Oct 242009
 

Wide open today…

Cartoon found here

  No Responses to “Open Blogging”

  1. Well, I viewed the most wonderful movie last night. It is called, “Radio” with Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ed Harris and Debra Winger. Just a lovely story of love in action. No cursing, no sex. A movie the whole family can enjoy. Based on a true story.

    If you are looking for a good movie, this is one I highly recommend! (it was made in 2003 but I never heard of it)

    Blessings to my family here at PP.net.

  2. OH yea!! FIRST!

  3. I do not really get the cartoon. I don’t get the humor or the pathos or the cynicism or whatever response the author hopes to invoke.

    Guilt… Are we never to feel guilty? Isn’t a feeling of guilt one of the means the Holy Spirit uses to convict us of our sin? If a pastor preaches against a certain sin and we feel convicted (guilty) enough to repent, isn’t this a good thing?

    Expectation… We can expect to struggle.

    Morning services… This is a bad thing???

    Duty… Should we not all expect to do our part? Are we to be spectators and not participants?

    Evening services…. Again, what’s the problem?

    House groups… Why not? Not part of my Tradition but they are one of the nicer aspects of Evangelical churches, I thought.

    Prayer meetings… again, what’s the problem?

    What kind of church does the author want, one that has no morning or evening services, prayer meetings, home fellowships and doesn’t ask or expect anything from the church-goer?

    I do not understand this cartoon.

  4. Xenia, look at it not from an Orthodox perspective, but from an evangelical perspective, one where there are all kinds of things one can do in church – and may be EXPECTED to do in church.

    Get on the carousel, do all these things, but miss the things that matter most and especially the One Who matters the most. Tons of religious activities, with no meaning because it becomes about how much you do for the organization, not about Jesus.

  5. Brian, good morning to you!

    But I don’t get why there needs to be a (in my opinion) false dichotomy between active participation in one’s church and following Christ. Sure, one can bury oneself in activity, I’m not saying busy-ness is a good thing, necessarily. (Although it could be. Be not weary in well-doing.)

    It is true that at my old CC I was overly busy. I had a finger in every pie. But no one expected this of me, it was my pride at work. I wanted to be indispensable and above all, important. But this was a spiritual sickness of my own soul and not the fault of the church I attended. How much over-activity is the product of our own pride, I wonder? Are there really that many churches out there that demand work from their attendees or is it pride that says “I need to get involved so I can: impress the pastor, become part of the inner circle, feel important, show off, etc. etc. etc.

  6. Also, there’s all kinds of things one can busy oneself with in an Orthodox Church too, especially if you are a member of a parish that has a yearly ethnic food festival. We have full calendars of activities just like other churches and I have friends who are very very busy.

    I am not very busy these days. I am still taking the cure.

  7. I have posted this weeks music on my blog. If you’re interested drop on by. Dropped in a few classic Maranatha classics.

    http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/beautiful-christian-music-praise-worship-october-24th/

  8. Good morning (afternoon here) to you, Xenia!

    I’m just giving my perspective. I’ve spent my share of time in the evangelical circus, so perhaps on that account I have a much different perspective that you do.

  9. Rolph is speaking now

  10. Brian, I understand cuz I spent a lot of time in the Evangelical circus, too. Things only changed when I realized that I was one of the biggest Bozos.

  11. I like this cartoon, but I also see this in the same way as Xenia. What is wrong with being completely immersed in the church? My life has always been wrapped up in the church, the family of God.

    The question (which can only be asked and answered on an individual basis) is, what are we committed to?…. . And in relation to our commitment to God, how does that commitment flesh out? What I see these days, at least here, is that most people feel they are too busy or have other interests so that church involvement is minimal. I do not expect to see every person attending every meeting (we only have 2 services and a men’s morning group…. that’s it), yet I wrestle with the balance between encouraging people into more fellowship and ensuring they don’t get on a religious treadmill. I want our people to see our times together as opportunities rather than an obligation.

  12. I gotta admit, I’m not really a fan of the abso cartoons. There are definitely some weeks that are thought-provoking, but most of the time, it just seems like he’s got an axe to grind.

    Ehh…maybe it’s just different traditions & experiences.

  13. Px2 –
    Interesting thoughts about people “auditioning” churches. Even with our small fellowship, we’ve experienced that. I never could find the right word for it though…”audition” fits perfectly.

    Here’s the one I’ve heard the most: “This would be an awesome church, if you just had a bigger ______.” (Insert your word of choice here: attendance, youth group, worship team, etc.)

  14. Pastor, pastor,

    ‘We are auditioning for them. ”

    Yep……. In our small town, that means after the service we later go to the local restaurant and I get to play 20 questions 4 times over……..

  15. Do I hear you guys saying that basically church has become another consumer transaction?

  16. Px2,

    I know I couldn’t survive in that environment…I’d run the bulk of the people off in two weeks.

  17. pastor, pastor,
    Aside from how that makes me and my wife feel, what grieves me is the lack of sensitivity and selfishness that is portrayed. I also realize that some people don’t realize how they comes across, again because they are self absorbed. There are those who treat a community of Christians, the church, in the same fashion that they pick out the place where they buy a new pair of boots.

    Off to celebrate my granddaughter’s first birthday. Peace…

  18. pastor, pastor,
    I’ll have to call and talk with you a bit more about this soon.

    outforbirthdaycakecent

  19. >>> Church cannot be about consumer expectation but about serving, giving and sacrificing for one another. <<<

    Amen to that. If we balk when we are asked to watch babies in the nursery how will we stand up when we are asked to offer a pinch of incense to Ceasar? We need to practice a little self-denial because it may come in handy some day, I think.

    Of course, there are some jobs cooked up by churches that are ridiculous and no one needs to do them. But I am grateful for the people who help at my parish- the clergy, the choir members, the team that cleans the church, the parish council, the library lady, the lady who oversees the flowers, the gardener, the folks who assist the teachers at the school, the lady who sows every baptismal candidate a white cotton gown and embroiders a cross on each gown, the lady who washes the towels after baptisms, the people who work in the thrift shop, the fellow who every Sunday runs the cash register at the book store, the monk who oversees the book store and the novice who helps him, the lady who makes the entire parish coffee every Sunday, the people who stand vigil over the coffins of the dead and read Psalms, etc. etc. etc. We need these people and I am thankful for them and hope they do not see their jobs as participating in a merry-go-round but as service to God and to His people.

    I think the best thing is for everyone to have a job and not for one person, such as my former overly ambitious self, to have many jobs. The former leads to satisfaction and quiet joy; the second is sinful and leads to discontent and claiming "burn out" and eventually leaving the church entirely and blaming the church.

  20. I think thats why I’m content with a house church and the blog.
    You have to want to hear the Word if you give up every Saturday night…and here I can just click another link. 🙂

  21. Can I ask a question of the group?

    What ever happened to discipleship? When I became a Christian, we multiplied our numbers by teaching the faith to the new converts, one at a time, one-on-one. Yeah, it was the 70’s and it was the East Coast, but that’s how churches grew and how people came to maturity in Christ.

    Now, it’s all about programs. I don’t see that it works, on most levels. I don’t see people coming to maturity in the faith. I don’t see faith growing.

    Could it be that “activities” and “programs” replaced the Holy Spirit and also the work of the believer in discipling those who come to Christ. Perhaps.

  22. Well, it seems that the Devil had a field day in watering down the church. Twist terms, change meanings. Sad, sad, sad.

