Kevin H: Where Are We Taking America Back To?

You may also like...

85 Responses

  1. Pastor Al says:

    What does it mean to “be Christian”?

    If it means burning heretics at the stake, drowning women who you think are witches Taliban style or beating “your” women and kids for Jesus….then let’s not go back to that “Christian” ‘Merica.

    If it means more of a Political Context like Traditional Constitutionalist Founding Fathers Enlightenment approach to govern ungovernable humans….then yes, let’s return to a more Traditional American Approach to Politics and Government b/c our Founders were more right than any other Group of humans who have sucked air on this Rock. They understood Human Nature…and their Constitutional Democratic Republic approach to governing all the idiots is the best approach there has ever been.

  2. Pastor Al says:

    Obama and the Neo-Liberals’ are Anti-White Colonialists who blame whitey for all the World’s problems. Obama promised to “transform America!” and he’s gone a long way to doing just that with his Obstructing Federal Immigration laws and his huge push to inject Muslim Refugees throughout small American Cities across the Nation.

    This Anti-White Colonialist mindset and Agenda HATES the American Founding Fathers who were white Europeans and this Agenda LOATHES the checks and balances in the System the Founding Fathers set up.

    Traditional American Constitutionalist approach to Government is under attack. We are at War…and Obama’s Anti-White Colonialist Agenda is making major strides in destroying a Traditional America.

  3. Pastor Al says:

    Now “Christian” in terms of what you evangelicals would define as “this is what it takes for you to be a TRUE Christian!” ….I would argue America has never been that. Our Founders were Enlightenment Deists and pretty darn Libertine.

    The rank and file ‘Mericans back in the day were just as sinful as today. Sure there were a few Puritans and Quakers here and there that towed the Evangelical line…but I guarantee you behind closed doors even those Puritans and Quakers were sinning like the devil, often.

    Humans have always been sinful throughout history.

    America has never been the “Christian Nation!” of the Evangelical false “transformation gospel” that they fantasize about.

    However, America has been a Christian Nation politically….and should go back to being so. A Traditional Constitutional Republic “Christian” Nation….in that context.

  4. Josh the Baptist says:

    No. I have no hope, nor desire, for some political movement to “Bring America back to God”.

    As you have illustrated, Kevin, it never was a Christian nation. The veneer of fake Christianity was thicker during the 1950’s, sure, but having a mixed-racial family, I certainly don’t want to return to the Christian America of the 1950’s.

    I would like for Christians to get busy loving their neighbor, caring for the poor, and serving their community. We could do this regardless of what govt was in power.

  5. Xenia says:

    I would like for Christians to get busy loving their neighbor, caring for the poor, and serving their community. We could do this regardless of what govt was in power.<<<<

    Amen.

  6. Pastor Al says:

    “I would like for Christians to get busy loving their neighbor, caring for the poor, and serving their community. We could do this regardless of what govt was in power.”

    We all do this.

    It’s called Taxation and Entitlement Programs.

    The United States Citizen spends more money per capita than any other human in human history on “helping their neighbor” with Social Programs, “Free” healthcare, Food Stamps, Rent Assistance, Obamaphone, “Free” education, etc etc etc.

    If you pay Taxes, you are the BEST Christian ever…..in human history.

    Look in the mirror and give yourself a big Jesus thumbs up!

  7. Pastor Al says:

    45% of Americans pay NO income tax.

    55% of Americans do pay income tax.

    If you are one of the Half that pays taxes, you spend about $10,000 annually to “help your neighbor” out of your own pocket via taxation to fund Welfare Programs.

    If you are in the Median Income range of $50,000 per year, YOU are VERY GENEROUS!

    You give about 20% of your Income annually to “Love your neighbor”

  8. Jean says:

    There are so many opportunities for comment from the article, but I’d like to start here:

    “So where do we go from here? Christians are losing their favored and respected status in our society.”

    If Christianity is favored and respected in society, then it is not true Christianity. The unsaved have wills bound in enmity towards God and his Messiah. True Christians, on the other hand are ambassadors of Christ. This is cause for war! A war not “against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

    One can try to make a covenant with Egypt to save one from the oppression of Babylon, but that effort failed. What is one to do then?

    “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.”

