Feb 292016
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. It’s been said on these pages that the label “evangelical” has so broad a meaning that it no longer has any real meaning at all.

I would now suggest that the label “Christian” has no real meaning culturally and Christians are the ones to blame for it.

 

The mating of the ancient faith with American politics has left “Christians” accepting the testimony of an adulterous strip club owner as being that of a real “Christian”.

I suppose if we can continue to accept the testimonies of narcissistic thieves in the pulpit this is no great stretch for us…

2. The Gospel of American religion is not  that of Jesus Christ, but some nebulous concept of “success”enabled by an equally nebulous definition of “God” splashed with situational pietism. It is a false Gospel led by false teachers leading false Christians to a hell on earth and in the afterlife.

3. The ODM’s have really fallen down on the job. Here we are with millions of people falling for the lies of a “strong man” and they don’t see an analogy to the anti-Christ. I do…

4. The essence of the Christian faith is to love your God and love your neighbor as yourself. It’s hard to love your neighbor while also calling him or her names online…

5. For the Christian, nothing should be more important than the Gospel of Jesus Christ and anything that diminishes, dilutes, or defiles the Gospel should be considered despicable.

6. The people of God have always been given “boundary markers” top distinguish them from the rest of society. In the older testament they were circumcision, food restrictions, and the Sabbath. In the new covenant, there is only one…love. We are close to being indistinguishable from the culture around us…we just hate different things.

7. I gave up watching the NBA years ago… Trey’s love of Steph Curry made me look again. The sheer joy that guy has in excelling at what he does makes it worth watching again.

8. The same folks that yell at charismatics and the renewal crowd for “over realized eschatology” are the same ones that think a fallen sinner can bring about a semblance the kingdom of God politically…

9. There was a time when argument and debate was meant to convince someone else of a given position. It was a good and healthy way to discern truth. Now the objective is to demean and destroy those who disagree with you. We are devouring each other…and because we can’t exchange facts with each other we are far from the truth on most things. There has to be a way to turn this around…

10. I’m glad that there is no one I can vote for with a clear conscience in this presidential election…it frees me to be concerned with the only kingdom that matters and to try to learn to love people who I passionately disagree with.

I will be offline for most of this week as I will be having a medical procedure tomorrow that has an indefinite recovery time.

Thankfully, Kevin H has provided us with some articles and I’ll be back when able.

  43 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. May I say, AMEN to number 4!

  2. Praying for your medical procedures, for your speedy recovery Michael. Glad you have the essentials at arms reach!

  3. #1 – I take full credit for this one 🙂

    #3 – This anti-christ agrees with them politically.

    #7 – Curry is phenomenal. I enjoyed watching him play at a small college here in NC. Davidson. He was unbelieveable there, but I never thought it would translate to the NBA.

    Prayers for you as you endure this procedure. Take your time and heal up. Take it easy.

  4. May your procedure and recovery go well, Michael.

  5. Christian has become so shameful that I intend to keep the name. The last thing I want to do is find some culturally beautiful name for a faith that the world has always hated. Your critique is valid but my frustration is the Christians who want to avoid the name because they have some avant-garde notion of their own enlightenment. Shame is good for the name. Let’s keep it. If we concern ourselves with what we do to his name that is a path I can walk.

    YES @#3 Trump is a perfect antichrist figure. There has never been a better one. He is the strong man come to save us. Of course a ton of pretrib guys will flock to him.

    The rule changes have made the NBA beautiful again. It is time to return to watching it. I like it more, considerably more.

  6. 2. “For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.”

  7. I will be praying for you, Michael. 🙂

  8. Healing to you Michael as you’re on the mend!

  9. I like BD’s #5. Agreed. Christian it is, for me.

  10. re#1. “It’s been said on these pages that the label “evangelical” has so broad a meaning that it no longer has any real meaning at all.”

    The term Evangelical also loses meaning when we add specific labels to it such as “radical” or “moderate” to define a Christian. While there is much gray area on non essential theological distinctives within the body of Christ…………when it comes to being a “Christian”, a person either is one or they’re not.

