Open Blogging

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86 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    Because not everything has to be so *$&%&# serious…

    How come when I want to text my wife the phrase “hehe”, my smartphone suggests the word “hegemony”? Who in the heck ever uses that word?

  2. Duane Arnold says:

    Dan

    I do… when discussing 19th century colonial policies!😁😂😁

  3. Dan from Georgia says:

    Ha! I JUST KNEW someone here would know that word. Thanks Duane. Actually the word seemed fairly familiar to me, and now that you say it, I do remember now that it had something to do with governing. I have a fairly large vocabulary, but that one slipped by me somehow!

  4. Dread says:

    I use that word regularly when discussing critical race theory which is basically rooted in a desire for shifting and acquiring power.

  5. Dread says:

    https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/whiteness-is-a-pandemic-1846494770

    After describing “whiteness” as the problem he proceeds to call it white supremacy of which he says,

    “White supremacy is a virus that, like other viruses, will not die until there are no bodies left for it to infect. Which means the only way to stop it is to locate it, isolate it, extract it, and kill it. I guess a vaccine could work, too. But we’ve had 400 years to develop one, so I won’t hold my breath.”

    This is a grasp for hegemonic dominion.

  6. Dread says:

    China called out for human rights violations and all they do is feed Biden’s team the democrat woke talking points on America’s civil rights violations and it’s all on camera. What a show! Someone is stumbling badly. The most evil vicious regime in the world gets a pass because America has redefined human rights violations to a degree that high ground is unreachable.

    Open Blog Dread

  7. Dread says:

    Duane

    I like politics and think they matter. This is open blogging and you never aim your disgust at those who comment on things pertaining to conservatives. Your personal sleights are tiresome. I have never done that to you. I will take my tiresomeness with the culture over your bad manners.

    Ignore me.

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    I try to ignore it, but it is like a broken record, playing one track, over… and over… and over…

  9. Em says:

    Pastot Dread and Dr. Duane = 2 good men on different wave lengths…. Should be a solution, Lord

  10. Michael says:

    Dread,

    Let’s say the current relationship with China is problematic.
    Why isn’t the rights love of Russia and Putin as problematic?

    Why can’t our swords cut both ways?

  11. Michael says:

    I honestly think all of them are emissaries of beast empires.
    I can’t do much about that…my whole concern is discipling myself and my people through beastly times to an eternal home.

  12. Michael says:

    I highly recommend this thread…

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1372876627936485378.html

    PASTORS IN A PANDEMIC
    {A thread}

    Everyone has had a truly difficult year and the past 12 months have been brutal, refining and unpredictable. From my perspective, I’ve seen how it’s affected pastors emotionally, mentally and professionally.
    The role of a pastor is most akin to that of a shepherd in scripture. They care for, guide, protect, lead and sacrifice for their congregation like a good shepherd would the flock under their care. This takes wisdom, patience, experience, tenacity.
    In addition to the responsibilities that pastors shouldered pre-Covid (preaching, sermon prep, funerals, sick visits, weddings, counseling, leading staff, budgets, prayer for the church, emails, hospital visits, etc)…
    Pastors had to navigate the new world of Covid. Many of them had family members who got sick, or even got Covid themselves. A good friend of mine hasn’t preached for 8 weeks- the long term effects post-Covid have remained and he’s unable to even drive now.

    Some people thought the virus was a hoax at first, and some changed their mind while others doubled down on the conspiracy theories they read online. Pastors feel the frustration and anger of church members who felt betrayed by media / experts / politicians.
    Pastors have had to try and lead their churches through the most divisive political season in recent history. They know that they can’t please everyone, but many of them have felt like they can’t please ANYONE. Accused of saying too much one week and too little the next…
    A stolen election?
    A global pandemic.
    Trump, Biden, voting fraud
    QAnon. Fox News. MSNBC.
    Insurrection at the Capitol. Antifa.
    Racism. Protests. Cancel Culture.

    And of all the issues pastors have had to address…maybe the one that causes the most disagreement…
    M A S K S.
    continued at the link…

  13. Dread says:

    Michael,

    Let the knife cut both ways. Neither player is good, both plot evil. But China is an actual threat in terms of economic power and totalitarian schemes. Russia is really pretty weak by comparison.

  14. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I’m not educated in these matters, nor do I care enough to try to find source materials to become so.
    Our system and world are broken and I can effect neither.
    Voting is a subjective measuring of alternate evils.

    For my sanity and the souls of those who listen to me, I’ll stick to what I do know.
    I’m teaching on covenant tonight and you should have provided me material to claim as my own… 🙂

  15. bob1 says:

    The really tragic thing about this tragic thing (the pandemic) is that it was allowed to become politicized. People started making decisions based not science but ideology.

    Truly, an ideology that’s led to tens of thousands of early deaths.

  16. Dread says:

    As per the MASK blogpost that guy described why I am leaving pastoral ministry after 45 years.

    Mask etiquette is absolutely unmanageable – there is NO unifying path.
    Racial distrust escalated between people who five minutes ago had no problems. Changing definitions of issues about race made hatred of each other inevitable and almost mandatory.
    Political polarization tribalized us with no reconciliation possible, those on the left are as irreconcilable as those on the right. Neither can even see how the other is a follower of Jesus.
    Add to that the ‘godless’ prophets… they flat out divided people around me and still are.

    My plans were for a few more years but the moment created an opportunity to accept that rebuilding is a young man’s charge. The energy, vision and passion required to rebuild is simply inaccessible.

    So by the summer I will no longer lead the church I founded. It isn’t mine and never was.

    Going out not knowing where I am going.

    Mask Dread

  17. Michael says:

    It took me two days, but I watched the Snyder cut of “Justice League”.
    I liked it.
    I liked not thinking about which fresh hell is going to take us all.
    I had Mexican Coca Cola and barbecue chips with roasted red pepper hummus.
    It was all good.

  18. Dread says:

    bob1

    No one is following the science without the lead of their ideology that is a canard of epic proportions. And no one is free of blood guilt.

