Aug 202013
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. We demanded cultural transformation before we attempted personal and corporate transformation and now judgment is starting in the house of God at the hands of those we demanded change first.

2. You can assess how much you believe in the grace of God by determining how much you want the person you despise the most to receive it.

3. I smelled fall in the air last night and it saddened me…at a certain age you resist the passing of time and the inevitability of winter.

4. Trey is on a trip with his mom and grandma…I was greatly looking forward to the time for myself and solitude. That lasted about four hours and now I just look forward to him coming home.

5. We rejoice in the truth that no one living is beyond the grace of God…then we read of the serial killer still living and understand that only the death of God’s son could make such grace just.

6. Carl’s Jr has real identity issues…

7. I woke up last week and found that as a male, white, middle aged, conservative Christian I was in the most disliked group in the country. It seems like it happened that fast…

8.Crossway announced a new bible version is coming out. Just what we needed. Not.

9. I’m always asked why God doesn’t deal with abusive clergy…and the main reason is that short of killing them, He can’t wrest them away from those who want to touch the hem of their garments.

10. I have no sense of vision or mission here, other than to be present…present with the people of God with a desire that He show up on the pages occasionally. That…is sufficient.

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  189 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. #7 not long before we are labeled terrorist

  2. “I’m always asked why God doesn’t deal with abusive clergy…and the main reason is that short of killing them, He can’t wrest them away from those who want to touch the hem of their garments.”

    I ask myself the same question and usually come up with a similar answer. I can’t decide whether it is the grace of God or is it that God finally gives them the king that they have longed for all their life. For as much as the older, now traditional brand of evangelicalism stressed the individual relationship with God, there is also the undertow of dependency of a needed intermediary in the form of a controlling pastor. The “Shepherding Movement” had greater influence than most of us want to admit.

  3. regarding #10, perhaps that is the solution for a lot of the issues with 1-9. When we bring an agenda, vision, or mission to the table, our hands automatically go to the tiller and we attempt to steer the vessel. Finding the presence to be enough is a huge challenge.

  4. I like what filbertz said.

  5. “We demanded cultural transformation before we attempted personal and corporate transformation and now judgment is starting in the house of God at the hands of those we demanded change first.”

    I think even this is incorrect.

    “Transformation” is a myth, proved many times over, empirically.

    “Go and sin no more” is not something that is remotely possible, yet it is the Standard in one of many bible narratives.

    Man cannot be transformed in the context of “not sinning” and “sinning less” is really not a sound position. Folks simply sin differently in some circumstances:

    “I was a drug user and drunk and then I found Jesus and I am TRANSFORMED!”

    Well, OK, others have reformed themselves from the same thing through other means. And, you still sin, you just sin different sins that the bible says are just as damning etc.

    Then the discussion appeals to “Well, yes, I appeal to Jesus’s mercy and to his work on the cross”…well, yes, but that doesn’t mean “you” have been Transformed…this response does not support a “Transformation Gospel” thesis it simply acknowledges what I am pointing out: We don’t get Transformed. Jesus is the Redeemer and it is only through mercy that “sinners” get saved (and eventually I believe all will be shown mercy and be Redeemed by the only sinless sacrifice in the form of Jesus).

  6. “We rejoice in the truth that no one living is beyond the grace of God”*

    Your version seems to have a Time-Date expiration date on that warranty.

    Mine doesn’t.

  7. Love this. And agree or understand all points but 8. While I certainly get where you’re coming from, I checked out this Bible and was pretty pumped. Whether or not the renewed emphasis on the Gospel in many corners of the US church is a fad or a movement, I’m pretty cool with any effort that seeks to help people see their lives, the world, Scripture, and so on through the lens of the Gospel and grace. Do we need a Green Bible? No. Do we need a Patriot’s Bible? Dear Lord, no. And while you could argue that a Gospel-centered Bible is cosmically redundant, I think there is a great need for helping people see Scripture through this lens. I’m glad to find your blog. My friend Matt Redmond recommended it. Good stuff here.

  8. Andy,

    Welcome aboard!
    Matt is the best blogger out there and I’m honored that he reads here.
    “Cosmically redundant” is a wonderful expression I wish I’d used…I’ll think about your point some more.

  9. I was transformed.
    I was a drunk who cared to little and to much all at the same time. I tried AA, rehab and rededicating my life over and over but it didn’t work. I had a need, a need to drink away my pain and nothing filled it.

    I went on like this for years until it came to the point that I was about to lose everything and I cried out to Him and he changed me. Not overnight, not over days, weeks or months, but right then. He just reached inside and flipped a switch.

    I am being transformed everyday. He will finish the work He began in me. I just know it!

  10. “Your version seems to have a Time-Date expiration date on that warranty.”

    No expiration on God’s grace. Whether the store decides to keep you on the shelf is another matter. Don’t confuse the grace of God with people’s level of trust and/or tolerance.

  11. TLLOM,

    Thank you for that.
    It doesn’t always happen that way but sometimes He just fixes the problem on the spot.

  12. TLLOM still sins in other areas, though, correct?

    P.S. Glad for you. I know folks have have reformed from lives of drugs and alcohol without God and some, like you (taking it at face-value) who claim it was God. Any which way, I’m happy when folks get that monkey off their back.

  13. We all still sin…and we’re all being transformed whether it is evident or not.
    “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
    (1 John 2:1 ESV)

  14. “we’re all being transformed whether it is evident or not.”

    How do you validate this claim besides a bible verse?

  15. The gospel changed the way I look at life, what my motivations are, and how I cope with trials. I still sin, but I see and approach life differently than I did before knowing Christ. I don’t know if that counts as transformation for Ricky B, but I’m changed.

  16. RB,

    I don’t need any validation besides a bible verse…I believe the Bible is God’s word and that it is true.
    That’s enough for me.
    I know that I am being changed and that others would testify to the same…but that is not empirical evidence.
    The things of the Spirit cannot be measured by empirical means.

  17. Christians too many times get obbsessed fighting the culture wars. If they just obeyed Jesus call to preach the gospel and make disciples of all Nations then they wouldn’t have time to get all caught up in politics and the cares of this world, we are citizens of heaven and just pilgrims passing thru.we are Ambassadors of Christ so what is to us that we get involved with the worldy concerns  fighting wars for an non christian country and saluting a flag. Our allegiance is to God not our country, we obey laws unless of course they try to tell us no bibles or no gathering of the Saints but our allegiance is to God only

  18. “The things of the Spirit cannot be measured by empirical means.”–Michael

    Bible: “You will know them by their fruit” “you will know them by their love for one another” “these things will be in evidence: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control”

    “evidence of the flesh: Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

    “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

    Seems the Bible you appeal to says there will be empirically verifiable evidence…yet you still sin and do the things it says you shouldn’t do.

  19. RB,

    I realize how much you love to argue about such…but I don’t…and I won’t.
    There is a blog for that and this isn’t it.
    You have a forum to express your every dispute with conservative Christianity and a group that enjoys those discussions.
    This isn’t going to be a copy of that.
    My interest is to build up the Body in faith, not tear it down…life is too short and too many need encouraged.

  20. Michael, you state things as if they are true, then I point out the statement isn’t true and you freak.

  21. RB,

    I think my statement is true.
    You don’t.
    I can spend all day arguing with you or I can do other things and talk with the other members of the community that hold to the faith I do.
    It’s not a matter of “freaking” it’s a matter of being weary of covering the same ground over and over.
    I respect your right to believe what you choose and to write about it on your blog with like minded folks.
    This is my blog…and I’m not interested in arguing with you every day.
    No one else is either…and if they are they need to go to your blog to do so.
    You have a strong and vibrant community there to enjoy…allow us to do likewise.

  22. 1. Kind of ironic that we are running around trying to change each other, instead of turning to the only One capable of solidifying a change. Seems if we sought God first the change would take care of itself.
    2. The more you understand grace the more you understand how Jesus went through with the cross.
    3. I find the converse to be true, as I age I appreciate the ‘small things’ even more.
    4. Missing is healthy.
    5. It is finished. The most powerful 3-words I can recall. Surpassed only by I AM.
    6. Really? I thought it was burgers and boobs. Am I missing something?
    7. Grats on having the same skin color as slave owners and the uber rich.
    8. $$$ Which moneychanger (err sorry publisher) has the copyright?
    9. Idolatry, mammon worship, fraternity worship, the list goes on.
    10. ‘Present’ eh? I think Eckhart Tolle already trademarked that term.

  23. Crownedone1,

    The best book out refuting Tolle…was dedicated to me and this blog.
    What I am speaking of is that though we are not physically present with each other, for many it has been a comfort and encouragement to have this place online where others are ‘present’ to offer a prayer or a word to get through the day.
    Maybe some need to have a conversation or ask or question, or share a struggle…and have someone respond.
    There is something to be said for just “being there”…being “present” for other people.

  24. I demonstrated your statement as untrue, using the text you appeal to as defining what you promote as truth, big difference.

