May 262014
 

memorial-day-wallpaper-300x1871. Memorial Day has become just a holiday...a day when our thoughts turn to the good weather, barbecues, and leisure activities. I don’t think that was the intent behind creating it. I’m not a veteran, nor have the wars fought in my lifetime been noble, though the men who fought them were. Thus, it’s difficult for me to know what my thoughts and actions should be on this day. What would the veterans who read here like us to know and respect on this day? This should be all about them, not us…

2. The reason often given for weak or no responses from religious organizations in a scandal is the threat of litigation possible or already in progress. What happened to the biblical concept of suffering loss for the sake of the Gospel and the kingdom of God? What is really being said is that protecting the group and it’s leaders financially is more important than the Gospel and far more important than the spiritual health of those affected by the lack of confession.

3. The lie that #2 perpetuates is that certain groups and leaders are more important than those in the pews and are somehow indispensable to the work of God at this time. That is a bald faced lie, spoken or unspoken.There hasn’t been a hero of the faith yet that God hasn’t buried. The kingdom moves on.

4. When a pastor or group eschews open confession and repentance in the face of their own sin they deny the Gospel as surely as if they denied the resurrection…because they deny the grace and power of God in redemption and restoration.

5. “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”(Matthew 5:23–24 ESV) Note that it doesn’t say ignore the offended, stay quiet, and hope they go away…

6. When you conflate the Gospel with any secondary doctrine, you diminish and defeat the essence of the Gospel itself.

7. One of the most inane results of the SGM/TGC debacle is now you have people picking sides like they are rooting for a sports team. Tullian or Trueman?  Keller and Carson or R. Scott Clark? All of these men have made contributions to the church that deserve our study and thanks…I refuse to indulge in this ridiculous media fueled demand that I damn one side to praise the other. Go and do likewise…

8. If you think “The Harbinger” is biblical, I wonder how  you passed your drivers license test.

9. Boz and Tullian represent their Grampas legacy better than his boy Franklin…in my opinion of course.

10. You know that leaders are blowing smoke when they split over scholarly distinctions in secondary doctrines while ignoring Scriptures your kids have memorized…

  58 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. Memorial Day used to be a day to remember our dead heroes. It was kind of a somber day. My mother used to go to her mother and father’s grave with flowers and cry her heart out.

  2. Remembering you in prayer today big brother.praying for Trey as well

  3. #5 is essentially the reason I walked away from the last church I was in (right or wrong). I could not sit and listen to a man preach God’s word while knowing that he was outright unwilling to address a problem that one in the congregation had with him. As true as any word that he said was, it rang in my ears as hypocrisy.

  4. As a vet, I say enjoy the day with family and friends. Life is short and there aren’t enough days off from work to enjoy.
    Endless remind

  5. Blessings to you as well, Dusters. 🙂
    Thank you for the prayers…much needed this week.

  6. Sorry, endless reminders on FB are getting old. Don’t hold yourself hostage to guilt.

  7. Memorial Day is always difficult for me. I saw too much ruin. There is a line in an old song that says ” and to fight for a cause, they’ve long ago forgotten”.

  8. The veterans I know don’t want to be recognized on this day. That is what Veteran’s day is for. It is to remember those who sacrificed their lives fighting for something they though was that important. For me, I remember that. And I am sad that we no longer (as a nation) have values and policies that are worth sacrificing for.

    that’s all.

    Peace to you all, whatever you do with this time off. I am at work and will be thinking of you all! lol

  9. Thanks for your thoughts, I usually enjoy most of them, but is the attitude behind #9 doing what you said you wouldn’t do in #7? Just asking.

  10. Derek thank you for your service for us.((((hugs))))

  11. There is a Vietnam vet in my neighborhood who installed a flag pole in the center of his truck’s bed and flies the American flag everywhere he drives.

    Big Mike is a tall 6’+ tough and hard as nails kind of guy.

    I see him visiting the homeless in a local park every time I pass it. A lot of the homeless are vets fallen upon hard times.

    Even though Big Mike is not a Christian he is out there visiting those in need daily.

    Today I want to honor Big Mike.

    And I want to honor all of those who knew well the sounds of the demonic screams of shrapnel and ricochet bullets whizzing past as their hearts were pounding wildly in their chests.

    The cherry bomb-like sounds of bullets hitting the ground and exploding all around as time seemed to slow down.

    Those that wondered if they were going to make it out alive as they fought back the terror of the moment only to see their friends fall by their sides…

  12. I hadn’t heard of the Harbinger but it did connect with what I was asking on open blogging about the United States in prophecy. I went to Amazon and saw there were 3,650 five star reviews. What interested me was there were 334 one and two star reviews.

