Things I Think

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160 Responses

  1. dswoager says:

    I got about halfway through your point number one, and said to myself, “oh, well it’s a good thing that he started those Sunday studies, I bet those will help” a couple lines later, you confirmed it for me. It stinks to have to spend any time in that abyss, but the word is and awesome rope.

  2. filbertz says:

    I think focusing on eschatology at all misses the point of the gospel. I don’t mean it can’t be a subpoint, but dwelling on it subverts the present task of carrying out our mission in the world.

    I sometimes question peoples’ choice of pets. That, and the trend to bring their little turds with them into restaurants and grocery stores…

    The literal interpretationists do have a dirty little secret…literally. They select passages that don’t fit their schemes and gut them of their intent and edit their validity. Presuppositions rule homiletics and hermaneutics. (I think I misspelled those last two)

  3. Michael says:


    The only things that keep me sane are a wonderful church and seeing the grace of God in the Scriptures.

    I thank God for both…

  4. filbertz says:

    I can’t worry about Apple rollouts when I can’t change the clock in my VW Jetta. 😉

  5. Michael says:


    For me, eschatology helps define the mission in that we are the ambassadors of Christ heralding a coming re-creation.
    It provides purpose rather than speculation…

  6. Nonnie says:

    Numbers 2&4…. Wow!! Just wow !!
    I could not agree more!!

  7. Dodger Dog says:

    Good thinking.

  8. Michael says:


    Thank you for getting it…it seems that every time I write about grace,people are compelled to write about sin in some attempt to “balance” things out.

    If you’re in Christ there is no balance…the sin issue has been solved and grace abounds.

  9. Michael says:


    Thanks…it was the best I could do from the abyss this morning…

  10. dswoager says:

    Michael, I was out of my men’s study group for about three weeks there, and I think it did more to put me on tilt than any amount of crying baby or occasional sleepless night that I went through. Made it back last week, and it was an elixir for my soul. Both the word (the tail end of Ephesians consequently) and the fellowship were so helpful.

  11. Ixtlan says:

    Presuppositions inform all hermeneutical exercise, both in the the Bible and the newspaper, and it is not just limited to those “literalists”.

  12. filbertz says:

    I agree with you, but the literalists would disagree with both of us. 😉

  13. Alex says:

    Apple is the poster-child for the Moral Hazard of the Big Wall Street Globalization System…and why the System will eventually collapse.

    Apple will soon be the first Trillion Dollar company…how?

    It’s not innovation. It’s Margin and exploiting cheap nearly slave labor in China and Taiwan and elsewhere….while employing Consumeristic Propaganda techniques in a cult-like manner to make the populace want to buy its high-margin products.

    The other way Apple makes a tremendous amount of money is by exploiting complicated Tax Loopholes that only the Big Corps. can exploit…making Apple’s rich CEO and richest Stock Holders billions and billions of dollars…

    …all while Apple hypocritically preaches a message of “Social Justice”

    Apple makes the Pharisees of the New Testament look like Saints and Apostles.

  14. Rob Murphy says:

    I think it’s funny that there’s any debate about Rom. 13.
    As I see it, you can dismiss it if you don’t live under a king.
    Or, it was meant as direction for submitting to governmental authority.
    I believe it is a direction for submitting to governmental authority.
    In the U.S., we don’t have a king.
    We have a Constitution.
    Under the Constitution, we the people bear the sword and not for no reason.

    We should use the sword more often and more effectively. Especially when our Constitution is being bent out of shape by a Judiciary, Legislator or Executive starts acting like a king.

    I’m amazed by how many folks think we have a king.

  15. Rob Murphy says:

    oops. dbl post, twice as offensive. don’t know how I did that. sorry.

  16. Neo says:

    Great word…
    “You don’t have to diminish grace to exalt holiness”….

    And vice versa!

  17. Michael says:


    I fixed it.
    That is a unique reading of the passage.
    I don’t believe it is accurate.
    The people do not bear the sword, civil government does.
    The passage speaks of submitting to people, not papers.
    I don’t see how you can possibly interpret it another way.

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
    (Romans 13:1–7 ESV)

  18. I wouldn’t comment on #5 except you inserted the 6 1/2 yrs (meaning the Obama years). I don’t think anyone denies that God places governments where and when he pleases, but you seem to think (or at least this is what I get out of your comments on the topic) that since they are placed by God, backed up by Romans 13 that this somehow gives credibility to anything they do. This is far from the case.

    I can agree that Obama is God’s man for America at this time and still state boldly
    1.) he is totally wrong
    2.) he has corrupted what God gave to him
    3.) he has some very anti God programs that he supports that I KNOW God finds to be an abomination.

    So, we can agree on Rom 13 all day long and cry out for just government at the same time.

  19. Babylon's Dread says:

    The trust test is a poor one…

    There are many really good reasons to not have a pet…

    None of them require that a judgement is even made as to whether we “like pets” or not. I can say clearly that I do not like a number of things that are required of me if pets are in my life. I do not want a pet to determine my freedom and choices.

    My life is too full for pets. I would not do justice to their needs.

  20. Em says:

    pets? hmm, probably in God’s design, but did anyone catch that Caesar 911 where the woman had a large – really large – bulldog? nice, friendly loyal pet except that it attack her toddler 3 times… one time put the child in the hospital for an extended stay? But she’d had the dog from puppyhood and had a commitment to the animal – “it was family, too?” i’m still reeling from the insanity of her thinking – extreme example, but i must agree with BD on this (right now i’m baby-sitting 2 cats, 2 horses and 1 dog; sometimes they charm me, but i can’t say i’ll miss them)

  21. Em says:

    do we have a government in the U.S. today? how do we obey a multi-tenacled, hydra-headed, bureaucratic, capricious and, mostly power drunk, monstrosity? … perhaps IT is the anti-christ

    just sayin… cuz i can… 🙂

  22. Babylon's Dread says:


    I absolutely believe the government is antichrist

  23. Babylon's Dread says:

    I actually honored the whole Romans 13 thing for 6 years and then woke from my dream

  24. Babylon's Dread says:

    I do get a kick out of Michael’s thinkings

  25. Linnea says:

    Michael…”When you stop focusing on your sin and focus on Christ’s provision for it, then and only then will you know the joy of the Lord.”

    Gold and just what I needed to hear today 🙂

  26. Xenia says:

    I believe the current President is certainly “an” anti-christ. Every time that man opens his mouth, the demons giggle.

    Yet Romans was written when Nero, another anti-christ, was the ruler so we have to take the admonition seriously. We obey the laws that our consciences permit us to obey and pray for our leaders.

  27. Jtk says:

    So Dreadly,
    The last few months have signaled a change in your thoughts on the current government?

  28. Donner says:

    MLD #18: well said. I agree.

  29. Em says:

    Xenia – “Yet Romans was written when Nero, another anti-christ, was the ruler so we have to take the admonition seriously. We obey the laws that our consciences permit us to obey and pray for our leaders.” … makes sense to me
    perhaps it’s the chain of command model with God, Himself, at the top?

  30. Babylon's Dread says:


    I distrust government and dislike the present one it is soulless and reptilian and somewhat like a shark in the water, unable to stop headed for who knows where

    I want a monarchy.

    Sooner or later America will reap the wind…

    I Dread It

  31. Alex says:

    Dread said, “I absolutely believe the government is antichrist”

    Which one?

    Which nation?

    US? OK, State, Local or Federal 🙂

    Are you saying “any” form of govt. is the antichrist or a specific govt. is antichrist?

