Apr 282014
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. Matthew Paul Turner wrote an article for the Daily Beast garroting evangelicals who hold to traditional Christian positions on marriage and homosexuality. According to Turner, those who believe in those positions “cause division, push people away from churches, promote the gospels of arrogance and callousness, and castrates the body of Christ, rendering us useless but for punch lines.”

Oh, the irony.

Turner feels free to eviscerate those who hold to two thousand years of church tradition and Scriptural exegesis, but we are the ones who are hateful and divisive.

You are evidently free to be as hateful as hell in the “progressive” camp as long as you hate the same people they do.

It’s not as Turner claims, “about who we will embrace, who we will love, who we will welcome.” It’s about whether or not you agree wholeheartedly with this groups deconstruction of the historic faith and the Scriptures in many areas…and if you don’t, they won’t love, embrace, or welcome you.

They will rip you to shreds in the Daily Beast and wherever else they can get a voice.

They are “inclusive” on the same basis as any other group that hates a different group.

If you hate them too, you’re in.

If not…

So much for the “progressive” Gospel…

Here’s a free ebook on “God and the Gay Christian”.

2. I found Jesus’s response to the attempted formation of the first discernment ministry….someone should write a book unpacking this verse.“ John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.For the one who is not against us is for us.”(Mark 9:38–40 ESV)

3. The real issue under all the current attempts at biblical deconstruction is the elimination of the doctrine of sin. That’s the real story and the rest of the controversies are just ways to accomplish that.

4. Sad day for Oregonians…the greatest Blazer, Dr. Jack Ramsey, passed away this morning.

5. The great thing about the internet is that it gives everyone a voice. The not so great thing is that it provides disproportionate amplification to all those voices. Ask the mainlines how well that “progressive Gospel” is working for them…

6. Someday, I suspect that they will trace the decline of our society to the shortening of our attention spans…

7. Have you noticed how little you’ve heard about the Bob Coy scandal in recent days? Here’s why… the confession of sin by the church and the ensuing discipline freed the church to move forward. Those biblical principles work… and the inverse is true as well. I suspect Mark Driscoll will continue to make all the wrong headlines.

8. One of the proofs of total depravity is that no one wants to read about decent people doing good things…

9. Help me write my book. Define “church abuse”.

10. If the Rapture is our “blessed hope” why do we treat the signs of it as doom?

phoenixpreacher@gmail.com

  183 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. Hallelujah the week has begun.

  2. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments.
    #1….I’m in the midst of my own conundrum on this subject. My former daughter in law, mom of my grands, is about to marry her girlfriend. My grands tell me about it weekly. If I respond with something like, “you know, God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman, not two women or two men”, that would get back to the former DIL and would result in my not being able to see the kids. (btw, the two ‘brides’ attend Catholic services).
    At this point, I am saying nothing, but responding by silence and looking away.

  3. Paigemom,

    All you can do is pray for them and love them.
    Knowing you, you already are.
    No one has ever been argued into the kingdom…

  4. To #6 – I’m sorry, what did you say? 😉

  5. Between this situation and my current reading through the OT, I’m pretty confused about what laws/rules we keep and those we’ve tossed (like stoning for working on the Sabbath or being a rebellious kid.)…. If I lived in an OT culture, I would have been stoned to death LONG ago….. So, where is the line drawn?
    I used to sing “Oh how I love Thy Law, it is my meditation all the day”…. not anymore. I’m thanking God for grace.

  6. On #9, is that abuse BY the church or abuse OF the church? I think the universal body of Christ can’t abuse intentionally because the Head of that body would never decide to do so. That’s not in Christ’s nature. But the universal church suffers much abuse, both externally and by body parts that have gone rogue or cancerous and are attacking other parts of the body. I think your #1 and #3 are examples of abusing the church. Calling vice and a virtue and virtue a vice.

    If you are talking of local congregations or even associations/ denominations/ affiliate groups, then it is still usually abuse OF the church (even by its supposed leaders). The abuse hurts people in that body, hurts leaders, and hurts outsiders. #7 is an example of local church abuse: Coy abused that local body and now it is hurting.

    Church abuse is is hurting the Body of Christ.

  7. #10-Casuse many who profess Christ are still in love with this World

  8. Paige,
    I can make it easy for you. There is no law in the OT that we keep because it is in the OT. The OT was for the nation Israel – we can read it like a biography to find out about our roots in God and the people of the Nation Israel.

    You live in Oregon, do you have to follow the laws of the land that were written for Californians?

    I hope that helps. 🙂

  9. It’s a sad thing when we let the world dictate to us what sin is. I’m following the NBA racism story very closely being a sports fan and I am waiting for someone to say that we should pray for Donald Sterling and that he is redeemable. I also realize the same people who are outraged would just as quickly turn on a believer who dared share their convictions on marriage and homosexuality. In their eyes we are no different. There’s a cost to stand on Biblical truths these days and it’s sad that other believers are among those who come out against us. I’m against the stereotypes who spew hate in Jesus’ name but we are not them.

  10. Paige, my heart goes out to you and your Grandchildren. What a difficult situation to be in.

  11. @6 that’s supposed to be “Calling vice a virtue, and virtue a vice”

  12. 8. One of the proofs of total depravity is that no one wants to read about decent people doing good things…<<<

    In my world, we read the Lives of the Saints all the time. My husband and I read the lives of saints out loud over breakfast. We use this book:

    http://orthodoxwiki.org/Prologue_from_Ohrid

    This morning we read about St. Sabbas, a member of a Germanic tribe during the Dark Ages.. When persecutors came to his village to roust the Christians, the village leaders said "Sorry, no Christians here!" Sabbas stood up and said "They don't speak for me. I am a Christian." He looked so humble and homely the officials left him alone but when Pascha came around and he and another Christian observed it, Sabbas was drowned.

    10. This is ironic, isn't it? One day they're singing "Maranatha, O Lord Come!" and the next day they're losing sleep over the bar codes down at the Safeway. For us amillers who expect to see antichrist and tribulation before the 2nd Coming, this makes sense. For those who believe they will be swooped up to heaven before any of the really bad stuff happens, I see a disconnect.

  13. We also follow the saints – today we acknowledge St. Mark

  14. MLD….. it would be so nice if that were the case, and so simple….. Do you include the Ten Commandments in that statement of the whole OT being for Israel and not for now?

    This is a deep on going conversation within myself as I read through, alternating OT then a NT book…. and of course. the Lord Jesus said “You have heard it was said….xyz, but I say to you…… A to Z”….. and ‘not one jot or tittle of the Law shall be discarded”….

    I seriously do not understand why anyone would “love” the books of the Law. Blood, gore, debauchery, animal cruelty and a lot of really weird rituals. IMO (stone me).

