Sep 232013
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251.“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.” (Galatians 5:19–21 ESV) I think we pick the ones that we don’t do out of this list and ignore the ones we do….and justify them with a veneer of holiness. Sexual sins are the easiest to avoid and the easiest to point out when they are made known. They are not the most dangerous…or common.

2. After three weeks of NFL football, I’m looking forward to hockey season. Go Kings!

3. Late one night when I was in Geneva, I was sitting by myself in St. Pierres Cathedral just allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the setting. After a while a very kind fellow struck up a conversation with me. He was a scholar and professor and after about five minutes it was evident that I was in way over my head as he talked about his particular field of theological research. I was completely lost and embarrassed….and recognizing that he took the time to explain himself in a way I could understand and appreciate. We ended up having a great conversation and I came away blessed by his knowledge and kindness. I came across some of his work online the other day…turns out he’s one of, if not the foremost, scholar in his native country. I learned again that humility is the mark of true greatness in the kingdom of God.

4. Remember the water supply you folks helped build in Mexico? It’s complete! Thank you…

5. We need to speak clearly. The Muslims will exterminate Christianity in the Middle East in the name of their religion unless God intervenes. I don’t give a rats rear end if thats politically incorrect or not.

6. One of the wisest things I was ever taught is that the Scriptures are a mirror to view your own sin in, not a microscope to find it in others. It’s important to use your tools properly…

7. Only in America does being a celebrity automatically infuse you with political and theological acumen. I just don’t get it…

8. There is more power to change your community in your local church than in your state legislature.

9. True Christianity is never a solitary venture…the faith was created to be lived in community. As Eugene Peterson said, “I can’t be me by myself”.

10. From the mouths of babes… The other day Trey said “Sometimes I think I believe in God just so I won’t go to hell”.  I’ve failed to give him as many reasons to live for Christ as to die in Him. That…is grave error.

  164 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. Numbers 6 and 10 hit me hard. Praying tonight . Praying for Trey and my grand babies too. Oh, how I want to see folks love Jesus over fearing hell. I am convinced that is why Jesus told us to pray “Our Father….” and to see God as intimate, caring, concerned, nurturing, loving, etc, etc. Jesus came to save us, not to condemn us. Praying for the children tonight.

  2. Humble people, regardless of how accomplished they may be, will talk “with you” instead of “to you.”

    Celebrity is a mantle that allows you to speak about anything and be viewed as an expert but also shields you from scrutiny over most of your faults and failures.

    the NFL is performing a barrel roll…

    mirror vs. microscope. Helpful analogy.

    muslim extermination of Middle Eastern Christians…looks increasingly realistic.

  3. 5. We need to speak clearly. The Muslims will exterminate Christianity in the Middle East in the name of their religion unless God intervenes. I don’t give a rats rear end if thats politically incorrect or not.

    6. One of the wisest things I was ever taught is that the Scriptures are a mirror to view your own sin in, not a microscope to find it in others. It’s important to use your tools properly…

    7. Only in America does being a celebrity automatically infuse you with political and theological acumen. I just don’t get it…

    10. From the mouths of babes… The other day Trey said “Sometimes I think I believe in God just so I won’t go to hell”. I’ve failed to give him as many reasons to live for Christ as to die in Him. That…is grave error.

    Great calls and great statements especially 6 and 7. Ten sheesh een I think I worship God cause it’s a free ride!

  4. 1. Yes, that standard eliminates every human being from achieving the Lordship Salvation metric of being “saved”. Most of Fundy Evangelicalism (when examined thoroughly) really preaches a Lordship “holiness” Salvation philosophy of being “truly saved”…yet none measure up to their professed Standards. None.

    If “they” are correct, then everyone’s going to hell if such a place exists.

  5. Excellent post, Michael. Some things very timely, for me….thanks!

  6. PN,

    Good to see you!

  7. Good observations my dear…. and good reminder on the ‘mirror-microscope’ thought.

    Have you ‘failed” Trey? Nah….. I think he verbalized what we all war with…IMO, of course!

  8. Excellent Things, Michael. Especially fond of #3.

  9. Nomans!

    I feel better about the day now….PN and you on the same thread. 🙂

  10. Paige,

    I thank God I have some time left to teach him the rest of the story…

  11. 1. I don’t think I get it.

    2. The Panthers won yesterday!

    5. God will intervene! BUT…you are correct. THat is what the Muslims hope to accomplish.

    8 & 9 . Totally agree.

    10. That’s actually a pretty deep thought for the kid.

  12. #5 I agree. I’ve been posting articles about this recently & mobilizing our church to pray. I just read an article last night about Assyrians. I was unaware that they, though w/o a homeland, are identified as Christians, and claim to have their original churches planted by, Theodos, Thomas, and Bartholomew. They are targeted by Muslims. http://www.aina.org/faq.html

  13. Michael, RE: # 4,

    I am thrilled to no end that those mothers will no longer have to see their kid’s little lives cut short by water-borne disease and parasites. Earthquakes, tsunamis, decrepitude & death are beyond our pay-grades to be sure. But the rest of our ills? God is not in control, we are, and He has given us immense power to build a better world.

    What happened with the Mexican king-pins in that locale who were demanding tribute before they would allow the well to operate? I can only guess that John 3:19-21 really came alive on that one.

