Sep 302013
 

links_image1Rise of the tiny church and no cost clergy….

Teaching people to “reinterpret” the scriptures gay boundaries…

On being a mother…

A definition of “church”…

Another attempt to mobilize the church in one political direction…

Excellent article about the dangers of social media…

Calvinist, go home!

Mark Twain hated God…

Eight types of power groups in the church…

Thinking about trust…

The number of hours that go into celebrity sermon prep…

Congregation sells building to fund new church plant…

The theology of Breaking Bad…

Harvest America…

Top 25 candy bars of all time…

Wenatchee the Hatchet examines possible plagiarism from Grace Driscoll…and more.

Billy Grahams grandson says evangelicals worse than Catholics in dealing with sexual abuse…

A few words from the great Eugene Peterson…

  147 Responses to “Links!”

  1. The top 25 candy bars – I’ve had all of them except the Sky Bar. Now, I avoid them and only go with dark chocolate for health reasons. Usually it’s Newman’s Own organic 70% cacao.
    Good stuff.
    I like Roger Olson.

  2. I’ve never seen, much less eaten, a sky bar. Without a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup on the list, it is incomplete. No, don’t tell me it isn’t a candy bar.

  3. I love Mark Twain.

    Mark Twain dared to speak the struggles and doubts that each of us have had, do have, or will have if we are thinking men and women.

    I count on Jesus being able to bring each of us beyond these crisis points when our pens are poison, our songs are dark, and our sarcasm momentarily blinds our hope in a God who is truly good and beyond our all too human musings.

  4. Peterson nails it again. He describes the problem of celebrity pastors and the culture that spawned their illegitimate birth:

    “The one thing I think is at the root of a lot of pastors’ restlessness and dissatisfaction is impatience. They think if they get the right system, the right programs, the right place, the right location, the right demographics, it’ll be a snap. And for some people it is: if you’re a good actor, if you have a big smile, if you are an extrovert. In some ways, a religious crowd is the easiest crowd to gather in the world. Our country’s full of examples of that. But for most, pastoring is a very ordinary way to live. And it is difficult in many ways because your time is not your own, for the most part, and the whole culture is against you. This consumer culture, people grow up determining what they want to do by what they can consume. And the Christian gospel is just quite the opposite of that. And people don’t know that. And pastors don’t know that when they start out. We’ve got a whole culture that is programmed to please people, telling them what they want. And if you do that, you might end up with a big church, but you won’t be a pastor.”

  5. It doesn’t need to be a celebrity pastor – any pastor who does not follow the liturgy ends up being just like Charles Finney – not believing the Bible and making up new clever methods to woo people.

    They don’t believe the Bible when it says that it is the preaching of the gospel that converts people – nothing else. But they still make up all the other crap, the music, the hip scene, the church connections etc … because the gospel is not enough – or the gospel comes last.

  6. I love Mark Twain, too. Fantastic writer. Maybe the best.

    That’s a pretty strong piece of blasphemy there. Hope he got some of those struggles settled before his time here was up.

  7. There’s a Jewish Hebrew/Yiddish word, Chutzpah, and it clearly describes this young 23 year old gay man who is teaching people about what the Bible really says about homosexuality.

    Sadly since he is actually speaking what people want to hear he will be successful.

    There’s got to be a song about that itch behind my ears.

  8. Michael,

    This thread really has no legs. I think Josh and others want to talk politics :)

  9. I always thought Mark Twain’s writing was mildly humorous but ultimately shallow.

  10. I’ve always thought Twain’s ability to tell a story along with his mastery of colloquialism made him a very engaging read. Right up there with Charles Dickens and CS Lewis in my mind.

  11. I like the idea that of the congregation selling its building…I don’t like that it seems the Pastor is leaving and they are funding his next venture. Could be OK, but seems a bit fishy.

  12. Re the article: “Congregation sells building to fund new church plant…” I read the article twice but still don’t quite understand what is happening. They are selling the building and property, the pastor is leaving for Toronto…what about the folks from the church? Are all of them going to Toronto, are they moving to other places, is the money from the sale going to support the pastor in Toronto?? Is it only 15 people or has the church grown in the 7 years the pastor was there? Someone want to explain this to me? I keep feeling like my comprehension skills are lacking today or this article was poorly written, or ???

  13. As some of you might know, my online screen moniker is a character pilfered from Twain’s Tom Sawyer. I read the link and I think that there’s a difference between hating God and a particular view of God that was all the rage during the Gilded Age.

    Twain also believed in the supernatural and wrote an endearing biography about Joan of Arc whom he revered greatly. Not surprisingly, apologists and scholars for the new atheism will dismiss it as just another one of his fanciful and whimsical tomes with no bearing at all on his belief or non-belief in a supreme being.

  14. Twain, like any nineteenth century American writer, needs to be understood through the lens of his time-period. He was the master nose-tweeker. He did this religiously, socially, politically all with equal vigor, skill, and humor. Xenia may feel him a bit shallow, but I would suggest that is due to looking at his material through a late 20th, early 21st century viewpoint. Twain’s strength was his insight into people and the resulting characters. His plots aren’t particularly strong, but his themes and characters are.

    Also, Twain readily shared his public persona, but his private self was significantly different. For example, he anonymously paid Helen Keller’s tuition at Radcliffe for four years. He was an ardent philanthropist and a complex person. Still, he isn’t my favorite American author by a long shot.

  15. Who is your favorite Fil? Steinbeck?

  16. “Twain, like any nineteenth century American writer, needs to be understood through the lens of his time-period.”

    You sound like a Theologian and biblical apologist here LOL.

    Very Relativist as well :-)

  17. yes, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Vonnegut, Pearl S. Buck, Hawthorne, Cooper, Harper Lee, John Krakauer, John Irving…

  18. …Wallace Stegner…

  19. Fil, what is probably more likely is that *I* am shallow. Also, I haven’t read any Twain for quite some time other than a travelogue. I should probably retract my comment.

  20. Did Harper Lee publish anything other than Mockingbird? (I’m googling it)
    I thought that book was brilliant, but never read anything else (turns out there was nothing else)
    And I do, too love Steinbeck. I think there is something about being southern that connects my souls to Twain. Hard to explain. He speaks our language well.

