Dec 282015
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. Some have suggested that we are doing the Body of Christ a disservice by reporting on matters like the Gospel For Asia scandal. I say it’s not the scandals that darken the name of the church, but how we respond to them. If we cleaned up our own messes people might begin to think we believe what we profess…

 

2. I keep seeing religionists commenting on how Star Wars is or isn’t fit for Christian consumption. Can’t we ever do anything just for fun?

3. Patti LaBelle is now known for making pie. That woman can sing like few others I’ve ever heard and it’s all about pie. I’m getting old.

4. There are a whole bunch of Christians whose notion of grace and forgiveness is almost Islamic. Except, of course, if they are the sinners in question…

5. My Facebook friend Bobby Grow said it well… “Christians in Syria, Iraq, and other Muslim areas are not being killed because those killing them think that they worship the same God, but because they believe that they do not.”

6. Lots of pastors are preparing their year end “prophecy updates”. I see no evidence that we are any closer to the end than we’ve been…indeed, this may be the best time to be alive in human history.

Can’t sell CD’s with that attitude…

7. I’ve noted this before, but feel the need to say it again. There is no biblical “gift of discernment”. There is a gift of “discerning spirits” which is helpful if you happen upon the devil.

8. I’m not a “Star Wars” fan, but if you are, I’m very happy you have this movie to enjoy.

9. The NFL has a big problem with the concussion issue. The problem isn’t that anyone will shut down the league legally, it’s that parents will stop their kids from playing the sport. The pipeline will dry up…

10. Despite the health issues I’m facing, I’m excited about the New Year approaching. Christians, above all others have reason to hope…and we should spread that instead of prophecy updates…

  70 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. Thanks for #2…. I wonder about that… why must everything be so serious? I happen to love StarWars and Harry Potter and Firefly and Doctor Who…. And I do so, without trying to make it some thing it is not. It is entertainment that takes me ot of the evil of this world that we can not escape and for a few hours, be given the gift of wonder and surprise and sheer happiness. If you don’t like them, don’t watch or read them. But please don’t go on about how I will go to hell for being a fan… (although, Buffy might put me at risk… 😉 )

    #8… Yes I am! Thanks. Enjoy your football!

  2. Was it Kuyper some quote saying there’s nothing Jesus doesn’t see and say “mine” about? 🙂 Sometimes it seems those sorts of Christians who invoke that mean everything belongs to Jesus except maybe for some of the royalties for their books. Okay, maybe that was too mean.

  3. #2… Remembering when Star Wars came out in 1977. Christians everywhere had bumper stickers saying the force was Jesus. We were discouraged from seeing it and CC circles I belonged to even Disney animated releases were considered demonic. I felt like a traitor as I enjoyed stuff I was warned against. I won’t even get into the music I was told to avoid as I’ve brought it up so often in the past. I’m happy I left that mindset behind.

  4. gomergirl,

    I love Batman and the comic book movies.
    It’s all good. 🙂

  5. #2. Without commenting on Star Wars (I haven’t seen the latest), this logic just in general is scary. Sure, we can do things “just for fun” – and those things can potentially hurt us if they are throwing messages at us that are anti-God or filling our minds and hearts with ungodly thoughts and ideas. Are you ok with me seeing “fifty shades of grey” if I want to “escape reality” – because it’s “just for fun”? Many movies are far more subtle but they still in the net result do not help, but rather hurt, us as believers. I would definitely put movies like Harry Potter (that gomergirl mentioned) in this category – (my observations on why are at: http://www.laughandlift.com/personalarticles/harrypotter.html ) I don’t think any of us need to be the morality police for others, and again, I am NOT referring to this Star Wars installment which I haven’t seen, but I also think we need to be careful for ourselves not to just be justifying stuff in the name of “I need to escape reality for a few hours and have fun”.

