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

    ahhhh, yes, OUTSIDE THE CAMP

    away from the firelight of the campers you can see the stars and become inspired again

  2. Michael says:

    G…I find more truth in that every day.

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

    Last night I realized how distracted I’ve been. I stopped and gazed at the crescent moon for the first time in months.

    Today we had thunderstorms in Mission Viejo, with a double rainbow and a beautiful sunset.

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

    M, rest assured that full acceptance is from Jesus and the fellow travelers who cling to Him and each other.

    Thanks for keeping our little community alive.

  5. Michael says:

    G,

    That has been my revelation the last few weeks.

    When I shut down the blog and went outside I remembered I live in the most beautiful place in the country…and it was time to slow down and soak it in again.

  6. Michael says:

    G,

    I’m feeling ok about it…and I’m glad we’re still here.

  7. London says:

    Camps are over rated any way

  8. Believe says:

    Need some help from the pastors in PP land:

    Is it “normal” for pastors and congregations to actively pursue Senior Citizens in their congregation to leave assets, including their homes…to the local church?

    I am getting reports that this is happening in more than one CC congregation in California. This doesn’t smell right to me…but want to get a variety of opinions.

  9. Believe says:

    ….and if you want, you can email me your response privately…though I have no problem gleaning your comments from this thread.

    agrenier7 at gmail dot com

  10. Believe says:

    …clarification…to leave homes etc. in their wills to the local church…is it a normal practice to have campaigns in place to encourage such.

    Is there an “ethical” way to do this? What would you consider “crossing the line”?

  11. Josh Hamrick says:

    “Thinking is encouraged and dancing is mandatory.

    Laughter just happens.

    Best of all, He walks with us.

    Go ahead…jump the fence.”

    That is the Promised Land that I have heard of, but haven’t been able to find, despite wandering around in the wilderness for years. Michael, I truly hope that you have found this place in your life, and that you will continue to dwell there. I have been outside the camp, so to speak, for my entire Christian journey, and though i have certainly found small pockets of the joy you speak of, I must admit, it has been quite lonely.

    And I apologize because I’ve only caught bits of your story over the years, but which two orgs were you booted from? CC and another? That’s pretty awesome.

  12. Babylon's Dread says:

    Having been to St Andrews it is so much fun to watch the British Open today and to be glad that I do not play that abominable game … And that historic golf course is the ugliest thing I ever saw…yes I know blasphemy. My boy Mickelson is even par which means he will probably suffer for two more days in this pasture.

    Ok as for outside the camp…I have the gall to suggest that both Calvin and his remonstrators have missed the whole point… drinking whiskey is essential, especially while reading PP… if there is ice in my glass worry… otherwise it is pure snobbery.

    It is one thing to be a lover of theology and a charismatic, it is quite another to despise nationalism’s masquerade as eschatology and to doubt the reports of your fellow renewal revivalists. You lose friends at every conversation.

    Thanks for the post today Michael… that post is why I like PP so much… dancing, and drinking is encouraged…

  13. Believe says:

    To the topic…”jump the fence”…amen.

    …and I like to dance…and nothing wrong with a little whiskey in moderation…though when I drink beer, I prefer Dos Equis…stay thirsty my friend 🙂 8)

  14. papias says:

    Once I read The Shack (better late than never), I plan on reviewing “The Politics of Cocaine: How U.S. Foreign Policy Has Created a Thriving Drug Industry in Central and South America” http://www.amazon.com/Politics-Cocaine-Foreign-Thriving-Industry/dp/155652949X

    And listening to a few of the CDs I picked up at the library. But what I am really enjoying is the live Anthrax show from 2005 – bringing back some good memories. They whip the crowd up into a frenzy by the second song, and intros the 3rd song by saying “Let’s take up a notch!”

    All this to say, why do we have camps anyway?

  15. Believe says:

    …but in some “pious” circles…you are “of the devil” if you are honest and admit to having a beer and going dancing once in a blue moon…but if you secretly beat your wife and kids, steal money from the church and treat people like a jerk…but say all the right things in public and keep up appearances…no problem…you’re a “man of God”.

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Believe,
    In my circles, you would have to produce your baptismal records if you didn’t drink and dance. Surely you couldn’t be Lutheran if you abstained from either. 🙂

  17. papias says:

    Believe, Those pious circles seem to get smaller and smaller. Never cared much for those.

    On your question about “living will”, yes, I have seen ministries over the years offer that to folks. It does seem a bit “vulture-ish” to me.

    Depends how actively the people are being pursued. Is it just being offered, or are people having visits and being “actively encouraged” to leave their assets to the church?

  18. papias says:

    MLD, Since you are on here, I thought I would share this with you, and get your thougths:

    The otehr night at our Men’s meeting, we started going over the book “What is the Gospel?” by Gilbert(?) and one fellow said this:

    “There was no gospel until Martin Luther”

    It took all my restraint to keep from laughing and crying at the same time! 🙂

  19. Believe says:

    MLD, LOL…I think I’ve got a lot of Lutheran in me 😆

    Papias, yes, I’m getting reports of the “actively encouraged” to put it mildly. More of an orchestrated “campaign”.

    …I personally don’t see a problem with “offered as an option”…but I’m wrestling with the “arm twisting”…Seniors can be vulnerable…and if there is a church that is “arm twisting” it shows poor Character in my opinion and is a red flag that the money probably should be going somewhere else…but that’s just my opinion.

    Will get a variety of input…and appreciate yours.

  20. papias says:

    Believe,

    If “Arm twisting” is happening, its just to get at their wallets in their back pockets…

    The authorities could get involved in this in there is prooof.

    If the police don’t get involved, then the media is always an option.

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    papias,
    Luther didn’t invent the gospel, in fact he didn’t even discover it – he just tried to bring it back to the forefront of the Church – where it had been buried in the basement.

  22. DavidM says:

    Michael, I love what you wrote today. It really struck a chord with me. Thanks.

  23. Tim says:

    Believe –
    I haven’t seen the practice in churches (though I can’t say I’m too surprised), but I have seen it actively encouraged among para-church ministries. Like you, I don’t have a problem if it’s presented as an option (some folks may truly have it in their hearts to donate in such a way)…I’m uncomfortable with arm-twisting about it. Of course, I’m uncomfortable with arm-twisting in any way in regards to giving.

  24. Tim says:

    Just a thought. If everyone feels like they are an outsider of some sort, maybe the walls of the camp aren’t quite as narrow as we think them to be.

  25. Mark says:

    The cynicism is depressing. I hear so much negativity on all fronts. No one sees the class half full anymore. Some may consider it a badge of honor to consider themselves a “misfit”- “outside the camp”. My reccollection is that being “outside the camp” was a troubled place to be in Scripture- no?

    It is important to be in a corporate fellowship of believers- doesn’t Scripture demand it? We have discussed ad-nauseum all of the reasons why some (sometimes it seems like ALL on this blog) churches aren’t perfect- but the only perfect place is waiting for us in eternity.

    I’l ltake an imperfect fellowship over isolation outside the camp anyday.

  26. Mark says:

    Michael- to quote you also regarding the “illegal immigrants”

    “They are here, they function and live here…they really don’t belong here.

    They want to belong…but there is no way for them to do so.

    They yearn to be accepted, but know that many would never accept them…even if they had the right papers.”

    I beg to differ. In my neck of the woods – there is no “yearning to be accepted”- no “wanting to belong”.

    Money is shipped back home. Property is not maintained. Taxes are not being paid. English is not learned or spoken. Civility to neighbors is not practiced. Assilimation is shunned.

    Let’s not oversimplify a very complex issue.

  27. TonyP. says:

    Believe,

    Seems to me that back in the day the option of selling homes and property was driven by the choice of the individual, not by the group pan-handling one another:

    Acts 4
    32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

  28. Michael says:

    Mark,

    I belong to a corporate body, but we belong to no denomination.
    This is a statement about freedom in Christ and a word of encouragement to others who can’t live some else’s faith.

    As to the immigrants…you write “money is shipped back home”.

    Remittances are the second or third largest part of the Mexican economy.
    Mexicans working here and supporting their families back home is probably the largest private social welfare plan in history.

    It’s something I greatly admire and respect, your mileage obviously differs.

    It is a complex issue…and we all know which side of it I’m on.

    I make no apology for that.

  29. Believe says:

    Mark, I’m actually an optimist…I’m an entrepreneur…have been my whole career…you can’t be a pessimist and make a living the way I have without being (at heart) and optimist.

    However, there is a constant battle between the “idealist” in me and the “realist” in me (and many other kindred spirits on here and elsewhere…)

    I worship in person at a physical community church. I go outside the fence…sometimes way outside the fence…for fellowship, friendship, theological/philosophical discussions etc. I also read and listen and learn from a variety of voices coming from a variety of theological/doctrinal positions.

    …I don’t “disfellowship” easily…(though I’ve been disfellowshipped many times).

    The church should be critiqued and challenged…”we” personally should constantly be challenged. That’s how we learn, grow, repent, sanctify, etc.

  30. Michael says:

    Josh,

    The Assemblies of God didn’t fit either…I couldn’t sign off on one of their sixteen distinctives.

    Yes, I’m finding that place…I love the people where I teach and I have this community to play in as well.

    I’ve spent years looking for a place to be…and am now content with where I’m at and walking home with my friends.

  31. Believe says:

    …regarding the Immigration Debate…”complicated” isn’t a nearly strong enough word.

  32. Em says:

    “Once they throw you out of the camp you can see Jesus was on the other side of the wall”

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    i’ve sometimes wondered if the institutional churches know just how many self-appointed doorkeepers they have – making sure that no one stays who 1-is not like us (unless celebrity or bucks are involved), 2-got saved somewhere else, 3-isn’t a ‘yes’ man (here’s where the fearful pastors step in… our doctrine is “pure” doctrine and we’ll tolerate no ‘yes, buts’ or their butts) – i’m not saying that good manners are bad BTW

    hopefully i’m all pontificated out now 😆

  33. SHW says:

    Believe,
    Do you believe that you will be raptured “before” the Antichrist Comes?

  34. Michael says:

    Em,

    That was good pontificating. 🙂

  35. Bill Walden says:

    Jesus loves the camp (The Bride), and desires to wash her feet regularly. There will always be wheat and tares in any corporate gathering. Jesus said to leave the tare removal until the harvest. Until then, we sit with a sometimes dirty-footed Bride, and with wheaty looking tares.

  36. Michael says:

    Bill,

    Good word.

    If folks find their place in “normal” church I’m good with that.
    I just have never met all the qualifications that men put on top of faith.

  37. Em says:

    hmmm, now i read the thread and agree with Mark – both on the need for some sort of organization to maintain fellowship and in his assessment of the illegals as his town is my town, too – the illegals’ experience with law and order in their homelands make them contemptuous of it and they’ve bought La Raza hook, line and sinker… they think that the U.S. was built on their backs. Yes, it was built by immigrants – the biggest impact being those Chinese and Irish immigrants who built the railroads… IMO

    We’re talkin about something sad and, sadly, we have a wonderful population of Latinos who have absolutely nothing to apologize for. They’re caught up in a festering mafia-like threat along with the rest of us and, some are stepping up to work the problem better than the rest of us. Am i the only one who sees a tidal wave of trouble coming at us from the south? Man doesn’t do too well stopping the tides…

    i’m tossed to and fro by every wind today…

  38. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    Why do you not believe Jesus when He states:

    “But if you want to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.” (19:17 of Matthew)

    This also means that if you do not keep His commandments, then you will not enter into eternal life.

    “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (2:4 of 1 John)

    What happens to these “liars” who do not keep His commandments?

    “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (21:8 of Revelation)

    The people (liars) who do not obey God’s commandments spend eternity in hell.

  39. Not Alone says:

    On the immigration issue, I’m torn. Their country is imploding before our veiled eyes and we do nothing. They seem like “Refugees” spilling over our borders and contributing to ruin of our economy and we do nothing. I think that eventually we will step up security on our southern border and only a few will illegally get through, then what. It’s only a guess as to what will happen when the Mexicans are trapped behind their own border. Maybe they will rise against their own government again and make some positive changes. I just hope that our nation doesn’t get so polarized that we start seeing Mexicans like the German saw the Jews.

    I’m tired of trying to fit in. Big church has always felt like a cliquish popularity contest. Step out of line and you are….well out of line. Home churches are sounding better everyday!

  40. Bill Walden says:

    Michael…show up anyway….make ’em work. 😉

    I know that sometimes it is extremely difficult to join the camp.
    I am a camp fire host, and sometimes it’s hard for me.
    Church would be great if it wasn’t for the people, eh? 😉

    I am glad that Jesus still shows up.
    Sometimes folks don’t let Him in though…I know that.
    But He knocks…
    That amazes me.

  41. Michael says:

    Em,

    There is a tidal wave coming…just read in our local paper that the cartels have reps here in town…

  42. SPQR says:

    “I like whiskey and reading Eugene Peterson, preferably at the same time.”

    The two do seem to compliment one another…

    Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts…. Proverbs 31:6

  43. Michael says:

    SPQR,

    Do you ever have something positive to contribute?
    Why are you so continually hostile?

  44. Believe says:

    SHW said, “Believe,
    Do you believe that you will be raptured “before” the Antichrist Comes?”

    To be honest…I don’t know.

    Eschatology is my least “settled” Theological issue.

    I have heard some Partial Preterist arguments that I deem fairly sound (but who knows).

    I find Walid Shoebat’s End of Days theses and interpretations to make the most “sense” in regards to Anti-Christ.

    Pre-Anti Christ rapture…I’ll have to review the different arguments more carefully to give an informed opinion…and still haven’t “hashed” that issue out thoroughly enough (yet).

    As a matter of practice…I don’t really care much. I try to live every day as if it’s my last. “My” rapture will most likely be the day the beer truck hits me and I go home to be with Jesus. 🙂

  45. filbertz says:

    there is an essay I read years ago, initially read by Gayle Erwin at a retreat, about Pioneers and Settlers. I suppose many here have heard/read it as well, but I think it is very appropriate to the context today. I don’t have time to track it down, but perhaps someone could link it for everyone’s consideration.

  46. Nonnie says:

    SHW, I thought of you today when I heard this song.
    I pray it becomes a song you can sing with us one day.

    No More My God, I boast no more
    Of all the duties I have done
    I quit the hopes I held before,
    To trust the merits of Thy Son

    No more my God
    No more my God
    No more my God
    I boast no more

    Now, for the loss I bear his name,
    What was my gain I count my loss
    My former pride I call my shame
    And nail my glory to His cross

    Yes, and I must, I will esteem
    All things but loss for Jesus’ sake
    O may my soul be found in Him
    And of His righteousness partake
    Amen, amen

    The best obedience of my hands
    Dares not appear before Thy throne
    But faith can answer Thy demands
    By pleading what my Lord has done

    No more my God…I boast no more.

