Jun 292015
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. When I was a younger man the church had three services every week.

There was the Sunday morning service, the Sunday night service, and the Wednesday prayer meeting. The Wednesday night service wasn’t a mini replica of the Sunday morning service, it was an actual prayer meeting.

 

People came to pray and be prayed for, not to hear another “teaching”. Today most churches don’t have Sunday night services and if you advertised that Wednesday would be a true prayer meeting crickets would be your prayer partner.

I’ll believe the church is serious about changing the ills of society and culture when we are ready to do the hard work of picking up the only two weapons given to fight such wars…prayer and fasting. Until then, it’s all sound and fury signifying nothing,

2. The culture has not done us nearly as much damage as the “progressive” wing of the church…

3. I’ve already received numerous financial solicitations from ministries in the wake of the Supreme Court decision. This is going to be a cash cow for those who know how to manipulate the people of God. Just for your information, prayer and fasting are free activities that will only cost you time and effort.

4. God has yet to break a sweat.

5. When you’re done watering the broom tree and looking for a cave to live in, remember there are still thousands who haven’t bowed the knee to Baal…and get back to work.

6. I’m as upset that churches will still give K.P. Yohannan a platform as much as I am over the Supreme Court decision. Sin isn’t sin if the good ol’ boys baptize it in cash…

7. If you’re going to comment on the sins of the culture from a Christian perspective, make sure that you mix in the Gospel. Too often we sound like good Jews or practicing Muslims…all law and no Gospel.

8. Once again, we are being told that we are in the very last days. Not the last days, but the very last days. If so, isn’t that a good thing?

9. If the prospect of persecution surprises you, you might want to read the parts of the Scripture that don’t mention homosexuality to get the big picture…

10. In terms of your Christian walk and vocation, absolutely nothing changed last week.

  43 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. I would commend everyone to read the book of 1 Peter this week…in it’s entirety.

  2. Just curious, if we were to draw a diagram of those who are really up in arms about the homosexual marriage issue, and those who worry about Muslims enacting Sharia law, how much overlap would we see?

  3. dswoager,

    I’m not touching that one… 🙂

  4. “3. I’ve already received numerous financial solicitations from ministries in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.”

    Sad state of affairs.

  5. Agree, agree, agree.

    Interesting, I determined a couple months ago to teach through 1 Peter this fall for this very purpose.

  6. Piney,

    I’m going to run some stuff here as well…

  7. thank you.
    you brought a smile to my face this morning and I appreciate all 10

  8. Richard,

    Thank you…

  9. I think it’s “God’s” judgment on the evangelicals who lie and protect abusers and are corrupt and sell the Gospel for greedy gain.

    I hope they lose their tax exempt status. I hope they keep losing their influence. When push comes to shove, the general evangelical church has shown themselves to be corrupt liars who do not care for the ‘least of these’ and who care only for protecting their Brands and their money-making “ministries”

    …far more evil than gays wanting a government marriage contract as citizens of the State.

  10. Interesting Trend, lots of interesting Trends that have been noted over the many years…this is one of a few….

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2014/01/29/vladimir%20putin-america-is-godless-turns-away-from-christian-values/

  11. One of the themes I’ve pounded on has been the need for corporate repentance inside the church.
    So far, I’ve had few takers on that one.

    The other side of the coin is that I truly do not want those who want to overturn all virtue and morality to be the primary voices of the culture.

    Taking away the tax exemption will hurt the little church and the faithful pastor far more than the celebrities.

    In fact, it may leave us with nothing but celebrities…

  12. I don’t recall the Bible instructing us that those without Christ would approach us and inquire about the reason for the ‘desperation,’ ‘hysteria,’ ‘anger,’ ‘arrogance,’ ‘entitlement, or ‘judgment’ within us. Instead, “hope” should characterize us. Hope springs from a recognition of and reliance upon the character and work of Christ.

  13. fil,

    Well said.
    I was about to send a search party after you…good to see you.

  14. great post and good comments, joining Richard in smiling

    1Peter – great!

  15. Well, it’s coming…like I’ve said for years now.

    “God” ain’t pleased with the “church” and judgment is here.

    So let it be written, so let it be done 😉

  16. The “good” churches and pastors will share in the sins of the others b/c they don’t really care much either and say “it’s not my problem”

    Well, “God” say it is your problem. Enjoy.

  17. Jesus Christ is a scandal to the Progressive left and most conservatives.Most people would like to see the Gospel disappear in America and sooner the better.

  18. I’ve lived long enough to know the end times are coming, cause…

    Women cutting their hair. Women wearing lipstick. Women working outside the home. Women wearing pants. Women….

    Communism

    Rock-n-roll

    Divorce. Free Love. Wife-swapping.

    Drugs

    Premarital sex. Shacking up

    Abortion

    Gay rights. Gay marriage

    And probably a few things I’ve forgotten.

  19. I don’t think people want to see the gospel disappear, well, maybe factions of the church do…

    People want to see the church disappear. If for one reason only, because it has nothing to do with the gospel.