    Michael,

    I teach on covenant every week but I hear you. For me covenant preaching is kingdom preaching. And you know that I know the political narratives are all babylonian captivity

  19. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I grieve over this, but you know that.
    I do not think your leaving (along with others I know) does anything but spare you and hasten the slide we already see.
    This is the crisis we should be addressing.
    Having said that…if it starts in my group I will quit yesterday and spend the time volunteering at the Humane Society…

  20. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I have received much from what you teach…I will try to give my interpretation tonight…but some notes would have saved me a lot of time… 🙂

  21. Dread says:

    Michael,

    I know and am grateful. You were one of a very few voices that told me to reconsider… not many. When I sensed that my church was no longer hearing my voice I knew it was time.

  22. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I still hope you hear that your voice and your presence are needed…

  23. Michael says:

    For many years I had a friend…someone I thought of as a brother…who was theologically and politically my opposite.
    We could still fellowship (I hate that word) and talk and bless each other though we disagreed.
    I used to say that if you put us in a room by ourselves to solve all these issues through godly compromise, we’d do so in a day.
    Today, it would be a fight to see who comes out of that room intact.
    When I accepted this, I accepted that some broken things can’t be fixed and some folks want to break some more things.
    My voice and influence would diminish.
    My better angels would grow weary while my worst ones grew stronger.
    I had to be faithful.
    That may mean being even more solitary than I’ve been.
    Some day, they will want to hear us, but I fear we’ll be gone.

  24. Dread says:

    The wounded healer said when he was called he wanted to be ready.

    If we are called.

    Likely we will have to make the best of the moment confined to solitary ways

  25. bob1 says:

    No one is following the science without the lead of their ideology that is a canard of epic proportions. And no one is free of blood guilt.

    Speak for yourself, pal. I am free of blood guilt. Stop acting like a spiritual authoritarian.

    You’re doing the very thing I just commented on — politicizing the masks.

    How very sad.

  26. Dread says:

    bob1

    Clearly you think someone in the public sphere is not being ideological or political and clearly you think other are… as you accused them of blood guilt.

    I think all the public figures have been ideological and political.

    Let me clarify… no one in public office who is telling us how to act is free of stain. They’ve all hedged, lied manipulated and politicized. That is an opinion… even as your finger wagging at me is an opinion.

    Master Dread

  27. bob1 says:

    Ah, yes.

    When you can’t dazzle with brillance…continue to baffle with overgeneralized bulls*it.

  28. Michael says:

    bob1,

    No need for such…let us learn to hear each other believing the best about each other.

  29. Jean says:

    I can’t even imagine what the idealogy of mask would be by the folks like Fauci, the CDC and other health experts that I see speaking on the subject, except the idealogy to prevent illness and death. After this many months of going out in public with a mask, such as to church, shopping or to a restaurant, I see near universal compliance, no demonstration of bitterness about wearing them and no material loss of any freedom. I got use to wearing a mask, like I got use to wearing a uniform and keeping my hair in a certain way when I was in the military.

    When masks were politicized last year, it was the choice of the president who politicized them. And one thing everyone should note is that when he politicized masks, he could have politicized them either way. In other words, he could have just as easily have made masks part of the MAGA universe and paraphernalia as making them something warn by people who he thought didn’t like him. There is nothing inherently liberal or left about wearing a mask.

    As a society, we have over the years implemented many social norms, rules and laws, designed to make living together safer. We require seatbelts, many states require motor cycle helmets, many states require vaccines for certain activities. Most if not all states require new born babies to be treated with an antibiotic eye ointment to prevent infection. We require drivers licenses. Plumbers, doctors and attorneys are licensed. Milk is homogenized. (Should I bitch that I can’t walk around Walmart naked or buy non-homogenized milk?)

    Let’s also note that if the preservation of life and prevention of illness is an ideology, can we then say that ideology is not inherently a bad thing? Can we not look into an ideology and see what may be good as well as any weaknesses?

    When I go to church, I and everyone else wear masks. We keep every other row empty, and separate families in rows by about 3 seats either side. Communion is by family, so that four families can go forward at a time and each family is at least 6 feet apart at the chancel. Masks are taken off to receive Communion then put back on. The individual cups are used only once.

    The pastors where mask accept when at the pulpit.

    I have no idea when churches have decided to politicize mask wearing. It does not ask anyone to worship Christ any less. It does not ask anyone to receive less of Christ’s gifts. It does not prevent anyone from going to church.

    If a church was building a new sanctuary, I imagine that it would following building codes, would it not? Not everything the government says to a church is an infringement of religious liberty. Can we not distinguish between reasonable regulations and material impediments that may be protested against?

  30. really tired... says:

    Bob1

    You do realize you are guilty of politicalizing everything, but seem to be blinded by your own ideology so much it has stained everything you write.

    Jean

    You will never seem to escape your politics and personal need to be an arbitrator of correctness and director of how everyone should live and believe.

    The both of you fit quite nicely into the same mold as those whom you accuse others of filling. Continually pushing your political opinions and correctness while demeaning others who disagree with you and who often have equal or more compelling arguments.

    “Bullying is the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual.”

    And in case you forgot, or never considered it, everything is political.

    “Politics (from Greek: Πολιτικά, politiká, ‘affairs of the cities’) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that studies politics is referred to as political science.”

  31. Em says:

    Could it be – not saying it is – could it be that the Church, the true Church, senses something? Growing apostasy? Is God the Holy Spirit – not saying He is – being resisted in a wash of worldwide egocentric self sufficiency?

  32. Dan from Georgia says:

    Sigh. I tried to start Open Blogging on a fun note….

