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#23308 - Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:25 PM Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta  
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J_Edwards Offline
Needs to get a Life
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Most of you have probably heard about the Atlanta Courtroom shooting and murder of a judge and some deputies. What many have not seen on TV or read in the newspaper is the person responsible for Brian Nichols’ capture (Ashley Smith) read to him from "The Purpose-Driven Life." Many in Christian circles are acclaiming this victory to TPDL, however was her real intent to be a witness for Christ or something other?

Quote
Smith said that during her seven-hour hostage ordeal, they talked about the book she was reading--"The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. They talked about her 5-year-old daughter, and the death of her husband four years ago.

"I told him that if he hurt me, my little girl wouldn't have a mommy or daddy," she said.

She begged him to let her go see her daughter Saturday morning. At first he said no. Then he said maybe. Then he asked for her help to ditch a pickup truck allegedly taken after the killing of an off-duty federal agent.

She went with him, took her cell phone, thought about calling police, but concluded she might get caught in some sort of crossfire between Nichols and police. So she waited.

"I basically just talked to him and tried to gain his trust," Smith said. "I wanted to leave to go see my daughter, and that was really important."

He told her he just wanted to relax in her place for a few days, watch television and eat some real food. She cooked him breakfast--pancakes with butter.

"I didn't want to die. I didn't want him to hurt anybody else," she said. "He's done enough. . . . And when I looked at him, he didn't look like he wanted to do it anymore."

Hostage won Atlanta killing suspect's trust

While she should be praised for some good common sense in getting out of a very dangerous situation is this what Christianity is being reduced to today--the TPDL? Will the face of martyrdom be changing as well?


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#23309 - Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:44 PM Re: Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta [Re: J_Edwards]  
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The Wall Street Journal puts it a little differently than does CBS. Here is a transcript from Ashley Smith's testimony when she met with reporters at her lawyer's office. http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110006429

I don't see the martyrdom connection as she is still alive.


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
#23310 - Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:54 PM Re: Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta [Re: chestnutmare]  
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MarieP Offline
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I've been reading about and pondering this situation too. On one hand, God is sovereign. On the other hand, it concerns me as to how much "gospel" was actually presented.

Yes, such an act on Ashley Smith's part is am act of mercy, but was sin adequately mentioned? I wonder if there is not part to this part the papers are not mentioning. Was God said to be a holy God? Was man said to be sinful and unable to merit God's favor? Was Christ spoken of as the perfect sacrifice who died for sinners? Was repentance and faith spoken of? I've thought, "Oh man, I wish she would have gone through Romans 1-5 with him and maybe read from R. C. Sproul or C. H. Spurgeon."

Well, there will be good coming out of this, and we need to remember that God can draw straight lines with crooked sticks (thought that is no excuse to not make sure the Gospel is proclaimed). And I wonder how many of us Calvinists would have done what Ashley did. On the other hand, Romans 10:14 says "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?" God's means of converting sinners is by the preaching of the Gospel, so could the man really have been saved?

BTW, I find it interesting that the chapter she chose was chapter 33, "How Real Servants Act"...I'd REALLY like to know what Scripture was read...


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#23311 - Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:05 PM Preaching, Teaching, and Reading the Word thread [Re: MarieP]  
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MarieP Offline
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Thought this thread would be relevant.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#23312 - Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:21 PM Re: Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta [Re: chestnutmare]  
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J_Edwards Offline
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Quote
I don't see the martyrdom connection as she is still alive.

This was understandably hypothetical ... if she would have died she would have been sharing TPDL mixed in part with the Word of God, etc. Many today "think" that sharing a book by man is the same as sharing the Holy, infallible, inerrant Word of God. Mixing truth with error is not the Gospel message .... Though I agree with SemperReformanda that God is sovereign and can work a miracle from a blunder, this still does not relieve us from delivering the full Gospel message (with which I am sure she and you would agree) .... How many are willing to die for a false gospel...... Of course, there have always been martyrs willing to die for that which is false....I am just wondering if that is becoming the status quo.... Maybe Warren's next book will be The Purpose Driven Martyr. Thanks for the additional article. I am sure there will be several accounts of her experiences coming forth, as in any situation like this you remember some things more clearly than others and then those that are unclear become more clear over time (sometimes), et. AL.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#23313 - Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:02 AM Re: Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta [Re: MarieP]  
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gnarley Offline
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I'm not that much of a Rick Warren fan, but it think it is inapropriate to criticize the lady for having TPDL available and reading from it. I question whether some of these nay-sayers would have done as good a job as she. She does not need this "sore looser" criticizm


gil
#23314 - Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:43 AM Re: Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta [Re: gnarley]  
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Quote
gnarley said:
I'm not that much of a Rick Warren fan, but it think it is inapropriate to criticize the lady for having TPDL available and reading from it. I question whether some of these nay-sayers would have done as good a job as she. She does not need this "sore looser" criticism