  32. Alex says:

    “Sooner or later America will reap the wind…”

    Nope. Too globalized now.

    The whole world will reap the wind when the Current Economic System collapses…not just the US.

    But, there will be a “global reset” and a New System…and after a time of turmoil…life will go on.

  33. filbertz says:

    perhaps the sixpointfive years in question should have driven Believers to their knees instead of facebook, FoxNews, and firearms.

  34. Babylon's Dread says:

    Which One?

    Governments by definition have no rivals. They by nature usurp god’s the government is your provider, your protector and ultimately your instructor … Jesus’ claim to LORDSHIP will never fail to inspire the venom of the powers.

    It isn’t one … it will be any and all of them. Christ demands too much …

  35. Alex says:

    It’s not Govts. or govt. constructs per se that is “anti-christ” IMO.

    Govt. constructs are neither good or bad in many cases…they are simply a mechanism.

    It’s like saying that voting is evil or guns are evil…just tools…it’s the People that make the processes or objects evil depending on what they do with them.

    I think if there is anything that is truly anti-christ it is the ideology of Islam.

  36. Jim says:

    I’m pretty sure that my problem with Rms 13 is more connected to Nero and Hitler than with modern lawless US leaders.

    I have no problem with a literal 6 day creation, or Noah, or the Red Sea, or any “unbelievable” account in Scripture, but I don’t buy that Paul told Roman Christians to honor Nero. Jesus was a rebel in regards to man’s law.

    Malum in se vs malum prohibitum.

  37. Jim says:

    Alex, you know that black guns are evil, particularly black rifles.

  38. AddisonDewitt says:

    If Romans be as Michael sees it I guess Hitler and Stalin were to be respected and obeyed.

  39. Jim says:

    Micheal sees it as it is written. My question is regarding authorship.

  40. Xenia says:

    If humility is the queen of virtues, as many believe, putting up with a lousy “king” will help grow that virtue. If the government asks us to do something that is inconvenient but not immoral, obey them. If the government asks us to do something that is immoral or denies Christ, disobey them but be prepared to be a martyr.

  41. Alex says:

    “Alex, you know that black guns are evil, particularly black rifles.”

    That’s waasis 🙂

  42. Xenia says:

    Jesus told us to love our enemies. He is telling us to love our President.

    I don’t see how this can be circumvented.

  43. Ixtlan says:

    @ 40

    Humility the queen of virtues? That’s interesting.

    Actually, humility is not listed among the primary classical or Christian virtues, although you could make a good case that these virtues require humility.

    Classical: wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice

    Christian: faith, hope and love

  44. Xenia says:

    You know, it’s tough for me to love our President. He seems to go out of his way to do things to annoy Christians. I was not thrilled when the main street of our little town was re-named “Obama Way.” To be honest, my affection for the man is about nil. But affection is not the same thing as love. He is a good father and when I think how his daughters love him, that helps me to work up some Godly agape on his behalf. He’s no worse than any other sinner I know. So yep, I am required to love this gentleman and at least show his office some respect. This also means that while I can be very critical of the things he actually says and does, I shouldn’t be indulging in speculations involving his origins, etc. because it doesn’t matter; we’re stuck with him. I don’t think things will improve all that much with the next President, whoever that is. Believe me, if Hillary gets elected I will have an even harder time mustering up any agape. But with God, all things are possible.

  45. Xenia says:

    Hi Ixtlan,

    Humility is the foundation of all the virtues; therefore, in a soul where it does not exist there can be no true virtue, but the mere appearance only. In like manner, it is the most proper disposition for all celestial gifts. And, finally, it is so necessary to perfection, that of all the ways to reach it, the first is humility; the second, humility; the third, humility. And if the question were repeated a hundred times, I should always give the same answer.—-St. Augustine

  46. Ixtlan says:

    what book?

  47. Xenia says:

    Ixtlan, I don’t know. It can be found all over the internet. Maybe it’s apocryphal.

  48. Xenia says:

    It’s hard to argue with the sentiment, though:

    Humility is the foundation of all the virtues; therefore, in a soul where it does not exist there can be no true virtue, but the mere appearance only.

    (The bit about “perfection” might not appeal to the non RC/ EO.)

  49. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael, I’m glad you didn’t specify which type of pets. Cats are not my favorites. OK, actually that’s too PC. What I really think is cats are spawns of Lucifer. Don’t hate me.

  50. Ixtlan says:

    Thanks. I like Augustine, his work is on the short list for a doctoral program. I’m not sure where your quote began or ended, but it sounds more like a commentary on Augustine rather than a quote. Letter CXVI. To Generosus, 22. Says something similar, but it is humility in connection with piety, not virtue.

  51. Alex says:

    There is great irony when people take pride in their humility 🙂

  52. brian says:

    anyone up

  53. Thankful says:


    I haven’t posted in a long time, but I think quite a bit about Romans 13 in context of our Government/Nation. I think what Rob Murphy was getting at is not so much that we are submitting to the Constitution (although that is how he states it which is not incorrect), but that the Constitution/Founding Fathers places/placed the control (governing authorities) in the hands of the people.

    What that means for us on a practical level is what one must graple with. It would be more straightforward to live in the time of Nero, i.e. the chain of command is clear: God, King, Governer, Subject. You act appropriately based on your position, and submit, even to evil rulers. In a sense our country turned the whole system upside down so it goes Subject, Sheriff, Congress/President. But we don’t clearly have that power (at least in this day and age), although that is a part of the issue of guns, i.e. the person with the/a gun is in the position of power, so since the people have that right in America, each person is ‘king’, whether they exercise it or not (this can be evidenced by the fact that wherever there is Federal land/property, firearms are forbidden, i.e. you surrender your authority to the Federal government by surrendering your firearm (sword)/(symbol of authority). But I don’t think people are really wired to live this way, we are designed to follow a leader. Technically, you would only need to obey those laws that are subject to the Constitution, but, nowadays, you would have to be willing to accept the consequences of your decisions.

    It gets into the deep issues of authority (Christ was obedient to death), some of the different Church government systems (congregational rule comes to mind), and also the Civil War. In one sense, the Civil War decided that even though we have a Constitution that grants the power to the people and individual States, we will (or agree to) act in submission to a central government (or at least that central government won the war). That is why the division in this country is so problematic, the war was already fought and the question decided.

    There is a constant tension here. As a Christian in America, I think one has to act in good conscience and always be careful to ensure they don’t give into the rebellious mindset that is engrained in our culture (e.g. Bundy ranch; although a case can be made for both sides of that issue…you begin to see the difficulty and importance of conscience). It seems like the further we get from the Garden and closer to the return of Christ, the more upside down the world becomes and the more alien a Christian worldview will become, i.e. every year, more anti-christian ideas are accepted as normal.

    Then I start to think of the Church. How far does Christ demand obedience to his appointed authorities? Or do we only obey when they are correct or Godly? If we are to submit to appointed authority, how does correction occur without rebellion on our part? I guess the answer would be we should obey God rather than man. Anyway, our system of governance presents many conundrums for thought.

  54. Thankful says:

    More that I think on at times 🙂 you got me going.

    To put it another way, is the idea embodied in the quote, ‘Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God’ in any way biblical or Christian, or is it anti-Christian?

    If it was Christian, would not Christ have rebelled against Pilate? Or condoned Peter’s actions in the Garden?

    Although we are a Sovereign Nation now, as a Christian would I have participated in it’s founding?

  55. Michael says:

    I had never heard Rob’s thesis before yesterday.
    I did some searching and it looks like it is propagated by a man named Chuck Baldwin and is held by people on the political right.

    Frankly, it reminds me of the creative parsing of Paul done by gay people in the same sex marriage arguments.

    They would argue that their relationships aren’t the kind that Paul was talking about in the first century, therefore their marriages can be sanctified.

    I think that’s a crock and I think this revisioning of Romans 13 is the same.

    I spent some time trying to find any exegetical basis for it and came up again with the plain meaning of the text.

    Why not just say that American political ideology overrides biblical truth in this case and we choose to ignore the passage because we find it offensive?

  56. Charles says:

    The Romans 13 is a hard command to follow; would we have followed it when Hitler was on his throne? Hiritio? Stalin? Do the Russian brothers and sisters follow this under Putin’s regime?

    Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

    Are our leaders worthy of our respect and admiration? Can we honor our President for his 6 1/2 years of trampling our Constitution? Or our House leaders for their dismantling of our fellowship in Congress?

  57. Michael says:

    Please quit bringing Hitler into the discussion.
    Most commentators believe that the commandment in Rom 13 applies to laws that do not violate Christian conscience.

    Paul wrote this under Nero for God’s sake.

    You honor leaders because of the office and the fact that God ordains the authority.

  58. Michael says:

    “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”
    (1 Peter 2:13–17 ESV)

  59. Steve Wright says:

    Quit misrepresenting Rob. He included an “or” in his comment you are overlooking as you unfairly compare his comment to that logic used by homosexual activists.

    (Rob wrote) As I see it, you can dismiss it if you don’t live under a king.
    Or, it was meant as direction for submitting to governmental authority.
    I believe it is a direction for submitting to governmental authority.

    OR…(then he cited his view…shared by just about everyone)

    Now if you care to post the many examples of Christians refusing to submit to government authority the last 6 1/2 years, feel free.

    I can think of two examples but sadly for your thesis they both took place under the Bush Administration (Hovind and Judge Moore)

    MLD responded well earlier, and Xenia did too. If your point is Christians should not make jokes at the expense of Obama, and should honor him (for the office) then frankly the Romans passage is overkill on that one. Otherwise, of course Hitler is relevant because he was overthrown by force. Your implication is to allow for the actions of Corrie ten Boon and others who resisted and paid the price, but every Christian who picked up a weapon to defeat Hitler and his armies, (and Emperor Hirohito and his armies) was guilty of clear Biblical sin.

    And yet you bemoan ISIS and what the world is going to do about it? You bemoan Mexico and government corruption. I guess God is waiting for all the pagans and atheists to stand up for righteousness because surely those seen as righteous in the eyes of the Lord MUST stand on the sidelines to be true to the Savior.

    As far as America is concerned and that piece of paper you dismissed earlier, saying “The people do not bear the sword, civil government does.” is akin to hearing someone say that when the government provides something it is “free” – neglecting that “civil government” consists of PEOPLE. People who are elected (or appointed by those elected), people who swear an oath to abide by the laws of the land, particularly the Constitution and the rest of the people (the leaders represent and serve and are paid by) can express their displeasure verbally, petition their leaders, impeach them, recall them all according to the legal rights they possess…

    The entire House of Representatives, both parties, recently impeached a judge. I guess they all violated Scripture in doing so…

    Much as Paul used his legal rights of appeal as a Roman citizen to tell the Jewish leadership to pound sand when they were screwing him over….

    It’s one thing to offer your customary religious right bashing every couple of Mondays…we’re used to that. It is another to interpret Scripture in such a manner and then tell people who disagree to stop bringing up Hitler and the Constitution which governs this country.

  60. Michael says:


    It’s a simple matter to me.
    We are to pay respect and honor to those who God has ordained as rulers.
    The passage in question is clearly talking about persons, not documents.
    I also made it clear that we were not commanded to obey those things that violate Christian conscience.
    I did not misrepresent Rob… I actually took the time to try to understand Rob.

    This is not just an issue for the “religious right”.
    I find some ideas and officials as loathsome as you and Rob find liberals…but I still have to submit myself to Scripture, as painful as that may be.

  61. Thankful says:

    ‘Why not just say that American political ideology overrides biblical truth in this case and we choose to ignore the passage because we find it offensive?’

    This is probably the root of things. Both passages (Romans and Peter) are offensive to many Americans/American Christians. Most probably won’t admit it out right, but you’ll hear it in their solutions and comments about government.

    I think the rub is, although commentators say it only applies to laws that don’t violate conscience, what you are seeing are offended consciences, but without regard that our citizenship is in heaven, that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, and we are to ‘honor the king’.

  62. Michael says:


    You nailed it @61… there’s room in the bunker with me . 🙂

  63. Charles says:

    The United States has leaders in office to Represent us. Sadly most of them do not, they have their own agenda be it lobbyists, or monetary gain in the form of donations, book deals, talk shows etc.

    Both sides as well as Independents are guilty of the sin of gluttony.

    I do respect the office that they hold, if they do not honor the office they are holding then they will be held accountable for that.
    As far as making jokes about the President, I think and always thought that was wrong and demeans his authority.
    I have met many Presidents during my time in the USMC. We served all of them during President Nixon’s funeral. We saluted them and they made small talk with us, it was quite exciting.
    The most admirable, open and warm President in my opinion? Reagan, he made eye contact asked us about our families, really seemed to want to know us. Clinton to had the same type of charisma.
    The meanest person there who wasn’t a President? Mrs. Clinton, she was just plain horrible, demanding and looked down at everyone.

  64. Xenia says:

    Here in the USA we are tempted by the illusion that “we” are the government. I don’t think this has been true for a very long time, if it ever was true. The system has gotten so complex and corrupt that our influence, on a national or state level, is about nil. On the local level we can still be effective and that’s where I encourage people to get involved.

    We have an oligarchy, where the rich and powerful rule the country under the illusion of a democracy. Nevertheless, the biblical injunction to honor the government and love our enemies still applies. I don’t see where it has been revoked? Again, follow the voice of your Holy Spirit informed conscience.

    Actually, Hitler is a good example to bring up here: At what point in Germany did people begin to ignore their consciences? They chose to follow Hitler because they felt it was beneficial for them to do so. They decided to drop their crosses and follow Hitler instead of Christ. It was a choice they made. Hitler was elected.* Those who chose to follow Christ were martyred. A hard choice but a choice that has been made by Christians suffering under far worse governments than ours and you only have to remember last week’s Twenty One Martyrs of the Islamic Sword- or have we forgotten them already?

    *I realize the election that brought Hitler into power was influenced by strong arm tactics but he was wildly supported by the German population, for the most part.

  65. dswoager says:

    We are bound to obey the laws of the land that we live in, but it would seem that part of the system in the US includes the right to say that such and such a law is stupid and to try to change it. Granted it creates an adversarial environment, and we should be very wary of the way that we are presenting ourselves in protest when we are representing Christ, but it is part of the political process as it stands.

  66. Xenia says:

    Actually, the 21 Martyrs were not the victims of a government. A better example would be a group of thousands of people we call the New Martyrs of Russia, that is, all the Christians who were killed by atheistic Communism. The 21 are a good example of choosing Christ over personal, temporal benefit.

  67. Rob Murphy says:

    Paul directly disobeyed the civil authorities when they told him to leave out the back gate of the city. (Acts 16)
    Jesus refused to answer Herod – a civil authority. Luke 23

    In this country, I am the civil authority, you are the civil authority. Our government is founded on authority vested from the people (you and me) and into a civic construct for local, state and national governments who act on our behalf.
    The Constitution dictates how the government operates and we must not simply jump to the whim of any elected office, but we are to check all power – judicial, legislative, and executive and balance that power via all processes at our Constitutional disposal.
    Our “Caesar” demands that we render checks and balance to maintain this country’s construct. We have been empowered with a space for our hand on The Sword of this country.
    We vote.
    We are jurors.
    We protest.
    We volunteer.
    We serve in the military.
    We serve in office.
    We sit in judgment.

    Calling a president, a judge, a member of Congress or the Senate an inept, bumbling, crooked, corrupt, evil, traitor is our duty. Putting qualified people in office is our responsibility. We bear the sword of due process and we bear the sword of imprisonment and even taking life via that due process.
    I pray for the full presence of God in the life of every leader over me because I know the full presence of God will either drive them mad or drive them to seek God.

  68. Ixtlan says:

    “Calling a president, a judge, a member of Congress or the Senate an inept, bumbling, crooked, corrupt, evil, traitor is our duty. Putting qualified people in office is our responsibility. We bear the sword of due process and we bear the sword of imprisonment and even taking life via that due process.”

    Good points.

  69. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Personally I vote for my candidates with one goal in mind – that he will be my personal lobbyist in Sacramento or DC.

    Who here does not vote for a candidate to get goodies for his people? … I know, you all have altruistic values. If their is going to be a highway project or there is money laying around for a dam or the government is going to open a facility somewhere – I want my guy to lobby for my area – to put it simply.

    If I see him vote money for a shipyard on the eastcoast when we could us the money for our shipyards here – you can bet I will be pissed at him and call him all sorts of names.

  70. Michael says:


    I’m sorry but I don’t think that is a faithful interpretation of the biblical text.
    We are not all leaders and we are not all in official positions of power.
    Peter and Paul lived under hellish governments when they wrote what they wrote.

  71. papiaslogia says:

    Citizenship in the Roman Empire meant something different than in a democracy. By definition, we take part in the running of our government by our involvement, not only when we vote, but also through our elected representatives. We can call their voices and write to them to make our voices head, as well as take place in rallies and protests when we feel like they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing on our behalf.

    That being said, we should grant them respect due to their position. But nowhere do we never criticize them. Hillary Clinton using a personal email account in the discharge of her duties as SOS is a gross misuse, and for the POTUS to claim that he didn’t know is an outright lie. There, I said it.

    Jesus called Herod a fox, and not in a good way.
    Paul and Peter were both appealed to submit to authorities in the context of living peacefully among the world.
    Church Fathers appealed to worldly authorities on the behalf of Christians, to explain the faith and try to influence them to stop persecutions.

    If someone cries foul when one side creates an offense and not the other, they have shown that they really aren’t interested in the truth, just their version of it.

  72. Steve Wright says:

    If someone cries foul when one side creates an offense and not the other, they have shown that they really aren’t interested in the truth, just their version of it.
    Amen. When this blog refuses to criticize certain members of the Judiciary and Congress, then we can talk about the Romans passage – because as was pointed out by Rob, both join the executive to make three separate but equal branches of what our civil government application is today from that passage. But we all have seen for years what “honor” is given to certain congressmen, senators and judges.

    Longtime readers may suspect as I do that this is not about grief over the Body of Christ not following Scripture in the context of President Obama.

    The reality is that those described here as “literalists” in our current political climate could just as easily be described as those who take the Bible seriously as God’s word, having authority over their lives. Doesn’t have the same ring though. Conversely, the atheist, the secular humanist, and the followers of false religions (Mormonism being an exception) are found mostly on the other side of the aisle…as every exit poll for years has shown.

    Thus it must be quite frustrating to be counter those currents.

    And given both sides are equal supporters of the war machine and the multinational corporation, higher deficits and so forth….all that is really left is to argue somehow a couple percentage points in the marginal tax rates, a few quarters in the minimum wage debate, a few weeks in the unemployment benefit discussion, is on par with the evil of baby-killing and continued promotion of sexual and gender perversions, even to our school children who now can’t even go to the bathroom in school in a normal manner, to the assault on freedom of conscience in business, school and the public square. Not to mention the eradication in general of most Christian freedoms, rights and influences outside of the Sunday services.

    I remember the night we were discussing politics and I mentioned a candidate that had pulled a major upset in knocking off a fat-cat entrenched Republican in the primary – a simple, family man of faith who professed Jesus and just wanted to serve his country and took on the Goliath that was the incumbent…and won.

    The simple and immediate response to the combination of Christian Republican from our host was “And I hope that man is defeated in November” (without any discussion or knowledge about who the Democrats would be running as this was just a random seat somewhere in the USA)

    When that is the mindset, it explains (to me) all one needs to know.

  73. Michael says:

    “Longtime readers may suspect as I do that this is not about grief over the Body of Christ not following Scripture in the context of President Obama.”

    In reality I just finished teaching the book of Romans.
    I have my own folks that I don’t appreciate or respect as I should according to this passage.
    I had to wrestle with my own heart and my own sin in regard to this passage.

    Because most of my friends and Twitter followers tend to be on the right, I see it more than from the left, though the same issues dwelled in my own heart.

    I saw a flurry of it Monday morning as I was preparing to write the article and noted it.

    It’s a bi partisan issue and it can’t be changed by making the Scriptures fit our particular ideology.

  74. Michael says:

    Now, as Steve as seen fit to make this a personal attack, I’ll leave this matter.

  75. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As God places the leaders does this mean that we are also to respect or give hnor to the leaders of other countries or just our own? Are we to help promote their actions and activities also?

    I will be honest enough that I do pray that God or an assassin takes out some of these world troublemakers

  76. filbertz says:

    it’s always interesting how inerrant scripture could be interpreted so diversely. I guess we’re the problem. In a passage that seems so air tight, one would never imagine so many escape hatches…in politics and law they’re called loopholes. Hmmmm.

  77. Xenia says:

    The idea that the whole verse could be set aside as irrelevant because we have a president instead of a king is very strange. I think this is a case of adhering to the letter of the law and not the intent of the law.

  78. Anne says:

    I agree, Xenia @ 77
    Personally, I think all the “excepts” we come up with as churches and individuals in the US are connected in many ways to the DNA of our attitude of American exceptionalism.

  79. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Can you vote against “god’s man” and still call yourself a christian? Was Obama God’s man over Mitt Romney – or is this like praying for your team to win the Superbowl? … does God care or does he just use which ever schlep we vote in?

  80. Xenia says:

    Personally, I think all the “excepts” we come up with as churches and individuals in the US are connected in many ways to the DNA of our attitude of American exceptionalism.<<<

    Yes, I agree, Anne.

    How many times have I sat and listened to a pastor who held inerrancy as a rule of faith yet when we got to a verse that asked too much of us or conflicted with the pastor's theology it was all explained away with an airy "That's for the Millennium" or "Jesus only said that to show we couldn't really do it" or "this wouldn't work in the 21st century."

    This method pretty much renders claims for inerrancy meaningless, IMO.

  81. Steve Wright says:

    The idea that the whole verse could be set aside as irrelevant because we have a president instead of a king is very strange.
    I’m still not seeing that being done by anyone, most definitely not Rob or myself, though apparently Michael’s research uncovered some obscure guy on the internet that can be linked to the political right.

    The irony to me is that it is the Christian evangelical population, because of their refusal to go out and vote for a Mormon – even if running as a Republican – that gave Obama his 2nd term.