  6. Chris,
    I really don’t think there’s a comparison between “Fifty Shades” and “Star Wars”.

  7. Michael, I didn’t make that comparison. I was addressing the underlying logic. It’s perfectly legit to look at a movie (Star Wars or otherwise) to see how well it fits with the Christian worldview. Some fit much better than others. And some are more blatant in their ungodliness than others (i.e. fifty shades). But to just say we shouldn’t even consider such because we should all just be able to “just have fun” is scary to me. I’m not saying that every little thing needs to be nitpicked (I have run across such people and they drive me up the wall – which is I presume what you were basically responding to) but as believers, we SHOULD be watching what we consume and be concerned about what we consume as those things affect us. I haven’t read any Christian reviews on the new Star Wars yet (I tried to briefly right before it came out but didn’t find anything) but I don’t think it’s a bad idea to do so. I WANT to know what kinds of messages I’m going to be putting in my brain in a 2-hour movie, whether good or bad. As a Christian, I like to make informed decisions about what is or is not helpful for me.

  8. Chris, Star Wars(or any movie) doesn’t need to fit our worldview in order for it to be enjoyed. One could even say that we could compare/contrast the worldview presented in SW with our worldview.

    Or we could just enjoy the yarn….

    Not everything needs to be evaluated and parsed…

  9. HOLY COW! I SOO much love these thoughts, I don’t know where to start!

    Just an AMEN to the “just for fun!” thing!!!!!

    Those people who claim we are soiling the name of Christ by bringing to light the misdeeds of some ministries, are probably the same people who have dark secrets in their lives, or keep a lid on dark family secrets.

    And I am SOO sick of prophecy wonks. They will NEVER admit to making false predictions, and we all know that they make predictions no matter what they say to the contrary.

  10. Amen Papias, we don’t need to over-analyze everything to enjoy!

  11. Michael – any predictions for the Packers/Vikings this weekend?

    I choose NOT to watch the 2nd half of yesterdays Packers game against AZ..I felt my spirit being grieved.. 🙂

  12. Re#1. I think that as shepherds we know how to comfort the afflicted well, that is part of our calling but so is afflicting the comfortable as needed. This said as shepherds we must be able to restore those brothers who go astray but the key is simply that we must do it with a spirit of meekness, lest we also fall. Let’s get one thing straight…looking the other way and remaining quiet when we have the ability to bring restoration is not…….. meekness nor is it loving because the fear of men has usurped the fear of God. I don’t know how else to put but the fear of man behind His pulpits is not only a disservice to the bride of Christ but also an abomination as it quenches God’s power. This also sends the wrong message to the timothies that are learning from us as we pass on to them this abominable DNA of the fear of man. Let’s not forget that a servant in not greater than his master, if we fear man don’t expect to raise and send out God fearing men. Its that simple.

    As shepherds of His flock lets pass on to faithful men the things we’ve learned that exalt Christ and protect His bride. Let’s finish the race well. Beginning the race in ministry is the easy part but it is finishing well what ultimately matters.

    By the way Michael I went to see Stars Wars in 3D this weekend. Had lots of fun.
    Happy New Year to all.

  13. Papias, if you mean in the sense of viewing something ungodly to use to actually further your own belief by comparison/contrast – I suppose that could potentially be true. I’ve done that before. But that’s also shaky ground and playing a bit with fire.

    But I would adamantly disagree (and not to name-drop, but so would the Apostle Paul – see Philippians 4:8) that we as believers are to just go “enjoy” things that are ungodly without evaluating it. Again, I’m not specifically talking about SW here (I don’t even know what its content is). But what we put in our eyes and ears affects our heart and mind and I think in general us Christians have done a really lousy job at guarding those gates. There’s nothing wrong with trying to be careful about what I consume as a Christian…

  14. 1. People get upset when their idols are exposed for what they truly are.

    When I heard Pastor Chuck say that Kestler “has a problem with the ladies”… that hit me like a punch in the gut. I had always given Chuck the benefit of the doubt.

    But then things changed. Chuck was always human to me, but I had a assumed that he would do the right thing. He didn’t.

  15. Chris, there’s nothing wrong with your view for you.

    The issue is when we try to apply our convictions to others. See Romans 14.

  16. Papias, agree to a degree. Already stated I don’t think any of us (myself included) need to be the morality police for others. As believers, we each have to make our own choices between us and God. At the same time, I do just have to point out that the line of reasoning you are talking about can easily go into the world’s “your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth and how dare you judge me?” line of thinking. You will find that the Apostle Paul made all sorts of judgments on what was and was not acceptable behavior for believers. It’s literally all throughout his letters. The world’s notion of “you do what you want to do, but don’t you dare look at me and tell me I’m doing something wrong” isn’t Biblical within the Church.

