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24 Responses

  1. We are often told to look into our hearts and to follow our dreams in order to find happiness and peace, meaning and fulfillment. And yet, the truth could not be further from this idea. It is not that Christianity is against happiness but that true happiness and fulfillment are found in denying ourselves and finding it in others: in God and in our neighbors.

    The largest mega church in the area promotes the “dream big” motif, that which sets of alarms in the ODMs. The pastor even wrote a book Imagine Living Your Dream.

    About a year ago, I was helping the kids’ mom through a difficult time (struggling with her husband over mutual DV and all sorts of nasty stuff, some of which our kids witnessed). She thanked me and said that I was more helpful then her friends. I asked what she meant, pretty much knowing the answer. She said that 4 years ago, her friends encouraged her to leave and find her own happiness. That’s the Eat Pray Love (which should be preceeded by Cheat) advice “follow your bliss!” which hurts others. Period.

  2. JTK says:

    Always something to love
    and something to…dismiss (?)

    Start an argument over?

  3. JTK says:

    The Star Wars link…
    Ugh. Pretty superficial. And old.

    I’ve called myself a big SW fan.
    But the new age crap at the end really left a bad taste in my mouth.


    And all the “evangelical” wrestling:
    I just don’t get if we are supposed to be “mainline” like Keller, or invent a new word.

    Almost every single evangelical I know/knew, had HUGE qualms with Trump; literally ONE did not, and he likes being strange on every taste-related issue on purpose, it seems.

    By the votes, Hillary lost—Trump didn’t win.
    I reject blaming evangelicals for this dumpster fire of an election.

    An Episcopalian pastor I know lost members after the election: some left because he didn’t denounce Trump, some left because he didn’t support Trump. The same church. So sad for him and the congregants hurt by those parishioners who left for foolish reasons.

  4. Michael says:

    Just a note…

    The links are posted in the interests of information and discussion, not because I necessarily agree with them.

    I’d get rid of this piece completely,but it’s always one of the most read articles of the week…

  5. bob1 says:

    I imagine that in most mainline churches in our country, you’ll find both Trump lovers and Trump haters. You know, the wheat and the tares. 🙂

  6. Dan from Georgia says:


    Personally, I love this links list, with the caveat that not all views expressed are endorsed.

    Regarding Evangelicalism and Trump/Moore, I think it will survive, but like in Rocky, will be badly bloodied and bruised. I am not ready to go the way of Rachel Held Evans just yet and ditch Evangelicalism outright, but it’s tough personally to identify myself with the crowd, when I feel the majority of the crowd is mistaken.

    On the second link about Ev. Women speaking up about politics, I think much of the problem can be seen in the cesspool of comments on websites and Twitter that basically are telling these women to “shut up and learn your place in life.”

  7. Jim Vander Spek says:

    I do not comment often. However, I thank you for these weekly compilation of links. A lot of work goes into this.

    I suggest that a heavily moderated website of useful Christian links along the lines of or, where readers submit links and excerpts, would be a successful and helpful project. I would certainly be willing to support it.

    Again, thanks for all your work and Merry Christmas to all of you.

  8. Steve says:

    I like the unity with diversity article. But I get hung up on when the author mentions that “the Bible—offers a vision of human identity”. This concept of “vision” in the church seems to me what is basically creating all the division in the first place. One pastor has his “vision” and another pastor has their “vision” in competition with each other. Are churches supposed to be small businesses fighting over supply and demand in the evangelical market place? Does God even have a “vision” for the church other than the great commission?

  9. Chris Long says:

    That article about needing to talk about sex is right on. I think most Christians and pastors and church leaders KNOW it’s needed though, but the problem is they don’t know HOW to really go about it, and there’s so much brokenness among the leaders themselves that they don’t even know really how to address. So it just isn’t. Thankfully there is more openness in the Church as a whole on these things then there used to be, but we’ve still got a long way to go. Several years ago there was a church in my area that did a major series to attempt to get really real and have major conversations. They even encouraged parents to bring their middle/high-school age kids with them for it. I didn’t agree with everything that was said or presented, but it was nice to see a church (and a larger “megachurch” type at that) at least have the conversation. If anyone’s interested, the series was called “Sex, Love, & God” and the links to watch the videos of the services are still available at

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Can evangelicalism survive Moore and Trump?”

    LOL – I don’t even think evangelicalism can survive being evangelical any longer.
    You can only be wrong on everything for so long.

