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121 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    First. And you included, am I mistaken, TWO Charismafakenews links. WOW!

  2. Dan from Georgia says:

    Oh, I SO can’t wait for Sept 14 or whatever day-after the supposed return of Jesus to see all the self-proclaimed prophecy wonks, weasel out of this one! And weasel they will.

  3. Steve Wright says:

    The Bible is such a big book…and there is so much to learn and then proclaim….

    What is with Piper? Women cops? Why would any pastor, especially one of his celebrity, feel they need to weigh in on that in a public manner?

    The flag article is interesting… I found this link just the other day when I was looking at some Lutheran principles.

  4. Em says:

    hmmm… Turner raised some good points for Anna Duggar to mull… but when push comes shove that strange family may actually be coping with besetting sins more constructively (for them) than we know…

    haven’t read the flag link… if the flag represented to American church folk what it did 60+ years ago, it would belong off to one side up front in the sanctuary, but, sadly, Old Glory is, IMV, flying over a fallen, corrupted system… was talking with the fella who manages my little IRA account yesterday and i commented that we seemed to not have rules anymore and he replied, “Oh we have rules, but no one follows them…”

  5. Em says:

    Sunday School? what happened to the old system of 9 a.m. Sunday School and 11 a.m. worship service
    i remember in So. Calif. – probably other places – the Sunday School buses that ran through the new post WW2 housing developments picking up kids and giving their godless parents a morning all to themselves …?… hmmm … maybe not the best plan, but i’ll bet there are redeemed souls out there that are products of that effort

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am big on Sunday School and back in the mid 80s I may have been one of the last guys in SoCal driving the bus through neighborhoods picking up kids for SS. (and for Vacation Bible School) Long live the SBC SS programs – they do it best.

  7. jlo says:

    I’m a redeemed soul of the Sunday school bus.

  8. london says:

    Sorry to interupt. does anyone here have contacts that might be able to help a young friend stranded in Dennison, Texas?

  9. london says:

    I can get him out of there, but in the meantime, he needs a place to be safe, and some food which he says he’s had none of in 3 days. He has no job, no transportation and no phone (cause of no job), no GED.
    He’s living in a situation that’s bad news and he doesn’t know the area. He needs someone that can help him on that end, till we can get him out of there….

    Any ideas?

  10. Jim says:

    In the early 90’s we left CC in search of a small church with a good youth pastor, as our kids were close to that age. We landing in an AoG, and after a few months, I found myself on the deacon board, nominated and elected by the congregation.

    At my very first board meeting, I learned that the pastor had removed the US and “Christian” flags from the stage, and replaced them with plants. In a split vote, the board voted to return the flags to the stage.

    6 months later, the pastor removed the flags again, and the older board members knew that the same vote would not carry, as we younger/newer deacons had found our voice.

    Strange intro to church politics.

    The church split a few years later.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I had a pastor who unilaterally removed all the crosses from the church. I don’t remember if we had any flags.

  12. Josh the Baptist says:

    We do have the US and Christian flag in the sanctuary. Lots of crosses too.

  13. David H says:


    Where’s Chuck Missler when you need him?

  14. Nonnie says:

    Removing flags from the church I can understand…..removing crosses is ridiculous.

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

    I totally get the idea of removing crosses.
    The focus becomes the execution symbol of torture instead of The Living God.
    No wonder the ancient Jews forbade the idea of images.
    Jesus’ story is about victory.
    Glad that he wasn’t executed on an electric chair, lest the christian marketplace be flooded with gold, diamond encrusted… well, you get the idea

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The cross becomes the symbol of God’s saving work.
    I have never, and I mean never heard of anyone complain because the cross represented execution and not salvation.

    But really the only effectual cross as a symbol is one that still has the body hanging on it to tie the whole event together.

  17. Josh the Baptist says:

    Take away the cross you lose it all.

  18. JoelG says:

    If I remember correctly Packer has a chapter in “Knowing God” that agrees with #15.

  19. Bob says:

    If I have my history correct the cross as a symbol of Christianity in the early days was a simple indication of those who had received His new life and Messiahship. It seems to have been a kind of covert identification thing in the day and it was a cross, a plus symbol, and not the image of the wooden cross we have today.

