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Author Topic: From a Calvinist Perspective: Comments  (Read 3651 times)

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patrick jane

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Re: From a Calvinist perspective
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2019, 11:31:15 am »
In the parable of The Sower, Jesus taught us that salvation was like a seed cast into soil.  The seed reacted with all of the types of soil accept for the hardened path.  The ultimate results was dictated by the type of soil and not the seed.  The seed was faithful to do what it was meant to do and either the soil had what was necessary to carry resulting plant to fruition or it did not.

The good soil was predestined by the farmer to bear fruit but the other types of soil were not.  Do you believe that this sheds any light on predestination?
That's why I use Miracle Gro !!!
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Bladerunner

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Re: From a Calvinist perspective
« Reply #40 on: July 06, 2019, 09:40:28 pm »
In the parable of The Sower, Jesus taught us that salvation was like a seed cast into soil.  The seed reacted with all of the types of soil accept for the hardened path.  The ultimate results was dictated by the type of soil and not the seed.  The seed was faithful to do what it was meant to do and either the soil had what was necessary to carry resulting plant to fruition or it did not.

The good soil was predestined by the farmer to bear fruit but the other types of soil were not.  Do you believe that this sheds any light on predestination?
That's why I use Miracle Gro !!!
😁

To Grace_accepted......you said: "The good soil was predestined by the farmer to bear fruit but the other types of soil were not.  Do you believe that this sheds any light on predestination?"

No, I do not see "predestination" in these passages.but rather the different types of faith that is received.... These parables were for the benefit of the Jewish people present at that time although it applies to our situation today.

Blade





1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
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Grace_Accepted

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Re: From a Calvinist perspective
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2019, 06:38:36 am »
To Grace_accepted......you said: "The good soil was predestined by the farmer to bear fruit but the other types of soil were not.  Do you believe that this sheds any light on predestination?"

No, I do not see "predestination" in these passages.but rather the different types of faith that is received.... These parables were for the benefit of the Jewish people present at that time although it applies to our situation today.

Blade


I know it is possible to extend a metaphor too far but if the seed represents the Kingdom of God and the soil rpresents the mind of the receiver then we could reasonably extrapolate the field as being the sowers predetermined target for his seed.

Certainly he had put thought and effort into preparing that section of ground for his seed. The other types of ground were seeded incidentally because of his efforts aimed at the tilled soil.  The ground could not prepare itself and depended on the farmer to be made ready to receive the seed.

Just some thoughts
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Ted T.

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Re: From a Calvinist perspective
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2019, 10:40:56 pm »
So Ted T. ...after all that you said above, I am still lost on what your position is concerning the Bible and the fact that GOD's WORD said in:

Romans 8:29-30..."For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  v30...Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

If you believe in Jesus and His WORD, the Bible then You have to believe in the above scripture! Simple as that.  You either do or you don't!

Blade



My goodness...you say that as is if it were some great challenge. I believe this is scripture but I bet I do not agree with your interpretation of it. Sit comfy, this is long...

Romans 8:29 For whom HE did foreknow, HE also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of HIS Son. From this verse we can see that the predestination of the elect is based on the foreknowledge of GOD. Now everyone admits that in this verse, the word “fore” means before life. Therefore, they think that it also means before creation as if our earthly life was the same as our created spirit life. I wonder if this is a valid and reasonable link to make?

GOD obviously does not before life know everybody since not everyone will become like Jesus, as Rom 8:29 just said predestination means and as per Matthew 7:21 – 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’  which tells us what knowing means, emphasising the idea that loving is knowing and knowing about has no love.


James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. Jesus obviously knew about the demons and knew about the miracle workers but this knowing contained no love as it is plain, He never knew them. Revelation 20:15, And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  This means that foreknow must carry the idea of approval. As one commentator stated it, “Whom HE foreknew” is virtually equivalent to “whom HE foreloved”.

Now this question comes to mind: if it is true that no one had been created at the time of this foreknowledge, on what basis does GOD "before life" love some and not the rest.
1.   Merit based Election before Creation?
The basis can not be, as some have suggested, some merit in the creatures, first because no one exists yet; second, because the ones HE foreloves will be just as defiled in life as any other; and third, because the Scriptures say election is not on the basis of the creature's works or choices in life, but rather on HIS unmerited favour: Romans 9:11 For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of GOD according to election might stand, not of works, but of HIM that calleth...  Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of GOD that sheweth mercy. Therefore, we can surmise that GOD does not "before life" love some because HE has divined that they will have some merit in their life.

