YouTube Fundy vs. Calvinism

Steven L. Anderson, pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Pheonix, AZ, has a very full YouTube page of videos featuring his preaching and teaching ministry. Some of the arguments made in some of the videos, it must be said, range from the average, to the illogical, to the hilariously absurd. StuffFundiesLike featured one of the more amusing ones (view it here), but Fundamentally Reformed once posted on one I’ve yet to see topped (view it here)! Compared to these two, the one I’m posting and commenting on today is rather ho-hum.

In this video, Pastor Anderson presents a few arguments from John 6 and John 15 against the doctrines of God’s foreordination of all things (Ephesians 1:11), predestination to salvation (Ephesians 1:5; Romans 9:23) and reprobation to condemnation (2 Peter 2; Romans 9:22).

Watch the video and interact with his arguments. I’m going to be out of town over the weekend and probably have little access to the internet. If you’re not familiar with the doctrines of Calvinism regarding the sovereignty of God over all things, even the salvation of sinners, feel free to ask questions. They’ll be welcomed and answered with gentleness and respect when I return, unless one of my Calvinist commenters is pleased to interact with you over the weekend (you know who you are–this is your cue!).

Here are the passages Pastor Anderson dealt with. View them for yourself and prayerfully examine their contexts and see the sovereign hand of a God who is not merely a one-dimensional “God of love” who is passive in the face of your sovereign self-determination, but “is love” and just at the same time.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16)

“Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him” (John 6:70-71; cf. Acts 1:16–indicating what Judas was actually chosen for).

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39 responses

  1. There may be a good reason for the sitting down, John!

    Well, let me be blunt. If I don’t have trousers on, I am sitting down because the spatter spray goes backwards and forwards and sidewards and upwards and yes downwards other than in the tankwards and then, sometimes, well, sometimes after a hard days workin’ like a man, I just am so tired I don’t want to stand up and be a man! 🙂

  2. Well, this theological exchange is off to a dignified start. Knew I could count on you, Michael. Thanks for checking in. How boring life would be without the color commentary, huh?

  3. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

  4. Brandon,

    Doesn’t surprise me a bit. What do you make of it?

  5. At some point you’d think he would have just got out of the car. Crazy.

    Re: the clip in the post, I chuckled at the line about these Calvinists think God’s actually controlling everything in the world.

    Gen. 50:20 comes to mind, as does 1 Sam. 2:25 which I read this morning.

  6. I cease to be amazed…most of the time..but then you guys uncover these litle gems…
    The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things and beyond cure.

  7. I just saw the “don’t taze me bro” clip…Made me think of Romans 13.

  8. Ok, ah, “agree with thine adversary while you are in the way with him”, is that KJV’s translation?

    ah, Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
    Tit 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men.

    I suppose no one reminded him that law enforcement have some new rules, for the good of the people, seeing we are a nation still at war and things are smuggled into the United States from the borders north and south?

    Oh yeah, ah, what about these well beloved Calvinist verses? Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
    Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
    Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
    Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
    Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
    Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
    Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
    Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

    Boy, it was close; I thought sure when he started talking about asking to use the toilet room, he was going to go off on that thing, ah, you know, the teaching in the other video about releasing his bladder full, while standing up like a man? 🙂

  9. Real men say, “Yes, officer.” Sorry, just DIDN’T resist!

  10. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    I actually support him on the interaction with the officers. Look for the video of the Ron Paul campaign staffer who was detained at the airport for having $4,000 in cash. I know it wouldn’t hurt to just comply. . . but I don’t mind somebody asserting their 4th amendment rights.

    I reject the concept that you should “just answer the question if you don’t have anything to hide”. Most people assume guilt of anybody choosing to use the 5th amendment and look accusingly at anybody defending their 4th amendment rights.

    Regarding most of this preacher’s sermons that I’ve seen, he just comes across as very unlearned. He’s trying hard to be controversial and ends up looking silly. In one sermon, he goes on a rant against “Little House on the Prairie” and falsely claims that Michael Landon died of AIDS.

    I think spending too much time refuting him falls into the category of not answering a fool according to his folly. . . except, of course, in a case like this where you’re using it as an opportunity to further concretize and elaborate solid teaching for the edification of yourself and others.