    Romney won more independents than Obama – especially in crucial swing states. He even got a similar percentage of evangelicals as in the past voting (R) rather than Obama (D), but of a much smaller pie. About 4 million+ smaller

    So all the huffing and puffing about the big bad evangelical right wing could be turned to praise because they are the ones that arguably were most directly responsible for four more years of Obama.

    Of course, in my opinion, Romney, his past views, history, manner, and campaign hurt him as much if not more with these stay-at-homes than simply his Mormonism….

    Solely blaming the Mormon bigotry card is what Republican political operatives that hate the evangelicals and would love to diminish if not eliminate their influence like to say rather than confront their own unConstitutional behaviors and good-old-boy’s club. Make them out simply as bigots, when it is clear they can’t take them for granted each November any longer.

    I imagine a 3rd party will arise (even this year if the establishment insists on running Romney again as the only ‘electable’ candidate)…meaning a guaranteed lock on political power for the Democrats for a generation

    Which will make some here happy no doubt…

  82. Xenia says:

    I refuse to be held responsible for the election of Obama because I could not vote for the Mormon. I could not vote for either of them.

    The Republicans who chose Romney as their candidate. They are the ones to blame. That they understood American Christians so poorly that they thought we’d vote for a polytheist, that they thought they could foist this heretic upon us and we’d play along, suggests to me that they are clueless on many levels. The Republican party is as morally bankrupt as the Democrats.

    I could not vote for Romney with a clear conscience. Same with Obama.

  83. Michael says:

    “But we all have seen for years what “honor” is given to certain congressmen, senators and judges.”

    I’m wracking my brain…when did I ever “honor” any congressman, senator, or judge?

    I would love to see where I even spoke of one.

    Anne, I agree…

    Xenia, if ever there was an argument for the teaching magisterium of the church it has been made in this thread…and inerrancy is a wax nose that all of us Protestant popes twist to our liking.

  84. Xenia says:

    You are basically saying, Steve, that because we could not do something our conscience told us was evil a greater evil arose and it is all our fault.

    No, I reject that whole line of reasoning. Abstain from evil and do good.

  85. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Seriously – does anyone really care that their candidate is a Christian? What do you expect from such a person, that they will lead legislation requiring all American citizens to be baptized and take the Lord’s Supper regularly?

  86. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “and inerrancy is a wax nose that all of us Protestant popes twist to our liking.”

    I don’t know about the ALL – I said the other day that I don’t use the term inerrancy and I think the concept itself does more harm when used. Inerrancy is used only by those who are duped or by those who cannot make a good case for truth by itself.- but perhaps the two are the same.

  87. Xenia says:

    MLD, you have brought up a good point. How “Christian” do I expect a president to be. And what difference does it make. This is a very good question for which I have no good answer. I just take each election as it comes, pray, listening to the opinions of Christians I respect (my priest, for example) and do my best.

    I would expect a genuine Christian president to show some respect for traditional Christian morality although since the system is so complex and corrupt I don’t know how much he can do at this point. Keep us out of wars? Not send openly homosexual former athletes as “ambassadors” from America to the Olympics to thumb his nose at Christian morality?

    I would like a president who is enough of a Christian that he would pray to the God of the Bible (not some made up Mormon god) for advice and would act on a Holy Spirit informed conscience?

  88. Steve Wright says:

    #82 – Xenia. I fully agree. I was not blaming anyone…The GOP screwed it up completely in the primary, as did the campaign itself. I was just making the historical observation..

    The GOP deserved to lose. If you look at the primary results, you will find Romney won states that mostly were locks for Democrats in the general, while losing the red states and when it came down to swing states Romney won all the moderate/liberal big city areas and others won the Republican districts. His subpar performance despite outspending by millions his opponents.

    Not only that, but the states were arranged, both in the order of voting, the winner take all versus proportionate split and so forth to almost guarantee his primary victory. And he still barely won (and would have been very embarrassed if Santorum had not conceeded as a whole bunch of red states were about to vote at the end of the process and Romney would have lost them all)

    The GOP is dead to a lot of guys like me. And the Democrats at the national level are about as antichrist as one could imagine. (Remember they voted God out of the platform and even when they tried the voice-vote to reverse that huge PR error it took the mayor of LA to ignore the voice vote and bring God back in) But that is the soul of the national Democrat party today.

    MLD – I would rather an atheist fight for the unborn, for individual freedoms of speech and religion, and a whole host of other issues than a Christian who doesn’t.

    That was my other point about Romney – if he was a solid, dependable conservative with a track record as such, a lot more would have voted for him. Some still would have stayed home due to the Mormonism. He came off as someone who would say or do anything to get elected…with no core.

  89. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    ” Not send openly homosexual former athletes as “ambassadors” from America to the Olympics to thumb his nose at Christian morality? ” – if it were done for that reason, I could see it as wrong – but as a person representing ALL Americans, what if the reason was to be inclusive?

    Also, anyone who is not a Christian is praying to a made up God. Now i will add, all made up Gods are actually the devil himself.

  90. Steve Wright says:

    On inerrancy…if someone comes up to you with a yes/no question “Does the Bible have errors?” how do you answer?

    (Assuming when you say the Bible is true they repeat the question)

    Because if you give an explanation beyond the simple yes/no, you are making a case for inerrancy because I can’t believe that either Xenia or MLD would simply say “Yes the Bible has errors” and let the person walk away.

    Maybe the word is some hot button…but the teaching is crucial. Every Bible in human hands today has errors or at minimum, contradictions with another Bible in someone else’s human hands.

    However, the Bible, as written, has(d) no errors whatsoever. It is God’s perfect word.

  91. Xenia says:

    MLD, I saw the interview where Obama was asked why he wasn’t going to attend the Olympics. He said he wasn’t going but he was sending ambassadors. All the ambassadors were known homosexuals, as I recall. This was his response to Russia’s very mild laws against promoting homosexuality to young children and the whole P*ssy Riot travesty.

  92. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “However, the Bible, as written, has(d) no errors whatsoever. It is God’s perfect word.”

    Does anyone have a copy of this Bible?

  93. Xenia says:

    No, Steve, I would say the Bible is to be read and interpreted within the Church that wrote and canonized it. It would take a bit of time to explain what I meant. There are no yes/no answers to this kind of question.

  94. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – I know the situation, but what I was getting at is it the act or the motive?

    If it was to be inclusive and represent all American, is that wrong?

  95. Em says:

    render unto the government(s) that which is the government’s and unto God that which is God’s… seems to me that i need to ponder on just what it is i have that i can render ? aaand exactly what is the meaning of “render?” … “give?” … “tear?” …?…

  96. Xenia says:

    Is all America represented by a team consisting of only openly homosexual activists?

  97. Em says:

    is our President really the leader of our nation or can he/she be more accurately defined as a spokesperson or even as a figurehead?

  98. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Inspiration to me requires inerrancy. Do you think it is possible God breathed error through Paul, John, David etc.?


    Since I have not seen the inerrant collection of original autographs, I take it by faith.

    Of course, I haven’t seen the risen Jesus either but I believe that too, and don’t think making that case somehow “does more harm when used” either.. 🙂

    (Though certainly more than a couple people will walk away when they understand that being a Christian means belief in a guy who died and rose again and is alive today)

    I’ll never forget hearing this pastor talk about praying with someone to receive Christ who stopped the pastor mid-prayer when he mentioned the resurrection. The guy said “I don’t believe that!” and walked away.