  25. Michael @ 23

    I see where you are coming from and let me just say I like your non-new-agey description of ‘present’ much more than Tolle’s ;)

    The Tolle’s of the world are the easy targets to debunk. The tough ones are the fraternity members (masons, jesuits, etc.) that poison the body with their agnostic lodge dogmas.

    The most charitable & kind persons you will ever meet (good physical fruit)…but accompanying a spiritual doctrine that is deadly to your soul (rotten spiritual fruit). Hiding in plain sight, as it were.

  26. RB,
    This will be my last comment on the subject.
    I said the things of the Spirit are not measurable.
    If you have found a way to measure how much peace, patience, etc, etc, one is in possession of you need to patent that.
    Some of these things are observable, but not measurable.
    Some of what we observe may not be there in reality…as you well know.
    In the Bible there is always a tension between the ideal and the reality…it is not ignored.
    It recognizes that we are simultaneously saint and sinner…it is written so we may not sin, but points us to the Savior when we inevitably do.
    I do more than most, so I’m glad that this is true.

    “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
    (1 John 1:7–10 ESV)

  27. Let’s respect the anonymity of the posters, even if their identity is widely known. :-)
    I understand the frustration, but lets keep it civil.

  28. Michael, you are supporting my thesis more than you know. I’ll do an article on my blog about it.

  29. Thanks, RB. I love being a target of you and your groups scorn.
    Not.

  30. Welcome back Michael. You were sorely missed. Hope the blog can get back to the sense of community and fellowship it once enjoyed. U know how to make sure of that.

  31. “7. I woke up last week and found that as a male, white, middle aged, conservative Christian I was in the most disliked group in the country. It seems like it happened that fast…”

    I tell you what else happened fast – women stopped wearing hose. What’s with that? I just noticed.

    Also, intolerance being viewed as the most despicable character trait – that happened fast.

    Here is what is going to happen fast, too: the day is coming in society when not being a loving, broken Christian will be considered a pitiful state.

  32. Speaking of intolerance, ;)
    Here is an article I read by Thabiti Anyabwile yesterday.
    It is titled “The Importance of Your Gag Reflex When Discussing Homosexuality and “Gay Marriage”
    Warning, he gets a little graphic at one point to make the point.
    http://shar.es/zXhgt
    He makes a very good point IMO.

  33. Ricky Bobby,

    I like you, and I think that you and I would be friends if we were local.

    BUT, I gotta tell ya, your schtick is getting really old.

  34. Derek,
    I debated whether or not to put that link in the Links article…we’ll see where it goes.
    I’m not sure how I feel about it.

  35. Michael, I don’t scorn you and neither do most of the others, other than maybe Doug and Mike, but it takes two to tango as they day. Many of your folks don’t like me either.

  36. Michael, isn’t it nice to know you’re supporting someone’s thesis?

    Good grief!

  37. CK,

    It’s a warm feeling…

  38. “Many of your folks don’t like me either.”

    Well, it isn’t for lack of trying! I’ve prayed for you and your brothers, and I still think that BG is a monster and should have been defrocked and jailed years ago. What you guys have been through is obscene on so many levels. But my God, mister, your constant, repetitive, hammering rhetoric is getting so freaking old! Please, give it a rest!

  39. “It’s a warm feeling…” So is pee-ing your pants.

  40. Yay! The Phoenix rises again! #2 is a great lithmus test. fil, your “Finding the presence to be enough is a huge challenge, ” is a true gem! I think Brother Andrew beats Eckhert out on that one when it comes to practicing the Presence ;-)

  41. Derek, my husband was a hair stylist in a very liberal college town. A good percentage of his clients had gay sons or daughters. When they would state that “they were happy as long as their homosexual sons or daughters were in loving relationships, he would pull the graphic card.

    They would have the gag reflex, and then ask how he could say such a thing. He would ask them, what do you think is going on. He would teach them from the word, he would tell them to love their offspring, but to not condone their sin, for that is what it is.

    He lost clients and gained friends.

    Unfortunately, he is now lost himself, not to homosexuality, but other moral sins. In effect his witness has been silenced. Which pains me more than the pain of his leaving, which was great.

  42. Derek,
    Ok, that article you linked, the one with the graphic description of the range of human s*xuality, um…
    how can I put this?
    …um, doesn’t the writer and the publisher know that in their article the clinical term for the male organ is MISSPELLED?!?!?

    So, not only does the writer come off as a bloviating self righteous poser but ignorant as well.

    So, instead of rallying the troops the article succeeds in failing.

    Jesus really does need new PR

  43. #4 – Whenever my wife and son go away for a couple of days, I think, great, solitude and I get to rest. Within hours, like Michael, I miss them. That is love.

  44. I flunked number two and that ratbastard knows who he is. I guess I will stand condemned for hating an abuser of women and children. Honestly I don’t want him damned just dead so it will stop..

  45. Just like you G. Don’t address the issue the article raises, just scream about a misspelling.
    Now, let’s look at the article as a whole. Not a ton of misspelled words.
    Ever heard of internet filters, my guess is that TGC uses one though.
    Hmmmm.
    Don’t just scream misspelled words in an attempt to deflect from the issue, G.
    Oh, and don’t make me talk about self-bloviations, you provide rich fodder for that.

  46. Wow Michael, do you have some connection with that case?

  47. Derek,
    The actual and factual reality, though you and all who cluck in approval of the article are grossly missing the point, is that this is not about plumbing or the micoupling thereof, this is about the realty of same sex attraction.

    The antics of any two people in the privacy of their bedroom, hetros*xually speaking, often includes the wide range of actions and activities the author demanded his readers hear him describe, it’s just that those things take place between a woman and a man, and there are popular evangelical authors who sell the idea that whatever happens in the marriage bed is sacred and therefore anything goes.

    And, yes, spot on that none of us in polite public or business conversation want to know any of that stuff about any random male/female couple in their intimacies. The “gag reflex” the author describes, aka “the ick factor” is a natural aversion any two humans have and avoid unless there is enough attraction between them to overcome it. Ever hear of “swapping spit”? The mouth is pretty freekin gross and it takes emotional attraction to overcome that “ewwww” thing that we all have been taught from childhood.

    What the author woefully misses and does not address is the reality of same s*x attraction, so in addition to the “fail” for the misspelling there is the greater and more tragic fail of not dealing compassionately with that core reality that some humans have a same s*x orientation and attraction.

  48. I agree with ( |o )====:, and would add that the author seems to fear that the bigotry that made this behavior “the worst sin ever” is waning. We fear and sometimes hate what we don’t understand.

    We really need to continue the all too common practice of parents telling their gay kids that they’re an abomination, a disgrace, etc. Do people really think that this parental practice has no relation to self destructive behavior among some young adult gays?

    Get to know some gay kids. Ask them. Love your neighbor.

  49. I never said anything about “worst sin ever” and to my recollection the author didn’t either.
    Good to see that some still recognize it as sin though.

  50. Derek,

    He pulled the OT abomination card. Can you think of another sin in which the term in commonly used today?

  51. Josh,

    Anyone who lived here when it happened is connected to that case.
    The valley was a smaller place then and it traumatized all of us.
    I was further traumatized when a friend in law enforcement revealed the details of the case to me that the public is mercifully unaware of.
    After he was convicted and sent to prison an article came out in the paper about some women who were driving up to the prison to take him the Gospel.
    I think they had to move…
    That case is why when I hear people say that God has no wrath toward sin and will just forgive all with or without Christ that I get a tad bit crazy.

  52. Thabiti has earned my attention with his thoughts in the past. I don’t dismiss him without serious consideration. I may end up disagreeing, but I do my self a disservice if I don’t at least listen.

  53. I think Jim makes a good point…and if we applied this strategy to other named sins in the Bible who would have an ounce of dignity left?

  54. Yes, in regards to the graphic description, but the point is that we’ve lost the debate because we have allowed “them” to define the terms. I remember watching the DNC this year, and over and over it was said (in reference to gay marriage) that people should not be discriminated against because of “who they love”. We all know that is not the issue. I can love you, you can love me, we can love everybody in the world. Including gay people. The issue is who they choose to have sex with. Period. The issue is not “same sex attraction”. That is another thing Thabiti was trying to make clear with his graphic description. We are talking about chosen sex acts. When we allow the terms to be defined by the “other side”, we lose.

  55. So, is someone saying that the OT doesn’t say it is an abomination?
    It isn’t a card to draw.
    If someone mentions that it is an abomination, does that mean you can overlook anything they have to say.
    Seems that it confirms certain aspects of the article in the area of politeness.
    Don’t bring anyones sin to the forefront, lest they repent.
    What is the next sin done this way?
    Maybe adultery.
    Following G’s argument, the adulterer can say he has adulterous urges and must satisfy them.
    If I am born with a huge temper does that mean it is okay to go and take it out on my wife.
    Even the unrepentant can control themselves usually.
    But, if as we believe, that homosexuality is sin, then this line of argument leaves them excusing their sin
    It is one thing to make laws to hurt homosexuals, no one is urging that.
    But, the argument now seems to be conform or else.

