Open Blogging

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166 Responses

  1. erunner says:

    Was able to attend the graduation of my wife’s sister from Biola yesterday. Excellent ceremony and campus and was happy to see several receive their degrees in psychology.

    My sister-in-law lives in Oregon and they had a pig sent to its eternal reward and brought some of the meat down. The folks prepared all of the different cuts and yesterday I had the most awesome bacon I’ve ever tasted.

    I also was unaware how many women In Oregon (at least where my s-i-l lives) carry guns. She and a friend along with the friend’s 20 something daughter were attending a seminar and they realized the folks might be checking purses, etc. which caused the friend to ask her daughter ” are you packin’ today??!!” She was! 🙂

    Music is up for the week. Feel free to drop by.

  2. Steve Wright says:

    E-runner, someone from our church graduated from Biola yesterday too!

  3. Jim says:

    #1-women “packin'”. May their tribe increase….

  4. Neo. says:

    Rob. That was really good.

    Man, I wish we had an organ in our church. I used to loooove the one at Crystal Cathedral.

  5. Believe says:

    Probably the biggest Philosophical dilemma that haunts both Christian/Religious and Atheist/Agnostic/non-religious is Determinism vs. Indeterminism/Free Will. I find Imagine Dragons to be genius in their subtle articulation of this long-time philosophical debate. I think they subtly address the issue by asserting Determinism, but asking for salvation (which is surprise assertion of belief in Indeterminism/Free Will)

  6. PP Vet says:

    Open Blogging! Yay! When I can comment whatever I want. Unlike other days, when … Well never mind.

  7. Historical Minute: On this day in 1977… Star Wars was released in Theaters.

    “May the Force be With you” and enjoy the day.

  8. mrtundraman says:

    How/why does Alex’s BLOG have 90 visitors here and this one has just 25?

  9. Julie Anne says:

    Maybe CCA blog has so many visitors because there are so many looking to see if they are crazy or not or if others share similar CC stories.

  10. Gary says:

    Whereas on this blog we already know we are. Am not. Are too.

  11. mrtundraman says:

    There are a lot more new subjects and I’d say more posts and responses here but much less activity here than on CCA in terms of visitors.

  12. London says:

    What’s your point?

  13. Believe says:

    Probably b/c if you google calvary chapel abuse or similar, the blog pops up in first position, plus the Daily Beast/Newsweek article is way up the list and links to the blog, as well as all the stuff the OC Weekly has done etc.

    If you google calvary chapel chuck smith, we’re on the first page about 4th right now

    calvary chapel raul ries? first page of results about 4th down the list

    etc etc etc

    very searchable, good seo and getting stronger as the traffic builds more searchability which grows traffic etc. It’s a virtuous SEO cycle.

  14. Believe says:

    calvary chapel bob coy, first page on google about 5th down the list

    heck it shows up on all sorts of calvary chapel search combinations

  15. Believe,
    I think you’ve provided the Calvary Chapel pastors and people who will pay attention the unique opportunity for meaningful reformation, and the rest of the “seekers” with a healthy “buyers beware”.

    Hope you’re doing well.

    Gotta get back to the chore list so I can then freely play guitar…

  16. Julie Anne says:

    I need to talk to you about SEOs. I’m clueless.

  17. monax says:

    a friend of mine is reading Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, and just sent me this quote:

    Pastoral authority can be attained only by the servant of Jesus who seeks no power of his own, who himself is a brother among brothers submitted to the authority of the Word. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  18. monax says:

    ( |o )====:::

    i get it now

    is a guitar

  19. Linnea says:

    monax@ 19….love Bonhoeffer. He got it. I can only hope and pray we do, too!

  20. monax says:

    Linnea, here’s another one my Bonhoeffer-loving friend sent me from Life Together:

    Therefore, spiritual love will prove successful insofar as it commends Christ to the other in all that it says and does. It will not seek to agitate another by exerting all too personal, direct influence or by crudely interfering in one’s life. It will not take pleasure in pious, emotional fervor and excitement. Rather, it will encounter the other with the clear word of God and be prepared to leave the other alone with this word for a long time. It will be willing to release others again so that Christ may deal with them.
    ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  21. Neo. says:

    Good News, everyone! Our sin is forgiven. Absolute clearance of all guilt and shame. We were raised with Jesus Christ after we died with Him on Calvary’s Tree. What’s more, we are seated with Him now at the right hand of God; the place of honor and friendship. Thusly, we are as close to God YHWH as the One seated by His side; seated there in heavenly places ourselves. The first shall be last and each of us will hear “Well done” to the tune of “Rest. Be honored. Sit down. Right next to me”. Yet in anticipation of That Day, today the Comforter speaks that very truth into our spirits, reminding us; “You are my child in whom I am well pleased.” Yeah, like I said, Good News!.

  22. Steve Wright says:

    Being open blogging….

    It is an honor to call this man a friend. When we met some 15 years ago he had been saved just a relatively short time and had just begun to help his first street people. Most of his time was serving with our friend’s ministry, but the Lord was also starting what would be his life’s work. Even then the humility in the man was so overwhelming to my wife and me.

    Years later, it is with awe (and tears) that I see how the Lord has used and continues to use this one man. He has been beaten, arrested and more for preaching Jesus, so in a video like this, the emphasis on the Lord is removed. I assure you though, his whole life is overwhelmed with the love of Jesus and the desire to share the gospel to those the Lord brings into his path.

    This video is quite graphic….

  23. monax,



  24. Nonnie says:

    We sang this song in church today. May your hearts be encouraged!

  25. Linnea says:

    monax… Bonhoeffer never fails to convict me 🙂

  26. London says:

    “What’s more, we are seated with Him now at the right hand of God; the place of honor and friendship”

    Where does it say that please?

  27. Believe says:

    SEO = Search Engine Optimization

    In a past life I owned an advertising agency, then was GM of one in Boise.

    Google (and other “Search Engines” like Bing, Yahoo etc) use a mathematical “algorithm” which is the back-bone of their “search engine”.

    Each engine is set up with a particular “algorithm”…and approach search a bit differently. Google is the Big Boy and has dominated the space, so it’s best to try and study up and keep tabs on how Google’s algorithm works and what can be done to increase or “optimize” your success in getting your stuff at the top page of Google results when someone google’s something.

    WordPress has plug-ins you can incorporate into your blogsite that will help you with SEO. Make sure you have the two most highly rated installed, then do a tutorial on them and learn how to use them properly.

    Google has shifted it’s focus to content and organic (meaning your articles and traffic and folks seeking you out) vs. the old spiders which were more link heavy and skewed in that direction (they changed the algorithm b/c advertisers and SEO experts, like me, were gaming the system and found ways to create fake sites to link back and forth to each other in a faux network of sites and then added folks to that, at the time links to your site were more heavily weighted, as well at meta-tags, keywords used over and over etc0.

    Google has evolved and looks for content, real organic content and comments on particular subjects and tracks how many folks frequent a site and from where and from what search words etc. There is still a bit of the old-school “link” and “keyword” thing going on, but those are less important than they used to be. Now it’s about content and depth of your site (meaning lots of articles pertaining to a particular subject and lots of comments and lots of hits…which is a truer more authentic measure of a good source for the info vs. the fake SEO in a Can that ad agencies did before in gaming the system.

    It also helps a lot when outside media agencies like a Daily Beast/Newsweek and OC Weekly, Fresno Bee etc discuss your site and link to your site.

    There’s more to it, but that’s a synopsis. If you want help on your Spiritual Abuse Sounding Board’s SEO, I can recommend some plug-ins and then link some tutorials for you to peruse. B-rad can make it happen, he’s getting a primer on biz site now with those same plug-ins.