    Today’s “combined” imagery of a dead Jesus on the cross is meaningful to many, I tend to find it a bit in violation of the Decalogue’s idea of not worshipping the creature. I worship a living Jesus and God and I get the guitar guy’s thoughts. While I died with Him I also rose with Him into new life.

    And yes MLD the church I fellowship with has an empty cross.

  20. JoelG says:

    I was going to ask Michael his opinion of Packer’s take on this. Then I remembered the cross on the top of the page. Maybe this is where he and Packer part ways. 🙂

  21. Josh the Baptist says:

    Definitely an empty cross.

  22. Bob,
    At Christmas does your nativity scene have an empty crib (or whatever Jesus was placed in)?
    All the work was done on the cross – 100% of it – everything was just show. 😉

  23. Go into a bookstore and you will see everything but the savior Jesus on the cross – butterflies, flowers, jewelry, doves, fish, – people can put up with anything on their crosses except a dead Jesus.

    I wonder why that is?

  24. Andrew says:

    I personally don’t like seeing the American flag in church unless its surrounded by all the other nation flags. Otherwise to me its like we are forgetting our brothers and sisters in other lands and glorying in ourselves. I definitely like seeing the cross and I like seeing it empty cause it reminds me that Christ already paid the penalty and He has risen.

  25. brian says:

    London just got back from a city council meeting this is a start will get back to you.

  26. Hmm, the cross was empty before Jesus was on it – the empty cross didn’t mean anything. The cross was empty for a couple of days after Jesus hung on it – the empty cross didn’t mean anything.

    I think some of you are confusing an empty cross for an empty tomb. Gigantic theological difference.

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

    The risen Jesus is a symbol of God’s saving work, but love is the evidence of His abiding presence .

  28. Steve Wright says:

    Sounds like you need to make some architectural motions at the next meeting Mr. President… 🙂

    Lots of “empty” crosses on the Lutheran churches I’ve seen…including yours if the internet is accurate and that is a photo of your sanctuary.

  29. Michael says:

    I do differ from Dr. Packer on this matter… maybe.

    He specifically addresses crucifixes, not necessarily crosses.
    I have a number of crosses in my living space and I find them both beautiful and centering.
    There is a big metal Celtic cross above my bed that could double as a lethal weapon. 🙂

    I would not preach or worship in a church where flags were displayed…this for a number of reasons that I am rabidly adamant about.

  30. brian says:

    Many of the articles are very helpful the Ashly Madison article had some very good advice, it convicted me about my sometimes saying things off the cuff and maybe hurting folks, this one phrase struck me at the end. It is something in a way I wish Christians would stop saying “His abundant mercy is waiting for you,”. After so many years in the industry basically I consider that a very unreasonable expectation.

  31. Steve a couple of points and I noticed you did not address the main one.
    1.) I am glad you are spending so much time on Lutheran websites lately – LCMS the other day and now my church website. There is hope still 🙂
    2,) My church can be just as inconsistent and / or wrong as the next
    3.) We do have crucifixes on campus and one of the pastors wears one preaching. We are not against crucifixes – where we would allow them I am sure you would not.
    4.) But my point was the clear aversion away from crucifixes and the stated reason – because Jesus is no longer on the cross, he has risen.
    5.) As I stated before, an empty cross means absolutely nothing – Jesus did not arise from the cross – in fact just the opposite – people had to come and retrieve his dead, very dead carcass from that cross
    6.) No one came to the cross the next day and say – “as the scriptures said, he has risen!!”

    So yes, even at my church, the empty cross has no theological meaning – it is just decoration.

    And one more point – I have no problem with a church having no cross – the reason I was upset when Skip took down the crosses at OH was that it reflected the new theology he brought into the church.

  32. Josh the Baptist says:

    In the past, I worked for a church that met in a movie theatre. Sometimes they would have posters up for some raunchy movie, or horror movie, or whatever. We still worshipped and preached, no problem. Don’t see why I’d let a flog stop me from that either.

    Mld, unless you are asserting that Jesus is still on the cross, right now…then you don’t have a point.

    You can find crucifixes in Catholic bookstores.

  33. “Mld, unless you are asserting that Jesus is still on the cross, right now…then you don’t have a point.”

