Sunday, May 5, 2019

Official Letter from Netherlands on Pastor Anderson ban

Map of the "Schengen area." The navy blue area shows the countries I was banned from this week, bringing the total up to 31 countries that I am now banned from.

This is a professional English translation of the Dutch original:

Immigration and Naturalization Service

Ministry of Justice and Security

THE STATE SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE AND SECURITY

resolution

1. Subject

Name: Steven L. Anderson

Date of birth: 24 July 1981

Nationality: Citizen of America

Mr. Anderson is further referred to as 'person concerned'.

2. Intention

The intention is to declare the person concerned undesirable based on Section 67(1)(c) of the Aliens Act (Vw).

The person concerned has already been identified in the Schengen Information System (SIS) on the 26th of April 2019.

3. Motivation for the intention

On the 25th of April 2019, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) issued a letter to the Head of the IND, from which it can be concluded that the information available to the NCTV about the person concerned justifies the concern that in the Dutch context his speeches may cause tensions between different population groups and thus disrupt the public order and public peace. The letter is included as attachment to this Decision.

It should be noted that the person concerned was already the subject of an alert in the SIS on the 26th of April 2019, and now it can be concluded that, on the basis of the content of the letter from the NCTV, there are concrete indications that the person concerned constitutes a threat to public order. Reference is made to section A2/12r of the Aliens Act Implementation Guidelines (Vc). It is also considered that, on the basis of this alert, a third country national who is not subject to a visa requirement, such as the person concerned, and who poses a threat to public order, national security or public health, will not be allowed entry to the Netherlands.

The person concerned resides in the United States, or at least outside the territory of the European Union. The person concerned therefore falls within the scope of Article 67 of the Aliens Act. Pursuant to Article 67(1)(c)(v), a foreign national may be declared undesirable if he poses a threat to public order or national security and has no lawful residence as referred to in Article 8(a) to (e) or (l)(vw).

In this case, it turned out that the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) concluded the following with regard to the person concerned in a letter dated 25 April 2019.

" Mr. Steven Anderson is an influential speaker/preacher who expresses hostility towards homosexuals and actively promotes intolerance.

On the basis of research, I characterize speaker Steven Anderson as follows:

a. Anderson's expressions are often made in a theological discussion and are in the context of his literal interpretation of the Bible. He's a fundamentalist Christian.

b. Anderson's sermons and statements are explicitly and fiercely against homosexuals and may incite hatred.

c. Anderson does not call for violence against homosexuals, but applauds it when they die. He thinks we/ the government should execute homosexuals.

d. Anderson is not openly anti-Semitic, but denies the Holocaust.

It can be noted that the information available to the NCTV about this speaker justifies the concern that in the Dutch context his lectures may cause tensions between population groups of different persuasions and thus disturb public order and public peace.

Incitement to hatred is punishable on the basis of Article 137d of the Penal Code and although the assessment of punishability will always depend on the individual merits of the case, it follows from the case law of the Supreme Court 2 that this may include statements that incite hatred or violence or discrimination, but also statements that encourage intolerance.

The statements made by the person concerned, including cheering on the deaths of homosexuals and the need for the government to execute homosexuals, are, by their very nature, intolerant. According to the letter from the NCIV, the person concerned is actively promoting intolerance. The statements made by the person concerned also imply that he is coming to the Netherlands for "preaching and soul winning events "3 . It can be deduced from this that the person in question also intends to influence others with his intolerant views.

In the light of the above, it is concluded that the person concerned is a real and imminent threat to public order and that the presence of the person concerned in the country constitutes a present, real and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society. Incitement to hatred of homosexuals affects a fundamental principle of society.

The intention to come to Amsterdam on the 23rd of May 2019, and by actively spreading his message and the intention to gain support for his ideas within the Netherlands, also constitutes a genuine and imminent threat to the public order. I also include the knowledge that, notwithstanding the efforts of the Dutch government in that respect, violence against persons of a sexual orientation other than heterosexual is not inconceivable in the Netherlands. Against this background, the risk cannot be accepted that the presence and public action of the person concerned will directly lead to an incorrect perception on the part of some and may contribute to the willingness of those persons to commit (serious) violent crimes against the group referred to here. In view of the far-reaching nature of the statements made by the person concerned, this also constitutes a sufficiently serious threat.

With this in consideration, it is concluded that there is a genuine, imminent and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental principles of society.

It is therefore considered that in this case the interests of public order and public security to be protected, should prevail over the interests of the person concerned, that are served by a (temporary) stay in the Netherlands. It is considered that, in view of the conclusion in the NCTV's letter, in this case the interest of protecting public order must prevail over the freedom of the person concerned to express his or her freedom of expression and religion. In view of this, the intention is to declare the person concerned an undesirable foreign national on the basis of Article 67(1)(c) of the Aliens Act Implementation Guidelines (VW).

In addition, the following is being considered. The information at my disposal does not indicate that the decision declaring the person concerned undesirable to be in breach of his private or family life or family life as referred to in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Nor has there been any evidence of any particular facts or circumstances on the basis of which an undesirability should not be pronounced.

As noted earlier, there is also reason, apart from the pronouncement of undesirability on the basis of section A2/12 of the Aliens Act implementation guidelines, to report the person concerned to the SIS for a period of two years, because there are concrete indications that the person concerned poses a threat to public order. This alert shall have immediate effect. The person concerned may request that it be revoked or may object to it.

The pronouncement of undesirability will remain in force until it is lifted. Pursuant to Section 68 of the Aliens Act, the pronouncement of undesirability can only be lifted on request and subject to certain conditions. Article 6.6, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the Aliens Decree (Vb) does not provide for a period after which the pronouncement of undesirability in a situation such as this one is in any case lifted.

4. Submission of Opinion

Pursuant to Articles 4:7 and 4:8 of the General Administrative Law Act, the person concerned may express his views on the intention to declare him as an undesirable decision (in writing) and in doing so may present facts and circumstances which, in his opinion, should be taken into account in the decision-making process.

