Links! Uncategorized Add comments Sep 242013 The extinction of Christianity in the Middle East… The problem no one wants to talk about…. Understanding child abuse and neglect… Most Americans believe in existence of Satan… Eating, Body Image, and the Gospel… Thoughts on Robert Schuller and the Chrystal Cathedral… Youth pastors letter to a parent… When we criticize the church… Another view on hell… What happened to religion in Canada? Henry Blackaby and the positive power of social media… The battle between light and darkness… An interview with the Pope… Our Make-Believe Parents: When Adam Becomes More Fiction than Fact The place of Scripture reading in Christianity… Why prayer changes things… Authority issues… Nothing more Christian than kicking people off food stamps…. The greatest entertainment launch in history… The Reformation in LEGO… Hillsong joining the crowd in Orange County… Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)MoreClick to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... 153 Responses to “Links!” Rob Murphy says: September 24, 2013 at 7:57 am If I follow Jesus, He says to live as He lived, do what He did. If I follow Mohammed, he too says to live as he lived and do as he did. Seems the alleged violent minority of Islam are the only ones who get it. This is singly the most inane debate in the world today. See what Jesus did, see what Mohammed did. True followers truly follow their true leader. The idea that talking about the violence of Islam is part of the problem is staggeringly dumb. At the table of ideas, the Muslim’s loudest spokesmen want to burn the table to the ground. Intolerable. Michael says: September 24, 2013 at 8:24 am Rob, Agreed. Babylon's Dread says: September 24, 2013 at 8:34 am “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for me, (Middle East Christians) and there was no one left to speak for me.” Martin Neimoller Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 8:57 am I wonder if some of the apathy towards the destruction of Christian communities in the Middle East can be traced to two trains of thought: 1. A feeling prevalent today that Christians are haters and and behind-the-times, unevolved moralists who want to force our racist, sexist, homophobic agenda on everyone else. (To these people I say, “Woe to them who call evil good and good evil.”) This is why the liberals don’t care. 2. The fact that the vast majority of Christians in the Middle East are some flavor of Eastern Christianity, either Orthodox, Coptic, Byzantine Catholic or similar. These are incense-burning, vestment-wearing, Eucharist-loving, Saint-venerating, “Baptism does now save us” followers of vain traditions of men and probably not really Christians and are getting what they deserve for fouling the true faith. This is why many conservatives don’t care. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 8:59 am I can tell you that among my FB friends, the persecution of Christians around the world, especially the Middle East, is the number one topic. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 9:02 am And even among those of us who do care, what can we do? I pray, my church prays, I have sent letters to my Congressman and Senators. I don’t know what else I could do. I find myself in the peculiar position of admiring Russia’s president more than my own but I by no means trust either one of them. Michael says: September 24, 2013 at 9:04 am Xenia, Your #2 is too close to the truth, I’m afraid. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 9:07 am Xenia, from my experience, I don’t think you #2 reason has any merit. My small conservative baptist church talks about and prays for all those Christians facing persecution in the Middle East. Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 9:08 am I don’t know how anyone can read about what is happening to the Christians in the Middle East and not alarmed, grieved and praying for them. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 9:10 am When I was an evangelical, these Middle Eastern Christians were numbered among the lost and missionaries were sent out to save their souls. I imagine some people are in a cognitive bind. Their righteous dislike of Islam makes them want to side with the Christians except these easterners aren’t really Christians……. (Belonging, as they do, to a “system that does not lead to salvation.”) Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 9:12 am I don’t think so, Xenia. Yes, we send missionaries (as we do to every state in the US.), but differences of theology and doctrine are laid aside in the face of persecution. I’m sure there are idiots, but they would be in the minority. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 9:19 am Josh, your small Baptist church prays. God bless you all. I have a question for you: Does your church consider Eastern Christianity to be true Christianity? Has your pastor ever preached any kind of sermon that denounced Roman Catholicism as a false religion? Maybe yours hasn’t but he would be unique among evangelical pastors if he hasn’t. Phrases like “these people believe they are working their way to heaven” and “if you don’t believe in faith alone (Sola fide), you are lost.” I would hazard a guess that half of Chuck Smith’s famous thu-the-Bible tape series makes some reference to Chuck’s belief that Catholicism (and also Orthodoxy) are false religions. I don’t think a Sunday passed that my own CC pastor didn’t make some derogatory comment about Catholicism. If the current crisis has caused these folks to re-evaluate, good. But I am not holding my breath. The fact is, Josh, that most evangelicals do not consider Catholics and Orthodox to be Christians at all. I imagine you think I am exaggerating. Maybe Jackie Alnor will stop in and prove my point. Or my old pastor. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 9:19 am That youth pastor letter is…yeah. Grow up kid. Stop taking yourself so seriously. You will not be controlling my teenager’s life, nor will you be dominating their time. If you can’t be a minister in the few hours that you will see them per week, too bad. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 9:26 am I do not think you are exaggerating, Xenia. I believe your experience, but it is a limited experience. The only statement that I remember my pastor making on catholicism was something like “Catholic…baptist…none of that matters. The question is have you been born again?”