    My assertion is that all of God’s work for salvation was done on the cross. I just do not understand this empty cross theology.
    I will ask you – do you have a baby Jesus in your nativity scene? You know, Jesus grew up, don’t you?

    And thank you for this gem- “You can find crucifixes in Catholic bookstores.” Because the Catholics do it, we can’t and won’t.

  34. Josh the Baptist says:

    You are so funny. Always ready for battle.

    Empty cross theology? Geez. Lutherans have a label for everything. Again, unless you are saying Jesus is still on the cross, then you too are guilty of “Empty Cross Theology”. Weird.

    And for the Catholo-phobic gem. You said you couldn’t find a crucifix. In a bookstore. I was helping you out. You were in the wrong bookstore. They also don’t have them in Muslim bookstores, or porno bookstores. You go to a Catholic bookstore and they can hook you up with all your crucifix needs. You are welcome.

  35. JTK says:

    Did I miss a discussion on the Johnny Mac rebuke?

  36. Josh,
    It’s you and your folks here who made the theology claim – that you must have an empty cross because Jesus rose from the dead. That is a whole something else. He rose from the tomb not the cross. So, a depiction of Jesus in the Jordan River is out of line because Jesus walked out of the river?

    The cross means absolutely nothing without Jesus on it – dead. It is just decoration – something to put a butterfly on.

    But again, it shows the difference. btw, how do you know what they carry and don’t carry in the porno bookstores? 🙂

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    The real question is how do I know what they carry in Muslim bookstores. I’ve never even seen one of those.

    Me and my folks made a theological claim?!?? Ok.

    The cross means nothing? Just weird that you would be so insistent upon having a body on the cross. When I see a cross I know exactly what that means. It’s not at all confusing to me.

  38. Michael says:


    Your position makes little sense.
    An empty cross is a symbol of the completed work of the cross.
    A cross with Jesus still on it would reflect an incomplete work…because if He was not resurrected, the cross is pointless.

  39. Michael says:


    On the flag discussion, the assumption was that one had control of the space.
    I think nationalism is incompatible with with Christian theology and teaching.
    If someone wants to fly the flag at home, that’s their business….but I don’t preach that kingdom in the church.

  40. JoelG says:

    After a quick scan of Chapter 4, Packer doesn’t specifically mention empty crosses. Interesting. I wonder if the scars on Jesus’ glorified body would help us understand this subject better. We should never forget what Christ had to go through for us. The sight of the cross helps us remember.

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    No, the point of the resurrection was to prove the validity of the cross.
    What part of “it is finished” from the cross did you not understand?

  42. Michael says:


    What part of “if Christ is not risen your faith is in vain” don’t you understand?

  43. Michael says:


    I agree…

  44. Xenia says:

    A crucifix is an icon that tells a part of the salvation story. I look at a crucifix and am reminded of what Christ suffered on behalf of mankind. I am sorrowful that my own sins were the cause of this and am moved to repentance. When I look at an icon of the empty Cross I am reminded of another part of the salvation story, the Good News that my sins can be forgiven and as Christ rose, so will I. I am joyful. Both parts of the story are needed. Put both of them up in your churches.

  45. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well said, Xenia. I am not offended by a crucifix, but we don’t typically have them in our church.

  46. Xenia says:

    Good morning, Josh. I was in North Carolina last week and saw many lovely brick churches and had warm thoughts about you and your church.

  47. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ahh so cool. Where at in North Carolina? I seem to remember you saying you had family in the coastal region? Hope it was a nice trip.

  48. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – but you have removed the event by removing Jesus from the cross. The work of salvation. The empty tomb is the symbol of the resurrection not an empty cross.

    I have asked before – so a proper theological representation would be an empty manger, and a Jordan River with no Jesus being baptized?

  49. Xenia says:

    Josh, we had a great time. We were in Halifax Country, near Rocky Mount. My family’s from that area, especially Nash County. The goal of my trip was to reconcile with a particular family member (those who have hears to hear, let them listen).

  50. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – Is this a stance of your church? It’s not making a lot of sense.

    Jesus was once on the cross, but is there no longer.

    Once in the tomb, but is no longer there.