  17. i’m not so sure that #5 is on target (might be), what scares me most is that those folk think we worship the same God, but we’re doing it wrong and that gives them license to kill – delusions are bad and such religiously fueled delusions are demonic … in one way or another and to one degree or another … IMHO

  18. By the way, Michael, Amen to your #10. 🙂 Not that I have a particular problem with looking at current events in the light of prophecy, but I do so tire of the doom-and-gloom mindset. In Jesus, come what may, we have nothing to fear and we have HOPE! 🙂

  19. gotta say, anyone who thinks that watching Star Wars is a mind warping sin had better not every turn on a TV – every commercial is aimed at “warping” your mind – “warp” is a funny sounding word
    i belong to an elite group that Star Wars put to sleep when i saw it in ’77 – maybe that was because we had to stand in line so long to get in 🙂

  20. i hope Jesus IS coming real soon as i’d just love to be snatched out of this world before i die … lol

  21. Chris,

    While I agree that Paul made judgments on what was right and wrong for believers, he also left doubtful matters over to individual conscience. Again… Romans 14.

    I don’t consider Star Wars a make it or break it matter. I have to trust the Holy Spirit to be working in the lives of my brothers and sisters lives will convict them of sin.

    You cannot say for certain that watching Star Wars is sinful in anyone elses life.

  22. I have seen the new Star Wars movie. Can’t even imagine why it would be thought to be sinful. But whatever, I stopped dealing with those types long ago.

  23. I like Stars Wars. It reminds me of the happy time when my kids were little.

    It someone were to make the Force their religion, and I imagine there are some who do, that’s worrisome.

  24. Papias, I never said it was. 🙂 I think we can agree. There are issues that are “doubtful” as you mention and are up to our individual conscience. For the record, I have been intending to see the new Star Wars. I was never taking issue with Star Wars specifically, only the implied idea that discussing or analyzing morality/worldview of movies in light of our Christianity isn’t valid or worthwhile. It very much can be.

  25. On the whole, though, I loathe & despise Hollywood.

  26. Chris,

    My favorite author/hero was a profane agnostic.
    You probably wouldn’t enjoy his writings.

    I despise/loathe/wretch at the notion of passing everything through some “Christian” worldview.

    Most of the great art and literature over the centuries has been spat at by the church…and I frankly don’t care about other peoples opinions about either.

  27. Papias,

    I favor the Packers by 7.
    Our offensive line is not ready for prime time.

  28. I do pass everything through a Christian world view, or at least I try to.

  29. I do agree that the vast majority of everything that goes through the entertainment industry is garbage. I do agree that we need to be careful about what we allow in our minds.

    I don’t believe that we need to be that filter for other Christian adults.

  30. Michael… before yesterdays game, I might have taken those odds.

    If we make it past the 1st round of playoffs, it would be a miracle….

  31. “Christian” worldview in this country celebrates Left Behind novels, Kirk Cameron movies, and Rush Limbaugh. Makes hell sound like a holiday to me…

  32. For those with certain health issues, may I recommend the DASH diet. It’s not too onerous and it dramatically lowered my husband’s triglyceride levels. My levels of various indicators are pretty good, too. Lots of veggies, fruit, lean meat, whole grains and low fat dairy. No junk food, is the hard part for some people. Nothing weird at all. Easy to find all you need about it on the internet.

  33. You are talking about one particular world view and not the one I participate in.

    There is an authentic Christian world view that does not listen to Rush or reads Left Behind.

  34. Michael! HA!! LOL to your comment #31! Agreed soooo much.

    I am torn for the Vikes/Pack game next week. Being a Vikes fan, I want them to win, but the Pack are smarting right now. That was almost embarrassing to view yesterday, the Pack/Cardinals game. Of course, the Vikes put a whipping on a disinterested Giants team!

  35. Xenia,

    None of us should violate our own conscience. That’s my Christian worldview.

  36. Dan, I always root for my Vikes. Over 50 years of fandom here.

  37. When the new year prophecy updates come out, esp any predictive ones, then it’s time to look at the ones from previous years and see how well they did.