  56. A lot of disgusting gross acts are not wrong. (I was just talking to a medical student who passed out watching a gross, disgusting surgery that was an effort to save a child.)

    Acts that damage people are wrong.

    Intimate acts with the wrong person are deeply destructive to people. Even if that destructiveness is not always immediately clear.

  57. The worst acts of all are fairly pleasant to look upon, and that is the religious hypocrisy of whited sepulchres (my personal specialty).

    Is God more grossed out by some church services than by a Gay Pride parade?

  58. Derek,

    I find this an incredibly difficult subject.
    It seems that we polarize…it’s either an abomination or it’s just another acceptable expression of sexuality.
    Where I find the difficulty is in expressing what I believe the Bible teaches…it’s sin and I can’t accept it or endorse it, but so are many other sins common to all of us.
    The sin is an abomination…the people practicing it are not.
    I do not hate homosexuals…but I believe their lifestyle is sinful.
    The question has morphed into a discussion of whether I’m even allowed to believe that anymore…

  59. Derek,

    I’m not sure if your “someone” is addressed to me. If so, you can address me directly.

    We all know that homosexuality, unclean food, sex during that time of the month, adultery, and a number of other things are called abominations in the OT.

    My point is that the only young adults I know who have been called abominations by their parents are gay. Thabiti’s strategy only reinforces this behavior. You know, hate the sin, love the sinner…. but some sins REALLY NEED to be HATED.

  60. Derek,
    Your article is completely missing the point about the issue at hand.
    Gay & Lesbian individuals want to have “marriage”.
    This isn’t about if there’s a pickle in a pooper, it’s about commitment, lifelong.
    What is irritating is that the author misses the opportunity to strengthen and directly impact the audience who IS listening, not the Gay & Lesbian community, rather its his constituency and the general culture at large, the adulterous, promiscuous hetros who create children then skip on their merry way to yet another tryst, liaison, affair, directly impacting their children and the children of their multiple partners.

    Being outrageous to make an impact is something I understand and have been known to do, but its about timing, and the author’s timing is woefully dreadful, not to mention that he can’t spell the portion of his anatomy he seems to be leading with

  61. I didn’t even read the article – this is about the comments so far.

    Lifelong commitment. I’ve now lost track of how many people I am encountering (through the heartbroken ones they’ve discarded) who are leaving their lifelong commitments to their heterosexual spouse with whom they had children more often than not to pursue sexual pleasures with someone of the same sex.

    THAT is the reality and the world will celebrate each and every one of them for being true to themselves – and yet, find someone who leaves the homosexual lifestyle for heterosexuality and he/she will be shunned and told they are lying to themselves.

  62. Steve,

    The question I keep coming back to…is why are we more disgusted with their sins than our own?
    We made a mockery out of family values long before the gay agenda come about…

  63. Michael,
    You and I can believe anything we wish, but just as certain discussions are best left to the appropriate venue and discussed by the right individuals, I truly believe that we need to be wise and calculate what we want to be known by. It’s called “branding”, and just as my Jewish friends have associations by their “denominations” of Orthodox, Conservative, Progressive, so are we of our faith, and when we are public we are best to be wise and brand ourselves strategically if its important to our endeavors.

    It amazes me that we who are followers of Jesus are willing to be told our brand must include anything other than patient love and peaceable coexistence, but then that’s just how I choose to be in public. In private I keep my unfinished work to myself and only those who are willing to help me become a better person. I also don’t share my unfinished art or music with the public, just as you don’t share your unfinished drafts.

  64. My gay & lesbian friends who have commitments and have kids are far more awesome than my family members who have spawned children across the Western states

  65. G,

    I hear you…and I’ve been preaching about this in our home church for a couple of months.
    Our primary job description is “ambassador for Christ, agent of reconciliation”.
    We have to lead our conversations with love and and offer of unimaginable grace.
    Still, we can’t say sin isn’t sin…that’s why we need the grace.
    My whole thought process on this issue is an unfinished draft…

  66. Michael,
    I think those outside of our faith or who are struggling with faith or deconstructing & reimaginaing it would welcome such candor over doctrinaire pronouncements. By sharing that you’re “in process” it reinforces dialog and the notion that were all fellow travelers, just sharing our individual realities and things we’ve come to believe.

  67. It’s easier to bounce these things around online then in real life…but we have to remember that we’re talking about real people living real lives in front of a real God.
    It complicates matters…

  68. The question I keep coming back to…is why are we more disgusted with their sins than our own? We made a mockery out of family values long before the gay agenda come about…
    ————————————————————————
    You always say “we” – that is a mistake of yours. Just listen to my messages.

    That said, what bothers ME is this idea of “same-sex attraction” as if it anything else but a perverted desire indicative of mankind’s fallen nature. There is not an ounce of nobility attached to it – and it matters not even if someone WAS “born that way” and knows nothing else. (Which as my anecdotal comment above notes, is less and less the issue today)

    There is absolutely ZERO difference between someone feeling an “attraction” to someone of the same sex as there is someone attracted to children or farm animals. (I find it not a coincidence that the Biblical warnings about homosexuality come right next to the warnings against beastiality and incest). We were never created to be attracted to such “partners” and ANY attraction is part of the fallen nature we inherit from Adam and must be resisted and if engaged, repented of.

    This is foundational stuff but when we have Christians denying the literalness of Adam and the reality of what The Fall actually involved, it is no surprise. When we have Christians saying the Law of Moses is barbaric and could never have come from a “loving god” it is no surprise.

    Meanwhile, back to the real world, the homosexual agenda has spawned the worst sort of destruction. Yes, adultery is horrible – however, adultery is also not embraced by society at any sort of the level that homosexual fornication is. How many churches welcome “swingers” in so-called open marriages where it is encouraged to stay married and fornicate with others? Even the world outside of the pages of Hustler magazine and its ilk does not promote adultery like we see with homosexuality.

    And I for one am also tired of the false choice. Yes, divorce and adultery are far too prevalent in the Church. I wish we did not have the no-fault divorce laws that have helped promote such bad fruit, but the same people pushing the homosexual agenda today were the ones pushing for such no-fault divorce laws back in the day. Such people were fought by the Church then – even if the battle was lost.

    So we should not fight the battle now? I fully disagree. We should give absolutely no quarter to homosexual behavior and make clear it is to be avoided 100% no matter the desire for it – and that it is never, ever appropriate. I think that is the simple question to be asked. At the bottom line, does God ever approve of man lying with man, or woman with woman. Yes or no. The answers should be interesting.

    And to repeat, in doing so, one does not have to proclaim it as the worst sin known to mankind. But THIS is the unique sin of our day that is truly an example of bitter for sweet and dark for light. Does the nation endorse murder, theft, false witness etc, Not even remotely to the level of homosexuality. I am in shock when 9th grade Christian girls tell me that at their new school they meet friends and all these 9th graders claim to be “bisexual” as if it is cool – and that this girl is the outcast for being straight, not to mention for following Jesus.

    This is the moral battle of our day. Children and innocent spouses ARE getting destroyed, others are getting brainwashed against the righteousness of God and a whole lot of people are not going to see the need for the True Savior.

  69. When is it ever going to be ok to say, this is wrong? Just because certain ideologies are acceptable in a particular culture that doesn’t make it right. When the miserable little tax collector Zaccheaus was extorting money from others, there was no law against such behavior but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a sin. I am fully on board with loving the sinner and hating the sin but being hated for hating the sin is also a problem. Adultery is not illegal but it’s wrong in God’s eyes. I have a daughter who I love so much that I would do anything for her. She was recently engaged and called to tell me that she will live with her fiance until they are married. I asked her not to and gave her the reasons why. I finally told her that I loved her and I disagree with her choice. Now I have a choice. Because I love her so much I refuse to allow this to hurt our relationship. In the same way, I disagree with the homosexual lifestyle. Why am I so wrong in believing that God’s Word is clear on this? The article that Derek shared has flaws but it’s ok to call a sin a sin.

  70. I also think we need to get real about one other thing.

    There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with heterosexual sex. It is created by God, pleasurable, with our bodies designed by Him for this act. There is nothing wrong with desiring heterosexual sex, in fact, Paul makes it clear that such desire is a key motivation to marriage.

    What can make it wrong involves relationship – namely, that one is participating (or mentally lusting) with someone they have not made a commitment to in marriage. Make that commitment in marriage, and the desires, the act are perfectly fine.

    That is not the case when it comes to homosexual behavior. The act is not natural, as our bodies are obviously not created in that way, And just because the state allows for marriage and a commitment, the behavior does not become acceptable to God. Ever.

    The fact that Christians actually do not see (or are too politically correct to say) the difference between what makes sexual sin, sexual sin, is amazing to me.

