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37 Responses

  1. Duane Arnold says:

    Yes…

    I remember the cross was set outside the city walls,
    but then, so was the resurrection…

    Keep the faith, my brother.

  2. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Well said…the one contains the promise of the other.

    My faith is being kept for me…and thank you for being part of that process.

  3. Paige says:

    One of my favorite verses, Job 6:14 ‘what is needed for the despairing man, is kindness from his friends, lest he forsake the fear of the All Mighty”

    There is a shocking and sickening amount of arrogant posturing and hate-spewing going on within and without some churches or circles of believers. But not all circles.

    A quick review of the Letters to the 7 Churches of Revelation, is a good commentary on issues that were around then, and are still around now. Some things never change.

    1 Kings 19:6 & 7 …6Then he (Elijah) looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.”

  4. filbertz says:

    many remain within ‘the walls’ who feel exiled, apart, and alone. The pressure to remain despite the sense that one is excluded drives many to fake it–and perpetuate what the ‘insiders’ espouse as the party line. Giving permission to withdraw and regroup may be an essential step in helping save the whole.

  5. filbertz says:

    I support the notion that all persons in vocational ministry take a sabbatical every 5-7 years–not a vacation–a true sabbatical.

  6. Michael says:

    fil,

    Well said…for me, the difficulty is in the temptation to withdraw and stay away.

  7. John 20:29 says:

    reading here this morning brought to mind the admonition to redeem the time for the days are “evil”… and that sent me to reread Eph. 5 and that reading has me thinking that our churches fall way short of what the Ephesians were instructed… is that because it was written to a different people in a different time or is the chapter there for all the Church down thru time?

    it seems today that the local churches now are having trouble following the admonition of 1 Cor 13:1,13 … or so it seems … so?
    so, either we’re fast coming up on the end of the end times or we’re due for another great awakening – either one would be a joy

    just sayin … and … God keep Michael N

  8. John 20:29 says:

    well, i must say, Duane, Paige and filbertz – a big AMEN or is that 4 big ones? 🙂

  9. London says:

    Yep.
    All the cool kids hang out in the wilderness anyway 😉

  10. John 20:29 says:

    “No, the hard part is to love the ones who are glad that you’re no longer among them.”

    pray for them because God means it when He said, “vengeance is Mine, I will repay” … those who have driven you out are going to face an angry God or else they are not His children and the wilderness is a much better place in the first place … if the Phxp is any example – as London noted 🙂

  11. Michael says:

    John 20:29,

    I do not think that those inside the metaphorical camp are malicious, simply misguided.

    The marriage between politics and evangelicalism has produced a mutant child that is as concerned about the secular as the the sacred and does not distinguish between them in terms of priority.

    One must be as devoted to political ideology with the same fervor as a doctrinal statement…and one can be branded a heretic for violating either.

    We have always been a heretic hating people…

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    It is an interesting fact of 4th century Church History that the heterodox and the heretics were the ones who resorted to political power either to protect themselves or to enforce their heterodoxy using state power – Eusebius of Nicomedia is a good example. It was the orthodox who were exiled – think, Athanasius.

    In the 20th century it was the German Church that made common cause with the National Socialists, while Bonhoeffer, the Confessing Church and the White Rose movement were persecuted.

    You would think that by now we would have learned…

  13. em ... again says:

    “The marriage between politics and evangelicalism has produced a mutant child that is as concerned about the secular as the the sacred and does not distinguish between them in terms of priority.”

    ahhh, then we must pray for another great awakening… and, sadly the Lord does chastise, if necessary, to get our attention… i know “the signs of the times” sets everyone’s teeth on edge here, but there are signs and they look a bit ominous to me… but God knows, i don’t and He knows i don’t

    what’d she say ????

  14. dusty says:

    I don’t know what application i am suposed to make. 🙁 are you leaving us? I know your health is not good.

