Nov 062012
 

In this Linkathon, no election-related articles, and only two Rachel Held Evans-related links (both of which address broader issues) :)

  1. He is nice, but he, too, will nice you straight to the gates of hell, flashing that brilliant smile all the while
  2. Is it fair to say that Joel Osteen is leading people straight to the gates of hell and that he is in complete rebellion against God?
  3. The trash-talking, zero-sum gaming of U.S. Politics is in danger of destroying the American nation. But. I’m more concerned about what it’s doing to the church.” (HT)
  4. The spring of my sophomore year of college I was president of my university’s Students for Life chapter. The fall of my junior year of college I cut my ties with the pro-life movement. Five years later I have lost the last shred of faith I had in that movement. This is my story.
  5. Nick VanderLaan did the equivalent of pounding the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Door.
  6. Alex Grenier comments.
  7. Only God knows the future. But if current trends in Christianity continue, we can expect great change in the church by 2062.” (HT)
  8. The Mexican military is trying to dismantle an extensive network of radio antennas built and operated by the notorious Zeta drug cartel. But the authorities haven’t had much luck shutting Radio Zeta down.” (HT)
  9. Matt Chandler addressed pastors…and warned them that harboring a sense of entitlement can kill a church.” (HT)
  10. …at their church property they are nearing completion of their church’s very own 4-story, 80-room hotel constructed at a cost of $11 million.
  11. in the 22 years i have been married and in the church i have seen a lot of my friends go through the gut-wrenching reality of getting divorced. … one thing i have learned is that we need to better understand what it feels like for those who go through this traumatic loss.  unless we’ve been there, we really can’t speak into it.
  12. Krypton has been discovered!
  13. Jesus is here, in Cougar Town.
  14. Two minor media incidents yesterday made me wonder if some of the problems we see with how religion news is covered relates simply to language differences.
  15. Six years after it landed on bookshop shelves, The God Delusion is still stirring debate among Christians and non-Christians alike.
  16. Ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon could be the first big blow to federal marijuana prohibition. And with that, a blow to the Mexican cartels.
  17. Could it really be true that LifeWay has banned the word vagina? Judge for yourself. Here are a few of the chain’s selections, with the number of times they use the word.
  18. I don’t believe they should of shut up and sang, but I do believe that learning how to walk in forgiveness would have helped them to say what they needed to politically without it being so completely polarizing and hurting themselves worse. 
  19. To put it bluntly, he has helped me to see that Christianity is not essentially a big idea that we must try to spread, by arguing for its truth, but a cultural tradition, centred on the church’s ritual.” (HT)
  20. …TPTB of Christian patriarchy have latched onto Evans as a symbol of all those uppity women thinking, talking, writing and asking questions without official permission from their husbands and pastors and bishops.
  21. Last but not least…a public service from our canine friends ;)
 Posted by at 9:00 pm

  84 Responses to “Linkathon 11/7, part 1”

  1. Rachel is lovely but THANK YOU

  2. Alex,
    Your political comments were interesting.
    Much to think about.

  3. No on Lifeway … they are just opposed to women’s ordination… and much worse…

  4. Lifeway must not be in SoCal – I don;t know who they are.

  5. The idea that Joel Olsteen sends people to hell is stupid, let me translate that from the original english STUPID. Actually I can’t stand to much of Joel because he makes me think of myself as a potential human being instead of a vile, Satanic piece of of soulless human filth. From the “conservative” ( just from personal experience) side I get the fact that I am a soulless piece of human trash and Christ could die a billion times on a billion crosses and I cant be saved. I get that.

    I will admit Olsteen made me hope, something I tried to repent of when such a vile emotion entered into my sin laden heart. But he did, of course I do not buy his good time rhetoric. As a true evangelical christian I wait for the next shoe to fall, and it will. From my Christian experience the light at the end of the tunnel is the train driven by a crazy person headed right for you. I know I say this alot and I mean no offense, but from the cheap seats, where I and many others sit, it is not good news, it really is not.

  6. Thanks for the link love. I don’t find blogging particularly easy anymore.

  7. Two of the three marijuana initiatives passed…which is indeed bad news for the cartels and possibly for those industries that prosper through the “war on drugs”.
    While I doubt that most who voted on the measures considered those factors, I am encouraged.