    The gospel does not offend people, unless they are being confronted with it at the end of a gun, which is what the modern evangelical gospel has become. Not all that dissimilar from Islam in the respect that there is no love, just fear and anger.

    Unfortunately for Christians this very day, all the world sees is people stomping their feet and screaming bloody murder over human rights, that apparently Christians don’t believe in because some god says so.

    So from the heathen perspective, which I am becoming very comfortable with, it’s the people who can’t shut up about how humanity is ruining it for everyone, that are ruining it for everyone.

    Sorry for the drive by, but I still love Michael like a brother, read his stuff, and appreciate it.

  20. Voices are raised that would destroy gay marriage
    Voices are raised that would destroy the church
    Voices are raised that would destroy each other’s voices.

    One thing sure.

    Our voices will go silent and the voice that cannot be destroyed will prevail.

  21. Reuben,
    But what is so good about the heathen side? You guys are so angry at any kind of life style standard that you are willing to kill 1.2 million unborn persons yearly to live the heathen life style — no strings attached.

    I would compare the heathen life more to ISIS than I would the Christian as you suggest.

    But hey, that’s my opinion.

  22. I am not discouraged or afraid.

    The rulings put an end to the illusion of Christianity as the civil religion of America. Clarity as to where the people who truly know Jesus really stand.

    I am not discouraged or afraid.

    I disagree, Michael, regarding the destruction to small churches that losing tax exempt status will be. Several years ago, in an elders’ meeting, we had a discusson regarding voluntarily giving up the tax exemption, giving our building and grounds away to a ministry that focused on mercy ministry to the poor–adopting a home-based model of fellowhip with no paid clergy. We were not able to do that before other factors made it impossible to do so, but I think it was a valid dream.

    I am not discouraged or afraid.

    We will have an opportunity to love our enemies; there will be greater clarity as to who they are in their emboldened state. I think the institutional church will contract but as it contracts a more meaningful expression of Christ’s people will grow, a purer expression, not burdened by lust for material wealth or political power. Wonderful days, terrible days are ahead for the true church–we will know Christ’s love for us in our weakness and forced humility regarding our culture.

    I am not discouraged or afraid.

  23. Some context for the above conversations in our elders meetings–we were discussing what would happen to the church down the road if the tax exemption were revoked–knowing that, in spite of our property being debt free (approx. value 2-2.5 million dollars), it would probably be impossible for a church our size with its giving history (land was donated) to maintain.

    I think we were discerning the times fairly well, from recent events and cultural shifts. We wanted to maintain our integrity in how we related to civil authorities, knowing that the tax exemption provides them a club to use to force compromises in integrity.

    The less entanglement of church and state, we thought, would be beneficial to the body as a whole.

  24. I think losing tax status has all kinds of implications and that we should resist it with vigor. It is clear that we have very little will as believers for any kind of battle whatsoever.

    I suspect forfeiting the tax status would lead to more government intrusion not less.

    But let God be true and every man a liar.

  25. Oh, and yet the nation of god still kills millions under god’s banner of love. Saving the rest of the world from other gods I suppose. That’s justified how excatly? Was it for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

    At the expense of what?

    Everyone else?

    For Jesus?

    What people do with their own body is one thing. What god’s army does to impose that on everyone else is rather horrific when you get right down to it. So is that all that dissimilar from Islam? I think not. It’s not Islam that tries to impose Sharia Law here, we are not oppressed by them. It’s Christianity that tries to impose Pauline law, and at whatever cost, even abroad. Nobody here is persecuted for their faith, it’s the faith that seems to be doing all the persecution.

  26. The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church no matter what some Apostate says!

  27. I do not know personally a single Christian who has killed anyone in the name for Jesus or Christianity.

    I know many personally who have killed their unborn Children in the name of their heathen lifestyle.

    A heathen worldview would say that a person can do with their body what they want – a Christian worldview would say “yes, but the child inside you is not your body.”

    I don’t know what this Pauline BS you try to spread – Jesus was not as kind as Paul when he told people to pluck out their eyes and cut off their hands. He also told people that he himself was going to cast bodies into the fiery lake and tying millstones around people’s neck.

    You should wish we preached Paul instead of Jesus.

    But I too would much prefer to live in your world of no right or wrong – oh wait, you are telling us we are wrong. 😉

  28. Self righteousness is quite abundant on the left and the right, republican and democrat, pro-life or choice, gay or straight, fundamentalist or anarchist, we are all glad that we are not like others.

    I know I am … Dread

  29. It will be something to see how intact the 1 amendment will stay. I still see the phrase that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise” still includes tax law also. The part about “or prohibiting the free exercise” is directly related to taxation in that we tax what we want to impede or discourage and we give tax breaks to that which we wish to encourage.

    I say that it is unconstitutional to even include churches in tax law.

    So, the church needs to tell the government to go stuff it.

