Paul, (first, you don't need to read this, it is long and boring, just an attempt to clear up some of my attitude on this whole issue of Carlos)

The whole tone of your response to me is much different than the tone that Carlos received. I think if Carlos would have gotten a more gentle response than that he needed to repent of his slanderous accusations etc, he might have hung around and possibly learned and even changed his views. I believe the regulars on this discussion board are planted well enough doctrinally that opposing views are not going to easily shake them. When opposing views come, they present opportunities to sharpen swords and make us stronger in doctrine. This is one of the reasons I like this group, it challenges me continually, and it gives me opportunity to think through things.

I guess I related to Carlos, because I was where he was, not the Pentecostal type tendencies, but the part where I had to sit below a pastor and elders who were dead spiritually. I finally got the chance to teach through the book of Romans and when I got to the doctrine of predestination, I was run out of the church. The pastor made the comment that from “HIS” pulpit, he would only teach the love of Christ. He also said that God never said we were to hate our brothers, sisters, wives and children and that I was teaching heresy. We stayed at the church because we thought we could have a positive impact on it and the church wasn’t all about how great it was. After that, my wife and I looked around for churches in our area. One we attended was legalistic and all they preached was how bad everyone else is and how great “they/we” were. Others were also dead spiritually, only teaching man centered messages, so at that period in my life, I would have made the basically the same comment Carlos did, not intending it to be inclusive of all churches. In older posts on this board, back in 2003 when I joined it was because of what we were up against. It was then I stumbled on to the highway and realized there still was a “remnant” and we weren’t alone. It may sound odd to someone who hasn’t experienced that.
Side note: shortly after we were run out, the pastor came under conviction that he could not stay there any longer. The new pastor they installed began teaching the whole counsel of God. People only wanting to hear about the “love” of Christ found that the teaching about the justice and wrath of God was distasteful and they left. I’m now back to teaching, leading prayer meetings and giving an occasional message from the pulpit, this is from a church group that 4 years ago forced me out. God is in control and we need to always be sensitive to His guidance and leading.

That said, I believe Carlos was led here by our sovereign God. It didn’t seem to me that he came here to intentionally disrupt things but to open up and quite possibly find that he isn’t alone. I suppose that is why I was so grieved about Carlos, I saw myself about 5 years ago.
Those are some of the reasons I made the comments I did. Belittling was making a snide remark about computer skills, not a big deal, but he was already struggling with his view of Christians, gentleness, again a rebuke and asking him to repent, not trying to understand why he was in the disheveled state he was in. Muscling the truth was just giving him a huge load of resources and telling him to read this or that instead of trying to dialog with him. I know he appreciated the links and we all do, but some times why not try discussing it? It is a little more personal instead of wham, here you go. The job of the Holy Spirit means let Him work, again, I believe Carlos was led here for a reason and doing the previous things I mentioned he might have seen more clearly what everyone was trying to say to him. Causing trouble in the church is again, episodes where individuals want to run the church instead of allowing God to run it, seeking to force their agendas instead of following the line of authority, and in doing that, seek the highest authority, Christ Himself by praying over things first. All the problems in our church are caused by the less than faithful who believe it is their job to run the church, and if we don’t do it their way, then we are out of the will of God. Being Christ like means that we are patient, longsuffering and attentive trying to see why the person is in the state they are and addressing that instead of snap judgments on the intentions and spirit of the person.

In response to the Pharisees, I am trying to say, they were protective of their false understanding of the “truth”. Over the generations, each generation was taught lies and these are what they protected. Sort of allowing sewage into the drinking water and then doing everything possible to keep it that way, not allowing means of purification to get in. As far as law, again, I don’t communicate very well, but an example is protecting the legalistic, moral aspect of the law and missing completely the spiritual in it. Something a majority of churches are guilty of today.
My comment about not being a philosopher was meant to mean I have a hard time holding everything together logically, in my mind I know exactly what I’m thinking but my comments and way of phrasing is completely scrambled. I just was thinking how philosophy goes from point a to point b in their arguments.
My love of knowledge is the spiritual knowledge I receive through the Bible, the saints of old and groups like this. I am poorly equipped with the knowledge of the world, but I do know my redeemer. I’m seen as one who contradicts the wisdom of the past, but I don’t know why, again, I see things a little differently, but I don’t deny what they have spoken in the past, I just have expanded on it looking at it from a different viewpoint.

Anyway, thanks for the gentle reply, if only we would always respond in such a manner, it defuses any defensiveness or irritation even if we have been provoked by others. The best thing is to understand why the rash comments were made which you did here, calling me out on my comments concerning the treatment of people on the discussion group and I answered why I made those statements.

Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV