Oct 312016

thinking-pic1. Today is Reformation Day as well as Halloween. Never since the first Reformation has both events falling on the same day been more appropriate. The state of the Protestant church church is frightful…lots of masquerade parties that go on year round.

2. Here’s my theory. God allowed two vile people to be raised up to lead this country so His people could come together to reject both of them in a demonstration of real Christian ethics and values. He did so in order that the church could be a unique beacon to the world that reflected His character. Today is Reformation Day…

3. The Ninth Commandment has been treated like a bad dog this election cycle…because the 1st Commandment was thrown out the window first. Idolatry is nothing more than having greater allegiance to something or someone other than God. You prove your allegiance by which commandments of God you can break to continue in idolatry…

4. In comparison, Saul wasn’t all that bad…

5. You don’t get a pass on breaking the Ninth Commandment if it’s part of a funny meme…

6. I like Arbys. Had to share…

7. There are many people stocking up on guns and ammo preparing for some undefined conflagration to come. Me, I’m stocking up on cat food…

8.This has been a World Series where history will be changed for one of two teams. I still don’t care.

9. As it gets harder and harder to discern the truth about anything in the world, I grow more and more grateful and reliant on the Word of God.

10. I think all of the this conflict in the church and out will lead to a major rebirth in Protestant monastacism. I hope they let me bring my Jerry Lee Lewis music…

  143 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. Monasticism and separatism

  2. BD,

    I think the noise and conflict level within evangelicalism will lead some away from the mainstream and into a form of monasticism.
    Others will start a new form of separatism or perhaps more than one form of it.

    I’m in favor of both…

  3. “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;”
    (Revelation 18:4 ESV)

  4. 8. I’ve never bought into the Cubs as loveable losers, and live close enough to Cleveland to do some sympathy rooting for the Indians. Make no mistake though, the former far outweighs the latter when it comes to my rooting interest.

  5. Good list today.

    Except # 8. You should care more about baseball. 🙂

  6. Kevin, Dallas,

    I find that I can no longer endure a whole baseball game…and I believe the fault is in me,not in the game itself.

  7. That Pork Belly sandwich at Arbys is epic. Probably clots three arteries a sandwich, but epic.

  8. David,

    I had that one with all the different meats piled up…oh my…

  9. Can’t bring myself to root for the Cubs. I know they are a cute little scrappy team that I’m supposed to root for, but just can’t do it.

    Can’t bring myself to root for Trump. I know he’s an underdog that will take back ‘Murica and make everything right, but just can’t do it.

    Can’t bring myself to root for Clinton. I know she’s an honest and trustworthy politician was supposed to save us from evil comsevatism, but just can’t do it.

    I like Arby’s!

    It isn’t just the guns stockpiling crowd that scares me, but it’s also the “Obama is going to declare martial law right before the election so he can hold on to power” crowd that scares and pisses me off. I work with one of these bozos.

  10. Michael,

    Part of the difficulty is with baseball itself and the way pace of play has evolved over the past 20-30 years, and continues to get drawn out even more seemingly each successive year. There’s not an easy fix without changing the way the game has always been played. At the same time, part of the difficulty is your heresy. 😉

  11. Dan,

    I talked to a few people last week who are involved in community mental health issues.

    They are, as a group, afraid of what might happen the day after the election.
    The place of the church should be to bring peace,truth, and reconciliation…but we’re so torn up and deceived that we are now part of the problem.

  12. #2- hmmm… does God do that? maybe the Church does bear a responsibility to be a light bearer rather than an enabler by endorsement…

    still i will vote … until it came up here i’d never thought of voting as a sin… rather more like getting my drivers license … dunno

  13. Kevin,

    I’m not sure baseball as changed as much as prolonged exposure to social media has changed me.
    I’ve become one of those people who only tune in for the last inning…

  14. KevinH, in the spirit of the holiday, I would like to suggest that we sacrifice Tony LaRussa to the baseball gods in order to solve the pace of play issues.

  15. John 20:29,

    It’s a theory.
    I’m not saying that voting is a sin…I am saying that believing that either represents Christendom is.

  16. Michael, that is also sad that it has come to that re fear of the aftermath of the election. Too bad that many/most are not finding their rest in Christ. Sad to also say that my coworker who thinks all these stupid theories and conspiracies IS a believer…someone who shouldn’t be propagating these ideas.

