NOTE: I underline for emphasis. All emphasis is mine.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (I Thessalonians 5:21)
Well, it’s not the first time I have been called “unteachable,” and I am certain it won’t be the last.
What is the problem?
I demand proof — not assertions. I also demand that competency be demonstrated in the English language and in knowledge of the Scripture. Additionally, honesty is paramount, along with a strong sense of respect for the rights of others. What this means is you do not take the materials of others and appropriate them for your use, not acknowledging they are not your own. Moreover, when using the material of others, citation is given as to the author and publisher. Failure to abide by the foregoing will certainly cause me to lose respect for whosoever it is that is attempting to teach me. This is when I become “unteachable.”
What I was told was this:
Paul, your spirit is unteachable, and I”m(sic) no longer going to bang my head against the wall for someone who has no respect for me.1
You are unbelievable. Paul, I have a feeling you have to be right and argue about everything. That is a sign of an unteachable spirit.2
Of course, there is a reason for my “unteachable spirit,” which is duly noted above and in my personal testimony. When I was saved back in 1996, I determined that I would never be deceived again — and I have steadfastly, rigorously tested everything that I encounter. Initially, I had a learning curve which coincided with my learning of the doctrine. However, as time has gone on, I have come to know why certain doctrines, no matter how they are presented, are inherently wrong. Additionally, I have also learned when someone is dodging questions and not being honest with the Scripture.
Of course, my willingness to listen and understand what they are teaching diminishes greatly when I am given “correction” like the following:
No Paul, my analogy is not saying we control God, really bad understanding of my analogy. God controls our decisions to further his will. Our will is the hand and God’s will is the glove, His will and purpose are behind our decisions. We can’t make a decision with out God’s will and purpose being behind it, hense(sic) the glove over the hand. Why did you erase all the evidence that refuted your commentary? When are you going to give scripture reference to your view of foreknowledge? When are you going to explain how one receives Jesus by grace alone without merit according to your foreknowledge view?3
In looking at Aaron’s analogy of the hand and the glove, I really have to raise the question of which is in actual control: the glove — or the hand. The fact that a glove covers a hand does not and cannot change the reality that it is the hand which is in control. The glove has no actual ability to influence what the hand does, it simply is a slave to the hand — which was my point to Aaron. However, as you can plainly see, he missed it totally. The problem here is the analogy stinks, especially for the point Aaron is attempting to make.
As for the erasing of the commentary, I didn’t. It was held in Moderation until I decided what to do with it. The reason I could not decide what to do was the comments were plagiarized. There was absolutely no citation or acknowledgment that the comments made belonged to someone else, and were being appropriated for use as “Comments.” This is theft of intellectual property. This was not the first instance either. Back when this whole debate started some months ago, Aaron plagiarized R.C. Sproul’s work, and when called on it, blew it off with this remark:
First, I never claimed the questions to be originally to be my own, Second, Who cares if the commentary did not come from me originally, where the truth comes from is irrelevant if I believe the content.4
To which I replied:
You have a very real problem that you don’t even see. Using or sending material that you do not cite the source, and allowing someone to think it is your own is called “plagiarism” and it is fundamentally dishonest. Everyone who has ever gone through school and written any paper that used other sources has been instructed as to what constitutes plagiarism, and that it is fundamentally wrong. It constitutes intellectual theft of property.
What is even more distressing is that you don’t see a problem with appropriating other people’s material as your own. This is very disturbing and indicates plainly that you have no problem with dishonesty. None of this is “irrelevant” and is not mitigated in any way by whether you agree with the authors of the material or not. You took of their labor, and appropriated it for your own, passing it off as your own after citing J.I. Packer, which means that you knew you should cite your sources.5
To which I received the following reply:
I’m not in school writing a paper for you to grade, therefore, in the future I will recite the source if that makes you happy. I did not realize this was important to you. Again, I was not in any form trying to take credit for anyone’s work, just giving you information that I agree with and asking you to respond. If I gave that impression I apologize. If I believe in the content, what does it matter where it comes from? If I can copy and paste someone elses commentary that I believe in and save typing time, whats wrong with that.6
When I pushed for an acknowledgment of wrongdoing in the midst of addressing a closely related issue, I received the following:
Still waiting for you to respond to my foreknowledge/predestination and Romans Chapter 9 emails, quit dodging PAUL and answer the emails. Who is plagiarizing? Not me, I have sited(sic) all my sources professor Davis. Quit shifting the attention on false non-issues and answer the emails that are fatal to your theology.7
The supposed “false non-issue” is a reference to the thread of discussion in which I pressed for an answer to the following contradiction in Calvinist/Reformed doctrine:
Even though you cannot seem to see the inherent contradiction in this (Just like you cannot seem to see how plagiarism is theft and wicked sin.):
“People make decisions for themselves. OK Paul, Good. People are responsible for the decisions they make,”
“WHO DECIDES? GOD DOES, AND HE DOESN’T CARE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT.”
