The Whole Truth

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122 Responses

  1. 1.) “A local church pastor died a couple of days ago.You’ve never heard of him and you never will.”

    This is 99% of American pastors

    2.) “They build and have built more colleges, hospitals, and homes then any group in the history of the planet.”

    Hey, you take the good with the bad. Some people do heroic work for the kingdom … and cut corners doing it for the sake of getting the job done

    3.) “It’s represented in the heart of that pastor who is not successful, but will be faithful to be there to care for you.”

    And here is the heart of the issue as even you will not describe being faithful as success .

    Stop shinning the spotlight on the pigs – the 1%. Spend some of that wattage on the unknown and make their work known.

    Just my morning offering. 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    MLD,

    The world does not see faithfulness as success.
    It’s the only success I have a hope to know.

  3. filbertz says:

    Jesus’ question, rhetorical or not, “What is truth?” indicates the slipperiness of the concept. I think truth, like love, is not a concept, set of values or conclusions, or roster of statements. Instead, it is a Person–God himself. As we know Him, behold Him, hear Him, we can know Truth. As we become more like Him, the process of sanctification, the more Truth-ful we become, the more ‘truth’ we know. Apart from Him, we are left with cheap, empty imitations.

  4. Michael says:

    fil,

    Well said.

  5. Michael – then you need to extol faithfulness as success and don’t use the world’s verbiage.

    And I think you would be surprised by what “the world” considers success in a pastor … as the 99% have him (the faithful one) as their pastor.

    You read blogs too much and inform your opinion by what they say … and as we know, the 99% probably don’t read any ‘religious’ blogs. 🙂

  6. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You simply want to be contentious.
    I think most understood the heart of what I wrote.

  7. MLD needs a grumpectomy
    Michael that was a great post and those are the pastors I know best and admire most.

  8. RiBo says:

    I think it’s a great article and well balanced. Nice work Michael.

  9. Michael says:

    BD,

    I can safely say that the last few months have been the most difficult of my life.
    The “church”…lay people, pastors, my own flock and our readers have been there for me and with me every step of the way.
    Jesus has shone through many.
    That’s the kind of pastor and the kind of Christian I want to be…and I don’t want to bury them under a sea of dirt they didn’t dig.

  10. Michael,
    I am not contentious at all.

    I look at ‘The Church’ in a very positive manner. I realize that Jesus has left His Church here to be run by sinful man – and I think sinful man has done a pretty good job over the past 2,000 years.

    Some potholes along the road yes, but great things have been done by This Church on earth and is still being done – fighting a daily battle led by satan and his demons – which forces the church daily to confess the 1st Commandment..

    You on the other hand have a much less positive view.

    You think what happens at TGC or SGM matters … I think that the 19 people who are meeting at my church this morning making Braille Bibles, as they do every Thursday morning, matters.

  11. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I think both matter.
    Both affect the Body of Christ.

  12. Ps40 says:

    Beautiful in concept and delivery. Resonates through and through. Amen.

  13. Dodger Dog says:

    MLD said, “I am not contentious at all.”

    Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord

  14. Michael says:

    Thank you, Ps40. 🙂

  15. Dude says:

    Michael
    Thanks a million……I attend a small church with a pastor who meets the criteria you described.He doesn’t get paid very much and never complains about it and he cares about every one of us.He’s always there for us and the truth is always spoken…….maybe that’s why our church remains small.

  16. Michael,
    My point (of non contention) was that you make the small time pastor as the unknown – I am telling you he is the pastor who is known by the 99%

    The TGC and SMG pastors – the 1%ers??? 300 million Americans went to bed last night not knowing a single thing about them.

  17. Ribo says:

    Actually, church-goers are in the vast minority…only around 18% actually attend church regularly…and that small number is continuing to decline. I would assert it is largely due to the distrust of the “church” and Christian* Leaders. The church is its own worst enemy…not some boogie man “devil”

  18. MLD has a point on that one. The celebrity cult of pastors is thinner than we think. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked regular people about Ted Haggard and gotten a puzzled look. The information age mutes as much as it trumpets.

    The GI Joes of ministry are the main thing.

  19. RiBo says:

    The regular attenders and supporters of “Church” is smaller than we think.

  20. RiBo says:

    “Numbers from actual counts of people in Orthodox Christian churches (Catholic, mainline and evangelical) show that in 2004, 17.7% of the population attended a Christian church on any given weekend.

    Another study published in 2005 in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion by sociologists C. Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler — known for their scholarly research on the Church — backs up his findings. Their report reveals that the actual number of people worshipping each week is closer to Olson”s 17.7% figure”

  21. OCDan says:

    Michael, you brought tears to the eyes of this sometime curmudgeon (Sp?) with this post. This describes the pastor and the church my family attend and in South Orange County, too boot!