  17. 1. Today is Reformation Day as well as Halloween. <<<

    I don't observe either.

    I am not going to my Horticulture class tonight (Plant ID) because they are having a Halloween party in the greenhouse. No thanks, see you next week.

    2. Here’s my theory. God allowed two vile people to be raised up to lead this country so His people could come together to reject both of them in a demonstration of real Christian ethics and values. <<<

    Amin. I had a friend from my old CC days drop in for a visit last night and she began to sing the praises of Trump but when it was all said and done, she wrote in Kasich. I jumped for joy. 🙂 God bless her.

    3. The Ninth Commandment has been treated like a bad dog this election cycle…<<<

    Yes, folks, spreading all those conspiracy theories about either candidate is breaking the 9th commandment. If you find joy spreading a juicey but unproven rumor about your most hated politician, you need a self check.

    7. There are many people stocking up on guns and ammo preparing for some undefined conflagration to come. Me, I’m stocking up on cat food…<<<

    Good idea. We should learn ways to survive outside the system. Lots of free info in the Internet to help with gardening, self-sufficiency, making useful stuff, etc.

    9. As it gets harder and harder to discern the truth about anything in the world, I grow more and more grateful and reliant on the Word of God.<<<

    And on the Church, which has survived worse things than this election.

    10. I think all of the this conflict in the church and out will lead to a major rebirth in Protestant monastacism.<<<

    You know where monks can be found. 🙂

    From a monk:

    Be Not Afraid
    God is still in charge

    As Orthodox priests our true nation is the Church, and the head of our nation is Christ Himself. Therefore, our pastoral response to the madness of this present political scene, and the divisiveness that has resulted during the presidential campaign, must be to help our people remain calm, and not succumb to anger, despair, or fear.

    Our people need to see their priests as strong, grounded, and fearless. Saint Paisius of the Holy Mountain said in the latter times we must not raise our hand against the Anti-Christ, but only save ourselves and as many around us as we can. We priests must help our people remember the words of Scripture, “I will not be afraid of evil tidings”.

    Ultimately, God is still in charge, and no political party, politician, or candidate, can nullify this truth. Both the political parties in this country are corrupt, both candidates flawed, and there is evidence to suggest that our nation is no longer a true democracy. But none of this negates our responsibility as priests, to keep our people focused on the ultimate truth, that our life must continue to be focused on the acquisition of a humble and contrite heart.

    It is not the business of us priests to tell our people how to vote, but only how to acquire inner peace. For our parishioners to see the importance of the Church’s salvific message, they must see in their priests the inner peace that comes with a life in Christ. Nothing in this world has changed, and no political party, or president, or even emperor, will ever usher in “the peace that passes all understanding”. Only Christ can do that, and our duty as priests, is to point the way to Christ.

    With love in Christ,
    Abbot Tryphon

  18. Dallas, you won’t get any argument from me. Maybe throw in Pedro Baez, too.

  19. I am much more concerned about BLM on a national scale of civil war than I am about local guys holes up in Idaho who will put beer cans on the endangered list..

    Clinton loses all major cities will burn – just like in the 60s.

  20. I will confess that all the noise finally has me rattled and discomfited.

    The way we are speaking to and about each other leaves little room for reconciliation or fellowship around Christ.
    The temptation to enter the fray is so great, but I am so convinced that this is all from hell that I am convinced that I cannot be caught up in it.

    My soul is grieved.

  21. MLD,

    I believe there will be violence no matter which candidate loses and the closer the election the more violence there will be.

  22. Xenia,

    I very much appreciated that word from the Abbott.

  23. #8…. I’m a lifelong baseball fan but have evolved through the years. I don’t mind if my teams lose in the big game or series as I once did. I now am happy for teams like the Cubs and Indians who have waited a long time for a championship.

    Four hour games is asking a lot when I remember games being soooo much shorter in duration. I had to adjust to five man rotations when I grew up with four. The trend towards asking your starters to give you maybe five innings to get to loaded bullpens is strange and with so many pitching changes that only draws out the game. To be hones I’m fascinated by Francona’s spittoon he has in front of him!!

