Happy New Year!

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156 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Wow. Impressive. “Still viable”…. nice. Thanks for all your labors, blood, sweat, tears and prayers…

    Resolutions? Last year I read through the Bible. This year, I will focus on the Gospels…I want to hear what Jesus said, away from church culture and all the indoctrination I’ve heard for 44 years. 🙂 Want to study Romans too, but I think that’s a life long pursuit.

    I need to drink more water and eat less sugar, and breathe more deeply….. and I need to find a form of exercise that I can do daily that doesn’t tear my body up.

    My prayers and ‘hopes’ are for my sons and their spouses to believe in Jesus.

    I want to embrace the Presence of God more mindfully. Lately, thinking of being “In Him”… I’m seeing myself like a carrot in a pot of soup….. In Him…. trying to be flavor and substance in His world, work and realm. 🙂 Crazy, I know.

    Lord bless you my friend. I truly appreciate your ministry.

  2. Michael says:

    Paige,

    Thank you…you have been a source of inspiration and strength for me like few others.
    Whatever good comes from here is partially because of you…I’ll take responsibility for the not so good. 🙂
    May God bless all that concerns you this year, my friend!

  3. Francisco says:

    Happy New Year Michael to you and your family. I look forward to your new book this year.

    For me may He deliver me in 2015 from the things that get in the way in my relationship with Him.

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you, Francisco…I look forward to getting it finished!
    You’ve been a good addition to the community, my friend…

  5. Pineapple head says:

    Five goals for 2015

    -To use one space after a period instead of two
    -Run a half marathon in March
    -To wrestle less with life; to roll with it more
    -More prayer in personal life as in the church I serve
    -Welcome my first grandchild in June

  6. ( |o )====::: says:

    Happy New Year Michael!

  7. Water-Baby says:

    Paige – For a woman over 50, I have found that the best exercise “that doesn’t tear my body up” is aqua aerobics. Many gyms and community pools offer such classes. It’s fun and easy on the old joints. Getting in the pool makes me feel young again.

  8. Linnea says:

    Amazing stats! Thank you for being so strong and faithful.
    A very Happy New Year to you, Michael, and to all PP’rs everywhere 🙂

  9. My New Year resolution is to hit 5,000 comments 😉

    Lutheran affirmation this morning – Jesus chose to ride on the Lutheran float in the Rose Parade over all other floats. 🙂

    Happy New Year to all

  10. Xenia says:

    Happy New Year, PhxPeeps!

  11. Francisco says:

    Michael, I just made my first two book purchases of the year through your amazon portal. Knowing God and Concise Theology by Dr. Packer. Look forwarding to reading my first two books of 2015.

  12. Jim says:

    HNY PPeeps!

    Michael,

    Your faithfulness to your calling is inspiring. Thank you!

    Things I think I will do in 2015….

    Spend more time with our grand kids.
    Exercise more/eat less/sleep more.
    Relax more by killing more paper circles with more lead-filled projectiles.
    Stop being so stubborn and get a health check-up, get some glasses, and go to a dentist, because I’m old. No promises in regards to heeding their advice.

    If resolutions were like wishes, I’d like to become winsome.

  13. j2theperson says:

    Happy New Years! And congratulations MLD. 🙂

    I don’t do new year resolution, but I do have a hope that 2015 will not suck as much as 2014. There were a lot of good things that happened in 2014, but there were also a bunch of ridiculously horribly bad things as well and I hope 2015 is nicer. :/

  14. Alex says:

    “Martin Luthers Disciple made the most comments with 4066…”

    I am putting this officially under Protest.

    It needs an asterisk, as I have been effectively semi-banned 🙂

  15. Babylon's Dread says:

    Did you say MLD had 4,666?

    We all knew.

    I only have one definite objective… just one… get finished with school!

    OK there are 100 other things… let’s just say I cannot get to them until school is OUT!

  16. Alex says:

    It’s kind of weird. I guess I’m a paradox. I have a hard time blogging on my own blog b/c, while I want to address abuse issues that I’m very passionate about in hopes of bringing changes and accountability, I don’t like having a “following”.

    I know I could create a large following, I know I have the talent and ability (like many “pastors” do) to attract large groups of people under a “spiritual” or philosophical flag…but it seems so non-spiritual when you are really honest about it.

    There is not one single pastor or spiritual personality that has a large following that hasn’t achieved that following through talent/effort. There are no accidental mega-stars or even accidental medium-sized personalities in the Religious or Philosophical space.

    Those who are less contrived often get their “following” well after they are dead and gone b/c it’s their IDEAS and their Insight that was ahead of its time and often delivered in an unpopular way.

  17. Alex says:

    To be clear, that comment is not directed at Michael or any pastor on this blog.

    I consider this blog and many of the pastors on here to be “not” in that Camp I describe above. I think this blog and many of the ideas on this blog are what I describe in a virtuous context above.

    I hope Michael keeps on blogging and presenting Ideas that are often against the grain of typical evangelicalism and especially typical conservative evangelicalism…though I hope he find Conservative Jesus in politics 🙂

  18. Anne says:

    Happy New Year PPPeeps! Best to you all and all you hold near & dear!

    Alex – is Conservative Jesus any kin to Idaho Jesus?
    http://gunfreezone.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/jesussittingnra.jpg

    Participating here has helped me learn that wonderful bonds and deep affection can be born & sustained between folks who aren’t necessarily like-minded on many issues! I thank each and everyone of you for those lessons!