    I remember it as the indictment against a lot of evangelical preaching out there to which it stands. That someone could be encouraged to come “receive Christ” and not have a clue about the gospel and certainly not be born again.

  99. Josh The Baptist says:

    Assuming I were not familiar with the Bible, and I asked the question, “Does the Bible have errors?”, if the answer was anything other than “no”, my next question would be, “Why in the world would I bother reading it?”.

    But that’s just me.

  100. xenia says:

    Framing the question with a yes / no only response is not a good idea. Even inerrantists would have to say “no” because they only believe the originals are completely without error and that takes a few extra words to explain.

  101. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    ““Does the Bible have errors?”, if the answer was anything other than “no”, my next question would be, “Why in the world would I bother reading it?”.

    This seems to be a weak argument. There are obviously errors in the Bibles we have – this is why the question comes up, and the answer seems to be “no, there are no errors — trust me. My beliefs I take by faith in a non existent original that we all know is without error.”

    My next question would be “why couldn’t God preserve his inspired, inerrent word through the manuscript process?”

  102. Jim says:

    The constitutional argument does hold some weight, as the founders ended the rule of men in America.

    That doesn’t help me at all, as I can’t believe that Paul wrote this about Nero.

    If we should only follow our conscience and obey moral laws, then we should all be outlaws, as the majority of laws are immoral.

    Malum in se vs malum prohibitum.

  103. Xenia says:

    What do you all think about this?

    My husband and I have seen the same family doctor for over 30 years. We are healthy so we don’t see a whole lot of him, but we have always considered him to be our doctor. Today we received a letter from his office saying that because of the current climate in medical care, which he didn’t explain, he is not giving his patients the care he believes we deserve: long waiting times to get appointments, long time in the waiting room, quick visits once you see him. I guess this is true; I haven’t noticed a problem, really.

    He says he and his partner have 4000 patients and he wants to get ride of about 3000 of us. To stay with him, we need to join his membership club and pay him $850 a year per person (family discounts available) for the privilege of keeping him as our doctor. We have 3 weeks to decide and it’s first come, first served. If we choose not to pay up, we are told to come to his office, collect our medical records, and find another doctor. (There are not many GPs in this area, by the way, which is why he has so many patients in the first place.) He and his partner only want 1000 patients.

    Is this a trend?

  104. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – it is common and getting to be more so.

  105. Josh the Baptist says:

    I have no reservations saying the bible is without error.

  106. ? says:


    Health care is not what is was 25 years ago.
    Medicare has asked many PCP’s to return monies paid out to them. They are also fighting with Medicare over these issues and choosing to drop Medicare and other Major Medical insurance plans.

    Many PCP’s are opening 2nd and 3rd offices because most Obi plans require PCP referral and they can’t handle the load. They are hiring PA’s to take over.

  107. Xenia says:

    I don’t know where the 3000 patients will go. There are very few GPs in the area and they will be swamped with my doctor’s rejects plus maybe they will start up a membership only club of their own.

    We are going to join for the first year, at least. We need time to scout around for other arrangements. He very cleverly gave us only a few weeks to decide.

    Not only THAT but this doctor has fallen for the Paleo diet fad and tells me that my morning toast is a drug.

  108. Steve Wright says:

    I am not trying to be cheeky with the yes/no question, but one of the complaints about inerrancy over the weekend was that it takes a few qualifiers to explain. I do not see that as a problem of course, so I asked the yes/no question because either one does give the simple answer or one is willing to explain a few things…so why not explain the principles of inerrancy?

    MLD, why didn’t Jesus hang around for more than 40 days. Imagine how many would have believed if He had gone on a world tour. If He had stayed for a few centuries He could have short-circuited Mohammed and the rise of Islam.

    I don’t presume to answer the “why” of God, but when we speak of errors in our current Bibles we are talking about very simple details for the most part due to the copyist process – and that is the thing about giving revelation through a book. And THAT is one of the strongest arguments for God’s power of preservation of His word. There are so many other ancient books with nowhere near the amount or consistency of manuscripts that the Bible has. Of course God preserved His word, using fallible human beings and a fallible process to do so. Amazing really.

    Xenia – be grateful your doctor is not just retiring thanks to Obamacare. That is what I am seeing more and more. Our family had an interesting quirk as we were told that if we wanted to continue to be patients we needed to provide a credit card on file that was preauthorized for payments (copay/deduc) in connection to our insurance.

    As thousands (millions?) of us yelled years ago, this is the inevitable result that (as Chick Hearn used to say) one could call in braille. There is a large number of people in this nation who desire socialized medicine for America. There are others that learned from the Hillarycare errors that one can’t be upfront with America and expect it to pass. They belong to the party that passed this monstrosity which has the same endgame.

    Where are those 3000 people going to Xenia’s doctor going to get care? The emergency room? A Medicaid supported Obamacare policy?

    And what is Xenia’s doctor going to do when the government cracks down and makes it a crime for a doctor to ask for a membership fee and is told he MUST take as many patients as are willing to come to him.

    I grieve for so many starting to see things fall apart now. I grieve as a pastor for them, as a taxpaying American, as a former businessman, and as a consumer along with my children and wife of medical care, and a purchaser of health insurance which a) I have not been allowed to keep contrary to the President’s promise and b) goes up and up in cost each year contrary to the President’s promise.

    My final question is if pointing out the real human hurt taking place due to a politician’s lies and/or ineptness and desire for power is a violation of Romans…

  109. Michael says:


    You’ve got about one more shot left before I lose it.

  110. ? says:


    I don’t think the Paleo diet is a fad, and genetically modified grains are not healthy…but for whatever reason he has he may have made a decision to now treat patients who will agree with his new approach. A physician is not obligated to treat any patient. He/she must “accept” the patient.
    After 30 years in practice, he must be in his 60’s and it may be time to slow down, and call the shots the way he desires (no pun intended!)
    Patients have no idea about the amount of stress of running a practice.
    Since he is older, he probably has enough resources to make these changes…or retire.
    The amount of paperwork nowadays is overwhelming.
    I would suggest a one on one discussion with him to voice your concerns.
    You may get more answers. You may be making assumptions too.

  111. ? says:

    “We are going to join for the first year, at least. We need time to scout around for other arrangements. He very cleverly gave us only a few weeks to decide”

    My mothers PCP sent her the same notice but he explained that Medicare asked for 3 months worth of payments back and he had been in arbitration with Medicare and decided to drop it. He also went into a “club” membership practice, with “a la carte” prices, also dependent on “snow birds” vs. full time residents. This was a transition that needed to be made quickly, as a physician is responsible for you until the next one takes over your files/case.

    He made not have done what he did cleverly…it may have been a decision that needed immediate action.. he just needs to get his files in order by law.

  112. Xenia says:

    Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not the same as organisms that are the product of selective breeding over the years. You need a chem lab to produce a GMO. You just need time and patience to produce plants and animals that reflect selective breeding (think Chihuahuas.)

  113. ? says:


    I don’t understand…?

  114. ? says:


    I have to agree with you. I have been in the system 25 years.
    On that note I will bow out….

  115. Xenia says:

    GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) are the result of tinkering with an organism on the microscopic DNA level, either adding genetic material from a completely different species, altering genes, deleting genes, etc. You might insert a gene from a completely different species into an organism to make it resistant to herbicides, for example. This is done in a lab and is very high tech.

    Plain old selective breeding is when you take two long-tailed dogs and breed them to produce a line of long-tailed dogs. This is how we can have so many varieties of dogs, cattle, flowers, etc. It does not take a lab and has been practiced by humans for millennia. Very low tech.