    The church we attend has a HUGE emphasis on The Tithe… I’ve spent the last year reading and reading about the laws of tithing, and have decided that the current definition of The Tithe is manipulative and not really ‘biblical’….just a distortion of a few verses used to beat people with guilt.

    I really liked my simpleton days with joy filled faith and clear confidence towards God..The last 15 years of my life have been so difficult and tumultuous that I’ve searched and searched for answers and peace in the Word… and the hole just keeps getting larger and I just keep feeling more and more like ‘the cursed thing”.

  15. You know, the ironic thing is the mentality that Turner and other “progressive” Christians have on this homosexual issue is the same mentality as many ODM’s. These progressives may try to couch it in “loving” terminology where they are supposedly all for tolerance and acceptance. But they do the same as the ODM’s in demonizing the “enemy” with all kinds of contrived rhetoric and portraying them in the worst possible and often times very skewed light.

  16. MLD, are you saying that if same sex marriage is ok in Oregon ( or any other state), then there’s no problem with same sex marriage?

  17. EricL,

    Well said.
    The conundrum is that we speak a lot about abuse in the church, but we rarely define what that actually is.
    It’s pretty broad…but I’m trying to come up with a good definition.

  18. Kevin, I think instead of “progressive” Christians it should read progressive “Christians.”

  19. As to #4, Ramsey was originally a Philly guy, so his loss is being felt here, too. His time in Philadelphia was before my time, so I have no personal recollections of when he was here, but he seemed to have been a well respected guy.

  20. Covered – what I am saying is that laws are written to certain people and those laws apply to those people.

    Wherever you live, I do not have to abide by your speed limits – I need to abide by California speed limits.

    Who was the OT law written too? Do you not have enough confidence that the New Testament, the New Covenant, The New Contract was written properly?

    The example I use is when Albert Pojols left the St Louis Cardinals and signed a new contract with the Angels, how much did his Cardinal contract still bound him to the Cards?

  21. KevinH,

    Ramsey was beloved here…and should have been in many places.
    He was one of my heroes…

  22. Xenia, in at least some cases, you could be right.

  23. Paigemom,

    MLD’s #8 is correct. Jesus addressed the commandments (NCT calls this the “law of Christ”-I call them words to live by…), and the book of Hebrews is mind-blowing regarding the sabbath.

  24. And Paigemom… you’ve been defined in Romans 8.

  25. Kevin, you’re right, just “some cases,” not all. A Christian can hold some unworthy beliefs for a time but if they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, eventually they should come aright. Woe to them who call evil good. That sounds pretty serious.

  26. MLD, are you saying that state laws trump what we read in Romans and 1 Cor about sin and even specific sins? I’m thinking that I am misinterpreting what you are saying as I consider you a man who knows God’s word and gets it right most of the time 🙂

  27. I get stones cast at me from one side of the fence since I’ve never been married, don’t consider myself a complementarian, and push back against authoritarianism, legalism, spiritual control and spiritual abuse. Now I’m getting stones cast at me from a different fence because I actually believe what the Bible says about the proper place for sexual expression. Pretty soon I’m going to be living under a big heap of rocks.

  28. 1. Disagreed. I think it is normal to have a backlash when a particular sin has been made a false taboo for so long by the vast majority of Christians*. Some pendulum swinging the other direction is in order. Don’t fight it. Stand up for your First Amendment right to have a Moral Opinion, but also try to understand why others are pushing back hard now regarding millenniums long over-reach by conservatives with regards to the homosexual issue.

    2. Once again the bible present a double-narrative and completely contradictory statements: “Whoever is not with me is against me…”–Jesus Christ Matt. 12:30 (and other gospel accounts as well).

    3. Wrong. Maybe in some Camps, but not in general. I think there is a sincere movement toward intellectual honesty and calling it like it is. There are many issues with making the bible something it is not…as illustrated by #2 above.

    6. Society has been “in decline” since man became intelligent and capable of “the knowledge of good and evil”. We are no more or less evil today than at any time in human history. In fact, it could be argued that we are better off today than at any time in human history…especially the lucky ones who live in ‘Merica.

    7. Amen. Agreed.

    8. Human nature. Is what it is.

    9. This one will take its own post 🙂

  29. church abuse is using manipulative, secretive, illegal or immoral methods to accomplish personal goals in a religious setting.

    Ramsey was a player’s coach, a fan favorite, and popular with media. Rare trifecta.

    to my thinking, the church needs to reckon with how we treat all sinners, then treat homosexuals in the same manner. There should be no sliding scale based on the level of current social controversy.

  30. Will the real Jesus please stand up?

    “For the one who is not against us is for us.”–Jesus Christ

    “Whoever is not with me is against me…”–Jesus Christ

    Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but the bible isn’t perfect, though that is no excuse to throw the whole thing out…there are some big truths in there…but it is what it is.

  31. The issue of the OT law is more complicated than the simplistic explanation given by MLD.

    First of all, in his prophecy of the new covenant, Jeremiah writes: “I [God] will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds.”

    Second, if the law of Moses (as reinterpreted in many cases by Jesus) reflects the heart and will of God for mankind, then why would we not live our lives in conformity with them?

  32. I will admit that I will get a bit of amusement out of watching some of you try to spin that clear biblical contradiction away…

    Many of you are in love with your Presupp. Box and your apologetic…even when faced with cut-and-dry problems.

  33. Covered – in fact you have it almost correct. We find everything in the NT … why would you want to be controlled by an old outdated contract that was not written to you.

    Did the Ninevites have to follow the OT laws? Did Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar was saved … or was the law still just for Israel?

  34. regarding #10, the rapture ceases to be a blessed hope when we either dread accountability or enjoy the world’s system too much. Since it is all I’ve ever known, the familiarity of this culture and society is in a sense more comfortable than an ideal ‘utopia’ of which the bible says so little so vaguely.

    yup, I’m shallow.

  35. rr,
    context. two different issues being addressed.

    2X3=6

    2+3=5

    similar, not same. to equate them is poor math and theology.

  36. Fil, wrong. There are major Universalist considerations if you choose to view the verses in the manner in which you are asserting…and most would not agree with that outcome…and would be forced, then, to accept that statements as contradictory. Either way you go…big problem for non-Universalists.

  37. Jean,
    “The issue of the OT law is more complicated than the simplistic explanation given by MLD.”
    No it’s not – although as you read in Galatians, the judaizers tried to make it that complicated.

    “First of all, in his prophecy of the NEW COVENANT” — which part of New are you having trouble with?, – we either have the Old Covenant or the New Covenant – you cannot have both.

  38. An Atheist “loving their neighbor” and giving food and clothing to the poor and appealing to the teachings of Jesus…”for us!”

  39. in or out of the family vs in-family disagreement is not a universalist/non-universalist issue, nor is it as flamboyant an issue as you are dressing it, in my opinion.

