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downloadUpdate: Due to a timing mixup, this published at the same as Dave Smiths Quo Vadis, which precedes it. Do read it as well.

Sorry Dave. Neo


This morning Gareth commented on Vale saying

Now, this Sunday morning, I have found the devil has been at work here too. So sad that we forget the devil is most active in the very time – Lent – when we try to follow our Lord in the wilderness.

I was going to post here the Latin prayer of exorcism, but stopped myself just in time: those words should only be pronounced by a priest. I suggest instead that we use whatever form of prayer is appropriate to our different Christian traditions on this blog. The attacks of Satan can only be repelled in this way, and not by arguments, excuses, and failure to repent of evil.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner. Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus.

Amen, and amen.

Seems to me that we have all adopted the mores of the American election process here, lately, and it’s quite unseemly. We have been talking (well shouting) past each other and none of us has been listening effectively, if at all. Well, that’s toxic to what our mission here is, and it claimed a victim.

The men in their obstinance have driven out the Chatelaine of the Watchtower.

Can we do this mission without her? Well, I don’t know, we are a contentious bunch. Are we even going to try? I don’t know that either. I spoke with Chalcedon yesterday, he is very discouraged, as am I, and by the same thing that drove Jess from our midst. Not that we should not disagree, we always have, we always will. But by the tone we have all adopted, which could well be called ‘my way or the highway’.

That’s the tone that leads to a bar fight, not a discussion that illuminates. Some of us are more guilty of this, than others, I expect, but none of us are innocent, either.

I admire Jock, who said this morning.

Jessica, I now understand from both NEO and Rob that it was my last comment which played the decisive role in driving you from your own blog.

I wrote it in anger, without any time for reflection. It was mean spirited and nasty and I apologise unreservedly for it.

Takes a real man to take responsibility like that. I too have said some hard things that have hurt feelings, I too apologize.

But, in truth, from what Jess has told me, it wasn’t Jock, or QVO, or me, or any of us individually, it was the tone of the entire comment streams this week that she found toxic, and led to her withdrawal. She’s right, they were. Go back and read some of them calmly, many hard things were said, and we continually broke with our practice here of stating our beliefs calmly and rationally, opting instead to make personal attacks on each other.

As Rob said, I think there was a good bit of talking right past each other, as well. What really happened is that we all dug in like it was the last ditch and we had to defend it. Well guys, it’s not. Whatever we do here, our churches will survive, they will change, yes. They always have, maybe some will drop by the wayside, if so, then others will take their place. Whatever. I think we can safely leave that part in God’s hands.

We here, all of us, We are on the Lord’s side, maybe we should learn again to act like it. The adversary is over there somewhere, attack him, not each other, and do it in love, that’s how we grew, always, and its the only way we will grow now.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us

To Everything There is a Season

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

We have cast away she who is, I think, the best of us, now is, I think a time to heal.

Maranatha, Indeed