The party concerned will be given the opportunity to express his views on the intention in writing within two weeks of the date of this intention and/or following the day of the announcement in the Netherlands Government Gazette, i.e. ending on the 15th of May 2019. This opinion must be sent by the person concerned, his (special) agent or a lawyer, if he declares that he is specifically authorised, to the fax and P.O. Box mentioned on the first page of this intention, with reference to V-number: 2872359350 and/or to the e-mail address mentioned on the first page of this intention.

The Opinion was submitted in due time if it was delivered by post before the end of the two-week period, provided that it was received no later than one week after the expiry of the deadline. The absence of an opinion after that period does not preclude the adoption of a decision.

The Hague, 29 April 2019

on behalf of the Secretary of State for Security and Justice,

(This letter was produced in an automated process and is therefore not signed)

Senior employee

To the Director-General of the Immigration and Naturalization Service

Date 25 April 2019

Concerns information regarding Mr. Steven Anderson

The NCTV has received information indicating that Mr. Steven Anderson intends to speak during a visit on the 23rd of May 2019 to Amsterdam. The person concerned himself has announced this in various films on social media. In this context, I would like to inform you of the following.

Mr Steven Anderson is an influential speaker/preacher who expresses hostility towards homosexuals and actively promotes intolerance.

On the basis of research, I characterize speaker Steven Anderson as follows:

a. Anderson's expressions are often made in a theological discussion and are in the context of his literal interpretation of the Bible. He's a fundamentalist Christian.

b. Anderson's sermons and statements are explicitly and fiercely against homosexuals and may incite hatred.

c. Anderson does not call for violence against homosexuals, but applauds it when they die. He thinks we/ the government should execute homosexuals.

d. Anderson is not openly anti-Semitic, but denies the Holocaust.

It can be noted that the information available to the NCTV about this speaker justifies the concern that in the Dutch context his lectures may cause tensions between population groups of different persuasions and thus disturb public order and public peace.

on behalf of the Secretary of State for Security and Justice,

(signature)

H.P. Schreinemachers

Director of National Crisis Management

Friday, May 3, 2019

Highlights from John Chrysostom Sermon against Homos



Excerpts from "Homily 4 on Romans" by John Chrysostom (4th Century A.D.)

ROM. I. 26, 27.-"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one towards another."

...having dishonored that which was natural, they ran after that which was contrary to nature. But that which is contrary to nature hath in it an irksomeness and displeasingness, so that they could not fairly allege even pleasure. For genuine pleasure is that which is according to nature. But when God hath left one, then all things are turned upside down. And thus not only was their doctrine Satanical, but their life too was diabolical.

Here in the place of the world he sets the pleasure according to nature, which they would have enjoyed with more sense of security and greater glad-heartedness, and so have been far removed from shameful deeds. But they would not; whence they are quite out of the pale of pardon, and have done an insult to nature itself. And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more sense of shame than men.

But if you say, and whence came this intensity of lust? It was from the desertion of God: and whence is the desertion of God? from the iniquity of them that left Him; "men with men working that which is unseemly." Do not, he means, because you have heard that they burned, suppose that the evil was only in desire. For the greater part of it came of their luxuriousness, which also kindled into flame their lust. And this is why he did not say being swept along or being overtaken, an expression he uses elsewhere; but what? working. They made a business of the sin, and not only a business, but even one zealously followed up. And he called it not lust, but that which is unseemly, and that properly. For they both dishonored nature, and trampled on the laws.

For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature: but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this were worse than any punishment. Yet if you say "they found pleasure in it," you tell me what adds to the vengeance. For suppose I were to see a person running naked, with his body all besmeared with mire, and yet not covering himself, but exulting in it, I should not rejoice with him, but should rather bewail that he did not even perceive that he was doing shamefully. But that I may show the atrocity in a yet clearer light, bear with me in one more example. Now if any one condemned a virgin to live in close dens, and to have intercourse with unreasoning brutes, and then she was pleased with such intercourse, would she not for this be especially a worthy object of tears, as being unable to be freed from this misery owing to her not even perceiving the misery? It is plain surely to every one. But if that were a grievous thing, neither is this less so than that.

For if when discoursing about fornication Paul said, that "Every sin which a man doeth is without the body, but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body" (1 Cor. vi. 18); what shall we say of this madness, which is so much worse than fornication as cannot even be expressed? For I should not only say that thou hast become a woman, but that thou hast lost thy manhood, and hast neither changed into that nature nor kept that which thou haddest, but thou hast been a traitor to both of them at once, and deserving both of men and women to be driven out and stoned, as having wronged either sex. And that thou mayest learn what the real force of this is, if any one were to come and assure you that he would make you a dog instead of being a man, would you not flee from him as a plague? But, lo! thou hast not made thyself a dog out of a man, but an animal more disgraceful than this. For this is useful unto service, but he that hath thus given himself up is serviceable for nothing.

But if you would know the enormity of the evil from other grounds, ask on what account the lawgivers punish them that make men eunuchs, and you will see that it is absolutely for no other reason than because they mutilate nature. And yet the injustice they do is nothing to this. For there have been those that were mutilated and were in many cases useful after their mutilation. But nothing can there be more worthless than a man who has pandered himself. For not the soul only, but the body also of one who hath been so treated, is disgraced, and deserves to be driven out everywhere. How many hells shall be enough for such? But if thou scoffest at hearing of hell and believest not that fire, remember Sodom. For we have seen, surely we have seen, even in this present life, a semblance of hell. For since many would utterly disbelieve the things to come after the resurrection, hearing now of an unquenchable fire, God brings them to a right mind by things present. For such is the burning of Sodom, and that conflagration! And they know it well that have been at the place, and have seen with their eyes that scourge divinely sent, and the effect of the lightnings from above. (Jude 7.)