  23. is it possible that we have become so formulated doing church that ‘friendship’ has morphed into methodology? dunno 🙄

  24. the church building and schedule shouldn’t be the center of the Christian’s universe anymore than the gas station should be where your car remains most of the time.

    outtherephil

  25. I love ASBO! Jon is a genius at creating images that get people talking. He puts out an idea, whether he believes it or not, and just opens the door to all kinds of great topics.
    Those guys over there rock!

  26. Oh, that was in response to Tim’s whinging up there earlier in the day. 😉

  27. “That is precisely where I’m at. I want a smaller church with authentic Christians.”

    We are precisely there… smaller churches. Have no choice.
    as to authenticity of christians… hmm, sounds great!! But how does one judge that?
    I have seen people doing all the right things for the wrong reasons, and were not saved..
    and saved ones who struggled in their… church attendance/activities/childrens ministry in toddlers rooms, etc… though they loved God and His word and others…
    were none the less treated like the heathen and the black sheep of the bunch…

    ( and some people should not be forced or guilt piled upon them to serve… some people need to heal and be loved and encouraged and built up in the faith as they mature, before they are thrust into ministry, especially in areas they are not comfortable serving in)

    been on that circus wheel and it had nothing to do with ego, pride, attempting to impress the pastor, show off, get in with the inner circle, etc… it was about serving as unto the Lord, denying self and serving others…
    But like Brian D mentioned,
    “Get on the carousel, do all these things, but miss the things that matter most and especially the One Who matters the most. Tons of religious activities, with no meaning because it becomes about how much you do for the organization, not about Jesus.”

    I found out in our experience it ended up being about serving “the institution”
    serving mans agenda,
    while we were indeed serving as unto the Lord,
    it was meaningless to those whom we served in so far as… it met their objective… and anything outside of their paradigm was “Not of the Lord”
    it was about take, take take, all you can from others get until they burn out…
    and then “oh, so sorry… if you got burned out, you must have been working in the flesh, Gods raising up someone else… so kindly shove off”…

    Those bodies on the ground, sadly look all too familiar to me. too many of those I have known have been there…
    Who knows, maybe it was because they were serving for the wrong reasons…
    somehow it doesnt seem likely.

    on the other side of the issue

    Church shopping,
    i heard so much of that too…
    living in CC wonderland,
    so many choices within an hour or so drive
    it was not unusual for others to say
    “Oh, I really like the worship over here”
    ” But I really like, so and so’s teaching”
    ” and yet, this CC has such a good missions program, maybe I should get plugged in here”
    ” Now, THAT CC really has a fantastic youth ministry, maybe I should get plugged in over there.”
    those who couldnt decide what to select from the smorgasbord to satisfy their appetites.

    It makes one wonder…
    How many people really seek God as to where they should get plugged into a church,
    and know that God has called them to that particular place:
    to make a commitment to be a part of the community while integrating as family,
    to be content
    to grow in the faith and in the knowledge of Christ
    regardless of the programs, bells and whistles and numbers in attendance…
    yet a place filled with the Love of Christ, piety, holiness, integrity in teaching and in conduct…and in the power of Gods spirit…

    Perhaps it has to do with having so many choices in ones area.
    we dont face that here,,, we have only 3 choices within an hours drive.
    one 45 minutes away thats a bit charismatic, and one 30 minutes away thats more reformee
    and the local catholic church… which only meets 1x a month in each village,
    so thats a real merry go round in itself…

    of course we could simply stay at home,

    But God has called us to the reformed church,
    There is no dynamic worship, youth group, missions program, etc etc etc
    But there is a camaraderie of the brethren, simple exegetical teaching of Gods word,
    and the presence of Gods spirit in worship and in truth.

  28. “the church building and schedule shouldn’t be the center of the Christian’s universe anymore than the gas station should be where your car remains most of the time.”

    philbertz… right!

  29. I just listened to Driscolls sermon from last week.

    The church should get together and put it on prime time TV.

    http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/luke/mary-elizabeth

  30. As fiction?

    Can’t listen to it on my computer, so I’m just guessing you might be joking.

  31. I think this illustration fits in well with the above pic.

    I don’t really play chess but I love this word picture:

    Often in chess a rookie player will put all of their focus upon the queen. Believing if they can just free the queen from her bondage on the board they will be able to win because she can take out any piece from any direction.

    But when the inexperienced player’s queen is taken out, they ultimately lose the game because they don’t know how to use their other pieces effectively.

    Chess coaches will train a player to pretend as though the queen doesn’t exist…learn how to win without the queen. Then when you add the queen into your chess arsenal you will be a much stronger player.

    This illustration works well for church planting and church development.

    Most pastors and leaders (including myself) put all of their emphasis upon the large Sunday gathering. They believe the only way to do church successfully is to have good weekly services. But after time those pastors realize that they may be seeing some fruit but overall they’re losing the battle because the people are by in large not living for Jesus, nor are they on mission.

    Like the chess coach I would propose that we begin to put more focus upon the life of the church Monday-Saturday (discipleship, building relationships, training people to think and live Christianly) so that we learn how to be the church and not just go to church.

    This will in turn make our people better missionaries impacting our cultures for the gospel, and it will also improve our Sunday/Wednesday gatherings because our people will be more engaged in corporate worship, willing to fellowship at a deeper level, and more attentive to the preaching of the Word.

    The lesson (especially for young church plants)- learn to “do church” without the queen.

  32. Michael, your last comment went over my head…which isn’t too hard sometimes 😉 What does Driscoll have to do with this?

    For you pastors talking about serving…I’m at default selfish, and I think I’m in as good of a church to get over that as any you can find around here.

  33. London –
    You’re as bad as Steve. It’s “whining”. 😉

  34. Hey everyone. I’m pretty sure my hamster is dying. He’s lying on his back, breathing heavily, and is unresponsive. Could you send up a prayer for him that he won’t be in pain and will go quickly? I would really appreciate it.

  35. SC,

    You made a good point of people being thrust into serving.
    We visited a church for awhile that was pushing serving to the point that they didn’t even care if you were saved that day…the gist of it was…if you are here, serve…

    Kind of like..if you are breathing we’ll take you.

  36. Jessica,

    I am so sorry…
    I am praying for him…

  37. Jessiaca, I am sorry as well…praying for you an little one.

  38. Sorry Jessica…I need to wear my glasses when I type…

  39. Thanks Concered and Nene. I really appreciate it.

  40. Jessica –
    I know this is probably late, but I’m praying too.

  41. ***You’re as bad as Steve. It’s “whining”. 😉 ***

    If the smiley face is there to show that you actually do know what whinging is, then, ignore the next sentence. 😉 For those who don’t know, “whinging” is a British and Australian slang term that means “to complain”.

  42. Thanks, Tim. It’s not too late. He’s still alive. He is somewhat more responsive than he had been, but he is still shaking badly and is obviously not well. I googled his condition and have followed the advice given in this situation, but it doesn’t seem to have done anything. I just really, really, really hope he’s not in pain.

  43. Jessica, so sorry. praying.

  44. Jessica,

    I was just researching online and they say if you break a few grains of aspirin you can give it to the hamster. If you use an eyedropper you can mix a few drops of water. It will be 1/25 of an asprin and you can repeat every 4 hours.

    Maybe that will ease his pain if he is having any.
    I hope he is OK.

  45. Tim,
    NO ONE is as bad as Steve! :mrgreen:
    Whinging is the british version

  46. Thanks for the help, Concerned.

  47. Jessica, sorry for the news of your hamster

  48. Jessica,
    I sorry, and I’m praying for your little friend……

  49. Jessica & London –
    I never knew that…thanks for the tip!

    Jessica –
    I hope everything worked out with your hamster.