  11. John 20:29 says:

    am grateful for the links, which i do read even the ones i don’t comment on… 🙂

    re: Chis’ #9 in the late 60s or early 70s – dunno – there was a ground swell of “let’s talk frankly about sex” within Protestant Christianity… IMV they got a little silly and didn’t really know what they were doing… just caught the tail end of an interview with a secular college professor who maintains that all the “frank” education that we’re giving our children doesn’t give them a proper understanding or respect for that aspect of their lives… ya think?

    as we disagree over doctrines, we should remember that, even as He rebuked the churches in Revelation, our Lord also commended them where they had strengths – reading New Victor’s comment reminds me that what he describes is very close to what our Lord said to the one church that He had no commendation for

  12. John 20:29 says:

    P.S. thot the 400 years of silence was a worth reading … FWIW

  13. Chris Long says:

    Em @ 11: I wasn’t around then so I’ll take your word on it. But I do know that there’s a difference between just talking frankly and talking frankly within the Biblical framework and worldview. The culture already talks frankly to people/kids. Kids have all the frankness they want at their fingertips with the Internet, but it’s all bathed in demonic perspectives (i.e. guys should look at porn etc). What they don’t have much of is people talking about stuff from a healthy and Godly perspective. I was a church kid and went to religious schools and I don’t think I ever heard one iota about sex outside of a simple “save yourself for marriage” catchphrase until I was in my senior year of high school where a theology teacher separated us by boys and girls and actually talked with us in reality about things. God bless them for at least trying at some point but doing that at 18’s a little too late…Most of the boys in my class had already long been addicted to porn by that juncture and/or were sexually active with others. Having good Godly instruction for kids entering puberty isn’t a bad thing. Of course it should be parents’ jobs, but most of them are still dealing with their own issues and never had anything modeled for them either about how to approach these things. That’s why the church talking about these things is a good idea across the board because at least that hits people in real life. If you look at the end of each of the services I posted (accessible via the link I posted), the pastor takes real life live questions from the audience that were submitted by text during the service. It really shows you the kinds of things Christians are wondering about in the sex arena that nobody’s talking about… I do think that it CAN go too far or get out of hand (i.e. I think some frankness can maybe go too far), but I like to see a church at least try to meet people in reality on some very difficult subjects to talk about.

  14. John 20:29 says:

    Chris, good observations.
    The secular professor I mentioned was calling for an attitude of responsibility, teaching youth a respect for the capacity along with a sense of reserve and modesty
    Wouldn’t you think that those of us who know the creator of the subject would be able to reach the same conclusion?

  15. Chris Long says:

    14) Yeah, you’d think. I would agree that a degree of modesty is legit, but in our world today where the culture screams so loudly the most vile and perverse things, I’m in favor of the church while maintaining a sense of decency not being afraid to address things in reality and hit things head-on. The Bible ain’t shy about sex.

  16. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ve come to realize that Evangelical is two different things. There is a political term and a theological term. Same as Liberal or Conservative can be used to designate theological or political groups, Evangelical also has double meaning.

    I don’t particularly care for the word, and rarely identify myself that way, but by description I am theologically evangelical.

    Politically I am now where close.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think it is theological evangelicals who become political evangelicals.
    Is there such a thing as political only evangelical?

  18. John 20:29 says:

    Chris, to close off the discussion, i think your term ‘decency’ is more appropriate to the times in which we now live… with the sensory overload today and exposure to what is crass, at best, ‘modesty’ would almost have to be contrived and artificial

    Jeremiah the 8th chapter could be food for thot for the church today IMHO
    ” Jer 8:11 They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.
    Jer 8:12 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush.
    Therefore they shall fall among the fallen; when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
    says the LORD.”

    human nature does seem to have a pattern of behavior that repeats… dunno

  19. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Is there such a thing as political only evangelical?”

    Donald Trump and Roy Moore.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Theological evangelicals created the Trumps and Moore’s for their own benefit. The theology behind that is to usher in Jesus’ 2nd coming.
    Merry Christmas.

  21. John 20:29 says:

    Theologically speaking, God created Donald Trump… Roy Moore may be a fraud, an innocent victim of slander, a penitent sinner, a yet to come to repentance sinner, …?… I haven’t got a clue, but I don’t think his horse likes him… ? ?

  22. bob1 says:

    Earlier this week, the NY Times had a great peace about political evangelicals. The headline was “Fox News Evangelicals.”

    That works for this bunch.

  23. bob1 says:

    piece not peace.

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