Hope you folks have had the chance to visit the “Bible Study Forum”, and read through some of the conversations. I noticed today that Norm has visited again, and is not just looking for financial support, but also looking for help in handling the “volume of comments” on his youtube site and his blogs.
To be honest, I question Norm’s statement that his TV program “has a large audience”. Has Star 39 ever done any ratings studies? I’d be interested to know just how “large” his “large audience” is. I personally think it’s “largely” made up of three kinds of folks:
1) Members of the Church of Christ. Of course, maybe they have to watch. I don’t know, but you can always tell these folks because they call in to tell the Guys what a good job they are doing, or to underline how unbelievable it is that denominations teach this or that.
2) People who watch because they want to see just what nutty thing will be said next. I’ve been this person before – you watch like someone might watch Jerry Springer. Will someone call in and fall right into the doctrinal traps these men have laid? Or, on a really good night, someone like the caller named “Billy” will call in and say something that is just completely off the wall – like when Billy asked James about “a quarter, a dime, a nickel and a penny”. What? The best part of those calls is watching the Guys when it happens. James tries to be very patient with Billy, while Norm tries to get him off the phone as quickly as possible. Great stuff.
3) People who accidentally happen onto the program, thinking it’s a regular Bible-study program and then are shocked when they hear what Norm (and Johnny and James) teaches. These callers are usually the ones who call in and make rookie arguments, like “What about the thief on the cross?” It’s not a bad argument, but the Guys have a ready answer for that and don’t even need to think about it. They’ll usually just respond, “What church are you a member of?” I think Dr. Saunders over at the 7th Day Adventist church was a viewer/caller in this third category.
There might be one or two other categories, like family members or something, but really – a “large audience”? Really? Compared to what? The other programs on Star 39?
Anyway, we might start to see some new comments over on Norm’s sites from some of these men, but I doubt that they will say anything we haven’t heard before.
This was sent to Johnny…no answer yet. Wonder why? 🙂
It would be easy if I could dismiss everyone who disagrees with me as stupid, ignorant, careless, insincere, or unbelieving. If one is to arrive at the objective meaning of the text, he must certainly take care in his interpretation of it; he must interpret it knowledgeably and intelligently; and he must pursue its meaning out of a sincere interest in the truth.
If all the disagreement could be traced to this sort of inadequacy in the other interpreters, then I set myself up as Mr. always right about everything that scripture speaks, and everyone else just hasn’t arrived yet to my degree of knowledge. If I am open and honest, I must admit that those who oppose me are usually not so easily discredited. They appear to be knowledgeable, intelligent, disciplined, and sincere in their faith. Their interpretation is not the result of ineptness, insincerity, or unbelief.
According to an honest surface appraisal, there are equally sincere and capable Bible students who disagree with me on various issues.. Only presumption and arrogance could let me dismiss their interpretations as obviously wrong-headed. I must confront the question as it truly presents itself to me. Can the verse only say what the interpreter wants it to say? Only what the interpreter’s “theological assumptions” demand that it say? This would seem to be the case. As goes your theology, so goes your interpretation of the verse. And this is what I find today within our churches of Christ, a bunch of puffed up, big-headed men, who think they have arrived at a level of Christ Himself; and if you disagree with their “theological assumptions”…hell is your home.
So the question remains: How can so many capable Christians read the same Bible and yet arrive at so many different and conflicting conclusions? If the Bible is the infallible, inerrant word of God, if it is absolutely true, and if it reveals the truth for everyone, everywhere, universally, then why does it seem to say such radically different and contradictory things to the different people who study it? The bottom line is that we are on various levels of understanding-milk to meat.
I can take the book of Romans and have ANY church of Christ assembly read it and guess what: everyone will not arrive at the same “theological assumptions” yet each differing viewpoint appeals to the authoritative teaching of the Bible. Do I write off sincere Christians who disagree with me or haven’t arrived at what I believe to be the right theological interpretation? Could I be so prideful to think I have arrived at some level of understanding that I couldn’t be wrong about some things??