YOU are missing the point. First, this is in no way a criticism of Ashley Smith as a person. Second, we are looking at whether someone should mix the Gospel with a false gospel (TPDL). Why read from TPDL and not the Scripture? Which is more crucial in the possible last moments of your life? Where is your faith to get you through the crisis; in God or Rick Warren?, etc. Third, you can question whether many nay sayers would have done as good a job and I am sure you will find some that would not. However, from personal experience and history itself I can assure you that many have not perverted the Truth with untruth and gained similar results.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#23315 - Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:46 AM Re: Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta [Re: gnarley]  
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thredj Offline
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Quote
I'm not that much of a Rick Warren fan, but it think it is inapropriate to criticize the lady for having TPDL available and reading from it. I question whether some of these nay-sayers would have done as good a job as she. She does not need this "sore looser" criticizm
...IMO, gnarley's comment brings up an interesting question...

I have been listening to some sermons on mercy this week, using Matthew 18:21-34 as the text. In one portion of the sermon the pastor used Peter as an example as one who cursed, denied the Lord and led some believers astray by teaching wrong doctrine (Galatians) and yet he was still the man who preached the powerful sermon in the book of Acts, etc. etc.

So, to make a long story longer...Where do we draw the line? When does one, once and for all, become a recreant? Some can fall into false doctrine, teach it to others, and lead astray many in the faith but if he repents then what? I guess what I'm saying is I find myself being especially critical of those who adhere to wrong doctrine and I'm not saying that we should excuse these men by any means, but when is mercy appropriate for situations like these and when do we declare Anathema! Ok, my rambling's done. Does any of it makes sense...at all?....even just a little bit?


tj
"-that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection..."
#23316 - Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:14 AM Re: Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta [Re: thredj]  
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Quote
I have been listening to some sermons on mercy this week, using Matthew 18:21-34 as the text. In one portion of the sermon the pastor used Peter as an example as one who cursed, denied the Lord and led some believers astray by teaching wrong doctrine (Galatians) and yet he was still the man who preached the powerful sermon in the book of Acts, etc. etc.

Anyone can fall into false doctrine, etc. .... However, in your example you are missing a critical point—repentance!!! In your example you should have added that there was genuine repentance after genuine confrontation (Matt 18:15f; Gal. 6:1-6, including mercy, grace, etc.). Where in this incident in Atlanta do you even have anyone even recognizing the error (of mixing Truth with error), properly confronting the situation, and then seeing if there is genuine repentance (recognizing what the true Gospel is)? Like I said in the original post, Ashley Smith should be praised for some good common sense in getting out of a very dangerous situation, however, the Gospel is the Gospel and it should not be diluted, replaced ….., etc.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#23317 - Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:42 AM Re: Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta [Re: J_Edwards]  
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thredj Offline
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Quote
Like I said in the original post, Ashley Smith should be praised for some good common sense in getting out of a very dangerous situation, however, the Gospel is the Gospel and it should not be diluted, replaced ….., etc.


...Agreed


tj
"-that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection..."
#23318 - Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:52 AM Re: Purpose Driven Life and Murder in Atlanta [Re: J_Edwards]  

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Yes a false gospel is really no gospel at all. Those who accept TPDL have rejected the historic Christian faith. I hate to be that blunt, but it is just the way it is. There is nothing about law or gospel in the book. It is combination of sentimental pandering and outright heresy. Preaching something "almost" the gospel is not be praised by anyone. The fact that it worked pretty much proves that there was no gospel present at all. If the man was told he was a sinner, and that he should repent he surely would have killed the person on sight. No gospel, no praises. Don't worry though this TPDL thing will go away soon enough (remember the Prayer of Jabez?????? Not really- yeah I didn't think so).


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