    Many of the poor reviews pointed out the author’s misapplication of OT passages to the United States.

    This seems to be another wildly popular book that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. In these cases I have found that no amount of valid criticism will sway those who find these books/topics to be true.

  13. Hey #9

    It seemed more like Michael is sharing whom he believed represented the legacy better. He is not taking sides just expressing an opinion, as he has stated.

  14. I will take Tullian over Trueman and I will take R. Scott Clark over both Keller and Carson.

    Now before Micheal comes on and takes sides against me saying I don’t know what I am talking about, let me just say that this divide is no different than the Reformed intra squad squabble known as the Calvinism / Arminian debate.

    This current matter is the result of 35 yrs of allowing John Frame, the Federal Vision and the NPP to control the Reformed mind especially out of WTS-PA

    Someone like Tullian returns to the pure gospel and Reformed heads explode.

    So yes, sides do need to be taken, although as an outsider to such a discussion, I do like watching from the grandstands.

  15. 8,000 Veterans kill themselves every year.

    You need not be one of them…there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking and getting help.

    Here are a few very helpful websites where you can began in a positive direction:

    Blah Therapy – Online listening service. “Experience the rewards of venting to a stranger or lending an ear.”
    http://blahtherapy.com/

    7 Cups of Tea – Free online counseling service.
    https://www.7cupsoftea.com/

    Thrive On – Not completely free, but aims to bring affordable online mental health programs to those who would otherwise go without.
    https://thriveon.com/

  16. I was recently asked for my church’s doctrinal statement. You all know that I am a renewal charismatic with a non denominational church. I gave the person the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds. He wanted me to give him better reasons to hate me. I intentionally have refused. When people come to our church they run into the unique features that parse us out from others. I do not make them the basis of our fellowship unless forced to do so.

    Yes my post is a bit random from the list above but I think it connects on various points. People will learn that I am amillennial, charismatic, non-calvinistic covenantal and a few other things. I will tell them that they are not forced to conform as long as they do not sow discord in the body over these things. Conformity to the pastor’s nuances is not the basis of fellowship, sharing a common life in Jesus is our unity.

  17. “This current matter is the result of 35 yrs of allowing John Frame, the Federal Vision and the NPP to control the Reformed mind especially out of WTS-PA”

    That is pure, unadulterated, nonsense.
    The truth is that the Reformed tradition has always been diverse, has always had loud, brilliant voices that debated, and hopefully always will.
    It’s called growing and learning.
    To actually write that three separate offshoots of the tradition and one school “control” the Reformed mind is either really ignorant or trolling for strife.

  18. On my part it is called “clear thinking”

    May I ask your opinion why you think Tullian’s statements have caused such an uproar if, as you claimed the other day, they are so common in your backyard. Why now, why so brutal?

    The issue, and I know this will be hard for you to swallow, is that the controversy surrounding Tullian Tchividjian is that his “colleagues” aren’t just attacking him, but they are attacking the Gospel. It’s a shame really.

  19. Dixie, I would come to your church

  20. Prior to it being called “Memorial Day,” it was known as “Decoration Day,” and it was begun by those freed by the Civil War to bury those who had fought alongside their white brothers.

    “KNOW YOUR HISTORY: Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.”

    Now we can all give thanks to the many fallen of all races that have paid the highest price of all. For those who are living, we can honor them by finding out who they are in our community and take the time to acknowledge them and the unmet needs they may have so that they can truly return home and live among the living, yet heal from the trauma of suffering that which comes as a result of going to war and having been changed because of it.

    We can also learned more about PTSD, suicide, and the grief process. In this, we can learn about ourselves and how we can be the very instrument to be used by God to restore those who survived – be it those who went to war or those who waited at home for them to return.

  21. Davidsurfer51, thanks for sharing all those resources for PTSD and help for vets

  22. MLD,

    You have the historical understanding of the Reformed faith equal to that of 7 year old dispensationalist.
    These matters go back to Richard Baxter, the Marrow Men, and many other disputations within the community.
    They are not new, not unique, not an assault on anything except other believers.

  23. Before there was Tullian in recent years, there was Steve Brown…from whom Tullian learned everything he knows.

    They didn’t like Steve either.

  24. Davidsurfer51, thanks for sharing all those resources as well. I have passed them on to those whom will use them, as well as, to those who work up close and personal with them. I also ask them to be passed on and posted on their FB and any other venues that they use to get the word out.