  71. Well now…

    First of all when I say “we” I speak of the impression that the church as a whole has presented to the culture.
    Second, I’m not sure that I would ever equate pedophilia and bestiality with homosexuality.
    Third, divorce has been the most destructive thing to the family ever conceived and it is accepted as a norm.
    Our churches are full of remarried couples and broken families.
    Adultery doesn’t need to be promoted, it’s already a cultural norm.
    Fourth, we have accepted every other relational sin except the one we find offensive.
    I have no problem calling sin, sin.
    I have a big problem with fighting against some sins and winking at others…and leading with condemnation instead of grace and reconciliation.

    While I’m at it…I also have an issue of making this the issue when we stay silent about injustices like corporate greed and being the nation with the highest percentage of people in prison than any other.

    I could go on…

  72. But it’s not “us” who have made this the issue. The Gay agenda has been pushed harder than any other agenda I can think of.

    Whether you think it’s right or wrong, it seems impossible not to respond in some way.

  73. Josh,

    While I prefer polemics and calling a spade a spade…when I read the Scriptures it appears that our message to gay people is the same as to other sinners.
    We plead with them to be reconciled to God.
    We preach Christ crucified and risen to them.
    The battle is against powers and principalities, not people.
    I haven’t heard much pleading from our side of the fence…

  74. So, this is NOT about plumbing, a husband and wife doing those things the esteemed religious leader in his article insists we blather about in mixed polite company? Gospel Coalition needs to be brought up to speed, methinks

  75. It just seems odd that just the idea that it’s offensive for a Christian to call a sin what it is causes others even other Christians to get upset. Whether it’s homosexuality or corporate greed, if it’s a sin, it needs to be ok to call it that. My father some would say had a drinking problem, in reality he was a drunk and was in sin. If someone struggles with telling the truth, they are a liar and in sin. I guess my biggest issue is that others expect Christians to be more tolerant which is something that I don’t see either in red letters or black letters. I teach with a slant on grace but there’s a difference between grace and tolerance. It seems that there’s enough grace NOT to do what is wrong as there is after I have done what is wrong.

  76. Of course that is the message, but that is not the question that is being asked.

    Culture is saying, “Is gay sex just as acceptable as straight sex?”
    If you answer anything other than “yes”, no matter how clever you try to be, you are labeled a bigot and one full of hate.

  77. Re; my post @ #76, for the record, I am a horrible sinner! I hope that my post didn’t come off like I don’t have my issues, I sin enough for all of us.

  78. As a brand, conservative Christianity swerved into culture wars and has been forever tainted by its fixation on s*x.

    Other facets of Christianity are far more fixated on missions, improving the living conditions of the oppressed, bringing clean water to marginalized areas of the world, and seeing corruption ended.

    “Lord, Lord, when did we see You or not se You?”

    When you saw or didn’t see the least of His brethren, and He didn’t clarify Samaritan, Pharisee, or Roman commoner.

    He simply told us all that when we are without sin we can cast the first stone

  79. Thank you Josh, you said it much better than I

  80. Praising God!
    Not really worrying about what has been said.
    God is good!

  81. Praising God with you, Derek.

  82. Josh,

    I understand that.
    I can amen almost everything that everyone has posted.
    The culture hating us shouldn’t be a surprise.
    My concern is that they hate us for the right reasons…and that our message of the grace of God is louder than our message about the wrath of God.

  83. Why are we surprised at all by the culture? Go to youtube and you’re greeted on the homepage with a young tart fornicating without a partner. The video has 150 million views.

    Even secular media called whatever Beyonce did during the super bowl as soft porn.

    American’s slaughter over 1 million unborn babies on the altar of fornication. Many are paid for with our tax dollars.

    Steve’s hypothetical 9th grader was having the same conversation about virginity 20 years ago.

    The culture is so saturated with sex that it goes unnoticed, but let’s die on this homo hill, even though we know we won’t “win”. We can juice up the hate all we like by sharing the gory details, but it won’t change a thing. I hate the fact that 12 year old girls emulate Miley’s simulated copulation, but there’s not one thing I can do about it.

    Michael is absolutely correct about our calling and message.

  84. Nice riff, Jim, really.

  85. Michael, divorce can be 100% the fault of one person – and in fact God allows for divorce in some cases – in fact, He uses divorce in His own illustration towards Israel. So yeah, lots of those people in church that have gone through divorce have done nothing wrong. Some have..of course. Many have not. So to scarlet letter ALL parties to divorce is cruel and wrong. To try and compare to the sin of homosexuality is astonishing.

    A woman is left with her kids after her deadbeat husband abandons them. I sure hope her pastor does not thunder against divorce from the pulpit because he wants to not overly offend homosexuals. But of course, this is where teaching all the Bible in the measure it was given, is so helpful.

    Once more, it muddies the issue to always talk about something else in comparison. As I wrote above, can we, without the slightest bit of equivocation, say that for man to be with man, or woman to be with woman is 100% wrong – a sin, no matter what.

    Lots of local churches on the corner are welcoming such people, without any talk of repentance, to come and worship the Lord Jesus at their place. Are you really saying there are lots of churches who encourage all the guys watching porn, all the folks ripping off the poor, all the liars and murderers and so forth to come and worship without repentance.

    This sin is different today. Like Josh said. I believe it is the chief weapon that will be used in the years to come to seek and shutdown churches and Christians who run businesses.

  86. In the midst of this culture that is in moral decline, lights shine. Saw a list of most admired people, most are outspoken Christians. The lady who talked the gunman down at the elementary school said she succeeded because her pastor taught her how to pray on the inside. Etc.

    Exciting times.

  87. Steve,

    Steve Brown once said that if we all had to wear a sign on our foreheads in church with the worst sin we’d committed all week written on it, there would be a lot less judgment and a lot more grace in the body of Christ.
    Yes, I think that there is every corruption and sin imaginable gathering every week to hear the Gospel.
    If I’m preaching they are going to hear a great deal more about the how we treat the poor, than about gay people.
    That’s because the text will demand it.
    I can say without equivocation that homosexuality is a sin…but if I’m going to be true to the text I’ll speak much more about greed and idolatry…and offer the grace of God to all.

  88. Michael, I think in some ways we talk past each other on this point. We are not all called to be pastors, missionaries or evangelists. So when you write that “Our primary job description is “ambassador for Christ, agent of reconciliation”.you do recognize almost all other Christians have a job description (vocation I prefer) that is whatever it is that puts food on the table. And THAT is under attack today – because of the sin of homosexuality and the activists that are seeking to destroy all Christian foundations that do not cave.

    We are all called to live our Christianity 24/7 and pastors teach the word in large part to help people do just that.

    This year there will be no greed pride parade, or mistreat the poor parade. There will be a gay pride parade in every decent size city.

    Young school children will not be taught the virtue of greed or mistreating the poor. They will be taught the virtue of homosexuality.

    Professional Christian counselors, who spent years and money training to be licensed professionals, will not be ordered by the state that they can’t help patients overcome their greed, adultery, kleptomania, but they will be so ordered not to practice gay reversal therapy. And of course, they will get sued if they tell the homosexual prospect to find another therapist.

    Christian bakers, photographers, musicians, will be sued for refusing to serve homosexual weddings. Other professionals will be fired for saying or writing something not PC about homosexuals – even if pointblank asked for an opinion.

    Jim talked about dying on “homo hill” – well, is the advice to such Christians with vocations that do not involve a pulpit but do involve the real world to just compromise, take the mammon, and keep your job. Or stand true to your convictions for Christ?

    And when they do stand true to their convictions..will the rest of the Body of Christ be there to have their back? I know I will.

    Just as the ACLU exploited church/state-separation legal decisions to go after every presence of Christianity in the public square, so the homosexual activists will be doing the same.

    I already got an email. (quote) “Hi, I am new to your area and interested in visiting your church. Can you tell me your stance on homosexuality?” (end of quote).

    Back to being a pastor – I want to not only tell people they are forgiven, but help them find the victory to overcoming the power of their sin – but by all means to make clear they have a sin that needs to be forsaken.

    Somehow, (and this could be my part of us talking past each other) – I get the vibe from the blog here that it is cool to help the addict, the alcoholic, the porn addict, the guy visiting prostitutes, the guy with a horrible temper, the miser – but if I happen to meet a homosexual, somehow under the label of love and supposedly leading them to Jesus, I am not to make clear their actions are sinful and they MUST repent of them if they are serious about the things of the True and Living God….

    If they want an idol jesus – check out a church down the block and they will be more than happy to accept with zero condemnation. But that sure does not win anybody’s soul.

    I am seeing far, far too much damage caused by selfish people seeking homosexual pleasures and proudly forsaking the true path. I am praying with too many people, counseling with too many people – not homosexuals…the people they are selfishly destroying by their sins. Not confused teenagers – grown adults who don’t care who they hurt or how young and impressionable they might be – as long as the orgasm is there.

    So yeah, I have an experience that shapes my opinion these days.

    Peace

  89. Steve,

    I think the vibe you’re getting is that homosexuality is one of a myriad of sins that beset fallen people and should be treated as such.
    The other point that I’ve tried to make over and over again is that we have very little moral authority left because we’ve failed to take our own sins as seriously as those of ‘the world”.
    I see the same things culturally and economically as you do…and they scare the hell out me.
    I’m helping to raise a child in this culture and I fear for his future.
    Still…and I doubt that we will agree here…I can’t help but wonder if the homosexual agenda is God sending in the Assyrians to chasten the church.