  40. Many Atheists and Agnostics and social liberals appeal to the teachings of Jesus and the social justice gospel…and feed the hungry, help the poor and needy, love their neighbor etc…and challenge conservative Christians* to do the same b/c that’s what Jesus taught…even though they don’t believe in God or Jesus as deity…but they appeal to the name of Jesus and what he taught…and they “cast out the demons” in his name, essentially.

    “For us!” according to your view of that verse as different from the other.

  41. Fil, wrong, IMO b/c the verse states the person doing the work was not following Jesus.

  42. “An Atheist “loving their neighbor” and giving food and clothing to the poor and appealing to the teachings of Jesus…”for us!”

    Or the fool has said in his heart, “there is No God” Good works are like filthy rags before God!

  43. RB, I think that “love your neighbor” stuff is a part of the biblical error you talk about. God really wants us to keep everything for ourselves and consume it all on ourselves. In fact, he gets very angry at us if we help others.

    People have misinterpreted this for years … right?

  44. hey Michael,
    Good morning!

    your #8 “One of the proofs of total depravity is that no one wants to read about decent people doing good things…”

    A word of encouragement, FB is the surest proof that we humans want to share and be part of a positive network and community of people who show up often to post good things done by decent people.

    It’s all in which sites we seek out, as they don’t seek us out.

  45. MLD, no, Conscience, Zeitgeist, etc. affirms “Love Your Neighbor” as a universal “good”

  46. The M.R. said, “Good works are like filthy rags before God!”

    Good Samaritan’s good works weren’t viewed that way. Jesus, who is “god” as you say…affirmed the Samaritan’s works as good.

  47. the point was don’t oppose the good works being done because it wasn’t their place to judge. A-theos is the key, RR. He is the ‘ingredient’ that makes all the difference.

  48. Gman,

    You know, you have a point there and it was almost #11.

    When I see all the pictures of kids and cats, stories of successes and fears of failure…it does add to my life in a positive way.

    Good call. 🙂

  49. Fil, they weren’t following Jesus…and Jesus said they were “for us”

  50. RB,
    “MLD, no, Conscience, Zeitgeist, etc. affirms “Love Your Neighbor” as a universal “good”

    LOL, you made that up!!!

  51. the samaritan’s works were the focus to the question of “who is my neighbor?” The counter-points were the ‘religious’ folks who didn’t assist the victim of the bandits. It was not a question of “in the family” but who is my neighbor–remember, the question was posed by someone looking to exclude others from his generosity.

  52. I would also assert that many Atheists and Agnostics do believe in a deity they just call it the Universe and the unseen forces that hold the Universe and our reality together etc.

  53. So does the Blessed Hope refer specifically to the Rapture, or does it refer more broadly to the Second Coming of Christ and everything that will entail? Curious as to thoughts.

  54. Fil, I disagree about the “Good” Samaritan. It is clearly an example of Jesus affirming the good works of someone who was not considered a proper godly religious figure, but rather a heathen.

  55. Christianity isn’t unique in many ways; but in the most key way—Jesus Christ crucified, buried, resurrected, and returning–it is one-of-a-kind. Other religions and even atheists can do the ‘works’ or religious behaviors, but apart from Him, it is simply kind deeds done from various motivations.

  56. Again, the “Good” Samaritan is an example that shows “god” in the form of Jesus affirming the good works (though hypothetically) of a heathen….yet the contradiction is presented “good works are as filthy rags!” to god in other verses.

    Jesus clearly demonstrated that the actions of “love your neighbor” was the important issue…and not the person’s position or religious title or heritage etc.

  57. Actions validate “of us!” not a claim to a particular Sect or Religion, according to one of the two major biblical narratives.

  58. sure, Jesus affirmed the good deed as a mark of neighborliness–which the Jewish religious guys in the account didn’t perform–but he didn’t identify the Samaritan as his eternal offspring either. The samaritan was an example of ‘real neighbors show kindness to each other, even strangers.’

  59. Fil, “god” called the works of the Samaritan “Good”…not filthy rags. Otherwise he’d have been the Filthy Rags Samaritan.

  60. good deeds are not currency for buying heaven. good deeds are fruit borne from relationship with Christ. for those outside the ‘family’ good deeds are acts of kindness that affirm human beings can and should be nice to each other–neighborly.

  61. Fil, no, big parts of the bible put “good deeds” as the primary issue and validation of “good”….and part of the bible asserts it is about correct doctrine, and part of the bible claims it is about “faith alone” etc etc.

  62. Jesus wouldn’t even accept the term ‘good’ for himself when the questioner addressed him, ‘good teacher.’ Don’t make too much of the term.

  63. MLD #37, I have no problem with the “new” in new covenant, and yes we live only under the new covenant. You’re confusing and conflating the issues of justification with Christian ethics and morality. I am not talking about how one is justified; I am talking about how Christians should live the new life we receive through baptism. By the oracles of God.

  64. “For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me….you didn’t do these things…depart from me I never knew you”–Jesus Christ.

  65. RB,The question is easy to answer. This is just for you

    When you get to heaven, will it be because of your good works or will it be because of the good works of Jesus? or is it a combination.

  66. You can argue all you want, but there are clearly several “salvation” narratives presented in the bible…and folks pick from the buffet all the time to help them sleep at night.

    Truth is we don’t really know. Guess we’ll find out someday, or we’ll just croak into unconsciousness.

  67. Jean, I was confusing or conflating anything – I was offering perspective to Paige back at her #5. Perhaps you were confusing and conflating what I was saying to her. 😉

  68. I guess I got it all covered: been an arminian, been a calvinist, been baptized twice, done a bunch of good works, confessed my sins, acknowledged I am a sinner and the publican, have “faith”, have had officially “correct doctrine” as certified by maybe 1/4 of the 9,000 to 30,000 Christian* denominations, have responded to many altar calls, have been TULIP, have been double-predestinarian and now more Universal Reconciliationist and “don’t know”.

    I guess I should do a Stellman and go RCC for a stint and then maybe join the Lutheran church for a time just to make sure! 🙂

  69. ODM’S not so bad, like everything many good and useful some not so. However, sometimes in trying to be all things to all people you end up standing for nothing and delude people into thinking their ok cuz you don’t want to offend them.

  70. Michael,
    An infographic to build up you and other PhxP stress puppies…
    http://www.fastcocreate.com/3029779/infographic-how-to-feel-happier-and-less-stressed#1

    Funny how arguing over religion isn’t on the plus list! 😉

  71. I find that most of the folks I hear saying “I believe in the sayings of Jesus” have not read the Gospels in their entirety.. Jesus says some very difficult things in addition to the ‘love thy neighbor’ stuff…..

  72. you tell them paigemom!

  73. MLD, I responded to your perspective to Paige because I felt your perspective was incomplete and potentially misleading.

    You wrote: “There is no law in the OT that we keep because it is in the OT. The OT was for the nation Israel – we can read it like a biography to find out about our roots in God and the people of the Nation Israel.”