    In other words, be faithful to the Lord, excel in your callings in life (all of them are holy), do what Josh said in paragraph 3 of his #4, and don’t listen to hucksters.

  9. Pastor Al says:

    The State and the System has replaced the so-called “Church” in terms of “Love your neighbor”

    Anything the “Church” does is more than offset by the Church getting tax exempt status and the Church’s leaders getting rich.

    The Church does zero to net help the Poor. It gives a pittance of the massive amounts of money it collects “for Jesus”

    The TRUE Jesus is the US Taxpayer. The average working man and woman who FUNDS the Welfare Programs.

    The Church’s get tax exempt status and spend most of the money they collect on buildings, salaries, sound systems, trips, conferences, chairs, stages, lights etc etc.

    Be honest, speak the Truth. Those are the FACTS.

  10. Josh the Baptist says:

    I made a comment that was amen’ed by Xenia and poo-poo’ed by Papa Al.

    I think it’s been a successful day.

  11. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I think the quote from Jeremiah covers it.
    Incredibly simple, but completely profound.

  12. Michael says:

    I’m not sure which “Christian” America we want to go back to.

    In the 1800’s when this area was settled, the demarcation line was the train tracks.

    West of the tracks was Catholic.
    East of the tracks was Protestant.

    Crossing the tracks from either side was dangerous.

  13. Pastor Al says:

    If the Church really “Loved your neighbor” it would spend much more money on actually helping the Poor than just talking about it.

    The Church spends only a meager 3% on average on actually helping the Poor in a real tangible way.

    THREE PERCENT of money collected “for Jesus!”

    Shameful.

    I know I’ll get stoned or burned at the stake for pointing out these Facts, but it’s the Truth.

  14. Pastor Al says:

    You are playing games, blowing hot air, making yourselves feel good and not speaking the Truth.

    You preach “helping the Poor!” and you chastise the State and US Taxpayer….when in Fact it is the State and US Taxpayer that is much more like Jesus and spends a TON of money on helping the Poor…and the “Church” spends 3 percent and gets Tax Exempt status.

    Nice trick.

    But, shoot the messenger, by all means.

  15. Jean says:

    Thanks Michael.

    I know it’s not quick or spectacular, but the common baking ingredients of yeast and leaven are the best metaphors I’ve encountered in the Bible to describe the way in which the Church can bless a society. Conversely, the wrong kind of yeast or leaven within the Church can also harm the Church, and hence it’s mission to society.

  16. Pastor Al says:

    The amount of disinformation and Delusion you guys exhibit is STAGGERING sometimes. If you have a Conscience, try to focus on what is True and speak the Truth.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    What I love is when some ‘christian’ blowhard gets up and says “we need to come back to our Judeo-Christian God” — there is no such thing and never was.

    A Judeo-Christian God is no more real than Zeus.

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    Pastor Al,

    Christians do not just give to the poor through their institutions. Christians make up a large portion of the body politic. Christians have always led the way in salting the culture to care for the weakest. I no longer listen to critiques that act as if Christianity is as separate from culture as the Supremes try to make it in law.

    Everywhere Christians go they bring, education, healthcare and ministry to the poor. They always start schools, hospitals, get fresh water. So do not try to blow smoke up our skirt.

    We too are part of the taxation culture. We too pay taxes for these other things.

  19. Pastor Al says:

    Dread, agreed that those “Christians” who actually pay taxes are very generous like all US Taxpayers.

    The “Church” however only gives on average a meager 3% of the Jesus Money they collect to actually feed and clothe and help the Poor in a tangible way….and it is a Net Drain on the US Taxpayer with the Church’s getting Tax Exempt status so the Taxpayer has to bridge the Gap the Church enjoys in dodging taxes while not really helping the Poor and Needy.

  20. Em says:

    the 20th was my century – with roots and family tales that go pretty far back into the history of this continent, i think i will take a lesson from my late stepfather, a very practical man… when we pontificated, he just sat back silent with a faint smile 🙂
    what is is and we’re not too clear on that, therefore, what was was and we’re for sure not very clear on that

    for the Church in the world, Jean’s quote (Jeremiah?) is worth consideration…

  21. Pastor Al says:

    On average, studies show the “Church” spends over 71% of the Jesus Money it collects JUST on Salaries and Building expenses and utilities etc.

