June 28, 2019
It’s all yours today…
November 25, 2013
July 17, 2019
May 8, 2021
My wife learned of a California thing re Medicare which I’m currently using. For those who are 65 you can enroll in a Medi-Gap type program that allows you to go to any doctor or specialist that accepts Medicare. This works great for me because I have tons of hoops to jump through to see anyone currently due to my anxiety. It’ll cost a bit but we’ll be able to pull it off. It will be effective either tomorrow or August. We’re hoping tomorrow.
I watched a good portion of the soccer game as we advanced in the women’s tournament. They are amazing athletes.
We peaked at close to 80 degrees today. I am dreading the heat that will be coming. I’ll take the cold any day!
Just learned my brother is a Creedence Clearwater Revival freak!!
Our daughter told us that in her neighborhood these pest control folks go door to door. She and a few other neighbors found huge cockroaches in their homes after these guys left. Would people actually do something so sick??
Michael, if you see this could you send your email address to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org ?
I’m with Erunner, cold over heat any day…. Plus the sun seems hotter – is that possibke?
Praying Erunner for a July coverage
Sure sounds like your daughter’s neighborhood got scammed… Don’t use the door to door guys. ?
I have my 2009 Mazda in the shop. 155k miles. It needs rear springs and they won’t arrive until tomorrow so they gave me a loaner Mazda 3. Not a Speed like mine with almost 100HP more and over 100 more ft-lbs of torque and performance suspension, so though the new tech is slick, it’s slow and boring. But the AC! It blows like 200% more! *sigh* I paid it off in 2013. The powertrain is strong, but I’m thinking about getting a new car just for better AC.
It’s been a cool start to the summer here. Although we have been over 100° for the past 2 weeks (105-108) no days over 110° – it’s usually hitting close to 120 by the end of June.
But it’s a dry heat 🙂 — actually it is – 4% humidity at mid day.
When it’s cold you can put on a sweater, get a cup of tea, summon the cat and dog and read a good book.
When it’s hot all you can do is lay down and die.
So, how do we approach LGBTQ+ rights?
Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s?
or, as JD Greer says, become an ardent defender of those rights? I assume, not having listened to his whole speech, he is pulling from Paul’s emphasis to live at peace with our neighbors…?
Mecca (CA) was 108, about 40-50% humidity.
But it didn’t hit that until about 3 or 4, so I was able to make it home and melt next to the freezer.
LGBTQ people have the same rights as the rest of us.
I refuse to give them the right to demand I bless their activities.
Some are saying we as Christians don’t have certain specified rights
That the LGBTQ+ agenda fights for special rights (marriage, adoption, service from private businesses, freedom from criticism) whereas the majority of us enjoy the implied benefits of constitutionally enumerated rights.
So the question is do we leave those special rights to the government to decide, do we argue in the courts for our own protections and so forth? Or dies a Christian fight or uphold the argument for the rights of LGBTQ+ to adopt, etc.?
I think this confuses the sacred and the secular.
Constitutionally there is no reason why gays can’t get married or adopt.
The objections to those matters are religious and we already lost the voting public on them.
I’m not interested in fighting as much as informing…when we “win” we waste our victories like the asshats surrounding the President.
Where’s the line?
Is the salt tasteless?
Too many birds in the mustard plant/tree?
I don’t understand the questions.
I will simply say that the brand of Christianity that embraces one party will defile the whole of Christianity.
The biblical method is to make disciples “as you go”…to live an incarnation faith in front of others and thus spread the kingdom.
That’s what I teach and try to live…
Where is the line between secular and sacred? JD Grier says it is sacred to fight for the secular rights of the lgbtq + population. Is he confused?
If we’ve lost the voting block on these issues then does that mean that there are too many birds in the mustard tree/plant, so to speak?
And if that is true then has the salt of the church become tasteless and shouldn’t it follow that it be thrown out and trampled by men?
I have no clue what you’re saying.
I haven’t read what Greer said and I won’t address it without context.
The salt of some churches may well be tasteless, but I know many doing the Lord’s work quietly.
The way I look at it is that marriage is a divine institution given by God to mankind in the order of creation. In other words, marriage is not peculiar to the Law of Moses or the people of Israel. It was instituted by God before the fall and is part of the fabric of creation.
If any government promotes, solemnizes or otherwise affirms marriage between a man and a woman, then that government is going along with God’s order of creation for mankind.
If any government promotes, solemnizes or otherwise affirms marriage between two men or two women, then that government is going against God’s order of creation. That government is being anti-creation and anti-God’s order, which means it is promoting disorder and chaos.
Homosexual marriage is not a victimless sin, particularly, for example, in the case of same sex couples who desire to raise children. Those children are then deprived of God’s creative order in the home.
Because marriage is not based upon the Christian religion or any other Abrahamic religion, but pre-dates all religion as being a foundational institution in God’s order of creation, every human being has a stake in seeing that the institution of marriage is not perverted.
When the founders appeal to God in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”;
it is impossible that same-sex marriage would every be considered “unalienable Rights,” because such rights are endowed by God, and God spoke regarding marriage.
Further, under the US Constitution, it is my opinion that the US Supreme Court made an incorrect ruling, giving it protection under the Constitution. That being the case, the case law is what it is.
So, what should a Christian do? For me, the law can’t override what is right and wrong in God’s eyes. Further, Christians should always stand for laws and rights that further God’s creative order. Thus, where the opportunity arises for lawful dissent or voting or elections, I place the issue of same-sex marriage as an issue of great importance. I just don’t see how any nation will receive blessing by doing exactly the opposite of how God has created mankind to function.
The foundational institution in all of creation is the family. If the family is doing well, that bodes well for the nation. If the family is doing poorly, that bodes poorly for the nation. Don’t get me wrong, there are many reasons why families flourish or decay; same-sex marriage is not the only issue, but it is an important one. Christians in my opinion should advocate for laws and policies that promote holistically the flourishing of families in our country, not just Christian families but all families.
“Because marriage is not based upon the Christian religion or any other Abrahamic religion, but pre-dates all religion as being a foundational institution in God’s order of creation,”
That assumes a Judeo-Christian understanding of creation…which means it is based on the Judeo-Christian faiths.
In a secular nation, I think the Court ruled correctly.
I don’t like t or endorse it, but it’s not illogical.
“That assumes a Judeo-Christian understanding of creation…which means it is based on the Judeo-Christian faiths.”
I respectfully disagree. I believe if we surveyed oriental, indigenous animus cultures, and others, we would find that God’s order of creation is to some extent imprinted on the image of mankind. It is what we might call general revelation.
It’s interesting that God dispossessed the nations in the promised land for their abominations, yet did not give them special revelation to discover that. They were nevertheless held accountable based on general revelation.
Too much to say, so I’ll just say that a nation enjoying God’s blessing based on some type of merit system is a myth. If that were the case, I think that abortion, rampant divorce, and empire building would be more than enough seal our fate.
Laws do not promote the flourishing of families. Healthy families do.
For almost 30 years I have advocated that as clergy we stop marrying people as functionaries of the State. Require anyone who wishes to get married to go to the courthouse. Then the Church can decide according to its own theological lights who they will or will not marry and bless…
Glad you still pop in now and then…
Duane…completely agree…but you knew that… 🙂
Best clip I could find with exact search terms, or I suck at Google
Has the secular voting bloc infiltrated the church to the point (mustard plant/tree, birds living in it) that it is no longer a wise decision to get involved politically, I.e., you make yourself a target with no effective agency for change? Should we give unto Caesar the issues surrounding sexuality and family, stop fighting for it, since we gave it up to Caesar starting with licensing marriage?
The president of the largest church body in the US keeps saying we should be advocates for special rights of a group of folk that live antithetically to scripture.
Somebody keeps saying the Spirit wrote Ichabod on American Christendom in regards to our Hispanic neighbors across the border, but won’t address it here. So is the salt tasteless (has the preserving quality of the church been eroded)?
“I think that abortion, rampant divorce, and empire building would be more than enough seal our fate.”
Who says it’s not? Moses spoke of the sealed fate of Israel in Deuteronomy, prophesying their
eventual decline. Jeremiah and Minor prophets spoke of the impending invasions while Israel thought it was all good in the hood.
Thanks Michael. I still read often and try not to chime in. I had a weak moment…
I’m with you and Duane on the functionary/bless issue.
I find it easy to distinguish between God’s plan for Israel and for the other nations.
I too agree that the church should get out of the secular marriage business. It does make me wonder why I can’t re-register my car tags at church instead of having to go down to the MVD.
On the other hand, I as a Christian still have a responsibility to act as a good citizen, even though my secular positions are informed by my church. If I think same sex marriage and abortion and high tax rates are bad for the country, it is my duty as a Christian citizen to make my voice heard. If I write a letter to the editor explaining why homosexuality is ruining this country why would I let the fact that I am a Christian and that is a Christian view stop me – and telling others they should belly up to the bar and do the same?
Some time ago Pastor Dread stated what Dr. Duane just proposed at 1:11 – Michael agrees and what i cannot understand is why something so logical isn’t already accepted as the standard. Let the sexually confused attend services by all means, but always stand for the Faith … No compromise
One might say because the editor is not a person but Facebook and Twitter and YouTube.
I find a that patterns in gentile nations exist regarding their decline.
“Somebody keeps saying the Spirit wrote Ichabod on American Christendom in regards to our Hispanic neighbors across the border, but won’t address it here.”
I don’t fundamentally look at migrant issues or abortion as political issues, but moral issues that God has already spoken to.