  50. Ryan, Ed and Janet were by the church Friday night and told me how well you were doing in Ft. Collins. I am really happy for you, bro. I am praying always for you, your family, and the work you are doing. Keep in touch.

  51. Ryan Couch, that was inspiring!

    In countries where Christianity is (functionally) illegal, they meet in house churches, right?

    A church I know here just stopped their Sunday meetings in favor of Friday night meetings and cell/home groups. At first, I thought they were insane…but we shall see.

  52. I used to teach a bible study I called, “Do you take the Holy Spirit Grocery Shopping?”

    One woman told me during the first meeting, “no because I know what god nutrition is.”

    They class wasn’t about food it was about how a follower of Jesus Christ walks in the most mundane things possible in life. According to scripture, and the experience of many, Jesus sent the promise of the comforter to be with His people in ALL things, so why not while shopping for food.

    My first glance at the cartoon brought an impression many here have stated, but then I thought, “shouldn’t Jesus be 100 percent in all I do?” Yes I get tired of doing church but you know I get tired of doing everything so maybe, just maybe the church ride is worth the cost of admission.

    Getting back in line.

    PS. I didn’t ask about buying those brownies, I just did it (an emotion led purchase at the grocery store).

  53. “PS. I didn’t ask about buying those brownies, I just did it (an emotion led purchase at the grocery store).”

    Good confession on the Lord’s day Drew! 🙂

  54. I still don’t understand what the point of church is. It seems to me that anything you ostensibly are supposed to get at church you could get more effectively through family, friends, and books. And anything you are supposed to give at church could be given more effectively to family, friends, and reputable non-profit organizations.

  55. My little guy is, surprisingly, still alive, and definitely more responsive than he was yesterday. He even nibbled on a blueberry. But, I’m still not holding out much hope. He’s over two years old, so he’s going to have to die sometime soon.

  56. Jessica,

    Glad to hear about your little one.
    I never prayed for a hamster before…

    Ours lived till almost 3..I heard they can even live till 4.

    I agree with you about church.
    I don’t know if it is because we were burned, or just all the shenanigans we see going on.

    I think study with family has to be directed by the husband and I suspect that many of them have allowed the Sunday school to bring up their kids so they can go home and watch the football games in peace. All the power of being the spiritual head of the home was replaced by dependence on the church.

    What woudl dads do id they knew they coudl lead their own family in worship?
    I believe God honors a family that gets together in His name and opens the Word.
    There are enough good Bible commentary. Dads are not lifted up. Many Pastors are taking control of families.

    I know that here, there are many small church Pastors who work very hard and are God honoring, so I hope no one takes offense. It is just my experience I am drawing on.

    Sorry if that sounds harsh..but never in my 10 years at CC I never heard the Pastor encourage the dads to teach them the Word. Even I was convinced thats what the Pastor is for. It wasn’t until the Lord took us out of there that I realized that even in NT times the dad is the head of the family and the spiritual leader of the home-not the Pastor.

  57. Sorry for the lack of clarity…brain fog today.

    I knew that in the OT the dads were instructed to raise the kids in the admonition of the Lord, but I guess I thought that after the “church” began, the role to teach was for the Pastors.

    Anyone have thoughts on that?

  58. “role to teach”…meaning the Word of God…not training up the child…I know thats the parents role…

  59. Hi Jessica, Glad your hamster has such a good mummie!

    Pro 12:10 The godly are concerned for the welfare of their animals, but even the kindness of the wicked is cruel.

  60. ***I never prayed for a hamster before…

    Ours lived till almost 3..I heard they can even live till 4.***

    The problem is I don’t know how much over two years my little guy is. I’ve owned him for almost that long, but I don’t know how old he was when I got him and have no way of finding out.

    I’ve got a question pending over at JustAnswer.com. It’s only $15 for a question, and it seemed like best option for a weekend pet ailment.

  61. Jessica,

    When I put that site in my google search I got this..

    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/justanswercom-c142537.html

  62. You don’t pay unless you get an answer that you are satisfied with.

  63. “… I would propose that we begin to put more focus upon the life of the church Monday-Saturday (discipleship, building relationships, training people to think and live Christianly) so that we learn how to be the church and not just go to church.

    This will in turn make our people better missionaries impacting our cultures for the gospel, and it will also improve our Sunday/Wednesday gatherings because our people will be more engaged in corporate worship, willing to fellowship at a deeper level, and more attentive to the preaching of the Word.”

    Ryan… excellent… and glad to read the good report you are doing well in your church planting…

  64. Jessica,

    praying for your little guy!

  65. “I think study with family has to be directed by the husband and I suspect that many of them have allowed the Sunday school to bring up their kids so they can go home and watch the football games in peace. All the power of being the spiritual head of the home was replaced by dependence on the church.”

    Concerned,
    you bring a valid concern to the board.

    Pastors please…

    and what are women to do who have a burden to see men take the spiritual leadership in the home more seriously?
    What should they do practically if their husbands refuse,
    preferring football, movies, computer and all other sorts of entertainment antics of the sports industry and hollywood scriptwriters to rule and lead the home?

    Its a question that many of my friends are facing
    they have been praying and seeking Gods face in this for years

    at what point should they ( if they should)take the spiritual health of the family into their own hands when the husband is negligent in this area?

  66. Jessica, praying for your little friend.

    On a side note, today will be the first day in the 5 year history of our friendship that Michael and I will not be on speaking terms…
    Unless you consider smack talking speaking :mrgreen:
    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?????

  67. Okay, I think the danger is over. He seems completely back to normal right now. I think either the temperature dropped too low yesterday (it was 64 in my apartment) and he started going into hibernation and just had a hard time coming out of it. Or he had some kind of stroke. But, at any rate, he’s moving around his cage quite easily now, nibbling on food, and looking completely normal. So, hopefully, whatever happened is now over.

    I feel much relieved.

  68. “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?????”

    actually,,, no.. not in the least…
    a point of discussion was actually men who have tossed their spiritual leadership to the Sunday school, so they can go home and watch their football games in peace…

    but maybe you were speaking to Michael
    if so, sorry 😕

  69. “at what point should they ( if they should)take the spiritual health of the family into their own hands when the husband is negligent in this area?”

    SC,

    Do you think that they even know their congregation enough to knwow what is going on in the home? I guess at smaller churches there is more accountability.

    When we visited NC, we went to a small church where the Pastor gave out for the New Year John Mac one yr Bibles and asked the family to all do this together.
    He was an allumni from Masters Seminary brought up in that town, and returned to that town to Pastor.

    I applauded him for encouraging the familes to do this together.
    The entire family also attended service together..

    When did Youth Groups originate?
    Maybe some of the Pastors know.

    Wasn’t study supposed to be together as a family?

  70. Jessica,

    Don’t underestimate the power of prayer!!!
    I kind of felt weird praying for him last night..I have to admit 🙂

    In fact, I am going to tell the kids about this..
    It’s a good praise report!!

  71. SC,

    What’s worse ..endless football games or Action movies??

  72. Nomans,

    I’m ready and planted in front of the game!

  73. ***Don’t underestimate the power of prayer!!!***

    I’m not, and I do believe it helped. I just wanted you to pray he he’d die quickly and peacefully, but I’m so glad he’s still here and doing okay. 🙂

  74. Sis
    I had only skimmed your post. My timing was completely unintentional.
    Please forgive my offense.
    N

  75. Jessica,

    I prayed for healing!!!

  76. Jessica,

    Have you heard of “rescue remedy”?
    It has been around for decades and is a Bach flower remedy for shock.
    A good thing to keep around. I keep it in my handbag.

