Things I Think

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151 Responses

  1. #5 – the medical records.
    Mine is the same. I had a blood panel done for about 20 different things. I watched them come in one at a time in real time. It was great – I knew the doc had no surprises for me when I went in for my physical the next week

  2. 7. “Jesus did not come with a sword in his hands. He came with nails in his hands.” Tim Keller.

    No he didn’t – he came as a babe in the manger – he left with nails in his hands. – Keller missed it.

  3. Michael says:


    I got my urinalysis back that night and my blood tests the next morning…then spent hours trying to find out if they meant I was going to live. 🙂

  4. Michael says:

    The baby came to suffer and die…Keller “nailed” it.

  5. I have mixed feelings about the James White / Jason Stellman flap.
    Not a White fan as he seems to spew a cartoonish view of Calvinism – but all he said, after Jason seems to have consulted with him before his departure, was “I told you so,”

    But we must remember, Stellman did not just leave, but he gave us all the finger as he left.

    The fruit of his conversion can be found in his podcasts – self identified as “drunken ex pastors” – much swearing (all the words) discussion of “we should take some drugs” and much agreement with his ex pastor now atheist friend.

    I don’t know that what White said was because he was a Calvinist – I would think that any Protestant would have said something similar before and after.

  6. Jean says:

    Thanks Michael. Interesting thoughts to start the week.

  7. As a bit of a student of the reformation I am not sure we should get our knickers in a wad over a little bit of repartee between an ex-catholic and a protestant. Whatever their language toward one another… and I have not checked, it cannot match their forefathers.

    I know civility is highly cherished. But it is also over rated. Sometimes our positions make us unfriendly. Michael is applauded for his love of relationships. I am not worried about Stellman or White… let them have a go at each other.

  8. Jtk says:

    I’m with Dread (on gay marriage):
    “We Christians need to tell a better story.”

    And we husbands and Christian families need to live like the Gospel is true.

  9. London says:

    #5. That had nothing to do with EMR.
    Your doc could have had your results instantly on his phone if he was using some systems.
    This is my industry. These things I know first hand.

  10. Steve Wright says:

    What is the context of Keller’s quote about the sword? I honestly don’t get it, especially since Jesus specifically said He came to send a sword on the earth. Now I know what Jesus meant, because rather than a pithy tweetable comment He explained what He meant in the next verse(s).

    Seems like an odd choice to make whatever point Keller is trying to make – by deliberately choosing a word the Lord specifically chose to use to describe (part) of His work.

    Would appreciate the purpose of the Keller quote, if it is known. Is it about bombing Syria or something?

  11. Michael says:


    It was just a tweet he sent out this morning…it came in the midst of other tweets from Christians hacking each other to pieces.

  12. Michael says:

    There is a time and place for a lack of civility…but one must acknowledge that when a lack of civility rules, there is little chance of positive dialog.

  13. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks, Michael

  14. Michael says:


    The system here is new to us…as is the availability of results so quickly on my computer.
    The bulk of our visit was spent with him on the computer…very odd, but he likes it more than some of his peers.

  15. Nonnie says:

    I agree with MLD that White was basically saying, “I told you so,” but the way he said it was mean and caustic….and it seemed like White was giddy with glee over being able to say it. It was just plain mean to treat a man who is struggling and was honestly sharing how difficult the last year had been for him. I respect Jason’s integrity and honesty and I wish him the very best in life. May he continue to follow Christ.

  16. fyi says:

    Nonnie, honest question: how can you respect Jason’s integrity when he behaves the way he does?

  17. Daniel says:

    #3 – I feel like I can relate to Mr. Stellman and I feel badly for him. People like JW…well, I guess I should refrain from saying what I feel like saying about him. IMO, Evangelicalism is dying and rather than trying to fix what’s wrong, many of them have resorted to simply guarding the doors to keep folks from leaving. Very sad. I’ve been exploring the Orthodox Church for quite some time. I’ve never been a “professional” in the church world, so much of what Mr. Stellman has gone through won’t be there for me, but some of it will.

    #10 – People like to focus on baseball’s national TV ratings as “proof” that it’s in decline. However, attendance figures don’t back up that assertion. Most team’s local TV ratings show that the game is just fine. Even the beyond putrid Diamondbacks get strong local ratings.

  18. Steve Wright says:

    To add to Michael’s post about the Supreme Court refusing to get involved to decide once for all if gay marriage is constitutional (even as we have lower court judges throwing out the will of the people on the basis of constitutionality)…

    the Supremes DID agree to take not one but two different cases about Muslim rights. Both outrageous in my opinion, to think they would pass on such a politically relevant issue as gay marriage, but then read these two cases and say “Yeah, we need to weigh in on this”

  19. Daniel says:

    Michael, in response to your post #11, is it just too obvious to refer to your original post and say….on point #3 (Stellman v. White) the best course of action is to see point # 7 (Keller)?

  20. Nonnie says:

    FYI…integrity in that he stepped down from serving in 2 different churches when he didn’t believe what they taught any longer. I haven’t read other articles or listened to podcasts. I have only read his website when he talked about his journey from CC to Reformed and from Reformed to Rome. I was speaking of his spiritual journey. ie: honesty, uprightness, truthfulness, etc.

  21. Bob Sweat says:

    “Nonnie, honest question: how can you respect Jason’s integrity when he behaves the way he does?”

    Integrity centers around more than theology. I have met people over my lifetime that I have little agreement with theologically, but they are people of integrity. On the other hand, there are many that I know who I can agree with theologically, but have little integrity.

  22. The Dude says:

    For or against marriage scotus knows a stake burning is waiting for them…..

  23. The Dude says:

    I ment gay marriage.

  24. Steve Wright says:

    Yeah, what’s worse than people with power who love to wield that power over the masses…is when those same people shirk from their responsibility and the reason they have the power in the first place.

    If there was ever a need for the Supreme Court to weigh in on something it is with the Constitutionality or lack thereof for homosexual marriage (which would also likely require some commentary as to other potential marriage issues like polyamory)

  25. London says:

    Right. But it’s not the fault of the EMR that you got your results first. He probably just hadn’t looked at them yet, but he most likely had them.

