Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Most Divisive of All Independent Baptists: Let's Think about It

Some men are the most interesting men in the world, but someone tagged me with the moniker, "the most divisive of all independent Baptists."  I should be happy, because he called my friend Bobby Mitchell a "lackey" in the same comment.   In the spirit of many fundamentalists, he went personal, mean, hateful, and condemnatory -- not divisive though -- that title is mainly reserved for resolute doctrinal stands, not schoolyard name-calling.  But I'm happy, because it started some thinking about "divisiveness," which was a brief theme in a comment thread last week too.  Postmodernism has featured new definitions of terms, like Isaiah prophesied the calling of "good evil and evil good."  "Divisive" is one of these.  I can't help but think of George W. Bush's, "I'm a uniter, not a divider," using the buzzwords for political advantage.

In present American culture, "divisive" labels the worst possible malfeasance against relativism.  If you "divide," you're saying something is right, and let's stop wasting time, because you're actually just saying that you're right and everyone else is wrong.  Can you believe that?  Somebody might be wrong out there.  The "divider" thinks he's right, which means not everybody is right.  This is where we're at now with "divisive," and hardly anyone blinks.  They just accept it as so.

Let's say you had a whole nation of boot-licking, goose-stepping unity, not that it has ever happened before.  Then you had this small group who thought different, like an Apple designer or something.   They would be divisive.  Bad, huh?   No, good.  Why?  Of course, because the majority is wrong.  Wrong.   Someone is wrong.  People are wrong.  The majority can be wrong.

Being consistent in a relativistic culture means consistently allowing everyone to be right without saying they're right.  If they say they're right, then they're divisive, which is the one wrong, so it's only their opinion (IMO).  The only dividers are people confident they're right.  Hail doubt!  Uncertainty brings people together, ya know.  No one could be bothered with like a lack of conviction.  Only like, because there isn't anything settled about my lack.  I only might lack.  Actual lacking might offend some non-lacking person.  It can be tough being relative all the time, er, some of the time.  Uncertain.

I realize that to stay the most divisive of a small division of a division, that I have to break the relativist's manifesto of unity and his logo, the question mark.   This thought does bring me to the idea of unity, which is as important as division in the discovery of definitions.  I can't understand division without understanding unity.  You've really got two choices for unity.  So as not to offend, let's consider the choice of the relativist first.  His unity is built around toleration.  Toleration is the one absolute.   Everyone believes in toleration.  If you want to offend the relativist, burn the question mark in his lawn.  The other choice is absolute truth.  You unify on absolute truth, which is, um, absolute.  It's certain.  Why do I feel this urge to apologize?  I'm just presenting like the two possibilities.  Come on!

Just want to digress for a moment.  The growing population of effeminate men directly relates to the nuance of relativism.  Part of manhood is decisiveness.  Decisiveness is a violation of relativism, of unity.   Modern manhood can't make up its mind and gets a standing ovation for this.  Not knowing is a new strength.  This is a reason why a big segment of America doesn't understand Putin, which is a digression of a digression.  So I am saying that I think someone is calling me a man.   That doesn't bother me.  I recognize that it should today, but I'm really fine being a man.

Let's assume for argument sake that the above is the wrong usage for "divisive," even if it seems to be permissible at least as a form of propaganda.   How should we understand divisive?

Someone who is divisive is dividing off of something.  He isn't continuing to unify.  Should someone unify around error, even a certain amount of error?  If there is absolute truth, which the absolutist believes, does he do well to continue to unite on error?  This is where we get to differing views of the world, and this relativist-absolutist argument.  What's happening today is that the relativists are nibbling, nibbling, nibbling, until the absolute is a small list.

I don't get offended with someone dividing with me over truth.  I'm actually not offended with any kind of dividing from me, because I'm secure in my position.  I don't like to be called names, but it's something I should expect in this culture.  I want to be right, and I do believe that it is possible to be wrong.  However, if I believe I'm right, I have no problem standing on that.  I would await some argument from the Bible.  Name-calling isn't going to persuade me.