    You can look online-used also for animals.

  77. Concerned,
    Get a copy of Luther’s Small Catechism – It was developed for the father (or the head of the home) to teach the children the faith. Each section has the heading;

    “As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.”

    http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/LCMS/smallcatechism.pdf

  78. I always pray for the animals that I know, especially for my dogs and the dogs of my friends. I ask that they be protected from traffic, poison, illnesses and the stupidity of the humans in their lives. Here’s two great prayer for animals, written by St. Basil:

    The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.

    O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us.
    We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to Thee in song has been a groan of travail.

    May we realize that they live not for us alone, but for themselves and for Thee and that they love the sweetness of life even as we, and serve Thee better in their place than we in ours.

    ——-

    For those, O Lord, the humble beasts, that bear with us the burden and heat of day, and offer their guileless lives for the well-being of mankind; and for the wild creatures, whom Thou hast made wise, strong, and beautiful, we supplicate for them Thy great tenderness of heart, for Thou hast promised to save both man and beast, and great is Thy loving kindness, O Master, Saviour of the world

  79. Michael, I take it you liked the Driscoll sermon?

  80. I liked it a lot…I was quite serious about wanting many people to be able to see it.

  81. Those are nice prayers, Xenia. 🙂

  82. Thanks, Michael….what did you like about it?

  83. Thanks, Jessica.

    We have two critters over hear who probably won’t live much longer. Our beloved dog Zoe is quite elderly and has serious breathing issues. We did all the easy treatments and she’s too old to be able to withstand the next level of treatment so we listen to her wheeze and splutter and watch her grow weaker each day. She still eats like a horse, though. We’re trying to make her last days as happy as possible. She’s a great dog. (Brittany Spaniel.)

    And the Guinea Pig Squeak has lived a year longer than Guinea pigs generally live. He seems pretty healthy but he looks old. He also eats like a horse.

    I hope your hamster has another year left in him!

  84. Jessica, good to hear the little creature rallied… we older creatures have days like that and it’s hard on our caregivers 😆

  85. It is raw, unvarnished truth about abortion.

    Driscolls lack of social grace sometimes makes him an excellent, prophetic speaker.

    This is one of those times.

  86. Concerned:

    “Sorry if that sounds harsh..but never in my 10 years at CC I never heard the Pastor encourage the dads to teach them the Word. Even I was convinced thats what the Pastor is for. It wasn’t until the Lord took us out of there that I realized that even in NT times the dad is the head of the family and the spiritual leader of the home-not the Pastor.”

    This is why some CCs have been compared to to the Shepherding guys, all authority is at the podium.

    Now scripture teaches this to men:

    ““You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7, NASB95)

    But some will say this was said only to OT Jewish fathers not Greek/Gentile/USA God fearing men.

    I’ll say this, “men if you aren’t leading your family to scripture and to the Lord our God then your missing the greatest blessings God will ever bestow on his creation.”

    You can quote me on that.

    Jessica did I make them feel guilty enough?

    😉

  87. Drew,

    AMEN!

  88. Drew..

    I don’t know if you came out of a CC, but do you know if the Pastor’s “Own” their churches..It seems to me that this is true based on some legal document I came across online

    Does that mean that if he decides to “close down” the place, he can sell the property and take the $?

    We visited a church where the Pastor owned the shopping center that the church was located in. There were about 20 stores on what seemed like alot of land. He wanted the congregation to pay raise 38K to pay off the remainder of the mortgage to be debt free. But should he decide to retire and sell the shopping center, it seems he would come off with millions..Is that how it is with CC’s
    Thanks.

  89. “Do I hear you guys saying that basically church has become another consumer transaction?”

    All too often it is.

  90. I wanted to add that the church is pretty large within that shopping center and he is the landlord for the remainder of the property.

  91. MLD,

    I stopped at this (under sacraments at the altar)

    In the morning when you get up, make the sign of the holy cross and say:

    You guys make the sign of the cross????

  92. Concerned,
    Yes we do. However, it is not something that is required – so some people do and some don’t. During our worship service, at the called on times to make “the sign of the cross” I would say that it is half and half.

    We are a very physical people and do things that are prompts and reminders.

    Luther also says that when you wash your face in the morning, that you should use that time to remember your baptism.

    Let me ask you, do you find that strange?

  93. I find alot of things strange.
    Alot is paganism and not biblical.
    If Jesus told me to remember my baptism while I am swimming in my pool, I will comply. 🙂

  94. “We are a very physical people and do things that are prompts and reminders.”

    Sounds superstitious to me.
    The reminder seems to me to be in the heart not a ritual.

  95. MLD,

    From your site:Re: Communion

    But what should you do if you are not aware of this need and have no hunger and thirst for
    the Sacrament?
    To such a person no better advice can be given than this: first, he should touch his body to
    see if he still has flesh and blood. Then he should believe what the Scriptures say of it in
    Galatians 5 and Romans 7. Second, he should look around to see whether he is still in the
    world, and remember that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say in John
    15-16 and in 1 John 2 and 5. Third, he will certainly have the devil also around him, who with
    his lying and murdering day and night will let him have no peace, within or without, as the
    Scriptures picture him in John 8 and 16; 1 Peter 5; Ephesians 6; and 2 Timothy 2.

    This is strange…

  96. OK..I am being moderated…good night

  97. Um…all links get moderated.

  98. How can remembering the Holy Trinity by making the sign of the Cross be superstitious? It is a quick prayer.

    I make the sign of the Cross when:

    The Holy Trinity is mentioned
    Whenever I am about to pray
    Whenever I am finished praying
    Whenever I hear bad news
    Whenever I hear good news
    When I get up in the morning
    When I go to bed at night
    When I put my granddaughter to bed
    Whenever I hear a fire or police siren
    When am about to hear a sermon
    When I am about to eat a meal
    When I see something beautiful that God has made
    When I drive past an Orthodox Church
    When I am about to receive Communion
    When something good is said about the Lord
    When I venerate an icon
    When I enter a Church
    When I leave a Church
    Before I begin a project
    Whenever I feel like it.

    Pray without ceasing.

  99. Michael,

    OK…Never happened B-4.
    Did I put a link?
    I thought it may be a “sign” to get off…:)
    And anyway, not enough energy today to battle the big guy…..

  100. Just a note…before people feel all persecuted…ask if you’re being moderated.

    I’ve never been shy about letting folks know.

    Links are often caught in the spam filter and have to be manually released.

  101. Xenia,

    How do you remember all that!!!??

  102. OK Michael…

    Thanks for having patience with me.

  103. Dear Concerned,

    I think the closest thing I can compare it to in the Evangelical world is the propensity many folks have to say “Praise the Lord!” many times throughout the course of a conversation. It’s not exactly the same, but I think the impulse is similar.

  104. But as far as remembering it goes, it’s more a case of when something happens that makes me think of God I find myself making the sign of the Cross.

  105. Concerned,
    hmmm, I didn’t know that pagans crossed themselves or did things to remember their baptism. These things are adiaphra – where scripture is silent, neither commanding or prohibiting an act.

    More than pagan, I think you object because the Catholics do it. It’s like when Calvary Chapel stopped doing a lot of their charismatic stuff because the Vineyard did it and they didn’t want to be tainted with that association anymore and gave up the ‘good stuff.’

    But how many things do we do that aren’t spoken in the Bible? Been to a funeral lately? I could even make the case that Christians are forbidden to participate in funerals, since Jesus commanded, “let the dead bury the dead.” Would a funeral be considered pagan?