    A quick anecdote about this. Almost a year ago we moved about a mile. Anyway, several of the members helped us out, but one family really surprised us. We hadn’t asked them because we had so much help. Anyway, Sunday rolls around and he asks us why we didn’t ask them and I said because we had enough help. The husband was unmoved, his response, we would have still helped because we love you. We only knew him and his wife for several months. I was floored.

    Another case in point was Christmas. I won’t write much but let’s just say the church helped us again in a biggggggg way.

    As for our pastor. I love this guy. Of course as men we don’t often say it and maybe this will be the impetus I need to tell him more often, but he is a great guy and the 50 of us in that church know it and so does Heaven.

    We (Christian and non-Christian alike) struggle with what success means in this world. However, God doesn’t. He knows what genuinely looks like. It isn’t more money or power. It is pouring one’s self out discipling, washing feet, dying to one’s self on a cross or otherwise, and if called, laying down one’s life for his friends.

    You see, Jesus summed everything up in two great commands and both had to do with relationships: God and people. Notice no fancy material stuff.

    Lastly, I agree that we know truth as God. Have we also forgotten that Jesus is also the Way, the Truth , and the Life? He is the physical embodiment, manifestation of all that, if I may write that. Sometimes, I forget that. Remember He told the disciples they knew the Way. Yes, they knew Him!!!!!

    Anyway, Michael, thanks for this one. I am still choked up reading this. Love is truly the greatest of these.

    Sorry for the rambling.

  22. Michael says:

    ODDan,

    That wasn’t rambling, that was beautiful.
    We needed to hear that this morning…thank you!

  23. An Urgent Message!!! The Church is not comprised of only those who attend a Sunday morning worship service.

  24. Xenia says:

    I think the crux of the matter is this: What is there that is inherent in Evangelicalism that fosters the rise of celebrity pastors?

  25. Babs,
    “and gotten a puzzled look.”

    I agree, I think that the ‘media’ view of the church is all blown out of proportion. Last Sunday I had perhaps 55 people in my Bible study class. I am teaching through Daniel (which I teach as the Gospel of Jesus according to St Daniel … but that’s another story.)

    Were are just getting into Ch 7 and I was explaining to the group that 7-12 and especially 7-9 are the starting points for all the grave errors in Rapture & Dispensational theology. As I am looking over the group, I am getting all of these “puzzled looks”.

    So, I say, you know, the kind of stuff you read in the Left Behind books. Again, more blank stares. So I said, “how many here have read any of the Left Behind books?” 3 hands went up.

    I laughed and I was proud.

  26. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Calvin spoke well when he said that our hearts are idol factories.
    Humans have always been drawn to the charismatic among them and have always elevated those with that trait.
    American evangelicalism has it’s roots deeply in American culture and folklore that celebrates self made men and success above most other things.
    It was also birthed in a generation that knew what real leadership looked like…and a generation that had a respect for authority and position.
    Those are just a few thoughts off the top of my head…

  27. London says:

    I’m scared….
    I agree with MLD again.

  28. Xenia says:

    Michael, I agree with what you have written but I think we could go deeper.

    Is there anything particular in Evangelical (or Protestant) *theology* that fosters this inclination?

  29. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    The fact that most of American evangelism is pastor centric rather than church centric is certainly a factor.
    The lack of a historic, magisterial institution puts an emphasis on the charismatic leader instead of the church itself.
    Is that where you were going? 🙂

  30. Dude says:

    The world around me is in jeopardy I had to agree with RiBo on something……..

  31. Michael says:

    Dude,

    In my not so humble opinion, the smaller church is the better church…because you can grow in love and discipleship together instead of just attending a weekly lecture…

  32. RiBo says:

    Church attendance and support is in steady decline in the US.

    Again, I assert it is in large part due to church abuse, corruption and folks realizing that the “church” isn’t really that different than the world when push comes to shove:

    “In 1990, 20.4% of the population attended an Orthodox Christian church on any given weekend. In 2000, that percentage dropped to 18.7% and to 17.7% by 2004. Olson explains that while church attendance numbers have stayed about the same from 1990 to 2004, the U.S. population has grown by 18.1% — more than 48 million people. “So even though the number of attendees is the same, our churches are not keeping up with population growth,”

  33. Michael says:

    RiBo,

    Any comments with someone else’s monicker will remain in the spam filter.
    I don’t have the time or desire to fix them.

  34. John Doe says:

    Well, if we’re going to be petty and keep a tally on two threads out of 20, then I’ll be changing my moniker a lot.

  35. A greater population percentage is impacted by non Christian immigrants. This needs to be taken into consideration also.

    Immigrants from Asia and the Middle East… they don’t go to church.

  36. Xenia says:

    In 1990, 20.4% of the population attended an Orthodox Christian church <<<

    I wish.

  37. Xenia says:

    Immigrants from Mexico do attend church.

  38. Xenia says:

    … and from the Philippines.