Consider how great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time! For whereas many thought scorn of His words, by His deeds did God show them the image thereof in a certain novel way. For that rain was unwonted, for that the intercourse was contrary to nature, and it deluged the land, since lust had done so with their souls. Wherefore also the rain was the opposite of the customary rain. Now not only did it fail to stir up the womb of the earth to the production of fruits, but made it even useless for the reception of seed. For such was also the intercourse of the men, making a body of this sort more worthless than the very land of Sodom. And what is there more detestable than a man who hath pandered himself, or what more execrable? Oh, what madness! Oh, what distraction! Whence came this lust lewdly revelling and making man's nature all that enemies could? or even worse than that, by as much as the soul is better than the body. Oh, ye that were more senseless than irrational creatures, and more shameless than dogs! for in no case does such intercourse take place with them, but nature acknowledgeth her own limits. But ye have even made our race dishonored below things irrational, by such indignities inflicted upon and by each other. Whence then were these evils born? Of luxury; of not knowing God. For so soon as any have cast out the fear of Him, all that is good straightway goes to ruin.

Read the whole "Homily 4 on Romans" here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Resources for Learning to Read the Greek New Testament



There are many wonderful resources available for learning Greek that provide an alternative to attending a Bible college or seminary. Here are some reasons why I do not recommend learning Greek at a university:

- high cost
- inconvenient
- outdated Erasmian pronunciation
- use of corrupt Greek texts
- non-KJV translation philosophy

The methods that I am recommending for learning Greek are easier, cheaper, make a lot more sense, and will strengthen your faith in the English King James Bible instead of seeking to tear it down.

The first thing I recommend is that you start by learning the basics of modern Greek before jumping into Biblical κοινη Greek. Starting with modern Greek will help you get the correct pronunciation from native speakers, not the ugly, awkward pronunciation taught in seminaries that features a heavy American accent and will have native Greeks face-palming and shaking their heads. Also, learning modern Greek first will help you see Greek as a real-life, living language, not a dead language from the past. Here are some programs that I have completed in modern Greek that I highly recommend:

- Duolingo
- Rosetta Stone
- Pimsleur

...but the greatest of these is Pimsleur.

Once you've learned the basics of modern Greek by completing one or all of the above courses, the transition into Biblical Greek will not be difficult. The first thing you will need is a Greek New Testament which can be purchased from the Trinitarian Bible Society. Another thing that is very helpful is having audio of the Greek New Testament, which is available on the Faithful Word app for Android or iPhone. The audio is a reading of the Textus Receptus by a native modern Greek speaker.

One of the best strategies for learning any language is to start by learning a lot of vocabulary. Flash cards can be very helpful, and there is a set of flash cards available for Biblical Greek that teach you the 1,000 most common words in the New Testament. The New Testament uses about 5,420 vocabulary words, but thousands of them are used only once or just a couple of times. You would rather focus on learning the common vocabulary words first. For example, the 320 most commonly used words represent 80% of the New Testament text. The 882 most commonly used words represent 90% of the New Testament text. Therefore if you learn the 1,000 most commonly used words, you will know over 90% of the Greek words that appear on a typical page of your Greek New Testament. Studies show that if you know 95-98% of the words in a text, you will be able to understand the remaining 2-5% from the context. Not only that, but if you know the Bible very well in English, you will easily understand the unknown words from the context, and over time, you will learn them all.

Lastly, you should work on learning the grammar. Do yourself a favor and learn this last. Why? Because the grammar is difficult and discouraging, but if you have already completed the above steps, it will be much easier. Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, and Pimsleur will have already painlessly taught you a lot of grammar. Then you will intuitively pick up a lot of grammar through reading the New Testament as you learn the vocabulary from the flash cards. By the time you get to serious study of grammar, you will just be filling in gaps and learning forms that are already somewhat familiar. The Bible college classes will throw you into heavy grammar right away which is a mistake. Following the above approach will make learning Greek much more enjoyable and less of a chore.

One book you could use for learning the grammar is "Beginning Greek: a Functional Approach" by Stephen W. Paine (WARNING: wrong Greek text of the Bible. Be sure to replace the reading selections with readings from your TBS Greek Textus Receptus). The first half of the book teaches the κοινη Greek of the Bible (1st century A.D.), and the second half of the book teaches Attic Greek (classical Greek from the 4th century B.C.) with readings from Xenophon. I am currently studying the Homeric Greek of the Iliad (8th century B.C.) using the book "Homeric Greek: a Book for Beginners" by Clyde Pharr. Both of these books contain difficult grammar, and I highly recommend finishing all the above steps first before moving on to these types of books.

Over 5 years ago, I did a series of 27 Greek lessons on YouTube, which you may also find helpful at some point in your studies:



Let me know in the comments if you've had any success using these methods or if you have any other tips!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Detailed Breakdown of Jeff Durbin's Non-Denial

Jeff Durbin on his discharge from the Marine Corps

Disclosure: This analysis was done by the wife of Steven Anderson, while carefully following principle. Still, the reader should bear in mind that there could be bias present on the part of the analyst in favor of Steven Anderson that cannot be fully overcome.

Part A: Full text

Steven Anderson: This is Pastor Steven Anderson. Are you available for a quick phone call?

Jeff Durbin: Hello, Steven. Unfortunately, due to Christmas, I wouldn't be able to do a phone call until Thursday. 
What can I do for you?
Jeff

SA: I just wanted to ask you about your discharge from the marine corps.
I wanted to give you a chance to give your side.
Apparently you were discharged for homosexuality?

