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Seriously Steve 4: Judging and Hating


Coconut Flan
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So when someone throws “Christian obedience” your way, ask yourself whether what you’re being asked to do is really about loving each other or not. Depending on the answer, you’ll have a much better idea of whether this is obedience-as-love or obedience-as-coercive-power. 

This is from an article from The Working Preacher, Love and Obedience, by David Lose.
https://www.workingpreacher.org/dear-working-preacher/love-obedience 
Perhaps Steve could read this and think about how adults can think for themselves.

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Every loving parent has had a time when words of encouragement for a child to follow your instruction weren’t enough. You explained clearly, and they repeated back to you what was expected. Yet the child simply would not choose to do it, therefore chastening was necessary.This week's Seriously, Dad? is called "What is the Difference?" and it's from November 2, 2022. I'm not liking this one.

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Every loving parent has had a time when words of encouragement for a child to follow your instruction weren’t enough. You explained clearly, and they repeated back to you what was expected. Yet the child simply would not choose to do it, therefore chastening was necessary.

How do you know you explained it clearly? It may be clear to the parent, but not to the child. I may not have done everything my parents wanted, but rarely while they were explaining things and standing right there. I think rather than chastening the kid, the parents should ask the kid why before jumping to condemn them.

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“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not (Hebrews 12:5-7).” 

Here's the real message: it's not so much about parents chastening their kids as much as God chastening his followers.

Second paragraph:

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I don’t like to receive chastening, yet I’m grateful the Lord loves me and wants His best for me. I want to learn as quickly as possible when He sends chastening my way. How do I tell the difference between the problems of life and chastening? How do I discern if something is chastening and if it is, what might be the area of disobedience God is trying to correct?

I want details about how God has chasten you specifically Steve. What has he done specifically to you to chasten you?

The "how do you know part?" is a good question. It's something that most Christian denominations have trouble explaining: the difference between coincidence and God and many of their arguments are unconvincing. 

Third paragraph: 

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In verse 7 we are told that “God dealeth with you as with sons.” Our God is the ultimate good father and a good father tells his son why he is being chastened.

By verse 7, he means the above verse from Hebrews. And that is one of the problems with Christianity in this country. Too many people have toxic or abusive relationships with their fathers and don't even know it. People project their own fathers on God or even certain politicians. Like the Former Guy voter who said "Tr**p is our father and will give us the belt because we deserve it."

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We can be sure that God has been “telling” us via His Spirit or the Word about an area of disobedience in our lives. 

How can we be sure? What if it's not God? What if bad things just happen?

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We sincerely need to ask Him with an open mind.

Again how do we know that God is chastening us? I don't think you clearly explained this. 

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If still in doubt, our wives might have an idea too.

The "helpmeets" might have ideas too? Wow! Who would have thought so?

End of column.

None of this directly ties to being a dad. I still have no idea how tot know if something is God or just accidental. A therapist named Jen Wolkin  says " 

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Your trauma is not a punishment. That’s not the way universe works. While good things don’t always happen, and many times “bad thing happen to good people” it is NOT happening because you are wrong or broken or punishable.

See things just happen and God doesn't necessarily want people to be miserable. I never know what "let go and let God" means. It's hard to tell what God wants. Too many Christians make too assumptions, and NOT just evangelicals. 

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This week's Seriously, Dad? is called Got Fruit? and it is from November 9, 2022. It's even sillier than usual and feels phoned in. 

First off that title! Fruit is in right now. 

Harry Styles has his Watermelon Sugar, Justin Bieber has Peaches, and Kim Petras has her Coconuts.

That's not what Steve meant. He meant "loin fruit". 

First Paragraph:

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Consider the farmer who fuels up his combine and heads out to the field for his fall harvest. When he arrives at the field, he is devastated because he sees no standing corn, only weeds. What happened? More accurately the question is: “What didn’t happen?”

Professional farmers would know why their crops died and the weeds came. Unless the weeds showed up over night.