  14. 1. I don’t get it either. Is there some list elsewhere that rates sin by order of how dangerous it is? They all look pretty bad to me and lead to bad things.
    2. So glad I don’f follow sports. I never want to be the person typing out obscenities every few minutes on FB about their team or it’s players.
    4. Good stuff there!
    7. Celebrities? Are you talking about Christian celebrities? I see regular celebrities mouthing off about politics all the time. Religion…not so much.
    8. True.
    10. Not bad to start with escaping the wrath to come as long as you don’t stay there and learn more about the gospel.
    He is young yet, when I was first saved, the conviction of my sin broke me down and I spent a while in the place Trey is.
    I learned more eventually.
    Doesn’t mean I wasn’t saved, so I don’t know if I would call it a grave error. Eventually, for all of us Christians, gospel wakefulness comes and we wake to more of the gospel and greater insights into Christ. For some it is quicker than others.
    Just knowing he told you that is proof he wants to know more.

  15. My wife made me pear cobbler…heaven on earth. 🙂

  16. Derek, it does matter. Try this: 1 Cor.6:18-19. Seems pretty clear.

  17. Derek,

    My point is that we make much of sexual sins while things like strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, and envy are ignored.
    My belief is that it is those sins more than sexual ones that are tearing about the fabric of the church.

  18. fyi,
    Is there a list stating how dangerous each sin is too each individual in the Bible?

    I know people caught up in porn addiction who would beg to differ with the assessment given here.
    I know former alcoholics that would tell you the seriousness of their particular sin.
    I myself know the seriousness of the sin of anger and let me tell you it enslaves you just like any other.
    Or is it just one particular sexual sin that is less important than others?

  19. “Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,”

    Simply untrue. It’s another mistake in the bible. Gluttony, drunkenness, sorcery (drugs) are all sins committed inside the body (and there are others).

  20. I depends on the person and to make one sin less important is to downgrade the effects different sins have on the individual who is enslaved by that particular sin.

  21. Derek, people suffering consequences from their sin (whatever it may be) always warn others of the suffering they are enduring. But that is from a human perspective. God’s Word is clear: Paul is setting sexual sin (all of it) at a different level. Not in terms of heaven or hell; that is to miss the point. But in terms of the damage doe to both the sinner’s relationship with Christ and the terrible consequences they will end up suffering should they not repent. Most of us have seen how far–and how fast–people fall, and the depths to which they fall, when they continue sinning sexually. It seems it does matter; hardness of heart leads us places we don’t want to go.

  22. Derek,

    That’s my point.
    We pretend that some of these aren’t even sins…we justify them.
    No one is arguing that sin isn’t always dangerous…

  23. fyi,
    I am saying all sin is dangerous. #1 said that sexual sin, was low on the list of sins listed in Gal5.
    I am saying it “isn’t” low on the dangerous list.
    There is no list here in order of importance.

  24. Derek,

    Where did I say that it was “low” on the list?
    I said that in my opinion, it was neither the most common or the most dangerous.
    Feel free to disagree, but please don’t put words in my mouth.

  25. “We pretend that some of these aren’t even sins…we justify them.”

    Who does this? That is what I didn’t get at first. These are a all self evident, as Paul says.

    Instead, you seem to fall into the same trap of making the sexual sins low on the list.
    You just reverse, what you blame some of doing.
    You said it wasn’t the most dangerous, which implies a more dangerous one. Which from the tone of #1 says that all the others rank higher on the dangerous list than sexual sins.

  26. Why not others here seem to love putting ones in mine?

  27. fyi, I disagree. The evidence simply doesn’t back up your claim. “sorcery” and “gluttony” are probably the two most destructive sins committed ‘inside the body’ that affect people more negatively than any other sin. Well, and drunkenness.

    Cancers, liver diseases, etc. Those hooked on heroine or meth etc spiral out of control faster than any other “sin”.

    Reaping and sowing is a quantifiable principle and the results are also quantifiable. I have observed the effects and affects of hard-core drugs on folks and I have observed folks who commit what fundamentalists would call ‘sexual sin’.

    The hard-core drug use has much greater negative effects and affects on the lives of humans (in general). This empirically verifiable. The data supports the thesis. You’re simply incorrect in your position that asserts sexual sin has greater harm than several other sins of which we can observe the consequences today.

  28. I am sorry if I misunderstood, but from reading #1, that is what I got from it.

  29. Derek,

    I understand that you are the vocal opposition party now, but as I’m the one who wrote it I know what I meant.
    Most of us don’t put envy, dissension, or division on the same basis as sexual sin.
    My point was that we should and these acceptable sins are causing as many issues or more in the church.

  30. Michael,
    I am not the vocal opposition party.
    Instead, it seems that you can’t take any push back lately.
    I disagreed with the book, others did too. this seemed to make you upset.

    I did agree with some of the other things you thought today, but I guess that doesn’t count.

    Do you really want an all “Yea” party here?

    Are all your thoughts so good that we must all agree with them?
    Sorry, but in my life, not everyone agrees with me.
    Dude, I don’t think that well of myself and if you are thinking that way then you need to rethink some things.

    I am gonna give you some space for a little.

  31. Derek,

    Probably 30-40% of the comments on the blog are from those who differ with me.
    I welcome push back…but I get to push back too…and I do.

    You can disagree with me all you want, but I much prefer people disagree with what I actually write.

  32. Erunner was the loyal opposition for years…the fur used to fly like crazy.

  33. Wonder if I can get some of you to weigh in on this issue as to how you would handle it:

    “I have a friend” who is trying to make the case that she (21 & claims to be a Christian) can sleep with her boyfriend (34 & is a non-practicing Jew,) because they privately “committed” themselves to one another, therefore they are betrothed (though they are not officially engaged in any public sense.)

    They claim in the Jewish community that two single people in a betrothed state can sleep together since it’s akin to already being married.

    As far as the notion of not marrying an unbeliever, she is trying to make a case that all Jewish people are saved in the end as God’s chosen people; therefore, he is already a believer in God’s eyes.