    Lyrics by Isaac Watts

  47. Michael says:

    Nonnie…awesome.

    Thank you!

  48. I dunno Michael…the older we get the more we feel the liberty to responsibly partake of alcoholic beverages. Don’t know that that makes one a “misfit” any more. Also I don’ think it takes getting thrown out of the camp to see Jesus…at least I hope not. Many of the pastors here here are working very hard to make Jesus the center of the congregation…it’s easier I guess when you are alone but much much more difficult with a flock of 3 or 400. But I am determined to succeed on this!

  49. Josh Hamrick says:

    Bill Walden said: “Jesus loves the camp (The Bride), ”

    I don’t think Michael was equating these two words the same way that you are. The Bride is the universal church, of which all Believers are “inside the camp”.

    Michael, God bless you, brother. You have blessed my soul. When I put together a conference, I will invite you to speak.

  50. But I also know that many churches have failed in this in the past

  51. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I think you’re succeeding…because you’ve had the courage to start with your self and move out from there.

  52. Believe says:

    SPQR….you are a “Biblical donkey”….(read jackass).

    …but, you’re probably saved and a brother in Christ and entitled to your opinions. 🙂

  53. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Thank you!

    You parsed my “camp” reference correctly as well…

  54. SHW says:

    Believe,

    RE: “As a matter of practice…I don’t really care much. I try to live every day as if it’s my last. “My” rapture will most likely be the day the beer truck hits me and I go home to be with Jesus.”

    REPLY: I am of the same mindset except I hope to die in peaceful sleep like my grandfather did. 🙂

    Scripture tells us when Jesus will return, but it does not tell us the day and the hour of His return because we are not supposed to know the day and the hour of His return (Matthew 24:36):

    (2:1-4 of 2 Thessalonians) “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

    (1:9-10 of Ephesians) “having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”

    When Jesus returns at His Second Coming which is immediately after the Great Tribulation and the defeat of Antichrist (24:29-31 of Matthew), the elect Christians who are still alive on earth will meet Jesus in the air at that time and their bodies will be instantly changed from mortal to immortal and from corruptible to incorruptible. The Latin word for this “being caught up in the air” is “rapiemur” which is where the English word “rapture” originates. Scripture also uses “gather/gathering together” to explain this “being caught up in the air.”

    (4:16-18 of 1 Thessalonians) “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

    (15:51-53 of 1 Corinthians) “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

    These Scripture passages are about the same event and it happens at Jesus’ Second Coming at the end of “time” (end of the age) on Judgment Day at the sound of the trumpet. Jesus will not come back to earth before the Great Tribulation of Antichrist and remove/rapture/gather His Church from the earth.

    (17:14-16 of John) “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” Revelation 2:10

    Jesus only comes back to earth on the Great Day of His Second Coming and this is when He “meets in the air” the members of His Church (His elect) who are still alive on earth after the Great Tribulation of Antichrist. (3:10 of 2 Peter), (21:25-27 of Luke) Jesus’ First Coming was at His Incarnation 2000 years ago.

  55. TonyP. says:

    Michael,

    You can speak at my conference. It consists of shooting the breeze while I grill, and while I don’t indulge anymore, my wife would knock a couple back with ya. 😀

  56. Em says:

    SHW,”Jesus only comes back to earth on the Great Day of His Second Coming and this is when He “meets in the air” the members of His Church (His elect) who are still alive on earth after the Great Tribulation of Antichrist. (3:10 of 2 Peter), (21:25-27 of Luke) Jesus’ First Coming was at His Incarnation 2000 years ago”
    we all agree on this, i believe – the question is not of His return (second coming), but one of will the Church (however defined) be left to go thru the great apostasy and chaos of those final cataclysmic years before His return to reign? … or maybe it’s not a question, don’t think it is…

    every time you mention Jesus’ admonition to keep the commandments i wonder why you can’t see that He was speaking to a self-righteous, self justifying and, at best works oriented pre-Church Believer (i like to think he was one of the ones at Pentecost)
    to say we are saved by the finished work of Christ jesus’ obedience to the Father does not negate holding the commandments as our standard BTW

    just talkin atcha – not entering the debate 🙂 which does seem to be more talking at, than reasoning with IMO

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think that SHW is right. That is why Jesus spent his 3 year earthy ministry going around singing the praises of the Pharisees and telling us to be more like them.

  58. came2pass says:

    SHW…I too hope to pass in my sleep like my Grandfather did…not screaming in horror like the passengers in his car.

  59. Em says:

    MLD,”I think that SHW is right. That is why Jesus spent his 3 year earthy ministry going around singing the praises of the Pharisees and telling us to be more like them.”

    i think you’re right, MLD, now the question is… after all that affirmation, why’d they want to see Him dead?

  60. Em says:

    this posting thing is making me a lazy punctuator 😀 and it’s spilling over into my real life – i’m substituting commas and dashes for everything… i need an editor?

  61. Scott says:

    Hi, everyone. Good to to hear from you Bill Walden. Steve Hopkins, I’m glad you’re still alive. However, how is your wife handling you not having any chest hair for a while? 🙂

    Great post today, Michael. I love the “new & improved” version of you 🙂

  62. Nonnie says:

    Came2Pass
    Re: your number 58.
    I read it and then (pause, blink, blink, deer in headlights look…..duh)
    Was trying to picture what you were describing. Then,( duh !!!!!) my eyes were opened and I understood.
    Haven’t stopped laughing.

  63. Lutheran says:

    TonyP,

    This is belated, but it’s great to see you back!

  64. TonyP. says:

    Lute,

    Thanks. Good to be seen. 🙂

  65. Linnea says:

    Michael…I’ve been thinking. CA and ERunner coordinate an E-Fest annually, but this part of the globe has had only one WeedFest. I’d love to coordinate another one, with you as the keynote speaker 🙂

  66. Linnea says:

    The Honorarium is llimited, though 😉

  67. London says:

    Linnea…you guys could all come over to the Golden Corral on Alameda between 5-8 on Monday for a test run on that. We’re having a fund raising event to raise money to get backpacks out to 120 NM kids.

    We need eaters!

    (ok…that was a totally shameless plug and I probably should be embarrassed but….well….I’m not)

  68. Michael says:

    Linnea,

    The next time I know I’m going to be down there we’ll do it!

  69. Michael says:

    London,

    Plug it as often as you would like….

  70. deadmanwalking says:

    God love it when we get together and He keeps a scrap book on us when we fellowship with each other

    Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.

    Any of you parents have scrape book on your kids?

  71. Esther says:

    Bill “Church would be great if it wasn’t for the people, eh?”
    There was a saying pretty close to that repeated all the time in my house growing up.
    I think church is only good because of the people. When two are more gather, He is present. Otherwise, I would just do my devotions on the beach and forsake the gathering of the brothers all together.

  72. Eric says:

    Laughter truly is the best medicine…no matter the malady

  73. Eric says:

    Seems odd seeing a Catholic Apologist propogating ideas on the great ribulation…hasnt the official line has been Amellenial forever

  74. Linnea says:

    London…we’ll try to make it with the whole family!

    Michael…woo hoo! You call it, we’ll organize it 🙂

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

    SHW,
    Re: Your post of July 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Here’s the thing, I already told you of the kind of relationship I prefer to have with you, one about the here-now life, sharing favorite art, music, social concerns… these are the things that help us here at PhxP be a truer community than the differences of our understandings of our faith.

    I am secure in my beliefs having come to faith in Jesus in 1971 as a charismatic Roman Catholic, having my confirmation and baptism in the Holy Spirit, and then onto a faith journey that took me into protestantism, evangelicalism, and now a more emergent sojourn outside the camp.

    I regret having tried to persuade you to reconsider your approach to faith as you are happy in your version of a faith in Jesus. I am not interested in your approach to trying to syncretize observing law with trusting Jesus and your confidence in your ability to merit salvific and sanctifying grace thru your good works and ability to keep :: ALL 613 Mitzvot :: in addition to a professed faith in a Jesus who needs your cooperation in never once missing the sacraments of the church or professing a trust in the councils of the church, especially Trent which I take great objection to, and your the participation in idolatry of Mary as Co-Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix for mankind.

    it’s safe to say it’s best that we be friends at a distance and we will both trust in Jesus as being the fairest judge of each human soul that places trust in Him.

  76. London says:

    Linnea-AWESOME
    bring ur friends too. Especially ur rich , generous ones! 😉

  77. Scott
    Thanks…glad to be alive too…the chest hair thing? Well, hair in general is overrated! Thanks for the prayers

  78. deadmanwalking says:

    CS Lewis ““To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

  79. JimB says:

    Michael,

    Did you read this article that just appeared on the internet about the drug cartels now using roadside bombs against the police?

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/07/16/mayor-mexican-border-city-confirms-gang-used-car-bomb-attack-federal-police-799386368/

  80. deadmanwalking says:

    Lewis again
    ““Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one””

  81. Michael says:

    JimB,

    I got a email and video about that this morning…it is another gruesome escalation.

    Just remember the police work for a cartel too…there are no clean authorities in Juarez.

    I’m surprised Fox carried the story…

  82. deadmanwalking says:

    The Dare — Growing we were dare devils. My friend and I used to take a stop watch to a place where there was an electric fence, and we would stand barefoot in the grass and see who could hold on the longest, we went on to the hot pepper dare, the smoking dare, the Southern Comfort dare.. each experience was very unpleasant and be it whiskey or smoking you have to force you body to take it at first, but if you do it enough you acquire a taste for it. And some like me who have no ability towards moderation, I went on to addiction to just about every substance you can abuse. Drinking was my favorite high, narcotics and speed, and like I said you name I’ve been addicted to it.

    No kid drinks hard liquor because it is good, we force ourselves on a dare, and if completely free from peer pressure I would always choose a soft drink over whiskey — until after enough time, the pleasure I got from drinking caused me to develop a taste, even a craving for the stuff… Oh for the bite in the back of the throat of whiskey of Skool — I love it all… I was addicted to it all. In the end like CS Lewis once addressed, today my body is more a house of torture than a palace of pleasure, and if I accuse my body for causing me so much pain my body would tell me that I was the one who forced it to take another puff, another chew another drink until I found my health had failed.

    It took a lot for me to leave my addictions behind me. It took PAIN to set me free from most. In my mid 20s I had to have part of my right lung removed, and have had 8 major surgeries since, each one left me with pain, and now I live with heart failure, and I cannot accuse anyone but me for where I am at today….

    I no longer grab an electric fences.. I will not take a dare ever again. If I was to take one drink a day, my cardiologist told I would not be alive in six months. I have not had a drink it a long long time… But I still get tempted even knowing that it would kill me … and all this talk doesn’t help.

    Reading today made me want a drink — you have liberty and I don’t judge anyone of you… but can you please not boast about it… like me there are many who are weak

    1 Cor 8: 9* But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10* For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11* And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12* But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13* Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

  83. Greg says:

    DMW,

    CS Lewis ““To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

    Which of his writings is this found in?

  84. Michael says:

    DMW,

    I don’t understand, but I’ll honor your request.

    I don’t talk about it as a boast, just as part of who I am and what I do.

    Still, I will defer to you.

  85. Em says:

    sobering view DM… no pun intended

  86. pardon the interruption says:

    DMW,

    So you think we should abstain from talking about food in case some here are struggling with their weight and it makes them hungry?

  87. Believe says:

    DMW…I personally apologize. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I joke about it more than it is a reality. Will try to keep what you said in mind on here.

  88. Pardon ze Interruption says:

    DMW,

    So should we refrain from talkng about food in case some here are struggling with their weight and it makes them hungry? Come now….

  89. Mark says:

    DMW- Glad you said it. I wanted to but kept quiet becasue I have not posted enough here to trust my commetns would be taken in love- and not in criticism. But Michael- your tone on more than one occasion regarding drinking has been sort of “in your face”. I get the impression that you want everyone to know that you imbibe- and if the rest of the world doesn’t like it- tough.

    20 years of my life was wasted in addiction- and I’ve seen it destroy so much. In my church, leaders are asked to set aside alchohol while serving in leadership. If they cannot make that small sacrifice- they cannot serve in a leadership position. Not legalism- just thinking of the brother- like DMW- like me- who might be tempted to stumble when seeing a leader imbibe.

    Simple example- a brother in the church has a drinking problem and is being discipled by another brother who is a chuchc “leader” regarding the drinking problem. Than the guy struggling sees the leader out at a bar having a beer- not good. Or sees that leader on Facebook talking about drinking whiskey- not good. I hope now you understand.

  90. Another Voice says:

    DMW can correct me but I believe that quote is from ‘The Great Divorce’ and are the words of a damned soul in hell who chose to never love.

    Lewis introduces the reader to many damned souls in hell (on this bus ride) and the variety of reasons they are there. The guy (or gal, I forget) who wouldn’t love is one of them.

    I think my memory is correct here – it is a fascinating read, Classic Lewis at his fictional best. I was gretaly moved, almost literally to tears, when I finished it. The ending blew me away.

  91. Michael says:

    Mark,

    To be blunt, that is my attitude.
    If DMW wasn’t my friend I still wouldn’t think twice about it.

  92. pardon the interruption says:

    AV,
    “The Great Divorce” is a classic. It is amazing how you Evangelicals, though, are so willing to swallow what Lewis has to say in regards to Purgatory (as implied in the book) and other things, such as his view on Creationism , of which you’d handily dismiss at the hands of any other writer/thinker/pastor. It’s funny…

  93. Greg says:

    I’ve read it but it was a long time ago. It sounds like something that would come out of that book.

    I will have to dig it out and read it again sometime soon. Too many other books started right now though.

  94. Pardon The Interruption says:

    Michael, I’m typing this from my phone because I can’t from my Mac. Can you help?

  95. Pardon The Interruption says:

    Indeed, AV, “The Great Divorce” is a classic. I do find it humorous, though, that Evangelicals are so willing to take what Lewis says and gush over it where as if it came from the mouth or pen of another it would be handily rejected. Purgatory is one such instance, as it is heavily implied in that book and Lewis believed in it and, in fact, that book makes the philosophical case for it and had it came fom Mclaren you might jeer but since it comes from the Great Lewis you tear up at the end.

  96. brian says:

    A side question Mark wrote
    “a brother in the church has a drinking problem and is being discipled by another brother who is a chuchc “leader” regarding the drinking problem. ”

    My focus is not on drinking but on the one brother discipling another? In all honesty does that actually happen? Now I have been part of the sit in the chair listening to what a piece of human filth I am and I am hanging by a thin thread ready to be cut off into eternal hell. But being discipled like, you an ask questions, or even one question. You can doubt, you can show grief, struggle and other such vile human expressions of well humanity. Now the second part I would never even broach the idea of being discipled by a Church leader, if you are even allowed in the same pew that is plenty enough.