    I’ll take ten hour ballgames over hockey any day!! 🙂

  24. Michael, your 20 and 21 are things I have been speaking about for over a year. You can win a vote but you can never change a heart.

  25. Erunner,

    My love for hockey is boundless, but I understand others do not share in my passion for the glorious sport. 🙂

  26. Erunner,

    I’ll take hours long MLB games too over NBA games, especially the last two minutes of an NBA game, which are just about as long!

  27. Erunnner,

    I would submit that a large portion of the church has succumbed to political idolatry and have done so to the degree that they will speak and do evil unto the brethren who do not follow them.

    True biblical living as a nation within a nation always carries with it the risk of persecution…we believe we will avoid such by grasping power for ourselves.

  28. “Yes, folks, spreading all those conspiracy theories about either candidate is breaking the 9th commandment. If you find joy spreading a juicey but unproven rumor about your most hated politician, you need a self check.”

    Why don’t we see this?

  29. Dan, I’m less of a hoops fan as I used to be. If they’re going to have players form rosters then we might as well turn the NBA into a ten team league. That’s why I’d like to see Cleveland win the series as Kansas City did although my heart bleeds for Chicago!

  30. Michael, I’m surrounded by folks who are very extreme in their political beliefs. If I don’t vote for Trump then I’ll be part of the reason America is destroyed, etc. I don’t believe they would harm anyone but as I’ve said for some time I do believe there are fringe elements on both sides who would love nothing more than to bring chaos and anarchy to our nation if their candidate loses. As it stands both candidates will have reason to protest the outcome if they lose which will only serve to divide people more and to inflame the fringe elements of their party.

    I’ve never been so distressed over an election. Remember the Billy Graham quote stating if God doesn’t judge America soon then he owes Sodom & Gomorrah an apology. I suggested that judgment might have already begun.

    The saddest part of all of this is the attitudes of many believers towards others over a vote. We’re called to higher things.

  31. I was distressed but now I am feeling very calm and anticipatory. Something wicked this way comes and now we have the opportunity to put into action all the stuff we’ve learning all those years upon years of Bible studies. We’re all studied up! Time to put it all into practice!

  32. Erunner,

    This schism has been coming for some time.
    If America is in dire straits,neither one of these candidates can help that.

    The moment we equated “turning back to God” with voting for one political party we were pretty much done…

  33. Xenia,

    I hope to get where you are…
    I was doing really well but something finally snapped.
    Probably was the wrong time to do a Revelation study…or maybe it was prime time.

  34. Michael, I had gotten so angry that I snapped into the other direction.

  35. It helps that I belong to a Church that has always suffered persecution and whose believers have often gone into exile, either self-imposed or government imposed. We always read stories about these heroes of the faith. Little kids are raised on these stories. Monasticism is a form of exile as well as the Gulag.

    I should add that I do not believe American Christians are being persecuted. If anything, most of us are living likes kings and queens and need to show more gratitude.

  36. “Probably was the wrong time to do a Revelation study…or maybe it was prime time.”

    Surely you are not looking to the political news / election news to explain Revelation … are you?

  37. More likely, looking to Revelation to explain the news.

  38. Actually what I find in Revelation is not an explanation of the news, but an understanding of how the beast empire attempts to deceive the Christian.
    There have always been political beasts accompanied by false prophets who have lead people into idolatry…and there are both at work now.

  39. Revelation is not about American politics (nor is it about any politics or elections).

    These American politics of any time period are not about the Church in anyway. American politics do not forgive sin, baptize into life or feed folks the body and blood.

    Totally different kingdoms and no one brings them together. It is totally gasoline thrown on a fire when someone comlains about the two being joined –‘ which I see being done here.

  40. Michael, I would never equate turning back to God with a political election. Is either candidate going to help me with issues facing our family? No. Will either give us direction in decisions we have to make? No.

    Xenia, I would contend something wicked has been here for quite some time.

  41. MLD, I had the chance for a donation of any size to learn how Revelation 13 is all about the United States. Should I ask for a refundie? 🙂

  42. MLD,

    The book of Revelation is about politics and the worlds systems.
    The two kingdoms have been brought together repeatedly for years…and that is easily reflected in the ongoing pastoral endorsements of one Presidential candidate and one party.