  26. When I got my lab results online, they came with a range and an explanation of what the test was for. So, if one of the results was 108 and the range was 90 – 100 I figured I was high. No big.

    In the end, he put me back on my cholesterol medication which I stopped taking a couple of years ago without telling him and he told me to lose weight to take care of the rest.

  27. #5 – MLD, which podcasts?

  28. filbertz says:

    telling a better story doesn’t involve telling a new one, but replacing our narratives with the gospel.

  29. Steve C – I have listened to #8 & 9

  30. filbertz says:

    As some point, Mr. White will need sympathy, understanding, and a second chance. By the seeds he sows, few will afford those to him.

  31. JoelG says:

    #10 – Baseball? I thought the season ended a month ago? ; )

  32. Nonnie says:

    “6. We deny the heart of Christ when we question whether we should love someone who disagrees with us theologically…”


  33. The way is now clear for bi-sexual marriage meaning multiple partners… polyamorous relationships can now be solemnized. The government has decided to protect Marriage Choice … the custody battles should be fun.

    Imagine the reality shows…

  34. Jean says:

    The gay marriage issue is not over. There was no split between the circuits in the cases before the court this time. There are still two federal appellate court cases pending. Should either side with gay marriage apponents, then it is likely that the Supremes would get involved.

  35. MLD – I only see 3 podcasts here: and over in the Audio section a lot of those links are broken now…

  36. Tony says:

    So Michael I take you were not a big fan of Ken Silva?

  37. filbertz says:

    The Mariners would have provided a better series than my Detroit Tigers…toothless carnivores are simply vegetarians…including the ones in Cincinnati. 😉

    Dread, the Supreme Court is simply living to play another day. Who else gets to decide what ‘work’ they will do? Besides congress.

  38. This is not a gay issue … it is LGBT … they will all want their rights.

  39. Sher Starr says:

    Michael…. I love your #12 post and am going to steal it and re-post on my Facebook page. oops, I mean, may I quote you? 😉

  40. Steve Wright says:

    Dread is spot on. Something I have said repeatedly is on what grounds can a bisexual, (currently protected by the very same statutes as homosexuals in all other legislation) be denied his/her right to marry both the man and woman of choice. Either polygamy or polyamory, but the point remains – why should the bisexual be forced to choose only one of the two genders their “orientation” has equated them to…

  41. Michael says:


    Of course…

  42. Michael says:


    I’m not a fan of that entire genre of “discernment” ministries…

  43. Steve Wright says:

    Friends don’t let friends marry themselves…

  44. Michael says:

    I think the cultural and political battle for traditional marriage is lost.
    We need to recognize that and find new strategies to defend our beliefs and rights to hold them.

  45. Kevin H says:

    As to item #4 on the list, I will say that the state of the Calvary Chapel in Philadelphia is including an even greater emphasis on issues like the importance of Israel, U.S. politics, and things like pastors who drink alcohol. I will now try to keep my mouth shut.

  46. The Dude says:

    I agree with you on the gay marriage fight is over.It will take most of the church another 25 years to figure that out.

  47. Michael says:



  48. Michael says:

    The Dude,

    I think we need to recognize it now if we hope to have any influence in the broader culture at all.
    You are probably right, however…

  49. Babylon's Dread says:

    The battle to defend the rights of Christian vendors is what must be fought. That battle must be engaged to be won or lost. Refusal to obey unjust laws is what brings change.

  50. Michael says:


    Good luck with that.
    I think the legal foundations are already in place to defeat us…at least they are here in Oregon.
    Here’s what I think will happen…but it will happen after I’m long gone.
    If the Bible is true about the deleterious effects of homosexuality both on persons and the culture they live in, those effects will begin to show at some point.
    When that happens, and only when that happens…will the majority of society recognize an issue and take steps to solve it.
    That’s what I think…

  51. Can Muslim restaurants be forced to provide food for non Muslims? Are Kosher food providers required to provide non kosher foods? Seems to me the battle to fight for vendors has not even been engaged.

    Seems to me that people who want the laws changed get them changed after arduous process and after paying a price. To force people to provide services for weddings that violate their religious faith is beyond evil. It violates the very foundations of our nature.

  52. Interesting I wrote “nation” and it came out nature… I agree

  53. OK I read Stellman and White …
    I find them equally unnecessary and unhelpful

    I would like to hear from the church Jason left. I do not think they would assess the matter the same as he does. We do pay a price for our decisions based upon conviction. I left my church and lost everything but landed nicely on my feet. Had I become a Catholic I would be looking for work as Jason is. Frankly, he is brilliant and capable and can surely rebuild his life in some other career though the road will be hard.

    As for White… well the tone and content reveal that we are all glad that he does not have power over us. So …

  54. Porcine Pilot says:

    Lots of folks eating crow these days. I suggest, like the bovine brethren on the Chick Fil A commercials, eat more Chicken!

  55. Thanks MLD… forgot about the Heavy for the Vintage site… was only looking at Creed Code Cult…

  56. Steve Wright says:

    Ok…so I too read Stellman and White.

    Not much to add except I was shocked at the financial focus of it all…wasn’t expecting that.

  57. Andrew says:

    I believe White made 2 mistakes.

    1). He judges Stellman’s motives as being financial
    2). He equates man centered synergism with sacramentalism.

  58. Look,
    Stellman tells us how evil the church is and how much he has suffered thereby
    White tells us how evil Stellman is as the reason he has suffered
    Stellman then makes a calvinist argument for his Catholic faith… it chose him
    White gives an Arminian critique of Stellmans apostasy … he chose it
    Neither shed light

  59. randallslack says:

    Gretchen Passantino’s son attended a home bible study I taught years ago. She was a very gentle and humble soul.

  60. randallslack says:

    The church’s infatuation with the public condemnation of gays clearly hasn’t worked. Perhaps if we lived the gospel we would reach more people with the gospel?

  61. Neo says:


  62. Andrew says:

    #4 CCphilly seemed to be an exact clone of Costa Mesa when Chuck Smith was alive. I’m not so sure how similar the two churches are now. But I am with Kevin that there is great emphasis on Isreal, us politics and drinking. Also the Moses Model also seems to be alive and well in the church with no apologies.

  63. Xenia says:

    As I said on the other thread about Jason, it doesn’t seem like he has fully embraced Roman Catholic culture, which is full of rosaries, novenas, statues of St. Mary, the Knights of Columbus, scapulars, BINGO, Fatima prophecies and all that. Maybe he has and just doesn’t write about it. It seems to me that he made a cerebral decision to convert based on his studies.

    Many of the people I know who converted from a very tightly-reasoned form of Protestantism, such as Reformed Calvinism, to Orthodoxy, based on their studies have had a hard time of it. They have swapped one form of air-tight doctrinal reasoning for another except Orthodoxy (and probably Roman Catholicism) don’t work like that. These are lived faiths and are more caught than taught. You can’t learn Orthodoxy from a book although you can learn a few things about it from books. Orthodoxy (and I suspect Catholicism) are about living the life, not studying the life’s theology. It’s about keeping one’s prayer rule, keeping the fasts, embracing the lives of the Saints no matter how improbable… etc. I imagine it would be difficult for someone as brainy and reason-oriented as Jason, the former Reformed Calvinist minister, to make the transition without some hiccups. I think some of the things MLD has noticed are the hiccups.

    White’s gloating tells a lot about him.

  64. Xenia says:

    Also, sometimes people have buyer’s remorse.

    This also comes from too much study and not enough actual experience. A person reads books that describe the Orthodox (and I suspect, Catholic) ideal and where they actually join up they are dismayed to find most parishes are not much like the one’s they’ve read about in their books.

    A person intrigued by Roman Catholicism might read a stack of intellectual books about Catholic theology, convert, and find themselves in a parish of people who believe in burying a statue of St. Joseph upside down in their back yard will bring them good luck in selling their house. Or find themselves in a parish of people who think all religions are equally as good. Or find their inner discerner warning them that there is something fishy about the parish priest.

  65. Andrew says:

    I imagine it would be difficult for someone as brainy and reason-oriented as Jason, the former Reformed Calvinist minister, to make the transition without some hiccups
    Xenia, I could be wrong but I believe Jason was a CC pastor long before he converted to being a PCA pastor and then eventually ended up in Roman Catholicism. To me CC soteriology although not always dogmatic is about as man centered as is Catholic soteriology so to me this is an easy transition if you are just talking soteriology. I don’t think Stellman was reformed for very long at all in the PCA church.

  66. Jason had a good run in Calvinism – from his CC days – he went to seminary at Westminster west and planted his church.

    I find many of the folks who go to Orthodoxy and the RCC do so because they are insecure in the thought that Jesus does it all – in justification and sanctification. They get itchy feet and think they must do something to “help Jesus along.”

    Orthodox and RCC do not live out the Christian life anymore than a Lutheran or a Calvary Chapel person. They are more structured, they may act more “religious” but they don’t do more. Jason thinks he is now ‘doing more’. Frank Beckwith is the same way. He wants to drink the RCC tequila, but he won’t swallow the worm.

    You live out your Christian life in the world – not in your church.

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

    Your point #7 resonates with me after reading this article…

  68. Steve Wright says:

    The irony in the gay marriage debate is the public, still, in most of the states of the union, continues to express by vote their desire for heterosexual marriage only. The will of the people is then overthrown by a judge, but somehow that is equated to losing the battle as to the hearts and minds of the public. Odd.

    At any rate, I guess I have no gospel for the one who identifies as homosexual. I have no gospel that speaks to God’s love, forgiveness and grace that does not also speak to man’s rebellion, guilt and sin. No gospel that does not speak to a wooden cross and an empty tomb.

    I have a wonderful gospel to share with the person who seeks God’s will above all and struggles with same-sex attraction and temptation. A powerful, life-changing gospel.

    Jesus is pretty clear why some refuse to come to the light. Chapter 3 of John seems pretty straightforward.

    Because, at the end of the day, when I am sitting across the table from a friend who does not know the Lord, a friend who identifies as a homosexual, and we are breaking bread and speaking amicably about the things of God, the love of Jesus for sinners like me and him, demonstrated at the cross, the question will arise, “Must my repentance include forsaking (or at least a willingness to forsake) my homosexual acts. I only have one answer, no matter how lovingly I say it.

    And the “church” down the street has a different answer.

  69. brian says:

    Im going to bow out. for self preservation needs.

  70. Jean says:

    The pity parties get old real fast. The Supreme Court doesn’t give someone the result they demand, so the will of the people is thwarted by a man in a black robe. Blah Blah Blah. Get over it. That’s the way the system was set up, it’s the best system in the world, and I’m personally glad that there are checks on the will of the people built into our system.

  71. Jim says:

    I missed the part of the Constitution that addresses marriage.

    Thank LBJ for bakers losing the right to choose their customers.

  72. Jean says:

    Yep, the end is near. Let’s all look for the blood red moon and take in a Nic Cage movie. What? Left Behind is playing? How providential.

  73. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, you’re not reading carefully. The SCOTUS did not give ANY result. They punted. The “best system in the world” gives SCOTUS the final say on the Constitutionality of laws, not some random appellate judge who decides to overthrow the will of the people in an election – and claims “Constitutionality”.out of thin air (as Jim notes)

    SCOTUS has to weigh in on this – and I know full well that means the possibility (or likelihood) they rule against what I would desire.

    This is NOT the way the system was “set up” and your pity party, blah, blah response is rude, insulting, and worst of all, naive.

    I know one thing for sure…if SCOTUS had not weighed in on Obamacare and had let random conservative judges throw it out in random states, you would be screaming bloody murder.

  74. Steve Wright says:

    Final question. Jean, do you really think it is healthy for the nation to allow people to be married in one state and then be told their marriage is not valid in another state? That was the point of what even Bill Clinton understood when he (at first) signed the DOMA.

    You think the “system” was set-up so that people are hostage to their one state (or 30 of them) if they want to stay married?

