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A pure practice of the faith

The pure way to begin to see things in and about yourself that you are currently blind to (and to awaken and develop more understanding generally) is to use the world as a mirror and to specifically make an effort to see in yourself what you dislike in others.


Blogger c.t. said...

To be practical and real and honest in doing the faith at the practical level you have to use pen and paper. The Puritans knew this, hence their famous journals. But it doesn't require a journal always. Just a piece of paper where you write your aim down. This is important. Formulating an aim makes you serious in your practice of the faith.

An aim is like the biblical meaning of 'vow'.

Be serious with aims. Don't make them promiscuously, or unwisely. Make aims that you can reasonably carry out (yet still that require real effort).

For seeing in yourself what you dislike in others a good, simple aim would be this: today I'm going to make the effort to observe 3 incidents - whatever they are - where I'm seeing something in another person that I don't like, and I'm going to, in real time, make the effort to see that particular thing in myself. And I'm going to write each of the 3 incidents down on this piece of paper.

You can't know, by just reading the above, how powerful such an aim becomes when you actually do it. It takes you out of the 'drifting along in life thinking about doing things' down to the hard ditch-digging reality of actually DOING them.

And these moments of truly seeing new things in yourself have big effect in time. It may not seem it at the time, but the increase of light (understanding) of yourself that you achieve in those moments stay with you and become part of who you are and your level of awakeness and understanding in general.

When you do the full program (which is contained in the New Testament, you just have to be motivated to find the practical-level teaching there) the increase of real understanding and level of being (ability to glorify God) is undeniable.

(And, I write as if you are regenerate and have faith and repentance. That is the necessary foundation. If you're there you're there. You know.)

A start, by the way, of seeing the full program is the post below on the 7 features of the carnal self you have to observe in yourself and do battle with and overcome.

August 24, 2005 at 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey c.t. not to beat a dead horse but I think the Rev Fat Boy Spencer loves your blog. I mean lets face it. He banned you from commenting at his blog and then boldly comes over to your blog (which he obviously reads and likes as he keeps coming back) and begins to comment and try and tell to shut down the anonymous comments from your blog. Somehow the fat monk from Kentucky (see, I can spell without typos) thinks that it is his duty to tell everyone what to do with their blogs or make fun of people when they do not do what he tells them to do, he makes fun of them. Take this for example. He posted this post making fun of you tonight at his website:
A Trace of Gnostic Lutheranism (JN+)
Read Chemnitz through seven times. Complete. That is God's will for every Christian. If you read Chemnitz seven times and you aren't regenerate, then you aren't elect anyway.

Posted by Michael Spencer at 10:23 PM

Now, what is interesting is that the lying Rev Fat Monk has warned his dildos in the tavern not to converse or read your blog but he linked to your blog tonight.

I must say that the word must continue to get out on the two faced hypocrite monk, kind of like it did at Modern Reformation, where they will no longer publish his writings due to the controversy surrounding some of his theological stances.

Mr. Monk, you continue to be the laughing stock of the Internet at various blogs.

August 24, 2005 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I'd just state this: look how the iMonk (and his type) mocks reading the Word of God by comparing a goal to read the Bible seven times to reading a 16th century Lutheran theologian (or any book written by any man) and passing it off as satire in some way. It's not satire, it's a cleric saying: "How dare you talk about actually reading the Word of God. We've got decades now of teaching in place that has turned Christians away from the actual reading of the Word of God. Why aren't you with the program? How did you escape our influence?"

Answer: I'm an elect of God.

August 24, 2005 at 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, you notice that iMonk NEVER quotes the Word of God. He mocks it and mocks those that love God's Word. No wonder he could never stand up to James White. A few sentences from James White and Spencer closed down the comments on his web site and ran and hid. I would love to see James White and Michael Spencer in a one on one debate regarding anything Christian. I can picture it now, Spencer with that big fat face, sweating and stumbling over every word unable to spout anything intelligent. Is it any wonder that he only has credibility with some dildos in his make believe tavern and some poor hillbilly kids stuck at his refuge in the hills of Nowhere, Kentucky.