    Michael l’ll be praying for a successful operation and a speedy recovery.

  11. I wish I lived nearby you Michael so I could bring soup.

    Yes, I will cherish the name “Christian” no matter what. I am not any better than the rest of the bunch and probably a whole lot worse. A few days ago, someone on this blog made the claim that Christians were (to paraphrase) stupid, low IQ imbeciles. I will gladly throw my lot in with the Fools for Christ.

    I always wondered how Christians could be fooled into following the AntiChrist when he arises. Now I know. (I’m not pre-trib, pre-mil so I expect Antichrist will appear while there are still Christians on Earth.)

  12. Thanks for the prayers and the kind words, folks.
    They do make a difference.

  13. About the name Christian – I love it when folks rail against how Christians are treated in this country – or the politicians who say we must take back this Christian nations – etc etc (or is it blah, blah, blah)?

    If you think you are now just being treated poorly for being a Christian – ythen you were not doing Christianity properly before that. The Chriastian faith is offensive – the claims of Christianity are not rational, the actions of the Christian are (or should be) nonsensical to the average Joe on the street that people should be wanting to string us up from the corner lamp posts.

    But if the world is electing “christians” to high public office – well, we ain’t doing it right.

  14. “But if the world is electing “christians” to high public office – well, we ain’t doing it right.”

    Hmmm. That’s an interesting thought.

  15. Spurs fans have known for a long time about the beautiful game… 🙂

  16. Here’s how I manage my FB page:

    If someone asks to be my “friend,” I’ll take them if I know one person we have in common if I don’t know them otherwise. I “follow” everyone for a while to see what kind of things they post. If it’s stuff I don’t like (crude things, overly worldly stuff, extreme right or left wing opinions, etc.) I keep them as a friend but I quit following them.

    Most of the people I follow are some fine PhxP peeps, my relatives, school-related people, monasteries, and churches. Seldom is heard a discouraging word.

    None of my closest friends have FB, they think it is of the devil. They may be right, for all I know. The Devil makes good use of FB, and that’s a fact. But so does God, I think.

  17. I like the term Christian…I object to the adjectives and qualifiers attached to it by so many, which diminishes our unity.

    Curry = magic. He’s transformed the game. Used to be every night on Sports Center featured LeBron James. No more. Curry time. His father Dell is a great example, too.

  18. Xenia,

    I’m probably going to change up what I do on Facebook.

    I used to have very few local friends and family online…now I have a bunch and they’re concerned about the kids, cats, and life in general, not what I do here.

    I may separate the two groups…

  19. ” I would now suggest that the label “Christian” has no real meaning culturally and Christians are the ones to blame for it.”

    I think some of you missed the point. In many segments, there is very little Christian about the category Christian. That is, there is little, solid reflection of biblical Christianity.

    Praying for successful and quick recovery Michael.

  20. I always get a kick out of the word Christian because it is defined in many ways. Whenever I travel to countries that persecute Christians like Indonesia and parts of Sudan and the Middle East, we never admit that we are Christians as it can cause many problems for those we are working with. The term we use is “followers of Jesus”. The reason I find this interesting is because in the heavily Muslim populated countries, this term isn’t as offensive as “Christian”. I think that in our country, “follower of Jesus” is very offensive to many here.

    Also, I really enjoy hearing of all of the things that Trey has taught you over the years. You should pay closer attention to that kid 🙂

  21. “Follower of Jesus”
    Love that =)

  22. Michael,

    May God give you peace and heal you of all your afflictions.

  23. since Xenia is so far away, i pray that a like soup lady is there for Michael’s recovery – praying, too, that the man will be sensible, a little bit hypochondriactic even, take a lesson from the cat and lay low till you’re all better, Michael no heroics now!
    God keep

  24. worrying about the loose use of the label Christian goes waaay back… perhaps, that is why, referring to the new birth which must take place, folk began to describe themselves as ‘born again’ – dunno

  25. I see that in your thoughts Michael that there is a thread of loving people as the mark of a Christian, and how online these days that is pretty much thrown out the window. This is a concern of mine too in that I hesitate to post on even most Christian websites for fear of being ripped apart by most likely unstable people who think it’s their job to correct and belittle and attack everyone they disagree with.