    I think it was you who brought up about separated worship – children and youth not in the worship service with the parents – I think that is unbiblical but people do it with out the inference of “paganism.” And I won’t even bring up the paganism of wearing ‘christian’ jewelery. 😉

    I find that evangelicals are afraid of doing anything physical in their worship and it all gets done in their heads.

  106. Xenia,

    So do you think that it adds to prayer in some way, or could you pray without it?
    In other words, what if you didn’t do it?
    Would God respond differently?
    I am not baiting you…just want to know what it means to ytou personally.
    The Jews touch and kiss the Mezzuzah before entering and leaving their house.
    It almost seemed to me growing up and seeing my uncle do this that it was kind of like a habitual ritual.

  107. I think Scripture references are automatically turned into links? Too many verses equals too many links and before you know it, your post is in the spam filter? I think that’s what happens?

  108. MLD,
    “let the dead bury the dead.”

    I have a totally different interpretation of that verse.

  109. MLD,

    I did a whole study of the sign of the cross because I remember when JackieO had the funeral her son and daughter and everyone else did the sign of the cross on themselves after they bowed before the coffin, and I didn’t understand what that was about.
    There is alot of information on it on the net.

  110. Habitual rituals are good things, in my opinion, as long as the meaning is not forgotten. It ingrains things into your being that are good to have ingrained.

    It adds to prayer in a certain sense in that it is a formal start to a prayer, which is to say, my mental wanderings are now going to focus on prayer because I’ve made a formal start. When I pray I do not bow my head, fold my hands and close my eyes like many do… I am standing up with eyes wide open. I guess I need a formal “start.” It helps.

    To Cross oneself upon hearing the name of the Holy Trinity, passing a Church, and the other things… It is a sign of respect and acknowledgment. And a continual reminder of what Christ did on the Cross for us.

    To cross oneself upon hearing news, both good and bad, is what was we used to call “arrow prayers” similar to “Praise the Lord!” and “Lord, have mercy.”

    To cross oneself before eating, a project, etc. reminds us to be thankful to God for all things and that without Him we can do nothing.

    The practice tends to take one’s faith outside one’s skull and into the physical world.

  111. Concerned,
    “The reminder seems to me to be in the heart not a ritual.” If that is so, why did Jesus tell you to take communion (a ritual) to remember Him? Why didn’t he just say, “keep a good thought about me in your heart?”

    Why did God tell the Jews to do the Passover meal each year?

    To your 4:10 – you said; “This is strange…”

    It would be since we see and do communion for 2 completely separate reasons. Think about it – we do communion as a gifting of grace and forgiveness from God. So if someone says that they see no reason to go to the table, they are saying that they don’t see a need for forgiveness or a need for God’s grace. That is why Luther says you had better point the man in the right direction and show him his need.

    In your scenario for the ‘reason’ for communion I guess you have no reason to compel someone to eat and drink.

  112. I actually think that adding physicality to faith is a good thing.

    Making the sign of the cross seems to be a valuable ritual in my mind.

    It is certainly adiaphora.

  113. MLD said,

    >>>I find that evangelicals are afraid of doing anything physical in their worship and it all gets done in their heads.<<<

    That's the truth. I tell you what, as I was in a state of mental anguish as I was trying to figure out what I believed during my twilight days at CC I kept saying to myself over and over "This is nothing but a mind game, this is nothing but a mind game…"

  114. Concerned,
    ““let the dead bury the dead.” I have a totally different interpretation of that verse.”

    I just said I could make a case, but where do you get that funerals are OK or are any different than ‘crossing yourself’- how do you know that funerals are not considered pagan since Jesus didn’t tell you to attend funerals? In fact, Jesus purposely avoided Lazarus’ funeral.

  115. “Think about it – we do communion as a gifting of grace and forgiveness from God.”

    Is that what communion is??

  116. MLD,

    Interesting point about funerals…will have to research this.
    I have to bow out..not much sleep last night.
    Some teenage issues this weekend.

    I am praying the Lord will grab hold of my son and save him.
    He was a sweet little Christian boy and now not much desire for the things of God.

    Goodnite.

  117. At an Orthodox Church there are occasions where we make the sign of the Cross and follow it with a full prostration which involves getting down on our knees and touching our foreheads to the floor. (Not every Sunday, but occasionally throughout the year.)

    How often do people sing songs in church with lyrics about bowing down or falling down before God? Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to actually do it?

  118. Xenia,

    Thanks for the dialogue 🙂

  119. Concerned,
    You need to first answer my question.
    ““The reminder seems to me to be in the heart not a ritual.” If that is so, why did Jesus tell you to take communion (a ritual) to remember Him? Why didn’t he just say, “keep a good thought about me in your heart?”

  120. God bless you Concerned and may He give you wisdom to help you with your son.

  121. Xenia,
    “How often do people sing songs in church with lyrics about bowing down or falling down before God? Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to actually do it?”

    Yes…

  122. Xenia,

    Thanks–I need it…
    The Iphone has become an Idol.

  123. MLD,

    We went down that road before!!!
    And it is a rocky road (by the way..some good ice cream!)

  124. Concerned,
    My 4:54 was to your 4:43 – not your 4:49

  125. MLD..
    I have been pondering communion for awhile
    Would you say that “breaking bread” means communion?
    Thats what I was taught at my old church.
    I studied that awhile back and it meant havign a meal in Judaism.
    Does the Bible instruct how often we are to take communion?
    I asked this before here and don’t remember an answer…just “whenever” you do this…

    My eyes are closing so I really need to go.

  126. I don’t think we discussed it before. You said that we shouldn’t have to do physical rituals to remember things (like crossing yourself etc), they should just be in our hearts. But I pointed out when Jesus commands us to do a physical ritual to remember him.

  127. I think Communion must be more than eating a meal because why would St. Paul warn that if a person partook in an unworthy manner they could get sick and die?

  128. From the 11th chapter of First Corinthians:

    29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep

  129. Concerned,

    I make the sign of the cross quite often.

    It’s a reminder that we belong to Jesus Christ and of our baptism, which we believe joins us to Christ.

    I’ve seen Xenia’s list bounce around on Lutheran sites.

    Some Lutherans bow at any mention of the Trinity, when we sing.

    It may sound ‘strange’ to you. It did to me, too, until I did some study.

  130. Lutheran,
    You Pagan! 😉

  131. Hi MLD,

    Can you guess who said this?

    You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.

    puzzletop (HINT) It wasn’t George Bush

  132. puzz,
    satan?? 🙂

    I don’t know what that had to do with the conversation on the other thread.

  133. close 😉

  134. I lifted that off the transcript from Obama’s Human Rights Campaign speech on gay rights. I find it curious that no one has commented about what their president says and advocates.

    Seeing that you are on top of all the latest events, I figured you might have heard it and had an opinion.

    I guess it’s no big deal with many folks.

    Just asking a question is all.

    Carry on.

  135. puzz,
    I care very little what ‘society’ does. I am much more concerned with what the church does since that is all we really have some control of. I find it much more distressing that the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) has accepted gay marriage/ gay clergy etc than I do what California votes for. But I would guess you are the same way.

    Would you be for outlawing divorce and adultery in this country? Don’t we live in a society that fully accepts those two – worse yet, the church accepts it.

  136. ***I think the closest thing I can compare it to in the Evangelical world is the propensity many folks have to say “Praise the Lord!” many times throughout the course of a conversation. It’s not exactly the same, but I think the impulse is similar.***

    I actually find it kind of creepy to be around people who punctuate their sentences with “Praise the Lord!”. The people I’ve known who have done that have been pretty much to a person aggrevatingly cheerful in a forced and superficial way. I find it really uncomfortable to be around.

