Things I Think…

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44 Responses

  1. Kevin H says:

    Michael, as to your #3, the CCA ECPC sessions, or at least some of them, can be found here:

  2. Michael says:


    Interesting, I couldn’t find anything last night.
    They usually live stream everything and then archive the videos.

  3. Kevin H says:

    They usually archive the pastor conference videos at CC Philly relatively quickly. I don’t think they have ever hosted the live stream at the church’s website so I imagine that’s usually done somewhere else such as at the CCA website.

  4. EricL says:

    #7, I’m shocked at such at such behavior, but then I was shocked when they released the audio of him threatening to plant child p*rn on the computers of some at Christianity Today. I’m also saddened that such an evil man could survive as a senior pastor as long as he did. So many people covered for him for so many years.

    Being a skilled orator does NOT qualify you to be a pastor. I hope the thousands who attended Harvest Bible Church have finally learned that truth. Integrity matters, as does following the commandments to love God and to love one another. What a painful lesson for that congregation, to have followed such a disreputable man.

  5. Kat says:

    Michael, for those of us who have not read Charles Bowden’s books, where is a good place to start?

  6. Michael says:

    His magnum opus is “Down By The River”.
    Took him seven years and left him bankrupt.
    If you want to understand how the drug trade, Mexico, and the US really work, this is the one.
    “The Charles Bowden Reader” is also excellent.
    Be aware that his prose is often profane…

  7. Josh says:

    Murder City, right?

  8. Michael says:


    I’ve had many people tell me “Murder City” was too intense.
    The historical narratives in DBTR have proven to be gold…

  9. Eric says:

    #7 I was not that surprised, because I was following the commentary. CT will have to report on it and I’m sure their ordinary readers will be surprised.

  10. Josh says:

    I think the problem with #7 is the source. Mancow was Howard Stern’s rival shock-jock for so long, it’s hard to take him seriously now. Doesn’t mean I think Macdonald is good or innocent, just that the whole group is a mess that i avoid.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    #8 & 9 – do we never tire of this leftist rhetoric? I have been told I am not pro life because I own guns and support the 2nd amendment.
    You guys must have a playbook with the same quotes to use. 🙂

  12. Michael says:


    It’s “biblical” not leftist.
    Loving God and neighbor haven’t been either erased or contaminated by American political venom.
    It is still the greatest commandment.
    What I get tired of are people who pervert such clear teaching to fit their own prejudices and political agendas at the cost of people made in the image of God.

  13. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think what you will find as the problem is your usurping of terms to make a political point under the cover of biblical.
    Nowhere in our immigration policy (or that of other nations) is the term “pro life”. Your use in this case is to be unfair.

    I don’t tell pro abortion people they are not pro choice if they do not also support school choice or gun ownership choice.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you point as much as I think you are playing us with your “pro life” definition / use.

    But I am pro freedom of speech in absolutely all cases.

  14. Michael says:


    Your comment is a perfect example of how politics has defiled the faith.
    When I started to advocate for immigration reform and real answers to border issues in my own circles almost 20 years ago my concern wasn’t motivated by politics,but by the incredible human suffering I witnessed.
    The Bible informed me further about what I saw and this is a matter of faith to me…a question of obedience to God.
    It is beyond unfortunate that political solutions are needed as these issues are used as points in social debate as people die.
    True fidelity to the Word of God is much more than slamming fists on the table when arguing doctrine…

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The funny part is my comment is not political at all. It is merely a rebuttal to your gall thinking you are the arbiter of who can call themselves pro life (almost universally accepted as an abortion issue term) and flip it.

    See I could say the same – I am pro life because I am against the death penalty and I am anti war to the point of lobbying that all of our troops need to be removed from all foreign lands by the end of the week.

    I do call immigration reform folks “not pro life” if they don’t all agree with me about death penalty and our troops.

    That is what you are doing.

  16. Michael says:


    This isn’t that difficult.
    I don’t think it odd to assume that a term like “pro-life’ would indicate a commitment to the protection and flourishing of all human life of any age or nationality in all circumstances.

    If it simply means “anti-abortion” then calling it “pro-life” is simply political subterfuge…

  17. Em says:

    What i seem to see in so many of our comments here is an unconscious attempt to reconcile our walk in Christian integrity as the Bible directs and the process that God is now allowing Satan to play out his hand… “My kingdom is not of this world…” I would have to say that God does not intend that we control it or reform it…
    Perhaps we minister to it, looking to bring redemption to as many as will hear, but govern or reform…?

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It is very similar to those who say you cannot be pro life if you haven’t adopted the children of those who want an abortion. It is only to inflame.

  19. Michael says:


    It’s not to inflame, it’s to clarify.
    It’s not even complicated…it’s about defining terms and attitudes.

  20. Michael says:


    If that’s the case every OT prophet and Jesus heard wrong…

  21. Tobe says:

    My soul is literally dying inside at what cc has become and continues to unashamedly carry on with the “business” as usual mantel of lies and doublespeak while the blind sheep and compromised pastors of the ASSociation continue to admire the fictitious beauty of the naked emperor…


    I will NEVER trust another organized “non” denomination again… EVER!

  22. bob1 says:


    I think you’re giving Satan too big a role. He’s on a Christ-controlled chain. Is there no
    intersection between God’s now and future Kingdom? I don’t buy that. If you give
    the devil this much sway, then all we can do is sit on the sidelines and wait…I don’t
    believe that’s Christ honoring. He wants more from us than snatching souls from
    the fire. IMHO.

  23. Xenia says:

    Decades ago when I was training to be a counselor at our local Crisis (now “Compassion”) Pregnancy Center, the phrase “Culture of Death” came up a lot. I think Culture of Death is a very useful phrase to use when discussing not only abortion but the culture that produces so many abortions.

    What is a culture of death? Last weekend we were in Los Angeles for my daughter’s graduation from law school and we found ourselves staying at the Motel 6 just off Hollywood Blvd. We took an evening stroll along the boulevard and observed the Culture of Death on full display. This area of town is very trashy and the Walk of Fame, with its star-studded sidewalk, is in poor repair. The whole area smells strongly of vomit. As we looked at the celebrities’ stars, we were struck with the fact that most of them led unwholesome lives and came to a bad end.

    So the whole place is built around the glorification of evil. It is a tourist destination for those who admire the output of the Los Angeles movie/TV/music industry, which exemplifies the Culture of Death.

    Why is there abortion? Because there is sexual impurity. Who is the biggest “evangelist” for sexual impurity? The movie/TV/music industry. It’s the devil-powered machine that preaches godlessness to us Americans. And if we participate in the output of this machine, we are contributing to the Culture of Death and we are contributing to abortion.

    If we can’t even say no to Hollywood movies, how will we ever be able to stand in the day when much more might be required of us Christians?

  24. Michael says:


    The truth you are speaking makes me uncomfortable…but it’s still true…

  25. Xenia says:

    Think about it: what percentage of the US population claims to be Christian? 75% is a commonly given figure. What if 75% of Americans refused to go to movies, watch (most) TV, listen to (most) popular music? Could Hollywood* stay in business for long if we did that? But Christians participate in The Machine at the same rate as other people. Every time we attend a movie that treats fornication in a casual way we are paying our tithes and offerings to the evangelists of the Culture of Death.

    *By “Hollywood” I mean the whole industry.

  26. directambiguity says:

    8. There is a difference between being “pro life” and “anti abortion”. If you support sending migrants home to violence and asylum seekers to deadly situations, but oppose abortion, you are “anti abortion”, not “pro life”…

    Not the same thing, only one in this group is certain to be killed. Surely there is a difference between crushing and dismembering a baby and not feeding a poor neighbor .

  27. Xenia says:

    I’ve posted on this before and every time I do the conversation comes to a crashing stop.

    How virtuous we feel typing on our keyboards about the murder of innocent children. How righteous we feel when we “like” an anti-abortion Tweet. We gave a little money to the local CPC and we always vote Republican! It’s not MY fault, don’t blame ME! (Hey, what did you think about the final episode of Game of Thrones?)

  28. Michael says:


    In many cases, (including one we’ve posted here) refusing asylum is a death sentence.
    I’ll say it again…a biblical pro life position should be one that promotes the protection and flourishing of all human life.

  29. Michael says:


    What you’re talking about is practical holiness…which will empty a room because we all want to baptize what appeals to our flesh.
    I do it…

  30. Xenia says:

    I do it too.

    Practical holiness has been branded legalism in much of Protestantism.

    I know it’s a radical idea to abandon Hollywood. It’s hard to give it up all at once. But folks, at least think about what you’re doing. Find alternatives. Read wholesome books. Learn to play a musical instrument. Go outside!

    I’m not talking about boycotts. I’m talking about a change of heart.

  31. Xenia says:

    …. a change of heart to one that does not find pleasure in entertainment that glorifies fornication and other sinful acts.

    Think about it: when did the homosexual agenda *really* gain traction among ordinary Americans? I think it was the movie Brokeback Mountain, which romanticized homosexuality.

  32. Michael says:


    In my world the biggest enemy is rap music…that paves the way for all manner of evil thoughts and attitudes.

  33. Duane Arnold says:

    Not taking sides on this one, but I will offer an observation. I served for a time in an evangelical oriented Episcopal church in an affluent community. The majority of members were very much “pro-life”. That is, until something happened in their own household, “Duane, our 16 year old daughter is pregnant… this will ruin her life… do you think it’s always wrong…” This happened at least three times that I can remember. Moreover, they had the money to have their family physician make the arrangements.

    I think that Xenia is correct in some of her observations, but I think it is a problem that goes deeper. We have allowed our idea of ethical decisions to become “personalized”, that is, our ethics change when it is our family, or my son who impregnated his high school girlfriend. We’ve watched this happen in evangelical support for Mr. Trump. Yes, we’re ethical except for giving him a pass on adultery, sexual assault, lying, etc.

    The point is, we all do this and we do it in almost every segment of society. The ethical idea that the “end justifies the means” used to be seen as morally wrong. Currently, it’s how most people live their lives… including many of us in the church.

  34. Michael says:

    Well said, Duane…

  35. Xenia says:

    Duane, I agree. But I also believe that Hollywood has contributed to the attitude of your three grandmothers who were plotting the death of their own grandchildren.

  36. Xenia says:

    Obviously, Hollywood can’t be blamed for every abortion, etc. But it is very effective propaganda for evil. Very effective.

  37. EricL says:

    Xenia’s preaching and meddling now. Where’s John Piper when you need him? 🙂
    I think she’s hitting a very strong point.

    How many virtual murders have we witnessed this year on TV or in movies? If we had witnessed so many crimes in reality, the chances are we would be in a drug gang or the mafia.

    How many times have we virtually sat in a bedroom and watched a couple committing adultery? If we had peeked in on that many bedrooms in reality, we would have been arrested as perverted peeping toms.

    Hollywood wraps sin in beautiful packaging, making it seem so fascinating, so enticing. Other times, it just slips the sin past us as a little gratuitous violence or illicit sex flashing past during a suspenseful or action-packed story. I’ll admit that I’ve become too permissive with it myself. It’s so easy to pat myself on the back because I’m “not as bad as those others” but that’s not the standard the Lord has given me.

  38. Duane Arnold says:


    I think popular culture has contributed, but the decision making is tragically pragmatic, as it currently is in so many segments of society…

  39. Xenia says:

    Duane, yep. When I was a student at the Orthodox school I had the assignment to ask people at my parish about various social issues. The younger people held to the Orthodox view of morality but it was the older ones who waffled, saying things like “Well, it’s ok to be against gay marriage until it happens in your own family, then you’ll change your tune.”

  40. Em says:

    Michael and Bob1, No, i don’t think I give Satan any power – but God has.. . Remember the incident in the Garden? You know God already knew how it would play out. It wasn’t an oops moment to which God said, “Well, now I guess I’ll have to change my plam.” I know you don’t think that. ..
    We are to stand, to show Christ in our conduct and show mercies when and where we can. Most importantly, spread the Gospel. But we are not going to reform humanity. At least that is not the way i read prophesy… course i am evangelical ?

  41. directambiguity says:


    I guess what I have been seeing is people saying things like ‘if you’re not going to help care for a child after it’s born (thinking the child will live in poverty or something) then you are not really pro-life and your concern is not really valid’. It’s being used to shut down one sides voice and to get conservatives to change their voting.

    Your #8 struck me in that vein (I’m not saying that’s what you meant) but I think it’s invalid and I should speak up for clarification. Because a person works to fight heart disease and not cancer doesn’t mean they aren’t pro-life they have just taken on calling or an issue that is important to them likewise someone who takes on the calling or issue of abortion and not immigration can still be pro-life. It would be silly to criticize the American Cancer Society as not really being pro-life but anti-cancer.

  42. A friend of my mother’s, a woman in middle age with children, was date raped (drugged) by a man she had over to her house on a date. The woman was a struggling LVN (my mom waa an RN, and may have been her supervisor). The woman struggled with getting an abortion. My mother supported her and convinced her to carry the baby to term. An upper middle class black couple who were infertile ended up adopting the baby. My mom’s friend was half black and rue father was an African immigrant. The fact that the couple were Mormons didn’t matter. The baby still got a life, and likely a good one.

  43. filbertz says:

    politics have so corrupted the expression of Christianity in America most can’t read the red letters without also seeing blue and white. Biblical interpretation rarely escapes political expediency, one side of the aisle or the other.

  44. Jerod says:

    Everyone’s love is growing cold, the only difference is political ideologies.

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