  28. Believe says:

    Neo. those passages have intrigued me for years.

    I think that “every knee shall bow and tongue confess” is a hint as well.

    I think that this weird “You better act now! Times running out! If you respond in the next 10 minutes you’ll get salvation with a side of transformation! and we’ll double your order if you mention the special code on the screen!” stuff.

    If we are eternal, all of us, in a spiritual sense (conscious sense, dead physical body, but resurrected to stand before God at judgment or whatever, everyone is assumed to live on either in the Fundamentalist heaven or the Fundamentalist hell) then I imagine God doesn’t have a Time/Date Expiration.

    I imagine folks, when they “see” fully, are united with God and bow the knee and confess.

    It wasn’t too late for Lazarus, he got a second chance, no?

  29. Believe says:

    I’m setting something up, so be patient with me, try to think through the issue of the Lazarus story before you comment on the obvious.

  30. Believe says:

    I think the story of Lazarus contains some very interesting philosophical considerations that are there, but not addressed by the vast majority of Christianity.

    We see Jesus as being moved to the point of tears. We see Jesus proclaim God the Father (but they are One God, LOL) always hears Him and will always act on behalf of Jesus (God the Son, but they are One God, LOL).

    Lazarus had died, we assume, and been dead for four days. Neo. was Lazarus ripped from heaven? The assumption is he was in Hades/Sheol in Abraham’s bosom awaiting the Judgment pre-death and resurrection of Jesus so as to not contradict the parable of the other beggar Lazarus and the Rich Man and so as to affirm the Jewish belief in such a place and so as to affirm Jesus “going” to Hades/Sheol to get the keys to death and hell etc, correct?

    We assume that Jesus died a physical death, no? He “conquered death and hell”, etc.

    We assume “paradise” was Abraham’s bosom and that “hell” was Hades/Sheol. a place of torment for those pre-death and resurrection of Jesus, no?

    After death and resurrection of Jesus, where is hell? Where is paradise? What is hell? What is paradise?

    When Jesus ‘visited the prisoners’ and set the captives free…what does that mean?

    “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.”

    Where’d Jesus go immediately after dying? What’d He do?

    Did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead to snatch him from eternity at the “right hand of God” only to have him die again and be placed back at God’s right hand? Did Lazarus have to say, “Oops, Jesus just raised me from the dead, gotta run, be back in a 20 years or so!”

    So, Jesus dies a physical death, His “spirit” goes somewhere for a few days, then He resurrects in a “glorified body” that is tangible, something that Thomas can poke his finger’s through and touch in this dimension, this realm.

    Yet, Jesus’s “spirit” was separated from His physical body for a period of three days, we assume a disembodied spirit and we assume those in Abraham’s bosom or “paradise” and those in Hades/Sheol or “hell” were disembodied (though the parable of the beggar Lazarus claims body parts “can you cool my tongue”).

    We assume Jesus’s physical body is required as part of His “glorified body” as we assume the “tomb is empty”, and this seems to be a huge point of orthodoxy, you have to have an empty tomb. Well, the body of Jesus was there for three days, His spirit was somewhere else, then He resurrects with His spirit re-united with his physical, though now “glorified” body and then He “ascends” into heaven.

    Lazarus got a second chance at physical life, we assume he was taken from “paradise” and put back on this planet in his physical form (yet there is an anomaly as we have to assume he was a disembodied spirit for 4 days as his physical body (which appears required for resurrection in the glorified state lay in the tomb, which renders the parable of the beggar Lazarus and the rich man quite a metaphor as those in Hades/Sheol or Paradise could not have a body prior to the resurrection of the dead, which begs “disembodied” conscious spirits, which begs a ton of philosophical implications for today as folks physical bodies are lying in the ground now.

  31. Believe says:

    There comes a point where the bible stories present quite a dilemma regarding what is often dismissed as outside-of-time vs. linear time.

    If a “saved” Christian dies today, where do they go? Their body lays in the ground, correct?

    Jesus did away with Hades/Sheol “hell” and Abraham’s bosom “paradise” no?

    Yet, the dead “saved” person cannot be “glorified” as of yet, as their body is still “in the tomb” so to speak.

    Yet, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”

    Now Chuck Smith has an interesting position with regards to this dilemma.

    How do you resolve it?

    The “outside-of-time” as opposed to linear time doesn’t work, because the bible well establishes linear time in so many areas. If the after-life is outside-of-time and not linear, there would have been no need for Hades/Sheol “hell” and Abraham’s bosom “paradise” and no need to conquer those in what we assume was a major shift in the after-life after Jesus resurrected.

  32. David Sloane says:

    I was introduced to Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Lonnie Frisbee when I was a teen attending CCCM. Can you imagine how thought provoking that was for me?

    Although as much as “Believe” comes off as a troll at times here, in my estimation, he does provoke some interesting angle points of thought.

    I liked Erunner’s opening post. Whenever I get the blessing of traveling up in them there parts it always amazes me to see teenagers carrying guns and rifles into Mcdonalds and no one even seems to notice or care…and all of the pickup trucks with rifle racks across the back windows in the parking lot….”something tells me were not in Kansas anymore Toto.”

    Here in southern CA there would be a riot if people exercised their right to open carry. Too densely populated and too many trigger happy peace officers. Wisdom dictates common sense in these matters.

    There you go again “Believe” provoking thoughts and such…

  33. Believe says:

    The Calvins and Matthew Henry’s and the mainstream Fundamentalists do quite a dodge on this passage in their commentaries:

    “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.”

    They read literal when they want and then wax very metaphorical and dodge the in-your-face upfront meaning with regards to alarming passages like this in Peter.

    “He went and made proclamation to the SPIRITS NOW IN PRISON”

    Pretty clear, no? Who were these spirits in prison? Verse 20 says it was those who were disobedient during the days of Noah.

    Pretty explicit, unless you choose to make a huge metaphor out of it and do the Fundamentalist tap-dance two-step.

  34. London says:


  35. Believe says:

    Sloane, my real dad was personally witnessed to by Lonnie and knew him. I think Lonnie was a beautiful example of God’s grace and the paradox of God’s love. A drug using homosexual who spawned the now very Fundamentalist Calvary Chapel Movement.

    There is quite an irony in that. It is interesting to have observed the descent into Fundy hell ever since. It seems to fit the pattern of history. Man takes over and institutionalizes that which is born of the Spirit and the end result is pretty predictable given “success”, money, power, time, popularity and “leadership” which produces business and politics.

    What a hollow husk of what once was CC has become, to the point most would reject the very man who spawned their Movement due to homosexuality yet they embrace adultery, child abuse, lying and corruption as non-disqualifying.

  36. Believe says:

    Passive aggressive London, right on cue 🙂

    May the God of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control overwhelm you with His Spirit this morning and crowd out the passive aggressiveness and hatred and irritation and compulsion to attack.

    Blessings on you sister London.

  37. Believe says:

    I almost got robbed again for the second time in five years (yesterday). Fortunately I am calm in those moments and was able to dissuade the threat peacefully…only due to having .45 auto. Had I been unarmed and scared and exuded vulnerability, I would have been victimized. I projected strength and courage and the desire to not be a victim and they left (for now).

  38. David Sloane says:

    Amazing how polite people become in the presence of .45 isn’t it?