  39. John Doe says:

    X, little “o” orthodox, as in Catholic, Protestant, EO. The quote further up the thread clarifies what that report meant by “orthodox”

  40. Xenia says:

    On my short but diverse block, the following people attend church regularly:

    White Baptist lady
    Black Baptist lady
    Filippino Catholic lady
    2 White Orthodox people

  41. Xenia says:

    X, little “o” orthodox, as in Catholic, Protestant, EO.<<

    Except your post feature a big "O."

    I was making a small joke.

  42. John Doe says:

    The church decline trend will continue in the US…the younger generation is rejecting much of what the “church” is offering…largely b/c the “church” and leaders and you have shown yourselves to be no different than the world and dishonest in many cases. Younger folks don’t trust you…and I don’t blame them. The “church” is its biggest enemy.

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/survey-less-than-1-percent-of-young-adults-hold-biblical-worldview-37415/

  43. John Doe says:

    “you” is the general corporate you as a generalization of the entire “church” not any specific person on here.

  44. OCDan says:

    Not to be a pain about the numbers, but who really cares? Isn’t this whole missive Michael wrote going against the very numbers we are hashing. Throughout scripture, God almost always uses the weak, few, and (not always) humble to accomplish His council. Even when he uses the strong, etc., it is God giving the ability. Then again, He gives it or takes it away.

    I don’t really care about whether it is 17 or 20% going to church, or why that is. God will handle all that. Besides, I can’t change any of that anyway. I know we are just kicking the numbers around, but what matters is His glory, His will, our obedience to Him and what He has us doing for Him, our families, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and others.

    As to the celebrity thing. Yeah, this country has the same fascination w/them as does everyone else in the world throughout history. The remark about Calvin is right on. Heck, people have used the same tree to start a fire and make their idols. If that isn’t crazy, what is?

    With the celebrity pastors, it is just people wanting to associate in some way and feel good about what they are hearing, reading, etc., as well as, making an idol.

    God has been gracious to me in the last few years bringing me out of this way of thinking and realizing that the His word is utmost (Not that I am there yet)!

  45. Xenia says:

    The road to destruction is broad and the path to heaven is narrow, few there be who find it.

  46. John Doe says:

    Yes, the typical christianeze response. I think the path is so narrow only one human made it…Jesus.

    The rest of us “all” are going to need some major grace and mercy and forgiveness of God loving his enemies.

  47. Michael says:

    Actually, those were the words of Jesus…who must have spoken some dialect of Christianeze…

  48. Michael says:

    OCDan,

    When I was a very young man I took over a failed dance club.
    I paid people to park in our lot every Saturday night to give the appearance of business…and soon was packed to the rafters.
    It’s human nature to want to be where everyone is…

  49. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” ESV

  50. John Doe says:

    It is the interpretation of those words that is in question…not that Jesus may have said them.

    Again, the real meaning of the words is the meaning you apply to them.

  51. John Doe says:

    It is likely metaphor and if Jesus said it, it’s hard to definitively state what he really meant…though many have guessed.

  52. Dusty says:

    Michael, I like what you wrote! you honored that pastor in a way fitting his ministry.

  53. “Again, the real meaning of the words is the meaning you apply to them.”

    The meaning we put to your words is that you still don’t know what you are talking about … no matter which name you use.

    If I can apply MY meaning to your words, I would say that you are saying that Jesus meant exactly what he said.

  54. Obviously you do not know how metaphors are used. Metaphors mean something directly.

    No one doubts the meaning of “narrow” or “wide” or “destruction” etc – I don’t think a single person can read those words and come to your conclusion that all are saved.

  55. Dusty says:

    here we go again 🙄

  56. Actually I think Jesus was telling the Jews of his day that not many OF THEM would follow him. I do not think it was a commentary on the remnant impact of the Gospel.

  57. Dusty says:

    Michael said,’The other partial truth we embrace is that Christian are idol loving, narrow minded, science rejecting, gay hating, sectarians who are concerned about nothing but protecting their religious and social turf.

    They are also the people who have kept me alive for the last few months.’

    but they are not the same Christians. the Idol loving narrow minded …..would not share, they would be those who say,’ pray more Michael, you are not praying enough’……and do nothing to help. right?

    arent these two differing groups? I hope

  58. pstrmike says:

    Thank you for this Michael.

  59. John Doe says:

    Like I said, many different opinions…and the meaning of the literal words depends on what meaning you give them.

  60. Dusty says:

    The Jews who go to temple and follow kosher law…are they still waiting for Jesus to come?

  61. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    We all see through a glass darkly.
    Over the last few months I’ve received encouragement, prayer, and support from people who think I’m out to lunch theologically and politically and probably in other ways as well.
    We all sin against God, the church, and each other…often thinking we are doing the works of God in doing so.
    That’s why we needed a Savior and why grace is the most beautiful word I know…

  62. Michael says:

    pstrmike…thank you.

  63. Dusty,
    “The Jews who go to temple and follow kosher law…are they still waiting for Jesus to come?”

    They were never waiting for Jesus to come … no one seeks after God.

  64. Dusty says:

    Michael said,’That’s why we needed a Savior and why grace is the most beautiful word I know…’

    ok I think i get it…

    I’m sorry for my part in sinning against you and the church….and all of you.