    In my opinion, the OT is much more than a “biography.” It’s seems pretty clear as well that to the NT writers the OT is more than a biography. For example, where to you suppose James came up with his list of prohibitions for Gentile converts in Acts 15?

  74. RB,.
    You said it all – you listed everything you did, have done, the things you have done repeatedly. The thing you did not mention is what jesus has done … and that is the only thing that matters.

    This is why I keep encouraging you to get saved … you do not know Jesus if you can give me your ‘christian’ wanderings and not mention Jesus.

  75. #9
    Adding to, or removing from God’s message is abuse.
    Whether in word or action, everything else is a result of the above.

  76. Paigmom, I can nearly recite the gospels…I read them all the time. There are many contradictory things stated, many anomalies.

    That’s why I challenge folks to use common sense and their conscience etc when reading the bible and then saying “thus says the Lord!”

  77. Filbertz said, ‘good deeds are not currency for buying heaven. good deeds are fruit borne from relationship with Christ. for those outside the ‘family’ good deeds are acts of kindness that affirm human beings can and should be nice to each other–neighborly.’

    well said filbertz

  78. Jean,
    “For example, where to you suppose James came up with his list of prohibitions for Gentile converts in Acts 15?”

    You don’t see it? I follow those prohibitions because they are in the NT (Acts 15), not because the OT said something similar. James did not tell the Gentiles to go out to their Lifeway Bookstore and buy a copy of the OT – he said, “look, in this New Covenant era, we do this (Acts 15) and not the OT law.

    Jean, can you tell me some OT law that we should hang onto that is not in the NT? … I find this fascinating, OT Christians.

  79. MLD, I am well aware of the narrative of what “jesus has done!” etc and I hope in that as well.

    Do you deny that Jesus told you to do some things in part of the biblical narrative and that Jesus also stated that if you don’t “do” some things that you go to “eternal torment”?

    And do you deny there are also narratives that essentially say “works” don’t matter and that it is “faith alone”?

    And that there are narratives that state you must have the ‘correct doctrine’ and ‘correct belief’ or you are toast?

  80. Again, as evidence of the many competing narratives presented in the bible…I offer the fact there are many disagreements in official Christianity* as exampled by 9,000 to 30,000 differences of opinion by denomination and sect.

  81. RB,
    Short answer – no.
    Jesus said he does it all – he even provides my good works – he is the vine and I am the branch – when a good fruit pops out on my branch, it was not my work – but the work of the vine. The good fruit proves that I am connected to the vine (Jesus)

    This my friend is basic Christianity 101. when you get saved, you can enroll. 🙂

  82. Michael #8

    I like reading about good people doing good things.

  83. In fact, MLD, I so much hope in what “Jesus has done!” that I think he paid the price for all sin whether it is literal or figurative doesn’t really matter. The penalty has been paid. God is a God of Love and Forgiveness and God has free will and is not bound by the doctrinal constructs of man.

  84. “that I think he paid the price for all sin whether it is literal or figurative doesn’t really matter. The penalty has been paid”

    Well as you know, that is my position – sin is no longer the issue – Jesus died for all sin. So, there is only one issue – that of belief.

    So why are you still trying to do so much work?

  85. if works don’t matter, it is as MLD said, the fruit that comes from the branch was produced by the vine? true, right?

    MLD, what of fruit from non Christians? Does that also come from Jesus, or is it always bad fruit? just looks good?

    not playing, really honest ?s

  86. Dusty,
    Non believers are incapable of producing good fruit. Good fruit only comes from the vine and they are not attached to the vine.

    This does not mean that they can’t do helpful things in society.

  87. Christians and nonChristian can to helpful things in society, Yes?

    What is our good fruit? Fruits of the Spirit?

  88. 8. One of the proofs of total depravity is that no one wants to read about decent people doing good things…

    I do.

  89. thank you MLD for being helpful 🙂

  90. MLD, if you want to end a discussion with me, resorting to condescending or offensive remarks like “OT Christians” is will do the trick.

    “Jean, can you tell me some OT law that we should hang onto that is not in the NT?” This is the wrong question. Here is what I believe to be true: “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

    Now, if you want to discontinue the conversation, just say so. But, please refrain from patronizing or insults, thank you.

  91. The Midnight Rider wrote @ # 42:
    Or the fool has said in his heart, “there is No God” Good works are like filthy rags before God!

    Scripture without a context becomes a pretext for the advancement of a particular ideology foreign to the writer and the audience he was writing for. Isaiah 64:6 is one of the most abused and misused Bible verses there is in this regard. The Prophet is using hyperbole and sarcasm to call out the apostasy of Judah and its corrupt religious system, NOT acts of kindness and mercy toward fellow humans. No act of kindness and compassion is a ‘filthy rag’ in the sight of the Almighty. All heaven smiles when we lay down our baser instincts and ‘do’ random acts of kindness. Goodness is goodness no matter where it comes from, infidel and righteous person alike, otherwise there can be no objective and absolute standard for ‘goodness’. Think about it.

  92. Jean,
    I guess we will need to end the discussion. What I state as a fact you read as an insult. I don’t know how to communicate beyond that.

    I asked a very valid question. If you can find an OT command or law that you think is still active today, and has not been included in the NT, I just asked that you tell me what it is.

    If the NT is all inclusive, then I don’t understand your end of the conversation at all.

  93. Bible narrative asserts God has broken many promises, has repented and changed his mind many times…all appearing to be in the context of extending more mercy and grace when he promised to nuke folks. God seems to have broken the promises to destroy sinners. Seems as consistent a narrative as there is in the bible if you look into it.

  94. Jean,
    “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

    Actually, this is what I said – the OT can be used to learn _ biography of God and his people and our relationship and roots through them.

    But Paige’s comments were about the Law, and that is gone.

  95. In the NT, Jesus says to:

    Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
    Do unto others as you would have then do unto you.

    The 10 commandments are about how to behave to a loving way.
    The Good Samaritan expressed love for his neighbor, and if I were in a bad situation, I would want someone to help me. Is this considered “a work”?

    The NT replaced following explicit laws with showing love.

  96. Michelle, #95, I agree with the thrust of your post. I would frame it this way with respect to our relationships:

    “The OT laws are summed up in Jesus’ commands to love God, love your neighbor as yourself and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  97. “Turner feels free to eviscerate those who hold to two thousand years of church tradition and Scriptural exegesis, but we are the ones who are hateful and divisive.”

    My browser opened your blog part way down the page and I thought you were refering to Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion in 1831. But of course that event occured with just eighteen hundred “years of church tradition and Scriptural exegesis”. That is completely different.

  98. “Have you noticed how little you’ve heard about the Bob Coy scandal in recent days?”

    Simple — he’s not a Calvinist.