    I would posit this last idea, about struggling, my basic experience is Dont.

  97. Another Voice says:

    So should we refrain from talkng about food in case some here are struggling with their weight and it makes them hungry? Come now….
    —————————————————-
    The person ‘struggling with their weight’ eats food every day. The true alcoholic must abstain completely from alcohol forever. Literally one drink can start up again the downward spiral that leads to divorce, abuse, death…

    And once the alcoholic gets a few weeks of sobriety, the physical cravings cease and the battle from then on is 100% mental.

    I can’t speak for DMW, but I can speak as a recovered alcoholic. Given the world’s constant bombardmet to drink, it is nice for a Christian to come to his bloghome and not face the same temptation as alcohol is praised and romanced.

    When I read today’s entry, I stayed away all day – came back to see comments and thought I could answer the Lewis quote, and then I saw this other comment I now respond to.

    Since it was asked in a question, I can give the Biblical answer. To ask it again “So should we refrain from talkng about food in case some here are struggling with their weight and it makes them hungry”

    Answer – once you know such a brother is online, the answer is ‘Yes, yes you should”

    It is yet another way to demonstrate radical, Christ-like self-denying love to another.

    Romans 14 has more if interested…

    Peace to all.

  98. brian says:

    Im just saying if the faith community took even 1/10th the amount of time to discuss Juárez and other such events, not as a border issue or a political get the president issue, who ever was president but the real hard issues. As it has the “Gay Agenda” ™, Prayer in school, keeping In God we Trust in the pledge and on our money, my irony meter explodes on that one each time I type it, evolution / creationism, Ergun Caner, end times, Israel, Left Behind, the Shack, Emerging Church, Chuck Smith, etc maybe this mighty group called the Church could do more good. It is already doing good, there are many faith groups fighting this plaque.

    I come from a family that dealt with drug use, I personally paid a very very very heavy price because of others drug use and have seen it kill many. When I approached my faith community with my struggles, well needless to say I have repented of doing that. It could be if we had a well thought out strategic plan of spiritual intervention and physical intervention it may help. It could be coordinated across the Church, it could include Catholics Lutherans, Anglicans Emergent Church, Evangelicals, Reformed, Armenian, CC, etc. It could rise up and um nevermind I sometimes get carried away. Sorry about that.

  99. Michael says:

    brian,

    That was priceless…thank you for getting the point.

    I’ll keep hammering away at it…

  100. jlo says:

    Michael, keep on keeping on.

  101. Michael says:

    “Since it was asked in a question, I can give the Biblical answer. To ask it again “So should we refrain from talkng about food in case some here are struggling with their weight and it makes them hungry”

    Answer – once you know such a brother is online, the answer is ‘Yes, yes you should”

    I couldn’t possibly disagree more…but I’ll leave it at that.

    This is one of those areas where emotions run high and no profit comes from the discussion.

  102. Michael says:

    jlo,

    I don’t think any one is going to listen for a few more years…not until we are being murdered at the same rate for the same reasons.

    To be blunt, we also won’t care until it’s white folks bodies being stacked like cordwood.

  103. Another Voice says:

    Actually MIchael, by what you wrote DMW above “I don’t understand, but I’ll honor your request. I don’t talk about it as a boast, just as part of who I am and what I do. Still, I will defer to you.

    sounds like you are living Romans 14 and agree quite well with what I wrote above.

    I’m not talking about some annonymous yahoo troublemaker spouting off about how he/she is offended by this blog…

    I’m talking about a brother…

    I recognize the online ommunity is a unique dynamic as opposed to the personal, face to face community, Scripture is still authority though, as we try to apply it to the unique circumstances of our generation.

    Seriously, would you open up the whiskey if DMW (or I) came over to visit you one night, knowing we are both alcoholics? I really doubt you would.

    Like I said, I just chose to bail today. DMW chose to speak up.

  104. Michael says:

    AV,

    If one is going to live in community, occasionally we have to honor those in the community we differ from.

    For you and DMW, I’ll refrain.

  105. Another Voice says:

    If one is going to live in community, occasionally we have to honor those in the community we differ from.
    —————————————————–
    I hear you Michael. Rom 14 is a tiger. I think the terms are ‘stronger and weaker’ brother.

    I want to be a strong brother in the faith.

    My life is not as hard as DMW’s either…and I CAN imagine where he is at.

    Frankly, the only reason I got involved after the Lewis quote is what I found a very insensitive and clueless remark about food and alcohol by another.

    I’ll split now.

  106. Another Voice says:

    I left out a thought. I meant to add ‘nothing you write is going to influence me to drink today’..I don’t care.

    (insert that right before ‘my life is not as hard as DMW’s)

  107. brian says:

    From a business standpoint if we lower the demand we can disrupt the supply so to speak. So ask the hard questions, Why do people take drugs?, Why do the young feel / seem so disenfranchised? Why do they join gangs? Is it just economic, it seems people live in comparative poverty and do not have such a drug / violent issue or maybe I am wrong. Drugs are a business, a very lucrative business, so how does one fight greed at any cost? I think Education, fair honest business strategies, support to empower the poor not keep them poor. The loneliness and fear of this life (the Gospel) well actually the Gospel is Good for all these questions, just how is it applied. If people have good news, and hope for a future they will forgo the “temptations” of easy money well most will.

    We do need to secure our borders, balance our immigration policy. etc. We have gone through this before, Prohibition The First Anglo-Chinese War (1839–42) (Opium war), Michael if you are really interested there are a great deal of correlation between Juarez / drug cartels and the Opium wars between china and the west I E Great Brittan. I know this may make some grind their teeth, sorry about that but one of Spong’s books talks about the veil of our control towards our own mortality I E religion being ripped away and the horror of self awareness I E our own mortality imposing such a sense of dread that drug use, legal and illegal increases, entertainment obsessions, fear, anxiety, depression etc. One could argue rightly with some of his premiss’s but the effects we see can be directly linked to a sense of hopelessness and anxiety.

    Our institutions are failing, at least in our collective mind, if not in reality and that creates strife and anxiety, along with the lawlessness we see. I dont know this is just some ramblings

  108. Michael says:

    AV,

    I’m not trying to encourage anybody to drink anymore than I’m encouraging them to buy Jmmy Swaggart CDs.

    I am encouraging people to be as free as they can be in front of God without harming others or themselves.

  109. Michael says:

    brian,

    We’re very much on the same page.

    People want to talk about immigration, but they don’t want to discuss all the reasons why these people risk death to get here.

    Arizona just had to buy a refrigerator trailer to house the bodies of those who have died in the desert this month…this will be an all time record month for fatalities.

    Poverty, despair and hopelessness do indeed rule down there…and we helped create the mess.

    As unemployment rises here , as the divorce rate and the suicide rate rises with it…the church is the only hope.

    It will choose, however, to pass stricter laws and call it a day…

  110. Another Voice says:

    I am encouraging people to be as free as they can be in front of God without harming others or themselves.
    ————————————————
    So am I. Maybe our definitions of ‘harming others’ is why we are sort of talking past one another.

    Good night.

  111. Babylon's Dread says:

    sigh

  112. Well, I guess I was wrong in my earlier post. The responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages is still an issue with some…my mistake

    For the record, I have chosen not to consume hard stuff but I have no problem with others doing it–again responsibly

  113. Seems the stronger “vessel” is the one who can consume responsibly with out feelings of guilt or condemnation. The weaker vessel is the one who cannot

  114. Michael says:

    I don’t do well with this topic, so I’ll stay out of it and respect my brothers wishes.

  115. jlo says:

    I agree with dread, sigh. But instead I say aiyhhh.

  116. Another Voice says:

    Michael, just popped back to report that Fox News’ Greta van Sustern devoted her first segment tonight to the border drug war with the Texas Attorny General. Juarez was mentioned throughout.

    I thought the AG came strong One line “It is safer to walk down the street in Baghdad than it is in Juarez”

    You might remember his name if your future work gets you more involved.

  117. Jim Jacobson says:

    Well, this has been an interesting read.
    I thought, whiskey is for one thing. Michael you regularly write about drinking. I don’t know why. When you do, you come off as flaunting your freedom. For those of us who are non-drinkers, it sounds sophomoric. Something I would expect to read on a teenage punks myspace page, not a Pastor who is supposed to be an example to others.
    Just my $.02 for what it’s worth.

  118. Michael says:

    AV,

    Thank you…I’ll pull that up right now.

    The casualty rate in Juarez is far higher than Baghdad right now…and it’s not just Juarez that is drowning in blood.

  119. jlo says:

    “and it’s not just Juarez that is drowning in blood.”

    That’s sobering, at least it should be.

  120. Jim Jacobson says:

    Steve Hopkins, @109 I don’t know how you read the text and yet miss the point that the responsibility for the brother with freedom has a biblical responsibility to look out for the conscience of the weaker. It’s a responsibility of love.
    I guess we have been here before. 🙁

  121. Michael says:

    Jim,

    That’s about what it’s worth.

    Frankly, the Bible talks about drinking more than I ever have and mostly in a positive light.

    “Whiskey” is a metaphor for me of all the don’t touch, don’t think, don’t do, man made rules that the church imposes on supposedly free people.

    A metaphor…of the prisons that I’ll be damned if I’ll ever be confined in again.

    Some brothers have objected…therefore, I will find another metaphor.

  122. Lutheran says:

    ‘not a Pastor who is supposed to be an example to others.’

    JJ,

    Fine exemplary job using the condemning Law (actually, more like a human guilt trip) against Michael.

    I don’t see Michael or anyone here advocating drinking to excess — I think we’re all in agreement that Scripture condemns that.

    Beyond that, IMHO, there are no hard and fast rules, except to respect each others’ position and point of view. If someone says something that offends you, you have the option of leaving. We do have freedom in Christ.

    That’s my .02 cents worth. If we can’t handle this maturely, time to move on to another topic.

  123. Michael says:

    jlo,

    If I were to chronicle the last week in Mexico with pictures and text everyone who reads would have nightmares for weeks.

    I’ve seen the pictures, read the reports…and we had better wake up.

  124. brian says:

    The freedom of the Spirit aspect of Christianity always alluded me, I was always expecting to be kicked out at each turn or marginalized or just ignored, which is the worst. But I brought much of this on myself, I know it does not seem like it here but I struggle with emotionalisms 🙂 which color my view of my past. It could be that my retake is skewed, which is why I dont get into names of churches or organizations, I need to vent but not at the expense of those people, even if they make me want to hit myself in the head with a stick.

    So when I say I sit in the pew and shut up, one could translate, that I am afraid I might stumble someone else so I shut up, which is more accurate. For example I went to one of those seeker things where it said, you got challenging questions. So I came loaded for bare bear what ever. So I had all these notes and bible citations etc and got sat at this table with this older lady leading the group. I was ready but I could tell she would not be able to answer them and all I would do was damage the group. So I shut up, there was some great conversation and what touched me most is all these fine people gave of their time to show me love. So I got out to my car and ranted at myself as to why I did not let them have it bla bla.

    I rant alot in my car, sometimes I pretend I am talking on the cell phone so people dont think I am talking to myself. Be honest you talk to yourself in the car to. Take care all.

  125. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t mind abstaining for the sake of the ‘weaker’ brother. So let the weaker brother come to me and say that he is the weaker brother.
    However, those who want to object to drinking here seem to be taking the position that they are the stronger brother and we are weak because we will drink.

  126. Michael says:

    “Be honest you talk to yourself in the car too.”

    🙂

  127. filbertz says:

    I believe Michael spoke only of himself in the post, he didn’t invite anyone else to mimic him or abuse their own conscience or convictions by downing a slug of whiskey. Personally I think it’s high time pastors begin to illustrate freedom in Christ, teaching with their lives what it means to not live enslaved to anything, including slavery to that “someone” who “may” be tripped up by something “perhaps” they’ll be seen doing. I’m tired of “freedom in Christ” looking strangely like “slavery to law.” To defer to the weaker brother all the time has the unintended consequence of giving him power or influence in his weakness that he wouldn’t have in maturity. Where’s the incentive to grow up?

  128. Michael says:

    fil,

    “I’m tired of “freedom in Christ” looking strangely like “slavery to law.”

    That’s my point…but rather than offend men I care for and respect, I’ll find another way to express it.

  129. JJ
    “Just my $.02 for what it’s worth.”

    You over estimate the value of your comment…We know where you stand on this issue. You’ve made your position very clear

  130. Michael says:

    “A metaphor?”

    That’s what I said…shouldn’t be that hard to understand.

  131. Another Voice says:

    I don’t mind abstaining for the sake of the ‘weaker’ brother. So let the weaker brother come to me and say that he is the weaker brother.
    ———————————————————
    DMW said just that MLD His quote, “Reading today made me want a drink — you have liberty and I don’t judge anyone of you… but can you please not boast about it… like me there are many who are weak”

    I am not the weaker brother today, so drink up. I could care less..really, I do not care. I wouldn’t have the decades of sobriety I now have if I couldn’t be in the same room as alcohol because that is life (and the ministry) in our nation today. Half my congregation are alcoholics and addicts (and most of the other half are their young kids who aren’t screwed up yet). Jesus is greater than booze.

    I’ll get back to you if I am ever disabled and housebound, the sole-caregiver of my disabled wife and each day marches on in the same drudgery (as DMW has posted even losing track of the days of the week over at Brian’s blog during the PP hiatus).

    I will assume I will have many ‘weaker brother’ days then. I will freely admit them when they come.

    Anyway, DMW I guess is on my heart tonight after his post. He can speak for himself…

  132. Na'amah says:

    AV please do NOT encourage Michael to ‘get involved’ in the Juarez mess physically. Michael, you can minister to the ones that will flee here. It is extremely dangerous for anyone to ‘get involved’ at this time unless you are able and willing to carry… and then they will not necessarily target you. Your least defended loved ones will be how they control/punish your actions…

    There is ‘movement’ towards those who actually have some authority to address some of the issues. California govenor has ordered National Guard troops to our border…and then took away their right to use force to defend themselves Oy Vey!

    It is weird to me to see evidence of the Helter Skelter race war Charles Manson raved about so many decades ago while brainwashing his followers returning to our political national dialog. It is growing ever more dangerous w peeps who have been fed that they are ‘owed’ and ‘entitled’ to what indivduals have earned on their own.

    In dialog i’ve been involved in (as under the radar as i can be, observing via internet) slowly people are realizing there are extremely powerful, Mexican mafia types on this side of the border, willing to begin orchestrating violence here. NO ONE really believes America (federal govt.) will do anything regarding the borders,

    It is bizarre how deep the denial is… and i see no media source addressing any of the hard issues.