  75. Jean says:

    Steve, a writ of certiorari is not a right, it’s a possible outcome. You’re the one who doesn’t read carefully or you would have seen my prior comment where I addressed the Court not taking the case.

    Steve, I don’t really care about gay marriage. It doesn’t effect me one bit. I assume people outside of Christ have all kinds of issues. My prayer and endeavors are to lead people to the Lord, not be a culture warrior.

  76. #10. Alas.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, I don’t really care about gay marriage. It doesn’t effect me one bit.
    Mighty Christian of you there, Jean. “Doesn’t effect me” perfectly described my entire worldview on the majority of the issues involving my fellow citizens…before I was saved.

    And we wonder why the church is impotent. Maybe it is the Hezekiah mentality. The “not in my lifetime” In fact, about the only way most of us are affected by most things is the pocketbook…some tax aspect. THAT will rile up a Christian fer shure…Who cares about abortion. Who cares about public schools. Who cares about international wars. Who cares about refugee children on the border. Who cares about the drug wars. Hey, my neighborhood is safe and I don’t use. Right? Nope…nothing to see here if “it doesn’t affect you”

    Even as an opponent of gay marriage, I recognize it is not proper or healthy to tell American citizens their marriage is only valid within certain state lines. And of course, I am sure if we were discussing whether it was constitutional for certain states to deny rights to people due to their skin color, you would have a different tune about the need for SCOTUS to weigh in, even if you were not part of the discriminated skin color and “it didn’t affect you”

    P.S. If you were a pastor, or at least had a similar burden for the lives of others, you would find the gay marriage issue most definitely affects you…assuming you got out a little and found out what is happening in the lives of some of your brothers and sisters in Christ, not to mention the lost.

    Last word is yours. Odd you “don’t really care” but took the time to post your #72. But no need for me to continue discussing with someone who by self-admission does not care about the issue but wants to still argue and call out for pity party and “blah, blah” those who do care and see the lives of people they love and minister to greatly affected.

  78. Jean says:

    Here’s what I see Steve: If I had the choice to have dinner with 10 gay people who I’ve never met or 10 right wing evangelicals who I’ve never met, guess who I would choose to have dinner with?

    It’s awesome to see your pastoral concern for people who’s marriages may only be valid in certain states. What a heart!

    Steve, gay people are gay, whether they’re married or not. What difference does their marriage or non-marriage make to God? If it doesn’t matter to God, why should it matter to me? No one is leading me up Brokeback Mountain.

  79. PP Vet says:

    Homosexual activity is an abomination.

    Loving people is not optional, whatever their life struggles.

    You have a point that people whose problem is certain aberrant behavior may be more fun to be around than religious people.

    Nothing wrong with opposing government policies that reward unhealthy behavior.

    The scummiest scum are the ones who call disagreement bigotry.

  80. I agree much here with Jean. The one thing conservatives have (and I count myself as one) is realizing that hey, you win some and you lose some. The court handled this differently than most conservatives would have hoped … but it does not make them wrong.

    Steve, the refusal to hear a case is a ruling / decision on it’s own. What they have said is that they have reviewed all the lower court rulings and see no reason for SCOTUS intervention.

    Accept that it has been handled and put away. It doesn’t mean that you can’t keep fighting for what you think is a just cause – but don’t make everyone else wrong.

    We have enough tension for the day with Kershaw back out on the dirt tonight. 😉

  81. Xenia says:

    What difference does their marriage or non-marriage make to God? If it doesn’t matter to God, why should it matter to me? <<<

    You are very wrong here. Sin does matter to God and whatever matters to God should matter to a Christian.

  82. Jean says:

    Outside of Christ, is any person justified before God, whether gay, straight, married or single?

    Is homosexuality a sin? Yes. Will it damn the unbeliever? No. If it won’t damn the unbeliever, then why get worked up about it?

    Should a Christian pastor officiate a gay wedding? No. Christians don’t bless or affirm sin.

    Would civil society be better off if Adam and Steve are married or if they’re off running around to gay bars every night contracting and spreading STDs? I don’t know, but I bet someone will do a study and publish the results in 20 years. So, I’m not building any arks in my back yard just yet.

  83. The Plymouth community of believers were separatists and they came to avoid coercion. We need a new separatist movement that sets us free from the new wave of religious coercion and from the harlot church that masquerades as a bride.

  84. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – I will repeat myself. I think there are still 20 states that still reject homosexual marriage, even after this recent action of SCOTUS. Personally, I am desirous for a ruling, even if it means these 20 states become gay marriage states along with the rest of the union.

    What most conservatives do not like is judicial tyranny in the lower courts that overthrows the will of the people. Most conservatives recognize, even when we disagree, the legitimacy of SCOTUS to decide national matters of a constitutional sort. If the lower courts are disagreeing about whether a gay marriage ban is constitutional, then SCOTUS has to get involved.

    A ‘decision’ is not a ruling – when that ‘decision’ is a decision not to rule.

    SCOTUS punted, even as they simultaneously saw a pressing constitutional issue in looking at a case involving a Muslim convict, and another case with a Muslim prospective employee claiming religious rejection for her inability to land a job in retail.

  85. Steve,
    I think you may be in error. Although in the end SCOTUS can and sometimes does what it damn well pleases, I don’t think it’s “well, there seems to be a squabble out there what the various states are trying to do … therefore we had better get involved”. I don’t think it was set up that way.

  86. Steve Wright says:

    Would civil society be better off if Adam and Steve are married or if they’re off running around to gay bars every night contracting and spreading STDs?
    I laugh at the “or” in this sentence, even excluding the STD bombast.

    You need to read some Andrew Sullivan (or many other gay male authors I have listed here in the past) and learn that gay marriage and monogamy are not compatible (among males at least). That’s Sullivan, a gay (so-called conservative) activist and writer’s words about his lifestyle and the lifestyle of the men he knows….not some strawman I invented.

    Meanwhile, another confused teen I find out just yesterday is convinced a life of homosexuality is the future. I know a little about the sad family background, and have watched the present slow move away from church fellowship and worship that had been a part of life for the prior years growing up. And I weep for the kid.