  65. Dusty says:

    MLD, you are a Jewish Christian, right?…..God sought after you? you did not seek Him? So they are not waiting for a savior to come?

  66. Michael says:

    Dusty,

    Please understand that I’m just recognizing the sin in myself…and acknowledging that we’re all sick to some degree.
    Thank God…a remedy has been provided.

  67. Dusty, I am a Christian and I did not seek God at all.

    I don’t claim the title Jewish Christian as I have never heard of a Muslim Christian or a Buddhist Christian or an Atheist Christian.

    We all came to God as enemies and unbelievers.

  68. John Doe says:

    Dread said, “Actually I think Jesus was telling the Jews of his day that not many OF THEM would follow him. I do not think it was a commentary on the remnant impact of the Gospel.”

    I think that is more likely than the “remnant” thesis.

    Still could be a commentary on Jesus himself as the only one who fulfilled the law completely.

    Very doubtful it is the “remnant” thesis…that is very weak position.

  69. Dusty says:

    I know Michael, You always see the sin in you….I see the sin in me as well and know I need the grace as much as you do. we are of the same blood, so to speak…right? I don’t see the sin in you as you see it…I see you as a good shepherd, a good teacher, a good friend and a good brother. that is who you will always be to me.

  70. Dusty says:

    MLD, Im sorry I hope I did not offend you, that was not my intent. I am glad you are a Christian and that God found you. (((hugs))) brother

  71. Anonymous says:

    Dusty- The Jewish people are still awaiting the Messiah. Some believe it is a “movement” and others a “person”. They do not recognize that Jesus was the awaited Messiah.

  72. Babs,
    But with that being said, then you are stuck with Jesus never saying anything that could be applied universally. – love thy enemies was to the face to face Jew only.

  73. Dusty – I was not offended at all. 🙂

    I just don’t recognize the terms messianic Jews – Jewish Christian etc as valid terms.

  74. Dusty says:

    MLD, but now you have to admit you are my brother. 😉

  75. Dusty says:

    thank you Anonymous that helps

  76. John Doe says:

    Anon is correct, I have many jewish friends, sephardic orthodox and other flavors and the range is what Anon stated…except the Messianic Jews…but Jews and Christians seem to claim the Messianic Jews are in the others Camp LOL.

  77. I know many Jews, mostly family – I do not know a one who is looking for messiah of any type. At the very best they say – perhaps there is a messianic age to come, but believe me, not a one is staking a claim on it.

  78. Bob says:

    JD Said:

    “Again, the real meaning of the words is the meaning you apply to them.”

    The “real meaning?”

    Assuming Jesus actually said them, I believe there is a “real” meaning the problems is many readers make up their own meaning, to His words, that apply to them (me).

    I am very thankful for this unknown pastor Michael has posted about. The man has shown at least one (ok two) trait(s) which is (are) golden, “he kept the faith” and “he fought the good fight…”

    Personally I see the problem, almost universally from the beginning of Christianity, is this obsession with the after-life rather than the present-life. Somewhere in the transfer from a humble Jewish cult it became all about what happens when a person dies.

    I find it is about both

    Oh, JD the path is narrow to God and always has been from the beginning. Jesus didn’t say anything new here accept to imply He was the door to that path. Take my interpretation the way you want.

  79. Bob says:

    MLD

    “not a one is staking a claim on it.”

    You do know the Jewish world is a whole lot bigger and diverse than your family?

  80. Bob,
    I think I realize that there are more Jews than just my family.

    Just because I can find a christian who believes in space aliens, does not mean that Christianity believes in space aliens – so if you can drag out some Jew who is wandering around with a sign saying “Messiah is coming”, I don’t buy that Jews are waiting.

    Here is a project for you. Go online and find a sabbath service where the rabbi is preaching on the coming messiah.preferably in English 😉 I have been to many and have not heard a peep. I went to Hebrew school… crickets.

  81. Tim says:

    The true Christian faith isn’t represented by celebrity preachers or well know converts.

    It’s represented in the heart of the neighbor who brought you dinner when you were sick…after putting in their eight hours on the job.

    It’s represented in the hearts of millions who support children here and abroad who don’t have the resources their own children do.

    It’s represented in the hearts of those who use vacation time to go to foreign countries to dig wells and plant crops and those who go next door to check on you.

    It’s represented in the heart of that pastor who is not “successful”, but will be faithful to be there to care for you.

    It’s represented by all the pastors and lay people alike who hate the scandals and the shame because they smear the name of our wonderful Lord and stall the work of His kingdom.

    Just because it seems that this was getting lost in the cross-fire. Thought it needed to be re-said.

    Well written, Michael.

  82. This is why Jews have made Israel the suffering servant.

  83. Paige says:

    “The other partial truth we embrace is that Christian are idol loving, narrow minded, science rejecting, gay hating, sectarians who are concerned about nothing but protecting their religious and social turf.” TRUE words, Michael…..