Let's digress again.  I understand the usefulness of name-calling.  It is the chief argument of the apostate.  He is a mocker walking after his own lust.  He traffics in ridicule.  If he argues, he's got to admit truth and error, so he doesn't -- he mocks.  His point isn't doing right, but doing what he wants.  He doesn't want rules or authority.  He wants his own way.  He's a rebel at heart.  He doesn't like absolutes, because it appoints some big brother to watch over him.  He doesn't want to be watched over.  He wants acceptance.  He's insecure.  He wants approval.  If he doesn't get it, he calls names.  I see him as a loser.  He can't argue, so all he's got is name-calling, because he's already lost.  There will be people, other losers, who will think he's made a point.

When I go door-to-door evangelizing, I often tell people I'm willing to be a Buddhist or  Hindu.  I mean it.  To be truly open-minded, you have to be willing to believe something.  I am.  I am willing to believe, not just to taste, but to swallow.  I just never get a good reason to be either a Buddhist or Hindu, and I never run into either who wants even to tell me why to be one.  They're fine with my being myself.  That's not good enough.

The Bible satisfies me.  I'm sold on it.  I'm certain of it.  I'm too certain of it for a growing number of people.  I get that.  Men like minded with me divide from error.  We believe someone is wrong and that the truth is worth keeping.

All the relativist has for unity is uncertainty.  The proponents of relativism unify around doubt.  Is that really unity?  Is that what we're talking about?  If we don't bow out of absolutes, out of certainty, we're dividing from the ethic of relativism?  Then we're divisive?  Perhaps in the world, but not God.

If the truth is unity, then the greatest unifiers are those who unify on the truth and the truth alone, not on some degree of uncertainty.  That isn't unity.  For that reason, I actually don't believe that I'm a divider.  I believe with great certainty that men like me are the greatest forces of true unity, the only unity, on earth.

******************

Who is the most intolerant in the whole universe?

The NBA?  They divide 300 or so people from everyone else.  If you don't play basketball like they do, you are not welcome.  Their fans are similar.  They stop watching if they don't play very well.  No one calls them divisive.

Medical school?  They have this standard that relatively few can meet.  If they do, they're doctors. The expectations are very high.  They're very intolerant.  Their patients are similar.  They want medical schools to be tough and keep people out.  No one calls them divisive.

And then there is God.  He divided the whole world from eight people with water.  He'll divide the whole world of the future from just a few with fire.  Those who don't take His way, He sends to Hell forever.  His intolerance brings more pain for more people than anyone.  No one is more divisive.

And then there is evangelicalism and fundamentalism.   Division bad.  Tolerance good.  Almost anything goes.  They're intolerant of bad entertainment and bad food -- totally divisive there.  They are very tolerant of their own comforts and conveniences.   God can take whatever kitsch, sloppy seconds.  That's tolerated.  And if you won't, you're divisive.  Go figure.

17 comments:

Joshua said...

“When the prevailing philosophy claims that truth is relative or basically unknowable or strictly personal or largely irrelevant, in other words, when our only certainty is our uncertainty, there is nothing more irritating than someone coming along and smashing such nonconclusive conclusions. There is nothing more unsettling than someone who has settled things.” -Dale Ahlquist

I believe you may have unsettled and irritated someone Pastor Brandenburg.

Paul Brownfield said...

Two verses come to my mind after reading this article.

1. Proverbs 23:23, "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding."

2. Isaiah 59:14, "And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter."

Those of us who say we can know the truth by searching the Scriptures must be wrong because we are the minority. In Is. 59:15 we can see that God is displeased with the backward way of this world. No true judgement.

This article is most definitely needed.

Paul

Gary Webb said...

AMEN and AMEN.

KJB1611 said...

I agree with the sentiments expressed in this article. I know the "I am the most divisive . . . most uniting man" was hyperbole, of course, for Pastor Brandenburg.

Who really is the most divisive and most uniting man? The Lord Jesus Christ. Think about it.

If we are accused of being the most divisive for reasons that are Christlike reasons, it is a great compliment. Of course, we could also be accused of that because we are simply acting in a fleshly way, but with Pastor Brandenburg the former situation, not the latter, is the truth.