2.  Election to Damnation before Creation Serves HIS Purpose?
Others have suggested that GOD "before life" loved only some because this is more beneficial for HIS purposes than if HE before life loved everyone. The explanation goes something like this:
The loved ones' eternal joy is directly proportional to their knowledge, appreciation, of GOD and the wonderfulness of their salvation. Therefore an increase of good comes forth from the eternal damnation of some persons for by their damnation, that is, the outcome of Adam's decision to sin, and HIS "before life" decision not to love these persons, two types of eternal blessings supposedly occur for the rest.

First, a fuller appreciation of several of God's attributes is made possible, which opportunity wouldn't be possible if all lived forever, that is, if HE "before life" loved them all. These attributes are usually said to be HIS justness (retribution, wrath) holiness and omnipotence.

Secondly, the truth regarding the elect's end apart from Christ's salvation is made fully known, which full knowledge makes possible the fuller appreciation of HIS salvation, for this salvation (hence, HIS mercy too) would not be so fully appreciated without the graphic depiction of both ends. Others even go so far as to say that their damnation is absolutely necessary in order that the purpose of GOD be able to be fulfilled by HIS elect, and they offer this explanation:
In order to live in eternity with GOD, we must live fully in the truth, which necessity necessitates having a perfect appreciation of GOD's attributes and HIS salvation, and that this perfect appreciation by HIS elect creatures is made possible first, only through witnessing HIS triumph over and judgement upon HIS enemies, and second, only when HIS perfection and our life in Christ are contrasted with the complete imperfections of the damned and the end we would have had, had HE not saved us.

Now, these are very hard positions to hold, for they fail on many accounts.

First, they both fail to answer or give a reasonable basis for why HE chose the particular ones HE did and why HE did not choose the rest. In other words, they both deny the faithful and unselfish character of GOD's love, in that they limit it without just cause and look on it as somewhat capricious.

Secondly, they both necessitate the unproven presupposition that it is impossible for GOD to perfect HIS creatures HIMSELF, that HE needs the presence of evil in order to bring HIS creation to its highest potential.  In other words we must accept, for example, that in GOD’S world one has to first be sick in order to be healthy, or sinful in order to be faultless [and the more sinful (or sick) the better].

Third, they both fail to satisfactorily answer the question of how the damnation of millions makes us more appreciative / perfect than would be the damnation of but one, since it is the moral depravity of those in hell that is supposed to make for the increased appreciation, perfection, and not the quantity of persons therein.

Fourthly, they both put a very small value on the worth of the individual creature in the eyes of GOD.

Well, since the reason for GOD's foreknowledge / forelove did not include everyone cannot be found in HIS divination of merit in some creatures and since a reasonable answer has not been put forward for why GOD does it particularly, we are left with but two conclusions; we must either look for the answer elsewhere, in some area we have not looked before, or we must put the basis of HIS foreknowledge down to unreasonable chance. This would mean that there is no reason for HIS particular "before life" love.
 [Aside: as I understand it, this is Calvin's failure to understand this doctrine correctly, especially in his doctrine of UNconditional election]

GOD's election / foreknowing is thus based on eenie, meenie, minie, mo, but how can you put your faith in a GOD like that? How much better to admit that we should start looking in some area we have not looked yet, and since we cannot find any of those, why not finally admit that we need a revelation from GOD to give us an infinitely loving answer to this problem?

Now, according to pre-conception theology, the "before life" love (foreknowledge) of GOD, that is, HIS pre-life approval of some and rejection of the rest is based on the prior uncoerced (that is, free will) choice of the creature (in Sheol, before physical creation)  and on HIS infinite love, which means that HE will never stop loving anyone who can possibly ever come to glorify HIM.  Herein is the reason why HE loved some "before this life" and why HE did not love the rest.