  19. London says:

    Happy New Year PPPeeps

  20. Xenia says:

    My goal for 2015 is to get the family’s huge but completely disorganized stamp collection onto proper pages and into albums. The collection has been stored in a damp garage for years but I believe I can salvage most of it.

  21. Babylon's Dread says:

    @16
    I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. 7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 1 Co 4:6–7.

  22. The Dude says:

    I don’t waste my time with resolutions.I simply want to be faithful to my calling.As I get older…being faithful in the little things seem to bring the finest of blessings.

  23. Nonnie says:

    Happy new year to all. I appreciate you, Michael and all the Peeps around here.

    I love the diversity here, the humour, the frank discussions about cultural and social issues, the prayer opportunities to give and receive. Most of all the encouragement I find here to follow Christ and not formulas, denominations, or dogmas.

    Thank you all.

  24. Jack says:

    A friend just sent this to my email inbox. He gave no indication where it is from…

    Quote:

    ***
    “Off topic.

    It was the calvinists who dreamed up and started the cessasionist movement.

    And out of the same tree , this movement embraces willfully socialism and liberalism , which has its roots in marxism and hedonism.

    I find it astonishing that a pastor of once a cc, who runs a popular website, and promotes his brand of calvinism and is very liberal.

    He is very honest, but he is wrong on so many fronts.

    I think some people think that if they are dead honest about there failures and feelings it some how trans forms them into being 100$ right about kingdom things and there judgement between the holy and profane.

    Im starting to think the guy has brought a curse on his own head and family, and he doesnt know it or rather he doeant want to believe it.”

    ***
    Unquote.

    Of course it seems as if the author of the comment is thinking of Phoenix Preacher but I could be wrong.

    What do you think?

  25. papiaslogia says:

    Jack, The author of that email sounds like a nut. And calling him a bad writer is an insult … to writers.

    Anyone who thinks that God brings curses to His kids is woefully deficient in their theology.

  26. Francisco Nunez says:

    As a general rule, whenever there is uncharitable letter about a person from an unknown or anonymous author or source it cannot be taken seriously.

    If a letter is to have any value it should first be communicated directly to the person who is the object of concern by the author himself.
    Kindly

  27. Michael says:

    I think it’s funny and your “friend” is an idiot.
    It wasn’t Calvinists who “dreamed up” the cessationism…arguments about whether the sign gifts had ceased go back to the early church fathers.
    Your friend is also obviously very confused about the difference between political views and theology, especially when there have been massive volumes written about Calvins influence on capitalism and the formation of the concept of the democratic republic.
    My guess is that your “friend” is almost illiterate and gleans most of his information from similarly misinformed sources instead of actual scholarly research.
    You have to be a special kind of stupid to first believe and then repeat the idea that Calvinists as a theological subset of the church as a whole “willingly embrace socialism and liberalism”.
    Now, your friend finds it astonishing that someone who used to be associated with CC could be so wrong, while I’m always astonished when people that are associated with CC get something right.
    The kind of nonsense posted here seems to flourish in that group…why is that?
    If your “friend” actually ever read the site he would know that what I promote isn’t my take on Reformed theology as much as my take on ecumenicism…which I’m sure he would find even more odious.
    I am theologically quite conservative and politically “liberal” where I believe the Scriptures inform me thus.
    I am wrong about a lot of things, but I’m not always sure what those things are.
    As to the “curse”…
    This has been a very hard couple of years.
    If you want to call that a “curse” have at it.
    You’ll have to explain though, why in the midst of all the afflictions God has continually provided the support and resources and hope to survive…in ways that only God can.
    You’ll have to explain why my relationship with God is closer today than it ever has been…because along with the afflictions He’s been present and faithful.
    You’ll have to explain a lot that never makes these pages…and my guess is that you’ll have to explain it to Him when we get home.

  28. Jim says:

    Jack,

    If every paragraph of your quote was not comically wrong, it might be worthy of comment.

  29. Jim says:

    Didn’t know Michael was going to comment 🙂

    Where does this sick idea that God curses Christians come from?

  30. Michael says:

    Just a word about technology and posting here…
    When you post a comment using a pseudonym I can take that ip address and match it against other comments to see what other other names you’ve used here in the past.
    In this case, the ip address matches someone who I had thought was a long time friend of the blog, not someone who would wish to take this kind of cheap shot at me.
    I guess you never really know…
    Well, I do now.

  31. Jim says:

    Michael,

    What are your hopes or resolutions for the coming year?

    I’m surprised this is such a dead thread. C’mon PPeeps! Resolve! 🙂

    Maybe someone should bring up homosexuality or something….

  32. Michael says:

    Jim,

    I’m writing that for TGIF…I was waiting on a fresh pot of coffee… 🙂

  33. Oh come on Michael.

    I am not stupid, statcounter is on everyone’s blog.

    I posted the comment that my friend sent to me that he obviously copied from another blog somewhere.

    As I said he did not indicate to me where he got the comment from.

    I only shared it here as a note of interest about what someone somewhere had said on the net.

    But you in your irritation have attached the comment to him and myself.

    Wrong!

    You kill the messenger and not the comment creator (Who at this moment is unknown to myself).

    I posted in a pseudonym because I figured you or others would do what you have done…kill the messenger.

    I nor my friend authored the comment, we are guilty of letting you know what someone else has said, that is our only crime.

    If the punishment for sharing is to be made out to be a cheap shot by me, then I am so sorry that you misunderstood that the comment was not from me or my friend, it was just an FYI about what someone else had said.