JD: Respectfully, it would have been great if you had asked me before you went public with an accusation. At this point, you have borne false witness about me about numerous things, publicly. I want to be loving, gracious, forgiving, and respectful to you, Steven. Even though you are guilty of slander and false witness. I will forgive you. However, your duty before God is to come clean with your sin and to publicly repent and admit sin. Here is the biblical standard. I trust you'll pause long enough to consider your failure here. "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses." - 1 Timothy 5:19 "Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness." - Exodus 23:1 "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the Lord." - Leviticus 19:16 "16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." - Proverbs 6 Your public slander, false witness, and gossip is something you will have to give an account for, Steven. I do pray for you, sir. And I am hopeful that humility will fall and you will be broken and humble enough to admit error, confess sin, and repent of your pattern of life. You have a lot of false witness and slander to account for. As for my part, I am happy to forgive you publicly and to not abuse you for exercising humility if you publicly repent for your pattern of slander and false witness. 1. You falsely accused me of being a drunk. Anyone who knows me, my life, and ministry, knows this is pure slander and false witness. 2. You accused my wife of being a drunk. Anyone who knows her knows this is laughable false witness. You are also treading on very dangerous ground insulting, slandering, and bearing false witness about another man's wife. Steven, respectfully, imagine if I publicly accused your wife of being an abusive mother. One, is it true? Two, how would I know? Three, what does God command me regarding accusations? 3. You have now created a history of false witness and slander to the degree that slander, gossip, and lies have flowed from your tongue with ease. Example: things as silly as suggesting that Apologia Church is a "flop". Steven, one, how would you know? Two, that's a lie. Our church is (by the grace of God) in our 10th year and we are thriving, growing, and have even run out of space. Yet, you bore false witness with ease. More can be said. However, I'm happy to answer your question. Again, the godly thing and obedient thing would have been to contact me before you sinned, lied, and slandered. I must point out to you that you are demonstrably in sin here. You are asking me AFTER you have spread a false report and slander. Again, I am happy to forgive you but it will take humility, integrity, and repentance on your part. I was absolutely NEVER kicked out of the Marines for being a homosexual. I never have been a homosexual. I was administratively discharged after a couple of weeks in boot camp because my testimony to the chaplain about severe abuses led to my life and several others being put in danger. They begged me to stay after an official investigation. I chose to leave after it was obvious that my life was in danger. Several Marine Drill Instructors were threatening my life and I had to be put under protection. They had an official investigation and halted the platoon's training. Several men tried to escape. Some tried to kill themselves. I almost stayed. However, when they were giving me time to decide if I wanted to stay, three Marine Drill Instructors threatened my life (again) at the Mess Hall. The Commander of the base was asking me to give them another chance in a new platoon. After the last threat on my life, he and I agreed it was no longer safe and that I should leave. I left as MY decision. It was an administrative discharge. You are guilty here, Steven. I want to be merciful to you. However, you need to repent, have integrity, confess sin, and change your ways.

SA: Are you denying telling the drill instructor that you were a homosexual?
Can you just answer my simple question? You are accusing me of slander. Please answer my question.

JD: I'm more than happy to answer more questions, Steven. After, you don't ignore everything I just wrote to you.
You are guilty, Steven.

SA: Cut the crap. I don't have "more questions." I have one question.
The epistle you wrote me accusing me of slander is meaningless if what I said is substantially true. You were discharged from the military because of you being perceived as homosexual.
It's a simple question: Are you denying telling the drill instructor that you were a homosexual?

JD: No. I wasn't. You clearly didn't even read what was written to you. Try again, Steven. You can do it, sir.

SA: I read every word you wrote.

JD: They asked me to stay.
You didn't read that?
Are you in a hurry?
Not paying attention?

SA: Let me try to understand your answer: "No, I wasn't" denying that you told the drill instructor you were a homosexual?
It's a simple question: Are you denying you told the drill instructor that you were a homosexual?

JD: Again, when you cease ignoring what was written to you I'll respond.

SA: "They asked me to stay"
Okay, I got that. Did you tell the drill instructor you were a homosexual?

JD: Right. You wrote: "You were discharged from the military because of you being perceived as homosexual."
So let me see you acknowledge the error.

SA: You telling the drill instructor that you were a homosexual ultimately led to your dismissal from the marine corps.
You are splitting hairs.

JD: No, sir.
More false witness.
You have a pattern here.

SA: Okay, let's try this one last time. Last chance: Are you denying you told the drill instructor that you were a homosexual?

JD: I pray you find some men to speak into your life.
When you begin acting like a man with integrity I'll be happy to continue this conversation.

SA: That answers my question. Thank you.

JD: Let me see you acknowledge the clear and undeniable error.
You are a very dishonest man, Steven.
Easily refuted.
Very dangerous.

SA: Very dangerous to your scam.

Part B: Full text with analysis added

This is not a conclusive analysis. There is much more here to analyze. This analysis is only going to point out the most obvious.


Steven Anderson: This is Pastor Steven Anderson. Are you available for a quick phone call?

Jeff Durbin: Hello, Steven.

The subject (Jeff Durbin) begins with a greeting and “Steven,” using first name only with no title. This could suggest familiarity and a close relationship, or a subtle dismissal of Steven Anderson’s role as pastor by choosing not to use his title and using first rather than last name.

Unfortunately, due to Christmas,

The subject here goes on to explain, without having been asked, why he cannot return a phone call. This is noted in the highest level of sensitivity (blue). It is an indication that the subject anticipated being asked “why can’t you talk to me on the phone?” and wanted to pre-empt that question by giving a reason. We should now be on the alert that the reason stated might not truthful but rather deceptive. Does the subject have a different reason for avoiding a phone call?

Also, the reason given is “Christmas”, with the connotation being that of a deeply spiritual and family affair. It portrays the subject as someone who is diligent in setting much time aside for the observance of religious holidays in the circle of his loved ones. Such a “need to persuade” the reader of his intentions actually weakens his assertion.

I wouldn't be able to do a phone call until Thursday.

“wouldn’t” is in the subjunctive verb mood, which is an indication of being doubtful or not factual. It is to avoid saying, “I am unable to”, which would be strong, reliable sentence. We are now wondering if the subject is, indeed, unable to make phone calls until Thursday, or if he is rather avoiding such a call.


What can I do for you?
 Jeff

Continued familiarity noted. If the reader and the subject are not actually close, this “need to persuade” the reader of his friendliness and willingness to help might be an indication of just the opposite.

SA: I just wanted to ask you about your discharge from the marine corps.
I wanted to give you a chance to give your side.
Apparently you were discharged for homosexuality?

JD: Respectfully, it would have been great if you had asked me before you went public with an accusation.

Here, the subject is confronted with the accusation, and given the opportunity to respond to it. Where a person chooses to begin their statement is often the most important sentence in a statement. It reveals the subject’s background, experiences, priority, and personality.