Some had chosen to eternally defile themselves and some had not. Some had decided to never ever fulfil HIS purpose in our creation and some were still able to fulfil HIS purpose, some willingly, (angels) and others only if HE was infallibly gracious (election) to them (His fallen church). Yes and He predestined these to be conformed to the image of HIS Son, and HE predestined the other evil ones for the Day of Judgement and established them for the correction of the fallen elect.

 Now, I ask you, which doctrine is the more scriptural and reasonable and compatible with the attributes of GOD?


2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to HIS own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. This Scripture does not prove that we existed before our conception. The reason I am including it is that I believe that it does not invalidate preconception theology, and I am sure a lot of people will think that it and others like it do.

May I submit that when the Scriptures speak of works in relation to our election, they are referring to only our works after we're born, ie, no one was elected on account of any works they would do in this life.

Now, if there is anyone who would like to disagree with me on this and would like to debate whether Paul intended that our pre-earthly life works were also to be included in the works that were excluded as part of the basis of GOD's election, I would be very interested in seeing your argument. I suppose this isn't necessary, but I would like to (first) point out that any such argument must admit to our pre-existence.

The second thing I would like to point out is that we were called according to HIS purpose. This must mean so that we could fulfil HIS purpose for us.  But if this is so, then there must be an uncoerced choice on our part if we are ever to have the possibility of glorifying GOD. His purpose for us necessitates a free will choice to join, agree to, that purpose or it is a tape recorder type of agreement.

Therefore I say that being called according to HIS purpose and grace is almost exactly the same as saying, being called in accord with our uncoerced choice and HIS covenant, and if making that choice is a work, since earthly works are out, then it is the same as saying, Being called in accord with a pre-conception work and HIS gracious covenant to those who performed that work.

The third thing I would like to point out is that the angels are elected too. 1 Timothy 5:21  I charge thee before GOD and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels... Angels are a lot different than men (at least, that is what many believe), i.e., they do not have what is usually called “racial solidarity”. This means that they have to make all their own choices. No one else can make them for them and they can not be held accountable for someone else's evil choices.  In other words, Adam's choices do not affect them at all (supposedly). Perhaps you would like to tell me on what basis GOD elected  only some of them?

If it was not on the basis of their individual choices, then they had to be elected before the satanic rebellion, at least. But if GOD's election took place before the satanic rebellion, would this not lead us into the pretty incredulous situation of some unblemished creatures being unjustly un-predestined to remain in heaven, (or: predestined for Hell)? And what reasonable basis can we put forward for this situation other than HE simply did not want them to be with HIM forever? This situation does not look too good, does it?

Well then, what if no one was elected before the rebellion, that is, what if GOD's election took place after the rebellion? Then GOD's election took place after they all had made an eternal choice, and presumably that choice would be taken into account when GOD was doing HIS electing. It would have to be if HE was holy and just.

Now, the main thing I am trying to bring out with all of this is that when we just begin to consider the election of angels, we run into some pretty unreasonable implications if we leave out their choice as being a part of the basis of their election, and the only other real alternative necessitates that we accept that their eternal choice was at least a part of the basis of their election.

Well, if you are willing to accept the possibility of their choice / works being a part of the basis of their election, why can that not be a part of the basis of ours too?


May I submit that the only thing going against that possibility is the presupposition that Paul, in  2 Timothy 1:9 is excluding all our works, and I have to admit, that is what it seems to say, that is, what it seems to say until we look at Paul's definition of elective works in  Romans 9:11 For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of GOD according to election might stand, not of works, but of HIM that calleth.

Now, I do not think that I will get much argument when I say that the works of  2 Timothy 1:9 are the same works as are mentioned in this verse in Romans. In other words, Paul defines works the same in both verses. And just how does he define works? Well, in Romans, Paul is referring to Genesis 25:22 And the children struggled together within her. The children are Jacob and Esau, and Paul says that at the time of GOD's statement to Rebecca, to the effect that the elder shall serve the younger, that neither of them had done any good or evil (works).

But the reason Rebecca had prayed to GOD was that she was having such a hard time of it because Jacob and Esau were fighting so much in the womb. Now, if they were fighting, at least one, if not both, had to be being evil, that is, doing evil works, since it is impossible that both were following the Holy Spirit in their struggles with each other. So, although it is possible that neither was being good, it is impossible that neither was being evil. Well now, we either have a blatant contradiction and must dismiss Paul's works theology as being somewhat amiss, or we have to admit that the Pauline definition of works does not exclude pre-birth works from being a part of the basis of our election.