    I can’t think of anyone I know who makes the sign of the cross on a regular basis, but I surely hope it’s not as disconcerting and superficial as people saying “Praise the Lord!” all the time.

  137. Pzz,

    Gay marriage doesn’t bother me on the civil level. Who is it hurting? The hetero community sure hasn’t been an example, with a 50% divorce rate.

    You remember the Constitution? “Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness…”

    The Constitution is the law of the land. Not the Bible. The Bible applies in the church.

    And while I’m at it, I’ve been appalled, I must say, at the lack of love I’ve seen on here toward gay people. I wish folks on here would stop lobbing stones and get out and befriend them.

    You know, outreach? Love walks a mile in the other’s moccasins before saying a word.

  138. on the civil level….. there are still moral implications. These things cannot be isolated

  139. Jessica,

    In a Lutheran service, there are places in the liturgy where congregants can make the sign of the cross.

    One thing to note is that it’s called adiaphora — that means it’s not a central doctrine — far from it.

    It also means that you don’t have to ever do it if you don’t wish to.

    I doubt you’d see anyone do it in public, though I could be wrong.

  140. ‘on the civil level….. there are still moral implications. These things cannot be isolated’

    Let’s have an example, please.

  141. how curious

    A president says, “You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.”

    And Lute is upset that Christians don’t love gay people properly for not using their moccasins and MLD frets about his little island compromising with the enemies of the Church, while the rest of the world is going to Hell.

    PS. Lute, I don’t think the forefathers had “gay rights” in mind when they wrote those documents.

    Interesting.

  142. Centy,

    Please explain to Lute.

    You might want to use the Bible.

    puzzletop

  143. Well, the sad thing is that while the Church (read mostly the religious right) has been trying to place morality restraints through governmental controls – the church cannot persuade Christian women from having abortions, cannot keep christian marriages together, cannot keep christian men away from p*rn. The church cannot control their own (the numbers for all of the above are at the same levels as society in general) but continually wants to tell those outside of the church how to live.

  144. puzz,
    You didn’t answer this one – “Would you be for outlawing divorce and adultery in this country? Don’t we live in a society that fully accepts those two – worse yet, the church accepts it.”

  145. Puz,

    What reaction do you expect?

    Obama is the fruit of the religious right and the backlash to it.

    As long as the church seeks political solutions to spiritual problems we will continue to see more of the same succeed.

    We have lost our voice and our moral authority by whoring ourselves out to the Republican Party and this is the result.

  146. MLD

    I guess I would have to ask the H.S. if He has any control on those things. I’m sure there might be some victories that we get to have but pessimism seems to rule your opinion on the church. That is the tragic part.

    pzzltp

  147. puzz,
    “while the rest of the world is going to Hell.”

    Are you saying that anyone is going to hell because they are gay – or that anyone is going to hell because a society allows gay marriage??? That’s pretty strange theology. Are you saying that if gay marriage were outlawed that more people would go to heaven?? I know many people who are not gay and do not favor gay marriage who are going to hell (to the best of my knowledge.)

  148. puzz,
    “but pessimism seems to rule your opinion on the church”

    No, not at all. I am only pessimistic about those who want to clean people up before they are saved.

  149. Obama was elected because he isn’t George Bush. It is actually that siimple. I wouldn’t give the religious people that have attached themselves to a particular political party that much credit.

    I actually don’t believe people when they tell me they are Christians any more than I do when they say they they are voting against Christianity by endorsing the current President.

  150. puzz,
    The reason I asked about divorce and adultery is that I don’t see why the people who are all bent out of shape about gays in general and gay marriage in particular don’t put in the same civil vigilence towards divorce and adultery – is it because they are the ‘hetero sins’ and more acceptable?

    anti gay marriage stuff shouldn’t be on the ballot unless you are willing to put divorce and adultery on the same ballot.

  151. Puzz,

    I believe that the religious right has done more harm to the cause of Christ in this country than anything in the last 40 years.

    My guess is that we disagree.

  152. All politics aside, we are doing ourselves in.

    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-343325

  153. MLD,

    If I outlawed cable tv that wouldn’t help either. What type of strawman are you building?

    You asking me to explain basic theology to you? What the purpose of the gospel is? Or maybe we could do a little Bible study on Romans 1 for you.

    You don’t know why there is eternal punishment?

    Allow me ask you an similar idiotic question: Are gay weddings endorsed in heaven?

    Puhhhleeeeze

    puzzletop

  154. Laura,

    Thankfully, I think most people know that Westboro Baptist is a fringe group.

    I do feel sorry for the young kids. They’re being brainwashed, IMHO. A steady diet of
    hate leads to…

  155. Michael,

    I understand exactly what you are saying. I have to admit that you are more often right about how we can be perceived by entering into politics. I suppose we would disagree as to what business a Christian has in politics.

    I suppose I see it differently because I have always been connected to politics especially since I was such a staunch Democrat with a lot of idealistic visions of a better tomorrow. Our Savior found me about that time in my life and I’ve always thought Christians had a place in voicing an opinion when those on the other side had such vitriol against the Church.

    I have seen the worse from both sides of the aisle and I still cannot help but speak up when I hear a standing president say the absolutely outrageous things he does. In contrast I am dismayed that I hear not a whisper of protest from our side. It astounds me that Christians roll over and die so quickly since they might have a gay acquaintance and think they might be judging them. Christians more concerned about hurting somebody’s feelings than warning them of hell or telling them of a savior that beckons them to repent and be born again.

  156. Lutheran,

    That was hard to watch, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, as that was from CNN, that’s all the Jesus a lot of folks are seeing at present. We just have to be better at getting the real gospel out.

  157. I could bring up that Westboro Baptist are Calvinists but I won’t. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  158. Puzz,

    I’m not rolling over on my message or my beliefs.

    I am, however committed to speaking them in the context of the Gospel as part of the church.

    I am not interested in what the President of the country or the president of the corporation I work for espouse… I know what they they think.

    I do care where the resources of the church are spent and how we get the message of reconciliation with God to the masses.

    We serve a King and it’s His word and business I care about.

  159. Michael,

    I agree. My pastor is always telling us his personal standard: to know Christ and to make Christ known.

    Our endless debates are not helping us be the church. They helps us play at being the church. We need to leave our musty ivory towers and be among the people where it is unsafe and often scary. We have the real comfort and shelter people long for and that will never depend upon an ideology or political faction.

    Time is short indeed.

  160. puzz,
    I don’t know why you don’t see the connection – “It astounds me that Christians roll over and die so quickly since they might have a gay acquaintance and think they might be judging them. Christians more concerned about hurting somebody’s feelings than warning them of hell or telling them of a savior that beckons them to repent and be born again.”

    So, what do you say to your divorced/adulterous friends? Do you warn them about hell because of their divorce? Do you not speak up for legislation because you know divorced people? I think you are too focused on the homo thing and just let the hetero slide.

  161. Well I agree with Michael here. From my recent college experience, when people hear “Christian” they do not think about followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Nope, they immediately think about right-wingers. The right-wing agenda has eclipsed the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the minds of many. And let me tell you, I was never more ashamed of my fellow Christians that I was around the time of the last election when people were lying about President Obama, claiming he was an anorexic Marxist Islamic secret terrorist not-born-in-America anti-christ. I was so repulsed by this behavior that I completely distanced myself from people who talked like this, causing them to turn around and spread slander about me, claiming I had become a godless liberal.

