Conversation with Forester

I was shocked one morning to find a comment on a blog entitled “about”. I had never written a blog called, “about”; where did this come from? Well evidently Forester had wanted to send me a message and he selected a sample page to do it on. I don’t mind so much because one of the unexpected delights I have found by becoming a blogger is the ability to make new acquaintances.  I don’t have any idea of all the things I agree and disagree with Forester on, but it seems clear to me that we are both a part of the body of Christ.



  1. the forester said,

    Just wanted to thank you for this. It was due.

  2. danielbalc said,

    Um Ok, but I am not really sure what you are thanking me for. Are you being sarcastic?

    my impression is that you are using that particular comment to further condemn me as one who builds his faith upon experience over the scriptures.

    That’s not who I am, but if you want to think of me as such you may.

  3. the forester said,

    No no no, my apologies. You may be reacting because I challenged you here, but 1) in writing that comment I hadn’t paid much attention to your role elsewhere, and 2) in that comment of mine it should be pretty clear who I was referring to.

    More evidence? This and that.

    I’m sorry that my tone didn’t come across correctly. I was being sincere (even though I am a reformed Calvinist). You would think people who purport to believe in the Bible so clear-mindedly would take it seriously.

  4. the forester said,

    And incidentally, I couldn’t have disagreed with this characterization you wrote more.

  5. danielbalc said,

    I appreciate that forester. BTW you were right on for challenging me on albinos page. Which is why I didn’t respond. I do like to debate I really do, but I realize that’s probably more of my carnal nature and pride then it is the Spirit at work within me. I was deeply pained this morning to read echo’s “the church is a disaster” comments. I think you can look at anything and see negatives, but the person who does that to their wife is asking for trouble, the person who does that towards Christs bride is IN trouble.

  6. danielbalc said,

    As far as “reformed Calvinist” go, I have many friends who are (and I might consider myself one). It’s the denominational elitist how strike a nerve with me. Specifically the kind that (if even unintentionally) imply another persons salvation is false.

  7. danielbalc said,

    lets not be devoured

  8. the forester said,

    I was deeply pained this morning to read echo’s “the church is a disaster” comments. I think you can look at anything and see negatives, but the person who does that to their wife is asking for trouble, the person who does that towards Christs bride is IN trouble.

    By the way — I neglected to mention this — your defense of Christ’s bride was well-written and inspiring. I’m interested to see if it is well-received. One person obviously took exception, which baffles me.

  9. danielbalc said,

    by this

    One person obviously took exception

    are you referring to echo or did I miss someone else throwing mud on the church?

  10. the forester said,

    I was referring to this comment. Great invitation at the end of that thread. You strike an affirmative, proactive, and supportive tone. I can learn from that.

  11. Echo_ohcE said,


    Do you guys really think I’m worth this much heartache?

    I mean, disagree with me or call me what you will, but why be so bitter? Why let me affect you so? Nothing I can say or do can make you so upset. Only you can make yourself so upset. Don’t let me ruin your day. Or in Forester’s case, an entire month. That’s sad to me that you’ve been holding a grudge for that long, and now you just don’t go on Rube’s blog anymore. I’m not worth it. Your bitterness may be in response to me – I can accept that – but you are the one who has chosen to respond the way you have.

    I’m sorry I provided you with an occasion for so much sin. I’m sorry I tempted you.

    You don’t have to forgive me, just turn me over to God to judge me justly. He will you know. Everyone will have to give an account to him. I know you believe that, so just rest in it and trust in him. That way you can get on with your life, and stop wasting emotional energy harboring grudges and bitterness over something said in a blog that you disagree with. It’s not worth it. That kind of anger will destroy you.


  12. itsasecret said,


    Your statements “Nothing I can say or do can make you so upset. Only you can make yourself so upset. Don’t let me ruin your day,” and “Your bitterness may be in response to me – I can accept that – but you are the one who has chosen to respond the way you have,” reek strongly of my New-Age upbringing. Truly, I find this to be quite odd.

    Have you not ever during the course of your numerous engagements of public discourse and/or your vast, exhaustive studies ever happened upon a thing or two said by one who confesses himself to be Christian brother that troubles your spirit? If you have (how can’t you have??), you should know that this is different than bitterness or anger.

    Certainly, I cannot speak for forester or Daniel. I have, in fact, never even spoken TO forester and don’t know him at all. I have, however, read many of your posts. When I can muster the patience to do so, I try to read each in its entirety. I have never chosen to respond, until now, because my spirit is typically so troubled by many of the things you say, I can barely type straight. Many of these things which trouble me center around the supposition that the church I attend and serve in is somehow not a ‘real church,’ that the pastors I submit to are somehow not ‘real pastors,’ and, worst of all, that these pastors are leading their flock astray (or even to hell) and should quickly repent. If I knew how, I would link to these specific comments here.

