Loose Ends

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177 Responses

  1. Jeff Hensley says:

    I’m having trouble seeing through the subtle nuances of your posting. So am I to assume you are “against” this Ray Comfort movie?
    hahaha! Thanks for one of the better laughs i’ve had in a couple days! Awesome!

  2. Steve Wright says:

    Years ago I read an article in Readers Digest that I was able to find again online and I post it here. Written by a missionary who had a chance encounter with Lennon. It is very positive and fits a similar picture I read about Lennon when he visited the Monday Night Football booth one time and was very inquisitive about finding out how the game was played, very humble, willing to learn.

    Some of you may enjoy the missionary article.

    http://www.guideposts.org/personal-growth/encounter-john-lennon-helps-one-woman-grow?page=0,0

  3. Josh Hamrick says:

    I watched some of that goofy mess…and have no clue what it had to do with John Lennon. I think Ray Comfort has a good heart, but he has a tendency to get in over his head. $475 to find out what God wants for me? That’s a steal. Of course, I could just keep living and find out that way. Is the guy in New York a fortune teller?

    The last time you forced a book on me, it was The Pastor. That book only changed my life.

    Just ordered Matt’s book. It may take me a while to get to it, but I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

  4. Bob Sweat says:

    IMO, John Lennon was a musical genius. While the lifestyle and the lyrics of many of the Beatles songs troubled me, at the same time I always thought that behind all that existed a searching for something greater than the life they were choosing to live. John’s song “Imagine” was hauntingly sad.

  5. Nonnie says:

    Steve, that was a beautiful article. Thanks!

  6. Rob Murphy says:

    Pshaw. Elvis sold more gospel records than Lennon. The best Jesus is the ‘merican Jesus.

  7. Rob Murphy says:

    Also, Elvis was a black belt.

  8. Josh Hamrick says:

    Duh, Elvis rules. 🙂

  9. erunner says:

    Ten minutes in. So far it’s stuff I’ve heard a bazillion times. Who cares if people don’t know how he died? Interview enough people and you will get every bizarre answer possible. My wife and I were watching Little House On The Prarire when the news broke in announced he’s been shot. People can be so quick to say so and so is in hell but they will also be the person holding out hope for someone they knew that died stating they don’t know where there heart was before they drew their last breath. Maybe there’ll be something of importance before the film finishes??

  10. Lutheran says:

    Look for Ray’s next book to be a searing expose’ of how the 60s generation delivered up our society to Satan.

  11. Nonnie says:

    Michael said “I got an email this morning from one of those young, hip, Christian performers inviting me to come to New York to meet his “mentor”.
    He’ll help me “uncover” what God wants me to do with my life.
    Typically this would cost me 5000.00 for the two day session, but I can get in for only 475.00!”

    Seriously? There are Christians doing this kind of garbage in the name of ministry? I guess I am very happily out of the loop. Yuk!!!

  12. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    My friend saw Ray Comfort taping one of his witnessing events on Hollywood Blvd. and even apporached Ray. He said that everything seemed very prodcued and unauthentic

  13. Rudy Vallee to Sinatra to Elvis to John & Co. which came first, the mood (popular culture) or the piper? interesting ponder, but i’m tired 🙂

  14. Nonnie,
    “Seriously? There are Christians doing this kind of garbage in the name of ministry? I guess I am very happily out of the loop. Yuk!!!”

    I think that SolRod answered your question – “He said that everything seemed very prodcued and unauthentic”

    Isn’t that what we see on stage and behind the pulpit in so much of a certain christian subculture, that I speak of often (but will not mention at this point so Em doesn’t get all riled up 😉 )

  15. Lutheran says:

    MLD,

    It rhymes with “shmevanshmelical shmulture,” right?

    🙂

  16. Lutheran says:

    Since this is a Loose Ends thread…here’s my nomination for the world’s worse album cover.

    Any speculation on what denom. this came from?

    View at your own risk…

    https://plus.google.com/+MikeElgan/posts/eQgXjUJRDWL

  17. filbertz says:

    Ray needs a more hip handle…how about “Li’l?”

    Li’l Comfort… 😉

  18. erunner says:

    I went to the same church as Ray for a good many years. Our church’s pastor met Ray when he still lived in New Zealand and Ray made the move to the states and our church. His use of the law in witnessing was new for many of us. When Ray spoke at church his passion for the lost was unmistakeable. He had written many books and tracts and I bought many of them.

    Hell’s Best Kept Secret was probably his most popular book. He spoke about crusades and how low the actual conversions were as so many never joined a church etc., something many still say today.

    He spent a long time witnessing at McArthur Park in Los Angeles where drugs and crime were rampant. He wanted to reach as many people as possible using various means. He was an open air preacher in New Zealand and I believe did much the same here.

    He then started Living Waters ministries and eventually had a show on TBN. Later he teamed with Kirk Cameron and they did a lot together.

    So far this video hasn’t done much for me. I’ll conclude it later. I know he’s taken a lot of heat for taking on evolutionists and probably other stuff he’s done.

    The man has a passion for reaching for the lost. I am not qualified to question his motives or how he does things. He’s following his convictions and I could learn to do the same.

  19. Steve Wright says:

    Amen erunner

  20. Em says:

    MLD, speak up and often, just be more precise in your labels, i say 🙂

    and another amen to erunner’s observation on following convictions … can we be gracious nuisances? dunno

  21. erunner says:

    I enjoyed the last 14 minutes. Ray had challenged people to consider their professed faith and asked others if they would accept Christ. He did not soft pedal anything. He was able to speak with many that others might not ever approach. I hope those conversations bore fruit.

    This would have been much better without John Lennon as he was pretty much background material and the focus of immaterial questions.

    I’m not knowledgable as to what constitutes a false convert. I do know that David went a year before Nathan confronted him. The man who slept with his father’s wife in 1 Corinthians was restored to the faith. I wouldn’t be too quick to call people false converts based on these examples lest I find myself in the same boat.

    I’m not one to pass out videos, etc. because they aren’t mine. I am not Ray. I am most comfortable talking one on one with people.

    The self proclaimed Buddhist was an attention getter for sure. I am comfortable stating that those who profess faith in a false christ or false religion are destined to hell unless they encounter God through Jesus Christ. The most dangerous thing is to invite them in under a wide, universal tent. Thanks for sharing this Michael.

  22. I want to know more about the identity of “one of those young, hip, Christian performers and his “mentor” in New York.

  23. Alex says:

    Same ‘ol “christian” merchandising and celebrity-making….for Jesus of course.

    Save the money. You can share the gospel for free w/o a conference or a pack of dvd’s.

  24. Alex says:

    Dunno, maybe it’s just me, but the heathens are getting smarter the older I get. I think most would view this Comfort vid as comedy rather than take it at all seriously.

  25. erunner says:

    Alex, I’m old fashioned and believe your #26 is not suitable for this blog. Maybe you might make your points without being crude…..

  26. I didn’t see anything wrong with the video. I thought the John Lennon hook was pretty cleaver to get people’s attention for a minute to get the discussion going.

    As to Alex’s comment about pagans taking it as a joke, non believers take every preacher’s preaching as a joke – that’s why they are non believers. I think Paul addressed the gospel as foolishness to those who are perishing – and per Jesus in John 3 these folks are already perishing.

    So who cares what a perishing person thinks? In the end, they should care very much about what we think – and the only way to let them know what you think, is to tell them… which Comfort is doing.