    Where is the love? Where is the humility? Where is the lowliness of heart and gratefulness for the incredible gift of salvation and forgiveness?

    I would love to find a church like the one you have written about that has recently lost it’s faithful pastor. So far, everything I’ve seen here in the ‘big city’ is also big and relatively closed.

    Thanks again Michael. Good topic, words and conversation.

  84. John Doe says:

    Personally I see the “good” of Jesus every day, in nearly every walk of life…and much outside the institutional Corporate “church”

    Love your neighbor is everywhere…in all walks of life. Of course, there is mankind’s bad side everywhere as well…but there is certainly much “good”

  85. John Doe says:

    Even Calvary Chapel does a lot of “good”…just read an article about a kid from Sarasota CC who had his friends bring food for the local food bank instead of presents. The food bank is an inter-faith food bank. Well done young man!

    I have atheist friends who donate time and money to help foster kids and underprivileged kids…no religious kudos, they just do it to help their fellow neighbor and human.

  86. Bob says:

    MLD:

    In the past you have stated your positions on Jews, but your challenge to find Jews looking for the Messiah is a rather easy one. In the past year I viewed a movie about an Orthodox family who returned to Europe and the town in which their father/grandfather had been saved from the Nazis by a Polish family. While that was the main part of the story within the 2 hour movie was references to hope for the coming Messiah.

    Now are they talking about the “return” of Jesus? Nope, not at all they are expecting the first coming of Messiah. Of course if you don’t believe me it is all over the web, and I don’t mean just “Messianic, Christian Jews.” Additionally I just purchased a book, written by a Jewish Scholar called, “Jewish Views of the Afterlife” by Simcha Paull Raphael which includes historical documentation of Messianic hopes and beliefs (but that is not the main focus of the book).

    While I respect your decisions concerning being a Lutheran, you need to be aware there is a big Jewish world who are looking for the Messiah and preach about it and often times asking the question, “why hasn’t he come yet?”

    Please accept the idea that just because the Jews you know don’t believe in Messiah or possible even life after death doesn’t mean there aren’t a whole lot who do.

  87. “While I respect your decisions concerning being a Lutheran,”

    Why do you keep throwing this out – it is very dismissive. I have no issue saying that I am Lutheran, not ashamed like you to say which viewpoint you come from (I know, you come from the christian view) LOL – tell me what kind of a church you belong to so I can toss that out as to why you are wrong.

    I can state emphatically that the current Jewish position is not looking for a coming messiah. As I said, I can find Christians who believe in aliens, write books about it and make movies – but that is not the Christian view.

    Ask a Jew about any Isaiah messianic passage and ask them if that is the coming messiah. I already mentioned that they deny the suffering servant to be any type of messiah and claim it to be the nation Israel.

  88. Bob says:

    MLD

    I also might mention as you probably well know the Jewish version of church is not like what most Christians experience. So to just say, “give me a Sabbath sermon on the Messiah” while not an impossible task, such a topic is rarely the foundation or purpose of a Sabbath gathering.

    Even the most liberal Synagogues come together for worship, and Torah study. The focus being living and coping in life according to the Torah. Basically trying to challenge and compare services is sarcasm and deceptive on your part.

  89. Good article.
    I agree and see where MLD is coming from about the 99%.
    OCDan had some good stuff to add also.

  90. Bob,
    “I also might mention as you probably well know the Jewish version of church is not like what most Christians experience.”

    It’s not like YOUR service for sure – and this is where your ignorance on this topic is showing. As I used to take my mom once in a while to her services after my dad died, the Jewish service is very liturgical … not unlike mine at all.

    And yes you are right, they do not talk about messiah – almost for the same reason they don’t talk about unicorns.

  91. I read this yesterday.
    http://thelogcollege.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/how-ephesians-killed-my-radical-christianity/

    This is part of the problem with some of the megachurch pastor Christianity or it may be caused by it in people’s own personal search for fame of a sort.

    Some quotes:

    Definitions matter. So before proceeding I wanted to define the term “radical.” By “radical,” I mean that strain of Christian thinking that says living a normal Christian life, getting married, having children, raising them in Christ, loving your spouse, being faithful at your job, attending worship, reading your Bible, praying, loving the saints, and then dying is not enough. It is that strain of Christianity that says, “There must be something more that I must do to be a good Christian.” The radical thinks and preaches that, “Good Christians do amazing things for Jesus.”

    and

    Paul is radical, but not in a way we like. He is radical about killing sin. He wants us to stop having fits of anger. He wants us to cut out our gossiping tongue. He wants us to be thankful in all circumstances. He wants us to pray. He wants us to get rid of greed. He wants us to make sure we keep our speech clean. All of this sounds pretty boring and hard. What sounds more exciting a speaker talking about reaching your community for Christ or one talking about taming your wayward tongue?