  33. BrideofChrist says:

    The masks politicized, and now the Vivid Vaccine, itself politicized. It grieves my heart. My closest friends ( we met at Calvary Chapel at later taught ceramics classes together as a team at our local community center) called me last night to tell me that her husband is scheduled to have triple bypass open heart surgery on April 17th. She also told me that they were not getting the Covid vaccine – that they didn’t believe it was necessary. Her husband will need months rehabilitation after his surgery. I am very afraid that he will be exposed and vulnerable, in the hospital and in rehab, without the protection of the vaccine. I don’t know who they’re listening to, but I am heart broken and so worried about them both. Why are people against the vacine? My husband, daughter, her husband, my neighbor, have had it. I can’t wait to be vaccinated! I really am so sad that everything about this pandemic has been turned into a culture war. And , yes, I blame the Republicans for being anti-social science and creating a culture war over vaccines and masks. Why? Isn’t the pandemic itself bad enough? My husband had polio as a child at age 2. I still remember my parents talking about how happy and relieved they were when Jonas Salk gave us the polio vaccine and we children were vacinated. I remember eating the sugar cube ( that’s how we were vacinated!) and how it was given to all the children at a neighborhood school and it was kinda big celebration and everyone’s so happy ( I was seven). My parents had lived in New Mexico, previously ( where I was born) and they said that nearly every child living in Native American reservations had been killed by polio. My parents felt like the Polio vaccines a gift from God. Life was simpler then, and more honest.

  34. Jean says:

    BOC,

    “Why are people against the vacine?”

    I can only tell you my opinion:

    The first thought, however, is fact based on evidence, not opinion: The majority of ant-COVID vaccers are Republicans and pro-Trump independents.

    I believe for them, they are against the vaccine in part because they believe that the whole pandemic was used to hurt Trump and so they are against anything that legitimates the pandemic.

    Second, they have been conditioned to mistrust science as being a tool of power meant to control them and it is subject to manipulation, anyway for nefarious purposes. So why not instead listen to your favorite talk show host or pastor, who know zilch about virology!

    Third, They have been conditioned to mistrust government institutions as inept at best and evil at worst. They believe that with guns people will take care of their own and don’t need most government. They apparently believe that corporations can be trusted to deal properly with workers and their communities, they’re not worried about pollution, animal extinction, climate change, access to clean water, food safety, access to affordable healthcare, the hungry in America, suffering at the boarder, etc.

    The biggest current affront to civil rights apparently is the limitation on spring break debauchery.

    When we’re doing the post mortem on Chinese economic rise to supremacy, don’t forget that their spring breaks never held a candle to ours.

  35. BrideofChrist says:

    I can understand why Africa Americans, who were used in syphilis experimental research, and who may not have had access to good, state-of-the-art medical care, might be suspicious of the vacine. I really don’t I understand how my good friends, a white American woman married to a Asian American friend who are my age, can feel this way. My daughter told me that all I can do is keep talking to her,about all of the people we know who have been safely vaccinated without any problems at all. As for not trusting science – My friend is going to have veins harvested from his body for his open heart surgery! Isn’t that trusting in medical science? I truly am bewildered by it all. It makes me very sad.

  36. pstrmike says:

    what a thread………

    I never blame a pastor for wanting to leave the ministry, and particularly in these days of insanity. I deal with the same cognitive dissonance as the rest of you. I haven’t been given permission to be done yet.

    dread,
    perhaps one day I’ll meet you at the beach, bring some beer and we can drink to a new found peace…..

  37. Everstudy says:

    What a thread indeed…

    Jean has his standard strawman, arguing against the evil ‘they’ and BOC blames Republicans for anything evil.

    So, in light of that, what do I do with this? In my office we have two sets of people, the older mostly conservative and the younger mostly liberal. Everyone over 40 is waiting for our turn for the vaccine. Everyone younger than 40 has said they will not get it.

    Why? They don’t trust it. They’ve told me (on Tuesday to be precise) that it was rushed through just to make Trump look good. And they said that VP Harris doesn’t trust it either since during the campaign she said she wouldn’t take it.

    Granted, that’s not exactly what she said, and has gotten the vaccine herself, the younger group would not be convinced.

    So here we have the total opposite of what Jean and BOC have described. I guess I could blame the Democrats.

    I won’t because that would be beneficial.

  38. Everstudy says:

    Would ‘not be beneficial

  39. The New Victor says:

    My 64 year old mostly non political but doesn’t like Trump co worker has said she isn’t getting the vaccine. My ex, a liberal, Trump hating Mexican immigrant likely isn’t. She refuses to get flu vaccines because she read some websites. She tried to get me not to take the kids for flu vaccines but I do every year. She also thinks 9/11 was an inside job. These opinions aren’t confined to the left or right.

    But glad to hear the Snyder cut is better. I might get it on DVD when the price comes down.

  40. Ethan says:

    “The Real Origins of the Religious Right”

    They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133/

  41. bob1 says:

    Some of Evefrstudy’s comments about folks in his office and their reasons for not getting the vaccination(s) seem to be borne out by a recent in-depth focus group conducted by Frank Luntz (a long-respected Republican pollster) and several others, including 3 Republican legislators.

    Turns out that most folks in this group of 19 Republican skeptics, once they were told about some of the details about the vaccines, changed their minds. It turns out that doctors and other ‘objective’ folks were the ones who made the difference. Fascinating.

    Trump can’t get his supporters to take the vaccine. But doctors can.

    “Trump voters do not want to be ridiculed, embarrassed or told that their thinking is “Neanderthal” by Washington politicians simply because they express doubt or concern about the safety or efficacy of the vaccine. Moving them from vaccine-hesitant to vaccine-confident won’t happen unless we pause the polarizing political rhetoric. A fact-based approach that is genuinely ideologically neutral is exactly what the doctor ordered.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/trump-cant-get-his-supporters-to-take-the-vaccine-but-doctors-can/2021/03/18/ae96c2da-8820-11eb-82bc-e58213caa38e_story.html

  42. Dread says:

    I think all of y’all should take the Trump vaccine for the China virus.

    I’m old enough to remember Kamala and Cuomo spreading doubt about the vaccine before the election only to see them blame Trump – like you guys are – for people refusing it.

    I’m also honest enough to say Trump was a train wreck and y’all are too with your senile commander.

    I have no problem with saying partisanship is antichrist — don’t ever hear that from leftists

    It’s become sport for me — drop a conservative take and watch your pimples pop.