    Dread, how much of your Church Budget with all the money you collect do you spend to buy food and clothing and pay for tangible needs of the Poor in your area?

  22. Michael says:

    Back to the actual article…

    I think the actual longing is for the cultural homogeneity of days long passed.

    I understand this to a degree.

    My land here changed with the building of a mall and the influx of Californians that changed both the literal and cultural landscape.

    I resented this deeply…but there is a point where one has to accept change and learn how best to make the changes work for the benefit of all.

    The rest of the world has changed greatly since that time and the lack of familiar territory is frightening to us.

  23. Pastor Al says:

    If you’re going to Preach at us “Love your neighbor!” and “Love your neighbor!” equals giving money and food and clothing to the Poor….then the “Church” should spend much more of the Jesus Money it collects than a meager 3% on actually doing that….when the average US Taxpayer spends 20% of his/her income on feeding the Poor from their taxable earnings.

    I “love my neighbor” more than most Churches. I give in addition to taxation. I give DIRECTLY to those in need and to well-run Food Banks, Thrift Stores, Missions etc that use the bulk of the money to actually help people in need instead of paying a Pastor’s $100K salary and for a big building and nice sound system.

    ….but I know, I’m the evil one and “divisive” or whatever and probably going to hell, but not you righteous liars who preach one thing and do quite another.

  24. Pastor Al says:

    “I think the actual longing is for the cultural homogeneity of days long passed.”

    Agreed.

    Traditional America is being subverted by the Radical Anti-Colonialists and Neo-Liberal Socialists.

    This Nation will divorce eventually into a Two State Solution: Traditional American Republic vs. a Neo-Socialist Liberal State. It may happen in my lifetime. I’ll be in the Traditional American Republic…I like the so-called “Christians” even if they are hypocrites like myself.

  25. Pastor Al says:

    What will be interesting is to see how the Politically Liberal Christians survive in a Neo-Socialist Anti-Colonialist Liberal state that embraces Groups like Islam while railing against Traditionalists and conservative Christians.

    Careful what you wish for….that State will be quite a cluster-you-know-what and it will reap what it sows and the Muslims will eat the Liberals alive.

  26. Jean says:

    “If you’re going to Preach at us “Love your neighbor!” and “Love your neighbor!” equals giving money and food and clothing to the Poor….then the “Church” should spend much more of the Jesus Money it collects than a meager 3% on actually doing that”

    “I “love my neighbor” more than most Churches.”

    I disagree with the first quote. I don’t belong to a church because it is a social services organization. I belong to a church because it is a soul-care organization. I go to receive forgiveness of my sins and eternal life in Christ. I go for strength to progress as a pilgrim in this life and for faith to love my neighbor in my various callings along the way where the Lord has placed me. Evangelism, missions and mercy [perioid].

    I agree with the second quote. I would prefer that people give directly out of a free and generous spirit to charitable causes of their choice, rather than through the church.

  27. Pastor Al says:

    Jean, I actually agree with you. The “church” is more a Social Club and for Christians to get together and feel good about each other. The “Church” in reality IS NOT a “Love your neighbor” charitable entity….the “Church” does not help the Poor and Needy. That is why it should be Taxed.

  28. Jean says:

    I’m in a congregation right now, which averages about 100 people per week. The weekly budget for everything is less than some of the readers here individually earn in a week. It is an amazing congregation with wonderful people and a wonderful pastor. I am finally learning what church really is and am blessed beyond measure.

  29. Michael says:

    Jean,

    The average church in this country is under 100 people.
    The budgets are small and tight, but they are often still engaged in the community.

    Without a doubt there are many who have abused the institution for profit…but the rank and file churches are doing much good with what they have.

    Back to the article…

    I still believe that the greatest error we make is conflating the mission of the church with politics and the kingdom of God with the United States.

  30. Cash says:

    When African Americans had to ride in the back of the bus and couldn’t use the same drinking fountains as white people? Or when women weren’t allowed to vote and were treated like second-class citizens? Maybe when slavery was legal and masters would beat, rape, and dominate their slaves as they liked? How about when the people who were native to this land were killed and driven out of their lands by force and made to settle in substantially less desirable parts?
    ______________________________________________________

    Kevin,

    GREAT article. You make a good argument that the nation is actually more Christian now in some ways than it has been in the past. The original sin of slavery has been abandoned. I agree with Al that the government has become more Christian in its dealings with the poor, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Jesus told us to care for the poor, whether we do it through taking offerings or collecting taxes, it still equates to a Christian attitude of charity and love for one’s fellow humans. So I would posit that we have actually become more Christian in many ways in the nation.
    That’s not to say the nation is humbly submitting to God’s will in all things. I don’t think any of us would argue that, and I certainly don’t.
    As a completely different subject, I get scared whenever I hit the submit button. 🙂 Does anyone else ever feel that way?

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The funny thing is, the church is the place God has promised to be to distribute his good gifts to the believer – those gifts of absolution and healing. God is in his church in his word and his sacraments.

    Through this, it is not THE CHURCH that is called to do the good works – it is the individual believer, who has been equipped through the church who is to go out and through his/her vocation carry out the command to love your neighbor.

    This is why so much of the Jesus money (as Al says) goes to overhead – it goes for the equipping center – and THEN when I go out and encounter “the poor” I once again reach into my own pocket to fulfill my vocation. I do not run back to the church and say, “hey there is a hungry guy down the street – give me 5 bucks to give him.”

  32. Michael says:

    Cash,

    Why do you fell that way?

  33. Michael says:

    MLD,

    That’s a good point.

  34. OCDan says:

    A very timely article as I am reading Richard T. Hughes’, Christian America and the Kingdom of God.

    His premise is that Judeo-Christian values have influenced this country from the start, but let’s not call this country Christian, in the least.

    We promote war, ignore the poor and widowed, idolize the strong and great. In fact, as a nation, we basically do everything opposite of what Christ taught.

    Sure, Christians and non-believers do help as do the taxpayers. However, as a country we can’t go back to something we are not or never were and for sure never will be.

    What i think people mean when they say go back is basically go back to a simpler time when I could pop the hood and fix my car without spending a grand and needing 100K of computer technology or an app to figure out the codes.

    They want to return to a time when tv was free and we only had 3-6 channels and tv went off the air at one in the morning until six in the morning.

    Sure, there may be some who want to go back to segregation and women barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen dressed up in pearls sweltering w/o AC cooking a massive meal on a Tuesday for darling when he gets home from hi 9-5 job, but the majority i think want things to slow down.

    I would add they also want to live in a neighborhood where they know the people AND can trust them. They may also want that at church.

    Just my 3 cents and maybe I am just projecting, to use a psych term. I really don’t know. Just my anecdotal talks with people, not that the number of people I talk to is significant.

  35. Cash says:

    Michael,

    I suppose it’s just my own self-doubt. I’m not always sure what I’m writing even makes much sense. 🙂 It’s not due to you or anybody specifically here.

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    For what it’s worth, Cash, I always appreciate your contributions.

  37. Michael says:

    Cash,

    You do very well…I’m glad you’re here.

  38. Cash says:

    It’s worth a lot, Josh. Thank you for your kind words.

  39. Michael says:

    OCDan,

    I think you’re right on.
    That gets back to what I was saying earlier about homogeneity and familiarity.

    There is a sense in which all that was once simpler has become very complex.

  40. Cash says:

    I’m glad I’m here too, Michael, because as I’ve told you before, I meet God in this place and that is high praise. You’ve always been very gracious to me and I appreciate it.

  41. Steve Wright says:

    One of the problems in listing the sins of America is that there were many Christians fighting against those sins and seeking to change the laws that supported them.

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t think its problematic in this context, Steve. Whether Christians were for or against those sins, the sins were predominant in America. To return, we would be returning to those times.

    Christians are great, and always have been great. America, as a whole, has never been been a Christian.

  43. Michael says:

    The real question before us is how do we move forward in such a divided world?
    The global migrations aren’t stopping anytime soon.
    The global economy may fail on it’s own, but another global economy will replace it.

    Things are never going to be what they were, nor can we shut out what is.

    I think we combine what Jean and MLD are saying.

    We go to church and receive forgiveness and teaching and then go live out what God sets in front of us according to the vocation God has given us.

    I was reminded harshly again last night that my vocation isn’t political and the kingdom I care about has yet to come in it’s fullness.

  44. Steve Wright says:

    I agree, Josh. My point is that many of America’s sins were rectified because many Americans (including Christians) cared about what was happening in the nation outside their own person street corner. And got involved.

    If we can agree that more Christian influence is better than less in a nation (and I am sure more than a few will disagree for some reason) – then the nation has certainly gone backwards on that score. I think the famous comparison about the 10 problems in high school in the 1950s versus the top 10 problems in high school today is relevant.

    I guess we could all care less about Flint Michigan’s water problems if we don’t live there. Just like one could care less about segregation if you lived outside the south back in the day.

    Was the Christian response to fight to end slavery, or better seen by the many in the north who said in effect, screw the south, let them secede we don’t need them

    Anyway…you all know where I stand as to the role of faith and fighting to be salt and light in Christ’s name to my neighbor – even if the neighbor is the distant Samaritan outside the geography of my street corner.

  45. Michael says:

    It depends on how you define salt and light.

    “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
    And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
    “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
    “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
    “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
    “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
    “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
    “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
    “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
    (Matthew 5:1–16 ESV)

    It seems to me that in context we are only salt and light when we are exhibiting the traits listed.

    It seems to me that I fail miserably by that measure…

  46. Josh the Baptist says:

    While I respect Steve’s take, and many others here as well, I think I disagree in one major way.

    I think the political route has proven to be a bad strategy. Like i said about the abortion issue, the same holds true for immigration, economy…so many others. We want to put leaders in place who will make decisions that will honor the Lord. That just hasn’t worked out so well. The truth is, God has elected us as the leaders. Not for a nation, but maybe for a home. Maybe a neighborhood, maybe a community. If you can get the “least of these” working together for the cause of Christ, I think that will change the world in a much more profound way than any politician ever will.

  47. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I couldn’t agree more…
    The other day a couple were outside Walmart feeding a homeless man and his dog.
    They changed our world that day, by one insignificant act in the eyes of the rest of the world.

    As Xenia has said so often….think local.

  48. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yep. Focus local. Let God do the multiplication.

  49. Kevin H says:

    I’m just getting on here for the first time today and trying to catch up with the discussion.

    A few thoughts:

    – As I stated in my article, I’m not advocating no political involvement by Christians. I don’t think it’s an either/or. However, I tend to think the bigger impact we can have on our culture/society/country is if we individually as Christians carry ourselves in a Christ-like fashion and are faithful to the things God has for us in our own circles of relationship and influence and then if the Church does the same collectively. Knowing that we are going to fail at times in this mission because we are fallen. Yet if we keep our main focus close to our own situation, or “locally” as has been said here, I believe it will be more effective than if our main focus is on the macro of our country or culture as a whole.

    – The point of listing the sins of America was not to ignore the fact that there have been significant amount of Christians working against these things. But rather to point out that for those who want to doggedly claim that America is, or at least was, a Christian nation, that there have been some pretty terrible “un-Christian” things committed directly by this nation, or were at least allowed by this nation. In that sense, it should make us pause about applying the label “Christian” to an entity that has committed some very un-Christ-like behavior.

    – An individual can be defined as a Christian by their professed faith (while understanding only God truly knows the heart). Defining a collective entity as Christian can become trickier, especially when not all involved in the entity claim the faith.

  50. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    I am so grateful for what you’ve given us the past few weeks…and this is an excellent article.

    You have raised the bar and we all appreciate it.

  51. Kevin H says:

    Thanks, Michael.

  52. Pastor Al says:

    “The global economy may fail on it’s own, but another global economy will replace it.”

    Yes, very true.

    That transition will be very interesting, similar to the chaos of the Great Depression when this System finally blows up. But, it won’t linger as long in this rapid modern world. The Powers that Be will replace this System with another….but the US will have lost its lead role and its dollar World Reserve Currency status and advantage. China, Russia etc will have much more say in the World Affairs in the Next System.

  53. Pastor Al says:

    We have reached Peak America.

    The advantage America and Europe have held as the defacto Co-World Powers is in its twilight.

    The Next System will be ruled by a broader coalition with China, Russia and Asia playing a much more important role.

    Maybe those guys will do better than we did.

  54. Pastor Al says:

    America is done as we know it.

    Demographic Trends are now unstoppable unless Liberals can increase the Abortion rates even higher among the black, Latinos and others they target for Abortion.

    The Liberal/Conservative pendulum has tipped. The US now has more Takers than Makers and has already run out of other people’s money to the tune of a $20 Trillion National Debt by the time Obama leaves office according to the CBO.

  55. Pastor Al says:

    When the Current System collapses under the weight of its MASSIVE Moral Hazard and Debts and Credits than can never be repaid…is WHEN the US will break apart into basically two States.

    “Never let a crisis go to waste!” as Liberal Operative Rahm Emmanuel famously says.

    That is the time the Conservatives will split from the Liberals and form a Coalition of Red States.

  56. Pastor Al says:

    If Liberals keep pushing and continue their onslaught on Traditional America and continue to retain Power at the Executive Level and then on into the SCOTUS, a Military Coup is also very possible from what I hear from military friends.

  57. Pastor Al says:

    Even though I point out the flaws and hypocrisy of the Traditionalists in Calvary Chapel…if the bullets start flying I’ll be on Boykin’s and Perkin’s side etc.

  58. Pastor Al says:

    Here’s what the Media and the Govt. doesn’t want you to read and to know b/c once “faith” is lost in the System…it’s Game Over.

    http://www.northeastern.edu/econsociety/debt-recession-in-2016/

  59. Pastor Al says:

    “Global debt has ballooned by $57 trillion since the financial crisis. $25 trillion of that increase has come in the form of government debt of which $19 trillion came from major economies. According to a recent McKinsey report, all major economies are deeper in debt today than they were in 2007. A sizeable body of academic literature has linked high debt to slower GDP growth and increased risk of financial crisis. Picture a swimmer trying to reach the surface with his foot tied to a fast sinking 50 pound rock. The world economy is that swimmer, and the rock is world debt.

    China – whose economic slowdown is the issue of the hour – remains particularly vulnerable. China’s total debt quadrupled from $7 trillion in 2007 to $28 trillion by mid-2014. This was spurred by massive government stimulus for infrastructure and other projects during the financial crisis. This stimulus flooded the market with excess capacity such as entire cities without a single resident. Indeed, Mckinsey estimates that $9 trillion of China’s debt is related just to real estate. With high private and public debt as well as troubling economic fundamentals China’s economy is setting off alarm bells worldwide.

    The Eurozone continues to suffer serious woes. The structural weaknesses that sparked the Eurozone crisis remain unsolved, despite recovery in some of the peripheral economies most notably Spain and Ireland. The launch of a €1.1 trillion quantitative easing program by the ECB in 2015 is a sign of how deep these weaknesses go. This has been compounded with the demographic pressures of shrinking, aging populations. While the refugee crisis could alleviate these issues in the form of new, young workers the political response to this potential economic boon has been less than friendly.

    The US is also vulnerable to the risks of high debt. Since the crisis US debt-to-GDP has risen from a reasonable 76% to a more significant 101%. Moreover, forecasts have the debt-to-GDP ratio holding at 100% of GDP well into 2020. This means that US GDP growth is not forecast to outpace debt growth. Indeed, the US’s disappointing fourth quarter growth last year of only 0.7% indicates that growth is failing to take off as was predicted a few years ago. Additionally, US labor force participation is hovering at 40-year lows, down from 66% in 2007 to 62.6% in 2015.”

  60. Pastor Al says:

    10 years or less and “America” will be no more, at least not in the sense we have known it in our lifetime.

    The Current System will be no more as well.

    Poof!

    Hug a Mormon LOL, they have all sorts of stuff stockpiled for a rainy day.

  61. Jean says:

    “What’s wrong with the world today?”

    “I am.” – G.K. Chesterton

  62. Erunner says:

    I appreciate your thoughts Kevin. You explain things well and it helps me to see things in a perspective I couldn’t articulate.

    I believe nothing will stop the marginalization of Christianity as time goes on. The broad brush will continue to be applied to us as some in the body continue to do and say things that are plain wrong.

    While I desire a strong and ethical person to be our president I realize that person does not have the ability to change the hearts of men and women who desire to do wrong.

    I would love to see the body come together despite non essential differences and I pray church leaders would work towards that while faithfully teaching the word.

    I am thankful for the nation I live in but realize its limitations.

    Through all of the arguing and angst this election cycle brings I think it’s time to buy a few Rockwell’s! They make me smile. Thanks again Kevin.

  63. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t get the part of Christians being worried about being marginalized, losing the voice or not having voice in society. Actually, we are to be spat on and treated the way Christians are treated in other parts of the world. We are too comfy (myself included) – there never was a good time for Christians and if there was – well then Christian pussed out and didn’t do it right.

    What was the pattern of Jesus – heck, if we are going to look at the sermon on the mount, let’s look at him who made it up — Jesus.

    The only people that Jesus wanted to attract to himself, were those who “had ears to hears”

    If the people did not have ears to hear, Jesus did one of two things.
    1.) Picked at them and made them want to leave his presence … or
    2.) Purposely pissed them off to where they wanted to kill him.

    We should go and do the same. Why do you all want to live all chummy with people who “do not have ears to hear”

  64. Em says:

    speed reading tip – the meat of this thread can be digested pretty quickly if one skips about 25 posts that are just flak … just sayin

  65. Jean says:

    Flak is good in granola. 🙂

  66. Em says:

    that’s flax, Jean, flax… not flak … lol

  67. Pastor Al says:

    Very insulting and not very Jesus-like, but I expect it which is why I don’t follow the rules often time b/c no one really does.

  68. Pastor Al says:

    We humans are what we are and none are any different than any other, not really.

  69. Pastor Al says:

    There is what you profess and there is what you actually demonstrate.

    The True Belief is what you demonstrate, not what you say.

    As such, every Human Group essentially ticks the same. None are ‘transformed’….all still very very human. That is the Truth.

  70. “The True Belief is what you demonstrate, not what you say.”

    You do realize that is horsecrap and you made it up. Can you prove it? Come on, you are big on empirical truth – of course you can’t so stand down..

    As a Lutheran I believe we are at the same time saint (justified, perfect in God’s eyes) and sinner, still living with the old adam still in me – that my enemies are the flesh, the world and the devil… until the day I die.

    So tell me how my beliefs and reality don’t match up?

  71. brian says:

    “So tell me how my beliefs and reality don’t match up?”

    Um if you are speaking of a historic literal Adam and how you define “reality” one might struggle with your statement, I know I do. As for enemies, your “flesh” I e your body is not your enemy it is integral to who you are. The “world” if you are referring to the “world” system etc I might agree it is in opposition to the ethics and spirituality of the Christian religion in a historic sense. In actual practice, not so much but that is another post. I do believe the devil is our “enemy” though if one just reads Job it sure does not look like that As for the “World” ie the cosmos or the Earth or the solar system we reside it, it does not care who you, I, or anyone else is, we are insignificant.

    From a theological perspective, I do agree with your statement that we are saint and sinner and in this world we are travailing against the “fall” and its effects. I do not hold to a literal fall for reasons I have discussed in the past, that puts me outside the vale of orthodoxy which is why I use the term “Christian” when referring to myself in a generic form not the evangelical sense.

    As for the article, it was very well written and Kevin continues to outdo himself which is a high water mark as far as I am concerned.

  72. Um if you are speaking of a historic literal Adam

    I had no capital A and therefore I had no pronoun with which to be literal.
    Your flesh is your enemy – when you have something very important to do and you can’t fight off sleep.

  73. brian says:

    Well I will just leave the um with that.

    No your body gets tired and needs to rest, it is a mechanism that you need to remain healthy. You don’t want pilots, doctors, police, train conductors, nuclear power plant operators … to be so tired they are falling asleep when they are on the job. If you mean someone needing to stay up to handle an emergency or crisis then yes one must fight off the desire to sleep. But it does not make your body your enemy. No more than when you cough to get something out of your throat or sneeze.

  74. Nonnie says:

    “….the greatest error we make is conflating the mission of the church with politics and the kingdom of God with the United States.”

    Yes!

