Let’s change the diagram.

The diagram is titled: “Should I Be An Open-Air Preacher?”

The diagram flows as follows:

“Am I a Christian?”

If your answer is no, then you must “repent and be saved.” I heartily agree. There is no other way to receive forgiveness of sin and the free gift of eternal life than by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

If your answer is yes, you are taken to a box that reads: “Do I believe the Bible is truth?”

If your answer is no, then the diagram calls you to repent of your unbelief, and redirects you to the right answer for the question, “Do I believe the Bible is truth?”

If your answer is yes, and you affirm your belief that the Bible is true, then you are taken to a box that reads: “Is open-air preaching my special calling?”

If your answer is no, you are redirected back to the box that reads “Do I believe the Bible is truth?”

If your answer is yes, and you affirm open-air preaching is your special calling, then you are directed to a box that says, “It’s everyone’s calling!”

You are then directed to a box that says, “Faith without works is dead; Amos 5:23-24; Proverbs 24:11-12.”

You are then directed to the last box, which reads: “Become an open-air preacher.”

There are open-air preachers who think this way. But we don’t have to stop with open-air preachers. Sadly, the list is seemingly endless. Replace the term “abortion abolitionist” with any of the following terms, and there would be some people who would be very comfortable questioning the salvation of others who don’t fit in their little diagrammatic box:

  • The Way of the Master Evangelism Model (Note: I know of no one at Living Waters who would assert that The Way of the Master “Good Person Test” is the only way to do evangelism. However, there are those not associated with Living Waters who do subscribe to this way of thinking)
  • Friendship Evangelism
  • King James Onlyism
  • Hymns Onlyism
  • Eschatology (The new “cage stage”)
  • Arminianism
  • Calvinism
  • Continuationism
  • Cessationism
  • Etc., etc., etc. (channeling Yul Brenner)

Conclusion

Some people do put God in a box. Some of them are abortion abolitionists. Some of them are open-air preachers. Some of them subscribe to a theological or philosophical construct, more often than not a construct (like the above diagram) that is not supported by Scripture. Folks who do this are relatively easy to spot. They have a tendency to wear their “my way or the highway” mentality on their sleeve. They have a tendency not to play well with others–especially those who don’t want to climb into their small, cramped theological and philosophical boxes–the same boxes in which they try to cram the Creator of the Universe.

I hope they repent.

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57 comments
jamesdjordan
jamesdjordan

This is all about a note written on the back of a napkin by an employee - according to an AHA email - who was on break from their job at Denny's? It would be tragic to discourage a passionate abolitionist for what might amount to cross purposes. I understood the note to mean that we must oppose abortion if we are saved and believe the Bible to be true, not qualifying someone's salvation on whether they attend protests at abortion mills. Nonetheless, Scripture does call on us to handle discrepancies among believers in private. 1 Corinthians 6:1-6, Matthew 18:15-17. So my main question, Was there an attempt to discuss this privately with AHA?

paperhymn
paperhymn

Nowhere. I repeat: NOWHERE. Nowhere in the Word of God is the Christian told, nor is it anywhere even remotely inferred or intimated, that every Christian has a special calling from God to be an abortion abolitionist. This kind of adding to the Word of God (and, yes, I believe it goes beyond mere problematic, eisegetical interpretation), no matter how well intended, comes with grave consequences (Revelation 22:18-19). It is this kind of legalistic passion for a cause that leads too many professing Christians down the road to Pharisaism and, for some, apostasy. It’s tragic. It’s utterly heartbreaking to watch as some who start out with noble, Christ-centered, biblical intentions allow “the cause” (whatever it is) to become so consumptive that newly formed theology and traditions slowly supersedes truth. Such beliefs and behaviors are tantamount to a return to Vatican City."

I would say the same thing about the prohibition of women being allowed to open air-preach. Not a personal shot or anything, but as I was reading that, it was the first thing that popped in my mind. This review in particular came to mind http://rhoblogy.blogspot.ca/2013/12/should-she-preach-by-tony-miano-review.html.  It just seems this sort of exhortation should b applied inward towards oneself ,before it it applied outward to others. 

paperhymn
paperhymn

Did you guys delete my first comment?