  43. Dread says:

    PstrMike

    🥃🥃🥃
    🍺🍺🍺

    On me

  44. Dread says:

    Wait did I just violate an Executive Order

    Wuhoo Dread

  45. Duane Arnold says:

    Recommended reading, ‘The Anatomy of Fascism’ by Robert Paxton (2004). Not an easy read, but very worthwhile when reflecting on recent events…

  46. Duane Arnold says:

    “Wait did I just violate an Executive Order”

    No, just…

    “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

    Maya Angelou

  47. Jean says:

    People above relayed anecdotes about people whos are or are not anti-vax. You are welcome to your anecdotes, but your reasoning is terribly flawed if you try to universalize your personal experience in a country as vast as the USA, in terms of population size, cultural diversity and geography.

    The following provides more reliable data than someone’s anecdote:

    “According to a recent “PBS NewsHour”/NPR/Marist poll, 41 percent of all Republicans say they won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine.

    That makes them the most vaccine-hesitant demographic in the nation. And public health experts warn, if that opposition continues, it could significantly hamper the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
    ….
    [GOP Pollster] Frank Luntz:

    “And the amazing thing is, it’s probably Donald Trump’s greatest success of his administration, the speed by which these vaccines were developed. And yet it’s his own people, the people who voted for him, that are most hesitant to take it. Who would have thought?”

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/why-41-percent-of-republicans-dont-plan-to-get-the-covid-vaccine

    March 19, 2021

  48. Jean says:

    Regarding VP Harris:

    Here is what she said during the VP debate:

    “If Dr. Fauci, the doctors, tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it. But if Donald Trump tells us we should take it, I’m not going to take it.”

    If you recall all the way back to 2020, Trump was feeding false Covid therapies and timelines to the American people on a regular basis. He went a step further in the fall, saying and implying that the FDA was slow walking the Covid vaccine approval process to hurt his re-election. Moreover, he made implied threats that he might overrule or remove some of the FDA’s jurisdiction and authority and bring the approval process for the vaccine into the Whitehouse. (Maybe he thought Jered could help with that too.)

    Naturally, Trump’s Tweets and other statements about the vaccine timeline (stuff like, “It might be ready in two weeks,” back in October) and its approval made many Americans afraid.

    I and I recall Michael, and I imagine many of you, were concerned about Trump’s bellicose and frankly dangerous and counterproductive statements and probably were not going to take the vaccine based on Trump’s word. At the end of the day, most rationale people wanted an approval process consisting of scientific integrity, not political calculations. No one needed to coerce the FDA; they are fully aware that we are in a pandemic!

    So, I fully support what VP Harris said in the VP debate. She was also signaling to the American people that under a Biden administration, policy would no longer be made on the basis of private prophesy and leader charisma, but on the basis of the advice of experts serving in their respective fields.

  49. More than tired… says:

    Jean

    Your politics and need to be right and authoritarian about everything is more than obvious.

    You are a master at proof testing and twisting things to your benefit. It’s known as iniquity.

  50. Linnea says:

    Dread, there are those in your church who still hear your voice and will miss it indeed. You have fed us well. Grace to you.

  51. pstrmike says:

    dread,

    looking forward to it…………..

  52. Dread says:

    Nothing in Jean’s post belies my “spreading doubt” characterization of ‘President Harris’

    As for the follow the science crowd.

    Following the evidence in reporting might be worthwhile too — that is after all what science does.

    https://andrewsullivan.substack.com/p/when-the-narrative-replaces-the-news-9ea

  53. Jean says:

    More than tired,

    You don’t agree with what I say and insult me personally. I get that. I hope that helps whatever issues you have.

    I am wondering, however, if you have any thoughts of substance to make an argument with?

    Dread, I understand that you come from a charismatic and/or Pentecostal faith expression. Fine. However, if everything to you is political, everything is narrative, peer review can’t be trusted, scientists and science are biased, then where does that leave you and society? How would society then function orderly? Are you then beholden, based on “God told me” or a hunch, or what a charismatic or super wealthy (God must have shown him His favor) leader might suggest?

    It’s easier to tear down than to build up. What you offer here tends towards tearing down, and I read very little from you about building up.

    I would love to read what an educated and intelligent man such as yourself might have to offer us for how to make society function better.

  54. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    When someone says, “It’s become sport for me…” believe them the first time…

  55. Michael says:

    MM,

    There’s only one moderator here and it’s me.
    I moderated you long ago and you found a way around it.
    I fixed that.

  56. Babylon's Dread says:

    Jean,

    Happy to engage you. As per my core orientation it is not charismatic it is credal Christianity, Baptist education with a Word and Spirit ethos. My particular crowd is growing smaller in that associations with conspiracy theories, QAnon, recalcitrant ‘prophets’ who think Trump is going to have a military coup are all things with which no quarter is given here.

    It is not the destruction of things that drives me. In my mind the liberal American republic has been among the best of human governments on earth. It is so deeply rooted in Reformation and Radical Reformation values. This present system has been working so well that the world is crashing our borders, and those who feel themselves alienated are grasping for hegemony. If our system were so bad there would not be so many suitors.

    And yes all human life is politics; all life is the city. The separation myth is for institutions not humans. My return to the pulpit after 8 weeks absence will be Palm Sunday — the human evidence of the folly of nationalism.

    Where you and I differ is on the tearing down business.

    It is the progressive left that is tearing down.
    It is the progressive left that has made the “slow march through the institutions,” advantaging this hour. It is the progressive left that is tearing down free speech.
    It is the progressive left that is seeking to overthrow the system in favor of the kind of radical democracy that our founders hedged us against.
    It is the progressive left that is challenging the Senate, the electoral college, the first amendment.

    Now note: I do not believe America is a Christian nation. It is however a western nation and therefore founded on Judeo-Christian values. We a product of the enlightenment soaked in Christianity.

    It is the progressive left that has redefined marriage, gender, sexuality, family… it is of course true that the American version of Christian fundamentalism that sought to protect those things has failed miserably — it has imitated Moses and not Christ.

    So what I believe is that the trajectory we were on as a nation that was extending civil liberties to everyone was working. Suddenly when we are the least racist we’ve ever been in our history we are told we are the most racist. All of that to shift power. Power is everything. And yes there is the constant need of reform.

    So this is getting too long but I am trying to engage.

    What I believe is that you and others of like mind are partnering dangerously with progressive leftist ideology and drifting from liberal democracy that founded our Republic.

    Pay attention to what is happening. A coalescing of classic liberals, evangelicals and charismatics is forming because all are alerted to a totalitarian spirit that is leaping not creeping through our institutions. Pray for a scholarly evidence-based pushback to displace Trumpism. Either way SOMETHING will fight back to resist progressivism.

    What do I wish to build?

    Family family family
    Church and more church
    Local not national schools and institutions
    Less government money flowing everywhere — money always means control – usually slowly loosed
    Adherence to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
    Actual restoration of those who defend civil liberties

    As for science? I laugh at what people are now call ing “follow the science” that is a totally partisan play.

    And Duane,

    It wasn’t actually the first time I said something like that. And I am happy to engage you if we can be fraternal rather than like a couple of rutting bucks.

  57. Babylon's Dread says:

    I have commented before about all of the deconstruction.

    That is what is tearing away and destroying everything. FINE, challenge everything but if you tear down too much too fast you destabilize. This has been my lament for a long time. We are destabilizing our mediating institutions at such a rapid pace — we are well into the danger zone.

    The riots in all the cities and the reactionary riot in the capitol are birth pangs.

    Yes I am a conservative… I want to conserve the Judeo-Christian worldview that formed our Western cultures. Most of the bloggers here are former conservative Christians from the Jesus Movement revival. That moment may have been like the momentary revival hospice patients have just before dying.

    In our disappointments we too are jettisoning and deconstructing our former life. I will say it again. The progressive movement is exactly the equal opposite of the conservative fundamentalism. This new intolerance that has laid hold of the power structures is going to bear the fruit of perdition.

    Therein I weep and cuss.

  58. Michael says:

    BD,

    For the sake of discussion I will say that I am probably more in agreement with you than not.
    However…
    If one is looking to the political arena for solutions I submit that one is simply picking which poison to die of.
    There is no group to join, no leaders to support.
    Thus, my belief is that we must reform and strengthen our own house first…because it is only in that house that real solutions lay.

  59. Dread says:

    I get that Michael but isn’t my appeal to restore the mediating institutions on that line of thought.

    Family – church – education – etc

    Micro to macro

  60. Michael says:

    Dread,

    That’s a noble cause…how do we accomplish it when the political mechanisms are only interested in complete power…whether right or left?

    The alternative to the semi-progressive Biden was Trump.
    Those are not viable choices…

  61. Duane Arnold says:

    “It wasn’t actually the first time I said something like that.”

    I know… and I should have believed you the first time…

  62. Jean says:

    Dread,

    I think there is something more concrete and basic going on in America. We are conversing in many cases in abstractions. But I think there is also the concrete condition of millions of working families that have not participated in the economic prosperity of the past 20, 30 or more years. Data suggests that American wages, as adjusted for inflation, have stagnated for probably 80% or more of the nation over a few decades.

    People have been squeezed by stagnant wages on the one hand and increasing costs of fundamental living expenses such as energy, housing, health care, child care and education. So the country has been running almost unfathomable budget deficits to create or perpetuate a sense of prosperity and social stability. But anyone who looks closely at the situation will conclude that a country can’t survive forever on a credit card. I don’t know the math, but a 1 percent increase in the treasury borrowing rate would probably cost tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in additional annual interest expense.

    Meanwhile a small slice of America has done extraordinary well and control increasing parts of the economy, the national income and political power. We are likely at an all time high for the number of billionaires in America. At the same time, there is tremendous poverty in this country.

    I think, generally speaking, Democrats have proposed government based programs to address income inequality. Republicans traditionally have proposed cutting our way to solve the problem and deregulation. Trump has additionally employed the scape goat method which Germany used in the 30s, which is to blame so called internal enemies of the state, for the problems of the majority.

    I think that at the extremes, neither party is being realistic nor completely honest with the American people. Unregulated free markets always lead to first oligopolies and then monopolies. The strong get stronger and the rich get richer. The economy gets less efficient and the national distribution of wealth gets more concentrated.

    On the other hand, government is not a model for innovation. Occasionally institutions, such as NASA can administer a successful race to the moon, or a Defense Department can develop the first atomic weapon, but in the vast majority of cases, private entrepreneurship has proven to be the best modal for innovation and growth. Those create jobs and should in theory create a middle class.

    So, I think it is a mistake at the extreme left to belittle private enterprise and not support them as the engine for national growth and ultimate prosperity.

    But I do think that the most important function that government can play and should play, which many Republicans under-acknowledge or fail to understand, is to provide (1) an equally applied rule of law (not just criminal justice, but other areas as well, such as antitrust and intellectual law protection), and (2) a playing field in society that is accessible to everyone, so that no matter what your current situation is or what your parents did for a living or how much money they have, everyone has a fair and equitable opportunity to participate in the American dream.

    But the opportunity to participate in the American dream is not achieved by blaming other people or stripping them of their dreams, but by opening the dream up for everyone. Did anyone think that curtailing work visas or legal immigration was going to actually benefit the American worker? If one looks at the American dream as a fixed sized pie, then we are led to fight one another for a slice, but if the American dream is looked at as a non-fixed sized pie, then we can rejoice when our neighbor gets a slice, because it doesn’t come at our expense.

    Racism, xenophobia, all of the phobias, all signal (1) that if we could just rid ourselves of the other, or at least dominate them, then things for us would get better, and (2) the problems that I am facing, my unhappiness, my economic problems, are not my fault or bad luck, but are caused by someone else that I can blame.

    We can do a lot better than that as a nation.

  63. Nathan Priddis says:

    BD
    “My particular crowd is growing smaller in that associations with conspiracy theories, QAnon, recalcitrant ‘prophets’ who think Trump is going to have a military coup are all things with which no quarter is given here.”

    I might be wrong, but I assumed you switched to Vineyard back in the day, and are associated with a lot of Charasmatic ministries that came up in the 90’s. If that’s close to being true, then doesn’t the new Q/conspiracy/phrophecy newcomers pose a direct threat to existing Charasmatic ministries? Sorta an old guard?

