Sunday, March 19, 2006

When I Would Do Good

The Christian life is a struggle against the flesh. I'm going to ramble a little bit and weave that in as the theme. Romans 7:21 says, "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." A believer can do good and want to do good, but right when he wants to do good, evil is present. Some would say that people really haven't changed since 'Leave It to Beaver' days. People are still sinners, true, but it's more tough to keep from sinning. Many more Eddie Haskels, perhaps we could say.

One that is really tough for me, and I guess this illustrates the truth of James 3, is how to handle insulting people. I usually have a hundred excellent and well-worded zingers to return, but I bite my tongue. I really do. Some might not think so, but it is really true. Sometimes I simply defend myself and that only gets further attack with people saying, "You're being so defensive." They don't know what I felt like saying, that I held in. Many of them don't. They just say it, and get away with it, because they are saying something everyone else agrees with. I've recently been debating on the preservation of the Bible, and some of the comments and strategies of the other side repulse me. Sometimes it's just the person talking. I know he's an arrogant fool and know a whole lot about him that would say that he is essentially a punk in disguise. He's also an almost total coward pushover, but he takes the position that the Bible isn't preserved, that we don't know the Words, that we ought to be satisfied with most of them and "all of the doctrines." They constantly bring the same arguments over and over, talk to you like you haven't heard them, and also talk to you like you have said something that you never said. They strut and preen like a mating peacock in front of unanimous support. They really are scoffers walking after their own lusts. Sometimes the best thing to do is avoid them totally. What I want to do is fight in the back alley and physically knock sense into them. I recognize that this wouldn't help anybody including me. It is just carnal weaponry. I still want to do it. The absolute total arrogance. One guy kept saying the same thing over and over as I kept telling him again and again that he is arguing with the wrong man; that I didn't believe what he was saying that I did, and had never said so. It didn't matter. He just continues ignoring me, spouting out pages of material for no apparent reason. Of course, I could speculate, but if I even briefly judged the guys motive, I would be hung out to dry. Another guy talks all about me and everything I said without saying a word to me, I guess by arguing with me and yet ignoring me, that this was some Scriptural model of ministry. No one tops the guy that basically ejected from responsibility in the middle of the year from our school with a serious sin problem. Lots of bad things happen before and after that. To end, he skips out of town and then sends us his wife's dentist bill three months later, a day before that benefit, paid by our non-profit school, runs out. Himself disloyal to everyone but himself. The world revolves around him. Despite all his problems, he was totally arrogant while here. I admit it, I think of him as a (I took this out as part of my struggle), that thinks he is Einstein. Now he is writing me in this debate like a man that everyone should take seriously. If they only knew. No doubt arguments are arguments, but hearing them from him makes my stomach turn. What's worse is that the room he is talking in is supposed to have many, many problems with many prominent beliefs of his, but they could care less because on one issue, that most of them say isn't important, he agrees. I guess I at least want a few minutes in the cage, no holds barred, but that isn't going to happen. It's best it didn't. It's a struggle though. No pure spiritual air exists in the Christian life. Everyone has to struggle, including me, not that you would be surprised.

This isn't Freudian by the way. I'm not ventilating to relieve my superego. I'm struggling out loud. I think defending the Bible, answering questions Scripturally, is good. I'm not calling myself an eagle, but it is difficult flying with turkeys, eagle or not. OK, I'm going to stop thinking about it and move on. Thanks for your time. What do I owe you? Yes, I'm about over it. I just have to refuse to think about it. I have so many things to do, I think I can do it. When is our next appointment?


Bill H. said...

Dear Sir,
I actually did read the your replys and re-replys at SharperIrony. I must admit that I was in much pain of spirit and mind after all the trash posts that were seemingly endless. But I would like to say thank you for taking on some tough stuff. Also I will be earnestly waiting your second book.
This post of yours made me laugh. Remember be not weary in well doing!

Michael McNeilly said...

P. Brandenburg,
Great stuff. I really like your article on the baptism of the Spirit and am going to use it in my studies. I got sick to my stomach when I came across Bob Haytons latest article. Did you read it? It is a Brandenburg bash for sure.

BJ Nordgren said...

It absolutely astounds me how much verbage the other side puts forth without referring to Scripture. Then they pick and hang on every word of your/our position which is founded on nothing but scripture. One guy expounded at great length his superior knowledge of the subject. Amazingly he only referenced Scripture in 2 ways.
1. He cut and pasted your position which had an abundance of Scriptural support and you listed the verses.
2. When he was casting doubt on authority of certain verses.
Do they like try to see how much they can expound about the Bible without using the Bible? Is this some kind of competition they are having. I digress.

Terry McGovern said...


As I followed the thread on Sharperiron, I too was frustrated at their replies.

I do beleive, even though many would never admit it, your post caused many of them to question what they believe.

Others, I think are "willing ignorant", staying loyal to a institution, instead of truth.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks for all your encouraging comments. I'm not questioning that you mean them. Our position does hold up and I am anticipating giving the best explanation possible to explain the application of the Scripture doctrine of perfect preservation. They are stuck in their theories. And that is all they have, are doubt and theories.

Jeff Voegtlin said...

Wow, someone else struggles with the flesh also! Thanks for this post also. What would happen if you went back over there and took their position? And then began to notice "small" inconsistencies in it? That could be sinister and fun!