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49 Responses

  1. Dread says:

    Tonight I understand Jeremiah. The extreme bankruptcy of the human heart is producing a ravaged generation. The enormity of the soul draining carnage will produce a harvest of vapor. We will be looking at dead eyes for a hundred years.

    Hell has emptied the arsenal and we are slain.

    Our God cannot fail but his salvation is slow.

  2. Em says:

    Pastor dread, it isn’t in Satan’s hands! ! !
    The final outcome is a BIG VICTORY – The King (Jesus) IS coming
    Problem is, in God’s timing a thousand years are just an eye blink
    God keep you and all the Phoenix peeps here

  3. Eric says:

    This month I’ve been doing a Zoom bible study (how I ended up in it is one of those strange things that always happen to me). I don’t know the origin of the group who are running it (it came out of nowhere like Melchizedek) but during the month met one of the people. Ostensibly the series is on Matthew, but it’s mostly basic and leads into the main 8-month-long series, which I’m not willing to do.

    Anyway, the teacher has said a few things that have really grated. I feel she’s using rhetorical devices to paint herself has teaching God’s word and any other bible teaching as like that of the scribes & Pharisees who failed to recognise Jesus… and a few other rhetorical things like that.

    In today’s session, when she said one of those things that irked me so much, I made a series of comments in the chat box pointing out, that some of her rhetoric was unfair, not too directly, and without accusing her of saying anything in bad faith.

    One thing led to another and I am going to meet her on Monday for a chat. Not really necessary – people hear stuff they disagree with all the time and just leave. But somehow I end up saying what I think, and trying to do so with grace.

  4. JTK says:

    Eric,
    Let me salute you for doing the hard thing, actually having that convo.

    People ghosting the local church and people that cried over them over little to nothing is one of the hardest to handle.

    I’ll say a prayer for you.

  5. Eric says:

    Thanks JTK. It would be easy enough to disappear – this is just a random group that my friend was in and I’m only part of it for this month’s series and won’t do the next one. If they are culty (a very hard assessment with limited info) I would want to warn the other non-insider participants (hard to do in Zoom!). But one of the helpers agreed that I had a point and arranged for me to meet the teacher and talk tomorrow.

    Before I spell out my concerns about her rhetoric I’ll take the chance to ask about how the group started and its goals – ie is it a vehicle for her or her church’s ministry or the genuinely random Christians from various churches as it appeared to be. What answer I get there will inform how I share those other concerns.

    So I guess it’s a far different case from “People ghosting the local church” but those cases are all too real – someone who was part of my little church for a while just left the state and is uncontactable (mental health issues involved).

  6. Eric says:

    Well I got to meet her. Didn’t find out all the answers and spend more time talking about my peculiar ministry experience and wide knowledge of the Church in out city. She affirmed the value of ordinary churches and said she didn’t mean to denigrate them or suggest that her bible studies are the main deal. She also affirmed all the stuff I had been doing. But in pointing out all the things I had seen as red flags, I feel like I was more than justified in my suspicions.

    It wasn’t a necessary conversation but it was a positive one. I feel for those who have difficult conversations in their regular church context where people’s longer-term friendships might suffer or where a power imbalance leaves some parties at risk.

  7. Dread says:

    The Oscars demonstrated something I’ve been warning about. Will Smith casts off restraint walks up to Chris Rock and assaulted him – an actual crime. Then he doubled down with verbal intimidation to be sure the threat was sealed. His action was typical of our unbounded and wrathful culture.

    But it gets worse. He then wins the Oscar and gives a speech perfectly crafted to evoke our empathy for his heavy burden and noble intent…tears and all. Then he gets thunderous approval by the cultural elites.

    As a southern boy he certainly tapped into my native defense of women, though she remained offended but hardly damaged. Apparently a seething grudge was in the weeds from a 2016 barb at the same event.

    Bottom line —

    1- the fences are down and humans are increasingly unrestrained. Evil revenge is fomenting in every arena.

    2- bending the will by emotional storytelling is masquerading as love and justifying all manner of evil.

    Meanwhile — someone BETTER Build Back Biden’s Basement — WWIII is the ultimate lack of restraint.

    This is open blogging but underneath my words are theological constructs of kingdom theology, anthropology and soteriology. Visions of all these things underly public life.

  8. Michael says:

    Dread,

    Be thankful that you are not on social media…where we are being repeatedly told that white folks shouldn’t comment on this issue…and on how Whiteness and toxic masculinity caused it.

    The valley I live in is increasingly unhinged by violence and callous disregard of others.

  9. Josh the Baptist says:

    This wasn’t a symbol of anything. People have been getting mad and hitting each other, literally forever.

  10. Dread says:

    Antisocial media certainly breeds this. And of course every ill in America is due to whiteness. They have no idea how they are stoking the fires of identity politic backlash. Group condemnations always foment violence.

    My belief in American exceptionalism has revived on one point. The genius of a nation with individual rights as a founding principle has not been matched to my knowledge. The collapsing of that principle is to our horror and doom.

