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36 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    The article on Christianity in Russia is very informative, and might surprise American readers who assume every culture values personal, individualistic freedom as much as we Americans do.

  2. Xenia says:

    The main reason not to have screens in church is that they cover up the icons….

  3. Em ... again says:

    #2- that is funny 🙂 … and those screens may cover more than icons… they may cover the presence of the Holy Spirit, if they display anything other than the Word … IMHO
    old people’s frame of reference isn’t always up with the times… i saw that and first thought ‘screens in church? why would they put up screens?’ as i pictured folding screens all over the sanctuary

    i find the need to put Pence’s faith under the microscope offensive… pray for his faith, it’s got to be hard to focus in that environment

  4. Nonnie says:

    Good article about the gender inclusive Bible debate.

  5. Mr Jesperson says:

    Sorry, but I got to speak up here. I am married to a Russian who came here 10 years ago. She comes from the common working class poor. The middle class there is very small. When she wakes up, I will tell her about what the CT piece on Russia said. I know her well enough that she will laugh hysterically at the propaganda put up. For those of you who read it, according to my wives point of view, is pretty much total B.S. Why? Her first place where she lived still exists and has no plumbing. She moved out but the poor of her village still live there without plumbing. There was/is no prosperity for the common Russian. Instead, there was severe inflation and a collapse of the banking system where common people lost there money after the break up of the Soviet Union. There are many more products available in the store, but little money to buy them. She lived like most Russians, working a full time job and earning far less than a person here makes off of unemployment insurance or welfare. There is very little in this article that she would identify with other than to scorn the ridiculousness of it.
    She was baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church, but found no answers there. When I met her she was a nominal Christian who was very much alone. Her life was full of hardship and she knew no one at all that she could trust. The local church was no help at all Most men and many of the women are alcoholics even though they would tell you that they are “Orthodox” because they were born as Russians. She left because the state church was empty of love. “If I have not love, I am nothing!” She now speaks of it as a place where the Russian mafia go to burn candles between committing criminal acts. There is no repentance.
    The Russian Orthodox church became notorious for being a big player in smuggling oil out of Saddam’s Iraq illegally for profit. My wife knows that Russian politics is CORRUPT. Because the church there is a state church then the church is equally corrupt. All one had to do is study what happened when the communists took over in 1917. They replaced the leadership of the state church with atheists. Their legacy continues. I am not writing this to slam the rest of the Orthodox church here or in other countries. Here, it is not a state church and is so small that corruption is just not possible on the kind of scale going on inside of Russia. We should all remember that the religious institution that God Himself set up in Israel became so corrupt that it rejected the very Messiah set to save them. We protestants do have a good reason to be weary of the co-mingling of Church and politics. If you think that the religious right and Trump are bad, just try living in Russia for a few months. See how the people really live. See what really goes on inside the state church. Does it look like Jesus, or like those on the religious right of his day that crucified Him?
    If you would like to know the real Russia, you are free to ask my wife about it. She grew up in the Soviet system. She watched it fall apart and saw the chaos the occurred later. She was not part of the minority that are getting rich living in a few mega cities that are as expensive as New York City. She is now a disciple, but that only came about after being here with me for exactly 7 years. She saw how I lived in reality. She saw what was really important to me. She saw the group of true friends I have made and have through the real Church: the Body of Christ with Jesus at the head. I have better friends than she ever had It was such a severe contrast to what she had lived in Russia, that she decided to join the ranks. I am big on Orthopraxy, because Jesus was. It is love put into practice that draws sinners to God. Remove that love and you get an empty religious system that loses its children because the parents do not actually believe what they preach. What we truly believe is what we live. What we do not live is, by definition, hypocrisy.

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    The article about the J. Frank Norris murder trial was very good.

  7. Xenia says:

    Mr. J, we have a Russian friend here at the house right now. Any particular question you want me to ask him?

  8. Xenia says:

    I know a lot of Russians, some of them are close friends. They all have different opinions about Russia, the Soviet Union, etc. Some love Putin, some hate him. So talking to your wife would just add another voice to the mix. while they all love “Mother Russia,” they all seem pretty happy to be in the USA.