  90. And my point is that it is also a UNIQUE sin in terms of our world today – which I keep trying to show examples for support. So not JUST one of a myriad, though that certainly is true as well.

    The homosexual abundance is the final stage in the fall of a man…and a nation. See Genesis, Leviticus and Romans for examples and references.

  91. And here is where we will agree.

    Prosperity and the resultant free time should be used for helping the poor, and not for pursuing fornication. (i.e. the sin of Sodom…and America for that matter) Add Ezekiel to the list.

  92. I’ll concede the uniqueness of the present time.
    I even agree with the ramifications of the situation.
    The question still arises…why now…and why aren’t we being heard?
    My contention is that we have forfeited our moral authority and our message was all law and no Gospel.
    I further contend that we are expecting law to accomplish what only the Gospel can…and we are doomed to complete failure if we continue.

  93. The question still arises…why now…and why aren’t we being heard?
    My contention is that we have forfeited our moral authority and our message was all law and no Gospel.
    ————————————-
    That’s because my friend, if I may be so bold, you tend to blame the church first. I’ve been trying to get you to see that for some time.

    Whereas, I would answer your question that the “why now” is because we are seeing the end of a nation that has been rejecting God, the Creator, in many, many ways for decades now (this is where we can agree with your mistreating the poor comment as a factor). Homosexuality is a mark of such a people, but the enemies of God have been loud and active in other ways too – pushing all sorts of ungodliness in media, school, government, business – and we were sitting in pews singing hymns and arguing how long one’s hair (or dress) could be without it being scandalous. Now we argue other things and Satan marches on.

    We are not the first nation to have a strong Christian influence that lost its way – Europe is filled with examples as well.

    And to defend my thesis. I present you, our Lord Jesus Christ. Who never forfeited an ounce of his moral authority and was rejected by almost everyone.

    But God had a remnant who listened and believed.

    And He has a remnant today. Whether we will be used by Him for great things remains to be seen.

  94. Like a brother wrote on facebook the other day.

    “What did you think the last days would look like anyway?”

  95. Steve Wright’s #89 is EXACTLY the issue. No way around it.
    I don’t know how to give a standing ovation for a blog comment, but that one is about as good as it gets.

  96. My church is a Gay Reversal Therapy Center … and I have not heard my pastor once mention homosexuality from the pulpit. None the less, we are there to, through the Holy Spirit to make homosexuals change their ways – flat out no doubt about it.

    I might mention that we are also a Reversal Therapy Center, for the adulterer, the gossip, the robber and … even me.

    But give me a break, don’t single out the homosexual as the group we can’t speak out boldly against their sin. I have never had an adulterer threaten to sue me or lobby congress for new laws because I tell him his adultery is wrong.

  97. Michael,
    I totally disagree with you when you say that we are not being heard. We are being heard loud and clear – but we are not getting the response you think we should get.
    When you preach the law to people you wait to see how they react. They either get closer to God or they run away.

    Homosexuals are a unique group – they seem only capable of running away, and that is why we see them doing the crazy things they do. What else besides God’s law drives grown men to prance down Main Street USA wearing a diaper in a parade.

    What besides God’s law makes people lobby others to pass laws to let boys use the girls bathrooms and locker rooms.

    We are being heard/

  98. MLD makes good points.
    Watch a gay pride parade and then you know what their movement is really all about.

  99. More ick factor bigotry. “they wear diapers…oh my!”

    Watch network/cable TV or CSPAN. Like our first century brothers and sisters, we live in a corrupt society. I think too many Christians want to put the lipstick back on the pig.

  100. So Jim, are diapers the worst that goes on in gay pride parades?
    Spare me the bigot thing, that crap is wearing thin.

  101. So, how many people here would take a young child to a gay pride parade or Mardi Gras?
    See, the reason you don’t is exactly the same.
    Yet, we are bigots to not support one.
    Think on that.

  102. I’ll try to answer from where we left off.
    I think there is a huge difference between “blaming the church first” and expecting the church to first address our own sin before we proceed to pointing it out in other places.
    Between Jim and I, my guess is that we have received about half a million emails (no exaggeration) about issues inside the church that remain unresolved after over a decade on my part and close to that on his.
    The church in politics combined moral issues with a myriad of other things and became representative of one political organization…and in the process compromised the Gospel in favor of political influence.
    Blaming the decline of the nation on homosexuals and immoral behavior while ignoring the cost and immorality of unjust wars and imperialism and other issues of social justice that the Bible speaks to is reductionist at best and hypocritical at worst.
    Finally, I don’t know if this is the end of the end times or not.
    I’m sure that some thought so when Rome fell…

  103. See, Trueman was right. Anyone that says “i can’t support gay marriage.” are the new eqivalents of white supremacists.

  104. I make too many spelling mistakes on this itty-bitty keyboard on this smartphone.

  105. Derek,

    For me it’s not a question of whether the gay agenda is right to wrong.
    It’s wrong.
    Having said that, when I’m disputing with anyone I’ve learned to ask myself what I’ve done to contribute to the strife.
    I think it’s time that the American church did some introspection…

  106. Michael,
    I have actually never done anything to cause strife in the gay world. I treat them like everyone else

    But, they want more. They say accept us completely.
    They are the militants.
    You are placing us all in some giant category of blame for which I feel not the slightest guilt.

  107. Gotta get back to work.

  108. Blaming the decline of the nation on homosexuals and immoral behavior while ignoring the cost and immorality of unjust wars and imperialism and other issues of social justice that the Bible speaks to is reductionist at best and hypocritical at worst.
    —————————————–
    I did NO such thing. Read my posts and interact with my actual words, and for that matter, the verses of Scripture referenced (I used just the books for speed as I am sure you know the references)

  109. Steve,

    My observations are not directed at you personally.
    They are my observations from inside the institution…and are the reasons I believe that in the culture in general we are not being heard…or more precisely, why the Gospel isn’t being heard.
    Because of the things I’ve experienced if it wasn’t for Jesus I would have left a long time ago.
    Why can we not see the log in our own eye?

  110. Derek,

    I’ll try to lay off the bigot thing, but it’s hard when a new “icky” is brought into the conversation. American culture is “icky”. Get over it.

    My kids are 33, 30, and 28, meaning I raised three teens at once. Fun times.

    Of course I wouldn’t let my kids go to gay parades. I didn’t let them watch pop tart videos, or consume media that other kids their age were exposed to. I don’t think first century Christians let their kids hang out with temple prostitutes. I hope that if I lived in the 19th century, I wouldn’t have let them hang out with families who owned other humans.

    The surrounding culture has always been at enmity with our faith. At it’s worst, it called itself Christian, put lipstick on the pig, and called evil good.

  111. Tell me the log I need to remove before I can speak against the sin of homosexuality. You and Jim get together and send me the emails out of those half a million that involve me and the church where I pastor and I will get to work fixing them.

    Or (once more) stop using “we” and indicting the entire Body of Christ for the sins of some.

    Why was Jesus not heard in His day? What log did He have to remove?

    Why is Romans ignored about God’s hand of judgment upon a person repeatedly rejecting their Creator that results in such a hardening that they pursue homosexual relationships.

    God has a large hand in what we are seeing played out in our world. Even if we are not in the last days. The self-hate and blame to His Bride needs to stop.

  112. Steve,

    True or false.
    In this country for the last forty years there has been a particular voting bloc comprised of Christians with well defined positions in one political party.
    This group has been the face of the church to the surrounding culture.

  113. Would love to dig into Michael’s reference to unjust war, although it would probably start one here. We are the most power-hungry, bloodthirsty nation on the planet. A good portion of the church waves the flag and rah-rahs everytime we commit mass murder based on lies and false flags. Google Gulf of Tonkin and move forward from there.

    What we ask our young people to do for the fun and profit of the War Inc crowd goes far beyond icky diapers.

  114. Jim,

    Exactly.
    We’re about to replicate it on the border…

  115. I see..at the heart of this discussion is your hate of the political religious right.

    Because I have read half a million political message board and political blog comments over the last ten years that start with Christian profession and then proceed to dump all over the religious right as not indicative of Christ. So a lot of people are not buying your thesis

    And I think we had a couple presidents named Carter, Clinton – southern Christian boys that were very public in their Christian faith. We had the oldest Senator, Byrd (a Democrat), who quoted more Bible than anybody else when on the floor…and we can expand to guys like Kennedy, Biden and others who were certainly up front about their Catholicism. Oh yeah, forgot about the entire black church that votes 90%+ Democrat and is lead by certain reverends who were pretty big back in the 80s and 90s (big enough to run for President even)

    So I will say “false” – and I lived as a sinner throughout the Reagan and Bush Sr. years, when the Moral Majority was formed and active. I mocked those guys and never EVER equated them with the “face of the church”

    In fact, it sounds like you are the one who is equating the church with the religious political right – maybe that explains your “we” usage?