So, here is my question: Name one person Johnny living today that has arrived at a level of perfect understanding of the entire word of God. Here is another question: Show me one “sincere” person in the bible referred to as a false teacher or false brethren, due to them not understanding everything perfectly as you.
This was sent to Johnny too…….and no answer 🙂
The primary meaning of the word false is “not genuine, intentionally untrue, adjusted or made so as to deceive.” There is whale of a difference between an incorrect teaching and a false teaching, and between a mistaken teacher and a false teacher! . A incorrect teaching done by a Baptist or Presbyterian is so much more damning than one taught by a teacher in the Church of Christ! If I brand others who teach misconceptions as being false teachers, then I am implying that I do not teach any misconceptions. How nice a little conceit can make me feel! How prideful of me to think I have met some level that you havent.The Scriptures offer numerous cautions about those who would intentionally teach error in order to build their cases, but those persons were people of evil intention, not some fellows from the cotton patch like me, who were earnestly trying to learn/teach God’s word. The Scriptures speak of false prophets, false brethren, false Christs, and false apostles. They were not false necessarily because of what they were teaching, but because of the role or capacity they were claiming or usurping. These were false men! Their intentions were to deceive. Evidently, fellows like that have not all vanished from the earth. Let’s be sure we do not perpetuate their tribe by our misleading use of those terms which reflect our misconceptions and poor attitudes.. By the frequency of your use of “false teachers,” one might get the idea that it is a favorite term of inspired writers. However, it is used only one time (2 Peter 2:1). And all those “false teachings” – well, my concordance lists not one reference to that term which we have thrown about so loosely. Talk about speaking where the Bible speaks!
I got this message about viewership count and our favorite three programs from someone who knows, and I want to correct my original post with this:
“Concerning audience size, channel 18 is so small that that it’s never been really a big issue. Plus, since 18 is only cable access, there is no official count about viewership. On Star in Reidsville, the only way they can count viewership is to use the number of counties they broadcast to, and estimate the viewership and guesstimate the number, which is normally a lie to enhance ad sales [nathan writes: the person is talking about a practice of the television channel, not the CofC men]. I read your blog about the three kinds of groups that watch the c of C. You are right on about that, except they don’t force anyone from the church to watch. ”
I’m not telling anyone to stop praying at a restaurant, but, perhaps God is !!!
When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father
In restaurants, why don’t church of Christ people, as they bring their fork up to their mouth, in their minds, simply say; Thanks so much for this food God. ? ? ?
And when they’re about to take a drink from a public fountain, (which many times is more revitalizing and needed refreshment than a meal) why don’t they stand in front of the public fountain and bow their head (in front of all the people around them) and start saying a one minute prayer out loud thanking God for the nourishment and immediate quenching of their thirst ? ? ?
Please don’t ever try to convince me that praying in a restaurant has some sort of “evangelistic” value.
And why don’t church of Christ people after they go through the supermarket checkout, and their debit card just flashed “approved”, and their bags of groceries are being handed to them;
Why don’t they then, bow their head, and start praying a one minute prayer out loud, in front of all the other people who are taking their groceries for granted, and thank God out loud for the astounding blessing of them being able to take all those fresh, delicious, healthy, abundant groceries home and feed their families with them ? ? ?
If you have a “true” answer for me, you have no idea how chomping at the bit I am to hear it.
Next time we have lunch (which I hope is fairly soon)(I’ll buy) if you want to say a prayer out loud you’re most welcome, but I’ll pass.
No I’m not ashamed of my incredible Savior, I’m just no longer into doing any more (of many) church of Christ totally illogical “Traditions”.
I can just see a hundred years ago, the families all coming out of church and “all” going to the nearest restaurant for their “Traditonal” Sunday lunch, and sitting down among all the pagans, and the “proud” preacher saying to himself, “I’ll show all these heathens” and commanding all the families around the table to bow their heads while he, surely not quietly, spoke to God (I mean the heathens) and thanked Him for their restaurant meal.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father
And a hundred years later, them church of Christ members are all still strapped to that cart and draggin’ it along into 2008.