Oct 292012
 

1. The great weakness in both the political and theological arenas is that we all think we’re experts in both fields. The reality is that most of us are woefully lacking in our understanding of both.

2. I have a handle on exactly one of the political issues we’re wrestling with and that after almost three years of intense study. That issue is not economics, which despite my background as a banker and stockbroker I don’t really understand at all. I am ill informed at best and utterly ignorant at worst about most of the issues I’m supposed to make an informed vote on…and there is no place to find reasoned explanations and discussions to educate myself.

3. I think we vote the same way we choose a theology…according to tradition and emotional triggers.

4. I never cease to be alternately amused and dismayed by the heat generated whenever a discussion of the Rapture takes place.

5. What if…there was a branch of the ODM contingent dedicated to finding the common ground between  the differing flavors of Christians?

6.  I think eschatology is a much more enjoyable study when you define it as Jesus coming back to bring heaven and earth together instead of Jesus coming to catch lazy virgins who need an oil change.

7. If you spend any time in the older testament you will quickly discern that God’s main complaint against His people is idolatry. I think it still is…

8. Windows 8…great concept, poorly executed. Could still be the next big thing…

9. Praying for my East Coast friends while being thankful I live in Oregon…no hurricanes, tornadoes or other catastrophic weather. Just the occasional volcanic explosion…

10. The fact that I hold a different doctrinal position than you do doesn’t mean that I “disagree with God’s word”.

  165 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. I will be SO GLAD when the current batch of poilitco ads are over and done with. They get so nasty and partisan that I cannot even stand to watch them after awhile.

    Kind of similar to some ODMs comments about a other Christians. I wonder if the world looks at both of these arenas as being too similar and having the same motiviation – to get at the money in their pockets? What would churches and ODMs commercials looks like if we went in that direction?

    Praying for those on the East Coast. Stay dry!

  2. 1 guilty
    2 truth
    3 I’ve learned the same. The issues are intensely personal, which is causing the heated arguments.
    4 that’s just good entertainment.
    5 let’s do!
    6 I’ll one up you. I’m beginning to feel that the study of eschatology is just a big fat distraction from our true call. Love.
    7 agreed
    8 whatever
    9 one up you again… Idaho doesn’t even have volcanoes. We are rich with the extremely ignorant Nugent (sp) version of red. Worse than volcanoes.
    10 WORD!

  3. and there is no place to find reasoned explanations and discussions to educate myself
    ———————————————————–
    Since you’re posting this on the internet, and not isolated on some deserted island, this is simply not true. I believe you also own a TV (though most political TV programming can be caught on the internet these days too).

    Michael, in saying the above you imply none of us can have reasoned explanations and have educated ourselves on the issues of the day. Because of course, how could we? There is no place to find such info. So we have our traditions and emotional triggers and just spout off out of our backsides.

    There is a world of difference in saying you choose not to take the time or effort, and saying that NOBODY is capable of finding out anything

    Example: I watched 4 hours or so of House hearings on C-Span concerning the Libya fiasco. No commentators – just the camera in the room recording the Democrats, the Republicans, and the four witnesses testifying under oath. Was doing some work at the house that allowed me to have the TV on and catch the whole thing.

    I totally get that very few people have the interest, or want to expend the time, or even have the opportunity to watch 4 hours of C-Span hearings. And I’m sure people more spiritual than me would have had praise music or Bible studies going during those same 4 hours. But I did this because A) I am interested when Americans are killed by Muslims and B) I want to have an educated opinion when I talk about Americans being killed by Muslims. The point is it IS possible to “educate ourselves” on the issues of the day.

    In a similar vein I watch speeches delivered at the UN. (You tube is a great asset in this regard). I watch hours of debates while Obamacare was being crafted and then voted upon. And yeah, I read a lot of political commentary and opinion, but I read it from BOTH sides – just like I read Bible commentaries from sides other than my starting position, so that I can see what the other arguments are and weigh them for their strengths and weaknesses.

    Look, it really is no big deal to not care about politics. Really.

    Big day around here. I’m out. Peace.

  4. AV,

    First off, I was careful to indict myself in my claims of ignorance.
    Second, I barely have time to blog, let alone invest the time it takes to fully grasp the nuances of such complex matters.
    I work full time, pastor a church that expects a coherent message from God’s word and I’m raising a rather unique child.
    Most of us have similar schedules these days.
    You may be correct in saying that there is information out there, but it neither easy or efficient to gather it, assess it, and come to reasoned conclusions about it.

  5. Nomans,

    You speak well when you say the issues are intensely personal…they mean different things to different people and those things may not be related to the substance of the matter at all.

  6. “What if…there was a branch of the ODM contingent dedicated to finding the common ground between the differing flavors of Christians?”

    Interesting question. I’m not sure that some of them are capable of reconciliation without total compliance to their position. It makes me wonder as the spirit of who some of them are do not sound like the Spirit of Christ. Knowledge inflates our pride. Whether it is truth or not is immaterial. It is easy to bulldoze others with bullet statements and theoretical construct which usually results from a skewed interpretation of the position of those whom the critique. Love, which is supposed to be shed abroad our hearts as Christians, is what builds up.

    Still, common ground is a moving target. I found it really interesting that the group here that split their church hosted a city wide worship night so we could all be “one”. The next morning everyone goes to church at the same time in several different locations. It seemed rather hypocritical and disengenuous to have these cheer leading sessions sporadically through out the year and then live the majority of our lives separate from one another. It is the typical Christian ethic of saying we believe something and then living contrary to that profession.

  7. I think the reason so many people have thrown in the towel regarding politics, etc., is that there is no way to know what the truth of a matter really is. I think there is so much skulduggery going on that it is impossible to know the truth about anything on a national or international level. We do not have the ability to determine the truth in most national/ international matters, no matter how many hours of C-Span we watch. I don’t have the heart to dig through all the layers of truth, half-truth, and deception. Yes, I do have better things to do with my time. I don’t think anything is what it appears to be. This is the way of the world and of the ruler and rulers of the world.

  8. NOBODY is capable of finding out anything<<<

    I believe this is true. We might stop investigating when we reach a layer of the onion that we find personally satisfying but that does not mean we have found the truth. There are dozens of layers of "truth" yet to peel away. And then what?

  9. Ixtlan,

    That was really well said…

  10. 1. No doubt this is true.
    2. I have a handle on none, and I like it that way.
    3. Most likely. Efficiency certainly doesn’t seem to play a part.
    4. OF all the things from the Scripture that we CAN know for sure, I’m not sure why we let one like the Rapture divide us so deeply.
    5. No one would read.
    6. Well, it would seem the parable of the virgins would have to play a part, regardless of which view you take. If you have to rule out some scripture to get to your view, you might need to readjust. (the “you” in that is generic. Not implying anyone does that.)
    7. Certainly. Everytime he gives a list of commands, He makes it clear that He has to come first.
    8. Haven’t actually seen it yet. It’ll be at least a year before I have to implement it here at the office, by which time, it may be completely ready 🙂
    9. NC seems to be getting by with just some heavy rain. Looks like it is gonna be bad up north.
    10. I have a new perspective on my disagreements with other believers. If the person loves Jesus, and is serious about the Scripture, I have to hear them out. I may end up still disagreeing, but I have have to really listen and give them the benefit of the doubt that they don’t have evil motives.
    I even have to listen to Republicans, if they fit those criteria 🙂

  11. Michael

    Comment for me again on the role of NAFTA in the demise of Mexico… Here is how I recall it.
    1. NAFTA drove the subsistence farmers to the city
    2. Increased workers drove wages lower
    3. Drugs trade became a better option …more lucrative
    4. Drug cartels rose to the occasion… violence ensued

    How ignorant of the facts is that one? Am I close?