  15. dusty says:

    Whatever you need to do i suport you 100%

  16. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    I’m not going anywhere.
    I’m just going to be very intentional about where and how I interact online and off…I think I’m safe here. 🙂

  17. dusty says:

    I’ll keep you safe big brother. 🙂

  18. DavidH says:

    I no longer identify with American Evangelicalism. I know longer want to be at war with all those that Evangelicals say I should be at war with.

    “One must be as devoted to political ideology with the same fervor as a doctrinal statement…and one can be branded a heretic for violating either.”

    Hi, I’m a heretic. Well, that’s the label anyway.

  19. Michael says:

    DavidH,

    While I do not identify with American evangelicalism, I love my brethren in that “tradition”.

    The temptation to separate is one that will serve none of us, though it is necessary at times for the good of all.

  20. Michael says:

    Thanks, Dusty. 🙂

  21. CostcoCal says:

    I’m going a bit out on a limb here.

    If you are under 55 years old, you already know that Evangelicalism is R.I.P.

    Yeah?

  22. dusty says:

    There is good company out in the wilderness…just look at all of us…kind of all in the same place. Waiting on God! Lets enjoy the view.

  23. Michael says:

    Costco,

    Define dead…

  24. DavidH says:

    Michael,

    I merely don’t want to be labeled anymore. I’m too old to pigeonholed now. I still attend an “Evangelical” church, a new home with really loving people.

    I had to take time away to regain my sanity. I realized that I was becoming a person who I wasn’t. It was tearing me apart inside.

  25. CostcoCal says:

    Maybe not not dead.

    But dying.

    As far as…

    Relevance.

    And numbers.

    Of what once was…

    In 1993.

    And neither relevance or numbers determines God’s favor.

    It’s just our (my) point of view.

    Yeah?

  26. Michael says:

    DavidH,

    I hear you…

  27. John 20:29 says:

    “And neither relevance or numbers determines God’s favor.” yep

  28. Michael says:

    The numbers aren’t what they were…more concerning to me is the growing hostility toward the church from the young and unchurched.

  29. Promised Land says:

    What is the wilderness? What does that mean? I’m pretty sure I know but my questions are with the intention of sparking a conversation.

  30. Promised Land says:

    I think it’s an important topic/issue because it seems there are so many christians having wilderness experiences at the expense of their faith…I did.

  31. Michael says:

    Promised Land,

    The wilderness is a broad metaphor for being separated from the mainstream and at times feeling separated from God.

  32. Bart says:

    Costco Cal- I’m 55 and have considered myself a recovering evangelical for a number of years now. To me evangelicalism was like a treadmill that never stops.
    I walked into the wilderness willingly. Intentionally. Every now and then I look back and wonder if it’s OK to return. Then it passes.

  33. Promised Land says:

    Michael,

    My wilderness resulted from questioning and doubting God. It started when life smacked me in the face and my life circumstances were overwhelming. I began a slow, long descent into the wilderness. Wasted 15 years there.

  34. Promised Land says:

    Michael,

    What you are experiencing is different than what I went through. I understand the frustration of wanting to separate from those you mention in your article.

  35. Promised Land says:

    It sounds like you have a good handle on it. You realize you’re called to love them. You mention it is hard (and I agree it is) but I don’t think it has to be. I think it gets easier the more we know Him. You make a great statement:

    “Once you see Jesus clearly above all earthly powers, once you see Him in the reflection of the Cross again…your heart is instantly renewed.”

  36. Erunner says:

    I found it easier to create a wilderness I was comfortable in with a god I constructed than to believe there was more. Yet God is quick to forgive and not do away with us as I thought He might do.

    Christianity lived is not for the feint of heart.

    I am so over the political rage that has swept our nation which I pray doesn’t spill over into violence in the coming weeks and months.

  37. John 20:29 says:

    Erunner, praying with you… even though one can and should defend their viewpoint on the commerce of the nation, political rage can foment some dangerous violence…

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