Nov 302015

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. I read the excellent biography of Sam Phillips by Peter Guralnick last week. Phillips, (for the uninitiated), was the owner of Sun Records in the 1950’s and “discovered” Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

He was a man of singular vision and undeniable genius.He was also extremely complex and sinful.

To understand and appreciate the man one must hold the vision, genius, complexity, and sin in honest tension.

Such, I believe, is the case with all men….and why I reject hagiography.

When I read the “biographies” of “great” people in the Bible I read of redeemed sinners, not sinless saints.

Our expectations of leaders in the church should be of what has gone on before.

The mark of a godly and righteous person isn’t a lack of sin, but a willingness to repent where sin has happened.

Perhaps if our expectations were biblical, our actions and the actions of those who lead would be too…

2. Pondering whether my cat wonders if humans go to heaven…

3. I’m completely disgusted that every tragedy that happens in this country is now utilized for partisan political purposes…

4. I’m further disgusted by those who think there is some equivalence between a wicked man shooting up an abortion clinic and Muslim terrorists. Last time I checked, there weren’t armed groups of Christians terrorizing entire countries and taking the heads off those who wouldn’t convert…

5. There has been no doctrine responsible for more mischief in the church than the one that declares pastors and worship leaders as more “anointed” than the flock…

6. If your priority as a pastor is growth in numbers instead of growth in grace, you’re a manager, not a pastor…

7. To be successful in the kingdom of God you must be willing to be an abject failure in the kingdoms of men. This is much easier to say than to live…

8. Whatever happened to statesmen?

9. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than finding a Christian loving their “enemies” on Facebook. Remember the difference between Christians and the world is supposed to be love…

10. May God deliver us from the need to be right and deliver us onto a thirst for righteousness…



  27 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. Great things to think about! I love #10! Blessings Michael.

  2. Thank you, Bob…blessings to you as well!

  3. I am pretty sure that you and I are safe from hagiography …
    But I am sure there will be a hageeography-
    I am pretty sure cats are devoted to the idea of eternal conscious torment for all other species
    For at least the next 12 months we are doomed to partisanship on everything
    As for terrorism I also believe we should ask ourselves who the average muslim in the middle east sees as the terrorist. I wonder if drones are less offensive to them than human torpedoes
    I am pretty sure I am right.

    Captain Dread

  4. BD,

    Well done!

    The drone question is quite troubling…

  5. As to #3, it seemingly only takes minutes after a tragedy for Facebook and other social media to blow up with both sides trumpeting their political ideology and blaming the “other side” for what just occurred. Especially when it’s a shooting. Just a sad commentary on what we have become. There needs to be discussion on these issues and happenings and people should be able to voice their opinions. But our approach is often severely lacking.

    As to #4, it is senseless for those who try to use this tragedy to equate modern day Christianity with radical Islam. But who cares about sense and logic when you need to make a political point? Even on the other side of the coin for those who seemingly want to completely ignore the facts that this lunatic had some kind of Christian background and influences in his life. Yes, there is no Christian organization out there teaching that you should go shoot up an abortion clinic and 99.9999% of professing Christians would say what the guy did was completely wrong. But for those who only want to declare that this man was not a Christian or what he did was not a Christian act while refusing to acknowledge the man’s apparent past Christian ramblings and experiences is a stubbornness that is done so only to try to win a political fight.

  6. Kevin H,

    Very well said…

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever criticized our president here, but does anyone wonder why gun owners get worried? 80-100 million of us didn’t shoot anyone this weekend.

  8. Concerning #4: No, we Christians do not maraud around as shock troops do but we do our fair share of damage with people who look unloveable to us or to Christians who are not towing our particular line.

    In my opinion, that carnage is just as bad as the fall out of any terror attack. Hence, #9.

  9. Laura,

    Both points well taken…

  10. Jim,

    I don’t think the gun control that many desire will ever happen in this country.
    If it does, then we’ll see carnage untold…criminals will always find a weapon.

  11. Happy Monday, Michael!

    “There has been no doctrine responsible for more mischief in the church than the one that declares pastors and worship leaders as more “anointed” than the flock”
    -couldn’t agree more!!!

    “May God deliver us from the need to be right and deliver us onto a thirst for righteousness”
    -how about a thirst for love, which is greater than righteousness?

  12. Good morning, G!

  13. Good morning Michael!
    Wishing good to you and your boy, and even your temperamental feline!

    Dashing off to finish a couple design projects, then gearing up for some music practice.

    Hoping you’re feeling the love and beauty of the season as it unfolds around and in you.