. He has never personally mentioned EO, that I can recall. Now, we definitely disagree with many things about your religion. If we agreed with all of it, we would convert. We send missionaries to EO countries like Ukraine, but we also send them to baptist dominated areas like North Carolina. We don’t assume that anyone is saved by association. When it comes to persecution, we stand with those who proclaim Christ. Period. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 9:28 am Before I leave for the day, let me say this: If a church truly believes that only people who adhere to a Reformation-inspired version of Christianity are true Christians, then they have every right in the world to preach this as often and as loudly as they want to. My old pastor sincerely believe he was making valid comparisons between the light of CC theology and the darkness of RCC/EO theology. This is what he truly believed and so this is what he taught. There are thousands upon thousands of evangelical pastors who sincerely feel exactly the way he does. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 9:30 am Wow…linking to salon. “Blackwell also suggested that there was “nothing more Christian” than “not locking people into a permanent dependency on government handouts, but making sure they are participants in their own upliftment and empowerment so that they in fact through the dignity of work and can break from the plantation of big government.” While is obvious that “nothing more Christian” is inaccurate, there is nothing “Christian” or good about stealing my money at gunpoint to create a multi-generational class of people dependent on the government. I won’t say that there is nothing less Christian than socialism, but history reveals much here. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 9:31 am Josh, would agree with you that my experience is somewhat limited, mostly limited to CC and its teachers, where books like “The Woman Rides the Beast” was popular. Michael says: September 24, 2013 at 9:40 am Jim, I’m the resident lefty. I would link to “Democracy Now”, but the place would implode. 🙂 Michael says: September 24, 2013 at 9:41 am Josh, That sub culture is much larger than you think… Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 9:44 am Michael, I think we are mixing genres, so to speak. When talking theology, we absolutely disagree with the Orthodox church. No question. Xenia would be offended by some of those beliefs as baptists might be offended by hers. But we aren’t talking theology, we are talking persecution. I have never once heard a denomination mentioned when praying for persecuted Christians around the world. Ricky Bobby says: September 24, 2013 at 9:45 am Hillsong’s Brian Houston is a smart businessman. He smells the opportunity in the OC now that Chuck and CC are about to croak. Schuller’s down, too and TBN is rotting. Great biz opportunity to capture some major wealthy market share. Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 9:47 am Josh, many of my American friends are surprised when I tell them that the Anglican church in the UK is a vibrant, living Christian church. Yes, there are some Anglicans that are not believers, (as in any denomination or movement) but the church itself is very Christ centred and very orthodox. I know many Anglicans who love the Lord and are living their lives committed to Him. So I believe Xenia has a point. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 9:51 am I’m sure that is the case, Nonnie, but I still find it difficult to believe that when we are talking about actual PERSECUTION…dying for the Faith, that any one, even Jackie, would say “Well, they weren’t really Christians anyway.” Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 10:01 am Josh, I’m guessing that folks would sorrow over those people dying, (like you and I do when we hear of a Hindu or Muslim or even an atheist dying from terrorism) but not that they were brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe Xenia was trying to point out the distinction. If she wasn’t, then I am. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 10:08 am I understand the implication, and I hope it is not true. Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 10:14 am RB’s 21. I agree. It amazes me that BIG churches feel they have to plant in an area that is already glutted with churches that are very, very close to them form and function. Why aren’t they planting in areas where there are very few or no churches? But we all know the answer to that. Michael says: September 24, 2013 at 10:14 am Josh, Do you not understand that the whole ODM crowd views anything “Eastern” as anti-Christ? I have been called everything in the book for not ‘evangelizing” Xenia and others over the years. Every time I mention that I’m enamored with Anglicanism, I get another round of hate mail. Michael says: September 24, 2013 at 10:16 am Nonnie, I hope to write about that very thing tomorrow… Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 10:19 am 27 and 28….Like! Muff Potter says: September 24, 2013 at 10:32 am Michael wrote @ # 18: I’m the resident lefty. I would link to “Democracy Now”, but the place would implode. Don’t forget Muff, the old school FDR style socialist,is also a lefty. And yes the place probably would go into meltdown if you linked to Amy Goodman’s show (Democracy Now) jamesk says: September 24, 2013 at 10:36 am I think the youth pastor letter is right on. Seen it too many times. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 10:36 am “Do you not understand that the whole ODM crowd views anything “Eastern” as anti-Christ?” Yes, I have not denied such. I also understand that the ODM crowd is a very loud minority. I still doubt any of them are putting up articles about these persecuted believers rotting in Hell. “I have been called everything in the book for not ‘evangelizing” Xenia and others over the years. Every time I mention that I’m enamored with Anglicanism, I get another round of hate mail.” Again, talking about correct doctrine is one thing, persecution, I HOPE, is another. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 10:37 am back to the food stamp bill… it won’t pass the senate, and the prez has promised a veto if it did. I just can’t wrap my head around the thought that welfare states are in any way moral. We certainly can’t quote Jesus or Paul to justify the practice. Here’s the actual bill, if anyone is interested. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c113:2:./temp/~c113wq9o9B:: “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” – James Madison Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 10:39 am Well don’t forget Sandy Koufax who I always thought was the greatest Lefty of them all. Michael says: September 24, 2013 at 10:40 am Muff, My great interest/obsession is the situation in Mexico…and Amy is the only outlet that has covered it as it actually is. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 10:41 am What about the children who depend on such help from the government, Jim? Should they be forced to get a job? Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 10:48 am Josh-wrong question. Why are they dependent on the government (using your money, my money, China’s loans to us) in the first place? Does government dependence help or hurt people? Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 10:49 am Lots of reasons, Jim. But the fact is that if you cut off all assistance, you are going to kill a bunch of kids. Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 10:55 am I am all for help to needy people from our government, but I also think the “system” should be fixed to assist people to work, and, at the same time, keep their benefits UNTIL they can get a job that pays more than what they get in benefits from the government. As it is now, someone who tries to work (at a low paying job) , is actually punished by having benefits taken from them, therefore they are literally forced to stay out of work or else have make less money to live on. I’ve seen it time and time again. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 10:56 am You didn’t read the bill. It doesn’t cut off 95% of assistance. It addresses fraud and waste, and doesn’t go nearly far enough in doing so. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 10:57 am http://www.openbible.info/topics/feeding_the_hungry Today in America, churches help people get on govt assistance. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 11:00 am I didn’t read the bill, Jim, I was answering your comment. You haven’t yet answered my question: What about the kids? Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:04 am If the kids are wards of the state, then the state provides for them. If they have parents, under our current unconstitutional system, benefits should be temporary, and coupled with training towards self sufficiency. Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 11:04 am A kid in poverty whose stomach is aching doesn’t give a rat’s ass about where the $ is coming from. If you strip all the extrananeous symbolism, ideology and pap from it, a dollar bill is a dollar bill. Righties have been bellyaching about the ‘guvmint’ since the 1930s. Nothing new under the sun. Only today they have the ‘Net and social media to spread their horse manure. My father-in-law fought in WWII for Gen. Patton’s Third Army and dislikes all politicians. He had this to say about FDR: “He saved our bacon.” Don’t get him started on knotheads like Paulie Ryan. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 11:08 am So, no answers, just complaints. Me too. Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 11:08 am Jim said, “… benefits should be temporary, and coupled with training towards self sufficiency.” I agree, but as it stands now, anyone trying to be self sufficient, is punished by benefits being taken away, leaving them with a low paying job and working 40 hours a week, making less than they did on government benefits. Why would anyone for that? The system is broken. Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 11:13 am My daughter who is a single mom with 2 kids, finishing nursing school is on food stamps. I pay her rent and she works part time as a waitress. She gets no child support from the ex. The system is set up that way, and I have paid the taxes in for over 40 yrs. Cutting fraud will never work – where is the incentive for the government worker to care? Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:14 am And who broke a system that was never supposed to exist? The GOAL is multi-generational, cradle to grave dependence. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:18 am MLD-would the house bill affect your daughter? Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 11:19 am Jim,the system was never set up so that private industry should benefit … but they do. I would much rather see a bill come through congress stating that private businesses have absolutely no right to public funds … for any reason. I am sure that would be a much greater budget cut. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 11:20 am Do we want a civilization that doesn’t care for the poor, sick, and helpless? Not me. Michael says: September 24, 2013 at 11:21 am Jim, I would completely agree with you if after training there were living wage jobs available. There aren’t. Since May I have sent out hundreds of resumes…had one interview and was basically told that I was way too experienced for the job. There is abuse in the system…I see it all the time. For most, however, it’s getting pretty hopeless. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:22 am Stepping a way for a bit. Would just encourage everyone to know exactly what we are discussing, unless you just want to buy what salon is selling. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 11:22 am Nonnie’s #22 is exactly right. Sure, people will pray for and worry about persecuted brethren but it all depends on who they are calling brethren. Very few from my old world would consider Eastern Christians to be brethren. If they are now concerned about these people and calling them “Christian victims of Muslim persecution,” then they have had a major change of heart- which is a good thing. Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 11:23 am “MLD-would the house bill affect your daughter?” No, but your attitude eventually would. You are the one advocating for not public assistance with your Madison quote. “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” – James Madison Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 11:24 am I’m with Josh. Shall we go back to children’s work houses and debtors prisons? Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:25 am MLD, I agree re crony “crony capitalism”. One of the benefits of the bill is that it separates farm subsidies from snap. Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 11:28 am Forget about cronyism – no business for any reason – never gets a dime. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 11:28 am The GOAL is multi-generational, cradle to grave dependence.<<< See, I don't believe this. This assumes some kind of Machiavellian Illuminati conspiracy, held by almost every elected official, to deliberately keep Americans mired in ignorance and poverty. I actually think the government means well. I don't think it's working out too well in some cases but I am glad there is a safety net and I am glad to live in a country that cares about helping the poor even if I think their efforts are naive and misguided in many instances. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:29 am MLD-I’m reminding Americans what America is supposed to be with the Madison quote. I’m reminding the church what Scripture says about the poor. The topic at hand is one bill which would not affect your grandchildren, yet the conversation has devolved into, “Jim wants to kill kids”. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 11:32 am “Jim wants to kill kids” Nobody said that, it’s just that often people speak with no idea of the consequences. The consequences of cutting gov’t assistance would be starving children. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 11:32 am Jim does not want to kill kids. Jim wants to (if I may put words in his mouth) see everybody gainfully employed doing worthwhile work that will allow them to live at least modestly well. He doesn’t think the current system promotes this. I agree but I think we have gone so far down a darkening path that for the time being, it’s the best we can do. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:33 am Xenia, LBJ sold his great society ideas as a “war on poverty.” 50 years later, who won? Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 11:37 am I’m sure everyone would love to live in a place where everyone has food, and no one needs government assistance. That isn’t the place we live in. Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 11:39 am I’m guessing we ALL agree that the system is a mess and promotes dependency, but what should be done? We cannot have children starving or homeless, because there is nothing in place to help. I’d rather my tax money were spent on feeding housing needy families than on wars that are none of our business. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 11:42 am Agreeing with Nonnie 100%. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:43 am Michael, I’m not addressing your situation, or anyone else in particular. Jobs are not always the answer. Work is. I’ve offered to set up a couple of twenty somethings in $200 a day businesses. They preferred to play video games while collecting two years of unemployment benefits. Study immigrant populations. They understand the American dream. Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 11:47 am Jim, You seem to devolve every conversation into a right-wing soundbite. Then you accuse those who don’t agree with you with lies :”Jim wants to kill kids.” No one ever said anything near that, Jim. I doubt whether you really want to dialogue on this. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:48 am You all know that I’d prefer a 60% reduction in our “defense” budget. The problem is that we are broke, and will either tax producers out of existence, of crumble under the weight of our debt. We need to rediscover the role of government, and cut everything. We do have a blueprint, hence the Madison quote. Read the darned founding documents. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 11:48 am What is a $200 a day business that is not also a job? Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:53 am Lutheran, With respect, I was discussing are specific bill, which reduces wasteful spending by 5%, and was met with this: “Lots of reasons, Jim. But the fact is that if you cut off all assistance, you are going to kill a bunch of kids.” I obviously want to dialog, but putting words in my mouth or name calling (righties) isn’t helpful. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 11:56 am I didn’t put words in your mouth. the “you” was meant to be generic. I could have said “If we cut off all assistance”, I don’t think anyone understood that as me saying you wanted to kill kids. If so, I sincerely apologize, that was not at all my intention. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 11:57 am Josh-it’s a service you offer which doesn’t involve working for a corporation. Some equate business ownership with jobs, and I understand, as they feel the same in many ways. Personally, I differentiate between the two. London says: September 24, 2013 at 11:57 am Jim, I think you may be right in many ways, but I also think you are quite a bit out of touch with the reality of poverty in this country. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 11:59 am I mean, is it driving an Ice Cream Truck? Selling dope? There may be another reason why the people passed, other than laziness. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm Josh @ 72-no worries. You’re correct, most probably read it the way you meant it. London, I’ll bet that I’m much more in touch with the poor than most here. We just seem to disagree about the cause and solution. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm What is the cause? Why do you think people are poor? Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm Josh-it’s a service you offer which doesn’t involve working for a corporation.<< Well, I hope it's something honest like window-washing and not some multi-level marketing scheme like selling fake legal insurance or bottles of herbal jungle juice. If it was an multi-level marketing scheme, I applaud the youths for saying "no." Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm Josh, My very small case study above is not representative of the poor in America. These kids were no way near poor, and had more toys than I have. They freely admitted that the work was too hard, and they wanted a job that included air conditioning. I worked in the sun for 25 years in Florida, so I found it hard to relate. Crawl before you walk, and all that. London says: September 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm Perhaps. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm Xenia-much like window washing, with all set up costs paid by me, with no expectation of repayment. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm Jim, I am relieved. 🙂 Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm Is that offer still open? 🙂 filbertz says: September 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm Teaching children from poverty is just like teaching children from wealth. Some are motivated to learn, some aren’t. The difference is the former have nothing to fall back on. The consequences of illiteracy are immediate for the child of poverty, but gradual or delayed for the child of means. Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm name calling (righties) Jim, Muff, Michael and I all call ourselves “lefties.” So why is it name calling when you’re called the same thing, but on the other end of the political spectrum? London says: September 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm Flip, Good points! Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm Lutheran, I guess being told that I want to devolve every conversation into a right-wing sound bite threw me a bit. It sounded like a fox news reference. If republicans are right wing, please don’t place me in that lump. Rob says: September 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm Didn’t like the youth pastor’s letter. He’s well on his way to becoming an overly controlling senior pastor. And, I think the parents have a more practical approach to their daughter than does the naive (should we say inexperienced?) youth pastor. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm As a parent of five children, all who went to youth group, I can tell you that I have had serious issues with youth pastors over the years. A few issues: 1. Yearly promotion of extremely expensive summer camps that were more like amusement parks than camp. We could never really afford them (few could) so there would be bake sales, car washes, etc. to fund them. This was a burden on the parents who might have had the money for these camps but preferred to spend it in a different way- maybe on something for the whole family. It guilted them into coughing up the dough rather than accept a scholarship. Every summer we went through this. The camps my church sent the kids to were very snazzy places, not like the camps I went to as a kid with tents pitched by the creek. If you tried to resist you were told “This is going to be a life changing experience and you don’t want you kid to miss out on the blessings God has for them!” Talk about manipulation! 2. Short-term missionary trips were also an occasion for fund-raising. You will not be surprised to learn that I have strong opinions about this as well. 3. Outre’ behavior to seem cool, telling kids to come to youth group in their pajamas and taking them to run around the mall in their pj’s to somehow prove they were radical for Jesus. Everything is extreme, radical, etc. Everything based on Christian rock music, no real place for kids who didn’t like this kind of music. 4. Often a subtle disdain for parents, we are new wine in new wineskins, etc. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm “Guys, you are here at camp on fire for Jesus. The first thing that will happen when you get home is that Satan will try to use your parents to bring you down.” Or something like that. 🙂 Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm Rob, You and others did not read the youth pastor’s “letter” careful enough. The note at the bottom said it was not a real letter and if you click the continue the conversation link at the end it explains the motives etc. Rob says: September 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm MLD, OK I went back and read the notes at the end. (Granted, I didn’t take this to be a real letter anyway.) So, that doesn’t really change my impressions of what was being said. Since, the “letter” was meant to prompt conversation, I’m simply stating my take on the attitudes being expressed. Maybe the person who composed this letter did so poorly, and perhaps does not accurately reflect the concerns being expressed. Still, I feel the tone of the letter is “off” but unfortunately, the ideas communicated are typical of many pastors. Let’s just say it rubs me the wrong way. So, that’s my part of the conversation. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm In this non-letter, I guess we’ll call it, the youth pastor talks about how the families work against his ministry. In my experience, the youth ministry always worked against my family. Parents were obstacles that had to be wheedled into coughing up money. Parents were in the way. The last youth group my youngest kids belonged to featured the youth pastor covering up all the windows with black drapes so the parents couldn’t see what was going on inside. We were not permitted to enter the room. This pastor also named the group “Dirt” (with no good explanation forthcoming other than it was “radical for Jesus”), and disdained parents who objected to their daughters wearing T-shirts that read “Dirt.” You know, it may just be that it would be better for the boy mentioned in the non-letter to go to sports practice than to be part of one of these things. Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm Actually I thought it was a good letter if it had been sent. If a pastor is called, and the church says “this is our expectation” – then the pastor has every right to push back and say “this is the mission and you need to participate.” We are going through that right now. we just called an associate pastor of outreach – this guy is a pretty heavy hitter as he was the staff outreach leader in the southeastern district of out synod. His job was to help people plant churches from Maryland to Georgia. I had a meeting with him last week and told him that he is to hold the congregation accountable for all the things they called him for. He does not and cannot ‘outreach’ by himself.. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm My church doesn’t even have a youth group. Most of the young people either sing in the choir, serve at the altar as altar servers, or stand with their parents. They are treated as adults. Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm My church has a youth group but it is outside of the regular Divine Worship services. All peoples, regardless of age participate together. Muff Potter says: September 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm In all fairness to Jim, he wrote: The problem is that we are broke, and will either tax producers out of existence, of crumble under the weight of our debt. Jim is right. In my own locale we have say Tommy tool box who runs a small CNC machine shop & say Lydia Machado who owns a small hole in the wall Mexican eatery. They are the true producers in our nation and as Jim rightly points out, they are being taxed out of existence. Meanwhile, the big guys, the ones who move assets offshore? The guys who have looted & gutted our manufacturing sector? They produce nothing except investor confidence in a gambling casino in lower Manhattan. And what’s more, they pay virtually nada, zip, zilch in taxes for doing it. crownedone1 says: September 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm Re: “The problem no one wants to talk about…” Thankfully, Jesus cleared up confusion for Christians, when He said we were to love our enemies, forgive unconditionally, and not to kill…that way, historically, our faith would not commit similar genocidal atrocities in the name of God. Oh wait… It is Islam’s time to shine. They will kill a lot of us, then we will be super upset and kill a lot of them, thus solving the alleged overpopulation dilemma and bolstering the broken financial markets. Tale as old as time. I could be wrong, history might not repeat itself. Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm In all fairness, instead of trying to chop off food stamps, why not work on legislation to close loop holes and make moving money off shore illegal … punishable by forfeiture of all you property and belongings. Nonnie says: September 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm MLD @ 99. Won’t ever happen. The fat cats own the politicians and/or the politicians are deeply vested in the big corporations and are making $$$ off of them. Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm Nonnie – I know. I always tell those who want to make cuts to welfare to balance the budget – let’s do this one first and then if we need more cuts, we will look at welfare. Derek Thornton says: September 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm Throwing Jim a life line here… The kids aren’t going to get food argument is FALSE. This bill does not take away money from any adults with dependents. It tightens down on able-bodied adults with no dependents. This is $40 Billion over ten years….that is chump change with how much the govt. spends Besides, it will only last till someone comes along and passes a new bill in a few years. Don’t just think because someone says “Kids will starve” that they are telling the truth. Politics is all about getting people riled up about stuff that isn’t true. jamesk says: September 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm I think MLD and I were the only ones who got the context of the youth pastor letter. Parents had put certain expectations on the youth pastor, then did things that were counter helping him meet those expectations. It happens as much as the youth pastors that dis on parents. His point was that parents and youth pastors need to work together. filbertz says: September 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm I think the youth pastor letter was a clash of the ideal and practical, the expectation and the delivery, or the wished for and the got instead. Harsh reality, but reality nonetheless. Ministry of any sort is always both uphill and against the wind. filbertz says: September 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm When I was in youth ministry, our budget was slim, none, or non-existent. Yet, our ministry thrived based on what we can do when money is no object. 😉 Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm I was the youth director at a small SBC in the mid 80s – no budget, but I had a boat and the lake was 30 min away. 😉 Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm I just got around to reading the Food Stamps article. “Family Research Council Ken Blackwell thinks that kicking 4 million people off of food stamps is a very Christian thing to do because being hungry, apparently, creates a sense of Christian “self-sufficiency” that not being hungry can never match!” He may be correct – who knows? But if this is the thing to do then the government’s plan to help business and the US economy should be the same – remove all public assistance to private industry, let them go hungry and build that Christian “self sufficiency”. No more TARP type money, no depreciation write offs, no public funding of sports stadiums and arena. Business just does it on it’s own … or closes down and becomes homeless. Derek Thornton says: September 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm As usual cuts to government programs are not actually cuts at all. Some of that baseline budgeting at work. The GOP needs better spin masters. http://reason.com/archives/2013/09/23/gop-food-stamp-bill-will-increase-govern This is why I don’t trust either party anymore. Same goal, different rate of speed. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 4:54 pm Derek, Cuts are never cuts. They are always decreased levels of future spending. Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm Congress should have to layoff their staffs – keep one secretary that’s it. I voted for a congressman. not a 20 person staff. And we need to go back to a part time government – let them come to Washington for 3 – 4 months, do all the damage they can in that limited time and go home to their real jobs and family … like in the old days. Derek Thornton says: September 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm Yeah, I know that. Just in the phase of waiting for the inevitable fall. Spending like this can’t go on forever. This is what makes me lean libertarian. The GOP is unjustly maligned though. They are always portrayed as wanting the deaths of children and old people. I could never see such a highly politicized party attaching their names to anything of the sort. That is just silly talk there. The other party though has conventions celebrating the deaths of children. Go figure. Derek Thornton says: September 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm MLD, I am a fan of govt. gridlock. It usually means they can’t mess us over as much. If the GOP gained control they would do tons of stuff I wouldn’t like and I am sure we would be in