  116. A good portion of the church waves the flag and rah-rahs everytime we commit mass murder based on lies and false flags
    ————————————–
    What a despicable thing to say…you should repent of such a false witness against the Bride of Christ.

    Rooting for mass murder? Deplorable accusation. Shameful

  117. Steve,

    I don’t hate the religious right.
    I hate some of the rhetoric that comes out of them, but I loathe some that comes from the left as well.
    I’m a preacher, not a politician.
    As someone who has lived with and worked with pagans and basically outside the Christian bubble I think my statement is true.
    The bottom line for me is that I believe the message the culture hears is political and moral…and the offer of the Gospel has been lost in the translation.
    I do say “we” as I speak from inside the church as a lover of the church.
    It’s not just political…the headlines are full of stories of the corruption and abuse that is tolerated and often covered in the church.
    This blog and Jim’s blog were born from that…and have had literally millions of people read them and identify with them over the years.
    My whole point is this…we need to address our own issues and retool our message if we are to make a difference.

  118. Steve,

    I sort of live in a bubble, so I may be incorrect. Are you saying that the majority of American Christians have been against Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the nebulous war on terror?

  119. A response to the gag reflex article…

    http://theamericanjesus.net/?p=10626

  120. Michael,
    Absolutely brilliant article!

    “Mr. Anyabwile’s rhetoric isn’t just insensitive.

    It’s a total annihilation of the gospel.

    That’s not to say Mr. Anyabwile or anybody else at The Gospel Coalition can’t hold to their beliefs about homosexuality. They can. But as soon as you start prescribing theology and behavior that is explicitly antithetical to the life and teaching of Jesus, you cease to be a people of the gospel and instead become a coalition of hate.

    You can disagree with the beliefs of others and reject the way they live their lives. You can even call them sinners.

    But if those “sinners” make you gag and turn away, then you have no claim to the name “Christian.”

    Because Jesus didn’t have a gag reflex.”

  121. G,

    Just looking at things from every angle… those last two lines were what convinced me to post it.

  122. Michael,
    The last two lines are what makes Jesus and those who are in love with Him different from most pastors, crusade speakers and picketers at the funerals of our service men.

  123. Michael, surely you don’t think the unsaved world, especially the homosexual advocates, is aware of the problems in CC or SGM, do you? A majority of Christians, especially if you leave Southern California, have never even HEARD of Calvary Chapel. Certainly the unsaved don’t know. No disrespect to the readership of your blog or Jim’s – but this is a big nation.

    So is your argument one of spiritual power? That somehow, despite God’s giving them over process as Romans declares, if CC, SGM and the others clean up their act that then we will see homosexuals convicted of their sexual sins and repent in large numbers?

    Was the church perfect in Wilberforce’s day? Should he have stayed quiet (and apolitical) until it was?

  124. I’m glad your heart aches for those who don’t know Him to become His followers.
    Jesus can certainly scrub His sheep on His own schedule.

  125. Steve,

    You’ve asked me to repent of a deplorable accusation. I’ve asked you a clarifying question. Could you please respond?

  126. At the risk of sounding wishy-washy, I’m agreeing with much that both Michael and Steve are saying.

  127. G,

    Yes, He can…

  128. The only way any individual, gay, straight or in between comes to Jesus is when they can finally see beyond the strident and hateful blather that comes from those who cant help but set up every possible subcultural and emotional roadblock between that individual and Jesus.

    Jesus took the Pharisees to task for making things more complicated than they ever needed to be, and the rebuttal article should give each of us pause to be sure we aren’t doing likewise.

  129. CK,

    I don’t think you’re wishy washy at all…this is complex, layered with all sorts of nuance and difficulty.
    People forget that I was born in the woods, in the Fifties, and my inclinations are as redneck as can be.
    My immediate reactions to the gay issue are anger and revulsion for all the reasons noted.
    However, Jesus tends to complicate my thought processes… :-)

  130. Jim, when someone frames discussion in the deplorable way you first did, and then wants to make the deplorable comment the same as “support” of such action, it is someone incapable of rational discussion in that particular topic.

    It would be like me framing the discussion by saying some Christians believe Islamic militants should be allowed to kill as many Americans without any legal or military consequence.

    It is either a gross misrepresentation or if somehow was accurate, would indicate a mindset that is so fixed and is such a miniscule minority that discussion is a waste of time.

    So either you attacked unfairly a large number of brothers and sisters in Christ (and need to repent as I said) or you really believe such tripe and in which case I will save you the time of discussing the topic with such an unchristian wretch like myself.

  131. When Michael asked,
    “In this country for the last forty years there has been a particular voting bloc comprised of Christians with well defined positions in one political party.”

    My mind ran right to the liberal black churches led by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

  132. Steve,

    The unsaved world is very aware of the issues…whether they be in CC, SGM, or Catholicism.
    My argument is that we lead with the Gospel…not the law.
    My further argument is that we live the Gospel…that we strive to become known for our love…our love for the lost, our love for each other, our love for true Biblical justice in society, and the reason for all that other love is love for Christ because He first loved us.
    The kingdom of God will not grow through legislating sexual behavior among consenting adults.
    It will grow from consenting adults in sexual sin hearing the Gospel preached and seeing the Gospel lived.

  133. MLD,

    Where I live you have to drive five hours to find a liberal black church.
    You walk around the corner to find a five white churches who are involved in Republican politics.

  134. You’ve asked me to repent of a deplorable accusation. I’ve asked you a clarifying question. Could you please respond?
    ——————————————
    Blogging 101 – which I am sure a savvy blog veteran like yourself can understand.

    When someone can’t wait more than 3 minutes (the time of my response to Michael, who posted first) before demanding response – it usually indicates someone itching for an argument rather than a healthy discussion of a serious issue.

    Don’t worry, you aren’t the first guy to post here that wanted to argue more than wanted to discuss.

    Now that another has joined with the Westboro comparison to those who speak to the sin of homosexuality…I think it is safe to conclude my demise on “homo hill” in this unjust war is complete.

  135. Michael – you need to move from that whites only compound you live in – what, is Oregon the new Idaho? ;-)

    Swing through LA or Detroit and talk Christian politics.

    You can’t just judge all by your little world.

  136. The kingdom of God will not grow through legislating sexual behavior among consenting adults.
    —————————–
    AGAIN! You frame things like this, as if anyone here is arguing for sodomy laws to come back.

    Go back and read my post 89 that Josh gave a standing ovation to, and remember THAT is the issue today. Not the religious right wanting to “legislate” sexual behavior between consenting adults.

    Good…flippin’…grief. Willfully obtuse.

    I’m off for awhile (lest I get accused of ignoring any other demands for replies from Jim or anyone else)

  137. Steve,

    Excuse me but didn’t you just ask me about being “apolitical”?
    Can you find one statement I’ve made that denied that homosexual behavior was sinful?
    I made a clear statement of my own concerns with this issue as both a parent and a Christian.

  138. MLD,

    I’ll start by swinging through Orange County…

  139. Steve,

    I think that unjust wars are deplorable. I think that they are mass murder. It is now a historical fact that our govt lied to the American people to justify Vietnam and Iraq 2. Iraq 1 was about “our interests”, meaning we were helping the Saudi’s by killing Iraqi’s. Afghanistan was about a foreign sovereign nation refusing to turn over a terrorist on demand.

    These are not tin foil hat conspiracy theories. They are the historical facts.

    This easily verifiable “tripe” speaks to the icky, lipstick-free pig I’ve been referencing.

    You’ve given me no data to support your accusations, although I still welcome it. I will not respond by telling you that you should repent, but I would encourage some research and reflection, given your level of influence.

    Which of the wars mentioned above had anything to do with self defense? Invading Afghanistan because their govt refused to obey our command? We invaded a country to find one man who wasn’t there.

  140. LOL, actually I think you would be surprised with the racial make up of the OC today.

    Even my church, these past 2 months we hired a black school principle and a black associate pastor… and I live in south OC.

  141. MLD,

    I’ve heard it’s changing.
    Still, it’s a bastion of the Christian right…from there I’ll probably stop in Colorado Springs, then head for the Bible Belt.
    :-)

  142. I just caught up on Steve’s other comments. How about ratcheting down the hostility a little bit, bro. We’re on the same team.

  143. One thing we have in the bible belt is diversity. We have our white republican churches, black republican churches, mixed republican churches, white,black, hispanic, mixed democrat churches. Churches that hate politics of all size and colors too.

    We got diversity.

  144. Jim. Let me say one final thing to you on this issue.

    There is a pattern that has shown itself before around here.

    A) Make an outrageous, truly insulting charge against those Christians who think differently than you.

    B) Declare your view of “historical facts” is without debate and anyone not agreeing has simply not studied.

    C) Then, conclude by complaining that the person representing the millions you insulted is the one responding in hostility who needs to change.

    D) And under no circumstances take any responsibility for possibly being insulting to your brothers and sisters in Christ, because of the perceived rightness of your viewpoint.

