Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So... close...

Barring any legal hijinks by the Republicans, it looks like the Democrats are going to pick up both the House and the Senate.


As far as I can tell, CNN has the best online coverage of the election results. They're also carrying some interesting exit poll data. For example, here's a snippet from their U.S. HOUSE SOUTH EXIT POLL:

Protestant (70%)42%57%

White Protestants (54%)32%66%

Yes (49%)41%58%

Yes (35%)28%71%

Well allrighty.


ConcernedEngineer said...

How about a poll for "Born-Again-Evangelicals-who-believe-that-the-Bible-is-the-Word-of-God-and-who-go-to-Bible-believing-Bible-preaching-churches-just-about-every-week-and-who-read-their-Bibles-consistently-and-who-pray-regularly-and-who-have-people-in-their-lives-to-whom-they-have-confessed-personal-sins-in-the-past-6-months"?

I'm just spiff-balling here, but I would think that less than 15% of that crowd would ever vote for the party of Nancy Pelosi, radical secularism, and unlimited abortion.

On the other hand, the vast majority of those who openly and proudly treat Christ with contempt are celebrating today.

On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

God bless.

Connor said...

Don't forget about the gays concernedengineer, I saw some of those bastards walking tall today.

Jeff said...

--Note: This comment was also posted on another blog--

Isn’t it intersting that there are no outcrys of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement today? No charges of voter fraud and cheating. That’s all you heard from the left after the 2000/2002/2004 elections.

We conservatives take our medicine and move forward.

Matthew said...

@jeff - "Isn’t it intersting that there are no outcrys of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement today?"

I don't think it's particularly interesting. I expect the repubs did so many obnoxious things before the election, they're not interested in rehashing those in a post-election investigation.

Or maybe the dems just didn't try to disenfranchise voters, and so there's nothing to complain about.

Matthew said...

@CE - "On the other hand, the vast majority of those who openly and proudly treat Christ with contempt are celebrating today."

Well crap. And just as we were on the cusp of America once again becoming a Christian Nation.

Too bad Haggard had to screw it up for everybody.

Or was it Foley?

Or maybe Abramoff?



Gross incompetence?


ConcernedEngineer said...


I stand against the Democratic Party, not for the Republicans.

Tell me: Do you believe the politics is a moral science?

If you do, then on what or who do you rely to inform you about what is "morally right"?

Do you divide your life up into a secular compartment and a sacred compartment? Is Jesus your Lord in all aspects of your life or just in the "sacred" aspects of life? Is not human life itself sacred? Is there any room for secularism when all of life is sacred?

Do you think that Jesus is okay with women killing their babies?

Or is it that you think Jesus is okay with homosexuality?

Of course, I doubt very much that we serve the same Jesus. My Jesus openly endorsed the Old Testament. Your construct that you call Jesus apparently does no such thing. So, I don't know where you are getting your ideas about Jesus, but if you are looking to follow the example of Jesus - as revealed in Scripture - well, when tempted, He quoted three obscure Scriptures from Deuteronomy. He also endorsed all the prophets and righteous men from Abel to Zechariah (that about covers the OT). And He celebrated Passover (that's when all the firstborn of Egypt experienced God's holy and just wrath). He also celebrated Hanukah (which also involved violence).

It sounds to me that you really don't want to follow all of Christ's teachings - just the ones that you happen to like. But then you might as well make up your own religion. If that is what you are doing, at least be honest about it - to yourself at least. But if you are going to say that you want to follow the teachings and example of Christ, then it seems very inconsistent to start picking and choosing which of the teachings to follow and which to ignore or disobey.

Am I missing something here?

No offense. Any disagreement that we have is strictly in the arena of ideas. I hold nothing against you personally. I just have major problems with your philosophy and theology.

God bless.

Matthew said...

@CE - "Am I missing something here?"

I think so, but I can't figure out exactly what it is.

Matthew said...

Empathy, maybe?

Jeff said...

Nah -- I think it's because Demeecrats are sore losers. If they lose, they must have been cheated.

As I said, we conservatives just take our medicine and move forward.

Oh wait! I found One! But alas, it is another Democrat complaining about losing...

Matthew said...

@Jeff - "another Democrat complaining about losing..."

Ok ... so I'll accept that you've proven that Democrats are whiners, if you'll accept that I've proven that Republicans are racists who resort to underhanded, mudslinging, scare-campaigns. =P

Connor said...