    I really hate to say this, but it’s been increasingly apparent that the “progressive” discernment inquisition doesn’t give a crap about the scandal and the number of people hurt if they can’t tie it to Calvinism (and to an extent Complementarianism) . Mark Driscoll? Every time he farts in an elevator Rachel Held Evans, Matthew Paul Turner, and the usual suspects will be there to count themselves amongst the victims. IHOP? Calvary Chapel? Ron Luce? Catholic priests looking the other way? Never heard of them.

    And no, this isn’t a suggestion that Driscoll, SGM, et al should be let off the hook. Not at all, and that Driscoll is still preaching is an embarrassment. But I am saying there’s a narrative being set forth, and some are all too happy to feed into it.

  99. “I really hate to say this, but it’s been increasingly apparent that the “progressive” discernment inquisition doesn’t give a crap about the scandal and the number of people hurt if they can’t tie it to Calvinism (and to an extent Complementarianism) . Mark Driscoll? Every time he farts in an elevator Rachel Held Evans, Matthew Paul Turner, and the usual suspects will be there to count themselves amongst the victims. IHOP? Calvary Chapel? Ron Luce? Catholic priests looking the other way? Never heard of them.”

    BS^^^^

  100. been trying to get the house ready for rent/sell…is hard work. almost done with the repairs and sprucing up…now comes the hard part – packing/tossing/donating…I have been giving away my books only have a few left, so my main packing is kitchen/laundry/bath/and such.

    it is hard to part with some things. but alas they are just things…

  101. did I mention this will be our first move since marriage (20 years) – and we have acquired his parent’s items as well as both sets of his grandparent’s and an uncle’s items..that is a lot of stuff….sigh…..He has packed up about 1/2 his book collection so far and gotten rid of about 1/4 of it….that was very hard for him as he is a book person.

  102. 1 and 3. These just go hand in hand. Progressives don’t like sin therefore it must be done away with or at least the sins they don’t think should be sin. I am just wondering if this is all just jockeying for positions of power when the government eventually cracks down on Christians that still think homosexuality is a sin. After all, someone has to be leaders of the state sanctioned religion. Mohler is right an “inevitable moment of decision” is approaching fast.
    2. Haven’t read the comments yet, so I am wondering if you have expanded on your thoughts here.
    7. That is a really good thing.
    10. I thought the Blessed Hope was the Second Coming.

  103. what is your take on renting storage units?

    I think no we should not…if there is no room we don’t need it, right? his take is get a bigger place someday. Estate sales are full of someday items.

  104. Dusty regarding your #101.
    I am a book person.
    One time in my life it got so overwhelming that I actually got rid of 3/4 of my book collection.
    I think I started feeling like a book hoarder something.
    Sometimes you just gotta let them go.

    Good thing is ebooks make it a lot easier by not taking up so much space.
    So now I can hoard without as much guilt. 🙂

  105. It is very freeing to let go of a lot of material things at once.

  106. Church abuse begins when the agenda becomes anything other than the message of the Gospel and the making of disciples.

    Once it becomes about numbers and spreadsheets and media blitzes over the simple message of salvation, the church is immediately on a slippery slope.

    When it gets to that point, people and their individual walks do not matter, accountability amongst the brethren does not matter, and genuine fellowship falls to the wayside and becomes the status quo of the church. The sad thing is that we are told repeatedly that is not happening and that can be demonstrated for all to see.

    It has become a classic “do as I say” environment that refuses to see the damaged and denied within its own walls.

    That is the core of abuse, popular as it is.

  107. Derek, thanks for the reply. That is what I am afraid of -becoming a hoarder. lol

  108. Dusty, I agree with Derek. I’ve had to get rid of all my things at least 3 times. Some of it was really hard to let go , at the time. But looking back it doesn’t mean a thing! It’s just stuff. I offered it to friends and family and the rest sold at garage sales or gave away . It is freeing.

  109. I used to read a lot and had tons of books. Gave at least one hundred to church and donated many others to the local library so they could sell them. Sadly I went back weeks later, saw a few I missed, and bought them back! 🙂

  110. So I posted a question back at #53 that might have gotten lost in the dialogue at the time. Either that, or else it wasn’t a very interesting question so nobody cared to answer. 🙂 But I’ll ask one more time to see if anyone has any thoughts:

    So does the Blessed Hope refer specifically to the Rapture, or does it refer more broadly to the Second Coming of Christ and everything that will entail?

  111. God promised that Adam and Eve would “surely die” if they ate of the tree…yet God provided a way for them to live.

    God promised to wipe out all of the human race…but repented and decided to save some.

    God promised that those who saw his face would die…yet he spared Jacob.

    God promised that Abraham would have to kill his son Isaac, yet God gave him a way out at the last second.

    God promised to destroy Israel, yet he has allowed them to live.

    “Surely the eyes of the Sovereign LORD are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. Yet I will not totally destroy the descendants of Jacob,” declares the LORD.”…..Nope.

    God promised in the OT through Law that “eye for an eye!” was the way to go…then changed his mind to “Law of love, love your enemies!” in the NT.

    God promised the OT Israelites that if they kept his law they would be saved…yet in the NT that’s not what saves a person.

    God promised he was going to nuke Nineveh and then changed his mind which ticked off of Jonah.

    “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.”

    “And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.”

    God’s promise of Destruction was never totally fulfilled.

    “Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord”

    If God’s history of breaking his promises of Destruction is true and consistent, God will likely relent/repent when it comes time to nuke folks in hell forever with no end…especially since most of humans in history never even heard the gospel, let alone had a chance to respond to it.

  112. KevinH,

    I consider them to be the same event…the Rapture is the first in a sequence of events that encompass the Second Coming.

  113. Kevin H, since there is no such thing as the rapture, you would be safe to hang your hat with the historical position and consider it the 2nd coming.

  114. “Church Abuse” comes in many forms.

    Most prevalent are:

    1. Spiritual Abuse/Cult-like Authoritarianism: Generally in the form of an Authoritarian central Leader who teaches an unhealthy level of authority of himself and reinforces this teaching through Group Dynamics, scripture twisting, Control Tactics and willing followers who reinforce the message and Group Dynamics. This leads to folks getting shunned and called “of the devil” and marginalized and ostracized by former friends and family in the cult-like church group after the person finds themselves on the wrong side of the Central Leader or his close circle.

    2. Child Abuse: Physical and sexual child abuse perpetrated by Leaders and/or people in various Positions of Trust who represent the Church. Also teaching Old Testament “Smite thine children with rods” type anti-grace-based parenting doctrines similar to the garbage the Pearls are propagating.

    3. Financial Abuse: Generally in the form of soliciting money “for Jesus!” and then spending the bulk of it on the Pastor, his family, his friends, his lifestyle and his building and pulpit and trips, etc…and very little to actually help people. This is usually done with Zero transparency and hidden from the public and even those who give to the particular “ministry”.