August 24, 2005 at 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it any wonder that Michael Spencer ended up in the PCUSA? He supports homosexuality. It is scary to think he is involved with teen agers.

August 24, 2005 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Come on, anon., knowing the iMonk's penchant for orchestrating his own persecution at times I might have to start suspecting you're him.

I don't delete anything, but references to child abuse...come on...

And I noticed the homepage of his church specifically references that they are no in the same ideological camp as the pro-homosexual, liberal lobby within the mainstream Presbyterian denomination(s) (whatever the alphabet soup on that is)...

August 25, 2005 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Here, read the iMonk's church's homepage:


August 25, 2005 at 12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly agree that the iMonk orchestrates his own persecution but I am not him. I was speaking more to the influence he has over teen agers versus anything sexual at all. I would have no idea and don't even want to go down that evil path. The true concern is what he is teaching teen agers.

Spencer doesn't see himself as evil or depraved at all. You never hear him confess that he is wrong but you will see him comment on his constant depression and feelings of low self worth. Where is his hope and what does he place his hope in?

It seems that he loves the attention of men (including his little vibrating tavern dildos) and seeks that attention by purposely being controversial. He probably has very few close friends and is frustrated by being middle aged with not much of a future. How could he have much of a life when all he does is sit behind a computer and type all the time? It is kind of like he lives in his own little dream world. Pathetic! Does one need to wonder why God has not blessed his pastoral ministry at his littley dying PCUSA church? And one would really have to wonder if he is not on staff at OBI to boost his own ego versus changing the lives of teen agers. It is a sincere question based upon his own writings. He appears to be bored with the teen agers, his church, and his life in general. Maybe that is where his depression begins.

If Spencer could only realize that it is when he dies to self and puts on Jesus Christ that life is no longer boring or depressing. He would also realize that he does not always have to be right or popular. Notice that he does not appear to know God's Word and never quotes it. He is more concerned with the cares of men.

August 25, 2005 at 1:24 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Considering the subject matter of the post these comments are being written under perhaps this might afford you the opportunity to make the effort to try to see in yourself what you dislike in the iMonk.

It's kind of a law that what we are most unaware of in ourselves and our own behaviour we are most intolerant and critical of in others.

This is an exercise, by the way, that is purely for awakening to yourself and developing understanding of yourself and not in any way an exercise in accusing others (i.e. I'm not saying you are just like the iMonk) or beating yourself up. Just using the world as a mirror, and seeing in yourself what you dislike in others as a way to begin to see things in yourself that you currently are not able to see and are not aware of.

August 25, 2005 at 1:44 AM  
Anonymous Steve Gentry said...


I don’t like anonymous posts so let me introduce myself. My name is Steve Gentry, email stephengentry@yahoo.com. I’ve been reading the comments on some of your recent blogs regarding Michael Spencer at the BHT. In particular, the comments from “Anonymous” have been way out of line. If character assassination is the goal of your blog, then “Anonymous” is accomplishing your goal for you. I find his remarks to be offensive, inappropriate, and decidedly unchristian in character. I personally admire Michael for being willing to teach poor hillbilly kids from Nowhere, KY. I have relatives that live in eastern Kentucky, and it isn’t an easy place to have a ministry. Anyone willing to work in a ministry in that area should be built up and encouraged, not ripped to shreds by an uncouth anonymous poster.

Michael encouraged you once to turn off anonymous comments to encourage actual intelligent conversation rather than mudslinging from the safety of an anonymous “safe haven” which you provide by not making him divulge his name. I’ve been reading the iMonk and BHT for a few weeks now, and I like what I see. He provides excellent insights into some thorny issues. He is willing to be controversial and welcomes constructive comments and discussion.