  8. Wow, tons of stuff to chew on. Thanks BrianD!

    1 & 2 – Joel Osteen = I don’t know. I have definitely heard him teach false things, and noi doubt, his ministry is focused on the wrong stuff. I probably wouldn’t have been as strong in my wording as Challies…but I’m nobody, and he’s Challlies.

    3 – Read Kinnon’s article yesterday, and I agree. Good stuff, Bill!

    5 & 6 – I am fascinated by the Vanderlaan story. I remembered him as a mediocre player at Virginia. I’m usually against the disruptive, “You’re a Liar!” type stuff, but good for him. He took a stand against the machine.

    7 – That guy just looked at today’s churches and exaggerated them a little bit. I think he’s way off base. 50 years is a LONG time in the twitter world. Today’s fad will not be playing itself out in 50 years.

    11 – I’d love a whole new focus from the Church on marriage, divorce, and relationships in general.

    13 – This was my favorite of the bunch. Sad, but all too true. Jesus is alive, and needed, in my little community too.

    15 – This gives a healthy view of disagreement. I haven’t read, or even discussed The God Delusion with anyone, but I’m for differing points of view that keep God in the conversation.

    19 – No clue. Could someone explain to me what he is saying about sexuality there. I just don’t get it, at all.

  9. it seems naive to think that legalization of marijuana will have any effect on the drug cartels, other than to allow them to do business in the open … like the railroad barons of the 19th century … but it will, perhaps, increase tax revenue? dunno …

    two things make me sad today … the exploitation of the family of God in the churches today (the Pharisees are back and smarter that they were 2,000+ years ago) and the mindless rise of implacable hostility toward the true Church – don’t kid yourselves, “they” hate “us” with what is an unreasoning hatred – like Saul’s evolving emotions toward David

    be as committed to the Faith as MLD, as harmless as the G man and as honest in pursuing God as Michael

    praying

  10. post script to my #10 … don’t want to encourage girlie men :smile: but the women who post here regularly are ALL shining examples of walking in the Faith – IMHO

  11. BrianD, Thanks so much for these articles. I do, however, miss having the name of the author posted by the link, like you used to. Thank you for all the hard work!

  12. MDL, I think there’s a Lifeway at the Tustin Marketplace.

  13. Jesus in Cougar Town… OK I felt a little smarmy just for choosing to read it…

    But I like that missionary lady person

  14. BD, your #14 got me to read it … from where i sit, it looks like the younger (than me) folk are the ones with dementia, i fear it is what lurks below the surface in our race and that scares me – a lot – the “missionary lady person” convicts me to pray for my children’s generation, but it will take God’s miracle to pull them out of this tailspin

  15. Pursuing God is risky business…I can guarantee you’ll get the stuffing kicked out of you by people who think they’ve already found Him.

  16. Em,

    Most experts believe that about 30% of cartel income is from marijuana.
    Marijuana grown and regulated by the states removes that income.
    Further, the industries and jobs generated by it along with hemp and it’s byproducts would be a shot in the arm for Northwest economies devastated by the loss of the timber industry.
    The reality is that large numbers of people smoke marijuana…and though I find this distasteful, I would rather see that money serving our communities than serving drug lords in Mexico.

  17. Michael, i understand the thinking on this … i just don’t see the cartels fading from the picture; but … hmmm … ? … you may be correct as their other drug running activities would be exposed if they operated openly and i’m sure the tobacco companies in the original hemp growing areas of our country are just chomping at the bit to sell the stuff as “fine tabacco”
    totally agree with your observation on the uses of hemp that we lost (makes you wonder what opportunist chicanery in the world markets went on behind the scenes in the halls of our Congress on that one)
    Kentucky waay back produced the world’s best “water retted” hemp and every sailing ship used hemp as their rigging material :smile:

  18. pride, i think, compels me to add that i understand (or think ido) that there is a difference between the hemp that is grown for useful commercial purposes and the ingestible varieties … which is why so many of us wondered ‘why’ when the laws excluded ALL hemp production – smelled funny

  19. now i’m gone … puzzling over the ‘perilous times’ of Michael’s #16 today

  20. Only 20 comments? I guess we were all overwhelmed by all the links….
    Call me a heretic, but I kinda like Joel Osteen….. We had him on TV for a few minutes one Sunday as my 6 year old granddaughter sat at her art desk. A few minutes later she brought me a paper that said “Gods Rools. Love. Be kind. Be caring. Love God.” Works for me.
    Falls into the ‘a little child shall lead them”. I guess.
    The link to the divorced pastor’s wife gave me flashbacks. :-) BBL God bless.
    BTW….. I like JoelO more than I like reading Rachel… can’t take her anger, sarcasm & cynicism….IMO. whatever