    No, I’m not making this up.

    She is asking for proof texts that say she cannot sleep with him? She laid out a case from the Greek saying that “sexual immorality” was describing harlotry, which she says is multiple partners and cannot be applied to her since this is her one and only (at least in her mind. Mind you, he has had 2 wives previously that he has confirmed the demise of them both was his choosing/fault.)

    I’m really hoping some of you respond with your best approach/es. In the past, this sort of thing was easy for me to respond to in love, but not this time, unfortunately.

    Thanks.

  34. Speaking of humility, Ricky I would point out that the Bible is an ancient manuscript that has stood over thousands of years. I wouldn’t take a cavalier approach to it, just as I wouldn’t to other holy books of ancient faiths. You can at least give the Bible that. Then from there, to consider even the possibility that it contains revelation of God; not to mention the possibility of it being the revelation of God designated by God through various writers of old; even if granting that it is fallible ( not saying it is, just saying it for conversation) or even if it’s been misused and/or misinterpreted and even if some seek to place their agenda at it’s center….that doesn’t negate that the very possibility of it being something other than, something special, in other words, something holy that is on par with if not greater than any other work of literature or holy book….that alone should urge caution in our skepticism…..I’m not advocating wholesale faith to the point of kool aid consumption but I am saying to take something like Paul’s words to the Corinthians and blithely dismiss it offhand is a serious mistake if one hasn’t taken first the time to deeply reach, meditate, and compare it’s merits with other similar works of antiquity.

    In summary, dude, back off for your own good and give the Bible the respect of at least assuming the possibility is is greater than you or I.

  35. Chile,
    Ask her who told her all that stuff about the Jewish people being about to sleep with someone they “promised themselves to” and all the rest of the info. about the Jewish people’s culture.
    My guess is it was the 34 year old guy doing what guys do and making up stuff just to get laid.

  36. Derek let me take a moment and tell you thank you for making that distinction and pointing out that “Most of us don’t put envy, dissension, or division on the same basis as sexual sin.
    My point was that we should and these acceptable sins are causing as many issues or more in the church”.. As someone who is part of a leadership team that recently had someone just drop responsibilities and leave with no notice because they thought we were teaching too much grace. Leaving us with no notice to fill some important responsibilities. They were not open to discussion, in fact told us in no uncertain terms not to contact them and to lose their email,

    So we left them with a final email letting them know they had brought offense and needed to take steps eventually to make it right. I have seen this happen not just once either,while being part of this ministry people leave attacking, in anger and never take steps though it was made clear the door was open and the team was very acceptable to healing. I have seen some of these same individuals without taking steps to make right go on social media ass though they were actively serving Christ. I once watched an individual visibly and verbally attack several individuals, then without ever making restitution or any steps to bring healing produce a video on harsh words.

    So yes, while these sins “Those hooked on heroine or meth etc spiral out of control faster than any other “sin””. If we see our job as to be kingdom builders then in the church Derek your right. Then while God sees us all as Romans 3:23 and your point on point number one was dead on spot as someone who has seen that damage. We need to ask ourselves what is the opposite of Christ’s final earthly prayer (John 17:20-23) for his disciples. For indeed if one reveals whose we are what does the other reveal.

    Thanks Again Derek for bringing these points to light.

  37. Neo, I’m not tracking with you. Was your comment regarding my comment about Michael’s #1 on “Things…” or my comment to Fyi about the affects of sins committed ‘in the body’ like sorcery (hard core drug use), gluttony and drunkenness?

  38. “She is asking for proof texts that say she cannot sleep with him?”

    She can sleep with him – it’s all the other stuff that she cannot do. 😉

  39. Chile, tell her to follow the example of the Evangelical Church Leadership…and especially Calvary Chapel. WWCD? What Would Chuck Do?

    …so basically, she’ll do whatever she wants and read into the “scripture” whatever she wants…which is essentially what everyone does to one degree or another.

  40. 2 Samuel 5:13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.

    Just tell her she’s a concubine and it’s all good. Giddy yup!

  41. Patrick,

    “Most of us don’t put envy, dissension, or division on the same basis as sexual sin.
    My point was that we should and these acceptable sins are causing as many issues or more in the church”.

    That was me, not Derek.
    Thank you for an example of exactly what I was speaking to.

  42. Michael, I did disagree with what you actually wrote.
    Maybe you need to make it clearer, cause two of us didn’t get it. It implies things in its wording.
    Only one seemed to and that was RB and that hardly ever speaks well.
    Communications breakdown, maybe.

    I got a TV show to watch on Netflix.

  43. “Only one seemed to and that was RB”

    Um, if it’s based on critical thinking ability and reading comprehension and IQ, I’d say it speaks quite well.

  44. Chile,

    Couples could not sleep together during the year long betrothal.
    There is no “gotcha” verse that I know of in regard to premarital sex…and her exegesis of the verses she’s quoting is so bad that I’m not sure it would matter if there was.

  45. Derek,

    I have no problem copping to something being poorly written.
    That point evidently was.
    However, when I explain it more than once, I assume someone is simply trying to pick at me.
    I explained it more than once, so either the explanations were as poorly written as the point or there is another issue at play here.
    You can take all the shots you want within the bounds of propriety.

  46. Sorry about that Michael! I think Christ made your point for you when he said three things in his final earthly prayer with and for the disciples. Which I will just ask threes imple questions.

    1) How will the world know we are his?
    2) How did he say that he and and the father are most glorified?
    3) What level of importance did Christ place on unity in the body?

    Problem is the effects and the damage are not as visible as some of the other sins. Does not mean they are less destructive.

