The Threat of Deletion

Hi again – it’s Saturday! I have made Saturday morning my Posting day – I got up early, entirely unsure about what to blog about until I received a threat of deletion. It’s not the first time – I had another thread deleted because I had some “unauthorized” links in them. I was asked by a Pastor whether I had any evidence for my allegation that the church was actively fighting against Gay people, I provided evidence and swiftly got a message saying that  any further links to the site in question would be deleted. When someone tries to hide something I believe I have a biblical mandate to bring it into the light – so here is the offending link and a couple of others on the same subject.

http://lcamyopinion.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/yahnke-tapes-how-to-really-hurt-your-gay-child/

http://lcamyopinion.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/the-yahnke-tapes-harmful-reparative-therapy-advocated/

http://lcamyopinion.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/the-yahnke-tapes-homosexuality-as-a-mental-illness/

There are other posts on the same seminar – but what is clear is that  lcamyopinion is being silenced. Now to my blog, it appears my blog is making the unauthorized section of reading as well – I know it is quite long but have a read of the following dialogue on an LCA chat forum “table talk” and follow it to its dramatic conclusion…..listen for the BZZT sound at the end.

by Tapman » Fri May 03, 2013 1:13 am

I don’t think that Christianity need be a cult, but it is heading that way. I have been thinking a lot about the “psychology” of religion since I wrote about it on Blog – if you haven’t read it – its worth a read.https://tapfotoreflections.wordpress.com … -religion/

The point is that religions are a psychological way that the human brain deals with existensial stress – This is proven scientifically and written about extensively – not making it up. The reactions observed in lab tests are the same for Christians, Muslims, whatever culture or background – People get stressed when their “world view” is challenged. Christianity is the same as any other religion or culture in the world, same fear, same protective reactions. The scientific world looks at Lutherans and sees reactions that confirm even further what has already been proven in labs. The point is, the claim to inerrancy is part of this illusion of safety we want to hang onto and confirms to the scientific mind that religions/christainity is an illusion created to appease the gods.

I believe what Jesus is about is more than a religion that makes us feel better – but at the moment I see the church fearfully calling participants to return to biblical principals – Homosexuality and womens ordination challenge what makes us feel safe.
I actually should go to bed – tis late and finding it hard to write – more on this topic coming.

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Wally Schiller » Fri May 03, 2013 9:35 am

I am really unclear – and sadden – as to why you are a Christian. You cannot on the one hand accept what you say about the “scientific world” view of Christianity and then profess to still hold to the very essence of the Word of God, namely, Jesus. This is a stark contradiction. You can’t have your cake and eat it too! You surely need a re-think here!

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Searcher » Fri May 03, 2013 5:07 pm

Tapman

Historically humanity has gone through phases of profound enlightenment and utter darkness. It is in those periods of light when humanity has moved forward, and you see it in the accompanying progress in arts, science and thought. The in the periods of darkness, humanity goes two steps backwards, trying to undo what good was achieved before. The energy of these times is also different, where the light tends to be ruled by love, and the darkness by fear, hatred and a clear separation of us vs them. I believe that we are currently entering into this dark phase and you see it everywhere. In religion you see this contraction towards fundamentalism, to narrow scriptural interpretation, to a separation of people. We are no longer ALL made by God, God’s grace no longer extends to All, but to a select few, ie. those who belong to your tribe of course. This shift towards fundamentalism is affecting all churches, we are not immune to it.

by Searcher » Fri May 03, 2013 5:16 pm

Wally Schiller wrote:I am really unclear – and sadden – as to why you are a Christian. You cannot on the one hand accept what you say about the “scientific world” view of Christianity and then profess to still hold to the very essence of the Word of God, namely, Jesus. This is a stark contradiction. You can’t have your cake and eat it too! You surely need a re-think here!

