Free Saeed

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137 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    Unfortunately Iran really thinks he’s a spy…likely b/c of Raul Ries’s connections and Raul’s self-professed work in the 80’s with regards to Iran/Contra.

    Not making a value judgment on whether or not Raul was right or wrong, I’m sure he sincerely believed it was good for ‘Merica…but that he was involved and bragged about being flown in by military helicopter behind Sandinista lines to “minister” to the Contras….certainly puts some context into why Iran is being so staunch with Saeed.

  2. Alex says:

    The fact is, I was personally on a Calvary Chapel “mission’s trip” to communist China in the mid 80’s where we smuggled bibles and other stuff into communist China.

    We met with dissidents and did stuff that was illegal. Of course we believed it was for the greater “Good” etc and maybe so….but don’t think Iran is stupid and doesn’t think Saeed, whether real or imagined, could be a spy.

    That is the very sad nuance to that situation.

  3. Alex says:

    When the “church” acts as an agent of the State, don’t be surprised when someone gets pinched behind enemy lines.

  4. Alex says:

    Calvary Chapel made the decision to interject itself into that arena. It’s sad that Saeed could be innocent and is caught up in that net…but loose lips sink ships and Raul and others in CC have flapped their lips a lot over the years.

  5. Em says:

    national intrigues have always ridden the backs of Christian endeavors as they do any group of people devoted to a cause… but, as a Biblical literalist of sorts, i’m here to say it is all working out according to God’s plan and He does keep score on these nations

    pray for Saeed, indeed – Oh, God, we could use a blatant miracle of prevailing prayer, but above all, let the jailers see Jesus

  6. mike says:

    According To God’s plan??
    Could you unpack this idea regarding this specific situation?
    -mike

  7. Em says:

    mike, that is a hackneyed expression, isn’t it? let me think a bit…

    basically, i accept that all of history is working out according to God’s design – His plan – i used to ponder why God used Babylon to punish Israel and then later brought the hammer down on Babylon for doing so… yes, it’s recorded in scripture…Saeed and others are victims caught in the flow of history, the evil of it… the Apostle Peter got out of jail once, so did Paul, but eventually were killed – they were players in the unfolding of history and history – it must drive the devil crazy – is playing out according to the will of God

    For the record: on a personal level, i look at that Saeed’s handsome face, full of integrity and his beautiful family and i hate the mindless and heartless Iranian power structure and i regularly do pray for his immediate release, for his physical welfare

    i guess that i don’t believe anyone in the plan of God is an accident of history

    (after 10 a.m. my mind slows down, wanders – hope what i unpacked says what i needed to …?…)

  8. Michael says:

    “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
    (Genesis 50:20 ESV)

  9. Em says:

    Michael, amen … i thank God for the Book and those of you who can preach/teach it

  10. mike says:

    Interesting.
    In jail by God’s plan
    For sharing christ by God’s plan
    In a country where doing so is illegal by God’s plan.
    Now praying for his release?

    I do. But your idea of God’s plans are contradictory an incomprehensible.
    -mike

  11. Michael says:

    Joseph was in jail by God’s plan.

    God’s plans often involve the suffering of His people.

    The most terrifying thought to me is that God is not sovereign over every situation and the most discouraging thought would be that there is no God ordained purpose in suffering.

    I reject both notions and thus I remain encouraged and comforted by my God.

  12. Michael says:

    ““Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
    (Isaiah 55:6–9 ESV)

    “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
    “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
    For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
    (Romans 11:33–36 ESV)

  13. Em says:

    mike, dunno, but i think you see history as a string, one event playing off of another in a straight time line … for me history’s events are more analogous to a tapestry moving out from a center point … the finished product will be exactly as God planned it with each event in its place … not sure He’ll hang the finished product on a wall anywhere, tho… can’t carry the simile to an extreme

  14. mike says:

    Doesn’t that make god responsible for his imprisonment, torture, and persecution? (And God forbid… martyrdom if he is killed?)
    -mike

  15. Michael says:

    God decreed the death of His own son.

    If you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God you have two choices here.

    Either God has a purpose in all the suffering or He has no purpose and allows suffering to happen that He could restrain or stop.

    I believe He is a God with a purpose, who has no sin or darkness in Him, yet works through the evil acts of men as well as their noble ones.

    There is immense mystery here and all attempts at a satisfactory theodicy fail at some point.

    I simply believe He is both sovereign and loving and some things are way above my pay grade.

  16. Em says:

    In jail by God’s plan
    within the plan, yes

    For sharing christ by God’s plan
    yes

    In a country where doing so is illegal by God’s plan.
    a country whose laws are against His will, but subject ultimately to His plan

    history is the playing out of a rebellion against the will of God

    Now praying for his release?
    amen to that… it is God’s will always that we pray – the more ruckus from the grandstand the better… another limited simile … metaphor (?)

  17. mike says:

    Michael

    Wow. Just…. wow.

  18. Michael says:

    Mike, you crack me up.

    You don’t like me or the blog yet you come here regularly to take offense.
    Very odd…

  19. Kevin H says:

    Mike,

    Rather than just playing your usual role of contrarian who comes with snide remarks critcizing what Michael or others have to say while rarely adding anything of substance as to why you think or believe differently, why don’t you enlighten us as to what you think God may be doing (or not doing) in regards to Saeed’s imprisonment.

