Jul 302013
 

links_image1Older women feel ignored in the church and culture…

Gods promise of peace to the restless…

Is Rush Limbaugh finished?

Why the local church should cultivate discipleship…. those guys still need Bill Kinnon to define discipleship for them

Americans more concerned about loss of civil liberties than terrorism…finally.

When churches produce heretics instead of disciples….

Crucifying Christian art…

Why millennials are leaving the church…

A surprisingly good response to the above link…

Tim Keller Q & A…

Odd pastoral assignments…

Ancient critics…same as modern critics…

The return of private confession and absolution…

Rethinking the $3000 mission trip…

The return of Art Bell…

According to one estimate, a Christian is martyred every five minutes…

  75 Responses to “Links”

  1. Regarding Rush, if Salon says it loud enough, it must be true. While I’m not a fan and consider Rush to be an entertainer, Salon is dreaming and they know it. Rush’s show is, and has been #1 since 1991. Re Drudge, the other “relic from the 90’s”, his site is in the top 100 in the US, and top 500 on the planet.

    “Finally” is right regarding civil liberties! The tide is turning, and the old guard of both parties will be the collateral damage. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving group.

  2. MegaDittos to Jim’s comments.

    As to the move to high church, etc. – it always helps to go somewhere where God is moving.

    Sometimes we forget!

    Then we recall, as the song says: “God’s not dead, He’s still alive ….”

  3. Great news about Art Bell returning to radio.

    Now if XM would ny carry Phil Hedrie

  4. Re: “Older women in the church”

    I haven’t experienced being “ignored” in the church. I find there are always opportunities to serve, but I also believe that we have seasons in our lives and I’m not bothered at all with ministry changes in my life. I learned long ago not to “cling” to any ministry (worship leading, conference teaching, etc). If God was leading, He would open doors. There are always, people to feed, prisoners to visit, sick to pray for.

    However, I have, indeed, experienced what it means to be invisible in our culture. Standing in a shop queue, and having the sales clerk look right past me to the man or young woman behind me, offering to “help” them. Watching the perky smile given to the man in front of me disappear when my turn comes. I’ve learned to laugh about it and shake my head in disbelief, but it does happen.

  5. I think its very valid if older woman end up feeling ignored in the church. The more the church mirrors contemporary culture this will happen.

  6. Hmmm, the old bags in my church run the show. ;-)

  7. I’ve seen what Nonnie is sharing happen, and I’d like to add a twist . . . the Bible says the ‘older women should teach the younger’ . . . it seems there’s a real lack of a teachable audience, especially in church. The younger won’t make time – let alone sit still – for sound teaching. Not just young women, the young generally. Because of that lack of Bible mandated synergy, power and meaning is missing from the church.
    I wish Huey Lewis was right and it was hip to be square. It’s only hip to be immediate. See, I wrote it down, way back then and it’s not hip anymore.

  8. When trying to get older women to serve, the response I most often hear is, “I’ve done my time.” We would love to have older women (and men) serve, but they seem too busy being “retired”.

  9. bible also says, “let the little children come to me and do not hinder them”. Kids are going to be kids. You can’t expect a Duck to be a Cow.

  10. The “power” is not in the proper presentation of theology and doctrine, never has been, never will be.

    The “power” is in spirit and in love, etc. (if it’s all true that is).

  11. jamesk, I think its possible to serve and be ignored at the same time.

  12. Bessey’s article on the marginalization of older women in the church was right on the money and sad too. Some older women have an inner strength and wisdom that far exceeds their male counterparts in many cases, and it’s sheer stupidity to not recognize it or make practical use of it.

    I know this will raise more than one set of hackles here but so be it. I would like to see more women both younger and older go to seminary and become pastors.

  13. Andrew, I agree, but my point was we are not ignoring them, they are ignoring us.

  14. Muff, I’m not sure what seminary you want these women to go to but many seminaries won’t allow this simply because the Bible seems to indicate that women are not to be pastors. Paul seemed to indicate that too. Kind of a hard hurdle to jump over.

  15. Jamesk, I feel that asking someone to serve particularly an older women may not be the best approach to not ignore them. Just my 2 cents.

  16. Andrew, point to any region in the country, and I’ll show you a decent seminary that allows women.

  17. Wow about Martin. ($3000 missions trips article).

    If Christians who attended church every week TITHED (not even talking about offerings), the dollar amount would be more than all federal, state, county and city spending by quite a bit.

    Imagine….