    We may disagree but let us never agree to divide, bring dissension or as I saw one brother do declare our brothers and sisters “fair game”

  47. London @ 36, I suspect the same.

    MLD @ 39, 😉

    Ricky @ 40, I hear ya.

    Ricky @ 41, that was my first response, in my head.

    Michael @45, Where can I get that info in writing that they could not sleep together during the betrothal? I know there’s no gotcha verse, now, but tried using the “sexual immorality angle. Any of you Greek Geeks know how it’s defined? Is it really just a harlot who has multiple partners? or can it be aptly applied to sleeping with the man she wants to marry, only?

    I guess I’m a little befuddled as to why it’s so plain to all of us, yet it’s not so easy for me to make it plain from scripture to her? She claims to be open and willing to listen. I don’t know if that’s actually true, but when she repents later because her life sucks, I want her to know we told her because we love her.

  48. I thought about showing up at her home with a second wife added to my marriage and see how she handles that?

  49. 88.271 πορνεύω; ἐκπορνεύω; πορνεία, ας f: to engage in sexual immorality of any kind, often with the implication of prostitution—‘to engage in illicit sex, to commit fornication, sexual immorality, fornication, prostitution.’
    πορνεύω: ὁ δὲ πορνεύων εἰς τὸ ἴδιον σῶμα
    ἁμαρτάνει ‘the person who commits immorality sins against his own body’ 1 Cor 6:18.
    ἐκπορνεύω: ὡς Σόδομα καὶ Γόμορρα … ἐκπορνεύσασαι ‘they committed sexual immorality … like Sodom and Gomorrah’ Jd 7.
    πορνεία: τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, ὁ ἁγιασμὸς ὑμῶν, ἀπέχεσθαι ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ τῆς πορνείας ‘this is God’s will (for you; he wants you) to be consecrated to him and to abstain from sexual immorality’ 1 Th 4:3. In some NT contexts πορνεία may refer specifically to incest.

    Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies.

  50. Thanks, Michael!

    She referred to this and said that sexual immorality is harlotry. I figure this is BS but I don’t have Greek background or a Greek dictionary that will further explain what sexual immorality is. Is my only defense that it’s common knowledge that sleeping together outside of marriage is always immorality?

    How do we further define fornication? Isn’t that defined as two singles outside of marriage?

  51. Chile,

    I’ll be blunt.
    In my opinion sex inside marriage only is an assumed position biblically.
    You have to build a case for it…and to me the single best argument for it is that you become one flesh with those you sleep with and the implications of that truth.
    It’s such an ingrained part of our tradition that we really haven’t examined it closely…until situations like the one you’re addressing come up.

  52. You only have to ‘build a case for it” if you are bound by the confines of Sola scriptura. If you follow a Holy Spirit-guided Tradition, you know what is right and what is wrong without having to find verses to prove it.

  53. Thought #7, wow is that true. I had a facebook argument of sorts with one of my hero guitar players. He fancies himself big time. And he is. As a result, he has turned political, and rants on religious regularly. I wanted so bad to tell him just that.

    But he rules…

    I am weak.

  54. After seeing the exchange, I understand #1 a little better. I’d still disagree that sexual sins are easiest to avoid. I’ve seen men give up everything for one sexual indiscretion, It musta been difficult to avoid.
    The other part is that it isn’t the most dangerous. Again, I’m not sure I can think of another SINGLE sin that is able to cause as much destruction.

    None of the sins are good, but I totally understand why sexual sins get more attention, never mind that our culture is completely soaked in sexuality from birth to death. Christians aren’t the only ones paying an inordinate amount of attention to sex.

  55. The other part is that it isn’t the most dangerous. Again, I’m not sure I can think of another SINGLE sin that is able to cause as much destruction”

    Well murder is pretty bad. 😉

  56. Thanks, Michael. At least I feel better about how hard it has been to answer with Scripture in a plain & simple way if one doesn’t accept the premise that sex outside of marriage is sexual immorality.

    She has us twisting like pretzels, putting the pressure on us to make our case. Yet, anyone down the road of life from her knows this man has seduced her, lied to her, and she’s trading in her walk with God to enjoy this sin for a season.

    She will spend the rest of her life working out the consequences of this sin, even if just in her mind.

    If anyone has a bright idea of what I can say, point I can make, please let me know. Thanks!

  57. Btw, the biggest issue to me is that she is claiming God is blessing them and that the Bible backs them.

    Ricky, this is a prime opportunity for one of your comments here. It would fit perfectly.

  58. Point well taken, London.

    As soon as I typed that, I thought about all the havoc alcoholism wreaked on my life when I was a child.

    I’ll take it back and say I was probably wrong. I could imagine scenarios where greed or lies would wreak incredible turmoil. Sin is serious business. Bad stuff.

  59. Chile,

    You can point out that nowhere in the NT is Christian sexuality ever spoken of outside the context of marriage.
    You can speak of the witness that Xenia brings of the tradition and history of the church that has always affirmed that sex is only permissible within marriage.
    There are a lot of ways to potentially debate this, but the reality is that she wants to sleep with this person and will do as she pleases and reap the consequences.

  60. @58, tell her just what you said in this post.

    “She has us twisting like pretzels, putting the pressure on us to make our case. Yet, anyone down the road of life from her knows this man has seduced her, lied to her, and she’s trading in her walk with God to enjoy this sin for a season.

    She will spend the rest of her life working out the consequences of this sin, even if just in her mind.”

    Tell her with love and no judgment, she will be judging herself for years if she follows through.

  61. Chile,

    You may also tell her that “all Israel will be saved”…only in the end and ONLY through faith in Christ.
    Before then they are blinded heathens like all other blinded heathens.