  87. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – I’m not talking in a theoretical vacuum. If interstate commerce falls under SCOTUS’ rule, how can marriage not? How can we have a nation that forbids marriage benefits for a couple when they move from one state to another. Especially with children involved…

    There HAS to be a ruling on this..soon.

  88. Steve,
    You assume this was the right case to rule on. Perhaps the case was weak or flawed and their decision was “if we rule on this one it will be bad law – let’s wait for a more definitive case.”

  89. Michael says:

    A Supreme Court ruling isn’t going to change the media, the schools, or the culture.
    I don’t speak as one unconcerned about this, but as the parent of a 12 year old who is exposed to all three and struggles greatly with understanding why I don’t think “gay” is just another kind of person.
    The court can rule however it chooses…the popular culture has already made it’s choice and until the effects of that choice are felt, it’s irreversable.

  90. We must argue our case in compelling ways. I intend to press the argument that religious morals and public morals are at odds and that coercion is unjust. We are going to have to find new ways to adjudicate the conflict between religious and public interests. Religious people are going to have to be allowed to be offensive the public sensibility without being punished.

    No one should be forced to violate religious convictions on the altar of being tolerant of that which we consider immoral. Coercion of religious principles is not acceptable no matter how offended the public mind is by the religious stance. I do not have to serve the consumer desires of things I consider to be immoral.

    The new witch hunt in America is to find a Christian who refuses to offer services on moral grounds. Those Christians have to be hunted down and exposed as the haters they are and the full force of legal remedies must be applied to their recalcitrance. This is absolutely where all of this is headed.

    Time to refuse the back of the bus.

  91. Michael says:


    You would have to successfully reframe the entire cultural narrative to have any hope of success.
    Homosexuality is now considered part of normal “diversity’ just as skin color and ethnicity.
    ‘Discriminating” against gays has been successfully conflated with discrimination against African Americans or other ethnic groups.
    It fascinates and confounds me that we always look to one more political angle for solutions…when the only solutions will be Spirit led and empowered.

  92. Daniel says:

    @ Xenia, regarding your comments #64 and #65, I appreciate these comments and think you’re pretty much right on. I’m over 40 years old and have been Evangelical my entire life. I’ve been exploring the Orthodox Church for over 5 years. You are right when you say that for the O, “it’s a lived faith.” This is precisely what draws me to it. Perhaps surprisingly, I also agree with your comment that often times when you read about the O faith, and then visit, you’ll find something different. That is true. However, to me, that’s the fault of those in the parish who choose to ignore the teachings of the church. On the contrary, I believe that the problems I saw in my Calvinistic church existed precisely because of what that faith taught.

  93. Steve Wright says:

    Like I said the other day, given when this issue actually comes to a vote, I am not convinced the culture choice is completely lost. I believe as more and more people see heterosexuals abandon their spouses and minor children in order to “be true to themselves” the nation will call bull on that, and see it for the selfishness it is.

    The best things conservatives could do is show a gay pride parade with wall to wall coverage from the curb, like a Rose Parade. Do a Ross Perot and buy air time on all the networks. But I’m not holding my breath. I say that only because exposure is what will change the opinion. That’s why I recommend people read Sullivan and those like him. And exposure will come as more and more people are faced with the issue in their own homes.

    I do agree it may (as with abortion) require a lot of bad experiences before the false promise of liberation has shown itself empty – maybe the current generation will need to have their own children, given the next generation will no doubt freely be speaking of pedophilia, adult incest, polyamory and polygamy even more than is present today (and it is very present today)

    But Dread is 100% spot on. This is not about gay marriage only. It is not about tolerance in the real sense of the word. The “new tolerance” is not live and let live even if we disagree with each other, but we must AFFIRM the other side – and anyone refusing to affirm must be hunted down and destroyed. We already see it in the media, firing or at least suspension for anyone who dares breathe a single negative word about the homosexual lifestyle (even the sports media).

    First they came for the wedding cake bakers, but I was not a baker…then they came for the photographers….somehow I doubt pastors and churches will forever be excluded from the hunt.

  94. Daniel says:

    @ MLD and your #67: I couldn’t disagree anymore. Prior to the year 1517, all Christians saw faith and works as two sides to the same coin. Tragically, the Reformation pitted those two against each other. I’d love to know how you deal with James 2:24, Phil 2:12, Hebrews 10:26, 2 Peter 1:5-11, and on and on.
    Secondly, when you say that the O don’t live out their faith any better, you’re wrong. The lives of numerous saints of the Church prove your statement to be incorrect. Today’s Calvinism (and Evangelical church in general) has become completely antinomian. The mere striving to live out your faith is often met with the call by these folks to “stop trying to earn your salvation.” Yes, it’s true, the lives of many (majority??) Orthodox people today aren’t any better, as you say. However, that’s because those folks have chosen to ignore the path the Church offers. That’s on those people. The path is still there. Tragically, today’s Evangelical churches claim that the path doesn’t even exist.

  95. Steve Wright says:

    It fascinates and confounds me that we always look to one more political angle for solutions…when the only solutions will be Spirit led and empowered.
    I think Dread is talking about preserving freedom that the laws of this country have always provided – even Paul appealed to Caesar when his rights as a citizen were being jerked around.

  96. Steve Wright says:

    The great irony is that the competing PC issue that likewise can’t ever be even remotely criticized is Islam.

    Islam and homosexuality…strange bedfellows indeed. Both used against God’s people in this free country…truly we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Our Enemy could care less about either, as long as one or the other (or both) are effective in wreaking havoc among the Body of Christ.

  97. Daniel,
    “Prior to the year 1517, all Christians saw faith and works as two sides to the same coin.”

    I don’t see where you are going. I am very big at living out your faith in your vocation – you everyday life. As Luther said, changing a baby’s dirty diaper is as high a calling as a pastor.

    Those I described earlier put on a better religious front. Look, praying from a book or going through your Rosary beads may look or feel more holy – but it is no more holy than the baker praying for a good batch of bagels to satisfy the morning hunger needs of his clientele.

    Which really is a good summary of what Luther was talking about in 1517.