  39. monax says:

    Yo Dog, tell us more if you can about yesterday’s threat! (and your .45)

  40. London says:

    You want non passive aggressive? Fine. I’m sick and tired of you dominating every single thread on this blog with your past and now your mocking and “questioning” everything people.
    IMO. Michael made a mistake focusing so much attention on you here on this blog.
    A lot of really good people, who brought a huge variety of voices and opinions haven’t because if you.
    You are ungrateful, belligerent and have zero sense of Boundries. You seem to like causing contention and strife.
    I don’t like it, I don’t like you, and I don’t le what this place has become in the last few years.
    I wish you’d go to your own blog and have conversations with the people there who care about you. People from here who wish to continue the never ending conversations about you, help you sort out your “questions” could do so there and the rest if us, with our own issues, questions, pains and joys could carry on in each others coming without having your up with the same story every single day.
    How’s that?

  41. London says:

    Have left that should say

  42. London says:

    Stupid auto correct, but you get the point.
    Have a nice day.

  43. Neo. says:

    Believe. I hate to admit when I’m tracking with you. 🙂

    To me, consciousness has a great deal to do with Heaven and Hell. The Scripture places great emphasis on the importance of one’s conscious, a component to salvation that is not only under emphasized in our Christianity, but it is effing under emphasized.

  44. Believe says:

    Sloane, yup LOL. The demeanor changed immediately, from very aggressive to very passive and suddenly the guy (and his lookout standing just outside of camera range outside the front door) decided to leave.

    It was pretty obvious. Dead spot in the day, no one in the parking lot, they pull up, separate, passenger posts up just outside camera-range out front looking around, the other guy comes right in in an aggressive fashion and makes a beeline for the opening at the end of the counter like he’s on a mission. I engage him as he comes in after seeing the two separate and seeing other tells, including the posture and demeanor.

    I have my gun half out, hand on it, ready, but out of view behind the counter, smiling with only computer and upper torso visible. The conversation identifies some tells, I notice a bulge in his waistline, something under his shirt, nothing in the pockets, I immediately stand up, he looks down at my waist. The body language and demeanor was priceless. I was polite, smiling and non-chalante the whole time.

    I remembered most of it accurately, but it helped watching it on video, there were a couple of details I missed in what he was wearing in terms of the specific hat and specific colors of clothing, though I was able to identify the bulk of it and the general description of physical appearance.

    I went home to my wife and kids last night. (i called it in as well so the locals can be aware of this duo, it’s a bit more sinister than the generic story i’ve laid out as there were other significant factors, but I’ll leave it at that).

    Unfortunately, there are folks in society who want to rob, hurt, kill and who thrive on weakness. If everyone were peaceful and Gahndi Jesus, I wouldn’t have guns. Reality dictates otherwise.

  45. mrtundraman says:

    Believe wrote – ““He went and made proclamation to the SPIRITS NOW IN PRISON””

    What translation are you using. I can’t find the word “NOW” in the KJV. I can pull out a critical text like NA26 if I need to…

  46. Believe says:

    London, there you go. I much prefer the straightforward honest approach, though I have been able to read between the lines.

    I’ll take my leave today so as not to dominate. Thanks for being upfront.

  47. London says:

    With apologies to everyone else for not being able to be “gracious” one second more, I’m banning myself

  48. Believe’s problem is that he tries to analyze and reason statements in the Bible. Statements that God only meant for us to confess.

    There is nothing to figure our with “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
    “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

    or any other verse – just confess them as true and move on. To analyze, rationalize or to reason with them is to accuse God of not meaning what he says – or to say that he is purposely confusing.

    Lies from the pit.

  49. Believe says:

    Neo. agreed with your #46 to a large degree.

    Tundra, NASB, Geneva Study Bible refers to “now in prison” and several others.

    “(22) A secret objection: Christ indeed might do this, but what is that to us? Indeed (faith the apostle) for Christ has showed his power in all ages both in the preservation of the godly, were they never so few and miserable, and in avenging the rebellion of his enemies, as it appears by the history of the flood: for Christ is he who in those days (when God through his patience appointed a time of repentance to the world) was present, not in corporal presence, but by his divine power, preaching repentance, even by the mouth of Noah himself who then prepared the ark, to those disobedient spirits who are now in prison, waiting for the full recompence of their rebellion, and saved those few, (that is, only eight people) in the water.”–Geneva Study Bible

  50. Believe says:

    Gonna run for the sake of London and I’m sure others who don’t enjoy my participation (and I understand why to a degree). Not for good, but for today. I’ll check back later for those who like to hash some of this stuff out.

  51. monax says:

    Just another thing for me to keep in my prayers for you, Believe. Sounds like you expertly defused an otherwise potentially violent situation. Good for you. And good for our second amendment rights too.

  52. mrtundraman says:

    I see the “in prison” part but I can’t find the “now” in the Greek text.

  53. mrtundraman says:

    Believe, stick around. There are not that many people who read here anyway – less than a couple of dozen and most care… I hope…

  54. mrtundraman says:

    Believe, the Orthodox make a lot more about the “what did Christ do for those three days” subject. Quite a bit more than we Protestants in fact. This spiritual picture tells the story…

  55. mrtundraman says:

    Believe wrote – “Now Chuck Smith has an interesting position with regards to this dilemma.”

    Yes, quite creative but heterodox because Smith ends up denying the resurrection of the flesh. He make such a radical discontinuity between the body we are in how and the resurrection body such that when he is cornered and forced to explain the continuity he calls it a “mystical connection”. Smith can’t agree with the orthodox (little or big O) view but stands with the heretics against the church and finds himself in agreement that God can’t raise this body.

  56. David Sloane says:

    I walked into the Sunflower chapel one evening on LSD with some friends who had dropped with me. I was 17 at the time. We tripped out at Salt Creek that day and decided afterward to go and see what all of the commotion was about out in the outskirts of Costa Mesa. Something was going on and news of it had reached us somehow.

    There was something very tangible that I could not identify in the atmosphere, it was thick and heavy. Having been raised a Catholic I was not familiar with what ever it was that i was experiencing in that small building.

    I looked around while standing in the foyer and saw all of these young and old people standing, locked arm and arm, singing songs that I had never heard in church before.

    There were as angels to me, I felt so opposite to them, dark and out of place. I didn’t belong there. I had to get out of there.

    It was then that this old guy stood up in front of everyone and declared, “Kids, Jesus Christ loves you!” His smile was incredible and joy seemed to exude from him like something physical going out and striking everyone present.

    Something about it was very powerful. He told me that the dead guy, Jesus Christ, I had seen up in front of the Catholic church nailed to a cross loved me. I had never heard that before. Masses were in Latin in those days. In Catechism no one ever talked much about the dead guy other then that he suffered under Pontious Pilot.

    I began to feel way out of place, these people were so clean and shiny and I was so dark and evil.

    I ran out of there and hitch hiked home, I remember feeling very disappointing that I was not like them, nor could ever be like them.

    Two weeks later I was at one of the places where we kids congregated in the evenings. There was a knock on the door. We opened it and were greeted by Lonnie Frisbee and Chuck Girade and Fred Fields.

    Lonnie Prophesied and I got “saved.”

    It was so powerful and impacting that I knew that I knew that Jesus Christ was real and had spoken to me directly through this human.

    I started attending CCCM and quickly learned that Lonnie Frisbee was the youth pastor of the place. I visited Lonnie at the Blue Top Motel frequently, because I had so many questions and was so excited.

    I was not alone in my excitement, my friends got saved and all of us wanted to share our excitement with anyone who would listen. We hit the beaches and told everyone about Jesus.

    Those days were so wonderful and filled with the presence of Almighty God. People were actually getting physically healed. I saw things that have no explanation that can only be described as supernatural.

