Jul 312017

1. If your pastor tells you that if you do x, God will most certainly do y, your pastor is manipulating you. The only sure promises in Scripture are about salvation and suffering…

2. When Christianity is filtered through political ideology instead of filtering political ideology through Christianity, you end with with people justifying wishing a horrible death on someone who disagrees with them politically while having a Bible verse posted next to the wish on social media…

3. 110 of 111 brains of deceased football players showed evidence of CTE. When does supporting professional football become an ethical issue for Christians?

4. Being created in the image of God means that we are the representation of God to the world around us. That scares me…

5. If we believe Jesus when He said the gates of hell would not prevail against the church, then we can be the church knowing that victory is assured…

6. If we believe Jesus when He said that in this world we will have tribulation, then we can be the church with biblical expectations…

7. There is nothing more incongruent with biblical teaching than boiling “morality” down to other peoples sexuality…

8. Few things have stunted the growth of Christian spirituality in this generation as the rejection of anything “Catholic” as heresy…

9. I’ve been reading how both Luther and Calvin were horribly afflicted with kidney stones and I wonder how in the world they made it through without pain killers and modern medicine. It brings to my mind again how much better life is now in the “end times” than it was then. It also gives me much more grace for them…if I had to do this without Percoset, I’d hate everybody too…I’m not exactly a lovable bundle of fun with the help…

10. The thing I like best about Anglicanism is that I have permission inside the tradition to like all the rest of orthodox Christianity…actually, it’s an expectation. If only everyone could do likewise…

  35 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. Very interesting Things today. Your medical challenges, Michael, have not stunted your insightfulness.

  2. #2 – it might come as a surprise to some of these, perhaps well intentioned Christians, (benefit of doubt) to realize that King David wasn’t a Christian when he wrote those Psalms working through his humanity in relation to his God … dunno

  3. Thank you, Jean…everything is a bit foggy these days… 🙂

  4. 1. Lots of bible verses/passages that assert that if you do “x”, God will do “y”, plus there is Sowing and Reaping Principle in the bible that is essentially “if you do x, you will sow y”. Your context must be something different, maybe yours was a criticism of the Prosperity Gospel folks? If you give to God, he’ll make you rich or something? If it’s in that context, then I largely agree.

    2. Geneva was basically a Theocracy during the Reformation. The Reformation was manufactured under Theocratic conditions and politics. Church History and the Church Fathers were manufactured under Political-protection (Constantine was the political apparatus that actually forced the “Church” to unite, codify things and get its act together. You cannot separate Politics from Christianity, similar is you cannot separate Politics from Islam or Politics from Marxism/Communism or other Ideology.

  5. @7 – and ignoring sexuality as an issue of morality because we have become intimidated by the culture.

    Which is not true here but I won’t abandon the field the victims of a completely sexually obsessed culture are in front of me every day

  6. BD,

    “Which is not true here but I won’t abandon the field the victims of a completely sexually obsessed culture are in front of me every day.”

    All of us who are raising kids or in pastoral ministry face the same challenges in this area.

    My objection is in making it primary.

  7. Short thoughts:

    1. My pastor says if I do this (repent) the Lord will do that (forgive me.)

    2. It’s American Christian pragmatism. Give me eastern Christian mysticism any day.

    3. I don’t find institutional sports appealing at all.

    4. AND it means that those we want to hate are also bear the Image of God. Even scarier!

    5. The Church has endured things more horrible than what we see around us now. All will be as God wills it to be.

    6. In fact, I worry that my life has been so pleasant that I might not be in God’s will….

    7. Very true. Jesus seemed to care more about our love for the poor. But he cares about morality, too.

    8. Well, I reject Roman Catholicism, too, but mostly because they are no longer Catholic enough.

    9. I never had a kidney stone but I’ve had 5 childbirths. The end product is much more pleasing.

    10. I actually ran into a Landmark Baptist last week. They did not descend from the Catholics, you know. :/ I am going to be working with this young lady fairly regularly and I am going to have to concoct some kind of mentally prerecorded response that does not ruin our working relationship. She’s a lovely person who is a zealot for her cause.

  8. 3. CTE is a growing concern. My son loves football, but the evidence doesn’t look good long term. However, boxing, kickboxing, MMA, Soccer etc is probably as bad with all the hits to the head in those sports, I assume similar or worse results are showing up in those sports as well.

    I’ve been hit in the head a lot, especially when I was in kick boxing when I was a younger man, plus street fights/fist fights….and look at me, totally normal! 🙂

    4. Our pastor taught on a sobering issue Sunday, “taking the Lord’s name in vane”. He made the case that it can be claiming Jesus for personal gain and it can also be similar to a pastor publicly promoting Jesus/God and then tarnishing that Brand through scandal/misdeeds etc. Very interesting points. I think your point is similar?

    5. I think Jesus was speaking of “Church” in a much different context than the “institution”

    6. .7. 8. Agreed, agreed, agreed.

    9. LOL and LOL

    10. Even Finney’ite Evangelicals? 🙂

  9. “4. AND it means that those we want to hate are also bear the Image of God. Even scarier!”

    Xenia, I taught on that very point…because it convicted me so badly I need to pass it on… 🙂

  10. #4 Alex

    “Church History and the Church Fathers were manufactured under Political-protection…”

    Simply and completely wrong.

  11. JoelG,

    It really is…and I’m a football fanatic.

  12. Good material Michael. A few comments/rants of my own:

    1. This attitude seems commonplace on some Charismatic and Evangelical circles.
    2. That’s just terrible. Have you actually seen this done? My guess is they are probably quoting some of the tough Psalms verses.
    3. It will probably never become an issue here in the south where you can find plaques with the phrase “Faith, Family, and Football” in many a home.

    …(4-6 convicting)

    7. Sometimes becomes majoring on the minors.
    8. ODM alert! I was once anti-Catholic but have softened. I was also anti-Lutheran but have softened. I am currently anti-IFB but will have to soften (this due to abuses leveled against my wife from IFB churches).
    9. My father had kidney stones and I suffered numerous times with gall bladder attacks. I can’t imagine life without the medical intervention either.
    10. Grace is awesome!

  13. Well done, Dan!

  14. Thanks Michael! Will continue to pray for your healing.

  15. Not everything in Catholicism is totally evil – I rightly divide the differences


  16. Thanks, Dan.

    The doctors can’t decide if it’s the kidney stone or my gall bladder or both giving me fits .
    So…we’re waiting six weeks to decide if surgery is needed…

  17. Yikes! Thanks for letting me know Michael about that issue with the kidney/gall bladder uncertainty. Will pray with that information handy. Keep well and praise God for painkillers.

  18. 6 weeks! Sigh, so sorry you are going through all this Michael. Still praying for you

  19. Dan, still praying for you and your wife.

  20. Thanks, Dusty…much appreciated.

  21. praying with dusty… kidney stones can bring one to their knees…
    Please Lord, let the end soon and to Your glory

  22. Wife and I thank you dusty! More later!

  23. dusty, some things are moving in the background as we speak regarding direction in life for wife and I, but there are also A LOT of situations that have to be overcome to make a big change happen. I know I am speaking in vague generalities, but that is all I can say for now. Thanks again for your continued prayers dusty!

  24. @6 I agree – immorality is spawned by idolatry which is the fountain of hell itself.

  25. Since thought #3 can not technically be classified as an “in house debate”, thus keeping the anti-theist out, I will gladly comment.


    Christianity does not represent moral insight into scientific fact, and it never will.

  26. On another note, I had to have the stones laser beamed to bits out, and you can imagine what an experience that was. The laser had one path to the stones, along with a camera.

    Worst experience of my life.

    Solidarity, brother.

  27. Reuben,

    My urologist explained that procedure in graphic detail.
    He then asked again if his recommendation to wait six weeks was ok…I told him I thought we could go six years and still be ok…

    I may try voodoo first…

  28. Whatever happened to lithotripsy for kidney stones. Been there and done that. Nice way to go…

  29. Literal laugh out loud there!

  30. Linnea,

    They still do that when they think it will work.
    They don’t think it’ll work for me…

  31. my late husband had the treatment under discussion… with enough medication, you don’t care…

  32. Hi Reuben, still praying for you (((hugs)))

  33. hi Dixie dread hope you and your wife are well. (((hugs))))

  34. Linnea!!! always so good to see you! Still praying for you, your sister and your family. <3

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