    You mentioned a Kingdom Theology. Doesn’t an expectation of a Kingdom cause a rejection of the kingdoms of the world? Regardless of how one views that Kingdom coming. I feel like there is a weight of the world on your shoulders.

  64. Jean says:

    Two central questions of Christianity are often raised and debated: What is the role of the law, faith and works in (1) justification, and (2) the life of the new man in Christ? In response to these questions, I offer Martin Luther’s perspective on the power of faith. In On Christian Freedom, Luther ascribes three powers to faith. The following excerpt from On Christian Freedom is written in the form of a written sermon to Pope Leo X (and by extension, I would argue, to us as well):

    “Because God the Father has made all things depend on faith, whoever has faith has EVERYTHING and whoever lacks faith has nothing. ‘For God has imprisoned all in unbelief, so that he may be merciful to all’ (Rom. 11[:32]. Thus, God’s promises give what the law demands, so that everything may belong to God alone, both the commands and their fulfillment.” (Martin Luther, On Christian Freedom (1520), The Annotated Luther Study Edition, transl. Timothy J. Wengert, 2016), p. 496. [my emphasis]

    “The First Power of Faith

    “Now since these promises of God are holy, true, righteous, peaceful, and filled with total goodness, what happens is this: The soul that adheres to them with a firm faith is not simply united with them but fully swallowed up by them, so that it not only shares in them but also is saturated and intoxicated by their every power. For if Christ’s touch healed, how much more will this tender touch in the spirit – or, better, this ingestion by the word – communicate to the soul all things that belong to the word. Therefore, by this means, THROUGH FAITH ALONE WITHOUT WORKS, THE WORD OF GOD JUSTIFIES THE SOUL AND MAKES IT HOLY, TRUE, PEACEFUL, AND FREE, FILLED WITH EVERY BLESSING AND TRULY MADE A CHILD OF GOD, just as John 1[:12] says: ‘To all who … believe in his name, he gave power to become the children of God’

    “… For the word is of such a nature that the soul is formed by it….Now if works are unnecessary, then so is the law. If the law is unnecessary, then certainly such a person is free from the law. Moreover, it is true that ‘the law is not laid down for the righteous.’ So, this is the Christian freedom referred to above, namely, OUR FAITH, WHICH DOES NOT CAUSE US TO BE LAZY AND LEAD TO EVIL LIVES BUT INSTEAD MAKES THE LAW AND WORKS UNNECESSARY FOR THE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND SALVATION OF THE CHRISTIAN.” (496-97) [my emphasis]

    “The Second power of Faith

    “It honors the one in whom it trusts with the most reverent and highest regard possible for this reason: Faith holds the one in whom it trusts to be truthful and deserving….

    “For no honor is equal to attributing truthfulness and righteousness to someone, which is how we honor the one in whom we trust. Could we ascribe to anyone anything greater than truthfulness, righteousness, and absolutely perfect goodness?…

    “This is the highest worship of God: To bestow on God truthfulness and righteousness and whatever else ought to be ascribed to the One in whom a person trusts. HERE THE SOUL SUBMITS ITSELF TO BE TREATED ACCORDING TO GOD’S GOOD PLEASURE. THIS IS BECAUSE, CLINGING TO GOD’S PROMISES, THE SOUL DOES NOT DOUBT THAT GOD IS TRUE, RIGHTEOUS, AND WISE – THE ONE WHO WILL DO, ARRANGE, AND CARE FOR EVERYTHING IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY.” (498) [my emphasis]

    “The Benefit of Faith: Union with the Bridegroom

    “The third incomparable benefit of faith is this: that it unites the soul with Christ, like a bride with a bridegroom. By this ‘mystery’ (as Paul teaches), Christ and the soul are made one flesh. For if they are one flesh and if a true marriage – indeed by far the most perfect marriage of all – is culminated between them (since human marriages are but weak shadows of this one), then it follows that they come to hold all things, good and bad, in common. Accordingly, the faithful soul can both assume as its own whatever Christ has and glory in it, and whatever is the soul’s Christ claims for himself as his own….

    CHRIST IS FULL OF GRACE, LIFE, AND SALVATION; THE SOUL IS FULL OF SINS, DEATH, AND DAMNATION. NOW LET FAITH INTERVENE AND IT WILL TURN OUT THAT SINS, DEATH, AND HELL ARE CHRIST’S, BUT GRACE, LIFE, AND SALVATION ARE THE SOUL’S. FOR IF HE IS THE GROOM, THEN HE SHOULD SIMULTANEOUSLY BOTH ACCEPT THE THINGS THAT BELONG TO THE BRIDE AND IMPART TO THE BRIDE THOSE THINGS THAT ARE HIS. (499-500). [my emphasis]

  65. Dread says:

    There’s a lot here to consider

    Very busy day. I’ll respond tomorrow.

  66. DH says:

    Circle Back Dread

  67. Dread says:

    Jean,

    There is plenty we can agree upon and that is hopeful. Then this;” Trump has additionally employed the scape goat method which Germany used in the 30s, which is to blame so called internal enemies of the state, for the problems of the majority.” Feels like a soft way of associating Trumpism with Naziism. But more than that, it sounds as if you come back to the other version of scapegoating. One which Joshua Mitchell talks about and writes about wherein the use of name-calling and anathematizing;

    Your use of that is here “Racism, xenophobia, all of the phobias, all signal (1) that if we could just rid ourselves of the other, or at least dominate them, then things for us would get better…” So you see from my perspective identity politics is the means of simply flipping the “other” into the evil white, male, heteronormative, christian …. the description is almost its own acrostic. You see what I am saying?

    The Gospel on the other hand calls us to see every man in Christ … in this way we reject notions of dismissing the ‘other’ from either perspective… In this way I would agree “We can do better than that as a nation” You catch my nuance when I say “We” I reference those of us who are “in Christ.”

    On that ground we need not characterize one another in means of dismissing the scapegoated enemy.

