Saturday, April 01, 2006
The Story of the Debate 1: An Empty Cup
I want to be gracious. I'm saying that because I want you to know. I am happy, yes, but I want people to know that I want to be gracious. Mr. Hafley does the best he can for someone who believes someone can lose his salvation. At the end, I honestly felt sorry for him and empathized with his situation. It's like being given the guilty criminal to defend, when you have a dozen eye witnesses, finger prints, blood everywhere, and confession at the scene of the crime. He couldn't win because he was starting with an empty cup. He really is good with the rhetoric, if one counts that to be good. He knows how to embarrass an opponent. He has techniques to ridicule, make the other side look bad. For instance, after making a contradictory point, he will say sarcastically, "Thank you, Mr. Brandenburg." At one point on the third night he warned in a oily way, "Romans is not your friend, Mr. Brandenburg." Often he instructed the crowd with this, "You are way too intelligent an audience to believe what he says." See what I mean? He's good at that. He knows how to use his voice to make what he preaches to sound absolutely authoritative and believable. I could do the same thing and tell you something like---"Everyone wants the ebola virus"---say it with a totally straight face and if you were gullible enough, you might believe it.
After his last 20 minutes of the third night, I didn't feel very good. I didn't answer him on the third night. I did, however, cremate his material in the first 20 minutes on the last night, and it was over really right there. I systematically with charts full of Scripture and exegetical points, dismantled everything that Mr. Hafley said on Thursday night. He was left spinning in his first 20 minutes, scrambling and treading water, trying to keep his head above water with all his rhetorical might. Nothing was in his cup. I came up the second 20 minutes and after finishing off all of his arguments in a devastating way, I started into about 15-20 examples of the perfect tense on salvation in Scripture. I'll talk about some of those in this blog in the near future. He flailed away attempting to produce something out of thin air for another 20 minutes. Then I stood up for my last speech and hit about 10 more minutes of evidence before I went into about 7 minutes preaching the gospel. I then spent about 1 1/2 minutes showing several of the questions he did not/could not answer and arguments I made that he did not reply. I had about 1 1/2 minutes left, so I gave one last argument for eternal security and sat down. His last twenty minutes, you could see that some of his energy was gone, and he tried anyway, but he had an empty cup. The best thing they did to rehabilitate their unScriptural position was to thank many of the people at the end for coming and participating and acting like they really liked what happened.
I made at least 10 arguments that he didn't even answer, probably closer to 20, and the ones he did answer were amazing answers that I will share with you in this space at some time in the near future. I thank the Lord for doing what He did in this debate. I hope people will change. I know it comes down to the Lord working, the Holy Spirit convicting, humility, and surrender to the Lord's will. I also thank you for praying. Thank you, thank you. The Lord truly has filled our cup.