  115. The Blessed Hope is “the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
    I think the key word here is glory. I think this refers to the Second Coming.

  116. There’s no such thing as a book hoarder. We are domestic librarians.

  117. You know I cant even relate to doing good works as some type of “work” to please God. I will admit I do get some joy out of helping people, I try not to but it still rears its ugly head once in very great while.

  118. Are there folks in heaven this moment?

    No hades, no Abraham’s bosom, correct?

    No Second Coming yet, no Resurrection of the Dead yet, correct?

    “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” and other verses that assert similar.

    Are folks in heaven and hell this moment…without bodies? Nope, that contradicts the biblical narrative of Bodily Resurrection and “body and soul in hell” etc.

    Yet another dual narrative and contradiction.

    We don’t know what the hell is going to happen for sure.

  119. Yes, there are people in heaven right now, namely, the saints, both known and unknown. In other words, everyone who died in the Lord plus the righteous people of the OT.

    Christ emptied Hades. Friday He was crucified, Saturday descended into Hades and set the captives free. He took all the Old Testament righteous people to heaven where they are awaiting the resurrection of their bodies. Abraham’s Bosom is empty. Abraham, David, Isaiah, the Repentant Thief on the Cross- all these are in heaven. Unbelievers are still in Hades, awaiting the Final Judgment.

  120. #5 Disproportionate amplification….yep.

  121. X, can’t be true. Their bodies are in the ground. Go dig them up and see for yourself.

  122. It’s another dual narrative and contradiction that conflicts with Bodily Resurrection and the Second Coming.

  123. Xenia said,’… We are domestic librarians.’

    lol that’s good! We have/had over 5000 books, (all in a proper bookshelf-not just piles of them, lol) All arranged by topic, Religion, History, Fiction, Math, Science….. I think, if memory serves me right, our numbers were right up there with MLD’s library collection.

  124. RB,
    Do you read what people write or do you just steamroll right along.

    Xenia said “He took all the Old Testament righteous people to heaven where they are awaiting the resurrection of their bodies.”

    Now, when she said “awaiting the resurrection of their bodies.” I realize that there are some words there with more than one syllable, so perhaps you didn’t understand.

    Then you come along and say “X, can’t be true. Their bodies are in the ground. Go dig them up and see for yourself.”

    So which part of “awaiting the resurrection of their bodies” did you not understand?

  125. Dusty, if you had 5,000 you exceeded my high. However, at one time I had over 10,000 audio cassettes.

  126. is anyone reading Ricardo’s posts?

  127. MLD, I read it…it’s perfectly clear…X believes there are folks in heaven this moment who are disembodied spirits.

  128. The Lord said that unless a seed dies and is buried, it will not sprout and become a living plant. (More or less what He said.) He used this as an illustration to explain the resurrection of our bodies.

  129. Dusty,
    Only the people that still think something is to be gained by arguing with him.

  130. RB,
    Read Revelation – it is a continual story of here is what is happening on earth and at the same time, here is what is happening in heaven.

    As amillennialists who believe that is happening right now, then yes, the spirits of the Church Triumphant are present with the Lord.

    but yo never carry a thought through … you will just move on to your next prank.

  131. 10,000 cassettes? wow, bet that is more than Ebrother even had/has 😉

  132. Derek, 😉

  133. 5000 books!
    Never had that many at one time.

  134. It’s not arguing for arguments sake, it’s sorting out the various inconsistencies, anomalies and dual narratives presented in the bible and scrutinizing them.

    A belief in “disembodied spirits” whose existence and sentience is separate from a physical body has major philosophical implications. I want to know if this is a belief that is orthodox and concrete and something you truly believe is biblical and set in stone…

  135. “has major philosophical implications.” – only if you put philosophy on the same level as God’s revealed word.

  136. “A belief in “disembodied spirits…” hey! for someone who is “all in” with the folks who believe that something can come from nothing, this should not bother you at all.

  137. derek,

    buster is a book worm, he reads anything he can get his hands on, chemistry,,electronics, mathematics, science, religion, home improvement, then he can do it. He is an IT person (computers) but he did all the roofing on our house this last summer mostly by himself. and did a very professional job at it. He has done electrical and plumbing, framing in walls…to paining and everything in between…..so the books have more than paid for themselves.

  138. Realize also that you are asserting that these “disembodied spirits” are able to dwell in the presence of God himself (present with the Lord) and must be sinless and without sin…yet have yet to be “glorified” and transformed…

    …ergo, the soul/spirit would have to contain no sin, no original sin…a transcendence had to have occurred sans Resurrection to be able to be in the presence of God…ergo Gnosis.

  139. I doubt you’ll see it, but it’s there.

  140. Can’t discuss this stuff on the other blog b/c folks freak out b/c it’s not a doctrine/theology/philosophy blog like this one is.

  141. Your “disembodied spirits dwell with God this moment” thesis is quite a Gnostic position. Might be true, might not be true…but it is certainly a Gnostic position.

  142. RB,
    Where did you EVER get the idea that God cannot be in the presence of sin? Sin is all over the place in mankind and God is omnipresent.

    You need to start thinking and not just repeating what you hear others say.

  143. like how I just pop in to talk about whatever in the middle of your debate? I’m trying to draw out people who don’t want to debate but want to talk….but alas, it is late for me here as y’ll are just finishing dinner…..

  144. And you still did not read the Revelation passages that describe what is happening in heaven and who is there. I will believe you are really concerned (you brought up the topic) after you read it.

    Otherwise, done.

  145. MLD, #142, I agree with you, but the “God cannot be in the presence of sin” doctrine is very prevalent in evangelical theology (at least in the U.S.). I understand this doctrine comes primarily from their interpretation of the meaning of Jesus’ words on the cross from Ps 22:1.

  146. MLD, I agree to a degree…yet another contradictory narrative and duality in the bible: “God cannot dwell with sin…” narrative and there can be no sin in heaven etc. which is why God has to nuke all the sinners and separate them out to torment in hell etc.

  147. This post will probably get drowned, too, 🙂 but thanks to those who weighed in on my question. I have often heard the blessed hope referred to as the singular event of the Rapture. That’s how Michael even seemingly referred to it in his point #10 even though he doesn’t view the Rapture as being a separate event. But when I read the text in Titus it seems to me that it is referring to a more broad scope of the Second Coming as a whole (however the Second Coming plays out in whatever sequence of events and timing) rather than specifically referring to a singular event of the Rapture.

  148. Church Abuse

    Just some passing thoughts:

    Might include leadership shunning, neglecting and utilizing passive aggressive tactics to frustrate individuals within that particular congregation who don’t unequivocally support the leadership agenda.