    Then around 1972 there was a shift and no longer did the atmosphere exude the power and presence like it had before. When ever I mentioned it I was told that it was “ok because we have love.” I would then go into my, “Ya but” routine and Romaine would tell me, “No ya buts allowed.”

    Something was wrong and I could not quite get my finger on it. I didn’t know what it was but over the years I started to once again feel like an outsider, even though I had faithfully attended each service for years from day one.

    When I had visited Lonnie for the last time before he passed on, he told me his observation. He said, “David, you and your generation that was in on that great outpouring of the Holy Spirit are cursed in a sense. You experienced “the real” of God.

    “Now all of you are going to spend the rest of your lives looking for it again and will never find it.”

    And guess what, I never truly have. Oh there were slight glimpse of it here and there over the many years, but nothing that can even compare to those days of my youth.

    Every place is just like in here, not that it is a bad thing. Christians dialoging in their heads. No real deep spirituality, no true out pouring of the Holy Spirit. Substituting the experience of God for head knowledge, the real of God for words. Sigh…

    And the search goes on.

    So “Believe” I know some of what you describe as far as the change. Not as far as the “Why.”

    One thing I have seen is the many wounded. The many outcast. The many fallen. The many confused ship wrecked.

    Michael has done well to allow all of them a voice. A chance to come to the Body of Christ and be loved. To be listened to.

    To be tolerated.

    You my friend are so blessed!

    And so am i !


  57. Believe says:

    Thanks Tundra, I hope you’re right about that and that I’m not as despised by the majority on here that I tend to think (given the impression of several).

    Sloane, beautiful story above, thanks for sharing that. Lonnie was a fascinating guy.

  58. monax says:

    beautiful and sad story, Sloane!

    appreciated reading it. .

    anyone familiar with Johanna Michaelsen’s 1982 book The Beautiful Side of Evil where she gives her personal accounts of being witness to demonic healings. . ?

  59. The wife and I took the puppies for a walk along Boxelder Creek in the Black Hills National Forest today. Took this video of the creek rushing.
    The recent rains have raised the levels on it from where it has been the past two years. I have seen it higher, but it was in 2010 right after I moved here.
    Only three more days of living in South Dakota, it is pretty here, but the winters have been wearing and being away from family has been hard. Thursday we load up the U-Haul and hit the close to 1300 mile drive back to Mississippi. I will be glad to be back around family and also to be closer to a large city, Memphis, TN.

  60. brian says:

    I have had one “Mystical” experience and first let me say I tried to repudiate it, called it demonic, evil, false, a lie, emotionalism (which is by far the worst sin a follower of Jesus can commit) and so on. Standing in the middle of a convalescent hospital early 1982 I heard, not audibly, a penetrating still voice that said “help them”. That’s it. What to hear something rather pathetic at best, I have lived my life by those two words almost every minute of every day. For some strange reason this aspect of my life, next to showing grief of any kind, has caused people in the faith community to be more ticked at me then anything else. Never quite got that.

  61. brian says:

    I should add I have had many of the being left behind, getting the mark, betraying Christ, worshiping satan, going to hell type experiences on a regular basis.

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

    In the spirit of open blogging…

  63. Gary says:

    That was funny! (Just wanted to say something deeply historically theological.)

  64. brian,
    Who the hell are “has caused people in the faith community to be more ticked at me then anything else.”??

    You always reference them but never say who they are. Are they just some general group you have made up, are they folks at a particular church you went to? or are they just 3 people you had problems with once long ago and now project them as “the faith community.”?

    I mean, if it’s been several groups of people over periods of time – perhaps it is you.

  65. Nonnie says:

    When you get back to Mississippi Derek, don’t be a stranger here. “Ya’ll” have a good trip now. God’s speed.

  66. Definitely not, my wife is already getting our telecom company to transfer everything to there (luckily it is the same company), so we should have internet and power within days.

  67. brian says:

    MLD first others may take that from you, I wont, you have not one clue who I am or what I am saying I have figured that out. The people were a group I went to church when I first became a christian and when I brought up the subject or acted on. It did tick people off and it sometimes turned into the your vision is self centered yada yada. I dont name people for the reasons I said in the past, I admit my views are skewed through many decades and some may well be self imposed and maybe it is me, but I dont even get that from my experience on and offline. No it was not just three people, and if you cant see it in the many statements and ideas shared here by others you miss the point.

    I do admit it may well be me, have on many occasions something it appears you are not able to do. Wont respond to much else from you on this topic.

  68. brian,
    You can correct me if I am wrong, but you continually present the case that whenever you are around “the faith community” (still unidentified – perhaps Jews, I guess I don’t know) that whenever you bring up that you work with the disabled, they give you grief and say that you represent the devil.

    Now, you have to give me a little slack here – doesn’t that sound strange to you?

  69. monax says:

    appears your wrong, MLD, has already been corrected

    and the question of the “Who” seems to include you

  70. monax,
    I have never criticized brian’s work with the disabled or any other good work he does.

    I only have issue with his in the vapor “faith community” Jews are faith community – muslims are faith community – just who is it that pokes their finger in brian’s eye whenever he brings up his work?

  71. monax says:

    MLD, it looks like you’re the one in this faith community finding a reason to poke your own finger in brian’s eye. .

    that’s what i’m seeing. .

  72. Well, I guess your vision is blurry.

    But since you used the term, I will ask you – what is a “faith community” – and why are you poking at me, a member of YOUR faith community?

  73. Anyway, I think it was a fair question. brian does all of this good work and a “faith community” has followed him around these past 30 years tearing down his good work – I am just curious who they are?
    Are they CC? are the SGM? are they Mark Driscoll’s group? Oh wait – no one is shy about naming those troublmakers.

  74. monax says:

    Proverbs 2:1 My son, if you receive my words

    and treasure up my commandments with you,
    2 making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
    3 yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
    4 if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
    5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
    6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
    7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
    8 guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
    9 Then you will understand
    righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
    10 for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
    11 discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,
    12 delivering you from the way of evil,
    from men of perverted speech,
    13 who forsake the paths of uprightness
    to walk in the ways of darkness,
    14 who rejoice in doing evil
    and delight in the perverseness of evil,
    15 men whose paths are crooked,
    and who are devious in their ways.

    The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Pr 2:1-15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

  75. Nice passage – absolutely has nothing to do with this conversation, but you are not the first to throw Bible verses out to make a conversation go away..

    But hey, if you want to help cover up for this abusive “faith community” go ahead.

  76. brian says:

    No MLD never has done that and I doubt will. OK MLK I am a bit calmer let me try to explain
    I came to faith at 21, went to a Plymouth Brethren church. Found faith among a wonderful group of young people and fell head long into it with both feet. Maybe to much to fast. I worked, gave, and believed all I could to be part of the group but was always an outsider. If I have a word or felt God leading me or what ever one wants to call it, it was most likely emotionalism or me being tempted. I am not the only one here who has expressed that. When I would ask questions about the rapture or why eternal punishment or what about people who cant cognitively understand the gospel it was usually responded to like make sure its not you wanting to be disobedient or hiding your sin or being deceived and so on.

    This was the only circle I ran in, as a kid I was pretty much a loner, like now, so yes on that part it was me. The funny thing was when someone higher up the bean poll had a vision or some weird view of reality or demanded everyone listen to mike Warnkee or read Dave Hunt or listen to bob Larson he was spiritually mature, when I would mention that these people sound crazy, which they were /are I was jealous. In a way I am I wish I made bank like they did / do but that is another post. For most of my adult like the only friends I have deep down are the people at work and the community of disabled people I help and that help me. And the people here. Thats about it on that front

    The grief issue, death is really handled badly in the evangelical community, grief even worse I was no special case I just may have been closer to it because at a young age I lost so many people I knew so fast, my brother 20 or so of his and my friends, my sisters friends etc. My area in town was truly drug ridden and suicide and violence were not uncommon. I packed all that grief off to church and when I got in the family of faith it just all came out. I do not fault them as it seemed out of balance to what I was going through at the time but it was made clear that it was unacceptable and could lead to being deceived etc.

    As I entered working in the state facility I noticed a group of people who were so different from me, extremely cognitively involved, often violent, would swear, cuss, and do other things that we could not even mention in church. So they had to be unsaved thus children of the devil. But on the other hand I never met such a more courageous group of people who would fight through psychosis, delusions, medication, cognitive, and physical limitations to just get to know you, if you met them even 1% of the way. On the outside in my limited faith community it was almost exactly the opposite, if you did not meet the leader or soon to be leader 110% of the way, on every single topic, even in tone and demeanor you were divisive and angry, deceived rebellious etc.

    I moved churches out of self preservation but still had alot of baggage but this church seemed more seeker friendly I know gag, but for a while it was really good. Then came the vision stuff again, a young leader would feel led to start a knew church so he would trot of down the road, rip half the singles group away to do so. Then a new pastor would come down the road, promising commitment and stability, so I sowed my time and money and energy into this and the ministry to folks with disabilities really grew. But then the Lord called him to start a new church and we dont feel called to do this anymore. He last talked to me, Brian why are you so angry well because you came down here and said, it stopped there. That was then the Lord has a new thing for the church. Well the church did not feel that way but thats not how it works. He left with not only the entire singles group but half the congregation. Funny how it coincided with the end or near end of his PhD program that the church foot much of the bill for. I did try to talk with him but to no avail. It turns out he has a wonderful church and a healthy congregation.

    At the same time and a bit beyond I joined a parachurch group that ministered to kids and young adults with developmental disabilities. It was extremely time consuming and very financially demanding as well as emotional. There was little oversight and no talk back just follow the leader, which worked for about ten years. I became obsolete and did not fit into the new vision, neither did the group I was working with, I bucked and that got me canned, lost most of my friends, had to steer clear of several churches and organizations for years to avoid blowback. Then I wound up here. That is just some of my highlights, I have given far more explanation then is needed, one can decide for themselves. I left out the real vile stuff out of respect for me and my host.

  77. Anne says:

    MLD, you’ve well earned the rep as a pot stirrer. Poking and prodding at brian one of your lower moments, IMO 🙁

  78. brian says:

    PS I dont name names for one reason, my view is faulty and my memories are filtered through thirty some odd years of pain and frustration, so I do not see clear enough to name names. I wont ruin a persons reputation by my faulty recollections but I stated that one of the first times I posted and told the owner of this blog if at any second he feels my way of posting or phrases are unhelpful I will stop. It does not mean that it did not happen to some degree the way I remember it. Take that for what its worth. I have given you a great deal of detail MLK I think it is rather enough.

  79. In defense of MLD, I too have wondered who the people Brian talks about are. He was just asking what a lot of you were thinking anyways.
    Thanks for the #78 Brian, a lot more idea of what your posts are about now.

  80. brian says:

    Not really Anne it is a fair question but if someone cant figure out that I am showing how many of us feel about the faith community which many of us have gone through many years does take on an over arching “them”. We are a collaboration of our total experiences filtered through our understanding at the time. My point is simple I do not think there is this huge group of Christians that follow me around tearing me down, that would require to much work. It is that the memories, the experiences, the dogmas, the doctrines the teaching of this collective group does continue to follow one around. If MLD has been able (Sorry not mlk as in my last post) to avoid this then good on him. I have not and from what I have read here many others have not either. I mention one such over arching doctrine the Rapture. In the Brethren it was a key fixture as in CC movement. Many other doctrines are filtered through it and people plan their lives around it. I know many in the Jesus movement did, the way CC was founded and still operates is a direct result to a belief that Christ will return soon. Well it did not happen and quoting that one days is as a thousand years does not cut it to someone who has sold all they had and are off driving round in a RV to tell people the world is going to end.

    Since the fuse is lit another one, truly regenerate people will not continue to sin. So what about someone who continues to struggle with drinking, lustful thoughts (I dont even get that, we are not our passing thoughts), go listen to Ray Comforts good person test, that was a biggie in my old church back in the 80’s. What if a person has a stroke, an emotional or psychological break down, a brain tumor, a chemical imbalance, a blood clot, has a head injury, develops Alzheimer’s. And they start cussing and swearing and blaspheming and so on. Well they were never one of His because they walked away. Well good luck with that. I could go on.

  81. Steve Wright says:

    Brian, I’ve been around for five years and that is the first time I’ve heard any of that detail. And I think I’ve read most every post you have written.

    So thanks for sharing. It really does help me understand, and thus, appreciate, your almost daily posts these many years.

    Unlike MLD today, I never asked before – mainly because I knew all hell would break loose.

    Thanks again.

  82. brian says:

    An aside I have also reconciled with many of these people though we are no longer real close friends but like I said the memories of the collective “them” still impacts me, I wish they did not and in that sense it is on me.

  83. I only asked because your comments are almost always preceded by some conversation about your work with the disabled – followed by the reactions of “the faith community.”

    If the two are completely separate, that is fine, but my understanding was you were always getting grief and called “of the devil” related to your work. Your #62 is a good example that you heeded the word to “help them” and then received grief from the group.

    I wasn’t making a query any deeper than that.

  84. brian says:

    One other thing, when I was a kid I was burned over 40% of my body in a fire, I was about six three days before Christmas. Why add this, it makes one develop a burn mentality which can make one take the actions of others far out of proportions to what they were meant to be. Another reason I do not name names. It is far better now then in the past. I know of several pastors who were burned far worse over their face and front part of their body and they rebounded in the opposite, they are optimistic and so on. One of them preaches on TBN, the only reason I keep that channel is for him and a few others. Out of the other kids on the burn unit I was on, I was the only one to survive. It does something to you, one should not let it but it does. It is not an excuse just part of who I am. Hope all that helps. Thanks Sorry MLD I spouted off on my end, fair question I hope my answer was antiquate.

  85. brian says:

    But from what I am reading my response may have been needed for some time. My main reason for all of this is that in private conversations and some I see online these stories and how I tell them seem to resonate with many. It does help to have context.

  86. monax says:

    Yes, there’s no text without context. .

    fwiw, here is T. S. Eliot on Who i am:

    Am an attendant lord, one that will do
    To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
    Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
    Deferential, glad to be of use,
    Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
    Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
    Almost, at times, the Fool.

  87. Anne says:

    It was the question framed with “some group of people you just made up” that I found a very offensive way of inquiring for clarification. One can seek to understand another without such insulting caveats thrown in. Pushed one of my buttons big time, which is my own problem I need to address. My apologies for interrupting the conversation.

  88. monax says:

    Hope y’all don’t mind me being so goofy with my quotings. . in any case, being open blogging, here’s some more T. S. Eliot for Anne:


    And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
    And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
    Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
    Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing—
    I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
    For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
    For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
    But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
    Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
    So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

  89. Glen says:

    Thanks brian, that was helpful. I have experienced a little of what you mentioned but not nearly to the degree you have. Some ” church” people can be very unkind and ignorant at times. Churches tend to have “in” groups and I never was a member of that inner circle at any of the ones I attended or was a member of. I guess I don’t care too much about what the peer group thinks and my faith is still intact. Maybe I was somewhat “lucky” but about half the pastors I sat under turned out to be “saints” who set good examples and were approachable, and the other half not so much. Praying for peace for you……

    One experience that was about the last straw at a church I left 12 years ago was when the pastor from the pulpit had the ushers and caregiver remove a handicapped person in a wheelchair from the auditorium because the person made some grunting noises. Few things get me really mad – that did. Biggest most popular church in town. Lots of nepotism in the church. Still is to this day. Since I could change nothing, I left.

  90. Glen says:


    If you are out there, I sure miss you pontificating! 😉

  91. Believe says:

    brian, thanks for sharing more of your story and I agree with your insights in #83 and your stories make a consistently good point, despite what MLK says.

  92. Reuben says:

    First, I am sorry that I have not followed this thread as closley as I should have.

    Second, Brian, you are a treasure, and I love you.

    Third, and I cant believe I have to say this…

    MLD, lay off. Way the hell off.

  93. Linnea says:

    monax @ 60…. very familiar with the Beautiful Side of Evil book– it’s what the woman who led me to the Lord recommended to my reading when I was still lost. I had been involved in the New Age, and had experienced some very frightening things. I came to know Jesus and His salvation after that.

  94. monax says:

    yeah, Linnea, it’s a good book for everyone, especially true believers presently caught under the spell of false signs and wonders and healing ministries. . where great darkness masquerades in miraculous light. . Michaelsen went on to do some cool videos (( with Dave Hunt, i believe )) exposing the New Age.

  95. Reuben,
    “Second, Brian, you are a treasure, and I love you.”

    Because he is a treasure, questions can’t be asked? So much for open conversation.

    So I will say back to you – “lay off. Way the hell off.”

    brian handled himself like a man – he didn’t need mamma (you) to come protect him

  96. monax says:

    fwiw, MLD’s behavior here is my case in point

  97. Neo. says:

    Brian. Thanks, man.

    Reuben, chill.

  98. monax – I forgive your judgmental words… because we are brothers in the “faith community”.

  99. monax says:

    forgiveness is your issue. . and to be honest, MLD, from what I’ve read of you over the weeks, there’s little in your words that commends me to you as a brother-in-Christ. . i don’t honestly recognize you as my brother in that most sanctified Christian way. . i don’t see the Christ-likeness in what i’ve read from you. . you come across as a mean and mouthy bully. . that’s the impression you have left me with. . so, NO, i’m not about to identify myself with you as “brothers”

  100. You have identified yourself as Jesus to pronounce my lack of salvation.

    LOL – my goodness, I asked the man a question.

  101. Believe says:

    I don’t think he’s saved either, though he was baptized as an infant 😆

  102. Believe says:

    Oh wait, he was raised Jewish, then converted to Christianity, spent a stint in CC and then became a Lutheran, so I’m guessing he wasn’t baptized as an infant, but as an adult.

    Ya, he can be a jerk sometimes, but I can out-jerk him any day, we’ve gotten into it quite a few times over the years LOL.

  103. monax says:

    i never said MLD wasn’t saved—and would never presume to make such a judgement

    i said i didn’t recognize him—by the fruit of his lips—to be my Christian brother

    with you, Believe, i recognized you from day one as being my brother-in-Christ

    with some brothers is readily apparent, with others it’s not

  104. Believe says:

    Thanks monax, I wonder if I am most of the time, but I appreciate your positive take on me. I also appreciate the help you extended with all your time and efforts in our situation. I will always consider you a friend no matter what.

  105. monax says:

    i’m in this war with you to the end, Believe

    and i’ve seen into your heart and i recognize my savior Jesus in you

    and that has sealed it for me—my brotherhood with you


  106. The Monax back peddle.

    If I am not your christian brother, that means one of us is not a christian. I doubt you are accusing yourself.

    But they are like that.

  107. monax says:

    parse my words with logic, MLD. . and please don’t misrepresent me

  108. Just remeber, by your own testimony they are your words.

  109. Reuben says:

    MLD, I am not kidding. Brian comes here almost daily and spills his guts, and you poke at it as if it were the new toy? After how many years? I am dead serious, own your asinine attitude, and back off. Own your crap for once, you child.

  110. Believe says:

    MLK, this one is real simple, even for you.

    Monax doesn’t think you exhibit the fruit of salvation but he doesn’t presume to be God and to know your status for certain, that’s God’s job. Fortunately for you, it seems, if it is all real, that some jerks are in fact saved even though they aren’t very Jesus-like most of the time.

  111. Believe says:

    MLD you’ve shown the ability to apologize and own your stuff with G a long time ago when I mediated a fight between you guys and you even have shown grace and mutual apology to me. I think you’re a good guy all-in-all and saved etc and I even like you (gasp). I think you’re mostly kidding and stirring the pot with the brian comments, but I think brian is not the guy to do that to. Me, on the other hand, I’m more than fair game as I dish that stuff out often.

  112. Believe says:

    BTW, monax is a good guy. I’ve spoken with him at length, followed his conversations on other blogs etc. He’s very smart, informed and passionate and very orthodox, but has a heart for those who are on the fringes and hurting. He has experienced the downside of “leadership” in churches and has gone to war on some issues. I think he has a soft spot for the brian’s and for me and others who have feel betrayed and wronged by the institution that is supposed to represent God.

  113. Reuben,
    This was one of the few times over the years that I have addressed brian personally. Most of the time several years ago I commended his work with the disabled.

    Why is it so out of bounds to ask who he identifies as the “faith community”? This is absolutely ridiculous – I even narrowed the question by pointing out his connection to his work and then the grief he got from the “faith community” He made it sound like this “faith community was always after him because of his work with the disabled – and I pointed to his #62.

    I just wanted to know if they were a real group of if it was terminology like when people say “the” and “them” but never really have a particular person or group in mind.

    brian understood once we cleared up the question.

  114. brian made 2 comments above that you guys must have missed

    “Sorry MLD I spouted off on my end, fair question I hope my answer was antiquate.”

    “But from what I am reading my response may have been needed for some time. My main reason for all of this is that in private conversations and some I see online these stories and how I tell them seem to resonate with many. It does help to have context.”

  115. Believe says:

    IMO, brian’s term “faith community” represents mainstream evangelicalism and Christian Fundamentalists (conservatives) and particularly those that tend to follow the gurus he specifically mentions above, but you can find the dynamics he describes in pretty much every church institution underneath the umbrella. I would say he has especially good critiques of those who make church a business and those in leadership who see God working and speaking and moving in everything leadership wants to do and does, while not tolerating push-back or dissent etc.

    If you boil down the message, it’s a challenge to appeal to Authority, which is a common thread that binds most of us on here together. Authority abuses and the challenging that the supposed “leadership” is somehow specially anointed and hears exclusively from God while the rest of us schmucks are in the dark and any thought we have or question we have (reading the same bible and praying and be open to the moving of the Spirit) is “rebellion” or “divisiveness” or a threat as to challenging their authority, etc.

    It’s really a Hierarchical issue: Priesthood of the Believers vs. God’s Specially Anointed Apostles/Prophets

  116. Steve Wright says:

    But from what I am reading my response may have been needed for some time.
    Reuben, come on man, take a breath. Read what Brian himself wrote here…

    Would it be better to go behind the guy’s back to Michael or the moderators and ask “What’s Brian’s story anyway” – that doesn’t seem too cool.

    I’m glad Brian shared – I’ve been waiting for five years. Literally.

    Thanks Brian. I’m so sorry to hear about your burns as well. (My uncle almost died from critical burn wounds over his whole body after an explosion). God bless you.