In fact, by his omission of their pre-birth works in those works that are excluded as being a part of the basis of our election, he must be inferring that some pre-birth works have something to do with it. To say this all another way, what we have here in Romans is a classic example of a Scripture with some missing words, that is, what Paul is really saying is, neither having done any good or evil (works on the post-birth side of the womb) that the purpose of GOD according to election might stand, not of works (done on the post-birth side of the womb) but of HIM that calleth (when one is on the post-birth side of the womb).

Thus we can see that Paul did not exclude our pre-birth works from being a part of the basis of our election.
 
Wheat are NOT reborn / regenerate tares !!!

Matt 13:36-43  ...Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

38 the field is the world
good seed are of the kingdom sown by the Son of man
tares are of the wicked one 39 sown by the devil


Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Bladerunner

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Re: From a Calvinist perspective
« Reply #43 on: July 10, 2019, 08:31:11 pm »
So Ted T. ...after all that you said above, I am still lost on what your position is concerning the Bible and the fact that GOD's WORD said in:

Romans 8:29-30..."For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  v30...Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

If you believe in Jesus and His WORD, the Bible then You have to believe in the above scripture! Simple as that.  You either do or you don't!

Blade



My goodness...you say that as is if it were some great challenge. I believe this is scripture but I bet I do not agree with your interpretation of it. Sit comfy, this is long...

Romans 8:29 For whom HE did foreknow, HE also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of HIS Son. From this verse we can see that the predestination of the elect is based on the foreknowledge of GOD. Now everyone admits that in this verse, the word “fore” means before life. Therefore, they think that it also means before creation as if our earthly life was the same as our created spirit life. I wonder if this is a valid and reasonable link to make?

Ted. Yes, foreknowledge would mean before we are born and Yes, in that verse it could and probably does mean before creation yet it does not say so. Our created spirit life begins when GOD breaths the First breath into your nostrils. Or do you think it just happens and you breath that first breath automatically?

Blade





[/quote]
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
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suvel

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Re: From a Calvinist perspective
« Reply #44 on: July 10, 2019, 08:46:56 pm »
Great post Bladerunner, and I too agree with much of the Calvinist doctrine except the free will part. I also find it hard to accept that some people were born to go straight to hell and God knows it ahead of time. Why bring them into the world? I have see some good Calvinist VS Open Theist debates. Maybe we could post a good one here and comment as we watch?

John Calvin was born yesterday 510 years ago in Noyon France.
Seldom has any figure been so universally revered and reviled at the same time.
Mostly he is reviled ( by believers as well) by those who’ve never read him.
Calvin did not make up the word “predestination”.
He found it in Holy Scripture.
It is almost impossible to believe that he wrote Institutes of the Christian Religion in his mid-twenties.
He sustained profundity, intensity and variety on every page at a level unimaginable.
There were over a thousand years between Augustine and Calvin.
It’s been over half a thousand years since Calvin.
Whence cometh such another? It is hard to imagine, yet we await.
Save time. See it my way.
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Bladerunner

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Re: From a Calvinist perspective
« Reply #45 on: July 12, 2019, 08:45:31 pm »
Great post Bladerunner, and I too agree with much of the Calvinist doctrine except the free will part. I also find it hard to accept that some people were born to go straight to hell and God knows it ahead of time. Why bring them into the world? I have see some good Calvinist VS Open Theist debates. Maybe we could post a good one here and comment as we watch?

John Calvin was born yesterday 510 years ago in Noyon France.
Seldom has any figure been so universally revered and reviled at the same time.
Mostly he is reviled ( by believers as well) by those who’ve never read him.
Calvin did not make up the word “predestination”.
He found it in Holy Scripture.
It is almost impossible to believe that he wrote Institutes of the Christian Religion in his mid-twenties.
He sustained profundity, intensity and variety on every page at a level unimaginable.
There were over a thousand years between Augustine and Calvin.
It’s been over half a thousand years since Calvin.
Whence cometh such another? It is hard to imagine, yet we await.
good post suvel

Blade
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
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Ted T.