One of the “rules” at Phillip Johnson’s site (Pyromaniac) is, and I quote: “Say what you like about me; disagree as strongly as you like; beat me up or slap me around verbally with near-total impunity. But keep within the parameters of Christian civility. I'll automatically delete comments with profane or unwholesome words, including abbreviated or otherwise disguised ones.” Caroline - You would do well to do likewise.

One other item and I’m out of here. Who are you? I can go to Phillip Johnson’s blog or Michael Spencers blog and get a complete bio. I can get to know a little bit about them. When I check your profile, I get nothing. By doing a little bit of reading, I know that you are Caroline Trace (I don’t know if that is your real name or pen name). But I don’t know anything about your background, education, or other credentials you may have. How about updating your profile so people know who and what you are.


August 25, 2005 at 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last comment was obviously by the one and only Michael Spencer himself. Hmmmmm. Only been reading Michael Spencer and the BHT for only a few weeks and you like him? Huh? And let me see. You just happened to stumble into Caroline's blog by chance...right? I can tell by the style of your writing that you are the only and only monk himself trying to praise yourself and parade as someone else. How many times do you do that by the way? Anyone can go create an e-mail address at any domain so like "stephengentry@yahoo.com.

The goal of my posts is not character assasination. It allowing the truth to be told about the iMonk and for him to sow a little of what he has done to others across the internet (i.e Caroline Trace). When Caroline posted at his blog, he loved to rip on her on a daily basis.

By the way "steve" I mean Michael, my pen name is "anonymous" and my bio is, well, anonymous.

So, Michael quit creating fake identities and get back into your little tavern with the rest of drug loving dildos.

August 25, 2005 at 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael your writing style cannot be disguised. I agree. That was Michael Spencer. Who would just come along and defend him anyway?

August 25, 2005 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Johnson's rules got everything I ever wrote there deleted, so if I adopted his rules I'd have to delete everything I write here.

When I first got on the internet it was in an environment where everything goes and nothing is deleted (especially when I was moderator). Of course people will take advantage of that, but so what. Comments exist on a lower stratum of a blog. And anyway even in the most seemingly useless or solely negative comments there is something of worth, even if it's just to witness common emotional and intellectual displays of unfettered expression.

It's funny how you attempt to find a way to blame myself for the content of anonymous comments. ("You were told once to turn off the anonymous comments feature, and you didn't do it.)

Police everywhere (do I tell you how to set the preferences of your yahoo email account?) and I'm the universal criminal, even at my own blog. Next request: "Please ban yourself from writing posts to this blog."

Nothing bothers me. Call me anything you want. Say anything you want. Use bad words. Whatever. I write things that upset people for different reasons, but it's more serious than 99.9% of anything one can read in the Christian blogosphere...

The paragraph you started with "One other item and I’m out of here." ... If you're 'out of here' why should I bother responding? You're out of here! Bye, out of here...

August 25, 2005 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I havn't even advertised this blog, yet. So, the comments thus far will be iMonk related to a degree since he's been here.

I've actually observed a recent trend among bloggers to adopt alternative personalities. I mean, sort of doing it in the open even. You can never know (the deniability is pretty bullet-proof, afterall, especially with no I.P. numbers involved as is the case with blogger blogs), but, for instance, does anybody really know if Jus Divinum is really 'Jonathan Felt' and not just a creation of Steve Hays, since they write in a seemingly similar manner with exactly similar opinions (I say seemingly since I tend not to read 14 page posts having to do with whether Phil Johnson observes a correct approach to political activism vis-a-vis the demands of Scripture, etc.)...

The motivation in some cases would seem to be to deflect the impression that one is living in front of a computer churning out lengthy posts and comments.

August 25, 2005 at 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is well known that iMonk posts comments under various screen names. He tried it for awhile at Pyromaniac and people figured out it was him. Something like "joey calvin". Now he is "steve gentry".