  117. Believe says:

    I think a lot of the abuse in church comes from a false belief in pastors and leaders being “special” even though Jesus explicitly commands that we are not to call folks rabbi/teacher and not to exalt people. Jesus also tells us we are all brothers and that the greatest must be the least and the “servant of all” etc.

    Now, those in leadership will undo these principles laid out by God incarnate, by asserting an OT Moses Priesthood construct and then reinforce it with Paul the Apostle’s “offices” and seeming church hierarchical ecclesiastical structure.

    I think Paul wasn’t Jesus and that Paul was a man who took some things upon himself and made some decisions in trying to organize that church that may or may not have been perfect.

    I think Jesus has it right and Paul had it wrong. From what I see of the “fruit” over the many years, decades, centuries, etc, Jesus has it right and Paul had it wrong.

  118. Reuben says:

    Steve, I read what Brian himself wrote.

    It proves he is twice the man I am. It also proves he is twice the man MLD is.


    That was completely uncalled for. I see it no different.

  119. Believe says:

    Steve’s going to defend MLD and MLD will defend Steve, they’re buddies. I understand that and I’m realizing that you make friends and you stick with them no matter what, Allies and Enemies and Loyalty Dynamic which I have written about many times.

    From as intellectually honest a take as I can muster, I think MLD’s manner with brian was out of bounds considering who the target was. brian doesn’t live by the sword, so he shouldn’t die by the sword and MLD, despite his walking it back, took an unfair shot or two and brian was gracious in his responses after initially getting a bit torqued.

    MLD is then using brian’s graciousness to support a defense to cover his arse.

    I think Reuben is right to have told him to tone it down with brian.

  120. Believe,
    How do you know anything about Jesus? Anything you know was written by men … not Jesus himself. Perhaps those guys had the same motives as you accuse Paul You know, they were just trying to straighten out things..

    You do realize that Jesus did not write the gospels? Although some think that while the writers wrote, Jesus stood next to them with a red pen and wrote in his own words.

  121. Reuben,
    You can have your opinion – but you are still wrong. You are trying to be politically correct – but your opinion of my question is meaningless – at least to me, you may win party points with others.

  122. Michael says:

    I’ve been offline here…and loved not having the stress.
    I won’t get home till early this morning, but change will come after I wake up.
    Believe may want to take back his own blog.

  123. I think Believe proves the validity of my question to brian. Believe said;

    “IMO, brian’s term “faith community” represents mainstream evangelicalism and Christian Fundamentalists (conservatives) ”

    That is what I wanted to know – is it some general group or was it particular people?

    brian said it was particular people and he told the stories of each. Believe is still confused and thinks he means global mainstream evangelicalism and Christian Fundamentalism – which none of us has met since it is not a single entity in itself.

  124. Believe says:

    MLD, innately. Spiritually. Jesus is known to me through the Spirit and I think that the Gospels record some of His teachings while He was here. I don’t think the teachings and scenarios were recorded perfectly as some seem to build a Straw Man god out of biblical inerrancy (there are several contradictions in the recorded testimonies in the Gospels and in the account of Judas etc, I won’t list them here) but I certainly believe that there is enough evidence in a historical Jesus and that some of His words and life are recorded.

    Due to the bible’s imperfection, contradictory nature and paradoxical nature, much like G, I tend to focus on Jesus and His words and example and there seems to be a stark contrast between the Jesus of the Gospels and the rest of the bible (OT and Revelation Jesus). There seems to be a dichotomy present in the imperfect text and a dichotomy within mankind. Gahndi Jesus vs. Conquering Warrior and Judge Jesus

    I think the Ideal is Love and Gahndi Jesus. I think the reality and duality is Conquering Warrior and Judge Jesus that is the Jesus created in man’s image.

    The Jesus who actually appeared in the flesh (we assume) is the Gahndi Jesus. The other Jesus’s are the Hebrews version of what we assume was Jesus (YHWH/Jehovah) and John of Patmos’s hallucination in Revelation.

    I hope God is the Jesus of the Gospels who we assume actually lived physically as a man and died and resurrected. In my spirit, I think He is and I think that when I filter everything through that Jesus, the picture is much different than what is presented by mainstream Fundamentalist conservative Christianity.

  125. monax says:

    MLD, interesting you want to simply relegate this to an issue of you asking a question. .

    the question’s not the point of contention—it was the hounding tenor of your approach. . it was the How of you asking the question that was ungracious at best. .

  126. monax says:

    as proof of this examine brian’s immediate reaction to you

  127. mona, let me ask this – it was my question to brian – brian answered and I never challenged his answer. Our exchange was a total of 6 posts – 3 from me and 3 from brian. That was it.

    Why are you butting in and causing trouble.

  128. There is no such thing as a “Gahndi Jesus”

  129. Why is everyone continuing to pile on MLD?
    It looked like Brian left cool with it all.
    But, everyone else seems to act like the offended party.

  130. erunner says:

    monax, You seem to be new here??? I haven’t followed the brian/MLD topic too closely but let’s say MLD is 100% wrong. Now take that and multiply it by 100 and you might have an idea of what we have put up with concerning Believe since he arrived on the scene.

  131. Believe says:

    Ghandi Jesus is the term I use to describe the loving, peaceful, beattitudes, turn the other cheek, unilaterally forgive, pacifist Jesus of the Gospels vs. the OT Taliban Jesus who commanded the stoning to death of women and children and the Conquering Warrior Jesus of Revelation who uses the sword to kill all his enemies until the blood is bridal high etc.

  132. Believe says:

    Wow, that was quick, I see it’s turned into a Bash Believe Fest. Love it. C’mon, put ’em up, put ’em you jerks! 🙂 😆

  133. So, today was Trinity Sunday – anyone here observe it today in church?

  134. Believe says:

    MLD, I think brian’s personal experience in that particular church group translates to the other larger Group that encompasses most of the specific churches many of us have experienced difficulty, hurt, disillusionment and/or abuse with on here.

    I think we all bring our personal stories about specific groups and then see a common thread that transcends the specific churches and is found in the larger Group of Fundamentalism.

  135. monax says:

    erunner, i’ve been spot-reading and commenting here for only a short time. . Believe’s wrongs minimized a thousand fold still doesn’t make MLD’s conduct respectable. .

    and, MLD, i find it my nature to butt in when i see a bully. .

    my only impression of you through the weeks has been one of mean-spiritedness in your interactions with certain others. . maybe this sort of meanness is part and parcel of the culture here. . personally, it makes me sick. .

    and if i cause trouble it’s to end it

  136. Believe says:

    Nope, didn’t go to “church” today. I’m not feeling particularly fond of organized religion these days so I read some passages and dove into some issues in the bible on my own today and talked with God about it and He said it was cool with Him that I don’t go to church and that He isn’t holding that against me. I’m sure God may be telling my enemies that I’m the devil incarnate and hellbound.

    Interesting how God seems to hold so many different opinions at the same time.

  137. Believe says:

    monax, you’ve made an astute observation, it is in fact the culture here, has been since before I got here.

    I rarely throw the first punch at a specific individual, I generally counter-punch. The culture here is by nature contentious as Michael critiques churches including CC and SGM etc and they always have supporters/defenders and critics sharing the same space. Then you have strong personalities who have been here for years who argue over every jot and tittle in the bible and argue over politics and all sorts of stuff. There are periods of less contention, but even before I got here and even when I’ve had absences from here, there is the same pattern. It’s not like TWW, it’s more like Christian Fight Club than it is like TWW or SASB.

    Michael would have to ban about half the folks here to change the dynamic for good.

  138. monax,
    “and if i cause trouble it’s to end it” So you are the anti violence guy who uses violence to end violence?