  75. Pastor Al says:

    Actually MLD, you demonstrated my point in action better than I could hope LOL.

    brian, you are wise my friend. I’ve learned a lot from you over the years. Hope you are well.

  76. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Al,
    Well, since my claim was I am a sinner still until the end (my belief system) and that I continue to sin daily (my actions) …

    I will ask again, although I know you don’t have the answer as you have claimed many times you cannot know anything for sure, how it is my actions do not match my belief system?

  77. Josh the Baptist says:

    If you can’t know anything for sure, how can you know that you can’t know anything for sure?

  78. Muff Potter says:

    Pastor Al wrote at #7:

    “If you are one of the Half that pays taxes, you spend about $10,000 annually to “help your neighbor” out of your own pocket via taxation to fund Welfare Programs.”

    Know what cracks me up about all you tea-party wannabes?
    Never a peep about the MIC (military industrial complex) that Ike Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell speech to the Nation in 1961.

    Maybe the Air Force brass in the Pentagon should have their Welfare cut before they saddle the American taxpayer with a multi-billion-dollar-debacle that’s supposed to replace the A-10 Warthog.

  79. Josh the Baptist says:

    That Eisenhower speech was prophetic for sure.

  80. Em says:

    since military waste has come up … if you aren’t aware that the Air Force is giving up some vital real estate to the Chinese in favor of a location in London, you should be…they’re hiding behind a smokescreen of cutting spending when it’s just the opposite – that branch of the service has truly gone off into the wild blue yonder big time – IMHO – we need to spend money and maintain military strength – but the aforementioned “complex” is a big sinkhole… isn’t it strange we all know of, but can’t stop all this waste?
    search on Lajes Field Azores if interested

  81. Ron says:

    Wrote this a while back….on the Christianity culture warriors wish to revert to:

    https://ronclick.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/awol-from-the-culture-wars/

  82. Dan from Georgia says:

    Late to the party so my comment will probably not be read, but I will post it anyway. When I first became a Christian (1988), I was baptized into right-wing Christianity, including getting ‘Murica “back to God.” Which usually meant outlawing abortion and preventing gay marriage (the two biggies), putting prayer back in public schools (thanks Carman), and calling our Senator and Representative on a weekly basis (thanks Focus On The Family) to prevent the latest attack on Christianity from taking hold in ‘Murica. America was somehow “special” in God’s eyes, more important than every other country on the planet. Apparently on par or even more important than Israel.

    But what does it really mean to bring America back to God? I certainly don’t mind if America turns to God, but I certainly mind it if it means some certain body of Christianity comes to control America. Also, America does not have a glorious history of Christianity and the culture (see for example slavery, women’s rights). Even today where I live in the south, a sort of cultural Christianity exists, and it really doesn’t seem like much of it is really honoring to God.

  83. Mike says:

    But what does it really mean to bring America back to God?

    DFG,

    Good thoughts.

    “Turning America back to God” is a false narrative.

    Actually, corporate America invented Christian America. Started back in FDR’s time, as a reaction against his social policies.

    Read all about it.

    http://www.amazon.com/One-Nation-Under-God-Corporate/dp/0465049494/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457974584&sr=8-1&keywords=one+nation+under+god

  84. Em says:

    politics is a many headed hydra – i was a child during mid-twentieth century – a child with a good memory and i recall hearing that the CCC was the brainchild of Herbert Hoover, but the Democrat Congress would not pass such a program until they got their guy in… these politicians seem to all be out of the same cut of cloth IMHO… every now and then by the grace and will of God we get an Honest Abe, but they are few and far between i think

    Praise God for the blessed hope, the day when the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our Lord

  85. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Around 15 years ago, there was an online essay in a now-defunct atheist blog that claimed the USA both was and was not a “Christian Nation”.

    It WAS a Christian Nation in that for most of its history its people (including its Founders) operated within a generic Christian consensus.

    It was NOT a Christian Nation in the sense it was officially (and enforceably) Christian. Though having a general Christian consensus and background, no single Church ever dominated; no single Church was able to define “Christian Nation” in its own image.

    And the dual nature of this — operating within a Christian consensus but with no single Brand or Type of Christianity dominating — was what made America unique and contributed to its strength.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Phoenix Preacher

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading