I was once a Marine. I know you wouldn’t know by looking at me today but I was once one of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children. I was a Leatherneck, a jarhead, a Marine. Our military has always been found of acronyms and the alphabet to label conditions, equipment, units, and situations.
Our military, like many occupations also has a reputation and penchant for utilizing some filthy and uncouth sayings and designations. Some of these sayings and designations can not be used in mixed company.
An example of one of the more “infamous” and utilized acronyms, particularly by the lower ranked enlisted men was FUBAR. Another form of the same sentiment was SNAFU. Since I don’t want to utilize the language involved in this acronym I changed the first letter in the first one and the fourth letter in the second one to “M.” Now I can give its meaning; Messed Up Beyond All Recognition. The other acronym would read Situation Normal All Messed Up.
This past Friday evening and the majority of Saturday I attended an event where it could be easily labeled MUBAR! Let me say first, I was invited by a dear friend of mine who paid for all my expenses, including hotel room, meals, registration fee, snacks, and coffee. My friend truly thought that this would be an enlightening event that we all could profit from and give God the glory. His motives were beyond any and all reproach and I am eternally grateful for his sincere, royal, and selfless treatment of myself.
What was the event? It was labeled a “Debate.” It was a debate between Dr. James White, a leading reformed Baptist and Christian apologist and the leading Catholic apologist Dr. Robert Sungenis on the subject of Purgatory. A second debate was conducted by Chris Rosebrough, Host, Fighting for the Faith and the President of Pirate Christian Radio and Doug Pagitt, “pastor” of Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis on the subject of “Is Hell a real place?”
What a debacle! What a MUBAR SITREP (situation report.) I would say that there was nothing that could glorify God in this debate but I would be contradicted by the fact that God can use even our sin to accomplish His purposes and give praise to His glory. (Psalms 76:10)
I am convinced that an egregious error if not sin was committed with this event. I believe the Newberg (OR) Christian Church and those responsible for this debate are guilty of participating in the doctrine of heresy (II John 10.) Thank God, He is able to override our sin and often uses it for His own purposes and glory.
I think the sin that was committed was welcoming heresy and false doctrine into the church of Christ, giving those who hold and propagate false teaching a welcome. The result or penalty of such actions is incurring those false teachers guilt.
Paul spoke against this practice in Romans chapter sixteen, verses 17-20. We are to watch out for and avoid those who do not serve our Lord and are used to deceive the naive. The doctrines of demons will be soon crushed under our feet. We are not to invite them into our home or the meetings of our church body.
I did not think of these things when I accepted this invitation. As a matter of fact I was excited to attend and see Christian apologetics in action. It was while I was there I was grieved in my Spirit and began to see the wickedness in what was taking place. Near the end of the MUBAR debate I walked out of the auditorium and sat in the lobby grieving over my actions, the actions of those who name the name of Christ and over the actions of the ungodly and heretical minions of Satan.
In part two, Lord willing, I hope to explain to you why I believe this event was wrong. I also hope to explain the difference between reason and debate. I hope to show you that Paul reasoned with unbelievers rather than participating in debates. I hope to show you that I am not a candidate for 5150.