    We have had no king but when violence gets unrestrained a strongman arises to save us. The kind of actual revival our nation needs is on the scale of something we have not seen. These are indeed perilous days.

  11. Kevin H says:

    Yeah Josh, they’ve been doing it forever, but remember Cain and Abel were male and they’re always drawn as white in any kids’ illustrated bible.

    Therefore, it must all the fault of White Toxic Masculinity.

  12. Michael says:

    I am a dedicated hockey fan.

    Fighting occasionally happens in the game and serves as an outlet to keep worse things than a fist from landing on someones head.

    In my youth, the occasional brawl served the same purpose…and to reinforce societal norms and mores.

    Humans are prone to such…

  13. Dread says:

    Ok nothing to see here… but comedians are going to be hiring more protective goons, or taking it on the chin more regularly. Human sin is a virus.

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    I mean, there is something to see – a mild distraction from real stuff happening elsewhere. A silly little slap fight broke out. But its not a sign of any kind of cultural degradation. The Smith’s “open relationship ” may be, but spoiled rich people often act out, and always have. This is just the newest version, but it is nothing new.

  15. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t get on social media much at all. Deleted Twitter, etc., but sent Micheal broght it here, I’ll comment:
    Toxic Masculinity – obviously. You insulted MY woman, I’ve got to physically assault you! Stupid caveman stuff.

    Whiteness – Chris Rock was getting paid by white people to insult a black man’s wife, while that black man was praying to be accepted by those same white people. It is a weird situation.

    Option # 3 – The whole thing is some kind of publicity prank. I thought it was an obvious gag until will started yelling. That part looked real, but then again, he won the award for best actor, so who knows.

  16. Josh da Baptist says:

    Now, THAT is troublesome.

  17. Dread says:

    Were you troubled when the media and half the nation were espousing the Russian Collusion conspiracy theory and trying to topple the President. And I would bet 25% of the nation still believes it was true.

  18. Michael says:

    The Russian collusion theory was plausible.

    The resurrection of JFK Jr. and lizard people is not…

  19. Josh da Baptist says:

    Yes, I was troubled by that: Either that it was true or that it was a plot to take down the president. Both options were bad.

  20. Duane Arnold says:

    Collusion is not a legal category… Obstruction of justice is, of which there were eight instances in Muller’s report.

  21. Dread says:

    He probably did obstruct them and the justice department probably committed more crimes than they solved or investigated in the whole matter.

    We’re poorly led by immoral self-serving monsters. Beasts from land and sea and harlots riding beasts drink our blood.

    That’s why we’re grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

  22. Michael says:

    Dread,

    You are correct in your assessment of our leadership…but the blame also lays on us for following.

    The response to outrages on both sides is not to point out how our side is grieved…but to denounce it irregardless of source.

    I cannot understand supporting Trump or following Q Anon anymore than I can justify chemically transformed men winning women swim meets.

    Both sides are trying to squelch free speech and the exchange of ideas…both will lead us to hell on earth unless we denounce it all.

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    That is why John Adams, describing his objective in crafting the Massachusetts Constitution, phrased it this way: “to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.”

  24. Dread says:

    Michael,

    I’m with you.

    Never one minute espoused Q-Anon

    Voted for Trump grudgingly and for reasons Biden has vindicated — want him gone — as I also want Biden gone.

    You know how I view Wokeistan

    So we need really vigorous compelling Kingdom vision – kingdom preaching – kingdom action

    It is as Duane says, incarnational and as I likewise assert “in the Holy Spirit”

    So where do we go from here?

  25. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I don’t know…and as time goes on I become more selfish about trying to protect myself and let others tear themselves to shreds.

    There was a time when theology and truth mattered…that time has passed and I find no place to rest except the tiny enclaves I create .

  26. Dread says:

    Duane

    Interesting article from Reason.com on something akin to that quote

    https://reason.com/2022/03/25/covid-revealed-america-to-be-a-nation-of-rulers-not-of-laws/

  27. Josh da Baptist says:

    Kingdom vision and preaching… Yes, please!

  28. Officerhoppy says:

    We’ll, before last night, the Oscar ratings were down. Not next year.they no doubt got a ratings boost.

  29. Dread says:

    Michael,

    Keeping a kingdom focus is fine… but even you post many things on this blog that would not pass muster if the twitter mob got a clear eye on it… Your cancellation is clicks away.

    I think nationalism can be parsed from patriotism pretty clearly. With nationalism we simply de-couple our faith from any notion that God favors us as a nation over other nations regardless of our founding, faith creed or morals… God is no respecter of persons or nations.

    Patriotism however, is the loyalty to one’s nation … in our case that loyalty would be expressed as a preference for the liberal democratic republic that our constitution envisioned and our Bill of Rights codified. In which case a strong public devotion to free speech etc would be cherished.

    We have a very crucial interest in preserving our ‘exceptional’ founding documents. These freedoms have allowed us to flourish like few other forms of government. And they are in danger. The legal methodology of Critical Theory (race and otherwise) is a challenge to those founding documents … quite overtly as the quote I posted demonstrated.