  21. Here is a link that should get things started from the continuous writing machine Rachel Held Evans.

    http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/how-to-win-a-culture-war-and-lose-a-generation/#TZIBzUHcSs5F6qZJ.99

    Here is what makes me curious – what are we to do as Christians? Do we just surrender and say everything and anything is OK? Do we let those in open & vocal sin (whether in the church or outside the church) dictate what is right or how they should be treated by the Church.

    Kinnaman, the guy who wrote the book she speaks of also found that among young christians 33% believe pornography is OK, 44% believe pre-extra-marital sex in fine, and 59% believe cohabitation is morally acceptable.

    Do we just let it ride? Do we restructure the Church so that Goal #1 is that we are liked or that we are perceived as “rolling with the punches”?

    Read, the article – replace the word “homosexual” in the article with the sin of your choice. it’s a one-size fits all argument.

    My opinion, and it is only mine – RHE – shut up!!!

  22. “59% believe cohabitation is morally acceptable.”

    Do you mean between two people who are engaing in pre maritial sex?

    In my veiw there is nothing wrong with brothers and sisters in the Lord dwelling together as long as they respect each others physical person. I have had female roomates over the last year or so as I have a 5 bedroom townhome, so I rent out two rooms. I have daughters and I am leary about renting to men

  23. I am sure that they are talking about living together and making whoopie.

  24. RHE and Stephanie Drury both do not want a Church – what they want are secular solutions.

    Neither of them understand that the world has a large toolbox to put a “fix” on problems – the main one being, just don’t call problems, problems.

    The church has only one tool in it’s toolbox – the scriptures.

    I just don’t understand why folks flock to these two – they offer nothing different than what Oprah, and Tony Robbins offer.

    Everything they offer up is contrary to scripture, but instead of being honest and just walking away, they want it their way – “they want things done in the way that is right in their own eyes.”

    Two very dishonest women.

  25. I think RHE may have run her course, at least here on the blog.

    I also think I should link to Doug Wilson. Or, at least, about him.

    http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2012/11/doug-wilson-almost-channels-eric-cartman.html

    I really think Doug Wilson having his turn here might liven things up a bit. It’s been rather dull here since Stephanie Drury stopped by ;)

  26. The church has only one tool in it’s toolbox – the scriptures.

    Well, there’s that Holy Spirit guy…

  27. RHE and Stephanie both give doubt a bad name.

    RHE does it with some thought behind her statements.
    Stephanie is just a snotty kid.

  28. Not that it matters much what I think anymore, but I don’t think Rachel and Stephanie have run their course.
    To me they are exhibit A and B of what happens when the church spends a generation offering selective laws of God instead of Jesus Christ to the surrounding culture.
    Theological conservatives (and I am one) have the same problem as political conservatives…it’s not the message, it’s how you deliver it.

  29. I was going to write a blog called SDCL – Stuff Doubting Culture Likes but I could come up with only 3 things that they like
    1.) Their own individual misery
    2.) Their group misery
    3.) The proclamation of this misery to evangelize other people into their misery.

    They are great at all 3 but any topic that is composed of only 3 elements is too limited to blog about.

  30. I disagree (big surprise) – I think that the church does a good job of bringing Christ to the “culture” (whatever that means.) Why can we just say bringing Christ to people.

    Anywho, the problem is that these people (aka culture) don’t want to change anything. The church calls people to repentance and these people (aka culture) say, “I have nothing to repent of – my homosexuality is a gift from God and you are a bigot to ask me to give up such a gift.Having sex with my girlfriend is a gift from God and you are a bigot to ask me to give up that gift from God. P0rnogragy is is gift from God and you are a bigot to ask me to give up this gift from God.

    Then you have people like RHE and Stephanie stepping into the mix and confirming that yes the church is bigoted because they ask people to give up their sin and repent. They have changed the mind and heart of God – God doesn’t want anyone to repent any longer, just be happy. Oh wait, there is one group that God wants changed – those who hold to a biblical standard – repent and be saved.