Having said that, I live in a country where we decide things by voting and those who have been voted into power have affirmed things that I do not.
“American Christians” do not have a monolithic view on anything…we are as divided politically as we are denominationally.
I don’t speak much on the gay rights issue or the abortion issue because both are well represented in the church and society.
Migrants…not so much.
Finally, America is not a theocracy, so my main concern is the church.
I don’t think small video clips are contextual…if he’s arguing that all sinners are people Christ died for, I have to affirm that…
I think too many are unwilling to accept that America is a secular society. The issue has been with us since the founding. We are too used to “pouring God” like ketchup all over everything and, it must be said, churches are too accustomed to their privileges…
I wouldn’t go so far as to say America is a secular society. I may be built on a secular government, but society is far from secular. Probably 80% of people will identify as religious or spiritual (I very much differentiate between the two)I am vey satisfied being a religious person living within a society that is governed on secular principles.
I do not understand how anyone even thinks our secular government can operate without religious influences.
“Should we give unto Caesar the issues surrounding sexuality and family, stop fighting for it, since we gave it up to Caesar starting with licensing marriage?”
I look at it this way: Shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus declared: “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.”
And of the promised Spirit who would be sent to the church after Jesus’ ascension, Jesus prophesied: “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
Upon Jesus death, resurrection and ascension, he won the victory over Satan, the corrupt world, sin, death and everything that is opposed to God and his good creation. The war was waged; the war was won; Christ is the victor!
We live in the last days, between the ascension and the second coming of Christ. These are the days of preaching the good news of Jesus Christ crucified and raised for you. When you believe in Jesus, you receive the fruits of his victory, which you possess and live by now by faith, but later by sight at the second coming.
The church is God’s holy nation, the Israel of God, a holy priestly people. In that vocation, the church and we as Christians represent Christ to the rest of the world, and serve the world in our various vocations and intercede for the world and our neighbors before God in and through Jesus.
There is never a moment in time when the world has won anything in relation to Christ, that we give up anything that God has revealed to us, or that our sin or weakness limits or precludes God in any way shape or form.
We are a people who live in a perpetual state of repentance, who depend entirely on the mercy and grace of God for our very existence. We are not “better” than the world. Our righteousness is not our own, but is imputed to us by God through faith in Jesus, who fulfilled the will of God perfectly for all mankind (both passively and actively), because we have all gone astray and can’t save ourselves nor draw near to a holy God.
Therefore, we do not capitulate to Caesar anything. First of all, we do not own nor establish morality or righteousness of any kind. There is an objective truth, and objective righteousness, and it comes from God and he is the judge. Secular wrought righteousness is smoke and mirrors. It’s a fiction. Tell me who can stand before God and say: But, the US Supreme Court said blah, blah, blah is legal? Is right? Is just? Who is the eschatological judge?
The Church and Christians are in the world, but not of it, as beacons of light for the world. We (all Christians) are called to live in the world by God’s Law and morality as living witnesses that there is a holy God. We preach the Gospel, because Jesus brings God’s mercy and grace to mankind who are at enmity with God. The Gospel establishes righteous before God, but God’s law establishes righteousness before our neighbors.
Here is the last point, and one which I’ve noticed a lot of Christians miss. God’s law is not to be a kill joy, but to protect his gifts given in the order of creation. Living by God’s law can’t save us, because we are fallen creatures and perfectly obeying God’s law is impossible for sinful man.
However, and this is a huge point, in our vocations, living by God’s law actually brings blessings. In other words, there are temporal rewards for practicing vocational righteousness. Even non-Christians can receive temporal blessings by practicing vocational righteousness. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that if a collective, such as a nation, practices righteousness, that nation will receive temporal blessings. Examples could include, less murder means more dads at home. Less drug addiction means less incarceration and less single parents. Less abortion means more babies growing up. The list could go on and on.
I see that an Evangelical Covenant church in Minneapolis and their pastor have been kicked out of the denomination for permitting gay marriage… there just may be a backbone in the church?
I think Em inadvertently makes my point
The church body kicked them out for standing in righteousness
Jerod, you have me confused…? Is support of gay marriage considered righteous?
My point was that the voting bloc in most churches has changed so dramatically what was righteous is now unrighteous, and vice versa.
Both sides claim righteousness, but only one side is correct.
I don’t think it fair to say “most churches”.
There are still churches who try to be faithful to the light they are given.
We also have loose definitions of righteous…the church that supports the mess on the border is no more righteous in my mind than the one that affirms gays.
Like I said, just googling, knowing that Greear’s in a tiny clip, out of context. However he qualified this his choice of words are not accidental. Churches have swung pretty far left in the pews since Obergefell, and, as Em pointed out, congregations will boot you if you don’t their political line.
If these links are at all representative of the population, there’s reason to be concerned.