    Incidentally, it is because the Russian Church (in Soviet times) was compromised that my own branch of Orthodoxy, ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) was formed, to separate itself from Soviet-style Orthodoxy. (We have since reunited w/ Moscow.)

    Jesus Christ is the head of the Orthodox Church, too.

  9. Em ... again says:

    the 5 ways Christians can respond to terror reminds me that Christianity and common sense have much in common… err something like that

  10. Reuben says:

    Driscoll’s personal Jesus, president of the UFC, endorsed Donald Trump tonight.

    Just wanted to point that out.

  11. London says:

    Me Jeperson,
    Thank you for writing what you did. Very similar in Ukraine.

  12. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    The real estate Team Driscoll got doesn’t seem like it’s got the best history. It was built on the surmise that the city would expand in an area where it didn’t.

    Plus …
    http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Asset48814.aspx
    http://www.modernphoenix.net/churches/gg.htm

    I’m told mid-20th century buildings can be trainwrecks on utilities and MD excitedly sharing about the wonderful recent real estate purchase reminds me of how he was bragging ten years ago about the fantastic find in what was formerly the Mars Hill corporate HQ, which got a deed in lieu of foreclosure as MH dissolved over the last year and a half.

    Driscoll may be starting to pivot away from Calvinism (the allusion to the Servetus incident was obvious in a vodcast this year), he could even theoretically drop complementarianism now that some of his buddies from his neo-Calvinist phase have been getting hammered on their lack of Trinitarian bona fides–then again, Elephant Room 2 might suggest that there’s a “chance” MD is less picky about doctrine than he says he is.

  13. Mr Jesperson says:

    Thanks London,
    What I heard of Ukraine is that it is significantly worse. At the time I met my wife, the average woman in Russia was making $100 a month. In Ukraine, it was $40. That was before the war. That has got to make things even worse now.

  14. Owen says:

    Very interesting quote at the end of the link Carl Trueman link – ” So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire, by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.”

    Methinks that saying has several applications.

  15. nathan priddis says:

    J.Frank Norris

    I am partly a product of the Regular Baptist having been sent to an RB school at six. We were not RB but my Mamma thought it would be good. I loved the playground on sunny days. Sometimes, I still close my eyes and remeber it when I wonder what life is all about, or what’s the point.

    Life has taught me I have no tribe, and the Church has an ugly past.

  16. Em ... again says:

    oh nathan, the Church has a glorious past, but the church as an institution, a mix of sheep, goats and wolves? that’s the ugly and proves the miracle of what God has set in motion – IMHO
    i say this having taken quite a few butts from those goats – pray i didn’t participate in any butting myself, not too sure, tho – God have mercy and thank You, Sir for grace 🙂

  17. Al says:

    A link to a new project of mine. BTW, I confronted Matt Damon tonight at a premier for the shows about his anti-gun position LOL.

    https://youtu.be/30371nSvYuE

  18. Al says:

    ^^ Just stuff I do in between fighting the Calvary Chapel battles and running businesses LOL

    Hope the PhxP peeps are well. Carpe Diem!

  19. Babylon's Dread says:

    The Ark critic shows an interesting phenomenon. He debunks the ark without any science claiming it isn’t scientific. He assumes the day has come in which the mere mention of things like Noah being 600 is sufficient to disregard the matter.

  20. Em ... again says:

    if i lived near that Ark, i’d pay to see it… imagine what people must have thought when Noah was out there building it
    this morning i was reading in Ezekiel … again… God is telling him that his mission was to warn the people and if he didn’t do so, their blood would be on his hands (God’s words were a little more thorough than that)
    BD’s #20 made me realize that God gives ample warnings before bringing the hammer down, so a little introspection is always in order … maybe, they’re wrong – those who think we’re near the end times – but it might maybe be better to disagree with them kindly and thoughtfully, not dismiss all of them offhand as nuts … probably … IMHO 🙂

  21. Al says:

    There are lots of good and sound arguments for the Ark story to be regional and/or analogical/metaphorical….that dude’s thing is not among them LOL.

  22. Al says:

    Any sound logic applied to the Ark story is easily dismissed with the “God miracled it!” eraser so there is really no intellectually honest discussion that can be had with someone who is convinced that the typical evangelical narrative about the Ark and Noah is anything other than what their gurus and sunday school books tell them.