  21. Twain’s “War Prayer” is stunning

  22. My father had a compilation of Twain’s works. This is an interesting one…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Stormfield's_Visit_to_Heaven

    A free download…
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1044

  23. Captain Stormfield, which I read long ago, is one of the reasons for my lack of enthusiasm for Twain.

  24. Try “War Prayer”, perhaps you will find it stirring as I did. Find the illustrated version. I’ve never forgotten it

  25. Josh,
    Harper Lee’s only novel is To Kill A Mockingbird, but she has written numerous short stories and essays, most of which were written for magazines. Perhaps there will be some others that may be published after her passing.

  26. Anything you’d recommend I hunt down?

  27. “It’s the same (IMHO) as baptism–a church that baptizes both infants and mature believers is confused about baptism. People who take baptism seriously ought to go to a church that baptizes ONLY persons they think are appropriately (biblically, theologically) eligible for baptism according to a theology of what baptism is and is not.”

    Unless I’m misunderstanding the point Mr. Olsen is making here, I think Mr. Olson is the one who is confused. He shows me here that he doesn’t truly understand Calvinism. Lutherans and others as well, who will baptize infants and adults and know darn well the theological reasons for doing so. We are not confused about baptism.

  28. We had a baby baptized this past Sunday. I swear, I could see the Holy Spirit enter that child through the water and the word as God said “this one is mine.”

    I think those who refuse to baptize babies are afraid that it might be true – - – you don’t have to do anything for God to save you.

    The horror that they may be left out, not being able to help God get them saved.

  29. Josh, if you like Steinbeck, try Wallace Stegner’s “Angle of Repose” Great, layered story-telling. Stegner is a Westerner, prof. from Stanford, very Steinbeckesque in the western sense.

  30. I also like Nathaniel Philbrick…varied, fascinating stories. He’s alive and writing, one of the best current writers in my opinion. I have a soft spot for Stephen King, too, but not his ‘scary’ stuff. I really enjoyed his book on writing.

  31. @28 – or a parent could think like me and millions of other historically sound Christians and believe 1 Cor. 7.14 and allow that child to grow into their own testimony and identification with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ rather than a parental boast/adherence to some man prescribed liturgy.

  32. Nathaniel Philbrick is an excellent writer!
    Loved his book on the Mayflower and finished “The Last Stand” last year.

  33. Appreciate it Fil, I’ll check ‘em out.

  34. I’m not too sure how 1 Cor. 7:14 gives another perspective to MLD’s #28. It seems to me that it supports MLD’s viewpoint on baptism.

  35. I’m saying they’re already holy apart from baptism. And my qualification was that my kids have been able to make the event of their baptism a point of their testimony of belief in Jesus Christ. It was not foisted on them, it was a desire on their hearts to be baptized into Jesus Christ.
    I love the hyperbole of “the horror that they may be left out, not being able to help God get them saved” and the contrast of the great pride we can take in forcing them to get baptized. Funny.

  36. MLD said, ” you don’t have to do anything for God to save you.”

    Yes, Universal Reconciliation. Agreed!

  37. Rob,
    You make my point about our difference. To you and those who do not baptize babies have the thought that baptism is something that one does for God.

    Our point of view is that in baptism God is the actor – God is the one who is delivering something to us – salvation. You would have your child delivering something to God – his testimony..

  38. MLD, your argument always breaks down here:

    “…you don’t have to do anything for God to save you.”

    There is only one position that is truly what you stated above and that is Universal Reconciliation.

    The Lutheran sects philosophical position asserts that you have to do all sorts of stuff to get saved, beginning with actively doing rituals that you call ‘receiving the means of grace’ but is really you doing rituals that you simply redefine as passive when they are empirically active, willful and mindful and physical in nature. You are, in fact, doing lots of things that you would assert if you didn’t do them, you aren’t saved.

  39. Your position is absolutely Synergistic no matter how much you try to redefine it and reframe it. You are not a mindless zombie robot in the active role you play in “doing” the rituals you say are God saving you without you doing anything.

    I can demonstrate the Synergism here: MLD, do you believe someone who has not been baptized, has not expressed a belief in Jesus, has not articulated a “correct” Gospel message nor understood it correctly…is truly “saved”?

  40. Exactly, that is what a Lutheran who baptizes their baby would say too. Or that is what I have been learning as I study to become a Lutheran. Correct me if I’m wrong MLD.

    The children are already holy apart from baptism because of their believing parents. And since the child is saved we share God’s gifts of grace, salvation and healing through the waters of baptism and in communion because those are ways in which Christ said He would connect with us and share His grace with us.

    Baptism is not foisted on a Lutheran/Calvinist family child. The child is already considered a child of the kingdom so there is nothing to foist upon them. But the child does continue to receive further grace, mercy and forgiveness throughout his/her life through the waters of baptism and in communion as God instructed us to participate in.

  41. MLD – On the contrary, neither testimony of word or practice is seen as something done for or to God but is a simple result of growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. In him we live and move and have our being. Because Jesus said “follow me”, we simply follow him on water and land.

  42. http://soundsdangerous.com/artists/chrisfalson

    Check out the excellent video of Chris and his featured vocalist Sandra Stevens.

    How is this related to the thread?
    Um, for all the ones who have ever expressed doubt?

    …yeah, that works ;)

  43. Those baby baptisms, oddly, don’t do any more towards insuring a life of faith.

  44. I was baptized as an infant. Later in life, when I heard the Gospel and Jesus said I was forgiven and that I must follow Him, I simply did and do. That following has resulted in a wide variety of experiences, none of which do I regard as adding anything to God or enhancing his God-ness. I am very glad that He is with me, that he is mighty to save and I marvel that he would take delight in me and quiet me with his love.

  45. When I heard the Gospel and Jesus said I was forgiven and that I must follow Him, I simply did and do.

    “So does a Lutheran baby.”

  46. “When I heard the Gospel and Jesus said I was forgiven and that I must follow Him, I simply did and do.”

    So does a Lutheran baby.

    Sorry, quotes around the wrong line.

  47. C’mon PPers!

    Let’s divide over politics, not infant baptism.

    :)

    “House of Turds”

    Today’s NYDN Front Page Sums Up What 74 Percent of Voters Are Thinking

    A new Quinnipiac poll out this morning highlights just how unpopular the House strategy has been: By a 72-22 margin, voters opposed Congress shutting down the federal government to block the implementation of Obamacare.

    Even though Americans were divided on the merits of the healthcare law itself—with 45 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed—they were against the idea of Congress cutting off funding for the law, 58 percent to 34 percent.

    Self-identified Republican voters backed the shutdown by a narrow 49-44 margin, but that’s where the support ended. Democrats (90-6 oppose) and independents (74-19) overwhelmingly were against the shutdown.