    But you now know that indeed I nor my friend authored that outrageous comment.

    Once again I apologize for upsetting you for being a messenger of the comment here in a pseudonym.

    I am David Sloane (Surfer51) as you already know.

    ***

    On another note there is a very serious problem in our food supply that is ever increasing.

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2015/01/watch-these-videos-or-download-them.html

  34. Michael says:

    David,

    I “killed” nobody.
    Out of respect and no small amount of consternation I didn’t identify you in my comment.

  35. Was Michael pastor of a Calvary Chapel?

  36. Michael says:

    I was on staff… the senior pastor called me a “pastor in the oven”.
    I was booted before it was made official.

  37. Gotcha. At least that part of the anonymous screed was not completely stupid then. The rest of it? Yeah, stupid.

  38. Guess I’m cursed, too. Found out my Dad has cancer on Wednesday. Christians go through suffering? No way. It’s a curse.

    That’s awful David. I think we all expected better from you.

  39. papiaslogia says:

    David – if you wanted to make this right, then send your friend the comments about the letter and ask them to forward them on to the “author” of that diatribe.

    If someone tells me something about one of my friends, I can:

    1) Ignore the comment
    2) Tell that person that they are wrong, based on my relationship with my friend

    And most importantly

    3) Not tell my friend about what this person said about them.

    If I do, I am to blame for passing this stuff onward.

  40. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Make sure you put your dad in the prayer thread…prayers for him to overcome this.

  41. Joe says:

    Try reading deut 28. Its in the bible.

  42. Michael says:

    Try reading the New Testament…it’s in the Bible.

    “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
    (Romans 8:17 ESV)

  43. papiaslogia says:

    Joe –

    The only place in the New Testament where a curse is mentioned is where it tells us we are free of it, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” (Gal 3:13).

    Paul’s teaching to the Galatians is that Gentile believers that submit to the Law by influence of certain Jews, (the Judaizers) through circumcision or any other command (“You must be circumcised and keep the law’– to whom we gave no such commandment” Acts 15:24), were obligated to keep the entire Law (613 commandments). The apostle Paul spoke of those who try to keep the law as a curse because no one who cannot fulfill its complete obligations. Therefore, they who wanted to obey the law placed themselves under a curse, for it is impossible to keep the whole Law.

    Paul further develops his argument on this in Gal. 5:1: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (which is a reference to sin and the law Gal.2:4, 4:3, 9;.5:1; 2 Pt.2:19). Vv.3-4 “And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

    The curse of the law applies to those who want to live by the law instead of through faith in Christ. Those who live by faith in Christ are bought out from the curse of the law. No part of the law, nor any ancestral sin can afflict them if they are in Christ! By the grace of God “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law having become a curse for us” (Gal 3:13). He took our punishment for sin and was cursed in our place.

    The “curse of the law” is directly related to the issue of our justification, which can be understood by studying Galatians 3 in its context. “So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Gal 3:9). The curse referred to is failure to keep the Law of God. “ For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.’ Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for ‘The righteous man shall live by faith.’ However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, ‘He who practices them shall live by them.’ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us — for it is written ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’ (Galatians 3:10–13).

    Christ on the cross became a curse for us (Deuteronomy 21:23) as Paul refers back to “He who is hanged (on a tree) is accursed of God” (Galatians 3:13). Deuteronomy 28:15-68 give us the curses that would come upon Israel for disobedience. The “curse of the law” is not the curses found in Deuteronomy 28 that was specifically for the nation Israel in the Mosaic Covenant. The curses in Deuteronomy 28 were temporary curses for the Jews in the land of Israel when they were disobedient.

    Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law that no sinner could keep. Christ the perfect man fulfilled the law to its minutest requirement. He as a man kept the law perfectly as God would and took the punishment for not keeping the law (the curse) as sinful man, fulfilling the justice God requires for breaking His laws. Christ in a judicial sense became a curse for us on the cross.

    Rom.10:4-5 tells us, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Moses wrote, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” We that are New Covenant believers do not live by the laws requirements for blessings or curses, so we cannot come under a Old Testament curse. We are “IN Christ,” who has redeemed us by fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law, including the penalty for not keeping it. Christ has delivered us from the law (Rom.7:1-6; Gal.2:19-21) that we might receive His Spirit by faith and be set free from the law of sin and death (Rom.8:2-4). This includes any curse that would come because of disobedience to the law. You cannot hold the position that we are justified by faith in Christ, not by the works of the law, and then teach that the law and its curse still apply today to New Testament believers that are under grace.

    The judgment due to us for our sin is removed when we believe in Christ.

  44. Joe says:

    I do read the nt. So this suffering your experiencing is because your a christian ?

  45. Michael says:

    papiaslogia,

    Well done!

  46. Joe says:

    So your long term unemployment as you posted is a result because your a christian. Ohhhh kayyy

  47. Michael says:

    Joe,

    I suffer for the same reasons anyone suffers…because we live as fallen people in a fallen creation.
    Because I’m a Christian I know that God is using all things together for my good and His glory, whether I understand that or not at the time.
    In the midst of the trials there is also joy and hope because I know who I have trusted.
    I also now that suffering is temporary…there will be a day in this life when the trials abate and there will be an eternity after this life with no trials at all.
    If it makes you feel better about yourself to think God is cursing me because you disagree with my theology or political views, you have much more to worry about than I do.

  48. Good job Papias!

    There is not 1 faithful person in the New Testament who did not endure great suffering. Why are we different?

  49. Michael says:

    “So your long term unemployment as you posted is a result because your a christian. Ohhhh kayyy”

    I did not say that.
    In the natural there are many people past fifty in a difficult economy that are in the same boat.
    Because I am a Christian I believe that God has a purpose in all things and that while I may not know that purpose, he still is my God and my Father and He has and will provide all that I need.

  50. Xenia says:

    We sing a hymn at my Church that includes the glorious phrase:

    “The curse is annulled and we have been made free!”

    No more curse.

    Or curses.

  51. If Joe believes believers can be cursed – he may be unwittingly challenging God and putting his family at risk.

  52. Joe says:

    I agree fully with that and can be summed up in romans 8:28

  53. papiaslogia says:

    Joe

    Since you like to heap misery and proclaim that its due to God cursing someone, how do you deal with passages like Hebrews 11:35 -40, where it clearly states some negative outcomes for some of the saints?

    Or take Paul as an example of someone who suffered for the gospel and how he was “blessed” 2:Cor 11:19 -30

    Its in the Bible.

  54. Joe says:

    Mld, Why dont you go out a blaspheme God wittenly everyday till the end of 2015. And then well do a year in review, and see how 2015 turned out for you. Well see if it was a blessed year for you.

  55. Michael says:

    Joe,

    Why don’t you simply tell us what your disagreements with me are and we can discuss those?

    Simply pronouncing God’s judgment without identifying the crime is not very gracious…

  56. Joe – if the year turned out poorly, perhaps it was because of my attitude and not asking God for guidance and blessing.

    Joe, has God promised to curse you if you speak ill of Him?

  57. Alex says:

    The bible does present (as usual) a double or dual narrative about God cursing professing believers or even full on believers and even Jesus Christ himself. It is what it is.

    Ham, David, Abraham, Jonah, Essau, Ananias and Saphira, Judas Iscariot, etc etc.

    And, of course, Jesus himself was cursed by God on humankind’s behalf.

    Those who are “enemies” of God according to some sort of metric, either doctrinal/theological correctness or some sort of good works metric, are also “cursed” for eternity by God, supposedly, in the form of an eternal torture of hell according to most orthodox Christian belief systems…despite the double or dual narrative to “forgive your enemies and bless those who curse you” etc.

    The Doctrine of Divine Retribution is based in biblical word and example despite other bible narratives that seem to contradict it. Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel certainly hold to a belief in Divine Retribution as exampled by their words and practices over the years (in general, some CC pastors don’t buy into Divine Retribution, many do).

    That’s simply what the bible presents. Dunno which is true, though I have anecdotal evidence of very specific “words from God” that I thought I received along those lines and so far, three out of three have come true very specifically….but Michael and others have convinced my analytical/logical side that it is just coincidence and not really something that God did.

    That is what is funny and a conclusion I’ve come to (at the moment): “God” moves however the Individual chooses.

    If something bad happens to you, it is a “trial” and “persecution” etc and never God’s judgment on you (speaking to no one specifically, “you” as in universal evangelical you).

    If something good happens to you, it is God’s “blessing” and a clear sign from God you are in his favor etc.

    That’s my observation and experience. No one believes bad things are meant for them by God and everyone believes all good things that happen to them are from God out of some favor he has for them and something they did to merit that favor.

    Those are the realities that I’ve consistently observed. The rest is pretty much just talk and spin, IMO.

  58. Alex,
    You are wrong when you say – “No one believes bad things are meant for them by God and everyone believes all good things that happen to them are from God out of some favor he has for them and something they did to merit that favor.”

    Our actions do not affect God either way – Matt 5 states;
    “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

  59. Alex says:

    Calvinism is an attempt at Logic applied to the bible…though a very outdated Logic that is the Logic of the 1500’s Reformation Age….not today’s evolved Logic.

    When today’s more advanced Logic is applied to the bible, you get a very Liberal view of the bible and theology, and probably the most correct I’ve seen are the theologically liberal Anglicans like a Rowen Williams and similar.

    The other end of the spectrum are the Charismatics who eschew Logic for emotion and feeling…and there are varying degrees of more and less theatrical and nonsensical in this Genre.

    The best argument for Cessationists is still the stark lack of evidence of real “supernatural” phenomena that pass any sort of reasonable scrutiny. Even pagan/devil worshippers and the occult cannot demonstrate “supernatural” phenomena that pass any sort of light scrutiny, let alone Christian Charismatics and the claims they make to the “supernatural”.

    Conversely, the best evidence against a “Logic proves God doesn’t exist” argument is the Universe/Multiverse itself and the vast complexity and order of the “miracle” that is all around us. The more Science/Man observes, the more miraculous it all is.

  60. Michael says:

    I’ve written about this before and probably should write about it again.

    God does not curse His kids.
    He does discipline them.
    That discipline is sometimes harsh.
    But God the father does not discipline His kids without them knowing why they are being disciplined.
    Even when Ananias and Sapphire were killed, God told them why before the smiting.
    There is no doubt that I have been disciplined through this…and that discipline has produced fruit.
    To state that it is all discipline for offenses I’m not aware of is to think that one knows the mind of God in His intimate interactions with one of His children.
    The Bible tells us to expect suffering and to redeem it…and that we won’t always know why we are enduring it.
    We trust and pray and hold on, knowing we will get home before dark and Dad will be there for us.

  61. Joe says:

    Listen dear brothers. Like the law of physics from creation. I think God put in place these blessings and cursings. Some from the beginning at the garden, then later . Some of these curses are brought willfully and other curse, can land upon someone as sins of the father is passed on and sometimes it skips a few generations. So dont please dont be so closed minded.

  62. Alex says:

    MLD, I am not going to respond to you, not out of any sort of spite or ill will, I have no problem with you, just out of respect for the blog community to not repeat past mistakes and get involved in ongoing arguments. I am not responding b/c I don’t have a good answer or b/c I don’ t like you etc, I am not going to engage b/c of our history together of going back and forth and dominating the forum.

  63. Alright, I’m in a bad mood. Anybody wanting a fight, let’s meet up.

  64. Michael says:

    Thanks, Alex.

    So, Joe…tell me why I’m being “cursed”.
    While you’re at it…explain why we miraculously made it through another year financially, why we found the right doctor with the right diagnoses for my son, why my doctor came out of retirement at just the right time to help me recover, and a hundred more little miracles that have accompanied this trial.
    I’ll wait…

  65. Michael says:

    Joe,

    So…according to your theological understanding this could be a “generational” curse?
    Really?
    How do you respond to the actual biblical record that Papiaslogia laid out?

  66. Jim says:

    Michael,

    “But God the father does not discipline His kids without them knowing why they are being disciplined.”

    You lost me here. Paul knew the reason for his thorn, but are there other examples?

  67. Eh, no takers on the fisticuffs?

    Sissies.

  68. Michael says:

    Jim,

    I’m differentiating the suffering that comes from a fallen state and fallen world from God’s discipline.
    When I discipline my son, he knows why and he knows the parameters of what is needed to end the discipline.
    I don’t just randomly whack him just in case he was thinking about doing something wrong.
    In my experience, when God has disciplined me, it was for a purpose and I usually knew what brought on the discipline.
    There is suffering that has no explanation and suffering that isn’t disciplinary.
    Pastorally, it’s very dangerous and often cruel to assign a disciplinary motive to someones suffering.
    I don’t know the mind of God in another persons suffering unless they are in open sin and rebellion against God…and even then I need to walk very softly.
    So much of the time we assign the blessing of God to economic prosperity, yet the psalmist asked why the wicked prosper.
    I do know that the last thing I want to be is someone who tries to break the bruised reed or snuff the smoldering wick.

  69. Michael says:

    Josh,

    God would curse me if I smote you… 🙂

  70. I might curse you, but I think you’re safe with God 🙂

  71. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I think you’re right.

  72. papiaslogia says:

    With all the talk about curses, Joe is beginning to remind me of Snidely Whiplash.

    http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Snidely_Whiplash

  73. Jim says:

    I understand that you’re referring to God’s discipline, and like you, I would never attribute someone else’s suffering to it.

    It seems that your view might be experiential. In the grand scheme, it’s neither here nor there, it just threw me when I read it.

    I don’t look through a glass darkly, I wander in a foggy swamp. Outside of clear Scriptural commands, there have been very few times when I knew I was doing exactly what God wanted me to do. There have been many times where there best I can say is, ‘I think…sorta..” Most of the time, it’s, “I have no idea. I’ll try door b”.

    When I look back at my incredible, glorious, wonderful life, which I hope lasts another 30 years or so, I note that it has been filled with suffering. I have no idea what times of suffering were discipline, while being convinced that many were, as it’s a promise.

  74. Joe says:

    Mld, have you ever read the 10 commandments? Did God do away with the moral law in the new covenant?

    What does the exodus 20:7 say?

    You want to tempt the Lord?

  75. Jim says:

    Joe,

    How do you keep the Sabbath?

  76. Xenia says:

    Joe, I would not confuse cause and effect with blessing and cursing.

  77. Joe says:

    How about this curse. And you cant more new testament then the book of revelation.

    Rev: 22:18.

    I guess Jesus forgot to add an addendum to this verse. But dont worry Gods children, because michael says you are exempt from this curse! So go ahead a freely add or take away from the prophecies of the book of revelation. You are loved muah!

  78. Joe says:

    I dont keep the sabbath, paul says Christ is our Sabbath

  79. E says:

    @ papiaslogia is sickness and disease part of the curse?

  80. Jim says:

    Joe,

    So you believe that God did do away with the moral law in the new covenant?

  81. Joe says:

    Jim, What do you mean by ” do away with it?
    And clarify what you mean by moral law.

  82. Jim says:

    Joe,

    I asked you the same question you asked MLD in #74.

  83. Alex says:

    As this discussion illustrates, there is really no rhyme or reason. It’s very subjective and you can infer pretty much whatever you want from suffering and blessing.

    That’s the reality of it in real life today.

    If you believe it is God judging you or someone else, then that is your reality, if you believe strong enough that God is blessing you, that is your reality, etc and vice versa.

    If you believe you can move the mountain and you believe you did it (despite lack of evidence, evidence doesn’t matter, you are convinced in your own mind) then you moved the mountain.

    I’m beginning to think that is a message of the bible in practical terms LOL.

  84. Joe says:

    Thats fine. And ill wait for mld to reply. But answer my question in #81

  85. papiaslogia says:

    E- Sickness and disease is part of the Fall. If that were not the case, then Christians wouldn’t get sick and die.

    And that won’t get fixed until God makes a new heaven and a new earth. Rom 8:19-23, 2 Pet 3 :11-13, Rev 21:1-5

  86. Francisco says:

    I think Michael’s original post was meant to encourage this community to share one’s hopes and resolutions for 2015. Would be great to redirect the posts to that end.

  87. Joe says:

    P- Is the term fall the same as curse?

  88. Joe, you asked – “Did God do away with the moral law in the new covenant?”

    Of course he did. Have you not read at the beginning of ch. 20 who those 10 commandments were to? “And God spoke all these words, saying, – “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” He brought the Israelites only out of Egypt.

    The new covenant is with the whole world and supersedes the old one. Replacing the 10 commandments is – “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

  89. Alex says:

    Humanity and human psychology really is about Purpose and Hope…and that is where I think the bible provides some good advice despite all the other OT Levitical stuff and some of the hell narrative in the NT and other ancient practices in the NT that are looked on by today’s context as barbaric or outdated or bad.

    Purpose (not purpose driven) is important for mental and physical health. Hope is key to mental and physical health and overcoming life’s many obstacles and difficulties.

    Folks who lose Purpose have major troubles. Folks who lose Hope have major troubles.

    Folks who lose Purpose and Hope usually don’t live very long.

  90. Alex, you always seemed like a pretty tough feller.

    Wanna fight?

  91. Jim says:

    Joe,

    Many equate the 10 commandments with the moral law. By the phrasing of your question, I assumed that you did as well.

    If it helps, I believe the original 10 commandments are irrelevant to Christians, as they were all defined in the New Testament, and in my daily life I have no interest in God’s relationship with Israel. The 10 commandments were a cake walk.

  92. Joe, I want to follow up – are you bound by anything in the OT just because it is there? I am not (Christians are not) as a new contract is a new contract.

    When Jon Lester signed his new big contract with the Chicago Cubs last month was there anything in his old Red Sox / A’s contract that remains binding on him?

    So why do you still feel bound buy an old obsoletes contract made with the Jewish community?

  93. Alex says:

    In this New Year, a personal goal is to have intentional Purpose for good including supporting my wife and kids, giving a kind word to friends, helping folks in need in our community etc and to find Hope in any and all circumstances. We do have the power to believe the glass is half full and even overflowing despite circumstances and environment etc and we do have some power to influence our lives through making positive choices and wise choices and working toward goals etc.

    I think the bible and Christianity is certainly compatible with that mindset and not opposed to it, though some would disagree.

    May “Jesus” be to you what your Conscience dictates and may you embrace what is “good” in your mind and Conscience and let God be God without imposing onto God things we cannot know or understand with much certainty.

  94. Joe says:

    No….Christ took the punishment of the curse of the law upon himself. The curse of the law is still in full effect today. And if not, then i can lie because Christ as you are saying took a big eraser and no longer made lying a sin. You are getting confused with that of obeying the law as a means of obtaining a declared righteousness

  95. I made no New Year resolutions this time around. God is going to have to be satisfied that I am 25lbs overweight, that I don’t read the word enough or I don’t pray enough.
    He will need to be happy with me not helping out enough and my short fuse temper.

    That’s what grace is all about.

  96. Alex says:

    Josh, LOL. No, not with you. You’re a good man and good father as are most of the personalities on this blog. I’ll save it for the rare folks who require it.

  97. Joe,
    “you are saying took a big eraser and no longer made lying a sin.”

    Now you got it. Paul said that we can do all things … remember? Now it may not be beneficial to us to do all things, but we can.

    However, we are breaking the 2nd part of the phrase I posted as lying may not contribute to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” – as you are probably hurting him by lying.

  98. Joe says:

    Then by your admission mld, cain should not have been declared a murderer since it is ot and prior to the written law.

  99. Joe let me ask you as question. I don’t know what state you are from, but let’s say you live in Nebraska. Are you liable to live by the laws of the state of New Hampshire while you reside in Nebraska?

    If no, why do you put yourself under the law of the Israeli nation if you are not a part of the Israeli Nation?

  100. E says:

    MLD, What if he is probably not harming by lying?

  101. Joe says:

    Mld, if you need more time to think about a better response take your time. Your metaphor fails to support your position.

  102. Joe, I haven’t used metaphors at all.

    Does a new contract supersede an old one or not?

  103. E, so when my wife says, “do these pants make my butt look fat?” my choice is lie or die. 😉

  104. Joe says:

    MLD, two covenants where given to Israel. Circumcision for the males and keeping the Sabbath. The Sabbath also made a way for girls and the women to also participate in the covenant, by keeping the Sabbath. These where done away with in Christ. But I agree, the moral law of God including blashemphy is still in full force and affect. As Jesus said in Mark 3:23 blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Or how about Acts 5:1-11 with Anias and Sapphira. “You have lied unto God” Looks likes Gods children got cursed by Peter which resulted in Gods judgement by death.

  105. Joe, they may be “in full force” today, but not because they are in the OT or the 10 commandments – and that is what you pointed us to.

    Now today no one can be guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

    As for Acts 5, you sound like the guy who came to me at church and reported an accounting error by the bookkeeper and he thought she was lying about our money and that the church was going to be struck dead for lying like Anias and Sapphira.

    This is how silly you view plays out.

  106. Joe says:

    Mld your confusing Gods universal moral law with Israels dietary, ceremonial customs, and the two covenant laws. Which in Christ where done away with. But Gods universal moral law and written moral law as further defined by the sermon on the mount

  107. Joe says:

    Now today no one can be guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

    That is utterly a rediculous comment

    You too mld can also say the miracles Jesus did was because Jesus had a devil.

  108. Michael says:

    Joe,

    I’m still waiting to hear the reason I’m cursed.
    Don’t you think I should know?
    You’re the only one outside of God with that information and surely you should share it…

  109. I will leave it at this for a while – No one today can witness Jesus Christ performing a miracle and then attribute that power to Satan instead of the Spirit.

  110. Joe says:

    1 timothy 1:8.

    The law is good if its used correctly.

    Oh boy…i did it now.

    Poor ol Paul now admits not only is the law still here today and active. But can be good if its used correctly. Check mate ….

  111. Joe, come on – surely you are pulling my leg.
    “But Gods universal moral law and written moral law as further defined by the sermon on the mount”

    Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount is going out of his way to show people they cannot live up to his past moral code – and if you try to, he makes it more difficult. “oh, you haven’t taken your neighbor’s wife to bed with you and you think you kept my law? Well if you even thought of it you are guilty and deserving of hell fire.” MLD translation

    Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount is turning people away from the law, even to end chapter 5 saying “look, if you want to keep the law, you need to be better at it than the Pharisees who completely fail – you must be perfect as my father in heaven is perfect..”

    If we were to look at it from your point of view, Jesus would be giving Tony Robbins type workshops on how to step by step keep the laws.

  112. Joe says:

    M, #1.

    There is a differance between being cursed and under a curse. If you want to talk about it we can do that. I dont know if you are or are not under some kind of curse as outlined throughout the bible. This all started off in a post about curses. But i do know this to be true from my own experience, and its biblical.

  113. Joe says:

    Mld, your arguement fails supplant 1 tim 1:8

  114. Joe says:

    Mld, your arguement fails to supplant 1 tim 1:8

  115. Joe,
    Which law – I say the Law of Love. Paul says right above v 8 “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” and then he says that some have swayed away from it.

    I don’t see the “thou shall nots there.”

    Now I answered your 1 Tim – now reply to my Sermon on the Mount and let’s call it a day.

  116. Alex says:

    Joe, you have a better chance of magically turning MLD into a rabbit than you do of changing his opinion about anything. Just words of experience. My advice, unless you’re a sadist, is to pick another discussion partner.

  117. london says:

    Which definition of the word curse are you using in this thread?

    Here’s a selection:
    curseVariation
    Houghton Mifflin

    n.noun

    An appeal or prayer for evil or misfortune to befall someone or something.

    Evil or misfortune that comes as if in response to such an appeal.

    bewailed the curse of ill health.

    A source or cause of evil; a scourge.

    A profane word or phrase; a swearword.

    A censure, ban, or anathema.

    Menstruation. Used with the.
    v.verb

    To invoke evil or misfortune upon; damn.

    To swear at.

    cursed the car because it wouldn’t start.

    To bring evil upon; afflict.

    was cursed with crippling arthritis.

    To put under a ban or anathema; excommunicate.

    To utter curses; swear.

  118. london says:

    sorry that didn’t copy very well…

  119. Joe says:

    Alex, mld is in check mate.He is still l staring at the chess board and in full denial. He can rumenate all he wants. Game over. Because if he even bothered to read verse 9,10 Paul clearly tells its readers its the moral law of God that is good, and further supports it with examples. In noway giving any room for reinterpretation as mld has done.

  120. Alex says:

    Joe, keep telling yourself that LOL….5000 comments later 🙂

  121. Joe,
    You need to look at the passage a bit closer. v9 = “understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners.

    The law is not laid down for the just…”

    Hey, newsflash – the just are Christians. The law is not for Christians it is for “for the ungodly and sinners.”

    Now, going back to your original comments you are trying to bring the believers back under a law that is not meant for us. Perhaps that is blaspheme of the Holy Spirit 😉

    But Alex is right –

  122. Joe says:

    Alex, that just tells me he is just bored and has alot of free time on his hand.

  123. Alex says:

    My down-the-midde take is that MLD has strong opinions and is settled on most issues…and isn’t one to back down from a long argument.

  124. Joe says:

    So mld, so the justified cannot be lawless or trespass ?

    Annias and sappira lied and paid the ultimate judgement. Where is the law love ?

  125. Joe says:

    Alex, mld is in a dead denomination. And for that is very comfortably lukewarm in his version of christianity. And trys to defends his position lest, he should repent for being backslidden. And i understand because repentence implies sin, and sin is revealed by the law. And repentance requires an undoing of oneself and requires humility which is action or rather work if you would. Why upset the apple cart when things are status quo.

  126. Alex says:

    Joe, I’m neither for you or against you. You seem like you’ve got your mind pretty made up as well, just like MLD.

  127. Joe, you could have saved a lot of time if you had started off with the above comment..

    Let me ask you this – how often are you on your knees publicly confessing your sin.
    3 points – publicly – on knees – confessing.

    Beside my private time, I do it weekly with my “dead” church. I would bet your “alive” church refuses to do so.

    I do it out of God’s grace – you, well, you have found a void in your life that is filled only with the law. I bet you long for the old blood sacrifice days.

  128. Alex says:

    I admire the certainty that both Joe and MLD express.

    As hard as I’ve tried, such certainty still eludes me.

  129. Joe says:

    Delete and ignore that last post. I did not like how that came out.

  130. Alex – I am only certain on issues I am certain about. And I am sure you have a few.

    But there are many things in life I am uncertain about … most I don’t care about enough to get in discussions about and other uncertainties I can’t even put into coherent words to wonder about.

    Like why did Andre Eithier stop hitting left handers and where did his power go?

  131. Joe says:

    alex, mld address the hole instead donut. If there no law or curse from breaking the law. Then let mld show proof and challenge by testing his doctrine, to prove to us lowly pupils. And let himtake the book of revelation and add a few verses or even chapters pf his own, and go and delete a few chapters while he is at it. And let him publish it and do a free pdf download on the net. Then using the scientific method, then lets observe mld, how ever long, and lets see if he gets more blessed or if curses began to come upon him. I think this is a fair challange. Put your money where your mouth is as they say.

  132. Joe, you like baseball? You are not much fun theologically.

    Who is you favorite baseball team? player?

  133. Joe says:

    Golf is fun you play ?

  134. Michael says:

    Joe,

    It takes a great amount of hubris and pride to declare an orthodox Christian denomination “dead”.
    The implication being that your sect is “alive” and those in another tradition are lessor children of God.
    I’m not a Lutheran, but the LCMS appears to me to be very healthy and contributes a lot to our greater understanding of the universal catholic church.
    I appreciate them.

    A cursory reading of Romans 4-5 utterly destroys your view of the law and puts to the lie your nonsense about curses.

    I have a full night ahead of me, so I won’t be commenting much or online much this evening.

    I may be writing a free PDF study guide on those texts in the future…make sure you download one.

  135. Michael says:

    Here are the only folks under a curse…

    “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.””
    (Galatians 3:10 ESV)

    I’ll be in Christ instead, thank you…

  136. Joe, I used to play quite a bit but gave it up 20 yrs ago. The kids found out about girls and didn’t want to play with the old man anymore. I do live on a golf course.

  137. Michael says:

    “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—”
    (Galatians 3:13 ESV)

    I’ve been redeemed…no curse for me.

  138. Pineapple head says:

    I think joe is actually MLD posting incognito so he can write up a bunch of response posts, and thus claim the prize for most comments in 2015. Way to defend the title MLD!

  139. Pineapple head says:

    Re: Michael’s 137

    And that’s why it’s called Good News. So good, it’s sometimes hard to believe.

  140. Joe says:

    Lets do a skype debate and you can use it as filler on your podcast. Ill be loaded for bear.

  141. Xenia says:

    Good grief, the Missouri Lutheran Church is far from dead!

    I do remember, though,listening to my old CC pastor attempt to exegete the letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation. Each church, according to his theory, represented an era in church history with CC, of course, being Philadelphia and everyone else representing Jezebel, Satan, etc. The Reformation churches were always said to be dead dead dead. I do not believe my old pastor knew anything at all about modern Reformation churches. I am not in agreement with them on a lot of things but they are far from dead.

  142. Joe says:

    I grew up across the street a golf course. And played oftened. Now not so much with back issues.

  143. Joe, I am open as to my church body – the LCMS. What is yours?

    No favorites in baseball? If you want to get along with me ya gotta luv baseball. 🙂

  144. E says:

    I attend a small non denominational church. Used to attend a CC.

  145. Joe says:

    I think almost everyone one here attended a cc at one time, self included. Baseball hmmmmm. Fun to play, boring to watch, unless your kids are playing.

  146. Pineapple head says:

    I only went to CC Costa Mesa for the occasional concert. Still love Daniel Amos!

  147. I never knew Daniel’s last name. Do you have one for Shadrach 😉

  148. The Dude says:

    Michael
    You are correct about people in their 50’s getting crunched.The only thing keeping me afloat is my military pension.Whats really sad is I’m making a better paycheck that most of the young people who are working full time in our present economy.I’m working part time for a lady who runs a ebay company.

  149. Pineapple head says:

    Wise guy.

  150. Pineapple head says:

    By the way, it’s all about the Mariners in ’15. King Felix will lead the way.

  151. Michael says:

    Dude,

    It’s tough out here…even for those who do have jobs, as you said.

  152. Ixtlan says:

    Commiserating with all of you on the age discrimination. I crossed the line from “mid fifties” to late “fifties” recently. In my vocation, I never been more qualified while being the least desired as I am today.

  153. josh the baptist says:

    I am in a better mood now. You all missed your chance to get punched in the neck.

  154. Nonnie says:

    Here in the UK, when someone is upset, the response to your “call out” would be, “Now, now…..you sit here and I’ll put the kettle on and we’ll have a nice cup of tea and a chat.”
    😀

    Seriously, I’m sorry to hear about your dad being so ill. Praying for him today.

  155. josh the baptist says:

    Thank you so much Nonnie. Think I will brew some tea right now 😉

  156. Joe says:

    Double Check Mate-

    ACTS 23

    The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him (Paul) on the mouth.

    Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?”
    But the bystanders said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”

    And Paul said, “I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT SPEAK EVIL OF A RULER OF YOUR PEOPLE.'”

    Exodus 22:28
    “You shall not blaspheme God or speak evil of the ruler of your people.

    Here is an active example of how Paul used Gods moral law properly found 1 Timothy 1:8. Or as Paul wrote that (Gods Moral) Law is good, “If one uses it “correctly.  Paul himself apologised and repented to the high priest, and it was the moral law of God written in the OT that called out Pauls tresspass (sin) and Paul responded rightly , with repentance and an apology. Too bad ml or lloyd jones wasnt around at that time to correct Pauls theology =)

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