    I wonder what the Apostle Paul’s response would have been if he were told “Paul you are nothing but an old fart and a bigot. Having sex with my father’s wife is a gift from God and you cannot ask me to give it up.”

  31. I agree with MLD @ 31. Well said.

  32. The issue(s) I have with RHE:
    As long as we have been looking at her musings, she has come off to me as someone with some sort of axe to grind against conservative belivers. I get the appeal from some on the blog. She started this “project” of hers in order to write a book mocking Biblical values, and specifically the role of women.
    To qoute “A few good men” – “we use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.”
    She wonders why her book isn’t being carried in some stores – get a clue.

  33. Sometimes I wonder where is the bottleneck in the progress of Christianity in America. Is it that more people need to get saved? Do the saved need to grow up? Do the grownups need to move into a deeper place? Where is the holdup?

  34. The greatest biblical value is love and it is also the one that we undersell in favor of law.
    If I didn’t know the love of Jesus I would care nothing about His law…because i know His love, I know His law is perfect and good.
    I don’t always agree with either of these women’s theology or methodology…but I hear their hearts and my hope is that someday they and those that follow them can hear mine.
    I’m off to work…

  35. did some thinking on the times and recent blogs here:

    1-honesty and wit are charming traits and entertaining and a pressure release
    2-but they are dangerous and deceptive whether intended or not, if given credence beyond their substance
    3-the factors that prove wits’ value are knowledge, experience and self control

    -i like Rachel Evans and i also think that she fits category #1 … most successful, witty and gifted writers do …
    -i came to that conclusion as i thought about her words on the Proverbs 31 woman … i remember being a young Christian, measuring myself against her and many lovely, competent church women; they were not (and, i suspect are not) all hypocritical harpies (like that word? :smile: ) … when i measured myself, i thought, “oh, crap” or something to that effect … so i went with an old French proverb instead: “One does the best one can with what one has”
    -thing is, O.T. stories indicate that women worked hard – and that thing about going off by herself during her menstrual period was a blessing, i suspect … think about it … do you know any good woman (or man) who can just sit and watch others shoulder the day’s burden? God said, give them some rest and then a trip to the spa before they get back in thick of it, surviving – it was instruction for their day, not ours
    -the “Cougar” link above proves the point of raising our women with an enforced standard of modesty – vagina is a good scientific word, but calling it “the birth canal” as it used to be referred to, gives a little more perspective, i think … (our forbearers knew more about going off the rails and about our needy psychosis than we give them credit for, maybe?)
    maybe they are wisely called our private parts? practical sex education does help, of course it does and it might have helped some of those poor guys – gay and proud of it – who, i suspect, in their old age are going to have unpleasant problems from some of their habits … nuff said

    probably should re-read the above before posting it, but i’m tired of it and ready for a second cup of coffee

  36. Again I disagree with Michael – at least the way I have been taught, one does not know the love of Christ until they have been crushed by God’s law, that drives them to Christ.

    Here is the deal, no one gets stopped at the doors of the church and told not to come in. I am sure that in most cases that people have been in a church for some time, receiving the word and love of Christ before their sin comes to light.

    So, if my church confronts me with my sin after a couple of years, what is to be my response. “I know I am an adulterer, but it is none of your business.” You fill in the blank with your particular sin.

    In all cases, when confronted we are expected to repent and desist. We may fall back and need to repeat the process.

    But this group, represented by the RHE and Stephanie lead the charge in saying, no, if society has accepted the sins of these folk, then the church must do the same.

    No amount of giving the people (aka culture) the love of Jesus is going to change a single one of them, without confronting them of their sin – which is against the modern day rules.

  37. I will add that personal relationships are different that relationships with the church. I have several homosexual friends – and I know that they are homosexual because they tell me. I don’t confront them with their sin and we have a nice peaceful existence… as long as they don’t claim to be in the faith – then we have discussion.

    But I am sure that I have many more friends who are run of the mill fornicators and adulterers – but I don’t know who they are because they don’t tell me – at least they have some shame (however not enough to repent).

    Now, on a personal level I have no problem at all interacting with either – it’s the world we live in and I don’t oppose it. However, when they come knocking on the door of my church – and I wish this were the old days where you could say “knock at the door of The Church” – I need to draw the line. All, and I do mean ALL are welcome to heed the call of Christ and enter… under the terms set up by Jesus.