    A tomb is harder to use as a pictorial symbol.

  51. Michael says:


    In Reformed churches we teach the whole story so there is no confusion about anything .
    Calvinists seem to be able to grasp it all, I can’t speak for Lutherans. 🙂

    You would need an animated cross to tell the whole story, so we just count on people understanding the stated meaning.

    There are about 10,000 issues I consider more important than this…

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    Xenia, glad you had a good trip. I thought I remembered it being out east.

  53. Nonnie says:

    Xenia’s 45 says it beautifully! And I agree! Years ago, when I was of the mindset of “Jesus isn’t on that cross anymore” against crucifixes (because that is all I have ever heard), I read a wonderful book where a curious little girl asked a priest why he wore a crucifix. What Xenia said in 45 is very similar to how the priest replied. Reading that explanation changed my view on crucifixes, and now when I see them, I can only praise and thank God for sending His son to die for the sins of the world and to forgive me of my sin. So very thankful. God tells the salvation story through His Word, but He also confirms or emphasizes His word to us through symbols, pictures, drama, music… even nature. That’s my 2 cents worth.

  54. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “There are about 10,000 issues I consider more important than this…”
    As do I – my original comment was this @ 16 — “But really the only effectual cross as a symbol is one that still has the body hanging on it to tie the whole event together.”

    Before anyone could digest the “to tie the whole event together” some people’s “theological” positions took over (or their anti catholic leanings)

    But then, if you have an empty manger, and empty Jordan River, and empty cross and an empty tomb – you sure have a lot of empty. 😉

  55. Steve Wright says:

    Maybe our Hebrews professor will explain when he gets there why Hebrews uses the past tense ENDURED the cross….not “endures” the cross….(other then the resurrection reference in the back of the verse of course which we all are noting)

    Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    That verse seems to support good old empty cross theology…(and empty tomb for that matter)

  56. Steve Wright says:

    I might add this is the strongest I have ever seen MLD argue against the official Lutheran position on something….

    It’s like two Calvary guys arguing about eternal security..

  57. Steve Wright says:

    I was also thinking about the empty cross theology proclaimed by the lyrics to The Old Rugged Cross (Maybe the Lutherans are opposed to singing that hymn???)

    On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
    The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
    And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
    For a world of lost sinners was slain.

    So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
    Till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    And exchange it someday for a crown.

    Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
    Has a wondrous attraction for me;
    For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
    To bear it to dark Calvary.

    In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
    A wondrous beauty I see,
    For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
    To pardon and sanctify me.

    To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
    Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
    Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
    Where His glory forever I’ll share.

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, where do you get the “official” Lutheran position. I am sure that it is what the Book of Concord calls adiaphora – indifferent matter not spoken of for or against in the scripture.

    But I would like to look at it. I am sure that by far the majority of Lutheran churches around the world have a body attached to their cross.

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

    I much prefer

    Pour out your spirit, Lord, on your people
    Pour out your spirit, Lord, on your people
    Pour out your spirit, Lord, on your people
    Let it reign let it reign

    Pour out your mercy, Lord, on your people
    Pour out your mercy, Lord, on your people
    Pour out your mercy, Lord, on your people
    Let it reign let it reign

    Pour out your fire, Lord, on your people
    Pour out your fire, Lord, on your people
    Pour out your fire, Lord, on your people
    Let it reign let it reign

    Turn the hearts of the fathers to their children
    And every nation to the God of love and holiness
    Let the fire of your spirit burn

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

    or this fresh gem

    Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
    Oh my soul, worship his holy name
    Sing like never before, Oh my soul
    I’ll worship your holy name

    The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
    It’s time to sing your song again
    Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
    Let me be singing when the evening comes

    Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
    Oh my soul, worship his holy name
    Sing like never before, Oh my soul
    I’ll worship your holy name

    You’re rich in love and you’re slow to anger
    Your name is great and your heart is kind
    For all your goodness, I will keep on singing
    Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

    Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
    Oh my soul, worship his holy name
    Sing like never before, Oh my soul
    I’ll worship your holy name

    Bless the lord, oh my soul
    Oh my soul, Worship his holy name
    Sing like never before, oh my soul
    I’ll worship your holy name