    Michael, you think it is prejudice on our nation’s part… the true prejudice/ devaluing of the ‘brown people’ are from those in power in Mexico. The Mexican govt. will do ‘nothing’ as the US dollars flowing into their economy ($14 billion dollar estimate) is keeping it afloat.

    And yes, our citizens buy the product… and as it is in all wars… the innocent are wounded and killed.

    hopefully w the downturn in the economy it will lessen some of the pressure as recreational drug budgets decrease 🙂

    And as i keep reminding myself God is in control

  133. Jim Jacobson says:

    You guys crack me up. What ARE y’all drinking in Oregon?
    🙂

  134. Michael says:

    Na’amah,

    Our local paper reported that at least one cartel has reps here in the valley.

    You are correct of course about the Mexican government…the problem is that our government is complicit in this as well.

    The real number is closer to 30 billion…

    I’m surrounded by stacks of material as I sit here and my mind boggles at the scope of the problem.

    I won’t get involved physically…I have a child to raise.

  135. Michael says:

    “You guys crack me up. What ARE y’all drinking in Oregon?”

    Brilliant, edifying remark.

    I’ve said at least three times that to honor my brothers I will not make references to liquor anymore.

    That’s not enough for you…nor can you understand the power of a metaphor to communicate a concept.

    That’s really not my problem.

  136. Another Voice says:

    Personally I think it’s high time pastors begin to illustrate freedom in Christ, teaching with their lives what it means to not live enslaved to anything…..To defer to the weaker brother all the time has the unintended consequence of giving him power or influence in his weakness that he wouldn’t have in maturity. Where’s the incentive to grow up?
    ———————————————————————
    I guess that was directed at least partly my way filbertz. I’ll respond..

    Maybe one day we can all exegete Romans fourteen and 1 Corinthians eight on Open Blogging or somewhere. Then in contrast we can find where in the Bible we are to worry about these “unintended consequences of giving power in weakness” because we look to those chapters “all the time”

    All the time? Do the verses have authoirty or not? What verses am I allowed to not follow “all the time”

    I’m pissed. And it is to my sin. And now I am going to repent and go read and meditate on Philippians 2:5-11 as I ponder my freedom and rights in Christ as I seek to serve others.

    Good night brothers. And you are my brothers. I love you.

  137. Another Voice says:

    I love you sisters too by the way.

  138. London says:

    sighing with BD and jlo

  139. Michael says:

    AV,

    I have heard you and DMW and I will try to refrain from any further offense.

    You and DMW are loved and are foundational to this community.

    When emotions have cooled I would love to exegete those passages with you.

    God bless.

  140. Na'amah says:

    AV? i am your sister… 🙂 and i enjoy your words here and hope i am your sister and you love me too

  141. Na'amah says:

    thank you AV

  142. Na'amah says:

    Michael thank you for the reassurance and thank God for Trey! he will make you keep your cape in the back of your closet on at least this issue.

  143. London says:

    So does it strike anyone else as ironic that earlier we were talking about “camps” and what it means to have freedom from the restraints of “camps” and now there’s a “idrinking camp” and a “non-drinking camp”?
    Wonder how many other ways we can slice the same pie into little sections- can we still talk about pie? I’m confused now on that too…

  144. Michael says:

    Na’amah,

    I won’t lie…i want to go down there and roam the border from Arizona to Texas and see all this for myself.

    I want to do so really bad.

    Then I remember I’m older now, not in good shape, and one mistake could affect a lot of people…especially one little skateboarder.

    So…I’m inhaling all the information I can get my hands on and maybe someday I’ll be able to write about these things in a way that informs and warns people.

    I’ve been neutered, but I can still write. 😉

  145. Michael says:

    London,

    We can do that, but we’re going to cover this with grace for each other and we’ll come back to it when we’ve all cooled down.

    Write up that Golden Corral event and we’ll do an article the same day…

  146. filbertz says:

    I think sometimes the ‘weaker brother’ is like the boogie man under the Christian’s bed.

    Other times i know he is real because he has shown himself real. I can love, respect and serve the latter. I will not be manipulated by the former.

  147. London says:

    Yeah…but they serve pie there. Are you sure it’s ok? :mrgreen:

    Sorry…(sortof)

  148. Michael says:

    It’s ok…be nice. 🙂

  149. filbertz says:

    something to consider while we wait for the day when cooler heads prevail…the weaker brother is not a brother with weakness(es). the weaker brother is one who is immature, still influenced by misinformation and novice mistakes. If it were the former, all of us would be the weaker brother, the stronger would merely be an ideal.

  150. London says:

    So….ummmm…..now what should we talk about?

  151. London says:

    I need to stay up for a while until I hear that our second wave of missionaries to Ukraine has landed safely. It’s Saturday morning there and one of the kids that goes to the church where I hang out should be arriving there any time now. Gotta wait till I find out our other kid has picked him up.

    Totally excited!!

  152. brian says:

    Let me offer my point of view, if we want to help the people of Juarez and other such locations we need to first pray, of course it is a spiritual battle. But on the secular front, from the first day we clawed our way out of the caves there has been two realities, politics and economics. Our entire world is driven by these forces, and these forces can be true evil or can be restrained, restrained by what, hope. You see that is what the gospel offers hope, a vision, a calling, a power, a restoration, being forgiven, have meaning, etc. All the things the modern evangelical church find so totally repugnant and pathetic. If we want to help these people, we need to repent, pray, beg, and if need be change our entire life style to help them and us.

    You know the founders of our constitution were believers in the restraining force of religion, deist or Christian, they understood we need hope and a sense of the transcendence that is our common ground, even with Atheists who seek a godless spirituality, it is interesting idea. Offered for what it is worth.

  153. Na'amah says:

    Michael… you are NOT neutered. Allow me to reframe this for you. Trey needs you alive and well. It matters to him on so many myriads of levels. And if you were 25 yrs younger and without the obligations (acknowledged or not) I would support and encourage you in your desire to be ‘boots on the ground” on the border. Realize your time and interaction w one little skateboarder may have an incredible future impact on more souls than you may imagine!

    Your information and knowledge will serve here as well. It is disconcerting to me that the cartel has tenicles as far north as you are. What publication had the article you are referring to?

    London, will be here with you my friend.

  154. brian says:

    Michael if I can offer an aside, Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt did venture to some forward fields of the war but never purposefully put themselves in harms way. Roosevelt even denied his own mortality by keeping Truman out of the loop towards the end of the war. It is even interesting that at Yalta the big three was made up of men that all drank way to much. Imagine the entire world was carved up by two lushes and a megalomaniac. And God worked good out of that. God does not want heroes, he wants those that persevere where we are at in our lives framework. Basically it is easy to die on a foreign hill with great glory, it is hard to live on a hill with no fan fair but serving Him where we are called. Why is it hard, because we actually have to trust Him.

  155. brian says:

    What we can do is raise such a storm with blogs, rhetoric and expression that the worlds Cameras can focus on what is going on down there, write the republicans, democrats the patriot party or bozo the clown and say hay look. Hey look has alot of appeal in our world, and raise hell, make them look. You know America responds when they are forced to look. Peril Harbor or 9-11 is a good example of hay look. Lets take Fred Phelps for example, lol, he makes himself out to be an A$$ with his self righteous clap trap but when all is said and done he is a child abusing spiritual whore who will answer to the King of Kings, but if we take a note from his play book. Rhetoric focuses and forces involvement. As silly as this sounds, if you raise hell, you might gain heaven. Is not the cross of our Lord like this, Hell was raised, and heaven was gained. Maybe my theology is off but I think the principle is true. I dont know it is offered for what it is worth.

  156. London says:

    That is perhaps your most brilliant post ever Brian.

    ” God does not want heroes, he wants those that persevere where we are at in our lives framework. Basically it is easy to die on a foreign hill with great glory, it is hard to live on a hill with no fan fair but serving Him where we are called. Why is it hard, because we actually have to trust Him.”

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

    right on brian!

  158. deadmanwalking says:

    Nobody but another hard core addict will ever understand how I am. And if you don’t understand, then thank God that you don’t.

    I crashed my Harley last Oct… When in the ER, the crushed leg hurt far more than anyone could endure, and the ER doctor came with a shot… I asked him if he had talked to my doctor who knows me, he said yes… Then I said then you know I am an addict, he said I know, but this is the exception to the rule for you, you have to take this or you will be at greater risk from the stress from that the level of pain you are in will do to your heart, he gave me a shot, I cried because I knew the moment that stuff would kick in, I would undergo a complete change in personality before I would get clean again. I’ve only been clean now for 6 weeks, everyday is a battle. I am still in a lot of pain. and I live in a house where I find pills on the floor…. Now if you are an addict you and you alone know that falling begins in a thought, if you don’t kill the thought instantly you will move on to craving, if you allow yourself to be in the craving phase, and you have opportunity you will fall 100% of the time. I cannot afford to even think about it.

    Some addicts act like they have accomplished a great moral victory to be clean, The way I see it, is that the majority of people are sober with no effort on their part at all, and when I am sober all I’ve done is achieve moral zero. That is I have to climb out of a thousand foot deep hole just to hit moral zero. Being clean is not my goal, but if I am not clean then it is a long way up before I can have any other goal than getting the next pill or the next shot… and again due to my wife’s illness I live with the stuff in the house, have to pick it up and give it back to her when she drops one. If the day she drops one, I am in the craving phase, I will not give it back to her, I will take it. Now I don’t take it. But if I don’t kill the process before a thought fully develops — that is I have to be vigilant to kill the monster before it hatches or I am gone..

    any other addict out there that hears what I am talking about… Just thinking about drinking is so dangerous for me that I can’t afford it. Now I can be around people drinking and it doesn’t bother me,, but talking about it bother me, because right now as I explain myself, I also am thinking about it…

    gratefuldead

    You who have this liberty I hope you can get a glimpse into the life of an addict and how hard it is for us to crawl up to eye level with the rest of you who take being sober for granted, and assume the because it’s not a problem for you, that your liberty can and will be the reason for a brother or sister who falls.

    So enjoy but please don’t go about flaunting it.

  159. Another Voice says:

    Nobody but another hard core addict will ever understand how I am. And if you don’t understand, then thank God that you don’t.
    ——————————————————
    Amen. A thousand times, amen.

    I spent years drinking and even smoking drugs without somehow smoking cigarettes. Pretty silly considering all the other junk I was involved in, but I just didn’t want them.

    One night my drinking buddy was a smoker and I had my first cigarette – and smoked a pack before the night was through. I continued to crave cigarettes from that day forward whenever I was around them.

    Added one more addiction to the list that night. By one choice.

    Of course, nobody ODs from cigarettes. However, I never sought heroin because I knew it would be a death sentence, because I knew the moment I used, I would be hooked and crave it from then on. Fortunately, I wasn’t around it with anyone I trusted, so I never was tempted.

    I hear you DMW. I hear you so loud.

    I know a couple hundred Christians in my congregation would hear you loud and clear too.

    Thanks for sharing.

  160. SHW says:

    Papias,
    RE: How do you deal with verses such as (5:20 of 1 John) and (2:8-9 of Eph) ? Those seem to say with some certainty that we can know we are saved and that works play no part in it.
    I am not saying that a believer does not do works after they are saved. But we are not more saved or less saved by our works. That is confusing sanctification and justification.”

    REPLY:
    (5:20 of 1 John) “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may “know” Him who is true; and we are “in Him” who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”

    Which people “know” Christ? Only the people who obey His commandments are “true” believers.

    (2:4 of 1 John) “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” See also: (2:1-3 of Revelation), (21:8 of Revelation)

    How can we be sure that we are “in Him?”

    (3:24 of 1 John) “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”

    If people are not keeping/obeying God’s commandments, then the Holy Spirit is not “in” them. Instead these evildoers are being deceived by Satan, “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” (2:2 of Ephesians), (5:28-30 of John)

    Ephesians 2:8-10

    People love to quote 2:8-9 of Ephesians, but they neglect 2:10 of Ephesians:

    2:8-9 of Ephesians
    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.”

    We have been saved by grace through faith as a free gift from God. Wonderful!

    However, we were saved for a specific purpose and we must fulfill this purpose if we desire to enter into eternal life after we die:

    2:10 of Ephesians
    “10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

    People think that (2:10 of Ephesians) is a suggestion. It is not a suggestion. It is a command. After they are saved, if they desire to inherit eternal life after they die, then they must fulfill God’s command which is “to do the Father’s will” until they die. If they do not “do the Father’s will” that God has prepared for each of them to do, then they will not inherit eternal life.

    So it is much more helpful for all of us to read this passage in the context in which it was meant:

    “8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

    7:21 of Matthew “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

    Nonnie,
    RE: “SHW, I thought of you today when I heard this song.
    I pray it becomes a song you can sing with us one day.”

    REPLY: Thank you for thinking of me. That was kind of you.

    Em,
    RE: “every time you mention Jesus’ admonition to keep the commandments i wonder why you can’t see that He was speaking to a self-righteous, self justifying and, at best works oriented pre-Church Believer (i like to think he was one of the ones at Pentecost)”

    REPLY: Let’s look at the Apostles’ preaching “post” resurrection: Which people “know” Christ? Which people are true believers? Which people have a true, saving, faith?

    (2:4 of 1 John) “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” See also: (2:1-3 of Revelation), (21:8 of Revelation)

    Only the people who keep His commandments will inherit eternal life because it is only these who will be given the right to eat of the tree of life. (22:14 of Revelation) What happens to the people who do evil (those who do not keep/obey God’s commandments)? (5:28-30 of John)

    What does Jesus command?

    (9:23 of Luke) “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

    (10:38 of Matthew) “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”

    What must we do in order to inherit eternal life?

    (12:1 of Romans) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.) See also: (6:7-9 of Galatians)

    We must be faithful to God’s commandments until death if we desire to inherit eternal life. (5:3 of 1 John), (2:10 of Revelation)

  161. Fred says:

    SHW:

    I give you credit you are persistent

    I have to ask you a question:

    Do you exceed the speed limit when you drive? Now I mean even going 5 miles an hour over, you know the amount the police will tolerate?

    I know you will say that’s not one of God’s commandments so it doesn’t count. Well it does count when you violate even a traffic law.

    How come Joseph, Mary’s husband, was considered “righteous” when he was going to quietly put her away when she was found to be pregnant? He had the right to drag her before the community according, to Torah, and have her pay the consequences for her perceived sin. He was righteous when he showed mercy to her before he found out it was the Holy Spirit who had caused her pregnancy, not after when he had the right to stone her.

    Hey I know, it is an attribute of the Father and the Son, Jesus.

    Do you show mercy in violation/contrast to the commandments?

    OK another:

    Do you have children? If so have you raised them according to all that has been commanded of you?

    I hope you are getting the point here.

    Yes Jesus said this, “If my words abide in you…” He actually told people to follow the commandments, but he also told people to show mercy and grace to others even when they came into conflict with a commandment of God.

    This thread has turned into showing compassion for those who have addictions by caring enough to not flaunt one’s freedom so as to cause a brother to fall. This is an example of God in action!

    The doctrine you are pushing is God has a revolving door of salvation, one moment when you keep the commandments you’re in and the other when you don’t you’re out. Just doesn’t work in the logic of men or of God.

    But I guess all my writing is just an exercise of hitting my head against the wall here.

  162. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael,
    I will need to return later to read comments, but before I go, I just have to say, “WOW!” to this article and the one on The Shack. Powerful stuff, my friend!

  163. BrianD says:

    How is a metaphor difficult to understand?

    And why is it so hard to understand what someone truly is trying to convey?

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

    BrianD,

    Metaphor?
    Well, it’s like…

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

    😉

  166. Linnea says:

    I hate it when there’s conflict….it’s like one of those apple corer and slicer dealy-bobs. I feel cut into many pieces and gutted from the inside out. How’s that for a metaphor? 😉

  167. Greg says:

    DMW,

    That has got to be one of the best explinations of addiction that I have ever read…especially the “achieving moral zero”.

    I have never struggled with chemical addictions of any kind. If I were to consume in one sitting all of the alcohol I have ever sampled in my lifetime I am sure I would have a hard time even feeling a buzz, let alone be considered drunk. I’ve just never had the desire to drink and never developed a taste for it. To top it off I spent 6 years in the Navy. At times I was the only one without a hangover after a port call.

    This turned out well considering my wife’s father was a practicing alcoholic till the day he died. So she has a strong negative feelings about drinking.

    I don’t say this to brag at all. My cravings are more visual/physical in nature but no less powerful.

  168. deadmanwalking says:

    Happy Trails

  169. London says:

    DMW-
    see..now that I can understand and honor.

  170. London says:

    The explaination I mean

  171. So let me get this right; it is an offense to a weaker brother to even talk about and admit the consumption of alcoholic beverages on an open blog? Seems a bit of a stretching of Paul’s admonitions in1 Corinthians…I am not being insensitive nor disrespectful to those who struggle in this area but it sound like the best policy on this issue is the same as Clinton’s policy on gays in the military: “Don’t; don’t tell”

    For my money, those who consume the beverage need to be mindful of those whose conscience doesn’t allow them the privilege but those who don’t consume need to “man up” a little and be less sensitive.

    Personally, I am offended if people eat broccoli–so don’t even mention that you eat the vegetable or else I could be really offended

  172. Michael says:

    Steve,

    It’s a tough topic.

    If I were to avoid everything that could stumble me I’d have to be castrated and thrown down a well.

    I’m not looking for volunteers… 🙂

    My instincts are to agree strongly with you on this one.

    However, when men like AV and DMW are clear that this is a real issue, then I must respond in love and respect.

    I will assume they know something I don’t and go from there.

  173. BrianD says:

    Excellent article by Leslie Vernick on David & Bathsheba and abuse of power in marriages http://bit.ly/bNisjl

  174. BrianD says:

    Sorry, wrong thread!

  175. victorious says:

    Michael,

    “I sometimes speak in tongues while reading John Calvin.

    I study Packer with diligence and wish I could play piano like Swaggart.

    I like — and reading Eugene Peterson, preferably at the same time.”

    I would venture to say that you also receive and respond to the love of God while reading, studying and then teaching the Scriptures.

    I would say you pray with compassion and make room for others to pray as well responding to the promptings of the Spirit and the Word of Christ.

    In light of this model of freedom; I think we need to evaluate our choices as to whether they keep us or others from fully participating in and pursuing our destiny in light of the freedom of life bestowed to us in Christ.

    Can this concept be abused and/or misconstrued? Of course.

    But as we live immersed in this process of life we will find the encouragement and discernment to avoid and overcome such distortions and extremes.

  176. Em says:

    SHW, sigh – you skipped what for you was an inconvenient sentence in my post, which was that it is important to keep the commandments (as best we can)

    and your quoted scripture? it speaks of ‘knowing’ Christ – BUT you can’t **know** Him/grow in Him until you are born again and that’s a permanent condition – He keeps

    you may not realize your presumption as you speak dogmatically to many here who are personal friends of your Lord – in your zeal to appear gracious, you’ve missed the grace shown you.. or so it seems to me

    ask yourself if your goal is to bring people to the Lord or to prove that you’re right – if it’s the former may God bless and keep you growing in Him, if it’s the latter, you’re using up way too much space here…

  177. Nomans says:

    An interesting dynamic happening here, and I just want to add one thing.
    No one loathes a yoke more than one who has been set free from it, and no one defends it more passionately than one who is depending on it for perceived consecration.

  178. Em says:

    i’m not firing on all cylinders today (hope it’s not permanent) i am apologizing for my presumption – i have no business posting an opinion on who uses up too much comment space here 😉

  179. victorious says:

    Nomans, very perceptive and well said.

  180. Nomans says:

    Thank you, Vic

    Em, are you doing alright?

  181. Believe says:

    Nomans said, “No one loathes a yoke more than one who has been set free from it…”

    Amen to that.

  182. Em says:

    Nomans, i am doing fine – mowed my little patch of lawn yesterday, ran some errands, played WII tennis – did some work on the computer and avoided some, too 😉
    just takes longer to acclimate to temperatures in the 90s and above (i do have AC, but not outdoors) – glad i’m not in Phoenix, AZ
    thank you so much for asking

  183. Pardon the Interruption says:

    Pastor Michael drinks a nip while studying the writings of Eugene Peterson. So what?

    I’d take that over a pastor who is a teetotaler and the only book he bothers to pick up is Halley’s Bible Handbook.

    I know young men that veered from the faith because of this kind of shaninigans.

    Some pastors would have a very hard time with Luther in his day and the Inklings in theirs.

  184. centorian says:

    addiction is not a well understood topic within the church. There are those who were miraculously healed and then there are those who claim to be miraculously healed when in reality, they embellished the extend of their drug use and were not much more than an occasional drinker and pot smoker with an occasional pill or line thrown in for good measure. The supply in my own house is what took me over the edge, 22 years later I still live with it. And there isn’t a day that I don’t want to indulge and it seems God give me the ability one day at a time to say no.

  185. victorious says:

    PTI: “I know young men that veered from the faith because of this kind of shaninigans.”

    I have lived under, literally lived with and worked under a handful of such men for half of my life and I am still seeking to connect with Jesus more deeply and fully in spite of the baggage, wounds and other assorted messes. His call and the wonder of His presence still eclipse whatever may arise from the doings of men.

    Antinomianism, legalism and all forms of elitism are breeding grounds for spiritual cancer and the attacks of the enemy to quench the mind of Christ and deeds of love. If I veer from the faith I veer of my doing and resisting of the correction of Christ.

  186. Pardon the Interruption says:

    Vic,

    Got it. Good words…

  187. Na'amah says:

    DMW #160

    may i have your permission to use your words in a drug court program? It will reach the addicted as well help those who love them and do not/cannot understand.

    The scene in the Lord of the Ring trilogy where Gollum struggles w himself over regaining his “precious” is another powerful ‘visual’ description of addiction for any out there who have an interest in trying to understand the power of an addiction. (2nd film in the series)

    “just reaching moral zero” such a clear statement of the struggle/fight

  188. deadmanwalking says:

    What I post or taught on tape or any other form does not belong to me.. If you see value in it use it.

    All day yesterday I was pissed. I came back today for one reason – to say the irony even if it bites in the butt.

    To me I consider you friends and I never asked a single one of you to give up your liberty ,but just a simple request that it not be a subject that gets thrown in my face by talking about your liberty.. and it is sad to me that such a small sacrifice seems to be too much to ask, that until I had to humiliate myself before you before you would even consider NOT TALKING about you liberty .. I mean what a small request that is for one friend to make. Yet even now it is just something that you will CONSIDER the reasoning and not something that you will just honor.

    — Michael feels like the church rejects him, misunderstand or does not understand him, now after this thread — Well now real friends would not only respect such a small request from a friend, but they would even give up the liberty itself for a friend.. Again I never asked anyone here to live within the restraints I have to live within, only asked you to not talk about, and it seems that is too much to ask of some. Feeling rejected misunderstood and not understood..

    sorry that I imposed my presence on some of you that are so committed to this liberty that you are not even willing for my sake to not speak of it while I am here. To compare going outside the church to drink whiskey as being like Christ being Crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem seems to make whisky drinking sound like a great sacrifice and a bold heroic stand, when it is nothing more that you indulging a liberty… I indulge in many liberties, but never compare them to the suffering of Christ.

    The Irony is that how Michael and many of you feel about the church I know feel that way about PP.

    Gollum

  189. Michael says:

    DMW,

    At least four times I have stated that for your sake and that of AV that I would refrain from speaking of it anymore.

    I really don’t know how much clearer I can make myself.

  190. deadmanwalking says:

    Liberties are like arm pits. We all have em, they are nothing to be ashamed of, but we ought not stick them on other peoples faces.

  191. Em says:

    a FWIW: granny over here in the corner of the room in her rocking chair is thinking about a phenomena that i have seen before… there is a fellowship going on and it is moving everyone nearer to internalizing deeper truths and understandings of the Kingdom (not talking the momentary high of emotion)… am i the only one experiencing that phenomena here lately? then out of the blue Satan strikes again –
    so many who come here have declared for their Lord thru intense sufferings, they have encouraged, edified and help me focus (i think of some here who bring tears for a mix of reasons when i lift them in prayer)…
    praying now
    DMW, if there are sunrises in Eternity, one of my dreams would be to sit with you and Debbie at your backyard campfire enjoying the Lord in the stillness before dawn – maybe the whole crowd who visit PhoenixP. can get up early and be there too, eh? 😉 (i know there is no night there and so no sunrises – but there must be something better then)

  192. Michael says:

    Em,

    Very perceptive…yes, I think you’re right.

  193. Michael says:

    This type of discussion can go two ways…toward greater understanding or toward division.

    Right now, we’re stuck on division, we’ll see if it reverses course.

  194. Em says:

    Michael, thank you – you and Deadman are two of my favorite ‘literary figures’ and your armpits may be offensive, but your feet are beautiful…

    just sayin

  195. Goolum says:

    Michael your comments are not the ones that bothered me. But those who outright rejected my request in this thread and those who had to harp on the fact that I am weaker, but weaker is just what I am.

    “I don’t mind abstaining for the sake of the ‘weaker’ brother. So let the weaker brother come to me and say that he is the weaker brother.
    However, those who want to object to drinking here seem to be taking the position that they are the stronger brother and we are weak because we will drink”

    When did I ever take a stance in which I said or indicted that I am in any way better than anyone else?

    On the other hand it was clearly and repeated pointed out that I am inferior

    The mere fact that I had to make a detailed confession instead of a simple request was wrong on the part of my STRONGER brothers. I was forced to revisit thoughts that are dangerous for a weak fools like me to even dwell on.

    There is not camp for the weak where we are not frowned on by those who are “Strong”

    So I’ll just hang out with Paul I guess.

    1Co 4:10* We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

    should I have to beg for something so simple and small as to ask that we not speak of this and not just get humble compliance from those who are my friends? Michael you are the only one who has made the commitment to not do this.

    Did everyone miss 1 Cor 8 1-3

    8:1*– Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2* The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3* But the man who loves God is known by God.

    2 Cor 12:8* For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9* And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10* Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

    I just asked for a small sacrifice —

    At least to me it seems that for some their niggardly agreement to give up talking about it makes me feel like they love their drink, even just their liberty to talk about their drink more than they love me. JUST MAYBE this liberty is something that some of you are just a tad bit too attached to as demonstrated in your unwillingness of some once asked to just give up talking about it.

    Funny that the word Irony was used several times here when to me the real Irony was missed by all, and that is the way I was treated and spoken of is exactly why some here are not going to church.

    Would any of you go to a fellowship that kept pointing out to you that you are a “weaker” brother?

    I am think skinned enough to keep going. I kept in the CC movement years after I was given bad nick names and kicked out.. I think for 10 years I stayed in the movement just out of spite for those who wanted me out, and to be an obstacle to them.

    Now I feel like I am just an obstacle to some here who will cling to their rights.

    I don’t say this to the shame of all here, many understood, but I do say this to the shame of some.

  196. Michael says:

    Consider it a teaching opportunity.

    To be bluntly honest, if I had the received a similar request from someone I didn’t know and love my response would have been less than godly.

    A lot less….

    I clearly have something to learn and evidently so do some others.

  197. filbertz says:

    The topic of liberty and responsibility (love) obviously is one that is must be examined. If any of my comments have been read to be disrespectful or callous, it was not my intent. But liberty in Christ is a hill I’m willing to die on and a clear understanding of the Bible’s teaching on it is evidently long overdue. Galatians, not 1 Cor., should be the focus or the starting point, in my opinion. Liberty does not mean indulgence, intolerance, nor insensitivity. Further, it is not merely an ideal to be ascented to yet never enjoyed. Finally, DMW is not, by my reckoning, a “weaker brother.” He is, like all of us, a brother who has a weak point. There is a vast difference, not merely semantic.

  198. Linnea says:

    If we honestly examine our lives, we are kept by the law in some aspects, and by grace in others. I, for one, am grateful for the law in areas I find difficult to yield to grace. But the beauty of the gospel is that grace is always waiting to meet us when we’re ready and I’ve learned we’re all on different schedules 🙂

  199. Michael says:

    Linnea,

    Good word…fil, you too.

    I think we’ll attempt a study Galatians next week.

  200. Goolum says:

    you want to learn — then here is a few excerpts from my personal notes from years ago as I went through withdrawal — I didn’t check it for typos and there may be parts that make no sense — it is just what I went through as I was going through it.

    I am letting you into an area of my life that I have NEVER let anyone into please remember this if you comment on it

    3/24-3/31 log
    Doctor told me I had to quit — wants me in Rehab — won’t go — I have to do this with the Lord alone.. don’t need program just need to tough it out
    Didn’t sleep
    First thought, is to go as long as possible today. If I make it to bed time and I Can’t sleep I will take one, then will do the same the next day.. Might as well try.

    So far I’ve been up 5 hours and no symptoms or cravings.
    11:00 up for 6 hours breathing is bothering me, but not a full blown attack, still no oxy yet today, withdrawal symptoms starting, will try Valium

    Valium for an hour helping a little still fell little panic — now 7 hours since i woke up withdrawal getting harder but no oxy yet today

    it has now been 17 hours since my last oxy symptoms of pain and edgy and a little despair getting worse.