Wally, Christians come in all shapes and sizes ranging from rampant fundamentalists to broad progressive Christians. Most denominations will have members that are at each extreme and all along the middle. However, regardless on whether they are at one end of the spectrum of the other, their individual walk with Christ makes them Christian. I do not believe that anyone has the right to question someone’s Christianity simply because they do not agree with your own position.

by Wally Schiller » Fri May 03, 2013 5:30 pm

You miss my point.

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Tapman » Fri May 03, 2013 6:01 pm

Thanks searcher, I believe you can see where I am coming from. I think because of our modern age and our multi cultural society all our world views clash and are causing a fear response in which we want to clearly define the boundaries.

I’ll try and put my view onto paper – it is only in developmental stages – and I will blog about it when I have it clear in my mind. I don’t think Jesus meant for us to create a new religion called Christianity, one which outlines what you have to believe to be “in” and if you don’t believe those things you are “out”. Jesus death was a fulfilment of OT sacrifice worship……now here is the thing……The OT worship followed an ancient world view – angry God, make sacrifices, happy God. I don’t think the Israelites were any different from any other cultures of their time. (only God began a plan and was revealing himself to them) When Jesus extends salvation to the Gentiles I think he is fulfilling their particular sacrificial worship. In other words, Jesus is as much for Islam as he is for Christianity – both religions have a world view that talks of a wrathful God – by believing the right things, by living the right way we can be saved. Jesus says, no I am the way.

Our approach of drawing lines in the sand is hindering God’s Kingdom – who are God’s children, we all are – whatever culture, whatever religion, race, gender, Jesus is for us. Our present course is headed for hatred and war, and we as a church sit on our pews trying our hardest to fulfil the requirements of our particular religion – women can’t do this or that, Gays are definitely out, boat people are scary because they might bring their religions with them…..etc

And Wally – I am a Christian, I also believe in facts….especially if you can prove them in a lab over and over again. There is nothing to be scared about if facts contradict what you believe to be true – God is bigger.

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by inari » Fri May 03, 2013 6:48 pm

Tapman wrote:…now here is the thing……The OT worship followed an ancient world view – angry God, make sacrifices, happy God.

Thanks for your thoughtful contributions to these discussions, Tapman; I look forward to reading your paper when it’s done.

However, I think the “OT God = angry/sacrifice, NT Jesus = loving/grace” contrast is a gross misrepresentation of ancient and contemporary Judaism. As Amy Jill Levine has said, Psalm 23 is a Jewish [OT] text, and there are repeated references in the Hebrew scriptures to God’s gracious care for a fractious and often rebellious people.

The Incarnation, life, death & resurrection of Jesus doesn’t change God’s attitude towards us; rather it is a graphic, embodied manifestation of God’s unfailing love for the whole creation.

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Tapman » Fri May 03, 2013 7:26 pm

Thank Inari – I know I over simplified the OT God – but I think the gist of what I meant is there. I have been reading about terror management theories which basically say that religions are an illusion to psychologically manage fear, particularly existential stuff – basically living in denial. I think most reflective Christians will readily admit that this is often the case. This isn’t a bad thing – better than living in panic. However I believe Christianity to be more than that – I believe it is possible to live without being in denial – aware of our mortality and impending death, and open enough to face the difficult questions of life. What I haven’t figured out is what this type of Christian looks like.

This may sound offensive to some but I think I have figured out what it doesn’t look like – Christians that deny logic and reason and culture and science because challenging the inerrant word breaks the boundaries that make them feel safe.

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by janine » Fri May 03, 2013 7:40 pm

tapman, it seems to me that you are a christian because you believe in christ, but also believe in the scientific method? i cannot for the life of me see how this is incompatible.

i don’t see anything in your posts to suggest otherwise, or that science has proved religion is wrong. what i read is that, for some at least, religion has become a way to buttress their beliefs and deal with their fears, something that lab tests have shown to be the case. what i have not read is that lab tests have shown that religion is false.

correct me if i’m wrong.

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Tapman » Fri May 03, 2013 7:53 pm

No need for correction – Janine – cheers

Freud did feel that he had proved religion wrong – but I don’t fully agree with him.

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Searcher » Fri May 03, 2013 8:36 pm

Tapman

You wrote: “The OT worship followed an ancient world view – angry God, make sacrifices, happy God.” This is true as a simplification. God was recognised as both an angry and a loving God, but the emphasis had become focused on the angry God. Jesus called the church of his day to focus on the lovingness of God, which the early Christians tried to do. Christianity retained the notion of God as LOVE, but again the focus so easily shifts back to the God of law and anger. So now as in Jesus’ day we are called to re-focus on the God who is LOVE. That is being Christian!

 by Wally Schiller » Fri May 03, 2013 11:34 pm

Let me go back to the elephant in the room. Tapio made the claim: “Inerrrancy is the claim of cults”
I queried the claim, expressing that I was unclear – and saddened – “as to why you are a Christian”. Note: at no time did I say he was not a Christian.
I then made the statement: “You cannot on the one hand accept what you say about the “scientific world” view of Christianity and then profess to still hold to the very essence of the Word of God, namely, Jesus.” This comment was in reference to the claim of Tapio: “The scientific world looks at Lutherans and sees reactions that confirm even further what has already been proven in labs.”
All the comments since have run away from this elephant in the room.
So, if a person says that “Inerrrancy is the claim of cults”, then surely it is not out of place to express that I was unclear as to why such a person is Christian. Perhaps I should have asked: Why are you a Lutheran if you believe that, when a central tenant of the Lutheran Church is inerrancy?
Yet no comment since has addressed that aspect.
It is not a matter of expecting someone to agree with the position of someone else – that is not what I have said either, despite that accusation. If someone wishes to disagree with inerrancy, then so be it. But as much as someone may protest at expecting someone else to agree with a certain position, I too can protest that my belief is described as akin to cultism – and then further, to lambast the Lutheran Church for holding to that belief. That is offensive and un-Christian. And, as an aside, i don’t think I have ever heard cults talk about inerrancy.

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Grizzly bear » Sat May 04, 2013 12:27 am

Wally Schiller wrote:I am really unclear – and sadden – as to why you are a Christian. You cannot on the one hand accept what you say about the “scientific world” view of Christianity and then profess to still hold to the very essence of the Word of God, namely, Jesus. This is a stark contradiction. You can’t have your cake and eat it too! You surely need a re-think here!

Again I think Tapman is much closer to the reality of faith. We are ‘Christians’, not ‘Jesusians’. The Christ is far more extensive than the person of Jesus. To be ‘the Christ’ is to be one in whom the Father is revealed, and Jesus would be the first to say that should be every one on this planet. (I reckon St. Paul must have been the second.) The ‘Word of God’ is also far more extensive than either Jesus or the Bible — as mentioned in previous posts (or was that on a previous forum?) creation itself is the second ‘Word of God’, after the Christ — and to deny one’s own, or another person’s experience of God in creation because it contradicts the written word as we interpret it, is a travesty of faith. I for one see more sign of the presence of God in Tapman’s words than in the claims of his detractors.
(P.S. Perhaps I should confess to more than a passing interest in the psychology of religion and the light it sheds on how and why people believe and hold to what they do; and, yes, personal security and fear are a big part of it!)

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Wally Schiller » Sat May 04, 2013 12:57 am

Still avoiding the elephant in the room. So Tapman is a better revelation of God that the his own Word. Interesting!

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by horatio » Sat May 04, 2013 8:19 am

Wally Schiller wrote:Still avoiding the elephant in the room. So Tapman is a better revelation of God that the his own Word. Interesting!
Could it be more like “So Tapman is a better revelation of God than Paul, or the other authors of the bible”?

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Tapman » Sat May 04, 2013 10:24 am

The thing about living in denial is that you don’t know you are in it. What Psychology says is that world views, cultures and religions give us a tool to push our fears out of the fore-front – an illusion of safety. This safety thing is like a force field we put around ourselves called “my religion” or “my culture” maybe even “my opinion”. With the rapidly changing world and our multi-cultural, multi-gender surrounds we are determined to clearly define the borders of that force field we don’t know exists, we feel it is a safety issue.

Seeing as though we are all Lutheran lets talk about that. I remember when I was younger a close relation said she didn’t believe that Jesus body and blood was present in Holy communion – I guess because of the closeness of the relationship I was horrified and tried to fix the error. Since then many other issues have come up and they hit the imaginary force field around me and made a BZZT sound. The reason my writing is so offensive is because I throw things at the force field to make the BZZT sound – you can’t see it but if you throw things at it, it makes a sound. On a Lutheran site you throw words that deny inerrrancy, or any other thing that we find dear and listen for the sound. Why throw stones? Why make people fear? I don’t think it wise not to pretend this force field isn’t there.

Two reasons:

The first reason is Apologetics. Christians are looking more and more stupid to an educated and intelligent world. I am not talking about defending our boundaries and strengthening the force field I am talking about being aware of the psycholgy of religion and understanding it. When non-Christians see our denial of reality and the fear/bigotted responses (the BZZT sounds) they see us as just another religion.

The second reason:

This reason is by far more important. This force field must come down, it is not protecting us from anything it is actually not good for us as individuals and as a church to be unaware of it. Perhaps this is what it means to die to self, to lay down the force field? Dunno, maybe. As I sad earlier, I am still thinking about what a Christian that is not living in existential denial might look like. Perhaps he might look a bit like the Psalmist who agonizes about things he sees in the world and questions God – perhaps even doubts him – yet still praises Him. Perhaps he is the type of person who is able to see the need of the person in front of him and not be distracted by the BZZT sound that normally causes fear or disgust. I believe a person that turns of the force field is better equipped to do what Jesus sends him out to do. (side note – a link to one of my previous posts was deleted here. Read it later by clicking here.)

Re: Biblical Inerrancy

by Moderator 1 » Sat May 04, 2013 10:47 am

GENERAL WARNING
This thread is beginning to go off the rails. Expressions suggesting others are fearful, equating teachings of the Church to cults and other personal insinuations are not in keeping with the terms of use of this forum. While links have been allowed in the past, those which draw the discussion to other sites will be deleted.
I therefore invite individuals to go back upon their posts in this thread and tidy them up. If the thread does not improve it will face the threat of deletion.

Moderator 1

Tapman says Dear Moderator I definitely heard a BZZT sound. What about you, did you hear it?

Comments
14 Responses to “The Threat of Deletion”
  1. Karin says:

    Well Tapman.

    The way I read the warning you have been given the opportunity to recant and go back and edit your post. Will you, like Galileo, take back what you firmly believe in, thus avoiding deletion? Your post may be considered to be the truth in around 400 yrs time (if the church is still around then).

    • Tapman says:

      I was gobsmacked when I got the warning – I thought about what I was going to do for a couple of hours. On the one hand I wanted the ears of some of our Pastors, on the other there is not much point talking if the other party has the inerrant Word of God and I don’t. I find it ironic that cults have moderators.

  2. Karin says:

    Tapman, two thoughts came to mind.

    I gather from your post that your intent in posting at Tabletalk was to “have the ear” of some of the pastors. The question is for what purpose? I think you need to be clear about the “why”. If your purpose is to bring about change in these pastors, you are not likely to succeed for a number of reasons. Many are actually quite content with their existing belief system and do not want to change. Others may agree with you but are not willing to sacrifice their careers over it. Given this reality, your efforts may appear to be futile, annoyingly frustrating and may cause you to become angry or to despair. This really does not appear to be worth it.

    However, if your reason for posting is because of your own inner sense of speaking the truth, then it does not matter whether the pastors listen to you or not. You remained true to your calling. This reminds me of Jesus. He spoke his truth. Some heard it, most didn’t, but that did not affect Jesus, nor did it prevent him from doing what he had to do.