  98. I don’t know – I may want to switch to homosexuality after reading about this fine heterosexual.

  99. Jean says:

    “the next generation will no doubt freely be speaking of pedophilia, adult incest, polyamory and polygamy even more than is present today (and it is very present today)”

    Steve, you left out beastiality.

  100. Em says:

    “You would have to successfully reframe the entire cultural narrative to have any hope of success.”
    at this point I have concluded that the proliferation of what were once aberrant sexual activities are just that – a part of the culture – a culture that, no matter how good our intentions is on a slide into lawless, undisciplined inevitable chaos

    The Church needs to return to a fear of God – an awe of His character, His complete holiness that produces in us an outflow of doxology from our innermost beings… what a staggering reality to be a sinner rescued from a blind plunge into the abyss of death… we need to remember where we’ve come from and where we’re going, then you and I will live out our Christian lives in the world AND in our churches – we aren’t any of us second class Christians… give yourself permission to use your life in Christ, to learn, to discern, to grow and to enjoy everything and everyone past or present that glorifies the Triune God

  101. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, I have not seen any articles affirming beastiality. All the rest I have (yes, including the adult incest)…and I typically repost them to facebook for those who make comments like yours who think I exaggerate and have their head in the sand.

  102. Michael says:


    Good to see you!

  103. Xenia says:

    Is homosexuality a sin? Yes. Will it damn the unbeliever? No. If it won’t damn the unbeliever, then why get worked up about it?<<<

    Because sin is dangerous, not only to the sinner but to those around them.

    My precious granddaughter is being taught at her school that homosexuality is a good thing. Her mom, a very modern young lady, has also bought into this lie. Will my granddaughter listen to her quaint old grandmother's opinions on the subject? Not very likely. She likes church and has a fondness for God but is growing up thinking perversion is a good thing and lesbianism is an option if she chooses it. I *am* worked up about my granddaughter (and all children) being seduced into perversion. I think God cares about it, too. Is there *anything* that God does *not* care about?

    How many kids will have their sexual identity confused because they are being encouraged to try out homosexuality? And why not? It's safer than heterosex because it won't result in an unwanted pregnancy and and it's just so hip and tolerant and all and you must be a real homophobic bigot if you won't just give it a try. So how many homosexuals are created in this way? How many young men are beguiled into giving it a try and are warped for life?

    Plus, you insert evil into a system and the system gradually becomes more evil. Even when an unbeliever sins, it affects others. Evil is evil, no matter who does it.

    So God cares and I care and I bet you also care more than you are letting on 🙂

  104. Michael says:

    “How many kids will have their sexual identity confused because they are being encouraged to try out homosexuality?”

    It’s happening every day…

  105. And Michael,

    That is why I won’t shut up and go into the closet. This is not a victimless pursuit of freedom. The more people experiment with sexual options the more they bring ruin to their soul. And don’t try to convince me that sexual sin does not damn people. It is not the act of sin it is the entrenchment of the heart that surely does damn people.

    I will not be told how to think by the culture police. This is why I opted out of network TV long ago, the daily drumbeat of how cool ‘diversity’ can be is not going to numb my mind.

  106. Steve Wright says:

    It’s happening every day…
    Yep, literally heard of a new one yesterday. Broke my heart. All of 17 years old

  107. Steve @ #95 Thanks and Right on

  108. Michael says:


    I doubt anyone here is retiring to a closet.
    As I said earlier, this is not a hypothetical situation for me…I address it frequently in my own home.
    I simply do not believe that political actions will stem the tide…and I think it’s the height of insanity to believe they will.
    We claim to be a people in possession of the Spirit of God with all the wisdom and power of God available.
    Yet, when we have these discussions I never hear anybody speaking of spiritual solutions or strategies, but incessant bitching and moaning that the powers we prefer fail to do our bidding.
    We have left our calling and the power and gifts that accompany it…and we are paying the price in manifold ways.
    I realize that mine is a very unpopular position, but I’m going to pray my child through this now and I’m not waiting for or expecting “conservative” politicians to help me.

  109. Jean says:

    #105 Xenia,

    I feel convicted by your comments. As a male, the thought of same sex is so repugnant that I can’t even imagine sexual identity confusion or experimentation. However, I can see from your comments that my personal aversion to same sex may not be universally held and perhaps women or even other males may in some cases be more open to these potential sexual outlets. In that event, mainstreaming gay and lesbian lifestyles could indeed harm others (I follow you there). It would grieve me to see anyone try those routes out of a sense of sexual identity crisis. It grieves me now to know people who have such a strong same sex attraction that they can’t imagine any other sexual orientation.

    I think my aversion to all the conservative chest pounding has soured my judgment. I will pray on this further. Thank you for taking the time to respond back.

  110. Still I hope you will accept that the people on the front lines deserve a chance to heard and to have a just and legal remedy to their harassment and the retraction of their rights as citizens to live their faith without coercion.

    I do not think the cultural problem can be solved by protest but I think the people need to have their rights asserted without being marginalized as haters. We as ministers can hide behind the wall of separation that we claim to hate but the Christian vendors have no protection. It is wrong.

    It is no less wrong than racism. If we consent to the culture we are by default giving our children to the system.

  111. Michael says:


    I agree with your basic thesis.
    However, here in Oregon, the law is already clear.
    So is the cultural attitude.
    The only remedy for this is divine intervention.
    It’s amazing how many Christians don’t seem to believe in that anymore…

  112. Michael says:


    As the parent of a twelve year old I can testify that between the schools and the culture there is great uncertainty being placed in the minds of children.
    Thank you for how you responded…beautiful.

  113. Why do we call sin, sexual confusion? The scriptures are clear – natural law is very very clear. I guess I could say that I was confused because my natural inclination is to bed every good looking female I come in contact with (although their natural inclination is to say no.) … and it feels so natural.

  114. Jean says:

    Living here in a relatively rural part of the Midwest, where culture and lifestyles are a lot more traditional than on the coasts, I probably am unaware of some of the serious issues that Christians on the coasts face every day on a whole host of moral and cultural issues. Not that we don’t have our share of issues or don’t get the news, but I sense that things are much more “progressive” on the coasts (at least the West Coast). So, when it comes to the concerns and fears of parents and grandparents regarding the future of their youth, I need to be listening and not lecturing.