Quite a good point concernedengineer. We need a real party on the side of us bible believing, confessing sins at least every six months Christians. A party willing to stand up for all of God's laws.

No more legal sex outside of marriage. Anyone who gets a divorce unless the spouse cheats shall be fined and/or imprisoned (taking beatings from a spouse no exception).

Just a hint at what is truly needed.

shane said...

Not to mention headcoverings for ALL women AND mandatory snake handling AND poision drinking.

Fundamentalists read texts out of context. That's why culture ignores them.

Connor said...


You must be one of those scripture interpreters. True Christians do not interpret the bible, they just read what it says. Simple as that.

ConcernedEngineer said...


I let it be known right away that any disagreement with you is in the arena of ideas. I have nothing against you personally. Those who know me, know me to be a friendly guy. Direct / blunt / but still friendly.

You suggest that I lack empathy. Well, sir, let me know. How can I serve you in a way that is honoring to the Christ of the Scriptures? While I may disagree with some of your ideas, I am committed to honoring and supporting you - the person.

I just said a prayer for you.

Matthew said...

Thanks, CE. But I didn't really mean empathy for me in particular. I meant empathy in general ... if you think God is first and foremost an empathetic God ... if you think that's the primary revalation in the incarnation ... I think it leads you to read the Bible differently.

In addition to that theological difference, we probably have some substantial worldview differences, too. So I don't expect that arguing a particular issue is going to make either of us change our minds about anything.


ConcernedEngineer said...


The way I see it is this: I probably have some things that I can learn from you, and I probably have a few things that I can teach you. God knows that I am extremely far from perfect. And I suspect that the Holy Spirit says, "Amen" to you when you suggest that I need to be more empathetic. I receive that that word of admonition and ask for your prayers.

Proverbs says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

One of my best friends in college was a hardcore 5-point Calvinist. I went into college pretty big on the whole free will idea. We debated for four years. At the end of 4 years, I now consider myself somewhere between a 4 and a 4.5 point Calvinist, and my buddy hasn't budged at all. But we were good friends, and by debating, we both pushed each other to think about things more deeply and to study the Scriptures more and to pray more earnestly. When I got married, this guy was in my wedding party.

If I am wrong, then it ought to be pointed out to me where and how I am wrong; that's what my friends do for me. If you are in error, do you not desire that someone would show you your error?

While God is very empathetic, I would submit to you that God is first and foremost holy. To be holy means to be set a part for God's purposes. What are God's purposes? God's ultimate purpose is to preserve the worth of His glory. What is God's glory? God's glory is hard to define. Unless God reveals Himself to us, it is hard to really talk about God's glory. But I would say that God's glory is the manifold excellencies and perfections of His nature. And so, by being holy, God is set a part for His own purpose. He is set a part to preserve the excellencies and perfections of His own nature.

And that nature is very empathetic and compassionate and merciful as well as just.

At the cross we see the justice of God and the mercy of God. The cross is a stumbling block for Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

I think that many people have a view of God that is only or primarily merciful. But they fail to recognize His justice and thus have a distorted view of God (not to mention a distorted view of mercy).

Scripture teaches that Christ celebrated the Passover. What do you suppose this tells us about the nature of Jesus? Or do you think that this part of Scripture was erroroneous - something that was inserted by certain Jewish Christians for ideological reasons? If you can't trust what the Scripture says about Christ celebrating the Passover, then how can you trust anything the Scripture says about Christ? And if Christ did celebrate the Passover, that means that God was just when He poured out His wrath on the first born of Egypt.

Logically then, either we submit to Jesus - and thus submit to the God of the Old Testament, or we totally reject the Bible. For all the wisdom contained within the Bible, if it is wrong to celebrate the Passover, then the Bible contains some spiritual and intellectual sulfuric acid. If that's the case, then I would submit to you that DrunkenTune probably has it right. Or God is simply not good. But if God is good and Jesus is God, then God is just when He pours out His wrath.

And He is, because we are by nature sinful. We are, by nature, ofjects of His wrath.

Thank God for the cross.

Matthew said...

Again, I really think this has to do with our foundational assumptions about who God is and how the world works.

You think it is most important for our doctrine to protect the idea of God's holiness. I think it is most important for our doctrine to protect God's goodness and, as part of this, God's empathy, or maybe it would be better to say God's sympathy, God's experiencing with us.

This leads me to discard certain scriptures and doctrines as false or incompatible with the mercy of God, just as you discard certain scriptures and doctrines as incompatible with the holiness of God. (For example, scriptures saying that all will be saved.)

If we can't agree on how to deal with the contradictions in the Biblical text, I doubt we can agree on anything more complex.

ConcernedEngineer said...

I do not disregard any Scriptures. There are no Scriptures saying that all would be saved. If I'm wrong, then hit me with the truth. Where does it say that all would be saved?

You talk about the virtue of hope. Is faith also a virtue? If hope and faith are virtues, then do you have any faith and hope that a civil discussion between us could prove to be fruitful? Or do you not believe that God has the power to change me (if I'm in error) and/or you (if you are in error)? Or do you think that since God has the power, then we don't have a role to play?

Admittedly, besides all that important stuff, I like a good debate just for the sake of debate. Maybe you don't. So, I guess I'm also kinda saying, "Can Matthew come out and play?" However, as fun as a good debate is, I think there is something important on the line.

Furthermore, I'm curious. Do you accept some Scriptures and reject some Scriptures arbitrarily or do you have some set guidelines in your mind? Obviously, you have set yourself over Scripture - evaluating and judging the Scripture, rather than setting yourself beneath Scripture - failing to recognize that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17) So, among the Scriptures you reject, you must reject 2 Timothy 3:16-17. And in that case, do you reject all of Paul's writing, or do you hang on to 1 Corinthians 13 and a few select other passages?

Do you think that Jesus - the Jew - celebrated the Passover? If so, then are you not simply redefining Jesus as some modern liberal and simply ignoring some facts? What do you think of people who celebrate the Passover - not for traditional reasons - but for deep spiritual reasons? Does it turn your stomach that people celebrate this holiday when this holiday is the rememberance of God striking down the firstborn of Egypt?

No one likes to admit that he is wrong, but isn't it kind of obvious that your ideas about Jesus are largely your own construct?

You clearly reject the doctrine of atonement. I've asked you this before and you said that you didn't know: Why did Jesus die on the cross? Just to make a moral point? Just to wake people up? Just to be a martyr? Or did He die on the cross for your sins and mine - providing for us atonement?

If you reject the holiness of God, are you not rejecting the justice of God? What does God do with evil people who refuse to repent? Or do you think that there is no evil? What do you suppose God did with Hitler? If God is not holy, that is, if God is not set a part for His own purposes of preserving the worth of His own glory by perfectly balancing justice and mercy, then is He really worth worshipping? Don't you think it would be wrong of God not to punish sin?

God bless.

Matthew said...


As I have said several times before, I expect that we have basic worldview differences that will ensure that my arguments fail to convnice you of anything, and vice versa. On the other hand, I guess argument isn't entirely pointless, because then we'd at least be clearer on what we both believe. Maybe it would even tweak your worldview. =)

So: Your scope is too broad. Asking two dozen rhetorical questions isn't going to get us anywhere. Pick something more specific, and we'll discuss it ... but give me a week or two, because I'm going to be away for a while.

(As far as scriptures about all people being saved, you could start with John 3:16-3:17 and 1 Tim 2, but if you don't accept that there are genuine theological conflicts in the text, you won't be able to hear the hope in these still, small verses ... you'll be too excited with all the shouting about Christians vs The World.)

ConcernedEngineer said...


God certainly cares about all people and wants all people to be saved - as those Scriptures teach. That does not mean that all people will be saved. At this point the debate can get into a debate about the will of God (moral will vs providential will).

But you must read the Scriptures in context. To take John 3:16-17 and then build a theology around those verses that declares that all people will be saved... it is only wishful thinking and reckless theology. Take the Scriptures in context. Read John 3:16-17 in view of the entire chapter of John 3. And make sure you read John 3:18-21. Evil people who refuse to repent will not be saved. God loves those people, and we should too, and we ought to be praying - even weeping - over these people. We ought to be pleading with them, by the love and mercy of God, to repent and receive God's transforming grace, mercy, and love. We ought to model for them authentic kindness in the hope that God would grant them the gifts of repentance and faith. It ought to bother us that people are lost in their sins.

But to think that people are not lost in their sins or that all people will be saved is to stick one's head in the sand and to ignore the whole counsel of Scripture.

God bless.

Oh, by the way... I would like to hear what you think about Jesus celebrating the Passover. How does that sit with you?