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Re: From a Calvinist perspective
« Reply #46 on: September 02, 2019, 03:48:30 pm »
 
Ted. Yes, foreknowledge would mean before we are born and Yes, in that verse it could and probably does mean before creation yet it does not say so. Our created spirit life begins when GOD breaths the First breath into your nostrils. Or do you think it just happens and you breath that first breath automatically? Blade

Our creation as spirit persons was loooong before the creation of the physical universe which all the sons of GOD saw Job 38:7 and sang HIS praise.  When the breath from GOD moves sinners from the spirit world into the world of man it is called a sowing, not a creation because the devil sows also.
Wheat are NOT reborn / regenerate tares !!!

Matt 13:36-43  ...Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

38 the field is the world
good seed are of the kingdom sown by the Son of man
tares are of the wicked one 39 sown by the devil


Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Bladerunner

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Re: From a Calvinist perspective
« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2019, 07:25:37 pm »
Ted. Yes, foreknowledge would mean before we are born and Yes, in that verse it could and probably does mean before creation yet it does not say so. Our created spirit life begins when GOD breaths the First breath into your nostrils. Or do you think it just happens and you breath that first breath automatically? Blade

Our creation as spirit persons was loooong before the creation of the physical universe which all the sons of GOD saw Job 38:7 and sang HIS praise.  When the breath from GOD moves sinners from the spirit world into the world of man it is called a sowing, not a creation because the devil sows also.

It seems you have lost all contact for the Bible.  really sad.

Blade
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 06:42:33 pm by Bladerunner »
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

patrick jane

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Re: From a Calvinist Perspective: Comments
« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2020, 10:53:12 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/july/aimee-byrd-genevan-commons-reformed-opc-facebook-comments.html







How a Reformed Facebook Group’s Private Comments Turned Into a Public Dispute












The social media saga involving Aimee Byrd and Genevan Commons calls for discipline, justice, and restoration beyond “cancel culture.”


In an era when swift social media reactions and public repudiations offer an instantaneous form of rebuke and discipline, what role does the church have in holding its leaders and members accountable for online speech?

Aimee Byrd has found herself at the center of this question. The author of Why Can’t We Be Friends?, Byrd has come under fire from some within her Reformed theological tradition for her latest book, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

The fight has largely played out on blogs and in private online discussions, but also has Byrd and her critics each calling for Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) sessions (church elders) to take action.

Two weeks ago, screenshots from a private Facebook group called Genevan Commons were posted on an anonymous website that describes itself as an “archive of reviling, cyberbullying, harassment, sexism, and racism among church officers and laypeople.”

Byrd’s supporters have challenged the harsh comments within the Facebook group’s threads, including remarks that address her motives, appearance, and relationship with her husband. They’ve asked whether the leaders responsible will be held accountable for the remarks.

“We are greatly concerned that officers of the church, who have sworn to be accountable to ‘their brethren in the Lord’ would attempt to hide behind a group that pledges itself to secrecy, as if ‘locker room talk’ could somehow be exempted from the accountability of the church on the basis of an alleged right to privacy,” read a statement signed by several dozen OPC pastors and elders.

Byrd was well known for blogging as “The Housewife Theologian” at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and for co-hosting the Mortification of Spin podcast with Carl Trueman and Todd Pruitt. The Alliance ended its years-long partnership with Byrd earlier this month after she declined to answer questions related to her latest book.

While Genevan Commons represents a small sliver of the Reformed corner of the Christian internet, believers across traditions have followed Byrd’s saga as a case of online chatter turned ugly.

In the quick back-and-forths in posts and comments, arguments over competing doctrine can easily collapse into character assassination and unbiblical speech, said Daniel Darling, author of A Way with Words: Using Our Online Conversations for Good.

“I think a lot of pastors and leaders forget that when they’re online, they’re in public,” said Darling, vice president for communication at National Religious Broadcasters.

Joe Thorn, a pastor and podcaster based in Illinois, said pastors whose discussions and ministry extend online need to become fluent in apologizing for their mistakes. He told CT he’s seen too many fellow pastors respond to online criticism by defending their own stances and growing more convinced of their own righteousness.