  115. Xenia says:

    Jean’s #111

    Thank you for such a generous response!


  116. Divine intervention always …. always involves human agency …. from Abraham to Moses to David to Daniel to Jesus to the Apostles to all those you named in church history to US. There is no denial of divine intervention by rising to the call … I will assume that you are not implying that I do not believe in divine intervention… Saeed Abedini needs divine intervention and he needs human advocacy I don’t care how clear Oregon is… If someone is willing to bow … there is where the opportunity of divine intervention happens

  117. Xenia says:

    My granddaughter attends an elementary school near Santa Cruz, CA, one of the most liberal, pro-homosexual places in the country. Everything at her school is sweetness and light and butterflies and rainbows. Especially rainbows. If you wrap up perversion in a big pretty Rainbow-brite bow and call it “good,” little kids will think it’s good and will never develop the natural revulsion that most of us have, a revulsion that is part of the law of God which is written on our hearts, which was evident even to most unbelievers until recently.

    We might cringe at a children’s book titled “Heather has Two Mommies” but in places like Santa Cruz, this is the norm. And the thing is, you look around and realize that you are probably the only person in the whole place* who is not pro-homosexual agenda. This isn’t Kansas! But Kansas will fall soon enough.

    *Possible with the exception of a few evangelicals and some recently-arrived Mexican Catholics.

  118. Michael says:

    The legal precedent is already set here.
    One can stand if they choose and pay the penalty…but that sacrifice will not change anything.
    The public here supports the law as it’s been interpreted.
    We’ve already seen that here.
    We oppose these matters on the basis of morality and what we judge to be sin.
    If others don’t even believe in the concept of sin, then there is no room for dialog.

  119. Xenia says:

    One can stand if they choose and pay the penalty…but that sacrifice will not change anything.<<<

    I am not so sure this is true.

    Standing up for what is right and taking the consequences does have a place in God's economy and often, in ways we can't predict, does affect the outcome.

  120. Steve Wright says:

    Again I simply point out that the will of the people in several states was made clear by the same democratic process that elects our Congress, President and all the local and state reps. And the people in these states resoundly said “No” – They were overruled, and the SCOTUS in effect validated that “legislation from the bench” in their silence.

    Now, maybe in a few states, like Oregon and others the people have voted, yes. The difference is some judge where the vote is, yes, can’t (or won’t) come in and say, sorry, I’m not letting you do that in my state – no matter how many of you want it.

    Xenia’s #121 is golden.

  121. Andrew says:

    Is homosexuality a sin? Yes. Will it damn the unbeliever? No. If it won’t damn the unbeliever, then why get worked up about it?
    Jean, my understanding from the Bible is that all sin is damnable. And further more the only one that won’t be damned is the believer who has faith, not the unbeliever with no faith. With this in mind, I am having very difficult time trying to process your comment. Please help!!

  122. Sin keeps you from inheriting the kingdom of God according to Paul. So… there’s that…

    1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (ESV)
    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    Of course some people want to take refuge in Jesus from Paul … but Paul claims he got his sexual ethics directly from Jesus

    1 Thessalonians 4:2–8 (ESV)
    2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

    So…there’s that,

    Then one only need read the Gospel of Matthew to discover that Jesus drew tighter lines than anyone… Not only are we not to do things but we are not to even want to do them… So there’s that.

    But these designer religions certainly are popular. And they allow you to be so NIIIIICE and to appear to be so tolerant. Tolerance is after all the god of the age.

  123. But as Paul Harvey said after hearing the pure gospel preached (in law / gospel fashion) – “Now you know the rest of the story.”

  124. Would someone please tell me why intolerance is wrong? And then would you tell me why anything is wrong? Who do we check with? I know the general rule is consenting adults but that leaves us to adjudicate what an adult is, what consent is, and what about creatures that cannot consent, you get the idea… since the church and the Bible and common sense no longer have relevance how do we know what is right and wrong?

  125. I don’t think intolerance is wrong at all.
    Tolerance is the new intolerance. If I don’t say the PC liberal, kiss up, tolerant thing, these folks become very indignant and intolerant towards me.
    See how tolerant folks are when you say “same sex marriage is wrong.” Theyy will demonstrate intolerance.

  126. btw, I am intolerant of anchovies on pizza

  127. Yes MLD the tolerant are bounded by agreement. They are completely intolerant of dissent. They will approve of the most severe punishment possible if you offend them.

  128. Jean says:

    “Jean, my understanding from the Bible is that all sin is damnable. And further more the only one that won’t be damned is the believer who has faith, not the unbeliever with no faith. With this in mind, I am having very difficult time trying to process your comment. Please help!!”

    Andrew, Let me try to answer your question:

    Sin entered the world through Adam and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned. So, an unbeliever is “in Adam” (i.e., a member of his family) and as a consequence is subject to condemnation for his/her sins. For the person in Adam, whether gay, straight, a nice guy or a son of a *****, that person is damned. If a person in Adam is gay, this homosexual behavior is a sin, yet it is not the sin that condemns that person; it is one of a lifetime of sins. Addressing an unbeliever’s homosexuality in isolation from the real issue of the person’s estrangement from God is pointless from an eternal perspective.

    Should a gay person become a Christian, he/she like all Christians would have to repent and receive forgiveness for his/her sins, because, like all Christians, he/she would continue to sin. However, if the gay person, like any other Christian, decided to live unrepentant regarding sin, then depending on your theology, that person either may not have made an authentic confession of faith and/or that person may have apostatized.

    If anyone else wants to correct or sharpen this up, please weigh in.

  129. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, remember my example from earlier? “Because, at the end of the day, when I am sitting across the table from a friend who does not know the Lord, a friend who identifies as a homosexual, and we are breaking bread and speaking amicably about the things of God, the love of Jesus for sinners like me and him, demonstrated at the cross, the question will arise, “Must my repentance include forsaking (or at least a willingness to forsake) my homosexual acts. I only have one answer, no matter how lovingly I say it.”