    And on that day when my strength is failing
    The end draws near and my time has come
    Still my soul will sing your praise unending
    Ten thousand years and then forevermore

    Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
    Oh my soul, worship his holy name
    Sing like never before, Oh my soul
    I’ll worship your holy name

    Bless the lord, oh my soul
    Oh my soul, worship his holy name
    Sing like never before, oh my soul
    I’ll worship your holy name

    Bless the lord, oh my soul
    Oh my soul, worship his holy name
    Sing like never before, oh my soul
    I’ll worship your holy name

  61. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia seemed to summarize it well at 45

    (From the LCMS dot org site)

    In short, and this is the most important point of all, there is nothing contrary to God’s Holy Word, or our Lutheran Confessions, about the proper use of the crucifix, just as there is nothing wrong with the proper use of an empty cross, or any other church symbol by which we are reminded of the great things God has done for us…..In Christian freedom, we use either the crucifix or an empty cross and should not judge or condemn one another for using either nor not using either symbol of our Lord’s sacrifice for our sins.

  62. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, then you missed my point and follow ups. My argument was against those who made a theology out of the empty cross. You don’t see it, but you just as forcefully oppose the body on the cross as you think it denies the resurrection.

    I just don’t think that an empty cross tells the story.

  63. Steve Wright says:

    The point to be kept clear here is that both an “empty cross” and a crucifix symbolize the same thing: the death of Christ our Lord for the salvation of the world.

    (also from the same site)

    MLD, surely with all your empty cross theology talk, you don’t affirm what your leadership is declaring online to all interested (Lutheran or otherwise) in the church’s beliefs…

  64. Steve Wright says:

    My argument was against those who made a theology out of the empty cross.
    This is textbook strawman…YOU are the one who even gave this forum the idea of thinking in terms of “empty cross theology”

    You don’t see it, but you just as forcefully oppose the body on the cross as you think it denies the resurrection.
    I don’t see it because I think nothing of the sort…nor does Josh, nor I assume Michael or anyone else who has commented.

    Just like any faithful Lutheran apparently 🙂 we can each have our preference for what is the more fitting symbol for the gospel…

    Do you really think that I believe the Catholics do not believe in the resurrection because they use a crucifix???? I think we are done here.

  65. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “YOU are the one who even gave this forum the idea of thinking in terms of “empty cross theology””

    Not so – the first person above who gave their reason for preference of a empty cross gave their theology of the empty cross – “because Jesus rose from the dead.” then you all piled on in agreement with that “empty cross theology.”

    I only continued the conversation obviously taking the minority position.

    But your openness to body on the cross, crosses doesn’t pan out as I am sure you would not allow them in your church. My church allows both.

  66. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    And I said way up that I don’t even think it matters if a church has a cross.

    My point is that if you do, you should more fully consider for what purpose.

  67. Josh the Baptist says:

    An artist in our congregation made a crucifix out of some sort of metal and it was on display in the sanctuary for about a year.

    I’m sure it didn’t bother anyone.

  68. Bsbylon's Dread says:

    The Cross was a symbol before Jesus got hung upon it. Without it there is no gospel, sin had to be dealt with before it could be manifestly destroyed by the resurrection. The old idea of “no cross no crown” is the whole matter succinctly put.

    Crosses are offensive and should be boasted about. We glory in the cross. As per the matter of a crucifix, the reformed corrective was more a nuanced battle and we do it disservice to sweep it away with quaint sayings. I personally have no issue with an empty cross or one that shows the full weight of his sufferings.

    One thing sure is that modern notions of sensibility and sensitivity should not drive us. We have a gospel that is offensive and stumbling… intentionally so

  69. Steve Wright says:

    Good grief…a preference for which symbol more fully illustrates the gospel is hardly making a theology.

    But actually, I must laugh at your denomination’s website for blaming Reformed churches for the reason many Lutheran churches do not use a crucifix…even as they pile on about how wrong the Reformed are in their teaching..

    I quote ” In America, Lutherans have always felt a certain pressure to “fit in” with the Reformed Christianity that predominates much of the Protestant church. Thus, for some Lutherans, this meant doing away with things such as crucifixes and vestments, and other traditional forms of Lutheran worship and piety. It is sad when some Lutherans are made to feel embarrassed about their Lutheranism by members of churches that teach the Word of God in error and who do not share Lutheranism’s clear confession and practice of the full truth of the Word of God.”