    I am in the Camp that believes there was/is a literal Noah….and that there was likely some sort of big flood…and that Noah likely built some sort of boat and saved his family.

    But the likelihood that it was a global/planetary event doesn’t really hold up for many many reasons….and take into context that when the bible uses the term “THE WHOLE WORLD”…it is always very specific to the HEBREW/ISRAELITE “world” and specific land area….and does not include the West or China etc etc.

  23. Al says:

    The Noah and Ark story being completely 100% literal and the way the evangelicals believe it to be is not at all a Salvation issue nor is it a Jesus issue, so I don’t really care anymore about it.

    It does a disservice to reaching Atheists and Agnostics and the unchurched b/c the evangelical arguments to support it are so stupid that you lose credibility with those outside your Camp right away and then you die on a stupid hill that doesn’t promote Jesus.

  24. Al says:

    Why spend so much time defending an old testament likely anecdotal/metaphorical lore-type story?

    Why not just focus on Jesus and his words and actions and example…..which ironically….many unchurched and Atheists and Agnostics and others are really drawn to and agree with in general.

    I think it’s a huge mistake and very foolish to die on old testament bible story hills and to make Genesis a literal science book and to make Noah and the Ark a science thing.

    Just be real with folks, talk to them about who Jesus was, what he taught, what he exampled, and if you’re going to criticize something, criticize those “inside the church” and let God judge the outsiders….you know, like the bible says in 1 Corinthians 5:12

    Why does the evangelical church excel at fighting with the outsiders and suck so bad at dealing with its own garbage inside the church?

    ….that’s rhetorical question LOL…it’s b/c the church is made up of sinners and not-Jesus’s.

  25. Em ... again says:

    it always surprises me when i come here in the morning and find my thoughts kidnapped by the commenters… 🙂
    i agree with Al that the story of the flood should not get sidetracked on the question of just how much of the earth went under water…
    FWIW – i think, myself, a case can be made for water covering the whole earth as it did before God made the planet habitable in the first place (no i don’t care when He did that, either ) … Genesis 1 might give a hint – where did all that water go?… later when describing the big flood, it says, not just that it rained down, but that the ‘fountains of the deep’ broke up… but… were there llamas and kangaroos on the Ark? dunno
    the regional or whole-planet argument – sidetracks to what is really critical to the point God made, does it not? science is a bit of a sidetrack… miracles? well, if we don’t believe in them, what kind of Believers are we anyway? “God didn’t do it because it’s not scientifically provable?” ahem

  26. Dallas says:

    Al, what you are saying about the ark and it’s impact on reaching the larger world, was a conversation that I was having with my wife on the way back from Harrisburg in January. The turnpike, at least at the time was littered with anti-evolution propaganda paid for by guess who… our friends over at Answers in Genesis. It seems like their real ministry over there is to inflate secondary issues in order to drive a wedge in between the Christian and the rest of the wide world.

    Are Ken Ham and his people considered evangelicals? Because it really seems like their goal is to make evangelism harder.

  27. Papias says:

    Al – #18. Where’s the part about you and Matt Damon?

  28. Em ... again says:

    rabbit trailing off this morning’s thread here, it just occurred to me that all those people who are fixated on imminent end times signs seem to show much more concern with dramatizing that than they are with anticipating the Love of their life putting in His appearance – dunno

  29. Papias says:

    Ken Ham’s WHOLE point revolves around proving Genesis to be true. In his worldview, if he proves Genesis to be true then the Bible is true. His view is that people fall away from the faith when challenged about the Genesis account.

    “Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.”

  30. Al says:

    Papi, here’s the youtube vid of me confronting Matt Damon on the red carpet of his Jason Bourne premier in Meridian, Idaho:

  31. Al says:

    Dallas, thanks and agreed. And, I think they are making it harder.

  32. Alex, I watched your video at the gun shop you posted yesterday. Good job.

  33. Al says:

    Thanks MLD! Much appreciated.

  34. Papias says:

    Al,
    I watched both the Gun show and the Matt Damon videos, and I can also say “Good job”.

  35. Al says:

    Awesome, thanks Papi! I appreciate the feedback and you watching them.

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