  11. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    Also. . . another blatant misunderstanding of a “whosoever will” passage.

  12. Sure, folks have the right to disagree about such matters. Thanks for your thoughtful perspective.

  13. Brandon,

    You’re right that Anderson “blatantly misunderstands” Revelation 22:17 when it says, “let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”

    John 6:44 provides the rest of the story that helps us understand the ability of those who come to desire to take the water of life without price in Rev. 22:17. Jesus himself explains that those who do “come” (which parallels those “desiring to take the water of life”) have been “drawn” by the Father.

    You and I both know that when Jesus says the Father must “draw” those who come, he means that the Father must give him the desire to come, and the ability to trust in Christ.

    In verse 37 of chapter 6, we have Christ’s promise regarding those who come. “All that the Father gives me will come to me.” In other words, those the Father draws are those who, in Rev. 22:17, will come to desire to take the water of life without price.

    Just because God chooses does not mean that the ones he chooses somehow come against his own will–God frees him to desire to come and take the water of life without price!

  14. We are believers first…therefore Rom. 13 trumps the 4th amendment…We are citizens of 2 kingdoms…and even if the govt. says I have to do something…as long as it doesn’t force me to break God’s commands…I must submit…even if it violates my 4th amendment rights.

  15. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    “We are believers first…therefore Rom. 13 trumps the 4th amendment…We are citizens of 2 kingdoms…and even if the govt. says I have to do something…as long as it doesn’t force me to break God’s commands…I must submit…even if it violates my 4th amendment rights.”

    I think it’s an invalid compromise.

    Romans 13 doesn’t trump the 4th amendment, it validates it. We should be subject to the authority of the land. . . our supreme civil law comes from The Constitution and its amendments. These peace officers were in violation of the very law that Romans 13 says we should subject ourselves to. They had no probable cause and effected a search of his property because he refused to answer their questions – questions that he is legally allowed under The Constitution NOT to answer. They beat him in the process of violating his rights.

    It is because Romans 13 allows me – nay – compels me to follow The Constitution that I feel he acted correctly in not allowing these officers to infringe on his rights. I am normally an advocate for law enforcement in every way. . . but I am seeing an increasing amount of tramping on the rights guaranteed to us by the same government that granted those rights.

    An agent of the government acting outside of their proper authority is not covered under Romans 13. You would not submit to the city dog catcher imprisoning your children, or to a county clerk towing your vehicle from your driveway.

    If we lived in a monarchy, a dictatorship, or some other governing body that did not recognize these rights to privacy, then a Christian should comply with these orders based on Romans 13. As is stands, we are called to submit to the GOVERNING authority. We do so by following the laws that they have passed – even those that empower us over the government.

    Another good example is the 5th amendment. You can be completely honest, never lie, be completely guilty, and yet refuse to give the government incriminating evidence about yourself. Even if they ask you to incriminate yourself, the 5th amendment gives you protection from them compelling evidence from you. You have no obligation to “confess” to them. Whatever you do say must be the truth, but Romans 13 goes both ways – we must submit to authority when it doesn’t benefit us, but we are allowed to use ALL of the laws that protect us if they are in place.

    The dude is dead wrong on God’s sovereignty. . . but was completely justified during the traffic stop.

  16. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    Here’s the other video I referenced: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMB6L487LHM

    This is what I was referring to when I said that I reject the logic behind “If you don’t have anything to hide, why do you care if they search your stuff / tap your phone / censor your speech”.

    Here’s another example of law enforcement not understanding the law when it pertains to what citizens are legally required to provide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXnK5UyRI

    The above guy is a little more confrontational and uncooperative, but he knows his rights. Since he is walking and not driving, he is only required to give law enforcement his name and city of residence. If he were driving, he would have to provide a driver’s license, proof of insurance, and possibly registration information (depending on state laws). If he were flying, he would have to provide his destination city and willing submit to a metal detector search.