    And while Obama receives a negative 45-49 job approval rating in the poll, those figures look like a standing ovation compared to the 74 percent of respondents who said they disapproved of the job Republicans are doing in Congress.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/10/01/shutdown_front_pages_how_today_s_papers_greeted_the_news_of_the_government.html

    In other words…b-bye, Republican Party.

    B-bye.

  48. RB,
    ” do you believe someone who has not been baptized, has not expressed a belief in Jesus, has not articulated a “correct” Gospel message nor understood it correctly…is truly “saved”?”

    You have it all wrong – but what can you expect – no mater how much you want to denounce fundamentalism you are still bathed in it (pun intended).

    Baptism is when Jesus expresses his belief in you and articulates that you are his.

    The evangelical position is that all of this is man’s response – my position is that it is all God’s response.

  49. Rob,
    That is exactly what a Lutheran child does at confirmation – confesses what was already received at baptism.

    You do the same when you stand and give “your testimony” except you talk of your journey to God.

    The baptized baby when older gives testimony of his lifetime with God… whether he understood it at the time.

  50. Derek T,
    Philbrick’s “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the whaleshiip Essex” is an amazing read–spell-binding. It is his premise that the Essex was the real-life backdrop for Melville’s Moby Dick. An absolutely amazing story of survival against all odds.

  51. I had experience with the government shutdown today. I have the IRS send me copies of client tax transcripts to verify that the tax returns they give me are the real deal.

    They were closed.

  52. CrucifiED – to your #40
    The children may be ‘holy’ in the sense that they are set apart in a Christian family… but in no way ‘holy’ as in already saved. They are an enemy of God just like an unsaved adult , needing a savior just like an adult.

    The set apaert holy thing, IMHO is, is having a family who will bring the children to Jesus – and further nurture them along.

  53. On tiny churches with no cost clergy – spent a number of years in a small movement where the founder distained the corruption he saw over finances in the clergy – he believed it would be best if no one was paid. (The founder made a living as a writer and speaker). The members typically shared the preaching responsibilities in a rotation of whoever could be corralled. The founder started quite a number of small churches and there was a lot of good done, but someone pointed out that they didn’t typically last a long time. Sort of like there has to be accountability – the buck has to stop somewhere – and there is a bit more motivation when someone takes a church as their main job.

  54. mld

    liked what you said about baptism, this struck me

    “I think those who refuse to baptize babies are afraid that it might be true – – – you don’t have to do anything for God to save you.

    The horror that they may be left out, not being able to help God get them saved.”

    If it is the American Evangelical Culture as I understand it is concerned its not about being or not being “saved” that is sort of a side issue, maybe 12 or 13th on the list. Its about something far more important then all that. Its about being wrong or mistaken, that cant and wont be tolerated at all. I have seen people almost come to blows, not literally, over this issue. You can be kicked out of a church depending on this issue can or cant teach at a Christian college based on this issue etc. But in my experience it is just an intellectual argument and apologetic to debate and win. Its like a sports match or baseball game or a war.

  55. Here is the poll, or rather a hundred or so polls, that matter to me.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html#polls

    Of course the shutdown is going to look bad in polls to the GOP. Especially on the first day! You take all the Democrats, almost all the independents who hate that partisan bickering would lead to this, and several of the Republican moderates and the polls are going to be obvious.

    But as they say, the only poll that matters is in November every two years.

    I know there are those who still are convinced this law is going to do great things to most people. We just need to keep the faith and wait (like I said in another post – like Bush told us as he scoured Iraq for those WMDs).

    It’s not. The promises on Obamacare are as hollow as the promises about finding WMDs.

    And at some point in the next 14 months, as more and more people get their personal health insurance wake-up call – the Democrats who refused a simple one-year delay, who refused to eliminate the medical device tax, and who refused to put their OWN selves under this atrocity while making the people suffer it – will have to answer to an opponent.

    We will see how it plays out. But I do not expect those opinions on Obamacare to get better and the ONLY reason the government shutdown (unlike in the Gingrich days) is because the Dems refused to budge on this one piece of legislation.

    My hope is that the GOP starts passing individual bills to fund the government – preferably whichever ones Obama mentions in his speeches. National Parks closed? Fine – here is the bill to fund them 100% – Is Reid going to table it and not allow a vote? Are the Democrats up for reelection going to vote “No”

  56. “The promises on Obamacare are as hollow as the promises about finding WMDs.”

    Having been without insurance a few times, which is a crime in the US, a few times punishable by death, why is it a hollow promise? I vehemently disagree with Affordable Care Act because it uses the commerce clause of the US constitution to force people to buy a service or product. The act was vetted for over a year at many levels and the opposition lost. Playing sower grapes by shutting down the government is not the way to go.

    I know parents that live in terror that their adult child’s health care will be stopped, they dread losing all they own if it came to it to save their kid. I understand using this is effective which justifies it in a political and apologetic sense, but it is cruel. Which is irrelevant. I know the terror of both of my parents was to die in debt, dying was not a real issue, but dying owning any money was well the unpardonable sin.

    Pastor Wright you are a pastor and in insurance, I like insurance it has saved me a few times. I carry lots of it, especially life insurance, I will not die owing, like my parents before me, dying is not much of an issue, dying in debt is not an option. It broke my heart, especially with my mom, it caused her no end of grief owing money. It was the last thing on my mind when she was dying, I just wanted her to be able to die at home like I knew she wanted. That was stupid on my part, finances should always and I mean always be the number one key issue in every single issue always. I get that, I dont but lets just say I do.

    I think Obama is a talking suit on a good day but at least he tried to do something. I think it is an affront to the Gospel of the Dear Lord Jesus Christ that the richest country that has ever existed in the entire 200K plus years or six thousand years of our species we cant afford to pay for medical care for every single person. If that does not bring down the wrath of God what good is it, no offense to God. I mean God gets all upset about gay marriage but has no real issue with providing health care to all people with in this nation or even the world. I mean here is one of those part the waters miscalls that could be demonstrated. It wont and that is a fact, but it would be interesting. So after all my drivel, given what you understand, which is far more then I do, what would you do? Not a long discussion but what would you do?

    I mean no disrespect if need be ignore anything what you see as rhetoric just some questions. Thank You, I hope you have a nice day.

    brian

  57. Brian – Hollow promises as in..

    1) If you like your plan you will get to keep it
    2) You will see your premiums decrease
    3) This will not only not cost jobs, but grow jobs
    4) This will not add to the deficit
    5) All this talk about rationing and unavailability is GOP scare talk.
    6) Young people will pay what they pay for their cell phone.