    Perfect example of a person stepping up to the plate — thanks again!!!!!!!!!

  25. We have spent the day eating waffles with strawberries from the garden, watching the youngers play on the waterslide. We’ll grill out tonight. It has been a quiet day, just our little family, which has been a very blessed refreshment (my husband has had several stretches of working 18 and 20 days straight, plus texts and calls in the middle of the night.)

    We will, however, be writing letters later today to our nephew-in-law who is serving in Afghanistan, tucking them in to a care package we’ll send off tomorrow.

    I remember going with my father to the cemetery each Memorial Day and placing flowers on all the family gravestones. Hearing the stories of who these ancestors were, and which had fought in wars. Hearing my place in this line of history. I think we might start that practice up with our kids here.

    I also have a friend who is married to a military man. They go to the cemetery and place glass pebbles on the headstones as sign of respect and remembrance. I like that as well. Of course, we have several friends who are Boy Scouts, and every year they go to the (large) military cemetery and place flags.

    Saturday at the grocery there were many elderly men with hats on stating where they had served. I made a point of thanking them for their service, and noticed not only how they seemed surprised I commented…but how their wives stopped and beamed when I did. The boys (all my younger ones with me at the time), noticed as well.

    I hear what Derek says…and I don’t want to make my kids sit and be somber all day, but I think there is a balance. Seeking for that…for that awareness of our place in a line of history that includes those who have fallen in battle, and taking a moment to remember them.

  26. One last thought before I have to attend to more pressing matters.
    These theological debates can actually be very healthy and good for the Body of Christ when done in a spirit of learning and humility.
    Both sides in this debate over sanctification have things to say we need to hear.
    Examining the issues carefully can sharpen our thinking and inform our souls.

    I’ve learned much from all of the people involved…I may agree with one side more than the other, but I condemn no one involved nor do I believe that any of them are ‘enemies of the Gospel”.

    These debates are deep and full of nuance…blog posts don’t do them justice.
    If the issues matter to you, do the hard work of reading the sources and the history alongside the Scriptures…it will profit you far more than blog wars.

  27. Good word, Sarah.

  28. A beloved friend of ours insisted we read the the Harbinger. What a waste of paper.

  29. Numbers 2&3. Yes! This attitude and actions bring such shame upon the church and such pain upon pain to victims.

  30. Michael,
    You want to just wave away alternate thinking of others with your faux learning. You show that you don’t know what the discussion, debate, and argument is about and that is why you don’t dialogue and just throw dirt (I am not soliciting any more comments from you – I will take the last word.). You throw out your #7 as if it is somehow final.

    Although you think you are the only one here who has read the Reformers – it does not take a genius to see the divide. One side is arguing against what they see as cheap grace and Tullian said the other day that he is arguing against cheap law.

    The other day I threw something out against the Reformed on this issue and you came back at me that these guys were ruining the good name of your mentor, that they were immature and misguided (or something to that effect) – now you say that you can’t choose sides???? Odd.

    Last word – have a good holiday.

  31. MLD,

    You make your usual contentious statements, then change weapons when you are found to be firing blanks.
    Typical of you these days…and not even slightly admirable.

  32. You made the contentious statement in #7 and continued when someone (me) disagreed. You win – Stand firmly in the middle my friend. 🙂

  33. Am I the only one who had to Google The Harbinger?

  34. Answer to #3.. If anyone every has the opportunity to go to the wall or Normandy and view the names and ranks of those that paid the ultimate price they will see mostly privates and low ranking NCO’s ( non commissioned officers). Thus its the privates in the church today that are fighting the REAL battle while the pastors or CEO’s as I call them of the mega churches and protected and carried for by their own hand picked cronies. I was once referred to as a private in the pews.. St the time I was really pissed.. Now looking back I see that spazmo gave me a comment.. and yes he headed south along withy the pastor. This was over 30mmyrs ago and the hurts are sill there

  35. I don’t have the theological training to really understand what the big fuss is about Tullian and the TGC. But my hunch is that the gospel really is being attacked. When I see Tim Keller and him espousing ancient Roman Catholic spiritual disciplines and mysticism, this actually concerns me more. I don’t see what Tullian did or said wrong other than preach the law and gospel. I really don’t get why he was kicked out but maybe its a good thing.

  36. The Harbinger is just one more installment in the fads of prophecy nuts

  37. Someone mentioned that I should read that book once, so I looked it up for a quick synopsis.
    After looking at Isaiah 9:10, I was at a loss to figure out how that verse could ever be used to show America in scripture much less be strung out into a full book.
    Needless to say, I did not read it.

  38. I am sure that Joel Rosenberg had a week of not publishing his crap – so this guy said, well I can do just a poorly and make millions.

    But I will say, and probably get sued by all the christian publishers for impeding sale.

    Here it goes, and I am typing slowly for the sake of my Rapture and dispie friends. “The Bible is not about the USA – the Bible is not about Israel – the Bible is not about anti Christ … the Bible is about Jesus Christ.

    I know – spoiler – i took all the fun out of Bible reading. 🙂

  39. Now, I had to look up Joel Rosenberg.

  40. For those who think that Joel only cares about Jews or selling books, you are dead wrong. What we see on the outside is not the whole picture of who or what this man is about.

  41. I am pretty much an anti war guy from back in the 60s, so I have a hard time making much of today.
    But i just read a FB post by my youngest son that I thought said it right;
    “To the fallen, on both sides of the battlefield.”

  42. Great post Michael!
    As an Army vet I’d say the best way to honor the sacrifices of veterans is to live life honorably and responsibly and ensure young people remember.
    Love your points about how pastoral popularity and personality can become more important than walking in humility, honesty, and mercy.
    Thankful for your blog!! I was introduced to it about a year ago and so glad she did! I’ve been blessed by your thoughts.

  43. Thank you much, Ian.
    Welcome aboard!

  44. I served 20 year’s….1976-1996.Memorial day is a quiet day for me.I always avoid the cook outs.Usually I get up early and go to a memorial service….then go home and chill.Most Americans don’t have the slightest idea or really could care less about our sacrifices anyway.I give kudos to those who do.Thank you.

  45. MLD said””..the Bible is about Jesus Christ.” Oh really and what is that suppose to mean in relation to modern biology, geology, cosmology, paleontology, astronomy, atomic theory, the theory of relativity, plate tectonics, germ theory, hydrology ……….

    It seems many of the Christian faith thinks it says alot about these issues as well, and you can get fired or disfellowshipped for not believing their ideas of these concepts that they say the bible speaks to authoritatively.

  46. You know Dude I spend time reflecting on my fathers letters trying to understand things I never really could. I ask myself if I would have or could have and come away wanting. I think and even pray, visit the one grave stone my family has, that of my brother, the rest of the family I did not have the money to bury them correctly. A sin I will carry for life. To say I am profoundly thankful to the armed services no matter the war or action would be an understatement. I mention to younger people who dont even know the basics of ww2 or ww1 the civil war. I mentioned little round top the other day and got a deer in the headlights look. It was only one of the most important battles of gettysburg and the first battle under Gen Reynolds. They did not even know what the battle of the budge or Normandy were. Sad. Again thank you for your service.

  47. Well, I served during Viet Nam even against my best anti war thoughts – but this was always my anthem.

    We used to hook up the 8 track and run this through the radio system from APC to APC.

    Just to remind ourselves that it was not our war.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ScisGFllPY

  48. “It seems many of the Christian faith thinks it says alot about these issues as well, and you can get fired or disfellowshipped for not believing their ideas of these concepts that they say the bible speaks to authoritatively.”

    Tell them to go to a Christian church and get catechized in the faith and that will go away

  49. Thank you for serving, MLD

  50. G, it wasn’t my choice – because I ain’t no senators son

  51. You know MLD that is actually one of the best answers you have ever given me. Thank You.

  52. there are about a million books that would be better suited for the space on my shelf that the Harbinger would occupy…and roughly that many items more worthy of purchase. Heck, I’d even pay the money so someone else wouldn’t buy the book. 😉

  53. MLD, I too will never forget the Huey. To this day when I hear the wap-bap-bap of one that’s still flying, it will freeze me in my tracks.

  54. MLD,
    Each of us made our choices.
    I’m a 1-0 from the same era. My lottery # was a sure ticket to Nam, but I had already petitioned the draft board long before receiving Uncle Sam’s love letter.
    I never treat a Vet who was drafted with disdain for their choice to serve.

  55. In my opinion, whatever it’s worth or not, the Vietnam War was a waste of 58000 American lives.
    The French needed to let the Vietnam else have their own country back without us interfering from halfway across the world.
    Kennedy wanted us out before he got killed. Johnson lied about the gulf of Tonkin incident that NEVER HAPPENED and escalated a war we never should have entered.
    I pray for the families of those lost to wars we should never have fought.
    mike

  56. #9… Why do you feel that way?

  57. Greg,

    Franklin has been supportive of some very bad guys…I’m not a fan of his politics or how he’s handled the family legacy either.

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