  12. I give an thumb-up to Xenia’s #7.

  13. 10.) I mentioned that while I agree homosexuality is a sin, and agree with the biblical definition of marriage, I also have no problem with same-sex civil marriage. I have never been attacked and made to feel less christian in my entire life. From family and friends alike. I’m not even sure if it’s a doctrinal position, probably more of a political one. Disagreeing with the word, not loving God, were just a few of the zingers. Perhaps, I’m totally wrong on this issue, but I’m positive that sitting down with me and explaining to me, in an educated, loving manner, why I’m incorrect would have worked way better than screaming heretic.

  14. My main interest in Middle Eastern politics is the plight of Arab Christians.

    http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2012/10/father-fadi-haddad-martyred-near.html

    New Martyr Fadi, pray to God for us.

  15. One of my goals in life is fan as much flame on the Rapture issue as is possible… I am always interested in poking a stick in the eye of rapture enthusiasts…

    As for politics … I am hopelessly stuck with an old idea that I have that wealth is created in the private sector and not the public… thus wealth production beats wealth redistribution as an economic venture… Thus I have pretty much always voted Republican. The ancillary issues are driving me the other way.

    And I can no longer say that the party who believes in the sanctity of human life is the repubs… just ain’t true with out a narrow definition.

    Just a side note…

    Would anyone on this blog cop to disagreeing with scripture? At any point?

  16. BD,

    Thank you for asking…you’re close.

    1.NAFTA drove the subsistence farmers north to the border factories.

    2. Wages were already low…then many of those factories relocated to China for even lower wage costs, leaving many with no means of support.

    3. Drug trade became the only viable option…along with going over the border or prostitution. In a Catholic society one and two are better options.

    4. Cartels provided steady wages and employment…along with a very short life expectancy.

  17. As for the 10 virgins and the oil…

    Well I am not sure that is the second coming…

    Might well be the condition of the people at his first…

    or not.

  18. Preston,

    I agree with you…so we can be heretics together.

  19. “Would anyone on this blog cop to disagreeing with scripture? At any point?”

    Obviously not, but I certainly disagree with how some people interpret it. I mean, I don’t think women have to be quiet at church, so if you pluck that one verse out, it would appear I disagree with Scripture.

  20. Xenia,

    “We might stop investigating when we reach a layer of the onion that we find personally satisfying but that does not mean we have found the truth.”

    I wish that would fit on a bumper sticker…well said.

  21. Thanks, Michael…

    It’s nice to know I’m in good company.

  22. Yeah, you rarely see someone watch C_span four 10 hrs, then jump on facebook to say, “I’ll be darned. I was wrong. Obama is awesome, after all!”

  23. Would anyone on this blog cop to disagreeing with scripture? At any point?<<<

    Sure, there's a few regulars who disagree with Saint Paul. Maybe we will hear from them.

  24. FWIW – i’ve spent a lifetime disagreeing [“but, God, You just don’t understand….”] with Scripture, God has been merciful and gracious with my willful self

  25. Xenia, you moved the goalposts there. I never mentioned finding “the truth” – I would be the first to tell you that unless you want a career in the CIA at the highest levels, you probably won’t know the full “truth” on anything substantive in the world of political controversy.

    I commented about “finding reasoned explanations and discussions to educate myself” (before staking out an opinion expressed to others)

    I’ll never know the full truth about God and His ways either, but I’ll study to know as much as I can because I speak to others about it. And thus, I have little patience for those so-called agnostics who say “Well, we can never know the truth about God” and use that as their excuse to not investigate at all, while at the same time speaking (mocking) loudly those of our faith who have come to know the truth that has set us free.

    And I admit my lack of patience often leads to a reaction that is far from Spiritual – and for that I do apologize when it comes out on this board.

    Having said that, there ARE matters of politics that can be studied as to likely outcomes, because we have the lessons of history to guide us. Likewise, there are matters of the faith that are affected by the politicians. Not the ‘what really happened in Libya, Iraq etc’ but issues that affect the economy, the family, education, healthcare and so forth,

    Better things to do with one’s time is certainly a matter of opinion. And everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  26. “finding reasoned explanations and discussions to educate myself” <<<

    But when are you satisfied that you have found the reasoned (reasonable) explanation? When do you stop digging since you acknowledge that wherever you stop (short of being in the CIA) it is short of the truth? At what half-truth are you willing to stop researching?

    But yes, some things are plain and don't require much digging. Romney is a Mormon and that's all I really need to know about him. Sometimes the outer skin tells you all you need to know about a particular onion.

  27. lack of patience perhaps, caused me to react emotionally and without any other reason, vote against a candidate who is running an ad accusing his opponent of defending a heinous murderer (the guy had been a public defender) and i don’t really know a thing about either candidate … i voted against knee-jerk political propaganda … maybe the ad was run by the opposition? i don’t know who to trust, if ‘trust’ is the right word, in politics …

    but, when it comes to the Faith it is another matter – don’t we pray to overcome our emotions’ hold on our mind? because, frankly, i have found God to always make sense in the end … my self centered emotions and lack of patience are a trial for Him, perhaps …

  28. Half-truth?

    Definition: A statement, especially one intended to deceive, that omits some of the facts necessary for a full description or account.

    So to get it off of me for a moment. Michael has made a lot of effort to understand issues as to Mexico and the violence there (and its causes). He reads a lot on the subject, and goes beyond the simple talking points of our mainstream media.

    As a result, I for one listen to what he says. I don’t study the issue to any extent comparable to some other issues I study. So Michael’s opinion carries a lot of weight. He has earned it in my mind. I’ll listen to him. I won’t listen to people who clearly vomit partisan talking points like a hack – on ANY side.

    Now, is this the one topic in the world, and is he the one person in the world that has managed to get to the full, total truth on this one issue? Does Michael have 100% certainty of the truth. No?

    So the alternative is he just can spout half-truths? (intended to deceive us).

    Or…call me crazy (or partisan, same difference) – maybe there is a middle ground where one can certainly come to know a LOT about an issue in an attempt for truth and not in an attempt to just safely get to their preconceived opinion. Maybe something short of 100% is still acceptable to know the fundamentals of an issue…just like in theology.

  29. BD, @ 17 … FWIW, i think you are correct – but,
    since i believe that the Church will be called out to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Raptured) before the “second” coming of our Lord… perhaps, it will apply to us at that time, too – dunno – or, perhaps the Church will simply die off, the wrath of God pour out on the earth unchecked, the time shortened for humanity to survive and then the Lord descends with us right behind Him … i just hope those horses are not allegorical 🙂

    praying for the East coasters now

  30. agreeing with Michael on the bumper sticker quote of Xenia’s onion simile … but, if you keep peeling that onion, you may be left with nothing but onion peels … hmmm, that doesn’t work … is there such a thing as a ‘peeled’ onion – like a peeled cucumber or orange?
    think i’ll go make some more coffee and quit looking for truth for a while

  31. AV – with all due respect, and you know I love you, man. You are one of the most partisan people I know. Do you not realize this? Do you honestly think you are going at the political issues from a non-biased perspective?

