Things I Think

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34 Responses

  1. Laura Scott says:

    “The kingdom has come.” Yes and amen.

    That’s exactly what we need to know.

  2. filbertz says:

    without the work of the Holy Spirit, we’re dead in the water. Acting spiritual is nothing more than religion. Thanks for another thought-provoking list.

  3. Xenia says:

    1. No one in my world believes in the Rapture so I never hear about it. However, I am always glad when people are expecting the Lord’s return, even if we disagree about the logistics.

    2. Wineskins…. I think that simile is often miss-used. The old wine skin was the Old Covenant, not a Christian denomination or movement. All Christians fall under the category of New Wine Skin.

    3. I did not know that some churches had massive New Year’s Eve parties! Well, they probably wanted people to be able to ring in the New Year in an alcohol- free environment without the debauchery typical of New Year’s parties. Some people need training wheels. Some people just enjoy celebrating with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Our church had a short prayer meeting at 6pm, after which I went home and indulged myself in an evening of Lord of the Rings Online. (Level 99 Elf!)

    4. I am not cynical, I am just glad there are still Christians in America. God bless them. Most of them will find a place closer to the Throne than I will.

    5. My Church does both: we teach from the Bible and claim to be the One True Church.

    6. Never stop learning…. Well, depends who your teachers are. I, personally, have very little confidence in my own ability to discern truth from error and need a good teacher. Many of the times when I thought I was hearing some new truth from the Holy Spirit I was only hearing from my own darkened mind.

    7. Certainty in all things…. I find it very comforting to have a lot of certainty. I am not one to read the Bible looking for a new spin or to read modern theology books looking for a new interpretation. In fact, as far as theology goes, I am pretty much stuck pre 1000 AD.

    8. Living the Gospel a day vs reading the Bible in a year…. Much profit in both.

    9. For me, the faithfulness of God is a given. After that is settled, I strongly recommend the use of a good prayer book.

    10. Yep.

  4. dswoager says:

    7. I don’t know, I’ve been known to utter such emphatic phrases as;

    “I’m really pretty sure Scripture is saying this”


    “I’m really not quite certain the Bible says what you think it does about that”

    Those are pretty strong words. 🙂

  5. Michael says:

    Happy birthday, Xenia!

  6. Xenia says:

    Thank you, Michael.

  7. Pastor Al says:

    The vast majority of Evangelical church and churches like Calvary Chapel are simply Social Clubs and Christian Entertainment.

    It is what it is.

    Fine, no problem. Live and let live.

    So glad to have learned the Truth about Institutionalized Church and Organized Religion. Happier than I’ve ever been and enjoying the remaining days in this existence.

    Onward and upward!

    BTW, every single Human People Group….except the radical Islamists….tick the same. I’ve seen “Jesus” and “God” more in unlikely places than in “church”….and I’ve seen the biggest evils in “church” that are easily ignored, defended, “not my problem! I have a mortgage!” etc etc.

    The “church” and its Gurus and Leaders are powerless. They are empty suits. False Profits. Don’t buy into their scams. If you like church as a Social Club….great! Enjoy, just don’t let it have a false power over you. You can’t earn your way into heaven, you can’t “Correct Doctrine” your way in. It’s a mystery.

    There is Sowing and Reaping and consequences to bad actions….but a Good and Loving God is likely did not create you and the vast majority of human souls to torture in an eternal hell forever with no end.

    If you knew what really goes on “in church” and among its pastors….you’d realize they are no different than any secular politician or any other walk of life. Very much “not” transformed, just good Bulls****ers.

  8. Pastor Al says:

    More and more folks are figuring out the scam and the Truth thanks to social media as more and more people share information and experiences.

    It’s a great Trend to see.

    The Truth finds a way of getting out….it always does.

  9. Pastor Al says:

    Don’t have “faith” in your Apologetic.

    Don’t be so afraid.

    It’s OK. It’s going to be OK.

    If God is real….he (we ascribe human gender LOL) is Love and Good and Just and Righteous and he won’t be like the Taliban or ISIS or strict Christian Fundamentalists who create a god in their own image.

  10. Cash says:

    Having huge parties to entertain the faithful on New Year’s Eve by having the venerable New Year’s Eve Prophecy Update. Now that ought to really stick in your craw, Michael. 🙂

  11. Michael says:


    The only thing worse would have been mass gatherings to watch “Alaskan Bush People”… 🙂

  12. Reverina says:

    I’m no wine-bibber – but it is my understanding that old wine is always better than new — Isn’t new wine merely grape juice?

  13. Mr Jesperson says:

    Michael – You have got some great things there on this weeks list. Signs are that this is going to be one stormy year. It is nice to actually know Christ when the skies darken. There is no safer place to be then at His feet learning from Him. It is my prayer that the religious bondage that keeps people in chains and away from the Groom will be broken. “We all need some light now, turn on the light and chase the darkness away” -Neal Morse

  14. Tim - Doulos says:

    Happy birthday Xenia!

  15. Xenia says:

    Thank you, Pastor Tim! I wish you posted here more often.

  16. once a cc guru says:

    Pastor Al, can I join your church 😉

    Most of the other ones I’ve tried are just as you described…

    “The vast majority of Evangelical church and churches like Calvary Chapel are simply Social Clubs and Christian Entertainment”

    Mixed in with nepotism, mind control techniques, Amway type hierarchy mentality protected by “inner circle” jerks, spiritual manipulation/abuse and private interpretation of scripture taught as “doctrine” by unlearned, wannabe scholars with Alpha personalities who craftily remix Chuck’s 2-3000 series from 30 years ago into their own lingo…

  17. Francisco says:

    Amen to #9. ditto to #14.

  18. Em says:

    Xenia’s birthday? hope it is happy and God blessed

  19. JTK says:

    “4.I’m as cynical as hell about the American model of “church”, but I couldn’t be any more excited about what I believe will replace it…”

    WHY do I have NO IDEA what you’re talking about?

    Has anyone seen “Making a Murderer” on Netflix?

  20. Xenia says:

    JTK, my daughter is wild about that show so I guess I will take a look.

  21. DavidH says:

    1. I managed to avoid all the so called “prophecy updates” over New Years, save one, and that was Greg Laurie. Same dog and pony show he’s done for years. News media quotes, some quotes from celebrities, and an alter call. My wife love Greg Laurie, so I listened. “Nothing new here, move along.”
    3. They’ll do whatever they can to fill the chairs.
    4. The historical “American Church” is an American cultural institution, it isn’t a Christian institution.
    5. See number 3.
    7. I’m certain I’m here right now. I’m not so certain about later.
    8. That would cut into the profits of those year long reading plan Bibles.
    9. Yep.

  22. Linnea says:

    8.There is more profit in living the Gospel for a day than in reading through the Bible in a year…

    A hearty Amen to #8, Michael…

  23. DavidH says:

    I couldn’t have dropped in at a better time. I haven’t posted up here in a long time. It was just better for me to stay away.

    I’ve had my own things to deal with.

    We didn’t attend a church for a couple of years. I walked away from a church that was slowly tearing my life apart. Control freakdom on a grand scale. I was becoming a “godroid”, as one of my friends called me. The underlying meaning of that term scared me to no end.

    – Empty suits. They don’t wear suits, they wear Hawaiian shirts, and Chuck Taylors. Or, they dress like hipsters.
    – Social clubs. Yep. Control freak social clubs with Hawaiian shirts and Chuck Taylors.
    – “if you knew what really goes on “in church” and among its pastors….you’d realize they are no different than any secular politician or any other walk of life. Very much “not” transformed, just good Bulls****ers.”

    At least most people realize that politicians are weasels.

    “Correct Doctrine” – “Distinctives” are not doctrine. They’re a sales pitch to get you in the door, and suck the life out you, and empty your wallet. They’re emotional vampires.

    Too be blunt – I will never darken the door of another Calvary Chapel, unless it’s to attend a funeral, or a wedding. And, even then I’d be extremely wary.

    After bailing, and backsliding out of Calvary Chapel, we went to a small SBC church here. The day I was asked why I wasn’t a Republican (I’m a political independent) was my last day there. Unbelievable what was pulled out of thin air on that one. The guy pulled out the that I had to choose a side, Bible quote included “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

    I didn’t know Jesus was a Republican.

  24. Josh the Baptist says:

    Xenia, I remember you liking the first season of Serial. You will like Making a Murderer.

  25. Michael says:


    Just know you have a lot of company…and God is still at work.

  26. DavidH says:


    I haven’t been around in a long time. I’ll probably be around a bit more.

    I felt really beat down after leaving CC a couple of years ago. Were finally in a good place again. We haven’t heard any “spiritual overtime” end of the world hocus pocus since we arrived. Caleb has friends in the youth group, and the youth group leader is a real live good guy.

    I think one of the things that got to me after leaving CC, as my mind cleared, and I started thinking for myself again, was that a heaped a lot of blame on myself. Self questioning – “How did I get sucked into a toxic institution (especially since my entire graduate education dealt with toxic socio/political institutions – Stalinist Russia)?” So, I beat myself up pretty good.

    I’m finally getting back to my old self.

    One gets dragged down by the falsity of it all. Any issue I had got turned around, and it was on me. If one lets on to some perceived sin, it gets spun around and thrown back with a bunch of stock and trade Christianese –

    Are you reading the Bible?

    You aren’t praying enough (absolutely the worst thing to say to someone struggling. What that statement really means is it’s all your fault, and God obviously isn’t listening because of you. What they have is an fallacious circular argument.).

    You need to be in church more (“we have something here every night of the week”).

    Do everything their way, and it’ll all be hunky dory.

    Now, I’m better. God hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s always been there. I was led to believe that, he wasn’t there, and wouldn’t be there until I met certain criteria – WRONG.

    As far as I can tell is God was with me even when I was told he wasn’t.

    I hope this makes sense.

  27. Michael says:

    David H,

    It’s makes perfect since and is similar to many testimonies I’ve heard over the years.
    I’m glad you’re doing better…

  28. Surfer51 says:

    8.There is more profit in living the Gospel for a day than in reading through the Bible in a year…

    “One split second touch of the Holy Spirit can do more than years of seminary school can.”
    (Lonnie Frisbee quote)


    Hey Pastor Al,
    Can we still join your church even though we celebrate Thanksgiving.

  29. DavidH says:

    Glad to be back.

    Things are pretty good.

    I’m helping to write a book proposal for an author who wants to help those hurt in life, and in the Church. I can’t say more than that right now, but it’s really good stuff.

    I’m a moderator on a guitar forum.

    I’m teaching at a new school. A continuation high school in San Bernardino. I’m teaching at risk students, and helping them graduate from high school. I’m finally in the right place in my career.

  30. Surfer51 says:

    ” Happy happy Birthday”

    Today’s your special day

    Happy happy Birthday

    That’s what I’ve come to say

    Happy happy Birthday

    May all your dreams come true (True sung drawn way out…)

    Happy happy Birthday

    From me to you (You sung drawn way out…)

    Happy Birthday Xenia!!!

  31. Xenia says:

    Thank you, Surfer, Em, Francisco, and everyone, for the kind birthday wishes.

  32. Chris Long says:

    Very good “Things” list Michael! 🙂

  33. Michael says:

    Thank you, Chris!

  34. Sher says:

    #9 is for me! Thank you Michael. Hope you’re feeling better.

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