I went back and reread the post by Mr. "Gentry" and got a big laugh. You are right on with your comments c.t. And who is he to start to demand that you post personal information about yourself. He bans you from posting at the Internet Monk because he disagrees with your views and comments and then he comes in here and, again, tries to tell you how to run YOUR blog. He knew you would not listen to "Michael Spencer" so he made up a new name("Steve Gentry")and thought he could convince you. If you notice one thing about the dildo loving monk, he likes to pretend he is interested in someone or something to gain information and then runs back to his web site and mocks and ridicules people.

What kind of pastor is he anyway?

Hey Spencer. On an added note. This is not the only place I or many others are telling the truth about you. Try and find some of the other sites and you will see that you and the dildo (i.e. Phillip Winn) crowd in your tavern are the laughing stock around the internet.

August 25, 2005 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Steve Gentry said...

Caroline - You are of course free to run your blog as you choose. Turning of anonymous comments was only a suggestion.

My comment that "I'm out of here" was simply meant to say that I was through commenting and was moving on to other work.

Anonymous - I'm not Michael Spencer but thanks for the compliment. From what I have seen in various blogs, Michael is quite capable of speaking for himself and is not ashamed to identify himself when he does.

August 25, 2005 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...

I'd pick a better name. I am not "Steve Gentry." Good frickin grief.

I never attempted to disguise my ID at pyro. I said I was the iMonk in every post. It took a while for me to figure out how to post under my own name.

August 25, 2005 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...

The posts were under Joey Calvin, but I plainly said who I was in those posts.

August 25, 2005 at 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad you cannot tell the truth. Funny, isn't it, how only "Steve Gentry" sides with you and yes Michael, you are made fun of alot throughout the blogosphere. More than one person, including James White, has made fun of you for being less than mentally stable. I remember specfically you not identifying yourself at Pyromaniac and logging in as Joey Calvin. It is ONLY when people recognize you that you begin to admit who you are. You are deceitful as you are in using the screen name "Steve Gentry". No one is fooled by you posting under that name and then Michael Spencer.

Things still hold true. You are the leader of the dildo tavern crew and you are a complete bafoon. Why don't you go back to your little tavern and cry about how you don't feel loved or useful anymore.

August 25, 2005 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...


What exactly did I do to you?

August 25, 2005 at 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me personally, nothing! It is the sad influence that you have on some who trust what you write and say. You are untrustworthy as far as the true Gospel and the Word of God are concerned and you need to be exposed far and wide for that. A true minister would be concerned with the Word of God and the precision involved in handling and teaching it. You are not. You notice you never allow scripture to teach people. You demonstrate far too much pride and not enough humility. You always spout your opinion without allow scripture to verify what you say is true. A minister of the Gospel must be about the Lord's work daily in all that he does and says. You are far from that. You have lost credibility across the Internet because of your irreverent and unbiblical opinions. Be assured that your ungodliness and false teaching will not go unnoticed nor will they be left unchecked. You enter public forums wanting to be a spokesperson and when people stand up to you, you slander them, ridicule them, and then dismiss them. We will continue to expose you across the internet.

August 25, 2005 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...

So...I have a hunch that you are a teenager. Are you?

And do you have a specific forum in mind where I have appeared as a "spokesperson?"

Could you tell me who "We" might be? Are you part of a group?

Particularly, are you associated with Fred Phelps?

August 25, 2005 at 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

iMonk: We thought that the first part of this scripture describes you and those that participate in the ungodly chatter in your tavern

"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God." I Cor 1:18

It is folly to you guys iMonk and you disrespect the Lord and His Word on a daily basis. If you are the watchman for the group over at BHT then you are responsible for what goes on there. The Lord is not precious to you guys nor are the things of God holy to you.

It is you, iMonk, who has sat in judgement on a whole host of people across Christianity and when the tables are turned on you, you whine and complain and portray yourself as some type of martyr. You are not a martyr. You are not even a good example of a follower of Christ, period. You bring shame to the name of Christ and you should step down from any ministerial position that you hold as a result. You have no one that you are accountable to. If you were in a true church, charges would be brought against you and you would be brought under church discipline for what you are teaching and saying and ultimately defrocked for your sin.