  30. some of the comments here reminded me that it was the Christians who burned down Rome…
    yep, we’re a dangerous, rabble rousing bunch, killing everyone who gets in our way… 27 homes burned to the ground in the town near me last night… probably wasn’t Christians that did it, tho… because from i read here, we’d have burned down millions of houses even if we had to build them first to do it

  31. I have spent the day musing about the hell that would ensue if the government revoked the tax exempt status…

    Churches lobbying congress
    Churches vying for subsidies
    Churches putting together political action committees
    Churches rallying around candidates
    Churches infiltrating everything
    Churches going into business as a norm
    Churches absolutely ransacking free market privileges
    Churches putting together parties
    Churches helping to bust up the two party system catalyzing coalition governments
    Churches in general being a rabble to reckon with

    We might stop being a house cat and become a lion.

    Bring it on Dread

  32. @33

    Bring it!

  33. Along the same lines as what Babs is looking at, I suggested several years ago when the government was messing with church schools that the 2 month school was in session so there is no preparation time, all parents of kids in christian schools all over the country, go and enroll their kids in the public school. It would bring the public school system to their knees – a complete log jam that the schools could not survive. Make them appreciate the church.

    There are many other areas that the church could “give up” to show society what they get with no church participation.

  34. “that the 2 month school was in session”
    Should read – “that the 2nd month school was in session”

  35. I don’t know if anyone hear read the SCOTUS decision or not. It took me parts of 3 days to complete it.
    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf

    In itself it does not sound as bad as people make it sound – – because it doesn’t mention any of the things people hold in fear. I just don’t know if it can be used against churches.

    It is also just as unconstitutional to discriminate against religious believes, but religious communities do it all the time without threat of losing tax exemption or being run out of business.

    What is the consequence of the rabbi who refuses the hetero Roman Catholic couple? Are they not being discriminated against in their preference to be married by a rabbi in a synagogue?

  36. MLD finished all the “opinions” last night, I actually lean towards the majority decision to be honest but thats just me.

  37. I think the church miitantly fighting for tax exemption will be seen by both our enemies (and those who think of the church more benignly) as confirmation that material wealth and status remains our focus. Not sure that is the hill I want to die on.

    The true church faced down Nero–I am pretty sure without tax exemptions. Probably, the worst thing that happened to the church was the state sanction that came with Constantine. I am not sure we have recovered from that.

    The true church will be fine–the institutional church will diminish to be replaced by a new/old model, the more primitive ways of gathering and interacting with society.

  38. Michael, I recommend Jim Cymbala’s books for some extra-bible reading. He seems to really have the importance of prayer dialed in. I have read several of his books, and have to say his writing has influenced me as much as Brennan Manning.

    #2—AMEN!

    Dread…. your #33 sounds no different than how it is now. And what I see wrong with the church. I believe that if we got away from the business of church, those who are in it for business should be treated as such and those who are not, well, that is where I want to go. I’d rather meet with some friends in a park or a home, learn about the Lord, pray, sing praises and have some food….. why do we need to be political and business minded? Where is this in the bible?
    Where is it that Jesus told people to “Go, Be involved in political struggles and force morality and religion on folks, because that is the way to change their hearts, by force, just like the Father…”
    (Hint: Its not there! ) we are to love people, make relationships, and be examples of Christ to others, win them by our love and actions. Not by force. This is the problem I have with the whole Christian Right Patriotic Church movement. It is wrong, simply wrong. I believe this with every fiber of my being. Just as liberals can’t legislate you to believe like them, neither can we.
    Just my thoughts on this.

  39. gomergirl

    First, I have never done any of that stuff…
    Second, you haven’t seen anything compared to what will come if the government moves against the church
    Third, I was being a provocateur not making an apologetic.
    Fourth, we probably agree more than disagree

  40. Dread… Fair enough…. I just don’t get the people I know (not you, because I really don’t know you) who are either surprised by what is going on, or who think that legislation is the answer. It is a very passionate thing I feel.
    So, please forgive me if I spoke out of turn. I am just trying to work all this out in my own life, where I can’t seem to find like minded people with whom I can fellowship in person. I can’t abide the whole uber-patriotic-rightwing-chirstian thing, and that leaves me (especially in Portland) pretty much in a wilderness, unless I chose to fellowship in the progressive liberal churches….. no happy medium here.

    So, play devil’s advocate, and I will try better to pick up on those awkward social cues that I so often miss… 😉

    And I’d love to buy you a beer (or soda) and talk in depth (actually with anyone here) if you are ever in the rose city. We would probably get on well….

  41. Again, this is not a church issue – nothing in the decision has challenged the church. This is an American issue and is for American citizens to deal with. I don’t know why some are projecting issues and problems just on a hunch.

    As I said yesterday – churches are allowed to discriminate against people on the basis of religion with no fear of losing tax exemption or any other backlash – why now?

    I linked the decision above – read it and get educated on the topic.If you don’t read it, well quit complaining.

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