    And the one you mention about uninsured people all getting coverage now. They simply will not. Tens of millions are expected by the law to still be without coverage. Meanwhile many who do not want coverage will be forced to buy it. And many of those who get new coverage are really just getting pushed to the Medical rolls – with all the fun and doctor choice that involves.

    Where we will disagree vehemently is in you saying “but at least he tried to do something”

    He had no desire to work with Republicans to solve problems because he did not need them. He made legislation that effects us all, deals with something like 1/7th of the economy – and did so by telling Republicans, and I quote “The election is over, John. I won”

    Raw…political…power

    Now, let me speak of “trying to do something” President Bush helped advance Health Savings Accounts which actually do make a difference in the cost of health care – using the market, using the tax code, without removing patient choices and options. I use such a plan and I like it. Obama will eventually take it away from me as HSAs are on the chopping block too from all accounts I have read so far. My plan is probably gone next summer I am told.

    In addition, the Republicans had some other ideas they presented during the Obamacare discussions and they ALL got shotdown in a partisan fashion.

    Did the Democrats even for a second entertain some sort of tort liability reform in the healthcare arena? No. Now is anyone going to say that the threat of lawsuits and all the extra tests run to cover the rear ends of the doctors and hospitals, not to mention the tremendous cost of malpractice insurance…that these things don’t add to the cost of healthcare in this country, the most litigious in the world – and that these costs aren’t passed down to the consumer.

  58. That is helpful I would offer, we actually need a plan a true follower of the Lord Jesus should not need such intervention, they get over it and deal with it, I get that. I dont but it is the apologetic. I am lost at the individual family trying to find some relief from the health care costs, I get the fact we should not need ever no matter what i get that. I dont but I pretend I do. I dont find much good news here but I am sure I am wrong concerning this aspect of the Christian apologetic.

    Where I struggled is any of us our saved, I agree most likely most of us our lost. Basically all of us our lost. i will admit i struggle with that as I dont wish to see the vast majority of humanity to be lost. Granted it is lost and offered as canon folder. Personally it is basic.

  59. Does govt create jobs?

  60. MLD, what I’ve been learning in talking to my pastor and reading other Lutheran explanations on these subjects is that baptismal regeneration for a Lutheran does not mean you have to be baptized to be saved. It is a means of grace that is needed but not necessary and that a family who loses a child before a baptism can occur doesn’t have to live in fear having a child who is spiritually lost.

    Since this obviously applies to Christian families, that is where I was going with my earlier comments. So I’m not trying to say the child is holy apart from the Christian life just because of their parents but that there is a connection to the kingdom of God for a child that comes from a believing mother who has and is being washed in the water of God’s Word and sacraments.

    I actually think I agree more with the Calvinists and their covenant theology when it comes to the spiritual state of a child but since I’m becoming a Lutheran I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to fully understand their position. I guess one question to ask you MLD would be if you think different Lutherans have different opinions on the subject? Sometimes I get that impression but I can’t always tell if that comes from Lutherans knowing their Lutheran doctrines well or because they are confused or ignorant about what their church teaches.

    What do you think?

  61. And Ricky Bobby, I may have only been a Lutheran for a short time, but I know enough to say that your not understanding the Lutheran’s perspective on salvation or baptism. Actually, I’ve been meeting a lot of Lutherans who don’t really understand their church’s views on these subjects either.

  62. CrucifiED,
    I agree that one does not need to be baptized to be saved. But I do believe that baptism saves and that is what most of my discussions on the topic are.

    Evangelicals flat out deny that baptism saves.
    Evangelical deny that God uses physical means to save
    Evangelicals deny that there is any called the means of grace – a vehicle where God delivers the merits Jesus won on the cross to us – as we are separated from the cross by time and space.

    Evangelicals believe in Pixie Dust … well, I guess we can discuss that one. ;-)

  63. CrucifiED,
    If you get a chance and feel comfortable – email me – I’m a Teddy Bear off line :-)

    mld1517@yahoo.com

  64. Concerning paid/unpaid ministries: The principle in scripture is that a person who is doing work deserves to be paid. It is not a matter of whether the person needs the money – that would be communism.

    Do work, get paid. (Doesn’t mean there can’t be exceptions.) I think it does good to people for them to pay for what they receive.

    For example, right now I am doing work for my company, for which I will be paid.

    OK, that’s a bad example, since right now my company is actually paying me for time I am spending commenting on PhxPr. :-)

    But you get the idea.

  65. It gets a bit more detailed in opinion I think when it comes to the subject of infants and children but what you shared is what I’ve been learning am hoping to relate clearly in my comments as well. Having spent 40 years of my life steeped in the evangelical culture I have to say I agree with those comments as well.

    I got your address. I might just do that and ask you a question or two someday soon.

  66. The problem is that information is so cheap now – in the old days, the preacher went and got an expensive education, and was the only source of certain things for most people.

    From another perspective, what the minister is imparting (Paul imparted, rather than taught) is not just knowledge, it is more than that.

    However, here is the scary possibility: The internet and other technology (such as the printing press!) actually compete with the in-person presence of the minister, and therefore reduce his “market” value. So teachers are actually worth less as a result.

    In addition, they now compete with “stars”.

    We are still sorting out what all this means to the local church.

  67. MLD – have you ever read back one of your posts and thought “Hmm, seems a bit pompous”?

  68. May the Lord richly bless Eugene Peterson in his twilight years.Reading that interview was living water over flowing.

  69. Rob, No! ;-)

    Hey remember, the topic came up with an evangelical saying that those who baptize babies are a confused bunch.

  70. MLD said, “Baptism is when Jesus expresses his belief in you and articulates that you are his.

    The evangelical position is that all of this is man’s response – my position is that it is all God’s response.”

    Again, I’ll ask: MLD, if someone doesn’t get baptized, doesn’t express belief in Jesus, doesn’t understand nor articulate a “correct” gospel message, doesn’t take the sacraments etc…are they ‘saved’?

    Your answer has consistently been “no”…which implies active synergistic participation of the will in the process and requires participation on behalf of the soul to be ‘saved’.

    If God truly saves folks with nothing required on their end, then no one really requires baptism, belief, rituals, understanding, etc. They are simply saved/reconciled at some point in their journey, whether it’s on this side of the journey or in the next.

    Any other position is not truly “god saves you, you have nothing to do with it” in any sort of sound philosophically logical argument.