EricNathanielRobinson
EricNathanielRobinson

@paperhymn Lol, you got it exactly backwards. First, the whole message of AHA is that abolitionism is not a special calling. :-) It's just the obvious answer to the question. "What does Christianity look like in a culture that sacrifices its children?" Second, your whole notion of the history behind this little graphic is just 100% off track.


Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

We think it's a Christian duty to visit orphans and widows in their distress; hold back those stumbling towards slaughter; uphold justice and mercy/weightier matters of the law; not ignore those who sacrifice their children (Leviticus 20:4), to love your neighbor as yourself and so on. Then as Eric said, we ask believers to ask themselves and answer the question "what does it look like to live Christianly in the face of legalized child-sacrifice, or Jewish extermination, or racist chattel slavery, or any other kind of culturally accepted dehumanization of image bearers of God or neighbors of those in dwelt by His Spirit. We don't think it looks like God's people loving their entertainment, sports, t.v., comfort, church culture, theological book wormism, or their own lives, more than their neighbors. But, this IS what we see widespread throughout American Christianity and we think it calls for widespread repentance.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@EricNathanielRobinson @paperhymn  "What does Christianity look like in a culture that sacrifices its children?"

The same thing Christianity looks like in a culture that kidnaps & exploits children, profanes marriage, wages unjust wars, legalizes theft, and--above all--sets up and worships idols instead of the one true God.

I wonder how these AHA guys would answer the question "what does Christianity look like in a culture that suppresses the truth about God?"

Would their answer be as narrow as the answers they have chosen and held everybody else accountable to?


Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon  What it looks like to live Christianity in a culture that suppresses the knowledge of God can be found in the pages of Scripture.

Practically speaking, we can determine what it looks like within our own covenant local body of believers. 

What you see throughout American Christianity won't be solved by standing outside churches with pictures of dead babies. 

Once again, Toby...there's a better way.  

EricNathanielRobinson
EricNathanielRobinson

@Shane Dodson You're completely misunderstanding, but that's okay. What's funny is that I can totally see things from your perspective. When I look at it through your eyes and put myself in your shoes, I feel the sense of knowing that I am right about all this, of how reasonable and clear-thinking I am being, and I just don't understand why those AHA guys don't get it. It's a little frustrating, and I have to wonder why they stubbornly refuse to follow logic, and I begin to suspect that they are being led astray by pride or bad teaching, and sometimes I feel a little sorry for them, and other times I wonder if they are even brothers at all.


And then I step back into my own shoes and look at you from the outside, as I am doing now, and I feel sorry for you. Communication is so hard sometimes, even between people who claim to love Jesus. I see and understand both sides. I completely understand why the AHA guys do what they do and why their focus is what it is, and I also completely understand the reasons why people like you think their focus is wrong and unbiblical, and I see why you will never be able to communicate with each other without a miracle of heart-opening by the Lord. The problem is a lack of real love. Although you might vociferously claim otherwise, you do not love the AHA guys. You have no genuine deep affection for them in your heart. At this point, you will lecture me that love is much more than affection, that it must include speaking the truth, or it is not real love. That is true, but what passes for "love" in most Christian circles is a hard, cold, truth-ism. Christian love also includes brotherly affection. When you have affection, it opens the door for mutual understanding in a way that nothing else can. Until love is fully formed communication is impossible.

ScotBrandon
ScotBrandon

Summary:   Am I a Christian? Y >> Do I think the bible is true? Y>>Is being salt and light a special calling? N>>Is trying to do something to stop the selfish murder of children being salt and light? Y Obey God!


Conclusion:  I just put God in a box..repent


Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@ScotBrandon  "Is being salt and light a special calling?"

I see what you just did there. :-)

EricNathanielRobinson
EricNathanielRobinson

Approximately 150,000 people will die and enter Hell today. Probably none of them will perish wondering whether GS or AHA is right.  

EricNathanielRobinson
EricNathanielRobinson

Tony Miano's article above is detailed, carefully presented, and long. Having reviewed it, I conclude this: Tony likes to argue about stuff.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@EricNathanielRobinson Your above comment is vague, sloppily constructed, and short. Having reviewed it, I conclude this: You like to make unhelpful comments.