    There seems to be a movement of people standing up against encroachment of their civil liberties. . . 1st amendment, 2nd amendment, 4th amendment, 5th amendment, 9th amendment, etc. It goes right in hand with the states trying to reassert their rights under the 10th. That might give a little more background for the preacher in Arizona’s legally justified actions during his traffic stop.

    Of course all of these incidents might have been resolved quickly with cooperating – but they are trying to make a point. The government agents are essentially saying, “This will be a lot easier for you if you let me infringe on your rights for a few seconds. Fully exercising your rights will make me look at you with a cloud of suspicion.”

  17. “we are allowed to use ALL of the laws that protect us if they are in place.”

    …I’m curious…while I agree that is my right as an American, I’m curious where you get that from Romans 13? I Peter seems to say something different.

    1 Peter 2:13…”Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority
    instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to
    governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend
    those who do right.”

    Do the police count as “every authority”?

    “If we lived in a monarchy, a dictatorship, or some other governing body that did not recognize these rights to privacy, then a Christian should comply with these orders based on Romans 13.”

    Again, as an American I like that distinction, I just don’t see where you get that from Romans 13. Monarchy/dictator/president/governor/councilman/police officer all seem to be a governing authority. The only out we have as Christians (not Americans) seems to be in Acts 5 when Peter is told to stop preaching Christ and he said we must obey God rather than man in that case.

    As far as the preacher is concerned, I just can’t get past verse 3 of Romans 13.

    “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.”

    It seems to me that if he had nothing to hide, and he allowed the police to search his car, he would have been fine, and his actions would have been commended by the police and Romans 13:3.

    I agree our rights are being violated everyday, and it’s fairly easy to say we should submit. I hate submission, especially to a government who over-taxes…and endorses the shedding of the blood of innocent while negating the justice that should be in force for those who commit murder. I get that. But…if the Christians in Rome, who were being lit up like candles in Nero’s garden must submit, I find it very hard to say, because I have a constitution, I don’t have to submit to a local governing authority like a cop. Peter says we have to submit to all of them. Everyone of them. Paul says if we don’t, we are in rebellion against God.

    If a dog-catcher stole my daughter or my car, I would use the rights I have a citizen to reclaim the car and the daughter, but not in that order…

    Good Banter…

    Gage Browning

  18. You guys are getting over my head, but I must say I tend to agree with Gage on this one. Matthew 5:41 occurs to me in the context of this discussion. “And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” Are they violating my liberties if I consent to going above and beyond what I’m required to do?

  19. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    This is more than semantics. . . I keep appealing to Romans 13 because it references the governing body.

    Policemen don’t govern. They enforce laws, but sadly, often have a lack of understanding of the laws. The governing body would be the government at all levels: Federal, state, county, municipal, and local across all branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The governing body would include the people holding these offices of authority as well as any edicts, orders, laws, regulations, or court rulings (common law) that come with the authority of these offices.

    A policeman acting outside of the authority given to him by the governing body is no longer acting as an agent of the entity he represents anymore than a janitor can issue new stock on behalf of the company that employs him. A judge cannot tell you what color shirt to wear. The president cannot make a law making a dinner you had last week illegal. A dog catcher cannot imprison your child. A soldier cannot order you to landscape his yard. A firefighter cannot take your vehicle without consent.

    I was using these examples to demonstrate that somebody might be a legitimate officer of the government in one aspect, but if they overstep the bounds and scope of their authority, then their orders are not binding to you. Disobeying these orders is not a failure to submit because the orders do not carry the authority of the governing body.

    I was using Romans 13, in effect, to show that whatever system of government you find yourself in, honor those rules. The entire system. Our system gives us avenues to impact the government for changes we would like to see. Are you failing to submit if you plan a grassroots organization, garner interest in your topic, and get officials who agree with you elected to office? Of course not! You are working within the system that governs you to effect change.

    In the same way, our system affords us certain protections and expressly forbids agents of the government from performing certain acts. I believe that we ARE submitting to this system established by the governing body when we freely exercise all of the rights granted to us under it. You can be respectful to the people you encounter while exercising your rights.