    Now, if that is the attitude the official site of your denomination wants to proclaim to the world online…

    So you may get some satisfaction in saying that evangelical churches would forbid a crucifix, but at least we are consistent and don’t cave to pressure to conform to other churches that in the same breath we claim are wrong in their theology…and THEN proceed to talk out of the other side of the mouth with the whole “either one is fine and allowable”

    I would not have a crucifix for the simple reason as to not confuse the people who God brings to worship here. It is associated with the Catholic church and we have a huge population in our area with Catholic backgrounds.

    The fact that this is such a confusion among Lutherans with no consistency (as seen in the google search on the topic by actual Lutherans wondering why the two uses) is something for you all to sort out…

  70. Bsbylon's Dread says:

    Roger Olsen has an interesting discussion … I think he is a bit off on his use of sacred space as an argument, but I also think the remaining flags of my church are coming down if only for a season.

  71. Steve Wright says:

    I have to run… here is the link I have been citing

  72. Josh the Baptist says:

    I know it has gone out of fashion here, but I am still very much opposed to Catholicism.

  73. Michael says:

    What possible justification is there for flying a national flag in the house of God?

  74. Xenia says:

    I know it has gone out of fashion here, but I am still very much opposed to Catholicism.<<<

    Me too, but it would still be my second choice.

  75. Bsbylon's Dread says:

    We have flown many flags in our worship center as a testimony to our mission to the nations and our commission to all peoples.

  76. J.U. says:

    Such serious discussion about symbols, from national flags to versions of crosses. That’s one reason I come here regularly. I’m fascinated by the variety of views, some on topics I never even thought to think about.

  77. J.U. says:

    The discussion made me think of this painting I’ve noticed many times throughout my life. My current resemblance to the old man may not be a coincidence.

    This has nothing, zero, nada to do with the discussion of flags and crosses, just a picture that popped into my mind while reading here.

  78. J.U. says:

    To avoid any gender discrimination, there is a companion picture. I might spend some pleasant afternoon time researching these two paintings. I’ve experienced the “old man” picture all my life, but don’t know the artist or background on it. I’ll see what I can discover. That’s always fun.

  79. Em says:

    serious discussions here … hmmm, much like a family dinner table of old – a form of communion?

    BD’s #70 reminded me … the cross was referenced in the O.T. as i understand – cursed is anyone hung on a tree? should always be in view as a reminder to us IMO

  80. J.U. says:

    That was fun. Here’s what I found out. This seems an appropriate thread for a Linkathon blog. I’m putting in lots of links:

  81. London says:

    I like the way BD has hung the flags of many nations in his building. Good reminder that Christianity is not an American invention.
    Plus, a reminder that no matter where you come from, you are represented there.

  82. J.U. says:

    As I continue in this discussion with myself (insert smiley face), I’ve learned the picture is actually a photo, a hand colored photo, and it is called “Grace,” that flexible word for God’s mercy to we sinners and also the name of our thanks to Him.

    Plus, it’s the “State Photograph of Minnesota.”

    OK, back to more serious religious discussion. I’m done with my “Art for Today.”

  83. EricL says:

    JU, thanks for your art links. 🙂

  84. Bob says:

    “The risen Jesus is a symbol of God’s saving work, but love is the evidence of His abiding presence .”

    I like this!


    My Nativity scene doesn’t have cows or wise men. Think about it.

    One more thing, you wrote:

    “All the work was done on the cross – 100% of it – everything was just show. ?”

    Are you sure about that? I think the text says something else.

    Never forget a lot of men and women were hung on a cross during the day.

  85. Scott says:

    I would have no problem teaching or teaching where an American flag is being displayed.

    What’s the big deal?

    Same thing with the empty cross or a likeness on a cross discussion. Really?

    The only people I know who have advocated the removing of crosses are atheists and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  86. Michael says:

    The big deal is that in this country we have far too often confused the kingdom of God with the U.S….to the point where many conflate the two.

    There are other reasons, but I’m not interested in dealing with all that today.