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

Tony, please retract your I'll informed or dishonest assertion that AHA Abolitionists teach that every Christian must go to the clinics. It's is simply false. We contend that every Christian can do more and should do more (whatever that more is or looks like and how much more will differ for each person) to abolish abortion.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon"We contend that every Christian can do more and should do more (whatever that more is or looks like and how much more will differ for each person) to abolish abortion."

Well...in this video, you seem to have something VERY SPECIFIC in mind concerning abortion abolition. "How come thousands of people are here but nobody's there (there being outside an abortion mill)?" You claim that you are not saying it's necessary for a Christian to stand outside an abortion mill, but then there's videos like this one still out there...

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOQ7PA3IqQA&feature=youtu.be

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

@Shane Dodson @Toby HarmonYep, I affirm every word in this video. Again, Shane, we just discussed this for 3 days straight. How can you be so dishonest man? If you recall (and I can provide screencaps for all of this from our private convo.) I said as I spoke to this crowd there were literally thousands of people there. Some of them can and should go to clinics. Many of them do not for sinful heart reasons. Not all of them can or should go to clinics. For some of them going to clinics might even be sinful. I cannot point to a single Christian in that crowd and say "YOU, you must go to a clinic!" But I can make a general statement about apathy by appealing to the fact that thousands of Christians will wait in the cold for an entertaining concert, but nobody will go to a clinic (as one example of what Christians can do as part of doing more). Dude, get honest.

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

@Shane Dodson @Toby Harmon"How come we can get thousands to come to a Christian concert but nobody to an abortion clinic?" =/= "Every Christian is obligated to go to an abortion clinic."

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon @Shane Dodson Assuming that nobody in the crowd you spoke to ever stands outside an abortion mill (and you cannot know that for certain anyway)...why is that a problem? Is any Christian obligated to go stand outside an abortion mill?

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

Christians are obligated to love their oppressed neighbors more than they love the things of this world, their own comforts, and entertainment. Their obligation to love their unborn neighbor may manifest itself in going to an abortion mill 1 day/week, 5 days/week, never, assisting women who are caught up in the sin of abortion, going to high schools, encouraging members in their churches to get involved, opening their homes up to foster or adopted children, becoming an uncompromising legislator, writing anti-abortion music, using their influence/platform to rally others to the cause, making documentaries, other forms of art, holding signs on the street somewhere, or a whole host and/or combination of other things to end this atrocity. For some in that crowd it is sin not to be at a clinic. Because the reason some of them are not a the clinic (and I know that not a single one of them is at the Norman clinic and very unlikely they are at the OKC one, since I have only ever seen 1 Protestant man who ever was a presence there), is because they don't like the cold, or they love sleep more than their neighbors, or their t.v. shows, or sports, or they fear man rather than God, or a whole host of other reason (that you and I have already discussed privately). Did I point to a specific man or woman and say "YOU, must be at the clinic or you will burn in Hell"? No, I made a general call to a group of people who could all do more in various ways by making various sacrifices of their time, talent, energy, and money to help end child-sacrifice in this nation. We are all guilty. EVERYONE CAN DO MORE AND SHOULD DO MORE. Each persons more will look different than the next guys more. But they should all do more and all do more biblically. I happen to think biblically looks like how AHA is doing it. Gospel-centered, non-compromising, Biblically rather than secularly based, Reliant on Providence, and the Church leading the charge in the power and grace of God Almighty. And I am disgusted by how trivial you seem to imply standing outside an abortion mill is, as if it's an "eh, if I feel like it" kinda thing rather than an "My God in Heaven, people are dying and going to Hell, give me strength to go!" type issue. You should be ashamed.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon  You didn't speak about "various ways" and "various sacrifices," Toby. You mentioned standing outside an abortion clinic.

"And I am disgusted by how trivial you seem to imply standing outside an abortion mill is, as if it's an "eh, if I feel like it" kinda thing rather than an "My God in Heaven, people are dying and going to Hell, give me strength to go!" type issue. You should be ashamed."