After being accused of “homosexuality,” which should be considered one of the most egregious sins by the subject, an evangelical pastor, he instead responds with “Respectfully”. Such a positive and mild response is unexpected. The expectation would be righteous indignation at such a false accusation. The subject here does not tell us that the accusation is false, only that he was accused, which is correct and truthful. We will now be on the lookout for him to call such an accusation “false.”

“it would have been great if you had asked me” is likewise unexpected. It is much milder than for example the clear demand, “You should have asked me.” Instead, “would have been great” is not a demand, just a preference on the part of the subject, while expressing understanding about his request not having been met. The subject is concerned about the accuser being inconvenienced more than about himself standing accused. This is unnatural, and a signal of disingenuity and deception on the part of the subject.

The subject tells the reader what he is upset about. Is it being accused? No. The subject does not express offense to having been accused, only that the accusation was “public.” This points to his priorities. We will be on the lookout in the remainder of the statement whether “public image” is the subject’s number one priority, and trumps even that of defending himself against scandalous and false accusations.

This single sentence begins a very lengthy response, which suggest heightened emotional status, and goes against the “law of economy” innate to all human beings. Verbally or otherwise, humans are wired to want to take the “shortest route”. Short statements are always the best. They suggest that there is a “wall of truth” that the subject has around him. Therefore, he/she feels no need to go to lengthy explanations. Whenever there are ‘unnecessary’ words, they are highly significant.

The subject here responds to the short statement, “Apparently you were discharged for homosexuality?” by way of an extremely lengthy statement, that only at the very end (= low priority) addresses the issue at hand.

At this point, you have borne false witness about me about numerous things, publicly.

Public image is again noted as the highest priority. The subject takes issue not so much with the “false witness,” but the fact that it was done “publicly.”

I want to be loving, gracious, forgiving, and respectful to you, Steven.

“I want to be” means that the subject, at this time, does not feel “loving, gracious, forgiving, and respectful” towards “Steven.” There is an incongruence between the subject’s feelings towards “Steven,” and the familiarity he seeks to portray by using the first name only.

Even though you are guilty of slander and false witness. I will forgive you.

The subject does not say that the “slander and false witness” on the part of Steven Anderson are regarding his military discharge, or even regarding the subject at all. It is a generalized statement, not tied to any specific allegation, event, or timeframe.

“Will forgive you” speaks to a future time. As of the writing of this statement, the subject has not forgiven Steven Anderson.

However, your duty before God is to come clean with your sin and to publicly repent and admit sin.

The importance of public image is noted again. Also, deity is brought in as a means to bolster the subject’s position. Such is always flagged as “weakness” of the position it seeks to defend. However, given the religious background of both Steven Anderson and the subject, and the context in general, such reference could be appropriate.

In the subject’s verbalized perception of reality, it now becomes Steven Anderson’s “duty before God” to come to the defense of the subject by exposing his own sins. This is to equate Christian duty towards God with the what the subject feels is Steven Anderson’s duty toward him. It speaks to God complex on the part of the subject.

The language of “coming clean” is incongruent with the idea that Steven Anderson’s accusations and slander have been very public, as the subject is keenly aware of. Thus, Steven Anderson should not need to “come clean” with things everyone already knows about. The subject’s choice of wording is noted as possible leakage of someone who feels he, himself, has the need to “come clean” on certain things.

   
Here is the biblical standard. I trust you'll pause long enough to consider your failure here.

"Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses." - 1 Timothy 5:19

"Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness." - Exodus 23:1

"Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the Lord." - Leviticus 19:16

"16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." - Proverbs 6

Your public slander, false witness, and gossip is something you will have to give an account for, Steven.

Order speaks to priority. Again, “public” slander takes priority over “false witness.” The public’s view is of the highest priority to the subject, more so than the allegation of being a homosexual.

The sinful things Steven Anderson will one day have to account for (deity noted as a bolster again) are listed in general terms, not as wrongs done to the subject himself.

So far, the subject has not told us, “Steven Anderson falsely accused me of xyz”. He has only stated that Steven Anderson has accused him (but not falsely), which is technically correct. He has also told us that Steven Anderson will one day have to give account of miscellaneous sins that the subject has not specifically related to himself. The reader should be aware that by making two such statements without actually connecting them into one, the subject is deceptively trying to lead the reader into making this connection for himself.

However, if the subject is unwilling to say for himself that Steven Anderson falsely accused him concerning dismissal from the military on the basis of homosexuality, we cannot say it for him.

I do pray for you, sir.

The “do” is an unnecessary word, making it doubly important. Does the subject use it to convince Steven Anderson that he does, in fact, pray for him? Such weakness is a signal of deception. It is therefore doubtful that the subject offers sincere prayers on the part of Steven Anderson.

And I am hopeful that humility will fall and you will be broken and humble enough to admit error, confess sin, and repent of your pattern of life. You have a lot of false witness and slander to account for.

The concept of humility “falling” is very unusual. It is, however, congruent with the concept of being broken and humbled, all used in the context of what the subject hopes for Steven Anderson. This suggests that his real hope is to see Steven Anderson “fall”, be “broken”, and “humbled.”

Such language is also the language of abuse, and could be a signal of portrayal/projection/perseveration on the part of the subject. Is there something in his past that “broke” and “humbled” him, that he feels he needs to “come clean” with, but is concerned about his “public” image?

As for my part, I am happy to forgive you publicly and to not abuse you for exercising humility if you publicly repent for your pattern of slander and false witness.

This sentence is very alarming. The subject says he will be “happy to forgive… and not abuse … for exercising humility” Coupled with the previous statement, such language strongly suggests that the subject was himself abused, in spite of humbling himself and acquiescing to the demands of his abuser(s).

The subject says he will be happy not to abuse Steven Anderson “if” certain demands are met. That is to say that if his demands are not met, he would like to abuse Steven Anderson. He has now moved from his past abuse, to the possibility of perpetuating such abuse himself.

Emphasis on public perception noted again.

The subject continues to use wording that suggests a general “pattern of slander” on the part of Steven Anderson, but is unable or unwilling to say that he, himself, was falsely accused by Steven Anderson regarding his military dismissal or otherwise. 

1. You falsely accused me of being a drunk. Anyone who knows me, my life, and ministry, knows this is pure slander and false witness.

