I realize it is a risk to feed a narcissistic, attention-loving personality, but I am posting this as a public service. While Dan Trabue is a small-time false teacher, he uses my blog to go to other sites to share his false beliefs. He is predictably disingenuous, but it is very time consuming to replay the same conversations over and over. Comment threads can literally go into the hundreds when refuting him. He uses the same basic script, posing as an otherwise-orthodox Bible-believing Christian who was dragged kicking and screaming to his current pro-gay theological positions. But the truth is something quite different. He delivers a deceptive fallacy-fest on many topics.
Not surprisingly, he bears false witness about me by claiming I bear false witness about him. Here’s what I mean: He knows he continued to comment at my site after being told to stop, that he continued to email me after being told to stop and continued to follow me to blogs and reply to me after being told to stop — and he even wrote my pastor! These are all facts of history that he lies about in trying to claim slander, gossip and false witness — but of course he’s the one slandering, gossiping and bearing false witness.
Now before you act surprised, remember that he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing doing the work of Satan. Of course he won’t doesn’t mind lying about these things.
What is amusing is that when I post a link to this page after Dan denies my simple request and replies to me on blogs he has followed me to, he tries to claim I’m bearing false witness. But his replies prove my point. I made one more attempt to get Dan to stop bothering me by posting this at another site. It only took an hour for him to ignore my simple request and prove my point about him.
Dan: “Where is the love? Where is the grace?
I sadly rebuke you in the name of Christ our Lord.”
Neil: Thoroughly documented blog-stalking false teacher Dan Trabue claims that he views me as a brother in Christ and loves me. When one considers how love manifests itself, it usually involves some sort of sacrifice — giving of time, giving of money, or sacrificing health, safety or even life itself. At least that’s how Christians throughout the century showed love.
Now carefully consider what I have asked Dan Trabue to do to show his “love”: Nothing. Literally nothing. I don’t mean I didn’t ask him anything. I did ask make a request of him: Do nothing. Do not comment on my blog, do not email me, do not reply to me on other blogs.
So has Dan the “loving, tolerant brother-in-Christ” demonstrated his love by adhering to my simple request to do nothing? Nope. He continually responds to my comments even though I never address him.
So here we are once again, wasting valuable time because Dan cannot perform what is literally the easiest request ever made in the history of the universe: Don’t reply to my blog comments.
So prove me wrong, Dan. Don’t respond to this comment or to any other comment I ever make, and I’ll do the same for you. What could be easier? Just do nothing and you will have exhibited the tiniest amount of evidence that you can accommodate the simplest and easier request for love ever.
If you type so much as an “OK” in response or if you ever reply to me again then I’ll update the post on my blog and re-post it, noting how “loving” Dan Trabue literally couldn’t bring himself to do nothing in response to a request from someone he insists is a brother-in-Christ to him. (If you want to complain about me on your blog, then by all means do that. I don’t read it so I don’t care. I just don’t want to interact with you, ever.)
Will you comply with the easiest request in the history of man to give the slighest bit of evidence of your alleged love, or will you prove yourself a hypocrite for all time? Your call! I’m good either way.
Most authentic Christian blogs ban Dan once they figure him out, though some perform a great public service and keep him engaged and limit the damage he does elsewhere (sort of like how engaging Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons keeps them from sharing their false teachings with your neighbors).
People like him can be confusing to seekers and he and his kind are the ones causing great divisions in the church. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate his errors in the most concise way possible. Otherwise, he wastes an inordinate amount of your time and gets his (im)moral victory of leaving the impression that these topics are toss-ups for the real church.
Dan is the guy who contacted my pastor because I took away Dan’s commenting privileges here and asked him not to email me. Yes, the Internet can be a creepy place. My pastor and I had a good laugh over it, as he is a true man of God and quite comfortable with my theology. Dan tried to say it was part of a Matthew 18 church discipline issue, but he begged the question by assuming that he is a brother-in-Christ. My point was that someone with his views and approach is no brother-in-Christ of mine.
The false teachers highlighted in the Bible probably referred to themselves as “brothers,” but that meant as much as it does when false teacher Dan says it.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
So this will be a one-stop shopping post, complete with a shortcut link – http://wp.me/p1wGU-2SV . When Dan plays his game you can just link here to give an overview of his views and his mode of operation. I’m glad to see people whale on false teachers who are more honest (in a perverse sort of way) about their heresies, but it is best not to feed one like Dan who poses as a Bible-believer.
“Prebuttal” to Dan: This isn’t slander, as you typically claim when I recount these facts, because slander is verbal and libel is written. And it is all true, so it isn’t libel. And it isn’t gossip because you open yourself to criticism when you post your heresies publicly. I know you read this blog religiously (heh) even though I ignore yours.
Bubba is one of my all-time favorite commenters and has been remarkably thorough and patient in exposing Dan’s false teachings and style at other blogs. He graciously let me borrow one of his comments to post here. They include links to Dan’s and other sites as evidence. There is so much more that could be added, such as his un-biblical views on the atonement and communion, but this should be sufficient.
Again, I normally have a “don’t feed the trolls” policy, but I think many of you will be glad to have a link like this handy as a shortcut in addressing Dan. Many thanks to Bubba for his excellent work.
I’d like to make clear that my intent wasn’t to offer some exhaustive list of Dan’s character defects or most controversial statements, or even to document what I think are his worst traits. It’s just that I believe that, in isolation, Dan Trabue’s comments sometimes gives the false impression that he’s a poltical and theological moderate who so thoroughly respects all of the Bible’s teachings that he wouldn’t make claims about the Bible that the text doesn’t make for itself. Even if everything he writes only implies all this and the explicit claims are strictly accurate, the total effect can be misleading because there are substantial material omissions. My goal is to provide the context that provides some of the more noteworthy details of his beliefs, in order to correct that false impression his writing may create.
I hope your readers notice that I do a lot of explicit quoting, linking to the original discussions so people can judge for themselves. Even when I describe his position in my own words, I merely describe and try to do so without judgment. I do not think it can be reasonably argued that it’s an ad hominem attack simply to provide neutral descriptions and sourced quotes of a person’s beliefs regarding the Bible.
So far as I know, Dan has never substantially changed his position on anything I quoted. He has routinely claimed that I grossly misunderstand him, but he’s never explained how. I’d love to hear an unambiguous clarification that, of course, Dan believes that God actually did command everything the Bible attributes to Him, that Christ’s death caused our salvation, and that His bodily Resurrection is a truly essential doctrine. I’m not optimistic on that front.
Here’s Bubba’s original quote posted at this site.
Deriving from Lev 18 and 29 (and Gen 19) a universal prohibition of homosexual behavior may be like stumbling onto the right answer for a math problem despite some arithmetic errors. The destination’s right, but the route was wrong.
As a general rule, it’s not the case the Old Testament regulations for the nation of ancient Israel (the only true theocracy, governed by God through His prophets and judges) apply to the church under the new covenant.
Dan Trabue goes too far. Even if certain passages prohibit homosexual behavior only in certain contexts, it’s still true that the Bible condemns the behavior EVERY time it’s explicitly mentioned. That those times are few isn’t determinative, nor is the context of Canaanite behavior. AFTER ALL, Leviticus 18 and 20 also prohibit adultery, incest, and bestiality. The latter is mentioned even less frequently than homosexuality, so should we start examining whether our condemnation of sheep-bothering is merely cultural and not really biblical, on the pretense that it was forbidden only in the pagan temple but not in the bedroom or barn, as the case may be?
Dan concludes that the Bible doesn’t explicitly condemn every possible configuration of homosexual behavior, but Bible study alone simply does not explain the leap from that conclusion to the conclusion that God blesses ANY configuration.
He notes that fidelity, mercy, etc., are good for everyone, but it doesn’t follow that God condones all possible familial arrangements in which these qualities aren’t excluded — prudence is good, but God doesn’t bless bank robberies if they’re well planned — and it’s possible that God made us male and female for a reason, and that reason is lifelong heterosexual monogamy.
It’s true that the Bible permits deviations from that arrangement, celibacy being perfectly moral, divorce being an explicit concession to our hard hearts, and polygamy being perhaps an implicit concession to a fallen. But, just because the Bible permits SOME exceptions, it doesn’t follow that it permits ALL exceptions — or this PARTICULAR exception of so-called “gay marriage.”
Anyway, we shouldn’t look primarily to the Old Testament when the New Testament is clear enough about which rules are carried forward. In its concluding chapter, Hebrews tells us not to worry about dietary regulations (13:9), but we should keep the wedding bed undefiled (13:4). Paul wrote that we shouldn’t be judged by what we eat but should refrain from “porneia,” sexual immorality (Col 2:16, 3:5).
Paul is also quite clear in Romans 1: because of man’s idolatry, God gave up the unrighteous to impurity (1:24), to dishonorable passions (1:26), and to a debased mind (1:28), leading to all manner of evil, including envy, murder, and slander. Even if one were to put a heavy emphasis on the fact that this consequence of homosexual behavior was in the context of idolatry, it’s still impossible to conclude that homosexual behavior is biblically permissible.
AFTER ALL, God wouldn’t “hand over” an idolator to behavior that is good or even morally neutral. “They were idolators, and so God gave them over to prayer and almsgiving” DOES NOT WORK as a logical progression, nor does the idea that they were idolators, and so God would give them over to morally neutral behavior like square dancing and poetry readings.
If that weren’t enough, Jesus Christ Himself made clear, in Matthew 19, that God made us male and female so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female). He immediately included celibacy as a righteous alternative, but nothing else: divorce was permitted only as a concession. The fact that this passage occurs in the context of divorce isn’t determinative: the principle, rooted in man’s very creation, is obviously universal and has wide-reaching consequences. It’s completely incoherent to tell a man that God made him male to become one flesh with a woman, only to turn around and say that God blesses a “marriage” with another man.
I’ve never met a Christian who had a plausible argument that the Bible permits such an arrangement, and I believe I know the Bible well enough to know that I never will.
I certainly don’t expect such an argument from Dan Trabue. It’s been a while since we’ve cross swords, but he and I have spent literal years and thousands of words in verbal combat.
My opinion of him is not very high at all, to understate things drastically, and Dan insists that I constantly misunderstand him. It may help those who don’t know him to have a little context about his beliefs, from his own hand.
Here, Dan laments when word games and biblical exegesis are used “for political ends,” but it’s not as if he’s a political moderate or an agnostic, and it’s not as if he has a problem invoking Christ’s name on the subject of politics. On his own blog he has written, “in my experience, the vast majority of US/western type of socialism/communism supporters are supporting a more egalitarian, just, equitable system that looks to take seriously the teachings of Christ.”
On the other hand, he wrote a poem for “W and his spawn” accusing free-market conservatives of deicide and the idolatrous worship of a bloodthirsty god. The poem must be read to be believed, and Dan is proud enough of the work that he published it twice in two years.
Here, Dan writes that he loves the Bible. Elsewhere he has written, “I DO love the Bible, but I DON’T accept that every line is a perfect representation of God’s Will.”
What lines are questionable? Well, the Old Testament passages where God commands wars of annihilation, Dan speculates that they could be essentially revenge fantasies: “Sometimes in the Bible, you have a powerless people who have been oppressed and it is completely natural for them to want to see a God that would take revenge for them, or allow them to take revenge. It’s a natural human response to oppression and we ought not judge it too harshly, especially we who have never known oppression.”
He entertains the possibility because he believes that the Old Testament attributes to God commands to commit literal atrocities:
“When we read that ‘God says’ to kill disrespectful children or that when we invade a country, we are to kill everyone – including the children and babes, BUT to save the virgin girls so we can make them our wives – when we read passages like that, we don’t need a Bible verse to straighten that out for us. CLEARLY, our God-given sense of logic and morality shouts out that such behavior is atrocious and wrong.”
(He does this on the way to arguing against the OT prohibition of homosexuality. Here he writes, “Sometimes, rules in the bible are time/people-specific.” Apparently, sometimes, the rules are altogether immoral for all people, or so Dan believes.)
The New Testament has its own problems, as Dan believes that it is “doubtless” that some of Paul’s letters betray some combination of sexism and homophobia.
Here, Dan writes that he esteems the Bible as a “book of truths.” Elsewhere he has elaborated on that position, writing, “that is not to say that I consider all the stories therein to be likely strictly fact-based.”
He even stated it more bluntly: “I think the Bible is a book of Truths. Not facts.”
What facts does he doubt? On the Passover — the central event of Judaism, commemorated annually for literally millennia, and the event through which Christians understand Christ’s death — he writes, “I find it hard to believe as a literal historic event.”
Dan affirms the “Big Truths” of the Bible, but not necessarily the “little details.”
Little things, like the story of Jonah, the Tower of Babel, and — ahem — THE VIRGIN BIRTH…
“For myself, if I were to find out that Mary was not actually a virgin or that Jonah was not actually swallowed by a great fish or that the tower of Babel story is just a mythological explanation of how people learned different languages, not a factual explanation, if I learned any of that to be factual, my faith in God would be intact because, well, my faith is in God, not these details.”
…and THE BODILY RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.
“Why can the resurrection spoken of in 1 Corinthians not be metaphorical? …if he were raised spiritually, not bodily, is that not a resurrection, too?
“Why can’t we be wrong on details as long as we get the big Truths right?”
Dan will be clear to state that he believes in the bodily Resurrection, but then again, he’s written, “I and my company are not of the sort that insist upon a literal interpretation of the Creation or even the Resurrection story.”
So far as I know, Dan has never written that the Crucifixion is one of those dispensible little details — but he hasn’t written otherwise, either, and he denies the direct causal connection between Christ’s death and our justification, forgiveness, and salvation from sin. He believes that we are saved by God’s grace but not Christ’s death, and that the latter is only an expression of the former.
“I believe we are saved by grace AND because of that grace, Jesus died for us. In THAT sense, one might say that our salvation is caused by Jesus’ death (as it is a representation of God’s grace). As I have said, it is not a scriptural phrasing of how we are saved (ie, the Bible does not SAY our salvation is caused by Jesus’ death) so I don’t think it’s the most biblical way of expressing it.”
I think one should keep all of this in mind when evaluating Dan Trabue’s positions on the teachings of the Bible.