  71. ….or you are taking the position of the hyper-calvinist double-predestinationista that seems to think sentient humans are robots and God creates a few scant “good” Elect Robots and creates the vast majority of “bad” Robots just to nuke in hell for eternity.

  72. RB,
    “Your answer has consistently been “no”…which implies active synergistic participation of the will in the process and requires participation on behalf of the soul to be ‘saved’.”

    No, God has not saved that person yet. btw, God is under no obligation to save anyone.

    A Lutheran cannot speak to what you call “double predestination” since the Bible doesn’t speak of it.

    “If God truly saves folks with nothing required on their end, then no one really requires baptism, belief, rituals, understanding, etc.” – A person does not have to do this – it is THROUGH these things that God saves people.

    Again, you were brought up to believe that people are saved by pixie dust – poof, it just happens. God uses means …

  73. I’m going to write an article about this on the “other” blog…but this is the context behind it and it’s something I’ve been chewing on for a long time. Most of my Atheist or Humanist or Agnostic friends sincerely don’t “hate” God. They would gladly make peace with the Jesus of the bible if they thought there was legit evidence. They don’t see that evidence in the “church” or in “Christians” and they don’t see legit miracles today like supposedly happened in the Old and New Testaments. What they see is the sorry excuse of a flustercluck “the church” and “Christians*” are and they see the Benny Hinn miracles etc.

    Here’s a brief convo that illustrates this dynamic. I know this guy, he’s sincere. He would gladly believe if he was given the evidence like Thomas required (and received)…and your telling me a “good” and “loving” God will nuke this guy in hell forever, torture him forever in hell for eternity with no end?

    __________________

    Me: “not looking for a fight or argument, serious sincere question: If you die and you end up standing before God in whatever form, if there was some requirement to believe and make peace would do so once you knew it was real?”

    Atheist: “I love the concept of a benevolent deity, and of course I’d accept the reality of it immediate if presented with evidence. I’d probably be very embarrassed, but, of course, a fatherly lord would be forgiving. So, yes, I’d get with the program, even if I weren’t convinced it were the end all, be all.”

    Me: “Thanks for your candid response.”

    Atheist: “I’m absolutely certain there’s a higher order to the cosmos, and I’m absolutely sure I’m part of it. I’m also certain there’s a chain of cause and effect that goes back as far as we can see.

    What I’m not certain of is if there’s a higher intelligence guiding that higher order. Other than us, that is.”

    Me: “That’s my sincere belief about most Atheists and Agnostics. They don’t “hate” God at all, they don’t like organized religion and God’s supposed emissaries and if they were presented with evidence they’d gladly believe and try to make peace with a loving and good God.”

    Me: “Again, I think I am much more in that Camp and I think there’s a lot of truth in what you stated above.”

    Atheist: “What I understand is that we and all lifeforms are essential conceptual in nature, ideas coded in DNA and expressed via protein synthesis. The stuff we’re built of, the chemicals and minerals, are themselves transmutable, but ultimately indestructible beyond certain physical limits. Where those ideas came from is a good question. They appear to have evolved to higher complexity as the forms that carry them grew ever more adapted to their environments and their environments grew ever more stable.”

  74. Some people seem to be pretty happy that government workers are being sent home for an indefinite period of time without pay and seem to think no one cares about this except Obama and him only for propaganda purposes but just think of all the Military Commissaries (cheap grocery stores for soldiers and their families) that have closed and think of all the food that will spoil if this goes on much longer, all the employees that will have to scramble to pay their rent, all the baggers who work for tips who will have no income, etc. When some people think about gov’t employees they only think of bureaucrats but don’t realize (or DON’T CARE) about the ordinary employees, the janitors, the bus drivers, the secretaries, the gardeners, and so forth. Also my friends who are software engineers, foreign language instructors and other kinds of teachers. To some, these people are apparently “non-essential” in more ways than one.

    Maybe they can all sign up for some Multi Level Marketing scheme.

  75. Even baptism is an example of synergy: God sets the scene and provides the grace but the person must decide (or if a baby his parents decide) to come to the water. God provides all that is needed to work out one’s salvation but the person has to cooperate with God.

    Synergy on all levels with God doing all the heavy lifting.

  76. I look at it this way – God’s gifts are like the gift of sunburn your receive from the sun. You are there and you, through no effort of your own receive.

    The only thing a person can do is reject – you can build shelters so you don’t have to go into the sun, you can put on sun block to avoid the sun’s free gift.

    But you CANNOT do anything to receive that free gift – it’s just there.

    Same with God’s free gifts … don’t build a shelter and don’t put on God block.

  77. You can do something to receive God’s gifts. You can say “Yes.”

  78. I don’t think that participating in the means of grace in which God shares His sanctifying salvation throughout our lives proves that church has a synergistic idea of baptism because their views of baptism relate to and are rooted in their perspective on justification.

    The view is that apart from being made alive in Christ we don’t have the spirit needed to participate in these means of grace so it all originates with a work that God has done in us before we ever knew that we wanted or loved Him and not based in a decision to begin a new life with Christ.

    We will never agree on baptism because our perspectives on justification and salvation are different. But they are all interesting perspectives and I think we should be more open to sharing and hearing each others perspectives to help us grow and solidify what we believe about the doctrines of the Christian faith.

    But no one will ever be able to make a credible argument against a Lutheran’s view of baptism coming from their synergistic perspective of justification/salvation or vise versa. It’s like listening to an Arminian trying to explain why Calvinists are wrong which is like listening to a JW try to explain why a Christian has the wrong faith.

  79. CrucifiED,
    “We will never agree on baptism because our perspectives on justification and salvation are different.”

    A wonderful statement. This is why I refuse to allow baptism to be a secondary issue. It concerns much more than just who gets wet.

    If you are learning that from your pastor – bravo to him.

  80. MLD – What do you mean by secondary? If I say something is a primary issue, that would mean we can’t disagree and both be saved. Deity of Christ for instance.
    Am I to understand that those who disagree with you on baptism are not in the family?

  81. Josh – who gets to choose what is primary and what is not?
    So, as I pointed to CrucifiED’s statement as the difference being about justification and salvation and not H2O … perhaps.

    I know many from your tribe when questioning a person about their baptism as a baby, make them doubt the status of their salvation before that point – so what’s the diff?

  82. Ehh. None I guess. I just assumed you believed me to be a brother in Christ. All good, no biggie.

  83. I’m doing research and asking the community here.

    Do you guys see a literal time on earth to come when the lion eats straw and children can play near a snake’s hole without concern. Isa 11:6-8 stuff

    Thanks.