    I do not know why you continually pretend that this is not so.

  43. I look forward to be considered worthy to partake in the sufferings of Christ, knowing that this suffering is temporary, but the glory to be revealed is eternal.

    Very optimistic. Hopeful.

  44. Josh,

    To be blunt, I’m already suffering more than I can handle and don’t want any more whatsoever.
    I do realize this is not my choice…

  45. The one who suffers in the flesh has finished with sin. You can spend your remaining time here, not for human desire, but all for God’s will.

  46. #20- please continue distancing yourself… no one who truly fears God is biting and tearing a brother for his politics… don’t let the angry majority get into your head

    perhaps, the broohaha that we are seeing is an exposure of how seriously the majority of folk take their claim to follow Christ? i say exposure of them/us because, having spent some time in the business world years ago, i’ve seen the “underside” of how dishonest and self centered most (not all) Christians-so-called become when it’s their pocket book or their perceived turf that they’re protecting…

    if we step back and look at ourselves, the churches show little real fear of a holy God, let alone His commandments… are they of “our calling?” dunno
    for my part, i just try to look for the real God lovers and dismiss the others (that’s why i like it here)

  47. Michael, you place way too much emphasis on the beasts. Politics and elections are unknown to much of world or church history.

    Dictators and kings do not rely politics.

  48. MLD,

    That is the damnedest thing you’ve ever spouted here.

    Here, lets make it a bit clearer…the book speaks of “human government” and the fingerprints of the beast nature are clearly shown in it.

  49. “perhaps, the broohaha that we are seeing is an exposure of how seriously the majority of folk take their claim to follow Christ?”

    Perhaps, but I didn’t have the courage to say so…

  50. I think the larger message of Revelation is the same as the message of 1st Peter.

  51. Josh,

    I concur…

  52. “Dictators and kings do not rely [on] politics” oh yeah, they do…
    at least until they get where they want to be
    just not on a vote of us, the people 🙂

  53. I sat in a stadium in Eugene with 60K people on Saturday and saw not one political hat, sign, shirt, button, or flyer and heard not a single word of politics. Thought I was in heaven, but it was only a Ducks game. If that many people can set aside the drama for a mere game, there is hope. To set aside the political for the spiritual…I suppose the potential is there.

  54. “I like Arbys” … not sure you should eat there considering…

    (a jamocha milk shake always seems sensible to me when i’m out and about 😉 )

  55. fil,

    I think the election was over long ago in Eugene… 🙂

  56. Em,

    It’s really good…what can I say?

  57. Michael, your interpretation is so silly. So, if I made the “revelation” case that HRC is controlled by the beast and I called that beast George Soros, you would at least give me the benefit of the doubt I was on the right path for the sake of making a point with my class?

    This is crazy thought. John was not writing to his readers warning them not to get caught up in the politics of their day – he was describing the political leaders and calling them out as bad – of all ages. Nowhere does he tell people “look for a good candidate whom you can support.”

  58. California is a full on Democrat state. This election hinges on the swing states back east and in the midwest. That is where Trump and Clinton are spending all of their time now. The reality is by the time the polls close here in California the election will have been decided. If I was to vote for Trump my vote would pretty much be a symbolic vote as it in now way will impact this election. Am I wrong??

  59. MLD,

    I stand in the same line as many other commentators on the book of Revelation.
    It was their work and understanding that I leaned on,not some personal interpretation.

    Nowhere did I say that the book tells people to find a good candidate to support…so don’t bother putting words in my mouth.

  60. Erunner,

    The symbolic vote would be to vote for neither as MLD and others have made a case for.
    When faced with two evil choices, I think a Christian understands they have no choice.

    Having said that, I won’t judge you on what you do.

    I was going to vote for Hillary against Trump and his ways, but she is wicked in other areas.
    A write in or an empty slot are the only options my conscience allows.

  61. Miss Kitty just allowed Chester to sleep on the other end of the bed for the first time,so reconciliation is always possible… 🙂

  62. This is a scary time we live in today!

  63. Saul wasn’t so bad if you compare his time to that of Judges.

  64. I will admit that my eyes do glaze over whenever election season gets related to revelation – in any manner. It is abuse.