    I do submit myself to the authority of police officers. But what happens when a conflict arises within our system of government? We should submit to the highest authority. If a police officer and The Constitution are in disagreement, then the police officer is wrong. His commands are rendered invalid. I must submit to the governing authority. . . I believe that Mr. Anderson did.

    John, it’s good to see that you will be paying 2x your required taxes this year. 🙂 haha.

  20. I advocate voluntarily submitting on the personal level at the moment an agent of the governing body (according to your description above) is requiring you to do so, even if you perceive he’s exceeding his authority (again on the basis, or in the spirit of, Matt. 5:41), then, working politely, patiently and persistently to redress whatever grievances you may have about his treatment of you. That’s what I believe best honors God’s call to submit (even to the unjust) while exercising your liberty to work toward greater justice in the future.

    Regarding your reference to my paying twice the taxes this year, I voluntarily submitted, and my presence at my local tea party last week manifested my intention to work toward greater justice in taxation in the future. Is it 2010 yet?

  21. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    lol – only joking on the taxes.

    I would bet that you are willing to submit only to a certain degree in the actual moment at the personal level.

    I can think of outlandish circumstances far to graphic for such a civil discussion in which you would certainly cease to acquiesce. They might approach absurdity, but their relevance to the point as a hypothetical would be substantive. Plus, we can both agree that the extent and degree of human depravity knows no bounds. . . so we should never underestimate the extremes that one deviant agent of the law might be capable of.

    I personally try to be as nice as possible and try to get the officer to smile or laugh. I would rather expedite my interaction with them, have a chance of getting my violation reduced to a warning, and go about my day cheerfully.

    I can’t fault somebody else, however, whose convictions are such that they want to exercise their rights to the fullest.

    What if we were in a free speech area (common on college campuses) and an officer happened to just not like what we were saying. If he asked you to leave, would you? It might make less of a scene, even if he had no grounds on which to ask you to leave. I do agree with the open-carry fellow from New Hampshire who said that if we fail to exercise our rights, we will lose them.

  22. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    Agree that this has been a good discussion.

  23. So, where does predestination fit into all this? 😉

  24. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    I’ll get to those when I have more time. . . 🙂

  25. “The governing body would be the government at all levels: Federal, state, county, municipal, and local across all branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The governing body would include the people holding these offices of authority as well as any edicts, orders, laws, regulations, or court rulings (common law) that come with the authority of these offices.”

    So a policeman is not an authority “instituted among men”?

    “The president cannot make a law making a dinner you had last week illegal. A dog catcher cannot imprison your child. A soldier cannot order you to landscape his yard. A firefighter cannot take your vehicle without consent.”

    I agree that they shouldn’t…I agree the constitution agrees that they shouldn’t…I agree that any fair minded person would agree that they shouldn’t…I just don’t think the text agrees with any of those assertions. Romans 13 was written to Christians being plundered, and burned at the stake. There would have been a great swell of anti-governmental submission in the Church, and Paul squelched it.

    “Our system gives us avenues to impact the government for changes we would like to see. Are you failing to submit if you plan a grassroots organization, garner interest in your topic, and get officials who agree with you elected to office? Of course not! You are working within the system that governs you to effect change.”

    Did someone make that argument? I didn’t.

    “but if they overstep the bounds and scope of their authority, then their orders are not binding to you.”

    Again…where do you get that? It seems to me the only out any of us have is if we are commanded to do something contrary to God’s commands.

    “The entire system. Our system gives us avenues to impact the government for changes we would like to see.”

    Unless that govt. turns into Tyranny? Unless that govt…lights Christians on fire? Paul doesn’t allow for that out. Neither does Peter imop.

  26. Cap’n,
    Predestination? Was this about that? Sorry..
    Does it maybe fit under the counsel of God?

  27. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    Gage,
    I hope you know I’m trying to be very logical and procedural with my approach. . . so I hope you won’t take this as condescending. I’m going to hit “reset” and try to clarify the angles I’m coming from.

    What is a governing body or authority? Let me ask you a few questions – some of them will seem absurd. I’ll tell you my angles so you know I’m not playing word games.