  92. Bob says:

    MLD

    I could tell you two things quite clearly; where I came from, those who originally gave me their pulpit (legitimately BTW) and I will also tell you where they are wrong and I why I can no longer sign my allegiance to their doctrines and statement of faith anymore. But what would that accomplish? Or maybe you want something to bash and make fun of me with?

    But you seem to miss my point, I do not claim to be anything other than one who Loves God, and believes in Jesus as both Messiah and Lord. I press you because on every issue you constantly pry away at others or either have “the answer” or point out how your Lutheran denomination has it most right. That deserves a response and rebuttal!

    I’m sure, no I know we disagree in many area, but I believe we agree on which side of the divide we are on.

  93. To clarify, I don’t think doing big things for Christ is bad. I just think when people believe they must do that or their Christian life has no meaning…well that is not the right way to see it.

  94. Bob says:

    MLD:

    “where your ignorance on this topic is showing.”

    The topic is or was, “Do Jewish people talk about Messiah?” It is not about the liturgy and in that area I am far from “ignorant” so again you are showing recklessness in your posts. Please be careful.

    Please stay on track, this is not about liturgy.

    But, since you brought it up, what is the current Torah reading in the Synagogue for this Sabbath day? Also please describe the Haftorah for us and how it compares to your Lutheran Liturgy?

    Ignorance? I think not. Please stay on the subject and don’t misdirect.

    😉

  95. John Doe says:

    Paul had a bad mouth, so did Peter.

  96. Bob,
    You are probably right, I do think that Lutherans have it, at least ‘more right’ than others. But let me ask you an honest question – do you think others have it ‘more right’ than you? If you do, why don’t you join them. I don’t know of anyone who claims to have it ‘less right’ and stays there.

    So, can you tell me some group that has it more right than you?

    I can’t say about you for sure, but most Christians get their Jewish views from other Christian teachers and not from Jews themselves.Either a book about Jews or a messianic comes and performs a seder around passover at their church.

  97. Bob says:

    MLD:

    “And yes you are right, they do not talk about messiah – almost for the same reason they don’t talk about unicorns.”

    You have to be kidding me right? You sound like that English Dr. of Philosophy who claims teaching children about God is foolishness and akin to child abuse. Of course I might be combining two Atheistic speakers here, but hopefully you get the point.

    If not, hear this; Messiah was and is a vital part of the Jewish heritage and faith. Historically Messiahs have come and gone and are still being expected and talked about today in the Jewish world. Of course maybe it was these past failures and things like the Holocaust which have hardened the hearts of many Jews today to the point they are Jews only in birth and tradition.

    BTW You do remember a teaching on a man, Simon ben Kosiba also know as Simon bar Kochba, proclaimed to be the Messiah in the 2nd Century by Rabbi Akiva? If so where did you hear it?

    Oh well It’s been fun and we probably accomplished nothing,
    Peace to you friend!

  98. Bob,
    I will drop it with this – I google Jewish Sermons about the Messiah – these are the results. The best I can tell, not a one by Jews.

    https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0SO80Rbb35TLjYADcZXNyoA?p=jewish+sermons+about+the+messiah&ei=UTF-8&fr=moz35&b=21&pstart=3

  99. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Sorry had to respond before I leave.

    ” can’t say about you for sure, ”

    I do not get either all or a large majority of my information about the Jewish faith and culture from other Christian Leaders. In fact I have found them normally unreliable, prone to extreme views and the heading off on tangents that make little sense.

    I have an extensive library filled with Jewish texts and commentaries (translated into English because my Hebrew is not even minimal) and as I stated recently added another to the collection to help answer for me the huge spread/chasm I have observed between what Christian say about Jews and what really is.

    I want to know why Christianity does what it does and how did it get here and that is why I state my faith to you the way I do.

    Also do I hang with people I find common and comfortable ground with, but that’s not why you and I are here on PP is it!

    Again Peace to you,
    My friend!

  100. If people were to wonder why I am so opposed to Messianic Jews look at this web site for their dishonesty – they call themselves Sar Shalom Synagogue… but read the fine print – they claim to be an Observant Jewish Synagogue … wait, what’s this? “fully centered on Yeshua the Messiah”

    Watch the top video – their praise team could work a Harvest Crusade. 🙂

    http://www.mysarshalom.com/podcasts/videos/

  101. #95
    Tamed that wayward tongue yet, RB?
    I know I have to work at that one.

  102. John Doe says:

    Derek said, “Tamed that wayward tongue yet, RB?”

    Working on it as well 🙂

    I hang out at pawn shops/gun stores all day with a bunch of ex-cops and ex-soldiers and a lot of the clientele is salty vets, hunters, cops, shooters and general red necks…so the language is…colorful 🙂

    I try my best to keep it clean in mixed company and especially around the kids.

  103. Another good article, but seems like a problem relating to megachurch Christianity IMO.
    Ever notice how a lot of these articles are sort of centered around that culture?

    http://worthilymagnify.com/2014/05/19/crash/

  104. In a way, it is like this article.
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/a-gentle-friendly-request-for-southern-baptist-writers-120215/

    All we hear about is that Millennials are leaving the church. But, it is only white people.