  20. mike says:

    Kevin
    I don’t think God has much to do with it at all. The government of Iran has chosen to prosecute and imprison a pastor for christian missionary activity that they have chosen to deem illegal.
    because of this, a wife and children are without their husband and father.
    I won’t blame god in some attempt to spirituality or romanticize a difficult and horrible situation for his family.
    beyond that I will refuse to speculate on what is and is not God’s ‘decree’ in the situation. And I think wisely so.
    -mike

  21. Alex says:

    It’s probably not religious, probably political.

  22. Alex says:

    Iran is not concerned that he is a Christian, it’s that they believe this is what he was up to:

    “Iran’s Bultan News charged that Abedini, who was arrested while visiting Iran last September to build a non-sectarian orphanage, had been “commissioned” to pursue nine objectives.

    These included the illegal planting of house churches; creating financial networks to support the spread of “Zionist Christianity” including attempts to brainwash and “recruit” Iranian orphans; and transmitting news from inside Iran “directly to the White House” – which it said amounted to an accusation of spying. (See Bultan News report, in Persian, here.)

    Bultan (“Bulletin”) News is linked to Iran’s intelligence service and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Another Iranian site linked to the intelligence service, Didehban News, also ran the report (also in Persian, available here.)

    Abedini, a convert from Islam living in the U.S. in 2005, was sentenced in January to eight years’ imprisonment for “threatening the national security of Iran.”

    Right or wrong, that’s the truth of their perception.

    Unfortunately, from my direct personal experiences with Calvary Chapel where I was made to do similar in communist China…I can’t say they are wrong.

    If that’s the case, fine, he knew the risks. If he is innocent, then that sucks but is probably the result of his connection to Calvary Chapel b/c of their history of similar actions over the years.

  23. Kevin H says:

    So Mike, if God doesn’t have much to do with it at all, is that by His choice to stay out of it? Could he intercede and free Saeed if He wanted to? There are reports of Saeed speaking his faith in the prisons and coincidingly others in the prisons coming to faith in Christ. Could God possibly have anything to do with that? Or is that happening just by chance?

  24. Alex says:

    I’m all for Israel and ‘Merica rah, rah, rah, but let’s deal in truth here and call it what it is with regards to Iran’s perception. They could care less if he was the Pope, it’s the other stuff they think he was up to and the organization he is connected to that is their concern.

  25. Saul says:

    The fact that he is still alive may indicate that in the underbelly of their (Iranians) thinking he just might be everything he has told him that he is.

    It could be the prayers of many that have kept him alive.

    I like to think as such.

    Michael is right Mike.

    I have a friend that was offended by Michael a time or two and yet he continues to come here.

    He refuses to admit to me that he was offended but I know that he was because of his over focus on Michael and Calvinism.

    I always wonder to myself why he still comes in here like yourself.

    There is a very wonderful book I think you need to read along with my friend:

    “The Bait of Satan” Living free from the deadly trap of offense.

    By John Bevere at Chrisma House

    Here is a little blurb on the back cover.

    “The bait of Satan” exposes one of the most deceptive snares Satan uses to get believers out of the will of God- offense.

    This trap restrains countless Christians, severs relationships, and widens the gulf between us.

    Jesus said, “It is impossible that no offenses should come” (Luke17:1).

    Although you will encounter offense, you can choose how you will react.

  26. Kevin H says:

    Alex,

    Saeed may have known what he was risking. Iran may have had some legitimate circumstantial reasons to be suspicious of him. It still doesn’t make it right for anybody to be imprisoned and beaten for their faith (outside of extreme cases such as terrorism when the acting out of one’s faith is bringing harm to others.)

  27. Alex says:

    Kevin H, agreed, if they believe him to be a spy they should treat him within the constraints of the Geneva conventions…though we blur those lines on the US side at times.

  28. Michael says:

    I just think it’s weird.

    Matt Walsh offends me.
    I don’t like what he says or how he says it.
    He makes my blood pressure go up.

    The solution?
    I don’t read Matt Walsh.
    I don’t go to his blog or listen to his podcast and the only time he crosses my mind is when I think about the people that read here just so they can get mad at me.

    I will never understand why some people feel like they have to spend time and energy doing something they find distasteful and offensive.

  29. Alex says:

    David Sessions has a way with words 🙂

    “Matt Walsh is a conservative blogger who recently moved to The Blaze after his personal blog, shared constantly by thousands of conservative Christians, became a viral phenomenon. Matt Walsh is a moron and a bad writer. He is proudly reactionary, sexist, anti-gay, and everything else you can imagine. He is the Platonic ideal of a douchebag as defined recently by Michael Mark Cohen.

    But all of this is obvious if you’ve read even one of his long, digressive rants that have a paragraph break after every sentence. To try to demonstrate that Matt Walsh is a douchebag would be pointless, as well as an insult to anyone who sacrifices their sanity and financial well-being to master difficult knowledge, like how to write. The more interesting questions to ask about Matt Walsh are: Why him? Why now? The answer is naturally not very flattering to Matt Walsh, but neither is it flattering to the entire cultural moment — both inside and outside conservative Christianity — that created him.”