    Not complaining, because I’m able to have a little home and raise a few kids and have poor students over for a meal as a minister who raises support–and there are SO MANY generous Christians in this nation, I thank God!

    Let’s spend our money wisely a d effectively please.

  18. And the previous comment was about the tithe, not even mentioning offerings.

  19. Andrew,
    Good points. But the key phrases are ‘seems to’ and ‘seemed to’ and these are where the rubs occur. If you believe that Paul is God’s new Moses to the gentiles and is still thundering out of Sinai through him, then yes the question(s) are moot, and Paul’s injunctions must be followed to the letter, end of story.

    If however, one no longer sees the New Testament paradigm in this fashion, then by all means use reason, common sense, and conscience.

  20. Josh, you might be right. I just remember from a couple years ago that Westminster did not allow women in their pastoral programs although they allowed women in their counseling degree programs. I am not saying I agree or disagree with this but just stating the reality.

  21. Andrew said, ” the Bible seems to indicate that women are not to be pastors. Paul seemed to indicate that too. Kind of a hard hurdle to jump over.”

    No, a very easy hurdle to jump over, in fact there is no hurdle. Paul was speaking from the barbaric culture of that age, much akin to the explicit commands that you could own Slaves and have sex slave Concubines and execute your children with stones for being gluttonous, drunk or rebellious in the Old Testament.

  22. If you appeal to “context” and “culture” and “that was then, this is now” to explain away barbaric practices in the bible and in attempts to resolve contradictions, then by all means, apply the same standard to “women pastors” etc. It doesn’t mean what it says, it was cultural.

    My conscience applied through Law of Love tells me women not only can teach men, but probably should in a lot of groups. Women are just as capable and probably more compassionate, more able to example the Fruits of the Spirit in many areas as opposed to men who tend to have less self-control and are tempted in many areas easier than women (it seems in general).

  23. Ricky Bobby is closer to being right than he has been in a long time.

  24. Ricky Bobby, we wouldn’t even know what a church is or really understand what a pastor or elder is without Paul. And you just say he is speaking from the barbaric culture of that age and you want to discount everything he says? Wow, if Paul lived in our day and age I would imagine he might think we are barbaric with the sheer number of abortions done each year. Lets put things in a little bit of perspective.

  25. Interesting comments jamesk, I didn’t know that you were a pastor.

  26. “Ricky Bobby, we wouldn’t even know what a church is or really understand what a pastor or elder is without Paul.”

    Maybe that would be a good thing. I think we give Paul’s letters way too much cred.

    Jesus laid it out pretty well IMO:

    No one is to be called Rabbi or Teacher or Pastor.

    Servant of All…if you want to be the greatest, then wash feet and be the least.

    No other stuff required IMO.

    I’ll go with Jesus (God) over a man Paul any day.

  27. We certainly don’t take the Qualifications of Pastors as literal and applicable and enforceable, so why take any of Paul’s other words seriously.

    It’s called Selective Fundamentalism.

    No pastor can meet the Quals, Michael has argued this many times and it is well supported by the fact pastors are rank sinners like the rest of us.

    The only “pastor” is Jesus, he’s the only one who kept and keeps the Standard.

    It’s not about pastors, it’s not about doctrine, not about theology. it’s about Jesus who paid the price for all and is the Redemption for all of God’s creation.

  28. “I’ll go with Jesus (God) over a man Paul any day.”

    I would say Amen to that but only thing is that Jesus commissioned Paul directly and what Paul wrote was inspired directly by the Holy Spirit (God).

  29. “I think we give Paul’s letters way too much cred.”

    Do you discount the Gospel of Luke as well?

  30. RB, your #22 has a lot of wisdom in it. I would add though that as Andrew said in #27, Paul wrote what he was inspired to by the Holy Spirit. I am grateful that The Lord removed me from the dogmatic teaching of CC about women and their role in the church. I’m blessed to have many women leaders in our church.

  31. @25 I’m not. Just my experience from overseeing different ministries in different churches I have been involved in.

  32. RB, re your #27, difficult qualifications do not change the standard. It’s the same as Eph 5, while few of us would be asked to “die” for our bride like Christ did, it doesn’t change the standard. I believe that we are love our wives as Christ loved the church. I fail at this often but it doesn’t give me a pass not to try and it doesn’t lower the standard. And, that chapter was given to Paul to write by the Holy Spirit :)

  33. Was Paul inspired and articulating the perfect words of God when he said this?

    Titus 1:12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”[a] 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith

    and

    I wish they’d go the whole way and cut their testicles off! (in Galatians)

  34. Gary,

    Your little tantrum all over the blog didn’t affect anyone but me.
    It just made for more work and made keeping this blog up even more unpleasant than it already is.
    I have always respected anonymity even when it appeared to be ridiculous to do so.
    Posting crap on the prayer thread is cause for an immediate ban.