  65. It is neither for me as well. Evil or more evil is still evil. Can’t vote for evil!

  66. Michael, What I was trying to communicate is those in my state who are so gung ho concerning Trump don’t realize their vote doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. Their ideas that those believers who either vote for Clinton, a write in, a third party or don’t vote at all are basically tools of the devil who will be responsible for the end Of America as we know it will actually have nothing to do with putting Clinton in office as that will be decided in the swing states.

  67. MLD,

    Your eyes glaze over when a book of the Bible that addresses government is spoken of during a change in government?

    That’s odd.

  68. Erunner,

    I think that’s why we haven’t seen much in the way of yard signs or rallies here in Oregon…it’ll be over before we count our votes.

  69. dusty,

    It is scary…and makes focus on the real kingdom all the more important.

  70. Michael – “Your eyes glaze over when a book of the Bible that addresses government is spoken of during a change in government?”

    If that is what you are getting out of those commentaries you read – that the book of Revelation is about government – then I would burn those commentaries.

    The book is another version of John’s gospel – it’s about victory and it is about heaven. The book of Revelation is about the crap that mankind must go through in this world, but every time there is a bad scene here on earth, we get a glorious picture of what is happening is heaven
    I feel awkward discussing this with someone who states that the book is about government – so I will leave this election in your hands.

    btw, I do not see either Trump nor HRC as agents of the beast and I disagree that these are more dangerous times in world or political history any more than other times in history. Look into why we no longer have a Whig party and the resulting civil war that broke out — and this is just in our small corner of the world

  71. Michael, the thing is a lot of folks don’t understand that. They find everything possible and post it on FB that supports their position. A ton of it has to do with Israel and they post things from Jewish rabbis and everyone in the Christian community who believes these things. Then tie it into prophecy and there’s no discussion to be had.

    Fine. Believe those things but don’t don’t go after other believers who don’t see it as you do.

    I’ve seen so much anger and name calling it’s disheartening when we the church are supposed to be a light to the world.

  72. Rescue us and deliver us from the hand whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood

  73. MLD,

    I said the book addresses government, not that such was the sole thesis of the book.
    I’m not burning any commentaries…I think you need to buy a few.

  74. Erunner,

    I’ve been blessedly spared the rabbis on my Facebook feed. 🙂
    The rage in the church is beyond my comprehension…especially when it’s the antithesis of how we are to respond to each other.

  75. Hey I outlined my description of Revelation – you can go with your view … but John’s readers would never in a thousand years (a millennial pun) come up with your view – never.

  76. Keep your voice from weeping,and your eyes from tears. For there is a reward for your work declares the Lord.

  77. MLD,

    John’s readers would have never understood that the world system was persecuting them?
    They would have never understood that Babylon represented a governmental entity that was to be destroyed to the praise of the saints?

    John’s readers would have understood these things far better than we do…

  78. Michael, I understand that and my claim is every year in all societies – even include elections if you want – this has gone on since John wrote it down.

    So why are you making a fuss now? – this is life on earth and there is no changing it. Is your blog influencing the beast and his world system to ‘lighten’ up on God’s people?

    As I said earlier – you toss gasoline on the fires of agitation with the best of them.

  79. Michael

    A wonderful list (apart from Arby’s)… A rebirth of Protestant monasticism may indeed be possible, although a monastic rule requires discipline, poverty, chastity, obedience, stability, regularity, humility… qualities that are unfortunately lacking in the current Protestant world. Nevertheless, we live in hope. If we view the Church as the Church, the “Ark of Salvation” (John Chrysostom) we will let the storm rage until God, in His mercy, sends the dove with the branch it its beak…

    After this last weekend, I’m putting my energy into looking for the dove…

  80. Politics and elections are unknown to much of world or church history.<<<<

    You can't be serious.

  81. MLD,

    I think it the burden of clergy to impress upon people the nature of the system and of the beasts…especially when we have so much strife in the church over such matters.
    For me, the bigger issue is one of identity and understanding that we have a separate kingdom and a king whose reign is unshakeable.

  82. Duane,

    I believe that in the wake of this election it is those disciplines and virtues that people will strive to find…I hope.