  62. Tell her you love her, you’ll be there for her and to be sure to use birth control.
    And then tell her you love her again.

  63. Thanks. I do appreciate you all helping me think this through.

    She’s already up to her neck in this. As a very intelligent young lady, she figured a way to stop us in our tracks and chasing our own tails.

    We are telling her we will be there for her and that we love her. But we think that the more she claims to be a Christian and that God is for her activities/relationship, we have to somehow make a very clear statement that we are letting her go her own way but that we will no longer treat her as a Christian in fellowship. There are several other younger kids watching and taking notes.

    What would you all do? Keep in fellowship? Break fellowship? Let the man come to the home to pick her up and invite him in? Would you attend their wedding (if they ever get that far,) even if its a Christian, God Blessing, wedding? I would have zero problem with a non-Christian wedding.

  64. Michael, that’s an excellent point about all of Isreal being saved ONLY in the end. I think she’s adding in anyone who was ever born a Jew still gets saved after death. I pointed out that that wasn’t going to help while they are married and raising kids.

  65. I agree, London.

  66. Chile,

    Most of my peers will disagree with me here, but I’ll tell you what I would do.
    I stay in fellowship.
    I would attend the wedding if invited.
    If she is a Christian, the Holy Spirit will break her in time.
    If she isn’t, He may use this to make her one.

    You have to stay close enough to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess.

  67. jlo,

    That may be all I can do in the end.

  68. instead of trying to prove your point, ask her to prove hers, from the bible. not some other text.

  69. RB’s #44
    I got a good laugh out of that one.

    Anyone on here knows from your treatment of scripture, that you have the worst reading comprehension around.
    You don’t understand context, genre or the overall plot of the Bible.
    I would hate to see what you might do to a piece of regular fiction.

    Definitely, laughable.

  70. The very fact that she’s doing all these biblical gymnastics means she knows she’s in sin.
    That’s God working on her.
    Pray and be gracious, loving, and firm in your own faith…then pray some more.

  71. Michael, that would be easier to consider if the kids were not watching this very closely, with two on the verge themselves; whom I think would take the warning if it is not allowed in the home.

    She has watched us pick up the peices many times with many others the moment they were ready. I believe she knows this, though we would reassure her of this.

  72. jlo, that’s a good idea!

  73. Chile,

    From my own experience with you I believe you to be a mature, Spirit filled Christian.
    If you are led to draw harder lines in this situation, then do so.
    I trust you know far better than the rest of us how to deal with this…my only caution is to do as you are led, not as others would have you lead.

  74. Absolutely “stay in fellowship” whatever that means. Either you love her or you don’t, either you’ll be there or you won’t.
    Decide and then stick with it. But whatever you do, don’t say you love her then abandon her.
    That’s the worst damage ever.

  75. Where are the men in this young lady’s life? Maybe the guy needs to wake up on a bus four states away, wondering how he got there….

  76. Jim,

    😉

  77. Michael, I agree. She’s got to know. The effort to twist and defend her actions is skillful & purposeful. Makes me wonder if she’s been able to hone this skill with people closest to her … Manipulating them with her intellect and ability to stump others. I think she knows their Achilles heel is a great aversion to stress & conflict.

    I do think it is a good sign. We are praying daily for her … and him.

  78. Jim, the man in her life is a beaten and battered former missionary. First, I think he wanted to kill him, then he decided to buy into her hermeneutics. Of course he knows better, but he’s in a state of rethinking everything so he found it too difficult to answer her questions. Those of us who are the 2nd & 3rd tiers in her life, are still ready to hog tie him …. but there is a physical distance that is hampering our plans! ;(

  79. Derek, you should stick to pictures. That’s about the only thing you are able to portray accurately. It’s nearly fail-safe…as long as you don’t photoshop.

  80. “Sometimes I think I believe in God just so I won’t go to hell”

    Very sad statement about the faith (not a knock on you personally, it’s the underlying thesis of the whole of Evangelicalism).

    Fear-based faith. A God who is supposedly “love”…yet you better do as you are told by a particular sect or you will burn in hell forever with no end. That doesn’t seem right.

  81. I was sorta maybe half kinda joking…

    I just like to remind people how things used to work.

  82. London, I hear your compassion. But I am wondering about passages I can’t quote at the moment that talk about those in habitual sin who claim God approves, therefore one is not to eat lunch with them. I’m also wondering about admonition in Proverbs to rebuke one in order for others to take note? Or why the church has been instructed in church discipline?

    I’m not saying I’m utterly sure, just explaining some of my thought paths.

  83. Michael, you are generous in your description of me. 😉

  84. The way I see it, Jim, it’s like there’s a heroine pusher at the door asking to be politely welcomed into the family home while he’s administering the drug to one of their daughters. It would not be polite to say what is like to do to him. I’m just less interested in going to jail or giving the young woman more reason to bond further with him.

    Heard the testimony of the pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle where he tried everything to help his daughter, till he finally broke fellowship so she could go her own way. Finally, she returned repentant 5 months after the broken fellowship. It was dramatic!

    God showed her she was heading 100 miles an hour towards total destruction, then He held her in love. She repented immediately and went home in the morning on her knees begging forgiveness. Her father ran to her!!!

  85. For the record, I’m not advocating violence. I just think that there are predatory men who need a reason to “count the cost”. There are things that are wrong to do because they are wrong, and other things that are “wrong” because they are against the law. It may be illegal to help someone rethink their position, even if no harm comes to that person. People who don’t want to go to jail should not get caught doing things that are against the law.

  86. Jim, I don’t advocate violence either.

    For the record, this man was in a position of trust when he seduced her. (He did the same thing to his last wife.). They had to hide it for a loooong time till he was no longer in that position. Can you imagine the young girl having to keep her lover a secret?