  30. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I would heartily agree with Sessions.

    However…I also believe that Walsh’s audience has a right to imbibe all that swill they want and if I were over there arguing with him every day it wouldn’t make a whit of difference.

    Matt Walsh can never change his mind or soften his stances…it would cost him a fortune.

  31. Em says:

    i’m guessing that mike isn’t sure he’s right and he comes here just to reassure himself that he is … right

    the fool concludes there is no god, but then it is almost impossible to construct a god out of one’s own sense of right and wrong …

    the only God that i could bow before is the One Who was crucified, the only innocent, perfect man – that took other-worldly powers to pull off – if there is no god at all, i will still count a life spent worshipping the One i find in the Book (all of it, BTW) as the best thing i’ve could have done with my time on earth

    just sayin … again

  32. Alex says:

    “Matt Walsh can never change his mind or soften his stances…it would cost him a fortune.”

    Agreed.

    Similar to other man-made fiefdoms, same dynamics in play.

  33. Alex says:

    You could always argue with Stellman, he might change his mind and become a Calvinist again 🙂

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Stellman would probably go back to CC first now that he can see the similarity to his RCC.

  35. Neo says:

    My opinion is that if people want to engage in risky endeavors for the Lord, a la Jim Elliot or Saeed Abedini, that is wonderful….only, they should never have gotten married and certainly not procreated before doing so. In my book, that is having one’s cake and eating it, too…at the expense of the wife and children left behind.

  36. Neo says:

    …quite frankly, that picture of Abedini with his kids ticks me off. At him, more than anything.

  37. Neo says:

    ….I will add the caveat that there might be more to the story than I know (as is always possible).

  38. mike says:

    Perhaps the more to the story is that Iranian authorities caught him once before and allowed him to leave Iran on his signed agreement that he would cease his missionary activities.. he agreed to only do secular, non evangelical work if he returned.
    Well, as the story goes (not sure if it’s true) the pastor returned and once again continued his mission of evangelizing and converting muslims, what he had agreed not to do, so Iranian authorities picked him up again and tried him for ‘crimes against national security’ ie. Converting muslims to christ.
    And that’s why he’s in prison today… so the possible ‘other story’ goes.
    I can agree with “civil disobedient’ dissident against the unjust laws/constitution of iran, but he is not a martyr and all indications are he is being allowed to practice his faith and have christian visitors, including family members, in prison.
    So also… not being persecuted. Just punished for breaking the law, agreeing to stop as a condition of his first release, then not honoring his agreed commitment and continuing to break the Iranian laws.
    I pray for his release mostly for his family’s sake.
    I think I agree with neo. Not a smart father or husband. But I’m praying for God’s favor to release him to go back home where he belongs.
    just another diverging opinion. Thx for not being so insecure in the ‘echo chamber’ of PP and letting me share it
    -mike

  39. Neo says:

    Mike, I tend to agree with your viewpoint on this issue.

    I do wonder what his children’s outlook on this will be in twenty years from now. I do believe that Jim Eliot’s children look positively on his martyrdom but I’m not certain about that.

  40. Nonnie says:

    Neo, I’m thinking through what you have said.
    Didn’t the Apostle Peter leave his family and risk his life for the gospel?

    Men (and women!) with a spouse and children risk their lives everyday in some secular jobs…..police, military, fire fighters, to protect and serve. Why should men and women serving Christ do any less? (if called by God)

    We could break your theory down further and say married men and women with children shouldn’t go to some foreign lands because of diseases we could catch like dengue fever, ebola, typhoid, etc, etc.

    Again, I’m processing what you have said, as I respect you, but not sure I agree with you.

  41. Neo says:

    Nonnie. Perhaps I am coming from a subjective point of view; both having grown up in a home of a minister and now having been one myself. Maybe the more Biblical view is along the lines of what you speak; but thinking it through- if a man (or woman) wants to risk and even lay down their life (knowingly) for the sake of the Gospel, how much better might it be if there were not children involved? I don’t see the point in his returning to Iran at this time. He should have raised his children, first. But that’s my point of view.

  42. Alex says:

    Neo, I agree.

    Once you have kids…they are your primary responsibility.

    1 Tim. 5:8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    “provide” in the Greek means to “continue to care for”, “put their interests before your own”, “actively maintain their well being”, etc. It’s an active use of the word “provide” and means provide for them spiritually, emotionally as well as in practical terms…it means to protect them, care for them, be there for them etc.

  43. Alex says:

    …but hey, that’s just the bible, who cares what that says…seriously. That’s how pick-and-choose the vast majority of “Christians” are. Just the sad facts.

  44. Neo says:

    …what does it profit if a man wins over the whole world but loses his kids in the process?

  45. Neo says:

    …but hey, if souls are being saved and Bibles passed out and revival is ignited…the hell with the kids.

  46. Alex says:

    Neo, so very true, unfortunately.

    The kids are perceived as simply in the way of “the ministry” vs. being the primary ministry of any parent.

    In fact, the kids are often perceived as being “used by the devil!” to attack the particular righteous pastor’s precious “ministry/church”.

    It’s a sick and twisted nearly cult-like phenomenon.

  47. Alex says:

    The one thing Chuck Smith did very well was he was a good dad to his kids by all reports (directly from kids in both camps).

    When Chuck erred with his kids it was erring toward the side of nepotism which is much much better than erring toward the side of abandoning them and saying they are agents of the devil etc.

    Chuck made a lot of mistakes, as we all do, but he reportedly treated his kids very well and never abandoned them and never risked being taken from them, etc.

  48. Neo says:

    I think it is also a generational thing, Alex. We parent different than our parents who parent different than theirs. Let me thread the needle by saying that Mr. Abedini does not come from the same culture as we do. So I “cut him some slack” in terms of cultural ideals and values.

  49. Neo says:

    I once posted on Facebook that if you want to know whether or not you can trust your pastor/priest/spiritual leader…just look at his or her kids. I took some heat for that. But upon even further consideration, I very much feel the same. If a minister’s kids have a complete indifference to the things of God or a vehement hatred toward the Church, there was a definite disconnect there.

  50. Alex says:

    Unfortunately, as sympathetic as I am to Saeed’s cause, I think he acted irresponsibly and knew the risks…especially since he was probably somewhat guilty of some of the stuff the Iranians are charging him with b/c that kind of stuff goes on with Calvary Chapel.

    I hope Iran treats him within the Geneva conventions and I hope they release him soon, and hopefully next time around he ministers to the many people in the Boise area who need help instead of risking his life in Iran.

  51. Alex says:

    Neo said, “I once posted on Facebook that if you want to know whether or not you can trust your pastor/priest/spiritual leader…just look at his or her kids. I took some heat for that. But upon even further consideration, I very much feel the same. If a minister’s kids have a complete indifference to the things of God or a vehement hatred toward the Church, there was a definite disconnect there.”

    You would think it would be considered “Fruit” of that pastor’s ministry and life practice…but no. All the devil, nothing to do with the righteous pastor and his behavior behind the scenes.

  52. Alex says:

    The devil is really a convenient creation and people are really really stupid.

    “Hey, not me! That was all the devil! I’m a victim of the devil because I’m so righteous!”

  53. Neo says:

    Alex. If only I could pull that off and project all my misdeeds and character flaws on the devil instead of myself. Maybe people would save a lot of money on their therapy bills. Lol

  54. Neo says:

    Anyway, I am going to play hooky in a few hours and watch March Madness. I wonder if the devil is making me do that. Or maybe it’s the “Blue Devils”. 🙂

  55. Alex says:

    Hey, TO HELL with the devil!!!!

    I still love this song LOL. Today these dude/chicks would be called “transgender” 🙂

  56. Alex says:

    “. I wonder if the devil is making me do that. Or maybe it’s the “Blue Devils”. :)”

    ROTLMAO!!! 🙂

  57. Polo says:

    Biblically the Lord comes first. Ahead of children spouse and rest of family.

  58. Nonnie says:

    Polo, I don’t believe that the Lord coming FIRST like a line, with the wife 2nd and the kids 3rd, and so on. Rather I believe that when we love the Lord, we will care for our spouse and our children. Sometimes loving God (first?) means that I stay home from what others might perceive as “putting God first” and caring for my family.

    Neo, re. your 42, I wasn’t referring to Saeed specifically. You made a strong statement about men (and women) leaving family and doing dangerous, even life threatening jobs (ministry). Could you discuss the specific questions I asked about dangerous secular jobs, dangerous places, Peter and the apostles? I’m interested to hear your take on it, as well as others out there on this subject.

    I guess I feel a bit vested in this conversation. We took our family (3 young children) into a 3rd world country where we all suffered dengue fever,t one child tested positive for TB, there was terrorism, kidnappings, coup attempts, etc. I look back and think “How did we do that?” Yet at the time, it seemed the most reasonable and logical thing to do. It was as if the love of God compelled us to “go.” Ask any of my kids (now married adults with children of their own) and they will tell you they loved their childhood (despite the hardships) and believe their lives have been enriched by their experience. Although one of my daughters, when her son turned the age she was, when we moved, said, “Mom, how did you do that? I can’t imagine making that kind of move, like you and Dad did.” We both know that it was the grace of God….and the call of God. That’s my take on it. FWIW

  59. Em says:

    this man is in a very bad situation that can’t be brushed off by saying that one hopes he is being treated according to the Geneva Convention guidelines – he isn’t

    a strange thread developed here… more pontificating and self congratulating than i’d think to see… some good points made? yes, but a strange thread considering

    tp those who think that he should have stayed home with the kids i’d have to ask by whose standard? yours? i say amen to Nonnie’s #41 – worth a ponder

  60. Em says:

    Nonnie, thank you for your service to our Lord – reading this thread i almost have a picture of our Lord on the cross with a bunch of nay-sayers below him discussing how unwise He was to put Himself in such a place, to cause His mother so much sorrow…

    but there are good points made above by many – i must refocus, eh?

  61. Alex says:

    Polo said, “Biblically the Lord comes first. Ahead of children spouse and rest of family.”

    That’s like saying “biblically” the Lord says slavery is OK and so are Concubines and Multiple Wives.

    There is much that is contradictory in the bible.

  62. Alex says:

    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

    Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

    Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind

    So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

    Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

    I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

    Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

    But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

    All from “the bible”

  63. Alex says:

    To assert that a minister or missionary must forsake his own family, his own kids in the name of “ministry” is to speak against much of the bible that says “Love” is the greatest commandment and fulfillment of the law and we have a very detailed description of what “love” is and isn’t…and we have a very specific example of Jesus laying down his own life for his kids…and we have a very specific description of God as “Love”

    We also have warnings to those who forsake their kids, stumble their kids, abandon their kids.

    All from “the bible”…but as with most issues…you will pick and choose what you want from the menu and twist it to support your particular narrative.

  64. Alex says:

    Unfortunately in Saeed’s case, I think he loved his missionary work or whatever agenda and mission he was given more than he loved his wife and kids. Sucks, but sometimes the truth hurts.

  65. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex – so burn your bible and buy a koran. What a biblical whiner.

  66. Alex says:

    “Alex – so burn your bible and buy a koran. What a biblical whiner.”

    I’m not whinging just pointing out facts.

    It’s really a social commentary on the hypocrisy of those who claim the “bible” as their God…ironically often to support their particular “ministry” which becomes their God…even though their Bible God says in many places they aren’t to do what they are doing.

    Just pointing out the cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy and folly, that’s all.

  67. Alex says:

    The Koran is way worse than the bible. You ever read that psycho book? Yikes. Makes the Old Testament look somewhat tame.

  68. Neo says:

    The “Lord” comes before kids or the Lord comes before kids?….LOL

    Nonnie, It’s a very good thing I am not the final arbiter of motives and calling. Saeed nor you will stand before me, nor me before you on That Day! We all stand before God. He judges the hearts and motives. As to answering your question(s); I think some sacrifice their children on the altar of ministry. My generation has to be careful not to sacrifice ministry on the altar of children. Whether kids or ministry, an idol is an idol. I’m not questioning your calling or raising your children. In fact, just the opposite- their warm feeling and good memories of their childhood reveals that you did right by them and God! And may the Lord continue to bless you and add all “these things unto you”.

    EM- no self congrats, here. Just thinking out loud.

  69. Em says:

    FWIW – there a vast difference between those who use their service to God as a way out of for being responsible and caring for family and those who serve the Lord, really serve Him, sometimes by the world’s measure at the expense of their families – not talking about abandoning their families, that’s entirely different… once knew of a fellow who climbed mountains (got written up in National Geographic – but not a household name) – he left his large family on their own to make out as best they could and neighbors took up the slack – that’s my definition of abandoning

  70. Em says:

    Neo, “My generation has to be careful not to sacrifice ministry on the altar of children.” good point … i’ve watched my children’s generation take the loyalty to wife and kids way over the top … the pendulum swings

  71. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I take the loyalty to wife and family very seriously. There is no “putting God first” except through vocation.
    God needs nor does he want anything from me except to serve my neighbor.

  72. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Never is God in himself and for his sake alone to be our first priority.

  73. Alex says:

    Neo, I think you have a good balance. I’m glad you’re a leader.

  74. Em says:

    “Never is God in himself and for his sake alone to be our first priority.Never is God in himself and for his sake alone to be our first priority.” no, that’s wrong – if He is our first priority, the rest of our loyalties – and priorities – fall into place… now if you had said, our only priority/concern, i’d say ‘amen’ 🙂

  75. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, yes, you have offered a very protestant view.
    A Lutheran view would say that i can be so caught up in my vocation of serving my neighbor that I neglect my thought of God for a period and I am OK.

  76. Polo says:

    The Way is narrow. Jesus said following Him would set parent against child brother against sister. The First Commandment is first for a reason. Our relationship with God should be the first priority of our Christian life above all other relationships. I’m surprised (well not really considering the source) that this would even be up for debate on a Christian blog

  77. Em says:

    MLD, for the record, i don’t know any protestants who think that they have to be having conscious thots of God every waking moment… i just drove 60 miles up and down river, didn’t think of God once… except to decide not to try and tune in the Christian radio station – don’t see anything to confess… and, if i’m helping my neighbor without thinking about God as i do so? sometimes, i prefer to think that you just don’t make sense 😆

  78. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So, Wednesday nights – which is the more Godly action. Go to Wed night church or take your kids to soccer practice?

  79. Polo says:

    If kids sports conflicted with Wednesday or Sunday service kids wouldn’t play sports. So it wouldn’t b an issue

  80. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Polo, could anything interfere with Sunday / Wednesday services?

  81. Polo says:

    Yes. Service is not an idol. But we have always avoided scheduling regular activities that would conflict with service. It’s been a challenge since most youth sports are scheduled on Sunday mornings but our kids survived

  82. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Polo I agree – I think it is the work of the evil one that sports are done on Sundays and Wed. I live down the street from a school and when I come home from church on Sunday, I am envious of the number of cars in the school parking lot for soccer.

    Going to church in the morning, I am envious of the number of cars in the 24 Hour Fitness parking lot – we can’t draw a crowd like that. 🙂

  83. Neo says:

    To state Wednesday Night Bible Study is a non-negotiable may be true to an individual. But if that is going to be a blanket statement, it is nothing more than Law masquerading as Grace. “Graw”.

    Jesus’ commandment to hate father and mother goes into a pool with a ton of impossible and yet enlightened words and commandments. So, you going to cut off your hand? Are you guilty of murder in your heart? Have you picked up a cross as of late? Polo and company, he was preaching the Law to those under the Law….that is why Jesus told His disciples not to take that message outside “the House of Israel”.

    It’s this lack of properly dividing the word of truth that gives me a Laodecian, nauseous feeling in my stomach.

  84. Neo says:

    ….what was the message to “all the world” upon Jesus’ resurrection?

    “Go into all the world and preach THE GOOD NEWS”. 🙂

  85. Alex says:

    Polo said, “The Way is narrow. Jesus said following Him would set parent against child brother against sister. The First Commandment is first for a reason. Our relationship with God should be the first priority of our Christian life above all other relationships. I’m surprised (well not really considering the source) that this would even be up for debate on a Christian blog”

    Picking and choosing as usual.

    “Jesus said following Him would set parent against child brother against sister.”

    No, not in the context you present it. Jesus was commenting on the non-believers against their parents or siblings…not the other way around. Jesus followers are not to forsake their families under the guise of “for Jesus!” and for the Gospel.

    Jesus commanded “Love” which perseveres and endures and never gives up and doesn’t forsake…and Jesus commanded to “turn the other cheek” and “forgive 70 times 7” and to continue to share the Gospel with loved ones etc.

    The bible also states rather clearly that a parent is “worse than an unbeliever” who disowns their children.

    You present a falsehood about what Jesus said…the believer has no control over forcing the unbeliever to maintain relationship “let the unbeliever depart”…but you are asserting that Jesus is giving license for a parent to shun their children while claiming the name of Christ…and that is not what Jesus said,

    But, considering you as the source (the typical confused and unintelligent evangelical) it is easy to see how you want Jesus to have said that you have license to act worse than an unbeliever…while claiming his name.

  86. Alex says:

    …at least that is what the bible says…but once again, I expect you as a typical evangelical conservative to reframe and twist the bible to support whatever narrative you choose that fits your agenda and your particular appetite.

  87. Alex says:

    Polo said, “God should be the first priority of our Christian life above all other relationships.”

    Yes, but you are an idiot.

    If God is the true first priority in your life…he would tell you to do whatever it is you could to love your children and to help them and to not be “worse than an unbeliever”

  88. Alex says:

    Relationship with God means nothing if it doesn’t translate to relationship with other people…and the most important people God put in your life are you children.

  89. Alex says:

    As a professing Christian and Jesus Follower…do you believe you are to imitate Jesus/God?

    Do you believe there is any context that Jesus/God would forsake his children (you)?

    There’s your answer idiot.

    That’s what you are called to do if you claim Jesus…the verse you twist was the reality that following Jesus will sometimes cause relationships to end but due to the unbeliever’s offense of your love and your living the real Gospel…not you casting them into hell and then cutting them out of your life.

  90. Neo says:

    Wow….I see someone is even more perplexed about lack of taking Scripture in context as I am! LOL. Rightly so. But, Alex, you do know what Jesus said about calling someone “Idiot” LOL.

    But Alex and my generation look at Evangelical lack of Biblicism coupled with zeal and find it off putting sometimes. But, Alex, perhaps call off the dogs a bit, LOL.

  91. Alex says:

    “Alex, you do know what Jesus said about calling someone “Idiot” LOL.”

    Matthew 23:17 You blind fools! –Jesus

    🙂

  92. wall on the fly says:

    Alex… but once again, I expect you as a typical evangelical conservative to reframe and twist the bible to support whatever narrative you choose that fits your agenda and your particular appetite.

    This is really an epidemic in western Christianity, a spiritual plague of hypocrisy and so few have the wavos to admit it…

    Blind leading the blind

  93. “Relationship with God means nothing if it doesn’t translate to relationship with other people…and the most important people God put in your life are your children.”

    Right on, Alex!

    http://36.media.tumblr.com/0382b0671a927ec2edf8a0c431e9ac77/tumblr_neoe2yWmQl1sh491mo1_1280.jpg

  94. Em says:

    “Relationship with God means nothing if it doesn’t translate to relationship with other people…and the most important people God put in your life are your children.”

    yes, amen … but … 🙂

    i would take that one notch further – if it doesn’t “translate” into your relationship with people, you don’t have a “relationship” with God, rather your faith is just a theory that serves your desired lifestyle

  95. Polo says:

    I agree with Em and that was my point. I never hinted that one abandon family for God. God created man to have relationship with God first and foremost. That should always be our number one priority. The idiots who hinted otherwise are just that. And someone said our children are the most important thing in our life? Uh no. Your spouse comes before your children. That may hurt- but that’s biblical. The Word does not say you and your children cleave together and become one. Note I was responding to the absurd and ignorant accusation that Saeed abandoned his children and is somehow in the wrong.

  96. Alex says:

    Polo, does God abandon his children?

  97. neo says:

    Polo, you don’t even know how to properly interpret the Word of God. Get a grip.

  98. Polo says:

    Why was man created?

  99. Polo says:

    Alex nobody said anything about abandoning children. Saeed did not abandon his children

  100. Michael says:

    Polo,

    Do you know why man was created?
    What other mysteries of the faith have been revealed to you alone?

  101. Linda Pappas says:

    News Flash !

    President Obama has requested the release of Saeed Aberdini and 2 others today.

    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2015/March/Obama-Urges-Saeeds-Release-on-Iranian-Holiday/

  102. Em says:

    it should happen – praying

  103. Polo says:

    Michael it isn’t mystery. Man was created to serve God to glorify God and to fellowship with God. That has been accepted since Eden. Are folks here honestly saying that there are relationships that are more important than our relationship with God?

  104. Michael says:

    Polo,

    Can you give me chapter and verse on that?
    No, you cant.
    You’re repeating what you’ve been told.
    It might be true…

  105. Linda Pappas says:

    For consideration of Serving God for His glory and to be in relationship (fellowship) with Him.

    http://www.puritansermons.com/watson/watson5.htm

  106. Linda Pappas says:

    More scriptural references via a statement of belief linked:

    http://bonleebaptist.org/about-2/core-beliefs-2/

    With all the scriptures listed–this ought to establish a much better foundation to discuss this. Just sayin.

  107. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Tonight is Friday Night Lights as I am off to watch my 8 yr old grandson play flag football.

    But I just wanted to chime in and say that it is a sad day in Christianity if people are thinking that the focus of the Christian faith is living for God.

    Go Tustin Dallas Cowboys!! 🙂

  108. Michael says:

    I cut my teeth on the Puritans…devout Calvinists that they were.
    Still, we are guessing at God’s intent for creation…the phrase “for His glory” sounds very holy and answers little.
    The answer is of little import, in any case.

  109. Em says:

    #108 to loosely quote a previous President: it all depends on what “for” means,,, as matter fact, it all depends on what “living” means …

  110. Polo says:

    Oh mighty Michael. Thou knowest all. I guess the meaning of life is of no import to you so you dismiss all discussion of it in your blog. You are such a pompous $?!)(

  111. Polo says:

    Is 43:7, rev 4:11, EP 2:10,mt 22:37, is 43:21, 1 Sam 12:24

    I could go on and on. But I’m an “idiot”. I can’t properly understand scripture. And I can’t cite chapter and verse. According to the Lords of the blog. Real nice Christian attitudes here

  112. Alex says:

    “Alex nobody said anything about abandoning children. Saeed did not abandon his children”

    Saeed made a risky decision and it cost his family…but my comments about a pastor or missionary abandoning their children was a bit more personal.

  113. Alex says:

    Don’t get me wrong, if Saeed is innocent of the spying stuff and was really only doing missionary work, then his heart was right and it was a just cause…though still very risky knowing that it was illegal in Iran to do what he did.

    I still hope the Iranians release him and it was great seeing Obama make such a strong request today. That’s awesome. We’ll see if Obama has built up any good will with the muslims, he’s been kissing up to them so much.

  114. Polo says:

    Nothing changes around here. It’s like a soap opera. Leave for a year or two and comeback and nothing changes

  115. Alex says:

    “Real nice Christian attitudes here”

    Again the bible has quite a mixed record on style: Matthew 23.

    And read the prophets…yikes! Talk about p.o’d.

  116. Michael says:

    Polo,

    Simple fix to your problem.
    Stay away.
    You made a definative assertion about the mind of God in creation.
    I say that all we can do is speculate based on other passages.
    This causes you to curse me.
    You may not want to stay and probably need to find someplace where everyone agrees with you.

  117. Em says:

    hey, Michael, can i be a dollar sign, question mark, explanation point, backward prins, too?
    😆
    FWIW – ya never know when people come and go and when they/we will have an ‘aha’ moment …

  118. Michael says:

    Em,

    You’re welcome to join me. 🙂

    When someone says something has been “accepted since Eden” they should expect some pushback.

    My tribe says this is the meaning of life:

    Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
    A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

    It’s as good as any other meaning, I guess.

  119. Em says:

    “It’s as good as any other meaning, I guess.”

    it is a beautiful one that i’ve always loved … better than most… the simple usually is

    much to pray for tonight – God keep

  120. Neo says:

    I think Jesus summed it up. “To do the will of the Father”. Now let each of us find what that means… It usually takes a lifetime.

  121. Linda Pappas says:

    Jeremiah Ch. 9:21-24

    1 Thessalonians CH. 4:1 – 4:2

    Romans 8:1-8

    Jude and Galatians also speaks about mocking God.

    We are here to glorify Him and to do His good pleasure, not to serve ourselves or to be served by Him, but to die unto ourselves and to serve one another in love and in strengthening the church to persevere unto we are taken home or when He comes.

    When Jesus told us that initially He came to serve—He was telling us that He was showing us how we are to be one towards another and that the ultimate purpose for Him coming in the flesh was to die for us to enable us to be reconciled to the Father, as one in Him. But the next time he comes, He does so to separate and to judge, beginning first with those who claim to be about doing His work and living in Him.

    1 Peter Ch. 4:17 (KJV)

    17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

  122. Linda Pappas says:

    Revelation ch. 4

    10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

    11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

    But MLD would have to believe that: “But I just wanted to chime in and say that it is a sad day in Christianity if people are thinking that the focus of the Christian faith is living for God.

    http://biblehub.com/romans/6-6.htm

    For it is no longer I that live but He that lives within me. I was bought at a price and no longer a slave to sin but a bondman (woman) to Him. Serving no other, but only He who has delivered me from that which held me captive to that which not of Him, but that of the world, the flesh, and the devil to rob me of my soul, my heart, and my mind. I keep my eyes on the prize that awaits me. To behold the beauty, the beauty of the Lord and to dwell in . . . Psalms Chapter 27.

  123. Polo says:

    Michael you call me out for my statement and claim I have no scriptural backing. Then you post your “meaning of life” statement which is identical to mine. And identical to the vast majority of denominations and traditions. Why are you sowing discord over something most everyone agrees with?

  124. Bob says:

    Michael’s quoted this:

    “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.”

    It’s a very nice and short version of the two commandments spoken of by Jesus.

    Why do we get together (go to church)?

    1. We are community
    2. We need to hear, through the scriptures, how God dealt with His creation.
    3. We need to get to know God through the practice of what we hear.
    3.a Yes we can practice knowing Him at our kids sports games.
    4. It’s a lifetime and that’s why it’s called eternity and eternal life.

  125. Michael says:

    Polo,

    I don’t believe we know why God created.
    We have a glimpse of what to do now that creation has happened.
    That was my whole point.
    You reacted by cursing and mocking me.
    Why are you still here?
    I wish someone would run a psychological profile on people who are compelled to participate on web sites where they know they are going to be unhappy.
    A 21st century disorder…

  126. London says:

    We know why God created. He created because he is a creator and creators create.

    Simple really.

  127. Michael says:

    London,

    Could be…that’s good enough for me.

  128. Jim says:

    Obviously agree with “the chief end of man”. The problem is when others want to define what glorifies God.

  129. Alex says:

    “We know why God created. He created because he is a creator and creators create.

    Simple really.”

    LOL, that is awesome 🙂

  130. Linda Pappas says:

    Hebrews CH. 13:20-21

    Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

    http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Glorifying-God

  131. Linda Pappas says:

    On Creation: to declare His majesty and to reveal His nature

    Creation Showing God’s Nature

    http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Creation-Showing-God~s-Nature

    Be blessed and filled with He who is within you and He who is to come.

  132. Linda Pappas says:

    UN Human Rights Council May Take Up Saeed Abedini’s Case Over Iran’s Illegal Imprisonment of Christian Pastor

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/un-human-rights-council-may-take-up-saeed-abedinis-case-over-irans-illegal-imprisonment-of-christian-pastor-135966/

  133. Alex says:

    Mixing Church and State is a bad idea IMO.

    Unfortunately, this is the real reason Saeed is being held…b/c of Calvary Chapel’s recklessness in this area over the years.

    CC does not have this policy in place:

    “The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) adopted a resolution at its convention last month condemning collaboration between missionaries and intelligence agency employees.

    In 1977, the CIA was prohibited from the recruitment of journalists, academics, clergy, and missionaries. However, speaking before a Senate intelligence committee, CIA director John Deutch testified recently that the spy agency could waive the ban in cases of “unique and special threats to national security.”

    The NAE has requested that President Clinton and Congress “correct this intolerable situation” of soliciting religious workers for covert activity. “For intelligence agencies to seek any relationship whatsoever with our religious workers must be unequivocally prohibited,” says NAE president Don Argue. Allowing such a loophole, Argue says, endangers missionaries as well as church, relief, community development, and refugee workers in politically sensitive areas.

    The NAE resolution urges missions organizations not to provide information to any intelligence agency, although many already have such restrictions in place.

    “Any foreigner living in a foreign culture already comes under a natural suspicion,” says Jerry Rankin, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Foreign Mission Board. “If this policy is reversed, it would totally erode the ministry of missionaries.””

  134. Anne says:

    Alex said:
    “CC does not have this policy in place:
    “The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) adopted a resolution at its convention last month condemning collaboration between missionaries and intelligence agency employees.
    In 1977, the CIA was prohibited from the recruitment of journalists, academics, clergy, and missionaries. However, speaking before a Senate intelligence committee, CIA director John Deutch testified recently that the spy agency could waive the ban in cases of “unique and special threats to national security.”

    Yes, both the CIA & CC “waived the ban”. Especially after 9/11. But also before. Besides recruiting for CIA, lots of recruitment for government contractors too for positions in Middle East. Seems folks who blindly trust God’s anointed pastors, make recruits good at not asking too many questions and following orders 😉 I was very fortunate that my kids totally rose up to protest fervently and talked me out of making a two year commitment to work in Afghanistan as support personnel to Haliburton contractors!
    What a strange trip it has been, indeed.

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