    Look, if no one needs to change, why is Stephanie’s group all wolfed out at “spiritual abusers” – aren’t they just another sub set of dysfunctional people that need to be allowed in the church no questioned asked?

  38. “one does not know the love of Christ until they have been crushed by God’s law, that drives them to Christ”
    I thought it was the kindness of God that leads men to repentance…

  39. nomans, why would you even seek God if you had no idea you were separated from God?

  40. He sought me. The “i” is one of the letters i have made friends with… It’s that dang “l” that i lose sleep over.

  41. The kindness of God is exemplified in His giving us His law. How else could we know the depth of our sin apart from His law?
    But the law was the pedagogue to lead to us to Christ. Gal 3:19-25.

  42. I think people get the wrong impression when I say “crushed by the law” – like you have to beat people up.

    I can crush by the law, my grandkids, just by asking “why did you do that?” For a couple of them, that is all it takes and they cry out for forgiveness… which I give right away.

    A couple of the others, it may take a little more “crushing by the law.” :-)

  43. Tim Challies nailed it on his article “Smilingly leading you to Hell”. Reminded me of the recent —- storm we had here with some of the people involved with SCCL. People would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.

  44. “Martin Luther’s Disciple says:
    November 9, 2012 at 9:27 am
    nomans, why would you even seek God if you had no idea you were separated from God?”

    For me, it was simply to know Who to thank.

    For the rest of the time it’s been the irritating, well meaning ones who insist on telling me that I can’t simply live and enjoy God’s abiding presence.

  45. amen a lot of the above #44 is food for thot …
    we are told to have an answer for anyone who asks us about our Faith – that seems to imply that, when we’re out and about, we wait to be asked, does it not?
    what we can’t seem to give ourselves permission to do is to defend the Faith within the walls of a church – do we need to have an “outer court,” perhaps?
    we definitely need training in applying that hated, but core Truth of “loving the sinner, but hating the sin” all sinners and all sins?

    for my part, my past experience with the male homosexual (the civilized in our midst) is that – in general – they were way kinder and more considerate,and particularly so of ladies, than the straight males (who also seem to have trouble coming to terms with their sexuality today) …

    when it comes to garage mechanics however, they all seem to be no good sons a guns with smirky attitude … sigh

  46. G,
    That’s a pretty compelling case … for Buddhism.

    I will need to look into that God you found who no longer convicts of sin – sounds a hell of a lot easier and more pleasant than dealing with Jesus Christ. ;-)

    I tease you, but going back to the context of the RHE blog I posted about yesterday and the tiraid of comments over at Stephanie’s FB – are you actually saying that one can, as you say ” enjoy God’s abiding presence.” while living continually an unrepentant life?

    I sin as much as the people (aka culture) on their sites, but I am repentant and fight myself… even in defeat.

  47. I want to engage in this, but frankly the rhetoric seems hyperboleish and a half. Soteriology carries more mystery than I think we would like to admit with our academia ridden minds. Think I will just go back to hiding all of my “friends” on FB who are spiritual leaders and continue to call our president evil. But love you guys!

  48. I also think MLD is having this conversation in light of other conversations he has been having that I have not been having. Ya dig? :mrgreen:

  49. Me,
    “Wow, life is amazing, a gift, a wonder unfolding before me, so much to learn, so much to experience, people around me are interesting, fascinating, complex and inspiring. Some source of all this is worthy of hearing a great big ‘Thank you!’ and if only I could let that intelligent designer know my gratitude!”

    Theologian,
    “Well, the Creator, we call that Person “God”…

    Me, after running to the top of the biggest hill in my neighborhood, shouting at the top of my voice,
    “Thank You, God!”

    Theologian, shouting from the bottom of the hill,
    “Uhh, kid, not so fast, you can’t just do that, you can’t just talk to God. You’re under the curse of original sin!”

    Me, shouting back,
    “Huh? What did I do?”

    Theologian,
    “It was someone in your family, a long time ago, ate something they shouldn’t have, so you’re in trouble for it and you can’t thank God until the curse is removed!”

    Me, running over the crest, out of earshot,
    “Sorry, God, as I was saying, thank You, thank You, thank You!”