August 25, 2005 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

iMonk: Read the last comment and respond. Quit avoiding the real issues and deflecting attention off the issues that have been presented.

I do not even know who Fred Phelps is but nice try...you are wrong again.

August 25, 2005 at 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you would like, I can find out who Fred Phelps is and forward your last comment to him if that would help you.

August 25, 2005 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...

What do you want me to respond to? There are no questions.

August 25, 2005 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 25, 2005 at 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what I was referring to. I guess the comments above are true then and you have no response, not because the comments were not phrased as questions, but, because they are true and you know it and do not want to deal with the truth.

August 25, 2005 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...

I have no idea what you want me to respond to. If you'll ask questions, I'll answer. If you simply make statements, I'm not going to respond.

BTW- I asked several questions other than the Fred Phelps question.

August 25, 2005 at 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not about me, it's about a comment thread which you have become the topic of (based on your past behavior and comments) which c.t. has allowed. Your assumptions about me are way off base and are quite frankly, wrong. I have no questions for you. Why waste my time? You continue to write you liberal hog wash and deny the truth of scripture. Continue entertaining the dildos that you keep admitting to your little make believe tavern. Your responses are consistent with the responses that you have given in the past to men like James White and others who have confronted you online about your godless conduct and behavior. Yea, I am talking about the "who me?" "not me?" responses and "everyone that is picking on me" responses. You need to see your own sin, deal with it, and realize that your offensive behavior and reckless words and conduct do affect people. How ungodly are you or will you get?

August 25, 2005 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...

Well, obviously I need to either kill myself or renounce Christianity. It appears nothing short of those two options carries any water with you.

If you have something specific to discuss, by email address is available at either web site.

C.T., thanks for the space. You've been civil and I appreciate it. The same invitation goes to you. (I've got the read the Bible 7x and wait for regeneration thing, but beyond that, I'm happy to talk, i.e. converse, etc.)

August 25, 2005 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Michael Spencer said...


Thought you might find this interesting:

In January 05, internetmonk.com had 11,187 unique visitors, and 188,891 hits.

The James White autopsy of my essay was in April of 05.

In July of 05, I had 28,357 unique visitors with 446,652 hits.

Keep up the good work ;-)

August 25, 2005 at 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael stop being a hypocrite. You could care less about c.t. Why did you not treat her respectfully when she commented at your website? Why do you continue to make slanderous references about her and her websites? You hypocrite! Just last week you said that she was mentally unstable on your own website.

There is one option that is better than the two that you mention. It is called repentance. True godly sorrow over your sin. Confess your sins and your faults so that the Lord can change and heal you. Do you as a minister think that you are without sin? Why the pride? You are stubborn and blind. You do not want to give up your sinful ways. You love the attention of men that you receive at BHT. More than one person has pointed that out to you. The true option is repentance! Quit making fun of people on your website. Quit referring to good people who may be wrong as the "truly reformed". You treat people in an ugly manner when they disagree with you. You act like a spoiled brat when you are confronted with your sinful ways. How is that godly and Christlike? Repent or you will continue to be exposed across the internet!

August 25, 2005 at 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said it. Keep it up, I will! Are you so foolish? The ungodly will perish together. Where is your righteousness?

August 25, 2005 at 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you could refer to Spencer as a proud pig! Look at him boast.

August 25, 2005 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

The references to me in some of the comments above are not accurate. I was never treated good, bad, or indifferent on any iMonk site. I wrote a blog that did satire and other things on the Boar's Head Tavern patrons. What I called a 'guerilla blog'. Just for fun.

I don't take forums, blogs, comments seriously. Ephemeral small talk mostly. There are ways to learn things using the heat that can be generated on the internet, though, if you can find the right environment at the right time.

I mostly use the internet in various ways to force myself to articulate things I've learned or am learning.

August 25, 2005 at 6:58 PM  

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