Promises and Secrets
A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.
Here's how the site works
WE TAKE THIS SIDE
On subsequent pages, this box is the place where the summary of a view is presented explaining something about the topic in the FACT box in the center. Of course, not everyone claiming to be on the presented side will be represented by this view. If you want to add to the view or suggest changes, please send in your comments to:
THE REAL WORLD
This set of three side-by-side boxes will be used to identify the major viewpoints of boths sides of an issue. FACTS listed here in the center will be undisputed events, things, and information accepted by most reasonable persons, but about which there are multiple viewpoints regarding the state, origin, or meaning of the subject matter.
SEND US YOUR SIDE
Here you will find a summary of at least one (if any are submitted) of the general opposing views to the explanation presented in the box on the other side of the FACT column. Again, not all who claim to be in this camp will be represented by this view. If you want to add to the view or suggest changes, please feel free to send in your comments to:
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
How do you reason with Scripture?
An actor in a movie my wife and I were watching the other day used a word that neither of us remembered that we had ever heard before.
After looking it up, it seemed even more curious that we hadn't heard it before - especially since the definition includes the subject of discussions involving morals. The word was casuistry.
At least two sides
Most discussions have at least two sides when discussing matters that are considered opinion by at least one side. Let's narrow things down a bit with a definition from Google. There was a definition at the top of the search results for the word casuistry:
noun: casuistry; plural noun: casuistries
the use of clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions; sophistry.
synonyms: sophistry, specious reasoning, speciousness, sophism, equivocation
"the casuistry about altruism always being ultimately selfish"
the resolving of moral problems by the application of theoretical rules to particular instances.
Now, this definition is pretty clear as to what the word means, but less clear is how to use this definition as a solid place from which to start an understanding.
"You're wrong." "No, you're wrong."
This may come as a shock to you, so brace yourself. When discussing the message of the Bible, not everyone believes the same thing. Yeah, stunning isn't it? However, when you get right down to it, there is usually a very solid reason for this fact. Let me demonstrate with an example.
Tom and Bob are having a conversation about what happened during their week. Tom is Bob's supervisor at work. Bob tells Tom that he wasn't at work on Tuesday because of the flue. Tom says that he understands, no problem. The conversation goes on about other things for a few minutes and they go their ways. Later, Tom runs into Larry who doesn't work at the same company, but they know each other and both know Bob. During their conversation, Larry relates that he was helping Bob Tuesday with the aftermath of his chimney fire Monday night.
Now, we can make it more complicated, but this is enough to set the stage. The next day at work, Tom finds Bob and asks him why he told him a lie. Bob insisted that he never lied to Tom. Tom says, "You told me you were sick!" "No, I didn't!" "I can't trust you. You're fired!" Bob walks away totally confused. What happened here?
You can see it because you can read the word used in the conversation that was mis-understood. Communication, or the lack thereof, was at the center of this misunderstanding. Bob gave Tom the bare, honest facts, but didn't elaborate. Tom didn't know that he needed elaboration. Tom assumed that Bob was sick on Tuesday, but he wasn't. Bob assumed that Tom knew what had happened because he had told him about the flue. Tom was sure he knew what happened and took action based on that information. Neither man lied, but one man's life is changed permanently because of something the other man believed.
For the last 1900 years, the same thing has been happening to the "Christian" church. History describes a series of events happened to one group (the Jews) that were interpreted by a second group of people (the Gentiles) who formed an opinion. That opinion was based on a mis-interpretation of the events that started it. Then, more real events happened to the second group (the Gentiles) that caused them to react in exactly the same way that they criticized in the first group (the Jews). That reaction became the basis for a totally re-designed church that opposes the foundation of the original first-century church of Jesus Christ. How could that be?
If you are interested where this is going, see the page at Early Christians and Sunday. It may give you a different way of seeing things that you think you understand, but likely don't.
This site is based on the plea of David, the author of Psalm 12.
Psalm 12 (NIV)
1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue -
4 those who say,
"By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us - who is lord over us?"
5 "Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise," says the Lord.
"I will protect them from those who malign them."
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about;
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
A submission from a reader:
What Got in the Way
I didn't want the what I found
Nor did I even care.
I didn't seek to understand
The what I saw in there.
No matter what it can't be true
I know 'cause I can see
Just what I want, and what I don't
And what is wrong with me.
What absolutes are promised.
That's not how I depict it.
And what my what is wanting,
would make it all conflicted.
So even though the what is there
I'd just assume it's not,
'cause if it was of consequence
I'd have to ask - then what?
-Steven Glen of Caleb and Company
TELL US YOUR SIDE
Join the discussion here. This space is waiting just for you.