    This guy is a predator.

  87. I believe the US has been the protector of Israel since 1948.
    I believe the Christians in the US have been the most outspoken protective voice.
    I believe the dispensationalist tell us that our protection by God depends upon this.
    I believe the Christians of the Middle East have had no advocate among western believers
    I believe the Christians of the Middle East are disappearing
    Apparently God prefers the Muslims who curse the Jews to the Christians who bless them
    I believe our assessment of what God is doing is as messed up as the Middle East
    I believe we should advocate for all people and take account as to why our policies are so destructive to Christian communities.
    And LIKE MICHAEL I believe Christianity in the Middle East is doomed in the short term.

    Remember that saying about good people doing nothing…
    I think there are none of those left either.

  88. Where I get concerned, is the folks in the US that the first response in the middle east should be a full first nuclear strike, not with tactical but strategic nuclear weapons because this will make Jesus return faster. I dont understand why Jesus would want to return to a nuclear disaster with billions dead or dying. Some think this will bring Him glory, Im sorry but there is no glory in a nuclear war just lots of dead people. Personally I think if God wants to wipe us out, let Him do it Himself.

  89. An aside Michael if I ever wear out my welcome please let me know I understand I have a way of posting that can be rather irritating. I asked your permission when I first came here to be the way I was. I will stop if you ask. I am just trying to find my way. Why all the negative crap the last few months. As I sort through many years of family letters, photos etc before where I live gets purchased it has taken a toll. So I spout off, I should not and I understand that. But it has just gutted me, I may come off as a fake, well maybe I am. Really other then here and Alex’s blogs I do not share any of what I say with other Christians and most likely never will. Offered for what its worth.

    PS but from my reading of this blog I am not the only one stuck in a rut.

  90. Hi Brian, Although sometimes I haven’t a clue as to what you are getting at, there are other times your words minister to me greatly. From my corner, you are appreciated and valued here. I’m guessing it is bittersweet, going through all those family papers and photos. Blessings to you, friend.

  91. One of your best Michael.

  92. #81
    And maybe you should stick to the pawn shop business maybe.
    Or you might have a promising career in telling tall tales about John Piper 😉

  93. My own sin always looks worse on someone else…

  94. To launch off Bab’s #90 – although he wouldn’t go as far as me.
    1.) Israel is the cause of the trouble in the Middle East
    2.) They have no respect of others in the area – they do things because God is on their side … no different than the Muslim claim.
    3.) The US inflames the situation over there with our geo – political – economic treatment of Arabs.
    4.) Why? because the Israeli lobby has our Congress by the short hairs. Our Congress only knows how to say Amen to any request from this country.
    5.) We have forgotten who our neighbor is.
    6.) God will condemn us one day for this blindness.

  95. And that, my friends, is your daily dose of anti-semitism!

  96. I strongly disagree with Babs and MLD regarding Israel.

    Last I checked, it wasn’t Jews who were bombing churches throughout the region.

  97. Josh, that shows you miss the point – the background to why the Arabs are bombing churches.
    Israel has our every favor, whether they are right or wrong
    The Arab world has our scorn … well, it is really Israel’s scorn that Israel makes us carry out for them.

  98. May I use your #6 and share it with others? I will give you the credit!

  99. We’ve got one ally in the Middle- East.

    I’ve got an idea, let’s turn on them!

    Brilliant.

  100. No, let’s make more allies by treating all in the area fairly … but Israel stops us from that.

  101. There is a difference between anti-semitism and anti-Zionist.

  102. I see it as something very spiritual going on against Israel. I am not in the “All for Israel” crowd, but you cannot convince me that the hatred against the Jews is simply over politics…there is a spiritual dynamic going on, just like the violence that drives the Muslims to kill…it is spiritual. We are not fighting flesh and blood and that include politics.

  103. Oh, I missed Josh’s charge of anti semitism – thanks buddy.

    But that’s what I mean, right or wrong, your group cannot say anything bad about Israel – no matter what atrocities they commit.

    But let me ask you this in such an inflamed area, why does the US allow Israel to have nuclear weapons and not Iran? Is that anti Muslimism?

  104. Yes, I agree with Babs that the church of evangelical USA has forgotten our brothers and sisters in the middle east and that is horrible and inexcusable . But the love for one should not negate honesty in our viewing of the other. To love and want to help our brothers and sisters in the middle east should not require us to condemn Israel because they are trying to protect themselves against people who hate them with a hatred that confounds any kind of human common sense. Israel takes in children from Palestine who have heart defects, and operates on these children, cares for them and their mother (or carer) and then sends them back to their home healthy and strong….no strings attached. This is only ONE of the mercy outreaches they have to Arabs (who hate them). I don’t see any of that kind of care coming from the other side.

  105. Nonnie,
    No one is talking about hating Jews – it’s not a Jewish thing. My whole family is Jewish.

    The nation Israel is a secular nation. My point is that they have somehow gotten the upper hand and control US policy in the Middle East – to the point that it has driven the Muslim nations nuts.

    I don’t see Muslims living in the US trying to kill Jews living in the US.

  106. What about Kenya? What about Pakistan? What about the young soldier on the street of London that was beheaded? Shall I go on?

  107. The nicest people I met when I visited Israel were the Arabs in the markets and the Israeli’ soldiers. Two groups of people from opposing sides, yet ALL are people, created in the image of God. I’m not into hate either.

  108. “Oh, I missed Josh’s charge of anti semitism – thanks buddy.”
    You are welcome. It is a serious charge, but I think you and Babs are skating a thin line.