    Why do I find these things so troubling when, as you say, I should not allow you to be the cause of any heartache, upset, or wasting of emotional energy? Simply this: it speaks of a larger problem within the church. It speaks of disunity, pride, and a most-unsettling type of spiritual arrogance. I do not suggest that all interpretations of ‘Christianity’ need be accepted for the sake of unity. I confess I find the term ‘Christian’ used much too widely these days. However, I have seen God work mightily in the lives of those who do not necessarily adhere to the exact same theology as I. This has given me a respect for what God does in His church at large, in spite of our flawed theologies – and please recognize they are all flawed, to varying degrees. Do we find ourselves so intelligent, so spiritual, and so Christ-like that we can claim to have THE sole window into God’s ways – His heart and His mind? If so, I wonder what is left for us on Earth…

    Alas, I do not wish to draw anyone into any sort of debate. While I don’t entirely dislike such a thing, I find myself too troubled reading these theological debate blogs – to the point of being physically nauseous – to actively participate. Honestly, if you knew my life story, my upbringing, and my educational history, you would probably not find me a worthy opponent anyway.

    My entire point, Echo, is this: anger is far from the only thing that will destroy you. I once recall someone saying that the Spirit without knowledge breeds weakness; knowledge without the Spirit breeds harshness. Neither of these is demonstrated in the life of Christ. Do be careful, Echo, with the latter.

  13. Echo_ohcE said,

    Well, Mr. Secret, if reading my posts makes you sick to your stomach, and it requires a tremendous amount of patience to get through one in its entirety, then why do you continue to read them? Do you feel it is your duty to read them and understand my sin better? I don’t get it.

    By the way, we do have access to the one revelation of God to us. We all have access to it. I’m talking about the Bible. We all have it. You have it, I have it, and we can both read it and appeal to it as the highest authority.

    Anyway, I think you missed my point. My point was that whatever can be said about me may or may not be true: but these guys have set up this secret little room to talk about me behind my back. I really don’t care too much about me. I mean, they did go to the trouble to make it difficult to find, and honestly I stumbled across it more or less by accident. But the point is not to justify myself. You’ll note that I apologized to these guys for tempting them to sin. I don’t really want them to say “Echo’s ok! We like Echo!” I can’t say whatever they want me to say in order to get that response from them I guess. But that’s not the point.

    The point is, their hatred of me and my comments has been an occasion for them to feed bitterness. Whether they are right to hate me and to be bitter about me is not the point. The fact is, they are. I have been an occasion for them to sin. And the plain fact of the matter is that I feel bad about that.

    In fact, the reason that seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back is some comments I made lamenting the state of the church, and you have made very similar comments here, talking about how many who claim to be Christians aren’t, many are arrogant, etc. Just like Echo I guess. You say you don’t favor compromise for the sake of unity, but that’s the same point I have made for which I am hated. Ok.

    You know, if someone cuts you off, and you get mad and scream at him, who’s to blame for your outburst? You or the guy who cut you off?

    I’m sorry you grew up in a New Age church, and I’m sorry you’re associating my comments with their teachings. But the Bible doesn’t anywhere commend blaming our sin on someone else. Our anger is always our fault. Now, if you think they have a right to be angry with me, and you do, fine. All I was trying to say to them was that going to a secret place like this and talking behind my back is no way to vent anger, no way to behave. It’s nothing more than gossip. If I’m sinful, and their anger is righteous as a result, fine. But gossip is not the proper response or manifestation. It’s wrong. And as I said, I don’t care what is said about me. But I found this room where things I had said a month prior were being referenced, as if someone had been nursing a hatred of me for a month, and just couldn’t stand it anymore, and had to indulge their hatred by gossiping. Well, I was hoping that if I said something to them, they might be able to get over the horrible tragedy that is Echo, and perhaps move on. I think it’s terribly sad to imagine one of these guys sitting at their computer fanning the flames of hatred in their heart as they read my post, and maybe being in a bad mood, taking it out on their wives or children, or thinking about how much they hate me even away from the computer. I think that’s tragic. I think it’s sad. And I was under the mistaken impression that if I said something to them, apologized, reminded them that I’m not to blame for their anger, that maybe as Christians they’d realize that I was at least right about that and move on. I felt obligated to say it. How could I not say it? What was I supposed to do?