    Church abuse is any leader who uses
    Gods word, Gods people, and Gods finances to build a personal empire…

    Church abuse might look like leadership that purposefully discounts and discourages individual giftings … forcing or more subtly using guilt tactics to manipulate people to serve/ give… while failing to recognize and encourage believers in the actual gifts and callings God has given to that body for the edification of the body

    It would seem that leadership that engages in
    Sexual abuse, those who reject authority, lack accountability, serve themselves, flatter people to gain advantage., cause divisions, mocking and walking according to their own lusts would by those very actions be abusive to people in their congregations,,.

  149. I hear ya Dusty.

  150. Dusty

    Your doing a good job!
    Keep up the good work!
    🙂

  151. It there are disembodied spirits in heaven this moment, as X states, and they are not resurrected and glorified yet…then one of two options: they have original sin and sin in their soul/spirit and God can, in fact, dwell with it no problem which begs why he’d have to nuke other sinners…or they are soul/spirits disembodied from their non-resurrected and yet-to-be glorified flesh and are sinless and transcendent upon some sort of salvation that occurred while still attached to their flesh when they were on earth.

    No other options really…if the disembodied spirits do dwell with God in heaven this moment.

  152. It’s a theory I’ve explored before with regards to Paul’s “Flesh vs. Spirit” battle he describes. It also would mesh with “Go and sin no more” commands of Jesus. Sins would be a result of the flesh and not the soul/spirit post-salvation. Sinless soul/spirit that can dwell with God in heaven pre-resurrection of the body…whereas unsaved get no such transcendence while on earth.

    It’s a very Gnostic position and probably as valid as any of the many theories out there if in fact there are disembodied spirits that dwell with God in heaven this moment yet they have not been glorified and resurrected yet.

  153. Whacky religion we have LOL. Doesn’t nearly add up. The truth could be nearly anything. We don’t really know for sure.

  154. By the way, I’m not debating anybody. I’m just presenting the truth for the sake of any lurkers who may be thrown off course by some of the things discussed here.

  155. Good works were mentioned earlier

    Seems to me both believers and non believers are capable of good works

    Every good and perfect gift is from God … And Doesn’t God gift many people with many talents and abilities to do good?

    Good deeds don’t save people
    But good deeds do add value to the quality of life…
    Good deeds won’t save a non believer.,
    But believers will receive rewards ( on earth / in heaven?) for good deeds they have done…

    Good deeds are encouraged over and over in the NT…and we are to encourage one another unto good deeds…

    This is the will of God,
    That by doing good.. You may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men
    1 Peter 2:15

    Do not forget to do good and to share
    For with such sacrifices
    God is well pleased
    Hebrews 13:16

  156. Well, I guess most everyone is discussing theology/doctrine/philosophy on the other blog now LOL…yet the folks there freak out when I discuss those things from my POV. Oh well, can’t win for losing. No place I can call home.

  157. RR~

    Whacky Religion?
    The truth can be nearly anything?
    We don’t really know for sure?

    Pure and undefiled religion is this
    To care for orphans and widows in their distress

    Jesus said you shall know the truth
    And the truth shall set you free
    He also said he was the WAY., TRUTH and the life

    IF we love one another God abides in us..
    By this we KNOW that we abide in Him and he in us
    Because He has given us of His Spirit

  158. RB,
    “It’s a theory I’ve explored before with regards to Paul’s “Flesh vs. Spirit” battle he describes.”

    You are unbelievable – this comparison is nothing like what you think it is. You fully did not understand Paul at all. How can there be a “flesh” vs “spirit” battle? Do you really think that we are made of 2 compartments? The flesh and the spirit are all intermingled together.

    When you “explored” this before did you take a guide with you or did you just go on your own?

    What can I say except “unbelievable”!!!

  159. #7 True dat. Well said.

  160. I may be wrong and thats fine, but does anyone see the cognitive dissonance involved in this discussion? There are some very troubling verses in scripture, I was watching the series “The Bible” I had to turn it off when it did not even portray Lot offering up his daughters to the mob to protect the angels. I dont think angels need to be protected from us, from what I read in the bible they are quite efficient at taking out thousands if not hundreds of thousand folks. It also did not include the night in the cave with Lot and his daughters. Um when comparing these events to say, the sermon on the mount dont you see a bit of a difference?

    I mean I give more reverence to say John 3 or John 6, maybe Ephesians or Galatians or 1 cor 13, as compared to Judges 19, heck the entire book of Judges. I brought this up one time concerning the events in Judges 19 and someone mentioned I despise God’s world and I am offended by His word. Well actually I am offended, I find gang sexual assault and a brutal barbaric hacking of a body sent out to the tribes as rather offensive. Of course they are different. So yes I struggle with some of the biblical narrative when literally interpreted. I cant think of a figurative story for Judges 19, that is just a brutal barbaric tribal passage. Thank God those days are gone, I hope.

  161. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts, I dont get much of it, but I am grateful for being here. God bless all. Its another all nighter. lol.

  162. Derek, your 157. That is a good article. Sadly, people are going to call us haters, when we continue to say that “marriage” is defined as one man and one woman. I don’t have a problem at all with legal unions/parternships/rights of men with men and women with women, but why are we calling it marriage. Why do we completely change the definition of the word? Those of us who object to changing the definition of word marriage are now called bigots and haters. I’m not a hater.
    I read recently there are 3 people who are insisting that they are a “throuple” and they want “equal” marriage rights. Where does it end??

  163. The biggest lie of this homosexual agenda is that gay men are not prone to be predators. Look at all the homosexual predators in Hollywood and in the school system, they prey many times on undersge boys, saw this with my own eyes at schools I went to and when I delved into acting for a spell.

  164. Lets face it, homosexuality is a perversion of a debased mind. It is an abomination to our Lord. I put trust in what Gods word says about rather than some liberal psychologist.

  165. This may be a bit off topic but it’s on my mind. As I say I’m following the NBA firestorm as a result of the comments of Donald Sterling that are racist to the core. The consensus is this man needs to go and part of that means losing ownership of his team.

    Mark Cuban talked about a slippery slope if the team is stripped from Sterling at some point.

    The slippery slope I am concerned about is when the time comes an owner is “caught” sharing his convictions on homosexuality and/or gay marriage. Not in a hateful way mind you but simply sharing his convictions. Is this where we are headed? We’ve already been labeled with many ugly descriptions based on stereotypes. It concerns me that we will be held to the same level of scorn that Sterling is now living for clinging to our Christian beliefs.

    Matthew Paul Turner and the like are not helping…

  166. Hey E, as I recall, what Mark C said was a slippery slope was the way Sterling was recorded. He was recorded apparently in the privacy of his own home which apparently if you listen to Cuban’s logic means that whatever you say in your own home should be protected.

    You and I both know that the Bible says, “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”

    I agree with all those who say that there is no room for this type of ignorance whatsoever.

  167. Sterling can say and think what he wants. No one can take that away from him.It’s a free market. Sponsors can leave and as a fan I can choose to boycott the games – which puts other owners at risk and they will make decisions that best serve their interests.