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As absurd as it sounds, he has no harvest because he didn’t want to take the time to plow and prepare the soil prior to seeding. Or he didn’t cultivate so the ground would accept rain. Or he wasn’t vigilant in dealing with pests and weeds. 

Considering you said there were weeds, the last one seems most likely. If the ground doesn't accept rain, I would expect little to grow.

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Isn’t it amazing the work it takes for a good harvest? Hmm, sounds like what it takes to raise children who will love the Lord.

It does? 

Even people who don't believe in God, find raising children difficult and hard work.

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Even with all the work, there are no guarantees with farming, but still the farmer invests. Yup, sounds even more like raising children in Christ. 

So the point is it's really difficult to "raise children in Christ". Any advice on how your devoted fanbase can do this?  I suppose by reading more Steve. 

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“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 8:5-8).

This bible verse is the original which probably inspired the column. It's a million times better than what Steve wrote. You could have just used the original as the whole column. 

This is not great advice. In fact, it's not really advice. It's commiseration, but if I were your target audience, I would be annoyed that there is no advice in it. I'm always surprised he doesn't say more about the actual work of raising kids. I know Teri and Sarah did a lot of it, but Steve seems like he did somethings with his kids.

And it all boils down to whether your kids love the Lord and stay right-wing evangelical Christians.  I can never tell if Steve is happy or unhappy because his kids are all right-wing evangelical Christians. Still waiting for a Maxwell to go full rebellious. 

 

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DEMOCRAT Laura Kelly was reelected Gov of Kansas.  Bet that chaps Steve's sorry ass.

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And Massachusetts now has the first openly lesbian governor in the US! Another thing to annoy the fundies with!

(also I love how all the news - all that I listen to anyway - is careful to say that she’s the first ‘openly’ lesbian governor, to remind us that other female governors could totally have been lesbians also, just in the closet.)

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From 1977 to 1981, my state of Washington had a female governor named Dixie Lee Ray.  She changed her given name of Margarite to Dixy, feeling that Margarite was too feminine.  She never married, wore athletic clothing to formal events, wore short hair and was a scientist.  Her sexual orientation was not known but most Washingtonians assumed she was gay.

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This week's Seriously, Dad? is called  A Tragedy and it's from November 16, 2022.

Steve is smug like last week.

First Paragraph:

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I spoke with a man who by today’s standards was an outstanding dad. He spent time with his son and took him to church.

A comment on "modern" parents: not enough church goers!

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Sadly, his adult son can barely hold a job, lives for drugs, and has no relationship with the Lord. Most would agree that’s a tragedy!

Yes, addiction is a tragedy.

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However, even if a child has a great job, is happily married, but doesn’t know the Lord, that still is a tragedy. 

No, that is not a tragedy. 

Second Paragraph:

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We know that children tend to look to their parents and love what Dad and Mom love. 

Sometimes and sometimes they develop their own interests.

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What/Who is it that you love and can’t live without? Might it be entertainment, sports, hunting/fishing, etc. Or do you love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?

Some people manage to do both.

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“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37-38).  Brothers, is it the deep, deep desire of your heart—to love Him, Who first loved you (1 John 4:21) and to follow Him (Matthew 16:24)? 

I think most people who follow your column must love the Lord, else why read your column? You don't give enough non-Godly parenting tips. Shame too, because people might want tips on fatherhood. People who snark on your column are the minority.

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Do you want to grow? Do you want to serve Him? Do you want to lead others to Him? There is no lack of challenge there, no room for boredom, no time to love the world. The world and all it offers is death. Opposite to that is Jesus Christ and life in Him, which is true life. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27). As you live a life of love for Christ, your children are watching. What you love, they will love.

Same old, same old. Yes, your kids can tell if you love Jesus or if you are merely going through the motions. 

This isn't just Steve's grumblings; Christianity is pretty consistent on Jesus offering life. These last two feel phoned in, but Steve also seems happy and smug.