  14. itsasecret said,

    I think you have missed my point entirely. My point had nothing to do with who is responsible when one becomes angry, bitter, feels hatred, etc. My point was simply that these two people may, in fact, not be feeling those things at all. They might, in fact, be feeling troubled, saddened, and uneasy after reading many of your posts, as am I. Again I will restate: I cannot speak for them.

    Do not be so quick to flatter yourself and suggest that your posts are the only I read in an attempt to better “understand your sin.” I read entire threads on subjects of interest to me. Why? Listen closely, because you will discover the difference between you and me: I want to better understand those who have different theologies than I. Why? Most assuredly, most certainly, bet-your-bottom-dollar it is not because I am collecting information to examine others’ sin. I do not consider this my place, as no one is sinning against me personally. After all, God must have something left to do, eh Echo? No, understanding the theologies of my Christian brothers is important to me because I would like to be able to work together with them, in the world, as one church.

    I must say that I find the idea that the comments that you are allegedly hated for are so similar to mine a tad amusing. This amuses me on a few levels, honestly. One is the assumption that you are “hated” by either forester or Daniel, as neither has made such a statement (at least not publicly). Two, if you knew Daniel personally the idea that compromise is the name of his game is simply funny. Three, I do not find our positions on this matter to be similar at all. When I referred to, essentially, a “false Christianity,” I was referring to those who supposedly confess Jesus but a) don’t live their lives according to the Bible and/or b) those who practice false religions who claim Jesus. Examples would be Roman Catholicism, the Unity Church, Mormonism, etc. I was not referring to a person whose theology is different than mine, but who whole-heartedly believes in the Bible and studies it in its entirety.

    Let’s not be so obtuse as to suggest that I do not consider the Bible the complete revealed word of God and the one and only standard for living. Come on. But if it is so very easy to get a corner on the one correct interpretation of every verse in the Bible, why then do we even have different theologies at all? Why are there so many different denominations? Rest assured I have read the Bible (in the cover-to-cover sense), studied the Bible, and prayed for revelation for some years now. I will assume you’ve done the same. How is it that our theologies are different if the Word is such a simple text? My real question to you, I suppose, is do you feel that you – personally – have been given the one true interpretation of all the verses in the Bible? That those of us who may disagree with you on a particular point (infant baptism, tongues, etc.) are not as intelligent, not as spiritual, have not been given as good a revelation, or simply do not study hard enough?

    Thank you for your regret, but I do not lament my New Age upbringing. It has given me a unique perspective and the ability to reach out to others steeped in the same philosophies I once was. God surely had a purpose for my birth into my family.

    As a side note, I do believe it is quite a stretch to say you apologized to them (meaning forester and Daniel) in your first post. I’m not saying you should have in the first place, but is “I’m sorry I provided you with an occasion for so much sin. I’m sorry I tempted you,” honestly considered a sincere apology to you? Really?

    By the way, that’s Ms. Secret, to you.

  15. danielbalc said,

    OK I guess I will step in here. I was just going to sit back and let Echo make his crazy statements but now that Secret has gotten involved I guess I will say something.

    Echo, you have totally misunderstood the intent of this post. This post has nothing at all to do with you. It had to to do with forester, complimenting me because I finally broke down and decided to stop fighting. His comments were nothing but compliments for my change of tone.

    I received his compliments and sorted out some confusion and then decided to make our conversation clearly public. It was never hidden to begin with, but I thought it might be nice for people to view what a civil conversation looks like. Our entire conversation lasted but two days. That’s it! There hasn’t been any gossip, there hasn’t been any hate, there hasn’t been any bitterness.

    Quite frankly I would have thought you would have been pleased to see two brothers in Christ coming to a place of mutual understanding.

    But unfortunately you saw it as something differently.

    I appreciate secret trying to come to my defense, but it isn’t really necessary. I was content to allow echo to voice his mischaracterizations and fulfill the axiom, “it is better to keep your both shut and be thought a fool then to open it and remove all doubt.”

    I would remain silent and allowed it to continue but I see a harshness developing between secret and echo that is the exact opposite of what I want this particular post to be about. This one isn’t for fighting. Sorry boys and girls, but if you want to fight take it to a different post, maybe I’ll make a “fight here” page, but I would prefer this to be a page that demonstrates how two seeming enemies were reconciled.

  16. itsasecret said,

    I think I shall have to stay far away from the “fight page,” should you ever make it. Truly it does me no good.


  17. itsasecret said,

    My apologies to Echo and Daniel for becoming combative.

  18. Echo_ohcE said,

    How is it that our theologies are different if the Word is such a simple text?


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