Things I Think

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67 Responses

  1. Max says:

    Excellent post, very healing and encouraging..

  2. Xenia says:

    Now that untold numbers of women are convicted of the sin of abortion, is anyone going to offer them the Gospel and the grace of God…<<<<

    Every town has a Pregnancy Center that does exactly this. They all offer post-abortion counseling which consists of offering them forgiveness from God and a chance for a fresh start. Those who care about this should support their local Pregnancy Center. Also, I can't imagine any church or pastor who would not receive a sorrowing woman with compassion.

    Facebook and Twitter are not the reality of the Christian world.

  3. Xenia says:

    Whoever said that God never gives you more than you can handle has never met God…who always gives you more than you can handle in order to prove Himself your God…<<<

    I would never say that someone who has a few mistaken ideas "has never met God." But otherwise, I think this is a very true observation.

  4. Pineapple Head says:

    I have thought many of these same thoughts this past week.

  5. Paige says:

    Thank you #2 & #3 are so right on (well, all points are). Thank you….

    Thank you for saying #6….God DOES give us more than we can handle….

    Blessings to all….. I’d appreciate prayer. I’ve been in a massive spiritual battle involving my youngest son this week, rehashing a lot of very old churchy b.s. and lots of ‘what the h’ happened”…. and I’m desperately seeking divine intervention.

  6. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think Facebook and social media are how most people get information these days.
    I don’t have a compelling reason to think that people would believe that we are going to be any more gracious in person than we are online…

  7. Michael says:

    Paige…praying for and with you, my friend.

  8. Paige says:

    Thank you….. I deeply appreciate that. I haven’t been on the front lines like this in awhile.

  9. Pam Kulwiec says:

    “I think that most of time when I’m being “led by the Spirit” I’m unaware of it and know not where I’m going or why…” – I’ve found that that’s when God is able to do His best work through me, otherwise I tend to get in the way!

    re: #5: My heart is broken for all the women who have had abortions in the past. Especially now that they may feel demonized for unknowingly participating in what has been revealed as of late. Where I’m “mad” about it all, is the folks, claiming that they are ministers of God’s Word saying that it is all ok. They have lost their way and have taken many down a thorny path with them. With all that said, we all were once (or sometimes still are by our behavior) enemies of God and in desperate need of a Savior.

  10. Papias says:

    “Why should heathens expect that we will be more gracious in person or in our churches than we are on social media?”

    When I look at FB, I cringe….

    “Restating a portion of the law over and over again is not preaching the Gospel.” Can you provide some background or explain this further?

    And number 5….just wow. Excellent point.

  11. Michael says:

    Pam,

    We were all once at enmity with God…”such were some of you…but…”

  12. Michael says:

    Papias,

    Very simply, we are very good and pointing out sin and condemning it…but we stop there.

    We condemn abortion and same sex marriage and whatever the sin of the day is…and though the condemnation is just, it won’t lead sinners to Christ unless we offer Jesus too.

    That is where we’re dropping the ball in my opinion…

  13. Pam Kulwiec says:

    Michael, that “but…” is what I am so very thankful for!

  14. Michael,
    Another widely understood definition of the word “heathen” is “unenlightened; uncivilized; barbaric”

    I’d bet “unchurched” would be a word that Phoenix Preacher visitors could find more welcoming than “heathen”.

    Just wanted to let you know how that word comes across.

    7. Why should the uncivilized expect that we will be more gracious in person or in our churches than we are on social media?

    10. When I am angrier at a barbarian’s behavior than I am heartbroken over the state of their soul, I have missed the point of the Gospel…perhaps even denied it entirely. He who has been forgiven much loves much and I find it far to easy to forget all I’ve been forgiven for…

    VS

    7. Why should the unchurched expect that we will be more gracious in person or in our churches than we are on social media?

    10. When I am angrier at an unchurched person’s behavior than I am heartbroken over the state of their soul, I have missed the point of the Gospel…perhaps even denied it entirely. He who has been forgiven much loves much and I find it far to easy to forget all I’ve been forgiven for…

    #becauseiloveyourheart

  15. Babylon's Dread says:

    We are celebrating sports where the goal is to give the opponent a concussion, or tales the ancillary goal. Meanwhile the NFL is dealing with payouts for untold numbers of concussions. We live in an odd world.

  16. Judy says:

    The argument Christians are having with the world, mostly to be right, is dull, boring, and flat out ridiculous. Those who fight this way are arguing over doctrine, morality, politics, politicians, laws, and the likes. You are right, Jesus didn’t die for the culture. We’re not trying to Christianize the culture, or we should not be. We should be reaching persons, one at a time, who need Jesus. The culture is going to be what it is.

  17. Em says:

    praying for Paige and son – Lord, enter into this struggle to find You – be to them the living Word, the God of Hebrews 4:12 … bring the truth that Paige so wants her son to grasp – strengthen this dear mother’s heart and mind and comfort her with Your presence in the battle

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    There is nothing wrong with being angry. There is nothing wrong with confrontation. The only people who are indicted for sins in such cases are believing Christians who supposedly want to control people’s lives and make them miserable.

    Have you ever tried to dialogue on an atheist page or site? You have never seen such unprovoked venom.

    Be angry and sin not… confront those who are perishing and those who are harming themselves and others. Those are acts of love. We think being niiiice is the goal of the Christian life. Cleary we never met Jesus.

  19. Em says:

    #1- 🙂

  20. Em says:

    BD’s #18 … words to live by … IMHO … we try so hard to find the right gimmick to turn people to Christ …

    dammit, God is alive, He made you and will someday finish you or finish you off … what more can He do than what He has already done? … sorry, i am a bit angry at folks denigrating the followers of Christ – the real ones, the ones who care about your sorry soul, your eternal destiny

  21. Babylon's Dread says:

    I would agree with #1 first because there is no measuring method that is adequate to affirm or deny. #2 because our God is a good Father and cares for his people and cares for his world. However, I would want to strongly affirm that being consciously led is much more available than we want to admit because of whackaddoos that have so falsified the good things.

  22. Babylon's Dread says:

    @20 Em….. Bravo

  23. Michael says:

    G,

    I’ll take that under advisement…thank you.

  24. Michael says:

    Anger in and of itself is not sinful…we need to be angry with the things God is angry about.
    However, all this anger and confrontation has become an end in itself…and that is sin.

    I’ve never been accused of being “too nice”…

  25. Michael,
    No worries, you know my heart to you, my friend.

  26. Tim - Doulos says:

    Xenia –
    “Also, I can’t imagine any church or pastor who would not receive a sorrowing woman with compassion. Facebook and Twitter are not the reality of the Christian world.”

    Good reminders on both counts.

    Every single time I talk about abortion from the pulpit, I am acutely aware that there will be several women who have gone through it. (And the percentage is probably higher than I know!) I make a point to emphasize the forgiveness and grace of God available through Jesus Christ.

    And regarding social media…there are some great opportunities there to share the gospel, and interact with folks that we might never normally encounter physically. But it’s still not “real” life. That happens face-to-face.

  27. Jim says:

    “Facebook and Twitter are not the reality of the Christian world.”

    ^ THIS!

  28. JTK says:

    #1
    Did somebody touch the hem of Michael’s garment…

  29. JTK says:

    #7
    That can lead to a pleasant surprise for evangelistic Christians in a heathen environment, I’ve found.

    “Pleasantly surprised” they’ll say…

  30. Em says:

    #5 – IMV we’ve lost the first and primary moral argument – aren’t the majority of abortions performed on single women?

    i have a question that is generational and out of date, i know…
    why is the Church unable to declare publicly and often (MORE OFTEN than we condemn the results) – why can’t we say with authority and in plain words: sex outside of marriage as the first cause leading to abortions?

    Why can’t we say, “daughter, your right to chose, to control your own body was exercised long before you got to the front desk at Planned Parenthood?” if we’ve failed to LOVINGLY shepherd our sons and daughters, may God have mercy on us… have mercy on me

    are we just tired of talking? afraid of looking ignorant? or what?
    i know that the world today is unconcerned with chastity or sees it as odd or gives the word their own definition, but … ? …

  31. Michael says:

    Chastity is nowhere on the cultural radar and on life support in much of the church…

  32. Xenia says:

    I think Facebook and social media are how most people get information these days.<<<

    None of my closest friends in real life use Facebook. They believe it is a waste of time, an invasion of privacy and is full of anger, snark, gossip and photographs of cats. I have to explain to them why I bother with it. (I only bother with FB because I this is the chosen mode of communication for a few family members who need their mama.)

    In real life (you know, the folks I see at church every Sunday) no one talks about FB or Twitter unless it's to show off a photo of the latest baby baptism.

    I think it is a serious mistake to imagine that real church life bears any resemblance to the circus that is FB and Twitter.

  33. Xenia says:

    Chastity is nowhere on the cultural radar and on life support in much of the church…<<<

    Because most parents allow their children to watch TV where sex outside marriage is the norm and all the women and girls are dressed like floozies. Parents let their kids listen to rotten, unwholesome music and let their daughters go out in public dressed like hookers.

    You can't let kids watch TV, movies and listen to most modern music and expect chastity.

    Yet try to live a TV-free life and insist your daughters are covered up and see how soon you are labeled a legalist trapped in (ahem) condo-bondo.

  34. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    There are millions upon millions of people using Facebook and Twitter…including every pastor I know or know of.

    It may not be all that in the Orthodox world, but it’s huge in evangelicalism.

  35. Xenia says:

    Sure Michael, a lot of people use FB. (My priest does not but his wife does.) Still, people say things on FB that they would not say in real life. FB gives people a platform to mouth off. It’s not real life, where if people acted like that in public they would get smacked or shunned. But on the make-believe world of FB, everyone can be a culture warrior. So what. It’s not real church life, it’s drama.

    By the way, the Orthodox have a huge FB presence and for the most part, it’s all hot air.

  36. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I look at it totally differently.
    I think that the cyber nature that allows distance and a measure of anonymity is like one beer too many…people show you who they really are and how they really think.

    That’s why I find it to be so very worrisome.

  37. Xenia says:

    But it does not show you what they actually do.

  38. Erunner says:

    What is the positive takeaway when you post the actual stoning of a teenage girl in the mideast that shows literally everything. The same goes for posting the video of someone in the street in the middle east having their head hacked off?

    Are they serving as a reminder of what the realities of our world and radical Islam are? Is it showing what some feel is headed our way? The videos do state they are graphic but I’m wondering what the benefits are in posting them.

  39. Eric says:

    #2 Not usually, but in the 40s of Isaiah, idolatry gets the treatment it deserves.

    #4 I have a hard time watching anyone pummel each other for sport.

  40. Xenia says:

    To sum up: Depending on who you choose to follow, reading FB gives one the impression that Christians like to scream against abortion but don’t care to share the Gospel with a convicted woman.

    Yet in real life, you find the opposite is true.

  41. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    I find no benefit at all…

  42. Em says:

    #33 – there is something grotesquely innocent about our very young girls on the verge of womanhood aping what they’re exposed to in the world of today thinking they’re entering the exciting world of adulthood… and they are entering into an excitement of a sort – much like a free-fall with no parachute…

    my daughter just came in with the news that we have 2 new marijuana grow operations in our river valley… we already have one at the entrance to the valley and the prospect of a garbage transfer station there also… Lord Jesus, come soon… only slightly said in jest… people – even us Christians – don’t realize how dependent this planet is on the grace of God

  43. Em says:

    i am paying a price for not being on (whatever the right term is) Facebook – my photographer daughter has posted 2 pictures that she took of the Blue Angels’ underbelly as they flew over and it’s creating quite a stir (two people have asked for permission to use them in brochures of some sort)… so tempted… but i will not… i have no stomach for stupid give and take… unless it’s on the PhxP 🙂

  44. Xenia says:

    Em, resist!

    FB is ok for sending photos of the kids to grandma but for the most part, this is what FB is all about:

    1. You sign up and “friend” everyone you know who has also signed up.
    2. You “friend” their friends. Maybe you even know some of them.
    3. You “friend” the people you come across on blogs and discussion forums.
    4. You “follow” religious and political groups and will learn many upsetting and scandalous things on their pages.
    5. If you work at it, you can accumulate a few hundred “friends.”
    6. Now you have an audience to read your rants and giggle at the cute puppy photos you post. People will “like” your posts and you will feel quite pleased with yourself for being such a clever and admired person.
    7. You can actually come to believe that you are quite an interesting person with a following of people who laugh at your jokes and get angry at the things you tell them to get angry about.
    8. Anger prevails, though, and unless you are careful, you will be angry all the time. Angry with strangers, angry about stuff that turns out to be urban legends, angry with people who have different points of view, angry at your fellow Christians.

    Resist, Em.

  45. Hey Em,
    Sign up for Facebook, enjoy the experience, manage it. Be positive.
    You’re only missing out on social interaction with your awesome family & friends.

    it’s like sipping wine, know your limits and know your company

    HAVE FUN!!!! =)

  46. London says:

    Or EM you could friend meet a bunch of very cool people from all over the world. Then, you could introduce them to each other.
    This week alone I have 2 friends in England who are both attending a Christian festival that are going to be able to connect up with each other cause I introduced them.
    So excited that could happen! Hope they sent me a picture!
    I’ve met maybe 75% of the people on my friends list, but still consider them friends.
    It’s fun.

  47. Xenia says:

    Just in case there’s any confusion, the “you” in my post does not refer to Em or to anyone else here although it does describe a large number of people I’ve encountered on FB.

  48. London, at it again, a force for good, love and spreading the Gospel by touching people’s lives. You remain an inspiration to me, you have been ever since I met you on this blog, and all of our antics in TheNightCrew!

  49. London says:

    Awww. The feeling is definitely mutual!

    I linked my friends up on FB cause the live near each other, but never met. Then yesterday, my one friend mentioned what part of the camp ground her group was staying in. Turns out it’s the same section my friends daughter is in.
    So excited that two of my favorite Brits may actually meet in real life!
    We live in amazing times!!

  50. Scott says:

    Sort of chuckling about the negative perspective of Facebook. If it doesn’t work for you, just hit the delete button on your profile page and don’t use it 😉

    I have 2 pages, one for family and one for work. I like being able to follow family and friends to a degree. There’s all kinds of preference tools available to control who or what comes into your newsfeed.

  51. j2theperson says:

    I don’t understand all this hand-wringing about Facebook. It is what you make of it. I have many friends whom I connect to in “real” life that I either first met online or met in “real” life but then maintained the relationship online before being able to connect back up offline.

    I think the people who complain about the ills of social media probably aren’t taking responsibility for how they use it. Facebook provides multiple tools to organize and control what you see, and there’s always the “unfriend” option if you really don’t like interacting with someone.

    I also feel like you minimize the pain and drama that people experience in “real” life. I can count on literally one finger the single, solitary time I have been deeply hurt by someone on social media (and that only counts if this blog is considered social media), but I really can’t count the number of times I have been hurt by people off line.

  52. Xenia says:

    In this morning’s bright sunshine I must admit that my #44 is a little over the top.

    However, think about this. If thirty years ago someone told you that you would voluntarily join something that collects considerable personal information about you, would you have signed up? That if you were included in a group photograph somewhere and your name was tagged and the photo was seen by hundreds of people, would you have joined?

  53. The Dude says:

    Facebook is what you make out of it. If you abuse it or become obsessed with it you get what you ask for.
    As a policy I never put my picture or pictures of friends or family on it. What drives me nuts is all the political propaganda and bad theology that gets sent to me everyday.

  54. Em says:

    i appreciate reading all the very interesting comments on Facebook experiences… Xenia, i think i do see where you’re coming from… i am a pretty anonymous person and function best that way, but i will think about what you all say that i am missing, too – one of my two favorite granddaughters (i have two of them) wants me to join and that is the biggest temptation of all…

  55. “temptation”?
    Facebook isn’t “sinful”, it’s simply a tool to engage others, as is a church, only extended.
    The same things apply…

    Be Impeccable With Your Word.
    Don’t Take Anything Personally.
    Don’t Make Assumptions.
    Always Do Your Best.

    Added to these,
    know who your friends are

    Em, if you have any questions about how to join and set up your privacy I’m sure someone here will be a good friend and coach you. The benefits outweigh any potential downside.

    It’s all about attitude.

