Jan 102017

A seminary professor’s struggle with sons mental illness…

Why be an Anglican?

Many sightings of hope…

When darkness closes in…

Church growth strategy…be weird…

Perry Noble is back…

The church without Christ and the ghost of Christmas future…

Alien citizens: why the church is political…

How a holy family handles conflict…

Bleep off…the fight to save filtering services…

What if?…

The disappearing middle in American religious and political life…

Thin slices of joy…

How the Trinity makes a decision…

Password Jesus…

Why kids ask why…

What can the church learn from Crossfit?

Work and enjoy it…

Six things egalitarian marriage is not…

America’s fighting faith…

The free gift…

Leaving the ministry…

United from above…

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

  42 Responses to “Linkathon!”

  1. Loved the Egalitarian Marriage article!

  2. So I read Kratzer and I cannot tell if it is a schtick or a serious cry. If the former, I’ve heard it all before. Being doubtful is being relevant and acceptable. If the latter, then I’m sick of the ‘chocolate cream soldiers’ who can’t grow up and deal with pain. Ministry hurts. You get misunderstood. You get accused. You know that the stuff they don’t know is worse than the nonsense they accuse you over. Quit? The only times I wanted to quit were when I was depressed… which is not often but is relentless and deadly. He might be depressed.

    We are not in ministry because we are good and pure and perfect and worthy. We are in the ministry because he PUT us in the ministry and we cannot do otherwise. If you can…ciao, and yes those who love you will love you still. But some who love you will determine that you do not love them so don’t get too high minded about who calls and who doesn’t.

    Any of you real people want to quit? Sure! We all do sometimes. That is the nature of life. Get up dust off and get on with it. That’s called being real… and honest.

    sheesh dread

  3. The whole “quitting” meme is tiring.
    I can’t quit being who I was created to be.
    The question for me isn’t whether or not I continue in ministry, it’s about how I will continue and with who.
    I find myself outside every camp…

  4. Kratzer didn’t quit or walk away – he is still a pastor, still in ministry and as Babs wondered, still continuing his schtick. His other article is that he quit being a progressive and he has given up on heaven and has chosen hell.

    I think I will give up Kratzer — which I thought I had done when I first read the article last Fall.

  5. Thanks MLD,

    I did go read some other stuff. He is just a blowhard showoff. I answered him and now I wish I had not. The reason he cannot quit is that he never began.

    I am sick of these hip children of the gloss.

    vomit dread

  6. I agree.

    If he truly left the ministry, that’d be one thing.

    That he hasn’t, shows me that he is a shill.

    In my opinion.

    (Since he gave his) 🙂

  7. Shameless plug/request. I’m currently developing a tool called “The Rhythm Journal – A guided journal to help you walk with God at His pace” It’s a resource to be used for your devotional time. What sets it apart is how intentional it is at (1) connecting your quiet time to the rest of your day and (2) actively transforming your life as the Spirit leads.

    I have a survey that I setup to gather data about people’s current devotional habits and processes. It is anonymous and takes about 4-5 minutes.
    Here is a link to the survey.

    If you are also so inclined as to be interested in information about the development of this resource, there is a link to subscribe to the email list here.


  8. Michael

    “I find myself outside every camp…”

    There’s a reason why I attend an 8.00 am Eucharist with 10-15 other people, say my prayers, partake of the Sacrament, shake hands at the door and leave…
    There’s a reason why I have turned down every offer to lecture at colleges and seminaries in the area…
    There’s a reason why I volunteer at a local domestic abuse shelter not connected with any Church…

    “I find myself outside every camp…”

  9. Duane,

    I’m trying to allow myself space for seasonal depression and ill health…but this sense of anomie seems to grow daily.

    My fellow Christians on social media are consumed with politics and cultural morality…I have little in common with them and nothing to share with them that they would value.

    My understanding of the person and work of Christ seems to be radically different from most…if I am in error, my faith is in vain… if I am correct, it might as well be.

    I just read that here in my valley one in four children are living in poverty…they couldn’t wait until Christmas break was over so they could go back to school and eat.

    According to my faith and the Jesus I know, the church should be weeping over this and acting…but, what do I know?

    I’m trying to gauge where I can volunteer with my health issues…

  10. cross-fit as a church activity? somebody is waay too self absorbed … real cross-fit is far too demanding to be a focus of any church (yes, i know something of it 🙂 ) …
    if you want to drag a tractor tire for your mental health (what happens to those who try and can’t? ) … wear yourself out serving the poor or persistent praying or grounds keeping or cleaning or repairing the building … IMNSHO, of course

  11. Being “outside the camp” is a lot quieter, less city light pollution, you can see the stars more clearly, on, and it’s where Jesus hangs out

    “We also, therefore, should go out >to Him< outside of the camp, while we bear his reproach…"
    -The Writer of Hebrews

  12. Michael

    Your faith is not in vain. The Church as we know it has become radically dysfunctional – whether on the Right or the Left. Most places I visit, I can hardly recognize as “Church”.

    Deal with your health first. All of us need you…

    I started volunteering in this one particular situation because, living in the wealthiest county in our state, no one wants to talk about “upsetting” things like domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc. In this county alone over 400 children a year are reported as victims of sexual abuse… probably 10% of the real number. Oh, and yes, we are also the most heavily “churched” county in the state.

    We do what we can…

  13. If one reads the 4 NT gospels as if they are for the Church and Christians, then I think you gain a sense of the character of Christ, His kingdom, His Church and discipleship. But if your theology tells you that Christ was preaching to a different dispensation, then you can come up with what we see far too often today among American-style church, which is not rooted in the cross.

  14. Michael,
    Just be you, all the other stuff will be sorted out. Just love, smile & wave, and take care of your boy and the felines.

  15. #9 – while i kind of don’t like it when a Christian compares himself (generic him) to a Bible character, is it possible that God has corralled Michael to focus on this work here? Somewhat as Paul was locked up waay back there? dunno … but one thing i am sure (don’t like it much, tho) is that God can put us in strange (sometimes uncomfortable) places to do the unexpected …
    i do love the fact that everybody who is a child of His, is a contributor to His plan… what we see as unimportant – insignificant – is a thing that He needed done when and where we are … like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle maybe?

    just sayin’ again

  16. Perry Noble is back…

    Perry was always a businessman / business consultant — he was never a pastor.

  17. Jean,

    There is more than a little truth to your #13…


    We have similar numbers for those situations here…we have outsourced the issues to the state and parachurch orgs…


    I need to do more…I’m determined to die with dirty hands.
    Trey was all excited over our recent weather event…school was delayed for a few more days.
    Some of his classmates were not happy because it was extra days without a hot meal…

  18. #11 reminded me that Jesus withdrew from the camp whenever he wanted to commune with the Father, did he not?
    health issues as serious as what Michael is going through can and do affect one’s outlook – how could they not
    we all need to keep prayers going for this man
    #’12 & 14 amen

  19. something very insidious is going on now and, since its name was mentioned on this thread, i will stick my neck out and opinionate – never done that before – ahem ,,,

    “control” – start watching for all the areas of individual life that are falling under another’s jurisdiction – not talking the simple rules and regulations of an orderly society, like traffic lights and a 12 month calendar…

  20. em,

    Thanks for the prayers…I’m getting a little stronger every day.

  21. Chris Kratzer is linked here… WOW 🙂

    MLD – I don’t think he is in ministry now. Unless he has started a new church plant / home fellowshipy thing. I think he’d love to be a famous preacher somewhere but he has burned all his bridges. He’s did a little damage in my town, but finally had to close up shop. He claims people here are clamoring for him to start a new church. (We have rough;y 300 in a town of 30,000 so I doubt it.) So he will definitely be back. But he’s a huckster for sure. Just not a very convincing one.

  22. Perry Noble claims that the pressures of his church structure drove him to drink and devastated his family.

    And now you can pay him to do the same for you.


  23. Big brother, you are not alone. I want to be in your camp, cuz that is where i see Jesus most. I am proud of you! Still praying every say for you my dear friend.

  24. So now, Kratzer is fb messaging me.

    I shouldn’t have called him a huckster. I don’t know that to be true. I do know alot about the way he treated a small church here in my town, and I wasn’t fond of that.

  25. Thanks, Dusty!

    Josh… I had no clue about the backstory on this guy or I wouldn’t have posted the link…

  26. Not your fault Michael.

    As you can imagine, being in ministry in a small town, you make a lot of relationships. When those people hurt, I don’t like it.

  27. Josh,

    I absolutely get that…and I trust your assessment of the situation.

  28. McKnight misses the forest for the trees by miles, but to each his own.

    I became an Anglican because of the structure, which removes the value of the priest that evangelicals have. The bible is recited, not explained. The communion is open to all who profess a belief in the god child, and his mission. There is no expository $#!+. The beliefs are recited, and the service has no human centrality.

    To this day, I tell people that if they must belong to Jesus, worship in a church that actually centralizes him rather than people or pastors or priests, like the Anglicans.

