Monthly Archives: July 2017

28 July

How to disagree with people you love

By |2019-04-11T06:04:58-06:00July 28th, 2017|Uncategorized|64 Comments

Some commenters here wrote recently about disagreeing without being disagreeable. As a result, I thought it would be good to write about how to disagree with people you love. That should be everyone, right? I've actually heard SCOC members mock the saying, "we can disagree without being disagreeable." To them, that's false unity, because disagreeing and remaining brothers in good standing are mutually contradictory. I'll attempt to show you why they are not—in fact brothers in disagreement is the only way we can ever be. That's because the basis of brotherhood is relationship, not shared opinions, and the basis for maintaining that relationship is love. If you love someone as a brother, as a spouse, or as a son or daughter, of course you aren't [...]

26 July

How can a loving God send someone to hell?

By |2019-04-30T09:42:50-06:00July 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|7 Comments

The fierce wrath of God is used a lot by Stanton in their fear campaigns to recruit new members and keep them in line. This abuse of the fear of God, though, is not without cost. Former members and children of members are often left disenchanted with the God of the Bible. How could a loving God torture his own sons and daughters in this place we call hell? Their answer is usually either that there is no God, or if there is, he's certainly not loving. This age-old objection to the Biblical God due to his supposedly harsh judgment of hell is not unique to those who have been impacted by Stanton's bad theology, unfortunately. Answers to this objection by believers have too often [...]

23 July

The unwritten rules

By |2019-04-11T06:06:56-06:00July 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|510 Comments

I'm told that in an August 2002 meeting between Tacoma and Portland, it was admitted by leadership in a talk that the church has a separate set of unwritten rules outside the Bible. (If anyone has audio of this, I'd love to get a digital copy.) I'm happy to hear that Stanton's unwritten rules may have been acknowledged publicly. Why no one has called them out over this horribly unbiblical practice in the 15 long years since it was acknowledge in 2002, I have no idea. I can only presume it has something to do with group-think, or the fear of withdrawal for murmuring, or other intimidation tactics that keep people quiet in the face of ludicrously unbiblical nonsense. Unwritten rules? Really? Non-member classes used [...]

20 July

An open letter to SCOC preachers, teachers, and evangelists

By |2019-04-11T15:23:26-06:00July 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|42 Comments

Dear Stanton leadership, Merie was a big fan of open letters to the leadership of the churches she disagreed with, so I have to assume that this is an acceptable way to communicate with you. Since I have the benefit of the Internet, I'll refrain from mailing copies to members' homes, as she did. (Wasn't that murmuring, by your definition?) I have tried other ways to start a friendly dialogue, including an email in 2004, numerous offers to my mom to have anyone talk to me about the Bible, attempts to engage my sister in simple conversation about the Bible, even offering to have coffee with any church leaders who happen to be visiting here in the Boise area. The silence has been deafening. But [...]

19 July

Rules for relocation

By |2019-04-11T06:09:41-06:00July 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|18 Comments

It has come to our attention that members of Stanton mistakenly believe they are free to relocate their families anywhere they wish. This is simply not the case. God has ordained every member to be a part of the body where he sees fit, and he's clearly put us in charge of telling you where that is. Relocating because of a job, school opportunity, or worldly reason like raising your family in a better community is not allowed under any circumstance, unless it is your unbelieving spouse forcing it on you. This way, they take the blame with God for the unauthorized move, not you. To avoid further confusion, we thought it best to publish an updated list of rules to guide members in relocation [...]

17 July

Rules for prayer

By |2022-11-05T00:25:52-06:00July 17th, 2017|Uncategorized|90 Comments

Prayer is such an important topic, so it's important that we do it right. We would not want anyone talking to their creator as if he's their father, or anything gushy like that. We must always approach the throne of grace cautiously, with a great deal of formality, keeping in mind our own superstitions, cultural norms, and rules of men. Only pray for Stanton members. God has enough on his hands dealing with our little group, we shouldn't burden him with requests regarding non-members we don't even know personally. The only time you can pray for someone NOT in the Stanton Church of Christ is if it's for their salvation. This means you should not pray for your enemies (real Christians have a lot of them), nor [...]

13 July

Did Moses write Genesis—and if so, how?

By |2019-04-11T06:11:02-06:00July 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Was Genesis written by Moses, or mashed up from unknown sources by unknown editors, as proponents of something called the Documentary Hypothesis (DH) would like us to believe? Maybe neither, as it turns out. There is an alternative hypothesis that makes a lot of sense and still allows for the divine caretaking of the history of mankind. Could God have miraculously revealed to Moses direct knowledge of events and private conversations that he himself was not privy to in order to create the book of Genesis? Absolutely. But is that the most likely explanation? Probably not, in my opinion. The Wiseman Hypothesis, sometimes called the Tablet Theory, provides a beautifully simple explanation of how Moses could have come into such detailed knowledge of events that [...]

10 July

The poison pill of bitterness

By |2019-06-11T16:11:20-06:00July 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|13 Comments

There's been some discussion lately about bitterness. I think this is a good conversation to have, and a timely one. My goal here is not to judge anyone for any bitterness they currently feel, but to provide some advice and encouragement to (a) make the decision to struggle against it, and (b) actually take active steps to do it. Why would you want to struggle against it? Because if you don't, you will destroy yourself, not the other person. Bitterness is not something to be messed with. It is a poison pill that will ensure a life of unhappiness for the person who lets bitterness grow in their heart, and will only encourage those who are the targets of their bitterness to justify their behavior. [...]

3 July

Your own personal Independence Day

By |2019-07-06T14:16:24-06:00July 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|101 Comments

1 Corinthians 7:23 - You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. (NIV) Galatians 5:1 - For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (ESV) Being enslaved to human masters can wear on a person. Whether it's having to seek counsel for what color or style of underwear you want to wear (no, I'm not kidding), or whom you marry and when, Jesus didn't buy our freedom only to hand us over to the rabbi class of the so-called One True Church. God created the human spirit to be free, made in his image. Humans need autonomy, and that need matures and grows as we move from our teen [...]