  68. Dread says:

    Nathan,

    I did not switch to Vineyard though my group is like Vineyard was in the 80s not the post ’95 Vineyard. Our kingdom theology posits a ‘presence of the kingdom’ viewpoint in which we see the kingdom as those in whom the reign of Christ is manifest by the Spirit. In other words Christendom. We draw a big circle and have a big tent. We do not reject the kingdoms of this world but we seek to live as those who do not regard Caesar as king though we give the rulers of this world their due respect.

    And yes I do carry the weight of the world … like a fool who thinks his little boat can master the sea.

  69. Babylon's Dread says:

    And Jean @5:26pm

    That is a wonderful gift that you share the words and thoughts of old radical and contrary Luther.

    I don’t quite use the Law and Gospel categories as they are in Lutheran theology but lately I am drawn back to him.

    If you haven’t seen it allow yourself to listen to the weekly ten minute production “Luther in Real Time”
    It is from Ligonier Ministries so that won’t thrill you but give it a listen. It is my weekly delight to hear Luther dramatized and historically contested.

  70. Jean says:

    Dread,
    I haven’t heard of that, but it sounds worth a listen, so thank you for the referral.

    I put together the Luther excerpt because even among conservative Lutherans, there is a lot of bad teaching on the relationship of law and gospel pertaining to justification and sanctification. Since I had it ready, I posted it also here on the off chance that someone would read it and find something edifying.

    There is, on the one hand, a hesitancy to say with Paul, Christ is the end of the law, or, through the law I died to the law, and on the other hand, there is the fear of libertinism if the Christian life is not nomistic. But again, if I rebuild what I tore down I prove myself to be a sinner.

    At the same time, everything in the secular world is based one way or another according to laws. So, for these reasons, whatever way you distinguish law and gospel, we have to return to our doctrines, teachers and Scriptures constantly to keep matters straight, both for our souls as well as those under our care. Grace is grace. We begin by the Spirit and are completed by the Spirit.

    I love Luther’s conception of imputed righteousness as the union of the bride and bridegroom.

  71. Jean says:

    Dread,

    “Your use of that is here “Racism, xenophobia, all of the phobias, all signal (1) that if we could just rid ourselves of the other, or at least dominate them, then things for us would get better…” So you see from my perspective identity politics is the means of simply flipping the “other” into the evil white, male, heteronormative, christian …. the description is almost its own acrostic. You see what I am saying?”

    Dread, When Trump ran for president, beginning in 2016, he introduced terms that in all my years of following elections (and I have only really lived in the North), I never heard employed before by a national candidate. They are literally seared in my memory.

    Whether it was the blood remark about Megyn Kelly after the first 2016 debate or saying a federal judge with immigrant parents from Latin America couldn’t fairly judge his Trump University fraud lawsuit (he was the defendant), or not denying that he referred to a Latin American Ms. Universe who he thought was overweight as “Ms. Housekeeping,” to the way he talked about the press as Enemies of the State (eventually also using similar terms to describe many Democrats), to encouraging his followers to liberate states like Michigan, to saying Baltimore is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess, a place no human being would want to live, to the way he straddled the fence after Charlottesville, most reasonable observers read and heard what Trump was doing as appealing to phobias, latent racist tendencies, and scapegoating. Why do you think he singled out Baltimore?

    And, worst of all, white supremacists and other right wing extremist groups, themselves, whether David Duke, or any number of the militias, or QAnon also saw (and see) Trump as a kindred spirit. They see him as empathetic to their mission statement. They believe he shares their beliefs. If he was not and is not, why do you think Trump hasn not yet to this day definitively rejected them and their support? He still hasn’t admitted he was wrong in the birtherism he claimed about President Obama.

    I don’t know why you seem not to acknowledge the actual language that Trump has used that are offensive to minorities, the press and politicians and Americans who do not support him. I am not aware of any liberal candidate for President in my lifetime that has been as divisive as Trump, but if one arises I will denounce him or her in a heart beat, because as I have said before, there is one thing worse than bad laws; that thing is anarchy. And driving a wedge down the middle of our country, counting 10s or 100s of millions of Americans as un patriotic, un American or enemies of America is the surest way of destroying our country from within.

    I don’t necessarily believe that most Americans that voted for Trump share his ethics, behavior or language, but the vast majority were on notice about all the things he’s said and done, and his voters set it all aside for the benefits they think he brought to the table. In that process Trump persuaded 10s of millions of voters to trust him personally, to the point of believing his lies about election fraud. That’s serious! Some went over the edge into acts of violence against our democratic institutions. That’s frightening.

  72. Nathan Priddis says:

    BD. All I can say is..I hope you find your way..and peace.

    Way back, I was a political junky. It started of all places in third grade. I can’t explain it much more then that. It would nag at me over the years, but I held on despite being unable to reconcile Republican politics with the Bible. I met some believers interested in politics as well, I didn’t realize these where Rushdooney followers till later. When I became apolitical and rejected Reconstructionism, I was left feeling lost. Just when I thought I had found a quiet place in life…2020 happens.

  73. Dread says:

    Jean,

    We were almost having a discussion … Trump is gone… don’t want him back.

    I do believe identity politics is tribalism and will end in no good for anyone.

    But you want to do the Trump forensics… I won’t go there and have said plenty on this thread to indicate as much.

    I thought for a minute a conversation might break out

  74. Dread says:

    Nathan,

    I do not live trying to reconcile any political narrative with the Bible.

    I disavow that idea regularly from the pulpit and probably will again this weekend

    I have been aware of Reconstructionism since the 70s and never have espoused it.

    As for finding my way to peace isn’t that what it means to be reconciled to God? Must I reconcile with the world too? I don’t mind the weight. I don’t mind the inner turmoil. I don’t mind the struggle of pursuing truth with all my heart. My postings are in general out of step with most who post here.

    You misread my temporal deep depression over many things with a lack of peace. I have peace with my LORD with my wife, with my children and with enough friends. But I have no peace with things that are awry … no one here does as much as I can tell. The ranting is like the “lowing of the cattle” in Samuel’s ear.

  75. Jean says:

    Dread,

    I wasn’t aware that you don’t want to review Trump. Okay, I will go along with that wish.

    I am not against examining identity politics as long as we are going to review its manifestations on both the left and the right.