    I believe that DIVORCE (which God clearly says he hates) has done more to harm children than homosexuality ever has or ever will.

  162. MLD… sheesh. This divorced-and-apparently-going-to-hell woman could tell you a very different story about how the Lord made Himself known to me but you would not ever really listen. I hope one day your ears and heart open for real.

  163. Laura,

    Amen,

    Every school year a few of us struggle to make sure that all the kids in Treys class have coats, hats, and gloves.

    I’ve never heard the local right wing Christian station even speak to the issue of the cold, hungry, and homeless in our community, but they raise lots of money for politicians.

    They can go to hell for all I care…

  164. an anorexic Marxist Islamic secret terrorist not-born-in-America anti-christ.

    That’s quite a mouthful, Xenia!

    And that’s only about half of the lies they were telling about him.

    Gee, maybe the church should start an anti-divorce group — let’s pick on the divorced. Or an anti-gluttony group. After all, they’re sins in the Bible, too. Along with many others.

  165. Xenia,

    Amen!

  166. Michael,

    I still am learning how to do that better and being part of this community has afforded me that opportunity. Whatever sphere of influence I do find myself in I will speak of my Savior. I am still searching how to do this most effectively even in a political atmosphere. Once political people know that they usually marginalize you and eliminate you from any position of influence. However, God will have us complete His plan. I await His orders and not some party chairwoman.

    On the other hand. I do believe that a President is able to do a lot more than I can when it comes to influencing people with his world view. As long as there is free speech , I will not hold back from speaking truth to power.

  167. Puzz,

    You are a good man and a man of God.

    I’ll speak that to anybody. 🙂

  168. MLD

    OH ok. I get it now. Let’s fix adultery and then after that is fixed we can work on fixing divorced people and then and only then we can discuss the subject of homosexuality. However we must be very very careful when we discuss that. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone that is a homosexual would we? Let’s get after those awful people that do the nasty things only heterosexuals do. Right? right?

    gimme a break.

    Xenia,

    I believe that once homosexual marriage has replaced the definition of traditional marriage you haven’t seen nothing yet when it comes to harming children.

  169. Thanks Michael. Likewise. 🙂

  170. Laura,
    You missed my point that was made specifically to puzz. Since he was the one who began this topic about gays and gay marriage – I just wanted to test his ‘christian politics’. Why outlaw homosexuality and same sex marriage and not divorce (except for the biblically accepted reason) and adultery. But he is too focused on the homo thing.

    I don’t want to outlaw any of them – however, I do want the church (which is pretty weak kneed at this time) to take a strong stand (hell, I’d be happy if they just took any stand.)

  171. puzz,
    “OH ok. I get it now. Let’s fix adultery and then after that is fixed we can work on fixing divorced people and then and only then we can discuss the subject of homosexuality.”

    That’s the point – we can’t fix any of it from a society stance. We can only first have people converted by the Holy Spirit, brought into the church and with teaching and the work of the spirit have these people become new.

    geez, we can’t even get people to not use their cell phoes while driving after passing laws.

  172. MLD… I expected your dissembling but once again, you have failed to see that people other than the PP faithful read here and as you have done in the past, you have come off as stentorian, unloving and sorely misinformed.

    That view of the divorced being allowed to thrive (that biblical reason for divorce sadly included) is one of the reasons the church allows itself to wound its own. Another proof of the church being its own worst enemy.

  173. All argument for “why” aside, it would be nice if we could move beyond calling our folks homophobic who assert that the Bible teaches that such a lifestyle is seriously sinful… civil infraction? dunno

    Perhaps, I’m reading the thread wrong…I am definitely reading it “wongly” as I’m getting sleepy

    God bring comfort to all and keep all close tonight

  174. MLD,

    You are a character. 😉

    Now tell Laura you are an ass and say you’re sorry.

    You ain’t gonna win.

    pzz

  175. Laura,
    I’m sorry if I touched a sensitive area with you. I was not talking about any individual divorced people – perhaps you should just go back to the old days and ignore me.

    I don’t know how I come off as the unloving one when it is puzz who is trying to legislate against people’s civil rights.

    I am only trying to keep christians in the camp.

    (I tried to say this in a whisper. 😉

  176. MLD, I will continue to refuse to ignore you. That issue is one of the reasons the church allows itself to get off-track and stop being the church. It will remain a sensitive area for me as I still get ostracized in many settings because of it. As much as I understand certain things will not get fixed until Christ comes back, we can still make a go at not cutting our own into shreds.

    And BTW… this Christian is well-ensconced in the camp.

  177. That’s not true. I know that the law cannot change any man. I am only speaking truth to power and that Obama is not your messiah.

  178. As a divorced sinner, I think I better stay out of this thread. 😉

  179. with you Bob.

  180. Personally I hate abortion, I wont go into detail as it is irrelevant but I put 20 years of my life to avoid that happening to one child, well actually several if one counts economic commitment. From the evangelical church never, not once ever, even when I begged, was I given even one small concession. Now I would reject the cult, they need to grow up, but they wont. I kept my promise, with all I had, and I am grateful for that chance. I worked primi wards where parents saw their children born with no brains, hidrocefalia, or later IE the kid fell out of the car and was run over. For the next 20 years the parents spent every day with their kid, whose head was as big as the rest of her body. Blind, deaf, and all the young one can do is turn her head, so we make a switch that vibrates a pillow so we can touch some type of communication. Watch the parents smile with some hope of some cognoscente recognition of their daughter. They would thank me, of course being the evangelical I was trying in my mind I ran begging that I do not need thanks. These people did no have an abortion, nor did they neglect their child, for decades. Outside of Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran or the other older traditions there was no help, in the evangelical cult all there was was an echo.

    No offense but the rest rings hollow really hollow. No offense I did help “that kid” and it cost me, and from your ilk Pastor Driscoll not one time, ever, not once did I ever get any type of sympathy. Grow up.

  181. puzz,
    I didn’t vote for Obama and I care very little about what he does or what he stands for. Our country is bigger than any President and one day he will be gone. We have lived through all of them with very little affect left behind.

    I am sure that I could walk up and down the street and ask several people “who was the president before George Bush” and many wouldn’t know and probably didn’t care at the time.

    You put way too much emphasis on what Obama does, says and thinks. I think I am on my 12th president – so who cares?

  182. Bob,
    It’s not about divorce.

  183. brian,
    It was Reformation Sunday today and we had 55 residents from the Good Shepherd Homes in attendance today.

    And if I may say to others, that is what the church is suppose to be doing – not banning gay marriage.

  184. MLD.

    ok

    good night.

    pzz

  185. exactly my point, MLD in my experience I can remember being told Reformation Sunday was far to Catholic, go figure. May I say thank you, and on my soul I am grateful to your community.

  186. MLD would you admit you are closer to the Catholic communion then the gnostic cult that is in Washington state?

  187. brian,
    If you are speaking about Driscol, I don’t pay much attention to him beyond what I read here.

    As to the Catholics, we are close in style but not substance- It’s almost like their is Catholic (Rome & EO), Protestant and then Lutheran. We seem to be uncomfortable with both.

  188. MLD that is a great point, in the evangelical cult style is far more important then substance, I do understand what you say, my response was to the “anti abortion” tripe, when little is offered to the person that is going through that experience is offered. In the Catholic, Lutheran etc communions there is some help, in the evangelical cult one is cast out and no help is offered. Now I know that many evangelicals offer help to people whom are in this situation but in the modern apologetic, little is offered. What I am saying, life is much more complex then the US cult offers. Trust me it is a cult and this one “pastor” is one of the primary leaches that suck the live out of the Body. He may not realize it, being young and proud, but it does. Michael often speaks of it, being one of the “non elect” from their perspective I can offer this, they moralize but do not deal with the real issue, for example “natural law”. Trust me MLD our good pastor would not see most Lutherans as “true Christians” ™. Personally this guy does not have a clue, I do hope one day he will. But now, not a clue.

