Oct 182016

According to this document obtained through trial discovery, Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia has allegedly spent over $200,000 of church offerings to sue his son for libel.


In reality, as almost six months have passed since that document was filed, the actual amount is far more than that.

Grenier’s stepson, Alex Joye Grenier, has alleged that he and and his brothers were the victims of child abuse and that there were irregularities in the financial operation of the church, among other charges.

The response by Pastor Grenier was to sue him…but possibly, not with his own money.

In light of the fact that there is no other litigation pending against CCV it is probable that this money is being spent for the singular purpose of the lawsuit.

The folks who worship at Calvary Chapel Visalia would then be financing this litigation with their tithes and offerings.

It is a reasonable question to ask if they are aware that this is how their money (given to God) is being used.

It should also be asked if they intend to keep supporting a pastor suing his own son with their giving, which biblically could be grounds for disqualification from the ministry.

Alex Joye Grenier is defending himself at his own expense, expenses which will approximate that which is being used to sue him.

Despite the charges against Bob Grenier, Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith refused to allow any disciplinary action to be taken against him.

So far, the regional Calvary Chapel leadership has similarly turned away any attempts to do so.

The Moses Model of leadership, which allows pastors to handpick their board members, allows this sort of pastoral control of funds…even when being used to finance a lawsuit against family members.

The question now is whether or not the congregation of Calvary Chapel Visalia will allow him to continue to do so…

Alex Joye Grenier speaks to the situation on his blog as well.

Oct 182016

imagesOn his Facebook page, “Pastor” Saeed Abedini says that a woman could not be elected President because that would be giving her “headship”.

He does allow that a woman can be in “leadership”.

He has not yet explained the difference in any coherent way.

Coherence is not his strong suit.

He is still being held up by Charisma ragazine and other Christian “news” outlets…in Charisma, he says he’s not endorsing a candidate.

On Facebook, he comes out loudly for Trump.

He also says that he has been in a constant battle with the “spirit of Jezebel” since coming home.

Of course he has…

Of course, Saeed claims that everything he says is biblical.

Therefore, you should be one of 200 people who will commit to twenty dollars a month to support him… after two weeks, he’s only 180 people short.

Evidently, the Franklin Graham gravy train has had the wheels come off…

Before you commit to giving Saeed twenty bucks a month…perhaps he should answer how he’s still in the ministry when he’s absolutely disqualified biblically from the pulpit.

Ask him how a woman is unqualified to be president, but a man with an unbiblical divorce and an arrest record is qualified for ministry.

Ask him how a man that refuses to answer for his past or present sin to the Body of Christ is fit for ministry.

Ask him…better yet, ignore him.

Oct 182016

Calvin's Corner headerAfter a (very) brief word on hockey, Phil and I discuss the apocalyptic view on… everything.

Download the mp3


Oct 182016

timthumb.phpSermon: How to live in these crazy days…

Another look…it never helps…

On modesty…

The value of friends who aren’t like you…

Get thee to an altar…

Pat Robertson is Christianity’s crazy uncle…

Who do you think you are?

The religious wanderings of Bob Dylan…

Failing abuse victims…

Why are so many evangelicals condoning sexual assault?

A climate for change…

Christ and the “stop it” message…

Hitting the evangelical wall…

Mixing politics with religion and communion…

You are the manure of the earth…

Don’t let it get inside you…

How to believe…

Great interview with N.T. Wright about his new book…

Reading Luther…

No other gods…

The church and the huddled masses…

Much thanks to EricL for the help…support him at top right…


Oct 172016

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251.““Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”” (Revelation 12:10–12 ESV)

The church wages war through faith in Christ, the testimony of the Gospel, and sacrificial love that is willing to follow Jesus to the cross.