  27. brian says:

    Mr. Comfort does not accurately portray the Theory of Evolution in my opinion.

  28. If brian is posting, It must be time for bed. 🙂

  29. DMW says:

    I agree with erunner Alex, your comment was just crude and vulgar and added nothing. Why don’t you ask to have it removed. Any musical instrument no matter how beautiful it can be, if the player only plays one note over and over it will drive everyone away. Alex you are capable of more, you can be better than this, Learn to play another song.

  30. DMW says:

    And erunner you are not old fashioned you are right.

  31. since old fashioned is acceptable here tonight, i’ve been thinking today about generational focus, what any generation “thinks” is true – because generation trends (latest and greatest now) do tend to drag us along …

    it isn’t so much what is true as it is what we think … sadly, the worst thing that has happened to the human race is our own wonderful problem solving ability … our wonderful progress in the world of scientific study, not because it is wrong in and of itself (far from it) but because it is has made it very hard to see God as relevant, let alone holy, and it is very easy in our high minded idealism to see hell as unthinkable …

    that said, i do not know who is going to end up in hell – it seems to me that we’d be better served to just say, it’s a place one doesn’t want to end up … we should affirm the state as real without going on to presumptuously assign people we know, individuals or categories, to it

  32. one more thing … 😎 the Theory of Evolution is, itself, evolving – a very slippery fish

  33. brian says:

    Actually it is suppose to do that, all theories are refined and redefined as evidence is accumulated and vetted. The theory of gravity, germ theory, the theory of electromagnetism, and so on have all been reexamined. Some theories thought valid have been dropped or changed. From my very limited understanding that is the way it is suppose to work. Unlike revelation knowledge that has never underwent change, redefinition, reformulation um never mind.

  34. n o m a n s says:

    Sorry i missed that you guys

  35. Jtk says:

    What’s was Paul’s “rate” for Timothy?

    Ray Comfort’s abortion/Hitler DVD was some difficult yet fascinating footage, especially compared with the superficial tv reality shows of our day….
    But I can “imagine” how bad this one is….

  36. brian says:

    Another thing concerning Mr. Comfort he has been corrected on bazillion occasions concerning his misrepresentation of other people’s positions. I find it offensive when people undermine the reform tradition, a view point I am absolutely diametrically apposed to but do not speak much on because I understand many of my opposing views are emotional and personal. So I refrain from stating them most of the time. For example someone online asked me what reformed theology was and my opinion I stated my opinion, caveated with it is an emotional / personal view then directed them to aomin.org or some other reformed site so they can get a balance. Mr. Comfort does not do this, he speaks as an authority on many issues such as evolution, science in general, politics, and faith. He constantly misrepresents the Catholic faith, he would misrepresent the Orthodox faith if he could find someones critic of EO that would fit on a dollar bill, the tract dollar bill not that he is greedy.

    In many cases Mr. Comfort cant even rent a clue but still speaks as an authority. Just my opinion, one should not, if they can help it not to misrepresent others positions, I am of course speaking to me as well.

  37. Jtk says:

    I LOVE witnessing. Many times per week.

    I love REAL reality tv (that isn’t scripted or manipulated or Jersey Shore).

    I love “Jaywalking”

    I just love seeing what makes people tick.

    I love the Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron witnessing videos–so many times radically change in the course of one relatively short conversation.
    I don’t do it THEIR way though, doubt I could…

    It seems to me:
    If the Kingdom of God was giving out/selling Snickers Bars, many churches have the candy locked up in our warehouses and wonder where the customers are…..

  38. Alex says:

    MLD said, “So who cares what a perishing person thinks?”

    I’m pretty sure Jesus does.

  39. Alex says:

    Never was any good at music. My real dad was a drummer though. I didn’t get the gene, I guess.

    Pardon me for being a little more disgusted than usual realizing what a sucker i was played for in front of Chuck Smith. Come to find out Calvary Chapel does do “investigations” and publishes scathing 318 page reports on pastors who abuse, etc. Just not their own pastors…

  40. Ixtlan says:

    I think of John Lennon and I think of a man who was more full of it than a Christmas goose and who represents a large portion of a generation that sowed to the wind and reaped the whirlwind.

  41. John Lennon?
    Really?

    O_O

    The man is in the presence of God, having rewritten “Imagine”, now fully realizing how silly the whole “more popular than Jesus” brouhaha was, playing with the press corps. John imagined “peace” but now he knows it, living in an eternity encompassed in the love of The Savior.

    Is this the best that evangelicalism can do, play off the bittersweet life and tragic death of a man far more talented than they are or will ever hope to be?

  42. Alex says:

    G said, “Is this the best that evangelicalism can do”

    Unfortunately, I think there’s worse than this, as bad as it is.

  43. John’s (and my) generation demanded the end of an unjust war, marched for civil rights, demanded equality for women, blacks, all minorities, spearheaded the progressive experimentation within the arts, freedom of expression… hardly a whirlwind

    If you are enjoying Western Civilization’s freedoms you owe at least some small debt to John Lennon

  44. Ixtlan says:

    @41 For John’s sake, I hope you are right, but I am not convinced.

    Talented, yes, although not my cup of English tea. And I wish we could have seen what he would have done after “Double Fantasy”. He altered the course a degree or two by happening to find himself in the right place at the right time.

    and at least we agree on one thing with John…… “Imagine” was badly in need of a rewrite…

    peace……

  45. This is the heart and soul of such ones who dare to question, to expose hypocrisy, to challenge the status quo, to demand liars cease, to scream into a microphone from behind a guitar or a piano and tell the world that it must change, it must free itself from whatever shackles the mind and ignore those who tell us to stop dreaming.

  46. I’m going to be quite entertained when a critic can step up and deliver against John’s legacy of music.

    Please do your best and post your best work.

  47. Do you have a link, a website, are you on YouTube, or perhaps in iTunes?

    Yeah, didn’t think so

  48. Alex says:

    Seems Lennon had quite an existential crisis and shift toward the end. Looks like he didn’t believe in much really, other than himself and his relationship with his lover. Quite a profoundly sobering take from a man who spent most of his life dreaming…only to come to such a dreamless conclusion:

  49. Alex,
    Even that clip cannot close the door to the hope that Jesus intervened and brought Lennon into an eternity that springs forth from the God of all creativity

  50. Alex says:

    certainly G, i didn’t post it to question Lennon’s final destination, I just found it quite profound at that point in his journey for such a man who was such a dreamer at one time earlier in his journey

    I hope the best for him and I can tell you with all certainty that I am not God, so I dunno

  51. Alex,
    Dreams can remain large, dare I say “transcendent” for humanity when all religious ideals are shattered for whatever reason(s). We, you even more than I, can attest to this reality after what we’ve experienced from betraying, lying religious personages.

    This is why I am a universalist, a believer in the love of Jesus ultimately winning. If we had to secure our eternity based on the power of our belief instead of the aggressively unfair act of Jesus making the ultimate sacrifice to end the separation of humanity from The Father, not one single human could have a shred of hope.

  52. One thing we can agree on, we can take no comfort is Ray’s cheap hijacking of John Lennon

  53. erunner says:

    I followed John Lennon till his tragic end. He created some awesome music that can’t be matched. Two songs he wrote about his mother ( Julia and Mother) are deep expressions of the impact of his love for her and her tragic end. Beautiful Boy is a masterpiece as John expressed his love for son Sean.

    Yet John was not a good father to Julian in any sense. He was married when he and Yoko got together and he had his infamous year in Los Angeles with May Pang while married to Yoko.