  38. Eric,

    They’ve been doing them for fifty some years…discerning “signs of the times” that were not anything more than history unfolding.

    I don’t know how people can still get jacked up about these “updates” after 35 or 40 years of hearing “He’s at the door”.

  39. One’s conscience is often informed by the things one takes into oneself.

  40. Because of #2, I had to give a lot of thought about releasing my novels under my own name. I did so, at least my sci-fi and fantasy books.

    However, if I should ever try to enter “the ministry”, I know I will suffer grief from the religious crowd. For some, any form of fiction is junk and anything futuristic or fantastic is positively demonic. Sad that their hold on reality is so tenuous that they cannot tolerate a wondrous tale, be it J.R.R. Tolkien, Stan Lee, or George Lucas.

    – Author Eric

  41. I love wondrous tales and belong to a sci fi/ fantasy book club. Sometimes the group chooses books that I cannot read.

  42. Can’t sell CD’s with that attitude…

    No, but some of these so-called “prophets” might want to invest in CD’s of their own now that interest rates have begun rising.

  43. Regarding #10, is there anything we, your readers, can pray for regarding your health?

  44. Larry,

    According to the cardiologist a heart valve replacement is inevitable.
    I’ve been wearing a heart monitor for two weeks and have two weeks to go.

    I don’t believe anything is inevitable in the kingdom of God, so I’m praying for healing…and will take all the company I can get.

  45. We don’t think the worse of a society when crime and corruption are reported in the media. We think worse of a society if we know there is crime and corruption but it is not acknowledged.

  46. Michae @ 44: Joining with you in that prayer brother!

  47. I guess I’m the chief of sinners around here….Star Wars..Star Trek..Stargate Sg1 along with the Avenger movies.

  48. the prayers for healing continue, Michael – the sooner, the better, Lord 🙂

    i suspect loving sci fi has something to do with I.Q. – my very smart husband did and my very smart daughter does love it … while i am less than lukewarm about it

    the only humanly impossible, unbelievable tales that i love are all recorded in Scripture

  49. before i call it a day – RIP, Meadowlark … someone whistling? ‘Sweet Georgia Brown?’

  50. Michael, there’s a whole generation of people who think George Foreman is only a grille huckster…Patti LaBelle will always be loved for her PIPES.

    Regarding ‘Christian consumption,’ it sounds like a lung disease. Actually, I have had parents who prohibit their kids from reading novels in my class–which I’ve carefully screened and selected through my Christian grid–because the title sounded too threatening or the artwork was objectionable, or it’s a public school, or… Funny, when I ask them if they read it themselves first, not one ever had. Crushes their credibility.

  51. Michael #36…wow 50 years! Back to the days of Dave Osborn, Ron Yary, and the Purple People Eaters!

  52. But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. 40But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.
    1 Corinthians 14:38-39

    Sad that so many will throw the baby out with the bath water.

    Paul obviously felt that there is value when Christians prophesy and use the gift of tongues.

    But you wouldn’t know it if your shepherd disparages such from his platform.

    I would put that on a par with those who disparage enjoyment of Star Wars movies and such.

    FHMCC was founded three and a half years ago by Pastor Brian Smith, a heavy metal musician who became disillusioned with the Christianity of his youth.

    “I used to go to a church where every Sunday I was told I was going to Hell for wearing shorts or going swimming in coed swimming holes, or listening to any other music than hymns,” he said in a recent radio interview.

    So he left that church and, armed with a cheap PA and a stack of discount Bibles, started his weekly FHMCC services in the back room of a venue where he played with his secular metal band, across the street from a strip club.

    http://www.vice.com/read/i-spent-sunday-in-the-first-heavy-metal-church-of-christ-212

  53. Em,

    “the only humanly impossible, unbelievable tales that i love are all recorded in Scripture”

    Your right.

    So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
    Joshua 10:13

    And then there is Jesus “coming out” moment where he messes with the molecular properties of water, turning it into about 75 cases worth of much fine wine for the week long wedding feast…

    https://bible.org/seriespage/5-first-sign-jesus-turns-water-wine-john-21-11

  54. Sad that so many will throw the baby out with the bath water.Chad Bird wrote this poem

    http://www.chadbird.com/blog/2015/12/28/graveyard-lullaby-o-bloody-town-of-bethlehem#.VoEqvyJLWBQ.facebook

    On December 28, the church remembers The Holy Innocents–the young boys whom Herod and his soldiers murdered in their attempt to kill the Christ Child (Matthew 2:16-18). This poem is a reflection upon their martyrdom.