  35. You may call it a tantrum but I call it hedging my bet. You removed my post yesterday and you can remove this one.

  36. Gary,

    It’s a very selfish thing to create more work for someone who toils without compensation.

    Don’t piss on the seat-someone has to clean it up.

  37. Gary,

    You are now under moderation.
    That means that I will approve your posts as I’m able.
    Let me know when you can stop taking out your frustrations with one person on the rest of us.

  38. ” for someone who toils without compensation.”

    That isn’t entirely true. Michael gets donations (I know, I’ve made some) and he collects money (a little) from the ads on the site and the amazon sales etc.

  39. RB, I agree w/Paul and your reference to the Cretens. We should cut their testicles off! :)

  40. Forgive me for my lady comment, I was trying to lighten things up

  41. Gary, welcome to the Moderation Club! :-) Doug G. is our Founding Member. I am Vice-President. I nominate you Treasurer. Can you take up a collection? Thanks! :lol: :-)

  42. covered, you were pre-forgiven unilaterally :-)

  43. Yep…I’ve made close to 13.00 this year from Amazon and a little over 40.00 for the year on ads.
    The ad market is in the toilet.
    The donations keep the domain names and space paid.
    I’m not making any money here.
    Compared with what it costs me in terms of stress…it’s not worth it.
    We may end up taking the whole thing to Facebook.

  44. Yes, for sure. I didn’t mean to give an impression you were getting rich off the blogsite more for transparency and to point out the fact that “no compensation” is not entirely accurate.

    How much in donations do you estimate you get per year from the blog folks (in stuff and cash)?

  45. “last” not “lady”

  46. RB,

    What I get from donations is none of your business.
    Some months we get nothing…this month we’ve received 80.00 bucks.
    I didn’t start this for money and I don’t continue it for money.
    You couldn’t pay me enough to put up with this crap.

  47. @36 – Jim is funny. “If you sprinkle when you tee-tee, be a sweetie, wipe the seatie”.

    A while back a friend told me he was “giving up on church” and going to find God “his own way” and he’s actually become a rather accomplished God mocker in a few short months. What threw him over the edge was his new iPhone got stolen at his church.

    Two ways to look at that:
    1. There is no Devil and once again, there’s the crooks, the cruds and the creeps in the church leaving yet another soul in the wreckage of their rank hypocrisy.
    2. There is a Devil, the Enemy, the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy and he whispers into the ear of one of the crooks, the cruds, or the creeps and has them pocket the phone. The Enemy watches and sees the faith of many defiled and thinks ‘That was easy, I only had to get one phone stolen.”

    Whether it’s a stolen iPhone or some deeper, truly horrible wrong perpetrated on an innocent, it is interesting (as Michael said some months back) how easily we cast aside the “who”, Jesus Christ for the “how” that is me and my worship of my preferences.

    Showing that it’s not a rabbit trail unmerited of the topic at hand, I cite the article on discipleship vs. volunteerism. Devotedly following Christ means I have to set aside my preferences like He set aside His for the greater need. (“If there is ANY other way” he said in the Garden.)

    I would prefer that people at church not steal cell phones, that children not be punched by parents, that husbands not abandon wives, that cancer not kill Grandpas and that Alzheimer’s not ravage the mind of the precious. Rather than lay down a lecture on these things, Jesus Christ laid down His life.

  48. Rob,
    Do you really think a demon whispers in someone’s ear or is that just a phrase?
    Serious question.

  49. “What I get from donations is none of your business.”

    Sounds familiar.

  50. Josh,

    You say Ricky Bobby may be closer to the truth, but what does the Bible say? I take the Bible at its word and women can be just as controlling and evil as men

  51. Women can fall into temptation just as easily as a man, greed, materialism etc. Dont just focus on sexual sins

  52. London – I do think that the Enemy asks for us by name and I do believe that the world, my own appetites and the Devil can work in cooperation to entice me to fulfill my own evil desires that would lead me away from God’s way for me (Sin). While I want to avoid being like Flip Wilson’s ‘Geraldine’ character and say “The Devil made me do it” any time I do wrong, I know he (the Devil) is the Enemy of my soul and is cheering on every decision that leads to live like I am not loved by God. The Devil doesn’t “make” me do it (sin/evil) , but he is an active, hopeful agent that I will do “it” (sin).
    Now, apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ, I am completely susceptible – I would even say powerless – to resist the Devil. That phrase from James “Resist the Devil…” is directed toward believers. I don’t believe the Devil can be resisted apart from Christ.