    He was killed as his career seemed to be back on track. People have speculated about John’s spirituality a lot and I bought a book exploring the influence religion had on the Beatles. Did John come to Christ before he died? We won’t know this side of eternity.

    The video Michael linked to was done by Ray Comfort. It’s his project and not that of the evangelicals, whoever they are.

  54. brian says:

    “One thing we can agree on, we can take no comfort is Ray’s cheap hijacking of John Lennon”

    I may not believe in it but it has served him well in most of his evangelical career. Trust me I would never deny his right to do this. But cheap parlor tricks are the part and parcel in his part of the franchise. I did street preaching a few times, usually I was one of the people handing out the tracts. I stood in front of the book tables handing out tracts and talking to people about Jesus. I failed, which was often pointed out to me in spades. The song means alot but I would replace dream with nightmare, and it is not over.

  55. Ixtlan says:

    @51
    Have you read Hegel? He had a universalist slant, although Kierkegaard was never convinced….Universalism does require us to take history a bit more seriously, at least for those who are inclined. Too many holes in the sail for the ship to make any headway, but it does force some incredibly hard and frustrating questions.

    If I could embrace universalism, I would let go of the church.

  56. Lutheran says:

    ‘If I could embrace universalism, I would let go of the church.’

    Ixtlan,

    Why?

  57. “If I could embrace universalism, I would let go of the church.”

    Why?

    We are all the church, and we cannot deny who we are, as messed up as we might be.

    “…the evangelicals” are those who evangelize as their primary identity, and having been part of that subculture it is one which simply doesn’t go far enough in embracing the widest totality of life

  58. Alex says:

    From a purely Philosophical Logic perspective (not necessarily what I believe, just pointing out the conclusions as filtered through that lens):

    If God is truly Sovereign and truly everything was “caused” and created by Him, and if God truly knew and knows everything that would occur, etc… including creating beings (angels and humans) with the capacity to rebel and to sin and having created “hell” whatever form that is, etc and providing His authored remedy of Jesus (eternal being, God-head) becoming human at a fixed point in linear finite man time….then:

    It pretty much boils down to Fatalism/Determinism where some are destined for heaven and some hell…or in the end Universalism where everyone eventually is redeemed (whatever that means and whatever form that takes in the next existence).

    Depends really on which statements in the bible (if the bible is “the” authority) are the Greater Truth.

    There is an interesting argument that “separation from God” is forever and a forever, meaning a long long time, but not necessarily for eternity.

    Of course, as with most Scripture, you can appeal to nuance and hermeneutic and proper translation of particular words and which context is correct etc etc etc.

    Dunno with 100 percent certainty.

    I do know this:

    I am not God.

  59. I know of no one who has had the ideal story, end game, or narrative. Every flawed human has failure. Even our most beloved among us will fail in some facet. Grace and mercy of God overcomes our inherently flawed nature, regardless of how cooperative we are. Blessing multiplies when we embrace this grace and mercy

  60. brian says:

    You are correct Hegel was a powerful force in German “Idealism” of the late 1700rds – early 1800’s. Some hold that he was a powerful force / precursor to Marxism which is one reason he is often seen as an enlightenment boogie man. I am no expert but he Hegel saw the massive shifts from rural to urban live, farm living to industrialization. Many of the old paradigms failed, miserably in spades. He still wanted to hold to the Christian ethos but could not hold onto some of the implications. That is a very simple view.

    In a way I can relate, I am a universalist, not out of any philosophical or religious reason, as I would not be surprised nor offended of God sent my soul to hell right now do not pass go do not collect 200$. But I struggled with those I work with going to hell. Now let me explain, because most of the people I work with cannot give a full articulate, rational, logical, and effective defense / apologetic of the faith they are on the express train to hell. Born with severe disabilities, live for many years in daily physical pain, sensory loss etc. Then to be resurrected in glorified bodies to be sent into perdition because Jesus spewed them out of His mouth because they were lukewarm. I am actually toning down the rhetoric a bit.

    Now most Christians are not like this, the people I work with have better lives because of the Christian religion and its works for those who are disabled. This is the norm by far in the Christian faith, but do to personal experience and to some degree, well much degree of personal need to be a martyr I did not gain a balanced view. I allowed a root to take hold and it clouded all of what I saw and it has taken so much to dig myself out of the hole I put myself in. If that makes any sense.

    But some of what I say has some validity, a story from a reliable source. A christian women, worked all her adult life as a Christian worker. She was wonderful, then she got ill, developed dementia and lost much of her faculties, in her less lucid states she would utter some of the most vile blasphemy, curses, and such. Now the bible is clear once someone is “saved” they will not continue in sin, so she must not have been saved because she continues to sin. Back to personal experience, I dont care who you are, if the specific part of your brain is damaged do to injury or disease, you will have a change in personality. That is a fact, it could make someone violent, resentful, paranoid, angry, say the most horrid things about God, Jesus the virgin Mary and so on. Those are personal experiences. So are these people lost. Expand that out, what about a mayor in a Mexican City that did not have all her theological ducks in a row, is she saved? Of course she is, if she is not, then we are all lost.

    There are major theological wholes but I guess I look at it this way, being the piece of trash I am, God has not wasted me. How could He not save them. Of course one could drive a truck through my theological holes, I know that.

  61. Ixtlan says:

    thanks brian…..

  62. brian,
    During your many late night posts I have found comfort in the same conclusions you post tonight.

    Yes, the only way this “relationship with God” thing works is for us who do have our faculties to cry out to God, counting on His mercy for when we become feeble, our minds begin to wain, and our vitality fades. Those among us who cannot string together a sentence are still precious to God, even in our ignorant arrogance and doubt. I watched my proud mother who cursed God during the last year of her life become increasingly humbled by mini strokes and the loss of her abilities. She could barely speak before her passing but she had gone from being distant and full of rage to a simple childlike faith. The only thing she had left was her ability to pray for others and for me, my family, and her singularly focused husband of 52 years, and her life became one of uncomplicated, wistful prayer, the kind a dying woman who can still feel the love of her family becomes devoted to.

    brian, thank you for your night-watch faithfulness

  63. Alex,
    This article might resonate with you as it has with me. Frank is his usual self, full of hyperbole, but really makes a good point about, when all is said and done, we simply choose to believe in God and it’s usually our wives we have to thank! And he’s convinced he’s not God either. 😉

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frankschaeffer/2012/12/how-to-keep-your-mate-even-if-you-are-a-semi-evolved-recovering-evangelical-controlling-bastard/

  64. brian says:

    “brian, thank you for your night-watch faithfulness”

    Dont know about faithfulness but late night, ever sense I was a kid with horrid night terrors which never really went away for the most part me and late nights have been old friends and enemies. Want to hear something rather pathetic I actually watch Christian late night programming with the praise the Lord and praise scenes. They are pictures with scriptures and nature scenes.

  65. What pathetic claptrap last night’s conversation was. Every position was about “you” and not a single point was about Jesus. So, whenever you look at “your” position from “your” point of view, you end up by saying what you said.

    Not one of you even alluded to the idea, that Jesus makes the difference. I don’t think that even the conversations over at SCCL are as self centered,/ “me” centered, as what I read here.

    Everything you guys said were comments of people in despair and with not hope. I ask you guys to look at Jesus and ask “does Jesus make a difference” – so far you all answered NO!”

    jtk’s statements above were the last christian remarks made.