  84. Perhaps in the new earth.

    I find much of the prophetic to be the prophets efforts to describe something that is indescribable, whether it be about a return from exile, or the end to unrelenting torment etc. So he chooses words and descriptions that the people can understand.

    Ezechiel’s temple is a great example. He wants to describe heaven for these people – but they know nothing of heaven visually, so Ezekiel takes them to the place where they are familiar meeting God – God’s dwelling place, and gives a lavish description.

  85. Yes.

  86. “And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.”
    (Hosea 2:18–20 ESV)

  87. I’ll give the Dems this: They at least show some compassion to the poor, the Republicans are straight up harsh little guys, wonder why evangelicals identify more with them

  88. Josh, I didn’t say that I even divide over primary issues. :-)

  89. That was what I asked back at # 80:
    “What do you mean by secondary? If I say something is a primary issue, that would mean we can’t disagree and both be saved.”

    So, if you say it is Primary, but you don’t mean anything by that, I’m cool with it.

  90. “So, if you say it is Primary, but you don’t mean anything by that, I’m cool with it.”

    No, I just don’t mean the same thing you do – I don’t cast people into outer darkness like you would over a ‘primary’ issue… however, I would not take communion with them.

  91. So, deity of Christ…can one deny it and still be saved?

  92. ‘wonder why evangelicals identify more with them’

    SolRod,

    Great question.

    It really starts with Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority. Evangelicals felt like their values weren’t being reflected in the public arena. Jerry & Co. remedied that. :)

    Jerry made an unholy alliance between the Repubs. and conservative religionists.

    It’s all been downhill since then.

    :)

  93. C’mon. Everybody knows it starts and ends with abortion. Evangelicals by into the rest because abortion is on the table. You take the exact same platforms and switch the views on abortion, and suddenly a majority of evangelicals would be Democrat. Period.

  94. JTB,

    Yes, you’re right. Abortion was a big driver.

    But the MM also decided that many things in addition to abortion were immoral, such as the national debt, what color clothes your son wears, etc.

    But then why has the Religious Right bought into the whole right-wing worldview? IMHO, it’s been a dance of 2 butt-ugly partners.

    Actually, far from all evangelicals side with the RR. Just read CT, for example. It’s more the uneducated, low-info. voters.

    Last survey I saw said 30% of evangelicals are progressive.

    That doesn’t even include the mainline churches. There are millions of believers there, too.

    The majorities aren’t righties.

    And we’re not even counting the RCC.

  95. The question is why do those who truly want to mock and despise religious faith tend to flock to the Democrat party?

    Remember that interview I linked a few days ago of a lifelong Democrat who was born again under the ministry of Keller? She is still a Democrat today.

  96. #96

    Honest question, Steve W.

    Does that surprise you?

  97. Lutheran – that has nothing to do with the shut down – doctors / hospitals can still trat patients … but their greed tells them not to.

  98. Last survey I saw said 30% of evangelicals are progressive.
    —————————————-
    I bet 30% of self-identified evangelicals do not consider homosexual sexual relations to be sinful too.

    In fact, I have seen plenty of self-identified evangelicals in polls that claim to deny the deity of Christ, the virgin birth and the resurrection.

    These labels are meaningless today

  99. Steve,
    “In fact, I have seen plenty of self-identified evangelicals in polls that claim to deny the deity of Christ, the virgin birth and the resurrection.”

    Are you saying that evangelicals can’t have screwy theological positions (besides the one’s I point out)? That if someone is wrong, they don’t get to identify as an evangelical?

    I know some Lutherans who don’t know which way is up and we let them self identify as Lutherans.

  100. #87
    Abortion.
    What about this is so hard to understand?

  101. MLD – I said the labels are meaningless (and it was in response to another)

    Lutheran – I’m not at all surprised that Powers came to receive the truth of the gospel under Keller’s preaching. If that is what you are asking me.

    But I asked a question. If so many of these solid Christians are found active in the Democrat party (I’m not talking about people who simply vote Democrat – but those who are active in shaping the direction and influence of the party), how come she never ran into them in all her years

    How come, by her own admission, she was surrounded by atheists and even worse, people openly hostile to the Christian faith. How come those folks are the power behind the scenes of the Democrat party – occupying various leadership and service positions on behalf of Democrat administrations.

    As an aside, I think the national debt is immoral – as does every Democrat whenever a Republican is in the White House, ever since Reagan.

    I have no idea what religious right Republicans want to influence what color kids’ clothes are. (#94) That was just….bizarre.

  102. Steve, you don’t remember the purple tele kids? (or whatever they were called) LOL

  103. Steve,

    Thanks for your response.

    For one thing, I think it would be a major mistake to take one person’s experiences and saya the whole Democratic party is such-and-such way. You’re doing some major-league extrapolation there, buddy.

    Just one quick example — I went to high school with a guy who was at one time the Chairman of my state’s Democratic party. He was (and is — I keep tabs on him) far from being a radical, fire-breathing atheist! Just the opposite, in fact. he’s an extremely normal guy.

    Just wondering, why does it seem to bother you to hang with atheists and those hostile to the Faith? I see that as a great opportunity to be a witness to Christ! Plus an opportunity to learn some things.

  104. I think one thing you and I share, Steve, is an appreciation of Tim Keller. I loved his book on work — don’t remember the name.

  105. My biggest outrage is probably saved for political hypocrites of whatever partisan persuasion. There is a reason at least the Republicans are divided. Enough of us are tired of it and want people that stand for principles above party. Principles that remain whoever is holding power. We’re tired of Republicans who only care about their power.

    When I think of all that the Dems were critical about with Bush, and to then see silence or acceptance or even full-throated support when Obama does the same or worse – it is pathetic.

    However, I recognize that to so many Democrats, especially those who hold political power (not nice folks like you all around here) they have no faith, no belief. This life, this nation and whatever power and prestige they enjoy in this life is all they have. And so a little hypocrisy is a small price to pay. They must WIN.

    Like I wrote the other day. I could care less if the Republicans lose for the next 20 years if it means the reshaping of the party or the rise of a truly conservative party with principles.

    So the Dems hammer at Bush when he wants to raise the debt ceiling. Obama is at the top of that list. Scream at the increase in the deficits. But then when your guy not only does the same, but does it far greater – its time to hammer the Republicans for NOT doing so.

    No principles whatsoever.

    Meanwhile, a lot of us are tired of the McCains and Bushes who keep spending out of control and will force change on the party or find another party. because to some of us, there are principles greater than any political party.