  83. Things may not seem so bad to us right now in our own small corner of the world, but this is the time and this is the place where God has situated us. It doesn’t matter that things were worse in other times and places, other than to give some perspective and to be a cause for gratitude. Revelation is for everyone, everywhere and it is most certainly about the powers for evil that have always been a feature of human government. Yet the book says even though things might be bad, everything is under God’s control.

  84. In church and world history peasants knew nothing except their own personal economy. Do you think they had any idea of what went on behind the scenes (politics) in establishing treaties and relationships?

    They understood oppression.

  85. “They understood oppression.”
    They also understood where it came from…

  86. Whatever the government does, we can do what Christians are supposed to do.

    Trump may….

    Make foreigners feel unwelcome. As a Christian, we can love our neighbor.
    Build a wall. As a Christian, we can build bridges to the unwanted.
    Seek revenge. As a Christian we can turn the other cheek.
    Encourage greed. As a Christian, having food and raiment we shall be content.

    Hillary may…

    Encourage homosexuality. As a Christian. we shall remain chaste and teach others likewise.

    Promote abortion. As a Christian, I will not have an abortion and I will work to save all the babies that I can.

    Whoever wins, the other side may stage riots. I will not participate.

    I will plant a garden and teach others how to garden. I will not stock pile ammunition because the Gospel says to love our neighbor, not shoot him.

    Whoever wins, we can still be Christians. In fact, maybe a bit of DURESS might help us actually act like Christians for a change.

  87. Xenia has nailed it up and down this thread…

  88. i have a primitive fear of God… the earthquakes in Italy now… it could happen here…
    or a volcano or a climate shift or a failure of gravity or …?… Lamentations 3:22… 🙂

  89. Michael

    #82 Agreed…

    #85 Yes, read earlier patristic commentaries on Revelation. The identification tended always to be with the power of the State. Additionally, in the mid to late fourth century, there were numerous writers and commentators who were well aware of the politics behind the scene… Eusebius, Athanasius… and communicated with the faithful.

  90. One thing I will not do is pervert my own Christian mindset to conform to the mindset of either candidate. To support either one means something in me has to change, and not change in a Christ-ward direction, either.

  91. Duane,

    Thank you. 🙂

  92. Michael,

    You are welcome… I have to make those years of reading Greek texts count for something!

  93. Duane, right. When you read the history of Christianity in the Byzantine empire (which I know you have) you realize the role politics played, The Patriarchs and the Emperors…. makes today’s election look dull in comparison. Same with the RCC in the West. Even Luther was involved in the politics of his day (and the war that ensued). The Reformation in England was all about politics. In Mexico not too long ago, politicians made it illegal for a RC priest to wear his clerical garb in public. The Avignon episode in the Middle Ages? And in China….

    It’s endless.

  94. I agree that the Beast is a representation of the world system (no one really believes their is an actual beast correct?) The question is -is America and our elections “the world system” as described as The Beast? I would say no – because if it was how could a Christian participate at all?
    If the government / elections are equated to the world system how could a Christian be involved in voting for the local propositions – the water district etc.

    Is the American Government the world system? I say no.

  95. #93 Xenia… correct!

    #94 The identification of the Beast or the Anti-Christ has always been problematic in Christian theology. To identify the Beast simply as a “system” may be correct, but not definitive. It seems to be that which “rages against Christ” – a definition that seems to fit all ages at least to some extent.

  96. “4. In comparison, Saul wasn’t all that bad…”

    Saul 2016


  97. RE judgement of the U.S.A….lots of folks are expecting God to judge our nation with fire and brimstone and natural calamities due to gay marriage, Clinton or Trump, abortion, et al…

    My take (i.e. opinion….i.e. I may or may not be right and I reserve the privilege to be wrong) is that, similar to what has been posited here by a few, is that our candidates may be a form of judgement. Again, my opinion only. Ad you must admit too that what hasn’t been spelled out clearly in Scripture is YOUR opinion only too.

    In other news..

    GO VIKES!!!

  98. Always keeping the gospel in view – John in Rev 13 is using the 2 beasts being sent as proof and reassurance to his readers that Jesus has come and because Jesus has come Satan is using the ‘beasts’ to fight against Jesus and his Church, just a Paul used the man of sin to show opposition to Jesus and against his Church.

    Christians agitate Satan – this is why every time a baby is baptize, comes into the kingdom of Jesus – that the beasts explode with anger. Satan is after Jesus and his Church – I find it far fetched that he is after political parties and candidates.

  99. Dan,

    GO VIKES! indeed. 🙂

  100. I do believe that the U.S. is part of that system,but Christians can vote as long as their conscience allows them to.

  101. Here’s why I think we have the candidates we have.

    The US representative/ democratic government allows people to vote in their own best interest. If our country is populated with moral people who operate on Christian principles then noble, moral men and women would be elected. Since it appears that a large percentage of Americans now use p0rnography, approve of homosexuality, use the F-word and other profanity continually, allow their daughters to dress like floozies, approve of abortion, see no harm in the use of marijuana, listen to depraved music, watch depraved TV shows and movies, and to top if off, expect the government to supply all their needs is it any wonder that we now have the candidates we have? Is it a surprise that such a population would rally around such candidates and eventually elect one of them?

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

  102. … and I could mention the divorce rate and the fact that most weddings today are between two people who are already living together. And the high rate of unwed births.

  103. I’m done with this election cycle.

    What has been for decades a civil process, has degenerated into a cesspool of rumor, innuendo, and logical fallacies.

    I don’t find, like some, that any of this has prophetic meaning. What it is, is at least two decades of all media using “news” to sell product.

    We’ve all been sold a “bill of goods.”

  104. Xenia, I see it as an extension of how God operates with people…I think He allows then to do what they want, and if they want to walk in depravity, then he allows them to do that, and maybe we then get leaders who operate in the ways we approve of living our lives…away from God.

  105. I think America is as much “Babylon” as any other nation since the actual Babylon.

  106. Dan, I think so, too.

    “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, to the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves; who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections… ” etc. Romans 1

  107. God did ordain governments, however. Somehow we have to work that into the equation.

  108. So…. when the majority of the people in the country revel in the things above we cannot expect them to nominate or elect a decent person. They will choose one like themselves.

  109. The actual Babylon did not have a true God – America does

  110. MLD has upped his craziest thing ever said on the blog.

  111. Josh – the gospel and the truth are crazy – I do agree.

  112. Very pleased with all the input today…thank you all.

  113. “The actual Babylon did not have a true God – America does”
    Is this from the “American Patriot Bible”?

  114. Agreed Micheal (112)…nice to see people actually TALKING and CONVERSING online instead of shouting past one another!

  115. MLD – If America “has a true God” it is only because some of the people in America worship the true God. Daniel and his friends were in Babylon but worshiped the true God.

    I can’r believe you are serious with this line of thought. Are you trollin me? Everything OK?

  116. Nonnies daughter is due any time to give birth…she is over due

  117. I’ve decided I might be voting. It won’t be for Trump of Hillary. Honestly, it WILL be against both of them (in other words, I won’t be voting for someone I think can win)

  118. I will probably write in some harmless person.

    Locally, I gots fish to fry!

  119. 40 years of presidential elections, and I’ve never seen bitterness like this one.

    Nobody wants to have a dialogue, they just want to bludgeon each other into submission.

    I’ve know people who may not ever speak to each other again. That saddens me.

    I’ve had an in law inform me that I’m of the “Devil” because I’m not registered in the same party she is in. She has literally said I’m “demon possessed.”

  120. David H, I think if you check the Bush v Kerry campaign you might find the same thing – not so much Facebook because it wasn’t around. Think about the smear campaign ads – go to the library and micro fish the letters to the editor etc.

  121. David H…my father-in-law once called my wife something terrible (can’t remember exact phrase) because she votes Republican. Her. Own. Dad!

  122. David and Dan,
    Sorry to hear aboit the name calling and disrespect you have faced. 🙁

  123. Well, there was this:

  124. Thanks dusty. I also recall back in ’96 an older gentleman came up to me (in the restroom of all places!) and bragged how he hasn’t spoken to someone in his family in years because of who they voted for.

  125. I think if we can move past the tribal / magical thinking we might just make it, I am personally sad that we are not in the stars. (When I say magical thinking I am not referring to God or miracles I am referring to cliches, rhetoric and one-liners if that makes sense.