  87. Scott says:

    But, I don’t conflate the two. Therefore, my conscious would not prohibit me from doing so. You’re free to follow your own conscious.

    Now, if there were a big portrait of Lyndon B.Johnson’s likeness hanging in the foyer, I might have second thoughts. 😉

  88. Paul A. Lytton says:

    After reading all of this I am glad that I am not in a high ranked position of any denomination, or even non-denomination. I am a mere nobody, nowhere. However as a result of this I do not need to adhere to, nor respond to a group theology. I am free to trust what I feel to be proper as a manner of worship and praise, based on having faith that God knows my heart and my reasoning for what I do; and the faith that what I do is coming from the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

  89. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thanks London,

    There is no kingdom confusion here …

    Ok I am sure there is but there is definitely no nationalism as a guise for the kingdom

  90. Babylon's Dread says:

    The only flag controversy I have ever had in my church is zionists who are offended over placement of the Israeli flag… no matter where we put it.

  91. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Paul – how does that play out in church. What is some want to pray and then tae communion very first thing in the service and you and others want to do it at the end – is it just a free for all? That is why my church follows a liturgy – not just for the rightness of worshi but for good order

  92. Michael says:

    I probably wouldn’t have an issue with what BD is doing…no hint of exceptionalism or manifest destiny.

  93. Steve Wright says:

    A flag means different things to different people…especially the American flag. I had a Korean war veteran ask me once why we did not have a flag in our church for example.

    The church used to also be the school, the government meeting place, the voting booth and all sorts of “two kingdom” things. Those days are long gone as are the over Christian expressions in the public square (thanks mostly to judicial fiat and not the will of the people)…Though today we still have a few Christian symbols or Scripture in the government sphere, and of course “In God we Trust” on the money.

    Whatever the flag stands for, one part is its symbol “to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”

    I think most identify it with freedom..not submission to a sovereign.

    And as an aside, national flags are sometimes seen in the churches of other countries around the world. So we are not entirely unique in this regard…

  94. Steve Wright says:

    This is an old article, but I just saw it on facebook.

    Piper being Piper if you ask me….(like the women cops link)

  95. Em says:

    it is interesting to read everyone’s thoughts on memorializing the physical cross of our Lord’s crucifixion… to me, among other things, it represents obedience… “not my will, but Thine be done.”

    the only man that was ever born that never compromised with either his own flesh or the devil – it was both man and Satan on the same team, flesh and the devil, that carried out that vengeful act – killing God – proving that they could prevail over Him if He dared enter into their world, confined to human flesh – it didn’t work out that way, though – the first Adam had been an easy target, not so the second Adam…

    this man (God incarnate) died, his soul released and the devil couldn’t touch it/him… imagine that moment – the moment that it dawned on Satan just what he’d done… when he realized that he wasn’t really in charge anymore and was “living on borrowed time” … i wonder if he thought to himself, “why didn’t i just let Jesus play his annoying teaching/miracle game and die a natural death, just another chapter in that Book?”

    sometimes i wonder if we prayed more, the devil’s time might be shortened – sure hate to think that all of this sorrow could have ended 1,000 years ago… probably doesn’t work that way… course, if it had there’d be no me 🙂 dunno, do i?

    theologically incorrect Em here

  96. Em says:

    #’s 58 and 60 … 7 years ago, at my husband’s funeral four of my grandson’s chose to sing acapella that simple hymn about that old cross – to them it symbolized their grandfather’s commitment to the Faith … when i read the words up there i hear a bugle playing taps on a hillside … so … i guess i prefer “The Old Rugged Cross” 🙂

  97. Paul A. Lytton says:


    To answer your #94.

    The way what I said plays out in Church is that your rank of authority in your Church makes you concentrate on “liturgy” of the order in which doing what you do to be more important of how it is done; when the order of it being done is not in the Bible and therefore, yes, it is a free for all as far as in what order it is done in.

  98. Babylon's Dread says:

    Thank you for posting the confession of R W Glenn

  99. Paul,
    And what makes you think Jesus approves of a free for all? I think he waited his turn to read from the Isaiah scroll. Our liturgy follows the ancient Jewish liturgy

    Might I recommend –

  100. Babylon's Dread says:

    DROP a bomb and close the comments?