  56. Your granddaughters will LOVE IT that you’re on FB!

  57. Xenia says:

    I think that any American who is concerned about the government’s invasion of our privacy should think twice about voluntarily relinquishing their privacy to Facebook. I don’t trust FB any more than I trust the US government. If one has a compelling reason to join FB and give up all their personal info, go ahead and do what you think is best but be aware and watch what you post and what info you give FB and control your privacy settings so the whole world doesn’t know your address and phone number. <— Good luck with that.

    My geeky daughter has removed all references on her FB page as to who are her relatives. What is the most commonly asked "secret question?" "What is your mother's maiden name?" Thanks to FB, you can easily obtain this info in many cases. This is just one of many perils that trip up the unwary. As I said, no one would ever have signed up for all this info-sharing decades ago.

  58. Em says:

    G. temptation = sinful? hmmm 🙂 i am tempted to exercise, but i’m tired… is that sin in reverse? … i know you’re being humorous, but i will think on that concept today…

  59. Em says:

    one funny (to me) result of Facebook is that my cycling daughter (a different one) ended up hosting a 3 day event ride up here in the mountains the house overflowed and there were even a couple or three campers on the grounds- great group – people who ride bicycles are mostly very mellow, good hearted folk… even a couple of solid Christians… it was a big success and they wanted to make it an annual event, but that was a marathon for my daughter and expensive – sooo… if i joined FB, we might end up with a fundy campout up here ?

  60. Em,
    Better yet, don’t think twice because you’re just overcomplicating things for yourself.
    Just get up, get moving and breathing and walk, jog, see your neighborhood don’t let the fears held by others rob you of the joy of life.

  61. If you join FB you reap what you sow

  62. Em says:

    G, you’re a nag! 🙂 actually, i do appreciate what you say… you’d probably enjoy a walk down our country road – it’s paved – the roar of the river, the deer and the occasional quail brigade – actually, at this time of year it is a very busy road with tourists’ campers and motorcycles… but late fall it will be beautiful again – quite a few artists and artisans up here, not all unemployed loggers and dope growers

  63. One of my daughters moved to Portland. Through good old, tried and true, face-to-face-real-world-people-meeting (as in “a casual conversation”), she introduced herself to a couple that was obviously talking about “christian things” and told them she was new to the city and could they possibly refer her to a couple local churches to check out.

    They were so welcoming in their attitude and ended up helping her visit their “old church”, as they were relocating to the midwest.

    My daughter visits the church, loved the worship, the community, gets invited to a pot-luck, makes connections, learns about how their church has a FB page wherein anyone who has a need (move an appliance or something heavy, has a free sofa or bed…) can let the community know and people respond and organize and act.

    FB was created to do just such things, let people know about gatherings, events, or just be frivolous. It’s about each of us using technology for the greatest good.

  64. “If one has a compelling reason to join FB and give up all their personal info, go ahead and do what you think is best but be aware and watch what you post and what info you give FB and control your privacy settings so the whole world doesn’t know your address and phone number. <— Good luck with that."

    FB has it's security settings easily accessible as it has evolved based on user feedback.
    The best assumption is to know that posts are "public" unless you limit them to "Friends".
    All of these things are in the Privacy Settings. Get some coaching from a friend who uses FB. Tell them your concerns.

    It's just like anything else, "new & unfamiliar" = "scary".

    For some reason God designed life so that perseverance always rewards the persistent, curious & adventurous.

  65. Em says:

    “My daughter visits the church, loved the worship, the community, gets invited to a pot-luck, makes connections, learns about how their church has a FB page wherein anyone who has a need (move an appliance or something heavy, has a free sofa or bed…) can let the community know and people respond and organize and act.”
    that’s how a church body should function – and they used to… so, how did so many congregations become so …?… there’s a word for it, probably not a nice one…

  66. Em,
    The word(s) for it are “celebrity pastors”.

    Thankfully Portland lacks them but overflows with small communities of welcoming believers. =)

    BTW, once you sign onto FB, it’s only a matter of time ’til…
    http://41.media.tumblr.com/bb1609178e16200539e288f4cc7b837b/tumblr_nskrndJcl51qh3h8wo1_1280.png

  67. Josh the Baptist says:

    I hate facebook with a passion usually reserved for legless, slithery creatures.

    Strangely enough, in my absence from the place, I am learning that employer’s expect you to have a presence there. If you are not on FB, something must be wrong with you. Ugh, may have to start it back up soon.

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