Given that you have never stood next to me when I've been to our local abortion mill, you are unqualified to make that judgment. 

"EVERYONE CAN DO MORE AND SHOULD DO MORE."

Of course all Christians should. That begins with all of us examining our OWN hearts and approaching any ministry from a place of brokenness, repentance, and an overwhelming burden for the glory of God.

There are better ways of doing what you claim you want to do, Toby. Whenever you young men start showing signs of teachability, you might begin to learn what those things are.

paperhymn
paperhymn

@Toby Harmon  Amen. I don't know why the exhortation that "you should be doing more to love your neighbor" is so controversial here, and why there is such a big pushback. 

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@paperhymn @Toby Harmon  Very simple. Because the exhortation is not simply "you should doing more to love your neighbor." "Love your neighbor" doesn't always mean "abortion abolition the way that is prescribed by Abolish Human Abortion."

Did you actually read Tony's article completely? Your question seems to suggest that you didn't.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon  You believe that certain people are obligated to go stand outside an abortion clinic. 


"For some in that crowd it IS a sin to not be at the clinic."


The statements "every Christian is obligated to stand outside an abortion clinic" and "some Christians are obligated to stand outside an abortion clinic" are wrong for the same reason.


Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

Yeah Shane, there is a place in your city where it is widely known that babies are ripped limb from limb and Jesus doesn't expect any of His followers to show up there to love them as they love themselves. Sheesh

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon  Very well, Toby...since you insist on going down this road, please provide book/chapter/verse that commands all or even certain Christians to go stand outside an abortion mill. 

Note that I did NOT ask you to provide book/chapter/verse that commands all or even certain Christians to love their neighbor as themselves.

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

Technically you think Jesus would be pleased with His people even if not a single one ever went to an abortion clinic.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon  The sin is idolatry, not their lack of presence at an abortion mill. 

How many people decide they want to go stand outside an abortion mill after you chastised them (I won't call it "preaching" because it wasn't) isn't really the point. I'm glad Christians go stand outside their local abortion mills, mind you...but that isn't the point.

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

"The sin is idolatry," yes, I know. Idolatry is why abortion is legal.

I just got done vacuuming the foyer of your church building where our local Abolitionist Society just held its 4th Annual Yard Sale. I could've not vacuumed the foyer and just left it dirty. Can you show me book/chapter/verse in the Bible where it says I had to vacuum the foyer of your church building? If I would've left it dirty . . . it would've been sin.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon  That is your argument? Really?

No...not knowing your heart or the circumstances, I ought not chastise you for sinning by leaving the floor dirty.

But thanks for vacuuming my church. :-)



AsaChandlerKing
AsaChandlerKing

@Toby Harmon @Shane Dodson 

I'd like to thank both of you, and your respective organizations for reaffirming my decision to turn my back on Christianity and pursue life without religion. 

Your bickering about your own interpretations of the bible and how its best served are petty and more than likely isolating people. Rather than working for the greater good you have shown what has been wrong with christianity since its founding. 


If in the future a partner ever needs an abortion, I will make sure and dedicate it to AHA and GS. Might even name the little rascal Toby, after the man who influenced me so much. 

KateRobinson1
KateRobinson1

Tony, I didn't write this diagram but I know the person who did. It was written on a napkin during a graveyard waitressing shift by a girl repenting of her apathy. Why don't you engage the pages and pages of ideology that have been written, instead of picking tiny little memes and video clips to criticize? If you have read the statements of the AHA position you know that what you are attributing to them based on this drawing is incomplete and incorrect. None of us believe that you have to be an abortion abolitionist to prove your salvation.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

Do you agree with the diagram as presented in the image, Kate?

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

Tony,

Why are you putting AHA Abolitionists into a box that you have constructed and we reject. NOWHERE and I mean nowhere, have we ever contended that all Christians must go to abortion clinics or that Abolitionism is only about going to clinics. That is a very minimal and short sided view of a strategy to abolishing abortion. In fact, going to clinics in large number seems to be the strategy of BAMH. I have been having a discussion with Shane Dodson (of which I can provide screencaps) where he asks me about this specific diagram and to which I tell him that it IS NOT the obligation of every Christian to go to the clinics. I have no idea how you could ever come to such a conclusion.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon  BABIES ARE MURDERED HERE doesn't advocate a specific strategy. It documents the work of some certain Christians who are currently ministering the Gospel at abortion clinics. Abolitionist "societies" are organizations; BABIES ARE MURDERED HERE is a film.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

Do you agree with the diagram presented in the image, Toby?