    Oh boy!

    Repressed memory syndrome has been a boondoggle for therapy and a curse for innocent people. It has been the source of endless havoc.

    I still believe Alex but this has to harm his cause.

  101. Michael says:

    This is a legal matter and there will be a trial.
    I am not going to deal with those who rejoice at this news, nor those who are appalled by it.
    I’m exhausted by the whole thing.
    I do believe Alex and believe that he, and all of us who have been involved in this, will be vindicated at that time.
    Until then, only strife will ensue and I won’t have it.

  102. EricL says:

    Well, one of the enablers of GFA may finally be getting cold feet. According to Throckmorton, the ECFA is putting Gospel for Asia under review.
    But they probably won’t share any results sooner than October. I sure hope this pot won’t be boiling for that long.

  103. Scott says:

    I rejoice in the news that Paul Greiner is experiencing healing and restoration. Sounds like he went through some pretty dark valleys. The fact that his father and mother are encouraging him through the process in light of what they were accused of is a very positive and compelling testimony.

  104. EricL says:

    Steve @ 97, thanks for sharing that Piper tidbit.

    More and more I wonder what kind of a pastor would look up to this guy. Piper’s Bible must be really heavy, with all the rules and standards he keeps adding to it. Churches should discipline smokers? Eating pizza is a sin? Women shouldn’t be cops or weight-lift or develop manly muscles? Women will be eternally subordinate to men? Oh my.

  105. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    “I still believe Alex but this has to harm his cause.”


    Recantations are always held in suspicion. Unless you are willing to hold your hand in the flame, such as Archbishop Cranmer, there will always be doubt. I am genuinely concerned for Paul.

    Praying for the Greniers, and praying for justice and for restoration.

  106. Nonnie says:

    “Praying for the Greniers, and praying for justice and for restoration.” Amen.

    Continuing to pray for Alex.

  107. Steve Wright says:


    So happy that (in order):

    A) Your suicide attempt was not successful
    B) You were not molested by your father as a child
    C) You are clean and sober today
    D) You and your family are working on reconciliation and it is going well.

    Praying for you this morning.

  108. Michael says:

    How ironic that some who refused to believe a sworn statement are quick to believe the recantation of it.
    Actually, it’s not funny at all.

  109. Steve Wright says:

    I wished Paul well. That is all. If you want to talk about this recantation in the light of the past and what I have or have not said…then we can do that…right here.

    (It will have to be here since you unfriended me on facebook I discovered)

  110. Michael says:

    As I said in the article, I’m not going to discuss this here.
    I knew the news would bring joy to some just as it’s devastated myself and others.
    There will be a trial next year and that will be the merciful end of this.
    The subject is closed here.

  111. Steve Wright says:

    Fine then don’t tell this community what I refused to believe or not….because I can present all I have said on the issue, in my own words, thank you.

    And damn straight I have joy to find out the four things I listed at 110.

    I’m done unless again misrepresented…

  112. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t see why this recant would be devastating to anyone.

    It doesn’t hurt Alex’s case. Alex’s case is not dependant on Paul being molested, it is dependant upon Alex believing Paul’s earlier report that he had been molested. If this were a criminal case against Bob, this would be a real hit to the case, but it is not. It is a civil case claiming that Alex has purposefully slandered Bob. Paul’s report of molestation was very believable. This recant doesn’t affect that at all.

  113. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    @110, @111

    For goodness sake, Steve, what makes think @111 was directed toward you?

    If there is such enmity between you and Michael, work it out and move on.

  114. Michael says:

    I’m going to ask one more time that we move on.

  115. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    I hope the Baptist is correct.

  116. Josh the Baptist says:

    Kinda impossible.

  117. Steve Wright says:

    Pastor Brian David Laurie,

    If your question is sincere @116, then you can email me. As far as your imperative to me…well, like I said…email me.

    pastorsteve (at) calvaryle (dot) org

  118. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    I have no desire to reveal my identity to anyone here. I read here everyday although seldom comment. I have read the exchanges between you and Michael in the past and frankly, I’m tired of reading it. There is nothing else I think that needs to be said. The two of you work this out or find another place to express yourself. The deference needs to be extended to the blog owner.

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