  189. I vote in a strange way. I am not registered with any party – I am listed as “deline to state.” I usually vote pretty conservative, but the last time around, I voted for Barbara Boxer (even though I disagree with her on just about everything) as a reward for her vote against the war (and I hated the old white republican running against her). I also voted for Jerry Brown for Attorney General, just because California politics are always much more fun when he is around.

    I vote almost 100% against all ballot propositions just on the principle that when someone puts something on the ballot – they have their own best interest at heart and I will probabl get shafted somewhere down the road.

  190. My post about my voting habits is to be a commentary as to why you get very little sympathy from me on voting about social and personal issues.

  191. “their own best interest at heart” I can say I have tried not to live this way and in the evangelical community, this was one if not my main failing.

  192. Homosexual activity is unhealthy. Some claim it is healthy behavior and want the government to officially recognize it and protect it.

    Adultery is unhealthy – but noone is trying to change everyone’s mind on that.

    Nor is anyone advocating that divorce is anything other than making the best of a bad situation.

    To lump those three together is disingenuous, and you know it.

    You are only doing it to mock those who in your opinion have not fully thought through what they believe, in order to remind yourself and everyone else that you, on the other hand, have thought things through oh so deeply.

    That is not as much of a service to the Church as you think it is, MLD.

  193. “Homosexual activity is unhealthy” as stupid as this sounds one of the events I have been mocked, belittled, and basically laughed at, no I am not kidding, for what its worth, was living a celibate lives style I E either I’m gay or a pervert. I never did understand that but it was quite clear, on many occasions. Basically it falls under this, in the evangelical Gospel you cant win, ever. You can repent until the cows come home and it will always be used against you. Always.

  194. I am later to the party but in reference to Pastor Pastors comments earlier about pastors auditioning for potential congregants. I think it was Karl Marx who said “religion is the opiate of the people”. I think today in many respects “entertainment is the opiate of the church in America.

    Many are so addicted to self they can’t even worship unless there is something in it for them. Sad part is, most don’t even realize it.

    Look at the songs of Revelation…not one reference to self. It’s “Holy Holy Lord God almighty who was an is and is to come…” and on and on

  195. Personally All my church affiliations have been based on what it would do for my students, from the very early days I have learned a Christian would not need a community, I can understand that. My creed as a believer one should be autonomous and anonymous always. I would point out “entertainment” is the life blood of the Modern evangelical corp church, one challenges that to their loss.

  196. MLD, from our point of view, there’s EO and then there’s the RC and all her children.

    The EO and the RC are not as similar as many think.

  197. “Many are so addicted to self they can’t even worship unless there is something in it for them. Sad part is, most don’t even realize it.”

    therein lies the statement of the week….. sad but true……… Luke 18:8

  198. “Many are so addicted to self they can’t even worship unless there is something in it for them. Sad part is, most don’t even realize it.”

    In my evangelical experience one needs an apologetic, some type of defense, you pick your poison so to speak. anything that supports your apologetic is included, any facts that deny the apologetic, are ignored, mocked etc. Though most will not discuss it I offer this point, it is not the denominational apologetic that is a threat to the faith, it is our response to the issue of “the problem of evil” and origins. The evangelical apologetic has miserably failed, I E ray comfort is the best we have to offer, actually he is a bit up the totem poll.

    I mean if one wants to deal with the issues of our day, this is one of them, along with Cosmology, biology, paleontology, meteorology, seismology etc. And there are tens of not hundreds of etc. Personally we gave away the store, a long time ago for so very cheep. I find that so very sad. It should not but it does.

  199. in the second-to-the-last church I was in, I felt like I was in a year-long audition trying to pass muster with the pastor that I wasn’t a threat, could be an asset, and would work hard at whatever task he currently envisioned for the congregation. Turned out I could never row in sync with his cadence. Sometimes its the congregation, sometimes the pastor, but always the people. 😉

  200. dansk,
    I wasn’t making a ‘moral’ equivilance – I was just making the point, if we are going to legislate some biblical standards / behaviors, (which was puzz’s original point in bringing up the Obama quote) where do we stop and who gets to choose?

    That’s why I asked, if it was brought up, would he be for banning divorce and adultery? It’s not so far off, there was a time when both we against the law in parts of this country.

  201. fil,
    very few can

  202. I’m gonna go listen to some John Hagee and see if I can understand the evangelical mind on politics.

  203. “n the second-to-the-last church I was in, I felt like I was in a year-long audition trying to pass muster ” I never minded that myself, I know, all pretense aside, what a piece of human trash I am, but when those I worked with were questioned and the eternal states of their souls was questioned it bothered me. It should not have, but it did. In my ilk John Hagee would have been a liberal in the extreme. The Jews killed Jesus and they had it coming. Yes I have heard people preach that even about the holocaust, I know what a scum I am but what kind of deity would not be satisfied with the sacrifice of so many in such horrid conditions? Why would “It” need it?

  204. Hagee is neither evangelical or mind… listen to something else for those things…

  205. wow sometimes I am glad I missed the discussion… this thread can safely be dumped…

  206. “Hagee is neither evangelical or mind… listen to something else for those things…”

    I consider this a personal failing on my part, among the many, actually Hagee would be seen as a liberal if not a complete apostate as he thought some of the Jewish faith could be saved. In my evangelical communion, basically no one is saved. It was not good news, never was, never will be. But I understand that the “faith” lies way outside that realm, and no I do not consider myself an orthodox “Christian” in the modern evangelical faith, and daily I am grateful for that gift. I do thank you for your kind response and wish you and yours the very best.

  207. I heard that Don McClure is working with Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee. Anyone else hear anything?

  208. Curious –
    I haven’t heard anything…be careful about gossip. Blessings.

  209. Newtie says he’s considering a 2012 run. He and the Huck would surely seal votes on the right.

  210. Ol’ Newt is hurting his primary chances big time right now with what he’s doing in NY23. Huck is…well…the best I can say is that he’s on TV a lot.

  211. Tim,
    What is NY23??

  212. My guess is NY 23 is the 23rd congressional district in New York,
    where Newt has endorsed the RINO who votes with the Dems – over
    the third party conservative.

  213. Looks as if phoenixpreacher.com is back up….yayyyyyy

  214. Glenn thanks – I am in CA so I guess that is for New Yorkers to work out.

  215. Concerned:

    The two CCs where I have seen their by-laws and incorporation papers were IRS Code 501-c3 which means they (pastors and staff) do not “own” the church. However, any church can creatively finance, loan monies, make deals, defer compensation and such to the point where a pastor could actually “own” the properties. However, this is pretty low and I would run from such a person(s).

    The problem with CCs which do not have “membership” is there is no way for the people who atended such churches to have any real say about finances except to not pay tithes and offerings to them.

    Best answer I can give.

  216. Drew: in my town, Calvary Chapel Visalia’s Pastor Bob Greniers name is on the title of the church. Everything is owned by him. He has eliminated everyone who has ever questioned his vision as a “prophet of God”. If you spend a few minutes with this man alone, you would see he’s nuts. But his followers claim that he must be blessed by God because his church is growing and thriving. His persona behind the pulpit is inspiring, but his personal life is an extreme contradiction.

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