    And personally I believe those principles to be rooted in Scripture – and where not specifically stated, rooted in common sense and historical understanding.

  106. MLD,

    Did you even read any of it?

    new trials that would include 200 people – 10 of them kids with cancer — will have to be delayed until the government funds the institution.

  107. Just wondering, why does it seem to bother you to hang with atheists and those hostile to the Faith?
    ———————————————-
    It doesn’t. You should see my facebook friends.

  108. Steve,

    My reference to boys and their clothes was a feeble attempt at humor.

    But also noting that people many years ago got sick and tired of everything little damned, stupid thing being a moral issue

  109. For one thing, I think it would be a major mistake to take one person’s experiences and say the whole Democratic party is such-and-such way. You’re doing some major-league extrapolation there, buddy.
    ———————————————————
    Well…here is the reality.

    The Democrat party at the 2012 convention specifically voted to REMOVE God from the language of the party platform. THAT was their view. It took a decision to REMOVE God – they did not just simply overlook Him or neglect to mention Him.

    The faithful party loyalists and supporters at the convention continued that belief, even as the leaders tried to reverse the damage – ending in a raw power move that went against the voice vote of the delegates assembled.

    It’s OK to hate God and run the Democrat party – you just have to not be so open about it to the rest of the nation whose votes you need.

    That’s not just one person’s experience there buddy…it’s your convention.

    (And yes, they booed Jerusalem as well. But the two were separate issues when it comes to the platform)

  110. Steve,
    Do you really think it makes a difference on a day to day basis in congress if God is mentioned? You have obviously never watched the daily opening of a congressional session. As the guy is doing his prayer everyone is walking around talking to each other – both dems and repub.

    Now according to your story one would expect that from the godless dems while the pious repubs are at their desk, hands folded, heads bowed.

  111. http://www.thelibertypaper.org/2013/10/02/washington-kicks-wwii-veterans-back-out-of-their-memorial-they-kick-dc-back-again/

    “It should be known that it actually costs more money to pay the above pictured worker and rent the equipment to block off the memorial than it actually costs to keep the memorial “open” since there technically are no running operational costs.”

    They are closing down things that have no operating expenses.
    Democrats are ridiculous!

    But luckily WWII Vets aren’t having any of it.
    From a different article about Vets breaking through the barriers:
    “Many elderly veterans, some in wheelchairs, broke through the barriers set up around the memorial, as police, park service employees, and tourists looked on. “The Germans and the Japanese couldn’t contain us. They weren’t going to let barriers contain them today. They wanted to see their memorial,” says Armstrong. “

  112. You only shutdown things without operating expenses for one reason only.
    That reason would be political.

  113. Sorry, Steve, but you’re kinda getting hung up on symbolism more than substance.

    You do realize that, for example, “In God We Trust” was added to our coinage by Eisenhower. He was no friend of orthodox religion. In fact, he said he really didn’t care what kind of God you believe in. He was a very milquetoast Presbyterian.

    So, I guess America was an atheist’s hell until those coins were minted with that phrase.

    NOT!

  114. And no, it wasn’t MY convention.

    I’m an indepdendent progressive.

    Thank you very much.

  115. I must say it just strikes me funny. I provide proof of an anti-God streak in the party, not just one person’s experience (which I was first criticized for) and THEN the response is that is just symbolic and meaningless.

    Yeah, it’s VERY symbolic – sort of my point. They went out of their way to VOTE OUT God.

    And yes, it was meaningless because the powers that be overrode the will of the Democrat vote and forced it back in anyway, so as not to get hurt politically.

  116. And as for the cancer children comment. Reality is that the Republicans wanted to vote a funding for that department and Reid would not consider it.

    Here is a transcript. Yeah Harry “Why would we want to do that?” (Help a kid with cancer.)

    DANA BASH: You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials. The House is presumably going to pass a bill that funds at least the NIH. Given what you’ve said, will you at least pass that? And if not, aren’t you playing the same political games that Republicans are?

    HARRY REID: Listen, Sen. Durbin explained that very well, and he did it here, did it on the floor earlier, as did Sen. Schumer. What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It’s obvious what’s going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don’t know what other word I can use. They’re obsessed with this Obamacare. It’s working now and it will continue to work and people will love it more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.

    BASH: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?

    REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless –

    BASH: I’m just asking a question.

  117. Note that I poke both sides – here and politically. Poiltician are bought hacks – but that the way we do political business in this country. All I hope for in the end is that they leave me with my shorts when they are done.

    A shot at my buddy Lutheran – in answer to the kids with cancer question.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/02/why-would-want-to-do-that/

  118. I love Harry’s lack of constitutional knowledge here. He asks, “What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded?” It’s called the Constitution. The House holds the purse strings.

  119. That’s right jamesk. This is much different than when it was Newt versus Bill Clinton.

    When the GOP is willing to pass funding for whatever the Dems complain about being closed…that is a problem for the left.

    Now Obama thinks he is being cute and cancelling the service Academy sports events, including the football games this Saturday. OPTICS??!!
    ———————————————
    The potential revenue loss to the Naval Academy Athletic Association would likely exceed $4 million, he said. That money comes from ticket sales, sponsorship, parking and concession revenue. The largest revenue stream is the payout NAAA receives from CBS Sports Television…

    The Naval Academy Athletic Association is a private organization not funded by the government. [Naval Academy Athletic Director Chet] Gladchuk said the Air Force-Navy game could be held without any “appropriated funding.” Air Force recently created a similar athletic association that operates using private funds, donations and revenue from intercollegiate contests.

    “We could run our entire athletics program and conduct events as we always do without any government funds,” Gladchuk said. “In talking to the Air Force athletic director, their football team could execute the trip without government funding.”

    Asked why the Department of Defense was suspending intercollegiate athletic contests if government funds are not required, Gladchuk said he was told it was about “optics.”

    “It’s a perception thing. Apparently it doesn’t resonate with all the other government agencies that have been shut down,” Gladchuk said.

  120. Yes, but is the lion going to eat straw? :-)

  121. #123
    No, Harry knows full well that all budget bills originate in the House.
    He just relies on the fact that most Americans do not know that and looking for a chance to rile people up.
    The American people’s ignorance of the constitution always mystifies me.

  122. make that
    “and he is looking”

  123. Does anyone think that the end game of all of this is going to be anything other than the House funds the government and Obamacare will not be delayed?

    That the republican house will cave on both issues?

