Jan 222013
 

 

Source: Christian Nightmares

 

 

 

 

Source: nakedpastor

More Christian pastoral reaction to the Obama inauguration.

“Is the Internet killing religion?”

“Blogging can be doing if it is done well.”

 

Giglio’s move was either a cultural victory because of his secret “hatred” of LGBT people; or it marks a definitive end to evangelicalism as we know it. But are these the only two ways to think about this? I don’t think so.

 

“Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Handling Theological Disagreement I Learned in Kindergarten”

“Along with a review of the differences between justification and sanctification, this material also explains how the authoritarian focused mindset that depends so heavily upon hierarchy can be exploited by “Christian mediation” programs.”

 

“What follows is a blog visitor’s response to my blog question to Calvinists about the source of the first evil inclination.”

 

 

 Posted by at 8:04 pm
Jan 212013
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. Today we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. I used to get caught up in the mans moral and theological failures, but he has become a symbol of non-violent social action for justice and righteousness. I can and will celebrate that. In this case the symbol is more powerful and important than the aforementioned substance.

 

2. More thoughts on the Albuquerque tragedy… I have exceedingly credible information that the young man showed signs of mental disturbance at an early age and that those signs may have been overlooked or ignored because of religious taboos against psychiatry and psychology. Dear readers, if someone you love is having difficulty controlling their thoughts or fantasy lives reach out and get them help…please.

3. This is an exceedingly difficult and confusing time to be young…

4. We live in a time as well when everybody wants to have their say, but few want to listen…

5. Yes, I believe in supernatural evil. No, I do not believe that the existence and work of supernatural evil removes any element of human responsibility. To caricature what I’m saying with references to “The Exorcist” or cartoon demons misses the point entirely. I have seen and battled spiritual oppression live and in person and it’s not a fantasy, but a dark and dreadful reality. If you think that’s weird …I also believe a 1st century carpenter was God and that even though He was murdered, He rose from the dead and because He did I will too. Strange faith, isn’t it?

My heart is too heavy for five more…I do want to say a quick thank you to my friends in Albuquerque for all the years of faithful friendship. May God be with you in these coming days and always.

Jan 212013
 

Over the weekend a former pastor at Calvary Albuquerque and his family were slaughtered in another mass killing… allegedly perpetrated by his son. Reports are now saying that the boy intended to then go to the nearest Wal-Mart and kill more people until the police came and killed him. He was evidently persuaded not to go and turned in to the police by a security guard at CCABQ.

This hits too close to home…had he made it to Wal-Mart I might be mourning the loss of dear friends and family this morning.

I have been on the phone and communicating online with many folks in Albuquerque this morning and I’ll be doing an unrelated interview with Phil Naessens in an hour, so regular programming will be interrupted.

I’ll post the regular column along with insights on this story this afternoon or this evening.

Jan 202013
 

thumbnail.aspxGod of our times, our years, our days.

You are the God of our work,

of our rest,

of our weariness.

Our times are in your hands. We come to you now

in our strength and in our weakness,

in our hope and in our despair,

in our buoyancy and in our disease.

We come to pray for ourselves and for all like us

who seek and yearn for life anew with you and from you and for you

We pray to you this day, for ourselves and others like us in our greed.

We are among those who want more,

more money, more power, more piety, more sex,

more influence, more doctrine, more notice, more members,

more students, more morality, more learning, more shoes.

Be for us enough and more than enough,

for we know about your self-giving generosity.

We pray to you this day, for ourselves and others like us in our disconsolation.

We are not far removed from those without,

without love, without home, without hope,

without job, without health care.

We are close enough to vision those who must

check discarded butts to see if there is one more puff,

who must rummage and scavenge for food,

for their hungers are close to ours.

Be among us the God who fills the hungry with good things,

and sends the rich away empty.

We pray to you this day, for ourselves and others like us who are genuinely good people,

who meditate on your Torah day and night,

who are propelled by and for your best causes,

who are on the right side of every issue,

who wear ourselves out in obedience to you,

and sometimes wear others out with our good intentions.

Be among us ultimate enough

to make our passions penultimate,

valid but less than crucial.

We are your people. We wait for you to be more visibly and palpably our God.

So we pray with our mothers and fathers, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

We wait for your coming with all the graciousness we can muster.

Amen.

Walter Brueggemann

Jan 182013
 

““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

(Matthew 5:3–12 ESV)

If we were to read these as they are written, we would want to whack anybody who said “God bless you”… because it appears that in the kingdom of God blessing usually comes through suffering.

We might as well say, “May God cause you to suffer”.

Instead of “have a nice day”…we might say “may your co-workers mock you and lie about you because you’re a Christian today”.

That should elicit rejoicing from the recipient of the blessing given.

That’s what the passage says.

In reality, when faced with that kind of suffering we make a prayer request that it would stop.

Now.

We run from suffering…I run from suffering…the Bible says we’re to embrace and sanctify suffering.

It says God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.

It takes all my strength to be that weak.

When we suffer we assume that we have lost the favor of God…when we may be basking in it, albeit uncomfortably.

Love , (as modeled by Jesus) is often sacrificial and sacrificial requires some amount of suffering or it isn’t a sacrifice.

To be able to forgive “7×70” requires you to maintain relationship with someone after they have clobbered you more times than you can count and been forgiven every time they have done so.

The world will tell you to do so is psychologically unhealthy…Jesus says not to do so is evidence of spiritual sickness.

No, I’m not advocating that people put or keep themselves in harms way…I’m advocating that we wrestle with the truly radical nature of the kingdom of God and our place and behavior in it.

Mercy, grace, and forgiveness are wondrous to receive yet equally difficult to give… all three require that you be wounded, that you suffer, before you have them to offer.

If you truly want to grow in the grace and mercy of God then God is going to put you in places of suffering where you can exercise both.

He says it’ll be worth it in the end.

I have no choice but to trust Him as I’m “under the spout where the blessings come out”.

God bless you….

Make your own application

Jan 172013
 

anglicanChrist in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void, both in his flesh, and in his spirit. He came to be the Lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of himself once made, should take away the sins of the world; and sin (as Saint John saith) was not in him. But all we the rest, although baptized and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Essential?

 Posted by at 3:40 am
Jan 162013
 
  1. Do Brian McLaren and Mark Driscoll both have a legitimate claim to be an “evangelical?”
  2. “I shook my fist, I screamed in a pillow, I pounded the bed. I wept uncontrollably and let myself be the rage I had felt for so long. And then I wrote:”
  3. CCEF interviews Julie Lowe on bullying.
  4. “Of course sometimes we should speak. But most the time listen.”
  5. “We sometimes observe that hard cases make bad theology. But easy, formulaic answers to questions of suffering are invariably reductionistic—and they make bad theology, too.”
  6. “But when it comes to wrapping someone in tentacles that keep them from seeing and hearing the truth when they encounter it, that is precisely what Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis do!”
  7. “Christian opponents to same-sex marriage want the government to treat homosexuals as a special category of persons subject to discrimination, similar to the way that African-Americans and women were categorized in the past, cultural and economic critic Wendell Berry told Baptist ministers in Kentucky Jan. 11.” (HT)
  8. “Steve Chalke, a Baptist minister and popular evangelical leader/author/speaker in the UK, has endorsed same-sex marriage”
  9. “The general director of the Evangelical Alliance, Steve Clifford, believes Steve Chalke is wrong to conclude that the Bible endorses same-sex relationships.”

  10. “Once you have read right-wing Calvinist lyrics, you cannot un-read them.”

  11. “But I think it’s probably for the best that we decline all opportunities to contribute to America’s window dressing of civil religion.”
  12. “But, as I read the perspectives in the aftermath of the fallout, I did find myself wishing that Christians caught in positions comparable to Giglio’s would rather be fired than withdraw.”

 

 Posted by at 8:45 pm
Jan 152013
 

bible-sunset-2“Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

(1 Corinthians 1:1–17 ESV)

What is this passage commanding us to do?

What does it mean to be “called to be saints together with all those in who in every place call on the name of the Lord?”

In a church with thousands of divisions, what does Pauls appeal mean?

Jan 142013
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. Lance Armstrong is going to “confess” to Oprah this week and seek forgiveness  for lying about being a cheating doper. It’s fascinating and fitting to see that an entertainer has become America’s “pastor”.

2. If my church had a net worth approaching half a billion and my personal assets were in the tens of millions…I’d find a way to help some of the people who helped build my empire when they were in need.  Just sayin…

3. Thankful for antibiotics this morning and wondering why God withheld knowledge of them for so long…

4. Found another one of those verses we traditionally and continually misinterpret.“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—”(1 Corinthians 2:8–9 ESV)

We always hear that this is about what awaits us in heaven…but the very next verse declares “these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”(1 Corinthians 2:10 ESV). The verse isn’t about heaven, it’s a quote from Isaiah and the mystery was the death and resurrection of Christ…which has now been revealed. You’re welcome.

5. Wrestling with doctrine is not the same as wrestling with God…you can have a rock solid faith in the character and nature of God while debating secondary issues.

6. Louie Giglio had to step back from delivering the inaugural prayer because he taught that homosexuality was a sin. That poor old boy will get it from both sides now…from the left for being a “bigot” and from the right for not affirming his position strongly enough in the wake of the controversy.

7. His ouster, however is not necessarily a “sign of times”. The second coming of Christ is not tied into the fortunes of the United States in any way, shape, or form biblically.

8. I wonder if people were ranting about the signs of times when a bisexual king commissioned a new bible translation…that became the standard for about 400 years.

9. Here’s my Middle East prophecy update…it’s still there. You’re welcome.

10. Our beloved Nomans needs prayer to help find two furry family members that escaped yesterday. As of this writing they’re not home yet…

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