    Anyway… our constitutional freedoms can be advocated without any form of christian nationalism. IMO
    in fact I am suggesting that liberalism is among the best friends Christianity can have in public discourse

  30. Michael says:

    Dread,

    I cannot be cancelled because I do not care.
    In reality, I am subject to greater risk because I refuse to fall on one side or join one tribe…I think most of the national discourse is a manure show unworthy of participation in.
    In my lifetime the literacy and intellect of the populace has dropped precipitously to the point where I can have more edifying conversations in a kennel than in most places where people gather.

    I would agree with your laudatory comments about our founding documents…realizing that we were violating them as a nation while they were written and for most of the time afterwards.

    I think your fears of CRT are overblown…because I think most of the really radical advocates for such cannot function in any kind of ordered society…if you can’t even figure out your own gender, you will have a real hard time with highway projects and municipal codes.

    What I perceive in many is a denial of American history in terms of race relations, which I hold in the same regard as those who can’t figure out which way to urinate.

    We should be aware of radical movements…but they have always been a part of liberal democracies.

    Christian nationalism is heresy, but it is a money making mother and this is the land of enterprise…and the churches are entrepreneurial businesses.

    Our biggest issue by far is a void of truth and any way to discern it among the lies.
    That is what will destroy us…indeed is destroying us now.

  31. Officerhoppy says:

    Quite some time ago I stopped listening to radio and TV preachers. I turned on the CSN thus morning to see how the scriptures were being taught. What a bunch of Horse puckey! About 30% was pretty solid but the other 70% HORSE SH**IT.

    More and more preaching sound less like exegesis and more like self help. A lot of sermons I hear could be taught in a Mosque instead of a church. Muslims want to be good people too.

    Frustrating

  32. Dread says:

    Thanks Michael interesting analysis. Have to think

  33. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I no longer listen to anyone I don’t know personally.

    Christian radio is a wasteland.

  34. Dread says:

    Michael @9:49

    Logical consistency did not matter with regard to American blindness on slavery or Jim Crow and it won’t matter with Critical Theory as power rather than consistency is the value. They overtly disavow any need to be bound by meritocracy or other logic driven white values. It’s going to be minority hegemony and they’ll work out the kinks after achieving dominion.

  35. Dread says:

    All they really need now is a majority of judges.

  36. Michael says:

    Dread,

    It may happen as you say…seeing the nonsense on social media on these matters makes me wonder.

    People have lost their minds.

  37. Dread says:

    Public safety is coded language for totalitarian government. Even (as per Canada) to the degree of confiscating personal property by fiat.

    This thing is like kudzu.

  38. Josh Le Baptiste says:

    But what about the Kingdom? You are always preaching a very depressing future.

  39. Em says:

    Interesting posts, gentlemen interesting

  40. Dread says:

    Josh

    Not so if you read what I say if the kingdom but absolutely as I write about the body politic.

    When the writer of Hebrews came to his climax he was telling them that their Zionist kingdom was DONE – they were to willingly abandon it and go to Jesus outside the camp — (beyond Jerusalem)

    That is what I think is happening here to us. America as we have known it is probably done but not yet gone. The dollar is weakening and will be replaced as a world currency, civil liberties are giving way to DIE and the constitution is in real peril.

    I want to rally it but it’s not hopeful.

    The kingdom however is in Christ and his Spirit and calls us to die.

  41. Josh says:

    “Not so if you read what I say if the kingdom but absolutely as I write about the body politic.”

    I would suggest speaking more Knigdom and less body politic.

  42. bob1 says:

    Michael,

    I really like the article from Current. Very prescient. I agree with the author that the current divide isn’t left or right, but Upist versus Downist. Perfect. Fortunately, I believe most of us are Upist andh aven’t gone over to the Dark Side. Plus, Christianity is a religion of hope. There’s never reason for despair in the long run! Our God is a God of hope.

    As far as Kingdom influence, I believe there’s a huge difference between control and influence. We can influence every day and in every moment — by the way we live. If we live in truth and not falsehoods, as just one example.

    “I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both to rulers and to the subjects. Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. … The inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust for power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely more because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.”

    C.S. Lewis
    .

  43. Michael says:

    bob1,

    I liked it too…a different perspective.

  44. Kevin H says:

    I declared myself an Upist earlier today on Facebook.

  45. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael an all
    The thing that others or concerns me is the importation to scripture interpretation as well as Jesus’ words, our western ideals, and philosophy. It like many pastors talk about a Jesus who never was.

    One pastor today presumed to know what Jesus was thinking and why he responded to a situation the way he did. Sounded more like a Millennial than a middle Eastern man 2000+ years ago.

    Jesus was not a free American. He was a Jew in a mostly agrarian culture and a world that was ruled by Rome. We can’t make him a westerner…like so many pastors do.

    I dunno. Just rambling. Searching for the Jesus of history not our imagination

  46. Dread says:

    Josh

    First, that rule would be good for the whole family here.

    Second, such posts draw crickets most of the time.

    But it’s a decent appeal.

  47. Josh the Baptist says:

    Dread, both good points.

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