  145. Steve,

    I don’t think Jim is saying any of the above.
    He asked you to engage with the issue and seemed willing to listen, as am I.
    I tend to agree with his synopsis…where is it in error?

  146. Steve,

    I’m Jim, not some other guy. Nice to meet you. I am not new here, but posted often in I think late 2006-07 (maybe through early 08) under my Greek last name. I then ran a blog for a while that kept me busy, but continued to read here weekly. I recently returned to participating. I hope that’s OK with you. I am not some other guy.

    You obviously got up on the wrong side of the blog this morning, and came out swing, thinking that what Michael was saying today was aimed directly at what you said yesterday. You were incorrect.

    A) I agree that it’s outrageous, but I also think it’s true. I invited your correction.
    B) I’m open to debate. Wide open. You pick a war and give me the real facts.
    C) You have been hostile today. I don’t wear my former blog on my sleeve. You threw a grenade, and 20 minutes later I asked for a clarification. I didn’t call you a consummate pastor, so I’m not sure where “savvy blogger” came from. I thought that we were a couple of guys talking.
    D) Again, I asked for and welcome your correction.

    I’m not some other guy, playing some passive/aggressive game. I’m Jim. Let’s talk.

  147. We are the most power-hungry, bloodthirsty nation on the planet. A good portion of the church waves the flag and rah-rahs everytime we commit mass murder based on lies and false flags.
    ———————————————–
    The above was the insult. It is because we are in fact “on the same team” that there is no reason to go further with someone with such an opinion – especially when what is nothing but opinion is claimed as historical fact to your truly apparently an ignorant rube who needs to “study” (sound familiar?).

    How’s this. Someone comes on and say, “All Calvary Chapel pastors are a bunch of cult-like, abusive, money-grubbing sex predators of women and children”

    You going to say to that charge, Now Steve, engage that issue and show me where I am wrong.

    Sorry Michael, if Jim wants a political debate there are better blogs than yours that are focused on such topics

    If he wants to trash on a large portion of the Body of Christ though, he might have the right place. to do so. And it truly grieves me to say so. But I know you are loyal to your friends and I have been on the receiving end of that loyalty and appreciate it myself.

    But you at least know Michael, I am far from a political rube when it comes to knowing a little about the world of politics. We may differ on opinions – but there is zero chance of profitable discourse with someone who views his opinions as facts, and thinks the guy he is talking with deep in his heart is a bloodthirsty rooter of mass murder.

    I’m a little shocked you dignified it at all with your #146 follow-up.

    Maybe we should ask our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Syria and the Middle East how things are going the last couple of years…if there are any left.

    Got to run for awhile. Peace.

  148. Michael,
    I’d love to throw this one out for tactical consideration, how about we ask every pastor who reads here to shift gears, immediately stop talking about homos*xuality and gag reflexes and such stupidity and dare to focus on a bigger impact issue?

    Adultery.

    Jesus spoke on it clearly. It is a huge problem for the children it creates or impacts due to mom or dad messing around, it creates challenges, mostly for single moms, and it is CLEARLY a CHOICE based behavior.

    There isn’t a man who isn’t tempted, there isn’t a woman who hasn’t been flattered by being flirted with, there isn’t a single who hasn’t met some person of the opposite s*x who they haven’t been attracted to.

    …and it’s clearly a choice.

  149. Could we STOP bringing up CALVARY CHAPEL?!?!?!?!

  150. G,

    Better yet, why don’t we teach the whole counsel of God and not come to rest on specific sins unless they are in the text for that week.
    I do agree as I said that we need to clean our own stall first…

  151. Steve,

    I don’t see it as a political issue as much as a moral one.
    I also think you greatly misjudge Jim…he’s one of the most thoughtful and decent men I’ve had the privilege to know.
    If good people who love Christ can’t have an irenic discussion on these issues then expecting the world to engage with us is pure folly.

  152. I’ve never heard a pastor endorse adultery. NEVER ONCE.

    Now many endorse homosexuality, and all are being pushed into endorsing it.
    There is a difference in what is going on here.

    One thing we can all agree on, Thabiti has committed social network suicide.

    Why?

    Is he stupid?
    Truly so hateful that he doesn’t realize that?

    Or something else?

  153. Steve,

    It won’t cause you to be any less offended, but I do not think that, deep in your heart, you are blood thirsty. I do think that it’s possible that you have no idea why the US constantly goes to war.

    Please tell me why Congress allowed LBJ to wage a conventional war in Vietnam without an official declaration. Then tell me if the event ever happened. It been declassified, so you won’t have to rely on the tin foil hat crowd for the answer.

    We can address WMD’s whenever you like.

  154. Or, we can forget the whole thing, which would probably be everyone’s preference. My whole point is that this place is not our home, and it’s corrupt to the core. We need to cover our kids eyes and ears, but we shouldn’t be shocked by the evil that permeates the surrounding culture.

  155. “I’ve never heard a pastor endorse adultery. NEVER ONCE.”

    Josh is 100% correct – bravo

  156. We don’t endorse adultery?
    Let me make a list of how many pastors I’m aware of who were or are adulterers.
    Then we’ll make another one of all the folks who divorced without biblical grounds to do so and remarried.
    I believe that’s called…adultery.
    We don’t endorse it, but we don’t condemn it like we do other sexual sin, either.

  157. Jim,
    You won’t find anyone here who doesn’t want the US to go to war anymore than I do. But, that whole “no WMD’s thing” is a lie.
    I have friends who are sick right now, because they stayed on a base that used to house those “non-existent WMD’s”
    I’m pretty sure they all went to Syria, where they are being used right now.

    As for all this other stuff.
    I WON’T be held accountable for the actions of Westboro Baptist Church, which is essentially what we seem to have to do.
    Michael, when did the Christian Right try to take away any gay people’s rights?

    As for adultery, speak against it like we should, but at least adulterer’s still feel shame for their sins.
    Why? Because people still naturally know it is wrong.
    We are in the process of a cultural brainwash. What people once knew as sin, is couched in terms that make it not look like sin.
    If they do it with this, what sin is next?
    My bet is polygamy, then pedophilia and so on…
    Go ahead and say, “That sounds ridiculous!” Yep, and all this did at one time too.

    Are we going to be the ones who say, “Well, I would have said something, but I had so many sins of my own that I had to take care of those first.”
    Good grief, no one can stand if we take that stance.

    As for reconciliation I will say this:
    Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. (Acts 3:19-21, ESV)

    Can’t repent if you refuse to think it is wrong.

  158. Derek,

    Now I’m terribly confused.
    I don’t remember saying a word about WBC.
    Nor did I say anything about the Christian Right taking away gay peoples rights.

  159. WBC is a complete non issue – they are 40 people mostly from one family. If the were called anything but a “church” no one would pay attention.

    They are almost held up by the media … otherwise they would have been gone long ago.

  160. WBC wasn’t aimed at anyone in particular. Just tired of being seen as a bigot by Christians for talking out about a sin.
    Now, bear with me, not talking about all the Christian Right does, but narrowing it to the gay issue. I don;t like a lot of issues they think are important.

    You seem to be holding the Christian Right up as responsible.
    Sorry, but the rhetoric from the Christian Right is not the cause of all this. If anything, it has been reactionary to gay actions at all times. With the trigger always being something they have to respond too.
    If the Christian Right was engaged in actively trying to destroy people’s rights I would never countenance that. Instead it is speaking out against sin.

    Sorry, but that is how it is coming off as your view.

    You can be mad at them for a lot of things they do in the political realm, but seriously this has been a defensive action all the way for a while.

  161. Derek,

    Either I’m a pathetic writer or there is another issue here.
    When I speak of the church in culture I’m speaking of how it represents itself in media and in majority practice.
    I didn’t address the Christian Right until Steve brought it up as he likes to do.
    One more time.
    My concern is that we are known for the things that Christ desires us to be known for…and adding anything to that is a deterrent to the Gospel message.
    I believe the church has lost much of it’s moral authority and until we are addressing our own issues and the leading with love we are doomed to failure.

  162. Gonna get off for a while.

    But this still has me puzzled.

    Why do I have to hear Christians think I am a bigot for thinking that gay people should be told that the sin they have chosen to identify themselves by if not repented of will mean judgement in the future?
    I know that people can be gay and saved, but those people struggle and fight against their sins, like I do.
    If we welcome them in without repentance, we are responsible.

    I am not mad at anyone, just completely puzzled that this thing has so divided that I am rapidly becoming the enemy who the thought police must correct.

    Got stuff to do and spending time arguing with Christians isn’t one of them.

    Just know, I am not mad at anyone on here.

  163. Derek,

    Where did someone call you a bigot?

  164. Michael, our own issues have been around a long time and will be around a lot longer.
    They ain’t going away till the Lord returns.
    You know this.

    Now off for reals.

  165. Derek,

    It’ll be declassified one day, but leakers from both MI6 and the CIA have said that both agencies knew that they didn’t exist BEFORE the war. To me it’s irrelevant, except the part where congress is lied to.