  124. Probably will go exactly like you say MLD.
    Never said it wouldn’t.
    More Republican cave in is the norm.

    I just love seeing the pushback from these WWII Vets over something that shouldn’t be shutdown because it has no budget.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/10/02/Obama-Administration-Decided-to-Block-Access-to-Memorials

    Where are the headlines though:

    Wheelchair-bound Veterans Caught in White House Political Games!

    Heartless White House Denies Veterans Entry to Hard Won Memorial!

  125. MLD – I’m not so sure anymore. The GOP is doing as I have wished (which absolutely floors me). They are passing small, individual funding bills. They’ve done the Memorials and Parks, the National Health, VA benefits are tomorrow and Head Start is tomorrow or the next day. There are others on the agenda..one at a time.

    People forget that the Gingrich shutdown was actually Clinton vetoing the bill that Congress sent him and then Congress refusing to deal. So this is very different. And Obama is not nearly the skilled politician that Clinton was – witness the tone deaf response to the WW2 Memorial and cancelling Navy football games that don’t even require funding.

    If Harry Reid refuses to allow a vote on Head Start and VA benefits (not to mention blurting out a lack of concern for cancer kids)…things are going to unravel quickly. Of course, if he does allow a vote – these will pass and get funded.

    People are going to realize it is the Democrats deliberately trying to make people annoyed and angry by shutting down open-air memorials and cancelling football games – not the Republicans.

    Did you see the Leno joke? He asked the audience how many fear the shutdown and it was crickets. Then he landed the joke about how many fear the government starting up to laughter and applause.

    If these other agencies start getting funded, more and more people (who despise Obamacare anyway) are going to just not care.

    We will see.

  126. Steve, I think our nation is so polarised right now and lines drawn, that the Dems and Reps can do what they do and people are going to remain “faithful” to their side.

    Hate and pride is over-riding common sense.

  127. That may be true Nonnie – and yet we see these massive 60 seat switches in the House every now and then too. Still lots of folks in the middle.

    Reid is trying to desperately hold onto the Senate for 2014 which is seriously at risk. He’s probably losing three seats right from the start due to retirements in heavy red states.

    He has tried to shield his members from making votes that would hurt them with the voters back home…or worse for Reid, they vote with the Republicans to protect themselves back home.

    But Reid is not that clever..or too clever by half might be the better way of putting it.

    What is he going to do when the House GOP is ready to fund all these parts of government and he insists he won’t even ALLOW a vote (i.e. they won’t do their jobs) unless Obamacare comes along – which America hates. And Obama is loudly saying that he refuses to negotiate (while he goes and negotiates with every Islamic enemy we have overseas)

    I am amazed at the House personally. Somebody must have put Boener, Cantor and the rest of them in a broom closet somewhere.

  128. Sorry, I haven’t read all of the comments yet, but I wanted to give the flip side to Power Groups in the Church (Group #5), the Money Managers.

    I suppose pastors see the finance gurus in their community as a problem, but in the mega-church where I was on the finance committee, we had no say. We were just rubber stamping what the pastor wanted. We had no power.

    Imagine a room full of very successful entrepreneurs and business executives looking at figures that upset us: the pastor’s pet project was “off budget,” wealthy contributors were able to blackmail the church to get money sent to the projects they wanted, money given to the building fund was diverted to other projects. We raised the alarm, but it was clear we were just a puppet committee.

    Nearly all of us have left and gone to other churches.

  129. Oh this is rich Steve

    Yeah Obama is the only president thats ever negotiated with our enemies. No republican has ever done such a thing.

  130. You know what, you don’t like Obama care, you have an option. Pay your fine!! Isnt that what you Pastors always say? give to Caesar what is Caesars when someone complains of the govt. When a republican is in the white house. Why doesn’t that apply now. Thats what Jesus said, he sure didnt whine and cry about how unfair taxes were in them thar days. Matter of fact, don’t remember Jesus talking about politics much at all let alone being consumed by it. But I guess Jesus would be a staunch republican if were here today. I mean lets keep spreading the gospel of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity forget our Lord, that’s secondary, we have culture wars to win baby!!

  131. So they’re canceling a couple of football game huh! Well be fine, its just breads and circuses anyways!

  132. See, you right wing bible thumping conservatives have had your way in this country for a long time and now the pendelum has swung the other way and its only going to get worse. Its a mega trend!! This country is getting more progressive and liberal by the day and no amount of whining or culture war fighting is going to change that. You had your day boys and it was fun while it lasted but the party is over. Once eggs are scrambled you can’t put them back together. Our only hope is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He will return one day to establish his kingdom here on earth. Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel unto all the world and make disciples of all nations. He didn’t command us to defend the constitution or to put our trust and hope in our government.

  133. Doublespeak

  134. Sol Rod,
    “This country is getting more progressive and liberal by the day ”

    Actually the country has become lazy and everyone wants to be on the dole.

  135. Not sure if MLD is joking or not….

    There is a tipping point, a point of no return to which we are rapidly approaching. It’s basically a 30% constituency that will always say yes to the fed govt because of their complete dependence. This class consists of those who are dependent on entitlements, and those whose livelihoods depend on the govt.

    The largest private sector employer is Walmart, with 2.2 million global employees. The US govt employs 4.3 million.

  136. To really know what the “common man” thinks on the shutdown and Obamacare take a survey around your office or just listen to the chatter (or lack thereof).

    My office .. crickets – nothing. Only the TV talking heads are discussing this.

    Absolutely no “water cooler” talk.

  137. “The largest private sector employer is Walmart, with 2.2 million global employees. The US govt employs 4.3 million.”

    And what’s wrong with that?

  138. “To really know what the “common man” thinks on the shutdown and Obamacare take a survey around your office or just listen to the chatter (or lack thereof).

    My office .. crickets – nothing. Only the TV talking heads are discussing this.

    Absolutely no “water cooler” talk.”

    Yup, no one gives a Rats Ass at my office either. Eeveryone is worried about getting their jobs done and going home with their families afterwards

  139. Sol @ 142. Study European socialist democracies.

  140. “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the canidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”

    Alexander Fraser Tytler

  141. Nonnie,

    Which is why we were founded as a constitutional republic. Modern Americans think that we’re a democracy, and could not give a rip about the constitution. You’ve seen the silence here regarding the proper role of govt, and the anger/sarcasm/apathy when appeals to the founders are made.

  142. Here is the 2nd part of that quote from 1770, which I find amazingly relevant to our country today:
    “The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to Complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”

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