    In the end, Sterling put himself in this position by having a business that depends on the approval of others.

    But does anyone really care who owns a business you frequent?.

  168. I think the term “racist” is over-used in this hyper-PC culture and generally a smoke-screen usually aimed at those who disagree with political liberals and 0bama…”It’s George Bush’s fault…and you’re a RRRRAAAACCCCCIIIIISSSSSSSTTTT!”

    Sterling, the liberal democrat donor and big donor to the L.A. NAACP, is a legit racist. He got a lot of cover b/c of his support of dem. candidates and his financial giving to the NAACP…but even they have to run from him now after those racist comments.

    I guess Sterling won’t be getting any more “Lifetime Achievement Awards” from the NAACP…he’s got one already…and was scheduled to get a second one soon.

  169. M.R. said, “Lets face it, homosexuality is a perversion of a debased mind.”

    Maybe in some cases, but if Science can prove some folks are wired that way from birth, then it wouldn’t be a “perversion”…it would be their natural/normal just like those who are attracted to the opposite sex.

    Child abuse is a perversion of a debased mind. The bible says it is unnatural, yet so many do it and often in the name of Jesus.

  170. I was so tired of Stirling’s big ole’ mug on full page ads for his philanthropy everyday in The Times. Buying ads to show what an awesome guy he is. Karma is a b****.

  171. covered, I get what you’re saying but can a Christian owner let’s say in the NBA now have to be afraid of sharing his convictions in his home, office, over lunch at a restaurant, publicly at a church, etc because of someone either recording or disseminating their words in other ways?

    The climate in our nation is not friendly towards an orthodox Christian world view when it comes to gay marriage or homosexuality. My concern is that these same tactics could be used to place an innocent believer on the chopping block as Sterling now is. I believe society sees “Evangelical” beliefs as red meat and will stop at nothing to silence us.

  172. Funny how nobody has much of an issue that Sterling is a married man. Let’s also not forget what he has said is not the unpardonable sin as being described by media. How sad if he was to have a change of heart on this issue but never comes to a saving knowledge of the Gospel.

    Addendum for Ricky Ricardo… “How sad if he was to have a change of heart on this issue but never comes to a saving knowledge of the hundreds of Gospels available to him.” 🙂

  173. “My concern is that these same tactics could be used to place an innocent believer on the chopping block as Sterling now is.”

    What would be an innocent believer? It could work in reverse, that the christian community flocks to the defense as was seen with the Duck guy.

    Just imaging if all of the Christians had rallied to the Mozilla CEO and said that if he was not reinstated (ala the Duck guy) that we would stop using Firefox. … but alas, we did not and he is ot of work … with a giant payout.

    Look, Sterling paid $12 million for the team and can sell for $600 million – no tears from me. 🙂

  174. MLD, An innocent believer would be any Christian who might express their convictions concerning homosexuality or gay marriage in a thoughtful fashion.

    The current climate in the nation is that anyone who expresses a biblical conviction on these topics has me concerned they would be looked at the same as Sterling. I’ve experienced it on a personal level and it’s no fun to be on the receiving end. But that’s how we’re seen by many.

    I don’t know where the PC is taking us as a nation as far as Christians having the freedom to express their beliefs without all hell raining down but I am concerned.

    As an aside as I watched Adam Silver’s press conference I believe he referred to the late Bill Russell. Bill will be surprised by that! 🙂

  175. Dang…. it was the GREAT Bill Russell. Figures I heard wrong!

  176. Finally catching up on this thread, as both SisterChristian and Ps40 mentioned it to me. I must say that I certainly identify with brian’s #161 & 162 about the debauchery in Judges. How many ‘studies’ have I heard exalting Gideon’s ‘humble greatness”…only to read recently (seeing it tho for the first time) that he had 70 sons by numerous women, including prostitutes. WHY are we “studying” Gideon’s life and making “inspiring sermons” about him?
    Yuk…. I feel like I am seeing the OT for the first time in my life….and frankly, I have one heck of a lot of questions and even more disgusting observations of ‘stuff’ that I find repulsive to stay the least.

    Dusty…(hiya dahling)…. no go on the storage unit. Waste of money…. what you pay in rent to store ‘stuff’ you have no immediate use for, could be spent later should any of those items ever be needed. Simply. Less truly is more.
    Thanks for your attempts at stimulating more positive conversations!

    In other news, we’re getting a bee hive for our yard tomorrow. Our little bit to ‘save the planet’….. and frankly, marvel at God’s Creation.

    Thanks for the encouragement Jim….#23 & 24….yes, Hebrews is stunning. Hallelujah.

  177. paigemom, congrats on the new bee hive!!! I remember how excited you were when you first started in with your chicks, can’t wait to hear about your adventures. I agree with you on storage….now if we can convince Buster….hmmmm

  178. Agreeing wholeheartedly with paigemom on the storage issue …
    Unless you’ve got some irreplaceable treasures … The amount of money you end up storing the stuff, you could buy new., different and more appropriate items suited for the time

    Paigemom.
    Yay! Great news on the beehives!!
    Also looking forward to hearing your adventures in keeping bees!

  179. E, LOL above 😆

  180. ricardo, you are just mean!! 🙁

  181. Dusty, Ricardo was responding to a joke I left for him at # 173. I’m glad he saw it. Thank you for the spirit behind your post. If you were thinking about the baby birds I shared I’m not so bummed anymore. I just hope no more die. God bless you!!

  182. church abuse; “using” God or anything kingdom related for one’s own benefit, or for a personal agenda of any kind. We are called as members of the Body and participants in the Kingdom, but are never called to be “users”, takers or manipulators for selfish or inordinate purposes. All forms of spiritual abuse can be defined in one of these categories. Example: I can manipulate other people’s thoughts [for a myriad of selfish reasons] by explaining or “interpreting” a Scripture passage for the purpose of changing my listeners/readers opinions on any given topic so that I am not alone in my beliefs/interpretations. A humbler approach would be more fitting for a member of Christ’s body.
    When I “use” God, or His family in one of these ways–I am placing my own value above the “other’s” value–essentially dehumanizing my fellow man, and de-throning God in my own life (so to speak).
    or..
    Over-stepping a natural relational boundary to enforce my agenda over God’s. Making anything or anyone in God’s created order into a commodity to be ravaged,rather than a stewardship to be nurtured, honored, protected and related to in an unselfish way.

    We are stewards of talents, time, health, creation and God’s image. Abuse is using any of these blessings/gifts to usurp an other’s will, an other’s “best”–to enforce my own– and not for kingdom purposes. Abuse manipulates God’s gifts and uses them to dominate an other.

    And if that is not general enough for you…..church abuse is anything that does not resemble the relationship enjoyed by the Father, Son and Spirit here on earth–[within God’s Kingdom landscape in particular].

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