My theory would be that if we’re losing the war, it’s because we’re using the wrong weapons…

2. God forbid we would actually recognize the hand of the enemy behind all the strife and divisions…we’re too sophisticated for that…

3. I know I sound like a broken record, but in my heart I believe there is nothing more important to society than the church being the church…

4. I’ve written extensively on the importance of the church holding to it’s moral authority in the world or face losing it’s influence. Moral authority comes from recognizing the law of God as true and being crushed by it, then receiving the Gospel with gladness and living in it. Many have only chosen to be crushed by part of the law while demanding the culture bear the full brunt of it…and we dole out grace as if we’d bought it ourselves…

5. The turning of the seasons with the accompanying darkness and chill have taken a huge toll on me this year…

6. I think if we taught people the theology of the cross we’d have less need for large buildings…

7. The greatest joy I have is when I see T show kindness to someone others are ashamed to be seen with…

8. “Turning back to the Lord” is not a one time event, it’s a way of life…

9. There is nothing more pathologically insane than the liberal description of unborn children…

10. I have not giving up on changing the world…I’ve simply shrunk my world to those God has given me that are close enough to touch…

Oct 162016

You, Lord, through your works have revealed the everlasting structure of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in your judgments, marvelous in strength and majesty, wise in creating and prudent in establishing what exists, good in all that is observed and faithful to those who trust in you, merciful and compassionate; forgive us our sins and our injustices, our transgressions and our shortcomings.

Do not take into account every sin of your servants, but cleanse us with the cleansing of your truth, and “direct our steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and purity of heart,” and “to do what is good and pleasing in your sight” and in the sight of our rulers. Yes, Lord, “let your face shine upon us” in peace “for our good,” that we may be sheltered “by your mighty hand” and delivered from every sin “by your uplifted arm”; deliver us as well from those who hate us unjustly.

Give harmony and peace to us and to all who dwell on the earth, just as you did to our fathers when they reverently “called upon you in faith and trust,” that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and give harmony and peace to our rulers and governors on earth.

Clement of Rome

Oct 152016

bible-word-of-god_thumbMatthew 10:34-42 & Matthew 11:1-3

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

  • When I read this, I want my “warm fuzzy” Jesus – my buddy Jesus – my life coach Jesus.
  • But in the end, only the cross builds the kingdom.

35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

  • The cross trumps blood.
  • The fuzzy Jesus is only good to build your own kingdom. Listen how many preachers will preach only a warm fuzzy Jesus and have the worship team sing only ‘Jesus is my girlfriend type songs.
  • Only the cross builds the Jesus kingdom

36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.

  • You cannot allow your family to stand in the way of you becoming a disciple of Christ.
  • It’s easy here in America. If you come from a non Christian family, they may look at you funny as if you are going through a new fad.
  • But in some countries you have to face shunning or death.
  • On the other side, we must remember that we are called to suffer, and this is huge … but we are not called to make others suffer.

37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

  • Are you worthy? What does worthy mean?
  • Does worthy depend on you or Jesus?

38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

  • Not one of us is worthy.
  • This is the whole point of Christianity – we are not worthy, we cannot make ourselves worthy
  • Jesus had to die for us.
  • What does it mean to “take up your cross”? I think it is used as a big ‘throw everything in it’ statement.

39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

  • If you live for you – and all that that may entail – you will lose your eternal reward.
  • If you give up all for Jesus, you will have life.


40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.

  • Sounds simple – I just don’t know if we see it this clearly.

41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.

  • Now this is where it gets a little tricky.
  • Is this incentive to do good / right? Do right and get rewards?
  • Is this a quid pro quo relationship?
  • Do my good works earn me rewards?
  • What were the role / purpose of a prophet?  – to proclaim the good news
  • What is the good news? To proclaim the “good rewards” procured for us in Jesus.

42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

  • This is kind of like the description of the Sheep in Matt 25 – they just do and receive.
  • What is the difference between a prophet’s reward and a righteous person’s reward?
  • V. 42 = a disciples reward
  • V. 40 the reward is me.

How do you receive Jesus? By how you treat others – again Matt 25.

Matthew 11:1-3

Messengers from John the Baptist

1 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.