    “right or wrong, your group cannot say anything bad about Israel ”
    Who the heck is my group?!?! That’s funny.

    “why does the US allow Israel to have nuclear weapons and not Iran? Is that anti Muslimism?”
    Because Israel having nukes in the Middle East means WE have nukes in the middle east. Should we disarm…our ALLIES? That’s insane. Anti-Muslim? Not that I am aware of. It is anti-Iranian, though. And for good reason.

  109. To help out my friend, MLD, here is the worst statement, and a way to restate it where it would be honest, and less offensive:

    MLD said – “1.) Israel is the cause of the trouble in the Middle East”

    More accurate, less offensive – ” The situation in the middle east is complex, and there is plenty of guilt to go around. Israel has also had a hand in some of the troubles there.”

  110. pslady,

    Yes, you can use it…it’s not original with me.

  111. brian,

    You can post here as long as I do…

  112. U.S. support of Israel is based on American economic and military needs, not religion.
    Dispensationalism has simply made it easier for the beast to do business.

  113. Josh,
    “It is a serious charge, but I think you and Babs are skating a thin line.”

    That’s just your way of saying “you can’t say bad things about Israel” – or in the less PC way you are saying “shut up”

  114. Not true. See my 112. You can disagree with Israel all you want, but to say they are THE root of the problem in the middle-east is a gross exaggeration.

  115. Well, you are correct to a point – US policy that totally favors Israel and the blind following of the US evangelical Church are really the root of the problem.

  116. Wow. So you are one of those guys that says WE are responsible for the terrorist acts committed against us? Hmm.

  117. MLD,

    Our policy would be the same whether evangelicals supported Israel or not.

  118. That was my next question. Who are these devout Dispies who are making international policy?!?!

  119. #115 YES Michael… it makes the US policies acceptable to the religious

    and JOSH #99 SERIOUSLY? Can you even read? I don’t recall saying anything negative about Israel… ALL of my rant was aimed at OUR idiocy.

    But

    You would do well to look into the actual on the ground treatment of Christian churches in Israel.

  120. Read my 112, BD to see my main issue. You can read, right?

  121. The conversation above shows the ignorance of US middle east policy. The first Bush Iraq war, which turned osama bin laden into a anti US terrorist, was to protect Saudi interests. We have multiple allies in the region, the majority of which are arabs.

  122. We have seen with the current administration that playing nice with the Muslims doesn’t work. We helped put The Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt, yet our embassy in Benghazi was still attacked. The bottom line is they see us as Satan and so they want to destroy us.

  123. Skating a thin line wins Olympic medals. Accuracy is indeed a thin line.

    As for suggesting that I am cutting it close on the matter of Israel. What exactly am I risking by suggesting that we care about Israel but not Christians in the Middle East?

    What indeed am I risking by suggesting that it is indefensible to advocate that God judges those who do not support the modern nation of Israel while the same people say little or nothing while Christians are being crushed by the policies of the ‘christian’ west?

    I have never heard a dispensational preacher suggest that failing to speak up for Christians in Israel or the Middle East was offensive to God. But every time lightning strikes a cow you can find a preacher to damn the farmer for not blessing Abraham supposed seed.

  124. Not really your fault, BD. At the first of MLD’s post, he lumped himself in with you, and perhaps I made the same mistake.

    I disagree with your views expressed in # 90 (some of them), but would not call that alone anti-semitic. I apologize.

  125. Received Josh. And in all candor I try very hard to avoid all forms of antisemitism. It is dispensationalists that I wish to cleanse from the land… but even with them I would stay the execution until their long awaited rapture. Which indeed means they are quite safe.

  126. BD,

    I’m a modified dispy….one can still hold to parts of the system and still be balanced on this issue.

  127. Yes my friend I know…

    Imbalanced Dread

  128. Josh,
    I see American policy in the Middle East as the cause in the same way Michael sees American policy being the cause of all sorts of havoc in Mexico.

    My views on Israel, the Middle East and the Amen lobby in Congress are strictly a political issue – not one ounce religious. When I see the Muslims and Israelis standing at their borders with Bibles open arguing the first 5 books – then perhaps I will switch to believing it is a religious issue.

    If only Peru had that kind of support in our congress!!!

  129. “Was Jesus Peruvian?”

    That states your case pretty clearly – it is a God thing to you in the Middle East

    Dispensationalists see the promises in totality in the tiny land strip of Israel – even though Jesus and Paul said – the whole world. Hate to tell ya … even Peru.

  130. Josh – your Jesus statement is well known by the Jews in America – that is why I said earlier, they have congress by the short hairs. They have you too.

  131. They don’t have me. You don’t even have a clue what I believe about these things.

  132. “it is a God thing to you in the Middle East”

    Is there a place in the world where God is not in control? Everything is a God thing to me. I’m One Kingdom theology.

  133. OK, then Peru should have the same kind of lobby influence Israel does – regardless where Jesus was born

  134. Well, the world just doesn’t work that way. Some countries are influential, some are not. US, Russia, China…these countries have far more influence than any of the others. Is that fair? Should your pet Peru have just as much world standing as China?

    I don’t know, but I do know that if you are a strong ally with the biggest Super Power in the world, and are fairly isolated in a hostile part of the world, yes you will have some influence that Peru does not enjoy.

    I still can’t imagine saying that it doesn’t matter where Jesus was born.

  135. Re: Michael @51

    I’m just now seeing this. Very helpful! Thank you!

  136. “I still can’t imagine saying that it doesn’t matter where Jesus was born.”

    Your statement about where Jesus was born seemed to indicate that Israel gets the free pass.