    My question is, why does the US care either way? Israel is dying to TCB in their neighborhood, but we keep convincing them to stand down, even in Gulf War 1 when Iraq was lobbing scuds at them.

    Who made us the world’s police force? Certainly not the Constitution.

  166. As to the Westboro comparison – this is the note from earlier in the day. “The last two lines are what makes Jesus and those who are in love with Him different from most pastors, crusade speakers and picketers at the funerals of our service men.”

    As to Michael’s comment “I didn’t address the Christian Right until Steve brought it up as he likes to do.”

    Well, your post @113 said: Steve,True or false.
    In this country for the last forty years there has been a particular voting bloc comprised of Christians with well defined positions in one political party.
    This group has been the face of the church to the surrounding culture.

    So if you can show me BEFORE post 113 where I was talking about the Christian right, then I would appreciate it. Because I try pretty hard around here to not go down those political paths anymore unless someone else lights the match.

    The problem is that on a national level, the Democrat party has sold out to homosexuality and abortion. On a state level, not at all. Oklahoma, which I know well, did not have one county vote for Obama and has Republican Senators and Congressmen..BUT..it is has a large presence of Democrats in state and local government – because at the state level you do not have to bow to the altar of abortion and homosexuality for your political survival like on the national level. Many other so-called “red” states are like this at the local and state levels for the same reasons.

    So since all the homosexual activist legislation originates from the left, the moment one speaks out against it, the default setting for some is that the person is dismissed as the religious right.

    Rather than simply a Christian speaking out against evil and the loss of freedoms that once existed in this nation.

  167. but I do not think that, deep in your heart, you are blood thirsty. I do think that it’s possible that you have no idea why the US constantly goes to war.
    —————————————————–
    Man that’s a relief. I will sleep so much better tonight. I guess it is just all the OTHER Christians out there – the ones who aren’t part of the PhxP community – that are the bloodthirsty ones. At least somewhere in MY heart (deep of course) there is that glimmer…

    Oh wait, no time to sleep. I’m too ignorant of the things I have personally lived through and followed with great detail that I need to hit the books to get up to speed.

    Because obviously nobody knows me better than someone I’ve never met.

    Seriously Jim, can’t you see how your earlier words about mass murder and bloodthirstyness are an offensive judgment upon so many of the Bride of Christ and just own it…and how even this attempt at the olive branch is condescending and judgmental. The height of arrogance. Who are you to make such judgments about your fellowman, much less your fellow servants in Christ. Astonishing.

    Michael, in no way have I “misjudged” Jim – because I have not made any judgement upon the man – unlike what he has offered in kind. I have just responded to the words typed this day in this thread. But let’s be clear that what we have seen illustrated is that when Christians let their political beliefs get in the way of their Christianity…and dig in even when called on it…nothing good follows. And it comes from the OPPOSITE side of the right just as easily.

    I guess when I look around the world and see how the nations of this world are acting today – and see how the enemies of the True and Living God are acting today…I am just tired of seeing people trash all over both The Bride of Christ and America – all the while continuing to remain in both. Yeah both have a lot of problems – and we should speak directly to those problems. But this nation allows us tremendous freedom to worship, speak, publish and support missionaries and churches around the world – freedoms others only dream of having. I guess just about every Sunday I pray a thank you to the Lord from the pulpit for the freedom we enjoy to be gathered together publically – and try to couple that with a reminder for our persecuted brethren today.

    And as to constantly insulting the Bride of Christ in large stereotypical swaths of condemnation – well, I guess I should let her Husband deal with that. And I think He does.

  168. Steve,

    You have the remarkable ability to take offense and pontificate without ever addressing a single concern that anyone else has.
    As I read what Jim wrote I understood him to be saying that the religious right supported these unjust wars where thousands have lost their lives.
    I think that is an accurate perception.
    You take this as a swipe at the Body of Christ and sic Jesus on us.
    You refuse to address the issues of the corruption in the Body of Christ and seem to believe that our moral authority is untarnished by them.
    I honestly don’t understand, but this is how every discussion I ever have with someone steeped in politics ends.
    Both Jim and I are willing to listen, but we’ll have to wait until Jesus is done whupping us.

  169. “I am just tired of seeing people trash all over both The Bride of Christ and America– all the while continuing to remain in both.”

    Evidently the church and this country are only for those who agree with right wing religious views.

    Questioning the morality of sending our young to die and to kill is unAmerican and ungodly.

    Now that one pisses me off…so I’m out.

  170. You get the last word, Steve.

  171. Finally – a spirited debate. It’s been a long time. Does my heart good. Excellent job by all, seriously.

  172. Steve does not get the last word, long as I am here!!!

    :)

    Lighten up fellas. It’s definitely a contentious subject, and it won’t get better anytime soon.

  173. PP Vet was waiting for some fur to fly… :-)

  174. Josh,

    I was ok until the invitation to leave the church and the country…if I leave I’m damn sure taking Oregon with me. :-)

  175. “You refuse to address the issues of the corruption in the Body of Christ and seem to believe that our moral authority is untarnished by them.”

    It’s funny, but I cannot do a thing about the bad deeds of others. So does that mean that I have lost my voice in the public square – hell no.

    Because you know some CC pastors who are rascals, and because SGM is raping children, that in no way constricts my mission to call people to higher living.

    Take a survey in American churches and no one knows of the CC or SMG situations and in the pagan world even less – so I should be quiet? Now the RCC is a different story.

  176. “Now the RCC is a different story.”…
    Spoken like a true Lutheran. :-)

  177. If I’m using my voice in the public square to point out sin, shouldn’t I speak to the sins of my own?

  178. Well, I can’t call people to repent of my sins.
    I can’t call people to repent of sins I don’t know they are doing.
    We know everyone sins.
    Sin is a lot of times personal. Everyone has the one that devils them.
    But, if you self identify with a sin, it makes it so much easier to tell you which sin you know they need to repent of. :)

  179. And for all those who think this is something that can be kicked down the road like the proverbial can.
    Deal with it now, or deal with it later…but I guarantee it will deal with you eventually.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/august/nm-supreme-court-photographers-cant-refuse-gay-weddings.html

  180. I’ve never been to Oregon, so don’t take it yet.

    You know how heated conversations go. This guy says one thing, so i have to go a step farther, then the next guy has to outdo me. Before you know it, you are calling good christian men mass-murderers and telling them to leave the country.

    It’s all good. More words don’t typically make things better. It usually goes the other way. I think we all know what’s right and wrong, it’s just a matter of how do we apply that to our daily lives in this rapidly changing world.

  181. “But, if you self identify with a sin, it makes it so much easier to tell you which sin you know they need to repent of. :)”
    The diaper and body-glitter are a dead give away :)

  182. I was honestly trying to de-escalate, but I was obviously using the wrong words. The war profiteers are the mass murderers. The cheerleaders are good people who have been lied to.

    This probably didn’t help…

  183. For the record, I called no one a mass murderer and don’t go looking in my basement.
    :|

  184. You think Steve wears a skirt and shakes pom-poms?!?!

  185. Michael,
    “If I’m using my voice in the public square to point out sin, shouldn’t I speak to the sins of my own?” First off, it would take up the whole conversation.

    I think what you miss in Steve’s thoughts is that we are talking about sin as public policy – legislative action and an upending of centuries of culture.

    I am not asking anyone to applaud my sin, let alone even recognize it as legitimate.

    I would take the same stance if adulterer’s asked for hate crime protection because someone tells them their adultery is sin.

  186. Ben Affleck is the new Batman. Clooney comes to mind…the new franchise has officially died now.

  187. Well, I’ll certainly cop to some sloppy writing. I don’t do the whole “America, love it or leave it” thing – and of course it is ludicrous to think I would urge anyone to leave Christ. I see how my earlier comment gave that idea though – that is my error.

    The point being is that, speaking for myself, as an American, despite all our flaws, I appreciate the freedom we enjoy (and that frankly is under attack in many ways – as I believe we spoke of the privacy NSA spying not too long ago). I even remember our wonderful blog host commending our founding fathers with heaping praise not too long ago (I remember it because I almost fell off my chair :) ) As my prayer example noted, in thanking God for our freedom we have great opportunity to remember our brothers in much of the rest of the world. I’ve been in a few other countries, personally known people persecuted for the faith, and of course like all of you – read plenty about the persecuted church today in the nations around the world.

    I think America is the greatest nation, given its size and influence, of any in the history of mankind. Warts and all – and there are a lot of warts, past and present. It’s just an opinion, but it’s mine.

    I think the Bride of Christ is precious – not the enemy in the slightest – warts and all. This blog does a good job of (usually) not condemning entire groups of that bride based on personal beliefs – avoiding bigotry, while focusing on real problems involving real people. I would say that I was guilty on occasion before frequenting here of doing what I now despise – stereotyping. Michael and this community get the credit for that change in me.

    Peace.

  188. It’s all good.
    If Steve and I continue to bicker maybe we’ll get our own “Crossfire’ show and retire.
    :-)

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