We will go on, specifically since you stated the following:
“Ok, Good. Every decision a person makes good or evil fulfills God’s will.”
So, this was all God’s will:
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea , hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons . And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:1-8)
By your words, it was the will of God that Adam fell, and sin entered into the world. Correct?8
Now, for those who are familiar with Mormonism and the Book of Mormon, my question should ring a bell. Additionally, if we understand the point of the question, we will understand that this is one of the core issues of Calvinist/Reformed doctrine concerning salvation. It is not, as Aaron claimed, a non-issue. Nonetheless, my bringing up again the unresolved issue of Aaron’s plagiarism touched a nerve, and I was called “professor Davis” in reply.
After cutting communication with him and rebuking him sharply, he finally sent this “apology” of sorts:
I did not realize I was not being honest and decent ,and discussing docrine(sic), I am willing to do that. We got on the wrong foot some how, I apologize for my part. I would like for you to respond to this email and the others. Thank you9
To which I replied:
Do you understand how wrong plagiarism is? And that one should never do it, no matter how much you agree with the source?
The only exception to this rule is to protect the identity of an individual that may not, or does not wish to have their name published. Obviously, this does not apply to published materials. When I quoted you in the blog post, I did not name you expressly, only stated that “a Calvinist” sent me an e-mail. That way, you were cited without focusing on your name, only on what you said.10
And I also sent another letter to him detailing the problem with Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Phelps, where they outright lied about a meaning to an underlying Greek word:
My larger point here was that Westboro lied – outright lied. Westboro claimed that a meaning didn’t exist, when it plainly does exist. Once you lie, it really doesn’t matter about your argument. Bald-faced lying will kill any credibility one has. I could have ended the whole series about Westboro with the point below, and been fully justified.
My second point was this:
“Since we now know that outright distortion of the meaning of passages and verses is not beyond them . . .”
If someone will lie about one thing, especially something so obvious, what else will they lie about and distort? Why should I believe anything Westboro Baptist Church says?
If we want to discuss whether the context of the passage is “all men everywhere” or only “the elect,” that is a separate discussion altogether.11
Aaron then agreed that he knew plagiarism is wrong:
1) Yes, I know plagiarism is wrong. 2) My intentions were not to plagiarize, but to simply challenge your views with other people’s commentary that I believe refute your thinking. My mistake was not telling you in advance my sources, which I have since aplologized(sic) for.12
However, I should have known that he was not sincere, and that plagiarism is the normal mode of operation for him as is shown by the comments referenced above that are plagiarized. They were posted in late December well after he stated he knew what plagiarism was and that it is wrong. The comments can be found here and here.
The long and short of this is that I am “unteachable” when someone has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt they are a thief and a liar. I simply refuse to take anything they state with anything other than a grain of salt. Why should I accept what they say? If I allow myself to receive “teaching” from a thief and liar, then I too will become like the thief and liar. The Scripture tells me that. Before I will believe any man, I will look to Scripture for my instruction. I expect everyone else to do the same.
I do not expect anyone to believe what I say simply because I say it or write it. Rather, I expect it to be tested and rigorously examined by the standard of Scripture. I firmly believe that, if I am correct, the LORD will confirm it without question in His word. In this sense, I expect everyone else to be “unteachable” as well. After all, the Scripture, the word of God instructs us with the following:
It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. (John 6:45)
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Peter 1:19-21)
And yet again:
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (II Timothy 3:13-17)
The reason for this is summed up in the following statement by the Lord Jesus Christ:
And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:47-48)
Hence, whether anyone listens to me or not, a failure to adhere to the Scriptures will cause one to be judged and condemned by the very Scriptures they failed to pay heed to and handle properly.
As for Aaron, well . . . . he obviously thinks he has something in him folks want as this statement was in one of the final comments he left:
There are people that are starving to have what is inside of me.13
Oooo-kay. It’s breathtakingly arrogant, but if you believe it . . . . . . . . . . Hell awaits.
- e-mail from Aaron dated 13 Feb. 2009↩
- private e-mail dated 24 Nov. 2008↩
- e-mail to Aaron dated 24 Nov. 2008↩
- e-mail from Aaron dated 24 Nov. 2008↩
- e-mail from Aaron dated 26 Nov. 2008↩
- e-mail to Aaron dated 26 Nov. 2008↩
- e-mail from Aaron dated 1 Dec. 2008↩
- e-mail to Aaron dated 1 Dec. 2008↩
- e-mail to Aaron dated 1 Dec. 2008↩
- e-mail from Aaron dated 1 Dec. 2008↩