    To agree with you, today’s wheat is not the einkorn of years ago. However, it is the result of selective breeding, not genetic modification. (There is GMO wheat but I don’t think it is in common use.)

  116. ? says:

    Dwarfing wheat changes DNA and is genetic modification.

  117. Steve, again I think you confuse textual criticism for inerrancy. You cannot prove inerrancy, you can only make an assertion.

    Textual criticism solves textual problems – textual criticism explains the end of Jonh 7 and the beginning of John 8 – while inerrancy doesn’t even know there is a problem. Textual criticism explains the end of Mark while inerrancy says ‘what’s the issue?’ And textual criticism does not need to infer a perfect original autograph – which I don’t deny there is one, I just don’t have a need for it in discussion..

  118. I am back to Kaiser now that I am on Medicare. They are great Zenia and I don’t know if they are where you are.

    I was on Kaiser for 8 years while I had my company but they got too expensive and when Dodd – Frank shut us down we went back to work for others and used their crappy insurance – United Healthcare and later Aetna.

    Kaiser is all about prevention – in a year I have been to doctors more than I have in the previous 5 years … with a $5 co pay 🙂

  119. Zenia = Xenia. My phonics my have subconsciously snuck in 😉

  120. Xenia says:

    A few contradictory thoughts about my doctor and trends in general:

    1. I think a wealthy country like the USA should be able to provide health care for all its citizens in a straightforward way.

    2. I think doctors are caught in the middle of every medical policy ever adopted.

    3. I suspect Steve might be right when he suggests that membership clubs may be outlawed one day because they circumvent government programs.

    4. I think a large number of people who want socialized medicine really care about poor people and are not godless Commie atheists

    5. If we join this club I will feel like an elitist. Sure, you get what you pay for but it bugs me that we will be among the 1000 privileged and the ones who can’t come up with the dues are left visiting Doctors on Duty or going to the emergency room.

    6. I do not think Obamacare is immoral per se, just incredibly inefficient and inept. My conscience is not bothered by cooperating w/ Obamacare but I will roll my eyes at the poor execution.

  121. Xenia says:

    MLD, no Kaiser nearby.

  122. Xenia says:

    We have very good insurance, by the way.

  123. Xenia says:

    However you may feel about Obamacare, socialized medicine and the plight of American doctors, it is upsetting to get a letter from your doctor of 30+ years telling you that he’s liquidating 3/4 of his clientele and if you don’t want to be counted among the outcasts, pay up NOW or else come get yer stuff.

  124. Michael says:


    @122…well said.

    Obamacare probably saved my life…which may be why some here want the President impeached. 🙂

  125. Glen says:

    It came as a real surprise when my Doctor went to what he calls Direct Care. Yes it is costing me $49 a month on top of my insurance, but I don’t really look at it as elitist.
    He held several meetings with the patients and explained the problems with coding and dealing with the insurance companies. He laid off over a dozen people who did nothing but paperwork. My insurance still covers labs as the lab does that billing. Check out the website that explains a lot.

  126. Em says:

    Xenia, from the grape vine i hear that our medical care is getting very assembly line and mechanical… the chances are good that should you be hospitalized, you won’t see an RN during your stay and, if you do, she’ll have less than 3 years in the field – there are one or two to a floor and they’re busy doing paperwork for government requirements and the hospital – lower salaried (and lesser trained) techs and medical assistants will give you your meds and do your routine procedures – no problem unless you are that patient that isn’t routine … and the doctors who love to practice medicine have their hands tied – unless they do what your doctor is doing they are expected to get in and get out and get on to the next person in 15 minutes or less and their compensation will barely cover those student loans unless you are in certain specialties – cancer and plastic surgery pay well
    or so i hear 🙂

  127. Steve Wright says:

    I think a large number of people who want socialized medicine really care about poor people and are not godless Commie atheists
    Of course…never said otherwise. I said earlier a lot of Americans think the government provides things “for free” – so why not healthcare.

    However, speaking for myself, a large number of conservatives really care about poor people and them getting the healthcare they need, support a safety net, but wish that the entire middle class system did not have a grenade tossed into it that pushes people into a poverty program.

    It’s not the average person….However, we all should be scared to death of the elite few who want the power over such a system. All we need to do is look at other systems and the approval process for serious medical treatment.

    That was my point about Hillarycare. The text of that legislation included words like fine, crime and so forth more than it did medical terms. No joke. The Dems controlled Congress and even they did not pass the legislation and of course Newt and company took over in 1994 anyway

    Being in the insurance business fulltime back in the early 90s – I vividly recall Hillary’s matter of fact response to a question from an insurance agent about his (lack of) role in the new system – “You seem like a smart person and I am sure you will find another job”

    Now, for those of us who were actually providing a service superior than that of the DMV or the IRS, who help clients and whose clients appreciate our services…that was quite a kick in the teeth. Somehow hiring a bureaucrat at typical government salary and benefits was going to be more cost efficient than us…and of course anyone wanting to circumvent the system and mutually agree on some arrangement would have been guilty of a crime.

    Almost 25 years later, and she is likely going to be our next President. 🙂 (Unless she is too far on the right again like when she ran against Obama and someone like Elizabeth Warren throws her hat in the ring)

    Now, if that factual historical trip down memory lane gets me banned, so be it. The fact is we STILL have not seen most of the mandates, fines and other regulations associated with the current law – and it will be a sad day when they come. I hate hearing from my congregation when they can only get part-time hours so as to avoid all the mandates, when they are asking for prayer because coverage is getting cancelled, their doctor is retiring and they can’t find a replacement, or their premium just got jacked up another 20%

  128. Neo says:

    Regarding the Key Life article…. Gatekeepers. So true.

    I remember hearing the “message of Grace” for the first time about six years ago. When I heard it, I told the leadership, “If this ship is going down, I am going down with it”. And I almost did! LOL…

    Ever since, I will always view the message of Grace like the Pearl of Great Price. Once “stumbling upon it”, one will trade all the religion, moralism, and philosophy in the world for the treasure of “It is Finished”.

  129. Steve Wright says:

    Glen, I have heard of more and more doctors going to something similar to an attorney fee schedule with no insurance taken. You come in and buy 30 minutes of time and talk to them about all your health questions, get the script or whatever the main reason it is you came there for. Like you said, eliminates most of the paperwork and overhead.

    I like it myself…and have a clinic where I use that system and pay cash. Unfortunately I moved out of the area and yet I still make the drive on occasion.

  130. Neo says:

    I’d vote for Obama over any present Republican candidate… I’m so glad this post is anonymous. Wait….

  131. Em says:

    Xenia, just read your post to my daughter who is an acute dialysis nurse (who’s looking for another line of work) – she says, you’ve got a good doctor and the price is right considering where insurance is headed, you should grab it … FWIW

  132. Jim says:

    If the ACA is not immoral, than theft is not immoral. What is wrong with you people?

  133. Em says:

    1. I think a wealthy country like the USA should be able to provide health care for all its citizens in a straightforward way.
    you are absolutely correct – “straightforward” is the key … my daughter has been without medical insurance for years – could not afford it and not provided by employer – then going back to school and broke she was able to take care of some problems thru Obamacare at no cost – those in the medical field don’t think this system is sustainable, however…

  134. Em says:

    “Obamacare probably saved my life…which may be why some here want the President impeached”

    then again, Michael, maybe God directed its implementation just for you… and my daughter… wouldn’t surprise me 🙂

  135. Xenia says:

    Well we have decided to sign of for one year at least. We are grumpy about being asked to cough up (for me and my husband) $1500 out of the blue like that on top of our insurance payments but I’ve asked around and to my surprise, there are people who see the doctor’s POV and since I am one for listening to both sides of every story, my initial anger has cooled down considerably. Other family members who had this doctor are too angry to see his side of the story and are now searching YELP to find themselves a new doctor.