    Thanks Michael for including these concerns recently, and will pray for your health!

  26. Dan,

    I wasn’t going to say anything at all, but fell under conviction as someone who has a platform.

    It struck me some time ago that I was now afraid to post articles by myself and others either here or on my other social media because of the responses that they would engender.

    I have been as effectively silenced by the right on some issues as I have been on the left by others.

    When I write something it’s because I care about the subject and hopefully, have some studied insight or information about the topic.

    I’m ok with good debate…I’m not ok with my friends and family watching me get ripped by profane trolls or angry accusers.

    Instead of trying to bring light to topics I do know something about, I’ve resigned myself to letting things play out and trusting God to do what He will.

    Age and illness make cowards of us all…

  27. The terms Christ-follower and follower of Jesus used to bug me, but as the term christian has gotten more and more diluted, I find them to be a much more appropriate indicator.

    Bless you, Michael in your procedure and recovery.

  28. Thanks again to those praying…I’m just getting everything ready here at home.

  29. I’ll be joining those praying for your healing, Michael.

    As for Trump, I am simultaneously perplexed, amazed, and appalled at how many Christians have lined up to support him. I simply cannot fathom how many people can so easily throw aside their purported principles to follow such an anti-Biblical figure.

  30. We’ll be praying for you tomorrow and during your recovery, Michael. You are a blessing to us and the Body of Christ! Some of them just don’t realize it yet. :o)

  31. Amen to #30 about Trump!

  32. You’re in my prayers Michael. Take the rest you need as we pray for you.

  33. You are loved and appreciated .

    We are praying.

  34. About #4, 9, 10: I am in full agreement. Jesus calls us to love our enemies. Jesus also said that we should be known by our love for one another. I know it is challenging to write up about the things many Christians are blind to that are wrong. But the purpose of this is to love people by speaking difficult truth to them. I am glad that you are feeling conviction. I think that many of us need that in regards to what we say and how we treat others online. There needs to be more careful listening and cooler heads should prevail when the topic gets dicey. We do not have to agree with each other on everything, but we do need to learn how to love and be civil with those we disagree with. If I do not have love than I am nothing…

  35. Praying for peace and healing, Michael. Blessings and Love.

  36. 1Co 13:1
    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

    And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

    If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,fn but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

    or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;fn

    it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

    ……….

    1Co 13:13
    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    familiar words, i know … but just look how far above all other spiritual gifts love is placed, eh

    might i add, Lord, love is not a cheesy grin with the words bless you, brother 🙂
    well … maybe sometimes it is

  37. “The Gospel of American religion is not that of Jesus Christ, but some nebulous concept of “success”enabled by an equally nebulous definition of “God” splashed with situational pietism.”

    Couldn’t of said it better myself.

  38. Michael, I join those praying for your procedure, recovery and healing. Take off the time that you need, although I hope someone will keep us posted on your progress as you recover.

  39. may God guide the doctors hads and grant you a full and speedy recovery

  40. Michael (pst 26): keep caring and keep posting Michael! You are in GOOD hands! Blessings to you in your recovery.

    Good debate can be healthy. I recently had to sit through a political debate between two co-workers (I say “had to” because I sat near them while I was trying to get my work done). It was spirited and fun, and at the end they both remained friends. No name-calling, no accusations. Just spirited and fun debating.

    In contrast, online you sometimes can’t even politely disagree with someone without being called a troll or other names, having your salvation and faith questioned, or being threatened. This happens, as you know, on CHRISTIAN websites!

    I for one, Michael, am glad that for the most part, the clientele on your website are more mature!

    Here’s to a speedy recovery!

  41. Mike:

    #3 – what is an ODM ?

  42. @42 –

    Online
    Discernment
    Ministry

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