I trust Christ and Christ only.
I tend to agree with the Anglicans here, and reserve my judgment for those in the church. Yet meanwhile in California… https://www.christianpost.com/news/pastors-alarmed-christian-leaders-push-california-churches-accept-homosexuality-transgenderism.html
I would not be surprised to see more churches affirm sexual same sex marriage and homosexual pastors, just as churches have redefined other moral issues. There is a cost of discipleship, and many churches and Christians are unwilling to pay it.
Jean, it’s the reason there is only a stairway to heaven, and a highway to hell – all based on anticipated traffic — even out of our “churches” – mostly those who trade truth for kumbaya.
MLD, I think the desire for peace and non-conflict is certainly one ditch that many churches fall into. “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.”
But on the other side is a second ditch no less ominous. This is the “church growth” ditch in which churches and pastors place numbers, whether budgets or attendance, ahead of Scripture. Or more accurately, they place Scripture under their church growth objectives.
All of a sudden, Scripture is not that inspired; is not that clear; is not that inerrant; is not that enduring; is not the only source of special revelation on doctrinal matters. With all of these caveats, what is not possible? Lord have mercy.
For many there is no “thus saith the Lord” or any “verily I say unto you.” – only “let’s share opinions and not rock the boat.”
You guys should get a room…
With all you discussion on changing norms in church these days it is easily forgotten, or many season me never knew, the Jonathan Edwards of “Sinners in the hands of an angry God,” was voted out to f his church.
“At the very heart of the controversy that led to Edwards’s being fired was church discipline and especially the question of who was to be admitted to the Lord’s Table. Jonathan Edwards had come to disagree with his venerable grandfather, and the shock to the unity of the church was enough to send Edwards tumbling out of his pulpit, twenty-three years of spectacularly faithful and fruitful ministry notwithstanding.”
Basically nothing’s new under the sun.
“Christianity itself is this—temporal, relative—to some extent. To every age Christ dies anew and is resurrected within the imagination of man. This is why he could be a paragon of rationality for eighteenth-century England, a heroic figure of the imagination for the Romantics, an exemplar of existential courage for writers like Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann.
One truth, then, is that Christ is always being remade in the image of man, which means that his reality is always being deformed to fit human needs, or what humans perceive to be their needs.
A deeper truth, though, one that scripture suggests when it speaks of the eternal Word being made specific flesh, is that there is no permutation of humanity in which Christ is not present.
If every Bible is lost, if every church crumbles to dust, if the last believer in the last prayer opens her eyes and lets it all finally go, Christ will appear on this earth as calmly and casually as he appeared to the disciples walking to Emmaus after his death, who did not recognize this man to whom they had pledged their very lives; this man whom they had seen beaten, crucified, abandoned by God; this man who, after walking the dusty road with them, after sharing an ordinary meal and discussing the scriptures, had to vanish once more in order to make them see.”
Wiman, Christian. My Bright Abyss . Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.
“Perhaps it is never disbelief, which at least is active and conscious, that destroys a person, but unacknowledged belief, or a need for belief so strong that it is continually and silently crucified on the crosses of science, humanism, art, or (to name the thing that poisons all these gifts of God) the overweening self.”
“Sorrow is so woven through us, so much a part of our souls, or at least any understanding of our souls that we are able to attain, that every experience is dyed with its color. This is why, even in moments of joy, part of that joy is the seams of ore that are our sorrow. They burn darkly and beautifully in the midst of joy, and they make joy the complete experience that it is. But they still burn.”
Duane @ June 29, 2019 at 1:11 pm
That is a very compelling proposition. Our culture has already bifurcated the spiritual and legal aspects of marriage.
At the same time, I’m sure we’ve known enough people who claim, “We’re married in God’s eyes.” because they didn’t want to submit to any authority, clergy or state. That brought up an thought which might be better for another time; does submission to God mean submitting to a community, at least to some degree more than zero? I would say yes for a number of scriptural reasons. But what that looks like is up for grabs to an extent. Again, off subject.
I think your statement is very compelling. Honestly, I hated doing weddings, while other guys will do anyone’s wedding. I, for one, feel responsible for its success, but not to blame for its failure. I firmly believe in pre-marital counseling. I used to tell people, “I see it as my job to break you guys up, and if I can’t do that then you have a good chance at making it.” Get beyond the romantic feelings and get to the reality of covenant life together. I also don’t like the emphasis we put on the wedding day/ceremony, as if it’s the penultimate part of the marriage. But in some cases, the cliche “It’s all downhill from here” is accurate.
Bit I rant/digress. I’m going to chew on that one.
I do covenant ceremonies.
I’m not qualified to do counseling other than explaining the covenant two people are entering.
Someone, maybe it was Xenia, suggested sharing more stories of the good things that churches are doing. Here’s an astonishing story of some good being done in the name of Jesus:
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