    That’s the bottom line. Sure we don’t talk about one sin in isolation, but the fact remains that at SOME point, no matter how personable, loving, and tolerantly we share the gospel, it comes down to that question. Does God want people to forsake homosexual activity..yes or no.

    And if you say, yes, you can be sure there will be many people who will seek your destruction. Now, as a pastor there likely is not much they can do (yet), but if I had the same conversation while working in a corporate environment, I might find myself in a lot of trouble…that is what is happening, right now to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  130. Jean says:

    Anyone who has spent even a minimal amount of time studying the NT understands that Christianity is a deviant movement. Christ made this perfectly clear: A servant is not greater than his master. If the church is not running afoul of the powers at be, then the church is impotent.

  131. Andrew says:

    Jean, I wasn’t focusing on the sin of homosexuality but rather on the sin of unbelief. Its the latter that appears to eternally damn someone.

  132. Jean says:

    Interesting thought Andrew. I had never heard it put that way. Thank you.

  133. Jean’s #132 is very good. We are sissy Christians who think that we should be able to do and say what we want about Jesus without impunity. But look at most of the world – they do so at great loss.

    I was telling my wife today what sissies people we Americans are.I was changing the Sparkletts bottle here at work and I realized that we use 5 gallon plastic bottles that load in the bottom. Back in the day when Americans were manly … even our women folk, we used 10 gallon glass bottles that you had to lift above your shoulders and load on the top.

  134. Back to Jean’s fine response to Steve at 132 – A Lutheran would present it this way;
    “It is the kingdom of heaven, different in kind from, and a contradiction to, all kingdoms of this world. It must, therefore, inevitably shake man out of all his settled secular serenity, including his religious and ethical serenity. The Christ and his apostles are the walking question marks to all secular securities. Therefore the Kingdom and the Christ arouse contradiction and provoke persecution.” —– from Martin Franzmann’s fine book: Follow Me: Discipleship According to Saint Matthew

    Not only would he say it that way, he in fact did. 🙂 — just presenting yourself as and speaking as a Christian at any time should have you constantly in a world of hurt.

  135. PP Vet says:

    When MLD presents some dynamic coming from within Lutheranism as having value, he argues it based on its merits.

    He does not retreat into saying: If it comes out of the Lutheran tradition it must be right by definition.

    He does not suggest the idea is validated by its heritage. If he did, that would be an intellectually lazy and fundamentally cultish retreat.

  136. Eric says:

    Hi all, wow that was a long read. Got curious and came to see what was happening. Nothing to add really, just saying hello

  137. Hi Eric – hang out more. Bring back the good old days. 😉

  138. Eric says:

    The good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow aint as bad as it seems – Billy Joel. I gave up debating when I laid down my cross. Just got a hankering to see what everyone was up too

  139. Hi Eric!
    Best to you.

  140. Steve Wright says:

    Well..given the 100+ comments that led to here, now I am confused. But since nobody else seems to be, I’ll call it a night.

  141. London says:


  142. Andrew says:

    “Interesting thought Andrew. I had never heard it put that way. Thank you.”
    Jean, this isn’t really my original thought. I have to give credit to John in his gospel.

    John 3 :18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

  143. Jean says:


    I see from the text how you’ve derived this thought. However, see also verse 17 which says that Jesus did not come into the world to condemn it, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

    I believe the Bible teaches that the world stood condemned *before* Jesus came into the world. If that is true, then belief in Jesus saves one from his/her current state of condemnation brought about by sin.

    Jesus comes to us when we hear the gospel preached. If we believe in Him, we receive forgiveness for our sins and we too will receive eternal life. If we do not believe in Him, we remain dead in our sins, under condemnation, and John 3 :18 will apply.

    It would be ironic if Jesus’ coming into the world to save it actually had the reverse effect of condemning much of humanity by their unbelief. Therefore, I don’t think it is helpful to frame unbelief as the sin that damns someone.

    Does that make sense?

  144. Andrew says:

    Jean, you can call it ironic if you want but it appears this is exactly what happened in John 6:66. Curious your take on that verse though.

  145. Apologia says:

    There’s a simpler reason why the ‘gospel centric’ Christian ought to give no quarter, not even the appearance of acceptance, to homosexuality.

    Too many try to reduce it to the level of ‘a sin’, ‘an act’, ‘an indiscretion or a weakness to temptation.’

    It’s so much more than that.

    It’s an identity. It’s an all-encompassing state of mind. It comes with all its own characteristics, it’s psychology, it’s features.

    A person who has murdered can be saved. A person who adopts the identity of a murderer wholeheartedly is not saved. Forget whether they can be. Without the decision to repent translating into the cessation of the sinful identity of the murderer, there is no salvation.

    Swap the murderer for the burglar, the rapist, the adulterer, the thief and the same principle applies.

    Without being able to own up to and put to death the identity of the sinner then there’s no need to even start to discuss whether grace covers our falls and stumbles from a life of repentence.

    The homosexual insists that the sin, which has become their identity, is their right which God must accommodate on the terms of their own justifications.

    Unless they divorce themselves from that, repent, then there’s no hope on offer.

    That’s why the Bible suggests a distinction wherein homosexuality is a most pernicious offence among offences – that it reaches beyond acts, and into defining the person so wholly, out of God’s image and into Satan’s.

  146. Jean says:

    “That’s why the Bible suggests a distinction wherein homosexuality is a most pernicious offence among offences – that it reaches beyond acts, and into defining the person so wholly, out of God’s image and into Satan’s.”

    Please elaborate. Where does the Bible make this distinction?

  147. Andrew says:

    Swap the murderer for the burglar, the rapist, the adulterer, the thief and the same principle applies.

    Swap in the term “sinner” and it covers all bases. And guess what we are all “sinners” until the day we die. No exceptions. He who claims to be without sin is a liar. We all have a traitor within.

  148. Steve Wright says:

    For those who missed it. Add T-Shirt makers to the bakers and photographers. And this isn’t even about weddings.

  149. 10. Remember when baseball was “America’s pastime…I remember when America had time to pass. Now we find ways to do more in the time we have

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