    The second thought is that you need to be outside of a cult to be able to recognise that this particular group is actually a cult. So there is no point in wondering aloud whether a group is a cult or not to the members of that group. They will obviously deny that this is so.

    BTW, early Christians were considered to be part of a sect. If it had not been for Constantine, who made Christianity into an official religion, it might still be just that.

    When any group achieves power, their behaviour becomes acceptable and even the norm, e.g. if a country engages in killing other people it’s called warfare, if a small group of people does it, it is called “terrorism”. If a mainstream church discriminates against women, this is done in the name of faith and is therefore acceptable. If a small breakaway group keeps their women covered up, pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen, then obviously it is a cult, even though the message in both is the same. It is just that when the ones in power do it its ok, when others do it, it is not.

    • Tapman says:

      Thanks so much for comment. I really felt you posed questions I need to answer. Will sleep on it.

    • Tapman says:

      Hi again Karin – I have come to the conclusion that very few people will change their opinions, no matter how well I write or how convincing I sound – is it worth it? I see myself as a small part of a larger voice that will grow and keep pressure on the church. Very similar to the non-violent protest in days past, eventually the church will have to get serious about listening. At present we are an annoying fly that they think they can swat and keep quiet.

      The gay debate and womens ordination issue is only a symptom of larger problems, until we can clearly see the disease where the symptoms stem from – little will change – we will find someone else to marginalize or continue to obstruct God in some way.

      I have been a conservative all my life – God has rocked the foundations of my faith dramatically – a lot of my writing comes from a dark place, searching for God that seems to be absent. I struggle to see our church doing any good….at all. On a positive, after an earthquake you see quite clearly what is left standing.

      • Karin says:

        Thank you for sharing your feelings with us Tapman. It seems that God is alive and well in your life, even though you may not always be always able to discern it when you are in that place of darkness. Yet I just heard you say, “I was blind, and now I see”. Work with what you see and trust that God is present.

        A wise woman said to me on Friday that ultimately it is not about the church, but it is about doing God’s work, wherever we encounter it.

  3. lcamyopinion says:

    Haha.

    *General Warning. This thread is beginning to go off the rails.*

    What a wonderful metaphor. The forum, so it seems, is a train and the contributors are passengers on the train. The final destination and every stop along the way is pre-determined by the ones who lay the tracks. I would suggest that, if you board the train with the hope that you (by force of will or clever argument, application of truth, psychology or anythng else) can effect the direction of travel even one inch then you are undertaking an exercise that will quickly lead you into frustration, anger, despair.

    If, however, you are happy to take the pre-determined ride and just want to play games with the passengers… Cool!. Have fun.

    • Tapman says:

      I didn’t notice the metaphor – still not sure which part went of the rails, the warning came up within seconds of my last post – perhaps I made too much sense – trains aren’t meant to think about where they are going.

  4. Karin says:

    I think your last post on that topic got deleted. Have a look, if you have not been made persona non grata already

    • Tapman says:

      Yes deleted – bit of a joke really – they get upset at the word cult……”We’re not a cult!” and then turn around and act like a cult and censor information???

  5. stasisonline says:

    Censorship can be so annoying. I respect how you do not censor, Tapman. I get censored too. I recently left some feedback on the page at http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/born-that-way-part-2/#comments pointing out that the Bible is written on the basis that the Christians it refers to are not in homosexual relationships, and my comment has not been released. In other words it seems I have been censored there. Silenced. Sometimes censorship seems reasonable; IE if the censor is rejecting needlessly abusive content. But then there are other times, when the content is polite and the website appears reasonable and probably open to various points of view. That’s when censorship seems wrong; when they appear open-minded but they dont tell the reader of the censorship, misleadingly leaving the reader to assume that no dissension has ever been expressed.

    • Tapman says:

      It is more upsetting for me because this site is my church – and it was set up for the express purpose of discussing controversial issues. I don’t understand how you can discuss controversy without showing all opinions…..however wrong you may feel they are.

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