Thorn himself has had to apologize, publicly and privately, for things he’s said online. “My life is accountable to the elders and congregation of Redeemer Fellowship,” he said—and that includes the comments he makes on his social media accounts and as co-host of the Doctrine and Devotion podcast.

In Byrd’s case, most of her fiercest critics are OPC pastors and elders. The denomination is relatively small, with about 300 congregations across the US and Canada. As a member, Byrd pledges to submit to the governance of her congregation and “heed its discipline, even in case you should be found delinquent in doctrine or life.”

So far, her leaders have not subjected her to church discipline over her books or blog posts, which she says are in line with the confessions of her faith.

But that hasn’t stopped her critics. When members of the Genevan Commons found Byrd’s accountability lacking, they wrote blog posts with specifics about how to oppose what they described as Byrd’s feminism. Byrd told CT that her detractors called ahead to at least one of her speaking engagements to inform the retreat center of concerns over Byrd’s teachings.

Group leaders have defended their remarks and the Genevan Commons group.

“The idea that I’ve tried to create a place where we are unaccountable is foolish,” wrote Shane Anderson on The Daily Genevan in April. “In life many discussions are considered appropriately private, and yet the Christian ought to know he can be brought to account both by church discipline now and on the day of judgment before Christ. I have no problem with that, and they should stop pretending that I have some secret, hidden agenda or actions.”

The anonymous website GCScreenshots featured not only the Facebook group’s remarks against Byrd and other Reformed women, but also a list of the hundreds of Facebook users who belonged to the group, including the church affiliations of the pastors and elders who were members.

Todd Pruitt, who has publicly defended Byrd, lamented that the hundreds of users who never slandered Byrd appeared on the list of members. Both he and fellow podcast co-host Carl Trueman heard from dozens of men who belonged to the group but didn’t realize it or never commented. One pastor told Pruitt his wife’s employer was contacted over his membership in the group.

Steven Wedgeworth, a Presbyterian Church in America pastor who appeared to make crude comments in a screenshot posted by the site, alleging that the images were edited to omit context or to wrongly indicate that some of his negative comments were about Byrd.

Byrd fired back on her blog last week, disputing Wedgeworth for minimizing the group’s slanderous comments.

“I’m tired of making a case that is blatantly obvious,” wrote Byrd, referencing that multiple sources have surfaced screenshots showing similar patterns of harmful language. “Why do I have to say all this? Why am I the one defending my reputation? When will there be a conversation about qualifications for those in spiritual authority over Christ’s sheep?”

Concerned OPC elders have been working to assemble evidence of sinful speech from the group. Mark Garcia, an OPC minister and president of the Greystone Theological Institute in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, said denominational leaders had contacted him privately for advice on the best way for a presbytery to discipline those who penned the comments in question.

When Garcia saw rude messages in the Genevan Commons group, he says, he left the group and used his personal Facebook page to repudiate the sinful things others said about Byrd. (Former members say the group still exists, but it’s smaller and more tightly moderated.).

Garcia believes it’s fair to critique Byrd’s work online, but a discussion of “the ethics of her behavior, deceit, and the like” does not “belong in those contexts, in social media, or anywhere else except for the one context where the Lord has provided for her accountability: her session,” he told CT.

Garcia is continuing to pray that God will “bring swift justice, peace, and unity to his people in the ministry of his wise Spirit.” He fears the process will be hampered by allegations of slander both on the part of Byrd’s critics and her supporters.

But there’s good reason the church doesn’t match the pace of so-called cancel culture, leaders say. Within the church, the goal of discipline is restoration and growth in godliness, as opposed to in the broader culture, where the goal is punitive silencing and ostracizing.

“The wheels of Presbyterian justice move slowly. There’s wisdom in that,” said Pruitt, who recently deleted his Twitter account out of concern he was spending too much time in fruitless debates. “Sometimes in our zeal to be vindicated we can cause collateral damage that’s ungodly.”

The opportunities to speak out and offer influence also heap additional responsibility on Christian leaders. Just look at the warning of “stricter judgment” in James 3:1, followed by the instructions around taming the tongue, said Darling.

“When you speak online, people are watching. We have to weigh our words,” he said. “We forget that bearing false witness online is an actual sin.”
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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