    Was that straightforward? I don’t want to lose your point…

  53. “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.”

    “Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

    Both from the bible.

    Seems that part of the bible narrative makes Satan responsible for inciting folks, and part of the bible attributes the same thing to God.

  54. So back to the links. I sure liked Tim Keller’s Q&A!

  55. “Older women feel ignored in the church and culture”

    I feel for them. I despise the hipster culture ‘Rock band’ worship. It keeps sounding more and more like U2 concerts and the lyrics are including less and less scripture.

    I wish they would keep this on contemporary Christian music CDs and out of the church. Attending a modern church in my area is a guaranteed headache from amplification.

    The only way I survive “worship” nowadays is to read the lyrics with a good set of earplugs in. The only way it can possibly get worse is if the pastor starts giving a topical sermon and telling us about their life after the “music” ends.

    Get off my lawn Bieliebers & Bronies!

  56. London is asking questions that I get frequently…how does the devil work?
    Are there visible manifestations?
    We may run a whole article if I can get it together…

  57. RB – I haven’t addressed your posts, so this will be strong, it’s cumulative…

    you remind me of a guy who stands outside the animal shelter and as a little girl or little boy leaves with an adopted pet, you take a puppy or a kitty out and wring its neck so the kids get a firm dose of reality. RB: “Hey kids, It’s nice that you want to help a puppy or two, but here’s how we make the sausage of animal services. Here’s how the world really works. One gets adopted, three get euthanized. Have a nice time with your puppies, kids, but don’t forget – necks are still snapping when you lay your little head down next to your puppy. Never forget the ones you didn’t adopt. Suckers.”

    What you attempt to do in shooting holes in everybody else’s belief – it’s not a great, noble service. It’s dark. It’s creepy. You’re not replacing misplaced hope with a better hope.

    Example: I don’t believe in Santa Claus, but if I was lined up at the mall for my kid to get a picture taken with Santa and you kept breaking into line to inform me and my kid of the greater truth that there is no Santa, after a few times, I’d double leg you and help you take a nice refreshing nap. Why not just let us simpletons enjoy our discussion of our imaginary God and share our wishful thoughts for healing and hope for one another. Be Libertarian. We’re not even asking you to pay taxes for our Imaginary God support group. Michael is using his vast tens of dollars in maintaining the roadway in here. Do you want a refund on the amount you donated? Can I work out a payment plan to get you paid back and have you go away? Nobody here is making you get your picture taken with our Santa. Go get a cookie at Mrs. Fields.

  58. Nonnie,

    I like Keller…but a Q & A over Twitter with a 140 character limit really bugged me.

  59. I’m off to taekwando…for 2 and a 1/2 hours.
    In the smoke.
    Irritated.
    God is still good. :-)

  60. I don’t twitter, but I enjoyed his sense of humour and the back and forth. What a kick to get to ask a favourite author a question!

    Although I guess, I could ask one of my favourite authors a question here, couldn’t I? :-D

  61. Nonnie,

    Of course… :-)

  62. Rob, thanks for the answer.
    I really didn’t have any point except to ask if you meant your statement literally.

    This isn’t a thread about any of that, so I’ll bow out, but thanks for the response.

  63. Regarding link #1…older women are not just ignored by the church, but by society and industry at large. I could tell a number of stories about women at my current employer who feel the company does not value them, values less productive men more, and the women, who work twice as hard, feel thoroughly discouraged. Count me as one of those women. I’m dismayed to find I’ll face the same situation in church.

  64. I’m back!

    At my parish, the older women have plenty of responsibility. We most certainly do not feel marginalized. Every woman can join the the sisterhood, which has many responsibilities.

    But last year I did have a sad conversation with an old friend from my old CC. I asked her how things were going and she teared up and said she and the other middle-aged humans (not just women) felt like they were being shoved aside since my old CC pastor’s son took over. Stuff like printing the bulletins in really tiny print, changing the name of the church to something hip (and stupid, if you ask me), cranking up the music to painful volume levels, and other stuff. I asked her what she and her husband were going to do and she said she didn’t know, they’d attended that church all their adult lives and couldn’t imagine going somewhere else.

