Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MUBAR! (Part I)

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.


JD Curtis said...

Sorry this was a disappointment for you.

That being said, I can't wait for your next post. :-)

Lloyd said...

Sorry Gregg that the debates between the Christian apologists's did not glorify our Lord. I find the same thing when I view different Christian blogs on the internet. I think that sometimes we go a little overboard when it comes to apologetics. The constant battle between the Catholics and Protestants is never ending.... Each saying that THEY are right in their interpretation of God's Word. All it does is confuse those lost souls who are reaching out to the Lord.

One thing I really enjoyed about this post was that it mentioned my home town of Newberg, Oregon. God bless, Lloyd

Scott said...

Gregg, Thanks for expressing your concerns here. I very much look forward to your follow-up article. I do have a few questions. Have you listened to very many debates by James White? If yes, was this debate beyond the norm of a James White debate or do you think it was representative of many of the debates in which he is involved. Perhaps I should ask this way: Upon reflection, was what you witnessed the expected outcome when debates of this kind are conducted?

Kansas Bob said...

Look forward to more of your thoughts on this Gregg. I have had many blog conversations about Hell with universalists and have made a some headway with them. Essentially they see Hell as a slam on God instead of a slam on humanity. Their view is an extremely narrow one - of course they do not like it when I point that out to them. :)

Cathy M. said...

There is so much nonsense in the visible church these days, if we got bogged down in reacting to all of it, we'd never fulfill our mandate to rescue the perishing. I want to exalt our Great and Glorious God and magnify the person and work of Jesus. If the the Church victorious were better represented in the visible church, the market for nonsense peddlers would soon dry up and blow away.


Years ago I thought these type of debuts and arguing with the cults and isms was something that Christians should do to defend the faith. But as I got older I realized how fruitless these types of discussion are. Nowadays I avoid them at all costs.

I'm looking forward to part two :-)


Seams Inspired said...

What time is Part Two? ;o) I honestly have no idea who these guys are, so I'm off to Google them (did I just use google as a verb?) and see what I can find.

I'm sorry you had this experience. While it's never pleasant, I'm glad you had the courage to get up and walk out. I've been in churches before where I've felt that way, and alas, remained seated. Looking forward to your next post!

Gregg said...

JD Curtis - JD, it wasn't that I was disappointed. It was more appalled and grieved for the false teaching to be given such a platform. Well, part two will be posted at 3:00 AM PST, I hope it is worth your wait.

Lloyd - thanks, I too am sorry this did not glorify our Lord. However, God can use even that debacle to bring glory to Himself. Newberg is beautiful, I really liked it.

Scott - thanks. They are concerns and I hope I am not just seeing "ghosts" where there are no ghosts. I want to honor our Lord and His Word. I took time to answer your questions at the end of tomorrows post. Good questions and thank you!

KB - I am not saying that we shouldn't hold to, present, and defend the truth, but we should not give error a platform in the church. I hope I am clear tomorrow. I do want people to understand what I am trying to say.

Cathy - I understand. My trouble is I was there and saw such a mockery of God's Word. You are right, if we don't give credence to much of what is out there, they might blow away. However, I think something even worse to rise up and take its place. Thanks for reading and commenting.

OG - I am with you! Run the away way next will I! You bet! I don't want to be part of that again. Thank God you wised up as you matured. I am with you.

Larri - thank you, (post time is 3:00 AM PST) I don't expect anyone to be up at that time. Hopefully you didn't waste too much time on these heretics. I couldn't sit, I didn't make a scene and I am sure I was not missed. It was good to sit in quiet and contemplate Romans 16 and II John 10.

RaD said...

I cringe at those things. All they seem to do is prove to the world that Christians are "nit-picky" and care more about being right than about people in general.

Arlee Bird said...

I won't say anything yet. Off to part 2.

Tossing It Out