  32. “One of my goals in life is fan as much flame on the Rapture issue as is possible… I am always interested in poking a stick in the eye of rapture enthusiasts…”

    I’m learning the same from you…
    But my question for you, is WHY?
    WHY do YOU poke the stick?

  33. Every opinion fits someone’s party, therefore every opinion is partisan. Are we to be intellectually agnostic on anything that someone may have a corresponding agreement with? Some type of gnostic nobility?
    It seems the way things are headed in this country with the revered esteem and above the fray nobility that has been granted to the vast “undecideds”. They are the newly minted regal of political philosophy.
    Which I do not understand.
    Look out the window. Do you see Utopia? Do you see Utopia in progress? These are “Yes” or “No” questions.
    Alas, the great and noble ostrich . . .

  34. Josh, I hear you brother. The thing is, you’ve only known me through the Obama administration.

    You should have read the stuff I wrote about Bush and (most of) the Republican Congress in the prior years.

    And don’t get me started on McCain… 🙂

  35. Rob, I live in Utopia.

    Anyone who walks with the Lord is living in Utopia.

  36. I liked McCain before he got the Republican nomination. Totally changed after that.

    I’ll take your word on the administration change. If you get your wish, you’ll probably have alot to complain about with Romney for the next 4 years 🙂

  37. If I just look out the window, I see a decaying neighborhood. I see trash and weeds. Dystopia.

    If I look in my heart I see the Kingdom of God, Utopia.

    And from that vantage point, when I look out my window, all is Utopia.

  38. I don’t think I understand the relevance of Rob’s questions:

    Do you see Utopia? No.
    Do you see Utopia in progress? No.

    My question would be, does anyone expect a presidential candidate to bring about Utopia?

    Again, I just don’t get it.

  39. It’s easy for me:

    1. I look at the current President and I see a rather inept fellow who is a secularist down to his toes. He believes abortion should be legal and has no problem with homosexuality. Because of his childhood in Indonesia, he is not as horrified by Islam as he should be because they are familiar to him. (I don’t believe he’s a Muslim, though.)

    2. I look at Romney and I see a man who believes he is (or will be) the equal of Jesus Christ one day.

    Neither is acceptable.

    Islam is actually closer to the truth, theologically, than Mormonism is. At least they are monotheists.

  40. My views transcend politics, but politics is so intertwined with life that there is no possibility to be neutral.

    Example: I believe in sexual relations between a married man and wife. That is the ONLY place for sex.

    So what political party aligns with that view? None.

    However, if we then proceed to compromise on God’s will, and it gets to the political choice of whether it is the role of tax supported, publically funded schools to teach children during school hours how to put a condom on a banana, while giving them free samples as they leave class – well NOW it becomes a political issue.

    And one to which I will take a loud stance against.

  41. Rather than voting for the Mormon, why not start up a Christian school? Let all children attend for free. That will solve the banana problem.

  42. “However, if we then proceed to compromise on God’s will, and it gets to the political choice of whether it is the role of tax supported, publically funded schools to teach children during school hours how to put a condom on a banana, while giving them free samples as they leave class – well NOW it becomes a political issue.”

    Take this as a QUESTION, not an argument – What if studies show that where adequate sex-ed and free birth control are available, the abortion rate is about 40% lower?

  43. “My views transcend politics, but politics is so intertwined with life that there is no possibility to be neutral.”

    I know a few who would beg to differ…

  44. Rob,

    I dont live in Utopia, nor is my head in the sand.
    I see massive problems, which neither party seems to give well defined solutions for.
    I see issues with what I believe my faith requires of me on both sides of the partisan gap.

    If I were a one issue voter, I suppose I would vote Republican.
    I’m not, so choices become much more complex and difficult.

  45. Xenia – Have you ever looked into how difficult LEGALLY it is to homeschool other children? Have you ever looked into how difficult LEGALLY it is to start up a private school?

    And you think that somehow either choice will not involve politicians and their political agendas??

    Of course, your answer is definitely in the correct direction, and I fully support alternative educational opportunities. And I also recognize that laws exist for a reason to. No Christian should seek to call what is really ‘truancy’ with some sort of homeschool label.

    There is a very powerful political force in this country called the public school union and they are aligned with a certain political party that continues to pass laws making it harder and harder to start up alternative educational opportunities. That power shows itself to varying degrees in different states.

    This is actually my oft-repeated point. The arm of government has reached far beyond its appropriate role and thus “almost everything has a political aspect to it these days”

    And by the way – no matter how many new Christian schools open, you will still have children in this country being taught certain issues in school unrelated to their education. So there will still be a reason to object to such policy, unless one has the attitude that only what effects their family personally is what matters – and the rest of the kids in the nation are on their own.

    (And for clarity – I am NOT knocking on all public schools, and certainly not on all public school teachers – especially our good friends here. Many attend our church too.)

  46. Josh’s question is an excellent one and demonstrates the kind of complexity and nuance I’m talking about.

    If the statistic he cites is correct, do you support the program?
    Is the end game to reduce abortion or enforce morality?

  47. And for clarity sake, there is a study that says that exactly. I am leary of it, because it is a very limited study.

  48. Xenia – Have you ever looked into how difficult LEGALLY it is to homeschool other children? Have you ever looked into how difficult LEGALLY it is to start up a private school?<<<

    I have been involved in the start up of two Christian schools and taught at both of them. They were quite legal. I was instrumental in getting one of those schools WASC accreditation.

    Before that, we homeschooled for 15 years and I was the leader of the local homeschool group. This was also quite legal.

  49. Good Xenia. Then you know the many challenges involved and the interaction needed with the government – which is getting tougher all the time in some locales.

    But of course, you only responded to a part of my answer.

  50. Josh, yours is an excellent question. And as Michael noted, it is an example of the nuance involved in many issues we discuss.

    Give me a moment – but wanted you to know I was not ducking it…

  51. Moreover, my neighbor, a fine Christian lady, does home school other people’s children. she has been doing this successfully and legally for over ten years. Before that, she homeschooled her own boys who went on to college and now both have masters degrees.

    She does have a college degree and the city did come to make sure her property was safe (no vicious dogs, etc.)

    You can have a day school where the kids come or you can have an umbrella school for home school kids or a combo. It does take some dedication and effort and time. In my opinion, this is a good way to spend one’s time and effort.

    If you are seriously concerned about “bananas” and all that implies, you, as a pastor, have the where-with-all to set some good things into motion.

    Yes, it takes effort but it’s more satisfying (I would hope) than politics.

  52. Since I was so involved in both schools and also the paperwork involved with homeschooling, I can tell you that I never found government oversight to be arduous. It’s simply not a big problem. If you want to sign up with a county homeschool program, yes, you will find yourself using their curriculum but even then, you have considerably more control over what happens in your own house than if you sent your children off to school.

    I actually think the government has a (small) role in making sure all children are educated. I’ve seen just as many cases of educational abuse/ neglect among homeschoolers as I have in public schools.

    But I think private Christian school is better than homeschool, especially for older students, based on over 20 years of ***active involvement in both movements.***

  53. AV, I don’t know what I left unanswered.

  54. Xenia, not sure if you were homeschooling in 2008 in California.

    I was. My son – as I have my whole life (and will my daughter starting next year)

    The right to homeschool is at the whim of judges and the politicians who appoint them.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/aug/09/local/me-homeschool9

    (from the article)

    Phillip Long, who has said the family chose to home-school the children because of their strong Christian beliefs, said Friday that he doesn’t believe the court was swayed by the legal arguments.

    “Only one thing swayed this court — politics,” he said. “This court was under pressure. . . . They did it to protect themselves and their reputation. Those judges want to be Supreme Court judges, they want to move up. They’re not going to do anything to upset their careers.”

  55. In California, there are also charter schools, which, while not Christian, may have more wholesome philosophies than some other public schools. Depends.

    (But I have a pet peeve about charter schools, which are not allowed to be religion-based. Why are Waldorf schools permitted? They are based on the New Age cult Anthroposophy, founded by Rudolph Steiner.)

  56. 1) We shall reserve voting rights and rights to teach the Bible, for only those who are educated according to our (of course) “right” standards. 😉

    4) I stand so strong with the pre-trib rapture, and then drop it. I have found that those who are against the pre-trib position, are often not willing to let me drop it.

    5) Someone could start that, but if they did, would they still be bothered by the ODM’s that choose to be discerning and say what they want to anyway?

    6) I have the Holy Spirit, so I have all the oil I need 🙂

    9) Amen and amen.

    10) Likewise, even though I disagree with many prevalent doctrinal positions here, doesn’t mean I “disagree with God’s Word”. It only means that this post might not get through the monitoring stage. Of course, I wouldn’t be against being proven wrong on that monitor stage statement 😉

  57. Totally unrelated link to the discussion. While its from Fox, that doesn’t mean its wrong:

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/10/29/lawmaker-urges-feds-to-monitor-hezbollah-in-mexico/

  58. AV, if you guys are having trouble homeschooling in your area, maybe you could form an umbrella school along the lines of Grace Christian Schools in San Diego, a ministry of Leo Giovenetti’s church. If you are serious about this, call their principal (Mr. Joannes) and see how you can get one started legally.

    http://www.gracechristianschools.com/

    Also, contact the Home School Legal Defense Association for legal information. You might be pleasantly surprised.

    http://www.hslda.org/

    And last but not least, consult CHEA:

    http://www.cheaofca.org/

  59. Too many links, my last post is suffering in purgatory.

  60. Plus, some things just might be worth going to jail over.

  61. I have some other stuff to attend to for the rest of the afternoon so let me summarize:

    1. Sure the world is evil… what did we expect? The USA is now at a place where we are expected to choose between 2 unacceptable candidates. Again, are we shocked that it’s come to this? Worse things are coming.

    2. Rather than spending a lot of time studying the actions of corrupt people and governments I think it is more profitable to take matters into our own hands, bypassing the government as much as possible. Take advantage of what freedoms we have before it’s too late. Evil is coming. I don’t think we can stop it for long. But meanwhile, redeem the time, starting in our own families, our own neighborhoods, our own towns. Teach our children, pick up the trash, pull the weeds. Above all, tend the interior gardens of our souls.

    3. When the great evil finally overwhelms us, be prepared to be martyrs. Be ready to go to jail. Be ready to give up our comfy lives. (Wouldn’t hurt us any to start practicing now.)

  62. Xenia – Do you not see that by linking and advocating for something called the Home School Legal Defense Association you are smack dab in the middle of politics?

    From their website. HSLDA advocates on the legal front on behalf of our members in matters which include conflicts with state or local officials over homeschooling. Each year, thousands of member families receive legal consultation by letter and phone, hundreds more are represented through negotiations with local officials, and dozens are represented in court proceedings. HSLDA also takes the offensive, filing actions to protect members against government intrusion and to establish legal precedent. On occasion, HSLDA will handle precedent-setting cases for nonmembers, as well.

    HSLDA advocates on Capitol Hill by tracking federal legislation that affects homeschooling and parental rights. HSLDA works to defeat or amend harmful bills, but also works proactively, introducing legislation to protect and preserve family freedoms.

    HSLDA advocates in state legislatures, at the invitation of state homeschool organizations, by assisting individual states in drafting language to improve their homeschool legal environment and to fight harmful legislation.
    ————————————————————————-

    That website encourages us to contact our politicians to sign the Parental Rights Amendment to the Constitution. It lists the current Senators and Congressmen that already support it by name (and I did not see one recognizable Democrat on the list)

    Encourages to get involved, contact state legislators too.

    Is the thought that all these people are pagans? That none of these are Christian political activists? Is the thought that this is some mutual bipartisan agreement that every politician nods in agreement, or is this a political PARTISAN battle for freedom?

    Or that we should sit quietly and let other Christians fight the courts and politicians to keep our rights – until we need them to help our own particular child.

    I need to step away from this topic. Josh, I do promise to answer you.

  63. AV, you said you were having legal problems with homeschooling. I pointed you to someone who could help you and gave you some other suggestions.

    You’re welcome.

  64. Take advantage of what freedoms we have before it’s too late
    ———————————————-
    Agreed Xenia. I would add we use those freedoms to fight for other freedoms that are under attack in order to keep them too.

  65. You know AV, you’ve asked me questions and I’ve answered them the best I can. I’ve offered advice and suggestions, based on my 20 years of experience in Christian education.

    You can homeschool or send your children to Christian schools if you want to. If you don’t want to, that’s perfectly fine, many pious Christian families send their children to public schools.

    I am the kind of person who would rather start up a new school than concern myself with politics. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go ’round.

    But I will never vote for a Mormon, which is what this is really all about.

  66. No Xenia, I did not say I was personally having trouble with homeschooling. I said that in 2008 homeschooling was under attack in California by the courts, and linked to the story that showed the political pressure on these courts to reverse their ruling. Read my post 54 again.

    And I also said that I care about other children besides just my own. And thus what happens in public schools that I find troubling as a Christian is still a concern for me even if I don’t have a kid there.

    It’s the same reason that Christians who live in real wealthy neighborhoods should still have a concern for the poor in other parts of the nation. That we should care when Americans are sent off to possibly die in war, even if our family is not in the military at the time.

    I’m not a big advocate of Hezekiah’s view that as long as it did not affect his kingdom, he need not worry about it.

  67. We are going through a government issue with our school right now – an IRS audit.

    Although they won’t come right out and say it, it looks like they are investigating the way we hire teachers. In the LCMS, our teachers are called ministers and they get all the IRS privileges when it comes to write offs and housing allowances.

    But some of the newer teachers are on contract and they have a certain amount of time to get all of their LCMS training and certification etc. The IRS seems to not like the 2 tracks.

    They have been in and out for the past 2 1/2 months. They want to know what the called minister teachers do differently than the contract teachers. They wanted to sit in the classrooms and see for themselves – we told them no.

    It will be interesting to see how it works out. The LCMS won a Supreme Court case this year over a called minister teacher.

  68. being ready to give up our comfy lives? ready to go to jail? – may not be an option when one considers Papias’ link above – we have a very blood thirsty adversary lining up and on the move (not all that surreptitiously) – was the Church ever to guard what we have enjoyed? were we just the lucky beneficiaries as history moves? dunno – but i do know that the church in the USA is much “nicer” than God will be – in the end anyway

  69. In your # 54 it was not at all clear that you were not talking about your own family. You mentioned what your family does and without any transition, began talking about legal problems. Naturally, I concluded you were still talking about your own family.

  70. Christians who live in real wealthy neighborhoods should still have a concern for the poor in other parts of the nation <<<

    I don't think there is much hope is cleaning up/ fixing up/ ramping up most inner city schools. Rich Christians, if education is one of their interests, can contribute money so poor kids can go to Christian schools. This happened in one of the schools I worked with.

  71. Ok, see you all later.

  72. Xenia, if you think all this is somehow only about Romney and next week’s vote, then we really are not on the same page.

    Blessings to you.

  73. Left field comment here… But i think its problematic that many Christians have the view that its impossible for their children to successfully attend public school. #occupy

  74. I was saying, way back up yonder, that some partisanship is maligned, others celebrated and the favorability line is hard to find.

    Case in point, Papias #57 “… just because it’s from Fox doesn’t mean it’s wrong . . .”

    It’s funny because we have to go wayyy out of our way to find reporting on certain issues – ie the “problems” in Juarez. But if I have to go out of my way, like to Fox instead of CNN to find out about Benghazi, Fox can’t be trusted because they’re seen as partisan. But the Juarez story is partisan to those of us who don’t like murder. I don’t like murder in Juarez that’s supported by the apathy of the US govt AND I don’t like murder in Benghazi that’s supported by the apathy of the US govt.
    But one “reach” into research is noble and the other is ignoble and the hypocrisy grates on me.

    Papias knows he must qualify a report because of . . . partisanship.

    Also, I pay taxes and I don’t see my tax dollars being used toward a Utopian ideal.

    And it’s good to wary of limited studies.

  75. Not directed at anyone specifically… Just a general sentiment i have seen increasing among Christian families.

  76. Rob,

    Fox News has used the violence in Juarez and the rest of Mexico as an anti-immigration, pro Republican talking point and they have exploited a horrific tragedy for political gain.

    To say nothing of the fact that they have twisted the facts and omitted others as it suits them.

    Vile example…

  77. Nomans – That is largely the result of poor leadership. Too many pastors preaching that parents are less than Christian if they put their kids in public school. Too many pastors starting schools (without skilled educators to work them) in order to ‘rescue’ the kids from public schools.

    So yeah, a lot of Christians feel like you expressed. And it is problematic.

    Which is why I again repeat that Christians should have a loud voice in seeking to improve the public schools. Not just Christians with kids in the schools either.

    And that we should educate ourselves on the unique challenges that public schools have that private do not, because they have to take all children. So we don’t look like idiots and diminish any voice we might have with an attentive ear.

    And why we should celebrate loudly any within the Body of Christ that work within the public school system, whether teachers or administrators, and that they would use their influence as salt and light there.

  78. Fox is a spin factory. There is no news reported from Fox without a spin. That includes Mr. “The spin stops here.”

  79. Josh, as to the study.

    The issues are whether the study is accurate, whether if accurate there is a cause and effect (making the study meaningful), and whether if accurate it falls into the realm of the schools.

    For example – Studies have shown that religious people have happier, more fulfilling lives that non-religious. But is that true?

    If true, is it because of their religious beliefs or just a coincidence of sorts unrelated to what the study pretends to argue? Maybe they come from better family structure or something.

    And then if still true should we seek to teach this in schools in order to create happy, fulfilled children into adulthood? Is this a legitimate role of schools?

    And THEN, are all religions producing equally happy, fulfilled people or are some better than others and thus should be the ones taught specifically.

    Now, to your example, assuming we can’t change Roe v Wade, another issue is if we can produce the results of less abortion in ways other than passing out condoms. Another issue is whether there are other issues like pregnancies, STDs, rape that are interconnected and what happens there.

    Do we surrender to sin, and then try to herd the cats of bad consequences in order to diminish additional sins? That’s what is being asked. Surrender to the fact that kids are going to have sex in school, kids are going to do so without condoms unless the schools give them out and teach them how to use them, and with those two surrenders THEN, look at things like abortion rates and ask how we can diminish them.

    And when it comes to schools, even if all the studies and such were true, I believe such classes should require opting IN, by parents, rather than putting the requirement on parents to opt OUT (and assuming the kids will tell them in the first place).

    I’m on the run, but wanted to get something out there to you.

  80. 1. Too true!
    2. I used to think that I had a handle on issues, but I didn’t.
    3. As to the emotional triggers, my conservative FB friends are the worst for this and never look critically. I figure if I had more liberal FB friends I would be seeing this from them too. Reference your #7.
    4. Just looked back at your post on the that on FB. Wow, it did get heated! I used to thin I had that all figured out too, but with the changing of the world scene their interpretations change and I must say I just got tired of it all. Now, my eschatology seems to be confined to Jesus is coming back, I don’t know when and that is my blessed hope. I think that is simple enough for me and keeps a focus on what is truly important about it all.
    5. LOL! Never see that happening.
    6. 🙂
    7. Most definitely. I have got rid of a few of mine over the past few years and hopefully discovering more to throw on the heap.
    8. It just looks clunky to me.
    9. Definitely praying.
    10. No, but many think so especially about minor things and turn them into major things and sometimes ODM ministries.

  81. trouble with Fox is that one can lose very good information in the sophomoric spin … all the news outlets have their focus points to emphasize their slant on things and a bit of a spin at times … have the BBC bookmarked and even that source and NPR focus on what they *think* is important; often it is, but …

  82. It is hard to find agreement on all things educational, just like in politics, because it has all become so complicated with too many competing stake-holders who have never “learned” the fine arts of respect, listening, and compromise.

  83. regarding Michael’s #1, it is my opinion that both theology and politics are in their states of disarray because the so-called ‘experts’ in both have lost sight of the value and essential nature of “service.”

  84. Nomans,

    Christian kids can successfully traverse the path of public schools but … there are a myriad of reasons for parents to eschew it.

    I say do whatever you want and whatever your conscience demands.

    and… Let’s END ALL public education…

    or not

  85. #5–if there were such a branch…the other ODM’s would show up and prune it. 😉

  86. #6–many Christians simply are more comfortable with a club in their hands–not for golf–but for playing whack-a-heretic. Grace is the rarest of virtues these days.

  87. @77 – I think I’ve been misread. I’m saying some media outlets do no reporting at all on some issues. If I’d waited to hear about the state departments mishandling of Benghazi on CNN, ABC, NBC . . . I’d still be waiting.
    Same If I’d waited to hear about Juarez from CNN, ABC, NBC . . the only way I heard anything was when a bullet came across the border and busted a window of a gov’t building. So it wasn’t even a report about Juarez, but El Paso.

    Misreporting, lack of reporting, we have to take information where we can get it.
    No one seems willing to give equal time to decrying dis/mis/lacking information in equal opportunity. Scrutiny seems to be only pointed in partisan methods.

    The vacuum of reporting at Juarez, the vacuum of reporting at Benghazi – both places have murder at their core. Both places have blood on the hands of apathetic US government agencies creating a sad fraternity for these two international locations.
    Only those news resources that are labeled as conservative are maligned. But the shoddy reporting seems unconfined to any particular alphabet news source.

    Al Jazeera NPR and BBC were celebrated just the other day on this here site and they are not known for being paragons of even handed information sharing. One man’s fair thinking is another man’s blighted partisanship, I guess.

    The problem is that its assumed that if we are understood, we are agreed with. Said it before and I’ll say it again, studying the Civil War and then growing up, I can see how Christian men stood on different sides of a border – be it geographical or philosophical – and worked very hard to kill each other. Revisionism always wants to paint one side with the brush of evil, and it’s easy to do with present prejudices living long past the conflict.

  88. Xenia Said:

    “I have some other stuff to attend to for the rest of the afternoon so let me summarize:

    1. Sure the world is evil… what did we expect? The USA is now at a place where we are expected to choose between 2 unacceptable candidates. Again, are we shocked that it’s come to this? Worse things are coming.

    2. Rather than spending a lot of time studying the actions of corrupt people and governments I think it is more profitable to take matters into our own hands, bypassing the government as much as possible. Take advantage of what freedoms we have before it’s too late. Evil is coming. I don’t think we can stop it for long. But meanwhile, redeem the time, starting in our own families, our own neighborhoods, our own towns. Teach our children, pick up the trash, pull the weeds. Above all, tend the interior gardens of our souls.

    3. When the great evil finally overwhelms us, be prepared to be martyrs. Be ready to go to jail. Be ready to give up our comfy lives. (Wouldn’t hurt us any to start practicing now.)”

    +1

  89. Thanks for the Post!

  90. “The USA is now at a place where we are expected to choose between 2 unacceptable candidates”

    This is the problem today with politics – the electorate are a bunch of idiots.

    The candidates are not unacceptable – they may be to you, but they are both well qualified political candidates and good at what they do and both seem to be fime upstanding citizens.

    You can disagree with them, but to call them unacceptable, well… that’s just unacceptable.

  91. Thank you for calling me an idiot, MLD.

  92. You know Xenia, it just gets old listening to everyone complain about the qualifications of these guys. You don’t like Romney because you are bigoted against Mormons – not whether or not he can do the job. Others don’t think Obama is qualified because of some of his past association.

    Neither of these guys has given even a little hint that what they want for America is anything but for the country’s good. No matter which candidate gets elected, we will still have the finest leader in the world.

  93. “Would anyone on this blog cop to disagreeing with scripture? At any point?<<<

    Sure, there's a few regulars who disagree with Saint Paul. Maybe we will hear from them."

    What I find perplexing is that this carefully crafted swipe at anyone who holds Saint Paul in high regard but The Living Jesus in higher regard, was posted by someone who prays to a dead saint to interceed to The Living Jesus on our behalf, thereby showing a functional disdain for the Canon in the same manner as those who pray to Mary, both practices which are "extra biblical" in the view of those who seek to reconcile such practices with the sacred texts.

    If that ain't "disagreeing with scripture" then I must beg the question, "what does it mean to "disagree with scripture"?

  94. G, I meant no disrespect. You read too much into what I wrote.

    Whatever.

  95. amazing good observations today … or so it seems to me (hope that doesn’t scare anyone)

  96. While I do not characterize myself as disagreeing with scripture… I do think there are things in the details of Paul’s writings that one would not consider relevant or universal as assertions today. We ignore his writings in favor of our own cultural adjustments. I speak of his assertions on hair and hats and jewelry and makeup.

    More importantly I speak of things like Paul’s attempt to humanize slavery rather than insisting on liberating slaves.

    One hopes Paul would agree with the latter position today… especially in view of the sexual expectations carried by much of contemporary slavery.

  97. slavery, hair, hats, jewelry, makeup … and wifely submission all have a principle behind them, do they not? that’s why we need teachers to keep Christian men from subduing their wives, calling it obedience to God … and will someone please teach those English women that their hats are mocking a truth and make tradition silly – course, humility might solve a lot of such things and teaching can’t teach the unteachable … sigh … or so it seems to me

  98. What is meant by “disagreeing with scripture” VS “disagreeing with an INTERPRETATION” of scripture, or “application” of scripture?

    Some conclude that the dead intercede for us based on verses in Hebrews and Maccabees, but Jesus never encouraged intermediaries, rather the narrative speaks of how there was an act which tore asunder the heavy partition that kept the common person from accessing The Holiest of Places in The Temple, which fits well with Jesus’ portrayal of His Father as accessible to even the lowest of sinners.

    We can honestly struggle with the hard sayings of scripture, but we prayerfully do what we can to make sense of things.

  99. Wrong thread, i know…
    Be praying for Nancy.
    Be praying for the East coast.
    Lord have mercy.

  100. #4 – it gets SO tiring. I don’t even like to discuss it with people who agree with me.

  101. Not the wrong thread ever, Nomans. Praying here too.

  102. I know that Babs is speaking tongue in cheek a bit in his #96 – but with just a single casual reading through Galatians, one would know that Paul did not give one hoot about hair and hats and jewelry and makeup.

    Galatians 5:4 would be a good verse for anyone who would believe so.
    ” You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.”

  103. Went to my mom’s church Sunday. Pastor started a new series based on the book, “hole in our gospel”. The premise is that we aren’t living the “whole” gospel, and that simply believing in the life transforming message of the gospel is not enough because we need to be advancing the kingdom through good works to the poor.

    I have not been so disgusted during a church service in a very long time.

    Poor theology is rampant in the church.

  104. I hope everyone is well, had a whole list of questions but I cant word them right so I will just say, stay safe and God bless.

  105. S n S,

    I haven’t read the book, just reviews, but it sounds a lot like K.P. Yohannan’s Revolution in World Missions, used in large part to promote his charitable agency, as well as inspire and challenge the Body of Christ in America. No problem there for me.

    But there is a big difference between K.P. and the head of World Vision, Richard Stearns.

    As President of World Vision, Stearns makes $380,000 according to Charity Navigator. $433,000 according to Forbes (with benefits). Annually, and has year in and year out.

    Yes, he left a job in corporate America that paid a million a year. This paycut always comes up when his salary is mentioned.

    Found this quote on the web. “When commenting on his salary, Mr. Stearns has shared that he has no say over his salary, as it is set by our board of directors who regularly benchmark his salary to those paid by other nonprofits”

    In addition to that being a gross exaggeration, how does that fit into the whole sacrificial giving, put the Body of Christ down for not being different than the world, theme?

    http://journeytowardjustice.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/how-to-get-rich-while-serving-the-poor/

    Maybe you give your pastor a copy of that blog article, or at least ask him if he knows how much Stearns makes.

    I’m not going to criticize World Vision, though they have their critics. My point is how on earth can someone write such a book while still making that sort of coin from the charity your book is encouraging people to give towards!!

    When you have literally made millions of dollars over the course of your corporate career – and he was a major corporate titan – is there really still a mortgage or car payment out there? Isn’t there enough in the bank to live off the interest saved?

  106. S n S,

    Sorry. I see now this was your Mom’s pastor. I take back my suggestion to challenge him in case you make life difficult for her.

    (You might mention it to her though… 🙂 )

  107. “Rather than voting for the Mormon, why not start up a Christian school? Let all children attend for free. That will solve the banana problem.”

    😯

    Wow! that was quite the post to see as I randomly scrolled down the thread…could be the funniest post ever!

  108. S&S,
    LOL – I think I was talking to the same guy today. One of my co workers was going on and on about how we need to live a more gospel filled life – so he gave me a list of law, works, more law and then more works.