    However, I would strongly object to any critique of identity politics regarding historically discriminated against communities if such critique would lead to freezing that community in its historically disadvantaged position.

    In other words, if a group of white males thinks America would be better off if women and/or blacks (and other peoples of color or Jews and other religions) would just stay in their place or better yet go somewhere else, and in pursuit of that objective use the critique (fair or not) of identity politics as a weapon to maintain the status quo or make things worse for such communities, then I’m not interested.

    I would like to seek solutions – that work for everyone, not excuses for why America cannot become more inclusive.

  76. Nathan Priddis says:

    BD. You make more sense to me now.
    BTW. I wasn’t accusing you of Reconstruction or Nationalism. Your definition of Kingdom is totally correct, though I might not emphasize things in the same way, or it’s specifications.

    Here’s an apparent difference…
    I developed an obsession of trying to explain, or at least label events through time, with what I read in Scripture. Including politics.

    Here’s something I didn’t expect..
    Samuel’s quote of lowing cattle occurs shortly before he dismembered Agag. Only three have ever been mentioned by name before their time. Agag is spoken again regarding the end. Was left confused as why you chose this of all verses.

    Personal curiosity…are you a prophet?

  77. Dread says:

    Jean,

    I think Trump is primarily a nationalist not a racist and thanks for laying that aside.

    As for seeking solutions — we must — but government is not the best agent most of the time. Government restrains us… it does not equalize the outcomes. That’s the errand we seem to be going on and I think it terrible folly.

    I don’t want anyone to “know their place” I just don’t want to replace the hell of inequality with the hell of equity. Justice, biblical justice will do better for all.

    Nathan,

    My lowing cattle bit was a loose reference to the tendency to deny our. folly and be caught… I am just saying that pretty much everyone on this blog carries the weight of things that are awry, we manifest it variously but the agony of things being messed up is abounding.

    Am I a prophet? John Baptist knew better than to accept that moniker. I will follow his lead.

  78. Jean says:

    Dread,

    “I don’t want anyone to “know their place” I just don’t want to replace the hell of inequality with the hell of equity. Justice, biblical justice will do better for all.”

    Two thoughts:

    1. Similar to theology, when society (or the church) ignore or diminish a segment of people (or teaching), some over-reaction may often occur to fill the void. The over-reaction may be just as bad or worse, but it arose out of a void. Just saying you don’t want the reaction regrettably is not a solution that can fill the void.

    2. As I believe Michael would echo, Biblical justice is a lot more compassionate than a lot of conservatives would possibly care to admit. This is the time of year when my journey through the Bible is concentrated in the OT. This year I tried to stay alert to passages dealing with social justice. I found that society under the Torah is about the farthest thing from libertarianism one can imagine, and God provided a social safety net for the poor, widow and foreigner which possibly was revolutionary in the ANE.

    I think from the 2nd Chapter of Genesis on, it is clear that we are our brother’s keeper. Instead of obsessing about how one can stand out with the newest model F-150, perhaps a good society would think about how it could stand out with excellent, safe schools for all children?

    Such priorities should begin in the human heart, not in government mandates. Thus, the Church has a vital role to play IMO, if she is willing to stop pandering to the consumerism of her members.

  79. Michael says:

    “I found that society under the Torah is about the farthest thing from libertarianism one can imagine, and God provided a social safety net for the poor, widow and foreigner which possibly was revolutionary in the ANE.”

    Good luck with this…
    You can take it a step further and note that there were curses invoked against the nation if she failed to demonstrate God’s neighborliness…but doing so will result in the modern equivalent of stoning.

  80. Michael says:

    Christians are consumers in the great free market of religion.
    Start telling people what God said and they’ll find a different store…

  81. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Many of them have already found that “different store”, we just don’t want to say it…

  82. Jean says:

    Of course Jesus is consistent and gives the sense with the Golden Rule in the Sermon on the Mount, but just marvel at the following passage from Deuteronomy for a moment and, if you will, meditate on it during your day:

    “You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother. And if he does not live near you and you do not know who he is, you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall stay with you until your brother seeks it. Then you shall restore it to him. And you shall do the same with his donkey or with his garment, or with any lost thing of your brother’s, which he loses and you find; you may not ignore it. You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and ignore them. You shall help him to lift them up again.”

    This passage goes beyond merely doing no harm to your neighbor. It goes beyond merely doing good to your friends. There is no assessment of whether or not you are on good terms with, or are personal enemies of, your neighbor. It doesn’t ask, “Was my neighbor lazy or careless with his property and therefore deserves what he lost?”

    It says be proactive and help your neighbor recover his lost property in good condition, take care of his stuff in the mean time, and your help will involve inconvenience and personal sacrifice. He may not say thank you. He may resent your neighborliness. He may be a scoundrel who would never reciprocate. But God sees!

  83. Dread says:

    Nathan

    See we are carrying the weight and seeking our peace.

    But this is worthwhile dialogue … I hope

  84. BrideofChrist says:

    Jean, I really see the wisdom of your 4:20 post. ” An “over reaction” is certainly to be expected when a society disenfranchises and marginalizes a segment of it’s population. I was a sociology major back in college but nearly everyone understands the ‘swinging pendelum’ analogy which notes the tendency for trends to swing back and forth between extremes (Hopefully eventually achieving proper balance). I also don’t think the only choice is to “replace the hell of inequality with the hell of equality” as Dread posted. I think that’s simplistic black and white thinking, and I think it’s just an excuse to throw up our hands up and do nothing. Young Americans have less tolerance for the inequities and inequalities in a our society than older Americans , who grew up thinking that it was all normal and fine. I trust the young will find a way forward without attempting to guarantee an “equal outcome for all” as some conservatives claim progressives are promising. They simply want an equal playing field for all Americans. There is a huge difference between the two outcomes. The idea of ” equal outcomes for all” is a make- believe idea invented by conservatives to avoid having to provide equal opportunities for all in my opinion.

  85. Dread says:

    BoC

    Inequity refers specifically to outcomes and the use of government policy to create equity is absolutely the intention.

    The serious advocates don’t even hide it and they use outcome measurements all the time to force their point.

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