a Syrian War by now. and the NSA would be lauded even more than they are by them. Gridlock is good. London says: September 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm “The other party though has conventions celebrating the deaths of children.” That is absolutely ridiculous and untrue! Derek Thornton says: September 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm Maybe not celebrated. But it is evident to most Christians that the Democrats, as a party have embraced abortion. What is ridiculous and untrue is to say this isn’t so. And people wonder why some Christians want nothing to do with the Democrats. Sort of self evident, they don’t want to be associated with the party of abortion. Derek Thornton says: September 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm Watching that last convention turned many lifelong Democrat Christians to the GOP. It was overboard for abortion. Derek Thornton says: September 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm And for my last comment for the night, gonna throw this out there before people say I said something I didn’t. I did not accuse all individual democrats of being for abortion. I said “as a party” Night all. Josh the Baptist says: September 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm That is actually true. I’ve always leaned much more left, but the DNC in Charlotte was shocking. Tons about abortion and gay marriage. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm Amazing day here. Proof that Washington has attained it’s goal of getting us all hooked on federal crack. Enumerated powers? Who cares, right? Google LBJ+n word (spell it out)+vote+democratic. Things worked out better than LBJ could have dreamed. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm Jim, do you believe that LBJ’s motives were to ensnare generations of people into a kind of Detroit-like poverty for ever and ever? Or do you think he had good intentions that went terribly wrong? London says: September 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm Derek. I am a Democrat. victorious says: September 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm Xenia. I have fond memories of Youth Camp with your two oldest. Had a blast with your youngest doing urban missions and vbs with the kids of single moms in the public parks. Your mileage may vary. 🙂 Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm Xenia, It’s clear that he wanted to lock up the newly powerful Black vote for his party. He was either incapable of understanding or did not care about the consequences of his actions. No one cares nor will they bother to study the data, but the 50 year old war on poverty is a failure by any measure. Martin Luther's Disciple says: September 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm Jim are you for privatizing public services? Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm MLD, Not across the board, as most are local. Maybe be more specific? Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm Conservatives love to crow about the Democrats not being prolife. It’s a falsehood. There are millions of prolife Dems. Catholics, nonfundagelical mainline Protestants, working folk, progressive evangelicals. The list goes on. Republicans have suckered a lot of fundagelicals into believing they care about the unborn. That may be…but they don’t seem to give a damn once that child comes out of the womb. After all, that infant has another 60-80 years (hopefully) to live.”You’re on your own, buddy.” “Blame the victim” (those not born in the white ruling class) is the norm. Instead of following Jesus’s words, they prefer those of Ayn Rand. They say they’re opposed to evolution — but in their world, it’s “dog eat dog.” No sense of shared anything. The Repubs. want to deny “the least of these” healthcare — many have died because it hasn’t been available to them. Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm Oh, and in case the perpetually offended on here think I’m singling anyone out (I’m not) — “Your mileage may vary.” Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 9:40 pm Jim, It’s great to know that you can get inside LBJ’s head. LOL. LBJ knew that he and the Dems. would lose the South for a generation because of his support of the Voting Rights Act and his “War on Poverty.” And that has come true. Where were many of the states that voted for Mittens Romney last time around? Righto — the deep South. It’s interesting, that a study recently done showed that the parts of the South that continue to vote strongly Republican are the same areas where they held slaves most strongly. Perhaps some habits don’t fade with time. Money quote: The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution banned slavery nearly 150 years ago, yet this study suggests that the legacy of slavery continues to drive voters in areas that once housed large numbers of slaves to vote Republican: “Drawing on a sample of more than 39,000 southern whites, we show that whites who currently live in counties that had high concentrations of slaves in 1860 are on average more conservative and express colder feelings towards African Americans than whites who live elsewhere in the South. That is, the larger the number of slaves in his or her county of residence in 1860, the greater the probability that a white Southerner today will identify as a Republican, express opposition to race-coded policies such as aﬃrmative action, and express greater racial resentment towards African Americans. We show that these diﬀerences are robust to a variety of factors, including geography and mid-19th century economic conditions and political attitudes. We also show that our results strengthen when we instrument for the prevalence of slavery using local measures of the agricultural suitability to grow cotton. In fact, our findings indicate that in the counterfactual world where the South had no slaves in 1860, the political views of white Southerners today would be indistinguishable from those of similarly situated white Northerners.” http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com/2013/09/new-study-says-that-reason-southern.html Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen anyone show much enthusiasm for the GOP here today. Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm Jim, So…who would you vote for in a national election? Which party? Or would you take your ball and go home (not vote)? Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm Lutheran, Reading that drivel will rot your brain. Which party controlled the south in the early 60’s and fought all civil rights laws? How did LBJ vote while in the senate regarding civil rights? Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm Jim, What drivel would you suggest I read instead? Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm Reason, Cato… 🙂 Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm Jim, You’re right to some extent — the Dems. weren’t all on board with civil rights for awhile. However, compared to their Republican counterparts, they were a hell of a lot more with it than the Repubs. at the time. They eventually saw the light — the Repubs. still haven’t. Jesse Helms…Strom Thurmond…two good ‘old racist Republican boys from that era. There were a whole lot more. Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 9:53 pm Sorry, Jim. I’m not a libertarian. That philosophy blows. If that’s all you read, I feel really sorry for you. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 10:02 pm What is the libertarian philosophy, or, what is the sucky part? Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 10:03 pm Asssumed you saw the smile… I read everything I can. Jim says: September 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm Lutheran, I missed your 129. I voted GOP in the last two nationals, voting against Obama. Romney was an empty suit, but McCain is dangerous, and I regret that vote. I can’t vote libertarian as long as their platform is pro choice. 1/3 of libertarians are pro life. I hope that I can be proud of my anti Hillary vote, but if not, I might sit the next one out. I respect my friends who out of conscious sat out in 2008. Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm Jim, To me, libertarianism reminds me of trying to stuff a 6-foot guy into a 4-foot can. There’s always some stuff sticking out. I have several reasons why I don’t care for it, but I guess my main ones would be: 1– It lacks any kind of social philosophy beyond, “taking care of #1.” In fact, libs. I’ve read seem to be proud of this. What they miss is that we’re social beings — all the way back to the Garden and forward to the New Jerusalme. No one really does life alone and by themselves. 2 — Much too ideological. I guess I’m too much of an Enlightenment guy. I studied journalism at a Big 10 University. I don’t like having a lot of preset notions about things (individualism, free will, etc.) I like to look at the evidence and tweak. 3 – Economics. Jesus said a lot about mammon — including a lot of warnings. Why are libertarians so focused on money? And I’ve been much more convinced by Keynesian economists and how their ideas work in the real world. I’m a big fan of Robert Reich. I actually think that though libertarianism has done terribly at the polls — is there even 1 of them in Congress? — a lot of their ideas are sprinkled through both parties — Repub. AND Democrat. Thanks for asking, Jim! Lutheran says: September 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm Jim, I’m sure you’re familiar with Doug Bandow? He’s a Christian libertarian, I believe. Read him and was pretty unconvinced. If there are other authors you’d recommend, please do. brian says: September 24, 2013 at 10:37 pm Im a registered Canadian. Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 11:11 pm I forgot Victorious was one of our youth pastors! He wasn’t too bad…. 🙂 Xenia says: September 24, 2013 at 11:12 pm (He wasn’t the one I was talking about.) Derek Thornton says: September 25, 2013 at 4:06 am Ah the 2012 Democratic Party Platform, scroll down to see this “cherished” freedom enshrined for the world to see. http://www.democrats.org/democratic-national-platform#protecting-rights But, as most democrats do, cry “Racism” if all else fails and you no longer have to defend your party’s platform. This is shameful! Off to work. Jim says: September 25, 2013 at 6:35 am Studied journalism at a Big 10 University. Explains a lot. You poor thing, you didn’t stand a chance. London says: September 25, 2013 at 9:28 am Derek are you talking to me in your last post? I’ve Never cried racism, never aborted a baby or encouraged anyone else to. You need a small brush my friend Derek Thornton says: September 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm London, I know you didn’t cry racism. It was aimed at #127. I wasn’t talking about you. The post in general is aimed at the Democratic Party’s platform and the shamefulness of making it a plank. Derek Thornton says: September 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm This has to be the one dumbest article I have read in a while: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2430573/An-adult-18-Not-Adolescence-ends-25-prevent-young-people-getting-inferiority-complex.html Jim says: September 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm If #127 contained any truth, I’d defend it. It’s complete revisionist nonsense. While I agree with some of what the candidate Obama said, no one but Hollywood takes the guy seriously as a president. The thing is, many older conservatives, including myself, rejoiced in the fact that we who we here during the civil rights days lived to see a black American president. Derek Thornton says: September 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm Still notice no one is mentioning the fact that the whole “food stamp kids will starve” notion was false. Jim says: September 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm Derek, Why take the time to determine the facts when you’re spoon fed false info that fits your preconceived notions. Josh the Baptist says: September 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm I made the “starving kids” comment, and tried to make it clear that I was not talking about the bill in question, I was using rhetoric in a conversation with Jim. Jim says: September 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm http://www.libertarianism.org/blog/inhumanity-politics Derek Thornton says: September 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm Haunting tune http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIeIRghsD_k&feature=share Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your Comment You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> Name (required) E-mail (required) URI Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.