    2:30 finally gave in and took first pill for today. I think that I will try this again tomorrow and see how long before withdrawal starts ?? This is really a curious thing to me, I’ve never done anything like this, with the xanax I just had 6 weeks of pretty bad pain, and had to avoid going too fast by doctors orders to avoid convulsions I never had a craving for xanax,

    thought on Cutting back

    But as I think about today, I held out as long as I did just to see if by chance I could just quit without any major symptoms, I had it in mind that if it gets to tough I didn’t have to quit. that didn’t work, I thought no big deal, I will just keep putting off as long as I can endure each time. Something I didn’t think through is that after waiting until the breathing symptoms and discomfort from quilting got to where I didn’t want to go on I just gave in and took the pill it worked again after weeks of not working at all, I got a feeling of warmth and relaxation etc, =reward. Today when I took the pill I felt the effect of the drug for the first time since we started. I have to stick to a schedule. I also would reinforce a pattern of giving in, a physiological habit — I have to wait until Dr. Nguyen feels it time to just quit, then go all the way with no thought of giving in no matter how tough it gets, I can’t reinforce a pattern of giving in. I can’t do this wait and then give in thing.. It was a really dumb idea I don’t know why I am so dense that I didn’t see it. I feel like having seen that I have avoided making this even harder, hope– hang on to hope – now I have a craving for this drug. So far since I was taking 80mg three times a day, it had quit working =NO REWARD now from the first time is I don’t know how long I got the reward of feeling the drug, and my breathing easing.. down to 40mgs a day.. Doctor told me he has never seen anyone taper off of this drug, in face he has never seen anyone quit it ever. Didn’t exactly inspire hope, but he was honest — but I have to try even knowing it is impossible with me

    ————-
    Vomited late afternoon, 4-5pm had just taken pills tried to eat and lost it all –withdrawal?
    kept gagging that night
    —–
    next entry
    dose drop today down to 10 mg twoce a day– it is 11:15 so far just a little edgy took both oxy and Valium this morning but smaller dose and pain is increasing by the minute

    legs swelling again what’s wrong? since kidney stone? what happened –

    3pm edgy
    6:45 muscle cramps nausea getting worse as day and night go on feeling pretty bad right now oxygen 88 going on O/2


    4/1 —
    dose drop today — it is 11:15 so far just a little edgy took both oxy and Valium this morning but smaller dose and pain is increasing by the minute

    legs swelling again what’s wrong? since kidney stone? what happened –

    3pm edgy
    6:45 muscle cramps nausea getting worse as day and night go on feeling pretty bad right now oxygen 88 going on O/2
    ——
    withdrawal pretty bad still muscle cramps nausea getting oxygen down 88 11am will go on O/2
    g –withdrawal symptoms bad – total feeling of despair like no one but another addict can relate to.

    ——
    going from 80mg three times a day to 40 to 20 to 10 to hell every week —
    this is more painful and harder than I thought it would be. The despondency — why do I always forget how bad this is?

    ———
    blackness – emptiness – cannot even get up the motivation to take a shower and shave. Vomiting pain in every cell of my body, stench as body detox, Oh that smell, can’t you smell — the smell of death all around you —
    Also as I get closer to the last pill I realize the mental attachment is stronger than I thought, I am having a hard time facing the day that I will not have any pills at all, feeling anxiety about it.
    ———
    didn’t sleep at all severe muscle spasms legs back stomach chest calf feet arm hands just tied up in cramps moving around body, stop one just to have another start and then vomiting and asthmatic bronchitis nonproductive cough,asthmatic bronchitis cough where the asthma triggers the cough the cough keeps the asthma going, fever 100.0 maybe electorates messed up stop lasix
    I Don’t know what’s wrong — low oxygen 86 room air — 90 on oxygen withdrawal –
    ———-
    4/7
    friends came took care of Debbie and left telling me they would come back that night

    didn’t sleep again
    —————
    5pm oxygen drooped to 86 on room air
    ——
    Slept last night until between 4 and 5 am, woke up with pain, realized it was my heart took nitro twice it worked — fear grips my soul — will I die while I am in this hell?

    11 am pulse 89 BP 137/93 O/2 on O/2= 95 the numbers all look good but afraid to sleep, oxygen drops every time I go to sleep — don’t want to die like this

    Cramps and nausea – despair – darkness – cold sweats
    —-

    went to bed about 10pm woke up about 11:10p sore and vomiting — six hours of non stop dry heaves… Couldn’t get my head out of the toilet.. sweats so bad cloths soaked and drippin, but cold –= so cold – the dead cannot be this cold hell itself cannot be darker than this.. 3am will this night ever end –3:30am time is standing still, every second seems a hour, ever hour seems a life time. I can’t remember ever not feeling this bad… Want drugs really bad… just one pill this would all go away and I would feel euphoric .. so weak so tempted —
    4 am oxygen 84 just fighting to live isn’t life it is living death.. the stench of detox permeates me. The smell of death all around me– Old CCR song about death stuck in my head can’t block it out.
    88 on O/2 since 2am not sure oxygen machine working — muscle spasms this can’t be withdrawal I don’t know what it is.
    6;45 really desperate, went in to get medication. felling no releaf — want MORE always want MORE —

    vomited right after taking pills so lost that dose -later I found oxy on floor gave it to Debbie — the hardest thing I ever did.. I wanted to just take it so bad —

    —-
    God why won’t my friends go away… they came to help — but the saw me with my head in the toilet and soakes — God don’t let them see me like this again

    ————-
    How long Oh Lord will you leave me — have yo abandoned me — has my sin finally gone so far that you will leave me now — God this hurt please make it stop —
    —-
    up till 5am ER for Debbie … slept 2 hours waited till 11:30a took pain pills vomited so hard the pill went out my nose– how did I get here again. I really hate this
    oxygen 95 on room air, not going to ask for more pills–I can’t even hold down a pill so what’s the point.. even one swallow of water trigger dry heaves. vomited the vomit pill.
    asked for prayer and was going to try to get sleep, but spending day telling one person after another that I don’t need any help, just rest, sometimes it hurts to be loved by so many people, they wear you out calling to offer help when I don’t want them to see me like this.

    3pm really starting to feel much much worse if that’s possible
    —-
    staying away from Debbie as much as possible.. just seeing her take a pill is too much forme right now
    ——
    hallucinated today .. best that I didn’t enter what I was thinking — so dark so damned so from hell were my thoughts — I was as a dumb beast before the Lord Psa 73:21 ¶ Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. 22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
    —-

    slept 14 hours woke up just feeling like a blank slate — no feelings at all.. not happy not sad, not despair — the walk out of this place I know will take months before I have any feelings about anything… motivation to carry on is now going to be the hardest thing

    4pm — dry heaves and cramps and soaked toes agan — will this ever stop — why did I do this — Oh wait I was in the hospital – they had to give me a shot — If I only rembered I would have chosen death over being addicted again.. But that was my choce wasn’t it — the fear of death is still stronger than my fear of opiates..

    10p still having dry heaves on and off — crampst muscles jeking – some came to care for Debbie – saw me on the floor drenched with sweat with all my muscles cramping and twitching – if I felt good enough I would feel humilated, but non of that matters right now, the only thing on my mind is drugs — the craving combined with withdrawal is beyond human endurance — don’t know if I will make it this time

    3am — not again — will this never end – where are you Lord — why have you left me alone in my darkness — why — why —

    4/12
    no entry– was to sick to write anything
    —-
    Paul in essences say there is a legitimate use of these things that God has created, but to let anyone of them become you master is a sin.. I have sinned against my my body and my Lord and my Dr. by letting this get control over me, Today I know it has control of me.. really bad
    1 Cor 6:12* ¶ “Everything is permissible for me” –but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me” –but I will not be mastered by anything.
    pm entry on end of Sunday — just quit from what I did — I still can’t believe I did that.
    slavery — why do I sell myself into salvery over and over and over — why?
    —–
    slept 14 hours — looks like the physical is over now for the long long walk through the desert

    2pm started dry heaves again only lasted 3 hours, but the cramps are back – the despair is back — Oh God when will this end

    10pm still vomiting off and on

    2am still —

    5am — still

    —-
    10am still
    noon still
    6pm another wave

    ——
    blank slate – feeling nothing — I mean I don’t exist – no more waves, no nothing

    ———
    5/8 — been a month clean — still a total absense of emotions and motivation .. everything I do I have to force myself to do.. still know that one pill would fill me with feeling and motivation

    of all the total lack of motivation is so hard to live with.. make just shaving and showing hard — let alone going in and teaching at church —
    ——
    6/15

    Still in the salt flats with no end in sight — Oh for a shot or a pill —
    —–

    6/17 found pill today .. took it to Debbie — I don’t know how I did it, but I made it.
    —-
    7/3
    salt flats to the horizon — blank slate
    —-
    9/3
    woke up today and actually felt motivated.. wow —
    —-
    9/4
    back to the salt flats — a bush alone — Jer 17:55 ¶ Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

    Not only are the promises true but so are the curses.

    —–
    what was it Lewis said — ?? I think it was — “you don’t have a soul, you are a soul that happens to have a body —

    maybe I am getting smarted becasue for some reason I understand that now.

  201. Goolum says:

    If you read the above, then remember that I was in an accident and almost lost my leg last Oct, and I am right now 6 weeks clean — still in pain – pain is better than addiction. But I am at high risk right now.. no motivation — none at all.. a drink would solve all that.. and a drink in legal and just down the street —

  202. came2pass says:

    May God Bless you DMW. I don’t know about that kind of withdrawal but I know about addiction. I’ve been clean and sober 8.5yrs. Hang in there man…I’ll be praying for you.
    (BTW…I’ve read many of your posts and know you’re a better man then I am…)

  203. Linnea says:

    Once, when I interviewed for a volunteer position with Compassion, Intl., the interviewer asked what was the hardest thing I’d ever done. DMW, Goolum, came2pass– beating an addiction has to be the hardest thing. May God be with you and please know that you are in my prayers for continued and even joyful freedom.

  204. Kevin H says:

    DMW, God bless you for opening yourself up in a way that very few would. Even though you have felt dissed the past couple days here, you have brought so much of value to this place, even in the past couple days. You obviously have had so many hard struggles in life. I would not know what to say to give you any comfort in the here and now. But when the day comes when you meet your Savior face to face, all those struggles will be gone and you will be able to rest in Him and you will be rewarded for all the good things you have brought to the PP and elsewhere.

  205. Erunner says:

    John, I don’t know what an appropriate response is to your journal entries you shared. Parts of it were me writing although I have never been on your road. I wish I was a neighbor so I could walk with you. I would like to think I would wipe your brow while you were sweaty and shaky and would stroke your hair if you needed comfort. I believe those who hurt you with their posts would do the same. We all blow it. God bless you during such a difficult time.

  206. Deadmanwalking says:

    thanks — Love hurts, I am willing to be hurt over and over again.. that doesn’t mean I don’t get mad when the process is ongoing, but I always will come back for the love I find in the Body of Christ.

  207. Deadmanwalking says:

    One thing about being an addictive person is I don’t know how to quit — anything — never quit on a friend or friends and I won’t quit here.

  208. jlo says:

    DMW, you are a breath of fresh air.

  209. Erunner says:

    Aces John. You’re aces! Consider that the ultimate compliment! 🙂 God bless.

  210. Na'amah says:

    DMW thank you… for your openess and willingness to share

    in the words you’ve shared here at PP your heart for our Saviour is true. Your authenticity is clear, renewing and filled with the hope that resides in Christ.

    Praying for you and your wife.

  211. SHW says:

    Guitar man,
    True friendship/love for neighbor:

    (1:20-23 of Jude) “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

    False friendship: (4:3-5 of 2 Timothy) “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

    Em and Fred:

    Let’s “fast-forward” to Judgment Day and see “which” of our “beliefs” is the “best” one:

    “I” believe that “both faith and good works (obedience to God’s commandments and doing the Father’s will for me)” are necessary to inherit eternal life and “you” believe that “faith alone” is all that is necessary.

    I prefer to be a “sheep” on Judgment Day, but if you are content to be a “goat,” that is your free will choice. God is wonderful. He permits each of us to choose whether we obey Him or not; however, there are always consequences for the choices that we make.

    (25:31-46 of Matthew) ““When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
    37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
    41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
    44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    The sheep did good works and so they are approved to inherit eternal life. The goats did not do good works and so they are not approved to inherit eternal life.

    I prefer to obey God’s commandments so that I will inherit eternal life, but if you prefer to believe that it is “okay” to serve your flesh (break God’s commandments) instead of obey God, that is your free will choice. But, again, there are always consequences for our choices:

    (13:36-42 of Matthew) “Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
    37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness [evildoers], 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” 1 John 3:4

    These “goats” (evildoers) did not obey God’s commandments and so they are cast into the furnace of fire.

    I prefer to be a “doer” of the “Word” and thereby “keep myself in the love of God” (1:20-23 of Jude) through obedience to His commandments (3:6-15 of 2 Thessalonians) and doing the good works that He has prepared for me to do (2:10 of Ephesians) so that I will be approved to enter into eternal life after I die (1:12 of James). You think that being a “hearer” of the “Word” (faith without good works) is good enough so you do not think that it is necessary to obey God’s commandments and/or do good works in order to inherit eternal life.

    Time will tell whether you are correct or whether I am correct. 🙂

    (1:21-22 of James) “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
    22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (2:24 of James)

    1 John 3:10

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

    SHW,
    Speak plainly ans stop using the bible to try to be clever.
    Exactly what, in your own words are you saying to me?

  213. SHW says:

    Guitarman,

    I am not trying to be clever. A true friend wants an everlasting friendship with his friend, not just an earthly friendship. If one friend is in heaven and the other friend is in hell, there is no everlasting friendship. (This is a general statement; I am not comparing you to me or me to you.)

    A true friend tells his friend the truth even though the friend may not want to hear it. A true friend does not tell his friend what he “wants” to hear if what he wants to hear is not true.

  214. Mark says:

    DMW, “thank you for sharing”. Those of us in recovery know that cliche well- it has been mocked more often than not in many circles- but sharing – deep from the heart- with another addict who truly understands what a non-addict cannot comprehend- is essential to overcoming addiction. Reading your diary sent chills down my spine- especially “..so dark so damned so from hell were my thoughts..”

    Six weeks man- that is awesome! My prayers are with you this morning as you trudge the road of happy destiny.

  215. Deadmanwalking says:

    Some more to think about if you really want to understand

    I can’t even count the number of friends I’ve lost to this issue. For what ever reason, even when in all humility I tell someone I am a drunkard and an addict and I don’t care if they drink but I ask them to not drink in front of me they will drink in front of me anyhow.. Drug addicts don’t do that to each other, we know better than to talk about our past experiences with each other. CCLE over time was attended by a range of 50 to 75% were were clean addicts and or drunkards. And out of the ones who didn’t have a problem, they were usually married to or had a family member that was one. What people refuse and I say refuse, on the part of many it is a willful ignorance that could be cured if they just invested one afternoon studying the issues, but no matter how many times I have explained that that seeing someone drink does not bother me, but I know from experience that once they have had a few they will want to talk about it.. It’s the talking about it that that is a trigger for just about all real drunkard and addicts .. Just talking about it paints the image in my mind that if I don’t catch it in time will lead to my destruction.