    Does Jesus like the nation Israel better than he likes Peru? Does Jesus like Jewish people better than he likes Peruvians? Does Jesus think Israel should get better treatment from the world than Peru?

    If your answer is no, then why should we?

  137. What about Ecuador?

  138. “seemed to indicate that Israel gets the free pass”

    Stop with the “Seemed to indicate” stuff. I generally say what I mean.

    “If your answer is no, then why should we?”
    Wait!!!! I thought this wasn’t religious? You are saying our foreign policy should be based on who Jesus likes, or doesn’t like? You said that, not me, but you accuse me of bringing religion into the situation.

  139. In the end I am not ‘against’ Israel – they are a sovereign nation and can do what they want within reason in a world community.

    What I am against is what I see our nation do and how I see the churches react.

    I don’t know about you, but I bristle anytime I see a pastor give up his pulpit on a Sunday morning to allow a non believing Jew take control of the congregation.

  140. You brought up Jesus’ birthplace as a reply to my strictly political conversation. I didn’t mention Jesus or religion at all.

    So based on that, I asked you the questions in my #140 – if you are bringing Jesus into the Israel / Middle East discussion, my questions are fair.

  141. MLD said, “I don’t know about you, but I bristle anytime I see a pastor give up his pulpit on a Sunday morning to allow a non believing Jew take control of the congregation.”

    I can agree with that 100% !

  142. “Sunday morning to allow a non believing Jew take control of the congregation.”

    I’ve never personally seen that. Again, we often get locked into our own perspectives and think the rest of the world is all the same. I’ve been in a couple of thousand churches and never once seen this happen.

  143. But then I would say “A non believer.”

  144. Bob,
    Perhaps if Peru and Ecuador were to merge, they could apply pressure to our Congress who could never say no (as they do with Israel)

  145. Josh, it happens. I’ve seen it. Netanyahu has spoken in at least one CC church. I’m guessing there are others that have as well. (Jew or Gentile..it doesn’t matter to me.) I just cannot understand a pastor giving his pulpit during worship time, to an unbeliever.

  146. Josh,
    You have never seen in person, on the TV or read about some Israeli powerhouse being invited to address a Christian congregation

  147. Mld, no I haven’t.

    Nonnie, I agree. I think that would be wrong. Hopefully, it is also very rare.

  148. Re: my 149. I googled and Netanyahu spoke at a CC on a Monday night.
    So the pastor did NOT give up his pulpit during a Sunday worship service.

  149. Yeah when I lived in NYC and Miami Beach many of the Jews were racist as hell. They cry foul when someone says anything remotley critical of them and yet they mistreat minorities many times. Can you say “Double Standard”

  150. I don’t know about racism, but the ‘N’ word for black people in Yiddish is Schvartze – and I heard i a lot growing up.

    My wife, the goy was always the ‘shiksa’ in the family. The non Jewish girl in a relationship with a Jewish guy … always one step below.

    But believe me, everyone looks down on everyone – now don’t deny it.

  151. I find the southern racist stereotype laughable. I haven’t heard a southerner use a slur since high school, but in the last five years I’ve heard the n bomb from a guy from NY, another from Wisconsin, and two unrelated guys from Illinois.

    One guy was raging drunk, so I let it go. Another was in a work environment, so I told him my grandmother was black. The last two were in my condo neighborhood, and I told them to never use that disgusting word around me. Two separate occasions. They both looked at me like I had two heads.

    I serve on our condo board with a lady from Buffalo, who habitually asks, “were they black?”, when she hears that someone broke the rules. After asking her over and over again, “why would you ask that?”, she still doesn’t get it. We had a lady here with 3 bi racial children, and I loved telling the lady from Buffalo how beautiful they were. She turned a different shade of green every time.

    A whole lotta bigoted yankees down here in Florida.

  152. Michael did you ever say who that theologian was? The guy in Geneva ….

  153. BD,

    I didn’t but I will because so many keep asking. 🙂
    His name is Myk Habets and he is as kind as he is brilliant.
    He introduced me to the thought of Thomas Torrance…slowly.

  154. “God loves you so utterly and completely that he has given himself for you in Jesus Christ his beloved Son, and has thereby pledged his very being as God for your salvation. In Jesus Christ God has actualised his unconditional love for you in your human nature in such a once for all way, that he cannot go back upon it without undoing the Incarnation and the Cross and thereby denying himself. Jesus Christ died for you precisely because you are sinful and utterly unworthy of him, and has thereby already made you his own before and apart from your ever believing in him. He has bound you to himself by his love in a way that he will never let you go, for even if you refuse him and damn yourself in hell his love will never cease. Therefore, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.” ~T. F. Torrance, “The Mediation of Christ”, 94

  155. Oh yes Torrance… sent me spinning too. Failed to pursue TT because he was so hard to understand.

  156. Wow the Amazon reading list of Myk is impressive and beckoning

    http://www.amazon.com/Myk-Habets/e/B0028ONBVQ

  157. His Torrance title is only 69.99 on Kindle… smile

  158. BD,

    He is a an unknown giant.
    He was also a wonderful lunch companion.
    I have no hope of understanding even a quarter of what he writes, but I learned a lot about Jesus from his demeanor.

  159. I hadn’t thought about Myk in quite some time…then recently discovered him taking apart one of my heroes a piece at a time online.
    He was very kind in doing so, but very thorough as well. 🙂

  160. That conference was organized by a very Reformed, very big shot who is very strict about worship…anything other than the Reformed way is the wrong way.
    He was going off on this topic at lunch and the rest of the frozen chosen were “amening” in fervent agreement.
    He came to Myk expecting the same…and got schooled in front of God and the rest of the crew.
    That guy was awesome…

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