    Mind your own business and you will lead a happier life. brian did not ask for your help.

    He acted like a man and answered the question – which I received with no rebuttal.

  139. Believe says:

    Michael himself is contentious and likes to mix it up and be very blunt with folks, though he has toned it down the last couple of years. But, he is who he is and it still comes out (and I’m not knocking that, I don’t find it as a disqualifying or bad, just human and I’m way worse in that area, but the Michael I first met on here was as snarky and contentious as they come).

  140. We even argue over baseball – Reuben currently has the upper hand there at this time. 🙂

  141. Believe says:

    The dodgers suck so bad. It’s like watching the Titanic sink, only more expensive.

  142. Believe says:

    Mattingly needs to quit managing and grab a bat. Offense sssuuuucccckkkkssss. Then they need to roid up Gagne and drag him out of retirement so they can close a game. Geez they suck.

  143. It has been terrible so far. But I am the forever Dodgers optimist. Plenty of time to make up 7 games. 🙂

  144. Anyway, back to the important stuff – Trinity Sunday. Great message by the pastor weaving back and forth between the power and authority of the Trinity and their role working with the tornado victims. At the end we all stood and confessed to God and each other the entire Athanasian Creed.

    Usually it is broken into 5 separate readings during the liturgy, but today we did it all at once. (it is long for those here who are unfamiliar with it.)

  145. Believe says:

    …and by half I mean about 12 or so (that was for you Tundra 🙂 )

  146. monax says:

    Yes, very different spirit here than Julie Anne’s Spiritual Sounding Board, that’s for certain. .

    and I am enjoying my time here this weekend. . wish this was a real assembly room where we’d be all face-to-face together in the flesh so i could personally give Luther’s Disciple a sincere Holy Kiss and size him up with my eyes. . and you, Believe, I’d give you bottle of Trappistes Rochefort 10—it’s what i’m drinking this weekend.

    (( no violence intended with that holy kiss, MLD ))

  147. Believe says:

    I would certainly enjoy that monax, Yowzers, that’s some Top Shelf Belgian nectar! Haven’t had the pleasure, yet, but you’ve inspired me to find some 🙂

    MLD’s an old geezer. I think he’s pushing 80. He’s more cranky than he is intimidating.

  148. Believe says:

    I’ve had Chimay, which I think is in the same family of beers. Oh baby, so good.

  149. monax says:

    i knew he was an old man. . who gave him access to a computer anyway?

    Yeah, the Rochefort 10 is perhaps the best Belgian Quad along with St. Bernardus 12 (( the numbers are different but they’re both quads… the 10 is heavier with alc 11.3% and the Bernie 12 is the lighter of the two if your session drinking, otherwise two bottles of the 10 will make you near stupid. . i think it’s the yeast they use )). . try the doubles and the quad style belgians. . and if you like hops sample the triples. . no one in the world knows how to brew beer like the Belgian monks. .

    O, Believe, get yourself a case of Leffe Brown. . it’s under 40 bucks, and is categorized as a strong dark. . but it’s my favorite beer EVER. .

  150. monax says:

    Chimay Red, Yes, i think that’s their double. . Chimay Red is one of my go to beers that restaurants often carry. . Very delicious beer!

  151. Believe says:

    Cool, thanks for the info and the recommendations.

  152. brian says:

    wow glad to see everything ended ok. There was an accident near a 7-11 I was at it was a person on a bicycle. Please pray for his health.

  153. My Favorite Commentator says:

    @129 MLK said to Monax, “Why are you butting in and causing trouble.”

    @ 140 MLK said to Monax, “Mind your own business and you will lead a happier life. brian did not ask for your help.”

    MLK, does this mean that you will no longer be “butting in,” “causing trouble,” and “minding your own business” when others are having a discussion … say with Steve Wright or Believe?

    Astute observation, Monax.

  154. Nonnie says:

    Brian, thank you so much for sharing your story. I too work with learning disabled people and I appreciated the compassion and care you have for all people. Personally, I have wanted to ask you the question that MLD asked, for several years.

    Thank you, MLD for asking, and THANK YOU, Brian for sharing with us. Yes, you are a treasure here and I appreciate you, although, I confess, I often don’t quite understand some of what you are referring to. I believe now, with what you have shared, I will have a clearer understanding. But I have always appreciated your heart of love for God’s people…people made in His image.

    **I think some people have mis-judged MLD’s motives for asking that question. I don’t think he was “bating” Brian, but asking Brian to clarify the “who” these faith people are that have treat Brian with such contempt and lack of love. I have often wondered also.

    Again, thank you Brian for grace and openness.

  155. anyone else having issues commenting?

  156. Nonnie,
    Watch out – too much blow back if you stand to close to me. 😉

  157. Uhh, must admit, I agree completely with Nonnie’s 156.

    Brian seems very kind, but I am usually confused by his posts. I have asked similar questions in the past. Maybe I was a bit gentler. Anyway, I appreciate the clarity.

    The Plymouth Brethren thing I find fascinating. Never really encountered them at all. I think they founded Asbury Seminary, and I have some friends who went there.

  158. Nonnie’s #156 and Josh’s #159. What I was trying to get at with my #81

  159. Muff Potter says:

    Believe & monax,

    Way back in the day and before I stopped drinking various libations for health reasons (alcoholism was killing me, literally), I was especially fond of expensive French cognac, which truly is (in my opinion anyway) one of the nectars of the gods.

  160. Bob Sweat says:

    “The Plymouth Brethren thing I find fascinating. Never really encountered them at all. I think they founded Asbury Seminary, and I have some friends who went there.”

    Josh, Asbury is a Methodist Seminary. The Plymouth Brethren that I have know were Calvinists.

  161. Just read an article on the Rapid City Journal about taming the wildlife loop at Custer State Park. I really love that wildlife loop. If anyone ever visits the Black Hills of South Dakota and want to see something really cool. Visit Custer State Park. Buffalo, antelopes, Prairie Dog cities, wild donkeys and more.
    Here are some photos I have taken there on my visits.

  162. brian says:

    People should also understand that much of my view is filtered through many years, not all were totally unloving or uncaring just messed up like I was / am. In my opinion much of it was brought on through lack of oversight, communication and adhering to doctrines or polity etc with such black and white pov it just leads to much of the frustration. But again I am not the only one here who has spoken on such things. Some of what wasn’t stated were very specific events I found defining to movements and people who lead those movements and the wild eyed following of some real luminaries especially during the 80’s and 90’s. The PB group I was with was open and very not Calvinist, though they really were in some areas but just would not call it that way. Much of it was personality and end type rhetoric at a fever pitch. Like I said many of them were very kind and just as confused as me, at times it was contempt, not just for me but all things human, at others it was just plain frustration because the world did not fit inside the box they were trying to shove it. It can also be said that when I spoke some of it was how I viewed my small glimpse of the American Religion or the corporation. That too was based on my experience and what I have observed others speak about here and other places.

    I will endeavor to be more clear in the future.

  163. Bob Sweat – you are right, thank you.

    The Brethren founded Ashland Seminary, which would seem odd in that they don’t beleive in professional clergy?

  164. PP Vet says:

    Did a dump run with the BMW (Big Mormon Wagon / AKA 15-psgr van), cleaned it out, put all the seats back in. Tightened the arm rests.

    Put some Shoe Goo and duct tape on the fuel filler neck so that I could fill it up.

    Took the clan, including some DMO (Done Moved Out) kids, grandchild, etc., for a ride to see Great-gramma.

    Hadn’t had 10 people in it for years.

    Glory days.

    God is good.

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