    The second step in falling back is that all addicts and drunkards begin to think they can get away with it, that they can control it.. We all are prone to lie to ourselves and we don’t need outside help that will encourage us that it’s OK to drink.. That one drink won’t hurt. That God won’t mind me taking one drink — the fall begins like all sin in our thought life. What people who drink refuse to see is that we are not even physically the same you are, we have altered our brain chemistry and our physical chemistry by our substance abuse to the point that we never function the same. We never feel the effect of “dopamine” like other people do — Pleasure is always just out of reach — without drugs .. We are forced to live out our lives in a pleasure free zone, and that just makes us all the more vulnerable to falling back..

    Here is some medical insights to the process

    Alan Leshner, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), says that it is not reasonable to expect that drug addicts will obtain lifelong abstinence with the first treatment experience. “Just like the diabetic, [an addict] can be given tools to manage the craving, to manage the compulsion; but every once in a while another treatment may be needed,” he says. “Even if [addicts] are treated successfully, often there will be occasional relapses.” Neuropharmacology professor George Koob, M.D., of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, agrees. He estimates that 80 percent of addicts who get off drugs in detoxification go back to drugs within a year. Only 20 percent achieve a stable abstinence from a given detoxification.
     
    Figuring out why addicts are so prone to relapse is a major area of research. One culprit is the phenomenon of craving, or the powerful “hunger” for drugs that can linger months or years after an addict quits using. Scientists have discovered evidence that this craving may be partly a physiological phenomenon, related to the long-term changes in brain function that addiction causes. Now accustomed to functioning in the presence of drugs, the addicted brain, in essence, has become unable to function normally in their absence.
     
    Craving is also partly a conditioned response to powerful cues to use drugs that the (recovering) addict may encounter, such as people, places, and things that are associated with drug use, Leshner says. These cues evoke powerful emotional memories of the “high,” and can trigger near-irresistible urges to use. “Even in the absence of drugs, associated stimuli become capable of producing drug craving,” he adds. People recovering from addiction usually are therefore advised to avoid friends and locations that have previously been associated with using drugs. “When something is highly rewarding, we are likely to remember it vividly and also to remember the circumstances under which we encountered it,” says Steven Hyman, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “Even after years of abstinence, people may experience profound cravings and risk relapse if placed in the surroundings of their former drug use.”

    Charles O’Brien, M.D., Ph.D., a professor and chief of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Veterans Medical Center, says studies have shown the precise effect of environmental cues in triggering physical “anticipatory reactions” in addicts, such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and pupil size. (These physical reactions before the drug is even ingested are specific to the type of drug the particular addict used,

    In other words, here’s the medical evidence of what I said on the blog about avoiding triggers. Talking about the pleasure of alcohol produces in me a physical change. If you were to put me in a P.E. T. scan and watch my brain as I listen to people talk about drinking you would see areas of my brain light up, my body chemistry is actually altered by just talking about it..

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

    SHW,
    So, in so many words you demand that If I do not embrace your theology I am damnable and destined for hell?

    I am now at the point that I will speak as plainly as possible so you get it, I am done with any interaction with you, am withdrawing any discussion of being an online friend here a Phoenix Preacher, even at a distance, and I wish to have you stop threatening me with hell.

    Is this clear and will you now stop addressing me?

    Yes, or no?

  217. Another Voice says:

    Many, many years ago (so I don’t have notes) I was seeking to understand my alcoholism and the research I found lines up with what DMW is writing.

    As to alcohol, there is a physical aspect that is reversed in the alcoholic. There is strong reason to think that this is a major reason alcoholism tends to run in families, as this aspect is genetically passed down. The nature vs. nurture argument has a lot of merit as to the nature side, especially when a kid is an alcholic who has a sober parent who once was an alcoholic but the kid was never alive to witness the behavior, yet still replicated it.

    In short, the normal person has a trigger as a little alcohol enters the bloodstream that says ‘enough’ and that is why someone like my Mom (not an alcoholic) can drink half a beer or margarita and walk away. If a little buzz develops, they do not like the feeling or they like the feeling to the smallish extent it comes, but nothing physically cries more and more. When a teenager drinks too much too fast and pukes, often they will not drink for months. An alcoholic teenager (like myself) will puke and then go open a new beer and join the party (although I rarely puked due to a very high tolerance I developed over the years and picking my poisons appropriately)

    The alcoholic has that trigger reversed so his/her body says ‘more” once a little alcohol hits, and the more that is drunk, the louder the body cries more. My (sober) friends could never understand why I still wanted to go on a beer run after I already had drunk a case.

    The funny thing is, I knew this about myself when I was sitll drinking, without hearing any such research. I knew that I could not have “one beer” over lunch with my friends, or in a business setting, unless I was in a position to stop working for the day, go home or to the bar and keep drinking the rest of the day and night. One beer over pizza would set that off, everytime. That is why I know mentally I cannot ever drink again.

    The occasions are rare, after all these years, but there are times, especially during the summer, when a flashback of enjoying a cold one on the porch will hit and sound so good – I HAVE to change my thinking at that moment. Take every thought captive to Christ.

    And yes, I think drunkenness is a sin. I also KNOW that the issue is far more complicated than some would have it.

    The sad thing is, there are still many in the church who think of addiction primarily as a character flaw – rather than thank the Lord that they are not wired as we are. Yes, we all have a sinful nature, but life is far more complicated that such generalizations, even when true

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

    SHW,
    If your silence is your “yes”, then thank you, and we part graciously

  219. centorian says:

    AV’s 219 is well said. I’m saddened and frustrated by so many in the church who ignorantly assert that alcoholism isn’t a disease, that it is a matter only of the will, but then again, our culture at large knows very little about much; which appears to be magnified in the church. I will have 22 years of sobriety [Lord willing] next month and it is still rare that a day doesn’t go by that sometime during the course of the day that I want a drink, a line, a hit, or a pill.

  220. Another Voice says:

    I have been told by a variety of medical professionals over the years that one primary definition of a ‘disease’ by the medical community is that the condition has these three traits.

    a) chronic
    b) progressive
    c) fatal if untreated

    Alcoholism fits precisely. Plug in cancer, diabetes and others, and they fit too. Something like acne does not fit and that is why you will not hear of acne as a disease by the medical community.

    The church shows its ignorance when trying to rebuke the world without understanding the vocabulary and why it is used.

    If we want to stay in our little echo chambers and shout amens to each other, then we can mock the idea of it being a disease with each other.

    If we want to communicate, influence and make a difference for Christ out in a lost, hurting, dying world, then we should educate ourselves as to why such a word would be used by the medical community.

  221. Em says:

    SHW, for some reason as i have read your thots the past couple days or so, i have had Mel Gibson’s sad state come to mind… you and he had similar religious training in your childhoods, i believe… like we tell our children, God has no grandchildren.

    I don’t admire you for tenacity and dedication to your upbringing… it has robbed you of an understanding of: 1-grace, 2-good works, 3-God’s holiness, love and power to save

    we, who claim to be born again, are proved by our good works, but it is to our fellow men and their benefit, not God’s. works are the blooms on the plant, if you will.

    never been called a goat before that i recall 😆 i know you just inferred that i could be one and i should watch out… i will … or God my wonderful Father will…

  222. Na'amah says:

    as AV listed the 3 accepted traits of a disease, it is the definition of ‘chronic’ that seems to create the greatest difficulty w/in the church.

    to explain that it not curable but something one needs to learn to live with as part of their 🙂 ADL’S (activities of daily living)

  223. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    SHW,
    I hope that you realize by your statement “The sheep did good works and so they are approved to inherit eternal life.” you have left Christianity. No one earns an inheritance – an inheritance is a gift bequeathed by the owner. What you are actually saying is that your eternal life is a wage that you have earned.
    Dear lady, you have made God your debtor – God owes you eternal life if you jump through all of the hoops and at judgment day you can demand payment from Him.
    It’s a sad development you have created for yourself.

  224. Babylon's Dread says:

    The problem with the disease model for most of us is that it compromises the aspect of personal responsibility. Thus if Alcoholism is a disease then all addictions are diseases. So a food addict, or a sex addict are diseased. I do not mind it being called, a malady or a propensity or a tendency or even a genetic disposition. But anything that the Bible calls sinful seems to me to be weakened by putting it in categories of disease. Disease does not imply complicity.

    However, the medical community and other communities insist on this wording… so I generally relent. My respect for these guys on this thread makes me want to relent also but I am just registering my own discomfort with categorizing addictions as diseases. My gluttony does not seem to fit there. And yet it is chronic progressive and potentially fatal for many reasons.

    Either way I will gladly stop mentioning my liberties in this area on this blog for the sake of my brethren.

  225. Another Voice says:

    The problem with the disease model for most of us is that it compromises the aspect of personal responsibility. Thus if Alcoholism is a disease then all addictions are diseases. So a food addict, or a sex addict are diseased.
    ————————————————————————
    BD – I don’t think an addiction to porn is fatal, thus not a disease by the standard medical definition.

    I would add that calling it a disease, in and of itself, does not remove the personal responsibility factor, nor give it the same stature as leukemia in an 8-year-old girl – as to how we deal with it…..at least from my point of view and how I minister to others.

    The personal responsibility factor is that I have to avoid the stuff at all costs, because of how I am ‘wired’. Yes, I am responsible for my actions. I alone am responsible for taking the first drink when I know I should not have one.

    However, to assume everyone can drink moderately, and only those who lack responsibility end up abusing the stuff is where the mistake is made, in my opinion. (Note – I am not saying that is your conclusion above, just springboarding a little)

  226. Deadmanwalking says:

    Does anyone know what an irrelevant thesis is… some of you are experts is using it.

  227. Em says:

    MLD, even if you are a Lutheran brother … 😉 you summed ‘it’ up with the most cogent point of all (as you usually do)

  228. Em says:

    BD – diseases (as i understand the word) carry great responsibility – ie, the diabetic – those under treatment must do their part to not go under also … or so it seems to me

  229. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, remember, it was the first Lutherans who went toe to toe with the Pope over this very issue. 🙂

  230. Lutheran says:

    I like the way the Lutheran Confessions put the relationship between faith and good works:

    “Our churches teach that this faith is bound to bring forth good fruit (Gal. 5:22-23). It is necessary to do good works commanded by God (Eph. 2:10), because of God’s will. We should not rely on those works to merit justification before God.

    The forgiveness of sins and justification is received through faith. The voice of Christ testifies, “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what is our duty.'” (Luke 17:10).

    The Fathers teach the same thing. Ambrose says, “It is ordained of God that he who believes in Christ is saved, freely receiving forgiveness of sins, without works, through faith alone.”

  231. Em says:

    MLD, i wonder just how accountable those who claim that their salvation is in Christ’s finished work on the cross enabling them to do their good, justifying deeds that keep their redemption alive? i hope that when our works are tested by fire that it will be just their works that are consumed, leaving them empty-handed, but redeemed non-the-less… is that view compromising our great salvation? God forgive me, if it is and it might be – dunno…

    Lutherans? i’d like to think it was humble, honest men of God without a label – of whom the man Martin Luther, was a brave and vocal point man – a man who feared God more than men … but you can’t go wrong sticking with such a man, i guess… 🙂 IMHV – again

  232. Em says:

    re: post #22’s first sentence ??? left out a couple words… oh well…

  233. Em says:

    MLD and Lutheran – this is such an important point, isn’t it? Not a doctrinal side issue. There is a threshold of understanding the pure, awesome holiness (complete) of our Triune God that seems difficult to grasp and reverence among those who love Him. Even those of us who claim that it’s all grace have a tendency to use grace to slide past our sins at times… i do, way too often… but praise Him, for He is worthy and His redemption is beautiful

  234. filbertz says:

    when it comes to liberty in Christ, not as a topic to be discussed, but a characteristic or quality of life, it appears some are willing to interpret scripture by their experience. If we discuss Galatians, or Romans, or 1 Cor. to tease out an understanding, we will be at loggerheads over the meanings of words, phrases, logic, etc. not because of greek words or context, but because of personal struggles or individual history. I believe that scripture will shed light on those experiences, but isn’t framed by them. While I haven’t struggled with the demons of addiction like some, don’t make the mistake of thinking it hasn’t wreaked havoc in my home and family. My kids are all adopted and their genetic predispostitions or weaknesses are largely theirs to discover by trial and error. But the topic of Christian Liberty is not limited to food or drink, and to push it into that corner is to categorize it inappropriately. It never has been about drunkenness or drug abuse. I don’t have the liberty to get bombed. My fear is that the liberties we have in Christ are either “out of reach” or “not worth the trouble.” My heart is heavy over that mischaracterization.

  235. no name says:

    Pr 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

    CDC estimated the number of alcohol-attributable deaths (AADs) and years of potential life lost (YPLLs) in the United States during 2001. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that approximately 75,766 AADs and 2.3 million YPLLs, or approximately 30 years of life lost on average per AAD, were attributable to excessive alcohol use in 2001.

  236. no name says:

    drinking really doesn’t hurt anyone does it?

    The U.S. Department of Justice Report on Alcohol and Crime found that alcohol abuse was a factor in 40 percent of violent crimes committed in the U.S.

  237. no name says:

    There’s no problem out here

    During the past two decades, five major studies have estimated the economic costs of alcohol abuse1 in the United States using the “cost of illness” approach (1-5), which expresses the multidimensional impact of a health problem in dollars. The most recent estimate of the overall economic cost of alcohol abuse was $185 billion for 1998 (6), which is a projection based on the comprehensive cost estimate of $148 billion for 1992 (4).

    More than 70 percent of the estimated costs of alcohol abuse for 1998 were attributed to lost productivity ($134.2 billion), including losses from alcohol-related illness ($87.6 billion), premature death ($36.5 billion), and crime ($10.1 billion). The remaining estimated costs included health care expenditures ($26.3 billion, or 14.3 percent of the total), such as the costs of treating alcohol abuse and dependence ($7.5 billion) and the costs of treating the adverse medical consequences of alcohol consumption ($18.9 billion); as well as property and administrative costs of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes ($15.7 billion, or 8.5 percent); and criminal justice system costs of alcohol-related crime ($6.3 billion, or 3.4 percent)

  238. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The key word in each of those reports being “abuse” and not necessarily the “alcohol”. Millions upon millions of people handle alcohol in a very responsible manner.

  239. no name says:

    don’t worry about the children –

    According to research estimates, each year more than 1 million children in the United States experience some form of abuse or neglect (Widom 1993). Child abuse is one of the many types of violence associated with alcohol use and abuse, either as a consequence or as a causative factor.