  29. Chris is mad at me 🙂

    Hey Chris, you can comment here too, if you disagree with my take on things.

  30. The calender is cool and all… certainly a critical part to the structure… but simultaneously acknowledging the total lack of human blovation is pretty danged critical in the Anglican Church.

  31. Reuben

    You wrote: “To this day, I tell people that if they must belong to Jesus, worship in a church that actually centralizes him rather than people or pastors or priests, like the Anglicans.”

    Where in McKnight’s article did he centralize pastors or priests? To the contrary, the church calendar and the liturgy that McKnight did not mention certainly decentralizes the pastor or priest.

  32. The reasoning of church calendar would seem to be more complete if he went like, RC or EO.

  33. Jean, read it a bit different. Sorry for the confusion.

  34. Jean, read it a bit different. Sorry for the confusion.

  35. Here is a good example of the Lutheran calendar. and then it gets filled in with events, festivals various saints days etc.


  36. Reuben’s @28 – the best case that i’ve seen for making the Anglican church home…
    “To this day, I tell people that if they must belong to Jesus, worship in a church that actually centralizes him rather than people or pastors or priests, like the Anglicans.”

    unfortunately, way too many good teachers (i believe in teachers in the pulpit) become the focus… it’s left me wondering why one would bother spending that much time listening to someone simply because you like their style… and, of course, we’ve got the whole personality cult spread throughout churchdom these days… who was that R.C. T.V. priest (must have been a Cardinal as i seem to remember him in a red cape) who was all the rage in the late 50’s? these fellas can turn up anywhere – some even coach

    which reminds me to post script my comment on crossfit early today… as an athletic discipline i have no quarrel with it… one of my daughters threw herself into it full bore when grieving her dad’s passing 9 years ago… but in church? no

    i have an opinion on saints days, but i spare you… 🙂

  37. #28 is a good word

  38. appreciate the food for thought on the links…
    IMO several are well grounded and worth my time to read and think on…

  39. For those interested in exploring Anglican options, I would commend the late Robert Webber’s books such as. ‘Common Roots’ and ‘Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail’. That being said the Episcopal Church is in free fall and the ACNA is struggling to establish itself. As for other ‘liturgical’ bodies, the ELCA is in the same downward spin as the Episcopal Church. As for LCMS, it’s a mixed bag socially and culturally, but there is an adherence to the Lutheran Confessions. That leaves the RCs and the EO, both of which have their own challenges, especially culturally, for evangelicals. I always found it fascinating (and understandable) that the great Church historian, Jaroslav Pelikan (a Lutheran) went to the EO in his later life.

  40. Perry Noble is baaaaaack…

    Geee. Never saw that one coming.

  41. #39

    That leaves the RCs and the EO, both of which have their own challenges, especially culturally, for evangelicals.<<<

    Very true. As I've said here many times, people will decide they want to convert to Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism by reading books and when they join up, blinded by dewy-eyed idealism, they are unprepared for EO and RC culture. Those who convert to Catholicism because they resonate with lofty RC writings are discomforted by actual RC culture which includes things like burying statues of St. Joseph upside down in the lawn to enhance real estate sales. Converts to EO are discomfited by myrrh-streaming icons and Greek mothers who pin talismans on their children's clothing to ward off the evil eye.

    They discover how few people actually go to confession, how few keep the fasts, how few want to discuss the writings of the Cappadocian Fathers during coffee hour. They discover that some of their favorite American holidays (Thanksgiving, 4th of July) fall during a meat-free fasting period.

    They come into Orthodoxy (and probably Catholicism) expecting an ideal parish that doesn't exist anywhere on Earth. And they are sorely disappointed, disgruntled, and many leave, complaining loudly as they go. If you can read yourself into Orthodoxy, you can read yourself right out of it.

    So you have to look past the pirogis, Greek dancing lessons, and crazy political views. This is pretty easy because the Liturgy prevents most of this stuff from polluting the services. I happen to enjoy Russian and Greek cultural practices but I can see how many converts would find them oppressive.

  42. #41
    Yes… and beautifully expressed. As an anecdote, I remember going to St. Vlad’s to pay my respects when Fr. John Meyendorff died. As I approached the bier where his body had been placed, I noticed a paper strip on his forehead… it was a Czarist tax receipt from 1914 indicating that the death duties had been paid to the Imperial government. Mind you, this was in 1992! It was culture, pure and simple. That being said, as you’ve indicated one has to look past the culture to the core theology.

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