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

Actually Marcus told me personally that BAMH was a movement.

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

@Shane Dodson And Jon Speed looked into the camera in the film as he stood outside a NJ Clinic with 40 or more other people holding BAMH signs and said "see, its just this easy." What was "just this easy." Nothing? Or was he implying "hey, here is a great strategy to end abortion, get 40 plus people outside a clinic and shut them down." But, now all of a sudden y'all are suggesting that having one or two called people out there is enough. I'm confused. What ever what Jon Speed suggesting?


Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby HarmonWell, sure...I can see why he would say it's ALSO a movement, but it is--in point of fact--a movie.


I've seen the film several times now (showing it to family & friends) and I have yet to notice the film advocating the idea that if a Christian is not performing "abortion abolition," he/she is not saved.


This quote from abolitionist leader T. Russell Hunter, on the other hand...


"If Christians truly believe 'abortion is murder' then we must act as if someone is truly dying. Godly action must follow true confession if our faith is to prove genuine."

Toby Harmon
Toby Harmon

@Shane Dodson @Toby Harmonlol Shane. You forgot, that quote is from Rusty Lee Thomas on pg 78 of his most recent book "Abortion Violation." You may also recall he is one of the featured anti-abortion men in the film BAMH. Besides all of that he nor we are saying that one must be an Abolitionist in order to be saved. Now I know you are just straight up lying since we just discussed these things over the last 3 days in private. I have repeated over and over again that this is not the case. Remember how I told you that you guys (BAMH/GSpam) are committed to a false narrative that supports every other false accusation you lob at us? Well, here again is the evidence of that. You made this comment here as if we had not just discussed all of this for the last 3 days. Shame Shame.

Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon @Shane DodsonI'm asking these things of you so that your answers can be stated publicly. I'm aware of our discussion, but I wanted statements about your position to come from your OWN mouth...not posting from a private conversation.


Shane Dodson
Shane Dodson moderator

@Toby Harmon @Shane DodsonOh, and Rusty Lee Thomas didn't make such a statement in BAMH. Russell quoted Rusty without quotations or attribution. He made it sound as though he was writing that himself. I'm not sure I would try to defend that.

GrantKeeter
GrantKeeter

Tony,


The phrase "Abortion Abolitionist" is not used once in that entire diagram. 


Abolitionists have fought different evils in different ages. We've never insisted that verses like proverbs 24:11-12 are just about abortion. 


It's interesting that you seem to restrict the concept of abolition to abortion. 


You aren't listening and it shows. 


Grant 



SyeTenBruggencate
SyeTenBruggencate

@GrantKeeter Seriously Grant? I mean seriously? Do you honestly think that a pic posted by an abortion abolitionist was referring to anything other than abortion abolition? Is that the depth of your critique? You aren't thinking rationally and it shows.

GrantKeeter
GrantKeeter

@SyeTenBruggencate @GrantKeeter  


Tony wants to claim that we believe those verses are specifically about abortion and then accuses us of eisegesis. If you familiarized yourself with the ideology in any meaningful sense you would know that we do not limit the work of abolition to abortion and we do not narrow the meaning of those texts to only abortion. 


SyeTenBruggencate
SyeTenBruggencate

@GrantKeeter Erm, I was referring to this comment: "The phrase "Abortion Abolitionist" is not used once in that entire diagram."

Seriously, I mean seriously?

GrantKeeter
GrantKeeter

@SyeTenBruggencate @GrantKeeter  


Is that the depth of your critique of my critique? 


Did Tony not accuse us of eisegesis? Did he not claim that we restrict the meaning of those scriptures? Did he not accuse us of narrowing the meaning of good works and justice to only abolishing abortion? And then turn around and accuse us of the galatian heresy?


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