    God, silently approving, releases inner emotional chemical reactions within the praying human to give him a sense of well being while letting the Theologian spin into ever increasing spirals of complexity, inventing sacraments, laws, counsels of other theologians, estate planning and tithing, weekly gatherings with complex rituals which require observances and participation but not allowing such without loyalty oaths…

    God,
    “Come on, kid, do something creative that puts smiles on others’ faces, like maybe some music, art, and figure out how you can express what you feel and tell others, and be sure to relax and know if you get stuck, just like if someone is hungry or thirsty you can share, ‘cuz there’s plenty more where that came from.”

    Me,
    “But, what about that Theo-guy and all his spinning and muttering?”

    God,
    “Yeah, remember the story about Me making stuff and the guy who names what I made, and I say, ‘good’?”

    Me,
    “Yeah, makes me think that guy is a buzz-kill!”

    God,
    “Good…”

  50. Nomans,
    I am not addressing “soteriology” – I am only making a point about people (RHE & Stephany in particular) who not only excuse sin, but lambast the church for trying to hold to a biblical standard.

    They can say that the issue is how the homosexual is treated, but at no time does either call for repentance on the part of the homosexual (I only use the homosexual as an example here because that was the article by RHE – and Stephany has been going on about gays at an Amy Grant concert recently)

    They are not in the business of forgiving sin – they just want to redefine sin … out of existence.

    The Church wants to forgive sin – not redefine it.

  51. Guitar man moves me.

  52. The original comment I was addressing was
    “one does not know the love of Christ until they have been crushed by God’s law, that drives them to Christ”

    How is this not about soteriology?

    Again, my bad… I think we are having two different conversations.

    (blushing and lovingly bowing out)

  53. Having spent decades on this journey I think Buddhists with Jesus have the best possibility of refocusing humanity on the person of God.

  54. Nomans, I have no beef with you – all is good — at least on my end. :-)

  55. I need to refrain from my lurking to shout an obvious point of fact and that is the Buddhists are vicious persecutors of minority Christians in the nations where they have the majority.

    Maybe if some of the years of those ‘decades on the journey’ were spent in Laos or Burma, instead of the cozy confines of the good old USA, this point would not need to be declared.

  56. Here too, MLD! :)

  57. Good point AV. I found that sentence to confusing to even offer a response.

  58. “the Buddhists are vicious persecutors of minority Christians in the nations where they have the majority.”

    …and elsewhere “Christians” are a-holes as well.

    I’m obviously talking about progressives, people who have renounced tribalism and conversion by violence, people who live, not according to unevolved and unsophisticated mores that condone intolerance.

    I’m only speaking of my Buddhist neighbors and friends, and the few hundred who went to the public schools I went to in the San Francisco East Bay.

    Yes, those a-holes you cite are as reprehensible as the christian jerks who persecute others.

    Clear enough?

  59. Honestly, AV, sometimes you make me think you live to snipe.
    You know I respect you for being a minister of the gospel but there are times I have to face palm at the stuff you come up with, and that was one of them

  60. “Maybe if some of the years of those ‘decades on the journey’ were spent in Laos or Burma, instead of the cozy confines of the good old USA, this point would not need to be declared.”

    This shows just how much you are disconnected from the dynamics of human societies and the enormous responsibility to actually DO SOMETHING when one has the power to do so, even when its a hazard to one’s self interest.

    The issue :: isn’t :: the religious and cosmological view of Buddhists, rather,  your example illustrates the fact that those who are in the place of influence within their partially evolved society, in this case Buddhist “leaders” (I don’t think they are called ‘pastors’, but you get my point here) remain silent, thereby giving the rogues who flaunt their power by persecuting others and individuals tacit approval by their inaction, something which exists within a religion I am quite familiar with.

    …shall I go on?

  61. bricks & glass houses

  62. For the record, I vote Christian over Buddhist. Nothing wrong with Christians learning from Buddhists, and I suppose I can hear G’s heart on that one.

    But to set up some sort of moral equivalence between Christianity and Buddhism, presumably over one’s frustration with the limitations in our expression of Christlikeness as a people, is absurd if not downright evil.

  63. Thanks, PP Vet.

    Could you expand on “absurd if not downright evil.”?

  64. Buddhism is actually quite a cruel religion and has a low regard for human life.

    One, it states that you deserve what you get – karma
    Two, it makes it impossible to help people who are having a hard time, because if you help them, then you are interfering with them working out their own karma – which they must do or they will be reincarnated as a bug.

    I never figured out why people think they are a warm and fuzzie crowd.