    This relates to the whole thing of seeing White Megachurch Christianity as always the example of The Church.

    Just some thoughts.

  105. Anonymous says:

    MLD
    Surely you know that at the Seder at Passover every year, there’s a wine cup that is filled for Elijah.. the one who would be the forerunner to the Messiah, don’t you? There also a part in the seder where the door is opened for Elijah to come in and drink from the cup. If he does the Messiah is coming. I was brought up doing this- we always looked to see if any wine disappeared from the cup.

  106. Michael says:

    Derek,

    Some good thoughts there.
    Here’s another Bible survey.

    https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/664-the-state-of-the-bible-6-trends-for-2014#.U36ArF7Pl1U

    I’ll comment more when I get time.

  107. That is an interesting article. I will be looking for those comments.

  108. Success is defined as a large congregation, a radio program, publishing plenty of books, and getting on Larry King Live! Yet, for most who hold this ideal, Jesus will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

    I pastored a small church for 10 years. It was the most thankless, yet gratifying privilege I ever had; lowest pay and greatest reward (right her on earth!); full of great friends, most of who deserted me in the end; I saw the faithfulness of God demonstrated, and felt forsaken many times (yet never being forsaken!); loneliness surrounded by several, empty yet overflowing, painful yet full of joy. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

    “Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me?” – If we are being honest, every pastor has had this conversation with God.

    The privilege of pastoring a small church is summed up by Paul in Ephesians 3:8:

    “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (NKJV)

  109. covered says:

    Thank you Randall, you speak for many.

  110. Randall, what years did you pastor and what location?

  111. randallslack says:

    1979-1981, Eastern Oregon. 2000-2008, Central Oklahoma.

  112. randallslack says:

    Yet another survey (someone else said this): “Six out of sever dwarfs are not happy.”

  113. randallslack says:

    Seven! Stupid spell check!

  114. sisterchristian says:

    Michael

    Joining many others on this thread in thanks for what you have written today…

    And as usual., I’m in agreement with paigemom that I wish I could find a small church with a faithful pastor like the one you describe… In my experience it seems the celebrity style – not that they all have obtained celebrity status; but are modeling the style… “Celebrity wanna be” so to speak,., seems to be the 99%
    And it’s the rare 1% that are o the caliber you describe… Few and far between and difficult to find…

    Sadly over the many years I have attended church an the many years I have been seeking a home church… All too often the “celebrity” style seems to be the norm…

    I have been taking a friend to several different churches in our area over the past two years… As a person who has come out of the world from the music industry …. That person is mostly discouraged at the “performance and showmanship” the almost circus style atmosphere of the local churches

    My friend seems to be seeking genuine authenticity, simplicity of the gospel and for lack of a better phrase ” old time preaching”.. Not about gimmicks and associations with sports… entertainment etc…during services …

  115. Bob says:

    MLD

    Good evening!

    I went to your web site reference and can you explain to me/us why or what you find difficulty with at Sar Shalom Synagogue? Why is a “fully centered on Yeshua the Messiah” synagogue troubling to you?

    It seems to me in the history of the church there was a time when the believers of Jesus were primarily Jewish and continued in the communities of faith and practice.

    I do personally have one difficulty and that is non-Jews wanting to be Jews. I believe the scriptures clearly teach from Acts (15), Romans, Galatians and subtle other references, that God does not require non-Jewish believers to be compliant or become “Jews.” So if that is your beef, or at least one of them, then I would agree. But again I also don’t believe God would require us to be RCC, EO, Reformed, or even Lutheran in doctrine and practice to be called sons of God.

    I think what people really want in this day and age is to be part of something bigger than themselves. We want to a part of a successful community of people and how we define that is crucial to our personal well being. I always wonder why in the world would people want to be a part of the Mega Churches like CCFTL, that is so recently in the news?

  116. Bob,
    I find you unbelievable. These places are there to deceive Jews into a false sense of “look, we are just like you.” As I said earlier – are there any Buddhist Christian? Muslim Christians? Can you have a Christian organization sell itself as an observant Muslim mosque centered around Jesus? Are Christians for Mohammed really Christians? If not, why are Jews from Jesus really Jews?

    You have the typical mentality that thinks Jews, just by their heritage are just one step to being Christians. – if only they can find the missing ‘Jesus’ piece. So, let’s dress up like Jews, let’s sing like Jews, etc, to show these bagel chompers just how easy it it.

    Look, a Jew, like a Buddhist, like a Muslim, like a Hindu is no closer to Jesus than a totem pole worshiper.

    Sar Shalom Synagogue – cannot be both “an observant Jewish Synagogue” (as they state in their banner) and be Christian at the same time … the belief system is not the same – it is not even similar..
    What are they observing in a synagogue? not a triune God, not a celebration of the resurrection.

    But look closer at Sar Shalom Synagogue … a bunch of red neck Texans playing synagogue.