KJB1611 said...

Of course, all of the above is just my opinion, nothing certain--so don't divide from me over it, because I don't really know, I think. Perhaps.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Thomas,

Thanks.

I decided to take out the hyperbole, because your comment struck me that you got it -- maybe others won't. It doesn't take anything away. Thanks though.

Jon Gleason said...

I don't know who said this, but I can probably guess. It's either on his own site (less likely) or a particular forum (more likely) which shouldn't allow such stuff but does. (It's not about the person, it's about ideas, right? I'm sure I read that somewhere. But the comments continually violate it, so I don't read them anymore.)

And I bet he's a guy who has used far more inflammatory language against fellow-believers than you ever have. Am I right? Almost certainly.

And I doubt he'd call himself an independent Baptist, so he's NOT a more divisive independent Baptist than you. So he's on safe ground there.

I guess.

You know, that's part of why I finally got fed up with evangelicalism. They ripped fundamentalists to shreds for being nasty, fighting, etc. -- but they were far nastier.

So many of today's so-called fundamentalists are the same breed.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Jon for tolerating.

Bobby Mitchell said...

You definitely are not at all involved in bringing in new ideas, doctrines, practices, etc. You simply call people back to accepting, agreeing with, and obeying scripture. The un Scriptural stuff is the cause of unholy division. It is the "heresies" that Paul wrote to the Corinthian church of. He said the heresies would show who is approved. Peter warned of the damnable heresies, the destructive sects. You oppose them as you should.

You press for unity with scripture and division from error and those that promote it. So did Jesus and the Apostles. It is part of laying down your life, giving up your life for Him. Will doesn't understand these things. I don't think he can. I mourn for him. He went from the false Gospel preached at trieber's to another errant group. He needs to get in the truth.


Art G said...

Please direct me to where the following question is answered?

How could we possibly have a perfect Bible when no two hand-written ancient copies are alike?

Thank you

Art

Joshua said...

Hello Art,

Gladly: http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/is-it-true-that-no-two-nt-mss-are.html

Now that you know the original is false, are you any closer to believing the truth that we have a perfect Bible as God promised?

KJB1611 said...

Dear Art,

Please read:

Is It True That No Two NT Manuscripts Are The Same?

at:

http://faithsaves.net/bibliology/

for the answer to your question.

Thanks for the question.

Art G said...

Joshua and KJB1611,

My original question was motivated by Pastor Brandenburg's
comment. "I will answer this in a later entry on one of my Wednesdays."

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2007/02/where-is-bible-part-two-answering.html

Thank you both for your help. The quote provided a counter example, "Some two hand-written ancient copies are alike."

Art

Art G said...

Joshua,

Which perfect Bible are you referring to? My preferred translation has been and is the KJB. (approaching 3 score and 10 years)

KJB1611 commented "...no one copy or translation perfectly reflects the message (much less the words) of the original documents"

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/is-it-true-that-no-two-nt-mss-are.html


The Jehovah's Witnesses (JW's)came by about 3 weeks ago. The Mormons are due soon.

1 Peter 3:15 is my motivation for trying to help them. The resources that I've found are all over the place with translations. Ron Rhodes does recommend using the KJB when witnessing to Mormons. But that's not the case in his book for reasoning with JW's.

Thank you both again.

Art

KJB1611 said...

Dear Art,

My answer to that question is in the article "A Declaration of My Own
Position on the Inspiration and Preservation of Holy Scripture" here:

http://faithsaves.net/bibliology/

Thanks.

Art G said...

KJB1611,

Thank you for the link. Has the Lord called you to a preaching or teaching position?

There is a great need for a KJB church in the Lynchburg, VA area.

Calvary Memorial Church, Southern Pines, NC is an example that streams online, Calvary Memorial Church Southern Pines, NC.

http://www.calvarymemorialsp.com/

What is the best way to contact you? I hesitate to post my email address here.

Art G

KJB1611 said...

Dear Art,

You can contact me using the "contact us" link at faith saves.net. Thanks.