Here, finally, comes the first specific mention of what the subject perceives as a false accusation. It is regarding his drinking. The subject should be asked regarding his personal definition of what makes a “drunk.” Since his internal dictionary definition does not match up with that of Steven Anderson, he can truthfully and reliably deny being a drunk simply because of how he defines a “drunk.”

The priority of drinking over the issue at hand (military dismissal due to homosexuality) is noted. The subject is stalling, using an abundance of words and other issues to avoid getting to the topic at hand.
As evidence for not being a drunk, the subject refers back to those who know him (which is to seek cover in a crowd), his life (a general pattern he seeks to extend to this specific area), and “ministry”. It is interesting that he leaves off the personal pronoun “my” before ministry, unlike he did with “my life”. Human beings are very possessive. Pronouns are extremely reliable and telling. While the subject takes ownership of his life, he makes no such personal connection to “ministry.” He does not view it as “his” ministry, calling, or life’s work. It is what he does, but it is not as important or of personal significance to him as his life.

2. You accused my wife of being a drunk.

The wording is almost identical to the first sentence of point 1 above, with the only difference being the omission of the word “falsely” here. To say that his wife was accused of being a drunk is not to say that she was falsely accused, and that she is not a drunk. The subject was careful to make that distinction in defending himself, yet offers no such defense of his wife.

It is also noted that defending his wife comes second to defending himself, but before addressing the issue at hand (military discharge) which the subject continues to avoid.

“my wife” is an incomplete social introduction as it leaves off the name of his wife. This could be an indication of distance in the husband-wife relationship.

Anyone who knows her knows this is laughable false witness.

“Accusation” here becomes “false witness”, and “laughable” at that. What caused this change in language? It is the bringing in those who know her, the crowd. They know her not to be a drunk, something that the subject, her husband, would not himself claim of her. Is it possible that his wife only drinks excessively (by definition of the subject) in private? 

“Her” is to avoid using his wife’s name, again indicating a distance between husband and wife.

You are also treading on very dangerous ground insulting, slandering, and bearing false witness about another man's wife.

The subject does not say, “bearing false witness about my wife.” He speaks in general terms, about “another man’s wife.” He does not claim connection to his wife. The distance between the subject and his wife is now acute.

The threat of danger is noted. This is congruent with the “abuse” threatened above “if” certain expectation of public humiliation are not met.

Steven, respectfully, imagine if I publicly accused your wife of being an abusive mother. One, is it true? Two, how would I know? Three, what does God command me regarding accusations?

“respectfully” is repeated from the beginning of the statement, which indicates heightened sensitivity. Does the subject feel a need to persuade Steven Anderson of his respectful attitude? Does the subject feel threatened, and seeks the mitigate the perceived threat by attempting to come across as “respectful”? This would be in line with a history of abuse.

Extreme priority of public perception noted again.

3. You have now created a history of false witness and slander to the degree that slander, gossip, and lies have flowed from your tongue with ease.
Example: things as silly as suggesting that Apologia Church is a "flop". Steven, one, how would you know? Two, that's a lie. Our church is (by the grace of God) in our 10th year and we are thriving, growing, and have even run out of space. Yet, you bore false witness with ease. More can be said.

However, I'm happy to answer your question. Again, the godly thing and obedient thing would have been to contact me before you sinned, lied, and slandered.

Here, the subject announces that he will now “happily” answer the question at hand. Such a positive, upbeat attitude is unexpected given the seriousness of the allegation. It is an indication that the subject seeks to come across as ‘unfazed’ by the allegation. Again, such need to persuade suggests that just the opposite is true.

Instead of answering the question as promised, the subject continues to talk about the sins of Steven Anderson, seeking to discredit his witness by establishing a “pattern” and “history” of slander etc. This is to undermine the messenger, and is typically seen when the message, itself, cannot be refuted.

I must point out to you that you are demonstrably in sin here. You are asking me AFTER you have spread a false report and slander. Again, I am happy to forgive you but it will take humility, integrity, and repentance on your part.

The subject would have us believe that happiness continues and is abounding.

The language of “obedience” coupled with “humility” in the context of repeated mentions of sin continues to point to past abuse.

I was absolutely NEVER kicked out of the Marines for being a homosexual.

This is not a reliable denial. A reliable denial would have been, “I was not kicked out of the Marines for being a homosexual.” “Never", in an open statement, is vague in time.  When the point of the question is directed to a specific event at a specific time, and the person answers, "I did not do xyz" it is, statistically, very likely that the person is truthful. If the person says, "I never did xyz", it is not reliable, statistically, and the person could be lying. It is not reliable.
“Never” speaks to a process of time, or events that occur repeatedly. It cannot be reliably used in the context of one-time events, such as being discharged from the military on bad terms. Just as someone would not say, “I was never born in California,” saying “I was never kicked out for being a homosexual” makes no sense because it would have been a one-time only event.
The denial is further weakened by seeking to bolster it through the use of ALL CAPS, and the unnecessary addition of the word “absolutely.”
The original question asked of the subject was, “Apparently you were discharged for homosexuality?” In his ‘denial,’ the subject changes “discharged” to “kicked out.” This begs the question whether the subject has a different internal definition of discharged vs. kicked out.

If he, as alleged by Steven Anderson, self-reported to the drill instructor as being a homosexual so as to be discharged on the grounds of the then in-effect policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, such a discharge could be viewed differently from being “kicked out” due to being caught. This is similar to those who lose their job saying, “I was not fired, I quit.” The impetus for the discharge ultimately came from the subject himself, whereas he might perceive being “kicked out” as stemming purely from decisions outside his control.

I never have been a homosexual.

The unusual sentence structure is noted, with “never” coming before “have.” Using “never” allows the subject to avoid saying “I have not been..” As stated above, never is vague in time and thus not reliable.

The subject should be questioned regarding his definition of a homosexual. Just as with “drunk”, his internal definition might be different from the expected norm. Maybe the fact that he is married and has a family technically makes him a “bisexual.” Maybe he thinks that homosexuals, by definition, have to meet certain criteria that he, himself, does not meet, such as seeking only after men.