  117. Bob says:

    MLD:

    “You have the typical mentality that thinks Jews, just by their heritage are just one step to being Christians.”

    First I find that insulting, because that is not what I find them.

    “But look closer at Sar Shalom Synagogue … a bunch of red neck Texans playing synagogue.”

    If you read my post I would agree with you if this is the case.

    In the area where I live there are a few “Messianic” Synagogues and only one of them I would say is trying to be nothing other than a Jewish community who believes in the “triune” God, serves communion every service, and allow non-Jews to attend.

    There is a flaw in this thinking:

    “As I said earlier – are there any Buddhist Christian? Muslim Christians? Can you have a Christian organization sell itself as an observant Muslim mosque centered around Jesus? Are Christians for Mohammed really Christians?”

    Buddhist & Muslims are not a people groups. Jews are descendants of Abraham and Sarah, not by faith but by blood!

    Now those of us outside the blood line can become religious Jews, Muslims or Buddhist, but that my friend is not the same thing. My parents are primarily Irish and Swedish so the only way I could become a Jew is by faith and it is the only way I, an American born Irish Swede can become a Christian. So can a Jew be a Christian and still call and embrace his heritage? I think so.

    But I know you have real difficulty in separating such things.

  118. brian says:

    “Success is defined as a large congregation, a radio program, publishing plenty of books, and getting on Larry King Live! ” That is holy writ we all know that. It should not be but it is, more sure than gravity.

    “I pastored a small church for 10 years. It was the most thankless, yet gratifying privilege I ever had; lowest pay and greatest reward (right here on earth!); full of great friends, most of who deserted me in the end; I saw the faithfulness of God demonstrated, ”

    I “feel” that way about my 31 year career as a teacher / aide for people with disabilities, I wont go into the many foul nasty names I was called I E government shill, thief, liar, manipulative, ……. 10^2000000. There was a time I “felt” (which is a sin, feeling) humans should not do that, some joy at times, again a feeling thus sin. I will admit I still get a great deal of joy and always have, something I should repent of. As for people deserting, I always figured I had that coming in combination with any other such temporal and eternal torments I have coming because I could not repent of being a human being.

    ” I saw the faithfulness of God demonstrated”
    I would never expect God to demonstrate anything, I always saw that as me being obtuse , rebellious, evil etc. If God does not kill me where I stand I consider that a good day, but know His wrath waits, chomping at the bit to right that wrong, I E me not being punished. That about sums up my experience in the evangelical community in one aspect of it.

  119. Bob,
    So if it’s a people group thing, why do they mimic a Jewish religious ceremony?
    You know that all the Jewish special treatment is tied into your Rapture Theology and God getting back to his Plan A, Israel once he get’s the Church, Plan B out of the way.

    But that is a discussion for another time. Back to the topic, I am still having trouble finding a recording from a Jewish rabbi teaching about the coming messiah to his own congregation – it’s almost non existent since any doctrine of coming messiah is no longer a part of Jewish thought.

  120. Steve Wright says:

    http://www.orthodox-jews.com/moshiach.html#axzz32WVMQMUs

    (from same site)

    The “Messiah” has not yet come. Jesus has no place in Orthodox Judaism.

  121. Good morning Steve,
    I was wondering how many provocative statements I was going to have to make to get you to join the conversation. 😉

    Hey thanks for that link – not quite what I was looking for but it really is a fount of knowledge if you want to know what Hasidic Orthodox Jewish housewives from Brooklyn believe.

    I am not looking for what people can find in old statements of faith etc – what i have been looking for is recordings of rabbis teaching THEIR congregations about the coming messiah. See, if it is not currently being taught in the congregations, then it is not an active belief in their faith.

    PS – if the messiah described by this lady is the one they are waiting for, well they will not recognize him in the 2nd coming either. The coming messiah for today’s Jew is a non existent thought.

  122. J.U. says:

    I recall a “new” Christian or two in my experience that, in their joy of accepting Christ and their zeal to learn more and live a Christian life, that get a bit hung up on Judaism. They often start calling Father God by specific names, although “Jehovah” doesn’t seem the popular one, and they gravitate more to Yahwah or other Hebrew terms.

    Personally I think it is due to immaturity. Often they seem to straighten up later with more understanding from Bible study. I never mean to insult anyone’s beliefs, but I’ve heard arguments about the proper Sabbath on Saturday and I know a group that spells God “g-d.” I think it is the same idea as the original Hebrews dropping the vowels from the Lord’s name to honor the commandment about taking the Lord’s name in vain.

    I suspect most denominations have beliefs and practices that other Christians from other faith traditions would find a bit comical or silly. But I personally, find the Christian groups that try very hard to be “Hebrew” or “Jewish” rather odd and downright comical.

    Again, no offense. I just smile when I read someone’s post with “g-d” in it. By the way, I don’t’ think I’ve ever seen that here on PP. I’m talking about other posts on some other medium in a galaxy far, far away.

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