  240. no name says:

    Sexual Abuse. The relationship between parental alcohol abuse and childhood sexual abuse (CSA) may be even more complex, because the perpetrator of the abuse may be the alcohol-abusing parent or another person.2 (2 Although both men and women can be victims as well as perpetrators of sexual abuse, most studies in this area focus on women (or girls) who are abused by men.) For example, several studies found that CSA experiences for both men and women were associated with family histories of alcoholism (Miller et al. 1997). Similarly, Vogeltanz and colleagues (1999) identified parental drinking as a risk factor for CSA. Concurrently, most victims were abused by either another family member or by a stranger (Miller et al. 1997), suggesting that parental alcohol abuse may leave children more vulnerable to sexual abuse by others.

  241. no name says:

    Do you believe life begins at conception?
    Christians are real big and being pro-life, they will carry signs and go to marches — but if you point them to solid evidence that all Birth Control pills abort fertile eggs, and it is written in the information they get on the prescription they will not ever look at the evidence — I wonder way?

    I wonder why drinking is also an issue that no one wants to look at the facts.. The simple fact is that a lot of people who drink are people who abuse it.

    Have any of you had one to many this year? Have any of you drove a care after having two drinks? Have you?

  242. Michael says:

    I think we’ve reached an understanding that we won’t discuss indulging in this liberty anymore.
    What I won’t do is feel guilty about doing something my own doctor advised was good for me.
    No, I haven’t driven a car while under the influence,nor have I acted irresponsibly in the matter in decades.
    The point has been made and we’re a dry blog now.

  243. filbertz says:

    no, we’re not a dry blog now. if shrill wins the day, the tone will always be shrill. The issue with Christian liberty is not abuse. It is use. Christ bought that with his blood and gave it as a birthright to His kids. Throw all the stats you want at me, I won’t argue that Americans have a huge problem culturally with abuse (of all sorts) but if you preach we cannot exercise freedom in all sorts of areas, you are preaching a different gospel. Everyone has the freedom to choose not to use anything, but when one says others should abstain also, they are wrong. Further, out of love and consideration for those with ‘issues’ I will abstain from certain things, but still reserve the privilege to use them in other circumstances. I am not flaunting anything when I celebrate my freedom in Christ.

  244. London says:

    Very well stated Fil!

  245. centorian says:

    oh come on Michael. I like calling you a kahlua drinking, cussing, Calvinist!! 8)

    and DMW…… I’m not gonna say my addiction is better or worse than yours, however, alcohol use is a fact of life these days. At least half the people in my church drink and I feel it is important to respect their liberty.

  246. Michael says:

    I’m trying to be godly and you know how difficult that is for me… 🙂

  247. centorian says:

    Yes I do Michael 😉 lol!!

  248. Em says:

    all you guys, cut DMW some slack

    i’m here to tell you that nothing wears you down like being a 24/7 caregiver – even if it’s your spouse, the love of your life – nothing!

    add all the other things into the mix and, quite frankly DM is quite a man! a little beat-up and stupid right now – but maybe think about giving him a little extra breathing room here?

    just sayin – again

    God keep all safe and close this night

  249. London says:

    Em you made me laugh. Not sure if you did it on purpose, but you chastised everyone else to give DMW some slack because they disagreed that we had to shut up about drinking and then you went and called him “beat up and stupid”…that’s funny.

  250. Babylon's Dread says:

    I wonder if I should say that the weaker brother thing may well be misapplied here… Paul certainly did not apply it that way… he was worried about Idolatry which was a real challenge to faith and truly endangered the brethren …

    Anyway PP is a dry county now so I shall cross the river in pursuit of such conversation.

  251. no name says:

    You got it MDL — just pointing our how wide spread abuse is… It’s all around you — in Europe they drink more and have more deaths as a result –

    Now when you read about the amount of drink that is consumed per person you had to ad the fact that near 80% of Americans don’t drink at all.. that mean gallons more for the rest

    I never made any reference to toe work Alcoholic — don’t believe the medical model deal with the sin issue – it not a disease — but in people like me there are medical components that are valid I consistently called myself a drunkard — village idiot is you prefer

    Personal Responsibility — I have been clean in a hours the the drug is here with me day and night for 8 years before this crash — the day the doctor told me it was time to quit — I quit

    My doctors accessed me saying that I am the strongest man he ever met. He doesn’t know a single person who has kicked this drug even in the most ideal circumstances and he went on to say under my circumstances being that I am left with bad pain , my living conditions were such that made me making it an extraordinary act of power of the will the likes off he had never seen before and doubts he will ever see again – He marveled that I do it…

    the weaker among you — I am sitting here with a bad migraine and can’t seek the screen except one little spot where the word appeal so I have to stop for now

    Sorry if again I was fire hydrant disguised as a drinking fountain

  252. SHW says:

    Guitar man,

    I explained that I was speaking generally, but if you choose to take it personally, there is nothing that I can do about it. May God bless you.

  253. victorious says:

    The way people are addressing DMW reminds of how the Corinthian church treated the Apostle Paul. 🙁

  254. Em says:

    London, yep – meant it lightly, DMW is not on his feet or thinking clearly

  255. Em says:

    BD: “Anyway PP is a dry county now so I shall cross the river in pursuit of such conversation.”

    was thinking last nite: should DMW have quietly said to himself, “can’t visit the PP site in my condition right now” and just stayed away? would that have been a better way for him to respond, rather than to spend the energy explaining here (right or wrong) where he is coming from now? and maybe, it’s just a guy thing among ‘guys’ and granny doesn’t get it at all – dunno

    praying that, in the Duncan household, it’s yesterday’s news now

  256. SHW says:

    Em,

    I was not condemning you personally. I was pointing out that the goats believed in “faith alone” just as you do and since this is what they believed they did not think it necessary to do good works and so they neglected to do them. I was not implying that you personally were not doing any good works or that you were personally condemned.

    Scripture makes it very apparent that it is necessary that we do good works, however, good works alone do not save us. I do good works in obedience to God’s command that I do them. It is out of love for God that I obey Him. Since I believe that He is God, I do what He commands me to do.

    People can believe that God is God, but they still refuse to obey Him. The devils believe in God, but they do not obey Him. (2:19 of James) All of the devils will be condemned to hell at the end of time because of their disobedience.

    All people who disobey God will also be condemned to hell at the end of time. It will not matter if they are baptized Christians or not. If they disobey God’s commandments, and I have given you many examples of the mortal sins (sins that lead to death) which cause us to lose the Holy Spirit’s presence within our souls (3:16-18 of 1 Corinthians), then they will be condemned to hell. It is the Holy Spirit’s presence (His presence in our soul is our guarantee – grace alone) at the time of our deaths which saves us and approves us for eternal life.

    Whom does God condemn? Scripture is very plain:

    (1:8 of 2 Thessalonians) “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    There is no special partiality for those who are baptized Christians. Those who know more about God will be expected to reflect this in their behavior. (12:47-48 of Luke) If they do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, then they will not be saved.

    What is the gospel of Christ?

    The gospel consists of “all” that Jesus commanded His apostles to teach His disciples to “do/obey.”

    (28:18-20 of Matthew) “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Is the whole gospel/word of God written in Scripture? No.

    (21:25 of John) “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.”

    Where can we receive the “entire” gospel? From His Church, the support and foundation of the truth:

    (3:15 of 1 Timothy) “if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the “church” of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

    We are commanded to obey the Church, the “one” Church with the keys. (16:16-19 of Matthew) (10:1-16 of Luke) If you listen to this one Church, then you are listening to Him. (18:17 of Matthew), (13:17 of Hebrews), (13:7 of Hebrews), (1:12-14 of Titus), (2:11-15 of Titus), (13:10 of 2 Corinthians)

    (2:15 of 2 Thessalonians) “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings [traditions] we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”

    I will be posting more Scripture studies on my website as time permits. http://understandingscripture.com

    My work is finished here. No pun intended. The person(s) on PP to whom I was sent know why I came here. “More info” for you is on my website.

  257. no name says:

    a closing thought

    Funny thing– people who are not saved are more understanding – more compassionate and more compliant when I explain my problem with drinking than Christians are. So far with only a few exceptions the reaction I get in the Body of Christ is a ballistic reaction when I simply ask for their consideration. People who are not saved are comfortable in their own skin and therefore not threatened so they will simply not drink when I am there.. many many times I have been offered a beer by an unbeliever and when I told them I can’t drink, they are not only apologetic but they put their beer away while I am there… Without me even having to ask.. Don’t know how many times I have asked my brethren for the same consideration and have it turned into a Theological debate instead of a simply act of consideration and compassion.

  258. Tim says:

    DMW –
    FWIW, though I didn’t participate on this thread, I’m awfully sorry for what you’ve gone through here. I know Michael was extremely gracious from the get-go, but his response to you should have been the end of it, without the theological debate ensuing afterwards.

    I wonder how many of us would walk into a church building a 2nd time if during the 1st time we felt obligated to have a public reading of our journal that chronicled our deepest darkest struggles?

    Love was shamed in the name of liberty. And I truly regret that you had to go through that.

  259. Believe says:

    …so DMW…does that mean I’m unsaved 🙂

  260. Em says:

    no name – sounds like you’re on your feet and ready to take on all comers again – forgive me for playing ‘mom’ yesterday

  261. Em says:

    let me rephrase that 😆

    everybody, forgive me for posting like the ‘mom’ here last nite…

  262. deadmanwalking says:

    centorian says:
    July 19, 2010 at 10:03 pm
    oh come on Michael. I like calling you a kahlua drinking, cussing, Calvinist!!

    and DMW…… I’m not gonna say my addiction is better or worse than yours, however, alcohol use is a fact of life these days. At least half the people in my church drink and I feel it is important to respect their liberty.

  263. deadmanwalking says:

    Sorry — Cent I do respect the fact that most people who drink do not abuse it and there liberty to do so. Not being from Oregon we have a lot less drinkers that you probably do 🙂

    But lets not forget those in you church that are like me.. addicts – drunks — what ever you want to call me

    Believe — I can’t really re-read this thread to find your question — an out today with severe migraine

    g-day

  264. deadmanwalking says:

    Alcohol abuse is a huge problem in the US — true it is even a bigger problem in Europe, but the numbers I posted under No Name cannot be disputed.

    Some of them are in your church, some of them are abusing alcohol today some like me are clean and sober but struggle to stay that way.. I only speak on their behalf..

    heaven forbid that anyone sacrifice anything for us. (that’s sarcasm btw)

    I don’t expect anyone to quit drinking on my behalf, but if you drink I don’t want to hear about it.

    it is a non-issue for unbelievers who have a healthy attitude about drinking, they would no more talk about it than they would talk about potatoes or what ever — a person who is really at ease with what they are doing are not bother by us who don’t do it. And they are not troubles if we ask them to not do it in front of us…

  265. deadmanwalking says:

    BTW — never took 12 steps for me- just 2 steps — quit and pray

  266. Michael says:

    DMW,

    With all due respect, you’ve made your point.

  267. filbertz says:

    Tim,
    with all due respect, I felt pressed to respond and hold ground I felt was/is too easily given up by misunderstanding and poor teaching. Re-read my six or seven comments and find where I was disrespectful to DMW or anyone else. Read them again and try to hear my heart for God’s word, Christ’s provision, and beleiver’s health. As a layman, I’m a bit bewildered by the muteness of most of the pastors here, Michael excluded.

    Further, DMW posted his own journal entries freely, without any pressure. I understand why he did and respect his position and willingness to be vulneralable. It speaks primarily to all believers’ need to respond in love to each other and be sensitive to areas to which they are still at risk. Don’t hold me or anyone else responsible for his choice.

  268. filbertz says:

    Michael,
    if I need to shut my trap, just give the word.

  269. Michael says:

    Fil,
    You’re fine.
    I just am starting to feel beat up because I have liberty that I’ve repeatedly offered to be quiet about .
    The abstinence point has been made and now it’s time to move on.

  270. victorious says:

    fil.

    DMW requested as a person who is participating with other people in this community that we refrain from mentioning a certain practice of liberty. This is a community where he has given of himself to others.

    I can distinguish between a brother making a request and when one wants to infringe upon the joy of others and encroach upon the freedom of life we have in Christ. I have heard and have had myself and every member of my family hit with the “weaker brother” assault from what seems to be every direction. DMW’s request was not even withing spitting difference of the DMZ between the warring parties. 😉

    Whatever ground we stand upon was gained by Christ for His people to stand upon together. That ground is sustained by His command to love another.

    What do you lose by giving a little more room for a brother on our plot of ground that is worth more than gaining the betterment of a brother?

  271. filbertz says:

    vic,
    please re-read my comments. I accomodated DMW repeatedly, but spoke to the broader issue, or at least thought I was. Perhaps I am deluded.

  272. Michael says:

    Fil,

    I thought you spoke well and respectfully…and you also spoke truth.
    I’m getting really irritated now…

  273. victorious says:

    fil. I will reread your comments and try to better enter your world as I have tried to enter his.

    In this case double vision is a good thing. 🙂

  274. Another Voice says:

    Just hopping back to let filbertz know that, while I think your first post was pretty ungracious, blunt and condemning (#127) and one of the main reasons I got ticked off…I think you have made your case clearly and graciously since and I hear where you are coming from and where your heart is at.. I know that sounds like ‘damning with faint praise’ but I assure you it is not meant that way. Bless you.

    But I departed this thread for a reason, And so I depart again.

  275. Tim says:

    fil @269

    I think you’re one of the most respectful & thoughtful people on this blog. Knowing that the conversation is pressing Michael’s patience, let me just say there were a ton of other comments outside of yours.

    Although I can’t speak for any of the other pastors here, I’d be happy to talk to you offline as to why I didn’t speak up earlier.
    tim AT calvarytyler DOT com

  276. Tim says:

    Just read AV’s comment & I had missed the 127.

    Despite my disagreement, I still think you’re one of the most thoughtful people in this community. Please feel free to email if you wish to discuss it further.

  277. victorious says:

    fil. Done with the re-read.
    You have some deep convictions and good thinking behind your thoughtful and well expressed words.

    You also displayed care for the truly struggling person.

    “Other times i know he is real because he has shown himself real. I can love, respect and serve the latter. I will not be manipulated by the former.”

    I would agree with Michael that this thread has developed blisters on some feet but on another day and thread your thoughts starting with Galatians would do well.

    A question comes to mind that maybe you can ponder and address when the day comes for this discussion.

    Do you think that if we allowed in our relationships the full room for freedom that Christ intended we would be in a better place to more fully love and embrace one another? And if so what would that look like? Where would we start? How would we get back on course when the weaker/stronger brother entanglements arise?

    Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

    As is often the case here on the PP your words were interspersed amongst the rest and it does take a focused re-read to truly hear them. Hopefully I have.

    cheers,

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