    I told him, sorry, but my days of “to do list sermons” ended 7 yrs ago.

  109. “makes $380,000 according to Charity Navigator. $433,000 according to Forbes (with benefits). Annually, and has year in and year out.”

    I have always loathed myself for not generating such income. Literally I mean I am ashamed of this, I have often repented in tears in the prayer line that I did not make such an income. Truly I am ashamed that I make less then 50K per year. It makes me sick because I am such a pathetic failure, on a good day. God always measures our worth by our ability to generate income, always and I mean that always.

  110. Tim Keller’s wife Kathy reviews Rachel Held Evans’ latest book:

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/book-reviews/review/a_year_of_biblical_womanhood

    What kind of threat does this woman pose to the Truly Reformed to warrant their attention???

  111. BrianD,
    I think RHE has spent years seeking their attention by her provocative writing. I guess now that she has their attention, she will have to deal with it.

    But you know, the attention will only help her book sales.

    You probably won’t read about her in Lutheran circles – books like her’s don’t cross our radar.

  112. I wonder it Mr. RHE will write a similar book and discuss how he self circumcised himself with a flint rock? 🙂

    As we know that a followers of “biblical manhood” must do.

    This is how out of whack RHE writings always are – but stranger things have happened in this life. Joseph Smith wrote how he put some rocks in his hat and out came the Book of Mormon.

  113. She’s seeking THEIR attention?

    My friend, I disagree. I think it’s they going after her.

  114. Eh, she’s definitely followed the Rob Bell marketing plan, and good for her. Looks like she’ll sell some books. I agree with some others that it is a silly concept, but whatever, so are 9/10ths of the other Christian books that come out.

  115. BrianD,
    I am not talking about the book – but her previous writings on her Blog – they all kind of smacked of “here, take a shot t this!.”

  116. Now, to respond to AV’s non-answer back @79 :

    First of all, I know all the variables involved in a study…what it could mean, could not mean, etc. That wasn’t the question. The questions was IF a study showed that those things would lower the abortion rate by 40% would you be for it.

    I think your answer is “no”, you would be against such a program, even if it saved 500,000 or so babies a year.

    You then made a statement about parents having to OPT-IN to the program, which is funny, because the vast majority of kids at risk for teenage pregnancy (and abortion) do not have the kind of involved parents that would actively seek out that kind of help. So in that case, you would be denying the help to those who need it most.

    I’ve seen Xenia say it before, and she is correct. The answer to abortion is to stop promiscuity. She is absolutely right, but that genie is not going back in the bottle. Not in my lifetime anyway. If abortion is our top issue, we have to come up with more effective ways to fight it.

  117. RHE’s whole reason for doing this stuff was so that she could write a book on it.

    Now she’s crying foul?

    She wanted attention, now she’s getting it.

  118. MLD, she’s written her blog for years…but neither it nor her previous book garnered the intense reaction from the Calvinistas like this latest book of hers has.

  119. Josh, wait a second. 400,000 babies a year? All abortions are not the result of high school enrolled teenagers in public schools.

    I wasn’t giving you a non-answer, you yourself questioned the study.

    How come there is the assumption that kids won’t learn from abstinence only education, but will from ‘always use a condom’ education. Without being too graphic, in my before Christ (and marriage) days I knew all about condoms and didn’t care – nor did the girls. And this was in the 80s, when AIDS was all over the news.

    And is this the role of school. I gave examples of other studies that could be done that we would admit do not have a place in school education.

    The opt-in feature is not some hardship. Parents enroll their kids in school. The schools require parental (or guardian) permission for many, many things. But by speaking of opt-in I am most definitely agreeing with you to the extent that the freedom of other parents is not encroached either.

  120. The question was IF there was a study that showed that. Let me repost the original question for clarity:

    “Take this as a QUESTION, not an argument – What if studies show that where adequate sex-ed and free birth control are available, the abortion rate is about 40% lower?”

    Now, in that, I said nothing about public schools, teenagers, or anything. The question was IF this study existed, and it could lower the abortion rate by 40%, would you be for it?

    I think your answer is no.

    Your opt-in parental option exposes your blind spot. These parents don’t care about abortion, teen pregnancy or promiscuity, yet you are asking them to opt-in their kids. You will be eliminating the very people you need to reach the most.

  121. Sorry Josh if I am confused. You wrote in reply to my comments about the schools. Your 42 even pasted my direct words.

    Who are ‘these parents’ and is it your case they will sign ‘no’? Are the rights of all parents equal or not?

    I believe in health class, and teaching about sexual reproduction and how various forms of birth control work as part of general education.

  122. Its all good. I understand the dilemma. You can’t agree with promiscuous sex, but you also can’t agree with abortion. Your only hope is too keep firing the magic bullet in hopes that Roe v. Wade is one day overturned.

    You want people to care about the same things you care about, but they don’t. You want them to behave like you want them top behave, but they never will. The once every 4 years vote against Roe v. Wade is the only weapon you have. I don’t begrudge you for using it.

    I guess its ineffectiveness is irrelevant. Again, its all you’ve got.

  123. Josh, less than 20% of abortions are by teenagers and that includes ALL teenagers including those with involved parents and in the middle or upper class.

    Half of all abortions total are by those who claim to be using birth control that month (stats from prochoice sources).

    You never answer my point about the freedom of other parents. You don’t address the other aspects to promiscuous sex besides abortion. And your 122 ignores that I support teaching on how birth control works as part of health class. I have no dilemma.

    Look, I believe in teaching what heroin does to the body without teaching the kids how to properly inject themselves since kids are going to do drugs anyway

  124. To a large degree, I’m a little lost. I ask a hypothetical question, and there is no straight answer, to which I think we all know what that means. So let me ask one more time, you answer “yes” or “no”, and then I’ll redirect the conversation any way that you want:

    What if studies show that where adequate sex-ed(lets say condoms on bananas) and free birth control are available, the abortion rate is about 40% lower? Would you be for it?

  125. Josh. Remember red asphalt in drivers ed? The movie. Do you support as part of this education to reduce abortion the showing of Silent Scream to all kids? You are asking me to discuss this in a vacuum with no quarter given to additional education that is possible.

    So what do you say? Compromise? Or would the shouts of protest by the pro choice crowds rule that idea too?

  126. because i’m feeling blunt today … i told my daughters that a woman’s right to choose was exercised at the moment she spread her legs … but, at the same time, just as i couldn’t tie their legs together, ( 🙄 ) i couldn’t force them to live their lives my/God’s way any more than i can legislate society to live by God’s standards – to play the taliban – and so, we have repentance and the awful victory of the Cross of Christ … and we are seen as foolish troublemakers as we evangelize and hope

  127. @ 125 – yes or no, then I’ll chase any rabbit you want.

    Em, well said.

  128. I wrote my 125 before reading your 124. You know the ‘yes or no’ ultimatum is silly. Yes or no, preaching the gospel will result in more people getting saved than not preaching the gospel. So don’t you care about people going to hell. Why should teachers not preach the gospel to kids.

  129. They should.

    Now, back to my question.

  130. So, we live in a world where sex is everywhere, marriages don’t last, and parents are absent. How do we expect that world not to produce unwanted pregnancies?

    Roe v. Wade will not be overturned. I know it is the conservative wet dream, but it’s not gonna happen. Romney has no desire to even work in that direction.

    So that being said, how do we go about saving some of these babies?

  131. Hams
    We make ourselves as useful a resource to young, lost, scared pregnant girls as abortion. I am so convicted right now. To harp against a thing without taking ONE step personally to actively turn it. God has brought not one, not two but THREE women in the last two weeks who either chose against an abortion and gave their babies up for adoption, or have a burning desire to put their hands on these girls and carry them through such a life changing event. They want me to help them change the world (whoa) I am listening Lord.

  132. Called away, Josh. Family emergency. Important so have to run. (Not life threatening though)

    Some other time..

  133. I don’t even like discussing abortion is political terms… Not a political battle.

  134. Praying for AV

  135. josh and nomans, @ 120 & 131 both, you get it exactly! IMHO

    i’ve been thinking this morning about my preacher grandfather, who was involved in the holiness movement (i say ‘involved’ because he was not a mindless holly-roller by any definition) – he was a simple, but not simple-minded, man who stood his ground because he saw God as an absolute and holy Being … the miracle was that, as he stood, he was so full of grace and mercy that his memory brings tears to my eyes – the character of a man who followed his Savior

  136. AV – All good. I hope all is well.

    Noms, I agree with your 133. Seems like we are setting our girls up for failure. Our culture tells them they should behave a certain way, but then no one is there to pick up the pieces when that all falls apart.

    As to your 131, yes.yes. yes.
    We have to be there from the beginning. Loving, nurturing, and not judging. There are so many little girls in my church with no direction, and no parental guidance whatsoever. Oh, I pray that God will let us be a force in their lives.

  137. joining – praying for AV and family, he’s carrying quite a load now, i believe

  138. Josh as you and other men model Godly grace you are a force in their lives – they see even if affirmations are almost off limits in these troubled times – IMO

  139. Josh. I’m by your side in those prayers.

  140. Em… What a rich heritage you have.

  141. Thank you Em. Many are within a year or two of my daughter’s age (9). They truly live in a completely different world than she does. Many of them are already sexually active, some with older family members.

    Its insane, and heartbreaking. It will only be God’s power that causes something good in their lives. I pray and hope.

  142. Nomansapologist, the interesting thing is that, even tho i grew up in his house, because my mother (his daughter) did not want me exposed to “mindless, Christian fanaticism,” there was very little interaction between us – oh, we sat at the same dinner table every night and i bowed my head as he ‘said grace’ before every meal …
    it was the example of his life and my grandmother’s – the simple sight of him at the head of the table at every meal and her at the other end not serving herself until the meal that she had prepared had been passed to all – most times there were many mouths seated there – often her portion of the chicken was the “part that went over the back fence last” – that was a far greater testimony to their Faith than any words … and is why i know that the example that Josh and men, like him (and women, too) has an impact on those little girls

    my apologies for the ramble

    and Grandpa was a prayer warrior of a very high order …

  143. That’s no ramble… that’s spiritual food. 🙂

  144. Most costly natural disaster in our nations history, hitting Jersey Shore hardest. Please, someone reach P Robertson with some duct tape. Stat.

  145. Nomans is funny

  146. I have a hunch that Baby D is EXPANDING.

  147. Never mind 🙂

  148. Just referencing his expression of joy.

  149. Aww man. This is no fair. Y’all are keeping secrets 🙂

  150. EM, your #142 speaks volumes and is a great testimony of the importance of walking the walk. Great example, thanks for sharing.

    Josh, you have been on point often lately, thank you for digging in when led.

  151. No secrets.. just me being a bonehead and speaking out of place. You know, Same old same old 😉

  152. Well, Dread is keeping a secret 🙂

    Thanks, Covered!

  153. Thanks for the concern and prayers. All will be well…need some time to deal with some stuff. Didn’t want to leave you all hanging…

    Blessings.

  154. Many Christians felt that electing Bush would lead to a push of eliminating abortion. Bottom line is it ain’t going to hapoen. The Republican party uses the Christians to get their vote by scaring them into thinking all be well in christianville if they vote repub when in reality nothing really changes

  155. Since I am anonymous here … well … sort of… anyway since very few if any of my church people post here I will tell you guys what I am going on about with the joy on my facebook yesterday.

    Two weeks ago I met a kid whose mother said he was a miracle. Apparently he had been pronounced dead in his mother’s womb but was restored to life….I know, I know hardly anyone will believe that sort of “unverifiable” testimony around here but that was what she said. Anyway she asked me to bless the 10 year old son as a thanksgiving to God.

    I thought nothing of it but returned Sunday to my church and was told by one of my best friends that his daughter had lost her pregnancy. The doctor told her the fetus “little one” was dead in the womb. They wanted to schedule a procedure to remove it but gave her the option to wait.

    Later I saw her and grieved with her but told her the story of the 10 year old boy. We prayed that God would restore her child to life. The next week I saw her and nothing had happened. One more week and she said she was confused because she was still getting morning sickness and she thought she was detecting that her body (I don’t know how) was still enlarging as if pregnant. We agreed that this was good and thanked God.

    She went to the doctor and her doctor was shocked and awed and began apologizing because the child was developing fine and was alive. She and her husband just cried and told the doctor they were not upset and gave glory to God.

    Misdiagnosis? Yes, that is what we expect most people to believe. But we don’t care because we cried out to God and he heard our cry. I have known this young lady since she was 10 or 11 and this will be her fourth child. We are rejoicing like maniacs… OK so don’t come on my facebook page and say anything until she gives me her thumbs up… She is fine with sharing but wants to be sure her family agrees.

  156. Dread –
    That’s wonderful news! I’m praising God with you guys.

  157. thank you Lord.

  158. BD, thank you for sharing a miracle of faith – God keep the little one

  159. Thanks everyone we are very excited, humbled and grateful to God.

  160. BD, that is amazing and wonderful. Praise God!

  161. BD, I am crying as I read this. Thanking and praising God with you!!!

  162. 1. So True. As much as I dig through the voting guides & catch C-SPAN when I can, the ‘free time’ I have for such things dwindles by the day.
    2. Oddly enough, mine ‘is’ economics, but only because that seems to be the major plague on the country today. I am ignorant on foreign policy and wish I knew more.
    3. I used to while growing up. Was raised republican and voted republican. As I aged, I started to find I had more in common with politicians outside the 2 animal parties.
    4. Same. I actually don’t believe in the rapture, just a 2nd coming of Christ where He will wage war.
    5. Doesn’t the bible do this…The parts mankind doesn’t “interpret” I mean?
    6. Eschatology would be perfect if we just concentrated on the 2 greatest commandments. This alone could unite the body of Christ forever.
    7. Agreed. Even the media is keen on this one. American ‘Idol’ anyone?
    8. Pretty happy with win 7. Will probably fiddle with 8, but do not plan to purchase.
    9. Amen. In CA, we only have gigantic techtonic plates that occasionally shift & one day threaten to break us off into the Pacific ocean o.O
    10. Amen to that. Please don’t be offended if I walk away either. I prefer to let you believe what you believe so I can help people in need instead.

  163. Solomon @ 155 – There are actually several key button issues that will not change dependent on who the sitting president is. But the public is meant to be kept ignorant on this, so they have more confidence that their chosen leader can bring ‘change’.

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