I was administratively discharged after a couple of weeks in boot camp because my testimony to the chaplain about severe abuses led to my life and several others being put in danger.

Here, we see again the difference in language, now going back to “discharged”. What changed it from “kicked out” to “discharged”? The subject’s testimony to the chaplain (inclusion of deity). This confirms that in the subject’s mind, there is a difference between being “kicked out” (something that happened without his doing, outside his control) and being “discharged” (something initiated by the subject himself). Even if the above denial had been reliable, the subject thus far has still not told us that he was not discharged for being a homosexual, only that he was not kicked out over that. It is a minor difference that allows the subject to technically speak truthfully in his own mind, while being deceptive and misleading.

“my life … being put in danger” is passive. It conceals who put his life in danger. Such passivity is appropriate if the subject does not know who was the one to threaten him. Otherwise, it is an indication that the subject seeks to hide the identity of whoever threatened him.

They begged me to stay after an official investigation.

It is difficult to imagine the powerful United States military, second-to-none in the world, “begging” a new recruit to stay on.

Such language continues the theme of past abuse, perseverated in this event.

I chose to leave after it was obvious that my life was in danger. Several Marine Drill Instructors were threatening my life and I had to be put under protection. They had an official investigation and halted the platoon's training. Several men tried to escape. Some tried to kill themselves. I almost stayed. However, when they were giving me time to decide if I wanted to stay, three Marine Drill Instructors threatened my life (again) at the Mess Hall.

“Leaving” is the only other thing (besides giving a reason without being asked) that is flagged in the highest level of sensitivity (blue). It is impossible to go somewhere without first leaving somewhere else. The fact that “leaving” is mentioned unnecessarily points to the fact that something happened at the place that was “left” which caused the subject’s mind to linger there. Most often, this is due to rushing and being pressed for time. When that is not the case, it is indicative of missing information.

Going from the again passive “my life was in danger” to “several Marine Drill Instructors were threatening my life” to “three Marine Drill Instructors threatened my life” is a change in language that is likely indicative of a change of reality. Something changed that made it known to the subject what the source of the threats was. The Mess Hall is mentioned as a minor detail, possibly in a bid to bolster the veracity of this account.

Three is sometimes flagged as the “liar’s number” and thus considered not reliable. This is due to the fact that statistically, if a deceptive person has to pick a random number to use, three is picked more often than any other number.

The Commander of the base was asking me to give them another chance in a new platoon.

We now see a Marine Corps base commander, the highest official on site, continue in the vein of begging a new recruit to stay on as a sort of personal favor. This is most unusual.

After the last threat on my life, he and I agreed it was no longer safe and that I should leave. I left as MY decision. It was an administrative discharge.

We now have a “cluster of blues.” This points to missing information, not rushing, having produced the repeated mentions of “leaving.” Something happened here that the subject is deceptively withholding from his account. 

Here, we conclusively see the subject equating “MY decision” = “an administrative discharge”. This voids the earlier denial of “I was absolutely NEVER kicked out” (which was a non-denial) as pertinent to the question of “discharge.” The subject makes a clear distinction between being kicked out vs. discharged. He has only told us that he was not kicked out for homosexuality, he has told us he was discharged, but he has not told us he was not discharged due to homosexuality.

You are guilty here, Steven. I want to be merciful to you. However, you need to repent, have integrity, confess sin, and change your ways.

The subject does not feel merciful toward Steven Anderson. It is only a stated goal of his, after his demands have been met.

SA: Are you denying telling the drill instructor that you were a homosexual?
Can you just answer my simple question? You are accusing me of slander. Please answer my question.

JD: I'm more than happy to answer more questions, Steven. After, you don't ignore everything I just wrote to you.
You are guilty, Steven.

The happiness continues, while the subject avoids answering the question of whether he told the drill instructor that he was a homosexual. To not answer the question is to answer the question.

SA: Cut the crap. I don't have "more questions." I have one question.
The epistle you wrote me accusing me of slander is meaningless if what I said is substantially true. You were discharged from the military because of you being perceived as homosexual.
It's a simple question: Are you denying telling the drill instructor that you were a homosexual?

JD: No. I wasn't. You clearly didn't even read what was written to you. Try again, Steven. You can do it, sir.

The “No. I wasn’t.” apparently is in response to “You were discharged from the military because of you being perceived as homosexual.” It lacks one of the three necessary elements of a reliable denial (mention of the specific allegation).

The use of “Steven” is incongruous with that of “sir.” This suggest disingenuity

SA: I read every word you wrote.

JD: They asked me to stay.
You didn't read that?
Are you in a hurry?
Not paying attention?

The subject refers back to the question “Were you discharged from the military because of you being perceived as homosexual” with “They asked me to stay.” This is a technicality over who was responsible for the discharge, not what caused it.

It does not contradict the possibility of the subject telling the drill instructor that he was a homosexual, and thus causing his own discharge. In essence, the subject only denies that he was kicked out / discharged against his will, not the underlying cause of such discharge. “I heard you were kicked out for being a homosexual.” – “I wasn’t kicked out, they wanted me to stay.” The subject does not deny the part about being a homosexual, only the specifics of his discharge.

SA: Let me try to understand your answer: "No, I wasn't" denying that you told the drill instructor you were a homosexual?
It's a simple question: Are you denying you told the drill instructor that you were a homosexual?

JD: Again, when you cease ignoring what was written to you I'll respond.

Refusal to answer the question continues. The falsely accused should stand ready to reliably and strongly defend himself against false allegations. So far, we have only seen avoidance of the question and mincing of words.

SA: "They asked me to stay"
Okay, I got that. Did you tell the drill instructor you were a homosexual?

JD: Right. You wrote: "You were discharged from the military because of you being perceived as homosexual."
So let me see you acknowledge the error.

It is unclear if “Right.” should be understood in response to “Did you tell the drill instructor you were a homosexual?”, in which case it would confirm the supposedly false accusation.