  66. Nonnie says:

    MLD, As my sweet mother use to say, when she couldn’t think of anything else to say….
    “I love Jesus!”

    I agree with you MLD; Jesus does make a difference. If I didn’t know Christ and his promises, the life, this world would be too dark and frightening for me. But I know in Whom I believe……..He is able.

  67. “the last christian remarks made”

    So a person must pass a test to have their remarks “approved” as “christian”?

    …not

    Here’s a clue, a person chooses to align themselves as “christian” for many reasons, as John Lennon aligned himself in the conversation with the missionaries as cited in Guideposts, “…C of E…”, and expressed his seeking spirituality.

    Expressions of doubt or hope spring from the reality that has been accomplished by Jesus, and that reality has an effect to a greater or lesser degree based on human engagement with The Divine.

    What we were discussing last nigh was honest, springing from our hearts, musing because we were recognizing that Jesus, indeed, has made a difference, even when we are dismissed by fellow members of the church, and our comments are belittled while a critic seeks to diminish them and us.

  68. Nonnie says:

    I am so thankful that the Lord didn’t cast me away when I was going through all my spiritual wonderings and wanderings. I’m still on a journey, but now He leads.
    G-man, I appreciate your heart!
    MLD, I appreciate your passion for the gospel.
    I love this community!

  69. ( |o )====:::
    Are you, from your “side” of the church, belittling my comments?

  70. Josh Hamrick says:

    I missed it MLD, point me to some non-Christian stuff 🙂

  71. I am a product of the 60’s but Didn’t really think too highly of John’s musical skills as either a player or a song writer. So I don’t relate to the hype around him. (although he did garner a lot of fame and attention). I guess on one level he and others like him spoke for a generation of young adults but regardless, he wasn’t a scholar- heck, I think he just graduated High school-he was just a musician and even at that IMO, just a so so one at that.

  72. Alex says:

    G, it did. Very interesting take….and lots of hyperbole 😉

  73. Scott says:

    Lennon’s song, “All we are saying is give peas in cans”, was epic.

  74. erunner says:

    g, I have always seen universalism as a pernicious tool of satan as I understand it. All people eventually will be with us in Heaven who have been born again through the work of Christ on the cross and through His conquering of death through his resurrection??

    If I understand correctly Hitler, Joseph Smith, Jim Jones, and others who rejected the gospel message will at some point be redeemed?

    If that is true it seems to me everything Christ did was for nothing. There is no hell to be concerned with as it doesn’t exist or only exists to hold people for a season of time?

    If this were to be true then the gospel message makes no sense at all and my concerns for the eternal destiny of those around me in the long run is misplaced.

    Finally, if this were true then Christ’s death was in vain and I have played the fool. I know folks wrestle with annihilation of the lost which I disagree with but the idea of those who went to their graves rejecting Christ or outright despising or even hating Him is something I could never consider.

    It boils down to this for me. If universalism is true then what’s the point? Every path does eventually lead to the kingdom with a detour or something on the way.

  75. erunner says:

    “Finally, if this were true then Christ’s death was in vain and I have played the fool. I know folks wrestle with annihilation of the lost which I disagree with but the idea of those who went to their graves rejecting Christ or outright despising or even hating Him is something I could never consider as far as them spending eternity with the One who they despised and rejected.”

    This is how the above paragraph should read.

  76. Steve Wright says:

    I guess my question is if the same standard applies to Sid Vicious and Darby Crash? Their ‘legacy of music’ not quite being in the same league as Lennon’s.

  77. Josh Hamrick says:

    Why did Darby start dressing like Adam Ant there at the end?

  78. I guess I can sum up last nights conversation this way. Ray Comfort used John Lennon to speak about God.

    Ya’ll thought the conversation was about John Lennon and proceeded in that direction. Other than to John Lennon, it doesn’t matter a wit if he was a Christian. He was more vocal and forthright about his Eastern & Mystical ties than he ever was about being a Christian. He may have been one and I hope he was.

    But to buy into universalism or to tryto pump up his comment for his C of E association – the topic still needs to be about Jesus… and it was not.

    Now, we are all sinners and as Luther described us “we are all turned in on ourselves”… so I guess you were just playing out that theme.

  79. Steve Wright says:

    Josh,

    Maybe Malcolm Mclaren influence? Although I have to take your word for it because the only footage of Darby I’ve seen is the stuff from ‘Decline’

    Used to love that one album though…

  80. Josh Hamrick says:

    I was never a Germs fan, but loved Decline…still do, in a weird way.
    IF you search Darby Crash band on youtube, you’ll see him doing the weird adam ant thing. It was shortly before his death.

  81. Josh Hamrick says:

    When a Christian talks about football, does that conversation have to be about Jesus?

  82. Steve Wright says:

    Funny, today is the anniversary of Darby Crash’s death. Per wiki.

  83. Steve Wright says:

    Which was one day before Lennon’s assassination on 12/08/80.

  84. Josh Hamrick says:

    Wow, had no clue.

  85. Em says:

    interesting to read last night’s thoughts and today’s reactions …
    brian responded to my comment on the Theory of Evolution with a snappy comeback, but he missed the point … i was not informing that the theory evolves, rather IMV, that the fact that is does is what deludes man and his ego into a state of mind that is very much like the zone that one goes into when at the computer with one’s hand on that mouse, i.e., “don’t touch it, i’ll get it figured out myself!”

    i myself think that hell is precisely why Jesus Christ – Immanuel – submitted to a crucifixion: “God so loved the world…” yes – Christ as an example? yes, but much more …
    He wasn’t crucified to be a lifestyle example …. i’m sure there’s more and there are reams of theological writing on the subject – not trying to start up anything here … just sayin that, for me, hell is the easiest ‘why’ of the sacrifice for me

    where is Lennon today? dunno, but he’s not here – he’s most definitely shot *his* wad

  86. Em says:

    Post Script apology … for those who felt the killing of John Lennon so deeply, my “shot” reference was insensitive … although it was not intended to relate to that event, just that he has no more to add to his testimonies to us …

  87. Josh Hamrick says:

    I don’t believe in Evolution, and don’t see how it benefits anyone in the world for me to believe in evolution.

  88. Steve Wright says:

    all theories are refined and redefined as evidence is accumulated and vetted.
    ——————————–
    The thing is, this can’t be said about punctuated equilibrium. Gould and Eldredge invented this out of whole cloth when Darwin was proved so colossally wrong on the fossil record after decades of research.

    TRUE science would continue to examine evidence and be willing to go all the way back to square one if needed. Evolutionists refuse to do this though. Unlike for example the ID movement which is willing to challenge the very Darwinian foundations, the evolutionist MUST hold to Darwin, even as they invent new ways to explain why Darwin is right, though he was so wrong.

  89. Alex says:

    There is a compelling Scientific argument for Evolution as fact (there’s nuance of course and most people’s view of Evolution is a Strawman and not what the Science has really documented, tested, verified etc).

    Now, having said that, I’m in the Camp that says, “Dunno”

    I will say that even if Evolution is fact, it does not mean it was the means God used in His Creation.

    I think there is much more we don’t know than we do know.

    I also acknowledge that the likelihood that this planet is 6,000 years old is extremely unlikely based on the evidence we have. I wish Genesis was more likely completely literal and a Science Account, it would make things so much easier. However, I’ve been testing this subject for decades now…and was once a Literal 6 day Creationist and completely opposed to Evolution….but the facts we observe in our time in our existence in our Universe in our Planet are what they are…and it is highly unlikely that the Young Earth Creationists are right…no matter how many books my mother-in-law gives me to the contrary 🙂

  90. Alex says:

    Correction: “I will say that even if Evolution is fact, it does not mean it was the means God used in His Creation”

    should read: “does not mean it was NOT the means….” meaning God could use any means we don’t fully understand to accomplish His Plan. There is much more we dont’ understand about the Universe and Reality around us, than we do understand.

  91. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Alex said:

    “Same ‘ol “christian” merchandising and celebrity-making….for Jesus of course.

    Save the money. You can share the gospel for free w/o a conference or a pack of dvd’s.”

    Yup my thoughts exactyl!!

  92. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    brian said:

    “But cheap parlor tricks are the part and parcel in his part of the franchise.”

    Unfortunately that has become all to common in today’s Christian World. Why not just give others the beautiful message of the gosple without all the extra trimmings and gimmicks

  93. I don’t think that the Bible and evolution are compatible – you have to choose one or the other.

    Here is what we do know. The Bible says In the beginning- it doesn’t say when, it just says there was a beginning – and then it goes on to say what God did – he created.

    Now, if you look closely, it says that he made all the fish and flying things and the land animals. Then it talks about his creation of man. It does not say that he took one of his previous creations and from that creation that he made man. No, it says that man was created separate from all of the other creations. God could have said that he grabbed a monkey and breathes into his nostrils and voila! man. Nope, didn’t say that.

    You must choose between the two.

  94. Steve, I was just reading that article 10 min ago.

  95. Em says:

    the Faith does make a mistake when it enters into a discussion with the world of science, i think … right now incredible advances are happening in monitoring and probing the nervous system … our brains are sooo fantastic a stunning piece of equipment designed by God as a processor IMHO … but, if our defense of the immortal soul’s existence and accountability to a Creator is predicated on **experiences** paranormal or emotional we are in trouble, i think, we had the warning shot across our bow back in O’Leary’s LSD days …
    i heard a funny observation of college professors a couple days ago – they are people who see their bodies as useful only as transporters of their brains from one site to another … perhaps, we need to see our brain merely as a tool also – there for the expression of the soul?

  96. Alex says:

    MLD, it would be very difficult to have a discussion with you on the subject of Evolution b/c of your profound misunderstanding of the actual Premise and the actual facts that have been established. You are expressing what is called a Strawman and you don’t even realize it.

    What I find particularly fascinating about the Genesis Account is that the “order” in which it describes God “creating”…is nearly identical to the order described in Evolution.

    IMO, the likelihood of an Ancient Writer understanding the proper Evolutionary order with Man being last in the chain and plant life and water life being first in the chain…is pretty unlikely by accident. Highly improbable. Combine that with the Book of Enoch and wowzers…some folks had some Supernatural insight into the Universe and the way things work…and to assume on the part of the Atheist that it is pure luck is quite a leap.

    Here is the Evolutionary Tree…notice the order of things from the first organic life to Man.

    See how it mirrors the Genesis Account:

    http://library.thinkquest.org/29178/media/treeolif.jpg

    Pure luck and coincidence that the Ancient Writers had things in such a remarkably accurate order? I don’t think so…

  97. Alex says:

    On the other side of the issue: Is Genesis necessarily a Science Book? Did God intend it to be a literal scientific account with 100% scientific accuracy…or was there some parable nature and metaphor nature to it?

    Would an Ancient People have been able to digest and understand if God laid out Theoretical Physics, Quantum Theory, Natural Physical Law as we understand it today, Biology, Microbiology, DNA, etc etc?

    No, of course not.

    Just like folks today like to state that a particular bible verse needs to be viewed in ‘context’ of that day and that culture and that time…likewise with the Genesis Account.

    Is God the Creator?

    Yep.

    Do we fully understand Origins and the Singularity and how it all happened?

    Nope.

  98. Alex says:

    Is MLD talking out of his arse and doesn’t understand much of Evolution and the facts that have been established as evidenced by what he posted?

    Yep.

    😉

  99. Alez,
    Have you considered that the evolutionists looked to the Bible for the order – and then made everything up after that in an effort to eliminate God?

    Again, the bible would have had to say that God created man out of some previously created being, to get evolution rolling.

    Why do you start first with evolution and then look to the bible to see if the bible is accurate. I look to the bible first… otherwise I would have to toss a man coming back to life after 3 days in the grave – science tells me that is impossible.

  100. Alex says:

    Is it time for me to bow out and let others post and not dominate the thread?

    Yep.

    🙂

  101. No, it’s time for you to directly address my question and not just toot your own horn about how smart you are.
    Why do you look to science first. What about the dead man coming back to life?

  102. Steve Wright says:

    I don’t know what Bible you guys read. Mine says that the earth and all its vegetation, fruit trees, and bodies of water were created before the sun.

    Find me the evolutionist that agrees with that slight discrepancy to the theory.

    And again, my Bible says the birds were created along with the sea creatures BEFORE any earthly animals or creeping things. Find me the evolutionist that supports that chain. That chart sure doesn’t.

  103. “O’Leary”?
    Didn’t she have a cow?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_O%27Leary

    Timothy Leary
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Leary

    “Leary died on May 31, 1996 at the age of 75. His death was videotaped for posterity at his request, capturing his final words. During his final moments, he said, “Why not?” to his son Zachary. He uttered the phrase repeatedly, in different intonations, and died soon after. His last word, according to Zachary Leary, was “beautiful.”

    “He popularized catchphrases that promoted his philosophy, such as… ‘think for yourself and question authority'”.

    Hmmm, thinking for oneself & questioning authority, principles which are never welcomed by those who wish to control others and determine the social order.

    Evolution, young earthers and science VS faith?
    It was when we entertained the ideas of evolving life forms and genetic mutations, experimented and confirmed that these are observable and repeatable phenomena and not merely the whims of players within a spiritual dimension that touches ours, a spiritual dimension that we have to sacrifice to and appease, that we began to have the advances which cured disease, provided vaccines, and hastened the improvement of the quality of life and safety within the Western civilization.

  104. mods. i have a 2 link post languishing in limbo
    thx

  105. My point wasn’t so much the order, but that God actually described in pretty good detail how he made man and woman. He (1) didn’t leave it at “and God said” or “and God create”. (2) He spent some time describing how he did it..

    For Alex to say, well the people wouldn’t understand this or that is idiotic People of all time would have understood “and God grabbed Cheeta, and breathed into him…”

  106. “…the earth and all its vegetation, fruit trees, and bodies of water were created before the sun.

    “…the birds were created along with the sea creatures BEFORE any earthly animals or creeping things.”

    Soooo, this proves that this portion of the Genesis account is pre-scientific, out of harmony with what we reliably and demonstrably can repeat in controlled experiments and the science of animal husbandry and zoology

    An Earth, with vegetation, fruit trees and bodies of water, without the star we call The Sun would be a complete deep freeze, and at odds with a living ecosystem.

    Birds could eat fish, so unless the species which feed on carrion and seeds would have a tough time with having no nourishment.

    The ancients who penned Genesis were explaining, the best they knew how, that God is the prime cause and effect. Much beyond that and weve really got to deal with the reality that our sacred texts are at odds with observable science.

  107. Em says:

    actually a pretty good discussion here … about 40 years ago, i had a thought 😎 and it has been floating around in my brain ever since … what are the chances that there is a pattern to creation, which the world of science has picked up on and misdiagnosed as an evolution rather than simply a hierarchy of complexity?

  108. This is like the conversation from last night – no one wants to account that Jesus makes a difference. Could Jesus sustain the creation in it’s crazy order? I say yes, Alex and G apparently say no.

    “An Earth, with vegetation, fruit trees and bodies of water, without the star we call The Sun would be a complete deep freeze, and at odds with a living ecosystem.”

    Yes, this is true in a creation with NO JESUS.

  109. Josh Hamrick says:

    Bingo, MLD. Creation was a supernatural thing. No natural explanation will ever get it right.

    As for last night, I just thought people were talking about one of the Beatles.

  110. Steve Wright says:

    Exactly MLD and Josh. Creation is a MIRACLE. The Bible has many of them.

    And I do believe there is a strong Biblical case for literal 24 hour days, making a day without the sun far more reasonable than a multi-million-year epoch.

  111. “Could Jesus sustain the creation in it’s crazy order?”

    Ah, yeah, and could anything happen for any reason if “God wants it that way”, sure, but the observable universe doesn’t work that way and the sacred texts don’t allow us to play that game.

    Without overlaying any assumptions about a spiritual dimension, if any 100 humans are asked to observe an experiment which posits a cause and effect, localize the cause, execute the cause, and watch a repeatable effect, every time, then you have what we within Western Civilization call “science”, which is the thing that drives physics, medicine, engineering, music, sound, photography, finance.

    Adding numbers always produces a sum, regardless of if a person believes in a spiritual realm. Even as a committed follower of Jesus I don’t pray for an answer to balance my checkbook, I use the repeatable and demonstrable science of mathematics because 2+2=4, regardless of if I pray or take communion or fast or say 2 Our Fathers, make a pilgrimage to Mecca, or say the sinner’s prayer.

    An ecosystem always requires an energy transfer for life to sustain

    Form follows function

    2+2 always equals 4
    …even if you make no sacrifices to your God, bind and rebuke the devil, or quote a bible verse as a prooftext.

    By the way, just because Alex and I are in agreement here doesn’t mean that anyone must dismiss Alex because of me being a niversalist. Alex and I agree on far more than we disagree on, my universalism not withstanding.

  112. …and Josh is right, last night we were talking about one of the Beatles and how the poor chap continues to be vilified or exploited by christians who are trying to make a buck or manipulate people

  113. Steve Wright says:

    G, the point is the observable universe tells us men do not rise from the dead. Yet One Man did just that – even in the red letters.

  114. Alex says:

    Steve Wright said, “I don’t know what Bible you guys read. Mine says that the earth and all its vegetation, fruit trees, and bodies of water were created before the sun.”

    Can you give me that verse that says that, it’s not in any bible translation known to man.

    You see, that is the Problem for the strict literalist. You make an assumption about the Sun based off of a vague reference to “light”. The text does not say “then God created the Sun”

    …you are forced to make an assumption that is extra-biblical just like the Skeptic.

    Skeptics agree with Steve Wright’s interpretation of Genesis 1:3 and used it to debunk Genesis.

    The reality is that Genesis One One puts “heavens” ahead of “earth” and the “let there be light” does not necessarily mean that God created the Sun after creating the earth…that is assumed, but then you have to resolve Genesis One One and the order in which the Heavens precedes the Earth.

    “Let there be light” could very well be a literary way of explaining the process of earth rotation, orbits etc and the division of day and night due to the earth facing the sun at different points in the rotational cycle. Again, to impart a truth of God as creator of even day and night.

  115. Alex says:

    The Hebrew word used for Heaven means partly “celestial bodies” or “astrology”…therefore it could very well be that Genesis 1:1 puts “stars” and the Sun first ahead of the earth and that the ‘let there be light’ is a reference to orbit, rotational spin of the earth etc that caused the eventual day/night earth cycles.

  116. Steve Wright says:

    #115 may be the funniest thing I have ever read from you, Alex.

    The more you write, the more I can’t see anyone listening to you about anything. You will create your own unique spin on any topic – like saying the Lake Elsinore issue with Set Free was really just a ‘turf war’ (and repeating it ad naseum).

    Your kneejerk reflexive response to anything and everything written by a couple of folks her, myself included, has become too tirisome.

    Michael, I tried. God bless you.

  117. 4th day – so what is being created here?

    14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

  118. Alex says:

    Steve Wright, I’ve had that same conversation about the Genesis Account with Atheist/Skeptic friends many many times prior to this. It was not a “kneejerk” response or whatever inaccurate label to you want to poison the well with.

    I think your words are very telling in reverse and your behavior doesn’t seem to be in line with the calling or the qualifications or the humility and heart of a pastor that seems to be commanded in Scripture. it’s a very high calling and a very strict judgment. I know I don’t measure up. Seems you have a few issues as well…

  119. Steve,
    I’ve got no problem with Jesus rising from the dead. That is and will remain a matter of faith, and I choose to have faith in the 4 Gospels’ narrative about Jesus, about people and culture and intrigue and murder and politics and spirituality.

    What I don’t have faith in is to deny solid science so I can apply a winsome sentiment that “Jesus sustained creation in it’s crazy order”.

    Yeah, that’s like saying God created The Earth and everything on it, put it in The Solar System Freezer then lit the solar pilot light and added The Sun at 1.496×108 km, set the system to “bake” at 6,000K and checked back after the day-timer went “ding!”.

  120. Alex says:

    Steve Wright said, “You will create your own unique spin on any topic – like saying the Lake Elsinore issue with Set Free was really just a ‘turf war’ (and repeating it ad naseum).”

    My take is my take. Your take is your take. I call ’em like i see ’em until someone convinces me otherwise. I know that grinds against your controlling nature…but it is what it is. We all have opinions, they’re like that little part on your body that helps facilitate the solid waste cycle.

    My Conclusion about the Lake Elsinore Calvary Chapel situation with regards to CCOF/CCCM’s involvement was that it was a turf issue. Why else would Chuck Smith be Ok with devoting resources to an ‘investigation’ and a 318 page report etc against Phil Aguilar and Set Free…but won’t do the same with one of his own Affiliated Pastors?

    I think it’s a very likely reason. Chuck saw Phil Aguilar and TBN etc as competition, whereas he see’s BG as a sycophantic supporter and water carrier of the Brand.

  121. Alex, your problem is that you favorite theology teachers are skeptics and atheists. But, in your favor, I must say that you have learned well from them.

    What have you and your “friends” agreed upon about the virgin birth and the resurrection? Wait, I will give you an easier one – what is their take on turning water into wine?

  122. Wow! Now I have seen everything – Alex turned a conversation on evolution into one of his CC psycho dramas. Well played little man from Idaho, well played.

  123. Alex,
    You are being baited again.
    Don’t take the chum.

    It will only help if you stick to the discussion about science, and avoid the traps about character. I’m with you about how the non-religious approach this discussion and you are bringing up many points which merit discussion.

    Just sayin’, ok? =)

  124. G, you are right up there with todays Jews – they don’t believe their scriptures either.

  125. Guys,
    CCCM, Set Free, all that stuff really isn’t worth discussing.

    and to belittle someone with the epithet “little man” is the tactic of someone who has run out of quality thinking on a matter and could do better

  126. Steve Wright says:

    I call ‘em like i see ‘em until someone convinces me otherwise.
    ——————————-
    And that’s what makes you so dangerous. And why so many people on the internet actually fear you, Alex.

    All the more so when you realize it is impossible to convince you of something once you dig in.