  65. I mean, Christianity is the Kingdom of God. Buddhism is a religion of lies – no heaven, hell, or Christ. One is correct and will lead people into eternal bliss, the other will not. So it is a deception leading to perdition to imply that they are somehow on the same moral footing. As Christians we should be clear that one is false, the other true.

    That said, I always admired so much about Buddhism, and its strengths so often seemed to me to be exactly where contemporary predominant USA Christianity has weaknesses: the emphasis on simplicity and the palpable quality of one’s actual spiritual condition vs. materialism and an appeal to apparent doctrinal and ritual correctness.

  66. Well, just as I’m one to take the best from what I encounter in life, the stuff that is commendable, I commend it.

    The kingdom of God is far greater than this thing we call Christianity so wherever I find Gods fingerprint I will rejoice

    Happy Friday

    Shabbat Shalom

  67. This will really make you angry so take a deep breath before reading it.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/10/world/europe/norway-killer-breivik-complains-about-prison.html

  68. we don’t get to define Christ Jesus, no matter what our philosophies, humanitarian views or lack of either … while i am one who does believe that those who have never heard of the Christ will not be judged for rejecting Him, they will be judged and their good deeds won’t count one whit … the heart, the mindset that we can’t always see, God sees… no self justification before God … Matthew 10 is full of truth and love, but none of it is not optional … erased the rest of my pontifying

    there is a theory i’ve heard that says we’ll all speak Hebrew eventually – it is rather beautiful – shalom, shalom shalom – B’Ezrat HaShem – L’Chaim

    God keep all close and comforted

  69. brian, I don’t have the words to express my disgust.

  70. So today one of the kids (23) I have found myself sharing this whole new journey with told me he was trying to talk to
    Another kid about what it means to be Christian. They were trying to determine where the line to being “good enough” to get into heaven is. Howuch and what kind of things they have to do.
    After I stopped being flabbergasted that he still believed that he had to do anything at all, I tried explaining he didn’t have to do anything, it’s already been done….I realized I suck at explaining the things I know to be true.
    Someone please point me to some resources that I can use to figure out the words to explain it.
    What’s so amazing about Grace comes to mind What else?

  71. London,
    Simply share from your heart. Talk about why you are a believer in Jesus, what He means to you, why you don’t base things on performance.

  72. Showing what a relationship with Jesus looks like will open the doors to talking about that relationship

    Excellent article…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-stearns/goodbye-christian-america-hello-true-christianity_b_2082649.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

  73. As I walk with Christ, it is apparent to me that some outside the institutional church actually get it:

    Oh people, look among you
    It’s there your hope must lie
    There’s a sea bird above you
    Gliding in one place like Jesus in the sky
    We all must do the best we can
    And then hang on to that gospel plow
    When my life is over, I’m going to stand before the Father
    But the sisters of the sun are going to rock me on the water now

    Hang on to Christ and let all the other stuff fall where it may.

  74. PP Vet’s number 66 is my post the for day… He speaks truth in love.

  75. London, what G said in #73. Also, I often think of Jesus’ statement from the cross, “It is finished!” In the culture of that day, this was synonymous with “Paid in full.” So, it’s not about what we have to do, but what HE already did.

    Now, this is the kind of stuff I love chatting about on PhxP! Glad you brought it up, L.

  76. As always, great links.

    The first one itself linked to an article by Tim Challies. I think the reader paid too much attention to the title, and not enough attention to the thesis. The thesis was that we are not called to niceness. If I have any bone to pick with the post, it is that I have a question about the fruit of the Spirit list. I wonder whether or not it is an exhaustive list. I doubt niceness belongs on the list, but something close to it may. Many of the other items on the list can also be pitted against truth. But I suspect that a clear answer to my question would still leave Challies’ point intact. The real point is not asking where Osteen is leading other people, but whether his kind of niceness is something we ought to emulate. Is he a good example to follow here? Challies is right. The answer is no.

  77. If anyone doesn’t think we’re called to “niceness” then let me be an un-nice jerk, in Jesus’ Name, of course, and then let’s reflect in how much anyone will want to know the god I claim to represent.

    We are INDEED called to be nice, winsome, approachable, NOT prickly!
    Lord knows there are too many pr…

  78. Should have read @79

  79. G, did you Capo your guitar on 79? :)

  80. Lol, cool.

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