  126. Thanks Dusty,

    Over the years this particular relative has accused me of being a Communist. Apparently I’ve graduated to from being a Godless Communist, to being “Demon possessed.” Maybe I should wear a Slayer tee shirt to the family Thanksgiving gathering (na, not a good idea).

    It doesn’t really bother me that much, but it does make family gatherings a bit sketchy.

  127. brian,

    It makes good sense.

  128. Michael, regarding #2, Lutherans teach what is called the Doctrine of Two Kingdoms. Essentially that God’s rule comes to us in two main spheres. He rules the Church through the Gospel and grace. He rules the world through the Emperor or whatever political powers there may be as he sees fit.(See Romans and 1Peter) As Christians we are citizens of both worlds. Often times (I even hear strains of it here) Christians talk like the election is about the Church or the faith. We almost have a denial of the separation of the Church and State in reverse by bringing in and engulfing the election in the church, using peoples political views as litmus tests for faith. Its just as bad as the Christian culture warriors trying to create a ‘Christian America.’ We are trying to project our Christian template on a thoroughly secular political process in a thoroughly secular culture, with candidates that are prime examples of the level to which this culture has decayed. We have forgotten our dual citizenship, and conflate our obligations in both kingdoms. I’m still thrilled that God has deigned to even let us participate in the political process and have a voice , however small, in the decisions of our country. Time was when Kings and Emperors seized power and God’s Word said that was His will in the secular realm.

  129. I got sidetracked by baseball stuff up top, which is pretty easy to do with me, but number 2 is excellent. I don’t know that it’s true, but this election certainly feels like one of those things that you say during a conversation when it has become clear that the other person has clearly stopped paying attention to you.

  130. I guess I lead a sheltered life, not being on facebook or twitter, I don’t get to see all of the venom I am hearing about from folks here.

    You guys are painting a bleak picture, sounds like there is no peace in the valley.

    My recollection of the early days of the Jesus people movement is no one but Fred Fields of Love Song ever talked politics.

    At the time he seemed to like chairman Mao and could discuss it civilly.

    I have run into a few pandantic types lately who are very opinionated.

    The polarization and drawing the line if your not on their “team” just doesn’t fit into my concept of Christianity.

    I loved those Jesus People days, we were living a dream!

  131. Michael – not to quibble, but when was their a “birth” of Protestant monasticism?

  132. Papias,

    There was a Protestant monastic movement during the Reformation…Calvin wrote about it a bit.

  133. November 1st, 75 degrees outside and still raking leaves…better than shoveling snow.

  134. #133

    I love global warming.

  135. #132


    It also took place in the 19th century Anglo-Catholic movement both in the UK and America. Most of the communities have now gone to Rome, but my dearest friend from NYC entered the enclosed Anglican enclosed Benedictine Abbey in Maidstone, UK, twenty-three years ago and she is still there, in full habit, praying eight times a day for the world…

  136. Duane,

    Thanks again. 🙂
    I’m thinking that such outposts of prayer have become a matter of necessity in a church culture consumed by pragmatism.
    Of course, I’m not always clear in my thinking…

  137. Is that what God has called for? For us to hide away from the world?
    Keep our light under a bushel?

  138. MLD,

    That’s one knee jerk way to look at it. 🙂

    I look at it as a part of the church dedicating themselves to the disciplines and weapons of Christian warfare on behalf of those not called to such a life.

    I like the idea while understanding the issues some would have with it.

    That’s ok…nobody will be conscripted to the monastery…

  139. Luther got a lot done while he was in one…

  140. MLD, from your response I would guess that you have very little experience with monastics and monasteries.

  141. Luther got a lot done while he was in one…

    And then realized it was wrong.

  142. “…..Anglican enclosed Benedictine Abbey in Maidstone, UK, twenty-three years ago and she is still there, in full habit, praying eight times a day for the world…”

    “Is that what God has called for? For us to hide away from the world?”

    probably not a call to MLD (or to most of us), but these few souls are the real pray-ers… – the warriors – they aren’t there to make fudge, fruitcakes or rare brandies

  143. dusty and passin throgh (133 and 134)…ATL clocked in an 86 on Halloween. Back in 1991 was shoveling over 2 feet of snow north of Minneapolis at this time!