    Last Sunday I attended my son’s large (but not mega) Reformed church. It could have been a Calvary Chapel. Pastor and the congregation were all dressed like they were getting ready to mow the lawn, rock music made the floor vibrate, sermon was ….. Well, the sermon was about the Letter to the Church in Sardis but the application was “you all need to join one of our small groups starting up this fall.” Well, I take that back, the young pastor did say some very true and valuable things besides that but that was the only practical point you could really carry home from the sermon. (And a CC would have taken a completely different spin on the Sardis letter.) There were a lot of old folks in the pews but none of them seemed to be deacons, musicians, etc. Maybe they did feel they’d done their part and it was time for the young’uns to take over. I did notice that the only time the congregation really got into the singing was when they sang an old-timey hymn.

    Long prayers directed to the people in the congregation, and not to God. <— That's a bad habit people fall into, I think. Still, I've seen plenty worse and my son's family is in a safe, god-fearing church.

  65. Maybe I was a little harsh concerning my son’s church. It’s a given that I don’t agree w/ Protestant theology so I’ll set that aside and just say that it’s a very friendly, family-oriented church with lots of things to do. Not my cup of tea but that’s not their fault.

  66. Long prayers directed to the people in the congregation, and not to God. <— That's a bad habit people fall into, I think. Still, I've seen plenty worse and my son's family is in a safe, god-fearing church.

    Both the writer of Ecclesiastes and Jesus himself had some unflattering things to say about long winded prayer spinners

  67. ***the Bible says the ‘older women should teach the younger’ . . . it seems there’s a real lack of a teachable audience, especially in church. The younger won’t make time – let alone sit still – for sound teaching. Not just young women, the young generally. Because of that lack of Bible mandated synergy, power and meaning is missing from the church.***

    I disagree with this. For much of my life I’ve been friends with older women. And even before that I really craved having an older mentor. And I know other women my age who wanted that also.

    I did not find that the churches I attended facilitated those sorts of relationships. My impression was that older people were marginalized and it bothered me because I felt that older people could have a lot of maturity and experience that would be invaluable to the younger people in the church and to the church in general. But, whatever, those churches all kind of sucked, and I’ve managed to find good older friends anyway.

  68. Michael, If my posting yesterday contributed to whatever happened with Gary I am truly sorry. I wasn’t around to see what took place but it seems to be out of character from all I’ve read from him here.

    If the above is the case then I owe Gary a huge apology. Gary, I’m at erunner54@gmail.com if you desire to communicate. I hope you’re okay.

  69. Everyone thinks they’re marginilized these days, we live in such a victim culture

  70. Solomon I dont see myself as marginalized, if there is a hell I should be there, I accept that, I am human and that is digestible. I have not been able to repent of being human but I have tried. I really have. No victim here, I am vile, evil, God hating satanic scum. That is on a good day. I am vile, I hate God from before I was born and even if I am saved I still might hate God. I dont get it but I am sure I am missing something. Solomon I dont think myself a victim God should kill my soul, in hell forever, I am evil, vile, filth, lost, reprobate etc. I dont feel that way but that actually supports my apostasy, one should never do that, feel that is, ever. But that is another post.

    An aside, if someone could point me to this good news people talk about so much I would appreciate it, I don’t see it I really don’t.

  71. digestible = disgusting sorry my vision is giving out another reason for wrath. Sorry about that

  72. Brian,

    I enjoy your posts

  73. brian,

    The good news is that when you pass from this life to the next and you will be completely healed and totally accepted.
    There will be rewards for all the service you have rendered here.
    Your questions will have answers and you will rejoice in every one of them.
    There will be people there you never expected to see again.
    Today, the comfort I would offer you is two fold.
    First, the heart of God is broken by the same things that have broken yours.
    You are sharing in the sufferings of Christ and He has written that when you do so it means much to Him.
    I take “sharing” to be literal…Jesus is more touched by all the hardships you have ministered to than even yourself and He is working in and through you.
    That is a terrible privilege and a severe mercy.
    The second thing I would offer you is a reminder that you are loved here…by God and by many of us.

  74. I’m not a “I love everybody” guy. I wish I was, but I need to be truthful.

    Having said that, I love Brian.

    I’m just a tired, sorta mixed up old guy who limped back to PP after a long war. How much more, God, who is love.

  75. Love brian, always will. He’s written some of the best stuff on here over the years IMO.

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