  • Jesus instructs and then moves about. More like verbal instruction then life instruction.
  • The question is – did the disciples go out as they were instructed?
  • In which cities? The ones they came from or the ones they had visited?

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples

  • I don’t think Herod gave day passes or work furloughs.
  • Matthew jumps ahead to ch 14 – but he must assume the hearers know the timing of events.

and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

    • This is such an interesting passage – and can be taken 2 ways.
  • Way #1
  • John is in prison at this time – and he may have been reflecting back to what he preached and who he was thinking the Messiah would be – to free the oppressed – but hey, look, John is now in prison, he is the oppressed.
  • “I am risking my neck for you? Am I wasting my time??
  • Are you the one?
  • John is in a long list of those who are blinded by how they would run things.
  • It can’t be this way because if I ran this – well, it would be much different
  • “I have been watching and this does not match my expectations – let me explain this to you Jesus!”
  • Way #2
  • John is asking for the benefit of his followers to prepare them for his upcoming death.
  • Luther and the Early Fathers make the case that this is not a crisis of faith.
  • A teacher does not always ask a question because he does not know the answer or to get an answer.
  • But to put the thought in a person’s mind and heart, so that they will come to the answer that the teacher already knows.
  • An inductive style of instruction – a question, a follow up question and then the light goes on.
  • John has been filled with the spirit since he was in his mother’s womb.
Oct 142016

7eea4faaeaf9df85f47365b48434f6c4“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”

(Revelation 2:2–5 ESV)

I’ve tried as best as I can to avoid most of the rhetoric surrounding this election.

This is not because I don’t have strong opinions about some things… I most surely do.

I have avoided the war because I have chosen not to be at war with any of my brethren.

Disagreeing agreeably, but with charity, does not seem to be an option for engagement this year.

However, it’s now time for me to say what is on my heart.

It’s time for the American church to turn back to God.

It’s not time for America to turn back to God for such a thing is not possible…the country is not a person with a soul that can do such.

The church, however, has forsaken it’s first love and the manner in which we are called to battle if we are called to battle at all.

We have stained our calling with the sin of the world and we look no different than it.

Whether you support Trump or Clinton, you are forced in some measure to call evil good.

We have dishonestly attempted to portray both candidates as being motivated by their faith in Christ, a claim that would have been laughed at with scorn and derision in saner days.

We have fallen into more apocalyptic thinking…if our candidate doesn’t win, then the end of our country is nigh.

This presupposes that God is wringing His hands waiting for our vote… which are tied depending on who wins the election.

This is blasphemy.

We have treated those with a differing viewpoint as enemies…not just personal or political enemies, but enemies of Christ.

This is a mockery of New Testament teaching and an abomination to our faith.

We have marketed fear and rage and those are a denial of the faith once delivered…our witness to the world has been that of Moses when he struck the rock.

It’s time to repent.

It’s time to pull back from this debacle and be what we are called to be… a remnant.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

(1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

We must return to our first love, a love of Christ that demonstrates itself in love of the brethren and a heart for sinners.

We are a nation within a nation, proclaiming the excellencies of our Lord and not those of some earthly leader.

We conquer…not by guns or political influence, but by the same tools our Lord used.

Sacrificial love and death.


“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

(Ephesians 6:12 ESV)

We can do this because we our hope is in resurrection, not Republicans or Democrats.

We know we are pilgrims, looking for a city not built with hands.

We have read the end of the book and the apocalypse turns out really well for us.

We believe…or we don’t.

If we don’t, we may see our lampstand removed.

Someone needs to check and see if it’s still there…

Make your own application…


Oct 132016

tshirt_design_our_fatherIntroducing the Lord’s Prayer: Give us this day our daily bread

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

This petition reassures us that we have a Father who cares about our ordinary bodily needs. He is not a Father concerned only with our spiritual welfare, church life or extraordinary life questions; He is our every-day-of-the-week Father, who is concerned with all facets of our life, including providing us with our daily bodily needs. Jesus teaches us to ask and depend daily on our Father for our bodily needs.

“But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!” (Ps 141:8)

By using the words – “this day” – Jesus evidently composed this Prayer (certainly this petition) for daily use. Jesus understands our weaknesses. (Recall, for example, Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of red lentil soup.) It is precisely in the everyday, mundane activities of sustaining our bodily existence that we are tempted to turn to the ways of the world and our sinful nature for solutions. This petition redirects our mind to God in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:29). If we request our material needs from our Father on a daily basis, then our “eyes are toward you, O God.” (Ps 141:8)

The request for “daily bread” reminds us of God’s provision of manna for the Israelites in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. God fed them manna and quail, provided them with water and, after forty years in the wilderness, the Lord said: Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet.” (Deut 29:5) Our Father wants us to trust in Him for our daily needs.

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matt 6:31-32)

The Scriptures use the word “bread” to refer to a simple loaf, food generally, or even a whole meal. However, in this petition, Jesus may be using the word “bread” as a metonymy for the basic necessities of bodily life. Luther’s commentary captures this broader usage:

“Therefore we pray, in the first place, that he may give us our daily bread, that is, everything that is needful for the preservation of this life: food, a healthy body, good weather, house, home, wife, child, good government, peace, and that he may preserve us from all manner of calamity, sickness … war, insurrection, etc.” (Martin Luther)

The reality is that if we lack, for example, health, clothing and shelter, then we will not survive long even with food. Therefore, as a pattern for prayer let us include in our meditations on this petition all the necessities for bodily life.

“You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.” (Ps 104:14-15)

God created and sustains our planet, which He has blessed with fertility and abundant food. He “gives food to all flesh” (Ps 136:25). However, as Psalm 104 observes, God shares His work in the world with his creatures.

God’s Ordered Rule.

God provides for the welfare of the world through His institution of three orders: Church; home; and government.

  • God entrusts His Word and the Gospel to the order of the Church, which is called to proclaim salvation in the name of Jesus Christ for all people.
  • God gives the blessing of creating human life and entrusts the raising of children to the order of the home. Labor, which provides resources for the household, falls within the order of the home.
  • God restrains evil through the order of government, so that our churches and homes may prosper in freedom and peace.

Through these three orders, God shares His work in the world with human beings. God is not absent or uninvolved, but His providential rule is worked through His creatures.

How does God provide us with a loaf of bread? God uses dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people working in their individual callings within the orders of home and government to provide a loaf of bread to our dinner tables. These callings include: farmers; seed and fertilizer companies; bakers; equipment manufacturers and operators; transportation workers; grocery store employees; police officers and soldiers; and homemakers (who may work in unrelated callings to earn money) to purchase the bread. God works through people, Christians and non-Christians alike, in their various callings to provide our tables with bread to eat. The numbers increase dramatically when we consider all of our material needs.

Therefore, our petition for daily bread may include any of the following prayers:

“The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Ps 145:15-16) Father, we thank you for blessing us with fertile lands and seas abundant with food. Grant us wisdom for the conservation, use and distribution of these resources, which you have entrusted to our stewardship, not only for us but for all people and future generations.

“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matt 6:30) Father, strengthen our trust in you for our daily needs. Keep us from unhealthy anxiety about the future.

“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” (Ps 128:2) Father, grant us opportunities for education, training and employment.

“Remove far from [us] falsehood and lying; give [us] neither poverty nor riches; feed [us] with the food that is needful for [us]” (Prov 30:8). Father, “if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” (1 Tim 6:8)

“The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” (Ps 146:9) Father, bring the needs of the poor to our remembrance so that we do not neglect them.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Tim 2:1-2) Father, we pray for all those who serve in government, including elected officials, civil servants, members of the armed forces, police and other first responders: Grant them wisdom to restrain evil and defend justice and freedom in our land. Protect them even as they protect us.

 In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Next week we will continue with the fifth petition: “and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”.


Copyright © 2016 Jean Dragon – All rights reserved.

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