    I sorta like my doctor, even if he thinks oatmeal is poison.

    I wish we had Kaiser because the preventative program they have appeals to me.

    Oh well, All our lives are in God’s hands.

    Sorry for the rabbit trail.

  136. Josh The Baptist says:

    MLD, you are getting terms mixed up. Textual criticism is simply the study of the different manuscripts, how they differ, where they agree, etc. Bart Ehrman is a giant in the the field of textual criticism, but certainly not an inerrantist. Dan Wallace is also a textual critic but probably (?) holds to inerrancy.

    Inerrancy is the name for a fully formed doctrine. An inerrantist is never claiming that all, or any, translation is inerrant, but that the original is inerrant. You are thinking about something like a King James Only doctrine instead of inerrancy. KJO’s would claim that their are no errors in their translation, but that is not what the doctrine of inerrancy is about at all.

    I am an inerrantist, but I don’t think The Message Bible is inerrant. It’s a translation. Not a great one, really, but readable and valuable in that way. Not inerrant.
    Heck, I could do a very rough translation of the New Testament myself. Do you think inerrantists are claiming my third grade level translation would be without error?

    Oddly, my study of textual criticism convinced me that the Bible is inerrant.

  137. Josh,
    As I said earlier and I think I said the same the other day. What good does claiming inerrancy do for any discussion. All inerrancy says is that there cannot be errors in the Bible, – if you think you found an error, well you haven’t – end of assertion.

    But Steve said that people in his congregation bring to him their Bibles and say “look, mine says different than yours. Inerrancy says -“it may appear so but there are no errors in the Bible.”

    Textual critics will show why there is a variation.

    You bring up Bart Ehrman without realizing he is one of the best textual critics around today. Where he goes astray is with his conclusions, but he can work a text like no one else. I would guess that if you gave him and Dan Wallace a project to work on separately, they would come up with the exact same data.

    Now, I also said this earlier – I do not deny inerrancy and my initial claim is that I do not use the word nor do I appeal to it – I am satisfied to just state to someone the Bible is true. As I also said, I never call myself a Bible Believing Christian or a Born Again Christian – as there is no other kind.

    The Bible is true, but I guess it is not true enough for some so they have a need to go to a higher level of true.

  138. Josh The Baptist says:

    I don’t think you read my post, buddy. I said, and I quote ” Bart Ehrman is a giant in the the field of textual criticism,”. So what is it again that I do not realize?

    “All inerrancy says is that there cannot be errors in the Bible”
    Umm. That’s just not true. You are taking the literal meaning of a word without understanding that there is a doctrine behind it. Here is a brief statement on inerrancy, you should read up:

    A textual critic does not differentiate between an NIV and NSRV, like Steve would be talking about at his church. A translator might, but that is not what textual critics do.

  139. Sure they would if they came from a different family of manuscripts – and even in the same family there are variants that cause translational problems.

  140. Alex says:

    Opt out of Obamacare. We have. Others in our family have. It is a great ministry.

  141. Alex says:

    “Obamacare probably saved my life….”

    Yes, there are winners and losers under Obamacare.

    Previously uninsurable due to bad health are among the big winners.

    The rest of the US populace who now has to pay a lot higher out-of-pocket for less insurance are among the big losers.

    Other winners are the Big Health Corps. who have seen their stocks skyrocket up under Obamacare b/c they can still charge ever-increasing prices for their services….and even Insurance company stocks have skyrocketed upward b/c they can put more of the costs back onto the insured while tricking them with “lower premiums”…but charging them much higher out-of-pocket before any insurance kicks in.

  142. Josh The Baptist says:

    MLD – you have moved the goalposts so much it is hard to even keep up. So you are telling me when someone from Steve’s church comes and says “But my Bible says this”, Steve should say, “I don’t know, lets ask Bart Ehrman.”

    A textual critic isn’t dealing with English translations. I think you understand this, but don’t want to be perceived as losing an argument.

    Also, Inerrancy (as defined by those who hold the doctrine) does not mean what you say it means. You may just be arguing for fun on that point, too, but my guess is you actually believe in Inerrancy even though you don’t know it.

  143. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    No, you guys have twisted the conversation and pointed to the extremes. When the mention of inerrancy came up, i only said that it is a word I do not use – i state only that the Bible is true … and some folks came unglued like every time you mention scripture you must defend it to the hilt.
    It can’t just be scripture or true scripture … no, that what the liberals think so I must say
    1.) it is the inspired Bible
    2,) it is the inspired, infallible Bible
    3.) it is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Bible.

    What did people do before these words got added to the vocabulary?

  144. Josh The Baptist says:

    What a weird question. What did they do before “bible” was added to the vocabulary. Or “the”. Or “peanut”.

    Most people don’t use inerrant in everyday conversation. It is a theological term, with many books written behind it. It is easier to say that one word than to quote the multiple books that make up that doctrine.

    I am now certain that you are an inerrantist.

  145. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I am now certain that you are an inerrantist.”

    I am sure that I am – I just don’t use the word to describe the Bible

    I asked Steve but not you – Is saying the Bible is true lacking in any way?

  146. Josh The Baptist says:

    Nope. That is an accurate statement.

  147. Babylon's Dread says:

    I am a simple biblicist …

    My spokesman on that matter was Clark Pinnock

    Inerrancy chases you down a bunch of rabbit holes that is way too much energy.

    We simply believe the Bible and preach it.

  148. Josh The Baptist says:

    No problem with that either.

    I think the same rabbit holes would apply to “simply believe” but that’s all good.

    Inerrant has been used as a political hammer in the past, and thus, packs some baggage.

  149. Em says:

    FWIW (not much, i know)… if all the theologians were to get raptured off the planet, we’d do just fine with humble-before-God teachers, God’s word (alive and powerful as the Holy Spirit works) leading us into all truth. i, too, like things organized and categorized and spelled right, but i’m thinking that God kind of likes to make us (pew sitters) work for our food one meal at a time… like the manna, if we take too much at one time, it seems to go rancid… dunno, tho

  150. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, a theologian is just someone who has thoughts about God … as you just expressed you thoughts above. Happy Rapture 😉

  151. Em says:

    “Happy Rapture” :…?… shock:

    doesn’t that make everyone on the planet a theologian? hasn’t everyone had thots about God? no matter what they conclude? what do we then call those who search the words of your and my Theo – no matter how many translations?

  152. Em says:

    darn it, let me try again 😯

  153. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, we are all theologians – some of you are better at it than some of us 🙂

  154. neo says:

    Dear BD. Thank you for mentioning Clark Pinnock.

  155. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    O, I thought he said Clark Griswold

  156. Em says:

    ” Em, we are all theologians – some of you are better at it than some of us 🙂 ”

    nope i don’t buy either of those assertions – but the horse is dead

    what i love about MLD is that he is one of the regulars here who leaves no doubt that he absolutely loves the Word…. even if it’s the Lutheran version

    i just pass by now and then and play sidewalk superintendent 😆

  157. Linda Pappas says:

    For you Michael,

    And all those who know what this means.

    Theme song by Ry Cooder: Movie: The Border (Jack Nicholson

  158. Linda Pappas says:

    Like this video as well:

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