    O bloody town of Bethlehem,
    How shrill we hear thee cry.
    Your mothers shriek while fathers weep
    The graveyard lullaby.
    For butchers clad as soldiers
    At Herod’s mad behest
    Aborted weal with blades of steel
    They thrust in tender chests.

    O Bethlehem, thou House of Tears,
    What balm can heal thy woe?
    When darkness looms, can flowers bloom,
    From seeds of grief you sow?
    Dear Heaven, share thy secret:
    These sons died not in vain.
    Young martyrs bold, in death foretold,
    A Death that Life would gain.

    Ye martyred boys of Bethlehem,
    From ‘neath the altar, pray
    To Christ your Lord, whom Herod’s sword
    Slew not that awful day.
    Rachel, Rachel, weep no more,
    Your sons shall dry your tears.
    For flowers bloom where darkness loomed,
    Since Christ our Light appears.

  55. #54 – i think the most important takeaway from reading that sorrowful poem is how clearly it presents Satan’s hatred … not just of Christ, but of God’s whole creation … sometimes i wonder if Adam ever asked God why he shouldn’t disobey that command to stay away from that fruit…
    still thinking… as i sit here recovering from reading… we are magnificently designed with incredible potential and yet, from heaven’s vantage point we must look so puny as we turn our capacities to designing our own recovery from the cost of our disobedience… medicine, engineering, space exploration etc. all using what God designed and most of it still in rebellion to the Giver…
    it’s a bleak winter day up here in the mountains

  56. My New Year’s resolution for my participation on the PhxP is to post what I believe is the truth without casting dispersion on those who think otherwise.

    Anyone want to join me?

  57. In Ortholandia today is the day to remember the Prophet Haggai. Tomorrow is the Prophet Daniel. It’s good that St. Daniel appears on the calendar just before Christmas because he played a big part in the story. It was Daniel who, while in captivity in Babylon, prophesied to the Chaldeans that a King would be born in Bethlehem and to watch for the star.

  58. While I’m working on Linkathon…

    Xenia,

    It’s a noble resolution.
    For me to join you I will simply have to prohibit certain views from expression here as I find them ridiculous and have little restraint in saying so.
    For me to keep the blog up means keeping conflict and stress to a minimum…so that might be the direction I go.

  59. I always express the truth. I only cast aspersions on those nit wits who challenge my truth. 😉

  60. The Christmas troparion (hymn), sung to a lively tune.

    Your Nativity, O Christ our God, / Has shone to the world the Light of wisdom! / For by it, those who worshipped the stars, / Were taught by a Star to adore You, / The Sun of Righteousness, / And to know You, the Orient from on High. / O Lord, glory to You!

  61. Aspersion is the right word, not dispersion. I conflated aspersion with disparage and came up with the wrong word.

  62. I’ll join with Xenia. No disparaging comments from me.

  63. Notice how I just stated the ‘true’ word without bringing aspersion to your choice of words 🙂

  64. Michael, I think it is reasonable for a blog owner to prohibit views that he finds personally abhorrent. No one is obligated to host ideas he considers to be heretical.

  65. I did notice that, MLD. Well done!

  66. Xenia,

    I appreciate that.
    I don’t believe denying church history is heretical, just horribly dishonest.

  67. well, in my literal reading, i thought that Xenia was resolving to not disperse the rest of us sheep lol

  68. Michael, your number 4 about grace and forgiveness, I think I know what you are saying, but could you elaborate? Thanks!

  69. Dan,

    Islam is a works based faith with a god that demands much from the faithful.
    Christianity is a grace based faith whose God has given all to the faithful.

    We have seen many times on these pages where people have made acceptance by God dependent upon behavior by sinners instead of Christ’s work on their behalf.

    These people always seem to believe that their behavior is pleasing to God…but few others meet their standards.

  70. Thanks for the explanation Michael!

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