    1) What if an armed man took you hostage? Is he your governing body? Do you submit to him? Would you work to free yourself? Would you cooperate with what you determine to be a more legitimate governing body (the police or military) to subvert him? I’m asking this to determine a) scale of authority before being legitimate and b) source of power to govern.

    2) What if a general of the army got an entire division to follow him in a coup de taut? What if they took control of our town? Would you recognize them as the governing authority? Would you submit to them? Would you work to subvert them if you by trying to restore the former rule of law in the land if you could (say, if the rest of the military was formulating a strategic response)? I’m asking this, again, to determine a) scale of authority before being legitimate and b) source of power to govern. If your answer is different that for #1, why?

    3) What if a police officer went nuts while on-duty and went through a shopping mall randomly killing innocent bystanders? Would you recognize him as the governing authority if you were in the mall? Would you submit to him? Would you be willing to try to stop him by yourself? Would you work to subvert him if you could (by cooperating with other law enforcement entities that would surely be focused on stopping him)? I’m asking this to determine the the same a) and b) from earlier along with c) what if somebody with an official position of authority becomes a rogue and steps outside of their given authority to act as an agent for the government, and d) what if there are two parties both claiming to have ruling / governing authority, and they are contradicting one another (the rogue policeman versus the rest of law enforcement)? Surely it’s not just “majority rules”, is it?

    4) What if the above situation was a retired law enforcement officer that still had possession of his badge? Would your answers change? If so, why? I’m asking this to illustrate the obvious point that his power and authority are not derived from his badge or his physical power (in this case, a firearm) over you.

    The authority for people to act as agents of the government are expressly enumerated by our laws. Any official who oversteps their bounds ceases to act with the authority of our government.

    These are the points I was getting at with my earlier approach. I agree that if we live under a tyranny, we submit to that tyranny, even to the point of torture or martyrdom.

    I am submitting that we live in a very unique situation. We live in a situation where – when one person steps beyond their stated authority – they cease to have the backing of the law and the governing body behind them.

    In fact, the law we submit to and are governed by specifically empowers average citizens with the ability to make arrests when witnessing certain crimes i.e. aggravated felonies. In the case of scenario #3 or #4, you would actually have the authority (although not likely the ability) to make an arrest of the police officer! This would not violate Paul or Peter’s commands!

    In scenario #2, if the U.S. Government cedes the territory to the general, then he would become our de facto governing authority, and we would have to submit to him, no matter how severe the consequences. But at what point would stop recognizing the U.S. government as your authority and begin recognizing the general? When the tanks rolled in? If so, how is this different from the 1:1 hostage situation? When the U.S. government cedes the land to him? If so, in my estimation, you have agreed with my premise that a rogue actor does not by default maintain his status as a governing authority – given to him by his position – when his actions go beyond his expressed (or even implied) authority.

    I’m not trying to mock you by coming up with these extreme examples; they honestly help to illustrate the nuances of the case I’m trying to make.

    My contention has been that we are to support to the rule of law at all levels according to Romans 13 (and according to Peter). In our very specifically unique circumstance, however, there are many times that somebody in a position of authority will voluntarily remove themselves from authority through their actions. Because of our system of laws that we are allowed and compelled to uphold, in these cases, we are no longer to submit to our aggressor. If we lived under any other system that failed to provide us such recourse or protection, I would not try to stand on such a point.

    If somehow the U.S. became an actual tyranny, it would most likely happen at the Federal level through an iterative process, or through an outright military overthrow. Aside from that happening, our system prevents a local police officer from being viewed as representing the government when acting tyrannical. Instead, by acting tyrannical, he has actually put himself in opposition to the system of laws to which we are subject.

    Police officers derive their authority from the laws we have passed. In some governments, the aberrant actions of a police officer (or judge, legislator, etc.) would be accepted as changing the status quo. Not so in our system.

    You asked me:
    “Again…where do you get that? It seems to me the only out any of us have is if we are commanded to do something contrary to God’s commands.”