  14. lots of good thinking today – IMO
    “When I read the “biographies” of “great” people in the Bible I read of redeemed sinners, not sinless saints.” NOW there’s a good ponder!!!
    -pondering cats’ thinking about heaven at all…
    -“partisans” are party poopers
    -a career that involves selling parts of human anatomy to which transaction the human has not consented is about as low as a the human race can go, so it is not surprising that some human beings are so disgusted that they go berzerk is a natural outcome, but it has nothing to do with Christianity (IMHO)
    5,6,7, AMEN!!!
    8 that question’s answer will tell a whole lot about our present state of affairs (IMHO)
    – i live in a FACEBOOK free zone – am i denying reality?
    10 AMEN and FWIW – i think one can have love without righteousness, but one cannot have righteousness without love… this thing we identify as self-righteousness is not righteous, is it?

  15. Well done, Em!

    There’s a lot of good stuff on Facebook…sometimes it gets overwhelmed by all the negatives,however.

  16. Re #5. If there was one was person who knew what it meant to be God’s anointed it was John the apostle. We can conclude by his writings that if a person is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God then by definition…………… they are God’s anointed. I think John gave us a clear explanation in 1John 2:27. I don’t think this meaning has changed today. The bride of Christ is God’s anointed.

    And yes as undershepherds we often need to be reminded not to touch God’s anointed but to serve her instead.

  17. Francisco just nailed it…

  18. Statesmen Quartet petered out in the mid-70’s. 😉

    I don’t have a Facebook account, but occasionally plunk down some dinero on a Powerball ticket. When I win a jackpot, do I love my enemies with cash?

    anointing is a highly misused/misunderstood term–its like the ‘like’ button on facebook. Instead of saying the worship band is talented, they’re anointed. Instead of saying the pastor’s sermon was stirring–he’s anointed. Funny, the custodian does a great job of cleaning the facilities–he’s not anointed?

  19. “anointing’ is a power word to serve those who wish to rule.
    It is an excellent help to tyranny.

  20. You can’t fool us, Michael, by pretending to be offended by the title “anointed”. Everyone here knows that your super-hero alter ego is The Anointed Blogger! Your costume has golden wings and tail feathers. You swoop down on abusive ministries and breathe fire toward corrupt pastors.

    Don’t worry, your secret identity is safe with us.

  21. Eric L,

    I think my anointing fell off around 2007… 🙂

  22. Regarding #9: We are supposed to be peacemakers, not adversaries.

  23. Judy,

    That is a fundamental of the faith that has been swallowed by politics and social media.

    We need to reclaim it before it’s too late…

  24. #7

    But the truth is, you’re seven times more likely to die from right-wing domestic terrorism than from a Muslim terrorist.

    God gave us the gift of reason — why not use it?

  25. passin,

    Let’s use the gift of reason.
    I have no doubt that your statistic is currently accurate.

    Part of the reason for that is that so far we have been able to successfully thwart such attacks from organized Islamic terrorists for the most part.

    The key phrase there is “organized Islamic terrorists” which we know exist in large number and can create chaos in ways that exceed that number.

    I don’t know of any “organized Christian terrorists” who are seeking the destruction of the West and elimination of a faith group…and this country.

  26. what is a right wing domestic terrorist? what am i missing? Oklahoma City? that one wasn’t quite and cut and dried, wrapped and tied as we like to think…
    FWIW and IMV, we are much closer to mob rule in this nation than we seem to see – perhaps, terrorisms are the red herrings? – dunno – but it is time for those who follow Christ to focus or refocus … or so it seems to me – dunno, tho, do i?

  27. #24 had me wondering what i’d missed and so i decided that i needed some education and here’s what a quick googling came up with on a site called
    jihadists=26 killings
    those attributed to right wingers=48, if memory serves me
    Plot name Persons killed
    2015 Charleston Church Shooting 9
    2014 Tallahassee Police Ambush 1
    2014 Las Vegas Police Ambush 3
    2014 Kansas Jewish Center Shooting 3
    2014 Blooming Grove Police Shooting 1
    2012 Tri-State Killing Spree 4
    2012 St. John’s Parish Police Ambush 2
    2012 Sikh Temple Shooting 6
    2011 FEAR Militia 3
    2010 Carlisle, PA Murder 1
    2010 Austin, TX Plane Attack 1
    2009 Pittsburgh Police Shootings 3
    2009 Holocaust Museum Shooting 1
    2009 George Tiller Assassination 1
    2009 Ft. Walton, FL Shooting 2
    2009 Flores Murders, Pima County, AZ 2
    2009 Brockton, MA Murders 2
    2008 Knoxville, TN Church Shooting 2
    2004 Tulsa OK, Bank Robbery 1
    i am puzzled as i didn’t realize the above were all right-wing attacks ? ? ? … but politics is gradually killing us all, it seems

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