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There he goes mentioning fishing again (and adding hunting now, too).

The men’s group in the church they attend specifically mentions fishing trips for some of their get togethers. 
 

It’s these kinds of things that make surprised he went back to an actual church. What church could ever meet Steve’s (boring as hell) standards?  Even this one doesn’t. 

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1 hour ago, kpmom said:

It’s these kinds of things that make surprised he went back to an actual church. What church could ever meet Steve’s (boring as hell) standards?  Even this one doesn’t. 

It is a mystery.

I wonder who in the family first made contact with that church. I doubt it was Steve but it seems like it would have to have been an adult male -- maybe one of the sons?

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It was one of the sons.  I can't remember which one it was.  Steve and the rest at home began going to Sunday evening services.  

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15 minutes ago, Coconut Flan said:

It was one of the sons.  I can't remember which one it was.  Steve and the rest at home began going to Sunday evening services.  

  I really hope it was the son who was forced by his father to give up playing a musical instrument because he enjoyed it too much. (Some kind of horn? Maybe someone else remembers who and what.) I’d like that long ago boy to be the instrument of Steve’s downfall. 

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2 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

It is a mystery.

I wonder who in the family first made contact with that church. I doubt it was Steve but it seems like it would have to have been an adult male -- maybe one of the sons?

I looked on the blog and I think it is this one they used to perform at when they were a lot younger. Is it Gigi's church too? https://blog.titus2.com/2012/12/03/an-invitation-walk-through-bethlehem/

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2 hours ago, ClareDeLune said:

I looked on the blog and I think it is this one they used to perform at when they were a lot younger.

Yes! And that's where Sarah & Kory were married, and where a number of the Maxwells go now.

Looks like A Walk Through Bethlehem is an annual event.

 

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So would it have been Steve who introduced them to the church that eventually helped them out from under his control?

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On 11/20/2022 at 8:21 PM, Bastet said:

  I really hope it was the son who was forced by his father to give up playing a musical instrument because he enjoyed it too much. (Some kind of horn? Maybe someone else remembers who and what.) I’d like that long ago boy to be the instrument of Steve’s downfall. 

Someone just mentioned that on Mary's engagement thread.  The son in question was none other than Forgotten Jesse. 

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Despite all his ridiculous standards and wailing and gnashing of teeth, all three of his daughters are out from under his thumb in ways he would NEVER have approved of (and I don't believe he does now).

Suck it, you joyless, puritanical prick. :smiley-signs136:

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I'm reading back over articles I missed. When did Steve have his heart op/treatment?  Didn't he think that was God chastening him and he went on a really strict diet?

I'm glad that when Sarah had concussion it seemed to start a period of reevaluation and instead of giving herself a hard time about why God might be chastening her, she saw a proper doctor, took meds, got better, then went out and bought her first car (and then later made even bigger changes).

 

None of them want to be under his influence now, so he might as well be quiet and face facts.

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On 11/22/2022 at 11:06 PM, HeartsAFundie said:

Someone just mentioned that on Mary's engagement thread.  The son in question was none other than Forgotten Jesse. 

Isn't Jesse the one who moved into an apartment instead of buying a house debt free?

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16 minutes ago, FloraDoraDolly said:

Isn't Jesse the one who moved into an apartment instead of buying a house debt free?

He bought a fixer upper debt free before he got married. He then rented it out. When he and Anna got married, they decided to move 45 minutes away and rent an apartment. 

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15 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

He bought a fixer upper debt free before he got married. He then rented it out. When he and Anna got married, they decided to move 45 minutes away and rent an apartment. 

And that's when things slowly started to change in Maxhell.  Maybe Jesse was the catalyst that got the girls to start asking questions about their upbringing and realize there was a beautiful world out there they were missing out on.   He rented an apartment and the world didn't implode, nor did Jesus smite him.     

Edited by HeartsAFundie
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2 minutes ago, HeartsAFundie said:

And that's when things slowly started to change in Maxhell.  