The subject taunts Steven Anderson, offering to issue a denial in exchange for Steven Anderson acknowledging error. Such is not characteristic of an innocent person that is falsely accused. The expected would be a strong desire to defend oneself against false accusations.

The subject says he wants to “see” Steven Anderson acknowledge error. This continues in the vein of subtle threats, and a desire to “see” his opponent humiliated and in need of “mercy.”

SA: You telling the drill instructor that you were a homosexual ultimately led to your dismissal from the marine corps.
You are splitting hairs.

JD: No, sir.
More false witness.
You have a pattern here.

SA: Okay, let's try this one last time. Last chance: Are you denying you told the drill instructor that you were a homosexual?

JD: I pray you find some men to speak into your life.
When you begin acting like a man with integrity I'll be happy to continue this conversation.

Religious language (prayer) enters again, possibly to seek the guise of godliness for malicious intents. The continued disingenuous use of “sir” seeks to do the same.

The introduction of “men” that are needed to “speak into” the life of Steven Anderson is possible indication of same-sex attraction on the part of the subject, projected onto his perceived opponent.

SA: That answers my question. Thank you.

To not answer the question is to answer the question. The innocent are eager to proclaim their innocence.

JD: Let me see you acknowledge the clear and undeniable error.
You are a very dishonest man, Steven.
Easily refuted.
Very dangerous.

The theme of wishing to “see” Steven Anderson continues.

SA: Very dangerous to your scam.

Part C: Conclusion

The subject, Jeff Durbin, is deceptive regarding the circumstances that led to his discharge from the US Marine Corps boot camp.

He does not issue a reliable denial in regards to being a homosexual.

He does not issue a reliable denial regarding his wife being a drunk. He only issues a reliable denial in regards to himself being a drunk. However, this denial comes down to his personal definition of what makes a “drunk.”

His language indicates a strained / distant husband-wife relationship. Defending himself takes priority over defending his wife.

The subject’s highest priority is the public’s perception of him. Furthermore, he wants to be perceived as “happy” and “respectful,” as juxtaposed to the “slanderous” and “dangerous” Steven Anderson.

The subject shows repeated signals of having been a victim of abuse himself.

The subject shows signs of religious grandeur in repeatedly equating himself with deity.

The subject’s goal is for Steven Anderson to “fall” and be publicly humiliated. In his words, he reveals that he would like to personally “see” this humiliation. He leaves open the option of “abusing” Steven Anderson if his demands are not met.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Musical Instruments & the "Regulative Principle of Worship"



Have you ever been to a church that did not believe in praising the Lord with musical instruments? Do you wonder how they can teach that, when all through Psalms we are commanded to praise the Lord with both singing and instruments? Well, there’s a teaching out there called the “regulative principle of worship,” which Wikipedia defines as follows:

“The regulative principle of worship is a Christian doctrine, held by some Calvinists and Anabaptists, that God commands churches to conduct public services of worship using certain distinct elements affirmatively found in Scripture, and conversely, that God prohibits any and all other practices in public worship. The doctrine further determines these affirmed elements to be those set forth in Scripture by express commands or examples, or if not expressed, those which are implied logically by good and necessary consequence. The regulative principle thus provides a governing concept of worship as obedience to God, identifies the set of specific practical elements constituting obedient worship, and identifies and excludes disobedient practices.

The regulative principle of worship is held, practiced, and vigorously maintained by conservative Reformed churches, the Restoration Movement, and other conservative Protestant denominations. Historic confessional standards stating the doctrine include the Westminster Confession of Faith,[1] the Heidelberg Catechism,[2] the Belgic Confession,[3] and the London Baptist Confession of Faith.[4]

The regulative principle contrasts with the normative principle of worship, which teaches that whatever is not prohibited in Scripture is permitted in worship, as long as it is agreeable to the peace and unity of the Church. In short, there must be agreement with the general practice of the Church and no prohibition in Scripture for whatever is done in worship. The normative principle of worship is the generally accepted approach to worship practiced by Anglicans, Lutherans, Evangelicals, and Methodists.”

In a nutshell, the regulative principle teaches that if something is not mentioned in the Bible, we shouldn’t do it, when really we should be avoiding things that are actually prohibited, which is what the “normative principle” teaches. The normative principle as explained here by Wikipedia seems to be the normal, logical position.

This is not to say that independent Baptists have an “anything goes” mentally about how we conduct our church services (far from it.) Obviously, we must use common sense when deciding what is right and wrong. If something is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, we look at biblical principles when making our decision about whether or not something is expedient. For example, smoking is not specifically prohibited, but gluttony and drunkenness are, and the Bible says our body is the temple of the Lord. For this reason, most preachers will at least advise against smoking.

Churches that do not allow musical instruments will bring up the fact that the New Testament doesn’t mention musical instruments being used in the early church. They somehow go with their man-made regulative principle, even though in this case their conclusion contradicts clear Old Testament scripture. The commands to praise the Lord with stringed instruments, etc. were never amended or done away with in the New Testament. We don’t get our doctrine from what IS NOT mentioned in the Bible but from what IS mentioned.

It’s not just the denominations listed in the above Wikipedia article that prohibit musical instruments in church. Most Church of Christ denominations are also against using any musical instruments in their services.

I know that the churches that hold that position have a lot bigger problems, but I still find this interesting. For some reason, they choose the regulatory principle over common sense. For example, a buddy of mine actually heard Psalm 150 being read in a Presbyterian church that did not allow musical instruments. He obviously found it ironic, but it’s really not that surprising since most Christian denominations don’t like to admit that they shy away from certain passages.

I know this isn’t a salvation issue, but when someone believes something as weird and unscriptural as banning musical instruments from church, I can’t help but doubt their salvation. The only way I can see a saved person agreeing with something like that is if they’ve never read the Bible because, over and over, God commands us to praise the Lord with various instruments. If anything, churches should be adding more musical instruments.

Stringed instruments, in particular, are emphasized in the Bible, yet many churches won’t allow so much as a piano. If a saved person believes this strange doctrine out of ignorance, I bet they are going to be surprised when they get to Heaven and at some point are issued a harp!

"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." - Revelation 15:2

Here is a video where I preach about this