    In response to my statement:
    “but if they overstep the bounds and scope of their authority, then their orders are not binding to you.:

    This is because – in the U.S. – our laws – our governing body – our authority – have set the boundaries around the authority of the different offices. I was trying to demonstrate this with the dog catcher imprisoning somebody. He is an agent of the government – but his authority from the government only applies as far as the scope of his duties. If he tries to take you captive, then you are not subject to his authority. Even if his commands are not contrary to God’s commands, our laws – our governing body – our civil authority – has ruled that this dog catcher does not have the ability to issue commands beyond the scope of his position. The same is true for any government employee or contractor.

    We have volumes of laws that do nothing but limit the scope of authority of different offices within our government. Any command by a government official outside of their scope is an invalid command, and this invalid command is not issued with the backing of the government’s authority. In other systems, this would not be true. Again, we are in a very unique situation.

    I don’t want to belabor the same points, but I hope this clarified the common thread I was weaving throughout my earlier, more disjointed discussion.

    My point regarding changing our system from the inside was not suggesting that you had made an argument to the contrary. I was trying to demonstrate that we do not submit to an infinite degree as people who are subject to rulers who give citizens no opportunity for input do. . . because of our unique setup, we are actually players with specific and varying roles in our governing authority. We can run for office, recommend changes, propose legislation, bring lawsuits, vote, and even make citizens’ arrest when necessary. Praise God that he predestined us (tie in for John) to live in such a specific time and place in history (Acts 17:26).

  28. Brandon,

    Honestly, and with all due respect, the lengths to which you’re going to make your point may actually be undermining your credibility. I fear it’s getting into the realm of making God’s Word ineffective by American legalese.

  29. Gage,

    Regarding the relevance to Calvinism, we’ll just let this be a lesson in the fact that Calvinism is much, much more than the five points of Calvinism. It’s the whole counsel of God. So, yes, it fits under the counsel of God.

  30. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    John – I only went to those lengths because it is a very articulated point that I was trying to make. In face-to-face dialogue, I think we could have all reached a consensus within 20 minutes. Over the Internet, I have to be precise with the words and arguments I use to stay consistent, thorough, and on-track.

    I have continued with my follow-ups because I felt the nuances of my points were not being clearly communicated as evidenced by the responses I got.

    I would never put American Legalese as a trump to God’s Word. I am not trying to redeem American culture. I am also not antagonistic towards government.

    I realized that I never explained fully what I agreed with and what I didn’t agree with from the Pastor’s explanation of the events:
    – He should have gotten out of the car. This is a reasonable request, has nothing to do with your rights, and would have deescalated the situation.
    – When told he was being taken into custody, he should have submitted.
    – He was right to refuse their intimidation to voluntarily submit to a search. You can do this respectfully. If they wanted to search his things, obviously they were going to. He was right to refuse to consent. It’s up to them to prove they had probably cause (but not to him at the time).
    – He was right to refuse to answer questions if he chose to.

    Maybe if I had clarified this at the beginning, we wouldn’t have even gotten into the discussion, but I’ve still found it interesting. Most of the people I’ve seen responding to your blog will agree on the Calvinism aspect of the original post, so this has been an interesting discourse.

    By the way, I am never worried that too much evidence in support of my case will ever start to undermine it. Either the points have logical merit or they don’t. 🙂 Logic is not from American legalese. . . it is part of the order of Creation that emanates from our God being logical and consistent. I’ll refer you to Alan Keyes vs. Barack Obama for evidence of the one winning the logical debate while losing the style points for rhetoric. . . I might have lost style points through my tedious elaboration, but to the people keeping score at home, they know who made a closed case for their side. 🙂

    I agree that this one has pretty much run its course unless somebody has questions or wants me to clarify anything I said.

  31. Gage, I “hear” you!

    Brandon, are you not missing the point here?

    Here’s the point of the “Law” as “lived” by us who are “free from it”. Note both verse 14 and 23 :::>

    Gal 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
    Gal 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
    Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
    Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
    Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
    Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
    Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
    Gal 5:21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

    And to boot, let’s not forget Paul rather strange way of “upholding” the Law, here:::>

    Rom 3:28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
    Rom 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
    Rom 3:30 since God is one–who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
    Rom 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

    Ok, which is it then? “the Law”? or “the Gospel”?

    my answer: BOTH!