    You threw my friend John’s name around and assigned a motive without knowing a single thing about what really happened there. Or what personal price he paid. Or what support he did or did not get from CCCM.

    But that will never stop you from saying things, or publishing things, that may hurt others in order to advance your cause.

  127. If I am up there with today’s’ Jews I consider myself in excellent company, choosing my faith based on a far more balanced approach that takes into account what are the belief-worthy bits and what are the not-so-much bits.

    Just being honest, truthful as I see it, willing to dialog, seeking to learn

  128. Alex says:

    Thanks G, i think that’s what happens often. some throw the bait out there to try and draw me into a fight and then point at my responses. that’s my opinion.

  129. Alex,
    Praying.

    MLD,
    Smiling

    Steve,
    Disagreeing, but not gonna resolve it right now since I just got asked to start a digital rendering and my Wacom tablet bids me sweet leave

    All,
    Thanks for your patient reading and willingness to engage these tough questions about science and faith

  130. Alex,
    You’re welcome. Go sell something. I’m thinking stocking stuffers, non lethal… 😉

  131. Alex says:

    G said, “Go sell something.”

    We been selling lots of “somethings”..but most are lethal 🙂

  132. Alex says:

    Steve Wright said, “And that’s what makes you so dangerous. And why so many people on the internet actually fear you, Alex.”

    Boy, talk about hyperbole. Pot meet Kettle 🙂

    MLD, I believe in the miracles of Jesus and the Apostles as real supernatural miracles that violated natural physical laws of this universe. I think God did it to validate them as from Him.

    I am more in the Johnny Mac Camp today as I see lots of Benny Hinn miracles and medical miracles and “heart change” miracles, but not water turning to wine or people rising from the dead outside of explainable medical miracles.

    I would love to see one strong miracle like a limb regenerating or a resurrection or water into wine verified by scientists and peer reviewed and validated. That would be awesome. My Skeptic friends would freak.

  133. I’m just blown away by bible deniers who still want the title Christian. Reminds me of the 2 mormons who knocked at my door last night at 7:30pm (don’t they have any rules?)

    They wanted me to acknowledge them as Christians, even though they deny the scriptures like some here. If I won’t call the mormon cherry pickers christian, why should I call the more traditional cherry pickers christians?

    Just pondering.

  134. Alex,
    You really need to read Luke 16

    “29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

    No one is going to believe because they see a miracle, after they continually deny the scriptures.

    Let me ask this, why would you think that a scientist is qualified to evaluate a miracle – they are pre disposed to deny them up front.

  135. Steve Wright says:

    Boy, talk about hyperbole
    ————————-
    I wish I was, Alex. But I get the emails.

    Maybe that should give you pause….

  136. Alex says:

    Steve, I get emails too…by the truckload.

    Well, not really delivered in trucks by the load, that was hyperbole and a literary device to impart a truth.

  137. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Alex said:

    “My Conclusion about the Lake Elsinore Calvary Chapel situation with regards to CCOF/CCCM’s involvement was that it was a turf issue. Why else would Chuck Smith be Ok with devoting resources to an ‘investigation’ and a 318 page report etc against Phil Aguilar and Set Free…but won’t do the same with one of his own Affiliated Pastors?”

    This^^^

    Hypocrites of the Highest order, picking and choosing their battles based on what they could gain

  138. Alex,
    Have you ever asked your skeptic friends “if someone turned water into wine right in front of you, and a scientist was there to validate it – would you become a Christian?”

    1.) I am sure that they would say no.
    2.) What does someone turning water into wine have to do with the gospel & salvation.
    3.) How about if someone raised from someone from the dead… would they become a Christian? What if the raising was done in the name of satan?

    See how futile your need for a miracle is? They are non believers.

  139. Alex says:

    MLD you present that as an Absolute, when it is contextual and relative.

    Doubting Thomas had to be shown, and then believed.

  140. Alex says:

    MLD, Revelation seems to assert that the Anti-Christ will come on the scene and perform Jesus-type real miracles…and many will believe.

    I’m assuming the “many” includes many Skeptics.

  141. MLD,
    A “christian” is generally accepted as a person who is a follower of the teachings and person of Jesus, as He is presented in the 4 Gospels, not necessarily an unquestioning follower of the Catholic or Protestant Canon of sacred texts that even Luther didn’t agree on.

    “Christian”… that term has far too much baggage, ask my atheist and Muslim friends

    “Christ Follower”… meh, too impersonal, a bit Pauline at the expense of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John

    “Bible Believer”… sorely ambiguous, since I really want to distance myself from those who are the Westboro Baptist types, the same people who hate gays but are often found eating lobster and to be honest, I find it super hard to be a believer in the Noah story of the ark and flood as anything other than a myth to explain the universal flood that is in most cultures. Maybe “Partial-Bible-Believer-Except-The-Churlish-Bits”

    “Jesus follower” is about as close as I can come up with, being a marketing guy.
    It communicates just enough of the reality of my focus without the churchy baggage, and it is almost always a point of discussion with anyone who asks about what I mean by that.

    “Lover”… daily seek to be known by that verb

  142. Em says:

    i don’t think God is impressed, or expects us to be, with miracles Matthew 7:22

    i have a vision 🙄 of the heavens rolling back like a scroll – the vast universe peeling open like the inside of a basketball and all the people, little specks on a little dot inside the basketball will say, “holy sh*t” – we have a very small grasp of what God is or what He can do

    just sayin – cuz i can

  143. Alex,
    The Bible says that Jesus came doing miracles and the people “strung him up.”

    Why would I think that your friends wouldn’t do the same?

  144. “Lover”… daily seek to be known by that verb

    That could mean lover of chocolate – so what?

  145. Alex says:

    Doubting Thomas:

    John 20:24-29

    So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

    Spin that one…

  146. MLD,
    Here’s $1
    Buy a clue

  147. Alex, you convinced me – non believers, skeptics and atheist become Christians by seeing extraordinary miracles.

    So what you are saying is that the preached and written word are not enough to save people, even though the bible says that’s the only way. OK.

  148. Alex says:

    No, that’s a false dichotomy MLD.

    Not what I asserted. Just that I wish some could be given the opportunity Doubting Thomas was given…he wouldn’t believe, couldn’t believe unless he saw the miracle himself.

  149. Alex, Thomas was investigating what he was told – he didn’t ask Jesus to perform a miracle for himself.

  150. Alex says:

    I don’t see it that way MLD.

    I think in that instance, God had mercy on Thomas and showed HIm the miracle so he’d believe.

  151. Alex says:

    G said, “MLD,
    Here’s $1
    Buy a clue”

    LOL. Well, he’d be +1 in the Clue Department after that. 😉

  152. “I think in that instance, God had mercy on Thomas and showed HIm the miracle so he’d believe.”

    So Jesus raised himself from the dead all over again so that Thomas could see and then Thomas became a Christian? LOL HA! Ha! Ha!

    Come on Alex, Name one person you know in real life who became a Christian because they saw a miracle. Miracles are irrelevant to the Christian faith today.

  153. Em says:

    G, you make my point – what we can grasp is breath-taking … just think what must be beyond the glimpse that God has given us of His glory … remember that He told Moses that Moses couldn’t look at Him as God’s unveiled glory would fry a man?

    and yes, i am content with what i see now – and to praise Him for giving us the capacity to see what i see now 🙂

  154. Em says:

    waaait a minute – Thomas didn’t ask for a miracle, he just asked for verification that his eyes weren’t deceiving him … hmmm – not quite the same is it?

  155. Alex says:

    It’s pretty straightforward, but again illustrates the relative/subjective nature of scripture interpretation. 10 people can read it…and several different conclusions.

    “So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.””

    IMO, it sounds like Thomas wouldn’t/couldn’t believe that Jesus had actually risen from the dead as He promised…unless he saw the literal wounds he witnessed at the cross. That’s how it reads “simply”

  156. So, we don’t walk by faith, but we are to walk by sight – believing only what can be physically proven. Interesting non christian take.

    It’s interesting that in the end, Thomas did not have to touch the wounds.

  157. Alex says:

    He had to literally see Jesus, MLD and again another Strawman and False Dichotomy from you. Faith, yep. In Thomas’s case, he needed a little extra help to believe in the resurrection. He had faith after seeing it for himself.

  158. Thomas calls Jesus Lord in John 14 and asks about how to follow him – Thomas was a believer all along.

    You still have not told me a person you personally know who required seeing a miracle to believe. There are none and your unbelieving friends will not believe if they see one.

    Jesus performed miracles in front of many people and most attributed his miracles to the devil… so would your friends.

  159. Alex says:

    MLD said, “Jesus performed miracles in front of many people and most attributed his miracles to the devil… so would your friends.”

    Nonsense. They don’t believe in the devil either.

    If some of my Skeptic friends saw a legit miracle, they’d believe, it’d rock their paradigm. They would suddenly have to consider the supernatural.

  160. No, they would say Chris Angel could do the same thing.

  161. Alex says:

    disagree. I think if they saw peer reviewed scientific study that documented a literal supernatural miracle like a limb regenerating or someone dying, verified as dead, ‘stinking’ like Lazarus did, then being resurrected…they’d believe.

    I think, again, that is likely how (if literal) the man who is to be the Anti-Christ will win the World over, even the Skeptics.

  162. Alex, that is my point all along – miracles do not make you a christian. Miracles at best, with your anti christ example, will just reenforce your unbelief and have you follow the devil.

    Miracles are irrelevant to faith today.

    You did not respond to my Luke 16 example where Jesus through that story tells you exactly what I am telling you.

    In the end, you are saying that if Jesus gave more proof, people would believe. Pharaoh’s people didn’t believe the miracles performed through Moses either.

  163. Alex says:

    MLD, you still aren’t listening (or lack the ability to understand the clear distinction).

    It’s not an either, or. It’s not the False Dichotomy you are presenting. it’s a both…as illustrated by the very clear example of Doubting Thomas.

    Thomas wouldn’t believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ…which is a pre-requisite for Salvation post-crucifixion…and he had to “see” for himself the evidence of Jesus’s Resurrection to believe.

    Jesus affirms this here and shows there are two distinct Groups:

    Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    Like I’ve said early and often on here…the bible is paradoxical by nature, it appears contradictory in many places. It is what it is.

    Here is a clear example where Jesus affirms Thomas’s belief as “because you have seen me” and distinguishes that belief as different from those who “have not seen and yet believed”

    Thomas was in one Group…those others who Jesus “blessed” are in another Group. Both are said to be “believers” by Jesus Christ (if that passage is in fact accurate).

  164. Alex says:

    I don’t know why God decided to show some the evidence they required who then believed, while saving others through faith w/o seeing any literal physical evidence…but Scripture gives a pretty clear indication that is the case…to the point that Jesus Christ addressed and identified the two Groups specifically and they “holy, inerrant, infallible, inspired, perfect” word of God documents the clear account of Thomas for us for all of time.

  165. Actually, Jesus blessed those who had not seen.. and the rest of us who would never see.

    “29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    I think he is saying that those who do not see are the greater… and no one has seen since Jesus ascended… except perhaps Paul.

  166. But you are still at the point of blaming Jesus because your friends do not believe.

  167. Alex says:

    I don’t “blame” Jesus in the sense you describe…I assent to God’s Sovereignty and that everything is in a Causal Relationship stemming from God as Creator and Author.

    I just note the seeming inconsistencies, try to be intellectually honest about the paradoxes, and say “dunno”…..though I still try to make sense of it all and force it into Boxes.

  168. I am starting a 4 part Christmas bible study at church this Sunday. The first session is “The Paradox of Christmas”

    All of what seem to be contradictory prophecies about Jesus in the OT are absolutely resolved by Jesus and the New Testament.

    I think I have over prepared and have too much material for the 75 min allotted.

  169. “All of what seem to be contradictory prophecies about Jesus in the OT are absolutely resolved by Jesus and the New Testament.

    I think I have over prepared and have too much material for the 75 min allotted.”

    Please submit that one to Michael for a post that we can read & digest on PhxP

  170. Alex says:

    Can you record it MLD? I’d like to hear if your teaching is as boorish as your blogging (Just kidding 🙂 I would like to hear your take on that subject and hear how you communicate in person.

    I’ll be on RemnantXRadio live tomorrow morning 9am PST.

    We’ll be discussing….would you like to guess?

    I’ll give you a hint: The first word starts with “C”.

  171. Alex says:

    I don’t think Michael will want to post it, though 😉

  172. brian says:

    “I don’t think that the Bible and evolution are compatible – you have to choose one or the other.”

    From an historic perspective I totally agree with you, the two “concepts” are not compatible. I have chosen many moons ago concerning the historic perspective. I do not think it leaves me outside the Kingdom nor the need for Christ. I have not found how to share that view in a logical consistent manor. I also no longer lead bible studies, or go to bible studies where the subject might come up, nor do I, outside of this and Alex’ blog post on such subjects because I will not stumble another faith. If I ever do that here let me know and I will refrain from discussing the issue.

  173. Back to the discussion about John Lennon…

    “On Yoko’s song “Hard Times Are Over,” there seems to be what sounds like a gospel group singing behind Yoko’s voice.
    There is a gospel group [the Benny Cummings Singers and the Kings Temple Choir] singing on it. They were beautiful. Just before the take, they suddenly all took each other’s hands, and Yoko was really crying, and I was emotional because it’s right up our alley – whether it’s Jesus or Buddha, for us it’s all right, either one will do, any of them are all right by us. So there they were, holding hands before the take, and they were singing “Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Lord,” and I was like, “Put the tape on! Are you getting this?” And that’s what you hear, exactly as it happened – “Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Lord” – and then they go right into singing the song.

    At the end of the session, they thanked God, they thanked our co-producer; Jack Douglas, they thanked us for bringing them the work, and we thanked them. And it was the nearest I’ve ever been to a gospel church service – Phil Spector used to tell me about them – and I always wanted to go and experience it, but I was too scared to go. And that was the nearest I’ve ever been, and it was just beautiful. It was a great working day, with the pressure on – get in the studio and get out – and all the children were there, kids and food and cookies and singing and “Praise the Lord.” It was glorious. Putting the gospel choir on that song was a highlight of the session”

    Excerpt from Rolling Stone’s article
    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/john-lennon-the-last-interview-20101223?print=true

    The article also has some amazing insights for those of us who have struggled through having idolized anything, applying here personally to the “mystique” of our former church lives where we thought we were part of something transcendent and wonderful, only to find we were part of the mundane, where a simple human or group of humans is placed on a pedestal, then turned upon by someone, in John’s case, a writer who accused him of being a sellout.

    Sorry, “Church”, that I ever placed you on that pedestal, after all you were simply a fragile work of art that was best viewed at a distance, too fragile to be handled and dropped, shattered in pieces on the gallery floor.

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