He got married during the worst of Covid. Which was when Steve had to stop his “church of the nursing home.” Covid was a likely catalyst that pushed change since they had to find a new church. 

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6 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

He got married during the worst of Covid. Which was when Steve had to stop his “church of the nursing home.” Covid was a likely catalyst that pushed change since they had to find a new church. 

If there is anything positive to be gleaned from the pandemic, the fall of Maxhell certainly makes the top of the list.  

Honestly though, the pandemic made a lot of people reassess their lives and change direction.  I know it did for me.  As awful as it was, I am grateful to the pandemic for helping me reconsider my life choices to date and put me in a far better and happier place.    

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5 minutes ago, HeartsAFundie said:

If there is anything positive to be gleaned from the pandemic, the fall of Maxhell certainly makes the top of the list.  

Honestly though, the pandemic made a lot of people reassess their lives and change direction.  I know it did for me.  As awful as it was, I am grateful to the pandemic for helping me reconsider my life choices to date and put me in a far better and happier place.    

Same here. It was horrible but it did make me think differently. Although I believe it made my life much worse overall. I try to find any sort of good that came out of it. There just isn’t much. 

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So this week's Seriously, Dad? is called Under the Influence 2 and it's from November 30, 2022. It's weird as this is a 2 which suggests there is a 1. No Seriously was posted last week on the 23rd. Maybe that's the missing first Under the Influence? It's also possible that he wrote an Under the Influence article earlier.

First Paragraph:

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Hopefully, each of you worshipped at a Bible-believing and teaching assembly this past Sunday. 

Yes, Steve hopes your church is one of God and not of beer and football (either kind). I also find it strange that he says assembly and not church. Maybe that's an evangelical thing? Or maybe Steve doesn't want to repeat the word too much and used a thesaurus?

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“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another…” (Hebrews 10:25a). It is important that the church’s doctrine is biblically sound as hearing it taught each week will have an eternal impact on the lives of your family. 

Yes churches have a big impact on people's lives, even beyond doctrine. It is important to have a doctrine that accepts that people can be different and still be welcomed. 

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There is another influence almost as powerful as the preaching.

I let you guess if this influence is the music or the refreshments after the service.

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The collective influence of the church body is a force not to be underestimated. 

I agree. If people in the congregation aren't friendly, it would still be hard to attend church even if the services were enjoyable to attend. 

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 God intended that force to be for good in helping those attending live consistently with His Word.

Yes, it would be strange if a Christian church didn't read or talk about the bible.

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However, the world has infiltrated so many churches through the members’ worldly lifestyles that even though their doctrine may be good, the influence on your family may not be. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). 

Fundies talk too much about the loving the world. It's startling to think that they are Christians who can have sound doctrine and love worldly things. The idea you can do both may make them want to see both. 

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Sometimes a look at the youth will reveal the “fruit” of the church. What is the youth group like? What do they do in their meetings? “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes” (Luke 6:43-44).

I have a feeling Steve wouldn't have approved of our youth group meetings, but the leader was a good man (of God). I agree youth groups reveal the "fruit" of the church. Are they being lectured and forced to be biblical the whole time? Are they being told how to vote? And most importantly, are the teens (kids) being treated well? Are they abused emotionally, spiritually, physically, or sexually? If there is abuse, how is it handled? Do they believe a young woman who comes forward and says she was groomed/molested by the youth pastor? If they believe her, do they more than ask her to forgive him?

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Just because an organization calls itself a church, it doesn’t mean the outcome of its influence is good. 

Yes, just look at all the denominations/churches with sex abuse problems. A lot of bad things can happen in a church. Your kids watching a few movies is not one of them.

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Haha that's a pop at Mr Kory Bollinger having fun times with the youth group, and pinching his eldest daughter at the same time 🤣 

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Sometimes a look at the youth will reveal the “fruit” of the church. What is the youth group like? What do they do in their meetings? “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes” (Luke 6:43-44).

 

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