    That Pastor, if one would want to elevate him to such a glorious position before me, got what was coming to him purely because he was trying to manipulate God’s servants and to boot, during a time of war!

    He’s lucky they did not have an “accident” and something worse happen to him.

    What? Do you honestly believe those men, whether or not they are Christians, would tolerate such nonsense and foolishness?

    Even with the Holy Ghost and Christ in you, we daily “pick” up a cross and “die” to ourself!

    Is this the Pure Gospel message? Yes, why yes it is!

    Oh yeah, Gage, you probably know this Greek word, but just in case you forgot it or don’t know it, here it is:::>

    magistrate:

    Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

    πειθαρχέω
    peitharcheō
    pi-tharkh-eh’-o
    From a compound of G3982 and G757; to be persuaded by a ruler, that is, (generally) to submit to authority; by analogy to conform to advice: – hearken, obey (magistrates).

    I would encourage a self-exam here in light of Romans 13 and Titus 3!

    Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
    Rom 13:4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

    Clearly, it is my opinion and judgment that that man was a wrongdoer in that instance at the check point with the Border Guards and Law “enforcement” agents.

  32. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    Michael – I agree exactly with your point. You have to investigate US law to find WHO is a “Magistrate” and in what capacity. Then you’ll have the whole picture!

  33. The reason I stated what I feared was that the fine-toothed comb through which you’re running the question “Who is a magistrate?” is about as fine as the comb through which some ran the question “Who is my neighbor?” with Jesus. I’m just saying it’s overkill and undermines it, not from any particular logical inconsistency, but in the eyes of others it looks like trying too hard to find an excuse. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly appreciate the inflated comments numbers–doesn’t happen around here all that often. But to me, the more you try, the less persuasive you are.

  34. Did God in His providence not give us the 4th Amendment to protect us from over zealous government? I do not think as Christians we are to voluntarily abandon the rights God in His providence has allowed us to enjoy. As an example I would cite that Paul used his right as a Roman citizen several times and even in the manner of his execution.

  35. Earlier today I was reviewing Anderson’s YouTube page looking for more information about his incident. In his Favorites, the video Anderson took of at least part of the actual conversation he had with the officers reveals some of the arguments used by the officers regarding their right to detain him, and their right on the grounds of “mere suspicion” to search his car. When Anderson asked their grounds for mere suspicion, they said it was his uncooperative behavior in and of itself and his interfering with a federal investigation, and further, that in refusing to move his car out of the lane of travel for inspection, he is violating the law by blocking said lane, for which the Arizona State police were at that moment on their way to cite him. This video does not include the violent extraction of Anderson from his car, but sheds a little light on Anderson’s uncooperative behavior and their lengthy attempts to reason with him before they took action.

    Sorry, Brandon and Doug, although your arguments are compelling and intelligent, I still believe Anderson aggravated the situation unnecessarily. Perhaps the tazers shouldn’t have been used, but I guess that’ll be settled in court.

    Fourth amendment or no, I still think it’s right for a Christian to submit to officers who are trying to follow their procedures, and are willing to calmly explain themselves and the legality of their procedures before resorting to the use of force. This is abundantly clear in this video.

  36. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    Very interesting Supreme Court case decision from April 21 related (indirectly) to this very matter:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/us/22scotus.html?_r=3&ref=us

  37. Brandon M. Fickle | Reply

    John,
    I agree with you – the problem here is that the pastor doesn’t seem very bright or eloquent. He’s probably seen similar videos and doesn’t understand how his action are different.

    I’ll shift my arguments from last week to say that I fully support these two guys (previously posted in an earlier comment of mine):

    I reject the idea that refusing to answer a question makes you look suspicious enough to then merit probably cause for search – which is the normal standard. Anderson was in a special situation at the border checkpoint, so different rules were in play.

    I was wrong to lump him in with the other two guys without knowing the rest of his story.

  38. Doug,

    I recognize that it is gracious of God to provide us with the rights we have today. However, I don’t believe we as Christians should engage in conduct unbecoming of a Christian in our appeal to those rights. The scenarios in which the apostle Paul appealed to his rights as a Roman citizen do not quite compare with Pastor Anderson’s.

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